Ik Onkar

November 11, 2019 at 8:35 pm 4 comments


Midst the vast diversity of this nation… in religion, language, culture, cuisine and attire….  the silken tguru nanakhread that weaves through and holds this multi-layered canvas into a composite whole is the quintessential oneness of the message of its spiritual masters. From Sankara to Gautma, from Thiruvalluvar to Kabir and then on to Ramakrishna Parmahansa, every divine personage that tread this land espoused the underlying unity of all the creations. And in that extolled lineage of seers, Guru Nanak Dev ji occupies a pride of place for chartering a new course of hope for a population long suppressed and subjugated.

 A hundred castes divided the Indian society of the sixteenth century into a vast cesspool of hopelessness and an oppressive social system stripped the most of the population of its human dignity.  And in this despondent milieu appeared the saviour, as Guru Nanak Ji, to give deliverance to the suffering masses and establish an egalitarian society, free of inequality. Guru Nanak Ji, through hymns and parables, taught the oneness of creation and the brotherhood of mankind urging fellow men to shed differences based on castes and lead a life of virtue. Traversing a vast expanse, from Persia to Sri Lanka, the Guru galvanised an entire generation of a region to follow the path of piety and thus established a communion which later on transformed into a religion, the Sikhism.  The universality of Guru’s teachings with its emphasis on love and humility produced men and women of rare virtue and valour, of compassion and sacrifice that they became the torch-bearers of a new social order.  Freed of the shackles of caste and creed, Sikhism blazed a new vision, a resurgent optimism that propelled generations to newer heights of social and spiritual achievements.  Guru Nanak ji’s teachings thus became a transforming tool, and not just at the social and spiritual levels.

The enthusiasm and purpose that the new religion endowed on its followers had wider ramifications, into the realms of economics and then on to military, to architecture and to music. The philosophy of honest work as a religious tenet ensured hard labour resulting in all-round economic prosperity and the establishment of “Khalsa” by the tenth Guru produced warriors of unparalleled chivalry, eager to protect the land and its people. The present day economic well-being of the state of Punjab can directly be linked to the industrious attitude infused by the teachings of the Guru on its people as also the outstanding contributions of the Punjabi people to the Indian army to the ethos of the “Khalsa”.  With austere beauty and exquisite intricacy, the Gurdwaras that sprang up across the Punjab region are at once architectural delights as they are places of worship and of devotional singing, the Shabad Kirtans.  Set in exquisite Ragas, the Shabads are the musical renderings of the Guru Granth Sahib capturing the myriad moods of the underlying spiritual message. The accompaniments to the Shabads, such as the Sarangi and Dilruba are exclusively the creation of the Sikh tradition that are later adapted to other forms of music.  Thus, the religion founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji defined, reformed and reshaped the facets of the lives of millions, for centuries.

Sikhism would continue to inspire generations to come but there is now a renewed need to re-visit the basic teachings of Guru Nanak Ji as the society trends to drift from the its egalitarian purpose. One indication of this drift is the mushrooming of caste-based Gurdwaras that are anathema to the fundamental message of the Guru and hope that this is just an aberration soon to be corrected.

And as we celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of one of the great seers of all times – Guru Nanak Dev Ji- let’s remember and rededicate ourselves to the one source of all this manifested creation – IK ONKAR!

 

Yours

Narayanan

Entry filed under: Humour, To reflect, Uncategorized. Tags: .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rajiv  |  November 13, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Good man

    Reply
  • 2. Nadine  |  November 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this post. Moving and inspirational. I love kirtan singing.

    Reply
    • 3. chapter18  |  November 18, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      Kirtans are indeed soul stirring…

      Reply
      • 4. Nadine  |  November 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm

        Group spiritual energy is powerful

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