Saturday, October 27, 2007



Spiritual awakening comes to one, who sacrifices his personal life to the great cause of compassion.  One who purifies his heart from all the dross of passions and frees his mind from all delusions of vanity and prejudice is on the road to spirituality. It enables the individual to discern his or her right path in life and to discriminate between true and false. It is an unconflicted state where emotional response and rational assessment speak with the same voice. The moral laws of Sikh way of life or principles provide us the strength to fulfill our imperfect duties. 

ਸਾ ਸਿਧਿ ਸਾ ਕਰਮਾਤਿ ਹੈ ਅਚਿੰਤੁ ਕਰੇ ਜਿਸੁ ਦਾਤਿ
ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਏਹਾ ਸਿਧਿ ਏਹਾ ਕਰਮਾਤਿ
Sā siḏẖ sā karmāṯ hai acẖinṯ karė jis ḏāṯ, Nānak gurmukẖ har nām man vasai ėhā siḏẖ ėhā karmāṯ.

The supernatural  and miraculous powers (spirituality) is the Naam of the Divine, which is spontaneously conferred upon and lodged in the heart of Guru oriented by God under Master’s guidance says Nanak.     -----Guru Amar Das, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 65

Spirituality can be defined as the self connected by consciousness to The Higher Power. We are all part of the One Spirit or Universal Consciousness. When one experiences the true meaning of spirituality, which is to know God, one will realize that It exists equally and impartially in all beings.

It is generally misunderstand by many as individuals trying to buy or bribe the Higher Power through Akhand Paths etc. as they know nothing about its reality, and are living in their own world of fantasy.  One needs to learn what is blocking his/her spiritual progress. Without this knowledge one may continue living in spiritual ignorance

Misunderstandings or Ignorance about spirituality:
    Any religion per se does not have any monopoly over spirituality.  One can be spiritual without belonging to a religion. All religions in the world are supposed to help men to progress in spirituality. Instead they are being institutionalized to control people. They are on the wrong track causing many of the present conflicts in the world.
  1. Spirituality cannot be divorced from character and ethical side of life as pointed by Guru Nanak in his Japji.
  2. Spirituality is not attained without the grace bestowed by God.
  3. For Grace to be bestowed one has to be become a better person (ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ) after  cleansing the inner self. 
    God cannot be fooled or bribed  by any one seeking to fulfill his/her desires or asking for rewards. 
ਧਰਮੀ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਵਹਿ ਮੰਗਹਿ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ
ਜਤੀ ਸਦਾਵਹਿ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਛਡਿ ਬਹਹਿ ਘਰ ਬਾਰੁ ॥
Dharmee Dharam Karahi Gaavaaveh Mangeh Mokh Du-aar. Jaṯī saḏāvėh jugaṯ na jāṇėh cẖẖad bahėh gẖar bār.

The righteous waste their righteousness, by asking for the door of salvation. They call themselves celibate, and abandon their homes, but they do not know the true way of life.-----Guru Nanak Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 469-3

One should learn to unclutter the mind and simplify the intended effort for spiritual progress. As one relies less and less on the things mentioned above, effort becomes more powerful and direct. One finds that the quality of one’s consciousness is more potent than any technique, theory or individual literal interpretations of the hymns of AGGS. All Sikh Gurus stressed internal piety, which is the pre-requisite for spiritual progress.
Actually we all are at different steps of spiritual growth, and thus we cannot compare one with the other. An individual is the only one of his/her kind in this world.

First we have to make a fearless and searching moral inventory of our selves. We have to take the stock honestly. We have to search for flaws in our make up which caused our failure. We are convinced that self manifested in various ways. Self-will is the root cause of our troubles, manifested by our resentments, our fears, our sex conduct and harm towards others. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.

Three basic instincts characterize the human self:

1.      The social instinct.
2.      The security instinct.
3.      The sex instincts.

These are needed for the survival of the human race.  But when used selfishly or incorrectly, they can bring harm to others. In our selfish attempt to satisfy these instincts, we are in constant conflict with others. We all should be concerned with our own inventories rather than those of the others.  The latter is more common in self-centered people.

ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਪੂਰਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਘਟਿ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਆਖੈ
ਪਤਿ ਪਰਵਾਣਾ ਪਿਛੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਤਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੋਲਿਆ ਜਾਪੈ
Sabh Ko Poora Aapay Hovea, Ghat Na Koey Akhai, Pat Parvaanaa Pichhai Paa-ee-ai Taa Nanak Toli-aa Jaapai.

Every one calls himself perfect none calls himself imperfect. If the weight of honor is placed on the scale, then, O Nanak, one sees his true weight.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 469-4

ਅਪਰਾਧੀ ਦੂਣਾ ਨਿਵੈ ਜੋ ਹੰਤਾ ਮਿਰਗਾਹਿ
ਸੀਸਿ ਨਿਵਾਇਐ ਕਿਆ ਥੀਐ ਜਾ ਰਿਦੈ ਕੁਸੁਧੇ ਜਾਹਿ
ApraaDhee Doonaa Nivai Jo Hantaa Miragaahi, Sees Nivaa-eai Kia Thia Ja Ridai Kasudhay Jaa-eh.

The sinner, like the deer hunter, bows down twice as much. But what can be achieved by bowing the head, when the heart is impure?-----Guru Nanak, Asa Di Var, AGGS, Page, 470-15                           
Ways to learn tolerance, patience and goodwill towards all:

Now you have swallowed and digested big chunks of Truth about yourself. This kind of analysis is not about who you are but about whom you are not.  It is about house cleaning, throwing out the rubbish.  It is not about re-arranging the old stuff.  One cannot be helpful to all people, but can at least ask God to show him how to be kind and tolerant of every one.  “Thy will be done,” is an important maxim of Sikhism:
ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ
ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ
Ghal Khaa-ey Kich Hathoh Day, Nanak Raah Pachanai Say

One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has, O Nanak, he knows the Path.-----Guru Nanak, AGGS, Page, 1245-19

ਆਈ ਪੰਥੀ ਸਗਲ ਜਮਾਤੀ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ
Aayee Panthi Sagal Jmaatee Man Jeetai Jug Jeet.

Let all mankind be thy one sect. Conquering thus thyself, may thou be the emperor of the world.-----Guru Nanak, Japji, AGGS, Page, 6-17

ਇਹੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੈ
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਠਾਕੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ਮਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਆਵੈ
Ih Manoo-aa Ki-o Kar Vas Aavai, Gur Parsaadee Thaakee-ai Gi-aan Matee Ghar Aavai.

How can the mind be brought under control? By Guru's Grace, it is held in check; instructed in spiritual wisdom, it returns to its home.-----Guru Amar Das, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 426-11

ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਾਨੁਖੁ ਭਇਆ ਜੋ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੋ ਲੋਰੈ
ਰੈਣਿ ਅੰਧਾਰੀ ਕਾਰੀਆ ਕਵਨ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਭੋਰੈ
ਭ੍ਰਮਤੋ ਭ੍ਰਮਤੋ ਹਾਰਿਆ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਿਧੀ ਕਰਿ ਟੋਰੈ
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਭਈ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਨਿਧਿ ਮੋਰੈ
Agiani Manukh Bhaiaa Jo Nahin So Lorai, Rain AnDhaaree Kaaree-aa Kavan Jugat Jit Bhorai, Bharmato Bharmato Haari-aa Anik BiDhee Kar Torai, Kaho Nanak Kirpaa Bha-ee SaaDhsangat NiDh Morai.

Humanity is in spiritual ignorance; people see things that do not exist. The night is dark and gloomy; how will the morning dawn? Wandering, wandering all around, I have grown weary; trying all sorts of things, I have been searching. Says Nanak, God has shown mercy to me that I have found the treasure of the Company of the Holy.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 212-11

Anger and resentment can be major road blocks in one’s path of spirituality.

