The alarm annoyingly blasts out, it’s morning sound. I run to turn it off, to maintain my sanity, I reach out and grab my Nokia phone, turning off the alarm, frantically hitting the keys. I turn to my bed and think do I get under the lovely warm rajaee (duvet), or do I instead turn and make love with my beloved?
Thousand of lovers in the world go through the above daily ritual. Many will then turn to the comfort of their bed and feel around for their lover and make love as they feel appropriate. As this is, the instant reaction of one in love, to caress and hug their beloved.
But as a Sikh, I caress, hug and make love with my beloved, my Vaaheguroo, by clasping his lotus feet and singing his praise. I throw the rajaee off and search out a lighter cover, sit cross legged and start meditating, caressingly, enjoying every breath, whilst my spirit elates in the soothing embrace of the creator of the universe.
When I start tiring and my spirit rescinds to my mortal frame, realising the tiredness of the body – I decide to doggedly pursue my lover, whose embrace I feel is slipping from me. So I make my way to the bathroom and throw off my sloth. After ablutions, I take a shower and recite Sri Japji Sahib whilst bathing.
Once bathed and refreshed, I return to my bedroom, spread a clean spread on the floor and sit upon it, to engross myself in sublime meditation. My spirit shoots high and I sense my eternal companion reverberate throughout each pore of my physicality. I then lose all sense of my body and I only know of the sound of Vaaheguroo, Vaaheguroo, Vaaheguroo.
When the day breaks, I switch from Simran to recital of Gurbani. I wash my hands and respectfully take my Gutka Sahib (prayers anthology), sit cross-legged and read out loud Sri Japji Sahib, Sri Jaap Sahib, Tva Prasad Savaye, Choupai Sahib and Sri Anand Sahib. I bow in reverence to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee who authored Sri Japji Sahib, reading it, reminds me of divine knowledge of God and succinctly summarises all the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. Next I prostrate to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee and recite his Sri Jaap Sahib, which expounds the qualities of God. Tva Prasad Savaye remind me to shatter falsehood, renounce love for the world and enter true romance with my Vaaheguroo. Choupai Sahib is read to beg for protection, for I am constantly fallible and failing in my mission to realise God. I then bow to Sri Guru Amar Das Jee for his Sri Anand Sahib, meticulously teaches me how to attain true bliss.
After these recitals I conduct an Ardas, I stand to attention and read the Ardas, remembering the 10 Guru’s, the Eternal Guru - Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, the Shaheeds, Panj Pyare, Four Sahibzade, Gurdwaras of historical significance and pray for the protection and support of Sikhs throughout the globe. The Ardas ends with my personal Ardas for forgiveness of my shortfalls and my attempts at walking the path of a Sikh and fittingly at the end, “Nanak Naam Chardi Kala, Tere Bhane Sarbat Da Bhalla” is stated – which asks for high spirits attained through meditating on Naam (Gurbani) gifted to us, from Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, and for the Bhalla (welfare) for the whole of mankind.
I then make my way to the Gurdwara, whilst constantly trying to meditate. I enter the Gurdwara, take off my shoes, wash my feet and hands, and make my way up the stairs. Upon entering the Darbar Sahib, I feel butterflies well up in my stomach – this occurs at the sight of my beloved Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. I walk up and bow, I feel energy currents pang through my forehead and my whole body feels uplifted and light, I lovingly kiss the dust of the floor in front of my Guru. I slowly raise and mentally state “Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh” I then slowly walk around the throne of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, keeping my eyes set on Maharaj and constantly praying for his protection, as I am insignificant, lowly and am only one lover of the thousands that compete for his affection. Upon finishing the walk around Maharaj, I again bow and take my place in the Sangat (congregation).
I leave the Darbar Sahib after hearing God speak and instruct me, this command (Hukamnama) of Guru Jee’s is read after the Ardas. It is a daily guidance note issued to me to help me in the spiritual and worldly challenges I may face in the day to come. I leave feeling I can now enter the working day.
Throughout the day, I try to remember Maharaj’s Hukamnama, in all that I do, and constantly try to practise the teachings imparted in the 5 prayers read in the morning. It is no small task and I falter, but I do the best I can.
At dusk I sit down to read Rehras Sahib, the evening prayer – it re-enlightens my mind of why I am here; This human body has been given to you. This is your chance to meet the Lord of the universe. No other actions are of avail. Join the congregation of Saints (Saadh Sangat) and meditate only on Naam, this is the only action that is of merit (Raag Aasa, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee, 378 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee). I again conduct an Ardas and beg for strength. Before setting down and sleeping, I comb my hair and think of all the things I have done and how I have swayed from the path of Guru Jee, as I comb out the tangles with my Kangha, I pray that my attachment for the world can be detached as my hair which are tangled are detached from my skull.
I lovingly enter the embrace of my beloved upon my bed, whilst doing Simran, once again. When I tire, I then read Kirtan Sohila – which reminds me of death, “The wedding invitation for your death is pre-ordained, meet with the Holy and pour the oil of detachment before your door to welcome the wedding party of death. Oh friends give me your blessings that I may meet my Lord and Master when I depart” (Raag Gauree, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, 157 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee). I beg for protection in my sleep and that I may have blessed dreams and think, ‘It is better to sleep and dream of being in the company of God, than to be awake,’ (Raag Bliaval, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee, 816 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee). My days ends with my slumber.
Sri Guru Ram Das Jee, the fourth Guru instructs us, that the definition of a Sikh is:
One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name. Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar. Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased. Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name (eg. throughout the day). One who meditates on my Lord, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind. That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate - upon that GurSikh, the Guru's Teachings are bestowed. Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. (Raag Gauree, Sri Guru Raam Das Jee, 305 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee)
The above definition of a Sikhs daily living, is depicted in this article by this ant of a Sikh, who is trying to enshrine the words of Sri Guru Raam Das into her living. May Maharaj bless us all with the daily living of such true Sikhs as described by Sri Guru Raam Das Jee.
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