Sunday, May 20, 2018

"I respect Sikhs..."


A few weeks ago, I came across a black gentleman and said "Hi" to him. He put his hands together (like we say Fateh) and said "Hello, Mr Singh". Seeing how friendly the guy was, I stopped to talk to him. He said, "I respect Sikhs you know." 

He was wearing yellow colour trainers that seemed expensive. I made a comment, "I like like your trainers. They look very bright!" He replied, "Mr Singh there is a special story behind these trainers I am wearing." 

He continued, "One day I was walking down Soho Road (in Birmingham). I was walking barefooted because I was not in a good situation. A Sikh gentleman like you, with a turban and flowing beard was walking past me on Soho Road and stopped. He took off his brand new trainers and said that he cannot bare to watch me walk barefooted and that he should kindly accept his trainers." The black gentleman said that he refused at first and told the Singh "I cannot do that. What about you?" He said that the Singh replied, "I cannot bare to watch you walk barefooted, I will be fine brother."

The black gentleman had a huge smile on his face and said, "That's why I respect Sikhs!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A response to hate preacher Narain Daas...

ਕੋਈ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੇ ਪੂਰੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਤਿਸ ਨੋ ਫਿਟੁ ਫਿਟੁ ਕਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
koee nindaa kare poore satiguroo kee, tis no fitth fitth kahai sabh sansaar || 
"If someone slanders the Perfect True Guru, they will be rebuked and cursed by the whole world."
 (Gauree M:4, 302)

A video went viral this week of a hate preacher going by the name of Narain Daas. Below is a response to the hate preacher's video:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Article: Is repeating 'Vahiguru' Naam? A Gurmat response...


ਕੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਰਨਾ ਨਾਮ ਹੈ? 
ਇੱਕ ਸੁਆਲ ਦੇ ਜੁਆਬ'ਚ ਵੀਚਾਰ 
Author: Bhai Jarnail Singh Delhi

ਦਾਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਨਾਮ ਦੇ ਸੰਬੰਧ ਚ ਕਲਮ ਚੁੱਕਣ ਦੀ ਯੋਗਤਾ, ਸਮਰੱਥਾ ਨਹੀਂ। ਨਿਗੂਣੀ ਸਮਝ ਤੋਂ ਟੂਕ ਮਾਤਰ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕਰ ਰਿਹਾ ਹਾਂ। 

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ ਹੈ। ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ ਦਾ ਅਭਿਆਸ ਵੀ ਨਾਮ ਬਣ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਨਾਮ ਸਿਰਫ ਇੱਕ ਅੱਖਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਰ ਓਸ ਦੀ ਯਾਦ ਤੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਿੱਜਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਅੱਖਰ ਨਾਮ ਹੋਇ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਹੈ। ਜਿਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਸਿਰਫ "ਮਾਂ" ਕਹਿਣ ਨਾਲ ਮਾਂ ਦਾ ਸਰੂਪ, ਗੁਣ, ਪਿਆਰ, ਕੀਤੇ ਉਪਕਾਰ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਯਾਦ ਬਣ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ ਓਸੇ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਰੱਬ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਨੂੰ ਚਿਤਾਰਨ ਨਾਲ ਓਸਦੇ ਗੁਣ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਚ ਪਰਗਟ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਇਹ ਦੋਨੋ ਢੰਗਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਗੁਣ ਗਾਉਂਦੇ, ਪੜਦੇ, ਵੀਚਾਰਦੇ ਆਪਮੁਹਾਰੇ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵੀ ਆਰੰਭ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ'ਚ ਧਿਆਨ ਜੋੜਿਆਂ ਓਸਦੇ ਗੁਣ ਪਰਗਟ ਹੋਣ ਲੱਗ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਹਨ। ਪਰ ਓਸ ਦੀ ਨਦਰਿ, ਕਿਰਪਾ, ਬਖਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਹੀਂ। ਧੰਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਅਮਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ ਫੁਰਮਾਉਂਦੇ ਹਨ: 
"ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਕਰਤੀ ਰਸਨਾ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਈ ।। 
ਪੂਰੇ ਸਬਦਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਆਈ ।। 
ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਮੁਹਹੁ ਕਢਾਈ ।।"
ਅਵਸਥਾ ਇਹ ਵੀ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ ਕੇ: 
"ਰਸਨਾ ਜਪੈ ਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਕਰ ਕਟੀਐ ।।"

ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਸਰਿਗੁਣ, ਨਿਰਗੁਣ, ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ, ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧ ਸਭ ਅਵਸਥਾਵਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਰਤ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਪਰ ਜਗਤ ਉਧਾਰ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਮੇਸ਼ਰ ਰੂਪ ਚ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਹੋ ਨਿਬੜਦੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਸੋਹਣੇ ਢੰਗ ਨਾਲ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਬਦਿ ਰੂਪ ਚ ਹੋਣ ਲੱਗ ਪੈਂਦੀ ਹੈ, ਪਰ ਹੋਵੇ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਨਾਲ, ਭਾਵਨਾ ਸੰਪੂਰਣ। ਸਿਰਫ ਮੂੰਹ ਨਾਲ ਕਹਿਣਾ ਹਵਾ ਦਾ ਅੰਦਰ ਆਣਾ ਜਾਣਾ ਹੈ। ਆਸਾ ਦੀ ਵਾਰ ਕਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ: 
"ਜੋ ਜੀਇ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਉਗਵੈ ਮੁਹ ਕਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਵਾਉ ।।
"ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰ ਥਕੇ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਸਕੈ ਧੋਇ ।।"

ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਅਤੇ ਨਾਮ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਨ। ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ, ਨਾਮੀ (ਪਰਮੇਸ਼ਰ) ਚ ਅਭੇਦ ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਦੀ ਸੁਰਤ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਨਿਕਲੇ ਓਹ ਸਬਦਿ ਹਨ ਜੋ ਨਾਮ ਦਾ ਹੀ ਵਿਸਤਾਰ, ਗੁਣਾਂ ਦੇ ਲਖਾਇਕ ਹਨ ਤੇ "ਗੁਣ ਕਹਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ" ਦੇ ਗੂੜ ਭੇਦ ਨੂੰ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਇੱਕ ਚਿੱਤ, ਸੁਨਣਾ, ਗਾਉਣਾ, ਪੜਨਾ ਵੀ ਨਾਮ ਧਿਆਉਣਾ ਹੋ ਨਿਬੜਦਾ ਹੈ ਜੇ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਨਾਮ ਦਿ੍ੜ ਹੋਵੇ। ਕਿਉਂ ਜੋ ਧਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਇਕਾਗਰਤਾ ਸੋਖੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਐਸ ਲਈ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦੇ ਸਹਾਰੇ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਨੂੰ ਟਿਕਾ ਕੇ ਭਾਵ ਨੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਬਲ ਕਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਮਹਾਨ ਬਖਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ ਸਾਡੇ ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਚ ਲਿਬੜੇ, ਮੈਲ ਕੁਚੈਲੇ ਮਨਾਂ ਲਈ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੈ। 

ਕੀਰਤਨ ਤੋਂ, ਜੱਸ ਗਾਉਣ ਕਰਕੇ ਵੀ ਨਾਉਂ ਉਪਜਦਾ ਹੈ, ਤੇ ਪੰਜ ਪਿਆਰਿਆਂ ਸਨਮੁੱਖ "ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਵੇਚਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਦੀਆ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਾਲਿ ।।" ਵਾਲੇ ਸਮਰਪਣ ਤੇ ਗੁਰਮੰਤਰ ਦੀ ਬਖਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਦਿ੍ੜ ਕੀਤਿਆਂ ਨਾਉ ਉਪਜਦਾ ਹੈ, ਇਹ ਨਾਮ ਸਰੂਪ ਹੀ ਹੈ: 
"ਸਭਿ ਜਾਇ ਮਿਲਹੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੋ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਵੈ ਰਾਮ ।।

ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਤੋਂ ਭਾਵ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਜਪਣ, ਸਿਮਰਨ ਤੋਂ ਹੈ। 
"ਬਾਰੰ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਪੀਐ, ਪੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਧ੍ਰਪੀਐ ।।

