Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Japji Sahib katha
I wanted to provide a link to an English translation of Giani Takhur Singh ji's excellent katha on Japji Sahib. Giani ji is currently one of the foremost pracharaks in the entire Panth. I highly recommend listening to his katha - he explains everything with great detail and accuracy. His katha is also comprehensive, covering much of Sikhi - everything from the meanings of the Banis, the Guru's jeevan sakhis, rehit, spiritual principles and more. There will also be recordings of simran released at some future date. The anand in his simran is amazing. Although Giani ji does katha in Punjabi, it is an easier to understand style of Punjabi than many kathakars use. It may even help increase your own understanding of Punjabi!
This English translation is being done by a member of discussion forum. I cannot vouch for its accuracy. However, it seems pretty good at first glance and is the only English translation that I know of. I encourage you to check it out. It's one of the top posts under global announcements.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Guru Amar Das Jee’s First Sermon
Translated by Admin www.tapoban.org
When Sree Guru Amar Das jee became Guru, historians have recorded his first words to the Sangat:
“If someone treats you badly, bear it. If you bear it three times, the fourth time Vahiguru will be on your side. The aggressor will be given such a punishment that he will not be able to save himself regardless of all his efforts. Vahiguru’s grindstone (of justice) may turn very slowly, but the grain is ground very finely (the justice is perfect).”
Then Guru jee read the 21st PauRee of Sree Asa Kee Vaar “Jit saeviai sukh paeeai so sahib sadaa samaaleeaai…”
He then continued,
“Be kind to everyone. Having pride over anything is not noble.
Consider the company (immoral relations) with another woman to be like the company of a snake or a murderous elephant. Never even by mistake go into bad Sangat (company).
Humility is the greatest weapon. Never speak badly.
Those who praise themselves are always lost. The path of dharma is the abandoning of slander (ninda).
Don’t spend or eat more than you need to. Also work just as much as you need to. Don’t do anything above and beyond the need for it.
Leave behind fakeness and hypocrisy. A life of false show is always a painful one.
If someone is a Sikh of the Guru, listen and obey him.
Loving another woman, even if she is a devotee of God (bhagtaNee) is a relationship which will result in loss not gain.
Go to and meet the Shabad of the Guru. Do not go somewhere where the Guru is forgotten.
Eat when you are hungry. Don’t fill what is already filled. But don’t abandon food either. Sleep when you feel very sleepy. Don’t sleep without feeling tired. Don’t pain your body.
Listen to the stories of the Guru. Singh Shabads and listen too. Don’t’ speak falsehood.
If someone is forgetting about the Guru, try and remind them. Speak to them from the heart. If they don’t listen, then it’s up to them.
Take the Guru’s words to heart. Give (the Guru) at least a tenth of your earnings. Keep the company of good people and serve those you encounter.
Before putting anything in your mouth, say Vahiguru. Vahiguru will bless it.
Those who have day and night japed Vahiguru, and left their ego, they are the truly high and good ones.
Controlling one’s desires is Dharam. One who does this is jeevan mukat (liberated while alive).
One who is beloved of God cannot ever remain bound by any restraints. He is free. He is above all tradition, custom, fortune, luck, and delusion.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Who to impress?
the world should say - yes he is a good person
but is there anybody out of us who thinks and hopes their guru will say i'm good
the guru should say - yes he is a devoted sikh of mine?"
- Bhai Parminder Singh
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
What made you interested in Gurmat?
Stories of First time wearing a dastaar .
Please contribute any similar inspiring threads from any forum. Just post them in the comments section.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Sakhi - Guru Nanak and the Robbers
Mardana was tired and asked his Guru,'Lord we have been marching through these wilds for many days. Do you not think that it is time to return to the civilised surroundings of a town or village where we may sleep in a bed with soft pillows?' Guru Nanak smiled at Mardana and said,'Even jungles can be more civilised than town and villages if the name of God is recited and remembered with all your heart.'
After showing Mardana the inner realities of the jungle and the inner gifts that lie there it was now the turn of the towns and villages and to reveal what lay there. Their journey took them to a small town. Mardana felt relief at having at last left the jungle and at having come back to some civilisation. However he soon realised that they had come to a wild town where the locals were cruel and without humanity. Their only creed was to be selfish. People were being robbed, beaten up and left for dead.
The Guru having completed his morning worship, something which he never let slip, carried on his way in the jungle once more.
However they were soon spotted and surrounded by the men from the town. The men carried axes, swords and other sharps looking weapons. They shouted, 'Stop or we will kill you slowly and with great torture!'
