Can women prepare Amrit? Malaysian Sikh outfit overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’

At least two gurdwaras had objected to women participation in Amrit Sanchar Jatha. At one gurdwara, the objection came from some of the ablakhis (persons coming for initiation). In the second incident, it involved an opening ceremony of a new gurdwara. How did Naujawan Sabha respond?

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By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |

Can women be part of the Amrit Sanchar jatha? This issue came up at the recent meeting of a Malaysian Sikh organisation that has been running Sikh camps in the Southeast Asia region for more than five decades.

The Sikh initiation ceremony is the Khandey-da-Pahul or commonly called the amrit sanchar. As part of the process, sweetened water is prepared by a team of five Sikhs, who are themselves initiated, while reading a number of prescribed Sikh verses. The ceremony was introduced by the Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, in 1699.

As with many things in those days, women were probably not involved when preparing the Khandey-da-Pahul. But what about today? Is it allowed in the Sikh Reht Maryada (Sikh code of conduct)? And what does the Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) – the go-to guide for everything Sikhi – has to say about this topic?

SEE ALSO: Weak ‘godda’ begone

Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) members came face to face with the question at its annual general meeting (AGM) held in Kuala Lumpur on 19 Sept. See here.

The Kuala Lumpur-based organisation allows women to take part in the initiation ceremony. For some years now, women has been roped in to be part of the Amrit Sanchar jatha, or the group that prepares the Khandey-da-Pahul (amrit). In many places, it is still a no-go area for women. The SNSM jatha, with the presence of women members, had prepared the Khandey-da-Pahul on a number of occasions in Malaysia and in neighbouring Indonesia and Thailand.

PUSHBACKS

But they had been some pushbacks. At least two gurdwaras in the past had objected to women participation. At one gurdwara, the objection came from some of the ablakhis (persons coming for initiation, i.e. those who came to partake amrit). In the second incident, it involved an opening ceremony of a new gurdwara.

“In the first incident, we reluctantly agreed to carry on. After the ceremony, we explained to those who had just taken amrit that there was nothing wrong with the participation of women,” Jaswant Singh, the out-going coordinator of the SNSM Amrit Sanchar Jatha, told Asia Samachar.

“In the second incident, we were told a few days before the event that they didn’t want women in the Panj Pyare jatha. We tried talking to them, but to no avail. We then decided to decline the invitation.”

Due to the incidents, Jaswant and Hardev Singh Mahinder Singh, another key member of the SNSM Amrit Sanchar Jatha, decided to move a motion before the organisation’s general house to make a firm decision on the matter.

Here is the motion entitled ‘Proposal to stop discrimination in whatsoever manner against woman’:

“We being in Amrit Sanchar Jatha found that some Gurdwaras Committees or Sikh organisations believe that women should not be allowed to participate in the Amrit Sanchar Jatha and actively take part in the ceremony of Amrit Sanchar.

“We now propose and move this house that Sabha supports the active participation of women in Amrit Sanchar Jatha of SNSM whether it is opening of new Gurdwara, keeping of foundation stone or when Amrit Batha is prepared. All kinds of discrimination against women must be stopped. Equal status should be given to women as advocated by Sri Guru Granth Sahib.”

After a debate, the general house had passed with an overwhelming majority the motion to allow women participation in the Amrit Sanchar jatha. Only a handful members had opposed the motion.

Jaswant Singh (left) and the SNSM Amrit Sanchar Jatha at a recent SNSM Annual Gurmat Parchar Samelan at Khalsa Land, Kuala Kubu Bharu. The two women members were Kavithajit Kaur (left) and Jaswinder Kaur – Photo: SNSM Facebook
SRM ON WOMEN PARTICIPATION

So, what is the SRM position? Jaswant, a lawyer by profession, said the Sikh code of conduct clearly states that women were allowed to take part in the Khandey-da-Pahul ceremony. “Both Guru Granth Sahib and the Sikh Reht Maryada are clear on this issue,” he said. “It can even be five ladies preparing the amrit batha.”

