| Opinion | 10 Oct 2016 | Asia Samachar |
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.
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?
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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The God of Dasam Granth – Part Two (Asia Samachar, 14 Sept 2016)
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