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Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices by Nanak Singh Nishter

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by kaur-1, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. kaur-1

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    A thought provoking must read article. Issue No.24, May 2006

    Need for Reforms in Sikh Practices

    Need for Reforms in Sikh Practices

    [​IMG]

    by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Paper presented at a seminar organised by The International Sikh Confederation on 8th April 2006 at Chandigarh.

    Guru Granth and Guru Panth

    I congratulate The International Sikh Confederation for organising a seminar on the subject “Task Before The International Sikh Confederation” and inviting speakers from all over the world to express their views on the emergent issues of the Panth which require reforms. According to me the main and foremost task before the Sikh Intelligentsia is to prevent the community from the irreligious practices contrary to Gurbani and to restore the dignity of Guru Granth and Guru Panth in accordance with The Sikh Code of Sikh and Conventions (Sikh Rehat Maryada).

    Fortunately, ours is the only faith, which is supposed to be governed by their present Guruship and in no way any individual, how ever high he may be, can be accorded more importance or respect. We should always remember that the purpose of organising a Diwan should be for furtherance of our faith and not of any individual. A trend is widely growing among the Prabandhak of Gurdwaras for praising and conferring a Saropa to individuals in power in the Diwan or even by going to their door steps for establishing personal contacts. This has much degraded the institution of Guruship and honour of a Saropa. We have fallen down from Gurbani practitioners to the hero worshippers.

    One incident comes to my mind of Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan the last ruler of Hyderabad, the biggest state of India and one of the wealthiest person in the world of his days. Once he went to pay obeisance at Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya at Delhi. There a poet started reciting a poem in his praise. He immediately stopped him saying, “This is the place to praise Allah not me”. But presently we have gone down to such a low level that we falsely praise individuals in the Diwans leaving the Guru and their teachings aside. What more could be the insult and desecration of Guru Sahib? Also, in these diwans a huge stage is erected for the V. I. Ps. to sit above the Sangat, along with Kirtanye and Shi Guru Granth Sahib. The idea behind this is inconceivable. What is the status of Guru Panth in the eyes of the elite who sit over there on the stage looking down upon the sitting “Guru Roop Sadh Sangat ”?

    Now a days most commercial preachers and self styled religious leaders are plundering with both hands and pushing the innocent masses towards destruction of their faith. And the greatest tragedy is that knowledgeable people have become silent spectators of this degradation. We successfully survived the toughest periods in our history but now our survival is endangered at the hands of our own people who are destroying our belief and the philosophy of our faith. Since five centuries, we have not only won the battles but also ruled for 86 years in Punjab and neighbouring states including foreign lands. But most unfortunately we are not realising that at the present time we are gradually loosing the War of Nerves.

    Since its inception, Sikhism was under attack by outsiders on some pretext or the other. But the present day aggressions with far reaching results are more drastic, unseen, silent, scientific and systematic, using the Sikh people against the Sikh faith. This reminds me of the time two thousand years ago when Brahmins infiltrated as monks into Buddhism and succeeded in demolishing the entire structure of the Buddhist faith from inside and paved the way to Buddhism’s eventual extinction from the land of its origin. The clever Hindu clergy has even declared Goutham Buddha, who preached against Hinduism and was a non-believer of God, as one of the 24 incarnations of God itself in the Hindu scriptures. This was done to destroy the Buddhist identity and to assimilate Buddhism into the Hindu fold. Even today, Hindus control the most sacred Buddhist temple of Boudh Gaya in Bihar.

    Sanctity of The Faith

    I will confine my paper on the subject, “ What is Sikhism and how is it to be followed?” In one sentence it can be described that, “ Sikh means disciple, who is supposed to continuously follow the teachings of the Guru ”. This is a unique and only faith, which was nurtured for 239 years by the ten Gurus. The 10th Guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the finishing touches and declared the Sikhs as the “Wahguru Ji Ka Khalsa ” i.e., “ sovereign people of the wondrous God ”, and also that henceforth the Guru will be Guru Granth and Guru Panth. This clearly shows that the life of a Sikh and their places of worships should be governed by the guidelines of the present Guru Sahib only. And every organisation of the Sikhs and every individual Sikh has to keep up the sanctity of their faith by discarding other practices contrary or not in consonance to its teachings at all levels.

