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KALA AFGANA : A Hero or a Villian in Sikh History ?


Ideal Singh
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I have noticed here in forum that everyone is critical of his writingz just becasue hez is saying something different to prevalent conceptionz or misconceptionz. I have read some part of a authored by him "Maans Maans Kar Moorakh Jhagdae"... If we read it without bias and with open mind it is a really a gem of a book... And moreover the most of his arguement are based on Gurbani only. So What makes his writingz a matter so much debate and Was his X-communication un-warranted for... ?

Please discuss about his writtingz.... Are they really anti-Gurmat or just that we follow what the people at helm interperate about him to Sangat...

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he dismissed the entire institution of amrit

He categorically states that any scripture written outside Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not Gurbani. This includes Jaap Sahib, Tav Prasad Savaye and Kabiyo Bach Bentee Chaupai, which he states were not compositions of the Guru. That in itself would make Nitnem obsolete.The same goes for the writings of Bhai Gurdas Ji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji. If these banees are false then what of Khande-ke-Pahul Amrit? Well he proposes that only Japjee Sahib was recited in 1699. Also, the exclusion of the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh by extension would also invalidate Khande-ka-Amrit

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This may help to launch a Discussion about the works of Kala Afghana...

_____________________________________________________________

A translation and brief analysis of chapter 38, entitled "Hunh Takk

Dii Vichaar Daa Sankhep [A Summary of the Discussion Thus Far]," from

the book "Maasu Maasu Kari Moorakh Jhagdhey [Fools Debate Non-

Vegetarianism]" by Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana.

By PUNEET SINGH LAMBA

Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana retired in 1981 as inspector of police. In

1984, while he was visiting Canada, India cancelled his passport and

confiscated his property. Now based in Canada, the Sikh author's books

Biparan Kii Riit Ton Sach Daa Maarag and Bachittar Natak: Gurbani Di

Kasvuti Te contend that the Dasam Granth was not entirely authored by Guru

Gobind Singh. Renowned Sikh scholar Gurtej Singh, jathedar of Takht

Damdama Sahib Giani Kewal Singh, and many others have stoutly defended

Kala Afghana's writings. Sikh scholar Giani Bhag Singh Ambalavi had to

apologise in the late 1970s for having questioned the validity of the

Dasam Granth. Gurbakhsh has questioned the commonly held belief that Guru

Tegh Bahadur died for Hindus. He has written, 'the only complaint before

the emperor was that Guru Tegh Bahadur was fanning insurgency against

the government. Thus those claiming that the Guru sacrificed his life

for Hinduism are sullying the principles of Sikhism.'

The Sikh Times, Sep. 8, 2003

1. The Adi Granth does not concern itself with either vegetarianism or

non-vegetarianism.

2. Whereas the Adi Granth expounds at length about the need to abandon

various vices, it says nothing about the need to abandon non-vegetarian

diets.

3. The Adi Granth does not attempt to pass judgement on the dietary

components required for maintaining a healthy human body.

The Adi Granth does, however, recommend against consuming substances

that either cause grief or generate mental turbulence.

4. Those that choose to dwell on the consumption of substances rather

than focus their minds on remembering God have been derided by the Adi

Granth ('consumed by the desire for substances').

This 'desire' can be either for a single substance or for a number of

substances.

It is worth noting that the Adi Granth mentions the desire for meat at

the very end of a list of nine desires:

'The desires for gold, silver, women, fragrances,'

'horses, beds, palaces, sweets, and meat.'

(Verse 43/1, p. 34) [Guru Nanak, Adi Granth, p. 15]

It is clear from Guru Nanak's verse (above) that he accords meat a

status similar to gold, silver, women, fragrances, horses, beds, palaces,

and sweets.

To forget God and remain obsessed with substances is 'desire.'

For those that are immersed in the rememberance of God, no substance is

'desirous.'

To obsess unduly on meat, i.e. only one of the nine desires

acknowledged by the Adi Granth, is tantamount to ignoring the fundamental messages

of the Adi Granth.

