| Opinion | 22 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Like Pokemon, it’s becoming the talk of the town. At recent weddings and sangeets, a discussion on the latest Dasam Granth (now popularly referred to as DG) debate raging on the social media is a must. By and large I personally have been uplifted and educated by the debate.
However increasingly, many seem to view it as a battleground. This is an irony as upon close examination, you will find that the pro-DGs and anti-DGs have more common cause between themselves than with the majority of our Sikh sangat (who don’t know or don’t care).
Here’s a short summary of how they are alike:
- Both camps revere and venerate Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Pro-DGs believe DG is a compilation of Guru Gobind Singh’s writings and therefore DG should be venerated as a chota granth (smaller granth) and given its due respect. Anti-DGs believe it is an insult to connect Guru Gobind Singh to most of the works contained within the DG due to the inconsistencies and contradictions with Gurbani, salutations to Hindu deities and the signing off by different poet names…among other reasons.
How do they come to such different conclusions? They have different perspectives and teachers…but hey, at least unlike us, they have actually taken the time and effort to read it! This brings me to point number two.
2. Both have read or studied the DG
Pro-DG manage to interpret to their satisfaction and take more controversial portions on faith. They regard it as Guru Gobind Singh’s attempt to imbue his Khalsa with martial spirit during those testing times of siege and battles. Anti-DG find it hard to ignore the overbearing presence of Hindu-based mythology and constant evocation of a Hindu deity. They consider a majority of DG content to be random literature and translation works rather than elevated spiritual writings of Guru Gobind Singh.
3. Both believe that the other party has a secret agenda in pushing their belief systems
The accusations hurled at each other often name the other party as minions of certain scholars, agents, sants, political leaders. Like many of us we all have friends on both sides of the debate. Personally, I see little evidence of this. Most are just actual seekers of truth afraid that the other camp is out to manipulate the Sikh sangat. And, unfortunately, this fear is evident in the way they conduct themselves. This brings me to my next point.
4. Both should be ashamed of engaging in unbecoming Sikh behaviour online
This is actually directed to the few aggressive individuals, not the whole camp. These are the individuals who do not read before commenting, who fail to engage with integrity, who respond with arrogance and insults, and who name-call and cyber bully those they do not agree with. Go view the debates and you can see who they are for yourselves.
These individuals should look within themselves and confront the character weaknesses that exist despite their attempts at elevating themselves spiritually. If you cannot debate an issue and still remain friends with your fellow Sikh brothers than go back to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and fortify your virtues within. For that I am thankful for the last similarity I have found….
5. Both accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as our undisputed source of spiritual wisdom
If we all agree that Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is the one and only Guru, than never fear we Sikhs will be divided. Guide those who have been consumed by their anger and fear back to the incomparable and undisputed Sachi Bani of SGGS ji.
The battle of DG is unnecessary. Let’s battle fear and ignorance instead.
Sharan Kaur, a mother of three, is involved in Sikh community work in Malaysia and Singapore
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Samachar.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
The God of Dasam Granth – Part One (Asia Samachar, 9 Aug 2016)
Dasam Granth Debate: The double edged sword (Asia Samachar, 4 Aug 2016)
SGGS-DG Discourse: Another stumbling block towards Ekta of the Sikh panth? (Asia Samachar, 4 Aug 2016)
Sikh council tells Malaysian gurdwaras not to permit Dasam Granth preaching (Asia Samachar, 3 Aug 2016)
MGC: Dasam Granth video clips not a ‘directive’ (Asia Samachar, 3 Aug 2016)
Dasam Granth video directive ignites debate in Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 1 Aug 2016)
Dasam Granth: Twisting Bones Till They Snap (Asia Samachar, 30 June 2016)
‘One Granth One Panth’ call from Global Sikh Council – Asia Samachar (Asia Samachar, 11 April 2016)
Are our Gurdwaras Dysfunctional? The Assessment. (Asia Samachar, 9 Jan 2016)
One gurpurab, two dates. Why the confusion? (Asia Samachar, 5 Jan 2016)
Lessons for the Task Force (Asia Samachar, 14 Dec 2015)
JAGIR: MGC managing granthi entry, standardising maryada at gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 19 Nov 2015)
Sarbat Khalsa at Chabba historic, but may have been hijacked (Asia Samachar, 11 Nov 2015)
MGC passionately protects religious rights of Sikhs, others in Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 19 Nov 2015)
Lawyer challenges Akal Takht order on new gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 27 Sept 2015)
The fallen amongst us (Asia Samachar, 22 Aug 2015)
Let us look at a similar hypothetical situation.Husband and wife run a home, have children.Suddenly one a way ward child brings in a strange man or a woman , and insists the new man is the father, but younger to the biological father!
