Diwali night

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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