Dassan Das Ji said that lots of small miracles happen all day if you just do simran without desires or expectation of rewards (rajo) and without evil intent (tamo) . Just do true deeds (sato) like Mother Teresa and when you have enough Sat Karams (True Deeds) to outweigh your past bad actions you will get Gur Prasad – God’s Grace.
Please correct any mistakes in this article. Personally I find this a difficult and confusing topic to write about. We have personally gone from being meat-eater as a kid. To vegetarian when requested by the Sikh Panth at initiation ceremony. To going back to eating meat when we read in history that Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Khalsa went hunting and ate meat. But feeling guilty about being indirectly responsible for an animal’s slaughter we went back to being vegetarian for another 15 years, but still confused about it. Then eating meat again last year but getting caught up in the desire and taste for it, and watching hunting done by relatives in Indian Mountains. Now finally Baba Ji and sant sangat has explained to us the Truth and this article has tried to explain what we have learnt. That is why Bhai Gurdas Ji says “Without a Satguru NO mystery of God can be understood”.
dUKu n dyeI iksY jIA piq isau Gir jwvau ] (322-10, gauVI, mÚ 5)
Dukhna dehee kisay jee patth sio ghar jaavao (322)
Do not cause any being to suffer, and you shall go to your true home with honor.
Intentionally killing any living being is wrong. That action is the exact opposite of Truth (SAT KARAM) – it is an ASAT KARAM. Guru Nanak says that Religion is the son of Compassion (Dharam Daya Ka Pooth). When you are kind to all living beings you fill with compassion and that brings you closer to the Father of all religions – God. When you intentionally kill you fill with unkindness and go further from God. When you kill in the name of religion that is the total opposite of what religion was made for – where has your compassion gone? Where there is goodness there is God, where there is evil that is you.
Be kind to people, animals and even plants. Be kind to the whole of Creation. That will develop compassion within you and in your naam simran you will experience loving devotion.
However, everyday we are involved in killing so many insects, bugs and bacteria without even realising. There is no need to feel guilty about that as it has not made you less compassionate. Accept that life and death is also part of God’s Hukam and those insects, bugs and bacteria completed their life cycle as ordained by God.
Extreme compassion gets trampled on by this world. Guru Arjun Dev Ji and Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji were extremely compassionate and even accepted torture and martydom in order to avert war and killing. But when all peaceful means had been exhausted the following Gurus – Guru HarGobind Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji, received the Hukam that the only way to be compassionate now was to destroy the evil ones with the sword. When their armies killed it was for justice and not for aquisitions or personal revenge. They were following the Hukam, so killing at wartime of extreme evil is not considered an untrue action (asat karam).
In terms of food, many people have the incorrect belief that because an animal was killed they cannot eat its meat. Killing and eating meat are two separate issues. Killing an animal unnecessarily is wrong. But eating meat is not. The one who killed the animal unneccessarily is creating negative actions for himself – eg he kills the animal in this life out of unkindness and in some later life he will be the animal that is killed. However, once the animal is dead due to its destiny of dying in that way, and its meat is prepared as food, there is no bad action in eating it. It is just food that God has presented to you to eat. Infact going hungry rather than eating meat is actually denying God’s hukam for you.
What is unnecessary killing of an animal? You have to use your own intuition – listen to God inside you – and see how it effects your naam simran. Eg If you have plenty of vegetarian food available then there is no need to kill an animal. If there is no other food available then it’s ok to kill the animal for food. When Guru HarGobind ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji where training their armies it was necessary to go hunting. When there was not any war conditions then as far as I know the first 5 Guru’s did not kill animals. If you are attacked by an animal then you have to defend yourself just like Guru HarGobind ji killed the tiger. If you are a farmer ploughing the fields then it is acceptable that many insects and worms are going to get killed. Or if a fox is attacking the farmers chickens then you can kill it. But to chase a fox or to go hunting as a blood sport – just for the thrill of the kill is unnecessary.
The trouble you get with your meditation after eating meat is not from the meat, but from the guilt that it has created in your mind. Many religious people have been taught that eating meat or certain meats (cow, pig) is unpure. If they eat it it makes them feel guilty. If they see someone else eat it it makes them feel angry. And regardless of meat or vegetarian food, the tongue starts liking tastes of favourite foods leading to cravings. Guilt, anger and cravings are the actual problems for meditation, not the meat.
