Is instinct the voice of God, or the devil?

Sometimes you hear people do terrible things, possibly even commit mass murder because "they heard voices" telling them to do something...

However, we as Sikhs believe that God is within us all - and sometimes when we hear a voice telling us not to do something bad (conscience).

So how do you know if your doing right or bad by taking a course of action?

Due to the way our minds work we can twist these voices quite easily, confusing stuff!

Interview in the Court of Justice

Questions asked to a person after they had passed away... which we will all one day do:

"They asked me
What thing I did in my life
That they could count

I said I earned a lot of money
I spent days and nights
Away from my family
Working as hard as
Anybody possibly can

They said it doesn't count

I said I had a big luxury house
With a swimming pool
And tennis courts
And a few luxury cars

They said it doesn't count

I said I spent hours
Reading scriptures daily
After a bath early
In the morning

They said it doesn't count

I said I did yoga
And Exercise daily

They said it doesn't count

I said I studied Bachelors
And Masters in Computer Science
And graduated with honors

They said it doesn't count

I said I proselytized
A lot of people to my religion

They said it doesn't count

I said I left a lot of wealth
For my future generations

They said it doesn't count

I said I traveled 5 continents
And saw a lot of people and cultures

They said it doesn't count

And so it went on and on
In the end there was nothing
That I spent most of my life on
That counted!

They didn't ask me
Anything I spent my whole life on

They asked me questions
I never prepared for

They asked me
How much Meditation
Of the Absolute I did

They asked me
Whether I went and served
The Real Master who lived
Next to me

They asked me
Whether I served
Any saint or needy soul

I felt very ashamed
But there was nothing
I could do
For it was too late
I was already there
Standing in front of them
With my head bowed
In shame once again

Signs of Kaljug (The Dark Age)

raamakalee mehalaa 1 asattapadheeaa
ik oa(n)kaar sathigur prasaadh ||
soee cha(n)dh charrehi sae thaarae soee dhineear thapath rehai ||
saa dhharathee so poun jhulaarae jug jeea khaelae thhaav kaisae ||1||
jeevan thalab nivaar ||
hovai paravaanaa karehi dhhin(g)aanaa kal lakhan veechaar ||1|| rehaao ||
kithai dhaes n aaeiaa suneeai theerathh paas n bait(h)aa ||
dhaathaa dhaan karae theh naahee mehal ousaar n bait(h)aa ||2||
jae ko sath karae so shheejai thap ghar thap n hoee ||
jae ko naao leae badhanaavee kal kae lakhan eaeee ||3||
jis sikadhaaree thisehi khuaaree chaakar kaehae ddaranaa ||
jaa sikadhaarai pavai ja(n)jeeree thaa chaakar hathhahu maranaa ||4||
aakh gunaa kal aaeeai ||
thihu jug kaeraa rehiaa thapaavas jae gun dhaehi th paaeeai ||1|| rehaao ||
kal kalavaalee saraa nibaerree kaajee kirasanaa hoaa ||
baanee brehamaa baedh athharaban karanee keerath lehiaa ||5||
path vin poojaa sath vin sa(n)jam jath vin kaahae janaeoo ||
naavahu dhhovahu thilak charraavahu such vin soch n hoee ||6||
kal paravaan kathaeb kuraan ||
pothhee pa(n)ddith rehae puraan ||
naanak naao bhaeiaa rehamaan ||
kar karathaa thoo eaeko jaan ||7||
naanak naam milai vaddiaaee eaedhoo oupar karam nehee ||
jae ghar hodhai ma(n)gan jaaeeai fir oulaamaa milai thehee ||8||1||

