Lord Singh of Wimbledon on Dasam Granth

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| Opinion | 10 Oct 2016 | Asia Samachar |

Indarjit-BBC

By Indarjit Lord Singh of Wimbledon

To the Gurdwara Boards East Africa & other Sikhs concerned about recent pronoucements of Sikh Jathedhars on the Dasam Granth I humbly request you to consider the points mentioned below.

 

A. Please state which, if any, of the following statements is incorrect:

1. There were many challenges to the Gurus and their teaching during the lifetime of the Gurus.

2. When Guru Gobind Singh added the compositions of Guru Teg Bahadhur to the Adi Granth, he deliberately excluded any verses that he may have written himself.

3. Guru Gobind Singh, aware of the danger of different sants, babas and cults diverting or distorting the Gurus’ teachings, decreed that the Adi Granth with the addition of Guru Teg Bahadhur’s verses, were complete in themselves and would henceforth be referred to as the Guru Granth Sahib.

SEE ALSO: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan – BBC

SEE ALSO: Panth Ekta over ‘Dasam Granth’

4. In 1708, Guru Gobind Singh formerly installed the Guru Granth Sahib as complete and sole guidance for all Sikhs. [Guru manio Granth]

5. In a verse following our Ardas, the above sentiment is put as an edict, or hukum, binding on all Sikhs.

6. To accord other writings or scriptures equal reverence to the Guru Granth Sahib, would be a betrayal of the above mentioned hukum.

7. The opening words of the Guru Granth Sahib remind us that there is only one Supreme Being. This is a clear rejection of the Hindu belief in a of a pantheon of gods and goddesses.

8. More than one third of the writings of the Dasam Granth involve the exploits and praise of various Hindu deities.

9. Another third of the Dasam Granth involves the denigration of women and the ‘wiles’ of women, often in stark pornographic terms-in complete contradiction of Sikh teachings of dignity and complete equality.

10. The Dasam Granth was compiled by Hindu Brahmins from a variety of writings at least 50 years after Guru Gobind Singh.

11. A small proportion of the verses in the Dasam Granth are in general consonance with the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib and could be lost writings of Guru Gobind Singh.

12. In 1930’s and early 1940’s, a committee of renowned Sikh scholars, after much consultation and analysis, agreed that these banis, listed in the 1945 Sikh Reyat Maryada, should be included in Sikh worship. The rest of the misleadingly and mischievously titled Dasam Granth was unceremoniously rejected as wholly contrary to Sikh teaching.

Authority in Sikhism

As per Guru Gobind Singh’s hukum, all religious guidance is vested in the Guru Granth Sahib alone. No person has any authority to issue any edict or hukum that is not in consonance with the Gurus teachings as contained in the Guru Granth Sahib. Origin of Jathedhars.

During the Missl period, leaders of the groups or Jathas would meet at the Akal Takhat or other venue, to agree policies to meet common external threats. The leaders or spokespeople, had no spiritual authority. All decisions had to be in consonance with the Gurus’ teachings.

In the 20s, the newly formed SGPC appointed managers of the main centres of Sikhism (Takhts) who became known as Jathedhars. Before their appointment the Secretary of the SGPC would only test their proficiency in reading the Guru Granth Sahib.

Todays Jathedhars

In recent years, the SGPC has itself become politicized and controlled by people who show again and again, a greater un-Sikh-like devotion to the pursuit of wealth and power than to living and promoting the Gurus teachings.

Today’s Jathedhars are appointed for their loyalty to political masters rather than to the Gurus teachings. The title Jathedhar appears to have gone to the heads of some. In a visit to England, one repeatedly asked me to introduce him as ‘the Pope of the Sikhs. Something I refused to do. Another wrote to the British Museum insultingly stating that Sikh teachings were superior to others. All too often, they use Catholic terminology like ‘excommunication’, (literally banned from drinking communion wine!), to threaten those that disagree with them. There are other examples.

Recent ‘Edicts’ against the Global Sikh Council (GSC)

The GSC has rightly expressed its concerns over attempts to dilute and distort Sikh teachings by the BJP by the introduction of the Dasam Granth into Sikh theology, with its eulogising of Hindu gods and goddesses and its denigration of women, as described above. Sikhs should ask themselves what was the Punjab Governments motive in producing and distributing thousands of copies of the Dasam Granth at a cost of crores of rupees?

Suggestion

Jathedhars who promote the Dasam Granth, and even absurdly seek to place it on a par with the Guru Granth Sahib, at best display a gross ignorance of Sikhism, or worse, are enemies of the Panth and should be exposed as such by all Sikhs, along with their political paymasters.


