Saturday, January 14, 2017

Has Nirankari Mission's Ideology Changed?

Many people have wondered if Mission’s ideology on the subject of Mukti or Moksha has changed.

Those who studied the era of Baba Avtar Singh ji, and heard or read his Vichaars (discourses) have been comparing it with Baba Gurbachan Singh ji and Baba Hardev Singh ji’s discourses. They notice a change in their basic ideology.

Baba Avtar Singh ji used to say “Undoubtedly you will get Mukti or Moksha once you have the Brahm-Gyana”.

It was understood by many that Moksha is guaranteed after receiving the Gyana, and that nothing else is needed, and a Gyani is not bound by any of his or her actions.

Baba Gurbachan Singh ji and then Baba Hardev Singh ji later said “Moksha is not something that you will get automatically after receiving the Gyana. One must live according to the Gyana; follow it with right conduct and actions.”

Did the ideology of the later period of the mission and Gurus change?

Some believe that Moksha is an award - granted by the Guru. That the Guru can grant it to anyone he chooses to. They even quote a line form the Gurubani to support their view:
“Karmi Aave kapadaa – Nadarin Mokh duaar”

Meaning it is the grace through which one gets the Moksha not the Karma.

According to them, Baba Avtar Singh ji chose to grant Moksha to everyone who took Gyana during his period. However, Baba Gurubachan Singh ji changed his strategy and added that good Karma is also essential, and Baba Hardev ji continued the same.

This statement raises doubts and questions in the minds of many - especially those who try to understand everything thoroughly.

However, I strongly believe that the ideology of the Gurus has not changed at all.

A young boy was leaving for his school when his father said to him: “Most likely it’s going to rain in the afternoon. Take this umbrella with you. You won’t get wet when you come back.”
The boy took the umbrella. It did rain indeed, and the boy came back home without getting wet.

Many years passed. This young boy grew, got married and had a son of his own. One cloudy morning, his son was leaving for the school. The boy, who is a father now, said to his son: “Most likely it’s going to rain in the afternoon. Take this umbrella with you. You won’t get wet when you come back.”

The boy took the umbrella. It did rain indeed and the boy came back home soaking wet, water dripping from his face and clothes.
Father looked at him and wondered why he was soaking wet.
“Did you not have the umbrella with you?” He asked.

The boy answered “Yes I did. But it did not do anything”
“Did you open the umbrella?” Father asked.
“What?” the boy said. “You never told me that I had to open it.”

If you read again, the phrase said by the grandfather and the father was exactly the same. The young boy in the first scenario did not get wet. He understood, without being told, that the umbrella has to be opened. But the boy in the second scenario, the grandson, took it literally. He did not try to understand the real meaning of taking the umbrella, and so, was not able to save himself from the rain.

Similarly, the people who came to Baba Avtar Singh ji were real seekers; with a long history of Bhakti and Karam-kaand. They were thinkers who had studied Holy Scriptures and were focused on their path. They did not have to be told that ‘having Gyan’ means they have to follow it, and live accordingly. They understood it very well.

Later, the time changed and the crowd of devotees also changed.

Baba Gurbachan Singh ji saw that many devotees do not understand what ‘having Gyana’ means. They are taking it only as a ritual. So, he had to spell it out, that one has to follow the Gyana and live accordingly with appropriate Karmas to achieve Moksha.

Did the philosophy of the Mission change?
Did the ideology of the Gurus change?
It’s the crowd of seekers and devotees that has changed.
All three Gurus, Baba Avtar ji, Baba Gurbachan ji and Baba Hardev ji said the same thing. Only the later had to spell it out – to explain it in detail so that their devotees can understand it properly.

It’s not different at all.  It’s like saying:

“Take the umbrella - but you must open it too”

                  ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Blissful Memories 5

In the late nineteen sixties, a question began to pop up among the curious seekers and devotees of the Nirankari mission:
Is Moksha guaranteed just by receiving the Gyana or the Karma is also required to achieve it?

Even the preachers had different opinions on this topic.

Some said “Just the Gyana is enough to achieve Moksha and no Karma is required for that matter.”

Others said: “Moksha is guaranteed by the Gyana, but Karma is essential for a happy and peaceful life. One should perform good karmas to stay happy and healthy in the current life but Moksha is certainly guaranteed simply by receiving the Gyana.

