Be a Partner in Virtues

(A word of advice to my son on his marriage)

Dear Monty and Tavan,

Congratulation on your entry into the great institution of marriage. The following verse from Guru Granth Sahib will go a long way to help you on this journey and also life in general. God or nature (whatever you want to call it) has gifted all of us with some good qualities or virtues. Our aim in life should be to look for these virtues in people around us. Both of you are highly educated and gifted individuals. When you start your life as husband and wife, you will get to know each other even more closely. I would not be surprised if you find some of your habits to be annoying or distasteful to each other. However over time, you will realize that these are very petty issues. So do not focus on them. Instead focus on the good qualities both of you got from God. I am sure there are plenty of them. Remember that everything good or bad is the creation of God or nature. A person has virtually no control over it. This relates to the famous debate about Free will vs Determination. Guru says in a way it is all determined. If you remember this, it will help you forgive each other and get over these petty issues. Also with help from each other and positive feedback, you can definitely improve and change. If you remember that a person has minimal say in the habits you don’t like, it will become easy for you to get along with those habits. And you can help each other in a big way towards a happy marriage.

Also in general life, for example at work, look out for the good qualities in other people and try to acquire those qualities. Ignore the bad ones. Focusing on them won’t help. Even if you want the other person to improve, first you need to win them by appreciating their good qualities and then remind them of the areas they need to put efforts on.

Remember that Guru Nanak travelled thousands of miles in search of people with good qualities. He called them Gurmukhs. He went to all the known learning centres and engaged in thoughtful discussion with the known intellectuals of his time. He questioned everything but did not criticize or censure. His way of hammering home his point of view was logic and reasoning. This basically is the gist of the following verse. He calls a person with good virtues or merits a bouquet of fragrance to be feasted upon. Good qualities in a person is like the marriage party of a groom and the wedding dress or ornaments of a bride. This is the recipe for a successful marriage and fruitful life. I have tried to translate this verse in English just in case you find it difficult to understand it in Punjabi.

Me, your mother and rest of the family wish you guys all the best on this journey.

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਤਿ॥ਰਾਗੁ ਸੂਹੀ ਛੰਿ ਮਹਲਾ 1 ਘਰੁ 4॥

ਤਿਨ ਕੀਆ ਤਿਤਨ ਿੇਤਿਆ ਿਗੁ ਧੰਧੜੈ ਲਾਇਆ॥ਿਾਤਨ ਿੇਰੈ ਘਤਿ ਚਾਨਣਾ ਿਤਨ ਚੰਿੁ ਿਤਪ੍ਾਇਆ॥ਚੰਿੋ ਿੀਪ੍ਾਇਆ ਿਾਤਨਹਤਰਕੈਿਿੁੁਅੰਧੇਰਾਉਤਿਗਇਆ॥ਗੁਣਿੰਞਲਾੜੇਸੋਹੈਪ੍ਰਤਿਮੋਹਣੀਐਲਇਆ॥ਵੀਵਾਹੁਹੋਆਸੋਭਸੇਿੀ ਪ੍ੰਚ ਸਬਿੀ ਆਇਆ॥ ਤਿਤਨ ਕੀਆ ਤਿਤਨ ਿੇਤਿਆ ਿਗੁ ਧੰਧੜੈ ਲਾਇਆ॥1॥ਹਉ ਬਤਲਹਾਰੀ ਸਾਿਨਾ ਮੀਿਾ ਅਵਰੀਿਾ॥ਇਹੁ ਿਨੁ ਤਿਨ ਤਸਉ ਗਾਤਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਲੀਅੜਾ ਲੀਿਾ॥ਲੀਆ ਿ ਿੀਆ ਮਾਨੁ ਤਿਨਹ ਤਸਉ ਸੇ ਸਿਨ ਤਕਉ ਤਵਸਰਤਹ॥ਤਿਨਹ ਤਿਤਸ ਆਇਆ ਹੋਤਹ ਰਲੀਆ ਿੀਅ ਸੇਿੀ ਗਤਹ ਰਹਤਹ॥ਸਗਲ ਗੁਣ ਅਵਗੁਣ ਨ ਕਈੋ ਹੋਤਹ ਨੀਿਾ ਨੀਿਾ॥ਹਉ ਬਤਲਹਾਰੀ ਸਾਿਨਾ ਮੀਿਾ ਅਵਰੀਿਾ॥2॥ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਵਾਸਲਾ ਕਤਿ ਵਾਸੁ ਲਈਿੈ॥ਿੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਤਵਨਹ ਸਾਿਨਾ ਤਮਤਲ ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਿੈ॥ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਿੈ ਗੁਣਹ ਕੇਰੀ ਛੋਤਿ ਅਵਗੁਣ ਚਲੀਐ॥ਪ੍ਤਹਰੇ ਪ੍ਿੰਬਰ ਕਤਰ ਅਿੰਬਰ ਆਪ੍ਣਾ ਤਪ੍ੜੁ

ਮਲੀਐ॥ਤਿਥੈ ਿਾਇ ਬਹੀਐ ਭਲਾ ਕਹੀਐ ਝੋਤਲ ਅੰਤਮਰਿੁ ਪ੍ੀਿ॥ੈ ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਵਾਸਲਾ ਕਤਿ ਵਾਸੁ ਲਈਿੈ॥3॥ਆਤਪ੍ ਕਰੈ ਤਕਸੁ ਆਿੀਐ ਹੋਤਰ ਕਰੈ ਨ ਕਈੋ ॥ਆਿਣ ਿਾ ਕਉ ਿਾਈਐ ਿੇ ਭੁਲੜਾ ਹੋਈ॥ਿੇ ਹੋਇ ਭੁਲਾ ਿਾਇ ਕਹੀਐ ਆਤਪ੍ ਕਰਿਾ ਤਕਉ ਭੁਲ਼ੈ॥ਸੁਣੈ ਿੇਿੇ ਬਾਝੁ ਕਤਹਐ ਿਾਨੁ ਅਣਮੰਤਗਆ ਤਿਵੈ॥ਿਾਨੁ ਿੇਇ ਿਾਿਾ ਿਤਗ ਤਬਧਾਿਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਸੋਈ॥ਆਤਪ੍ ਕਰੇ ਤਕਸੁ ਆਿੀਐ ਹੋਰ ਕਰੇ ਨ ਕਈੋ ॥4॥ ਪੰਨਾ 765

The one who created has engaged the world in daily chores
Calm and composed are those with hearts illuminated with knowledge
As the reality of chores dawns upon them, their sufferings vanish
The groom arrives with marriage party of virtues to find the bride
A grand wedding creates rapturous melody all around
The one who created has engaged the world in daily chores. (1)
Great are those who understand the reality of chores
My mind and body is in their service
Intectually intuned, I can never forget them
A part of my soul, seeing them make me happy as
They are merits incarnate, no demerit at all
Great are those who understand the reality of chores. (2)
A bouquet of fragrant virtues, make the most of it
Be a partner in virtues of your friends
Abandon the demerits, acquire the merits
Win the day like a bride decorated in silk and ornaments
Talk about virtues wherever you go, drink the nectar form the discussion
A bouquet of fragrant virtues, make the most of it. (3)
Merits or demerits are creation of God, none else can do it
One can protest or complain only if there is a mistake
The creator knows best and cannot make a mistake
He watches, listens and decides without any pleading
Says Nanak, the truth is that the great giver allocates all merits and demerits Merits or demerits are creation of God, none else can do it. (4)

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