Raamkalee, First Mehl, Ashtapadees:
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
The same moon rises, and the same stars; the same sun shines in the sky.
The earth is the same, and the same wind blows. The age in which we dwell affects living beings, but not these places. ||1||
Give up your attachment to life.
Those who act like tyrants are accepted and approved - recognize that this is the sign of the Dark Age of Kali Yuga. ||1||Pause||
Kali Yuga has not been heard to have come to any country, or to be sitting at any sacred shrine.
It is not where the generous person gives to charities, nor seated in the mansion he has built. ||2||
If someone practices Truth, he is frustrated; prosperity does not come to the home of the sincere.
If someone chants the Lord's Name, he is scorned. These are the signs of Kali Yuga. ||3||
Whoever is in charge, is humiliated. Why should the servant be afraid,
when the master is put in chains? He dies at the hands of his servant. ||4||
Chant the Praises of the Lord; Kali Yuga has come.
The justice of the previous three ages is gone. One obtains virtue, only if the Lord bestows it. ||1||Pause||
In this turbulent age of Kali Yuga, Muslim law decides the cases, and the blue-robed Qazi is the judge.
The Guru's Bani has taken the place of Brahma's Veda, and the singing of the Lord's Praises are good deeds. ||5||
Worship without faith; self-discipline without truthfulness; the ritual of the sacred thread without chastity - what good are these?
You may bathe and wash, and apply a ritualistic tilak mark to your forehead, but without inner purity, there is no understanding. ||6||
In Kali Yuga, the Koran and the Bible have become famous.
The Pandit's scriptures and the Puraanas are not respected.
O Nanak, the Lord's Name now is Rehmaan, the Merciful.
Know that there is only One Creator of the creation. ||7||
Nanak has obtained the glorious greatness of the Naam, the Name of the Lord. There is no action higher than this.
If someone goes out to beg for what is already in his own home, then he should be chastised. ||8||1||

If someone goes out to beg for what is already in his own home, then he should be chastised. ||8||1||" looking for God in other people etc, when he is already within us all!

Guru Ji tells us so many amazing things, yet we dont know how to search our Guru..

Building Sand Castles

"...He gives an example of the sand castles children make on the beach with the sand. We adults smile when the children make these castles, spending a lot of time and effort making them, eventually to be washed away by the waves hitting the beach sooner or later.

We adults smile when we see the sand castle being washed away. But we don't realize that we do the same thing all our lives also. We spend all our lives building big houses (castles), and building our wealth, careers, etc. only to lose them all in a few years upon death, if not earlier.

Did you get the hint?"


Everyone wants some, nobody has "enough".

If you have enough to have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food on your table twice a day you have more than enough. So many times, as capitalistic people we do not see just how lucky we are.

There are literally millions of people living without food, heating, clothes or even clean drinking water.

If you just stop right now, and take a look around - look at all the things you have, and what you wouldnt have if you stepped outside without your wallet...

I myself have recently contemplated getting a new number plate for my car, but when I told a friend about it - he asked me a simple question "will it increase your pride?"

The answer if i'm honest is, yes. so AM I CRAZY to invest money, which I dont really have into something that will take me further away from God/Waheguru?

I'm already soo far away and by buying random things that I dont need, only to inflate my ego im doing my karma no justice. If I gave that same £1000 to charity, or someone starving on the street i'd actually make a difference, in a positive way.

Hopefully one day i'll have the courage to use money wisely - the way it was meant to be used.

chang-aa-ee-aa buri-aa-ee-aa vaachai Dharam hadoor.

Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.

karmee aapo aapnee kay nayrhai kay door.

According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.

Let's Manipulate

Human beings are soo good. at manipulating what God gives us and turning it into something bad.

Look at apples, such a beautiful fruit with alot of good vitamins and properties, however we somehow managed to create beer and wine to increase sex and violence!!

Then take something closer to home, the internet - we have the best medium so far to do parchaar of sikhi or link up millions of people all over the world. This is being used for hacking, child pornography and mss fraud.

There are countless examples of potentially good things used for mans twisted desires, be it nuclear energy in bombs or tape players to listen to rap/rock music instead of Gods hymns. When will we start using things for what they were meant to be used for? ...

when we realise we're going to die, and have to pay for every single thing we do wrong...

Wearing Dastaar/Bana

Before I started wearing dastaar (turban), I didnt really believe my actions had repercussions. For example, if someone needed help I'd be less obliged to help as I was just another person that people looked at suspiciously in the street.

