Kids Corner

Above painting of runners: courtesy, Peggy. Below, first from bottom - Pita ji/Grandpa: Dr. Balwant Singh Malik. Second from bottom - Papa ji/Dad: Sardar Dharampal Singh Malik. Third from bottom - Ami ji/Mum: Sardarni Joginder Kaur.

Faith

Miracles in Sikhi

by TEJWANT SINGH

 

I used to be a keen runner.

I have run several half (13.1 mile) and full (26.2 mile) marathons in Brasil, where I lived for nine years.

It all started one early morning, at 3 AM to be exact. I ran three times around the block out of sheer vanity with my fellow drinking buddies. I was the only one to do three laps. Most of the others stopped after one or two and started sharing their consumed Martinis and Brahmas (as in Brahmin - yes, a famous beer brand in Brasil), with the pavement. On the second day, I could only run two blocks, and on the third only one.

This is the way it all began.

I started running more and more miles. My first half-marathon took place after six months, on September 7, a national holiday in Brasil. My best time was 1 hr 45 min, whereas the winner finished his in 1 hr 1 min. I was the happiest man in the world that day.

The goal in running marathons is not the speed, but reaching the finish line! In the end, all runners end up being winners.

Two months after my first half-marathon, I ran my first full marathon in the picturesque city of Rio de Janeiro. It was a tough run due to humidity from the ocean.

For those unfamiliar with long-distance running: the runner hits the proverbial "wall" at Mile 20. In a nutshell, it means that all energy is depleted and the last six miles become mind-over-matter; because of the accumulation of lactic acid in the legs, fatigue sets in. It was the most difficult six-mile finish I had to endure, my body hurting with each breath.

I finished my first full marathon in 3 hrs 45 mins. A great accomplishment as far as I was concerned, having progressed from running three blocks in a drunken stupor to finishing my first marathon within a mere eight months thereafter.

The year was 1979. I ran quite a few more of them with improved timings.

Fast forward to 1985. 

I was vacationing in the southern part of Brasil, a beautiful place called Foz de Iguacu which has the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. I got a phone call from my older brother Harsimran who was living in London then. He told me that Mum had had a car accident and was in critical condition. She had gone to Wajirpur Sahib gurdwara near Ferozepore, my home town, with her friends on masyah (new moon). The vehicle she was traveling in on the return trip flipped on the wet road and the gear rod hit her head.

The world changed in a flash for me. I had left India at the age of 16 to go to London and then to Brasil and had not seen my parents for 14 years.

I was reduced to a 30-year-old crying like a baby for his mum who was on her deathbed thousands of miles away. It was time to go back. I needed her.

I quickly rearranged my affairs and, in a few days, headed back to my Mumland. During the preparations, I got one more call from Harsimran informing me that Papa ji had suffered a stroke and was in a coma and was in the same hospital as Mum. One more thing for my mind to grapple with.

I reached Heathrow, London, England, on February 10, 1985 and had an inkling that Papa ji had left the world. Anjana bhabi, with whom I had had a very close relationship because she had helped raise me since I was 16, came to pick me up at the airport.

My first few words were, "Is Papa ji still alive"? The answer came in a hug and lots of tears. He had just passed away, ten minutes before my arrival at Heathrow.

My family has been devout Sikhs since I can remember. My dad with his good knees used to go to Amritsar during every masyah and walk with the jatha from Harmandar Sahib to Taran Taaran Sahib - a 15-mile trek during the night, barefoot. They sang shabads and visited all the gurdwaras en route all night long. In the morning, after reaching Taran Taaran and taking a dip in the sarovar, he headed home.

He did this for twenty years for his sick mum - Mata ji - who had not moved from her bed for years. The only person who looked after her was my granddad, who was a physician and a lawyer by profession. Pita ji had given up his medical practice to fight for Punjabi Suba and to liberate the gurdwaras from the mahants. He also spent some time in jail for his activism. After that, he was her only nurse. He bathed her, cleaned her and did everything for my feisty strong-willed Mata ji.

