Top: The Harimandir Sahib, Golden Temple, of Sikh Dharma
Bottom: Granthi (Sevadar) reads from the Guru during an Akandh Paath
An Akandh Paath is the recitation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, all 1430 pages, start to
finish, by a group of readers, which usually takes about 72 hours. Reciting these words is a
formula for experiencing one's own divinity, inspiring
and uplifting for all those involved. It
is done in original Gurmukhi, English,
or a transliteration.Note:Guru Gaddi Day celebrates
the occasion of Guru Gobind Singh declaring in 1708 that going forward, the Siri Guru
Granth Sahib would forever be the Living Guru of the Sikhs. Today's
Mul Mantra, the opening words of the Guru ...
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE WORD
The Siri Singh Sahib taught about the unique classes of languages. He
called them phonetic languages where the sounds of the syllables impart
meaning by the way they resonate with the archetypal human psyche. He
described Gurmukhi, Sanskrit and French as three such languages. In the
16th century, the second Sikh guru, Guru Angad, created the Gurmukhi
alphabet to phonetically represent many, if not all, languages.
"Guru Angad, the second Sikh Master, invented the Gurmukhi script. Guru Nanak named Guru Angad to succeed him as the Guru for the Sikhs in 1539. Gurmukhi means "from the mouth of the Guru." The Gurmukhi script accomplished something very special. It allowed people to be able to read and pronounce the songs written by Guru Nanak. Up until that point in history, the dialect spoken by Guru Nanak and his contemporaries had no written equivalent. Written languages were reserved for the powerful, the wealthy, and the high-castes. There was no writing or reading based on the common language. (See Siri Guru Granth Sahib transliterated.)
THE GURMUKHI ALPHABET
"The meaning of the Word-Sound is not what is important.
It is the effect of the Word-Sound that matters." --Hari Singh Khalsa
Gurmukhi was developed to be a very precise phonetic language. By learning to pronounce Gurmukhi, people could not only learn to read and pronounce the songs written by Guru Nanak, they could also learn how to pronounce the songs that Guru Nanak had preserved during his life from other masters and sages, even if those songs were in a completely different language. The purpose of Gurmukhi was not to simply represent the common language of the time, but to allow people to read and sing sacred songs in other languages as well.
Why did this phonetic language develop? And what does it have to do with the Shabad Guru – the Guiding Sound of Wisdom?
Being awakened or enlightened is not simply a mental state. It is a physiological state as well. How we breathe, how the glands secrete, how the nervous system is operating—all of this changes based on what we speak, what we hear, and what we perceive. When Guru Nanak sang his songs, the words he brought forth had a two-fold effect. On the level of language, they imparted a certain philosophical meaning of how to see the world. But in the science of Naad (sound), the songs have the ability to change the physiology of a person and bring them to a more heightened state of consciousness.
IMPORTANT: The invention of Gurmukhi was key to opening the doors of the Shabad Guru to all people. Through learning this very simple, precise method of pronunciation, and by repeating the words of the sages, you begin to induce in yourself the same state of consciousness that they were in when they sang the songs. It begins to create the same changes in the physiology. It opens the door to higher awareness. And all that is required is your breath and voice imitating and repeating those sounds.
This is the essence of the Shabad Guru. It is between you and you. There is no one else involved. It only requires your breath reciting this sacred poetry. By this practice, there is a process you undergo within your own ego and identity to transform your awareness to live at these heights." -- Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa
Sat Nam! The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is our Guru. For most of us, this is what we believe. Yet, if we are honest, it is mostly a concept. Imagine that you are in the presence of an intuitive person who can read your every thought and know your every feeling. This person is a master and would receive deep respect from his spiritual students. Suppose you bow to this great person to show the customary respect. This intuitive person can read what is going on inside you. They know whether or not you are thinking average thoughts, or if you are truly imbued with devotion to the point where your heart moves you to bow. You might as well be honest with where you are at. Pretending will not convince anyone.
Let us apply this to Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Can you honestly say that when you bow you are full of devotion and moved with awe from being in the presence of such a great being? When you bow, are you consciously offering yourself to your Guru? We need to pass on this relationship with the Guru to our children so that the light of the Guru’s Word can grow and spread. Yet how can we pass on a relationship if we ourselves are not relating honestly?
What if you were in the presence of the Guru and the Guru could measure your state on a scale from ‘ritual’ to ‘love’. How would you rate yourself on the scale? Would it be mostly ritual with a few moments of, “Wahiguru please bless me”? Or is it a little bit of ritual with mostly, “Guru ji, my life is for you. I am your beloved child. I will perform your service and serve all your beloveds, too.”
Aakaa jeeva, visrai mar jao.
When I speak of You I live. When I forget You I die.
Whoever we are, and whatever our relationship with the Guru, there is always room for growth. Let this Guru Gaddi Day be a day where we demonstrate, to our own selves, that we do have a relationship with Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji, and that relationship keeps growing in love.
Let us all ask ourselves, “What could happen on this Guru Gaddi day that would let me know that I am in a relationship with the Guru?” If we are not sure that it is even possible for the Siri Guru Granth Sahib to be a living Guru, than the question becomes, “If this is real, let it be known to me.”
Jo mange thakur apune te, soi soi deve.
Whatever is asked of the Master, that is surely given.
Ask for it to be real. Ask for it to have an impact on your life. Ask for it to be proven. Ask for a miracle. Surely we will get an appropriate answer.
When we are truly relating to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji as a living Guru, we don’t need to explain it to others. We don’t need to heavily impress upon our children what we believe. When a person is in a loving relationship, it speaks for itself. For the sake of the children, for the sake of the future, for the sake of our own destiny and souls, let us use this day to prove our love of, and our complete trust in our Guru.
