Some ideas on panthic projects

So after being entirely disheartened watching someone I thought was trustworthy completely dismantle a 5 year project to help children in Punjab basically overnight, I’ve decided I need to carve some small amount of time working on a public project that will have some (any) impact on the kaum, and make me feel a lot better about the world.

khandaHere’s a few ideas that have been suggested to me or I’ve thought of, I figure I’ll probably go through several of these posts and illicit some feedback on what people think would have the most impact, and allow me the opportunity to learn something.

I’m most interested in projects that allow me to learn more Python, (I’d call myself a beginner, even though I’ve made a fair amount of tools already) Web, or Android development.

1) Naam Simran / Nitnem Groups App

compassThis would be a website you sign up with your phone number. You choose to be called at a specific time of day and join a small group of other people in a conference call to do Naam Simran or a selected baani. Optionally you can create a private group of your selected friends to join you to encourage you to do the same. UI will be primarily the website, though a phone app could be built as well. Phone number + baani + days of week + timings is the input, automated conference calls is the output. Costs me a non-negligible amount for using Twilio or similar

2) Rebuild khabran.sikhnerd.com

Khabran ScreenshotThis was an old project where I attempted to have all relevant sikh news and blogs in one place for easy consumption.  I could resurrect this project as I think there is still room on the internet for something like this, though a simple RSS aggregator is likely too simple. Maybe you’d want to build more of a community-style site around the news articles being streamed in, or focus only on positive stories.  Should also add audio/video/etc as well. There are a lot of ways I could make this better and more useful.

3) Help the Sikh Coalition

Sikh_CoalitionThe Coalition is a great organization that I have done a good amount of seva for in the past, they have a good number of active projects and some similar long-term ideas in the works as well. I could simply reach out to my good friends and see what they have going on that would be a good fit for me.

4) Free Akal Takht

free_akal_takht_logoNo matter what I think of the politics, being active in this area of the community would be fairly new to me, and could be a good route to take to find some Kaum-wide impact. There is always room for technology plays in these types of projects.

5) Help local/national Sikh camps and retreats

saanjhI have a long history of organizing, teaching, and aiding Sikh camps and retreats around the world. I’m already doing a good amount of seva with the great folks at Saanjh (you should go!), maybe I should up my game here and do a lot more.

Would love to get any reader’s thoughts on this, or any other interesting ideas you may have.

ਤ੍ਰਿਬਰਗੇ – Tribarge – Meaning

So in our regular gurbani meetings, we often run across certain words that hold a lot of meaning and depth, that can be difficult to understand and remember. Today this word, that has come up several times in Jaap Sahib came up for discussion, so I thought I’d write done the results and share it will everyone.

Mahan Kosh says:

ਸੰ. त्रिवर्ग. {ਸੰਗ੍ਯਾ}. ਤਿੰਨ ਦਾ ਸਮੁਦਾਯ। (2) ਤ੍ਰਿਫਲਾ। (3) ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟਾ। (4) ਤਿੰਨ ਪਦਾਂ ਵਾਲੀ ਗਾਯਤ੍ਰੀ. ਤ੍ਰਿਪਦਾ। ੫. ਸਤ ਰਜ ਤਮ। (6) ਮਨੁ ਦੇ ਲੇਖ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਅਰਥ ਧਰਮ ਕਾਮ. “ਨਮਸ੍ਤੰ ਤ੍ਰਿਵਰਗੇ”. (ਜਾਪੁ).

So in English let’s have a breakdown:

ਤ੍ਰਿਬਰਗੇ – Tribarge – 9  Things, all present in Waheguru

  • ੩ Manorat – The three objectives of the world
    • ਧਰਮ – Dharam – Religion/Dsicelpnie
    • ਅਰਥ – Arth – Money
    • ਕਾਮ – Kaam – Desire, Greed
  • ੩  Gunn – The three virtues of the world
    • ਸਤ – Sato – Person who does Dharam
    • ਰਜ – Rajas – Person who wants Money (all about the $$$)
    • ਤਮ – Tamas – Tamsic – Greedy / Negative person who is always desiring something
  • ੩ Halta – Three states of Mind/Being
    • Chardi Kala – Postive State
    • Samanta – Equilibrium state (stable, balanced) –
    • Tandi Kala – Negative

All that, is what you need to know when a single word is mentioned in Gurbani: ਤ੍ਰਿਬਰਗੇ

What keeps me doing Panthic Work

These days it’s really easy for me to tell other to go away, and that “I’m busy, sorry – no time”

But the reality is that as a Sikh it’s my duty to do panthic work. Right now the only thing that keeps me involved with Sikh Organizations is this paragraph from the Reht Maryada:

The concept of service is not confined to fanning the congregation, service to and in the Guru ka Langar etc. A Sikh’s entire life is a life of benevolent exertion. The most fruitful service is the service that secures the optimum good by minimal endeavour. That can be achieved through organised collective action. A Sikh has, for this reason, to fulfil his/her Panthic obligations (obligations as a member of the corporate entity, the Panth), even as he/she performs his/her individual duties.

(emphasis mine). This basically tells me that any seva I do should be the most efficient possible, and it seems obvious that to be efficient (and lazy) I should be doing it with others so that my efforts have the most effect. Honestly, even though I’m mostly burned out, this paragraph keeps me involved with Sehaj, The Sikh Coalition, and others.

What keeps you going?