By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times. By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within. ~ Baba Nanak Dev Ji from the Guru Granth Sahib
Granth is a Hindi word that means 'book'. The word Sahib is a word of Urdu language and it means 'master'. The word Guru means 'teacher'.
Thus, the Guru Granth Sahib means a Master Book Teacher.
Sikhs consider the Sri Guru Granth Sahib to be a spiritual guide not only for Sikhs but for all of humanity. Sikhism is a unique faith which has aspects of Islam: monotheism and iconoclasm, and Hinduism: reincarnation, karma and nirvana. however Sikhism is distinct from Hinduism and Islam.
the Granth, compiled by Guru Gobind Singh, contains compositions of six Gurus (teachers), namely Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan, and Guru Teg Bahadur. the hymns are arranged by the thirty one ragas (musical forms) in which they were composed. the hymns that comprise the Granth were originally written in several different languages: Persian, Prakrit, Hindi, Marathi, Panjabi, Multani, and several local dialects, such as Lehndi, Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, etc. there are even Sanskrit and Arabic portions. this makes it extraordinarily difficult to translate. in addition, the entire book is written in the Gurmukhi script.
i grew up surrounded by Sikhs, and they have made a huge impression on our local community with their customs and culture. i spent some time, not much, at the local temples for various reasons, but the language barrier was a major obstacle. all the services and songs and sermons are conducted in Punjabi. although i have done some studying, i can't speak more than a few dozen words in that language. for many years I sought an english hardcopy of this revered book, but without success. now, thanks to the internet, i have been able to enjoy reading this beautiful collection of poetic spiritual thoughts from the ten teachers in my own language. i like it. after reading it a few times, i thought i would share it here.
the basic principles and main messages that are presented in the Granth Sahib: - One God for all. - Everyone is equal. - Speak and live in truth. - Control your vices. - Live according to God's will and order. - Practice humility, kindness, compassion, love. - Always keep an open mind and keep learning.
Life and death come to all who are born. Everything here gets devoured by death.
Nothing is steady or stable. All the rest of the show is useless. What is there to accept, and what is there to reject, O madman? Whatever is seen shall turn to dust. What you believe to be your own, is poison - you must abandon it and leave it behind. What a load you have to carry on your head! Moment by moment, instant by instant, your life is running out. The fools don't understand. One does things which will not go along with him in the end. This is the lifestyle of the faithless cynic.
You have obtained the priceless human life; why are you uselessly wasting it?
Do not attach your identity to your ego. The world is consumed by ego and arrogance; realize it, lest you will lose your own self as well.
despite the morbid title and dark content, i found this book to be positive and life affirming. i was very young when i read this book back in the 1970's, and it left a deep and lasting impression. i saw it as a spiritual anti-suicidal survival guide. although this is fiction, i was already a long way into this line of thinking, so it was not hard to adopt some of the philosophies and techniques hinted at in this novel. i still practice meditation on my own mortality in the mirror, i envision my own death skull grin, inches beneath the living mask of skin. that may sound sick, but facing my own fear of death daily, stops me from delving into deeper depressions, and keeps me durable and determined.
THE BOOK OF SKULLS is a good read i recommend.
from the book...
What Frater Antony urges us to contemplate is a paradox: the skull beneath the face, the presence of the death-symbol hidden under our living masks. Through an exercise of interior vision, we are supposed to purge ourselves of the death-impulse by absorbing, fully comprehending, and ultimately destroying the power of the skull.
The skull lieth beneath the face, as death lieth alongside life. But, O Nobly-Born, there is no paradox in this, for death is the companion of life, life is the messenger of death. If one could but reach through the face to the underlying skull and befriend it.
To begin with, why resist death at all, he asks us? Is it not a natural termination, a desirable release from toil, a consummation devoutly to be wished? The skull beneath the face reminds us that all creatures perish in their time, none is exempt: why then defy the universal will? Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return, eh? All flesh shall perish together; we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and it is a poor thing for anyone to fear that which is inevitable. Ah, but can we be such philosophers? If it is our destiny to go, is it not also our desire to delay the moment of exit?
It is pointless to strive to extend ones life, for however many years we may gain through such activities, it is nothing to the eternities we must spend in death. By prolonging life, we cannot subtract or whittle away one jot from the duration of our death We may struggle to remain, but in time we must go, and no matter how many generations we have added to our span, there waits for us none the less the same eternal death.
