| Opinion | Malaysia | 15 Dec 2016 | Asia Samachar |
By Dr. Balwant Singh Bains
This Slogan “Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada” is somewhat quite driven towards fundamentalism. Moreover the slogan “a fulcrum of Sikh ethos” need a careful consideration.
First of all by definition, everyone who seek spiritual wisdom is a Sikh. If this was meant to be focused only to a particular region, then Guru Nanak Dev Ji need not travel thousands of miles having discourses with various walks of life around the globe.
So it defies the “Ethos” and “fulcrum” towards which the Slogan is driven. Guru ji spoke of no colour, no identity but piety and purity of humanity; The growth and quest is directed only for inward growth and not the outward expansion.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji denounced any form of identity that drew towards the fulcrum or in other words towards a narrow minded close doors. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is a compilation that denotes secularism. The inclusion of Divine Poetry of the Holy Bhagats_ proves this.
If we really analyse the reason for Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s slogan of a “Panth” – which I quite doubt till todate if he ever did – it makes me believe that this was not his intentions as this word “Panth” deviates from what he endorsed and authenticated while re-writting SGGS and announced to mankind that when seeking Divine Knowlege, we, the mankind would then seek from these Guru-Words he called it A living Guru. This endeavor was clearly meant for the seekers of Divine Wisdom, and was not only confined or in other words limited to those who were within the frame of ‘The Panth’, (I would rather call them Singhs) neither was solely for those having partaken baptism. (Baptism as practised again is open to argument).
Unfortunately, today SGGS has become the IDOL keeps of the “Singhs” by and large.
I see that not all “Singhs” are really Seekers? But I do see many who are not “Singhs” are true Seekers.
Today, the way the so-called “Panth” has taken shape, brings into me terrific alarm. Given it a political position, like other religion, this so-called- Panth can bring nightmare to lives, if it were to be implemented by people in power.. Imagine, the followers of SGGS, must wear all the 5K as compulsion; have their heads covered with only a specific designed head gears. In times to come, it would become compulsory for all Sikhs to go for pilgrimage to Golden Temple. (We would have then forgotten, that even Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself never visited that place: apart from this, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was not allowed into the Darbar Sahib of Golden Temple – today many of us don’t know of this fact).
A great deal of rigidity is already being imposed presently by the so-called practising “Keepers of the Sikh Religion”. They are already casting their iron hands to rules stated in the “Maryada”.
Lets face facts. Who wrote The Maryada? How is this Ek Maryada going to make the Divine Knowledge of SGGS reach the masses for whom it was initially written?
I can conclude to say to a large extend, that, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s original vision has been distorted. He created warriors who would be Saintly and yet be soldiers to defend and face the tyranny and safe guard the society based on the status quo of conditions then. But on the other hand, Guru Ji did not confine SGGS to these warriors only, rather reached out to the masses, to be Read, Digested, Assimilated and Sung by mankind as a whole to attain tranquility.
By authenticating and endorsing SGGS personally, Guru Gobind Singh ji made it clear that this Divine Knowledge was open to all walks of life.
Unfortunately what’s happening today? “Kesadhari” (those “outwardly” who possess unshaven hairs and beard) are only allowed to read SGGS in any function, those who are not in this norm are not allowed to distribute parshad (sweet communion); not allowed to partake in common kitchen; cannot behold SGGS on their head during a “Guru Sawari”; cannot carry out fanning of Chawr over SGGS while “Guru Sawari”, cannot partake in kirtan, cannot play musical instruments on stage.. and many more.
This slogan “Ek Guru, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada” hance is a snow balling personal view. I can foresee that it is only going to divert us from the original ideologies of our Gurus.
So, please minutely study this aspired self created ambition – *The fulcrum of Sikh Ethos*.
Do Ask some questions before delivering this subject:
1. Is this going to make the seeker become fundamentalist?
2. Is this exactly what our Gurus wanted to deliver to mankind as a whole. Will there be a room for the great Divine Wisdom to creep into any ordinary person who is not in the framework of the so called ”Panth”?
3. How do we rightly define Panth? And to be secular?
4. Are these Maryada authentic? Who are the authors?
5. Is the fulcrum drawn towards self purification and spiritual upliftment?
6. Are we drawing this to make people become fanatic and terrorise their own homes and cutting away ties from loved ones and from those who are not into this institution? (This invariably happens with many families after their children return from Samelan Camps).
7. Are we aiming to institutionalise a cult?
I need no justifications to my article. I have ample of lines from SGGS that inspire and support my thoughts. I am concerned the way we, the entire so-called Today’s “KEEPERS” of SGGS, propogating and justifying the phenomenon of being a SIKH – SEEKER.
I see The “Singhs” whom we call “Panth” are shouting these slogans of Ek Guru, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada who would sadly minute-off the spiritual growth but ‘mob-charge’ one day to stand up and demand that all Seekers condone to this fundamentalism and this narrowness would bring about unpleasant rigidity to these beautiful spiritual foundation laid by our beloved Gurus for mankind.
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