Raamkalee, Fifth Mehla:
Some call Him, 'Raam, Raam', and some call Him, 'Khudaa-i'
Some serve Him as 'Gusain', others as 'Allaah'. II1II
He is the Cause of causes, the Generous Lord.
He showers His Grace and Mercy upon us. II1IIPauseII
Some bathe at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, and some make the pilgrimage to Mecca.I
Some perform devotional worship services, and some bow their heads in prayer. II2II
Some read the Vedas, and some the Koran.
Some wear blue robes, and some wear white. II3II
Some call themselves Muslim, and some call themselves Hindu.
Some yearn for paradise, and others long for heaven. II4II
Says Nanak, one who realizes the Hukam of God's Will,knows the secrets of his Lord and Master. II5II9II
This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Raamkalee on Pannaa 885
You made me realize that deep inside is where I will find to be Fearless.
You made me realize that I could get through whatever the world throws at me.
I am Fearless
Thanks to You
I can look evil in the eye
As the Daughter of the King
As the Daughter of the Fearless
As the Daughter of the Khalsa
I am here to strike down evil with my Sword
I am here to strike down evil with my Five Gifts
I am here to strike down evil with the power instilled in me by my Father
A newlywed Hindu girl was returning along with her groom and the marriage party to the village of her in- laws when some Mughal soldiers abducted her and looted her dowry.Her groom and the members of the marriage party who were unarmed were beaten and made to flee. They complained to the Muslim chief of the area, but he did not care and said, “What does it matter if our soldiers enjoy her for a few days? I shall see that she is returned to you as soon as I find a clue of her.” Her husband was disappointed and turned to the forest to meet the Sikhs and appeal to them.
In those days, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India again and again and the Mughal Empire at Delhi and the governor of Lahore had become very weak. Abdali looted Indian cities, forcibly took beautiful Hindu ladies with him, but the Sikhs attacked his army when he was going back to Afghanistan.
The groom met some Sikhs in the forest. They consoled him and baptized him. Now he was named Teja Singh. One night, a party of Sikhs along with Teja Singh, attacked the same party of plunderers and taught them a lesson. Teja Singh’s wife, who was in a miserable condition, was also rescued from them. She wanted to commit suicide, but was dissuaded from doing so. She was encouraged to live and was baptized. Now she was named Baghel Kaur, who wore a turban and not a scarf on her head. She always had a long sword with her. Many ladies like her lived in the wilderness near the pond of Kahnuwan in the company of the Sikhs.
In the wilderness, Baghel Kaur and her party met a few more Sikhs known to Teja Singh. They planned to attack a patrolling party of the Muslim soldiers and snatch their horses and arms for the newcomers. When they reached the village, they found that the soldiers were armed, but asleep. Baghel Kaur and her companions took some guns and two horses from the soldiers and left the village before the soldiers were awake. They killed only those soldiers who resisted them. Baghel Kaur and the party reached back safely and met their companions who were anxiously awaiting them.
All left the pool of Kahnuwan (District Gurdaspur). They had to cross a dense forest and thorny bushes grown on the bank of the river Bias. In fact, these dense, thorny bushes served them as a fort as the Mughal soldiers were afraid of crossing them. Inside this dense forest, the Sikhs had cleared some area and lived in tents there. They lived on the ration they could bring from outside, meat of the animals they hunted, and whatever edible they could find in the forest. After a long journey, they met their companions who were there with their leader Nawab Kapur Singh. He exhorted the gathering to be ready to fight against aggression for the sake of justice
Mir Mannu was the governor of Lahore.
His minister Kaura Mal was sympathetic towards the Sikhs, but after the death of Kaura Mal, Mir Mannu turned his attention to finish the Sikhs. He was a tyrant and bent upon converting Sikhs to Islam.
He used every possible punishment to subordinate the Sikhs, who had left villages and started living in thick forests. In those days, Sikhs used to say, “Mir Mannu is our sickle and we are his grass blades. As he cuts, more than two hundred times we grow.” Abdali consulted Mir Mannu and sent a challenge to the Sikhs to come out of the forest and fight face to face. Nawab Kapur Singh accepted the challenge.
Th next day, four thousand Sikhs with a few hundred Sikh ladies, including Baghel Kaur, divided themselves in two parties and, riding on their horses, entered the field, fully armed, with sword and spears. They were opposed by 10,000 Pathan forces. At the end of the day, 500 Sikhs became martyrs, but the Pathans suffered a heavy loss. Second day, Baghel Kaur with a few other ladies fought so bravely and courageously that it would be remembered for ever. In the evening the Pathan army had to retreat, but in the confusion that prevailed Baghel Kaur and four other ladies were separated from the Sikh forces.
These ladies reached a small village, cooked their food and slept on the ground. Turn by turn, one of them remained awake to look after the horses and the arms. They got up before daybreak, performed their morning prayer and started. Soon they found fifty enemy soldiers of a patrolling party coming towards them. Five of them proceeded towards Baghel Kaur and her party. They did not realize that they were going to face a tough enemy. They planned to capture them and marry them.
All of a sudden, Baghel Kaur came forward and cut the
sword of the first soldier with her sword. In the meantime, a companion of her injured him with her sword when he was returning to save himself from the second attack. Another soldier attacked Baghel Kaur with his spear, but her friend checked his attack with her sword and injured him. Now the injured soldiers started returning to their party to seek help.
In the mean time Baghel Kaur and her companions rode away to the thick forest to meet their companions. All the Pathan soldiers started chasing Baghel Kaur and her friends. A Sikh watchman informed the other Sikhs in the forest about the coming Pathans. At once, the Sikhs came out and killed the Pathans in a few minutes.
Mir Mannu was a notorious bigot. He massacred Sikhs and proclaimed a reward of twenty-five rupees per Sikh head. He killed no less than thirty thousand Sikhs. He ordered that any Sikh lady found anywhere should be caught and forced to embrace Islam. Baghel Kaur wanted to save a few ladies who were still in the village and could not leave because two of them had small children. One night Baghel Kaur disguised herself and went back to her village to save the three Sikh ladies who were hiding in the house of a Muslim girl friend. She contacted them at midnight, encouraged them to accompany her early in the morning and leave for the thick forest on the other side of the river Beas.
After a short nap of two hours, she along with three Sikh ladies and two children left the village at 4am. Four soldiers who were sleeping outside the village saw them and followed them to the river bank. Baghel Kaur asked the two ladies to cross the river along with their children and herself along with the third lady faced the soldiers.
Baghel Kaur took the horse of the injured soldier and fought against the remaining two soldiers bravely and fearlessly.
The soldiers as well as Baghel Kaur were injured and bleeding. She took courage and in the twinkling of an eye crossed the river on her horse. Now all the four ladies with two children started on their horses and soon they were out of sight of the soldiers who were chasing them. After covering a long distance the party reached the destination and met a party of the Sikhs.
Plight of the Sikh ladies detained in the camps of Mir Mannu was miserable. They were tortured and kept thirsty and hungry as they refused to be converted to Islam.
Every one of them was allotted a small millstone to grind a fixed quantity of wheat. It was ordered that the children of these ladies be snatched. One soldier threw a child up in the air and the other killed him with his spear before he could touch the ground. The dead bodies of these children were cut into pieces and the ladies were garlanded with those pieces. Pieces of flesh of the children were thrust into the mouth of their mothers.
In spite of all that, none of the ladies cried or yielded to
embrace Islam Once this horrible scene stunned Mir Mannu.
When he reached the palace after visiting the camp, he did not talk to anybody. It seemed he repented. He left for hunting with only four soldiers. While he was hunting, his horse was scared, ran very fast and jumped so high that Mir Mannu could not control it. He fell down, and his feet got entangled in strip. Mir Mannu’s cries further scared the horse and it ran faster. It was dragging Mir Mannu and none could stop it. Mir Mannu was badly injured and died in the forest.
Mir Mannu’s tragic and sudden death had emboldened the Sikhs and they were settling in their villages. A group of Sikhs, under the command of Baghel Kaur, attacked the Lahore camp at midnight, killed 25 Muslim soldiers who were unprepared, and got the captive ladies released and escorted them to a safer place. After Mir Mannu’s death, his queen invited Ahmad Shah to help her and capture the Sikhs. At this time, Baghel Kaur was living in her village along with her four-year old son and her husband.
She wanted to save the ladies who were forcibly being taken to the camp. She asked her husband to take the child and leave for the forest. She herself started to rescue the ladies being taken forcibly by the Muslim soldiers. She saw one such lady who was being taken to the camp, but Baghel Kaur did not slip away.
All of a sudden, she injured with her spear the two soldiers who were taking the lady, but she was caught by their companions. Now she herself was a captive with the other ladies in the camp.
