WHO IS A TRUE SIKH?
The Living Sikh has Faith in a Living Guru
Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is the shabad and Sikhs are supposed to ‘be’ the shabad. As we are alive, by practising the shabad and applying it in our lives, we make the shabad too, alive like us. Hence Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a living guru only if it is alive inside us.
A living guru means a guru who is meant to be ‘lived’ in ourselves. It means we take on the Guru-ordained spiritual life. It means the Guru lives in us through our practices and cultures.
In gurmat (teachings of the guru) ‘shardha’ is called ‘gyaan adharat sharda’ meaning ‘enlightened faith.’ For a Sikh to develop sharda (belief or faith) in anything, he must first acquire sufficient knowledge about matters that are relevant to the issue.
Bhagat Kabir ji says, “I now know. And now that I know I believe.”
So first comes the knowing, then the believing.
(SGGS 655 Raag Sorath Bhagat Kabir)
ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਅਬ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥
Kehi Kabeer Ab Jaaniaa ||
Says Kabeer, now I know Him;
ਜਬ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਤਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥
Jab Jaaniaa Tho Man Maaniaa ||
Since I know Him, my mind is pleased and appeased.
The acceptable shardha (faith) in Sikhi is after the gyaan (enlightenment) from Gurbani. Hence the shardha or nischa (firm belief) of a Sikh is anchored in the messages of Gurbani.
Sikhs who live by the dictates of the shabad are living Sikhs because they take their guru Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji to be their only living guru. Hence there is the Living Guru and the Living Sikh.
The Worshipping Sikh has Blind Faith
The opposite of living is non-living. All that is worshipped is always non-living. Bhagat Kabir ji says ‘so paahan niarjeeo’– your stone (pahan) god is non-living (nirjeeo).
(SGGS 479 Raag Asa Bhagat Kabir)
ਜਿਸੁ ਪਾਹਨ ਕਉ ਪਾਤੀ ਤੋਰੈ ਸੋ ਪਾਹਨ ਨਿਰਜੀਉ ॥੧॥
Jis Paahan Ko Paathee Thorai So Paahan Nirajeeo ||1||
That stone idol, for which you tear off those leaves – that stone idol is lifeless. ||1||
Those who merely worship the Sri Guru Granth Sahib as an object take the Guru as non -living. Not made of stone perhaps, but nevertheless an object made of paper and ink that is worthy of their worship.
Most of the things believed by such Sikhs are usually without sufficient knowledge. Their belief is mostly “hearsay” – something someone said, told or narrated as sakhis or should we say stories written by their own ‘brahm agianis’ (ignorant men) to inspire misdirected faith in them with the use of confusing and cunning words like uchee avastha (elevated realm) to describe themselves. Thus the ordinary unread Sikh is demoted to a lower realm wherein he is at the mercy of these sant babas to show them the correct from of worship.
This blind shardha concept leads to extremes in their practice of worship.
Some illogical examples are listed below.
1. You cannot say pages, must say only ‘Ang‘ when referring to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
2. You cannot put a gutka containing verses from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji into a purse made of cowhide /leather.
3. You cannot put a gutka containing verses from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji on a carpet.
4. You cannot put a laptop (which has Gurbani verses as contents) on the
5. You cannot throw away any paper (that has Gurbani verses on it) but must burn/ cremate.
6. You cannot eat meat in a home if Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is parkash (in another room).
7. You must sprinkle some (only a cup) water when you transfer Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Sahib ji’s swari from one venue to another.
You must do anything that any sant baba says (however ridiculous it may be) because you have blindly agreed that he is of an uchheee avastha!
And by the way you cannot refer to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as Aad Granth or Ek Granth (even if it conforms to the panth maryada) because your sole authority is only the sant baba with his uchee avastha.
Such misplaced shardha cannot be reverence. This is because reverence does not have a negative component. Shardha (faith or belief) has a negative side, that of ‘anhee shardha’ or blind faith.
The emperor’s new clothes is an apt anology of all the anhee sharda that is stripping away the gurmat philosophy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. The worshipping Sikh who is deluded by the self-proclaimed ‘uchee avastha’ of these sant babas is inadvertently bringing shame to Guru ji’s teachings by treating the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as an idol.
The Pakhandi Sikh has No Faith
Then there is the pakhandi (pretentious or fake) Sikh. Only his outer appearance or veiled proclamations categorise him as a Sikh. All his actions and beliefs are in fact the exact opposite as per the guru’s teachings in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
Such a ’Sikh’ has absolutely no genuine respect for the Guru or His teachings. He is interested only in projecting himself as a know-all and introducing falsehood to those around him. He can be in the form of a self-styled sant baba (sometimes granthi too) with mischievous attempt to corrupt the thinking of genuine seekers into regressing to sanatani (Hindu) rituals like going on pilgrimages, celebrating barsis, lighting lamps and doing aarti.
Many useless rites are incessantly introduced to confuse and deceive others with the selfish aim to gather devotees whom he can prey on for his own livelihood. With the collusion of his gang, he even can execute tricks to impress gullible onlookers that he can perform miracles.
He will never encourage you to read Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji to obtain the treasure for yourself. However he is willing to do Path (read the scripture) for you or tell you to recite a few lines from a shabad as a mantra for a certain number at fixed times daily.
His skilful use of the fear element in some innocent and ignorant Sikhs may gather him a list of devotees and some may even begin to worship such an imposter. He may thus succeed in starting a dera (cult) with a new maryada (code) in his attempt to divide the panth (Sikh brotherhood).
This type of fake preacher has faith only in himself and his treacherous
methods that milk on ignorance and fear, whom Bhagat Kabir ji calls “Banares ke thugg.”
(SGGS 476 Raag Asa Bhagat Kabir)
ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥
ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥
Oue Har Kae Santh N Aakheeahi Baanaaras Kae Thag ||1||
Galee Jinhaa Japamaaleeaa Lottae Hathh Nibag ||
They have rosaries around their necks, and they carry glittering jugs in their hands.
They are not called Saints of the Lord – they are thugs of Benares. ||1||
Which Sikh do you want to be?
The panth had decided a hundred years ago that the guru is Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as per hukam of the Guru himself. It is time now to disentangle from the tentacles of those who advocate divisions with the use of words such as their uchee avastha and get real gurmat gyaan sharda by acquiring only correct knowledge directly from our living guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
(SGGS 646 Raag Sorath M : 3)
ਇਕਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਇਕੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥
Eikaa Baanee Eik Gur Eiko Sabadh Veechaar ||
There is One Bani; there is One Guru; there is one Shabad to contemplate.
We need to get rid of fakes and embrace the truth that our guru is the shabad and not an idol to be worshipped blindly. False teachings can surely be exposed if we rely only on Gurbani and then gain the perspective of Authentic Sikhi.
Let us vow to be Living Sikhs with a Living Guru and NO other mentor!