Friday, March 31, 2006

The One True Love

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Bilaaval on Anng 827

iblwvlu mhlw 5 ]
bilaaval mehalaa 5 ||
Bilaaval, Fifth Mehl:

mU lwln isau pRIiq bnI ] rhwau ]
moo laalan sio preeth banee || rehaao ||
I have fallen in love with my Beloved Lord. ||Pause||

qorI n qUtY CorI n CUtY AYsI mwDo iKMc qnI ]1]
thoree n thoottai shhoree n shhoottai aisee maadhho khi(n)ch thanee ||1||
Cutting it, it does not break, and releasing it, it does not let go. Such is the string the Lord has tied me with. ||1||

idnsu rYin mn mwih bsqu hY qU kir ikrpw pRB ApnI ]2]
dhinas rain man maahi basath hai thoo kar kirapaa prabh apanee ||2||
Day and night, He dwells within my mind; please bless me with Your Mercy, O my God. ||2||

bil bil jwau isAwm suMdr kau AkQ kQw jw kI bwq sunI ]3]
bal bal jaao siaam su(n)dhar ko akathh kathhaa jaa kee baath sunee ||3||
I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to my beauteous Lord; I have heard his Unspoken Speech and Story. ||3||

jn nwnk dwsin dwsu khIAq hY moih krhu ik®pw Twkur ApunI ]4]28]114]
jan naanak dhaasan dhaas keheeath hai mohi karahu kirapaa t(h)aakur apunee ||4||28||114||
Servant Nanak is said to be the slave of His slaves; O my Lord and Master, please bless me with Your Mercy. ||4||28||114||

bal bal jaao siaam su(n)dhar ko akathh kathhaa jaa kee baath sunee ||3||
Bhai Amrik Singh Zakhmi
Bhai Sarabjit Singh Rangila

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Bilaaval on Anng 809

iblwvlu mhlw 5 ]
bilaaval mehalaa 5 ||
Bilaaval, Fifth Mehl:

ipMgul prbq pwir pry Kl cqur bkIqw ]
pi(n)gul parabath paar parae khal chathur bakeethaa ||
The cripple crosses over the mountain, the fool becomes a wise man,

AMDuly iqRBvx sUiJAw gur Byit punIqw ]1]
a(n)dhhulae thribhavan soojhiaa gur bhaett puneethaa ||1||
and the blind man sees the three worlds, by meeting with the True Guru and being purified. ||1||

mihmw swDU sMg kI sunhu myry mIqw ]
mehimaa saadhhoo sa(n)g kee sunahu maerae meethaa ||
This is the Glory of the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy; listen, O my friends.

mYlu KoeI koit AG hry inrml Bey cIqw ]1] rhwau ]
mail khoee kott agh harae niramal bheae cheethaa ||1|| rehaao ||
Filth is washed away, millions of sins are dispelled, and the consciousness becomes immaculate and pure. ||1||Pause||

AYsI Bgiq goivMd kI kIit hsqI jIqw ]
aisee bhagath govi(n)dh kee keett hasathee jeethaa ||
Such is devotional worship of the Lord of the Universe, that the ant can overpower the elephant.

jo jo kIno Awpno iqsu ABY dwnu dIqw ]2]
jo jo keeno aapano this abhai dhaan dheethaa ||2||
Whoever the Lord makes His own, is blessed with the gift of fearlessness. ||2||

isMGu iblweI hoie gieE iqRxu myru idKIqw ]
si(n)gh bilaaee hoe gaeiou thrin maer dhikheethaa ||
The lion becomes a cat, and the mountain looks like a blade of grass.

sRmu krqy dm AwF kau qy gnI DnIqw ]3]
sram karathae dham aadt ko thae ganee dhhaneethaa ||3||
Those who worked for half a shell, will be judged very wealthy. ||3||

kvn vfweI kih skau byAMq gunIqw ]
kavan vaddaaee kehi sako baea(n)th guneethaa ||
What glorious greatness of Yours can I describe, O Lord of infinite excellences?

kir ikrpw moih nwmu dyhu nwnk dr srIqw ]4]7]37]
kar kirapaa mohi naam dhaehu naanak dhar sareethaa ||4||7||37||
Please bless me with Your Mercy, and grant me Your Name; O Nanak, I am lost without the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan. ||4||7||37||

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Qualities of a Righteous Mother

A righteous mother, before marriage acquires education and knowledge, learns and observes principles of good living, builds a high moral character and preserves her maidenhood.

• After marriage, she practically lives the ideal qualities imbibed in her by her parents. She adores, pampers and beautifies every relationship, all the feelings and values of her in–laws as well as understands their pains & problems.

• She does not discriminate, while covering and concealing the shortcomings of her own parents or of her in-laws.

