Friday, October 26, 2007



Things evolve and change with the time, and with it we discover new strength and resilience.  Rather than being foolhardy and live in the past, it may be better to embrace the change.  One can let go of the past but should not unnecessarily close the door on it.  We can release that which no longer serves us in our growth. Surrender plays an important role in the fulfillment of the purposes of this life.  When we resist change, we do not trust the divine intervention within us.  Those who seem egomaniacs are often struggling to cover their insecurities embedded deep within their personality caused by past or present fear.


Guru Nanak and Guru Ram Das in Raag Asa describes the changes in four ages as the religion started loosing one leg in each age starting from four; leaving only one in the present Dark Age.

During the age of Sat jug all the human beings had contentment and true religion, which was supported by four pillars (Four legs) of Truth.

a) Kindness.
b) Alms giving.
c) Penance.
d) Truth (Naam).

Persons during this age will sing the God's praises and enjoy perfect bliss of life; as their mind was enlightened with divine knowledge. They would perceive the same God pervading every where and were imbued with the four qualities.

During the next stage of Treta jug man depended more on his velour and
bravery and was engaged in developing celibacy for all his actions. True religion was now based on three pillars (3 legs, one being lost).

a) Kindness.
b) Almsgiving.
c) penance.

During the next Duapur Jug man was entangled by sexual pleasures and was filled with doubts, and God appeared in the form of Krishna and in love with Gopis. People got engrossed in penance, by burning continuous fires and performing Yajnas. This resulted in removing two pillars (two legs) and people started depending on two virtues in their spiritual pursuit:
a)      Penance.
b)      Alms giving.

Now the next fourth and present age of Kal jug started with three pillars (3 Legs) missing that is with out contentment, penance and worship as the pillars of true religion. Now the only support left was the pillar of True Name. It is being given the importance and the Guru minded persons are sowing the seeds of “True Name" to get serenity. So in this present age the world is based on one pillar of Truth and True Name and is the only means to get salvation. Guru Nanak in Raag Sorath, Guru Amar Das in Raag Dhanasari ponders:
ਸਚੁ ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੀਤਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਪਾਟੈ
ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਚੋ ਸਚਾ ਤਿਚਰੁ ਜਾਪੀ ਜਾਪੈ ॥੧॥
Sacẖ purāṇā hovai nāhī sīṯā kaḏė na pātai. Nānak sāhib sacẖo sacẖā ṯicẖar jāpī jāpai. ||1||

The Truth does not grow old; and when it is stitched, it is never torn again.  O Nanak, the God and Master is the Truest of the True. While we meditate on God, we see God. ||1||-----Guru Nanak, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 956-1
ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥
ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥
Chauh Joug Meh Anmrit Saachee Baani, Poorai Bhaag Har Naam Samaanee.

In all the four ages, the True Bani (Divine hymns) is the ambrosia. By perfect destiny, one is absorbed in the True Name.-----Guru Amar Das, Raag Dhanasari, AGGS, Page, 665-17

The basic principles of Sikhism are inborn, inherited by each Sikh as vouched in the   guidance by Sabd Guru. The active knowledge of what is right and wrong is present in all Sikhs. The important thing is not who is right but what is right at the present moment. One’s choices should be constructive, not destructive. God cannot be found through arguments says Guru Amar Das in Raag Gauri:
ਵਾਦਿ ਵਿਰੋਧਿ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ
ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਫੀਕਾ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਚਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥੨॥
vāḏ viroḏẖ na pā­i­ā jā­ė Man ṯan fīkā ḏūjai bẖā▫e.Gur kai sabaḏ sacẖ liv lā▫e. ||2||.

Through argument and debate, God cannot be found. The mind and body are made insipid through the love of duality. Through the Word of the Guru's Sabd, lovingly attune yourself to the True God. ||2|| -----Guru Amar Das, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 230-10

Even with the passage of time, others interested in one’s path may keep on perpetuating myths to serve their own ends.  Change is an inevitable fact of life except for God (The Truth), which does not change and does not get old:

ਤੂੰ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਏਕੋ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਤੂੰ ਏਕੋ ਜੀ ਤੂੰ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਸੋਈ
ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋਈ ਵਰਤੈ ਜੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਪੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੁ ਹੋਈ ॥
Ŧūʼn jug jug ėko saḏā saḏā ṯūʼn ėko jī ṯūʼn nihcẖal karṯā so­ī. Ŧuḏẖ āpe bẖāvai so▫ī varṯai jī ṯūʼn āpe karahi so ho▫ī.

