...we hear talk of someone impersonating Guru Gobind Singh ... how this is disrespectful ....Also he did an Amrit ceremnoy with 7 people instead of 5. So what?
- recent Project Naad statement
In the past year or so a website has emerged called “Project Naad” (www.projectnaad.com). This website claims to be a charitable organization which is committed to “producing high quality freely distributable content for propagating the Sikh way of life.” Project Naad states that the content of their website is intended for university students, Gurdwaras and Interfaith work. In theory the website and the motivation of ‘Project Naad’ seems very good. However, after close analysis of the Project Naad website, the content of their articles & leaflets, and comments posted on various message boards & forums, it is apparent this website is doing anti-Gurmat parchaar in the guise of Sikhi.
We were shocked to read a statement from ProjectNaad.com, posted on the SikhNet discussion board on 2nd July 2008, which showed open support for Dera Jhoota Sauda and it’s leader ‘Ram Raheem’. The full statement can be read on the Discover Sikhi messageboard. Panthic Weekly presents the objectionable statements written by the Project Naad website with replies from the Gurmat perspective (kindly provided by ‘Sikh Answers’):
1) There is some discussion about defining a sikh. There is not one answer and it depends how inclusive or exclusive we want to be. We at ProjectNaad would suggest that every living creature is a Sikh.... i.e. on a journey to realise truth. The traditional orders (sampardayas) in sikhi such as Nirmalas and Seva Panthis all have people who do not have the form of the Guru yet are 110% sikh
Anyone who does not faithfully believe in Khande Di Pahul (Amrit) and the Panj Kakaar, cannot be a Sikh. Modern Nirmalas and Udasis do not believe in Amrit or the Panj Kakaar and therefore are not Sikh. Anyone who practices and believes in the Sikh tenets is a Sikh.
To argue that everyone is a Sikh is a wishy washy statement. Would you expect a Muslim to do Granthi Singh duty? Or would you allow a Christian to do Nishaan Sahib seva because he is a Sikh in your eyes? A Sikh has a set discipline, code of conduct and way of life. According to Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the Guru Khalsa Panth anyone who lives outside this conduct and discipline does not qualify as a Sikh. Everyone and anyone has a right to claim to be a Sikh.
The Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada states:
Any human being who faithfully believes in
* One Immortal Being,
* Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh
* The Guru Granth Sahib,
* The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and
* the baptism (Khande di Pahul) bequeathed by the tenth Guru,
* and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh.
In addition to this, there are various Puraatan (old) Rahitnamas that convey the Hukam of Dashmesh Pita about a Sikh is one who has Kesh:
ਜਬ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਸਬ ਸਿ੍ਰਸਿਟ ਉਪਾਈ । ਤਬ ਹੀ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹਿ ਬਨਾਈ ।
ਤਨ ਇਸ ਕੇ ਸਿਰ ਕੇਸ ਜੁ ਦੀਨੋ । ਸੋ ਇਹ ਤਨ ਸ਼ਿੰਗਾਰਿਹ ਕੀਨੋ ।
ਦਾੜ੍ਹਾ ਮੁੱਛ ਸਿਰ ਕੇਸ ਬਨਾਈ । ਹੈ ਇਹ ਦਿ੍ੜ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਰਜ਼ਾਈ ।
ਮੇਟ ਰਜ਼ਾਇ ਜੁ ਸੀਸ ਮੁੰਡਾਵੈ । ਕਹੁ ਤੇ ਜਗ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਵੈ ।
“God created the whole universe and then he fashioned the human body. He gave man a beard, mustaches and hair on the head. He who submits to His Will steadfastly adheres to them. They who deny His Will how will they find God in this world?”
(Bhai Desa Singh Rahitnama)
ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤ ਰੱਬ ਦੀ, ਭੰਨੇ ਬੇਈਮਾਨ।
ਦਰਗਹਿ ਢੋਈ ਨਾ ਮਿਲੇ, ਕਾਫ਼ਰ, ਕੁੱਤਾ, ਸ਼ੈਤਾਨ।
"God has made the human perfect, but the dishonourable destroy it.
They will find no place in the Court of God, like the unbeliever, dog and Satanist."
(Guru Nanak, Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala)
ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਛਾਪ ਸਿਰ ਕੇਸ ਕੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ, ਦੇਇ ਉਤਾਰ ਸੋ ਬੇਮੁਖ ਜਾਨਹੁ।
ਬੇਟੇ ਕੋ ਬੰਧੁ ਕੋ ਛਾਪ ਮੁੰਡਾਵਤ, ਜਮ ਦੁਖ ਭੋਗ ਕੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਪਛਾਨਹੁ।
"The Guru's stamp is Kesh and (Khandi di) Pahul, one who removes (their Kesh) is known as an apostate (bemukh).
One who shaves the stamp (of the Guru) of their child (i.e. cut their children's hair), realise that person will suffer a terrible death and known as a ghost."
(Bhai Sahib Singh Rahtinama)
In addition to this Gurbani states:
ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਖਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਵੈ ॥
"They alone are a Sikh, a friend, a relative and a sibling, who walks in the Way of the Guru's Will."
2) Deras form a very important part of Punjab in terms of providing social, economic and spiritual services to society. They in fact provide the perfect model for propagating sikh dharma. One of the central reasons for why deras are so popular is the sgpc itself. If you create a Gurdwara in Punjab it comes under the automatic ownership of the sgpc. No one wants this and so people set up deras.
Are these observations based on research or speculation whilst sitting on the computer? If you have lived in Panjab then you will know that Deras are places for drugs, exploitation, sexual slavery, and misconduct. What happens behind close doors and what is preached on stage are different. Please refer to reports given to Panjab Police. I am sure you can access these files via media and direct.
3) Everyone has the right to practice whatever religion they want in whatever way. So for people who think that Deras should be closed...we would suggest you read the definition of of a Democracy.
Everyone has a right to live the life they wish. Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed himself for the fundamental human right of being able to live freely. However, a Sikh nor any law abiding citizen will condone behaviour or actions that insult others and cause harm. Dera of Ram Rahim has murdered journalists, cases of rape are filed against him and his dera, and in addition to this he is been investigated for fraud. Should the authorities allow these fat cats to continue exploitation and illegal activities under the garb of religion? Freedom is supported by the Khalsa, but Guru Arjan Dev Ji's martyrdom shows that a Sikh has and never will accept insult.
4) whether a Dera has illegal things going on inside or not is completely insignificant. The first woman president of the SGPC was rumoured to have killed her own daughter...lord knows what happens behind our own closed doors. So lets now point fingers at other peoples oppression or corruption because we are not clean by a long shot.
It is worrying that you think rape, murder, exploitation, and sexual slavery, as well as fraud under the garb of religion is "insignificant." The ancient Pandits and Maulvis had a similar thought. However, the Sikh Gurus condemned these people and Bhagat Kabir Ji states:
ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥
ਐਸੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਭਾਵਹਿ ॥
"They are not called Saints of the Lord - they are thugs of Benares. ||1|| Such 'saints' are not pleasing to me."
Two wrongs don't make a right. Yes, Bibi Jagir Kaur murdered her daughter in an honour killing. This is totally wrong and she was removed as SGPC President. Also a criminal investigation was launched. Whereas Bibi Jagir Kaur murdered one person (her own daughter), these Deras, particular Ram Rahim has murdered 4 people up now (2 Sikhs and 2 journalists). In addition to this criminal cases are currently being processed which included rape, sexual slavery, exploitation and fraud. These Babas and Deras are abusing the masses and yet we focus on individual who have committed one crime?
5) We should give many condolences and blessings to the innocent person who was caught in this whole thing.
This is very good. We should pray for those killed. We should also realise who has killed who. If you analyze the whole saga objectively then you will know that no one person from the Dera has been murdered or raped by Sikhs. On the other hand, the Dera has initiated attacks on the Sikhs (verbally and physically) and also raped its own followers. Merely praying for people is not the actions of the Khalsa. The Khalsa should also have the courage and spirit to stand up to tyranny and injustice in whatever disguise it comes under.
6) We need to learn be less reactive as a community at the smallest things. This way we don't need to worry about bad press as much because people will not have ammunition against us.
If insulting Guru Gobind Singh Ji is "smallest thing" to you, then it is very shameful. Sikhs have not bad press. The bias media and vilified the innocent Sikhs protesting against a direct attack on the Sikhs. Would you also condemn the actions of Sikhs in 1978 who protested against the Nakli Nirankaris and got martyred? Learn from the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji - a Sikh will never accept insult and will always live and die with honour. If you are uncomfortable with this concept then you need to read Gurbani and re-visit Sikh history.
7) we hear talk of someone impersonating Guru Gobind Singh yet I fail to see how this is disrespectful when khalsa sikhs are supposed to impersonate Guru Gobind Singh ji in thought, word and deed? Also he did an Amrit ceremnoy with 7 people instead of 5. So what? He isn't asking sikhs to change their ceremonies and in a demcractic state he can practice his brand of spirituality however he chooses and wear whatever clothes he wants.
The Khalsa is the living image of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Khalsa collectively, represented in the form of 5 Sikhs is the GURU physically. No individual Sikh is the Guru. Our actions should reflect Guru Jis. A son is the image of his father. The son aspires to follow his father in thought, word and deed. However, the son can never brag that he is his father? The son is still the son, the father is still the father.