5. To attach undue importance to matters of eating and drinking rather

than focusing on remembering God has been termed by our Gurus as

harmful to the pursuit of a spiritual lifestyle. Furthermore, our Gurus have

placed meat on par with other superior substances such as fruit,

butter, jaggery, and refined flour.

'What good are fruits, butter, sweet jaggery, refined flour, and meat?'

(Verse 44/2, p. 34) [Guru Nanak, Adi Granth, p. 142]

Verses such as the one above make it abundantly clear that it is not

incorrect to view meat on par with other superior substances such as

gold, silver, butter, jaggery, and refined flour.

6. Bhai Randhir Singh and other writers opposed to non-vegetarian diets

have omitted verses that do not suit their purpose.

Consequently, these writers have zoomed in on just two of Guru Nanak's

verses, namely: 'Mortals are first conceived in flesh and subsequently

dwell on flesh' and 'Fools argue about flesh and meat but know little

about meditation and spiritual wisdom.' (Guru Nanak, Adi Granth, p.

1289).

Even these two verses have only been mentioned out of compulsion since

the Sikh community is already exposed to these verses. Preachers, Guru

Nanak's biographies, and other historical texts have widely publicized

these verses due to their said reference to Guru Nanak's visit to

Kurukshetra.

Nevertheless, these writers have tried their level best to distort the

meanings of these verses.

Clearly, Bhai Randhir Singh has been guided not by an in-depth

understanding of the Adi Granth but by his own agenda, wishes, and desires.

7. The meat that Muslim's have always referred to as 'halal' began to

be referred to by brahmins as 'kutha' meat of the 'malech.'

8. The following are the reasons why Sikhs were forbidden from eating

kutha meat:

a. During Mughal rule, kutha meat was used to destroy the Hindu faith.

Eating kutha meat resulted in spiritual weakness among Hindus.

b. According to Mughal law, Hindus were neither permitted to keep

weapons at home nor allowed to cook and eat any form of meat.

Sikhism's tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, placed two major impediments in the

way of Mughal oppression via his decision to a) arm the Sikhs and B)

ban Sikhs from consuming spiritually detrimental katha food preparations.

9. Only those Adi Granth verses that refer to Islam have used the term

'kutha.' Otherwise, the terms 'kuh' or 'kuhi' (slaughter) have been

employed.

Therefore, it is clear that the convention of referring to meat

prepared in the Muslim style as 'kutha' existed at least since Guru Nanak's

time.

10. The body may die, but never the soul.

11. Mankind (as opposed to God) has devised different names for

identifying the various types of externally distinguishable living organisms.

It is mankind that considers it sinful to eat certain living organisms

and not others.

12. The Adi Granth has compared the bodies of living organisms to

gowns, clothing, etc.

Therefore, it is mankind that has invented convenient terminology such

as flour, meat, spinach, wood, etc. to refer to various

bodies/coverings/clothing.

Disputes over the difference between spinach and meat are simply the

result of either human ignorance or mischief.

13. The human body is unique among all other species.

This is because of all species God has awarded the ability to

distinguish moral right from wrong only to humans.

14. Only the human mind is capable of yearning for relief from sorrow

or attainment of happiness.

All other species lack the ability to yearn.

15. The Adi Granth only works on diseases of the human mind.

It is a recipe for winning the world by being victorious over the human

mind.

The Adi Granth teaches us how to channel the immense forces of the

human mind into positive directions.

The Adi Granth has to do with the soul.

None of the great holy books preaches about the welfare of living

creatures.

We have continuously been engaged in the endeavor of reigning in the

human mind.

16. The Adi Granth frequently refers to the human body as rare (unique)

or God's temple.

The human body has been likened to a horse that carries the soul into

God's country and a ladder that helps humans climb great heights to

reach God's palaces.

It is for this reason that the human body is supreme among eighty-four

lakh (84 times 100,000) species.

Therefore, human society did not accept the idea of eating human flesh.

All other species such as animals, birds, insects, and micro-organisms

are ingested into the human body in one form or another. In many other

ways these animals and birds are slave to the superior human species.

17. Eating and drinking are pure acts. However, the Adi Granth code of

conduct places restrictions on the consumption of those substances

which humans have manifested as desires that either harm the human body or

cause grief.