ਬਸਇ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਸਰੀਰਿ ਚੰਡਾਰਾ

ਅਗਿਆਨਿ ਨ ਸੂਝੈ ਮਹਾ ਗੁਬਾਰਾ

ਭ੍ਰਮਤ ਬਿਆਪਤ ਜਰੇ ਕਿਵਾਰਾ

ਜਾਣੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਦਰਬਾਰਾ

Bas-i KaroDh Sareer Chandaaraa, Agiaan Na Soojhai Maha Gubara. Bẖarmaṯ bi▫āpaṯ jare kivārā. Jāṇ na pā▫ī▫ai parabẖ ḏarbārā.

Anger is the outcaste which hides within the body and the individual does not understand being in ignorance. Afflicted by doubt, the shutters are shut tight; he cannot go to God's Court.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Suhi, AGGS, Page, 759-14

ਸੰਮਨ ਜਉ ਇਸ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀ ਦਮ ਕ੍ਯ੍ਯਿਹੁ ਹੋਤੀ ਸਾਟ  
ਰਾਵਨ ਹੁਤੇ ਸੁ ਰੰਕ ਨਹਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਿਰ ਦੀਨੇ ਕਾਟਿ
Samman ja­o is parėm kī ḏam ki­yahū hoṯī sāt. Rāvan huṯė so rank neh jin sir ḏīnė kāt.

O, Samman, if one could buy God’s love with money; then consider Rawan the king, who was not poor, but he could not buy it, even though he offered his head to Shiva.-----Guru Arjan, Chaubolay Sloke, AGGS, Page, 1363-18

One cannot progress in spirituality by external piety; wearing of religious symbols or robes, performing rituals, buying Akhand Paths, mechanical reading of scriptures, and  by adopting celibacy etc. Guru Nanak discredited the above mentioned things in Raag Asa and Guru Arjan confirms the same in his compositions on the subjects in Raag Parbhati.

ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਮਹਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ
ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਿਸਥਾਰਾ
ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਤਨਿ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਬਣਾਏ
ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਕਬ ਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਏ
ਇਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ
ਭਗਉਤੀ ਮੁਦ੍ਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਮਾਇਆ
ਪਾਪ ਕਰਹਿ ਪੰਚਾਂ ਕੇ ਬਸਿ ਰੇ
ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਇ ਕਹਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਉਤਰੇ
ਬਹੁਰਿ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਸੰਕ
ਜਮ ਪੁਰਿ ਬਾਂਧਿ ਖਰੇ ਕਾਲੰਕ
ਘੂਘਰ ਬਾਧਿ ਬਜਾਵਹਿ ਤਾਲਾ
ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਬੇਤਾਲਾ
ਵਰਮੀ ਮਾਰੀ ਸਾਪੁ ਨ ਮੂਆ
ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੂ ਕੀਆ
ਪੂੰਅਰ ਤਾਪ ਗੇਰੀ ਕੇ ਬਸਤ੍ਰਾ
ਅਪਦਾ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਤੇ ਨਸਤਾ
ਦੇਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪਰਦੇਸਹਿ ਧਾਇਆ
ਪੰਚ ਚੰਡਾਲ ਨਾਲੇ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ
ਕਾਨ ਫਰਾਇ ਹਿਰਾਏ ਟੂਕਾ
ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਮਾਂਗੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਾਵਨ ਤੇ ਚੂਕਾ
ਬਨਿਤਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਬਦ ਨਦਰਿ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ
ਵੇਸਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਹਾ ਦੁਖਿਆਰੀ
Man Meh Krodh Mhaa Ahankaraa, Pooja Kareh Bahut Bistharaa, Kar Isnan Tan Chakar BaNaaey, Antar Ki Mal Kabhi Na Jaaey, It Sanjam Prabh Kin Hi Na Paa-i-aa,Bhag-utee Mudraa Man Mohi-aa Maa-i-aa, Paap Karahi PanchaaN Kay Bas Ray, Tirath Naa-ay Kaheh Sabh Utray, Bahur Kamaaveh Ho-ay Nisank, Jam Pur BaaNDh Kharay Kaalank, ghooghar baaDh bajaaveh taalaa, antar kapat fireh baytaalaa, Varmee Maaree Saap Na Moo-aa, Parabh Sabh Kichh Jaanai Jin Too Kee-aa, PooNar Taap Gayree Kay Bastaraa, Apdaa Kaa Maari-aa Garih Tay Nastaa, Days Chhod Pardayseh Dhaa-i-aa, Panch Chandaal Naalay Lai Aa-i-aa, Kaan Faraa-ay Hiraa-ay Tookaa, Ghar Ghar MaaNgai Tariptaavan Tay Chookaa, Banitaa Chhod Bad Nadar Par Naaree, Vays Na Paa-ee-ai Mahaa Dukhi-aaree.

