Posted by: Sam Carson | 13 July, 2007

Who are the Sikhs?

The response to Tony’s recent post “The Sikhs: who are they?” has been fascinating. The following was posted as a comment by K. Singh:

Did you know one of the largest blood donation campaigns according to Canadian Blood Services is done by the Sikh community under the banner of “Sikh Nation?”

Did you know that one of the largest food drives for homeless persons is being done by the Sikh community under the banner of “Sikhcess?”

Did you know that the Sikh community has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars at various hospitals across Canada to create new facilities or improve patient care?

Did you know that there are practicing Sikhs in the Canadian military who have served in Afghanistan and on other missions as high ranking officers?

Did you know there are also high ranking RCMP officers, successful Sikh politicians, pioneering Sikh doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, and tradespeople?

Did you know that Sikhs have a tradition of doing selfless service and giving one-tenth of their earnings to charity?

Did you know that Sikhs are supposed to rise early in the morning and meditate, and the central goal of Sikh spirituality is to unite our souls with the supreme soul God through remembrance of God’s essential Name and virtues?

None of these things – nor the countless other interesting facts about Sikhs – will ever appear in the Vancouver Sun or on the CBC. The popular media currently has a monopoly over the amount and the type of information that is available about the Sikh community.

Perhaps the Sikh community needs to invest in its own channels, its own reporters, its own newspapers – but also perhaps there needs to be a change in the current media organizations.

I, for one, did not know any of that. Thank you very much.



  1. 🙂
    I believe this is just an example.
    There are many other things missing from MSM.

  2. Thank you very much for posting this!

  3. Thank you so much for writing this article.

    The religion of Sikhi is an ant-caste movement, dedicated to women’s rights and fighting racism. Ha! I know. Hard to believe.

    Sikhs are having a very difficult time living up to their amazingly progressive Faith, and the glory of their past.

    But try it, ask any macho Sikh warrior dude, wearing turban, swords and metal symbols if Sikh women have equal rights within Sikhi. Ask him if he is a soulbride (feminine at heart) and see what he says!

    Sikhs believe that the Creator and Creation are one and the same. The Creator/Creation are One, is the first words of their scripture, which they hold as their only Guru/Guide/Teacher. Sikhs do not believe in orginal sin.

    The Guru/scripture teaches that the best religion is the sisterhood/brotherhood of humankind. It teaches that all Faiths are good, if practiced with love and humility. Sikhs believe that love and humility and serving the poor ARE the true religion.

    I know, again, hard to believe! Sikhs are horrid at PR, and they are acting like classic separatists. Many are fleeing from genocide and their enemies in the Indian governmens have coordinated media campaigns aimed against them.

    Again, thanks so much for writing this article. It is excellent and Sikhs everywhere are reading it! You have done a great service.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  4. Thank you Sir for this most interesting piece on our minute community. We sorely need more such friends among the non-sikhs.
    Jarnail Singh Dhillon MALAYSIA

  5. I am a Sikh woman and have benefited from the teaching of Guru Nanak who placed women equal to men. The code of practice given to humanity by Guru Nanak should be shared with others as a matter urgency. There was deep darkness during the time of Guru Nanak and he gave hope. He wanted things to be shared so the Sikhs have a responsibility to share the message. In simple terms it is that : All are equal and all should sing the praises of the Creator together. Work hard and care for the universe and the creation. Keep a positive outlook on life. Observe, analyse and act with intelligence.

    I would like to thank Tony Carson for starting this thread.

    Satnam Kaur

  6. Guru Arjan
    Page 639 of “The Siri Giri Granth Sahib”,
    the scripture and only Guru of the Sikh people.

    The One who created the whole world, my Siblings,
    is the Almighty One and Only,
    the Cause of causes.
    Creator/Creation fashioned our soul and our body, my Siblings by Her/His own power.
    How can Infinity be described?
    How can the Supreme One be seen, my Siblings?
    The Creator is One; indescribable.
    Praise the Guru (True Universal Teacher)
    and the Source of the Universe, my Siblings,
    through the Infinite One, our essence is known.

    O my mind, meditate on the Beloved One.
    God blesses Truth’s servants with the gift of the Naam (constant awareness of God).
    It is God who is the Destroyer of pain and suffering.

    (Pause and reflect on the Great Sikh Guru’s teachings)

    Everything is in the Divine One’s home, my Siblings;
    Creator/Creation’s warehouse is overflowing with the nine treasures.
    Infinity’s worth cannot be estimated, my Siblings.
    God is lofty, inaccessible and infinite.
    Yet God cherishes all beings and creatures, my Siblings
    The Supreme One continually takes care of us.
    So meet with your Perfect True Teacher, my Siblings,
    through the Word of the Shabad (sacred hymns, sacred texts)

    Adoring the feet of the True Guru/Guide, my Siblings, doubt and fear are dispelled.
    Joining the society of authentic humble and holy Sants,
    cleanse your mind, my Siblings,
    and dwell on the Name of God.
    The darkness of ignorance shall be dispelled, my Siblings,
    and the lotus of your heart shall blossom.

    By Guruji’s Word, peace wells up, my Siblings,
    all fruits are with the True Teacher, the authentic Guru.
    Give up your sense of mine and yours, my Siblings
    and become the dust of the feet of all.
    In each and every heart, God is contained, my Siblings.
    Creator sees, and hears, and is ever-present with us.
    On that day when we forget the Supreme One, my Siblings,
    on that day, we experience pain.
    Creator/Creation is the all-powerful Cause of Causes, my Siblings;
    the All-Powerful has all powers.

    The Love of God’s Name is the greatest treasure, my Siblings;
    through it, emotional attachment to Maya (worldliness, materialism, glamor) is dispelled.
    If it is pleasing to the Divine Plan, then God unites us, my Siblings.
    The Naam comes to abide in our mind.
    The heart-lotus of the Gurmukh (consecrated devotee) blossoms forth, my Siblings,
    and our hearts are illumined, awakened.
    The Glory of God is revealed, my Siblings,
    and the earth and sky blossom forth.

    The Perfect Guru has blessed me with contentment, my Siblings,
    day and night, I remain attached only to Divine Love.
    My tongue continually calls God’s Name, my Siblings;
    this is the true taste, and the object of human life.
    Listening with my ears, I hear and so I live, my Siblings;
    I have actually obtained the unchanging, unmoving state.
    Souls who don’t place their trust in the Infinite Creator/Creation burn with fear, my Siblings.

    Creator/Creation, my Only Lord and Master, has so many virtues, my Siblings.
    I am surrender to That One.
    My God nurtures even the most worthless, my Siblings,
    and gives home to the homeless.
    My God gives us nourishment with each and every breath, my Siblings.
    My God’s Name is everlasting.
    One who meets with the True Universal Teacher O Siblings,
    does so by great good destiny.

    Without Creator/Creation, I cannot live, even for an instant, my Siblings.
    The Souirce is filled with all powers.
    With every breath and morsel of food, I will not forget the Infinite One, my Siblings.
    I behold the Beloved as ever-present.
    In the Saadh Sangat (authentic congregation, in the society of enlightened people),
    I meet Creator/Creation, my Siblings.
    God is totally pervading and permeating everywhere.
    Those who do not embrace love for the Creation/Creator, O Siblings of Destiny,
    die crying out in pain.

    Grasping hold of the hem of His/Her robe, my Siblings
    we are carried across the world-ocean of fear and pain.
    By the Glance of Grace, God has blessed us, my Siblings.
    The Creator/Creation shall be with us until the very end.
    My mind and body are soothed and calmed, my Siblings,
    nourished by the food of the Naam.
    Nanak has entered this Divine Sanctuary, my Siblings;
    God is the Destroyer of our sins/mistakes.

  7. Forgive, the correct name of the Sikh scripture/Guru is “The Siri Guru Granth Sahib” which means, roughly, “Great Wise Book Teacher”. This sacred text is the living Guru/Guide for all Sikhs. Christians hold Jesus as their True Universal Teacher, Buddhists meditate on Buddha. For Sikhs, our Guruji is our Holy Book.

  8. Now, look, Kamalla Rose Kaur, I DEMAND that you develop this statement:

    “ask any macho Sikh warrior dude, wearing turban, swords and metal symbols if Sikh women have equal rights within Sikhi. Ask him if he is a soulbride (feminine at heart) and see what he says!”

    Woa, talk about loaded. So what does ‘the Sikh warrior dude’ really think? That’s the very thing we want to know.

    And, boy, we’ve just gotta know a lot more about ‘soulbride’ — what an amazing juxtaposition of words. I Googled it, got a lovely poem but give us more: what is meant by the term ‘soulbride.’ To quote Dirty Harry: “I just gots to know.”

  9. Tony, it is an honor. But you may not believe it from me. So I am asking my Sikh brothers here, members of the Khalsa Knighthood, to explain to you how they are “soulbrides” – how from a Sikh point of view, we all are.

    Let me meanwhile share a bit about the Khalsa Knighthood with you.

    The Khalsa Knighthood arose to fight the Muslim Inquisition in Indian in 1699. The Khalsa Knighthood of the Sikhs is and was a very unusual group because both men and women belong, and because the Khalsa Knighthood is “defense only”. A Khalsa Knight is under vow to never attack anyone. They must never fight out of fear or anger or revenge. They can only defend the oppressed from oppressors. This they vow to do but that is it.

    Thus Sikhs fighting in WW2 did NOT fight against Hitler. Rather they fought on behalf of Jews and Jew’s right to practice the Jewish faith.

    Not all Sikh men and women belong to the Khalsa Knighthood. And, unfortunatlely, not all Sikhs who you see wearing the 5 symbols of the Khalsa Knighthood – uncut hair, comb, sword, steel bracelet, and underwear – are keeping the 5 Khalsa vows that these symbols represent.

    1. Kesh, uncut hair: Khalsa Sikhs vow to keep their bodies natural and live wholesome lives. No intoxicants, no smokes.

    2. Kanga -comb: They bathe daily and keep clean.

    3. Kirpan – the sword: Khalsa Knights vow to defend the innocent and/or oppressed. A Khalsa Knight is under vow to jump in and help those being oppressed or attacked. They feed the poor too.

    4. Kara – the bracelet: They vow to defend the Divine Ideals, and again never to attack. Khalsa Knights vow to be ethical, to shun corruption, to live truthfully.

    5. Kacchera – underwear: Khalsa Knights wear underwear (rather like simple boxer shorts). This symbolizes the 5th Khalsa vow. Khalsa Knights treat all men and women as brothers and sisters, as equals. They vow to not view the opposite sex as sex objects or romance objects, or practice any sort of rock-star-itis.