Age after age, You are the One. Forever and ever, You are the One. You never change, O Creator God. Whatever pleases You comes to pass. Whatever You Yourself do, happens.-----Guru Ram Das, Sri Raag, AGGS, Page, 11-12

Of course one has to use discernible intellect (ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁੱਧੀ) to go towards right change or wrong change. Choice is yours.

Change must be faced with an open mind and an open heart. We have a choice to fight against the current or accept to go with the flow, to fight it or embrace it.  There is a natural reluctance to change our understanding of the world.

It takes open eyes, ears, and minds to see what is going on and be accepting, rather than rejecting.  One has the opportunity to let go of negative past patterns and embrace new positive paradigms.

Tolerance is based on the firm understanding that perfection is something we all should pursue but none will fully attain. Tolerance comes more naturally to those who are curious and open to different points of view.  It is easier for those who are generous and constantly reaching out, and to those who are humble and recognize their own limitations. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.  By not remembering God one stays poor, says Kabir in Raag Bhairo by comparing the values of both:

ਨਿਰਧਨ ਆਦਰੁ ਕੋਈ ਨ ਦੇਇ
ਲਾਖ ਜਤਨ ਕਰੈ ਓਹੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਧਰੇਇ
ਜਉ ਨਿਰਧਨੁ ਸਰਧਨ ਕੈ ਜਾਇ
ਆਗੇ ਬੈਠਾ ਪੀਠਿ ਫਿਰਾਇ
ਜਉ ਸਰਧਨੁ ਨਿਰਧਨ ਕੈ ਜਾਇ
ਦੀਆ ਆਦਰੁ ਲੀਆ ਬੁਲਾਇ
ਨਿਰਧਨੁ ਸਰਧਨੁ ਦੋਨਉ ਭਾਈ
ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਕਲਾ ਨ ਮੇਟੀ ਜਾਈ
ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਨਿਰਧਨੁ ਹੈ ਸੋਈ
ਜਾ ਕੇ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ
Nirḏẖan āḏar ko­ī na ḏė­ė. Lākẖ jaṯan karai oh cẖiṯ na ḏẖarė­ė. Ja­o nirḏẖan sarḏẖan kai jā­ė. Āgė baiṯẖā pīṯẖ firā­ė. Ja­o sarḏẖan nirḏẖan kai jā­ė. Ḏī­ā āḏar lī­ā bulā­ė. Nirḏẖan sarḏẖan don­o bẖā­ī. Parabẖ kī kalā na mėtī jā­ī. Kahi Kabīr nirḏẖan hai so­ī. Jā kė hirḏai nām na ho­ī.

No one respects the poor man. He may make thousands of efforts, but no one pays any attention to him. When the poor man goes to the rich man, and sits right in front of him, the rich man turns his back on him. But when the rich man goes to the poor man, the poor man welcomes him with respect. The poor man and the rich man are both brothers. God's pre-ordained plan cannot be erased. Says Kabir, he alone is poor, who does not have the Naam, the Name of the God, in his heart.-----Kabir, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1159

One should truly remain in touch with himself, by transmitting information and feelings and by creating dynamic energy to collect the “Social Capital”. There is a difference between preaching one’s religion than living one’s religion as expressed by Guru Arjan in Raag Ramkali:

ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਕਰੇ ਕਰਿ ਲੋਕ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਵੈ
ਅਪਨਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਆਪਿ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ
Upḏės karė kar lok ḏariṛ­āvai, Apnā kahi­ā āp na kamāvai.

You preach to others to have faith, but you do not practice what you preach.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 887-18

At present none of the religions is being practiced according to their respective Holy Scriptures. People who make the effort and try to be better are not on thin ice. In a goal oriented man, his passion has to be expressed in service and action. Honesty begins by being honest with self. Simplicity and balance go hand in hand. “Act in earnest and you will feel earnest.” Any service is useless if done in pride says Guru Arjan in Raag Gauri:
ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਨੇ
ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਬਾਲੂ ਨੀਰਿ ਬਹਾਵਨੇ
AhaN-buDh Karam Kamaavanay, Garih Baaloo Neer Bahaavanay.

