Maa De Farz Part 1

In this series, we will be exploring Maa De Farz, which translates to “A Mother’s Responsibilities/Duties.” Using Bhai G...

In this series, we will be exploring Maa De Farz, which translates to “A Mother’s Responsibilities/Duties.” Using Bhai Guriqbal Singh Ji’s weekly Katha that started on this topic on March 30, 2017, I will be sharing the insights (to the best of my knowledge and understanding) that he touched upon in his series, one video at a time. For more information on this series, as well as a link to all the posts so farclick here

In the first Katha of this series, Bhai Jee explains that there are two type of mothers acknowledged in Gurbani and that before even having the desire to conceive, a virtuous mother-to-be should have the desire or the mindset to listen to Gurbani, do Seva, and sit in Saadh Sangat.

Bhai Jee approaches the topic by sharing that in Gurbani, Guru Maharaj Ji gives many examples of two (opposite) types of the same thing. One is considered good while the other is bad. Some of these examples include sleep, food, dwelling, and mother.

Sleep 

With sleep, the “bad” kind of sleep is when we miss Amrit Vela because we’ve decided to sleep in. The “bad” kind of sleep comes when we’re not aware or conscious of Akal Purakh Waheguru Jee because we’re so engrossed in Maya (this illusion). In other words, we are entangled in Maya anytime we are in the clutches of the five corruptive forces: Lust, Greed, Anger, Attachment, and Pride.

On the other hand, the “good” kind of sleep is when we are asleep and have a spiritual dream. What exactly is a spiritual dream? When we’ve got to do Darshan (catch a glimpse or get to witness the glory) of Harmandir Sahib (aka the “Golden Temple”) in our dreams. When we’ve been listening to Sakhiya (true stories of our Sikh past/history) and we get Darshan of Guru Sahib Jee when dreaming because so much love has welled up in our hearts. These kinds of dreams are orders of magnitude better than much of our “awake” time.

Salok Mahalaa Chauthhaa ||

Shalok, Fourth Mehla:

Kiaa Savannaa Kiaa Jaagannaa Guramukh Tay Paravaann ||

Who is asleep, and who is awake? Those who are Gurmukh are approved.

Jinaa Saas Giraas N Visarai Say Pooray Purakh Paradhaan ||

Those who do not forget the Lord, with each and every breath and morsel of food, are the perfect and famous persons.

Karamee Satigur Paaieeaai Anadhin Lagai Dhiaaan ||

By His Grace they find the True Guru; night and day, they meditate.

Tin Kee Sa(N)Gat Mil Rahaa Dharageh Paaiee Maan ||

I join the society of those persons, and in so doing, I am honored in the Court of the Lord.

Saudhay Vaah Vaah Auchareh Auttadhay Bhee Vaah Karayn ||

While asleep, they chant, “Waaho! Waaho!”, and while awake, they chant, “Waaho!” as well.

Naanak Tay Mukh Aujalay J Nit Autt Sa(N)Maalayn ||1||

O Nanak, radiant are the faces of those, who rise up early each day, and dwell upon the Lord. ||1||

(Raag Gauree, Mehla 4, Ang 312)

Bhai Sahib Jee goes on to share a short instance where a mother told Bhai Sahib Jee that her 10-year-old son has been working towards memorizing Jap Ji Sahib and sometimes in his sleep, he utters lines from Jap Ji Sahib. Immediately, Bhai Sahib Jee thinks of Bhagat Kabeer Ji’s Baani to describe what a huge blessing and what amazing level this 10-year-old child has reached:

Kabeer Supanai Hoo BaraRaai Kai Jeh Mukh Nikasai Raam ||

Kabeer, if someone utters the Name of the Lord even in dreams,

Taa Kay Pag Kee Paanahee Mayray Tan Ko Chaam ||63||

I would make my skin into shoes for his feet. ||63||

(Salok, Bhagat Kabeer Ji, Ang 1367)

Therefore, there is a good type sleep. That sleep that is spent in the remembrance of Guru Maharaj Jee and Waheguru Jee, that sleep that during which we obtain Darshan of blessed Gursikhs and our Guru, that sleep is blessed and approved!

