ਨਿੰਦਉ ਨਿੰਦਉ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਲੋਗੁ ਨਿੰਦਉ ॥ Slander me, slander me - go ahead, people, and slander me.
ਜਗਤ ਬੇਸ਼ੱਕ ਮੇਰੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੇ, ਬੇਸ਼ੱਕ ਮੇਰੇ ਔਗੁਣ ਭੰਡੇ; ਨਿੰਦਾ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਖਰੀ ਪਿਆਰੀ ॥ Slander is pleasing to the Lord's humble servant,
ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੀ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਚੰਗੀ ਲੱਗਦੀ ਹੈ,
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਬਾਪੁ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਮਹਤਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥Because slander is the humble servant's mother and father slander is my mother (meaning, just as parents wish to see their children's virtues grow, similarly slander exposes demerits and aids good virtues). ||1||Pause||
ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਸੇਵਕ ਦਾ ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਹੈ (ਭਾਵ, ਜਿਵੇਂ ਮਾਪੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਬਾਲ ਵਿਚ ਸ਼ੁਭ ਗੁਣ ਵਧਦੇ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਲੋੜਦੇ ਹਨ, ਤਿਵੇਂ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਭੀ ਔਗੁਣ ਨਸ਼ਰ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਭਲੇ ਗੁਣਾਂ ਲਈ ਸਹਾਇਤਾ ਕਰਦੀ ਹੈ) ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ਤ ਬੈਕੁੰਠਿ ਜਾਈਐ ॥If people slander me and expose my demerits, only then I go to heaven;
ਜੇ ਲੋਕ ਔਗੁਣ ਨਸ਼ਰ ਕਰਨ ਤਾਂ ਹੀ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਵਿਚ ਜਾ ਸਕੀਦਾ ਹੈ,
ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਬਸਾਈਐ ॥ (Because this way, letting go of demerits) the wealth of the Naam can abide within the mind.
(ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਇਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਔਗੁਣ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ) ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ-ਰੂਪ ਧਨ ਮਨ ਵਿਚ ਵਸਾ ਸਕੀਦਾ ਹੈ। ਰਿਦੈ ਸੁਧ ਜਉ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ If whilst having a pure heart someone slanders us (meaning, if we listen to our demerits being exposed with pure intentions),
ਜੇ ਹਿਰਦਾ ਸੁੱਧ ਹੁੰਦਿਆਂ ਸਾਡੀ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਹੋਵੇ (ਭਾਵ, ਜੇ ਸੁੱਧ ਭਾਵਨਾ ਨਾਲ ਅਸੀਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਔਗੁਣ ਨਸ਼ਰ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਸੁਣੀਏ),
ਹਮਰੇ ਕਪਰੇ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਧੋਇ ॥੧॥Then the slander helps to wash the clothes of my mind. ||1||
ਤਾਂ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਸਾਡੇ ਮਨ ਨੂੰ ਪਵਿੱਤਰ ਕਰਨ ਵਿਚ ਸਹਾਇਤਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ॥੧॥
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੈ ਸੁ ਹਮਰਾ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ (For this reason) one who slanders me is my friend;
(ਤਾਂ ਤੇ) ਜੋ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਭੰਡਦਾ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਸਾਡਾ ਮਿੱਤਰ ਹੈ,
ਨਿੰਦਕ ਮਾਹਿ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਚੀਤੁ ॥ the slanderer is in my thoughts (meaning, we listen very carefully to the slanderer speak). ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਸਾਡੀ ਸੁਰਤ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਵਿਚ ਰਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ (ਭਾਵ, ਅਸੀਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਦੀ ਗੱਲ ਬੜੇ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਾਲ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ)।
ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਸੋ ਜੋ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਰੈ ॥(In reality) the slanderer is the one who prevents my demerits from being exposed.
(ਅਸਲ ਵਿਚ) ਸਾਡਾ ਮੰਦਾ ਚਿਤਵਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਉਹ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਸਾਡੇ ਐਬ ਨਸ਼ਰ ਹੋਣੋਂ ਰੋਕਦਾ ਹੈ।
ਹਮਰਾ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਲੋਰੈ ॥੨॥ The slanderer wishes that our life improves. ||2||
ਨਿੰਦਕ ਤਾਂ ਸਗੋਂ ਇਹ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਸਾਡਾ ਜੀਵਨ ਚੰਗਾ ਬਣੇ ॥੨॥
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹਮਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ As our slander happens, so does love and affection for the Vaheguru come inside of us.
