Should We Serve Alcohol As Guru Ka Langar? | Page 3 | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

Should We Serve Alcohol As Guru Ka Langar?

Can Meat and Alcohol be Served as Guru Ka Langar? (Muliple Selections Possible)


  • Total voters
    54

Mai Harinder Kaur

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
1,755
2,733
68
British Columbia, Canada
I first admit that I have not read - and do not intend to read all 40 posts. I'll just give my ideas and go back to my photoshopping.

First, to me alcohol in any form is a no-brainer. Let an alcohol-consuming Sikh find another place to indulge, not at langar.

The meat thing takes a bit more explanation. Everybody should be welcome and not have qualms about eating langar. While I know some very good Khalsa who eat meat, most I know are vegetarians. If we are all to eat as equals together, we cannot serve meat. Period. Also we like to welcome those from other communities, some of whom don't eat meat.

This has its limits, though. We cannot cater to everyone. Good Jains don't eat root vegetables. I cannot imagine langar without potastoes, ginger, onions, garlic, haldi.

That's my take.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jul 4, 2004
7,689
14,358
72
KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
In Sidh Ghost the Yogis very proudly informed Guru Ji that they only ate roots, fruits and other such foods in the forests..expecting Guru ji to applaud/agree/or prasie them for this......BUT....Guru Ji didnt even acknowledge this fact....and proceeded to answer the next question. This means this diet thing is a no brainer non starter non-issue. period. What you eat has nothing absolutley to do with your spiritual development/state.

Baba Ramdev..the so called World class YOGA Master who used to proudly declare to THOUSANDS of hsi Yoga Camp attendees..YOGA is so powerful..a yoga practiotioner NEVER needs any medicines, drugs, or even see the door of a hospital..blah blah blah.. JUST after 3 days of "Fasting" he was near COLLAPSE, went to the ICU ward of a HOSPITAL, had to have GLUCOSE etc up his veins...SO MUCH for his tall claims about YOGA enabling people to live healthy lives for HUNDRED YEARS...and all that BS.

One Swami Nigdenda fasting to stop the Gnanga River pollution DIED after 68 days of fasting..he is NOT a YOGI at all...Darshan Singh Pheruman died after fasting for 80 days...Bhai Randhir Singh fasted without food/or even water for over 40 days and was still STRONG ENOUGH to not let a drop of water be forced down his throat even while FOUR HEFTY Jail wardens sat on his CHEST and arms legs, and the Gora Chief SMASHED Bhai sahib's FRONT TEETH to INSERT a Feeding TUBE !! Bhai sahib held his breath and nothing went in..finally the gora admitted DEFEAT. THAT is SPIRITUAL STRENGTH...and Baba Ramdev the DHONGI/FRAUD didnt have an iota of it... These three were non-meat eating individuals but pheruman was a jhatka eater.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,210
May I ask why we are digressing from the thread topic, whether to serve alcohol at Guru Ka Langar? This has been troubling me for hours.

The problem with the discussion comes from some assumptions in the first article. If alcohol is always kurehit to all Sikhs in all situations, then the question is answered. If you argue that alcohol is a detriment to mind and health, then you probably also believe that Sikhs must avoid alcohol. Here again, the question is answered: There should never be any alcohol at any gathering of Sikhs labeled Guru Ka Langar. What would then be accomplished by having a discussion? The issues in real time are not that simple.


To help focus the discussion let's think about the meaning of Guru Ka Langar. Let's also consider where we are headed - toward sense or toward nonsense - when we address the question that makes up the thread. Some say that alcohol is always kurehit. Others say, but only under certain circumstances. What circumstances can lead only to disapproval or even outrage? When is our disapproval or outrage justified? When not?
 

Gurukameet

SPNer
Feb 16, 2011
19
39
There are a number of questions addressed to me, I am not sure if I can answer them all.

Just a few points, Gurdwara do not need the money generated from halls serving aclohol, kindly have a look at the Charity Commission website and type in the search section Gurdwara you will find the accounts of all Sikh organisations in UK. Carefully study this there are NO poor Gurdwaras that need this money, and carefully have a look at activities they provide hardly any provide support for acholohics and there famillies.

Guru Ka Langar, from my limited understanding means, langar that is from the Gurus house and everything that is from the Guru's house is blessed and provides energy, maybe I was a bit too harsh criticising all the sweets and fried food given as langar, I am trying to loose weight and get upset after exceeding calorie count from langar. One thali is around 2000 calaries, which is what the average female should consume. I am totally guitly of having langar without consideration of calorie counts. I have seen instances where obese people have not only had a full thali but agreed to have pizza and chips on top of the thali. This is killing people, but I do not want to be too harsh, it is not as bad a having ahcolol.

