Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Request to NRI Punjabis- An exchange

My advice and request to NRIs: "Please never part with a penny of your hard earned money as donation to any politician or political paty. If you really love your state and want to do something for it, invest your money in projects which may generate emploment, add to the overall economic health of the state and benefot your children in future enterprise.You can perhaps pick a leaf out the books of your compatriots from the South, especially Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnatka, Andhra and Gujrat.

But do not befool yourself: None or very very few of you and us love our state and country enough to make our children starve for it, except in the event of an external threat to our sovereignty and independence. Our patiotism is pathetically limited and confined merely to fighting the external enemy. It shouldn't be so, but it is. The NRIs can keep their money - and their sermons -- safe and secure in the lands of their adoption. We are quite happy fighting our own problems , our handicaps, our weaknesses, our backwaqrdness and our sad destiny here on our own, thank you. But we are proud of you for having done as well as you have wherever you have dug your flag poles. And we will be content to take vicarious pride in your achievments. We do not want youto come here and fight our wars for us -- wars against poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, injustice, inequality of opportunity, nepotism and stuff like that. But like most of us, you want to reserve the right to preach without parting with any of your well earned comforts. We are happy in your success because that certainly decreases the number and magniude of our problems.And we pray for your success and happiness wherever you are.


DrNirmal S Dhallu I agree with every thing in your note except that its tone is mildly patronising, perhaps. But credit to you style you have done it nicely………
Lets face it, contrary to what our relatives think back home, most NRI’s do not have cash to splash, if they want to maintain a standard of living that’s worthy of their status in forign countries.
Who gives donations to politicians?
Needs some favour in return.
Ego for pictures in news papers (see Ajit Jallandhar or any foreign paper).
More money than sense.
Naturally, some of our community have done exceptionally well and there are success examples in every field. However, our first generation was so busy making money that they did not fully integrate with local social insitutions. As a result they don’t have activities to keep them occupied and business are now run by next generation. They want to go back and show off their wealth……….. It is up to them how they spend their hard earned $ or £. Except, sooner they realise that their kids will not be interested. And if they are, relatives not going to let them come anywhere near………..
Majority of imigration to England started in early 1960’s. Almost everyone came here to better their family’s life style in India. After 5 yrs, they collected their British passports and went home with small savings. After paying the family debts taken to go to England and helping brothers and sisters they soon ran out of pocket and returned to start life all over again. Saved for a house and called their family and kidds over. No money for next few yrs. However, the desire to retire back home was still their. They never bought big houses and many never bought a car.
They started to retire in early eighties which coinsided with a very tragic period in Punjab history. It was no longer considered safe. After June 1984, there was a major shift in spending by Punjabies in England. They emptied their deposit accounts to buy bigger and better houses bought cars and started sending their kidds to better schools.
There lies a real tragidy for both NRI’s and India, Punjab in particular. These NRI’s were not only going to bring investments to Punjab, they were going to settle with their industrial exeperiences which I feel would have turned Punjab into California of India. In longer term that would have given continuity to the next generation Punjabies.
Also there is a little sentimental problem for mainly jatts as they have inherited land. Commercially, it makes no sense to keep it but its in the genes………………
Bains Ji, do not worry about any threats from NRI’s. They may like to come for hols untill links die out. They have got used to creature comforts which will be hard for them to give up. In this age of internet, we can all have our say without having to leave our front door. I also believe it is easiy to criticise than be at ground level and make difference. Likes of Jassi Khangura are rare example. He would have become MP in UK too. Few educated people also returned in 1960’s when they felt they were better of in India. In fact, Prof of Punjabi at PAU and I know two others who later became Principals also had brief periods in UK.
In hot Indian summer, even all the BABA’s leave for foreign lands


Harcharan Bains DrNSD: I fidn your analysis of NRI issues absolutely brilliant. It gives me lots of new insights into their situation. Must say it is one of the finest summings up of the issue. Thanks for that.

But worry about threats from NRIs? What thre...ats ? And who feels threatened? I did not quite follow the context.

I can perhaps lay some claim on understanding the NRI mind. All my brothers , my in laws and many of my relatives are in that category. My wife is a British national of Indian origin. my son was born in London. It is quite another matter that I did not apply for a passport till my age 50 - nearly two and half decades after my marriage - when I had to get a temporary travel document to accompany the Chief Minister on his trip to the Middle East.

And Dr. Sahib, no, how can I afford to sound patronising towards my NRI compatriots, almost all of whom have done much better in life than I have. And they have done it the honest hard way, deserving every penny they earned. I have a lot of respect for them for another reason too. They did it in countires they were not even vaguely familiar with. Like most of the people here, I am proud of what our people have done in foreign lands.Yes, there are times when I find their sermonsiing a bit insufferable but that may be becasue we don't like to hear too much truth about ourselves. The second reason may be that in my present position, I have seen too many of these sermonisisng NRIs seek the same undue favours which they criticise others for. Having said that, let me add that, like in anything else, there are some honourable exceptions to this.

Plus, I do not subscribe to this "them versus us" equation.

Thanks again for your highly perceptive observations, which I repeat, are among the best I have ever read anywhere. (And thanks also for the kind words you have spoken about my style.)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snake and the nightingale II

Said a nightingale to a snake: "There is a little poison in my heart too. When its pain stings sharp, I sing and feel light as a feather. Why do you never sing?"

A cuckoo heard the nightingale, smiled and said, "Snakes have no ears and he can't hear your words."

The nightingale became pensive and said to herself,"How sad he can't hear my songs. There is no music in his life." And she wondered if that was why the snake had to live with so much poison in his soul. "I must find some way to help him sing," she found herself mumbling, and the melancholy strain in her song filled the valley.

The snake slithered into a dark hole. This saddened the nightingale even more. The valley reverberated with her pain all night. In the morning, the sun searched every branch, but the nightingale was nowhere to be found. Said a little flower to the sun,"She has gone to some unknown valleys to get some music for the snake who lives here."

"Amen !" said the sun, and went about his work, too sad deep within his heart as he had seen something that looked like a nightingale's body lying peacefully still close to where the snake lived. But the sun did not want to violate the innocence of the the little flower, and remained quiet.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Words glow only under the light of sincerity AND Solitude

Words glow only under the light of sincerity and feeling. Otherwise, these are mere dry work tools

Solitude has no meaning in the phsyical sense of the word. You always have the option of surrounding yourself with people. Byron's Prometheus had developed kinship even with ants and chains during his incarceration. Solitude is essentailly a mental phenomenon, and it can strike you even amidst a crowd. The swarms of thoughts and ideas and feelings that jostle against one another in one's head often serve only to heighten the acute sense of solitude, when you are passing through that lonely "feeling" -- as I often do. It tugs and gnaws at one's heart, and no crowd of giggling friends or talkative darlings can reduce that piercing feeling. In fact, the lonelier you feel, the more oppressive you are likely to find enforced company, even of friends who may believe they are trying to help you out of your loneliness. But solitude can also be a bliss -- as it was for Wordsworth, or is for those who want to reflect on sweet memories about their loved ones. (As the songgoes: yaad tu aaye, mann ho jaaye, bheerh ke beech akela ..!) or as daffodils flashed across Wordsworth's "inward eye/ which is a bliss of solitude)

Words glow only under the light of sincerity AND Solitude

Words glow only under the light of sincerity and feeling. Otherwise, these are nothing more than dry work tools

