Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Gurpurb


courtesy of manvir singh

The Mist cleared and the Sun shone everywhere...
Thursday 13th November 2008, marks the 539th Prakaash divas (birth date) of Guru Nanak Dev jee, the founder of the Sikh faith. Happy gurpurb to everyone. May Guru jee bless everyone with Gursikhi Jeevan and eternal love for Waheguru.

ਸੁਣੀ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ਦਾਤਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਗ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਠਾਇਆ ॥
sunee pukaar daataar prabh guru naanak jag mahi patthaaeiaa.
The benefactor Lord listened to the cries (of humanity) and sent Guru Nanak to this world.
(Bhai Gurdaas jee)

Mist of Darkness

According to Gurmat there are two types of bodies - the physical body (asthool sareer) and invisible internal body (sooksham sareer). As the internal body is a spiritual being and not physical matter, scientists have not acknowledged it. When there is mist, one cannot see where one is going. In thick fog people are more likely to have car accidents because they cannot see ahead of them.Leading up to the birth of Guru Nanak Dev jee, the world was covered in heavy mist. When the five vices - lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment, and ego - go out of control, then the inner body gets covered with mist and darkness of corruption. At first a human being commits individual acts (karams) fuelled by vices, then it becomes habit which leads to it becoming the individual's character (sanskaar). When vice and corruption become part of one's character then one feels no shame and they see no wrongness in their wickedness and sinful actions. The repeated actions leaves an imprint on the soul. Humanity was crying out as its spirituality was lost and people became blind in the mist of Maya (materialism) and the five vices.

Clearing the Mist

Mist can only be cleared with light, however a small light like a lamp or torch would not be able to do this. In order to clear the heavy mist, the Sun must shine. When the Sun shines the morning mist clears. A small diva (oil-lamp) can only light one house and provide light to a few people, but it would not be able to clear the mist. There could be hundreds of divas (oil-lamps) and still the mist would not clear. In the world, there were many changing religious leaders, holy-men and prophets, however their light was not enough to illuminate the world's spiritual darkness.

The Divine Light Shines

The changing religious leaders and world prophets provided some light to the people but were like divas (oil-lamps) and were limited in their light. The Sun itself had to shine to clear the mist of spiritual darkness, Waheguru Himself had to shine His Light in the world and give spiritual enlightenment to everyone. The Sun, unlike a lamp or torch, shines everywhere indiscriminately. “With the emergence of the True Guru, Satguru Guru Nanak, the mist cleared and the light scattered all around. As if at the sun rise the stars disappeared and the darkness dispelled" (Bhai Gurdaas jee). Although the Sun shines everywhere, if someone is sitting inside with the curtains drawn, they prevent themselves from experiencing the Sun. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469, and Waheguru manifested His Light within him and revealed Himself to the world through the Satguru. "Waheguru placed Himself within the Satguru (True Guru); revealing Himself (to the world), He declares this openly" (Ang 466, SGGS). The fortunate ones, opened their hearts and allowed the Divine Light of the Waheguru to change their lives.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨੋ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਵੇਖਦਾ ਜੇਤਾ ਜਗਤੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
Saṯgur no sabẖ ko vekẖḏā jeṯā jagaṯ sansār.
All the living beings of the world see the True Guru.
ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥
Diṯẖai mukaṯ na hova▫ī jicẖar sabaḏ na kare vīcẖār.
(However) One is not liberated by merely seeing (the Satguru), unless one contemplates the Shabad (Divine Word).(Ang 594, SGGS)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Every year an organization called Sikh Nation organizes a blood donation campaign in various part of Western Canada.


To commemorate the memory of the victims of the November 1984 Sikh Massacre, the Sikh Nation started the campaign of blood donation in North America in November 1999. Along with our fellow Canadians, we invite you to join this campaign to save lives by donating blood.
Canadian Blood Services - CBS (Canadian federal organization) presented the Sikh Nation a "Top Donor" award for being the foremost in saving lives
.

-From: http://www.sikhnation.net/blooddonation.html

This is the second year that PG Sikh Youth Society has organized this campaign here in Prince George. Please take the time to donate, not only to remember the victims of the massacre in 1984, but also because there is an urgent need of blood in hospitals.

