Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dalsingh101

Jesus saved my mother - Nirpal Dhaliwal

Recommended Posts

Nirpal Dhaliwal’s mother was born into the Sikh religion in the Punjab. After decades of living in west London, she suddenly converted to Christianity. How did this unexpected change of faith affect her relationship with her son?

Nirpal-Dhaliwal-010.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=

My mother, deeply rooted in the peasant culture of her native Punjab, was always immersed in the supernatural. She was born into Sikhism, but – like many Indians of her generation – her knowledge of her religion was never strong. She could never name its 10 founding gurus; nor had she any interest in its monist theology which encourages an internal experience of God through meditation.

Her Sikhism was an emotionally driven, personal mish-mash of various customs from across the subcontinent – most of it Hindu. She visited temples daily, prayed each morning and chanted Sanskrit hymns – without understanding a word – while wafting incense through the house. And she fasted – a lot.

She often fasted for Shiva, the dancing wild-man god of destruction, and his first wife, Shakti. When her children got chicken pox, she fasted for the tiger-riding, demon-slaying goddess Durga. And she fasted, in vain, for Santoshi Mata, the goddess of domestic happiness.

Her religion was disordered, ad hoc and impossible to pin down, but it was a constant in my life and it inspired me. I have an abiding love of myth – the first book I took out of a library was about the Greek heroes – and I find India and its spiritual traditions enchanting. I’ve made dozens of pilgrimages there to sites of Sikh martyrdom, birthplaces of Hindu avatars and the shrines of sufi babas. I have a lasting fascination with yoga and mystical experiences.

Mum’s supernatural thinking – her certainty that creation was shaped by divine beings and magical forces, and influenced by spells and curses – was, I felt, a link between myself and my ancestors stretching back millennia. I loved talking to her about the stories in the Puranas, about Krishna battling snake-devils and Shiva churning the oceans for the nectar of immortality, on her terms – as things that actually happened – and seeing her light up with excitement at the tales.

But last year she found Jesus – and all her fantastical pagan ways went out of the window. She had begun to seek Him in earnest the year before. My mother works for a catering company in Southall, west London, cleaning the dishes that come off the planes at nearby Heathrow Airport, and it was an evangelist colleague, a former Sikh, who invited her to a Christian prayer service in a local church. “I felt peace straight away,” Mum said. “From the first time I went and listened to people’s testimonies, about how Jesus had healed and changed their lives, I felt peace.”

 Surinder Dhaliwal, with baby Nirpal.

She continued visiting the church, which has a north-Indian congregation and conducts its services in Punjabi, and lost interest in her old ways. Then Jesus came to her in a dream: “He held my hand,” she told me.

“He said he was with me and wouldn’t leave me. I woke up and I could still feel it.”

So she gave away all the Sikh and Hindu iconography that decorated her home, replaced them with crucifixes and was baptised into her new faith. She now reads a Punjabi-language Bible every day and watches Christian cable-television channels.

Her conversion itself wasn’t too surprising. The story of Jesus is, by Indian standards, a plausibly humdrum one. Most Indian villagers could point you towards someone who cures the sick, raises the dead and knows the secret of eternal life. And the morphing of religions has always been a common occurrence there. What unnerved me was my sense of betrayal, the painful sense of rejection as Mum turned her back on what had been our abiding bond. It felt like she’d turned her back on me.

Her conversion was a blanket one. Many of the religious items she got rid of I had collected on my travels and had sentimental value. It hurt that she didn’t consider my feelings when she did as her pastor commanded and purged her home of idols and other “satanic” trinkets. Our conversations are now truncated. If I make a remark with a Sikh or Hindu connotation, my mother will stop talking. Religion saturates Indian culture – there’s hardly an Indian movie, song or turn of phrase that doesn’t evoke a Hindu sentiment – and so I no longer play music to her as she goes silent and turns stony when she hears something non-Christian. We don’t watch Hindi movies together anymore.

“I’ve made my decision,” she replied, when I asked why she won’t indulge the merest hint of her past ways. “I’m not doing this by half. I’m standing with Jesus, and only Jesus.”

y mother, deeply rooted in the peasant culture of her native Punjab, was always immersed in the supernatural. She was born into Sikhism, but – like many Indians of her generation – her knowledge of her religion was never strong. She could never name its 10 founding gurus; nor had she any interest in its monist theology which encourages an internal experience of God through meditation.

