Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tonight

Vahiguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vahiguroo Jee Kee Fateh.

The last Youth Keertan Darbaar of 2006 - Not to be missed!

Youth Keertan Darbaar



In commemoration of Dasam Pita jee's four sons and Mata Gujar Kaur jee who gave up their lives but never gave up their Sikhi in the face of adversity

Please attend on:
Saturday 30th December 2006
at
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara,
Park Avenue,
Southall

Nearest Train: Southall (Paddington) Bus: 120, E5, H32
The programme will commence at 7.pm till late (in upstairs hall)

Also
anyone free at 7.30 pm please come to the Gurdwara to
help setup the stage and start the programme. Sevadars needed for projector and Sikhi to the max!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Reflections


During Christmas I was reflecting on how people celebrate this public holiday. Christmas is a time when those who follow JESUS CHRIST world dedicate to celebrating the BIRTH and LIFE of their Prophet during this cold and winter month. However, isn't it strange that birth of LIFE is celebrated with the DEATH of millions. You may be wondering what am I going on about. Nowadays eating Turkey is inescapable for celebrating Christmas. Millions of Turkeys and other birds are slaughtered for this festive season so that people can celebrate the LIFE of a holy man. What irony?

Gurbaani says:
ਜੀਅ ਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥
jee-a baDhahu su Dharam kar thaapahu aDharam kahahu kat bhaa-ee.
You kill living beings, and call it Dharam (a religious action). Tell me, brother, what would you call A-Dharam (an athiestic action)?

ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥੨॥
aapas kau munivar kar thaapahu kaa ka-o kahuhu kasaa-ee. ||2||
You call yourself the most religious person; then who would you call a butcher? ||2||
(Ang 1103)

On Boxing Day I was at work. We were given a shortened lunch time to 30 minutes. The work people had organised lunches for the staff. They bought chicken, buns, cheese and Crisps for people to eat. In private the manager out of interest asked me whether I eat meat. I explained that I was a strict vegetarian, which includes not eating fish and eggs. Then he asked, "So what did you eat for lunch?" I told him that I eat at home or I bring a lunch box. I explained that today my mum made Rotian, which I had with Ahloo Mattar Paneer. In English it sounded WEIRD. I ended up saying, "I ate Chapattis with cheese and potatoe curry." Then he asked, "What did you eat for Christmas?" I ended up at the Gurdwara Sahib and had Langar because I didn't really fancy eating Roast Pork or Lamb. Vaheguru.

Translating some Daal Sabjeeaa is really difficult. I said to him, "I ate Red-Kidney Beans Curry (Raajmaa), a vegetable which I think is from the Cabbage family (Arbee), lentils (Daal)." When saying it in English it didn't sound as good as the Panjabi! He said "Sorry Manvir, eating lentils, beans and cheese every day, doesn't tickle my fancy." lol. (Not that I told him to eat Daal Sabjee).

Christmas is a time of remembering a birth that gave life to a community. Similarly, December marks a time of remembering life for Sikhs. However, for Sikhs the celebration of life in December is not birth but through DEATH.
ਸਲੋਕ ਮ: ੫ ॥
salok mehilaa 5.
Shalok, Dakhanay Fifth Mehl:

ਪਹਿਲਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਕਬੂਲਿ ਜੀਵਣ ਕੀ ਛਡਿ ਆਸ ॥
pehilaa maraN kabool jeevaN kee chhadd aas.
First, accept death, and give up any hope of life.

ਹੋਹੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਕੀ ਰੇਣੁਕਾ ਤਉ ਆਉ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥੧॥
hohu sabhnaa kee rayNkaa tau aa-o hamaarai paas. ||1||
Become the dust of the feet of all, and then, you may come to me. ||1||
(Ang 1102)

The martyrdom of the Four Sahibzaadey (princes of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee) and martyrdom of Mata Gujar Kaur jee marks the celebration of eternal life glorified through death. They were SHAHEEDS (martyrs). Shaheed comes from the word SHAHAADAT, which literally means - "WITNESS TO THE TRUTH". These great souls overcame the illusion of the world and realised the precious value of Naam and Baani and therefore kept their undying faith in Guru Sahib and Sikhi.