The Guru and Mardana stopped as they were told to do. The Guru replied to them, 'If you must kill us then I give you my permission to do so. However I have just one small request before you kill us.' The men replied,'We kill first and then rob our victims. We do not discuss what we do with those we kill!'
The Guru said,'Surely You do not wish to be caught? Is it not better for you to dispose of our bodies with fire? We do not mind dying but at least you should make sure that we are properly cremated so that our bodies are not left to sprawl and rot.'
The men could not believe their ears. Usually their victims would plead for their lives and yet these men gave them some good advice. Some of the men thought about the Guru's request and agreed with it. They said,'They are right why should be leave behind their bodies forcing the police to come after us. It is better that the bodies be burnt and all the evidence mixed into the Earth or blown away.' Another man interrupted,'This is a jungle where are we going to get a flame?' No sooner had he said this than the Guru pointed with his long finger in the direction of a fire that was burning in the distance. Some of the men stayed to guard their captives while some ran towards the fire. The men who departed soon came to the fire.
It was a funeral pyre. The corpse was still burning. Sat nearby was a woman who prayed and grieved for the dead man. The men also saw something else to which the woman was totally oblivious. They saw some very strange creatures. Creatures who were clearly not of this Earth. They had fangs and huge eyes. They were figures which caused feelings of horror and revulsion
in the men. These creatures appeared to be arguing with another group. This other group also had some peculiar creatures but they were different. They were very beautiful. The men could not determine whether they were real or not.
The vision was so surreal.
They called out to them,'Do you really exist? Are we actually seeing you here before our very eyes?' The first group responded, 'Yes we are here. We are the Jandhute. We have come to claim the soul of this man. All his life he has committed many terrible sins. He has not once acted with humanity. He has been sentenced to return to this world, and make good the huge debts he has accrued. He must suffer in his next life as recompense.' The men visibly winced at the prospect of these creatures hauling the naked bodyform of the dead man. A form which was translucent.
The other group with whom the Jandutt were quarreling then spoke, 'We too have been sent by the Almighty creator. We are the Ramgan. We have come to take this man's soul to Sachkand the realm of absolute truth. We have come to return him back to the source of all things.' The men were puzzled by this. They asked,'If this man has never redeemed himself. If all he has done is commit
unspeakable sins then why are you trying to take him away out of this furnace which we call the world?' They replied, 'It is true he has done those things and yes he was destined to suffer. However The Lord Guru whom your friends have kept captive gave the signal to wipe his slate of crimes and sins clean. One point of his finger changed the judgement placed on him. According to
God's law the Guru can take under his wing souls which are still stained and under God's grace will be made whole and spotless once more. Such are the blessings which God has given to the Guru. This man even after his death was able to serve the Guru and so with the Guru's blessing is able to be redeemed. In life one must follow or serve a Guru to gain this mercy.'
Upon hearing this the men suddenly realised that Guru Nanak whom they wereplanning to kill was none other than the saviour of lost souls. They couldonly imagine what judgement lay in store for them if they should kill him. They rushed back as the vision which had unfolded before them melted away. They ran back and told the other men what had transpired. They told them to let the Guru go and fell to the ground begging for the Guru's mercy and forgiveness. The Guru said,'I will forgive you but there is one condition. You must change your ways and become good honest human beings.'
Mardana turned to the Guru and fell at his feet. He said, 'My Lord I do not understand. I was sure that our time had come to die. Yet the whole situation has turned around in an instant. Please Lord explain why this is so?'
The Guru embraced his companion and smiled at his innocence and said, 'God plays a wonderful game with all who come to this earth. He sent these men to kill us. He sent us here to be met by them. Instead of caving into this and thinking that all is lost we accepted it as God's will. We humbled ourselves to God's will. We did not resent it or argue with it. Instead we asked humbly for God to intervene. Our submission wins the game. This call upon God with such humility according to the rules of the Game brings in our favour God's grace rescuing us from the very depths of calamity. God therefore took away the danger and also saved these men from a poor fate which had hung over them. It is all his doing; everything. If only more would grasp the nature of this game and play according to its generous rules.'
Friday, February 18, 2005
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Sunday, February 06, 2005
How could a manmukh extinguish fire by puttion oil on it?
(Vaar 15, pauri 9).
The sensuous man suffers from mental and physical diseases,And undergoes great pain.
