Sunday, February 14, 2010

38.Spiritual Significance of Five Kakars-Sikh symbols Part V


Kachera - Specially designed cotton underwear which although gives natural comfort and is dignified but is at the same time is reflective of modesty and high moral character.
The message of kachera is to live a life that makes Sikh pure.The kachehra is for making the Sikh rises above the five vikars (weaknesses of human personality). The five vikars are kama (lust), karodh(anger), lobh(greed), moha(attachment) and ahankar(egoity).These are often called evils , sins or defects. But still the fact is these are part of human personality and are obstruction in the sikh’s pursuit of spiritual path. These are hindrances which blind the mental vision and make concentration difficult. Apart from these let us see what Guruji tells us about other hindrances.

ਪਉੜੀ ॥
ਸੂਰਬੀਰ ਵਰੀਆਮ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਹੋੜੀਐ ॥ਫਉਜ ਸਤਾਣੀ ਹਾਠ ਪੰਚਾ ਜੋੜੀਐ ॥
ਜਿਣਿ ਜਿਣਿ ਲੈਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਰਲਾਇ ਏਹੋ ਏਨਾ ਲੋੜੀਐ ॥
ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਇਨ ਕੈ ਵਸਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਮੋੜੀਐ ॥
ਭਰਮੁ ਕੋਟੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਖਾਈ ਕਹੁ ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਤੋੜੀਐ ॥
ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਆਰਾਧਿ ਬਿਖਮ ਦਲੁ ਫੋੜੀਐ ॥
ਹਉ ਤਿਸੁ ਅਗੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ਰਹਾ ਕਰ ਜੋੜੀਐ ॥੧੫॥
- SGGS 522
Even brave and mighty men cannot withstand the powerful and
overwhelming army which the five passions have gathered.
The ten organs of sensation attach , even detached renunciates to sensory pleasures. Those these make attached, ever seek sensual pleasures.
The world of the three dispositions is under their influence;
no one can stand against them.
How can the great illusion of Maya like the moat around be broken?
In the Perfect Guru’s (
described) way ,
do Worship and break this awesome forceful collection.
Day and night live with HIM (God in mind), to attach with HIM.
- SGGS 522
The obstructions are forceful, very strong.The pleasure of Kama is short lived but has strength enough to setaside all the minds objections. The Anger stays for some times and ever demans that the life do their bidding.It rises when ever desired outcome or behviour is not their.The greed with the humans even longer . The desire for more directs our actions.The attachment is even subtler and grows ever stronger as one lives.The ahankar (egoity) is a very very stubborn hindrance.

The effect of the five and sensual pleasures is to keep our awareness involved in the outer world and worldly affairs.This is part of the great illusion and the the great play that this world is.
As large are the worldly attractions and engrossments so also are a varity of ways towards self –realization. The realization of our origin and our true nature. In some of these powerfully propogated ways the effect of maya and misdirection is there. Only by following the path described by a Perfect Guru that the viel of illusion is broken .
The way and means that SGGSji presents to the Gursikh is there right in the beginning. In Japuji Saheb Guruji answer as below :
ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥
ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
So how can you become truthful?
and how can the veil of illusion be torn away?
It is by walking the path of ‘ Hukam Razazi’
Says Nanak, that is inscribed(meaning is ordained).
- SGGS 1
To explain further the way of ‘Hukam Razazi’ , the Guru ji in the next very lines explained the Hukam .
ਹੁਕਮੀ ਹੋਵਨਿ ਆਕਾਰ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਕਹਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥
ਹੁਕਮੀ ਹੋਵਨਿ ਜੀਅ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥
ਹੁਕਮੀ ਉਤਮੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ॥
ਇਕਨਾ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਬਖਸੀਸ ਇਕਿ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਸਦਾ ਭਵਾਈਅਹਿ ॥
ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੨॥
- SGGS 1

As is HIS Command, the shapes are created;
HIS Command (in operation everywhere) cannot be said to be so.
As is HIS Command, the souls come into being;
As is His Command, the glory and greatness are obtained.
As is HIS Command, some are high and some are low;
As is HIS Command,the pain and pleasure are obtained as is inscribed (karma).
As is HIS Command, some are blessed
and as is HIS Command, some keep wandering.
Everything is subject to HIS Command; nothing is outside HIS Command.
Says Nanak, one who understands the riddle of HIS Command,
does not speak of ego (separate existence).
- SGGS 1
The Hukam and Hukami (giver of command) are together in this world. The creator is everywhere unseen and so is the command unobserved. It is by the Guru’s way that this realization dawns and transformation comes about. This is the way viel is broken light of being jyote swarope shines.

