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Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji gives guruship to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib - October 1708

Preceptor Eternal dedicated to Sri Guru

Granth Sahib Ji, the Guru Eternal, and the
Gursikhs who treaded the Gurmatt-path of
truthful conduct, fearlessly
Published in the UK in 2008 by EMG
160 Rolfe Street, Smethwick,
West Midlands, B66 2AU

Copyright © EMG

Jaspal Singh Bains and Gurjeet Kaur

Design: Lakhvinder Baddhan

+44 (0) 121 558 3020

All rights reserved.

This souvenir contains Sikh scriptures, we would therefore request that it be

treated with the utmost respect.

Paintings of Gurus and Sants have been used for illustrative purposes, we
acknowledge that the Sikh religion forbids idol worship.
ý ÃÇå×°ð êzÃÅÇçÍÍ

The Lord Himself has come to the aid His devotees (the sants) to help them in
their task. (GGS p 783)

Waheguru, the Wondrous Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib. extensively on Sikh issues and
Enlightener, shows the way, gives supported many Sikh
us the strength and guides us to As the embodiment of the Divine organisations.
our destination. In humility and Message from the Almighty
with a prayer in our hearts, we Waheguru, it is imperative we It is our great privilege that
started the challenging task of acknowledge that Guru Granth scholars of international standing
producing a memorable and Sahib is for all of humanity. This is have contributed to this
educational publication to mark a Treasure-house of knowledge commemorative publication. We
the historical day in the Sikh relevant to all ages and to all hope that Sikh Sangats, students
calendar places. Even with a little of Sikhi and indeed anyone who
understanding of this wondrous has the good fortune to have sight
As humble servants of The Sikh gift bestowed on the Sikhs, our of this iconic souvenir find this
N a t i on, w e h a ve a g a i n b een lives will be enriched. production of lasting benefit.
blessed to pay homage to our
history and heritage. A centennial event of this On behalf of The Sikh Times
significance comes only once in management we applaud the
As 300 years ago, Guru Gobind our lifetime. The Sikh Times has distinguished Sikh scholars who
Singh Ji bowed before Sri Guru always aimed to address the have given us an opportunity to
Granth Sahib Ji, and passed on needs of young Sikhs brought up gain wisdom from the Guru’s
the bounteous Treasure of in Western countries. First and teaching.
Gurbani to the Khalsa Panth as foremost is their need to
their Eternal Guru. understand the universal This team has been led by S.
message of Gurbani in the Gurmukh Singh, who has worked
The sacrifices made by Guru language they speak. That means with admirable professionalism
Gobind Singh Ji, our tenth Guru- more authentic Sikh literature in and shown immense sincerity not
person, are unparalleled in the English, and in the idiom they can only to his work, but proven to the
history of the world. Himself relate to. Secondly, they need to Panth that there is a need for such
wounded by an assassin sent by understand and appreciate the scholars, if we as a Nation are to
the Mogul rulers, Guru Sahib magnitude of their rich heritage. survive and prosper.
bowed before Guru Granth Sahib ...................
Ji, the embodiment of the Once again, we are indebted to S. Jaspal Singh
Revealed Word of the Timeless Gurmukh Singh for undertaking Chairman
Lord, with gratitude for the the Panthic seva of collating and EMG
completion of Guru Nanak’s editing a memorable publication.
mission over a period of over 200 After a most successful career in
hundred years (from 1469 to the UK civil service, having Th e Si kh Ti mes ap pl auds the
1708). The sacrifices included his achieved the position of a policy arduous contribution of the Kar
father Guru Tegh Bahadur, mother Principal, he retired in 1996. Sewa committee Sikh Gurdham
Mata Gujri Ji, His four sons, the Following retirement he has been Pakis tan and th e Sangat who
Sahibzadas. Guru Sahib himself committed to promoting Sikh have given Daswand from their
left for Sach Khand, the Realm of identity in the plural British ‘Das Nauhan Dee Kirt Kmaaie’
Truth, a few hours after passing society. He has written
Brief information and historical background
(Also see Glossary of Sikh words at the end of this brochure)

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the full Six Gurus: is divided under 31 selected
title of the Sikh Holy Scripture, First Guru, Guru Nanak Dev classical raag headings (which
also referred to as Guru Granth Second Guru, Guru Angad Dev create receptive moods in the
Sahib. Third Guru, Guru Amar Das listener corresponding to times of
Fourth Guru, Guru Ram Das the day, seasons or occasions.)
The revealed Word in Guru Granth Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev At the beginning is the Mystical
Sahib is called Bani or Gurbani. Ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Formula called the Mool Mantar
Bani was received by the Sikh Bahadhur as a compact statement of the
Gurus and many saintly devotees essential characteristics of the
(bhagats) of “Waheguru”, the Fifteen: Bhagats (saints from One Creator Being and the Sikh
Wondrous Dispeller of Darkness. different religions and castes) creed. The first composition Jap ji,
Waheguru is the most commonly Kabir is a summary of Guru Nanak
used Sikh Name for the Creator Nam Dev Sahib’s revealed message for the
Being. However, other names for Ravidas benefit of humankind. Through a
the One Divine Source of All Tirlochan learning approach, it shows the
Creation are also acceptable, and Dhana seeker (the Sikh), the path to the
many names from Hindu and Sain Creator Being. The purpose of
Muslim religions are used in Guru Jai Dev human life is to follow that path
Granth Sahib. That is also due to Peepa and seek Waheguru’s Grace
the diverse religious backgrounds Surdas (Nadar) for ultimate union of the
of the saintly beings, bhagats, Farid human soul with the Supreme
whose bani is included in the Sikh Parmanand Soul (Pramatma). It is also a
Scripture. Sadhna statement of Guru Nanak’s
Beni mission elaborated in the
Guru Granth Sahib was first Rama Nand compositions in Guru Granth
compiled as the Aad Granth in Bheekhan Sahib.
1604, by the Fifth Guru, Guru
Arjan Dev (1563 –1606). This Eleven Bhatts There are about 5900 Shabads
historical event is celebrated on 1 Kals Har (poetic hymns) in Guru Granth
September each year according to Jalap Sahib.
the Nanakshahi Calendar (the Kirat These may be classified into three
approved Sikh calendar.) Bhikha groups according to the authors:
Sal 6 Sikh Gurus: about 5,000
With further additions, the final Bhal Shabads); of these most (2,218)
and updated version of the Aad Nal are by the Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan.
Granth was vested with the Gyand 15 Bhagats: about 800 Shabads;
authority of Guruship by the Tenth Mathura of these most (541) are by Bhagat
Guru, Guru Gobind Singh in 1708, Bal Kabir.
before he departed for Sach Harbans 17 Bhatts (bards in the court of
Khand (the Plane of Truth). Guru Arjan): about 150 Shabads
Thenceforth, the Aad Granth, was Gursikhs (Sikhs of the Guru) giving much useful information
instituted as Guru Granth Sahib, Baba Sundar about the first five Gurus to Guru
the Shabad (Word) Guru.. Rababi Sata Doom Arjan Dev.
Rababi Rai Balwand
The names of the thirty-six saintly Main language medium is a
beings, including 6 Sikh Gurus, Other particulars of Guru Granth mixture of Panjabi and Hindi
whose bani (revealed Word) is Sahib referred to as “Sant Bhasha” or
included in Guru Granth Sahib are Guru Granth Sahib is in verse and language of the saints or Bhagats.
as follows: the Volume has 1,430 pages. Otherwise there is a vast diversity
The main part, pages 14 to 1353, Continues on next page
Continued from previous page Gurbani (the revealed Word) of this accomplishment.
of languages and dialects of the each Guru was collated and Under each raag, first came the
Indian sub-continent. Many passed on from one Guru bani of the Gurus and then that of
poetic forms are used and these Personality to another. Two the Bhagats.
can be divided into saloks collections of hymns or pothis are Gurmukhi was the script used.
(couplets), shabads (short or long still available. Gurbani was held in
hymns) and vars (ballads), which great reverence even before the The site where this devine
are longer and include a number Holy Volume, Aad Granth, was mission of collating the Aad
of stanzas preceded by saloks. compiled. Granth was completed is marked
“The Bani is the Guru and the by a shrine called Ramsar.
The 36 saintly beings, who Guru is Bani” says Guru Ram Das.
contributed Bani to Guru Granth “It is the Lord’s own Word” says Some of the hymns are cast in the
Sahib, were from different faiths. Guru Nanak moulds of folk-poetry of the
Fifteen were associated with Panjab:
different religions in the Indian According to Gurbilas Chhevin Aarti, anjali, sohila, swayyas,
sub-continent, four were Sikhs of Paatshahi (1718), an attractive thittin, patti, phune, bavan-akhri,
the Guru, and eleven were spot in the thick of the forest on and baramaha are the titles which
Brahmin Bhatts or bards of the the outskirts of Amritsar was indicate the form of poetry. Patti,
highest order, who were devotees marked out by Guru Arjan. So bavan-akhri and oankar propound
of the Guru. They all shared the dense was the foliage that not philosophical and religious
universal message for humanity even a moonbeam could pry into themes and doctrines; thittin and
brought by Guru Nanak Sahib it. – a peaceful and picturesque baramahas are built around the
from the Creator Being to alleviate spot. A tent was put up and the lunar days and the twelve solar
human suffering through God Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan and the months. Alahnian and sadd
consciousness. Thus, Guru Granth great scholar, Bhai Gurdas (1551 – (funeral hymns), karhale, gatha,
Sahib is truly the great work of a 1636), started work on the sacred ghorian (wedding songs), cchant
parliament of religions, albeit, volume. There was a vast amount (recited at time of marriage),
essentially a Sikh Volume taking of material: in addition to the dakhne, var, ruttin (seasons) and
forward the universal mission of Gurbani of the five Gurus, there var sat (weekdays) are the moulds
Guru Nanak as received through were songs and hymns by saints, of the folk-poetry of Panjab.
the revealed Word. Hindu and Muslim. Complex as Raags are arranged in set order:
the task was, the material was First will come padas or the
The compilation of Guru Granth sifted, selected in accordance prosodic forms, followed by
Sahib with pre-determined criteria, and longer snatches such as astpadis.
Guru Nanak carried a book arranged in a systematic manner Then will come chants and vars.
comprising his own compositions. under 30 raags and musical Last are the compositions of
(Bhai Gurdas var 13.1) According patterns (excluding one raag – Bhagats.
to the Puratan Janam Sakhi he Jaijavanti of Guru Tegh Bahadur,
handed over such a manuscript to the Ninth Master – to be included
Guru Angad as he passed on the later by Guru Gobind Singh).
spiritual office to him. And so Scholars are left wonderstruck at

i Information collated mainly from the Encylopaedia of Sikhism, Panjabi University, Patiala.
Guru Granth is not an idol to be worshipped but to be read, contemplated and its divine principles
< enshrined in our hearts and lives as guiding precepts.

There is one God, common to all creation, not a Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh God etc.
< Such a partisan god is a lesser god not worthy of worship.

God is known by myriad names. God has no gender, form, color, caste, race or nationality. Any
descriptions of God remain incomplete; any images of God are false. Gender and racial equality
lie at the core of Sikh teaching.

< Guru Granth teaches that truth is high, higher yet is truthful living. Cultivate such a lifestyle.

Guru Granth asks that we do not view human existence as a fall from grace but a unique
< opportunity to discover the divinity that is common to us and is inherent in us all.

The ultimate reality is not to found in the life of the ascetic, on the mountaintop, in the jungle or
< by renouncing the world. It is to be discovered in the family life within the contradictions of our
daily existence. God is to be found in a productive family life dedicated to honest earning and
service to mankind, lived in an awareness of the Infinite within us all.

Ego, avarice, greed, lust and pride constitute the five great vices that destroy us from within and
that must be harnessed to a productive, honest life.

Guru Granth recommends a lifestyle of modest consumption, no food taboos and a prohibition of
< mood or mind-altering drugs and intoxicants.

< Guru Granth asks that we learn to recognize and celebrate the different beat of the distant
drummer to which many of us to choose to march. Our lives should, therefore, rejoice in the
cultural, racial and religious diversity of mankind.

(Collated from various sources)

In Thy will may the good of all prevail!

Sikh Ardaas (supplication) is a litany Meditating on the achievement of Thy panth, benevolent Lord, bestow
co mp re h e n d i n g v e ry b ri e f ly t h e the male and female members of on the Khalsa the beneficence of
whole gamut of Sikh History and the Khalsa who laid down their lives unobstructed visit to and free
enumerating all that Sikhism holds in the cause of Dharma (religion and management of Nankana Sahib
sacred. Portions of it are invocations righteousness), got their bodies (Pakistan) and other shrines and
and prayer for the grant of strength dismembered bit by bit, got their places of the Guru from which the
and virtue. It concludes with : O skulls sawn off, got mounted on Panth has been separated.
Nanak, may the Nam (Holy) be ever spiked wheels, got their bodies O Thou, the honour of the humble,
in ascendance : in Thy will, may the sawn, made sacrifices in the service the strength of the weak, aid unto
good of all prevail ! of the shrines (Gurdwaras), did not those who have none to rely on, True
betray their faith, sustained their Father, Wondrous Destroyer of
adherence to the Sikh faith with darkness, we humbly render to you
Ik Onkar Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh unshorn hair uptill their last breath, .......... (Mention here the name of
say "Wondrous Destroyer of the scriptural composition that has
ý òÅÇÔ×°ðÈ ÜÆ ÕÆ ëåÇÔÍÍ darkness", O Khalsa. been recited or, in appropriate
terms, the object for which the
One absolute Manifest; victory Thinking of the five thrones (of sikh congregation has been held.)
belongeth to the Wondrous religious authority) and all Pardon any impermissible
Destroyer of darkness. May the Gurdwaras, say "Wondrous accretions, omissions, errors,
might of the All-powerful help! Destroyer of darkness", O Khalsa. mistakes. Fulfil the purposes of all.
Grant us the association of those
Ode to his might by the tenth lord. Now it is the prayer of the whole dear ones, on meeting whom one is
Khalsa, May the conscience of the reminded of Your name. O Nanak,
Having first thought of the whole Khalsa be informed by may the Nam (Holy) be ever in
Almighty's prowess, let us think of Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru ascendance! in Thy will may the
Guru Nanak. Then of Guru Angad, and, in consequence of such good of all prevail!
Amardas and Ramdas - may they be remembrance, may total well-being -------------------------------------
our rescuers! Remember, then, obtain. Wherever there are
Arjan, Hargobind and Har Rai. communities of the Khalsa, may On the conclusion of the Ardas, the
Meditate then on revered Har there be Divine protection and entire congregation participating in
Krishan on seeing whom all grace, the ascendance of the supply the Ardas should respectfully
suffering vanishes. Think then of Teg of needs and of the holy sword, genuflect before the revered Guru
Bahadar, remembrance of whom Protection of the tradition of grace, Granth Sahib, then stand up and call
brings all nine treasures. He comes victory of the Panth, the succour of out, "The Khalsa is of the Wondrous
to rescue every where. Then of the the holy sword, ascendance of the Destroyer of darkness : victory also
tenth Lord, revered Guru Gobind Khalsa. Say, O Khalsa, "Wondrous is His." The Congregation should,
Singh, who comes to rescue every Destroyrer of darkness." thereafter, raise the loud spirited
where. The embodiment of the light chant of Sat Sri Akal (True is the
of all ten sovereign lordships, the Unto the Sikhs the gift of the Sikh timeless Being).
Guru Granth - think of the view and faith, the gift of the untrimmed hair, While the Ardas is being performed,
reading of it and say, "Waheguru the gift of the discipline of their all men and women in congregation
(Wondrous Destroyer of Darkness)". faith, the gift of sense of should stand with hands folded. The
discrimination, the gift of trust, the person in attendance of Guru Granth
Meditating on the achievement of gift of confidence, above all, the gift Sahib should keep waving the whisk
the dear and truthful ones, of meditation on the Divine and bath standing.
including the five beloved ones, the in Amritsar (holy tank of Harmander The person who performs the Ardas
four sons of the tenth Guru, forty Sahib, Amritsar). May hymns- should stand facing the Guru Granth
liberated ones, steadfast ones, singing missionary parties, the Sahib with hands folded. If Guru
constant repeaters of the Divine flags, the hostels, abide from age to Granth Sahib is not there,
Name, those given to assiduous age. May righteousness reign performing the Ardas facing any
devotion, those who repeated the supreme. Say, "Wondrous Destroyer direction is acceptable.
Nam, shared their fare with others, of darkness."
ran free kitchen, wielded the sword Source: Sikh Reht Maryada: THE
and everlooked faults and May the Khalsa be imbued with CODE OF SIKH CONDUCT AND
shortcomings, say "Waheguru", O humility and high wisdom! May CONVENTIONS Published by
Khalsa. Waheguru guard its understanding! Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak
O Immortal Being, eternal helper of Committee, Amritsar)
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has been abbreviated to Guru Granth Sahib. For page numbers, the
< initials “GGS p….” have been used.

< Glossary at Annex V should be referred to for fuller meaning of Gurbani words.

Gurbani translations are based mostly on S. Manmohan Singh’s 8 volumes of Guru Granth Sahib
< translation in English and Panjabi, published by Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

Sources: The main Source is Gurbani, of which Guru Granth Sahib is the embodiment. Authors of
< essays would have used many other sources; however, the following publications are usually
referred to as secondary sources:

Bhai Gurdas: After Guru Granth Sahib, the Vaaran and Swayyay of Bhai Gurdas have the Guru’s
< seal of approval for interpreting Gurbani.

The works of Bhai Nand Lal, Bhai Mani Singh, and the ancient Rehtnamas by Sikh scholars, make
< up the next level for reference.

The Sikh Reht Maryada – The Code of Sikh Conduct & Conventions, published by the Shromani
< Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, is the source of reference for Sikh living.

Amongst the other notable mainstream sources are the works of scholars like Bhai Kahn Singh
< Nabha and Professor Sahib Singh.

There is now a vast amount of literature available in English on Sikh religious tradition and
< history at most Gurdwaras and Sikh centres.


By Dya Singh of Australia


By Dr I.J. Singh of New York
By Tarlochan Singh MP (RS) of India
By Baldev Singh Dhaliwal JP of Australia
By Judge Mota Singh of UK
By Judge Mewa Singh of USA
By Dr Bhai Harbans Lal


BY Prof. H S Virk of India
By Dr. Sukhbir Singh Kapoor of UK


By Gurmukh Singh of UK
By Kamalpreet Kaur of India
By Prof. Nirmal Singh of USA
By Dr. Perminder Kaur Jolly of UK
By Gurmukh Singh of UK
By Balhar Singh Randhawa of UK
By Gurmukh Singh of UK
By Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha



“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must
choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and
fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward
we must recognise that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and
life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common
destiny.” (Preamble to the Earth Charter )

T he a b o v e w o r d s f r o m t h e reformers. They were wear bhagway(n) kappray (saffron

preamble to The Earth Charter revolutionaries of their times and clothes) or go about half-naked, to
remind us of a similar message social activists. They were from show that they were “Har ke sant”
in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the different social classes, castes, and (saints of God). They did not go
Sikh holy Scripture. Guru Granth creedal backgrounds. They around spreading superstition and
Sahib, was formally given the questioned and rejected all forms of ritualism. They did not opt out of
status of Guruship 300 years ago ritualism, superstitions, social responsibility and leave own
by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth discrimination and divisions and homes to go up into the mountains
a n d l a s t Gu r u - p e r s o n o f t h e beliefs, which failed the test of the to become yogis and hermits. They
Sikhs. Revealed Truth of which Guru led by own example and did not
Granth Sahib is the embodiment. hesitate to lay down their lives for
Indeed, humanity must choose its They belonged to different times the path of truthful conduct that
own future. What applies to over a period of about five centuries they followed and preached.
humanity collectively, also applies and hailed from different places on
to each individual. On this earth, the Indian sub-continent. They They lived and preached the
this “temple” of God, described as included the Sikh Gurus and the revealed Word of which they
dharamsaal in Guru Granth Sahib, Bhagats, devotees of The One themselves were the first Sikhs, the
we reap what we sow. Human Timeless Being. Their teaching devoted seekers of Truth. Therefore
beings are at the head of the ladder hymns are collated in Guru Granth the “label” Sikhee (or the western
of evolution, and that position Sahib for the benefit of humanity; “Sikhism”) for this path. To quote Dr
places great responsibility on each and through the Guruship of Guru I J Singh’s meaningful observation,
and every individual: we can adopt Granth Sahib, all these hymns are “Sikhi is one of the few paths that
a caring attitude for the given the status of Gurbani, the are defined by the primary character
environment and those around us, Guru’s Word. No distinction is drawn trait of the follower and not by the
or fail in our duty as human beings, between the Gurus’ Bani and the gigantic, overpowering and looming
and perish. Those are the Bani of the Bhagats. shadow of the founder.”2
alternatives we face today.
Despite the diversity of the authors, The total stress of Sikhi is on
Gurbani, the Guru’s Word in Guru the teaching themes and the learning and on the dedicated
Granth Sahib, teaches us that message of Gurbani is consistent. sincerity of the student. That also is
human life is a rare opportunity to That is not so remarkable when we the correct mode and method for
practise dharam, a concept which bear in mind that they were all studying and understanding
combines interdependence and directly connected to the One Gurbani, which is the Guru, and own
related responsibilities. There are Ultimate Reality. According to attentive mind, the student3. There
many references to dharam in Bhagat Kabir, therefore, they were is no need to go around looking for
Gurbani. Dharam provides stability all the Khalsa1, God’s own other gurus or bogus sants (self
in our lives and in all that is around devotees. proclaimed “saints”) for guidance.
us. “Dharam nibhauna” are the two Study and research with sincerity in
Sikh words for carrying out one’s Whether it was Guru Nanak Sahib, the company of Gur-Sikhs in
duty according to one’s Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Nama, Bhagat Sangat, the holy congregation, and
responsibility in any given Ravidas, Guru Ajan Sahib or Guru the message becomes clear as one
relationship or situation. It is Gobind Singh, they carried the torch lives and experiences it by serving
central to our lives and our very of divine knowledge in one hand God’s creation. Sikhee is,
existence. The concept relates back and the broom of reform in the essentially, action based.
to the laws of nature which provide other. They preached equality of all
the delicate balance, which make before One Creator Being, and they Sikhee (Sikhism) is about learning.
survival possible. stood their ground against evil and Uniquely amongst world religions,
injustice in human society. That is the stress in the Sikh religion is on
Those who received the divine what their constant God awareness the true student of the Guru. The
message of Bani (the revealed (Naam simran) taught them. They Guru’s position derives from His
Word), were religio-social were householders. They did not Continues on next page

1 Please refer to the Glossary at Annex V for interpretation of Sikhee words-concepts

2 “The labels that define us” The Sikh Review, p.44 June 2008
3 Sabad Guru surat dhun chela (GGS p. 943)
4 Inhee ki Kirpa se sajay ham hai(n), nahi mo so gareeb cror paaray (Guru Gobind Singh)
Continued from previous page Guru. The Guru then watches over ordained, “Sabh Sikhan ko Hukam
good student.4 His Sikh’s progress and leads him hai, Guru maanyeo Granth”: it was
towards the final objective of this the [Guru’s] Command, that all
“What is the definition of a Sikh ?” human life. Thus, both, the Sikh, Sikhs accept the Word Guru, Guru
asks Principal Satbir Singh (in his Sikhee (the path) and Waheguru’s Granth Sahib, as the Guide Eternal.
book “Sao Swaal” Panjabi). And Grace (Nadar) concepts are The stress, therefore, was on
gives the Gurbani-based response: clarified. You take your first step in “maneyo” i.e. accept and
“One who is embarked upon the humility towards the Guru and He believe. We also need to remember
search for truth, is a Sikh”5 will take you to the destination; for that “maneyo” refers to “Sabh
that destination can only be Sikhan” – all Sikhs of the Guru. This
The Sikh institutions and reached by Satguru’s (True Guru’s) time, the main audience is the Sikhs
organisation which came into Grace. who do not follow any other creed
existence over the centuries but that of Guru Nanak Sahib. That
resulted in the emergence of the Due to the diverse backgrounds of is the main difference between this
Sikh Order of the Khalsa Panth. the authors, Guru Granth Sahib is publication and the one which
A Sikh who is a member of the Sikh the trans-faith Prophet Guide for the marked the other very significant
theo-political nation, is now defined New Age. Guru Gobind Singh Ji event in Sikh history, the 400th
by the Khalsa Panth in the Sikh Reht empowered the Khalsa Panth, (the anniversary of the institution of Aad
Maryada, the Code of Sikh Conduct Sikh nation) to interpret the Word Granth Sahib at Darbar Sahib
and Conventions as, “Any human according to the needs of the place (Golden Temple) in 1604 by Guru
being who faithfully believes in One in time. For us, that means the 21st Arjan Dev Ji.
Immortal Being, Ten Gurus, from Century and the challenges which
Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind humanity faces today, and the As S. Dya Singh’s opening article (in
Singh, The Guru Granth Sahib, The urgency with which they need to be question-answer mode for young
utterances and teachings of the ten faced. Sikhs), points out, Gurbani, the
Gurus, and the Amrit bequeathed by revealed Word was always the Guru,
the tenth Gurus, and who does not Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib, is the while the Guru-persons were the
owe allegiance to any other religion, Guru and we are the Sikhs. We can receivers of the Word for the benefit
is a Sikh.” (SRM, Section One, follow but one path: that which was of humankind. The message of Aad
Chapter 1 Article I) lived by our Gurus who were also Granth is for all humankind as
the first Sikhs. Our ancestors “sarab sanjhi Bani”. The additional
The path of Sikhee is named after followed in the Guru-persons’ significance of the formal passing
the student (sikh), the true seeker footsteps. Their great deeds and the over of Sikh Guruship from person
after the Truth, the dedicated supreme sacrifices they made for Gurus to the Word Guru in 1708, was
follower, and not the Prophet human equality and dignity, are that the Sikhs were directed from
teacher. It is the Sikh who is remembered in our daily Ardaas thenceforth to seek guidance from
required to take the first step (supplication). the Gurbani in Guru Granth Sahib as
towards the Guru. And if that step is the “Living Guru” of The Sikhs.6
taken in total faith then the Guru With that background, I would like Therefore, Guru Gobind Singh
responds. Says Bhai Gurdas, whose to introduce the topics of this empowered the collective Order of
works have been given the status of memorable UK publication, and the the Khalsa, the Khalsa Panth, to
the “key” to the understanding of scholars in the Sikh diaspora, who interpret Gurbani so that it guided
Gurbani: kindly responded to my invitations. their individual and corporate lives.
Charan saran Gur Ek painda jay The Sikhs became answerable to
chall, Satgur kot painda aagay hoay When the Sikh Times editors asked Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru
let hai. me to undertake the challenging representing God’s Word on this
(Kabit Swayaay Bhai, Bhai Gurdas) task of collating this publication I earth.
If a Sikh takes one step in total faith expressed doubts about own
towards the Guru, the True Guru suitability for tackling such a New Age issues need continual
takes millions of steps to reach out project, despite some experience in interpretation of Gurbani. This is an
to receive him. (Bhai Gurdas Kabit producing a similar Aad Granth area which has been neglected for
111) Sahib 400th anniversary issue in some decades, while the global
2004. Nevertheless, the Guru sees a Sikh community continue to face
The label of Sikhee also seems to task through to completion when it new challenges.
suggest that the path itself is the is undertaken in His Name, in
destination. humility and with an Ardaas. This UK publication invited articles
Sikhee, when properly from Sikh scholars in the diaspora
understaood, suggests a way of life, The first question was about the on the many issues and challenges
and the approach and the Gurbani themes to be covered. How which face us today. The response
methodology for studying and living would this milestone issue differ was most encouraging, and, I was
the Guru’s Word. from that produced 4 years ago in pleasantly surprised to hear from S.
2004, to mark the Parkaash Tarlochan Singh MP (RS), who had
Bhai Gurdas tells us that a Sikh (institution) of Aad (Guru) Granth been abroad, on the very last day of
must first face in the direction of the Sahib at Darbar Sahib ? own deadline (20 August). He kindly
True Guru, the Guiding Light, and sent a most informative message-
start walking the path shown by the In 1708, Guru Gobind Singh Continues on next page

5 “Sikhee sikhia Gur vichaar” GGS. 465

6 The danger here is that the Sikhs can start treating the Granth (the Volume) itself as the Guru, giving rise to a form of idol worship,
which is strictly forbidden in Sikhee. GURBANI is the Guru, of which Guru Granth Sahib is the embodiment,
Continued from previous page Conduct and Conventions, drawn Iterfaith dialogue was not covered.
article for this UK special. Dr I J up by the great Gursikh scholars The need is to preserve
Singh and Dr Bhai Harbans Lal kept in the first half of the 20th independence of Sikh thought and
in touch by telephone and remained Century, is before us as a model identity in the interfaith context,
available to exchange views. for future reference. The articles while exploring and consolidating
Amongst other luminaries, I was in this issue are examples of how common values. Too often,
keen to get a view from Professor the Sikh scholars have interfaith representatives tend to
Hardev Singh Virk. He was interpreted the universal make compromises, more to please
extremely busy but did kindly send message of Gurbani, while the establishment than to find
an excellent item about Gurbani and making it relevant to Sikhee need lasting solutions. Such
science. The others, Principal for Panthic organisation and compromises blur Sikh thought,
Kamalpreet Kaur, Dr Perminder Kaur direction. misrepresent the true Sikh position
Jolly, Professor Nirmal Singh and 3. Egalitarian principles of and create problems for the
Judges Mota Singh and Mewa Gurbani have been well covered. community in the future.
Singh, S. Baldev Singh Dhaliwal JP 4. Prof. Nirmal Singh has written
and Dr S S Kapoor made their about seva and social issues. The Hopefully, thanks to the invaluable
valuable contributions despite need is for “extrovert” seva input from Sikh scholars, this
short notice. S. Balhar Singh outside Gurdwaras as we engage publication should prove to be of
Randhawa, a well known Panjabi with other sister communities in lasting educational benefit,
writer has contributed a most apt the countries we live in. especially for young Sikhs.
and informative essay in Panjabi. 5. Needless to say, a Gurbani- Enough said, except to thank all the
I thank them all for their Panthic based discussion on the position writers who took the time to
seva. of women is essential in any Sikh contribute their thought-provoking
publication of this type. Principal articles for inclusion in this
The articles cover many 21st Kamalpreet Kaur, Associate Editor memorable edition.
Century issues while also of The Sikh Review has written
highlighting others for ongoing specifically on this important, and Finally, this publication would not
Gurbani-based discussion and at times, controversial, topic. have been possible without the
research. The need is for panels of 6. Dr Perminder Kaur Jolly initiative of The Sikh Times editors,
Gursikh scholars, appointed by our accepted the general topic of anti- the dedicated Bains couple
central Sikh institutions, to research Gurmatt practices and rituals (dampati) S. Jaspal Singh and Bibi
Gurbani and give continual including pilgrimages, Gurjeet kaur. Their enthusiasm and
guidance; not prescriptive but festivals, “special days” in the devotion to the Panthic cause has
information-based, which allows for month, good-bad omens and no bounds. By starting the first
enlightened approach by the true related anti-Gurmatt ritualism. English (main part) and Panjabi
student. 7. Gurmatt and science: How do Sikh weekly paper in the UK, they
we seek Gurbani guidance in responded to an urgent community
Are we accepting Gurmatt (Guru’s areas of scientific research and need of young Sikhs, but at
advice) as the basis for Sikh living technological advancement e.g. considerable financial risk. The
and setting up Sikh institutions i.e. can or should scientific research paper is now a daily, and available
as the Guide for Panthic be controlled; use of animals in online.
organisation, unity through research; consequences and
common direction, and for ethical questions raised by, for It is their commitment and sincerity
promoting Sikh identity ? At Annex example, genetic engineering, which encouraged me to undertake
IV, there are some Gurbani cloning, organ donation etc. the seva of collating and editing.
quotations under some important There was no direct response to Finally, my thanks to Lakhvinder
headings, which can be used as a these interrelated issues. Baddhan, whose computer wizardry
check list for asking relevant However, I was most grateful to produced some beautiful and
questions to see if we are abiding receive a well researched and spiritually uplifting images. I thank
by the Guru’s Word. most interesting item from Dr him for his patience in
Hardev Singh Virk: Scientific accommodating my frequent
In my commissioning note to the Vision in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. requests for changes.
Sikh scholars in the diaspora, there 8. Due mainly to time constraint, I
was specific reference to some tackled some topics under other I hope the readers, and especially
current themes:- relevant Gurbani headings to those in the younger age groups,
1. How do we make Sikhee place pointers and prompts for find this publication informative and
inclusive, while ensuring the future reference. of lasting educational benefit.
progress of Sikh organisation and
advancement as a community ? Other current issues listed in the
2. The methodology for initial brief were not covered due to ............................................
interpreting Gurbani. The model time constraint. These included the Gurmukh Singh ACIS; MCMI
of the Panth approved Sikh Reht institution of married life and Ret’d Principal (policy),
Maryada, the Code of Sikh related topics such as divorce, UK civil service
remarriage, abortion etc. E-mail:

ho is my Guru?