For Sikhs martyrdom equals life of the community. Professor Mohan Singh asks in one of his poems:
“ਉਹ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਬੂਟਾ ਏ? ਹਰ ਥਾਂ ਜੋ ਪਲਦਾ ਏ, ਜਿੰਨਾ ਵੀ ਛਾਂਗ ਦਈਏ ਓਨਾ ਹੀ ਫਲਦਾ ਏ?”
"Which flower are they? Every place they blossom; even when chopped-down they grow more?"

The simple answer is the flower of Sikhi (ਸਿੱਖੀ ਦਾ ਬੂਟਾ). During the bloody period of the 18th century Sikh history, the Mughal forces brutally chopped the heads of Sikhs. The babies of mothers were hacked into pieces using their body parts as necklaces they were placed around the mothers' necks; however they did not falter or become weakened in their Sikhi spirit. Holding on to Naam, Baani and Ardaas they remained in Chardi Kalaa and undaunted by Death itself. The flower of Sikhi was chopped and split however through this the flower grew more and more. The Sikh mothers of the 18th century would sing in Chardi Kalaa:
“ਮੰਨੂ ਸਾਡੀ ਦਾਤਰੀ, ਅਸੀਂ ਮੰਨੂ ਦੇ ਸੋਏ, ਜਿਉਂ-ਜਿਉਂ ਮੰਨੂ ਵੱਢਦਾ ਅਸੀਂ ਦੂਣ-ਸਵਾਏ ਹੋਏ।”
(Meer) Mannu is the grass-cutter, and we Mannu's crop. As Mannu chops us down, so we multiply."
Sikh history is a witness to the fact that martyrdom is the life of a community. Therefore, Christmas season is a time when the Sikhs according to the Sikh calendar mark the martyrdom days of great Gursikhs who gave their lives for our today. They lived in dignity and died in honour.
ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਰਨੇ ਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਡਰੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਆਨੰਦੁ ॥
kabeer jis marnay tay jag darai mayray man aanand.
(For the sake of the world people forsake religion to make wealth, riches, children and spouse, and upon these the person rests their happiness; for this reason attachment cannot break away. But,) O Kabeer! The death (in the form of freeing oneself from attachments), which the world is afraid of - that death fills my mind with bliss.

ਮਰਨੇ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੨੨॥
marnay hee tay paa-ee-ai pooran parmaanand. ||22||
It is only by this worldy death from attachment that one meets Vaheguru and experiences perfect and supreme bliss. ||22||
(Ang 1365)

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Cold Weather of December

I am sure everyone in the UK has experienced the bitter winter cold weather last week. It has been FREEZING! For the past few days I have been wearing five layers of clothing go to work as I work near the entrance of the store and therefore constantly exposed to the cold wind resulting from the door opening every time customers leave. One work colleague said to me, "Manvir you look like an ESKIMO". Waheguru.

I went outside and felt the cold on my face and hands and then a thought entered my mind - it reminded me of Dasam Pitaa jee (the Tenth Father) and his beloved four children, mother and his blessed Sikhs who faced unthinkable conditions in this cold month. Mata Gujar Kaur jee and the two younger Sahibzaadey (princes) were kept as prisoners in the Tanddaa Burj (Cold Tower), which was a raised tower that had no walls to protect them from the chilly winds, they had no extra clothes to keep them warm and no blankets to protect them from freezing, yet they kept warm and in Chardi Kalaa (high spirits) through Naam, Gurbaani and reflecting on the inspiration and spirit of the Guru Sahibs.
ਜਾ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਗੋ ਇਸੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਸੋ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥
jaa ka-o har rang laago is jug meh so kahee-at hai sooraa.
That person alone is called a warrior, who is attached to Vaheguru's Love in this age.

