Friday, April 28, 2006

Gurudwara Shaheedan Vaala

And so for the first time I am wondering if there is some other official name for this Gurudwara. But this is the GuruGhar that I visited with my family every week. If I were to choose my truly committed affiliation to any Gurudwara, then this would be it.
Shaheedan Vaala Gurudwara is dedicated to Baba Deep Singh ji. He was a great warrior of unmatched caliber, an enlightened, learned soul of the Guru. He fought against several armies, but the most popular and significant is his battle against the Moghuls in 1750AD where he fought for the protection of Sri Harmandir Sahib. During this encounter, his head was hit hard by a blow from the opposition. He held his head upright with one hand and fought through and won the battle. Having promised Satguru to win the battle and land in His house, Sri Harmandir Sahib, he threw his head, which fell in the south-west corner of Sri Harmandir Sahib – where there is a section marked to honour his bravery and commitment.


This is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Bhavan on the left side of the Gurudwara.
This is the beri, under which Sri Guru Arjan Dev ji sat to recite Sukhmani Sahib's paath. If you choose to do challiya (40 day committed visit) at the Gurudwara, this is a great spot to concentrate in peace.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

u-n-m-a-t-c-h-e-d

Sri Amritsar Sahib has changed. I only wish I could say that it was for good. The city is bustling with dismissive energy – a chaos rushing through every street and part of the holy city. Yet…it houses the nook of Peace – the Supra-Wonderful Gurudware.

Sri Harmandir Sahib, was as or even more beautiful than ever (what judge can I be of that beauty?). But it is a haven of bliss and eternal peace, especially during the ambrosial hours of the day. Super-Delightful!
I grew up in that city with not more than 4 visits in the early hours of the Amritvela, when I was living there. But this time as a visitor was different. I knew the privilege that I was missing in my life. I’m glad I got that opportunity to cash this time. It’s funny how the things closest to us are always overlooked. During this visit, I could not make peace with the reasoning of how and why I missed on the unlimited opportunity that I had right at home for several years. But I guess, distance and years definitely add meaning that can’t come without paying this price.

The sanctity of His house is hard to match or replicate anywhere in the world. Gurudware are wonderful everywere, after all it is the house of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. But history adds meaning, places carry the imprints of the courses of actions that took place in every corner of this Gurudwara, that suddenly becomes much bigger than just ‘another’ Gurudwara.
I can’t thank Satguru enough for this opportunity after so many years of being away, even though it was unbelievably short. I had planned 2 weeks off, but had to cut it short, ‘cuz of some urgent business here – which sucks! Lol. But oh well….every minute of these 6 days was worth way too much.
Sadly, there won’t be as many pictures as you and I’d have thought – I was mesmerized by each experience, didn’t wanna ruin by even an inch of disturbance of having to remember to use the camera. I just thought the best way to cash the true delight, would be by being in the moment – and I was sure I won’t need a camera to remember that experience. I’m glad I was right, for I can relive it whenever and as many times as I want. Even the quality of the pictures won’t be super, as I didn’t take my laptop with me. For the fear of running outta space for the pics, I have very low resolution. The pics are still aight, but the videos are especially bad. I don’t even know how to upload those here, but I’ll figure it out sooner or later :P

Until then….I’ll share whatever # of pics I’ve got :D

Sat Naam Wahe Guru!!!

A 6-day trip completed :)

Tera thaan suhaava
...Roop suhaava
Tere bahut sohne Darbare!!!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy B/Vaisakhi to all!

I hope this day is happy and special for all. And may God rest those souls in peace who were killed during the celebration of this wondeful day @ the Jallianwala Bagh.
Let love reside in all hearts :D

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Today's Hukamnama


DHANAASAREE, FIFTH MEHL:
He has extended His power in all four directions, and placed His hand upon my head. Gazing upon me with his Eye of Mercy, He has dispelled the pains of His slave. 1 The Guru, the Lord of the Universe, has saved the Lord's humble servant. Hugging me close in His embrace, the merciful, forgiving Lord has erased all my sins. Pause Whatever I ask for from my Lord and Master, he gives that to me. Whatever the Lord's slave Nanak utters with his mouth, proves to be true, here and hereafter. 2 14 45
Friday, 25 Chayat (Samvat 538 Nanakshahi)
(Page : 681)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sikhism – A missionary religion or not?

In 1990, in an International Seminar on Sikhs, Sikhism, Culture and Religion, held at the University of British Columbia, one Mr. Iqbal Singh said that when Guru Arjun had compiled Sri Guru Granth Sahib, he directed all to join in an effort to translate all the hymns into the different languages of the world so that SGGS’ message can reach far and wide. He states that Guru Sa’ab expressed this desire in an expression: “so that they might extend over the whole world as oil spreads over water”. This episode he believes is the biggest indication of Sikhism’s inherent missionary goals.

But what is meant by this term: missionary? Dictionary.com gives two definitions:
1) One who is sent on a mission, especially one sent to do religious or charitable work in a territory or foreign country.
2) One who attempts to persuade or convert others to a particular program, doctrine, or set of principles; a propagandist.

Without doubt, all will agree that Sikhism doesn’t believe or follow the second definition. But what about the first statement? Have you witnessed Sikhs acting as ambassadors of their religion to the outside world? Would you agree that the charitable institutions that have come up in recent history have been successful in securing themselves a place of honour and a Sikh exemplary pride? Which foreign countries can we name where Sikhs have gone for the sole purpose of educating the locals of those areas about Sikhism in their own native language?

I have always felt that Sikhism ought be to a missionary religion, but definitely not the kind that the second statement reveals. The only Sikh that I know who acted as a (successful) missionary was Sri Singh Sahib – Yogi Bhajan, although I don’t know if he migrated with a mission in mind, or if it was the toll of circumstances that made him a potential messenger of Satguru. When talking of the charitable institutions, the count is just as sparse. But Pingalwara Institute I’d say is one of the most popular – but not even all the Sikhs know about its services and goals, forget about the foreign nations. Other servies like Khalsa Aid and the newly sprung up emergency aid services have still to prove their strength.

But sharing the knowledge that Sri Guru Granth Sahib provides is the primary goal of every Gursikh. And before we can go out to the non-Sikh world, we need Sikh ambassadors within the community. If leaders are lacking, the sangat needs to be friendly enough to share and exchange Sikh knowledge. Let not be unfriendly, let not shut the door of our minds, by turning away from those who seek that knowledge. If you have something to offer, please share it with the others who might know less, but seek more.

This recent rapid air of arrogance or solitude in the Sikh circles will suffocate the dire desire of the ones who’ve taken their toddler steps towards seeking the truth. Be an ambassador of Sikhism, be the true missionary Guru Arjun Dev intended us to be.
…let’s start from home!

p.s.// Does anyone know one-word that means the opposite of missionary? hehe

Reference:
Sara, Iqbal Singh. (1990). The Closing Remarks at Vancouver Conference.

Monday, April 03, 2006


In the depth of winter, I finally learned, that within me lay an invincible summer...
-Albert Camus.