However, if we live a Gurmat-oriented lifestyle which involves doing a lot of simran and controlling our kaam, then our intellect will become heightened. Amritvela simran and control of the senses (especially the eyes) is essential. It helps to avoid things that trigger kaami thoughts. This includes avoiding television and popular music, even the commercials trigger kaam! Avoiding bad sangat and staying within the sadh sangat also helps. I have heard that if one wants to be a faqir he looks only a few yards ahead of him while walking. Although this may not be very advisable in many situations. Remember, the Guru is always with you and always watching you.
In the end, our own efforts are not enough. We must do ardass to the Guru and rely on His mercy be saved from kaam.
For more on how to fight kaam, see MKhalsa's article and shabd kaam maran deh.
Aasaa, Fifth Mehl:
For a moment of sexual pleasure, you shall suffer in pain for millions of days.
For an instant, you may savor pleasure, but afterwards, you shall regret it, again and again. ||1||
O blind man, meditate on the Lord, the Lord, your King.Your day is drawing near. ||1||Pause||
You are deceived, beholding with your eyes, the bitter melon and swallow-wort. But, like the companionship of a poisonous snake, so is the desire for another's spouse. ||2|| For the sake of your enemy, you commit sins, while you neglect the reality of your faith.Your friendship is with those who abandon you, and you are angry with your friends. ||3|| The entire world is entangled in this way; he alone is saved, who has the Perfect Guru. Says Nanak, I have crossed over the terrifying world-ocean; my body has become sanctified. ||4||5||127||
Aasaa, Fifth Mehl:
O Lord, You behold whatever we do in secrecy; the fool may stubbornly deny it. By his own actions, he is tied down, and in the end, he regrets and repents. || 1 || My God knows, ahead of time, all things. Deceived by doubt, you may hide your actions, but in the end, you shall have to confess the secrets of your mind. || 1 || Pause || Whatever they are attached to, they remain joined to that. What can any mere mortal do? Please, forgive me, O Supreme Lord Master. Nanak is forever a sacrifice to You. || 2 || 6 || 128 ||
imQn moh Agin sok swgr ] kir ikrpw auDru hir nwgr
Attachment to sex is an ocean of fire and pain. By Your Grace, O Sublime Lord, please save me from it.|| 1 ||
UPDATE: Another important point. When speaking with the opposite sex if you feel kaami thoughts you should address them as ''penji/paaji''. This will remind you that they are your sister/brother.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
The body is not permanent, neither are our possessions. Everything can be lost in an instant, just like how the tsunami victims lost everything. We never know when it might happen. It could be a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and then everything could be washed away.
Saarang, Ninth Mehl:
O mortal, why have you wasted your life?
Intoxicated with Maya and its riches, involved in corrupt pleasures, you have not sought the Sanctuary of the Lord. ||1||Pause||
This whole world is just a dream; why does seeing it fill you with greed?
Everything that has been created will be destroyed; nothing will remain. ||1||
You see this false body as true; in this way, you have placed yourself in bondage.
O servant Nanak, he is a liberated being, whose consciousness lovingly vibrates, and meditates on the Lord. ||2||3||
-Guru Tegh Bahaadur Ji on Pannaa 1231.
This world is a wall of sand, it will not endure.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
I was listening to katha a few weeks ago:
Dhan Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was on their travels, when they came across a humble servant of the lord who had nothing but a little mud hut to live in. Guru Sahib and Bhai Mardhana Ji decided to grace the humble Gursikh with their presance, agreeing to reside at the hut for the night. This Gursikh was most pleased, he had little to eat in the house, but prepared what he did have for Guru Ji - Bhai Mardhana Ji felt a little sad, knowing this humble servant had very little - and eating out of it.
Guru Sahib knew this and told Bhai Mardhana not to worry, we must live in the will of Vaheguru. The Gursikhs humblessness and love was his everything.
Once they had finished their langar, Guru Sahib looked deep in thought, before asking Bhai Mardhana ji to break the little mud plates they had ben eating on. Bhai Mardhana Ji looked confused, but led a sat-bachni lifestyle and agreed to what Guru Sahib was saying. The Gursikh agreed saying "I'm am your humble slave, whatever you wish, you should do". So Bhai Mardhana Ji proceeded to break the few belongings the Gursikh had.
The following day, Guru Sahib arose and advised the Gursikh that they would need to continue with their travels. The Gursikhs could not bear the thought of his Guru leaving his home and asked Guru Ji if he could walk some distance with them, and at least spend a little more time in their presance. Guru Ji agreed, and the humble Guriskh followed them on their journey for a very short while.