The Gurmukh when see the world then the creator is felt in the creaton .The Hukam behind working of the world is felt to be there.The Gurmukh feels HIS presence. Gurmukh then says in recognition
‘ Tuhi (that’s YOU), Tuhi , Tuhi, Tuhi, Tuhi ,Tuhi ,Tuhi ,Tuhi ,Tuhi ,Tuhi, Tuhi ,Tuhi …..’.

It is when the Gurmukh gets imbued with the Naam-Rang (color of Naam) then the awareness is ever within and without. In this state the focus of awareness operates from within.Everything is done in Naam-Rang.The viel is broken.

In such a state how can the five trouble the Gurmukh. How also can the sensual pleasures be enticing.

The path of Guru Nanak Dev ji is that of faith. To walk the way of Hukam razai is to be in the present. In acceptance of What is withot any resistance and judgement.The Hukam is seen to be prevailing and the Creator is seeneverywhere , in every thing and within too by keeping the individual self assertion aside.
This fact is ever asserted through reciting and singing of gurbani. The Simran is to ever remember HIM ; feel HIM .

First is acceptance that what Guru tells is Sach (truth) , next what the Guru says is then experienced.

The Kachehra is for following a path that truly liberates Sikh from the control of sensual pleasures and the army of the Five. The Gurmukh then lives in this world always getting out of the grip of these untouched.

The power of five kakars

The tenth master, Guru Gobind Singh ji at a special congregation at Anandpur on Vaisakhi Day, 30 March 1699 created Khalsa making it the culmination of about 240 years of training given by the ten Gurus to their Sikhs. The Guru wanted to create a way for sikhs to be pure (khalsa) ever in future. The khalsa is a combination of devotion (Bhakti) and strength (Shakti).
The Khalsa was to be of high moral character,strong, courageous, learned and wise. His character would be strengthened by recitation and singing of Gurbani. The khalsa is meant to walk the earth with virtue and courage to stand against exploitation, self-defence and protection. The Khalsa is to live an householders life and has to have a strength for overcoming hurdles through his daily life with Waheguru. His spirit will continue to inspire them for the preservation of peace, order and dignity of mankind for all time to come.

The Sikh is initiated in the Khalsa path through a ceremony of ‘Amrit Sanchar’ through the drinking of the Amrit or the Nectar. The Amrit is administered in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ,the 11th eternal Guru by the five Sikhs, representing panj pyaras, The Sikhs being initiated then adorn the five kakars . These kakars are Kesh , Kanga, Kara ,Kirpan and Kachera.

These blessed kakars were selected and ordained by Guru Gobind Singh ji for ever being adorned by the Khalsa. What power does these have. These have a power that works in a mysterious way by keeping the Khalsa on a right path to attain a pure , pious spiritual life which according to the Guru Granth Sahib. These have an external as well as special significance.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spiritual Significance of Five Kakars-Sikh symbols Part IV


Kirpan - A Strapped sword, usually small in size is worn by the Sikh all the time. The message of Kirpan is to cut the attachments of ego regularly all the time.Let us see what Guruji explains about these attachments

ਤਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਥਾਪਿ ਕੀਓ ਸਭੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਕੋਮਲ ਬੰਧਨ ਬਾਂਧਿਆ ॥
SGGS 383
He preserves his body and wealth, and takes everything as his own;
such are the subtle bonds which bind him.
SGGS 383
Here is another Shabad which explains in more detail:
ਸਲੋਕੁ ॥
ਰਾਚਿ ਰਹੇ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਕੁਸਮ ਰੰਗ ਬਿਖ ਸੋਰ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਹ ਸਰਨੀ ਪਰਉ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਮੈ ਮੋਰ ॥੧॥
ਰੇ ਮਨ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਹ ਰਚਹੁ ਤਹ ਤਹ ਬੰਧਨ ਪਾਹਿ ॥
ਜਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਤਹੂ ਨ ਛੂਟੀਐ ਸਾਕਤ ਤੇਊ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਰਮ ਰਤ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਭਾਰੁ ਅਫਾਰ ॥
ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਜਉ ਨਾਮ ਸਿਉ ਤਉ ਏਊ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥
ਬਾਧੇ ਜਮ ਕੀ ਜੇਵਰੀ ਮੀਠੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਰੰਗ ॥
ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੇ ਮੋਹੇ ਨਹ ਬੁਝਹਿ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸਦਹੂ ਸੰਗ ॥
ਲੇਖੈ ਗਣਤ ਨ ਛੂਟੀਐ ਕਾਚੀ ਭੀਤਿ ਨ ਸੁਧਿ ॥
ਜਿਸਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਏ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਤਿਹ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਬੁਧਿ ॥੯॥
SGGS 252
Man remains engrossed in women and playful pleasures;
the tumult of his passion is like the dye of the safflower, which fades away all too soon.
Says Nanak, seek God's Sanctuary, and your my and mine shall go away. 1
O mind: without the Lord,
whatever you are involved in shall bind you in chains.
The faithless cynic does those deeds
which will never allow him to be emancipated;
Acting in egotism saying mine mine, they carry the unbearable load.
When there is no love for the Naam, then these actions are useless.
The rope of death binds those who are in love with the sweet taste of Maya.
Deluded by doubt, they do not understand that God is always with them.
When their accounts are called for, they shall not be released;
their wall of mud (body)cannot be washed clean.
One who is made to understand ,
Says Nanak, that Gurmukh obtains immaculate understanding. 9
SGGS 252
The attachments that a person develops because of ego (self-identity) are bonds which do not allow the person to know about God. These are cut through Naam Simran.The ego then is known and fades away.
ਟੂਟੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਸਫਲ ਪੂਰਨ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਕਾਮ ॥
ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਿਟੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਛੁਟੀ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮ ॥
SGGS 300
Through meditation in remembrance of the Lord, the
bonds are broken,so also desires and the karma’s are fritified;
Mind’s misdirection are removed, and ego (being separate from HIM) is effaced.
SGGS 300
Guruji have also explained how the bondage is to be cut through Simran. In Japji Saheb itself the way is shown .
ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੨॥

Everyone is subject to HIS Hukam (divine order); no one is out of Hukam.
Says Nanak, one who understands the Hukam ,does not say there is ego (separate identity).
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥
By Guru's Grace, HE abides in the mind,
and egotism(separate Identity) is driven out.
SGGS 30.
With Guru ‘ explained way in Gurbani and Simran the mind realizes and knows that the ego- separate identity is an illusion and there is GOD only everywhere and everything.
ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਕਹਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਦੁਖੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥
Everything is God HIMSELF;
with ego (separate Identity) this cannot be said ( while looking at the world).
Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, HE is recognised, and the pain of egotism is then gone
ਹਰਿ ਤੁਧਹੁ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਤੂੰ ਸਚਾ ਸਾਈ ॥
ਤੂੰ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਹੀ ਥਾਈ ॥
O Lord, there is nothing outside of YOU. YOU are True Master (in reality).
YOU YOURSELF are operating in all places
The Haume (ego) which is separate self identity within the divine order prevailing. The ego is part of Hukam and ever asserts to maintain its separate existence . The ego keeps sustaining the illusion that GOD is separate- an higher power.The doubt,explainations ,rationalization are minds ploys.
The mind which is outward focused in the world considers world to be the only reality and when the same mind sees the world with a view from inward focus the reality is different.

For simran to cut the bonds of ego links requires an element of strong faith in the Guru’s Word. The doubting mind ever is at its wits to unshake what we like to believe in. The Sikh takes the word of SGGS ji as absolute truth despite what the mind or senses may be showing initially.

What is true is true.

And Faith of a GurSikh is a total commitment to believe that words of Gurbani are true . Faith is thus having an intense conviction that what is believed to be true , is in fact true.

So whatever be your past experierence or what the mind may be telling you belive that HUKAM is prevailing everywhere and there is onlyONENESS. This faith then actually turns into an actual experience and the Sikh Feels and beholds oneness.
The message and purpose of Kirpan is to cut the Sikhs ego bonds and letting the GOD to dwell within the Siks’s mind.

Have a relationship with Kirpan and cut the ego bonds through Simran.
SEE the truth through words of Gurbani. Repeat Shabads again and again till the mind gets the message.

From saying Mine , Mine shift to Tera , Tera (YOURS, YOURS).
The Kirpan is with the sikh always and so also the Sikh has to cut keep asserting and cutting links whenever by watching the mind ,acting on past behavior, and keep correcting it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spiritual Significance of Five Kakars-Sikh symbols Part III


Kara – an Iron bracelet worn on the right hand is another symbol graced by the Guru.
Kara signifies the manner of outward expression of a Sikh in worldly life. The iron signifies a inner steely resolve in exercising will-power in choice of everyday Karma.
The Karma (kind of life activity) of a Sikh in the worldly life isto be directed towards activities which are for spiritual growth as stated by the Guru SGGSji.

