«AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION O thou that buttest the high mountain, seeking to dislodge it with thy horns, take pity, not on the mountain but on thy head ...»
Dharam Sat: The Temple of Righteousness and Faith. It was originally used for Sikh temples. Other words used for temples were Sangat and Gurudwara. Guru Nanak considers this earth to be a Temple of God for human being. (dharti dharamsat) Gian, gyan ;Knowledge; the Sikh scriptures discuss all types of knowl-edge; intellectual or mere bookish knowledge which a man acuires for prestige but does not practice what he preaches through his books; worldly or professional knowledge which a man acquires for earning his living; knowledge of human nature, the world and universe which is helpful in understanding life and human society; real knowledge comes from intellectual percep-tion of divine within us and the Presence of His Lights within the Universe. The first stage of this path to knowledge of Reality begins with knowledge of inner Self apa-Chanana. By contemplating on divine Attributes one knows His Attributes and reaches His Presence. Human soul can attain perfection through experimental knowledge of God (Braham Gyan). The knowledge of Ultimate Truth is revealed to the learned who contemplate Him and practice what they preach, or the saints of God through gracious illumination.
Golden Temple : The third Guru of Sikhs, Guru Amar Das asked his son- in-law (would-be-successor), named Jeth Chand to build a holy shrine and around it a holy city. He bought land which was con-nected with village Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali.
The place was visited by Guru Nanak accompanied by Guru Angad Dev. The whole site after the construction of new city was known as Chak Guru Ram Das. Initially the tank of Santokh Sar was dug.
398 Amritsar city was founded, the residential building known as Guru Ka Mahal was built. Workmen of all trades were invited. The dig-ging of the Sacred Pool and the site for Golden Temple was started in 1573 A.D. and was completed in 1577 A.D. In the present site of Golden Temple a small temple was constructed in which prayers and services were begun. Bhai Gurdas says “Guru Ram Das dug an ambrosial pool, and in the centre lighted a Lamp of Peren-nial divine Light Puran tal Khataya Amritsar vich jot jagai. It was Guru Arjun who invited Miyan Mir to lay the foundation stone of Golden Temple and build a pucca temple and tank, the originality of which has been maintained. By the time Temple construction was complete the Adi Granth was compiled and its original copy placed in the sanctum sanctoriam in August 1604 A.D. or perhaps earlier. The date of installation is celebrated every year.
Lakhpat Rai the Hindu Diwan of Zakriya Khan gave an impres-sion to the Lahore Viceroy that it is the Amritsar shrine and the sacred Pool which was the source of strength of this unique inspi-ration of the Sikhs. He laid seize to it resembling the present seize by Delhi Rulers and the Sikhs had to fight for its possession. Under the same impression that it was source of strength and unity, Ahmed Shah Abdali destroyed it and damaged the Temple and Akal Takhat thrice, but in none of the invasion was the foun-dation of the Temple and Akal Takhat ever destroyed. The Sikhs rebuilt it every time till they captured political power and ruled over Punjab.
Once more after 1984 Blue Star Military attack of Mrs Indira Gandhi’s rule the Golden Temple Complex and most of the historical Sikh Temples were controlled by surrogate leaders.
Gorakhnath and NathPanthis : Gorakhnath (9th century) was one of the outstanding Siddhas who according to Guru Gobind Singh inspired many Princes to renounce their Kingdoms and popularize his Hathyoga system which is enunciated alledgely by him in his well known classic Hath-Yoga-Pradipika. In Buddhist literature Gorakhnath is called a magician. Their distinctive marks are Kanphata (Split ears) wearing large ear-rings, and carrying a beg-ging bowl and a bag of cloth. They were divided into 12 sects and according to Guru Nanak’sJapji the Ayi Panth founded by a woman disciple of Gorakhnath was the most important. The word Ayi means Mai (Mother). It has its headquarters in Hardwar and Bombay. Bhai Gurdas says that Guru Nanak visited all centres of Nathpanthi yogis in India, debated with them on all issues raised by them till they submitted to his way of thought and mystical experiences (gosht kar kar kan phadaya). It is the power of those Nathpanthis which began to decline after the advent of Guru Nanak.
399 Gurbilas : lit:Divine Sport of the Guru the Janamsakhi in prose were the hagiographic narratives of Guru Nanak’s life. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century the Gurbilas (Lives of sixth and eighth Guru) were written on the pattern of Guru Gobind Singh’s Bachitar Natak”.
This tradition along with Sakhi Pothi tradition continued to record Sikh history in eighteenth and nineteenth century.
