Thursday, June 20, 2019

Effects of False Beauty...

 ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥      
Such pleasures of dressing up are detrimental,     
ਹੇ ਭਾਈ !ਇਹੋ ਜਿਹਾ ਪਹਿਨਣ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੌਂਕ ਤੇ ਚਾਉ ਖ਼ੁਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ    

ਜਿਤੁ ਪੈਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥      
wearing which, the body suffers, and sinful or corrupt thoughts enter the mind. ||1||Pause||      
ਜਿਸ ਪਹਿਨਣ ਨਾਲ ਸਰੀਰ ਦੁਖੀ ਹੋਵੇ, ਤੇ ਮਨ ਵਿਚ ਭੀ ਭੈੜੇ ਖ਼ਿਆਲ ਤੁਰ ਪੈਣ, ਇਹੋ ਜਿਹਾ ਪਹਿਨਣ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੌਂਕ ਤੇ ਚਾਉ ਖ਼ੁਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ।੧।ਰਹਾਉ।
(Siree Raag M:1, Ang 16)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Truth Behind Meat...

WARNING: Disturbing Content. Viewer Discretion is Advised. Farm to Fridge: Help Expose the Truth Using the Power of Video "Mercy For Animals (MFA) recently released their most powerful and important video yet. It's called Farm To Fridge. Please watch and share".

ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋਰੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਜੁਲਮੁ ਹੈ ਲੇਇ ਜਬਾਬੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥ 
ਦਫਤਰਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਨੀਕਸੈ ਮਾਰ ਮੁਹੈ ਮੁਹਿ ਖਾਇ ॥੨੦੦॥ 
“O Kabeer! It is tyranny to use force to kill; the Lord shall call you to account (for the tyranny committed). When the account is called for (in the world hereafter), the individual is strucken on their face and beaten (for repaying their Karma). ||200||” 

ਕਬੀਰ (ਜੀ ਆਖਦੇ ਹਨ ਕਿ) ਜੋ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ ਉਹ ਜ਼ੁਲਮ ਹੈ, (ਕੀਤੇ ਜ਼ੁਲਮ ਦਾ) ਜਵਾਬ ਰਬ ਲਵੇਗਾ।(ਜਦ) ਦਫ਼ਤਰ ਵਿਚ ਲੇਖਾ (ਵਹੀ ਖਾਤਾ) ਨਿਕਲੇਗਾ (ਤਾਂ ਕੀਤੇ ਜੁਲਮ ਬਦਲੇ ਮਨੁੱਖ) ਮੂੰਹੋ ਮੂੰਹ ਮਾਰ ਖਾਏਗਾ।੨੦੦। 
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji – Ang 1375)

Friday, June 07, 2019

The voice for freedom strengthens in Punjab...

Many people have said that only Sikhs outside India want Khalistan. However, during the past week I have seen many videos of Sikhs in India, young and old boldly respectfully and honourably raising slogans for Khalistan fearlessly with the Punjab Police walking past. Perhaps the voice was unheard before, but now it seems to be getting louder and louder. Even the SGPC appointed Head of Akal Takhat, Giani Harpreet Singh, said in a media statement that if someone gives Khalistan we should accept it.

It seems people want to live in a country in which all people, irrespective of religion, are safe to live; to live in a country where, no place or worship or sacred text is attacked and violated; to live in a country where justice is the same for all religions, genders and classes; to live in a country that welcomes all and shares it wealth equally; to live in a country where no one is treated as a second class citizen; and to live in a country which is not robbed of its electricity, water and revenues by outside states. In Gurbani, such a country is called “Begum-puraa”, the place without sorrow or sadness. 
ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ 
Begumpura, 'the place without sorrow', is the name of the town. 

ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥
There is no suffering or anxiety there. 

ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥ 
There are no troubles or taxes on commodities there. 

ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥ 
There is no fear, no danger of committing sin or downfall there. ||1|| 
(Gauree Bhagat Ravidaas Ji, Ang 345) 
Is it possible? Yes. This was the reality of the Khalsa Raaj led by Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadar and the Raaj of Shere-E-Punjab Raja Ranjeet Singh Ji. In both periods of times, Sikhs were a minority, but won the hearts of the majority (non-Sikhs) through their sincerity, love, honour, integrity, pure moral character and undying faith in the Guru’s teachings. May Satguru Ji bless us with these virtues and high character that we can earn Divine-Grace and help make a more happier, safer and godlier place where all irrespective of belief, creed or gender can feel valued as a fellow human, fellow brother and sister and enjoy the glow of the God-given right of freedom.

Monday, June 03, 2019

The Power of 'Baana' (our dress)...

Yesterday, whilst attending the London 1984 remembrance march, I was remembering a conversation I had with the late Bhai Nirmal Singh ji (1963 - 2009). Bhai Nirmal Singh, for those who don't know, was a Sikh youth leader and dedicated sevadaar of the Khalsa Panth with an undying passion for educating and inspiring youth towards Sikhi. From the early 1990s, he was instrumental in starting up Sikh societies in colleges and universities across the UK and continued to support these societies and various other organisations in a voluntary capacity throughout his lifetime. Through his voluntary work at youth camps, gurdwaras, universities and colleges, he inspired countless youngsters into becoming Gursikhs and getting involved in voluntary work.

Sikh protest in London 1978 after the Amritsar massacre
So yesterday, I remembered a conversation I had with Bhai Sahib. He was shared how he wasn't born into Gursikhi, and before becoming a Gursikh he had a skin-head (totally shaven-head and face) and knew little about Sikhi, let alone follow it. However, the turning point was 1978. After the 1978 bloody massacre of Amritsar where 13 Gursikhs attained martyrdom, there was a protest rally held in London, which Bhai Nirmal Singh attended.

Bhai Jarnail Singh in front centre wearing blue Baana and an organe Dumaala
He said, in the first time in his life, he saw a Khalsa dressed in full Gurmukhi (Gurmat orientated) Baana (dress). The person who he saw in Baana was Bhai Jarnail Singh Ji of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha UK. Referring to himself, he said, "a young skin-head youngster who was distanced from Sikhi became inspired to keep his Kes (hair) and take Amrit by having Darshan (the sight) of a Gursikh wearing Baana and looking Chardikala."

Bhai Nirmal Singh in 1980s after taking Amrit
This story stresses that sometimes its not just speeches or literature that can change someone's life, but just someone's appearance. Wearing a Gurmukhi Baana is a huge seva in itself in projecting the immortality of the Khalsa and the glory of the Guru. I hope this story inspires other youngsters to wear Baana, especially at events, to honour the Shaheeds who died and fought for our unique identity as well as do our small Seva in perhaps inspiring someone towards Sikhi.