Her Sikhism was an emotionally driven, personal mish-mash of various customs from across the subcontinent – most of it Hindu. She visited temples daily, prayed each morning and chanted Sanskrit hymns – without understanding a word – while wafting incense through the house. And she fasted – a lot.

She often fasted for Shiva, the dancing wild-man god of destruction, and his first wife, Shakti. When her children got chicken pox, she fasted for the tiger-riding, demon-slaying goddess Durga. And she fasted, in vain, for Santoshi Mata, the goddess of domestic happiness.

Her religion was disordered, ad hoc and impossible to pin down, but it was a constant in my life and it inspired me. I have an abiding love of myth – the first book I took out of a library was about the Greek heroes – and I find India and its spiritual traditions enchanting. I’ve made dozens of pilgrimages there to sites of Sikh martyrdom, birthplaces of Hindu avatars and the shrines of sufi babas. I have a lasting fascination with yoga and mystical experiences.

Mum’s supernatural thinking – her certainty that creation was shaped by divine beings and magical forces, and influenced by spells and curses – was, I felt, a link between myself and my ancestors stretching back millennia. I loved talking to her about the stories in the Puranas, about Krishna battling snake-devils and Shiva churning the oceans for the nectar of immortality, on her terms – as things that actually happened – and seeing her light up with excitement at the tales.

But last year she found Jesus – and all her fantastical pagan ways went out of the window. She had begun to seek Him in earnest the year before. My mother works for a catering company in Southall, west London, cleaning the dishes that come off the planes at nearby Heathrow Airport, and it was an evangelist colleague, a former Sikh, who invited her to a Christian prayer service in a local church. “I felt peace straight away,” Mum said. “From the first time I went and listened to people’s testimonies, about how Jesus had healed and changed their lives, I felt peace.”

 

Surinder Dhaliwal, with baby Nirpal.  Surinder Dhaliwal, with baby Nirpal.

She continued visiting the church, which has a north-Indian congregation and conducts its services in Punjabi, and lost interest in her old ways. Then Jesus came to her in a dream: “He held my hand,” she told me.

“He said he was with me and wouldn’t leave me. I woke up and I could still feel it.”

So she gave away all the Sikh and Hindu iconography that decorated her home, replaced them with crucifixes and was baptised into her new faith. She now reads a Punjabi-language Bible every day and watches Christian cable-television channels.

Her conversion itself wasn’t too surprising. The story of Jesus is, by Indian standards, a plausibly humdrum one. Most Indian villagers could point you towards someone who cures the sick, raises the dead and knows the secret of eternal life. And the morphing of religions has always been a common occurrence there. What unnerved me was my sense of betrayal, the painful sense of rejection as Mum turned her back on what had been our abiding bond. It felt like she’d turned her back on me.

Her conversion was a blanket one. Many of the religious items she got rid of I had collected on my travels and had sentimental value. It hurt that she didn’t consider my feelings when she did as her pastor commanded and purged her home of idols and other “satanic” trinkets. Our conversations are now truncated. If I make a remark with a Sikh or Hindu connotation, my mother will stop talking. Religion saturates Indian culture – there’s hardly an Indian movie, song or turn of phrase that doesn’t evoke a Hindu sentiment – and so I no longer play music to her as she goes silent and turns stony when she hears something non-Christian. We don’t watch Hindi movies together anymore.

“I’ve made my decision,” she replied, when I asked why she won’t indulge the merest hint of her past ways. “I’m not doing this by half. I’m standing with Jesus, and only Jesus.”

Sad as I feel about it, I appreciate that my mother is a much calmer and more contented woman now. Jesus has finally subdued the explosive, shrieking temper that has plagued her throughout my life and eased the chronic anxiety that brought her severe headaches and made her grind her teeth noisily in her sleep.

In many ways I’m happy for her. Her life is much simpler with the one-stop-shop that is Jesus, compared to the chaotic spiritual buffet she sampled from in the past. She no longer marches to temples bearing heavy loads of bananas, coconuts and gallons of milk as offerings. While others believe that the token gift of a flower or fruit is enough for the gods, Mum would give great bagfuls of foodstuffs, desperate for their assistance. I jokingly refer to Jesus as bina kela baba – the baba without bananas – which she sometimes finds funny enough to smile at, until she remembers it is blasphemy and straightens her face.

Mum’s life has been a terribly difficult one. She married a man who was an abusive alcoholic for the first 13 years of their marriage and has been teetotal but sullen and largely unemployed since. Speaking very little English, having very little education, she effectively raised four children on her own in a strange and foreign land.