    More specifically on page No. 667 of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, the 4th Guru Shri Guru Ram Das Ji has clarified that, “ My dear Gursikh friend, follow the path shown by the Guru. Whatever Guru says obey it, that is the unique way to approach God ”.

    In fact Gurbani is meant as a syllabus of Sikh curriculum of life covering each and every aspect of life. Even school children protest if the teacher speaks anything out of their syllabus textbook. On the contrary we spend lakhs of rupees on these professional Parcharaks to speak to the Sangat against the Gurbani text. Instead of protesting, we reward them with extra Ardase apart from their much-bargained contract amount. This system of offering is inherited from the Sufis Mehfil-i-Samah, rewarding the singers of Qawali. This system has corrupted our Parcharaks. Instead of preaching Gurmat they prefer pleasing the Sangat to get more money. Unless this offering of Ardase in the Diwan is banned, no corrective measure will work.

    The beauty of Gurbani is its eclectic quality. It does not belong to any particular religion; on the contrary it condemns the barriers of religion. It teaches the way of Sehaj (simple and natural living) for approach to spiritualism and humanism. In no way it can be confined to a religious text for any rewards after the death or for asking any material benefits during the present life. In fact it teaches people to mould their life for the self, towards the society, towards the Guru (spiritual guide) and God. It repeatedly advocates that nobody can attain the desired benefits by simple reciting, listening or by any other ritual unless they follow the teachings in their personal life. We are utilizing and exploiting it today, for feeding or projecting certain selected group of people.

    Some of our own people are dragging the community towards the appeasement of each other, rituals, customs, blind faith, pilgrimages and contributions towards the non-productive and non-beneficiary expenditure over the structures, deficit running low profiled schools and hospitals, pomp and show of the festivals, Nam Simran Samagams, Kirtan Samagams, Centenaries, Celebrations of Christian New Year and Death Anniversaries of the so-called Sants and individuals etc. The concept of celebration does not exist at all in the philosophy of Gurmat, even then the Panth has been made to follow these rituals.[/b]

    If this money, time and energy is diverted towards the religious, educational and socio-economic uplift of the individual Sikh, within 20 years every Sikh could become dignified and prosperous. Keeping this in view, the wisdom and foresight of our Guru Sahiban, instructs us toward Vand Chakkna i.e., distribution of our earnings among fellow beings. Whether our actions are right or wrong we can judge our self from page 3 of Shri Guru Granth Sahib. In Jap, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has specifically declared that, “Dharam is the son of compassion and contentment is its son ”.

    No other community spends so lavishly and foolishly, criminally wasting the community funds and pushing the masses against the tenets of their religion, contradictory to the fundamentals of the faith. In other communities, each and every individual instigate their fellow beings to read, understand, follow and preach their own religion according to the Scripture. Whereas, our preachers are dragging the Sikhs away from the Scripture and much publicising and confining on mechanical chanting without understanding of just a single word Waheguru. The concept of Simran of Wahguru in Gurmat is to keep in simiriti i.e., always remember Wahguru with every breath. Oral repetition of word Wahguru for some time and remaining all the times doing as per your will and wish contrary to the Gurbani teachings is not at all approved. The wisdom and experience of 36 noble souls of 500 years from Hazrat Baba Sheikh Fareed Ji (1175-1265) to Shri Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji (1621-1675) is incorporated in Shri Guru Granth Sahib.

    The clear-cut philosophy of Gurbani repeatedly emphasizes that there is no remedy to washing our sins and granting boons that we do not deserve according to our deeds. Only God’s will prevail and the Sikhs are supposed to live gratefully happy in obedience. Guru Nanak Dev Ji on page No. 351 of Shri Guru Granth Sahib has outspokenly said that, “With what face do you ask for any boon, when your good and bad deeds are giving the evidence ”.

    Unless our present prevailing life style changes in accordance with the teachings of Gurbani, we cannot claim to have become a Sikh. A person has to convert himself into Sikh fold by practice and not by birth or appearance alone.

