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Brahiminism in Sikh garb!


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source: http://www.sikhbulletin.com/october2003/br...minsikhgarb.htm

Brahiminism in Sikh garb!

Sikh ‘rehatnamas’ have distorted the very from and content of Sikhism. Those have given birth to a new philosophy – ‘Sikh Brahminism’ which has overshadowed ‘Gurmat’. Madan Singh, Birmingham (U.K.) 2003.

It was never the intention of the Sikh Gurus that one type of Hindu Brahminism should come to an end and a new type of Sikh Brahminism should replace it. Even now, ever-new adulterants are being added to Sikhism. The Sikh Panth should be vigilant against them and perform all their religious and social functions in accordance with Gurmat. Brahminism has given birth to many kinds of rites and rituals. A sort of race had been on between Brahminism and Sikhism since the very inception of the latter, which is continuing even today. Neither Hinduism nor Islam ever accepted Sikhism gracefully. On the other hand, through coercion and devious ways, both tried to destroy this budding and nascent revolutionary faith. Noted historian Lala Gokal Chand Narang on page 4 of his book ‘The Transformation of Sikhs’, while describing the rites and rituals prevalent among the Hindus at the time of Guru Nanak Sahib’s advent, writers: “At the time of Guru Nanak Sahib’s birth, people’s religion had become confined to observing special rites while eating and drinking, ways of bathing, putting consecration marks on the forehead and many other similar rites. At that time, all that was left of Hinduism was no more than worshipping of idols, going on pilgrimage to the Ganga and other places where they were commanded to go, observing some rites and rituals concerning birth, marriage and death, obeying the Brahmins’ instructions and giving them huge gifts and donations.”

Guru Nanak Sahib saw the Hindus suffering in these conditions. Through example and precept, he tried to direct the people towards a true and simple religion, to check them from worshipping every Tom, Dick and Harry and to worship only One Akal Purkh (Timeless One, God). He instructed them to ‘Remember one God and yearn for Him alone in their mind” (P. 289). Later, on this fundamental doctrine, the edifice of Sikhism was raised. But afterwards, when Sikhism did not get true and right direction, Brahminical practices gained ascendancy in it. Ignorance is man’s biggest enemy. It is owing to ignorance that we are suffering harassment and humiliation.

What is ‘Karam Kand’ (ritualism)?

Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha writes in the ‘Mahan Kosh’: ‘Karam Kand’ (ritualism) is that part of ‘Shastra’ (scripture) where ‘Karmas’ (deeds) are described, that is, which deeds are essential and which ones are forbidden. Which deeds should be performed by a person and at what times or on what occasions? Ignorance of meanings is ritualism. “Without the Name, accursed and doomed is the proud person, who may perform many religious rites and good actions.” (P. 162) Performing ‘havans’ while worshipping gods and goddesses and offering animal sacrifices are needles and futile practices according to Sikhism. Besides these, getting time and date determined by a Pandit (Brahmin Priest) while starting a new business, offering ‘pind’ (food etc.) to a deceased relative for his salvation, lightning of lamps, breaking pitcher etc. are all disapproved of in Sikhism but are still being observed in Sikh families. The Guru’s edict is: “The rituals, religious rites and hypocrisies; Yama, the tax-gatherer plunders them. Sing thou the simple praise of Creator contemplating on whom, even for a moment, thou shalt be emancipated.” (P. 747) Guru Sahib had extricated us from illusion, meaningless rituals, superstitious customs and traditions and blind beliefs, but we are getting more and more immersed in the quagmire of rituals. Instead of having faith in one God, we consider the ‘maryadas’ (practice and tradition) introduced by pseudo and hypocritical Babas, living Gurus, imposters and seminary-heads as the means of our salvation.

There is no need to go wayward or feel uneasy and disturbed. There are directions in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and in this ‘bani’ there is no dearth of spiritual pearls and diamonds with which to confront those propagating ritual tyranny.

About Sikhism, Dr. Bernard Shaw writes, “Sikhism is a universal and a complete world faith. This has been fully described in the Sikh scripture. The Sikhs should stop thinking that Sikhism is another good faith and they should rather start thinking that only Sikhism is the religion of the new age. It completely takes the place of all faiths. To prove this, it is very essential to write books and to disseminate it.” Besides, after studying the peerless Guru Granth Sahib, former Indian President Dr. S. Radha Krishan had paid his tributes to it in the following words: “Sri Guru Granth sahib is the living voice of saints, sages and prophets.”

