Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

PARMANAND, a Mahãrashtrian saint-poet, one of whose hymns is included in the Guru Granth Sãhib. Born probably in 1483, he is believed to have resided at Bãrsi, situated to the north of Pandharpur, in present-day Sholãpur district of Mahãrãshtra. Parmãnand was a devotee of Vishnu and used in his songs the nom de plume Sarañg, the name of a bird ever thirsty for the rain­drop. He always longed for God whom he worshipped in the Vaisnavite manifestation of Krsna. He used to make, it is said, seven hundred genuflexions daiy to God on his uncovered, often bleeding, knees. He believe for a long time that God could be worshipped as an Image only, but later he had the realization that the nirguna Supreme, God unmanifest, could also be loved and prayed to.Parminand’s one hymn incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib (p. 1253) subscribes to this view. In this hymn, he disapproves of the ritualistic reading and hearing of the sacred books If that has not disposed to the service of fellow beings.He commends sincere devotion which could be imbibed from the company of holy saints. Lust,wrath, avarice, slander have to be expunged for they render all seva, ie. service, fruitless


Shabad from Parmanand in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib


So what have you accomplished by listening to the Puraanas?
Faithful devotion has not welled up within you,
and you have not been inspired to give to the hungry. || 1 || Pause ||
You have not forgotten sexual desire,
and you have not forgotten anger; greed has not left you either.
Your mouth has not stopped slandering and gossiping about others.
Your service is useless and fruitless. || 1 ||
By breaking into the houses of others and robbing them,
you fill your belly, you sinner.
But when you go to the world beyond, your guilt will be well known,
by the acts of ignorance which you committed. || 2 ||
Cruelty has not left your mind;
you have not cherished kindness for other living beings.
Parmaanand has joined the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.
Why have you not followed the sacred teachings? || 3 || 1 || 6 ||
O mind, do not even associate with those who have turned their backs on the Lord.

Extracted from Gurbani De Racheta by S Abnashi Singh and Gurvinder Singh.
Published by: Gaganmai Thaal International,Jandiala Guru,Amritsar

Excerpts taken from Encyclopedia of Sikhism
by Harbans Singh .
Published by Punjabi University, Patiala

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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