Monday, October 02, 2006

First day at Birmingham

Today was my first day starting university at Birmingham. On the train I was reading Baba Harnaam Singh jee (Rampur Khera Wale's) autobiography "Se Khineyaa". It's a really nice book and an easy read with small easy to digest chapters. You can download it from here. The chapter I read today on the train was about Baba jee's encounter with Dr. Kartar Singh, a medical doctor, who was a communist and atheist. The atheist said to Baba jee:
"'He' who nobody has ever seen and who cannot be seen with eyes, who there is no evidence of and who nobody has ever been able to show. These people call Him God and have begun worshipping Him. People call him by many names. They pray to him in the mornings and in the evenings. How can anyone have faith in something, which there is no evidence of existing? What can 'He' grant you? Yes, many have gained a great deal by putting this superstition into peoples minds."

Baba jee's reply was based on Gurbaani and very simple, yet very thought-provoking and hitting:
Baba ji humbly asked Doctor ji "Doctor sahib, does this mean that you only believe in those things which you can physically see with your eyes? If you can't see it, you don't believe it exists? Doctor ji listen. Seeing God is a very distant thing. A lot of his creation is invisible to the naked eye. Take a chilli for example, if it was in front of you, you wouldn't be able to see the 'hot' aspect of it. And you cannot see the bitterness in the medicines you prescribe every day. There are many examples like this where things seem different on the exterior but they have other qualities which cannot be seen."

Doctor immediately replied by saying that although we cannot see if a chilli or medication or sugar is bitter or sweet, we can use another sense, our tongue, to taste it and see what sort of taste it has. Baba ji said yes you can taste it but you cannot see it can you? Then Baba ji gave another example, that milk is in front of you but can anyone see the butter in it? Even if you put your hand in the milk you won't be able to take any butter out. Taste it with your tongue and you will not taste butter. But ask the individual who has heated the milk up and left it to become yoghurt. Who, when the yoghurt is set has stirred (rirrakan) the yoghurt and has taken the cream which surfaces and heated it up and made butter. He will constantly tell you that you are wrong. The butter is in this milk, but you only say it isn't because of your lack of knowledge saying that there is no butter because you can't see it and you can't taste it. The butter cannot be taken from the milk with your bare hand. This is you lack of knowledge is it not? But it is not your fault because you have never been through the process of making butter. If you follow these instructions, you yourself will be able to make butter. Then you will realise how mistaken you really are. The butter remains in every drop of milk.

Our Great Guru has given another example in Gurbani that every log has fire hidden inside it. But has anyone seen it? No. But this does not mean that because we have not seen it, we become total disbelievers. If we decide that we really want to see this fire, if we take another piece of wood (Baa(n)sh) and rub them together, after a short period they will begin to burn. Our fifth Satguru Gurdev Ji has used all these examples in Gurbani and tells us that as wood contains fire but we cannot see it, milk contains butter but we cannot see it, God exists in low and high, rich and poor but He is not visible. This is because our eyes are not capable of seeing:
ਸਗਲ ਬਨਸਪਤਿ ਮਹਿ ਬੈਸੰਤਰੁ ਸਗਲ ਦੂਧ ਮਹਿ ਘੀਆ ॥
ਊਚ ਨੀਚ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੀਆ ॥੧॥
ਸੰਤਹੁ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਹਿਓ ॥
ਪੂਰਨ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਰਬ ਮਹਿ ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਰਮਈਆ ਆਹਿਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਗੁਣ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਸੁ ਗਾਵੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਓ ॥
ਸਰਬ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਸਦਾ ਅਲੇਪਾ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇਓ ॥੨॥੧॥੨੯॥
Fire is contained in all firewood, and butter is contained in all milk. Vaheguru's Light is contained in the high and the low; the Lord is in the hearts of all beings. ||1|| O Saints, He is pervading and permeating each and every heart. The Perfect Lord is completely permeating everyone, everywhere; He is diffused in the water and the land. ||1||Pause|| Nanak sings the Praises of Vaheguru, the treasure of excellence; the True Guru has dispelled his doubt. The Lord is pervading everywhere, permeating all, and yet, He is unattached from all. ||2||1||29||
(Sorat M:5, Ang 617)

If you want to see Him, He who is omnipresent then some real effort is required as Guru Ji has stated in this Shabad. 'Gunn Nidhaan Nanak Jass Gaavai' is the way you have to go. Doctor! You will have to wear the spectacles of spirituality (Bhagthi).
ਕਰਿ ਫਕਰੁ ਦਾਇਮ ਲਾਇ ਚਸਮੇ ਜਹ ਤਹਾ ਮਉਜੂਦੁ ॥੩॥
Serve the Lord forever; use your eyes, and see Him ever-present everywhere. ||3||
(Baani Kabeer Jee, Ang 727)

If we control our minds for even a short period we will see Him present everywhere.
ਟੁਕੁ ਦਮੁ ਕਰਾਰੀ ਜਉ ਕਰਹੁ ਹਾਜਿਰ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥੧॥
If you will only center yourself on the Lord, even for just a breath, then you shall see the Lord face-to-face, present before you. ||1||
(Baani Kabeer Jee, Ang 727)

Doctor, those who have seen God, what bigger guarantee can they give us than this..................

At New Street train station I saw an advertisement poster, which was advertising a book. The poster read:
"Nothing in this World is Forever - Even a Life a Sentence."

Looking at the poster the following Salokh (small couplet) from Gurbaani came to mind:
ਜਿਉ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਅਰੁ ਪੇਖਨਾ ਐਸੇ ਜਗ ਕਉ ਜਾਨਿ ॥
ਇਨ ਮੈ ਕਛੁ ਸਾਚੋ ਨਹੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਵਾਨ ॥੨੩॥
Like a dream and a show, so is this world, you must know.
None of this is true, O Nanak, without Vaheguru. ||23||
(Ang 1427)

It was an interesting start to my day.


Anonymous said...

Se Kineya is an amazing read its a book which u can read over and over agin!! Its so inspirational...waheguru...

Anonymous said...