My siblings and I have all contributed to her worries. Until recently, I’d spent two years living with her as I suffered from depression – and she was my rock. Challenging as I find it, I can’t begrudge her new faith which has, at last, brought her some much needed relief.

Recently, I went with her to church. I watched as a young preacher gave a hectoring sermon in Punjabi and the congregation held their hands aloft and muttered to themselves with their eyes shut. Their desperation broke my heart, expressing as it did their deep fears and pain, reminding me of my mother’s anguished and often lonely journey.

Afterwards, they told me of the wonders Jesus had worked in their lives. One man’s visa had come through after he’d converted, though he’d been told by a solicitor that he’d no chance of staying in Britain. Another man described how he’d dropped his wallet as he left work on a building site and returned to find it there in the morning, still containing the £300 he’d left inside it – just as Jesus had promised when he’d prayed.

I listened to all this as I sat with Mum and shared the congregation’s communal meal of keema, biryani and sag-aloo, while Christian bhajans (devotional songs) played through the speakers. Hearing tales of miracles, enjoying the taste and smell of Indian food, the sound of tablas and Hindi vocals in the background, I reflected on whether I’d lost much of my mother to Jesus at all.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/aug/15/jesus-saved-my-mother

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all about devotion to one deity. The mind is more collected and peaceful.  Unfortunately hindus cannot decide which one to pick. Divided attention means less shardha.

Har ek simar ek simar ek simar peyare har ek simar.

Whether through Jesus or through the Gurus. . God is one...

Sikhi does tell us to consider the the gurus as one..  its up to us to delve deeper into our own religion and find out the correct way to pray and also correct our mental thoughts. 

Religion is also more about community which I think appeals more to people.  Hindus and sikhs lead more isolated lives whilst the Christians seen to be more supportive of each other.  This would easily influence a lonely person to join.  

Sikhi is all about meditation. . Which is more easily achieved by working solo as most of us do.  The Internet provides the mental support from colleagues with similar aims to ours.

It's all about where your personal motivation and support can be obtained from.  No religion is right or wrong its all about what our individual requirements are. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, sikhni777 said:

It's all about devotion to one deity. The mind is more collected and peaceful.  Unfortunately hindus cannot decide which one to pick. Divided attention means less shardha.

Har ek simar ek simar ek simar peyare har ek simar.

Whether through Jesus or through the Gurus. . God is one...

Sikhi does tell us to consider the the gurus as one..  its up to us to delve deeper into our own religion and find out the correct way to pray and also correct our mental thoughts. 

Religion is also more about community which I think appeals more to people.  Hindus and sikhs lead more isolated lives whilst the Christians seen to be more supportive of each other.  This would easily influence a lonely person to join.  

Sikhi is all about meditation. . Which is more easily achieved by working solo as most of us do.  The Internet provides the mental support from colleagues with similar aims to ours.

It's all about where your personal motivation and support can be obtained from.  No religion is right or wrong its all about what our individual requirements are. 

 

 

I think that's quite a perceptive post. I believe that most conversions by Sikhs to Abrahamic faiths are driven the social support networks they find therein as opposed to any doctrinal basis.

Nirpal's description of his mother's religious practices as a 'Sikh' are also interesting to note. I wonder how common is this in Sikh peasant society?

 

Some background might also help explain his mother's tabhdeely:

Quote

 

I’m the product of an embittered arranged marriage. In 1973, aged 23, my dad, who had moved to the UK from Punjab with his family in the 1950s, came home on leave from Belize, where he served with the British Army. He told his family he was marrying his pregnant girlfriend there. Within two weeks, he’d been forced to marry my mother instead. Speaking no English and aged 20, raised in a simple Punjabi village, she found herself stranded with a violent, hard-drinking adulterer who made his hatred towards her apparent from the beginning.

I was conceived almost immediately. Soon after, my paternal grandfather died. My dad found himself married to a pregnant stranger, having abandoned the woman he loved and the child she carried, and now mourning the loss of his own father who had only months before, forced him into all of this. Into this stew of grief, rage and confusion I was born.

I was sent to live with relatives. Mum had to work and my dad – who was drinking as soon as he woke up – was uninterested in me. By the time I returned, my mother was busy raising my sister, and in a state of frantic despair at being married to an abusive alcoholic as she struggled on her own with two babies.

