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Being a Sikh

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					Being a Sikh




      Gurmit Singh



www.naamaukhad.blogspot.com

                      www.naamaukhad.blogspot.com
  BEING A SIKH
                    The Sikh way of life is unique. The Sikh lives a disciplined life
                    even as a householder or a worldly person and at the same time
                    is ever growing spiritually inward. To find God and be with
                    God the Sikh does not wander around. The Sikh way of living,
Guru Nanak Dev Ji
                    known as Sikhee, is a lifestyle designed by the Guru and
                    intends to keep the Sikh spiritually focused and live a
                    prosperous worldly life.




                    The creation of the Sikh panth started with Guru Nanak Dev ji,
                    the first Guru and reached the fulfillment during the time of
                    Guru Gobind Singh ji the tenth Guru. The Spiritual Guruship
                    was then enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahebji.




                    The Spiritual path that Sri Guru Granth Sahebji lights up is one
                    of discipline and effort. It is unique in that it gives freedom in
                    the exercise of intention to pursue the path. The path is based
                    on the tradition of Guru-Disciple relationship. The word Sikh
                    means a disciple and the intention to be a Sikh who enters into
                    relationship by accepting the Guru is of paramount importance
                    in Sikhee. The Sikh accepts Sikhee voluntarily at any time
                    during his life and enters into a well crafted spiritually
                    disciplined life.



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                       The spiritual wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahebji is for all the
                       humanity. The message is same for all the communities and
                       castes. The Gurdwara is open to all, what so ever be their
                       beliefs, religion, status or position in the society. They may be
                       innocent or full of guilt. They may be thieves or victims. The
Guru Gobind Singh ji   Guru sees everyone in the same light. The message is same for
                       all and easily accessible. The path is easy to see and look at.
                       Who so ever hears and sees the Guru is by divinely touched.
                       The Guru is not coercive. The Guru is silent and understanding.
                       The Guru’s presence and hearing of Gurbani is a solace to all.
                       The Guru is ever forgiving and patient.


                       The choice to enter the Sikh fold and embrace Sikhee is a
                       personal one. Even a person born to Sikh has to exercise this
                       choice. To be a Sikh is to accept and surrender your ‘own’ mind
                       before the Guru and to live life wisely shaped and directed by
                       the Rehat (Code of Conduct and Conventions) in daily life with
                       growth of inner spiritual life closer to God. This choice is like
                       entering a school. It is just like going to an institution.


                       The first thing that a person does who joins a school is to wear
                       a dress and reports in the school for learning. He or she then is
                       in the fold of culture associated with that institution. This
                       culture is imbibed consciously as well as subconsciously to the
                       major extent. A person who lives in a clan imbibes its culture.
                       This is true and easily seen in the life around us. The group we
                       associate with or the place we live in has an affect on us. The
                       culture in which we are raised reflects in our values, attitudes,
                       and behavior. There are many aspects of our lives that we take
                       for granted are in reality based on cultural influences which can
                       be appreciated only when we visit someone from a different

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                       culture, or go abroad or even talk to others. The way we dress,
                       the music we listen to, the ways of living together, the
                       relationships between parents and children, the food choices,
                       the attitudes in business, etc are all a result of cultural influence.
Kanga, Kara & Kirpan
                       The Sikh panth has a similar influence. This influence is
                       reflected in the way the Sikh lives life, in the way the Sikh
                       conducts business, the way responsibility is accepted and duty
                       done, the way situations in life are met. The whole approach to
                       life of a Sikh becomes different when the Sikhee is embraced
                       by him or her.




                       The choice of willingly accepting the Sikh symbol’s is the first
                       one that a Sikh exercises, while embracing Sikhee and to enter
                       the Sikh panth. This choice is reflected by first keeping
                       unshorn hair and thereafter sealing of the relationship with the
                       Guru through a ceremony of Amrit Sanchar. The Sikh
                       chooses to be like his Guru.
                       The Sikh symbols make a Sikh unique and protects from other
                       cultural influences.
                       The five symbols of Sikh identity are
                       1. Kesh - Uncut hair and beard and head is covered by a turban.
                       Hair with a tied turban and beard is a highly visible symbol of
                       membership of the group. Hairs indicate the perfection of God's
                       creation - naturalness. Hairs are also a spiritual aid connected
                       with subtle energies. Devout Sikhs who do regular Simran
                       observe heat on top of the head.
                       2. Kanga - Wooden comb for hygiene and maintenance of the
                       Kesh.