We sing a couplet (dohera)

after ‘Ardaas’ (supplication):-

Aagea bheyi Akaal ki, tebhi chelayo

Sabh Sikhan ko hukm hai,

By the order of the Timeless Being,

the ‘Path’ to be followed by the Khalsa
was shown.(To walk that path) all
Sikhs are ordered henceforth, to
accept the Granth as the Guru.

But are not the ten human Guru Ji’s

our Gurus?

Yes they are, through Guru Granth

Sahib. We invoke their spirit whenever
we do the Ardaas. They were different
human forms (Guru personalities) but
with the same Guiding Light of Guru
Nanak Sahib, which received
Waheguru’s message for humankind
in Gurbani, the Guru’s Word, the
Revealed Word. For that reason, the
essence of the message of Sikhee is in
the everlasting Gurbani in Sri Guru our tenth Guru Sahib, Guru Gobind different times and his inspiration was
Granth Sahib. Therefore, Guru Granth Singh Ji? the rebeck (a Middle Eastern stringed
Sahib represents all Guru instrument. My musical companion
personalities and teaching received The answer is an emphatic ‘NO’. It was Keith Preston, plays a similar
from Waheguru through them. pre-ordained and referred to right instrument) of his life-long Muslem
Ultimately, it is the Guru’s teaching in from Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Let us find out companion, Bhai Mardhana. Hence
Guru Granth Sahib (The Word Guru) how that is so. the famous line which you would have
which is our everlasting Guru. heard – “Mardanea, shaid rebarb,
Let us start with Guru Nanak Sahib. bani aayee” (O my friend Mardana,
W a s t h e i de a o f t h e A a d G r a n t h Gurbani (the word of God) used to touch the strings of your rebeck, I can
becoming the Guru the initiative of come to him from God Almighty at Continues on next page

Continued from previous page Our fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji says,
sense the coming of the ‘Word of “I myself know not what to speak, all
God’). I speak is what the Lord commands.”
GGS p 762
“As the Lord’s Word comes to me, O
Lalo, so do I deliver it” GGS p. 722 “As You inspire me to speak, so do I
speak, O Lord. What other power do I
As a side note, it is worth noting that have to speak? Nanak, sings His
Guru Nanak Sahib then used to note Praises in the holy congregation
the verses down and also the musical which is very dear to Lord.” GGS p
scale in which the ‘Word’ used to 508
come. These notes which Guru Ji
wrote into a book, came to be called So, all the above quotations, which
the Pothi Sahib. The Pothi Sahib was have been taken directly from our
added to, by our second to fourth Bhai Mardana Guru Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib and as
Guru Ji’s and then compiled, including In this case we are discussing the revealed to our Guru Ji’s in human
the inspirational writings of about progress of the ‘Word of God’ through form, show beyond doubt that first of
thirty other sages from as far back as ten generations of Guru Ji’s in human all, we possess the authentic ‘Word of
the 12th Century, considered relevant form to become the ultimate ‘Guru’ – God’ and secondly, that our Guru Ji is
by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji himself, and our Guru. It was pre-ordained and Sri the Granth – Guru Maneo Granth.
hence the Aadh Granth was compiled Guru Gobind Singh Ji merely carried
by our fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in out a pre-ordained transition in 1708. How do we fully utilise our ‘Guru’ to
1604. This Aad Granth was adopted as benefit us in this life form as human
the embodiment of the spirit of all ten Guru Nanak Sahib Ji makes numerous beings, and as Sikhs?
Guru Ji’s by Guru Gobind Singh Ji after mentions of the ‘Shabad’ or ‘Bani’
he had inserted the revealed Word of (both meaning ‘Word of God’) being By spending time with our Guru. It is
God to his own earthly father and the Guru. not good enough that we ‘metha tek’
ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, in to Guru Ji. We need to read Bani, to
1708. So, this year (2008) we The Word is the Guru and my mind in sing Bani, to learn Gurmukhi so that
celebrate the 300 Anniversary of the reflective meditation , the disciple. we can read Bani in the original
Aad Granth becoming the final Guru, GGS p 943 language of the Guru Ji’s – Gurmukhi
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. and as time goes on and we read and
The profound and unfathomable sing Bani, we will come to understand
So back to the question, ‘Was it the ‘Sabad’ is his Guru and spiritual Bani. Every process from reading,
initiative of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji to guide. Without the ‘Sabad’ the world singing and finally understanding our
make the Aad Granth the Guru in 1708 is gone mad. GGS p 635 Guru Ji makes us better human beings
or was it pre-ordained’? because it is the ‘nectar of life’.
This consistency is carried on by third .................................
The glory of our faith, Sikhee, is that Guru Ji, Sri Guru Amar Das Dya Singh (Australia)
though it passed through the hands of “Hail, hail, the word of the Guru. E-mail:
ten Guru Ji’s in human form over a which is the Formless Lord Himself.
p e r i o d o f t w o hu n d r e d y e a r s , t he There is none other, nothing else to NOTE: Sardar Dya Singh is the world
consistency in thought and action is be reckoned equal to it.” GGS p 515 renowned Gurbani sangeetkar who
so remarkable that it will appear as if has taken the universal message of
t h e s a m e ‘ b e i n g ’ di r e c t e d i t s Fourth Guru Sahib says Gurbani to global Sikh and non-Sikhs
progress. Well, that is true because it “Bani, the word of God, is the Guru, audiences in his unique “world
was always the guiding Light (Jot) of the Guru is Bani, in ‘Bani’ is the music” style, while retaining Gurbani
Guru Nanak Sahib. nectar of life.” GGS p. 982 Raag bases.



isit any Gurdwara today; Gurdwaras were always teeming with It was not uncommon for Muslim and
t h e r e a r e h a r d ly a n y Hindus and Muslims. Hindu musicians to perform keertan
Sindhis or Punjabi Hindus (singing of the liturgy) or read from
that drop by. Ragees and lecturers Remember that at the end of Guru the Guru Granth. Non-Sikh artists
w h o a r e no n- S i k h s o r non - Nanak’s life, his Hindu followers came to Gurdwaras to showcase their
recognizable Sikhs are rarer than wanted to cremate him the Hindu way, talents and pay their homage to the
hen’s teeth. Muslims wanted to bury him by Gurus who were unexcelled patrons
Islamic rites. Each community erected and masters of classical Indian
When Gurmukh Singh of The Sikh a monument to his memory and both musicology.
Times (U.K.) asked me to reflect on markers still stand in a unique tribute No function or office in the Gurdwara
this, I wondered where to begin. The to the founder of Sikhism. was ever closed to non-Sikhs.
past always looks so rosy -- when Everyone was welcome, irrespective
childhood was innocent and homes Having come from mostly Hindu of their religious label, or whether one
and neighborhoods idyllic. background, Sikhs remained was a recognisable Sikh or not.
culturally closer to them; No one Communities, such as the Sindhis,
The message of the Gurus attracted looked aghast at Hindu-Sikh mixed were Sikhs to all intents and
both Hindus and Muslims – members marriages that were quite common. purposes, except they rarely took on
of the two dominant religions of the Many Hindu families raised one of the Banaa (external visage) of the
day in India. Since Guru Nanak’s their sons as a Sikh Khalsa, with the long, unshorn hair.
times, 500 years ago, and until the
mid-twentieth century, In Gurdwaras distinction was never About 40 years ago, the eminent
made between a Sikh and a non-Sikh. Continues on next page

Continued from previous page
thinker Kapur Singh opined that the
religion of Punjabi Hindus was
Sikhism, whereas Hinduism was
Punjabi culture, no matter what
religion one professed. Surely, every
religion of the world, when in Punjab,
has been touched by the practices of
Sikhi, and by the universality of Guru
Granth’s teachings.

It may never have been quite as

edenic as I described it here, but it
was never as hellish as it seems to
have become. There is more than a
grain of truth in what I said. Why and
how things changed? That’s my
mandate to explore today.

First a set of givens: The message of

Guru Granth is entirely inclusive with
not a word in it to justify excluding
anyone. One can cite references both
Keertani Ja tha of Bhai Laal of Bhai Mardana Ji’s family - H ajoori Raagi at Nankana Sahi b
from Guru Granth and from Bhai
Gurdas that lay down clearly the flaunts it. Sikhs and those who do not look like
expectations of a Sikh life. We also Sikhs out of the Sikh circle? There
know that Sikhi is a path and not all The Guru and Guru Granth are for may be as many reasons as there are
Sikhs fulfill all of the requirements all sinners, not only for perfect Sikhs. So analysts, so let’s probe a few. Let’s
of the time. A Sikh truly remains a it is best to not judge others lest we come at it a tad tangentially.
work in progress. Guru Granth also be judged.
tells us to not dwell on the What is now driving so many non- Christianity now has over 250
imperfections of others hm nhI cMgy burw denominations; many refuse to

nhI koie (Hum nahi(n) changay buraa
nahi(n) koyey, Page 728). I suggest then
Surely, every recognize the others as Christians,
and forbid their members to attend
that a working definition derived from religion of the services in, or marry someone from,
the Guru Granth would be that a Sikh another sect. Crucial variations exist
is anyone who declares himself to be world, when in in Christian practices worldwide. Yet,
one. Punjab, has been they all derive their inspiration from
the life of Jesus.
Now, if all those who claim to be Sikh touched by the
are on the same path, surely they are Sikhism is now 500 years old, and we
not all at the same place on the path. practices of Sikhi, “ should not expect differently. With
This includes the Amritdhari who lives
the life of one, and the one who falls
and by the time, some divisive interpretations of
the message may be inevitable in
short; the Sehajdhari who lives the universality of living traditions. All living societies,
lifestyle that he should, and the one even those that emanate from the
who does not; also one who merely Guru Granth’s same starting point, show
looks like a Sikh but is unaware of any
of the requirements of a Sikh life; as
teachings. change–some for the better, some not
well as the apostate who proudly Continues on next page

Continued from previous page
During the first 300 years of its
history, there were few clear
distinctions between Jewish practices
and their Christian adaptations and
counterparts. Also flourishing was a
strong movement “Jews for Jesus”
that celebrated Jesus as the Messiah
that the Jews were waiting for. The
movement, now considerably
attenuated, still exists. From that
time on, Jewish and Christian thought
have diverged progressively, and now
it would be asinine for one to assert
that Christians are Jews simply
because Jesus was one, or that he is
the Jewish Messiah.
Dya Singh re knowned keer ta n artist from Australli a wi th hi s non-Sikh musical compa nions

Similarly, one can acknowledge the reality to all minorities. Fences most attention. Sometimes even
overlapping of Hindu and Sikh between religions became a natural today, we are challenged by
practices in the early years, but over corollary as each community became prospective employers on our
the last century, largely due to rise of engrossed in its own realities. bearded and turbaned visage. The
the Singh Sabha movement as well as attention is often grossly negative,
a better educated clergy and laity, it The successive governments of free particular post 9/11.
would now be extremely shortsighted India now cater to the Hindu majority
to ignore that the two religions to capture their vote banks. In this The Sikh community is divided
continue to diverge in theology, power ploy, minorities become further between those who continue to follow
interpretation and practices. marginalized. The events of 1984 the dictates of the faith and those who
where the Sikh minority was targeted, choose to abandon them. This should
This process of erecting fences and those of Godhra and others like it not come between these two
between Sikhs and their neighbors that were aimed at Muslims and segments of the Sikhs in our
has been further hastened by Christians, were a predictable result. Gurdwaras which, historically, remain
domestic Indian as well as The killings by Hindu mobs -- of Sikhs equally accessible to all.
international political realities. in the 1980’s and of Muslims in
Godhra in 2002 were clearly The problem arises when the
At India’s independence in 1947 organized and abetted by the spokesmen for the community are not
Punjab, the Sikh homeland was government in power at that time and recognizable Sikhs, and are unable or
partitioned into two nations. Sikhs claimed several thousand lives. unwilling to forthrightly defend the
bore the brunt of the economic loss as practices of the faith when they
well as that in human lives. Sindhis, How would Sikhs react when they see represent the community to the
who historically straddled the divide themselves so besieged? Circle the outside world. And that impacts the
between Hindus and Sikhs, were wagons to protect themselves. The whole community.
largely lost to Sikhs. For the first time result: an inevitable alienation from If then these people are not given an
in a millennium Hindus – almost 80 others, though it is contrary to the equally visible place as community
percent in free India – felt the power message of Guru Granth. leaders they see it as discriminatory.
that comes with freedom. The The flip side of the argument is that a
emergence of “Hindutva” which In the diaspora, Sikhs remain a small minuscule minority finding its
promotes Hindu culture as the only minority, even though there are over practices under siege wants to put on
defining spirit of India proves my half a million in North America alone. the stage only those who at least look
point; it has become a most fearsome Our turban and long hair attract the Continues on next page

Continued from previous page
like role models.

I’d tell my turbaned brothers and also

on the other side of the divide those
not so attired not to be so thin

How to resolve this is the question.

One way is that those who wish to
potentially lead us from Gurdwaras to
clearly defend the teachings of what
is our code of conduct (Sikh Rehat
Maryada) even though they
personally do not follow it. If they can
openly support our historic teachings
and requirements in spite of any
personal failings of their own, then
there should be no reason for conflict
between those who are keshadhari
and those who are not.

I f s u c h a m o d us o p e r a n d i s e e m s
impossible, then what? one voice when a question arises that Christ. But more of this another
is important to the whole Jewish time….
A not so attractive, but perhaps nation. This does not mean that
inevitable, alternative comes to mind individual differences vanish; for I can see with time our diaspora Sikhs
from the Jews. They are divided example, there exist Jews that do not fissuring along the line that cleaves
largely into Conservative, Orthodox approve of a Zionist state of Israel. those that are keshadhari, whether
and Reform congregations that differ Similarly, much as we dislike the idea Amritdhari or not, from those that are
fundamentally on what a Jewish of sects within Sikhism, they do exist; not recognizable Sikhs, whether they
lifestyle is. Their synagogues remain just look at Namdhari, Radhaswamis, are Sehajdhari or apostate, each with
separate, yet they largely speak with Nirankaris and followers of Yogi its own Gurdwaras.
Bhajan, for example.

Perhaps that would allow us to
If the teachings of There are many who are clamoring to collaborate in matters of
either Guru are change the Rehat Maryada to suit
their own needs. First, we must
discrimination in the work place, and
even enjoy some Gurdwaras and
diminished, the remember that change cannot be functions that are happily intermixed.
arbitrary or quick, but mandates a
result would not protracted national conversation. And The umbrella of Sikhism is large and
remain Sikhi. It “ secondly, change must be consistent
with the fundamentals that remain
capacious enough to accommodate
all those who are on the same path,
would be like unchanging. Sikhi represents over no matter where on it they are. And
two centuries of development from this is the meaning and message of
reconstructing Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh. If Guru Granth.
Christianity the teachings of either Guru are
diminished, the result would not ..............................
without Christ. remain Sikhi. It would be like Dr I J Singh
reconstructing Christianity without Email:


am so happy to know as a human force. So, when we
that there is a move to expand on this message in the
publish a table book by context of today's world, we
t h e S i k h T i m es (U K ) t o find that any talk of 'Clash of
c o m me mo r a t e t h e 3 00 t h Civilizations' as based on
Anniversary of ascension of religion is entirely man-
Sri Guru Granth Sahib to inspired. To quote Nanak
Gurgadhi. "Only he has the right to call
himself religious, who lives in
I have been advocating for the light of God's word as
now for good publications on brought to the earth by
Guru Granth in various prophets of all religions."
international languages. We
are all thankful to the laudable There is only one civilization
efforts of Sardar Gurmukh and that is human civilization.
Singh in this regards. God Hence, all religions are the
Bless the project branches of one super religion
- the religion of man, which
Guru Nanak Sahib's Guru Nanak Sahib
philosophy is very relevant at propounded relentlessly. This
the present scenario in the also means that while all
world that is driven by terrorism in the name of
religion. His simple message, religion is a travesty of
as enshrined in Sri Guru religion, all talk of one religion
Granth Sahib Ji, is that God being superior to another is
wants us to look beyond our senseless and must stop.
religious identities and unite Continues on next page Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Continued from previous page the society and not just the individual. And lastly, Guru Nanak made family
He also diagnosed that the major Expression and not inhibition is the the source of all spirituality. In many
cause of suffering in the world was cardinal mantra of his creed. developed nations of the West,
living on the income of so many, and sociologists are much worried at the
depriving the poor of their rightful The principle question is; Does a break down of the family as an
share. His concise sermon 'Kirt Karna' collective sub-conscious exist that institution. The result is an
and 'Wand Chhakna' encourages can really be awakened? Through unprecedented wave of anarchy and
mankind to earn one's bread hard, Sikhism, Guru Nanak created one of immorality of sex, crime and violence,
honest way and share it with the the greatest instruments of sweeping away all the good sense a
needy. For, the hard-earned bread is awakening the total sub-conscious of human being is known for. Guru
full of nectar and the exploiter's bread a whole society. In fact, some the Nanak asks us to revive the family as
is full of blood. noblest saintly men, warriors, a value. It is something fundamental
martyrs, colonizers, farmers, to him; it is the fulcrum of all that is
It is the greed of some who consider entrepreneurs and sportsmen come positive among human beings. This is
themselves superior than the rest, from the ranks of his followers. where his philosophy is even more
that deprive the rightful owners of relevant than ever before. It is
their due and create an imbalance in Going a step further, Guru Nanak something that concerns the future of
the society. Interestingly, Nanak had becomes relevant to us as one of the human race as a whole.
propounded this very basic thought greatest Management Gurus. By
much before Marx came upon the moulding human life and activity Thus, in Sikhism, God and the world
scene. In fact, in this very priciple can through the path of Sikhism, he both are real. The world is not an
be found a new world order free of brought phenomenal results into empty dream that one has to shun or
exploitation so that the world's society at large, and that too in an age run away from or a bubble that would
resources are shared more equitably. when the concept of management burst at the slightest pricking. In fact,
was unheard of. every relationship of man in Sikhism
Guru Nanak's magnanimity also lies in is for real. Conversely speaking, the
the fact that even when he is The world has much to learn from the world becomes unreal only if one fails
concerned with the Permanent, he corporate nature of Sikhism that has to appreciate and comprehend the
does not shun Change. Sikhism has grown gradually into a living power of the Nam.
the capacity to absorb change into institution in form of the Sikh
tradition and it is through this Gurdwara. With religion becoming a In the end everyone should be aware
apparatus that Guru Nanak has dwindling force in most contemporary that Guru Nanak’s teachings have a
introduced a total way of life to situations, Sikhism promises to shine unique distinction that no one should
people. An ultimate Reality of which brighter in its true essence. change his way of belief and should
permanence and change are integral carry on practicing in his own religion.
parts. Still, the Sikhs are not Sikhs never indulge in converting
fundamentalists. They are tolerant people by any method.
A unique aspect of Guru Nanak's and even respectful of all other paths
philosophy is his denunciation of of worship. Besides, everyone is May Satguru Nanak bless all believers
those who turn their backs on the welcome to the Gurdwara without any & non believers.
world to seek their individual distinction whatsoever. When a
salvation. In his thinking, it is these person is within the precincts of "Nanak Nam Chardi Kala: Tere Bhane
runaways of life who make this world Gurdwara, he is in the presence and Sarbat da Bhala"
a place unsuitable to live in. He tends protection of none other than Guru
to use an unusual therapy on the Nanak himself. And this confers upon (O Nanak! Repeating constantly the
minds of people to bring out the him some unique characteristics. Nam, always think and act big and
hidden powers of the whole Some of these virtues are humanity, positive. In Thy will and grace, O Lord,
community by the magic of the Nam. honour and truthfulness to God. lies the wellness of the whole
This clarity in thought helps to heal creation.)


T he Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan

f i r s t c o m p i l e d t h e Si k h
S c r i p t ur e s , G u r u G r a n t h
Sahib, as the Aadh Granth (The
language of the Sikhs, as opposed to
the complex Sanskrit and Farsi used
by the priestly class at the time. The
next three Gurus, along with the
whose writings accorded with the
teaching of Guru Nanak. The
compilation took four years, from 1601
to 1604. The Aadh Granth was then
O r i g i n a l V o l u me ) . T h e h ol y consolidation of the preceding Guru’s installed in the Harmandar, the
V o l um e w as i n s t a l le d at religious, social and welfare work, sanctum sanctorum of the Sikhs, and
Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) also collated and preserved the the first reading ceremony was held
Amritsar in Punjab and the first hymns of the Guru before, adding on 1 September 1604.
r e a d i n g c e r e mo n y w a s o n 1 s t their own and passing them on to the
September 1604. next Guru. Guru Arjan, the 5th Guru, One hundred and four years later
therefore, had received the literary Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru,
Guru Nanak Sahib (1469 - 1539) laid work of all the Gurus before him. In was to add the hymns of his father
the foundation of a new religious and addition the 4th Guru, Guru Ramdas, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Guru to
social ideology outside the caste had commenced excavation of a lake the Aadh Granth and ordained the
system, to combat the religious, (sarovar) at Amritsar, destined to Scriptures as Guru Granth Sahib, the
social and administrative become the main centre of the Sikh Eternal Guru of the Sikhs. Guru
malpractices of the time; Guru Nanak Panth (Order). Granth Sahib was personally
set out to undo, by a fresh religious authenticated twice by two Sikh
doctrine and a new social system, the Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru, completed Gurus. The originality and
inequalities and other undesirable the sarovar at Amritsar and in 1589 authenticity of Guru Granth Sahib,
practices apparently sanctioned and requested a Muslim divine popularly therefore, is never questioned. The
promoted by the religions of that known as Mia Mir to lay the Gurus during their lives had stressed
period. Through selection of worthy foundation stone of Harmandar Sahib on the Word as the Guru (not the
successors (9 after Guru Nanak) the (popularly known as the Golden body) and thus the Guruship was
Sikh Institutions were developed and Temple), which was built in the centre passed from human Gurus to the
consolidated, and the Sikh Panth of the lake. Guru Arjan compiled the Word Guru, Guru Granth Sahib in
evolved (under their leadership and Aadh Granth (The Original Volume) 1708.
guidance) over some 200 years. which included hymns of the first five
Gurus (including his own) and hymns * S.Dhaliwal was the first Sikh Councillor
Guru Nanak introduced and refined of 30 other saintly people of devotion in Australia.
the popular Punjabi script to be the from other religious backgrounds, Email:


u r s i s a b e w i l d e re d ,
Th e holy book for Sikhs - Sri Guru Granth Sahib
f r a c t u re d , t o r me n t e d
generation. It would not be Then things began to change darken human affairs, morality and
a n o v er s ta tem ent to s a y th a t People strayed from the path of wisdom will come to our rescue.
mankind is, today, in the midst of righteousness, of personal purity and Whenever righteousness declines and
o n e o f t h e g re a t e s t c r i s e s i n social freedom and forsook the ideals unrighteousness increases, there is
history. that had guided their ancestors. Form an outpouring of divine grace in the
had supplanted reality. Then centuries birth of a great teacher. God is not
In spite of the fact that the great of invasion, foreign misrule and limited to any one incarnation but
scientific inventions have liberated us persecution had produced the sent His messengers from time to
from servitude to nature, we seem to greatest depression and the spiritual time, to lead struggling humanity
suffer from a type of neurosis, from subjection and stagnation had towards Him.
cultural disintegration. We suffer from aggravated the demoralisation to an
an inward loneliness. It seems to me enormous degree. That was the state of India when Guru
that the whole world is suffering from Now, it is the law of the spiritual world Nanak appeared on the scene.
scepticism in faith, anarchy in morals that whenever evil and ignorance “India”, said Mohammed Iqbal, “was
and we do not know which way to turn once again blessed by God. The

and what to do. There is certain appearance of Guru Nanak, a
duplicity in human nature, which
But the complete and perfect human being,
makes us do things even when we compositions of was no less than that of Prophet
recognised them to be wrong. Abraham, 5000 years earlier.” At a
the Sikh Gurus “ time when were conscious of failure,
Centuries ago, India was full of Guru Nanak appeared to renovate the
happiness, beauty and prosperity. It
are preserved spirit of religion and humanity. He
was a country of compassion, of and we know first tried to build a nation of self-
peace and love. It was strong. Indians respecting men and women, devoted
could boast of a high state of hand what they to God, filled with a sense of equality
civilization, culture and system of and brotherhood for all. Guru Nanak
religion philosophy.
taught and the other Sikh Gurus came into
Continues on next page

Bh ai Mard ana a nd G uru Nanak

Continued from previous page who accomplished the momentous this noble quality of appreciation of
the world as messengers of God to task of compiling and authenticating whatever was valuable in other
enlighten mankind. the Guru Granth Sahib. religious traditions. A remarkable
The preaching and teachings of the feature of the Guru Granth Sahib is
The Sikh religion differs as regards Sikh Masters, as enshrined in the that it contains the writings of the
the authenticity of its dogmas from Guru Granth Sahib, embody the whole religious teachers of other religions.
most other great theological systems. truth that is relevant to the highest
Many of the great teachers the world spiritual and cultural development of Our distressed generation is
has known have not left a line of their entire mankind. The Gurus taught obscurely aware that the present
own compositions; we only know their message in the language of the crisis is a spiritual one and what we
what they taught through tradition or people. The Granth Sahib does not need is a healing of the discord
second-hand information. But the advocate the lifestyle of a recluse. It between outward resources of power
compositions of the Sikh Gurus are recommends, instead, a life of which are assuming frightful
preserved and we know first hand involvement in the world and its proportions and the inward resources
what they taught. activities. of spirits which seem to be steadily
That it is a universal faith, a message Sikh spiritual tradition is not content
for all mankind, is amply illustrated in with mere toleration. There can be no The Guru Granth Sahib provides the
the writings of the Gurus and others. goodwill or fellowship when we only answers to the ills of the world.
It was the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Devji, tolerate each other. The Sikh Guru had “GURU MANEYO GRANTH.”


S ikh religion is the latest

re l i g i o n o f t h e w o r l d ,
having been founded in the
fifteenth century. It is now in the
list of first five religions of the

The scholars of world religions like, H

L Bradshaw have commented, Sikh
religion to be a religion of the present
age, capable to answer the problems
of the modern age, and, Prof.
Toynbee, that Sikh religion and its
scripture will always have a special
value for the world. Sikhs around the world were outraged with France ’s turban ban

by tenth Sikh Guru at the final phase would be impossible for an average
Sikhs can bring to the notice of the of the completion of Sikh religion. Due man. To make a long story short, the
world, the Divine message of Sikh to the lack of preaching of Sikh Five symbols have a psychological
religion in the 21st century as they are religion, some of them even think that bearing on the man who wears them.
now spread world over but they have perhaps it is not a part of their They are manifestation Of Guru, the
to face some challenges, to which religion. It has to be explained to Eternal."
they can be successful with the them that it is a part of Sikh religion.
honesty of purpose, under the Divine The second challenge for Sikhs is that
guidance of the higher values of their Suffice it to quote British Scholar, false assertions and glaring
religion. Jeans Culler, misrepresentations have been made
-" These five symbols had held the as to several important aspects of
The first challenge is that most of the Sikhs in united brotherhood Sikh religion and history since long.
Sikhs and particularly the Sikh youth They serve to make a Sikh and act as These are now even made in the
are drifting away from Sikh initiation a Sikh. They endow him with courage textbooks published by NCERT, for
and the code of conduct as prescribed to accomplish feat , which otherwise Continues on next page

Continued from previous page
syllabus of schools throughout India,
which is under the supervision of
Govt. of India. The Divine Sikh Gurus
have even not been spared. Sikh
religion has been propagated to be a
part of Hinduism and Sikhs to be a
sect of Hindus, obviously a false
assertion as Sikh religion is a
separate and independent religion
just like other world religions and
Sikhs are a separate nation. If the
false assertions and
misrepresentations are not negated
fully then there can be no correct
understanding and appreciation of
Sikh religion.

