Saturday, July 22, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Baba Deep Singh Jee

à When all peaceful means of settlement are exhausted, it is justified to take up the sword (against tyranny for justice) – Guru Gobind Singh ji

Baba Deep Singh was a Sikh belonging to the village Pahuwind in the District of Amritsar. He was tall, strong, and uncommonly brave. He had received baptism from the hands of Guru Gobind Singh Jee himself. He was a bold and fearless Sant-Sipahi (saint-warrior).

Besides being a strong and fearless warrior, he was a great scholar and practiced Bani regularly. In fact he was one of the most scholarly Sikhs of his time. Along with Bhai Mani Singh ji, he spent lot of his time preparing copies of Guru Granth Sahib. Some he wrote with his own hands. Others he got written under his direct supervision. Copies of the Guru Grath Sahib ji written by his own hands or issued by him with his approval were accepted as most authentic.

At the time that we are talking of, Ahamad Shah Abdali was in India on his fourth invasion. On his return from Delhi, he stayed for sometime in Lahore. He had experienced a good deal of trouble at the hands of the Sikhs. Hence, while staying at Lahore, he sent out a force to punish the Sikhs at Amritsar. The city was plundered. The sacred places, including Sri Harmandir Sahib, were demolished. The sacred tank (sarovar) was filled up.

The news of what had been done to the holy places at Amritsar soon reached Damdama Sahib. On hearing it, Baba Deep Singh Jee felt as if an arrow had pierced his heart. At once, he decided to go to Amritsar and avenge the insult to the sacred places there. He started immediately. Many brave Sikhs with whatever weapon they had with them collected at Damdama Sahib. Baba Deep Singh drew a line on the ground with his double edged Khanda, weighing 18Kgs and addressed the gathered Sikhs, "Only those should cross this line who are prepared to die but not turn back to the enemy in the battlefield

A band of five hundred Sikhs volunteered to accompany him. He announced the coming Diwali festival gathering would be celebrated at Amritsar. Sikhs went on joining him as he went along. By the time he reached Tarn Taran Sahib, he had about five thousand men with him.
"O Lord, of Thee this boon I ask,
That I never shun a righteous deed.
Let me be fearless when I go into battle,
Give me faith that victory will be mine.
Let one directive guide my mind,
That I may ever sing Thy praise,
And when comes the time to end my life,
I should die heroically fighting on the Battle field."
– Guru Gobind Singh ji

The news of march of these brave Sikhs determined to take revenge for desecration of their holiest shrine and to restore its sanctity, reached the rulers in Lahore. Jahan Khan commanding an army of 20,000 soldiers proceeded towards Amritsar. Five miles from Amritsar, the two opposing forces confronted each other. The Sikhs fought with such bravery that soldiers of Jahan Khan's army ran for their lives. Hundred of soldiers of either side fell dead in the battle field. Bhai Dayal Singh, companion of Baba Deep Singh leading a posse of 500 Sikhs, attacked Amir Jahan Khan's force and succeeded in cutting Amir Jahan Khan's head.

After this victory, the sikh forces arrived at Ramsar. By then Atai Khan came with a large army and artillery. His arrival turned the odds against the Sikhs. A fierce battle began. The Sikhs, with Baba Deep Singh Jee at their head, went on fighting and advancing towards Amritsar. Near Ramsar, Baba Deep Singh Jee received a mortal wound in the neck. Baba Deep Singh, more than seventy-five years of age at that time, started to lose his footing under the impact of the blow, when a Sikh reminded "Baba Jee, you had prayed that you should fall a martyr in the precincts of Sri Harmandir Sahib. But you seem to be departing here."

On hearing this, an inhuman energy suddenly took over and Baba Deep Singh Jee rallied at once. He supported his head with is left hand. With the right hand he went on wielding his heavy khanda cutting down his enemy.

Thus fighting, he reached the precincts of Sri Harmandir Sahib. His vow was fulfilled. He fell there to become a martyr. This happened in the year 1757.

At the place where he was wounded stands a Gurdwara "Shaheed Ganj Baba Deep Singh".

sUrw so pihcwnIAY ju lrY dIn ky hyq ]
s oo raa s o peh i chaa n eeai j lar ai dhee n k ae h ae th ||
He alone is known as a spiritual hero, who fights in defense of religion.

purjw purjw kit mrY kbhU n CwfY Kyqu ]2]2]
p u rajaa p uraj aa katt marai kabeh oo n shh aa ddai kh aeth ||2||2||
He may be cut apart, piece by piece, but he never leaves the field of battle. ||2||2||


Bhai Jodh jee

glNØI AsI cMgIAw AwcwrI burIAwh ]
gala(n)a ee asee cha(n)geeaa aachaa ree b ureeaa h ||
We are good at talking, but our actions are bad.