• She cheerfully performs all the household chores as her duty, responsibility and her behavior towards her in-laws is no different from her parental family. Similarly, she cordially establishes brotherhood and harmony with her neighbors and also always helps the needy.

• An ideal mother never indulges in materialistic race and jealousy of winning-losing or more-less of possessions. She distances herself from complaints and accusations and never boasts of her parent’s wealth and status. Nor does she ruin her precious time and money in exhibiting her expensive clothes and jewellery, rather engages herself in doing constructive deeds and in reading benefiting books.

• For an ideal mother, equality of gender does not mean taking revenge from her husband and making him do the household work. Instead she comprehends the physical sensitivity and womanism and recognizes her responsibilities also very well. As Will of God, she directs her womanhood towards a purposeful living.

• She endeavors to establish and enhance a mental and spiritual relationship with her husband before the beginning of a physical relationship so that a perfect womb/land is prepared for the growth of their offspring. Also she persuades and encourages her husband towards spiritual living so that his contribution in the birth/origin of the child be also pious-better.

• Even before conceiving the baby, she consciously strives to diminish her vices and increase her qualities. She recognizes and realizes the limitations and obligations of her house, family, society and religion and puts in her best efforts in their improvement and accomplishment.

• An ideal mother, owing to the enlightened and transformed brain, understands humanity, spares herself from the expectations and the discriminations of a male or female child. Thus, as a result, the upbringing of the child is bestowed without discriminatory feelings.

• During all those 9 months of pregnancy, she gives priority to ideal company, good and healing music, benefiting and enriching books, humanitarian thoughts and always lives in high spirits.

• During her pregnancy, she eludes herself from the thoughts of jealousy, hatred, revenge, criticism, arguments, shouting, anger, shrewdness and all other vices. Instead of all these vices she understands and lives the principle of “forgive and forget” which ultimately affects her child. She avoids scary, suspense, sexual movies and novels.

• For spiritual transcendence and character building, she tries to be in the company of practical and pious/religious people. Instead of wasting time in useless gossiping, she adds to her knowledge by reading biographies of high-spirited characters.

• An ideal mother acquires maximum knowledge and awareness about her own as well as her child’s health through medical science. After which she focuses more on rich diet, regular exercise, walks and adequate rest.

• An ideal mother puts special efforts to establish and maintain a cordial atmosphere in the family because a tense atmosphere reflects badly in the family as well as in the ultimate nature of the child in the womb.

• An ideal mother takes utmost care that the child may becomes an ideal personality alongside getting proper academic education. She not only prefers academic education but also sincerely concerned that, idealistic qualities and spiritual thoughts also penetrate deep in the child’s conscience.

• She does never tell her children about the ills of her husband rather, inculcates values of contentment, cooperation and teaches them to ignore the ills of others.

• When her husband comes back after the day’s work, an ideal mother does not tell him about the ill treatment meted out to her by her in-laws in his absence, because this ultimately demoralizes him.

• An ideal mother enjoys and loves to prepare food by herself at home and cherishes in serving the food herself instead of going to parties and eating where they get readymade and junk food.

• She does not indulge herself in unnecessary spending for just showoff and makes her children also understand this, so that they may also restrain themselves from wasting money and in performing rituals of birth-death, marriages, dowry etc.,

• An ideal mother adopts every good norm to become a successful lady of her house. If circumstances of her family needs, she is ever ready to go out to do some job and utilize her education and wits to help her family financially.

• An ideal mother, instead of getting frightened and cursing circumstances because of an emergency or mishap in the family, stands boldly and also consoles her family members. She doesn’t let the family to shatter and is wholeheartedly ever ready to help them in every way. If need be, she does not hesitate to dispose off her jewelry so that the financial problems are sorted out.

• An ideal mother covers her body properly with simple and decent Clothes. She thinks that nudity is lack of intellect, thus she decorates her conscience with more and more intellectual knowledge.

• She does not indulge in superfluous rituals, magical thoughts and superstitions.

• An ideal mother never hates others because of their different faith, belief and religion. She loves and respects every one without any kind of discrimination. She is very firm in her own religion and faith and makes her family fully aware about their own faith. She teaches them caring and sharing too.

• An ideal mother takes a strong stand, fights boldly against the social evils and helps her family to attain the transcendent stage.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sikhi Week Kirtan

On the last day of London Sikhi week at the begining of the month we had a kirtan darbar at Kingston University. Bhai Sukhvinder Singh came down from midlands and did kirtan. You can download kirtan from

Monday, March 20, 2006


My sword is my companion my warrior and friend,
Not to be offensive but sworn to defend,
The infusion of steel runs through my veins,
Making me immune from sorrow and pain,

My sword is the protector of the needy and poor,
When oppression becomes a disease my sword is the cure,
My sword sings the song of selfless love,
It lives in harmony with law from above,

The flash of my Guru’s sword awakens the sleeping soul,
Without the sword I can never be whole,
The sword of the Guru is the giver of life,
Before the soul was barren now it is ripe,

I am the saint and the soldier that walks in peace,
I am the humble dust of your feet,
But don’t think my spirituality makes me weak,
The heavens will roar if my sword were to speak,

Death is my bride, fear is my friend,
My Guru’s path is the map heaven sent,
To Follow the path, surrender your whole,
The power of the Guru’s sword will give light to your soul.

