So I decided to participate in ‘Sikh for a week’:
So I got the email for ‘Sikh for a Week’, I didn’t really acknowledge it then on Saturday at my friends Akhand Paath I was asked if I was going to participate, I quickly questioned the secretary of SikhSoc over the conditions and it seemed doable and after all I didn’t have to abide by all of them (although that would be good).
So what do you have to do?
Well here I will be sourcing from the SikhSoc email, as they have set the rules to follow:
Well first is to recite the Nitnem (daily prayers), well I can’t really do that due to my lack of Punjabi reading skill. So I decided to listen to them on Youtube, with translations… So there are 3 prayers (sets). I’m not going to even consider doing all of them as it seems a bi too much, so I have decided to stick to the first one and maybe the second (about 40 minutes).
Although traditionally a Gursikh rises at “Amrit Vela” and engages in morning nitnem after shower (between 03:00 – 06:00 am), for this week, if that is not possible, you are encouraged to rise earlier than your usual timings and engage in at least the first paath (Japji Sahib) followed by 5-10 minutes of Naam Simran. The five morning banis are given below. If unable to recite them, you can read the English translation or listen to them.
- Japji Sahib (Recitation of Name, composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji)
- Jaap Sahib (Recitation of the Name composed by the The 10th Guru)
- Tav Prasaad Sawaiye (By Your Grace, Name of the Bani “Sawaiye”
- Kabiyo Baach Benti Chaupai (Request For Support)
- Anand Sahib (Expression of Bliss)
- __Naam Simran __(Reciting the Name of God)
Next is to honour the code of conduct: Now I can’t really recite the name of our Lord (basically I think it is a bit pointless when you don’t really believe in him) and I know it can take away from the full experience but I guess I am just not comfortable with it. But the rest seems fine.
Always honour the code of conduct set by Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj:
- Kirat Karo: Live and earn honestly – (An example of this would be to make a commitment to yourself not to miss any lectures this week and obviously pay attention)
- Vand Chako: Share your earnings with those in need – (Possibly make it a point to give change to a homeless person everyday of the week or donate to charity)
- Naam Japo: Recite the name of your Lord
Next up we have a few simple humanitarian rules and a health one as well(which I try to follow anyway, but I guess I will try extra hard this time.) :-?
Treat everyone equally and fairly , with no animosity. Do not begrudge or envy anyone. See the Almighty in every face.
- Engage in selfless acts (Seva)such as charity or volunteering. Remember, seva to others is like serving the Guru himself.
- Be _active and athletic, take up a sport or martial arts. These things not only clear the mind of distractions but also – A healthy body is a healthy mind.
Then we have the Vices:
- Adhere to Rehat of Sikhi and stay away from environments and circumstances which invoke the 5 vices
- Kaam (lust or sexual desire)
- Krodh (anger and uncontrolled rage)
- Lobh (greed and gluttony)
- Moh (attachment to Maya – worldly materialism)
- Ahankaar (ego and self-pride)
Finally a set if rules that seem to be derived from the Rehat (rules, laws) that should be followed, with a few exceptions that can be argued:
- Intercourse and physical relationships outside marriage
- Removing body hair
- Dressing to invoke desire or seduction
- Being vain
- Back biting
- Bars, Clubs and Pubs
- Sleeping and waking up late
So got up at 5.30, put on the first prayer around 6am. I was only going to listen to the first one but my flatmate insisted on the second prayer as well (probably because he got up late and missed part of the first one :-P). So 2/5 not bad. Now what to do for the rest of the day?!? So I did my other chores and activities and a majority of project work. But I was amazed at how much I had done, was it because I woke up so early? Is that the secret to success?
Eventually listened to the sundown prayer (Raarass) and then the one before bed.
I also paid for a friends shopping (small only a few pounds but I guess that counts as Seva).
It seemed that the combination of mindless project work (not mindless all the time but only on this section of the project) and the late two nights and two early mornings was starting to take its toll. Eventually I ended up in a sleep crash, slept for about 2 hours during the afternoon and then went to sleep early at night. Listened to sundown prayer but that’s it for the day.
Probably due the sleep crash from the day before I didn’t get up early, in fact stayed in bed till 8.30 (shock horror!!). Listened to sundown prayer and was in the same room when my flatmate played the Kirtan Sohila, so I listened to that. I tried not sleep to late this time.
|Couldn’t really do Seva as I never even left the apartment. :-|
Got up a bit later, it seems by balance is 6.30am and about 10.30/11pm sleep. But then that completely failed when I had a nap around 7pm for 30 minutes and I couldn’t work for a few hours and my energy levels got back to normal around 10pm. This is getting really messed up. Missed Kirtan Sohila and the morning prayers that day. But we got the afternoon one squeezed in.
Got up at 6.30 again. But heard flatmate playing the morning prayers at 6am, does that count if your in bed but can hear it though the wall? ;-)
Well surprisingly I found out I do get a lot of work done during the mornings but as for the spiritual enlightenment and generally feeling better, I can’t really say that happened. I did wish I tried harder but I guess I have motivation for other things.