Traditionally, Guru Nanak Dev ji’s prakash purab (the day He spread forth His light on this earth) is celebrated on the full moon night of a specific lunar month. This year, this day coincided with the Supermoon. Here is a photo of the Golden Temple with the supermoon visible in the background:
My message sent out for this year’s Gurpurab greeting:
Kot karam karai hao dhare || Sram pavai sagle birthare || (278)
Hao vich maya, Hao vich chhaya || (466)
Kirpa kare je aapni, tan Gur ka Shabad kamahe || Nanak kahai sunho jano, eet sanjam dukh jai || (466)
By engaging in good deeds alone we cannot lose our egoistical pride. This pride causes to remain attached to Maya, and deprives us from appreciating Divine Bounties. Even millions of good deeds, done under the false influence of Maya – go waste. While we may have laboured, we do not receive Divine Respect. Reciting the Lord’s Name under the True Guru’s instructions, this veil of ego is removed and we are enraptured in Divine Love. Such a path is obtained by great fortune, and through the Lotus Feet of the Guru. Dhan Guru Nanak.
One of the central teachings of Guru Nanak was to see God as embodied in His Creation and recitation of His Greatness with loving devotion.
Today is Basant Panchami, an Indian festival of spring. The flowers are in full bloom – an image below, shot and edited completely on my Sony Xperia Z2. There are lots of colours all around.
Sikhism believes only in worship of One God, Who is Unborn and all pervading. He is the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer. The following is a translation of Basant Ki Vaar (Ode of Basant) by the Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji. While spring is one of the four seasons, here Guru ji speaks of everlasting spring within our heart and mind which is the culmination of worship and surrender to God.
ਬਸੰਤ ਕੀ ਵਾਰ ਮਹਲੁ ੫
बसंत की वार महलु ५
Basanṯ kī vār mahal 5
Basant Kee Vaar, Fifth Mehl:
ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥
Ik▫oaŉkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ਕੈ ਹੋਹੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਭਾਈ ॥
हरि का नामु धिआइ कै होहु हरिआ भाई ॥
Har kā nām ḏẖi▫ā▫e kai hohu hari▫ā bẖā▫ī.
Meditate on the Lord’s Name, and blossom forth in green abundance.
ਕਰਮਿ ਲਿਖੰਤੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਇਹ ਰੁਤਿ ਸੁਹਾਈ ॥
करमि लिखंतै पाईऐ इह रुति सुहाई ॥
Karam likẖanṯai pā▫ī▫ai ih ruṯ suhā▫ī.
By your high destiny, you have been blessed with this wondrous spring of the soul.
ਵਣੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਣੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਮਉਲਿਆ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਈ ॥
वणु त्रिणु त्रिभवणु मउलिआ अम्रित फलु पाई ॥
vaṇ ṯariṇ ṯaribẖavaṇ ma▫oli▫ā amriṯ fal pā▫ī.
The whole universe has blossomed forth, obtaining the Fruit of Ambrosial Nectar.
ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਲਥੀ ਸਭ ਛਾਈ ॥
मिलि साधू सुखु ऊपजै लथी सभ छाई ॥
Mil sāḏẖū sukẖ ūpjai lathī sabẖ cẖẖā▫ī.
Meeting with the Holy Saints, peace wells up, and all sins are erased.
ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਧਾਈ ॥੧॥
नानकु सिमरै एकु नामु फिरि बहुड़ि न धाई ॥१॥
Nānak simrai ek nām fir bahuṛ na ḏẖā▫ī. ||1||
O Nanak, remember in meditation the One Name, and you shall never again be consigned to the womb of reincarnation.. ||1||
ਪੰਜੇ ਬਧੇ ਮਹਾਬਲੀ ਕਰਿ ਸਚਾ ਢੋਆ ॥
पंजे बधे महाबली करि सचा ढोआ ॥
Panje baḏẖe mahābalī kar sacẖā dẖo▫ā.
The five powerful desires are bound down, when you lean on the True Lord.
ਆਪਣੇ ਚਰਣ ਜਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਦਯੁ ਖੜੋਆ ॥
आपणे चरण जपाइअनु विचि दयु खड़ोआ ॥
Āpṇe cẖaraṇ japā▫i▫an vicẖ ḏa▫yu kẖaṛo▫ā.
The Lord Himself leads us to dwell at His Feet. He stands right in our midst.