The Sikh initiation mentioned in Article 24 (b) of the SRM. It states: “At the place where ambrosial baptism is to be administered, the holy Guru Granth Sahib should be installed and ceremonially opened. Also present should be six committed baptized Sikhs, one of whom should sit in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the other five should be there to administer the ambrosial baptism. These six may even include Sikh women. All of them must have taken bath and washed their hair.”

SIKH REHT MARYADA: English version, Punjabi version

One of the members at the AGM had asked SNSM to seek Akal Takht clarification if women were explicitly allowed to join the five who prepare the Khandey-da-Pahul, or merely to join the Amrit Sanchar jatha to take on other roles, including as the granthi or the pehrey-dar (watch persons). The call was rejected by the majority.

Gursharan Kaur with the SNSM Amrit Sanchar Jatha – Photo: SNSM Facebook
COORDINATOR, NOT JATHEDAR

Jaswant, who took on the lead role of the SNSM Amrit Sanchar Jatha in 2018, said they have introduced a number of changes. To begin with, he does not badge himself as the jathedar (literally, leader of the group) but coordinator. They have about 15 members.

“When there is an event, around eight members would come forward. They would chose among them one person to take on the role of the Maukhey Dah Jathedar (ceremony chief). That person will lead the way and take decisions. Once the ceremony is over, he steps down form his role,” he said. This allows more members to take on leadership roles.

Moving forward, Jaswant said it was up to the newly elected SNSM jathedar and his team to observe and implement the overwhelming ‘yes’ for women participation in Amrit Sanchar. “We are prepared to serve, as always,” he said.

RELATED STORY:

SNSM elects Harjinder Singh as new jathedar (Asia Samachar, 19 Sept 2020)

Justice Ginsburg on all-women Panj Pyare (Asia Samachar, 19 Sept 2020)

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

15 COMMENTS

  1. Sikhism does not need non-Sikhs to destroy Sikhism as DESTRUCTION MAY BE ONGOING BY SOME sikhs as earlier the DASSAM GRANTH WAS USED and now it is WOMEN PREPARING AMRIT even when it is stated in SGGS that
    ALL ARE EQUAL.
    Bless all
    Gur Fateh

  2. COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Jeninder Kaur Gill: This is so tiring. This mentality predates Guru Nanak. What a shame. But yes, concerted effort must put to challenge this discriminatory behaviour. I am so tired of hearing this in 2020. Which is why I have consciously avoided such gatherings. I don’t want to stay away but such mentality and behaviour zaps the energy and happiness right out of me.
    Ohh, and btw, equal rights begin in the home. Are you still giving more household chores to your daughters than your sons? Are your sons exempted from washing dishes, folding clothes, sweeping etc while your daughters are not? Or maybe no chores at all for the kids 🙂

    Reena M Sidhu: Jeninder Kaur Gill I share your exact sentiments

  3. COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Balvinder Singh: In the spiritual realm, we are all akin to the female gender and God almighty the only male…”Es Jagg Meh Purakh Ek Hai, Horr Saglee Naar Sabaye”…so any form of gender discrimination or bias is rejected by the teachings of our Guru sahibaan as enshrined in SGGS Ji…the problem is when we lose our compass and start following other “granths”

    Mohkam Singh: Be-amritiye people may kindly stay away from commenting on anything related to Amrit Sanchaars due to obvious reasons.

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh oh wow, because the physical Amrit now makes you a demi-God does it…

    Mohkam Singh: Amarjeet Singh it makes you more than a demi-god, but that isn’t the point. It is just that an illiterate person (who hasn’t even done basic schooling yet) has no right to comment on scholarly matters of a PhD examination board.

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh and who are you to pass judgement? A PhD examination board isn’t infallible.

    Mohkam Singh: Amarjeet Singh Take admission into the school, study hard, reach the level of PhD, and you’ll realise everything that’s wrong with your thinking. This domain (Sikhi) isn’t yours to begin with, you can’t trespass with your “my opinion” comments and then cry victim on being refuted. Become a Sikh first, talk later.
    And since this conversation will now go into the direction of personal attacks (most probably), you are welcome to talk to me on messenger, if you’re genuinely interested to engage in a substantial discussion.

