Maa-ee Gobind pooja kahaa lai charaavo?
Avar na fool anoop na paavo. (SGGS 525)
ਮਾਈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਹਾ ਲੈ ਚਰਾਵਉ ॥
ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਫੂਲੁ ਅਨੂਪੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Bhagat Ravidas ji is asking himself the above question.
Pooja means worship. Fool means flowers. Anoop means unique/ incomparable.
Meaning: O mother, what is the best offering that I can put in front of God to worship Him?
The whole of Nature is already doing His worship with so many different and beautiful flowers. I can’t find any flower that is more unique and incomparable to the ones that are already being offered to Him by Nature.
In the next few lines of the shabad Bhagatji says there are many other things that He has thought of offering to God in his prayer but they are all either too insignificant or are not pure anymore. They have been contaminated by others.
- The milk has been contaminated by the calf.
- The flowers have been contaminated by the bees.
- The fish has contaminated the water.
- The sandlewood is always surrounded by poisonous snakes.
- Things like fragrance, lamps, food etc seem to insignificant to be offered to God.
This can also be our question. We are also all trying in our own way to put the best offerings in front of God.
- the best flowers.
- the best Rumalas.
- the best buildings.
- the best chandoas.
- the best food, etc.
People spend thousands of dollars to bring flowers for God. Many of these flowers are put on the SGGS just for a few seconds and then replaced by other flowers. The same thing is also happening to the rumalas. Many of them remain in the cupboards or end up in the drains.
Bhagatji is actually raising a very important issue for us to ponder on in His SHABAD.
How are these offerings helping in our spiritual progress? Do all these offerings give us extra merit points?
Guruji answers our questions as to what is the best offerings for God in the line on Pg 489:
Pooja keechai NAAM dhhiaaeeai bin NAAVAI pooj na hoey.
ਪੂਜਾ ਕੀਚੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਪੂਜ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Meaning: If you are desiring to do the best pooja then contemplate on the NAAM ( the divinely virtues of GOD). Without doing that, all other efforts are futile . Without NAAM there is no real worship or adoration.
Bhagatji explains further in how to go about doing the best pooja on Pg 525:
Tan Man arpo pooj charaavo.
Gurparsad Niranjan paavo.
ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਉ ਪੂਜ ਚਰਾਵਉ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਵਉ ॥੪॥
Tan means body. Man is mind. Gurparsad means with the blessings of the Guru.
Does the Guru choose certain people to give His blessings? No, He doesn’t do that. Guruji’s blessings is like the sun. It falls on everyone but if someone chooses to hide in the room then he will be deprived of the sun’s rays.
In the same way the message of the Guru is for everyone but if a person chooses not to read and follow the teachings then he will deprive himself of the Gurus blessings.
Meaning of the line: The best offering to God is our body and our minds.
But how can we offer our minds and our body to God?
We offer our minds when we give up our wrong thought processes and accept the Guru’s teachings. We offer our bodies when we give up our selfishness and start performing actions that also benefit others.
This is the real offering that God expects from us. The other things that we keep offering is just to satisfy our own wrong thinking. It is not what the Guru suggests and brings little spiritual benefits to the person.
Surinder Kaur Sohan Singh is a Malaysia-based Gurbani enthusiast. This is an edited version of her regular articles shared within a circle of fellow Sikhi seekers. The articles appear on Mondays and Thursdays.
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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