Thursday, November 08, 2018

INFORMATION FOR NON-SIKHS: THE SIKH DIWALI...

THE SIKH DIWALI:
BANDI CHHOR DIVAS
(THE DAY OF LIBERATION)


This Wednesday marked the Sikh festival of ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’ (also spent ‘Bandi Shhor Divas’), which coincides with the Indian cultural festival and holiday of Diwali. This whole week Sikhs across the world will be celebrating this festival.


Bandi Chhor Divas, literally meaning the day of liberation, celebrates the release of the sixth Guru of the Sikhs from prison along with fifty-two other political prisoners whose release was secured by the Guru’s refusal to leave prison without them in 1619.

The 17th century intolerant and cruel Emperor of India, wary of those who might oppose his tyrannical rule, arrested the sixth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, who was speaking up for social and religious justice and fighting injustice. Others were also imprisoned in a fort converted as a prison called the Gwalior Fort.

After falling in and receiving advice from various saints, the Emperor realised his error in imprisoning the Guru in which the Light of God shined. As the festival of Diwali approached, the Emperor ordered the release of the Great Guru. To his surprise, the Guru refused to leave unless all the other political prisoners were released at the same time.

The Emperor decided to compromise and said that anyone who could hold onto the Guru’s clothes could be freed with him. He thought that at the most, two or three of his fellow prisoners would be able to go with the Guru through the fort’s narrow passage to freedom. In the event, the Guru walked to freedom followed by all the 52 political prisoners holding onto robe made with 52 flowing segments sewn to it. The Guru became known as ‘Bandi Chhor Daathaa’ (the Giver of Freedom).

The story reminds Sikhs to put the wellbeing of others before our own; in this case the freedom and human rights of the Guru’s fellow captives. Bandi Chhor Divas is a useful reminder to the rest of us to make concern for others part of our daily lives.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Amritsar Visit: Meeting the 'Karhah Prashaad' Sevadaars


Some years ago I watched a video documentary on YouTube that was made by a non-Sikh lady on how Karhah Prashaad is made at Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji. It was very disappointing to see that in the video documentary a non-Amritdhari with cut-hair helping to cook the Karhah Parshaad and then those who carry the Prashaad from the Kitchen were non-Amritdhari cut-haired individuals. Sikh Rehat Maryada was clearly being violated. It was disheartening that where the tradition of Langar being prepared and served by the Khalsa has been mostly lost in the Panth, now the tradition of the Karhah Prashaad being made and served by the Khalsa was lost in the most central shrine of the Sikhs.
ਰਹਿਤ ਬਿਨਾ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਵਰਤਾਵਹਿ |…ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜਮ ਕਰੈ ਖੁਆਰ |੧੦| 
“A person who doesn’t maintain Rehat distributes Prashaad… Guru Gobind Singh Ji says that that person will be disgraced when death comes.”
(Thankhahnama: Bhai Nand Lal Ji, p. 58

During last month's visit to Panjab, I decided to find out where and how the Karhah Prashaad is made at Sri Harmandir Sahib. When I went to the Karhah Prashaad counter and asked the Sevadaar that I would like to see where Prashaad was made, the Sevadaar replied politely that we can come behind the counter through a door further down. When we entered the area, I was surprised that all the Sevadaars were so welcoming and friendly. There was a small room where the manager for the Karhah Prashaad sat. He, along with all of his colleagues were so friendly and polite. We were welcomed and given full respect. We explained that we wished to see where the Karhah Prashaad is made. A Sevadaar took us up some narrow steps that spiralled upwards. It would be difficult for an outsider to to venture upwards without being guided. Upstairs there was a room that had no windows and was hot. There were a number of large Sarbloh Karhaahees on large stoves. 


There was one Singh preparing the Karhah Prashaad. In one Karhaahee there was a mixture of sugar and water being boiled, and in another the Karhah Prashaad was being made. The Sevadaar told us that he is Amrithari, and that only Amritdharis are allowed to cook Karhah Prashaad. He said unauthorised persons are not allowed in this area, however the cleaners are sometimes non-Amritdharis and sometimes guests may come up to view what is happening, however the cooking and transporting of the Karhah Prashaad is done by Amritdhari employees of the SGPC. 


 


When we went back downstairs we went pass the area manager's office to say thanks. All the Sevadaars were again so polite and welcoming. I shared how I had seen a video documentary on Sri Harmandir Sahib and hence I wanted to see where and how Karhah Prashaad was cooked. The Sevadaars explained that the documentary must have shown Karhah being cooked in the Kitchen of Guru Ram Das Langar. He explained that they have Karhah or Halwa as a dessert, and in the cooking of Langar the rules are relaxed, even though in theory it should be only Amritdharis cooking and serving.