The third challenge for Sikhs is, of Sarika Singh won her kara court case against a UK school

their Sikh leadership, which needs to zones on the basis of their population are the effective tools of
be of, honesty, integrity, capability and the Sikh Gurdawaras communication, of which no
and committed to Sikh cause. The management committees of those substantial advantage is availed of by
Sikhs are now spread over throughout zones and any other Sikh elected Sikhs for Sikh Cause. Sikhs must own
the world and they need one united organizations may select their these medias to bring their religion to
world Sikh leadership. The Sikh representatives as fixed. All such the notice of the world and of Sikhs
leadership needs to be well aware of representatives can co-opt some and particularly Sikh youth.
world politics and history. In fact the reputed Sikhs from each zone who are
basic Sikh concept of - Guru Granth well known for service to the Sikh The fifth challenge for the Sikhs is
and Guru Panth - stands totally cause and their honesty, integrity and that most of the Sikh educational
ignored by the Sikhs since long, which capability. Such a representative Sikh institutions are no more Sikh
has made them incapacitated to take body may hold its meetings at Akal oriented. However, for the last few
the panthic decisions on Sikh affairs Takhat, having its secretariat there decades most of these Sikh
by them through their and nominate their spokesman to be institutions ceased to be Sikh
representatives, which needs to be called jathedar Akal Takhat, to be oriented. Sikhs must make these Sikh
revived. A representative body of responsible for the execution of the educational institutions to be Sikh
Sikhs residing throughout the world is Sikh collective decisions. oriented to serve the purpose for
the urgent need of the day, which which these were set up. Sikhs are
should take decisions on the panthic The fourth challenge for Sikhs is that now spread over worldwide. They
issues to be acceptable to all the as yet there are no translations of the have set up Sikh Gurdwaras in their
Sikhs, by ensuring the participation of Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib in areas and those should be utilized for
all Sikhs to such decisions. Its blue other languages of the world. The functioning the Sunday Gurdwara
print may be to take the books on Sikh history and other schools once a week on the pattern of
representatives of the organisations relevant Sikh literature are also too Sunday church schools for the
to be elected by Sikhs, just as SGPC, insufficient. There is no newspaper, teaching of Sikh religion and history
Delhi Gurdawaras management no journal, no T V channel of Sikhs to and Punjabi language to Sikh
committee, Sikh Takhats of Hazoor correctly present the Sikh religion, students. The independent Sikh
Sahib and Patna Sahib management Sikh history and Sikh point of view educational institutions can be set up
committees and of such other Sikh effectively with authenticity, which is in the times to come, wherever
institutions in India. The other world a must in the present day advanced possible.
countries may be divided in 6 or 7 media technology. Internet websites Continues on next page

Continued from previous page awaiting His grace to unite with Him. potential to set it right. It would
Fatherhood of God automatically enhance the prestige of Sikhs in the
The sixth challenge for the Sikhs is leads to Brotherhood of Mankind, as world, as remarked by the eminent
the lack of missionary spirit, which is the same is the creator of the entire British Scholar, Max Arthur Macauliff,
a must for the preaching of a religion. creation, the same is His light which
No doubt there is no dearth of Sikh shines in all. The Divine message of " All the persons of discrimination
preachers in the form of Sikh kirtni Sikhism is that human race is one, acquainted with Sikhs, set a high
jathas, Sikh kathakars and Sikh saints without any distinctions or value on them, but it appears that a
but most of them are not above discriminations on any ground knowledge throughout the world of
monetary considerations. There is no whatsoever. The eminent scholars of the excellence of their religion would
organized Sikh system to provide the world religions and history have enhance even the present regard with
basic needs of the Sikh preachers to appreciated it. which they are entertained. Not less
sustain them and their families. It has important will be the result of Sikh
resulted in getting money for their Suffice it to quote, Max Arther teachings on the minds of religious
living from their religious services at Macauliff, British eminent scholar, Europe and America. Already the
their whims. The preaching of the author of, The Sikh Religion, Khalsa has achieved a worldwide
religion has thus been turned to a " It would be difficult to point to a renown in the matter of bravery. In the
profession. This challenge can be met religion of greater originality or to a matter of religion too the name of
by inculcating the higher values of more comprehensive ethical system Khalsa will shine resplendently when
Sikh religion. than Sikh religion. The Sikh Scriptures the glorious deeds of their ancestors
contain sublime truths, the study of in the moral and religious world are
The last but not the least challenge for which cannot but elevate the reader made known far and wide."
Sikhs is that most of the Sikhs need to spiritually, morally and socially. There
earnestly understand and act upon is no tinge of sectarianism in them. The Sikhs had to suffer in the past due
the dictums of Sikh religion. They They teach the highest and purest to their mistaken identity, as they
have to live under the Will of God, the principles that serve to bind the man could not establish in the countries to
Almighty. They have to meditate in the to man and inspire the believer with which they migrated, their own
Name of one and only one God, which an ambition to serve his fellowmen, to separate identity and of their religion
inculcates the virtues, burns the ego sacrifice all and to die for their sake " by strictly observing the code of
and eliminates the vices, resulting in conduct and Sikh way of life. High
truthful living. Unless the Sikhs John Clark Archer, the eminent British tributes have been paid to Sikh
themselves practically live in the Sikh scholar, religion by all the eminent scholars of
way of truthful living, it is difficult to " Sikhism, indeed itself reveals world religions. There could be no
impress the others. Sikhs will have to something of what in the last analysis reason for the Sikhs not to strictly live
adopt the real Sikh values and religion is. It is an independent and in Sikh way of life as their religion has
dictums to meet this challenge. conspicuous order of its own. The a high reputation already. The
world today needs its message of separate identity of a religion and its
Sikh religion believes in, Fatherhood Peace and Love" followers cannot be established
of God, Brotherhood of mankind and unless the followers of the religion
Truthful living. Concept of God is, one Sikhs are now spread over throughout strictly observe the code of conduct of
and only one, creator of the entire the world. It is expected that they their religion and live in the way of
creation, its sustainer and destroyer, would bring to the notice of world, the that religion. Sikhs should now
without any incarnation, unborn and higher values of Sikhism in this 21 st certainly ensure to make known their
self illuminated, whose light shines in Century. It is the appropriate time, as separate identity and their religion to
all. the World peace stands disturbed and the world so that there is no more
Only His Name is to be meditated to moral and ethical values stand mistaken identity about them.
abide in the mind, which burns ego, ignored. The Divine teachings of
eliminates vices, inculcates virtues to Sikhism of higher moral and ethical .............................
lead a truthful living in Sikh way of life values, and its message of, Mewa Singh Retd. Judge, USA
obeying the Will of God, the Almighty, coexistence, love and peace, have the Email:


wa s f l a t t e r e d t o b e hold public celebrations.
invited to write for the During these celebrations we
special UK publication as individuals and as a
by The Sikh Tim es (UK). community must look within
This publication is aimed to to determine how one ought
c o m me mo r a t e t h e 3 00 t h to be inspired through this
Anniversary of Guru Gobind once in a life time opportunity.
S i ng h ’s l a s t s e r m on t o
o rdinate Sri Guru G ranth Our Gurus gifted the Guru
Sahib as the Sikhs’ Eternal Granth to the world to inspire
G u r u a n d t h us a s c e r t a i n and inculcate certain
Gurbani and sangat as their philosophy and certain
g ra s s r o o t s i n s t i t u t i o n . I principles. The Sikh
appreciate efforts of this community is immediate
educational publication to recipient of that gift. Further,
take the universal message they were designated as the
o f G urbani to the gl obal gate keepers of the gift so that
community. its light may shine unhindered
over the minds of all who
We have been blessed with Sri seek.
Guru Granth Sahib for three
centuries. During this time, we Let us then ask ourselves
have bowed to its authority on these questions. Are Sikh
a daily basis and performed all communities in the world truly
our ceremonies around it. We inspired to comprehend and
are now in the midst of cher¬ish the principles by
celebrating the Tercentennial which we are called by our
of its Ordination or installation Guru Granth to live by?
as the Eternal Guru of the Secondly, are we doing our
Sikhs. Our organizations are best to share the universal
investing their full energy to Continues on next page The Gu ru Granth Sahib is the Guru of humanity and not just Sikhs

Continued from previous page Identity derived from transcendent Bhai Gurdas goes on to say,
message with our neighbors in the truth, Love, Meditation, Prayer,
newly emerging global village? Promotion of Intellect, Scope of gurmuK swKI Sbd isK suxwieAw] gurmuK
divinity in life, Spirit of Invention, Sbd vIcwr s`c kmwieAw]
Sikh Relevance Spiritual purpose of life, Sharing, Gurdas, Vaar 19, Pauri 12
Our gurus created the Gurmat for a Thanksgiving, Truthfulness in living
way of life and belief that is based on and Worship. A guru oriented person is identified
the Guru’s teachings. In our Punjabi first through listening and spiritually
vernacular, we also refer to it as Sikhs in the past have inculcated in witnessing the gurbani hymns, and
Sikhee. The Guru Granth was then their lives these spiritual and social then by practicing truth in life through
compiled to articulate the Gurmat, teachings of the Guru Granth. Their a comprehension of the Guru Granth
and as its followers we take pride in impact was seen from Afghanistan to hymns.
calling ourselves the Sikhs. Burma and from China to Ceylon.
The Gurmat concepts were Undoubtedly the practicing Sikhs will A prominent Sikh contemporary at the
constructed so that the present day add many more to this list in the time of Guru Gobind Singh, Kesar
civil societies could relate to them and future and extend the fragrance of the Singh Chibar, who spent considerable
benefit from them. Panth was Guru Granth to the Western world. It is time with the Guru’s family and with
organized to serve humanity in many true that some of us only make claims prominent Sikhs like Bhai Mani Singh
ways but also to demonstrate through and pronouncements. But if we are and Bhai Taru Singh, wrote that a Sikh
truthful living the realistic benefits of true seekers we should not be shy in who turned away from the Guru
Sikh faith. This demonstration should taking the lead in making the creed of Granth’s teachings actually had
invigorate an urge among the civil our Guru a living truth for us and for turned away from Sikhee. Thereafter
societies to learn Gurmat or Sikhee the entire society of this century. he carried the Sikh look only to
theology. deceive others. He wrote.
To be effective, the Sikhee Sikh Identity with Gurubani sbdo muVy isKIau muVy ByK isKI dw Dwry
experiences must be subject to Definition of a Sikh is closely
verifiable research and intertwined with the Guru, i.e. the Turning away from Guru Granth’s
demonstration. This should not be a Guru Granth. In the words of Sikh teachings is like turning away from
problem in the Sikhee tradition. theologian, Bhai Gurdas, the Sikhee. This Sikh turns into an
Granted that most of the Gurmat fundamental identity of a Sikh is imposter by continuing the Sikh look.
beliefs fall in the invisible realities, established through the connection Kesar Singh Chibar, in Bansavlee
they are mostly life affirming. Thus, with the wisdom of the Guru (Gurmat} nama edited by Rattan Singh Jagi, and
there are many beliefs whose benefits in life. Should a Sikh not imbibe the published by Punjabi University in
were demonstrated clearly and sacred hymns, his or her claim to be a 1972
beneficially by the committed Sikhs Sikh is hollow.
as they are illustrated throughout our Cyber Congregations and
history. mY jyhw n dubwjrw qij gurmiq durmiq Cyber Clergy
ihqkwrw] nwau murId n sbid vIcwrw ] Three hundred years ago Guru Gobind
Some examples of those beliefs Gurdas, Vaar 37, Pauri 29 Singh designated us as the volunteer
include (listed alphabetically): custodians of the light of the Guru to
Altruistic predisposition, Freedom There is no one as selfish and double- spread it and to protect it from the evil
from animosity, Freedom from fear, faced as the one who discards path of eye of the wicked and fanatics. Many
Freedom from lust and greed, Charity, the gurus, the gurmat, and instead followed the Guru’s instructions with
Compassion, Creativity, Earning readily accepts paths of his or her own their life and breath. However, with
truthful living, Environmental smutty mind. Further, one may not call time, the custodians began to pass on
concerns, Fanaticism considered as a oneself a Sikh without a the custody of the Light as their family
tool of devil, Forgiveness, Gratitude, comprehension of the Guru Granth or clan inheritance. For a while it did
Humility, Impact of knowledge and hymns. not matter as the custodian made it as
technology on spiritual growth, Continues on next page

Continued from previous page that should call for easing the complex, questions: "Why?" and
their livelihood to exhibit the scripture approach to the Word they devised "How?"
and took over the role of its means to make it more and more
interpreters for those who came to be elusive from people who are not our Our young people want to know why
blessed. ethnic kinds or who do not look or we interpret something in one way
speak like us. and other in a contradicting way. They
With time it became a lucrative ask how all this body of Guru Granth
business to own the depository of The Infinite Wisdom of the Guru had wisdom is relative to their life
Gurus’ hymns and to ration its something else in mind. With Guru’s situations. They certainly feel
distribution. The Light and the sacred grace the Light continued to shine in frustrated when they wish to look at
places around which were built for the the world around every one of us who our Gurus’ hymns with different
benefit of every one began to be opened their heart, and within all who outlooks. They have certainly gone
passed down to successive sought it, even in those whom the beyond hearing "because the Giani ji
generations as their possession; the Keepers deemed unfit for it. said so" or "because that's what the
possession which could be rationed translator wrote.”
and exploited for a trade. A new There surged new Sikh youth and
occupation of elite clergies sprung up. world interfaith groups. This new It is incumbent upon every Sikh today
generation disregarded any to celebrate the Tercentennial by
For worldly gain the keepers of the proclamation from the self styled consciously seeking and realizing the
Light began to wrap their possession claimants of the ownership of the beneficent vision of the spiritual
in ceremonial splendor, and show the Guru. They employed open platforms aspirations contained in Sri Guru
Word of God only to those whom they of electronic and cyber Granth Sahib. Further, every Sikh
deemed fit. They recited the hymns communication to enhance the must make all efforts to continually
for those who could pay to hear and rainbow of colors around the Guru’s define through the modern channels
restrict its availability to a few in their light so that it may shine on every eye. of communication those advantages
own clans. They drove away new The number of those accessing the of Sikhee that he or she beneficially
generations who could not easily Light is something like 2 billion experienced personally.
learn a language foreign to their ear. people. New cyber congregations and
These ploys succeeded in insuring the discussion groups are springing up The purpose of our enthusiasm to
ownership of the Light within the every day. celebrate is that we might promote
narrowly defined clergy class ignorant A new breed of invisible clergy is means to understand the concept of
of modern languages and other being born. In the future, they will the Guru Granth as the Universal Guru
means of communication. interpret and reinterpret the message and its associated implications and
of the Guru Granth to all and without responsibilities in our life. We may fire
The community first revolted and then prejudice. ourselves not to serve the
made some progress in reversing the pronouncements but to make those
process but soon succumbed to Conclusion pronouncements come alive.
politics which permitted the new In conclusion, there is one thought
opportunists to take over. that I would like to share. It is played Send All Communications to:
out in conversations that I often have Harbans Lal, PhD., D.Litt (hons)
The new Keepers of the Light began to with young people. They aren't just Emeritus Professor and Chairman, Department
of Pharmacology and Neuroscience
build elaborate edifices to house the looking for a religious experience University of North Texas Health Science Center
Light of the Guru and build even more based in compliance with rules, at Fort Worth, USA
elaborate structures of traditions to regulations, and practices. They yearn And Emeritus Professor, Guru Nanak Dev
keep others out. They in cahoots with for clarity and the "bottom line." University, Amritsar, India
Mailing Address
their political bosses even sought Therefore, for the Guru Granth to
6415 Amicable Drive,
laws of the land to limit others’ access make sense in a world filled with Arlington, TX 76016
to our inherited possession. In the contrary messages, we need to Tel. 817-466-8757,
name of preservation of the message prepare to answer the simple, yet Email:


eligion and Science Typically it is scholars in the
are both engaged in fields of literature,
t h e e x p l o ra t i o n o f philosophy, and history who
Ultimate Reality. The field undertake an analysis of Sikh
of r el igio n c on c e r ns scripture and with the
consciousness and its flux inclusion of scientists –
in molding the destiny of physicists, astronomers,
man. chemists, geologists,
biologists, the exegesis of the
Science explores the nature text is only enhanced. For
or its manifestation through instance, Guru Nanak’s vision
the material world. It starts [1]: “patala patal lakh agasa
from gross matter and moves agasa -- worlds below worlds,
toward subtle consciousness worlds above worlds” (Japuji,
pervading in the material 22) leave us wide-eyed, but
world. Scientists use physical they acquire a real palpability
and chemical methods to and concreteness when we
discover the secrets of look at them through an
universe while the Prophets astronomer’s telescope. As
use divine intuition to reveal we apply the empirical data
these secrets. All their of our Milky Way galaxy with
conclusions may not coincide its hundred billion stars and
but their objective remains the scientific observations
the same to explore the regarding billions of other
secret of Laws of Nature. galaxies, we really begin to
Indeed a scientific visualize what Guru Nanak
perspective is conducive to meant, and thereby gain a
and valuable in fuller understanding and
comprehending the scope of appreciation of his verse. The
the vision of the Sikh Gurus. Continues on next page Reli gion and sci ence are both engaged in the exploration of Ultimate Rea lity

Continued from previous page
scientific adventure, its observations,
and factual data, do not clash with
Sikh sacred scripture; they reveal its
intrinsic vigor, its far-reaching
insights, and its contemporary

Glimpses of Scientific Vision in SGGS

(a) Cosmology in SGGS
There are a large number of theories
about the creation of the universe but
so far ‘Big Bang Theory’ is widely
accepted by many scientists.
However, with every new scientific
discovery the theory may undergo a
drastic change in the future. One must
keep in mind that theories are based
on some scientific information and
use of logic and it will change as soon
as more facts are discovered. Many ‘God created the Universe by uttering by looking through the Purana texts,
theologians emphasize that theories a word.’ Nor can the Qazi tell from the Koran,
propounded by scientists change with Neither the Yogi nor any one else
the time, therefore, the science is not kIqw pswau eyko kvwau ] iqs qy hoey lK knows
a stable field. On the other hand, they drIAwau ] The day, week, season and month of
say that the God has revealed the creation,
theology to the deities, prophets, Thus the problem of ‘singularity’ faced The creator who creates the World,
Gurus; therefore, it cannot change. by the Big-Bang model of the Universe He alone knows the time’
But one should also not forget that is solved by the Guru by bringing in
God has also revealed principles of God as the creator of the Universe. vyl n pweIAw pMfqI ij hovY lyKu purwxu ]
science, Laws of Universe, to the Once this riddle is solved, the vKqu n pwieE kwdIAw ij ilKin lyKu
scientists. Therefore, science and sequence of creation, its epoch and kurwx ]
theology cannot contradict each other extent is described in SGGS in a most iQiq vwru nw jogI jwxY ruiq mwhu nw koeI ]
since both have been revealed by God rational manner. Guru Nanak poses jw krqw isrTI kau swjy Awpy jwxY soeI ]
[2]. the next question in Japuji [4]:
Guru Nanak does not want to
It is my considered opinion that Sikh ‘What was the time and the moment formulate any hypothesis based on
Cosmology as enunciated in SGGS the day and the month, false assumptions and leaves this
has been found to be most scientific When the world was created? question open. The creation process
and compatible with the modern is started under the command of God,
cosmological theories of science. In kvxu su vylw vKqu kvxu kvxu iQiq kvxu the creator of the universe. The Guru
Japuji, Guru Nanak sums up his ideas vwru ] envisages the creation of the Universe
about creation of the Universe, which kvix is ruqI mwhu kvxu ijqu hoAw Awkwru out of ‘Sünya’ which is devoid of
he elaborates further in the most ] matter but not of energy. Hence a
precise and scientific manner in the beautiful analogy with quantum
Raga Maru Solhe in SGGS. The In the next stanza, Guru Nanak concept of creation ‘out of nothing’ as
creation hypothesis is summed up as provides the answer [5]:
follows by Guru Nanak [3]: Continues on next page
‘Neither the Pundit can find this date

Continued from previous page nw idnu rYin n cMdu n sUrju suMn However, Guru Nanak does not enter
a vacuum fluctuation is established in smwiD lgwiedw ]…… into any mathematical rigmarole to
Raga Maru Solhe [6]: make an assessment or count of the
Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru celestial bodies comprising our
In the Primal Void (Sünya), the and compiler of SGGS, describes in Universe. After quoting the prevalent
Infinite Lord assumed His Power Sukhmani the myriad forms of tradition or information available at
He created the air, water, earth and creation. The cyclic theory of creation that time, Guru Nanak records his own
sky out of Sünya; is accepted in SGGS [8]: observations in SGGS in the form of
He created universe and the man in his mystic reverie. He says that the
the fortress of body There are millions and millions of cosmos (universe) contains countless
galaxies and solar systems in the number of celestial bodies. The real
suMn klw AprMpir DwrI universe. The phenomenon of number would be known only to the
]………………… creation has occurred so many times. God, the creator of the Universe [9]:
pauxu pwxI suMnY qy swjy ] isRsit aupwie But the one Lord remains for ever
kwieAw gV rwjy ] and ever.” It cannot be possible to count
(number of the celestial bodies in the
This wonderful drama of creation is keI koit KwxI Aru KMf ] keI koit Akws universe),
elucidated further by Guru Nanak in bRhmMf ] Because the accounting person may
his mystic reverie. Surprisingly, there keI koit hoey Avqwr ] keI jugiq kIno reach the end of his life during
is a perfect correspondence between ibsQwr] counting,
the epoch of ‘Big-Bang’ and the keI bwr psirE pwswr] sdw sdw ieku It will still be incomplete.
creation out of Sünya phase as eykMkwr] Guru Nanak says that the God is the
enunciated in Maru Solhe, the most Great,
beautiful hymn on Sikh Cosmology The universe is still expanding since Who knows the account (of the
[7]: the Big Bang occurred. And no limit celestial bodies in the universe).
has been established according to the
‘For billions of years, there was present day knowledge of science. lyKw hoie q ilKIAY lyKY hoie ivxwsu ]
nothing but utter darkness. There Guru Nanak explains infiniteness of nwnk vfw AwKIAY Awpy jwxY Awpu ]
was neither day nor night, nor moon, universe in his own inimitable style
nor sun, but the Lord alone sat in after rejecting the hypotheses put According to the present scientific
profound trance. Neither there was forward by religions of both the information available there are
creation, nor air, nor water. There oriental and occidental traditions, as billions of galaxies and each galaxy is
were no continents, nor underworlds, follows [9]: composed of billions of stars and their
nor seven oceans nor rivers, or the planets and moons. Our sun, having
flowing water. There was neither There are hundreds of thousands of nine planets revolving around it, is
death, nor time. There was no nether worlds, one of the billions of stars of our
Brahma, nor Vishnu or Shiva. and hundreds of thousands of skies. galaxy, the Milky Way.
When He so willed, He created the After great research the Vedas have
world and supported the firmament failed to say it definitely. The riddle of creation of the Universe
without support. He created Brahma, The Semitic books say that there are will remain an enigma for
Vishnu and Shiva and extended the eighteen thousand worlds, cosmologists and there is no final
love of mammon. He founded the and they claim it is the factual truth. word yet in cosmology. About the
continents, solar systems and present theories and models, we may
underworlds, and from the Absolute pwqwlw pwqwl lK Awgwsw Awgws ] conclude with a quotation from the
self,He became manifest.” EVk EVk Bwil Qky vyd khin iek vwq Benti Chaupai in Dasam Granth [10]:
Arbd nrbd DuMDUkwrw [[Drix n ggnw shs ATwrh khin kqybw AsulU ieku Dwqu “Everyone explains the creation
hukmu Apwrw [[ ] process according to his intellect,
Continues on next page

Continued from previous page metaphysics and it is being used as a has personified God by the term Akal,
But no one can tell, O Lord, tool in the hands of God to annihilate the Time – Transcendant Reality. He
How you first created the universe” everything created by Him. But God has saluted God in the form of Akal
himself is beyond the grip of Time. and sought his protection for
Awp AwpnI buiD hY jyqI [ brnq iBMn-iBMn Hence God is defined by a key-note promoting Dharma and rule of law on
quih qyqI [ attribute as Akal Murat (Time- this earth. Creation of Khalsa was
Transcendant Reality), which is under the command of Akal with the
(b) Concept of Time in Science evident from the following verses in ulterior motive of establishment of
and Sikh Tradition SGGS: divine sovereignty of Akal in this
Concept of Time was central to the universe. Guru Gobind Singh claimed
laws of Physics formulated by Fruitful is the Blessed Vision of His that Khalsa is the sovereign army of
Newton. However, he considered Time Darshan; the Akal Purkh:
as absolute in the same way as Space God is Time-Transcendent, He is and
and God. In other words, flow of time shall always be. Khalsa is sovereign army of God,
is constant irrespective of the motion Khalsa creation is sanctioned by God.
of the observer or of moving bodies. It sPl drsnu Akwl mUriq pRB hY BI hovn
was Einstein’s theory of special and hwrw ] Kwlsw Akwl purK kI POj ]
general relativity which brought a (SGGS, M.1, P. 609) pRgitE Kwlsw pRmwqm kI mOj ] (Kwlsw
revolutionary change in the mihmw, srbloh gRMQ)
conception of space and time. General His form is Time-Transcendent, it is
theory of relativity predicts that time never destroyed. Eternity of Akal is stressed in the
should appear to run slower near a Akwl mUriq ijsu kdy nhI Kau ] composition of Bachitar Natak (The
massive body like the Sun. Space and (SGGS, M.5, P. 1082) Wonderful Drama) by Guru Gobind
time are now considered to be Singh:
dynamic quantities: when a body You are the Deathless Primal Being
moves, it affects the curvature of Death does not hover over Your head. God exists in time when He creates
space and time. Space and time are qU Akwl purKu nwhI isir kwlw ] the World,
not flat but curved by the presence of (SGGS, M.1, P. 1038) Brahma and Shiva also exist in Time;
massive bodies. Space and time are The Vedic seers (Rishis) were fully And so are the demi-gods and other
not absolutes: they are affected by aware of the changing nature of the creatures;
everything that happens in the universe. They knew that to change All creations of God are subject to
universe. means to perish. Hence they termed whims of Time,
It is very clearly mentioned in SGGS Time as Kal, which means death in its Only the God, the Timeless Being, is
that Time is created along with the literal meaning. Indian seers never ever eternal.
Universe by God. This conception of differentiated time from death. In
Time is analogous to creation SGGS, Sikh Gurus have followed the kwl hI pwie Bgvwn su jwgq Xw jg jwkI
hypothesis of Big-Bang. Space and same tradition and Time (Kal) is used klw hY [
Time are created out of a “Singularity” to represent death. Death cannot be kwl hI pwie BXo bRhmw isv kwl hI pwie
at the epoch of Big-Bang along with avoided or postponed; however, the BXo jugIAw hY [
the creation of matter and radiation. fear of death can be removed by kwl hI pwie surwsr gMDRb j`C BujMg idsw
Time has a beginning and an end and meditation on True Name: ibidsw hY [
it cannot be treated as absolute or AOr so kwl sBY bs kwl ky eyk hI kwl
eternal as God. Meditating continuously on the True Akwl sdw hY [
Lord, I am rid of the fear of death. (Bachitar Natak, Dasam Granth)
Different manifestations of Time are
also elaborated in SGGS. In most of hir ismir ismir kwitAw Bau kwl ] Kal is interpenetrating into Akal, the
the Gurbani sabads, Time is equated (SGGS, M.5, P. 200) ultimate Reality, in the same way as
to death (Kal). Time has a Sargun and Nirgun are two aspects of
predominant role to play in Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Master, Continues on next page

Continued from previous page life and has reached the highest rung answers the queries of Siddhas
the same Reality. of the evolutionary ladder. Our closest regarding creation of life, mind and
relatives are apes, gorillas, and the universe as follows:
(c) Concept of Origin of Life chimpanzees. Our genetic code is
and Evolution almost identical with them. There are Q.1 When this heart and the body
There is no general consensus among many opponents to evolutionary did not exist, where did the mind
the scientists about the origin of life in theory of origin of species but it is the reside?
the universe. Various theories have most successful theory till date in jw iehu ihrdw dyh n hoqI qau mnu kYTY
been put forward to explain the origin biology. The most vehement rhqw]
and evolution of life in the same opposition to this theory came from
manner as the origin of universe and the Christian church as it demolishes A.1 When the heart and the body
our solar system. A group of scientists the genesis story of the Bible. did not exist, O hermit, then the mind
believe that there is no life in the resided with Absolute Lord in the void.
universe except on our earth. Origin and Evolution of Life in SGGS: ihrdw dyh n hoqI AauDU qau mnu suMn rhY
However, the search for extra – Various theories of origin and bYrwgI ]
terrestrial origin of life is being evolution of life have been put
supported by another group of forward in the holy books of all Q.2 What is the root, the source
scientists. It still remains a mystery religions. But one thing is common to of life?
for the scientists. all of them: God is the creator of life in What teachings hold for these times?
this universe. Guru Nanak also kvx mUlu kvx miq vylw]
Evolution of Life: Most of scientists accepts this postulate of God as the
believe in ‘cosmic evolution’ leading Creator of the universe and life in all A.2 Pray Sir, it is air that supports
to formation of galaxies, solar its manifestations. However, Guru life.
systems and planets, and the ‘organic Nanak also accepts the theory of And, the true Guru’s message is the
evolution’, leading to different evolution in his own characteristic creed of the day.
species of living organisms. Both manner without taking recourse to the pvn ArMBu siqgur miq vylw]
these processes have been going on concept of natural selection in the
in the history of our universe, cosmic Darwinian way. According to Guru Nanak, all the living
evolution leading the organic In Japuji [11], Guru Nanak refers to the things such as plants, birds and
evolution almost by more than a few creation of various forms and living animals etc. are made of three
billion years. beings under the divine law (hukam). elements, namely, material body, soul
But this divine law is and prana. These elements owe their
Charles Darwin’s hypothesis of incomprehensible. origin to the Absolute Lord. The
natural selection is the most splendid hypothesis of Guru Nanak [15] is
theory of organic evolution. It is based hukmI hovin Awkwr hukmu n kihAw jweI] simple and straight forward:
on the concept of survival of the hukmI hovin jIA hukim imlY vifAweI ]
fittest. Natural selection thus brings The True Lord created the air,
about the gradual evolution of new In SGGS [12], Guru Arjun poses the From air, water arose.
specie of those already in existence. question about the origin of life and From water, creation arose.
This theory considers that living he answers it as follows: His Light permeates all creation.
organisms began with the appearance
of ‘protoplasm’ about two billion Where do we go in the end? swcy qy pvnw BieAw pvnY qy jlu hoie]
years ago in sea waters. The plants All creatures belong to God, Who can jl qy iqRBvxu swijAw Git Git joiq
and animals developed from single place a value on Him? smoie]
cells over the next billion years
leading to the final stage of evolution, ikQhu aupjY kh rhY kh mwih smwvY] We find reference to evolution of
the man. According to evolutionary jIA jMq siB Ksm ky kauxu kImiq pwvY] species in the universe in Gurbani
theory, man is undoubtedly the without taking recourse to any
highest and the most complex form of In Siddh-Goshit [13-14], Guru Nanak Continues on next page