    In Sikh history, a history that Sikhs remember, Sikhs have fought in battles to defend the rights of Hindus and also Muslims to practice their religions in peace. Sikhs are proud of this. Sikhs are a proud people with a glorious (study them) past. Only Sikhs have ever run into battle yelling “Sat Siri Akal!” which means “Truth is Undying” or “The Truth Will Out!”.

    That said, most Sikhs are ordinary folk. Most are not Khalsa, and some who think they are Khalsa, are breaking Khalsa vows. Basically Sikhs are just as messed up, at times more messed up, than other humans. They are a tiny minority everywhere. Before 1984, Sikhs had politically clout in India (they were the swing vote between Hindus and Muslim in a small, but very prosperous, part of Northern India) since then they don’t. All their historic Gurdwaras (temples) are in India and also in Pakistan, and those two countries are full of hotheads (mostly Hindu, Muslim; also Sikhs, Jain, and Christian Missionaries) and those two countries have the bomb.

    Sat Siri Akal and thank you, again, for asking!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  10. Hey, thanks, that was terrific, in a few paras you taught me a lot. I’d like to post this under ‘Sikhs — decoded’ (or something like that). OK? Really, this kind of short, friendly, contemporary narrative is worth a lot more to the un-informed than digging through stolid web pages, which in fact it might encourage.

    Also, let me push you on the soulbrides. One of the real benefits of attempting to understand other cultures/religions/mores-folkways is that we can be introduced to entirely revelatory ideas. I don’t know what ‘soulbrides’ means but as a term it is utterly fascinating to me. I would just love to hear about it and I’m think I ain’t alone.

    Thanks again for this, Kamalla, it ws terrific.

  11. Thank you Tony,

    I appreciate your kind words and please share my words freely, if you find them helpful to understanding Sikhs, the Khalsa, and Sikhi (Sikhism).

    Back in the time when our scripture was written, 1400-1500s, women in India (and elsewhere) had no power at all. Women were judged good or bad by the men in our lives, especially our husbands. Women were slaves. Guru Nanak, the Sant who started Sikhi, took a stand against both Sati (the Hindu practice of forcing widows to burned themselves to death on their husband’s funeral pyres) and the Muslim custom of veiling women.

    All marriages were arranged back then but Guru Nanak taught that God is our Real Husband, not the human fellow we find ourselves happily, or unhappily, married too. This is the opposite of Chrirstian belief, ala Saint Paul, where women can only access the Divine One through our husbands.

    Nanak (all the poets who authored the Siri Guru Granth Sahib are called Nanak, which means “egoless one”) went further using the metaphor of marriage roles – ala India in the Middle Ages – to describe the relationship between the Infinite One and each Soul.

    All Sikhs, women and men, hold the Creator/Creation, as our Divine Husband/Lover and all Sikhs are “soulbrides” – devoted, surrendered, wives. This a primal METAPHOR for our relationship with God. “He” is our Beloved.

    Actually the Sikh Guru/scripture uses many metaphors. “You are my Mother, You are my Father, You are my Sister, You are my Brother.”

    The “Soulbride” poems in our scripture are love poems, that honor women and honor feminine values.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  12. Dear all,

    Guru Nanak looked and noticed the practices in India and one of them was the relationship of women and their husbands. A woman was expected to love her husband at all times and serve her husband almost like a slave. Look at her husband as the only person of importance; love him and cherish him. Guru Nanak used this devotion as an example that should be followed by all humans and love God, the Creator as the only being that is important and love it as the Indian woman does her husband.

    When a woman got married and became the bride her devotion was fully towards her husband. So the soul should be focused on God and is a Soulbride. The qualities of women are widely used in Guru Granth to help humans to come closer to the Creator.

    Guru Granth is a treasure that has been hidden away from the rest of the world by the Sikhs, though Guru Nanak says I have kept nothing secret from you – the treasure chest of our forefathers is open to you and use the gems in it.

    Satnam Kaur

  13. Thank you Kamalla, thank you Satnam — I have a question: is this notion of ‘soulbride’ a commitment ONLY to God, or can it be extended to be a commitment to people, relationships, even the earth — in the sense that you would approach these with a purer feminine devotion and a hightened (feminine) awareness.

    You can see what I’m getting at, whether soulbride as a comcept is specifically a commitment to God or is it a spirit or sensibility that is transportable to people and organic things (eg animals forests)? In other words is it a state of mind, much like Buddhism is a state of mind?

    And if so, can a man be a soulbride with the same authenticity and fervous as a woman.

    Sorry, for the probably stupid questions but I’m wrestling with this as a new concept to me.

    But one more stupid question: what is the relationship between contemporary western feminism and soulbride? (If that can be answered at all).

  14. Wonderful questions. Tony, and actually easy to answer too.

    To understand your first question, you must pause and really reflect on the first Sikh teaching.

    EKOnKaar; the Creation and the Creator are One.

    The Infinite Cosmos is not separate from Nature. Nature is not fallen, or sinful for Sikhs. Drop the Westyern mind/body split. Rather Nature IS God, and God is nature…but also everything else. The whole Cosmos is Cosmic. It is ALIVE and AWAKE!

    Likewise Sikhs believe that the Creator is within the heart of every human; every being. Where is there not God? And yes, if you wish to serve Creator, then serve the Creation, with Love.

    Also Sikhs, like Christians, believe that when two or more of us are gathered singing Praise to the Infinite One, then God comes out, shows up.

    When we call on God’s Name together, God arrives!

    Said a bit differently, God is a VERB. The Doer of Everything.

    Contempory Western feminism is a bit hard to define, is it not? Western women are very confused and exploited by the corporate media, are we not?

    Sikh women gained full citizenship within Sikh culture back in the late 1400s. The Sikh religion encourages Sikh women to be Khalsa Knights; full out warriors.

    Check out our famous Sikh women heroes:

    At the same time, Sikh men and women are also required by our religion to learn to Let Go and Let God. That ability that women often have to fully and completely surrender into Love, that quality that men long for, in truth, but are afraid to explore, for fear of being weak or “woman-like” is honored and celebrated by the Sikh Guru/scripture. If you wish to experience the Reality of the Infinite One, then surrender to Creation/Creator like a woman in love.

    Now, after you practice THAT for a while, try surrendering like a Mother.

    Jungians will catch up with Nanak in a generation or two, and Sikhs will catch up with the best of Western culture in a generation or two as well. This is my opinion and prayer.

    Please ask as many questions as you like. Please.
    It is great Seva or Service you are doing. It is Divine to overcome FEAR of strangers and strange ways. When you DO the Beloved’s work, like facilitating communication between different cultures, then there is no real difference between you and God. The Divine gig and your gig unite – and admit it, it is a great feeling isn’t it? You are doing great GOOD; like the Divine Doer of Great Good Herself, or Himself, Itself.

    In Sikhi this sudden experience of the Divine Verb is called Darshan, which means…the sudden lucid experience of the Divine Verb!

    So, one more time. EkOnKaar, the Creator and the Creation are One. Sikhs believe you experience this by Grace. It is a gift. Your ability to do this great Divine work, this cultural love sharing, isn’t really about your ego, or anybody elses ego. You are a gift to us, and we are a gift to you, by the Grace of the Great Mystery.

    Sikhs do not proseltize. Not one bit. So Sikhs aren’t going to talk much about our religion unless we get asked. We believe that even Westerners who don’t believe in “God” with your heads, can actually be very EkOn Kaar-like with your hearts and hands. You can be GOOD humans and what more is required of humans? For Sikhs it doesn’t so much matter what you believe, it is what you DO that matters.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  15. Wow, now THAT’S an answer. And I think I got it when you repeated that the creation and the creator are one, so to worship one is to worship the other, to love one is to love the other, yes?

    You have given me a lot to think about and I shall (and re-read). But I can say with absolute certainty that hearing that your religion ISN’T proselytized carries a music as great as the finest organ corral: it is infinitely more satisfying to come to something than to have it come to you.

    Thanks for your efforts, they’re really appreicated.

  16. “And I think I got it when you repeated that the creation and the creator are one, so to worship one is to worship the other, to love one is to love the other, yes?” – Tony Carson

    Dear Tony,

    Yes, you have got it.

    “I can say with absolute certainty that hearing that your religion ISN’T proselytized carries a music as great as the finest organ corral: it is infinitely more satisfying to come to something than to have it come to you.” – Tony

    Absolutely! From a Sikh’s point of view, you simply don’t need any help finding your Way. The Infinite Truly More Satisfying One is alive and well within you. You just said so yourself! Follow THAT Light, that Guide, and that Path with courage.

    You may never become a Sikh, but you are experiencing the Sikh Way.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  17. Here is some cross cultural fun for your enjoyment. Again, many thanks for asking!

    A Rocking Sikh!

    Many Sikhs are of Punjabi India descent. The Bhangra is a Punjabi regional dance done by people of all faiths, few or many, with competitions and wild audience participation. It has been catching on at Western universities. It usually looks like this:

    A Sikh Singh friend provided me with the translation of this song below!

    The song is written and sung by the very famous singer, his name is Gurdas Mann. He writes most of his own songs, and most of them are on cultural problems i.e. disrespect for elders, growing drugs use in youth, people forgetting their roots etc.

    In this song he is saying: to those whom god has given all the materialistic thing, if they have good health, they should thank god over and over.

    He is asking the young ones sit and watch older people dance (because of their good health, they can!)

    The days of all good healthy food are gone! So is powerful healthy youth ness.
    Even 10 year old are romancing around nowadays, then they are heart broken and start using drugs (at early age)

    Hey youth just sit and watch elders dance (bhangrha)

    The older people can walk but youth is slave to the machines!
    Good youth men and women are pride of the nations.

    The ones are pampered too much are getting lazy, they loose temper very quick (they are very dry)
    They dont like to use traditional (good) oils (for skin and hair) because they say it stinks, they rather use gels etc.

    Hey youth just sit and watch elders do bhangrha.

    We should protect all youth; never lure anyones child to an addiction. (Dont expose them to drugs)
    Like milk, it doesnt take much for youth to boil over, they both need close watch!!

    It is very difficult to translate a song into another language. I tried the best I could.

  18. Dear Tony,

    From a soul bride

    I am a 60 year old Sikh male, and as Guru says that we are all to be the brides of the ‘All-Soul’, I must be one of these brides.

    Before we go further just one general point : As can be expected there are many ‘Sikhs’ who are ignorant of the teachings of Guru, or know about the teachings but do not practice, or do not even try to practice those teachings.

