Thursday, September 27, 2012

Watch Videos by Talented Sikh Youth

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The 2012 Film Festival Theatre is Now Open!

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This year marks the 7th annual SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival. It all started in 2006 with the simple goal of engaging Sikh Youth to get creative with communicating through media.

Once again young directors from around the world have submitted their films to the 2012 Film Festival. The films range from revealing documentaries to moving dramas. Also, you can watch new films by directors from previous years who have improved their film making skills.

YOUR participation is important! Watch the videos and let the SikhNet judges AND the fim makers kow what you think about each video. Click the "Like" button & Leave a comment.

The video with most likes/shares will win our new 'User's Choice Award!'

Support these young film-makers by watching their videos and sharing your positive comments with them. Join this grassroots movement of original short Sikh films!

This years prize winners will be announced next month. We will also announce the non-cash User's Choice Award. So watch now and be sure to comment and like your favorites!

Want to have even more fun? Make an event out of it! Invite some friends to your house, makes some pop-corn, and watch your own in home SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival. No admission charge either! (Though we welcome you to support SikhNet with a donation if you feel so inspired to support this event)

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Sakhi Series :- 201 ( Three Questions )

Pir Dastgir and Guru Nanak Dev ji

(Source: ) 

Timeless Nirankaar (the Lord Waheguru), Himself came to earth in the form of Guru Nanak Dev ji. Guru Ji visited many countries to preach Divine message along with his companion Bhai Mardana ji, the Rebab player. 
1_Fir_Baba_GayaToday Guru Nanak Dev Ji came on the outskirts of the city of Baghdad. It was early morning. The cool breeze was blowing. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. Many people were passing by. For them it was time for early Naamaz (Muslim Pray). Guru ji started singing Divine Words, while Mardana started to play the Rebab.  Guruji then called the word "SATNAM" loudly in such a style that listening to which the whole city went into absolute silence in astonishment. Guru jis voice, full of Divine Melody, drew the attention of surrounding people of Bagdad.  

Bhai Gurdas ji said…Diti_Bang_Niwaj_Kar

It was a pure Divine bliss that calmed people's mind and soul. They were absorbed within their own consciousness. The news spread in the city like fire in the forest. Now where there is Amrit (ambrosial nectar), also present is the poison. This is the truth. Gurbani says:


Poison and nectar dwell together. Sandalwood trees are beautiful but snakes full of poison encircle them too.

Similarly while many people were getting blessed with Guru's Divine bliss also there were some people who started to argue and condemn the demoralising Divine Poetry in the musical form. Some even threw stones on Guruji, but Guru Nanak Dev ji continued singing the Divine Words(Keertan). The gentle strains of His music along with Divine words soothed their hearts. They forgot to throw stones at Him.  In the meantime approached their high priest Pir Dastgir. Pir Dastgir asked them to bring Guruji to his accommodation.

Shortly after that Guru Nanak was in Pir Dastgir's residence. Pir was sitting on his "PRICIOUS THRONE" while Guru ji was standing on the ground surrounded by many ordinary people. The holy man -Pir [Highest Priest] now began to question Guruji to give justification of what was happened in early morning.

Pir Dastgir asked, "O Hindi Faqir (Saint), why were you singing unprincipled and immoral musical verses on the sacred land of Bagdad? Don't you know that according to Muslim Shariat (code of law), music was forbidden? Which category of Faqir (Saint) do you belong to and what is your background?

Pir Dastgir further declared that music animates the passion and was regarded by Muslims as a means of bodily pleasure and vulgar joy and consequently banned in Islamic countries.

Guru Nanak Dev ji explained to Pir Dastgir the true function of music. Guruji stated, "Music is a powerful instrument of both good and evil. It melts the hearts and thus and can be a vehicle of spiritual inspiration.

