Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Let’s reflect on what Guru Nanak means to us.

On the joyous occasion of the Prakaash Divas of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji I wished to share a short write-up on the Gurpurb by Sikh Research Institute (SIKHRI):
Let’s reflect on what Guru Nanak means to us.
Amid pitch darkness in ignorance-era, he rose like an illuminated sun.
- Balvand & Sata, 968
Guru Nanak Sahib awoke the populace from the slumber of ignorance, upon his arrival. Revealing the message of all-pervasive one Divine, he proclaimed everyone’s right to dignity and justice. He stood by the oppressed and held their hand, imbuing their being with Divine love and awareness that enabled self-liberation.

Among the lowest of the low, I am the lowliest of the absolutely low.
Nanak seeks their company, why would one compete with those above?
Wherever the lowly are cared for, there is the glance of Your Grace!

- Guru Nanak Sahib, 15

He broke off the shackles of the priestly class’ influence and established dharamsal in every home and heart [ghar ghar andar dharamsal]. The sangats thus created formed the nucleus of the Khalsa that was to be formally institutionalized later; a democratized form of a free collective (sangats) directly connected with their beautiful beloved Sovereign - Ik Oankar - with no intermediary.

Over centuries, sangats have kept alive, this collective spirit of assembly and deliberation upon issues of Panthak significance. We witnessed the same spirit of self-expression and defiance, with a wish to free Sikh institutions from the state influence, in the recently held Sarbat Khalsa, no matter how flawed the process of calling, collecting and deliberating in it may have been. People collected with sheer enthusiasm from far off places, just in love of the Guru, for no one individual but for the Panth.

Today, as we celebrate the Guru’s “illumination” (parkash), let’s keep this sovereignty, and the will to affirmative action alive. But, lest we forget that the center of Sikh activism is solely the Guru’s word (Sabad), that guides its every action to a pure selfless act of service and sacrifice, for we are sovereign only as long as the Guru radiates in us.

In whose heart Nam radiates, that person alone is a great King.
- Guru Arjan Sahib, 1155

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