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Today is the day when Guru Gobind Singh ji established the Khalsa Pant to protect dharma, remove evil, serve everyone and uplift human values. Guru Gobind Singh’s message of being dynamic outside and soft and peaceful within is of most relevance today. He speaks about being a Sant Sepahi, a saint and a soldier. You cannot say you are a saint; you have nothing to do with the world and let whatever else happens, happen. You should speak up against injustice, and simultaneously, be compassionate within, like a saint.

All the stories of the ten Gurus in the Sikh Tradition are so heartwarming, and uplifting, one of sacrifice. They sacrificed everything they had for the sake of the good, innocent and the righteous. The essence of knowledge was shared with seekers in simple words.

There is a beautiful story about the first Guru, Guru Nanak Devji. It is said that while working as the store-keeper of Nawab’s state granary one day, he was counting the provisions ‘one, two, three...ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen’. When he reached the number thirteen, (which also means ‘yours’) he would get stuck. ‘I am yours, I am yours, I am yours’ he would keep repeating and go into meditation. Even while doing his work diligently; his mind was immersed in the Divine. Guru Nanak Dev’s life was that of such pure wisdom, love and Guru Gobind Singh’s life is one filled with valour.

One of the most beautiful greetings in the world comes from Sikh tradition- Sat Shri Akal. Sat means truth; Shri is the wealth and Akal is eternal. Truth is the real wealth which is eternal; the eternal/transcendental divinity is the only truth and that is the real wealth. Meditation takes you to this inner space that is truth. ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’- meaning ‘the one who says this greeting, shall exalt!’ The call not only fills you up with valor but the spirit of eternal being.

The Granth Saheb has also said- it is only one Omkar that is the true name of the infinity. Omkar is the eternal sound which can be felt in the depth of one’s consciousness. If you go near the ocean or on top of the mountain, you’ll be able to hear the same sound. Before we are born we are in it and after we are gone, we merge into it too. Even now in the depth of the creation, it exists. Sikhism celebrates life in the form of three pillars of wisdom- Naam Japo (Focus on the name of god), Kirat Karo (live honestly and work with dedication) and Vand Chako (share and serve)

Baisakhi is also a big day for the farmers who celebrate the first rabi crop on this day. At a time when farmers are in distress and people are suffering around, we need to comfort their hearts and minds. We need to bring everyone together and give them hope, a hope that comes from inner strength and wisdom.

The society can be happy and healthy only when the farmer is happy and healthy. With this goal in mind, The Art of Living has been working with the farmers, training lakhs of them in Punjab and Haryana in natural chemicalfree farming that has increased their yield, the quality of the soil is much better, and most importantly their health and health of the consumers is better.

The knowledge of Sikhism is, in today’s world where there is so much pain and suffering, all you need is inner awakening and valor. Do not forsake the people who have come for help, who have sought refuge in you. The other lesson is about taking responsibility. A valorous person will not sit back and wait for others to take action but will come forward and act. The third is, devotion brings out the best within us. It opens up our hearts and unless our hearts have opened, we cannot serve.

Even the Vedic tradition talks about the one Brahman- one divinity, the unseen and eternal, the formless energy that the whole world is made up of, which is beyond name, form or any other identity. This is what we find mentioned in Sikh faith too: there is one Amurat (unmanifest), Akalpurush (the one beyond time), not visible, unmanifest Brahman.

When celebration has a tinge of sacredness and prayer, it gains depth and dignity. It is not just for one’s pleasure but for the nourishment of the soul. Celebrations like Baisakhi have sacredness attached to them.


SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR The writer is an Indian yoga guru, a spiritual leader, founder of The Art of Living

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