MY objections lies primarily feeling deceived, I was not expecting it and was upset. The proximity of the premises also has an influence, if the hall where party food is given is literally next door to the Gurdwara then I would not expect to have meat aclohol, but if the hall is far away, then my objection would not have been so high. I would have been prepared and obviously have known what to expect.

Funny thing is, people did notice I did not eat, but were more concerned with me not dancing. I had aunties lecture me about the virtues of dancing, you can loose calories that way:-( motherlylove I think I will stick to aerobics, cycling etc.. thanks, out of Gurdwara premises thanks.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,210
Gurukameet ji

I want to thank you for providing a very clear context, and lots of additional information. I also want to thank you for explaining the personal impact and the dilemmas you face. These are the kinds of reactions that many would have in the same situation. It puts you on the spot and is socially very difficult. You helped many people reading today who have a hard time putting their problem with this into words. I am one of them. Great response!
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
May 25, 2005
2,936
2,948
52
United Kingdom
There are a number of questions addressed to me, I am not sure if I can answer them all.

Just a few points, Gurdwara do not need the money generated from halls serving aclohol, kindly have a look at the Charity Commission website and type in the search section Gurdwara you will find the accounts of all Sikh organisations in UK. Carefully study this there are NO poor Gurdwaras that need this money, and carefully have a look at activities they provide hardly any provide support for acholohics and there famillies.

Guru Ka Langar, from my limited understanding means, langar that is from the Gurus house and everything that is from the Guru's house is blessed and provides energy, maybe I was a bit too harsh criticising all the sweets and fried food given as langar, I am trying to loose weight and get upset after exceeding calorie count from langar. One thali is around 2000 calaries, which is what the average female should consume. I am totally guitly of having langar without consideration of calorie counts. I have seen instances where obese people have not only had a full thali but agreed to have pizza and chips on top of the thali. This is killing people, but I do not want to be too harsh, it is not as bad a having ahcolol.

MY objections lies primarily feeling deceived, I was not expecting it and was upset. The proximity of the premises also has an influence, if the hall where party food is given is literally next door to the Gurdwara then I would not expect to have meat aclohol, but if the hall is far away, then my objection would not have been so high. I would have been prepared and obviously have known what to expect.

Funny thing is, people did notice I did not eat, but were more concerned with me not dancing. I had aunties lecture me about the virtues of dancing, you can loose calories that way:-( motherlylove I think I will stick to aerobics, cycling etc.. thanks, out of Gurdwara premises thanks.
I think you need to research the history behind Guru Ka Langaar.

Meat was served in Langaar up until the 2nd Guru until Vashnaites objected (the people being Hindu). Since Langaar was open to all it was deemed sensible to keep it away.

There are many accounts of the Guru's killing goats etc and feeding it to there men. The classic being Bandha Bahadhurs goats being slaughtered by the 10th master and served to his men. This food was blessed by the living Guru and hence became Langaar.

If we want to get pious then lets ban all leather and animal products from the Gurudwara. I mean the dholkees next to the SGGSji are made from goat skin!!!

These places are just Halls. I think rightly so, the Gurudwaras have made a commercial decision to have these halls to have these parties. So what if they are owned by the Temple? It makes no difference.

Unless you are saying every single building thing owned by the temple is the Gurudwara.

The alcohol thing is a seperate issue, and I don't think Sikhs should drink it. I do think it can be used as a medicine however.
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
May 25, 2005
2,936
2,948
52
United Kingdom
There are a number of questions addressed to me, I am not sure if I can answer them all.

Just a few points, Gurdwara do not need the money generated from halls serving aclohol, kindly have a look at the Charity Commission website and type in the search section Gurdwara you will find the accounts of all Sikh organisations in UK. Carefully study this there are NO poor Gurdwaras that need this money, and carefully have a look at activities they provide hardly any provide support for acholohics and there famillies.

Guru Ka Langar, from my limited understanding means, langar that is from the Gurus house and everything that is from the Guru's house is blessed and provides energy, maybe I was a bit too harsh criticising all the sweets and fried food given as langar, I am trying to loose weight and get upset after exceeding calorie count from langar. One thali is around 2000 calaries, which is what the average female should consume. I am totally guitly of having langar without consideration of calorie counts. I have seen instances where obese people have not only had a full thali but agreed to have pizza and chips on top of the thali. This is killing people, but I do not want to be too harsh, it is not as bad a having ahcolol.

