Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

The 4 Classes of Sikhs and the Destruction of Sikhism

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by S|kH, Feb 11, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. S|kH

    S|kH
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    29
    Recently, I've been looking at my local gurdwara community and started questioning, whats the necessary causes to keep Sikhi alive and prosperous. Why are we in state of always facing defeat, and how can we fix it? What puts us in this position, and what elements do most Sikhs rely on to carry them through life? Notice : I will be talking only of average Sikhs, so you [the reader] may very well be above the definition of an average Sikh and have an enormous amount of courage and nothing will stop you in your way to becoming a perfect Sikh. But, also please take into consideration an objective viewpoint, and disregard your past experiences which have led to your enormous amount of courage. The following list is ONLY in order of what causes the most damage to Sikhism with their general behavior, this ONLY concerns Sikhs and not other types of idealogious, religions, or philosophies.

    The four classes of a Sikh include : (I will later define my terms of the classes)
    1) The mona, the anti-Sikh
    2) Kesh-wala / Sehajdhari
    3) Keshdhari
    4) The Khalsa

    By the term mona or the anti-Sikh, I mean the person or people who go out of their way to destroy Sikh heritage, principles by either methods of liberalism or plain intimidation. Not many people fall into this category, but these are the Sikhs you see that only go to Sikh events to speak out about how stupid the Khalsa is, to only create events which help distort the image of the Khalsa or the real Sikhs, and then go on to add liberal viewpoints which destroy the image of Sikhs over the past hundreds of years only for their self-satisfaction and for their own personal desire to feel as if they committed no wrong. These are the types of people that you see at gurdwara who continually claim that Sikhs in 2005 do not need Kesh anymore, that hinder other individuals from pursuing the pleasure of Amrit. They never admit their wrongs or hold the values of the Gurus teachings to heart, yet they claim to be of the same type and Sikh as anyone else is and will fight in order to have that claim soldified. This is the number one reason and type of people that cause the detioration of Sikhs.

    The next two classes are the most critical in making the Sikhs more prosperous and keeping the heritage and tradition of Sikhi going. These classes rely on each other heavily, and class #2 has a much larger quantity that class #3.

    Class 2 is the type of people that may or may not keep their hair, but do realize their mistake in choice, yet still hold certain values of the Gurus words to their hearts and try to put it to their life. They are mostly secular, and less religious than any of the other classes. They do not engage in philosophical or deep-meaning debate, and only take Sikhism and Sikh history on the outer surface of what they were either told or read as a child. They often wear the Sikh symbols and regard themselves as Sikhs. They rarely admit that they are the best Sikh like Class #1 does all to often. They will usually defer you to someone who they claim is a better Sikh then themselves, and usually tell you they will either hopefully become a true or better Sikh one day, or only follow it because their parents told them to. As of now, in my gurdwara community, this class holds the largest number of individuals. Some may tie pughs, but have no real reason to, or don't know the purpose of it except that their parents do the same. Some may cut their hair, but often admit they are wrong, and still wear a kara and a Khanda around their neck. They never impose their belief on others and usually claim that they are not the best Sikhs, but hope to be some day. They take pride when other Sardars succeed or Sikhs make a step forward, and they greet other Sikhs, even those who are strangers. This is what we call the reserve-Sikhs. They can be broken down into Pugh-wala and Sehajdhari. Very inter-linked terms, the difference only being on the identity one holds.

    Class 3 includes the Keshdharis, one who know reasons why they keep their hair, why they beleive in certain principles of Sikhism, and why they reject the mainstream "religion or trend or fashion". They are active in their community, but have not yet become Khalsa. This is the most wavering class, this is the class that will make or break Sikhism.

    Class 3 are the individuals who have already become Khalsa. Once this step is taken, very few go back, although some do, but those are mostly individuals who became Khalsa at too young of an age to handle the societal pressure that it comes with. No point to discuss this class, as everyone is well-aware of the Khalsa.

    Now, I bring to my point, Why if my Gurdwara is anything like that of the global Sikh community, why Sikhism will destruct.

