Thursday, June 22, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bhagat Dhanna Ji...

Bhagat Dhanna Ji

Guru Arjan Dev Ji admires Bhagat Dhanna Ji for his dedication towards the Lord. According to him, Bhagat Dhanna Ji was not initially a Gurmukh but when he met company of saints where only truth is discussed; where knowledge of only the one is given; he became a Gurmukh, "Guru-guided". He worshipped God and found God within his heart. He served God with innocence like a child as he was a very humble person.

Following are lines which Arjun Dev Ji has said about Bhagat Dhanna ji in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੈ ਜਾਟਰੋ, ਉਠਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਮਿਲੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਸਾਈਆ, ਧੰਨਾ ਵਡ ਭਾਗਾ ॥4॥2॥
"Hearing this (the stories of how the other Bhagats met God through Naam), Dhanna, the Jaat (farmer), applied himself to devotional worship. The Lord of the Universe met him personally; Dhanna was so very blessed. ||4||2||"
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 488

ਨਾਮਾ ਜੈਦੇਉ ਕੰਬੀਰੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਅਉਜਾਤਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਚਮਿਆਰੁ ਚਮਈਆ ॥
ਜੋ ਜੋ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਾਧੂ ਜਨ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨਾ ਜਟੁ ਸੈਣੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਦਈਆ ॥7॥
"Naam Dayv, Jai Dayv, Kabeer, Trilochan and Ravi Daas the low-caste leather-worker, blessed Dhanna and Sain; all those who joined the humble Saadh Sangat, met the Merciful Lord. ||7||"

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 835

ਰੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਤਰਿਆ ॥ ਧੰਨਾ ਜਟੁ ਬਾਲਮੀਕੁ ਬਟਵਾਰਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਰਿ ਪਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
"O my mind, chant the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and cross over. Dhanna the farmer, and Balmik the highway robber, became Gurmukh, and crossed over. ||1||Pause||"

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 995

ਧੰਨੈ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਬਾਲ ਬੁਧਿ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਲੋਚਨ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਭਈ ਸਿਧਿ ॥ ਬੇਣੀ ਕਉ ਗੁਰਿ ਕੀਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਤੂ ਭੀ ਹੋਹਿ ਦਾਸੁ ॥੫॥
"Dhanna served the Lord, with the innocence of a child. Meeting with the Guru, Trilochan attained the perfection of the Siddhas. The Guru blessed Baynee with His Divine Illumination. O my mind, you too must be the Lord`s slave. ||5||"

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1192

Sakhi of Bhagat Dhanna
Bhagat Dhanna Ji was a simple Indian farmer who worked hard on his farm all day tending his crops. He used to go past the house of a clever pundit (religious scholar) everyday on the way to his work on the farm.

Dhanna Ji used to listen to the pundit singing religions verses, as he carried out various ritualistic acts, which were beyond the understanding of this simple Jatt (farmer). He found these acts intriguing but never asked the religious man about any of the things that he had observed in the many years that he had gone past the pundit's house.

One day, Bhai Dhanna ji was passing the pundit's house and noticed that the religious man was feeding his Thakur - a stone idol. Bhai Dhanna ji was quite puzzled by what he was observing. On this occasion as he had some free time, so he went and asked the pundit. Dhanna Ji asked "pundit Ji, What are you doing?"

The pundit was very hungry and wanted to get this feeding over as soon as possible and really wasn't in a mood for Bhai Dhanna ji's simple inquiries. He replied, "Oh, nothing, I am just feeding my Thakur. Now if you will excuse me..."

Bhai Dhanna ji found that incredibly funny, "What is the use of feeding a stone?"

The pundit responded, "This is not a stone, it is God. It's Thakur!"

Bhagat Dhanna Ji said, "Really? What happens if you feed the Stone... I mean, what happens when you feed the Thakur?"

