Heartbeat V: Action vs. Words

Heartbeat V: Action vs. Words
Bhai Kanhaiya Ji did not need to need to verbally express Their Love for Guru Sahib as it was evident in Their Actions. They saw the Beloved in everyone and acted in Compassionate Love. (Painting by Bhagat Singh, SikhiArt.com)

People throw the three words – I love you – around without realizing the weight that they carry. Many people have had their heart broken because of the expectations that came with hearing these words. They are reluctant to believe the next person who says this phrase to them. Mere words are no longer enough to trust someone. They look for other signs of sincerity.
As the old saying goes: "actions speak louder than words". In the same way, we may feel we have a love for Guru Sahib but simply saying this in words is not enough. Our actions must reflect this too.

ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਆਰਾਧੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
Man Bach Kram Aaraadhhai Har[i] Har[i] Saadhhsa[n]g[i] Sukh[u] Paaeiaa
Through thoughts, words, and action I remember Vaheguru...
The Saadh-Sangat is where [True] Peace is found
ਅਨਦ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਰਸੁ ਸਾਚੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੧॥
Anadh Binodh Akathh Kathhaa Ras[u] Saachai Sahaj[i] Samaaeiaa
The Bliss and Enjoyment of the Indescribable, subtlely merging with the Truth
(Dhan Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji Mahraj in Raag Sarang, Ang 1220)

If our thoughts, actions, and words are dedicated to our Beloved then we can truly say we are in Love. This is the way to thrive in our relationship with Guru Sahib.
We should start to ask ourselves the following questions: Are we ready to commit to our Beloved or is this Love just an infatuation? Do we put our Beloved first in our priorities or are we caught up in the dream of this life? It's time to take action! We need to prove our Love! What actions should we take next?
ਖਸਮੈ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਹੁ ਚਿੰਦਿਆ ਸੋ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥
Khasamai Bhaavai So Karae Manahu Chindhiaa So Fal Paaeisee
Do what pleases the Beloved, and you will receive the fruit of the mind's desires...
ਤਾ ਦਰਗਹ ਪੈਧਾ ਜਾਇਸੀ ॥੧੫॥
Thaa Dharageh Paidhhaa Jaaeisee
... then you will be accordingly dressed to enter Vaheguru's Court
(Dhan Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj in Raag Aasaa, Ang 471)

It may appear hard to recognize what we need to do to prove our Love for the Beloved but Guru Sahib makes it really easy for us. Gurbani is where we'll find our answers. For a Sikh, we do what Guru Sahib asks of us then we can attain our Beloved~Vaheguru. Luckily, there are so many things we can do! One way is Seva. Our Beloved tells us to do Seva (selfless service) while living in this world.

ਵਿਚਿ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥
Vich[i] Dhuneeaa Saev Kamaaeeai
In this world, earn the action of doing Seva (service)
ਤਾ ਦਰਗਹ ਬੈਸਣੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥
Thaa Dhargah BaisaN[u] Paaeeai
Then you will have a seat in the Court of Vaheguru
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਾਹ ਲੁਡਾਈਐ ॥੪॥੩੩॥
Kah[u] Nanak Baah Ludaaeeai
Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj says: [You will be in so much bliss that you will] raise your arms in enjoyment!
(Sree Raag, Ang 25)

Seva is Truly a Labour of Love

Definition of Labour of Love "If you do something as a labour of love, you do it because you really want to and not because of any reward you might get for it, even though it involves hard work" (Collins Dictionary).
Seva is meant to be Nishkaam (without desire). What does this look like? When someone is in love, they'll jump through hurdles, go through pain, shed blood and sweat for Their Beloved. People will build houses, travel across continents, & wage wars to serve Their Beloved. They wouldn't blink twice if you asked them to do it again. This is all possible because of their Love. The goal is no longer about doing certain actions to win over the Beloved. Instead, there is a realization that service is a form of Love in practice.
This mindset fuels the selfless attitude of doing Seva: without thinking of rewards, continuing to serve the Divine Light within Creation. As the mirage of ego vanishes... You become closer & closer to Your Beloved. Two becomes One.
"I" become You.

ਸਭਿ ਗੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ॥
Sabh[i] GuN Thaerae Mai naahee Koe[i]
All Qualities belong to You, I do not have any...
ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ॥
ViN[u] GuN Keethae Bhagath[i] n Hoe[i]
Without doing the right actions, Loving-Worship (Bhagti) cannot happen.
(Dhan Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj in Sri Japji Sahib)

Chaur Sahib (Flywhisk) Seva is a Form of Practicing Love for our Beloved

Whether in Maharaj's Darbar or out in the world, there is an endless list of ways of doing physical Seva. We can do Chaur Sahib Seva over our Beloved Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. There are many Seva's we can learn for the sake of finding more ways to love Guru Sahib: learning how to change Maharaj's Basthars (Rumaalaa Sahib and associated clothes), washing Basthars, vacuuming the Darbar, Pehredaar Seva (Darbar security), making degh (karraa parshaadh), serving degh, ardaas Seva, dhhoof (incense) Seva, joth (lamp) Seva, and so many more ways to love Guru Sahib. In the langar hall we can help wash dishes, hand out dishes, pour water, make the food, serve the food, clean the langar hall. The key to all of this Seva is to remember and recognize Vaheguru while serving.

Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji Maharaj bless us in Sri Sukhmani Sahib:
ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਸੇ ਪਰਉਪਕਾਰੀ ॥
Prabh Ko[u] Simarah[i] Sae Paroupkaaree
Those who remember Vaheguru are truly benevolent (caring/helpful)

We can look at the lives of Gursikhs in order to learn how to do Seva while lovingly remembering our Beloved. Bhai Kanhaiya Ji are a Beautiful Example to learn from. They are most known for serving water to both enemy forces and allies. Sikhs started to complain to Maharaj about Bhai Kanhaiya Ji helping out the enemies. When asked about this, Bhai Kanhaiya Ji stated that They did not see any enemies or allies... all They could see was Guru Sahib. Bhai Kanhaiya Ji's relationship with Vaheguru reached such spiritual heights that They could not see anyone but our Beloved. Guru Sahib was pleased to hear this and blessed Bhai Kanhaiya Ji with doing medical treatment of the wounded. This is the way we should strive to do Seva. This is how thoughts, words, and actions can be dedicated towards our Beloved. We can go from a mindset of wanting to prove our love to a mindset of practicing constant Admiration of our Beloved.

Dhan Dhan Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji Maharaj had rescued many animals, let us continue this Seva if we ever see an animal in need 

Even if we find someone in need of help and we are able to act, see that as a moment where Guru Sahib is using your body to take care of Their Creation. Let us help those suffering whether humans, animals, plants, insects, etc. See them all as the various Forms of our Beloved and that the Beloved is taking care of them. What a beautiful way to Love! There can never be any trust issues or heartbreak as a result of such a Love.

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