By Hardeep Singh

Friday, March 17, 2006

Prince of Wales.. Need I say more?

More Photos

Eating the melon sliced earlier during gatka, and sweet it was, hehe.

School kids who also came eating langar afterwards.

Rebel Manvir Singh in his Kurta. Me in my cholla and him in kurta left an impression on the Prince. ;)
Guess who??

Photos From Prince Visit


Amoal Singh taking a turn at being "Prince" of Wales

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Holla Mohalla and the Prince of Wales

On Monday Me Manvir Singh and other who are part of Sweet Sikhi, London BOSS (British Organisation of Sikh Students) and Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara attended celebrations of Holla Mohalla at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Hounslow, West London. They just made the gurdwara bigger it’s been finished to a high spec and very professional.

The dress code was suite and tie, I went in Cholla and Manvir Singh in Kurta Pajama. I was waiting for someone to complain but everyone was to busy. The first person to comment was the Prince of Wales who we met and he commented along the lines of “Nice to see someone in there right dress.” Made my day!

Anyway was a great day. Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara did gatka and it was excellent as usual. My Ustad Bahi Uptej Singh Ji and the team was the Prince and Duchess clutching there chairs. Next day it was all over the UK media in news papers and today on national TV. Its been great publicity for Sikhs and Gatka which has for long been ignored on the international arena. I will be adding more photos and short videos this weekend of the day.

Prince Charles Visits Gurdwara in London

Ustad Bhai Uptej Singh Ji

Ustad Uptej Singh (Teji)


Guru Gobind Singh Ji had a marvellous foresight; he wanted his Sikhs to have a strong soul, which we achieve by our prayers. He also wanted us to be physically fit and have a disciplined life and Hola can be taken as a symbol or a day, which would remind us that Sikhs need to be physically fit also.

Also, Guru Patshaah wanted us to seek for active forms of entertainment. When one is involved in horsemanship, soldiery, swordsmanship and archery or any other form of sport of today we are actively involved in it as against the passive forms of entertainment like watching television, playing computer games and so on and so forth.

Physical fitness flows from discipline skills. These skills include the ability to organize our life to meet our basic needs adequately, rest, diet, health, hygiene, exercise, reading, prayer, etc. It will help if we draw up an action programme for the acquisition of self-discipline skills. Two important moments of the day are when we get up in the morning and when we go to sleep. In the morning, when we are fresh from sleep, we can resolve to practice this self-discipline and at night we can ask ourselves an account of how have we practised them. Then we may resolve for the following day and go on disciplining ourselves.

Of course, some of you who are reading this are already doing all these because you are at a higher level of functioning and are trying to actualize your potential but this is just a humble effort to share some of my views with all of you.

For Sikhs this is what HOLA day signifies, to make our self externally and internally strong and not by merely wasting our life and doing the things blindly what others do that bear no fruits.
So, let all of us try to be Victorious by overcoming our evils, our own enemies Kaam, Krodh, Lob, Moh & Aanhkar.

|| kaam kroDh lobh moh jeetahu aisee khayl har pi-aaree|| (Ang 1185 SGGS)
Conquer sexual desire, anger, greed and worldly attachment; only such a game as this is dear to the Lord.

|| janam padaarath jin chali-aa naanak aa-i-aa so parvaan thi-aa. || (Ang 1007 SGGS)
Those who depart after having been victorious in this priceless human life - O Nanak, their coming into the world is approved.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Student Akhand Paath

Sukha Singh the light glowing from his head.

Harjeet Singh from KCL getting his best side on camera!

The Singhs Cooking !! (I gave them lessons before I left!)

Mumeet Penjee Teaching the Singhs with the Velna

Sody Singh Burning the parshadai. Dont Blame me Singh!! LOL :P
More Info on

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cure of Cancer - Power of God

Power of God

Gurbani as a cure of cancer.

When recitation of Gurbani cured me of deadly cancer, I experienced God. If God is with
me, who can be against me? Not even the deadliest disease of cancer can take my life away and that is exactly the divinely inspiring message of the truly miraculous story of my victorious battle against bone cancer which was medically diagnosed to be multiple myloma.