However, when you take Guru Gobind Singh Ji's form you force yourself to be a better person. Your constantly reminded everytime you look in the mirror, or by the blood flow being restricted to your brain that you are a Sikh and represent the whole Khalsa panth.

Guru Gobind Singh ji said, my Khalsa (my nation) will always be distinct. If we cut out hair, and adopt Levi's and a Nike Hoody how are we distinguishable from any other person on the planet? To be distinct we must keep rehit, there’s no question about it. (Dastaar and Bana!)

Inner rehits are very important, but we also have an outer uniform. Designed to take away inequality, we wear simple clothes and tie a 'freestyle' turban.

Now, I've totally cut down on swearing and am alot more wary of how I’m acting in the outer society. I will always try and hold doors open for people, or give people way while driving. It really is a life changing aspect that is so often overlooked, just to fit in.

(Gurujot Singh from espanola in the picture)

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

Everyday I have these really exciting things to post, but when it comes to it I just seem to copy and paste stuff from other sites or type rubbish.

I think im getting old and need to keep a notebook with me to write down ideas.

Ahhh one thing that happened today, not too interesting but nonetheless still made me laugh.

I was at university, in the library. There are two rows of computers face to face, and i was working/browsing the internet for around 30 mins when someone came in and sat on the desk opposite me. The first thing i heard them say was "Whats that on your head?"

I didnt know wether to reply or throw a chair at the guy, but I remained calm and said "it's a turban". the asian guy said, "i've never seen one like that before".

After this a whole conversation ensued about different turban types and how the now popular "triangle/somasa" style dastaar came from the time when the British enslaved punjabis, and as sign of who was under their control, they used the triangle style dastaar to see who was faithful to them. we also talked about caste within the community and setting up a sikh society, as he turned out to a be a Sikh guy.

We talked about why keeping hair is so important, and he said he doesnt get face conditions when he keeps a beard but they come back as soon as he cuts it. It really was interesting talking to him, especially when he mentioned that he campaigns for khalistan.

Like alot of people we are disillusioned as to what we need for khalistan, we need Khalsa!

We need to be pure within ourselves before can even dream of having our own homeland, but if you think about it - if you are content with God inside yourself, that is your khalistan.

I think the moral of this 'story' is that its best to keep cool, and then you can assess the situation and act accordingly. If I had just got angry at the guy, it wouldnt have helped either of us and probably portrayed Sikhs in a bad light to the other people in the library.

Guru's Grace......

Lane changing and tailgating

Inspiring post, please read on:

These days I have been driving a lot on California's long and big freeways. Typically California's freeways have four (or more) lanes but even these are not enough for the traffic. There is heavy traffic even on holidays and even outside the cities. People try to pass each other frequently by changing lanes thinking they will reach their destination faster this way. Only a few move forward at a set pace and don't tailgate and change lanes frequently. Usually, these are the ones who reach the destination without much trouble and stress on the way and many times they reach faster too.

On the spiritual path also, people who remain steadfast on the path once they get it without changing "lanes" (read "paths") frequently and without "tailgating" (read "following what the majority of the people are doing blindly") are the ones who reach the destination faster and with less problems.

Once they get into the right lane (getting into the right lane being very important), they try to stay on it, no matter what.

Take A Step..

crn srin gur eyk pYfw jwie cl
churun suran gur eaek paiddaa jaae chal
If you take one step towards the sanctuary of the Guru's feet,

siq gur koit pYfw Awgy hoie lyq hY ]
sath gur kott paiddaa aagae hoe laeth hai
the Guru will take millions of steps toward you in welcome.

So what is this step?

It really is simple, do something the Guru wants. Be it stop cutting your God given hair, or start Amritvela (meditation in the early hours of the morning).

If we really want Guru ji badly enough, we will make sacrifices - we must.

A Day in the Life of a Retired Person

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Thought you'd might like to see what happened to me last week.

I went to the store the other day. I was only in there for about 5 minutes. When I came out there was a city cop writing out a parking ticket. I went up to him and said, "Come on, buddy, how about giving a senior a break?" He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi.