Unfortunately, these answers were taken or understood by many in a very different way. They thought ‘Karma has no consequences for Gyanis’. Since the Moksha is guaranteed, a Gyani - who is rich, happy and healthy; or does not need anything - can do whatever he or she wants to do without worrying about its consequences. They cannot be held responsible for their karmas since there is no ‘another-birth’ or another- life for them; they are holding the ticket to Moksha.

Baba Gurbachan Singh ji addressed this topic during his sermons by giving this analogy:

“A man from Punjab planned a trip to Delhi. He packed his luggage along with sheets, blanket and food for the journey and bought the train ticket in advance. He boarded the train and comfortably settled in his pre-reserved seat. He enjoyed his journey for few hours but later, in the middle of night, he started stealing from others. When caught, and confronted, he started quarreling and insulting the other fellow passengers; fighting and using foul language. Police was called and was arrested by the cops at the next stop and taken off of the train. All his planning, hours of collecting and packing of comfortable materials for the journey and the trip – everything was wasted by his wrong doings. Not only he suffered the agony of the prison, he could not reach to his destination either; even though he had bought a confirmed ticket*.

Similarly, all good deeds- attending Sangats, doing seva and Sumiran could be destroyed by our wrong karmas. 
Karmas such as killing and torturing - cheating and stealing from others - depriving others of what belongs to them - insulting, mocking and disrespecting other fellow beings and not treating them properly.

Moksha is not granted on a silver platter by simply receiving the ‘Gyana’; just like buying the ticket and boarding on the train is not a guarantee of arriving at the destination if one’s etiquettes and behavior towards the fellow passengers is not appropriate”. 

                                ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Story of Nachiketa Part 9 (Kathopnishad)


The first lesson taught by Dharam Raj: 
Treat the guests with respect and courtesy – 
Serve them with humility; with love and respect.

In the next verse, Dharam Raj further warned: 
आशा प्रतीक्षे संगतां सूनृतां च - इष्टापूर्ते पुत्र पशून्च सर्वान्  
एतद वृङ्क्ते पुरुषस्य अल्पमेधसो -यस्यानशनन् वसति ब्राह्मणो गृहे

Aashaa Prateekshe Sangataam Su-Nrataam ch 
Ishtaa-poortay Putra-Pashoon ch Sarvaan
Aetad Vrnktay Purushasya alpamedhaso 
Yasyaanashnan Vasti Braahmano Grahay

Hopes, expectations, merits of being in the company of good people (Satsang), sacrifices and good deeds performed for the welfare of children and cattle - all are destroyed in the case of ignorant people in whose home a guest stays without being offered any food. 

Most people - according to their religious backgrounds - go to Temples, Gurdwaras, Mosques, Churches and other religious places with hope and expectation of achieving something that will make their life easier and happier. May it be for the material wealth, good health or even a wishful hope for the ‘after-life’ such as heaven - but nonetheless, some kind of hope and expectation is always there. 
Dharam Raj warns that all above mentioned ‘Punya’ (good karmas) may go to waste if a wise and honorable saintly guest is insulted and not treated with proper respect and courtesy in one’s home.

Now… this may seem to be a far-fetched, exaggerated statement. How can one lose all the Punya or good deeds just by doing one wrong thing of mistreating an honorable saintly guest? 

… A hard-working employee of ten years, with a good reputation, suddenly became greedy – got caught stealing some money and got fired at the spot. He lost his credibility, and his ten years of hard work instantaneously went into drain.

One wrong move can spoil the whole game. 
One wrong turn can take us away from the destination. 
One can do hundred favors and nice things for others but one wrong doing can make them forget every good thing done in the past and completely spoil the relationship. 
According to Bhai Gurdas:
“Tanik hi kaanji pare doodh phat jaat hai”
‘Just a few drops of lemon juice can spoil the whole pot of milk.

Similarly, one mistake - of mistreating or insulting a pious saintly person can ruin all the previous Punya - good karmas.

On the other hand, treating guests with love and respect, offering them good food and drinks - engaging with them in good conversation can bring lots of joy to everyone. Conversing with wise people may answer many unanswered questions - sharing doubts and unresolved issues, and asking for guidance and assistance may solve many problems. Everyone can provide us some knowledge from their life’s experience. Everyone can teach us something – but only if we have the humility and willingness to learn. 
A nice advice from Sant Tulasi Das:
                   तुलसी इस संसार में सबसे मिलियो धाए 
                   ना जाने किस भेस में नारायण मिल जाए 
"Tulasi is sansaar me sab se milyo Dhaaye
 Na jaane kis Bhes me Naraayan mil jaaye"

“Treat and greet everyone with respect and passion. 
 One never knows in what form, or under what disguise God may come… to provide help”

Keeping good relationships with everyone we know, or even don't know, has its own merits; not only in the spiritual world but in the material world also. Healthy discussions with friends and guests are always enjoyable and beneficial. But we can only share wisdom by respecting each other’s thoughts and opinions, not by arguing or ridiculing the ideals and thoughts of others. 