ਆਤਮ ਜਿਣੈ ਸਗਲ ਵਸਿ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ॥੧॥
aatam jinai sagal vas taa kai jaa kaa satgur pooraa. ||1||
Through the Perfect True Guru, they conquer their own soul, and then everything comes under their control. ||1||
(Ang 679)


Sahibzaada Baba Ajeet Singh jee (17) - martyred in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib


Sahibzaada Baba Jujhaar Singh jee (15) - martyred in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib


Mata Gujar Kaur Jee - martryed in the Tandaa Burj (Cold Tower) at Sirhind.


Sahibzaada Baba Fateh Singh jee (7), and Sahibzaada Baba Zorawar Singh jee (5) - martyred by being bricked alive at Sirhind.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Packed Weekend

This weekend from Friday to Sunday there is plenty on to get benefit of Saadh Sangat, Naam and Baani. There is a Sri Akhand Paath Sahib in memory of Giani Baba Takhur Singh jee of Damdami Taksal Bhindran, and also there is a Youth AKJ Smaagam dedicated to the four Sahibzaadey (princes) of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee.

Details of both events are below:


SRI AKHAND PAATH SAHIB
Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th December 2006
Arambh (start) Sri Akhand Paath Sahib - 5.30pm
Bhog (completion) Sri Akhand Paath Sahib - 5.30pm

Main Hall 1
Guru Nanak Gurdwara
High Street, Smethwick, B66 3AP

Bhog Sri Akhand Paath Sahib to be attended by world renowned Katha Vaachiks, Kaveeshari and Raagi Jathas.



RAINSBAAEE KEERTAN (Part of AKJ Youth Smaagam)
Saturday 23rd December 2006
7pm to 6am the next morning

Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha,
47 - 49 Cross Road,
COVENTRY
CV6 5GR

Coach transport will be leaving Southall at 5.30pm and Slough at 6pm. To book your place please contact Bhai Satnam Singh on 07956 519256

Coach transport will also be available from North, leaving Singh Sabha Bradford at 6.00 pm. To book your place, please contact Bhai Bhupinder Singh on 07790921881

Transport is also available from West Bromwich, North London and Derby.



AMRIT SANCHAAR
The Amrit Sanchaar will be on Saturday 23rd December starting at 8pm sharp at Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Coventry. Can all ablakhyees (candidates) contact Bhai Taranjeet Singh jee to provide their names for the Amrit sanchaar. If you have questions or queries you can contact Bhai Raghbir Singh jee on 01926 740160.

If any persons do not have full kakaars, then they will provided as part of the seva.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Shaheed Bhai Jeevan Singh Jee

21st December marks the Shaheedi Diwas (martyrdom day) of Shaheed Bhai Jeevan Singh jee. Bhai Jeevan Singh was born in 1649, who's name was Bhai Jaita jee before he received the divine Amrit from the hands of Dasam Pitaa Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee in 1699. This post is in commemoration to Shaheed Bhai Jeevan jee who lived as a true Saint-Warrior.


A GLIMPSE AT THE LIFE OF SHAHEED BHAI JEEVAN SINGH JEE

Background
Bhai Jaita jee was born on 30th November 1649 to Bibi Kanno jee and Bhai Sada Chand jee. When he was born he was named 'Jag Chand', and 'Jagu' or 'Jota' for short. He and his younger brother Bhag Chand, also Called Bhagu, were the disciples of the seventh Nanak, Guru Har Rai Sahib jee. They lived at Kiratpur Sahib where Guru Sahib was staying, however later his family and him moved to the village Jhandaa Raamdaas where they stayed with Bhai Gurditta jee (1625-1675), the great great-grandson of Baba Buddha jee.


