SikhiWiki:Today's featured article/December 2009

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December 1

Bhai Nand Lal (c. 1633-1713), was a poet famous in the Sikh tradition and favourite disciple of Guru Gobind Singh. His poetry, all in Persian except for Joti Bikas, which is in Punjabi, forms part of the approved Sikh canon and can be recited along with scriptural verse at Sikh religious divans.

Nand Lal adopted the pen-name of "Goya," though at places he has also subscribed himself as "Lal," the word being the last part of his name.

He was a scholar, learned in the traditional disciplines of the time, and his image in Sikh history is that of a man who loved and venerated Guru Gobind Singh and has been in turn loved and venerated by generations of Sikhs.

It is thought that he was born in a town called Ghazni in Afghanistan and was 23 years older than Guru Gobind Singh. By caste he was a Khatri, a class distinguished in Mughal times, like the Kayasthas, for its proficiency in learning and using Persian, which at that time was the language of official business. .....More

December 2

The Sikh faith condemns empty rituals and superstitions. The practice of blind rituals, worshipping of idols or inanimate objects, participating in religious fasts, pilgrimage to holy places, offering of food to sadhus (religious leaders), or believing in any such religious or other rites, superstitions or fads is rejected by Sikhism.

These pointless practises will not bring one closer to God or make one a better human being. In all societies round the world, through fear and uncertainty, members undertake in ritualistic and worthless behaviour at times of worry, uncertainty or trouble. These poor people, wrongly believe that undertaking these empty customs and penances will bring them special assistance from Waheguru or some other higher power.

Superstition is an irrational belief arising from ignorance or doubt. Many people all around the world are gripped by various superstitions and they live their lives in fear and uncertainty. Most of these fears are irrational and superfluous but they still cannot unbind themselves from these sometimes evil and false notions. Some common and well-known examples of superstitions are:

  • "When a black cat crosses one's path, something will happen if one crosses the line where the cat passed. To "undo" either wait for someone who didn't know about the black cat to cross the path or think of another route." .....More


December 3

In 2008, we witnessed the mega events celebrating the tricentennial anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, held at Nanded in October 2008.

The Granth was installed as the perpetual Guru (spiritual guide) of the Sikhs by the last human-form Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh three hundred years ago in 1708.

With Nanded as the nucleus, the celebrations were organized at a global level in which almost every Sikh participated. Major processions originating from different parts of the Indian subcontinent poured into this holy city. The crowds that assembled on the occasion were indeed unprecedented and unmanageable.

The main function which ran over many days was attended by countless dignitaries including the President and the Prime Minister of India. The routes of the processions as well as the entire city were lavishly decorated. Illuminations marked the day, and every Sikh home lit up with candles or electric bulbs. .....More

December 4

Guru Nanak Udasis

Guru Nanak in the Himalayas
Painting by Ravi Bhangu

Guru Nanak saw the world suffering because of hatred, fanaticism, falsehood and hypocrisy. The people of the world were lost and doomed due to their wickedness and sin. So he decided that he had to travel, educate and press home the message of Almighty Lord so that these poor people would understand the true and pure message of the Lord.

So he set out in 1499 on his mission for the regeneration of humanity on this earth. He carried the torch of truth, heavenly love, peace and joy for mankind. For 1 year he spread his message of peace, compassion, righteousness and truth to the people in and around his home town.

Then in 1500, he embarked on his Divine Mission and went thousands of miles towards the east, west, north and south and visited various centers of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jainis, Sufis, Yogis and Sidhas. He met people of different religions, tribes, cultures and races. He travelled on foot with his Muslim companion named Bhai Mardana, a minstrel.

His travels are called Udasis. On his first Udasi (travel), Guru Nanak covered the eastern part of India and returned home after spending about 6 years spread the message of Waheguru. .....More

December 5

Bhai Vir Singh (5 December, 1872 - 10 June, 1957) was a poet, scholar and theologian who was a major figure in the movement for the revival and renewal of Punjabi literary tradition.