Gurdas (Bhai) was son of Ishar Das younger brother of Guru Amar Das. He is author of 40 vars, each having 20-49 verses. Each verse is written in Punjabi language which is, refreshingly modern in every literary era. He has also written 675 Quantrains in Braj on mystical experience in the light of Indian thought and musical schools. He was co-compiler of Adi-Granth and the most learned poet-scholar and philosopher of Guru period. Like Baba Buddha he was the pillar of Sikh ism for over a century. His humanity and devotion were unique and inspiring. When Guru Hargobind was imprisoned in Gwalior fort he looked after the services of Golden Temple Complex. The works of Bhai Gurdas, besides those of Bhai Nand Lall are the only works of contemporary Disciple-Poets which were blessed by the Gurus. They are recited in the Golden Temple and all other Sikh Shrines along with hymns of Guru Granth Sahib.
Gurmat : Gur-mat : Philosophical and religious system of the Sikh Gurus; Sikh Philosophy, mysticism and ethics.
Gurmatta : A collective national decision of the Sikh Panth taken at Akal Thakat in which all samarpardayas and all sections and rep-resentatives of the Panth took part. It was presided over,by Akal Thakatjathedar and five other prominent Sikh divines selected by representative organisations. The militant leaders could give sug-gestions, but none of them individually ortfi groups could impose their decisions. The gathering was called Sarbat Khalsa and the decision passed through resolution called Gunnatta, and were fi-nal and irrevocable. The Sarbat Khalsa gathering held by militant groups were unrepresentative and unacceptable to the Sikh masses and no one cared for their decisions and calls. The Sarbat Khalsa held by the Delhi Rulers was a disgraceful act in which the Central ministers and other Sikh congressites passed and pretended to-be saviour of the Sikh Panth after colloboration with Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1984 Bule Star attack on the Golden Temple Complex.
Gurmukh : The word Gurmukh is used in three senses. It is used for God as mukhi, Supreme Guru :Enlightened. It is used for the Guru as Supreme Apostle of God. It is used for ilIumined Sikhs who are also called Sanmukh Sikhs.
Gupurb an auspicious occasion or day connected with the life of the Gurus such as day of birth, installation as Guru, day of death or martyrdom.
400 Guru Granth Sahib: The holy Book of the Sikhs which has a long history. Earlier works from which it was compiled were known as Pothis (or collection of Hymns) when the first volume was com-piled it was known as Pothi Sahib or Granth Sahib. Copies of the original were prepared and each Guru stressed the importance of preparing copies which were installed in important missionary centres. Guru Gobind Singh installed it as the Guru, or Holy book with Apostle Light and Authority embodied in it. It was installed in the Golden temple by Guru Arjun just two years before his martyrdom or perhaps earlier in 1604 A.D. Many copies of the original exist in various historical shrines. Guru Gobind Singh started preparing copies at Damdama Sahib in Anandpur a few years after he was installed the Guru. Hundreds of this authentic codex were prepared during the life time of Guru Gobind Singh and his contemporaries like Bhai Mani Singh and Baba Dip Singh, are found all over India. Thus the holy Book is revered as Eternal Enlightener and no human being however a great saint he may be can claim to be above the Guru Granth Sahib and Sadh Sangat congregation of the Saints seated in the Presence of The Sadh Sangat.
Haumai.. l-am-ness, egoism, self-concert.
Hukamnama : Edicts or encyclic letters of the Gurus written to various sangats away from the place where the Guru resided. We have hukamnamas of all the Gurus from the sixth to tenth Guru.
They are of great historical importance.
Janarnsakhi : Hagiographic narrative life-story of Guru Nanak. The ear-liestJanamsakhi was prepared with the help of scribe Paida Mokha, for which the horoscope and stories of Guru Nanak’s earl}’ life were procured through his life-long companion Bhai Bala, whose family well is still there at the birth place of Guru Nanak (Nankana Sahib) now in Pakistan, and the place where the Janarnsakhi was written and Bhai Bala was cremated, is still preserved.
Karah Prasad : Sacramental food prepared from five ingredients, fire, water, sugar, ghee, flour. Bhai Gurdas calls it Panchamrit and rnahaprasad. It becomes prasad when prayer is recited over it.
Karam : It is used in many senses in Guru Granth Sahib.
(I) Karam, (Persian) Generosity, a magnificence, clemency, kindness, benevolance, grace.
(2) Karam, (sk) action, performance, duty, deed, a religious act or rite.
(3) Fate, destiny (4) The doctrine of Karma associated with rebirth.
(5) Karma as ritual rites of Hinduism.
Kirtan.. singing of hymns in ragas on musical instruments.