Continued from previous page same number may exist on land. potential of Sabad Guru (SGGS) by
scientific theory of evolution. Sikh Science has failed to confirm this adopting it as a tool of idolatry
Gurus generally followed the hypothesis. worship.
traditional Hindu view of eight million
and four hundred thousand species bieAwlIs lK jI jl mih hoqy bITlu BYlw
[16] of living organisms in the kwie krau]
universe. Man is the summum ..........................
bonnum of this creation. The message of Sikh Gurus is About the author:
enshrined in SGGS. In the final Professor Hardev Singh Virk
“God has created eighty four lakh analysis, we can quote a relevant DIRECTOR RESEARCH,
(8.4 million) species of beings” stanza in support of biological DAVIET, Kabir Nagar, Jallandhar-
lK caurwsIh jMq aupwey] evolution of species [20]: 144008, India
There is a classification of all living In so many incarnations, you were a Address:# 360,Sector 71
organisms into four categories [17-18] worm and an insect; Mohali(Punjab)INDIA,Pin-160071
on the basis of their origin. They are In so many incarnations, you were an Tele(R): +91-172-2273606
grouped as under: elephant, a fish and a deer; Cell: +91-9417553347
In so many incarnations, you were a
(i) Those born from egg (andaj); bird and a snake;
(ii) Those born from womb (jevaj); In so many incarnations, you were References
(iii) Those born from earth (utbhuj), yoked as an ox and a horse. 1. Nikky- Guninder Kaur Singh,
and Meet the Lord of the Universe – now Foreword to Author’s book published
(iv) Those born from sweat (setaj). is the time to meet Him. by Singh Brothers, Nov. 2007, p.
After such a long epoch, you are born 15.
“Egg born, womb born, earth born as a human being. 2. DS Chahal, Understanding
and heat born; are all Thine Sikhism: The Research Journal, Vol.
creatures. keI jnm Bey kIt pqMgw]keI jnm gj mIn 9(1), p.46, 2006.
Oceans, mountains, and all beings - kurMgw ] 3. SGGS, M1, p.3.
O Nanak, He alone knows their keI jnm pMKI srp hoieE]keI jnm hYvr 4. SGGS, M1, p.4.
condition. ibRK joieE] 5. SGGS, M1, p.4.
O Nanak, having created the living imlu jgdIs imln kI brIAw]icrMkwl ieh 6. SGGS, M1, p.1037.
beings, He cherishes them all”. dyh sMjrIAw] 7. SGGS, M1, p.1035.
AMfj jyrj auqBujW KwxI syqjWh] 8. SGGS, M5, p.276.
so imiq jwxY nwnkw srW myrW jMqwh] End Note: The text of this essay is 9. SGGS, M1, Jap 22, p. 5.
nwnk jMq aupwie kY sMmwly sBnwh] based on my recently published book, 10. Guru Gobind Singh, Benati
“Scientific Vision in Sri Guru Granth Chaupai, Dasam Granth, Published by
“Egg born, womb born, earth born Sahib and Interfaith Dialogue” by Bhai Chattar
and heat born; are all created by You. Singh Brothers, Amritsar. The full Singh - Jeewan Singh, Amritsar, 1902,
I have seen one glory of Yours, that implication of the theme can be p.1387.
You are pervading and permeating in realized by reading this book. It must 11. SGGS, M.1, P.1.
all”. be pointed out that SGGS is not a text 12. SGGS, M.5, P.1193.
book of Science but the Vision of Sikh 13. SGGS, M.1, P.945.
AMfj jyrj auqBuj syqj qyry kIqy jMqw] Gurus recorded in it is far more 14. SGGS, M.1, P.942-943.
eyk purb mY qyrw dyiKAw qU sBnw mwih scientific as compared to the Holy 15. SGGS, M.1, P.19.
rvMqw ] Books of other faiths. Guru Nanak 16. SGGS, M.1, P.1190.
gave a clarion call to reject rituals and 17. SGGS, M.1, P.467.
In SGGS, it is also mentioned by myths and promoted a scientific 18. SGGS, M.1, P. 596.
Bhagat Namdev [19] that forty two vision of life in this Universe. The 19. SGGS, Bhagat Namdev, P.485.
lakh species exist in water and the Sikhs have failed to realize the full 20. SGGS, M.5, P.176.


S ikhism is the youngest of

all known world religions.
Its founders are Ten Gurus1
who lived from 1469 – 1708. It is
believed that the same divine light
travelled in their bodies one after
the other. The God given mission
which was brought on earth by
Guru Nanak, the first Guru, was
declared completed by the tenth
Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, and the
human Guru-ship ended with his
departure from the world scene. It
i s n o t e d i n hi s t o r y b o o k s t h a t
before his demise, the tenth Guru
advised his followers that after his
death there would be no more
human Gurus2.
The crowning glory of Guru G ranth Sahib

The above instruction of Guru Gobind prophets. After Moses, Jews have had period, is unique to Sikhism. Some
Singh is in line with other world no Messiah; after Jesus there was no other world religions also have a list
religions. For example, in Islam, after other Son of God, and after Gautum of their prophets, but in most cases
Prophet Mohammed, his successors Buddha and Mahavir there were no they were born and lived in different
were called Caliphas and not more Buddhas and Mahavirs who periods in time. For example,
prophets, similarly after Moses, Jesus, were as much revered as them. especially in Hindu religion, Krishna
Buddha and Mahavir, the successors succeeded Rama but many thousand
were called by a variety of titles but The line of ten succeeding prophets, years after him (Rama).
none was equated with the founder in a continuous and unbroken time- Continues on next page

1 Different religions have called their founders with different titles: Hindus call them as Avtars;
Muslims call their founder as Paigambar, Christian call Jesus as Son of God. Sikhs call them Gurus.
2 Refer to all primary and secondary evidence of the Sikh history.

Continued from previous page assemblage of small denominations, names of their gurus added after Guru
the sovereignty of Guru Granth Sahib, Gobind Singh and have omitted the
Commenting on Sikhism, many as the living Sikh Guru, remained name of Guru Granth Sahib as the
historians have tried to differentiate unchallenged. Later, these groups living Guru. They do not believe that
between the status, role and started calling their heads as Guru Gobind Singh had issued any
teachings of the Sikh Gurus, giving satgurus and equated them with the commandment sealing the number of
more importance to one over the Sikh Gurus. They included the names the Gurus and conferring Guru-ship
other. This is not the Sikh belief; for a of their satgurus in the Sikh Ardas and on Guru Granth Sahib and the Khalsa.
Sikh all Gurus have the same status, distributed new lyrics composed by
and the same Jot (spirit). All Gurus are them along with the hymns from Guru According to almost all Sikh
respected in the same esteem and Granth Sahib. Initially, they kept Guru chronicles published since the period
veneration. Many Sikh scholars even Granth Sahib at a higher pedestal and of Guru Gobind Singh’s demise until
call all of them as Nanak, e.g., Guru sat below its level, but with the today, it has been clearly written in
Angad as second Nanak, Guru passage of time they elevated their black and white that Guru Gobind
Amardas as third Nanak and so on. own status and lowered the status of Singh conferred the Guru-ship upon
Even the hymns of various Gurus have Granth Sahib and the Khalsa, at
the name Nanak as the composer. Nanded, on 7th October 1708, just

before his demise.
Bhat Swayas3 in Guru Granth Sahib Later, these groups
and Bachitar Natak in Dasam Granth4 As commanded by Guru Gobind
, and Var no 3 of Bhai Gurdas5 prove, started calling Singh, the Sikhs call their holy
beyond any doubt, the theory of one
spirit amongst the Sikh Gurus.
their heads as scripture Guru Granth Sahib. In every
Gurdwara, the focal point for prayers
satgurus and is a copy of this holiest of the holy
The Sikh Ardas6 , which is read at the Sikh scripture. Every entrant bows to
end of each Sikh service commands equated them with it and listens very attentively when a
Sikhs to revere all ten Gurus as
prophets, and Guru Granth Sahib as
the Sikh Gurus. stanza is read out from it. For a Sikh,
Guru Granth Sahib is the ‘Jyot’ of all
They included the
the Shabad Guru. The Sikhs recognize
only ten Gurus and unequivocally
accept Guru Granth Sahib as their
everlasting sovereign. They do not
accept any other living person as their
names of their
satgurus in the
“ Gurus.

Initially, one must understand the

difference of status, between Guru
Granth Sahib and other world
Guru. Sikh Ardas scriptures, for the devotees of
different world religions. Though
The Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 finally every religion believes that their
stamps this belief. It says that a Sikh Guru Granth Sahib. They do not scripture is a revelation, but they treat
is a person who believes in one God, accept the notion that Granth Sahib their scripture as a holy book,
teaching of the ten Sikh Gurus and the was given Guru-ship by Guru Gobind whereas the Sikhs call their revealed
sovereignty of Guru Granth Sahib. Singh and propagate that Guru scripture a living Guru. Here, the
Granth Sahib recommends the need status of Guru Granth Sahib is more
Until the rise of the Sikh break-away of a living human Guru. They quote than a holy book. The difference of
groups viz., Radha Swamis 7 , many hymns from Guru Granth Sahib approach is very fine and delicate and
Namdharis8 , Nirankaris9 and other to prove their point. Their Ardas has Continues on next page

3 Bhatt Swayas, page 1401 [swayas mehlae chauthae ke]

4 Bachitar Natak chapter 16
5 Bhai Gurdas, Var 3, pauri 12
6 Dasam Granth, Var Bhagauti, pauri 1
7 The sect was founded in the middle of 19th century. Its founder was Shiv Dayal.
The Punjab branch was founded by Jaimal Singh
8 The movement was started by Balak Singh who lived from 1797-1862.
9 The movement was started by Dayal Das in the late 19th century.

Continued from previous page quoted amongst many others. God that I started the panth (Khalsa
must be understood with caution. Panth)
This year when we are celebrating the
It is also important to note that the ‘Gurgaddi Divas’ for Guru Granth Sab Sikhan ko hukum hai Guru
Sikhs do not worship idols and Sahib, it is important that the Sikhs Maneyo Granth.
images, instead they worship one themselves and all others, who are All Sikhs are commanded to accept
Almighty, the greatest of great, called interested in the Sikh religion, must the Granth as the Guru (spiritual)
by different names in different be acquainted with the Sikh belief in
religions. Sikhs call Him Waheguru, its totality. According to the Guru Granth ji maneyo pargat Guran ki
Hindus call Him Ishwar, Muslim call commandment of Guru Gobind Singh deh.
Him Allah, Jews call Him Jehovah and and the Sikh tradition, Guru Granth Believe, that Guru Granth represents
Christians call Him God. Sahib must be given the same respect Guru’s body.
and honour which was given to the
This makes it clear that the Sikh Sikh Gurus, but, in no case Guru jo, prabh ko milna chahe khoj shabad
revere Guru Granth Sahib as they Granth Sahib be worshipped. It must men le
revere Guru Nanak and other Sikh be understood that Shabad Guru Those who want to meet the Almighty,
Gurus. Neither they worship their (Guru Granth Sahib) is a bridge they should find the way in the
Gurus nor they worship Guru Granth between humans and the Almighty. Shabad.
The Sikhs must also be made aware [Bhai Nand Lal]
The Sikh Gurus were ambassadors of that there is no place of any living
God and not God themselves. Sikhs person personating as a Guru. No Akal Purkh ki bachan seo pargat
do not believe in ‘Avtarhood’ as living person be given the same status chalayo Panth,
believed by Hindus. They do not call as the Sikh Gurus. It is with the orders of the Immortal
Sikh Gurus as incarnation of God, God that I started the panth (Khalsa
instead they call them Prophets, the A person can be a holy person or a Panth)
messengers of God. saint, but he/she cannot be equated
with the Sikh Gurus. The status of the Sab Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru
For the Sikhs, the status of Guru Sikh Gurus is much higher that the maneyo Granth. (verse 30)
Granth Sahib is of a Guru and not of saints or mahants. All Sikhs are commanded to accept
God. The Sikhs had ten Gurus, and the Granth as the Guru (spiritual)
when the Sikhs asked Guru Gobind Sikhs should go to Gurdwaras and
Singh, at the time of his demise, that sumbit their demands to Guru Granth Guru Khalsa Maneyo pargat Guran ki
who would be their next Guru? Then Sahib rather than queuing outside deh
Guru Gobind Singh had said, that the ‘deras’ of fake sadhus. The Sikh Believe, that Guru Khalsa represents
after him there would be no more faith does not recognise any ‘deras’, Guru’s body.
mortal Sikh Guru, instead the Sikhs ‘ashrams’, gurus, and ‘mahants’.
accept Granth Sahib as their spiritual Jo Sikh mileo chahe khoj inno men leh
Guru and the Khalsa Panth as their For the Sikhs, the Divine power rests Those who want to meet me, they
temporal Guru. This commandment with Guru Granth Sahib and not with should find me in them (Guru Granth
was given by Guru Gobind Singh on any sadhu or mahant. Sahib and the Khalsa panth) (verse
7th October 1708 at Nanded, a few 24).
moments before his demise. The The Sikhs must always remember the [Bhai Prehlad Singh]
evidence of this commandment is last commandment of Guru Gobind
available in all books of Guru Gobind Singh, .......................................
Singh’s contemporaries, who were Dr. Sukhbir Singh Kapoor
with the Guru at the time of his “aagya bhai Akal ki Tabhi chalayo Vice Chancellor, World Sikh
demise, the names of Bhai Nanad Lal, Panth, University London
Senapat and Prehlad Singh can be It is with the orders of the Immortal E-mail:


u r u A r jan S ah ib ( 1 5 6 3-
1 6 06 ) i n c l u d e d B a n i , t h e
Revealed Word in Sri Guru
Granth Sahib, from two sources:
Gurbani as received by the Guru-
p e rs o n s , a n d B h a g a t B a n i a s
received by the saintly people from
diverse backgrounds, at different
t i me s a n d p l a c e s , i n t h e s u b -
continent of India.

Despite their apparent creedal and

caste differences, these saintly beings
saw the same Divine Light in all. They
had demolished the walls which Bha gat Ravidas

divided humanity. They had become himself wrote the pangtis (lines)
the bhagats, the devotees of, and attributed to him. (see also factual
directly linked to, the One Supreme information about Sri Guru Granth
Being. Sahib ji at the beginning of this
publication )
In this broad category of “bhagats”
are included Shaikh Farid (1173-1266) Most probably, Guru Nanak Sahib
– the earliest in the timeline – Kabir, started collecting hymns of the
Trilochan, Beni, Ravidas, Namdev, Bhagats as he travelled around India
Dhanna, Jaidev, Bhikhan, Sainu, Pipa, (and other countries), and these were
Sadhana, Ramanand, Parmanend, Sur passed on through the succession of
Das, the Bhatts, Satta and Balvand Guru persons to the fifth Guru Arjan
(the ragis). Although, Bhai Mardana, Sahib, who included them in Aad
Guru Nanak Sahib’s Muslim musician, Granth Sahib (1604). (Aad Granth Bha gat Kabir

is mentioned, there is doubt if he Continues on next page

Continued from previous page All the compositions which follow,
Sahib was bestowed with Guruship in relate back to the Mool Mantar. Any
1708, by the tenth Guru, Gobind trends to divide the Sikhs or Sikhee by
Singh, after inclusion of hymns of drawing distinctions between Gurbani
ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur). In two and Bhagat Bani should be resisted.
collections called the Pothis, before The compositions in Guru Granth
Guru Arjan Dev, hymns of some Sahib are Gurbani through the
Bhagats are included in addition to Guruship of Guru Granth Sahib. There
Guru Sahibs’ Gurbani. These Pothis should be no distinction between
are in the possession of the Guru-Bani and Bhagat-Bani. The Word
descendents of Guru Amardas1 . Guru in Guru Granth Sahib is Gurbani.
Arjan Dev Ji had these and other
Bhagat Bani sources available for By including the Bani of the Bhagats
selection of hymns which accorded over the centuries and from many
with Gurbani thought (Gurmatt). diverse backgrounds and locations,
Guru Arjan Sahib illustrated that all
The hymns of the Bhagats were those who have achieved harmony
included by Guru Arjan Sahib on the with the Creator in this life, do speak
basis of their consonance with Guru with one mind, even though in
Nanak Sahib’s ideology: mainly, total different languages. That is The One
belief in One formless, unborn, Mind of Guru Granth Sahib, One
Creator Being before Whom all are Message, true for all times and
equal and all have within them the places. By including the Bani of the
Divine Light. Where there was any Bhagats, Guru Sahib illustrated in
small difference between Gurmatt Guru Granth Sahib, the “Parliament of
(Guru’s teaching) and a Bhagat’s view, world religions”, that man made
the Gurmatt teaching was placed side divisions are false. If a Muslim sufi
by side with a Bhagat’s hymn, to Shaikh Farid (1173-1266), and Guru
clarify the positive, life affirming and Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru Nanak
participative ideology of Sikhee. (1621 – 1675), sit together in Guru
Granth Sahib, are speaking the same
As in Gurmatt, these enlightened God-language and have a similar
saintly beings also rejected universal message for humanity, then
prejudice and discrimination between that message must be true for all
human beings under any pretext times and places. Human beings do
Shaikh Farid (1173-1266)
whatsoever. They rejected ritualism have a hope if that message is
and the spreading of superstition by simran (see Glossary in this heeded.
those who wore religious garbs to publication).
deceive people. They exposed those Inclusion of Bhagat Bani in Aad
who falsely competed with the One Bhagat Bani in Guru Granth Sahib is Granth Sahib by Guru Arjan Sahib,
Provider of all, for granting boons. accepted as an inseparable part of the and the investiture of the Aad Granth
They worked and earned livelihoods Guruship of Gurbani. Yet, Gurbani is as the Guru, by Guru Gobind Singh,
to bring up own families, and to share studied by the student, the Sikh, as was a Divine Act to bring humanity
their earnings with others. They were One Whole and not in parts. All the together under One Umbrella2 .
human souls (atmas), constantly Gurbani in Guru Granth Sahib is based ........................
seeking union with the One Lord – the on the founding creed revealed to Gurmukh Singh
Param-atma - in a state of Naam Guru Nanak Sahib, the Mool Mantar. E-mail:

1 The Encyclopaedia of Sikhism p. 313 PU Patiala

2 “So Large an Umbrella” (see Dr I J Singh’s article in this issue)

“Nij Bhakti seelwanti naar Roop anoop poori aachar” (SGGS p. 370)


L-R: Mata Khivi , Mata Sund ri and Mata Gujr i


urbani’ is a treasure the Tenth Guru ceremoniously
trove, a repository of proclaimed it as the ‘Preceptor
virtues and surely not Eternal’ , it becomes imperative
an account of Utopian ideas to deliberate on the various
a s t h e p re s e n t g e n e ra t i o n aspects of life on earth
n aiv el y as s u m es . It is an incorporated in the Holy Granth,
i n s pi r a t i o n a l po e t r y , w h i c h that are socially and spiritually
holy, wise men, with refined relevant for all times. The
s pi r i t a n d d e e p i n t e l l e c t , ‘Shabad Guru’ is a beacon of
enunciated from time to time light for souls in search of truth,
while facing grim hazards of truthful living, love and
medieval India, thus guiding devotion, a life style steeped in
India’s masses of every sect, spirituality. It speaks in song to
caste and religion. the listener (the daily
‘Hukamnama’ (instruction)
While paying homage to the being the apparent proof ); is
‘Shabad Guru’ as enshrined in closer than the intake of breath
the ‘Jaagat Jot’- Guru Granth and bestows perception of
Sahib Ji, three centuries after Continues on next page Mata Bhag Kaur in the battlefie ld

Continued from previous page‘Anhad’ - (Immolation of
the continuous reverberation of self on the dead
‘Naam’ in the cosmos. hu sband’s
pyre), child
D IVIN E A TTRIBU TE S: From times marriage, denial
immemorial, women in India have of education
been placed on a high pedestal. and ban of
Classical Greece glorified woman as a w i d o w
goddess. According to Puranic remarriage
thought, God’s nomenclature as further added to
‘Ardhnarishwar’ suggested that he too their ignominy.
was ‘incomplete without a woman’. Guru Nanak’s
There is also a mention of the advent (1469-
existence of matriarchal society in the 1539) in the
annals of Indian History. Even the sub-continent
Hindu thought propounds and heralded a new
propagates the worship of deities, social and moral Mata Sada Kaur in the battlefield
many of whom are goddesses, order based on equality, for He baaj na koi
exemplifying virtues aplenty. envisioned gender non-discrimination (From a woman, a woman is born.
Traditions like ‘Swayamvara’ for as a pre-requisite for progress of the Without women there can be none)
selection of a husband bespeak of the New Age human society, beautifully
level of liberty enjoyed by the pristine conveyed through His composition in Nanak bhandeh bahra eko sacha soay
women such glory faded into oblivion Asa Raag:
with foreign invasions from the north- (says Nanak that only the one true
west and the advent of the Mughal “Bhand jammiay bhand nimmiay Lord has no bonds with women)
dynasty, which herlded an era of bhand mangan wiaho
darkness for women, portrayed in (Within a woman a man is conceived (SGGS : 473)
Guru Nanak’s agonising poetry called and from a woman he is born. (slightly edited translation by S.
‘Babar Vani’. Women began to be With a woman he is betrothed and Manmohan Singh)
traded for slavery and prostitution. married)
Each war for expansion made man By giving examples, Guruji taught that
more lecherous and greedy, thus Bhandoh hovai dosti bhandoh challay men were entirely dependent on
pronouncing a marked degradation of raho women for companionship,
women. (With a woman man seeks friendship consultation and continuation of the
and the system of procreation keeps human race. Hence, they must not
M EDIE VAL IND IA: If the turbulent going) maltreat or relegate women. The
social and political scenario of the Bhand moa bhand bhaliay bhand above quoted lines of Gurbani
fifteenth century India is taken into hovai bandhaan encompass the essence of the ethics
account, it may not be presumptuous (when one’s wife dies, another woman and social behaviour preached by our
to state that women were not is sought. It is due to the husband- illustrious Gurus, who have scathingly
accorded a place of dignity. The birth wife relationship that man restrains disapproved of gender discrimination.
of daughters brought gloom, as the his passions)
society looked down upon them. The “Bharam ke pardeh mere satgur
orthodox, male-oriented, caste-ist So kio manda akhiah jitt jameh kholeh”
society had confined the areas of raajaan (If the Guru’s grace enlightens, the
womens’ activities to the home and (why call her bad, for she gives birth darkness of ignorance vanishes)
hearth alone, thus reducing their to kings)
status to devitalised serfs! The (Guru Granth Sahib)
systems of ‘Purdah’ (veil), ‘Sati’ Bhandoh hee bhand upjai bhandeh Continues on next page

Continued from previous page (SGGS: 482) the largest Sikh population, happens
and irrespective of physical to top the sh arks for ill egal ‘sex
PATH BREAKING: A devoted musing considerations, enunciated the determination tests and the brutal
over the philosophy expounded in the devotion characterized by p r a c t i c e o f f e m a l e fo e t i c i d e . I n
holy Guru Granth Sahib interestingly ‘womanhood’ for all mortals- defiance of Gurbani edicts, affluent
unfolds the path-breaking idea of S i k h f a m i l i e s w a n t s o n s t o be
‘womanhood’ being eulogised and “Main kaaman mera kant kartar” inheritors of their chattels and assets.
epitomized as a means to the (I am the bride of the Lord) (SGGS What good are the daughters for
achievement of the spiritual end. In :1128) them, for they will marry and go away
fact, according to Gurmat philosophy, with their husbands! So, they nip the
spirituality is a romantic interlude MODE RN E RA : In context of the evil in the bud and justify their foul act
between the ‘seeker’ and the ‘sought’. current Indian social millieu, it can be of aborting the female foetus.
Physicality (as in gender) of the assumed that this country has
seeker is truely transcended to Tragically, abandoning the newly born

achieve special attributes of a woman female child is a matter of daily
in love - pining, yearning, desiring for ...Sikh women need occurrence in many parts of North
her beloved Lord and Master to be India because of the fear of economic
united with her. Indeed ‘womanhood’ to join hands and outgoings involved in raising the girl
has been frequently celebrated in the child and thereafter marrying her off
scriptural text. There are innumerable
co-ordinate with huge amount of dowry. To
recitations of our Guru which reflect activities through counter female foeticide and
“Bairag” (yearning), ‘ priya ki preet’ abandonment of newborn girls, the
(love for the lord), ‘Darshan their registered Shiromoni Gurdwara Prabandhak
pyas‘(thirst to catch a glimpse), Committee in a recent, if belated-
‘Dhan-Pir’ (the lover and the beloved),
offices in Gurdwaras “ move has quite commendably
‘sohagan’ (the bride who has won that are displayed cradles outside Gurdwaras
union with her lover). Gurbani in Punjab and have thus issued a bold
describes a woman as ‘battees employment statement against people who abet
sulakhani’- one with 32 virtues, ready this crime. They have vowed to
for union with the Lord. If we go by
oriented and serve undertake responsibility of
the ‘battees sulakhani’ description of as a support system upbringing these ditched souls by
a ‘sohagan’ human soul to please the arranging for their education and
Lord, then women are more naturally gradually moved into an era where it settlement in a suitable vocation.
bequeathed with such qualities than can match up with international Thhere should not be second thought
men. Women do enjoy an advantage trends and we can take pride in living on empowering our daughters with
over men in this respect. More so, as our lives as global citizens, thanks to educ ati on s o th at th ey c an be
the new age of science and the tremendous progress in financially independent and not be
technology makes masculine technology, communication, trade cowed into submission by men, who
attributes less relevant to the and commerce Indian women can be lord over them only because of their
question of gender equality. seen all over the globe juggling gender!
Revealing the supreme truth, our successfully between home, hearth
Gurus have bestowed true manhood and career. But, have we been able to INSTITUTIONAL VIGILANCE: The SGPC
on the one Omnipotent, Omnipresent discard the age old bias against them must also deliberate on allowing
power alone- ? A look at statistics would negate the women to perform Kirtan at
claim that we live in an age, free of Harmandar Sahib. Gone are the days
“ Keh Kair Mohe biah chale hai purakh gender bigotry. when women were asked to stay away
ek bhagwana” from this shrine in wake of attacks by
(says Kabir that that he is betrothed FEMALE FOETICIDE: It is ignominious Abdali. While discussing this crucial
to the lord, the one and the only male) that the state of Punjab , which has Continues on next page

Continued from previous page powerful message that daughters are
issue with one of the professors of better caretakers in old age, for ‘sons’
Gurmat Sangeet Department, Punjabi are sons till they get their wives’. We
University, Patiala, we concluded that may say, “to each his own”, but we do
disallowing women to perform Kirtan read newspaper reports on how the
at Harmandir Sahib may be relevant at parents are callously turned out of
a particular point of time in history, their homes by sons, who cannot look
but irrelevant for modern times. Why after them. This should ring an
can’t we do away with this biased awakening bell for the cravers of sons
tradition when our Gurus have and make them realize the futility of
advocated equality? It would be a their desires.
shot in the arm for women who want
to take up performing Kirtan as a CHANGE WITHIN: As a faith and a
serious profession. Though community which is ethically bound
Bibi Gurde v Kau r
controversial, yet Muslim women by moral strictures like-
have gone ahead and shown to the
world that they can as “maulvis” “Hukmae andar sabhy ko, bahar
(clergy) solemnize marriages and do hukam na koe”
all that male clerics can ! (Everything in the universe operates
in His will; nothing is over or beyond
O THE R FAITHS : A lesson in His will) – (SGGS:1),
congregational set ups needs to be
taken from the Christian nuns, who W e i n v i t e up o n o ur s e l v e s g r e a t
have excelled in managing an s o rr o w b y t a mp e r i n g w i t h H i s
amazing network of women, whose providence. If God desires to bless us
inputs are channelised for achieving with a girl child, so be it, with a prayer
social good. Young motivated Sikh that His gift turns to grow up in the
women need to join hands and co- l i k e n e s s o f B e be N a n a k i , w h o
ordinate activities through their po s s e s s e d t h e d i s c e r n i n g e y e t o
P arvyn Kaur of Austra lia perf or ms ke ertan (youngest of Dya
registered offices in Gurdwaras that realize that her brother Nanak was a Singh ’s three gifted daughters)
are employment oriented and serve as messenger of God; or like the virtuous
a support system for the beleaguered Bibi A mro (th e daugh ter of Gur u Bahadur ( a martyr), the mother of
souls, mostly women who are victims An g a d D e v ) , w h o c o n t r i b u t e d Guru Gobind Singh (a martyr) and the
of domestic vexation. This is the need immensely to the growth of Sikhism grandmo th er of th e b ra v e
of the hour as many women are as a preacher and in–charge of one of Sahibzadas!
suffering silently and due to the the 22 “manjis” established by Guru
absence of any recognized Sikh Amardas; or like Mata Khivi ( the wife A SH I N I N G F U T U R E: W h a t a
support group, end up feeling of Guru Angad Dev), whose selfless remarkable difference it would bring
disoriented and suicidal. Propitious s e rv i c e i n t h e co m mu n i t y k i t ch e n to our society, if our daughters could
and affluent Sikh ladies, instead of immortalised the tradition of serving ‘ imbibe such qualities as exhibited by
par tying or cl ubbing c an pl an to langar’ in our religion; or like Mata our worthy predecessors ! The world
spearhead such initiatives, quite in S u n d r i ( c o n s o r t o f G u r u G o bi n d would definitely be a better place to
the footsteps of Sardarni Sukeham Singh), whose leadership qualities live in, then.
Kaur of Kolkata, who is th e brain we re a beac on of ligh t for ou r
b e h i n d ‘L i f e li n e ’, a 24 h ou r community for forty years after the About the Author
counselling helpline. death of our Tenth guru; or like Mata Principal Kamalpreet Kaur B Ed; M.A.
Gujri, whose bravery and fortitude are Associate Editor, The Sikh Review,
In the new Millennium, the social unparalleled in history as the first Kolkata
scientists are sending another Sikh lady martyr, the wife of Guru Teg