    The Keshdhari youth, the ones who know reasons why they keep their hair and identity but are confronted by various images of fashion and society either by the media or friends are the ones that can determine the future of Sikhs. But, only if the Pugh-wala and Sehajdharis aide in their help. Every Keshdhari youth needs to be able to see other Singhs, or Sardars, even ones that are not good sikhs, and only superficially Sikh. They need to be able to walk around, and realize other people are part of this struggle, and you are on that is succeeding. The pugh-wala's are like reserves, they don't practice much Sikhi, but they are there for the ones who do practice it, to rely on for evidence and support that Sikhism has not died yet. The Sehajdharis that wear Khandas and go say sat siri akal to a Sardar are ones that also help keep Sikhism alive, because the Keshdhari youth realizes there are people who actually respect him for his choice, rather than either the media or friends who make fun of him and ridicule him for wearing a turban in 2005. Without the help of others, one can not make the journey by himself. I'm sure Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind wouldn't have been nearly as influential or thought-provoking or Charismatic had it not been for them to walk around and see loyal disciples and followers. (It's actually a trick-statement for anyone pondering this...you can't be influential if you have no one to influence, and you can't be charismatic, if no one is able to define it).

    But, now is where the slip begins. The Pugh-Wala or Sehajdhari group eventually raises their children without kesh, as they don't even know the reasons themselves of why they keep it, but just that it is tradition and it never mattered in their life. The children of the Pugh-wala or Sehajdharis eventually go down to becoming monay (the Anti-Sikh), as they try to define to themselves and their friends and to the gurus that they are just as equal of a Sikh as any Khalsa, and that you do not need to keep the traditional elements of Sikhism intact, and the Guru's word can be used liberally, and as years progress, the 5 K's and religion can be changed. They often become more secular than their parents, and of course, their parents dont mind, because the parents don't even notice this trend, they think the child is just like them. Due to the lack of Sikh-knowledge from the parents, they don't have much tools to teach their children, and so the children just pick up what they can. Once you begin to diminish this group, you dimish the Keshdhari youth, who growing up, never see anyone that respects them, or gives them motivation that a future for Sikhs still exists, all they see is their Parents.

    And of course, once the Keshdhari Youth diminishes, the Khalsa only lasts for a generation longer. It's a much slower process than the one I depicted here, but I can tell you, it's happening at my Gurdwara, and I can easily point out the cases.

    The Generation of my parents were the ones that were pre-dominantly Pugh-wala, who had not enough knowledge of Sikh philosophy or reason to teach their children, and never took offense if their child gave up the Sikh identity. The cause of the state of youth is a direct reference to how the Parents of this generation held onto Sikhi. But, you may use examples of how you know individuals that were pure Khalsas and yet their child cut their hair against the parents will. This is because, the child was a Keshdhari-youth, but had no one to even look to, not for guidance, but a peer for re-assurance. He does not look for help, because he knows the answers and where they lie, all he looks for is someone or a shadow he can see, a light that shows that you can be normal and yet Sikh. Many of times, this is not found, so the child gives up and returns to things of material interest. Keshdhari-Youth in India influenced by what their cousins do abroad and so on. This is not a problem that suddenly sprang up with the youth, but a problem that was easily started by the parent generation, and has been continuing for 2-3 generations.

    I did this research on my Gurdwara by breaking up each individual I knew, into the classes and then comparing it with reasons for either why my friends cut their hair, or why they began to keep it, and why the majority of the youth don't really mind Sikhism that much anymore.

    I wonder, would you think this applies to Sikhs in the global community?
    I'd most likely say no, as its more relevent in my gurdwara than some others around the area, but it's just a little bit of research I did that I wanted to share with you all.

    I also ask, how do we stop the trend? How can I stop it at my gurdwara?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Loading...


  3. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    I think this is a very pertinent and observant article. I have certainly observed a good swathe of 20-50y/o Sikhs who are confident in their version of Sikhi which doesn't include keeping hair, yet they are hard working and believe they're on the right path (I'm not judging here, I'm just observing). They dismiss the idea of becoming Khalsa as unnecessary. I see this trend growing.
     