Every lady in the camp was given a piece of bread. Some injured and hungry ladies were lying half-dead on the ground and their children were crying for food.
Baghel Kaur gave her own piece of bread to the crying
children and she remained hungry...
The ladies in the camp were whipped, insulted, and taunted by the soldiers so that they might embrace Islam to get rid of this hell. Baghel Kaur protested against ill treatment, but she was ordered to grind wheat for the whole night without rest.
At midnight, the camp-in-charge sent for Baghel Kaur, but she refused to move out. The drunken soldier caught her by the wrist and dragged her. She took courage and slapped the soldier. She took his sword, which was tied to his belt, and injured him. The other ladies came to her help and the soldier had to run away. In the morning, all the ladies were assembled at one place, and the camp-in-charge told them that anyone who agreed to marry a soldier of her choice would be set free and allowed to lead a happy and prosperous life.
Baghel Kaur stood up and said that none would agree to be converted as their own religion was dear to them and they would die rather than lead an immoral life of a coward. Her bold and frank talk made the camp commander speechless.
She was taken to a pillar so that her hands should be tied and then whipped to death. On her way to the pillar, she took courage, pushed the soldier who was taking her to the pillar and snatched his sword. Now the whole camp was surrounded by the other soldiers and many ladies were murdered. Baghel Kaur fought bravely, but was killed by armed soldiers who were surrounding her. Next day, about 8000 Sikhs attacked the camp at midnight, killed the camp commander and freed the captive ladies.
Brave are the Martyrs,
That fought for the Sikhs.
Courageous are the Shaheeds,
That stood up for what they believed.
They died and gave up their lives,
They believed and trusted Guru Ji.
They didn’t give into their country and nation;
They protected their beliefs for future generations.
Strong were those who stood up to evil;
Stood beside their Guru, through thick and thin
Remember them always, for they fought for us.
Those strong, brave, courageous Gursikhs
Did what was just.
Whether you light a candle
Or just do Ardaas,
Follow their example,
And keep them in your heart
-Balmeet Kaur (Age 16): From “Sakhian: A collection of short stories written by children and youth.” – Guru Gobind Singh Children’s Foundation
Shaheed Bibi Anup Kaur
The Sikh Gurus not only preached for the equal status of women, but also revolutionized their social life. History is full with examples where women who did not step out of house without covering their faces, performed wonderful daring deeds in life. After being baptized, they faced the enemy courageously and preferred death to an immoral comfortable life. Life story of martyr Anup Kaur is a golden example worth narration...
She was born in 1690 in village Jalopur Khere, near Amritsar. Her father’s name was Lachchman Das Sodhi. In those days, Sodhis were divided in two opposite groups. One group favored Guru Tegh Bahadur for Guruship, while the other group led by Dhir Mal claimed that Guruship belonged to them. Many members of the Sodhi dynasty, like Lachchman who favored Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, left the central Punjab to avoid daily bickering and friction, and settled far away at Anandpur Sahib.
Anup Kaur was only five years old when her parents migrated to Anandpur Sahib. She was an attractive, every happy, sweet-tongued and beautiful girl. She used to play with Sahibzadas (Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s sons) and was liked by Mata Sundri. Anup Kaur spent most of her time with the Sahibzadas and was treated like a member of the Guru family. She acquired religious education and learned reading and writing Gurmukhi in their company. In 1699 when Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji created Saint- soldiers, she along with her father who was now named Lachchman Singh was also baptized. It brought a wonderful change in her life and she rapidly grew physically as well as spiritually. Now she was regular in the performance of her daily prayers and visited Gurdwara daily.
She collected other baptized girls (Amrithdhari) and started learning fencing and other martial arts. They also used arms like sword, shield and spear. These girls also learned horse riding. This armed group under Anup Kaur was well versed in self defense and became famous in the area. Anup Kaur with her group took part in the battle with the Sikhs against the hill chiefs. Victory in this battle created self-confidence among the young girls. The hill chiefs requested the Mughals at Delhi for help.
As desired by Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, governor of Sirhind along with governor of Lahore and the hill chiefs besieged the Anandpur Sahib fort with a huge force. The Sikhs met the Mughal forces with fire from their guns.
