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The Janaieues We Wear

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Tejwant Singh, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    The Janaieues We Wear By Tejwant Singh


    Are we creating and thus wearing Janaieues that Baal Guru Nanak refused to wear at the age of seven?

    By the look of the rituals performed everyday at Harmandir Sahib, it seems that we are. In order to express my view point, I would like to share what Sikhi is.

    First and foremost, Sikhi is the only religion amongst the five main ones that is not personality based but idea based. Islam (Mohammed), Christianity (Jesus), Judaism (Messiah in coming) and Hinduism (Ram Chander ji, Krishan ji and many other deities), all had their respective embodiments personified as Gods or Goddesses proclaiming a direct link to the Almighty. If Sikhi were to be one more religion based on personalities, then Guru Granth Sahib would only have the writings by the ten Gurus rather than six Gurus and thirty-one Saints from other religions like Hinduism and Islam. Our Gurus would be worshipping each other, rather than Ek Oang Kaar, One True God. If Sikhi were based on personalities, then Harmandir Sahib - the most sacred shrine of Sikhi - would not have four doors to invite all mankind, nor would a Muslim have laid the Harimandir Sahib's foundation stone. If it were based on personalities, we would not have the Sangat and Pangat concept of breaking bread with everyone and anyone from any hue, creed or faith in the way of Guru ka Langar.

    While growing up in Ferozepore, Punjab, my family and I used to visit Harmander Sahib very often as it is only sixty miles away. During one of these journeys, I remember my mother, lovingly called Amee Jee, explaining to me the beautiful ritual of carrying Guru Granth Sahib ji from Akal Takht Sahib to Harmander Sahib in a huge, heavy palki. I was about ten then. She said that it is common knowledge that when people carry the palki for prakash, it is very heavy as if the Gurus were sitting inside, but when they bring it back empty it becomes light.

    About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Harmander Sahib and participate in the same ritual by taking turns in offering my shoulder to carry Palki Sahib to and fro for one week. The event, thirty years later, reminded me of Amee Jee’s story. All of a sudden, I became very alert and was ready to notice and feel the sudden loss of weight of the Palki Sahib while carrying it back to the Akal Takht. I did not feel any difference in weight while carrying it empty. I did this for one week and felt the same. However, everyone I talked to who participated in the ritual never ceased talking about feeling the sudden loss of weight with great reverence. I never understood then why we Sikhs feel the need to dress ourselves up with a psychosomatic vestment in order to believe in the existence of Ek Ong Kaar, One True God, as a ‘physical’ embodiment?

    I would like to expand this further through Gurbani.

    Ek Ong Kaar, One True God, is not a deity nor a ‘physical’ embodiment but Creative Energy as explained beautifully by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the Mool Mantar that we recite several times a day. So now the question arises, how shall a Sikh tap that Creative Energy?

    Vaheguru loving Cyber Sadh Sangat, we read everyday in japji

    gaviaey, suniaey, munn rukhiaey bhao, dukh purhar sukh ghar laey jaey
    (By singing, listening, contemplating and putting the Gurmat ideas in practice, we can find true happiness.)

    We perform the first part very well when we know the words of the Shabad and start singing along with Raagis. Unfortunately, we stop at the first one. We do not even contemplate what ‘suniaey and munn rakhiaey bhao’ would bring us. This is where, our Gurus have indicated, dwells the nectar of the Creative Energy. Only singing alone becomes a mere ritual, the same as dusting off the non-existent dust from the inner sheets of Guru Granth Sahib, washing the Palki Sahib with milk and last, but not the least, touching the chowr to our foreheads every time we pretend to whisk a fly or two and the many other acts we perform daily, quite mechanically, due to the absence of Gurmat ideas.

