Are Copies of Guru Granth Sahib Being Disrespected at a Local Library?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by sikhimylife, Feb 14, 2011.


  1. sikhimylife

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    Satnam cyber sangat ji,

    I go to my local library often to have some quiet time to read a book and enjoy the atmosphere. One time I was taking a stroll through the religious section to get a book on Sikhi and learn more about our beautiful history in depth. As I was scoping out a variety of different books, I came cross volumes of the Guru Granth Sahib stacked up on the shelf like all of the other regular books. I picked up one of the volumes and started reading, it had Gurmukhi & English translations. People have written inside of some of the pages with a pen and outlined some verses like how you see in any of the other books that have been on the shelf over time, clearly the scriptures have been their for a while now. I shook my head and thought this is very wrong and put the volume back on the shelf. I was pretty disappointed but I did not take any step or try to to talk to the library staff about it which I regret now. This was a couple months back and today when I was coming back from the Gurdwara, I thought about the scriptures in the library again and actually want to do something about this myself. Why am I expecting someone else to take action? I'm thinking to myself what am I doing? This is the Gurus bani in the shelves of the public library, put there like any other book. This is not something we just read and put back on the shelf like a book. This is the bani of Akhal Purakh that we recite every day that connects us to the one and guides us. The bani should be wrapped around in a clean clothe, it should be handled with care with washed hands and head covered, not written on! I live in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. We have a population of around 130,000 with 19% of the population South Asians, particularly Punjabis/Sikhs. So I don't know where to start, I thought I would come on this site and get the sangats opinion first, what do you guys feel about this situation? What would you guys do? What can I do that will take these scriptures out of the library, I feel this is gravely disrespecting Guru Sahib.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ke Fateh animatedkhanda1
     
  2. spnadmin

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    sikhimylife ji

    If the books of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji that you saw in a local library were in English and Gurmukhi, then you did not see an authentic granth. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is only in Gurmukhi. The authentic Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are available only from authorized printing houses in India - operated by SGPC and DGMBC. They are never sold at a price, but an offering is given.

    Gyani ji and Tejwant Singh ji can give more regarding the matter of what constitutes an authentic granth. If there is an English translation then it is not an authentic granth. Of course it is disrespectful to write in the pages of the copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. On the other hand a copy in translaiton would not be something that would require wrapping in cloth, or sukhasan and parkash.

    If you take the books, that will be stealing because they are public property. Why don't you bring your concerns to the head librarian and see what she/he can do? Perhaps ask librarians to keep the book in the reserve section where it has to be specifically requested and the reader must have a library card. That would ensure a greater level of respect, if not as much as you would require.

    The bright side of this is that a wide range of people have the copy of the granth available to them in a public library to read. In this way the library is spreading the bani to people who would not ordinarily have access to it because they are not members of sangat.
     
  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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    This is a dilemma we face as Sikhs...BUT then its not the same feeling when others are concerned. Our Father Guru Gobind Singh Ji is just another "Indian" to many..a Patriot, a philosopher, a fighter, a warrior, a son who sacrificed his father, a father who sacrificed his sons, a son who gave his mother for the Nation,..BUT at the end of the Day the Guru Gobind Singh to US Sikhs is not the same to all others. Same goes for Guru granth Sahib and Gurbani.
    Similarly a Sikh can never hope to have the same respect and love a Muslim has for the Koran. We cannot hope to remain ISOLATED and keep the Gurbani all wrapped up and safe from prying hands and enquiring minds of others who are just reading it for knolwedge/fun/entertianment/enlightenment...a host of reasons.

    Technically the SGGS in ONE COMPLETE VOLUME and in GURMUKHI SCRIPT is the accepted GURU. Two volumes/four volumes/six or eight volumes of the SGGS are available - they are NOT the GURU per se and cannot be Parkash on Palki/Throne of the GURU with Chandni and chaur . These POTHIS/Volumes are for studying Gurbani and can be placed in Libraries. ONLY the One Single Volume in Gurmukhi is GURU and has to be kept in full Maryada - iF you see that kept open in a library you may approach the authorities and suggest the needful. OF Course to a SIKH..even ONE TUK of Gurbani is sacred and it would be treated that way - so most of us wrap Gutkas, small pothis, etc in clean Rumallahs and handle with extreme care.

    Bottom Line..our GURU is GYAAN....SHABAD GURU..and CANNOT possibly be harmed/polluted/disrespected/etc etc in any which way. Thats a misnomer. Genuine SATIKAAR of Gurbani is FOLLOWING its MESSAGE faithfully and USING it to CHANGE OUR LIVES so that our behaviour DISPLAYS this . A "Sikh" who lies/cheats/steals/commits adultery/takes bribes, plays truant, does ninda chughlee etc etc BUT covers his dastaar with a dozen new Rumallahs, washes his hands with DETTOL a dozen times, ties a FILTER over his MOUTH after having LISTREENED IT a DOZEN TIMES...to uncover a wrapped GUTKA to read the Nitnem..is a BHEKHI..a FRAUD...He is not showing "satikaar to Gurbani" by the SHOW off RITUALS/Karam kaand is just CHEATING HIMSELF. GURU NANAK SAW such people and has given examples of these in His Gurbani !!! Satikaar of Gurbani should shine through on our Faces via our CHARACTER !! Mitthh Bollrra JI...nimrataa filled to the Brim....lowest of the LOW..dust of the feet...naam jappiyah, naam rassiah, waand chhakann wallah..hard honest worker..etc etc. Such a person approaching a "libraian" will get all the respect and get his ideas implemented immediately...while the Karam kandee FRAUD may get his Library card suspended and be thrown out on his ear.

