Gurbani searching on the mobile used to be tough. Symbian and Android phones do not support Unicode with Indic support, which is required to use gurmukhi websites. Opera Mini allowed us to read gurbani, but entering search text is a different matter.
I have developed a web page that allows you to do this, but rather by entering roman letters. For example, enter ‘k’ instead of ‘ਕ’.
Mobile users can use this within Opera Mini (with a configuration setting change as shown here: enter config: as a URL which takes you to advanced settings page. Set Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts to Yes and then Save), for best results. Opera Mini uses cloud computing to render Gurmukhi text, and therefore doesn’t need that support on the mobile itself.
That being said, this tool can be used anywhere you like – on the desktop or any mobile browser. Detailed instructions for using it are on the page itself.
This is envisaged to be updated in future to allow search options powered by various other websites, as and when more powerful search is available. Click here for a short history of Gurbani search.
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.
In a recent episode of India’s Got Talent Season 2, there was a performance by a Sikh group, showcasing Sikh martial arts using swords with some beautiful music, which had one 5-6 year old kid as part of the group. One of the judges, Sajid Khan mentioned that while the performance was “okay”, the involvement of the kid (in a performance using swords) was not a good decision since it would lead kids to copy him. I disagree personally: there are many dangerous performances shown in that particular talent hunt which can also lead kids to copy. One of the judges appreciated the performance, and the third one opined that she is fine, subject to that kids are not part of the next performance. Click on the image below to watch an excerpt:
However, I am sorry to note that Sajid does not understand Sikhism. The power of Sikhism lies not only in the sword, but also in the scriptures that teach how to use it. Many people mistakenly believe that the Tenth Guru “turned” Sikhism, what was till then a way of life, into a warring tribe. The need for the ability to defend, using arms was part of Sikhism ever since the Sixth Guru who made Sikhs into not just saints, but saint soldiers.
Sajid also claimed that what started as a “performance” gave way to a riot on stage. That was the intended effect, which is what Sajid failed to understand. The Tenth Guru, in his writings beautifully recreates war scenes, with great insight, and then points out the futility for both the winners (who becomes bloated with ego not knowing he will also die one day making way for more winners), and the losers (who end up with a few bones less).
I show case two of my favourite stanzas from such writings:
ਜੀਤ ਫਿਰੈ ਸਭ ਦੇਸ ਦਿਸਾਨ ਕੋ ਬਾਜਤ ਢੋਲ ਮ੍ਰਿਦੰਗ ਨਗਾਰੇ ॥
With the beat of drums and trumpets the emperor conquers all the countries.
ਗੁੰਜਤ ਗੂੜ ਗਜਾਨ ਕੇ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਹਿੰਸਤ ਹੈਂ ਹਯਰਾਜ ਹਜਾਰੇ ॥
Along with the drums is the roaring of beautifully decorated elephants and thousands of neighing houses of best breed.
ਭੂਤ ਭਵਿੱਖ ਭਵਾਨ ਕੇ ਭੂਪਤ ਕਉਨੁ ਗਨੈ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਤ ਬਿਚਾਰੇ ॥
So many such emperors have existed in the past, exist today and will exist in future; the numbers cannot be fathomed
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਭਜੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਅੰਤ ਕਉ ਅੰਤ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ ਸਿਧਾਰੇ ॥੩॥੨੩॥
Their might will be forgotten similarly; without remembering the Lord’s True Name, they will leave for the final abode (and lose the opportunity). 3.23.
ਸੁੱਧ ਸਿਪਾਹ ਦੁਰੰਤ ਦੁਬਾਹ ਸੁ ਸਾਜ ਸਨਾਹ ਦੁਰਜਾਨ ਦਲੈਂਗੇ ॥
The trained and war tested soldiers, with strong arms, mighty and ironclad – just waiting to crush the enemies.
ਭਾਰੀ ਗੁਮਾਨ ਭਰੇ ਮਨ ਮੈਂ ਕਰ ਪਰਬਤ ਪੰਖ ਹਲੇ ਨ ਹਲੈਂਗੇ ॥
With great ego in their mind; even if mountains were to grow wings and fly away frightened, they would still not lose their stand
ਤੋਰਿ ਅਰੀਨ ਮਰੋਰਿ ਮਵਾਸਨ ਮਾਤੇ ਮਤੰਗਨ ਮਾਨ ਮਲੈਂਗੇ ॥
They would destroy the enemies, twist the necks of rebels and smash the pride of intoxicated elephants.
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਜਹਾਨ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਚਲੈਂਗੇ ॥੫॥੨੫॥
But without the Grace of the Lord-God, they would ultimately leave the world empty handed and none the wiser. 5.25.
Sajid talks of kids, but does not realise that the Guru even as a kid used to create two different teams among his friends, and play war games. The Gurus younger sons were aged 8 years and 6 years when they achieved martyrdom. Just because a tyrant decides to go to war, you will have to go to war too – even though you may not want to. Whatever you want to excel at, you have to start learning as a child. He is simply afraid of the unknown – and his very limited experience of life makes him feel he is correct. In the days of the Guru, people were afraid to stand up against the tyrants – what will become of my kids? – such thoughts prevented them. The Guru led the way by teaching kids to defend themselves.