Would anyone, let alone Sharan kaur ji, accepts such situation.Unaccepting it , triggers unrest.AS tu tu ..main main develops.
The peace of the family has been split.One or two of the younger children, confused take the side of the new commer , because they have been given goodies.
Now along comes Sharan and spreads love and defines hatred.Will that family accept such nonsensical suggestion, when some in the family see their peace being shattered, through imposter and frauds?
This is an issue brought in by people with personal egos, and by hook or crook, want to force it upon the civilisd and well defined norms of the Sikh religion, that were defined and recorded 70 years ago.
This is not a cake shop, where you don’t like one cake you dump it into the bin, and pick another one as it fancies you, and start rolling it,and ego feeling good, that it is my choice of cake that everyone is eating now.
There is no buts and no if,the Sikhs system is in lace and has been for last 70 years.Like said by Sr Gurcharan Singh , there is a recognised lawful process that needs to be followed.
If this man from SGGSA feels strongly, he should write an open letter clearly stating his views to the SGPC, for consideration at their monthly jathedar meetings.They can respond to him through the open process.Why is he not going through lawful channels?
Because a few fraudsters like him, like the Dam dami Taksaal, Akhand Kirtani jathas and many dera sadhs have tried, and their suggstions have been turnd down and this book is not what these people are making it out to be through lies here.
A desicion on this book has been made in the first Sarbat Khalsas , by the Sikh organisations in 1920, that it is not guru writing.
What I do not understand is, what makes his misled followers and his own ego think, that they can force changes on this book, in Malaysia?Do the rest of the 31 million Sikhs have no say?
I too live abroad and in ou country no body has heard about this so called directive.Some fellow Malaysian I speak to tell, these are mad men in Malaysia thinking they will get their way.
And here you sit on the fence try and sit on the fence play goody goody.
While you talk of your imaginary hatred and certainly the ignorance that has been displayed, you have not suggested a solution.
You have not read the book, but you have mastered its contents?Or are you just saying something for the sake of it.
What is your solution?Looks like you dont have any.This an issue that affects all Sikhs , not just Malaysia.You cannot run Sikhism with its own rules in Malaysia -no body in Malaysia has that authrority.
MGC and any other sensible organisation cannot negotiate with SGGSA and its mad delusions of grandeur like someone said much earlier-that man is pathetically undermining the Sikh unity with his personal agenda of ego.
He made a wrong move thinking by showing force with brain washed he may get his way.
Sharan ji, please go and talk to him about lack love and ignorance that has disrupted the peace of the community.
Having watched closely, this man has frauded, lied, misguided, and made every effort to mislead the sangat.
Go and tell him about his hatred for the peaceful position of the only GURU, Granth sahib.Tell him his ignorance has divided the community.Tell he may have large ego, but his ego is NOT greater than Guru Granth sahib, or the order of Guru Gobind Singh -agia bhaii akal ki , Guru maniyo Granth,
Tell him,He is NOT a bigger man than those learned of the community who in their hundereds and thousands formulated the Sikh system in 1930s
Tell him, to return to earth,and accept the rulings of the Panth , for the sake of the Panth, than trying to earn an egoistic action by dividing the Guru and bring in a book that has been rejected collectively since 1850s , in Sikh history.