The Sevadaar shared that the Karhah Prashaad served in the early morning hours at Sri Darbar Sahib comes from the Dera of Baba Sham Singh. This Degh is made and served by Rehatvaan Singhs and is eaten by Bibekis and Sarblohis. The Degh offered within the inner sanctum of Sri Darbar Sahib, i.e. the Degh that is offered into your hands whilst sitting down in Sri Darbar Sahib, is made and served by Amritdhari employees of the SGPC. However, the manager shared that the Degh served outside at the entrance and exist of Sri Darbar Sahib near Darshani Deori, has Karhah Parshaad touched by non-Amritdharis. The reason for this is that anyone and everyone can get Prashaad from the counter, which is given in leaves or a steel plate. They take it up to the Prashaad counter near Darshani Deori to have Kirpan Bhet (tucked with a Kirpan). Half the Prashaad is put in a large serving vessel and the the rest the individual keeps. So all the Karhah Prashaad collected in the large serving vessel that is later distributed at the Darshani Deori by Sevadaars who standing and ready to distribute Prashaad, is not suitable for Bibeki Singhs.
ਭਾਦਣੀ, ਹੁਕਈ, ਕੁਰਹਿਤੀਏ ਪਾਸੋਂ ਕੜਾਹ (ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ) ਕਰਾਏ, ਸੋ ਤਨਖਾਹੀਆ |
“One who gets a shaven-head person, a smoker, or someone who has committed a Kurehat (cardinal prohibition) to give Prashaad, becomes liable for Thankhaah (religious disciplinary action).”
(Thankhahnama: Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji, p. 102)



I then asked about the "Pinni Prashaad" that is offered in packets. They explained that "Pinni" is just a name. It's not actually a "Pinni". The "Pinni Prashaad" is actually Karhah Prashaad mixture without water, which is packed by Amritdharis in a room next to the office we were sitting. I was told if you add hot water to the mixture in the packet, you would get Karhah Prashaad. The "Pinni Prashaad" was for those people who for whatever reason, e.g. health reason, cannot visit Sri Darbar Sahib, but wish to have Prashaad.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Interview: Story of Bhai Pal Singh (France)

"ਪੁਲਸ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਕੁੱਟਦੀ ਰਹੀ ਤੇ ਮੈਂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦਾ ਜਾਪ ਕਰਦਾ ਰਿਹਾ..."

"The Police kept beating me, and I kept chanting Vahiguru..."



Saturday, October 27, 2018

Gurbani: What happens to those who are filled with jealosy and spread lies?

Raag Gauree - Guru Raam Daas Ji - Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji - Ang 308


ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੪ ॥ 
salok mahallaa chauthhaa ||
Salok, Fourth Nanak: 

ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤਾਤਿ ਪਰਾਈ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਿਸ ਦਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਭਲਾ ॥ 
jis andar taat paraaee hovai tis daa kadhe na hovee bhallaa ||
One whose heart is filled with jealousy of others, never comes to any good. 

ਓਸ ਦੈ ਆਖਿਐ ਕੋਈ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਨਿਤ ਓਜਾੜੀ ਪੂਕਾਰੇ ਖਲਾ ॥ 
ous dai aakhi-ai koee na laggai nit o-jaaRee pookaare khallaa ||
No one trusts what they say; they are just like fools crying out endlessly in the wilderness. 

ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਚੁਗਲੀ ਚੁਗਲੋ ਵਜੈ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਰਤਿਆ ਓਸ ਦਾ ਸਭੁ ਗਇਆ ॥ 
jis andar chuglee chuglo vajjai keetaa kartiaa ous daa sabh gayaa ||
One whose heart is filled with malicious gossip gets fame by their malicious gossip; and everything they have done in the past goes to vain. 

ਨਿਤ ਚੁਗਲੀ ਕਰੇ ਅਣਹੋਦੀ ਪਰਾਈ ਮੁਹੁ ਕਢਿ ਨ ਸਕੈ ਓਸ ਦਾ ਕਾਲਾ ਭਇਆ ॥ 
nit chuglee kare anhondee paraaee muhu kaddh na sakkai ous daa kaalaa bheyaa ||
Night and day, they continually make false gossip about others; and because of their faces becoming blackened, they cannot show themselves to anyone. 

ਕਰਮ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੇਹਾ ਕੋ ਬੀਜੇ ਤੇਹਾ ਕੋ ਖਾਏ ॥ 
karam dhartee sareer kaljug vich jehaa ko beeje tehaa ko khaae ||
In this Dark Age of Kalyug, the body is the field of karma; as you plant, so shall you harvest. 

ਗਲਾ ਉਪਰਿ ਤਪਾਵਸੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ਵਿਸੁ ਖਾਧੀ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਏ ॥ 
gallaa(n) upar tapaavas na hoee vis khaadhee tatkaal mar jaae ||
Justice regarding our karma is not passed on mere words; if someone eats poison (even if they talk about eternal life) they die immediately. 

ਭਾਈ ਵੇਖਹੁ ਨਿਆਉ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਾ ਜੇਹਾ ਕੋਈ ਕਰੇ ਤੇਹਾ ਕੋਈ ਪਾਏ ॥ 
bhaee vekhahu niaa-o sach karte kaa jehaa koee kare tehaa koee paae ||
O Brother! Look at the justice of the True Creator; as people act, so they are rewarded. 