Solitude has no meaning in the phsyical sense of the word. You always have the option of surrounding yourself with people. Byron's Prometheus had developed kinship even with ants and chains during his incarceration. Solitude is essentailly a mental phenomenon, and it can strike you even amidst a crowd. The swarms of thoughts and ideas and feelings that jostle against one another in one's head often serve only to heighten the acute sense of solitude, when you are passing through that lonely "feeling" -- as I often do. It tugs and gnaws at one's heart, and no crowd of giggling friends or talkative darlings can reduce that piercing feeling. In fact, the lonelier you feel, the more oppressive you are likely to find enforced company, even of friends who may believe they are trying to help you out of your loneliness. But solitude can also be a bliss -- as it was for Wordsworth, or is for those who want to reflect on sweet memories about their loved ones. (As the songgoes: yaad tu aaye, mann ho jaaye, bheerh ke beech akela ..!) or as daffodils flashed across Wordsworth's "inward eye/ which is a bliss of solitude)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gorgeous individual and the little rustic baby, happy to cover her hair and hands in dust

Gorgeous individual; Jay S: Quite when did the little rustic baby, happy to cover her hair and hands in dust, running after butterflies annoyed with them for not yeilding to her palm, talking to little bushes and even to those little stray... pups who mistook her for a long-lost but just-found-again first cousin, flashing the most divinely innocent smiles at the merest excuse for a joke, breaking into a music whose notes only she could decipher, create and sing , going into a daughterly sulk at the slightest hint of perceived neglect and happy to be won back into her father's arms with no more than an excuse as an explanatin form him --- quite when did this little imp from paradise become "a gorgeous indivdual"? She was always the most fascinating, most lovable little daughter of God , who, like Wordsworht's Lucy, bounded from hil- top to hil-top in playfulness and in ecstasy -- but Gorgeous ?? And individual ?? Somehow, the expression seems to de-personalise the irrepressible bundle of energy and life that you are.
And about distances .......I don't know much about the place that kilometers have in human relations, but I can think of some bonding that lasts decade after decade after decade between people divided by the equator and with no communication between them at all . Come to think of it, even my relationship with my mother, now no longer in my world, remains more "alive and strong" than my relationship with many who live and stay and move and function within yards of me every day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An idea is in danger of extinction only when it is outripped by a newer and better idea.

Every religion and every ideology eventually falls a prey to the petty idiosyncracies of its own followers. Every prophet or relgious icon suffers the ignomiy of being forced into a narrow wooden frame which his followers manufacture for him. Every great idea suffers this tragedy that it is measured not by the stature ...of its progenitor but by the petty conduct of his followers. "
An idea is an danger of defeat or extintion only when it is outstripped by a newer and better idea. Nothing else can erase it from human list of preferences. And when a better idea does arrive, the best course open to the follwoers of the old idea is either to benefit by it by updating their knopwledge and understanding or retire gracefully. No amount of clinging or breast beating will ever revive the corpse of an idea whose time is already gone."

To survive any onslaught, real or perceived, all that an ideology or religion or culture has to do is ensure its own relevance and worth to the world in which it aims to survive. This is true of all ideologies, including secularism, and all relgions,including Sikhism. The only threat that any religion or ideology or culture should ever dread is the one posed by its own irrelevance and stagnation. Ideologies and cultures are essentially an intellectual infrastructure on which the moral, spiritual or intellectual growth of mankind is founded. The word "growth" itself implies ceaseless and cojnstant renewal. Therefore, they must keep pace with this this constant updating of human knwoledge and understanding. Any religion that refuses to do so will fall by the wayside. We have seen that happening to all religious beliefs ( like that the earth is the center of this universe ) or ideolgies ( Marxian thought). Once they closed their doors to new ideas and new developments, they wrote their own epitaph. Sikhs have nothing to fear from any one because as a religious class, they are among the most modernising and intellectually enterprising people, capable of taking changes around them in their strides. Sikhism is also an outcry of the human spirit against fundamentalism and jingoisitic narrow mindedness. An angry Sikh or a fundamentalist Siikh is a contradiction in terms, and an affront to the "sehaj marg" taught by our Gurus. All those who swear by the name of the Gurus must steer clear of the evils that they themselves criticise in others. And the best course open to a Sikh is to avoid criticising others anyway, because Guru Granth Sahib declares all paths as worthy of our repsect; "Jit duaare ubhre, titte le ho ubhaar." Unfortunately, however, we suffer from the same weaknesses that our brethern from other faiths do. This must be accepted with grace, so that an honest effort may begin towards getting back to the goal of love and human brotherhood preached by oru Gurus, saints and seers.
"Ghat ghat main har jeo vasse / Santan kahio pukaar!"
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S.s. Khurana, Gurdarshan Singh, Rajesh Kumar Bhatia and 17 others like this.

Harcharan Bains
An angry Sikh or a fundamentalist Siikh is a contradiction in terms, and an affront to the "sehaj marg" taught by our Gurus. All those who swear by the name of the Gurus must steer clear of the evils that they themselves criticise in other...s. And the best course open to a Sikh is to avoid criticising others anyway, because Guru Granth Sahib declares all paths as worthy of our repsect; "Jit duaare ubhre, titte le ho ubhaar." Unfortunately, however, we suffer from the same weaknesses that our brethern from other faiths do.See More
November 1 at 3:36pm · LikeUnlike · 3 peopleLoading...

DrNirmal S Dhallu ‎"Sikhs have nothing to fear from any one because as a religious class, they are among the most modernising and intellectually enterprising people, capable of taking changes around them in their strides."
November 1 at 3:53pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Jugraj Dhillon Sohi Yes, tolerance...especially religious tolerance is the need of the hour...to the goal of love and human brotherhood preached by oruGurus, saints and seers. And yet, u answer all ur querries
November 1 at 4:04pm · LikeUnlike

Harcharan Bains Jugra: I didn't quite follow the last line!!
November 1 at 4:40pm · LikeUnlike

Jugraj Dhillon Sohi u start with querries and then answer them better than all of us put together
November 1 at 4:50pm · LikeUnlike

Birinder Dhillon
tis new experience for me.on face book. All my North American andEuropean friends,except very few ones, are always writing positive thoughts on their walls and talk about present only, moreover about themselves.They never blame others for ......their miseries.They try to fight with the odds like Hemingway novels. B...ut ...my Punjabi friend...sare living in the past and weeping on the past and they often remainabsent from present.Also blame others for their miseries.More over are showing fear of loss for everything they have and complaining about supposed conspiracies.Instead of fighting they hope on miracles..Punjabi poets,writers etc all write about past.Perhaps this is cultural differences between east and westSee More
November 1 at 4:51pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Bindu Singh Danger -in what sense .No,religion or culture can come under danger zone till its followers or believers are strong and optimistic.In addition to it ,as we all know no religion teaches hatred , communalism and division.All the religions ultimate put their faith in Almighty (Only).But ,we humans sometimes hamper situations for petty interests and try to mould religious preachings. whereas , every religion utilimately says' Humanity' is the elementary feature of 'Dharma' 'Karma' aur 'Samaj'.
November 1 at 5:13pm · LikeUnlike

Baljit Dhillon What's the relevance of religion I.e sikhism to Present day Punjab or Sikhs ????? If you look at the daily life in any town or village and the overall social fabric of society and behavior of our leadership ,one can find the Clear and present danger to the Sikh religion in it's organized form. On an personal and individual level there can never be a Danger to the teachings of Gurus or there relevance to anyone who choose to read the Holy Guru Grunth Shaib....
November 1 at 5:23pm · UnlikeLike · 3 peopleYou, Surjit Sangha and Sacha Baba like this.

Baljit Dhillon
My village has 6 Gurdwaras , each armed with it's own stereo sound system which starts the daily prayers at 0400 in the morning with 10 mins difference to each other . By 0430 one can not work out who is broadcasting what??Then we have not ...have single working Ambulance or Doctor on duty , 30% of the population must be an addict of one sort or the other...Then what Sikhism as religion relevant to and in danger from..See More
November 1 at 5:47pm · UnlikeLike · 3 peopleLoading...