The siege continued for some days. The governor of Sirhind assured the Guru for the safety of all if the fort was vacated. The Guru did not rely on this assurance, but he knew that the effective defense was impossible owing to lack of food and other supplies. So the Guru agreed reluctantly to vacate Anandpur on the night of 20th December 1704. Anup Kaur’s group took care of the Guru’s family. The assurance proved false and the Sikhs were attacked outside the fort. Sikh soldiers and girls under Anup Kaur continued their march towards the rivulet Sirsa while fighting the enemy.
While crossing the flooded Sirsa, Anup Kaur was separated from the Guru’s family in confusion. After crossing the river, she met five Sikh soldiers who told her that Sri Guru Gobind Singh fought a battle with the Mughal forces at Chamkaur where the two elder Sahibzadas died fighting and the Guru had left Chamkaur. She was also told that the younger Sahibzadas were arrested at Sirhand. They all started towards Sirhand, but on their way they met a patrolling party of the Mughal soldiers. In the fight with them two Sikh soldiers were killed and Anup Kaur was injured, but the Mughal soldiers took to their heels. Anup Kaur came to know from someone that Mata Gujri (Mata Gujjar Kaur Ji) and her two younger grandsons had been martyred, so they started to find the Guru.
They were on their way when the chief of Malerkotla state with two hundred soldiers surrounded them. Anup Kaur’s companions died fighting but Anup Kaur’s horse stumbled, she fell down and broke her arm. She was arrested and taken to Malerkotla. When the chief came to know that the young charming girl was Anup Kaur about whose bravery he had heard a lot, he decided to marry her and instructed his soldiers to treat her respectfully and get her arm treated.
She saw through their trick and realized that she would be forced to embrace Islam and marry the chief. She was a helpless prisoner, but she made up her mind to commit suicide to save her faith and honour. At Malerkotla she was under strict watch. Her maid servants told the chief that she was always meditating and remained in a serious mood. The chief told Anup Kaur to marry him as there was no other way for her to save herself. He also promised her a comfortable life in the royal palace, but she refused. One day he called the Kazi (Muslim cleric) to forcibly convert and marry her, but they found only her dead body as she had thrust a dagger into her chest. She was buried quietly according to the Muslim rites.
soohee mehalaa 4II
har har naam bhajiou purakhotham sabh binasae dhaaladh dhalaghaa IIbho janam maranaa maettiou gur sabadhee har asathhir saev sukh samaghaa II1II
maerae man bhaj raam naam ath piraghaa II
mai man than arap dhhariou gur aagai sir vaech leeou mul mehaghaa II1II rehaooII
narapath raajae ra(n)g ras maanehi bin naavai pakarr kharrae sabh kalaghaa II
dhharam raae sir dda(n)dd lagaanaa fir pashhuthaanae hathh falaghaa II2II
har raakh raakh jan kiram thumaarae saranaagath purakh prathipalaghaa II
dharasan sa(n)th dhaehu sukh paavai prabh loch poor jan thumaghaa II3II
thum samarathh purakh vaddae prabh suaamee mo ko keejai dhaan har nimaghaa II
jan naanak naam milai sukh paavai ham naam vittahu sadh ghumaghaa II4II2II
Soohee, Fourth Mehla:
I chant and vibrate the Name of the Lord God, the Supreme Being, Har, Har; my poverty and problems have all been eradicated.
The fear of birth and death has been erased, through the Word of the Guru's Shabad; serving the Unmoving, Unchanging Lord, I am absorbed in peace. II1II
O my mind, vibrate the Name of the most Beloved, Darling Lord.
I have dedicated my mind and body, and placed them in offering before the Guru; I have sold my head to the Guru, for a very dear price. II1IIPauseII
The kings and the rulers of men enjoy pleasures and delights, but without the Name of the Lord, death seizes and dispatches them all.
The Righteous Judge of Dharma strikes them over the heads with his staff, and when the fruits of their actions come into their hands, then they regret and repent. II2II
Save me, save me, Lord; I am Your humble servant, a mere worm. I seek the Protection of
Your Sanctuary, O Primal Lord, Cherisher and Nourisher.
Please bless me with the Blessed Vision of the Saint's Darshan, that I may find peace. O God, please fulfill the desires of Your humble servant. II3II
You are the All-powerful, Great, Primal God, my Lord and Master. O Lord, please bless me with the gift of humility.
