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We Are All Brothers & Sisters
Living Sikhi - Lesson Fourteen

by VERONICA SIDHU

 

 

WE'RE ALL BROTHERS & SISTERS 

 

Lesson Objectives:

1  To review the story of how Nanak became Guru Nanak.

2  To understand the first and second part of the message.

3  To begin to practice this message.

 

Teachers, ask the students to say the Sikh greeting with you; then fold hands and do simran with the students.

Ask the students who did not volunteer last week to say the Mool Mantar in Punjabi, to recite it. If all of them did, then ask them to recite the first paurri.

Do you remember why the quazis were angry when they heard Guru Nanak say "There is no Hindu, there is no Mussalman!" (Pause for answers.) Right! Because one meaning of what he said was that on earth, no Muslims or Hindus existed. But was that true? (Pause for answers.) No! Of course not. In Guru Nanak's time in Punjab, almost everyone said that they were either a Hindu or a Muslim.

Do you remember the meaning that the authors of the book gave? (Pause for answers.) Right! They said that Guru Nanak meant that no Hindu or Muslim was following his or her religion: that no one was remembering God or behaving in a Godly way.

Do you remember the meaning that Guru Nanak gave when he recited his great meditation/ poem, Japji Sahib? Right! Guru Nanak went to a different dimension from the ordinary one most people are on Earth.

What is the name of the place Nanak visited? (Pause for answers.) Right! It is called Sach Khand in Punjabi. In English, what is it called? Right! The Realm - or World - of Truth.

In this Realm of Truth there are no things, no people nor religions. There is only the formless, loving God who is All, One. In this realm there is no need for anything else, there cannot be anything else, because God IS everything. Everything that ever was or will be, comes from this "place" that is no place. This is very hard for some people to understand. But it is God's plan that everyone be able to reach this 'world', because it is our true home.

In Sach Khand, Guru Nanak experienced such great happiness that he wanted to tell everyone in the world about it. God gave Guru Nanak a mission. 

Do you remember what a "mission" is? (Pause for answers.) Right! It is a special job to do. Nanak's mission was to tell all the people how to become part of the God World, Sach Khand, The Realm of Truth. 

Do you remember where he put the 'map' to help us get there? Right! It's called Japji Sahib.

Today we are going to learn something old - what the first line of Japji Sahib is, but something new about it. We are going to discern what "Ik Oankaar", "God is One" means to us and to the whole world. This helps to explain the first statement, "There is no Hindu, there is no Musalman." When we merge with our Divine Creator in the Realm of Truth, we are not separate from anything! Everything Is the Formless God!

Then why do we have religions? We have them for the same reason we have colors. They are beautiful! Some people like red color in the rose better than blue color in the sky. Without green color we would not have the trees or many foods. Which color is better? They are all good.

Religions are made to help people, no matter what culture or country, to find God. Remember when I asked if you had ever been very high up and could see far, far away? Now imagine that you are on the tippy-top of a high mountain peak looking down. You can see all the paths leading up to the top of the mountain. At the bottom there are many paths because the base of the mountain is very large. But as the people climb higher, the paths run together until there is only one narrow path leading to the very peak. At the summit there is no path anymore.

People may begin their spiritual life in any religion. The more sincere they are in practice, the more they love God, the more they will find the kernel of truth in all religions. The Truth is One, like God. This is why, in the beginning at the base of the mountain, all religions seem so different and why some people fight over religion, because sometimes the truth is buried in lots of history or culture. But as people practice loving God, and open their hearts to God's grace and the Realm of Truth inside of them, they find they can talk to anyone on the higher spiritual path and they will understand each other. They are One!

In fact, when he reached the highest peak, the Realm of Truth, Guru Arjan, our Fifth Teacher says with wonder: "I see no enemy, I see no stranger!" All people are in reality children of our One Father/ Mother/ God. That makes all of us brothers and sisters, no matter where we were born or what religion we are. We are one family.

Is one color better than another? No. Each one has a special place. We can appreciate all colors. It is Guru Nanak's mission to help everyone reach the Realm of Truth. Aren't we lucky to have the map he gave us!

How do we show that we understand the Guru's message? Right! We PRACTICE IT! Do we make fun of others? Why not? (Pause for answers.) Do we say bad things about other people and how they worship God?  Why not? (Pause) Do we recite the Japji Sahib every day so that we can learn it? Why? (Pause.)

Shabad: Jo maagay thakur upney tae sohe sohe deyvai

 

Study Guide 

1   Nanak worked for the Nawab,___________________.

2   He worked as his_____________ for about 12 years.

3   His job was secured by his brother-in-law __________.

4   His marriage to ___________was arranged by his sister______________.

5   God gave Nanak a special job called a ___________.

6   Nanak left his job and went to a quiet place where he visited a dimension called_______________.

7   What is that place like?

8   When Nanak returned, his first words were: "There____no_________there ____no __________.

9   Guru Nanaki gave us a map to find the dimension where he received his mission. What is it called?

10 Why should we recite it?

11 "God is One," said Guru Nanak. Since One God is the Father/ Mother of everyone, then every single person is a child of the same God. That makes all of us ____________and _________________.

 

July 16, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Zorawar Singh (Richmond Hill, New York, U.S.A.), July 16, 2010, 3:24 PM.

A Sikh's life is three-fold - naam japna (rememberance of Waheguru), vund chhakna (to share your earnings with the less privileged, also referred to as the daswandh in which all Sikhs were told by Guru Gobind Singh to take out 10% of your income to help out the needy), kirat karni (to earn a living honestly and sincerely). Actually Sikhism's foundation is laid on bani, bana, seva, simran, and avoiding the five evils - kaam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (attachment), and ahankaar (ego). We need to follow Sikhi with humility and without ego and need to incorporate the image of the Khalsa as Sant-Sipahi (Saint-Soldier) in our daily lifestyles.

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Living Sikhi - Lesson Fourteen"









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