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Can Non-Amritdhari Sikhs Do Seva?

Jun 9, 2007
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I perceive the answer to this question to be a resounding YES.

However, I have a story to tell.

My mother, who always does seva whenever she goes to Gurdwara, was attending a Rainsabai Keertan and was told by an Amritdhari Sikh women that she could not do the Seva of making rotis, just as she was preparing the flour for making them.

The Amritdhari women told my mother that she could not do the seva of making rotis because she(my mother) was not an Amritdhari.

My mother was offended, though did not say anything at the time. She took Amrit when she was in college, but is not currently an Amritdhari, though still does Nitnem and recites her banis everyday.

What is your opinion of this? Is it not wrong for Amritdhari Sikhs to go about criticizing non-Amritdharis and preventing them from doing seva?
 

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kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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Well Different Gurdwara's have different rules .The gurdwara's run by AKJ or and orthodox sect may impose this condition O/W there is no restriction on Non amritdhari's or even non sikhs to do sewa.Infact due to shortage of sewadaars many Gurdwara's now hire paid persons who can cook langar
 

Seeker9

Cleverness is not wisdom
SPNer
May 3, 2010
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Common sense would suggest that anyone who genuinely wants to do seva and serve the Sangat would be allowed to do so.

But people can be quick to abandon common sense where religion is concerned......

Besides, isn't Sikhism supposed to be spiritual and not dwell on rituals and ceremony ?? Or more importantly ego, which appears to be the scenario here
 

Charan

SPNer
Mar 16, 2010
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105
It's funny how the Amritdharis who told your mom that she can't do seva, can be so self-contradicting. At one side, they have taken amrit, and therefore, among other things, have promised to treat all humans the same way. At the other side they are stopping your mom from doing seva because she isn't like them.

You don't take amrit and then become a good person. You become a good person and then take amrit. It's a journey of development. If someone stopped me from doing seva because i wasn't amritdhari, they would stop me from getting closer to my religion and maybe eventually taking amrit. It's sad. I also have a similar story that I shared on another thread. I wasn't allowed to distribute langar at Shri Hazur Sahib because I am a woman. Weird how the believers of Guru Nanak have stopped following his words.
 

Charan

SPNer
Mar 16, 2010
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105
charan ji

It is weird. One of the most enduring pictures of Sikhi is of Mata Khivi wife of Guru Angad dev ji distributing langar when our faith was newly formed.

I was thinking, what's the deal with the "big" gurudwaras not being proper "role models"? In Hazur Sahib you can't distribute langar as a woman, at the Golden temple you can't do kirtan as a woman. Certain people need to learn something from that picture.

Luckily, in most gurudwaras women are allowed to distribute langar and do kirtan.
 
May 24, 2008
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885
In Hazur Sahib & Patna Sahib Brahminical rituals reign supereme . In Golden Temple women are not allowed to do Kirtan under the pressure of so called SANT SAMAJ whose line is that since women are IMPURE on certain days of the month they cannot do Sewa . This impurity on certain days is an Islamic & Brahminical ( Hindu ) concept nothing to do with Sikhism . These blood sucking parasite Sants are better knowing than Guru Nanak Dev Ji who condemned discrimination of women on any account or even Guru Amardass Ji who established 146 PIRIS for propagating Sikh religion out of which 52 were led by women . This barring of women from doing Kirtan Sewa or any Sewa does not make any sense as per Gurmat ( but Kirtan Katha can be done by Amritdharis only ) .
 

Lee

SPNer
May 17, 2005
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I would say that any human can do seva, Sikh, Atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Agnostic, elder, child, female and male, anybody.

We Siksh do not have a monpoly on helping others, how ridiculous. Taking amrit is soooo important a step and the OP's post highlights that not enough though goes into it with some people.

When I think of Amritdheri Sikhs I think 'True Sikh of Guru ji'. I expect to never hear an uncross word, I expect see the light of love for all humanity shinning in their eyes, I expect exemplary behaviour.

When Guru ji talks about being present where-ever you'll find 5 (or more)GurSikhs, it is Amritdhredi Sikhs I see in my minds eye.

It is clear though, and it is clear enough for all of us to see it that many of those who have taken amrit still have their feet stuck in the mud of maya, their heads are with humanity and their own station in amongst us, do not take amrit untill you can be said to be worthy, well that is what I say anyway.
 

ik-jivan

SPNer
May 4, 2010
68
108
Hackiesacker007 ji,
In one respect, I can understand discrimination, if it would give preference to a person, who is known to be a highly devoted servant of God when it comes to performing service to the Sangat. The light and love of the Lord that imbues such a person would be invested into the service they provide to the congregation. That makes sense to me. My ear and heart can tell the difference between a giani or sant reciting the bani and someone that performs them mechanically. Yet I also think that there should always be an effort made to encourage and include all persons with a genuine desire to do sewa.