God the great Musician has created the cosmic melody-the gentle rustle of the reeds (a thin strip of material which vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument) and waving plants, the murmur of the stream, the gushing of torrents, the humming of the bees, the constitutes the orchestra of nature. Love of music is a part of human nature. Whenever a person is happy or alone, he sings or hums a tune."

Why not use the natural characteristic for music for higher goals and values. Why not sing holy songs in praise of Allah, the Lord of the Universe! This kind of music attunes the individual soul to the Universal Soul. The corrupt passions of man are thus directed to sublime channels. As such, music can be used as an aid to spiritual fulfillment."

Pir Dastgir was greatly impressed by Guru ji's argument in favor of sacred music. He and his followers who wanted to lynch the Guru for the alleged crime against Islamic tradition became his admirers and friends.

Now Pir Dastgir came to a state of Humbleness and asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji,

"O Hindi Faqir, since the day I am meditating, there are three questions which always echo in my brain all the time.

  1. First question:-If the God (Khuda/Allah) has created the world, and then who had created GOD? Who was before God?
  2. Second Question:- Where does God (Allah) live?
  3. Third Question:-What does Khuda (Allah/God) do?

Question is always a burdon on anyone's mind. If a person is walking with lots of weight on head, then it is very hard to walk comfortably. Similarly if we have lots of question on our mind then we grow anxious, until a perfect answer is discovered.

Pir Dastgir had burden of questions too. When he judged Guru Nanak a potential of easing his mental load, he offered three questions to Guru Nanak and said,

"These questions have been constantly straining my mind for many years. In Islam we believe Allah lives seven skies above the earth and according to some in seven nether including earth itself. But I want you to explain about HIS existence"

Now Guru ji said, "Your questions are very valuable and priceless, but difficult too. I know you are a highly spiritual leader. I have heard that people has utmost respect for you and bring pearls, diamonds rubies and jewelries to offer you as obeisance. They bring lots of money to you and bow before you. They also pay respect by donating golden coins on your feet for sake of seeking answers to their sufferings. Now I want you to show me those pearls, diamonds rubies and jewelries? I want you to bring them to me before I answer your questions."

Pir Dastgir instantly had a current of shock waves flowing through his mind. He was now thinking, I have not yet received any answer to my questions, but payment is already being asked. But because he wanted to end his accumulated mental stress over the years, he ordered his disciples to bring a plate full of diamond, pears and gold coins to offer Guru Nanak in a hope he might get the answers.

Guruji now looked at Pir Dastgir and said, "Pir, I want you to count these diamonds one by one."

Pir was bit astonished but he stared counting as…

"1"  [Ek] ………  "2" [Do'] ……… "3" [Tin] ………….."4" [Char]

When Pir reached the count of FOUR, Guru ji stopped him and said, "You are not a good accountant, you lack basic counting skills."

Pir said, "I have counted correctly up to four"

But Guru Ji said, " Yes while counting up to "4" you made a mistake and I want you to recount."

He started counting again, "1"  [Ek] …….  "2" [Do'] ……… "3" [Tin] ………….."4" [Char]. Sooner when he reached the count four, Guru ji stopped him again and said," Pir, you are wrong again."

Pir grew bit angry but politely said, "I am going to recount again, just stop me to a point when you think I am wrong. I just want to know where the problem is, in my counting?" 
Satguru said, " Ok, I will tell you". 
Now he started counting as...... "1"  [Ek] ……. , Guruji stopped him and said, "Pir, start counting prior to "1"  [Ek]. 
Pir replied nervously, "How can I count prior to "1". Before "1"  [Ek], is NOTHING. I must start with 1". 
Guru Nanak Dev ji said, "YES". "1" …  Ek Onkar. There is nothing before "1". 
He is only ONE. Everything start from "1". 
One is HIM. 
He is seed, the origin, the primal Lord."

Guru ji recited Mool Mantar and said it is a seed. Nothing is beyond this. It is the primal truth that the creator is "1"  [Ek]. It is the foundation of the whole world and beyond..