We need your help. Our National blood inventory - our emergency reserve - has dropped by more than 40%.
While patients’ needs for emergencies are being met, the reduced availability of blood is challenging some hospitals’ ability to serve the needs of elective or routine patients. Hospitals may have to resort to delays in treatment or postponement of elective surgery if the situation does not reverse itself soon.
Keeping a reserve of blood that can be used in case of emergencies or natural disasters is the cornerstone of a safe blood system. Because of our current collections challenge, that cornerstone is eroding. It may surprise you to know that even in good times, we only carry four to six days’ supply of blood to meet the entire country’s needs. Right now, for the most critical blood types, we are hovering around a two-day supply. This puts the blood system, and Canadians who depend on it, in a vulnerable position. Simply put, we need more donors now.

- From Blood Services Canada

Drop In Times booked for this campaign are

Wednesday Nov 5 : 1:30- 3:30pm
Thursday Nov 6: 12:30- 1:30 pm

at the Blood Donor Clinic on 2277 Westwood Drive (near Fabricland)
You can drop in at the clinic during this time or you can book an appointment by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (366283).

*please note that people who have been in malaria-risk zones, including India, in the past year cannot donate.

Thank you very much for taking the time to save a life.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

History of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji



Courtesy of Manvir Singh Khalsa
manvirsingh.blogspot.com

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (1708 - Eternity)

October 20th marks the Gurgaddi diwas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, when the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaaj rested Guru-ship in the eternal Guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. Saariaa nu Gurpurb di Vaadhaayee Hove!

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE HISTORY OFSRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JEEDhur Kee Baani - Divine Revelation

Waheguru created His own Guru-form - the "Shabad Guru". Only Waheguru is capable of having someone meet Him or reach Him. In order to accomplish this huge task He formed His own Guru-form. Waheguru is jyot saroop, which means has the form of light. A light brighter than a million suns. Gurbani is also part of that. Like the sea and waves - both are water, yet both have different functions and forms. Waheguru is the ocean, and the Satguru (the True Guru) is the wave, that washes upon our souls, and gently pulls us back towards the sea (Waheguru). In 1469, the Invisible/Unmanifest (Nirgun) form of Waheguru manifested His attributes to the Guru-form which was Guru Nanak Dev jee. Through Guru Nanak Dev jee's coming each and every person had a chance to communicate with the Creator and acting upon the revealed message could achieve liberation whilst alive (jeevan-muktee), whereas in the past only the rare few Bhagats who practiced extreme efforts on meditating upon the Creator achieved union with Waheguru.
Aad Granth Sahib (also known as 'Pothi Sahib')The Fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan Dev jee, accumulated the Shabad revelation from first 5 Gurus, 15 Bhagats and 11 Bhatts and 3 Sikhs, and recorded it into the physical Word in the form of 'Aad Granth Sahib jee' (also referred to as 'Pothi Sahib'), which was earlier form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. In 1604 the Aad Granth Sahib jee was installed on a high pedestal within Sri Darbaar Sahib, and Guru Arjan Dev jee from then on sat in the Sangat. Guru Arjan Dev jee showed so much respect to the Shabad-Guru that he would sleep on the floor and instead the Aad Granth Sahib jee would be placed to rest on the bed.
Aad Granth Sahib jee & Dheer MalPothi Sahib (known today as the Kartarpur Bir) was kept by the Sixth Nanak, Guru Hagobind Sahib jee in his house. From here it was stolen by his grandson called Dheer Mal, who intended to use it to further his claims on the succession of the Guruship. Some 30 years later the Sikhs of the Ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur jee forcibly recovered it, but were instructed by Guru Sahib to return it. But as the Sikhs were far from the town, they placed it in the shallow river bed of the Satluj River. From here Dheer Mal recovered it, miraculously it was undamaged The Bir was taken by Dheer Mal and his family to where they lived in Kartarpur, thus the name Kartapur Bir ('Bir' meaning 'Volume').Kartarpur Bir

During Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee's Guru-ship, Baba Deep Singh along with 24 other Singhs went to Dheer Mal (the grandson of the Sixth Guru) to ask him to return the Kartarpur Bir (the original Aad Granth Sahib jee that Guru Arjan Sahib jee compiled) that he had forcibly taken during the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib jee. Dheer Mal refused and replied, "If your Guru is the same 'Roop' (form) as the first and fifth Guru Sahibs, then why doesn't he fashion Gurbaani from memory?"Damdami Bir
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee stayed Talwandi Sabo (known as Sri Damdama Sahib today) for 9 months and 9 days in 1706 and dictated the entire Aad Granth Sahib jee with the addition of Guru Teg Bahadar jee's revealed Bani (sacred hymns), whilst Bhai Mani Singh jee undertook the task of scribing under Guru Sahib's supervision. Baba Deep Singh jee did seva of preparing ink and providing the resources for scribing. Undoubtedly, Guru Sahib got rid of certain unauthorised writings which had crept into some pirated copies and gave the Granth (Scripture) it's final form. As this Bir (Volume) was compiled by Guru Sahib at Sri Damdama Sahib, in Southern Panjab, this final form of the Granth Sahib jee became known as the 'Damdami Bir'.
Resting Guru-ship in the Guru Granth-Guru PanthThis Bir was then taken to Sri Hazoor Sahib, NandeR, in 1708 by Guru Gobind Singh jee. On 20th October, a day before Guru Gobind Singh jee physically passed away, he asked Bhai Daya Singh jee to bring Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee and do Parkaash (ceremonial opening). Guru jee placed a cocunut and 5 coins in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee and bowed his head before the Shabad Guru and announced that from now on the eternal Guru will be Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. Guru jee told the Sangat: “With the directive of the Almighty, initiated is the Panth. All the Sikhs are decreed to acknowledge Granth as Guru. Believing in Khalsa, epitomises the Guru as corporeal. Sikhs desirous to achieve me, (may) search in them.”

Friday, October 24, 2008

From Mr.Sikhnet.. An inspiring story


Getting Advice from Siri Guru Granth Sahib
News Source: http://www.mrsikhnet.com/
Another Fun and Inspiring Story related to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, by Gurshabad Singh Khalsa (La Jolla/Espanola). I know you are probably wondering what the below image of waffles has to do with this article. Well, you'll have to read on to find out.


I was listening to a Siri Singh Sahib lecture and he said "Sikhs do two things, they…." Just before he gave the answer, I stopped the tape to try and guess what he was going to say. I had been getting in the habit of doing this, to see if I was learning anything. In this case, I guessed something completely wrong, and then put the tape back in. This is what he said: "Sikhs do two things. They do Sadhana and they take advice from Siri Guru Granth Sahib". I took this quote very literally and thought it was unrealistic, and I wrote the Siri Singh Sahib a letter to tell him that I thought this couldn’t possibly be true. My rational was, how can a person, realistically, read from a book and get advice from it. I told him that I was going to put this to the test, to see if it worked or not. Like most everyone else I know, I had taken Hukams before, but I was looking at this more specifically as "taking advice". To me, there was a big difference taking a Hukam and taking advice. After writing the letter, the Siri Singh Sahib called me back and said "The teaching is true. Put it to the test and let me know what you find out".
Some time went by and I really didn’t have any need to “take advice” from Siri Guru Granth Sahib, until one evening. I had just started my frozen waffle business and the printer was going to print my first run of cartons. There was a bit of a rush to get these out and it was down to the wire to get them printed and out in time for the first run of waffles. At 11:00 pm that night, the printer called and informed me that they thought there was going to be a real problem with ‘holding’ the blue color with the four color process we were running. They gave me two options. First, was to keep it as it is, and risk having the blue color be very inconsistent and ‘spotty’. The second option was to go to a fifth color, which would for sure ‘hold the color’, but would cost significantly more per carton. At 100,000 cartons per run, this was going to represent a significant increase in cost. I hadn’t worked that into my profit margins and was very concerned about this. I was equally as concerned about not doing it, and having an inferior product. Concerned, I called some friends and consultants to see what they thought. No one had the answer. I was stuck and didn’t know what to do, and it was late and I had to give an answer. Then, I realized that this would be the perfect time to “take advice from Siri Guru Granth Sahib”.
So, I went into the Gurdwara, sat behind the Guru, waived the Chori Sahib and literally spoke out loud to the Guru telling him what the situation was and asked him what I should do. I decided I needed to ask a very specific question. So, I asked: “Guru Ji, should I print in 4-color?”. I opened the Guru and the Hukam was from Nam Dev, the Calico Printer. It said, and I paraphrase “God is the seed which grows into a tree. The tree has bark on it. The bark is taken from the tree and turned into pulp to make paper from, so Nam Dev, the Calico Printer can print on it”! Excited, I called the printer back and said “Print 4-color. This is my final decision. Please call me in the morning and let me know how it went”. The next morning, I was awakened by a phone call at 5 am. It was the printer informing me that they were “amazed” at how well the blue color held and the cartons look perfect. I happily wrote the Siri Singh Sahib back, told him the story and informed him that I had become a “believer” in this teaching. From that day forward, I have always dedicated a room or space in my house for Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and whenever I get into a place where I don’t have an answer, I always take advice and it has NEVER not given me the best answer possible to my situation. It is a gold mine of technology that can be practically applied to anyone’s life, anytime. Thank you Siri Singh Sahib for this gem and Happy 300th Anniversary of Siri Guru Granth Sahib! - Gurshabad Singh Khalsa (La Jolla/Espanola)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Metaphors