The pundit replied: "The Thakur gives you everything!! If you can please God, you will get everything. Now, I really must ask you to leave...I have a lot to do"

Bhai Dhanna ji liked this idea of giving a little food to this small God and getting back everything. So Bhai Dhanna ji asked the pundit if he could also have a Thakur.

At this time, the pundit's stomach was audibly complaining about lack of food. So he hastily picked up the nearest stone off the ground and said, "Here. First feed Thakur, then you eat. Understood! Goodbye." Saying that the pundit dived into the food left over by Thakur. "Lovely I really could not have waited any longer!"

Bhagat Dhanna Ji

Bhai Dhanna ji held the stone closely to his chest and hurried home. As soon as Bhai Dhanna ji got home, he first carefully and loving washed the stone. Having bathed the Thakur, Dhanna Ji then cooked the best meal he knew - Saag and Makkee di Roti - for dinner. He placed it in front of Thakur and said, "Here Thakur ji, please eat this food, I have made it lovingly for you. Afterwards, I want to discuss many things with you. I need a new cow for example, and a few other simple requests - but for now, please eat."

Saying that Bhai Dhanna ji sat in front of the Thakur and waited. And waited. And waited. After a while, Bhai Dhanna ji said, "Look Thakur, I really have no time for your play. Come and eat at once! I have many things to do."

After several hours, Bhai Dhanna ji thought perhaps Thakur ji was annoyed at him – May be he has done something wrong. So Bhai Dhanna ji tried to persuade the Thakur to forgive him: "Look here Thakur, I haven't eaten in a while. Now it is entirely possible that I have done something to annoy you but believe you me, we can discuss this much better after this Saag and Makkee dee Roti is in our stomachs." Still nothing happened. Slowly the night deepened. It was now pitch dark outside and the Thakur was showing no signs of eating the delicious food.

Bhai Dhanna ji was now getting angry and said, "Look Thakur, I have one nerve left and you are dancing on it. Either eat your food or I will....", Bhai Dhanna ji couldn't really think of anything else to say so he bust out in anger. Still nothing happened! The angry outburst had no effect on the Thakur.

Pretty soon, Danna ji could see light skies in the East and soon it was going to became daylight. Bhai Dhanna ji felt quite disoriented and confused. Sometimes Bhai Dhanna ji would curse the Thakur, sometimes Bhai Dhanna ji would hug the Thakur and sometimes Bhai Dhanna ji would start crying.

Two long and hungry nights and days passed in this manner. Dhanna ji tried every way to convince the Thakur to take the food. He tried with all the tricks that he knew, with all the love that he could muster, with all the pleadings that he knew, with all the anger – But nothing appeared to work. Dhanna Ji was a stubborn farmer but he was failing miserably here. However, his conviction had not faltered. He kept working on his begging and pleadings.

Then at amrit vela (early dawn) on the third day, when Dhanna ji was too weak to curse any more, Waheguru decided to intervene. To stop Dhanna ji from going mad, Waheguru gave Bhai Danna a vision in the form of a young man. It was the most beautiful body of a young man. Dhanna ji lost all his anger and just stared at the young man.

Speaking through the young man Waheguru said, "Dhanna ji, Sorry, I am late…" Dhanna ji interrupted and said, "I will warm up the food. Thakur Ji you must eat the food – You must also be very hungry" Dhanna Ji fed the young man and ate the remaining food himself after having stayed hungry for over 2 days.

After, eating the food, Dhanna Ji said to Waheguru, "As I said to you two days ago, I have a few things to discuss with you. First there is the work of the farm and then…"

Bhai Dhanna ji fell head over heels in love with the young man (through whom God spoke to him). He couldn't resist being with the young man. They spent the next few days literally arm in arm. Even at night, Bhai Dhanna ji would hold Waheguru 's hand and listen to Waheguru's songs - Waheguru sang a lot - and would drift off to sleep. A week later, the pundit was passing Bhai Dhanna ji's hut. Bhai Dhanna ji saw him and ran to him and said, "Oh, pundit ji, you are the most wonderful man. I can never thank you enough for giving me that marvellous Thakur..."