I think this story illustrates that there is no guarantee that an Amritdhari is as virtuous as the title implies. It makes me wonder if there was an original intention, to validate the inward purity of people before they are given Amrit, that might have been lost to the numbers game. Actually, from what I am reading of the SGGS ji and the writing of Bhai Randhir Singh ji, I am beginning to think that Amrit Sanchar was meant to be symbolic of an inner transformation, which is also referred to as Amrit, but relates to the opening of the Dasam Duar and Anhad Shabad.

Do you think you or your Mother would be willing to ask the Amritdhari woman for an explanation of her understanding of why and when this rule should apply? I think communication is needed to determine if the Amritdhari woman’s comments were made out of egoistic pride for the title or greed for hoarding esteemed opportunities to do sewa, or perhaps even just a lack of skill in explaining the precedence. I do doubt the latter was the motive, given that a truly humble servant would never claim a greater value to his or her own service. You and your Mother have a wonderful learning/teaching opportunity here. It would be a shame if you missed out. Take courage and ask the necessary questions. Consider this a blessing in disguise from Waheguru.

Having read over the other comments citing discrimination, I can see that there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding, if not misuse of the principles. I think the surest solution is to know what the Gurbani says and then be prepared to ask for rational explanations when it appears the rules are being bent. Sometimes it is possible to ask for written examples from the Gurbani to support the claims that others are making to justify discrimination. If such cannot be provided, then a need for adjusting the rule might be evidenced. If the response is a haughty refusal to do so, then it should be clear that arrogance and ego are the motivating factors behind establishing such rules. Bringing this into the light for the other to see is an act of compassion if handled lovingly and truthfully.

At any rate, whenever anyone senses demeaning or arrogant tone in one who is telling you what the rules are, it is always good to politely and rationally ask for clarification when there is uncertainty. And always remember that no matter what the rules are today, if they undermine the Sikh principles of inclusively and equality, the Sangat – and that is any Sikh who meets with a question of principles – is responsible for upholding the principles.

Whenever I find myself in these situations I like to tell myself this . . .
Stand tall, stretch your arms out wide and turn around full circle. Whatever is in your circle of influence is your responsibility to care for. If each of us did this, there would be a network of peace and cooperation spanning the entire globe.


Sat Sri Akal.
ikonkaar
 
Jun 9, 2007
9
3
@ik-jivan:

I appreciate your response, but as I mentioned in my first post, the reason given was that my mother was not an Amritdhari.

By no means is that a logical or rational reason for denying someone their right to do seva.
 

kds1980

SPNer
Apr 4, 2005
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@ik-jivan:

I appreciate your response, but as I mentioned in my first post, the reason given was that my mother was not an Amritdhari.

By no means is that a logical or rational reason for denying someone their right to do seva.
I agree It is not a logical reason ,but on the other hand you have to accept that there orthodox and even fanatic sects within sikhism which are very rigid about there maryada.If their maryada don't allow then they are not going to change it no matter how much you argue with them
 

Hardip Singh

SPNer
Jan 14, 2009
323
502
I agree It is not a logical reason ,but on the other hand you have to accept that there orthodox and even fanatic sects within sikhism which are very rigid about there maryada.If their maryada don't allow then they are not going to change it no matter how much you argue with them
Rightly said, Kanwardeep jee.
It is our misfortune that certain sects with in Sikhism like AKJ never accept any meal, what to talk of langer, even at homes or outside Gurudwaras from a person other than AKJ. They have their own strange explanations which I could never digest on Sikhis platform.
 

ik-jivan

SPNer
May 4, 2010
68
108
Hackiesacker007 ji,
I understand that the reason given was that your Mother was not Amritdhari, but it seems you have posted because you have questions about why this Amritdhari woman thinks non-Amritdhari should not do seva. Those who have posted here have shown that discrimination, when founded upon egoistic, non-inclusive, elitist, arrogant or greedy thinking is counter to Sikh principles. Thus the thinking of this Amritdhari woman is questionable and appears to be a misuse of rules. As long as there are questions (and hurt feelings), answers must be sought. The only way to understand what the Amritdhari woman was thinking when she said that non-Amritdharis should not do sewa is to ask her directly.

If you know there is no ‘logical or rational reason for denying someone their right to do seva’, then you must also know that the situation your Mother and you have found yourselves in should be corrected for the sake of upholding Sikh principles within your circle of influence. Do you feel reluctant to approach the Amritdhari woman for her explanation as to what she bases her thinking on?

Sat Sri Akal,
ikonkaar
 

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