He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a piece of - well - lets just say that a not nice word escaped my virgin mouth. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes.. the more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

I didn't care. My car was parked around the corner.

I try to have a little fun each day. It's important at
my age, Right?

Have a good day everyone.


This made me smile, hopefully it'll do the same for you :)

P.S, the reason the template has changed is because I messed with the old template too much and was unable to fix it. This is nice too!!

Sikhs are a distinct people.

By Manvir Singh Khalsa

I am a Sikh!
I am born and brought up in this county.
The turban and unshorn hair is part of the Sikh uniform.

No-one believes me.
They think I am part of the Taliban.
They think I am an Arab.
They think I am supporting terrorism.

I keep telling everybody:
“No! I am a Sikh!
Sikhs are not part of the Taliban.
Sikhs are not Muslims.
Sikhs are not Arabs.”

“Are you part of Islam” people ask?
“Are you an offshoot of Hinduism” others say.
“I have never heard of Sikhs” says another.

I am not a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim. My body and breath of life belong to Allah - to Raam - the God of both. ||4|| (Ang 1136)

Sikhs are a distinct nation.
Sikhi is a distinct religion of peace, love and equality for whole humanity.

Sikhs worship the One Supreme Truth, the One Ocean of Mercy, the One Creator Lord.
Sikhs do not keep fasts, go to pilgrimages or pray to idols.
Sikhs follow three principles of constantly remembering the Lord, living and working honestly, and sharing with others.

Racists say “Get that rag off your head!”
Ignorant people say: “Why do wear that hat?”
Misguided Sikhs say, “Turban or no Turban what does it matter. Sikhs should move with the times and learn to integrate with society.”

“I think you are mistaken”, I say.
“My turban is not a hat.
My turban is not a mere piece of cloth.
My turban is a gift which I cannot discard.”

‘The Khalsa is my distinct image.
Within the Khalsa I reside.’ (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)

I explain,
“My turban is a crown blessed upon my head by my Father, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.”
“My turban is a crown of grace, dignity and honour.”
“My turban is a crown which protects my head, keeps my hair tidy and is the image of my Father.”

“It’s backward to keep your hair!” says one person.
“What is the point of cutting your nails and keeping your hair” says the cunning person.
“There is no significance in today’s world of unshorn hair,” says the Sikh who has been led astray.

The Naam, the Power of the Lord’s Name, is the Inner-knower of my heart. The Naam is so useful to me.
The Lord's Name permeates each and every hair of mine. The Perfect True Guru has given me this gift. ||1|| (Ang 1144)

Defending my identity and religion I say:
“You are mistaken dear friend”.
“My hair is not useless.
My hair is a gift, a tool, and a technology bestowed upon by body by the Creator Lord.

Each and every hair on my body has a practical and spiritual function.
Each and every hair on my body is like electric wires which vibrate and pick up spiritual energy.
Each and every hair on my body vibrates the energy, the power and spiritual force of meditating on the Lord.

The hair on top of my head protects my skull and brain.
The hair above my eyes prevents sweat and water going into my eyes.
The hair on my body insulates my body, keeping me warm in the cold, and cool in the heat.
The hair under my armpits prevents friction and irritation when moving my arms.

My nails are dead material, which are cut to be hygienic, or they would snap off by themselves gradually.
My nails are cut to be clean and tidy, and my hair is combed twice daily to remove dead hair to be tidy.
My nails are not part of the Sikh uniform.

“I see! That is amazing” says one person.
“Fair enough, I am sorry” says the cunning person.
“We have beautiful religion, a great gift given to us and we are so lucky to be blessed with such a technology and honour”
says the Sikh who was led astray.

Don’t hide your faith and idenity, share it with the world.
Don’t be ashamed of who you truly are, walk with your head held high.
Remember brothers and sisters your image is the manifestation of Guru Gobind Singh Singh Ji & Mata Sahib Kaur.

Be inspired and inspire others.