ਨਾਮ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਜੱਪਣਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਓਸਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਨਾਮ ਨਹੀਂ। ਕੋਈ ਸਰੂਪ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਰ ਸਭ ਸਰੂਪ ਓਸਦੇ ਹਨ, ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਵੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਸਰਗੁਣ ਵੀ ਆਪ ਹੀ, ਨਿਰ ਤੋਂ ਆਕਾਰ ਵੀ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧ ਵੀ ਆਪ ਹੀ। ਸੰਪੂਰਣ ਬ੍ਰਹਿਮੰਡ ਵੱਖ ਵੱਖ ਅਵਸਥਾਵਾਂ ਚ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਸਰੂਪ ਚ ਓਹ ਆਪ ਹੈ। ਹਰਿ, ਗੋਪਾਲ, ਰਾਮ, ਮਾਧੋ, ਕਰੀਮ, ਰਹੀਮ....ਸਭ ਓਸ ਦੇ ਗੁਣਾਂ ਦੇ ਲਖਾਇਕ ਹਨ, ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਨਹੀਂ। ਸਤਿਨਾਮ ਪਰਾ ਪੂਰਬਲਾ ਹੈ। 
"ਕਿਰਤਮ ਨਾਮ ਕਥੈ ਤੇਰੇ ਜਿਹਬਾ, ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰਾ ਪਰਾ ਪੂਰਬਲਾ ।।

ਧੰਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਇਹ ਸਬਦਿ ਆਖ ਗੱਲ ਮੁਕਾ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ ਕੇ "ਸਿਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਲੋਕਾ ਪਾਵ ਹੈ, ਕੁਰਬਾਣੁ ਜਾਉ ਜੇਤੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਵ ਹੈ ।।"........ਇਹ ਗੂੰਗੇ ਦੀ ਮਿਠਿਆਈ ਹੈ, ਕਹਿਣ ਕਹਾਉਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਹਰ ਹੈ। ਪੰਜ ਪਿਆਰਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਹਜੂਰੀ ਗੁਰਮੰਤਰ ਨਾਮ ਦ੍ਰਿੜ ਕਰਕੇ ਜਪੀਐ, ਕਿੰਤੂ ਪਰੰਤੂ ਛੱਡ ਆਪਾ ਅਰਪਣ ਕਰ ਨਿਤਨੇਮ, ਕੀਰਤਨ ਚ ਜੁੜ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪ੍ਰਬਲ ਕਰੀਏ। ਸਾਰੀ ਖੇਡ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਦੀ ਹੈ, ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪੈ ਗਿਆ ਤਾਂ ਸਮਝੋ ਨਦਰਿ ਹੋ ਰਹੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਜੇ ਖੁਸ਼ਕੀ ਹੈ, ਤਾਂ ਫੇਰ ਹੱਥ ਜੋੜ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਕਰੀਏ। ਜੱਲ ਚ ਉਤਰੇ ਬਿਨਾ ਕਿਨਾਰੇ ਬਹਿ ਕੋਈ ਤੈਰਨਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਸਿਖ ਸਕਦਾ....ਸੰਸਾਰ ਸਾਗਰ ਤੋਂ ਤਾਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੇਗਾ। 

ਭੁੱਲ ਚੁੱਕ ਦੀ ਖਿਮਾਂ.

Monday, May 07, 2018

The relationship with Vahiguru Ji when we do Naam Simran...

Gujri - Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji - Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji - Ang 498 

ਗੂਜਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ 
goojree mahalaa panjvaa || 
Goojaree, Fifth Nanak: 

ਮਤਾ ਮਸੂਰਤਿ ਅਵਰ ਸਿਆਨਪ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਆਇਓ ॥ 
mataa masoorat avar siaanap jan kou kachhoo na aayio || 
The humble servant of the Lord has no plans, politics or other clever tricks.  

ਜਹ ਜਹ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਆਇ ਬਨਿਓ ਹੈ ਤਹਾ ਤਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਇਓ ॥੧॥ 
jeh jeh ausar aaye baniyo hai tahaa tahaa har dhiyaaeo ||1|| 
Whenever the occasion arises, there, they meditate on the Lord. ||1||  

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੋ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਛਲੁ ਬਿਰਦਾਇਓ ॥ 
prabh ko bhagat vachhal birdaayio || 
It is the very nature of God to love His devotees; 
 
ਕਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਕੀ ਨਿਆਈ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਲਾਡ ਲਡਾਇਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ 
kare pratipaal baarik kee niyaaee jan kau laadd laddaio ||1|| rahaao |
He cherishes His servant, and nurtures them as His own child. ||1||Pause|| 

ਜਪ ਤਪ ਸੰਜਮ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਜਨਿ ਗਾਇਓ ॥ 
jap tap sanjam karam dharam har keeratan jan gaayio || 
The Lord's servant have forever sung His Praises; for the devotee this is their worship, deep meditation, self-discipline and religious observance. 

ਸਰਨਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਨਾਨਕ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕੀ ਅਭੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਓ ॥੨॥੩॥੧੨॥ 
sharan pario naanak ttaakur kee abhai daan sukh paayio ||2||3||12|| 
O Nanak! The Lord's servant remains in the Lord-Master's Sanctuary and obtains the blessings of fearlessness and spiritual peace. ||2||3||12||

Monday, April 30, 2018

Is that really my Guru? Really?...


The below claim to be Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji according to the maker and seller. Which of these are true?








If none are really true, why would you have a fake/false/untrue image of Guru Patshah Ji? People became upset and said Nanak Shah Fakeer movie had committed Beadbi (sacrilege) because an actor was playing Satguru Patshah Ji. But isn’t the face of someone else being used to be called or labelled (or even worshipped in some cases) as Guru Patshah Ji the same thing? 

I went to someone’s house and saw the above plastic idol claiming to be of Kalgidhar Patshah Ji. Shocked? (Side note: notice the “Om” symbol at the bottom). All that has happened is that we have moved from paper idols to plastic idols and there are even stone idols of Satguru Ji now. Satguru Patshah Ji in Bani told us how the Hindus became spiritually dead...
ਬੁਤ ਪੂਜਿ ਪੂਜਿ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੂਏ ਤੁਰਕ ਮੂਏ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਾਈ ॥ 
buth pooj pooj hindu mooe turk mooe naaee.
“Worshipping their idols, the Hindus (spiritually) die; the Muslims die bowing their heads (towards Mecca thinking God lives there)”. 
(Ang 654)

A question for us all, are going towards spiritual death or spiritual life?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Gurmat Bibek Video: Gauranteed guide to raising Gursikh children...




THE MOST IMPORTANT FAIL-SAFE TICK LIST FOR SIKH PARENTS PLANNING TO RAISE CHILDREN.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਔਲਾਦ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਪੱਕਾ ਤਰੀਕਾ । A SHORT GUIDE ON HOW TO GUARANTEE GURSIKH CHILDREN WHO WILL TURN INTO SUCCESSFUL ADULTS – FROM BEFORE BIRTH TO AFTER CHILDHOOD

ਹਰੇਕ ਦੀ ਇਛਾ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਸਦੀ ਔਲਾਦ ਚੰਗੀ ਹੋਵੇ ਪਰ ਇਸ ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਦੇ ਕਾਲੇ ਦੌਰ ਵਿਚ ਚੰਗੇ ਬਨਣ ਲਈ ਧਾਰਮਕ ਬਨਣਾ ਜ਼ਰੂਰੀ ਹੈ। ਸਾਡੀ ਅਜ ਦੀ ਵੀਡੀਓ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੰਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਚਾਹਵਾਨ ਮਾਪਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਮਾਰਗ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਉਹ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੰਤਾਨ ਹਾਸਲ ਕਰ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਨ। ਆਪ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਵੀਡੀਓ ਆਪ ਵੀ ਦੇਖੋ ਅਤੇ ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਦਿਖਾਓ।

Every parent wants their children to grow-up into good adults. The process to achieve this can only be guaranteed if efforts are made by the parents from before conception to the late childhood years. Without dedicated efforts from the parents during these important years, achievement to gift good personalities to the world is uncertain and left to chance. To raise a child into a GURSIKH adult is the most wonderful achievement for parents – and it is also the primary purpose of having offspring. If one is GURSIKH, then all other successes will follow automatically, including a peaceful, happy and prosperous life.

FAIL-SAFE TICKLIST – Here is a short list of pointers to guarantee children that will grow into successful adults:

1) DOING ARDAAS BEFORE TRYING FOR CHILDREN: 
It starts at family planning. After the Anand Kaaraj marriage and before conception, the parents should always ask the Creator Lord to send pure souls. This should be from the bottom of one's heart. Remember, the children will always belong to the Creator Lord – you have simply volunteered for the task to raise them. The attitude of "I will bring up my children however I want" is only the voice of ego, because the only way to raise them is to raise within the laws of righteousness, with good, morally strong, God-like qualities to gift to the world.

2) KEEPING PURITY OF MIND AND BODY DURING PREGNANCY:  
When the child is in the womb, the parents should stay away from negative environments and all vices. Intimacy between husband and wife should be avoided during pregnancy. When the child is in the womb, it is developing and is also learning through the activities of the mother.

3) READ GURBANI AND SIKH HISTORY DURING PREGNANCY:
When the mother is carrying the child, she should endeavor to read as much Gurbani and Sikh history as possible, and take into her mind all knowledge that is good and true. From here the child's journey of learning begins (and that journey to learn should never end - hence "Sikh", a learner).

