Saturday, 26 March 2016

Navin Paneeri- Guru Angad Dev
Navin Paneeri- Guru Angad Dev is a pictorial translation of the short stories taken from Guru Angad Dev’s life depicting his spiritual journey following the footsteps of Guru Nanak Dev. Based on the Asht Guru Chamatkar,  the book ‘Navin Paneeri Guru Angad Dev’ was narrated in Punjabi by S. Harbans Singh Chawla with English translations by M.L. Mongia. This name Guru Angad Dev was given by the first Guru, Nanak Dev to Bhai Lehna. Bhai Lehna was bestowed upon the divine seat of Guru Nanak Dev by the guru himself before leaving for his heavenly abode. He gave him the name Angad which meant part of the divine soul to which Guru Nanak Dev belonged.
Guru Angad Dev’s original identity was by the name of Lehna. He was the son born to Saba Pharo Mal and Mata Daya Kaur at Mate-di-Sarai which was destroyed in later years by Mughal Emperor Sabar who came from Kabul. This incident compelled Saba Pharo Mal leave the place with his family at first to Sangar and them at Khadur Sahib to settle there. Just like our first Guru Nanak Dev, Bhai Lehna’s childhood is different from the other boys of his age. As a young but unique child, Bhai Lena used to bring hungry sadhus (monks) and saints in his house and served them food. He did this without any sign of fatigue. There was always a feeling of respect in his eyes for his parents and whosoever he used to meet.
After the death of his father Saba Pharu Mal in 1526 Bhai Lehna took the responsibility of the entire family including the visit to Vaishno Mata temple. It was the yearly pilgrimage which he continued to do but somewhere Bhai Lehna lacked the feeling of satisfaction and found a vacuum within him which needed to be filled with something that made him happy. He was looking forward to someone as his guide and mentor.
Soon the day arrived when Bhai Lehna met Guru Nanak Dev to follow his footsteps in later year. Navin Paneeri describes his meeting with Guru Nanak Dev with other life episodes which culminated in making him the second Guru to preach Sikhism and  giving him his new name ‘Angad’ and his followers and disciples calling him Guru Angad Dev. When the followers of devi organized a nightlong gathering to praise the Devi and her benevolence at Khadur, Bhai Jodh, a disciple of reverend Guru Nanak Dev, was reciting a verse from the Holy Scripture ‘Asa DI Var’. On listening to the recitations early in the morning, Guru Angad Dev asked him- “Whose hymn were you reciting that filled my heart with immense peace of mind and happiness?” To which Bhai Jodh replied that these verses were of the enlightened Guru staying on the river bank of River Ravi at Kartapur. “He is guiding the people of this unenlightened era (Kalyug) on the true path of 'recitation of the Lord's name with love'.” Said Bhai Jodh. In the course of this event Bhai Lehna made up his mind to meet the Guru and seek his blessings.
Navin Paneeri has stories on Bhai Lehna or Guru Angad Dev’s life. Bhai Vir Singh very well described as the stories as those filled with the goodness of the lord and Bhai Lehna’s love for Guru Nanak Dev, his humility. and his devotion to the Scripture. Gurur Angad dev was therefore known for his simplicity and above all his constant recitation of the Lord's name. Several episodes in the book make us aware of the evils of the society like casteism which was banished by Guru Angad Dev when he went in search of Guru Nanak’s empty Yogurt bowl from the sewer drain. This and other life events of Guru Angad Dev or Bhai Lehna shows his utmost regard and obedience for Guru Nanak Dev. 

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Friday, 25 March 2016

Guru Nanak Chamatkar- Part II
It is his extreme benevolent grace that he sent the reverend Guru to this world which is so full of sins and atrocities. ‘Guru Nanak Chamatkar’ is about the magic of the benign glory of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji who always stressed on the path of righteousness and he made it very simple and stated that he who loved the lord deserves to meet him one day and get rid of all that is evil and ungodly. He said, ‘The true path towards meeting the Lord is 'Recitation of the Lord's Name with love'. There cannot be a path any simpler than this.

The book revolves around the miracle of preaching the "incessant recitation and remembrance
in the Lord's Name with love." He spoke and constantly brought into light the philosophy of receiving and feeling the incessant presence of the Lord which rises beyond the sphere and realm of time and when the mind becomes calm and thinks of the spiritual existence of the ultimate ‘Providence’ and enumerates through several anecdotes justifying the union between the human soul with the supreme soul.

Guru Nanak’s three marvel are the three aspects of the mind dealing with the past present and the future. We are dependent on the passage of time and with each passing of the valuable time we have things undergo a gradual change with present becoming our past and the future, our present. This is indeed a miracle of nature.

Guru Nanak Dev therefore influenced many minds and bestowed his graceful presence on earth to enlighten minds, preaching Odysseys throughout the world wherever he goes and also to our neighboring countries. He made constant efforts to show the miraculous existence of the Lord, within us and outside.