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                       3. Kara - Iron bracelet worn on the hand. Physical reminder
                       that a Sikh is bound to the Guru and the Sikh has to earn his
                       living in a fair manner. The Kara is a reminder of self esteem
                       and strength of character.
Guru Gobind Singh ji
taking Amrit from      4. Kachera - Specially designed cotton underwear which gives
 Panj Pyaras
                       natural comfort and is dignified. The Kachera is reflective of
                       modesty and high moral character.
                       5. Kirpan - A Strapped sword, usually small in size. It is worn
                       as a reminder to protect the faith. It is meant not to show
                       bravery, nor is a mere weapon but is a reminder to protect the
                       weak and to stand up to injustice.




                       When the Sikh accepts the ‘Amrit’ from the punj payaras in an
                       ‘Amrit Sanchar” ceremony it seals Guru-Sikh relationship. The
                       amrit gives strength to the spiritual life of the Sikh and a shift
                       occurs within him. A Sikh scholar compared it with a person
                       standing in a queue being picked up and placed ahead. The
                       spiritual change after this ceremony is more profound. This
                       starts the Sikh, also now called Khalsa, to move through
                       worldly life in a path with a new attitude and approach. The
                       Simran gives the Sikh power to walk through worldly issues
                       and situations with an ever inner connection with Waheguru ji
                       (God).Sikh knows that Waheguru ji is ever accessible and
                       always with him. Sikhs effort is to live life in a pure way and
                       ever strive to live life of Simran. All along he is a worldly
                       person with a check on five passions. The five passions a Sikh
                       knows are kept in check by Guru’s grace only.




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                       The Sikhee is devoid of any rituals in spiritual life. The focus
                       all along is to develop inner life and find the God within. The
                       spiritual wisdom of Shree Guru Granth Sahib ji is a guide from
                       the early stage to a stage of deep spiritual living. The Guru is
                       puran – meaning complete. The Sikh need not look towards
   Shabad Guru
Guru Granth Saheb ji   any other source. The tradition of recitation of Gurbani, Kirtan
                       (singing of hymns from SGGSji), Katha (explanation of Hymns
                       from SGGSji), and discussions of with Gurmukh Sikhs and
                       their writings is sufficient to clear doubts and a source of
                       inspiration.




                       When looked closely at Sikhee, one is amazed to see that it is
                       designed to make the follower to achieve and live a life of
                       success, happiness, and fulfillment. The life of Simran connects
                       the Sikh with higher power within recognized as Shabad Guru
                       within. All a Sikh has to do is pray. All his thoughts are taken
                       as prayers in fact and the higher power guides him to make the
                       correct decisions in your life. The higher power is his protector
                       and guide




                       So why do so many people fail to achieve success, happiness,
                       and fulfillment? The answer is simple: not following the Guru’s
                       Guidance. The wrong self willed methods would definitely
                       lead to wrong results.


                       The persons who live a ritualistic life although accepting
                       SGGSji as Guru without embracing the Amrit are like those
                       who are standing at the bus stop and yet to start a journey.

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                    The persons who keep unshorn hair (by birth in a Sikh
                    household) and call themselves Sikhs are like those who are
                    taking trial classes in an institution but not yet taken admission.
                    They have yet to seal the Guru- Sikh relationship by partaking
                    Amrit.
                    The persons who visit Gurdwara and so also have faith in other
                    Gurus or Gods/Goddesses are like those who have feet in two
                    boats. Any pain and struggles in their life is thus a result of
Sikh Nishan Saheb   following self willed path in their worldly life.


                    The people do have rights of choice. The Sikh thought does
                    not encourage enforcing of choices but at the same time
                    requires others not to temper with Sikh way to suit their own
                    choices.


                    The Guru advices Sikhs not to follow blind rituals such as
                    fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of
                    the dead, idol worship etc. The Guru teaches that people of
                    different races, religions, or sex are all equal and teaches the
                    full equality of men and women.


                    The first teaching of the Guru is that there is oneness in the
                    creation with only One Creator God. All the people are the
                    same. The goal of life is to lead an exemplary existence while
                    maintaining a balance between spiritual obligations and
                    temporal obligations so that one may know and become Jyote
                    Swaroop (the same light as the creator). The Sikhee which is
                    Sikh way of life makes possible the living of life as a
                    householder, earning an honest living and avoiding of worldly
                    temptations and sins.