Serving food is certainly a nice gesture, which makes the guests feel they are welcomed and loved. It creates a happy and enjoyable environment and feelings of affection between the host and guests. Now a days, many corporations have also started ‘lunch-on meetings’ with the clients and employees to discuss business matters over lunch or dinner. They have also realized that good food certainly plays a big role to create a warm, cozy and friendly environment for good and healthy communications.
But of-course that is business and we are usually courteous towards most of our invited guests. However, Dharam Raj is talking about extending this gesture and courtesy to all guests; invited or uninvited - known or unknown. A custom – a common practice that was quite prevalent in olden days; not only in the ancient Indian or Hindu culture, but among most other ancient cultures as well. Unfortunately, it seems to be disappearing in the modern world*.

But then again, exceptions are always there. 
There are many wonderful people around even now a days who are always ready to help everyone and anyone - and there were many who did not follow such traditions even in those days.  
That is why Dharam Raj was unhappy with his consorts because Nachiketa had to stay at the doorsteps for three days; unattended. 
Even though Nachiketa was an uninvited guest - an unknown young boy who had obviously come with some hope and expectation - to ask for something or to get some help - but nevertheless, he was a guest. He should have been treated well – should have been offered some food and place to stay. 
This was a custom, expected to be followed by all well-cultured, sophisticated households. Those who did not follow this tradition were considered self-centered egotistic and uncultured*. 

What happens next is truly amazing; something that we don’t see very often. A rare phenomenon that is hard to find in the history of Guru and Shishya (disciple) – Gyani (Enlightened) and Jigyaasu (seeker) or the king and beggar.

                                      ‘Rajan Sachdeva’ 

    To be Continued

*Many traditions and customs change or disappear over the period of time because of the changed circumstances. 
It’s not just the mentality and the life style of the people that has changed these days. There are few other factors too. Most importantly, security and welfare of oneself and protection of one’s family and belongings also need to be considered while entertaining unknown visitors. In today’s urban life style, where so many undesirable incidents are reported every day, following the old customs of welcoming the unknown visitors into homes may not be possible.  
However, even today, admirably Sikh Gurdwaras and many Hindu Temples continue to follow this great tradition and provide Langar (free cooked food) every day-throughout the year; not only in India but all over the world - to everyone - regardless of their ethnicity and religious or cultural back grounds. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

कैसे बताऊँ मैं तुम्हें मेरे लिए तुम कौन हो, कैसे बताऊँ

कैसे बताऊँ मैं तुम्हें 
मेरे लिए तुम कौन हो,  कैसे बताऊँ 

कैसे बताऊँ मैं  तुम्हें 
तुम धड़कनों का गीत हो 
जीवन का तुम संगीत हो 
तुम ज़िन्दगी तुम बन्दगी 
तुम रौशनी तुम ताज़गी 
तुम हर ख़ुशी तुम प्यार हो 
तुम प्रीत हो मनमीत हो 
आँखों में तुम, यादों में तुम 
साँसों में तुम, आहों में तुम 
नींदों में तुम, ख़्वाबों में तुम 
तुम हो मेरी हर बात में 
तुम हो मेरे दिन रात में 
तुम सुबह में तुम शाम में 
तुम सोच में तुम काम में 
मेरे लिए पाना भी तुम 
मेरे लिए खोना भी तुम 
मेरे लिए हंसना भी तुम 
मेरे लिए रोना भी तुम 
और जागना सोना भी तुम 
जाऊं कहीं, देखूँ कहीं 
तुम हो वहाँ, तुम हो वहीं 
कैसे बताऊँ मैं तुम्हें 
तुम बिन तो मैं कुछ भी नहीं 