MY objections lies primarily feeling deceived, I was not expecting it and was upset. The proximity of the premises also has an influence, if the hall where party food is given is literally next door to the Gurdwara then I would not expect to have meat aclohol, but if the hall is far away, then my objection would not have been so high. I would have been prepared and obviously have known what to expect.

Funny thing is, people did notice I did not eat, but were more concerned with me not dancing. I had aunties lecture me about the virtues of dancing, you can loose calories that way:-( motherlylove I think I will stick to aerobics, cycling etc.. thanks, out of Gurdwara premises thanks.
Hi,

I think you need to learn some history into what langaar is and how it evolved.

1) There was meat in Langaar up until the 2nd Guru until Vashnavites objected.

2) The Guru's have served meat as Langaar. 10th Master slaughtered Bandha Bahadhurs goats and fed them to his men.

3) Some temples still carry on the tradition in 2.

4) The Hall maybe owned by the Gurudwara Commitee but is not a Gurudwara, so I cannot see a problem.

5) If you want to get really pious then ban all animal and leather products from the Gurudwara. That includes tablas and dholkees next to the SGGSji.

6) The alcohol thing is a seperate issue and should not be consumed by Sikhs, however, if they wish to in a hall, then so be it.

7) Langaar can refer to a mess in the army or even food served by other traditions like Sufi's

8) Do not get hung up on words, try and understand the tradition.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

We seek him here,we sikh
Writer
SPNer
May 31, 2011
995
1,095
In the Self
Many Can't See The Wood For The Trees!

"Too beset by petty things to appreciate the greatness or grandeur; too wrapped up in details to gain a view of the whole."

Five hundred years have passed and we are still talking dietary conventions.It is not the substance but the abuse of it ,that is the disease.:interestedsingh:
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

Writer
SPNer
Jan 29, 2011
1,496
2,169
Vancouver, Canada
These places are just Halls. I think rightly so, the Gurudwaras have made a commercial decision to have these halls to have these parties. So what if they are owned by the Temple? It makes no difference.

Unless you are saying every single building thing owned by the temple is the Gurudwara.
If Guru Granth Sahib says that alcohol is bad for the mind and body, then why should it be served in halls owned by Gurudwara? On one hand we are asking to stay away, on the other hand we are endorsing people to drink it up on our own property.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

We seek him here,we sikh
Writer
SPNer
May 31, 2011
995
1,095
In the Self
Kanwaljit Singh Ji

I see your point ,we should be cultivating Sikhi principles,but these parties usually have 50% ladies who don't partake,then some percentage of the men are tee totalers,then you have the children.
But we must remember it's not a beer festival, it's a social gathering ,the food is just as important .
:mundabhangra:
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
As someone who used to regularly put away a bottle of scotch a night, I feel I can speak with some authority on the dangers of drinking to excess. At the age of 26 my doctor informed me my liver was in the same condition as the liver of a man aged 80. Age gives way to maturity, I drink occasionally now, and my wife does not drink at all.

You drink because the alcohol gives you a high, takes away inhibitions and it makes it easier to have a good time. I am no saint, I love a good bottle of wine with a meal or a beer with a curry, although strangely my mothers cooking I only eat with coca cola. However, I believe the gurus forbade the use of alcohol as it inhibits the search for the creator. Although I am not blessed enough yet, I would imagine being as one with the creator as better than the best champagne and the purest drugs. Although this does beg the question would being addicted to feelings of closeness to the creator be wrong?

To the question of alcohol being served at social functions on premises owned by a gurdwara, well, quite simply, it is all in the wording. Rebrand the premises as community hall, rebrand Guru Ka Langar as 'refreshments' and I think that is the best you can do. I think if alcohol is going to be served at a wedding or an engagement, avoid the use of the words 'guru ka langar', this would help everyone, as if people saw 'refreshment' they would know beforehand this probably means booze, and 'guru ka langar' means possibly meat but no booze.

I take a liberal view on this, purely because if people are going to be 'human' at least get the rules correct.

Gyaniji is as always quite correct as to what the Gurus demanded of us to be good sikhs, however, I would prefer a room full of happy dancing squiffy sikhs who were on the right track to gurmukhi, than a room full of physically perfect sikhs wishing they were somewhere else.

I come from a khatri background, and ours are one of the worst culprits for appearances. Sikhism represents nothing more than a social club where ego and pride are highly lauded to some of these people. Sikhism for these is all about ceremony, tradition, rituals, again I push forward the point by taking dear sinnerji as a excellent example. From what I have read , Sinnerji is quite intelligent regarding philosophy and spirituality, he is on the road to find himself, and then ultimately the creator, and he clearly likes a drink and a dance. I could quite happily talk to him for hours about the search for the truth, whereas there are plenty of people who do not drink and are not mona who have absolutely no idea what sikhism represents or how powerful it can be as an aide to living.

