The corner stone of Sikhism is compassion, if we cannot show unbiased compassion, then our life as a Sikh has been wasted.
Some English words which are associated to Daiaa include words like benevolence, humanity and mercy. The universe is equipped to handle the well being of all that resides within it. Rain for example, to some, an annoyance but for countless other beings it’s not only a source for sustenance but also life.
ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭਿ ਸਰਣਿ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੀ ਸਰਬ ਚਿੰਤ ਤੁਧੁ ਪਾਸੇ ॥Ang 113 – Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib
All beings and creatures seek the protection of your sanctuary: all thought of their care rests with You.
We are afforded the chance to explore this wonderful carnival of life based on our karmic balance. The illusion of this wonderful world is that other people are responsible for our well being when in actual fact:
ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਸਭੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥Ang 268 – Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib
This body and soul are all Your property.
ਤੁਮ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੇਰੇ ॥
You are our mother and father; we are Your children.
My body, friends and relatives are all an illusion in one shape or form, because this body and everything by association is temporary, no matter how hard we try we cannot escape the eventuality that is death.
To be a Sikh, or a disciple is to let go of what you believe to be right or wrong. It is to resonate with the truth that this world is intrinsically interconnected. Armed with this understanding we progress to empathise with those that are less fortunate, or in a state of suffering, we show compassion to those that don’t have a voice and feel for those (human and otherwise) which fuel our economy. To show compassion to 7 billion people and countless other beings is a task that no human could ever contemplate.
Elevated soul like Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Buddah, Jesus and Mohammad saw life on earth as part of the same light. Bhagat Kabir ji was born a muslim however understood that being labelled as such was a bottleneck in his spiritual progression and so they write:
ਅਵਲਿ ਅਲਹ ਨੂਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੇ ਸਭ ਬੰਦੇ ॥Ang 1350 – Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib
First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings.
ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥
From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1||
ਲੋਗਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਨ ਭੂਲਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥
O people, O Siblings of Destiny, do not wander deluded by doubt.
ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਸ੍ਰਬ ਠਾਂਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
The Creation is in the Creator, and the Creator is in the Creation, totally pervading and permeating all places. ||1||Pause||
I think it’s important to note here that Bhagat Kabir ji was into a muslim family, and yet their philosophy forms a part of the Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib. This if pondered upon would help relax the many disputes Sikhs and Muslim’s have with one another.
We are lost on this planet, wondering what the point of our existence is, like a child separated from it’s mother, desperately trying to call out for her. Compassion and pity led to the almighty taking human form to guide us on a path filled with happiness.
ਤਰਸੁ ਪਇਆ ਮਿਹਰਾਮਤਿ ਹੋਈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਜਣੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ॥Ang 1429 – Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib
You took pity on me and showed us mercy in the form of a satguru.
The suffering of humanity and the sacred cow was felt by the almighty. Satguru Nanak Dev ji bought with them a mechanism by which we can be grateful. They taught us to move away from the falsities of this world and instead purify the mind.
ਦਇਆ ਕਪਾਹ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸੂਤੁ ਜਤੁ ਗੰਢੀ ਸਤੁ ਵਟੁ ॥Ang 471 – Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib
Make compassion the cotton, contentment the thread, modesty the knot and truth the twist.
ਏਹੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਜੀਅ ਕਾ ਹਈ ਤ ਪਾਡੇ ਘਤੁ ॥
This is the sacred thread of the soul; if you have it, then go ahead and put it on me.
ਨਾ ਏਹੁ ਤੁਟੈ ਨਾ ਮਲੁ ਲਗੈ ਨਾ ਏਹੁ ਜਲੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
It does not break, it cannot be soiled by filth, it cannot be burnt, or lost.
When ever an enlightened being has come to the earth they have sought way’s to reform the nonsensical brutality that humanity always devolves to. Even when Satguru Gobind Singh Ji (the 10th master) fought in battle, against oppression they showed compassion. The tips of each arrow they fired was plated with gold so that the families of those who were killed on the battlefield could perform the necessary rites and live a comfortable life.
It is only when we understand what our teacher is asking us to do and when we are willing to listen and action will anything fruition.
In Satgur bilaas (page 436/437) Satguru Ram Singh Ji on their way back from a journey stopped at a pen of cattle and said “The British say I want to rule India but all I want is for the well being of cows and to join people with Naam”. Protection of cow’s in Sikhism is a topic which I will explore in another article.
All of these concepts are part of the same puzzle, it is up to us how we implement what the Sri Adh Granth Sahib has written in it and the rich history of our teachers, that’s if we want to at all.
The reason to have a teacher is so that they can guide us on a journey that we can’t ourselves walk due to lack of experience. It is human nature to seek the shortest path to ones goal, so why are we complicating life by ignoring the infinite wisdom of our Guru’s.
I will leave the reader with one final extract, as proof that through our actions, we have caused pain and suffering to women for hundreds of years.
ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਰਾਜਾਨ ॥Ang 473 – Sri Adh Gur Granth Sahib
So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.
ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੀ ਭੰਡੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥
From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.
Culturally in India it was seen as a burden to raise a girl in the house, because of the large dowry. Female infanticide is still practised in parts of the world and in Sikhism to this day.