I was browsing the SikhiWiki article on Bandi Chhorh today and a thought came across my mind. Its really interesting how the Guru’s action is referred to as “Bandi Chhorh”, kind of like calling him a liberator. I once blogged about this same topic of “liberation” and “enslavement” and how we view the Guru and Guru’s message. I am thinking about it again and I’m wondering how often have I meditated on the question “Has the Guru liberated me?”
Because really that’s what the Guru is supposed to be for. Liberation of the mind from the entrapments of Maya. Going from Gu to Ru. Darkness to enlightenment, good old camp stuff we learn. Its really interesting how even then people who weren’t Sikhs essentially called him a liberator for his actions. The Guru didn’t care if these were the same people that were going to turn around tomorrow and fight against him. The Guru was simply doing what the Guru does. Liberate. I wonder am I doing what a Sikh is supposed to be doing?
If the Guru is supposed to liberate, what is a Sikh supposed to do? Do we simply do what we do on a normal basis and just be like “yeah the Guru’s my G, I gave him $5 last Sunday! He’s got my back” Or do we Listen? Learn? Follow? If I am not listening, I am not learning, and I am not following what I am supposed to be, I don’t suppose I am going to be liberated.
I mean I listen to plenty of Kirtan, but am I really “listening”? Sometimes I just want to know what this “listening” entails? There’s been plenty of times I’ve listened to friends and half the stuff they said goes right out the other ear. Sure enough, there’s been plenty of times when I’ve been in a Samagam and people are doing some nice AKJ Kirtan or sing-a-long type Kirtan and I am “listening” and “singing” the words with passion. But even though the Shabad said I shouldn’t be trapping myself in worldly attractions, when the Kirtan’s over I’m downing some nice daal and roti like nobody’s business.
There’s that thing about “learning” too. I feel like I’ve read plenty of translations and Shabads to essentially understand the basics of what it is I am supposed to be doing. Like any other “well read” Sikh, I’ve got some “essential Gyani Shabads” locked up in my memory bank. Ready for use on a speech any given Sunday. Is memorizing “stuff” whether its line after line of Gurbani or whatever else, all that learning is supposed to be?
What about following? I have all the bling. I adorn the 5k’s every day, that too legally (I was blessed through Khande-ki-Pohul ceremony). I don’t have a certificate. But I guess that’s why some people just wear the bling without the proper procedures.
So am I done? I listened, I learned, I followed? If that’s the case I should be feeling liberated right now. But I don’t see any white light coming out of me. There’s no halo either. I still have a ways to go.
On a side note, I’m always wondering though, why is it always “white light”? I mean even the halo is always white. Why can’t it be a green light or a red halo? As in “Alright we’re done, you’re here now, you can stop. There’s some saag and frooti over here, and white chocolate bread pudding over there. Welcome to enlightenment.”
I hope everyone’s Bandi Chhorh Divas goes great. Keep it chard-kala!
Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,
Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!