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The Sabha is OUT of ICU – For Now

The Sabha is Out of the ICU – For Now

Karminder Singh Dhillon, Phd (Boston)

SOME ONE HUNDRED members of Sikh Naujwan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) turned up at its AGM on 29th June 2019 to bear witness to events that the youth organization has never seen before.

They bore witness to an attempt to drag the Sabha into two ugly controversies. They also bore witness to an attempted power grab disguised as an exercise in panthik unity.

The orchestrated attempt to grab control of the Sabha by forces bent on using the organization for their specific agendas reared its ugly head some months ago when a WhatsApp post by a group of 13 people (DG-13) calling for an EGM to “remove the Jathedar” came to light For an analysis of this EGM call see article titled “Sabha is in ICU: You are Invited to the Funeral” at

Saturday’s AGM saw the tabling of FIVE resolutions by the DG-13 Group. The resolutions were signed by Suret Singh and seconded by Master Daljit Singh. These same individuals tabled these resolutions at the AGM.

These resolutions lay bare the real agenda of the DG-13. They also expose the real beneficiary and the real hand behind it all. All in all, these resolutions uncover the dangerous and devious plot to drag the Sabha into two separate and ugly controversies.

It was an attempt to burn the house down. How so? Read on.


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Articles · International Media Reports · Latest News

The Sabha AGM – The Winners and The Losers

The Sabha AGM – The Winners and Losers

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD (Boston)

Here is a quick look at the Winners and Losers of the recent Sabha EGM held on the 29th of June, 2019.


1. SNSM, Jasbir Singh and his Exco. All three came out clear winners on grounds of allowing the DG-13 an opportunity to test the support for their pro Dasam Granth position. The DG-13 and their Sponsors had been relentless in their condemnation of all three. Venom – particularly of personal nature – was spewed against Jathedar Jasbir especially – in blatant abuse of the social media for personal attacks.

What better way to call their bluff than to say “OK let’s put your matter to a vote in an AGM.” This is accountability and it is transparency. It is also a sign of responsible and courageous leadership. It is also about empowering the members of SNSM to have a say in the future of their organization. Well done, all three.

2. The Members of SNSM. For turning up in larger numbers than ever, speaking out and making it clear that they understood and rejected the real agenda of the DG-13, the ordinary members of SNSM are winners too. You elected to keep Sabha out of the mud that is the DG controversy and the dera maryada dispute and that is commendable.

3. The Coffers of SNSM. The approval by the floor for the Sale of two Sabha properties worth RM 6 million to free up funds for other priority uses means the Sabha can operate more independently.


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The Bhagat Maal Debacle

The Bhagat Maal Debacle.

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD

The Sikh Scripture – Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (SGGS) contains the Bani of 15 bhagats. A total of 725 saloks and shabds; including three full banis2 written by the bhagats were retrieved by Guru Nanak in person from them.3 These were all included in the Pothee Sahib by Guru Arjun and maintained in the SGGS by Guru Gobind Singh upon bestowing of Gurgadee to the SGGS in 1708.

All three independent acts – retrieval of the bhagat bani, their inclusion into Pothee Sahib and their retention in the SGGS – fortify the single principle that the spiritual philosophy of the 15 bhagats was completely in line with that of our Gurus. From their initial retrieval to eventual inclusion in the SGGS, all 725 saloks and shabds of the bhagats underwent benchmarking three times at the hands of three separate Gurus. Such scrutiny for spiritual alignment is perhaps avant-garde on its own accord.

An examination of the bani of the bhagats reveals that they were revolutionary spiritual seekers. Amongst the many facets of their ground shattering and innovative spirituality, four aspects stand out as stark reality of what the bhagats stood for: (i) the damning denunciation and rejection of the then existing clergy, (ii) the total refutation of all clergy sanctioned ritual, (iii) repudiation of the clergy sanctioned idol worship, and (iv) the wholesome rejection of the primary institution of the clergy – the mandir, dehora, maseet and temple as the “pathway to spirituality”.

In any case, the institution of the clergy was out of bounds by dogma to all but three of the bhagats – on account of their ‘low’ caste. The mandir’s doors were secured shut to the castes of weaver, cobbler, tailor and other shudras. The doors did not open for those bhagats who were not shurdras either – the mandirs were shut to them as well – as pay back for their stinging criticism of the custodians of these places as frauds and pretentious beings.


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Gurbani Shabad Vichar

Gurbani Shabd Vichar

Asa Bani Bhagat Dhanney Ki

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD


The shabd under discussion in this article is composed by bhagat Dhanna Ji – ਆਸਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਭਗਤ ਧੰਨੇ ਜੀ ਕੀ॥ Asa bani Bhagat Dhanney Ji Ki – and is contained on Page 487 of the SGGS.