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਉ ਸਭ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਈ ਹਰਿ ਦਰ ਕੀਆ ਬਾਤਾ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਏ ॥੧॥ 
jan naanak kau sabh sojhee paaee har dar keeaa baataa aakh sunaae ||1||
O Nanak! That servant who is blessed by the Lord with all this understanding; they speak of these words of the Lord's Court. ||1|| 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Video: ਇਹ ਵੀਡੀਓ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਕੰਬ ਉਠਣਗੇ । Consequences of Ninda

Another very informative and well presented video from the Gurmat Bibek team:

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ਆਮ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਬੜਾ ਸੁਆਦ ਆਉਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਪਰ ਇਹ ਪਾਪ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਨਤੀਜੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਭਿਆਨਕ ਹਨ। ਅਸੀਂ ਅਜ ਦੀ ਵੀਡੀਓ ਵਿਚ ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਜੋ ਸਜ਼ਾ ਮਿਲਦੀ ਹੈ, ਉਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰ ਤੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ। ਆਪ ਜੀ ਇਹ ਵੀਡੀਓ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਦੇਖੋ ਜੀ। 

People find pleasure in slandering and badmouthing others but if they knew the terrible consequences of doing so, they would definitely avoid it. This is the third video in the “Ninda” series in which we discuss in details what repercussions one has to face if one badmouths other people. Please do watch this video and share with others as well. 

If you have any questions or if you have any suggestions, kindly contact us at +1-647-771-5359. 

For more content by Gurmat Bibek Sevadaars please visit: 
http://www.gurmatbibek.com/ 
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Saturday, October 06, 2018

What pleases Vahiguru and is most profitable?

Raag Malaar - Guru Amar Daas Ji - Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji - Ang 1285 


ਪਉੜੀ ॥ 
Pauree: 

ਸਚਾ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਉ ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜਈ ॥ 
 The True, Unseen, Mysterious Lord is not won over by our stubbornness. 
(ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦੇ) ਹਠ ਨਾਲ (ਭਾਵ, ਕਿਸੇ ਹਠ-ਕਰਮ ਨਾਲ) ਉਹ ਸੱਚਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਰਾਜ਼ੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਜੋ ਅਦ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਭੇਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ । 

ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਗ ਪਰੀਆ ਰਾਗਿ ਨ ਭੀਜਈ ॥ 
 Some people sing according to traditional Raags (musical measures), but the Lord is not pleased even by these Raags. 
ਕਈ ਲੋਕ ਰਾਗ ਰਾਗਣੀਆਂ ਗਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ, ਪਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਰਾਗ ਨਾਲ ਭੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਨ ਹੁੰਦਾ; 

ਇਕਿ ਨਚਿ ਨਚਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ 
Some people dance and dance and keep the beat, but in this devotional worship cannot take place. 
ਕਈ ਬੰਦੇ ਨੱਚ ਨੱਚ ਕੇ ਤਾਲ ਪੂਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਪਰ (ਇਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਭੀ ਭਗਤੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੀ; 

ਇਕਿ ਅੰਨੁ ਨ ਖਾਹਿ ਮੂਰਖ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ 
 Some people refuse to eat grain; but what can be done about these fools? (They do not understand that the Lord is not pleased this way). 
ਕਈ ਮੂਰਖ ਬੰਦੇ ਅੰਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਖਾਂਦੇ, ਪਰ (ਦੱਸੋ) ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਕੀਹ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਏ? (ਇਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਸਮਝਾਈਏ ਕਿ ਇਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ) । 

ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਹੋਈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਕਿਵੈ ਨ ਧੀਜਈ ॥ 
 (Through these stubborn-actions) the ever increasing thirst and desire (of the soul) is not calmed and satisfied. 
(ਜੀਵ ਦੀ) ਵਧੀ ਹੋਈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨਾ (ਇਹਨਾਂ ਹਠ-ਕਰਮਾਂ ਨਾਲ) ਕਿਸੇ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਭੀ ਸ਼ਾਂਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੀ; 

ਕਰਮ ਵਧਹਿ ਕੈ ਲੋਅ ਖਪਿ ਮਰੀਜਈ ॥ 
 If people of different world increase the ritualistic practices here, even then will hassle themselves to death. 
ਭਾਵੇਂ ਕਈ ਹੋਰ ਧਰਤੀਆਂ (ਦੇ ਬੰਦਿਆਂ ਦੇ) ਕਰਮ-ਕਾਂਡ (ਇਥੇ) ਵਧ ਜਾਣ (ਤਾਂ ਭੀ) ਖਪ ਕੇ ਹੀ ਮਰੀਦਾ ਹੈ । 

ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜਈ ॥ 
 In this world, profit comes by drinking the spiritual-life giving Nectar of Naam. 
ਜਗਤ ਵਿਚ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਹੀ ਖੱਟੀ ਹੈ, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਨਾਮ-ਜਲ ਹੀ ਪੀਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ । 

ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਅਸਨੇਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘੀਜਈ ॥੧੭॥ 
 The Guru-centred individuals drown in the love of the Lord through His devotional meditation. ||17|| 
ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਸਨਮੁਖ ਰਹਿਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੀ ਬੰਦਗੀ ਨਾਲ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਪਿਆਰ ਨਾਲ ਭਿੱਜਦਾ ਹੈ ।੧੭।