Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Turban - Gift of the Guru

The turban of a Sikh is a gift given on Baisakhi Day of 1699 by the Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh. After giving Amrit to the Five Beloved Ones, he gave us bana, the distinctive dress that includes the turban. It is helpful to understand the historical context of his action.

During Guru Gobind Singh’s time, the turban, or “dastar,” as it is called in Persian, carried a totally different connotation from that of a hat in Europe. The turban represented respectability and was a sign of nobility. At that time, a Mughal aristocrat or a Hindu Rajput could be distinguished by his turban. The Hindu Rajputs were the only Hindus allowed to wear ornate turbans, carry weapons and have their mustache and beard. Also at this time, only the Rajputs could have Singh (“lion”) or Kaur (“princess”) as their second name. Even the Gurus did not have Singh as part of their name, until the Tenth Guru. 

The downtrodden followers of the Sikh faith did not have the means to display aristocratic attire, nor were they allowed to, even if they had the means. (Doing so was usually equivalent to a death sentence.) It was in this context that Guru Gobind Singh decided to turn the tables on the ruling aristocracy by commanding every Sikh to carry a sword, take up the name Singh or Kaur, and have kesh (hair) and turban displayed boldly, without any fear. This effectively made his followers see themselves on a par with the Mughal rulers. 

When we are in the presence of the Guru, Guru is giving us the gift of his energy. That energy is sacred and when we retain it, Guru's energy lives in us and that gives us the living experience of Guru. To help retain that energy we cover our heads with a turban.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Guru Tegh Bahadur - Hind di chadar



Guru Teg Bahadu si Kriya Kari Na Kinhoo Aan. (Guru Tegh Bahadur did what no one could ever done sacrificing his own head for existence of others religion )

Bah Jinahn di pakariye..



Sar dije bah na chhoriye..


Tegh Bahadur bolya..


Dhar payae dharma na chhoriye..







[Give up your head, but forsake not those whom you


have undertaken to protect. Says Tegh Bahadur, 


sacrifice your life, but relinquish not your faith]


Guru Gobind Singh Ji, 1666-1708



Guru Gobind Singh was the last of the ten Gurus, the one who transformed the Sikh faith. In 1699 he created the Khalsa(Pure), a community of the faithful who wore visible symbols of their faith and trained as warriors. Today the Khalsa comprises all practising Sikhs.

Contributions

Guru Granth SahibGuru Gobind named the Guru Granth Sahib his successor ©
Guru Gobind Singh succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur at the age of 9. His teachings were different from his predecessors' - he believed that no power could exploit the Sikhs.
He spent his childhood years studying Persian and Sanskrit, and was skilled in the art of war. His mission was to uphold right in every place and destroy sin and evil. In 1699 he chose the festival day of Vaisakhi as the occasion to transform the Sikhs into the Khalsa, a family of soldier saints.
Guru Gobind Singh introduced many of the customs that Sikhs practise today.
Sikhs who have been through the Amrit ceremony of initiationbecome Amritdhari, initiated Sikhs. They take new names and wear the 5 Ks - five physical symbols that Sikhs must wear.
He declared the the Sikh holy book as his successor instead of a human being. The Guru Granth Sahib would thus be the Sikhs' guide forever. Sikhs give it the same status and respect as a human Guru.




Sunday, September 12, 2010

"KHALSA" of GURU GOBIND SINGH JI..


Of such powerful men and women is the Sikh Sangat composed. At least once in history, it was so. It assembled around the Throne of the Ten Gurus, and there the individual came and merged himself, into the Infinite Individual, the Guru, whose myriad faced, myriad -handed reflection was the Sangat. It was called Sadh-Sangat, the Holy Assembly. To such a unique Assembly of Perfected Individuals, to this galaxy of glowing geniuses of love, the Guru himself paid homage with his divine humility. The Tenth Guru thus sings the praise of his own beloved Khalsa: “They make me what I am, For there are many like me that all forlorn, waste away alone!”


