Tuesday December 10, 2013
Featured: Rinpoche Kenpho Karten At Harmonium
Friendship between Sikhs and Tibetan Lamas go clear back to Guru Nanak and his travels through Tibet and China where the first guru visited Buddhist monasteries. More than five centuries have passed since Guru Nanak's udasi mission tours, yet Sikhs and Buddhist continue to maintain cordial relations. Tibetan Buddhist Lama Rinpoche Kenpho Karten is a frequent visitor to Peace Temple Abode, ( the home of yours truly). Here he joins in an impromptu kirtan, following an akhand paath bhog ceremony, to play the vaja, and sing a rousing recitation of "Waheguru Waheguru."
Singing "Waheguru Waheguru" on the Vaja with Tibetan Lama Rinpoche Kempho Karten at Peace Temple Abode
Photo © [Mackenzie Leek]
Waheguru - Wondrous Enlightener
All About Guru Nanak's Travels
Udasi - Take Leave
Tuesday December 10, 2013
I read a very interesting story about Buddhist people in Arunachal Pradesh, a remote part of India more than 2,000 kilometers from Punjab, who worship "Nanak Lama" as their "Guru Rimpoche". The people have numerous legends, which are centuries old, of miraculous events connected to the visit of Lama Nanak who meditated at Pemoshubu. They keep and worship a Nanak idol in their Dorgilling Hill Gompha. They are just one of hundreds of monasteries where Guru Nanak is revered and worshiped. Similar tales are told along the route traveled by Guru Nanak throughout parts of China, Tibet, Assam, and Bengal where his visits continued to be commemorated.
Artistic Impression Of Guru Nanak
Photo © [Courtesy Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]
At the Thyangboche monastery surrounded by the Himalayas, there is a manuscript which has been preserved which is said to have been composed by Nanak and a guru rimpoche idol representing him. Apparently he visited the monastery, and so impressed the lama and monks, that they became his followers.
In the Thanggu Gompa, there are 1002 small idols representing Guru Nanak. A Lachung monastery, at one time had murals depicting Guru Nanak.
The Phodong monastary is said to house the incarnation of Nanak in each succeeding head Lama. A stone pillar inscribed with and inscription commemorating of Guru Nanak's visit to Pyakochin still stands. Tak-sang monastery is said to have a painted likeness of Guru Nanak as does Askord.
The Lamas of Thanggu, Lachen, Lachung and Muguthang tell tales of Guru Nanak and lamps are kept burning in the Gomphas to commemorate his visit.
In a place called Nanak Dzong of Arunanchal Pradesh, the Guru is worshiped as Nanak Lama. Tawang Monastery has preserved a painting said to be of Nanak who is worshiped as their guru rimpoche. Lumpung has a 20 foot statue of Guru Nanak. Segong Dorgilling Gompha houses a life-sized idol of Lama Nanak.
Ironically Guru Nanak never asked to be worshiped or revered and spoke out against idol worship while dedicating his life to spreading the message of Ik Onkar, a Creator who is one with all of creation. Bhatt Bal, one of the authors, of Guru Granth Sahib wrote of Guru Nanak:
"Satigur naanak bhagat karee ek man tan man dhan gobind deeao ||
The True Guru, Nanak, single-mindedly worships the One, surrendering body, mind and wealth to the Lord of the Universe." SGGS||1405
All About The Life Of Guru Nanak
Travels of Guru Nanak
Tuesday December 10, 2013
When pondering the idea of humankind being created in the image of the creator, I reflect on how the human body is a self contained universe yet interconnected and interdependent with its surroundings.
Consider the inner workings of the body, its composition, its molecular and cellular structures, chemical and vascular systems, its electrical impulses. The body is a symbiotic host to many other organisms, such as microscopic beneficial bacteria and sometimes viruses. Moist creases of the body's skin are rivers of life and its hair a forest of nutrients for such minuscule life forms. The body is dependent on ingestion of resources outside of itself, sunlight, water, and organic nutrients to perpetuate creation in an expression which includes birth and ultimately death when its components are recycled back into the system from which it emerged. I see the human body as a miniature example reflecting the infinite divine, the creative force composed of every particle of creation, we call God.
Guru Nanak wrote of the attributes of the divine creator:
"Sehas tav nain nan nain heh toeh ko sehas moorat nanaa aek tuohee||
Thousands are Thine eyes, and yet Thou hast no eye, and thousands are Thine forms, and yet Thou hast not even one.
Sehas pad bimal nan aek pad gandh bin sehas tav gandh iv chalat mohee||2||
Thousands are Thine unblemished feet even so Thou hast not one foot, and thousands are Thine senses yet Thou are without senses, marveling at these plays of Thine entrances me. ||2|| SGGS||13
Ik Onkar - One Creator and Creation
What Do Sikhs Believe about God and Creation?
Humans Created in God's Image?
Tuesday December 3, 2013
Featured: Darbar Harmandir Sahib (Royal Court of God)
The majestic beauty of the Golden Temple with Nishan Sahib flying high is framed by marble arches. Pilgrim devotees walk through a marble foot bath and step from the built in trough onto carpets which provide a non slip surface and help to absorb the water from their feet. No shoes are worn inside the temple complex. People from all walks of life, every race and religion are welcome at Darbar Harmandir Sahib.
Glimpse of Darbar Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple)
Photo © [Courtesy Wanda McDonald]
Have You Visited a Historic Gurdwara or Sikh Shrine?
Please share your story and pictures.
Historic Gurdwaras and Ancient Sikh Shrines
History of the Golden Temple
Nishan Sahib - Sikh Flag