My mum and dad were deeply in love with each other. My dad had weak knees and depended on my mum a lot during that time. He had recited the whole paatth of the Guru Granth Sahib in five days on his own, during my mum's stay at the hospital, so that when she - "Joginder" - came home, he would do the bhog in her celebration. That day never arrived.

I think he could not bear the shock of his beloved on the deathbed and being alone without her; hence the stroke. He was in a coma for three days and then passed away. It seems as if he had offered his life to Waheguru for the survival of his beloved. The hospital brought his body to her hospital bed so my mum could bid him her final goodbye - in her semi-comatose state.

This happened on February 10, 1985. I arrived at my mum's bed on February 12. Seeing her after fourteen years in that state was overwhelming. Eventually, with the grace of Waheguru, she got better.

Mum, lovingly called Ami ji by all, passed away a decade later, on April 4, 2004.

My running kept me sane. I ran eight miles daily without fail and fifteen on Sundays. I enjoyed it and rather cultivated this solitude.

After having lived outside India for fourteen years, I could not get used to its climate. I developed nasal ulcers during the summer and asked my mum if I could go to the U.S. The brave woman, who always thought of others rather than about herself, gave her consent and, after living in India for 16 months, I headed to the U.S. I settled in Los Angeles and then, later in 1998, moved to Las Vegas.

My running continued. I did not run any more marathons.

One Sunday in January 2003, I went out for my daily seven-miler and was feeling good. After three miles, all of a sudden I felt something in my chest. My heart was pounding very fast and I was short of breath. I stopped running and started walking back slowly with chest pains. Stupid me, in denial that nothing serious had taken place.

It took me 55 minutes to get back home. My wife was at work. I did not say anything to our two children, Jaskeerat and Trimaan, and went upstairs, changed and lay down with a heating pad on my chest. The pains would not go away.

Finally the macho in me mellowed a bit and I called my wife to come home.

After her arrival, we decided to go to Quick Care - a place for minor aches and pains, rather than to the hospital, out of sheer stubbornness and denial of the seriousness of what was happening. I walked on my own and told them about my chest pains. They took me in immediately. They checked my pulse and it was 175/min. The doctor on call stopped everything, called others and gave me something through IV, which reduced the chest pains but the pulse failed to drop.

He called for an ambulance. I could see the color change on his face. I was very lucid. The ambulance arrived and I left the Quick Care center while thanking everyone. They gave me more drugs through IV on the way; it still did not work, as the pulse-rate remained high. I was talking to the guys in the ambulance all the way to the hospital, still very alert and lucid.

At the hospital; the emergency crew was waiting for us. The doctor at the ICU pumped some more medicine. Nothing changed. He told me that the last resort was to give me a shock.

I asked him to let my wife out of the room before he did that. She left and he gave me a couple of shock-jolts; my pulse came down to 104. The doctor said it was a miracle that I had had the pulse at 175  for more than two hours and still lived. It was a V-tach, when the heart suddenly goes berserk.

I watched the playoff football game while perched on my hospital bed and was pleased to see my Raiders win and get to the finals. They finally lost.

The doctor installed a defibrillator in my chest - a "mini me" version of the shock-giving device that the doctor had used in the emergency room. It has given me electric kicks several times since. This is the last resort for the heart to come to its normal pace. This is the only one common thing I share with Dick Cheney.

This defibrillator is like my mala and because of this I am still here.

When it is about to give the shock, people feel dizzy, some pass out before it happens. And when it does activate, it gives a kick of a donkey, a very painful jolt for a second or two. I have never felt the former but always felt the kick which makes one scream. It takes some time for one to recover from this.

I had to stop running because of this but I walk seven miles daily instead.

