Transforming Relations (Part-2)


Transforming Relations

ਡਾਕਟਰ ਪੁਸ਼ਪਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ (ਲੁਧਿਆਣਾ)-98141-17180

 A Journey from Autumn to Spring – The Secrets of Blissful Living

Family – Concept &Outlook in Sikh Religion

Family is the primordial nursery of human relationships. It is the joy generating and growth promoting basic unit of any society. It refers to a group of individuals who are related by blood, marriage or adoption. The strength or weakness of any society is directly related to that of the family. The family is also a corporate unit of interacting and interdependent personalities who have common bonds and goals, and share resources and living space. The concept of the family starts with the partners in marriage, with the development of relationships between Newlywed couples, as they begin their future life. Their plan includes having children, a house of their own, a regular income for necessities, children’s education, etc. The family seed is sown with the marriage of two individuals and with the birth of a child it starts growing. Children are born amidst the love and care of their families, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and other family members. These ties can bind generations together into supportive and nurturing units which provide security, care and love to its members. The ties change over time maturing, strengthening and sometimes even weakening with external influence and rapid urbanization. The bonds of Asian families are gradually weakening. Young people are now keener than ever to have single family (nuclear family unit) norms or just live together. The young people should be given knowledge and information on the beneficial aspects of the extended family system. The family is a link between the past and the future. When young married couples have children, this link continues. Till recently it was common to see the father, mother, children, grandfather, grandmother, aunts and uncles and a host of other relatives living together. They shared the finances and the family joys and sorrows. Recent years have seen the Joint family breaking up as members move out to seek their own fortunes elsewhere. However family members often wish to keep close ties with theirrelationsback home, sending money and visiting their native place. This is often termed ‘Extended Families’. However migration to the large cities and going abroad for a better living has created the Nuclear Family wherein husband, wife and Children form the basic unit and depend upon themselves to maintain themselves. The ‘family’ is the basic ‘atomic’ structure and essential social unit in Sikhism; it is the common unit which collectively forms communities. The family is the strong and noble Sikh core institution which has been promoted since the time of Guru Nanak. It was this social unit which was most important for all the Sikh Gurus who preached the ‘life of a house-holder’ rather than the ‘life of renunciation’ which was prevalent in other cultures of that time. All the Sikh Gurus were members of the ‘family unit’; all adult Sikh Gurus were married while the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jeewas a ‘bala’ or “child Guru”.The Gurus believed that the family unit through procreation ensures the continuation and existence of healthy societies. Without the ‘family unit’ there is risk to the future of secure societies. In addition, the family has economic and educational functions to perform; so when family life runs in a smooth and happy manner, it creates a strong engine where societies and communities can prosper and flourish in a safe and secure environment. A strong ‘family unit system’ ensures a successful biological, economical and spiritual future of human societies !

The family is a training school for social, cultural, political and spiritual makeup. It is a training school for Sevaa and Charity. From the day of birth in the family, the religious and ethnic ideas are implanted in the child. It is worth it to mention here that Bhai Mani Singh Jee took his traits from his forefathers. Guru Arjun Sahib Jee implanted the spirit of sacrifice in the wider family by offering his life to uphold righteousness. Sikhs believe in monogamy. Marriages are normally arranged by the parents with consent of the children. Pre-marital physical relationships are not condoned in Sikhi and physical relations with anyone other than one’s marriage partner are forbidden as well. Discipline and righteousness are the cornerstones of Sikh principles. The family unit living in a loving environment is regarded in Sikhi as the right place to raise and educate children in the higher values of human life as taught by the Sikh Gurus.

Worship – Integral Part of Family Life

Sikhs believe in Naam Simran, which is not just a ritual chanting to be done but means actual imbibing of sterling qualities attributed to God, living a pious life full of virtuous qualities as preached and directed by Guru Sahebaan in Gurbani, while living a family life which has all the elements of love, laughter, optimism, pride, pity, joy, gratitude, respect, purity, service and sacrifice. The Sikh family reserves human values, cultural identity and historical continuity.According to Sikhism, the concept of family values is the only way to attain prosperity and world peace. Family values in the broadened sense are needed to save a suffering world which is living under pain and frustration.