As a child, I experienced a father who was by turns drunk, work-obsessed and a terrifying bully, and a depressed and resentful mother, prone to fits of stamping and ranting around the house, tearing her clothes and threatening suicide if I dared to be upset by her. To them, locked in their manic psychodramas, I was invisible. My own hurt, when expressed, was ignored, slapped or screamed down. I grew up holding my feelings within and remember my childhood mostly as a slow, festering sulk.

 

https://www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk/new-life-radical-transformation-nirpal-dhaliwal/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2018 at 1:04 AM, sikhni777 said:

It's all about devotion to one deity. The mind is more collected and peaceful.  Unfortunately hindus cannot decide which one to pick. Divided attention means less shardha.

Exactly. This is why Nam Dev ji said "Hindu anna Turku kana, duha te gyani syana".

He talks to a pandit who says he worships Gaytri Devi, Shiv ji and Ram ji however when prodded by Nam Dev ji, reveals that he really worships no one. So Nam Dev ji shares this anecdote to point out to the larger problem that Hindus face, which is that they are not strict to one deity.

In the shabad previous to this one, he has a similar message. He instructs his followers to not worship any other deity but Ram ji as instructed by the Gita.

So anyways, by choosing to finally stick to one deity and tradition this lady has made some progress on the spiritual path. That's 1 eye.

The other eye is spiritual wisdom and experience of God, which is what gives the gyani the second eye.

On 3/4/2018 at 8:39 AM, dalsingh101 said:

I think that's quite a perceptive post. I believe that most conversions by Sikhs to Abrahamic faiths are driven the social support networks they find therein as opposed to any doctrinal basis

There is plenty of social support amongst Sikhs and Hindus.

But smaller groups have tighter support. Similar to Hare Krishna guys and the 3HO in the west.

That is probably what's happening with Christianity in India.

Well that and maybe some shady stuff also that @jaikaara used to tell me about. He knows more about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote

She often fasted for Shiva, the dancing wild-man god of destruction, and his first wife, Shakti. When her children got chicken pox, she fasted for the tiger-riding, demon-slaying goddess Durga. And she fasted, in vain, for Santoshi Mata, the goddess of domestic happiness.

Unquote

 

It is very much clear from the above that this lady did not even know the basics of Sikhism.

 

Bhul chuk maaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2018 at 1:04 AM, sikhni777 said:

Which is more easily achieved by working solo as most of us do. 

Not completely true. One can probably achieve faster results with relative ease, while meditating in Saadh Sangat.

 

Bhul chuk maaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, paapiman said:

It is very much clear from the above that this lady did not even know the basics of Sikhism.

What's wrong with fasting?

4 hours ago, paapiman said:

Not completely true. One can probably achieve faster results with relative ease, while meditating in Saadh Sangat.

True. In sangat, you have the benefit of experiencing the greater vibration of the mantra when everyone is chanting in unison. The vibration is much more powerful simply because of the number of people chanting and creating sound waves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, paapiman said:

Quote

She often fasted for Shiva, the dancing wild-man god of destruction, and his first wife, Shakti. When her children got chicken pox, she fasted for the tiger-riding, demon-slaying goddess Durga. And she fasted, in vain, for Santoshi Mata, the goddess of domestic happiness.

Unquote

 

It is very much clear from the above that this lady did not even know the basics of Sikhism.

 

Bhul chuk maaf

Veer ji here is a shabad by Bhagat Namdev Ji on devta worship and what happens next. I can post katha links if you want. This is ang 874.

ਗੋਂਡ ॥

Gonadd ||

Gond:

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ 

ਭੈਰਉ ਭੂਤ ਸੀਤਲਾ ਧਾਵੈ ॥

Bhairo Bhooth Seethalaa Dhhaavai ||

One who chases after the god Bhairau, evil spirits and the goddess of smallpox,

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੧:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੩ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਖਰ ਬਾਹਨੁ ਉਹੁ ਛਾਰੁ ਉਡਾਵੈ ॥੧॥

Khar Baahan Ouhu Shhaar Ouddaavai ||1||

Is riding on a donkey, kicking up the dust. ||1||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੧:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੩ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਹਉ ਤਉ ਏਕੁ ਰਮਈਆ ਲੈਹਉ ॥

Ho Tho Eaek Rameeaa Laiho ||

I take only the Name of the One Lord.