The Guru is available for us, waiting for us to join in spirit. It rests upon us to bring the Guru alive. This is our invitation and this is our spiritual challenge. Imagine, as a Sangat, if we determined that somehow, some way, the Guru will come alive today. There shall be a miracle. Let’s do it!
In honor of our living Guru, whom we bring alive within ourselves, have a blessed and miraculous Guru Gaddi Day.
Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa! Wahiguru ji ki Fateh! -- Sikhnet.com
POINTS TO PONDER
Sikhi Sangat reciting Ardas
(Ik) Ong Kar, Whaheguru ji ki fateh. Siri Bhagauti ji sahae. Var Siri Bhagauti
patshahi dasmeh. Pritum Bhagaute simar kai, Guru Nanak lain dhiae.
Guru te Amar Das, Ram Dasai hoin sahae. Arjun Hargobind no, simrau
Siri Har Rae.
Siri Harkrishan diaiai, jis dithe sabh dukh jae. Guru Teg Bahadar
simriai, ghar nau nidh
avai dhae. Sabh thain hoe sahae. Dasvan Patshah, Siri Guru Gobind
Singh Sahib ji,
Maharaj, sabh thain hoe sahae. Dasan Patshah di jot, Siri Guru Granth
Ji de path didar da dhian dhar ke bolo ji...Sat Nam!...Siri
One Creator of Creation -- all victory is His. May God's Sword be our
After first worshipping the Adi Shakti, the Primal Power, meditate
on Guru Nanak.
Then Angad, Guru Amar Das, and Ram Das,
may they grant us their protection.
Meditate on Guru Arjun, Hargobind, and Siri Har Rae. Meditate on Siri
upon seeing whom all sufferings shall depart. Meditate on Guru Teg
and the nine treasures shall come to you. Supreme is Guru
Gobind Singh, protector of the Faith, Master of the unity, may he protect us
The Light of the ten gurus, the living Guru, Word of God, and Truth
the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, by meditating on it Words, all sufferings
Meditate O pure ones and utter...Sat Nam!...Siri
is nothing but your own inner consciousness.
Now I will agree with you that you cannot always
feel this God, but that is because you think that you
are separate from God. We call it Maya.
Maya is the
illusion of separateness: it is the quicksand of this life.
Sometimes we sink into this quicksand and then we
need a hook; we need some guidance to help us pull
ourselves out so that we can continue our journey.
The hook that we use to do this is called the Guru." Life According
To Yogi Bhajan.com.
"One Hukam* per day prevents Truth decay."
purpose is the celebration of Naam (the Word)."
Dharma was founded by Guru Nanak Dev
in the Punjab area of Northwestern India, now Pakistan, in the 15th
Century. The Sikhs that live there speak the Punjabi language. The
word “guru” means one who can take you from darkness to
light and guides you on the right path. After his death a series of
nine Gurus led the Sikh Panth, i.e., the Sikh community, until 1708
At this time this function passed to the Panth and the Siri Guru Granth
Sahib, which is the 11th and remaining Guru.
Siri Guru Granth Sahib is composed and compiled by the Sikh Gurus
themselves. Therefore, it is original and authentic.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib does not contain any autobiography of any
of the Gurus, or Sikh history. It contains Hymns, i.e., Psalms, which
direct one to lead a truthful and spiritual life, a message for the
whole of humanity.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurmukhi script, the actual
contemporary language of the Gurus. See WhaHe
*Hukam: Random reading from the Guru, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This Guru, in book form, contains psalm-like songs authored by the Sikh Gurus, and other Sikh, Hindu and Muslim saints -- thirty-six authors in all, while they were in God consciousness. These speak of everyday situations and worldly activities, emotions and attachments, and the options or means we have to transmute emotion into devotion and become attached to the Divine. Siri Guru Granth Sahib begins with Japji Sahib, which begins with EK -- Oneness, which expresses the entire meaning of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib -- to be at ONE with the Divine. Before "taking a Hukam" it is customary to recite "Ardas," an invocation that calls on the Primal Power, and the eleven Sikh Gurus, including Siri Guru Granth Sahib. See Siri Guru Granth Sahib transliterated.
Gurdwara Security and Safety
Act without fear Act without anger Act to defend the weak
Act to protect the innocent
The essence of security efforts.
Monitor all activities occurring in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib as well as any other activities in order to maintain a safe, hazard-free environment, and a peaceful, respectful Gurdwara decorum.
Assist Sangat members in the performance of their worship and other activities, especially to include the arrival and departure of families with young children, giving aid and comfort to the elderly and the infirm, and greeting visitors.
Take direct Protective and/or Defensive action in the event of emergency circumstances such as fire and emergency medical response, disruptive or disorderly activity, or any act of aggression occurring within or around the Gurdwara or amongst Sangat members, and ensure security of building perimeter (doors and windows) while maintaining appropriate access for Sangat members and guests.
Gather and disseminate intelligence data, and subsequently alert Sangat members, and appropriate local authorities to the existence of issues or circumstances involving imminent or potential risk to the security of the Guru, Sangat members, or Gurdwara property.
Interface with and assist Local Fire and Medical Emergency or Law Enforcement Response Team members in order to maintain appropriate and respectful decorum in any emergency conditions occurring in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib or upon the Gurdwara property, circumstances permitting.
NOTE: General Protocols For Gurdwara Sevadars are intended to be general in nature as opposed to specific since these apply to the commonalities of all Gurdwaras.