"There is only but ONE God, the Eternal Truth, Almighty Creator, and Unfearful, without Hate and Enmity, Immortal Entity, Unborn, Self-Existent. The ONE who was True before the creation, The One Who was True in the beginning of the creation, The One Who is True now, and O Nanak, The One Who shall be True forever".

WOW!!!!!, said Pir. He was so happy and satisfied, so were the people around him. Pir grew so emotional and came from a state of ego to a state of humbleness and politely offered second question to Guru Nanak,

"Hey, Nanak, this seed who is the creator of this world and after, where does He live? Where would we search Him? In our Islam it is said that He live in seven skies above the earth."

Guru Ji came into blessing mood and asked Dastgir to tell someone fetch a pot full of Milk. The pot full of milk was offered to Guru Nanak instantly. Guruji now was focusing His blessed vision upon milk very anxiously and said,

"Pir, there is something in it."

Pir got so worried and started thinking that some notorious person may have added something into it. But Pir knew his followers were very kind to him and will not do anything wrong against his will. So said, "O Hindi Faqir, there is nothing in it, I am so sure."

Guruji, "There is something in it" 
"What is it, then, tell us please?" asked Pir. 
Guru ji said, "Butter!!!!! Now you show me where is it? Can you see it? Simply tell me yes or no."

Pir Dastgir was a highly spiritual saint so he instantly agreed with Guruji and said, "Yes, there is surely "Butter" in it but it is not visible".


Each and every drop of milk contains butter and also the fire is contained in all firewood. Similarly in each and every living being resides HIM. God's Light is contained in the high and the low; the Lord lives in the hearts of all beings. He is pervaded and saturated in each and every heart. The Perfect Lord is completely permeating everyone, everywhere; He created the Creative Power of the Universal energy, within which He dwells.

HIS creative power resides in Nature. 
He is saturated in to water, land, and sky; He Himself is All-pervading. 
His Creative Power is omnipresent, in all form and color

Pir was listening very carefully to Guruji's Divine Message and was so thrilled. He was so happy again and fully convinced with Guru's answers and asked his final question,

"Nanak, such a powerful God, what does it do? What is His profession"?

Guru Nanak Ji smiled and replied,

                                         "Dastgir, you can carry on asking me questions and I will be answering them one by one with Divine Knowledge. But now I am thinking that you are insulting Allah, Divine power. God has its shape in Divine Knowledge (Shabad). [Waho Waho Guru's Shabad is the creator itself). His true picture is, contemplation (study and understanding) of Shabad. His power is in His Shabad. I am thinking that you are not respecting the Divine Words coming out of my mouth. You yourself are sitting at a higher place in a "Precious Throne" and listening to "Divine Message" about Him. This is principally and ethically wrong".

By now, listening to Guru's soothing words had already melted at Dastgir's mind. His heart was pierced by Guru' spoken words and gently asked, "Nanak, what should I do, then?"

"Just do what you actually should do, come out of your Throne and walk down to a ground level. I will sit in your throne. You can then ask as many questions you want and I will answer them all." Guruji Replied.

This is rule/principle of the world; teacher/judge always sits at higher place or in a higher chair.

Dastgir thought, this business is not that expensive. I want to gain Divine knowledge and Nanak wants to give me without any cost. By replacing seat for a moment is not going do any harm. I must exchange sitting locations, as I needed answers to my questions that had been bugging my mind for many years now. This is the time to receive ultimate peace for my mind and soul.

Pir Dastgir came down and sat at the level of Guruji's feet and Satguru Nanak was now sitting in his Throne. Dastgir Pir asked his final question with full devotion and love,

"Nanak, Tell me quickly, what does He do?

Guruji replied, "Dastgir…….. This is what He [Allah/Waheguru] does. A person who sits on the Throne, brings him down and person who is on the ground, place him at the higher place."