कैसे बताऊँ मैं  तुम्हें 
मेरे लिए तुम कौन हो
कैसे बताऊँ मैं  तुम्हें 

मेरे लिए तुम धर्म हो 
मेरे लिए ईमान हो 
तुम ही इबादत हो मेरी 
तुम ही तो चाहत हो मेरी 
तुम ही मेरा अरमान हो 
तकता हूँ मैं हर पल जिसे 
तुम ही तो वो तस्वीर हो 
तुम ही मेरी तक़दीर हो 
तुम ही सितारा हो मेरा 
तुम ही नज़ारा हो मेरा 
यूँ ध्यान में मेरे हो तुम 
जैसे मुझे घेरे हो तुम 
पूरब में तुम,पष्चिम में तुम 
उत्तर में तुम, दक्षिण में तुम 
सारे मेरे जीवन में तुम 
हर पल में तुम, हर छिन में तुम 
मेरे लिए रस्ता भी तुम 
मेरे लिए मन्ज़िल भी तुम 
मेरे लिए सागर भी तुम 
मेरे लिए साहिल भी तुम 
मैं देखता बस तुमको हूँ 
मैं सोचता बस तुमको हूँ 
मैं जानता बस तुमको हूँ 
मैं मानता बस तुमको हूँ 
तुम ही मेरी पहचान हो 
कैसे बताऊँ मैं तुम्हें 
देवी हो तुम मेरे लिए 
मेरे लिए भगवान हो 

कैसे बताऊँ मैं  तुम्हें 
मेरे लिए तुम कौन हो, कैसे बताऊँ 

                      " जावेद अख़्तर "

Kaise bataoon main tumhe Mere liye tum kaun ho

Kaise bataoon main tumhe
Mere liye tum kaun ho
Kaise bataoon main tumhe

Tum dhadkanon ka geet ho
Jeevan ka tum sangeet ho
Tum zindagi, tum bandagi
Tum roshni, tum taazgi
Tum har khushi, tum pyaar ho
Tum preet ho, manmeet ho
Aankhon mein tum, yaadon mein tum
Saanson mein tum, aahon mein tum
Neendon mein tum, khwaabon mein tum
Tum ho meri har baat mein
Tum ho mere din raat mein
Tum subah mein, tum shaam mein
Tum soch mein, tum kaam mein
Mere liye paana bhi tum
Mere liye khona bhi tum
Mere liye hansnaa bhi tum
Mere liye ronaa bhi tum
Aur jagaana sona bhi tum
Jaaoon kahin, dekhoon kahin
Tum ho wahan, tum ho wahin
Kaise bataoon main tumhe
Tum bin to main kuchh bhi nahi
Kaise bataoon main tumhe
Mere liye tum kaun ho

Kaise bataoon main tumhe
Mere liye tum dharm ho
Mere liye imaan ho
Tum hi ibaadat ho meri
Tum hi to chaahat ho meri
Tum hi mera armaan ho
Taktaa hoon main har pal jise
Tum hi to woh tasveer ho
Tum hi meri taqdeer ho
Tum hi sitaara ho mera
Tum hi nazara ho mera
Yoon dhyan mein mere ho tum
Jaise mujhe ghere ho tum
Purab mein tum, pashchim mein tum
Uttar mein tum, dakshin mein tum
Saare mere jeevan mein tum
Har pal mein tum, har chhin mein tum
Mere liye rastaa bhi tum
Mere liye manzil bhi tum
Mere liye saagar bhi tum
Mere liye saahil bhi tum
Main dekhta bas tumko hoon
Main sochta bas tumko hoon
Main jaanta bas tumko hoon
Main maanta bas tumko hoon
Tumhi meri pehchan ho
Kaise bataoon main tumhe
Devi ho tum mere liye
Mere liye bhagwan ho
Kaise bataoon main tumhe
Mere liye tum kaun ho, kaise bataoon

                              By : Javed Akhtar 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Best Leader

The best leader is one, who leads quietly.
Not by words but actions, and people follow him quietly.
Next best is one who is liked, admired and praised.
Next is one who is feared.
Worst of all is a leader who is despised.

Only when the leader is not worthy, will disastrous events take place!

So the best leaders seldom issue any orders.

They lead others through their actions. 

When some affairs are accomplished, people will say:
 "We did it by following our leader."

हम दुआ लिखते रहे - Hum Duaa Likhtay Rahay

हम दुआ लिखते रहे - वो दग़ा पढ़ते रहे  एक नुक़्ते ने महरम से मुजरिम कर दिया  Hum duaa likhtay rahay - vo daghaa padhtay rahay Ek nuqtay nay...