Special Operating Protocols or SOPs should be formulated and implemented by respective Sangat leaders after consultation with local First Responders, i.e., Fire, Medical Emergency, Law Enforcement or other agencies. These Special Operating Protocols then will reflect conditions peculiar to local circumstances, which may vary according to any unique layout, structural, or geographical, economic, or technical requirements.
In addition, each community should contact their local First Responders, especially Fire Prevention and Law Enforcement Agencies, for a comprehensive risk assessment survey of Gurdwara property, and management policies and procedures to include a comprehensive Safety and Security Audit. Audits may possibly be provided free of charge, and should include procedures related to the following issues:
For assistance, call 800-528-0413 Ext. 354 Eastern, or click here. For security skills training, see RamDhanSingh.com.
Security does not happen by accident!
Security is those actions or systems, which prevent or minimize
the occurrence of adverse events within specific environments.
The most effective security is preventative as well as proactive,
and serves to minimize any risk to life, property or environments.
American Sikhs are free to pursue happiness,
but there's no guarantee we will achieve it.
NOTE: American Sikhs are free to pursue happiness, but there's no guarantee we will achieve it. We can view the subject of Security as an unpleasant, even terrifying concept, or as a fearless, even exhilarating exercise in courage. We can choose to be passive, wimpy victims,
or proactive, fearless survivors. To those members of the Sadh Sangat who choose
to remain in denial with regard to matters of Security
and Safety, who either claim that Gurdwara Security is unnecessary,
or who dismiss any thought of improving Gurdwara Security, I suggest
that you not only recall the tragic events of the August 5, 2012 Gurdwara
assault in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the Sandy Hook Elementary School
killings in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012, and the U.S. Navy Yard massacre of September 16, 2013, but that you
recall the days of Operation
Blue Star, the tragic assault on the Guru in Amritsar, India, June 1-6, 1984, a week which will live in infamy...
the event that involved the desecration of the Golden
Temple, and the destruction of the Akal Takht.
(See video.) Going back much farther, remember Aurangzeb?
Beadbi of Siri Guru Granth Sahib
Keep in mind also that the Siri
Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma established a policy whereby a Security
and Safety Sevadar is posted at the door of the House
of Guru Ram Das Gurdwara in Los Angeles, California, even to this
day. His vision being that Gurdwara Security and Safety is not about acting out
of fear or anger, it is about selflessly serving the Guru and the Sangat while
fearlessly defending the weak and protecting the innocent for which
Sikhs have a sacred duty. See Our Youth Deserves Leadership Training.
SANT SIPAHI - SAINT SOLDIER
JAPJI SAHIB - 37TH PAURI
Karam khand ki bani jor. Tithai hor na koi hor. In the realm of Karam, the Word is Power.
No one else dwells there,
Tithai jodh maha-bal sur. Tin meh ram rahia bharpur. Except the Warriors of great power, the Spiritual Heroes.
They are totally fulfilled, imbued with the Lord's Essence.
Tithai sito sita mehma mahi. Ta ke rup na kathne jahi. Myriads of Sitas are there, cool and calm in their
majestic glory. Their beauty cannot be described.
Na ohi marahi na thage jahi. Jin kai Ram vasai man mahi. Neither death nor deception comes to those
within whose minds the Lord abides.
Tithai bhagat vasahi ke loa. Karahi anand sacha mani soe. The Devotees of many worlds dwell there. They celebrate;
their minds are imbued with the True Lord...
is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant Sipahi); this is a complete person.
If you are not a soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you
a soldier, not a saint, you will start kicking others around." -- Yogi
"I can think of a number of fanatical, over-zealous religious groups who
would do us all well to take Yogi Bhajan's advice." -- Hari Singh Khalsa
Sat Nam. The Siri Singh Sahib was asked to express his priorities for a community gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply, “Security, Security, Security.” I share his vision. I have the concern that with the passage of time, nay, even as we speak, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre will fade away just as the memory of the infamous 1984 Operation Blue Star attack on the Sikhs in India seems to have disappeared from our recollection. Many Sikhs simply tag these events as the will of God and Guru, which is true, but we cannot stop there. There is a deeper message, a challenge, that has apparently gone unnoticed, i.e., our sacred duty to fearlessly "defend the weak and protect the innocent," just as Guru Gobind Singh taught us. So, I am requesting that the Sikh ministers act to meet our present day challenges. Not out of a sense of fear or apprehension, but with the same courage and fearlessness as did Guru Gobind Singh and our beloved Siri Singh Sahib. I urge my fellow ministers to answer this call by purchasing the Active Shooter Survival Training DVD shown below, and sharing it with their respective sangats. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh.
Active Shooter Survival DVD is
a reality-based training production.
Training covers the following topics.
Planning for Survival
Stopping the Shooter
Escaping the Violence
Hiding from the Shooter
Preventing Violent Intrusions
Collective Survival Strategies
Disrupting the Shooter’s Intentions
Training includes a step-by-step how-to, such as:
Protecting you from extreme violence
Responding to an active shooter
Managing workplace violence
Improving Gurdwara security
Becoming better prepared
Saving innocent lives
Who is responsible for your security?
Most people are reactive when it comes to their safety and well-being.
Most people respond only after threats have materialized and the problem is acute.
This approach brings little solace to the victims and is dangerous.
The most effective security is preventative as well as proactive.
The radicalization of fringe elements in society is increasing.
The targeting of minorities is nothing new and will continue.
Community preparedness is a must; its absence is a liability. --
Alon Stivi, CEO, Direct Measures International
value is not in how many experiences you have had.