Those whom Guru Gobind Singh praises in such glowing terms and for whom he melts away in supreme emotion on many occasions, they alone can compose the Sikh Sangat, the Khalsa. It is the Assembly of “Guru Gobind Singhs” as all bodies of His Sikhs, the disciples, are only the vehicle of His spirit. The majesty and spiritual splendor of this ideal group of “Guru Gobind Singhs”, which had been the dream of Guru Nanak, and which Guru Gobind Singh named “Khalsa” is but the root of the kingdom of Righteousness planted in the garden of Anandpur. Angels and gods of Heaven walked in His shape in the wild forests of liberty. This was the Khalsa, the chosen, the Glorious, the myriad forms of the one Guru Gobind Singh!

SHABAD OF THE DAY

Friday, September 10, 2010

ESSENCE OF KARMA...


» ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਇਹੁ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥: This is the essence of Karma, Dharma and spiritual wisdom: chant the Lord’s Name in the Holy Company (sggs 866).


Naam Japanaa (chanting God’s Name, meditating or contemplating on God’s Name, Naam-Simran, etc.) simply means to live in God consciousness as oppose to material consciousness.

That is – Naam Japanaa – is to constantly keeping the Divine or God’s Qualities in mind and live by them.

So, here the Gurbani tells us that constantly keeping the Divine or God’s Qualities in mind and live by them is the essence of Karma, Dharma and spiritual wisdom!


Rest is all empty Karamkaand or religious rituals derived by the Pujaaree Group (priest-class, Granthis, etc.) to mislead people and make money – the useless expanse of the Haumai or egotism.

In this context, here are more verses from the Gurbani:

» ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮੁ ॥: Sarab dhharam mehi sraesatt dhharam  har ko naam jap niramal karam : Of all the Dharma, the best one is to repeat God’s name and do pious deeds (sggs 266).

» ਸਗਲ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਕੈ ਊਪਰਿ ਕਰਮ ॥: Sagal dharma mahi ootam dharma. Karma kartooti kai oopari karma: Among all Dharma, the best is meditation (Naam-Simran).:Among all rituals and conducts, this is above all (sggs 1182).

» ਤਜਿ ਸਭਿ ਭਰਮ ਭਜਿਓ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਟਲ ਇਹੁ ਧਰਮ ॥: Taji Sabhi bharam bhajio paarbrahm. Kahu Nanak attal ih dharma: Renounce all your doubts, and vibrate upon the Supreme Lord. Says Nanak, this path of Dharma is eternal and unchanging (sggs 196).

» ਬਲਿਓ ਚਰਾਗੁ ਅੰਧ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਰ ਮਹਿ ਸਭ ਕਲਿ ਉਧਰੀ ਇਕ ਨਾਮ ਧਰਮ ॥ Balio charaag andhaar mahi sabh kal udharee ik naam dharam: The lamp (Guru Nanak) is lit in the darkness (of ignorance of the world); (by engaging in) the Dharma of the One Naam, the Lord’s Name, (he has) saved all in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga (sggs 1387).


» ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਅਟਲ ਏਹੁ ਧਰਮ ॥੧੧॥: Nanak har keeratan kar attal ehu dharam : O Nanak! Sing God’s praises, this alone is the eternal Dharma II11II(sggs 299).

» ਸਗਲ ਮਤਾਂਤ ਕੇਵਲ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਭਗਤ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥: Sagal mataant keval hari naam. Gobind bhagat kai manni bisaraam: The essence of all religion is God’s Name alone. It abides in the minds of God’s devotees (sggs 296).

» ਕਾਹੂ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਧਰਮਿ ॥: Kahoo jugati kitai n paaeeai Dharma: (Naam) cannot be obtained by any devices (cleverness, contrivance, ਹੋਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਢੰਗ ਨਾਲ, etc.), and any religious rituals (ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਰਸਮ ਰਿਵਾਜ, etc.) (sggs 274).
 » ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਰਹਰਾਸਿ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪੰਥੁ ਅਤੀਤੰ ॥੩॥: Hari kirtan rahraas hamaaree Gurmukh panth ateetam  II3II: The God’ Kirtan is my occupation (vocation, ਮਰਯਾਦਾ…); and to live as the Gurmukh is my Panth (ਧਰਮ-ਰਸਤਾ, religious Way) that keeps me free (dead, separated, etc., from Maya – ਮਾਇਆ ਤੋਂ ਵਿਰਕਤ) II3II (sggs 360).