The pundit responded, "What you on about? Okay, Oh, yeah, sure, anytime. Look, I am in a hurry. I am going to the big pundit conference ..."

Bhai Dhanna ji: "But please come and drink some lassi (Milk Shake). Thakur ji makes the best lassi."

The pundit: "What now? What are you saying? Thakur makes something?"

Bhai Dhanna ji: "Oh yes! It's the best in the world. Just look at him, how handsome he is!"

Pundit ji looked and indeed he could see that someone was pushing the cows on the farm. And yet there was nobody to be seen.

Pundit ji: "Who is controlling the cows. Who is that?"

Bhai Dhanna ji: "Why, that is Thakur ji, of course. Can't you recognise him. Oh, you should hear him sing...It's out of this world!"

Pundit ji was quite intrigued by now. And kept repeatedly asking Bhai Dhanna ji about Thakur. After a while Bhai Dhanna ji realized that pundit could not see Thakur ji. Dhanna ji promised that he would talk to Thakur about this.

The pundit left. Bhai Dhanna ji went to Waheguru and said, "Thakur ji, how come pundit ji can't see you?"

Waheguru: "The pundit really doesn't want to see me. He is more interested in my maid – Maya and he is captivated in it entanglement. He has no real interest in me only in my creation"

Dhanna ji: "But I don't understand. Why can I see you and others cannot? How can one begin to see you?"

Waheguru: "One has to become pure. And in this age, Dhanna ji, the only way to become pure is by reciting Naam."

Dhanna ji: "Naam?"

Waheguru: "Naam is the magic of this age. Even a few minutes of Naam Simran will bring the magic that is needed to see me."

Dhanna ji: "But, I haven't recited Naam. How come I can see you?"

The young man, touched Bhai Dhanna ji 's forehead. Bhai Dhanna ji's surat went inside. Inside he saw that he, Bhai Dhanna ji, had done heavy tapasaya (devotional worship) for over many lifetimes. He had stood in water all night and in the hot sun all day. He had hung upside down for several lifetimes. He had been a celibate in one lifetime and a moni (ones who doesn't talk) in another. But he had progressed spiritually very little.

Then in his previous life, he had met an adept Guru who had given him Naam. And by doing Naam Simran for just one lifetime, Bhai Dhanna ji had become pure. Seeing Waheguru ji was the reward for his Naam from previous life.

Bhai Dhanna ji fell at the young man's feet and cried. Saying, "Please forgive this fool, I treated you as an equal..."

The young man ji picked him and held him close, singing songs of comfort, "Bhai Dhanna ji, now the time is right to leave. The way you see me now is the superficial way of meeting me. The real way is inside. Now you must start Naam Simran again and then I will meet you inside."

Saying that the young man vanished into thin air. Bhai Dhanna ji was enlightened now. He restarted his Naam Simran with each breath. Within days, Bhai Dhanna ji had parkash (sighting) of Waheguru ji within his mind and through this enlightenment; we today have the benefit of Dhanna Bani in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

When we bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, we are not just acknowledging the advice and lives of our ten Gurus but also the lives and Bani of 15 Sikh Bhagats.

God is within us all and pervades throughout his creation (there is universe beyond universe...Japji Sahib). So if we want vision of God then we need to meditate on His Name (he has innumerable names, as told to us by Guru Gobind Singh Ji). It is important to note that God DOES NOT take any form, but for our purpose he can give us a vision in any form. For example, Waheguru was inside the young man as much as he was inside bhai Dhanna but for Bhai Dhanna's experience, God spoke through the young man. Guru Granth Sahib Ji tells us that in Sach Khand, where the light of God dwells, blessed saints merge with God (as Guru Gobind Singh Ji did in his previous incarnation).

If you envision God as a radiant light which pervades throughout the universe, then if you are blessed this may be the vision you will see. An important concept in Sikhi is that God does not take form (Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth), he is formless and pervades throught his creation.