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੧:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੩ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਆਨ ਦੇਵ ਬਦਲਾਵਨਿ ਦੈਹਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Aan Dhaev Badhalaavan Dhaiho ||1|| Rehaao ||

I have given away all other gods in exchange for Him. ||1||Pause||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੧:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੪ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Siv Siv Karathae Jo Nar Dhhiaavai ||

That man who chants ""Shiva, Shiva"", and meditates on him,

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੨:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੪ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਬਰਦ ਚਢੇ ਡਉਰੂ ਢਮਕਾਵੈ ॥੨॥

Baradh Chadtae Ddouroo Dtamakaavai ||2||

Is riding on a bull, shaking a tambourine. ||2||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੨:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੪ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਮਹਾ ਮਾਈ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੈ ॥

Mehaa Maaee Kee Poojaa Karai ||

One who worships the Great Goddess Maya

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੩:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੫ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਨਰ ਸੈ ਨਾਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੩॥

Nar Sai Naar Hoe Aoutharai ||3||

Will be reincarnated as a woman, and not a man. ||3||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੩:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੫ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਤੂ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੀ ਆਦਿ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥

Thoo Keheeath Hee Aadh Bhavaanee ||

You are called the Primal Goddess.

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੪:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੫ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਨੀ ॥੪॥

Mukath Kee Bareeaa Kehaa Shhapaanee ||4||

At the time of liberation, where will you hide then? ||4||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੪:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੬ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ॥

Guramath Raam Naam Gahu Meethaa ||

Follow the Guru's Teachings, and hold tight to the Lord's Name, O friend.

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੫:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੬ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਮਾ ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਗੀਤਾ ॥੫॥੨॥੬॥

Pranavai Naamaa Eio Kehai Geethaa ||5||2||6||

Thus prays Naam Dayv, and so says the Gita as well. ||5||2||6||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੫:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੭ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Soulfinder said:

ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ॥

Guramath Raam Naam Gahu Meethaa ||

Follow the Guru's Teachings, and hold tight to the Lord's Name, O friend.

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੫:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੬ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਮਾ ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਗੀਤਾ ॥੫॥੨॥੬॥

Pranavai Naamaa Eio Kehai Geethaa ||5||2||6||

Thus prays Naam Dayv, and so says the Gita as well. ||5||2||6||

ਗੋਂਡ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੬) ੫:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੭੪ ਪੰ. ੧੭ 
Raag Gond Bhagat Namdev

Nam Dev ji is devotee of Ram ji.

He says, through the Guru's teachings worship Ram naam only. Humbly, he says, this is what the Gita also teaches.

  • Why does he mention Gita? Who is the main character of Gita?
  • He mentions Gita because Gita also teaches worship of Ram Naam. The main character of Gita is God, more specifically in this book, the Almighty is known as Krishan ji, who is Ram.

 Nam Dev ji was a famous Guru in his time.

He even once manifested Akal Purakh sahib in the above-mentioned form that he saw him in.

However being a Guru, Nam Dev ji is discouraging his followers from wandering off the path of Ram naam, the path of one deity. He is telling them to stick to meditation on Ram Naam, and forego other practices that involve worship of other deities.

Nam Dev ji believed that one must be strict to one path in order to make progress. And the path he taught was of devotion to Ram ji and Krishan ji.

  • If Nam Dev ji was born earlier and encountered for example, Adi Shankar ji who is not a devotee of Ram ji but of Shiv ji, then Nam Dev ji wouldn't tell him to not worship the deity he worships, he wouldn't tell him to worship Ram naam. Adi Shankar ji is already strict on one path.
  • If Nam Dev ji was born later and encountered a devotee of Mahakal ji, he would not tell him to not worship Mahakal ji and to worship Ram naam instead. They are already strict on one path.

In the hymn which comes after this, this is made clear by Nam Dev ji.

So in my opinion, these verses must be understood within this larger teaching of  - sticking to one path and not wandering off it. That's the gist of it.

Anyway I will leave you guys with this shabd of Nam Dev ji, which I love to listen to.  In it he expresses his devotion to Ram ji / Krishan ji.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, BhagatSingh said:

What's wrong with fasting?

She is not aware of the basics of Sikhism as she is fasting for Shivjee, Durga jee and Santoshi jee. She seemed to be worshiping deities and that too multiple ones (making the problem worse). Sikhism denounces worship of any one, other than the one Almighty Lord, Waheguru.