18. Humans have treated meat as a part of their diet since ancient

times.

Even today there are several peoples on this earth whose primary diet

consists of animals, birds, and fish.

19. All living things - including lentils, vegatable oils, insects,

micro-organisms, animals, and birds - possess equivalent life.

Our merciful behavior toward animals and birds should include every

effort toward attention to their diet and comfort, protection from their

mistreatment as beasts of burden, offering relief from pain and

suffering.4

Whenever treatment is not feasible, it is merciful to assist helpless

animals by sparing them pain and discomfort by ending their life swiftly

via a blow to the head, electricity, etc.

20. No faith founder has campaigned against the trade of millions of

pounds of meat, fish, and eggs - trade in non-vegetarian commodities

continues just as seamlessly as trade in grains.

Since ancients times animals and birds have been cultivated and

harvested for trade just like crops.

Conclusion:

Therefore, to raise issues pertaining to vegetarianism and

non-vegetarianism is sheer foolishness.

The decision regarding whether or not to consume non-vegetarian diet

should be upto each individual.

Neither does one become sinful by consuming meat nor does one become

pious by renouncing meat.

The Adi Granth, which embodies the spirit of Guru Nanak, does not

attempt to define restrictions pertaining to religious duties and

horoscopes?.

Let us not distort the true import of the following verse from our

Guru:

'Fools argue about flesh and meat but know little about meditation and

spiritual wisdom.' [Guru Nanak, Adi Granth, p. 1289]

'Which is meat? Which is spinach? Which is sinful?' [Guru Nanak, Adi

Granth, p. 1289]

Author's Footnote:

A. The offices of stated king Chitragupt and others maintain no record

of the sins and merits of either visible or invisible life forms.

Among all the nameless offices of the nameless God only Guru Nanak had

the wisdom to recognize this.

There is an account of the same in the Adi Granth.

No other major holy book carries a similar account.

For a detailed explanation, please see my multi-volume book entitled

Bipparan Kii Riit Ton Sachh Daa Maarag.5

Translator's Footnotes:

1. Chapter 24, entitled Maas Khaanh Dii Virodhataa Vich Guroo-Banhii

Phuramaan? (Adi Granth's Edict Against Non-Vegetarianism?) is

particularly critical of 'misinterpretations of the Adi Granth' by

anti-non-vegetarianism writers.

Those at the receiving end of the author's wrath are the founder and

two senior leaders of the supremacist/segregationist Akhand Kirtani Jatha

(A.K.J.) namely, Bhai Randhir Singh (founder), J.P. Sangat Singh

(author of Sikh Dharam Te Maas Sharaab [Meat, Alcohol, and the Sikh

Religion]), and Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara (author of Teyn Kyon Murgii Maarii?

[Why Kill a Chicken?]).

The chapter expounds on the following verse which, on the surface,

appears to admonish in no uncertain words those who consume fish and, by

extension, meat. The verse has been used extensively by the

above-mentioned authors to advocate against non-vegetarianism.

'Kabir, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish, and wine,'

'will go to hell despite all pilgrimages, fasts, and rituals.' (Kabir,

Adi Granth, p. 1377)

The author implores the reader to carefully consider Kabir's choice of

words. The author dismisses outright the possibility that Kabir

utilized marijuana and fish in the symbolic sense to imply all narcotics and

all non-vegetarian foods.

Instead, Kala Afghana points out that 'marijuana, fish, and wine' have

been used in the colloquial sense as reference to those who frequent

brothels. The author claims that this meaning of the phrase was, and

still is, popular in Varanasi (formerly known as Banaras or Benares),

Kabir's place of origin. The phrase derives its colloquial meaning from the

notion that the consumption of 'marijuana, fish, and wine' increases

sex drive.

In other words, Kabir is admonishing not non-vegetarianism but sexual

promiscuity. Bhai Randhir Singh employs faulty logic - a kind of guilt

by association - when he substitutes 'marijuana, fish, and wine' for

Kabir's intended target: sexual promiscuity.

