' THE CALL OF DHARMA '

CHAPTER 5


Thus said Banda:

I understand thy point of view,
For its the one that I hold too:
I know the Source pervades the form.
And that is why my head is shorn,
I took up the monastic way
So I could live from day to day
In full awareness of the One
That is in all, excluding none.

This life has brought me to the heights
Far distant from the useless fights
That those devoid of wisdom wage
From narrow-minded selfish rage.
Whatever argument you pose
Could never make me one of those
Who complicate their days, and drift
Into Life's whirlpool so bereft
Of purpose and of peace they think
That they must struggle lest they sink.
They have no sense of divine plan
And think of just one short life span.

I don't know why I should depart
From this path, which is full of heart,
And lose my lofty hard-won view
In effort to effect rescue
Of those who don't perceive their plight
And infect others with their blight.

I help the people from afar -
I need not go to their bazaar
To pray for their waking,
For that would be mistaking
My role as holy man and guide
Who leads the people from inside.

I can do more from this thatched hut
That can be done from that sad rut
In which the world creates its pain -
I'll help them from a higher plane.
Those few who really are sincere
Will find their ways to me right here.

Thus spake Guru Gobind:

My Banda, do beware of pride,
Lest in wrong thinking you reside.
It is easy'mong the forest's trees
To disregard the human pleas
For wise men to become involved
So worldly problems can be solved.

It is easy in the mountain's heights
To forget all the human plights.
Abandoning your rightful action
Will never bring true satisfaction.

It's easy to renounce and claim
That others are the ones to blame
For all the suffering we see
When we look at humanity.

Renunciates do now abound -
No karma Yogis have I found.
Worshipers of God, there're many -
Divine lovers, hardly any.

Half the seekers run away:
The other half remain and pray
To their own God in their own style
Insisting theirs is better, while
The others, sure theirs is the best,
Look with hatred on the rest.

You know there is but One in all,
Yet even you do build a wall.
What hope is there for those who feel
There's only one way to the Real?

The heritage of ancient sages
Taught tolerance throughout the ages,
But now the people fail to see
That love's the base for unity.

Despite their noble rich background,
No rest from suffering have they found.
And their society's decay
Is proof that they have lost the way.

What is the cause of all this pain?
It's because Dharma's ceased to reign.
So pray you might to help them now
And cling fast to your hermit's vow,
But when values disintegrate,
Will you attribute it to fate?

This is a desperate vital hour,
When we must use all in our power
To keep the world from full decline
And rescue all that is sublime.

Yes, prayer is helpful, there's no doubt,
But direct action has the clout
That's needed now to stem the tide
And return honor to Truth's side.
Your world is made of ideal dreams.
Why do you go to such extremes?

You trod a different path before -
Why not resume it and restore
The Dharma to its rightful place
And benefit the human race?

Be in the world and yet above;
Be on the path of work and love!

Why not become a rare example
Of all the grace that men can sample
By living holy, useful lives
Of service, though which one revives
The people's inner love of Light
And their commitment to what's right?

What good is it to just survive
If Dharma can't be made to thrive?.
You've found a tiny spot of peace,
But know you it must surely cease
When evil find it's own way here,
And you must lose what you hold dear.

By then the whole world will be lost,
And you must pay the final cost.
But you can prevent the whole fall
If you will now but heed my call.

The masses must learn to unite
And against evil soundly fight.
The tranquil, which you love so well,
Will listen to its own death knell
If you do not defend its life
And free it from impinging strife.

The balance is upset and skewed;
It will fall if it's not renewed.
The people must be ably led
Or hope for Truth is surely dead.

It's not enough to offer prayer;
For action's needed to repair

The loss of equanimity
Unloosed upon humanity.
The people must be led to live
As one and to Truth happily give.

The seeds that we sow make the fruits that we reap.
Our choices is clear: success or defeat.
Our actions determine the fate that we'll live
When present to future its power does give.

If devotion is not expressed in good deeds,
It cannot lessen humanity's needs.
Action devoid of love's divine touch
Can delay man's progress and harm it much.

Mankind has long suffered from the single cause:
Those who have power know not divine laws,
And those who do know them don't get involved.

Sri Nanak is great, for the riddle he solved:
Let men of the Lord not retreat from the world.
Let their wisdom and grace upon its fate be unfurled.
They have the love and the vision to guide.
Their values and motives make them qualified
To lead human destiny to its fruition
So it can move on from its sterile condition.

When people of God one by one decide
To give to the world, then their love will preside.
The glory of Dharma will then brightly shine,
Resplendent and patterned in its true design.

When Dharma according to its form is aligned,
Then the progress of man can be more refined,
And the spiritual realm will inform every soul
So each person becomes more aware of the whole.