Before they left their home, Guru ji, again after some deep thought asked Bhai Mardhana Ji to destroy the little mud hut of the Gursikh, at this point, Bhai Mardhana ji questioned Guru Ji and asked why he should destory what little this humble slave had. The Gursikh turned to Bhai Mardhana Ji with pleading eyes and said "Please, do as my Guru say's - whatever hukam they give you, just adhere to it. Nothing here is mine, it is all Guru Ji's please" - his pleading came to use and Bhai Mardhana grudgingly proceeded to destory the mud hut.
Guru Ji, Bhai Mardhana Ji and the Gursikh the continue a little of their journey. As night began to fall. The Gursikh advised Guru Ji that he should now be getting back to what little was left of his hut. Guru Ji gave him hukam to do so and blessed the Gursikh for his seva over the course of the night.
As the Gursikh returned to the place where his home used to be, he saw what he considered the blessing of Maharaj Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. As he circled what used to be his home, he noticed a little two foot wall remained - thinking that Bhai Mardhana ji did not complete the task thoroughly he began breaking down the last of the wall....
As he broke down bit after bit, he noticed the ground beneath becoming weaker and seperating, beneath those two foot walls lay a gold mine... This humble servent, amazing Gursikh had been living on a goldmine without knowing about it. Guru Ji's blessings came in such a disguise, that far from destory everything this humble being had, they in fact gave him more than he ever imagined having...
This is the beauty of our Guru Ji's blessings - we are all living on Gold mines without actually knowing it. If we, and me especially, lived the life whereby we adhered to every one of our Guru Ji's hukams, then we too would be rewarded with a gold mine each...
How humbleness, seva, and piyaar can lead us to the most amazing riches in the world - our Guru Ji's blessings...
Sunday, January 30, 2005
How to benefit extra from Nit-Naym -"Gurdev Mata, Gurdev Pita"
gurdyv mwqw gurdyv ipqw gurdyv suAwmI prmysurw ]
The Divine Guru is our mother, the Divine Guru is our father; the Divine Guru is our Lord and Master, the Transcendent Lord.
gurdyv sKw AigAwn BMjnu gurdyv bMiDp shodrw ]
The Divine Guru is my companion, the Destroyer of ignorance; the Divine Guru is my relative and brother.
gurdyv dwqw hir nwmu aupdysY gurdyv mMqu inroDrw ]
The Divine Guru is the Giver, the Teacher of the Lord's Name. The Divine Guru is the Mantra which never fails.
gurdyv sWiq siq buiD mUriq gurdyv pwrs prs prw ]
The Divine Guru is the image of peace, truth and wisdom. The Divine Guru is the Philosopher's Stone - touching it, one is transformed.
gurdyv qIrQu AMimRq srovru gur igAwn mjnu AprMprw ]
The Divine Guru is the sacred shrine of pilgrimage, and the pool of divine nectar; bathing in the Guru's wisdom, one experiences the Infinite.
gurdyv krqw siB pwp hrqw gurdyv piqq pivq krw ]
The Divine Guru is the Creator, and the Destroyer of all sins; the Divine Guru is the Purifier of sinners.
gurdyv Awid jugwid jugu jugu gurdyv mMqu hir jip auDrw ]
The Divine Guru existed in the very beginning, throughout the ages, in each and every age. The Divine Guru is the Mantra of the Lord's Name; chanting it, one is saved.
gurdyv sMgiq pRB myil kir ikrpw hm mUV pwpI ijqu lig qrw ]
O God, please be merciful to me, that I may be with the Divine Guru; I am a foolish sinner, but holding onto Him, I will be carried across.
gurdyv siqguru pwrbRhmu prmysru gurdyv nwnk hir nmskrw ]1]
The Divine Guru is the True Guru, the Supreme Lord God, the Transcendent Lord; Nanak bows in humble reverence to the Lord, the Divine Guru. ||1||
eyhu sloku Awid AMiq pVxw ]
Read this Shalok at the beginning, and at the end. ||
-(Guru Arjun Dev Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Symptoms of Spiritual Sickness...
Here are some symptoms that your spiritual jeevan is in trouble:
-slipping amrit vela and even attempts to wake up are not successful. Waking up consistently after amrit vela is the eventual conclusion of this trend.
-increased time on internet and in front of tv
-less paath and missing banis; no desire to do paath
-dropping "small" rehits like doing keshi ishnan, doing kangha twice a day, etc.
-less concentration and ability to do paath and simran
-less desire to go to gurdwara and stay in sangat
-increased vikaar especially anger and kaam
-rationalising faults and mistakes in rehit as "acceptable" and "undertandable" or "I'll fix it later..."