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh don’t worry. Fundamentalism is never a substantial discussion. Neither is Sikhi your own moral stamping ground.

    Mohkam Singh: Amarjeet Singh where does it seem in my writing that I’m worrying about something? It is you who is going trigger happy over all comments on this post.
    You’re right, “fundamentalism” is never a substantial discussion, it is just a excuse to escape an argument when the lack of a frame of reference becomes evident.
    “Sikhi is not your own moral stamping ground” – are you even Amritdhari to begin with? If not, how in the world are you even eligible to have an opinion on the subject?

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh actually yes, I am an Amritdhari so under your terms and conditions I am qualified to discuss the subject. Satisfied to my eligibility now?

    Mohkam Singh: Amarjeet Singh okay ji. Now that you’ve clarified that you are initiated, please enlighten me on who do you feel should be qualified to do Seva of Amrit Sanchaar?

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh 5 Sikhs of high caliber selected on merit in following Sikhi and not gender.

    Mohkam Singh: Well said. What are the parameters of assessing that merit and calibre?

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh definitely not gender.

    Mohkam Singh: You don’t have an answer?

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh pretty nice gaslighting there but the answer is this, men and women whose lives are lived in consonance with Gurbani and Gurbani dependent Rehat. Not Baba type androcentrists.

    Mohkam Singh: Thank you for accusing me of gaslighting and constantly proving how difficult it is to communicate with you.
    Coming to the answer, can you please spell out the lifestyle of such a person for me? The basics, values, daily practices maybe?
    Nakli babas didn’t deserve a mention anyway.

    Amarjeet Singh: Mohkam Singh far more than doing Nitnem, living the Nitnem and accepting the world to be real and productively contributing towards humanistic progress through daily endeavor as enunciated by Gurbani.

  4. COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Darshan S. Dhillon: First option should be male member and women to be allowed only if it’s impossible to find a male. This does not denigrate women.

    Sunandha Kaur: Darshan S. Dhillon, may I ask why first option and second option? Does this mean women is nothing but an option as one has no choice but to place her there? How is it that women gave birth to their male sons without discriminating if the child was a male or female? She was not selective about her choices with children. Why now? Guru Ji even referred to Akaal Purakh Waheguru as Tu Mere Pita Tu Hai Mera Matta. Guru Ji has referred to Waheguru as gender friendly. Period.

    Kesh Singh: Darshan S. Dhillon dude, i took a Muslim to a Gurdwara in Sentul because he needed food and shelter. That’s what Gurdwaras are for. To provide without prejudice. He was upfront denied by the Granties and president. You guys are now prejudice towards women. You guys SUCK!

    Hasveen Tarlock: Darshan S. Dhillon Feel sorry for this kind of mentality in a seemingly pious man.

    Kavita Kaur Dhillon: Darshan S. Dhillon I too struggle to see ur logic. Maybe u should elaborate

    Kirpal Singh: Darshan S. Dhillon Male first class pyare and Female second class pyare……wah re……kahan fass gaye mere Guru Ke Pyare….

    Jasveer Dhaliwal: Darshan S. Dhillon, am afraid I can’t agree with your statement. Just not right.

    Kiren Kaur Gill: Darshan S. Dhillon sad to note that you have such opinion of women. We are all equal bhaiji 🙏

    Raspal Kaur Sidhu: Darshan S. Dhillon why first and second? We are all equal in Waheguru’s nazar

    Balvinder Singh: Women are 2nd class is it? What does your Guru say about this?