2. Although, the author uses the commonly accepted figure of

eighty-four lakh (84 times 100,000), he clarifies that in fact the Adi Granth

recognizes that the total number of species is not a constant but has been

fluctuating over the ages as old species disappear and new ones come

forth.

3. The author references the following verse in support of his

assertion that according to the Adi Granth all other species in this world are

slave to the superior human species.

'Other life forms may be your water-carriers [here, water-carrier is

used as a euphemism for slave],'

'you may be the ruler of this world.' (Guru Arjan, Adi Granth, Aasaa

Dii Vaar, p. 374)

4. The author implies that the Adi Granth teaches compassion for all

life forms but does not approve of pretentious gestures such as wearing

masks to prevent the ingestion of micro-organisms or walking barefoot to

avoid stepping on insects (both practices are popular among orthodox

followers of the Jain faith).

5. Furthermore, Kala Afghana is of the opinion that a misinterpretation

of the Adi Granth has lead scholars to conclude incorrectly that the

Adi Granth supports the ideas of reincarnation, heaven, and hell.

Translator's General Note:

It should be noted that the author supports his arguments throughout

the book with quotes from Professor Sahib Singh's translation of the Adi

Granth.

Translator's Acknowledgement:

This translation and analysis has benefited immensely from Kala

Afghana's generous interview with The Sikh Times on Sep. 6, 2003.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I dont think the writings of KA are anti Gurmat. In fact they are Gurmat....(In fact as far as I have read).

Dear Jassa,

Please provide page and volume number refernecs where KA dismisses amrit institution as you say that

<<he dismissed the entire institution of amrit >>

<<He categorically states that any scripture written outside Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not Gurbani. >>

Please give Voulme and page Number

<<This includes Jaap Sahib,>>

Please give Voulme and page Number

Tav Prasad Savaye and

<<Kabiyo Bach Bentee Chaupai,>>

This is a part of Charitropakhyan...Please refer top a discussion on the topic in this section

which he states were not compositions of the Guru. That in itself would make Nitnem obsolete.

The same goes for the writings of Bhai Gurdas Ji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji.

Please give Voulme and page Number

<<Also, the exclusion of the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh by extension would also invalidate Khande-ka-Amrit>>

Please explain how/why this would happen ?

I think people who bash Kala Afghaan should give complete refernce to the Volume Page Numbers before making such stataments.

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  • 1 month later...

:!: k.a. is a so- called scholar without substance who belongs to trait and type to wich belonged pishora singh ,piyar singh etc (overseas PhDs of communist bent who tried to create controversies about gurbani and had to seek apology later)

:idea: earlier modus operandi of leftists communists in punjab was to depend on encouraging marxist literature, dramas,so-called cultural programmes and like ,now they have resorted to bringing in fold the literary mercenaries in sikh garb (k.a. really amritdhari or just exterior ?)to attack sikh institutes. conferring prof of sikhism was a short sighted faux-pas ,he too have fallen prey?

:arrow: strategy of k.a. have also cheered indirectly the non-leftist anti sikh forces

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k.A WILL SURELY A CHAMPION FOR THE FOOLS FOR WHOM HE LOCKING HORNS WITH SIKH TRADITIONS( WITH COVER OF FAKE POSITIVITY OF PICKING HOLES FOR DISHONEST MOTIVES TO APPEASE HIS MENTORS OF LENIN GENES )

FOR SIKH NATION HE WILL BE REMeMBERED AS'' k.A of kale lekhs''

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k.A WILL SURELY A CHAMPION FOR THE FOOLS FOR WHOM HE LOCKING HORNS WITH SIKH TRADITIONS( WITH COVER OF FAKE POSITIVITY OF PICKING HOLES FOR DISHONEST MOTIVES TO APPEASE HIS MENTORS OF LENIN GENES )

FOR SIKH NATION HE WILL BE REMeMBERED AS'' k.A of kale lekhs''

:roll: What is so bad about his writings... Could anyone put some light on his contravertial writings which have shattered SIKH TRADITIONs... :?: Please share something about his writtings...

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:roll: Just criticise someone and he will be famous.

-'Amrit'

A very big statement Amrit... Always remember :: Sikh Gurus adopted this method to amend the psyche of people like me... So criticism is not bad if done honestly...

