Afterwards I went to Southall. I think Southall has become a spiritual home for me. I love listening to Keertan and Katha (discourse on Gurbani). It was Bhai Veer Singh Jee Delhi Wale's last evening of Katha at Park Avenue Gurdwara. I mentioned his Katha in a previous post. Bhai Sahib's Katha on Saturday was on the topic of "Nindiyaa" (slander). Bhai Sahib gave a beautiful description of what Nindiyaa is and how it doesn't have a negative effect on the devotees of Waheguru.
A rose plant also grows thorns. What is "Nindiyaa" (slander). Nindiyaa is not recognising the roses on the plant and instead saying it is plant of thorns. We all have "avguns" (negative points) have saying something about someone becomes slander when we make someone out to be fully bad, and see no good in the person whatsoever, i.e. bad through in through. However, no-one is perfect, only the Guru and Waheguru are Perfect. Hence doing Nindiyaa of anyone is bad, defining someone is through and through bad and not recognising the even smallest amount of good quality or virtue in a person is considered Nindiyaa.
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਭਲੀ ਕਿਸੈ ਕੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੁਗਧ ਕਰੰਨਿ ॥
nindaa bhalee kisai kee naahee, manmukh mugaDh karann.
It is not good to slander anyone, but the foolish, self-willed manmukhs still do it.
ਮੁਹ ਕਾਲੇ ਤਿਨ ਨਿੰਦਕਾ ਨਰਕੇ ਘੋਰਿ ਪਵੰਨਿ ॥੬॥
muh kaale tin nindkaa, narke Ghor pavann. ||6||
The faces of the slanderers turn black (in this life & the next), and they fall into the most horrible hell. ||6||
(ang 755, SGGS)
The saintly people appreciate Nindiyaa. They don't lose anything through people slandering them. This is because the wise person uses people's slander to self-analyse himself or herself and correct his or her "avgun" (negative points) and convert them to "guns" (virtues). However, the Nindak (slanderer) is stuck in slandering and forgets self-correct and improve his own jeevan (life). Hence, the wise saintly people win against the Nindaks.
ਹਰਿ ਜਨੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵੈ ॥
har jan raam naam gun gaavai.
Waheguru's humble servant sings the Glorious Praises of the Waheguru's Name.
ਜੇ ਕੋਈ ਨਿੰਦ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਅਪੁਨਾ ਗੁਨੁ ਨ ਗਵਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
je ko-ee nind kare har jan kee, apunaa gun na gavaavai. ||1|| rahaa-o.||
Even if someone slanders the Lord Waheguru's humble servant, he does not give up his own goodness. ||1||Pause||
(Ang 719, SGGS)
Giani Bhai Veer Singh Jee then continued his Katha and shared a story from the Ninth Nanak, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadar jee's lifetime about the question of experiencing God:
Once a Sikh came to Guru Sahib and said "O Guru jee, you say God is in us and everywhere and in everything. However, Guru Sahib I cannot see Him. Where is He? You say He is everywhere but I cannot see Him. Show him to me Guru Sahib!"
Guru Sahib smiled to the Sikh. "O Sikh, it is true that Waheguru is within us all, in everyone and everything, in the land, in the sea and skies. Tell me O Sikh, show me the fragrance of a rose flower!" "But Guru Sahib you can only smell them, you cannot see it," replied the Sikh. "You cannot say the fragrance of a flower does not exist. We cannot see the fragrance of the flower, we can only experience it through smelling it. Tell me O Sikh show me hunger!" The Sikh replied, "Dear Guru, you cannot show hunger!" Guru jee said, "What don't people get hungry? You cannot see hunger, does not mean hunger does not exist. Hunger is FELT by all and EXPERIENCED by all, however it cannot be seen. Now dear Sikh show me AIR... "
The Sikh realised that Waheguru cannot be seen with our worldly eyes. We fail to realise and see the Waheguru pervading in the flower, water, tree, everyone around us, and within ourself. We cannot see God but EXPERIENCE GOD. A fish does cannot see water, because it is in water. However, fish knows that without water it will die!
ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ik-oNkaar satgur prasaad.||
One Universal Creator Being. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥
Dhanaasree mehlaa 9.||
Dhanaasaree, Ninth Mehl:
ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਬਨ ਖੋਜਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
kaahe re ban khojan jaa-ee.
Why do you go looking (for Waheguru) in the forest?
ਸਰਬ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਸਦਾ ਅਲੇਪਾ ਤੋਹੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
sarab nivaasee sadaa alepaa, tohee sang samaa-ee. ||1|| rahaa-o.||
Although he is unattached (from Maya - the illusionary world), he dwells everywhere. He is always with you as your companion. ||1||Pause||
ਪੁਹਪ ਮਧਿ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਸੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਛਾਈ ॥
puhap maDh ji-o baas basat hai, mukar maahi jaise chhaa-ee.
Like the fragrance which remains in the flower, and like the reflection (of a person looking) in the mirror,
ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਸੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥
taise hee har base nirantar, ghat hee khojahu bhaa-ee. ||1||
the Lord dwells deep within; search for Him within your own heart, O Siblings of Destiny. ||1||
ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਇਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਤਾਈ ॥
baahar bheetar eiko jaanhu, eihu gur gi-aan bataa-ee.
Outside (in every place) and inside (the body and outside the body), know that there is only the One Lord (prevading everywehre); the Guru has imparted this (spiritual life giving) wisdom to me.
ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥
jan naanak bin aapaa cheenai, mittai na bharam kee kaa-ee. ||2||1||
O servant Nanak! Without knowing one's own (spiritual) self, the moss of doubt is not removed (from the mind). ||2||1||
Then afterwards listening to Bhai Jatinderpal Singh Noor-Puri's Dhadi Jatha. Beautifully sung Dhadi Vaaraa(n). The prasann (topic) was Baba Banda Singh jee's Shaheedi (martyrdom). The Dhadi's sang about how Baba Banda Singh jee Bahadar's four year old son's heart was ripped out alive and Baba jee was forced to eat it. Yet he continued saying "Waahe-Guroo, Waahe-Guroo..." Then he skinned was pierced and his eyes were poked out with hot iron rods. Sat Naam, Waheguru! The hairs on my arms and my head stood up and tingled with Bir Ras (energy). It made me feel how lucky we are to be Sikh, yet we so easily forget how the value of being a Sikh is beyond count. I will post a separate post on this story and the stories of other Sikhs who were martyred alongside Baba Banda Singh jee Bahadar.
To be continued...