Dr Indarjit Singh, who carries the title The Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE, is a Crossbench Life peer sitting in the House of Lords since 12 October 2011. He is an active member of the Sikh community, including campaigning vigirously since 1984 for those responsible for this genocide against Sikhs to be brought to justice

 

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Samachar.

 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I think both sides are locked in debate with no resolve, This coming to conclusion where both camps are going to make their own Maryada and move on. Ravinder ji writes that Lord Singh “is that not that” but what I know of Lord Singh and Masleen, Jernail Singh Rode or any other pro-Bachiter Natak individuals. Lord Singh has no less knowledge of Sikhi and teachings of our Gurus. He has great deal of life experience of various paths and walks.

    Let’s not forget that 1. Gurbani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the only one) Other books are not as same!2. Gurta gadhi is for only SGGSji. 3. At the time Guru Gobind singh ji gave gurta to SGGSji there was no such volume of composition. 3. The Poravvis (Biharis) and Paschimis (Marathis) are cultured to do things of their region and cultured to carry out such practice that looks Hindus to us but lacking Gurmat gian they carried on the traditions of Madirs and Sanatinis. who have deep roots in the Satak (Hindu) Granths and this all not going to change ever. 5. It’s sad that harnaak ji is trying to give examples from SGGSji where as we are taking about Bachiter Natak book! He is also telling us about our Dashmesh Pitaji and his sacrifices, Sorry that emotional black mail. 6. Tria Chriter composition is not bani of any sort its simply a joke for any spiritual being that sort of language which I personally won’t talk in/ read out/ or orate in public.

    So I request to all dear friends who believe in their Natak follow it play it propagate it but please don’t bring it to Gurdwaras. That’s what RSS wants. Hum Hindu Nhai Bhai Kahan Singh Hum Hindu Hai Khem singh Bedi Now who’s who we all know. I personally believe that in times of Guru Baba (only) Nanak ji there were his own boys did not follow him, to end the Pahari Rajas who’s grand father were among othese released from Gwalior Killa by ri Guru Hargobind ji forgot that 9th Guru gave life for human rights till this day sadly we see Tat Gurmatia and the others who are still in illusion that they are Hindus and misguiding the masses. I don’t want people judge me but I’ve been bachiteria for good 10 years and Nanaksaria 3 years and Taksalis 9 yrs, Now I’m just a simple Sikh who wears normal clothes and live a very happy live with blessings of SatGuru Guru Granth Sahib ji 🙂 dhan guru nanak .

  2. Lord (Indarjit) Singh
    You say that I am deliberately not answering your points 1 to 5. I do not “deliberately refuse to respond to points 1 – 5 in my list…”.

    Kamalroop has already done that. See link

    https://www.facebook.com/asiasamachar/posts/1815549525386782?comment_id=1815740508701017&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R0%22%7D

    posted by Mendave.

    I concurred and thought it would be a waste of your time to repeat these. I added where I saw fit.

    You also state that the Guru’s teachings are concise and straightforward. You must be highly learned in the Sikh scriptures to make such a statement and thus your understanding in this matter immaculate. Then I believe you will have no problem in answering the question below.

    A QUESTION TO YOU. I believe that your position is that SGGS is complete and one need not depend on anything else for understanding the SGGS. Therefore I assume that the meaning, concept of any word in SGGS is available within SGGS without the need to refer elsewhere. I have come across a word ਬਲਭਦ੍ਰੁ (SGGS page 165 Line 6). Kindly enlighten me and the Panth where the meaning/concept of this word is found in SGGS and explain what it means and how you derive your proposed meaning.

    We look forward to your response.

  3. There are a couple of errors in Ravinder’s thinking. Firstly he is mistaken in thinking I am a politician. I am an independent Crossbench Peer who has consistently refused to join any political party. The only allegiance I have is to the Gurus teachings.

    Secondly, and more importantly, as Guru Nanak pointed out to those that had left their families in search of God, God is not found by spending years in hermitages or seminaries, but in living true to the straight forward, challenging and uplifting teachings of the Gurus in the full current of daily life. Since being in the Lords, I am reminded daily of how far the Gurus were ahead , not only of their times, but also of today’s times.

  4. Why does Haarnak Singh deliberately refuse to respond to points 1-5 in my list of questions?

    The Gurus teachings are concise and straightforward and one does not have to spend years in a seminary to understand commonsense teachings. It is not ninda of Guru Gobind Singh to suggest pornographic writings should not be associated to his life and teachings as Ravinder also suggest.
    Lord (Indarjit) Singh

  5. Ravinder Kaur. You display the typical DG mentality which is to criticize the person and not talk about what he wrote. Another DG mentality is to label people as ‘nindaks”, “anti Guru Gobind Singh,” etc.