When you see vegetarian food as pure and meat as impure that is considered to be the illusion that many religious people are suffering from. Actually God is in both foods – need to see God in everything with Ek Drisht – One vision.
SGGS teaches us that killing is wrong so be compassionate. And that only fools argue about meat because it is just food – same as vegetarian dishes are just food. The only foods and drinks to avoid are the ones that cause your body or mind problems – hence effecting your naam simran. Guru Nanak’s philosophy is as simple as that.
If you have to kill ask yourself
1) is there any alternative to killing?
2) Am I killing for the thrill or for the taste?
3) Will I lose my compassion in the act of killing (and encourage my evil side)?
If you answer yes to any of them then Killing will be an untrue actions – asat karam for you.
If you are presented with meat ask yourself
1) am I denying it because my religion/beliefs teach me it is wrong?
2) am I feeling guilty because I think it is impure?
3) Am I angry that an animal was killed?
If you answer yes to any of them then you are caught up in the illusion and need to see meat same as vegetarian food.
reply from Dassan Das Ji
Ik Oankaar Satnaam Satgur Parsaad
Dhan Dhan Paar Braham Parmesar
Dhan Dhan Satgur Sachey Patshah
Dhan Dhan Gur Sangat
Dandaut Parvaan Karna Ji.
Here are some more words to help you understand this subject:
The only disadvantage of eating meat is that it brings in us the Tamo Birti; it promotes lust in us, and for that matter probably milk, butter and some of these dairy products are also counted as increasing Tamo Birti in us. The Tamo Guns are: Kaam Karodh Lobh Moh and Ahankaar, and excessive usage of any of these kinds of foods will promote these five vices in us. That is the only reason that we should be concerned about eating meat, but a limited usage should not hurt, like in most of our Indian families the meat might be cooked like once a week or so. Eating too much meat is otherwise also not healthy, it promotes health issues and diseases in our body. The key is that we should not be craving for anything, but if it comes on the table then refusing is not good, however, if you have a choice on the table then do whatever you feel like at that moment. You can also restrain from eating meat if you don’t like it but not for any of the religious reasons. Not eating meat from a religious perspective is a n illusion.
The second point we would like to stress here is that as was put by Baba Ji once that half of the living beings are eating the other half of the living beings, and this is the law of nature and can’t be amended by anybody. Imagine if in the USA or in UK a large number of people stop eating meat (beef and chicken) then what will happen. So playing with the laws of the nature (which are under the control of Almighty) will not be the right thing to question and change.
Do simran internally and work externally. Keep your mind on God and your hands busy in good works. Also recognise God speaking to you from inside everyone. Brother Ji said that maybe you are tired after getting home from work, but your wife asks you to go shopping. Instead of making a big fuss of how hard you work and how tired you are, just comply to God’s request from inside her – so in your mind say “Sat Bachan” to God inside her. And if she follows the same way of thinking and says “Sat bachan” to your requests you will always be happy – no conflicts. Become compliant – expect no rewards. Don’t compete in the rat race – go in the other direction people will say you are crazy, when they say that you know your bhagti is about to go into the fast lane.
I said that I was happily doing simran on holiday, the sun was shining and I went into the garden and was just thinking I can do simran here like a flower in the sunshine. Then my sister-in-law came out with all the kids and my wife, she asked me to go shopping with them. I preferred to stay and do simran then thought it would be rude so I complied. But I got really frustrated, the kids were running about knocking things off the shelves, getting lost down the aisles. I didn’t do any shopping just baby sitting. On the way home they made so much noise in the car that my simran had completelty finished inside. When we got home I ended up shouting at my daughter and snapping at the adults and just left everyone for the privacy of my bedroom for some peace of mind. So how was I better off by complying to my sister-in-law’s request?
Brother Ji said that actually I should have seen God in them all. And seen myself as no more than their humble servant. So when they threw products off the shelves, its was my duty to put them back. When they ran down the aisles it was my seva to bring them back. IF I kept doing it as seva and saying to God “sat bachan – sat bachan” it would have been sat karams – true deeds. And anger would not have burnt me out.
