Maghar Sangrand: the Month of Harsh Weather

Today marks the the first day of the Indian month Ma(n)ghar (Mid November-Mid December) according to the Lunar calendar. During this time, winter begins and the harsh weather conditions take its toll on some of us who are amatuers in doing Naam Abhyiaas.

Gurmukhs praise Guru night and day despite their living condition, and despite the time of season. In the presence of such Gurmukhs one really learns how to live the wonderful life of Sikhi and not get affected by external influences.

On the other, Manmukhs like myself often get discouraged to praise God during certain seasons. During the winter season nothing seems more gruesome then waking up early in the morning on a cold day. I prefer to stay in my warm bed rather then following Guru’s advice and taking ishnaan (cold bath). The thought of taking a cold shower during this cold time seems like torture!

During this time the mind is only concerned about pleasing the body instead of pleasing and praising WaheGuru. My self willed mind regards Ma(n)ghar as a very bad, bad, bad month.

What does Guru Sahib says about Manghar?

ਮੰਘਰ ਮਾਹੁ ਭਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਅੰਕਿ ਸਮਾਵਏ ॥
ਗੁਣਵੰਤੀ ਗੁਣ ਰਵੈ ਮੈ ਪਿਰੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਭਾਵਏ ॥
Bara Maha (12 months) Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Guru Sahib says the month of Manghar is GREAT! Why? Because it’s a time where the soul (wife) praises her Husband (God).

Exactly how does one get inspired to praise Guru during such harsh seasons? In the second version of Bara Maha, Guru Arjan Dev Ji states:

ਸਾਧ ਜਨਾ ਤੇ ਬਾਹਰੀ ਸੇ ਰਹਨਿ ਇਕੇਲੜੀਆਹ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਨ ਕਬਹੂ ਉਤਰੈ ਸੇ ਜਮ ਕੈ ਵਸਿ ਪੜੀਆਹ ॥
Without sangat that soul remains alone. Their pain never departs, and eventually death grabs that soul.

Sangat is the roop of GurParmeshar, our Husband Lord. It is in sangat we learn about our Guru and how to praise Guru. This is why Guru Sahib calls Sangat a school where we learn to praise him.

ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਚਟਸਾਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਸਿਖਾ॥ (Guru Raam Daas Ji)

Many of us often think sat sangat just refers to people at the Gurdwara. This is far from the truth. Sat Sangat refers to sangat who respect and believe in the Guru’s word and live by the Guru’s word. Time is most fruitful by keeping sangat of those Gursikhs who believe and practice the Gurus word and spend their time wisely praising Guru.  Bhai Chaupa Singh, a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji has recorded the following hukam of Guru Gobind Singh Ji:

ਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਸਿਖ, ਭਲੇ ਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਸਂਗਤ ਕਰੈ , ਜਿਸ ਕੇ ਸਂਗਿ ਭਾਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਹੋਇ
A Sikh of the Guru should keep company of good Sikhs in whose company more love for the Guru arises.

Only by keeping sangat of those who love and believe in the Guru’s word will love and praise develop in our hearts.

ਮੰਘਰ ਮਾਹੁ ਭਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਅੰਕਿ ਸਮਾਵਏ ॥

So the secret is if we want the month of Manghar to be Bhalla (great) then we must keep sangat of Bhalla Sikhs  (good Sikhs) in whose presence love arises for the Guru and we learn to praise him more and more.

By praising (aradhan) Prabh  (God) in this month we escape the cycle of births and deaths.

ਮੰਘਿਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਰਾਧਣਾ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਜਨਮੜੀਆਹ ॥੧੦॥


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