Thursday, May 31, 2007

Izzat Da Punjab

For a while I've known of a very talented Bhangra troupe called Izzat Da Punjab and for almost a year now I've been part of that troupe. Here's a picture of the latest troupe members before our first performance at the Punjabi American Heritage Festival in Yuba City, California, USA.

19 comments:

Gurjeet Singh said...

WOOOOOOOOOOO ! you all look great and hope you have a great performance and you guys stay together for many more performances. But a still photo is not enough, i want the whole performance to be posted !!!!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sit well to see people in Banaa dancing like that. Khalsa should have self-respect. The Bhangra culture is not the culture of the Khalsa, it's the culture of Punjab along with drinking and other non-Khalsa elements. I understand it is good for health and done with a heart of happiness, but as a Khalsa, it is not acceptable.

Prabhu - where is your Bana now???Can you imagine Dasam Pita or Baba Deep Singh etc dancing like the way you are? Why have you discarded your Banaa, you were supposed to be full time.

The reason being that when one puts on that Bana of Dasam Pitaa, they become grounded and there soul will not let them do those things and they receive "Bibek Budhi". Or at least that is what they should be getting.

But dont take my word for it. Ask Guru Granth sahib in an ardaas and you will find that what I am telling you is the truth.

No Gurmukh with spiritual experience allowed these things, regardless of there background.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above;

I don't think you have the right to dictate others how to live life. If you think meaning of khalsa is depression then you have lost yourself somewhere.

Read the history of Guruji's. When they got married songs were sung, their families enjoyed everything. Its written in suraj purkash.

If you have chosen a exterme secular position in life then its your choice.

If you were real khalsa then you won't be making these kind of remarks and it shows that there is a huge gap in your spirtuality. I think people like you have delusional disorders and they fail to see other peoples joy.

So, keep your depression to yourself and you have no right to make inferences how would guru ji would think! Have you reached to that state; well it shows in your remarks where you stand.


Prabhu, I can't believe that some of us call ourselves khalsa but have not pulled ourselves out of Judgement. Its sad. People like above only like to criticize other people even if they lack the high levels of spirtuality.

I have seen these kind of people in my life. They just make random remarks but they are empty in sprituality. These kind of people project their Weakness on other people because they do not have the strength to over come their own Impluses!

So, prabhu: love to see you guys in colorful clothers keep it up!

Hari Singh said...

Why is it always people who are "anonymous" who make absurd or fanatic comments? To the first anonymous above, I recognize your heart in the comment you left, but if you didn't also recognize it as fanatic, judgemental or absurd then you would have left your name.

Prabhu has not abandoned his Bana. He wore a Chola before the performance and immediately after. What you see in the picture is a costume. The upper portion is a Pathani suit, this is cultural clothing from the area where bhangra is found.

I myself can see all of the Guru's and Baba Deep Singh singing and dancing. Dancing is a natural tendency of humanity, to surpress it is unnatural. May I remind you that it is our duty to stay in Cherdi Kalaa and to do Seva. If dancing (bhangra or otherwise) makes you happy then you must do it. Dancing Bhangra, especially at a cultural event such as this can also be a form of seva. If you try to elevate others or share your knowledge and experience with others so that they can have a better life, then they are going to look at you and judge you to see if what you're offering really is a better life.
If you appear angry, fanatic, judgemental or generally unhappy then people will want nothing to do with you and you will not be able to serve them. On the other hand, if you appear to always be happy then everyone will want to know what you "have". People will approach you to ask why you are happy and how do you live your life such that it brings happiness. The answer, for Prabhu, is living as a Khalsa.

How many Gursikhs do you think were there dancing Bhangra or performing in any capacity? There were very few out of hundreds of performers. The attendants were easily 95% Punjabi and probably 95% of those Punjabis claim to also be Sikh, but there were very few turbans and little kesh in the crowd. There was plenty of alchohol and meat, though. If they see that Gursikhs can have just as much fun as they have while maintianing a Khalsa lifestyle, then perhaps they'll endeavor to look into a change in lifestyle or realize the emptiness of mammon and the toxicity or a non Khalsa way of life.

If there were no Khalsa presenting and displaying happiness, then they could very easily decide that Khalsa doesn't mean pure, but it means cold, judgemental and exclusionary. This would also give them confirmation that they can't be both Punjabi and Khalsa at the same time (assuming that they want to maintain their culture). With us there, however, people are forced to not only recognize that you do not have to be Punjabi to appreciate and be involved with Punjabi culture but you can be Khalsa while doing it.

