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"Mired in Maya"

by Amar Prakash

rhwau ]
iDRgu qnu iDRgu Dnu iDRgu ieh mwieAw iDRgu iDRgu miq buiD PMnI ] ies mwieAw kau idRVu kir rwKhu bWDy Awp bcMnI ]1] ikAw KyqI ikAw lyvw dyeI prpMc JUTu gumwnw ] kih kbIr qy AMiq ibgUqy AwieAw kwlu indwnw ]2]9]

Cursed is the body, cursed is the wealth, and cursed is this Maya; cursed, cursed is the clever intellect and understanding. Restrain and hold back this Maya; overcome it, through the Word of the Guru's Teachings. ||1|| What good is farming, and what good is trading? Worldly entanglements and pride are false. Says Kabeer, in the end, they are ruined; ultimately, Death will come for them. ||2||9|"
Kabir p. 857

It is my contention that through hundreds of years of ignorance and misunderstandings, Sikhism have become "Mired in Maya." 

pauVI ]
jIvidAw mru mwir n pCoqweIAY ] JUTw iehu sMswru ikin smJweIAY ] sic n Dry ipAwru DMDY DweIAY ]
kwlu burw KY kwlu isir dunIAweIAY ] hukmI isir jMdwru mwry dweIAY ] Awpy dyie ipAwru mMin vsweIAY ] muhqu n csw ivlµmu BrIAY pweIAY ] gur prswdI buiJ sic smweIAY ]20]

While you are alive, conquer death, and you shall have no regrets in the end. This world is false, but only a few understand this. People do not enshrine love for the Truth; they chase after worldly affairs instead. The terrible time of death and annihilation hovers over the heads of the world. By the Hukam of the Lord's Command, the Messenger of Death smashes his club over their heads. The Lord Himself gives His Love, and enshrines it within their minds. Not a moment or an instant's delay is permitted, when one's measure of life is full. By Guru's Grace, one comes to know the True One, and is absorbed into Him. ||20||"
Guru Nanak p. 147

The question has been asked: "Are all rituals in the Sikh religion meaningless?" Not only are all rituals meaningless, they are all part of the Illusion (Maya.)  And yes, these would include Amrit Sankar, reciting Ardas, taking Vaak and distributing Karah Parshad among others.

mMnY mwrig Twk n pwie ] mMnY piq isau prgtu jwie ] mMnY mgu n clY pMQu ] mMnY Drm syqI snbMDu ]
AYsw nwmu inrMjnu hoie ] jy ko mMin jwxY min koie ]14]

"The path of the faithful shall never be blocked. The faithful shall depart with honor and fame. They never walk in the worldly ways. The faithful do not follow empty religious rituals. The faithful are firmly bound to the Dharma. Such is the Name of the Immaculate Lord. Only one who has faith comes to know such a state of mind. ||14||"
Guru Nanak p. 3

Not only are the rituals part of the Illusion but gurdwaras are also part of the Illusion. I have said in the past: "I don't believe in gurdwaras but I do believe in Gurdwara." What do I mean by this? First we have to look at what has become the common usage of the word gurdwara and then look at what the Gurus meant when they were talking about Gurdwara.

In today's terms gurdwara can be defined as the name given to the place of Sikh worship, literally the doorway to the Guru. This would include any place where a Guru Granth is installed, some times referred to as Guru dhar.

But is a Gurdwara really a place? Is it somewhere you can go to meet the Guru? I don't believe that this what the Gurus were talking about. In fact during the times of the first five Gurus, gathering places of Sikhs were known as Dharmasalas (places to practice the Dharma) and not gurdwaras.

Here's what Guru Amar Das was saying about Gurdwara on page 32 and 917.

Awpy dyie q pweIAY horu krxw ikCU n jwie ] dyvx vwly kY hiQ dwiq hY gurU duAwrY pwie ]
jyhw kIqonu qyhw hoAw jyhy krm kmwie ]3]

"He Himself gives, and then we receive. Nothing else can be done. The Gift is in the Hands of the Great Giver. At the Guru's Door, in the Gurdwara, it is received. Whatever He does, comes to pass. All act according to His Will. ||3||"

ey sRvxhu myirho swcY sunxY no pTwey ] swcY sunxY no pTwey srIir lwey suxhu siq bwxI ] ijqu suxI mnu qnu hirAw hoAw rsnw ris smwxI ] scu AlK ivfwxI qw kI giq khI n jwey ] khY nwnku AMimRq nwmu suxhu pivqR hovhu swcY sunxY no pTwey ]37] hir jIau guPw AMdir riK kY vwjw pvxu vjwieAw ] vjwieAw vwjw paux nau duAwry prgtu kIey dsvw gupqu rKwieAw ] gurduAwrY lwie BwvnI ieknw dsvw duAwru idKwieAw ] qh Anyk rUp nwau nv iniD iqs dw AMqu n jweI pwieAw ]
khY nwnku hir ipAwrY jIau guPw AMdir riK kY vwjw pvxu vjwieAw ]38]

"The Lord placed the soul to the cave of the body, and blew the breath of life into the musical instrument of the body. He blew the breath of life into the musical instrument of the body, and revealed the nine doors; but He kept the Tenth Door hidden. Through the Gurdwara, the Guru's Gate, some are blessed with loving faith, and the Tenth Door is revealed to them. There are many images of the Lord, and the nine treasures of the Naam; His limits cannot be found. Says Nanak, the Lord placed the soul to the cave of the body, and blew the breath of life into the musical instrument of the body. ||38||"

What he is saying is that your Tenth Door (Dasam Dwaar) is the true Gurdwara. This is the true Guru's Door through which one receives the true Amrit (Ishnaan) and Prashad (blessing.) Any other understanding of the term Gurdwara is when you get "Mired in Maya." And that is exactly where Sikhism finds itself today.

kbIr swDU sMgu prwpqI iliKAw hoie illwt ] mukiq pdwrQu pweIAY Twk n AvGt Gwt ]231]

"Kabeer, the mortal finds the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, if he has such destiny written upon his forehead. He obtains the treasure of liberation, and the difficult road to the Lord is not blocked. ||231||"
Kabir p. 1376

So don't be deceived by the Illusion. 

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