Latest Q&As

How can I find time for Vaheguru Ji amidst a busy work schedule?

Gurbani tells us that while life keeps us occupied with various errands, the key is to consistently remember Vaheguru in our hearts. As we go about our day, this can be as simple as tuning into a BoS TV podcast while cooking dinner or reading a Chaupai Sahib with our little ones during the school run!

Do our earnings from this world accompany us after death?

While we work to sustain ourselves in this world, the wealth we accumulate will not accompany us after death. If there is anything that goes with the soul on its journey after death, it is the earning of Naam (the experience of connecting to Vaheguru) through Seva, Simran and Sangat.

How can I love my family but not be attached to them?

This path is very fine-lined! While you must take care of your family, in the same breath, you must not get attached to them. The solution is to connect with Vaheguru Ji, so that you are always depending on an ever-stable, unchanging source. This way, you serve your dear ones better, staying resilient in loss by acknowledging it as divine will.

Is it okay to hold back myself from progressing in Sikhi due to family or friends?

We often hesitate to keep our Kes (uncut hair) or take Amrit and advance on the Sikh path due to worldly relations, but Guru Sahib Ji explains to us that it's not the world, but our pursuit of truth that accompanies us on our journey hereafter. Do not refrain from building a connection with your Guru due to worldly opinions! The world is temporary, the Guru is forever.

Can't I begin connecting with Vaheguru when I am older? Isn't youth meant to be enjoyed?

Youth plays a critical role in habit formation. Gurbani says that rarely anyone who did not commit to building a relation with Vaheguru in their early days will do so in their last days. The next moment is never guaranteed and that is why, now is the time to commit to doing Seva, Simran and Sangat. Fulfil your true purpose while you are active and in good health.

I am old now, is it too late for me to connect to Vaheguru?

It is never too late to connect to Vaheguru. Gurbani says,

ਅਜਹੂ ਕਛੁ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ਨਹੀ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵੈ ॥

Even now, no harm has been done, if you will only sing God's Praises.

Even if you have one breath left, there is a possibility of connecting to Vaheguru and finding your true purpose. So If you have still got breath, you have still got opportunity. Surrender to the Guru’s command and build a life of Seva, Simran and Sangat.

What should I do if my Mind Wanders when Doing Paath / Simran?

During Simran, thoughts will pop up, and you just need to let them go. If your mind wanders, don't be hard on yourself. Just ignore it and go back to Simran. If you're finding it hard to focus because you're saying Simran in your mind, try saying it out loud so you can hear it better. Don't think that you're bad if your mind wanders. Gently bring it back and keep going. 

What are the Ten Qualities of a Dharmik (Righteous) Person?

The ten qualities of a Dharmik Person are,

  • Khima - Forgiving nature
  • Ahinsa - Non-violence
  • Daya - Compassionate nature
  • Mridh - Speaking sweetly, polite nature
  • Sat Bachan - Speaking the truth
  • Tap - Meditation, penance, Seva (Selfless service)
  • Daan - Giving nature
  • Seel - Calm and patient nature
  • Soch - Pure
  • Trisna Bina - Without any desire

We should all attempt to bring these ten qualities into our lives. To learn more about these qualities and what the realm of Dharam (Dharam Khand) is, check out our article on the Ten Qualities of Dharmik Person.


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Can We Wear a Gold Kara?

Unlike Sarabloh (iron), gold is not a strong metal. Gold is a malleable metal, which makes it unfit to serve the multiple purposes of a Kara. A Kara is a strong defensive and protective Shastar (handheld weapon). It can be seen as a spiritual handcuff on our wrist as a reminder to do the right thing. If wearing a Sarbloh Kara gives your arm a medical reaction, you should wear steel, not gold.

Is It OK to Do Ardaas Sitting Down?

No, we cannot do a formal Ardaas (a humble request) sitting down. The Maryada (system of discipline) is to do Ardaas standing up because we are present during that period. Some people may be lying down or sleeping. But the ones who stand are present in Ardaas. For example, at the time of marriage, the people partaking in the Ardaas stand up. The couple and their parents stand up in Ardaas. They are accounted as present in the Ardaas and if the whole Sangat stood up during that Ardaas, they would all be accounted as present too. So it is important as it is the Maryada. 

You can watch Bhai Jagraj Singh explain this in the video below:


How Did Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Get Shaheedi (Martyrdom) and What Can We Learn?

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was beheaded by the executioner named Jalaal-Din in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji teaches us that nothing is permanent in this world, not even our life. After witnessing the Shaheedi (Martyrdom) of their three Gursikhs (Sikhs of the Guru) in front of their eyes, Guru Ji lived up to their name by not only mastering the use of a sword but also by sacrificing their life to the Tegh (Sword) so that others could continue to practice their faith. 


Which Three Sikhs Became Shaheed (Martyred) Right Before Guru Teg Bahadur Ji?

Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Sati Das Ji and Bhai Dayala Ji. Bhai Mati Das Ji was sawed (cut in half) alive. Bhai Sati Das Ji was burned alive and Bhai Dayala Ji was boiled alive in hot water. 


How Can We Build a Relationship with Gurbani?

By considering both the quality and quantity of our time spent with Gurbani, we can begin to immerse ourselves more into it. Also by reading more Gurbani, we start to understand Gurbani more and thus strengthen our relationship with Guru Sahib Ji. Along with financial Dasvandh, dedicating at least 10% of our day (2.4 hours) towards Guru Sahib Ji and Gurbani, is just as important. In addition, integrating Rehit (Code of Conduct) into our lives, makes a big difference within our relationship with Gurbani.

What Do Sikhs Believe about Christ’s Crucifixion?

Sikhs respect that Christ was Martyr (Shaheed) and had the ability to forgive the sins of others. We deeply understand Shaheedi/Martyrdom as two Sikh Gurus and many Sikhs throughout our history have given Shaheedi for the Panth. Sikhs also believe that saints who have reached that high state of Spirituality (Karam Khand), have the ability to forgive people of their sins. However, Sikhs do not believe in the notion that one must give blood in order to forgive sins. We disagree with the idea that one must give/sacrifice something to receive forgiveness. Sikhi teaches us that the forgiveness of sins comes from chanting God’s name which is within us and cleansing our insides with Naam (God’s Name). 

Why Pray Daily/Do Nitnem?

Nitnem is an extremely important aspect of every Sikh's day. It’s like a bath in the morning to make you feel strong and prepared for the day. Then, after being influenced by this world all day, we do Rehraas Sahib in the evening to reconnect. Doing Sohila Sahib before bed washes all the filth accumulated throughout the day and reminds us of our purpose in life. Nitnem is prescribed to us in the Rehit (daily code of conduct), meaning it is Guru Sahib Ji's Hukam (order) that we do our Nitnem every day. Doing Nitnem daily is like having a conversation with Guru Sahib Ji every single day. Another important aspect of Sikhi is to earn Naam, through doing Nitnem daily, we do this and receive that indescribable flavour. At the end of the day, through doing our Nitnem we please Guru Sahib and receive their Grace. To learn more about this topic, check out our article on Why Pray Daily/Do Nitnem?

What are the 8 Forms of Kaam?

 1. Sarvan - Sarvan means listening. You are constantly listening to someone’ body being praised. Such thoughts enter your mind through your eyes and eyes. 

2. Chitvan - Chitvan means contemplating. The lustful thoughts that we hear and watch get ingrained in our mind. Thus, the second form that Kaam takes is Chitvan.    

3. Baat Ekaant - Baat Ekaant means time to speak to a person alone, you want to have a conversation with a specific person in private whether they are the same gender or not.  

4. Kal Karan - Kal Karan means attachment with that person. You are becoming very fond of that person and getting attached to them. 

5. Parja Thampan - Parja Thampan means trying to associate with them anyway. You try to associate with groups or people who that person is associated with. 