Fearless Seva (Selfless Service)
In 1675, Kashmiri Pandits came to seek the Ninth Nanak, Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib jee’s help to save humanity and defend the right of living in peace without oppression, as Aurangzeb was cruelly and forcefully converting large numbers of people to Islam through the sword and making the common man's life a living hell. Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib jee responding to the cries of society and sacrificed his head alongside his 3 disciples in Delhi to defend the human rights and right of free religious expression for humanity.

In total 5 Sikhs had accompanied Guru Sahib to Delhi. One of these were Bhai Gurditta jee, who was detained in Delhi following the arrest of Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib jee. Bhai Jaita jee was sent by the family to bring news of Bhai Gurditta jee. He was in Delhi when Guru Sahib was beheaded in a public on 11th November 1675. No one dared to come forward to claim the dead physical body of the Guru or the head fearing the army's aggression. However, Bhai Jaita jee was successful in evading the guards and escaping with the severed head to Sri Anandpur Sahib where he was received by the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee.


Honour Given to Bhai Jaita jee
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee honoured Bhai Jaita jee when he arrived to Sri Anandpur Sahib with the head of Guru Sahib. Socially, Bhai Jaita jee belonged to the background of 'Ranghars' (scavengers). The Ranghar caste were the people who had one of their ancestors born out of mixed parentage of a Hindu and Muslim couple, and thus were outcastes out of Hindu religion. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee, raised Bhai Jaita jee by embracing him in front of the Sikh Sangat and describing him as 'Ranghrettaa Guru Ka Betaa' (the young man of the Ranghar caste is the Guru's own son).


Seva of Dasam Pita (Tenth Father)
Bhai Jaita jee thereafter lived at Sri Anandpur Sahib and became the first assigned beater of the Nagaaraa (war drum) when the Guru set up the Ranjeet Nagaara (The battle war drum of victory). In 1691 he was married to Bibi Raj Kaur, daughter of Bhai Sujan Singh of the village of Riaar, near Amritsar. They had four sons. Bhai Jaita along with his family became Amritdhari on the Vaisaakhi of 1699 and became Bhai Jeevan Singh jee from there on. He became famous as a marksman and trained the two elder Sahibzaadey (sons) of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee in the art of warfare. Bhai Jeevan Singh jee took part in all of Guru Sahib's battles against the attacking Hindu Hill Rajas and the Mughal imperial forces.


Shaheedi (Martyrdom)
Bhai Jeevan Singh jee fell a Shaheed (martyr) in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib on 7th December 1705 defending the Guru and his beloved Sikhs. A burj (watch tower) called 'Gurdwara Shaheed Burj Bhai Jeevan Singh' stands on the site as a monument to Bhai Sahib's memory. According to Bhatt Vahees (a historical text), Bhai Jeevan Singh jee was killed in a rear-guard action while protecting Guru Sahib, his family and the beloved Sikh Sangat on the bank of the River Sarsaa after the evacuation of Sri Anandpur Sahib in the cold and stormy night.
ਜਦ ਡੁੱਲ੍ਹਦਾ ਖ਼ੂਨ ਸ਼ਹੀਦਾਂ ਦਾ, ਤਸਵੀਰ ਬਦਲਦੀ ਕੌਮਾਂ ਦੀ।
jad dulHdaa khoon shaheedaa(n) daa, tasveer badaldee khaumaa(n) dee.
When the the blood of martyrs spills, the picture of a nation changes.

Shaheedaa Nu Lakh Lakh Parnaam

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Guru Transforms Individiuals

ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮ: ੧ ॥
salok mehilaa 1.
Shalok, First Mehl:

ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਦਿਉਹਾੜੀ ਸਦ ਵਾਰ ॥
balihaaree gur aapNe, di-uhaaRee sad vaar.
A hundred times a day, I am a sacrifice to my Guru;

ਜਿਨਿ ਮਾਣਸ ਤੇ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਗੀ ਵਾਰ ॥੧॥
jin maaNas te devte kee-e karat na laagee vaar. ||1||
Who made humans into angels, without delay. ||1||
(Aasa Di Vaar, Ang 462, )

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thank God for Daal Sabjee :)

Mandeep Singh jee Khalsa (I assume Bhaji from Scotland) emailed me this link. Very nice link! Daas avoids "Can Sikhs eat meat discussions". However, this isn't a discussion, a mere sharing of facts. New research carried out by a UK university shows Vegetarians have a HIGHER IQ than meat eaters.