    The same applies to people of other faiths, but I think it is worth making this point.

    Coming back to the soul bride : I lived in Panjab from 1996 till 2000 and met a few of the old fashioned military Sikhs. These fellows were unlike anybody I ever met from other armies ! They had very sweet natures, and were not at all ‘macho’.

    I also met many Nihang Singhs, fellows in blue outfits, huge turbans, carrying swords, spears and other weaponry.

    Amongst them I found many charlatans, but some of them were true Sikhs who understood Guru’s teachings, and understood that Guru’s fight was against injustice, oppression etc and not for personal gain or to rule over others.

    I also hope to speak out against injustice and to stand up for those that are oppressed. I hope to be a fighter, but I also hope to have Guru’s sweetness, Guru’s love and care for all creation.

    This job of fighting against injustice and to spread Guru’s love is for all Soul Brides, regardless of gender, creed, ethnic background, nationality etc

    For further reference you should research European mystic poetry, where you will find similar themes.


    Harjinder Singh
    Heston UK

  19. Dear Tony,
    Thnks for putting up this invitation to dialouge.

    Siri Guru Granth Sahib says on the subject of “warrior”:
    jaa ko har ra(n)g laago eis jug mehi so keheeath hai sooraa ||
    That one alone is called a warrior, who is attached to the Lord’s Love in this age.

    aatham jinai sagal vas thaa kai jaa kaa sathigur pooraa ||1||
    Through the Perfect True Guru, is ones own soul conquered, and then everything comes under ones control. ||1||

    i’ve posted links to some websites geared towards the very UN-stodgy 🙂

    Warriors in Name is a collection of stories whose theme is about Naam and how Warriors must overcome the many distractions the world has to offer and make Naam the primary focus on their path. Only truly committed warriors will succeed.

    The following URL

    is a picture link to “Warriors in Name” Sister Sites where the reader may find stories & poems ranging from outrageously hysterical humour to the intensly intimate longing of the love lorn separated sister soul bride.

    one of which is “Jedi Nights.”

    An illustrated series where the humorous escapades of a boy and his big sister explore many of the concepts of Sikhi.


  20. Hopefully my personal guide Kamalla Rose Kaur still visits but for anyone. Kamalla, you wrote: “ask any macho Sikh warrior dude, wearing turban, swords and metal symbols if Sikh women have equal rights within Sikhi.” I have two questions on that: Questions:

    #1. Is there a female equivalent of the ‘warrior,’ or, can women in fact be warriors with the same meaning, and if so by what name?

    #2. Men are very conspicuous in their (to us unusual) dress as they honour the 5 Khalsa vows. Do women not have similar vows or does the notion of soulbride cover this (but men can be soulbrides, too, can’t they?).

    My confusion stems from the same visuals: while men pay homage as warriors practising the khalsa vows, how do women pay homage and why are they different given that one of the inspirations of the religion was to make men and women co-equals? Thanks

  21. Blessings Tony,

    I am here indeed! At you service!

    Khalsa Knights, female and male, take the same vows and hold the same ideals. Khalsa Knights are soldier/sants, or peaceful warriors. They seek to be “Jiwan Mukhta” which literally means “Alive yet Dead”. “In the world but not of the world” or the Buddhist concept of “actionless action” are similar concepts.

    Again, the vows of the Khalsa Knighthood, and all the Sikh religious practices, are exactly the same for men and women. The 5 Ks are kept by Khalsa men and women alike.

    For instance, Khalsa men and women do not cut or shave hair.

    However, dastaars, or turbans, are NOT required for Khalsa women, though more and more Khalsa women Knights are starting to wear turbans too, for the very reasons you note!

    Sikh men have always worn turbans. Turbans are common in India and make sense when you:

    1. Have long hair
    2. Live in India or other hot places,
    3. You are fighting on horseback with swords.

    Now the style of turban that Sikh men wear, as distinct from all the other sorts of turbans people in hot climates wear, do look rather like the turbans Indian Feudal Kings used to wear. Again Sikhi is an anti-caste movement. Sikhs insist that all humans are of noble birth – we are all the precious children of the True Sovereign. Earthly kings and the poor must sit and eat together when they visit Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) – they sit together on the floor.

    There are no “priests” in Sikhi, Sikhi is lay-led and women are suppose to be equally involved at all levels. But they aren’t right now.

    Regarding hand to hand combat, universally human males are more biologically expendable. It is common for males to defend the women and children from oppressors, and if any women or children survive, maybe they can keep the culture? There are famous examples of Khalsa women fighting on horseback, but most Sikh women traditionally do everything else, while the men go to battle – just like everyone else.

    Beyond the ideals, right now sexism is a big issue in Sikh politics. The central Gurdwara of the Sikh Faith in Amritsar India, Darbar Sahib (aka The Golden Temple) does not allow Sikh women to serve there.

    In February of 2003, two British Sikh women, Mejindarpal Kaur and Lakhbir Kaur, made women’s liberation history by jumping in to assist carrying the Siri Guru Granth to its nightly resting place at Darbar Sahib. They got pushed around, and they had to back off. But it made the news – in India at least…

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  22. A short video about Khalsa Sikh women:

  23. Wonderfully explanation as usual Kamalla, thank you.

    I learned in the video that men are named Singh and women Kaur, I just filed that away as a factoid and then the screen rolled by and the video was by a Vickie Singh, presumably a woman, quickly nullifying my hard-won knowledge.(?)

    Given that the religion was born in part from a reaction to the way Muslims treated women, why is there a tipping now towards male dominance (as at the Golden Temple)? Doesn’t that strike at the very heart of Sikhi?

    Finally, if there are no ‘priests’ in Sikhi, what is the standard-bearer, the adjudicator? Social pressure? And if that is true doesn’t that create enormous pressures outside of India (outside of the main culture), particularly on the impressionable young?

  24. Hello Tony,

    Wrong about Vickie Singh. Vickie Singh is a uindoubtedly male. I picture a big, tall, bushy bearded fellow with a great sense of humor. His correct name is probably Vikram Singh, but he goes by Vickie Singh. Even Elizabeth Singh sounds like a man to me. Anglo names mean little in modern usage but SINGH means “a man with the courage of a lion!”

    I have no idea how to answer your first question. Why DO men dominate women? We do men create dominace hierarchies? Why do men appear to care so much what other men think about you? You sure aren’t trying to impress women!

    Women everywhere wonder this. You tell me, please.

    I was trying to read The”Rolling Stone” magazine a couple months ago. They are liberal and progressive and hip and reflect the values of the liberal, progressive and hip people. So why were there two almost naked women hugging, with big swollen blood red lips – wearing belts of bullets? Why do men hate women? Why would men buy that magazine? Why would you not complain?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  25. “Why DO men dominate women?”

    An age-old question, yes, but didn’t a band of people join together around Guru Nanak in India in the 15th century and agree to rise above this?

    Don’t let us get away with it this time. Fight back.

    Hint: read Aristophanes, read Lysistrata. As a plan, it is fool-proof and blissfully non-violent.

  26. “Finally, if there are no ‘priests’ in Sikhi, what is the standard-bearer, the adjudicator? Social pressure? And if that is true doesn’t that create enormous pressures outside of India (outside of the main culture), particularly on the impressionable young?” – Tony

    The Siri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scripture) is our only authority. We bow to no human. If 5 Sikhs can agree on something, and if they are in accord with Guruji’s Hukam, then they can ACT on that.

    Hukam means command; direct guidance. The Sikh Guru/scripture is 1430 pages of the actual words/songs written by the historic “Nanaks”. There are also Hindu and Islamic poets found in the Sikh Holy Book. Can you imagine having 1430 pages of Jesus’s instructions? His very words, no commentary.

    When I have any question, I go to Guruji (the Sikh scripture) with my question. I pray and meditate and then open the scripture “randomly” and read what is written. In this way I see what Guruji tells me.

    The same happen at the end of every Gurdwara service. Guruji transmits a lesson, his instructions, his orders.

    Clearly this assumes that “syncronicity happens!” and yes! Again Sikhs believe that the Creator and Creation are ONE.

    Thus, wishing to know what Guruji would say to you, I just now accessed the scripture (on-line) and opened it at “random”.

    page 821

    “The Shabad
    (the teachings found in the scripture),
    the True Word of the True Guru,
    is the light of the lamp.
    It dispels darkness from your body-mansion,
    and opens the beautiful chamber of jewels within.”

    Sikhs have daily practice. We read 5 prayers each day, we sing a lot, we give a tenth of our earnings to charity, and we attend Gurdwara once a week or more. Gurdwaras are all independent organizations. Some are very blissful, some are not.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  27. Hi Tony,

    As to your question (but men can be soulbrides, too, can’t they?).

    The soul is not gender specific but resides in everyone.

  28. Hi Tony,

    In Lysistrata, the women all refuse to have sex with the men until the men stop fighting. Do I remember this right? It is a very funny and old play.

    But manipulating men (or women) using romance, sex, money, status, power is not our Way. Women who suffer in violent relationships simply get raped anyway.

    My point is only that Sikh men aren’t really more sexist than non-Sikh men. They objectify women far less, and maybe discount us more. Yet Sikh men have the advantage of having Khalsa standards to live up to and Guruji makes a powerful role model!

    It is blooming miracle that men on earth at any time, in any era, have ever fought for women’s rights! If our men were that fantastic once, they can get there again! By Grace; by Guru’s Grace.

    And maybe someday European descent men will stop fantasizing so much and embrace reality as well. May the best men win! Love is the Victory!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  29. Decoding the English translations of the Sikh scripture (our living teacher/Guru), the Siri Guru Grant Sahib.

    All translations of the Sikh scripture are held as “interpretations”. You can only truly understand Guruji in the language that our scripture is written, called Gurmukhi. The Sikh Gurus pushed for literacy among the poor and downtrodden (which was everyone back then except the elite highest castes). They created a simple language; Gurmukhi means “out of the mouth of the Guru”. Or “Wise-mouth. Sikhs believe it is wise to put your mouth around the words of this language.

    Nanak is often humorous and Life/God have whimsy. The Sikh scripture, in its orginal language does not use gender terms for God. Unless Guruji is speaking metaphorically – referring to God as our Divine Husband, for instance, or Father – Nanak uses genderless terms for the Beloved One.

    Unfortunatel, maybe even shamefully, Victorian era Sikh translators decided to use the Western term “Lord” (high caste male) and use “He”copiously. Maybe they were trying to please a Christian audience? Maybe they were angry sexists wishing to correct Guruji’s mistakes? Maybe they were Victorians? That much we know, they were Victorians.