I cannot stop myself from showcasing another beautiful Hymn by the Tenth Guru where the Sword reigns supreme:
ਖਗ ਖੰਡ ਬਿਹੰਡੰ ਖਲ ਦਲ ਖੰਡੰ ਅਤਿ ਰਣ ਮੰਡੰ ਬਰ ਬੰਡੰ ॥
खग खंड बिहंडं खल दल खंडं अति रण मंडं बर बंडं ॥
The sword chops well, chops the forces of fools and this beautiful and powerful weapon adorns the battlefield of life.
ਭੁਜ ਦੰਡ ਅਖੰਡੰ ਤੇਜ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਅਮੰਡੰ ਭਾਨ ਪ੍ਰਭੰ ॥
भुज दंड अखंडं तेज प्रचंडं जोति अमंडं भान प्रभं ॥
It is as an extension of the arm, unbreakable, terribly fast, it has a powerful luster and its radiance even bedims the light of the sun.
ਸੁਖ ਸੰਤਾ ਕਰਣੰ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦਰਣੰ ਕਿਲਬਿਖ ਹਰਣੰ ਅਸਿ ਸਰਣੰ ॥
सुख संता करणं दुरमति दरणं किलबिख हरणं असि सरणं ॥
It brings happiness to the saints, mashing the vicious ones, it is the destroyer of sins and I seek its refuge.
ਜੈ ਜੈ ਜਗ ਕਾਰਣ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਉਬਾਰਣ ਮਮ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਰਣ ਜੈ ਤੇਗੰ ॥੨॥
जै जै जग कारण स्रिसटि उबारण मम प्रतिपारण जै तेगं ॥२॥
Hail, hail to the cause of the world, saviour of the universe, it is my preserver, I hail its victory. 2.
Can’t believe I haven’t written about Vaisakhi before – its one of the most important events in Sikh history. Also known as Baisakhi, this is a harvest festival that marks the beginning of a new year as per the local calendar. More important, for Sikhism it also marks the birth of the Khalsa – the pure. In 1699, the Tenth Guru converted Sikhism which so far was just a way of life, into a more disciplined religion with rules and a code of conduct – with a democratic way of functioning.
Like every year, Vaisakhi is being celebrated by large gatherings in the Sikh temples (gurdwara). I want to encourage people to get baptized: the Guru will guide you – it’s not as difficult to follow as it seems initially. For those who have been baptized but do not follow the code of conduct on a daily basis, this is what I suggest: start with a shorter regimen, and build it at your pace. Japuji Sahib in the mornings, and Benti Chaupai in the evenings to begin with for example.
Today the religious world is divided: different religions, each disfavouring the other; various sects etc. If people understood the distinction between Prem (love) and Moh (attachment) there would be less fighting between the various groups.
Moh is temporary, Prem is permanent. Moh is what a father feels for a son – if the son disobeys the father the weak thread of Moh breaks.
Also, Moh is about saying “God belongs to me“. If the God belongs to me, someone else needs to invent a different God for himself. Prem is about saying “I belong to the God“. It is about giving up oneself.
Prem is like a fish in water – Only death can separate them. Indeed, Guru Tegh Bahadur wants us to love God like a fish in water:
ਗੁਨ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗਾਇਓ ਨਹੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਕਾਰਥ ਕੀਨੁ ॥
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਮਨਾ ਜਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਜਲ ਕਉ ਮੀਨੁ ॥੧॥
If we do not sing the praises of the Lord, we are wasting our life in vain. Says Nanak, meditate on God, like the way, the fish loves water.
A worshiper goes one step further beautifully talking about Moh and Prem:
ਜਉ ਹਮ ਬਾਂਧੇ ਮੋਹ ਫਾਸ ਹਮ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਬਧਨਿ ਤੁਮ ਬਾਧੇ ॥
You (God) sent me to this world, and bound me with attachment to treasures and people. I have, in return, bound you with the bonds of love.
ਅਪਨੇ ਛੂਟਨ ਕੋ ਜਤਨੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਹਮ ਛੂਟੇ ਤੁਮ ਆਰਾਧੇ ॥੧॥
I have broken free from the binds of attachment by meditating on You. How shall you liberate yourself now from the binds of my Love?
There are many groups of people which claim that there is a disconnect between science and religion. I do not however see any disconnect – I will start from a scientist’s point of view.
Albert Einstein did not believe in God. However, attributing to quantum mechanics he did say “God does not play dice.” He was refuting the quantum theory (which is based on chance). We can “normalize” that to mean that even if God exists, He is not actively involved in running the world (does not interfere with what is happening according to His laws). The same thought is expressed by the tenth Guru in Jaap Sahib: aalisiay karm, aadirsay dharam which means “O Lord, You do not need to make any special efforts to do what You want to do”.