6. Parapat - Parapat means to strategize on how to keep that person forever. You will be willing to fight others and sacrifice other things for this one person.   

7. Simran - Simran means remembering that person day and night. You will be constantly living in that person's remembrance.

 8. Keertan - Keertan means praising them day and night. you are constantly wanting to praise or talk about that person whenever you are talking to someone. 

Why Chant Vaheguru Mantra - Sikhs Vaheguru Simran GurMantar?

Bhai Gurdas ji states that

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਜਪਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਖੋਈ।

His Guru-manta is Vahiguru, whose recitation erases egotism.

He says that the word “Vaheguru” is the Gurmantar. By doing Naam Japna (chant) or Naam Simran (remember) of this Gurmantar, you will lose your Haumai (ego). Haumai (ego) is the biggest illness inside us that keeps us separate from Vaheguru/Creator. The point of Sikhi is to get you away from the sense of separateness from the divine.

What Should You Do if Your Mind Wanders During Simran?

Recognize your mind is wandering and try to stop it. Do not follow your thoughts and bring your mind back to doing Simran (remembering Vaheguru). Do Simran out loud, so that your ears can hear it. Don’t lean against a wall. Stand up and walk around if you’re sleepy. Wandering mind and you bringing it back to doing Simran is all a part of the game. 

Who was Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first Sikh Guru. Guru Ji had Guruship from birth since they were sent by Vaheguru to help humanity. They were born in Rai Bhoe Di Talwandi (now Nankana Sahib) in 1469 AD in the house of Baba Mehta Kalu Ji and Mata Tripta Ji. Guru Ji had a five years older sister named Bebe Nanaki Ji.

What were Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Udasis (travels)?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was one of the most well-travelled people of premodern history and went on Udasis (travels) to spread the Truth. On those trips Guru Ji traveled several places including across India, Tibet, Mecca, Turkey and Iran. Guru Ji traveled with Bhai Mardana Ji, a longtime Muslim companion, who would play the rabab, an Afghani instrument, every time Guru Ji recited Bani (teachings).

What are the three fundamental Values of Sikhi?

These values were emphasized by Guru Nanak Dev Ji as an essential part of Sikhi.

Naam Japna - Recitation of Creator’s Name: having a personal and internal connection with Vaheguru through meditation and Simran (remembering Vaheguru).

Kirat Karni - Earn a Righteous Living: work hard and earn a righteous wage and then share that with others.

Vand Ke Chakna -Sharing with Others: serving everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, race, caste, etc.

Who is Guru Angad Dev Ji?

Guru Angad Dev Ji’s original name was Bhai Lehna Ji and was born on Saturday, Vasakhi Sudi 1, 1561 Bikrami which converts into 23rd April 1504 AD. Guru Ji was born in the family of Trehan lineage. Guru Ji’s father was Baba Pheru Mal Ji who worked as a trader. Guru Ji’s mother was Mata Sabrai Ji (Mata Daya Kaur Ji) and Guru Ji was born at a place called Matte Ki Serai (Nagge Di Serai), Ferozepur. Guru Ji got married to Mata Khivi Ji of Khadur Sahib at a young age and had two sons, Baba Dasu Ji and Baba Datu Ji. Guru Ji also had two daughters, Bibi Amro Ji and Bibi Anokhi Ji.

How did Bhai Lehna Ji discover Sikhi?

One day, Bhai Lehna Ji heard Bhai Jodh Singh Ji singing the following Shabad (hymns) of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s


ਜਿਤੁ ਸੇਵਿਐ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਤੇਰੀ ਦਰਗਹ ਚਲੈ ਮਾਣੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Serving Him, peace is obtained; you shall go to His Court with honor. ||1||Pause||


Bhai Lehna Ji felt as if he had found his spiritual home. He traveled to Kartarpur Sahib to visit Guru Nanak Dev Ji and stayed to selflessly serve his Guru. Bhai Lehna Ji did anything Guru Sahib asked of him without hesitation.At the age of 35, after seven years doing seva, Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave Bhai Lehna Ji the name Angad, which means “the limb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji” and installed him as the second Sikh guru.

What did Guru Angad Dev Ji focus on as Guru?

At the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, there was a basic Punjabi alphabet. Guru Angad Dev Ji further developed the alphabet to give us the Gurmukhi script that we have today. The Gurmukhi alphabet helped to maintain the purity of Gurbani. The name “Gurmukhi,” means “Guru’s script.” While Sanskrit was taught to high-caste Hindus, Gurmukhi was made accessible to everyone. This allowed people from any background to understand Sikhi and Gurbani. Building on Their love for seva, Guru Angad Dev Ji started schools to help the underprivileged, teaching them Gurmukhi personally.

Who was Guru Amar Das Ji?

Guru Amar Das Ji is the third Guru of Sikhs. Guru Ji was born into the family of Bhalle lineage of the Kshatriya clan in Barsake, near Amritsar. Guru Amar Das Ji was born a few months before Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the same year of 1469 AD. They became the 3rd Guru at the age of 82 years 11 months 10 days, after serving Guru Angad Dev Ji for 12 years. Guru Ji formalized the practice of Langar (free communal food), uplifted the status of women in the society by getting Sikh women involved in preaching the Sikh Dharam, and banning the practice of Sati (widow throwing herself into her husband’s pyre) and wearing a Purdha (veil).

Who was Guru Ram Das Ji?

Bhai Ram Das Ji, who later became Guru Ram Das Ji, had a heartbreaking and difficult childhood. Born to Baba Hari Das Ji and Mata Daya Kaur Ji Chuna Mandi, Lahore on Thursday, Katak Vedi 2, 1591 BK (2nd November 1534 AD), he was orphaned at the age of 7. 


His maternal grandmother took him back to her village Basarke, near Amritsar, where they struggled to make ends meet. Bhai Ram Das Ji made his living selling roasted chickpeas. Similar to Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Sacha Sauda (True Bargain), once, when Bhai Ram Das Ji came across some starving saints, he offered them his chickpeas for free and went home without any earnings.


How did Guru Ram Das Ji discover Sikhi?

Basarke is also the village where Bhai Amar Das Ji (who would later become Guru Amar Das Ji) lived. Bhai Amar Das Ji instantly took a liking to Bhai Ram Das Ji and told his grandmother that he would be available to help the family with anything they needed. Bhai Ram Das Ji followed Guru Amar Das Ji to Goindwal Sahib, where he became a dedicated Sevadar (one who selflessly serves). Over the years, Bhai Ram Das Ji grew very close with Guru Sahib and Their family. Guru Ji married Guru Amar Das Ji’s daughter Bibi Bhani Ji.

How did Guru Ram Das Ji become Guru?

Guru Amar Das Ji was debating which of Their son-in-laws, Bhai Ram Das Ji or Bhai Rama Ji, to make Guru. Both were dedicated Sevadars. To ensure that there was no conflict, Guru Sahib worked to make the selection process transparent. Guru Ji asked Bhai Ram Das Ji and Bhai Rama to construct a platform. Guru Sahib inspected the platforms and said They wanted Bhai Rama Ji and Bhai Ram Das ji to try again. 3 days later, Bhai Rama Ji got frustrated and told Guru Amar Das Ji that They did not remember the instructions. Bhai Ram Das Ji, on the other hand, asked for the wisdom to do it again properly. Seeing this, the Sikhs were convinced that Bhai Ram Das Ji would be the next Guru for he had a love for seva.

What did Guru Ram Das Ji accomplish as Guru?

Creating Amritsar City - In June of 1570, before Bhai Ram Das Ji had received the Gurgaddi, Guru Amar Das Ji and Bhai Ram Das Ji went to speak with local leaders about establishing a new town. The leaders supported the proposal and Bhai Ram Das Ji laid the foundation for Chak Ramdas, which is now called Amritsar. The city flourished into an important center of trade for Punjab. Bhai Ram Das Ji helped create the Santokhsar Sarovar and started a Langar (community kitchen) as well.