In the chapter on Guru Nanak Dev and Science, Bhai Sahib Dr. Vir Singh gave an account of how the world is a blend of the objective and the subjective science which we should look for in this world having dominance of the objective. The subjective part of the science is hidden within ourselves. We should not be bereft of the subjective and Guru Nanak Dev Ji gifted to humanity, the knowledge of the subjective science, the science of the soul and the life spark or fuel for eternal strength of the organs of the body.
The five spheres of the Body- 1. Sphere of duty or deeds. 2. Sphere of sensation. 3. Sphere of endeavor. 4. Sphere of Grace. 5. Sphere of Divine abode is elucidated clearly and precisely for the reader’s understanding.

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Guru Granth Sahib and Its Context

‘Guru Granth Sahib and Its Context’ as suggestive of its name, tells us about the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Granth Sahib is a distinctive book which affirms to the belief of inter-faith communication and provides a model of the same. This book teaches us respect for all religions for the benefit of entire mankind.

‘Guru Granth Sahib and its context’ is published at Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan and translated in English by J.S Neki, which was one of the topics in the paper of the seminar, held to commemorate the quadricentenary of the compilation of the Sikh holy book, ‘The Guru Granth Sahib’. The compilation of this holy genius of the Sikh community and its installation at Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar in 1604 was celebrated by organizing seminars in five cities of India.

Guru Granth Sahib and its context explain the holy book ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ as a doctrine of ‘Nam’ and ‘Prem’. There are explanations of the content of Guru Granth Sahib and the categories included. There is a mention of the first version of the book known as ‘Adi Granth’ meaning the ‘The First Book’, compiled by the fifth Guru, Arjan Dev, scribed by Bhai Gurdas and the final version drafted by the ninth Guru, Gobind Singh in 1708 and the name given to the book as Guru Granth Sahib. This ‘Granth’ (Book) comprises of works of Hindu Bhaktasagar and the Muslim Dervishe, thereby known as a pluralist scripture without which no Gurudwaras (places of worship for Sikhs) are complete to its truest self and will be regarded a mere concrete building. The Guru Granth Sahib proclaims that it represents full five centuries of spiritual wisdom - from Jaidev to Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The following lines describe Guru Granth Sahib as a pious book that will help realize the ultimate ‘Providence’.

“Hold Guru Granth Sahib in great reverence
As the living embodiment of the Gurus.
Anyone who is desirous of meeting the Lord, God,
Should be able to discover Him through its holy Word!”

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Guru Nanak Chamatkar Volume 1

By Bhai Vir Singh
 ‘Guru Nanak Chamatkar', is the magical divine glory of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, his teachings and the magical exuberance that he created with several anecdotes of true life stories of people getting inspired by his teachings and the lessons taught. It is first volume or part of the book named ‘Guru Nanak Chamatkar’. In the first chapter readers are made aware of the ‘Miracles of Higher Spheres’ i.e. the Lord and his miracle and how he commanded Guru Nanak Devji to set out for a journey to the earth to end the sufferings of people. The Guru came to this earth to enlightened the troubled souls full of mistaken beliefs, many types of vices, hatred, superstitions and useless rituals. Therefore the Lord said- “0 Nanak, You are immersed in my love. I command thee to bless the people. Guru Nanak Dev believed religiousness is important to control minds which is otherwise engulfed in useless thought and other manipulations.

Guru Nanak Dev was the first Guru of the Sikh religious body considered the savior who reformed minds and filled their eyes with spiritual nectar through constantly imbibing in minds the loving and godly recitation of the name of the lord. Guru Nanak Dev he is compared to a tree with its branches and that grow separated to the roots but still is very much connected. Similarly, the Guru, always immersed in the love of the Lord, out of  benevolence, like the branch of a tree separate but connected, left to bear the hardships of the world. The eyes full of this nector see what lies inwards, the beauty of the Lord and the ultimate revival of the common man from the vices of the world. You rise above time and space hardly identifying any of it but only the recitation of the Lord within your senses. 

The Guru’s childhood is depicted and the magical appearance of the Lord in the form of the Guru was very much prevalent. He was declared a prophet by the priest you used to visit Guru Nanak Dev right from the day of birth. The priest knew this child was different, his forehead is radiant and miracles (Chamatkar) happened through him to enlighten the world and spread the message of love, brotherhood and the involvement of everything that is godly and religious in this world. This and more related to Guru Nanak Dev’s life continue to fill minds with knowledge of Guru’s words and his encouragement to recite God’s name for at least five minutes a day.

In a nutshell, though difficult to just stay in such a small space of a nutshell, the Guru’s teachings enlighten minds and fill it with Lord’s prayers. He states- “Our mind can arise only if we love God, loving him is remembering him, and to remember is reciting his name as O Lord O lord O lord or WaheGuru, Waheguru, WaheGuru WaheGuru.”

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