Saturday, December 15, 2018

You Might Be A Sikh If:



1. You or another family member have PTC going while in the living room

2. You've ripped through a pair or two of  your kachera

3. You've gone to use to bathroom...but then realize you've tied your kachera too tight

4. You've tied your turban...just to realize you forgot to put your kangha in

5. You're writing or typing and your kara constantly hits the desk

6. You're asked how to pronounce your name

7. You're aksed "What's that thing on your head?"

8. You got a harmonium, tabla, taliyaan, chimta, dhol, etc. at your house

9. You've been mistaken for Muslim (or called Osama)

10. You have a khanda on the back of your car or in your front windshield

11. You drink cha almost on the daily (don’t forget the bisquits!)

12. You have a room solely dedicated to Guru ji or you’re on sacred altar like thing

13. You spend $20 or more on shipping to purchase religious items (mostly talking to American Sikhs here)

14. You go over another Sikh’s house and the first thing they want to do is feed you (and don’t you dare reject it)

15. You find kangas just randomly around the house

16. You wake up for Amritvela...just to fall back asleep five minutes later

17. You get hyped everytime you see a Sikh person on television

18. Your profession is related to the medical field, business world, police department, military, or politics

19. You’re a poet, artist, musician, singer, or writer

20. People look at your turban...but you can obviously tell they’re afraid to ask questions

21. You can’t just walk into a store and find something related to your faith (which is way easier for other religions)

22. You wonder why we celebrate others holidays more than our own

23. If you were mistaken for a girl as a kid (talking about Keshdhari guys here)

24. Christian missionaries take one look at you and start heading your way

25. You have WhatsApp (on a serious note, I didn’t even know Whatsapp existed until becoming a Sikh. Only immigrant communities have it).

26. You tell a person you’re SIKH and they say “Oh, I’m so sorry” *facepalm*

27. You try looking up shabads during kirtan and literally just Punjabi Artists singing it comes up

28. You tell you’re non-Sikh friend you got a samagam/nagar kirtan to go to and they’re like “Huhhhh???”

29. Prashad is bae

30. You see another Sikh in public and you get hyped

So that’s all I can think of. Feel free to comment down below stuff I might have missed. GurFateh






Thursday, November 29, 2018

Stuck Between Two Worlds




Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! Before I get started, I would like to note that everything written here are my own views and opinions and does not reflect anybody elses. Thank you. 

As the title states, I am stuck between two worlds. But first of all, hi! For those who are reading my blog for the first time, my name is Jasmine Morris (or as Sikhs know me, Gurpreet Kaur). I am an Amritdhari Sikh from Texas and you can read more about how I came into Sikhi to the right. Ont top of that, you can also discover how I became a Nihang Singhni in one of my previous blog posts down below. 

Now that we have gotten introductions out the way, we can get back to the topic at hand. So what exactly are the "Two Worlds" that I am stuck between? For me, it's the "mainstream" Sikh community and the Sikh Dharma community. As I hope everyone knows by now, not all non-Punjabi Sikhs are affliated or come to Sikhi through Sikh Dharma (or as some people like to refer to it as, 3HO). The same way there are a few Punjabis who are apart of 3HO. But of course people just find it easier to generalize. 😑

There are some things I've found troubling about both communities. I definately do not agree with some of the things Sikh Dharma teaches and does. The same way I do not agree with everything "traditional" Sikhs teach and do. But the segregation of the two communities is bad. Ever since becoming a Sikh, some Sikhs friends I know personally (Punjabi and non-Punjabi) have made it a point to purposely avoid those Sikhs in the white clothes and turbans. And on the flip side of things, I've noticed people who are apart of the Sikh Dharma community who do not interact with people outside of their group. There's valid reasons why people from both sides act this way but I won't expand on that. All I will say is this needs to stop!

I am not saying that ya'll cannot disagree with each other. But I am saying that there needs to be a healthy dialogue  (which, by the way, should not take place on social media). And there needs to be a move for integration so that one side can benefit from the other. Because yes, BOTH sides have some things going good for it that the other side needs. 

From my own personal experience, most (let's say, 90%) of the Sikhs apart of my circle here in Texas are immigrant Sikhs or non-Punjabi Sikhs not affliated to 3ho. The rest are Sikh Dharma. And I can say that disagreement and integration is possible. But of course if we are going to throw rocks and stones at each other like we all are not human, we're in trouble. REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER that the SAME LIGHT that is in YOU is also in the person on the other side. Therefore, you should talk to them (whether irl or on social media) like God and Guru is present. 