Bhai Sahib Jee then shares a few pangtia (lines) of Bani that illustrate the two divisions of food and dwelling mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib Jee. Then, he discusses Pangtia describing the two kinds of mothers.

Mothers 

Gurbani tells us that the whole purpose of life is to fall in love with Guru Sahib Jee and Akal Purakh Waheguru Jee. Knowing this, any human life is considered wasted or wasteful if it is not spent working towards this goal. Therefore, the following Pangtia from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji describe mothers who have given birth to children that do not remember God:

Jin Har Hiradhai Naam N Basio Tin Maat Keejai Har Baa(N)Jhaa ||

The Lord’s Name does not abide within their hearts – their mothers should have been sterile.

(Raag Jaitsree, Mehla 4, Ang 697)

Jeh Kul Poot N Giaaan Beechaaree ||

That family, whose son has no spiritual wisdom or contemplation

Bidhavaa Kas N Bhiee Mahataaree ||1||

– why didn’t his mother just become a widow? ||1||

Jeh Nar Raam Bhagat Neh Saadhee ||

That man who has not practiced devotional worship of the Lord

Janamat Kas N Muo Aparaadhee ||1|| Rahaa ||

– why didn’t such a sinful man die at birth? ||1||Pause||

Much Much Garabh Ge Keen Bachiaa ||

So many pregnancies end in miscarriage – why was this one spared?

Buddabhuj Roop Jeevay Jag Majhiaa ||2||

He lives his life in this world like a deformed amputee. ||2||

Kah Kabeer Jaisay Su(N)Dhar Saroop || Naam Binaa Jaisay Kubaj Kuroop ||3||25||

Says Kabeer, without the Naam, the Name of the Lord, beautiful and handsome people are just ugly hunch-backs. ||3||25||

(Raag Gauri, Bhagat Kabeer Ji, Ang 328)

In stark contrast to these seemingly harsh* explanations, Baani also describes a mother whose child is exemplary and is considered a humble servant (Jan) of Waheguru Ji:

Aaap Le’ee LaR Laai Dhar Dharavays Say ||

Those whom the Lord attaches to the hem of His robe, are the true dervishes at His Door.

Tin Dha(N)N Jannaydhee Maa Aae Safal Say ||2||

Blessed are the mothers who gave birth to them, and fruitful is their coming into the world. ||2||

(Raag Aasa, Bhagat Kabeer Ji, Ang 488)

Dha(N)N S Va(N)S Dha(N)N S Pitaa Dha(N)N S Maataa Jin Jan Jannay ||

Blessed is the ancestry, blessed is the father, and blessed is that mother who gave birth to this humble servant.

(Raag Bhairo, Mehla 4, Ang 1135)

On the one hand, a mother who has given birth to an ungrateful person (someone who lives without being thankful to the One) is described as better off being infertile or having been widowed, having had a miscarriage, or having had the baby die at birth, because she has given birth to someone who does not remember the One. On the other hand, a mother who has given birth to a True Lover of Waheguru Ji and True Selfless Servant of Guru Jee is hailed as absolutely blessed, because she has given birth to someone who is truly connected and selfless.

Bhai Guriqbal Singh Ji says Maa Da Farz (A mother’s duty) starts from right when the desire for a baby occurs. Before that thought happens or when that desire occurs, the mother-to-be should already have taken the support of Guru, Gurbani, and Sat Sangat (holy congregation). She should also do Seva (selfless service) of the previously listed Entities. If such mothers-to-be engage in Seva, Sat Sangat, and Gurbani, then their children will be blessed souls.

Bhai Guriqbal Singh Jee then shares a Sakhi (historical incident) of what transpired to bring Guru Gobind Singh Ji into this world. One day, in Tribaeni, a place close to Allahabad, Mata Nanaki (wife of Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee) reminded Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (her son) about her Husband’s Bachan (word). Mata Nanaki Jee was told that one day, she will have a great, religious warrior for a grandson who will be the best archer the world over, a famous hero, and have unparalleled strength. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji said to Mata Nanaki Jee that for such a big personality to enter our house, we must prepare for His arrival. Before He comes, you and my wife (Mata Gujri Jee) must sit and listen to an Akhand Paath (continuous reading) of Aad Granth (precursor to Guru Granth Sahib Ji). The Paathia (those whose duty it was to read) were Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Sati Das Jee , Bhai Dayala Jee , Bhai Gurditta Ji, and Bhai Gurbakhsh Rai Jee. In fact, the first three listed were those same Shaheeds (martyrs) who ended up giving their lives along with Guru Tegh Bahadar Jee to protect the Hindu faith from certain extinction. These pure souls were deeply, truly connected with the Guru Sahib Ji and the One. Therefore, their Paath (recitation of Baani) would have been an absolute joy to listen to.