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

First of all, Happy 300th anniversary of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji's Gurgaddi Divas. I'll write more on the subject later.

I was reading Mr.Sikhnet's Blog today and about his deep reflection on a simple event that occured (read about it here). It is amazing how Waheguru presents deep "hidden" messages in seemingly simple situations in your life, like a metaphor in a poem. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is filled with metaphors, for example:



Anyway, here's my "metaphor"

Today as I was walking down the halls in UNBC I noticed a blind woman walking behind me with her cane. I opened a door and than realizing that it will slam in front of the woman I held it open for her. I held the next door open for her too. The weird part was that I was half expecting a "thank you" from her (obviously she couldn't because she didn't realize what I was doing!). I'm so used to hearing "thanks" from people when we open the door for each other.
This got me thinking about our relationship with God. Waheguru opens so many doors for us, but we are too "blind" and preoccupied in our situations that we never say thanks. We are never grateful when he shows us new paths, but we get angry at him when he lets us bang our head on a closed door. Obviously, he is so great and amazing that he never stops giving.

I would probably be less forgiving.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Inner Spiritual Fort

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru ji Ki Fateh

I found this video interesting from SHARE CHARITY on you tube. There are two parts.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events in Prince George


Sept. 27: Lecture on Gang Violence in the Indo-Canadian Community ( In Punjabi)
Given By RCMP
University of Northern BC
1-3pm in room 7-238 in the Winter Gardens near the cafeteria

Oct.5: CIBC Run for Cancer
Team Khalsa
Run will take place at UNBC from 9:45-11:00am

Nov 5/6: Sikh Nation Remembrance Week Blood Drive
If you are between 16-65m, please book an appointment on drop in between
1-3pm at the Westwood Blood Donation Clinic.
Sign in as part of team Sikh Nation

All of these events have been organized by the PG Sikh Youth Society in correspondance with Punjabi Canadian Senior Society and RCMP.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Locarno Beach and Granville Island


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh




I went to Locarno Beach and Granville Island with a bunch of other students/reserachers on my trip. it was kind of a sight-seeing tour. Here are some pictures.




I was kind of dissapointed at Granville Island. It had a lot of nice shops and a view of the water, but I was kind of expecting an actual island. This was like a concrete peninsula used to attract tourists. The traffic was unbearable and there were cars meandering around in the pedestrians everywhere. On the plus side, I saw some really nice gardens and "floating houses" in a pond.









Locarno Beach was really nice and clean. It had the perfect sand and not many people or pollution. It also had a perfect view of the mountains and city and took you far away from the chaos of Vancouver streets. I tried finding seashells but I found only broken pieces.


I like visiting Vancouver, but I would never live there. I can't imagine living for more than two weeks. It seems like everyone is in a big rush and no one finds any time to slow down and enjoy life. Getting to your destination also take forever due to the traffic. Drivers seems stressed out. There are also hundred, maybe millions (just kidding), of shopping plazas. How much stuff does one need? It seems like our society is used to buying something one day and throwing it out the next. And I don't mean little or small things. I mean huge expensive items like sofas, dining tables etc. Also I didn't realize how fresh and clean the air is here in the mountainous regions of Prince George. When I got home I took long deep breaths of "fresh air" :)On the plus side there is a lot of variety in Vancouver, meaning that there is a lot of different restaurants/foods, tourist sites, attractions etc to enjoy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Picture Perfect

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh


I took a tour of the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital when I was at a conference in Vancouver. One of the labs (maybe the Terry Fox cancer lab) had a beautiful view of Vancouver city out of the windows basically near the desks of the students/ researchers. Intertestingly, the students/researchers said that they never really notice or pay attention to the scenery.







Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life in the mountains

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Here are some more pictures from my trip to Vancouver. We drove and stopped at various serene and beautiful places along the way from Prince George to Vancouver. I truly believe that British Columbia is the best place to live on earth. We have all the treasures of nature in our backyard.

My uncle near Fraser River.

Modern Day Raspberry pickers at a farm in Abbotsford.
Still at the farm in Abbotsford.
An interesting picture in a Khalsa School that we went to near Vancouver. The title read "Fun and Interesting Games in Punjab" and also showed some other games/pastimes that they have. Don't worry this only happens if you don't do your homework:)


On our way back to Vancouver we stopped at a breathtakingly beautiful lake. I remeber it was called something like the "Garden of Eden" when I was little, but they took down the sign. The waves in the water looked like waves moving slowy through clay. .

Surprisingly there was a golf court built recently on the ridge near the lake. Whoever thought of that idea must have made a fortune.






Sometimes we would see a few random houses scattered on the edge of the highway miles away from anywhere. I guess they were happy living in the mountains. It is amazing how happiness means different things to different people.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Humility Needed

Waheguru Ji Ka kHalsa
Waheguru JI Ki Fateh

I found some interesting videos on Sikhi from You Tube. They were uploaded by Share Charity and one of the good things about their videos are that they are in English. Watch it below.
Just to let other youth that read this blog know, www.sikhnet.com and www.mrsikhnet.com are excellent sites to go to to get tonnes of information on sikhism in English. There is also a Youth Q&A forum where you can get your question answered. The sites cover a breadth of topics from translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to Turban Tying Videos to Youth Film Festival. The Sikhnet team does a lot to provide people with amazing resources and helps them get to their destination.

Humility Needed

Ask The Youth A Question

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

My blogging is far has been really passive in the sense I have just showed you a little about what we do and about Prince George. Part of the reason I started to blog is to get the youth to share their opinions about Sikhi, culture etc. with the general public. So this is your time to ask the youth a question. You can click on the comments button at the bottom of the post and leave your question there or you can email them at pgsikhyouth@khalsa.com. Either myself or one of the guest youth bloggers will answer the question on a post.
Ever wondering what we were thinking? Now is the time to find out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vancouver Cityness

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh


Some pictures of the trip down to Vancouver. I participated in a research poster competition.

What! It looks like Nihung Singh's brother from Sikhnet!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pictures of Prince George

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

School is around the corner for many of us. I just got back from a vacation in Vancouver. More pictures on the trip to come. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures that I took on Fort George Park here in Prince George. It has a view of Fraser River, a children's park, and lots of trees to climb:)





Thursday, August 14, 2008

Upcoming Events

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Prince George will be hosting Bhai Harjinder Singh (Sri Nager Wale) on Saturday from 7-9:00pm. The jatha is going on a tour of BC this weekend. The keertan will be amazing so please come ( I don't want to be embarrassed by the lack of sangat in the gurdwara).

Side note: This is the same jatha that played Raam Ras Pea-ray among other shabds that the youth learned over the summer (so the anonymous person ($$$) who leaves comments should come:)
P.S. I will be posting some movie clips of Rensabhi Keertan soon.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Prince George Happenings


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Shortly after the departure of the Baru Sahib Wale musicians, a fire broke out in a nearby mill leaving all 300 workers without a job.
The picture is from my bedroom where you can see most of the city.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Baru Sahib Wale

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Baru Sahib Wale came to Prince George on May 26. They were amazing! It must have took a lot of practice and commitment to get that amazing at so young of an age.

My favorite is the one on the right. I think it is a dilruba.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Explosion

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

One of the good things about getting up at Amrit Vela is that you get to watch the sunrise.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spring Blossoms



Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Memories about spring blossoms that are now gone.