Because it was being rejected, in 1895 , anti Sikhs made it to look like the Guru granth sahib, Sikhs have stiil rejected it and accepted that three bania appear to may have been written by Guru or asked to be written
Somone forwarded me a whatsaap message in which Paramjit is now attacking the top most Sikh orgnisation and SRM with lies, total distortion and made up stories.
Please tell him to stop his venom , talk to him about his hatred, and the ignorance he has spread.
We love our Guru Granth, we are not hateful, unless someone abuses our Guru Granth sahib, even then we are forgiving,truth has to prevail, and it will prevail.
Very easy to sit on the fence and please everyone while the real issues that will one day become a new reality remain on the backburner for the sangat to be fooled by. Well done Gurcharan ji for your indepth intelligent research! What Sikhs need is intelligence which is wanting. Its always easy to trumpet what one has learnt in the past from false or themselves misguided sources. Learn, unlearn relearn is the way to go and what the Gurus taught.
Finally a voice of reason… Well done Sharan!
For someone who decides with some selectively chosen hind sight to sit on the fences, as SRM probably means nothing,the uniformity of the maryda perhaps means nothing, the descions made by the profound learned of the Panth over this matter as according to the facts of Gurbani, history and other spiritual sources,mean nothing, would perhaps see this with part eye as an issue of hate and ignorance.
Pity, there were not many such views in 1984, to tell the Sikhs stop the hate and tell the Hindus to spread the love.
Anyone seeing this in that context is then oblivion to the reality.
I was brought up in 1960s ,Malaysia saw Gurduaras following the SRM code, never seen any dsm granth nor saw any teaching.
As I grew up an dlanded abroad, I heard and saw the dsm granth.Took an interest, to read and understand why this was on the sidelines.
After umpteen countless readings running into nearly 200 over the last 20 years, began to understand why it has not played any significant parts in Sikh history.
Seventy years, ago through a very modern sarbat khalsa connections, after deep consultations, the very profound learned of the Panth made a decision how the uniformity will be in the spiritual and conduct of the Panth.
99.9% of the Gurduaras in Malaysia have peacefully run and followed the orders of the SRM and abided by the code.Very peaceful environment has ben maintained.
The decision of the Panth, in 1930s, also emphasised that as the Panth faced hugh challenges from outside, to maintain the unity, if people wish to read the DG privately,as additional literature, it was their choice, but it has no place in the sangat, or central spiritual code of Sikhs.
Is that very hard to understand and grasp?Is it too complicated to be absorbed?I do not think so.
After realising,its existent I have obtained three copies, which were printed in three different periods to understand why such decisions were made about it.Why, if indeed it was Guru writing, it has not played any part in main stream Sikh ethos?
Reading it first time, second time, third times,and on many many more times, asking questions, researching papers, and going through books in the universities of the Punjab,and Central Library iN London, and associating with any of the later day writers for both sides, it became very clear,why the Panth has not adopted it.
It also dawned how some stand alone writings became part of this.
I also found how eight compositions found in the 48 versions that existed, but 32 collected , were left out by a man.Records exist , it is not assumed information.I also collected copies for my own references regards the cutting and chopping of this book.
Surprise , surprise was that the 32 assessions collected were NOT returned, but burnt, in a village outside Amritsar , in the dead of the night.I ask, why, why such takes place, if they were Guru writing truly?
The new man copies were distributed back to people, who lent the 32 copies, with some sums of money.They were told, these have been retained for references.Where are they?I have never know truly historical references to be burnt!!
These 32 different copies, were collected only from Amritsar.Surely, there must have been more original copies in rest of Punjab?Where are they merely 110 years later?
All we see are the 1895 based prints now, although eight name changes have taken place since 1830s
Even the copies in Patna date back to 1860s, and they are the same ones as the printed copies!