    Guru Ram Das Ji on page No. 304 of Shri Guru Granth Sahib stresses to mould the life according to the teachings of Gurbani saying that, “The Bani of Satguru is perfectly true, let us mould our self according to Gurbani ”.

    Desecration of the Diwan

    The reasons for flourishing these evils among the Parbandhaks and Parcharaks, making them dictators and unquestionable authorities, lie in the present practice of not allowing any body to speak on the microphone and address the sangat. The situation is that the audience receives the right or wrong directions from the microphone, and not from Gurbani. The only remedy I could realise is that, they should be made accountable for their speech and action. Let all of us resolve to raise our voice against the un-Sikh practises by them, how ever great or small they may be. I would request this august body to recommend all religious bodies to provide an opportunity of censor through open debate in the Sangat of the same Diwan, if any Parcharak or Parbandhak speaks anything, which is not in consonance with Gurbani or amounts to desecration of Guru Granth and Guru Panth.

    If any person from the same audience asks for time to question a wrong it, he should be welcomed and given an opportunity to explain the right interpretation and spirit. This provision of asking for explanation will provide a check for the unquestioned and unaccountable half knowledged or ill knowledged people. And more over it will save the Sikh masses from being emotionally carried away on the wrong side by these self styled leaders. Only through this provision, we can mould the Parcharaks and Parbandhaks to speak very well and restrict their activities in accordance with Gurbani before the Sangat with a sense of accountability. If they do not realise themselves, they should be made to understand what amounts to desecration of Diwan and institution of Guruship? Dr. Sir Mohd Iqbal has beautifully described their vision saying, “What do these people of religious rituals know, what is the community and how to lead them? ”

    You will agree with me that for the moment the blood cancer of Manmat has affected and is circulating in the Panthic Body. Healthy blood of Gurmat has to be transfused periodically for survival. Our important responsibility towards the Panth is that every effort however big or small should continue in our individual or institutional capacity. If we lack this vision, we can never dream the depth of degradation we are going to fall. The present degradations and deviations among other religions have gradually cropped up during thousands of years. But within three centuries, we are loosing our separate and independent philosophy under the influence of those who have already lost their originality.

    Root Cause of All Evils

    Almost all of us are in the habit of holding others responsible for every Panthic evil. When we are a part of this system, then we should have the courage to accept the burden of guilt of our portion also. We can never close our eyes from the problems we face saying that we were unaware of the deteriorating situation. There is an age-old proverb that “Ignorance is no excuse”. If you are a man of Gurmat consciousness, you can never exonerate yourself. You will realise that illiteracy is the root cause of all evils, and our turning back to the problem is much aggravating it.

    Shabad is the Guru of all Gurus and of the Sikhs. Shabad means an alphabet, word or a stanza, and also knowledge. It cannot be attained without learning and literacy. And learning is the basic concept of Sikhism, and the Shri Guru Granth Sahib is the lighthouse of learning. In Gurbani there are hundreds of couplets insisting upon this subject. Without going into this aspect, I will project the tragic state of affairs of Sikh Panth in the field of literacy and poverty in comparison with other communities.

    The Sikhs presume ourselves as a progressive community. But in fact, we are one of the most illiterate people in India and slightly better than the people living below poverty line without shelter and one square meals a day. The Government of India Censes 2001 reveals this fact that though Jains are a merchant community their literacy rate is highest with 84.1 %. The Sikhs rank third from the bottom at 60.55%, among them in Punjab we have the lowest percentage of 58.67. For censes purpose a person is considered literate if he is able to read and write with understanding any one language, even without formal school education. The above data indicates that 39.45% of the Sikhs are absolutely ignorant of any written language not even Gurmukhi script, without which no Sikh could perform his religious duties.

    Remedy

    The only reason behind this draw back is money. Most of our people are leading their life on or below poverty line and cannot afford to bear the high cost of education. They put their children in earning livelihood, snatching away their childhood. Even the Government has banned this evil of child labour, but we never care for this aspect of our Panthic life. It is the need of the hour that we take up the task of producing intellectuals in the community at the individual level. It is better we utilize our Daswandh with our own hands. It is better if an individual or family sponsors one child up to the completion of any professional course or at least up to high school. Their means should only be the criteria; merits will develop by your help.