ਰੋਗ ਸੋਗ ਸਭਿ ਮਿਟਿ ਗਏ ਨਿਤ ਨਵਾ ਨਿਰੋਆ ॥
रोग सोग सभि मिटि गए नित नवा निरोआ ॥
Rog sog sabẖ mit ga▫e niṯ navā niro▫ā.
All sorrows and sicknesses are eradicated, and you become ever-fresh and rejuvenated.
ਦਿਨੁ ਰੈਣਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਦਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਾਇ ਨ ਮੋਆ ॥
दिनु रैणि नामु धिआइदा फिरि पाइ न मोआ ॥
Ḏin raiṇ nām ḏẖi▫ā▫iḏā fir pā▫e na mo▫ā.
Night and day, meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord. You shall never again die.
ਜਿਸ ਤੇ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸੋਈ ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਆ ॥੨॥
जिस ते उपजिआ नानका सोई फिरि होआ ॥२॥
Jis ṯe upji▫ā nānkā so▫ī fir ho▫ā. ||2||
And the One, from whom we came, O Nanak, into Him we merge once again. ||2||
ਕਿਥਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਕਹ ਰਹੈ ਕਹ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥
किथहु उपजै कह रहै कह माहि समावै ॥
Kithhu upjai kah rahai kah māhi samāvai.
Where do we come from? Where do we live? Where do we go in the end?
ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭਿ ਖਸਮ ਕੇ ਕਉਣੁ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
जीअ जंत सभि खसम के कउणु कीमति पावै ॥
Jī▫a janṯ sabẖ kẖasam ke ka▫uṇ kīmaṯ pāvai.
All creatures belong to God, our Lord and Master. Who can place a value on Him?
ਕਹਨਿ ਧਿਆਇਨਿ ਸੁਣਨਿ ਨਿਤ ਸੇ ਭਗਤ ਸੁਹਾਵੈ ॥
कहनि धिआइनि सुणनि नित से भगत सुहावै ॥
Kahan ḏẖi▫ā▫in suṇan niṯ se bẖagaṯ suhāvai.
Those who meditate, listen and chant, those devotees are blessed and beautified.
ਅਗਮੁ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੋ ਦੂਸਰੁ ਲਵੈ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ॥
अगमु अगोचरु साहिबो दूसरु लवै न लावै ॥
Agam agocẖar sāhibo ḏūsar lavai na lāvai.
The Lord God is Inaccessible and Unfathomable; there is no other equal to Him.
ਸਚੁ ਪੂਰੈ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥੩॥੧॥
सचु पूरै गुरि उपदेसिआ नानकु सुणावै ॥३॥१॥
Sacẖ pūrai gur upḏesi▫ā Nānak suṇāvai. ||3||1||
The Perfect Guru has taught this Truth. Nanak proclaims it to the world. ||3||1||
November 17th is being celebrated this year as the day Guru Nanak came to this earth. The foremost of His teachings was to stay detached from Maya (worldly pleasures) and always thank the Creator for his bounties. Simple living and serving to other beings were advocated.
Sharing below a greeting card which can be used to spread His Divine Message. (Click on the image to see bigger, two versions)
This first quote about Guru Nanak’s coming to this earth is from a ballad by Bhai Gurdas (Vaar 1, Pauri 24). The second quote, Guru Nanak’s message about devotion and humility is from Guru Nanak’s primary writing “Asa ki vaar“, and appears within Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Ang 470. Recital of God’s name under Guru’s guidance is important towards separating oneself from Maya (worldly pleasures) which then leads you to God.
I have written about many Indian festivals, but never about Holi. It is the Hindu festival of colours, much like Diwali being the festival of lights.
For Sikhism, colours are strong depictions of mental state. There is no physical relevance to colours. A Sikh is expected to wear ordinary clothes that do not attract attention. Neither is playing with colours encouraged.
A key ingredient used during holi is called Gulal. Its a deep red coloured powder which is used to colour others. The Guru says this about Gulal:
ਚੀਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਤਾਂ ਰੰਗਿ ਗੁਲਾਲ ॥
When my mind is attached to Him, I am dyed in the deep crimson of His Love.
In the daily Sikh prayer, the first reference to the word colour appears in Japuji Sahib.
ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥
But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sins committed by us,
ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥
it can only be cleansed by the colour (Love) of His Name.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib recognises two colours: Kusumbh and Majith. Kusumbh is light orange in colour, while Majith is dark red, even crimson. Kusumbh is the color of a flower (Butea monosperma) called “flame of the forest” (called FF henceforth in this post). When its immersed in water for a few hours, the flower looses its colour, and the water becomes coloured.
When Guru Nanak was visiting Mecca, he was asked whether Hinduism was the greater religion or Islam. His reply was as under:
ਕਚਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਦਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਥਿਰ ਨ ਰਹੋਈ।
As the colour of FF flower is impermanent and is washed away in water, likewise the colours of religiosity are also temporary.
To the contrary, majith is permanent. Its effects are not physical, rather its colouring is for the soul:
ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭੁ ਹੈ ਕਚੂਆ ਜਿਉ ਕੁਸਮ ਚਾਰਿ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਗਾ ॥
The self-willed manmukh is like the false color of the FF flower, which fades away; its color lasts for only a few days.
ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਪਰਤਾਪੈ ਡੰਡੁ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ਕਾ ਲਾਗਾ ॥੨॥
He perishes in an instant; he is tormented, and punished by the Righteous Judge of Dharma. ||2||
ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਸਾਧ ਅਤਿ ਗੂੜੀ ਜਿਉ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਜੀਠ ਬਹੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥
The Lord’s Love, found in the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, is absolutely permanent, and colorfast.
ਕਾਇਆ ਕਾਪਰੁ ਚੀਰ ਬਹੁ ਫਾਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਨ ਲਹੈ ਸਭਾਗਾ ॥੩॥
The cloth of the body may be torn to shreds, but still, this beautiful color of the Lord’s Love does not fade away. ||3||
ਹਰਿ ਚਾਰ੍ਹਿਓ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੋਭਾ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗਿ ਚਲੂਲੈ ਰਾਂਗਾ ॥
Meeting with the Blessed Guru, one is dyed in the color of the Lord’s Love, imbued with this deep crimson color.
So how does the Guru celebrate Holi. The answer is obvious:
ਹੋਲੀ ਕੀਨੀ ਸੰਤ ਸੇਵ ॥
Holī kīnī sanṯ sev.
I celebrate the festival of Holi by serving the Saints.
ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਗਾ ਅਤਿ ਲਾਲ ਦੇਵ ॥੨॥
Rang lāgā aṯ lāl ḏev. ||2||
I am imbued with the deep crimson color of the Lord’s Divine Love. ||2|
Finally I want to share another related hymn:
ਲਾਲ ਰੰਗੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਲਗਾ ਜਿਸ ਕੇ ਵਡਭਾਗਾ ॥
One is dyed in the (red) color of the Lord’s Love, by great good fortune.
ਮੈਲਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਨਹ ਲਾਗੈ ਦਾਗਾ ॥੧॥
This color is never muddied; no stain ever sticks to it. ||1||
ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੁਖਦਾਈਆ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸੁਖ ਭਾਇ ॥
He finds God, the Giver of peace, with feelings of joy.
ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਭੀਤਰੇ ਛੋਡਿਆ ਨਹ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
The Celestial Lord blends into his soul, and he can never leave Him. ||1||Pause||
ਜਰਾ ਮਰਾ ਨਹ ਵਿਆਪਈ ਫਿਰਿ ਦੂਖੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
Old age and death cannot touch him, and he shall not suffer pain again.
ਪੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਆਘਾਨਿਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਅਮਰੁ ਕਰਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
Drinking in the Ambrosial Nectar, he is satisfied; the Guru makes him immortal. ||2||
Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, sixth Sikh Guru emerging from Gwalior Fort where he was imprisoned by Emperor Jahangir. Along with him, 52 Hindu chieftains were also released, on request from the Guru. Sikhs celebrate Diwali festival as “Bandi Chhor Diwas” because the Guru reached Amritsar back on the Diwali day. For the full story visit http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Bandi_Chhorh_Divas
Very few people know that this day is also important for Sikhs because of martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh. He transcribed the final version of Guru Granth Sahib dictated to him by Guru Gobind Singh in 1704.
Apple, Samsung overtake Nokia in smartphone market
Apple Has More Money On Hand Than The US Government
Nokia reports loss of €368m
While Nokia is still the leader in phone market, it has lost the top place in the smartphone market.