mnhu kusuDw kwlIAw bwhir ictvIAwh ]
manah u ku sudhh aa kaa leeaa b aahar chi ttaveeaah ||
Mentally, we are impure and black, but outwardly, we appear white.

rIsw kirh iqnwVIAw jo syvih dru KVIAwh ]
r ee saa kar ih th inaa rreeaa j o sae vehi dhar kharr eeaah ||
We imitate those who stand and serve at the Lord's Door.

nwil KsmY rqIAw mwxih suiK rlIAwh ]
n aa l khasamai ratheeaa m aanehi sukh ral eeaah ||
They are attuned to the Love of their Husband Lord, and they experience the pleasure of His Love.

hodY qwix inqwxIAw rhih inmwnxIAwh ]
h o dhai th aan n ithaa neeaa reheh i ni maanan eeaah ||
They remain powerless, even while they have power; they remain humble and meek.

nwnk jnmu skwrQw jy iqn kY sMig imlwh ]2]
n aa nak janam sakaa rathhaa j ae thi n kai sa(n)g m ilaa h ||2||
O Nanak, our lives become profitable if we associate with them. ||2||
( à Guru granth Sahib ji pg 85 )

Bhai Jodh Jee was a Brahman by caste. He was intellectual and held knowledge. He came to visit Guru Angad Jee's darbaar (court). He experienced happiness, which he never felt before. Everyday Bhai Jodh would listen to Guru's Keertan and sermon and then go to the Langar Hall, where he would wash all the jhoote bhaandey (dirty dishes) of the Sangat.

The GurSikhs saw that Bhai Jodh does a lot of Sewa but he does not sit in Pangat (with the congregation) to eat Langar. It must be because he is a Brahman and thinks he is higher than us that he doesn't eat with rest of Guru's Sangat. The GurSikhs reported this to Guru Angad. "Guru Angad Jee, Bhai Jodh does a lot of Sewa but he does not eat Langar in Pangat". Guru Angad Jee called Bhai Jodh to see him. Bhai Jodh arrived in the presence of the Guru.

Guru Angad Jee asked him, 'Bhai Jodh is it true that you do not eat in the Pangat like the rest of the Sangat?' 'No Maharaj! I do eat in the Sangat,' replied Bhai Jodh. The GurSikhs said, 'see, now he is a liar as well!" The Guru told Bhai Jodh, "you are holding something from me. When do you eat your Langar? Tell me."

Bhai Jodh, now had tears in his eyes and he told the Guru infront of the GurSikhs, 'Maharaj, when I clean the dirty dishes of the Sangat, sometimes people leave jhoot (left overs). I collect the jhoot of the Sangat in a small bowl. When all the Sangat leave, I then eat the left over jhoot.'

The listeners by where shocked to hear this, they thought Bhai Jodh didn't eat the rest because of his pride and ego. But they were wrong, how could a person be so humble and consider themselves so low. Guru Jee asked Bhai Jodh, 'O Sikh, why do eat the left overs of the Sangat. What makes you eat Jhoot?"

Bhai Jodh replied, "Maharaj, when I came to see you for the first time, I had a ego and pride that I was an educated Brahman. But I heard from you Guru Jee, that when we have hankaar (ego) we cannot obtain the happiness. Maharaj I hear from you that you don't like maan (pride) and hankaar (ego)." "I put jhoot in the mouth of hankaar , in the mouth of my Ego, the thing that doesn't let me get happiness", said Bhai Jodh.

"Don't say that Bhai Jodh!" replied the Guru. "Your sins have been washed, the Guru now dwells within you".

The next day, Bhai Jodh sat in the Pangat (congregation) and ate Langar.

Some people come to the Gurdwara just to criticise and pick up faults of people, we see this today . To get happiness (kushiaan) it is hard. You have to endure lots – sewa (selfless service), simran (meditation) as well as criticism as this is the sign of living in Kaljug (era of falsehood).

The GurSikhs who reported Bhai Jodh the day before saw him eating in the Pangat. They told him, "Why are you eating in the Pangat? Has the leftovers (jhoot) finished or something? We knew you were a Pakandee, a fake."

Now the reply Bhai Jodh said was heart moving (in Bairaag). "I ate Jooth before because I had ego and pride within me. But now within me is the Guru (the Guru's teachings were enshrined in his heart). You can put a dirty spoon in the mouth of Ego. Ego used to dwell within me. But when I look within me now, when I contemplate within now, I see only the Guru and only feel the Guru . When I eat I, I eat for the Guru, I feed Guru within. I cannot feed my Guru jhoot so I cannot feed my Guru jhoot which resides within me."

Guru Angad Maharaj Jee over heard this conversation. He hugged and embraced Bhai Jodh Jee.