-serious mistake in personal rehit
-ego and pride
-looking down and belitlling other Gursikhs
-ardaas to Guru Sahib for forgiveness
-speaking to other Gursikhs about problems
-Peshi before punj pyarai for serious mistakes in rehit
-Going to sangat even if there is no desire. Forcing yourself to go no matter what.
*note* : It's best to recognise the sickness early and combat it. Otherwise, things keep getting worse till you're in real trouble and recovery is a big uphill battle.
Friday, January 28, 2005
Yam and Niyam
There are certain Do's and Dont's for the spiritual journey, called yam and Niyam. These are ten each in numbers as per details :
Yam : - (X)
1. Non-Violence :- Do not cause harm to anybody, through mind, body, intellect or speech. Pray from the core of your heart, "The glory of Name Divine is highest. Let all human beings be happy by the grace of God."
2. Truthfulness :- Live truthful life and indulge not in hypocrisy.
3. Theft :- Theft of body and mind is avoided. Theft of mind means when you do some bad act behind the curtain, i.e. in aloofness so as there is no witness to your act, like act of adulteration etc. To conceal other man's articles is theft of body.
4. Brahmcharya :- Celibacy is an essential requirement for the spiritual journey. It is like fuel of the body, which must be preserved. Married persons should be faithful to each other observing moderation.
5. Patience :-Do not feel agitated over trifles. Patience brings power- Saints must have patience in abundance.
6. Forgiveness :- When you have the strength to harm somebody, but you forgive him and don't harm him, you are on the right path.
7. Mercy :- Mercy is a must for meditation. Those who kill animals for palate, cannot imbibe mercy. You kill today and you will be killed tomorrow. That is the Divine law.
8. Tender Heart :- Be of tender heart, and do not be stone-hearted or a hypocrite. Don't indulge in rebukes and slander. Always speak softly, politely and truthfully.
9. Self-discipline :- Eat less and feel contented. Follow the dictum of the Guru :-
"Eat moderately, sleep less, show mercy and forgiveness and love your prime possession, the real self. (Guru Gobind Singh)
There are three kinds of food that we eat viz. pertaining to
i) tamoguna (ii) rajasguna (iii) satoguna
'tamas' food, includes intake of meat, fish, wine eggs etc. This food brings laziness to the man. He is likely to turn away from God and his God-consciousness is diminished. In 'rajas' is included pertaining of spicy and rich food for the sake of palate only. Heavy and rich food leads to numerous diseases.' Eat a bit less than your requirement. 'Satoguna' food includes partaking of vegetables, milk, curd, butter and cereals etc. 10. It means purity of mind, purity of body, purity of speech, purity of clothes, and purity of thought. These are ten 'yam' principles
THE TEN NIYAM (RULES)
1. Penances and devotion :- Yoke yourself to the service of humanity. Service is of three kinds ie. pertaining to rajas guna, tamas guna and sats guna. The service of Guru is at the top of all the Penances.
2. Charity :- Charity is also of three types - rajas, tamas and sats charity. In tamas, one gives away something in charity under duress and in anger and at inappropriate time which may result in sin. In rajas, one distributes alms to earn glorification. While in sats guna, one gives away in all humility with a faith in the fact that everything is gift of God. This kind of generosity is rewarded.
3. Contentment :- There cannot be full satisfaction without contentment. Unless there is contentment, the mind writhing in desire wanders in wilderness.
4. Theistic intellect means a staunch believer in Guru's teachings.
5. Worship :- Worship of the Guru. It should not be external and ceremonial only, but with all the mind and soul accepting Guru as embodiment of God.
6. Faith in the shabad of Guru. If you have faith in Gurbani, you will be rewarded. If you sit quietly with closed eyes, but you don't have in Gurbani, it is of no avail. Have full faith in Gurbani.
7. Abide by teachings of Gurbani. Mould your life accordingly. Don't go against the tenets of Gurbani.
8. Peaceful Mind :- Let anger not disturb your mind at all, even when provoked by somebody. Keep cool and have perseverance.
9. Nitnem :- Keep regularity in you daily prayers, meditation and recitation of Gurbani.
10. Brahm-hom means feeding the hungry Hom implies burning of 'I' and I-am-ness, effacing ego of every type. Inviting Saints and Gursikhs for partaking food is known as Brahm-hom.
These are two disciplines - Yam and Niyam and third is 'Asan'.
Asan :- Find out quite place, where there is no noise, and where one can sit comfortably without any disturbance. Make a seat (asan) for meditation and use this 'asan' daily for prayers and meditation.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
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