n this article, we will delve into Saakhi #14 of the Sikha Di Bhagat Maala series.

This series explores the life stories of Gursikhs from the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Arjan Dev Ji, as written by Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh Ji.

The Story of Bhai Jitta Randhava

ਜਿਤਾ ਰੰਧਾਵਾ ਭਲਾ ਹੈ ਬੂੜਾ ਬੁਢਾ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Jitta of Randhava was also a fine Sikh, and Bhai Buddha, whose earlier name was Bura, would remember the Lord with a single devotion.

Bhai Jitta Randhawa came to meet Guru Nanak Dev Ji and made a plea. "I have met and heard sermons from many Sadhus and saints, but my doubts were never properly answered, and I didn't attain the peace I sought. Now, in your sanctuary, please help me resolve my doubts and bless me with happiness."

Guru Nanak Dev Ji explained that there are two methods to attain peace and bliss, both theoretically stated in scriptures and practically applied by saints. You can choose to follow and apply them in your life.

Bhai Jitta Ji responded, "Guru Sahib, please explain both methods to me. Whichever I can follow, I will adopt and apply."

The Two Paths

Guru Sahib Ji explains that there are two types of Yog: Hath Yog and Bhagti Yog. Hath Yog is the more challenging method, while Bhagti Yog is the simpler path to unite with Vaheguru. Hath Yog consists of eight parts:

1. Yama (abstinence from actions hindering spiritual growth)

2. Niyam (maintaining discipline or routine)

3. Ikant Desh (solitude)

4. Aasan (focus on posture during meditation)

5. Pranayam (breathing techniques during meditation)

6. Dhyaan (concentration in meditation)

7. Dharna (focus on Vaheguru)

8. Samaadh (complete absorption in Vaheguru)

Bhai Jitta Ji responds, "Guru Sahib Ji, I am a Sikh farmer, a simple man. These concepts are beyond my comprehension. Could you please explain them to me in simpler terms that I can understand and act upon?"

The Path of Bhagti Yog

Guru Sahib Ji begins to explain the elements of the simple method of Bhagti Yog.

  1. Yama (Abstinence) - In order to meet Vaheguru, a Sikh must let go of his pride or ego about his virtues, wealth, or powers. One must be very humble and recognize these blessings as gifts from Vaheguru.

  1. Niyam (Discipline): As a Sikh, one must adhere to Rehet, which is like a boundary on the road that prevents us from straying off our path. These boundaries are bestowed upon us by Guru Sahib Ji. For a Sikh, Niyam entails attending Sangat daily, listening to Katha and Keertan, and reading Gurbani daily. One can also listen to Gurbani on the go while completing daily errands such as driving or cleaning.

  1. Ikant Desh (Solitude): The solitude for a Sikh is to live amidst the world, not renounce it, but to see everyone in the world as a form of Vaheguru. Viewing people in this way transforms our interactions and engagement with the world, leading us away from the five vices and towards embracing compassion and understanding.

  1. Aasan (Posture): In Bhagti Yog, the Aasan is to connect oneself with Vaheguru. Regardless of the position you sit in, your mind must be focused in a single place - on Vaheguru. Although the mind tends to wander, our duty is to bring it back and refocus on Vaheguru.

  1. Pranayam (Breathing Technique): The breathing technique for a Sikh is to breathe in the teachings of the Guru and Gurbani, to hold the breath is to apply the teachings that you have absorbed by practicing what the Guru said, such as letting go of lust, doing Seva, and attending Sangat. Breathing out is to release all the negativity such as lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego.

  1. Dhyaan (Meditation): To accept the message of Gurbani as truth without any doubt is to meditate in Bhagti Yog. Focusing on and accepting Gurbani is Dhyaan for us.

  1. Dhaarna (Concentration): Guru Sahib Ji states that our desires cause our minds to wander. As we fill our minds with information, this information resurfaces when we attempt to focus. In Dharna, we constantly bring our minds back; this requires effort without losing hope.

  1. Samadhi (Absorption): After meditation and practice, the mind becomes tranquil with no activity or conversations. In Samadhi, the mind is entirely absorbed in Vaheguru and can concentrate on Vaheguru for at least 2 to 4 Ghariyaa (One Ghari = 24 minutes).

Patience is the Key

Just like if someone suddenly opens a water tank that has been closed for 10 years, initially smelly or dirty water might come out, and some of us might lack the patience to wait, assuming the entire water is tainted. However, those who wait will see that eventually clear water will flow, as that is what the tank is truly full of. Similarly, as thoughts enter our minds during Bhagti, we should remind ourselves - “Nothing is more important than me doing Bhagti right now. These thoughts will dissipate, but I must persevere.”

Therefore, Guru Sahib Ji says that while Hath Yog requires us to physically alter our surroundings or engage in external actions, Bhakti Yog can be practiced in any environment by bringing the mind to focus. This is the greatness of Bhagti Yog, and every Sikh must adopt it.

- End of Sakhi Bhai Jitta Randhawa, Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev Ji - 

You can help spread the message of Sikhi to people around you by using the leaflet created by the Basics of Sikhi team.
You can also check out our other leaflets on the Downloads page.

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