ਜਿਉਂ ਜਿਉਂ ਸਾਡੀ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ, ਤਿਉਂ ਤਿਉਂ ਸਾਡੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ-ਪਿਆਰ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ,
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹਮਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥ Because our slander saves us from demerits. ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਸਾਡੀ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਔਗੁਣਾਂ ਵਲੋਂ ਬਚਾਉਂਦੀ ਹੈ। ਜਨ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਉ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ So, slander (the exposing of one's demerits) is the best thing for servant Kabeer.
ਸੋ, ਦਾਸ ਕਬੀਰ ਲਈ ਤਾਂ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਔਗੁਣਾਂ ਦਾ ਨਸ਼ਰ ਹੋਣਾ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵਧੀਆ ਗੱਲ ਹੈ। ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਡੂਬਾ ਹਮ ਉਤਰੇ ਪਾਰਿ ॥੩॥੨੦॥੭੧॥ But the (poor) slanderer (whilst talking about the demerits of others) drowns (in his own demerits), whilst we are saved (by having an awareness of our demerits). ||3||20||71||
ਪਰ (ਵਿਚਾਰਾ) ਨਿੰਦਕ (ਸਦਾ ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਔਗੁਣਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਕਰ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਆਪ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਔਗੁਣਾਂ ਵਿਚ) ਡੁੱਬ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ, ਤੇ ਅਸੀਂ (ਆਪਣੇ ਔਗੁਣਾਂ ਦੀ ਚੇਤਾਵਨੀ ਨਾਲ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਤੋਂ) ਬਚ ਨਿਕਲਦੇ ਹਾਂ ॥੩॥੨੦॥੭੧॥
The Swedish Bhenji took Amrit during the Vaisakhi Smaagam in Sweden. The Panj Pyaare instructed her that she must marry a Sikh as per Gurmat Maryada (code of conduct). Bhenji accepted the Hukam (instructions). In the past she had boyfriends but they had moved away from her as she got more into Sikhi. Taking Amrit sealed things. However, Bhenji began to worry how she will find a marital partner living on a Swedish island that had no Sikhs! Furthermore she didn't know of any Sikhs who could find her a suitable partner. Someone in the Sangat advised Bhenji that she should try and find a suitable Swedish man who she is normal friends with and gets along with, and if the man agrees to happily become a Sikh then they should get married.
Bhenji shared that many of her male friends distanced themselves from her because they didn't find her "fun" anymore. She had stopped drinking, stop eating meat, stopped going to nightclubs and adopted a spiritual lifestyle. However, one friend took an interest in his friend's transformation into a Sikh. That friend was the Swedish man who came with the Bhenji to the camp and is Bhenji's husband-to-be.
I asked the Swedish Veer jee, how he came into Sikhi. He said, "My journey to Sikhi was not over night. It was a slow process. I used to smoke over 20 cigarettes a day, drink, cut my hair, eat meat and go to night clubs. I didn't give this all up suddenly. Guru jee slowly changed me and transformed me." Veer jee shared that he was very inquisitive why his friend had began to tie a turban and live differently and he was impressed and moved with the responses he got from her. Bhenji decided to give Veer jee a copy of Japji Sahib in romanized and English. "When I first heard Japji Sahib, I found it so peaceful and beautiful. I started to recite and chant it every day in the morning. I still smoked, drink and ate meat, but read Japji Sahib every morning. As I recited over and over Japji everyday, I gradually realised that I had cut down on the amount of cigarettes I was smoking, I had cut down on the meat I was eating and was slowly giving up alcohol. From 20 cigarettes, I went to 15, then 10, then 5 and eventually I stopped. I got over all my bad habits by reciting and chanting Japji Sahib. I stopped cutting my Kesh, started to tie a Dastaar and now wear all the Panj Kakkaar." Veer jee now daily recites Panj Banian Nitnem (complete daily prayers) in the morning, Sodar Rehraas in the evening and Sohila Sahib before sleeping. He has a romanized Gutka Sahib that he keeps with him. During the camp Bhenji and Veer jee had a one-to-one lessons learning how to read and write Panjabi with one of the local sevadaars.
I asked Veer jee, "Have you taken Amrit?" He replied, "No. Unfortunately, there is only one Amrit Sanchaar in the whole year in Sweden and that is during Vaisakhi. I have sadly missed it. However, whenever the next Amrit Sanchaar is I wish to take Amrit. I may travel to Delhi some time soon to take Amrit. She will re-take Amrit with me and we will get married in accordance to the Sikh religion."
During the Sweden Sikh Family Camp I met a young Swedish man and woman wearing a Dastaar and Kirpaan. I was able to talk to them and ask how they found Sikhi. Bhenji told me that she lived on one of Sweden's islands. She had never seen or heard of a Sikh or the Sikh religion. Bhenji was an average young Swedish woman who cut her hair, drank alcohol, had boyfriends and liked clubbing. However, that soon changed.
