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Itihaas is NOT just History

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The 3 Components of Itihaas


Whilst generically, it is commonly used as a term for history, this definition falls short. Instead, Ithiaas is a combination of three components:

History
Mythology
Reality

To say Ithiaas is just history misses the mark. In Ithiaas, the historicity of events is secondary to the actual message, or moral of the story. Unless you were actually there, experiencing an event for yourself, you can never truly know all the details of what happened. Nor do you need to.

Whilst effort can be spent on determining archaeological records or gathering eye-witness accounts, this will always be less important nor as useful compared to actually understanding the point of the story.
Imagine spending your life looking for Noah’s Ark, as opposed to understanding the moral implications and deep wisdom of the story. This story is not unique to Christianity either, as it has similar counterparts in more ancient traditions and texts like the Epic of Gilgamesh, or the story of the Saptarishi and Manu in Hindu tradition.
Even our own Sikh traditions are full of these stories, with Guru Gobind Singh even writing his own version of the Ramayan, emphasising the Bir Ras more so than in any other version before it.
Whilst these events may have happened, and these stories based on true events, that is only ever secondary to the point or feeling the authors are aiming to represent by them.

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Mythological references are borrowed and implanted to help connect with the reader and build a sense of awe and make it memorable. Therefore, Ithiaas is a combination of both history and mythology as it is meant to act like a vessel for wisdom and knowledge.
Therefore, Ithiaas is a combination of both history and mythology as it is meant to act like a vessel for wisdom and knowledge. It is easier to relate to deep spiritual concepts through a story since we can build personal connections with the characters and events. So much so that those events map onto our own experiences. Sita becomes a metaphor for the self and the distraction in the form the golden deer is Maya. The subsequent separation from her beloved Raam Chandar is analogous to our own separation between the Atma and Paramatma. This is when the final component – reality – completes the definition of Ithiaas.

The Hierarchy of Sight


We as Panth make a lot of noise that much is clear. There is literally zero point in wanting to move forward of you are not prepared to face your destination.

1. Blind

THOSE WHO MOVE WITHOUT LOOKING BACKWARDS OR FORWARDS
At the bottom are those who move without looking at all. they know next to nothing about their Itihaas. Some of them get lucky and walk in the right direction but since they are walking blind there's no guarantee their trajectory will remain true.

2. Hindsight

THOSE WHO MOVE BY ONLY LOOKING BACKWARDS
Higher up the hierarchy exists those who have knowledge of their Itihaas. However the danger here is that they only look at history and mythology, and hence any plan for moving forward often ends up being deeply flawed. Why? Because instead of extracting principles from Itihaas, they prefer to blindly mimic it. This makes them rigid where they should have been adaptable.
In Robert Greene’s Book “The 33 Strategies of War”, he warns against this mindset in his second chapter “Do Not Fight the Last War”.
It's like trying to moving forward but only looking backwards. This is where much of the Panth that is active on these issues are right now in my opinion.

3. Foresight

THOSE WHO MOVE LOOKING FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS
At the top of the hierarchy is where the Khalsa needs to be. Those who don’t know history, are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past. However, whilst merely remembering facts and dates gives you knowledge of history, it does NOT give you the wisdom of Itihaas. Understanding and appreciation of the past must be combined with uncovering the principles and lesson of stories. Only this way can meaningful, effective and sensible goals be set for the future.


Balance


Depression

THOSE WHO ARE STUCK IN THE PAST
(Full of Regret)
Their minds constantly recycling traumatic events in their lives. Or alternatively missing when times were better. Flooding their consciousness like this, they forget the present.

Anxiety

THOSE WHO ARE STUCK IN THE FUTURE
(Full of fear of future events.)
They put themselves through situations twice! Once in their heads, and once in real life. (The second time rarely ever being like how they imaged it)

Be Present

ਤ੍ਰਿਭੰਗੀ ਛੰਦ ॥ ​Tribanghi Stanza
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕਾਲ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਉਸਤਤਿ॥ ​In praise of Sri Kaal (Time).
ਖਗ ਖੰਡ ਬਿਹੰਡੰ ਖਲ ਦਲ ਖੰਡੰ ਅਤਿ ਰਣ ਮੰਡੰ ਬਰਬੰਡੰ॥ ​The sword chops well, chops the forces of fools and this mighty one bedecks and glorifies the battlefield.
ਭੁਜ ਦੰਡ ਅਖੰਡੰ ਤੇਜ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਅਮੰਡੰ ਭਾਨ ਪ੍ਰਭੰ॥ ​It is the unbreakable staff of the arm, it has the powerful lustre and its light even bedims the radiance of the sun.
ਸੁਖ ਸੰਤਾ ਕਰਣੰ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦਰਣੰ ਕਿਲਬਿਖ ਹਰਣੰ ਅਸਿ ਸਰਣੰ॥ ​It brings happiness to the saints, mashing the vicious ones, it is the destroyer of sins and I and under its refuge.
ਜੈ ਜੈ ਜਗ ਕਾਰਣ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਉਬਾਰਣ ਮਮ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਰਣ ਜੈ ਤੇਗੰ॥੨॥ Hail, hail to the cause of the world, saviour of the universe, it is my preserver, I hail its victory. [2]

The Khalsa is Akaal Purakh Ki Fauj in this way. The Khalsa is under the protection of Sri Kaal when it has mastered the past, future and present. The Khalsa is not reactive, it is proactive — Tyar bar Tyar. Shouting the slogans of “Akaal , Akaal”, they remind themselves of this fact in every moment.

This is what this Azadism Project aims to be. Not just more Itihaas Parchar, there is plenty of that.

Azadism is about what’s next after you recognize your Itihaas and want to learn how to apply it in the present world. It’s about looking forwards, whilst understanding where we came from, and recognising where we are right now. To see how Khalsa Principles in Azaadi, Sovereignty and Self- Autonomy can be applied for hypothetical Sikh State, read the .
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Bunga Azaadi — Institute for Azadist Studies

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