Guru Amar Das Jee’s First Sermon

Taken from Pr. Satbir Singh’s “Parbat MayraaN”
Translated by Admin

When Sree Guru Amar Das jee became Guru, historians have recorded his first words to the Sangat:

“If someone treats you badly, bear it. If you bear it three times, the fourth time Vahiguru will be on your side. The aggressor will be given such a punishment that he will not be able to save himself regardless of all his efforts. Vahiguru’s grindstone (of justice) may turn very slowly, but the grain is ground very finely (the justice is perfect).”

Then Guru jee read the 21st PauRee of Sree Asa Kee Vaar “Jit saeviai sukh paeeai so sahib sadaa samaaleeaai…”

He then continued,

“Be kind to everyone. Having pride over anything is not noble.

Consider the company (immoral relations) with another woman to be like the company of a snake or a murderous elephant. Never even by mistake go into bad Sangat (company).

Humility is the greatest weapon. Never speak badly.

Those who praise themselves are always lost. The path of dharma is the abandoning of slander (ninda).

Don’t spend or eat more than you need to. Also work just as much as you need to. Don’t do anything above and beyond the need for it.

Leave behind fakeness and hypocrisy. A life of false show is always a painful one.

If someone is a Sikh of the Guru, listen and obey him.

Loving another woman, even if she is a devotee of God (bhagtaNee) is a relationship which will result in loss not gain.

Go to and meet the Shabad of the Guru. Do not go somewhere where the Guru is forgotten.

Eat when you are hungry. Don’t fill what is already filled. But don’t abandon food either. Sleep when you feel very sleepy. Don’t sleep without feeling tired. Don’t pain your body.

Listen to the stories of the Guru. Singh Shabads and listen too. Don’t’ speak falsehood.

If someone is forgetting about the Guru, try and remind them. Speak to them from the heart. If they don’t listen, then it’s up to them.

Take the Guru’s words to heart. Give (the Guru) at least a tenth of your earnings. Keep the company of good people and serve those you encounter.

Before putting anything in your mouth, say Vahiguru. Vahiguru will bless it.

Those who have day and night japed Vahiguru, and left their ego, they are the truly high and good ones.

Controlling one’s desires is Dharam. One who does this is jeevan mukat (liberated while alive).

One who is beloved of God cannot ever remain bound by any restraints. He is free. He is above all tradition, custom, fortune, luck, and delusion.

Drinks Contain Fish Gelatine

I recently was told fizzy drinks contained fish extracts. I decided to email Coca-Cola. heres the reponse. Amritdharhi Sikhs should be aware of this.

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the ingredients in our products.

I can confirm that none of the products of Coca-Cola Great Britain contain
ingredients derived from mammals. As some practicing vegetarians avoid fish
products as well, it is important to note that some of our products contain
minute traces of fish gelatine,
which is used as a stabiliser for the
beta-carotene colour. These products are:

‘Fanta’ Orange (and Fanta Orange Z)

‘Fanta’ Apple Splash

‘Lilt’ pineapple & grapefruit (and Lilt Z).

‘Alive’ Orange Cascade

‘Kia-Ora’ Orange and Pineapple Squash (and NAS)

Minute Maid Froot Refresh (Mango and Passion Fruit)

I can also confirm that none of our products contain egg derivatives.

Yours sincerely,

Consumer Information Centre

Chandi Di Vaar

MP3 File:
Click Here!

Word Document with Tranlsation:
Click Here!

Chandi di Vaar by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh

Last week, a dear friend of mine and I had lunch together at one of the local New Mexico Mexican restaurants. We love to spend time together, hang out, talk about this and that. The week before, late one night, I was meditating on what’s happening in Pakistan - tens of thousands dead from the earthquake, millions without shelter and winter looming. The UN is pushing for financial support and the Associated Press is predicting a "second wave of death" in the disaster - from "people who could freeze to death, starve to death, or just be sick because of infected water." There is such devastation, such disaster that, in many ways, we have no power to stop.

In Sukhmani, Guru Arjun writes "Aath pahaar" - 24 hours a day, just keep the prayer going. In these moments, when the plight of humanity looks so bleak - there is tremendous solace in prayer. The Shabad has a power - a power that we cannot understand, command or control - but a power, nonetheless, to bring what is out of balance back into harmony.

That night, the prayer that wanted to be prayed was Chandi di Vaar written by Guru Gobind Singh about the goddess Durga and her war against the demons who had taken over Heaven. When destruction is so prevalent, so undeniable, so unavoidable - what can we pray for? That the Creator is with those who have to face their death - a Loving Presence guiding them through the experience. That whatever comes of this disaster, in the end, may it help clear the karma of the planet so that what is out of balance may come back into balance. Death we all have to face one day, and not one of knows the hour or the circumstances of it. But Durga, with her many arms and many weapons can remind us to pray for a useful death, a purposeful death, a death that serves to bring the Heavens and the earth into harmony. There are good ways to die.

I had never prayed the Chandi Di Vaar before that night and thoughts of Durga had been with me ever since. So, in the Cosmic Synchronicity of things, during lunch, my friend was telling me about a statue of Durga that she had seen in Colorado on a recent trip, and a gorgeous statue of Kali that was for sale on e-bay.

I love to collect statues of spiritual icons from every religion. In my home, there’s a wood carving of the three-faced goddess from Celtic mythology, a small kachina of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, and a black iron Buddha. Durga is a new figure for me - and I wished briefly I had the money to find and purchase a statue of her - but the joys of being a new homeowner require my financial resources to go elsewhere at the moment.

Still, these figures and their stories hold such lessons for us.

I asked my friend what she knew about Durga. She said she didn't know much, but I listened enraptured as she shared the story of how Durga was created fom the collected energy of many gods, how she was considered a manifestation of Parvati, Shiva's wife. The part of the story that really struck home, somehow, in a very personal way, was when she told me that Kali was born from Durga's Third Eye. And how, after the demons were vanquished, Kali couldn't be controlled. She just continued stomping around, destroying everything in her wake. To bring her back to her senses, Shiva laid down in her path and Kali began to stomp and storm on top of him. But then she realized that she was trying to destroy her own Beloved Husband and that shocked her. Shocked her into seeing how terribly she was behaving. Shocked her into realizing she needed to stop. Love pulled her back to her senses.

When life gets out of balance, there's a tremendous amount of pain, and sometimes in the fight to make it right, women especially can loose sight of when to stop. I see that in myself – the noble Durga fighting to restore the balance. And the even more powerful but less controllable Kali – who destroys just to destroy because it's what feels safe, what feels right – until she hurts someone she loves without meaning it, and that brings her back to her senses.

What does all of this have to do with Pakistan and millions facing death? Maybe it's a reminder that the destructive force, too, can become out of balance and we have to have have that wisdom to know – when to allow destruction her free reign, and when to temper that power, to call it back with love. We are a spiritual warrior people and it is a tremendous responsibility to study and understand the wisdom of destruction. I, myself, know very little and am grateful to see – for the first time in my life – how much I have to learn.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

All love in the Divine,

Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa

Extract from Gurmustak Singh Ji's Blog
Wasting Our Lives!

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.
And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Remember to always say what you mean.
If you love someone, tell them.
Don't be afraid to express yourself.
Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.
Because when you decide that it is the right time it might
be too late.
Seize the day. Never have regrets.
And most importantly, stay close to your friends
and family, for they have helped
Make you the person that you are today.


I got this in an email, but what if we were to substitute "Jim" with "Vaheguru" (God).

Everyday, what seems to be at an increasing rate people are so caught up in School/Work that they dont think about death.

Death is the only thing that is certain in life, and when we reach it we can pray to Vaheguru all we like but then its too late. Now is the time.

So from this day, why not start a meditation session? Depending on your free time why not add something to your daily prayers (Nitnem). This could be an extra Japji Sahib, or 30 minutes Simran - whatever you can do will benefit yourself.

The goal is Amrit, we should prepare for this everyday.

We never know when our time is up, so why waste what precious time we have?

Bandi-Chhor Diwas (Diwali)

Guru Hargobind Sahib with released Kings

The Sikh celebration of the return of the sixth Nanak from detention in the Gwalior Fort coincides with Hindu festival of Diwali. This coincidence has resulted in similarity of celebration amongst Sikhs and Hindus.

