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Madness Of Belief In Caste: Jaat-paat

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by kaur-1, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. kaur-1

    kaur-1
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    Do not be proud of your caste, you ignorant fool! So much sin and corruption
    comes from this pride....The five elements join together, to make up the
    form of the human body. Who can say which is less (inferior or bad), and
    which is more (superior or good)? Says Nanak, this soul is bound by its
    actions. Without meeting the True Guru, it is not liberated (sggs 1128).
    <><><><>

    In Gurmat — Divine Teaching or Wisdom of the Gurbani, Sri Guru Granth Sahib — there is no place for the caste system (Jaat-Paat). Baabaa Nanak introduced the concept of a society with no caste distinction. This concept was followed through by all Sikh Masters. Yet, the madness of belief in castes has a very strong hold in Sikhs! In one hand the propagators of the Dharma mouth platitudes about a casteless society preached by the Sikh Masters, but on the other hand, they practice it madly. What a paradox and hypocrisy!
    Per Gurmat (the wisdom of the Shabad-Guru), any one who believes in Jaat-Paat cannot be a true Sikh; for the castes only relate to the body; not to the Self (Soul, Spirit or Truth). In other words, the caste-conscious person is a material being (Manmukh) who has confounded the Self for the physical body. Consequently, he identifies himself and others as Jatt Sikh, Saini Sikh, Bhaapaa Sikh, Rorra Sikh, Tarkhaan or Raamgarheeaa Sikh, Mazhabee Sikh, Khatree Sikh, Lavaanaa Sikh, Kookaa Sikh, Naadhaaree Sikh, Nihang Sikh, Nirmalay Sikh, Brahmin Sikh, list goes on and on. Now, there seems to be a new class of Sikhs called Caucasian Sikhs (Gore or white Sikhs)! The result of this foolishness is as follows:
    • Most Sikh marriages are organized along the caste lines. Within Sikhs, if a boy or a girl from one caste marries someone from a different caste without mutual consent of their parents, it sometimes turns into a ****** tragedy. Thus, Jatt Sikh, Saini Sikh, Bhaapaa Sikh, Rorha Sikh, Tarkhaan or Raamgarheeaa Sikh, Mazhabee Sikh, Khatree Sikh, Lavaanaa Sikh, this Sikh or that Sikh, rarely intermarry.
    • Many Gurdwaaraas are built along the caste lines. In many Sikh villages in Punjab, Mazhabees or Dalits have their own Gurdwaaraas and even separate cremation grounds. Also, even in foreign countries, many places people have separate Gurdwaaraas based on caste system and discrimination.
    • Many Gurdwaaraa committees are elected along the caste lines.
    • Many Gurdwaaraa committee members are nominated along the caste lines.
    • If a group of Sikhs identifying with one caste looses control of management of a particular Gurdwaaraa to Sikhs identifying with another caste, they split and open up another Gurdwaaraa.
    • Many Gurdwaraas, thus, are built based on ill feelings created by the madness of belief in Jaat-Paat rather than a genuine spiritual cause.
    • Many times people make donations to particular Gurdwaraas strictly along the caste lines; rather than a just cause.
    • Many professional Bhaais and Granthees are hired or selected along the caste lines.
    • Many professional Kirtan singers are invited along the caste lines.
    • Many social contacts are based on the caste lines.
    • Political elections are contested along the caste lines (in addition to party lines).
    What a false pretension! The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) roars that the madness of false pride of caste results in two things: Sin and corruption. In spite of such strong warnings and consequences, majority of the Sikhs are inflicted with this grave disease of Jaat-Paat. Having said that, it should be of no surprise to see the prevalence of sin and corruption in the society; including the so-called religious places. In this context, this Gurbani Reflection will attempt to reflect on the following.
    • Origin Of The Pride Of Caste
    • Does God, Soul, Or The Self Has A Caste?
    • Does Caste Help After Death?
    • Manmukh (materialist) And Jaat-Paat
    • Gurmukh (spiritual being) And Jaat-Paat
    • Low And High Caste: What Does It Mean?
    • The True Caste
    • Cure From The Disease of Jaat-Paat
    Origin Of The Pride Of Caste Those having the false pride of caste are called "fool" and "ignorant" in the Gurbani. To put it otherwise, as the Gurbani says, those who practice caste distinction and feel pride of their belief in Jaat-Paat are foolish and spiritually ignorant beings.
    But, what is ignorance? Material or body-consciousness, which gives rise to false ego (Haume), is the ignorance so much talked about in the scriptures. Opposite of the body-consciousness is the spiritual Consciousness. Therefore, according to the Gurbani, spiritual ignorance or mental blindness is the root cause of this madness called Jaat-Paat or false pride of caste.
    • Agian andher mahaa panth bikhraa ahankaar bhaar lad leejai: The path of spiritual ignorance is utterly dark and treacherous; the mortal is loaded down with the crushing load of egotism (sggs 1326)
    • Antar agian dukh bharam hai vich pardaa door payeeaass: There is ignorance and pain of doubt within, like a separating screen between the man and God (sggs 40).
    • Hayumai meraa jaat hai ati krodh apmaan: Ego, self-centeredness, excessive anger and pride are the caste of men (sggs 429).
    • Hayumai meraa jaat hai hayumai karam kamaae: This is the nature of ego, that people perform their actions in pride (sggs 466).
    All living entities are under the influence of the three modes of Maya's material nature (illusion, conditioned mind, ignorance, duality, etc.). It clings to everyone except the spiritual beings. It affects mortals many ways. And one of the ways Maya snares us into its illusion or hallucination is through our false pride of caste.