The amount of times concerned and worried Aunty jee's have said to me, "put, kuchh khaa-e kar. naa meat khaaNdaa, naa hor cheejaa khaaNdaa. mainoo fikar bohat hai" (Son, you shout eat. You don't eat meat and other things. I am worried.) Well, the news article is a good read which proves otherwise.

So if you need brain power, put aside McDonalds Cheese Burgers, Kebabs, or a Bacon Butty. Get out the tavaa (iron plate) and aataa and make some fresh rotian with some lovely daal sabjee :)

Here is the news article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6180753.stm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
High IQ link to being vegetarian

A Southampton University team found those who were vegetarian by 30 had recorded five IQ points more on average at the age of 10.

Researchers said it could explain why people with higher IQ were healthier as a vegetarian diet was linked to lower heart disease and obesity rates.

The study of 8,179 was reported in the British Medical Journal.

Twenty years after the IQ tests were carried out in 1970, 366 of the participants said they were vegetarian - although more than 100 reported eating either fish or chicken.

Men who were vegetarian had an IQ score of 106, compared with 101 for non-vegetarians; while female vegetarians averaged 104, compared with 99 for non-vegetarians.

Read full article here
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mark of Excellence at LSE


Last Saturday Daas attended the Mark of Excellence day by the Sikh Research Institute (Texas) held at LSE in London. It was a very nice day out. However, most people including myself arrived late (well - on time according to Panjabi time). Approximately 25 people attended the event.

After introductions, the first lecture was on CLASH OF CLUCTURES, which looked at the historical context and state of society when Guru Nanak Sahib jee was born in 1469. The second lecture was on JOURNEY OF THE SIKH NATION, which looked at how Singhs and Singhnian lived the Khalsa revolution in the 18th century. This was very insightful. The Khalsa faced most gruesome and barbaric tortures and conditions in this time period, however their Sikhi spirit was the strongest.


Lunch was Guru-Ka-Langar. Very tasty. Unfortunately some how I got a Daal stain on my Kurta (don't know how!) but o well. Thank God I was wearing a blue Kurta! After lunch, there was a lecture on THE IDEAL PERSON. It looked at understanding the Gurmukh and the Khalsa. It was interesting to hear the different viewpoints.

The event ended with a Q&A session. It was good opportunity to ask questions relating to the talks and discussions as well as other questions relating to Sikhi.

Below are some more photos from the Mark of Excellence event at LSE:


Slightly blurry photo (not taken by me).


O dear! After eating Langar, Bhenji Kamaldeep Kaur decides to take a quick nap.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Some Funny Experiences at Work

I thought I would share something funny and light hearted today. Below are some experiences from work:

Incident 1
It was near the end of the day and the manager was standing by me and another staff member who is in her early 20s but a mother of two young children. The manager said to the young lady, "So are you going out CLUBBING tonight?" She replied, "No. Today I prefer to have a soak in the bath, have a nice cup of tea and meal with my family. Then watch a DVD with my kids." The manager, who is in his 40s, said seriously, "What's happening to you? Come on. DON'T WASTE YOUR LIFE. Life is more than just drinking tea and watching DVDs at home! You need to get out there and enjoy yourself. Come to the club and have a good night out. Don't waste your life."
ਹੀਰਾ ਲਾਲੁ ਅਮੋਲੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਉਡੀ ਬਦਲੈ ਹਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
heeraa laal amol janam hai ka-udee badlai haari-o ray. ||1|| rahaa-o.||
Human birth is a priceless jewel, which has been squandered in exchange for a worthless shell. ||1||Pause||
(Ang 335)