Within the mind dwell anger and massive ego. Worship services are performed with great pomp and ceremony. Ritual cleansing baths are taken, and sacred marks are applied to the body. But still, the filth and pollution within never depart. No one has ever found God in this way. The sacred ear rings, ritualistic hand gestures, are made, but the mind remains enticed by Maya. They commit sins, under the influence of the five thieves. They bathe at sacred shrines, and claim that everything has been washed off. Then they sin again, without fear of the consequences. The sinners are bound and gagged, and taken to the City of Death. The ankle-bells shake and the cymbals vibrate, but those who have deception within wander lost like demons.  A snake is not killed if one destroys its hole. God, who created you, knows everything. You worship fire and wear saffron colored robes. Stung by your misfortune, you abandon your home. Leaving your own country, you wander in foreign lands. But you bring the five rejects with you. You have split your ears, and now you steal crumbs. You beg from door to door, but you fail to be satisfied. You have abandoned your own wife, but now you sneak glances at other women. God is not found by wearing religious robes; you are utterly miserable!----Guru Arjan, Raag Parbhati, AGGS, Page, 1348-8 

Misunderstandings or Ignorance about spirituality (Contd):    
  1. Sikh spiritual teachers who have been blessed and have had spiritual experience should make an earnest effort to teach spiritual values in the real sense by developing good moral character. The students should be taught to subjugate Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, and Vanity and develop the virtues of Righteousness, Truth, Fortitude, Contentment, and Compassion with humility. “They should keep aloof from the controversial non-spiritual matters."
  2. Even the different postures of piety and sincerity are false till the inner self is calm and clean.
  3. Spirituality can only be attained by controlling the mind, which needs Grace of God. 
ਦਸ ਦਿਸ ਖੋਜਤ ਮੈ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਇ
ਮਨੁ ਬਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹੋਇ
Das Dis Khojat Mai Firio Jut Dekhou Tut So-ay, Man Bus Aavai Nanaka Jay Pooran Kirpa Ho-ay.

I have wandered, searching in the ten directions.   Wherever I look, there I see God. The mind comes to be controlled, O Nanak, if It grants Its Perfect Grace.-----Guru Arjan, Thiti Gauri, AGGS, Page, 298-17
ਤਜਿ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ਲੇਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੋਲਿ
ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਮਹਿ ਤੋਲਿ
Ŧaj abẖimān lėho man mol, Rām nām hirḏė meh ṯol.

Renounce your egotistical pride, and with your mind, purchase God's Name - measure it out within your heart.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 283-4

ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜਿਓ ਅਰੁ ਬੇਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਨਿਵਲਿ ਭੁਅੰਗਮ ਸਾਧੇ
ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਛੁਟਕਿਓ ਅਧਿਕ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਧੇ
ਪਿਆਰੇ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਮੈ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਮ ਅਨੇਕਾ
ਹਾਰਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ 
Path Parhio Ur Bayd Bichario Nival Bhuingam Saadhay, “Panch Jnaa Seo Sung Na Chutkeo Adhik Ahanbudh Baadhay, Piaray Inn Bidh Milan Na Jayee Mai Kee-ay Karam Anekaa, Piaray Inn Bidh Milan Na Jayee Mai Kee-ay Karam Anekaa, Piaray Inn Bidh Milan Na Jayee Mai Kee-ay Karam Anekaa, Haar Pario Suamee Kai Duaarai Deejai Budh Bibaykaa.