    Jagdave Kaur: I agree with Darshan S. Dhillon first option should be male. If we do a little revision on our sikh history then we will know what we have been following till this day and what are trying to modify according to our taste. First of all are we following guru’s maryada?. On the 13th of April 1699 in the month of vasakh Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked for a head. At that moment everyone was scared and no one proceed forward until Bhai Daya Singh stood up to offer his head to Guruji. The same goes with Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mokham Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Saheb Singh. These five man got the title of Panj Pyare ( five beloved). If a woman have stood up on that day , no doubts there will sure be a woman in Panj Pyare today. Who are we to change a maryada made by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

    Sarabjit Kaur: Jagdave Kaur Hello Phenji. I don’t think it’s right to say Guru Gobind Singh Ji made it a maryada. All he did was ask, and 5 men volunteered. Just because no woman stood up, it doesn’t mean we are not worthy to be one of the 5 pyare. The 5 pyare need to be Sikhs. That’s all. There’s so much to understand about the living conditions in 1699 before using that event as a reason. Times were so different. I really liked what Balvinder Singh shared at the AGM – if Mata Bhago was present in the Sanggat, she would have volunteered at once. As women, we need to stand up for ourselves because clearly, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in the community when it comes to equality.

    Kirpal Singh” Jagdave Kaur well Penji, if we all did a little revision of the period of time that was… It was a patrichial society… A male dominated one… Our guru’s empowered women and elevated their status to be higher than that of men (Jit Jameh Rajan)…. Mother of Kings…. Now did dashmesh pita asked for five men or five beloveds?
    Are women then not Gurus Beloved by virtue of their Gender?

    Jagdave Kaur: I agree with Darshan S. Dhillon that first option should be male to perform Amrit. In the month of Vasakh on the 13th of April 1699 Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked for a head. Everyone was scared until Bhai Daya Singh Ji stood up and offers his head to guruji followed by Bhai Dharam Singh Ji, Bhai Himmat Singh Ji, Bhai Mokham Singh Ji and Bhai Saheb Singh Ji. Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave them Amrit and pronounced them as Panj Pyare ( five beloved ones). If a woman had stood up on that day when Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked for a head, I’m sure we would have womans to perform Amrit today. Where were the woman at that time?. Amrit sanchar maryada was made by Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the same maryada which has been followed from the day it was finalized. So who are we to change maryada made by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Waho Waho Gobind Singh Appe Gur Chela. Recently my comment has been removed so I had to write again. Why my comment has been removed?.

    Jagdave Kaur: Sarabjit Kaur just wanted to ask you , Mata Sahib Kaur known as mother of Khalsa Panth who was present on the 13th of April 1699 during the Amrit sanchar. Why didn’t she be one of the Panj Pyare? No woman was better than her at that time.

    Sarabjit Kaur: Jagdave Kaur If we’re going into history Phenji, I think its important we take note of the backgrounds of our 5 pyare. Our 5 pyare are examples that there’s no discrimination based on your status, religion, caste etc. in Sikhism.
    If in 2020 we are here discussing whether or not women can be part of the 5 pyare, how sure are we that we wouldn’t have been tormenting Mata Sahib Kaur for putting herself first instead of the Sanggat in 1699 should she have volunteered?
    Also, I don’t think it’s right to compare which woman is better than the other. They all led very different lives.

    Balvinder Singh: Jagdave Kaur what about the thousands of other men who were there and didn’t answer the call of the Guru? Going by your logic only the original 5 can be pyareh and no one else…cos they were the ones who stood up…no other man or woman did so…

    Jagdave Kaur: Balvinder Singh Historically proven who stood up at that time was Pyare gender male not Pyareya. It has been followed till today. Guru Gobind Singh Ji also did not appointed any woman in Panj Pyare. So if you have any doubts on this matter kindly refer to the Akal Thakht.

    Balvinder Singh: Jagdave Kaur Akaal Takht Maryada is clear….Women (plural) CAN be part of the 5 pyareh…please read it

    Mite Sibbald: Darshan S. Dhillon Oh please did you know why Sikhism was born when there was a lot of religions already in place. Women and Men are the same. You might want to read up Sikh history

    Gurnam Singh Dhaliwal: Jagdave Kaur why don’t you read the akal takth SRM , is very clear that women can be part of 5 pyareh. What to ask when is very clear .

    Mite Sibbald: Jagdave Kaur it looks you need to study Sikhism history.