In any market, competition is good and monopoly is bad for customers. With the failure of Nokia to be that competition, it may goad Apple into being even more dollar hungry. Nokia always builds phone that integrate well with other non-Nokia technology: be it tethering, a much better file system (though this point is debatable), or support for memory cards. Apple builds devices that integrate badly with non-Apple hardware. Three versions of iPad, each with a different diskspace capacity could have been avoided simply by adding support for cards. Similarly iPad only offers a crippled version of Bluetooth.
I am not against Apple: at this time it definitely has the better product on its shelves. However, we should not write off Nokia either: with our support it can regain the slot that it had, and deserves.
Nokia – continue to build open devices please. In my opinion the following are the most important of the steps Nokia should take:
Stop creating new, incompatible flavours of Symbian. Select one OS for all $200+ devices, and stick to that. Focussing on one platform will help improve it
Support Unicode. iOS has done that for ages
Improve the dialer: the phone is used most for making phone calls. Nokia dialer is from the stone age (Nokia recently pushed an update that improved this big time)
Make the phone snappy even if it means having a faster processor
Let users select which browser they want as default. Let them set Opera as default. This will be the winning stroke over iPhone, which allows only Safari as default
A few days back India celebrated the festival of Guru purnima – celebration of having a Guru, who destroys our ignorance, and provides us with the Light of Knowledge.
Guru Nanak made four journeys to different places of this world, destroying darkness and evil. On one such journey, Guru Nanak had a long discussion with the Siddhas (learned people). Initially they tried to trick the Guru and disorient him, but that failed. Thereafter they felt that if Guru Nanak becomes their disciple, he could do wonders towards spreading their faith. Guru Nanak replied to the offer saying that he already had a Guru, Shabd Guru – the Diving Knowledge. Finally Siddhas realised Guru Nanak had been born to liberate people in the Kalyug (dark ages), and they asked him what was happening in the cities. This discussion ensued as below, with Guru Nanak describing the state of a world where there is no Guru to guide people:
ਫਿਰਿ ਪੁਛਣਿ ਸਿਧ ਨਾਨਕਾ! ਮਾਤ ਲੋਕ ਵਿਚਿ ਕਿਆ ਵਰਤਾਰਾ?
Siddhas again asked, “O Nanak! How is happening on mother Earth?”
ਸਭ ਸਿਧੀ ਇਹ ਬੁਝਿਆ ਕਲਿ ਤਾਰਣਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਵਤਾਰਾ।
By this time all the siddhas understood that Nanak had come to earth to deliver it from the (sins of) kaliyug.
ਬਾਬੇ ਆਖਿਆ: ਨਾਥ ਜੀ! ਸਚੁ ਚੰਦ੍ਰਮਾਂ ਕੂੜੁ ਅੰਧਾਰਾ।
Baba replied, “O respected Nath, Truth has become like the moon – less radiant – and the falsehood has spread darkness all around”
ਕੂੜੁ ਅਮਾਵਸਿ ਵਰਤਿਆ ਹਉ ਭਾਲਣਿ ਚੜ੍ਹਿਆ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ।
The darkness of the moonless night of the falsehood has spread around and I, in order to search for the (truthful) world, have undertaken this journey.
ਪਾਪ ਗਿਰਾਸੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਧਉਲੁ ਖੜਾ ਧਰਿ ਹੇਠ ਪੁਕਾਰਾ।
The earth is engulfed with sin, and the support of dharma (righteousness) represented by the ox is crying and wailing (for rescue).
ਸਿਧ ਛਪਿ ਬੈਠੇ ਪਰਬਤੀ ਕਉਣੁ ਜਗਤ੍ਰਿ ਕਉ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਾਰਾ।
In such circumstances, when even the siddhas, have taken refuge in the mountains, how the world could get redeemed.
ਜੋਗੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣਿਆ ਨਿਸਦਿਨ ਅੰਗਿ ਲਗਾਇਨਿ ਛਾਰਾ।
Yogis also bereft of knowledge and simply applying ashes to their bodies are lying down unconcerned.
ਬਾਝੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਡੁਬਾ ਜਗੁ ਸਾਰਾ ॥੨੯॥
Without Guru the world is getting drowned.
