I wrote a short piece about the Guru Granth Sahib awhile back. I would like to share it with you all.



There once was a maharaja who had inherited important trade routes and waterways which linked the north and south of his empire, and connected the major river systems that spanned from west to east. Maintaining these trade routes was vital to the court, and once a year the maharaja and his entourage would do a tour of inspection passing through the city.

That such an inspection tour happened at all was a reflection of the economic successes and political achievements of the ruling prince. The annals of the city’s history tell us that inspection tours in the region by rulers of bygone empires were of a religious nature, travelling to holy mountains where sacrifices were offered. Over time, the tours became political, and a ruler would call upon those who had declared their allegiance and loyalty to his sovereignty.

The tours and rituals performed by these rulers were familiar to the maharaja, but he discouraged rituals and sacrifices. His tours were marked by simplicity and a refusal to accept lavish banquets and accommodation by his hosts. If the maharaja decided to rest or stay overnight, he always chose modest lodgings. When it came to eating, he insisted on eating, along with selected members of his retinue, in a communal kitchen. Not one to be swayed by public opinion, the maharaja, nonetheless, avoided any unnecessary displays of privilege or power.

On the long-awaited day, thousands upon thousands of people lined the city streets in the hope of catching a glimpse of the maharaja. It was a bright day, the mid-July heat tempered by only the slightest breeze. Anand and his father did not want to join the crowds so they left home early with a bag of provisions and made their way to a secluded outlook that would give them a better vantage point to view the procession.

An army of male riders on horseback could be seen in the distance, footmen in uniform moving in slow measured steps from right to left accompanied by elephants decorated in all the colours of royalty ridden by princes and men of rank.

‘Look,’ said Anand’s father. A dazzling howdah in which the maharaja was seated would very shortly come into sharper focus. A rank of men wearing blazing red turbans walked very close to the royal mount, a forest of lances raised vertically to the dome of blue sky.

‘Father,’ said the young boy. ‘Did we not just see another file of elephants ahead of the maharaja and a howdah on the back of one of them carrying a book or something covered in white cloth with an attendant waving a yak’s tail whisk over it?’

‘It carries the hallowed book of the Sikh Gurus,’ said the father as he placed his hand on the boy’s left shoulder delighted that his son was so observant.

It became clear to Anand that the royal procession through the city and beyond belonged to the Guru Granth Sahib, not the maharaja, who despite his rank, bowed his head in reverence.

‘The voices of the Gurus have already crossed the seas, resounding to the songs of bliss and universal love” said Anand’s father. ‘They are voices that serve humanity.’

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Thanks Peter. Love reading these poems in the morning :)

This is a small piece titled 'Naam.' I would like to share it here. Gur Fateh, --Peter


The monsoon rains had covered the city in a blanket of green, a thousands shades of green drenched by the sporadic downpours. Metal and clay pots lined the streets to collect the rain.

A short distance from the crowded market, a large expanse of plantain trees moved carefree in the evening breeze. Beyond the trees, and not far out of earshot, Kumar could hear the faint strains of a male vocalist. He came to a small marble terrace and saw a man seated on a raised cushion with an enormous basket of mangoes placed directly in front of him. Kumar was sure that he was a nobleman or prince, but there were no bearings of royalty, no fly whisk bearers or attendants. He wore a long light-brown garment that draped down to his knees fastened with what looked like gold buttons. In the background stood a large mango tree bathed in raindrops. Three musicians–a tanpura and tabla player, and a male vocalist performed a raag. Rain, music and mangoes.

Kumar observed that the performers were intoxicated with the love of the music. He recalled the night he stayed at a Sufi lodge, a Sufi elder explained to him that at the heart of the arts in the Sufi tradition—dance, music, art and poetry—was an intoxicated love for God. ‘We don’t simply love God’, the Sufi elder had whispered to Kumar during the recitation of a famous Persian poem, ‘we are in love with God.’ And here among the plantain trees and a man who loved music and mangoes, a similar kind of ecstasy was found.

‘It fills me with pity that some people cannot appreciate such beautiful music,’ said the man beckoning Kumar to join him. ‘I can’t imagine that with only three people, music of such depth and richness can be created. Did you enjoy the performance?’

‘I love listening to music sir,’ said Kumar, ‘but I think performing it is better.’

‘How do you know,’ replied the man. ‘Are you a musician?’

‘I am not a musician sir, but I have always imagined playing music elevates both the performers and the audience.’ The man wiped the corners of his mouth with a white cotton cloth and smiled. ‘The vocalist seemed transfixed during the performance,’ continued Kumar, ‘as if something had pierced his heart and soul.’

‘Singing doors to God” said the man. ‘It tears down the ego and allows light to flood the soul. Many years ago, I was talking to a devout Sikh about the voice and the power of singing. He spoke of what the Sikhs call Naam. The best way to experience the divine essence within you and feel the presence of God is to sing it. Naam is a sound vibration he said, and when we sing it, the soul responds to it. Keep doing it with love and devotion and the soul opens up a little more and eventually God will come calling to see who’s there. Singing doesn’t give you the opportunity to much else but sing. I’m not good at meditating. I’m always wrestling with the object of my focus, but singing takes me in with no struggle at all’.

The man paused to drink some water.

‘So the sound vibrations get into a space that tunes you into God’s frequency,’ said Kumar.

‘It gets you out of the way and allows God’s will to manifest,’ the man replied.

‘There comes a point where you see God everywhere. You know the story about the holy man who went to Mecca and stayed the night at a mosque? The people there believed that God was only present in the mosques and it was forbidden to sleep pointing your feet towards the prayer room. A qazi or Muslim priest asked how this man had the audacity to have his feet pointing towards God, and the holy man replied: ‘turn my feet in the direction in which God is not.’

That kind of answer would have been enough for me alone to bow down, kiss the holy man’s feet, and become his disciple. The story goes that a miracle occurred that evening. No matter what direction the angry qazi turned the holy man’s feet, the prayer room turned around to greet them. I care very little for the miracle, but his words have been etched in my heart ever since.’

Amazing! Peter ,can i share it somewhere else ?

Yes of course Harman:-) You would have noticed in paragraph eight I open with: 'Singing doors to God.' I was playing with the idea of using door as a verb rather than saying: 'Singing opens doors to God.'

On a sumilar note, a Gurdwara is a ‘door,’ a ‘portal’ an ‘abode’ of the Guru. A door through which we cross into a space to greet our living Guru embodied in the Guru Granth Sahib.

A door and the Guru.

Now we don’t usually knock on the door of the Guru’s abode to access entry, but if we did, we could imagine that the Guru has heard us and steps forward in our direction with open arms.

But, it is the Guru who knocks on our door, waiting patiently. And if we’re listening above the clamour and commotion of our own minds, we might hear it.

The Guru will not push or force his way into our hearts. The Guru is not obliging us. The Guru is not going to kick down our door and shout at us. The Guru is silently present, silently patient. Eternally present, eternally patient.

But how often to we hear the Guru knocking at the door of our own hearts?
Correction: Similar not sumilar.


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