    Jagdave Kaur: Gurnam Singh Dhaliwal Where is it written, can you prove it. I may have missed it. Under what clause, where and when it is written by Akal Thakht SRM.

    Kaur Sandeep” Jagdave Kaur Among thousands of Men and Women, only 5 men came forward, true. But most important is, all ( men + women) were given a chance to participate in it. It is/was only Sikh Religion that gave equal rights to women and irony is we could not bring this into practicality till date because of certain barriers. I personally feel women are more responsible for it as they could not support their own sisters/ daughters/ daughter in laws and always given the priority, be it preferring a baby boy to considering lower than their male counterparts! It’s 2020, please.

    Kaur Sandeep: Jagdave Kaur that simply does not mean women can not be part of Panj pyare, period.

    Jagdave Kaur: Mite Sibbald 😅😅looks like you need to study Sikh history more than me.

    Gurnam Singh Dhaliwal: Jagdave Kaur I am surprise that you could missed this . Here you go; is a direct copy and paste and Gurmukhi version is much clearer .
    Article XXIV – Ceremony of Baptism or Initiation
    a. Ambrosial baptism should be held at an exclusive place away from common human traffic.
    b. At the place where ambrosial baptism is to be administered, the holy Guru Granth Sahib should be installed and ceremonially opened. Also present should be six committed baptized Sikhs, one of whom should sit in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the other five should be there to administer the ambrosial baptism. These six may even include Sikh women.

    Mite Sibbald: Jagdave Kaur I know the history sweetie that is why I am appould by your stupid comment

    Kesh Singh: Jagdave Kaur, that was a different where men domination was the thing. Now women hold offices. Do you consider yourself as second class still? The man can beat you in the name of honour?

    Jagdave Kaur: Asia Samachar What type of game are you playing here. First you removed my comment and I had to write it again but now all the sudden I found it back again on the same spot. Did you just hide my comment and now you undo it back. So you are main person behind all this misleading discussions. Better close up your Asia Samachar portal and there will be no problems in the future.

    Jagdave Kaur: Mite Sibbald what kind of name is this. If you know the history why don’t you you follow. The history we are taking here is about is sikh history and you don’t abit look like a punjabi, Sikh is still far away.

    Jagdave Kaur: Sarabjit Kaur Who gave you the right to judge a decision made by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji?. Do you know the history in the first place. Before they become Panj Pyare they belong to hindu religion. Then how can you say the Panj Pyare has to be Sikhs. If you say the was different during Guruji’s time, I might say you are totally wrong because sikhi has been followed up since Guruji’s time till today,sad to say that the mindset has been changed by certain people who only think for their own benefits.

    Jagdave Kaur: Gurnam Singh Dhaliwal What are you talking doesn’t make sense. If you say the present should be six committed baptized Sikhs, where is it written by Akal Thakht SRM. What was the date, where and when it was approved and by whom. Panj Pyare means five beloved and from where the sixth Pyare comes from?.

    Darshan Singh: Jagdave Kaur can I ask in the present of Guruji back then in the tent with the Panj Pyare…who was the person who prepared the Pahul or Amrit da bata together with Guruji? Wasn’t she Mata Sahib Deva Ji?? Was she a MALE? Who is the known as the Mother of Khalsa Panth and why?

    Jagdave Kaur: Balvinder Singh This is not Akal Thakht SRM and never could be. Can you proved it. Akal Thakht will never allow a woman to be Panj Pyare.
    ·
    Jagdave Kaur: Darshan Singh It was Guru Gobind Singh Ji who prepared the Amrit and Mata Sahib Kaur Ji was also present there. I’m sure you might know that the Amrit prepared by Guru Gobind Singh Ji was given to some birds and the feedback was the birds battle among themselves and died. Only after that incident Mata Sahib Kaur Ji put some pataase sweets into the Amrit. Do you know that Mata Sahib Kaur Ji’s avastha. How can we compare a woman of today with Mata Sahib Kaur Ji. Are today’s woman has the same qualities, same avastha, same level of meditation as Mata Sahib Kaur Ji. Just look around you can you see at least one woman to be compared with Mata Sahib Kaur Ji. Here in FB woman who are talking about Amrit but their hair are cropped. Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself is a great example to be followed.