Servant Nanak has found the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and is at peace; I am forever a sacrifice to the Naam.II4II2II
Professor Ganda Singh, on the basis of his research, writes that Banda Singh Bahadur was moved to hear her story. When he marched upon Malerkotla in 1710, he said that last remains of this brave Sikh lady should not be allowed to rot in a grave. He was not opposed by anybody as the chief of the state had fled before Banda Bahadur reached there. He did not destroy Malerkotla as its chief had advocated mercy for the younger Sahibzadas at Sirhind. Body of Anup Kaur was exhumed and cremated according to Sikh rites as desired by Banda.
Thus the martyr Anup Kaur who sacrificed her life at the altar of her faith and chastity was given a decent cremation she richly deserved. She had not embraced Islam and had died a Sikh. She is still remembered respectfully by the people of the area and her sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Dhan Dhan Shaheed Bibi Anup Kaur Ji
The beloved Daughter of Satguru
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj
Youth of the Month: Gurpreet Kaur
This is in memory of those powerful, Chardi Kala Mothers and Daughters and Sisters of the Panth that have helped shape Sikhi into what it is today....
Guru Ji is always
here for you, with LOVE
When you need someone to talk too
Guru Ji will listen
When you need someone to laugh with
Guru Ji will laugh
When you need someone to advise you
Guru Ji will offer guidance
When you need someone to help you
Guru Ji will lend a hand
…Cherish and Love Your Guru…
…And Guru Ji will always support you as a Daughter, as a Person, and as a Friend…
Source: Unknown: If you know where the above pictures are from please let me know, so I can give credit where it is due.
Note: Above pictures have been edited.
Mata Gulab Kaur
Mata Gulab Kaur’s husband was a very religious person. The spiritually enlightened husband had a devoted and very pious wife in Gulab Kaur. The love and service of her husband was to her, the love and service of God.
The death of her husband came as such a blow to her, that she turned her mind away from the world and like a true Sati (she who sacrifices herself along with her dead husband), she died to the physical world around her, only to live in spiritual ecstasy of divine contemplation.
The light of God began to shine in her pure soul. The love for her husband gradually changed into an intense love for God in which she became deeply imbued.
...In this fearless state this young Child of Light wandered away, detached and free like a bird...
Wherever she went, her meditative silence and spiritual beauty attracted people...
In ecstasy he laughs
In ecstasy he weeps.
At times he becomes silent.
Guru Nanak: Var Asa, Ang. 473.
Such was the spiritual condition of this saintly lady. She became careless about her clothes. All she had was an underwear (kach) and a blanket wrapped around her body. When I [Bhai Randhir Singh] expressed my desire to meet her, people said: “She does not allow anyone to come near her. She drives away everyone by throwing stones at them. Out of fear no one goes near her. No one has seen her talking to anyone. Sometimes she is seen mumbling some words in a soliloquy. It is not easy to go near her. If you want to see her from a distance we can show her to you. If you wish to go near her, you may go at your own risk. Otherwise we do not dare to go near her.”
After saying a short prayer, I set out to meet Mother Gulab Kaur. I came to know that she was sitting in front of a shop which was closed. People showed her to me from the corner of a street. She was sitting with a blanket around her body and her back was towards us. While other people turned back, I moved on towards her. Even her face was covered with the blanket. As I moved on with reverence and devotion close to her, the Holy Mother through her inner vision, having divined my presence, stood up with electric suddenness, and turning towards me with folded hands, she greeted me with the Khalsa greeting:
Vah-Guru ji ka Khalsa
Vah-Guru ji ki Fateh
The Khalsa is of God
Victory unto the Wonderful Lord.
I was deeply moved and the people who looked on were quite surprised. On or two dared now to come nearer. Mother Gulab Kaur still standing with folded hands. In humble adoration, I moved forward to touch her feet, but with her lotus like pure hands she prevented me from doing so. She was about to spread her blanket asking me to sit on it, but I begged her not to do so, as a humble person like me could not bear to see such a divine soul like her bestow so unusual a respect and reverence on me, which I did not deserve.
“I seek a humble place in the dust of thy feet Holy Mother”
Said I. I sat near her on the ground leaving the blanket with her. She sat there in a calm meditative mood, and I can still visualise her saintly figure sitting in silent contemplation. The profound impression of her divine personality is deeply engraved in my heart. It is difficult to describe the spiritual influence of the great personality and its cool and thrilling effect on my heart and soul. It felt purified and exalted and my heart began to beat louder with the rhythm of divine Name. There was a spiritual union of our souls and in this mystic silence we conversed with each other. The thought waves emanating from one were understood by the other. What need was there to speak. After some time the Holy Mother spoke in a melodious voice saying:
“I am only a lone traveller. How shall I entertain you? I am just a lone traveller.”
