I have noticed that the concept of seva - loosely translated as "selfless, voluntary service" - is nowadays increasingly wielded as a weapon and less as what it is meant to be.
The other day, when a community volunteer was asked why she repeatedly failed to do what she had undertaken to do, why she hadn't met her obligations fully or in a timely fashion, I was flabbergasted by the response I overheard:
"I do seva, bhenji", she protested. "I'm not getting paid for this. I spend so many hours here, while I could easily be doing something else. I don't have to listen to this nonsense: if you don't want me here, say so, and I'm gone!"
ਮਃ ੪ ॥ Fourth Mehl:
ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
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.
ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥
Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar.
ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥
Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased.
ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
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.
ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ॥
One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind.
Indian martial art 'Gatka' is associated with the Sikhs history and an integral part of an array of Sikh Shastar Vidiya developed during 15th century for self-defence. It was a battle technique of Sikh warriors during the martial period of great Sikh Gurus. The present form further perfected into a sport in the later 19th century. Gatka is performed & played in two sub-styles called Rasmi (traditional) and Khel (sport) respectively in the Northern India since 1920.
At the time of Guru Nanak, Indian society was divided into several castes and sects which were like water-tight compartments. Birth determined the status of an individual; his deeds or merits did not count for anything. The concept of eqality was inconceivable; for the same reason, the spirit of oneness was almost nonexistent.
In Sikhism, there is no place for divisions based on caste. No Sikh is expected to consider himself superior to anybody else, for no man is born high or low. All are equal. A Sikh should be humble and modest and should have a desire to serve mankind.
To all the Abhilakees (ones preparing for Amrit), there are a few things to share with you, just so that you can get a further understanding of what Amrit is and what we need to sacrifice. Please put this in mind that you are going to ask for Amrit it does not mean that we are 100% that you will be taking Amrit that night. It’s a blessing, It’s only when Guru Gobind Singh Ji wants to give it to you not when you want it. Some brief points are below as basic advice. If one wants to know more then please ask other Gursikhs.
HARVEY, ILLINOIS (KP) - During an open public meeting, the City of Harvey, Illinois, situated in Cook County, officially recognized the 1984 November anti-Sikh pogroms in India as “genocide” and codemned the violence against the Sikh Nation.
The motion for the resolution was forwarded and ratified by Shirley Drewenski, Alderman, First Ward, Joseph Whittington, Alderman, Second Ward, Daryl Crudup, Alderman, Third Ward, Donald Nesbit Alderman, Fifth Ward, and Keith Price, Alderman, Sixth Ward in the presence of the city council and Mayor Eric J. Kellogg.
TALWANDI SABO (KP) - In yet another controversial move, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) un-ceremoniously removed Jathedar Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh from his post at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib as his did not agree to tow the Badal-SGPC-Sant Samaj stance regarding the Nanakshahi vs. Bikrami calendar debate.
Giani Nandgarh had been a non-salaried Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib for the last twelve years and had often taken hard-line positions against various deras including the Sacha Sauda cult and often put the pro-Badal SGPC management and the ruling Akali-BJ regime in awkward quagmire due to his independent nature.
NEW YORK - While welcoming the US President’s reminder to India about the importance of religious freedom, Sikh For Justice (SFJ), which recently campaigned asking Obama to raise the issue of Article 25 (b), commended his stance on chances of India being splintering on religious lines, if they continue to deny religious freedom to the minorities.
Obama’s advise to India to protect religious minorities comes at a time when controversy regarding Article 25(b) of the constitution which labels Sikhs as Hindus is already reignited and RSS-BJP run government is being criticized for launching “Home Coming” to forcibly convert Muslims and Christians to Hindus.
VANCOUVER, CANADA - The World Sikh Organization of Canada has successfully assisted a Sikh student barred from wearing his kirpan into the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
Ishwer Singh Basra, an amritdhari (initiated) Sikh, was scheduled to write the LSAT on September 27, 2014. Upon arriving at the test centre in Burnaby BC, Ishwer Singh's kirpan was spotted by a proctor. Despite being explained its significance, the proctor said the kirpan would not be permitted in the test centre.
Kurehat is a Punjabi word which has two roots - Ku meaning opposite or negation and rehta which mean 'code of conduct'. So the word Kurehta means conduct from which to refrain or keep away from.
It is said that when Guru Gobind Singh first initialled the five Sikhs (Khalsa) in 1699 he mentioned the four Kurehta (the four prohibitions) to them after they had taken Amrit (baptism ceremony with water) at Vaisakhi 1699. The Guru asked the five Panj Piare (beloved of the Guru) to refrain from the four Kurehtas; namely,
1. Cutting or trimming of hair or Kesh,
2. Fornication or adultery,
3. Halal meat or flesh of animal slaughtered in a slow and painful manner, (some say all meat is banned - the Guru is believed to have used the word - "Kuthha")
4. Use of tobacco and intoxication drug.