I was standing there thinking "Sachay Paatshaah! Is this a comedy show or something?" I had a huge smile on my face and tried to stop myself from laughing! In my mind I was comparing what the manager said to what you would expect a Stage Secretary of a Gurdwara to say: "guroo waale baNo taa apNaa janam saflaa karo" (Become the Gurus (i.e. take Amrit) and make your life complete and fulfilled). I thought if I were to do a Panjabi translation of what the manager said it would be, "club noo jaa-o, taa apNaa janam safal karo." Rab Rakha.

It made me think how each and every person has their own goals in life. One person makes his or her goal in life to get married and earn enough to get on the property ladder. Someone's goal is to become successful in their career. Another person's goal is to go clubbing, fulfil their desires, eat Kebabs and have a "good time". It's all the Vaheguru's Kedh (God's Game).
ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਕਰਤ ਮਹਾ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਬੂਡੋ ਅਨਿਕ ਜੋਨਿ ਭਰਮਈਹੈ ॥
dukh sukh karat mahaa bharam booddo anik jon bharam-eehai.
Enduring pleasure and pain, drowned in the great ocean of doubt, you shall wander in numerous reincarnations.

ਰਤਨ ਜਨਮੁ ਖੋਇਓ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਬਿਸਰਿਓ ਇਹੁ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਕਤ ਪਈਹੈ ॥੩॥
ratan janam kho-i-o prabh bisri-o ihu ausar kat pa-eehai. ||3||
You have lost the jewel of human birth by forgetting Vaheguru; when will you have such an opportunity again? ||3||
(Ang 524)


Incident 2
I was at the cash desk and an elderly lady came up and said she wants to buy vacuum bags. She had brought her DIRTY and USED vacuum bag with her, which she kept flapping around and poking infront of me. I said I would show her the hoover bags. As we were crossing the store she stopped and with a warm smile on her face said, "Dear young man, I love the 'PUNJAB' THING you have on your head. Looks utterly marvellous." I smiled and told her, "Madam, its a TURBAN." She didn't hear or didn't pay attention and carried on walking.

She wanted me to check it was the right vacuum bag so she decides to get her dirty vacuum bag out and shake it infront of me. I just took two big steps BACK. She looked at me and said, "What is the problem young man?" I said, "Madam, I am allergic to dust and I am going to sneeze with all the dust from the bag." She looked at me and said, "Don't we all sneeze? Stop being so silly." I thought, Rab Raakhaa! She eventually took away the hoover bags and she left a whole pile of dirt and dust where she fiddled with her dirty used vacuum bag. Although the lady was rude and abrupt, she was nice and had good intentions.


Ps. Daas will try and post about Saturday's seminar workshop in the next few days.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Saturday 9th December - Talk @ LSE


Bit short notice to put it on blog, however this Saturday there is a Mark of Excellence seminar, lecture and workshop. Daas attended last year and it was fantastic (You can read about last year's seminar here). In a day I learnt so much. Its an opportunity not to miss. If you want to attend then you have to register. All that means is that you email the organiser (jagdeep@cantab.net). Details are below:

Mark of Excellence - The Sikh Revolution
Date: 09/12/2006

Mark of Excellence is a series of lectures, presentations and workshops specifically catered to meet the needs and desires of a particular audience. Essentially, participants attend personal and community development sessions that seek to foster the Sikh values based on Gurmat traditions: Sikh scripture, history, and discipline. Other principles of universal significance are also incorporated that do not disturb the harmony of the Sikh faith.

The Sikh Research Institute offers a variety of theme-oriented sessions for emerging leaders in the community – high school and college students and young professionals. Each event seeks to facilitate learning while enhancing personal development and growth for each participant. Through each program, workshop presenters provide an opportunity for the youth to ask questions and seek an answer through discussion and interpretation.