Harcharan Bains Jugraj: I am tempted to accept this high praise but should I when so many gems of wisdom and brilliant writings glow on every page of fb? (And was it meant to be praise in the first place!!!)Look at yourself alone, my eternal friendly critic. I find it tough to get past you, you stand there keeping vigil on any possible weakness in my thought and feelings. And thanks for that, it keeps me on my toes.
November 1 at 5:50pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Jugraj Dhillon Sohi I guess I know you, and hence sometimes find meanings in the unwritten...but thanks for the beautifully stringed words..
November 1 at 9:06pm · LikeUnlike

Karminder Singh Aulakh But Mr. Bains..why isn't the present regime not receptive of idea of sehejdharis being given vote to right in SGPC elections, that shows fundamentalists or say people who practice religion more in rituals than principle are true sikhs. It seems utterly wrong to me..!! The reason seems that most moderate sikhs are educated & vice-versa & accepting the practice or allowing amendment will certainly bring troubles & ultimately they will lose control of Gurudwaras..Anybody agrees to my viewpoint..?
November 1 at 9:09pm · LikeUnlike · 4 peopleLoading...

Jugraj Dhillon Sohi yes, but its the thekedaars who r in danger of losing,....
November 1 at 9:17pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Karminder Singh Aulakh sorry..read "right to vote"
November 1 at 9:21pm · LikeUnlike

Badish Jindal bains ji the problem is kay "awam say zyada khuda ho gaye hain, is liye hum khud say zuda ho gaye hay,
November 1 at 9:45pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Aneet Randhawa
‎@HB Fundamentalism is contradictory to the tenets of every religion not only Sikhism and spells doom for it. Off course there is no external danger to Sikhism , whatever little there is , I feel is internal. As JDS has said from the 'theke...dars'. They are responsible for whatever little hostility that exists. As Iqbal puts it:ajab vaa_iz kii diin-daarii hai yaa rabadaavat hai ise saare jahaa.N seI think Mr KS Aulakh has stirred up a hornet's nest. Voting rights for Sehajdharis in SGPC is too emotive an issue. It was raised earlier also in your forum in response to which u maintained a dignified silence which is quite understandable.SGPC elections are due shortly and when many like me will not be able to exercise their franchise they will surely spite venom at all those who are at the helm of our religious affairs. Will surely like to hear something on this from u , but off course , at your convenience. Apologize for raising a politico-religious issue.ISee More
November 1 at 9:48pm · LikeUnlike

Harcharan Bains
Karminder and Jugraj: As you can see, I do not carry the normal sym outer symbols of the relgion I was born into but am a devout lover of the esseence of my Gurus. ANd yet, when I go to a Gurdwara, -- especially, say the Akal Takhat or ...Sri harmandar Sahib -- I would prefer to see someone who does carry these ourter symbols to perform the service. Any contradiction here? Perhaps yes. To me, its like the army. I admire the army too, without being a soldier myself. And when I have to be in the army or when I go to report for duty there, I would like to see my officers dressed in full military uniform.Deep down however, I am agaisnt the outer form becoming the defining characteristic of any religion.My being clean shaven has never come in the way of my love for Gurbani and the Gurus, and nor has my love for them ever come in the way of my loving the icons and ideals of other religions.See More
November 1 at 9:50pm · LikeUnlike · 7 peopleLoading...

Aneet Randhawa
For the fundamentalists again by Iqbal:nayaa shivaalaasach kah duu.N ai brahman gar tuu buraa na maanetere sanam kado.n ke but ho gaye puraane...apano.n se bair rakhanaa tuu ne buto.n se siikhaajang-o-jadal sikhaayaa vaa_iz ko bhii Khudaa netang aake aaKhir mai.n ne dair-o-haram ko chho.Daavaa_iz kaa vaaz chho.Daa, chho.De tere fasaanepatthar kii muurato.n me.n samajhaa hai tuu Khudaa haiKhaak-e-vatan kaa mujh ko har zarraa devataa haiaa Gairat ke parde ik baar phir uThaa de.nbichha.Do.n ko phir milaa de.n naqsh-e-du_ii miTaa de.nsuunii pa.Dii hu_ii hai muddat se dil kii bastiiaa ik nayaa shivaalaa is des me.n banaa de.nduniyaa ke tiiratho.n se uu.Nchaa ho apanaa tiirathdaamaan-e-aasmaa.N se is kaa kalas milaa de.nhar subah mil ke gaaye.n mantar vo miiThe miiThesaare pujaariyo.n ko mai piit kii pilaa de.nshaktii bhii shaantii bhii bhakto.n ke giit me.n haidharatii ke baasiyo.n kii muktii priit me.n haiSee More
November 1 at 9:51pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Aneet Randhawa ‎@HB I think u have conveyed youself well, Thanks.
November 1 at 10:04pm · LikeUnlike

Pawan Gulati
Despite born in a 'Hindu' family, I don't relate myself with outer Hindu religious symbols.Deep down I relate more with Sikh intrinsic values especially Guru Nanak Devji's 'life-oriented nature-immersed outlook and 'out of the box' appro...ach. Yes. even secularism has to reinvent itself or it will turn fanatical and linear as we sometimes witness in the assertions of some of the western thinkers and leaders. Punjab nurses a nice love for the Gurus and Sikhism not only among Clean shaven Sikhs like you but also Hindus like us who feel more at home listening to soft Kirtan than Loud Hallagula at temples.See More
November 1 at 10:11pm · LikeUnlike · 5 peopleLoading...

Mannat Gill ssa bains saab nothing wrong wid Sikhism -- or anyother faith or culture,,,,,,none of them is n danger ,,,only thing is in danger is HUMANITY ,,,,,,,,,,,,
November 1 at 11:24pm · UnlikeLike · 4 peopleLoading...

Acharya Lalit Narayan exactly you are right mannat ji it was a big risk is that we are loosing our moral values and humanity because everybody was going to luv materialistic thing no one can think about moral values and religion so every thing is.....................?
Tuesday at 12:39am · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Acharya Lalit Narayan bains saab no need to worry about anything each & everything was finalised by god allmighty and we are doing nothing
Tuesday at 12:41am · LikeUnlike

Surjit Sangha Sikhism has to eviolve and reinvent it self. Yesterday I went to Havelock Road Gurdwara.Out of thousand plus gathering only abt twenty percent were turbaned.Rresst were all clean shaven.
Tuesday at 2:08am · LikeUnlike

Karminder Singh Aulakh
M/s. Surjit Sangha, Avneet, Rajesh I appreciate you endorsing my views, at the same time would like to ask Mr. Bains (agreeing that persons doing the duty must wear assigned attire etc) but even if the army is uniformed, we do have every ri...ght to vote for the system of whcih army is an integral part. Same with Sikhism..when we say our faith is Sikhism or we are sikhs in principle besides being born ones, why don't we have the right to vote in our 'so called Sikh mini parliament' Lately I have realised that the sevadars in our holiest places are becoming rude to the devotees..special when they find that they are financially less previleged. Does our religion propages so..NO NOT AT ALL..only reason is that our religion has gone (or has been deliberately handed over to) religiously illiterate fellows who can just recite Guru Granth Sahib without understanding or accepting anything in principle.Having said that.. I appreciate or rather like Mr. Bains' intellect but do not endorse his political affiliation. I was born in a family where voting any other candidate than Akalis was Sinful..but with the things changed in last 2 decades since they tasted power.. I will be last person to endorse their dragging policies & vote for them. May I request all of you to see a video of pakhandi Baba Sachcha Sauda wala..who looks like an excellent joker. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvIWU_9Y7H4&feature=player_embedded) I wonder why Badals go to him with folded hands. Isn't it disgusting that our leaders (read Mis-leaders) go to such morons with folded hands & bow their head before him. Rightly said in one of above comments..that our religion is Danger from with-in.See More
Tuesday at 5:59am · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Sandy Gill
well, for sure present system of hardcore Sikhism is in danger, as it has to be because it is based on false hood. I believe present hardcore religious system developed in last 50 years. This present Sikhism moved us totally separate from o...ther faiths, and from the rest of society, whereas,... Gurus concept was to mix in all and to mix others with in us. Gurus concept was based on social and religious tolerance, pluralism, multiculturalism, interfaith ism, while believing in one God. Due to some personal reasons, a class of people has played fundamentally wrong with Sikhism principles. I called it dirty politics. But I think some of our religious and political leaders narrowed their sight and has proved and always try to prove that Sikhism is the property of just Punjab or just Punjab own the Sikhism, and any political, economic, social, business or agricultural etc issue related with Punjab is a issue of Sikhism. We just made Sikhism a regional religion. Whatever we see Sikhism out in the World, its all by personal efforts of the Sikhs. The central authority on Sikhs even do not play substantial role in even in India.This is the only reason that Punjab, Punjabi, Sikhism and Sikhs in rest of India and World all suffered in past. This is the only reason that Sikhism and Punjab both has lot of divisions in the past, and even reputation of Sikhs were lost.If right measures are not taken in place by some good administrators, politicians, Sikh leaders, scholars and intellectuals, I am sure....there will for sure we can see further divisions and resulting loss in faith in mass.Only few, very few people, who are just in charge of all these are responsible, and they don't care...See More
Tuesday at 6:31am · LikeUnlike · 2 peopleLoading...