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                     The Sikhee starts with voluntarily embracing of the Sikh
                     Symbols and Amrit Sanchar to seal the Guru- Sikh relationship.
                     The Sikh then advances further in experiencing the nature of
                     Shabad Guru as a higher power. The Gurbani recitation,
Ik Oankaar.-
 One source of all   Gurbani Kirtan and Simran then takes a new dimension taking
                     the Sikh to a new level of spiritual experience.


                     The base of Sikhee is Simran on the ONE and Sewa ( self-less
                     service ). The three pillars on which it stands are :
                     Kirat Karna –             Earn an honest livelihood
                                               And carry out good deeds

                     Naam Japna –              Is the remembrance of One God .
                                               By repeating and focusing the mind
                                               on His name through Guru Mantra -
                                               Waheguru .

                     Vand kay Chakhna -        means to share ones wealth.
                                               to contribute at least 10% of their
                                               wealth/income called Dasvandh to the
                                               needy , to distribute in Langar (free
                                               Kitchen) or to a worthy cause.


                     The Sikh is associated with Truth and strives for truth in living.
                     The Sikh the ONE pervading everywhere and is ever Humble.
                     The Sikh sees HIS Hukam (Will) in operation and is
                     compassionate
                     The Sikh enshrines love for HIM and so loves HIS creation.
                     The Sikh with Guru’s grace checks the Anger, Lust,
                     Attachment, Greed and Ego.
                                                     …


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Quotes from Guru Gobind Singh ji’s, Bani

iqn ieh kl mo Drmu clwXo ] sB swDn ko rwh bqwXo ]
jo qW ky mwrg mih Awey ] qy kbhUM nhI pwp sMqwey ] 5]
                - Chaupai, Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Granth
Translation:


He (Guru Nanak Dev) promulgated this religion (Sikhism) in
the Iron age. He showed the (genuine) way to all the saints.
Those who trod the way (The Sikh Faith) propagated by him,
they never are plagued by the vices.
                   -   Chaupai, Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Granth



pUrn joq jgY Gt mY qb Kwls qwih nKwls jwnY ]
jwigq joiq jpY ins bwsur eyk ibnw mn nYk n AwnY ]
pUrn pRym pRqIq sjY bRq gor mVHI mt BUl n mwnY ]
qIrQ dwn dXw qp sMjm eyk ibnw nih eyk pCwnY ]
                    - Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Granth
Translation:

The person, in whose heart shines the full Divinely Radiant Light is then a
true pure Khalsa.

He the Khalsa meditates on the Ever-radiant Light, day and night, and sees
oneness by taking all that comes in mind being the same one Lord.

His awareness of one Lord is a loving faith, and he believes not in fasts,
tombs, crematoriums and hermit cells, even by mistake.

He does not accept acts of pilgrimage, charities, compassion, austerities
and self-control when the focus is not on the ONE.

                       -   Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Granth

There are many pulls and pushes on the minds of Sikhs who see
others performing rituals .Only a strong institutional culture and
bonding can make possible following of a path that is easy and
what many around follow ritualistically.


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Mool Mantra
Description of the Creator




Ik Oankaar Sat Naam Karta Purakh Nirbhau Nirvair
Akaal Murat Ajuni Saibhang - Gur Parsad.


Here is how Guru Nanak Dev ji describes HIM in the MOOL
MANTRA (origin mantra). Shree Guru Granth Sahebji begins
with Mool Mantra. The words are in Gurmukhi script and cannot
be properly translated so I have given brief explanations.

ik-oNkaar - Ik oankaar symbolizes HIM. The EK which means
one symbolizes oneness. There is only HE in the entire
universe. Everything is HIM including us and the material
world. The Ongkar symbolizes HIS created universe. From the
formless has come in everything and so is universal
consciousness. The created world is a maya – which means it
appears real but is not real.

sat naam – Sat means truth. Truth is that which does not
change. Eternal Truth is His Name (identity).He is also our real
identity. Our individual consciousness is simply HIS
consciousness intermingled with (an illusionary) ego – that
creates experience of separateness.

kartaa purakh - He is the Doer of everything. Karta Purakh
means that HIS presence is the real creative force. Everything
in the world including the physical laws work because of HIS


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presence .HE is the real karta ( the doer) the invisible creative
force.

