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Displaying Photo Of Deceased In Front Of Guru Granth Sahib Ji

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When and how did the custom of displaying photos of deceased person start, is difficult to say. But this custom is increasing day by day like a bitter creeper.

Beside paying false homage to the deceased person, another wrong tradition that has found a way in Sikhism is the display of a photograph of the deceased in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib or slightly echeloned. Thus who comes and bows his head before Sri Guru Granth Sahib also pays his respect to the deceased in the same form. Adoring these large sized photographs with garlands have also become a common features, as if a very highly spiritual personality has departed and his memory is being celebrated.

All the same whosoever may be the deceased person, exhibition of his portrait before or in the close vicinity of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is apostasy. It is self will, improper and purposeless. And the office bearers or leaders of many religious institutions sitting in the Sangat do not even speak against such false and anti Gurmat practices.

A much greater irony is that such people who have religious tendencies and posses adequate awareness of Gurmat also make statements of praise in favour of the deceased person instead of saying a word against this self willed tradition. This gives a false assurance to the family that whatever way they have organised and conducted the proceedings was in accordance with Gurmat. No leader, missionary of Raaggi has expressed a word of criticism.

Thus the anti Gurmat traditions get an encouragement are are on the increase day by day.

Which Brahmanic tradition is not followed in a Sikh home during the Bhog ceremony of a deceased person. Offerings off clothing, bedding, utensils, fruits, sweets and umbrella are made and displayed before the gatherings. Instead of a Brahmin all these things will be taken away by a Granthi. We seem to be forgetting the follows command and warning of our Guru:

Jab ih gahai bipran ki rit.

Main na karon in ki prafit.

The lines before the above are:

Jab lagg khalsa rahai niara.

Tab lag tej dio main sara.

In case we wish to STOP anti Gurmat traditions, our managements, Granthi, preachers, missionaries and every Sikh needs to understand the above lines and act accordingly. Quotes like above will have to be propagated in Sangat. The leaders will have to come forward fearlessly like Akali Phoola Singh.

Every Sikh must be aware of the Sikh Maryada and Sikh principles and will have to preach and propagate them with body, mind and soul. One must raise one’s voice wherever procedure contrary to the Sikh Rehat Maryada is followed. Beside adopting preachings and other means, the quintessence of Sadd(u) Bani of Guru Amar Das Ji that depicts his will in matters related to death rites of a Sikh will have to be explained in clear terms.

Only then would these wrong traditions be removed from the body social of Sikhism.


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