Sandy Gill
‎@Acharaya ji, there are two type of people have the theory and thinking the way your comments are.....First, those who are very satisfied in present and their business (religions is also a business for them) is running well in a bad syst...em, so that don't wanna take any risk and changes...and,Second type of those people....who either has fear or can not do any thing.....that's why they scare to talk truth....See More
Tuesday at 6:34am · LikeUnlike

Sarabjit Singh
yes it is indeed in danger not from outside but from its own followers,issue is not being fundamentalist but just to suit us we enter into such discussionsguru sahib has himself resolved the issue by saying so sikh sakha bandhap hai bhai jo... gur ke bhane vich rahesabat surat form is a way to submit oneself to the will of lord almightysikhism is complete submissionthose who understand and follow gurbani ultimately adopt sabat surat form ultimately as mark of full submission to will of lord almightySee More
Tuesday at 8:03am · LikeUnlike

Roop Sidhu ‎...my apologies...I believe that a religion, a culture or an ideology is nothing in itself...its the people who create it...so those people who are making their religion a busines will be in danger in the end...another thing. ..every coin has two sides.. the goodness always walk side by side to the badness...why to be afraid then???
Tuesday at 12:33pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Garg Sanjay
we do not care for the preachings of the Guru Sahibs rather the only concern is that one should follow the rules created by fundamentalists. I give u an example. A few ears ago, i attended the marrriage ceremony( anand karaj) of a friend. a...fter the ceremony, when he and his friends wanted to capture some photographs outside the holy room, ofcourse in the premises of Gurudwara, the bhai sahib ji ( preacher of Shri Guru Granth Sahib) stopped them and instructed that while posing for photographs, their face not their back should be towards the holy room of 'Guru Granth Sahib'. Similarly there are another such instances also. Once my niece was stopped for entering 'Guru Dwara Sahib' because she was wearing Jeans. The most recent, I visited 'Shri Harmander Sahib' along with my old aged father. While he was sitting on the banks of holy srover with his face towards the golden shrine and his feet on the second step of the stairs leading to the srover, one sevadar came and not only misbehaved but abused him for not sitting with folded legs and for placing his feet on the steps of the holy srover, of course without any intimation or notice board regarding this rule and despite his requests that he was not aware of this rule and also was unable to fold his legs due to joint pains and old age. I again visited the holy shrine but this time i was pleased to note they have started making announcement that no body is allowed to sit on the banks of the holy srover with his feet on the stairs rather only with folded legs for the sanctity of the holy shrine. I was taught by my school teacher that once Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was lying with his feet towards the 'Masjid' and when pointed out by the priest that he should not lye with his feet towards the masjid for the sake of sanctity of the Masjid, then his greatness instructed the said priest to put his feet in a direction where the God is not present. I wondered if that was so! why it is not followed in Gurudwaras and what wrong that masjid preist had said when we see it in present context! I do not want to hurt any one and apologise if any word of mine is wrong or has hurted some one one.See More
Tuesday at 1:35pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Amardeep Singh Rai
I feel that danger to our religion is from our failure to practise the core tenets preached by our Gurus.The debate about external symbols is futile,for our Gurus stressed on inner transformation.Once the same is affected,outer symbols will... fall in place.Unfortunately,as with other things,external symbols have taken precedence,and the thinking behind them has been given a go by.I also have serious doubts about communitarian aspects,for I somehow believe that each one of us will be having a different perspective on life,and therefore,to lay down similiar rules,for all may be doing injustice to some.See More
Tuesday at 1:54pm · UnlikeLike · 3 peopleLoading...

Sandy Gill
‎@Sarabjit Singh ji, 'Guru ke Bhane' means having all the time good intentions and good deeds performing with love in favor of general society without any preferences to any particular class or region while remembering God's name. 'Guru ke ...bhane' does not mean to live in a particular besh bhusha or style.Regarding Sabat Sarup, I do agree we must be in Sabat Sarup as much as possible, but if we can abuse our mother nature for our own benefits by thousands of ways, and we enjoy and make our life more comfortable by abusing mother nature why you don't care about that same concept for the mother nature. Why don't all Sikhs live natural way of life and accept all other artificial things made by man by abusing mother nature. Guru Sahib never advocate to abuse mother nature. It is not our duty to keep mother nature as sabat as possible???Sarabjit ji, we our self contradict a lot. Even Gurus time, If I am not wrong, there were famous and well devoted sikhs who were not in Sabat Saroops.Sabat Saroop is a natural stage which develop with in us when we align our self completely with nature and Guru's wish, thats the reason most philosphers and spiritual personalities we found in sabat saroops it does not matter which religions they belongs too.So, importance must be given to internal alignment of our thoughts, desires and actions as per nature and Guru's wish, to uplift our soul and vision from above all to see all equal world, but sorry to say, with our actions and daily practices we are not doing justifications to the vision of Gurus which were same for all. Our actions (Sikhs), considered Guru's actions, and sad to say that Sikhism has lost the trust in last 50 years which were established by our Gurus with lot of sacrifices.See More
Tuesday at 4:09pm · LikeUnlike · 2 peopleLoading...

Sarabjit Singh
at least one should try to follow teachings of our guru sahibs and live a truthful life.if we become god oriented, our jouney from manmukh to gurmukh,things will change and our form will change automatically.sabat surat roop is god designed... so god desired and all god oriented humans ultimately will adopt this form.it comes naturallywe can not justify a thing ,giving an example that as we r not taking care of nature so sikh form is not essential.two wrongs do not justify either of them.See More
Tuesday at 10:49pm · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill
Sarabjit ji, Guru Granth Sahib ji never recommend any saroop, shape, dress, color, even any mantra, or any God name, they just guide us to go along with nature in sahaj and remain consciously in touch with God by any means or by any names....... like we have our mobile connected with its main signal tower...Guru Sahib never guide us any tithi, var, or any special occasion to perform God's ustat as 24/7/12/365 days are open for it, well they only recommend amrit vaila, as our mind, body, spirit is fresh and chances for concentration is much easier or satsangat to listen and discuss god's ustant, this way we will be humble and do nishkaam sewa....this is almost require in sikhism, but our people made it so complicated that now it is kind of fear to be religious...and that fear make us non-religious.....and most people don't care, as now most of people know the simplecity of sikhism, so they don't follow the strict ness as it teach by gyaanis.....See More
Wednesday at 10:59pm · LikeUnlike

