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The concept of Miri/Piri This is sort of a mini essay/discussion about a topic that I feel is ignored many times for some other reason. The Concept of Miri Pirri is a vital part of our own faith. Even in our most well known symbol that is associated with our faith wields these mighty swords. The Khanda, where the 2 swords guard our faith. Miri represents (in very little words) temporal authority while Piri represent Spiritual authority. When looking at other religions you'll notice they have symbols for balance and structure of the universe. Ying/Yang is a prime example. Miri Piri is sort of our own version of total balancee. Most people will suggest that Guru Hargobind Ji was the one who started this tradition. Yes, that is very true, Guru Sahib Ji did wear 2 swords to represent these values but the concept was already there well before Guru Sahib's time. Guru Nanak even spoke about it. ਕੋਟੀ ਹੂ ਪੀਰ ਵਰਜਿ ਰਹਾਝ ਜਾ ਮੀਰ ਸਣਿਆ ਧਾਇਆ ॥ kotee hoo peer varaj rahaa-ay jaa meer suni-aa Dhaa-i-aa. Millions of religious leaders failed to halt the invader, when they heard of the Emperor's invasion. ਥਾਨ ਮਕਾਮ ਜਲੇ ਬਿਜ ਮੰਦਰ ਮਛਿ ਮਛਿ ਕਇਰ ਰਲਾਇਆ ॥ thaan mukaam jalay bij mandar muchh muchh ku-ir rulaa-i-aa. He burned the rest-houses and the ancient temples; he cut the princes limb from limb, and cast them into the dust. ਕੋਈ ਮਗਲ ਨ ਹੋਆ ਅੰਧਾ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਰਚਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥੪॥ ko-ee mugal na ho-aa anDhaa kinai na parchaa laa-i-aa. ((4)) None of the Mugals went blind, and no one performed any miracle. ((4)) Firstly let me say no a Sikh Prayer isn't stronger than a muslim. A sikh could sit here and recite any bani he wants but without total love for god it will be futile, the same will go for any muslim. The Point of these lines from Gurbani was a means of conveying that Piri isn't enough for the world. No matter how one may try, beg god for help, we need to take our own steps to solve our problems and thank Waheguru for guiding us and helping us achieve them. god gave us hands, we need to use them for our own protection, our own good deeds. Doing Naam and Bhagti isn't enough for this world. Guru Sahib further mentions this in Gurbani. ਅਮਲ ਕਰਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਬੀਜ ਸਬਦੋ ਕਰਿ ਸਚ ਕੀ ਆਬ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਹਿ ਪਾਣੀ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਕਿਰਸਾਣ ਈਮਾਨ ਜੰਮਾਇ ਲੈ ਭਿਸਤ ਦੋਜਕ ਮੂੜੇ ਝਵ ਜਾਣੀ ॥੧॥ Amal kar ḝẖarṯī bīj sabḝo kar sacẖ kī ĝb niṯ ḝėh pĝṇī. Ho▫e kirsĝṇ īmĝn jammĝ▫e lai bẖisaṯ ḝojak mūṛe ev jĝṇī. (1) Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Shabad be the seed; irrigate it continually with the water of Truth. Become such a farmer, and faith will sprout. This brings knowledge of heaven and hell, you fool! (1) How are we, as people even going to reach that state of Spiritual enlightenment if all we're doing is sitting there reciting the word of god? The word of god is good, how are you going to get by in life if we're not trying to do good? Even our Guru Sahib went to war when they were threatened. They took part in political aspects of the world, they opened up institutions of education, Guru Angad Dev Ji himself modified punjabi and introduced a new and improved Gurmukhi script. Schools were opened to increase literacy rates. Piri is only one half of the coin. Is Miri being discouraged in our faith now? If Piri is spiritual knowledge, then Miri is worldly knowledge. Piri is all about spirituality then Piri is about what goes on in our world, political,science,social everything. Our Guru Sahib's discouraged the yogi approach of life, living in total detachment from the world, discouraging any form of contact or involvement in it. Our Guru Sahib heavily discouraged this. But you can now see some preachers and even some laymen who are encouraging something similar. Only it's being encouraged to be done at home. People are more insistent on doing naam 24/7, sitting there doing only that all the time and ignore the world. That's admirable, but also only half way there . But also doesn't make you any different from the yogi that did that high above in mountains or even well away from Society. Guru Sahib never wanted us to be detached from the world. We were encouraged to be involved in it, in a positive respect. History bears testament to that. One will never reach that state of oneness with god if we're rejecting his very creation. Let's have a look at Gurbani as a whole. Not certain passages or even certain parts. But Gurbani as a whole. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Dasam Granth, everything. We can sit there and understand Gurbani by reading the translations. But that isn't usually enough. We need to explore a bit deeper. We need to use other forms of knowledge, worldly knowledge to be precise. For example let's look at Guru Gobind Singh Ji's letter to Aurangzeb the actual history behind it can help one understand it even better. Even in Gurbani there are tuks which refer to certain events in Guru Sahib's life. ਪੁਤ੍ਰੀ ਕਉਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਲਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਪੀਰਹੁ ਕੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮੁਰਟੀਐ ॥ His sons did not obey His Word; they turned their backs on Him as Guru. ਦਿਲਿ ਖੋਟੈ ਆਕੀ ਫਿਰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭਾਰੁ ਉਚਾਇਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਛਟੀਐ ॥ These evil-hearted ones became rebellious; they carry loads of sin on their backs These refer to Baba Sri Chand, the son of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. If we were to read this as a stand alone (i.e not being familiar with any aspect of Guru Sahib's life) we may even skim over it. But armed with that crucial knowledge we appreciate it all that more. Again im not saying we shouldnt appreciate any aspect of Gurbani, but we're all un-intelligent compared to the divine word. But one might say what about those subjects or branches of knowledge that may seem "unorthodox" to be associated with Gurbani. For example science. When people think of science they may picture big bearded white haired men who reject god and think they have the answer to everything in the universe. This is a massive misconception. Science has always asserted it never will or does know all the answers. It seeks to provide an explanation to certain issues and certain mysteries of the physical world we live in. These explanations helped us advance as a species and as people. We can now fly with the help of automobiles, with the help of medical science we can now cure diseases and even help infertile couples conceive. We can do so much due to this branch of knowledge. All through the grace of Maha Kaal. But how does science correspond with Gurbani? Our Gurbani is perhaps one of the only religious scriptures or the divine words of god which have never contradicted or even argued with science. in fact Science has worked hand in hand with Gurbani. Not going into too much detail this essay is a nice take on how Gurbani has corresponded with science as a whole. This goes into so much more depth but it's an interesting read, again not finished it all but it's a fascinating from what I have read http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/gss_sikhscience.pdf BasicsOfSikhi also does a video to explain this in a nice way. I've not finished it all yet but it seems to be an interesting find. So while we're happy enough associating ourselves with Piri, Miri is however slowly and surely being diminished. Yes Politics isn't going to help us reach god, no science won't help us understand god. But it does help us in this world, to sow the seeds of good deeds. Seva isn't restricted just to the Sikh community, Seva is meant for the entire world as a whole. Through Politics one can help change laws and rules which are bound to discriminate against a certain community. Through Science we can help revolutionize the world, create cures for diseases, new technology and further help humanity as a whole. Through economics we can learn about finances and use that to become more efficient people in terms of money. The money we can save can be used for other more beneficial services, donate it to charity or use it to sponsor a child in Africa or something. The thread that spoke about a proper "sikh" profession, a proper Sikh Profession is easily anything that doesn't violate the pillars of our faith. Most Jobs wont do that. But the deeds we do with those jobs may be anti-sikh. In most family there are only 3 jobs that seem to be worth considering. Law,Medicine or Engineering. That's about it, there are other jobs out there. Some may even be less shady than becoming a lawyer, who may have to defend a morally compromising character. Let's face it how many Sikh lawyers would reject the person once they pull out a massive check. Not very many. While we do need focus on our Spiritual life, We also need to focus on our worldly life. People such as Baba Randhir Singh Ji who many consider an enlightened being, he too was very involved worldly affairs. He was also a very well read individual, he was well aware of what was happening in the west alongside what was happening in India. He even mentions the big bang theory which during his time was in it's infancy and still being developed/proven. Considering it was still being combated by the Steady State Theory supporters it would be a big leap to say "look how science has just discovered something in Gurbani" . His faith was so un-shaking that he was confident that Gurbani was true and he wasn't wrong, not at all. Such a man who was so Spiritually wise, here he is looking and keeping up with the world. Not to mention his contributions to the Indian independence movement. Obviously we should do Patt, and we should focus on god. But we should also be encouraging not just ourselves but our youth to branch out and gain any sort of worthwhile knowledge, rather than ignoring the Miri and only focusing the Piri, we should be in a form of equilibrium balance with both. If not then at-least have awarement of the world. what's the point of living in say a city, a village or even with a large group of people if we're still following that Yogic method of detachment. So what do you guys think? do you feel that Miri/Piri is a concept that's overlooked in Sikh society today? or am I just rambling :D Thank you for reading. disclaimer: I am not a sikh scholar who is an expert on Sikh theology or even Gurbani. Nor am I a Brahmgiani, I am nothing more than a laymen. In this essay/large post I may have unknowingly made many mistakes and I beg that waheguru will forgive me and my fellow Sikhs here will correct me. These are purely my own thoughts and views. I pray to Waheguru to forgive anything I may have said here that is not in line with Sikhi and I kindly ask someone to correct me if they feel I have made an error somewhere. Thank you :D