Creating the Lavaan - Guru Ram Das Ji created the Lavaan, which are now used in the Sikh Anand Karaj. Guru Ram Das Ji’s son Sri Arjan Dev Ji and Mata Ganga Ji were the first to get married with the Lavaan. The Lavaan helped to formalize Sikh marriage, enabling Sikhs to step away from Hindu Vedic traditions and claim their own identity.

Who was Guru Arjan Dev Ji?

On Tuesday, Vesakhi Vedi 7, 1620 BK (14th April, 1563 AD), Sri Arjan Dev Ji was born into the family of Guru Ram Das Ji and Bibi Bhani Ji (Guru Amar Das Ji’s daughter) in Goindwal. He had two older brothers: Baba Prithi Chand and Baba Mahadev.

How did Guru Arjan Dev Ji get the Gurgaddi (Guruship)?

From a young age, Arjan Dev Ji had a strong love for Gurbani. He used to do Kirtan on the Sarangi and was well-versed in the different Raags. Additionally, he used to do seva in the Guru’s Langar (community kitchen). When Arjan Dev Ji returned from a long trip in Lahore, Guru Ram Das Ji decided to pass on the Gurgaddi. Guru Ram Das Ji’s other sons were not a good fit. Prithi Chand had too much ego and desire, while Baba Mahadev Ji was too detached. On Bhadron Sudhi 2, 1638 BK (September  18, 1581 AD), Guru Arjan Dev Ji was appointed as the 5th leader of the Sikhs. Guru Arjan Dev Ji had the perfect balance of Naam (remembering Vaheguru), Seva (selflessly serving) and engaging with Sangat and community. Bhai Gurdas Ji describes in his Vaaran:

ਫਿਰਿ ਆਈ ਘਰਿ ਅਰਜਣੇ ਪੁਤੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਕਹਾਵੈ।

Now the Guruship entered the house of Arjan (Dev) who, to say was the son, but, he proved through his good deeds to be worthy of the Guru-seat.

What did Guru Arjan Dev Ji accomplish as Guru?

Adi Granth - Each Guru’s bani used to be compiled into separate Pothis (holy books). Guru Arjan Dev Ji decided to compile all the Guru’s Bani into a single text called the Adi Granth. He organized it by Raag. Guru Ji asked Bhai Gurdas Ji, a leading Sikh scholar, to be the scribe. It is estimated to have taken 18 months for Bhai Gurdas Ji to finish this task.

Expanding Amritsar and building Harmandir Sahib - Guru Arjan Dev Ji helped to finish the construction of Amritsar’s Sarovar (step-well with holy water) and oversaw the construction of Harmandir Sahib. The gurdwara has four doors, one in each direction: North, South, East, West. This represents that people from any direction and socioeconomic background can enter the Gurdwara.

Why did Guru Arjan Dev Ji attain Shaheedi (martyrdom)?

Jahangir, the Mughal emperor, and other Qazis (Muslim priests) were unhappy with Sikhi’s growing popularity. As such, people spread false stories about Guru Ji helping Jahangir’s son, who Jahangir desperately wanted to punish for revolting. These falsehoods gave Jahangir further incentive to arrest Guru Ji. Jahangir and his associates tortured Guru Sahib for five days. On the first day, Guru Ji received no food, water or rest. On the second day, Chandu made Guru Ji sit in a copper vessel full of boiling water. On the third day Chandu escalated things. Guru Ji was forced to sit on the Tati Tavi (burning iron plate). People poured burning sand on Their head and body. Despite this, Guru Ji remained calm and continued to recite Naam and Shabads. While being tortured, Guru Sahib revealed and spoke this Shabad:

ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀਆ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਾਂਗੈ ॥੨॥੪੨॥੯੩॥

Your actions seem so sweet to me. Nanak begs for the treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||2||42||93||

On the fifth day, Guru Ji asked to take a bath in the Ravi River. Their body was never recovered. Their Jyoti Jot (passing away) occurred on Jeth Sudhi 4, 1663 BK (May 25, 1606 AD. Guru Arjan Dev Ji set a new precedent in Sikhi. Guru Ji was the first Shaheed (martyr). The first person to completely submit Their body to Vaheguru and Hukam. Guru Ji set the stage for the many great Shaheedis (martyrdoms) to come.

Who was Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji?

Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji is the Sixth guru of the Sikhs. Guru Ji was born on Sunday, Harh Vadi 1, 1652 B ie 6th June 1595 AD in Guru Ki Vadali, Amritsar Sahib in the house of Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Mata Ganga Ji. Guru Ji was born with the blessing of Baba Buddha Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji gave the Gurgaddi (guruship) to Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji when they was 9 years 11 months and 9 days on Jeth Vadi 8, 1663 B ie 15 May 1605 AD at Kothri Sahib near Akal Takhat, Amritsar Sahib.

What is Miri Piri?

Miri and Piri are the two swords adorn by Guru Hargobind Singh Ji, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs. Miri represents temporal authority and Piri represents spiritual authority. The concept of Miri Piri brought a change into the Sikh Faith by establishing a Sikh army, adorning weapons and inspiring the Sikhs to adorn weapons and learn martial arts as well. Guru Sahib was the first Guru to fight wars against the Mughals, and they won every battle. Thus, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji known as Miri Piri de Malik (the King of the temporal and spiritual powers).

What is Akal Takht?

Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji constructed Sri Akal Takht in 5 Harh 1663 B ie. 1609 AD to the side of Harmandir Sahib. Akal means timeless and Takhat means throne in Persian. Thus, Akaal Takht means the Throne of the Timeless Being, where all political, religious and other matters of the Sikh Panth (community) are decided here by the collective Panth. This practice is still ongoing today. This denotes the sovereignty of the Khalsa Panth.

Why do Sikhs Celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas?

As Guru Ji’s influence began to spread, Jahangir and the Mughals were stressed that Guru Ji was undermining their authority. Jahangir asked Guru Ji to pay a fine which Guru Arjan Dev Ji owed. Guru Ji declined to pay this unjust fee and was imprisoned in Gwalior Fort from 1609 to 1612 when They were between 14 and 17-years-old. Mian Mir, a respected Muslim saint with a love for Guru Ji, decided to ask Jahangir to free Them. Jahangir agreed to free Guru Ji. However, Guru Ji refused to leave until all the imprisoned Rajas with Them were also freed. Jahangir said that any one who could hold Guru Ji’s dress could leave. So, Guru Ji had a cloak with 52 tassels custom-made. Each ruler could thus hold on to the outfit and be released. The date of Guru Ji’s release came to be known as Bandi Chhor Divas.

Who was Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji?

Guru Har Rai Ji was born in the house of Baba Gurditta Ji (the son of Guru Hargobind Singh Ji) and Mata Nihal Kaur Ji in Kiratpur Sahib. Guru Ji had a brother named Dhir Mal. Guru Har Rai Ji was very close to their grandfather Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, the sixth Guru. Guru Har Rai Ji became the seventh Sikh Guru at the age of eight. Guru Har Rai Ji was married to Mata Krishan Kaur Ji and had two sons, Baba Ram Rai Ji and Guru Har Krishan Ji. Guru Ji is known for their compassion towards everyone including animals, flowers and other non-living things. Guru Ji was well versed in traditional medicine and established a medicine dispensary as well.

Who was Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji?

Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji is the eighth Guru of the Sikhs and they were the youngest Guru out of all the ten Gurus. Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji was the youngest son of Guru Har Rai Ji, the seventh Sikh Guru, and Mata Krishan Ji. Guru Ji was born on 14th July, 1656 in Kiratpur Sahib. At the age of five, Guru Har Krishan Ji became the youngest Sikh Guru, with the shortest period of Guruship of only 2 years and 5 months. Guru Ji immersed into the Eternal Light before turning eight years of age 6th April 1664 AD at the place which is now Gurdwara Bala Sahib, Delhi.