In a very sweet and musical voice she repeated these words. Then she suddenly got up, asking me to keep sitting there for a while. She took her blanket and in an intoxicated mood moved towards a fruit shop. She picked up some fruits from the shop, brought them there and offering them to me said:
“Accept this humble offering of one who is dedicated to the Lord”.
I accepted the great Saint’s offering of love and felt greatly blessed. Then she said:
“May you ever be blessed. All blessings on you, noble Sikh of the Guru. The Guru has indeed lighted a wonderful lamp”.
In a sublime state of mind she showered blessings and love on me. I begged the Holy Mother to bestow benediction me and pray that this lamp which had been lighted by the Guru may ever keep and burning. She said: “It will keep on burning with ever increasing light.” We were both standing and she now wished me to depart. I asked the Holy Mother, “When may I get a chance to have a glimpse of her divine personality again”. To this she replied:
“Spiritually united souls never feel any separation. On the physical plane there may not be any meeting but we will meet again in the Presence of the Lord,”
And then in a tone of blessing she said, “you have now received the divine call to perform Akhand Paths. Go, be blessed, and enjoy spiritual enlightenment. On the way pay homage to the Panja Sahib Gurwara.”
These were the few words she spoke in the short meeting between us. I bowed low to touch her feet. There were tears in her eyes. I too was over-whelmed with tears. Patting me on my back she blessed me again and helped me to rise to my feet.
Bhai Randhir Singh Jee then was on his way to Panja Sahib and Amritsar, and when he reached home, there were indeed numerous Akhand Paths in need of his seva, as Mata Jee had foretold...
Source:Source: “Autobiography of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh”, translated by Dr. Trilochan Singh
All are brides of the Husband Lord; all decorate themselves for Him.
But when the time comes to settle their accounts, their red robes are corrupt.
His Love is not obtained through hypocrisy. Her false coverings bring only ruin. II1II
In this way, the Dear Husband Lord ravishes and enjoys His bride.
The happy soul-bride is pleasing to You, Lord; by Your Grace, You adorn her. II1IIPause
She is decorated with the Word of the Guru's Shabad; her mind and body belong to her Husband Lord.
With her palms pressed together, she stands, waiting on Him, and offers her True prayers to Him.
Dyed in the deep crimson of the Love of her Darling Lord, she dwells in the Fear of the True One. Imbued with His Love, she is dyed in the color of His Love. II2II
She is said to be the hand-maiden of her Beloved Lord; His sweetheart surrenders to His Name.
True Love is never broken; she is united in Union with the True One.
Attuned to the Word of the Shabad, her mind is pierced through. I am forever a sacrifice to Him. II3II
That bride, who is absorbed into the True Guru, shall never become a widow.
Her Husband Lord is Beautiful; His Body is forever fresh and new. The True One does not die, and shall not go
He continually enjoys His happy soul-bride; He casts His Gracious Glance of Truth upon her, and she abides in His Will. II4II
The bride braids her hair with Truth; her clothes are decorated with His Love.
Like the essence of sandalwood, He permeates her consciousness, and the Temple of the Tenth Gate is opened.
The lamp of the Shabad is lit, and the Name of the Lord is her necklace. II5II
She is the most beautiful among women; upon her forehead she wears the Jewel of the Lord's Love.
Her glory and her wisdom are magnificent; her love for the Infinite Lord is True.
Other than her Beloved Lord, she knows no man. She enshrines love for the True Guru. II6II
Asleep in the darkness of the night, how shall she pass her life-night without her Husband?
Her limbs shall burn, her body shall burn, and her mind and wealth shall burn as well
When the Husband does not enjoy His bride, then her youth passes away in vain. II7II
The Husband is on the Bed, but the bride is asleep, and so she does not come to know Him.
While I am asleep, my Husband Lord is awake. Where can I go for advice?
The True Guru has led me to meet Him, and now I dwell in the Fear of God. O Nanak, His Love is always with me. II8II2II
This Beautiful Shabad is by our first Guru, Dhan Dhan,
Click here for Translation
Sikhi was never of any importance to me. I was still young, and always believed it was something that people did in their fifty’s to pass time. I wanted to “live life to the fullest,” and that wasn’t possible if I was living the lifestyle of a Sikh.