His identification with all the important concerns of modern Sikhism was so complete that he came to be canonized as Bhai, the Brother of the Sikh Order, very early in his career. For his pioneering work in its several different genres, he is acknowledged as the creator of modern Punjabi literature.

Born on 5 December 1872, in Amritsar, Bhai Vir Singh was the eldest of Dr Charan Singh's three sons. The family traces its ancestry back to Diwan Kaura Mall Arora (d.1752), who rose to the position of vice-governor of Multan, under Nawab Mir Mu'ln ul-Mulk, With the title of Maharaja Bahadur. Bhai Vir Singh was married at the age of 17 to Chatar Kaur, daughter of Sardar Narain Singh of Amritsar.

Considered to be the harbinger of modern Punjabi literature, Bhai Vir Singh wrote many books,prose, novels, poety, plays, historical research, novels and articles pertaining to the Sikh history, Gurbani and understanding of the Sikh principles. .....More

December 6

Gurdwara Rori Sahib is located in Eminabad, one and half a kilometre north-west of the centre of the town. Eminabad, an old town is 15 kilometres south of Gujranwala and is a famous town of Gujranwala district in West Panjab, Pakistan.

It is linked to Grand Trunk Road and Eminabad railway station by four-kilometres stretch of metalled road. It has three important historical shrines of the Sikhs.

This sacred shrine marks the site where, according to tradition, Guru Nanak after the destruction of the town had stayed with Bhai Lalo. Here the Guru had to sit and lie on a hard bed of pebbles (small stones) ("rori" or "row-ree" in Punjabi means "pebbles") as alluded to in Bhai Gurdas Varan 1.

When the armies of Babar entered Punjab in 1521, Guru Nanak Dev was present in Eminabad. At the time of capture of Eminabad, many locals were arrested, among whom was Guru Nanak Dev Ji also. At the time of the arrest, he was sitting on the pebbles and was busy in his prayers. The Gurdwara stands at the place of the pebbles.

An imposing Gurdwara has been built over the place. A large pond and other buildings make it more graceful. A large estate worth Rs.5000 per annum and 9 squares of agricultural land is endowed to the Gurdwara from the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. .....More

December 7
My Papaji

Khalsa epitomises the pure love of Guru Gobind Singh for all mankind. It is inherent in this young Marathi lady’s experience which she narrated to me in a sentimental and emotional way, merely because I also look like the one she had previously encountered.

Once when I had gone to a village in Maharashtra for some work, I was pleasantly and tearfully astonished to witness the love for a Sikh. I had spent an hour or so with my contacts, when a young Marathi lady belonging to that village wearing sophisticated clothes, called and told the man of the house that she had come with a specific purpose.

"Is your visitor a Sikh? If so, I want to meet him. I want to tell him about my Sikh Papa who died recently but, because of what he did for me, he always lives with me." I happen to understand Marathi although I cannot speak fluently. My interest aroused, I paid full attention to their conversation until the man said, "Come on in, meet my friend. I am sure, he will also be glad to meet you." .....More

December 8
The first English translation of Guru Granth Sahib

Dr Gopal Singh was responsible for completing the first complete translation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib into English in 1960. It believed that initially it was published in 2 volumes although the present publications are published in a four volume set.

As the first English translation, it was very welcomed by non-Punjabi readers and received a wide distribution. The 'International Edition' published by the World Sikh University Press in 1978, has a light blue cover.

Dr. Gopal Singh's stellar reputation for scholarly work in service of the Dharma is well deserved. In fact, the introduction to the work, in the first of the four volumes, is a remarkable work in itself. Especially readable and worthwhile is Section II: On the Philosophy of Sikh Religion.

In this treatise on comparative religion, he traces the common threads of religious thought throughout the ages, giving one a deeper appreciation of Sikh Dharma. His brief explanation of the Kundalini and Yogic traditions is well-done. .....More

December 9

KAM meaning "deep desire", "uncontrolled longing", "lust", "sensuality or lasciviousness" is considered one of the five cardinal sins or sinful traits in Sikhi. In common usage, the term stands for excessive passion especially for sexual pleasure and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil in Sikhism.