    • Aachaar biyuhaar biaapat ih jaat: It (Maya) impinges upon us through our charactor, occupation, and caste (sggs 182).
    Does God, Soul, Or The Self Has A Caste? Before we seek answer to this question, let's find out if there is any relationship between God, Soul or the Self. According to the Gurbani, in reality, there is no difference between these three. They are virtually synonymous.
    • Aatam mahi Ram ram mahi aatam: The Lord is in the Soul, and the Soul is in the Lord (1153).
    The Gurbani declares that God has no caste. Accordingly, our Soul or the Self is also casteless. If the Spiritual Father is casteless, so are His children. Thus names, shapes, forms, castes, religions, birth, death, etc., are of the temporary material body only. One's Pure Self is free from such limitations. We are time and again reminded by the Gurbani to know this Truth we are the casteless Self , the "Joti-Svaroop".
    • Mann toon joti saroop hai apnaa mool pashaan: O my mind, you are That — the true image of the Divine Light — know your Reality (sggs 441).
    Then, why so many living entities are engulfed by the razing fire of madness of false pride of caste? It is so because the mortals, due to ignorance, identify themselves with the material body instead of the real Self. A spiritually blind cannot understand this. Why? Because the casteless Infinite Consciousness that the Gurbani talks about is not the subject of unmeaning rituals, lip worship, garbs, ceremonies, mundane history, culture, outer looks, material logic, scholarship, and speculations. Only a Gurmukh or a True Sikh — a Self-realized person — knows it.
    • Jaat ajaat ajonee sambhayu na tis bhayu na bharmaa: The caste of God is castelessness; He is unborn, self-illumined, without desire and doubt (sggs 597).
    • Gurmukh jaat pat sach soi: God is the caste and honor of the Gurmukh (sggs 560).
    • Ekam ekankaar niraalaa. Amar ajonee jaati na jaalaa: The Unique Lord is Peerless, Immortal, unborn, and without caste and involvement (sggs 838).
    • Naari purukh nahee jaat na janamaa naa ko dukh sukh paaidaa: (Before the rise of material consciousness) neither there was female, nor male, nor caste, nor birth nor did any one suffer pain or pleasure (sggs 1035).
    • Varan jaat chihan nahee koee sabh hukme sarist upaaidaa: God has no color, caste and mark; by His Will, He creates the whole world (sggs 1075).
    The above verses of the Gurbani make it very clear that God is casteless. Also, God has no ancestry or family. Therefore, the Self or the Soul made in His True Image is also casteless. After reading this, it should not be surprising to anybody as to why Baabaa Nanak introduced the concept of a casteless society!
    • Jaanahu joti na pooshahu jaatee aagai jaat na he: Recognize God’s Light within all, and do not inquire or consider caste, as there is no caste in the world hereafter (sggs 349).
    Does Caste Help After Death? In the end, the body of a Gurmukh (Spiritual being) as well as a wicked person meets the death. But there is a difference in the death of both entities a pure devotee (Gurmukh) dies in God-Consciousness and links back to the Original Source. However, to the contrary, a wicked person full of worldly nonsense dies in Spiritual blindness (or material consciousness) and suffers repeatedly.
    According to Indic scriptures, death means destruction of the material body, not the Spirit Soul. Upon death of the body, the bundle of memories or energy move on to the next field of experiences. And that new experience very much depends upon one's state of being at the time of death. The state of mentality at the time of death is determined by what we practice throughout our life!
    • Jit laago man baasnaa ant saayee pragtaanee: That Vaasnaa or desire, to which the mind is attached, at the last moment, becomes manifest (sggs 242).
    Physical body, caste, material status, titles, power, beauty, name, fame, and so on, do not go along one's Soul. The Gurbani compares the pride of caste with poison. Since the poison's function is to kill, whoever tastes the poison of this false pride of caste dies in Spiritual blindness, and suffers the consequences.
    • Jaatee dai kiaa hath sach parkheeai. Mahuraa hovai hath mareeai chakheeai: What merits is in the caste? (At God's Door) True (Name) is assayed. Pride in one’s caste is like poison—if one eats it he dies (sggs 142).
    • Dehee jaat na aagai jaae. Jitahi lekhaa mangeeai tithai chhuttai sach kamaae: Man's body and caste will not go with him to the world hereafter. Where one is called to answer for his account, there, he will be emancipated only by the practice of Truth (sggs 112).
    • Aggai jaat na jor hai aggai jeeoo nave: In the next world, caste and power do not count; the mortal has to deal with new beings there (sggs 469).
    Why is it that the body, pride of caste, etc., do not count in the world hereafter? The reason being is that these things are external, hence, not the Real Essence. The Real Essence is the Truth, Waheguru, who is the Divine Substance in all things and beings. He is all there is. Therefore, focusing on external things would be meaningless if this inside Reality is ignored. Manmukh And Jaat-Paat
    According to the Gurbani, one who believes in Jaat-Paat is a Manmukh (egotistic or material being). He is Spiritually blind; hence, without Intuitive Wisdom. His life is perplexed due to ignorance of his True Nature, which is Pure Consciousness. In such a perplexed state of mind, a materialist thinks that this world is solid or permanent. However, the inside reality is to the contrary. The only thing that is permanent is the Spirit (Infinite Consciousness) that pervades within evrybody and everything.
