Monday, 2 November 2009

Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak

Today is the Gurpurb of Sri Guru Nanak the founder of Sikhism, may we understand and live the message our Guru's gave us and share it with all humanity...

"A Divine Light came upon this Earth to enlighten the suffering souls. This Heavenly light came to be known as Guru Nanak. Sins had spread all around the world. People were surrounded by falsehood, superstition, ignorance and self-indulgence. Baba Nanak emerged as the Knowledge in Kaliyuga to show the right path of life.

He declared that God is one and His name is the ultimate truth. Guru Nanak said that this Earth is a Dharamsaal (where one has come to fulfil his/her duties) in which one is trained to be a Puran Purush (a complete man).

His first lesson to his pupils was:-

1. Remember God
2. Share with the needy
3. Earn your living by honest means

This divine light made its journey through Guru Nanak to Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Harkrishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh, and stayed forever as Shabad Guru – Guru Granth Sahib. "

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Block 32 Trilokpuri

2009-11-01 15:30:00

It was a sight I will never forget in my life. Two alleyways in Trilokpuri, Block-32, littered with bodies, body parts, hair and blood.

It was around 7 p.m. Nov 1, 1984, and there was no light. The only illumination was from the headlights of my car. Nobody was alive and there was absolutely no sound. It was like a bizarre science fiction movie.

It was impossible for us - Joseph Maliakan and myself of the Indian Express and Alok Tomar of Jansatta - to keep our feet on the ground without stepping on something. We literally had to tiptoe through this massacre, through this carnage in east Delhi.

When we walked down the narrow 100-metre-long street, we found a young woman, a polio victim, sitting at the entrance of her house. She was just sitting there silently and all around her, in front of her, behind her, beside her on either side, there were piles of bodies.

Her entire family was butchered but she was completely emotionless. She had no tears, she had no hysteria, she was just silent.

We then heard a sound of an infant who must have been a few weeks old. We handed him to the police.

We also saw a young Sikh, who had been stabbed the previous day, lying underneath a body. He had managed to tie his turban around his stomach, but by then had bled for at least 24 hours. We shifted him to the police van standing nearby. He later died.

We were there for about one or two hours and it was horrendous. It was just like some place where you slaughter animals except in this case they slaughtered the Sikhs - 320 of them in these two very very narrow lanes.

There was hair lying all over the place, there was blood, there were fingers, arms, legs and heads.

These alleyways were populated by poor Scheduled Caste Sikh families whose basic trade was to weave beds and chairs.

Earlier in the day, when we tried to come here, we were chased away by the crowd which threatened to kill us. I got information about the killings from a young man, Mohan Singh, who had come to my office looking completely shattered.

We didn't really believe him because his account was so fanciful and bizarre. But a few hours later, we were to realise that even his words were not enough to describe the horror, the cruelty and the carnage that had gone on there.

Later it transpired that the butchery had taken place casually over two days because people used to come, kill and go back to their homes. They used to have their food, take rest, come back and start killing again.

It was very very cold, very cynical and calculated in one way and in another way it was completely barbaric and brutal.

We went back completely dazed and shocked. I have never seen anything like that in my life in a civilised city which is the capital of India.

There were just two police officers there. They had no explanation and were completely silent.

When I went back to Trilokpuri the next day, Nov 2, they had cleaned up the bodies, killing the evidence. There was no police there and there were just a few Sikh families that were given shelter by locals, who were fearful of their own lives.

For three days this carnage raged unchecked. Besides east Delhi, there were similar scenes in west Delhi, Chandni Chowk in the old quarter and in central Delhi. If police had been marginally vigilant and opened fire, the crowds would have dispersed. I don't think there were any instances of anyone opening fire.

The fact is that the state was complicit for the first time in independent India's history in participating in a very calculated ethnic cleansing programme.

Those three-four days, I think are one of the biggest blots on the Indian establishment.