Taking cover of Sikh ‘rehatnamas’ some ignorant persons continue trying to make Gurmat an appendage of Brahminism. Sikhism is an independent religion, but these ‘rehatnamas’ have harmed it greatly. These contain self-contradictory elements and are replete with anti-Gurmat notions. There is evidence that these contain adulterants and interpolations. Bhai Santokh Singh, Giani Gian Singh and Rattan Singh Bhangoo have been great scholars. Instead of keeping the true directions recorded in Guru Granth sahib before them, they made these ‘rehatnamas’ the basis of their writings and wrote many things that are anti-Gurmat. To delude the people, some clever persons have even tried to use the name of the Tenth Guru. The writer of ‘Prem Sumarg’ by affixing the expression ‘Patshahi Daswin’ in the manner of the author of ‘Dasam Granth’ has tried to project it as the composition of the Tenth Guru. Many other similar examples can also be cited.

‘Rehatnama Bhai Nand lal Ji:

Bhai Nand Lal was the court poet of the Tenth Guru and was a great Scholar of Persian and Arabic. In his ‘rehatnama’, it is written at one place: “When ‘Sharadhs’ come, different kinds of food should be prepared. The Khalsa should be invited and Anand Sahib should be read or recited. Then ‘ardas’ should be offered. The food should be served to the invited Sikhs. It will be beneficial, and its benefit will reach the dead ancestor’s soul also.” On the basis of this ‘rehatnama’ ‘Sharadhs’ are observed in many Sikh homes. The Tenth ‘Shardh’ of Brahm Giani Baba Budha ji is observed with great pomp and show in Bir Baba Budha Ji, Amritsar. The day is greatly advertised and devotedes are invited to come and participate in the function. What a blasphemy is committed against Gurmat in broad daylight! The Guru’s edict is: “One serves not one’s ancestors when they are dead. Say, how shall the poor parents obtain what the crows and dogs have eaten up?” (P. 332)

Further, it is written in this ‘rehatnama’: “Don’t trust woman. Don’t confide your inner secrets to her.” But Guru Nanak Sahib while describing the greatness of woman has said about women suffering under the yoke of Brahminical rituals: “Why call her bad from whom are born kings?” (P. 473) That is why, perhaps, our holy men and seminary-heads do not entrust the service of Akhand Path to women and it has been generally seen that while performing religious and social functions or duties, woman is kept in the background.

‘Rehatnama’ Bhai Daya Singh:

In this ‘rehatnama’ it is written: “The Tenth Guru was sitting at Anandpur. Daya Singh asked him, ‘Your holiness, state the ‘rehatnama’ on hearing which one may get emancipated’. Answer: “When the ‘Devi’ (goddess) manifested herself, the Five Beloved Ones became alert and attentive. Then came all the gods… Goddess Chandi gave the gift of ‘keshas’ (unshorn hair)…” There are many edicts of the Guru, which go to refute the abovementioned story. It is owing to such rehatnamas that Devi-worship, ‘Jot puja’e (worship of lamps), caste-system, ritualism and Brahminical practices have become prevalent among some Sikhs. There was a time when the Brahmins had kept even idols of gods and goddesses in the open spaces round the pool at Darbar Sahib. Devotees coming to Sri Darbar Sahib paid obeisance to them. These were removed in the year 1922 during the Gurdwara Reform movement. During the time of the Sikh ‘misals’ (Sikh confederacies) and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Brahminism had strengthened its grip over Sikhism. In accordance with the saying- as is the ruler so are the subjects- Sikhism had become a hanger-on of Brahminism. The Sikh and Gurdwara Reform movements restored the prestige of Sikhism. Getting an Akhand Path (of Sri Guru Granth Sahib) performed has also become a kind of ritual or practice. One who gets the Akhand Path performed to satisfy his ego, distributes invitations to his friends and relatives, requesting them to come at the ‘bhog’ (conclusion) of the ‘Path’ (reading). The ceremony is performed very much in the manner of the Brahmin priests chanting ‘mantras’ (chants). Very much like the Pandits (Brahmin priests), a class of ‘Akhand Path can be paid in instalments and ‘ready-made’ or ‘already-completed’ Akhand paths can be had for a price by sending money from abroad to the managers of historical Gurdwaras in India. What a big anti-Gurmat or apostate practice it is! ‘Gurmat is a subject for meditation and reflection. Concentration and purity of mind are essential while doing ‘path’ (reading of the scripture) and listening to it. But both these things are disappearing from Sikhism. The edict of Gurbani is: “Devotee friends! Ever laud the Lord with minds awake and concentration.” (P. 295) This is not at all possible during Akhand Path. On a pitcher or bottle of water coconut wrapped in red cloth and tied with ‘mauli (untwisted multi-strand yarn used on ceremonial occasions) is placed. At many places, under the ‘Kumbh’ (pitcher of water) is also placed a mixture of several cereals. Besides, lamps of clarified butter are also lit. On one side, incense is regularly put. When asked, the answer one gets is that this is the practice which has been continuing for long. There is no room for reasoning or argument. These are Brahminical practices or activities, but we have named them as ‘Gurmaryada’. This requires no proof. We can see all these placed in a Hindu temple on the occasion of Ramayana Path. According to pandits (Brahmin priests), all these are gods and their worship is also essential. After the conclusion of the Akhand Path, ‘Kirtan’ of ‘arati’ (worship offering) is performed. Considering it important in accordance with Hinduism, this ritual worship is offered by burning lamps in a tray. Flower petals are showered. Guru Nanak Sahib disapproved of and rejected this ritual and said: “ in the sky’s salver, the sun and the moon are the lamps and the studded pearls. The fragrance of sandalwood makes Thy incense, wind Thy fan and all the vegetation Thine flowers, O Luminous Lord… (P. 13)

