The Ultimate FatherKULBIR KAUR
"He wasn’t a hero, known by the world. But a hero he was, to his little girl.”
These lines by Rebecca D. Cook, from her poem Memories of My Dad, remind me of a little girl in my neighbourhood who was dancing continuously for an hour, repeating the same steps. Her father, though encouraging her, was obviously distracted and bored. Noticing this, the daughter complained, “Papa, you are not watching. What happened to all the clapping?”
“Dear, how long can I watch you doing the same thing?”
The daughter kissed her father and said, “But you are my papa. If you will not, who will?”
This speaks volumes about the kind of image children carry of their parents, especially fathers. No wonder a father is considered the ideal man, the ultimate purakh, equivalent to god - pitru devo bhava.
In the same manner, we look up to the Almighty, especially in times of crisis, expecting Him to forgive our faults and bestow us with His grace. Like a helpless child we pray, “Who else, O Lord, will protect me?” He is the Ultimate Father - param pita.
In Sikhism, as in all other religions, all human beings are children of God and karta purakh, the Creator, is our father. He loves all His children without any discrimination. The relationship between Satguru and the Sikh is similar to that of a divine parent and a beloved child. Satguru loves us because He created the world, including us, from His own self. We are His part and He loves us like a true father. Satguru is our real support.
In Sikh history and religion, Guru Gobind Singh emerges as the “ultimate son” when he tells his father, Guru Tegh Bahadar, to sacrifice himself and uphold the right of all to practice the religion of their choice.
In the words of Guru Gobind Singh, “Guru Tegh Bahadar died to preserve the right [of Kashmiri Pandits] to wear their caste marks and sacred thread; he suffered martyrdom for the sake of their faith.”
Guru Gobind Singh then proved to be the “ultimate father” when he sacrificed his own four sons to uphold dharma. He had said: “What if four have died? I have millions more in the Khalsa!”
[The author teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University.]
[Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle. Edited for sikhchic.com]
June 17, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: D.J. Singh (U.S.A.), June 17, 2012, 7:40 AM.
2: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), June 17, 2012, 10:32 AM.
The Sikh Gurus were the ultimate role models as fathers.
3: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), June 17, 2012, 2:36 PM.
What a superb lyrical piece. This is how Waheguru looks after us with His ever loving indulgence. All we need is to remain childlike and are already there at His doorsteps. "pita kirpal aagi-aa ih deenee baarak mukh maangai so daynaa" [GGS:1266.15] - "My merciful Father has issued this command: Whatever the child asks for, it is to be granted!"
4: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), June 17, 2012, 10:24 PM.
An aircraft was in flight and soon ran into severe turbulence and started to buffet badly and was in danger of crashing in the sea. Rosaries came out and lips started to quiver in prayers. But, there was one little girl who appeared nonchalantly calm and reading her story book. "Aren't you afraid?" asked the petrified passenger in the next seat. "No, I am not - my father is the captain of this flight and he is taking me home."
5: Ravinder Singh (Mumbai, India), June 19, 2012, 12:30 PM.
The relationship between Satguru and the Sikh is similar to that of a parent and child. Satguru loves us because He created the world, including us, from His own self. We are His part and He loves us like a true father. Satguru is our real support. Excellent! This is the teaching gurbani drills in us again and again through its shabad. o simple to understand! Guru Nanak's coming on this earth was to reiterate the message of fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and free man from all kinds of slavery.