Prabhu Singh said...

I appreciate everybody's comments. Thank you for leaving them.
I'm fully aware of the negative cultural aspects surrounding Bhangra, but I do believe that the Gurus and their chela have been singing and dancing forever. It's a very natural expression of happiness and gratitude.
WaheGuru is everywhere, we can decide to see that or not.
I like to travel and meet with Sikhs in other locations and make contacts. I feel like we become closer as a family when we go and meet other Sikhs. I probably never would have gone to Yuba City and met the sangat there, if I hadn't been in the Bhangra troupe.
I do know where the first anonymous is coming from, because it was a big challenge to see so many "Sikhs" without turbans, doing things that offend me. I changed back into my chola back stage and when I went into the crowd there were literally thousands of people staring at me. Later some people were drunk and calling out to me "Hey Baba Ji." I smiled at them and put my hands together in prayer pose. They were calling out to me from their own dark place. I wanted to give a reaction appropriate for a "baba Ji" and so I prayed for them.
Some points made by Siri Singh Sahib Ji that I will never forget is that a Sikh does not hide from challenge, a Sikh goes straight into the depths of challenge and uplifts. "Where the Brahmin ends, the Sikh begins." The Brahmin is supposed to be pious and pure and Godly, but the Brahmin cannot touch others who are not like them. The Sikh will remain in Chardi Kala and lift the spirits of all.

Gurjeet Singh Ji, at some point I'll get some videos here, unless Gurumustuk Singh Ji beats me to it.

Gurkirpal said...

Prabhu you were right to say nothing to the Drunk people.......... But not all Punjabi Sikh people don't drink ..... I have a lot punjabi friends who don't drink ... There is a sterotype about us punjabi people..... Punjabi people should rather Dance with Bhangara rather do something bad like drugs.... it was good event yuba.... Prabhu pls. post some videos thank you very much

Balbir Singh said...

Khalsa Veer jio,
Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru ji Ki Fateh!
Will you allow me to say a few words about Bhangra?
Bhangra as such is not bad as long as it is done in a decent manner.
Bhangra is a dance to fulfill urgings of one’s mind. It is a sort of recreation. In Gurubani Guruji has explained like this:
ਨਚਣੁ ਕੁਦਣੁ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥
नचणु कुदणु मन का चाउ ॥
Nacẖaṇ kuḏaṇ man kā cẖā­o.
They dance and jump around on the urgings of their minds.
ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਨਿ ਭਉ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਉ ॥੨॥
नानक जिन्ह मनि भउ तिन्हा मनि भाउ ॥२॥
Nānak jinĥ man bẖa­o ṯinĥā man bẖā­o. ||2||
O Nanak, those whose minds are filled with the Fear of God, have the love of God in their minds as well. ||2||

I have seen boys doing Bhangra in villages for their recreation. It was good for health and mind. It was good when school children used to do Bhangra in school. But of late Bhangra no longer remained a clean activity for recreation. It has been commercialized to such an extent that in the name Bhangra in films ,on television you see different version of Bhangra,which is associated with vulgarity, filthy songs. Youths are attracted towards such things because of money and foot tapping music of Bhangra .Even religious song are made with singer dancing. Youths are lured by all this and are trapped in bad company. I have seen many cultural programmes,heritage programmes in the name of Punjabi Culture ,you see something different. People who are managing these programmes are not able to bring the true culture of Punjab or not interested. People come to such programmes drunk, use abusive language and all sort of useless talk. I have completely stopped going to such programmes.Such commercialsation of Bhangra ,drugs, drinks are taking people away from true gursikh life.
Bhul chuk maaf.
Bole so Nihaal ,Sat Sri Akal!

Anonymous said...

Balbir singhji

the Gurbani tuk "Nacẖaṇ kuḏaṇ man kā cẖā o. " You have just taken out of the entire paragraph to support your thought or a statement. Definitely if you just read this line then it does mean that Dancing is just minds entertainment. But you left the entire paragraph out.

This sahbad was written to explain to those people who perform dances and claim that they are pleasing gods. But in reality these people are dancing just for their own entertainment and for money with no spirtuality behind it. If you go to india you will see that kind of act being played. These people on one hand are showing there talent so that the society will think that they truly blessed by the gods but they do it just for the sake of food (roti).

