Daas has been meaning to post this for a long time, but I’ve kept on pushing it back until now. It saddened me deeply when I heard about Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji giving shaheedi at the Gurdwara in BC that was attacked by an arsonist. It also reminded me of last year when Guru Ji’s ang’s were found ripped up in a park in Toronto. Images of Guru Sahibs saroop being burnt in Delhi during the 84’ Massacre also came to mind. These images hurt every Sikh world wide. But what can we take from this?
Guru Sahib has given Shaheedi to inspire us, let us not let Guru Sahibs Shaheedi go in vain. Below is an excerpt from Sant Jarnail Singh Ji’s speech. They are talking about the Shaheedi of Guru Sahib and how it inspired the Morcha. The particular incident Sant Ji is talking about is when the police set fire to one of the Jatha’s busses which contained gutkas and Maharaj Saroop.
Let us draw inspiration from Guru Sahibs Shaheedi and make ourselves better Sikhs, and make sure that we ourselves are willing to take a stand when needed.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
All say Jarnail Singh has done a lot. He has woken up the Nation. Many poets have also written poems about it. I humbly appeal to these poets. Instead of making poems in my name, you should first of all write poems in praise of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Why should you do it? If the Nation is awake today it is because the day of martyrdom of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. September 14 marks the awakening of this Nation. Guru Sahib has offered himself to the fire. If the books had not been set on fire, if copies (of Siri Guru Granth Sahib) had not been set on fire, I am prepared to say with confidence we could not have achieved such an awakening. Khalsa Ji, to preserve reverence for Satguru, the Singhs reached there and peacefully served the congregation. But the cruel Government fired at them and killed the Singhs. There is a Singh, an old man from Buttaran, Channan Singh by name. His son, was a student of the 12th grade. All day he served food and milk to the congregation. When he was going home, he passed in front of the police station. He was shot and killed while sitting in the trolley (of a tractor). We do talk and rightly so, about our Hindu-Sikh unity. We have to live together. The young son of Kartar Singh of Dharde village, was sitting in his trolley when he was shot. Another was from Bolewal - Bolewal is a village near Mehta - all these villages are near Mehta. He, too, was shot and killed. The time came. The dead bodies reached Amritsar. I was not here but all of you who are sitting here must have been. It is possible that you were not here but at Mehta Gurdwara. You were not anywhere else. This happened in that time frame.
This is an excerpt from a speech where Sant Jarnail Singh is giving advice to Bhai Amrik Singh after they won the AISF election. Notice how humble Sant Ji is and how loyal they are to the Panth and how they do not take anything for granted.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Regarding the (All India Sikh Students') Federation elections that have been held today, I shall quote a line. Do not draw the wrong meaning from it. I say this because it happened to me. The one who has gone through it knows better. Farid Ji has said these words: "When she was unmarried, she was excited (about marriage). Upon marriage, (she realized) there were many responsibilities. Farid, she feels sorry that she cannot become unmarried again." (There was a time) when I used to call the Sant (Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale, Sant Bhindranwale's mentor) my father, was enjoying life, and boasted a lot. But since the day I, through misfortune, came to this position (Jathedar of the Damdami Taksaal) - I do not cry over it but they do not let me rest by day or by night. (Regarding) this responsibility I shall certainly tell Amrik Singh. In Satguru's presence the Panth has appointed you. The young men have honored you. I never had any doubts (about your ability). However, because of my being in the position held by the great man (Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale), it is my duty to say this. Now that you have taken on this responsibility, you should have the attitude: "My head might be cut off, but may I never lose my faith as a Sikh." We must not stray from this.
Daas was looking through some videos on youtube and came across this video of an interview of a young muslim girl. I do not agree with a word she is saying, but what really stood out to me in this interview is how firm she is in her beliefs at such a young age. Although I do not agree at all with what she is saying, I couldn’t help but be impressed by how she has been taught at such a young age to hold on to her beliefs so firmly.
I wish that Sikh parents would also teach their kids to be so firm in their beliefs and their religion. It would be so amazing to see Singh’s and Singhni’s being so confident in themselves that they can go out in to a crowd of people when asked, and say Guru Nanak’s path is the best path. Or I wear the 5 K’s, and my Kirpan over top, I am not ashamed, I am a Sikh and if anyone has a problem with my beliefs, I don’t really care because I am doing what is right and it doesn’t matter to me what you think.
