Need Or Greed?
Dhan Guru Arjan Sahib Ji (meditating upon whom will release one from cycle of births and deaths - japio jin arjan dev guroo fer sankat jon garab na aa-i-o), says:
'Jo Mangeh Thakur apany tey so-ee Soee devay'
'whatever is asked from the Master that is exactly what is given'.
In front of a Gurdwara they have this in big letters across the entrance to the Darbar.
I used to think this meant whatever you asked for in Ardas is what you'll get, but all ardas's don't come true do they? So what does it mean? The answer clicked when my dad was watching a nature program, some creatures have evolved to live in extreme heat or extreme cold etc, and my dad said 'Jo mangeh Thakur apaney tey soee soee devay'. Even the animals have an ardas inside to survive wherever they are and over time their ardas comes true. Even plants have an ardas to have the sun on their leaves, so plants on my windowsill start leaning towards the window.
Thakur answers all true internal ardas of all His creatures and plants. So people may ask why didn't my Thakur answer my ardas? I was standing up with palms pressed together at the Gurdwara after having done Akahnd Paat seva and donating lots of money?? That ardas was lip service - it was ardas for greed not need.
Like when people do nitnem, but they don't understand and inside they really want to be out and about perhaps boyfriend and girlfriends. Then their internal ardas is heard not their lip service. Good or bad, whatever your real daily internal ardas is, will be heard and answered over time.
When someone does paat with concentration and love and their internal ardas is the same as Guru Jis words, then the supreme gifts will be delivered over time. And God keeps giving us gifts all the time, `dida dey laday thak pai juga jugantar kahee kahi' (JapJi Sahib). He provides without ever getting tired but we the askers get tired of asking!
The provider provides all the wishes.... the requester asks for all.
There is nothing wrong with asking for things because we always need things but unfortuantely we are greedy, so we need to become content. In ardas thank God. Accept pain and sorrow as sweet rather than complaining about things that went badly or Ardas's that didn't come true - everything is for the best:
Ketia Dukh bhukh sad mar
Eh bee daat teree datar
Countless Pains and Hungers continually strike
O Giver-Lord, even these are your gifts,.
In ardas accept God's will and ask for the supreme gift of Naam and God's Praises. SatGuru Arjan Sahib Ji on the hot plate lived upto the true words:
Tera Keeta Meeta Lagay,
Har Nam Padarth Nanak Mangay
Your Will is sweet,
SatGuru Nanak Ji asks for the gift of Naam'
'Manganay mangan neeka ,
Har jas gur te manganay'
'Of all the Askings, the Asking supreme is
to ask the Guru for the praises of God
But God's Name and Praises can only be done if the basic needs are satisfied. Most of the Bhagats were so poor that Bhagat Kabeer Ji said to Waheguru Ji, without food and shelter I can't sing your praises
Having a hungry stomach
how can I devote myself to You?
Take away Your rosary.
(Bhagat Kabir Ji, Sorath Raag)
Waheguru Ji provides.
Asking for house or car or a wife etc is not wrong, but why do people ask? What is the motive? Is it going to get them closer to God?
Bhagat Kabeer Ji asked for these things so he'd get closer to God, most people ask for these things because of selfish motives (status, to fulfill one of the 5 thieving desires). But then again Guru Arjan Sahib Ji has said use Waheguru Ji for your own advantage.
It's good people do path and ardas and seva of langar and Akhand Paat for their own advantage because bit by bit they might get to the state where they start asking for the gift of Naam and God's praises and that will truly give them the Supreme advantage.