  • God changes the beggar into a king, and the king into a beggar.
  • God makes idiotic fool to be transformed into a Pandit (Superior), a religious scholar, and the Pundit (Superior), into a fool.
  • God assumes so many forms, and plays so many games, and yet, He remains detached from it all.
  • God makes laughing people cry, and crying people to laugh.
  • God fills what is empty, and empties what is full - such are His ways. He Himself spread out the expanse of His Maya, and He Himself beholds it.  Make people die and bring dead in to life.
  • God makes business profitable and profitable to bear losses.

This is HIS task. This is His profession. No one knows the state of the Lord that how incalculable, infinite, incomprehensible and immaculate is He, who is a mystery to the entire world. All we can do is that Cast off all our doubts and pray by focus our consciousness on His Feet i.e. Guru Shabad.

Dastgir was so satisfied. Tears were flowing through his eyes. Guruji's Divine messages were saturated in his heart and he fell on to Guruji's feet. The throne on which Dastgir enshrined Guru Nanak Dev ji was called "Amar Singhasan" and still situated in Bagdad. Pir Dastgir had a board and fixed on the throne with the following Label:

"Rabul Majeed Hazrat Baba Nanak"

Its translation: The Blessed Messenger of God, Hazarat Baba Nanak.


Gurudwara in Bagdad, Iraq where the whole incident took place, 1511AD...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sakhi Series 200 :- ( You Need a true Guru )

You Need a true Guru
- from a book called "Bhajan Bandagi daa Partaap" written by Sodhi Harbhajan Singh.

In June 1962 when I was stationed in Ferozepur, a friend of mine invited me to Jhansi to do preaching of Sikhi and to do katha at the local Gurdwara Sahib there on the occasion of martyrdom anniversary of Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee. I took leave of 6 days and by adding two Sundays my holidays totalled 8 days. Another friend of mine too decided to join me in my trip but he managed to get vacation for only 4 days.

We left on Saturday night and reached Jhansi Sunday afternoon. I was scheduled to do katha the same Sunday evening. My schedule was already booked and I was to do katha in the morning and in the evening. I used the day time to meet my friends and to visit historical places in Jhansi.

On the last day of my katha, a Sindhi brother who was a high level officer there, stood up in sangat and pleaded, "Singh Sahib jee, few miles from here I am working on a Dam project and there in a cave, a Mahatma (a holy man) is doing great Tapp (bhagti). His condition is very pitiful and destitute. I request you to help him."

When I heard his request, I felt very embarrassed. What could a householder (grehsthi) person like me do to help a Mahatma, I thought.

I asked him, "How can I, a householder, help a Saadho (holy man)".

Sindhi Veer said, "My heart is telling me that you can help him".

I told him that I was due to leave the next day afternoon but he stayed adamant and told me that he would come tomorrow morning at 5am in his jeep and that we would come back in few hours. Many gursikhs in sangat too expressed their desire to come with us. At this the Sindhi brother said that he would bring more vehicles to take more sangat along with us.

Anyway, the next day, he arrived right on time and we reached at the bottom of the mountain where the ascetic was living in a cave. From there on, we had to go on foot and after some climbing we reached the cave where the mystic saint was sitting with his back towards us. It was a very small cave where only 4 people could fit. There was total darkness in there. We kept our eyes closed for sometimes and when we opened our eyes, we were able to see little bit better. We noticed a very thin person who had his back towards us, sitting there. He was so thin that all his bones were visible. He had long black hair and long beard and the only cloth he was wearing was to cover his private parts.

When I saw him for the first time, I thought that I was looking at a dead body but then I noticed that he was breathing. He was sitting in smaadhi (trance) and since it is a sin to break anyone's smaadhi, I asked everyone to stay quiet and we sat there for some time. After about 15-20 minutes he came out of his smaadhi and directly addressed me by name. Then he started praising me but I totally ignored all his praise because a gursikh does not like to hear his praise as this bring haume (ego) in him.

When Sant jee noticed that I was not responding, he changed the topic of conversation and asked me, "One Gyani jee who came with you has gone back?"