Good deeds done in pride of ego are swept away, like the house of sand by water.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 211-3

Negative passion often diverts attention away from the critical issues and areas that demand change. In the heat of the debate, it is easy to lose sight of your own limitations and ignore legitimate conflicting points of view. Winning becomes more important than understanding and leads to unnecessary arguments, that go nowhere in spirituality, says Guru Arjan in Raag Gauri, and Kanrha:

ੜਾੜਿ ਕਰਤ ਸਾਕਤ ਗਾਵਾਰਾ
ਜੇਹ ਹੀਐ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ
ṛāṛ karaṯ sākaṯ gāvārā. Jėh hī­ai ahaʼn­buḏẖ bikārā.

The foolish, faithless cynic picks arguments -- his heart is filled with corruption and egotistical intellect.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 260-4

ਕਰਤ ਕਰਤ ਚਰਚ ਚਰਚ ਚਰਚਰੀ
ਜੋਗ ਧਿਆਨ ਭੇਖ ਗਿਆਨ ਫਿਰਤ ਫਿਰਤ ਧਰਤ ਧਰਤ ਧਰਚਰੀ
ਅਹੰ ਅਹੰ ਅਹੈ ਅਵਰ ਮੂੜ ਮੂੜ ਮੂੜ ਬਵਰਈ
ਜਤਿ ਜਾਤ ਜਾਤ ਜਾਤ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਕਾਲ ਹਈ
ਮਾਨੁ ਮਾਨੁ ਮਾਨੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਮਿਰਤੁ ਮਿਰਤੁ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਸਦਾ ਹਈ
ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਹਰੇ ਭਾਜੁ ਕਹਤੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਮੂੜ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਜਨ ਭਜਨ ਭਜਨ ਅਹਿਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਈ
Karaṯ karaṯ cẖaracẖ cẖaracẖ cẖarcẖarī, Jog ḏẖi­ān bẖėkẖ gi­ān firaṯ firaṯ ḏẖaraṯ ḏẖaraṯ ḏẖarcẖarī, Ahaʼn ahaʼn ahai avar mūṛ mūṛ mūṛ bavra­ī, Jaṯ jāṯ jāṯ jāṯ saḏā saḏā saḏā saḏā kāl ha­ī, Mān mān mān ṯi­āg miraṯ miraṯ nikat nikat saḏā ha­ī, Har harė harė bẖāj kahaṯ Nānak sunhu rė mūṛ bin bẖajan bẖajan bẖajan ahilā janam ga­ī.

The debaters debate and defend their stance. The Yogis and meditators, religious and spiritual teachers roam and ramble, wandering endlessly all over the earth. They are egotistical, self-centered and conceited, foolish, stupid, idiotic and insane. Wherever they go and wander, death is always with them, forever and ever and ever and ever. Give up your pride and stubborn self-conceit. Death, yes, death, is always close and near at hand. Vibrate and meditate on the Eternal Creator God. Says Nanak, listen you fool: without vibrating, and meditating, and dwelling on God, your life is uselessly wasting away. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Kanrha, AGGS, Page, 1308-1, 2, 3, 4

The rigid institutionalized infrastructure of the Sikh religion needs a change with the changing times. The changing reality has to be accepted as a fact and we should learn to live with it in humility since our understanding of the mysteries of life is rather limited. One goal should be happy like a child with a conscience as clean as his.  This may come from mimicking a child’s heart, and adopting his spiritual simplicity. We have to learn to cope with new situations and new people that would face us that we may not like, with changing times. Nobody is perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses that we need to accept and tolerate in a new learning process in which we are all both teachers and students.  It is going to be a life-long learning process. This is New brutal reality.


The emotion of hatred is target-specific. It moves forward with anger, unbridled passion, and fear. The true nobility lies in being spiritually superior to your previous self. Learning to be civil is a slow process.  Still, one needs to be kind.  This world could be just a little bit better by the efforts of each of us with understanding, love, and patience. The later is not granted but learnt. No one can make another feel inferior without his consent as Guru Nanak says in Asa.

ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਪੂਰਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਘਟਿ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਆਖੈ
ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਨਿਵੈ ਆਪ ਕਉ ਪਰ ਕਉ ਨਿਵੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ
Sabẖ ko pūrā āpė hovai gẖat na ko­ī ākẖai. Sabẖ ko nivai āp ka­o par ka­o nivai na ko­ė.

Everyone calls himself perfect; none call themselves imperfect. Everyone bows down to himself; no one bows down to another.------Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 469-4 and 470-14

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