I believe we can always look at ways to improve ourselves. In the general Islamic community the kids are taught to read from the Quran at a really young age, and they have a huge celebration the first time the child reads the Quran. Sikhs use to have a similar ‘ceremony’ (sanskar) when they completed a sehaaj path for the first time. With time we have lost this tradition, now youth today can’t even read Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and if they can, most of them can’t understand what they are reading. Guru Sahib is the foundation of our lives, and the more we get away from this, the more problems we will have. Hopefully one day most of us can be so firm in our beliefs that even if someone questions us, we have no doubt about we are saying, and have no problem with standing up and saying what we stand for, no matter what others may think of us.
Below is an extract from a speech from Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Khalsa Ji: this was the slogan that was shouted. Today, the same situation has arisen. Bhai Mati Das had said: "Even if I have to give my head, may I never lose my love for the Sikh Faith". I am sorry to note that some people who hanker after a chair say instead:
"Even if I lose my Faith, may I never lose my chair". And our younger generation has started saying this: "Even if I lose my Faith, may a beard never grow on my face". On whose face do you want it to grow? I shall say this to my young brothers who have cut their beards:
"Resolve here today that you will keep beards, give up intoxicants, and take Amrit". If you find the beard too heavy, (note that) at this place (Harmandar Sahib) God fulfills prayers very quickly. Pray to God saying: "The True King, you were kind to us and made us men and gave us birth in Sikh homes. But we do not like this Sikhism and manhood. Have mercy on us. Make us into women and make women into men. Make this exchange." Some say I consider women to be inferior. I do not consider them inferior. I say this only to make these young men ashamed of what they do, not to imply that women are inferior.
Below is an extract from a speech by Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindrawale.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
This issue come up every day; regarding the Sikhs being a separate Nation. I like to make another humble statement. They say Sikhs are extremists. I asked those leaders: "If the Sikhs are extremists, you should accept the Sikhs are a separate Nation (inasmuch as extremism is their exclusive characteristic). If Sikhs are a part of Hindus, then you should write Hindus as extremists (the characteristics of Sikhs and Hindus being the same on that hypothesis)." When they want to abuse us or use foul language towards us it is exclusively towards people with turbans, but when we ask for our rights, we are told: "You are part of us." they say: "You are born out of us." I humbly submit that the whole world is born of Sikhs. In a Pundit's home, in a Muslim's home, or in a Sikh's home, no one is born without hair. If all people stayed as they were born of their parents and kept the appearance given them by God, they would not be called Chhalli Ram or Gulli Ram. Everyone would address them as Sardar Ji. Tell me who is born? Who is created by Nature? Don't get into misunderstandings over this.
Daas encourages you to watch the video at the below link on terrorism and religion. It has a part on Sikhs and I think the speaker has a nice perspective on things. The whole video is pretty interesting, but it is long. So if you just want to see the part on Sikhs you can watch from the 10 min mark to the 20 min mark. The 44 min mark is interesting to. Enjoy.
Seva is selfless service, thats exactly what it is, selfless service. so the ' self ' isn' t in the service, it just service alone. so, when are you doing it, do it selflessly, for you are not doing it, it is being done by you. by Karta Purkh, the Divine Doer. (from Parmjit's blog).
So is doing a good deed sewa? Nowadays I hear people saying “I want to be a doctor so I can do sewa by serving others”, or “I’m running a website I’m doing sewa”. Is this really sewa? For sure your doing good deeds and sowing good future karms, but is it really sewa?
When someone does promotes themselves through doing ‘sewa’, I do not believe that is sewa. They are using their good deeds to make a name for themselves. Guru Sahib says “koye naam na jaane mera”. (may no one know my name).
In Asa Ki Vaar Guru Sahib says;
you may give donations to charity, and perform good deeds, but without the True one, what is the use of it all?
We must realize that the world existed before we were here and so did Sikhi, and will continue to go on when we leave this world. Do not ever think that it is you that is doing sewa or a good deed. We can’t do anything, we are nothing. Everything we do is achieved by the grace of god. Guru Sahib themselves comes into us and does those actions which our manmukh minds believe we are doing. “Hukama andar sabh ko, bar hukam na koye”. Everything is happening under hukam.