nirbha-o - Without fear. Fear is not a part of HIM. Fear is an
illusionary part of creation. A work of maya ( the grand
illusion).

nirvair - Without vengeance or anger. This again does not
symbolize HIM but is maya. These exist in the created world.

akaal moorat - Undying form (deathless).HE is eternal. Ever
same. Has timeless existence. Death is there in the created
world.

ajoonee - Unborn. Birth and death is in the created word. He is
akal – meaning ever living and has not been born.

saibhaN - Not begotten, being of His own Being. Saibangh
means exists as such and self-created. There is no other only
HIM.

gur parsaad. - By the Grace of the Guru, made known to
mankind. We are so much in an illusion of separateness and our
own identity that HIS knowledge can come only through
Guru’s grace. Only a real guru in one with HIM can impart this
knowledge and show the path of self- realization - realization
and awareness of our true origin. The Guru is ONE with HIM
and shows us the path to meet HIM within us where HE then as
GURU-GOD (Shabad Guru) guides further to bring in the
awareness and Union. All this is a work of grace. The Prasad,
that only the Guru gives.




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              Our Guru is Shabad Guru. Guru Nanak Devji has informed to
              the Siddhs in answer to their question Gosht that his Guru was
              Shabad and Surt was Chela.

              This has been revealed in the Bani raamakalee mehalaa 1 sidh
              gosatti (SGGS – 942)


Siddh Gosht   Question by the Siddhs :


                    qyrw kvxu gurU ijs kw qU cylw ]
                    kvx kQw ly rhhu inrwly ]
                    bolY nwnku suxhu qum bwly ]
                    eysu kQw kw dyie bIcwru ]
                    Bvjlu sbid lμGwvxhwru ]43]


                    Who is your guru? Whose disciple are you?
                    What is that speech, by which you remain
                    unattached?
                    Listen to what we say, O Nanak, you little
                    boy.
                    Give us your opinion on what we have said.
                    How can the Shabad carry us across the
                    terrifying world-ocean?||43||




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Answer by Guru Nanak:

     pvn ArMBu siqgur miq vylw ]
     sbdu gurU suriq Duin cylw ]
     AkQ kQw ly rhau inrwlw ]
     nwnk juig juig gur gopwlw ]
     eyku sbdu ijqu kQw vIcwrI ]
     gurmuiK haumY Agin invwrI ]44]



     At the place, where air begins is the time of
     listening to the True Guru's Teachings.
     The Shabad is the Guru, upon whom I
     lovingly focus my consciousness; I am the
     chaylaa, the disciple.
     Speaking the Unspoken Speech, I remain
     unattached.
     Says Nanak, throughout the ages, the Lord of
     the World is my Guru.
     I contemplate the sermon of the Shabad, the
     Word of the One God.
     The Gurmukh puts out the fire of egotism.
     ||44||




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                             Our Guru is Shabad Guru. The Shabad Guru in the form of
                             Gurbani was in formation ever from the time of the first Guru.
                             The tenth Guru then placed the Guruship in Shree Guru Granth
                             Saheb ji the Shabad Guru. The Shabad in word form is before
                             us in this material word. These words are transformative, which
      Tenth Guru &           shape our mind and awareness leading to finding the Shabad
Shree Guru Granth Saheb ji
                             Guru within us as well. We too have to be disciples of the
                             Shabad Guru.


                             The Tenth Guru Gobind Singh ji himself had taken Amrit from
                             the panj pyaras showing the way to the Sikh Panth. The
                             partaking of Amrit is sealing of Guru – Sikh relationship and
                             start of journey of spiritual revelations. The effort no doubt has
                             to be made by the Sikh on his way to becoming Khalsa – the
                             pure one.


                             G URU G OBIND S INGH ' S LAST SERMON
                             ( NOW IT IS PART OF DAILY ROUTINE OF S IKHS ,
                             AFTER A RDAAS ).
                                  Aagya bhai Akal ki Tabhi chalayo Panth,
                                  Sab Sikhan ko hukum hai Guru Manyo Granth.
                                  Guru Granth ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh.
                                  jo, prabh ko milna chahe khoj shabad men le.

                                   Under orders of the IMMORTAL ( the Creator
                                   Lord ) the Panth was started. All the Sikhs are
                                   enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru.
                                   Consider Guru Granth as representing Guru's
                                   body. Those who wish to meet God can find the
                                   way in its hymns.

                                        Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh


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