Wand kay Shako
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Wand kay Shako is one of the three main pillars of the teaching of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith. The other two pillars are Naam Japo and Kirat Karni. The term "Wand kay Shako" means to share ones wealth with others in the community, to give to charity, to distribute in Langar (free Kitchen) and to generally help others in the community who need help. A Sikh is expected to contribute at least 10% of their wealth/income called Dasvandh to the needy people of the world or to a worthy cause. This concept acknowledges the fact that everything that one receives is by God's Will or Hukam. And when one receives more than one can consume, then this gift must be shared with the community especially people who are needy and have much less than you.
Alternative spelling: Vand Ke Chakna - To share the fruits of one’s labor with others before considering oneself. Thus, to live as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.
"I was recently sitting with my friend for a cosy afternoon tea. I had the baby with me. One of his new accomplishments – a typical baby action – is dropping things, waiting for them to be picked up and given back to him and letting them fall once again. My friend commented that we should learn from children – they have no problem letting things go!
This is the first exercise in letting go because if we are grasping on to something tightly, how can we be open to receive? It is by opening and letting go that we enable God, Guru, the Universe, the Infinite to provide for us, to provide us with abundance. A child has no doubt of this, he or she freely drops things, and always expects to receive more. Young children are never worried about what they will get – they simply expect it and it is thus provided for them. Perhaps that is why it is said, that children bring their own prosperity with them."
The Guru's concept of Vand kay shakna expects this action of letting go. Everything that we have or possess is provided for us. Only Waheguru is the real provider who worries and cares for us. Only He is the Giver; everyone else begs at His door. All is provided to us only by the Almighty. "Says Kabeer, listen, O my mother - the Lord alone is the Provider, for me and my children. ||4||2||" (SGGS page 524) there is no one else!
My friend continued, "If we cling tightly to the belief that what we have is not enough (Lobh or greed), how can we be open to receiving more? If we hold on tightly to a system of dealing with our personal finances which does not work for us, how can we expect God to provide better for us? By the same token, when we learn to give within our ability to give or to give that which is surplus to our "real" requirements, then we are letting go. Thereby we will be opening the door for the flow of prosperity in our lives.
We must examine what it is that we are holding on to so fiercely, and we must learn the simple trust of children again. Prosperity consciousness (Vand-kay-shakna) is a journey. Releasing of the convictions which impede us from giving is the first step on this journey. Only when we have this conviction can we begin to receive freely from God."
- Above is based on an article by Darshan Kaur
Guru Ji says on page 299 of SGGS: SikhitotheMax
- The twelfth day of the lunar cycle: Dedicate yourself to giving charity, chanting the Naam and purification. Worship the Lord with devotion, and get rid of your pride. Drink in the Ambrosial Nectar of the Lord's Name, in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. The mind is satisfied by lovingly singing the Kirtan of God's Praises. The Sweet Words of His Bani soothe everyone. The soul, the subtle essence of the five elements, cherishes the Nectar of the Naam, the Name of the Lord. This faith is obtained from the Perfect Guru. O Nanak, dwelling upon the Lord, you shall not enter the womb of reincarnation again. ||12||
Page 718 of SGGS SikhitotheMax
- I have enshrined the Lord's Feet within my heart. Contemplating my Lord and Master, my True Guru, all my affairs have been resolved. ||1||Pause|| The merits of giving donations to charity and devotional worship come from the Kirtan of the Praises of the Transcendent Lord; this is the true essence of wisdom. Singing the Praises of the unapproachable, infinite Lord and Master, I have found immeasurable peace. ||1|| The Supreme Lord God does not consider the merits and demerits of those humble beings whom He makes His own. Hearing, chanting and meditating on the jewel of the Naam, I live; Nanak wears the Lord as his necklace. ||2||11||30||
|1. Naam Japo 2. Kirat Karni 3. Wand kay Shako
Bhai Gurdas Ji say in his Vaars Page 20: SikhitotheMax
- Universal Guru, GOD, humanity, human emotions and virtues in one language SatGurBaniinspire us to serve. Serving the holy congregation we receive the fruits of happiness. Sweeping and spreading the sitting mats they bathe in the dust of the holy congregation. They bring unused pitchers and fill them with water. They bring sacred food and distribute it among others and eat.
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