Wednesday, November 29, 2006

re mann jap: Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru

The mala for Naam Simran - a great gift, a tool that I did not understand much for a very long time. Today I want to reflect a little more on it after reading a lovely book called, 'Prayer Beads' by Manuela Dunn Mascetti and Priya Hemenway.

The mala is a tool of tremendous significance. To wear one is to acknowledge an inner state of surrender, a devotion to the journey of exploring oneself.

We all move through the many different phases of life, but your mala can be the eternal material constant. The author describes that experience of putting it on in the morning was like remembering something sacred about herself and taking it off at night, she could see in the beads an aspect of herself that would not die. I thought that was a beautiful experience that we can have - especially manmukhs like me, who sometimes need material assurances to keep them on their track of spiritual growth.

The mala has been used for hundreds of years as a tool for remembering - remembering a prayer, remembering a mantra, repeating and remembering. This also includes remembering to respect, remebering to love and remembering to be true.

The mala is one of the many ways that can be used to become acquainted with oneself. Taking the beads in hand, one makes them a part of ones song to existence, an invocation or a call to God.

It is a blissful experience to try those beads at least once to help remember - remember God :)
p.s.// Photo, courtesy of Satvinder bhenji (http://satvinder.blog.com/)

15 Comments:

Blogger Singhu said...

Thanks for sharing with us.

I recall using different fingers to do simarn with mala represent different status?. Any idea?

Waheguru...Waheguru..

Thursday, November 30, 2006 1:51:00 AM  
Anonymous satvinder said...

"...a tool for remembering - remembering a prayer, remembering a mantra, repeating and remembering. This also includes remembering to respect, remebering to love and remembering to be true."

Beautifully written.

For me, your description of the use of this tool as an aid for remembering and repeating a prayer in itself is beautiful. The beauty lies in the simplicity of this act.

lovely post (",)

Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:55:00 AM  
Blogger Angad Singh said...

very well written SS bhenji!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006 5:07:00 AM  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

Interesting timing, considering I just started wearing a mala almost daily.
Each mudra (hand position) affects a different result. The most common mudra, which most people are familiar with is gyan mudra which is the thumb and the index finger together, like saying everything's okay. This mudra is of course for gyan. Buddi mudra is the mercury finger, which is the pinky, and the thumb, and as one might guess that is for communication. I can't remember what the thumb and saturn (middle) finger is for, but the thumb, which is the ego or the self, and the ring finger is for transformation.
The mala should be moved towards yourself and make contact with the thumb and the side of the finger above the top knuckle. When you reach the Guru bead, your prayer should be remembered and the tassel flipped to the other side if you are counting. Malas would be 27, 54, or 108 beads.
Sat Naam.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Thank you Sat bhenji for the photo and the comment...you too Angad veer!

Thank you Singhu ji for bringing that to my attention - in fact i did not know about the different use of fingers and/or about their significance.

Thanks Prabhu ji for that invaluable new information of what those mudras mean. It encourages me to look more into that later. Although at this point in life, I am content with the gyan mudra, as you've described it :)

Thanks all!

Friday, December 01, 2006 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Sifar said...

I remembered a Doha (poetry) by Bhagat Kabir jee on Mala...

Mala Pherat Jug Bhayo, Phira Na Man Ka Pher
Kar Ka Manka Dare Ke, Man Ka Manka Pher...

Kabir jee in those days meant for the so called high caste religious people that you have been moving the mala in your hand for ages but your heart didnot change a bit. It is better that you leave the Mala and try changing your heart....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 7:29:00 AM  
Anonymous satvinder said...

Sifar ji,

What you write makes perfect sense but if the mala proves a good tool in helping to progress to shahas grahas simran and if in turn that aids a person's spirituality and moral conduct... then no bad thing... no?

From my limited understanding of Bhagat Kabeer Ji's doha... It seems to be "empty practice" that has been dissected. Not the practice itself. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 8:19:00 AM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Well put Sat bhenji - I understand it as the call to discard the "empty practise". Moreover not every word in SGGS is to be used literally. I believe it is not just about the mala, it is about the ritualization without meaning that Kabir ji seems to be hitting at.

And even when it says,
"Maathe tilak hath mala bana
Logan Ram khilona jaana"
I think it is to condemn those numerous people who are going out in the world proclaiming their religiosity through these symbols. But I think mala today is used in private by people to help focus, to help be one with Lord in the privacy of their Nitnem.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Sifar said...

First of all, I do not know if this Doha of Bhagat Kabeer jee is included in Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee Maharaaj. I remembered it from having studied it in school.

Secondly, the two lines in which I translated the Doha, I began with "Kabir jee in those days meant for the so called high caste religious people....", as in those days there was a lot of oppression of the low caste people by the high caste people who would only practise hollow rituals. So no offense to the people who use Mala these days was intended by me.

The beauty of the Bani of Gurus and Bhagats is that the meaning of the Bani is universally applicable to people of all times... people from the past, present and the future... And to me as well... I got baptized a few years ago, and I do nitnem quite regularly, but this Doha truly highlights my short comings without me even using the Mala.... I see very little or no change in myself....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 3:14:00 PM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Thank you for your honest expression in your comment, dear Sifar ji.

I, don't really know what to say, but that is one of my fears - how and when will change occur? And how long will i have to wait to witness it, to experience it?

Somewhere along the road, I decided to settle for what I have without continuously waiting for the ideal state - I have seen such bad times as not wanting to do Naam Simran or visiting the Gurudwara...that now, "any" moment that joins me with Satguru becomes a moment of bliss and fills me with a gratitude that I could not have even on the brightest of my days when I prayed hard (if that can be stated that way) to feel "a change"/ "the change".

Best regards and best wishes to you!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 9:16:00 PM  
Blogger Prabhu said...

Bhen Ji, if you have a hard time on occasion reconnecting with your spirit and getting motivated to be with your Guru and practice bani or simran, the sangat is what will help :-)
Additionally, as a man who's training to be a kundalini yoga instructor, I can tell you that everything is deeper now that I do more yoga. Everything. This experience of the divine within myself and within all, is the experience that brought thousands of people to the feet of the Guru. The Siri Singh Sahib often spoke that people in this age need an experience. That's what the yoga and meditation that he taught is for. To experience God and the Guru's Dharma so that it's not something conceptual or hypothetical, but it is real, and joyful.
Sat Naam, Siri WaheGuru.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 8:30:00 PM  
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Friday, August 10, 2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Shoonya said...

Simran helped me to heal from chronic illness of depression..

http://waheguru-simran.blogspot.com/

few of my thoughts around...
check it out...

Friday, February 06, 2009 3:55:00 PM  
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