Theme: The Sikh Revolution
Date: Saturday 9 December 2006
Time: 8:30am-4:00pm
Location: Room S75, St Clements Building, London School of Economics, London, UK
Participants: University Students and Young Professionals
Sponsor: Sikh-Panjab Society, LSE
Registration: Student £7 | Young Professionals £12

This Mark of Excellence event will feature the following sessions:

Session I: Clash of Cultures – Historical context of Guru Nanak's advent
Session II: Journey of the Sikh Nation – How practitioners lived the Revolution (18th Century)
Session III: The Ideal Person – Understanding the Gurmukh and the Khalsa
Session IV: Questions & Answers – Open forum to seek opinions from a Gurmat perspective

For more information and to obtain a registration form, please contact:
Jagdeep Singh | jagdeep@cantab.net

Monday, December 04, 2006

Leicester - East Midlands Sikhi Week


Last Thursday Daas was invited to Leicester University to do a talk at the Sikh Society as part of the EAST MIDLANDS SIKHI WEEK. It took me just over TWO HOURS to get there! When it should have taken ONE HOUR and ten minutes according to RAC route planner. Vaheguru. I suppose some of it was down to the evening traffic. However, I also got slightly LOST when I got to Leicester.

I arrived teek taak to Leicester. On the instructions I printed off from RAC route planner it said, "Go on A426". But when I got near by I realised there were signs for A426 going left and right. It was a gamble so I thought, 'Chalo Rab Rakha lets go right!' But I was slightly too late to get into the lane and I ended up half in one lane and half in the other. It was so EMBARRASSING. Cars going straight could just SQUEEZE BY and each car HOOTED at me and some people stuck their fingers up and swore. Rab Bhalla Kare! Eventually I was given room to get in the lane turning right and had a sigh of relief.

I was going down and thinking I hope this is the right direction. It looked very countryside type so I thought "Is Leicester University in the countryside?" Then I entered a village called "BLABY" (what a weird name!). I thought "O mind! Where have gone!" I rang the Leicester Sikh Society to help me. They tried their best but it was difficult, as I didn't know where I was and they didn't know where I was. All I knew was that I was in a small village called "BLABLY".

I saw the police station and thought I would go inside and get some help. But guess what? The police station is CLOSED. Can you believe that a police station closes at 2pm! Doesn't most crime happen in the evening? O deary me! It was crazy. Outside the police station there was a phone in a box and a huge sign saying, "Please ring this number for help and enquiries." I thought, "That's good!" But I read a little more down the sign where it said, "All calls well go to the Police Head Office". I thought hope I don't get arrested ringing the Police Head Office to get directions and get charged with wasting police time. Sat Naam, Vaheguru.

I then asked some Goray at the village bus stop who told me I had gone in the wrong direction of A426 and that the university was near the cinema etc. I eventually got there with the help of the Sikh Society and a Bhaji giving clear directions. Then I had to find a space to park! It was a struggle parking amongst tight spaces! I was so glad just to arrive and relax with Guru's Kirpaa. I definitely need a SAT NAV or something - that would save such a headache and time wasted in getting lost!

There was a nice crowd of people. About 60 more people attended the event. The talk title given to me was "THE TRAVELS OF SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI." However I rewrote the title of the presentation as "THE UNIVERSAL DHARAM OF GURU NANAK SAHIB JEE". The presentation was about Gurmat being a Universal religion looking at the countries Guru Nanak Sahib jee travelled. There are at least 16 countries, which Guru Nanak Sahib jee is known to have travelled, and the evidence to the support these findings are being strengthened by research undertaken by Sikh academics.