Told Dassan Das Ji about some uncle of mine who exposed himself to me and many of my cousins when we were kids. When I was a teenager I got really angry at what he had done. I also felt justice had not been done as my parents and community had still kept him in their club. Police hadn’t been called, no charges had been pressed. I said to my Dad why did you keep socialising with them after that incident? Dad said that he gave the old Uncle an ultimatum – to change his ways by taking khanday key pahul (sikh inititation) or to be turned over to the police. So the Uncle took “amrit” – and was back in the family club – forgiven for his past. When I was about 19 and more religious, I applied Guru Arjun Dev Ji’s shabad that ‘no one is my enemy no one is a stranger – I have made the whole world into my friend.” So forgave him.
Following that that old uncle had some really serious urinating problems. He was in excruciating pain and had to have an operation which left him with lower back pain. He came to get some free (for family!) physiotherapy from my brother. Who obviously was not keen to treat him, I just said to my brother he’s forgiven and received some punishment, I don’t mind if you treat him.
But for the last couple of years since my mind has gone very far from gurbani, the feeling of getting justice and doing physical damage to him was growing inside me. I wanted to ruin his reputation and to physically cause him damage in his groin area! But my parents and brother kept telling me it would be a bad idea. I was on the verge of taking action when I got Dassan Das Ji’s first email last year. He showed me the LIGHT again and I gave me hope of meeting God again. And I told my mind off “You foolish mind, for the feeling of revenge you have forgone Great and Glorious God. So I sacrifice the shackles of revengeful feelings that are consuming me in order to fly free to my Creator. It aint no sacrifce at all.” And I was instantly free again in my mind.
Dassan Das Ji said, “Forget the past dont even think about it for one second.” Uncle Ji added, “Accept that the orginal incident was hukam and it was clearing something from your past lives. If you had reacted it would have created another negative action (lekhay) on yourself – planted another seed – set another wheel in motion to be stopped in another life. In this life we have come to stop the wheels turning we set in motion in past lives. The more true deeds (sat karams) we do the more we erase the negative actions from past lives.”
Brother Ji explained a riddle from gurbani. In gurbani it says that we are born again because of a negative actions, but that ultimately nothing happens without God being behind it eg not even a leaf moves without God doing it. So doesn’t that mean even God is controlling our negative actions – and what’s the point of planning for the future if everything’s already written? Brother Ji explained that that we do have control over our good and bad actions and that forges out destiny … Guru Nanak says ‘Our actions are our own – some get closer to God some further away.”
So we do create our own destiny. But somethings are written by God and that is called pre-ordained destiny. Things that are pre-ordained are : the moment we will meet the satguru. Where and when and how we will get naam. When we will attain union with the Almighty. So we have to make efforts and serve God to generate enough sat karams to bring us closer and closer to God. But meeting Satguru and recving Naam is only by God’s grace and that is pre-ordained.
Uncle Ji said, “When it’s going to rain the wind get cold. Birds start chattering in the trees, grey clouds appear, there are many signs. When the God the Husband is going to come into your body house and lie upon the bed of the spiritual heart (hirda) there also many signs : eagerness, you meet the messengers, you feel things and have longing for God. When Akal Purakh totally takes over this body, anyone can ask you anything and it is Satnaam sitting in your hirda who will be answering.”
Baba Ji said that everyone who gets married sits down infront of SGGS and listens to the Anand Karaj verses, but until they experience those verses inside themselves for real they have not had the real marriage performed. They have not had their ‘laavaan’ done as they falsely believe.
I said to Baba Ji that I feel like a loney girl who wants to get married like all her friends. And with the sangat of Brahmgianis I feel that now God the Husband has called foolish me to his harem and there are so many beautiful Eternal Wives here (sada suhagans). They tell me how to please the Husband and how to make requests to the Satguru – the middleman. I apply the dust of their holy feet as makeup on my face. They put the eyeliner of divine knowledge on me and decorate me with the jewels of the Guru’s shabad. I am forever a sacrifce to the blissful brides. My only hope is that love devotion enters my heart so I too can be a happy wife like them. They only wish for my happiness – they have no other hope of making a new religion or making money. They only hope that they bliss they enjoy can be enjoyed by another too. Baba Ji blessed me so much with a loving smile and said “You already have so much gian, you will be a sada suhagan too!”
Dhan dhan dhan jan aaiaa
jis prasad sabh jagat taraaia