BCM

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did not get you Amrit ? Please explain what did you mean ?

If ‘criticism’ means ‘fault finding’, then it is wrong. If ‘criticism’ means ‘analysis’, then it may be right. While criticism, we listen or speak. When we criticize someone in sense of ‘fault-finding’, we become ‘Be-mukh’ to the Guru.

''Jab Lag Duniya Rahiyai Nanak, Kichh Suniyai, Kichh Kahiyai”.

(As long as we are in this world, O Nanak, we should listen, and speak of the Lord.)

(Guru Granth Sahib, page 661)

We are supposed to speak of the Waheguru, but we start to speak of others’ faults.

The Gurbani has given us a concept of ‘Gosht’. If ‘criticism’ is ‘Gosht’, it can be considered a good thing, but if it turns into ‘vaad-vivaad’, it is not acceptable. See Guru Granth Sahib Ji says: -

‘Baad bibaad Kaahoo sio na keejai.

Rasna Raam rasaayan peejai.’

(Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 1164)

If someone did not try to understand your point, you must give up. It is not possible to make everyone agree to your point of view. If you still try, you are bound to lose. If such a situation prevails, then ‘Jithai Bolan Hariyai, Tithai Changee Chup’ (Where you are bound to lose by speaking, there, you ought to remain silent.)

(Guru Granth Sahib, page 149)

Being a ‘Khoji’ is good, but becoming ‘baadi’ is very bad, because-

‘Khoji upjai, baadi binasai’

(The seeker comes forth, and the debater dies down)

(Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 1255)

-Amrit Pal Singh 'Amrit'

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The Great Deception

By Randhir Singh

Sunday, June 29, 2003 - 12:55 AM EST

"To acknowledge baptism of iron bowl and double edged sword, as means to become Guru's Sikh, is a grave mistake." - Gurbaksh Singh (Kala Afghana), Bipran Ki Reet (Volume 6 - page 35)

'The requirement of taking amrit (baptism of the iron-bowl and double edged sword), to become a true Sikh, has discouraged youth from becoming and staying Sikhs and thus has encouraged them to become apostate and renegade', [1] further writes Gurbaksh Singh.

He also says: 'If the tradition to become Guru's Sikh were not created the head-strong (bigoted) group would not have been in a position to call themselves Guru's Sikhs'. [1]

According to him 'the present day Maryada is not entirely based on Gurbani.' He contends: 'those engaged in drafting it were overwhelmed by clever and far-sighted Brahmins who conspired to perpetually influence the Sikh Panth by their Brahminical thinking. After all Rehat Maryada was written by those Sikhs in 1849 who, after losing the empire, did not care to know why they had lost their uniqueness which had once taken them to heights. What use having Rehat Maryada when on the demise of a person, a powerful Jathedar, or so called intellectual or a prominent political leader, true to Brahminical traditions, we rush to Kiratpur Sahib to immerse their remains and observe fourth, thirteenth, seventeenth day etc.'[2]

It is his contention that 'since the beginning of the fifteenth century till 1850, un-shorn hair was the only outward identity of the followers of Nanak. The word 'sehajdhari' is responsible for bringing laxity among the faith-full and it was coined in those days when, along with Guru Granth Sahib, idols of gods and goddesses were also kept in the Gurudwaras by Udassis and Nirmala mahants, by no means friends of Sikhs. Those were the days when 'Gurpratap Suraj' was written and its authors distorted the outlines of amrit (nectar of iron bowl and double edged sword).' He views it 'a great folly to recognize baptism (partaking of amrit of iron bowl and double edged sword) as the criterion to be known as Guru's Sikh'. [3]

'Adoption of five Ks, as proof of Nanak's Sikhi, is the prerogative of the entire panth.' To him, 'it is not acceptable that the Gurus limited this right to five Singhs only.' He strongly believes, 'this was stipulated by the unworthy leaders who violated the uniqueness of the unique Panth and controlled for 200 years its religious teachings and places of worship.'[4]