When Murtaja Khan, Nawab of Lahore, noticed that Guru Ji had constructed Sri Akaal Takht Sahib, 'The Throne of the Almighty', at Amritsar, and was also strengthening his army, he informed about it to the Mughal Emperor Jahangeer. He also emphasized that he was making preparations to take revenge for his father's torture and martyrdom. When Jahangeer came to know about this he at once sent Wazir Khan and Guncha Beg to Amritsar in order to arrest Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

But Wazir Khan who was a well-wisher of the Sikh Guru’s requested the Guru to accompany them to Delhi as Emperor Jahangeer wanted to meet him. Guru Sahib accepted the invitation and reached Delhi.

On their first meeting when Jahangeer saw the Guru, he was completely won over by his youthful charm and holiness. The Emperor decided to become friends with the Guru. So he gave a royal welcome to the Guru. But Chandu Shah could not bear it. His daughter was still unmarried and thus the rotten sore was still bleeding (that Guru Arjan Dev Ji refused the offer to marry his daughter to Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji). At Agra, the Emperor fell seriously ill. The physicians tried their best but they failed to care him. Then Chandu Shah conspired with the astrologers, who were asked to tell the Emperor that his sickness was due to wrong track of stars and it could, be cared only if some holy man goes to Gwallior Fort to offer prayers to the deity. He also pointed out that Guru Hargobind Ji was such a holy man and he should be asked go to Gwallior Fort. At the Emperor’s request the Guru readily agreed and left for the Gawalior Fort.

In the fort Guru Ji met many princes who were detained there due to political reasons. They were leading a very deplorable life. With the help of Hari Dass, the governor of fort, the Guru improved their condition. Hari Daas was a Sikh of Guru Nanak and he become ardent devotee of Guru Hargobind. Once when Chandu wrote to Hari Daas to poison Guru Sahib, he at once placed that letter before Guru Ji.

When several months passed and Guru Ji was not released then Baba Buddha Ji and other devotees met the Guru. They informed him about the despicable condition of the Sikhs, who were waiting for him with great eagerness. The Guru assured them that they should not worry, he would join them soon. Sikhs would gather and carry out Parbaat-Pheris, walking and singing Gurbaani, around the Gawalior Fort awaiting for Guru Ji's arrival out.

In the meantime Sai Mian Meer met Jahangeer and asked him to release the Guru. Jahangeer, who had fully recovered, ordered Wazir Khan to release Guru Sahib, who reached Gwallior Fort and informed Hari Daas about the message of the Emperor. Hari Daas was very pleased to hear it. He informed Guru Ji about the message of Emperor. But the Guru declined to leave the fort unless the princes confined in the fort were also released.

When Wazir Khan informed the Emperor about the desire of the Guru, the Emperor was forced to agree, though he didn't want to free the prisoners. So, out of clevery the Emperor put down the condition that "whoever can hold on to the Guru's cloak can be released." The fifty–two princes who had been detained due to political reasons or for committing default, were pining in fort for years. Having compassion for others, Guru Sahib was determined to get the prisoners freed. He had a cloak made with 52 corners, for each King to hold on to. The Guru left the fort with all fifty-two princes. As the Guru liberated the fifty-two princes so he is known as Bandi-Chhor (Liberator).

Gurudwara Bandi Chhod Sahib at Gwallior

A Gurdwara known as Bandi-Chhor is built at the place where Guru stayed during his detention. Jahangeer advised Wazir Khan to bring Guru Hargobind in his court at Delhi with great honour. Jahangeer had realised that he wrong for torturing and killing Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who had not committed no crime or offense. He wanted to exonerate himself by indicting this crime on Chandu Shah and other officers. So in order to show his innocence he wanted to meet Guru Hargobind Ji. The Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chhorr Divas i.e., "the day of release of detainees" . So in the evening, illuminations are done with Deewé (earthen oil lamps) or candles and fireworks. The celebrations are held both in the Gurdwaras and in homes.

Ripped from Manvir Singh Ji's Blog!