 

Bhul chuk maaf 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, paapiman said:

She is not aware of the basics of Sikhism as she is fasting for Shivjee, Durga jee and Santoshi jee. She seemed to be worshiping deities and that too multiple ones (making the problem worse). Sikhism denounces worship of any one, other than the one Almighty Lord, Waheguru.

All of the deities are Akal Purakh sahib only, nothing else.

He creates a play, a drama, between himself and his devotee. 

By taking these plays/dramas, out of their context and saying these are all enacted by a different author, other than Akal Purakh sahib, is grossly mistaken.

Said, another way, if you think the deities are something other than Akal Purakh sahib, then you are mistaken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BhagatSingh said:

All of the deities are Akal Purakh sahib only, nothing else.

He creates a play, a drama, between himself and his devotee. 

By taking these plays/dramas, out of their context and saying these are all enacted by a different author, other than Akal Purakh sahib, is grossly mistaken.

Said, another way, if you think the deities are something other than Akal Purakh sahib, then you are mistaken.

Absolutely, i feel Jaap Sahib lays stress on this concept indirectly. The tuks have 'terms which are opposite to each other in describing Akaal. There is sargun and nirgun both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BhagatSingh said:

All of the deities are Akal Purakh sahib only, nothing else.

The above is the state of a Gurmukh Brahamgyani. Not only does he see deities as Sri Akaal Purakh, he sees Waheguru jee everywhere (and in everyone) and considers himself to be Waheguru too (Anna al Haq state).

One can also argue that if everything is Sri Akal Purakh, then why not we start worshiping animals, plants, humans, etc. 

No one is worthy of worship, other than the one and only Sri Akaal Purakh Sahib jee. This is the basic core principle of Sikhism. But, we do need to respect the deities. There is no doubt about it.

 

Bhul chuk maaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, paapiman said:

The above is the state of a Gurmukh Brahamgyani. Not only does he see deities as Sri Akaal Purakh, he sees Waheguru jee everywhere (and in everyone) and considers himself to be Waheguru too (Anna al Haq state).

One can also argue that if everything is Sri Akal Purakh, then why not we start worshiping animals, plants, humans, etc. 

No one is worthy of worship, other than the one and only Sri Akaal Purakh Sahib jee. This is the basic core principle of Sikhism. But, we do need to respect the deities. There is no doubt about it.

 

Bhul chuk maaf

bro this feeling to be One with Akaal has to come from inside and with kindness and compassion . It shouldnt be krodh against any form . Sehajta is a state which is like a seed to the beginning of the feeling of everything merging in Akaal. Sri Akaal Ustat sahib Bani is what i feel Dasam Paatsaah ji who would have been in that state while composing . It is tough to describe since i have not understood it or experienced it . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, paapiman said:

The above is the state of a Gurmukh Brahamgyani. Not only does he see deities as Sri Akaal Purakh, he sees Waheguru jee everywhere (and in everyone) and considers himself to be Waheguru too (Anna al Haq state).

While everything is Akal Purakh sahib, there is a difference between a deity and a plant.

A deity is a spiritual presence of Akal Purakh sahib. Whereas a plant is a material presence.

 

A deity is the face of Akal Purakh sahib, which you cannot see the way you can see a plant.

When a devotee has a glimpse of Akal Purakh sahib, then he experiences the face of Akal Purakh sahib looking back.

That face is the deity.

Only by his grace, bhagti and becoming truthful, can one see his face.

 

Those Gurmukhs, those Saints who see his face, they talk about it, they sing about, they write hymns on it and they write stories on it.

 

Sant Valmiki ji when he connected to Akal Purakh sahib, he saw his face.

This inspired him!

From this inspiration he wrote the Ramayan whose central character is Akal Purakh sahib.

Valmiki ji even reveals that it is Akal Purakh sahib that he is talking about.

 

Sant Valmiki ji wrote that story so that new generations may take inspiration from the moral lessons presented therein.

Akal Purakh sahib's interactions with the situations he faces in the story, reveals him to be a superior man.

All men can look up to his ideal and implement it into their way of being.

Ramayan is where the name Purakhottam comes from.

 

You know that Akal Purakh sahib is known by different names.

Where did all those names come from?

They came from the Saints like Valmiki ji.

 

In Sant Valmiki ji's story, Akal Purakh sahib takes birth in the Raghu clan.

So he is called the Lord of Raghus or King of Raghus.

Ramayan is where the names Raghupati and Raghu Rai come.