    You also display the other DG mentality of mentioning other names of people who support DG.

    There are people who support and people who don’t. Mentioning names wont solve anything.

    The typical DG people mentality is to slander the writer. Come out of it. This is about ideas. Tell us what you see wrong with the Lord’s views. If you cant do that, you may as well stay silent.

    You say Lord is a politician. So politicians don’t have a right to say and write? You say he is not a religious scholar. Are you one?

    Did maskeen or the sant you mention do katha of 600 pages of erotica in the DG in front of their families? In the sangat? Why not?

    Why did maskeen walk off the stage in a USA gurdwara when someone in the sangat handed him one page of the sexual story of DG and told him to do the katha in the sangat?

    No need to attack me personally next, please. Take these personal antics somewhere else. Your sant paramjit has already labeled enough people as “nindaks.”

  6. Response Part C
    Note 2: Authorship of DG
    Let us see what notable scholars have to say about the authorship of the compositions of DG.
    Professor Sahib Singh
    Professor Sahib Singh says
    • opponents of DG, disrespect the Dasam Bani
    • opponents of DG have their own personal opinion, which is not the opinion of Guru Gobind Singh
    • the opponents of DG do not understand the meanings of the shabads in DG Bani
    • the opponents are distorting the meanings intended by Guru Gobind Singh in the DG Bani
    • the opponents of the DG are under misconception as regards the DG Bani
    (source: http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Professor_Sahib_Singh_on_Dasam_Granth)

    Dr Trilochan Singh (“The History and Compilation of the Dasam Granth Sikh Review, 1955”)
    Under section “Misunderstood Genius” Dr Trilocan Singh explains that
    “It becomes impossible for some devout Sikhs to understand that the Guru who was the creator of the Khalsa and who in many fundamental ways parted radically from Hinduism could write such secular writings as life stories of the avtars of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva such as his Triya Charitar and Chandi Charitar. … he condemned the worship of these heroes and sages of our country as deities and godheads. There is another class of writers who do not understand Guru Gobind Singh’s use of the sword of dharma and the great social and spiritual significance he attached to it.”

    Bhai Kahn Singh
    Though Bhai Kahn Singh personal opinion, in the Gurmat Martand, was that the DM should have been retained as separate binds BUT he NEVER denied the Guru Gobind Singh’s AUTHORSHIP OF THE DG.

    Professor Anurag Singh
    We suggest that one should spend some time going through the documents at https://profanuraagsingh.wordpress.com/category/shri-dasam-granth-sahib/
    Therein it is clearly stated, besides many other important points,
    “It is the document which talks about One Divine Spirit in all the ten Gurus, earlier defined by Bhai Gurdas, Bhatts in their verses in Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Nand Lal in Ganjnamah, Kavi Sainapati in Gursobha, Parchian Sewa Das, and of course by Guru Gobind Singh ji in Bachitra Natak and Var Sri Bhagauti Ji ki, which forms the Invocation of our Congregational Prayer: ARDASA.”
    Further we suggest that you also go on to read and understand the compositions in DG also at the same link. we quote a portion
    “Baba Binod Singh from the family of Guru Angad Dev ji also prepared one codex of Dasam Granth during the times of Banda Bahadur with the title Dasven Patshahi ka Granth, which means Dasam Granth. One more codex known as Sangria Recension is presently with Punjabi University, Patiala and this is the only Recension from which the anti-Dasam Granth lobby repeatedly quote the couplet of Guru Sahib: Nishan Sikhi i Panj harf………In spite of such overwhelming evidence if someone wants to close his eyes to mislead certain innocent people with his perjurious averments then I can only say, ”You can take a horse to a well, but you cannot make him drink the water”.”

    Sant Singh Maskin
    Listening to his lectures on DG e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzKvGmHFUu4 show that Guru Gobind Singh is the author of DG.

    Dasam Granth Information
    A site with more information on Dasam Granth’s authorship is
    http://www.info-sikh.com/PageKnowDG1.html

    … END of three parts.