» ਭੇਖ ਅਨੇਕ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਬੁਝੈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਉਪਾਵ ਦਰਗਹ ਨਹੀ ਸਿਝੈ ॥: Bhekh anek agani nahee boojhai. Koti upaav dargah nahee sijhai: Wearing various religious robes, the fire (of desire) is not extinguished; even making millions of efforts, one will not realize God (sggs 266).

» ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਰਹੇ ॥ ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: Mai avar giaan n dhiaan poojaa Hari Naam antari vasi rahe. Bhekh bhavnee hath n jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe II1II: God’s Name dwells deep within me, I know no other wisdom, meditation or worship. I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth II1II (sggs 843).

I asked Waheguru.......

I asked for Strength.........
And Waheguru gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom.........
And Waheguru gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity.........
And Waheguru gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage.........
And Waheguru gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love.........
And Waheguru gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors.........
And God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ........
I received everything I needed! 



Gurbani Says...
ਅਪਣੇ ਦਾਸ ਕੀ ਆਪਿ ਪੈਜ ਰਾਖੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਦ ਕੁਰਬਾਣੁ ॥੨॥੧੬॥੪੪॥
अपणे दास की आपि पैज राखी नानक सद कुरबाणु ॥२॥१६॥४४॥ 
He Himself preserves the honor of His slaves. Nanak is forever a sacrifice to Him. ||2||16||44||

Thursday, September 9, 2010

PUNJABI: The language of sikhs.

Punjabi is the language of the Sikhs. As you can tell, its name originates from Punjab, the land of five rivers. Punjabi is spoken primarily in Punjab, although many Punjabi descendents also speak it around the world. Like all other languages, Punjabi has its own alphabet. This alphabet is called "Gurmukhi."



The literal definition of Gurmukhi is "from the mouth of the Guru." Gurmukhi is used in the Sikh scriptures, or Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is believed that Gurmukhi is evolved from the old Brahmi scripts and therefore would be a member of the Brahmi family. Gurmukhi was widely used to record the sayings coming from the Guru's mukh, or mouth. This is how Gurmukhi got its name.

The Gurmukhi script was made by the second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad Dev Ji. I want to point out that Punjabi had been around for some time when Guru Angad Dev Ji made Gurmukhi. At that time, Punjabi was said but it was an unorganized language because it didn't have a proper alphabet. In order to invent Gurmukhi, Guru Angad Dev Ji had to take many steps. Guru Ji retained and slightly modified certain letters of the Brahmi scripts. These letters depicted sounds of Punjabi. Guru Ji also created some other letters for each of the Punjabi phonemes. Once Guru Angad Dev Ji was done in making the letters, he rearranged them into what we have today.




However, the letters aren't all the Gurmukhi Sikhs have. Guru Angad Dev Ji also made numbers as part of the Gurmukhi script.



These are only the first 10 numbers in the Gurmukhi script. In order to right greater numbers, we just repeat the figures until we have the desired number.



The Gurmukhi script is special in the sense that in some cases an ' a ' is added to a consonant. This ' a ' is added to consonants as long as it isn't pronounced at the end of the syllable. For example, ' j ' and ' l ' combine to become ' jal ' in Punjabi. In this case, the ' j ' becomes ' ja ' and the 'l' stays as ' l .' Another way that a vowel can be used after a consonant is by using the first three letters of the Gurmukhi script. The first and third letters can't be used independently and they need a vowel sign, which changes their pronunciation. The second letter of the script can also be used with these vowel signs. In the Gurmukhi script there are 10 different ways to say a letter. Out of these 10 vowel signs, only Sihari comes before the consonant but, like the others, it is pronounced after it.



Like specific vowel signs, Gurmukhi also has nasalization signs. What I mean by this is that these signs are used to nasalize the sound of the vowels. There are two basic nasalization signs in Gurmukhi: the Tippee and the Bindee. Out of these two, the Tippee is used more often and is portrayed as a half-circle that is concave down and is located above the end of the letter. The Tippee is used with :


The Bindee is portrayed as a dot above or slightly after the vowel sign. The Bindee is used with :




Both the Tippee and the Bindee create a half ' n ' sound.


