Philosophy of the Guru

Dictation of the Guru Granth Saheb

The content of this post has some thoughts that were shared in an address by my grandfather at a Gurdwara (sikh temple).

Sri Guru Granth Sahib is probably the only religious text in the world which has hymns written by people from different religions: Kabir; Swami Ramanand was a staunch Brahmin; and Sheikh Farid a muslim. All of these men found God, and their words conform to the spirit of SGGS. At times, however, the words might indicate an apparent conflict, for example, the following words by Farid:

ਉਠੁ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਉਜੂ ਸਾਜਿ ਸੁਬਹ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰਿ ॥
Rise up, Fareed, and cleanse yourself; chant your morning prayer.
ਜੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਸਾਂਈ ਨਾ ਨਿਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਕਪਿ ਉਤਾਰਿ ॥੭੧॥
The head which does not bow to the Lord – chop off and remove that head. ||71||

And the following from Kabir:

ਕਿਆ ਉਜੂ ਪਾਕੁ ਕੀਆ ਮੁਹੁ ਧੋਇਆ ਕਿਆ ਮਸੀਤਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥
And what good are your purifications? Why do you bother to wash your face? And why do you bother to bow your head in the mosque?

In order to understand, lets read the whole hymn from Kabir:

ਪ੍ਰਭਾਤੀ ॥
ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਕਹਹੁ ਮਤ ਝੂਠੇ ਝੂਠਾ ਜੋ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥
Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false.
ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
You say that the One Lord is in all, so why do you kill chickens? ||1||
ਮੁਲਾਂ ਕਹਹੁ ਨਿਆਉ ਖੁਦਾਈ ॥
O Mullah, tell me: is this God’s Justice?
ਤੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
The doubts of your mind have not been dispelled. ||1||Pause||
ਪਕਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਆਨਿਆ ਦੇਹ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਕਉ ਬਿਸਮਿਲਿ ਕੀਆ ॥
You seize a living creature, and then bring it home and kill its body; you have killed only the clay.
ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪ ਅਨਾਹਤ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਹੁ ਹਲਾਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਆ ॥੨॥
The light of the soul passes into another form. So tell me, what have you killed? ||2||
ਕਿਆ ਉਜੂ ਪਾਕੁ ਕੀਆ ਮੁਹੁ ਧੋਇਆ ਕਿਆ ਮਸੀਤਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥
And what good are your purifications? Why do you bother to wash your face? And why do you bother to bow your head in the mosque?
ਜਉ ਦਿਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਹਜ ਕਾਬੈ ਜਾਇਆ ॥੩॥
Your heart is full of hypocrisy; what good are your prayers or your pilgrimage to Mecca? ||3||
ਤੂੰ ਨਾਪਾਕੁ ਪਾਕੁ ਨਹੀ ਸੂਝਿਆ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥
You are impure; you do not understand the Pure Lord. You do not know His Mystery.
ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਤੇ ਚੂਕਾ ਦੋਜਕ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੪॥੪॥
Says Kabeer, you have missed out on paradise; your mind is set on hell. ||4||4||

The central idea is now quite clear: simply following instructions will not count for anything – where ever those instructions might be from. The mind and body need to undergo a change, through the Guru’s instruction and instill a love for God, and creation – only then you will have achieved something.

So we see that both hymns point in the same direction: while for Farid, his actions symbolize the love for God; Kabir is talking about people who are not guided by that love. However, at times there happens to be a contradiction as well: wise men find God sometimes treading on different paths, and talk about that specific path. Commenting on that, this is what the Guru has to say:

ਛਿਅ ਘਰ ਛਿਅ ਗੁਰ ਛਿਅ ਉਪਦੇਸ ॥
There are six schools of philosophy, six teachers, and six sets of teachings.
ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਵੇਸ ਅਨੇਕ ॥੧॥
But the Teacher of teachers is the One, who appears in so many forms.
ਬਾਬਾ ਜੈ ਘਰਿ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥
O humble servant of the Lord: that home in which the Praises of the Creator are sung –
ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਰਾਖੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਤੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
be in that home; in it rests true greatness. ||1||Pause||
ਵਿਸੁਏ ਚਸਿਆ ਘੜੀਆ ਪਹਰਾ ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰੀ ਮਾਹੁ ਹੋਆ ॥
The seconds, minutes and hours, days, weeks and months,
ਸੂਰਜੁ ਏਕੋ ਰੁਤਿ ਅਨੇਕ ॥
and the various seasons originate from the one sun;
ਨਾਨਕ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਵੇਸ ॥੨॥੨॥
O Nanak, in just the same way, the many forms originate from the Creator. ||2||2||

In Hinduism there are six shastras (books) each with its own school of thought. However, these different ways are revealed by the same God to different people. In fact, there is no difference. Here in lies the greatness of the Guru.


Addiction affects bees

Okay guess what: addiction is not just limited to humans. Apparently new research found that bees can get addicted to caffeine and nicotine.

According to the study, bees were offered “artificial nectar that containted various natural sugar levels and various levels of caffeine and nicotine, alongside clean nectar that comprised sugar alone.” The bees indicated their preference for the nicotine version of nectar.

Talking of bees, they are also known to have what are called “compound eyes” – which consist of thousands of individual photo receptors. From Wikipedia: “The image perceived is a combination of inputs from the numerous ommatidia (individual “eye units”), which are located on a convex surface, thus pointing in slightly different directions. Compared with simple eyes, compound eyes possess a very large view angle, and can detect fast movement and, in some cases, the polarization of light.”


D.R.Kaprekar: Indian Mathematician

The readers may recall that I talked about Ramanujan sometime back. Today I introduce to my readers, a much less known Indian Mathematician.

Kaprekar constant
Kaprekar constant
Dattaraya Ramchandra Kaprekar, born 1905 worked on the number theory. He had no formal postgraduate training and worked as a schoolteacher in Nasik, India.

His claim to fame is the Kaprekar constant 6174. Start with any four digit number, with no repeating digits – say Z. Let A and B be two numbers formed by rearranging the digits of Z, such that A is the highest number that is possible, and B the smallest. Subtract B from A. If this is not 6174, continue the same way now taking this number to be Z. For example, starting with Ramanujan number 1729:

9721-1279 = 8442
8442-2448 = 5994
9954-4599 = 5355
5553-3555 = 1998
9981-1899 = 8082
8820-0288 = 8532
8532-2358 = 6174
7641-1467 = 6174

He also gave the world Harshad numbers: numbers that can be divided by the sum of their digits – for example 12, which is divisible by 3.


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