    People in material perplexities are called in the Gurbani by different names. Such names include Manmukh, Saakat (faithless cynics), Kusang (bad company), Aatam Ghaatee (self-murderer), Chor (thief), Mayadhaaree (Maya-stricken), Bimukhan (nonbeliever), Jhooth or Koorh (false or fake), nondevotee, demon, beast, idiot, fool, animal, material-being, spiritually ignorant, etc.
    Thus, a Manmukh is a stubborn fanatic. Consequently, he suffers from the ailment of duality (Doojaa Bhaav), resulting in his separation from his Source, which resides in the cave of his heart. He has no Intuitive Understanding of the Shabad (Naam, Bani, Hukam or God's Will), the purpose of life, his relationship with God, and the Way of life. Due to such egotistic life, he suffers repeatedly.
    • Aggai naayu jaat na jaaisee Manmukh dukh khaataa: The body and caste will not go hereafter, and the Manmukh suffers (sggs 514).
    Gurmukh And Jaat-Paat A Gurmukh is a Self-Realized person. By awakening Divine Grace within, he has killed his inner ego. He is a humble being, who is jealous of no one. Ever engaged in meditaion on the Divine (Japa or Name-Simran), he is completely immersed in the Infinite Consciousness, Waheguru. Hence, a Gurmukh is a casteless being. As the Infinite Consciousness or Waheguru is casteless, so is he. All his actions are selfless; for he is purified in and out. He sees the All-pure in all. Being spiritually wise, he knows the Essence of the Divinity as all there is; in everything, everywhere, and beyond measures. That's his casteless caste! This is the sign of a true Sikh. No other mundane qualification matters.
    • Nanak Gurmukh gian praapat hovai timar agian andher chukaayaa: O Nanak, the Gurmukh attains spiritual wisdom, and the pitch-black darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 512).
    • Gurmukh jaat pat Name vadiaaee: God's Name is the caste, honor, and glory of the True Sikh or Gurmukh (sggs 230).
    • Hari Bhagta kee jaat pat hai Ram: The caste and honor of the Lord's devotees is His Naam (sggs 768).
    • Hamree jaat pat sach naayu: The Name is my caste and honor (sggs 353).
    • Sant janaa kee jaat Hari Suaamee tum Thaaku ham saangee: God is the caste of the saintly person. You are the Lord; I am just Your puppet (sggs 667).
    • Naam jaat Naam meree pat hai Naam merai parvaarai: The Name is my caste, the Name is my honor, and the Name is my family (sggs 713).
    • Nanak Gurmukh gian praapat hovai timar agian andher chukaayaa: O Nanak, the Gurmukh attains spiritual wisdom, and the pitch-black darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 512).
    Thus, a pure Sikh (a Self-realized person) is beyond any mundane caste and related false pride. Because of his pure love and devotion for God, he depends only on God. For that, God is his caste, honor, glory, family, etc.
    • Laale apnee jaat gavaaee: The Lord's slave lays aside his caste (sggs 363).
    Low And High Caste: What Does It Mean? It's not the family of birth, material wealth, name, fame, power, education, knowledge, external religion, titles, etc., that makes one low or high. Who is low and high depends solely on one's deeds and how he lives his life. For example, by merely taking birth in a so called Sikh or a Brahmin family, one does not become a Sikh or a Brahmin. If both of them act in material consciousness, they are not any better than a so called Shoodra (low caste beings). In fact, according to the Gurbani, one does not even become qualified to be called human being just because he is born in a human form, what to speak of low and high caste heredity!
    • Bin boojhe pasu bhaye betaale: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale: Without Divine understanding, people become beasts and demons (sggs 224).
    • Kartoot pasoo kee manas jaat: Men belong to the human species, but they act like animals (sggs 267).
    • Manmukh tatt na jaananee pasoo maahi samaanaa: The Manmukh (material being) is a beast; he does not know the essence of Reality that is contained within himself (sggs 1009).
    • Mool na boojhahi aapanaa se pasooaa se dhor jeeo: Those who do not understand their own Roots (Source); they are beasts. They are just animals! (sggs 751).
    In the Gurbani, a Spiritually blind person is defined as a "low caste" or a low class wandering person, who is bewildered by the dualistic principle of the material nature. The intellect and other faculties of such person are characteristically confined to gross matter and concerns of materiality. The Gurbani compares such person with the worm of ordure. Such Spiritually blind individual is so very much attached to the world and its objects that he has no time or longing to practice true love for his Pure Self. In all sincerity, God's Name has no appeal to him. Thus, he is a first class hypocrite.
    • Andhula neech jaat pardesee khin aavai til jaavai: The spiritually blind, low caste or class wandering soul, comes for a moment, and departs in an instant (sggs 731).
    • Bin naavai sabh neech jaat hai bista ka keeraa hoi: Without the Name, every one is of low caste, like the worm of ordure (sggs 426).
    According to the Gurbani, a Gurmukh (Spiritually wise) is the best among all. He has the Pure Intellect and capacity to comprehend the Source of the universe. He is the True Being, the knower of the Divine. His perception is through intuition. Such Gurmukh or a true Sikh or a true devotee is the Self-realized or God-intoxicated person. Except for the Waheguru, he knows that everything else is of impermanent nature.
    • Metee jaat hooye darbaar: Effacing my caste, I have become the Lord's courtier (sggs 875).
    A person who is spiritually so elevated is wisdom-guided; for he lives in Shabad-Surti (Unconditioned Consciousness). He sees God within and without. Such individual expresses God through his God-guided intelligence, discrimintive thoughts (Viveka), and God-centered activities. The True Caste