    Jagdave Kaur: Mite Sibbald Why running away from the topic. It seems that you are the one who needs some brain. So you think you so great that can judge someone’s life whether he or she is happy or not. Just look at urself 😂 oldie budder. Ek pair khele de shilkay dusra kabar vich

  5. COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Balwant Singh: it has nothing to do with equality or voting etc. just think why guru sahib did not do. so these people are more smarter than guru sahib? total negative thinking. this will suppress spirituality in amrit kalan.

    Mohkam Singh: I have been observing Malaysians since many years doing self willed nonsense activities in name of Sikhi. I doubt if even a single one of them is eligible to get pesh in front of rehatvaan Panj Pyaare. Doing Seva in Panj is a far fetched dream. Nothing but mountain size egos.

    Amarjeet Singh: Balwant Singh how will it suppress spirituality? On that very point, we should also be measuring the height and weight of male Panj Piares to ensure they correspond to that of the original five. If you want to micromanage then go the whole route. Neither of the Gurus were women, does that mean we censor women from going to Gurudwaras now?

    Balwant Singh: Amarjeet Singh don’t go with science and logic because you don’t know why guru sahib did this. it’s not kirtan but the ”amrit kalan ” will end and sikhi bewill become like just ritual. CAN YOU KNOW WHY GURU SAHIB DID THIS? CAN YOU COMMENT WHY ONLY MALE GURUS? .PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE FAVOR OF THIS ARE TRYING TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE BETTER THAN GURU.WHY GOD CREATED MALE AND FEMALE DIFFERENT?

    Hb Singh: Dear Mohkam Singh,
    You wrote: “I have been observing Malaysians since many years doing self willed nonsense activities in name of Sikhi. I doubt if even a single one of them is eligible to get pesh in front of rehatvaan Panj Pyaare. Doing Seva in Panj is a far fetched dream. Nothing but mountain size egos.”
    Thank you for keeping an eye on us. On behalf of Malaysian Sikhs, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you for so doing. And you must have a big heart to share your observations. It surely requires bravery for someone to share such acute observations.
    If you don’t mind, could you please elaborate on the following.
    1. What are the ‘self willed nonsense activities in name of Sikhi’ that Malaysian Sikhs have been doing?
    2. What do you mean to be ‘eligible to get pesh in front of rehatvaan Panj Pyaare’?
    3. And while you’re at it, can you elaborate on who is this ‘rehatvaan’ Panj Pyaare? For example, I know this Sikh who’s very diligent in reading the daily prescribed Banis, but doesn’t seem to bat an eye lid to lie. Would he qualify? I know of another guy who is also diligent with his Bani reading and spends some time in meditation, but is trigger happy when he goes online. He is never shy of putting down others online for their seeming lack of ‘Sikhi’ values? Does he make the ‘rehatvaan’ cut?
    4. You talked about ‘seva in the Panj’ being ‘a far fetched dream’ for us, poor Malaysian souls. I assume you’re talking about being part of the Panj Pyare to conduct the Sikh initiation called the Kahndey-da-Pahul. This is when at least five Sikh – they must already be initiaited themselves – step forward to prepare what we normally call Amrit da Bhata.
    I believe Sikhs, generally, respect and admire the Panj Pyare. Many don’t seem themselves worthy of taking up the role. They usually defer that role to persons who observe the Sikh way of life. And, of course, you must be able to recite the prescribed Banis (Sikh prayers) to take on the role. There are 5 such Banis, as outlined in the Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM). Do, tell, how is this ‘a far fetched dream’ for the many good Sikhs I see around me? Also, do tell. Do you see the seva value (if I may use that term) of being part of the Panj of ‘higher’ than the seva of, say, preparing Guru Ka Langgar? And why? In my eyes, I don’t see a difference. They are both seva to a common end – living Sikhi. Maybe you can make change my mind.
    5. I must agree with you that many of us do carry over-sized egos. That’s a basic human failing. In fact, I believe Gurbani tells us precisely that: ego is the primary cause of many of our woes.
    Just to be clear, I speak but for myself. This message is not endorsed by the wider Malaysian Sikh sanggat as nobody died and made me king. I do hope to learn more from your observations.

