Sunday, March 26, 2006
Saturday was in one word - "busy"! In the morning to afternoon it was KHALSA TALKS at King's College London. Bhaji Gurvinder Singh from Bradford gave a talk on "the World of Maya" and Bhaji Jagjit Singh from Leeds (originally from Slough) gave a talk on "Unique Sikhi". It was nice to see so many new friendly faces at the event.
Bhaji Gurvinder Singh's talk looked at what is MAYA, the features of Maya, is it bad and what is the solution. For those who have not heard of "Maya" before, it means "the illusionary world" or anything and everything which is not Waheguru. It is usually used to refer to money, worldly possessions and worldly materials. The talk highlighted that Maya IN ITSELF is NOT bad. Contrary to what many of us think. Having a good car, big house, and nice clothes are NOT bad. The bad thing is when we become CAUGHT UP or ENTANGLED in having a good car, big house or nice clothes. This obsession or CLINGINGNESS to MAYA or objects is the NEGATIVE thing. Stealing to get good clothes, or doing fraud to get a big house are examples of how our NEGATIVITY has made us drown in MAYA. The simple solution is NAAM (meditation on the Name of Waheguru). Through Naam we get CONTENTMENT and SATISFACTION.
In between the talks there was a quick SAMOSA BREAK. O deary me! I think I got caught in the trap of MAYA. I had FOUR SAMOSAY and by the end of the talk FELT LIKE A SAMOSA. Its one of those things that at the time you don't feel the build-up of grease and oil and AFTER EATING them you realize that perhaps you had one two many. Chalo Rab Rakha!
After the break, Bhaji Jagjit Singh's talk looked at the UNIQUE ASPECTS of Sikhi. From Sikhi's unique history, unique doctrine (beliefs) to unique way of life. Bhaji compared traditional religions to the religion of GURMAT and NAAM and highlighted the beauty of Guru Nanak Jee's universal religion of NAAM and GURMAT. The beliefs and values (not necessarily religious), which people hold, are usually like "we are all equal", "don't discriminate", "see beyond colour, race and gender," and "universal love" etc. THESE are the EXPLICIT values of Sikhi. Sikhi is so SIMPLE yet beautiful that it is a shame that we have not shared the spirituality and values given to us by our Gurus.
After the Khalsa Talks most of us went to the Rainsbayee Keertan (All-Night Keertan) held at Park Avenue Gurdwara, Southall. It was uplifting to have darshan of so many Gurmukhs and listen to Keertan with Naam Ras. I definitely recommend going to a Rainsbayee Keertan and seeing the power of Keertan & Sangat for yourself, if you have not been before. There are monthly Rainsbayee's up and down the country in the UK, with transport provided from various cities. For further info of programmes click here.
I got late going back to Halls of Residence. Sat Naam, Waheguru! Firstly, on the train going from Southall to Paddington, it was FILTHY! Stank of alcohol, food on the floor, beer cans on the seats. Yuck! Rab Rakha! Eventually got to the underground (caught the last tube for the night!). O deary me! As you can imagine I don't go out at night time and don't know about London's "NIGHT LIFE". However, I have experienced drunk people on the tube at night. It was so saddening to see drunken girls STAGGERING in the underground, drunken men SLEEPING on the floor, and people getting into verbal fights after getting drunk. Rab Sumat Bakshe. It just shows the CONTRAST between SATJUG (Heaven - i.e. Saadh Sangat and joining in singing Naam Baani) and KALJUG (Hell - i.e. getting drunk, losing consciousness and drifting away from True Reality).
On the tube there was one DODGEY BLOKE. Waheguru! Waheguru! Waheguru! I sat down and across the tube carriage I saw a Jamaican looking person. I didn't know whether it was a man or woman! They had short hair with a few strands of dreadlocks coming out of the top of the head, and looked like a male but also had LIPSTICK on. Chalo! I assumed it was a man who liked lipstick. He was also wearing sunglasses (AND IT WAS NIGHT-TIME) and on top of the sunglasses (on his forehead) he had HUGE SKI-GLASSES. Waheguru.
I was sitting there and trying to do simran amidst the smell of Sharaab on the tube. But this SKI-GLASSES bloke didn't let go of his mobile phone! He had it right next to his ear and Reggae or some sort of shouting-type slow music pumping out of it. It was FREAKY music. It was bit disheartening to having to listen to that type of music after hearing such sweet-Gurbaani Keertan at the Rainsbayee. Chalo, Rab Rakha. I suppose just like a Gursikh cannot live without Gurbani, that this bloke couldn't live without his Reggae music!
Eventually got home. Then I realised the clocks had moved forward! Waheguru! (So missed 1 hour worth of sleep!). I'm thankful to Waheguru for blessing Daas with the darshan of Gurmukhs and the giving the opportunity to listen to vichaar on Gurbaani and enjoy listening & singing along to Gurbaani.