ARC and the Faiths
 Sikh origins
 Long term plan
  Sikh statement on climate change
  Sikh Theology of Food
 Sikh Eco Quotes
 Sikh beliefs
 Sikh statement
 Guru Granth Sahib
 Sikh links
ARC Home > Faiths and Ecology > Sikhism > Sikh Eco Quotes :

Sikh Eco Quotes

Ek Bageacha

This gurbani (or hymn) is in the musical measure Raag Aasa by Guru Arjun Dev Ji)

There is a garden.
It has so many plants created within it.
And each bears the sweet-nectared
Naam as its fruit. ||1||

Consider this, O wise one,
In this garden you may seek the means by which to attain eternal bliss.
O brothers and sisters of Destiny,
This garden has dark pools of poison here and there,
But it also contains the ambrosial nectar within it. ||1||Pause||

There is only one gardener who tends it.
He takes care of every leaf and branch. ||2||
He brought all these plants and planted them there.
They all bear fruit - none is without fruit. ||3||
The one who receives the ambrosial fruit of the Naam
From the Guru - O Nanak,
Such a servant has a way to pass over the ocean of illusion. ||4||5||56||

(Translation by Albel Singh)

"…Please bless me with the rice of truth and self-restraint, the wheat of compassion, and the leaf-plate of meditation. Bless me with the milk of good karma, and the clarified butter, the ghee, of compassion. Such are the gifts I beg of You, Lord…"

The story of Lalo the Carpenter

Guru Nanak Dev ji traveled to many places, including Saidpur, now known as Eminabad in the province of Punjab in today’s Pakistan. Even before Guru ji had arrived at Saidpur the word had spread that a spiritual man was going to visit.

When Malik Bhago, the chief of the town, heard of the Guru’s arrival he started preparing for him to stay at his home. But Malik Bhago had amassed his wealth through charging extra tax to the poor farmers and leaving them hungry. And when Guru Nanak reached Saidpur, he did not go straight to the chief’s house. Instead he knocked on the door of a poor carpenter named Lalo, asking him for hospitality. Lalo was joyful, and served Guru ji with the little food that he had.

Malik held a big gathering and invited all the well respected, people of the town. But Guru ji did not accept his invitation. Malik was ordered two guards to go to Lalo’s home to force the Guru to accompany them, and the Guru went as asked. When he arrived with the guards, Malik said to him: “O devout one, I have prepared so many delicious dishes for you, but you are staying with a poor carpenter and eating his dry chapattis. Why?” And the Guru replied: “I cannot eat your food because it has been bought with money sucked unfairly from the poor, while Lalo's bread is bought with his own hard work.”

This made Malik furious and he asked the Guru to prove his point. Guru ji then sent for a loaf of bread from Lalo's house. In one hand the Guru held Lalo's bread and in the other that of Malik, and he squeezed both. Milk dripped from Lalo's bread but from Malik's came blood. The chieftain was shaken by guilt and asked for forgiveness. The Guru asked him to distribute his ill-gotten wealth among the poor and live an honest life, which he did from then on.

Confirming the presence of the Creator in His creation, the True Guru has said: “Baleharee Kudrat Vasiya”, which means, I am a sacrifice to Your almighty creative power which is pervading everywhere. And has said, “Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat !!”, which means "Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all." (From the letter by Jathedar, Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, February 2011, urging Sikhs everywhere to celebrate Sikh Environment Day every March 14.)

“Baleharee Kudrat Vasiya”, which means, I am a sacrifice to Your almighty creative power which is pervading everywhere". The First Guru, Guru Nanak, confirming the presence of the Creator in His creation.

“Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat !!”, which means “Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all”.” The Second Guru, Guru Angad.

A lesson from Guru Angad Dev about caring for all living things

At the time of the Second Master, Guru Angad Dev, a man called Bhal Jeeva used to cook khichrri porridge to bring to the langar every day. One morning, however, the wind was so high that he could not get the wood of his cooking fire to light, though he tried over and over again. Eventually he decided to pray that the wind would stop so that he could cook the meal for the Guru and the other Sikhs. His prayer was answered, the wind stopped and he was able to finish cooking the food and took it to the langar as usual.

But, to Bhal Jeeva's surprise, on this day the Guru refused to accept the offering and spoke to him thus: "By stopping the wind you gained the capacity to feed just a few people in the sangat but the Almighty has to feed all flora and fauna alike. On the land, in the water and in the skies there are many beings and He has his ways to provide food for them. A strong wind is useful to carry pollen, grains, leaves and clouds to far off places and bring the fruit down from the trees. With this simple act of God He serves the ants and many other creatures, and though you have the right to pray you must bow to His divine will. Understand - everything that happens in his will has a very deep sense of caring for all creation.

< to previous page to top of page to next page >
ARC site map

Related information

ARC and the Faiths
Faith communities are working in countless ways to care for the environment. This section outlines the basics of each faith’s history, beliefs and teachings on ecology.
August 15, 2012:
Creating a sacred space in a deprived urban estate
What happened when an expert in Chinese sacred landscapes met a traditional English Christian congregation? The challenge was to create a contemporary sense of the sacred in the heart of a deprived housing estate on the edge of a major city.
ARC at a glance
ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.