By Darshan Singh | Opinion |
Guru Nanak Sahib started a faith called Sikh. Why did Guru Sahib thought it necessary to establish something new when there were already other religions in existence at the time? It was because they were all distorted from the ONE – EK ONGKAR, heavily influenced by rituals and controlled by the Pujari class. Guru Nanak Sahib’s mission therefore was to reconnect us with the ONE – Ek Ongkar. He went on his travels to share this message with the world, emphasizing on simple and straightforward 3 core principles; Naam Japna (always remembering the ONE creator), Kirt Karni (earning an honest living) and Wand Shakna (sharing a portion of honest earning with the needy).
The work started by Guru Nanak Sahib was carried on by the subsequent Guru Sahibs until Guru Arjan Sahib collected and compiled all Bani’s available, giving us the Adi Granth which originally was called Pothi Sahib and said “Pio Dadey Da Khol Ditta Khejana“. It contained the Bani’s of the 5 Guru Sahibs, Bhagats and others. Upon completion, Pothi Sahib was installed at Harmandir Sahib. So much respect was bestowed onto Pothi Sahib that Guru Arjan Sahib placed it on a Manji and himself sat below.
Time began to change for the worse and to respond accordingly, the 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib adopted the concept of Miri Piri (temporal power and spiritual authority) to uphold righteousness. Guru Sahib militarized Sikhi in order to protect Sikhs and Sikhi. Followed by the 7th and 8th Guru Sahib (no Bani of 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Guru Sahib), 9th Guru Sahib’s Bani was included by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and Guru Sahib bestowed Guruship upon Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as eternal living Guru, to whom we bow in reverence today.
Of course, there are groups like Naamdharis and Nirankaris who continue to believe that Guruship lineage continued in human form, while there is another group which believes that there are Granths other than Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS) in existance. This group, most dangerous to me, believes that SGGS is incomplete. It is not a “pura guru”. Only when read together with some other Granths will make it complete. How unfortunate!
Guru Gobind Singh Ji had to fight 3 very powerful enemies during his time, namely:
The Hindu Hill Rajas
and amongst all, the most powerful and destructive were the Masand. Why? because they looked like us, behaved like us, worked within us but spread “cancer” to destroy us. These Masand are still in existence today and as a matter of fact coated with political power have become stronger, more influential and destructive.
Then came a period of bloody prosecution of Sikhs when Sikhs had to hide in jungles until the Moguls were defeated of cause upon the sacrifices of Guru Sahib, his family and his Sikhs but the Masand continued to flourish. During this period when the Gurdwaras fell into the hands of Udasis, Dogras, Nirmalas etc, Sikhi got massively corrupted pushing it back into the hands of the Pujaris and ritualism. I am sure you will know that there were idols of Hindu Devi Devtas places at Darbar Sahib until they were removed? I am convinced that given a chance, today’s Masand would not have removed them justifying that some Guru Sahib had actually worshipped these Devi Devtas.
Then came Maharaja Ranjit Singh who although was a Amritdhari Sikhs, did not do much justice to Sikhi as he fully subscribed and adopted the secular nation concept and many of his decisions were influenced by advisors other than Sikhs, like changing Guru Nanak Sahibs Parkash Purab to November from April, adopting Hindu Kesari color, changing the Nishan Sahib etc. Probably the only good thing Maharaja Ranjit Singh did for the Sikhs was to place gold on Darbar Sahib making it an international attraction.
Moving on, came the British and upon annexing the Punjab they immediately took control of key Gurdwaras because they knew that Sikhs generated energy from their primary spiritual source which is the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Point to note that the British did not control any Masjid or Mandir. Guru Sahib thought Sikhs to fight for righteousness and the Gurdwara is a place where revolutions started. The British knew that separating Sikhs from their source of their energy, they will self-destruct. Many methods were adopted including introducing rival books.
This was also the time when the Rasṭriya Svayaṃsevak Sangh (RSS) a Hindu Nationalist Organization came into existence, to unite the Hindu community and create a Hindu Rashtra. This fascist RSS has never accepted Sikhi as a separate religion. For them Sikhs are a warrior sect of Hindus, established to protect the Hindus and their religion. To support their claim is the Bachittar Natak, Sarbloh Granth and all likes. Members of the RSS ideology has infiltrated all Sikh institutions in India, be it sosio-religious, political and educational. We cannot completely trust or rely on these institutional leaders anymore. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is an example of a Sikh institution which is completely under the influence and control of the RSS. DSGMC, prefers to summon Chandi Di Var katha rather than that of Guru Nanak’s Japji Sahib, and their objective is crystal clear. Let’s not go to Nanded and Patna!
Supported by RSS and its political arm the BJP, today’s Masand have a suffocating strong hold on Sikhi and Sikhs. There was a former Masand in the form of a Jathedar from Patna, probably the most shamelessly revered Masand by groups in Malaysia, claimed that Sikh Gurus were the incarnation of Hindu Gods, Sikhs were the children of “Luv and Kush” and the even bigger and more influential Masand sitting at Akal Takht Sahib had refused to act. All 5 masands of the day had even decided to pardon the Sauda Sadh Ram Rahim. Do we need to say more!
So, we can safely conclude that it is almost a gone case in Punjab but fortunately we now have strong group of Sikh intellectuals operating from within and outside of Punjab/India challenging these Masand by educating Sikhs on the authentic message of Guru Nanak Sahib. This is our beacon of hope!
We must get back to the basics of Guru Nanak Sahibs teachings and take control of it back from the clutches of the Masand. We must unite to achieve this goal as it an onslaught of the powerful modern day Masand which we are facing.
The Nanakshahi calendar was rightfully adopted and accepted by all and it was in use until abruptly dropped without overwriting earlier acceptance. The Masand won the battle but we must win the war and this can only be achieved if we stay united.
Darshan Singh hails from Kampar, Perak and is actively involved in Gurdwara activities.
* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
Disunited, we all fail! (Asia Samachar, 3 June 2017)
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