Bhai Ji shares some Dasam Baani (Gurbani written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji) in which Guru Ji shares how He came into this world. In these pangtia, Guru Gobind Singh Jee narrates how his parents FIRST did meditation and service, then Akal Purakh Waheguru Ji gave Hukam (a direct order) to Guru Gobind Singh Jee to take form as their Son in Kaljug (the current age):

taat maat mur alakh araadhaa || bahu bidh jog saadhanaa saadhaa ||3||

My parents also meditated for the union with the Incomprehensible Lord and performed many types of disciplines for union.3.

tin jo karee alakh kee sevaa ||a ate bhe prasa(n)n guradhevaa ||

The service that they rendered the Incomprehensible Lord, caused the pleasure of the Supreme Guru (i.e. Lord).

tin prabh jab aais muh dheeaa || tab ham janam kaloo meh leeaa ||4||

When the Lord ordered me, I was born in this Iron age.4.

(Sri Dasam Granth Sahib, Ang 55)

Bhai Sahib Ji also tells listeners that a woman in the Sangat has a daughter who was always coming in first place for everything – remembering Baani, keertan, everything – and Bhai Sahib Ji was curious to know what the mother did to parent such a gifted child. The Bibi (mother) said that after a year of marriage, she had the desire to have a baby. Once that desire arose, every week, she would come and do seva for half an hour, and apply the Sangat’s Charan Dhoor (dust of the feet of the congregation) to her belly. Addionally, in an ardaas (prayer), she told Guru Maharaj Jee of her desire for a child and asked Guru Ji to please send some pure soul (Devi/Devta) to her house. Bhai Sahib Ji said truly, the child is SO blessed. Bhai Sahib Jee reiterates that the child wasn’t even in the womb yet when the mother started doing seva and applying Charan Dhoor to her belly. She had only just developed the desire.

Summary

The overarching message of this Katha is that if you have the desire to become pregnant (and of course, if you’re already married), the first thing to do is to do Seva, Sangat, and Simran. Put another way, if you desire a connected soul, first make the attempt to connect yourself. Moreover, realize who the True Giver is and to go to that Entity and try to please Him, just like Mata Gujri did and the Bibi Ji from Sangat. This way, you’ll hopefully entreat Guru Sahib Jee to send you a blessed child – someone who is spiritual and has the desire to continue forward on this most beautiful path that is Sikhi. In fact, I would say that this advice applies to aspiring mothers of any faith. Mothers who connect first and aim to please God will likely be blessed with children who will make advances towards Oneness, and also help or inspire others to Connect as well.

The takeaway for me is that mothers have SO MUCH power and influence over their children’s lives, even before the child is born or even in the womb! We must learn as much as we can about how to best to do this seva, the seva of being a mother, in order to apply ourselves fully to one of the most difficult sevas for the Panth. I hope in this series, we can all learn (myself included!) how to prepare ourselves for this Seva and how to do this Seva better (for those of my Bhain Jees, my sisters, who are already doing this Seva). In fact, one of the first posts published on Sikh Family Life shares how to ensure your child NEVER strays from the path of Sikhi, a secret power that resides within Sikh mothers.

Benti (A Humble Request)

Please, if you know someone who could benefit from this information or this series, please share this post with them. I know I am not alone in my deep desire for a strong Khalsa Panth. The more I learn about the power of mothers in ensuring that Sikhi is passed onto the next generation, the more passionate I become about spreading this information widely.

Link to Katha:

Bhai Guriqbal Singh Ji’s Katha: 30 March, 2017 – Maa De Farz #1

Sakhee Kaur

Sakhee is a blogger at SikhFamilyLife.com, where she uses her passions – Sikhi and Human Development – to write about family life and Sikhi.

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