Ram Raheem is not a religion. He is not a separate religion or anything. He says this himself. The whole stunt of pretending to prepare Amrit etc was a stunt to enrage Sikhs. His intent was to "distort" and "mock" the concepts and traditions of the Sikhs. This can never be tolerated and never has done. Look at Sikh history! Disrespect of Sikh institutions, traditions and people has never been accepted and never will!
8) There was some talk about someone putting a price on the head of the chief of this dera. This kind of talk is extremism and will propagate sikhi to the low depths that Muslims have and continue to take their religion to. We need to completely disassociate ourselves with people who make such statements. Also the Media has a field day when someone talks like this. Under no circumstances should our community be resorting to mass hysteria, death threats etc.
If faith and devotion is extremism then do you call cowardice and submission to humiliation faith? The Sikhs put a price on the head of Massa Rangar. Were they wrong to do this? Baba Deep Singh put a price on the head of the Mughals who attacked Darbar Sahib, is this wrong? Whoever has insulted and attempted to annihilate the Sikhs whether it is physically, mentally, or theologically has been dealt with. Please read the pavitar Bani and literature of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and you will understand the concept of Saint-Warrior and Just-War theory in the Sikh faith clearer. At the moment your views reflect that of a Dera mentality.
The media will vilify the Sikhs regardless. Burn the house of a Sikh and will he not retaliate? Kick a Sikh and will he not stand?
I think the liberal sikhs in the panel made some excellent points. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the wise words of our SikhrealizeSamaritansSikh actress regarding Sikheconomic and social empowerment. Thats the last time i think that bollywood actors are more beauty than brain!
There is only one Sikh and one Guru.
Bhai Gurdaas Ji states:
ਇਕ ਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਬਿਦ ਸਿਞਾਣੈ॥
"There is one Guru, and one Sikh who understands the Guru's Shabad."
Again Bhai Gurdas Ji states similarly:
ਇਕੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਇਕੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਣਿਆ॥
"The Gurmukh understands that there is one Guru and there is one Sikh (i.e. there are not different types or degrees of being a Sikh)."
There is no such thing as liberal and conservative in the Sikh thought. Read Gurbani and read Sikh history, no such label appears. In modern times, the minds of Sikhs have been enslaved by media, politicians and social policies. Modern Sikhs themselves find it humiliating to practice and be proud of being a true Sikh. This is similar to the Jews in the early years of Nazi Germany.
The supreme authority on who is a Sikh and what is Sikhi lays with Guru Granth Sahib Ji fundamentally and represented through the Guru Khalsa Panth.
ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਖਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਵੈ ॥
ਆਪਣੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਭਾਈ ਵਿਛੁੜਿ ਚੋਟਾ ਖਾਵੈ ॥
"He alone is a Sikh, a friend, a relative and a sibling, who walks in the Way of the Guru's Will. One who walks according to his own will, O Siblings of Destiny, suffers separation from the Lord, and shall be punished."
Rahitnama Bhai Desa Singh (verbal Hukam of Guru Gobind Singh Ji):
ਰਹਿਤ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਮੁਝ ਕਉ, ਸਿਖ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਰਹਿਣੀ ਰਹੈ ਸੋਈ ਸਿਖ ਮੇਰਾ। ਓਹੁ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਮੈ ਉਸ ਕਾ ਚੇਰਾ। ਰਹਿਤ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਨਹਿ ਸਿਖ ਕਹਾਵੈ, ਰਿਹਤ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਦਰ ਚੋਟਾਂ ਖਾਵੈ। ਰਹਿਤ ਬਿਨ ਸੁਖ ਕਬਹੁੰ ਨ ਲਹੇ। ਤਾਂ ਤੇ ਰਹਿਤ ਸੁ ਦਿ੍ੜ ਕਰ ਰਹੈ। (ਰਿਹਤਨਾਮਾ ਭਾਈ ਦੇਸਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ)
"I love a Sikhs code of conduct (Rahit), not for merely by being known as a Sikh. That person who follows the discipline is known as my Sikh. He is my master and I his disciple. Without discipline you cannot call yourself a Sikh, and without discipline you will face suffering. Without discipline you will not get happiness. Thus, one should remain firm in the discipline."
One should be cautious of anti-Panthic and anti-Gurmat websites which are targeting the youth and wider Sangat through discreet Parchaar. Project Naad supports Snaatan view of Sikhi that is propagated and supported by UK Nangs and the RSS. In addition to this, the same questionable website has shown open support for the controversial UK Sikh Student Camp that has faced many issues such as promoting watered down version of Sikhi, serious allegations of misconduct with campers, over-friendliness of camp sevadars with campers, and controversial anti-panthic individuals funding the camp. Project Naads open support for Jhoot Sauda has exposed its true face.