| Sukhdev Singh Gill | Singapore | 4 Nov 2015 | Asia Samachar |
By Sukhdev Singh Gill
Our Great Guru Nanak showed us the True Path to Righteousness and brought immense happiness and contentment to all our fellow humans, regardless of race or religion. The fact that Guruji was against class and creed enabled prince and paupers to come together for a same simple meal.
Guru-Ka-Langgar is such a great achievement and worthy of continuation. It has never been able to be replicated into other religious institutions – not on such scale, dedication, determination and perseverance.
Hence, Guru Nanak paved the right way forward and showed us the directions towards love and mutual respect. He frowned upon class and creed that was the norm during his time. Many people appreciated Guruji’s humility and became his ardent followers by totally abandoning their old teachings.
Since that momentous day, five hundred odd years have gone when the masands lost control of the temples and things became better for the followers.
Why are we, the descendants of this great Guru, finding it so hard to sustain a movement started with love and concern for everyone? Why is it so difficult to provide simple meals at Guru Ka Langgar for the benefit of all?
I am sure many would be prepared to chip in money to see its continuation. This is the 21st century!
Dear committee members, I appreciate your hard work for the Sangat. Why have you all gotten into such a dilemma? Do backtrack and find the real reasons for being in such a sorry state today!
My one cent advice is as follows: Engage our congregation, both young and old, irrespective of their physical appearance, be they with shorn or unshorn hair, with or without beards.
These are our followers. Surely, many among them possess good ideas. Organize for them a variety of fruitful activities. Start interacting with them. Do not shun them. To do so is to risk loosing them to other.
Sadly this is the scenario today. I know it for many of them have confided in me. Do I need to further explain? Everyone knows what I mean.
Change takes time, just like a seed becoming a mighty oak tree. So please have genuine patience and love. Do not despise them. It is just like bringing up our own kids. Everyone errs in life, even the “pure ones”.
Defeats in life makes one stronger. Encouragement always bears good fruits and move everyone forward. The Tenth Guru lost at Machiwara but that did not prevent him to further excel in his sacred mission. He did it marvellously.
The Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his descendants lost battles but believed in perseverance too. Let us all emulate their good examples.
There are cures for most ailments. Never give up. “Jo daar gaya wo maar gaya.”
Let’s change our mindsets to accommodate people of this era.
I have often heard some ‘holy men’ at temples denouncing Sikhs like us for our physical appearance. To me these people are pakhandis (hypocrites). I despise them totally.
These are uncalled for remarks by illiterate people. The committee members should rebuke, reprimand, restrain or warn this intolerant and unprofessional lot to exercise care and caution when they speak for they may not know their rebukes are distancing them from the mainstream Sikhs.
The congregation looks up to you, the committee members, and would emulate your good deeds or have wrong perceptions of you too.
If there is doubt, seek ideas from others. There are many in the sangat who may be more au-fait and provide excellent advice. If there is a will there is always a way. Let’s practice what we preach. We can do it together.
Never let the concept of Guru-Ka-Langgar to slowly disappear. Remember, we are being watched closely by the younger generation.
Sukhdev Singh Gill is a retired Singapore civil servant. He is passionate about make life better for people.
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