I think its unfortunate that we take a one line out of the context which might serve our purpose.

we should refrain ourselves from doing this.

G

Prabhu Singh said...

G,
I don't think it's appropriate for one person to say what is going on in the minds of another. If people are genuinely dancing for God, you may never know.
Guru Nanak's whole point was about consciousness. That's why he never told anybody to convert. He told them to practice their religion with sincerity (i.e. consciousness). Anything can be done for God, and in fact everything is done by God. There is no point in wasting our time talking about what other people do.
Furthermore, Gurbani is our personal Guru, as we each understand it, is how the Guru teaches us. I trust the Guru to guide the individual Sikh.
The literal meaning of Gurmukh is one who turns his face towards the Guru. Allowing others to interperet Gurbani for you is turning your face (concentration) towards the minds of others, that would be a Manmukh.
Each time people come to my blog and tell me that I'm doing something wrong, I tell them the words that the Guru told me time and time again, in many different hukamnamas. The gist of the message is that I have found my path, the Guru's path. Why should I look elsewhere?
Thank you all for your thoughts, all opinions are equal.
WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru Ji Ki Fateh!

Anonymous said...

Prabhu

I understand what you're saying. But that shabad was written by Guru Nanak not by me. At that those times people had made a joke about spiruality and fooled people that they are able to see gods, but Guru knew what was in their minds.

One time, Guru Nanak and Mardana ji end up in some town and they saw a saint yogi with long hair with closed eyes and few dozen people sitting in front of that yogi. As they approched near, Yogi was telling the people that he is able to see everything that is happening in the third world and he was depicting what was happening over there. Maradana ji got excited and asked Guru Nanak is it true that this yogi has the ability to see beyond this world.

Guru ji said just watch what happens. Guru asked Mardana to carefully pick up the container which was in front of the yogi and place it at his back. After some time, the yogi opens his eyes and looks around for his container (piggy bank). Guru ji said yogi ji close your eyes and find where your container is, since you have powers to see the third world. He failed to do so.. and his true identity was known to people, who used to donate money and wanted to know about their loved ones who had passed away.

So, the point is that people will dance, or become psychic just to allure people for income.

That's true that none of our Guruji told anybody to convert but they rejected their philosophy of gods and said I'm not a hindu nor a muslim.

Even yogis on mountains, who had their Kundalini awakened but could not proceed futher or could not see the glimpse of God and even had no peace in their hearts. Guru ji went over there to tell them the proper way to meet with God.

Yes, I have heard that some people are able to awaken their kundilini power by force after years and years of practice but alot of them end up in hospitals because of mental problems. However, in sikhi we awaken kundilini power by keeping God in our heart and mind, and also by singing his prasises. when time comes the kundalini power is tolerated by us because the grace of God.

In order to awaken the sleeping atomic energy we also need to follow certain path. If not then it will give us problems.

Question is what we want to achieve in this life. If we want immortality then we have to work hard and walk on the path that will lead to our destiny. Thats why Guruji knew people who would have the urge to find truth will end up at the door of sikhi naturally. And never needed to put emphasis on conversation. Just like Buddhism....


What I believe, that we should follow what our guru says not what I think is proper to do or what are my choices. People always push their choices and they do this by picking one line that suites their lifestyle and keep on embarking on it.

If some one want to do a translation then read the entire paragraph and understand the core meaning of it , not superficially.

By the way, can't wait to see more pics of you guys. You guys have awaken my soul and shown what really sikhi means and the combination of kundalini with meditation. It is a pricless knowledge that I have learnt from you guys. May Guruji keep you guys in high spirits.

G

Anonymous said...

Hello Prabhu,,,
I have a question were you born in a Gursikh family or did you convert to Sikhism? I was just wondering..... GOd Bless.....

Prabhu Singh said...

I was born to a Sikh family. I've had the guidance and teachings of many amazing Gursikhs in my lifetime. I've worn a turban pretty much everyday of my life and I've never cut my hair. Truly the grace of Guru ji to give me such blessings.

To G,
Thank you for sharing the story of Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana. Truly there are many frauds, but that doesn't limit the possibility that people do dance for God.
We Sikhs should understand that nothing is beyond us. If we turn inwards, we can see infinity. "Nikat Kaloyraa Mayraa Saajanraa." God gave many religions and many paths to connect with the spirit within. Some people dance.
I choose to dance for exercise. I choose to follow the Guru's instructions as the Guru guides me. That is the role of the Guru and the role of a Sikh.
Sat Naam.