4) AVOID NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR AND ENVIRONMENTS DURING PREGNANCY:
When expecting, the mother should completely avoid listening to slander, gossip, particularly vulgar music, television serials/movies that contain negative/useless information and refrain from being present at adverse environments such as parties. This undoubtedly has a negative effect on the mother herself, but it also effects the developing mind of the unborn child. She should read good factual books, Sikh history and listen to valuable knowledge and Gurbani Kirtan instead (whilst trying to understand its meanings too).

5) AVOID TELEVISION AND RADIO DURING PREGNANCY:
The mother of the unborn child should avoid reading magazines and negative/useless stories/tabloids, and stay away from pointless radio/television discussion shows that would be of no use to the child's mind.

6) KEEP IMAGES OF SIKH MARTYRS, HISTORY AND GURBANI AROUND THE HOUSE:
It is the advice of wise people that for the expecting mother, and also for the child to constantly observe throughout his/her childhood, that the Sikh home should be decorated with beautiful art depicting inspirational Sikh history, Shaheed martyrs, saints and Gurbani Shabad's. Sikhs do not worship pictures and photos, but such pictures and photos are used as reminders for the parents and learning tools for the children. Children should be encouraged to ask questions as part of their learning and mental development process. There is no benefit and little point in family photos (although they are by no means forbidden or considered to be anything bad as such), but there is an abundance of benefit in the former recommendation. What the mother sees in her environment on a daily basis affects the unborn child. What the born child sees on a daily basis during childhood certainly does affect his/her adulthood.

7) PERFORM A SEHAJ PAATH AFTER GIVING BIRTH:
After the birth of the child into the world, preferably a Sehaj Paath should take place whereby the entire Guru Granth Sahib Ji should be read in the presence of the new-born baby – small amounts each day at one’s own reading or listening pace. This should not be as a ceremonial ritual, but should act as the beginning of the child’s learning process.

8) KEEP BABY IN ROUTINE OF DOING NITNEM:
Parents should give the baby child a bath each day and do the Nitnem routine with the baby child listening on a daily basis. This will also help the discipline and routine-keeping learning process.

9) SING GURBANI INSTEAD OF CHILDREN'S RHYMES:
As the child grows, instead of teaching them "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and feeling some sort of pride when the child begins to remember it and sing it, the parents should instead teach them rhyming Gurbani verses. That will truly be something for the parents to be proud of. Slowly, over time, those rhyming Gurbani verses during childhood will turn into practical knowledge in adulthood.

10) READ SIKH HISTORY STORIES AT BEDTIME:
Without fail, the parents should read the child bedtime stories every night before bed. These should be stories of the Guru's and of Sikh history. The child from a young age should be flooded with good moral based stories and useful knowledge to help his/her brain develop and thirst for further knowledge. Other impractical rhymes, an overdose of solely television cartoons and useless fairy-tale bedtime stories should be avoided to ensure the child is being given a Gursikhi, moral-based and knowledge-orientated head start in life. The stories told to the child during these years will never be forgotten throughout his/her life and will always help in the later adult years. Once the child is a little older, Sikh history books and other knowledge based information should be given to the child to read, and the parents should then only assist the child in his/her reading. This will help the child form habits to always have a thirst to acquire new information and to absorb that information fast – and will almost certainly make them into exemplary students at school later.

11) TEACH  YOUR CHILDREN KIRTAN AND GATKA:
Sikh children should be taught Kirtan, Gatka and other sports from a young age so they become active in extracurricular activities, remain physically fit and also spiritually nourished.

12) FEED YOUR CHILDREN SPIRITUALISED AND HEALTHY FOOD:
The mother should always read Gurbani or listen to Kirtan when preparing the household food. She should avoid listening to music whilst cooking and follow the protocols we learn at the Gurdwara. If eating out, it is best to avoid restaurants or takeaways that serve dead animal food (meat) so the young child is not brought into the presence of the smells and site of such unnatural and unhealthy food. This will help the child stay accustomed to the healthier and natural human diet – i.e. a non-meat diet.

13) KEEP YOUR CHILDREN IN GOOD COMPANY:
It's extremely important that the child is kept within good surroundings, particularly in the younger years. At all costs, parents should totally avoid taking the child to parties and dance floors where almost all vices will begin to quickly breed within the child's mind during the important development years. The child should not be allowed to interact with other children, or adults, that will have a negative influence. The company one keeps also has an effect on one’s mentality. The child should interact with appropriate role models or practising Sikhs that will have a positive influence towards a Gursikhi Jeevan.


