On 19th July Daas GRADUATED from university. I was pleasantly surprised (as well as I am sure some others will be thinking) that I got through Uni and graduated with GURU's KIRPAA. To be honest I always prioritised Sikhi over education. The amount of time I spent at the Gurdwara, Keertan programmes and Sikh Society seva etc, rather than doing extra study and doing reading for my course, I was thankful to Guru Sahib that I got through my exams! I always would plan "I am going to the library everyday and do extra reading and do all my work in the week it is set rather than nearer the deadline." But it NEVER works! Always end up doing Keertan, going to Gurdwara, reading Sikhi books or listening to Keertan etc. However, its so good to have all the essay deadline stresses and frantic reading over and done with (until next year begins!).
The graduation ceremony was on one of the HOTTEST days of the year! On the news weather reports they said it was the hottest day in July for 100 YEARS! Sadly my brother wasn't in the country (as he was in Iraq) so it was just my parents and I. First of all we went to Park Avenue Gurdwara Sahib to do Ardaas and Shukraanaa (be thankful). Gurbaani tells us:
ਕੀਤਾ ਲੋੜੀਐ ਕੰਮੁ ਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਆਖੀਐ ॥
keetaa loRee-ai kamm, su har pehi aakhee-ai.
Whatever work you wish to accomplish - tell it to Waheguru.
ਕਾਰਜੁ ਦੇਇ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਖੀਐ ॥
kaaraj de-e savaar, satgur sach saakhee-ai.
Waheguru will resolve your affairs; the True Guru gives His Guarantee of Truth.
ONLY with Guru Sahib's blessings do we have what we have. Gurmat (the Guru's Teachings) teach us two things EFFORT and DIVINE GRACE. We all must try our best and do as much as we can and then the rest is in the hands of Waheguru. He may accept our efforts or not accept our efforts - that is His Will. Both ways, Guru Sahib tells us to be thankful and grateful:
ਜੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਦੇਹਿ ਤ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਅਰਾਧੀ ਦੁਖਿ ਭੀ ਤੁਝੈ ਧਿਆਈ ॥੨॥
je sukh dehi ta tujhehi araaDhee, dukh bhee tujhai Dhi-aa-ee. ||2||
If You will bless me with happiness, then I will worship and adore You. Even in pain, I will meditate on You. ||2||
I remember a GurSikh telling me that a Sikh has two things - DWAA and DUAA. "DWAA" means "EFFORT" and "DUAA" means "PRAYER". One's dwaa, efforts, will only work if Waheguru APPROVES it. Therefore, one needs to pray as well. We cannot tell Waheguru what to do! Sometimes we fall in the trap of "You do this FOR ME, and I will do this FOR YOU." Guru Nanak Sahib jee tells in Aasa Di Vaar:
ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਦਿਤਾ ਖਾਵਣਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਸਾਬਾਸਿ ॥
jis daa ditaa khaavNaa, tis kehee-ai saabaas.
Let us all celebrate Him, from whom we receive our nourishment.
ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਚਲਈ ਨਾਲਿ ਖਸਮ ਚਲੈ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥੨੨॥
naanak hukam na chale-ee, naal khasam chalai ardaas. ||22||
O Nanak, no one can issue commands to the Lord Master; let us offer prayers instead. ||22||
We cannot tell Waheguru what to do. Instead we have been blessed with the ARDAAS, the ability to offer PRAYERS. A Sikh has ARDAAS with him. Therefore, before undergoing task, whether before one drives the car, before one starts university, before one enters an exam, or before one buys a new house a Sikh does ARDAAS. And then at the end of the task a Sikh does Ardaas again for gratitude. Irrespective of the end result, a Sikh accepts the Will of Waheguru.
By the time we got to the graduation venue we were all SWEATING and feeling extremely HOT, especially dressed in a suit and tie. Rab Da Shukar that some people were given away FREE WATER bottles at the tube station. At the graduation venue one juice cost £2.20! I was SHOCKED at the prices. lol.
The ceremony was LONG with loads of speeches. Waheguru! I could see some people nearly DOZING OFF :) When collecting the awards there was one Gujrati boy who literally RAN across the stage, quickly shook the hand of the Dean of the College and then quickly ran down the stage. He was either very NERVOUS or likes RUNNING. lol.
After the ceremony there were refreshments and a buffet. Daas didn't eat anything but I could see everyone was EXCITED at seeing KEBABS and CHICKEN pieces! Waheguru! I was glad to get out and get some FRESH AIR and go back to the Gurdwara Sahib and do darshan of Guru Sahib.
After finishing uni and also on the graduation day the pangtee (line) from the first PauRee (stanza) of Japjee Sahib kept going through my mind:
ਸਹਸ ਸਿਆਣਪਾ ਲਖ ਹੋਹਿ ਤ ਇਕ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥
sehas si-aaNpaa lakh hohi ta ek na chalai naal.
One may possess thousands of clever thoughts or the biggest wisdom, yet not even one wise thought will accompany you to the next world.
It is amazing that we go to school, then college, followed by university and people do various other educations or learn skills but NOT even ONE WISE THOUGHT will accompany us when we DIE. It puts in perspective that though education, learning, worldly life and skills are important for living Gristee-jeevan (householder life) that one should not take PRIDE and get EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED to their education or wisdom because at the end of the day it will not accompany you and nor will it remain forever with you. For example, God forbid, but someone could lose their memory tom0rrow when they wake up! Scary thought, but true. All Waheguru's HUKAM. All Waheguru's Kirpaa.
Some lines from today's Hukamnaama (daily edict of Guru Sahib) from Amritsar reminded me of this:
ਤੂ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਵਡਾ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਤਿ ਥੋਰੀ ਰਾਮ ॥
too samrath vadaa meree mat thoree raam.
You are great and all-powerful; my understanding is so inadequate, O Vaheguru.
ਪਾਲਹਿ ਅਕਿਰਤਘਨਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਮ ॥
paaleh akirat-ghanaa pooran dristt teree raam.
You cherish even the ungrateful ones; Your Glance of Grace is perfect, Vaheguru.