Rex tremendae majestatis, qui salvandos salvas gratis, salva me, fons pietatis. Out! I emerged into the clearing through which I had first entered the House of Skulls. Before me, barren wastes, a prickly desert. Behind me, the House of Skulls. Above me the stars, the full moon, the vault of the heavens. What now? I made my way uncertainly across the clearing, past the row of basketball-sized stone skulls that bordered it, and down the narrow path running into the desert. I had no goal in mind. My feet took me. I walked for hours or days or weeks. Then, on my right, I saw a huge chunky boulder, coarse in texture, dark in color, the road marker, the giant stone skull. By moonlight the deep-set features were stark and sharp, black recesses holding pools of night. Brothers, let us meditate here. Let us contemplate the skull beneath the face. And so I knelt. And so, using the techniques taught me by the pious Frater Antony, I sent forth my soul and engulfed the great stone skull, and purged myself of all vulnerability to death. Skull, I know you! Skull, I fear you not! Skull, I carry your brother behind my skin! And I laughed at the skull, and I amused myself by transforming it, first into a smooth white egg, then into a globe of pink alabaster streaked and veined with yellow, then into a crystal sphere, the depths of which I explored.
I knelt before the great mosaic-work skull-mask on my wall, staring at it with unblinking eyes, letting myself absorb it, compelling the myriad tiny bits of obsidian and turquoise, of jade and shell, to melt and flow and change, until that skull put on flesh for me and I saw a face over the gaunt bones, another face, another, a whole series of faces, a flickering, evershifting array of faces.
I studied my face, deplored its flaws, seized control of it, retrogressed it to plump pasty-faced boyhood then brought it forward in time again to the present, to the new and unfamiliar.
Part of what Frater Miklos has to impart to us is less elliptical, more readily grasped and held in place. It constitutes a seminar on life-extension, in which he shuttles coolly across time and space in search of ideas that may well have entered the world long after he had. To begin with, why resist death at all, he asks us? Is it not a natural termination, a desirable release from toil, a consummation devoutly to be wished? The skull beneath the face reminds us that all creatures perish in their time, none is exempt: why then defy the universal will? Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return, eh? All flesh shall perish together; we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and it is a poor thing for anyone to fear that which is inevitable. Ah, but can we be such philosophers? If it is our destiny to go, is it not also our desire to delay the moment of exit? His questions are rhetorical ones. Sitting cross-legged before that thick-thewed tower of years, we do not dare intrude on the rhythms of his thought. He looks at us without seeing us. What, he asks, what if one could indeed postpone death indefinitely, or at least thrust it far into the time to come? Of course, preserving ones health and strength is necessary to the bargain: there is no merit in becoming a struldbrug*, is there, old and drooling, babbling and rheumy-eyed, a perambulatory mass of decay? Consider Tithonus, who petitioned the gods for exemption from death and was granted immortality but not eternal youth; gray, withered, he lies yet in a sealed room, forever growing older, locked within the constrictions of his corruptible and corrupt flesh. No, we must seek vigor as well as longevity.
There have been those, observes Frater Miklos, who scorn such quests and argue a passive acceptance of death. He reminds us of Gilgamesh, who strode from Tigris to Euphrates in search of the thorny plant of eternity and lost it to a hungry serpent. Gilgamesh, whither runnest thou? The life which thou seekest thou wilt not find, for when the gods created mankind, they allotted death to mankind, but life they retained in their keeping. Consider Lucretius, he says, Lucretius who observes that it is pointless to strive to extend ones life, for however many years we may gain through such activities, it is nothing to the eternities we must spend in death. By prolonging life, we cannot subtract or whittle away one jot from the duration of our death We may struggle to remain, but in time we must go, and no matter how many generations we have added to our span, there waits for us none the less the same eternal death. And Marcus Aurelius: Though thou shouldst be going to live three thousand years, and as many times ten thousand years, still remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives The longest and shortest are thus brought to the same all things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circle it makes no difference whether a man shall see the same things during a hundred years or two hundred, or an infinite time. And from Aristotle, a snippet I take to heart: Hence all things on earth are at all times in a state of transition and are coming into being and passing away never are they eternal when they contain contrary qualities.
Such bleakness. Such pessimism. Accept, submit, yield, die, die, die, die!