It is in your stability -- in how much sacrifice you can do.
Your value is in how effectively and how consistently you can
live for others. Your value is in how you can take command of
yourself and others in any situation. Your value is in your capability
of firmly planting yourself in the neutrality of your higher consciousness
and standing as a pillar of strength, turning every negative to a
Your value is how quickly you are there when the call comes." -- Yogi Bhajan
consciousness is a state of being whereby we live in service
to humanity, inspiring and assisting others to do the same. And while
it is our sacred purpose to celebrate Naam and live as saints,
it is our
sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent." -- Hari Singh
Q: DOES YOUR SANGAT OR GURDWARA NEED MORE SECURITY? CONTACT YOUR POLICE DEPARTMENT TO GET A SECURITY AUDIT.
Q: DOES YOUR SANGAT HAVE A GURDWARA SECURITY COMPONENT?
IF NO, YOU CAN GET HELP ORGANIZING A SECURITY MISSAL HERE.
IF YOUR SANGAT AND GURDWARA SECURITY IS ADEQUATE,
SHARE YOUR STORY HERE OR CALL 800-528-0413 EXT 354 EASTERN.
RESPONSES ARE CONFIDENTIAL
A POST 9-11 HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION
remains true today, in the ancient tradition of ignorance,
that people of faith and otherwise good sense hasten
to ostracize and demonize any person or group
whose beliefs and customs are unlike their own.
at the Sikh Gurdwara in Fresno, California
Photo courtesy of Christian Parley, The Fresno Bee.
after September 11, 2001, an epidemic of hate crimes against minorities
swept the United States and other countries. The wave of hate crimes and hate violence affected Muslims especially, and anyone perceived to be a Muslim, e.g.,
Sikhs, Arabs, South Asians, Latinos, and other brown-skinned people.
Incidents occurred in every part of the public sphere: houses, roadways, workplaces,
airports, school grounds, and street corners, as well as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras in nearly every major
city in the United States. In targeted communities, places of worship have been burned,
homes vandalized, families threatened, jobs denied, children bullied,
women harassed, men and women beaten and murdered.
RECENT VIOLENT ACTS AGAINST RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
SIX SIKHS SLAIN
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Sikhs murdered at their Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Top left to right, Satwant Singh, Sita Singh, and Paramjit Kaur,
Bottom left to right, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, and Suveg Singh.
Sikh community members in the wake of the Oak Creek murders.
ANOTHER SIKH SLAIN
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Dalbir Singh of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, murdered in his store.
MUSLIM GIRL WOUNDED
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Malala Yousuf Zai, a 14 year old girl, was seriously wounded by religious fanatics for speaking out for peace and human rights. More.
Security is those actions or systems, which prevent or minimize
the occurrence of adverse events within specific environments.
The most effective security is preventative as well as proactive,
and serves to minimize any risk to life, property or environments.
Sat Nam, Brothers and Sisters! I am a former U.S. Marine and someone who has been involved with Gurdwara and Solstice security for decades. I would like to address what I see as a general absence of security/soldier consciousness within Sikh communities by quoting the Siri Singh Sahib, who said: “Human is a blend of Saint and Soldier; this is a complete person. If you are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around.”
The Siri Singh Sahib was once asked to express his priorities at a 3HO Solstice Sadhana gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply was, “Security, Security, Security.” And since the establishment of the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, and until this very day, a sevadar is posted at the door of the gurdwara as ordered by the Siri Singh Sahib. Security has been a priority consideration since the earliest days of 3HO/Sikh Dharma.
recently speaking with a sangat member regarding the subject of Gurdwara
Security and Safety, she mentioned how she thought she would engage an active-shooter incident
within her community. She said her first instinct would be to physically
cover any potential victims with her body as a shield. I advised her
that this would be exactly the wrong action to take. I suggested that
she think about the instructions given by airline attendants concerning
an in-flight emergency. Passengers are advised to take self-saving
actions first by utilizing their oxygen mask on themselves before
attempting to assist anybody else.
may seem counter-intuitive, but self-preservation must be the first
response in order for other potential victims to be protected and
defended. Contrary to the unfortunate outcomes of numerous recent
horrific events, an active-shooter event is not a situation where potential victims
are without recourse. This is addressed in numerous, simple, and surprising
ways in a survival training video called Survival
Edge: Active Shooter Survival, available at ACTCert.com (ACT stands
for Attack Countermeasures Training), which I urge all communities
to acquire and view. This DVD provides a reality-based, step-by-step
training program that covers how to protect you and others from
extreme violence, including responding to an active shooter, managing
workplace violence, improving Gurdwara
security and safety, becoming better prepared, saving innocent
lives and surviving terrorism.
Though the outcome of the shooting event in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012 was horrific, those murders might have been preventable to a significant extent. There are specific actions (some even at the time of the attack) that could have possibly mitigated the outcome.
Since the incident, many Sikhs have opined that as unfortunate as it was, it was the will of God and Guru. This is true. But I opine that the event did not just happen in order to happen. It happened with a clear and challenging message to the Sadh Sangat: as Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh, it is our sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent.
My question is, what are we collectively doing to meet this challenge? What are we doing in the way of securing our communities, whereby we honor our sacred duty?
My concern is that with the passage of time, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre and other tragedies will fade away. I strongly encourage all members of the Sikh community – and especially Sikh Dharma Ministers – to act now to meet this ever-present challenge – not out of a sense of reactionary fear, but with the same attention and fearless dedication as our beloved Siri Singh Sahib.
As a member of the 3HO Solstice Security and Safety advisory team, I am working to help develop programs and awareness, and I am happy to receive communication from sangat members.