    Much better English translations/interpretations are on the Way…they will start arriving any moment…darn, you know, India time… one moment please….

    Meanwhile here is a better but really bad interpretation of our scripture in English.

    Notice how you can punch in any number, to ask Guruji a question. Then see what jumps out at you!

    I just went to page 739 of the SGGS where I found:

    “Within the home of his own self, he does not even come to see his Lord and Master. And yet, around his neck, he hangs a stone god. || 1 || The faithless cynic wanders around, deluded by doubt. He churns water, and after wasting his life away, he dies. || 1 || Pause || That stone, which he calls his god, that stone pulls him down and drowns him. || 2 || O sinner, you are untrue to your own self; a boat of stone will not carry you across. || 3 || Meeting the Guru, O Nanak, I know my Lord and Master. The Perfect Architect of Destiny is pervading and permeating the water, the land and the sky.”

    Now I am going to “edit” the sexist-language out of the transalation, because again, Sikhs have the only scripture on earth where the sexist language got ADDED by translators. The other World scriptures were written that way. Again, Guruji has a quirky sense of humor!

    “Within the home of our own self,
    we fail to see our Diivne Master.
    Around the neck, we hang a stone god.

    Faithless cynics wander around,
    deluded by doubt.
    They churn water,
    and after wasting their life away,
    they die.

    (Pause and reflect on this teaching)

    That stone, which they call god,
    that stone pulls them down and drowns them.

    You are a sinner,
    when you are untrue to your own self;
    a boat of stone will not carry you across.

    Meeting the Universal teacher/Guru, O Nanak,
    I know my Real Master.
    The Perfect Architect of Destiny
    is pervading and permeating
    the water, the land and the sky.”


    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  30. Here is an example of Sikh sacred music, called Gurbani Kirtan. The Sikh Holy Book is actually a hymnal and Nanak was/is a musician. In Sikhi the most basic form of meditation is listening deeply to inspiring music, and singing it together with your friends.

    Sikh hymns tend to last at least 15 minutes, enough time to really go deeply into it and open your heart up.

    Here is an example of Gurbani Kirtan; with visual scenery and translations added. I invite you to watch the video once, so you understand the meaning of the song, then next time, just listen to the sounds of the language and musical tradition of the Sikh people. We hope you sing along!

  31. Actually I meant to post this example, which includes a translation!

  32. Kamalla, re your earlier post …

    You have a great eye and ear for scriptures you have turned to for years. Regrettably, my senses are not nearly so acute. You may be interested in my take-away from the passage (original) sited:

    Jewelry is empty of all meaning and deflects the wearer from dealing with things that matter, things of the soul. For this reason, jewelry actually dements and demeans the wearer.

    I hope that’s right because I’ve always believed jewelry as being little more than narsicism — and it would be wonderful to have such a lofty endorsement.

  33. Tony,

    If you reference the page (next time) Sikhs reading can tell you if you are getting it wrong. Someone may jump in and correct my interpretations as well, if I am misinterpreting, or mistaken about the orginal meanings or teachings.

    That said, sure sounds like Nanak’s endorsement to me. Members of the Khalsa tend to wear the 5 Ks as their only jewelry. Displaying wealth is common enough among some Sikhs, but Nanak is against it.

    “Jewelry is empty of all meaning and deflects the wearer from dealing with things that matter, things of the soul. For this reason, jewelry actually dements and demeans the wearer.”

    Any reader here able to name the Shabad and offer up the page?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  34. uuuuuum, Kamalla, I wrote that quote, it was what I took as the meaning from the passage you cited.
    Is it?

  35. Tony, if you are referring to Kamalla Rose Kaur’s quote about the shabad with the “gold stone”

    That “stone” is referring to a stone idol, and it describes how idolatry and religious superstition have no place in the path of true devotion and love to God.

    However, jewelry is also one of those things that people often mistake for embellishment and decoration and the divine Guru does instruct us that jewelry too, is just elementary, and the only thing of real value is virtue, righteousness, truth and universal love.

    About Kamalla Rose Kaur’s comment on the Sikh women and the turban, I humbly disagree with her. I believe that our Sikh traditions are built on equal feet, and just as the turban is a tradition and a requirement for men, it is so for women. Women are as enabled as men to practice their faith and keep their identity according to the Sikh traditions. Common society, cultural pressures, may skew this ability and may distort what the spirit of Sikhi really says, but I feel very strongly (and someone else may feel otherwise) that despite cultural norms in India requiring women to be veiled, or wear a chunni, or have their hair down, or cut, according to Sikh tradition women tie the top-knot and adorn a turban just as men do. The styles for men and womens turbans might be different but the concept is the same.

  36. Thanks for this, it does clarify nicely — if they are co-equals and both warriors, they should both follow the 5 k’s. Yes?

    So, I take it you are entirely against what is going on in The Golden Temple.

  37. Hi All,

    Kamla rose Kaur quoted the Sikh Rehit Maryada about the issue of women wearing a turban. It does give women the right to choose.

    Traditionally it’s been men who wore turbans. Some women also have chosen to. The SRM is a document on which ALL sikhs agree. A sikh may (and some) do more, but ought not to do less. You could say SRM is the bottom line.

    I personally agree with women wearing turbans, but as per our “code of conducts” mandate – it’s the womans choice.

    Equal ‘status’ should not be confused with absolute equality. We are created male and female and have different physical functions and have been differentiated by singh and kaur.(The soul is genderless of course.)

    Some women do indeed use the surname singh which would follow kaur if used at all. Haven’t come across any singhs using kaur though 😉

    Opinions like fertilizer may sprout many ideas 😉 My take on the golden temple issues is that though singhs are instructed to think of women who are not a wife as a mother sister or daughter. But not all in fact mastered this – many cannot be trusted to do so. The sad fact is segregation is for the protection of women from such shameful men. Also some men fear pollution by womens natural functions. All in all it’s a matter of ignorance, education and practice.

    One hopes that such superstions and attitudes may change.

    There are different approaches. Some women announce their gender & rights to men then comment on the antics that ensue. Others quietly infiltrate making no noise about gender so as not to raise an issue or make anyone (male) nervous 🙂

    Either way women may be heard if they choose to speak. Like wearing a turban – speaking out – is a choice many women do not make.

  38. Hi Tony,

    O my. Let me start again.

    “Within the home of our own self,
    we fail to see our Diivne Master.
    Around the neck, we hang a stone god.”

    I hear Guruji talking about how many humans look “out there” to find God. They don’t notice the Almighty, our True Self, within. And then there are those egotistical jerks who wear those big crosses, or other symbols of God around their necks. They give religion such a bad reputation. So yes, idol worshippers and false preachers, Nanak does not approve of these sorts.

    “Faithless cynics wander around,
    deluded by doubt.
    They churn water,
    and after wasting their life away,
    they die.”

    Faithless cynics are also a drag. I would note that Guruji approves very much of faithful skeptics, but advises we avoid being cynics and being around cynics. They will waste our time.

    (Pause and reflect on this teaching)

    “That stone, which they call god,
    that stone pulls them down and drowns them.”

    Nanak loves to play with literal pictures; idols sink us. Sikhi is not very woo woo. Sikhs think it is silly to believe in nonsense. They “feel” far more like humanists, or maybe like the Transcendalists, than like Baptists when you get to know them.

    “You are a sinner,
    when you are untrue to your own self;
    a boat of stone will not carry you across. ”

    Nanak asserts that the only way we can be a “sinner” is to refuse to courageously follow our Bliss; our hearts, our calling, our best possible purpose. Again, idols sink us. Human idols, cult leaders, stone idols….

    “Meeting the Universal teacher/Guru, O Nanak,
    I know my Real Master.
    The Perfect Architect of Destiny
    is pervading and permeating
    the water, the land and the sky.”

    This is a recurring theme in the SGGS. The Divine One is your ONLY Real Boss. Be brave. Take the highest path. Act out of LOVE not fear. Your destiny will blossom.

    I agree with K. Singh that Khalsa women “should” wear turbans. That said, I was indeed ciitng the officially Sikh Code of Conduct, the Sikh Reht Maryada, where women are allowed to choose.

    I personally like this because I think women get told what to do way too much. Even you Tony “demanded” that I explain to you about soulbrides”. You are also advising Sikh women, via a literary reference, to kick our husbands onto the couch until they are begging us to sit on the board of directors of our Gurdwaras, and now you think Kaurs should wear turbans!

    Here Here! I am with you Tony! You are right on!

    Just so we are clear that you might well freak out wearing a Sikh turban for a mere week, just donning it, no advance PR, and going about your business. Am I challenging you?

    No, I wish your happiness only. Rather I am holding a mirror up to you and wanting you to notice something. You have just met us, and you are already involved. You have opinions about what it means to be a Khalsa Knight. You already KNOW what it means. You have always KNOWN, haven’t you? Good for you.

    Now I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Amnesty International for keeping count of the number of Sikhs who have been disappearred, tortured, left to rot in prisons, since our holiest Gurdwara was attacked in 1984.

    I would also like to thank Bill Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association,

    for mobilizing all UUs into full activism three days after 9-11 on behalf of Sikhs facing hate crimes.

    Tony, here are some other problems Sikhs in diaspora face. What are your thoughts:

    1 Generation gap. Kids cutting hair.

    2. Consumerism and materialism.

    3. Drugs.

    How can we keep the best of our culture and embrace the best of the West? How to fight keeping the worse of Punjabi culture and the worst of the West too?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

    We will see if other Kaurs like your advise.

  39. Thanks for that, most interesting.

    How about youth? With the all the cultural clatter how are youth taking to the discipline of your religion? In an age of science and technology and multi-media everywhere is Sikhi viewed as a port in the storm or is it meing marginalized (as other religions are. For instance, the Archbishop in the UK complained that Anglicanism had become little more than a ‘hobby’ there.

  40. Tony,

    Do not be confused by what K. Singh says about Darbar Sahib – which Sikhs would prefer you NOT call the Golden Temple; it is a gem, little and gold, but it is an important Gurdwara, not a temple. Gurdwara means “House of the Sikh Guruji”.

    Darbar Sahib is beautiful, peaceful, devotional. But it is run by false Khalsa who claim themselves to be High Priests. They do attack women when women try to serve, though women serve in the free kitchen, Holy Langar.

    Here is what Mejindarpal Kaur wrote after being pushed aside:

    Myths About Sikh Women And Seva
    By Mejindarpal Kaur

    Wednesday, May 14, 2003 – 05:38 AM IDLW

    It has been suggested that Sikh women should not be allowed to participate in
    certain seva (service).
    Answers from Gurmat (the study of the Sikh scripture) to excuses for disallowing seva are given below.