It was the continuous recitation of Gurbani that not only cured me of bone cancer that had already destroyed most of my bones in my skeleton, but also shattered my will to live. The blessings of Guru Granth Sahib not only triggered and accelerated the processes of complete and total cure in my body, but the Guru also enabled me to experience God. This also inspired me to pursue Nam therapy to totally and permanently get rid of otherwise fatal bone cancer.

Can Shabad-Kirtan and faithful recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib save me from fatal clutches of cancer? Can such a miracle happen?

These were the posers that repeatedly crossed my mind and also dominated my dreams. Initially, I dismissed such ideas and being a science researcher with American educational background, I did not even believe in the existence of god. I have always been taught by my American scientists, teachers and professors that our life and the universe are governed by the irrefutable and irreversible laws of science and that God was nothing but a 'concept' or an illusion invented by timid and non-scientific minds. Hence, I have never been to any place of worship and also never prayed. But not anymore.

It was April 27th 2002 when three different teams of oncologists and hematologists from Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad presented me with the unanimous medical investigation reports based on their repeatedly unanimous findings, they passed their judgment with one voice that my life is going to end in a few days as the deadly cancer called multiple myloma has ruined most of my bones that are functionally vital for my survival. On April 29th , I had completed three and half years of painful life as a terminally bed-ridden cancer patient. I was slowly dying of cancer. The bony structures of my right ear had been eaten away by bone cancer that gave me total deafness in my right ear. Repeated audio graphs done by several E.N.T. surgeons proved beyond doubt that the decibel loss was irreversible and so immense that Dr. A.B.R. Desai in Mumbai, who is reputed to be the final authority on E.N.T. ailments, told me that there was something very tragically wrong with the bones in my right year and after trying several treatments, Dr. Desai told me that he has no medicine for my ailment and that I will never be able to hear with my right ear. The reputed E.N.T. surgeon Dr. Farida Wadia of civil hospital was of the opinion that if the loss of hearing in the right year was not due to nerve deafness and was really a symptomatic manifestation of some un-diagnosed ailment then the hearing will return after that un-diagnosed ailment is cured. Is she blessed with 6th, 7th and 8th sense? I guess say so because that is exactly how the events ran their course.

Dr. Farida Wadia was also using her imagination like telescope in time and exactly predicting things which were yet to come. Later, it was Dr. Kiran Shah, the senior most reputed oncologist hematologist in Surat who himself performed bone marrow analysis and gave me the shocking news that I am not only suffering from bone cancer called multiple myloma but the cancer has already destroyed much my vital bones. As per his advise, electrophoresis of the blood and MRI - [ magnetic resonance imaging] - of brain and skull as well as Citi Scan were also done at Mahavir General Hospital which confirmed beyond doubt that I am slowly but surely dying of bone cancer. I had been loosing appetite and had developed dislike for food. [anorexia nervosa] in between, I had also suffered from tumor on the right side of my head which gave me excruciating headache and giddiness. I lost orientation and would fall after walking for 30 seconds. As soon as cancer was diagnosed, I was immediately admitted to government civil hospital and six chemotherapy sessions were administered – one every 28th day. This further destroyed my appetite and all the hair on my head and body were gone. I suffered these agonies for more than three and half years when on April 27th 2002, three teams of doctors and oncologists advised me that I should prepare my will as I had only a few days left.

Now, this was the phase when the divine miracle began to take shape. It was Sardar Kesar Singh, the owner of reputed " Kwality Group of Hotels and Restaurants" in Surat and his son Sardar Manjeet Singh, who suggested to me that I should undertake a pilgrimage to the holy Golden Temple at Amritsar and offer Akhand Paath and Ardaas with complete faith and total devotion and pray before Sri Guru Granth Sahib to cure me of my cancer and bless me with good vibrant health and long life to remain in his service. I initially, took this suggestion very lightly and argued back that I do not understand Punjabi or Gurmukhi and would therefore, not follow any word of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and whatever brief knowledge of Sikhism and Sri Guru Granth Sahib I acquired was in April of 1999, when I wrote six researched articles on the 300 years of Khalsa celebrations published in the Indian press. But, Sardar Kesar Singh, who is also the president of Gurdwara at Udhana-Surat, convinced me that Sri Guru Granth Sahib's blessings are not restricted to those who speak or understand Punjabi or Gurmukhi. It is the faith and sincere devotion to the Guru which makes you worthy of his blessings.

I found Sardar Kesar Singh's advice very much inspiring. Moreover, my sister-in-law Miss Kunti, a staunch devotee of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and a faithful follower of principles of Sikhism since her childhood, was equally instrumental in motivating me to undertake this pilgrimage. She taught me the basic philosophy of Sikhism and brought me a copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in English. My mother-in-law Ms.Shanti Hotchand Khatri, have a separate room at their bungalows at Baroda where they offer prayers, Ardaas and listen to Shabad Kirtans every early morning. Their persuasion proved to be decisive.

