ABOUT THE SITE & THE AUTHOR
This web site is dedicated to attaining deeper Understanding and Realization of Gurbani of the (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), (as it is). Various themes mentioned in the Gurbani are being reflected upon through the Gurbani in the form of Gurbani Articles. New Gurbani Reflections are continually added. These Reflections are written in simple to read language, without all the mumble jumble of spiritual language. For, in essence, true Spirituality is just Simplicity!
Our lives are interwoven with the thread of Divine Love. It is this Divine Love that brings harmony between souls. As such, the influence of our daily actions and behavior spreads in ever-widening circles. As our lives are interwoven, we can each draw the needed strength from all-pervading Divine Presence within to help each other spiritually, so that ultimately we all can be situated on the platform of Truth — Shabad-Surti or our True Nature. By doing so, we strengthen our confidence, convictions, understanding and faith. The Gurbani teaches us as follows:
- Aap japahu awraaNaam jappaawahu. Sunat kahat rahat gati paawahu
- Repeat the Divine Name yourself, and make others repeat it. By hearing, uttering, and abiding by it, one attains emancipation (sggs 289).
As the Gurbani is of the nature of God (Pure Consciousness), it only speaks of the Truth, Righteousness, Spirituality, Authenticity, selfless Love and Service (Sevaa), Selflessness, Selfishnlessness, Trust, Faith, Devotion, Intuitive Wisdom, Detachment, Humility, Contentment, Mercy, a sense of Higher Purpose, and so on. Many of us will be offended by these!! Because all these taste bitter and unpleasant to our inflated ego (Haume); for they reveal to us our shocking negativity or impurities (crookedness, perversions, foolishness, selfishness, the mind's many other weaknesses and limitations etc.). Overwhelmed by these shocks, many may shrink from pursuing the Truth, as the inflated ego plays back unhappy thoughts on the screen of our deluded mind. But in all earnestness, if the Truth is given a chance, It will sink in and then taste sweet later! Diligent attempt, consistent self-effort, and continuous mental alertness is the key to the conquest. Baabaa Nanak Says:
- Tam lag mahal na paayeeyai jabalag saach na cheeti:
- As long as the Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Divine Presence is not realized (sggs 58).
The common theme of this site is intended to foster the true Spiritual Understanding of the Gurbani through the Gurbani. No absolute consistency or finality is claimed. With this in mind, as a student, this endeavor is a purely spiritual pursuit in line with the general spirit of the SGGS. Neither any offense or criticism of any entity is intended, nor it is intended to hurt any ones belief and feelings in any way, nor it is intended to flatter or please any ones whims, fancies or false ego-sense. Because the Gur-Shabad is beyond such duality ("Doojaa Bhaav").
Aim - dissemination of the Gurbani in its true sense
- First, this web site is not a commercial site.
- Second, it's not meant to make presentation of corrupt politics, etc.
- Third, it's not intended to make presentation of nonsense rituals and dogmas that have no place in the SGGS.
- Fourth, it's not for external, superficial, or egoistic show of religion and spirituality.
- Fifth, this site is not intended for materialistic endeavors in the pretext of the religion, as numerous swindlers in the garb or guise of "Giaanee", "Bhaaee", "Raagee", "Sant", "Baabaa", "Pujaaree", "Priest", "Granthee", "Parchaarak", "Paathee", etc., are doing all over the world; not to mention many of the so-called Sikhism related web sites on the Internet.
I leave the politics, entertainment, etc., for those who feel more tempted in those areas! This site is an educational site -- a humble effort aimed at the dissemination of the Gurbani in its true sense.
Internal Way of life
Sikhi is the game of Shabad-Surti or Pure Consciousness (Naam- or God-consciousness). Hence, as tirelessly emphasized by the Gurbani, Sikhi is the Internal Way of life -- Inner Path; where one's outer life is unimportant. Therefore, the game of Sikhi must be played in the Sahaj Maarag: Inner Perfection, Natural State of Being, Inner Simplicity, Inner Purity, etc.
- Pritam basat rid mahi khor: My Beloved lives in the cave of my heart (sggs 1121).
- Gurmukh bigsai Sahaj subhhayi: The Gurmukh, spiritual being, blossoms forth with Sahaj (sggs 174).
- Sabh kish ghar mahi baahari naahee. Baahari tolai so bharam bhulaahee: Everything is within the home of the Self; there is nothing beyond. One who searches outside is deluded by doubts (sggs 102).
The Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani reveals to us very important concepts:
- The first is that the man is made in the True Image (Joti Svaroop) of the Spirit; hence, the man's real nature is Divine.
- Second, the only aim of human life is to realize the essence of this Divinity within.
- Third, the Soul is Immortal, and the experience of the Oneness of the Soul with the Universal Spirit is to Realize God. Accordingly, the Gurbani tells us that if by reading scriptures this understanding does not arise in our mind, then we are worse than the beasts, worms and insects. As the Gurbani reminds us, without the true realization of the Shabad (or Divine Name) within, the realization of the Self (True Guru, God, Divine Essence, Grace, etc.) within is impossible.
Therefore, it goes without saying that the true way of living life is no other than constant cultivation of Intuitive Wisdom, Name or Pure Consciousness (egolessness).
- Saach Shabad bin mukti na hoyee: Without realizing the True Shabad or Naam, no one will be liberated (sggs 938).
- Uttam karnee Shabad beechaar: The ultimate action is reflections on the Shabad i.e., Vichaar or inner inquiry (sggs 158).
The question is: How can one go about doing it?
As we know, the organized religious places are plagued with corruption, selfishness, hatred, differences, conflicts, madness of "Jaat Paat", violence, fanaticism, ignorance, and so on; leading to a total disregard for the dissemination of the Gurbani (SGGS) in its true perspective. The calculated focus of the so called "Giaanee", "Bhaaee", "Raagee", "Sant", "Granthee", "Baabaa", "Pardhaan", "Parchaarak", "Pujaaree or Priests", "Paathee", etc., seems to be none other than the traditional bain, all to common to all religions, using the pretext of religion in order to secure material gains -- lust, money, name, fame, power, and status.
Unfortunately, this is the truth! (My idea here is not to criticize anybody, but to depict and expose the reality as it is.)
Such selfish people have made the Holy Word of the SGGS merely the subject of unmeaning rituals, habitual reading, lip worship, dogmatism etc. instead of using it as a Spiritual Guide for daily living. Children, young and old alike, are all affected by such environment of distortion and manipulation which is unconducive to Spiritual progress and deeper understanding of the Gurbani. The Gurbani thunders that the performance of meaningless rituals bind people in more and more false ego-sense (Haume). Why? Because the chronic disease of this false ego-sense makes us do useless deeds, devoid of any spiritual vibrations.
- Karam karat baadhe ahammev: Ritual practices bind people in egotism (sggs 324).
- Thaansatt jag bhrishat hoye doobtaa iv jag: The holy places of worship in the world are polluted, and so the world is drowning (sggs 662).
Further, right after the death of the Tenth Master, over the past three hundred years or so, the Mahants, Pujaarees, Paathees, Raagees, Bhais, priests, so called Gianis and Kathaakaars, and people running Gurdwaraa buildings and related huge cash-funds have corrupted Baabaa Nanak's philosophy and teaching. Also, as indicated by the Sikh scholars, the Baanee of the Tenth Master, in most part, may have been compromised. In addition, on account of selfishness, not too many people appear to be interested in trying to study the Gurbani (SGGS) in depth to get at the kernels of the Inner Truth in it.
Hence, there seems to be a common desire to bring the true meaning of the Gurbani (SGGS) and Dharma out in the open from its dormancy -- it has to come out of the scriptures, Gurdwaaraa buildings or organized religious institutions and start coming closer to the people en masse.
Dharma is eternal
But how? First of all, as the Dharma is eternal, it is not the Dharma that needs to be recharged; it's the followers of the Dharma that need to be recharged. The first step is appreciating and applying the fundamentals of the spiritual philosophy of the Gurbani (SGGS), which is based on sound common sense. But common sense dose not seem to be common anymore! The teaching of the Gurbani (SGGS) can be appreciated only if we are cool-headedly open to its diligent study and true understanding.
Second, those who are sincere in their pursuit of the Supreme Truth, have to come out of their secluded existence and work for society, as well. This requires sincere self-effort called "Uddam" in the Gurbani. Otherwise, there will be no difference between us and those so called "Sidhas" who abandoned their society and families to go sit on mountain-tops! The easiest thing we do is condemn and relax, and do nothing to make the difference!
Consequently, there is a huge gap between belief and what we call everyday reality. The aim and attempt of this web site is directed toward healing this gap through heightened awareness of the true Spiritual Gist of the Gurbani.
