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Vidhya Series Part 1 - Which outer aspects help us progress in Vidhya?

In this new series, we will be sharing sections from various Granths which inspire us in our study of Santhia. The first part will talk about the 'outer' aspects (ਬਾਹਰ ਦੇ ਗੁਣ - physical factors) which help our Vidhya grow. In the next part, we will look at the inner aspects (ਅੰਦਰ ਦੇ ਗੁਣ) which help us in advancing in Vidhya.

ਗੁਰ ਪੁਸਤਕ ਭੂਮੀ ਸੁਭਗ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਅਵਰ ਸਹਾਇ।। ਕਰਹਿ ਬ੍ਰਿਧ ਵਿਦਿਆ ਪਠੀ ਬਹਿਰ ਪਾਂਚ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ।। - ਸਾਰਕੁਤਾਵਲੀ, ਅਧਿਆਇ ਤੀਸਰਾ

In this Dohra of Saarkutvali Granth, Pandit Hardayal Ji explain five outer factors which help our Vidhya grow:

1. ਗੁਰ: The first factor which is needed in the study of any Vidhya is a qualified teacher (Ustaad), who themselves have gone through the process of Vidhya. This process is known as the 'Samparda' where one teacher passes on the knowledge to their student, and then that student further passes on the knowledge. In the Sikh tradition, our Samparda stretches back to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, where they taught 48 Singhs the Arth of Gurbani at Damdama Sahib, who further went on to teach those Arth. Only a qualified teacher can provide us with the correct Vidhya and also be there to answer our questions, clearing any misconceptions we may have. 

2. ਪੁਸਤਕ: Having your own Pothi Sahibs is another very important aspect. If we have our own Pothi Sahibs we can then use them for our Santhia and to do Abhiaas, and further this gives us the ability to make notes on our Santhia. Having a notebook set aside for Santhia is extremely beneficial. Note making has multiple benefits, it improves our listening and focus skills, helps us in our Abhiaas (as we know exactly what sections of our Santhia to improve and what the ucharan of certain words are that we may have found difficult in our lessons). It also helps us to memorise many difficult Uchaaran. In the long term, our notebooks help us as a reference when we start teaching what we have learnt to other students. 

3. ਭੂਮੀ ਸੁਭਗ: This means reading Vidhya on serene land helps our Vidhya grow. Research shows that a clean, organised and quiet environment produces better focus. When an environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus, which will affect our ability to give full focus on our Santhia/Abhiaas. Therefore during Santhia, reading in a clean and decluttered environment, is an outer aspect that can help build our focus. In Gurmat Maryada, we can see this is an already implemented aspect, as the area where we Parkash our Pothi Sahib to do Santhia/Paath should always be clean. 

4. ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ: Another beneficial aspect is keeping Sangat with like-minded students, who can help us in our Vidhya. Many times we may miss noting something while learning from our Ustaad, or we may be confused on a certain Uchaaran. Where the first point of contact is the Ustaad, where this is not possible, someone who has already completed the Santhia of that Baani can help you in that Uchaaran. This is why in 'face to face' classes there is the added benefit of having fellow students around you who can also help and inspire you in your Santhia journey.

5. ਅਵਰ ਸਹਾਇ: Having the support of others during our Santhia, also helps our Vidhya grow. For example, having friends/family who support and understand your studies will allow you to take out the time to do your Abhiaas and focus on your Santhia. In Puratan times, for people who learned and lived in Vidhyalas this could mean monetary support (i.e. to buy Granths, upkeep of the Vidhyala) or donations of food supplies which would allow the Vidhiarthis to spend all their time focusing on their studies and not have to worry about these matters. 

Pandit Hardayal Ji says these five outer aspects can help us in our Vidhya, stay tuned for the next part which will go through the inner qualities beneficial to our study of Gurbani Vidhya.



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