Note: please see previous post prior to reading this one :)
Fateh Kaurs & Singhs! I am back… but not as excited as I thought I would be. I thought that with a little more introspection, I could find an answer that would be well suited to the questions I posed last time around. However, even after days of processing thoughts and emotions.. I can’t say I’m completely sure as to how to address you all. However—your feedback has definitely got my mind searching. Your comments, e-mails, and tweets started putting things into perspective. So, here I am now - I will try my best to explain my thoughts.
Gurbani is the sustainer of Gursikhs; not Sangat. But SAADH Sangat definitely helps one sustain his/her own Sikhi.
Got it? Good…
Jaykay. So here’s how I got there:
It is true that Sikhi without Sangat would not exist. After all, if there is no Sangat, there is no Panth… there are no Sikhs. The importance of Sangat is stressed time and time again in bani. Guru Ji goes so far as to say:
jo sathigur saran sangat nehee aaeae dhhrig jeevae dhhrig jeevaas ||3||
Those who have not sought the Sanctuary of the True Guru and the Sangat, the Holy Congregation-cursed are their lives, and cursed are their hopes of life. ||3||
So, it follows that all actions and beliefs embedded within Sikhi are thereby (supposed to be) carried out, executed, and displayed through the Panth. If that is true, that means that each individual member of the Panth is to do the same; for in order for the group to accomplish, each individual must play his or her own role and pull his or her own weight. However, the problem occurs, then, when the individual does not or cannot stand to be a member of the entire group - how does one go about breaking away from the corruption while maintaining faith and loyalty to Gursikhee Jeevan, Rehat, and baani?
So the answer I found lies in a metaphor commonly found in Gurbani; that of the lotus flower (referred to in Baani as “kamal” or “koulaa”). A few friends and a few readers also brought this to my attention — the lotus is unique in many ways and is commonly used to describe this state of non-attachment. It’s a remarkable organism, really - while growing in algae filled ponds and dirty water, it remains unstained and beautifully blossoms. While living in extremely cold temperatures, it regulates and maintains its warm internal temperature. (See where I’m goin’ with this one?) Living within a community, we are bound to encounter the good and the bad; we are bound to see changes in people, in ideologies, in traditions, in thoughts… and we are bound to see some stray from the Path. But, if we are centered in our own Homes (in our own bodies, minds) and use Guru Sahib and His Bani as our inspiration, then perhaps we CAN sustain our own Sikhi.
baahar sooth sagal sio moulaa ||
Outwardly, I am on good terms with all;
alipath reho jaisae jal mehi koulaa ||1|| rehaao ||
but I remain detached, like the lotus upon the water. ||1||Pause||
mukh kee baath sagal sio karathaa ||
By word of mouth, I talk with everyone;
jeea sa(n)g prabh apunaa dhharathaa ||2||
but I keep God clasped to my heart. ||2||
Our attachment to Sangat should be just like this. As one awesome commenter (and inspirational writer, spiritofthesikh) pointed out, Sangat is not a fixed entity; it is constantly changing. While we should find love in everyone, we should remember that Waheguru is our only true Sangat; our only everlasting love. Sometimes, the Sangat we grow to love and admire and respect disappoints us, and that sends us into a downward spiral of thoughts and doubts.. but Saadh Sangat - the kind of Sangat that we really want - are those who move us closer to Guru Sahib. If your Sangat is not doing this for you, “perhaps it’s time to find a new Sangat”. And by this, I DO NOT NOT NOT NOT mean to drop everyone that you talk to who isn’t an ideal Sikh and find some “Gursikhs” to hang out with so that you become better than all others………Yeah, no. I mean, search for that Sangat inside and out, find within yourself, within Bani, within the Gurmukhs around you, that light of inspiration that drives you to be a better person- and perhaps, you too could then become a source of inspiration to others as well.
I think I’ve blabbered on for long enough :) Hope this post made sense. It is by no means a complete answer to all of my questions…but it’s a start! I welcome your discussion wholeheartedly.
Hoping to hear from you,