I replied, "he had to leave since his holidays were over. How long have you been sitting here?"

"About ten years"

"Have you attained anything yet?

"Nothing", he replied, shaking his head.

"Who do you meditate on", I asked him.

"I first started off by meditating on the Sargun saroop i.e. the materialistic form that can be seen with these eyes. When I did not attain anything, I started focusing on Nirgun. Now I feel that there is something (Vaheguru) who is around me but does not come near me."

"When you used to meditate on the Sargun, who did you focus on", I asked.

Pointing to a picture of Siri Krishna jee beside him, he said, "I used to focus on him".

"How long do you sit in meditation", I asked him again.

"About 22 hours everyday. I use 2 hours to sleep, cook food and other needs of the body".

When I heard this, I was utterly shocked and thought "such divine wrath. Such kehar". I remembered the following salok of Baba Farid jee:


A thought came to my mind that it is possible that his diet was not proper. I asked him, "how is your diet like".

"When I first came here, I used to get 30 rotis and used to eat one roti a day but now since I can't walk to get rotis, I just drink water and eat leaves."

I was thinking hard to figure out the real reason behind his problem. I abruptly asked him, "Who is your Guru?"

"I have no Guru", he replied.

After hearing this, I said, "Let alone 10 years but even if you were to sit here for another 10,000 years, you would not attain anything because you have not met the true Guru".

As soon as I said this, Sant jee who all along had his back towards me got out of control, and fell at my feet. With extreme humility he implored, "Please accept me as your disciple and you become my Guru. I only want you to be my Guru".

I said, "I have not even become a proper Sikh yet. How can I become your Guru then?"

He was holding my feet so firmly that I did not know what to do. He kept pleading and imploring and I kept expressing my incapability to become his Guru. In the end, he asked me with a strong voice, "Then tell me whom should I make my Guru".

"Accept Guru Nanak Sahib as your Guru", I replied.

"But he is dead now". After pondering for few moments he continued, "I do believe that his soul is still alive but unless his body is here and gives me Naam, how will I become his Sikh?"

"Are you educated", I asked.

"I studied till high school and I read brief history of Guru Nanak in one of my history books."

"When a Hindu dies, what do they do to his dead body", I asked.

"They cremate it".

"When a Muslim dies, then what?"

"They bury it", he replied.

"Does the soul stay alive when Hindu or Muslim dies?", I quizzed him.

"Soul never dies, whether you cremate or bury it".

"Do you know if Guru Nanak Dev jee's body was cremated or buried", I asked him.

"I have heard that after he left his body, Muslims and Hindus started fighting over whether to cremate or bury him. When they lifted the sheet from his body, it had disappeared".

"There you go. Your problem has been solved. You yourself admit that Guru Nanak Sahib's body was neither cremated nor buried. He disappeared with his body. Whenever anyone calls out to Guru Nanak Dev jee, he is capable of giving darshan with his human body".

As soon as Sant jee heard this, he immediately left my feet and hastily said to me, "Please leave immediately as I don't want to waste any more time. I have found out about my disease and it's cure".

I said, "before leaving I want to tell you something that Guru Sahib told us:


You don't eat proper diet and don't take care of your precious human body. If you lose your human body, then how will you do simran?"

One of my companions before leaving had brought a bag of mangoes and watermelons along with us. We placed the baskets before Sant jee but Sant jee took one mango and one watermelon. My friend told him that the whole basket was for him and that he would supply him with food every week.

As we were about to leave, Sant jee said, "there is no need to rush. Your train will be 2.5 hours late". When I reached the station, I found that really my train was 2 hours and 40 minutes late.

I have written all this in detail so that the readers fully understand that if one does bhajan / bhagti without the true Guru, one can get great mystical powers and Ridhi Sidhi but one cannot attain Vaheguru.