'jodh rasoeeaa devthaa gur saevaa kar dhuthar thaaree||'
à Jodh, the cook, served the Guru and swam across the world ocean.


Sakhi Gur Ka Bachan

gur kI syvw sbdu vIcwru ]
g u r k ee s aev aa sabadh v eech aar ||
In the Guru's service is reflection upon the Shabad.

haumY mwry krxI swru ]7]
ho u mai m aa r ae karanee saar ||7||
Subduing ego, practice pure actions. ||7|| ( GGS ji – 223)

There was a sikh called Bhai Mona who was serving in the langar of Guru Angad Dev Ji Maharaj. Mona was extremely arrogant and greedy. Some people complained to the Guru the insulting behavior Bhai Mona displayed whilst serving langar. The Guru called him for an explanation. Bhai Mona said that he was the servant of the Guru and would do anything for him and that he was not a servant of the others( sangat).

The Guru than asked him to go to the nearby forest, chop some wood, make a pyre and cremate himself. Without understanding the consequences of the Guru's orders he went to the forest, cut the wood, makes a pyre and lit it. On seeing the blazing fire he became scared and was reluctant to jump in the fire. Meanwhile a thief arrived and asked Bhai Mona what he was going to do. Bhai Mona told him the whole story. The thief (who was good at heart) thought that he had an opportunity of wiping out the sins of his past life. He accordingly said to Bhai Mona that he would give him a bag of jewels if he would let him die on the pyre and get salvation. Bhai Mona happily agreed.

The thief jumped in the fire but was saved by Guru ji's grace. Bhai Mona on the other hand was arrested for the theft of the jewels and was hanged.

On hearing this the Guru said that a sinner could get salvation by believing in and obeying Guru's orders no matter what he had done before; whereas the pride and vices like anger and greed would destroy the result of all the service(when done in ego).

sath i gur k ee s aevaa safal h ai j ae ko kar ae ch ith laa e ||
Fruitful is service to the True Guru, if one does so with a sincere mind . ( GGS )
If someone just clings onto the word of the Guru they will be saved, through the Guru's grace ... Gur Ka Bachan....

syvw suriq sbid icqu lwey ]
s ae vaa s u rath sabadh ch ith laa e ae ||
Center your awareness on seva-selfless service-and focus your consciousness on the Word of the Shabad.

haumY mwir sdw suKu pwieAw mwieAw mohu cukwvixAw ]1]
ho u mai m aa r sadh aa su kh p aae iaa maae iaa m ohu ch uk aa vaniaa ||1||
Subduing your ego, you shall find a lasting peace, and your emotional attachment to Maya will be dispelled. ||1||


Bhai Mardana ji and the Stone

kbIr mwns jnmu dulµBu hY hoie n bwrY bwr ]
kab eer m aa nas janam dh ula(n)bh h ai h o e n b aar ai b aa r ||
Kabeer, it is so difficult to obtain this human body; it does not just come over and over again.

ijau bn Pl pwky Buie igrih bhuir n lwgih fwr ]30]
j i o ban fal paa kae bh ue gi rehi bah ur n laa gehi dd aar ||30||
It is like the ripe fruit on the tree; when it falls to the ground, it cannot be re-attached to the branch. ||30|| ( GGS ji pg 1366)

One afternoon Guru Nanak ji and Mardana ji were resting on the banks of the Ganges at Patna . Mardana was idly inspecting a stone he had picked up along the road, thinking of the vast throngs who had come to hear the Guru. "Master," said Mardana, "you teach a way for every person to find liberation. But many of those who listen still seem to spend much of their time in conflict, and in seeking out excitement and other idle pursuits. Why do they waste away their lives so?"

The blessing of this human life has been obtained, but still, people do not lovingly focus their thoughts on the Name of the Lord. ( GGS ji, pg 27)

"Most people don't recognize its value," replied the Guru, "although human life is the dearest treasure on this earth."

"Surly everyone can see the value of life," said Mardana.

"No," said Nanak. "Each man places his own value on things according to what he thinks. A different man with different knowledge will place a different value. That stone you found in the dirt will make a good example. Take it to the marketplace and see what you can get for it."

Puzzled, Mardana took the stone to the marketplace and at a stall that sold sweets asked what the vendor would trade for it. The man laughed. "Go away, you're wasting my time."

He next tried a produce seller. "I have paying customers to wait on," said the grocer. "I'll give you an onion for it just to get you out of here."

Mardana tried several more shops with no better response. Finally he came to the shop of Salis Raj, the jeweler. Salis Raj's eyes opened wide when he saw the stone. "I'm sorry," he said, "I don't have enough money to buy your gem. But I will give you a hundred rupees if you will let me look at it a while longer."

Mardana hurried back to the Guru to tell him what had happened.

