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.
In this video Shanti Kaur Khalsa discusses the topic on "Why One Should Even Bother living the Sikh Lifestyle?" She explains that even though it is difficult, Sikh history is full of success stories, of those sikhs who kept the lifestyle, regardless of the pressures of the times.