Another sign that is used in Gurmukhi is called the Adhak. Some people confuse the Adhak with the Tippee because the Adhak is portrayed as a half-circle that is concave up and is located above the end of the letter. The only difference in look between the Adhak and the Tippee is the direction of the concavity. The job of the Adhak is to create the sound of a double consonant. In other words, it emphasizes the consonant that it is placed before.

Guru Angad Dev Ji has created a beautiful script for Sikhs. This is shown with the proportions of the letters. All of the letters have the same height with the exception of ooraa, the first letter, whose top curve extends above the line. The width of all the letters is also the same.

Since its induction, Gurmukhi has played a major role in Sikh faith and traditions. Although the script was originally used only for Sikh books, it spread under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. This was because Maharaja Ranjit Singh used it for administrative purposes by putting Gurmukhi on the monetary coins of his kingdom. Another reason that Gurmukhi was spread was due to the fact that it has been the bare minimum for literacy in Punjab and nearby areas where schools were attached to Gurdwaras.

Gurmukhi has been very important to the Sikhs. This is because, without Gurmukhi, Punjabi would still be a Persian script. The Punjabi language has extended throughout the world today because Sikhs have settled in many countries and Gurmukhi has followed them. Today Punjabi is used in culture, arts, education, and administration. Punjabi is also the state language of Punjab.

Mool Mantar ...Ayub Khan’s autobiography

How An Abused Muslim Boy Became The President Of Pakistan....


One time Sardar Meherban Singh Ji went to see Muhammad Ayub Khan (the president of Pakistan) at his house. After talking for a while Bhai Sahib noticed a plaque on the wall in which he saw Sri Mool Mantar Sahib Ji written in Gurmukhi and Urdu. Bhai Sahib looked at Ayub Khan and said, “Why have you got the Sri Mool Mantar Sahib Ji of Guru Nanak Dev Ji on your wall?”

Ayub Khan smiled and said, “Sardarji this Kalaam of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj has made me what I am today.”

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ik oa(n)kaar sath naam karathaa purakh nirabho niravair akaal moorath ajoonee saibha(n) gur prasaadh ||
One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace.


Ayub Khan said, “I was beaten everyday by the Mulla in charge of the Madrasa. One day I had had enough and after being beaten very badly decided to run away from the Madrasa. I ran as far as I could. I finally stopped (at the only place in this world that is open to every single creature) the house of Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj.

I sat outside on the steps of the Gurudwara Sahib and began to sob. As I was doing this I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw the beautiful face of a Naam Abiyhaasi Gursikh. The Gursikh looked at me and said, “Yuba why are you crying today?”

I wiped the tears from my face and said, “Babaji I can’t take this anymore! Everyday I go to the Madrasa just to be beaten by the Mulla. My heart, mind and body is broken. I don’t know what to do!”

The Gursikh smiled at me and said, “Yuba I will give you the Mool Mantar of Satguru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj. Whenever you have any difficulties in life repeat this Mool Manatar of Guruji.” I looked at the Gursikh as he wrote the Mool Manatar in urdu and proceeded to teach it to me.

After repeating the Mool Mantar together for a few minutes the Gursikh told me to go back to the Madrasa. With hope in my heart I went back to the Madrasa. As I was doing this I realised that I was late and that the Mulla would be very annoyed but I still repeated this kalaam of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. 

When the Mulla saw me he looked at me and said, “Oh, so you’ve come. Quickly sit down we have a lot to get through.”

I was so surprised that he didn’t tell me to stand in one spot, or grab me by my ears, slap me or use the long stick he used to keep to beat me with! This was the first time in my life that I had not been beaten by the Mulla. From this moment I realised the power of this kalaam of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and quickly committed it to memory. Anytime I had any difficulties in life I repeat it.

In this way I came to be the President of Pakistan. Having felt its power I tell my children to keep hold of this kalaam.”

Akho Satnaaam Sri Waheguru.

This story is recorded in Ayub Khan’s autobiography. 

The Gursikh who narrated this story to the sangat says that he has this story pasted on his wall so that everyday when he wakes up and looks at it it gives him a slap across his face. While writing this I feel that same slap.

