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FLORA AND FAUNA IN GURBANI  

Prof ( Dr ) Surjit Singh Bhatti

All Gurus, saints and sages have been fascinated by the beauty and diversity of nature and have written plethora of lessons that can be assimilated if we pay heed to the creatures around us. The “Ten Commandments” talk of the earth being crammed with the heaven and every bush afire with God. Moses then says only he who sees this mesmerizing charisma of nature, puts off his shoes ( in reverence ). The Sikh Gurus look at nature not only as the pristine glory of God’s Creation, they even consider the diverse flora and fauna as our guides and mentors. To them trees are the poems that the earth writes upon the sky, the birds sing the celestial songs and the animals serve a divine purpose. Gurbani repeatedly invokes swans ( hans ), peacocks, hawks ( baaz ), black bees, honey bees, cuckoos ( koels), papiha, partridges, larks ( chatriks ) ducks, frogs, cranes ( bagula ), pigeons, parrots, moths, butterflies, crows and sparrows, among others. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib ( SGGS ), the Gurus, the Bhagats, the bards and others either directly address these birds or bring out their characteristic qualities and relate these to human life. Trees like mango, simbal, neem, sandalwood, flame of the forest ( dhak, plash, tesu ) and flowering plants like grapevines, kesar, creepers and lotus find abundant mention. Likewise, Gurbani is replete with references to animals such as cows, horses, elephants, camels, lions, deer and dogs. Fish are frequently talked about in the context of their intense love of water.

 

Kabir reminds us that human life is transient like the ( short ) stay of birds on the trees.

ਬਿਰਖ ਬਸੇਰੋ ਪੰਖਿ ਕੋ ਤੈਸੋ ਇਹ ਸੰਸਾਰ ( SGGS – 337 )

 

The Guru says that we should live in this world in detachment like the lotus flowers that remain above the water and the ducks that do not let their wings get wet while swimming.

ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲ ਨਿਰਾਲਮ ਮੁਰਗਾਈ ਨੈ ਸਾਣੈ ( SGGS - 938 )

 

Sheikh Farid warns us not to plant wild trees with thorns if we desire sweet grapes in life.

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਲੋੜੈ ਦਾਖ਼ ਬਿਜਉਰੀਆਂ ਕਿੱਕਰ ਬੀਜੈ ਜਟੁ ( SGGS – 1379 )

 

The Guru says sweet nature and humility are the essence of all good qualities. The proud and tall simbal tree has neither good flowers nor sweet fruits. Also, its leaves do not provide shade and disappoint the weary who come to it with hope.

ਸਿੰਮਲ ਰੁੱਖ ਸਰਾਇਰਾ ਅਤਿ ਦੀਰਘ ਅਤਿ ਮੁੱਚ । ਉਇ ਜਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਆਸ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਨਿਰਾਸੇ ਕਿਤੁ ॥
ਫਲ ਫਿੱਕੇ ਫੁੱਲ ਬਕ ਬਕੇ ਕੰਮ ਨ ਆਵਹਿ ਪਤ । ਮਿੱਠਤੁ ਨੀਵੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਗੁਣ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆਂ ਤੱਤ ॥
( SGGS – 470 )

 

The ablutions in rivers ( on so-called auspicious days ) cannot bring any benefit to the human beings any more than the repeated daily baths taken by frogs do.

ਜਲ ਕੈ ਮਜਨਿ ਜੇ ਗਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਮੇਂਡੁਕ ਨਾਵਹਿ । ( SGGS – 484 )

 

Guru Nanak says that those human beings who have no good qualities but are proud and full of ego, are the real animals ( like donkeys ).

ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇ ਨਰ ਅਸਲਿ ਖਰ ਜਿ ਬਿਨ ਗੁਣ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੰਤਿ । ( SGGS – 1245 )

 

To teach the value of honest earning, Guru Sahib warns that money obtained by usurping the right of somebody else is like the ( flesh of a ) pig to a Muslim and cow to a Hindu.

