The SUMMER season is here and this means WEDDING SEASON is here. I came home for the weekend and found some wedding cards lying around. I have noticed that every single wedding card has Gurbaani printed on them. Popular lines from Gurbaani used in cards is:
ਲਖ ਖੁਸੀਆ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀਆ ਜੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥
lakh khushee-aa paatshaahee-aa, je satgur nadar kare-i.
Hundreds of thousands of princely pleasures are enjoyed, if the True Guru bestows His Glance of Grace.
ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਜਿਨਾ ਧੁਰੇ ਪਇਆ ਸੰਜੋਗੁ ॥੧॥
naanak satgur tinaa milaa-i-aa jinaa Dhure pa-i-aa sanjog. ||1||
O Nanak, he alone meets the True Guru, who has such union pre-ordained. ||1||
I remember last summer we received a wedding card, which advertised the Anand Kaaraj and the reception PARTY on the same piece of card. It was IRONIC that a few lines up it had Gurbaani and few lines down it said, “COCKTAILS will be served” and “BEER BAR will be open”. Sat Naam, Waheguru.
Have we LOST THE PLOT?
Can you imagine a Muslim advertising a Muslim wedding and just underneath writing “PORK SCRATCHING will be served with refreshments”? I DON’T THINK SO. Nor can you imagine a Hindu wedding card saying “BEEF KEBABS will be served with chutney in lunch.” However, “Sikhs” advertise BOOZING and Anand Kaaraj on the same card. (Just the fact that people distribute SHARAAB (alcohol) after having Anand Kaaraj, which is taking an OATH to Waheguru with Guru Jee as the witness makes a mockery of the "VOWS"). Very depressing thought! Rab Bhalla Kare.
Gurbaani is the revealed Word of God.
ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥
baaNee guroo, guroo hai baaNee, vich baaNee amrit saare.
The Word, the Baani is Guru, and Guru is the Baani. Within the Baani, the Spiritual-life giving Nectar is contained.
However, how much respect do we show Gurbaani? To make a card “LOOK NICE” we risk the beadbi (violation of sanctity) of Gurbaani. Most, if not all, wedding cards in UK and the West are thrown in the bins once the wedding has happened (unless you are Gursikh and show respect to Gurbaani or for some reason you have a hobby to collect and archive wedding cards!). I am shocked that no one realizes this and year on year every card has Gurbaani printed on them. How can we expect SUKH (peace and happiness) when we treat Gurbaani in such an intolerable (and sorry to say) cheap way. Rab Rakha!
Newspapers, for example DES PARDES and others, have Gurbaani printed in articles relating to Sikhi or on a top of an event poster printed. However, the same newspapers advertise JAADOO TOONAA (black-magic) and other wacky and silly stuff. Newspapers are generally thrown in the bin and sometimes while the newspaper is on the table people put their chaa da cup (cup of tea) on top of the newspaper) or some Auntian (aunties) use newspaper pages for covering the bottom of cupboards to keep the cupboards clean. Where is the SATKAAR (respect) for the WORD OF GOD printed on those pages?
We conveniently do Matha Tekh and say “Guru Jee, Guru Jee…” at the Gurdwara, but at home we print Gurbaani on cards, throw newspapers with Gurbaani in it in the bins etc. Is this not HYPROCISY?
So, what can we do about it?
… I think firstly if someone in your family is getting married then MAKE THEM AWARE of the abuse of Gurbaani and kindly ask them to print a card WITHOUT any Gurbaani. End of the day a simple card with adequate information is enough. Secondly, create awareness of the issue in your COMMUNITY. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of printing and simply make people STOP and THINK about the issue. Hopefully when someone sees Gurbaani on a wedding card, newspaper and calendar, they will think and realise not to put it on the floor, throw it in the bin or use it as a table mat.