Driven towards fundamentalism


| Opinion | Malaysia15 Dec 2016 Asia Samachar |

Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada logo from Sikh Vichar Forum (SVF)

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).

SEE ALSO: ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ comes to Rawang

SEE ALSO: Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada: A logo that says it all

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.

Dato Dr Balwant Singh Bains runs Malaysia’s largest standalone physiotherapist centre and a physiotherapy college. He is a kirtan and Gurbani discourse enthusiast via Satsangi Malaysia



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‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ comes to Rawang (Asia Samachar, 15 Dec 2016)

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Kuala Pilah Sikhs lend an ear to ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ concept (Asia Samachar, 4 Dec 2016)

Perlis Sikhs do sehaj paath for Ek Panth, Ek Granth, Ek Maryada (Asia Samachar, 30 Nov 016)

Global Sikh body backs Malaysia, US councils (Asia Samachar, 29 Nov 016)

American Sikh Council endorses the “One Granth and One Panth” (Asia Samachar, 28 Nov 2016)

Seremban leadership endorses ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ (Asia Samachar, 27 Nov 2016)

Klang gurdwara makes history with launch of ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ (Asia Samachar, 24 Nov 016)

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Guru Nanak was an original, says Women In Sikhi conference organiser (Asia Samachar, 16 Oct 2016)

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SGGS-DG Discourse: Another stumbling block towards Ekta of the Sikh panth? (Asia Samachar, 4 Aug 2016)

‘One Granth One Panth’ call from Global Sikh Council (Asia Samachar, 11 April 2016)

 JAGIR: MGC managing granthi entry, standardising maryada at gurdwaras  (Asia Samachar, 19 Nov 2015)


  1. Surinder singh…I have never heard so much rubbish that contradicts itself with each word ypu have said witb great uncouth unrefined and common class .It shows you are speaking upon sonething thst is beyond your iwn ability to understand .Ek is alll inclusive of granth panth and maryada….But of course …..not the nataki chitterr

  2. The prople dividing are the deviant blaphemous parmjit ,the sggsa and theit lap pips like the writet,who sees with onr blibded,and one ear blocked,and partially paralysed in mind.

    In the name of false hood these rss goobs and theur othet lappies are misleading ,anybody that carez to hear them….But thank god not many.

    These fellows from sggsa dividing the kaum are wholly washed in brains with brahman seeds,dispensing their cancerous evility and infecting people around.

    It has to be countered strongly.

    The world is banning sexist atitudes and depravity around tbe female,while these sickies are promoting such evility of depraved mentality and a sickly,but nevertheless sex stories around eomen in the name of a great guru just how lowky sick can one get?I AM SURE THEY ARE TEACHING THEIR CHiLDREN SUCH …Depravity thst in time they will be raping,committing incestous sexual acts,that they will b locked up

  3. A group of people hiding behind MGC to bring the ideology of kala afghana and dhundda … they will pull the crowd who do not have basics in Sikhi … so we are seeing another wave like radhaswami , darshandasi, narangkari now we have this Svf group propogating behind MGC ….

  4. Finally a correct, true & logical response to these people who are dividing Sikhs …

    Well done Dr Balwant Singh Bains Ji… Do include your facebook link in the article footnote above so more sane Sikhs can connect with your thoughts & network to protect ourselves against these strange new movements of time, energy & effort wasters who are Divisive in the name of Ek!

    What should Ek Maryada “embrace “is NOT CLEAR.
    Goat sacrifices for “Tilak” it must embrace, correct? Installation of porno book “dasam granth” on the same level as Guru ji Maryada should embrace and approve?
    Ek panth what is wrong with that? Nihangs already treat all other Sikhs as not “true Khalsa” and only themselves as true Khalsa. There is discrimination of “lower casts” as well. Please next time think before you write ji. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh

  6. Our Guru cdrtainly did not recognise a sex storied book.Ek Panth ek Granth is not a course or cause for fundamentalism ;It is a reaction to fundalmentalisim being preached distortedly,influenced by narcissticaly fanaticist groups like RSS.A body alien to not only Sikhism but the Malaysian nation It is a body that has driven fanatacism in india where it has been the trigger for murders of Christians ,Muslim,attacks upon the harijans and a bystander participant on attacks upon Sikhs.THOUGH,it has been active against Sikhs through distorted parchar of the mild and non aggressive Sikh religion….creating a fake impression of bir ras that can only be “attained’via false and misrepresented book.The slogan only reflects and remphasis the teachings of Guru Granth sahib to bring the Sikhs into unity and a cohesive society linked through One .If only the sikh community understands the principle of Ek oankaar within itself ,can Sikhs be in position to explain the message of the Gurus to rest of humanity.It is indeed there is a cause for concern ,it is that fuelled by the RSS agenda,and its stooge groups which even most sane and balanced hindus have attacked as the ultimate cause of rising fanaticism —which is now being exported to shores overseas,to the herd mentality of ready ignorant and ideologically hollow minds looking for exitement.This insistence of a book that has long been regarded as unacceptable,is being fanatically imposed at par with Guru Granth sahib is the fanaticism indeed….. that has calledfor reiterating Unity and Eka in the panth.It is not the “fanatacism,”i m sure Balwant Singh ji is refering to,otherwise we will be told the defensive wars guru ji fought were also the result of fanaticism he professed.
    I s that what Balwant singh tying to Imply?no.Maryada is simple set of rules for the confused and forgetful,to ensure uniformity is standardly maintained.Would Mr Balwant refer to his profesional code as a step to fanaticism,i doubt.HE would be thrown out…..without grace and without a profession ….should he drop his NICE regulated standards…….. and introduce an non evidenced based exercise or activity

    SRM is far more humane…..whch Mr Balwant has been forgetful….to add.As for variety of visible Sikhs ….is a totally different issue ,i m sure he is well aware,as a pysiotherapist ……he is in l no capacity to offer medical advice,but then on other hand i have not seen the maryada produce FANATICS….but the bachiter natak has produced fanatics in 1984, top liars like Thakur singh lying in presence of Guru Granth sahib for 29 Years and in recent times even murderers like dhuuma …and those causing fights in gurduaras ……..They are the fanatics … as per evidence …Ek granth ek panth is the Guru guided path to stop such fanatics of a dubious book .Fake babas ,fake sadhus ,which has plagued the community ….it eko gur vichar eko guru is no different than ek guru,ek panth..Ek maryada ..However using gurbani tuks directky for a campaign is t the vogue …practice. Some misled are habitually ingrained in picking nits ….from infected brain cells.

  7. Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada is a totally flawed concept especially when Ek Maryada is attached to it. Nanak Naam leva Sikhs cannot be confined to this “Ek Maryada” concept. We should be all inclusive and embrace all. Neither is Ek Panth a practical slogan to adopt. Even Ek Granth should actually be EK GURU as there is only one Guru Granth Sahib. If there is any motto to be adopted for Sikhi and Sikh unity purposes I would suggest using the lines from Guru Granth Sahib rather than some man-made motto like the one above. IKKA BANI IKKU GURU IKKO SHABAD VICHAAR should be a better option as it comes from the mouth of our Guru rather than some individuals. Our Guru cannot be wrong.