    The preceding discussion reflects as to what constitutes a low class and a high class being. With the help of this understanding, we can try to know the real nature of a "true caste" or true class. It is not the family caste, social status, or the ancestary that gives a person the status of Supreme Dignity. It is the Unconditioned Consciousness — Shabad-Surti or God Consciousness — that determines the true status of a person. Simply put: A person immersed in Divine Name (Pure Consciousness) is of High Class; to the contrary, a person immersed in material consciousness is of low class.
    • Jaat ajaat Naam jin dhiaaiaa tin param padaarath paayaa: Of high caste, or low one, whosoever meditate on the Naam, he obtains the Supreme Substance (sggs 574).
    • Karam dharam tere Naam kee jaat: Good actions, religion, and high caste are contained in God's Name (sggs 154).
    • Bastaa tootee jhumpree cheer sabh chhinna. Jaat na pat na aadro......: He dwells in a broken-down shack, in tattered clothes, with no social status, no honor and no respect; he wanders in the wilderness, with no friend or lover, without wealth, beauty, relatives or relations. Even so, he is the king of the whole world, if his mind is imbued with the Divine Name. With the dust of his feet, men are redeemed, because God is very pleased with him (sggs 707).
    The Gurbani teaches us that there were no castes or social classes, no religious robes, etc., before the rise of the material world (Maya or conditioned consciousness). The so-called four castes — the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Soodras or Dalits — came into being afterwards. Like the Gurbani, no where in Vedic literature has it been stated that one is born Brahmin or Kshatriya or Vheshya or Shudra or Dalit. So called four castes are nothing more than four general divisions which totally depended on quality of the person. Therefore, had nothing to do with the castes, race, creed, and skin-color as these are understood today. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, the real meaning of this diversity has been lost.
    In spite of the fact that no true scripture or spiritual teacher supports the caste system, there is a rigid caste system among the Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Jain, and so on. For instance, in their villages, Shudras or Dalits are not even allowed to draw water from wells used by so-called upper castes, or enter the temples managed by the upper caste. What a shameful hypocrisy!
    What went wrong? The weakness of our religions is that their propagators do not practice what they preach. As a result, what has remained of the great teachings of the Masters and the scriptures is the unmeaning rituals, lip worship, showoff spirituality, religious robes, dogmas, and so on. People indulge in so-called religious activities but hardly ever bother to better themselves, mend their ways, change their mentality or know "Who I am?". Consequently, the man is unable to embrace all mankind as one so preached in the scriptures.
    Due to this stupidity of the propagators of religions, many people become converts, particularly those deprived, discriminated against and destitute tribal and lower castes. It's equally shameful for other religions to manipulate and exploit such people by converting them into their respective religion for ulterior purposes. Is this the solution? No. Because, by converting others, all they are doing is magnifying the problem by creating more divisions, differences, discrimination, fanaticism, and hatred in the world. At the present, all organized religions are inflicted with error. In the words of a great one, "But religion is not always purely known — and even less often purely practiced — which gives rise to differences."
    The sage Tulsidaas says: "At the touch of the philosopher's stone, metals become gold. Likewise all castes, even the butcher and the untouchable, become pure by repeating the Divine Name. Without the Name the people of the four castes are but butchers."
    Hence, to classify or identify a person with certain caste based on his heredity or family of birth is shear ignorance. The quality of the Jeeva (individual being) depends on one's attributes and actions. In other words, one's quality is determined by how he responds to the three modes of the material nature, not by heredity, race, caste, color, or some other nonsense notions.
    As indicated in the Gurbani, all are equal in respect to the Spiritual Teachings. Therefore, the one who, as a Spiritual being (Gurmukh), chants and meditates on the Divine Name attains liberation while living in the body and obtains the Supreme Status. Other mundane qualifications do not matter a bit.
    • Agge paalaa kee kare sooraj kehee raat...: What can the cold do to the fire? How can the night affect the sun? What can the darkness do to the moon? What can caste do to air and water? What are personal possessions to the earth, from which all things are produced? O Nanak, he alone is known as honorable, whose honor the Lord preserves (sggs 150).
    The Gurbani lists many Enlightened Beings who came from the so-called "low caste" families, but through the Divine Name, they all attained the Supreme Status. For example, Naamdeva, a calico-printer of little material worth, became worthy of Praise; Kabeer was of weaver caste, but by cherishing the Divine Love, he became the Treasure of Virtue. Ravidas, the cobbler, who carted the dead animals, abandoned the love of Maya; and became renowned; Sain, the barber, who was engaged in doing odd little things, became known when he enshrined the Transcendent Consciousness in the Mind; Dhanna, the farmer, also became dedicated to the God's Way, and he was ushered into the Divine Presence within; Bidura, the son of a maid-servant, became realized through the Name; Baalmeek became a sage; the list goes on and on.