(Rahul Bedi was one of the first journalists to reach Trilokpuri after the riots broke out. He spoke to Mayank Aggarwal.)

-Indo-Asian News Service

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Parnaam Shaheeda Nu

Today is the day Beant Singh and Satwant Singh assassinated Indira Gandhi on 31st October 1984, in an answer back for her ordering the Indian army to attack Harmander Sahib (Golden Temple) and kill thousands of innocent Sikhs in pursuant of so called "militants".

Beant Singh was killed illegally by gunfire soon after the assassination after he and Satwant surrendered. Satwant Singh was arrested and later sentenced to death alongside Kehar Singh.

May we never forget the many sacrifices of all the shaheeds and may we persevere until we get justice 25 years on and still waiting...

Never Forget 84'

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

"Dera" Land

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh,

I came across an interesting article on the internet which just sums up what is happening in Punjab and even now in western countries as we see the increased campaign by these sects to spread the number of followers and riches. The source of the article is;

"At Kahna Dhesian near Jalandhar, Punjab, all roads lead to a brightly painted gurudwara, every inch of its walls covered in hues of turquoise, red, yellow and green.Though it houses the mandatory Guru Granth Sahib, it lies in a neglected room in a corner of the quadrangle. Pride of place instead is given to a throne-like gaddi where even in the absence of the resident baba, the faithful bow their heads and touch the seat in reverence and obeisance. But this gurudwara, called the dera, and thousands such across the state, are raising the hackles of the Sikh community. The recent violent clashes across Punjab between followers of the influential Dera Sacha Sauda and various Sikh groups reflect the community's growing fears that the 'dera culture' poses the most serious threat yet to their 500-year-old religion."In a religion where shabad or the word of God (immortalised in the Guru Granth Sahib) is the guru, there is no place for a living guru or baba or sant," says Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Sikh scholar and director of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation. "This is against the basic tenet of the faith which is steadily being eroded by a mushroom growth of deras in the last decade or so."

Analysts estimate that there are about 9,000-odd deras in Punjab today, servicing its 12,329 villages. And, they are patronised by about 80 per cent of the population in Punjab. Prof H.S. Dilgeer, formerly with the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), points out that "around 90 per cent of the religious offerings are being cornered by deras nowadays". But what is worrying the Sikh religious establishment more is the distortion of the faith, the growing apostasy and the huge following that deras command. At Jalandhar, Baba Kashmira Singh runs the lucrative Jan Sewa Trust where apart from doling out spiritual advice he also runs a multi-speciality hospital. He preaches unity of all religions and has set up little shrines representative of Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity and Islam on his dera's rooftop. In 1999, the baba, himself a Sikh, was summoned to the Akal Takht, the supreme spiritual body of the Sikhs, to explain why he should not be excommunicated from the faith for his 'heretical' activities. Kashmira Singh, known for his proximity to the Congress, told Outlook, "Sikhs are breaking away from gurudwaras and coming to deras like mine for spiritual guidance because of their disillusionment with Sikhism.I am not against Sikhs cutting their hair. I believe a religion should be flexible and change with the times." At Kirpal Sagar, a sprawling complex spread over 35 hectares in Rahon village of Nawanshahr district, the piece de resistance is a boat-shaped monument bearing different religious symbols situated in the centre of a rippling tank of water. Here the caretaker of the deceased baba's inheritance is Bibi Surinder Kaur who tells us that amrit in Punjab can only be found at two places. "One at the Golden Temple sarovar in Amritsar, and the other at our dera!" If this rankles the Sikh clergy, the allegedly blasphemous activities of some other deras is a source of frequent violence in the state.

Ashutosh: Followers of the controversial Divya Jyoti Jagaran Sansthan at Noormahal run by Ashutosh Maharaj have had several serious runins with Sikh groups who object to the 'samagams' held by the dera all over Punjab, where besides projecting himself as a reincarnation of the Sikh gurus, Ashutosh is allegedly also critical of mainstream Sikhism. In 1998, Baba Piara Bhaniarewala provoked Sikhs by writing his own granth, which he called the Bhavsagar Samundar Granth, and encouraged followers to burn copies of Sikh scriptures. He was excommunicated from the faith by the Akal Takht, but the resultant violence at his dera near Ropar forced the government to provide him a hefty security cover. Notwithstanding the opposition, both the deras have grown in strength and influence.

