he Sikh New Year falls on the Sangrand of Chet, marking the first day of the first month in the Sikh calendar. In this blog, we will delve into Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s teachings for the month of Chet as shared in the Barah Maha Baani.

Be Inspired to Meditate

ਚੇਤਿ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ਅਰਾਧੀਐ ਹੋਵੈ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਘਣਾ ॥

In the month of Chet, by meditating on the Lord of the Universe, a deep and profound joy arises.

Everyone in the world seeks peace. As the English New Year commences, we make resolutions, one of which is to attain happiness. Guru Arjan Dev Ji teaches that lasting Sukh (peace) comes through Naam Simran, or meditation on Vaheguru. One might question how to find inspiration, guidance, or direction for Naam Simran. Guru Sahib Ji responds,

ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਰਸਨਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਭਣਾ ॥

Meeting with the humble Saints, the Lord is found, as we chant His Name with our tongues.

It is through the Sangat (company) of saints and Gurmukhs that we are blessed to engage in Naam Simran. When embarking on the path of Sikhi anew, Sangat becomes integral for seeking inspiration and guidance. Just as someone aspiring to become a successful business person finds inspiration in the stories of other successful individuals, we can find inspiration in the lives of saints.

Fulfil the Purpose of Life

ਜਿਨਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਏ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਗਣਾ ॥

Those who have found God-blessed is their coming into this world.

Guru Sahib Ji then states that by engaging in Naam Simran and connecting with Vaheguru Ji, our entrance into this world becomes successful. Gurbani tells us that the purpose of this life is to unite with Vaheguru.

ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥

This human body has been given to you.

ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥

This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe.

We are here to earn a profit, the profit that comes from Seva, Simran and Sangat (selfless service, remembrance of Vaheguru and association with the holy).

ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈਣਿ ॥

O mortal, you came here to earn a profit.

How should we meditate?

ਇਕੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਜਣਾ ॥

Those who live without Him, for even an instant-their lives are rendered useless.

Guru Sahib Ji says that the value of each breath is so much that even an instant spent forgetting Vaheguru goes to waste. We ask Guru Sahib Ji, that there is so much we have to do, we are responsible for family, work and various other tasks. How then do we remember Vaheguru with each breath?

ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਮਹੀਅਲਿ ਪੂਰਿਆ ਰਵਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਵਣਾ ॥

The Lord is totally pervading the water, the land, and all space. He is contained in the forests as well.

Guru Sahib Ji explains that Vaheguru is not confined to a heavenly realm as traditionally imagined but permeates everywhere, within every atom and all existence. To sense this presence, one must be mindful of the present moment, as it cannot be felt in the past or future. Through this awareness, even in everyday tasks, we feel Vaheguru and experience bliss.

ਹਾਥ ਪਾਉ ਕਰਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਚੀਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੨੧੩॥

With your hands and feet, do all your work, but let your consciousness remain with the Immaculate Lord. ||213||

Vaheguru is Everywhere!

Human nature inclines us to believe only what we see. Yet, just as we cannot see butter in a glass of milk but it emerges through churning, Vaheguru resides within all of creation and at the core of every being. The Nirgun Saroop (essence of Vaheguru) permeates all creation, and through extensive meditation, saints and Gurmukhs realise this. Their state of being becomes such that wherever they go, they experience Parmaatma.

ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਸ੍ਰਬ ਠਾਂਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

The Creation is in the Creator, and the Creator is in the Creation, totally pervading and permeating all places. ||1||Pause||

Two Types of People

ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਕਿਤੜਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਗਣਾ ॥

Those who do not remember God-how much pain must they suffer!

ਜਿਨੀ ਰਾਵਿਆ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਤਿੰਨਾ ਭਾਗੁ ਮਣਾ ॥

Those who dwell upon their God have great good fortune.

Guru Sahib Ji teaches that those who neglect Simran and forget Vaheguru live in fear of life and death. They suffer in their final moments and endure ongoing worries in life.

Conversely, those who remember Vaheguru live in bliss and face death fearlessly, like Bhai Mati Das Ji and Bhai Sati Das Ji. Despite facing severe trials leading to Shaheedi (martyrdom), they remained in bliss, remembering Vaheguru.

Yearning to See You

ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨ ਕੰਉ ਮਨੁ ਲੋਚਦਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਿਆਸ ਮਨਾ ॥

My mind yearns for the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan. O Nanak, my mind is so thirsty!

ਚੇਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਏ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਤਿਸ ਕੈ ਪਾਇ ਲਗਾ ॥੨॥

I touch the feet of one who unites me with God in the month of Chayt. ||2||

In conclusion, Guru Sahib Ji advises nurturing the desire to meet Vaheguru and serving saints who are connected with Vaheguru during the month of Chet. Show love and respect to the saints, and nurture this longing through Naam Simran and Seva.

Three Things to Do in Chet!

In this month, the first step is to do Ardaas to Vaheguru to guide us towards a Sangat that inspires Simran, Seva, and connection with Vaheguru. Secondly, besides Ardaas, we should make effort to seek inspiration through listening to Katha and Keertan on YouTube or reading books about the lives of saints like Bhai Randhir Singh Ji, Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji, Baba Nand Singh Ji, and others, readily available online. Lastly, we must reflect on our surroundings and ask whether the Sangat we're in is leading us closer to or further away from our life’s purpose. Through this reflection, we can alter our environment to nourish our connection and draw nearer to Vaheguru.

This article is a transcribed version of the video The Sikh New Year | Chet | The Barah Maha Series - #1 by Bibi Gurprit Kaur Ji.

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