Who was Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji?

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji is the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji lived a life of bravery, accepting Vaheguru’s Hukam (will), and advocating for Freedom of Religion. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was born in the house of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and Mata Nanaki Ji on 12th April, 1621 AD. Guru Ji got married to Mata Gujri Ji. They were the father of the tenth Sikh Guru,Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Ji is known as Hind di Chadar (the protector of Hindustan) because they sacrificed themselves to protect the honor of Kashmiri Pandits and to save Hindu religion. Guru Ji became Shaheed (martyr) on 19th December 1675 AD at Chandni Chowk, Delhi. This place is known as Gurdwara Sri Sis Ganj Sahib now. Guru Ji’s famous composition is known as Salok Mahalla 9.

What is the significance of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s Shaheedi (martyrdom)?

Mughal leader Aurangzeb decided to make India a Muslim country. He began charging non-Muslims a tax and forcefully converting Hindu temples into mosques. So, Pandit Kirpa Ram Dutt and 15 other Kashmiri Hindu Pandits came to Guru Tegh Bahadur for help. Gobind Rai, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s son, told Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji that They were the best individual to help the Hindu pandits find justice. Guru Ji told the Governor of Kashmir that if he can get Guru Ji to convert, the pandits will also convert. On July 12, 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was arrested. Guru Ji was brought to Sirhind. In Sirhind, the Governor kept Guru Ji in prison for four months as leading Islamic individuals tried to convince Guru Ji to convert. Guru Ji did not change Their mind, which infuriated Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb decided to bring Guru Ji to Delhi in a cage. The Qazi (Muslim priest) gave a Fatwa (religious order) that Guru Ji embrace Islam, show a miracle to prove Their divinity, or be prepared to die. Guru Ji still didn’t bow down to fear and convert. Guru Ji became Shaheed (martyr) on Maghar Sudi 5, 1732B i.e. 19th December 1675 AD at Chandni Chowk, Delhi. This place is known as Gurdwara Sri Sis Ganj Sahib now.So many people have given their life to protect their religion and community. Guru Ji gave Their life to protect people from a completely separate religion. While Guru Ji did not wear a Janeyu (sacred Hindu thread), Guru Ji achieved martyrdom so that others could have the right to wear it. This one-of-a-kind Shaheedi (martyrdom) clearly embodies the Sikhi values of equality and prioritizing justice.

Who was Guru Gobind Singh Ji?

Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh Guru, was born to Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and Mata Gujri Ji in Patna, Bihar on December 22nd, 1666 AD. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji had traveled to East India with the family to do Parchaar (spread Sikhi’s message) and settled Their family in Patna while They continued travels. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was not present at the birth so Mata Gujri Ji named their only son Gobind Rai.

How was Khalsa Panth Created?

Creating the Khalsa - On the 1st of the Nanakshahi month Vaisakh in 1699 AD, Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked the congregation of hundreds of thousands of Sikhs “Is there any child of a Sikh, who is willing to give their head?” One-by-one, Guru Sahib asked for five Sikhs who would give their head to the Guru. Guru Sahib took them inside a tent, and some time later, emerged with blood on the sword. Just as the congregation started to disperse, fearing their Guru had gone rogue, Guru Sahib emerged with these five Singhs who were now known as the Panj Pyare (five beloved ones). Guru Sahib had offered them Amrit (ambrosial nectar) inside the tent. After they had received Amrit, they together offered Guru Gobind Singh Ji Amrit.The Panj Pyare are the leadership of the Khalsa—the Guru’s army of the immaculate. The mission of the Khalsa is to work towards “degh tegh fateh” or “food freedom victory” for everyone, regardless of gender, faith, caste or race. Through the Vaisakhi of 1699 and creation of the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh Ji solidified the Sikhi ideal of Sant-Sipahi (saint-soldier).

What is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji?

Guru Granth Sahib is the universal eternal Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the holy scripture of Sikhs’ that is treated with utmost respect and is respected by Sikhs as a living Guru and not merely a scripture. The original form compiled by Guru Arjan Dev Ji is known as Kartarpuri Bir and is called the Adi Granth. Later on, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji added the Bani of the ninth Guru Ji, that Bir is known as Damdami Bir and was given the  Guruship on 19th November 1708 AD at Hazoor Sahib, Nanded.

How is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji structured?

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has been standardised to 1430 Angs (pages). For the most part, the Shabads (Guru’s words) are arranged by 31 Raags. A Raag describes the musical scale, structure and how to create a melody. Each Raag reflects a different spiritual mood or tone and is sung at different times of the day. Within each Raag, the Shabads are arranged in chronological order by Guru, followed by the Bhagats (Muslim and Hindu Saints). The first part includes basic Nitnem Banis (Jap Ji Sahib, Rehraas Sahib and Sohila Sahib), Raag section and the other Banis at the end that are not written in the Raags.

What is the Purpose of Life according to Sikhi?

Our true purpose in life is to meet and connect with the one who made us, our Creator, Vaheguru. Before doing this, one must realize some simple truths about the soul. The soul is free from all distinctions, has gone through reincarnations and is a part of God. Understanding this, we see that the soul was once connected with God, but now it is separated. To connect back with God, one should go into the holy company of those who are trying to connect with Vaheguru and meditate upon the Naam. Naam can simply mean to connect with the divine, through chanting this Naam we fulfill our life’s purpose. Until we experience this connection happening, this is all just theory. Guru Sahib Ji came here to connect us to the divine and show us this path of truth. 

How Does Guru Nanak Dev Ji Show Humility in Jap Ji Sahib?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji shows such a Gareebi (humility) in Jap Ji Sahib (First Sikh prayer recited daily). You read it every day though you may not have noticed this. There are three Asankh (many types of people) Pauria (stanzas) in Japji Sahib. Guru Nanak Dev Ji doesn’t include their name in the Asankh Jap stanza, referring to all types of spiritual people in this world. But, amazingly, their name appears in the Asankh Moorakh stanza, referring to all different kinds of sinners in the world. In this stanza, the true king (Guru Nanak Dev Ji) says that I am a fool. In such subtle ways, Guru Ji shows immense Gareebi.

To learn more on this topic, watch the video by Bhai Harman Singh

What If Our Kids Don’t Want to Follow Sikhi?

Our job is to teach our kids about Sikhi, Gurbani (Guru’s words) and Itihaas (History). When they get old, let them develop their own Sikhi. They might go away and come back. As long as they know what Sikhi is, that'll be enough. Practice your own Sikhi and show them that you can accept the Hukam (divine Law). We all have our own Lekha (spiritual account) and we come with our own Karams (actions).

Is Multitasking Good For You?

A lot of people think that multitasking is a cool thing to do. There are some studies going on that show people who do many things at one time, get a false sense of pride thinking that they are doing so amazing because they are able to do multiple things at the same time. Studies suggest that multitasking could cause a breakdown or a burnout. It was very common that people would have the music on in the background whilst they're driving the car and enjoying the moment but nowadays we even try to watch a video or read an article while driving a car. This is taking us further and further away from experiencing Life, the Source of Life, and the manifestation of Nirankaar (formless), that formless One Divine.

How to Find True Happiness

We look for Sukh (peace), but we don’t get Sukh. In our minds, we have an idea of what we think we need in order to be happy. However, what happens when these things are attained and we still aren’t happy? Could it be that our desires are wrong? Guru Sahib Ji tells us that if you ask for the right thing, then you can have everlasting happiness.