Sant Jarnail Singh Ji use to do jorrian di sewa, but no one would know. When all the Singhs would go to sleep they would do jorrian di sewa, and bleach all the Singh’s kasheras and put them back before everyone woke up, so that no one would know that they did it. This is sewa. Bhagat Puran Singh when they took care of people who were cast away from society did sewa.
When you put yourself into the sewa, it ceases to be sewa. Sewa is selfless. Without Naam on your tongue it is just a good deed. Sewa isn’t just a good deed, This is where I believe many people today are confused. Sewa is much more than a good deed, it is doing a good deed believing it is Guru Sahib who is actually doing it and without Guru Sahib you have no capabilities to do anything, and than having naam on the forefront of your mind while doing that sewa.
I would also like to humbly ask all my brothers and sisters to please refrain from doing ‘mukh sewa’ (leading any sewa) if you have a dodgy past or can not commit to live up to the standards of the Khalsa. For example if you put yourself in the spotlight in the media as a spokesperson for a Sikh organization and someone see’s you on television and gets interested in what you are saying. So they go home and type your name in a search engine on the internet and come up with a list of all the bad deeds or allegations against you, this doesn’t just hurt you. It hurt’s the whole panth. Please do not put yourself in leadership positions if you are not spotless, you can potentially do a lot more harm than good to the panth. Leave the mukh sewa’s to people with a jeevan to back it up. Guru Sahib says;
Good deeds done in the pride of ego are swept away, like the house of sand by water.
So are we really just doing a good deed, or are we doing sewa?
I came across this video, and it contains some nice pictures of Shaheed Singhs, aswell as the AK47 soundtrack which is always inspiring. The one thing that I wish the creator hadn't done though is add in his own photograph. It's good that this guy is proud of the sacrifices these Shaheeds made and respects them. But truly respecting these shaheeds would be to follow the principles of Sikhi, and continue the cause which they gave their life for. Having khanda tatoo's and Khanda chains do nothing in this regard.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaaj, our living Guru, the spiritual light of our 10 Guru’s, King of Kings, the ones who give us everything and have all the answers. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji deserves the utmost respect. Unfortunately this has not been happening.
We hear stories of people keeping saroops of Guru Ji in closets or on shelves. People taking Guru Sahib to halls and other inappropriate places where Guru Sahib would never want their children to be seen let alone themselves. Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s horse knew better than to step in a tobacco field, but yet we take Guru Sahibs saroop to where alcohol and tobacco is served or is stored. This just breaks my heart. Where has the respect for our Guru gone, they’ve blessed us with everything, and this is how we repay them?
In olden times people use to walk to the gurdwara every morning to have darshan of Guru Sahib. This was such a big deal for them. Now we have been printing of so many saroops of Guru Sahib that people don’t have that respect or excitement of going to see Guru Sahib. We have forgotten how to treat Guru Sahib with respect. When people have weddings they do shagan in front of Guru Sahib, wear kalgi’s, and uncles and aunties put their hands on top of the couples head as if they can give more blessings than guru sahib. How lost we are.
Even people who have Guru Sahibs saroop at home, they don’t have the time to properly attend to Guru Sahib. They spend their day watching tv, entertaining guests, but they don’t have time to sit with Guru Ji. When Guru Ji is at your house it is not a small thing, it requires lots of time and devotion. You have such an important guest at your house, you have to devote your time to. People make food for themselves but they don’t think to do bhog to it and offer it to Guru Sahib before eating it themselves.
In India people take Guru Sahib to marriage palaces and sit on tables and chairs, with their head uncovered and shoes on their feet, drinking alcohol and eating meat. With no care in the world, not caring that Guru Sahib is there with them watching everything. They may enjoy now but this is just sowing bad karms for their future.
What can be done about this. First we can try to educate our families and ourselves about Sikhi and Guru Sahib. Another solution could be instead of people keeping Guru Sahibs saroop at home they can bring home sancheeya and do paath from them, and than go to Gurdwara for darshan. SGPC should stop printing so many saroops and instead print sancheeya.
The Respect For Guru Granth Sahib Ji Campaign in England has done a great amount of work in educating people about not taking Guru Sahib to halls and other inappropriate places. We should support them fully and start up similar campaigns in our own areas. If not than if we see something wrong happening in our family we should at least educate them.
Below is the Hukamnama from Akal Takht prohibiting taking Guru Sahib to Marriage Palaces and Hotels.
Prince Charles... Are We Honoring The Wrong Person?
