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Wisdom in Life's Quarters

January 30, 2024

Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!

In the vibrant tapestry of contemporary society, where the relentless pulse of life intertwines with the pursuit of material gains and societal expectations, Guru Nanak Sahib's timeless wisdom, woven into the Pahare composition, emerges as a guiding light.

Amid the swift exchanges and unwavering quests defining our modern world, the analogy of humans as 'Vanjara Mitra,' trader-friends navigating the quarters of the night, resonates with a comforting profundity. As we journey through the complexities of today's existence, let's gather in a moment of shared reflection, gently unraveling the threads of this discourse, seeking relevance in our daily transactions, relationships, and the ever-evolving landscape of interconnected lives.

In this profound Pahare composition, Guru Nanak Sahib paints a heartwarming picture of human beings as 'Vanjara Mitra'—trader-friends immersed in the perpetual exchange within the four quarters of the night: infancy, youth, adulthood, and old age. Each Pahare, a 3-hour period, signifies a unique phase of life, mirroring the transitions from dusk to dawn, reminiscent of the passing moments on our earthly journey.

The trader-friend embarks on a journey through the stages of life—childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. At each juncture, a gentle invitation for reflection unfolds. It provides a moment to ponder the investments of attention, time, and energy, contemplating their ultimate purpose in the grand tapestry of existence.

But who is this trader? A trader is one who exchanges goods, services, and skills for a price. The choices made in this trade may vary, but the reasons behind them inevitably shape the returns on the investment.

In the first quarter of the night, Guru Nanak Sahib says, O trader friend! The being entered the womb under the Command. Suspended upside down within, the being performs penance, O trader friend! The being says a prayer before the Master.

We pause.
We reflect.

In the cosmic law, the Creator-Provider becomes the catalyst for our thriving, nurturing a connection through the umbilical link to our mother's placenta in the womb during the first quarter of life. In this initial stage, we yearn for this connection, existing in a meditative state within the womb. Born into the world, naked yet content and connected, we ponder whether this contentment will persist when it's time to depart—especially when none of our lifelong trade assets (money, status, relationships) can accompany us.

Reflecting on the trades we engage in and the exchanges we partake in, we question the nature of our accumulations and their purpose in our departure. What if our investments were to foster connections that nurture love, harmony, serenity, and contentment? These virtues, cultivated through mindful interactions, acceptance of differences, and responding with loving-kindness, could potentially accompany us throughout all stages of life, fostering harmonious relationships.

May we recall the initial contentment and the connection with our Creator-Provider and strive to trade virtues that lead to lasting fulfillment and connection.

May the Wisdom-Guru be with us!

Watch, Listen, Read

What does “Sikh” mean?

When we look at the two meanings as they existed at the time (in Sanskrit and in Pali) and incorporate them into what we now call Sikhi, it actually means learners who are of the Guru. Guru is a mentor, Guru in Sikhi is Perfection.

Ghazal Twenty-Five, Divan-i-Goya | Bhai Nand Lal

Follow Damanpreet and Inni as they discuss their learnings and challenges while engaging with the words of Bhai Nand Lal.

Reflecting on Time, One Becomes the Willing-Servant

A reflection on the play of past, present, and future, the play of creation, and the importance of Remembrance.

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