Now so you might be asking why I choose the picture I did. No, it isn't clickbait lol. But the answer is simple. If  people with contrasting views such as Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Yogi Bhajan, and Baba Nihal Singh can be in the same room together at the same time without falling out, the Sikh community can as well. 

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Celebrating Guru Nanak's Birthday

As many Sikhs already know, Guru Nanak's Gurpurab is coming up November 23rd. It's one of the biggest holidays on the Sikh calendar (if not the biggest). Here are a few ways you can celebrate

1. Go to the Gurdwara

Yes, this is an obvious one but you should really do it. Gurdwaras do different things for Gurpurabs and they celebrate it on different days. But being around that celebratory atmosphere is amazing.

2. Decorate

What is a celebration without decorations? Light candles, put up posters/photos, or whatever you feel like doing. I know a few Sikh families that turn on their holiday lights for the festivities.

3. Learn about Guru Nanak

It doesn't help to touch up on Sikh history. Take one of your books off the shelf and read that chapter on Guru Nanak. You can also watch documentaries, movies, or short clips about him.

4. Listen to Music

There's plenty of shabads speaking on Baba Nanak. Listen to them. There's also plenty of songs about there about Guru Nanak Dev ji. Listen to them.

Anyways, if you have anything else you would like to add to the list, please comment. Otherwise, Happy Gurpurab!


Friday, November 2, 2018

Phrases and Shabads that Sikh Converts Should Know

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! Title pretty much explains it. So let's get straight into it

Gurmantar


The Gurmantar or "Waheguru" is the most common way you will hear Sikhs describe the One. When you break down the word Waheguru, "Wah(e)" is like wow or wondrous and "Guru" means teacher (or someone who brings you from darkness to light). So the most simple translation of this word is "Wow God" while the deepest translation would be "Praise to the One who brings us from Darkness to Light". This is also the most common mantra used to do Simran (which is the remembrance of God). 



The Mool Mantar 


Next to the Gurmantar, the Mool Mantar is the second most common mantra Sikhs use to remember God. It goes...


Ik Oankar 


Sat(i) Naam


Karata Purakh


Nirabhau


Niravair 


Akaal Moorat 


Ajoonee


Saibhan 


Gur Prasad


Jap


Aadh Sach


Jugaadh Sach


Hai Bhee Sach


Nanak hosee bhee Sach


For a good understanding of what the Mool Mantar means, watch this playlist by Bhai Satpal Singh:


Nanak Naam (Mool Mantar Interpretation)


These are some of the characteristics of God laid out by Guru Nanak in the very beginning of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib. It is also the first part of Japji Sahib (one of the morning prayers Sikhs are supposed to recite). Now it should be noted that there is a little division between some Sikhs on where exactly the Mool Mantar ends. Some say it goes just to "Gur Prasad", while others say it ends with "Nanak hosee bhee Sach". This is a bunch of silliness and you should come to your own conclusion. 






Ardas


The Ardas is the formal Sikh prayer that basically opens or closes any Sikh related activity. If there's something you should memorize, it definitely should be the Ardas. I think it is also important to know that the first part of the Ardas was authored by Guru Gobind Singh and is taken out of the Dasam Granth. The rest was added later on. 


Here's a link to the full Ardas here:


Ardas (In Punjabi and English)


Common Slogans you will hear Sikhs chant from the Ardas are....



"Degh Tegh Fateh!" - "May the Kitchen and Sword be Victorious" 

"Nanak Naam Chardi Kala Tere Bhane Sarbat da Balla" - "Nanak, with Naam comes Chardi Kala and with your blessings, peace for everyone."





Anand Sahib


Anand Sahib is a collection of hymns in Sikhism, written in the Ramkali Raag by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikhs. Anand means "happiness" or "bliss". This bani concludes the morning prayers of the Sikhs and also concludes all Gurdwara services (with the exceptions of ones that take place late in the afternoon). 





"Waheguru ji ka Khalsa. Waheguru ji ki Fateh"


This is the traditional Sikh greeting passed down by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji. It means, "The Khalsa (or Pure Ones) belong to God! Victory belongs to God as well!" This is also called the "GurFateh". 




"Bole so Nihaal! Sat Shri Akaal/Akaaluh!"