They read scriptures, and contemplate the Vedas; they practice the inner cleansing techniques of Yoga, and control of the breath. (This pertains to purchased Paths & Akhand Paths). But they cannot escape from the company of the five passions; they are increasingly bound to egotism. O Beloved, this is not the way to meet God; I have performed these rituals so many times. I have collapsed, exhausted, at the Door of my Master; I pray that It may grant me a discerning intellect.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 641
In daily life individual resentments boils down to “that the person is not acting the way I think he should”. This is rather self-centered.  What we resent in the others are the things that we are struggling with, in ourselves. We are merely seeing in others something we do not like in our selves.

ਕੰਚਨ ਸਿਉ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਹੀ ਤੋਲਿ
ਮਨੁ ਦੇ ਰਾਮੁ ਲੀਆ ਹੈ ਮੋਲਿ
Kanchan Si-o Paa-ee-ai Nahee Tol,  Man Day Raam Lee-aa Hai Mol.

God cannot be obtained by offering your weight in gold. But I have bought God by giving my mind.                                            -----Kabir, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 327-10

ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਜੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਨ ਜਾਨਾਂ
ਲੋਕ ਪਤੀਣੇ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਅਯਾਨਾ
Antar Mail Jay Tirath Naavai Tis Baikunth Na JaanaaN, Lok Pateenay Kachhoo Na Hovai Naahee Raam Ayaanaa.

With filth within the heart, even if one bathes at sacred places of pilgrimage, he shall not go to heaven. Nothing is gained by trying to please others -- God cannot be fooled.-----Kabir, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 484-14
ਸਿਰ ਤਲਵਾਏ ਪਾਈਐ ਚਮਗਿਦੜ ਜੂਹੈ
ਮੜੀ ਮਸਾਣੀ ਜੇ ਮਿਲੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਖੁਡਾਂ ਚੂਹੇ ----ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਰ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਉ ਘਰੁ ਵਿਣੁ ਬੂਹੇ
Sir Talva-ay Paa-ee-ai Chamgidrh Joohai, Marhee MasaNee Jay Milai Vich Khuddan Choohai-----ViN Gur Mukat Na Hova-ee Jeo Ghar ViN Boohay.

If bowing alone could grant liberation then the bats in the forests, which hang from trees upside down, should be the first to be liberated and if liberation could be achieved in the loneliness of crematories than rats should get it in their holes. --- One cannot get liberation without the Guru as a house is useless without a door.-----Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 36, Pauri, 13

The way you are is not the result of what has happened to you, it is the result of what you decide to keep inside of you. Non-consideration of our character defects is every bit as self destructive as denial of them. Admission and attempt to correct these defects is what’s called for to progress in spirituality.


Sikhism is not a theoretical way of life, but is an active faith requiring active participation in its principles by shedding the lower self and rise to a higher stage of Spiritual Joy (ਸਹਜੁ).  Most individuals think that reading AGGS or reciting Nit name will enlighten us.  However, mechanical reading may be the first step but could be a waste of time, if one does not ascend to the next step of understanding the message with deliberation, contemplation, and reflection of the teachings in daily life. Only when the teachings are lived in, thought, word, spirit, and deed, do these lead to internal cleanliness and prepare one to qualify to receive God’s Grace. We may be no saints nor become so; still we must be willing to grow spiritually. The principles laid down in AGGS are guides to progress, but   the decision and the will to advance belong to the individual. Higher Power is the voice of the Divine in man.  It can also be the voice of men who have progressed spiritually enough that their mind has become one with the higher consciousness of the God within.

ਸਾਧਿਕ ਸਿਧ ਲਖੈ ਜਉ ਭੇਉ
ਆਪੇ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਦੇਉ
Sāḏẖik siḏẖ lakẖai ja­o bẖė­o, Āpė karṯā āpė ḏė­o.

When the strivers and holy seekers come to know the secret of God's mystery, they themselves become the Creator; they themselves become the Divine Master.-----Kabir, Raag Gauri Thiti, AGGS, Page, 343

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