Nam, Khalsa ji! In the wake of the attention now being given for and against gun ownership, I have frequently recalled a scene from many years ago with a wince, even a shudder on one hand, and a smile with a head-shake on the other.
Women: Wimps or Warriors?
I was in a mixed group discussing security and gun safety training in which a young woman reluctantly picked up a handgun between her thumb and forefinger as if picking up a dead mouse. The scene stuck with me ever since. And all the recent talk about guns and violence has especially caused me to recall that silly albeit sad scenario. Silly because it looked so comical, sad because it is indicative of where I see the mind set of many women, today.
a woman is attacked by a gun-toting assailant, her chance
of survival diminishes greatly if she has no training in
survival skills, e.g., martial arts and
of where you stand on gun control, knowledge of firearms equates with strength, ignorance
of firearms equates with weakness.
OUR YOUTH DESERVE LEADERSHIP TRAINING
New Mexico Military Institute can provide this.
A two-year leadership program is available.
Those who shall not learn to obey shall never be
in a position to command. -- Siri Singh Sahib
A woman who is not a leader is a miserable person… A leader has three things.
First thing, leader has to sacrifice; second thing, leader has to stand alone; and
third, leader has to lead. And leader has to lead by example, by action and by word.
A leader is one who can stand on the top of the ladder and can stay balanced and
alone. So basically, if you do not want to be the leaders, and you do not want to
lead the home, lead the family, lead your environments, with grace, with courage
and with intelligence, you will have nothing in your life... -- Siri Singh Sahib
children, not dependent children. Give your children
the basic values to face their own tomorrows, not be blinded by yours. Make
them proper personalities, not helpless puppets. Position them for success; do
not paralyze them with the commotion of your emotions. -- Siri Singh Sahib
The basic aspect of you as woman is not in your sensuality and in your dramas.
You are not only the givers of life, you are the manufacturers of character. Whatever
character you will give to your children, that shall be their future. -- Siri Singh Sahib
Your reliability will give people the courage to trust you.
Their trust will give you the power to carry a situation. A leader
carries and serves people. Learn to lead as a ‘seva’ (to sacrifice your
time and resources for the benefit of others without wanting anything in
return); people will love you, and you will continue to expand. -- Siri Singh Sahib
Children are born with intrinsic leadership traits, which prepare them for life.
These must translate positively into the lives they lead as citizens of the world.
These are: Service, Justice, Courage, Compassion, Decisiveness, Reliability,
Integrity, Initiative, Knowledge, Loyalty, Enthusiasm, Endurance. -- Hari Singh Khalsa
Nam, Khalsa ji! I am a passionate proponent of more balance
between our claims to accept and understand the concept of Saint-Soldier, and actually living our lives as authentic Sant-Sipahi. To this end I strongly urge Khalsa parents, especially
our women, the first teachers of our children, to consider the following points.
WOMEN are The First Teachers
.) I urge you to consider enrolling our children at the New
Mexico Military Institute, located in Roswell, New Mexico. My
kids graduated high school with honors at NMMI in the early '80s,
the first children of Sikh
Dharma to attend a military school in America. The Siri
Singh Sahib expressed pleasure upon observing
cadet training when he visited NMMI in 1983. He advised us then that he
would have enrolled his own children at NMMI if he had known of its existence. Another group of children
who attended school in India later attended NMMI in the early '90s.
Sikh minister, M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird, addresses Sikh cadets in front of the NMMI chapel, 1992.
New Mexico Military Institute offers an outstanding two year college option for your sons and daughters after they complete their
time at Miri Piri Academy. For those families for which MPA is not an option, NMMI has an excellent four year high school college prep program in addition to their two year
college program. New Mexico Military Institute has been ranked No. 5 on a list of the nation’s top 50 community colleges by an independent organization, i.e., TheBestSchools.org, which has described the Roswell, New Mexico school as the “only state-supported, coeducational, military boarding school in the United States.” The school offers college prep, a four-year high school and a two-year junior college. See NMMI
Strategic Measures Statistics.
Each of the former Sikhi students/graduates
of NMMI provide a testament to the advantages of attending NMMI, which
include a rigorous and challenging lifestyle, camaraderie and fellowship,
and outstanding leadership
training especially, along with NMMI's excellent scholastic program.
This experience prepared them for additional university training, and exciting
careers all over the world. NMMI is the only American prep school I know
that has a history of accommodating the Sikhi lifestyle, i.e., sadhana, kesh, turban, sipahi training, and vegetarian diet. And it is an excellent environment for Sikhi youth to learn leadership
and soldiering skills for which the Siri Singh Sahib was a passionate
The NMMI program offers MPA students and other Sikh youth
a unique and reasonably cost-effective opportunity to transition
from the Indian program into the American experience as a unit, and the obvious advantage of continued
bonding with their peers. See NMMI
Admissions, or click firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-421-5376.
.) I urge you to reflect on the Siri Singh Sahib's words, "Human
is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant
Sipahi); this is a complete person. If you
are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are
only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around."
Again, our youth deserve leadership training going forward. I know of no readily available source of formal leadership
training available to our Sikh youth other than the New Mexico Military
To: M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird Khalsa
Sent: Thu, Aug 1, 2013 12:24 pm
Sat Nam Hari Singh,
Hope you and your family are keeping well.
As you must have heard, another Gurdwara in California got vandalized recently. Please let me know your comments on security measures we can suggest to various Gurdwaras that they can take to prevent these incidents. Also, what do you think the local, state and federal government can do to protect our Gurdwaras.