Though there can be different versions of the jakara, "Bole so Nihaal! Sat Shri Akaal" is the most common battle cry you will hear in the Sikh community today. It means "One will be blessed/fulfilled who proclaims that the Timeless One is the ultimate Truth". This is also said at the end of every Sikh activity.

I also think that it is important to note here that "Sat Shri Akaal" (or as some say, Sat Shri 'Kaal) is the traditional Punjabi greeting. Besides the GurFateh, this is the second most common greeting you will hear Sikhs say. 





"Guru Maneyo Granth"


"Guru Maneyo Granth" (Granth Be Thy Guru) refers to the historic statement of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), shortly before his demise, on affirming the sacred scripture Adi Granth as his successor, thus terminating the line of human Gurus. It is often quoted at the end of the Ardas.


It says: "Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe."


"Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The pure shall rule, and impure will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved."





Raj Karega Khalsa is a common slogan you will hear taken from this proclamation. It means "The Khalsa (Pure Ones) will rule!" 


"Jithe Jaye Bahe Mera Satguru"

This shabad comes from Ang 450 in the Shri Guru Granth Sahib. This is often recited during Sukhasan (when the Guru is being retired for the day. It says...


"jithai jai bahai meraa satiguroo so thaan suhaavaa raam raaje ||
Wherever my True Guru goes and sits, that place is beautiful, O Lord King.


ਗੁਰਸਿਖੀਂ ਸੋ ਥਾਨੁ ਭਾਲਿਆ ਲੈ ਧੁਰਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਵਾ ॥
gurasikhee(n) so thaan bhaaliaa lai dhur mukh laavaa ||
The Guru's Sikhs seek out that place; they take the dust and apply it to their faces.


ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਕੀ ਘਾਲ ਥਾਇ ਪਈ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਾ ॥
gurasikhaa kee ghaal thai piee jin har naam dhiaavaa ||
The works of the Guru's Sikhs, who meditate on the Lord's Name, are approved.


ਜਿਨ੍ਹ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਜਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਵਾ ॥੨॥
jin(h) naanak satigur poojiaa tin har pooj karaavaa ||2||
Those who worship the True Guru, O Nanak - the Lord causes them to be worshipped in turn. ||2||


ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਹਰਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥
gurasikhaa man har preet hai har naam har teree raam raaje ||
The Guru's Sikh keeps the Love of the Lord, and the Name of the Lord, in his mind. He loves You, O Lord, O Lord King." 







I hope this was helpful for those transitioning into Sikhi (or even those who are already apart of the Panth). Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!






Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I Do Not Know What I Want to Do With My Life

The title says it all. I'm am really being vulnerable admitting it but it is true. For those who don't know me in real life, here is some information about myself.

Background Information: 
I currently attend the University of Texas at Austin and am a student at one of the top business schools in the country (in regards to the undergraduate level). I am a sophomore and almost have enough credits to be a junior (thanks to AP and dual credit). Everybody who attends UT is intelligent but I'm at the lower end of the spectrum when comparing myself to my peers (basically, don't expect for me to have a 4.0 GPA). No where near that actually. Everything else you want to know about me is on my LinkedIn (yes this is a plug)

My LinkedIn

Continuing what I was saying.....

I know for a fact what things I'm passionate about, and numbers are not one of them (so all ya'll accounting and finance majors can keep that).  I know that whatever I do in the future, I want to be helping people and using my business education to aid with that. So basically, working with social enterprises (not-for-profit, for-profit, etc.) to help bring some good in the world. Honestly, if I could I would just drop out of school and devote all my energy into the Panth and interfaith work (but as my mom would say, that's not gonna bring you any money in and that I could forget that idea).  But I really am kind of fed up with school and I really do think that the modern higher education system is a scam. But I got to do something (plus my parents would be angry if I didn't go).  And this semester.....oh boi. If on a scale of 1-10 you asked me how much I study I would say.......a 2. If it's not something I'm not passionate about *cough cough* accounting *cough* I won't study. No matter how much I yell at myself that I need to study, my mind says no. And on top of that, ever since the semester started I physically feel drained. I would describe it as depression but without being mentally depressed. Some of my grades have suffered but I really don't care anymore. But tbh, I probably will care a whole lot when finals roll around 😕

But back on topic, I don't know what I want to do with my life. Most of my classmates are recruiting for the Big Four and Fortune 500 companies, but I'm not about that life. I don't want a lot of money, just enough to pay the mortgage and take care of my kids. I don't know, maybe this all stems from the fact that I'm living off campus this year (which means more likely to slack off). Or maybe I need to transfer schools (which would be a huge blow since being at UT is a golden opportunity to advance ahead in life). Or maybe do have a little depression going on. Or maybe I need to take a break (which is probably not going to happen). Or maybe I am really not meant to finish school and do something else with my life (don't think I don't hear all ya'll Punjabis grasping in shock 😂).

Whatever it is, all I know it is in God's hands now. I've been prayed about this a lot to Guruji lately that whatever I'm meant to do in life, lead me in that direction. And I don't know what that direction is but what I want from ya'll is not career advice or "you need to blah blah blah"  but positive vibes/thoughts/prayers. Seriously, I never ask to people to pray for me but I need some right now. And for those who actually do it (which I know 90% of ya'll won't) thank you.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

P.S. I'm sorry I rambled. This is just me turning my raw thoughts and feelings into words. I been keeping some stuff in for a long time and need to get it out.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Converting into Sikhism (Sikhi) Part 2

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! If you have not read part 1, I strongly encourage you to do so. And as always, resources and contact form are to the left.

Amrit Sanchar
Ever since 1699,  Sikhs have been getting initiated into this army/brotherhood/sisterhood called the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa in order to combat oppression and spread light and truth throughout the whole world. For those Sikhs who want to join the Khalsa, they must go thrown this ceremony called the "Amrit Sanchar".

Video of Amrit Sanchar

Video of Amrit Sanchar (2)

There are certain steps that must be followed during an Amrit Sanchar, but I will not get into that now. What is important to know is that once you receive Amrit, there's a code of conduct (called the Rehat Maryada) and a uniform (called the 5 ks) you must abide by. The rehat maryada changes based on what group you receive Amrit from. For example, if you receive Amrit from the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee), you can eat meat but just not ritually sacrificed meat (halal and kosher). BUT if you receive Amrit from AKJ, you must adhere to a vegan diet. But know whoever you take it from, AMRIT IS AMRIT. And is a huge, life-changing commitment. It is recommended that Sikhs practice living the Khalsa lifestyle at least a year before receiving Amrit so that you know you are ready.

10 Officially Recognized Mainstream Sects in Sikhi

Integrating Yourself into the Sikh Community:

For people coming into Sikhi, finding the right Sangat for them can be challenging but definitely not impossible. Here are some few tips to help you meet people within the Sikh community

1. Do an Ardas

It is important to have Sangat, but it is most important Sadh Sangat. You do not want to end up with the wrong group of people. That is why it is important to do an ardas to Guru ji first to help you find the right people. This seemed to have worked for me ;)

2. Go to the Gurdwara

Most people at the Gurdwara tend to be standoffish. That doesn't mean though that that is the case for everyone. There are some Sikhs (especially converts) that will approach you and offer you assistance. Don't be afraid to be honest about your desire to join the community. They will be more than willing to help. If one Gurdwara doesn't work out, go to the next one.

4. Join Sikh Organizations

Depending on where you live, there might be Sikh organizations. Don't be afraid to reach out to them. They should be happy to help. If you end up not liking one, join another one. Or better yet, start your own.

3.  Use the Internet

The internet is a good way to get into touch with Sikhs. Facebook is one of the main social media platforms that Sikhs use to keep in contact with each other. But be warned! Do not friend/follow any Sikh person without having a discussion with them first to see what they're out. There's a lot of creepy people out there.

Links to some helpful websites will be below:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Sikhconverts/

https://mysimran.info/simran-in-your-city/

https://www.sikhcoalition.org/get-involved/volunteer/

https://www.unitedsikhs.org/short_form/join.php

https://www.jakara.org/volunteer

Doing Seva: 

Want to do seva at the Gurdwara? There's plenty of ways to! Just watch the video below

Types of Seva at the Gurdwara


Memorizing Nitnem:

There are two ways that help people memorize Nitnem. The first is to recite Nitnem every day. Doing this over and over again, you'll eventually just start naturally memorizing things. But for some people (like me), this doesn't work. So instead, we memorize pauri by pauri.