I was reminded by my kids the other day that the last time I had the shock was on Valentine's Day in 2008, while lying in bed and talking to my wife who was standing nearby. No, she was not screaming at me, although I am one of the few henpecked souls left in the world, a dying species.

Some people miss a beat or two on Valentine's. For me that day, it was a shocking experience, literally, figuratively and metaphorically.

Last Sunday, on January 11, after my seven-mile morning walk in the crisp desert winter, I was explaining the meaning of the hukam in English at the gurdwara, which I have been doing for years. And, in the middle of it, I felt the shock out of the blue. My body shook for a moment; one could see the concerned and fearful looks on the faces of the sangat.

The amazing part was that I did not feel the proverbial donkey kick. No pain. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I kept on for a while till I was done and then helped distribute the parshad and told the concerned sangat what had taken place.

We are all products of our environment. In Punjab, I remember when someone used to die, people used to hire professional chest-beaters to set up the mourning scenario so that others could join in. Crying for the others who came to mourn for the dead became easier because of the chest-beating drama. This influence on us Sikhs is from Hinduism and Islam because, in true Sikhi, death is a time to celebrate.

We laugh when we watch a happy and comedic movie, we cry with the help of the melodramas offered to us by Zee TV.

In the same way, when we are at the gurdwara, the aura of positive energy that the sadh sangat brings in is very powerful.

Terms like miracles - and reincarnation, evil spirits, and other catch phrases - are sadly imported into the Sikh way of life and terminology from Hinduism and the Semitic religions  (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), where they are used regularly as snake-oil rub for all cures, because they are attributed to the God deity who is vengeful, evil, jealous, just and a punisher to His followers.

The followers of this angry God accept Him and follow Him like blind sheep and are unashamed of having a blind faith. They would rather flaunt it and mock others who are not birds of the same feather.

If Sikhi believed in miracles, then the hot plate Guru Arjan was put on and tortured to death would never have gotten hot. Or no one could have had the power to behead our ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadar. The walls built around the two chotei (young) Sahibzadey to bury them alive would have crumbled, brick by brick.

If Sikhi believed in miracles, then Bhai Mani Singh would not have been cut into pieces, joint by joint, limb by limb, nor could any one have taken the scalp off Bhai Taru Singh.

We would have no need to utter the following during Ardaas if Sikhi believed in miracles:

Remember those who were broken on the wheel, cut up limb by limb, who gave their scalps but not their hair, and those mothers who, for the sake of Truth, sacrificed their dear children and suffered through hunger and pain at the hands of the fiends, but never gave up their faith in Ik Ong Kaar and their determination to live in Sikhi, to their last breath.

All the above incidents are not miracles, but are miraculous indeed.

Now the question may arise for the miracle-believing people, including some of Sikh faith, that if the above are not miracles then where did the Sikhs get their inner strength.

It is all in the will attained through Naam. Guru Granth is full of tools that let us sharpen our will and determination and help us elevate our level of normalcy. What may have been impossible yesterday can become probable today and ought to become a piece of cake the next day.

One can open the Guru Granth randomly on any page and find the inspiration, motivation, determination, perseverance and, last but not least, the acceptance of Hukam.

Ik Ong Kaar - The Creative Energy which Guru Nanak calls Ajuni Saibhang in the Mool Mantar is always manifested in the sangat. Thanks to the sangat, the donkey-kick in the chest was taken off me like the proverbial monkey off one's back.

Sikhi does not rely on or propagate miracles, but Sikhs themselves make miracles when they are seeking the ONE together, in sangat.

Isn't this the true essence of "mil sadh sangat bhaj keval naam'?

 

January 14, 2009

 

 

Conversation about this article

1: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), January 14, 2009, 10:52 PM.

An excellent, elaborate and experiential account of the spiritual marathon towards the sachiaara goal. Yes, in the Guru's view, Naam Simran is superior to miracles: 'ridh sidh avra saad' [GGS,p6]. 'Prabh kae simran ridh sidh nau nidh' [GGS p262].

