Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Something that Daas has always wondered while growing-up was how different Worldly Spirituality was from Gurmat, and in the beginning, Daas used to believe they were similar; however, the two are very different; though there are those similarities that we can recognize. What Daas will be going over is why Gurmat is unique and how worldly spirituality can also prove to be a different spirituality all together from what Gurmat can allow us to do. *(Note, there may be some things that Daas may not exactly have the full answer for, as worldly spirituality is extremely diverse and not united by anything). So hopefully we can fully appreciate the need for Gurmat and have full respect for Gur-prassad.
First we will begin with some similarities between the two philosophies, there are a few and many of the things from worldly spirituality can assist us growing in Gurmat, (even though only one of them is truly connecting to Vaheguru completely). Some similarities is that from worldly spirituality the goal is for the individual to be able to connect to something, the really wish to connect to some outer energy which they believe is with everyone, this is similar to Gurmat as we try to connect to Vaheguru through Amrit Vela Simran. Another similarity is both paths require a certain lifestyle change in order to fully progress on a journey; for the worldly it may include some meditation, yoga, food changes, dressing a certain way, as well as limiting intake of intoxicants; for the Gurmat philosophy, we strive to change our lifestyle by doing our Nitnem, (daily prayers), simran, (chanting the Gurmantar: Vaheguru), controlling the effect of the 5 thieves, (lust, anger, greed, pride, and attachment), having some form of bana, (our 5ks), and doing what we can to build up our high qualities and give everything to Vaheguru, and Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Other similarities between the 2 paths include the need for finding a spiritual leader as well as a teacher; for the worldly spiritual people this may include a whole bunch of people with different thoughts of spirituality; while for Gurmat this is Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji-Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. And finally the 2 groups both attempt to answer the questions of life and death; as well as the importance of what to do here and after we leave, (for the worldly spiritual leaders this is diverse; however, each of them attempt to answer it, for Gurmat the answer is too deep to explain in this topic).
Now that we got the similarities we should acknowledge the differences between the 2 philosophies. In the worldly spirituality, the instructors usually require a dedication of materialistic things; (such as a lot of money, or gifts), while in Gurmat, Guru Sahib asks only for what one gives with true love and dedication; in Gurmat we give due to our love; while for worldly instructors it is more of a business, (some of these people charge at least $100-$200 per hour). Another major difference is one is in the worldly, the student having to find his way out and inside of their spiritual goals; having to go to how many people; while not knowing for sure what is true and what is not, and is stuck having to think for themselves; while in Gurmat spirituality a student can have guaranteed way of knowing what to believe from Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and not having to be extremely confused on the journey and can read Gurbani for themselves; (some fake leaders charge a lot for spiritual advice of asking questions, without really giving answers and giving vague responses most of the times). But the hugest difference between Worldly and Gurmat, is that in the worldly spirituality the leaders will tell you what they feel will keep you coming and giving their money; while in Gurmat philosophy; Guru Sahib will tell you what you need to hear to save you from 8.4 million lives, because the love Satguru Sahib has for anyone willing to learn from him is much greater than anyone can even imagine, and he would love to free you, even when you may not feel in love with Guru Sahib yourself. These are some differences between Gurmat and Worldly Spirituality.
How Worldly Spirituality can help someone on the path of Gurmat, as a different world view? Daas personally feels that Worldly Spirituality can help people because of the importance of that many people try to follow and learn from what they heard, many Sikhs today usually only know what to do; however, usually they don't follow, (and then they get lost). Usually some worldly spiritual people are genuinely interested in learning what to know about their own ideas and always ask questions to find the answers for; we as Sikhs can learn from that because as we ask questions and get answers; our faith in Guru Sahib will increase, sometimes, we need answers to our questions; and Guru Sahib has all the answers we can ever find. Many of the worldly spiritual people wake-up early for their devotional meditations, Amrit Vela is a completely Sikh concept that has been proven as a true time for Bhagti, (this was one of the things worldly spiritual took from Gurmat philosophy, that many of our people have forgotten), it is very important to get-up early for Bhagti. The last main reason worldly spirituality can help those on Gurmat philosophy is; it makes us feel more blessed and realize just how great Guru Sahib is, because while the world is busy finding spirituality which may take an extremely long time; we were blessed with the shortcut, especially if we were born into Sikh families from Gur-prassad; that out of all the people we were chosen to get a step-up and understand truth easily, and we can say Dhan Hai Sikhi, (Great is Sikhi), and finally acknowledge we have everything sorted out for us to rush through the 8.4 million lives and achieve Mukti in this life because of Gur-prassad.