The Bhakti movement in India was at its peak in the 14th and 15th centuries. Several men of God who belonged by birth to poor families and the so-called low castes earned spiritual heights and thus gained fame far and wide. Many more from such lower state of society emulated them in pursuit of the divine ideal. Dhanna ji was also one such devotee of God. Guru Arjan Dev Ji has said that Dhanna ji heard of the fame of Namdev ji, saw for himself the spiritual grandeur of Kabir ji, learnt of the uplifted spiritual and moral position of Ravidas ji and experienced Sain ji's mystical oneness with the Lord. All this inspired in Dhanna ji's heart a deep felt urge to realize God.

Bhagat Dhanna Ji was such a bhagat that he remained ever absorbed in God, even when he was physically occupied in various jobs abd earning his livelihood. It was this deep devotion of Dhanna ji that ultimately enabled him to have a glimpse of the Timeless Lord even in a stone. Dhanna ji was a simple-hearted ,and noble person, and he took the advice of a Brahmin to consider the stone, Lord Himself. He was asked by the Brahmin to offer the stone (or the Lord in the stone) sacramental food. When Dhanna found that the Lord was not accepting the food offered by him, he declared that he himself would not touch the food and remain on a fast as long as the Lord did not accept his offer. Bhai Gurdas has narrated (Varan, X.1 3) the entire episode in a beautiful verse.

He says:
ਬਾਮ੍ਹਣ ਪੂਜੈ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਧੰਨਾ ਗਊ ਚਰਾਵਣ ਆਵੈ॥
ਧੰਨੈ ਡਿਠਾ ਚਲਿਤੁ ਏਹੁ ਪੁਛੈ ਬਾਮ੍ਹਣੁ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ॥
ਠਾਕੁਰ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੈ ਜੋ ਇਛੈ ਸੋਈ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ॥
ਧੰਨਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਜੋਦੜੀ ਮੈ ਭਿ ਦੇਹ ਇਕ ਜੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ॥
ਪਥਰੁ ਇਕ ਲਪੇਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇ ਧੰਨੈ ਨੋ ਗੈਲ ਛੁਡਾਵੈ॥
ਠਾਕੁਰ ਨੋ ਨ੍ਹਾਵਾਲਿ ਕੈ ਛਾਹਿ ਰੋਟੀ ਲੈ ਭੋਗੁ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਵੈ॥
ਹਥਿ ਜੋੜਿ ਮਿੰਨਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਪੈਰੀਂ ਪੈ ਪੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਮਨਾਵੈ॥
ਹਉਂ ਬੀ ਮੁਹੁ ਨ ਜੁਠਾਲਸਾਂ ਤੂ ਰੁਠਾ ਮੈਂ ਕਿਹੁ ਨ ਸੁਖਾਵੈ॥
ਗੋਸਾਈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਰੋਟੀ ਖਾਇ ਛਾਹਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਲਾਵੈ॥
ਭੋਲਾ ਭਾਉ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਮਿਲਾਵੈ ॥੧੩॥
"The Brahmin used to worship idols, and Dhanna went out to graze cows. When Dhanna saw this all, He put queries to Brahmin who said: "He who serves the Lord Gets fulfilled all desires of his heart;" Dhanna made supplication to him: "Give me one (Idol) if it pleases you." The Brahmin wrapped a stone in cloth, and gave it to Dhanna to get rid of him. Dhanna first bathed the stone,then offered food and butter-milk.He prayed with folded hands, and prostrated to persuade it accept the offer. “I will also not eat because how can I be happy if you are annoyed.” God appeared before the Dhanna, Accepted the offering he made. Innocent love of Dhanna, thus united him into the Lord."