True meaning of Sikh i - Bha i Ghanaya Ji serving wate r to the wounded - friend and foe

Social activism is rooted in just and equitable and open to moral included providing shelter and food
and sustained by concern scrutiny. The people also must be for the needy and wayfarers -
in h um a n eq u al ity , consciously concerned and involved integrating inclusiveness and effort
c o m mo n g o o d , c o mp a s s i o n , and not be apathetic – like effigies for common good with Sikh religious
j u s t i c e a nd c o nt r o ll i ng o f e v i l filled with straw. Their life styles must life from the beginning.
forces that may affect the society. be realized in and as a part of the
Religious leadership in the West is totality of the world as God created it. The Gurus continued to expand their
involved and encourages laity at activist interventions to address
the congregational levels to get The Gurus did not leave these as emerging needs of the society. Guru
a c t i v e ly i n v ol v e d i n s o c i a ll y precepts but built them into praxis. In Amardas asked Akbar for relief for the
relevant projects. his later years Guru Nanak settled farmers hit by drought. Starting with
down at a place that came to be Guru Hargobind, the successor Gurus
Social Activism & Sikh Religious Life known as Kartarpur, and set up a maintained an armed retinue to
Gurbani sets clear markers for social dharamsal where the devotees used protect the community and others
conduct. Supporting the family by to gather every evening to sing God’s from oppression by officials and local
honest endeavor and giving some for praises and share a community meal. satraps. Guru Har Krishan died of
the common good is commended as To this assembly, breaking prevalent contracting small pox tending to the
highly virtuous. Discrimination in any inhibitions, none was excluded. The sick in Delhi. Guru Tegh Bahadur gave
form is condemned. So are injustice, community grew and the dharamsal, his life so Hindus could have their
corruption and unethical behavior by over time, became the center where freedom of faith.
those in positions of power. They prayer and seva moved in tandem.
must be held accountable for being Characteristic features of dharamsal Continues on next page

Continued from previous page
With Guru Gobind Singh the Sikh
resolute activism saw its culmination.
The Khalsa was ready to protect what
was righteous and resist what was not
with the use of arms. A chronicle from
that time shows that apart from
sacrifice for shared humanity some
Sikhs had imbibed the message of
treating friend and foe alike. As the
weary sun was going down after a day
of skirmishes an old Sikh, Kanhaiya,
was seen tending the wounded of
both sides and ministering sips of
water to the thirsty. Seeing this the,
Sikhs were upset and asked Guru
Gobind Singh to stop Kanhaiya from
comforting the enemy. The Guru
asked them to call him and ask - why?
Brought before the Guru, Kanhaiya
humbly said ‘Lord you told us to
recognize all human race as one.
When I go tending the wounded and I
look at them I see your image in each
of them. If you pervade in all, I see
only you and no enemy!’
Bhagat P uran Singh ca ring for people

The Gurus thus not only gave Sikhs Sikhs On Their Own Surman, who had witnessed the
the theological foundation for social When Sikhs came on their own post scenes, wrote to their governor at Fort
action but also integrated it with their Guru Gobind Singh, with memories of William: "It is not a little remarkable
religious life. The contours of Sikh oppression suffered at the hands of with what patience Sikhs undergo
activism, its scriptural basis, the way local satraps fresh, their will to fight their fate, and to the last it has not
Gurus responses influenced and back was strong. It was in this climate been found that one apostatized from
defined it has two facets – that the campaign waged by Banda his new formed religion."1
• A proactive urge to blunt the ill Singh Bahadur was the start of a long
effects of institutionalized societal reactive Sikh response to carve out This scenario was re-enacted several
discrimination and ameliorate human space that could bring some sense of times during the tumultuous 18th
condition through encouraging safety and security in an environment century. Sikh bands actively fought
equality, harmony, sharing, self- where disparate forces were jostling the rulers and invading forces in a
reliance and seva; for power. series of drawn out guerrilla
• A reactive response to not give in to encounters and progressively
discrimination, oppression or Banda succeeded and his short-lived succeeded in gaining the upper hand.
injustice but to resist it through non- rule, a mix of benevolence and The conflict was seen as struggle to
violent means even if it means making ruthlessness, had a salutary effect in subdue evil forces subjugating the
supreme sacrifices and if all else fails bringing down lawlessness. society.
resort to limited use of force to Apprehended, Banda and his troops
obviate the immediate cause of showed exemplary courage and During this difficult period too the
dissonance. fortitude when tortured to death. Gurdwara continued with its proactive
Edward Stephenson and John Continues on next page

1 J T Wheeler, Early Records of British India, p. 180.

Continued from previous page recognized the problem of projects with only a small
activities to the extent possible. female infanticide only portion going for other
Additionally it became the center for recently when the socially relevant
deliberations by the community for directive against initiatives.
taking consensual decisions to kurimars has been
coordinate strategic and logistic effort part of Sikh ethos Concluding
and other problems of shared from the time of The lapses in our
concern. Guru Gobind social activism
Singh. A lone possibly do not
Towards the end of 18th century Ranjit volunteer took up seize our
Singh, a young Sikh leader, was able the mission for attention weighed
to establish Sikh rule and stop further the cleanup of down as we are
incursions from across the western Bain Nadi. Till with structural
frontier. His subjects thus were able to today we have not problems of
enjoy relative peace for the first time heard a word of religious authority,
in several centuries. concern from SGPC or identity issues and
the Akal Takhat regarding Bhagat P uran Singh growing alienation among
During the half-century of Sikh rule the poisons running through the youth. We are also still
the Sikh social activism received State the water resources of the land where struggling to figure out how to
patronage and it thrived as well as the Gurus sang songs extolling water position ourselves as a minority to
diversified. Sikhs had earned a lot of as pita and jit harya sabh koe. effectively engage the mainstream as
goodwill through their sacrifices and a faith group on issues of broader
conduct. As the ruling elite now they Even though the religious leadership social concern. In the process we are
displayed the sagacity to be non has been tardy, Sikhs in India are now talking more about what the Gurus
discriminatory, just and generous. It more visibly engaged in eradication of said and did rather than trying to carry
was a period when for a short while social evils and improvement in the their example and mission forward.
the society did not need reactive condition of their fellow beings. I am
activism from them – it was ensured quite impressed with the range of We have to move beyond ruminating.
through governance. Gurdwara based programs like We can re call o ur ac ts o f so cial
hospitals and schools that I have seen responsibility a million times in our
grow in recent years. Sikhs have also Ardaas – it wil l not enable us to
Contemporary Scene responded to problems arising from engage effectively in causes that are
& Issues the 80’s to develop activist forums to of importance in today’s context. That
The contemporary scene presents a aid the victims and seek justice. Their ability will only be enhanced if we talk
mixed bag. Sikh Gurdwara based help to recent disaster victims has about what is impeding us presently
traditional activism – langar, serai, been quick and visible. to be com e mo re en gaged and
seva – has continued and Sikhs have involved as a faith group. Once we are
been channeling their offerings to Situation relating to the Diaspora able to think through I have no doubt
Gurdwaras. Yet closer examination however is not as comforting. Their we would succeed in repositioning
w o ul d s ho w t ha t m o s t o f t he involvement, as a faith group, with the our sel ves as co ncer ned so cial
Gurdwaras and Sikhs as a religious core issues espoused by social activists very quickly and effectively.
g r o u p ha v e b e e n n e g l i g e n t o f activists is only marginal. At the Sikh transition from ruminating to
p r o bl e m s l i k e br o k e n h o m e s , individual level too Sikh giving has talking will not come easy. Walking is
environmental degradation, human found its way more to India than to not a problem once they get to know
rights violations, armed conflict etc. local causes ostensibly in a nostalgic the way – if at all they may have to be
th at cons titute the core issu es in bid to reconnect with their roots or dissuaded from plunging headlong!
contemporary social activism. possibly because of other pragmatic ...........................
considerations. There too most of Prof. Nirmal Singh USA
We will take a few examples. SGPC contribution is intended for religious Email:


I felt greatly privileged when The Sikh

Times co-ordinator Gurmukh Singh ji
asked me to write an article on Anti
G u rm a t t P ra c t i c e s a m o n g s t t h e S i k h
community. The fact that this article was for
U.K. publication commemorating the 300th
anniversary of ascension of the Guru Granth
S a h i b t o G ur g a d h i s e e m e d t o b e a
particularly poignant and timely opportunity
to remind us Sikhs to stay true to the core
principles of our faith.

As we head towards celebrating 300 years of

Gurgadhi, we need to ask ourselves how far have
our minds been illuminated and to what extent
our lives have changed as a result of the Guru
wisdom – the Gurmatt which was passed on to us
300 years ago? A cursory consideration leads us
to conclude that a series of paradoxical practices,
reminiscent of a backward time, Guru Nanak had
taken steps to eradicate, impinging upon the
lives of many Sikh families and also being
reflected in various religious establishments. We
have the most modern, dynamic and upward-
moving philosophy of life in the twenty-first
century world, yet we are becoming seeped in
the threads of old traditions, rituals, practices
that are centuries old. Let us examine in brief
some of the stale religious rituals and other
practices out of which Guru Nanak lifted us, and
into which we are falling prey to, all over again.
Anti-Gurmatt practi ce Sati, a funer al practice a mong some H indu communities in which a re cently-widowed
woman would immolate herself on her h usband’s funeral pyre
Continues on next page

Continued from previous page earning of money by Keertani jathas plate is placed by the Guru Granth
through off-loading almost a ‘musical Sahib and a bottle of water under the
The practice of Nam Simran/Nam programme’ rather than using Keertan manji sahib to act as Amrit. On
Japna through yoga-breathing as a tool to empower congregation’s Gurpurb days one can witness several
technique (pranayama) is understanding of Gurmatt. If there is a Akhand Paatths being recited in one
mushrooming at an alarming rate in two hour programme, majority of Gurdwara hall at the same time. What
the U.K., Canada, America and India. invitees barely arrive half an hour is the logic behind this?
People are being taught to chant the before the end of the programme.
word “Waheguru!” which is recited in Should everybody not arrive at the Why does Ardas (a communal prayer
a meaningless parrot fashion with the beginning of the programme as in conducted at the end of each
use of yoga breathing in certain Christian churches and take part in programme) include a long list of
Gurdwaras, Sant deras and private the full service? We need to ask what donations? Why has Ardas been
homes in the name of Simran. A rising role do Gurdwaras themselves have turned into a ritual? It is said before
number of Sikhs are visiting sham on this and how can such installing [parkaash of ] Guru Granth
Sants, to obtain ‘Nam’ or Mantar1 Sahib in the morning and another one

(chanting of specific text from Guru after installing it and the third one
Granth Sahib or other sources for a
defined period of time) to resolve
At present Hindus follows after the end of the morning
service; then Ardas is repeated two to
problems in life. ‘Simran’ is a Sanskrit in Britain are three times during and after the
word meaning ‘to remember’. Nam evening prayers before putting away
Simran means detaching oneself from asking for open-air “ [sukh-aasan of ] the Guru Granth
the worldly attachments and
remembering those divine virtues
funeral pyres and Sahib. Putting away of the Guru
Granth Sahib is taken by some to
from the Gurbani, which enable some Sikhs are believe that the Guru is asleep. Such
removal of ignorance and uplift our rituals are irrational, offer no life-
conduct2 ; it is an introspection of the joining them. Is values except delude their adherents
‘Self’, using the Gurbani as a gauge, a
process which assists the assimilation
this Gurmatt? into feigning religiosity and increase
their arrogance4. These are signs of
of positive characteristics for human stagnation in Sikhism today; we are
living. It is an individual participation be encouraged? not seeking to understand and apply
communication process with the the meaning of the Gurbani, but
Divine and not a congregational one. These days Akhand Paths can be rather paying a public lip service to it
bought on the internet, or one can pay in the name of religion.
In this above category we can also granthis to have the reading at
include the newly flourishing Gurdwara or privately at home; they We continue to go against the Guru-
practices of Ren sabhaee Kirtan (an all have become a ritual for celebrating teachings by observing many Vedic
night Keertan resembling the Vedic birthdays, anniversaries etc. with the rituals which have no logic or any
Jagrata), Akhand Keertan, Nirmol emphasis on serving grand dinners values for human living:
Keertan chains of Akhand Paatths, and socialisation; very often the - The Karva chauth fasting, kept
Sukhmani Sahib Paatths, or special Paatth is recited by lone Granthis with traditionally by Hindu women to
‘Paatths’ prescribed by Babas and no one listening. In some homes and lengthen the life of their husband.
Sants; all these add further chains of Gurdwaras ghee lamps and incense - Holding supernatural beliefs of
rituals around our necks. Countless are burnt continuously for the auspicious and non-auspicious days
Keertan programmes take place; duration of the Paatth, dried coconut e.g. Sangrand (full- moon) and
however, the prime emphasis is on the (shagun3 -a sign of good omen) on a Continues on next page

1 Guru Granth Sahib, M.1, Raag Suhi, page 766 qMqu mMqu pwKMfu n jwxw rwmu irdY mnu mwinAw ]
2 Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Suhi, M.4 p. 758 ismir ismir ismir guru Apunw soieAw mnu jwgweI
3 Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Asa, M.5 p. 401 sgun Apsgun iqs kau lgih ijsu cIiq n AwvY ]
4 Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Gauri, M.3, p.162 krm kWf bhu krih Acwr ] ibnu nwvY iDRgu iDRgu AhMkwr ]

Continued from previous page
Massya (darkest night)5 etc.
- Burning lamps at the Gurdwaras and
bowing down to them and to the
Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag).
- Use of rosaries
- Conducting Artee.
- Sprinkling water to purify the ground
as Guru Granth Sahib is transported
from one place to another, walking
bare feet on stony ground while
carrying it.
- Nagar Kirtans
- Decorating the manji-sahib with
tinsel, flowers. Following ‘bhog’
tradition by placing a plate of food
with a glass of water, spoon and a
serviette near Guru Granth Sahib. This
resembles the Vedic worship mode
which includes feeding the gods.

Are we treating our inheritance of

wisdom as an idol?
Guru Nanak directed us away from
performing holy pilgrimages6 yet the Do UK Sikhs need polluting
current climate is witnessing an
increased trend towards commercially open-air pyres when cremation
organised pilgrimage tours to the
Sikh shrines; people are going in
facilities are available?
hoards and returning with great
arrogance having been sanctified, method to achieve the results one The U.K. Sunday Times recently
sadly with no observable change in hopes to acquire but there is no quick carried a most shameful and
actual and charitable behaviour. By all fix. horrifying headline - “In India nearly a
means one should visit Sikh historical million baby girls are aborted each
places to see where our Gurus lived, While the Sikh religious institutions year”; female infanticide/foeticide
but to believe that by going there and sleep, anti-female practices like uses burial, poisoning, suffocation
bathing in the ‘holy water’ or drinking female infanticide/foeticide, wife and now, using detection, sex
the holy water (as Amrit) will absolve beating continue to prevail. There is selective abortion. Although there are
and sanctify them amounts to a no data available, but many ‘safe no specific figures for these atrocities
superficial regard for the truth of homes’ in the U.K. hold Sikh women, for Panjab, the home to Sikhs, the
Sikhi. Guru Nanak Sahib in Japuji, amongst their victims, seeking refuge lowest female to male ratio is to be
Pauri 21 explains: to be sanctified one from mental and physical torture by found there. The consequence of this
has to purify one’s mind, thinking and their husbands; there are many others is that women are in short supply in
behaviour by taking a plunge in the who, because of the shame or izzat Panjab and wives are being purchased
pool of one’s conscience; conducting (honour) factor suffer in silence. Why from the poorer areas of India;
that internal dialogue is the only is this being swept under the carpet? Continues on next page
5 Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Bilawal, M. 3, p. 843 iQqI vwr syvih mugD gvwr ] nwnk gurmuiK bUJY soJI pwie ]
6 Guru Granth Sahib, M.1, Japuji, Pauri 21, page 4 qIrQu qpu dieAw dqu dwnu ]

Continued from previous page joining them. Is this Gurmatt?
trafficking in women has mounted and Further backward practices are
polyandry (sharing of wives) is on the visible within our own
increase. Sikhi is based on developing Gurdwaras here in the U.K., for
congenial human relationships and example, the use of tables and
our Gurus sacrificed their lives and chairs to have langar, chairs to
families for the right of human beings, sit upon in congregation for
so it is impossible to understand how those in need, the failure to
this most fundamental breach of use English medium to include
human rights and of Gurus’ Word in our youngsters during service
the Guru Granth Sahib is taking place? time and refusal to conduct
How can Sikhs hear ‘Asa Di Var’ every inter-marriages. Gurmatt
morning, hear Guru Nanak accord teaches us to be inclusive
great respect and equality7 to women while our narrow-minded
and yet choose to follow heavily male- practices reflect increasing Nagar Kirtan is a vedic rituals which have no logic
ingrained anti- female Vedic exclusivity. If we are not vigilant, we understand why we are not in tune
practices? will follow the same fate as that of the with the Guru wisdom – lack of
Christian churches - that of education among the general
Despite the fact that social equality, population of the Sikhs has meant

social justice8 and man’s worth lies in that people have not been able to
his actions9 are the underlying
principles of Sikh teachings, the
...we need to take a read Gurbani for themselves and what
they have been taught has not come
Manuvadic caste-discrimination constructive stand from reliable sources. Sikh
continues to be practiced among the philosophy has also become
Sikh community, in the caste-based on this and intermingled with cross-cultural
religious institutions (including
gurdwaras), social societies and
re-educate factors and the result is that anti-
Gurmatt practices are becoming
within the marriage-system. Although ourselves through “ increasingly pronounced. Since our
there are no quantifiable figures Sikh leaders and our religious bodies
available, Caste Watch- U.K. have learning and have failed to address these issues,
reported “over a million people”
affected by this discrimination and
sharing our we need to take a constructive stand
on this and re-educate ourselves
Sikhs among other South Asians are knowledge with through learning and sharing our
included in this category. The knowledge with others.
discrimination takes the form of others.
bullying at school and college level In Gurbani, we have pearls of wisdom
through name-calling and often decreasing congregation; we need our at our disposal that can be
leading to violence; it also manifests Gurdwara ethos to become more discovered, lived and shared with
on factory floors, pubs and clubs too. modern, more welcoming and fully others; the only way to gain this
accessible to all, while still preserving wisdom is through active
If we are followers of Chardi Kala the concept of Langar, Pangat and listening/reading with intellectual
(rising, forward-moving spirit) why are Sat-sangat. This is a wake-up call for deliberation10 ; it is only this process
we moving backwards? At present all of us! that will enable us to alter our
Hindus in Britain are asking for open- dogmatic and materialistic vision to
air funeral pyres and some Sikhs are We as a community need to that of Gurmatt.

7 Guru Granth Sahib, M.1, Raag Asa, Asa Di Var, p. 473 BMif jMmIAY BMif inMmIAY BMif mMgxu vIAwhu ]
8 Guru Granth Sahib, M.1, Sri Raag, p. 83 PkV jwqI PkVu nwau ] sBnw jIAw iekw Cwau ]
9 Guru Granth Sahib, M.1, Raag Prabhati, p. 1330 sw jwiq sw piq hY jyhy krm kmwie ]
10 Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Maru. M.3 p.1065 so jnu swcw ij AMqru Bwly ]

WHICH LIBERATES The five practising symbols of Sikhism

maintain and adorn this natural
God-given gift. To work with
nature and not against it. The
Kesh was covered with a turban,
Keski or Chunni to keep it clean
and manageable.

S ikh rehat (reht) refers
to the daily routine of a
S i k h w h i c h a c c or d s
with Gurbani teaching. It also
Gurdaas in his Varaan, given the
status by the Guru, as the “key”
to the understanding and correct
interpretation of Gurbani. Sikh
Symbolises an unbreakable bond
with God. It is a constant
reminder that the Sikh is a
servant of the Lord. He or she
refers to the conduct of a Sikh rehat is the mental and physical must only do His work in
accordance with the Holy
based on mental and physical discipline every Sikh should Scripture; to abstain for wrong-
d i s ci p l i ne d er iv e d fro m aspire to observe. The Khalsa doing at all times.
Gurbani: firstly as lived and Panth is collectively empowered
p r e a c h e d b y t he t e n G u r u to interpret Sikh reaht as
persons for over 200 years to
1708, and later, as interpreted
required by changing times and KACHA
circumstances. (COTTON UNDERWEAR) Standard,
and approved by the Khalsa Naturally Comfortable, dignified
attire reflective of modesty and
P a nth (T h e O r d er o f th e This article deals with some control. A sign of a soldier; ever
Khalsa). questions and doubts frequently ready; dignified and highly
raised by the younger generation
In its current form, the Sikh Reht in the Sikh diaspora. Questions
Maryada, The Code of Sikh relating to Sikh rehat also create
Conduct & Conventions is vertical and horizontal divisions
published by the Dharam Parchar amongst the Sikhs1. The purpose KANGA
Committee of the Shromani is not to repeat the one and only (WOODEN COMB) For the
maintenance and ongoing
Gurdwara Parbandhak authentic Sikh Rehat Maryada2 upkeep of Kesh- a reminder to
Committee, at Amritsar, Panjab. published by the Dharam regularly maintain the body and
mind in a clean and healthy
Prachaar Committee of the state.
Sikh rehat relates to the whole- Shromani Gurdwara Prabandhak
life miri-piri (worldly and Committee, Amritsar. Any other
spiritual) twin track ideology of version, without exception,
Sikhism derived from the should be regarded as KIRPAAN
teachings of Guru Granth Sahib. unacceptable, for its only motive (A SMALL SWORD) A sign that a
It was further clarified by Bhai Continues on next page Sikh is a soldier in “Akal
Purakh’s (God’s) Army” (Akal
Purakh de fauj); to maintain and
1 Vertical divisions are caused by the various Sikh Sampardais (schools) with own rituals and traditions and horizontal
division are caused by arbitrary classification of puka/kacha Sikhs e.g. amratdhari and sehajdhari based on rehatnamas
protect the weak and needy and
carrying doubtful authenticity (but that is not to detract from the Sikh life disciplines which are necessary to remain on the
for self defense. Never to be
Sikh path.) used in anger.
2 Should be available from most Gurdwaras, if not why not ? (UK: The Sikh Missionary Society, UK, 10 Featherstone
Road, Southall, Middlesex UB2 5AA Tel: 0208 574 1902.)

Continued from previous page could be
to divide. This article is not
prescriptive; the purpose is to look
into the spirit of Sikh rehat as a
guiding and uniting force in the Sikh
qaum, the Khalsa Panth. The Sikh
dharam (“religion” with stress on duty
and truthful conduct) is not based on
dogma or rituals (as distinct from
procedures necessary for the conduct
of dignified ceremonies3 ) but on
research of the Guru’s teaching by
every Sikh because: “Sikhi sikhia Gur
vichaar” means Sikhism is adoption of
the Guru’s teaching through research
and discussion. (Quote from Guru
Nanak’s Asa di Waar in Guru Granth

The aim of this article is to ensure that

the Sikh concept and purpose of rehat
(life discipline) is properly

To start with, to regard Sikh rehat as S. Baghel Singh with his troops outsi de the Red Fort Delhi

some sort of dogma based, objective (life target) of every Sikh. that, in fact, the only Sikh is one who
disciplinary straight-jacket would be For a Sikh, the Sikh ideology, the Sikh becomes a Sikh. Perhaps “becoming a
to miss the point. culture and language, the Sikh family Sikh” makes the inner meaning, the
life and the aspirations of the Sikh active desire to become a good Sikh,
We must not allow anti-Sikh elements Qaum are simply a part of his (or her) clearer. The words “Sikh” or “Khalsa”
to divide the Sikh community by mis- whole personality; his inheritance, his signify the ideals which they
interpreting and mis-representing the virsa. The ceremony of Amrat is not represent. A Sikh evolves towards
meaning of rehat as some exclusive S i k h “ b a p t i s m ” f o r “ b a pt i s m i s a these ideals through research of the
life-style entered into through some Ch ris tia n r ite, it is “in iti ati on”, a Guru’s Word.
form of cult ritualism. Sikh rehat is an ceremony of blissful and voluntary
ideal way of life towards which every and mature acceptance of the ideal Kaho Kabir jan bhai khalsay, prem
Sikh aspires daily, continually, Sikh conduct in the presence of the bhagat jeh jani (Bani Kabir, SGGS,
continuously and with every breath. spiritual Guru (Granth Sahib) and the Raag Sorath)
That aspiration is already there from te mp oral Gu ru , Kh alsa Panth Says Kabir, he who (truly)
birth, when a child is born in a Sikh represented by the Five Beloved Ones understands loving devotion (to the
family or when a Sikh says I am a Sikh. (Pia ray). However, the purpose of Lord) becomes (the Lord’s) khalsa.
It would only be a self evident truth, a rehat is not to create a divisive higher
mere truism, if we say that Sikh rehat and lower order of the Sikhs or the All Sikhs are on the path leading to
or way of life, is a conscious or Khalsa Panth. A Sikh is born a Sikh or the Khalsa ideal and are therefore
subconscious aim (desire) and becomes a Sikh. Some would argue Continues on next page

3 Gurdwara services and other social or individual occasions (sanskaars) e.g. birth, death, engagement, wedding and the taking of Amrit vows.
Ceremonies add dignity, discipline and solemnity to important occasions.