May Guru Sahib bless us with the ability to repeat his Sri Mool Mantar Sahib. 

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ik oa(n)kaar sath naam karathaa purakh nirabho niravair akaal moorath ajoonee saibha(n) gur prasaadh ||
One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Glossary of Sikhism

Adi Granth

("the primal book") The Sikh sacred text, also known as the Guru Granth Sahib.

Adiguru
("original teacher") God.

Amrit
("immortal" or "undying") Holy, sweetened water used for initiation into the Khalsa.

Amritsar
("Lake of Immortality") Pool of water surrounding the Golden Temple.

Ardhangi
("the better half") Women.

Chauri
Ceremonial whisk waved above the scriptures as a sign of respect.

Five Ks
Five items always worn by devout Sikhs: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (comb), Kirpan (steel dagger), Kara (steel bracelet), Kachh (undergarment).

Gatka
Sikh martial art.

Granthi
Sikh official who reads from the Guru Granth Sahib at the gurdwara and also looks after the gurdwara.

Gurdwara
Sikh temple.

Gurmukh
One who is devoted to God.

Gurpurbs
Festivals marking the birth or martyrdom of a Guru.

Guru
("weighty one") In Indian religion, a spiritual guide. In Sikhism, only God, one of the ten Gurus, or the sacred book (Guru Granth Sahib) may be called Guru.

Gutka
Small manual for home use, containing passages of the Adi Granth used in daily prayer. It is used instead of the Adi Granth itself because of the many rituals that must accompany the use of the Adi Granth.

Hukam
God's will.

Haumai
Egoism.

Ik Onkar
Affirmation that "There is one God."

Janamsakhis
Reverent accounts of Guru Nanak's life.

Kachh
Undergarment (cotton shorts) that is suitable for battle, symbolizing moral strength and chastity. One of the Five Ks of the Khalsa.

Karha parshad
Sacred pudding eaten on special occasions.

Karma
As in Hinduism, the moral law of cause and effect.

Katha
Sikh sermon.

Khalsa
("pure"). Dedicated Sikh community founded by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 in response to continual persecution by Mughal authorities. The Khalsa underwent an initiation ritual of baptism and wore the Five Ks.

Khanda
Symbol of the Khalsa.

Kirpan
Ceremonial steel dagger symbolizing determination to defend the truth. One of the Five Ks of the Khalsa.

Kirtan
The singing of hymns.

Langar
(Also called Guru-ka-Langar). Communal vegetarian meal in which all participants sit on the floor to symbolize equality.

Mala
Prayer beads.

Manmukh
A wrong-doer; one who indulges in the five deadly evils and is lost in maya.

Maya
The error of placing value on material things over the spiritual.

Melas
Sikh fairs.

Mukat
Crown-shaped hat worn by Guru Nanak in artistic depictions.

Mul Mantra
("Root Belief"). Morning prayer composed by Guru Nanak.

Mam kiran
Ritual of naming a child.

Naam simaran
("remembrance of the name") Sikh meditation.

Patit
("renegade"). A Khalsa who cuts off his hair.

Prasad
Divine help; grace.

Sahajdhari
("slow-adopter"). Someone preparing himself gradually for initation into the Khalsa.

Sahib
Title of respect used for people, places and things (e.g. Guru Granth Sahib).

Sachkand
Utter bliss; liberation from rebirth.

Seli
Beaded necklace traditionally worn by ascetics. Guru Nanak nearly always wears a seli in artistic depictions.

Sikh
Disciple or learner.

Seva
Community service, a central value in Sikhism.

Vaak
Practice of opening the Adi Granth at random and reading from the left-hand page to obtain guidance.




Sikh Things: Sacred and Ceremonial Objects

Guru Granth Sahib




The most sacred object in Sikhism is the Guru Granth Sahib (also called the Adi Granth), the Sikh holy book. Unlike the New Testament or the Bhagavad-Gita, which are often carried around, dog-eared and placed on a shelf with other books, there are strict rules and procedures for handling Guru Granth Sahib . For this reason, most Sikhs keep a smaller manual at home containing the main passages from the Guru Granth Sahib used in daily prayers.