This web site is for those who have become aware that there is more than what you have been previously taught. Hopefully, this educational web site and its resources can be of use to spiritual seekers who have a genuine interest in the pursuit of the Supreme Truth. The road map for reaching there includes: read/listen (Parho/Suno), reflect or deliberate (Socho-Vichharo), gain intuitive understanding (Samjho), remember or believe (Manno), and practice (Karo). As the Gurbani says:
- Jab lag Shabad bhed nahee aayaa tab lag kaal santaaye: As long as the mortal does not come to understand the mystery of the Shabad, he will continue to be tormented by death (sggs 1126).
- Hari mandar Shabde khojeeyai Hari Naamo lehu samaali: The Temple of the Lord is found through the Shabad; so become imbued in the Divine Name (sggs 1346).
My Alliance: Waheguru
I or this site is not affiliated with any group or organization: political, social, religious, or otherwise. Accordingly, there is no financial support from anyone. This project in its entirety has been supported by me. In other words, this is a one-man-project or effort. Like most of us, I am just a regular householder with limited resources, time and finances. However, with the Waheguru's (God) help and guidance, after fulfilling my daily worldly duties and responsibilities, I try to devote rest of my time to this project. Thus, my true support or alliance ("Dharhaa") has been Waheguru; for all worldly alliances are declared by the Gurbani to be false -- "Koorh" or Maya's working. The Gurbani gracefully sums it up as follows:
- Kalijug mahi dharre panch chor jhagarraae: In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the five thieves (i.e., all evil passions) instigate alliances and conflicts (sggs 366).
- Ham Hari siyu dharhaa keeaa meree Hari tek..: I have formed my alliance with the Lord; the Lord is my only support. Other than the Lord, I have no other faction or alliance; I sing of the countless and endless Glorious Praises of the Lord. Pause. Those with whom you form alliances, will perish. Making false alliances, the mortals repent and regret in the end. Those who practice falsehood will not last. I have formed my alliance with the Lord; there is no one more powerful than Him. All these alliances are mere extensions of the love of Maya. Only fools argue over Maya. They are born, and they die, and they lose the game of life in the gamble. My alliance is with the Lord, who embellishes all, in this world and the next. In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the five thieves (i.e., all evil passions) instigate alliances and conflicts. Lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment and self-conceit have increased. One who is blessed by the Lord's Grace, joins the Sat Sangat, the True Association. My alliance is with the Lord, who has destroyed all these alliances. In the false love of duality, people sit and form alliances. They complain about other peoples’ faults, while their own self-conceit only increases. As they plant, so will they harvest. Servant Nanak has joined the Lord’s alliance of Dharma, which will conquer the whole world (sggs 366).
About The Author
I am not a professional "Giaanee", "Raagee", "Sant", "Baabaa", "Pujaaree", "Priest", "Granthee", "Parchaarak", "Bhaaee", "Musician", "Swami", "Paathhee", "Mahatma", and so on. Neither I was born in such a family, nor lived with any one of them, nor I want to be one of them. I am just an ordinary being who is trying to see the world the way Gur-Shabad (SGGS) does!
I am neither a scholar, nor a philosopher, nor a writer, nor I am interested in being one. Neither I have completely mastered the Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani (SGGS). As a seeker, I am learning it along with you. If you know how to say the esoteric meaning of the Gurbani clearer, please let me know.
This life or the body is likened to a field ("Khet"), in which, our Karma is the seed. We harvest exactly what we sow. This infallible Law of Karma holds everyone responsible for what he is or going to be. Based on the past as well as the present Karma, some are getting closer to their "Joti Svaroop" (godly status or Unconditioned Consciousness) in this life, and some are yet far away or even drifting farther.
- Karmee aapo aapanee ke nerhai ke door: According to our actions, some will get closer to the Real Self, and other would slip farther away (sggs 8).
Based on my Karma, I am only trying to apply what the Eternal Law (or Hukam) has delegated to me. Like everyone else, I am just a channel or an instrument of doing; that's all. I am not the doer, for the doer is the Waheguru alone. As the Gurbani teaches us:
- Aap japaae jape so naao...: Those, whom He inspires to chant, chant His Name. Those, whom He inspires to sing, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord. By God’s Grace, enlightenment comes. By God’s Kind Mercy, the heart-lotus blossoms forth. When God is totally pleased, He comes to dwell in the mind. By God’s Kind Mercy, the intellect is exalted. All treasures, O Lord, come by Your Kind Mercy. No one obtains anything by himself. As You have delegated, O Lord, so do we apply ourselves. O Nanak, nothing is in our hands (sggs 270-271).