Continued from previous page good reasons:
Khalsa Panth. They are all on the B r a h m a n i c
same ladder the highest step of which practices were and
is oneness with the One. To repeat: even today are
Kaho Kabir jan bhai khalsay, prem divisive and
bhagat jeh jani. socially oppressive
and degrading
The influence of the divisive and (through the
oppressive Brahmanical Manuwaadic degrading and
inhuman caste
system), fear
creating (through
superstition and The Sikh army
rituals), offensive and abhorrent to Yet, Sikhism is a world ideology for
any civilised society (e.g. custom of the new age. The political (miri)
sati and even human sacrifices in the objective of Khalsa Panth, which has
past, to Kali goddess etc) and the so exercised oppressive regimes, is
greedy, unemployed (vehlarr) priest also a global political model for “unity
class, the prohats, living off others’ in diversity”5. The Khalsa raaj model
earnings. promotes regional devolution. It gives
freedom to diversity but unites

through common economic, regional
Ba nd a Singh Bahad ur regard Sikh and global interests; it unites for the
tradition (referred to as Bipraan ki
reet by Guru Gobind Singh) on the
rehat as some sort purpose of upholding highest human
values. The Sikh or Khalsa ideology
Sikhs continues to be such, that the of dogma based, “ when introduced by Guru Nanak was
topic of Sikh rehat has become new and revolutionary. However,
complex, sensitive and debilitating for disciplinary many ideals of Sikhism have been
the advancement of the global Sikh
theo-political organisation. This state
straight-jacket adopted by civilised societies e.g. the
“unity in diversity” vision of Guru
of affairs suits the Brahmanic designs would be to miss Nanak has been accepted by modern
for strangling the liberating forces of multi-cultural societies. Sikhism in
Sikhism in their “brotherly” embrace! the point. the shape of Khalsa Panth stands for
basic human rights and human
The Guru’s oft repeated warning is dignity, now adopted by the United
clear “When they (my Sikhs) follow Regrettably, even the highest Sikh Nations through charters and
the Brahmanic ways, I shall no longer institutions have been infiltrated by conventions.
trust them (to follow my teachings)” Brahmanic influence (i.e. “Bipraan ki
(“Jaab eh gahen bipraan ki reet, mai reet”) against which the Guru warned. The Guru’s dhur ki Bani (the Word
na karon in ki parteet”). Strong words So much so that there are now which guides to the final destination)
from the Guru who preached the gurdwaras named after castes and our will continue to relate to the future of
Fatherhood of God and brotherhood highest institutions like Akal Takhat mankind. It is a complete life
of mankind and accepted in Guru remain complacent about such philosophy which responds to the
Granth Sahib4 the highest truths manmukh (anti Gurbani teachings i.e. questioning approach of the younger
(dharam) of most religions. But for anti-Gurmat)) practices. generation.
4 Sikh Holy Scriptures, the Word of the Guru which always was and forever shall be (aad jugaad) the Guru of the Sikhs. The physical form of the
Guru was Guru Nanak in ten human forms and is the collective body of the Khalsa, called the Guru Khalsa.
5 The ideology of Khalsa Panth is strongly opposed to centralist systems enforcing legal/political ideologies on minorities. Thus referring to the
Mughal rule in India the great poet Santokh Singh 1785 to 1843 write “Shai jaati ekta anekta belai jaati” (Under the oppressive shadow of forced
unity i.e. forced conversions to Islam, variety is crying out)

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×°ðîÇå ÁÅÚÅð ÇòÔÅð, ×°ðî¹Ö ÇÃè»å» Áé°ÃÅð Ú¼ñä çÅ êàéÅ ÃÅÇÔì, åõå ôÆz Õ¶Ã×ó· ÃÅÇÔì, ôzÆ Áé§çê¹ð ÃÅÇÔì,
Ü÷ìÅ, éÅî ÇÃîðé çÆ Çñò Áå¶ ×°ðÈ Ã¶òÅ çÅ ð¼ìÆ ð³× ×°ðç¹ÁÅðÅ ì³×ñÅ ÃÅÇÔì, Çç¼ñÆ Áå¶ Ô¯ð ÕÂÆ ×°ðç¹ÁÅÇðÁ»
ìÖÇôÁÅÍ Ü¯ îÇðïÅçÅ ÃÅÇÔì ôzÆ ×°ðÈ ×¯Çì³ç ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ îÔÅðÅÜ ÇòÚ Ã¹ô¯Çíå ÔéÍ
é¶ ÒÒðÇÔäÆ ðÔË Ã¯ÂÆ ÇÃ¼Ö î¶ðÅÓÓ ù î¹¼Ö ðÖ Õ¶ ÚñÅÂÆ, À°Ã À°µêð ôzÆ îÅé A@H óå ìÅìÅ ÔðíÜé ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ ìðÕå çÆ êÈðé
îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» é¶ ÃÅð¶ ÇÔ³ç¹ÃåÅé å¶ ìÅÔðñ¶ î¹ñÕ» ÔÅñ˺â, ÇÕzêÅ-ìõÇôô, ôzÆ îÅé A@H óå îÔÅðÅÜ ìÅìÅ ÜÆå ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ
ìËñÜÆÁî, ëð»Ã, ÜðîéÆ å¶ âËéîÅðÕ ÁÅÇç ïÈðê ç¶ô» Áå¶ Çéðîñ Õ°àÆÁŠܽÔñ» (Ç÷ñ·Å Üñ§èð) ù êzÅêå Ô¯ÂÆ, ܯ ÇÕ
ÁîðÆÕÅ Õé¶âÅ å¶ Ç³×ñ˺â ÇòÖ¶ çðôé ç¶ Õ¶ â¼à Õ¶ êÇÔðÅ ÁÅêä¶ ò¼â¶ îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» òñ¯º ÚñÅÂÆ êð³êðÅ Áé°ÃÅð å¶ ì³éÆ
ÇçåÅ å¶ ì¶Á³å ×°ðîå å¶ Á³Çîzå êzÚÅð ÕÆåÅÍ Ç³×ñ˺â ÇòÖ¶ îÇðïÅçÅ ù î¹¼Ö ðÖ Õ¶, ×°ðÈ ×¯Çì³ç ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ îÔÅðÅÜ òñ¯º
ÖÅà å¯ð å¶ îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» é¶ ×°ðÇüÖÆ ÁÅé ôÅé ÇÔå ÚñÅÂÆ çðÃÅÂÆ ðÇÔå îÇðÁÅçÅ À°µêð êÈðÅ êÇÔðŠ綺ÇçÁÅ, ÁÅêä¶
îÇðïÅçÅ ù î¹¼Ö ðÖ Õ¶ Çå³é ×°ðç¹ÁÅðÅ ÃÅÇÔìÅé, ×°ðç¹ÁÅðÅ êÈðé å¶Ü-êzåÅê Áå¶ ðÇÔåòÅé-ÖÅñÃîÂÆ ÜÆòé ÃçÕÅ,
Á³Çîzå êzÚÅð èÅðÇîÕ çÆòÅé ìðËâë¯ðâ, ìðÇî³Øî å¶ ÔÅÂÆ Çéð¯ñ êðÀ°êÕÅð å¶ ÇéôÕÅî íÅòéÅ éÅñ, ìÅäÆ å¶ ìÅä¶ ç¶
Çò³Õî (ñ§âé) ÃæÅêå ÕÆå¶Í èÅðéÆ ×z³æÆ, ðÅ×Æ, ãÅâÆ Áå¶ êzÚÅðÕ Çóػ Ãî¶å, ì¶Á³å
ÇÂé·» îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» çÆ êÈðé ÇÕzêÅ-ìõÇôô, ôzÆ îÅé A@H óå ×°ðîå å¶ Á³Çîzå êzÚÅð ÕðÇçÁ» Áå¶ Áé¶Õ» ×°ðç¹ÁÅÇðÁ»
îÔÅðÅÜ ìÅìÅ ÔðíÜé ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ ìðÕå Òå¶ Ô¯ÂÆÍ ÁÅê Á¼á¶ çÅ éÆºÔ ê¼æð ðÖ Õ¶ ÒÒ×°ðìÅäÆ ÇÂù ÜÇ× îÇÔ ÚÅéä°ÓÓ ù Ôð
êÇÔð öòÅ-ÇÃîðé, ×°ðìÅäÆ Áå¶ Çéð³ÕÅð çÆ ê¶zîÅí×åÆ Ü×·Å ëËñÅÀ°ä çÆ îÔÅé å¶ êÇò¼åð ê³æÕ Ã¶òÅ Õð ðÔ¶ ÔéÍ
ÇòÚ ÇñòñÆé ðÇÔ³ç¶Í ÇÂé·» îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» é¶ ì¶Á³å Õñï°×Æ ÇÂÃ ç¶ éÅñ ÔÆ, ÇÂé·» îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» Áå¶ À°é·» ç¶ ÃÔÅÇÂÕ Ã³å
ÜÆò» çÅ íñÅ ÕÆåÅÍ ÇÂé·» îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» ç¶ Áñ½ÇÕÕ çðôé å¶ ìÅìÅ ÜÃêÅñ ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ ç¶ îÔÅé À°µçî Áå¶ À°µåî À°êç¶ô
îÔ» êÇò¼åð ó×å éÅñ Ô÷Åð» ÁêðÅèÆÁ» çÅ À°èÅð Ô¯ÇÂÁÅ ÃçÕÅ, Ôð ÁËåòÅð Áå¶ Ã³×ð»ç ù Ã˺Õó¶ êzÅäÆ, Çéðîñ
Áå¶ ÕÂÆ îéîåÆÁ» å¶ ôðÅì»-ÕìÅì» ÇòÚ ð°ó·¶ Ü»ÇçÁ» ù Õ°àÆÁŠܽÔñ» ÇòÖ¶, Ö³â¶-ìÅචçÅ Á³Çîzå Û¼Õ Õ¶, ôzÆ ×°ðÈ ×z³æ
×°ðÇüÖÆ ÜÆòé çÅé ÇîÇñÁÅÍ ÇÂé·» îÔ»ê¹ðÖ» é¶ ×°ðÈ ×¯Çì³ç ÃÅÇÔì ÜÆ îÔÅðÅÜ ç¶ ñó ñ× Õ¶ ×°ðÇüÖÆ ÜÆòé ÇòÚ Ççzó
ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ îÔÅðÅÜ òñ¯º çðÃÅÂÆ ðÇÔå îÇðÁÅçÅ Áé°ÃÅð Çéð¯ñ Ô¯ ðÔ¶ Ôé Áå¶ Ã¼Ú¶ ×°ðî¹Ö Ò×ÅâÆ ðÅÔ°Ó ç¶ ê»èÆ ìä ðÔ¶ ÔéÍ
×°ðîå êzÚÅð ÕðÇçÁ» ì¶Á³å êzÅäÆÁ» ù Á³Çîzå ÛÕÅ Õ¶ å¶
×°ðìÅäÆ ç¶ ñó ñ×Å Õ¶ ÇÃ¼Ö ê³æ çÆ îÔÅé å¶ Áç¹¼åÆ Ã¶òÅ
ÕÆåÆÍ êzÅðæÕ
îÔ»ê¹ðÖ ôzÆ îÅé A@H óå ìÅìÅ ìóå ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ, ôzÆ îÅé
ç¶ô-Çòç¶ô ÇéòÅÃÆ ÃîÈÔ ôðèÅòÅé ÃÅèó×å
A@H óå ìÅìÅ Ç×ÁÅé ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ Áå¶ ôzÆ îÅé A@H óå ìÅìÅ
ÔðíÜé ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ ìðÕå çÆÁ» îÔÅé ê³æÕ å¶ ÇüÖÆ Ã¶òÅò»
Áå¶ À°µÚ-Çéðîñ ÕðäÆ ÃçÕÅ ÔÆ ÁÅê ÜÆ ç¶ ÃðÈê, ÇÃ¼Ö Çéðîñ Õ°àÆÁŠܽÔñ»
ÁÜÅÇÂì Øð, ôzÆ çðìÅð ÃÅÇÔì, ôzÆ Á³ÇîzåÃð, åõå ÃzÆ (Ç÷ñ·Å Üñ§èð) ê³ÜÅì dzâÆÁÅ

omb of the great mother
earth gives birth to all"
GGS p 1020
"You Yourself the bumble-bee, the
f l o w e r, t h e f ru i t a n d t h e t r e e .
Yourself the water, the desert, the
ocean and the pool. Yourself the
Floods in India d ue to climate change
great fish, the tortoise..." GGS p
1020 Creator in creation; wherein “He sits the chain of limitless species and,
"Wonderful are the winds, and the and watches over all with joy and therefore, carries the responsibility to
waters, and the fires that play satisfaction”. The Sikh Gurus care for and serve the Lord’s creation
wonders. Wonderful is the earth, regarded the earth as a place of selflessly. Sikhee condemns a self-
and the sources of its production." worship where we meditate upon the centred life-style of overindulgence
G G S p 4 64 Lord’s Name and serve His creation which uses up the mother earth’s
selflessly. The Guru taught that the resources, or which disturbs the fine
Climate change, which cannot be Creator Being created the air which balance in nature and the
attributed to natural causes, is due to created water and brought life on the environment. Moderation in all
uncontrolled consumerism fuelled by “great mother earth” (mata dharat aspects of life is a consistent Gurbani
self-centred overindulgence and mahatt); that in the midst of seasons, theme.
overuse of natural resources. The wind, water, fire and nether worlds,
linked issue is that of the the Wonderous Giver of Knowledge, Some useful Gurbani references:
responsibility of humankind towards set the earth as His temple so that Chavraso lakh joon upaaee…..GGS p 1403
the environment. humankind may learn and practice Is dharti meh teri sikdari………GGS p 374.
righteous living (dharam). Therein he Pavan guru pani pita…………..GGS p 8
Many compositions in Guru Granth created limitless diverse species with Saachay te pavana bhya…….. GGS p 19
Sahib, the Sikh scriptures, are own modes of living and ensured a Raati ruti….dharti dharamsaal….GGS p 7
devoted to the description of the balance through the laws of nature. Api nai Aap saajio……………….GGS p 463
environment and nature, the changing ........................
seasons and the great diversity of life Man’s duty towards nature is implicit Gurmukh Singh
on earth. Guru Nanak Sahib saw the in Sikh teachings. Humankind leads E-mail:

To celebrate the Tercentenary of Gurtagaddi, (ordination of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as
the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs), an international conference was held at Sri Guru Gobind
Singh Institute of Engineering & Technology in Nanded, Maharastra, India, from
September 25th – 28th 2008. The opening of the conference venue by Sri Guru Granth
Sahib Ji, provided a unique and original, blessed inauguration.

o cel eb r ate th e
T er c ente na r y of
Gurtagaddi, (ordination of
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the
Etern al Guru o f the Si khs) , an
international conference was held
at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Institute
of Engineering & Technology in
Nanded, Maharastra, India, from
September 25th – 28th 2008. The
opening of the conference venue
b y S r i G u r u G r a nth S a h i b J i ,
provided a unique and original,
blessed inauguration.

Speakers and scholars from all

continents and countries such as USA,
Canada, England, India, Pakistan, East
Africa, Australia, Dubai, and Europe According to Dr. P.S. Pasricha, Chairman of
representing world religions including Administrative Committee, Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur
Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Sahib, Nanded / Coordinator, Gurtagaddi celebrations,
2008, ‘the purpose was to further promote interfaith
Christianity, and the Sikh Dharam
dialogues, for developing greater insight of religious
participated. ‘They encouraged beliefs, as well as opening the door to the
governments and civil societies to understanding of one’s neighbours’ religion’.
respect scriptures of all traditions’,
said the conference convenor, Sukhbir
Singh of England. Continues on next page

Continued from previous page

‘It is not an attempt for fusion of ‘This conference aimed to reach

religions, but a quest to nurture an academics, spiritual leaders and
appreciation of similarities and to civil society as a whole to build
value the differences. Such bridges in faith communities. To
initiatives will reduce global achieve these objectives will be the
conflicts and promote peace’ said best tribute to the composers of
Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, the Guru Granth’s hymns’, said
Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam American scholar, Dr. Harbans Lal
Sewak Jatha, UK. who is President of the Academy of
Guru Granth studies.

This international conference was a prelude

to a series of celebrations and conferences Singh Sahib Kulwant
to be held throughout the world. Sri Hazur Singh, Jathedar of Takhat
Sahib, Nanded will host the major Sri Abchalnagar Hazur
celebrations at the end of October 2008 Sahib, welcomed the
when Dr Manmohan Singh, the Prime participants to Nanded.
Minister of India is expected to pay a visit to
the city. Sikhs hope to reach the world
audience about the messages of their
Sacred scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib
through this and similar other conferences.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama while

Singh Sahib Giani Gurbachan
commenting on the conference said
Singh, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat,
that ‘religion should be used as
told the audience that ‘Sri Guru
basis for friendship, brotherhood
Granth Sahib Ji’s message was not
and sisterhood. Active dialogue can
for Sikhs alone, but a lighthouse
lead to mutual enrichment of ethics
for all humanity.’ Jathedar Iqbal
and spiritual practice. We should
Singh of Patna Takhat and former
encourage an increase in contacts
Jathedar of Akal Takhat Giani
among the followers of different
Joginder Singh Vedanti, also spoke
religions and visits to each other’s
and led prayer meetings.
places of pilgrimage and prayer.’

Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Founder of

Museum of World Religions shared his Hazrat Moulana Jameel Ahmed
message of good will; ‘may the sharing Ilyasi, President and Secretary
of scriptures of different faiths during General of All India
this conference lead to an ever deeper Organisation of Imams and
understanding and collaboration Mosques declared; ‘I bring
among the religious leaders, scholars from India the good wishes and
and people of faith who will participate blessings of half a million
in this important event. May the fruits Imams of India who are the
of wisdom and love be generously local religious and spiritual
shared with others, so that this world guides of 200 million Muslims
will become a better home for all of us.’ of India.’

Continues on next page

Continued from previous page

Dr William F Vendley, Secretary Dr Gunnar Stalsett, Bishop

General of World Conference of Emeritus and Moderator on
Religions for Peace stated; ‘I behalf of the European Council
particularly congratulate the of Religious Leaders, sent his
organizers of the tercentenary for best wishes and prayers; ‘the
convening an interfaith conference Guru Granth Sahib has inspired
to mark this significant event in the the faithful to serve humanity by
Sikh religion. In our modern promoting peace and
pluralistic societies, it is increasingly reconciliation across boundaries
incumbent on religious leadership to of religions and cultures.’
build harmonious relations with
other faith communities with whom
we share this earth.’

William Ozanne from the

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Archdiocesan Commission for
Rowan Williams, said ‘it gives me Interreligious Dialogue and Catholic
great pleasure to offer Sikhs my Bishops Conference of England and
warmest congratulations on the Wales Committee for other faiths
300th Anniversary of the said that; ‘the Sikh community are
declaration by Guru Gobind Singh very blessed in having the guidance
that the Guru Granth Sahib would of the Guru Granth Sahib in which
be the Guru or future guidance for the response to the call of God on
all Sikhs.’ the part of the great Guru of Sikhism
is brought to fruition. May it
continue to lead this great people
into paths of virtue and service to
God and the world. The Roman
Catholic community offers
congratulations for this wonderful

Rabbi David Rosen, Chair of

International Jewish Committee for Dr Alon Goshen-Gottstein, on
Inter-religious consultations in his behalf of the Elijah Board of
profound video message for the World Religious Leaders, in a
conference said ‘I take this opportunity joint message of affection and
to wish the Sikh community that your blessings from the Elijah
celebrations will be a source of Interfaith Institute wrote; ‘we
inspiration, to deepen the knowledge are confident that your
and commitment within your own gathering will further the
communities, within your younger understanding and
generations to the Sikh Sacred contributions of the Sikh
Scripture the Guru Granth. Both of our community to a better world.’
communities are small communities,
minorities, but we both have traditions
and teachings within our sacred
scriptures that can be a source of
blessing, that must be a source of
blessing for all humanity. May this
conference inspire to deepen your own
commitment to your own heritage, and
to be a source of enrichment and
blessing for all humankind.’ Continues on next page

Continued from previous page

The Hon. W Musalia Mudavadi The conference also served as a

EGH, MP, Deputy Prime Minister pre-Parliament event for the next
and Minister for local government Council for the Parliament of the
of Kenya in his statement of peace World Religions’ international
and affection said that ‘we the conference to be held in
people of Kenya join the Sikhs the Melbourne, Australia, in December
world over in the celebrations of 2009. Dr William Lesher, President
the exaltation of Sri Guru Granth of CPWR was the keynote speaker
Sahib as a spiritual guide not only at the Nanded conference.
to the Sikhs, but to the entire

The four day conference concluded with unanimous adoption of the Hazur Sahib
Declaration of the Guiding Principles for Civil Society based upon the Guru Granth
philosophy as deliberated by over 50 scholars and religious leaders.


Their Religion & Tradition by Gurmukh Singh, UK
Guru Nanak Sahib (1469 – 1539) was the common direction and purpose. gender bias; rejection of all types of
founder of Sikhism, the fifth largest world discrimination.
religion today. He introduced a whole-life Vaisakhi 1699 was the high point of the Sikh
system outside the caste system and tradition. On the Vaisakhi (harvest festival) day The three pillars of the Sikh way of life Sikhi
contemporary religious systems. Guru Nanak in 1699, at Anandpur in Punjab, the Guru are: meditation on the One True Being, honest
resolved to combat superstition and ritualism, initiated the first five Sikhs into the Khalsa work, and charity. A Sikh is required to cultivate
and oppression in every sphere of social life at Panth (Khalsa means “the pure directly linked the art of eternal optimism (chardhi kalla) in the
every level. He preached the path of truthful to the Guru” and Panth means “path” or knowledge that all that happens is in the Will of
conduct in the robust language of the ordinary “religious order”). These were the Five Beloved the Creator. The Guru created a productive,
working people. Ones (Panj Pyare) who had qualified for fearless and honest nation out of powerless
admission to the ideal society of Guru Nanak. people at the fringes of society. He created
Guru Nanak was a revolutionary who Thousands then followed to join Khalsa Panth. leaders out of ordinary men and then subjected
systematically laid the foundation of a new Vaisakhi 1699 was the climax of all that had himself to the will of his followers. Thus
theo-social order. He taught that there is One gone before and the inspiration of all that was Sikhism is a “religion” (whole-life theo-political
Supreme Source of all creation (called by to follow. The Guru introduced an ideal social system) of the people, by the people, for the
whatever name) and no other. Unique amongst order based on the precepts of the first Guru people*.
world religions, he described the God Being’s personality, Guru Nanak. As a corollary to
qualities as: The One Reality Whose Name is fearless and truthful conduct expected of the Some unique events and features of Sikhism
ever True; the Creator; Fearless; without Khalsa, the Guru prescribed a visible distinct are: The Sikh Scriptures, Guru Ganth Sahib, is a
enmity; of Eternal Form, Un-incarnate; Self- identity for the Sikhs. Every Sikh was to keep unique compilation by Fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan
Existent and Self-illuminating; The Enlightener unshorn hair (kesh) as a living part of the Dev in 1604, of the inspired compositions of
(The Guru), the Bountiful (and realised through complete human body and symbolising a Sikh Gurus and other saintly beings from
Guru’s Own Grace). These are also the qualities saintly disposition and physical and spiritual different religious backgrounds from as early as
towards which a Sikh, the devoted seeker after harmony (hair to be covered by a Sikh dastar the 12th Century. Therefore it contains the
the Ultimate Reality, aspires. From the i.e. Sikh turban); wooden comb (kangha) to essence of over 500 years of The Ultimate
interpretation of this founding mystique keep the hair tidy; a steel bangle (kara) Reality as revealed to the human mind at one
formula were developed all the institutions of symbolising discipline and allegiance to the with the Creator. It is the only original
the Order of Khalsa, based on human equality Guru; a sword (kirpan) reminding a Sikh of his Scriptures personally authenticated by the
and dignity. duty to defend the weak and his/her own founder of a major world religion. Quite
honour; and a pair of shorts prepared in a uniquely, Guru Granth Sahib is regarded as the
Guru Nanak’s mission poses a challenge to the special way (Kachhehra aslo referred to as Living Guru of the Sikhs, being bestowed
priests and the rulers alike. The Guru’s Kachh or Kachha), to allow agile mobility of the Guruship by the Guru Gobind Singh in 1708.
challenge to his Sikh is: “If you wish to play the body and symbolising chastity. Thus, kesh (and
game of love place your head on the palm of turban), kangha, kara, kacchehra and kirpan The traditional belief is that the foundation
your hand and come my way”. For the Sikh are the Five K s (kakars), gifts of Guru Gobind stone of Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple), the
relationship between the human soul and the Singh to the Khalsa. These are not “symbols” most sacred Sikh shrine, was laid by a Muslim
Creator Being, the Universal Soul, is a loving but articles of Sikh faith. Gifts from a loving saint popularly known as Mian Mir. The Ninth
one with complete trust in the Universal Will Guru who sacrificed his parents, his four sons, Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadhur gave his life in
(Hukam Razaee) and not one based on fear. A his own life and all that he possessed for his defence of another religion and generally for
person who takes up this challenge, sets his or beloved Khalsa. The Guru’s final message to his the freedom of all religions. Uniquely in the
her foot on the path of truthful conduct leading Sikhs was: Cherish Sikh spiritual and physical history of world religions, Guru Gobind Singh
to a harmonious relationship with the Lord of discpline, and keep your distinct identity and I was initiated into the Order of the Khalsa, by his
every human soul, the Creator Being. Guru shall endow you with my power. own disciples. Most unique features of the Sikh
Nanak taught that basic humanity and sense of ideology and institutions stress the acceptance
service is more important than religious The Khalsa concept emerged as a complete of the human race as one. All people are
boundaries; that there must be no system in 1699: in the form of Khalsa Panth, a welcome to the Gurdwara (centre of Sikh
discrimination based on gender, race or nation of saint-soldiers, vested with temporal community life) irrespective of their religion,
religion, as all are equal before the One Creator; authority, directed to look at their sacred colour, or creed. Gurdwaras have a community
that all have the God-given right to live with literature, the Guru Granth Sahib for guidance, kitchen called “Langar” in which food is served
honour, dignity and freedom. He travelled and provided with ideals and identity to build without distinction. Anyone can become a Sikh,
thousands of miles over many years, spreading their national character. The Khalsa doctrine of and millions of people have become Sikhs from
the divine message throughout the Indian double sovereignty (called Miri-Piri) signifies many different backgrounds in and countries.
subcontinent and many other Countries. primary allegiance to truth (spiritual aspect);
therefore, to oppose any authoritarian regime Today there are well over 25 million Sikhs in
To ensure continuity and implementation of his and to ensure that state must always accept Panjab, the rest of the Indian subcontinent and
vision of an ideal social order, Guru Nanak own limitation of power. Sikhs will not tolerate many countries around the world. In addition,
appointed his successor in his own image. This inequality or injustice wherever they live. They there are millions of “vanjara Sikhs” – traders
was repeated from one Guru personality to must not hide; indeed they cannot hide due to and craftsmen - throughout India, who believe
another. So the nine human Guru personalities their Guru given distinct identity, and are in Guru Nanak’s teaching. Through their hard
following him are also referred to as Nanaks required to face injustice head on without fear. work and law-abiding nature, Sikhs have
one to ten to stress that the succeeding Guru become one of the most prosperous
personalities carried the same light (message) Main features of Sikhism are: God-loving communities. They are respected for their skills
of Guru Nanak. Through selection of worthy monotheism; no brokerage between God and as professionals, administrators and soldiers.
successors, the Sikh institutions started by human beings; direct access to the scriptures Clearly, the Guru’s formula for living: worship,
Guru Nanak were developed and consolidated written in the popular language of the people; work and charity (i.e. to meditate on One
over a period of two hundred years. Nanak X, freedom from fear; spiritual and temporal absolute Truth, to earn by your own effort and
Guru Gobind Singh (Guruship 1675 - 1708), balance through the saint-soldier disposition; to share your earnings with others) has worked
made final preparations for the formal rejection of monasticism; stress on family life well for the Khalsa Panth of the Guru.
introduction of the Khalsa assertive identity and community obligations; demolition of
and fraternity for organisational strength, every traditional excuse used to perpetuate (* Dr I J Singh).

1469 - 1708: Ten Gurus, from
Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh –
Sikh religion founded by Guru Nanak
Sahib. Main Sikh institutions of sangat
(holy congregation), pangat (non-
discriminatory community kitchen
promoting human equality and sharing)
& Khalsa Panth (theo-political Order of
the Khalsa), consolidated and

1708 - 1716: Banda Singh

Bahadur, Sikh general appointed by
Guru Gibind Singh, establishes the first
Khalsa kingdom in Panjab, paving the
way for the eventual establishment of
Khalsa Raj in Panjab.
1469: The Sikh religion was founded by G uru Nanak Sahib
1716 - 1762: Massive
persecution of Sikhs in Panjab by the 1783: Khalsa flag hoisted at Red collapse of the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
authoritarian local Mughal and Hindu Fort Delhi on 11th March 1783 and The Sikhs helped the British to crush
rulers. Sikhs survived through own Sardar Baghel Singh led his Khalsa the Indian Mutiny uprising to prevent
courage, huge sacrifices and popular troops into the Fort to be received by a return to the cruel Mughal regime aided
support. submissive Mughal Emperor Shah Alam by Hindu ministers and minor Hindu
II princedoms. Also, the Sikhs had not
1762: The Great Holocaust: Ahmed forgotten the traitorous assault on
Shah Abdali comes from Afghanistan 1799: Ranjit Singh merges Khalsa Raj by the Indians in league with
and attacks the Sikhs with their individual Sikh areas North of River the British in 1849.
families killing over 30,000 Sikh men, Sutlej. Together with the Sikh states
women and children. south of River Sutlej, the Khalsa 1897: Battle of Saragarhi on 12
established a democratic Khalsa September, 1897, accepted by UN as
administration from Delhi to Peshawar one of the most heroic in military
and from the plains of Sindh to history, in which a detachment of 22
Karakoram mountains in the North. Sikhs of 36th Sikhs fought an action
against impossible odds. Their heroism
1809: Bilateral treaties between was acclaimed by the British
Anglo-Sikh Nations. Parliament.

1845- 1849: Anglo-Sikh wars

1845-1849 resulting in the annexation
of Panjab by the British in 1849
1799: Ranj it Singh following bitter battles between the
Khalsa and the combined forces of the
1766: Ahmad Shah totally routed by British and Indian states (Muslim poet
the Sikhs near Lahore. described these battles as Jang Hind-
Panjab i.e. battle between India and
1765 and 1783: The Khalsa Panjab.).
took over Delhi 15 times during this
period. 1846: First British Sikhs regiments
raised in 1846, and many more after the 1897: Battle of Sar aga rhi
1914: Sikh soldie rs in the Fi rst World War

1854: Maharaja Duleep Singh 1947: Sikhs in the Indian

brought to the UK in 1854 (probably the independence negotiations. Sikhs were
first reluctant Sikh immigrant to the promised special concessions by the
UK!). After being dispossessed of his Indian Union for giving up part of their
kingdom in 1849, he was also deprived homeland. Partition of the subcontinent
of the world famous Koh-I-Nur, the cost the lives of estimated 500,000
unique diamond, on arrival in England. Sikhs.

1950s: Sikh migration to the UK

from early Nineteen-fifties.

1973: A resolution of self-

determination is passed to get the Sikh
Nation its rights and what had been
promised to the Sikhs during the
independence struggle.

1854: Maha raja Duleep Singh brought to the UK

1939: A Sikh and Hindu Soldier in WWII

1984: The Indian Union Army

1914: The Sikhs enlist in large ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
numbers during the First World War. to attack historical Sikh Gurdwaras
including Harmandar Sahib at Amritsar
1919 - 1947: Sikhs spearhead the (Golden Temple complex). Foreign media
movement for the freedom of the Indian journalists ordered out of Panjab in
subcontinent from British rule by readiness for unlawful killings in Panjab
making over 70 % of the sacrifices by the Indian army.
according to published figures.
2002: Campaign for Sikh monitoring
1939: During the Second World War, in own right under the current system of
Sikhs made a massive contribution to “ethnic” monitoring reaches the Houses
the war effort. During both World Wars, 1984: The Akalt Takht atta cked b y the Indi an Uni on Army of Parliament. Support by the main
some 1.5 million Sikhs fought for the political parties for the Sikhs to be
freedom of humankind and helped to 1983: A landmark legal decision by monitored as an “Ethnic” Minority to
liberate European, African, and Asian the House of Lords in the Mandla case: accord with the legal ruling by the
countries. 83,000 Sikhs gave their lives, The Sikh ethnic minority status House of Lords in Mandla Case (1983).
whilst 110,000 were wounded. Many confirmed: House of Lords (Mandla v Lee This would ensure that Sikhs enjoy
gallant Sikhs were awarded Victoria (1983) 1 Aller 1062). equal opportunities in all spheres of
Crosses for their bravery. British life.