2: Devinder Singh Chahal (Laval, Quebec, Canada), January 15, 2009, 6:17 AM.

Bravo! Tejwant Singh ji, for writing so bravely against the acceptance of miracles in Sikhi. We need to learn Sikhi in its real perspective.

3: Prabhu Singh Khalsa (Española, New Mexico, U.S.A.), January 15, 2009, 9:59 AM.

Everything is a miracle. Guru Arjan was tortured to death, however the man pouring the hot sand on him in the middle of summer felt a cool breeze. That miracle is the grace of the Guru. We don't need to believe in or discount miracles, we just need accept that all things come from God and realize everything is a miracle. We can easily believe that the earth spins in 24 hours and travels around the sun in 365 days, but we can't believe that Guru Gobind Singh cut the heads of the panj pyarey? We can easily believe that God kisses us with the breath of life 15 times a minute, but we can't believe that Baba Deep Singh upheld his promise despite his head being severed? Also I'm not sure where reincarnation doesn't fit into the Sikh life? The Guru clearly says that we all took 8.4 million lifetimes to get here. I appreciate the article, but it seems to try and separate miracles from "reality" and claim that they don't exist. Open your mind, God is limitless, Guru ji says this so many times, what we consider normal or a miracle are one and the same. Whatever one needs to focus on God should be enjoyed by that person, including the belief in miracles. WaheGuru!

4: Harmeet Singh (U.S.A.), January 15, 2009, 10:32 AM.

Tejwant Singh ji: I understand the point of the article and I agree with it. But how do you explain Panja Sahib, Pathar Sahib and many other miraculous places associated with Guru Nanak? How about the passing away of Guru Nanak, when it is said that his body disappeared?

5: Chintan Singh (San Jose, U.S.A.), January 15, 2009, 12:09 PM.

A beautiful article. Two comments - Firstly, on the sentence, "The followers of this angry God accept Him and follow Him like blind sheep and are unashamed of having a blind faith." I agree that the Waheguru described in Guru Granth Sahib is not an angry one. He even cares for those who do not take his Name. However, in the last six to eight months, something has happended to me. I get a feeling of guilt when some days pass by and I've been detached from Naam (not doing my Nitnem or reading from the Guru Granth). Although I know that my Guru is not the angry Guru who punishes, but I do get this guilt and the feeling that I have not been the good Sikh my Guru would want me to be. What would you call this? Becoming a blind faith follower (which is going away from Sikhi) or slowly creeping forward on the path of Sikhi? Need some enlightening on this. Secondly, I have always believed that while Guru Granth and Sikh philosophy teach us to accept sorrow and happiness as the Waheguru's Will and to submit to His Will, we have also been given the tool of Ardaas to help us with life's problems and challenges; whereas the Guru will not solve our worldly problems with miracles, He will lead us to a solution if we do humbly ask for His help and direction. What would you say on this belief of mine?

6: Balmeet (San Francisco, U.S.A.), January 15, 2009, 1:11 PM.

Tejwant Singh ji: A most excellent article. Well written and insightful, your personal narrative boldly proclaims a Sikh's miraculous journey. The "miracle" of Sikhi is not the the events of Nanak's janamsakhis but the devotion inspired in Sikhs who embody his teachings. Raising downtrodden individuals into a sovereign community is miraculous in itself.

7: Jasleen Kaur (U.S.A.), January 15, 2009, 1:50 PM.

Was the entire point of this well written and poignant story really to "prove" that there are no miracles? The miracles are documented in Guru Granth Sahib for the world to see. Guru Arjan Sahib said: dhaekhahu acharaj bhaeiaa || Behold, a wondrous miracle has happened! jih t(h)aakur ko sunath agaadhh bodhh so ridhai gur dhaeiaa || rehaao || That Lord and Master, whose wisdom is said to be unfathomable, has been enshrined within my heart, by the Guru. ||Pause|| Is there any greater miracle than Naam? I enjoyed the story, but I don't think the moral is accurate. [Editor: I think both of you are saying exactly the same thing!]