In one year, I inquired about Sant jee and found out that Sant jee had changed a great deal. He had a special brightness on his face and there were line-ups of hundreds of people in front of his cave. People ask him for boons and he just says that Guru Nanak will fulfil the wish and it really comes true. His body was no longer thin and he had become very healthy.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sakhi Series :- 199 ( Bhai Ladha ji )

Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand 
( Source: ) 

Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand were official Ragis in the Darbar of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. They used to recite GurBani in the morning and evening. Their sweet Kirtan always mesmerized the Sangat. One day Bhai Satta said to Guru Ji, "My Lord! I have fixed the marriage of my daughter, please help us financially." The Guru said," Don't worry, whatever offerings we get today, will be given to you." After the completion of the evening recitation, the Guru gave them the offerings of the day. But when they counted the money they found that it was not according to their expectations. They were disappointed.

When Prithi Chand came to know about this, he advised them to leave the service of the Guru, as the Guru was getting the offerings due to their singing. Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand believed the words of Prithi Chand. They at once met the Guru and talked against the house of Guru Nanak. They said, "The devotees come only to hear our Kirtan. If we stop to come here, nobody will recognize you as the Guru." Guru Ji tried to console them but instead of listening to the Guru, they began to talk in a very rude manner. When they did not stop talking the Guru addressed the congregation and said, "They have slandered the house of Guru Nanak, so no Sikh should meet them. If anybody is found helping them, his face would he blackened and mounted on a donkey (with a shoe necklace around their neck) he will be driven through all bazaars and streets of the city."

Guru Ji was himself a good musician. He had performed the duty of a Ragi at Lahore for more than two years (This was when Guru Ram Das Ji had sent him to attend the marriage of a relative). So Guru Ji himself started playing the musical instruments and singing Gurbani. Guru Ji also blessed the Sangat that they themselves can sing Gurbani.

When Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand learnt that the Sangat and Guru Ji himself were doing Kirtan and that the number of Sikhs was increasing day by day they felt ashamed of what they had said. They had also developed a disease which gave them so much pain that they could not rest or sleep, so day and night they were in great grief. They wanted to get pardon from Guru Ji, but no Sikh was ready to see them, when they went outdoors people would turn their faces away from them (due to the Hukam of Guru Ji). Thus they had become completely isolated.

At last someone advised them to go to Bhai Ladha of Lahore as he was the only man who could help them. They met Bhai Ladha ji. Hearing their story Bhai Ladha ji said, "You have done a great blunder by slandered the house of Guru Nanak. I am ready to help you but the Guru has laid down a very strict condition. He had said that who would help you, had to face consequences of riding a donkey with blackened face with a shoe necklace around their neck. When Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand requested him again and again, Bhai Ladha blackened his face himself and riding on a donkey facing the rear, putting on a shoe necklace then drove towards Amritsar. Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand were also accompanying him. On the way to Amritsar from Lahore people thinking Bhai Ladha a thief (due to the above punishment) shouted abuse at him.

Bhai Ladha reached Guru Ji's house riding on the donkey. They knocked the door of the House. When Guru Ji came outside he recognized Bhai Ladha. He asked Bhai Ladha to dismount. Bhai Ladha dismounting the donkey befell at the feet of the Guru. Guru Ji cleaned the face of Bhai Ladha, took off the shoe necklace and embraced him. Guru Ji then said, "Bhai Ladha, it is true you are a great well-wisher of the poor, but these men had slandered the house of Guru Nanak. A slanderer of the house of Guru Nanak can't he pardoned. But if they want to be pardoned then they should praise the house of Guru Nanak with the same tongue, which has criticized it." Bhai Satta and Bhai Balvand agreed to do this. They recited Ramkali kee Vaar also known as Satta ate Balvand Di Vaar, the Vaar can be found on Ang 966 to 968. It was due to the reciting of the above Vaar that they disease disappeared, Guru Ji then pardoned them both. Guru Ji also said that whoever recites this Vaar with Prem (Love) will have their diseases vanish.