Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Leading by example

I've been reading a few issues about people wondering what's more important: following their faith, or following their family. Gurbani tells us both that:

jin kae janae baddeerae thum ho thin sio jhagarath paap ||1|| rehaao ||
It is a sin to argue with the one who fathered you and raised you. ||1||Pause||

and of course:

charaneh gobi(n)dh maarag suhaavaa ||
The most beautiful path for the feet is to follow the Lord of the Universe.

So which is it? If one has to choose, what is that choice?

It's a good thing our Gurus led by example. You must respect your parents. But that doesn't mean that you have to do something thats wrong because they tell you to. We only need to look at Guru Nanak's life.

Guru Nanak was born into a hindu family... with hindu culture, hindu rituals, and hindu tradition. His father was proud, and moderately wealthy compared to most. But there are many recorded incidents where Guru Nanak actively disobeys what he's told and leads by example.

For example, when he grew up, his father told him to buy some goods to make some money, and instead he uses it to give food to the homeless. Other cases such as when his father took him to perform the hindu thread ceremony, Guru Nanak refused saying that a thread can be burnt, dirtied, destroyed, and that it won't bring him any closer to God. Certainly, Guru Nanak respected his father. But GOD was his first priority, and so should it be ours.

2 comments:

Daughters of the Khalsa said...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

Thank you for writing this post. Sometimes on this path, we all face dilemmas, who should you listen to, Guru Ji, or Parents. Your spiritual path is unique, and you should follow your Guru whenever possible. Do not be afraid to challenge assumptions. All of us are here to teach one another, this includes your parents. While Guru Ji tells us we should respect our elders, we should as well teach them about the teachings that are based on One God and the blessing of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Khalsa4ever said...

Thank you for the comment. This sort of thing becomes a problem for a lot of young sikhs, who have families that try to interfere with their faith. Unfortunately, it means that a lot of them side with their family and give up on their sikhi...