Here is a book and cd by Snatam Kaur to help those who want to memorize Japji Sahib

Meditation of the Soul (Book and 2 CDs)

Another link to help people memorize Japji Sahib

Japji Sahib Playlist

Memorizing Gurmukhi:

There are multiple ways to learn Gurmukhi. The first one is to reach out to someone in your Sangat for help. Either that or join a Gurmukhi class. The second is to use flashcards. And the third way is to watch Youtube videos. Links to help you will be down below

Basics of Sikhi Gurmukhi Series

Punjabi Alphabet Video

Learn Sikhi Online

Punjabi Flashcards

That's all I have for now. Remember, resources are to the left. And I will be posting two of my playlists down below. It's important to note that all of the videos in my playlists are either in English or have English subtitles

Informative Videos about Sikhs and Sikhism

How to - Sikh Edition




Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!





Saturday, October 13, 2018

Converting into Sikhism (Sikhi) Part 1



Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! This post (is for those who are interested in converting into Sikhism (properly called Sikhi) or those who are just getting started on their spiritual journey. Feel free to use this as a guide, but keep in mind that what I say is not diamond. I am an imperfect person so always look to the Guru for help first. And never do ANYTHING that you feel is not justifiable in your eyes.

How to Officially Convert into Sikhism:

There is no official way to convert into the Sikh faith. In the Islamic faith, a person says the shahada to become a Muslim. In the Christian faith, a person says the sinner's prayer and is baptized to become a Christian. Even in Buddhism, most will take refuge in the three jewels as a way to convert. But this is not the case for Sikhi. According to the SGPC, a Sikh is any being who believes in (1) One Immortal Being (2) the Ten Gurus (from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh ji) (3) The Shri Guru Granth Sahib (4) The utterances and teachings of the 10 Gurus and (5) one who believes in the "baptism" bequeathed by the Tenth Guru and owes no allegiance to another religion. If you can say that you believe these 5 things, then you are automatically considered a Sikh.

Naam Karan:

Many people will want to adopt a new name once they embrace the Sikh faith. This is not required, but for some people (including myself) this ceremony makes a person feel like they are officially apart of the Sikh community. If you want a Sikh name, follow the following steps.

1. Get in contact with the Gurdwara president or someone on the Gurdwara committee. Let them know that you are interested in a naming ceremony. Then negotiate a time and day to do it.

2. Invite friends and family to come attend. This is not required, but who wants to celebrate this milestone in their life alone?!

3. Arrive at the Gurdwara. For information on what happens during a Naam Karan, click the following link:

https://www.thoughtco.com/before-you-select-sikh-baby-name-2993017


Gurdwara Etiquette:

1. Before going to the Gurdwara, make sure to clean up. This could be as simple as washing your hands, face, feet, etc. or as intricate as taking a full body shower. Either way, make sure you look decent and are clean. Make sure your clothes (whether Western or Eastern style of clothing) are clean and modest as well.

2. Arrive at the Gurdwara with your head covered (either using a bandana, chunni, scarf, or turban). Some choose to pay their respects to the Nishan Sahib. Whether you do that or not is up to you.

3. At some Gurdwaras, you might have to walk through water before you enter. This is done to wash the dirt off of your feet and help keep the Gurdwara clean. Some Gurdwaras might have someone responsible for washing the devotees' feet. Some Gurdwaras have hand washing stations. Whether you utilize them or not is up to you.

4. Remove your shoes and place them in the Jora Ghar (shoe station). But be warned. This area can often get chaotic and shoes often get moved around (or in the absolute worse case, stolen). I suggest you put your shoes somewhere where they are less likely to be bothered.

5. Go inside the Darbar Hall (where Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji is enthroned) and matha tek (bow). Some will also circumnavigate the throne. Whether you do this or not is up to you.

6. You have two options now. You can either sit down (facing the Guru) or head off to the langar hall. For those who haven't had breakfast, lunch, etc., the langar hall usual has some snacks set out to eat.

7. Keep in mind that when you are sitting toward the Guru that it can be considered rude to point your feet towards It. If your legs are starting to cramp or if your butt is going numb, feel free to get up, exit the Darbar Hall, and walk around. Then return to the service.

8. For those who want to do Chaur Sahib seva, get up and wash your hands first. Than kindly walk up to whoever is doing it, ask for the seva, accept the siropa, and commence with the activity. If someone comes up to you and asks for the Chaur Sahib, kindly give it to them, place the siropa on 'em, and matha tek afterward.

9. During Ardas, stand facing the Guru Granth Sahib with your hands folded. To avoid getting distracted, it is best to do it with your eyes closed.