A Shabad by Guru Arjan Dev Ji included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on Ang 487 narrates the same incident. The concluding two verses of this Shabad are as follows:
ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੈ ਜਾਟਰੋ, ਉਠਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਮਿਲੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਸਾਈਆ, ਧੰਨਾ ਵਡ ਭਾਗਾ ॥4॥2॥
"Hearing this (the stories of how the other Bhagats met God through Naam), Dhanna, the Jaat (farmer), applied himself to devotional worship. The Lord of the Universe met him personally; Dhanna was so very blessed. ||4||2||"
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 488
The determination and commitment of the innocent and pious Dhanna ji made even the Lord yield, and He had to take the form of Thakur, drink and eat what Dhanna had offered Him. Thus did Dhanna ji's unwavering determination win, and in consequence of this achievement he felt deeply committed to God. How easy it has been to win the pleasure of God with one's innocence and simple piety.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Information about today's Gurpurb to share with non-Sikh neighbours, colleagues, and friends...

16th June: A message of peace and good wishes to all humanity on the Martyrdom Anniversary of the 5th Sikh Guru

Traditionally, in India Sikhs set up stalls to offer free sweet cool drinks to the general public on hot days, known as Chhabeel, but especially between May and June, when Sikhs remember the martyrdom of their fifth Guru.
The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563-1606), a champion of peace and holiness, became the first Sikh Guru to be martyred in 1606 as a consequence of the tyrannical rulers’ religious intolerance and fanaticism. Refusing to give up his faith, Guru Arjan Dev Ji was tortured by being made to sit on a red hot plate, whilst hot sand was poured over Him.
The Guru’s son, who in turn had become the 6th Guru, ensured that the collective grief of the Sikhs developed into a source of strength, to show that Sikhs wouldn’t be downtrodden by others, and ultimately transformed the Sikh community into the religion it is today, a faith willing to fight for the freedom and rights of others, regardless of religion, race, or colour.
Instead of remembering the martyrdom of the 5th Guru through mourning, Guru Arjan Dev Ji taught the Sikhs to accept God’s will as sweet. Therefore, Sikhs changed negativity into positivity by turning an attack upon them into a chance to serve others. We honour the Guru’s burning by cooling everyone else. This brings to life the Sikh concept of Chardi Kala (directly translated as “ever-rising spirits”) which dictates that one should be always optimistic and positive. As such, when people may be feeling hot and bothered in the summer, Sikhs will be seeking to share positivity and kindness.
In the past few weeks with the terror attacks in Manchester and London, there has been a moving show of strength and defiance against those who want to create fear and terror in communities, driven by ideologies of intolerance and hatred. The message of Guru Arjan Dev Ji of responding to hatred with sweetness, and changing negativity to positivity, has been shown by many with their generous acts of humanity during these tragic events.
This month, whilst Sikhs remember the martyrdom of their Guru and the tens of thousands of Sikhs who lost their lives in the Sikh holocaust of 1984, they stand shoulder to shoulder with innocents killed and injured by mindless violence in Manchester, London and elsewhere in the world.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Do you really wear that?..."

A few weeks ago, I was coming back from work and realized I was running short of car fuel. I decided to pull over at the motorway service station to fill up on some petrol. After I had added fuel to the car, I went inside to pay.
The cashier was from Pakistan. He asked me in Punjabi, “Would you like a receipt?” I replied back in Punjabi, Yes, please.” As the man was passing over the receipt, he took a glance at my work name badge. Mentioning the company I work for, he said in a derogatory manner, “You work for them?” I was bit confused, considering I was wearing a name badge because I clearly work for that company. I don’t dress up usually with random name badges pretending to work for random companies, unless April fools day (that's a joke!).
He then followed on by saying (again in a derogatory and shocked manner), “Do you go to work wearing this? They actually allow you to go to work looking like that?” He was referring to the fact I was wearing a Chola and Hazooria. Guru Sahib on the spur of the moment, got me to confidently give the following reply with a smile, Hanji. Tuhaanoo pataa nehee singhnaa da raaj hai” (“Yes. Don’t you know- Singhs rule.”) The cashier’s face was something to see. His face just shrunk and he went quiet not knowing what to say.
Sitting back in the car, I thought, “Guru Sahib, how great you are! You blessed this poor soul with your unique identity, and blessing Sikhs with such a great blessing of wearing a crown and being the children of the King of kings.”

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Repost: Reflection on June London Rally 2016...