  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Yes this trend is growing but in India this may become one of the reason of Sikhi assimilated between hinduism.there is no difference between a Gurdwara going hindu and a clean shaven Sikh ,as a result distinction between them impossible
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    • Like Like x 1
  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    There are/were thousands of Hindu's who do Jap ji sahib in morning and rehraas in evening.Can easily defeat thousands of Sikhs when it comes to spirituality but they don't identify themselves as Sikhs and may never stand for any of Sikh rights.so who are they Hindu or sikhs?
     
  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    My dearest frined who passed away at age 80 a few months ago used to wear a Gandi cap to gurdwara..everyone knew him as Topiwallah..he knew the entire SGGS by heart..came to gurdwara daily for his Nitnem..and then directly to the Mandir for the Pooja..he was sevadaar of BOTH !! He died like that..no kesh, shave daily..doing pooja and paath..at his death was an akhand paath followed by Ramayan paath at Mandir...so i guess he was keeping BOTH options open...??? He used to tell me JOKINGLY (maybe seriously)... IF its RAM Chander at the Pearly gates..he will get in..and If it just happens its Guru nanak ji..he will get in..Ha Ha..BUT if it happens that its St Peter or Prophet Muhammed at the Gates..then hes OUT...No body knows because no one has COME BACK. I suppose thats how most people see religion these days..they a re just hedging their bets...
     
  8. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
    Expand Collapse
    We seek him here,we sikh
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Na koi Hindu, Na koi Sikh ,
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    In 1984 riots these people who kept both options open did not come out to protect Gurdwara's ,they were sitting in their homes while Gurdwara's ,Guru granth sahib was being burnt.
     
  10. findingmyway

    findingmyway
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    3,767
    Please expand further what you mean? There should be no religion and no identity?

    The distinctions are manmade but in many ways necessary as they can have a deep impact on the philosophy we follow live our lives. We need to know where we are inside ourselves and reflect that on the outside I think but each individual has their own journey.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
    Expand Collapse
    We seek him here,we sikh
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Dear Finding my Way

    If there is only one father then there must only be brothers and sisters everywhere, differences on both sides divide us.We must see past appearances, even Sikhs have divided themselves into distinct orders.Perhaps there is more to this world than meets the eye!

    "He who sees the Infinite in all things, sees God. He who sees the Ratio only, sees himself only" .
    (There is no Natural Religion, 1788)
     
  12. findingmyway

    findingmyway
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    3,767
    Outside appearances should reflect what is on the inside otherwise they mean nothing. Divisions come not from the differences in appearances but from non-acceptance of others appearances! Everyone is always trying to say only they think the right way. For many the appearance is a source of strength and a constant guide so this should not be taken away from them. Equally appearance is not everything.

    In a more histprical sense, if it wasn't for appearance it would be too easy to run away when the going got tough and Sikhism would already have died.
    I think the heat is getting to me as my mind is working in riddles today :tablakudi:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    THATS the whole IDEA....why cross the LINE and become a VISIBLE SIKH..it may cost you your head !! This was the exact scenario in Delhis Chandni Chowk when Guur teg bahdur Jis head lay on the ground beside his body...there were many many "sikhs" in the crowd...BUT..Sir kattaveh KAUNN ?? was the uppermost question in each person's mind...even though FIVE SIKHS died under torture ..Bhai Mati dass, Bhai Sati dass Bhai Dyala Ji...there were hundreds who kept silent and un-noticed to save their lives...exactly why Guur Gobind Singh jis tood up and DEMANDED Five HEADS in 1699..to give the sikhs a CHOICE..Stand up and be COUNTED..or forever shut up. mnay thousnads SHUT UP and left..many thousands stood up and were COUNTED. Simple.
    So the many thousands who stood by and saw Guru teg bahdur jis head cut off and said NOTHING..also did the same thing in 1984...they watched the Gurdwars burning..otyher sikhs getting slaughtered...and said NOTHING. Nothing NEW at all...Exact same will happen..in the Future too...
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    There is no point comparing Puratan Sikhs with today's sikhs.These day an average Sikh if not more is as much materialistic as any Hindu or muslim.
    Now the main question when the liberalised Sikhi or Hinduised Sikhi will be available to Sikhs then why Sikh youth in future will choose distinct indentity? It is well known fact that Humans always choose easy way rather than difficult one
     