So we left by Golden Temple Mail express train which departed from Surat at around 1-15 a.m. on April 29th 2002. We were received by the staff of Golden Temple and particularly Sardar Diljeet Singh Bedi who is in charge of liaisons with press and the public. Myself being a leading journalist, foreign-educated researcher and U.S.A. trained science writer, was given a VIP treatment and given accommodation in room no. 16 of Sri Arjan Dev Niwas. Since I had only a few days to live according to my doctors, they quickly made preparations for Akhand Paath and Ardaas after I paid Rs 2100 as fees. My wife Kanta, my daughter Halley and my brother-in-law's daughter Puja also sat with me. I was permitted to photograph and tape-record entire Akhand Paath as well as Shabad Kirtans which I wanted to keep listening till I was to breathe my last on my death - bed.

But I was never to be lying on my death-bed because the moment the Granthi started reciting the Akhand Paath , I began to feel streams of energy entering and flowing thru my body. It rose majestically from the pages of Shri Guru Granth Sahib like a serene cool flame of light entering my body through my fingers. The excruciating pain which I had suffered while struggling to reach the Golden Temple also disappeared. After 48 hours, I got up on my own two feet and began to feel and enjoy such vibrant health that I almost ran with joy towards Sri Arjan Dev Niwas and quickly climbed the stairs to my room no. 16. My appetite returned. I first took bath and then visited Jaliyanwala Bagh and then went to the 'Hotel Cityheart' and for the first time in three and half years I enjoyed a variety of Punjabi and Chinese foods which I had missed like deserts miss the rains.

We returned to Surat on 18th May 2002 and on 25th May again bone marrow analysis and electrophoresis tests were done on my body. No cancer was detected. Hence, to obtain second medical opinion, the samples were sent to Mumbai and Ahmedabad and medical doctors there also confirmed that the bone cancer is gone. My oncologist at Ahemedabad Dr. Pankaj Shah was preparing for stem cells transplant on me which was to have cost me Rs. nine lakhs. The entire medical world was taken by surprise. All doctors agreed that this is, indeed, a miracle because there is no medicine in Allopathy that can cure deadly cancer within 48 hours and effect a 180 degree change. The latest electrophoresis : serum protein test done is dated April 7th 2003 at Abha Clinical Laboratory. The doctors have signed this medical test report with comments: " no myeloma band."

I have preserved all the medical reports and x-rays done before and after the Akhand Paath and Ardaas at Golden Temple and they all tell the true story of my miraculous cure. Ever since this miracle, I am not only experiencing Guru's vibrations within me but also feel God's spiritual energy within me which inspires me and guides me in thought and deed, and vibrate in unison with him. I am joyfully back to " cheers and gears of life.", soulfully sharing my God-Given spiritual energy with those who love and faithfully listens to Guru Granth Sahib and enrich their mind, body and soul with divinely vibrant health.

Now, I am enjoying the life of guru-inspired faith and taking Sri Guru Granth Sahib and God as my constant companion. It is the miracle and the divine magnetic spell of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which I also realized through Nam therapy that has not only blessed me with healthy life but considering my greatly vibrant health, spiritual strength and new youthful looks and glamorous shining black hair, the same oncologists tell me that I am totally free of all kinds of diseases. I myself feel so close to the Guru that something tells me that I will live for 125 years and remain in Guru's service and bring true love, happiness and inspiration to all my friends.

My life has taken a spiritual turn. I get sound sleep without any sleeping pills. Since 25th April 2002, I am no longer on any medicine. I read Nitnem and get sound sleep and get up early to read Paath and enjoy Shabad Kirtan on Punjabi TV channel. Guru's teachings have gone a long way in dispelling the darkness of ignorance. Guru has not only changed my destiny but made me a devotee with the faith that is not blind but enlightened.

So often, I see and meet Gurus in my dreams and they taught me a new healthy life-style to give happiness to others. I am never angry. I have no bad habits and always remain jovial. Now, my motto is: ' people enjoy the happiness they feel. But I enjoy the happiness I give. Guru's one of the teachings says : " Kirat Karani and Wand Chhakana." - meaning: earn the fruits of your hard work ‘Naam Japana’; and share your fruits with others with love. I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when he is silent. There is one God. God is truth. He is the creator of the universe and all beings. He is without fear and without hatred. He is the eternal being and the divine soul, birth less, self enlightened. He is enemy to none. Through grace of the Satguru he is met. Diseases and sins are destroyed by hearing the name of God says Guru Nanak. The Name, revealed to me by Guru's advice, is the breath of my life and the praise of the lord is my life's vocation. "Truth is great but greater than truth is truthful living." says Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Khalsa belongs to [the wondrous guru ] God; all victory of is the victory of [the Wondrous guru ] Wahe Gurujika Khalsa- Wahe Guruji ki Fateh.