What saith the Judaeo-Christian tradition? Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. The funereal wisdom of Job, earned in the hardest way. What news from St. Paul? For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But, Frater Miklos demands, must we accept such teachings? (He implies that Paul, Job, Lucretius, Marcus Aurelius, Gilgamesh, all are johnny-come-latelies, wet behind the ears, hopelessly post-paleolithic; he gives us once again a glimpse of the dark caves as he winds back on his theme into the aurochs-infested past.) Now he emerges suddenly from that valley of despond and by a commodius vicus of recirculation we are back to a recitation of the annals of longevity, all the thundering names Eli dinned into our ears in the snowy months, as we sailed onward into this adventure, a way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adams from swerve of shore to bend of bay, and Miklos shows us the Isles of the Blest, the Land of the Hyperboreans, the Keltic Land of Youth, the Persian Land of Yima, oh, even Shangri-la (see, the old fox cries, I am contemporary, I am aware!), and gives us Ponce de Leons leaky fountain, gives us Glaukus the fisherman, nibbling the herbs beside the sea and turning green with immortality, gives us fables out of Herodotus, gives us the Uttarakurus and the Jambu tree, dangles a hundred gleaming myths before our bedazzled ears, so that we want to cry out, Here! Come, Eternity! and kneel to the Skull, and then he twists again, leading us on a Mobius-dance, hauling us back into the caves, letting us feel the gusts of glacial winds, the frigid kiss of the Pleistocene, and taking us by the ears, turning us westward, letting us see that hot sun blazing over Atlantis, shoving us on our way, stumbling, shuffling, toward the sea, toward the sunset lands, toward the drowned wonders and past them, to Mexico and her demon-gods, her skull-gods, toward leering Huitzilopochtli and terrible snaky Coatlicue, toward the red altars of Tenochtitlan, toward the flayed god, toward all the paradoxes of life-in-death and death-in-life, and the feathered serpent laughs and shakes his rattling tail, click-click, and we are before the Skull, before the Skull, before the Skull, with a great gong tolling through our brains out of the labyrinths of the Pyrenees, we drink the blood of the bulls of Altamira, we waltz with the mammoths of Lascaux, we hear the tambourines of the shamans, we kneel, we touch stone with our foreheads, we pass water, we weep, we shiver in the reverberations of the Atlantean drums hammering three thousand miles of ocean in the fury of irretrievable loss, and the sun rises and the light warms us and the Skull smiles and the arms open and the flesh takes wing and the defeat of death is at hand, but then the hour has ended and Frater Miklos has departed, leaving us blinking and stumbling in sudden disarray, alone, alone, alone, alone. Until tomorrow.
from THE BOOK OF SKULLS by Robert Silverberg
* In Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels, the name struldbrug is given to those humans in the nation of Luggnagg who are born seemingly normal, but are in fact immortal. However, although struldbrugs do not die, they do nonetheless continue aging and decaying. http://www.online-literature.com/swift/gulliver/26/
I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent. ~ James Roscoe Miller
Stephen Coveys Time Management Matrix
We live in a time pressured world where it is common to have multiple overlapping commitments that all require immediate attention now. Urgency is no long reserved for special occasions, they are an everyday occurrences. Missing deadlines is not the path to advancement or even good job reviews. So how can one manage the flood of responsibilities, do excellent work and maintain a positive frame of mind? The Covey time management grid is an effective method of organizing your priorities.
Stephen Coveys approach to time management is to create time to focus on important things before they become urgent. Sometimes this just means doing things earlier. The real skill is to commit time to processes that enable you to do things more quickly or more easily, or ensure that they get done automatically.
The Covey time management grid is an effective method of organizing your priorities. It differentiates between activities that are important and those that are urgent.
Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. In other words, we must spend our time on things that are important and not just the ones that are urgent. To do this, and to minimize the stress of having too many tight deadlines, we need to understand this distinction:
IMPORTANT activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals, whether these are professional or personal. URGENT activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else's goals. They are often the ones we concentrate on and they demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are usually immediate.
As you can see from the grid below, there are four quadrants organized by urgency and importance.
Quadrant I Urgent And Important - is for the immediate and important deadlines. These are the most pressing of tasks.
Quadrant II Important Not Urgent is for long-term strategizing and development. These are the things that matter in the long-term but will yield no tangible benefits this week or even this year. They are things we know we need to get to.
Quadrant III Urgent Not Important is for time pressured distractions and interruptions. These are activities which we tell ourselves in the moment that we must do but if we really think about wed have to admit they were a waste of time.