If internally you are ready to not live inside this worldly illusion anymore, then you’ll be fed up with Maya (Ilusion). If you are not fed up with Maya yet, then you’ll continue to suffer. But at some point, you’ll get fed up. Do Ardaas (humble request) to Maharaj Ji (Great King, referring to Guru Ji): show me the end of this Maya. Let me find Naam (connection to the Divine). If you ask for the right thing, Maharaj Ji can give you true happiness! Take the sanctuary of God, if you want happiness forever. Naam is the ultimate Truth and the worldly illusion of Maya is false.

How Can We Manage Time/Life and Sikhi?

Sikhi and our lives are not two separate things. We're trying to ingrain Sikhi in our life. The way to do that is to start the morning in accordance with Sikhi and make it a part of your life. We are Sikh first, then we are doctors or students. The whole idea of  "IK '' when we say "IK Onkar '' (One Universal Creator God)  is that we want to become IK with the whole world and not just with Vaheguru Ji (Wonderous Enlightener) because the whole world is Vaheguru Ji. When we become one with this world, we become one with Vaheguru Ji anyway.

What Prayers (Paath) Should a Sikh Read and At What Times?

The simplest Rehit for someone starting out is Jap Ji Sahib in the morning, Rehraas Sahib in the evening, and Sohila Sahib before going to sleep. Guru Granth Sahib Ji starts with these three Banis, which are the bare minimum that a Sikh must do. Do not start thinking that “I am not good enough to do Paath '' or “I will start doing it when I feel better”. Paath will make you better. If you are ill, you don’t stop taking medicine. You take medicine anyway. Everybody should do Paath regardless of what they are doing in their lives. As we get more into Sikhi, then we can increase our Paath as we grow. We can do Jap Ji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Tav Prasad Svaiye Sahib, Chaupee Sahib and Anand Sahib in the morning. Rehraas Sahib and Aarti in the evening. Sohila Sahib and Rakhiaa De Shabad at night. As we grow more, we can add Shabad Hazare, Salok Mahalla 9, Laavaan, and other Banis when we have time during the day or add it to our morning Nitnem.

Who was Baba Buddha Ji?

Baba Buddha Ji was a Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and became the first Granthi of Harmandir Sahib Ji. In their 104 years of life, Baba Buddha Ji selflessly served the first six Sikh Gurus and was the teacher of the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. When Bura Ji was a young boy, Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited his village to do Parchaar (spread the message of Vaheguru). Bura Ji was grazing cattle when he saw Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Bura Ji offered Guru Ji milk and did Ardaas (prayer) to be removed from the cycle of birth and death. Bhai Buddha Ji became a dedicated Sevak (selfless server) of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the following Gurus.

Will God (Guru Ji) forgive me if I make mistakes?

Guru Ji is forgiving and always benevolent upon anybody who seeks forgiveness. The mindset that we should have is  “I may have failed in these great ideas but I would like to carry on trying”. The thing that gets us up is to realize that the truth and the wisdom of the Gurus are still here. We, as human beings, can fall short. The Guru is perfect. It is less about fulfilling and being the ideals, but it is more about trying.

Why Can't Sikhs Forget 1984? 

Sikhs cannot forget about the events of 1984 because justice has not yet been served. Ten commissions were appointed for this reason, but none of them delivered justice. The killers and perpetrators of genocide still roam freely, and some are even influential politicians. Widows and orphans are also still alive and suffering from the impact of 1984 without any support from the government. Some Sikhs who were arrested without reason during that time remain in jail today, even after their sentences have been completed. The events of 1984 remain a big part of Sikh History and current affairs, if you would like to help in this path to justice, then do the following,

  1. Educate yourself and others by watching the SikhGenocide84 Playlist on our channel
  2. Volunteer and support Sikh Organizations like SOPW, Khalsa Aid, Seva84, Ensaaf and more
  3. Learn about Sikhi, watch the videos on our channel and find out what’s so special about Sikhi.
What Happened In 1984?

In June 1984 the Indian Government launched the largest military operation against its own citizens in its history. This attack led to the desecration of Sri Harmandir Sahib and killed thousands of Sikhs. Before the attack, Sikhs protested for reasonable socio-economic rights outlined in the Anandpur Resolution. On June 1st, the day of the Fifth Guru’s Martyrdom, the army besieged the complex and attacked without any warning or negotiation. This attack lasted for ten days and was a direct attack on Sikhi.

On October 31st, Indira Gandhi was assassinated in response to the attacks of June. After this, her son and the ruling Congress Party organized three days of killings of Sikhs. Some have mislabelled this genocide as a Hindu vs Sikh riot, but in truth it was a one-sided killing of Sikhs. The government organized the transport of criminals to Dehli who were ordered to kill and rape Sikhs. The media also spread rumours to encourage hatred against Sikhs at this time. 

In India, the common person was socially and spiritually oppressed. Sikhi teaches us to become Saintly Soldiers who serve and defend others from injustice and oppression. The events of 1984 were targeted at Sikhi rather than any individual person. Let us all remember what happened in 1984 and the great sacrifices of our Shaheeds of this time. 

Can Sikhs have love marriages?

Yes, you can have a love marriage in Sikhi but there are certain restrictions. But before you do anything do an Ardaas (humble request) and you should tell your parents. Make it clear as there is nothing Gupt (hidden) in Sikhi. Get the parents involved, do a Hukamnama (command from SGGS Ji), do a Mangani (engagement), choose a date and get married. Don't go around like how people do nowadays. They're dating and hiding it from their parents. 

Can we change our Destiny?

Destiny is not something which is set in stone, Vaheguru (wonderous enlightener) doesn't operate at the beginning of time only, but is constantly operating. We cannot entirely control our destiny but our actions can certainly affect our destiny. We should try our best to follow our Guru's Hukam (command), by doing so we will be blessed and many things that were going to happen to us that were from our previous Karma (actions) will get reduced.

Why Do Sikhs Celebrate Diwali? Why is it Called Bandi Chhor Diwas? 

Sikhs celebrate Diwali for a different reason than Hindus and Jains. Sikhs light candles to celebrate the return of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, our Sixth Guru. In 1619, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir imprisoned Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji for political reasons. The Emperor later ordered their release, but Guru Sahib Ji refused to leave the prison unless the other 52 Hindu political prisoners were also freed. The emperor agreed to release only those who could hold onto Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s coat tail. Therefore, Guru Sahib Ji had a unique coat made with 52 tassels. Guru Sahib Ji was able to free all the political prisoners in this manner. Bandi means imprisoned, Chhorr means to release, and Diwas means the day. So, the day of freedom, known as Bandi Chhorr Diwas falls on the same day as Diwali.

Can You Teach Someone Daya (Compassion)?

Daya is already inside of everyone, as it is put in by God. All it needs is evoking and somebody to light it, to bring it out of us. But the only way we can inspire somebody towards that process is if we're acting out of Daya. We must act out of absolute unconditional love. Then that Daya will run over to them if they allow and open their hearts to receive it.

Sometimes our Karams (actions) are so strong that we are not able to allow anything in and it takes little extra effort on our part. Some people have to work harder because of their big load of past actions. Since they’re carrying such a load from their past, it will take that extra effort to help them break that down. We can take steps of doing the traditional Seva (selfless service) that Guru has given us such as waving a fan over the Sangat (congregation) during hot weather and washing utensils in Langar (free communal kitchen). Such Seva will help us evoke Daya that’s already within us. 

 

To learn more on this topic, watch the video by Bhai Baljit Singh

What is the difference between Radhasoamis and Sikhs?

Radhasoamis cannot be considered as Sikhs as they do not accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Guru. In their view, a physical Guru is needed for giving us Naam. They do not accept the Guru Panth and the Guru Granth. That is the reason that they are missing the essence of Gurprasad (Guru’s Kirpa).

The first reason why people are following such Dehdhari (physical) gurus is because they set an easy path for their followers with no restrictions or Rehat (spiritual discipline), which is where they are wrong as the easy path will not help us attain liberation and be one with God which is our ultimate aim. The second reason is that people have lost faith in Khalsa. The Khalsa is not in Chardi-kala (high spirits) as before. Khalsa doesn't understand their responsibility to fight against Adharam (righteousness) nowadays. 

