Something We All Can Do For Punjab

This is all for Guru ji. So it is important that we be with the Guru at this time....

 

I, just as most Sikhs who go online, have been exposed lately to so much more of what happens in the Punjab than I normally am. The current situation, I'm sure, has brought so much more focus for many Sikhs in the diaspora. Here, in a small Sikh community in the rural U.S., I am removed from the situation, especially because a lot of information online is in Punjabi, which I can speak a little of, but not enough to understand the news. 

I am writing today to share an experience I recently had:

My mind was filled with controversy, politics and tragedy. All kinds of thoughts were buzzing around. It's hard to be cool-headed when all of this is happening:

  • Desecration of SGGS ji occurs

 

This is more than enough upset to be maddening. 

And, on top of all this, dear friends of mine suffered a personal tragedy in their family.

And this is the part I would like to share...

My friends offered everyone they know the opportunity to conduct an international, simultaneous sahaj paath. Whoever volunteered would read a section from Guru ji and between all the participants, the Guru ji would be read in entirety in honor of the personal tragedy. People were even asked if they would like a "longish" section or a "shortish" section. 

I assuredly volunteered and it had to be completed by the end of a few days. I was so rushed and preoccupied that I didn't get to do it until the night it was due, bhog pending. I stayed up late and read most of the night. I found that I didn't lose time and I didn't miss sleep by staying up and reading. In fact, I felt energized, clearer, less bogged down, accomplished, blessed and ready for the next thing. That's when I realized: This is all about Guru ji, so I better be with Guru ji!

And this is exactly what I would like us all to create for each other.

 

Let us pray together for Punjab

Yes, I know the unrest in Punjab cannot be answered with prayer alone. Everyone wants a change, and it is indeed time for a change. In reaction to what is happening, some will rally for local protests, some will blog, some will call for gatherings, some make declarations, some committees will make news statements and some will create media coverage, and I respect all these things. I will help and participate in any way I know I can. All of this will continue to happen and I'm sure people will continue to mobilize. I simply want to remind people of why. No, I don't assume that we all don't know why but I do think we can always use reminders. 

This is all because of Guru ji.

This is all out of respect for Guru ji.

So it is important that we be with the Guru at this time.

This is when we need Guru ji's presence the most.

In times of chaos and crisis it is most important that we be with our Beloved. 

For every hour on the computer, or engaging with political matters, let us make sure to spend time creating the sacred vibration: Jaap. Let us make sure to keep a percentage of our speech sacred and with our Guru. If we stay up late for the situation, then let us stay up even later to be with Guru ji.

Let us together hold the highest intentions for prosperity and well-being of our brothers and sisters. After that, and only after that, everyone is welcome enact their different ideas of actions to be taken. 

 

My Suggestions 

  • For every hour spent hearing of what is happening on the news and social media, spend at least that much time reading choupie sahib and reading from Guru ji.
  • Organize a collective sahaj paath. This can be among friends, preferably it will include people from a different community that you wouldn't normally interact with. Invite someone who has never read, even if they aren't Sikh, to participate. 
  • When you take that alloted time to be with Guru Ji, sometimes do more than recite, go ahead and sing the Gurbani! 
  • Organize or participate in an akhand paath in your community. This is not about being assured that someone else, like the granthi, is reading Guru ji, this is about everyone reading from Guru ji themselves.Don't worry about making mistakes. If your intention is pure, just do it.
  • Sing a shabd sometime during the day.
  • Host a kirtan session with sangat at your house.  

 

Spread the word using this hashtag: #PrayForPunjab

 

Anyone can read. If you are not able to read from a full saroop of Guru ji, there are alternatives so that anyone... really anyone... can participate (provided they learn and practice respectful protocol.)

You can read digitally: SriGranth.org offers several options for reading in English, Hindi etc. as well as the ability to search any Ang (pages from Siri Guru Granth Sahib are referred to as Angs or limbs of the body of Guru ji) and read from there. It is perfect for a digital sahaj paath.

There are apps (like this one) that can be used for digital sahaj paath, among other features.

Please always remember to show proper respect while engaging in such sacred acts. Spread the word! #PrayForPunjab

 

Great, great is the Shabd Guru. Great, great is Siri Guru Granth Sahib

 

Wahiguru ji Ka Khalsa Wahiguru ji ki Fateh!

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