Jesus remained within Palestine. Buddha remained within India. Muhammad remained Arabia (Mecca and Madina). However, Satguru Guru Nanak Sahib jee travelled the MAJORITY of the KNOWN WORLD through countries like Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Burma, Russia, Arabia, Iraq, and Turkey etc. What does this teach us? It tells us that Guru Nanak Sahib jee was JAGAT GURU (Guru of the World) and that Gurmat was not intended for Panjabis alone however for whole of HUMANITY.
ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਦੇ ਸਭ ਸ੍ਰਿਸ੍ਟਿ ਸਵਾਰੀ ॥
so satgur pooraa Dhan Dhan hai, jin har updes de sabh sristt savaaree.
Blessed, blessed is the Perfect True Guru, who has given the Lord's Teachings to reform the whole world.
(Ang 586)

This followed on to the complete, perfect and spiritually balanced lifestyle and religion that Guru Nanak Sahib jee has shown us which will get us to have union with the Divine. The presentation ended with despite Guru Nanak Sahib jee being Jagat Guru and that we are blessed as Sikhs to have the true, complete and perfect lifestyle. however as Sikhs have we realised this? If not, then why.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Difficulties with Naam


Bhaji Mandeep Singh Scotland wale requested Daas to write about what was discussed at the Midlands Sikhi Week talk "WHAT IS NAAM" by the group who looked at "DIFFICULTIES WITH NAAM." Apologies for the late post.


The group presented the problems with attuning and Japping Naam alongside with the solutions (Daas will elaborate and add to some of the solutions):

1. Distractions in day to day life (education, job etc)
Try and focus. Keep at it and continue doing Ardaas. With Guru's Kirpaa, Guru Sahib will guide you and help your mind. When one receives Gurmat Naam and Amrit from the Guru-Roop Panj Piyaare, it is a spiritual rebirth. Naam is made firm within us and we receive the blessings of Naam from the Panj Piyaare (known as Naam DriR). Through Amrit and Naam given by Panj Piyarae it becomes easier to focus on Naam and meditate, however this requires willingness and effort on behalf of the individual. Daily Ardaas for focus and power to concentrate on Naam will give you strength and will power to strive.

2. Lack of time or not being able to make time.
Simple answer - make time. Anything worth having requires time and dedication. Building a routine and daily plan is best help. When we receive Amrit from the Guru-Roop Panj Piyaare they give us Rehit (code of conduct) which helps us to make Naam and Baani a part of our life and a part of our routine. For example a Gursikh does daily Nitnem in morning, evening and before going to sleep.

3. Family
Educate and work with others. Do Ardaas, live the change you wish to see in your family. With Guru's Kirpaa if you try to Jap Naam the atmosphere in the house will change. Be inspired and inspire those around you through doing Sangat together and slowly introducing small but significant changes like praying before eating, doing Rehraas Sahib da Paath together, putting on a Keertan CD in the car rather than other songs or radio, ask "Shall we all go to the Gurdwara together."

4. Disadvantages of the society we live in and the Western influence
Live in society but be aware of possible negative influences and then stay clear of them. Don't get so involved with people, objects, or media that the negative influence sticks to you. Rather keep that level of relationship with society whereby you can live, work and inspire others with Gurmat. Guru Sahib teaches us this concept through the beauty of a lotus flower which is so beautiful yet floats above the muddy water unaffected in the environment it lives and sustains itself from. One's Rehit (Code of Conduct) and Sangat (company) acts as protection against negative influences.

5. Friends - peer pressure
Do Sangat of Gursikhs. Sometimes a person may live where there is no good Sangat. So what should they do? One can do Sangat (company) with Great Gursikhs through reading their life stories, autobiographies and Gurmat literature for example Bhai Sahib Rama Singh jee's book - "In Search of the True Guru", Baba Harnam Singh jee's book - "Se Kineya", Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee's autobiography etc. Another form of Sangat is listening to Katha and Keertan, even if it means listening to MP3s or through Internet.

6. Lack of positive role models
Make the Guru and Saadh Sangat your role model. We are blessed as Sikhs that our Guru Sahibs are the Perfect role models and examples of character, spirit and inspiration. All Gursikhs who follow the Path of the Guru and exemplify the Guru’s teachings are positive role models.