Guru Nanak Dev 1469 (1469-1539) Humility. Founder of basic precepts

Guru Angad Dev 1504 (1539 - 1552) Obedience. Transcaste institutions; education; physical
Guru Amardas 1479 (1552 – 1574) Equality. Sikh centre; organisation; position of women;
Guru Ramdaas 1534 (1574 – 1581) Service. Amritsar as Sikh centre;
active family life.
Guru Arjan Dev 1563 (1581 – 1606) Sacrifice. Adi Granth (Guru Granth
Sahib); Darbar Sahib; led Sikh martyrdom tradition.
Guru Hargobind 1595 (1606 – 1644) Justice. Strengthened combination of worldly and spiritiual
aspects (miri/ piri concept); fearless disposition; armed
defence as a last resort.
Guru Har Rai 1630 (1644 – 1661 Compassion. Compassion and sewa from a position of
strength; welfare and medical services.
Guru Har Krishan 1656 (1661 – 1664) Purity and service (sewa);
Guru Tegh Bahadur 1621 (1664 – 1675) Calmness. Inner detachment; sacrifice; “fear not/frighten
not” philosophy of Khalsa Panth.
Guru Gobind Singh 1666 (1675 – 1708) Positive spirit (Chardi kala);u
unyielding courage in the face
of impossible odds. Full realisation of Guru Nanak’s vision
of a transcaste order following the inauguration of the
Khalsa Panth on Vaisakhi 1699.
Guru Granth Sahib Guruship 1708 - Guide Eternal of all humanity



There is no ordained priesthood in Sikhism, evening ceremonies associated with Guru proficiently, although, there are always local
and no structured hierarchy or strict division of Granth Sahib e.g. first opening in the early amateurs.
duties. Generally, any Amritdhari Sikh, with the morning and final closure of the holy Book in
necessary skills and proficiencies, can perform the evening. These tasks do not require much Kathakar and Pracharak: Kathakars are Sikh
all the ceremonial and other duties in a proficiency but the reading of the Scripture scholars proficient at interpreting the holy
Gurdwara without any discrimination regarding requires years of practice in correct Scriptures in the traditional and modern
gender, caste or race. An Amritdhari Sikh is one pronunciation. Some never reach the final context. The interpretation is direct (of the
who has accepted the full physical and spiritual stage of absolutely correct pronunciation Guru’s Word or Gurbani) as well as illustrative
discipline according to the Sikh code (the Sikh (Shudh Ucharan) which has great significance through historical accounts and modern
Reht Maryada) at an Amrit Sanchar ceremony. for interpretation. Knowledge of any other incidents. Most Granthis should also be
This ceremony is conducted by the Five language is not necessary. Granthis, Raagis, reasonably proficient Kathakars. Pracharaks
Beloved Ones (the Panj Piaray) – themselves Kathakars and most practicing Sikhs who can are articulate missionary preachers well versed
Amritdhari Sikhs, who are selected for the read Panjabi in Gurmukhi alphabet, are usually in Sikh history and religious tradition, and may
ceremony by the holy congregation, the Sangat reasonably proficient (acceptable) Paatthis. also be proficient kathakars. It is highly
(or the Gurdwara management these days). desirable that Kathakars and Pracharaks
Raagi & Raagi Jatha members: A Raagi is a should be reasonably proficient in the English
While the same person, with the necessary singer of sacred hymns. A professional Raagi language.
qualifications, can perform all the religious must have a group called a Raagi Jatha of at
duties, the following are the titles and related least two persons: the main singer and a Dhadi and Dhadi Jathas are very popular,
functions performed at the Gurdwaras: percussionist who usually plays the Indian especially amongst Sikh migrants from Panjab:
tabla (two small drums placed side by side). A Dhadi sings religious ballads, usually martial
Granthi: Bearing in mind that there is no Usually Raagi Jathas (groups) travel in threes – in nature telling the stories of great Sikh
ordained priesthood in Sikhism, a Granthi the main Raagi and another, maybe less heroes, sacrifices and armed struggle for the
equates to a priest or “minister of religion”. proficient, and the percussionist, the one who righteous cause. These ballads are called the
Any qualified Amritdhari Sikh can perform the keeps the drum beat. The main Raagi should be Dhadi Vars and are sung to popular traditional
duties of a Granthi. One appointed as a full proficient at singing Gurbani (sacred hymns) beats and rhythms from the land of undivided
time Granthi MUST be an Amritdhari practicing preferably to the musical measures prescribed Panjab. Considerable vocal and musical
Sikh following the prescribed code of religious in Guru Granth Sahib. Years of training is instrumental skills are required. The two
discipline, the Sikh Reht Maryada. He (or she) required. These days the main Raagi must be instruments usually played are a string
should have all the skills of a Paatthi (be able able to play the harmonium or a string instrument called the sarangi, and a small
to read the holy Scriptures, Guru Granth instrument (rare). Any practising Sikh with hand-held drum called the dhad. One person
Sahib), be able to interpret the Gurbani ( reasonable proficiency can sing Gurbani in a plays the sarangi and two play dhads. Some
sacred hymns in Guru Granth Sahib), deliver Gurdwara. Ability to speak local language dhadi jathas may occasionally use sarangi and
sermons to the holy congregation (Sangat) and would be desirable e.g. to be able to teach a harmonium accompanied by a percussionist
do all the duties relating to the care of Guru children or do short translations of hymns in playing a drum called dholki. Dhadi jathas are
Granth Sahib as the “living Guru” at ceremonial between singing for the benefit of Sikh youth or part of the Sikh religious martial tradition. They
occasions. Preferably, a Granthi should be able non-Sikhs who are entitled to sit in the Sangat. travel around in groups of threes or four and
to hold discourses, know the language of the There are well known Raagi families (Ghranas) are never employed full time by Gurdwaras.
country and carry out extrovert religious duties in Panjab tracing their ancestry back to the Knowledge of English is not relevant.
including those relating to the interfaith days of the Sikh Gurus. They command much
aspect. It is desirable but not essential that a respect amongst the Sikhs but may not be bale Sikh religious scholars visiting UK should be
Granthi be able to sing the sacred hymns i.e. to speak any other language. . proficient in the English language. However,
musical proficiency is not a requirement. Also, certain traditional Sikh schools of learning do
it is preferable that a Granthi should be Percussionist with Raagi Jathas: Beat is almost not teach English, yet, they produce Sikh
married. essential for professional Gurbani singing. A scholars of the highest calibre capable of
Raagi Jatha always has a percussionist, playing interpreting Guru Granth Sahib and the Sikh
Paatthi: A person who is proficient in reading Indian tabla – a pair of small drums – or some religious tradition.
the holy Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib. other type of traditional drum e.g. dholki or
Usually, a Paatthi is also able to do the other mardang, which are rarely played these days (Prepared by Gurmukh Singh for the British
tasks associated with supplication (Ardaas) in except in cultural programmes. A number of Sikh Consultative Forum in connection with UK
the congregation (Sangat) and the morning years of training is required to play the tabla Home Office consultation on 8 July 2004)

Gurbani quotations under some main headings. Please ask yourself but attach Freedom: yourself with The One Who is forever.
how truly you understand and abide by the True Guru’s teachings. Freedom from fear of death [Sikhee mar-jeevra concept]]
All the above is achieved through humility and faith in The True
Guru’s Grace (Nadar).
Ãí ÇüÖÇé Õ¯ Ô°Õî ÔË
swihb myrw eyko hY eyko hY BweI eyko hY (pMnw 350).
×°ðÈ îÅÇéú ׳zæ - ×°ðÈ ×¯Çì³ç ÇÃ³Ø ÜÆ

My Lord is One, He is One O brother, the only One (GGS p. 350)

Accept the Word Guru, Guru Granth Sahib, as the
Guide Eternal (Final command of Guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji to Are you following One True Guru only ?
all Sikhs)
iekw bwxI ieku guru ieko sbdu vIcwir (pMnw 646)
There is but One Divine Sermon uttered by the only Guru; there is
What should “God” mean for a Sikh ? One Name to reflect upon. (GGs p 646)

[ bwxI gurU gurU hY bwxI ] GGS p 982

What is the Sikhee creed ?

Both the above questions are answered in Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Gurbani (the revealed Word in Guru Granth Sahib) is the Guru; the
opening Words, called the Mool Mantar, as follows: Preceptor Guru, is Gurbani GGS p 982

Mool Mantar Believe in One Guru Jot (Guiding Light) in all Guru persons
Creedal Formula (The founding creed of Sikhee) (1569 to 1708)

(joiq Ehw jugiq swie sih kwieAw Pyir pltIAY [[) GGS p 966
ý ÃÇå éÅî¹ ÕðåÅ ê¹ðÖ¹ ÇéðíÀ° ÇéðòËð ÁÕÅñ îÈðÇå ÁÜÈéÆ ÃËí³
The Divine Light is the same, the method the same, The (True) King
Ik Oangkar One Universal Creator (Nanak) has again changed his body. GGS p 966
Satt Naam The True Universal Spirit
Karta Purakh The All Pervading Creative Being Understand the Sikh way of life
Nirbhau The Fearless
Nirvair Who is without enmity Gwil Kwie ikCu hQhu dyie ] nwnk rwhu pCwxy syie (pMnw 1245)
Akaal Moorat Picture of Eternal Beauty
Ajoni The Unborn He alone has recognised the true path, who eats what he earns
Saibhang Self Existent through honest work and share his earnings with others. GGS p
Gur Parsaad By Guru’s Grace 1245
(The Giver of Knowledge, The Bountiful, The Charitable.)
Understand what is True Congregation (Sangat)

[ sqsµgiq kYsI jwxIAY[[

The following Words follow the Mool Mantar:

(Jupp) (Chant and meditate) ijQY eyko nwmu vKwxIAY[[ ] GGS 72

Aad Sach True in the primal beginning
True holy Congregation (Sangat) is one where only the Name of The
Jugaad Sach True Throughout the ages
One Timeless Lord, is recited. (GGS p 72)
Hai bhi Sach True here and now
Nanak hosi bhi Sach O Nanak, Forever and ever True.
Understand why attending holy Congregation (Sangat) is
Sikh teachings are based on the interpretation of the Mool Mantar: important
meditation on One Ultimate Reality, serving the creation and seeing
the Creator in all, wishing well for and preserving all diversity in ivic sµgiq hir pRBu vrqdw buJhu sbd vIcwir[[ SGGS 1314
creation, a fearless disposition and animosity towards none, The Lord abides in the holy Congregation, therein reflect on the
equality and sharing, and a life-affirming ideology, which Guru’s Word and realise Him. GGS p 1314.
encourages a fully participative life of a householder.
Do not recognise gurudoms: only Gurbani, the Revealed
The Creed derived from the above is as follows:
(based mainly on Prof. Satbir Singh’s “Sau Suwal” in Panjabi)
Word in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is The Guru.

Philosophy: Oneness of Creator Being ( ijsu mwnuK pih krau bynqI so ApnY duiK BirAw[[ ) GGS p 497
Religion: Constant God remembrance Way of life: Any person you turn to with a prayer for boons or contentment
All things and beings, seen and unseen, are His (because he pretends to be a holy person capable of giving such
creation. Serve His creation, and share your boons and peace of mind), is suffering from own pain (of egoistic
earnings with others. falsehood and guilty conscience). GGS p 497
Civic code: Fear none; have hatred towards none.
Culture: Our aesthetics should not be time-dependent
Independence: Do not depend on that which perishes Continues on next page
Continued from previous page Condemn the degrading caste system
jo fubMdo Awip so qrwey iknKy (pMnw 1101)
PkV jwqI PkVu nwau ] sBnw jIAw iekw Cwau ] p.83
He who himself is drowning (through own ego-centric hypocrisy),
who else can he ferry across. (?) GGS p 1101 Preposterous is caste and vain the pride of high caste name. The
Lord alone gives shade to all beings (i.e. All are equal before One
krm kWf bhu krih Acwr ] ibnu nwvY iDRgu iDRgu AhMkwr ] pn 162 Lord) GGS p 83

AgY jwiq n joru hY AgY jIau nvy (pMnw 469)

Without experiencing (Lord’s) Name, accursed and doomed is the
proud person who may perform rituals and religious rites. GGS p
162 In the next existence, caste and position of power do not count,
because then the soul (is in a differest body) and dealing with new
beings. (GGS p 469)
Do not be deceived by bogus “sants” (self proclaimed

AgY nwau jwiq n jwiesI mnmuiK duKu Kwqw (pMnw 514)


ByK krY bhuqu icqu folY AMqir kwmu kroDu AhMkwru (pMnw 1132) One’s name or caste does not accompany one to the next life and
He assumes religious garbs while he feels guilt (of deception) in his the ego-centric person is consumed by suffering. GGS p 514
mind because he knows that inside he is filled with sex, anger and
ego-centricity (haomai). GGS p 1132 Reject fear based superstition and ritualism

bwhir ByK bhuqu cqurweI mnUAw dh idis DwvY] (pMnw 732)

qMqu mMqu pwKMfu n jwxw rwmu irdY mnu mwinAw ] GGS p 766
Enchantment, witchcraft and such hypocrisy I know not, I am
Outwardly he deceitfully wears religious garb while his mind
content to place the Lord in my heart. GGS p 766
wanders in ten directions. (GGS p 732)

AMqru min inrmlu nhI kInw bwhir ByK audwsI (pMnw 525)
AauKD mMqR qMq siB Cwru] krxYhwru ihrdy mih Dwr (196-1)
Reject recitation of mantras and observance of rituals. Only let the
You have not cleansed your heart (of hypocrisy and falsehood) yet
you wear the garb of a hermit (to deceive others). GGS p 525 Creator occupy the seat in your heart. (GGS p 196)

glI ijn@w jpmwlIAw loty hiQ inbg ] auh hir ky sMq n AwKIAY bwnwrs ky Do not believe in pilgrimages & holy baths
Tg (pMnw 475-6)
qIriQ nwvx jwau qIrQu nwmu hY[[ GGS p 687
They put rosaries around their necks and hold glittering jugs in
their hands; do not regard them but as the swindlers of Benaras. Why should I go to bathe at places of pilgrimage ? Wahguru’s Name
is the real place of pilgrimage. GGS p 687
Be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to follow the
Guru’s path of truthful conduct No belief in good or bad omens

jau qau pRym Kylx kw cwau[[ isru Dir qlI glI myrI Awau[ sgun Apsgun iqs kau lgih ijsu cIiq n AwvY ]
iequ mwrig pYru DrIjY[[ isru dIjY kwix n kIjY[[ gurU nwnk (pMnw 1412) Good omens and bad omens befall him who remembers not the
“If you yearn to play the game of love, place your head on your palm Lord. GGS p 401
and come my way (follow my path). And, once you set your foot on
this path, never hesitate to lay down your life (for the just cause). No belief in superstition about good-bad days or months
(GGS. P.1412)

nwnk syvku soeI AwKIAY jo isru Dry auqwir ( pMnw 1247)

mwh idvs mUrq Bly ijs kau ndir kry[[ (GGS p 136)
(All) months days and moments are auspicious for those
Nanak, he alone is the true servant, who cuts off his head and
who enjoy the Lord’s blessing. GGS p 136
places it before his Master. (That is, A true Sikh is one who is
unhesitatingly prepared to give his life to tread the path of truthful
conduct, shown by his Guru.) GGS p 1412 iQqI vwr syvih mugD gvwr ] GGS p 843
Only the ignorant fools observe the omens regarding days relating
Care for the parents now, while they are living to lunar or solar systems ( and follow related ritualism and
superstions spread by bogus priests and sants.) GGS p 843
jIvq ipqr n mwnY koaU mUeyN isrwD krwhI[[ SGGS 332
Man does not serve his ancestors (parents) when they are alive, but No belief in religious fasting
he offers them feasts (through bogus ritualism etc) when they are
dead. GGS p 332
vrq n rhau n mh rmdwnw ] GGS p 1136
Accept men-women equality – the same human soul is in I do not fast (the Hindu way) nor do I observe the month
different bodies of Ramzan (as do the Muslims). GGS p 1136

(Twkuru eyku sbweI nwir[[ GGS p 933) Believe that selfless service shows the path to the Lord
The Spouse is but one all others are His brides. (GGS p. 933)

(eyk joiq duie mUrqI Dn ipru khIAY soie [[3[[ GGs p 788)
syvw krq hoie inhkwmI [ iqs kau hoq prwpq suAwmI [p. 286)
Selfless service is the path to the Lord. (GGS p 286.)
They alone are called husband and wife, who have one spirit in two
bodies (i.e. two bodies complement each other in a spirit of equal
Continues on next page
partnership.) SGGS p. 788
Continued from previous page
Believe that no-one is the enemy Believe that good or bad deeds will ultimately bring good
or bad results respectively

nw ko bYrI nhI ibgwnw sgl sMg hm ko bn AweI (GGS p 1299) ÜËÃÅ ìÆܶ ï ñ°äË p 309, 706, 730
No one is my enemy, no one a stranger to me, all are my friends What you sow so shall you reap. GGS pages 309; 706; 730
(GGS p 1299.)
Believe in Khalsa disposition: Fear none; frighten none
Be vigilant and determined to control lust & anger BY kwhU kau dyq nih nih BY mwnq Awn (pMnw 1427)
kwmu k®oDu kwieAw kau gwlY ] (pMnw 932) Do not give fright to anyone; do not accept fear from anyone (GGS p
Anger and over indulgence in sex spoil health (GGS p 932)

inmK kwm suAwd kwrix koit idns duKu pwvih]GrI muhq rMg mwxih iPir
bhuir bhuir pCuqwvih](pMnw 403)
Believe that Sikhee as taught by the Gurus requires an
independent disposition. For that reason it is often
For a moment’s sexual pleasure you risk suffering for the rest of referred to as Tisra Panth, the Third Path, independent
your life. from previous creeds resulting in the emergence of Niara
For an instant’s enjoyment you risk repenting again and again.
(GGS p 403)
Khalsa, The Unique Khalsa, as revealed by Guru Gobind
Singh Ji on Vaisakhi Day 1699.
Believe that intoxicants are harmful
hj kwbY jwau n qIrQ pUjw ] eyko syvI Avru n dUjw ] pUjw krau n invwj

ijqu pIqY miq dUir hoie brlu pvY ivic Awie ] Awpxw prwieAw n pCwxeI gujwrau ] eyk inrMkwr ly irdY nmskwrau ] nw hm ihMdU n muslmwn ] Alh

Ksmhu Dky Kwie ] (pMnw 554) rwm ky ipMfu prwn (pMnw 1136)
By drinking which intellect departs and madness enters the mind. I do not go on pilgrimage to Mecca, nor do I go to places of (Hindu)
Man is unable to discern between friend or stranger (or own and pilgrimage to worship (idols). I serve only One Timesless Being and
another’s property etc) and is pushed away (forsaken) by the Lord. no other. I do not perform Hindu worship nor do I offer Muslim
GGS p 554. prayer. Taking the One Formless Lord into my heart, I only bow to
Him there (He is always within me). I am neither a Hindu nor a
Muslim. My body and soul belongs to Him, by whatsoever Name he
Believe that salvation is achieved through an active life of be called: Allah by the Muslims and Raam by the Hindus.

hsMidAw KylµidAw pYnµidAw KwvMidAw ivcy hovY mukiq (pMnw 522)

hmrw Jgrw rhw n koaU[[ pµnw 1158
Salvation is achieved by living a fully participative life style (of a

pµifq mulW Cwfy doaU [[1[[ rhwau[[ pµnw 1159

responsible householder) laughing, playing, wearing good clothes
and eating (all in moderation). (GGS p 522)

[krmI AwvY kpVw ndrI moKu duAwru[[ ] GGS p 2 I have no quarrel with anyone. I reject both, the Brahmins and the
Through good actions human form is attained, but salvation comes Maulavis. GGS p 1159
through His Grace. (GGS p 2)