Who is an Akali/Nihung?

Once Sahibzada (Prince) Baba Fateh Singh Ji walked into the Darbar of Guru Gobind Singh Ji with an Ucha Bunga (Towering Fortress - hair covered with layered pieces of Turban, adorned with small weapons), blue attire, and weapons. When Guru Sahib saw their son, they were pleased and announced that a Panth will grow by the name of Akali Nihung and dress like Sahibzada Baba Fateh Singh Ji. The word Akali means immortal and Nihung means the one without ego (also means alligator). Guru Sahib stated that this Akali Panth will be fearless, unique to the ways of the world, and is only answerable to Akaal Purakh (The Timeless Being). To learn more about the Akali Nihung Panth, read our article on the Rehit of Akali Nihung.

Are There Any Methods To Concentrate When Doing Paatth (Prayers)?

Your mind and Chit (awareness) should focus on the same thing. So, focus on what you're reading, understand and listen to what you’re saying. Read the Paatth out loud. We've got five senses and we should involve all our senses. So, look at the Paatth with your eyes. If you've got it memorized, then close your eyes and think about the Paatth. Say it aloud, so your ears can hear it and your mouth is focused on saying it. This way you will keep your mind inside the Bani. It also helps to do the Paatth at the same time every day. 

Can Sikhs have Interfaith Marriages?

This person is not a Sikh when they are bowing down to Guru Granth Sahib Ji. They're going around Guru Granth Sahib Ji and saying “you are the focus of my life” but they're not following Guru. Why are we making them do that? Just take them to a registry marriage and get them married. So, you can have an interfaith marriage, but you can't have an interfaith Anand Karaj. The Anand Karaj is a ceremony between two Sikhs and the Guru, two Sikhs commit to the Guru together during an Anand Karaj. Have your interfaith marriage if you want to. It's your choice, but don't try to force the other person to go around because you want to have a Sikh marriage.

What Age Should One Take Amrit?

One shouldn’t be too young like five or six years. It is better to have it before you start to figure out what life is about like before you get the age of thirteen or fourteen. However, there are rare cases of people getting blessed with Amrit really young. So, it really depends on what kind of a person you are. When you feel ready to give your head to your Guru, that is when you should take Amrit. Try to get it before university or college time because that is a very Dhilla (wavering/undisciplined) time for everybody. Everybody’s Rehit (Spiritual Discipline) suffers at that time because you have too many things to do and too many new people to meet. 

Is Sikhi a Man-made Religion?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was sent by Vaheguru, Gurbani is from Vaheguru directly and the Khalsa is Vaheguru’s army. So, none of these are man-made, all of these are divine-made. Guru Nanak Dev Ji became a Guru not from any other human Guru. They were made Guru by Vaheguru directly. Gurbani is a revelation from Vaheguru directly given to us. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the embodiment of Vaheguru’s light because it has got the whole message that we need to be enlightened. Guru Gobind Singh Ji started the Khalsa Panth upon the order of Vaheguru. Guru  Ji has stated in Their Bani that Khalsa is Vaheguru’s army and Khalsa works for Vaheguru’s Victory. 

Is Gurbani (Guru’s words) A Revelation Or Is It Just Gurus’ Saying Themselves?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji has said that ‘As the Bani of Vaheguru comes to me, so do I make it known to everybody.’ Gurus have said that Gurbani is a revelation and it is stated many times in Gurbani. One of the clearest examples is a Shabad of Guru Ram Das Ji where They say, ‘O’ Sikhs of the Guru, accept the Bani as truth upon the truth because Vaheguru is making these words come out of my mouth.’ Guru Gobind Singh Ji also said, ‘I don’t say these words, these are all your (referring to the Divine) words that you make me say.’ So, Gurbani is a revelation from Vaheguru directly given to us.

Is There A Special Way To Fight Panj Chor (Five Thieves)?

The five thieves are lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride. You have to keep fighting them your whole life. Honesty is the best policy to fight these five thieves. Most people are not honest about them. They try to hide them behind a fight. You have to face these enemies. If you are a lustful person and you keep saying that you are not, but your mind keeps thinking about it, then you are not honest with yourself. So, you can’t start to fight unless you face it. To solve the problem, you must first admit that it is your problem. Start it by admitting to yourself, and then take a zero-tolerance approach to fight it. For example, if you are a lustful person, you can’t say that you will not touch a woman, but you can keep watching pornography the whole day. That is not going to help you. A superman cannot fly if he has a bit of kryptonite inside him. Poison is poison at all times. You can’t allow a little bit of poison inside you. You need to cut it out completely.      

Who is Bibi Sharan Kaur Ji?

Bibi Sharan Kaur Ji is known for being brave and obtaining Shaheedi (martyrdom) while performing the Sanskaar (final ceremonial rights) of all Singhs whose bodies were left on the battlefield in Chamkaur Sahib. While she was collecting the bodies of the Singhs, a few Mughals saw her and did not approve of her performing the Sanskaar. Bibi Ji showed strength and bravery while she fought with the Mughals, which led to Bibi Ji attaining Shaheedi.  

What are the Panj Kakkars (5 K’s)?

Kes - uncut hair

Kanga - wooden comb 

Kirpan - iron dagger 

Kara - iron bangle

Kachera - long cotton shorts worn as underwear

What time is Amrit Vela?

Amrit Vela is also called the Chautha Pehar (fourth section of the night) in Punjabi. The fourth section of the night is between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM in the morning. It doesn't mean that you can't get up before that. If somebody wants to rise between 12:00 AM and 3:00 AM that's fine as well. But three to six is a common time that people choose. Amrit Vela is very important because the possibility of connecting at Amrit Vela is a lot greater and higher than it is when the whole rat race of life starts. 

How important is Amrit Vela?

The possibility of connecting with Vaheguru at Amrit Vela is a lot greater and higher than it is when the whole rat race of life starts. You get that experience and feel at that time in the morning. When you become enlightened, you'll feel it constantly. You won't have to only wait for that moment of the morning to have that feeling.

What Does Bairaag Mean? 

The word Bairaag comes from the word Raag – which can be translated to love or attachment. When the word Raag is preceded by Bai, the meaning of the word Raag is negated. So Bairaag can be translated to detached. Detachment is positive in that it is a realization that this world is full of faults and that one day everything that one sees and knows will all come to an end.

What is the Difference Between Bairaag and Depression?

Depression and Bairaag (detachment) can seem very similar from the outside. For instance, both a person that is depressed and a person in a state of Bairaag may lose the drive to make a lot of money or to have a nice house for their family. Someone that is depressed may completely lose all motivation. In comparison, a Bairaagee experiences a shift in the way they view things in life when they lose their ego, and they recognize the One in everyone. 

Why Is a Kirpan Used To Do Bhog (Swipe) of Karah Parshaad or Langar?

The idea of using the Kirpan (sword) is that Shastar (weapon) is a form of Guru. Guru Gobind Singh Ji has written in their Bani that the weapons are my Guru. By swiping the Kirpan in the food first, our Guru is consuming that food and it is making that food Pavittar (purify/blessed). 

It is similar to the concept of Charan Amrit when Guru Ji dipped/touched the water with their feet and Sikhs would drink it. 

What Is Simran? 

The word Simran means to remember. Simran means to unite with Vaheguru from whom we have come. When we repeat Vaheguru but don’t feel anything, we are not getting Naam (connection to the Divine). We get some benefits from doing it but are still far from union with Vaheguru. If we’re repeating Vaheguru daily but not feeling anything then we need to look at our life, as Gurbani tells us to search our hearts every day. Find out what the problem is and fix it. Ask yourself, am I living a good life? Am I a good human being? Am I full of anger and hatred? Don’t spend the time just doing Paath (reading daily prayers) and not connecting to the words. Speak to someone to get advice and find out the problem. Work hard to make that connection. You remember Vaheguru by saying Their name. Say Their name and you’ll find Them.  