    During seva a Sikh woman would have to endure Eve-teasing, jostling, or she
    may indeed be involved in sexual misdemeanors.

    GURMAT: A Sikh woman is less likely to be a victim of eve teasing at a
    Gurdwara, let alone Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, than she is at any other public place.
    Jostling should be brought under control by the management by hiring properly
    trained and polite Sevadaars who can ensure orderly conduct at Gurdwaras.

    To suggest that Sikh women will indulge in sexual misconduct during seva is
    an insult to the devotion and integrity of all Sikh women. However, should any
    untoward incident take place, it will involve both a man and a woman and both
    parties should be appropriately dealt with. Misconduct by Sikh men should not
    punish Sikh women. All efforts should be taken to punish the miscreants.

    A menstruating Sikh women should not be allowed to do seva and it would be
    difficult to establish if she is menstruating when she requests to do seva.

    GURMAT: There is no prohibition in Sikhism on a woman undertaking any Seva or
    prayer when she is menstruating. Guru Nanak Dev Ji declared in Asa Ki Vaar:
    Sebho Sootak Bharam Hae….All belief in the Brahminical concept of sootak is
    mere superstition. Guru Nanak Dev Ji goes on to say….that the superstition of
    sootak can only be erased by spiritual knowledge…Nanak Sootak Aave Na Utarae Gian
    Utarair Dhoae.

    As a woman has her periods, month after month, so does falsehood dwell in the
    mouth of the false; they suffer forever, again and again. They are not called
    pure, who sit down after merely washing their bodies. Only they are pure, O
    Nanak, within whose minds Vaheguru abides. || 2 || (page-472: Mehla-1)

    Sikh men wear their kecchera as an outer garment during the cleaning seva in
    Darbar Sahib, however, it would be improper for a Sikh woman to do the same as
    it may be distracting for Sikh men.

    GURMAT: There is no need for Sikh men and women to dress alike during seva. A
    Sikh woman could be asked to dress in a manner, which is respectful of her
    presence in the Darbar Sahib. Any tradition, which prevents a Sikh woman from
    exercising her right to do seva, has to be modified accordingly.

    Sikh women have never done seva at Darbar Sahib, be it for cleaning the
    Darbar Sahib or for doing Kirtan. Why start a new tradition? Further, they may
    distract the Surt (spiritual link) of the male sangat.

    GURMAT: There is no historical evidence to suggest that Sikh women did not
    ever do seva at Darbar Sahib. To the contrary, Sikh history is replete with
    examples of seva done by Sikh women. Further, since equality of women was
    recognised by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, there is no theological basis to suggest that Sikh
    women were prohibited from doing seva at Darbar Sahib.

    Sikh women have done Kirtan at all other gurdwaras, including Takht Sahibs
    where the distraction to the male surt has not been an issue. Why should it be
    any different at Darbar Sahib Ji?

    Due to the weight of the Palki Sahib, a woman would not be able to carry it
    on her shoulders.

    GURMAT: It is ignorant to suggest that no Sikh woman would have the stature
    to shoulder the weight of the Palki Sahib, assisted by other bearers. It is
    naïve to suggest that a Sikh woman would attempt to do this seva unless she has
    the strength to do so.

    There is always a heavy rush following the Palki Sahib seva during the
    Sukhasan and Parkash ceremonies. If Sikh women are allowed to undertake the Palki
    Sahib seva, they could be ‘roughed’ up in the rush and could give rise to more

    GURMAT: There should be no disorderly conduct during any of these ceremonies
    as it is unbecoming conduct at a holy place. The SGPC management should engage
    suitably trained Sevadaars to ensure orderly ceremonies. Therefore, if the
    ceremonies stewards do their job well, the question should not arise about any
    risk to Sikh women during these ceremonies.

    Types of Seva:

    1. Palki

    No Sikh woman has ever done such seva previously. Why start a new tradition?

    GURMAT: Equal opportunity is not a tradition but a right. We are aware of
    instances where a Sikh woman has done the palki sahib seva.

    The Palki Sahib ceremony is a ritual and no Sikh, man or woman should do it

    GURMAT: Rituals or Karam Kaand are prohibited in Sikhism. But if a Sikh, man
    or woman performs a religious act as an act of love for the Guru, it is not a
    Karam Kand. A Sikh should be made aware of this and the SGPC should not allow
    any act of the ceremony to take the shape or form of a Karam Kaand. If any
    aspect of the palki seva is ritualistic, SGPC should end it.

    2. Panj Piaré

    Panj Piaré seva: In 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh Ji called for volunteers to
    be one of the panj piaré, no woman rose to the challenge and so she should be
    excluded from the panj piaré seva today.

    GURMAT: The social realities of 1699 were very different from today. However,
    it must be remembered that Mata Sahib Kaur was bestowed the custodianship of
    the Khalsa. An Amritdhari Sikh woman partakes amrit from the same crucible and
    ceases to be seen as a woman or man in her spiritual role as one of the panj

    Since women were not one of the panj piaré in 1699, are Sikh women,
    therefore, not to take amrit today? Further, since there were no European Sikhs in
    1699, should European Sikhs be disallowed from being one of the Panj Piaré too?
    Using historical events to distort Sikh principles is a sign of ignorance.

    mÚ 1 ijau jorU isrnwvxI AwvY vwro vwr ] jUTy jUTw muiK vsY inq inq hoie
    KuAwru ] sUcy eyih n AwKIAih bhin ij ipMfw Doie ] sUcy syeI nwnkw ijn min visAw
    soie ]2] {pMnw 472}

    pd ArQ: jorU-iesq®I [ isrnwvxI-nHwauxI, mwhvwrI ^Un [ vwro vwr-hr mhIny, sdw
    [ jUTy-JUTy mnu`K dy [ jUTw-JUTw [ eyih-Ajyhy mnu`K [ sUcy-su`cy, piv`qr [
    AwKIAih-AwKy jWdy hn [ ij-jo mnu`K [ soeI-auhI mnu`K [ ijn min-ijnHW dy mn ivc [
    soie-auh pRBuU [2[

    ArQ: ijvyN iesq®I ƒ sdw hr mhIny nHwauxI AwauNdI hY (qy ieh Apiv`q®qw sdw aus
    dy AMdroN hI pYdw ho jWdI hY), iqvyN JUTy mnu`K dy mUMh ivc sdw JUT hI rihMdw
    hY qy ies krky auh sdw du`KI hI rihMdw hY [ Ajyhy mnu`K su`cy nhIN AwKy jWdy
    jo inrw srIr ƒ hI Do ky (Awpxy vloN piv`qr bx ky) bYT jWdy hn [ hy nwnk! kyvl
    auhI mnu`K su`cy hn ijnHW dy mn iv`c pRBU v`sdw hY [2[

    If one accepts the concept of impurity, then there is impurity everywhere. In
    cow-dung and wood there are worms. As many as are the grains of corn, none is
    without life. First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is
    made green. How can it be protected from impurity? It touches our own kitchen.
    O Nanak, impurity cannot be removed in this way; it is washed away only by
    spiritual wisdom. || 1 ||

    FIRST MEHL: The impurity of the mind is greed, and the impurity of the tongue
    is falsehood. The impurity of the eyes is to gaze upon the beauty of another
    man’s wife, and his wealth. The impurity of the ears is to listen to the
    slander of others. O Nanak, the mortal’s soul goes, bound and gagged to the city of
    Death. || 2 ||

    FIRST MEHL: All impurity comes from doubt and attachment to duality. Birth
    and death are subject to the Command of the Lord’s Will; through His Will we
    come and go. Eating and drinking are pure, since the Lord gives nourishment to
    all. O Nanak, the Gurmukhs, who understand the Lord, are not stained by
    impurity. || 3 ||

    – Interpretation of a passage from page 472 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  41. Forgive me K Singh, it was Dasee who spoke about Darbar Sahib and the strange idea that Sikh women need to be protected from the nasty minded predator male Sikh pilgrims who flock there.

    Again, Sikh women complain abouit the management, the Jethadars.

    Tony, in India, women’s rights may not be the first thing on Khalsa Sikh women’s agenda. Not getting dragged out into the street, raped and burned alive is also important, living in peace, raising strong children, and being good citizens within the countries we inhabit is mandated by Sikhi as well.

    It is here in the West that Sikh women’s liberation is so vital. Many people like you simply assume Sikhs and Sikhi are terribly sexist and you reject us on that assumption. Good for you. Sexism has no place in this world, nor does racism, caste or class-ism.

    As for youth. OUCH! Your question hurts.

    Our youth are ignoring Khalsa standards and becoming good little consumers or they are angry and militant, like other 15-25 year old minority males. Or they are BEAUTIFUL and will save us.

    How about your youth?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  42. Hi Kamalla.

    “It is here in the West that Sikh women’s liberation is so vital,” you said.

    Why is it any more important here, than in India? Here, Sikh women can coat-tail with the rest of NA women, there it is, I would image quite a bit more of a lonely challenge.

    I don’t think Sikhs are sexist, quite the contrary, one of the attributes I like most of Sikhi is its inclusive beginnings, I’m sorry I gave you the impression I am.

    The magnetism of contemporary youth culture is so strong its hard to image how any traditional ideas can withstand the onslaught: me and more vs sacrifice and discipline. The one has an instant payout the other is more distant (but infinitely more important and lasting.)

    Nice to learn, wasn’t it, that Canada came to its sense over blocking potential immigrants because of their names? Weird.

  43. Tony,

    Again, I like your advice for Sikh women. Not sure why women on this planet appear to need all the advice we get, that’s all. Do you know why?

    Tony, Sikh institutions in the West are sexist. Our Gurdwaras are all male dominated. However, Sikhi, and the Khalsa Panth (Knighthood) are not sexist one bit. Nanak is/was a feminist freedom fighter.

    The reason that sexism is a hot issue in the West is because it is important to our cultural survival here that our neighbors not confuse us with the Taliban. We need to,find ways to get positive media coverage, ways to get you and others to drop the negative impressions you have been given of us:

    “But the mashup of images I have of them isn’t very flattering: headgear, daggers, airplanes, court rooms, violence, hatred, maleness … well, you get the picture.” – Tony

    Yes, Tony, we really get the picture.

    And yes, of course, you are right about India. In India, Hindus and Muslims care less about whether Sikhs are sexist. They aren’t much competition in those regards, unfortunately. And aborting female fetuses runs high among “Sikhs”. It is really sad, and also embarrassing.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  44. Two short videos about Khalsa Sikh Women in the West:

    About going after our goals:

    Fighting against discrimination.