This Sunday, the annual remembrance march and freedom rally is taking place in Central London. Below is a write-up about last year's remembrance march and freedom rally. I thought I would re-post again, and encourage all brothers and sisters to wear their Khalsa clothes and wear their Dastaars with pride to show that the Khalsa still exists, the Khalsa is in Chardi Kala, and the Saroop and cause that the Shaheeds gave their lives for is still alive in Sikhs today.

Remembering the Past & Seeking Freedom: 
Reflection on June London Rally...

Last Sunday, after the London 1984 remembrance march and freedom rally held in Central London. For the me the event is important as it an acts as a testimony to India and the world that the Sikh community is undefeated and still proudly standing, despite attempts of holocausts, genocides, killings and attacks on Sikh ideology and beliefs. On the way back home from the event, I was reflecting on the day. Various thoughts came to my mind. Later in the week, Bhenji Navrup Kaur was sharing her experiences and observations about the event. Both of our observations were similar, so Bhenji requested for me to share some thoughts with the Sangat...

During the Hyde Park speeches, an elderly gentleman with a colourful orange Dastaar and white beard came on the stage. The person was introduced as "Mr. Patel". I thought it was a slightly strange to have a Singh with the name 'Patel'. Anyway, the gentleman began talking and he was speaking Hindi. I thought that was even more strange! Then he introduced himself with the following: "I am a Hindu. I a not a Sikh. However, I respect Sikhs because if it was not for the ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadar Ji, and the bravery and sacrifices of the Khalsa, today Hindus would not exist and thousands of our Hindu sisters and mothers would been forcefully taken and sold in Afghanistan and Iraq. For this reason, when I heard that the Indian government attacked Sri Harmandir Sahib in June 1984, I was deeply saddened. How could the Indian government be so ungrateful to the Sikhs? If it had not been for the Sikhs, there would be no India! In response to my Sikh brothers being killed, having their Dastaar direspected, and Kes forcefully cut in India, I decided out of solidarity to my Sikh brothers to stop cutting my hair and wear a Dastaar. It is not just me, but I know lots of other Hindus that stand by with Sikhs and support Khalistan." It was a short but very inspiring speech, and I hope that our brothers and sisters who have Sikh roots but are not yet keeping their Kes or wearing a Dastaar, may be inspired to stand and be counted for in solidarity with our brothers who fell down with bullets in 1984, by keeping their Kes and wearing a Dastaar with pride.

Whilst walking with the march, I noticed a man with cut hair and his head covered with a Rumaal pushing a wheel chair. A young boy wearing a blue Dumallaa (turban), a blue Chola (khalsa dress) and Kirpaan worn over his clothes, was by him. I thought it must be a nephew or someone that he knew. But then the Khalsa child, when speaking with the man, said, "Dad." It put a smile on my face and I thought 'wow.' The Indian State and anti-Sikh forces wished to destroy the Sikh identity and existence, and yet today, despite the middle-aged man who for whatever reason doesn't have Sikh identity, but his next generation are proud Khalsa and living proof of the legacy of the Shaheeds and those who laid their lives down for the sake of Sikhi. That's powerful! This illustrates the Sikh story of defiance, surviving holocausts, and remaining in Chardikala.

But I also noticed a growing trend of men and women wearing Western clothes instead of their traditional Sikh dress, and some dressed as if they were going to soak up the sun on the beach, and others as if they were going for a workout in the gym. The Shaheeds that we are remembering died wearing their cholas and traditional dress, wearing their kirpans with pride over the clothes, and wearing the beards flowing like lions. Anti-Sikh forces despised the identity of the Khalsa, and for them to see a sea of dastaars, men and women adorned in Khalsa dress and wearing their Kirpaans over the clothes with pride, would send a strong message to them that would make them think twice about how successful they have been in the campaign destroy the Khalsa.