In Brahmanical literature kam is not always condemned. Kam as Kamadeva is a god in the Hindu pantheon comparable to Eros of Greek mythology and Cupid of the Romans, and is as such not contradictory to spiritual life.

Kam (gratification of desire) is in Hinduism is one of the four objectives (purusarthas) of human life, the other three being artha (acquirement of wealth), dharma (discharge of duty), and moksa (final emancipation). Jainism and Buddhism, which arose as protest movements against Brahmanical ritualism and superstition, however looked upon kam with horror. The Gurus rejected Brahmanical superstition as well as self-mortifying austerities.

In Sikhism Kam is not only unrestricted gratification of carnal desires, but also any urge or impulse which needs to be kept under check like other impulses and passions. Unrestrained tendency towards kam, especially sexual relationship outside the marital bond, is condemned in the strongest terms in Sikh code of conduct as well as in the holy Scripture. It is a destructive evil and a deadly sin. .....More

December 10

Bani (Punjabi (Punjabi: ਬਾਣੀ)), short for Gurbani (Punjabi (Punjabi: ਗ੝ਰਬਾਣੀ)), is the term used by Sikhs to refer to various sections of the Holy Text that appears in their several Holy Books.

The word Gurbani consists of two roots - Guru and Bani. The word "Guru" means "spiritual teacher" and here refers to the ten Gurus of Sikhism, the other Bhagats and writers whose writings can be found in the holy Guru Granth. The word "Bani" s refers to their utterances and writings. So the combined word "Gurbani" means the writings of the Gurus as found in the Sikh holy scriptures; the Gurus' words; the Gurus' teachings.

These Banis are also found in small Gutkas or Small Books containing sections of Gurbani. These Gutkas can vary from just a few pages to hundreds of pages and are used by Sikhs to refresh the text of the these Banis in their mind on a daily basis. The handy size of the Gutkas makes it easy to carry them in a coat pocket or purse. Although the Gutkas have to be treated with respect and care, the Sikhs do not accord the Gutkas the same reverence as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib their perpetual Guru, which is treated like a living Guru. .....More

December 11
Wedding procession

Ghorian, Khorian, Ghoreea (Gurmukhi: ਘੋੜੀਆ) or "The Wedding Procession Song" is a composition of hymns written by Guru Ram Das, in measure Vadahans, which are part of the Guru Granth Sahib and appear on pages 575 to 576 of the holy Granth. The word `ghorean` ਘੋੜੀਆ s  in Punjabi is the plural form of ghoree ਘੋੜੀ s , a mare.

In Punjabi folk poetry, a type of lyrical songs which are sung on the occasion of marriage are called "ghoreea". A Punjabi marriage comprises a series of ceremonies performed at different stages. In one of these ceremonies the bridegroom mounts a handsomely caparisoned mare to go to the house of the bride where a reception awaits.

As the bridegroom climbs onto the back of the mare, his sisters feed the mare with crushed gram from a plate, embellish the bridle strings and sing the songs of ghori, as other girls and women join them in chorus. These songs eulogize the bridegroom and his ancestry and wish him a happy marriage. In the songs, the word "ghoree" (mare) occurs frequently, almost once in every verse.

Raga Vadahans in the Guru Granth Sahib incorporates hymns cast in the moulds of folk songs commonly sung at the time of birth, marriage and death. Guru Nanak has composed poems, in this raag, called "alahamanor dirges", songs of mourning. Guru Amar Das has also contributed to these hymns in the same style. Guru Ram Das, the Fourth Guru, has composed two "ghoreea" hymns, reminiscent of "ghoreea" of folk poetry. The folk forms meant for mundane occasions have been utilized by the Gurus to compose verses of spiritual reference and meaning. .....More

December 12

On December 12 every year, the global world Sikh community celebrate the birthday of their youngest hero and a brave comrade of Sikhism.