I read in detail the sikh code of conduct the other day, just to see how far short I fall. I fall pretty short. But I also observed enough in the code that all of us probably fall short. Which of the codes are more forgivable, which will deflect us from the path of the guru?. Under the code I cannot socialise with smokers, a woman cannot have pierced ears. To take this to the extreme, drinkers who go to Gurdwara, should they have a time limit by which the alcohol should have left the system before they are allowed to enter, should women with pierced ears not put rings in them before entering?

Both the non drinking of alcohol and the piercing of ears are against the code, which one is worse, is the sight of a woman with pierced ears or a mona holding a sign proclaiming 'alcohol is beadbi' a contradiction?

I have decided to go to India with my wife in November to stay with my parents. As a gesture I will grow my hair out and wear a pugh, my dad asked me if I would carry on with it when I returned to England. I replied I probably would not until I had taken Amrit, on account I wanted to be fully sikh inside before I was comfortable being seen as a sikh.

I think if you are amritdhari sikh then you must follow the code to the letter, or make your best effort. For the rest of us, this remains the end of one road and the beginning of another, but whilst that flux remains, it would be futile to pretend that certain things do not happen and brush them under the carpet, although I strongly believe that alcohol should not be mentioned in the same breath or sentence as 'Guru Ka Langar', call it something else. .
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

We seek him here,we sikh
Writer
SPNer
May 31, 2011
995
1,095
In the Self
Dear Harry Ji


Thanks for the kind words ,

I do like to dance and drink ginger beer mostly whilst letching after Melody on the apprentice!

"Meliora proboque deteriora sequor" I see the right way ,approve it and choose the worse way
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

Writer
SPNer
Jan 29, 2011
1,496
2,169
Vancouver, Canada
Although I am not blessed enough yet, I would imagine being as one with the creator as better than the best champagne and the purest drugs. Although this does beg the question would being addicted to feelings of closeness to the creator be wrong?
Meeting with the Guru would probably be the biggest de-addiction.

Rebrand the premises as community hall
Problem is its generally owned by the Gurudwara.

I think if alcohol is going to be served at a wedding or an engagement, avoid the use of the words 'guru ka langar', this would help everyone, as if people saw 'refreshment' they would know beforehand this probably means booze, and 'guru ka langar' means possibly meat but no booze.
Correct

I would prefer a room full of happy dancing squiffy sikhs who were on the right track to gurmukhi, than a room full of physically perfect sikhs wishing they were somewhere else.
But Guru would like to have a conversation with both kinds of people and guide them.

I read in detail the sikh code of conduct the other day, just to see how far short I fall. I fall pretty short. But I also observed enough in the code that all of us probably fall short. Which of the codes are more forgivable, which will deflect us from the path of the guru?
I think that is where our thinking is at fault. Do we compare if one shortcoming is better than other? Or we think on the fact that in this life we are short of meeting the Guru?

To take this to the extreme, drinkers who go to Gurdwara, should they have a time limit by which the alcohol should have left the system before they are allowed to enter, should women with pierced ears not put rings in them before entering?
The best thing about Sikh code is that Guru asks each and every Sikh to personally enforce the code. There is no one standing like religion police to enforce, but Sangat is there to help when asked (though that is changing e.g. most parents asking kids not to cut hair!).

I have decided to go to India with my wife in November to stay with my parents. As a gesture I will grow my hair out and wear a pugh, my dad asked me if I would carry on with it when I returned to England. I replied I probably would not until I had taken Amrit, on account I wanted to be fully sikh inside before I was comfortable being seen as a sikh.
I personally feel that retracing your steps is bad, one should avoid as much as one can. I believe keeping hair and turban can inspire you to go forth on many aspects in Sikhi, stick to it. Like now you keep hair and wear turban, should you be holding that glass of beer? You have swaroop of Guru's Sikh, should you be angry or looking miserable, or always smiling? And think of it, your action can reduce the respect for hair and turban in the eyes of others, who think of you as role model or something.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
"I personally feel that retracing your steps is bad, one should avoid as much as one can. I believe keeping hair and turban can inspire you to go forth on many aspects in Sikhi, stick to it. Like now you keep hair and wear turban, should you be holding that glass of beer? You have swaroop of Guru's Sikh, should you be angry or looking miserable, or always smiling? And think of it, your action can reduce the respect for hair and turban in the eyes of others, who think of you as role model or something"

Dearest Kanwaljitji,

I accept your thoughts on this, and you have much wisdom in what you write, but it is out of respect for my mother and father that I would not cut any hair in their house.