I didn’t care to understand the concept of God, or why people had so much faith in Him.
All I cared about was looking good, and having as much fun as I could before I got married (I knew my parents would marry me off to a Sikh). If I was to get into Sikhi it would be a lot later in my life.
I had just turned 22, and because I had finished my degree and was able to support myself, I thought it was time that I went my own way. I had been under the control of my parents all of my life and although I respected that they were devoted to Sikhi, I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted in my life.
I went into the shop and got my hair trimmed a couple of centimeters and had my eyebrows shaped. There was a look of accomplishment when I looked at myself in the mirror for the first time. The reflection showed a new person, it was the person I always wanted to be.
“Freedom!” I remember thinking to myself.
I drove up into the garage of the house I had lived in for the last ten years of my life, and hoped that it would recognize me. As I walked into the house, I could feel my heart beating rapidly. My parents were in the kitchen so I walked in hastily, said my hello’s and headed into my room.
I didn’t stay long enough in the kitchen to see my parents’ reactions. Matha Jee had just looked up at me when I left and Pitha Jee was too absorbed reading the Punjabi newspaper.
I could hear murmurs coming from the living room. And then for a couple of minutes they stopped. My heart was beating so fast.
“Simran?” I could hear my mom calling for me.
At first I didn’t want to answer.
“Hunjee Matha Jee?” I whispered back hoping she wouldn’t hear me.
“Can you come outside please?”
“Okay, I’ll be there in a minute.”
I started feeling guilty for cutting my hair but kept my composure and walked down the hall towards the living room.
My parents were sitting cross legged on the rug, holding gutkay in their hands. My mom looked up at me and handed me a gutka and then nodded her head downwards (her way of telling me to sit down).
It was the first time since I can remember that my parents called me to do paat with them. At first I wanted to get up and tell them I had work to do but then I just felt relieved that they weren’t yelling at me, so I sat down beside my mom and read along with Reharaas.
Reharaas was finally over, and by this time I was yawning and just wanted to go to bed. We all got up to do Ardaas. Pitha Jee did it. Although I didn’t care for Sikhi, Ardaas was the one aspect of Sikhi that meant something to me so I actually listened to the Ardaas.
Pitha Jee came to the end of the Ardaas. He did Ardaas for Reharaas and then in a calm loving tone he asked,
Matha Jee was sobbing. I wanted to cry as well, not because I felt guilty but because I was hurt. Why would they do that to me? They could have done Ardaas on their own time.
I didn’t sleep that whole night. Pitha Jee’s words kept running through my head no matter how high I turned up the radio.
Two months had gone by. I kept my distance from my parents and even when Matha Jee tried to talk to me I gave her one word answers. Although two months had passed, I could still hear Pitha Jee’s voice from that night. His Ardaas was straight from his heart and I was afraid that it would come true. I had even done Ardaas to undo the Ardaas he did.
That night my good friend was having a keertan at the Gurudwara. I never liked going to anyone’s programs, especially if they were at the Gurudwara, but that day I kept getting this push from inside to go.
I arrived at the Gurudwara early and after failing to find someone I knew I proceeded towards the main darbar hall. I took a glance at Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee to make sure I was walking in the right direction. As I looked down at the ground I felt warmth take over my body. I felt calm.
I took a step forward and then another, until I had reached the end. I looked up at the Guru. My mind was silenced in admiration of the beauty that was in front of me. I once again remembered Pitha Jee’s Ardaas and started to shed tears. Kneeling down to matha taake I could hear Pitha Jee’s words so clearly,
“Guru Sahib Jee please bless our daughter with a Gursikhi life.”
The moment my forehead touched the Guru’s Charan I could hear whispers in my ear. I was trying to listen to what was being said but I couldn’t make out the words. I concentrated and tried again to listen to the sounds.
“Wahe-Guroo. Wahe-Guroo. Wahe-Guroo…”
At that time I didn’t know what to think of the moment. But, with the energy I had left I got up and sat in the Sangath. Time had vanished. My eyes were tightly fastened together and my mind was still. A soft white filled the room and I could hear more voices repeating “Wahe-Guroo.” I absorbed myself in the moment.
Some time had gone by and I could see two figures appear in the distance. They were too far away for me to see if they were male or female but I could see that one was shorter than the other. I couldn’t see any details because the colours were meshed into one blur consisting of black, red and a pale brown. I tried to focus on the two figures hoping that I could piece together who they were.