This sleepy Saturday afternoon I logged into my blog, saw there were two comments awaiting approval, noted both were SPAM. So, I marked them that – and purged them permanently. There was a warning sign that I should have made note of, but did not until after the permanent deletion. Instead of two, 20 comments got deleted – meaning along with 2 SPAM ones, 18 meaningful ones got deleted as well.
BAM!!! I value each comment, as they sometimes add significant value to the content of the post. I was lost – what do I do?
First thought was to check my backup – I maintain a backup of my blog, however in this case the backup was more than 6 months old while these comments were less than a month old.
Not losing heart, I realised my hosting provider might have a backup. However, the provider is based out of US and had not opened yet. I left them a message. Reading the FAQ I thought I might have a chance if I can get in touch with them quickly. They only maintained a copy of the most current data, hence contacting them sooner might save the day. That was not to be: they started work two hours later and then got back to me saying that the backup was about 30 minutes old – which is after the comments were deleted. Not good. I was in despair now.
It was time to go to sleep now, and there was barely anything more that I could have done. Next morning I woke up still with a feeling of sadness, and then I had a brainwave. I get an email whenever someone posts a message to my blog. This email contains the message posted. I could check my email box, search for these messages and repost them myself!!!
A quick search on my Nokia N97 revealed I still had those emails. Paradise regained!!!
This post is based on an interview with Piyush Singhal who cleared PMP recently with a 90+ score.
Okay, so you are thinking about going for the Project Management Practitioner exam, and do not know where to start. Let’s get you started. Below is a project plan for clearing the PMP certification.
The first thing to do, is to obtain PMI membership. This might get you the PMBOK guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) bundled. In addition, you get a discount on the exam fee and access to all PMI resources online for one year. You may also join a local chapter of PMI.
When he set out on operation PMP, he realised it would not be possible for him to read the entire PMBOK. So, he decided to use audio books for this purpose, and installed them onto his car audio that he could listen to while travelling. These are available from pmprepcast.com. He spent about six months listening to these, around 5 hours a week.
At this time, he tried to assess himself. There are PMP-like sample tests available on various websites. Working through multiple tests in simulation mode gives you an idea of how you are placed against the real one. You can take these four hour tests, always keeping the formula cheat sheet on hand.
For the last lap, he accepted three week solitary confinement. Leave from office, away from family, away from TV: reading about eight to ten hours a day. Then he decided he had had enough, woke up one morning – and appeared for the test. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Diwali was celebrated in India a few days back. Diwali means differently to different religions – for sikhs it marks the return of Guru Hargobindji to Amritsar.
The first copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was scribed by Bhai Gurdaas, who was a devoted sikh of Guru Arjan Devji. He completed the Adi Granth in 1604. It took him nearly 19 years to complete this task. Bhai Gurdas not only wrote the Adi Granth as dictated by Guru Arjan Dev but also supervised four other scribes, Bhai Haria, Bhai Sant Das, Bhai Sukha and Bhai Manasa Ram, in the writing of various scriptures. Bhai Gurdaas’ own writings are collectively known as ‘Varan Bhai Gurdaas – and from these I bring the following hymn. This is normally sung during Diwali, because of the reference to Diwali in the first line. Many people believe this to be an implicit instruction by the Guru to lite candles. However, this is not true – the Guru never believes in completing physical rituals. The meaning of the hymn is more sublime:
੬ : ਚੱਲਣ ਜੁਗਤ
ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੀਵੇ ਬਾਲੀਅਨਿ।
Lamps are lighted in the night of diwali festival;
ਤਾਰੇ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਨਾਤਿ ਅੰਬਰਿ ਭਾਲੀਅਨਿ।
Stars of different variety appear in the sky;
ਫੁਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਬਾਗਾਤਿ ਚੁਣਿ ਚੁਣਿ ਚਾਲੀਅਨਿ।
Flowers blossom in the garden; but are plucked;
ਤੀਰਥਿ ਜਾਤੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨੈਣ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਅਨਿ।
The pilgrims are seen visiting the places of pilgrimage;
ਹਰਿਚੰਦਉਰੀ ਝਾਤਿ ਵਸਾਇ ਉਚਾਲੀਅਨਿ।
Temporary habitats have been seen coming into being and vanishing.
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੁਖ ਫਲ ਦਾਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮ੍ਹਾਲੀਅਨਿ ॥੬॥
All these are momentary, but the gurmukhs with the help of the Word nourish the gift of the pleasure fruit.
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