    Spend on them as your own child, provide them used clothes, meeting all the expenses of education, uniforms, health, books and stationary, tuition, extra coaching for upgrading their level and for competitive examinations of admissions and services. Never pay them in a lump sum, there is every possibility of misusing the funds by their parents. Periodical make contact with the candidate, watch their progress and counsel them for further education or training, with a sense of service and never with pride of favour. Let us pledge that let “Each One Teach One”, so that every Sikh should at least read and understand Gurbani to follow Sikhism in its true sense thus eradicating the root cause of all evils.

    Jesus Christ said for the people who were instrumental to crucify him, “O God! Please forgive them. They do not know what they are doing ”. Here I would like to pose a question to the Sikh intelligentsia, Don’t you know, what are the irreligious practices adopted by the Sikhs and Gurdwaras ? If the answer is yes, then who will pray for your forgiveness? Or would you wait and watch for the time to come when a Sikh version of French Revolution gets started with the new generation playing football in the streets with the rolling heads of today’s responsible people?

    Dr. Sir Mohammad Iqbal says, “Come! I will tell you how the fortune of communities is built? First hold the sword and spear, and then wealth and musical instruments at last ”. Where as, we are not only moving in reverse gear but also just concentrating as first and the last resort of our religious activity on wealth and musical instruments alone.
     
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  3. skeptik

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter


    Yes, Sikhs never cared for heros, did they? Nevermind that men like Banda Singh Bahadur, Bhai Mani Singh are often deeply revered by all Sikhs alike. But I agree with Nanak Singh that the Saropa thing is a bit crass. Leave that stuff out, there is no need. Merit speaks for itself, it does not require a saropa.

    Nanak singh is upset with celebrity sants. Maybe he is jealous that they get so much attention and fame and his job as a sikh intellectual is wholly unrewarding? I dont know why else he would single them out for such a scathing attack. Look, yes some of those sants are dodgy - but is this something new? God! - Even during the Gurus times there were dodgy sants, even born in the houses of the Gurus! False gurus, saints and the like are nothing new. Whats his 'solution' to the problem? We should exterminate them? No seriously, whats to stop a man from freely chosing another one for 'spiritual' guidance - common sense perhaps? Well sometimes people dont have that, so these things happen. Maybe if Nanak singh and his friends did a better job of setting the record straight about the essense of sikhism, men and women would not run after celebrity sants for blessings. You cant attain anything material wealth, success, etc, by seeing a celebrity Sant, but you wont find any intellectual saying such obvious things, and yet these obvious things obviously need to be said.
     
  4. skeptik2

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    i give up. there is too much there for me to grapple with
     
  5. kaur-1

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Oh dear!(with my head shaking side to side), how can you even dare to put Banda Singh bahadur and Bhai Mani Singh as people we "hero" worship.
    We respect their bravery and there is no way you can put them in the same league as Monty Panasar the Sikh cricket player!!!


    You said it. The obvious needs to be said as not all of us take "notice" of the obvious and walk around like "the deaf, dump and blind".

    As you must have noticed, the above aritcle is from "a Paper presented at a seminar organised by The International Sikh Confederation on 8th April 2006 at Chandigarh".
    So I am not sure why you attacked the writer for stating the "obvious" as mentioned.



    Veerji, I recommend you read the whole article again not just pick a few words and attack them!
     
  6. skeptik

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Hey! Where did i say we worship these men? The way you've written that first sentence, it sounds as if you are holding Bhai Mani Singh and Banda Singh Bahadur in very high esteem indeed; typical of heros. Further, what have you got against Monty Panesar? Sure hes not jatt, but so what, he is an accomplished young sikh, who makes for a good role-model - nothing wrong with this, least of it him being a tharkan. I think you should watch more cricket kaur-1, maybe you'll begin to appreciate monty more.