  45. Dear all,
    I have read the above posting with interest and the last clip on Arpinder Kaur shows that women and indeed all have to take a stand and as the Guru says understand the one inside you – and that will give us the courage to achieve things.

    Most of the Sikhs in the West have Punjabi baggage ‘the stone around ‘ their neck. They must become the Khalsa Knights for their own good and for the good of the world.

    Guru is clearly present in the conversation here.

    I agree with Tony that the Sikh women must wear turbans not because the men say it but because it will give them the power they need and deserve. The world needs a strong woman and a man needs a strong partner.

    There are many problems in the world and we all need to do the right thing. Understand and appreciate that we all can live together. The Khalsa Knights and other fellow human beings are from the same Creator. The Khalsa Knights once they recognise their true identity and walk through fire have a responsibility to help others to get rid of the stones around their necks and meet the Master who is in the water, air and land.

    I hope the True Guru will help us to do the right thing in our daily lives.

    Satnam Kaur

  46. “But the mashup of images I have of them isn’t very flattering: headgear, daggers, airplanes, court rooms, violence, hatred, maleness … well, you get the picture.” – Tony

    Kamalla, I only wrote that to characterize perceptions if all we get to know about the Sikhs is from newspaper headlines. Knowing that the characterization cannot be true I went on to suggest that Sikhs should start to teach other Canadians in a proactive way about their religion, otherwise all the information we get will be from the headlines.

    I don’t know why this is so resisted. Every major corporate brand does this as a matter of course, as a natural part of business. All I’m saying is that Sikhi is a brand, too, and should reinforce the perception of that brand with every chance it gets (and deal with the negative immediately).

    And Kamalla, that’s what you have been doing here for those on this site interested in your religion: you have been patiently explaining the essence of your beliefs in an interesting and beautiful way and as a result I feel I know Sikhi much better (though only a scratch on the surface, I know) and as a result, I care far more about the Sikh message.

    You and others here are doing the very thing I think Sikhs should be doing nationally.

  47. “You and others here are doing the very thing I think Sikhs should be doing nationally.” – Tony


    We need help. Western corporate media does not favor Sikhs, or Palestinians, or all the sweet kind hearted Muslims on earth. Turbans are not fashionable. We get no coverage. You are the best we have gotten. I kid you not.

    Canada, India, the USA governments are in bed with each other. Multinational corporations are pushing us all into Globalization. Yet 75% of the Indian government are high caste Brahmins and the rest are a little less high. They don’t vote for Untouchables there. The USA Senate is a viper pit of men who have seemingly sold their souls and their country down the river. O Canada, home of so many Sikhs and other great peoples, please….

    Wonder what else corporate mass media isn’t telling us?

    We get more positive news about good Sikh Canadians citizens through the India Press than from Canadian media.

    Beltej Singh, the first Sikh Mountie is a bit of a humble Yukon hero for us.

    And of course, Monty Singh is a huge celebrity in England. Monty Mania yet!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  48. “the Khalsa Knighthood”

    Couldn’t stop laughing at that one.It seems KRK has been watching lord of the rings to many times.You talk about Sikhs being sexist well they’re going to be because they’re trying to create a new fake religion thats monotheist.And monothiest religions are alwaysa anti-women.So pulling a quote from here and there from the Guru Granth Sahib doesn’t mean anything.Original Sikhi is just one of the many offshoots of Hinduism which now the ‘Knights of the Khalsa hood’ are trying desperately trying to erase.BTW when did Guru Nanak stop sati as there was hardly any sati going on in Punjab in the first place.These are all later on added myths.

  49. Sorry, madurai veeran. If you have a point to make, make it without the insults.

  50. “Yet 75% of the Indian government are high caste Brahmins and the rest are a little less high. They don’t vote for Untouchables there.”

    Looks like pure sikh propaganda, care to to prove that 75% of indian gov’t is made up of bahmans using hard statistics instead of talking nonsense?

    Who are you trying to fool here, just few months back Mayawati a Dalit became the Chief Minister of the largest Indian state called Uttar Pradesh, she won on an alliance of Brahmins and Dalits, hmm where does that put your nonsense?

    Now for some uncomfortable facts:

    1) all 10 sikh gurus were from the khatri high caste (this even though the majority of their followers even in the old times were from the jatt farming caste).

    2) none of the sikh gurus married outside their caste nor did they marry their kids outside their caste.

    3) despite the much trumped up “castelessness” of sikhism, modern day sikhs have numerous castes, jatts being the most predominant and dominant group, mazhabhi sikhs are the untouchables, ramgharia, tarkhan, khatri, arora make up the others.

    4) most sikhs marry within their own caste or even intermarry with Hindus of the same caste than marry a sikh outside their caste, there have been numerous honor killings by jatt sikhs towards women who married non jatts.

    5) sikhs have the worst male-female ratio in India, it’s at 780 per 1000 as per the 2001 census, this despite the alleged equality of females.

    6) majority of indian politicians and gov’t people are not brahmins as propaganda makes it out to be, just take all the chief ministers of each indian state and see how many brahmins are there.

    7) although sikhs demonise brahmins, u see them making Bhangra songs like “Putt Jattan De Balounde Bakraay” (The Sons of Jatts …) which is trumped up as the “Jatt anthem”, you never see any such “anthems” from the much reviled brahmins.

    8) In UK Sikhs have Gurudwaras based on caste.

    9) After the 1st 2 or 3 Gurus the “Guruship” stayed within the family, for example Har Kishan was made Guru at 5 and died at age 8, how exactly a 5 yr old could lead a congregation we are left wondering, if the same thing was done by brahmins then it becomes proof of the “evil” brahmins “cunning and jealousy”.

  51. Pulitheva Tamizhveeran ,

    Well said. I don’t know if Kamalla Rose Kaur is really naive or is knowingly promoting khalistani fascism of the last 20 years or so by sikh extremists who just plainly hate Hindus but have also unfortunately fooled many Sikhs into believing alot of the myths. Fortunately in these times information is at the tip of the fingers so the truth is out there if you really look something all religious extremists are getting exposed by when people dig deeper and question everything.

  52. Kamalla, it had to happen. You were good enough to give us your insights into the Sikh religion — you did so at OUR request and you did so with grace, humour and goodwill, with no politicization.

    I don’t want you to be subject to any attacks for what you said. It simply isn’t warranted. I’ll leave this thread open a little longer but if I hear any more anger, it’s over.

    Also, I believe in free speech so I am loath to remove someone’s comment. I did so earlier because of petty insults.

    I hope this doesn’t dissuade you from your tutorial. I don’t know the politics of Sikhi and don’t care to. I am, as are many, interested in the religion.

  53. Hi Tony,

    I humbly aopologize for any misimpression or sloppy fact I may be proved to have promoted here. Which one exactly did I get wrong?

    Far as I know all or most of the nasty facts presented about “Sikhs” in these last posts are true.

    But, I know nothing about India, and I am not very interested in truth. I have been studying the Sikh scripture for all these years. And again, speaking simply from the prospective of the Teachings of the Sikh Guru, any Sikh wearing the 5 Ks and breaking the 5 Khalsa vows is shaming Nanak.

    I am indeed very simple. I am a dumb convert. “Sikhs: who don’t practice “Sikhi” don’t seem like they are “Sikhs” to me – but then I was born in the West.

    So, I am happy to answer your questions about Khalsa ideals, our path and our scripture as created by Nanak, but I am not taking on a racial conflict I have no experience with.

    Again, I am Irish. We should go back to talking about the Brits. And then I can tell you what I think of them Welsh folk and the Scoots!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  54. learn to think for yourself before regurgitating what khalistanis vomit everywhere about brahmin conspiracy and this and that. the sikh identity today is more about hating hindus than about being sikh.

  55. Hating Hindus? Khalistan?

    Where did you get all that? I said I think Canada, India, the USA and multinational corporations are in bed together. I assert that the USA Senate is made up of mostly high caste males. You are saying that the Indian government is better?

    So are you are saying I hate WASPS and Hindus? Or just Hindus?

    I take for granted that I can love people and not respect their governments. I am not pro-globalization, how about you? Tell me why you like the Indian government?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  56. Kamalla, you said you studied theologies in college and that you came from an essentially atheistic background (?). If so, why study theology and what was it about the Sikh religion that first inspired you to persue Sikhi more aggressively, cutting it from the herd, as it where.

    What is most troublesome about religions to me, and to many, is that in an age of humanism and enlightenment, with an almost supplanting evolution in sciences and technologies, we are told to take religions ‘on faith.’ That’s bloody hard to do, because nothing else trains us for that great leap, indeed, everything else calls for empirical scruitany.

    I know this is unfair, but what conditions existed in your life that made you want to take that leap, especially as your parents had apparently foresworn it?

  57. Hi Tony,

    As a teenager, 1966-1973, I was part of a mass conversion experience. This was an extremely well-documented event during which thousands of young Westerners embraced Eastern religion. Many of us moved into communes and/or ashrams. Simultaneously, many of us were also studying astrology, mysticism and Western High Magick, and we talked about a New Age coming. Others of us became religious studies professors, anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists, and focused on studying Eastern religions and practices.

    During those years, I embraced the teachings of Alan Watts, Ram Das, Carlos Castenada, Joseph Campbell, and Yogananda. At age 15, my favorite was Aldous Huxley’s treatise on world religion; “The Perennial Philosophy” which I remain faithful to to this day.

    As a Religious Studies major I read all the sacred texts, particularly the East texts. First time I ever encounted the SGGS it made total sense to me. There are no “stretchers” that I am required to believe to be a good Sikh. Again Sikhs aren’t very woo woo.

    In Religious Studies they talk about religions that require orthodoxy (correct belief) vs those that require orthopraxi (correct practice).

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  58. Tony and Kamalla Rose Kaur,

    I think the following article might give you an basic background of what Khalistani Fascism and Canada being hotbed of this extremism where young Sikhs are being brainwashed into becoming haters of Hindus.

    Sikh extremism enters mainstream Canadian politics

  59. “So are you are saying I hate WASPS and Hindus? Or just Hindus?”

    Who is saying you hate Hindus but you maybe believing in the myths about Hindus being promoted by Sikh Extremists these days.

    “Tell me why you like the Indian government?”

    I dont think anyone really loves the Indian government but was your view that it mainly consists of Brahmins which is totally untrue which is another lie spread by sikh extremists often.You should dig deeper into the facts instead of just believing anything.

  60. Forgive me Jag for any misinformation I am spreading. I seek to understand. It is certainly true that I hear/read the Sikh side. I am right in the thick of it, in truth.