    • Oshee mat meree jaat julaaha. Hari kaa naam lahio mai laahaa: Says Kabir Sahib: mean is my understanding and I am a weaver by caste. I have reaped the profit of the God's Name (sggs 524).
    • Neech jaat Hari japtiaa uttam padvee paae. Pooshahu bidar daasee soote Kishan utriaa ghar jis jaaye: Contemplating God, men of low caste attained a High Status. Ask Bidura, the son of the slave-girl, with whom Krishna chose to abide (sggs 733).
    • Re chit chet chet achet. Kaahe na Baalmeekahi dekh: Be conscious, be conscious, be conscious, O my unconscious mind. Why do you not look at Baalmeek? (sggs 1124).
    Cure From The Disease of Jaat-Paat In the mother's womb, no one knows one's caste. It is from the Seed (Shabad) of the same One Divine that the whole Creation comes into being. True is the One; and no one is separate from this Infinite Consciousness. He is here, He is hereafter. His form is One, but manifestations are many. That casteless Essence abides within the body of each and every one of us as the Pure Self. Therefore, the one who calls himself a high caste loses the Merit of his human birth.
    • Ek noor te sabhu jagu upjiaa kaun bhale ko mande: From this One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? (sggs 1349).
    • Saahib maeraa eaeko hai: My Lord is One; He is the One and Only (sggs 350).
    • Ek pashaanai haumai maari: Recognize One Truth by erdaicating egoism — the error (sggs 1277).
    • Jo deesai so taeraa roop: Whatever is seen, O God, is Your form (sggs724).
    • Ek anek biaapak poorak jatt dekho tatt soee... Sabh Gobind hai sabh Gobind hai Gobind bin nahee koyee...Ghat ghat antari sarab niranti keval ek muraaree: In the one and in the many, God is pervading and permeating; wherever I look, there He is....God is everything, God is everything; without God, there is nothing at all...In each and every heart, and deep within the very nucleus of all, is the One God (sggs 485).
    Thus, we know from the scriptures that we are made in the True Image of One God. Still, we behave to the contrary. Why? Because our false ego-sense or pride stands in the way as a formidable wall. Contrary to this, those who are free of egoism, for them the Truth (Waheguru) is the easiest thing to know! They live in it, "here" and "now".
    Therefore, one cannot know the Truth if his actions are egotistical. In other words, it is impossible to know the Truth by constantly feeding the fire ego (Haume). Therefore, the Gurbani teaches us that, in order to know the Truth, one has to starve the false ego. Unfortunately, instead of starving it, most of us continually feed it!
    The deluded mind creates divisions. Consequently, the ignorant mind is the greatest enemy of an egotistical person. To the contrary, the same mind is the best friend of a person who has eradicated his false ego from within. Accordingly, to realize the Self, the deluded mind needs to be dissolved. As long as there is this contending mind, one will be controlled by the ego. How can one free himself from all these road blocks in the Way to realize Truth? One thing is for sure: The outer looks, mere focus on mundane culture and history, empty rituals, and all superficial and shallow practices compared to the Real Essence will not do the trick! If anything, such egotistical practices will sink one more and more and more into "darkness".
    The Gurbani provides us with the sure cure and remedy. It teaches us as to how one can turn the "inverse lotus" upwards, and awaken the inner Light and see the All-pure in all. As time and again indicated in the Gurbani, the key is in becoming Spiritual Being — immersing in God Consciousness or Shabad-Surti.
    • Shabad mare taa jaat jaae: One rids the pride of caste by becoming Shabad-conscious (sggs 429).
    • Hari Hari karat jaat kul hari: Uttering God's Name, (one's false pride of) caste and lineage are effaced (sggs 874).
    • Naa mai jaat na pat hai naa mai thehu na thaau. Shabad bhed bhram kattiaa Gur Naam deeaa samjhaae: I have no caste or honor; I have no place or home. Pierced through by the Shabad, my doubts have been cut away. The Guru (God) has inspired me to understand the Naam (sggs 994).
    Those turned Godwards belong to the caste of the True God; for they abide in their True Nature, their bosom-friend. Accordingly, the Gurbani teaches us to ever abide in the Divine Name. By singing, hearing, remembering, and contemplating the Divine Name, one is saved, caste or no caste.
    • Achaar biuhaar jaat Hari guneeaa: The Lord's praise is my culture, occupation, and caste (sggs 715).
    The madness of cast distinction can be eliminated by the true love of God; for the God's true lovers are ever casteless! Through the Divine love the "low caste" becomes pure, and no longer remains bewildered. How can we attain this love of God? By removing the "dirt" of hatred, desires and fear from our heart. The Gurbani declares that loving devotion is the only essential thing. That is to say, one attains Divine love by constantly keeping the Divine Name in his mind with faith and sincerity; which purifies the Inner Shrine of the Heart within. We cannot see our reflection in a dirty water. However, once the dirt is removed from water by a purifying agent, one sees his reflection in it! The Divine name is the purifying agent! God is one, but His names are many. Therefore, what is to be remembered is that there is only one God, and that He dwells within all hearts equally. If this simple truth is realized, then the entire humanity will become a one family of single race and caste!
    • Maanas ki jaat sabhai ekai pahichaanvo: Recognize the entire mankind as one family (Paatshaahee 10).
    —T. Singh