    I have read the whole article, albeit begrudgingly, because the writer shows such malice and contempt for sikh society that I cannot at all take him seriously. It doesnt help that he resorts to gross end-of-the-world propaganda to make his points. Nanak Singh begins with the tired practise of paying homage to our sikh fore-fathers, setting the scene to condemn current sikhs because ofcourse they cannot match up to those great men and women of history. He seeks to shame us into guilt, and sets his agenda boldly: "to restore the dignity of Guru Granth and Guru Panth." This reveals himself straight away, for he is undoubtably a Neo-Sikh.

    Following this cliched prelude, Nanak Singh contends, "Fortunately, ours is the only faith, which is supposed to be governed by .. Guruship .. and in no way any individual, how ever high he may be, can be accorded more importance of respect." Right, no one can disagree with this, but where is this being done? He immediately gives the example of "A trend is widely growing .. for praising and coferring a Saropa to individuals .. in the Diwan." He continues, "This has much degraded the institution of Guruship and honour of a Saropa."
    Nanak Singh's problem cannot be with giving Saropas, presumably, because otherwise the Saropa would never have any honour in the first place to be degraded. He then says, "We have fallen down from Gurbani practioners to the hero worshipers." Strong claims indeed!

    I believe every Sikh will be liable to emotional blackmail by these words. How can we compare to those Sikhs in the past? Why they were brave men who sacrificed life and limb for Faith; ofcourse they deserved Sarope, and us? We deserve only contempt and shame in comparison. It is a cunning ruse, a favorite weapon in the arsenal of the Neo-Sikh, to guilt us into submission, and accept his agenda. But lets stop for a second and ask soberly, has Nanak Singh given a good reason for why he thinks contemporary sikhs have degraded 'the insitution of Guruship and honour of a Saropa?" He simply asserts it, and doesnt justify why he says so. We are left to fill in the gaps - and how easily we feel the gaps! For he speaks exactly to our insecurities; our modesty in the face of the lofty heights attained by the early Sikhs.

    By comparison, ofcourse, no contemporary Sikh deserves a Saropa, or even any praise at all. How can we praise achievements and accomplishments that pale in shadow of our ancestors? We simply cannot. And to do so is to insult Guru Sahib. It is to perform desecration of Guru Sahib! What a sick group we have become. Desecration indeed! We ought to be very ashamed of ourselves for even contemplating offering a Saropa to any of today's Sikhs.

    Finally, a genuine complaint is to be found; but did it really require all that heavy propaganda that came before it? Couldnt he simply have said this, and achieved his aim, if it was simply to bring to our attention this activity. To ask this question is to answer it. For every sikh knows that that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is our Guru, with all that, that entails. Nanak Singh though sees this complaint as a means to spew his toxic end-of-the-world propaganda, and shame Sikhs into sharing his agenda. It is actually a side-thought, for even such small issues to him, are proof of the decline of Sikhi - the end of Guru Nanak's civilization. Every sikh will agree with him about the quoted complaint. None will disagree. And yet, Nanak Singh resorts to such low tactics to bring this to our attention. Completely unnecessarily, and with reckless zeal, he slights and dismisses our whole society for its complicity in something few of us will agree with.
     
  7. skeptik2

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Do i really need to add anything here? His toxic propaganda flows freely in this paragraph. But i would hasten to ask him this: Does he need reminding that even our Gurus counted on the loyalty of the masses who provided our faith with much needed resources. Who gave us the money, the food, the weapons and the support - if not the very common man who today is so wrong for doing the same, but for only the wrong person. Fact is, there would have been men and women then, who donated to our Faith, without which the affairs of the Sikh faith would not have taken their proper course. If today people wish to support men who they think are saints, and who will confer them with rewards, then realise if you take issue with this, that you would have to take issue with similar events in our very glorious past.
     
  8. skeptik

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Mr Nanak Singh, because there is no longer any obvious enemy, no mughals tormenting innocents, no Hill Chiefs harassing Sikhs, no head hunters and no open war - you posit an invisible one instead. Ingenious! Is this not clear proof of paranoia? I pity this man, for he fears 'unseen' and 'silent' forces, that wish to destroy his whole society. A society that he carries an obvious disdain for, nevertheless, one which he pains to save. This is a man in great conflict, and far from taking him seriously and acting on his wisdom, we ought to calm him and provide him with comfort.
     