Sahibzada Fateh Singh (1699-1705) was the youngest of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons or sahibzade and was born to Mata Jito at Anandpur on 12 December 1699.

After the death of his mother, on 5 December 1700, he was brought up under the care of his grandmother, Mata Gujari Kaur, with whom he remained until his last breath.

He with his elder brother, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh have become an unbelievable and most unfortunate precedence in Sikh history (and perhaps also in world history) by becoming the youngest known martyrs to sacrifice their lives for their principles and the right to practice their religion and their faith without coercion or the threat of terror.

Even at such a tender age of 6 years, Baba Fateh Singh showed courage, determination and free-will not to be intimidated by the cruel, barbaric .....More

December 13
Bhai Jivan Singh with the Guru's head

Bhai Jivan Singh (13 December 1649 - 22 December, 1705) was the name given to "Bhai Jaita" after he had received the rites of initiation at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh on the day - 14 April, 1699 when the Khalsa was inaugurated. He was a Sikh from Patna, India who had belonged to the Majhabi (scavenger) caste.

He received initiation into Khalsa panth from Guru Gobind Singh who had previously given him the special honour by addressing him as "Ranghareta Guru Ka Beta" ("the young man of the Ranghar caste is the Guru's own son"). The Ranghar caste was a caste created for those born of a union between a Hindu and a Muslim. Both the children and their descendants were considered outcasts by the Hindus.

It was Bhai Jaita who had risked his life to recover and return the severed head of Guru Tegh Bahadur to the Guru for cremation. He had been sent to Delhi where he witnessed Guru Tegh Bahadur's beheading in Chandni Chowk on 24 November 1675.

He succeeded in evading the guards and escaping with the severed head of the ninth Guru to Anandpur where he was received with much honour by Guru Gobind Singh. .....More

December 14


"In the month of Poh, the cold does not touch those, whom the Husband Lord hugs close in His Embrace"(p135)
(photo:Prabhu Singh)

Poh ( ਪੋਹ ) is the tenth month in the Nanakshahi calendar. This is a calendar system which govern activities within Sikhi. This month coincides with December - January of the Western /Georgian /Julian Calendar and this month is 30 days long. The month starts on December 14 and the season during this month is cold in Punjab (India and Pakistan} where Sikhi took birth. Many tourists from western countries visit north India during Poh as this coincides with the Christmas holidays when people in the west get holidays from schools and time off from their work.

The Guru tells us that in the month of Poh (December/January): "...the cold does not touch those, whom the Husband Lord hugs close in His Embrace. Their minds are transfixed by His Lotus Feet. They are attached to the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan. Seek the Protection of the Lord of the Universe; His service is truly profitable. Corruption shall not touch you, when you join the Holy Saints and sing the Lord's Praises. From where it originated, there the soul is blended again. It is absorbed in the Love of the True Lord. When the Supreme Lord God grasps someone's hand, he shall never again suffer separation from Him. I am a sacrifice, 100,000 times, to the Lord, my Friend, the Unapproachable and Unfathomable" (SGGS page 135) .....More

December 15

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is situated in the heart of New Delhi's famous Connaught Place. It is located on the eastern side of the intersection of Ashok Road and Baba Kharag Singh Marg.

Originally this place was the bungalow (haveli) of Mirza Raja Jai Singh, hence the name Bangla Sahib. It's original name was Jaisinghpura Palace. A Rajput, Mirza Raja Jai Singh, was one of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's most important military leaders and a trusted member of his Darbar (Court).

After the passing away of Guru Har Rai the seventh Sikh Guru, Ram Rai who was the eldest son of the seventh Master and his masands instigated Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to issue a decree summoning Guru Harkrishan to his court. Ram Rai was elder brother of Guru Harkrishan.

Guru Harkrishan decided to go to Delhi since he felt that the "sangat", his followers had been misguided and he saw an opportunity in this to clear their misunderstandings. Meanwhile Sikhs of Delhi approached Mirza Raja Jai Singh, a strong devotee of Sikh Gurus to prevent any harm coming to Guru Harkrishan either by Aurangzeb or by the masands of Ram Rai. .....More

December 16

Benti Chaupai or Chaupai sahib is a prayer or Bani composed by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. This Bani is one of the five Banis recited by the initiated Sikh every morning. It is also part of evening prayer of the Sikhs called the Rehras sahib.