Mr Vasu Bhardwaj
Journalist, Science Writer, Corporate Analyst
701-Chinmaya Apartment, Anand Mahal Road, Behind Bhulka
Bhavan, Adajan, Surat, Gujarat-395009
Tel: 0261 – 2690033, 0261 - 224 00 99
Mobile: 09825113636

Taken from:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Some quotes I found intresting. I have also added quote of the day, should change daily. :) Click here for more.

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
Blaise Pascal

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
Kahlil Gibran

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Susan Ertz

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing. Maurice Maeterlinck

Faith is a commitmant to the world's transformation through GOD to a kingdom of justice and peace.

The highest of distinctions is service to others

Don't tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is!

Sweetness and humility is the essence of virtue. ( Guroo Nanak Dev Jee )

"Life is like a game of cards; the cards represent the materiality of existence, the hand you are dealt the element of chance and the way you play the game free will!"
(Gurnam Singh 2003)

Monday, March 06, 2006

SGPC Changing Maryada

Change in Maryada draws criticism
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, March 5

The amendment in the Sikh 60-year-old Rehat Maryada by the SGPC has evoked a strong reaction from Sikh intellectuals.
Mr Gurcharnjit Singh Lamba, a Sikh intellectual and Editor of monthly ‘Sant Sipahi’, has said the Sikh Maryada was formulated after marathon discussions and hence any amendment without taking the Sikh Panth into confidence was unacceptable to the sangat. He was here today to pay his obeisance at Harmandar Sahib.

A comparative study of two versions of the ‘Sikh Rehat Maryada’ - one of 1945 and the recent one published by the SGPC - shows glaring discrepancies.
Questioning the wisdom of changing the Article on re-marriage, Mr Lamba alleged the amendment was aimed to benefit certain influential persons who had indulged in bigamy. The original Rehat Maryada clearly mentions that no Sikh could remarry when his wife was alive. However, the amended Maryada has added the word ‘generally’ that reads, “Generally, no Sikh should marry a second wife if the first wife is alive.”

Another glaring amendment in the new version is on the definition of a Sikh. The Punjabi version of the original Maryada gives the definition of a Sikh as “Any human being who believes in all Sikh Gurus in One Immortal Being, (ii.) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, (iii.) Guru Granth Sahib, and the utterances and teachings of the 10 Gurus and baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh.

However, the amended Punjabi version has deleted ‘Dassan’ (meaning all 10 from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh).

Mr Lamba further alleges that the deletion of ‘plucking of gray hair’ from the new version of Maryada was a blunder on the part of the SGPC.
He also criticised a section of the Sant Samaj for pursuing its own Maryada which was in sharp contrast to the original version, passed with the consent of the Sikh sangat.

Unbelievable they had the nerve to even think about changing it. AGPC are just meant to distribute the Panthic maryada which was decided upon on by Sarbat Khalsa. They actually have the nerve shows how free Sri Akal Takath Sahib is. If the Jathedar isn’t under any prabandi (restrictions) he will summon the head of SGPC and punish them but I really doubt the happening. Its so fustrating its hard enough getting the Panth to follow Rehit Maryada which was at the time formed collectively by the panth. Today people have formed there on sects, and dera passing of there own mardyadas as the ones from times of Guroo Gobind Singh Sahib. How messed can we get its unbelievable.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Most Difficult Test: Bhai Manjh

The Most Difficult Test: Bhai Manjh
Researched and Written by Admin


In the time of Guru Arjan Dev jee, there was a powerful and rich Jat by the name of Teeratha. Teeratha was a follower of the Muslim sect of Sakhee Sarvar. He was the local leader of this sect and had hundreds of followers who all respected him. Teeratha would regularly lead the members of this sect on a pilgrimage to the main Sakhee Sarvar shrine now in Pakistan.

Meeting the Guru

Once when passing through Amritsar, Teeratha decided to visit Guru Arjan. He had heard that there was a great Guru who had a large following and this Guru was spiritually enlightened. He was curious to know who this Guru was and what he would say. He decided to stop off and see the Darbar of Guru Arjan. When he saw the Darbar, he saw that people of many different backgrounds, and castes were all sitting together and living in harmony. He also heard the keertan in the darbaar and the keertan left a permanent mark on him. He heard of the great gift of naam and the thirst to have this gift rose within him. He was the leader of hundreds of Sakhee Sarvar followers but he could no longer follow that path. He realised that Sikhee was the path he must follow.

