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AMRIT - misconception and Self-Deception


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AMRIT - misconception and Self-Deception - by Dalawari

I have just come across the Theosophical Society's small pamphlet

"SIKHISM - A CONVENTIONAL LECTURE" by Annie Besant first published in

1920 and am deeply struck by the lucid, unambiguous, respectful and

spiritual appreciation of our religion in deep contrast to a few of our

own co-religionists unable, unwilling (or deliberately denying the

truth) to understand it properly; here is the introduction:

"Brothers, in dealing with Sikhism we are in the face of what may be

called a double movement. Fundamentally religious in its beginnings, the

pressure of circumstances into a militant organisation forced it. Most

people in thinking of the Sikh think of a gallant warrior, of a

splendid fighter. But we shall err very seriously if we look on him

(we, who are students of religion), as only, or even fundamentally a

fighter. That came by the pressure of circumstances, by the pressures

of his environment; BUT THE MOVEMENT ITSELF IN ITS LASTING CHARACTER, IS FUNDAMENTALLY A RELIGIOUS MOVEMENT."

Irrespective of the errors of historians or because of our inability

now to show ourselves as the solid characters that the Guru produced

necessitating full some praises even from those who chose to call us

"dogs"' during foreign invasion, we are becoming so thoroughly external

our approach to our religion that we ourselves find no lime to delve

into what our Guru wanted AS THE BASIS OF OUR DEVOTION TO HIM I think there is TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE identity of approach between Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh. What Guru Nanak envisaged in the following words, Guru Gobind Singh enacted through the creation of the KHALSA "Jau tau prem khelan ka chao Sir dhar tali gali meri aao"

(If you want to play the game of LOVE, come to me with your head on

the palm).

As a matter of fact, Sikhism is a total concept of an attempt of our

Gurus to create man, i.e. as best as possible for a human being and they

are TOTALLY OPPOSED to the external exhibitionism of any kind to give

impression other than what we are within. That is why Guru Gobind Singh

did not bestow perpetual grace on an amritdhari unless his devotion

within does correspond to the external symbols of Five K's. Even

well-meaning jathedars and associations wanting to make all the Sikhs

amritdhari by 1999 are not necessarily adhering to the message of the

Gurus and particularly of Guru Gobind Singh, whose love for the Khalsa

is the love for his PRACTICAL LIFE and his REHNI, not his external

showmanship. And whether we gather the administrators of amrit from Five Takhts or we emphasise the significance of taking amrit from a

particularly pure Gurdwara, Guru Gobind Singh?s following commands

remain abuslute:

Saach kahoun sun leo sabhe jin prem kio tin hee Prabh payo

(0 people of the world, 1 utter the TRUTH, only those who love attain

the lord).

Jab lag Khalsa rahe niara tablag tej dion mein sara Jab eh gahe biprin

ki reet mein na Karoun inki parteet (So long as the Khalsa remains DISTINGUISHED, I shall give him my full support. When the Khalsa adopts rituals of Brahmanism (i.e. when words and deeds do not match 1 shall not stand by him).

Let me quote Annie Besant again:

?In the time of Guru Nanak, as too often in the history of the world, a

great religion had grown more and more formal and men were starving on

the husk of the grain rather than eating the grain itself. Guru Nanak

sought to find the grain, and in so doing threw the husk: HE STROVE TO

LEAD MEN TO SEE THE REALITY OF RELIGION, the life of religion, the

essence of religion, and to see that life and essence in love to God

and the Guru, in love to men as children of the one God. YOU MAY ALMOST SUM UP IN THAT PHRASE THE VERY ESSENCE OF SIKHISM.?

That the LOVE shines in the words of Guru Nanak, and LOVE remains the

essence of our religion even in the words of Guru Gobind Singh is a

clear signal for us to understand and live that LOVE. And Bhagat Ravidas

delineats the offshoots of LOVE in the following words:

Kahan bhayo jau tan bhayo chhin chin Prem jaye tau darpe tero jan

(What 1 am afraid is that my love with You, Lord, should break apart;

my body may be cut into pieces does not worry me)

The other day at a home in Amaravati town, a Sikh lady informs me that

the neighbour has just returned from Amritsar after taking amrit at the

Akal Takht but is still, devoted to regular drinking. At Nagpur when a

jathedar succeeded in giving amrit to over a 100 people through PANJ

PIARE, his satisfaction gave way to the amritdhari ladies ridiculing the

ceremony. "I had to take away my ornaments for a while but let this be

over, 1 shall be back to my old ways." At Hazur Sahib, a driver from

Calcutta explained his amrit- taking thus: ?I was not ready to take it

but my companions prevailed upon me to take it. Indeed 1 do not know how

to recite Nitnem. As for the Kakars, when 1 reach Calcutta, 1 shall see

what 1 do."

Why do we indulge in self-deception? Why do we ridicule and put into

ridicule our most sacred ceremony in which the Guru-Sikh relationship is

established through our outer uniform and external symbols (BUT NOT

CONFINED TO THESE SYMBOLS ALONE) of the Sikh having sold out his TAN, MAN and DHAN to his Guru. Indeed the Sikh's future life is to be

controls by the dictates of the Master and there is never to be a

compromise. Gurbani, Guru?s life and our forefathers' deeds are to be

the Sikh's guides and the external symbols have to display the inner

pure concrete teaching. Once that is forgotten-and am afraid in the

wholesale self-deception THIS IS BEING FORGOTTEN ?the uniforms

KAKKAR-wearing Sikh is just like a soldier in uniform who runs away for

life at the first opportunity.