  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    Its a Fallacy that comparing "Puratan Sikhs" and Modern Sikhs is futile. Its a fact that in Puratn Sikh times also there were the brave ones, ythe cowards, the easy going ones..the hard ones..same as Today. Only History changes..people remain the same...thats WHY Guru nanak ji declares..Why Blame a non-entity like "Kalyug" for YOUR DEEDS ?? Its the same Sun, the same moon, the same stars that hsone in so called Satyug..Dwapar etc...and its the SAME TODAY..but evil men find it expedient to Blame their actions on "klayug" hai...a Father caught rpaing his daughter will say.."kalyug hai"...News headlines will say.."Kalyugi Baap"..what a load of RUBBISH. Such people also existed in SATYUG/DEVYUG........read how the DEVTAS like Brahma lusted after their own Daughters....how Shivji changed form to rape the Yogis wife....etc etc...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Sorry Gyani ji have to disagree with you here.Take the example of people of India.When India got independence then there were so many people who prefer honest lifestyle rather than corrupt materialistic lifestyle ,but with time honesty started vanishing .and with each decade corruption and rampant materialism increased .When in 63 years humans can change so much then why can't sikhs change in 300 years.

    Forget about saving hindu women from muslim invaders How many Sikhs these days stand up even against eve teasing? It is today's known fact that Sikhs toady are one of the biggest money chasing community of India ,is it any wonder that business of sending youth is prospering most in Punjab
     
  17. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    KbDS Ji..imho the diagreement is only about NUMBERS...Good Siksh vs Bad sikhs..Puratn times Good outnumbered the Bad by a Hundred thousand to one ..NOW the trend is REVERSED...a Good sikh is like a needle in a haystack...Otherwise we are in agreement.
    Cheers
     
  18. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    A community is judged by how its majority behave.Many people say that Hindu's were cowards because they did not fight with muslim invaders or Budhist too too were not brave because their majority did not put any resistance .It was not like all hindu's refused to fight but majority did nothing against muslim invaders .If these days majority of Sikhs are not brave,materialistic then there is no way we can claim that we are brave ,honest martial community.
     
  19. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
    Expand Collapse
    SPN Sewadaar
    Historian SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    2,952
    I have to whole heartedly disagree with this article. I have met Sikhs in all these classes that are better Siikhs than me. I have also met Sikhs in all these classes who are idiots.

    Far more destructive than these type of Sikhs are Sikhs who believe in Sants (Dhadriawalay etc) in Cults (Radhaoswami etc), and Sects (DDT, AKJ, GNSSJ). It will be these groups that bring a death knell to Sikhism.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
    Expand Collapse
    We seek him here,we sikh
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Dear Randip,I agree with you, Sikhism firstly is a faith ,a belief ,with important articles of faith but without belief they become adornments. The first instruction in our Holy Text rightly instills in us a belief in One God ,that is where the Guru started the instruction from. The first purpose then of our faith is to prescribe monotheism.
    While One person in the world, believes in One God then Sikhism is alive.
    (in a way atleast)
    If all the world were magically all made to become Keshdari but had not the faith to go along with it they would not be what they appeared to be.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  21. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
    Expand Collapse
    SPN Sewadaar
    Historian SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    2,952
    Good points.

    Khushwant once said, something along the lines about Sikhs becoming a cult of the sword. We are so much more than that.

    In this instance, we could become a cult of the long hair, again Sikhi is so much more than that.

    Lets focus on the central message of Sikhi, and worry about whether Sikhs keep kesh or not after that.
     
    • Like Like x 4
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page