ਹਕੁ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਉਸੁ ਸੂਅਰ ਉਸੁ ਗਾਇ । ( SGGS – 141 )

 

Just as an elephant is trapped when he falls a prey to his weakness for lust, Gurbani says, a man gets the same fate by his attachment to his family.

ਜਿਉ ਮੈਗਲ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਰਸਿ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿਓ ਤੂੰ ਲਾਗਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਕੁਟੰਬਾਇਲੇ । ( SGGS – 862 )

 

The Gurus compare an ordinary person to a wild tree and God to the sandalwood tree and assure that this good company transforms the lowly human to a high pedestal in life.

ਤੁਮ ਚੰਦਨ ਹਮ ਇਰੰਡ ਬਾਪੁਰੇ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੇ ਬਾਸਾ ।
ਨੀਚ ਰੂਖ ਤੇ ਊਚ ਭਏ ਹੈ ਗੰਧ ਸੁਗੰਧਿ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ॥
( SGGS – 486 )

 

The faithfulness of a dog to his master is well-known. The dog never leaves the house of the master ( under any circumstances ). Guru Sahib uses this to illustrate the way a human being should remember God with single-minded devotion.

ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੋ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਜਿਉ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਆਨ ਤਜਤ ਨਹੀ ਨਿਤ ।
ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਉ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ ॥
( SGGS -1428 )

 

Gurbani says animals are better than humans as the former eat grass and give nectar ( in the form of milk ) while the latter are ungrateful. The lives of those human beings who do not remember God ( who gives them so much ) are accursed.

ਪਸੂ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆਂ ਖੜ੍ਹ ਖਾਵਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੇਹਿ ।
ਨਾਮ ਵਿਹੂਣੇ ਆਦਮੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗ ਜੀਵਣ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇਹਿ ॥
( SGGS-489 )

 

Sheikh Farid, in his inimitable vocabulary, says he is sacrifice to the birds who live in jungles, on rough ground , and eat coarse grain but do not forget or leave the company of God.

ਫੁਰੀਦਾ ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਤਿਨ ਪੰਖੀਆਂ ਜੰਗਲਿ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਾਸੁ ।
ਕਕਰੁ ਚੁਗਨਿ ਥਲਿ ਵਸਨਿ ਰਬ ਨ ਛੋਡਨਿ ਪਾਸ ॥
( SGGS -1383 )

 

Through these visuals Gurbani brings out the sublime lessons we humans should learn from the rich flora and fauna around us. Scientists have confirmed ( reported in National Geographic, April 2013 ), the existence of 8.4 million ( 84 lakh ) species of living beings, revealed already by Gurbani. They also tell us to treat nature as an integrated living system with shared legacy and varying common genes ( Scientific American, July 2013 ), essential for our survival. The Gurbani enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ( SGGS ) seems to persuade all human beings to find time to “stand and stare” at this bio-diversity and respect the divine nature, even if their humdrum life is “full of care”.

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ਸਿੱਖੀ (Sikhism)

ਸਿੱਖੀ (ਉਚਾਰਨ: sikkhī) ਇੱਕ ਰੱਬ ਨੂੰ ਮੰਨਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਧਰਮ ਹੈ ਜਿਸਦੀ ਨੀਂਹ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਨੇ 15ਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੱਖਣੀ ਏਸ਼ੀਆ ਦੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਖੇਤਰ ਵਿਖੇ ਰੱਖੀ। ਮੰਨਣ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਗਿਣਤੀ ਮੁਤਾਬਕ ਇਹ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਪੰਜਵਾਂ ਵੱਡਾ ਧਰਮ ਹੈ। ਸਿੱਖੀ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਸਿੱਖ ਤੋਂ ਬਣਿਆ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਅਰਥ ਹੈ ਪੱਕਾ ਅਤੇ ਯੋਗ ਚੇਲਾ। ਸਿੱਖੀ ਦਾ ਅਧਾਰ ਇੱਕ ਰੱਬ ਅਤੇ ਦਸ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਿੱਖਿਆਵਾਂ ਹਨ ਜੋ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦੇ ਧਾਰਮਕ ਪੁਸਤਕ ਅਤੇ ਰਹਿਬਰ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਰਜ ਹਨ। ਸਿੱਖ ਧਰਮ ਦੇ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਕਿਹਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਜਿਸਦਾ ਮੁੱਖ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਿੱਚ ਯਕੀਨ ਰੱਖਣਾ ਹੈ ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਇੱਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ (ਮਤਲਬ: ਇੱਕ ਰੱਬ) ਦੁਆਰਾ ਦਰਸਾਇਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ।