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh,
Lately Prince Charles has been in the news, for his visit to Punjab and to a bunch of Gurdwaras. What I have noticed is that all these parbhandaks chase after Prince Charles and go out of their way to accommodate him and treat him like royalty. This really saddens me. People pay more respect to Prince Charles than they do to Guru Sahib, or Guru Roop Sadh Sangat.
Sangat was blocked off for a while or inconvenienced due to the visit of the prince and his princess Camilla. I have no qualms with Prince Charles and Camilla visiting the gurdwara I think this is great, and I believe they are extremely lucky to have Darshan of Guru Sahib. What troubles me is, we have the King of Kings Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj sitting their, and everyone is running after a worldly prince, when the king of this world and the next is sitting on their thrown right in front of you. Than on top of this, the Sadh Sangat, who when together is a form of Guru Sahib themselves is inconvenienced to come have darshan of Guru Sahib.
The sangat which is so much more important than any single person gets old white sheets to sit on. But for Prince Charles everything is brand new. Is Prince Charles really that much more important than Guru Roop Sadh Sangat, or Guru Sahib and their darbar? Than Prince Charles is given a Kirpan and a siropa. What has he done to receive that siropa? Siropa isn’t a small thing, it’s a huge honor, but most parbandaks abuse the use of siropas these days.
Sant Kartar Singh Ji Bhindrawale is a great example of how one should act in the presence of Guru Sahib and in Guru Sahibs Darbar. On December 7, 1975 the sangat was 220,000 strong at the Nagar Keertan to remember Guru Tegh Bhadur Ji’s Shaheedi in Delhi. After the Nagar Keertan the Sangat congregated at the Gurdwara. Indira Gandhi showed up at the Gurdwara and everyone stood up to honor her as she came in. Sant Kartar Singh Ji stayed seated and remained focused on Guru Sahib.
Leader after leader went up on stage and did Indira’s ustat (praises). Indira’s first child was married to someone from Punjab, and the leaders all shamelessly begged her to marry her second child to a Punjabi girl. Sant Kartar Singh had seen enough and now when they had their stage time they started of with the line “Sir Jaave Ta Jaave, Mera Sikhi Sidkh Na Jaave”. They than quoted Bhai Sahib Singhs Rehitnama. They than went on to tell the Sangat that how can you ask for Indira to marry her son to a Sikh girl, he is a mona, he is patit. Is this how desperate we are? We should marry our daughters to rehitvaan Gursikhs. Sant Ji also gave reference to how the Hindu’s used to marry of their daughters to suck up to leadership in the past, and pretty much sell their souls, and now we are doing the same.
Sant Kartaar Singh Ji went on to say that Indira Gandhi is Prime Minister of India so it is fair to say she deserves some respect, but without Guru Tegh Bhadur Ji’s Kurbani (sacrifice), there would be no seat of Prime Minister for her. The reason all these Hindu’s aren’t Muslims is because Guru Sahib gave his life to save them. Our Guru Sahiban gave their lives to protect these people and without them there would be no seat in Delhi for Indira. If Indira is so big she should have given her head to protect others, but she isn’t that great. Only Guru Sahib was this great. So the sangat should never honor anyone in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, because Guru Granth Sahib Ji embodies all of our Guru’s including Guru Tegh Bhadur Sahib Ji. Guru Tegh Bhadur Ji gave their head, Indira can never come close to sacrificing this much for humanity. We should give all our respect to Guru Sahib and no one else. Guru Sahib is highest. After Sant Kartar Singh Ji finished the sangat let out non-stop Jaikarai.
The lesson to be learned from this is that we shouldn’t sing someone’s praises, especially infront of Guru Sahib. No one deserves more praise than Guru Sahib who gives us everything, and enables us to do what we do. Parbandaks from our local gurdwaras around the world have it all wrong they needlessly give out siropas and sing peoples praises without a second thought, just for their own gain. People should feel privileged to have Guru Sahib’s darshan. Instead when someone visits the Guru Ghar we think it’s a privelage for us that they have graced us with their presence, this is ridiculous. Siropa’s are being misused, the honor of receiving a siropa is huge. Daas will post about this another day. Until than let us learn from the example Sant Kartar Singh Ji Bhindrawale set.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
*Daas is in no way disrespecting Prince Charles. Daas just feels that in Guru Sahibs Hazoori only Guru Sahibs Ustat should be done.