    I witness far more racism among Sikhs writing to internet forums about Muslims. Being called a Gora Sikh (White Sikh) isn’t fun either, but I fight back, as do other converts, and they listen and respond well to date.

    I want to share that I have interviewed many Sikhs who were caught in the middle of the chaos around 1984. They tell me that they were saved by their Hindu neighbors. I am not making this up. When the attackers attacked, many Sikhs I have interviewed got away because their Hindu neighbors, snatched them off the street, or from their homes, and hid them. Muslim neighbors probably helped too.

    But many many Hindus helped Sikhs.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  61. Many so called Sikh these days are really Hindus as they practice caste and alcohol. We often have to ask who are Sikhs and where are they?

    As I said before there are not many Khalsa Knights as yet but with Kamalla Rose Kaur and few more like her will help the world to become a better place. This was Guru Nanak’s mission. His first message was that there is no Hindu and there is no Muslim – we are all one , hence we are all Sikhs (students) of the One God.

    Satnam Kaur Khalsa

  62. How many enlightened teachers has Hinduism blessed this world with? Guru Nanak was born a Hindu and he claimed that countless true Sants of India had already lived and died. India is the “praying-est” place on earth. Westerners go to India and our little spoiled egos melt down.

    I think everyone on earth loves India and fears India. Hinduism is a window back to the beginnings of humanity. It is so ancient. Some of the books of the Hebrew Bible may be as old, but most are modern works in comparison.

    I like Vivekananda so much. I wish every person on earth would read his little books.

    When Hinduism kissed Christianity they had babies. The New Thought Movement (Divine Science, Science of the Mind, Unity, Seven day Adventists) blossomed, when East and West met. The Transcendentalists and Unitarian Universalists; Emerson, Thoreau….

    I could no more say I hate Hindus and Hinduism than I could say I hate the sky.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  63. Guru Granth is the Guru of the Khalsa Knights and is of no caste or gender and connects the human race to Waheguru.

    Guru Gobind Singh was the last human Guru of the Sikhs and he created the Khalsa Knighthood in 1699 so that all could live as one without caste; prior to that it is a common practice to marry withing caste. Caste is forbidden to the Khalsa. Not all Sikhs are Khalsa so that is why you have many Sikhs marrying within their own castes then they are not the real Sikhs.

    To the Gurus all women were perfect so it did not matter to them whom they married. They were above the human failings. All marriages were arranged and can’t see any of the Guru saying I don’t like the woman that has been chosen for me.

    Satnam Kaur

  64. For some of us Sikhi is not about politics. Unfortunately for many it is.

    But that’s a mirror on life. Get any group of poeple together and when the numbers get large enough, the factions and infighting begin in a struggle for jockying of social postions. The most zealous will be right in the center, but the truely meditative will be off quietly somewhere doing just that. Then of course there are the missionaries 🙂

    We claim that sikhi is not about prosthelizing. But the fact is Nanak did just that. A social reformationist, he stirred things up. Provoking incidences where ever he happened to be, He thought outside the box and caused others to do the same.

    When enough people began to break away from traditional standards of thinking, the impact threatened social order with varying results.

    One of these is that sikhs were martyred and in self defense of their lives, lifestyle and beliefs emerged as warriors. They fought not only for themselves but for other people and other faiths including Hindhus who were being converted by the sword.

    Ideally the sikh is sant-saphai or soldier-saint, while most sikhs fall far short of this state, it persists never the less as an ideal for those who care at all to try to attempt to conquer their own ego driven desires rather then be enslaved by them.

    Dedication, Meditation; The sant/saphai soulbrides task involves cleansing of the heart/mind though a lifetime of selfless service to guru and to all of humanity. One tuned to this sees not just the difference in others but the sameness -The one light which pervades the whole of creation. Each individual soul a sister bride united in longing for union with her groom.

    This longing persists in every being but becomes distorted by ego as lust, greed, anger, pride and attachment to these desires. Everywhere can be seen the affects of these from personal daily life to the global political (and actual) climate. It takes vigilance, diligence and utmost humility to constantly slay these as they continually crop up in the self. It’s very rare to come across the indvidual who whose purpose in life is to conquer selfishishness.

  65. ‘It takes vigilance, diligence and utmost humility to constantly slay these as they continually crop up in the self.’ Dasee writes.

    I agree with you Dasee. The fact that many people find it hard to keep in control they suffer from stress and deep depression.

    Guru Nanak offered ways to help the mind to keep calm through Guru Granth. By listening to Guru Granth daily and trying to incorporate the message into your daily routine and work helps to cope with the day with joy.

    I was listening to Harjinder Singh reading Guru Granth today – ‘God makes and breaks. One minute you are high the next you could be low. Concentrate on Naam and accept and keep moving’

    It takes years of practice to get that control. I am trying to keep moving as the things are changing all around me. Change is life. Stagnation is death.

    Satnam Kaur

  66. “We claim that sikhi is not about prosthelizing. But the fact is Nanak did just that.” – dasee

    Guru Nanak was a troubadour. He set out on foot and explored his world It is not proseltyzing to share music with a willing audience. It is not proseltyzing to rent a hall, and hang a flyer, and then out and out preach to whoever arrives. It is not proseltyzing for Sikhs to share our religion here either, because Tony asked us. “Who are the Sikhs?”

    Proseltyzing is spamming these threads with unasked for raps and raves. Proseltyzing is going door to door bothering people. Proseltyzing is preaching on the street to people who don’t want to be lectured.

    Nanak did not proseltyze. He sang his songs as he traveled from village to village and he talked to whomever invited him to talk. He actually turned down invitations where he might have socialized with the rich and powerful, the movers and shakers. I think he would have turned down the chance to be a TV preacher, but he would have performed his music, for anyone, if asked.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  67. Kamalla Rose Kaur,

    It’s ok as alot of anti-Hindu propaganda is being spread around as truth but the truth always prevails something these sikh extremists seem not understand. Look for example you have Satnam Kaur claiming that most sikhs are hindus because they practise caste and drink alcohol.Thats such a narrowminded statement without any truth.

  68. “Caste is forbidden to the Khalsa.”

    Oh is it then why did the Gurus themselves only marry within their own castes and even made sure that their own children married into their own castes ?

    So what about all these caste based Gurudwaras everywhere like Singh Sabha with Jats and the Ramgaria with Tharkans and so on.Where are the Hindu based temples then ? This is typical khalistani properganda. If you want to be spiritual then first thing is to do is not lie unless your new religion teaches you to so..

    “His first message was that there is no Hindu and there is no Muslim – we are all one ”

    So did he say that he’s a Sikh then ? His message is not anything new within the Hindu tradition as many Hindus gurus before him and after him have said the same thing as the atma is beyond the body in truth.

  69. Kamalla Rose Kaur,

    I think you most probably understand the vision of the Sikh panth within its Hindu context much better then these Indian Sikh extremists who base their ‘new’ religion on just hating Hindus and even on other Sikh sects.

  70. “They fought not only for themselves but for other people and other faiths including Hindhus who were being converted by the sword.”

    Hmm this gets even more funnier.So either the sikhs landed from another planet on Punjab or the truth is they were the Hindus there already.The sikhs fought for Hindus because they were Hindus and not some saviours of any other religion.Most of this manipulation came during the British times with their divide and rule policy.

  71. first of all, hindus have their own heroes and martyrs that fought against muslim invaders and tyrants.

    its a myth that sikhs saved hindus, another khalistan propaganda piece. sikhs were simply the hindus that formed the resistance against muslim tyranny in punjab region.

    and #2, sikhs considered themselves hindus until the british rule era, where they created the artificial sikhism we see today.

    here is an excerpt from jehangir’s autobiography.

    “ A HINDU named Arjan lived at Goindwal…simple minded Hindus and ignorant and foolish Muslims have been persuaded to adopt his ways… this business (shop) has been flourishing for three generations. For long time it had been in my mind to put a stop to this affair or to bring him into the fold of Islam…”

  72. “its a myth that sikhs saved hindus, another khalistan propaganda piece. sikhs were simply the hindus that formed the resistance against muslim tyranny in punjab region.”

    Very true..They try to give the impression that Hindus were weak and cowardly for 800 years before the Sikhs suddenly came to save Hindus.This is totally far from the truth.One just has to read the diaries of the Muslims invaders to know Hindus weren’t some walkovers..Eventually the Hindus destroyed the Mughal empire..

  73. Could we get back to the religion itslef? This finger pointing isn’t helpful to understanding the question at hand: What is a Sikh?

    It is interesting that Sikhi, apparently, arose out of a reaction against religio-cultural mores of the times. But what I’m getting through this thread is that Sikhi is, to sme extend, becoming what it fought against. Is that a reasonable observation?

    And, let me ask this: it is true of all religions that there are the devout and there are the, well, the more casual practitioners. Is this threatening Sikhi more than it is threatening other religions? Is the basic belief system too onerous and difficult in the west during these ‘I want it all, now’ times?

  74. Tony and Jag and Madurai,

    From what I understand the caste system in India is as hard to drop as materialism and consumerism is here in the West.

    Let us be clear that good humans hold the same ethics. And Hindus and Sikhs both are victims of the caste system, which is so ancient and awful, and both good Sikhs and good Hindus fight caste and class-ism.

    The main way the Sikh Guru’s fought caste was not through their marriages but through Langar. Langar is the meal served to everyone who visits a Sikh Gurdwara. Sikhs and visitors must sit together and eat food cooked by people of all castes.

    I imagine all modern Indian restaurant hire low caste cooks? True? Untrue?

    For sure Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs have lived together as neighbors in a very hot and over-populated country for many centuries. Every once in a while the groups rise up and have terrible terrible violence. All very human and sad – just like Baltimore.

    Other times our governments attack citizens. I don’t blame all USAers for Bush/Cheney. I certainly don’t blame Hindus, secular or devout, for what the Indian government does. I don’t blame Sikhs for what the Sikh PM does either.

    But what I hear Sikhs saying is that the government of India is guilty of ongoing hate crimes against it’s own religious minorities.

    Is this true?

    Lets honor any human who does an honorable act. Of course there are Hindu heroes, from all eras. Hindus celebrate them, as they should. We should all be proud of great humans within our cultures. Humans everywhere have this great ability to be great!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  75. Tony,
    Your question
    ‘Is this threatening Sikhi more than it is threatening other religions? Is the basic belief system too onerous and difficult in the west during these ‘I want it all, now’ times?

    The Sikh message is in Guru Granth and it can cope with anything time brings. The Guru is true and free it is the practitioners who are missing out.