In Japji Saheb Guruji state that :

By the karma of actions, the robe is obtained;and
By HIS Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.
The Robe (kapra) refered here is the state which a sikh reaches through right Guru specified spiritual activities and the Sikh then is ready for the Nadar of Karta to know the Door of liberation.
Some of the activities foror the Sikh the Guru advices are :

Reading , listening and understanding Gurbani; Sitting in Sat Sangat;Listening to Katha Kirtan ; Getting up in Amritwela; Simran to be made part daily life ; Living life with Raza ( positive optimistic acceptance) ; Humbleness ; Seva ; Sharing; Control of five passions; Honest livelihood; Equality of all ; Respect of others and everything ; Sweetness in talk; …

The spiritual way of the Guru is different from those traditionally known as Guru explains in this Line :
Meditation, penance and austere self-discipline (for the Sikh) are
surrendering to the True Guru's specified Karma
- SGGS 88
The Sikh who obeys and moulds his life on Guru’s specified path is through this choice of Karma is redy to receive Divine Amrit :
There the Ambrosial Nectar is distributed,
and those with good karma receive this gift.
SGGS 146
The choice of action with regard to daily life is ever before an individual. There are many enticements and allurements.Many in this world are on the wrong path and so the Guru cautions here :
The world is blind and ignorant; in the love of duality, it engages in actions. But those actions which are performed in the love of duality, cause only pain to the body. By Guru's Grace, peace wells up, when one acts according to the Word of the Guru's Shabad. He acts according to the True Word of the Guru's Bani; night and day, he meditates on the Naam, the Name of the Lord. O Nanak, as the Lord Himself engages him, so is he engaged; no one has any say in this matter.
SGGS 593
To keep away from the worldly enticements and allurements and being steady in Guru directed spiritual pursuits require a strong will-power. The relationship a Sikh develops with the Kara enables him to have an Iron Will to be steadfast on the path.

The Guru-Graced Kara in the Sikh's right hand is more than a mere iron bangle.
The Kara bestows the Sikhs with an iron willpower by relating to it and knowing that Kara is a graced link to the Guru.
By forming relationship withthe Kara the Sikh does not cede control over his life to others and nor does to the fate or circumstances but is steadfast while walking the Guru’s stated way.

That Sikh of the Guru is to be ever respected with a bow,
who walks the Guru’s stated way.
SGGS 593

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Spiritual Significance of Five Kakars-Sikh symbols -Part II


Kanga - Wooden comb for combing the hair is the symbol closely connected with Sikhee.It is use is for maintenance of the Kesh. The keshas are combed daily with the Kanga.The spiritual significance is regular daily naam simran.

The message of Kanga is to grow in Sikhee with a regular effort.

The Guruji’s advice to the Sikh is


Only that can be known as a Sikh of the True Guru,who rises in the early morning hours and meditates on Har Naam.

The effort is to arise early in the morning, take a bathe, and cleanse himself (of false ego) in the pool of nectar(through simran meditation).

As are the Instructions of the Guru (Gurbani) , with the Jap is of Har, Har ( the repeated assertion of Har (the God in the mind through Gurumantra Waheguru) all sins, misdeeds and negativity is erased ( the Godly qualities then dominate) .

Then, at the rising of the sun, the Gurbani is sung;and whether sitting down or standing up, meditation on Har Naam (simran).

One who meditates on my (guru’s advice) Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind.

SGGS 305

The Guru’s advice for regular daily effort towards Naam Simran is repeatedly stated in Gurbani . Here some lines from SGGSji.

O my mind, give up all these (mind created) efforts (that are not work in your life) . As the Perfect Guru says dwell each day, and develop love with the one Lord pervading as Oneness 1

SGGS 45.

Continually, continuously, remember the Merciful Lord.

Never forget HIM (your origin ) from your mind.

SGGS 132

The continous and regular Simran ( reciting of Gurbani with feeling and remembrance with jap of Gurumantra – Waheguru) is advocated by the Guruji so that the Sikh’s state of mind is lifted from being attached with lower worldly emotions to higher feelings of Love , appreciation , gratitude , cooperation , peace, joy etc. Also the Sikh then rises above thre false ego identification (haume) and reaches the the state of being which Gurbani calls ‘Jyote Swarop’.

A regular continous action is required so that the state of being ‘Jyote Swarop’ is achieved by the Sikh through simran.

Guruji says that :

O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light - recognize your own origin. O my mind, the Dear Lord is ever with you; through the Guru's Teachings, enjoy the state of Anand.

SGGS 441

The Kanga ever reminds us to be regular in our effort in Simran. So a buildup of a relationship with this symbol chosen and graced by the Guru we get the strength and resolve to make daily and regulay simran a part of our life.