In the rising din against deras, the Sikh clergy, represented by the five Sikh head priests as well as the SGPC, is being squarely blamed for "letting down the faithful". "Our religious leadership has submitted to politicians, and devotes more time to politicking than propagating the religion. Their grip over the people has loosened, and deras and babas have just stepped in to fill the gap," says Prof Darshan Singh, professor emeritus, Guru Nanak Studies, Punjab University. In 2005, around 100 Sikh organisations gathered at the Akal Takht to find ways to check the rising dera cult in Punjab. But due to lack of unanimity over the deras against which action was being contemplated, the campaign fizzled out.

Faced with increasing criticism, the Sikh clergy is on the defensive. Recognising the deras as a "serious threat to Sikhism", Akal Takht jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti believes they are drawing people "because following a baba is easy. There is no need to study or understand the scriptures, or the 'bani' of gurus. All you have to do is hand over all your worries to the baba, and he takes care of everything. Unfortunately, people do not realise that this is not Sikhism. There is no place for miracle cures, rituals or godmen in our religion." Says SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, "We are trying to bring such babas into our fold. But many are misusing the gurbani for their own commercial motives and we are directly in confrontation with them."The SGPC also claims to have held 'amrit chakho' camps in the last two years in which over a lakh Sikhs have been baptised. Alarmed over the growing number of 'apostates' in the faith, several Sikh missionary organisations too have stepped up their campaigns in rural Punjab, many of them sponsored by wealthy NRI Sikhs. But is it a losing battle? Already more than 80 per cent of Sikh men in rural Punjab do not sport 'kesh' or hair, the most visible symbol of Sikhism.

Have deras then sounded the death-knell of Sikhism as we have known it? The basic ethos is gone from it," notes Joginder Singh, editor of daily newspaper Spokesman, and an outspoken critic of the Sikh clergy, for which offence he has been excommunicated from the Sikh panth. Many believe that the sudden rise of deras in Punjab has much to do with the aftermath of militancy in Punjab when many gurudwaras were rebuilt through kar seva or voluntary effort. "This became a racket as many kar seva babas sprung up to take on contract work from the SGPC. They collected huge sums from the public and bought expensive cars for themselves, spending just a fraction of it on the project," says a disgusted Dr Ahluwalia. Many of the deras are now being run by these very kar seva babas who have assumed cult status as godmen of sorts. Their appeal also lies in their inclusive approach. With the caste system rearing its head in Punjab in recent years, its manifestation visible in separate gurudwaras for Dalits and other lower-caste Sikhs, the deras attract this segment with their egalitarianism.

It's not surprising that most major deras draw the low castes, the illiterate and the gullible.If Sikh scholars are alarmed by the growing influence and power of deras, it is because they have established close links with the political fraternity. In the recently concluded Punjab assembly elections, Dera Sacha Sauda came out openly in support of the Congress and constituted district-level political affairs wings. Much of the Congress' good showing in the Malwa belt of Punjab (where the dera has some 10 lakh followers) was to Sacha Sauda's credit, which managed to bring 12-odd seats into the Congress kitty. In return, the party reportedly promised to help out dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh with a CBI enquiry he is facing in the murder of a follower and a journalist, who spilled the beans about sexual exploitation of the dera's woman inmates. Significantly, soon after the polls, the CBI officer enquiring into these allegations was transferred.Politicians of all hues patronise the deras. "It's a vicious circle," says SGPC member Dr Kiranjot Kaur. "Drawn by their following, politicians go to deras for votes, and their presence grants the dera legitimacy, adding to its following." So it is with Baba Kashmira Singh or Ashutosh Maharaj: they enjoy considerable clout with political parties and use it for their own commercial ends. Currently, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, whose Akali Dal got a drubbing in its Malwa stronghold thanks to Sacha Sauda, is wooing select deras in the state."