Benti Chaupee is a composition that can be read at any time during the day to provide positivity, focus and elevated energy level. It is short composition which usually takes less than about 5 minutes to recite at a slow pace; it is written in simple Punjabi language and can be easily understood by most speakers of this language.

ਹਮਰੀ ਕਰੋ ਹਾਥ ਦੈ ਰੱਛਾ ॥ ਪੂਰਨ ਹੋਇ ਚਿੱਤ ਕੀ ਇੱਛਾ ॥
Hamri kro hath dai rahcha. Puran hoeh chit ki eecha.
Protect me O Lord with your own Hands; all the desires of my heart be fulfilled.



December 17

Gurdwara: literally Guru's portal/ abode / House or Door. In the early period of Sikhism, before the advent of the word "Gurdwara", the word "Dharamsala" was used to refer to Sikh places of worship and service (Sewa). The word can be split into two: "Gur" or "Guru" referring to their Guru, Guru Granth Sahib i.e. Gurbani / Waheguru / the word Shabad and "duwara" meaning "Door" of the "House"

Although most Sikhs spell "Gurdwara" and refer it as the House of the Guru, that may not be the accurate spelling and meaning. If we look at the word "Gurdwara" closely in Gurmukhi, and compare it to each time it has been mentioned in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or Bhai Gurdas ji's Vaars, there is no "vava" or "w" sound in it. The word is actually spelt "Gur-duara." The word Dwara means place or home, but Duara means 'through' or 'by means of'. So the accurate definition of a "Gurduara" would be through or by means of our Guru. For a Sikh, every thing is achieved by means or by grace of the Guru.

Sikhism, has no room for symbolism or ritualism; Sikhs have neither idols nor altars in their Gurdwara. They have no sacraments and no priestly order. .....More

December 18

Sant Baba Ranjit Singh Ji Dhadrianwale, is believed to have been born in July 1983 in Punjab, India. Since a very young age he has followed the path of Sikhi and has a deep understanding of the holy scriptures. Unlike many other educators of the Sikh masses, as a young person, he has tirelessly been doing a consistent and influential form of Sikhi Parchaar (preaching), predominantly centralized in the Punjab.

His message, in an effort to stop both young and older Sikhs from falling prey to the anti-Gurmat diseases of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, which are out of control in the state of Punjab, India. His message is simple, clear and delivered in the "sant-maata" (simple, basic) manner. The kirtan is not in the traditional classical raag form but in the simpler tradition of the sant tradition which has been practised in the sant-panth tradition by such strong figures as Sant Baba Nand Singh and Sant Baba Isher Singh.

Sant ji has a strong following due to the fact that his message is kept simple and delivered in language which the average person living in rural Punjab can understand and relate to. .....More

December 19

Rehiras Sahib is the evening prayer of the Sikhs, which speaks of the greatness of Waheguru (the one God). As recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib, it contains the hymns of four different Gurus; Guru Nanak, Guru Amardas, Guru Ramdas and Guru Arjan Dev.

Now part of the Rehiras Sahib the Benti Chaupai, attributed to Guru Gobind Singh was added to the Bani in the late 19th century. The addition was later ratified by the supreme Sikh religious body - the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.

Each section of the prayer casts light on another aspect of God. It is recited after a hard days work when one is tired out.

Sound      Play Audio

(about 16mins long; 1.9MB)

After returning home, washing up, and changing into more comfortable indoor clothing the family gathers together to recite this Bani. It adds energy to both the body and the mind allowing one to conclude their day giving thanks to the Almighty for the completion of another successful day.