    source:Madness Of Belief In CASTE: JAAT - PAAT



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  3. J.A.T.T

    J.A.T.T
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    How come all the Sikh gurus married women that belonged to the same caste as them even though all the Sikh gurus preach about how people shouldn’t marry someone based on caste?
     
  4. J.A.T.T

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    Anyway, this issue doesn't exist here in Canada. It is very rare to find a caste based gurdwara here in Canada unlike the UK.
     
  5. Veeru

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    >>>
    Maanas ki jaat sabhai ekai pahichaanvo: Recognize the entire mankind as one family (Paatshaahee 10).<<<

    This is what people of religions forget, even Sikhs. It says maanas. Therefore, a Sikh is the one who treats the entire mankind equally, not only Sikhs or Amritdharis. People of religions do exactly what people of different castes do.
     
  6. Lionchild

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    Hmmm, that is so not true, alll the comittee members here in vernon are so called "Jatts" and you oftern here of these ramgaria or whatever you call them here in canada, not to mention all the **** you here about these castes or clans as you here of them.
     
  7. Randip Singh

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    9 out of 10....one of the great internet essays.
     
  8. Mary McCoy

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    I am new to this forum and new to the study of Sikhism. I personally find this whole caste thing disgusting. As I understand it, social equality based on the belief that we are all children of one God is one of the fundamental foundations of Sikhism. Is my understanding of this correct?

    Today an article showed up through myn Google News Alert that I am finding extraordinarily disturbing. It repeatedly refers to 'dalit Sikhs.' What is this all about? (From: Tehelka: The People's Paper)


    Feb 24 , 2007
    The article is quite long and goes on from there. Is this as much a perversion of Guru's teachings as I think it is?

    Print this storyFeedbackAdd to favoritesEmail this story
     
    #7 Mary McCoy, Feb 17, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
  9. badmash

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    You are talking about something that will take many generations to resolve.
    The 'caste' system in sikhism is two or three pronged.

    Firstly, there is the major divide. Rural versus the non landed, money based or craft based castes. These are not religious but both ethnic and economic castes. To some component they are also racial. There is no doubt if you go among punjab and but merely look, that certain people are taller, or fairer, or more strongly built. While some of it is genetic randomness, some of it is indeed bases on ones group of heritage. There is a reason that many of the old Sikh regiments were Jut, that goes beyond their lack of occupation and stubborn nature. Jats/Jats have clan and surnames that have no meaning in the indian linguistic structure, and are indeed likely old tribal derivatives. Those tribes are probably not indian in origin, although the amalgamation of the Juts has been happening a very long time.

    Secondly, there is the issue of the view of one caste upon another. The banya, or khatri, or lala, has often made his living off of business dealings with the Juts. This has always led to an ambivalent economic relationship. It also has led to certain generalizations of behavior which I think still ring true today. While no one should be judged on base of caste origin, it is always fascinating how most everyone used to and many still do give it a place in social interactions.