Bhai Sahib ____________________ --
Sat Nam, Bhai Sahib ji!
Thank you for your inquiry!
I am truly saddened to hear of the recent Gurdwara vandalism.
Regarding your request for my thoughts about local Gurdwara actions, I suggest that immediate consideration be given to adopting and distributing the General Protocols listed at GurdwaraSecurity.com.
These should be supplemented with any appropriate Special Operating Protocols unique to a respective Gurdwara.
In addition, I suggest that Sangat leaders make contact with local law enforcement, medical emergency and other first responders, ASAP, for the purpose of initiating a security and safety assessment audit in order to determine the actual security status of the Gurdwara environment plus the adjacent property and neighborhood, followed by the implementation of any appropriate recommendations. Communications with key people within these same agencies should remain well established and maintained, as well. (Note: It may be helpful to direct local agencies to this site, WhoAreTheSikhs.com, for historical reference, especially regarding the Oak Creek tragedy.)
Further, I suggest that Sangat leaders immediately execute actions that secure Gurdwara environments, e.g., employ an on-site uniformed, and armed law enforcement officer along with an on-site marked vehicle presence during high visibility Sunday activities, especially. This action will provide the Sangat with a) an on-site, professionally trained agent with arrest powers, and b) legal cover in the event of potential liability issues.
With respect to vandalism concerns, I suggest that security video cameras be deployed at key points around the Gurdwara perimeters as well as inside the Gurdwara. This will also provide a means by which safety issues such as fire and-or hazardous and emergency medical events can be monitored. The security audit will more than likely cover this issue.
A final thought, although this may not be practical for obvious reasons, remember that the Siri Singh Sahib directed that a Sevadar be stationed full-time at the entrance of House of Guru Ram Das Gurdwara, Los Angeles. To my knowledge, this remains the case to this day. See Interior-Guard.com.
M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird Khalsa --
"Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget what happened...
If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-
measures, you have to take counter-measures." Dalai Lama
If you cannot walk together, you
cannot work together. Yogi Bhajan
Those who shall not learn to obey shall never
be in a position to command. Yogi Bhajan
The synergistic equation is 1 plus 1 equals 11.
this synergistic equation is applied, the 'me' perspective
morphs into the universal 'we' perspective. The result is each action is
accomplished exponentially for the common good. 1Plus1Equals11.com
security is local.
Homeland security begins with hometown security."
We gladly accept all, and we will exclude none, for after
all, we're the same - we are all One." -- Guru
Dharma is a householders' spiritual path by which practice
one may, by God's grace, be blessed with the virtue known as
humility along with the good fortune to overcome the mental and
spiritual affliction known as pride." --
M.S.S. Hari Singh Khalsa
Believe all religion and scripture
is an expression of the One Creator.
Respect the rights and freedoms
of all spiritual paths.
Espouse the sanctity of the
path of the householder.
Believe it is God's blessing
to serve others, and to protect the weak.
Derived from a Sanskrit word meaning, Sa-all, and Dhana-blessings.
problem at this moment is the majority of us do not want to do sadhana
(spiritual practice). These unfortunate people are really cursed.
With all the teachings and all the knowledge,
isn't it a curse? It is. Sometimes you use the children as an excuse,
sometimes the husband. One way or the other, there is an excuse. To
be realistic with you, an excuse is an excuse, and sadhana is sadhana.
I know on some days, I am dead tired. I feel I can't do my sadhana.
Then what do I do? I go to the bathroom, I take cold water, and I
wash my face again and again, and again and again, until I understand
that I am fully awake. When I am doing my sadhana, sleep sometimes
wants to overtake me; I get tired. Sometimes I get home late and I
have to get up very early. Then I do pranayam
and I apply some yogic locks.
I do a lot of things that I have learned and I go through it as gracefully
as a humble human being should." -- Yogi
greatest reward of doing Sadhana is that the person becomes incapable
of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a victory
over time and space. Getting up in the morning is a victory over time,
and doing it (sadhana) is a victory over space." -- The
Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma
are specific passages taken from the Guru and read each day.
of the Khalsa Guru
believe in one formless God with many names, Who can be related to
by anybody through meditation. Sikhs
recite the Name many times each
day. And Sikhs do not worship idols or icons. Sikhs believe in karma
and reincarnation as Hindus do, but
they shun the caste system. Sikhs see everybody as having equal status
in the eyes of the Creator.
the 18th century, there were a number of attempts to prepare a codification
of Sikh customs. Sikh scholars and theologians started in 1931 to
prepare the Reht Maryada, the Sikh code of conduct and conventions.
This action has achieved a high level of uniformity in the religious
and social practices of Sikhism throughout the world. The Reht contains
27 articles. Article 1 defines a Sikh as: "Any
human being who faithfully accepts...
and teachings of the ten Gurus, and
The baptism bequeathed
by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe a primary allegiance to any
other religion, is a Sikh."
Articles of Dharma
The Five K's
are five articles or symbols that identify a person as a Sikh. These
include uncut hair Kesh, which is worn under a turban;
a small comb, Kangha; a style of breeches,
Katchera, or shorts, that are worn underneath one’s
clothing; a steel bracelet, Kara, and a small ornamental
sword, Kirpan, which are worn at all times.
the God-given hair and beard, kept unshorn
to sustain him or her in higher consciousness, and to be covered with
the crown of spirituality. The unshorn hair is coiled, and worn in
a jura or knot (bun) on top of the head (crown
chakra), and under the turban. See
the wooden comb, symbol and reminder of the commitment to cleanliness,
and used to groom the hair.
the specially designed cotton underwear, symbol and reminder of the
commitment to purity, and to refrain from sexual relationships outside
of marriage. (Khalsa Sikhs
also vow to refrain from eating meat or using tobacco, alcohol, and
all other intoxicants.)