The most commonly used Sikhee word-concepts
AKHAND PAATTH Non stop reading of Guru Sangat hall where there is Prakaash of Guru
Granth Sahib completed in about forty-eight Granth Sahib.
hours; that is, on the third day from the day of DARSHAN Spiritual experience of seeing and
the start of the Akhand Paatth. being in the presence of Guru Ji. Bhai Na nd L al, one of the
AMRIT (AMRAT) The ambrosial water (water of DASWANDH Sikh rehat guidance for donating most outstanding Court
immortality) prepared during the Khalsa of one tenth of one’s net income for p oe ts of Guru Gobi nd Singh
initiation ceremony of Amrit Sanchaar. This is religious/charitable causes. between the Guru and the Guru’s Bani (Word).
also called Khanday Baatay di Pahul. To “take DIVAAN Sikh religious function in the presence Guru Granth Sahib is the compilation of the
Amrit” is to be initiated into the Order of the of Guru Granth Sahib at which there is kirtan Sachi Bani (True Bani) as approved by the
Khalsa, the Brother/Sister-hood of the Khalsa (Gurbani singing), and perhaps, katha Guru. Passages in Guru Granth Sahib make it
(with spiritual parenthood of Guru Gobind (preaching of Gurbani), Naam simran and clear that any bani not approved by the True
Singh and Mata Sahib Kaur Ji). Gurmatt lectures. Diwaan is concluded with Guru Himself (and therefore not included in
ANAND KARAj “Ceremony of bliss.” The Sikh recitation of Anand Sahib (first five and the Guru Granth Sahib) is not Gurbani or Sachi
wedding ceremony. final stanzas), Ardaas, Hukamnama and Bani (Satguru bina hor kachi hai bani SGGS p.
ARDAAS Congregational prayer (supplication) distribution of holy Krah Prasaad. See also 920). Also by Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s
during which the Sangat (the Holy Bhog. injunction, Guru Granth Sahib is the Living
congregation) stand up with folded hands. GRANTH SAHIB (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) Sikh Guru..
Ardaas is said by one Gursikh while the others holy scriptures which have the status of Jagat GURU GHAR Literally, Guru’s House. Guru Ghar
listen with intent and usually with closed eyes Jot Guru: the Living Guru, the Preceptor. is the Guru’s School or teachings i.e. the
for concentration. GRANTHI One who reads and does sewa of Guru’s sphere of influence, the Sikh faith and
AVTAAR In Hindu ideology an avtaar is the Guru Granth Sahib. Equivalent to a priest in way of life, as well as the Gurdwara.
incarnation of the god Vishnu. In Sikhee, other religions, although, there are no formally GURU GRANTH SAHIB Sikh Holy Scriptures.
because God is not born, an avtaar would be ordained priests in Sikhism. See Guru above.
interpreted as a person with the Divine Light. GURBANI (Bani) The Guru’s Word. Gur-Shabad HUKAM Hukam means “order”. It also mean
In that sense only the Ten Guru personalities means the same. The hymns in Guru Granth Waheguru’s Will (Hukam Rajaaee). TheHukam
(of Guru Nanak) may be regarded as Avtaars. Sahib. Rajaaee) stress of Gurbani is on understanding
Otherwise Guru Gobind Singh Ji says. “Only GURBANI KIRTAN (keertan) (see Kirtan) the Hukam. Such understanding and
that Being is my Guru, who is but One Avtaar GUDWARA Literally, the door to the Guru. Sikh acceptance of His Will gets rid of one’s haomai
from the beginning to the end of time i.e. the place of worship which should not be called a (ego-centric behaviour) replacing it with
Unborn Waheguru.” (Aad antt ekai Avtara, so- “Sikh temple”. humility.
ee Guru Samjheo hamara: Benti Chaupa-ee) GURMATT Literally the word means “Guru’s HUKAMNAMA The Guru’s Order also called the
Bani Literal: word spoken by a divine person. teaching”. Therefore, Gurmatt is the Guru’s Vaak. Random reading of a Shabad from Guru
Short for Gurbani i.e. Guru’s Word. Gur-shabad way; it is the Guru’s teaching regarding all Granth Sahib Ji in a prescribed manner. The
means the same. aspects of the life of a Gursikh. If an action, meaning of a Hukamnama should be clearly
BHOG (BHOG PAONA) Completion of Gurdwara behaviour, custom or procedure is in understood because it is the Guidance of the
ceremony or function in the presence of Guru accordance with the teachings of Gurbani, then Guru in any situation. Hukamnama should be
Granth Sahib and holy congregation (sangat). that is Gurmatt. If not then it is manmatt i.e. in heard in complete silence in a meditative pose.
A fixed routine is followed for Bhog or Bhog accordance with own, self-centred approach to JAIKARA The war (or rallying) cry of the Khalsa.
paona. It will include the Paatth of Anand life. Sikh rehat is the hub of Gurmatt around It may be raised by the Congregation in
Sahib, Ardaas, Hukamnama from Sri Guru which a Gursikh’s life should revolve in pproval, in jubilation for the chardhi kalla
Granth Sahib Ji, and the distribution of the harmony and self discipline. Humility and sewa (positive spirit) of the Khalsa Panth or in such
sweet, holy karah Prasaad. The word bhog are the essential components of Gurmatt. similar event. A Jaikara follows the Ardaas
sometimes also is used for prasaad, the sweet GURMUKH Literally, “One who faces the Guru”. (Supplication). One person leads with the
sacrament distributed at the end of the Bhog That is, one who follows the Guru’s Word words: Bolay so nihaal, “Whoever utters will
ceremony, following Ardaas and Hukamnama (Gurbani) in thought and action without be blessed”; and the Congregation raise their
or Vaak reservation. Opposite of manmukh (see voices in unison in a resounding response, Sat
CHANANi Canopy over the Sri Guru Granth below). Sri Akal, “True is the Timeless-Being”.
Sahib Ji. GURMUKHI Script in which Guru Granth Sahib However, Sat Sri Akal is also used as a form of
CHARDI KALLA Expression of the uplifting, is written. Also, the script in which the Panjabi greeting when one person (or group) meets
victorious and positive spirit of Sikhi. For language is most commonly written. Therefore, another. The other form of salutation is
example Panth di chardi kalla means the ever Panjabi is the language of Panjab, while “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki
positive and victorious disposition of the Order Gurmukhi is a script. It had thirty-five letters to Fateh”. “The Khalsa belongs to the Wondrous
of the Khalsa Panth. Never to accept defeat start with and the Gurmukhi alphabet is called Enlightener, Who is always victorious.” Each
under any circumstances is another way of Painty (35) for that reason. However, five more person or party meeting the other, says the
expressing the chardi kalla spirit of the Khalsa. modified letters have been added for the same words.
CHAUR A special appliance with a wooden spelling of other (mostly non-Panjabi words). KACHHERA See Panj Kakkar.
handle with long hair, for waving from side to GUR SHABAD (also see Shabad) Guru’s Word. KANGHA See Panj Kakkar.
side over Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In Panjab A hymn in Guru Granth Sahib. KARA See Panj Kakkar.
one can see beautiful Chaurs made of peacock GURU (in Sikhism) Is the Enlightener. The Guru KARAH PRASAAD Sweet sacrament distributed
feathers. A Chaur is a symbol of royalty when it in Sikee is more than a guru (teacher) who at the end of the Bhog ceremony, following
is waved over the head of a king or some other imparts knowledge. The Guru also has the Ardaas and Hukamnama. See also Bhog above.
royal personage. The Guru Personalities and ability to change a person’s nature, attitude KATHA (th pronounced as in theme) Sermon on
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji personify The True and habits and put him or her on the path to Sikhi covering interpretation of Gurbani, Sikh
King i.e. the Light Of Guru Nanak in this world. salvation i.e. the union of the soul with the tradition and history. One who does katha is
(The other purpose a Chaur serves, especially Lord, the Waheguru. Gurbani (Guru’s Word) is called a kathakar.
in India, is to keep the insects away but it is the Guru, and ultimately, The Guru is KESH Unshorn hair which all Sikhs are
mainly the symbolic aspect which is important. Waheguru, the Ultimate Reality. For the Sikhs, required to keep. See Panj Kakkar.
(It must not be called a fly-whisk!) the Ten Guru personalities of Guru Nanak Dev
DARBAR (Guru’s Darbar) The word means a Ji, symbolised Gurbani Guru (Gur Murat Gur
royal court. The Darbar hall in the Gurdwara or Shabad hai: The Guru’s image is the Guru’s
elsewhere e.g. at a Gurmatt camp, is the Word - Bhai Gurdas). There was no distinction
KHALSA Khalsa; Khalsa Panth. The word leads a person astray and away from higher PAATTH Reverential reading of Sri Guru
Khalsa may be used for an individual or the human values or the spiritual goal in this life. Granth Sahib Ji.
collective body of the Order of the Khalsa. It MARYADA Tradition or the manner in which PALKI A specially constructed small bed-like
was almost certainly used by Guru Sahiban ceremonies and rites should be performed palanquin on which Guru Granth Sahib is
e.g. by Guru Har Gobind Ji in a proprietary (see, for example Rehat Maryada). Sikhi placed either in Sukh-aasan state (see below)
sense as Guru’s own Khalsa. The word was in maryada should not include useless rituals or Prakaash state (see below).
use in the land law of India at the time to rejected by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. However, PANJ KAKKAR The five articles of faith which
indicate “that land which belonged directly to regrettably, many Sikhs these days, are Amritdhari Khalsa must keep as part of the
the monarch” i.e. land which was not given by misled by self proclaimed sants (saints) to Khalsa rehat (discipline). According to Panth
the monarch to some local chief to rule over. follow anti-Sikhi rituals in the name of approved Sikh code (Sikh Reht Mayada these
Thus Guru’s Khalsa has direct link with the maryada. Gurmatt as determined by Panj are: Keshas (unshorm hair), Kirpan (sword,
Guru with no other human intermediary. Piaray, must guide Gur Maryada. “the compassionate protector of human
Therefore the Khalsa salutation: MATTHA TEKNA In Sikhi, paying respect to dignity and honour”, the length of which is
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh: Guru Ji during the period of the Ten Gurus not prescribed), Kachhehra (drawers-like
the Khalsa is of the Wonderful Enlightener; and these days to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji garment), Kangha (wooden comb), Karha
Who is always Victorious.” The word also only. Mattha tekna in the Gurdwara is (steel bracelet).
does mean “pure” in Arabic and would also performed as follows: Approach Guru Ji with PANJ PIARAY The Five Beloved Ones. The first
apply to the Guru’s Khalsa. However, one who folded hands, go down on the knees, five Sikhs who, on the Vaisakhi day in 1699,
allows human mediation between the Guru balancing yourself on the palms of your responded to Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s call and
and himself or herself, cannot claim to be the hands, bow forward and touch your forehead offered their heads. They were the first five
Guru’s Khalsa in Sikhi. Khalsa has been on the ground. You then stand up, fold your Sikhs to be initiated into the Order of the
defined by Guru Gobind Singh Ji as follows: hands, bow to the Guru Ji and move away. Khalsa; and, at Guru Ji’s request, collectively
“Meditating day and night on the Light Which Today, this form of respect is strictly reserved initiated Guru Ji Himself as a Khalsa. The
is Awake. Having faith only in the One and for Guru Granth Sahib Ji only. (Just folding institution of Panj Piaray started with that first
none other. Absorbed in His Splendour, and your hands and bowing your head slightly in Amrit Sanchar (see Amrit ) on Vaisakhi 1699,
His Love; Never believing in fasts and tombs, respect for another Gursikh or an elderly or and five Amritdhari Singhs/Singhanis act as
temples or idols. Not for penances nor saintly person is a sign of respect and not Panj Piaray for Amrit Sanchar and represent
bathing at holy places, nor for the Yogis’ self- mattha tekan.) the highest authority for religious and other
maceration; not recognising any other but the MIRI-PIRI Miri refers to mundane (worldly) purposes regarding decisions affecting the
One. When one’s inner self is thoroughly participation and achievement, and piri to the Khalsa Panth. The Panj Piaray are always
illuminated with the Celestial Light; Only then spiritual goal of life. This is a unique feature Amritdhari and volunteer for this sewa. They
can one truly be considered as Khalsa.” of Sikhi which preaches full participation in are never elected but, if need be, they are
(Verse: “Jagat Jot japay nis basar….” Sarb Loh worldly affairs (as a householder and a full selected by the Sangat or by drawing lots
Granth). member of society), and yet, combining that after Ardaas before Guru Granth Sahib.
KHANDA Double edged sword. In paintings of with spiritual detachment for successful PANTH See Khalsa.
Baba Deep Singh Ji, he can be seen wielding a pursuit of the spiritual goal of human life PRAKAASH/ PRAKAASH Utsav (may be spelt
khanda in his right hand while carrying his which is harmonious merging with the Parkaash) Emergence of a Divine Light.
head on the palm of his left hand. It is also Ultimate Reality, Waheguru, during this life. Prakaash instead of birth is used to describe
the Khanda in the centre of the Khalsa NAAM Waheguru’s Name. It needs to be the birth of Guru Personality e.g. Prakaash of
insignia called by the same name “Khanda”. A understood that “Waheguru”, the Wondrous Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Utsav means function. This
shorter and broader version of the Khanda is Dispeller of Darkness, The Satguru or The is because the “Guru’s Light” is outside the
used for stirring the Amrit water during the True Guru, has no Name, yet all names are cycle of birth and death. This must be clearly
Amrit Sanchar ceremony. Khanda represents His. Naam reminds a Sikh of Waheguru’s understood when we equate Praakash Utsav
the Unity of Waheguru in the Sikh tradition Being which is everywhere and which created to the “Birthday celebration” of any one of
with the two edges representing the worldly everything (Naam ke dhaaray saglay jant). the Ten Guru Personalities from Guru Nanak
and the spiritual sovereignty of Waheguru. (Waheguru is described in the Mool Mantar, Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and the
KHANDAY BAATAY DI PAHUL (see Amrit) the Basic Precept at the beginning of Guru institution of Aad Granth (later Guru Granth
KIRPA Blessing or grace. Usually used as Granth Sahib.) Sahib) at Harmandar Sahib by Guru Arjan Dev
“With Waguru Ji’s kirpa” or “Guru Ji’s kirpa”. NAAM SIMRAN To do Naam simran is to recite Ji in 1604 CE. Vaisakhi is the Prakaash Utsav
KIRPAN Sikh sword. See Panj Kakkar. God’s Name (for the Sikhs the most frequently of Khalsa (see Vaisakhi). “Birthday” or Janam
KIRTAN (keertan) Sikh religious singing of used Names are Waheguru (Wondrous Din may be convenient but can be misleading,
Gurbani (hymns), usually with musical Enlightener) and Sat Naam (True Name of the especially in connection with “Vaisakhi”, the
instruments like harmonium (waja) and tabla. Creator-Being) so that the very Presence of day the Khalsa of Guru Nanak reached
LANGAR Langar, established as one of the the Ultimate Reality (the Ik Oangkar, maturity and finally emerged (Wah pragtio
main institutions of Sikhi by Guru Nanak Dev Waheguru, Akal Purakh, Nirankar......and Khalsa!) as a religio-political nation, the living
Ji, is the non-discriminatory community called by many other Names) is exxperienced image of the Guru personality. It was the day
kitchen, usually attached to Gurdwaras. It deep in the mind or hirda. More than that, the on which the first phase of Guru Nanak’s
may be run by the Sangat or individuals: whole mind and body should experience the mission was completed.
some wealthy Sikh families have been known God’s Being in and around us. That is Naam PRAKAASH KARNA Refers to Sri Guru Granth
to run Langars from home, in the Name of the simran with every breath for it becomes an Sahib Ji when the Holy Scriptures is open for
Guru. Indeed every Sikh is required to share inseparable part of one’s own being. Naam darshan and matha tekna. The term is also
his food with anyone who is in need of food, simran is God experience. used generally, when Guru Ji is available for
without distinction. Langar became one of the NAGAR KIRTAN A local religious procession darshan in some Sikh home in a special room
main institutions for fighting the evil, led by the Panj Piaray, in which Gurbani Kirtan prepared for the purpose e.g., “He had
discriminatory caste system. Guru Amar Das Ji is done while the Sangat moves along slowly Prakaash of Guru Granth Sahib Ji in his
instructed that anyone coming for the Guru’s singing Gurbani. Devotees come out from house.”
darshan (holy sight) must first partake in the their houses, shops etc. to pay their respects PRASAAD (OR PARSHAAD) (also called Deg or
Guru’s Langar. On one occasion Emperor to the Nagar Kirtan. There is great religious Bhog). Sweet sacrament made of equal parts
Akbar did that with great humility. (It is due to fervour and Panthic solidarity at the Nagar of flour, sugar, ghee (refined butter) and water
this underlying Sikhi principle of non- Kirtan. (boiling water with sugar is poured on to flour
discrimination, humility and sewa, that the NISHAN SAHIB Khalsa religious flagpole in which has been fried in ghee), which is
issue of chairs in the Langar has become so front of every Gurdwara. The Nishan Sahib distributed at the end all Sikh religious
sensitive in the Sikh community.) (the pole), is usually covered with an orange ceremonies and daily kirtan and prayers in a
MANMUKH An ego-centric person who, cloth also and is tipped by a steel Khanda. Gurdwara. Prasaad must be received with
through arrogance rather than through This shining Khanda and the orange flag can great respect with both hands “cupped”
research in (opposite of Gurmukh) be seen from some distance (in fact from together and bits of it must not be dropped on
humility, follows the cleverness of own miles away in the flat countryside of Punjab). the ground. Depending upon the context and
vacillating mind. A manmukh mentality, NIT-NEM Prescribed daily recitation of spelling in Gurmukhi, the word can also mean
devoid of any derived experience or wisdom, specified Banis (Gurbani compositions). “through the grace of ”.
PURAB (Purb) Any major religious around wearing the garbs of sants,
anniversary. Thus a Gurpurab is any proclaiming themselves (in their haomai -
anniversary relating to any of the Ten Gurus ego-centricity) to be sants, are in fact no
persons and Guru Granth Sahib. better than swindlers and Gurbani does not
RAAEN SUBAAEE All night non-stop Gurbani spare them. The qualities of sants (sant jans)
kirtan. may be found described in, for example,
RAAGI/RAAGI JATHA Professional Gurbani Sukhmani Sahib, in the Aspadis relating to
singers. Raagi jatha is a group (usually three Saadh (Astpadi 7) and Braham-giani (Astpadi
these days) who do traditional Gurbani kirtan 8). These are God qualities, for only the
(see above). Accomplished Raagi jathas have perfect Lord can be called a perfect Saadh,
been highly respected in the Sikh community. Braham-giani, or Sant. The saintly people are
There also have been many Muslim raagis of those who reflect those qualities; the
Guru Ghar see above) e.g. Bhai Chaand, and punishment for slandering such people is
these days Bhai Lal at Nanakana Sahib. great indeed (Astpadi 13). However, there is a
REHAT (reht) Physical and mental discipline constant reminder in Gurbani that to place
which a Gursikh is required to keep. Too often faith in any human being is useless. In fact
Bhai Gur dass Ji
Sikh rehat is associated with the physical such a reminder is placed in Astpadi 14, right
appearance and rituals (keeping the Panj next to the Astpadi (13) which warns against
Kakkar) and doing Nit-nem only. Every Sikh talking evil about the Sant. The sant jans are spread to bring some humility amongst those
should keep a copy of the Sikh Reht Maryada around us e.g. in the Saadh Sangat; they do who crave for high positions in Sikh
approved by the Khalsa Panth and strive to not go around in fancy clothes or carrying or institutions.
practice both, the inner and physical wearing maalas (rosaries - strings of beads Shabad (also see Gur Shabad) Any hymn in
disciplines. for counting prayers). Guru Granth Sahib. Guru’s Word. Also used in
REHAT (REHT) MARYADA See rehat. SATGURU The True Enlightener (sat= true; a deep spiritual sense as The Word which
REHATNAMA(S) Interpretation by ancient Sikh guru=giver of light i.e. knowledge). puts the soul in touch with Universal Spirit.
scholars of Guru Ji’s guidance regarding SAT NAAM The True Name. That Word or mystical formula in Gurmatt is
rehat. Rehatnamas are not authentic SAT SRI AKAL “The Timeless Lord is True”. “WAHEGURU”. “Waheguru Gur Mantar hai”.
regarding Sikh rehat due to personal bias by Often used as a Sikh form of greeting. SIKHEE (Sikhi) (Sikhism) The Sikh way of life.
the authors but have great historical However, this wording is used more The word Sikee is preferred to the more
significance e.g. that there was indeed a Sikh appropriately as the main part of the Sikh westernised word Sikhism which has a
rehat preached by Guru Ji and that He Jaikara (holy cry - see above) as a collective different connotation.
encouraged the Khalsa to do continual response to the leading words by one person, SIMRAN Meditative recitation of God’s Name-
research of Gurbani to interpret rehat (e.g. to “Bolay so nihal”, Anyone who utters Being. Any Name of God is acceptable in
cope with new situations). Based on the will be blessed.” “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Sikhee provided the meditation is on the
universal truths of Gurbani (the constant Waheguru Ji ki Fateh” (see below) is a Supreme Being as described in the Mool
base), Sikh rehat has the capacity for more appropriate form of Sikh greeting Mantar, the Basic Precept. It must not be on
continual application to new and changing although used mostly by the Amritdhari any other deity or being. Waheguru, Sat-
social environment as the underlying Khalsa Singhs. Naam and Ik Oangkaar are the most
principles are interpreted by the Khalsa Panth SEHAJ PATTH Complete, but not continuous commonly used Sikh Names for the Supreme
in terms of the changing circumstances. reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib over a Being.
SACH-KHAND The Plain of Truth or the period of time. This is the preferred method SINGH(S) AND SINGHANI(S) Sikh men and
Ultimate Reality where resides the Formless for reading (and studying) Gurbani in Guru women respectively.
Waheguru outside time and space (Sach Granth Sahib. See also Akhand Paatth. SUKH-AASAN When Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Khand vasay Nirankar). SEWA (SEVA) Selfless service in total humility is placed in a resting position for the night.
SAAKHI A historical, mythological or even and without expectation of any reward. Sewa See also Prakash.
true episodes) relating to the lives of the Sikh is a central theme of Sikee and it may take VAISAKHI Prakash Utsav (Purab) of Khalsa.
Gurus and great Sikhs. However, there are many forms from cleaning the footwear of the This was the day the Order of the Khalsa was
also hundreds of teaching stories from the Sangat at a Gurdwara to community service in proclaimed to the world. It may be regarded
ancient scriptures and some of these are any form. Sewa must be done on a none- as the inauguration or institution of the
mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib because of discriminatory basis as did Bhai Ghanaya Khalsa. However, “birthday” would be
their teaching content. Some saakhis of Guru during the siege of Anandpur when he offered incorrect, because the foundation of the
Nanak Dev Ji e.g. Guru Ji’s visit to Mecca, have water to friend and foe alike. In the Sikh ideology of God-centred Khalsa was laid by
become very popular and are recited tradition sewa may require extreme sacrifice, Guru Nanak Dev in the Mool Mantar. On
frequently by Sikh preachers, and Sikh in such cases the person feels blessed by Vaisakhi day, 1699, Khalsa had reached
parents to their children. Most of these are the Lord and offers his or her prayer of maturity and Guru Ji Himself took Amrit from
historical as are the saakhis of great Sikh gratitude. The greater the sewa, the more the Panj Piaray. “Khalsa” had been
martyrs like Bhai Mani Singh and great blessed and humble a Sikh feels for being addressed as such from the days of Guru Har
sewadars like Bhai Ghanaya. given the opportunity to do it. Such was the Gobind Ji.
SANGAT OR SAADH SANGAT Holy Ardaas (supplication) of gratitude by Guru VAAK (see Hukamnama)
congregation. A gathering of a religious Gobind Singh Ji after the return of His parents WAHEGURU From “Wah! Hay Guru” meaning
purpose. The word has been used in the (Guru Teg Bahadhur Ji and Mata Gujri Ji) and “O Wondrous Enlightener”; an expression of
singular case as well as in the plural. His four sons (Sahibzaadays - Princes) to profound wonderment to describe the One
Sant Literally, “saint”, although, the word has Sachkhand, the Lord’s Holy Presence. Timeless Being Who Is everywhere.
a different meaning in Gurbani than the SEVADAR One who does sewa in any capacity, WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHEGURU JI KI
traditional Vedic concept of sants. These official or unofficial. It is also the proper FATEH “The Khalsa belongs to the Wondrous
latter category are roundly condemned as Gurmatt word for any person managing a Enlightener, Who is always victorious.” Sikh
hypocrites who mislead people (Oay Har ke Sikh institution like a Gurdwara. For example, form of greeting. The wording is said loudly
sant na akhiay, Banaras ke tthag! GGS p. 476: instead of saying President or Head Manager, and in a positive manner (i.e. in Chardhi
These are not the saints of God but the the Gurmatt designation would be Mukh Kalla). See also Sat Sri Akal above which is
cheats of Banaras). Truly, those who go Sewadar. One hopes this practice would also used as an alternative form of greeting.

No part of this glossary may be used without acknowledgement of source.
No word should be altered without communicating the publisher.
I would welcome any comments.

Gurmukh Singh ACIS; MCMI

Ret’d Principal (policy), UK civil service
I would like to congratulate everybody on this sacred occasion of 300th anniversary of Gurgaddi Divas
which comes rarely in someone's life.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib's message is a diamond for every one's life but there is a need to practice it in our
life. Anyone who wears this Word Guru Diamond, will be the happiest individual that will be enshrined
with a spiritual inclination, allowing them to be a true person of the Almighty Waheguru.

Waheguru has given us the unique gift of 'Amrit' through which one can immerse away from evils mentally,
spiritually and physically.

It is only the human body, to whom Waheguru has given power and the prerequisite to meet with
Waheguru, but sadly many of our brothers and sisters are compromising this priceless opportunity by
purely indulging in anti-gurmat activities and contaminating our minds and souls.

If our body is the only source to meet the God then it is like a synonym in a temple and we are destroying
this temple by immoral habits and activities so called ‘fashionable’ temptations.

As Guru Nanak Dev Ji said :

Çòä° éÅòË ÇÕÛ° æÅÇ é êÅÂÆÍÍ (ÃzÆ ×°ðÈ ×³zæ ÃÅÇÔì ê³éÅ DFG)

I humbly appeal especially to the young generation to understand this sacred message of Sri Guru Granth
Sahib and practice it in their life. I would like to give a message to the parents of young children also who
should persuade their children by practicing the gurmat message.

úÔçÆÁ» ìðÕå» ì¶ô°îÅð å¶ðÆ Þ¯ñÆ Û¯àÆÍ

ú å» ç¶ºçÅ ðÜ-ðÜ Ãí é±³ å¶ðÆ Þ¯ñÆ Û¯àÆÍ


We the Prabandhak Committe, Management and Sangat of Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara, Leicester send our
warmest congratulations to the Sikh Nation on the 300th anniversary of Guru Gaddi, when Guru Granth
Sahib Ji became our 'Word Guru'.

Our Guru Granth Sahib allows us to promote justice, freedom, equality, tolerance and above all
understanding, so that we can reduce crime and hatred.

Our divine scriptures, written by the Sikh Gurus and beloved Sants, a spiritual embodiment that was
passed to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, by our divine master Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

We must believe none other then the Timeless One. Go only to the ten Gurus in search of the Word… The
Guru resides in Shabad "The Lord hath merged His own Self in the Guru through Whom he has revealed
the Word".

"The Word is the life of all life, for through it, one experiences God. Victory to the Lord…."

Let us adhere further to the teachings of our Gurus and take the sweet nectar of Amrit, so that we can
become the Army of Waheguru, let us become Khalse.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji manifested the Khalsa in 1699, he added another permanent feature to the
evolution of the Sikh faith. Khalsa was the Sangat, the holy congregation directly of the Guru, and Khalsa
was Guru-Roop empowered to interpret the direction if the Gurbani-Guru, Guru Granth Sahib.

Let us embrace that we are all children of Waheguru, we recognising there is no colour, creed, race, caste
or territory. Let us make this world safer place and co exist in harmony and peace.


TEL: 0116-274 2453
We are proud to congratulate the Sikh Panth on this momentous occasion.

We believe Sikhs are able to contribute to humanity due to the teaching of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib,
which guides them to conduct themselves with tolerance and dignity.

Sikhs have everlasting legacy of a living, embodied Guru can be shared and practised.

We are the only World religion that has the concept of the Word Guru in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, to give us
direction in our times of need, in our times of happiness.

If we follow this path we will not only achieve our life gaols but equally we will contribute to the universe
and proclaim ourselves to be good citizens of the communities we live and work in

It is our endeavour to continue valuable relationships with both their fellow colleague, management and
their valued customers.

I am delighted to be given the opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations on the 300th anniversary
of Guru Maneyo Granth.

This souvenir I hope will give both Sikh and non-Sikhs the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge of the
philosophies of Sikhi, through this historical memento.

The principles of the Sikh faith are inspiring - tolerance and respect for others, equality for all, and an
agenda particularly close to my heart as the Cabinet Member for Birmingham City Council for Equalities
and Community Cohesion.

I support the message of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji which endorsed the doctrines Naam japo Meditation,
kirt karo Honest Living and vand shko Helping Others. These are three pillars upon which the Sikh faith is

The Sikhs of Birmingham have a long and proud tradition to contribute to our diverse society both
economically and socially.

As Cabinet Member I look forward to an increasing participation from the Sikh community in helping to
build our futures together.


Cabinet Member for Equalities and Human Resources
It is a very significant, historic and religious time in the Sikh calendar. It contains the divine message for
humanity and how to re-unite with Waheguru.

Sikhs have a real and invaluable contribution to the economic, cultural and political life in UK.

If the whole world should follow the message of Almighty God from Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then there
should not be any terrorism, poverty, ill-health, unhappiness in life and Mankind can lead a peaceful

To embrace the Holy Scripture as the Word Guru is the divine contribution to the World, we are indeed
humbled to be Sikhs.

Birmingham Plating Ltd

142-152 Lewisham Road, Smethwick,
West Midlands, B66 2ER
We proudly congratulate to whole sikh nation on the 300th Anniverssary of Guru Gaddi Divas. Guru
Granth Sahib Ji's teachings advocate gender equality, interfaith dialogue, no fear, no hatred,
justice/tolerance, harmony and peace. One who surrender to Shabad Guru remain into imminent
protection of The GURU HIMSELF regardless colour/creed or cast.


A true Sikh walks in the WAY OF HIS WILL and obey the HUKAM of HIS COMMAND. Let us proudly
bow to The Primal GURU, GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI and pray to remain subject to HIS COMMAND till
reunion granted.

May GURU JI's message of love, peace and harmony prevail in

hearts of mankind.





154, Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9LN
Tel : 0121 554 7070 Fax : 0121 554 1400

154, Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9LN - Tel : 0121 551 4611 -

Dr. Paul Nischal & Family congratulate

all Sikhs on this auspicious occasion.
May God bless everyone a
Happy and Prosperous Life.
Best wishes from the Bhullar family and Camtertown Timber Merchants Ltd. on the 300th centenary when
the Holy Sikh Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib Ji became our Word Guru

To be alive in an era that is witnessing an occasion of this magnitude is something we are very proud to be
involved in.

The sheer power of the Sikh Holy Scripture and the fact that the teachings are still in place today is a
testament to all those that contributed to it- not only our Guru's and Sikh Sants but sants of other

The message of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji stands on 3 pillars- Naam japo Meditation, kirt karo Honest Living
and vand shko Helping needy people.

We should all follow these teachings and live in a world without ego, hatred, greed or jealously.

So let us all, a nation as a whole come together in peace, in celebration and most of all in remembrance to
the founders of our religion who left us an everlasting legacy of a living, embodied Guru.

Colham Green Road

Hillingdon Middlesex
Email :
Tel : 01895 237 981
3, Brook Side Road, Hayes,
Middlesex, UB4 0PG
The Mand family congratulates the Sikh nation on the third centenary of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

It is a very significant, historic and religious time in the Sikh calendar. It contains the divine message for
humanity and how to re-unite with Waheguru.

Sikhs have a real and invaluable contribution to the economic, cultural and political life in UK.

If the whole world should follow the message of Almighty God from Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then there
should not be any terrorism, poverty, ill-health, unhappiness in life and Mankind can lead a peaceful

To embrace the Holy Scripture as the Word Guru is the divine contribution to the World, we are indeed
humbled to be Sikhs.

The SWCSUK & Sandhu family congratulates the Sikh nation on

the third centenary of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji has given us an exceptional message

which allows us to have a unique status within communities, to
be secular not only in our thoughts but in our action.

This auspicious celebrations for the inauguration of the Guru

Granth Sahib Ji as the Word Guru.

Not only do the Sikh scripture provide us with direction and

guidance in our daily lives, The Guru Granth Sahib is also our
RESHAM SINGH SANDHU friend, our mother and father, Guru Granth Sahib is there for us
SURINDER KAUR SANDHU every moment of our day, celebrating our successes and
comforting us in our sorrows. Waheguru Ji has blessed us with
exceptional scriptures, which give us a define message.
RESHAM SINGH SANDHU, MBE DL Guru Gobind Singh Ji, gave the Gurugadi to the Guru Granth
21, Elliott Close, Oadby, Sahib Ji, we must ensure we do not sway from this
Leicester LE2 4UN unambiguous message.

As Sikh around the World celebrate the 300th centenary when the Holy Sikh Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib Ji
became our Word Guru, we send our heartiest congratulations to the Sikh Nation.

To be alive in an era that is witnessing an occasion of this magnitude is something we are very proud to be
involved in. The sheer power of the Sikh Holy Scripture and the fact that the teachings are still in place today is
a testament to all those that contributed to it - not only our Guru's and Sikh Sants but sants of other religions.

The message of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji stands on 3 pillars - Naam japo, Meditation, kirt karo Honest Living and
vand shko Helping others.

In our industry where the challenge, is to enable us to earn wealth, but legitimately is one we take seriously. We
endeavour to assist everyone that has arrived in Britain or want to come to Britain, we focus on working with
those people who are able to meet the criteria set by the government. We strive to ensure people are not given
false hope, or enter into something they cannot afford.

With the grace of the Almighty Waheguru we hope that we will continue to help those who want to change their
lifestyles so that they too can vand shko, as ultimately we should all share our earnings with those less
fortunate then ourselves.

82 High Street, 403, 4th Floor Mostafawi Carpet Building No. 12, 2nd Floor PPR Mall
Bidford–On-Avon, B50 4AD Bank Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai UAE Mithapur, Jalandhar, India
M: +447792354234 T: +441789490383 Ph : +971-4-3517298 Fax : +971-4-3517923 Ph : +91-181-2463405
F: +441789490416 Email :- Email :
We, the Nijjar Family, are very honoured to be a part of the very very important occasion that has fallen
this year.

The Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 300 years ago the first page of the 1430 page scripture of Waheguru's message
to mankind was read at Harmandar Sahib, later these scriptures became the Word Guru for the 155 million
Sikhs around the world

To be alive in an era that is witnessing an occasion of this magnitude is something we are very proud to be
involved in. The sheer power of the Sikh Holy Scripture and the fact that the teachings are still in place
today is a testament to all those that contributed to it- not only our Guru's and Saints but saints of other

The message of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji stands on 3 pillars- naan japo Meditation, kirt karo Honest Living
and vand shko Helping needy people.

We should live our lives according to these valuable teachings so that we can demonstrate that we need
not have an ego, shun away from hatred, greed and jealousy. We can unit mankind and live in harmony.
The modern and worldly message of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is for everyone. We hope that people today
still hold the teachings close to their heart- the wisdom of equality between men and women, the wisdom
of equality between all men of all religions, of all colours, of all castes- this is what our Guru's believed as
the right path.

With everyone's involvement in the celebration of this auspicious occasion, we are showing that the multi-
faith community of this country can celebrate as one.

To be alive in an era that is witnessing an occasion of this magnitude is something we are very proud to be
involved in. The sheer power of the Sikh Holy Scripture and the fact that the teachings are still in place
today is a testament to all those that contributed to it- not only our Guru's and Saints but saints of other

We should all follow these teachings and live in a world without ego, hatred, greed or jealously.

So let us all, a nation as a whole come together in peace, in celebration and most of all in remembrance to
the founders of our religion who left us an everlasting legacy of a living, embodied Guru.

166, Soho Road, Birmingham, B21 9LP
We send our warmest congratulations to the Sikh Nation on the 300th anniversary of Guru Guddi, when
Guru Granth Sahib Ji became our ~Word Guru.

Our Guru Granth Sahib allows us to promote justice, equality, tolerance and above all understanding, so
that we can reduce crime and hatered.

Our divine scriptures, written by the Sikh Gurus and beloved Sants, a spiritual embodiment that was
passed to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, by our divine master Guru Gobind Singh Ji

It is these teachings that we try to embroil in our daily lives, doing whatever whenever for the benefit of

We are proud to be involved in the production ‘Guru Maneyo Granth’ a play that tells the story around the
time period 1705 – 1708 A.D when Guru Gobind Singh Ji re-wrote the Aadh Granth in Talwandi Sabu Punjab
and elevated Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the final Guru, The Word Guru, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, at Nadir Sahib.

I talk this opportunity of wishing all my customers and their family our heartiest congratulations on the
300th anniversary of the “Guru Maneyo Granth”.

Ambassador for Peace

Sukhdev’s Catering Services Limited

125 Soho Road, Handsworth
Birmingham, B21 9ST
Tel: 0845 130 0042 Fax: 0121 554 1211

To mark this auspicious occasion

The Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London
have published a commemorative book to be launched on the
23rd November 2008

Khalsa Jatha British Isles 1908-2008

ISBN 978-0-9560586-0-7

Available from the Gurdwara’s website & Amazon Books
for further details contact Gurpreet Singh Anand on 07958 479724
or Email:


We, the sewak of Sikh Society send our warmest congratulations to the Sikh Nation on the 300th
anniversary of Guru Gaddi, when Guru Granth Sahib Ji became our 'Last Guru'.

It is a very significant religious and historic time in the Sikh calendar. It contains the divine message for
humanity and how to re-unite with Waheguru. Our Guru Granth Sahib allows us to promote justice, peace,
freedom, equality, tolerance and above all understanding, so that we can reduce crime, hatred and anger.

It is an excellent opportunity for the wider, multi faith community to appreciate and celebrate this
auspicious occasion as one regardless of belief or religion.

If everyone can unite and follow the message of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then there should not be any
cause for terrorism, poverty, ill-health, unhappiness in life and mankind can lead a peaceful existence

The modern and worldly message of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is for everyone regardless of colour, creed,
race, caste or territory. Let us embrace that we are all children of Waheguru. Let us make this world safer
place and co exist in harmony and peace.

Sikh Society UK
352, Bearwood Road, Smethwick,
Birmingham B66 4ET
Tel: 0121 434 4747
Email :,
Charity No.1088141

After the great success of Guru Maneyo Granth Programme on TV to aware the people about the values of
sikhism, we would like to invite people to support us by becoming the members of the Sikh Society UK.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji

As the Eternal living Guru
Guru Maneyo Granth
We would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to commemorate the momentous and remarkable
300th Anniversary of the eternal Guru Granth Sahib Ji's Gurta Gaddi Divas - the enthronement of Sikh Holy
Scripture. The message of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is to create a united, classless, fearless, peaceful,
respectful and prosperous society based on shared ethos. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a treasure house of
spiritual and temporal guidance. Guru Granth Sahib Ji gives guidance based on universal truth to all
irrespective of colour, caste, creed, sex or geographical origin.

The message of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is to recognise all humanity as one and never to submit to
oppression, tyranny and fight for the cause of righteousness for the welfare of humanity.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

The pure belongs to the Almighty

Victory belongs to the Almighty


Best wishes to the Sikh Community on this historic celebration
On behalf of all members of the University Governors, staff and students, it gives me a great pleasure to wish
the Sikh community throughout the UK every success for the third centenary celebration of the consecration
of Guru Granth Sahib as the final and perpetual Guru of the Sikh as ordained by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1708.

The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is regarded as the guiding light for the Sikhs. Many non-Sikhs also have tremendous
respect for the teachings contained within the pages of this Holy Scripture. Throughout this year, millions of
non-Sikhs and Sikhs alike will join hands to honour the high principles of peace, equality, community, unity,
forgiveness and respect for others. These values are also at the heart of Birmingham City University’s

Birmingham City University’s mission is to be a powerful force for learning, creativity and enterprise,
promoting economic, social and cultural wellbeing. Community Relations is integral to this mission. The
following four strategic objectives will help us achieve our vision to become an exemplar institution for
engagement with business, professions and the community, and to be a force for equality and inclusion.

• To increase participation in higher education through significant growth in traditional and non-traditional
• To apply our knowledge and expertise to inform the development of public and social policy to promote
economic, social and cultural wellbeing and to use the talents of our staff and students in initiatives to
support our local communities.
• To promote the integration of research with our engagement with business, the professions and the
• To promote community cohesion and good relations between people of different backgrounds through the
education of those who work in the community and through programmes or research, knowledge transfer and
community outreach.

We look forward to working with the Sikh community to raise the awareness of the numerous opportunities
that higher education offer for personal and career development. Like the Sikhs, Birmingham City University
is at the forefront of Life Long Learning.


Birmingham City University