Vaheguru, what we must realize is that because of our love for Guru Sahib, we may distinguish those trying to deceive us, and merge with Vaheguru. Through Gur-prassad, we are able to be given a fast-lane of Sikhi to get the ultimate spiritual benefits. While Worldly Spirituality has it's benefits, it does not equal to even a small amount of Gurmat Philosophy. Vaheguru, may we hopefully be blessed to understand just how blessed we are to know about Guru Sahib. Bhul Chuk Maaf Karni, Forgive Any Mistakes From Daas. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Something Daas seems to see a lot of in the modern world among various so-called Sikh groups is the revival of slandering each other; usually over some non-important things, (style of Dastar, what clothes someone wears, what mistakes someone made in the past, and the sorrow of basic gossip). Sometimes some groups even make the Nindak of Mahapurukhs and Sants, even when Gurbani is more clear about their Nindak, "ਸੰਤ ਕੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਦੋਖ ਮਹਿ ਦੋਖੁ ॥संत की निंदा दोख महि दोखु ॥Sanṯ kī ninḏā ḏokẖ mėh ḏokẖ.To slander a Saint is the worst sin of sins."(Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Ang 280). What Daas will do is discuss why this slander doesn't help anyone grow and instead only brings people down to Manmat.
We know that the speech of those who are merged into Vaheguru is of purity instead of gossip, as Guru Sahib has stated that, "ਖੂਬੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਪਗਰੀ ਮੀਠੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਬੋਲ ॥खूबु तेरी पगरी मीठे तेरे बोल ॥Kẖūb ṯerī pagrī mīṯẖe ṯere bol.How handsome is your turban! And how sweet is your speech." (Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Ang 727) The shabad is describing Vaheguru, as having both a Pagri which is great; as well as having legendary pure speech. Gurbani is very much against Nindak towards anyone, and those who profess to follow Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji should avoid meaningless slander, (slander is different from standing for what is right as they have proven that they will follow Manmat). Bad talking also only brings people down; instead of bringing them up; as Sikhs we acknowledge the need for the idea of Sarbat Da Bhalla, (well-being for all); however, in what way can we say that we believe in Sarbat Da Bhalla if we bring others down, through our Nindak on the small things? While we are improving ourselves; we should encourage others to also follow Gurmat.
Vaheguru, Vaheguru, Vaheguru, hopefully through our own changes we can grow and inspire others to grow as well. Through Gurmat we can change the entire world; by preventing the meaningless slander that happens, (notice that both nindak and standing-up for what is right are 2 completely different concepts, the first is meaningless; while the second is part of Dharam-Justice). Whenever we see someone that is still growing we shouldn't slander; rather inspire. Vaheguru, Vaheguru, Vaheguru, may we Jaap Naam and be true Sikhs. Bhul Chuk Maaf Karni, (Forgive for any Mistakes), Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Daas has decided to make the topic of today to talk about the 5ks and their importance is Sikhi. The 5 are Kesh, Kirpan, Kangha, Kara, and Kachera. Each Kakkar will get it's own paragraph to prevent confusion.
Kesh: This Kakkar is probably considered most important as we are all born with Kesh, (uncut hair); regardless of whether we will ever accept the Sikh path in the future and allow Guru Sahib to change us from the inside. Many of even other faiths at the levels of spirituality of just bellow Sach Khand; (only those who have accepted Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji can enter Sach Khand). Bhagti and Spirituality have both been discovered that there is some important thing in Kesh; but even greater is the possibility to potentially limit Haumai from following the Guru's Hukam.
Kirpan: This Kakkar is mostly of remembering the idea of defending someone with your own life on the line; Kirpan, (sheathed sword). This can control a person's anger; as the idea that you have something which can potential bring grace; (literal meaning of Kirpan), then the individual in question has to provide a higher level of spirituality. Mostly only those who have Chacked Amrit wear a Kirpan; as of many things responsibilities in wearing one.
Kangha: The Kangha, or wooden comb; represents cleanness and makes us remember not to be attached to anything as some of the Kesh which we grow may come off as we comb twice a day; and allows us to be instead attached to the Naam which we receive from Guru Sahib. The Kangha is important also because of the need for remembering Vaheguru with each time we comb our hair.
Kara: Kara; or steel/iron bracelet makes us remember Vaheguru and makes us do good work; Daas doesn't have to good of an explanation for it.
Kachera: The Kachera; (long undergarments); is important as it controls a form of lust that we may we fighting whether we are married or unmarried. That is all Daas can say for Kachera.
Vaheguru, Vaheguru, Vaheguru, Vaheguru; We should remember that the 5ks are Hukam; and while may not understand the importance of the Kakkars, we should still wear them. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!