 

The bow that Akal Purakh sahib wields is known as Sharang.

So that's why he is known as Sharangdhar, the Wielder of the Sharang bow.

 

You read these names in Guru Granth Sahib and you don't realize that they are referring to the a deity, a face of Akal Purakh sahib that a Saint, Valmiki ji, saw thousands of years ago.

 

Just like how Valmiki ji talked about Akal Purakh sahib in a story format, in this way, many other Saints from different religions talked about Akal Purakh sahib in in their own way.
 

 

In India, the Saints called Akal Purakh Sahib by different names, such as Shiv ji, Vishnu ji and Mahakal ji.

 

In other countries, the Greek Saints called him Zeus. The Nordic saints called him Wodin.

In this manner, different religions and traditions were born. Some survived others died out.

 

It is the Saints who gave Akal Purakh sahib a variety of names and characters.

 

Quote

One can also argue that if everything is Sri Akal Purakh, then why not we start worshiping animals, plants, humans, etc. 

No one is worthy of worship, other than the one and only Sri Akaal Purakh Sahib jee. This is the basic core principle of Sikhism. But, we do need to respect the deities. There is no doubt about it.

You can legitimately worship anything and connect to Akal Purakh sahib.

That's what the story of Bhagat Dhanna ji is about! He literally sat there a worshipped a black stone.

 

Akal Purakh sahib can show his face from anywhere!

Just like he showed himself to Dhanna ji, he showed himself from a pillar to Bhagat Prahlaad ji.

 

ਥੰਮ੍ਹੁ ਉਪਾੜਿ ਹਰਿ ਆਪੁ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ॥
Tearing the pillar, Akal Purakh sahib showed himself!

ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ਦੈਤੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਪਚਾਇਆ ॥
He destroyed the ahankari Hiranyakashup.

ਭਗਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਵਜੀ ਵਧਾਈ ॥
The mind of his devotee, Prahlaad, was filled with happiness.

ਅਪਨੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਕਉ ਦੇ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥੯॥

He blessed his servant with greatness.

 

In Sikh tradition, we worship Akal Purakh through Naam Simran.

What is Naam Simran?

It is essentially 1. making a sound and 2. focusing on it.

But when the intention of making that sound is to connect to Akal Purakh sahib, then it has a sacred effect and the sound becomes sacred. It is becomes Akal Purakh sahib's name.

 

A child cannot speak the language of the mother when he is born. He simply cries and makes noises and the mother comes running.

In this way Akal Purakh sahib comes to those who intend for him to come to them.

 

Without the intention you are just worshipping noises.

With the intention there, you are worshipping Akal Purakh sahib.

 

It comes down to attention and intention.

Focus on the goal and Desire to move towards the goal.

That goal being Akal Purakh sahib.

 

Bhagat Dhanna ji was just worshipping a stone, but his intention was to seek Akal Purakh sahib.

So his worship was approved.

 

Those who do this, to them Akal Purakh sahib reveals his face.

And that face is a deity.

 

Those who become masters at it like Sant Nam Dev ji and Bhagat Dhanna ji, to them Akal Purakh sahib himself comes and helps them out, just like how he helped Prahlaad ji.

Some masters like Sant Valmiki ji, they write stories on Akal Purakh sahib, from which we get all these names of Akal Purakh sahib and from which millions of people today derive inspiration.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2018 at 8:05 PM, BhagatSingh said:

All of the deities are Akal Purakh sahib only, nothing else.

He creates a play, a drama, between himself and his devotee. 

By taking these plays/dramas, out of their context and saying these are all enacted by a different author, other than Akal Purakh sahib, is grossly mistaken.

Said, another way, if you think the deities are something other than Akal Purakh sahib, then you are mistaken.

I think Sikh meditation (or its objective) is attempting to encompass/experience Akal Purakh in its entirety; which is near enough impossible for most of us.

Whilst I understand that focusing on particular, narrower aspects of Akal Purakh (as metaphorically represented by the pantheon of gods and goddesses) is infinitely more easier for humans and would alleviate (even if it is in a placebo way) some of the immediate concerns that drive people to do this (explaining the popularity of the practice), if what Nirpal's mother was previously doing is 'Sikh' practice, what makes it any different to Hinduism? 