Sarabjit Singh
we have no right to feel ourselves to be more intelligent than guru sahib. gurbani says "sabat surat rab di bhane beiman'.is it not the fact that tenth master gave the institution of khalsa and rehat maryada.it is wrong to justify things ju...st because we feel it convenient to be the other way .r we proving here that our gurus were wrong to be keshadharis.we want to be called sikhs dut dont want to look like one.kindly go through rehatnamas.we can not be more intelligent than lord almighty who has designed us like that-- keshadhari.See More
Yesterday at 4:49pm · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill
I think Sarabjit....you are turning comments in wrong directions, but if you have pointed some issues.....then I have no other options and need to clarify myself.......Do you want to say Sikhism will be fulfilled if we protect our all hairs..., and being with full hairs a person is complete sabat surat as per Guru and God's wish?? If its true, then sorry I am not sold to this. Not only me, millions of people sikhs are not sold to this. If you look at any gathering in any Gurudwara on any festive you can judge your self.Well as you said about Rehatnama, I am not any Sikh Gyaani or have in depth knowledge about Rehatnama etc, but I know that rehatnamah was designed, concieved and decided by SGPC. May I ask you some questions:1.Do you consider SGPC or any Sikh or a Group of sikhs are as par with Shri Guru Granth Sahib and they have any authority to change anything against SGGS wish?2. Just for your knowledge and understanding, If a house of 545 people chosen by democratic way, can not justify and serve their real and true purpose and have their own vested interest behind each and every motion, how you can expect true justification by five or a bunch of Sikh leaders...3. Do you think SGGS ji recommend to live in falseness. 4. Do you think Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji will be happy if their Sikh's live with a symbolic kirpan which is not real and will not serve any purpose in case of any need. If we use kirpan as a Gatra for the purpose of symbol and to just to show others, then how it is different than a "Janeu", which was condemned by Sat Guru Nanak on its false ground and he refused to accept to live with symbolic life.5. If we can accept 'kirpan' , underwear, kara as a symbolic signs, why we can not accept hairs as a symbolic sign as every one still have hairs somewhere on body, as it is almost impossible to remove all hairs from the body, but removing certain hairs as per need or as per convenience to live and work in daily life or even to make our self more attractive and beautify our look as we make our lawns, gardens beauty full and remove and cut unnecessary grass, plants leaves and branches of any trees etc...There are lot other questions I have to ask, but once you answer these I will move further.....See More
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sarabjit Singh
rehatnamas have not not come from sgpc,they are from dasam patshah guru gobind singh ji and puratan singhs.do you know something about bhai taru singh ji . what was the need to defend hair if they were not relevant.sikhs abroad have strugg...led to get rights for turban and are still fighting.religion and it's concepts are important,sikhism has nothing to do with numbers.if large number are not following what is right that does not justify anything , people think themselves smarter and intellligent than guru sahiban .SGGS (ref) 1 sabat surat dastar sira.2. sabat surat rab di bhane beiman..AMRIT CEREMONY AND FIVE KAKARS HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY DASAM PATSAH GURU GOBIND SINGH SAHIB WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO BELITTLE THEM.WHAT WAS NEED FOR HIM TO SACRIFICE HIS SONS,FATHER,MOTHER IF HIS TEACHINGS WERE TO MEET SUCH A FATE?OUR GENERATION CONSIDERS EVERYTHING FROM UTILITY POINT OF VIEW, THOUGH OUR KNOWLEDGE IS MEAGRE AND LITTLE,MAN IS A MACHINE DESIGNED BY GOD, HE KNOWS WHERE AND WHAT IS REQUIRED.WE NEED TO BE SABAT SURAT AS OUR GURU SAHIB DESIRES SO.LEAVE MANMAT AND ADOPT GURMATSee More
18 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill Sarabjit.....you did not answer even one of my question, please answer one by one....the I have some more questions from you.........You need to know Rahatnama is not come from Guru Granth Sahib, it is came from SGPC......you need to now little history....about rehatnama and still there is dispute regarding rehatnama as if Dasam Granth has to follow or not.....
17 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Sandy Gill Sarabjit I think you are unable to understand my questions, If you are unable to understand please say, so I will try to clarify my questions again. Do not judge me that I dont follow Guru Gobind Singh ji, there may be chances I am more strong to his true guidance and following them with utmost good faith, then yourself...
17 hours ago · LikeUnlike

DrNirmal S Dhallu
Is sikhism in danger? I am not sure. But look at the contributors to this discussion. One person appears to be fully sabat soorat. I am not sure if he is Amridhari or not. That is about 5%. If that is extrapolated across 30 million sik...h, you may find the same ratio. What does this show? The way modern trends are going, 5% is only likely to get less not more. I do not believe there is any danger to the philosophy of SGGS. But our future generations are unlikely to carry on listening to the minority.See More
16 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill Dr. Nirmal ji.......I never said Sikhism is in danger....please read my first comment in this discussions......I am expecting Sarabjit Singh ji after understanding my questions will answer all one by one....
11 hours ago · LikeUnlike

DrNirmal S Dhallu Sandy, i did not say that you said. I was just ref to Mr Bains heading.
10 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill oh ok......thanks...
10 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sarabjit Singh
sandy, sgpc has not given these guidelines they are prevaling right from times of guru sahib.teachings of SGGS never tell us to be without keshas.many rehatnamas are by guru sahib himself....distinct identity of sikhs was given by guru sahibs only.guru granth sahib bani tells that sabat surat given by god is broken by a beiman.in ardas we ask for kesh dan.we pray that sikhi keshan sawasan nal nibhe. r we re defining sikhism by stressing on numbers?if in a school the number of students who do not follow rules outnumber those who follow ,that does not belittle importance of RULES ,NEITHER IT HAS AN IMPACT ON KNOWLEDGE OR LEARNING.See More
8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill Sarab jit ji..........that all i know......but answer my questions......first.....which i asked....and let us move forward by discussing issue in proper way......pls answer all questions........
8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill Sarabjit do not just write......pls answer as per questions......sequences......ok. and i think i will learn a lot from u.....
8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Sandy Gill Sarabjit ji......please read this as it all about history of Rehat Maryaada..http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Jasbir%20Singh%20Mann%20M.D.-Dasam%20Granth%20Evidence%20%20Resolution%20and%20Prosecution.pdf
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike

Harcharan Bains
Sandy Gill:Sarabjit Singh: Aneet Randhawa: Dr. Dhallu: A S Rai, Rup Sidhu, Garg , KaRMINDER aULAKH: aCHARYA lALIT nARAYAN and all friends: " Consider these gems from Gurbani: "Jat ki jata jog ko majan prem ke nakhan badhaavo/ Gian gur a...atam updeso/ naam vibhoot lagaavo / Re man aiso kar sanyasa..... " And : " Nanak jeevatiyaan mar rahiye, aisa jog kamaaiye/ Vaaje baajhon sinqgi baaje tau nirbhau pad paaiye/ Anjan maahe nirnajan rahiye, jog jugat iv paaiye " To me these gems are the essence of Sikhism. What place is there in these inspired words for formalism or ritualism or even for outer symbols!And did I really say Sikhism is in danger.? I humbly draw your kind attn once again to what I wrote. Consier this para: "The only threat that any religion or ideology or culture should ever dread is the one posed by its own irrelevance and stagnation. Ideologies and cultures are essentially an intellectual infrastructure on which the moral, spiritual or intellectual growth of mankind is founded. The word "growth" itself implies ceaseless and cojnstant renewal. Therefore, they must keep pace with this this constant updating of human knwoledge and understanding. Any religion that refuses to do so will fall by the wayside. We have seen that happening to all religious beliefs ( like that the earth is the center of this universe ) or ideolgies ( Marxian thought). Once they closed their doors to new ideas and new developments, they wrote their own epitaph. Sikhs have nothing to fear from any one because as a religious class, they are among the most modernising and intellectually enterprising people, capable of taking changes around them in their strides. Sikhism is also an outcry of the human spirit against fundamentalism and jingoisitic narrow mindedness.

Monday, November 1, 2010

For Hazel: Love involves our whole being like nothing else does -- except pain.

Harcharan Bains
Mintoo Mand: Said P B Shelley:"We look before and after /And pine for what is not?Our sincerest laughter/...With some pain is fraught.Our sweetest songs are thsoe/Tthat tell us of our saddest thought."There is also a song from an old Hindi movie rendered soulfully by the incomparable Ghazal singer, Talat Mehmood:"Hai sabh se madhur sangeet jisse/Hum dard ke svar main gaate hain."About your question on why love has to be so painful, I think Minto ji, this a a very profound question and not all the books in the world put together can answer this. But I think that it got to do something with the fact that love involves our whole being like nothing else does -- except pain. I might attempt an answer some other time, but thanks for posing the question. The key to understanding life really lies in asking the right questions -- and asking them with sincerity as you have done.

Sikhism , like any other religion, must guard agianst the demons of cultural irrelevance and stagnation

To survive any onslaught, real or perceived, all that an ideology or religion or culture has to do is its own relevance and worth to the world in which it aims to survive. This is true of all ideologies. including secularism, and all relgions, including Sikhism. The only demon that any religion or ideology or culture should ever dread is the of its own irrelevance and stagnation. Ideologies and cultures are essentially an intellectual infrastructure on which the moral, spiritual or intellectual growth of mankind is founded. The word "growth" itself implies ceaseless renewal. Therefore, they must keep pace with this constant and ceaseless updating of human knwoledge and understanding. Any religion that refuses to do so will fall by the wayside. We have seen that happening to all religious beliefs ( like that the earth is the center of this universe ) or ideolgies ( Marxian thought). Once they closed their doors to new ideas and new developments, they wrote their own epitaph. Sikhs have nothing to fear from any one because as a a reigious class, they are among the most modernising and intellectually enterprising people, capable of taking changes around them in their strides. Sikhism is also an oucry of the human spirit against fundamentalism and jigoisitic narrow mindedness. An angry Sikh or a fundamentalist Siikh is a contradiction in terms, and an affront to the "sehaj marg" taught by our Gurus. All those who swear by the name of the Gurus must steer clear of the evils that they themselves criticise in others. And the best course open to a Sikh is to avoid criticising others anyway, because Guru Granth Sahib declares all paths as worthy of our repsect; "Jit duaare ubhre, titte le ho ubhaar."Unfortunately, however, we suffer from the same weaknesses that our brethern from other faiths do. This must be accepted with grace, so that an honest effort may begin towards getting back to the goal of love and human brotherhood preached by oru Gurus, saints and seers."Ghat ghat main har jeo vasse / Santan kahio pukaar!"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hard Core Hindu Girl as Cleopatra


Harcharan Bains November 1 at 12:53am
Interesting. But Sumy -- what an adorable name !-- how could so completely a fine person like you seem to be ever think of becoming hard -core in religious beliefs. You very beautiful summed your bio up as "I am Cleopatra", ( We all knwo what a strong and lovable person Cleopatra was ) and that description sits well on you -- you deserve to say that abotu yourself. But just a little interruption, Sumi, if you don't mind. No Hindu, who is true to Gita and Lord Krishan and Lord Ram can ever be accused of being hard core. You seem too fine a person to accuse yourself of that. Please have a re-look. I think what you honestly meant was that you have a strong faith in the Hindu way of lfie -- even I have that, though I am not a Hindu. Most of my dearest friends are Hindus, and they are all peictures of liberal conduct l, and we have a great time together. I am sure even you will rise to touch the high moral and spiritual stature that Hinduism sets for its followers. Read Swami Vivekananad or Dr. Radhakrishanan, or any other enlightened soul, and you wil find enough reason to be proud of the liberal legacy of this great religion. I salute your future as a truly liberated soul, uncluttered by any narrow definitions either about your own self or about your great religion. I have reason to believe that you will make your parents and friends proud by turning out to be an elnlightened individual, diffrent from the ordinary people.And of course, I will always be happy to talk to you, on this or any other issue.

Arundhati, Kashmir, India and I

@ Dilbagh Singh:There will always be some people in this wide world who would confuse oddity with originality, and self-righteous arrogance with outspoken truthfulness. Arundhati I consider one such blessed soul. Regardless of what she say...s, ...I do not really think hers are the best credentials to express any serious opinion on Kashmir. Her support for a cause whose complexities she does not even appear to understand is as irrelevant to the issue and as meaningless as my support for any seditious movement in say China or Argentina would be. But relax, we live in a democracy and her free remark tells me more about the tolerant nature of my country than about her or the cause she professes support for . That said , I am proud that only an Indian could speak such bold though inane words. God bless her. I will by praying for her.See More

Arundhati, Kashmir, India and I

@ Dilbagh Singh:There will always be some people in this wide world who would confuse oddity with originality, and self-righteous arrogance with outspoken truthfulness. Arundhati I consider one such blessed soul. Regardless of what she say...s, ...I do not really think hers are the best credentials to express any serious opinion on Kashmir. Her support for a cause whose complexities she does not even appear to understand is as irrelevant to the issue and as meaningless as my support for any seditious movement in say China or Argentina would be. But relax, we live in a democracy and her free remark tells me more about the tolerant nature of my country than about her or the cause she professes support for . That said , I am proud that only an Indian could speak such bold though inane words. God bless her. I will by praying for her.See More

Hazel (ed)To someone come from the past for a brief glimpse ..

Would be happy if we could stay in touch, but I wouldn't push things too hard. Never did. I always believed in exercising my right to put in my case, and always respected the other person's right to accpet or reject that. Its been an honourable deal, and I look back at a life which does not reveal much dishonesty or pain inflicted on others. Must have been dead wrong at many places, but have always tried to pull back and rectify -- always had this in mind: will my mother forgive me if I cheated on someone? She never would , and although I was lucky enough to have a helluv a good life, it was largely free from any need for lying. HAve a great time with dear hubby. Wish u all luck and happiness in life. See if you could let me know when you are back.

HAZEL: To someone come from the past for a brief glimpse ..

Would be happy if we could stay in touch, but I wouldn't push things too hard. Never did. I always believed in exercising my right to put in my case, and always respected the other person's right to accpet or reject that. Its been an honourable deal, and I look back at a life which does not reveal much dishonesty or pain inflicted on others. Must have been dead wrong at many places, but have always tried to pull back and rectify -- always had this in mind: will my mother forgive me if I cheated on someone? She never would , and although I was lucky enough to have a helluv a good life, it was largely free from any need for lying. HAve a great time with dear hubby. Wish u all luck and happiness in life. See if you could let me know when you are back.

Hazel (ed) hese words could humble a God

"A man who hates or inuslts another's religion does not know enough even about his own:" -- From my diary when I was a teacher at Baring Union Christian College, Batala. (Yes, Shiv Ku

To Harman Bhullar: Now, Harman, these words would've been enough to humble a God, leave aside an ordinary mortal like me. For the rest of my life, I will be searching for the right words to express my gratitude to you.mar's Batala.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

For Hazel:"Humility that could make the adversary's aggression look ridiculously irrelevant....

Grace and disgrace are issues you settle with your own conscience: from my diary in early youth
by Harcharan Bains on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 12:05pm
ALL THAT I WROTE AND WRITE ABOUT SAINTS IS IN FACT ABOUT MY MOTHER. SHE HAD NEVER HAD ANY AMBITIONS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL CAREER OR MONETARY AMBITIONS FOR ME. SHE WAS WHAT SOMEONE HAS CALLED "A GOD INTOXICATED PERSON."

MY MOTHER TALKED TO ME ONLY ONCE ABOUT WHAT SHE WOULD LIKE ME TO BECOME IN LIFE, AND THIS IS WHAT SHE HAD SAID:" .

........."IT IS YOUR CALL, SON. I WILL BE AS HAPPY AND PROUD IF YOU LABOUR WITH HONESTY ON OTHER PEOPLE'S FIELDS AS I WOULD BE IF YOU BECOME AN HONEST PRIME MINSITER OF THE COUNTRY.NO WORK --WHETHER THAT OF A SCAVENGER OR LABOURER OR A CLERK OR ANY OTHER -- IS TOO PETTY FOR YOU AND THERE IS NO DISGRACE ATTACHED TO ANY TYPE OF WORK. THERE IS ONLY HONOUR AND THERE IS ONLY PRIDE IN WHATEVER WORK YOU TAKE UP WITH HONESTY. I WILL ALWAYS BE PROUD OF YOU WHEN YOU COME HOME TIRED AND PERHAPS DEFEATED BUT NOT DISGRACED BY DISHONESTY. IF YOU WANT TO SEE THIS PRIDE INTACT IN YOUR MOTHER'S HEART, JUST STAY HONEST TO WHATEVER YOU DO. THERE IS PRIDE ONLY IN HONESTY AND TRUTH AND HARD WORK. GREED, VANITY LUST AND FALSEHOOD ARE THE ONLY DISGRACE TO OUR SOUL. AND ABOVE ALL, NEVER ALLOW LOVE IN YOUR HEART TO VANISH. THIS IS OUR ONLY CONNECT TO THE UNIVERSE AND THEREFORE TO GOD. "

THE REST OF MY LIFE HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE TO BE WORTHY OF MY MOTHER. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE NOT ALWAYS SUCCEEDED.

Here is ANOTHER entry in my diary from thsoe days. The background to the note was incident in our family that had a profound influence on my psyche for the rest of my lfie. We had fallen on bad days and my father had been cheated of what would today be an estate for a prince to be proud of. We faced days when we didn't know where our next meal was coming from. I never saw any frowns or anxiety on my mother's forehead during these days of extreme poverty and helpless, because of which we lost one of our sisters to an illness we didn't ahve the money to buy a cure for. But Mother, who sobbed secretly at this grievous loss, calmly piloted us through the rough weather as my father fretted and almost lost his sanity because of the shock of the loss.But she loved him back to sound physical and mental health.

Those days, one of the persons who had cheated my father and was very proud of having done that had decided to rub salt into the wounds of our family and had come to our house to offer help. My father nearly shot him. But my mother intervened and even said she would accept a token help ( Rs 50 ) from him since, as she said, " he had come with pious intentions. We do not turn away anyone from our door." This was heart-rending, especially as I knew that mother would never use even a single paisa (old paise those days) of the money that did not come our way through our honest work.I wrote this late that night: (in Punjabi, which later translated into English)

"She has not made her identity a slave to vanity, nor has she allowed her vision to be so blurred as to lose the distinction between true moral dignity and false ego. What she is achieving is a success in bringing to human form all the values and feelings and ideas that the thought of God inspires in me (us) . what she is truly expressing is the courage to help her detractors have a shot at greatness. She is actually allowing her detractor to rise in his own esteem. In doing so, she is sacrificing her temprorary sense of what others call "self-esteem" but what she views merely as "vanity". She would not allow that vanity to come in the way of her providing her opponent a platform to exercise and exhibit his greatness , his generosity. She is in fact making it possible for the good in him to come forth, even at the expense of her own perceived dignity. Quite often our ability to accept the enemy's grace is a more true measure of the magnitude of our character than our courage to fight him."

A few more lines were added to it the next morning. I expanded those into a facebook note some time back. I have taken the liberty of altering its context to make it more generally applicable. But the substance, the facts and the meaning remain untouched.
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Hazel ed - A Peak too high ...

Harcharan Bains Jugraj Dhillon Sohi: You just won't realsie what a great compliment you just paid me. I wouldn't mind dying a thousand times over to deserve it.



o Aneet to HB: This is with reference to the news item in in HT regarding ur globe trotting capacity in ur official car innumerable times. Please pay heed to the advice offered by the following urdu couplet.Daaman gar hai saaf to khaas ehtiyat rakhisse zaraa sa bhi daagh chhupaya na jayega .

HB to Aneet: Thanks for the advice. I take it in all seriousness and sincerity, even if it could mean a cut down on efficiency. Friends and the way they feel are more important assets than any job or status.
As for the daag and daaman,

"Daag daaman pe nahin, dil pe liya hai maine"..... incomparable Sahir

Aneet to HB: Rarely we encounter public figures like urself, having such high levels of acceptability, who can take all their critcs in their stride. Allegations are part and parcel of the package which one gets by virtue of being in high office. ...Interaction with u since past 2-3 months has been every bit of a learning experience with humility being one of the core values which i wud like to imbibe from u. I think u are one of the few people i have encountered for whom the following lines of Kipling's poem 'If' are very relevant to a great extent. How far? I think u are a better judge.If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,If all men count with you, but none too much;And for cutting down on efficiency, please dont do that as already their are a bunch of inefficient people in the govt. machinery. Efficient people are a in minority.

HB to Aneet: Its a tribute to my mother and no disgrace to me that I have not always succeeded. For instance, you would have been happy to see me turn to a life of completely ascetic discipline. She would have been happy to see me immersed in meditation. She would have been even happier if I could render soul melodies in Gurbani and live up to those divine words.

I achieved quite a few of the things she wanted me to. Uncompressing honesty and integrity in my dealings with people, bridling my greed in, working on my temperament to learn to retain my poise and calm even in even in the midst of extreme adversity, refusal to be drawn into hate race, building a capacity to love almost everything I see, everyone I meet -- regardless of what that person does to me. I have faltered many a time even in these, but have always been able to pull myself up and retain the equilibrium so necessary for sane and compassionate approach to life and people.

My failings would of course outnumber my strengths, but I have never let go of my dream to be a better, cleaner, more loving and more caring person . It may have remained only a dream, but I a cherished dream, the one that I have always considered worth a pursuit and have always pursued.

I have worked on the pitfalls of being opinionated, close minded, and prejudiced. I have treated communalism as a disease that must be fought and defeated by all of us.

All this is a legacy of my parents, especially my mother -- my father could aggressive and assertive ( not , never in front of my mother though, because her humility and kindness did not permit anyone to remain aggressive and yet look sufficiently human)

All my life I have chased these dreams, but my weaknesses have kept me away from a complete fulfillment of that. Now I am pursuing another dream: I want my son to get closer to living up to his grandmother's ideals than I have been able to. I keep telling him that bringing up an honest and loving grandchild for her is the best finest tribute I can pay my mother.

Luckily for me, despite his own weaknesses ( different from mine) , he appears well on course.

o Aneet to HB: (FB October 29, 2010) Rarely we encounter public figures like urself, having such high levels of acceptability, who can take all their critcs in their stride. Allegations are part and parcel of the package which one gets by virtue of being in high office. ...Interaction with u since past 2-3 months has been every bit of a learning experience with humility being one of the core values which i wud like to imbibe from u. I think u are one of the few people i have encountered for whom the following lines of Kipling's poem 'If' are very relevant to a great extent. How far? I think u are a better judge.If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,If all men count with you, but none too much;And for cutting down on efficiency, please dont do that as already their are a bunch of inefficient people in the govt. machinery. Efficient people are a in minority.
o Aneet: Kipling's ideal , as expressed in these words, is a peak too high for me. But yes, I wouldn't be a liar and say that I do not even try to get closer to it. I think I will be presumptuous enough to lay claim to some claim on the first ...two lines......but lines three and four? God, both friends and foes can hurt me ( though not embitter me) and all men count with me, and all too much. ( Some too, too much and a few of them, just too, too too much) But I do feel an undercurrent of love for everyone, even those I have to fight against. But how shall I thank you Aneet for the extremely kind words you ahve used for me. Humility? Don't you think I keep reacting, every now and then, with some bit of intellectual arorgance? But you think I don't, then that's high praise, something I will always like to work at to be worthy of your words. Thanks( from the core of my heart) and very high reagrds.but lines three and four? God, both friends and foes can hurt me ( though not embitter me) and all men count with me, and all too much. ( Some too, too much and a few of them, just too, too too much) But I do feel an undercurrent of love for everyone, even those I have to fight against. But how shall I thank you Aneet for the extremely kind words you ahve used for me. Humility? Don't you think I keep reacting, every now and then, with some bit of intellectual arorgance? But you think I don't, then that's high praise, something I will always like to work at to be worthy of your words. Thanks( from the core of my heart) and very high reagrds. Kipling's ideal , as expressed in these words, is peak too high for me. But yes, I wouldn't be a liar and say that I do not even try to get closer to it. I think I will be presumptuous enough to lay claim to some claim on the firs two lines......but lines three and four? God, both friends and foes can hurt me ( though not embitter me) and all men count with me, and all too much. ( Some too, too much and a few of them, just too, too too much) But I do feel an undercurrent of love for everyone, even those I have to fight against.
o
o But how shall I thank you Aneet for the extremely kind words you have used for me. Humility? Don't you think I keep reacting, every now and then, with some bit of intellectual arrogance? But you think I don't, then that's high praise, something I will always like to work at to be worthy of your words. Thanks( from the core of my heart) and very high regard
o God, both friends and foes can hurt me ( though not embitter me) and all men count with me, and all too much. ( Some too, too much and a few of them, just too, too too much) But I do feel an undercurrent of love for everyone, even those I have to fight against. But how shall I thank you Aneet for the extremely kind words you ahve used for me. Humility? Don't you think I keep reacting, every now and then, with some bit of intellectual arorgance? But you think I don't, then that's high praise, something I will always like to work at to be worthy of your words. Thanks( from the core of my heart) and very high reagrds. God, both friends and foes can hurt me ( though not embitter me) and all men count with me, and all too much. ( Some too, too much and a few of them, just too, too too much) But I do feel an undercurrent of love for everyone, even those I have to fight against. But how shall I thank you Aneet for the extremely kind words you ahve used for me. Humility? Don't you think I keep reacting, every now and then, with some bit of intellectual arorgance? But you think I don't, then that's high praise, something I will always like to work at to be worthy of your words. Thanks( from the core of my heart) and very high reagrds.
o

Hazel :Chasing a mountain too high for dreams.....

Aneet to Harcharan Bians October 29: You say " Unfotunately, I ahve not always succeeded" in remaining rue to the dreams cherished by your mother. Why?
Aneet: Its a tribute to my mother and no disgrace to me that I have not always succeeded. For instance, you would have been happy to see me turn to a life of completely ascetic discipline. She would have been happy to see me immersed in meditation. She would have been even happier if I could render soul melodies in Gurbani and live up to those divine words.

I achieved quite a few of the things she wanted me to. Uncompressing honesty and integrity in my dealings with people, bridling my greed in, working on my temperament to learn to retain my poise and calm even in even in the midst of extreme adversity, refusal to be drawn into hate race, building a capacity to love almost everything I see, everyone I meet -- regardless of what that person does to me. I have faltered many a time even in these, but have always been able to pull myself up and retain the equilibrium so necessary for sane and compassionate approach to life and people.

My failings would of course outnumber my strengths, but I have never let go of my dream to be a better, cleaner, more loving and more caring person . It may have remained only a dream, but I a cherished dream, the one that I have always considered worth a pursuit and have always pursued.

I have worked on the pitfalls of being opinionated, close minded, and prejudiced. I have treated communalism as a disease that must be fought and defeated by all of us.

All this is a legacy of my parents, especially my mother -- my father could aggressive and assertive ( not , never in front of my mother though, because her humility and kindness did not permit anyone to remain aggressive and yet look sufficiently human)

All my life I have chased these dreams, but my weaknesses have kept me away from a complete fulfillment of that. Now I am pursuing another dream: I want my son to get closer to living up to his grandmother's ideals than I have been able to. I keep telling him that bringing up an honest and loving grandchild for her is the best finest tribute I can pay my mother.

Luckily for me, despite his own weaknesses ( different from mine) , he appears well on course.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hazel's son on the day of judgement

‎"When all has been spoken and heard against my vulnerable soul in God's presence, I would dread nothing more than the spectacle of a friend in the judge's chair, " said Hazel's son to his friend after he had recovered from a deep hurt. He had breakfast with this friend that morning, and his thoughts ran to someone breaking bread at what turned out to be the famous last supper.

Then, he rose slowly and whispered: The fountains of love, comapssion and forgiveness, if I have any inside me, will never cease. If I don't have them in me, I will borrow them from everyone who has."

"Hatred and anger will breed hatred and anger. If you want love and want others to behave in a civilised and decent way, the only option available to you is to set an example."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hazel:Don't use truth as a weapon.

I m no great fan of Coelho though I like him in patches, as in these lines:"Emotional rubbish consists of pain that has long since passed and is no longer useful.It consists of precautions that were important in the past but that serve no purpose in the present"...Change your feelings to keep pace with what you are today. (The last sentence is modified by me)


Harcharan Bains

Harcharan Bains Telling the truth when you know you will have to pay for it is the only proof of your truthfulness. Telling it only so that it may hurt merely indicates a selfish pleasure in appearing truthful. Truth is not more valuable than the need to spread happiness all around you. A simple test for genuine truthfulness: tell the truth when it will spread more happiness than unhappiness. Don't use truth as a weapon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Newspapers, cinema and the Houses of God: the entertainment industry moves on.....

Newspapers, cinema and the Houses of God: the entertainment industry moves on.....

by Harcharan Bains on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 1:12pm
People's choice of one newspaper over another depends largely on which lies entertain them more. I have always been grateful to the media because, after all , it is the only platform where a murder and a rape are described with such relish before the whole story is denied. It is also the only place where apparent rage is the journalist's fake orgasm designed to keep you involved with the meaninglessness of his enthusiasm.Fortunately, America is no match to our local genius in this.

Donkey's years pf boredom as Media Advisor to Chief Minister have been more than compensated by the thrill I continue to get in reading a headline which is only slightly less misleading than what appears below it.I know it is blasphemous but newspapers these days pose a serious challenge to the Houses of God in spreading entertaining falsehoods. There is only one power that achieves more than both of them put together: and that is the TV. TV succeeds where even the newspaper fail: in "un-educating" the illiterate. TV alone gives us the thrills of believing in absolute rubbish without even insisting on our educational qualifications or our ability to read or write. Newspapers and magazines have been forced to upgrade their skills to give a visual impetus to their art of "story" of story telling. To the TV goes the credit of letting an editor or a mere reporter experience the joy of watching how sure he looks without having to be credible and convincing. Cinema has lost out to journalism because the art of selling a nightmare these days has become more rewarding than the old art of selling a dream.

As for credibility, newspapers and news channels have only as much to do with news as he Houses of God have to do with God. Myth-making is exciting while Truth can be boring.


Hazel: The little feeling that flutter

The little feeling that flutters in my heart every time I think of someone with a noble soul gives me strength to smile at all the negative forces of the world. The day I find despair or intolerance or bitterness casting their shadows on the soft glow of love in my heart, I will re-visit the childhood I spent in the warmth of the lap of a mother who taught me to love the "enemy" with as much sincerity as a friend.