8: Tejwant (U.S.A.), January 15, 2009, 8:13 PM.

Chintan: Your honesty and candor are commendable, especially the way you disrobed your within unashamedly in search for the inner solace and peace. Yes, "guilt" the magic word used by the dogmatic faiths but fortunately it has no room in Sikhi. It only indicates that the prescribed rituals have not been performed, hence fear due to guilt settles in. The reason for that is that we read, "do" Nitnem rather than studying Gurbani. Please do not take me wrong, I am not advocating against Nitnem ... to the contrary. When Nitmen becomes the daily obligation rather than the Amrit to quench the thirst within, then it becomes self-defeating prophecy. When not doing Nitnem for a day becomes the stumbling block in the start of the day rather than the spring board to dive in with motivation in our daily chores, then Ik Ong Kaar who is Nirbhau and Nirvair, hence all loving, becomes an entity to be feared, a punisher, in our mind. But, Chintan (btw, a beautiful name), nothing to worry about. Thanks for showing your need. Only pitchers that have room for more, can be filled. Unfortunate are those whose pitchers are broken and they have no way to quench their thirst. That is not the case of a Sikh. Your introspection shows your quest to fill the void. Do not despair if you cannot do Nitnem or cannot read the Guru Granth at times. Just think of any Shabad when this happens and let it sink in all day and you will savour its taste for days. I would like to confess one thing: that I am still trying to grasp the meaning of Mool Mantar and hopefully, one day through Grace, I will get there. Enjoy your journey.

9: Roopinder Singh Bains (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), January 15, 2009, 10:00 PM.

Human life is THE miracle. Mind, you are the manifestation of the Divine Light, recognize your essence (root)!

10: Hardie Singh (Johannesburg, South Africa), January 16, 2009, 1:13 AM.

Tejwant Singh ji, it's a very inspiring and touching real-life story. In our daily lives, we come across a lot of such scenarios and, being human, if we pass - we call it a miracle, and if not ... then it was not meant to be! Every true Sikh must understand and realize that the true Chardi Kalaa spirit that our Gurus gave us was for a reason and it is within us to feel. We should'nt just wait for some "God-ly Miracle" to happen so that things can move in the right direction. We must make an effort to be drivers of our destiny and the final outcome should be left to 'Him'! Theren lies the true Miracle of Sikhi! May Waheguru bless you and give you strength to inspire others.

11: Lynn (Indiana, U.S.A.), January 16, 2009, 5:16 AM.

I find your article quite interesting. I am glad you are still with us, and to have met you. Miracles ... a word used to describe what we, as humans, have no other explanation for. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

12: I.J. Singh (New York, U.S.A.), January 16, 2009, 1:29 PM.

Surely, Guru Arjan knew the pain of torture, as did Guru Tegh Bahadar. Surely, Guru Gobind Singh felt the pain of seeing his sons die in battle. If, by some miracle, they felt no pain, then they would have nothing to tell us how to go beyond pain and suffering. The miracle is that their lives show us how to transcend the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with equanimity and cheerful elegance. Excellent write up, Tejwant. Thank you.

13: Claudia Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil), January 17, 2009, 1:02 PM.

Your touching article on your parents and grandparents, intertwining stories full of love and faith, tells us how we can reach sukh in the making of our path towards God and His Will. To be a Sikh is to perform random acts of kindness. This could trigger a turning point in the whole sangat. We can change our surroundings, little things that make the whole difference. Sikhs should be recognizable not only by banaa but mainly for their deeds and remarkable selfless service. How would Guru Teg Bahadar and Guru Gobind Singh behave in the face of the atrocities committed nowadays? And about confessions obtained under torture, always a heinous act? Let's follow their footprints and guess what would be their actions. A good exercise to for kathaa and to put into practice as our Sikh ethos. 'Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal'.