401 Katha.. Sermons delivered on the basis of interpretation of selected hymns of Guru Granth.
Kirpan : sword Kaur : suffix added to the names of Sikh women which means “Princess”. Earlier it was commonly used by Rajput princesses.
Khalsa : In the Mughal period Khalsa was the Crown land on which no one except the King had his ownership. when during the life time of Guru Hargobind the rnasands had started baptizing their followers, those baptized by the masands were called Sahalangi Sikhs or associate orSahajdhari Sikhs, but those baptized by the Guru were called Khalsa Sikhs. When Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Holy Order, he transfered the Guru’s authority to baptize the Sikhs to ordained Khalsa Sikhs, as a prelude to abolishing Personal Guruship for ever. Bhai Gurdas a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh calls this phenomenon Gur Sangat Kini Khalsa. The whole Sangat of the Guru becomes Khalsa. The Sikh Panth came to be known as the Khalsa Panth.
Khanda : double edged sword.
Langar: The langar in the Persian world was the name given to an aims house, langar-khana was the house for entertaining the poor where they could find food and rest. The Sufi Khanqas had a community kitchen open to all. On the pattern of these langars attached to Sufi Khanqas, Guru Nanak made langar a free and permanant institution. From the time of Guru Nanak to the present an open langar is attached to all important Sikh shrines where people of all nations, men, women and children of all religions, the saints and sinners, the friends and foes come and take their food. No one as a Sikh dares to question from where they have come. It is the Guru’s langar for all human beings.
Man: used in Sikh scriptures for mind, heart, consciousness.
Mani Singh : Bhai Mani Singh was born during the life time of Guru Har Rai. He belonged to a family of learned Rajput warrior schol-ars known for their many sacrifices even during Jahangir’s rule. His grand father died in the first battle of Guru Hargobind.
Out of his ten brothers nine laid down their lives for the cause of Sikhism. Bhai Dyal Das, the eldest suffered martyrdom along with Guru Teg Bahadur. All his sons who were well known warriors died fighting for Guru Gobind Singh. Bhai Mani Singh rose to the highest position of Diwan of Guru Gobind Singh. In 1700 A.D. he was sent along with 25 companions to wrest control of Golden Temple Complex from the break away cult of Minas. Bhai Mani Singh then acted as High Priest of Golden Temple, the most outstanding leader of the Sikhs till his martyrdom in June 1734.
He established a Theological Smaj called Amritsar Taksal which 402 produced disciplined missionaries known as gyanies. He compiled the sacred works of Guru Gobind Singh in Dasm Granth. He was the author ofjanam Sakhi (Gur-Ratnavali) and Sikhan-di-Bhagatmala based on the 11th Var of Bhai Gurdas.
Maya : wealth, phenomenal world, the material attraction earthly attachment of money, leisure which creates bondage and brings sufferings. All that detracts us from the thoughts of God is maya.
Murshid : disciple.
Nam : nam jap Gurmantra There are two types of Names of God: the Attributive Name of God called Kritan Nam, and Revealed Name of God called Sat-nam : The Name unvieling Truth and the Light of God. The Sat-nam is the Gurumantar of the Sikhs, which is imparted to the disciple at the time of initation.
The Gur-mantra is not an ordinary Word. It is a word carrying within its essence the spiritual energy, the living spirit and seed of the Presence and Light of God. This energy, this divine power is released to the consciousness mind and heart of a person who meditates on it and repeats it in contemplative solitude of dawn.
It is comtemplation of the word which leads to the discovery of a new diamension within our consciousness, a world of higher real-ity within our self. Meditative repetition of Gur-mantra, the Satnam is caned nam-jap.
Nand Lall (Bhai) : Bhai Nand Lall Goya was a Persian poet mystic born and brought up in Ghazni in the mystical literary tradition of Sufi poets like Rumi and Hafiz. He permanently shifted to Multan where he rose to high position and was Mir Munshi of A urangzeb’s son Bahadur Shah. When he met Guru Gobind Singh, he was so overwhelmed by the divine inspiration of Guru Gobind Singh that he never left the Master’s presence. He was further instrumental in cementing lasting friendship between Guru Gobind Singh and Bahadur Shah. He has left nine poetical works, the most well known are Diwan-i-Goya, Zindaginama, Ganjnama.
After the death of Guru Gobind Singh he stayed with Mata Sundari and Mata Sahiba Devi in Delhi. Bhai Nand Lall’s works are canonized as Sacred scriptures and are sung and recited along with Gurbani in all Sikh temples.
Panth : Originally the word meant Panth, the same as Marag, or Rah.