He says in no uncertain words that 'the Rehat Maryada, as it exists, offends Gurbani' and thinks should be done away with and discarded and a stop put to formal baptism (administration of nectar of iron bowl and double edged sword by the Beloved Five)'. [3]

He strongly recommends: 'this right to baptize their children (as keshadhari and amritdhari), should be left in the competent hands of parents without any restrictions. The parents are best suited to inculcate in their children the desirability and importance of Sikh symbols.' [3]

Gurbaksh Singh is widely known for his knowledge and lucid exposition of Sikh scriptures through words of mouth and print (his works are regularly published in Sikh Bulletin). He refers extensively to Guru Granth and, on a subject of his choosing, quotes profusely the hymns of the Gurus, of course picked up selectively. It has to be said to his credit that he is not miserly in praising and eulogizing the Sikh faith and Gurbani. Surely he pays glowing tributes, which gladden every Sikh heart. His portrayal of an ideal Sikh is a perfect picture of virtue and which Sikh will not feel proud of it?

It is no surprise he has succeeded remarkably well in attracting a sizeable number of admiring friends and followers. He is right on the dot in striking a sympathetic chord among his readers when, for the pitiable position Sikhs find themselves in, he squarely blames the discredited leadership. Nothing wrong is committed in criticizing the self-seeking leaders who, bereft of religion and oblivious of self-less service to the community, have betrayed it repeatedly for their immediate material gains - be it money, power or position. It is also true that because of selfish and opportunistic leadership certain distortions have come into Sikh institutions that need immediate and serious attention.

Where then does the friction arise?

Gurbaksh Singh offends by his outright and wholesale condemnation of the established, recognized institutions. He castigates these as products of Brahminical mind and thinking having no sanction and authority of Gurbani. He vehemently pleads to abolish them. Here he does not sound sincere and betrays his sinister motives, however best and elaborate the camouflage may be, however hard he may try to hide behind the screen of Gurbani.

The clips from his writings, cited above as specimens, hardly leave any room for doubt that he is bent on maligning and discrediting Sikh institutions and traditions to erode respect for and faith in them. Already, gross materialism is weaning the youth away from religion and such insidious and subtle propaganda is nothing short of adding insult to injury.

Mesmerized by his familiarity of Gurbani, the casual reader may not readily grasp the intent and subtlety in his writings. A serious and critical reader will not, however, fail to notice what lies between the lines. Falsehood left uncontested, if repeated over and over again, over time looks like truth.

Who does not know Bhai Gurdas, the scribe of Guru Granth? Before Guru Gobind Singh crystallized the social idea of God, Bhai Gurdas, the first theologian of the Sikhs in the days of Fifth Guru, wrote:

"One Sikh is an individual, two make up a community and five constitute God."

Guru Gobind Singh crystallized the same concept when he selected the five faithful and ceremoniously administered Amrit (nectar from iron bowl and double edged sword), first to those selected five and in turn himself took Amrit from those five. The Tenth Guru, therefore, put his own seal on the revolutionary concept of socialized God. All Sikhs hold Sangat, or Sikh congregation, in special esteem and reverence. Where there is Sangat there is God. This is the belief. How does Sangat act as a group? It does so through the selected five as its representatives. Historically, the concept of five existed since the days of the Gurus themselves.

Gurbaksh Singh disputes this. He believes that the concept of Panj Piaré was first adopted in the mid nineteenth century as a result of infiltration of Brahmanism. Why should he create such confusion? What are his motives? A little reflection may reveal the web.

As a first move, the aim is to get all those who believe in Gurbani and keep outward symbols, but do not undergo initiation, recognized as Sikhs. Once this is achieved the next logical step would be to press for recognition, as Sikhs, all those who believe in Gurbani but may not keep outward physical symbols.

In his writings, at number of places Gurbaksh Singh openly says: 'What use are physical symbols if the mind does not accept these?'

With this the transformation would be complete. All Hindus paying even lip service to Gurbani would then, as a matter of right, be classified as Sikhs and become eligible to stake claim in Sikh affairs. Looked at from another angle, all Sikhs would be Hindus. How subtle the game plan is. At this stage the word 'sehajdhari' which, according to Gurbaksh Singh was given currency by those opposed to Sikhs and which irritates him the most, would become irrelevant. What a masterstroke.