The same is at hazoor sahib, except that when the so called reading is done, and it comes to the charitropakhyan which is abt 64% of the content , the speakers are turned off.It is done silently.
Be this Gurus bani, and it is hidden from sangats hearing?
The WAAK in hazoor sahib and patna is NEVER taken from charitropakyan -it is made sure it taken from -so much for so called guru writing.
Do we do that with Guru Granth sahib?Hide this portion and hide that portion?
I have noted most that argue, or debate without substance apart from name calling.Some more interested in asking other credentials , so they can add similar to their names, but I have never seen any one explaining why the said history is incorrect.
It is also common knowledge that dates, whn this book was written by the Guru are recent additions, which did not exists in the earlier versions.
Common sense, raises a question WHY is somebody going to such an extent and make Sikhs believe there is a shotta granth , when Guru ji has clearly stated there is hukm for only ONE Granth?
Believe me, there is another shotta bhra, waiting to be introduced to Sikhs as Guru writing , the sarabloh!Which is simply a manual of weapons, nothing more.
Let us be real and down to earth,there is ignorance and there is hatred for the GURU GRANTH!That is what one needs to address.
Until, May, 2016, the community was functioning unitedly and happily, the status quo that was for the last 130 years was in place.
Why somebody’s hatred rocked the community?It was IGNORANCE.
The Akal Takhat has maintained the system that was put in place in 1930s.
I have travelled to many countries,from Australia, to USA Canada, to Fiji Islands to East Africa, India and Pakistan, to European countries,I always made the point of searching for the Gurduaras, and every I found the same ONE GRANTH ONE PANTH maryada is rolled out.
Apart from the dum dum Tksali deras, I have never seen the DG being taught.Only place I saw was the SGGSA centre in Perth and now in Kuala Lumpur or their centres recently set up around the world.
The point is this book plays no part in the central Sikh system,why now these angry people, out of ignorance are stamping upon the sangats?
This is an agenda.This agenda is acting against the recognised Systems of the Sikhs Panth.
Lies are being churned out.Attacks to distort Sikhs history is taking place.Whose hatred towards the largely peaceful period that has gone by 130 years in Malaysia?
As a Sikh, are you suggesting , responding appropriately with records and references is hatred?Name calling is appropriate?
The MGC is a national body, which has responsibility to upkeep the agreed systems of the Panth.There is a process that should be used to make changes, if need be, not falsified, directives and lies and threats?
INterestingly,for an issue that is so sensitive the directives were ONLY issued to some little person, from Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia is a home to abt only 220,000 Sikhs at the most!Nearly 900,000 live in UK, 600,000 in USA,about 250,000 in Europe, 24,000,000 in India.
All the rest have no directives?So lies, manipulations are made to confuse, and “hatred” is from both?I say wrong, it is hatred and ignorance that is confronting shock at what is going on in the community.It is ignorance that is being rolled out, when voices are saying, the status quo needs to be maintained, until and if the powers be in Amritsar do decided to do something about this issue, which they have already done anyway.
When such directives come, they will b issued from Akal Takhat to the entire community, not one Paramjit Singh, or Dave Singh sandu.
I personally have read this book countless times, but I will not talk about or use it for selfish means in the Gurduaras, as there is clear cut instructions, that it cannot be used.
So, who is this that hates the SRM, and Guru Granth sahib, the peaceful state the community,prior to May, 2016,? Who is attempting through lies, force and open cons to bring this book that is no part of the spirituality?
After having attacked the MGC, which as a Panthic body has a duty of care to uphold the sacrosanct SRM in this country, attacks are being made upon the SGPC and the SRM, through falsified accounts of history.
Amazingly, they do not even know what the Maryada was prior to SRM, they asked on whatsapp, but they know, as far back as 1680 onwards this book was written!
Hatred and ignorance must end from the source it begins, not with who becomes the victim.