 
 
Sikhism, was founded by Guru Nanak, who was born in 1469. Guru Nanak spread a simple message of "Ek Onkaar": we are all one, created by the One Creator of all Creation. He expressed the reality that there is one God and many paths, and the Name of God is Truth, "Sat Naam".

 

Guru Nanak taught his way of life:
Nam Japna - To get up each day before sunrise, to clean the body, meditate on God's Name and recite the Guru's hymns to clean the mind. Throughout the day, continuously remember God's Name with every breath.
Dharam di Kirat Karni - To work and earn by the sweat of the brow, to live a family way of life, and practice truthfulness and honesty in all dealings.
Vand Ke Chakna - To share the fruits of one’s labor with others before considering oneself. Thus, to live as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.

 

Sikhs live by three major principles:

  • Remember God while carrying out daily duties.

  • Remember God while employed in honest work.

  • Sharing what they earn with others in need. Charitable work is considering the same as giving service to God, if carried out while meditating and keeping God in mind.

 

The foundation of Sikhism was laid down by Guru Nanak. Subsequently, he was followed by nine disciples who in their own way contributed to the Sikh Faith. Ultimately, all their teachings were compiled into the sikh scripture, The Guru Granth Sahib.

Sikhs believe in one God, and that different faiths are a reflection of the belief in the same God.

  

The Ten Gurus Are:

  • Guru Nanak Dev Jee

  • Guru Angad Dev Jee

  • Guru Amar Das Jee

  • Guru Ram Das Jee

  • Guru Arjan Dev Jee

  • Guru Hargobind Jee

  • Guru Har Rai Jee

  • Guru Harkrishan Jee

  • Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee

  • Guru Gobind Singh Jee

         


 

 

Creation of the Universe according to Sikhism

ਸਿਖ ਧਰਮ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਹੋਈ ।

by Professor Maninder Singh Ji

Creation of the universe has been a mystery and challenge to man. All religions have given their own theories about the creation. Some of these theories are quite contrary to the scientific discoveries. The cosmologists have evolved a consensus about a model, which may be called the “Standard Big Bang Model.” According to it the Universe originated in an enormous explosion. All matter- the stars and galaxies –was once concentrated into a very hot, dense, primordial matter soup. This matter-soup expanded so rapidly that it is exploded with a Big Bang. In so doing, it cooled down enabling nuclei, then atoms and finally much later galaxies, stars and planets to condense out of it. According to the scientists the Universe came out from vacuum. The entire Universe is a re-expression of sheer nothingness.

ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਬਾਰੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਧਰਮਾਂ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਕੀਤੇ ਹਨ । ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਕਈ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਸਵੱਟੀ ਤੇ ਪੂਰੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਉਤਰਦੇ । ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਸੁੰਨ (Nothingness) ਤੋ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੋਇਆ । ਇਹ ਬਹੁਤ ਇਕ ਬਹੁਤ ਵਿਸ਼ਾਲ ਗਰਮ ਮਾਦੇ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ ਸੀ । ਇਹ ਮਾਦਾ ਇਤਨੇ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਨਾਲ ਫੈਲਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਕ ਵਿਸ਼ਾਲ ਧਮਾਕਾ (Big Bang) ਹੋਇਆ ਜਿਸ ਨਾਲ ਇਹ ਮਾਦਾ ਅਣਗਿਣਤ ਛੋਟੇ ਵੱਡੇ ਟੁਕੜਿਆ ਵਿਚ ਫੱਟ ਗਿਆ । ਇਹ ਟੁਕੜੇ ਹੋਲੀ ਹੋਲੀ ਠੰਡੇ ਹੋਕੇ ਸਥੂਲ ਆਕਾਰ ਬਣ ਗਏ ਅਤੇ ਅਕਾਸ਼ ਗੰਗਾਵਾਂ, ਤਾਰਿਆਂ, ਸੂਰਜੀ ਮੰਡਲਾਂ, ਨਖੱਤਰਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਅਨੇਕ ਛੋਟੇ ਵੱਡੇ ਆਕਾਰਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਇਹ ਆਪਣੇ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਡੇ ਆਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੁਆਲੇ ਘੁੰਮਣ ਲਗ ਪਏ ।

According to Gurbani God existed all alone before His Creation in His abstract form-Nirguna. This may be called the state of pre-creation. God was in the state of Sunn-samadhi, state of contemplation of the Void. According to Gurbani, there was darkness and chaos for millions of years. There were mists and clouds; none existed except God:

ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਸਭ ਤੋ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਕੇਵਲ ਰਬ ਹੀ ਸੀ । ਉਹ ਸੂਖਮ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਸਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ ਸੀ ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਕਿਹਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ । ਕਰੋੜਾਂ ਸਾਲਾਂ ਤਕ ਇਹ ਸੁੰਨ ਦੀ ਅਵੱਸਥਾ ਰਹੀ ਇਹ ਬੱਦਲ ਅਤੇ ਧੁੰਧ ਵਰਗੀ ਸੀ । ਫਿਰ ਰਬ ਦੇ ਹੁਕਮ ਨਾਲ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਹੋਈ : 

There was darkness for limitless time.
There was no earth, no sky.
Neither day nor night, nor moon, nor sun. God was in the state of abstract meditation.
The Universe came into being when it was his Will.      -SGGS. Pg. 1035

ਅਰਬਦ ਨਰਬਦ ਧੁੰਧੂਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਧਰਣਿ ਨ ਗਗਨਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥
ਨਾ ਦਿਨੁ ਰੈਨਿ ਨ ਚੰਦੁ ਨ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਲਗਾਇਦਾ ॥1॥           ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:-1035

Guru Nanak Dev in his Japu asserts that the Creator created the Universe by his Will and Order:

ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਜਪੁਜੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਚ ਫੁਰਮਾਇਆ ਹੈ:-

You created the vast expanse of the Universe with One Word!
Hundreds of thousands of rivers began to flow.           –SGGS. Pg 3

ਕੀਤਾ ਪਸਾਉ ਏਕੋ ਕਵਾਉ ॥
ਤਿਸ ਤੇ ਹੋਏ ਲਖ ਦਰੀਆਉ ॥      
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:-3

 When God willed the creation of the Universe, He became manifest, Sargun. He diffused himself in Nature:

ਸਾਰੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਦਾ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਇਕ ਹੁਕਮ ਨਾਲ ਹੋਇਆ ।
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਹੁਕਮ ਨਾਲ ਸ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟੀ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਹੋਈ । ਉਹ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਤੋਂ ਸਰਗੁਣ ਸਰੂਪ ਹੋਕੇ ਸ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟੀ ਵਿਚ ਸਮਾ ਗਿਆ ।

He, the Formless One, is also in form; Yea, He is the Absolute and the Related One.
Nanak, he is known as the One alone, and he has become the many.  - SGGS. Pg 250

ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਆਕਾਰ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਸਰਗੁਨ ਏਕ ॥
ਏਕਹਿ ਏਕ ਬਖਾਨਨੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ॥1॥       ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:-250

The material world of Five elements – Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Either is created out the Creator itself, like a spider who creates it web out of itself:

ਪੰਜ ਤੱਤਾਂ- ਹਵਾ,ਪਾਣੀ,ਅੱਗ, ਧਰਤੀ ਤੇ ਆਕਾਸ਼ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਤੋ ਹੀ ਹੋਈ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਮਕੜੀ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਤੋਂ ਹੀ ਜਾਲਾ ਬੁਣਦੀ ਹੈ ।ਸਾਰੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਹਵਾ,ਪਾਣੀ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਬਣਾਈ ਗਈ ।

ਪੰਚ ਤਤੁ ਸੁੰਨਹੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਾ ॥ ਦੇਹ ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਕਰਮ ਅਭਿਆਸਾ ॥
ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਲੀਖੇ ਪਾਪੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਬੀਜਾਇਦਾ ॥     ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:- -1038 

From the True Lord came air; from air came water,
From water He created the three worlds and infused in every heart His own light.    -SGGS-19

ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਪਵਨਾ ਭਇਆ ਪਵਨੈ ਤੇ ਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮੋਇ ॥    ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:--19

When was the World created? This is a mystery. Was this process of creation a sudden and impulsive one or was it one of evolution and growth. Theologians and scientists are unable to assert it  only God who created it knows as Guru Nanak says in Japu:

ਸ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟੀ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਕਦੋਂ ਹੋਈ ।ਇਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਧਰਮ-ਸ਼ਾਸਤਰੀ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਗਿਆਨੀ ਯਕੀਨ ਨਾਲ ਕੁਝ ਨਹੀ ਦਸ ਸਕਦੇ । ਸਾਰੇ ਇੰਦਾਜ਼ੇ ਲਾਉਂਦੇ ਹਨ ਜੋ ਇਕ ਦੂਜੇ ਨਾਲ ਨਹੀ ਰਲਦੇ ।ਇਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਕੇਵਲ ਰਚਨਹਾਰ ਹੀ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ ।

What was that time, and what was that moment?
What was that day, and what was that   Date?
What was that season, and what was that month, when the Universe was created?
The Pandits, the religious scholars, cannot find that time, even if it is written in the Puraanas.
That time is not known to the Qazis, who study the Koran.
The day and the date are not Known to the Yogis, nor is the month or the season.
The Creator who created this creation—only He Himself knows.      - SGGS-4

ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਵਖਤੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਕਵਣ ਥਿਤਿ ਕਵਣੁ ਵਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਵਣਿ ਸਿ ਰੁਤੀ ਮਾਹੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਜਿਤੁ ਹੋਆ ਆਕਾਰੁ ॥
ਥਿਤਿ ਵਾਰੁ ਨਾ ਜੋਗੀ ਜਾਣੈ ਰੁਤਿ ਮਾਹੁ ਨਾ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਿਰਠੀ ਕਉ ਸਾਜੇ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣੈ ਸੋਈ ॥       ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:--4

The Creation came out of God and ultimately it is to assimilate with its creator. Creation is in itself an exposition (Sarguna swarup) of the creator. Human is the Supreme creation of the Lord having the maximum potentialities of its creator. He has to realize the Creator by means of His creation. He has to seek the Eternal Life through the Teaching of the True Guru while living in the mortal frame of his life. It is the duty of man to study and understand the laws of the Universal Order (Hukam) and realize the Greatness and glory of the Supreme Being.

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਬੇਅੰਤ ਹੈ । ਧਰਤੀਆਂ, ਨਖੱਤਰਾਂ, ਸੂਰਜਾਂ, ਤਾਰਿਆਂ ਆਕਾਸ਼ਾਂ ਪਾਤਾਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਗਿਣਤੀ ਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਹਿਸਾਬ ਨਹੀ ਲਗਾ ਸਕਦਾ । ਆਪਣੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਬਾਰੇ ਉਹ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ । ਜਪੁਜੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਚ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਫੁਰਮਾਨ ਹੈ:

ਪਾਤਾਲਾ ਪਾਤਾਲ ਲਖ ਆਗਾਸਾ ਆਗਾਸ ॥
ਓੜਕ ਓੜਕ ਭਾਲਿ ਥਕੇ ਵੇਦ ਕਹਨਿ ਇਕ ਵਾਤ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਵਡਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣੈ ਆਪੁ ॥               ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਨਾ:--5 

ਰਚਨਾ ਰਚਨਹਾਰ ਤੋ ਬਣੀ ਅਤੇ ਫ਼ਿਰ ਉਸੇ ਵਿਚ ਸਮਾ ਜਾਵੇਗੀ ।ਇਹ ਉਸਦਾ ਸਰਗੁਣ ਸਰੂਪ ਹੈ । ਮਨੁੱਖ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਸੀ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਸ੍ਰੇਸ਼ਟ ਰਚਨਾ (Supreme Creation) ਹੈ ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਇਸ ਵਿਚ ਰੱਬੀ ਗੁਣ ਹਨ । ਇਸ ਨਾਸ਼ਮਾਨ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਵਿਚ ਰਹਿੰਦਿਆਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਅਵਿਨਾਸ਼ੀ ਪਦ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ ਕਰਨਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਦਾ ਉਦੇਸ਼ ਹੈ । ਇਸਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਦਾ ਫ਼ਰਜ਼ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਹੁਕਮ(Laws of Universal Order) ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝੇ ।

ਅਸਾਂ ਵੇਖਿਆ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਦਾ ਰਚਨਾ ਸਿਧਾਂਤ ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਦੇ ਕਿਤਨਾ ਅਨੁਸਾਰੀ ਹੈ ।

 

ਮੂਲ ਮੰਤਰ (Mool Mantar)

GurmukhiHindiEnglishMeaning
Ik oaʼnkār One Universal Creator God
ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ सति नामु saṯ nām The Name Is Truth
ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ करता पुरखु karṯā purakẖ Creative Being Personified
ਨਿਰਭਉ निरभउ nirbẖao No Fear
ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ निरवैरु nirvair No Hatred
ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ अकाल मूरति akāl mūraṯ Image Of The Undying
ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ अजूनी सैभं ajūnī saibẖaʼn Beyond Birth, Self-Existent
ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ गुर प्रसादि gur parsāḏ By Guru's Grace

         


 

 

Guru Tegh Bahadur: A Symbol of Forgiveness and Fearlessness

by Harpreet Kaur Bains

Guru Tegh Bahadur, ninth Guru of the Sikhs, was born at Amritsar on 1 April, 1621. As his name suggests, he was skilled in the art of wielding sword and was brave in doing his duty. In fact he was a multifaceted personality and commanded a great respect, even during his time, not only among the Sikhs but also among the people of other communities and religions. To them he appeared to be a source of great courage, determination and strength on whom they could depend in the hour of crisis. The great Guru was indeed a man of very high stature whom believers in all faiths and creeds approached for advice and refuge.

While some scholars have studied his life in detail and have described him as a symbol of peace, friend of the oppressed, defender of religion, unparalleled martyr, “Hind di chadar”, etc., others have examined the various aspects of his philosophy of life reflected in his auspicious poetry. The scope of this article is limited and it aims at studying only two prominent traits of his character: readiness to forgive others and fearlessness in thought and action. But before discussing them in detail it would not be without interest to have a close look at his family environment and the contemporary situation which must have contributed a great deal in shaping his personality and thought.

Family Environment

His father was Guru Hargobind, sixth Guru of the Sikhs, whose “miri piri” gospel must have had a deep influence on the young Tegh Bahadur’s impressionable mind. The parents could read his forehead correctly and gave him a befitting name Tegh Bahadur indicative of strength, courage and fearlessness. When still a boy of tender age, he took part in one of the four battles fought by his father and showed his courage and bravery. His elder brother, Baba Gurditta, was a renowned warrior who had killed in this very battle Osman Khan with his arrow. Like Guru Nanak, the ninth Guru had the courage to say what was true. The impact of the personality of peaceful Guru Arjun Dev could be easily perceived in him. He had also seen his father Guru Hargobind in action and the ungrateful Painde Khan was killed before his eyes. At the age of 11, he was married to (Mata) Gujri, daughter of Shri Lal Chand, Khatri by caste, and their only child, Gobind Singh, was born many years after their marriage.