Bhagat Dhanna ji has a total of 3 shabds in the SGGS ji. Two are found in Assa Raag on Page 487 and one in Jaistsri Raag on page 695 of the SGGS ji. This article looks at bhagatji’s shabd in Assa Raag.

Apart from discussing the selected shabd, this article serves a second task, namely to analyze the truth or otherwise, of a story about Dhanna ji that is commonly and widely narrated by our granthis, kirtanias, ragis and parcharaks.

The origin of the story is the Bhagat Maal – a book having its origins in the Vedic clergy at Benares. It was originally authored by Nabha Dass, a self-styled Snatn theologian based in the Punjabi village of Pathankot at Gurdaspur sometime in the 1600s – just about when the bhagat bani was being incorporated into the Pothi Sahib by GuruArjun. A Brej language version under the name of Swami Priya Daas came into existence in the late 1800s. Punjabi versions of this book pertaining to the 15 SGGS bhagats can be found under the names of Nirmla Keerat Singh and Nirmla Pandit Narain Singh. A Bhagat Maal under the name of Bhai Mani Singh – believed to be authored by Nirmla Surat Singh is also in existence.


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Articles · Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Sidh Ghoshat Videos – Summary in English


By: Dr Karminder Singh Dhillon

Intro Outline:

I. Where and When was Sidh Gosht composed?

● Composed by Guru Nanak

● 1521 Guru Nanak returned to Kartarpur after his final travel journey

● For 18 years Guru Nanak spread his teachings in neighboring regions

● In Batala was a major Yogi Ashram called Achul where Yogis gathered for a yearly festival that takes

place in March (Shivratri Mela)

● Bani composed between March-September of 1539 (last 6 months of his life)

● Evidence: Bhai Gurdass Vars

● Guru Nanak becomes Joyti Joyt September 1539

● Sidh Gosht is 2nd to last Bani he wrote at the end of his life

● Sidh Gosht most complex Bani written by Guru Nanak for his disciples

● Japji Sahib was LAST Bani written

● Essence of Sidh Gosht is summarized in Pauree 28 & 29 of Japji Sahib

● Distillation of his primary spiritual philosophy

II. Who were the dialogue partners?

● Yogis had high status as religions group

● Highly elevated Yogis during travels (Shiva sect)

● Bhai Gurdas mentions Yogi Bhangar Nath at mela who confronts Guru Nanak and Guru responds with

showing Yogi his mindset is faulty

● Lohareepa (Son of Gorakh) & Charpat main leaders of Yogi group

● Yogis were misleading public

III. What are the Primary Questions (20)?


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Articles · Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Bala reincarnate

Gurcharan Singh Jeonwala

Bala Reincarnate……

By Gurcharan Singh Jeonwala

It is regrettable that Patiala University academics are in the process of re-incarnating a new Bhai Bala. They want to create a fictitious Bala who will be the companion of Guru Nanak’s travels. The Bala that even Bhai Gurdasji did not know about because he heard nothing of any Bala from the third and fourth Gurus with whom he spent his life.

But miraculously, these academics seem to know about Guru Nanak than Bhai Gurdasji even.

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Articles · Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Karminder Singh Dhillon, Phd (Boston)

Note: This article appeared as the Editorial of The Sikh Bulletin, USA, Jan –March 2019 Issue. The complete issue is available at Webmaster.


In the five and half centuries of Sikh spirituality, Sikhs have never been as disconnected from the spiritual messages contained in Gurbani as they are in the 21st Century. The root cause of such spiritual decline is clear: Sikhs have steadily distanced themselves from the understanding of the spiritual messages contained within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

Such distancing from the messages of Gurbani is despite the deep physical connections that Sikhs have nurtured with the physical embodiment (saroop) that is the SGGS – in forms including but not limited to making precious offerings; according splendour to its installation; donning it under palkis made of gold; parading it around in ostentatious displays called nagar kirtan; multiple continuous readings in the style of Akhand and Sehej Paths; and other physical forms of reverence in the name of religious ritual and dogma.

But Sikhs have remained disengaged from the messages contained within.

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Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Antt Kaal

Karminder Singh on what is Antt Kaal in Gurbani

Gurbani Shabd Vichar

Karminder Singh PhD (Boston)

Aant Kaal ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ

Note: This article appeared in The Sikh Bulletin, USA, Jan –March 2019 Issue. The complete issue is available at Webmaster.

The shabd is composed by Bhagat Tarlochan ji in Raag Gurji and appears on Page 526 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

A study of its existing interpretations – both in Punjabi Teekas and English Translations – indicates that it stands as amongst the most misinterpreted shabds. Given its subject matter, misinterpretation of the verses has the potential of creating severe distortions to our understanding of Gurmat.

This article attempts to provide authentic SGGS based meanings to the verses by using the Gurbani Framework.

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