It is appropriate to touch upon another matter closely connected to 'Maryada', Anand Sanskar. Look at what Gurbaksh Singh says:

The Gurus intended the marriage ceremony to be brief, simple and solemn. Gurbaksh Singh laments, and rightly so, that in actual practice this solemn occasion bonding two families has degenerated into vulgar display of wealth and position. All are one to condemn this. Unfortunate and painful as it is, by and large the Sikhs resist entering into matrimonial alliance with a Sikh outside their 'caste', what ever his or her worth and merit. The search is limited to the respective 'castes'. Equally deplorable is the fact that the Sikh community continues to follow the same elaborate and expensive customs and rites, before and after the marriage, as followed by Hindus.

What is the point of contention then?

Strong differences arise on the approach to the problem. Gurbaksh Singh wastes no words to discredit the 'Maryada', the whole ceremony of Anand Karaj including the 'four Lavaan' and dubs it as misuse of Gurbani amounting to disrespect. [5] His stock thesis and argument is that "codification of Rehat Maryada, the outcome of Brahmanic mind, is the root cause of the whole problem. Sooner Sikhs defy, reject and disassociate from Rehat Maryada and Anand Karaj, better it would be." He outright rejects marriage without the explicit consent of bride and bridegroom.

To bring home his point, Gurbaksh Singh narrates an incident in the family of his relative in United Kingdom. The couple was married following the tradition. After Anand Karaj, the bride came to the bridegroom's house. After nightfall, before the marriage was consummated, the bride eloped with her lover. It is futile to go through the ceremony of Anand Karaj if it could not save the marriage, thinks Gurbaksh Singh. [6] Perhaps he is hinting at civil marriage instead as if all marriages, san Anand Karaj, are a success.

How come such utterances have gone un-noticed and un-questioned for so long?

Quite simple. Gurbaksh Singh won complete confidence and respect of the community by impressing it with the depth of his knowledge of Gurbani and Sikh scriptures. Having established his credentials, he began firing salvos by selectively criticizing Sikh institutions and also eminent personalities like Bhai Vir Singh and Baba Attar Singh. To make his sweep thorough and lethal, the object of his contempt would be diagnosed and branded and infected by the anti-Panthic virus of Brahmanism. After the events of the 1980s and 90s, the community was feeling very hurt and humiliated. He shrewdly made full use of the prevailing mood of discontent and disillusionment and projected himself as the messiah of the community. Encouraged by his success with his readers, he started systematically striking blow after blow on the structure of the faith to pull it down brick by brick. Once he swayed the minds of his unsuspecting readers, ironically including some respectable persons, how easy it was for him to incite them to defy, to revolt, to overthrow. Soon, the band of dedicated followers took over and raised ominous voices that were amplified by the media, insisting on instant restructuring.

Gurbaksh Singh needs to disclose his hands. He has to answer vital and pertinent questions that his destructive preaching raises. Before putting questions to him, it would be worthwhile to succinctly recapitulate his main thrust. He says, 'No Maryada, No Amrit by Five Beloved' and that 'everything should be left to the discretion of the parents - how they choose to groom and infuse in their children the love to embrace and follow Sikhi'.

Here are some questions:

1. Presently, does the Maryada stop parents from teaching Sikhi to their children?

2. What is the guarantee the parents would give proper and right guidance?

3. Assuming that the parents are totally committed to Gurbani and Sikhi, what is the surety the children would pay heed and listen to them?

4. Can Gurbaksh Singh refute the concept of five mentioned by Bhai Gurdas and crystallized by the Tenth Master?

He incites Sikhs to disown their institutions and Maryada, which according to him have become infected beyond redemption by Brahmanism. What will happen if tomorrow he himself and some one of his kind, comes up to say that Guru Granth contains many references to Brahmin gods and goddesses and their mythologies and were later interpolated by individuals with Brahmanic mind and thinking? What solution would he suggest? Discard Guru Granth or change it? How perverted and dangerous his whole approach is.