The verse speaks of the greatness of Waheguru and the ways in which ones actions assists one in attaining spiritual enlightenment, liberating one's mind and soul. .....More

December 20
Sahibzada Ajit Singh saying his final farewell to his father, Guru Gobind Singh

The word "Sahibzada" means "son" in Punjabi and is a term commonly used to refer to the 4 sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The word is a traditional word not used in the everyday language of today. The plural of the word is "Sahibzade" with a stretched "A" sound at the end.

The younger pair, called the "Chotta Sahibzade" (younger sons) were martyred together by the Mughals in Sirhind at the tender age of 6 and 9 years old. The older sahibzade, called the "Vaada Sahibzade" (older sons) died fighting the enemy of many thousands at the young age of 18 and 14 years old in battle at Chamkaur Sahib.

Char Sahibzade, ("char" means four and "sahibzade" refers to the sons or scions, young men of genteel birth) is a term endearingly used for the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, (Nanak X) all of whom died as martyrs while still very young. Their names are reverently preserved in Sikh memory and are recalled every time Sikh ardas or prayer of supplication is recited at a congregation (sangat) or privately by an individual.

The martyrdom of the four sahibzade is an important part of Sikh history and the occasion of the martyrdom is remembered and commemorated with great vigour, by large numbers of Sikhs and very acute sadness every year on 21st and 26th of December by the Sikh Sangat (holy congregation). .....More

December 21

Every year on December 21, the Sikh community honors the two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh who on this day in 1705 showed the world how to fight in battle; no matter how young you may be - the duty to Dharam and country comes first; before personal needs, pleasure and comforts.

It was around this time of the year that about 40 Sikhs in a mud fort were surrounded by over a 100,000 enemy soldiers. Then Baba Ajit Singh went before Guru Sahib and said, "Pita ji (dear father), permit me to go and fight on the battleground and grace me with the opportunity to make my life fruitful and worthy in service of the panth."

Guru Gobind Singh hugged his beloved son and gave him a Shastr (weapon). Every father wants to see their child get married, but this was the time to fight the enemy and defend the path of righteousness. Death was waiting and today Baba Ajit Singh would be marrying death.

The sun was about to rise. Guru saw that Nawab Wazir Khan wanted to take the fort of Chamkaur in one attempt. The Nawab surrounded the fort with his armies. Baba Ajit Singh boldly and valiantly came out of fort, accompanied with 5 other Singhs, .....More

December 22

Gurdwara Garhi Sahib is situated at Chamkaur Sahib, Punjab, India. The place commemorates the spot of the bloody battle of Chamkaur.

After the attack at the river Sarsa, Guru Gobind Singh, his two eldest sons and 40 Sikhs made it to the town of Chamkaur while being pursued by an Mughal army of thousands. Guru Gobind Singh and the 40 Sikhs sought shelter in a mud-built double storey house. They were attacked by the Mughal enemy on December 21, 1705.

The Gurdwara Sahib is situated at Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar district and is connected by road to Ropar and Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway at Samrala and Morinda.

This location marks the site of the fortress like double storey house, with a high compound wall around it and only one entrance from the north, which was used by the Guru as a temporary citadel in the unequal battle of Chamkaur on 21-22 December, 1705. While occupying the house during the night of 21-22 December, Guruji ordered 8 Sikhs each to guard the four sides of the house. .....More

December 23
Sikh Wedding invitaion card

If you are invited to a Sikh wedding, don’t panic!

This article gives a brief guide on what to expect, what you should wear and a feel of the ceremonies that will take place. Most Sikh weddings are great fun occasions and provided that you are properly prepared, it should be a great day out!

These weddings events are big, boisterous, chaotic events, with lots of twists and turns during the day, tons of food, lots of music and much energetic dancing. You'll have a hard time figuring out what's going on; just go with the flow of things and enjoy the events. As a guest you will be honoured by the family.

A wedding day will be a long eventful and exciting affair - so be prepared to start early and finish late. Have a good rest the previous day and be fresh and relaxed for the wedding day.

As a general rule the morning and early afternoon are taken up by the religious ceremony at the Sikh temple called the Gurdwara. While, these days the afternoon lunch is held at a different venue away from the Gurdwara. .....More

December 24
Dhoal the bull.png

"Without compassion there is no religion" is a central belief of the Sikhs.

