ਪੋਖਿ ਤੁਖਾਰੁ ਨ ਵਿਆਪਈ ਕੰਠਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੁ ॥
In the month of Poh, the cold does not touch those, whom the Husband Lord hugs close in His Embrace.
ਮਨੁ ਬੇਧਿਆ ਚਰਨਾਰਬਿੰਦ ਦਰਸਨਿ ਲਗੜਾ ਸਾਹੁ ॥
Their minds are transfixed by His Lotus Feet. They are attached to the Blessed Vision of the Lord’s Darshan.
ਓਟ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਰਾਇ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਲਾਹੁ ॥
Seek the Protection of the Lord of the Universe; His service is truly profitable.
ਬਿਖਿਆ ਪੋਹਿ ਨ ਸਕਈ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਹੁ ॥
Corruption shall not touch you, when you join the Holy Saints and sing the Lord’s Praises.
ਜਹ ਤੇ ਉਪਜੀ ਤਹ ਮਿਲੀ ਸਚੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਸਮਾਹੁ ॥
From where it originated, there the soul is blended again. It is absorbed in the Love of the True Lord.
ਕਰੁ ਗਹਿ ਲੀਨੀ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮਿ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਵਿਛੁੜੀਆਹੁ ॥
When the Supreme Lord God grasps someone’s hand, he shall never again suffer separation from Him.
ਬਾਰਿ ਜਾਉ ਲਖ ਬੇਰੀਆ ਹਰਿ ਸਜਣੁ ਅਗਮ ਅਗਾਹੁ ॥
I am a sacrifice, 100,000 times, to the Lord, my Friend, the Unapproachable and Unfathomable.
ਸਰਮ ਪਈ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਰਿ ਪਈਆਹੁ ॥
Please preserve my honor, Lord; Nanak begs at Your Door.
ਪੋਖੁ ਸੋੁਹੰਦਾ ਸਰਬ ਸੁਖ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਖਸੇ ਵੇਪਰਵਾਹੁ ॥੧੧॥
Poh is beautiful, and all comforts come to that one, whom the Carefree Lord has forgiven.
~ Ang 135 ~
How can we make this month of Poh fruitful and one of happiness for ourselves? These insights are from katha I listened to on Sangrand. Those who are embraced by God’s love don’t feel the effects of this harsh winter month. Often when it comes to the worldly aspects of life we live in consciousness but when it comes to faith we tend to be unconscious or disconnected. When you manifest the light of God within, you won’t be physically or mentally affected by cold, heat, hunger or pain. Naam is so powerful and gives the kind of strength that means even when you are being cut into pieces, you can still be reciting Japji Sahib because Waheguru is enshrined in every fibre of your being. When Maharaj gifts His glance of grace then the cold and pain cannot touch a person.
For those who have the support of Waheguru, their seva becomes profitable, their mind becomes steadfast and their faith doesn’t waver. Your time starts to become fruitful when you sing the Lord’s praises in the sadh sangat and you begin to cultivate gratitude.
When you start developing true love for Maharaj, the soul becomes in tune with His name. If we say to Maharaj, though your kirpa, can you hold our hand, His grip becomes so strong that even the pull and push of this world cannot loosen it. Once Maharaj holds your hand, you never get separated from Him. Can water be separated from water? When you collapse at His door your honour will always be protected.
Whatever work we do in this month, we need to bring Maharaj to the forefront of our minds and present when making any decisions. If you want His forgiveness and love remember Him in every duty. Start and end your day with remembering Waheguru and the month of Poh will be fruitful.
Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji; instilling immeasurable strength, compassion, courage, love, righteousness and faith into the Khalsa. Guruji watched his eldest sons, Sahibzade Ajit Singh & Jujhar Singh, go into the battle of Chamkaur knowing that they were not going to come back alive and all of the other brave warriors he considered as sons do the same. He entrusted his mother, Mata Gujri Ji, to fearlessly comfort his younger sons, Sahibzade Zorawar Singh & Fateh Singh, encouraging them to stay steadfast in their faith. The people who feel the effects of cold the most are the elderly and children. It’s in the month of Poh, that Mata Ji and the Chote Sahibzade spent time at the Thanda Burj (cold fort). They could only survive those nights there because the name of Akaal Purakh was pargat in their consciousness and they were drenched in Maharaj’s love. They all faced death with incomprehensible courage. Their names and sacrifice will live on forever, inspiring countless generations to come.
ਮਿੱਤਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਹਾਲ ਮੁਰੀਦਾ ਦਾ ਕਹਿਣਾ ॥ Tell the beloved friend (the Lord) the plight of his disciples.
~ Dasam Bani ~ Shabad recited by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in the Machhiwara forest when he was separated from everyone. Guruji yearns for remembrance of Waheguru despite the extreme hardships and tough times. May this provide us with comfort, strength and hope to overcome any difficulties we are facing in life right now. Guruji is always with us no matter how dark it may seem along the way, focus on him to lead you to the light and peace within.
The ongoing protests continue into the month of Poh, the coldest month, where people of all ages and backgrounds are sleeping on the floor without adequate shelter whilst they fight for their livelihoods. It’s heart-breaking to see the plight of the farmers protesting in Delhi yet it also brings an overwhelming sense of inspiration that the same valour of our Guruji’s can still be witnessed on earth today. The protest is not solely a Sikh issue but one that effects all of humanity, yet whenever I see social media flooded with images and videos from the protest, I see the same chardikala spirit that our ancestors epitomised. However, I also see the pain in their faces and it’s hard to watch our elders cry at the lack of compassion they are being shown with no solution in sight and feeling like they are not being heard by those in power. They are fighting for the rights of their families and future generations, whilst losing their lives in the process. The burden is heavy and they are being crushed under it, fighting until their last breath.
How many more people have to become shaheed before action is taken and change is made? Why do we always have to fight for basic human rights and freedom, which should be a birth right? How do those in power sleep at night biting the hands that feed them, with their stomachs full but their hearts void of compassion? Will our questions be answered? Throughout it all, the people who are consistently there to feed others through their honest and hard work, are still serving those very people who are beating them and using water cannons against them. The compassion of Bhai Kanhaiya Ji runs through their blood and will always be overflowing despite the injustice and brutality they are met with.
For as long as Waheguru decides this world exists, nothing and no one can extinguish the Khalsa, a bloodline of such amazing warriors, saints, poets and philosophers. The foundation of Sikhi is built on the blood, courage, sacrifice, compassion and love of our Guruji’s and shaheeds. Other people can tear down the house but they will never be able to destroy the ground it is built upon. The cries of the land of Panjab and surrounding areas will never fall on deaf ears, the whole world is listening and watching!
It’s no coincidence that Waheguru allows us opportunities to reflect on our faith and connect to Him, consistently throughout the year. It’s so hard to follow Sikhi in kalyug as we may face many internal battles that hinder us from walking and progressing on the path of truth but at the very least we should take time to learn about those who gave up their lives so we can have access to the light and treasure of Guru Granth Sahib Ji today. It’s been a tough year for so many different reasons. As we head into the festive period with gratitude for all the good and the people we have in our lives, don’t forget to also reflect and remember that these days mark a time of immense sacrifice in our history as well as in the present time.
There are no battles we will ever face that we can overcome by ourselves, the victory will always belong to Waheguru. So many of us will feel helpless to the harsh conditions, pain and anguish of those peacefully protesting. Never underestimate the power of the unseen too, do benti to Maharaj for a peaceful resolution and recite Gurbani for the chardikala of all those protesting. We have insight to what is going on, from within the comfort and warmth of our homes, but they are the ones living the reality, out there on the streets peacefully asking for their basic human rights whilst braving the cold winter days and nights.
Our future depends on what we do today, so make it count. One day future generations are going to look back on these days as a time in history and ask us what we did in the face of adversity, don’t let the answer be nothing. Support the cause in whichever way you can.
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ॥ ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ ॥⠀
Nanak, with Naam comes high spirits and with your blessings Lord, may everyone in the world prosper and be in peace.⠀