  6. COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Rajinder Kaur: Stupidity has no place,please look at other major issues in sikhism, we r pushing younsters away,wat about conversion dats a major problem too.why create problems when sikhism itself is a peaceful religion.

    Singh Prattap: Rajinder Kaur thats why youngster turning to christianity

    Balwant Singh: Singh Prattap ki guru sahib pushed anyone to become sikh? or it was a sikhi practice?

  7. COMMENTS SHARED AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Gurnam Singh Dhaliwal: Very simple solution , all should follow Ek Panth/Ek Granth and Ek maryada concept and we all will think alike . When you read other so call “Granth “ and dera Maryada we will reach this level .

    Kuldeep Singh Kuldeep: Yes, just allow women to participate in gurudwaras activities just like men. Respect n give Equal rights to all genders. I believe those who object to this are those coming from mix marriage background. These people should not be allowed to lead the gurudwara management committee. They have shallow mentality.

    Mohkam Singh: I doubt if even a single person commenting here is remotely qualified to discuss matters of Amrit Sanchaar.

    Kuldeep Singh Jaspal Singh: Always remember that Sikhism is all about equality.

    Manjit Kaur Dalio: Ignorance and prejudices drives ones outlook.

    Nikki Kaur: Guru sahib gave the highest position to woman. Mata sahib kaur ji who is the mother of khalsa. Mataji was given the honor to put in the pataseh into the amrit. So how can we say that woman is not part of it? Please do not change the maryada given by guru sahib.

    Jagdeep Jack Sidhu: Babeo…on the outside( Jasmaniat) both look different…. once the breathing stops…u become a pile of sand and your Rohaniat ( Soul) remains to the glory of Chitr Gupt for your accounts to be settled….what is your Rohani Roop… lady like or man like… you folks who differentiate on these…does anyone of u actually know what is Simran and what is Jaap?? The people who say they want only men foe Amrit Shakna..isnt that ” want” one of the Kam Krodh Lob Moh Ahankar family?? Soch loe….

  8. Comments shared at the Asia Samachar Facebook page:

    Jespal Singh Brar: About time we have equality for women, our Guru Sahibaans have already made it clear in Asa Ke Vaar and also the concept of Khalsa is gender neutral.

    Rishi Sarjit Chawlaa, the most qualified was made the Guru. The Gurus did not make their son or the oldest of their sons as the Guru but most qualified spiritually. So hope that helps. Maybe you should read on the lives of our Guru Sahibaans.

    Rishi Sarjit Chawlaa the grandfather Guru Hargobind Ji the 6th Guru did not designate any of his sons, over the course of time his youngest child Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji became the 9th Guru and he was a great warrior and saint who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the protection of another religion and then the grandson Dasmesh Pitaji Guru Gobind Singh Ji became Guru and led a supremely exemplary life. There is no principle that says own child cannot be the successor. Again let me reiterate it is not based on pedigree but most qualified. You should learn something from Bhai Nand Lal (Kapoor) via his writings. Bhai Nand Lal was about 32 years older than Guru Gobind Singh Ji and it shows how much love & respect he had for Guru Gobind Singh. My suggestion please learn about Guru Gobind Singh before making the dynasty charge. The 2nd Guru Angad gave the Gurgaddi to an older person than him. Guru Har Rai who was the nephew of Guru Gobind Singh was the 8th Guru. What it shows in the succession is age and family is not the consideration but who is most qualified to guide the Sikhs.

  9. If this news is true .it is a great news.Only few Sikhs with stone age thinking women cannot take part do path kirtan and prepare amrit.In one samprda women cannot watch Parkash or Sukhasan ceremony. They says that time SGGS are being nude.Now they barred sangat watcihg parkash or sukhasan.So many other stone aged rituals are brining into sikhi.WE have move forwad not 20000years backward.Women shoul be alowed all aspect of sikhi.