Gurbaksh Singh has all along been complaining that the Akal Takhat has not been responding to his letters. He has been given an opportunity to talk face to face. Why is he evading appearing in person? What is he afraid of?

All along he has been denouncing Baba Jarnail Singh. Today, he claims he was a close associate of Baba Jarnail Singh and on this account he apprehends his arrest by the Indian Government, and hence pleads inability to enter India. What a complete shift and blatant falsehood.

He extols courageous, ever ready Sikhs to die for their ideals. What about his Sikhi? The sheer possibility of arrest, which may or may not happen, has frightened him to climb down from the ideal.

This may not be the real reason. He might fear his falsehood being exposed or being able to stand close scrutiny of Sikh theologians equally well versed in Gurbani.

Gurbani is intended to be the spiritual essence of divine and eternal Truths that have universal appeal and application without the fetters of time, space or races. It is meant to guide mankind in its relations to God, the Ultimate Truth. How man should relate himself in a society in everyday occurrences is not a constant factor and keeps changing and evolving. Its narration should, rather than cloud the eternal Truths of Gurbani, appropriately form part of a separate composition, call it Rehat Maryada or by any other name.

It was left to the genius of the Tenth Master to weld the followers of the Sikh faith into a strong, distinct and vibrant personality. The nectar of iron-bowl and double-edged sword dispensed by Five Beloveds was designed to achieve it. It was the Guru's sagacity and far-sightedness that it was purposely not made a part of Guru Granth. To doubt this historical fact would amount to doubting Guru Gobind Singh himself.

Although he may not say so in so many words, Gurbaksh Singh's accusing finger is pointing indirectly toward the Tenth Master, for it was he who conceptualized the Brotherhood of Khalsa and the importance of Rehat Maryada. The Guru was emphatic in saying: 'Rehat pyari mujh ko, Sikh pyara naheen'.

Gurbaksh Singh's specialty is that he first showers superlatives and in one blow shatters the splendid edifice he builds, reduces the positive account in a moment into negative.

Finally, because of ineptness and mismanagement certain distortions have arisen in Sikh institutions and traditions. Lest other hostile and inimical forces take advantage of lack luster Sikh affairs, the controversial issues need to be addressed pragmatically and boldly and that too urgently. Sikh youth is disenchanted, the tendency toward apostasy is increasing and young Sikhs are cutting their hair and taking to drugs. This tide has to be stemmed.

In Gurus' times, spiritualism was the first priority and temporal concerns occupied the secondary position. What has happened now is that faith has been given a back seat and politics has become dominant. To serve the community is no longer the driving force. The greed for money, power and position has corrupted and blinded most of our role models. No wonder fights for controlling gurudwaras and institutions is a common occurrence.

This is the opportune time for Sikh intellectuals and theologians, of proven integrity and moral strength, to get together and deliberate, on all the controversial issues and other matters agitating the Sikh mind, objectively totally free of passions and party considerations and reach a consensus. As far as possible, power seekers, politicians and their supporters should be kept at a distance.

In the ultimate analysis it is the character of the individual member of the community that will determine the real and lasting strength of the faith. The need of the times is hard introspection by each and all to reform us and become true Sikhs dedicated to serving the community, not to control and influence it.

Sikhi is a practical religion, let all Sikhs practice and live it in daily life.

[1] Page 35, Vol. 6, Bipran Ki Reet

[2] Page 31, ibid

[3] Page 33-35, ibid

[4] Page 33, ibid

[5] Page 38-39, ibid

[6] Page 40, ibid

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some of you guys hould read what a follower and admirer of kala afghana recently printed in the sikh times, slandering bhai randhir singh and sant gurbachan singh ji, called sant ji a con man amongst other things!

ur gonna say well its not kala's words, but they must be inspired from somewhere, and the idiots at sikh times even printed this crap that this guy sent them!

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some of you guys hould read what a follower and admirer of kala afghana recently printed in the sikh times, slandering bhai randhir singh and sant gurbachan singh ji, called sant ji a con man amongst other things!

ur gonna say well its not kala's words, but they must be inspired from somewhere, and the idiots at sikh times even printed this crap that this guy sent them!

any online version of it?

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