One day Bhenji said an inner voice told her to stop cutting her Kes (hair). Bhenji began to keep her Kes and felt it was natural and the right thing. An inner voice and strong internal urge then made her give up eating meat and so she became a strict vegetarian. Then she had an inner urge to give up alcohol and she realized how meat and alcohol were bad for her body and mind. Following on from this her inner voice told her to tie up her hair on top of her head and wrap something around her head. She didn't understand what a Dastaar (turban) was and used a scarf to wrap around her head. She felt at peace with herself looking this way. Without knowing, Bhenji had began to look like a Sikh and behave like a Sikh.
Bhenji then began to attend a yoga class. The yoga class was not taught by a Sikh and nor did he use Sikh Mantras. However, one day the yoga teacher decided to use some materials made by Bhai Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (Yogi Bhajan) for teaching yoga. The teacher decided to recite and chant Japji Sahib. Bhenji was a given a romanized version of Japji Sahib to read in the class during yoga. When Bhenji heard Japji Sahib for the first time, she connected straight away. She said, "It was as if I had gone back home and connected back to my roots."
Since that day, Bhenji began to recite Japji Sahib every day from romanized text. She would get great peace and sanctification hearing Japji Sahib. Eventually, one day she came across a Sikh couple walking somewhere and as soon as she saw them she went up to them and hugged them. She said "When I saw Sikhs for the first time in my life, I thought - Wow! They are my people!" Bhenji immediately identified with the Sikhs and felt at home and at peace being around Sikhs.
The Sikhs invited bhenji to the Gurdwara Sahib just outside Stockholm city (where the camp was held) which was some distance from her home. Bhenji attended the Gurdwara and said, "I loved being around the Sikhs. It didn't matter whether I could understand the language or know what was happening, I was just happy sitting amongst them and feeling like I had been reunited with my people. I feel that I must have been a Sikh in my past life and was reincarnated as a white Swedish lady."
The annual Sweden Sikh Family Camp was held at Gurdwara Sangat Sahib in Tullinge, Stockholm, from Monday 21st July to Sunday 27th July. The camp was attended by children and adults. Gursikhs from Denmark also attended the camp. The camp seva was led by local sevadaars as well as sevadaars from UK and Amsterdam (Holland). The camp was a week of amazing sangat, amrit-vela, classes for adults and children, jokes and laughs, inspiration, pyaar and Naam rang. One child named Prabhjot Singh, aged 12, told Veer Jaskarn Singh (Holland), "Bhajee this camp should not just be for one week, but for the whole year!" It was encouraging to know that the children really enjoyed the camp and didn't want the camp to end so soon.
It was worth sharing something about 7 year old Gursimrat Singh from UK who attended the camp with his family from Denmark. He showed great knowledge of Sikhi and also thirst for learning more. A very special child! He does a beautiful ardaas every time before he eats food. Also, he didn't eat bubble gum offered by another child, and also didn't eat pasta and pizza offered to him because he said he was ensure of the ingredients. Vaheguru! At the age of 7 he does full Nitnem (daily prayers) every day, ties his own dumallaa, and is very polite. Veer Jaskarn Singh (Holland) shared with me that after his history classes about 1978 and 1984 with Gursimrat Singh's group, when all the other children would go outside to play in the garden or eat Langar, he would ask Veer jee, "Can I please stay longer with you to study? I want to study more... Can please you tell me more Saakhis?" He was very eager to learn more about the jeevans of great Gursikhs. This is Guru's Kirpaa (Grace) and also the the hard work and investment that his parents have done to raise such a great Gursikh child.
There was one mona veer jee from India who had come to Sweden for a holiday with his wife. Veer jee shared with us that he usually never sits more longer than 15 minutes in the Gurdwara but during the camp was he sitting in the divaan for classes from 10.30am to 5pm. He also said that he never sat for listening Rehraas Sahib before. Veer jee was so interested and inspired by Sikh modern history that that he shared that he wished such camps where you can learn Gurbani and history were available in Panjab. He would after the camp ask questions and enjoy learning more about what was covered in the classes. Veer jee shared the sorry state of parchaar and gurdwaras in villages in Panjab. A nice thing to share is that Veer jee's daughter who was about 14 or so months old would keep repeating "Vaheguru" in such a deep and clear voice. She made the whole camp remember Vaheguru! Coincidentally the baby's name is "Gursimran Kaur".