The tenth and last human Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, designated as his successor the holy book of Sikhism as the enduring and living Guru. Accordingly, the Guru Granth Sahib is treated with the same respect one would show a human Guru.

The Guru Granth Sahib is kept under a canopy and on a throne, covered in decorative cloths (rumalas) at night, and a chauri (whisk) is waved over it while it is being read. When entering the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib, one must be barefoot, have his or her head covered, and prostrate before the book. When moved, the book is wrapped in cloth and carried on someone's head as a sign of its honored status.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji is printed in Gurmukhi script, a form of Hindi dating to the middle ages. The pages often have ornate decorations, but it is a fundamental principle of the Sikh faith that Truth is much more important than ritual and only what is written in the book really matters.


Chauri 

As mentioned above, a whisk is waved over the Guru Granth Sahib whenever it is read. This whisk is caleld a chauri and is usually made of yak tail hair or artificial fiber, set in a wooden or metal holder. The use of the chauri derives from the practice of retainers keeping dignitaries cool with a whisk or fan, which became a symbol of sovereignty and honor.


Five Ks

When Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa in 1699, he asked all Sikhs to wear five symbols expressing their allegiance to the new Sikh community. These five symbols are known as the five Ks.


Kesh is uncut hair on the head and body, symbolizing acceptance of God's will. This gave rise to the distinctive Sikh turban, which arose as a way to keep the long hair clean and tidy.






Kachh is a pair of white cotton shorts worn as an undergarment. It is practical in battle, and therefore symbolizes moral strength and chastity.




Kara is a steel bracelet symbolizing responsibility and allegiance to God.




Kangha is a wodden comb that represents personal care and cleanliness.







Kirpan is a steel dagger, a symbol of resistance against evil and defense of truth.











Nishan Sahib
The Nishan Sahib ("respected emblem") is the Sikh flag. It is triangle-shaped, bright orange or saffron in color, and bears the Khanda, the symbol of Sikhism. The Nishan Sahib is flown outside gurdwaras (temples) and often inside as well. A gurdwara is not authentic without a Nishan Sahib. The flag is also carried in processions and on special occasions, and it is raised and lowered with special rituals. Sikh devotees respectfully place flowers on the parapet at its base and light candles beneath it on the days of celebrations.

The flag is normally replaced annually on Vaisakhi in April, which celebrates the birthday of the Khalsa. The old flag is not thrown away, but divided into pieces which people take as gift from the Guru. These pieces of the Nishan Sahib are used to stitch the chola (long shirt) of infants. An old flag or worn out clothes made out of it is burned and the ashes are placed in flowing water.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Do u Know..

  • .....that at Gurdwara San Sahib situated in the village of Basarke in Amritsar District, Punjab, India, Baba Buddha made a hole in the wall so as not to go against the Guru's note on the door that said, "He who opens this door is no Sikh of mine, nor am I his Guru."
  • ..... that the Sikh concept of Sarbaht dah Phahla which means "Blessings for Everyone" or literally "May everyone Prosper" is a new concept for many people and is not common knowledge for many followers of the Sikh religion.
  • .....that Guru Ram Das ji was born at Chuna Mandi Bazaar, Lahore on 24th September 1534 and spent the first seven years of his life here and that his name before obtaining Guruship was Bhai Jetha which means the first born.
  • .... that Alahunian is the name given to the Bani by Guru Nanak. It is a composition in measure Vadahans in the Guru Granth Sahib on page Page 578 and refers to a dirge (funeral song) wailingly sung in chorus by women mourning the death of a close relation. Etymologically, the word means an "utterance in praise of a departed person".