The human mind and intellect is incapable of describing or treatising the Absolute, Waheguru. All credit for this ongoing effort goes entirely to Waheguru. For any shortcomings and inconsistencies, I humbly stand to be responsible, which, however, I believe, readers will over look in their magnanimity, keeping their focus on the core of this infallible Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani (SGGS).
The spirit of the Gurbani can truly be expressed if we can manage to live lives of humble souls — practicing love, compassion, wisdom, mercy, contentment, humulity, etc.; looking beyond people's shortcomings; taking on their good qualities; forgiving others; trying to understand others without first waiting to be understood; and so on.
Though I was fortunate to have been born in a Sikh family (Nawanshahar Doaba area, Punjab, India), but, judging myself, I know very little about Sikhi. Therefore, it would be a travesty of truth to call myself a Sikh. Because, according to the Gurbani, to be a True Sikh (or Khalsa) is not a question of heredity, family of birth, ancestry, religion, race, region, social status, caste, creed, education, titles or any peculiar external appearance of a person; It Is A Question Of Self-realization! In other words, these words "Sikh" and "Khalsa" do not represent one's physical state; but, to the contrary, they represent a Higher Spiritual State for one to experience within, himself. The Gurbani confirms this as follows:
- So guru so sikh hai bhaaee jin joti jot milaaee: He alone is the Guru and he alone is the Sikh who has become one with the Divine Light (sggs 602).
- Pooran jot jagai ghat main tab Khaalas taahi Nakhaalas jaano: One becomes Khaalsaa (pure within) only when he realizes his Complete Self within; otherwise know him to be an impure one (Guru Gobind Singh).
- Aatam ras ji jaanahee so hai khaalas dev: He who has realized the Self within is alone the godly Khaalsaa—Pure Being (Guru Gobind Singh).
- Kahu Kabeer jan bhaye Khaalse prem bhagti jih jaanee: Says Kabeer: Those persons become Khaalsaa (pure within) who have realized the Prema Bhagti within—Loving Devotion, Divine Name, Self, etc. (sggs 655).
- Jap tap satt santokh pikhi darsan gur sikhah: Gazing upon the Blessed Vision of Divine Darshan (Self-realization), the Gursikh is blessed with chanting and deep meditation, truth and contentment (sggs 1395).
I came to the USA in young age in 1970 and studied civil engineering. With two children and wife, I currently reside in San Diego, California, USA. We cannot see our own back! Similarly, it's difficult to see our own shortcomings. Therefore, I humbly request all true and wise readers to point out my errors and faults.
- Kahu Nanak sabh teree vadiyaayee koyee naayu na jaane meraa: Says Nanak, this is all Your greatness; no one even knows my name (sggs 383).
- Mai naahee kachhu hayu nahee kichhu aahi na moraa. Ayusar lajja rakh lehu Sadhnaa jan toraa: Says Bhakta Sadhnaa: I am nothing, I have nothing, and nothing belongs to me. Now, protect my honor, O Lord; I am Your humble servant (sggs 858).
How It All Started
Back in 1994, one day I casually coined the idea to my son (Mandeep Singh, who was a high school student then) to have a Sikhism related web site purely dedicated to spiritual Understanding and Realization of the Gurbani. I asked him if he knew web designing and applications. In nutshell, as we both were novice in web designing as well as related Internet applications, in the beginning it was not easy at all. Perhaps the Waheguru was testing us for our patient, sincerity, determination, commitment, faith, willingness, earnestness, and perseverance.
Finally, after a long struggle, with his sincere self-effort and God's help, my son came up with a basic design of the web page. I wrote the first article "Prerequisite Of Spiritual Life - Bin Gun Keete Bhagti Na Hoe". I uploaded this very first article, and gave the name "REFLECTIONS ON GURBANI" to this web site.
Due to the overwhelming and kind response, acknowledgment and encouragement from all over the world, in June, 1998, we moved this web site from a temporary site to a registered domain (www.gurbani.org). Where it goes from here is only known to the Waheguru! If you have any gentle spiritual comments, suggestions, ideas, thoughts or feedback, please contact me. The e-mail address can be found on the home page. The surface mail address is listed below.
—T. Singh, 8835 Gallinule Court, San Diego, CA 92129, USA