Over the week camp there were classes on Sikh history (from 1849 to present day), teachings from Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, Keertan, learning Panjabi and fundamental concepts of Sikhi such as Seva, Simran, Sangat, and sacrifice. As always it was a pleasure to work with the children and adults as they showed so much enthusiasm to learn. The atmosphere of the camp was great. The great weather, scenic Gurdwara surroundings and being in the Sangat of Gursikhs helped to make the camp great. On Sunday nearly all the children that attended the camp came ready
wearing dastaars and gurmukhi dress. Each group and child had to
present something to the Sangat that they had learnt from the camp. All
the children worked
really hard to get materials ready and were really excited to present
for the Sangat.
Amrit vela sunrise
Gurdwara Sahib with its beautiful garden
Workshop on Sangat with the 8 - 13 years old group, led by Veer Jaskarn Singh (Holland) and Bhenji Parubhjit Kaur (Holland)
The youngest group of campers
Veer Rajpal Singh (Holland) teaching the youngest group
Veer Jagdeep Singh (UK) teaching the middle group keertan
History class with the adults group
The youngest group learning to sing the Gurus names
Fun activities for young and old. "Grape and spoon race/game course."
Fun activities. Campers firing arrow to hit targets (not people - plastic cups!)
Musical chairs in Sikhi style - without chairs and everyone chanting Vaheguru!
Middle group class on Gurbani and how to respect Gurbani
Class on "Nindya" - slander. A very interesting class with the adults group led by Veer Jaskarn Singh (Holland), especially the scenario and group discussions at the end!
Group work in class about "nindya"
Watching the movie "Apnaa Mool Pachhaan". The movie had some really nice messages about Gurmat and Sikh history.
In the evening adults and sevadaars having fun in the Gurdwara garden (not sure of the name of the game)
Bheni Parubhjit Kaur (Holland) teaching the basics of Sikhi to youngest group
Children having fun outside
Children preparing for Sunday divaan
Veer Jagdeep Singh (UK) helping the middle group to prepare for their presentations for Sunday divaan
On the last day of the camp all the campers had a test - including the adults! The adults did the test in groups. They were tested on what they had learnt in the history classes which covered Sikh history from 1849 to present day. It was good to know that the adults had paid attention and remembered key information from the classes.
Sunday divaan Sangat
Sunday divaan - Keertan by Veer Rajpal Singh (Holland). Veer jee beautifully sung a Shabad of Guru Gobind Singh jee from Dasam Granth: ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਕੇ ਬਚ੍ਯਾ ਦੂਧ ਪੂਤ ਕੇ ਦਿਵ੍ਯਾ ਰੋਗ ਸੋਗ ਕੇ ਮਿਟ੍ਯਾ ਕਿਧੌ ਮਾਨੀ ਮਹਾ ਮਾਨ ਹੋ || "praan ke bachya doodh poot ke divyaa rog sog ke mittyaa kidho maanee mahaa maan ho." ("You are the Saviour of life. The provider of milk and offspring, the eradicator of suffering and grief, and are venerable and deserve high esteem.")
Sunday divaan - youngest group of children sing "Aagya Bhe-ee Akaal Kee..." and sing all the Gurus names to the Sangat
A young camper reciting Mool Mantar paatth to the Sangat
Bhenji aged 5 and Veer jee aged 6 reciting the Gurus names to the Sangat
Sehajneet Singh, Gurpreet Kaur and Bhavdeep Kaur presenting what they have learnt about 1986 Sarbat Khalsa and Operations Black Thunder I and II.
This group talked about the history of the 1978 Amritsar massacre. The young Singh speaking on the microphone was reciting the poem 'Kurbani' written by Shaheed Bhai Fauja Singh jee.
Veer jee presenting some facts about modern Sikh history he learnt at the camp has short cut hair but he showed great enthusiasm in learning about Sikhi and Sikh history.
The child pictured above came late to the Sunday divaan and missed the presentations that the young campers did, but he requested at the end if he could speak. He recited the Gurus names in Sangat having learnt them during
the camp. This shows the effort that the children put in and the fact that
having the opportunity had a really positive effect on them. When Veer Jasdeep Singh (UK) gave
him Panjabi work and other things to do in class, he would go home and
do extra and then give it to him the next day, even if he didn't tell him
to. This illustrates the dedication and thirst for Sikhi of the children.
Bhai Sajjan Singh jee, local main sevadaar, thanking the Sangat at the end
Below is a video of Bhai Harpreet Singh from Melbourne, Australia. I met Bhai Sahib in April 2014 during the Melbourne Vaisakhi Smaagam. Bhai Sahib jee is renowned for tying very neat and beautiful Dumalaa. Please watch the video and the spirit and love of Bhai Sahib to tie a Dastaar despite only having one hand.