14: Tejwant (U.S.A.), January 17, 2009, 2:08 PM.

I totally agree with I.J.Singh. If we claim that our Gurus did not feel any pain of torture because we are myopic enough to stubbornly cling to the belief in miracles, then we are undermining, mocking and degrading our Gurus out of our sheer arrogance which is laced with a lot of ignorance. Can you just imagine the Chhotei Sahibzadey being suffocated slowly and we call it a miracle because we see the depictions of the artists showing them serene? Hitler's gas chambers came a lot later. Can we not imagine their faces? What had they done wrong? Their only 'crime' was that they were Sikhs and children of Guru Gobind Singh? How about all other males and females we talk about daily in our Ardaas? How about those young girls who were beheaded alongwith the boys and all sold as young lads so that the enemy could exterminate Sikhi? - the Mughals and their minions had put a price on each Sikh head. How about thousands being burnt to death in those horrifying events of 1984? One can vividly feel the pain in Michael's words when he could not save the dying Sikhs as depicted in his heartfelt essay - thanks to Gurmat ideals which serve as an ointment for all these pains and sufferings, which in itself is a miracle. 'Jis tun lagei, sou tun Janie // Kon Janie peer parayee'. In other words, 'only the wearer knows where the shoe hurts. Let's not make 'Tera bhana meetha lagei' just a feel good slogan. If and when the time comes, confront it and live it through Naam. Then only we can be living, walking miracles ...

15: Harmeet Singh (U.S.A.), January 17, 2009, 6:34 PM.

Thanks for responding. So, are you saying that incidents like Panja Sahib never occurred? And also, why don't we have any place now where Guru Nanak's body was cremated or buried?

16: Tejwant (U.S.A.), January 17, 2009, 8:15 PM.

Harmeet: I did not say anything like that. As I.J Singh said in his insightful post that if miracles had occurred by - or through - our Gurus, then they would have shared them with us. I have no idea about Panja Sahib. I am not here to speculate about it and declare it as a miracle because some claim that and believe in such a thing. The sacrifices of our Gurus show us otherwise. Regarding your second question, I do not even have any thought about it because Guru Nanak taught us through his Udasis and Gurbani that Sikhi is idea- based, not personality based. Hence the place where he was cremated becomes irrelevant. The beauty of this physical body is that it gets recycled. Dust to dust. I hope I have not offended your sentiments in any way or form. I have no intentions whatsoever to do so. Sikhi is the journey of the individual and each of us carry our own spiritual torch. Savour your journey.

17: Daljinder Singh (Delhi, India), January 18, 2009, 8:10 AM.

Miracle - as per the thesaurus, one of the meanings is "wonder", and wonder could also mean trying to figure out what is for real. It could relate to something which is difficult to explain ... and as long as there is no explanation, it continues to be a miracle or marvel! The learning can begin in steps and, in my opinion, faith (belief) can be the very first and the most important step. Asking questions can be done in two ways: One can believe your teacher is correct and knows everything and the questions could be as an exploration to understand the deeper aspects and the whys & hows. The other way: The questions can be out of denial and be stated as "how come?" Either way, as long as there is zeal to know and understand more, and in the process accept (the catch is accept and understand with an open mind and not continue to remain in the state of denial for the sake of it) and move onto learn more. That this journey be taken is, I believe, one of the most important tenets of Sikhi ... the journey towards learning. What needs to be avoided is blind faith in or reliance on things supernatural, expecting them to 'save' us through supernatural intervention. Yet, we need to appreciate and be thankful for the true miracles of life and the amazing gifts that we receive day in and day out!

18: Harmeet Singh (U.S.A.), January 18, 2009, 2:26 PM.

Tejwant, so what would you say to the world when it asks, "Were did Guru Nanak pass away and where was his body buried/cremated?"