After the death of Guru Hargobind, Gurgadi was given to Shri Hari Rai and Tegh Bahadur went to Baba Bakala in Amritsar where he did “bhagti” for long 21 years in an underground mansion. Guru Hari Krishan died on 30th March, 1664 without naming the heir to the Gurgadi and indicated only the place. «Baba Bakala» where the next Guru lived. This caused a good deal of confusion because many aspirants started staking their claim to the Gurgadi. Finally thanks to the efforts and wisdom of Makhan Shah Lubana, inhabitant of Jehlam, the real Guru was discovered and Baba Gurditta, grandson of Baba Buddha, formally declared Guru Tegh Bahadur as the ninth Guru of the Sikhs by putting a tilk on his forehead on 20th March, 1665.

Contemporary Situation

Aurangzeb took control of the administration in 1658, that is, just six years before Tegh Bahadur became the Guru. He was a Sunni Muslim with strong prejudices and was very cruel at heart. In order to achieve power he treated his father and brothers cruelly and did not even spare his sons. He punished Shia Muslims and Sufis alike. In his book Life of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Macauliffe writes, «He kept his father Shah Jahan in jail for many years where he died of thirst. He also got killed his three brothers Dara Shikoh, Murad and Shujah. He mistreated his eldest son Mauzim and again Bahadur Shah and turned his wife out of the house, all naked». In order to win the sympathy of the Muslims Aurangzeb let loose a reign of terror in which Hindus were the worst victims. He committed many excesses against the Hindus and was in fact more cruel than his father Shah Jahan in his treatment of the non-Muslims. Soon after capturing power he took vow for the establishment of an Islamic Empire. Dr S.S. Bal, a well- known historian, writes, «Aurangzeb had come to the throne as the champion of Sunni orthodoxy in the Empire. He had earned the reputation of being a fit representative of that sect even as a prince. In 1645, soon after his appointment to the Governorship of Gujarat he had not only converted the temple of Chintamani into a mosque but as if that was not enough, had slaughtered a cow in the temple also. He continued demolishing the temples throughout his governorship in the Deccan in the belief that he was fulfilling a divine duty enjoined upon every true Muslim.» He issued from time to time proclamations against the Hindu religion such as dismissing the royal astrologers, making compulsory the use of the expression «Salam Alekam» instead of «Namaste» at the time of meeting each other, demolishing the temples at Banaras, Mathura, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Golkunda, etc. imposing «jazia» and travel-tax upon the Hindus, depriving the Hindus of jobs in the revenue department, disallowing the Hindus to become Heads of Departments in which Muslims worked, stopping the cremation of the Hindus at the bank of the river Sabarmati, prohibiting the Hindus to ride the Turkish horses or elephants, discouraging the non-Muslims to keep weapons at home, etc. All this led to despair and helplessness among the Hindus. Many Hindus embraced Islam out of fear or greed. Those who crossed over to Islam were given many favours or facilities.

Forgiveness par excellence

Such were the circumstances under which Tegh Bahadur became the religious Head of the Sikhs. He had to face a lot of opposition at the time of becoming the Guru. Since Guru Hari Krishan could not specify the next Guru, a number of Soddhis including Guru Tegh Bahadur’s cousin, Dhir Mal, became anxious to get the Gurgadi. Dhir Mal could not accept the Guruship of Tegh Bahadur and out of jealousy attacked him with the help of a Masand named Sihan. They shot at the Guru but he had a providential escape. Later his men looted the goods belonging to Tegh Bahadur but the Guru kept his cool. However, his disciples could not tolerate the assault on their Master and ransacked Dhir Mal’s house taking away his goods as well as the religious book of Adi Garanth Sahib. Sihan was brought in shackles to the Guru. But Guru Tegh Bahadur did not like all this. He returned the goods to Dhir Mal and forgave his attacker Sihan and released him. Even the copy of Granth Sahib was returned to Dhir Mal. This goes to prove that the Guru was highly tolerant and forgiving in dealing with his enemies.

Another instance of Guru’s forgiving nature came to light when he paid a visit to Harmandir Sahib at Amritsar. The selfish and pro-government worshippers shut the doors of Darbar Sahib. Since the departure of Guru Hargobind from Amritsar in 1630, these men were enjoying the money offered there for the purpose of worship. They were afraid lest the Guru should stay on their depriving them of their ill taken livelihood. When the doors of Darbar Sahib were closed on him, his feelings must have been hurt but he neither protested nor uttered anything bad. He came back after having offered his obeisance from outside. These are perhaps the best two examples to show to what extent the Guru could forgive his opponents and adversaries.

Possessor of Fearless mind

Aurangzeb selected especially Kashmir as a centre for the conversion of Hindus into Islam. Sher Afgan, Governor of Kashmir, put almost daily a good number of Hindus to death for not changing their religion. Brahmans of Kashmir were terribly scared with these daily murders and went at first to the Amarnath temple for a prayer and later approached Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur Sahib for protection. The Guru was a supporter of freedom of religion and was ready to make any sacrifice for stopping the oppression and cruelty. The proposal which he made to these Brahmans reflects his intelligent and fearless mind. He suggested to them to tell Aurangzeb if he could convert Tegh Bahadur into Islam they would also embrace this religion. Aurangzeb accepted this proposal gladly and called for the Guru.

In 1674, the Guru left Anandpur Sahib and started moving towards Agra. On the way, he met a large number of people and preached them lofty principles of life. Having reached Agra, the Guru got himself arrested. At first the Guru was asked to change his religion and many temptations were given to him. When he declined everything, the three Sikhs - Divan Mati Dass, Bhai Dial Dass, Bhai Sati Dass - accompanying him were boiled, one by one, in hot water and were cut into pieces before the Guru. But he remained firm and peaceful. On 11th November, 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded at Delhi by Jalal Din of Samana by the orders of the Emperor.

The martyrdom of the peaceful and fearless Guru brought about a new turn in the history of India. After the peaceful means having been tried, Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa Panth which fought against oppression and protected the innocent. The ninth Guru’s sacrifice made the Sikhs fearless and they were consequently ready to give up everything for the cause of the weak and the down-trodden. Prof. Puran Singh rightly observes, “The Hymns of Tegh Bahadur were composed to infuse the spirit of fearlessness into disciples, as there were times coming when the Sikhs would be called on to embrace death as a bride.” (The Ten Masters, p. 91). Through his speech and action Guru Tegh Bahadur proved that those who fought for the noble principles and public cause could not be cowed down by threats, torture or even death.

Courtesy: Abstract of Sikh Studies-July-Sep.-2011

 
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 Dasvandh or Dasaundh, literally means a "tenth part" and refers to the practice among Sikhs of contributing in the name of the Guru one-tenth of their earnings towards the common resources of the community. This is also referred to in Punjabi as "Daan" literally "giving" or "contributing" in charity. This is a Sikh's religious obligation — a religious requirement or duty; a form of seva or humble service which is highly valued in the Sikh system. The concept of dasvandh was implicit in Guru Nanak’s own Gurbani in the line: "ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥ One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has - O Nanak, he knows the Path (1)" (SGGS p 1245) The idea of sharing and giving is symbolised by the institutions of langar (community kitchen) for the sangat (holy assembly) that the Guru has established.
(http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Dasvandh)

A Hukamnama refers to a hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib which is given as an order to Sikhs or a historical order given by one of the Guru's of Sikhism.
The Hukamnama also refers to a hymn randomly selected from the Guru Granth Sahib on a daily basis. This is seen as the order of God for that particular day.

Hukamnama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia