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Question from a satsanggi:
Guru Maharaj has given me opportunity to do kirtan sewa for years. Till the end of the year , I have been asked to do many Anand Karaj kirtan for quite a few weddings. Out of which 3 weddings are – mixed marriages.
I am becoming more and more disturbed with these. I am asking myself, why should I do it.
I am saying to myself – couple obviously don’t care much about the religion. Perhaps it’s for the respect of the parents.
From what I see it’s all a big show. Especially, when whites are involved, they come dressed up more Punjabi looking than any real Punjabi. Why do we become a party to such shows?
I feel like I want to call and cancel my engagements as the jatha to do the kirtan.
I don’t know what the future holds for me, I shouldn’t be also trying to be more religious than anyone out there.
Would love your advise Bhai Ji
Bhai Manjeet’s response:
The first sentence says “Guru Maharaj has given opportunity to do kirtan sewa…”
That is a correct approach. The Guru puts you to His sewa. He is the Doer. Our haumai makes us think we are doing some acts. And, so long as we think we are the doers, then…
“Jab eh jaane mai kich karta ; tab lag garap joon me firtaa” (SGGS Ang 278)
ਜਬ ਇਹ ਜਾਨੈ ਮੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਤਾ ॥
( As long as this mortal thinks that he is the one who does things,
ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਗਰਭ ਜੋਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਫਿਰਤਾ ॥
he shall wander in reincarnation through the womb.)
So, firstly we must be clear that Guru Ji is the Doer.
Secondly, our sewa is only to the Guru. Not to the couple. Not to their parents. Not to please any created ones.
Once you are sure that your sewa is only of your Guru you become answerable to Him.
Since you serve only the Guru, He guides you and gives you matt. He gives you gyan anjann.
That you are very disturbed about doing sewa during mixed weddings. The thoughts would have been planted by the Guru Himself. He wants you to have sojee that you may be loading yourself with unnecessary lekha.
I make no judgment about mixed marriages. My views are only about sewa of the Guru while the Anand Karaj of the mixed couple is being done in His hazooree.
If the couple is doing any other religious ceremony to sanctify their marriage, I would refuse to be part of the sewa during their Anand Karaj before Guru Ji.
For e.g. if the couple has done Hindu ferey before aggan devta, then I feel the Anand Karaj before Guru Ji is not being accorded the primacy it deserves.
It does not matter how stylishly they dress. There is nothing wrong in dressing to feel special. What matters is are they truly in Guru’s Sharan and the Anand Karaj is sincerely being done to receive the Guru’s blessings?
Yes. The Guru does say
” jo sharan aave so kanth laave eh birdh suami sandaa”. (Ang 544)
ਜੋ ਸਰਣਿ ਆਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਕੰਠਿ ਲਾਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸੰਦਾ ॥
(The Lord lovingly embraces whoever comes to the Lord’s Sanctuary – this is the way of the Lord and Master.)
But is the sharan taken purely for the purpose of having an “exotic” wedding setting? If it is the only religious ceremony the mixed couple is doing, then it is reasonable to assume they are sincere in seeking the Guru’s blessings.
As your avastha rises, such questions will rise in your mind.
At the beginning stages we will remind ourselves of Guru Ji’s teaching
“Moorkhe naal na lujiye” (Ang 473)
ਮੂਰਖੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਨ ਲੁਝੀਐ ॥੧੯॥
(Don’t argue with fools. ||19||)
As we meet such persons, of necessity we need to make a quick assessment in our minds. Is this person a murakh?. If so, it is best I do not entangle with him.
As the avastha rises, you avoid entanglements but you also now realise.
” na ko murakh na koyee siana ; varte sabh kich tera bhana”.
ਨਾ ਕੋ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਨਾ ਕੋ ਸਿਆਣਾ ॥ (Ang 98)
(No one is foolish, and no one is clever).
ਵਰਤੈ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਭਾਣਾ ॥
(Your Will determines everything;)
It is His Play in operation and you become “achint” when faced with such persons.
In the beginning stages we do ardas.
” jee ki birtha hoye so Gur pe ardas kar” (And 519)
ਜੀਅ ਕੀ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਕਰਿ ॥
(When your soul is feeling sad, offer your prayers to the Guru).
But when the avastha is much higher…
“Vin boliya sabh kich jaanda kis aage kiche ardas” (Ang 1420) Slok 58 M.3. Vaaran te Vadeek).
ਵਿਣੁ ਬੋਲਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਕੀਚੈ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥
(He knows everything, without being told; unto whom should we offer our prayers?)
Those who use the Guru’s Darbar for sham weddings or without proper satkaar will be punished.
“Je vin Satgur ke mann manne kam karaye so jantt maha dukh paave”( Ang 317).