10. During hukamnamas (readings from the Guru that are randomly selected),  Sikhs are supposed to sit on the ground. Take the hukamnama as daily guidance from the Guru that day.

11. When someone comes around to give you Prashad, cup out both of your hands to accept it. Some Sikhs might refuse to give it to you if you reach out with just one hand.

11. When eating langar, sit down on the floor. This rule can change based on your age or disability. In some Gurdwaras, the signal to start eating is "Bole so Nihaal! Sat Shri Akaaluh!". But that doesn't mean you can't start eating until the jakara. Make sure to not waste food.


Treatment of Gutka Sahibs:

1. A Gutka Sahib is a book containing shabads we are supposed to read daily. If you do not have one, you can acquire one from the Gurdwara for free or by shopping online. OR you can email me and I'll make sure to ship one out to you.

2. It is considered respectful to cover Gutka Sahibs with a Rumalla Sahib. Again, to acquire a rumalla, ask for one from your local Gurdwara or by shopping online. It is also considered respectfully to ordain a special place to place your Gutka Sahibs. Do NOT put it on the floor.

3. When reading from a Gutka Sahib, cover your head. Remember, this is Gurbani you are reading. So the same way you would treat SGGS ji, treat your Gutka Sahib.

4. A pothi stand can help when sitting on the floor and reading from Gutka Sahibs. They can be bought online.

5. To carry around a physical Gutka Sahib with you during the day, put it in its own pouch and carry it around. You can also use a khajana (which can be bought online).

Amrit Vela:

1. Amrit vela is a very important part of a Sikh's life (and one of the hardest to do). During the Amrit vela, we meditate, chant, and do our morning Nitnem. Even though the timing on Amritvela is contested, it is generally accepted among the Sikh community as being between 3 am and 6 am (or 3 hours before dawn).

2. There are several tips for waking up at Amrit vela. Read them below

https://www.sikh24.com/2014/06/10/7-tips-for-becoming-an-amritvela-riser/#.W794_mhKg2w

3. There are a few additional methods you can use to help establish your Amrit vela practice. One is to pray to God to wake up for Amrit Vela, The second is to take a bath/shower when you do wake up ( Once that water hits you, you'll become fully alert). And the third is to go to bed on time. This means going to bed around 8:30 to 10 pm.

Following these steps, waking up should become less of a struggle.

Having a Saroop in Your Home:

*Please Note: Do NOT bring Guru ji into your home unless you know for a fact that you can properly take care of it. If not, I suggest for you to keep volumes of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji. They are given the same treatment as Gutka Sahibs.

1. Make sure you have a room that can be completely dedicated to hosting the Guru. Some even have a bedroom and bed for putting the Guru to sleep (Sukhasan). When the Guru is enthroned again, we call this Prakash.

2. Clean the room.

3. Make sure Guru ji has a proper takht (throne). You should also have a complete set of rumallas to cover the Granth with.

4. You should wash your hands before handling the Shri Guru Granth Sahib. When placing the Guru on top of your head, a clean cloth should be placed between your head covering and the Granth.

5, This area should be seen as a Gurdwara. Therefore, shoes should be removed and your head should be covered. Also, everyone should sit on the floor just like at the Gurdwara.

6, A Chaur Sahib always accompanies the Guru.

Learning How to Play a Traditional Instrument:

For those who want to participate in kirtan, there are several ways you can learn how to play an instrument.

1. Go to the raagis. Raagis have a lot of experience playing their instruments. If they can speak English, don't be afraid to approach them and ask for some lessons. Some might charge, some might give it to you for free

2. Ask members of the sangat to teach you. I find this way to be more personal as well. Lessons are typically more lax and chill this way. Don't be surprised though if you still get charged

3. Check out Indian classical music schools in your area. This is a more professional setting and can be more expensive. But if you have the time and money, go for it! Don't let hesitation hold you back

4. You can also self-teach yourself music. This is the hardest way to learn an instrument, BUT it is possible. There are videos on Youtube you can use to help get you started.

5. Some "western" instruments are allowed to be played in the Gurdwara. Check with your Gurdwara first to see what they allow and what they don't allow.




Part 2 Coming Soon

This is the end of part 1. Part 2 will be coming out sometime this month. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. If I made any mistakes, please forgive me. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!






You Might Be A Sikh If:

1. You or another family member have PTC going while in the living room 2. You've ripped through a pair or two of  your kachera 3....