    It is also worth noticing that at Harmandir Sahib, the most sacred shrine of the Sikh Panth, not even a single female Sikh chants the Savaeaeys that are recited everyday when Guru Granth Sahib’s prakash takes place. I have not seen an all female Raagi Jatha perfoming at The Harmandir Sahib either. I hope there are some. The ironic part is, that the beautiful hymns from Asa de Vaar are being recited,



    so kion manda akhieay jin jamaey rajaan
    (Why should we talk bad about the one who gives birth to Kings) But no female Sikh is found anywhere among the Sevadaars or the Granthis.

    The whole essence of Sikhi is that it is based on ideas. We, in our everyday lives play with ideas. The good ones we embrace and put them into practice to make our lives better, the bad ones we discard. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is our sacred book of Gurmat ideas that need to be put in practice so that Ek Oang Kaar, One True God, manifests itself through Reht.

    Gurmat ideas challenge our thought process so that we can discard the rituals that contradict Gurmat and embrace those that complement it.

    So, in order for us to separate 'janaieue' rituals from the meaningful ones we have to try to understand and work with the tools bestowed upon us by our Gurus via Gurbani. Only living by Gurmat ideals can we tap into The Divine Creative Energy called Ek Ong Kaar.

    Edited on July14th 2004.
    Tejwant Singh
     
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  3. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Dear Tejwant Ji,

    What you have said is so True... so True, You have touched an issue so near to my heart.

    I have been previleged to visit Darbar Sahib, Amritsar ji a few times. I was utterly disappointed to see all these baseless rituals that are being daily performed without giving then a thought for moment. When we go near the shrine the sewadar literally shouts at you to sit otherwise you would have to face the consequences. I can distincly recall a moment that really pained me a lot... On the parikarma at each corner there is place for driking refreshing water. On one such occassion, when I was drinking water and I put the pitcher on the shelfs, one the of volunteer, apprently a Amritdhari Sikh, was picking up the used utensils... he was readily picking the used utensils and washing them which were placed there by Amritdhari Sikhs but when a non-amritdhari would put the same used pitcher on that same shelf... He was bluntly asking them to pick it up and put it to where they were being washed... His act indicated that if he would touch such a utensil, he would commit a sin, his amrit would finish, And the manner in which he was instructing, I was shocked to see so much hatred in his eyes while asking such people. It disappointing, how Amrit Dharna was supposed to unite people as One, finished the difference from various castes and creed and now the same Amrit was being used to discriminate.

    I am really pained to see the treatment of women in the hub of Sikhi. People were pushing and pulling each other to do sewa of giving shoulders to Palki Sahib as if they would be sinned if they could not give shoulder. The whole atmosphere had so much of artificality.

    And now whenever I visit Darbar Sahib, I bow to SGGS Ji only from Parikarma and sit on the Parikaram itself and listen to the praises of Ik Oan Kaar amongst the spectacle of beautiful dawn of a new day from the Parkarma itself... that picture really fills my heart with joy.

    Thanks for sharing a very important issue.

    Chardi Kalaa.
     
  4. Amarpal

    Amarpal
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    I agree with our member VaheguruSeekr.

    Amarpal
     
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh.


    The sad truth is that our Shrines, our Takhats, our Gurdwaras, our Institutions are all in the hands of vested interests who are not at all interested in spreading Sikhi or Gurmatt. Their main interest is in maintaining the staus quo whereby the Golak is the main criterion...whatever makes for more collections goes...the Principles of Gurmatt which the GURUS established dont count for much - especially at the Takhats and Harmandir Sahib.

    More and More empty RITUALS, like "take Away" Akahand Paaths. sehaj paaths, Internet/mail order paaths/ ardassan/ Commercially produced Karah parshaad/siropas for the politically connected/sewa for the few chosen ones...etc etc and Brahminical rituals like washing floors with milk, blowing of conches, etcv etc ghee jyots, coconuts and nariyals, water pitchers and dhoops...it is becoming DIFFICULT to see genuine Gurmatt more and more..all you can see are anti-gurmatt by the lorry full.

    It is time for the Kaum to take stock and rescue our Gurdwras from these modern day clergy/masands/mahants once more.... time for a world wide Singh sabha Lehr.

    jarnail Singh
     
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