Friday, 17 August 2007

Subh Thae Vuddaa Sathigur Naanuk Jin Kul Raakhee Maeree

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh...

Just wanted to share this beautiful shabad from our Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the first time I heard this, it penetrated my soul so deep and made me realise that we should not worry carelessly of things which are out of our control and understanding. In this world we are led to believe we are in control, able to make our own destiny and have power to make things happen when in essence it is Waheguru who does all and has already written our destiny. Whether this means we have happiness or sadness in our lives, it is all a part of Waheguru's divine plan.
Guru ji has told us that if we take one step towards him, God takes millions towards us. Hence, when reading the shabad we are told that if we become Waheguru's 'sevakh' we become deathless; lose fear of death and become fearless just like our Dasam Patshah Guru Gobind Singh Ji wanted us to be... to be Khalsa... to be Sant Sipahi's (Saint Soldiers).

Anyhow enough of me writing here is the shabad...

AMg 749

ang 749

Page 749

sUhI mhlw 5 ]

soohee mehulaa 5

Soohee, Fifth Mehl:

ijs ky isr aUpir qUM suAwmI so duKu kYsw pwvY ]

jis kae sir oopar thoon suaamee so dhukh kaisaa paavai

When You stand over our heads, O Lord and Master, how can we suffer in pain?

boil n jwxY mwieAw mid mwqw mrxw cIiq n AwvY ]1]

bol n jaanai maaeiaa madh maathaa murunaa cheeth n aavai

The mortal being does not know how to chant Your Name - he is intoxicated with the wine of Maya, and the thought of death does not even enter his mind. ||1||

myry rwm rwie qUM sMqw kw sMq qyry ]

maerae raam raae thoon sunthaa kaa sunth thaerae

O my Sovereign Lord, You belong to the Saints, and the Saints belong to You.

qyry syvk kau Bau ikCu nwhI jmu nhI AwvY nyry ]1] rhwau ]

thaerae saevuk ko bho kish naahee jum nehee aavai naerae

Your servant is not afraid of anything; the Messenger of Death cannot even approach him. ||1||Pause||

jo qyrY rMig rwqy suAwmI iqn@ kw jnm mrx duKu nwsw ]

jo thaerai rung raathae suaamee thinu kaa junum murun dhukh naasaa

Those who are attuned to Your Love, O my Lord and Master, are released from the pains of birth and death.

qyrI bKs n mytY koeI siqgur kw idlwsw ]2]

thaeree bukhus n maettai koee sathigur kaa dhilaasaa

No one can erase Your Blessings; the True Guru has given me this assurance. ||2||

nwmu iDAwiein suK Pl pwiein AwT phr AwrwDih ]

naam dhiaaein sukh ful paaein aath pehur aaraadhehi

Those who meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, obtain the fruits of peace. Twenty-four hours a day, they worship and adore You.

qyrI srix qyrY BrvwsY pMc dust lY swDih ]3]

thaeree suran thaerai bhuruvaasai punch dhusutt lai saadhehi

In Your Sanctuary, with Your Support, they subdue the five villains. ||3||

igAwnu iDAwnu ikCu krmu n jwxw swr n jwxw qyrI ]

giaan dhiaan kish kurum n jaanaa saar n jaanaa thaeree

I know nothing about wisdom, meditation and good deeds; I know nothing about Your excellence.

sB qy vfw siqguru nwnku ijin kl rwKI myrI ]4]10]57]

subh thae vuddaa sathigur naanuk jin kul raakhee maeree

Guru Nanak is the greatest of all; He saved my honor in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga. ||4||10||57||

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The Beginning or is it the End......

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Welcome to the SaintSoldier1699 blog, please check soon for content!