Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!
“What is a being but an ocean of consciousness?”
Professor Puran Singh (1881–1931) writes, “The Guru views the whole history of the human race as the history of new incarnations of Feeling, the One Primeval, the One Ancient that creates life.”
Our minds drift when we see a hawk sitting stoically on a tree branch. We remember Guru Gobind Singh Sahib; protection embraces us. These “certain things” tap into an embedded shared consciousness—our consciousness. In our consciousness, we carry the pains, traumas, and scars of the generations before us. Sights, smells, and emotions have unknowingly been passed down through generations.
We embrace them.
We honor them.
Every morning when we sing Asa Ki Var, the Song of Hope, in our gurduaras (Sikh place of learning and worship) as generations have done before us, the sound dissolves in our blood. Prof. Puran Singh says that to let that sacred sound dissolve “in the blood of our children and our children’s children is simple and spontaneous gratitude” to IkOankar, the Eternal, the One, the Giver.
“He touched my hair, and I keep it; when I toss my arm up in the air, and the iron ring shines, I am reminded of his wrist that wore it — one exactly like this. Is this arm, by some stray gleam of the iron ring on my wrist, His?” writes Prof. Puran Singh.
When we hear, see, and feel the gifts left to us, we enter the realm of remembrance and into a circular dance of time, where the past is no longer the past. The past is present and the future —all rolled into one.
We cherish our history with every breath.
We honor the gifts with our lives.
We allow them to strengthen us.
We allow them to chisel us.
They remind us of the Infinite Love bestowed upon us.
May we always remember who we are!
May the Wisdom-Guru be with us.
This is the story of Hari Singh Nalua, a formidable general in the army of the Khalsa during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. From birth to death, what lessons can we learn from this figure from Sikh history?
While deep internal contemplation and the exuberant worldly power are often painted as dichotomous, Sikh history, Gurbani, architecture, and art all demonstrate their interwoven and complementary nature.
This essay locates and contextualizes the hawk in foundational Sikh texts, history, and lifestyle. It also connects how Baj in Khalsa tradition affects the Sikh psyche when the people see it.