  7. Response Part B
    Note 1: Guru Gobind’s concepts in DG
    Guru Gobind’s position on God
    Guru Gobind Singh espouses a Unitary (One) God. He qualifies God in detail in Jaap Sahib, the commencing bani of DG, and this is the same as that defined in SGGS commencing verse. He also calls God Maha Kaal in Akal Ustat Stanza 253.
    ਗਿਆਨ ਹੂੰ, ਕੇ ਗਿਆਤਾ,
    God is having the knowledge, God is the knowledge house, house
    ਮਹਾਂ ਬੁੱਧਿਤਾ, ਕੇ ਦਾਤਾ,
    God is the great knowledge, God is the giver of knowledge,
    ਦੇਵ ਕਾਲ ਹੂੰ, ਕੇ ਕਾਲ,
    God controlled the time during the period of devtas, God terminated the time of devtaas
    ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲ ਹੂੰ, ਕੇ ਕਾਲ ਹੈਂ ॥੧॥੨੫੩॥
    God is the controller of time, God can destroy time.

    Mahakaal in Mahan Kosh is defined as
    ਮਹਾਕਾਲ – ਕਾਲ ਦਾ ਭੀ ਕਾਲ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ; ਯਮ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਆਦਿ ਜਗਤ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਭੀ ਜਿਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਲੈ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ; ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ; ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ
    One who is the death of death, to whom Yum (God of death) and Shiv pay obeisance to, Vaheguru, God.

    SGGS supports Guru Gobind Singh’s definition of Maha Kaal.
    The verse below refers to this word
    ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਤੂ ਜੀਵਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਨ ਖਾਈ ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ SGGS 885 M:5 Ramkalee
    Meditating in remembrance on the Lord’s Name, you shall live, and the Great Death shall not consume you ever again. ||1||Pause||
    Here ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲੁ is translated as “Great Death” by Sant Singh Khalsa God is attributed with the qualities of creation, preservation and destruction. The destruction aspect of God is “Maha Kaal” or “Great Death” as translated above. Why use the word “great death”. Why not just “death”? Death as we perceive it is the loss of life of a living entity. When a building burns down, do we say the building had incurred death? This is why God’s destroying power is called “Maha Kaal”. The destroying power extends to living or non-living entities. The word Kaal is generally understood to be death, but according to the Punjabi-English dictionary (Uni Patiala) it also means time. So death also means “Ante (ਅੰਤ) Kaal”. Maha Kaal, on the other end is the power of destruction by terminating the time dimension of an entity and this destruction can destroy the entire universe; only God can do this. The above verse therefore means
    You (ਤੂ), meditate on (ਸਿਮਰਿ) the Name of God (ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ), then you will never be consumed (ਫਿਰਿ ਨ ਖਾਈ) by the destroying power God (ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲੁ).

    Guru Gobind’s position on all Devi-Devta (includes Brahma, Vishun, Siva, Diurga etc etc)
    ਸਾਧ ਕਰਮ ਜੇ ਪੁਰਖ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਦੇਵਤਾ ਜਗਤ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥
    Because of virtuous actions, a purusha (person) is known as devta (god)
    ਕੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਕਰਮ ਜੇ ਜਗ ਮੈ ਕਰਹੀਂ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਅਸੁਰ ਤਿਨ ਕੋ ਸਭ ਧਰਹੀਂ ॥੧੫॥
    And because of evil actions, he is known as asura (demon)

    The translation is: A person (ਜੇ ਪੁਰਖ) with virtuous qualities (ਸਾਧ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ) is known as a
    devtaa (ਨਾਮ ਦੇਵਤਾ) in this world (ਜਗਤ ਕਹਾਵੈ) and if (ਜੇ) one performs (ਮੈ ਕਰਹੀਂ €) evil actions (ਕੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਕਰਮ) in this world (ਜਗ ਮੈ), the world (ਸਭ) terms (ਧਰਹੀਂ €) such a person (ਤਿਨ ਕੋ) a demon (ਨਾਮ ਅਸੁਰ).
    Devi-Devtaas and demons are actually certain traits or qualities of human beings and are used metaphorically in our scriptures. Virtuous traits imply godly qualities, hence devtaas; and evil traits imply demon like qualities, hence demon. Bhai Khan Singh goes on to explain that the Vedas and Puranas have imagined special forms and qualities for the Devi-Devtaas and people have come to believe in them as gods (Devi-Devtaas) or demons (Asur). The time period of the Vedas (~1400 BC) and Purans (~350 AD) was when people were animistic and hence the need to represent qualities with forms. These traditions have carried on until today in the Vedic/Puranic faiths.

    Guru Gobind’s position on Durga/Bhagauti/Chandi
    In Guru Gobind Singh’s thought concept Chandi or Bhagauti or Durga (Chandi Ki Var) is the spirit of the sword (God); the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism states bhagauti stands for God or His devotee on the one hand (signifying piri), for the sword on the other (signifying miri). This integration of peri and miri in Bhagauti encapsulates another major dimension of Sikh thought.