Fortunately, I have no social circle of family and friends, that I have to worry about inspiring other people, there is just me, my wife, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 4 ferrets, a stepson, mum, dad, brother and his wife.

However if there was something I would like to inspire in other people, it would be to concentrate on the spiritual rather than the physical, until your physical mirrors the spirit inside you. At this point, yes, I would keep my hair
 

ge77inhigh

SPNer
Apr 12, 2007
9
5
The purpose behind lunger to make it so that anyone can eat it. I think some of us don't drink and eat meat so we have to consider people like that. Matter of fact some people can't drink alcohol at all because they lack the necessary enzymes to break it down.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jul 4, 2004
7,689
14,358
72
KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
I confess I come from a family geberations of alcohol haters...my dad didnt allow even empty glass bottles that ahd alcohol labels...( back in those days plastic bottles were unheard of..and everyone who had a fridge had to keep water in brandy/whisky/vodka bottles....new water in old wine bottle sort of !!ha ha..and my dad refused to buy a FRIDGE to prempt that thought..so he used to go on and on about the bad effects of cold water..ice..frozen foods etc..etc..!! Luckily by my time..plastic bottles came in vogue...sometimes when i see a UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL Brandy/whisky bottle thrown away by soem drunkard..i feel like picking it up to make flower vase ?? or goldfish bowl..house decoration piece...and then leave it there when i think of what my late dad will think of me..ha ha.............so not a drop of alcohol for me..not even if my life depended on IT !! NO WAY. PERIOD.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,210
I confess I come from a family geberations of alcohol haters...my dad didnt allow even empty glass bottles that ahd alcohol labels...( back in those days plastic bottles were unheard of..and everyone who had a fridge had to keep water in brandy/whisky/vodka bottles....new water in old wine bottle sort of !!ha ha..and my dad refused to buy a FRIDGE to prempt that thought..so he used to go on and on about the bad effects of cold water..ice..frozen foods etc..etc..!! Luckily by my time..plastic bottles came in vogue...sometimes when i see a UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL Brandy/whisky bottle thrown away by soem drunkard..i feel like picking it up to make flower vase ?? or goldfish bowl..house decoration piece...and then leave it there when i think of what my late dad will think of me..ha ha.............so not a drop of alcohol for me..not even if my life depended on IT !! NO WAY. PERIOD.
I always love these stories about your father. He comes alive when you tell them.

There is no logical or scientific prop for the use of alcohol. Either people have no reaction (neutral), or they can control their drinking and reactions, or they go off the deep end. The scale ranges from neutral to very bad for you. There is no positive end of the scale, no benefits. So what is the point of serving it at Guru Ka Langar? Are we doing harm by serving booze?

To those who have an addiction and whose lives are in chaos because of drinking, we owe them compassion and support, if they ask. That is not the same thing as being permissive or "enabling" them in any way. It might even mean having to be tough at times. But the need to drink is an illness. The question to ask is: How am I making that illness worse?

Serving alcohol at Guru Ka Langar? How does that contribute anything of merit, anything positive? By doing it, we are doing something of no worth to those who do not have a drinking problem. And by doing it, we are doing something bery harmful to those who do have a drinking problem. Sikh quom needs to stop! Our prejudices against alcohol are beside the point. Do No Harm! Gurdwaras can manage in other ways.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
I also enjoy hearing about your father Gyaniji, he reminds me so much of my own grandfather, who had very very similar ideas about cutting hair and drinking. If I am honest, although I had been lost enough to wear my long hair in a pony tail for a while, I only cut it when my grandfather had passed on. I didn't want to break his heart in his last years.Of course he never saw me marry, but then even that was probably a blessing.

My grandfather was hugely perceptive, even at a young age, I think he saw what I would do with my life, which made him constantly beg my parents to get me married young. As I grew older, I noticed the esteem he held my fellow cousins, but he always seemed to be so angry with me. One of our last meetings was at my cousins house, I did peri pena, but he looked angry and sad, he sat down and then burst into tears begging me to get married and not spend the rest of my life wandering from woman to woman. Looking back, he knew, he knew what I was about, no one else did, but yes he knew.

He was a wonderful man, I wish I had got to know him better
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

This Shabd is composed by Guru Nanak ji in Asa Rag and is recorded on page 360 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The complete shabd is as follows.


ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕੀਆ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨੁ...

SPN on Facebook

...
Top