Yesterday I was working on taking some notes on old lectures I’d seen and I realized there were a few things I wanted to read up on. So I looked up some stuff (it was about chitr gupt) and it still didn’t make sense. I got more and more confused because most of the information I could find was only on forums. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib english translation offered me little information because the translation is only line by line- it’s just the direct translation without the context or background information. That’s why I’ve been spending further time now reading on things like dharam rai, dasam dwaar, anhad shabads, etc. In the process of all this I became frustrated at my lack of knowledge and wondered if there was any use in me reading translations if I still didn't understand after i read them. I also went to Sukhmani Sahib prayers yesterday, and someone I know said to me today (note she doesn't attend the prayers) that "if you just read and repeat, I think it's of no use." That made me feel like well then I guess I don’t know how to spend my time anymore.
Having had some time to think about it, I came back to my uncle’s statement that Simran is the way to everything. In Sukhmani we read “Simro Simar Simar Sukh Pavo, Kal Kalesh Tin Mahi Mitavo”= “mediate, meditate, mediate in remembrance of Him, and find peace. Worry and anguish shall be dispelled from your body” (translated from Srigranth.org). Obviously the more time you can spare for simran the better, but we have to work and have other responsibilities too- just remember to make this a priority. I still have a hard time getting myself to sit down to do simran. My mind wants to wander, and the first 5 minutes are brutal as my mind is all over and I force my body to stay put and not go on facebook or watch a movie or whatever my mind wants me to do at that moment. Then the mind starts to settle and it feels better. With practice, it is getting better. Which is the point of all this. It IS beneficial. If I was to say “well there’s absolutely no use in me doing simran if my mind is all over the place.” How will your mind learn? It needs practice! Give it the chance to practice. Similarly, I’m going to keep going to the Sukhmani prayers. Why? Because it IS of use to sit there. You are learning to read the prayers, and then you will start to understand too over time. You can’t master something all at once. At least I spent those three hours at the gurdwara thinking and focusing my mind on God rather than doing something that isn’t furthering my purpose. So I will keep doing other things like reading translations of shabads, hukamnamas, etc. because even though I may not fully understand, at least I understand something and at least I’m working towards understanding. I’m building up my knowledge and one day God will grant me with the understanding I desire, at the right time. The lesson I want to share is that we need to continue to practice doing simran and we will get better at it. Make an effort to understand gurbani.
Sidenote: igurbani is a great app for searching hukamnamas and shabads using the first letter of each word in the line; I use this to search hukamnamas and shabads and punjabi/english translations while they are reading at the Gurdwara. I have found the sikhnet gurbani app great for listening to gurbani and searching in english.