A simple man of God

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Sant Sohan Singh, who left his mortal body in 1972 in Kuala Lampur, was a common man like any other Sikh hailing from a remote village in the Punjab. Over the years he so developed himself spiritually and so endeared himself to the Sikhs in Malaya and Singapore, that he became an institution by himself. He was head and shoulders above the average Sikh not only in matters spiritual but also in physical stature. Yet he moved about among them unassumingly, claiming no better place than the commonest of them and using no high sounding language to impress them with the spiritual stature he had attained.

Sant Sohan Singh exercised influence in the religious and social activities of the Sikh community of these regions. He performed the naming ceremonies of numerous children born in Sikh homes. He blessed innumerable newly wedded Sikh couples. He performed the last rites of many Sikhs. He addressed unaccounted congregations in different towns on Sikh festivals or other occasions. He visited Sikhs settled in remote areas whenever and wherever he was requested to do so.

He maintained these visits right into the eve of his life, notwithstanding poor health and difficulty in walking. Perhaps he was doing his best to follow:

“Every day and night that passes lessens your remaining hours; so fulfill your mission in accordance with the will of the Guru.”

Sant Sohan Singh was on one such tour when he was taken seriously ill and was admitted to the Ipoh General Hospital. After a brief period he passed on to Sachkhand whither everyone must proceed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are we listening to our Guru’s Instructions?

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Condensed from Anand Chamatkaar,
Glimpses from the life of Baba Nand Singh Ji

gaaviaa suniaa thin kaa har thhaae paavai jin sathigur kee aagiaa sath sath kar maanee
Their singing and listening is approved by the Lord; they accept the Order of the True Guru as True, totally True.
– Guru Ram Das Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 669

A husband who lived in a distant land, once wrote a letter to his wife and family, asking them to ensure certain tasks he instructed were complied with. Everyone in the family read and listened to what was written in the letter, but the letter was neatly folded away into a corner in the cupboard. Twice daily, the wife would respectfully ensure the letter was well kept and would read it over and over. In affection of her husband, she would even pay her respects to the letter by burning incense, like one would do before the image of a deity. Day and night, she would wrap the letter in a beautiful, clean cloth and would bow to the letter.

When the husband returned after many many years, and asked his family whether they had received his letter, they all replied that they did. The head of the house went on further to ask whether the tasks he had asked had been complied with. But the family replied that they had taken great care of his letter and reverently paid their respects of love. The husband then told his family that the purpose of sending the letter was not to be kept reverently in safety, but had sent to ensure that the tasks asked were to be done without fail. The family had failed to comply with even a single instruction written in the letter. In disappointment, the man of the house stated that their taking of his letter was of no use to him.

This is exactly the message in what Guru Ram Das Ji says in the above shabad. In the complete writings of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, man is instructed over and over, to recite the Name of Waheguru.

bhajahu guobi(n)dh bhool math jaahu
Vibrate, and meditate on the Lord of the Universe, and never forget Him.
maanas janam kaa eaehee laahu
This is the blessed opportunity of this human incarnation.
– Bhagat Kabir Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1159 Read the rest of this entry »

His sacred burden

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Any visitor to the city of Amritsar who keeps his eyes open, cannot fail to notice black wooden boxes, bearing crude writings in white in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English, placed in crossings and public thoroughfares, reminding him of the duty he owes to his brethren, the sick and suffering, the aged and the infirm. At some places he may come across large wooden black-boards bearing extensive writings of a similar type seeking to strike a sympathetic chord in him or containing a homily on civics and morality, religion and philosophy. If he were to pause and read, he would surely find that these are the insignia of Pingalwara (literally a home of the cripple) – a unique institution founded by an equally unique person.

bhagat-seva.jpgbhagat-ji.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Awakening the Light within you

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Meditation is a magnificent power. With meditation, you gain the desire to serve and the ability to attain; you develop compassion, fearlessness, divine wisdom, renunciation, love, and freedom from the cycle of births and deaths. Meditation allows us to meet with the King of our spirit.

To meditate is to become deeply silent, to keep listening, listening, listening to God. To listen is to become lost in God, perceiving God in all of Creation. Then one is merged with the Great Reality. No worldly pleasure can compare with the sweetness of this communion.

There are many yogic postures and methods of meditation, but even by practicing them you cannot attain God unless you feel the longing of love. God is Love, and God is too great for any method. It is God who pulls us to meditate, and it is God who teaches us how to love Him.

The only method of meditation that works is to offer God constant love. At first, continually focus all your scattered attention on the way your religion teaches. And because it is the nature of the mind to wander, you can concentrate on God by repeating God’s Name (Naam Simran for Sikhs). The energy which is scattered among all your weaknesses will be collected; negative thoughts will disappear and truth will be revealed in your mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Images of inspiring Gurmukh souls

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I have always been inspired by the radiance spread by the mere presence of a Gurmukh which helps me come even more closer to my Guru. Then there are pictures and paintings of those Gurmukhs we have never met in our lifetime, and yet just by looking at them, the spirit soars to new heights and love for the Guru begins to fill in ourselves. What a wonderful roop the Guru has blessed us with – the very sight of which reminds of the Guru and of His virtues which need to be cultivated within us. Like a child who learns by looking at pictures, a Sikh learns from meeting Gurmukhs who are amongst us. Just looking at a Gurmukh is enough to remind us of our roots and to adopt a more virtuous lifestyle. So the next time you look at yourself in the mirror, adorned with the bana of the Guru (full kesh and dastaar), you will see the Guru within you . . .

Here are some images that inspire me to walk the path of the Guru – for these are not just mere individuals – their roop is complimented by the immense amount of bhagti (devotion) by living the way of the Gurmukh as instructed by our Gurus whose spirit is now rested in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Read the rest of this entry »

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