Sat Nam Dear Family,
If you ever get into the trap of thinking that you’re something, I challenge you to read today’s Hukam at the Bhog today during Sadhana Gurdwara
Shalok, First Mehl:
It is difficult to be called a Muslim; if one is truly a Muslim, then he may be called one.
First, let him savor the religion of the Prophet as sweet; then, let his pride of his possessions be scraped away.
Becoming a true Muslim, a disciple of the faith of Mohammed, let him put aside the delusion of death and life.
As he submits to God's Will, and surrenders to the Creator, he is rid of selfishness and conceit.
And when, O Nanak, he is merciful to all beings, only then shall he be called a Muslim. ||1||
Renounce sexual desire, anger, falsehood and slander; forsake Maya and eliminate egotistical pride.
Renounce sexual desire and promiscuity, and give up emotional attachment. Only then shall you obtain the Immaculate Lord amidst the darkness of the world.
Renounce selfishness, conceit and arrogant pride, and your love for your children and spouse. Abandon your thirsty hopes and desires, and embrace love for the Lord.
O Nanak, the True One shall come to dwell in your mind. Through the True Word of the Shabad, you shall be absorbed in the Name of the Lord. ||2||
Neither the kings, nor their subjects, nor the leaders shall remain.
The shops, the cities and the streets shall eventually disintegrate, by the Hukam of the Lord's Command.
Those solid and beautiful mansions-the fools think that they belong to them.
The treasure-houses, filled with wealth, shall be emptied out in an instant.
The horses, chariots, camels and elephants with all their decorations;
the gardens, lands, houses, where are all those things, which they believed to be their own,
including tents, soft beds and satin pavilions?
O Nanak, the True One is the Giver of all; He is revealed through His All-powerful Creative Nature. ||8||
Guru Nanak Dev Ji Siri Guru Granth Sahib Page 141
Guru Ji defines what a true Muslim looks like. At the time of Guru Ji’s life, hypocrisy was the standard. I guess he got tired of it and he laid out a fool proof self-evaluation of just how good a Muslim one was. Please don’t misunderstand, he wasn’t pointing out only Muslims; they were just front and center. He would have set His standard no matter what religion and/or lifestyle he confronted. And, yes, Guru Ji was fearless in his evaluation.
Naturally, Guru Ji’s standard challenged the status quo, the Muslim rulership of the Punjab. Their practice of Islam was greatly wanting. and Guru Ji’s standard let them know that. They didn’t like it very much. In fact, they had killed hoards and hoards of the captured for much less. Guru Ji stood up against this and he became the first “human rights” advocate. Life was a lot different back then.
Guru Ji took the risk to stand up to intolerance because he wasn’t alone. He was the embodiment of living trust. He trusted so much that he was the living arm of God Himself. Standing up to intolerance is Godlike. With true trust, God becomes the Doer. His protection is provided; His prosperity is graced; His deliverance is guaranteed. Guru Ji is the ultimate example.
Guru Ji is such an extraordinary example that only rare mortals can even imagine living up to the Guru Ji’s example. The recognition of this statement is where life changes, one way or the other. It takes faith, courage, guts, and fortitude to meet the challenge of total surrender. But, there’s a secret behind the door.
Once the first step is taken, if it’s truly in Guru’s direction, Guru ji performs his miracles. He begins pulling you up. He’s got your hand and is pulling you up with zero gravity. Once courage is shown, mercy is bestowed. So, my best advice is to not to think about it too much. Do this one thing to turn your life around. Have the courage to surrender to the pursuit of his example.
And, please, do one thing more. Never let our standard go. No matter how unworthy we may be, please, do what’s right for everyone and, be as you may, but never surrender the standard. Guru Ji stood up to this challenge and it worked our great for him, so, why not us? Our attitude and our altitude must be that the standards are on the top of everything. They are the one constant in the ever fluctuating world around us. The standard is our base and rock. No one’s doubt should hold any influence over our standard.
One of the great lessons learned along this path is that the standard of the Guru is the real deal. Just the pursuit of this standard gives life meaning. Meaning in life is a great thing. But, there’s more.
The Guru defined in worldly terms the must-be state of a true Muslim. Of course, it could apply to any righteous path. He starts out like this, (paraphrased) “Give away all your possessions. Leave nothing, let them be scraped away.”
This is the humility, courage, and faith of a true Muslim.”Then He went on to list many other virtues which must be inherent in a true Muslim. He left no doubt about the true nature of Islam, not it’s perversion. Naturally, those in power didn't didn’t like it very much.
Here’s the irony. Today, the battle isn’t with Islam, it’s with Sikhism. This Hukam must be lived for a true Sikh to stand up and be accountable. doing anything less and your are only practicing Sikhism. Leadership leads. And, leadership in Sikhism must be practicing the mandates in this Hukam in order to continue the relevance of Sikhism.
It’s as much the sangat’s issue as it is leadership’s duty. The sangat must demand this Hukam as our standard so that that message is delivered clearly to leadership. The first question for leadership to ask of themselves is: How much does this Hukam involve my life? Answer it truly and you’ll see what true leadership in this dharma is all about.
I’m not saying that this Hukam should become law. Not at all. At least not publicly. Privately, if you make it your law, you are blessed. Anyway, if we are anything, we’re tolerant. We tolerate it all. That doesn’t mean that we’re inactive, we just add a sense of neutrality to our action. The neutrality to recognize that tolerance shouldn’t be confused with acceptance. We will defend ourselves.
No matter what we think; no matter what we do; no matter who we are, please, don’t do one thing. Don’t listen to yourself. Keep this Hukam as your standard. Listen to this Hukam and dream. Dream of your potential. Project in Guru Ji’s direction with sincerity. If you really want to change your life, it usually takes courage. The courage to put what you want aside and take that first true step in understanding this Hukam. Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol