Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Battle Raging Inside

Today I was reading “Pothi Parmesar Ka Thaan” by Bhai Sewa Singh Tarmala to my parents. The chapter I was reading was talking about our internal and external battles in life. Bhai Sahib writes about how back during the times of the Guru Jis, people were being sold as slaves in markets in India. In the context of oppression and the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, it became important for one to be able to defend oneself physically. To be able to ride a horse and be trained in weaponry became important to one’s personal freedom. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji introduced these so that the Sikhs could defend themselves. 

Guru Arjan Dev Ji complied all the scriptures at the time and called them “Pothi Parmesar Ka Thaan.” Guru Hargobind Singh Ji lived the practical aspect of those teachings. Bhai Sahib writes about how the 5 (lust, anger, greed, pride, attachment) are making our mind a slave inside. What was true on the outside, was also true on the inside. We need to protect and fight for our mind’s freedom from slavery. As slaves of the 5, we fight with our families, and the people we love. The method of freedom is explained through Gurbani and starts with simran to awaken the mind. A sleeping mind cannot fight.

Sri Harmandir Sahib and the Akal Takht were made externally for people to be able to recognize what is in our mind. Harmandir Sahib represents the Mandar/Gurdwara/Mahal that God has made inside our own mind; that we have to work to access. Akal Takht was made to understand that just as decisions were made there, the same happens inside, at that place where God gives the mind a fansla (I’m having trouble translating this properly into English but I’ll use the word “decision”). In order to yield the sword correctly (only in defense, battling the other person’s mindset only and understanding that God resides within them too) the Sikhs had to conquer this internal battle first. That is why we are called Saint-Soldiers. 

So if we reach the Harmandir in our minds, if we bathe in the pool of Amrit of our minds, and cleanse the mind, we would not argue and we would not fight with one another. We would see God inside and outside. We are all warriors, but a lot of us have let our minds just go to sleep and we’ve been captured. We have to work to free our minds. Let’s all remember the story of the mind, what we came here to do. Let’s remind our friends, our families, and then work towards it. Next time you argue with someone/disagree/clash on something think about the 5 starting this fight. They’re stirring up trouble so you lose focus on your real task! I think about it nowadays and usually it’s easier to just let it go. Say Waheguru, breathe deeply. Then you no longer are caught up in the argument itself, but see the other person and their importance to you. 

Bhul chuk maaf karni.

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