Stop feeding the black dogs

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asa(n)kh malaeshh mal bhakh khaahi
Countless wretches, eating filth as their ration.
-Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 4

Reading through a new book I picked up from a book store over the weekend, I was attracted to much of its content, which relates a lot to what anyone of any religion faces. This book is a Christian one, but I’ve replaced the Christian terminologies to Gurmat ones so that as Sikhs we can relate to the message. I found the folling passage extremely enlightening because it speaks indirectly and none of us can actually say we didn’t understand.

‘A man asked a wise Indian sage shy he always seemed to make the wrong choices. Even though he knew what was right, he chose to do what was wrong. The old sage looked at him and replied, ‘My son, there are two dongs inside you, a black dog and a white dog. One is good and one is evil. They are constantly at war with each other, fighting to the death. ‘Which one is going to win?’ asked the tormented man. ‘The one you feed,’ the wise man replied.

To satisfy a growling, growing stomach, and having no patience to wait, we reach out to those deep-fried junk food to dance deliciously across the taste buds and seductively make their way down to the stomach. I don’t know is many of you are willing to admit any of this. This hunger, I mean. Many os us are addicts with crazy cravings and a hunger we just can’t seem to fill. Secretly, we’re fat. Although we might not wear it on the outside, God sees it. And I think it makes Him sad.

Let’s be honest. Many of us wait until it’s too late to meet our needs in any other way. We wait so long that no one can see it and say, ‘There really is a better way.’ There in the hollow of our hunger we start our spiral down. And in the hollow of our hunger, it’s not long before we drown.

There in the darkness of yoru secret you pass a parade of junk food before your craving eyes. It may not even be intentional at first. You sit down to do some work and you realise that research couldn’t hurt. So you log on. Read the rest of this entry »

Why some Gurudwaras are failing

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The Hindus have their Mandirs, the Christians their Churches, the Muslims their Mosques and the Sikhs their Gurudwaras. All these congregational centres were meant to unite people of faith and help each other grow in spirituality and stick together in times of trials, tribulations and joy. Though Gurudwaras began to be built much after our Gurus, they have nevertheless played a great role in becoming centres of Sikh teachings and in bringing communities together. Over th past few years, however, an unfortunate trend has begun to come to the fore-front. Majority of Gurudwaras around the world no longer inspire new Sangat, mostly because of the wrong people with incorrect ideas are put in charge of the House of the Guru.

There was a reason why our Gurus did not establish Gurudwaras and the foresight of Guru Gobind Singh Ji was spot on. Guru Ji’s decision to pass the Guruship to the Word of God (Guru Granth Sahib Ji) has saved the Panth from destruction at its own hands. Even today, one can witness the number of sects, deras and self-professed gurus that continue to grow in the same attempts that were made in the times of our Gurus by Prithi Chand, Ram Rai, Dhir Mal, Dattu and the massands. Our Sikh Gurus were appointed by Akaal Purakh to lay the foundations of the Sikh faith and that is why when Guru Gobind Singh Ji, as the last human Guru of the Sikhs, installed Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the final and eternal Guru of the Sikhs, we need to understand the reasons behind that decision and Hukam. Read the rest of this entry »

Sundar Gutka, on the go

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har kathhaa parreeai har naam suneeai baebaan har ra(n)g gur bhaaveae
Read the sermon of the Lord, and listen to the Lord’s Name; the Guru is pleased with love for the Lord.
-Bhatt (Baba) Sundar Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 923

I just came across a link where you can download 23 Banis, which includes the 7 daily Nitnem ones. This is the perfect collection to carry along with you on your iPod or portable mp3 player and listen in to the recitation as you go about your worldly duties. Or simply find a quiet field and lie down on the grass, jog or walk and lose yourself in the Word of the Guru . . .

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Impressions from Kenya’s Sikh Youth Camp

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This year’s Sikh Youth Camp in Kenya was held this August at the historic Gurudwara Makindu Sahib, which is located about 160 miles from the capital city of Nairobi. The camp, a purely Kenyan Sikh initiative and effort, was organised by iSikh (formerly known as Sikh Students Federation, Kenya). Besides the visit of a lecturer from the UK (Dr.D), the rest of the lectures were delivered by Kenyan Sikh youth. Below is a sample of the impressons from the highly successful camp.

makindusahib.jpgkenya-camp-04.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Nanak the Saint, Nanak the Warrior

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Many Sikhs like to draw differences between Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Guru Gobind Singh, citing that Nanak was peaceful, while Gobind was violent. In the first place, there was nothing violent about Guru Gobind Singh Ji – he was a warrior that fought without anger (that begets violence). How can a Guru, who was the 10th Nanak, go back on his own word on kroadh (anger)? He fought with determination, not anger, to conquer the tyrant rule of the Mughals. But today’s Sikhs still argue on the facts of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Khalsa Rehat – Khande-Di-Pahul, maintaining unshorn tresses, and the way of the warrior. Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the same, let there be no doubt about that. There was no contradiction between the message of Guru Nanak and the action of Guru Gobind Singh. If we study deeper into Shabad Gurbani (Guru Granth Sahib Ji) and our history, we will discover that it is indeed true that Guru Nanak’s spirit passed from one Guru to another and now resting in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The bodies of the Gurus were mortal, but the spirit (of God’s Word and Message) was the same and ascending from Guru to Guru, until Guru Gobind Singh Ji sealed the final image of Nanak’s Sikh – in the form of the Khalsa. Now, Guru Nanak’s Sikh (student) was complete – both in Bani (Guru Granth Sahib Ji) and Bana (Khalsa roop).

Firstly, Ganjnama declares that fact that Guru Gobind Singh Ji was indeed the 10th Nanak. Ganjnama, composed by Bhai Nand Lal Goya (one of the 52 poets in the court of Guru Gobind Singh Ji) renders homage to the Sikh Gurus whom the poet recalls in his deep personal devotion and veneration. The poet calls Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the supreme dervish and all his successors being One with him in spirit, embodying the same message. Bhai Nand Lal Goya’s poetry was blessed with the supreme status of having been instructed to Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh Ji that it could be sung along with the compositions of Bhai Gurdas Ji as with the Shabads of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In that respect, Bhai Nand Lal Goya’s writtings are considered as true as Gurbani and accepted that if he vouched that fact of the spirit of Nanak being the same in all the successor Gurus, then it is our loss if we do not believe his word as it was approved by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Read the rest of this entry »

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