Saints and Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj

This whole subject is a very sticky and sensitive area for many people. Why? Because the Saint is a God Realised person who has renounced his small family to serve God's much larger family, has given up all desires in the face of an all consuming desire to know only God, and through this sustained drive, is much closer to God than us.

So why should this be so sensitive? Because the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj was consecrated as the Living Guru for Sikhs by Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. As such it is the highest being and the only one who should be worshipped in the Temple.

So what has happened to make it so sensitive? A Saint is someone who people can look at, listen to, be close to and be personal with. This is much harder to do with the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. So when a Saint appears all (of his followers) stop what they are doing and worship him instead.

Many people say this is an insult to the Guru resident in the Temple and have tried to find a solution to this situation. This has often meant passing a decree that no embodied person may be worshipped in the presence of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.

Of course there are more fundamental and spiritual reasons why people look for a Guru. Being God realised the Guru, in taking someone as a disciple, as a sewak, gives him/her a solemn promise - to take him/her to the same state of God Communion as He is. In turn the applicant sewak gives a solemn promise in return - to faithfully follow his/her Guru at all times and without question.

This is where the phrase Dhan, Mann and Dhann appears. Dhan is wealth and the sewak has promised to give up his wealth to the Guru and many interpret this as forsaking all worldy posessions, of selling up and giving it all to God and Guru. Others take a more realistic view and say "all of this is thine and I will use it in service to thee, my Guru".

Mann is mind and intellect and the same thinking goes for this. The sewak does not give up his/her thinking ability to blindly follow the Guru. Instead he/she tries, as much as possible, to forsake all new desires, give up existing desires through sacrificing them at the feet of the Guru and resists temptation at all times.

Dhann is his/her body and the sewak now treats the body as the Temple housing the sleeping God, serving the Guru as the awakened God. As such the body should be kept pure (hints here about what to eat and drink) and used in His Service wherever possible.

How to serve God and Guru? Many listen to his word when the Gianni reads the Bani and try to understand it. Others listen and like the sound and the feeling of peace that such listening can bestow. Others will try to recite it themselves, in the set format and at the set times (Nitnem).

Many will give of them selflessly in performing whatever sewa is available at the Temple or Gurudwara. It is not the what, it is the how that matters. As long it is done selflessly and by keeping Him in mind at all times.

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Shri Guru Ravidass Temple (Foleshill)
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5 May 2005