Lanka

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ਦਾਧੀ ਲੇ ਲੰਕਾ ਗੜ੝ ਉਪਾੜੀਲੇ ਰਾਵਣ ਬਣ੝ ਸਲਿ ਬਿਸਲਿ ਆਣਿ ਤੋਖੀਲੇ ਹਰੀ ॥
Burn your fort of Lanka (Attachments) and destroy Ravan's (Ego) orchard of vices, bring your attention into your inner Soul and attain God

Lanka, in Gurbani's view, is the fort of Maya (Attachments). It contains an orchard of vices, it's inside person. These Vices are very strong that they do not let us to enter into realm of God. This Lanka is made of Golden means Maya. Our Attentions (Mann = Ravana) are always in this fortess of Lanka.

How can this Lanka be destroyed. It will be by the Shabad Guru, it not only destroy Lanka of Ravana but also destroy the Orchard of Ravana's vices. Bhagat Tilochan Described it in his bani (Dadhi le lank garh uparhile ravana ban)


In the following lines Kabir has also described the qualities of Lanka:

A strong fort like Lanka and the moat of sea around it-— such an abode of Ravana is no more traceable. (Asa Kabir, p. 481)

In following lines Kabir compared the Maya (World) with Lanka, which is made of gold, it attracts our attentions, the Mann (the human mind) as we lust after worldly attachments of wealth and possessions.

ਲੰਕਾ ਗਢ੝ ਸੋਨੇ ਕਾ ਭਇਆ ॥
The fortress of Sri Lanka was made out of gold,

ਮੂਰਖ੝ ਰਾਵਨ੝ ਕਿਆ ਲੇ ਗਇਆ ॥੩॥
but what could the foolish Raawan take with him when he left? ||3||

ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਿਛ੝ ਗ੝ਨ੝ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥
Says Kabeer, have some thoughts about Gunas of God, because

ਚਲੇ ਜ੝ਆਰੀ ਦ੝ਇ ਹਥ ਝਾਰਿ ॥੪॥੨॥
In the end, the gambler shall depart empty-handed. ||4||2|| (Bhairo Kabir, p. 1158)

Temporal Meanings

Why did Guru Gobind Singh, Kabeer and others use words that were such a part of the Hindu religion?. To understand that one has to place themselves in Punjab of the Guru's time. These were the stories that the people of the time were familiar with, as these stories had been told for hundreds of years before the birth of Guru Nanak and the Sikh religion. Having their attention he was able to frame these words and names, with new meanings.

The Island of Lanka, which the Bhagavata Purana tells us was the broken tip of the fabled Mount Meru, was very familiar with the Guru's audience. Depictions of Mount Meru played an important part in the iconography of the Vimanas of many Hindu Temples. Even the top knot of hair seen in depictions of Shiva (when not depicted with knotted hair) and Vishnu, were all reminisent of Mount Meru, the Center of the World, in Hindu lore.

As described in the Ramayana, Lanka was described a very vast place of great magnificence. Ravanna's palace had seven wide moats and seven walls of stone and metal. It was made of solid gold by Vishwakarma (the Vedic Architect of the Devtas). Even today one of Ceylon's (Sri Lanka) mountains, called Adam's Peak, Sri Pada Mountain and other names is considered sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Every year pilgrims make a perilous climb, some even paying men to carry them to the top in a Palki, in order to wash away there sins or gain a 'higher' position in their next incarnation (or merely to see the fabled footprint attributed to Adam, Buddha, Shiva or Vishnu). Many people have died climbing the mountains.

But Guru Gobind Singh and the Sikh Gurus before him gave new meaning to the word Lanka, comparing it to the quest for the illusions of Maya, that have men starving while their neighbors build ever bigger fortunes.


References

  1. Devotees, Guru Granth Sahib
  2. Surindar Singh Kohli, Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib 1993
Terminology of Brahmgyan

♣♣ Ram ♣♣ Seeta ♣♣ Laxman ♣♣ Krisna ♣♣ Gopi ♣♣ Hanuvant ♣♣ Lanka ♣♣ Ravana ♣♣ Gopal ♣♣ Gobinda ♣♣ Keshva ♣♣ Kanha ♣♣ Durga ♣♣ Chandi ♣♣ Kalika ♣♣ Mahakaal ♣♣ Siv ♣♣ Brahma ♣♣ Bisan ♣♣ Gorakh ♣♣ Janak ♣♣ Ram Leela ♣♣ Krisna Leela ♣♣ Shakti ♣♣ Noor ♣♣ Allah ♣♣ Vaheguru ♣♣ Oankar ♣♣ Murari ♣♣ Laal ♣♣ Hari ♣♣ Prabh ♣♣ Prabhu ♣♣ Gurdev ♣♣ Gur ♣♣ Satgur ♣♣ Satguru ♣♣ Guru ♣♣ Narad ♣♣ Mahishasura ♣♣ Rakatbeej ♣♣ Shumb Nishumb ♣♣ Chand Mund ♣♣ Madhu Keetab ♣♣ Sursari ♣♣