Archive | July, 2010

Reading for July-August: Asa ki Var

30 Jul

For the next reading, we have decided to read and discuss Asa ki Var. The primary reading would be bani itself and its translations. We meet on Aug 21 at Inderpreet’s house.

Primary reading:

To get started, a brief explanation and links to bani in Gurmukhi and its translation/transliteration in English can be found at this link on SikhiWikiwebsite.

Secondary readings:

1. Came across this piece on Asa ki Var by Manjyot Kaur posted on SikhChic. She wrote it coming out of Saneha, a seminar in NJ which was organized bySikhRI on the topic of Asa ki Var. Interestingly, Inderpreet facilitates learning about Asa ki Var at the Sidak leadership program by SikhRI and will be gone for the same this early August. Having him for this book club discussion soon after Sidak should be an incentive for many of us.

** We gather at noon and start with potluck lunch.

Dasam Granth Convo Continued….

30 Jul

Sarbjeet was correct in that this session led to more questions than answers! In my view, some of the most important questions that we left with were:

  • How well do we (or atleast I) understand those Banis of Guru Gobind Singh Ji that are not controversial (i.e. Jaap Sahib, Chaupai Sahib, and Svaiyay)?
  • Are their messages any different than the controversial parts?
  • Can I comfortably and confidently recite the most controversial ones in public?

I left the meeting with the embarrassing discovery of how limited my understanding was of the widely accepted Banis of Guru Gobind Singh Ji….And three of those Banis are supposed to be recited everyday!: Jaap Sahib, Svayai, and Bayntee Chaupai (which is part of Rehras Sahib)

This self-realization forced me to take a step back and try to understand the theme of each of these Banis. After CAREFULLY listening to the Banis (ok not on an everyday basis like I am supposed to) and after tapping into my dad’s knowledge of Gurmat, I really came to appreciate these Banis in a new light!

To me, Jaap Sahib, for example, is an expression of awe, love and admiration of the ONE almighty spirit and of HIS (or you can say HER) attributes. It makes me wonder, just how rarely have I said or thought “Vahiguru, you are simply awesome.”?  I know, that sounds corny, but its true! My interactions with Vahiguru mainly consist of me asking for something and on occasion thanking the Giver. But admiring or being amazed by Vahigguru, hardly ever! Guru Sahib’s bani is full of passion where he goes on and on about HIS greatness and feeling humbled by it.

On the flip side, the Guru Sahib focuses on our own minisculness in Svaiyaa and even more, about how the ONLY way to establish a relationship with the powerful ONE Vahiguru is through this love and passion, literally spelling it out for us “Jin Prem Keeo Tin Hee Prab Payio.” Actually, Svaiyaa I think is very relevant to our lives, though on the surface it seems it is no longer applicable to our culture. I mean, why would I care for having tons of elephants and bands, BUT in todays world, our definition of success is still determined by worldly possessions and accomplishments…(ie…money, best job, crazy huge weddings, etc) Or we follow rituals…by not understanding why we believe or doing what we do.

And then, there is Bayntee Chaupee, another bani that is recited everyday. Again, Guru Sahib is being humble, revering the one, but mainly in this Bani, showing how Vahiguru is that BEING from which we can find friendship and protection (not literal necessarily).

So, it appears that each Bani is centered around revering, loving, fearing, and befriending that one Spirit. The language of the Bani was composed with great vigor! I think that it is these aspects that make Guru Gobind Singh’s bani. It is this criteria by which we need to determine which sections of Dasam Granth are authentic. (and of course historical evidence should be considered)

Bhul Chuck Maaf! Feel free to let me know what you think!