Meanings: The entire creation is singing laudation of God. Man cannot improve it Further.

The Yoga:

Some of our so-called religious leaders are busy trying to prove that ‘Yoga is an integral part of Sikhism. In ‘Sidh Gosht’, Guru Nanak Sahib analysed the basic principles of Yoga and Sikhism and urged the yogis to align themselves with Divine Name recitation or medication. Sikhism does not accept union with God through ritualistic ‘Kundalini’. The Guru’s edict is: “Without the Name, vain are all deeds, like those of the conjurer who deceives men through illusion.” P. 1343 Guru Sahib has likened the activities of these yogis with those of the body but it is rank apostasy to regard them as the means to attain God, and is totally contrary to the goal of Sikhism. Besides, the serious or grave wrong practices mentioned above, we are needlessly introducing new practices into Sikhism in imitation of others. On the surface, those appear to be okay, but once they take roots, it will be difficult to get rid of them. Carrying the dead body to the Gurdwara is aping the whites. But this does not end here. The ashes of the dead are taken to Patalpuri instead of the Ganga at Hardwar. It has been seen that like the Hardwar ‘Pandas’ (Brahmin Priests) at Patalpuri too, an office has been set up to write the family chart of the deceased, and this office is being run under the care and patronage of the SGPC, Amritsar, the Guardian of Sikh ‘rauhreet’ (traditional practice). When the hedge starts spoliating the field, who else can be blamed? Putting on ‘Jai-mala’ (garland) on the occasion of marriage and observing other trifling ceremonies are all ritualistic practices. The so-called Sikh leaders have gone down to an abysmally low level. They speak at the top of their voice that liquor vends should be closed in Punjab, marriages should be made simple and in accordance with Gurmat and should be solemnized in gurdwaras. But when there is a marriage in their own home, they forget everything. Banquet halls are booked and singing and dancing parties are invited for entertainment. Alcohol is served freely. By doing such things, while they themselves earn a bad name, the Sikh community has to hang its head in shame too.

It is my humble request that we should test all Brahminical practices on the touchstone of Gurmat and give up those practices, which create greater hiatus between our words and deeds. For Gursikhs, Gurmat is the only path to follow. The rest are empty rituals from which it is very essential to get rid of.

Courtesy, The Spokesman Weekly’s Monthly Issue April 2003.

Please discuss ! :D

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  • 7 months later...


Not only so called pseudo brahimns but British rulers might have encouragded some 'Sikhs' to make us bonded with inpractical ritualism and talk of persoanal worshipping ,miracles attached to it so that we becaome incompitant to do some ploticial act.

Bhasauriyas are the best example since Babu Teja Singh Ji.

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There was a time when the Brahmins had kept even idols of gods and goddesses in the open spaces round the pool at Darbar Sahib. Devotees coming to Sri Darbar Sahib paid obeisance to them. These were removed in the year 1922 during the Gurdwara Reform movement.

my dad was telling me abuot that. He said that when ppl would do an ardaas which was answered they would get a statue of the devi/devta from the faction which they belonged and place it around the sorawar, each one facing harminder sahib. All the ppl were very proud to see the devi devta facing harminder sahib and also doing satkar of Guru Granth Sahib ji. One day without any warning the akalis took all the statues and throw them out round the back. Ppl were distraught to see something which pleased them so much ( devi devta doing satkar of haminder sahib) destroyed in such a manor. I was told in panjabi so english translation isnt gonna be 100% accurate but basically a large group of people got together where the akalis (political party not to be confised with akali nihang singhs) were destroying the statues and one man placed a curse on the akalis and predicted that in the same way u are throwing the devta to the trash in the same way u will be treated in the future and ur party will be in shatters. From what i see they aint doing to great at the moment anyway.

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