  9. skeptik2

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Oh dear, the Brahmin conspiracy again. Yes the cunning and voracious Brahmin spends his days plotting the end of Sikhism. More paranoia, more fear mongering, more xenophobia. This is shockingly anti-sikh, for our faith does not fear outsiders, it lives comfortably with them. Suppose the Gurus thought otherwise, would they not have settled elsewhere, a place free of the influence of Hindus? Please stop this hateful propaganda.

    I havent the energy to review the rest of the article today, might do it later though. Good day.
     
  10. kaur-1

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Veerji, You really have to read article's in the "news" section in this forum or from "panthic weekly". This will make it clearer to you some of the comments in the above article. Its important to know whats going on in our "own backyard".Try also looking at "sikhtoons"!
    [​IMG]
    BTW, you do know that followers of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji do not believe in caste system so why mention "Jatt".? Try to find what the duty of a practising Sikh should be. Look up in "
    Sikhiwiki" and type the word "sikh" in the search.Dont forget that Sikhi is a way of life!.
    Truth hurts but this is whats happening to the Sikh faith and the Sikh community.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. skeptik

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    comeon kaur :) We require good leadership but this whole "lets overthrow the corrupt and replace them with shiny and holy newleaders" thing isnt going to work. it will only put extremists in their place and thats dangerous for their blood-lust. bloodshed and drastic change causes more trouble than it solves. all we can do is make sure that if there are men of good character out there, that they are able to rise to promincence through the process, if they wish it.

    we had good saintly leaders once, longowal was a decent man, but look what we sikhs did to him? we had him shot. and who shot him? why the most passionate reformers amongst us. think about it.

    im going to the gym, i might be back later tomorrow tho. have a read of his post and see how much is hysteria, and how much of it is genuine grief. gurfateh.
     
  12. dalsingh

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    How a guru turned Monty into England's new cricket star

    By JANET MIDWINTER, The Mail on Sunday Last updated at 10:39am on 6th August 2006

    [​IMG] Sect leader Maharaj Ji and new England star Monty






    He is not, it must be said, a typical Eastern guru. True, he has a whiskery silver beard, but there are no flowing robes - just a white T-shirt, baggy tracksuit bottoms and work boots. His throne is a cheap nylon armchair in the kitchen of a Canadian farmhouse.

    Yet this is Maharaj Ji, a man who - although he can't tell an off-break from a googly - has become the guide and inspiration for Monty Panesar, England's newest cricket star.

    The 24-year-old spin bowler spent a month on Maharaj Ji's 5,000-acre community farm on the outskirts of Edmonton last autumn. On his return he described the trip as 'the defining moment of my life'.

    Galumphing
    He said: "To meet the master was fantastic. He told me to go home and concentrate on cricket, to go full whack and give it my passion. He has really motivated me."
    Since then the "Montster" has gone from possible stand-in to core member of the England Test squad. Fans love his galumphing wicket celebrations and chant his name enthusiastically at every game.

    Full article

    How a guru turned Monty into England's new cricket star | the Mail on Sunday

    I don't really care what caste he is BTW. D
     
  13. skeptik

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    dalsingh .. whats your opinion?
     
  14. dalsingh

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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Well if that Daily Mail article is true than he is hardly an orthodox Sikh but more of a Sant follower.

    Let me make my position clear at the outset, I'm against such practices. The beloved Panj Piaray were content to be called "Bhais" and done more for Sikhi than any such "Sant" to date, so I feel he is misled. He is falling into that dangerous cult follower thing. These sants today seem to position themselves as modern day Gurus, when it is generally accepted by Sikhs that we should only accept the Guru Granth Sahib as our Guru.

    I've seen these "sants" and they make claims to supernatural power which really makes me laugh. When any of their "followers" do well they jump to take credit. When their predictions are not realised then they are quick to lay blame on the follower saying they did something wrong - this reminds me of Brahmins!

    But to keep it in balance some of what some these sants do is quite positive, and I say this begrudgingly because I know of someone in my family who is "affiliated" to one such sant and although their "Gurdwara" is covered in sant pictures and require some serious {censored word, do not repeat.} licking of the "sant", the simran classes and Panjabi learning facilities they provide are commendable and should be standard for all Gurdwaras.

    But it is not Sikhi as I understand it and seems to create simple folk who essentially deify a human being. Aren't our Gurus enough?

    I think we should remember that Sikhs were told to be "sant-sipahis" not just sants. That is why the only person who I would classify as a sant in modern times is Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Please read the quote below:

    "In travelling through the Shringnaghur country, our party was joined by a Sicque horseman, and being desirous of his acquaintance, I studiously offered him the various attentions which men observe to those they court. But the Sicque received my advances with a fixed reserve and disdain, giving me, however no individual cause of offence.; for his department to other passengers was no less contemptuous. His answer when I asked him the name of his chief, was wholly conformable to the observations I had made of his nation. He told me (in a tone of voice, and with an expression of countenance, which seemed to revolt at the idea of servitude) that he disdained an earthy superior, and acknowledged no other master than his prophet!"

    George Forster - 1783
     
  15. skeptik

    skeptik
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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    dalsingh, you live two lives, veer. In your first capacity as a neo-sikh you preach the freedom of the individual to be the sole architect of his destiny, welcome diversity, and espouse plurality of belief and thought in society. You quote the Englishman Forster admiring a Sikh horseman who acknowledges no authority apart from his Guru. How romantic! Freedom indeed. You stress these qualities highly, and yet in your other neo-sikh life, you forget to take them honestly enough to tolerate unorthodox sikhs. Tolerate - forget welcoming - or even celebrating them! I can understand your apprehension, and sympathise, but honestly do not see why this man, Monty Singh, is not to be considered as what he no doubt is, and that is a good Sikh man. From what I have gathered, he is a hard working, relentless and spirited individual, is admired for his character and personality by those who've known him - is a Sikh by appearance and profession - and these things make him a good Sikh. It doesnt matter if he spend a summer working hard labor at the Sant's farm in Canada.

    The irony ofcourse is while you deny 'conservative Sikhism,' you invariably side with it, when you temporarily suspend your liberalism ideals of tolerance, to defend against unorthodox sikhs. Neo-sikhism often leads to such double lives, and this is clearly seen here. According to your idea of Sant who must be sant-sipahi, pacifist Gurus like Guru Nanak, Guru Angad Dev and Guru Amar Das would not qualify as 'sants of modern times.' What other Sikh would say this?

    Further, all Sikhs admire and revere sants and bhagats who were not at all martial. Why should this change now? Just so we can rule out the dodgy Sant Baba from Caneda? So many contradictions, so much exceptions, double standards and hatred, to sustain the schizophrenic brand of Sikhi that is neo-Sikhism.
     
  16. dalsingh

    dalsingh
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    Re: Need For Reforms In Sikh Practices,by Nanak Singh Nishter

    Whatever Skeptic....I think I've finally sussed you out. All this talk of conservatism from you is simply because you are probably a member of the Kenyan Sikh warrior nerd brigade, or at least very similar to them in style. Which is cool.

    I try and keep away from cowards in my personal life myself.

    I think you may be suffering from some mild schiziophrenia yourself, you seem to imagine a big conspiracy involving almost all Sikh writers, to rewrite history. Maybe the truth is that the bravery, courage and recklessness that many Singhs have shown in the past is alien to you and you need to rewrite Sikh history to make it fall in line with your own personality.

    The only neoSikh here is you I think, get some balls bro.

    Conservatives are only good for one thing in my mind....to wheel out infront of the public after real Singhs do the wild stuff that made their forefathers famous. Nothing else.

    It was these same conservatives in the U.K., that cowardly decided to ignore the fact that some Muslims were attacking Sikhs and converting their daughters in the 80s and 90s, keeping their giddarh sons hidden at home whilst some real Singhs at least tried to do something about it. Why call yourselves Singhs (Lions) but act like bukray?
     

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