The two figures had vanished and then for a split second materialized again and this time I could see them clearly.
That was the day that my Pitha Jee’s Ardaas had been answered. I took Amrit a week later. Every night in my ardaas I ask that everyone be blessed with a Gursikhi life.
There are still days that go by when I feel distant from Sikhi. But, when those days come, I think back to the day when Guru Sahib Jee, with my Naked Eyes, showed me the Piyaar in the face of Bhai Taru Singh Jee as his scalp was being cut away from his body.
KAURS EVENT: Kaurs United - Skating and Sangat
This e-mail is to inform you all of Kaurs United’s 2nd annual SKATING&SANGAT event on Sunday, February 11th. We’ll all be meeting @ Newton Arena (7120 - 136B Street, Surrey) from 12:00pm-1:30pm, and will be returning back to the Guru Nanak Academy (12484 82nd Avenue) for lunch, keertan, and discussion from 2:00-4:30 pm.
We will be carpooling from the Arena to the Academy - so please let us know if you will have a car/ride, and if you will be able to help provide rides for others. Public skate will start at 12 sharp, and we will only be skating together for one and a half hours, so please be on time!! :-) .
It’s also requested that everyone comes and attends the Sangat session at the Academy, where there will be interesting discussions as well as keertan & simran;) . WOOHOO!
P.S. For any other information please give us a call. The poster is attached:).
If anyone feels anything particular needs to be discussed in our discussions, feel free to e-mail or call us and let us know!
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh
Daughters of the Khalsa:
In Your Strength Our Future Lies
By Tanu Kaur (Sikhnet News)
December 2006 marked a turning point for the Khalsa Panth worldwide: after 300 years, the six Sikh instruments handed down by the Gurus were played together on one stage in its birthplace, India. Professor Surinder Singh, head of Raj Academy of Asian Music, along with his team of senior students, traveled to India during the month of December to revive a long forgotten heritage of the Sikh faith – Gurmat Sangeet, or Sikh Music. For 33 days, the team took part in over 50 performances, workshops and seminars in order to incite awareness and interest in Sikh Music. Professor Singh led the kirtan programs with a Saranda and was accompanied by Varinder Kaur on Rabab, Jasdeep Singh on Dilruba, Amrit Kaur on Sarangi, Daljit Singh on Jori, Anupe Singh on Taus, and Jasvir Kaur on Tanpura.
During this tour, Professor Surinder Singh was approached four different times, once directly by the Head Granthi of Harmandir Sahib, and once directly by the President of the Shiromani Gurduara Parbandhak Committee, to perform kirtan in the sanctum sanctorum of Darbar Sahib.
Despite this enormous prospect, Professor Singh respectfully turned it down the offers, due to the current rule that women are not allowed to perform kirtan in the central seat of Sikh spiritual authority. The Raj Academy team performing in India was made up of four males and three females; if they had agreed, half the team would be banned from performing.
Said Professor Singh. “The Gurus themselves have given the same rights to our mothers, sisters and daughters as to any Sikh man. My pledge and the pledge of Raj Academy is to make sure that not only Sikh Music, but all Sikh values are upheld. We have a dream, like all Sikhs around the world, to perform kirtan in Harmandir Sahib, but we will not compromise our values for this dream.”Over 500 years ago, Guru Nanak Sahib, founder of Sikhism, thrashed the prevalent view of the time that women were inferior to men. “
Guru Nanak and all his successors questioned both the Islamic Qazis and Hindu Brahmins who treated women as lesser beings. In Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Sahib often refers to himself as a woman or a bride to show the loving relationship between Vaheguru and the Sikh. Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Guru of the Sikhs, ordained that Sikh baptism would not be a ceremony for men alone, but for all children of the Khalsa.
Unlike the tradition of the time period, where the Vedas and the Quran were restricted to higher-class males, the Guru’s message was meant for all – men, women, higher class, lower class, even illiterates and outcasts.
Raj Academy’s refusal to sing kirtan in Darbar Sahib reflects that Guru’s Kirtan cannot be restricted to males.
"We appeal the Panth to support us in our decision and our efforts to promote authentic Gurmat Sangeet. We do not mean to cause controversy and uproar; we simply seek to revive and uphold the heritage of the Gurus, and we ask the sangat around the world to support our mothers, sisters and daughters, who are our pride, to be able to sing kirtan as prescribed by the Gurus in the most sacred of places, Darbar Sahib,” said Professor Singh.