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What Makes You A Sikh?


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
by the man in blue

I was looking up something else and found this article instead. It is by “The Man in Blue” Harjinder Singh Khalsa.


Let me try and approach this question in a slightly different manner than is usually done. There are of course definitions of a Sikh in the Reht Maryada, in the 1925 Gurdwara legislation and in the legislation setting up the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. But what they all have in common is that they do not talk about the relation between a Sikh and Vahiguru, Parmatma, or by whatever other name you know God. We know that Sikh means pupil, or one under training. Not so many know that Khalsa is derived from a Farsi word for lands directly under the rule of the emperor. This means in our case that a Khalsa is a person who puts herself / himself directly under the command of God.

But what does Guru Granth Sahib have to say? Guru Granth Sahib does use words like Sikh and khalsa, but does not use these as describing people of a particular sect or religion. Guru Granth Sahib does not teach a religion in the western meaning of that word, it teaches a dharm, a way of life. So what is expected from those that follow this dharm? A follower of the Sikh dharm recognises only the One as the Mother and Father of all, and has to work on getting as close to the One as is possible for a human being. This is done by remembering the One at all times, by seeing the presence of the One, the All Pervading, the All Powerful, in all and everything. This attitude goes hand in hand with honesty, with compassion, with respect, with defending the defenceless and fighting against injustice.

Most of us will know the often quoted three Sikh qualities: honest work, sharing with others and remembrance of Vahiguru. They point to the two sides of ‘simran’ or remembering: play a positive role in society, and have a real relationship with God. When I grew up I went to a Christian school, and on Sunday went with my friends to the Sunday school. I was quite a pious little boy, but later lost my faith in spite of meeting some really good, Godly Christians, whom I still admire The truth is that none of them managed to point me on the way to God, on the way where God is not just a theoretical concept, but where She / He can be experienced. Now I do not have to ‘believe’ in God, I have met with God, I know that She / He is. This I think is the essential part of being a Sikh or a Khalsa (with or without capital letters). Meeting God, having darshan, living with God 24 hours a day, that is what being a Sikh or a Khalsa is all about. Why is it that so many people who look like Sikhs do not really understand this concept?

The man in blue.

Source: http://sikhbulletin.com/Bulletins/Bulletin_6_7_2005.pdf

Thanks to Kaur Gur Sikh who posted this on her blog at http://kaurkhalsaraj.wordpress.com


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