He came to Guru Arjan Dev jee and introduced himself. Guru jee saw how rich and powerful Teeratha was and when Teeratha begged for naam and to be initiated into the Sikh faith, Guru jee replied, "Being a Sikh is no easy thing. The path is finer than a hair and sharper than the khanda. The primary principle of Sikhee is humility." Teeratha again repeated his request. Guru Arjan Dev jee then said, "Why do you want to be a Sikh? You are a rich and powerful man with hundreds of followers. You can continue on the easy path of Sakhee Sarvar, because the Sikh path is very hard. If you become a Sikh, you will lose your followers and all their respect and you will lose your wealth as well. You may even have to pay for this decision with your life. What use is there in becoming a Sikh for you?" But Teeratha was insistent he begged that nothing mattered. If he lost everything it would not matter, he needed naam. With tears in his eyes he begged for naam. Guru Arjan Dev jee accepted his request and initiated him into Sikhee and gave him Naam.

Teeratha decided to not return home and took leave of his followers. He decided to stay with the Guru for some time. The Sikhs knew that Teeratha was from the Manjh clan and began to call him Bhai Manjh. Bhai Manjh did seva in the darbaar and one day Guru Arjan Dev jee called him and asked him to return to his village and preach Sikhee to his old followers.

Return to the Village and Disaster

Bhai Manjh returned to his village and began the work of preaching Sikhee to the followers of Sakhee Sarvar. In his home, there was a shrine to Sakhee Sarvar which was revered by all the local followers. Bhai Manjh reached home and immediately had it demolished. Many of his old followers who had considered him a Guru heard Bhai Manjh's message that Guru Arjan was the true Satguru and the source of all happiness. They too decided to become Sikhs and began to recite baaNee. Bhai Manjh and the new devotees of the Guru decided to build a Dharamshaala (Sikh place of gathering) in the village where they could daily meet and do sangat.

While the construction of the Dharamshala was still going on, some Sakhee Sarvar leaders came to the village and saw that so many followers had become Sikhs. They spoke to Bhai Manjh and asked him to renounce Sikhee or face a terrible price. They said that he was powerful and a high official in the Sakhee Sarvar sect and he would lose all this if he did not come to his senses. Bhai Manjh sent them away and was insistent that he would remain a Sikh. The Sakhee Sarvar leaders left the village but heaped countless curses on Bhai Manjh and vowed that he would regret his decision.

Within a few days of this event, one night, all of Bhai Manjh's cattle died. It was unexplainable how all cattle could die in one night. In the following nights, cattle began to die in neighbouring houses as well. The villagers began to believe that perhaps the curse of Sakhee Sarvar was responsible and by becoming Sikhs and destroying the shrine, they had made a serious mistake. More and more cattle began to die each night and the villagers decided to break off from Bhai Manjh. They declared that they had nothing to do with Bhai Manjh and his new religion. They removed him from his position as village head. Bhai Manjh now began to lose his wealth as well and soon poverty entered his home.


Before, poor and needy people used to come to Bhai Manjh to request for help and money. People would still come now but he himself was living in abject poverty. Bhai Manjh had absolutely no extra wealth to give to anybody. Bhai Manjh was in a desperate situation and he decided to visit the new village head. Bhai Manjh offered his home to be rented out for some money so he could feed his family. The village head agreed to the proposal but added the condition that Bhai Manjh's wife would become his housemaid. His wife would be paid for her labour as well.

Bhai Manjh returned home absolutely shattered. He was once the most powerful man in the village and today he was being forced to make his wife a maid. When Bhai Manjh's wife asked him what the village head had said. Bhai Manjh haltingly explained the offer he was given. Bhai Manjh's wife listned and then said that in such hard times she too was willing to make sacrifices and if they had to lower their dignity by doing a job such as that of maid, then so be it. They had to marry off the ir young daughter and needed money to raise their family. Bhai Manjh's wife agreed to go work for the village head.

Bhai Manjh fell asleep that night in deep sadness. The next morning his wife would leave to begin her new job. He thought of Guru Arjan and wondered why the Guru would put his Sikh through such pain. How could the Guru allow him to see such days? Then understanding dawned: this must be the Guru's test. The Guru had said that he would have to sacrifice his all for Naam. Bhai Manjh was determined not to fail this test. He felt shame that he had ever questioned the will of the Guru.

Serving the Guru

The next morning Bhai Manjh's wife gathered her clothes and left for the village head's home. Bhai Manjh decided to also leave the village. He left for Amritsar with his daughter and decided to spend his time doing seva. Bhai Manjh began to take the seva of bringing wood for the langar, cleaning the dishes, serving the visiting sangat and any other seva he could find. The Guru too heard of Bhai Manjh's sevaa. He called Bhai Manjh to come see him.

Bhai Manjh and his daughter appeared before the Guru and bowed. They stood before Satguru Arjan and waited for him to speak. Guru Arjan asked, "Bhai Manjh, where do you eat?" Bhai Manjh replied, "Satguru, I eat from your langar…"

Guru Arjan jee then said, "well then, what you do is nothing but wage-labour isn't it?"