Quadrant IV Not Urgent Not Important is for those activities that yield little or no value. These are activities that are often used when taking a break from time pressured and important activities. We prioritize these things in the moment and obviously derive some pleasure from them, but they are really time killers.
Stephen Covey - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.
Independence The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence and self-mastery: 1 - Be Proactive roles and relationships in life. To have a can do attitude. 2 - Begin with the End in Mind envision what you want in the future so that you know concretely what to make a reality. 3 - Put First Things First A manager must manage his own person. Personally.
Interdependence The next three habits talk about Interdependence (e.g. working with others): 4 - Think Win-Win Genuine feelings for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way. 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving. 6 - Synergize Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.
Continuous Improvements The final habit is that of continuous improvement in both the personal and interpersonal spheres of influence. 7 - Sharpen the Saw Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, prayer, meditation, yoga, and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.
โI am the hidden masterpiece: a constellation of scars scattering the geometry of this night.โ ~ Scherezade Siobhan
โThe sun will tell the truth, his light will ferret out the falsity of the smile, and, in time, we will grow ashamed of the poor superficial shadow of our own selves.โ ~ Rosella Rice
โOur physical universe is but a shadow of a larger reality.โ ~ Charles W. Missler
โHumour is itself but a superficial view of that which is in truth both tragic and terrible - the contrast between human pretence and cosmic mechanical reality.โ ~ Howard Phillips Lovecraft
โIn evil there is that contradiction which devours and always negates itself, which just while striving to become creature destroys the nexus of creation and, in its ambition to be everything, falls into non-being.โ ~ James M. McLachlan
โIndeed, people speak sometimes about the animal cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to animals, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.โ ~ Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
โRevenge, the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in hell.โ ~ Walter Scott
โI like to live life, love, laugh and learn.โ ~ Gillian Thomson
โWhen you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.โ ~ Edgardo Laplante
โA noble scar is a badge of honour.โ ~ William Shakespeare
โAlthough the mark is hideous in nature, the scar becomes a badge of honor when viewed by someone who understands its context.โ ~ Michael Hartwell
โLife's sorrows always leave a mark. Woven of the same resilient fibers, scars blend with the broken, and signify a life rearranged and repaired; only death stays their formation. โ ~ Margaret Lundberg
โWe mend, though we still may have a scar, but the scar becomes a badge, a tattoo, of survivorship and succeeding against so many odds.โ ~ Gayle Minette McCurdy
โEvery scar is a medal won in every battle I've faced.โ ~ Aditi Uniyal
โEvery little scar is a medal of a beaten war.โ ~ Lotte Christiaens
โThere's nothing fair about warfare.โ ~ Kathy Rose
โA scar is a symbol of survival.โ ~ Damorrow Williams
โI may be scarred but I am not scared!โ ~ Quiyada Wilkerson
โHis faults are engraven as with an iron pen upon a rock, his merits are written in sand.โ ~ Walter Farquhar Hook
โI am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.โ ~ Pablo Picasso
โWhy not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?โ ~ Francis Joseph Xavier Scully
โThe torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided.โ ~ Napoleone di Buonaparte
โTruth will sooner come out of error than from confusion.โ ~ Francis Bacon
โA man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.โ ~ James Joyce
โIf I had it to do over again, I would overdo it again.โ ~ Robert Brault
โAdmit your errors before someone else exaggerates them.โ ~ Andrew V. Mason
โMisunderstanding of the present is the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past. But a man may wear himself out just as fruitlessly in seeking to understand the past, if he is totally ignorant of the present.โ ~ Marc Lรฉopold Benjamin Bloch
โBeing proven wrong doesn't inhibit us. It elevates us.โ ~ Michael McKay
โEven if we are proven wrong, there is nobility in attempting to do the right thing.โ ~ Thomas Milburn Davis
โAn expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.โ ~ Niels Henrik David Bohr
โSome of the world's greatest discoveries were made through mistakes. I should be a genius!โ ~ Shirley Thomas
โHappiness equals reality minus expectations.โ ~ Thomas Louis Magliozzi
โSuccess without happiness is meaningless.โ ~ Michael Dalton Johnson