  10. On that auspicious day in 1699, our Tenth Guru Ji asked for five heads. He did not mention caste, creed, geographical location nor any other conditions. All Guru Sahib Ji asked for was five heads.
    The five who responded – their names and the places they came from could only have happened because of Divine Intervention. There is no way this could be attributed to chance.
    Saint Scholar Sant Giani Niranjan Singh Ji, Shiromani Kathakar was asked why women are not a part of the Five Beloved Ones. Sant Ji replied, ” Because when Guru Sahib Ji asked for five heads, no lady responded.”
    We all accept that women and men are equal. There is no doubt about this. However, the responsibilities are different. I have never heard of any protestations as to why men cannot bear children.
    To the question, ” We are the only religion that refers to the Almighty as Father and Mother. Why is this so?”
    Sant Ji replied, ” We refer to the Almighty as Father because He provides for us as a father provides for us. We refer to the Almighty as Mother, because He loves us as only a mother can.”
    The Sangat of Malaysia is very important in the Almighty’s plans to bring about Satjug. The reason I say this – both, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji and Sant Baba Niranjan Singh Ji studied under Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji in Mastuana Sahib at the same time.
    I think it was in the P J Sikh temple that Sant Baba Niranjan Singh Ji said, ” It was Waheguru Ji’s plan (yojna) that Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji came to Malaysia and I stayed back in India.”
    Sant Baba Mohindar Partap Singh Ji aka President Sahib Ji is now in charge of Guru Nanak Ashram. Someone asked Sant Baba Niranjan Singh Ji, ” Why did you give the name President Sahib Ji to your grandson.”
    Sant Baba Niranjan Singh Ji replied, ” The highest title in any country or in any corporation is the title of President. There is no title higher than the President. This young child will be the President of all the religions of the world.”
    Sant Baba Niranjan Singh Ji also said that the problems of the world will be so immense, the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the UK, and the Royalty of Europe will all come to the Ashram and fall at President Sahib Ji’s feet.” This was said in the late 80s’.
    When President ahib ji was asked, ” What is your mission on earth?” ( AAp Ji sansar kis vaste aye)
    President sahib Ji replied, ” Meh kaljug toh raj leh ke satjug nu raj doon ga. Meh sare dharma nu joden aya. Meh Naan da varsha karn aya.”
    My humble appeal to the Sangat of Malaysia – you have a very responsibility.
    Thank you.

  11. A maryada-centric argument won’t resolve the issue.
    The absence of women on key platforms ages ago does not mean they should be absent today as well.
    If maryada and the ‘past’ are the guiding lights, then women would still not be voting today. The US Supreme Court would still be an all-men affair. That was the prevailing ‘maryada’ in the US earlier.
    Women in the US only got the right to vote in 1920. And that, too, only white women! Until the 1950s, Asian women faced insidious practices denying them the suffrage (voting right).
    How is that relevant to women in the Panj Pyare? I had tried to discuss the issue in an article I wrote on the day Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. She was a warrior on the US Supreme Court bench. Politics aside, the spirit of Guru Nanak shone in her rulings.
    You can read it at the link below.
    https://asiasamachar.com/2020/09/19/33830/

  12. Excellent initiative by the Malaysian Sikhs. Long overdue and I hope that the so calked Takht & SGPC will follow suit as ar present they don’t even allow women to perform kirtan..Shameful

  13. Dear Sukhbeer Singh. Thank you for the feedback. Let us clarify. SNSM is a national organisation, based in Kuala Lumpur. If there are any factual errors, do point them out and we would be happy to correct. As it is, our report stands. – EDITORIAL TEAM

  14. The Kuala Lumpur-based organisation allows women to take part in the initiation ceremony.

    Above statement coming from a senior member of the organization is very disappointing,all this while I thought SNSM is a national organization not only based in KL. New chief is from Penang- should he be disqualified.
    Please edit before publishing.

    The other Godah article also had some comments which were clearly not mentioned in the AGM

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