| Malaysia | 3 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) has called upon Malaysian gurdwaras not to permit preaching or reciting of Dasam Granth ‘Bani’ in a gurdwara, other than the three Panthic-approved banis of Jaap, 10 Sawayyas and Benti Chaupai.
The council, which represents some 108 gurdwaras in the country, has also urged gurdwaras to abide by the Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM), or the Sikh code of conduct, which has been ‘re-endorsed again on 16/06/2016 by Sri Akal Takht Sahib’.
“Sanggat is reminded that UNITY can only be maintained if all the Gurdwaras follow a single Code of Conduct that is contained in the SRM and be guided by Gurbani “Eka Bani Eka Gur Eka Shabad Bichar” (SGGS Ji Pg.646). MGC will be launching soon “Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Rehat Maryada” Parchar year,” said MGC President Jagir Singh in a circular dated 12 July 2016 to gurdwaras.
The circular, entitled ‘(i) Unity of Malaysian Gurdwaras and Sanggat (ii) Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Rehat Maryada’, were made available to Asia Samachar.
It is understood that the circular, which also quoted a press statement from Sri Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh in support of the primacy of the SRM, played a key role when a gurdwara in Kuala Lumpur had turned down a programme by a Sikh organisation that wanted to hold a discourse on Dasam Granth.
“We need the gurdwaras to rise to the occasion. Malaysian gurdwaras and the Sanggat have accepted and followed the Sikh Reht Maryada in gurdwaras all this while,” Jagir tells Asia Samachar.
The circular follows a MGC-led meeting of a number of major Sikh organisations to discuss issues revolving SRM and Dasam Granth which was gripped the local Sikh community lately.
“At a Meeting of the Representatives of the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council, Khalsa Diwan Malaysia, Sant Sohan Singh Ji Melaka Memorial Society Malaysia, and also attended by Sikh Religious Scholars, a Resolution dated 21/05/2016 was adopted under heading “Unity of Gurdwaras And Sanggat” whereby SIKH REHAT MARYADA was unanimously endorsed to be followed by Gurdwaras. It has now been endorsed by Tatt Khalsa Diwan and Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia,” reads the circular.
MGC Circular on SRM, Dasam Granth (12 July 2016), see here
UNITY OF GURDWARAS AND SANGGAT RESOLUTION, see here
AKAAL TAKHT JATHEDAR PRESS STATEMENT 16 JUNE 2016, see here
The resolution was considered and unanimously approved by the MGC executive committee on 28 May, therefore making it binding on all the gurdwaras and the gurdwaras are to follow the SRM as has been the practice in the past.
“The Malaysian Gurdwaras are also required by Article 3.2 of the MGC Constitution to follow and conduct their affairs in accordance with the Sikh Rehat Maryada,” it added.
The circular also noted that the recent press note issued by Sri Akal Thakt Sahib, dated 16/06/2016, ‘clearly’ states that the Sikh Rehat Maryada is the result of the decision of the Sikh Panth and must be followed by all, with any non-acceptance of the SRM may make the person ‘Panth drohi‘ (someone who goes against the Panth).
On Dasam Granth, the circular said that the compositions found in Dasam Granth cannot be Gurbani, adding that Gurbani is all that is contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji only.
“Panth has accepted (as stated in the SRM), JAAP, Ten Sawayyas and Benti Chaupai Patshahi Dasmi…These are also found in the Dasam Granth. This “Banis” are Nitnem Banis and can be recited in Gurdwara,” it said.
AKAL TAKHT JATHEDAR STATEMENT
Attached to the MGC circular were the Giani Gurbachan’s press release dated 16 June 2016, along with an English translation.
In it, Giani Gurbachan described the SRM as an ‘approved Sikh Constitution’.
“Panthic Taksals, Deras and Sampardas are the respected sections of the Panth, but they are not Guru Panth by themselves….The Deras, Taksals and Sampardas can have their own Maryada but it cannot be given the status of Panthic Maryada. Acting according to their own wishes and Panthic Maryada cannot go hand in hand. Guru Ji with his grace and to save us from praying to individuals gave us the way to unite with Panthic Maryada,” he said.
SRM is published by Shiromani Gurwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) but it is not the Maryada of SGPC, but the Maryada of the Panth, he added.
“SRM is the proof of Panthic unity. No one has the right to question it and no Society is allowed to change a letter/word in it. If there was a need of making a change, then the procedure that was followed in preparing it, the same procedure must be followed again in discussing the matter and to decide whether to add or subtract any matters,” he said.
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