19: Tejwant (U.S.A.), January 18, 2009, 5:06 PM.

Harmeet: I would simply say - I do not know because it is irrelevant, insignificant and unimportant. The reason being that the Sikhi way of life is idea-based, not personality-based, and it is my honour and privilege to follow what Guru Nanak taught me re how to lead a life of a seeker through Naam Japna, Kirat karni and Vand ke Chhaknah.

20: Prabhu Singh Khalsa (Española, New Mexico, U.S.A.), January 20, 2009, 4:05 PM.

I agree with I.J. Singh in that I'm sure that Guru Arjan, who had a human body, felt the same pain we would, if we were tortured to death. At the same time, the man torturing him felt comfort and coolness in the burning hot season of summer. That is the miracle, the grace of the true Guru. People who cannot believe and understand the miracles of the Guru's lives are just limiting themselves. Furthermore, what many call supernatural or miracles are normal for others and do exist. I have seen and experienced things in this life which no one except my own soul can explain. There is an explanation to each and every "miracle" in life, but those who are shut down will never understand them. I pray that the miracle of the Guru's kirpa, the Guru's dharma, the Guru's example, will touch each of us. WaheGuru.

21: Tejwant (U.S.A.), January 21, 2009, 1:14 PM.

Prabhu: I have a question for you. You have mentioned twice, "At the same time, the man torturing Guru Arjan felt comfort and coolness in the burning hot season of summer." What do you exactly mean by that? How about the guy who was putting fire under the plate? What did he feel? Where did you find this out from? Is it in the Guru Granth? And how can the torturer feel 'some cool breeze' and what makes you describe it as a miracle? You mean there was no guilt he felt? Doesn't it sound like something sadistic? We know that due to the sadistic nature of the Mughals, our Gurus and other Sikhs were tortured to death. So, can you please elaborate what you mean by your description of the torture of Guru Arjan as a miracle?

22: Prabhu Singh Khalsa (Española, New Mexico, U.S.A.), January 27, 2009, 1:10 PM.

I wasn't describing the act of cooling the torturers as a miracle. I was describing the grace of the Guru as the true miracle. Guru ji's grace is so great a miracle, he even took pity upon those who were torturing him. His grace and presence were so great that all discomfort left him. In heat, his presence would be a cool breeze; in cold, he would be warmth. That is the humility, the grace, the miracle of the Guru. Why would such a thing be recorded in the Guru Granth, if it isn't a miracle? It is recorded in the minds of the Sikhs. Just like Baba Deep Singh. His story isn't recorded in the Guru Granth. But any person who understands that the word, action, and life of a saint lives forever, will know that his word was easily enough to create the ability to fight with his head in his palm. He gave his word that he would reach Harmandar Sahib, and when his head was severed, the divine shakti (God) came into his body to fulfill the promise of a saint. This isn't beyond comprehension, or beyond the realm of science, it's just that our comprehension and our science has yet to reach such expansiveness. Miracles generally remind people of divinity; if Sikhs need to describe certain occurrences as miracles in order to understand them, I don't see a problem in that. It's just another form of Simran (remembrance).

23: Gurdev Singh Bir (Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.), February 02, 2009, 9:57 PM.

Very well said, Prabhu; with God, all things are possible. It is only the limitations (or limits) of our mind that we seem to want to try and explain things in a rational way. As it is, life itself is a miracle and God's infinite manifestation in his creation is nothing less than a wonder to behold.

24: Kulvinder Singh (England), November 15, 2014, 4:21 AM.

Harmeet Singh ji: The Panja Sahib stone has only exsisted from the latter half of the 19th century. The gurdwara was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to mark the saakhi. The stone handprint, it is conjectured, was concocted by the Hindu mahants -- in typical brahmin fashion -- under whose control the gurdwara fell after the fall of the Sikh empire, with encouragement from the invading Brits.

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