Science has made much advances, and will continue to do so. However, its a challenge as of today to define exactly when the universe was created: scientists believe that its impossible to find out what existed or happened before the big bang. Also, its not known how the universe will end: depending on the total mass of the universe, one of the following three things will happen:
The universe will continue to expand for ever, like it does today
The universe will, at a certain time, stop expanding and start contracting
The universe will continue to expand and contract as in the above two options, but infinitely for ever
Which one of these will actually happen can be predicted if we knew the total mass of the universe, however – we currently don’t.
Exact same thoughts are echoed by the Guru:
About never being able to find out when the universe was created:
ਥਿਤਿ ਵਾਰੁ ਨਾ ਜੋਗੀ ਜਾਣੈ ਰੁਤਿ ਮਾਹੁ ਨਾ ਕੋਈ ॥
ਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਿਰਠੀ ਕਉ ਸਾਜੇ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣੈ ਸੋਈ ॥
Neither the yogi nor any one else knows the lunar day, week day season and the month. The Creator who creates the world, He Himself Knows (the time).
About never being able to find out the total mass of universe:
ਕੇਤੀ ਦਾਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੌਣੁ ਕੂਤੁ ॥
How much the Creator has Created, who can know?
About the fact that the universe has been created many times (each time a new expansion after the previous contraction):
ਕਈ ਬਾਰ ਪਸਰਿਓ ਪਾਸਾਰ ॥
Many times, the universe has expanded by Him.
I also find it more than a coincidence that while scientists call the moment of creation big-bang (having to do with sound), the Guru has the following to say:
ਕੀਤਾ ਪਸਾਉ ਏਕੋ ਕਵਾਉ ॥
You created the vast expanse of the Universe with One Word
which has also to do with the uttering of a sound.
Another similar thought from the Adi Granth:
ਤੁਮਰਾ ਲਖਾ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਪਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਕਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸਜਾ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥੩੯੩॥
The limits of Your creation cannot be known, nor how in the beginning You created the Universes.
Update Dec 30th 2009: I recollected another thought this morning:
ਪਹਿਲਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਜੀਉ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥
First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is made green
Darwin’s theory was not promulgated until 1858, which agrees: life started in the sea.
Update from 8th Nov 2012: Perhaps I have missed one of the most important facts. Scientifically, for around 1 billion years after formation – the universe was filled with gases (Hydrogen and Helium). The Guru echoes the same:
ਅਰਬਦ ਨਰਬਦ ਧੁੰਧੂਕਾਰਾ ॥
अरबद नरबद धुंधूकारा ॥
For endless eons, the universe was only dark gases.
Update from 14th July 2015: This page is probably the most revisited post of this blog. Another evidence:
ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਪਵਨਾ ਭਇਆ ਪਵਨੈ ਤੇ ਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
साचे ते पवना भइआ पवनै ते जलु होइ ॥
Sācẖe ṯe pavnā bẖaiā pavnai ṯe jal hoye.
From the True Lord originated the air, and from the air came water.
ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮੋਇ ॥
जल ते त्रिभवणु साजिआ घटि घटि जोति समोइ ॥
Jal ṯe ṯaribẖavaṇ sājiā gẖat gẖat joṯ samoe.
From water, He created the three worlds; in each and every heart He has infused His Light.
In 1780s, Cavendish found that water is made of Hydrogen and Oxygen, both constituents of air. Guru Nanak wrote this verse above prior to the year 1539.
Today I am sharing a wallpaper that can be used as the center piece of your screen. It explains the meaning of Ik Onkar. This is my own interpretation, apologies if I have got it wrong – please let me know through the comments section.
Central to the meaning of Ik Onkar is the following couplet from Gurbani:
ਏਕਮ ਏਕੈ ਆਪੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥
एकम एकै आपु उपाइआ ॥
At first existed the formless One without any manifestation, Who then became manifest.
ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
दुबिधा दूजा त्रिबिधि माइआ ॥
He created the sense of duality, and thereafter came the tri-phased Maya.
ਚਉਥੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਊਚੀ ਸਚੋ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥
चउथी पउड़ी गुरमुखि ऊची सचो सचु कमावणिआ ॥४॥
By climbing the steps under the guidance of the Guru, and earning the Guru’s Order – one finally liberates oneself from the influence of Maya and reaches the Fourth State of Eternal Truth.
Maya is everything that we can see with our eyes and the emotions we feel. The True Lord is the underlying hidden entity.
So, within “Ik Onkar”, the “Onk” or the “Ong” stands for Maya and represents the “creation, preservation and destruction”. The “Ik”, which means “One” stands for the Lord in innate state. So first existed the formless Lord, Who then manifested as the visible universe (and universes beyond ours). Within the universe there is the positive energy of the Lord, which takes care of his Creation, and the negative energy of Maya which is responsible for sorrow: love, hate, anger etc. The suffix “Kar”, in Punjabi, means a boundary or demarcation (eg. the Punjabi word Raamkaar). Here, it means the demarcation of Divine Will. So, all creation-preservation-destruction happens under the Divine Will and is not random. One who grasps hold of this Divine Will, under the Guru’s instructions is liberated and reaches the highest zone of Eternal truth. He is not subject to Maya’s influence anymore.
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