"See," said Guru Nanak, "how when we are ignorant we mistake a valuable gem for a worthless stone. If someone had told you its value before you knew what it was, you would have thought they were crazy. Such a jewel is human life, and whatever you've traded for it, that is what is yours."

kbIr mnu jwnY sB bwq jwnq hI Aaugnu krY ]
kab eer man j aa n ai sabh b aath j aa nath h ee ao ugan kar ai ||
Kabeer, the mortal knows everything, and knowing, he still makes mistakes.

kwhy kI kuslwq hwiQ dIpu kUey prY ]216]
k aa hae k ee k usalaa th haathh dh eep koo eae par ai ||216||
What good is a lamp in one's hand, if he (still) falls into the well? ||216||


Two shopkeepers

Sant Ishar Singh ji said everyone plans for the future. You study hard because you want a good job when you get older you put money away in a pension scheme so you have a good retirement. One step beyond that we need to plan for our next life. What happens to us depends on our actions now. Do good actions (karam) now and reap the fruits in the next life. (apeh beej apeh hee kao - JapJi).

Their are many types of good deeds : give money in charity, help people etc but Guru Nanak ji says that these aren't even worth a sesame seed when your accounts are read. (Tirath tap daya dat dan je ko bhavai til ka man - JapJi).

The real karam is listening and obeying the Gurus's teachings, loving SatGuru ji in your mind and bathing in the temple of the heart (Sunnia mannia man keeta bhao, antargat teerath mal nao - Japji).

Two shopkeepers

qv gun khw jgq gurw jau krmu n nwsY ]
thav g u n kehaa jagath gu r aa jo karam n naa sai ||
What is Your value, O Guru of the world, if You will not erase the karma of my past actions?

isMG srn kq jweIAY jau jMbuku gRwsY ]1] rhwau ]
s i (n)gh saran kath jaaeeai jo ja(n)bu k gr aas ai ||1|| reh aao ||
Why seek safety from a lion, if one is to be eaten by a jackal? ||1||Pause||
(GGS ji - Bhagat sadhana pg 858)
Two shopkeepers had their shops next to one another. The Gurmukh (follower of the Guru's (Gur) words (mukh)) used to go to sadh sangat every day and have darshan of Guru Nanak Dev ji do seva and come home. The manmukh (follower of his mind's (man) mukh (words) ) used to go to meet a prostitute. One day the GurMukh said come with me to the sadh sangat, after some persuasion the manmukh agreed, on the way the manmukh remembered his prostitute and backed out of going to the sadh sangat. He said I'm going to go to my normal activities but I'll meet you at the tree across the road tonight and we can go back together.

The manmukh went to see the prostitute but she wasn't there so he arrived at the tree much earlier than expected. While waiting for the Gurmukh he started poking a twig into the ground. He found a gold coin, he quickly dug more and more but he only found a pile of ashes. When the Gurmukh returned he was limping along he'd stepped on a thorn.

isir isir scVY iliKAw duKu suKu purib vIcwrovw ]
s i r sir sacharr ai l ikhiaa dh ukh s u kh purab v ee ch aaro v aa ||
Upon each and every head, the True Lord writes their destiny of pain and pleasure, according to their past actions.

duKu suKu dIAw jyhw kIAw so inbhY jIA nwly ]
dh u kh sukh dh eeaa j aehaa k eeaa s o nibeh ai j eea naa l ae ||
He bestows pain and pleasure, according to the deeds done; the record of these deeds stays with the soul.

jyhy krm krwey krqw dUjI kwr n Bwly ]
j ae h ae karam kar aae ae karath aa dh ooj ee k aar n bh aal ae ||
He does those deeds which the Creator Lord causes him to do; he attempts no other actions.
The manmukh said I do my dirty deeds and get good luck you do good deeds but get bad luck . The Gurmukh said lets ask Guru jee to explain. Guru ji told the manmukh, in your previous life you donated one gold piece to a Saint, for doing such a virtuous deed you were to receive the rewards in this life of many gold coins. But because of your sinful deeds you burned your reward away and were left with your original gold coin. The Gurmukh was told, in your previous life you killed someone with a wooden spear, in this life you were to be killed in the same way, but because of your seva to the Guru your bad deed has been reduced to being pricked with a thorn.

ikrqu En@w kw imtis nwih ] Eie Apxw bIijAw Awip Kwih ]
k i rath ounhaa kaa m ittas naa hi || oue apan aa beej iaa aap khaa hi ||
The record of their past actions cannot be erased. They harvest and eat what they have planted.

jn kw rKvwlw Awip soie ] jn kau phuic n skis koie ]3]
jan k aa rakhavaa laa aap so e || jan ko pah uch n sakas k o e ||3||
The Lord Himself is the Protector of His humble servants. No one can rival the humble servant of the Lord. ||3||

Acknowledgement: will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
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