Anonymous said...

prabhu,

My entire purpose of leaving a comment was that people take one line out of context, which suites their thoughts or actions.

I'm not against dancing. Matter of fact what ever other people do its their choice of living this life. Everyone has likes and dislikes; therefore, it does not gives a another person to dictate their dislikes on another person. Instead they should focus their energy on seva and meditation; and leave the entire judgement thing to Guruji.

When we sit for exams, we do the exam but leave the marking of it on the teacher.

take care
G

Gurjeet Singh said...

so much for a dance that too bhangra! Waheguru... what are all these twists and turns, see! havent you guys realized what happens every other day? its a folk dance from punjab and gursikhs doin it ... shouldnt it be a good thing? whats wrong in doing bhangra, its better than getting drunk and hip hopping in the night pubs. it isnt always necessary to connect every other thing to the religion. Primarily, we are humans and dancing is a stress reliever and entertaining, thats simple. One should do just the way he or she wants to, by staying in their line of control which shouldnt bother anyone.

the pic posted is of the group Izzat Da Punjab, let the group cherish the moments of being participated and the time they had together, whay are you guys turning this thing into a nightmare!

Balbir Singh said...

Dear Anonymous ji,
I fully agree with that dancing will not help you to achieve god.Nor the other actvities like playing games,watching sports events,running,participating in sports events.Such actvities are for recreation for body and mind.God can be achieved by His Grace only if we have love (Bhou)for the God.We have to cleanse ourselves from the sins


ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥
भरीऐ हथु पैरु तनु देह ॥
Bẖarī­ai hath pair ṯan ḏėh.
When the hands and the feet and the body are dirty,


ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥
पाणी धोतै उतरसु खेह ॥
Pāṇī ḏẖoṯai uṯras kẖėh.
water can wash away the dirt.


ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
मूत पलीती कपड़ु होइ ॥
Mūṯ palīṯī kapaṛ ho­ė.
When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine,


ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥
दे साबूणु लईऐ ओहु धोइ ॥
Ḏė sābūṇ la­ī­ai oh ḏẖo­ė.
soap can wash them clean.


ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥
भरीऐ मति पापा कै संगि ॥
Bẖarī­ai maṯ pāpā kai sang.
But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin,
ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ
And also
ਸੁਣਿਆ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਕੀਤਾ ਭਾਉ ॥
सुणिआ मंनिआ मनि कीता भाउ ॥
Suṇi­ā mani­ā man kīṯā bẖā­o.
Listening and believing with love and humility in your mind,


ਅੰਤਰਗਤਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਮਲਿ ਨਾਉ ॥
अंतरगति तीरथि मलि नाउ ॥
Anṯargaṯ ṯirath mal nā­o.
cleanse yourself with the Name, at the sacred shrine deep within.
I am not a very much knowledgeable person.If anything has hurt you,please ignore.I never said that Bhangra is Spirtual activity.All the actvities we do in daily life are not always spirtual.

upinder kaur said...

very interesting debate!
Even blogging and surfing the net are not spiritual activities but we all do it in our leisure time.

Well, Prabhu you all look so GREAT in the picture.

Gurjeet Singh said...

Bravo Upinder Kaur Ji...LOL

well said !

Hardeep singh said...

All i want to say for the whole above to all that i am not here to crticise anyone or telling what is wrong and what is write.
Just study "natak chetak kiee kukaaja,prab logan ke aawat laja..By The tenth guru ji...
And the whole paragraph from aasa di vaar...vaeen chelle nachan gur,paer hilaen pheren sir...uud uud raava chaate paye vekhae log hasse kar jaee............

JarnailSingh said...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji KI Fateh.

GREAT BHANGRA.
Proof that the RIGHT way can be done if we just take the time and trouble.
Keep it UP you people...Sikhs and the Khalsa are NOT recluses..we ENJOY LIFE..we work hard..we enjoy to the full as well. Dont be pulled down by the "fanatic/leg pullers" who are always throwing their wet blankets around on everybody...Gurbani is full of Song and Dance as Guru Ji wrote Gurbani to suit each and every occasion - birth, weddings, marriages..ghorrian, etc etc.
I really LOVED the performances
Chardeekalal Jios..

Jranil Singh Gyani "Arshi" Malaysia