This weekend, Harpreet celebrates her 40th Birthday, and we are going for another Road Trip to Amritsar, we did this 3 years back when I turned 40, and we are doing it again and quite a few of our friends, colleagues, family are surprised – You are going to Amritsar, Not to Visit the Golden Temple and the Other Gurudwara’s, but to Eat, what kind of a Sardar are you?
Well don’t be surprised, we will, yes we will visit the Golden Temple, we will visit a few other Gurudwara’s too, but no we don’t think spirituality or our religion or our faith lies in a building. The building does represent our faith, our belief, but it does not lie in a building. There have been many poets over the years, who have written about the search for god, his name and spirituality, and one of the most quoted poems is by Baba Bulleh Shah where he says
“Ja Ja Warde Mandir Maseeti, Kadi Munn Apne Vich Warya Nai”
reminding us, on how we run into Temples and Mosques, looking for good, but we never find the time to look inside, where he really resides, in us, in others, in things all around us. These lines have been sung, translated, repeated many a times, and I was wondering if there is something about this in The Guru Granth Sahib, and today morning while searching for some lines, I browsed on to Page 385 and then looked for the Beautiful Shabad sang by Bhai Maninder Singh (Sri Nager Wale) which is the video above..The lines that caught my attention from Page 385
“so asthaan bataavhu meetaa, jaa kai har har keertan neetaa”
Oh my friend, my beloved tell me the place, where they sing the praise of the lord round the clock, they don’t stop..
“tirath jaa-o ta ha-o ha-o kartay, pandit poochha-o ta maa-i-aa raatay”
People I see who go on these spiritual journeys, I see them acting in ego, acting in guilt
I ask the learned, the pandits, and I find them embroiled in the world of greed, money, and maya
“saastar bayd paap punn veechaar, narak surag fir fir a-utaar
girsat meh chint udaas ahaNkaar, karam karat jee-a ka-o janjaar”
The Shastra’s, The Vedas have spoken of sin and virtue, they speak of hell and heaven, and the cycle of life. This is life my friend, in our daily lives there is anxiety, and performing these as Rituals will only entangle us.. the only way out is to sing his name.. and he will take us on our journey.
The building does not matter, the book does not matter, the name does not matter, what matters is acknowledging God, and his being there.. Singing his praise, and recognising that he is there in all of us, he is a part of us, and he is also a part of everything he created, to respect and to live with that is the only way, oh my friend, take me to the place where they sing his name round the clock, where his name is all i will hear and i will go with you on that journey, till such time, let me not get trapped in rituals, in the greed of going to the temple to wash away my sins…
I am no learned man, and I am no expert on spirituality, this is just my thought on things, I love visiting the Gurudwara, I love visiting a Temple, I love visiting the Mosques, I love going to the Church for a Mass, I love that people show me more, tell me more, and talk to me more about religion, about spirituality, of god, and finding him in ourselves, amongst us, as our peer, as our friend, as our lover, as our guide, as our guru, as our creator!