Roles of Family Members

Each family member is expected to play his/her role in the family to help nurture and flourish the family. After the Sikh mother gives birth to a child, she with the other female members play a dominant role in the bringing up of the child for the first few years. Duties chores are shared in an equal manner so as to make sure that the family’s workloads, both physical and mental, are spread evenly.The father is the number two in this situation and with responsibility, shares all the background needs of the child and mother (wife) while the child is young. He is required to share in all the chores so as to make sure the mother can provide all the front line services to the baby. The father and other adults (grandparents, etc) will also provide support to the mother in the early days of the baby’s life and also as and when required by the mother.


“Those, whom the Lord attaches to the hem of His robe, are the true dervishes at His Door. Blessed are the mothers who gave birth to them, and fruitful are their coming into the world.”

                           ਆਪਿ ਲੀਏ ਲੜਿ ਲਾਇ ਦਰਿ ਦਰਵੇਸ ਸੇ ॥  ਤਿਨ ਧੰਨੁ ਜਣੇਦੀ ਮਾਉ ਆਏ ਸਫਲੁ ਸੇ ॥ ੨॥

(SGGS – Aasaa Sheikh Farid jee – Page 488)

Aap Lee-ay Larh Laa-ay Dar Darvays Say ||Tin Dhan Janaydee Maa-u Aa-ay Safal Say || 2 ||    

(SGGS –Raag Aasaa Sheikh Farid Jee – Page 488)

A mother’s qualities are described in many ways. Mothers are kind and merciful and constantly provide for their children. No matter how busy a mother is, her mind is constantly on her children and their well-being. Her caring role is highlighted in this prayer:

ਜਿਉ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਮਾਤਾ ਸੰਮਾਰੇ ਦੁਖ ਭੰਜਨ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਸੁਆਮੀ

ਦੇਤ ਸਗਲ ਆਹਾਰੇ ਜੀਉ (SGGS – Maajh Mehla 5 – Page 105)

Ji-u Baarik Maataa Sammaaray ||

Dukh Bhanjan Sukh Saagar Su-aamee

Dayt Sagal Aahaaray Jee-u || 2 ||            (Page 105)

“O God, care for me just as a mother brings up her son” and “God provides for all His creatures just like a mother cares for her son. The Master, the destroyer of all troubles, the ocean of joy, provides for everyone.”

A mother is forgiving.

A verse in Guru Granth Sahib reads:

ਰਾਮਈਆ ਹਉ ਬਾਰਿਕੁ ਤੇਰਾ   ਕਾਹੇ ਖੰਡਸਿ ਅਵਗਨੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਹਾਉ  

(SGGS – Aasaa Sri KabeerJio Kee – Page 478)

Raam-ee-aa Ha-u Baarik Tayraa || Kaahay Na Khandas Avgan Mayraa || 1 || Rahaa-u || (Page 478)

“A mother does not keep note of the transgressions of her son. O GOD ! I am YOUR son. Why don’t YOU destroy my sins ?”

A mother nurtures her family providing both material and spiritual sustenance. Mother is the first teacher and a model of righteous living. It is the duty of every parent to make sure a child is educated.

ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਹੈ ਜੋ ਚਲਹਿ ਸਤਗੁਰ ਭਾਇ ਕੁਲੁ ਉਧਾਰਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਧੰਨੁ ਜਣੇਦੀ ਮਾਇ  

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਜਿਸ ਨਉ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਰਜਾਇ    (SGGS – Sree Raag Mehla 3 – Page 28)

Tin Kaa Janam Safal Hai Jo Ch-leh Satgur Bhaa-ay || Kul Udhaareh Aapnaa Dhan Janaydee Maa-ay ||

Har Har Naam Dhi-aa-ee-ae Jis Na-u Kirpaa Karay Rajaa-ay || 3 || (Page 28)

“Fruitful are the lives of those who walk in harmony with the True Guru’s Will. Their families are saved; blessed are the mothers who gave birth to them.”After the Sikh mother gives birth, the family prepares Karh’aah Prashaad, made of clarified butter, sugar and wheat flour and kept in front of Guru Granth Sahib. The family offers Ardaas, a prayer, for the child and reads a Hukam, a verse from the Sacred Scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. A name for the child is chosen beginning with the first alphabet of the verse read.Guru Arjun Sahib Jee says about an ideal family where the pivot in family is good natured lady.