Sometimes parents unknowingly conduct bad, immoral or negative actions, but they expect their children to be good adults in the future. Children will always see their parents as inspirational figures to mimic – children will always try to copy their parents. The actions of the parents in front of the child will most definitely impact their adulthood. It is important for parents to become good Sikh role models for their children – they will closely be watching 'Mum and Dad'. If parents curse unnecessarily, use bad language, listen to vulgar music, are ill-mannered etc, no matter what they say to the child, he/she will follow in those footsteps. If the father drinks alcohol and dances unconsciously at the parties, why would the son not want to follow in the same footsteps? If the mother smokes tobacco, why would the daughter not follow and do the same? Without the right role models, the child’s future in the current vice-orientated society will only be drugs, alcohol, non-education, eloping, no care for a career and so forth. If the parents themselves read Gurbani, only then will the children follow. If the parents themselves are in the physical outer Sikh form, only then will the children want to look the same. If the parents themselves are morally true inside, speak pleasantly and conduct honest actions in their everyday life, only then will the children have the same mentality. The parents being practical examples for their children is absolutely vital. If not, one leaves the fate of their children to chance.

If you are a Sikh and therefore you believe the raising of good GURSIKH children is a task given to you by God through the creation, then it is extremely important that you, as parents, seriously consider the important responsibility BEFORE VOLUNTEERING to commit to the God-given task. Help a human being grow into what it was meant to be…

Monday, April 16, 2018

Episode 5 of Punjab Travels: Meeting Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti Ji...

Whilst staying in Amritsar, I rang Giani Joginder Singh Ji Vedanti, former Jatheder of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. I asked whether it is possible to meet up with him. He was so friendly and invited me to visit his home. My family and I went one evening to Giani Ji's house. I must say, usually when people reach positions of power and influence, they usually become unapproachable and arrogant. However, Giani Ji and his wife were so down to earth and welcoming, that it was really inspiring and humbling.


Giani Ji respects the Maryada of Bibek and Sarbloh. He said that the whole Panth should be following this as it is the Maryada of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. However, due to our personal weaknesses we have lost these traditions and instead only a small number of Sikhs strive to observe them. He said any Gursikh who keeps Bibek or Sarbloh Maryada is respect worthy and said some of the closest Gursikhs that he admires and respects follow this Maryada.  He mentioned that sometimes there two Langars in programmes, one with 'Khullaa' (open/relaxed, i.e. made by anyone without question) Langar and the other 'Bibek' Langar (prepared by Rehat observing Gursikhs only). He said this is not a bad thing as the majority of the Sangat has let go of Maryada and are happy for smokers and Patits to make Langar. He said "Where else can the Guru-abiding Gursikhs go and eat? They have to make Langar. I always feel blessed to be served such Langar."



I asked Giani Ji about the Mangals (beginning lines) that appear before 'Sir-lekhs' (titles) of Banis. I have noticed differences in Mangals in particular with the Nitnem Banis from Dasam Granth. Different Pothi/Gutka Sahibs have different Mangals. Giani Ji, who is a researcher of Gurbani and has a wealth of knowledge of historical copies of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Dasam Granth and Sikh literature, explained what is written in old copies of Dasam Granth.

Chaupai Sahib
I had heard different variations of the 'Mangal' for Benti Chaupai Sahib. It was interesting to find out that in Dasam Granth, Benti Chaupai Sahib doesn't have a 'Mangal', and begins as: "ਕਬਿਯੋਬਾਚ ਬੇਨਤੀ || ਚੋਪਈ ||". 




Jaap Sahib
I have read in SGPC Gutka Sahibs the Mangal of "ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ || ਜਾਪੁ || ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ ||" In other Gutka Sahibs I have read "ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ || ਸ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ || ਜਾਪੁ || ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ ||" Which one is right I asked Giani Ji. Giani Ji said in the scanned copies of Dasam Granth that he has in his position, the Mangal is: "ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ||  || ਜਾਪੁ ||  ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ ||

Svaiyye 
Similarly, for the Svaiyye we read in Nitnem I have seen different Mangals. Svaiyye read as part of Nitnem is part of Akaal Ustat. Giani Ji showed that in accordance to Dasam Granth, there is no Mangal, as it is part of a larger Bani (i.e. Akaal Ustat), and therefore the Mangal appears above the beginning of Akaal Ustat.

Time passed so quickly talking to Giani Ji. He walked us out to the road and showed everyone Pyaar. A very pleasant experience.