The sanctity of this world is held in place by dharam (path of righteousness) which in turn is a product of compassion or daya. Without compassion, this world would turn into hell and neither justice nor righteousness could be found anywhere. The Sikhs consider the Guru a divine spirit which can guide and provide instructions on how to become a better person and a useful member of the sane and saintly society.

In the Guru Granth Sahib, the "holy book" of Sikhism, is found the following Shabad or sacred verse:

ਧੌਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੂਤੁ ॥
Ḏẖoul ḏẖaram ḏaiā kā pūṯ.
The mythological bull Dharma is the son of compassion;

ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖਿਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਸੂਤਿ ॥
Sanṯokẖ thāp rakẖiā jin sūṯ.
This is what patiently holds the earth in its place.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬੁਝੈ ਹੋਵੈ ਸਚਿਆਰੁ ॥
Je ko bujẖai hovai sacẖiār.
whosoever understands this becomes pure.


December 25

The manuscript of the Sikh Gurus' hymns contained in the Guru Granth Sahib were handed down by Guru Nanak to Guru Angad: by Guru Angad to Guru Amardas and by Guru Amardas to Guru Ramdas.

Guru Amardas compiled the first Granth (book) of the hymns. Guru Arjan Dev compiled the first edition of the Granth, called the Adi Granth. He started the preparation of the Granth in August, 1601, and completed it 3 years later in August, 1604.

The scribe of the Granth was Bhai Gurdas, an uncle of Guru Arjan. The place of compilation of the Granth is Ramsar (Amritsar). Guru Gobind Singh compiled the second edition of the Granth in 1706 at Damdama Sahib near Bhatinda, Punjab. The scribe was Bhai Mani Singh, a classmate of Guru Gobind Singh.

Guru Gobind Singh bestowed upon the Granth the Guruship at Nanded in 1708. Munshi Sant Singh, author of the Sikh history, composed the most popular verse in 1865 which a Sikh recites daily after his prayer. "All community should recognize Guru Granth as the Guru. All obey the commandments contained therein. Recognize the Granth as the visible body of the Guru. The Sikh who wishes to meet me should find me there."

Praise for the Guru has been part of Sikh history since the time of the first Guru. The Gurus did not praise themselves. They called themselves "humble servants of God" and worked in the service of mankind. .....More

December 26

As the end of the year approaches, on December 26 every year, the global world Sikh community commemorate the martyrdom of three of their most beloved figures of the Guru household.

On this darkest of days, their youngest hero and bravest comrade of Sikhism, Sahibzada Fateh Singh (1699-1705) who was the youngest of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh (1696-1705), his elder brother and Mata Gujari ji, his grandmother sacrificed their lives for their faith and the right to remain Sikhs.

Baba Fateh Singh with his elder brother, set a precedence in Sikh history (and perhaps also in world history) by becoming the youngest known martyrs to sacrifice their lives for their principles and the right to practice their religion and their faith without coercion or the threat of terror.

Even at such a tender age of just 6 years, Baba Fateh Singh showed courage, determination and free-will not to be intimidated by the cruel, barbaric and unjust authorities of the time. He showed composure, fearlessness and the renowned trait of unparalleled heroism becoming of the Sikh leadership and was prepared to sacrifice his life but not his faith. .....More

December 27

In this article we look at the operation of making the food in the Guru-ka-Langar (the Guru kitchen) at the premier Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

On average forty to fifty thousand people take langar (or free meals) every day at Harmandar Sahib. Langar or community kitchen was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status as stipulated by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak.

The Langar or free kitchen was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak; in addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of Langar expresses the ethics of ..sharing, community respect, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind - ".....the Light of God is in all hearts." (sggs 282)

For the first time in human history, Guruji designed an institution in which all people would sit on the floor together, as equals, to eat the same simple food. It is here that all people high or low, rich or poor, male or female, all sit in the same pangat (literally "row" or "line") to share and enjoy the food together. .....More

December 28

Nankana Sahib is named after Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh faith. Guru Nanak was born here on Baisakh sudi 3, 1526 Bk/ 15 April 1469.

