By Surinder Kaur Sohan Singh | SIKHI STUDY | OPINION
Aisaa Dheeva baalae koey Nanak so paarangath hoey. (SGGS 878)
Paarangath come from 2 words: Paar means to cross. Langna means over.
Meaning: O Nanak, if there is anyone desiring to cross this world ocean successfully and reach to the other side safely, he will have to to light his own dheeva before he embarks on this journey back to the Creator.
Why did Guruji said this?
Guruji said this because lighting of dheevas in the name of ancestors was a ritual that was practiced widely since the olden days and is still in practice to this day in India. Little dheevas that are made of clay are floated at the river banks to guide the ancestors who have passed on to reach heaven safely.
Guruji said this is a futile effort because these small dheevas do not have the capacity to travel to the other shore. Furthermore, these tiny lamps are easily extinguished by the strong winds in the ocean and sink due to the huge waves. In addition to that, the little oil in it is soon used up and the flame gets extinguished after a short while.
Guruji says the reality is that no one is able to light a dheeva for the other person. The only way for us is to light our own dheeva while we are still strong and healthy. If we succeed then we can to take it along with us when it is time for us to leave this world. It will light up our path in our journey forward.
Otherwise the journey back can be quite harrowing as we have read in the Sukhmani Sahibji.
Jih paidai mahaa andh gubaara Har ka NAAM sang ujeeaaraa. (SGGS 264)
Paidai means journey. Andh gubaaraa means pitch darkness. Ujeeaaaraa means light.
Meaning: The journey back is quite a challenge because it is very long and it is pitch darkness there. A person who brings along a lighted dheeva can navigate easily but without the light of God, for many of us it will become extremely difficult to cross over safely.
How do we go about lighting this dheeva?
This dheeva cannot be made of matter because matter cannot cross over to the other shore. Nothing physical can cross over to the other side.
So how do we go about creating a non physical dheeva that we can take along with us?
Guruji shows us the way on page 878 of SGGS.
The first question is: Where is this dheeva? It has to be inside us.
The first step in making a good quality dheeva is to use good clay. Good clay here refers to a GOOD UNDERSTANDING of how this internal dheeva can be lighted.
Secondly to make the dheeva durable it has to be shaped well with GOOD ACTIONS.
Thirdly, the fire of desires need to be kept in check. To keep the desires in check the consciousness have to be focused on the DIVINE VIRTUES of the Lord.
If all the above is done on a daily basis, then soon the internal dheeva will be lighted.
Once this dheeva is lighted inside the heart, it cannot be extinguished by strong winds or huge waves in the water. It’s light will show you the path that leads to the divine throne of God.
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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