    Thirdly, there is the age old racial divide between Dravidians and the invaders from the north. This has led to so many caste issues over the centuries. Certainly, the Indian preoccupation with fair complexions did not start with British rule. And while Sikhism no where justifies discrimination on the basis of this nasty complexion business, there is no doubt that culturally, those from the Punjab have looked down upon the people of the "untouchable", "dalit" or "lower" castes. This does not mean they believe they have a divine or genetic right to superiority. It means they are following a paradigm deeply ingrained in the psyche of the people, language and culture. Every generation brings changes and easing of these modes of the behavior. I do however think it wrong to judge too harshly. All things take time to change, and indeed, does not the charm of variation lie in the difference?

    People also forget that among the strenghts of the certain castes, there has been and are certain qualities of advantage of the Sikhs. In older times, the peasant armies were mostly comprised of Juts, and their toughness and simplicity were a major factor in the military successes of the Sikhs. In my humble opinion, without the "bhappa"/urban classes, much of Sikh tradition and learning would have been lost without the more urbane sophistication and education of these classes of people traditionally. You can have whatever viewpoint you like, it is no doubt a complex equation. :ice:
     
  10. Mary McCoy

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    Dear badmash ji,
    I am still confused and dismayed by the term 'dalit Sikh.' :confused:

    Although I am a novice in Indian studies, I know that 'dalit' is simply the currently politically correct term for 'untouchable.':down: Not poor or rural or Jat.

    So would you eat langar with a 'dalit Sikh'? :unsure: Or is 'dalit Sikh' a term meaningful only to a Hindu?OMG

    I apologise for being unpleasant, but the whole topic is unpleasant.

    And a further point:
    Five hundred years and counting...This sounds so much like the old cop-out 'these things take time' that was so infuriating during the American civil rights movement of the 1960s.:}:)

    'The charm of variation' may, as you say, 'lie in the difference,' but there is no charm in the pain of being treated with injustice.:ice: And that's not at all complex.

    Mary
     
  11. badmash

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    Yes, you are not wrong. While I do not espouse injustice or discrimination, not having an outsiders view, I can understand the actions and views of my forefathers and relatives. That is why I say what I do. For those who have experience of the third world, whether that be africa or asia, some will understand the irrationally strong nature of ethnic and racial distinctions. But as I said, it is a work in progress, and unlike the USA, passing a law will not overnight change a social framework set up two or three thousand years ago. But have no doubt, rapid progressive changes are taking place.

    To your question, I think the word and term dalit is broad based. It refers to a lower caste person, and most people would not consider it merely a hindu term only. To my knowledge, eating langar with a dalit is no issue at all, although your question is interesting. I will ask what it was like 30-40 years ago and try to get you an answer. I suspect the answer would be that there was separation in the villages, although I am not aware that this is a currently practiced thing. Others who have been back recently to punjab and its villages may care to comment.

    As for cop outs, I am sorry. My background is Jat and while I do not believe that my people are better than others on a person to person level, I do not refrain from admitting that I have a pride in what my people used to be and what they achieved. (Past tense applies here, they are generally useless today). And I also believe that, just as in any question of perspective or argument or debate, in the end it all depends on how you look at it. Every society and culture are different, and they are all changing all the time.

    sincerely
     
  12. dalsingh

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    Badmash and Mary,

    I don't know what the situation is in the States but here in the UK the "Sikh" caste thing has taken a ridiculous sway on the community. People have come to segregating themselves so that different castes have different Gurdwaras. This is unprecedented in Sikhism from my understanding of Sikh history. The one place where we would shed our differences is now under threat.

    What you need to understand Badmash, as proud as you are of your jat background, Jatism is eroding the foundations of Sikhism. If people are happy about this then so be it. Also, you got it right when you said that what you are proud of, remains in history. I don't agree with your views about jats mainly beacuse I have met so many muslim jats in London and as I've posted before, they aren't anything like Sikh jats despite sharing the same genetics. You just seem to making excuses for casteism with your comments, nothing else. remember jats weren't really anything politically until SIkhism came along. So jats owe Sikhi alot not vice versa. And if your talking about jat freedom, you should be careful because they were pretty much "pimped" by the British for 100 odd years, fighting other people's questionable wars (i.e. opium wars in China) for rupees when, if they were so independent, they would have been using that energy to regain their own kingdom.

    Whatever you may have been told about your "history" the evidence on the ground is that the original Khalsa contained all castes of the Panjab. Contemporary records by Moghuls say as much about Banda Bahdhur's rebellion. This included so called Dalits.

    If people love their caste so much they should revert back to Hindusim or Islam or whatever pagan **** their ancestors believed in before Sikhism. That's how I feel anyway. Besides, in London at least I have met many cowardly jat sikhs who couldn't hold their own in a fight and seem to be living off their ancestors reputation. When jats get overwhelmed, they seem to have no hesitation to go and try and get support and help from other nonjat Sikh fighters, otherwise its the usual arrogant **** from them.

    Screw caste in ALL its forms and the same to the backward people who promote it.
     
  13. badmash

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    Say what you want, history does speak for itself. I usually do not getting into screw , f*** that or him, it is all childish. Inevitably, it is all bs no? Everyone thinks one is up one on the other, this is the way of hindustan and has always been so. As for 'my history' I have only one comment, and no naysaying of mud slinging can factually denounce it. There is strong historical evidence to support that if indeed the Juts had not be integral in the sikh struggle, maybe we all posting on this forum would be bowing our heads eastwards to Mecca. Then maybe we would be arguing about who is shia and sunni? As for 'Pimping', I mean apply some salve to your own behind. The Gurkhas, world famous are also big time gigolos by your standard. Are the scots big time pimps too? At least the sikhs and many 'castist' (jat and mazbi) regiments gained fame, respect and honor fighting, unlike the vast majority of the subdued and dung eating subcontinent. Why stop there? One could say all desis in the UK are agreeable to being 'pimped' by the white majority which sees them as second class citizens even today. I am being overly harsh and crass, but my point is that if you want to let your feeling go and pour it on, then any comment has a reply.

    This topic always brings to the fore this age old divide. But at least some may enjoy or come away from it with more knowledge of the issues which are put out there.

    sincerely
     
  14. dalsingh

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    Don't get me wrong badmash, I understand what your saying. Its just from where I'm standing now the caste thing seems to be like a ball and chain on Sikhi. It is causing internal factioning within a small community that already seems to have enormous enmity from outside that seems hell bent on destroying it or at least absorbing it in one way or another.

    On top of this is the fact that in this day and age talking about caste to nonSikhs is plain embarassing. Everyone knows the Guru's position on this but we still have to make excuses for it.

    When is the next step going to take place? The logical conclusion of the Sikh movement IS (to my mind) an integrated casteless society. Or how else are we different from Hindus? This whole caste thing was clearly identified by dasmesh pita as one of the core reasons why Indians were the dung eating buffons they were/are. Hence the blantant attack on it with the Amrit ceremony. Being whatever caste never seemed to help Panjabis prior to Sikhisms emergence. As I'm sure you know, Panjab was a dung eating pitstop for every muslim invader for centuries. Plus half of the jats converted to Islam anyway. Maybe what we do have is a process of genetic selection where those Jats that were independent minded and more liberal in their outlook converted to Sikhs whilst the conservative remained Hindu and the cowardly converted to Islam. So the talk of jat characteristics may be flawed but what we may have had is a certain type of jat that joined Sikhism. On top of that is the fact that the ideological motivation to overcome the ****** against all odds warefare that took place during the 1700s wasn't the product of Jat culture but due to Sikh ideology.

    No one is trying to deny the strong contribution jats have made in Sikh society but we need to focus on today and tommorow. Practicing a form of aparteid within Sikhism is no way to go forward.

    We are the youngest major religion around. We should have a new message for the world that is strongly needed in this day and age. Casteism in Sikhism to me seems like an ugly streak of hypocrisy in all of this.

    But as ever we remain in chardhi kala that things in the long term will work out for the better.

    Let waheguru guide the panth in the right direction if it feels so inclined. What we don't want is implode from our own nonsense. I quoted something I say in that Apocolypto movie before, I still think it is an important point so forgive me for quoting it again.

    "No civilisation has been destroyed from without until they had destroyed themselves from within"

    Anyway, enough of this sombre stuff. I'm sure we both in our own different ways want our thing to prosper.
     
  15. badmash

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    I agree with you 100%.

    Indeed, it is our inability to close ranks that has, does and will do us in in the future. And of course you are right, Sikhism goes to the essence of humanity, and is not appropriately practiced by those centered on things skin deep.

    Let us hope that newer generations can get on with disseminating the value and universality (?sic) of Sikhism, and may they be proud for the right reasons, and not the more base ones.

    Sat Sri Akal!
     
  16. Mary McCoy

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    dalsing ji:) and badmash ji:) ,

    Thanks to you both so much!!:up:

    I was about to write a scathing reply that if two Sikhs can't show at least civility, if not respect among yourselves, how can you hope to teach the world the beautiful things I am finding in Sikhism. :confused: (The world really needs these things.):8-:) You know, like social justice and equality love and respect for one another.

    Then you two decided that it's better to show some unity instead of fighting.:thumbup: I guess I am beginning to learn.:idea:

    But I pray:wah: that caste never really makes sense to me.

    Now can we all go eat ice cream?:ice:

    Mary
     
  17. hakimpuria

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    That is absolutely not true. Open your eyes and look around.Do not judge by the name of the Gurdwara. Find out who are controlling it. Mostly those are the people who count them as upper class Sikhs (Brahaman Sikhs).You know what I mean!
     

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