The sangat was stunned. They knew Bhai Manjh had sacrificed his entire wealth and prestige to become a Sikh and now did more seva than anyone else in the Darbaar. How could Guru jee have humiliated him like this in front of everyone? After all, the Langar was open to everyone, why would Guru jee say such a thing?

Bhai Manjh was once a powerful and proud aristocrat with hundreds of followers. He now hung his head and then said, "Satguru, you are wise. Please give me the wisdom to understand and accept your Hukam." Guru jee did not reply. Bhai Manjh then bowed and took his leave with his daughter.

Bhai Manjh now decided to no longer eat in the langar. He decided to collect two bundles of wood from now on and he would give one to the langar and sell the other to earn his living and use it to purchase his food. Bhai Manjh's daughter asked her father why the Guru was so merciless to him. Bhai Manjh immediately replied, "No no! The Guru is merciful. He is testing our faith. We can not fail."

The Final Test

Bhai Manjh would rise early and begin to collect wood for seva and also to sell. After giving the first bundle and selling the second, the two would return to the Darbaar and do seva all day. He would put all his extra money into the Golak. Guru jee once came to Bhai Manjh and asked why he still stayed despite being so poor and having lost everything. Guru jee said he should go home. Bhai Manjh replied, "Mahaaraaj, please never speak of having to leave your feet. Sachay Patshah, worldly wealth is a dream and so it comes and goes. Nothing is lost. I have lost my worldly wealth and found your true treasure of Naam. No thief will take this treasure from me and no King will seize it. " Guru jee gave his blessings to Bhai Manjh and moved on.

One day early in the morning when Bhai Manjh was going to the langar to give wood, such a dust storm arose that he could see nothing. Bhai Manjh stumbled and fell into a well. Day broke and Bhai Manjh still had not returned and everyone understood he must be in trouble. The Sikhs began to search for him and heard him call out from the well. One Sikh ran to Guru Arjan to tell him what had happened and Guru jee immediately dashed bare foot to the well. They threw a rope into the well and asked Bhai Manjh to pull himself out. Bhia Manjh jee called from the depth of the well, "Please, first pull the wood out for the langar! If they become wet, they will be of no use and not burn. If I am wet, nothing will happen." Bhai jee tied the wood bundle to the rope and had it pulled out. Only then did Bhai Manjh pull h imself out.

When Bhai Manjh climbed out of the well, Guru Arjan was standing before him. Bhai Manjh fell at Guru jee's feet. Guru Arjan asked, "Bhai Manjh! What have you gained by following me? You have lost your wealth, your status, and even your wife. You have lost everything!"

Bhai Manjh held Guru jee's feet even tighter and with tears in his eyes replied, "No Satguru! I have not lost anything. I have only gained. Please don't push me away, this is my only request of you…"

Guru Arjan Dev jee then said, "Bhai Manjh, your sevaa has borne fruit. Ask for anything you want."

Bhai Manjh replied, "Guru jee, bless me that I may never want anything. May I always be content"

Guru jee replied, "It will happen as you request. But still, request something Bhai Manjh…"

Bhai Manjh then said, "If you are happy with me, then have this mercy. It is Kaljug. Please do not scold and test so harshly. May your Sikhs not have to bear such hardships."

Guru Maharaj again said, "This too will happen, but still request something Bhai Manjh." Bhai Manjh finally replied, "May my consciousness remain at your feet and may I never forget the meditation of your Naam. If you wish to bless me, then bless me with gift of limitless faith."

Guru Arjan heard these words and then said, "Manjh is the beloved of the Guru and the Guru is beloved of Manjh. Manjh is the ferry of the Guru who will ferry across the world ocean."

Guru Arjan sent Bhai Manjh home and told him all had been returned. Bhai Manjh did not understand how this would be possible, but had complete faith in the Guru.

Everything Restored

Bhai Manjh's wife had been working in the house of the village head and she made such an impression on him that he decided to make her his sister. He requested that she take the responsibility of raising his only son. He also gave back Bhai Manjh's home where she could raise the boy. Bhai Manjh returned home and was informed of all that h ad happened and was stunned.

Bhai Manjh never left the support of the Guru. Even at the darkest time he had faith it was all a test and if he stayed firm in his faith, nothing would happen to him. Bhai Manjh was appointed the entire Doaba area to preach Sikhee and he opened a Dharamshaalaa in his home. The langar that Bhai jee opened was famous all around. Many people became Sikhs because of his parchaar. When Guru Arjan Dev jee came to visit the Doaba area in 1596, he made a point of specially visiting Bhai Manjh and praised him for his parchaar.

Bhai Manjh jee is the embodiment of faith and perseverance. Nothing in life could turn him away from the Guru and in the end, the Guru kept and protected his Sikh.