    1. Gift the Library a set of SGGS on DVD/CD/VCD/Electronic File - this will put a stop to anyone writing notes. Multimedia SGGS with Gurmukhi/English translationa nd Romanised versions are widely available...get the Library a few copies.

    2. Gift the Computerised version fo SGGS Gurbani kirtan etc...

    3. THEN get the Library to place the SGGS pothis/books on a special shelf/room.

    4. Try and ensure that ALL "SIKHS" who visit the Library are EXAMPLARY SIKHS whose faces shine with the Divine Message of Gurbani....so whatever they say...will be RESPECTED. The WORLD doesnt OWE us naything..its WE WHO OWE IT TO THE WORLD to put forward the Diivne Message of GURBANI in its proper perpesctive so that it is UNDERSTOOD and ADOPTED by OTHERS..then we are doing egnuine Satikaar of GUrbani.
     
  4. Tejwant Singh

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    Sikhimylife ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Gyani ji has explained everything in his usual remarkable manner. Allow me to add my two cent worth.

    I am glad that you have the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our only Guru in translation form in your library. You are lucky. Many libraries do not even many Sikh books.

    Gurbani, now a days can be found in many different forms. Punjabi Newspapers have Gurbani verses on the top and we take them to the loo when nature calls and read the news. We listen to Gurbani on cd's and mp3 players in different places and many times our heads are not covered. We do not cover our heads when we watch Gurbani being sung on our TV or on YouTube.

    Gurbani is Shabad Vichaar. The true respect that we can give our wonderful Gurbani is to study it, understand it and practice it in our daily lives in order to make a difference. If we do not do that then every kind of imaginable ritual leads to naught.

    Having said that, please do not get disheartened but think of this as an opportunity. In most of the libraries, there are separate rooms for reading or for special activities. Talk to the librarian and request him/her that you would like to have a room for a couple of hours fortnightly or once a month where you will be discussing Sikhi. Make some boards regarding this and place them in the library so everyone is welcome and place the same in your Gurdwara. You can convince many Gurdwara goers to participate in it. Bring some head coverings from the Gurdwara. Also invite the library workers who can take turns. Use the translation books from the library, discuss the verses, Sikh history etc etc as a starter.

    By doing this, you will be able to educate others and I am sure many more Sikhs will join you in this endeavour. After the library staff has understood this part, then it will be easy for you to convince them to put a sign where the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji books are, requesting people to cover their heads and take their shoes off. If they do not, it should not matter either, as long as yours and others of your mates' efforts can make them come in contact to this beautiful Gurbani.

    You can start with one library and then move on to the other one.

    Please keep us informed about the progress.

    Thanks and regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
  5. a.mother

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    Gyani ji ,Many-many thanks to you. Its a eye-opening post.Thanks from bottom of my heart. Since I join the SPN fortunately I have learned lot. I am thanking Waheguru too for placing me (avguni jeev) in the sangat.
     
  6. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh SPN Sewadaar
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    You can get the entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji onjline in cyber space, and it co exists alongside websites like porn ones in cyber space. Is that disrespecting it?
     
  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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    Tejwant Ji..If i had only collected all your "2 cents"...I would be a millionaire by now...japposatnamwaheguru:
     
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  8. spnadmin

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    There will be further deletions when the status of SGGS is questioned. This is not a matter for opinion, nor is it a topic for casual conversation. Perhaps it is one aspect of dialog here that is not open to debate. Any more and immediate action will be taken.

    Please be warned.
     
  9. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh Apache Spark, Scala developer
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    When we talk about Kesh, we give respect to each and every strand of our Kesh as we do to collective beard and top knot. Similarly each and every page, line or word of Gurgani has to be given equal respect. We had Ten Gurus who walked on Earth, all had equal respect. It is not as if when we see a picture on the wall (a la 10 in 1) we feel respect for them.

    Many Gursikh families don't use even IK ONKAR on the wedding cards as they know people will disrespect them. And about stuff being taken to loo, in a generation not so long ago, even study books or novels were not allowed to be taken inside loo by most mothers. People used to feel bad if a notebook would fall down by mistake.

    Printing it free and making Gurbani accessible with no 'Sewadar' around would only make it no important than 'random quotes' for the coming generation.
     
  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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    When I was growing up....it was thought highly disrespectful to "KNOWLEDGE" if any child even dropped an ordinary school book on the floor !! Books were REVERED...Even English ones..and PUNJABI ones were most highly revered of all...as Gurmukhi !!
    Punjabi Newspapers were NEVER used as wrapping paper even for Karah Parshad/chholleh/etc in the Gurdwara....slowly this aspect has been eroding steadily...now i see kids throw their school bags down the moment they reach home..punjabi newspapers used as rubbish/garbage wraps even in Gurdawras..etc etc...
     
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