Nankana town is part of Nankana Sahib District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. This district is adjacent to Sheikhupura district and until 2005 was part of this district.

The old name of this town was Talvandi Rai Bhoe Ki or "Talvandi of Rai Bhoe", a Muslim Rajput of the Bhatti clan and a retainer of the Delhi rulers of the early fifteenth century.

His descendant, Rai Bular, the chief of Talvandi, was a contemporary of Guru Nanak. The town has nine gurdwaras including the Gurdwara Janam Asthan which marks the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev.

The first 15 or 16 years of Guru Nanak's life were spent at Talvandi. Later, he shifted to Sultanpur Lodhi, in present day Kapurthala district of the Punjab, where his sister Bibi Nanaki lived. From there he set out on his long preaching odysseys, visiting his parents at Talvandi only now and then, his last visit to his native place being in 1510. Several shrines in the town, raised long after his death, mark the places where he was born, where he played with other children, where he studied and where he tended his father's cattle. .....More

December 29

When Farid ji was just a few years old, his mother taught him his prayers. The boy asked what was gained by his prayers. His mother replied 'sugar'.

Accordingly, she used to hide some sugar under his prayer-carpet, and when he had finished his prayers, she would draw the mat forth, and give the sugar to Farid as a reward for his devotion.

On one occasion, when his mother was absent, he prayed a great deal, and, it is said, a great supply of sugar - a miraculous gift from God - was found under his carpet. Some he ate himself and the rest he gave to his playfellows. He related the circumstance to his mother on her return. It was then his mother gave him the surname Shakar Ganj, meaning a "treasury of sugar".

There are 134 hymns of Sheikh Farid incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib. Many Sikh scholars ascribe them to Farid Shakarganj (11731265) of Pak Pattan, a disciple of the Sufi Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. The tenth in succession to his post was Shaikh Brahm (Ibrahim), also known as Farid Sani or Farid the 2nd, and it is this Farid who Guru Nanak Dev ji met on two occasions. .....More

December 30

Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib is an important historic Gurdwara in Delhi, India. It’s located at the exact spot where Dhan Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur's headless body was cremated after the Mughal executioner Jalaudin of Samana beheaded the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. Two brave Sikhs of the Guru, Bhai Lakhi Shah Banjara and his son, Bhai Naghaiya rescued the headless body of the revered ninth Sikh Guru from Chandni Chowk, Delhi after the execution of the Guru.

Guru ji's body was rescued by these two with a convoy of several ox-driven carts carrying bales of cotton and foodstuffs. Due to the strong dust storm, these brave Sikhs managed to lift the body of the Guru without the Guards discovering what was going on.

These two Sikhs were able to lift the body with great speed under the cover of the storm and then conceal the body in the cart under bales of cotton. They then quickly moved towards Raisina village, the place where they lived. To avoid any suspicion by the authorities Bhai Lakhi Shah Banjara placed the body on a bed and set fire to his whole house.

This place came to be known as Rakab Ganj. This tragedy took place on November 11, 1675 under orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Another devoted Sikh, Bhai Jaita took the Guru ji's head to Anandpur Sahib, 500Km (300 miles) away from Sis Ganj, Chandni Chowk. .....More

December 31

Sikhism, founded in fifteenth century Punjab on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and ten successive Sikh Gurus (the last one being the sacred text Guru Granth Sahib), is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world.

This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally the counsel of the gurus) or the Sikh Dharma. Sikhism originated from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit root śiṣya meaning "disciple" or "learner", or śikṣa meaning "instruction".

The principal belief of Sikhism is faith in Waheguru — represented using the sacred symbol of ik ŝaṅkĝr, the Universal God. Sikhism advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. A key distinctive feature of Sikhism is a non-anthropomorphic concept of God, to the extent that one can interpret God as the Universe itself. .....More