โYou are not what you think you are, but what you think... you are!โ ~ Paula Harris
โHappiness is a form of courage.โ ~ George Holbrook Jackson
โRemember Your Sovereign Self, Reclaim Your Divine Heritage and Rediscover Your True Magnificence!โ ~ Rhiannon Barkemeijer de Wit
โEveryone is somewhat unique. One man's normal is another man's freak.โ ~ Garrison Keillor
โPhilosophy always begins in the middle, like an epic poem.โ ~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel
โDon't mistake kindness for weakness, generosity for stupidity or love for dependency.โ ~ Salvatore Grosso
โKindness is a sign of weakness Shown only by those who Have the courage to be cowards.โ ~ Mercia McMahon
โNever mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness takes far more strength than cruelty.โ ~ Clare Bell
โEs kann der Frรถmmste nicht im Frieden bleiben, Wenn es dem bรถsen Nachbar nicht gefรคllt.โ
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โThe most pious man cannot remain in peace, If it pleases not his evil neighbor.โ
~ Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
โAs 'twas in the times of old 'tis now, The sword is the sceptre, and all must bow. One crime alone can I understand, And that's to oppose the word of command.โ ~ James Churchill
โDon't be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.โ ~ Hilary Hinton Ziglar
โKindness is perceived as weakness by the predatory.โ ~ Glenn Morris
โLions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.โ ~ Alex Peck
โToo stressed to rest, think the gym might be the best.โ ~ Charlie Clapham
โDeath is nature's way of saying โrebootโ. โ ~ Patrick McWilliams
โPolitics Is the Entertainment Branch of Industry.โ ~ Frank Vincent Zappa
โPropaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.โ ~ Edward Louis James Bernays
โI don't begrudge any artist for getting an audience. I'm sorry, I never found that poverty is purity.โ ~ David Robert Jones
โWhen you cut into the Present the Future leaks out.โ ~ William Seward Burroughs
โIt's hard to soar when you're feeling sore.โ ~ Jean~Guy Joseph Brien Clement
โMusic is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.โ ~ Ludwig van Beethoven
โPeople think you're crazy if you talk about things they don't understand.โ ~ Elvis Aaron Presley
โWrong notes are of little consequence, but to play without passion is inexcusable.โ ~ Grover cleveland
โPropaganda easily seduces even those whom it most horrifies.โ ~ Mark Crispin Miller
โOne person's craziness is another person's reality.โ ~ Timothy Walter Burton
โIt is sometimes possible to change the attitudes of millions but impossible to change the attitude of one man.โ ~ Edward Louis James Bernays
โYou can sway a thousand men appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.โ ~ Robert Anson Heinlein
โTruth is treason in an empire of lies.โ ~ Eric Arthur Blair
โWhen 'I' is replaced with 'We', Illness becomes Wellness.โ ~ Shannon L. Alder
โHe who writes the rules, rules.โ ~ Nicola Bullard
โPain's like water. It finds a way to push through any seal. There's no way to stop it. Sometimes you have to let yourself sink inside of it before you can learn how to swim to the surface.โ ~ Katie Kacvinsky
โL'appetit vient en mangeant.โ
Click to reveal... ( English Translation )
โAppetite comes with eating.โ
~ Jacques Amyot
โA fact without tact will detract the impact.โ ~ Eric Patenaude
โAbuse is a parasite that feeds off hate and shame, growing in size and strength with silence.โ ~ Susan Cartwright
โWhen a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.โ ~ Alexander Den Heijer
โVivre libre ou mourir!โ
Click to reveal... ( English Translation )
โLive free or die!โ
~ Lucie Simplice Camille Benoรฎt Desmoulins
โKnowledge is power and information is the ammunition.โ ~ Chuck Nixon
โInformation is the ammunition. your mind is the target.โ ~ William Michael Albert Broad
โSatire is the perfect weapon of reason.โ ~ Ann Hornaday
โAs nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.โ ~ William Orville Douglas
โPoetry is what happens when nothing else can.โ ~ Charles Bukowski
โKontrolle ist gut, Vertrauen ist besser. Vertrauen schenken kann man nur, wenn man sich nicht bedroht fรผhlt.โ
Click to reveal... ( English Translation )
โContol is good, trust is better. One can only give trust, if one does not feel threatened.โ
~ Jรผrgen Fuchs
โOnce you reject light, and you assume to be light, that's when you have darkness.โ ~ Walter Veith
โDiscipline is not limited to doctrine, but without doctrine, there is no discipline.โ ~ James White
โSome people are so poor, all they have is money.โ ~ Patrick Meagher
โOvercoming sin requires self-discipline.โ ~ Nathan Bender
โIf people can't control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people's behavior.โ ~ Robin Skynner
โAll glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.โ ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
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