This morning when the following shabad was being transmitted from

Harmandar Sahib at amritvela, I was relishing the sweetness in the

relationship of an amritdhari Singh with Guru Gobind Singh as that of a

bride with the bridegroom and was wondering whether our external goals

which do not take into consideration the commands of Guru Gobind Singh

on LOVE as the PRINCIPAL CONNECTION will ever bring about the validity

of the connection:

?Mohan neend na aawe hawe. haar kajar bastr abharan keene Uddini

uddini uddini kab ghar awe ri...

(O my beloved, I cannot sleep, 1 sigh for you. I bedeck myself with

necklace, kajal, dresses and ornaments and go on waiting for you

sighing when, oh when will you come home? I go to a suhagin putting my

head at her feet. Teach me the method of attaining my Lord when will he

come? ?Listen, friend, 1 tell you the way to meet him. REMOVE ALL

EGOTISM, you will then find him right in your home then in extreme

ecstasy you will sing the Lord?s praises. Dig yourself in the ANAND-

ROOP Lord. Nanak reaches the door, finds the Lord. And now my BELOVED shows Himself to me. I can sleep soundly. 1 am now in complete

equanimity (sahaj). Ah, the story of my beloved is sweet. I have now

found my beloved.?

Guru Arjan Dev?s exquisite hymn draws two distinct pictures. The state

of Sikh when he is separated from Guru is the first picture. The ecstasy

in which he finds himself when he finds the Guru within is the second.

And the method with which the situation changes is also explained. The

SIKH MUST LOSE HIS I-AM-NESS. That IS the significance of AMRIT and

until the Sikh is ready to annihilate himself at the feet of the Guru,

he can never realize the oneness with the Guru as Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai

Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh were graced to feel. If we want to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the KHALSA, we must dig into ourselves and root out what separates us

from the Guru. It is not only the external symbols which we call

KAKKARS that separate us. IN FACT THE SIKH KAKKARS but without WITH

internal purity and devotion is a BHEKHI SIKH and the Guru confirms it

so.

When the Lord changed my path to enjoy the sweetness of His presence,

He planted LOVE in my heart and 1 yearned to take amrit vows as soon as

possible. In that earnestness He drilled into me the meanings of AMRIT

through Gurbani and when 1 took amrit vows a year-and-a-quarter later, I

found that the grace was the same, thereby confirming to me that LOVE

was the basis of AMRIT and Gurbani was the means to usher into ourselves that love provided we listened to the Guru's dictates and tried to live them in our life. Let me talk of the following from ASA- DI-VAR: Har

amrit bhini dehori amrit burakhe raamraje. Jinan Gurbani man bhaya amrit chhak chhake This is the statement of Guru Ram Das categorically stating that AMRIT is within ourselves and AMRIT is our food. The people who relish Gurbani receive amrit and live in amrit. Guru Ram Das was not

only deeply in love but had also annihilated himself so much that even

as a JAWAI (son-in-law) he laboured hard at the Guru?s court, Guru Amar

Das in his Anand Sahib talks of amrit thus, Peevo amrit sada raho har

rang japio sarang-paani (Drink Amrit and remain always immersed in the

colours of the Lord by remembering Him ceaselessly).

The changed circumstances, as Annie Besant has brought out in bold

relief, did not change the basic tenets of our religion but, as

confirmed by Guru Gobind Singh even after creating the KHALSA,

emphasised the readiness to lay down one?s life for the sake of

righteousness and for the defence of the weak against tyranny.

Our self-deception must end. AMRIT is no hollow ceremony of external

symbols. AMRIT is the most sacred institution of our way of life hereby

we live and die for the Lord, for Guru and for righteousness. 239 years

spent by our Gurus in making us what we are were years of Demonstration of that selfless love for the Lord rid for humanity. What is important is that the Sikh Khalsa must come out openly and squarely on the top with his deeds matching his words in accordance with the pledges of the Khalsa. Since we are too much entrenched in finding fault with others, belittling others, and hoodwinking ourselves into believing that

static?s could change our internal condition, we go to any extent to,

void looking at ourselves.

Guru Nanak himself has laid down that mere knowledge cannot take us to

the court of the Lord. Similarly mere external adherence to the code

if the KHALSA, i.e. BANA cannot attain Guru's Acceptance without living

the dictates in Gurbani. Indeed we can feel superior by external conduct

and project more HAUMEIN in relation to those who are not amritdharis

but are entrenched in the love of the Gurus and the Lord selflessly, but

WE MUST REMEMBER that the conduct of amritdhari jathedars, our leaders, has been no guarantee that we love Guru Gobind Singh. Documented internecine warfare makes us a laughing stocks, unless AMRITDHARI SIKHS, AT LEAST AMONG THEMSELVES, prove to be the ?KHALSA MERO ROOP HAI KHAAS? in words and deeds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

but the purpose of the outer sikhi is to ignite your inner sikhi and/or to symbolize your inner sikhi This goes back to a Doctor is not only considered a Doctor when in a White Coat and a Stethoscope around his neck. He is a Doctor regardless of his outer layer. As you stated, Sikhi Emphasizes on both outer and inner, but the Article proclaims that over time the Outer has gained more Significance than inner.

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