Some people complained it was too hot, and had forgotten how hot it must have been in the Sri Harmandir Sahib complex in June 1984 when the army had shut off the electricity and water supply and the Sangat had to endure 40 degrees temperature for all the days the attack continued. It made me think, have we really understood why we are here?  Bhenji Navrup Kaur shared that before they left home, she asked her young 7 year old daughter that she can wear a t-shirt instead of Bana (Khalsa dress) because it was going to be  hot. Her daughter replied, "No mum, I wish to wear Bana, as we are remembering the Shaheeds."

Gurleen Kaur and Mansimar Kaur proudly dressed with Dastaars, Kirpaans and Bana last Sunday

When marching through London I also observed that people who came to attend the remembrance event were entering shops to go shopping, restaurants and cafés to have some lunch, others were enjoying ice-cream, having a laugh with their mates, and taking selfies at tourist site attractions that were on the route of the march. Are we taking this event seriously? Or has it become a day trip and an opportunity to go shopping and site-seeing in Central London for free (using the coach paid by the Sangat or Gurdwara)?

Bhenji Navrup Kaur wrote on her post that she shared on the Internet: 
"The day you see or hear me referring to this event as a day out in London, a day to pop into Primark en-route to the event, wearing my western clothes, getting myself a nice coffee and sarnie from Pret, not bothering to go to listen to the speeches or the videos, meet the Sangat, and support and remember this day and all that it stands for... That day is the day my heart would have gone stone cold and my being there will make no difference to the cause."
Bhai Gurpreet Singh and Bhenji Navrup Kaur with their children last Sunday

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Response to Facebook post...

It was brought to my attention this morning that someone has posted on Facebook, claiming that I have "intentionally changed puratan itihaas and puraatan rehit.."
The Facebook page made further accusations:
"So what's the big deal, perhaps just an honest mistake....
We don't think so. You see, this is the age old game of propoganda. And dishonesty not only in parchaar, but dishonesty in acknowledging and sharing GurMat and Ithihaas AS IT IS FOUND IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM."

Firstly, no one emailed me when my email is clearly displayed on my blog. Nor did anyone leave a comment on the post in question. This really does question our fellow brothers' intentions who post such things in a rush on Facebook, and others rush to re-post, make comments, make accusations and unnecessarily spread negativity and indirectly incite others to hate fellow Sikhs.

On Friday, March 31, 2017, I posted on my blog “Vaisakhi 1699: First hand account of Bhai Jaita Ji...” (link) When searching the Internet, I came across a transcript of the text 'ਭਾਈ ਜੈਤਾ ਜੀ - ਜੀਵਨ ਤੇ ਰਚਨਾ' (Bhai Jaita Ji - Jeevan Te Rachna) compiled by Dr. Gurmukh Singh Walia in 1994. There was no English translation of this text. So I decided to copy and paste the text of this book posted on the Internet. I have not read the printed version of this book, so I cannot possibly know if there is any difference between what’s on the Internet sources and what is written in any printed source. However, there isn’t one website, but a number of websites which have the same text that I have quoted.

I was accused of omitting the word 'Kesh' from the text, and accused it was done with intention of changing Sikh history and committing 'beadbi' (sacrilege). See below:

It is sad that people are resorting to a witch hunt and posting malicious things on the Internet with malicious intent. A simple Google search of the text would prove that numerous sources quote the text that I used.

Please see the following Internet sources, and please note that all these sources have posted the same exact text that I tried to translate, posted a good time before the blog post in question was published.

Parchaariks are always learning. If any of my brothers wish Manvir Singh to further research on this topic and bring clarity, then they would have emailed me, which would lead to healthy Vichaar that we can all learn from in a positive way.

I humbly request all my brothers and sisters, to please carefully think before posting or commenting about others on the Internet. When we post things based on hearsay or assumptions, we can easily end up saying, writing or posting something which is actually not fully true but presented as the truth, therefore turning into 'Nindya' (slander).

ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਹਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਕਾ ਪਰਗਟਿ ਪਾਹਾਰਾ ॥
"O people of the world, why do you indulge in slander? The emptiness of the slanderer comes in the open."
(Gond Ravidaas Ji, 875)