How Do You Know What Khand (Spiritual Stage) Are You At?

Until we can’t hear Anhad Shabad (Unstruck Sound), we are not in Giaan Khand (Realm of Wisdom). We must try to reform and start to walk this path of morality and spirituality to be able to control our minds and actions. We are still at Dharam Khand (Realm of Righteousness) until we know self-control and have patience. Maybe we are not even in Dharam Khand, and we have to work up to get there. Guru Sahib has given many indications of what it takes to be in a specific Khand in the Bani (Guru’s Words).

Please watch Panj Khand Katha or Jap Ji Sahib English Katha Series  By Bhai Jagraj Singh Ji to get more information on Five Khands (Spiritual Stages).  

Why Do Sikhs Carry A Kirpan (Sword)?

A Kirpan is a symbol of justice in Sikhi. It demonstrates the Khalsa’s motivation for justice and freedom. Kirpan serves two purposes. Firstly, it is to defend ourselves and secondly, it is to defend the rights of other people. The Kirpan is God’s Grace on the Khalsa Panth (Collective of initiated Sikhs). The Kirpan is only to be used as a weapon of grace and never offense. It also stops a person from being a pacifist because most people see a problem and say that they can’t do anything. If someone is being raped or mugged, a lot of people would walk past because they don’t have any tools to help the other person. In self-defense classes, women are being told that if they are being attacked or somebody is trying to rape them or rob them, don’t shout rape, shout fire. People don’t tend to help them if they are shouting rape because people are scared of that situation. As Khalsa (Collective of initiated Sikhs), we can never choose to be self-interested in such situations. The Kirpan encourages us to be proactive in helping other people and not being reactive or pacifist.

What was the mission of Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the Jagat Guru (Guru of the world) because their teachings are inclusive. One does not have to be a Sikh to get into the court of our Creator. You need to listen to the truth and the message given. Guru Ji was enlightened directly by Vaheguru (God) Ji. Guru Ji was given a divine mandate by Vaheguru Ji to emancipate the world and spread Dharam (righteousness). In this age of darkness, Guru Ji is here to make us free from the worldly ocean. Guru Ji is ever-present and is so powerful. Guru Ji has the power of Gurparsad (Guru’s grace) and can bless us with Naam (connection with the divine). Guru Ji can elevate us to an enlightened state as there are many examples of great Sikhs who got enlightened in Sikh history.

How to Deal with Anger?

Anger is irrelevant to listen to. Paying attention to the anger doesn't help anybody. Listen to the point that is being said behind the anger. We have emotions inside us. Emotions cloud our judgment. Maya (illusion) manifests itself through these emotions (Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride). So, when the emotion comes up, do we have to react? No, hold on to the emotion and DON'T REACT. 

Why are there different types of Sikhs?

Within the Khalsa, different people like to do different things. It is not about categorizing them into different groups. It is similar to how some people like academics and others like working with their hands. Different people have different duties, and they are good at the unique skills they have. We shouldn’t be worried about people being different. We need the mentality that unity is different from uniformity. As a Gursikh, our Hukam (order) is to look beyond the differences and embrace unity.

What is the role of Sangat (holy congregation) if I want to connect to God?

Just like a phone needs reception to connect to a call, Sadh Sangat (the company of holy people) is our reception when trying to connect to God. When you're around people who are meditating and connecting, they act like little aerials as they already have a lot of reception power within them. Sadh Sangat allows you to connect much quicker to the Divine.

Why do we do Nitnem (Sikh daily prayers) every day?

Just like we can’t use a phone to call somebody if its battery is not charged, Nitnem is our everyday routine which is like charging a battery daily that helps you connect to God. If you don't charge yourself up every day, then when you want to try and connect, you will find it very hard. It's going to be like that phone with the last little bit of battery!

Why am I unable to experience God? 

If you happen to feel spiritually low, you can ask yourself the following questions to check where the connection is lacking. Am I fighting my Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahaankar (the 5 vices)? Am I building up my Nitnem (daily discipline of getting up early and reading Gurbani)? Have I got a good Rehit (code of conduct)? Do I join Sangat (the company of the holy people)?

What is the Dasam Duaar?

Dasam Duaar is the tenth door which is located on top of our head. There are nine holes in your body that are visible and the tenth one is hidden. It activates when you start meditating and connecting to a higher conscience. Guru Sahib says that the fastest way to activate the Dasam Duaar is through love and Naam Simran (calling out Vaheguru’s name).

How can I stop feeling and acting negatively?

We are a certain way because of what we allow to go into our minds: the types of things we listen to, the types of programs we watch on TV, the videos we consume on social media, and the things we read and speak about when with friends. These things have a knock-on effect on how we feel, and how we act negatively.

How can we get rid of bad habits and vicious cycles?

We should do Ardaas (humble request) to Vaheguru Ji to help us let go of the things that don’t serve us. A combination of a constant conscious effort to not let negative things go inside of you and doing Ardaas to Vaheguru Ji can help us get there.

What is Simran (the Sikh meditation) all about?

Simran has to be done through the power of consciousness. When doing Simran, we repeat the name of Vaheguru again and again. The consciousness wanders all around, but when doing Simran, we bring it back from other thoughts and use our voice to channel a desire within us to meet God. This can only be done through the support of the Guru.

What is a good technique to do Simran?

The word Vaheguru has four parts. So, whenever we utter this word, we must put twenty-five per cent emphasis on each part. The key is to not put too much stress and recite it with love, ease and contentment. With practice, our body’s distorted energy becomes focused and we begin to experience Anand (Bliss). We should begin with doing Simran for a minimum of fifteen minutes.

Is Simran the same as Yoga?

Simran is not a form of Yoga. If one decides to chant different Mantras without the support of Guru Sahib, then it would be like Yoga or other meditation practices. But we do Simran by the grace and guidance of our Guru, with a true desire to meet God.

Do we need a technique to do Simran (the Sikh Meditation) or is it just about calling God?

We can definitely utilize some techniques until our minds are learning how to focus. However, hopefully, after a few months or years of practice, we wouldn’t need these techniques. We can purely call out to Vaheguru with love and surrender. Reaching such an Avastha (spiritual state of mind) means that Vaheguru is forever present for us at this moment.

Why do Sikhs wear a Kara?

Kara is a technology to stop us from doing the wrong things such as stealing, robbing, etc. When you move your hand forward for a wrong act, the Kara warns you. Some people wear two, so, they are like handcuffs given by the Guru and serve as a reminder that we don't do the wrong things. The Sikhi appearance is designed to help us take the right decisions.

Why do Sikhs look different?

Looking different helps us to stay different because if we look like everybody else, we might start doing what everybody else is doing. Through our appearance, Guru Sahib reminds us that we're different, we've chosen a different path: a spiritual life. So let’s have the courage to stand out. It also encourages us not to do bad things with a turban on, as we are representing our Guru.

Why should we be careful of who we are hanging out with?

Guru Ji asks us to be careful of bad Sangat (Company) and hanging out with the wrong kind of crowd. If you pick up a pot full of soot, at some point you're bound to get some marks on your clothes as well. Similarly, you're bound to absorb something from the environment you stay in.

What is a quick fix for lustful thoughts according to Gurbani and Sikhi?

Memorise this Gurbani Pangti and recite it loud when such thoughts occur:

ਨਿਮਖ ਕਾਮ ਸੁਆਦ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਕੋਟਿ ਦਿਨਸ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ॥

For a moment of sexual pleasure, you shall suffer in pain for millions of days.