    ….. continued in Part C

  8. Response Part A
    Our comments on some of the points of Lord Singh article follow:
    6. Nobody accords DG the same status as SGGS. Such statements are meant to mislead. Anyone has the right to reverence of any writings BUT the DG is not at the same status of SGGS. Guru Gobind Singh had made this clear.
    7. This is also the case with DG where the commencing bani Jaap expounds on the Mool Mantar and details more qualities of God in the 199 stanzas with multiple qualities in each verse. Both transcendent and the immanent qualities are included, the emphasis being on immanent qualities. It was meant to be this way. The First Nanak introduces the qualities of God briefly and the Tenth Nanak expounds extensively on the qualities of God to give us a good understanding of the creator, sufficient for the purposes of our life and mission as a part of the creation. (see further Note 1 below)
    8. DG expounds on the Hindu Deities “exploits” to explain the concepts behind these which are also referred to in SGGS. In SGGS these terms are used but not explained. For example
    ਕੇਤੇ ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਵੈਸੰਤਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕਾਨ ਮਹੇਸ ॥ SGGS 7
    So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas and Shivas.
    One can learn more about the Krishnas and Sivas in the Dasam Granth. These are not defined in SGGS.
    The very essence of Guru Gobind’s thought is encapsulated in the qualities of God in Jaap Sahib, definition of Mahakaal in Akal Ustat, his position of Devi-Devtaa in Bachitar Natak and the spirit of the sword in Chandi (Durga) Ki Var. These concepts are in complete synchrony with SGGS. (see below Note 1 – Part B).

    9. We should rise above a mind polluted with KAAM and view these writings in the manner as intended by the compilation. The 5 evils 5 virtues are explained using a plot with King/Minister/family/subjects. 5 evils and 5 virtues are concepts in SGGS for example 5 evils. One of the worst of the 5 evils is KAAM (this Sant Singh Maskin even attributes to lead to the other four (see below Note 2 – Part C). Some examples of the many referred to in SGGS are shown below.
    ਪੰਚ ਭੂ ਆਤਮਾ ਵਸਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਤਾ ਤੀਰਥ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥੨॥ SGGS 491
    If your soul overcomes the five elements, then you shall come to have a home at the true place of pilgrimage. ||2||
    ਕਾਮਵੰਤ ਕਾਮੀ ਬਹੁ ਨਾਰੀ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਜੋਹ ਨ ਚੂਕੈ ॥ SGGS 672
    The lustful, lecherous man desires many women, and he never stops peeking into the homes of others.
    ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਗਲ ਜਗੁ ਛਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਦੇਖਿ ਕਾਮਿ ਲੋਭਾਇਆ ॥ SGGS 1342
    Emotional attachment to Maya is spread out all over the world. Seeing a beautiful woman, the man is overcome with sexual desire.

    10. This is not true DG is by Guru Gobind Singh. (see below Note 2 – Part C).

    11. The whole of DG is compiled by Guru Gobind Singh and coherent with SGGS. The signatory of all the DM compilation is Patshahi 10 (Guru Gobind Singh), until this is changed Guru Gobind Singh remains the author. Unfortunately, Guru Gobind Singh who sacrificed everything so that we could today carry our heads and say we are Sikhs and our Guru is SGGS, is “guilty until proven innocent” in the eyes of some. This is very unfortunate. However we must learnt and always remember that when we walk into our Kendar, the Harmandir Sahib, we have to walk down the steps; at every step we go down we lower our self and leave the 5 evils behind and at the last step no evils are left in us. This is the Guru’s message we must always remember and remind ourself in this verse in SGGS
    ਕੂਕਰ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ, ਗੁਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਚੈ ਪਚਾਨੁ ॥ SGGS 21
    Those who practice falsehood are dogs; those who slander the Guru shall burn in their own fire.

    12. Lord Singh should cite the document which rejected the DG. Note as we have shown above that the DG is in synchrony with SGGS.
    … continued in Part B

  9. Lord Singh is a politician not a religious scholar. Pls listen to Sant Singh Maskeen about Dasam Granth and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. They were religious scholars who spent their life learning and understanding Gurbani and they see nothing wrong with Dasam Granth. We do not even understand proper meaning of mulmanter and we want to understand something much more. Why are we wasting time and also doing Ninda of Guru Govind Singh ji? WJKK WJKF

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