ਬਤੀਹ ਸੁਲਖਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਸੰਤਤਿ ਪੂਤ   ਆਗਿਆਕਾਰੀ ਸੁਘੜ ਸਰੂਪ  

ਇਛ ਪੂਰੇ ਮਨ ਕੰਤ ਸੁਆਮੀ   ਸਗਲ ਸੰਤੋਖੀ ਦੇਰ ਜੇਠਾਨੀ  

ਸਭ ਪਰਵਾਰੈ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਰੇਸਟ   ਮਤੀ ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵਰ ਜੇਸਟ  

ਧੰਨੁ ਸੁ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਜਿਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੀ ਆਇ   ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਖੇ ਸੁਖਿ ਵਿਹਾਇ   (SGGS – Aasaa Mehla 5 – Page 370)

Bateeh Sulakh-nee Sach Sant-t Poot || Aagi-aakaaree Sugh-rh Saroop ||

Ichh Pooray Man Kant Su-aamee || Sagal Santokhee Dayr Jaythaanee || 3 ||

Sabh Parvaarae Maa-hi Saraysat || Matee Dayvee Dayvar Jaysat ||

Dhan S-u Gr-ih Jit Prg-tee Aa-ay || Jan Naanak Sukhay Sukh Vihaa-ay ||4|| || 3 ||        (Page 370)

“She is blessed with thirty two qualities and truthful and un-blemished in her progeny. She is obedient, sagacious and having a beauteous state of mind. She fulfills the wishes of the heart of her groom, the Lord. She has soothed, in every way, her husband’s younger brother’s wife and her husband’s elder brother’s wife. In all the family, she is the noblest. She is the counselor of her husband’s younger brother and elder brother. Blessed is the house, where she has really entered because she abides in peace and bliss”. A Sikh son traditionally lives and raises a family in the home of his parents after marriage. A Sikh father takes an active role in family life and in the upbringing of children. When brothers share the home of their parents, children are raised together under one roof. Grandparents take active roles in caring for grand children.Gurbani the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib likens the relation- ship of the devotee and God to that of son and loving father.

ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖਵਾਸੀ ਬਾਲ ਸੁਭਾਇ ਅਤੀਤ ਉਦਾਸੀ  

ਅਨਿਕ ਰੰਗ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ਜਿਉ ਪਿਤਾ ਪੂਤੁ ਲਾਡਾਇਦਾ ੧੪  (SGGS – MarooSolhey Mehla 5 – Page 1076)

Har Kay Bhagat Sadaa Sukhvaasee || Baal Subhaa-ay Ateet Udaasee ||

Anik Rang Kar-hi Bah-u Bhaatee Ji-u Pitaa Poot Laadaa-idaa || 14 ||         (Page 1076)

“Devotees of the Lord dwell ever in peace. They have a child-like nature and remain detached from the world. They enjoy various pleasures in many ways and God caresses them, as a father does his son.”


Grandparents nurture their grandchildren by providing spiritual experiences and enriching opportunities to enjoy treasured traditions. Many Sikh grandparents play an active role in the upbringing and education of grandchildren in Sikhism. It is common for Sikh grandparents to live with grandchildren in an extended family, especially during their early formative years of life. Grandparents who help mothers and fathers with the care of children enable the family unit to grow strong and secure the family bond. Gursikh grandparents who are devoted to the Sikh life style may serve as an inspiration to their grandchildren. Grandparents may also be inspired to renew their own faith when grandchildren are born into the family.

ਮੰਨੈ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਮੋਖੁ ਦੁਆਰੁ ਮੰਨੈ ਪਰਵਾਰੈ ਸਾਧਾਰੁ (SGGS – Jap (u) Jee Sahib – Page 3)

Mannae Paav-hi Mokh Du-aar || Mannae Parvaarae Saadhaar ||(Page 3)

“The faithful uplift and redeem their families.”

(…ਚਲਦਾ ….. Continued in next month’s issue)