I think right now, in the emerging post-Singh Sabha age, one of our biggest challenges is to kick to the kerb that European introduced codification that created 'Sikhism' with its inbuilt antithetical attitude regarding what is Sikh and what Hindu, (that too mixed with a heavy heavy dose of Victorian era racial theories disguised as caste) -  whilst clarifying Sikhi and its relationship with traditional Indic religion and its demarcation from these older Indic ways. We know that Singh Sabha lehar didn't quite get this right, and for various reasons came to embody a strong antipathy towards that perceived to be Hindu.

Maybe the spiritual practices and objectives of  higher intellectual Hinduism (not the simplistic, villager-mentality placating deities to alleviate fear stuff) and Sikhi are very similar with the major difference being in the the egalitarian, militaristic social vision of the Gurus? These things are very important to clarify and spread right now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/11/2018 at 6:59 AM, dalsingh101 said:

Whilst I understand that focusing on particular, narrower aspects of Akal Purakh (as metaphorically represented by the pantheon of gods and goddesses) is infinitely more easier for humans and would alleviate

By narrow we mean something that can fit in our mind.

You can believe that Akal Purakh is only formlessness and that would be just as narrow. Because you imagine that formlessness as a concept rather than the actual thing.

Similarly the Deity is only narrow if you imagine them only as a concept or only a physical being and not the actual thing.

 

It is narrow if you only know it as a concept, but when you have an experience of him, then it is not narrow.

 

Furthermore, it is not just about worship or meditation only.

Any understanding of Akal Purakh sahib which does not include him as a Human Being is incomplete.

If Akal Purakh sahib is only ever an abstract idea, then that is NOT Akal Purakh sahib.

Nirankar is only one aspect of Akal Purakh sahib.

The other is Maya, Mother Nature.

The other aspect is Human Being, a living breathing being, who undergoes the trials and tribulations of all living beings.

 

This is why Akal Purakh sahib is called... get ready to have your mind blown to bits... Purakh, which means Human Being.

Akal Purakh sahib means, the Timeless Human Being.

 

Valmiki ji calls him Purukhottam, Superior Human Being.

And this completes our understanding of who Akal Purakh sahib is.

The abstract idea of "formlessness",  or "the source of all" or "prime mover" , these cannot help you behave in a moral way.

Knowledge of the idea of formlessness cannot give you a moral grounding.

 

In order to create a strong moral grounding, we need to understand Akal Purakh sahib, as specifically HUMAN, in order to imprint upon our minds a superior moral code of conduct.

When the Saints talk about  Akal Purakh Sahib ss Human, we call that an Archetype or an Ideal.

And we can use that ideal as a Moral Compass.

 

 

On 3/11/2018 at 6:59 AM, dalsingh101 said:

if what Nirpal's mother was previously doing is 'Sikh' practice, what makes it any different to Hinduism? 

You are right lol. It's not any different to what Hindus do.

You can say its both.

But to say its NOT Sikh is misguided.

And to say Hinduism is one unified religion is also wrong.

Because Hinduism is a term for collection of Indian Religions, each with their own Code of Conduct and Spiritual Traditions.

So comparing Sikhism and Hinduism is also a misguided thing to do.

They are not even the same category of things.

On 3/11/2018 at 6:59 AM, dalsingh101 said:

(not the simplistic, villager-mentality placating deities to alleviate fear stuff)

See even a simplistic practice can bring great results.

That's exactly what the practice of Bhagat Dhanna ji teaches.

He was a villager, who just wanted help in his fields. The pandit he went to, told him that Thakur, Akal Purakh Sahib, can do a lot of work for him.

So in order to get free labour he sought after him.

It is simplistic thinking and practice but it can work if the intention is there.

Attention and Intention are two key components of spiritual practice.

 

As Sikhs fasting should not be our ONLY Practice.

That's what I would tell Nirpal's mother.

As a Sikh, the chanting of Waheguru naam or the mantras like Ram Naam, Hari Naam given in Guru Granth Shaib should be the core of our practice with Fasting and Pilgrimage or anything else as supplementary practices.

Fasting and Pilgrimage can be very powerful for attaining higher states when done correctly.

But it becomes an issue when Fasting or Pilgrimage is our only practice and we half-ass even that.

If we are to be called Sikhs then we must follow the teachings of Guru ji and do naam simaran.

When we do the core practice of naam simaran, and we taste Amrit, the timeless state, then we become Gursikhs.

And when we do that we come to understand how to increase our avastha during fasting and pilgrimage, and all kinds of other spiritual practices, which are peripheral to our tradition.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×