23. Sikh Way of Life

The life of Guru Amardas is an example of how an ideal man lives in this world. His Sewa (voluntary and selfless service) of Guru Angad and the entire Sangat (congregation) which he did for a period of more than eleven years, is a model of holy and ideal living. The purpose of Sewa is the elimination of the ego, which is a hurdle in the way of universal love remembrance of God's Name. Ego has to be over-come through humility and works of charity. Even when the disciple does good deeds, worldly people criticise him. However, if he does not take to heart what others say and shows patience and practises for-bearance, people will ultimately realise the value of his work and wisdom. Guru Amardas' attitude to Datu - son of Guru Angad - is a great lesson for every Sikh. Datu kicked the Guru but the latter did not retaliate and quietly left the village. He never minded the apparent insult in the presence of the congregation. On the contrary, he showed exemplary patience and thus won the respect of his followers. Similarly his forbearance and humility in the face of hostility and aggression of Gond Marwaha, Tappa and the Brahmins of Goindwal is a testimony to his saintly nature. The story of Prema the leper whom he cherished and brought back to good health - and later got married - is an outstanding example of his benevolent disposition and his great compassion. One day, Bhai Budha lovingly asked Guru Amardas on behalf of the sangat, to tell them of the Sikh discipline in daily life. The Guru replied as follows: "Listen, O Sikhs of the Guru! Get up early at dawn and take a bath. Then sit in a corner and collect your mind and recite the Holy name till sunrise with concentration. Then go about your daily work or profession and earn your living honestly. Do not tell lies or speak ill of others. Share your joys and sorrows with your fellow beings. Resign yourself to the will of God and do not find fault with the doings of the Creator. Do not run after transitory pleasures of this world. Give up deceit, jealousy, and covetousness. Always seek the company of the good and the virtuous. Mould your conduct according to the instructions of your religious guide".