Jan 14, Harisar Ashram, Kila Raipur: The reader is welcome to read about, listen or download the messages from the Magh Sankranti below:
The month of Magha ushers in Uttarayana (the northward movement of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer), which has great spiritual significance according to the yogis. Therefore, in her discourse, Sadhviji chooses to speak on the topic of Uttarayana as well.
As always, Sadhviji invokes the new month using the beautiful baani of Barah Maah of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji:
ਮਾਘਿ ਮਜਨੁ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਧੂਆ ਧੂੜੀ ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ, and jocularly mentions in passing that everyone must have surely bathed today (because it is considered auspicious to bathe on the first day of Maagh). However, alluding to the verse just quoted, she says that the saints are telling us to bathe as well, not in ordinary water but in the dust of the saints. In her discourse, she beautifully explains what it really means to bathe in the dust of saints. The “Name” that resides inside saints, when swept by the wind of a disciple’s honest aspiration, showers on the disciple as the “dust” in which he bathes and washes away the impurities of numerous births.
However, Sadhviji first sidesteps to narrate the story of Bhishma Pitamah to bring out the significance of Uttarayana. Her message to the devotees is – since Uttarayana presents an added opportunity of spiritual growth, therefore, more efforts should be made during this time. She asks everyone to increase the duration of their morning practice to one complete hour (it is worth mentioning that inspired by her, many devotees had already vowed to practice for half an hour every morning).
Sadhviji concludes her discourse by saying that the opportunities that come our way should not be wasted. Not all times are the same. It takes a flood to row away a boat stuck in a dry river bed. Without that water, our rowing it is of no avail. Similarly, there are auspicious times – when satsanga is happening, when the company of saints is available. Do not waste these moments.
‘If for 365 days we run outwards in the heat of the world, what relief would one day of bathing bring us?’ Swamiji says, setting the tone for his discourse. He tells it would be much better to look at just a day in our lives, instead of the entire year. And then, Swamiji makes the sangat calculate – allotting the required hours to the daily needs of sleeping, work etc. – and everyone finds that they still have a remainder of 2 hours, left purely for practice, each day. “Have we ever spent 2 complete hours in practice?” he asks the audience to introspect.
Swamiji then draws upon Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Magh message in Barah Maah and says that Guru sahib has called for doing daan (charity). But do we really give, when we give? Swamiji shares incidents like people giving a shawl to Maharaj Ji and wanting that Maharaj Ji continue to use only “their” shawl. This insistence shows that in reality they have yet not given that shawl; they still think it to be theirs and therefore, Maharaj Ji must use it.
Elaborating on the core message of Magh, Swamiji then elaborates on the Gurbani verse: Gur satguru ka jo sikh akhaye…and emphasizes on what true bath really constitutes of. You can read the in-depth meaning of this verse from this earlier post as well, in the words of Shri Maharaj Ji.
Swamiji shares the case of a participant of the Body-Mind Shaping Camp who got wonderful results for his diabetic problem, but couldn’t keep up the practice back at home. Swamiji exasperatingly says, “If someone doesn’t accept that which is right before their eyes, then what else can be done for him (referring ofcourse, to the wonderful results of this patient)?”
In the end, Swamiji recapitulates the essential points:
- If we really want happiness, then we are to seek it in the Name because Sukhmani Sukh Amrit Prabh Naam (The jewel of happiness is the Nectar Name of the Lord) – Sukhmani Sahib. Make the Name the foundation of your life.
- And remember the message of Gur Satguru Ka Jo Sikh Akhavae…Don’t make excuses. Do uddam (dedicated work) because this thing (the practice) is to be done for oneself. Do it honestly.
- Just as we keep day to day account of our business and other external chores, keep a day-by-day account of your spiritual journey as well.
- And remember the importance of daan; and the fact that “giving” is our need, and not that we are giving to someone in need. Because, in any case, it is the Divine that subsists everyone, not we.