KARA, the steel ring-bracelet, symbol of Infinity, worn on
the wrist, signifying the unbreakable bondage with Truth, The One
God, The One Reality, and freedom from every entanglement.
the small sword, the symbolic Sword of Righteousness, with which a
committed to righteously defend the innocent, and the fine line of
Truth. See GurdwaraSecurity.com.
Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, gave these five gifts to the Sikhs.
All Sikhs that choose to go through an initiation ceremony called
Amrit, wear these articles of faith. Sikh men take the name Singh,
meaning lion, and women take the name Kaur, meaning princess.
Dharma is a householders' spiritual path by which practice
one may, by God's grace, be blessed with the virtue known as
humility along with the good fortune to overcome the mental and
spiritual affliction known as pride." -- M.S.S. Hari Singh Khalsa
is founded on the principles of global interfaith communities and
mutual inter-community respect and harmony. The founders of Sikhism
defined and preached the principles of interfaith respect, dialogue,
and harmony. All members of the Sikh religion believe in only one
God. Sikhs are monotheists like Jews,
Christians and Muslims.
The Sikh religion promotes equality among all people. That means that
everyone -- men and women -- are treated in the same way. Sikhs are
expected to work hard, to be good and giving people, to worship God,
and provide service for all humanity. A Sikh, by definition, respects
and accepts all other world religions.
Further, the Sikh protects, guards, and allows the free practice of
the customs and rituals of other religions.
many Sikh youths belong to youth groups that are designed for Sikh
children and young adults. These groups teach Sikh youth about their
unique religious and cultural history and traditions. Many of these
youth groups are sponsored by a Sikh Gurdwara.
For Sikh families, the Gurdwara, i.e., Sikh church or temple, is a
gathering place for people to share their religious traditions. It
is the center for Sikh life and is a place where people can gather
for special social ceremonies like those marking a marriage, the birth
of a baby or a death in a family.
Gurdwaras maintain a tradition of 'free' kitchens where food is prepared
and shared with the entire community. People of every
religion are welcome at Gurdwaras, and in the community kitchen.
Also, when people pray and worship in the Gurdwara, everyone sits
on the floor, grouped together. No one sits in front of or higher
than, anyone else. In this way Sikhs demonstrate their sense of social
equality. (Of course, the elderly and infirm are exceptions. These folks may sit in chairs.)
is no mark, which sets apart
The Ever Changeless Light of hearts.
No caste or sect, shape, form or hue;
Imagination can't construe
His Greatness or His countless Names;
The King Who o'er the three worlds reigns;
A million Indras can't compete;
God's men and demons touch His feet.
world's vast fortunes seem as weeds
Amidst the garden of His deeds.
Thus, by His deeds His Name is
Breath of Wisdom, Grace of grace.
Even forests slim or small
In glades and glens repeat the call,
"He is Infinite and All ... Infinite and All."
bow to Thee, Eternal,
Beyond death the Beauteous Form.
To the Merciful and Mighty,
O, I bow to Thee, Unborn;
To the One Who has no costume,
Whos beyond all destiny,
Without treasure, without body, Indestructible is He;
Who is Nameless and cannot be named,
Who occupies no space,
Beyond karma, beyond dharma, beyond need of dwelling place.
I bow to Thee Unconquerable, the Stranger to defeat.
To the Fearless, Self Sufficient One, the One without deceit;
To the One Who has no color, no beginning and no end,
Who is Bountiful and Faultless, Far Too Great to comprehend;
O, I bow to Thee Who art but One and Thee Who many be.
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to Him beyond all deeds, Who wears no special dress,
Who has no country, name or manner, the Desireless.
I bow to Thee Imperishable, Thee from sorrow free;
Beyond attachment, anger, pride, desire and greed is He;
To the One in need of no one, Who is worshipped in three worlds;
The Source of every treasure, He Who cannot be installed.
He Whos free from all affliction, independent of all breath;
He Who organizes and destroys, Who is the Death of death.
I bow to He Who generates, the One Who can't be known.
The Source of passion, strength and grace;
I bow to Thee, Unborn;
He Who is the Supreme Yogi, far beyond all intellect;
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth ...
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth.
bow to He Who has no caste, religion, faith or creed;
Sublime and All Prevailing Beauty, with no lineage;
The Countryless, the Garbless, Homeless, Spouseless, King of all,
Who dispenses death and mercy, He Who takes the shape of all.
O, I bow to the Creator, the Sustainer, the True Lord;
To the One Annihilator, low I bow to Thee Unborn;
To the One Who has no secrets, He Who is the Death of all;
The Creator of all beauties, their destruction and their fall.
I bow to the Sustainer, Omnipresent in all hues;
Who prevails throughout the universe, the Endless Well of Truths.
O, I bow to Thee, Immortal Lord, to Thee untouched by age;
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage ...
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage.
Who is Every Occupation, no relations, no restraint;
To the kind and constant Husband, Aspiration of the saint;
To the Endless and the Infinite, the Love of every soul;
The Creator and Destroyer, bend thou low, this mortal coil.
Bow down to the Lord of Yogis, the Sustainer of the wife;
The Enjoyer of all pleasures, the Caretaker of all life.
Who's kind and understanding, more impartial than the sea;
He Who dries up all life's fluids, O, I bow my God to Thee.
