This year a few days before the Summer Solstice camp (June 11 – 14) there will be a four day intensive course on Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Jaap Sahib. I’ve been involved a little bit with giving ideas and it is going to be a great course. The past two years we had four day courses on Japji Sahib which were amazing! Here is a little story and intro by Shanti Kaur Khalsa which gets you into the mood of the event. We hope to see some of you here this summer!
All the Sangat is running to have darshan,
because Guru Gobind Singh is coming!
“There was time in 1705 when, after years of devastating battles, the Sikhs had a brief period of rest. The Khalsa had directly faced the imperial might of the mughal tyrants and great sacrifices had been made. Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth great Guru of the Sikhs, endured hardship that would have been unbearable for another person as his people made a stand against the religious intolerance of the mughal regimeâ€“ the death of his two eldest sons in battle, ages 14 and 17; the murder of his two youngest sons by Wazir Khan, ages 7 & 9; the death of his beloved mother, Mata Gujri; and the slaughter of thousands of his Singhs.
With all of this human tragedy, the Guru was not depressed. The Guru was not despondent. The Guru was not withdrawn. The Guru certainly was a man, and I am sure his pain and mourning would have been no less than yours or mine, but his spirit was so exalted, so manifest, and so one with the One that his internal glow was not dimmed. Upon receiving the news of the death of his two younger sons, Guru Gobind Singh wrote a letter to Emperor Aurangzeb, the beautiful Zafarnama, laying bare the godless actions of his rule that penetrated the Emperor’s fanatic mind like an arrow shot into a melon. Aurangzeb was shocked and awakened with the Guruâ€™s words, and he called a halt to his mad campaign of death against the Sikhs.
This time is known as the Lakhi Jungle period. Guru Gobind Singh and a handful of Singhs traveled through the Punjab, and made camp in the Lakhi Jungle before moving on to Talwandi Sabo – Damdama Sahib. Word spread like wildfire throughout the land, and even though it was still dangerous to travel, the Khalsa came in floods to see their Guru. Tears of joy were overflowing as the sangat once again beheld the brilliant majesty of the king of kings, Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj. After many years filled with danger, langar was served, kirtan was sung, battle skills were celebrated, and daily the sangat basked in the darshan of Guru Gobind Singh. I would give my life to be there now, and I would exist through all eternity holding only the memory of those days.
In the Lakkhee Jungle, the Khalsa heard of His coming and they longed to see Him. Just like when the water buffalo hear the call of the herdsman, they leave their food and water to rush to him. In their joy and excitement they ran to see their Beloved, each trying to pass the other to get there first. Their pain was gone when they met the Guru, their herdsman, and they gave thanks!
When Guru Gobind Singh’s left this earth, he promised us that when we gather in His Name, He would be there. This summer we have a precious opportunity to come together in the name of Guru Gobind Singh. Jaap Sahib – the Song of the Warrior Saint is a four-day intensive course dedicated to this magnificent bani of Guru Gobind Singh. Set in the pristine mountains of New Mexico, we will gather together to tell stories about Guru Gobind Singh, study the mysteries of the Jaap Sahib, learn pantra and other basic gatka skills, and experience together the power of reciting Jaap Sahib as a group. Many years ago, the Siri Singh Sahib taught us to sing the Jaap Sahib, and bow – actually lay your forehead on the floor – with every beat of “Namastung”. It’s a powerful experience, and we’ve started doing it once a week in the Amrit Vela here in Espanola. Weâ€™ll do this every morning at the course and immerse ourselves in Guruâ€™s Word.
In this year’s course, we will give special focus to the Guru Gayatri Mantra:
GOBINDE – O the Preserver Lord!
MUKANDE – O Salvation-Giver Lord!
UDAARE – O Most Generous Lord!
APAARE – O Boundless Lord!
HARIANG – O Destroyer Lord!
KARIANG – O the Creator Lord!
NIRNAAME – O the Nameless Lord!
AKAAME – O the Desireless Lord!
There is a lot wisdom and intensity in these words! It was the personal mantra of Baba Deep Singh ji. We can see by the incredible life of that incredible saint that there is much to be gained by bringing this into every pore of our being. Wahe Guru Ung Sang.
I invite you all to come. I know that for many people the cost will be prohibitive, especially with traveling. There are some discounts available for students and people who are coming from abroad which will help. Please write me with questions, or if you need more information. [email protected] Check out the webpage for more details: http://www.3ho.org/events/JaapSahib.html
For me, it is like running to the Lakhi Jungle for the chance of a glimpse of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Itâ€™s a dream come true.” – Shanti Kaur Khalsa, Espanola – New Mexico (USA)