(with Thanks from  http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Template:Did_you_know)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Guru Gobind Singh Ji

ਖ਼ਾਲਸੋ ਬੇਕੀਨਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ  
Khhalaso baekeena Gur Gobind singh ||
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is holy and free from enemity 

ਹੱਕ ਹੱਕ ਆਈਨਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ॥੧੨੪॥ 
Hak hak aeena Gur Gobind singh ||124||
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is a mirror who shows the true God (124) 

ਹੱਕ ਹੱਖ ਅੰਦੇਸ਼ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ॥ 
Hak hakh andhaesh Gur Gobind singh ||
Guru Gobind Singh Ji understands the true God 


ਬਾਦਸ਼ਾਹ ਦਰਵੇਸ਼ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ॥੧੨੫॥ 
Badhashah dharavaesh Gur Gobind singh ||125||
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is a king and a saint as-well (125) 

ਮੁਕੱਰਮੁਲ ਫਜ਼ਾਲ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ॥ 
Mukaramul fazal Gur Gobind singh ||
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is kind, merciful and wise 

ਮੁਨਿਅਮੁਲ ਮੁਤਆਲ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ॥੧੨੬॥ 
Muniamul muthaal Gur Gobind singh ||126||
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the giver who gives great gifts (126) 
                                                        
    [Bhai Nandlal Ji,Amrit Keertan Gutka page 285]

Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji

Baba deep singh ji
Baba Deep singh was born on the 20th January 1682 A.D. in the village of Pahuwind in district of Amritsar. His father's name was Bhai Bhagtu. He went to Anandpur on the Vaisakhi of 1700 A.D., where after obtaining baptism (into Sikhism) he started learning weaponry and riding from the Sikhs. From Bhai Mani singh he began learning reading and writing Gurmukhi and interpretation of Guru's word. After spending two years at the Guru's institution, he returned to his village in 1702 A.D. got married and started living there. He went to Guru Gobing Singh at Talwandi Sabo in 1705 AD where he helped Bhai Mani Singh in making copies of Guru Granth sahib. After the Guru sahib left for Delhi, he took up the service of looking after Gurudwara Damdama sahib.
In 1709 A.D., he joined Baba Banda singh Bahadur  in chastising the tyrants of Sadhaura and Sirhind. in 1733 A.D. Nawab Kapoor singh Singhpuria appointed him a leader of one squad. On Vaisakhi day of 1748 A.D., when Dal Khalsa was reorganized into twelve misls, he was entrusted with the leadership of Shaheedan Misl. In April 1757 A.D., Abdali during his fourth invasion was returning to Kabul from Delhi with precious booty and young men and women as captives, Singhs made a plan to rob him of the valuables and set the prisoners free. The squad of Baba Deep singh was deployed near Kurukshetra. His squad freed large number of prisoners and lightened the burden of valuables of Abdali considerably. While departing from Lahore, Abdali appointed his son Taimur Shah, the Governor of Lahore and told him, "Try to finish the Sikhs". In Accordance with his orders Taimur Shah started demolishing Gurudwaras and filling the holy pools with debris.
When Baba Deep singh came to know of the demolition of Harminder Sahib, he narrated it to the congregation of Damdama Sahib and said, "Diwali will be celebrated at Amritsar this year." Five hundred Singhs came forward to go with him. Baba Deep Singh offered prayers before starting for Amritsar, "My head may fall at Harminder Sahib." By the time squad reached Taran Tarn the number of Singhs going with Baba Deep singh reached approximately Five thousand.
At the news of the approach of Singhs, the Governor of Lahore sent his general with an army of Twenty thousand to face them. His army took up positions Six miles north of Amritsar and waited for the Singhs there. Both the armies clashed near Gohalwar on the 11th November, 1757 A.D. Fighting bravely Singhs pushed the army back and reached village Chabba where General Attal Khan came forward and inflicted a blow on Baba Deep Singh ji which made his neck lean to one side. A Sikh reminded him, "You had resolved to reach the periphery of the pool." On hearing the Gurdwara ShaheedaN at Amritsartalk of the Sikh, he supported his head with his left hand and removing the enemies from his way with the strokes of his double-edged sword with his right hand, reached the periphery of Harmindar Sahib where he breathed his last. The Singhs celebrated the Diwali of 1757 A.D. in Harminder Sahib.

Salute to great Sikh Warrior Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Beloved ISMEET Singh

Picture
Ishmeet Singh (September 2, 1988 – July 29, 2008) was the winner of Amul STAR Voice of India 2007. Hailing from Ludhiana (model town), Punjab, India, Singh had won the Star Plus show in 2007. He also participated in another Reality Show called Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar. Ishmeet's first album was a religious Gurbani album called Satgur Tumre Kaaj Savaare. Singh drowned in Maldives on July 29, 2008.