To the Bountiful and Fruitful, Who is not sustained by breath;
Who is Fearless and Desireless, He Who is the Death of death;
Who is Infinitely Gracious, Whos
within and out of me;
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee ...
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee.
bow to Thee, O Virtuous, upon Whom all rely;
He Who lives in everyone, the One from Whom all shapes arise;
To the Moon of moons, the King of kings, the most respected One;
Unto He Who has no comrade, Hymn of hymns and Sun of suns;
He Who is the Dance within the dance, the Sound within the sound.
To the Music of all music, to the Current, I bow down;
To the One Who is the Hand and is the hand's Activity,
Who contains all forms, all maya,
Great and Glorious is He.
Dispute of all disputes, the Supreme Siddha of the verse;
To the User of all weapons, Mother of the universe;
Who is All-Supreme in wisdom, without lust and costume free;
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to He Who cures disease, Who takes our daily care;
Present in both gods and demons, Who is Dutiful and Fair.
He Who knows all forms of cunning, the Embodiment of love;
Who bestows all life and charity, All Seeing Lord above;
To the Mantra of all mantras, Pure of fire and the Pure;
To the Jantra of all jantras, Conqueror of the universe;
The Immortal, Without Master, to the True and Blissful Form;
To the Tantra of all tantras, low, I bow to Thee Unborn.
I bow to He Who rules all wealth, the Brightest of the bright;
To the Seed of seeds, the Song of songs, the Form of dark and light;
To the Honored of all honored, without fear or mystery;
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to the Bestower of all knowledge time and space;
To the Source of love, the Source of strength, salvation, bliss and
He Who takes the form of passion, He Who takes the form of pain;
To the Harshest of the harsh, the Many and the One again;
To the Everlasting Sculptor Who is pleased with every mold;
The Embodiment of kindness, the Controller of the soul;
The Destroyer of the three conditions, future, past and now.
Who is the Life of life, bestowing undestroyable power;
To the Battle of all battles, the Embodiment of peace;
The Unalterable Essence, Formless through eternity;
To the Righteous Lord of Indras, Whos within and out of me;
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee ...
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee. --
dates are given in BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). These
years correspond to the same dates in BC and AD but by defining the
current period as the "Common Era" the nomenclature attempts
to treat all religions and beliefs as equal.
A DIVINE MIRACLE
A GURU, WITH NO HUMAN FORM
BUT AN OCEAN OF ‘NAAM’…
SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
NOT JUST A HOLY BOOK
BUT ‘THE GURU’ FOR ANYONE THAT CHOOSES
TO LEARN TO BE A ‘SIKH’
OF ANY CAST, COLOR OR CREED
A BANI FROM ‘AKAL PURAKH’ WITH THE OMNIPOTENT’S SPIRIT
‘DHUR KI BANI’… AS BEAUTIFULLY SPOKEN
BY OUR BENEVOLENT
BLENDED WITH THE MAGNIFICENCE
OF THE BANI OF THE ‘BHAGATS’
MAKES US COME TO A REALIZATION SO TRUE GURBANI IS THE HEAVENLY LIGHT
THE BEAUTIFUL INSIGHT
AS IT PREPARES A PATH
FOR US TO FOLLOW
IN THE AFTERMATH
AND A PATH
TO FOLLOW IN THIS
AS WE REALIZE THIS WORLD IS BUT
THAT WILL BURST ON THE RUBBLE
AND THEN, THE RIVER OF LIFE
IS NO MORE
NO MORE, IS THERE ANY STRIFE
AS WE HEAD TO GOD
TO ANSWER TO THE LORD
FOR DECEITS, LIES AND ALL…
SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
A LIGHT HOUSE
IN THE STORMY SEAS
OF THIS EARTHLY FIRE HOUSE…
A HEAVENLY SHIP
THAT WILL TAKE US
AND BEYOND THE TURMOIL AND THE BONDS
OF THE EARTHLY PRONGS
THE ANSWER TO OUR EVERY QUESTION
THE DIRECTION TO OUR EVERY MOTION
THE FORGIVER OF OUR EVERY SIN
THAT TAKES US ON TO A JOURNEY
THAT LEADS TO RESURRECTION…
AS WE READ THE PEARLS OF THE ‘GURMUKHI’
THE BEAUTIFUL WORDS
FORM A STRING SO STRONG
UNABLE TO BREAK, SUSTAINING ALONG
AS WE HOLD ON TO IT
FOR A BEAUTIFUL LIFE
AND IN THE HEAVENS BEYOND…
WE ARE IN AWE OF THE MIRACLES OF GURBANI
FOR THE GURU IS IN OUR HEARTS
AS WE READ THE SCRIPTURE OF GURBANI
AS IT LEADS US ON TO A DEEP UNDERSTANDING
FOR OUR REASON TO LIVE…
AS GURBANI STATES “EHO TERA AVSAR EHO TERI BAAR”
AND WE TRANSCEND INTO A STATE OF ‘SEHEJ’
WHERE THERE IS NO NEED
BUT A FEELING BEYOND
TO JUST WANT
THE PRAISES OFWAHEGURU…
EARTHS MAY COME AND EARTHS MAY GO
MOUNTAINS WILL TURN INTO RUBBLE
THEN TURN INTO PEAKS WITH SNOW…
BUT GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI WILL FOREVER BESTOW
BLESSINGS UPON US
AND CARVE A PATH FOR US
BEFORE THEN, FOR NOW, AND FOREVER MORE! --
So Nihal': "One who speaks this shall be blessed."
An exaltation traditionally expressed on occasions when
a rallying affirmation is appropriate. The answer to this
call is 'Sat Siri Akal': "Truth is supreme and