ਘਰੀ ਮੁਹਤ ਰੰਗ ਮਾਣਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਵਹਿ ॥੧॥

For an instant, you may savour pleasure, but afterwards, you shall regret it, again and again. ||1||

What is a quick fix for anger according to Gurbani and Sikhi?

Memorise this Gurbani Pangti and recite it loud when such thoughts occur:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਬੁਰੇ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਸਾ ਮਨਿ ਨ ਹਢਾਇ ॥

Fareed, answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger.

ਦੇਹੀ ਰੋਗੁ ਨ ਲਗਈ ਪਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਇ ॥੭੮॥

Your body shall not suffer from any disease, and you shall obtain everything. ||78||

Do Sikhs Celebrate Rakhri/Rakhi?

Sikhs do not celebrate Rakhri. Rakhri is a small string tied around the brother’s wrist by his sister as a good omen, in return for which he promises to protect her. Sikh men and women both wear Kirpan (sword). So, Sikh women do not need a man to protect them. Rakhri is for Non-Shastardhari (unarmed) people and Khalsa (Collective of Initiated Sikhs) is Shastardhari (armed). Non-Shastardhari women are asking for protection from their brothers. Shastardhari woman doesn’t need protection from her brother. She has Guru Sahib Ji on her side as Guru Arjan Dev Ji states that 

ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥

My Guru is always with me, near at hand.

In the following Shabad, Guru Gobind Singh Ji says that the weapons are my Guru. 

ਅਸ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਖੰਡੋ ਖੜਗ ਤੁਪਕ ਤਬਰ ਅਰੁ ਤੀਰ ॥ ਸੈਫ ਸਰੋਹੀ ਸੈਹਥੀ ਯਹੈ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਪੀਰ ॥੩॥

As, Kripan (sword), Khanda, Khadag (sword), Tupak (gun), Tabar (hatched), Teer (arrow), Saif (sword), Sarohi and Saihathi, all these are our adorable seniors.3.

Thus, she has the Kirpan (sword) as her Guru by her side.

Why Do We Light the Candles Outside the Gurdwara on Diwali?

 Sikhs and Hindus both light candles on Diwali but Sikhs don’t celebrate Diwali. They celebrate Deepmala. There is nothing wrong with lighting candles if we know the intention behind it, so it is not a ritual. The Sikh word for that is Deepmala (row of lamps). Sikhs welcomed Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji with Deepmala upon their return to Amritsar from Gwalior after political emancipation of 52 kings. Sikhs put lights all over Amritsar as Guru Ji had come back because the Guru is the light. So, if we light a candle, we should remember to burn that light inside our heart as well. When lighting a candle, we're saying that we take Guru Ji’s Sikhiya (teachings), we are going to burn with Guru Ji’s light, and not burn with Kaljug (age of ignorance). So, the world can hopefully look at our actions and praise our Guru Sahib.

Why should We Learn Punjabi?

Learning Punjabi is not difficult. There is nothing in this world that is impossible if you truly want to do it. Those things don’t get done which you don’t want to do. If you really want to experience the sweetness and the bliss of Gurbani then you should learn Punjabi. There are words in Gurbani (Guru's teachings) that do not have comparative words in English. Comparatively, if there are 200 words in English then there are 1200 words in Punjabi. It is such a rich language. The issue is that we always think that what others have is better even though we may have the best ourselves. To be able to listen to deep Katha (discourse) and read old Steek (commentary) and gain a better understanding of what is being said in Gurbani, one must learn Punjabi.

Who is the enemy of Sikhs?

A Sikh should not hate anybody. So, we have no Vairee (enemy). But there are people who hate Sikhs, especially those who oppress people, since Sikhs have always stood up against oppression and tyranny. We only hate Paap (sin). If somebody hates us, it doesn’t bother us. When they start to do actions that are detrimental to other people, then that person is a Dushat (tyrant) and we have to stop them. If we can stop that person by using a non-violent method, then that is great. If we can’t then we can use some form of action to stop them. Once that person stops doing such actions then they are no longer someone that we have to worry about. It is only when they do such actions, then we need to engage with them to stop them. Once they stop doing their actions to harm others, a Sikh must forgive them and their past actions. Otherwise, we do not have any enemies. 

What Kinds Of Sins Do We Have To Commit In Order To Pesh?

There are four Bajjar Kurehits (Cardinal Sins/Conduct to refrain from) that indicate that you have broken your Amrit and they are as follows: sex outside of marriage, cutting your hair, eating Halal meat, and smoking or use of tobacco in any form. If you have done any of these things and you are Amritdhari (Initiated Sikh), then you have to go Pesh (Confess) in front of Panj Payare (Five beloved ones) and take Amrit again.

What Does Sikhi Say About Black Magic?

Kala Elam (Black Magic) exists and Sikhi says that it is not good for you. If you were to focus upon black magic, then what you are saying is that Guru’s Shabad (Hymn) is not as powerful as black magic and that’s not true. By focusing on Guru’s Shabad, you get everything. Your spiritual life, family life, and career get sorted out. Not only Gurbani but other ancient texts state that there are four things that people look for which are Dharam (Righteousness), Arath (Wealth/Meaning), Kaam (Controlled Lust/Desires), and Mukti (Liberation). Sikhi will make sure that you get all these four things and your spirituality is also sorted out. All black magic that could attack you also bounces off. Gurbani states that Guru’s Shabad is my guardian, it defends me and protects me in every possible way. So, the black magic cannot touch you.

What Does Truthful Living Mean? Why Is It Higher Than Truth?

ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥੫॥

Truth is higher than everything, but higher still is truthful living. ||5||

The above-stated Pangti (line) means that living in accordance with the truth is more important than knowing the truth. Guru Sahibs’ have told us that the Naam (God’s name) is the highest truth and we have to connect to it. Now you know the truth but it is pointless if you do not act upon it. Somebody who lives up to that truth is higher than someone who just knows the truth. Living up to Guru Sahibs’ teachings and Rehit Maryada (spiritual code of conduct) is higher than knowing them. Sikhi is about Karni (Doing) through three ways which are Man (what you think with your mind), Bach (the words you speak), and Karam (the actions you do).

How do you stay motivated to do school work when you feel down?

Reading Gurbani and connecting to Vaheguru can keep us in high spirits. As we say in the Ardaas, ‘Nanak Naam Chardikala’, through the Name of God, we experience Chardikala (rising spirits). Try doing one Japji Sahib Paatth before you start your day and see how the power of Naam increases your productivity and takes away the emotions that bring you down!

Why Should We Take Amrit?

Sikhi is about losing the ego. We are all suffering from the disease of Haumai (ego) even though we may look perfectly healthy. So, we need the doctor, i.e the Guru to cure this disease. Taking Amrit means surrendering to the Guru's guidance instead of following our own desires, which is a crucial step in overcoming our ego and merging back with Vaheguru.

How Can We Be Forgiven For Our Sins?

We do various kinds of Karam (actions) as we go through our life. The only thing beyond Karam (action) is Naam Japna. All other actions create Karam, the only action that does not create Karam and wipes away all other Karam is Naam Japna (Chanting Vaheguru's Name). So, Naam Japna is the solution to sin. We start to wipe out our sins by doing Naam Japna.

How Can We Stop Negative Thoughts?

Prevent going down the pathway of negativity whether it is through TV shows, movies, or bad Sangat (company). Anything you watch, hear, or do will stay with you for quite some time. So the trick is to stop engaging in negativity and focus on Naam (Connecting to the Divine) and Gurbani (Guru’s words).

Is It Okay For One Person In A Marriage To Take Amrit? 

While it is easier for a couple if both of them are Amritdhari, if a Sikh wants to take Amrit, they should take it. It is a recommendation, but not a limitation. Gurbani states that Amrit is for those who have the thirst within them. If your partner is not ready to take Amrit now, but they support you, you should take Amrit without any delay because the next breath is not guaranteed. 

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