    Today radio 4 BBC is taking about the mission to Mars to discover life. Guru Nanak spoke of countless earths and moons and suns and solar systems and indeed that there is life on other solar systems as we know it. So far his infinite universe has come to light as we know now that the universe is forever increasing. We will find other humans too it is only a matter of time.

    I say the above to illustrate that Sikhi is the today, now and future belief system as is One God in Guru Nanak’s words – God is, God has been and it is the abusolute truth that God always will be in the future. There is no fear as the caring Creator is about.

    It is funny though we are all learning to understand here and we are students – therefore Sikhs. Sikhi is not difficult. Guru Nanak did not want anything for himself but to join the soul back to the One – the soul and the One should be talking to each other 24 hours a day. This is the main message of Guru Granth. It unites all with love. Love will conquer all in the end and that is what is needed to free people from stress and loneliness and despair.

    Satnam Kaur

  76. Madurai Veeran wrote:
    here is an excerpt from jehangir’s autobiography.

    “ A HINDU named Arjan lived at Goindwal…simple minded Hindus and ignorant and foolish Muslims have been persuaded to adopt his ways… this business (shop) has been flourishing for three generations. For long time it had been in my mind to put a stop to this affair or to bring him into the fold of Islam…”

    How wrong he was that he could put a stop to Sikhi? Guru Gobind Singh fought many battles with the Moguls and it was Banda Singh Bahadur sent out by Guru Gobind Singh that destroyed the empire and put the seeds for a Sikh rule in India followed by Maharajah Ranjit Singh who had a rule spreading to Afghanistan.

    It is true though that Guru Nanak did not want to create another religion but to break barriers and declared that there is no Hindu there is no Muslim. He said we are all one and EQUAL. When the Hindu holy men asked Guru Nanak ‘What is your religion?’ He said my religion is walking in the Will of God. This attracted many to Guru’s message – you can attach what ever label you want to Guru Gobind Singh gave them Singh and Kaur titles equal to royalty. The numbers that joined Guru Arjan was shocking to the Mogul ruler so he had to make Guru Arjan sit on hot plates and pour hot sand on his head. The foundation stone to the Golden Temple was laid by a Muslim and this must have sent strong waves to the ruler.

    The message of love is needed in today’s world.

    Lets pause and meditate and send waves of love to the world. Peace to all.

    Satnam Kaur

  77. “From what I understand the caste system in India is as hard to drop as materialism and consumerism is here in the West. ”

    I dont know what your source is to this information but you have this impression that the whole of India is under some sort of caste oppression.Have you been to india ? Go to India and find out yourself.

    “I imagine all modern Indian restaurant hire low caste cooks? True? Untrue? ”

    I know Indian cooks from all castes.Maybe traditionally certian castes who are known for cooking skills maybe hired.Its all about who has the skills at the end of the day.

    “But what I hear Sikhs saying is that the government of India is guilty of ongoing hate crimes against it’s own religious minorities.

    Is this true? ”

    Yeh like what ? The Sikh community in India is most properous community in the country.Punjab is the richest state in the whole of India.The PM is a Sikh and so on.So what hate crimes are we talking about I would like to know as many Hindus themselves think that the Indian Government itself is anti-Hindu.Best thing is go to India to find out the truth.

    “Sikhs and visitors must sit together and eat food cooked by people of all castes. ”

    Which caste based Gurudwaras are you talking about ? I can bet you the people cooking in the Langar kitchen will be the people of the caste who run the Gurudwara.I dont think that just by eating together makes a major impact on breaking caste barriers as you can’t tell you is what castes especially among Hindus but if the Gurus were really breaking down castes then why not marry themselves or their children into so called ‘lower castes’ leasts other Hindu reform groups like the Arya Samaj actually did do that.

  78. “Guru Nanak spoke of countless earths and moons and suns and solar systems and indeed that there is life on other solar systems as we know it.”

    That information was already known thousands of years ago from ancient Hindus to Greeks to Babylonians to all the way to Peru.So its nothing new.

    That information was already known thousands of years ago from ancient Hindus to Greeks to Babylonians to all the way to Peru.So its nothing new.

    “I say the above to illustrate that Sikhi is the today, now and future belief system as is One God in Guru Nanak’s words “

    So how do you know God is one because one itself is just a numerical measurement devised by humans to measure space so it’s artificial? It’s like saying that you can only have a one inch ruler because there is only one and everything you measure will also come to one. So my 75 inch TV is really one inch because everything is one inch.It don’t make sense and that’s why according to Hindu Dharma divinity is beyond all definitions and human constructs in its true essence but as humans we need numbers and artificial mental constructs, the many gods to understand the nature of divinity.

  79. Jag,

    I get most of my information about Human Rights violations in India from Amnesty International. This is their current take:

    You disagree with them?

    Please understand again, that I understand that Sikhs and Hindus have the same social problems.

    Many Hindus seemingly feel that Sikhi is another branch or sect of Hinduism. Many books have been written that assert this.

    This angers Sikhs who claim they are not Hindu.

    Yet for readers born in the West, this looks like compliment, of sorts. Trust me mainstream Christian don’t insist that Mormons are really mainstream Christians, and that Mormons should stop claiming that they are a separate Faith.

    Rather they are upset that Mormons say they are Christians.

    I have not yet visited India, though I have interviewed many travelers. Many readers here haven’t visited India either. They may never visit there so I think you should be gentle and kind and share openly.

    I have already told you I know nothing about India and I am happy to talk about my culture instead of your culture, if you choose. Then I can be smart and you can ask me questions.

    Jag, all humans have caste and class systems, and wonderful freedon-fighterd arise to reassert that we are all born equal, we are all siblings and we must learn to live in Peace.

    The Sikh Gurus were not avatars. Sikhs do not believe in avatars (that humans are ever perfect, God incarnated as an individual, like Krishna or Jesus). Sikhs aren’t suppoose to have pictures of the Sikh Gurus, or worship them. Sikhs aren’t suppose to treat people like idols. Guru Gobind Singh said that anyone who believed he was god was going straight to hell. I like the humor and the sentiment.

    The SGGS is the Sikh Guru – my only Guide. I like it because it applies across faiths. A Christian scholar and a Hindu scholar and a Buddhist scholar can all be looked at with the same criteria, according to Nanak:

    Page 274

    He is a true Pandit, a religious scholar, who instructs his own mind.
    He searches for the Naam within his own soul.
    He drinks in the Exquisite Nectar of the Naam.
    By that Pandit’s teachings, the world lives.
    He implants the Divine Sermon in his heart.
    Such a Pandit is not cast into the womb of reincarnation again.
    He understands the fundamental essence of the scriptures.
    In the yet unmanifested potential, he envisions the world into existence
    He gives instruction to people of all castes and social classes.
    O Nanak, to such a Pandit, I bow in salutation forever.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  80. “Jag,
    I get most of my information about Human Rights violations in India from Amnesty International. This is their current take:

    You disagree with them? “

    I don’t disagree with them but I do know they’re very selective on what they want the world to know and they don’t. This whole issue in this Gujarat happened because 60 Hindu pilgrims were burnt to death by Muslim mobs and then Hindu mobs reacting violently which left about 700 hundred or so Muslims left about 3 hundred Hindus dead. And this is all in 2002.Of course justice should prevail but how comes Amnesty give hardly a mention to the killings of Hindus in Kashmir by Islamic terrorists which has being going before this incident in Godhra or even about Bangladesh where Hindus have been murdered on a much larger scale for the last 30 years. You can check all the facts here.

    Now about the Indian Government being involved in Gujarat well that is questionable but the conflicts in India are not as black and white as it seems and is not going all over the country or India wouldn’t be one of the fastest growing economies in the world if it was this casteist or religious hellhole that some people in the West think.

    “Please understand again, that I understand that Sikhs and Hindus have the same social problems.
    True as everyone does.

    “Many Hindus seemingly feel that Sikhi is another branch or sect of Hinduism. Many books have been written that assert this. This angers Sikhs who claim they are not Hindu. “
    Well maybe some Hindus feel that even some Sikhs feel they’re Hindus because even within Sikhism there are many sects who also see themselves. Hindus but personally I don’t really care if Sikhs want to see themselves as separate religion but I do have a problem when its based on lies and made up myths that suddenly they appeared from nowhere or the thousands of references of Ram or Krishna or Shiv in the Guru Granth are not the Hindu gods but something completely different and they basically saved India from Islam And the list can go on..

    Jag, all humans have caste and class systems, and wonderful freedon-fighterd arise to reassert that we are all born equal, we are all siblings and we must learn to live in Peace.
    “The Sikh Gurus were not avatars. Sikhs do not believe in avatars (that humans are ever perfect, God incarnated as an individual, like Krishna or Jesus). Sikhs aren’t suppoose to have pictures of the Sikh Gurus, or worship them. Sikhs aren’t suppose to treat people like idols. Guru Gobind Singh said that anyone who believed he was god was going straight to hell. I like the humor and the sentiment. “

    Well not all Hindus believe in avatars either or images but the way modern neo-Sikhism is going it seems the Gurus can’t even be questioned. Look what happened recently in Punjab when a leader or Sikh Sect was accused of dressing up like Guru Gobind and then there were full scale riots across Punjab for weeks and some parts its still going on

    Another hatred for this sect was because it mainly has followers of low caste Sikhs..

    Well the truth is Sikhs do believe in Idols.Why do they put the Guru Granth to sleep and wake it up and keep on fanning that all day ? If that’s not Idol worship of a book then what is ? Kamilla what I’m trying to pont out is try to have a open mind to what you read and hear then you will get to the truth. And modern day Sikhi has many distortions added to it.The Santhani Sikhs seem to understand the original vision of the Gurus but are even hated by the Singh Sabha Sikhs who themselves were invented by the British and unfortunately now are the ones who are dominating Sikhism and making up many lies..Hope you understand where I’m coming from..


  81. “How wrong he was that he could put a stop to Sikhi? Guru Gobind Singh fought many battles with the Moguls and it was Banda Singh Bahadur sent out by Guru Gobind Singh that destroyed the empire and put the seeds for a Sikh rule in India followed by Maharajah Ranjit Singh who had a rule spreading to Afghanistan.”

    More jokes, the real reason for the destruction of the Mughal empire was the fight waged by Marathas primarily, before Banda appeared on the scene Aurangzeb fought with the Marathas for 25 years (from 1682-1707) after the death of Shivaji and was on the retreat when he died.

    This was what weakened the Mughal empire and gave others like the Rajputs and the Sikhs the chance to rise up, one only has to look at who ruled the largest area before British takeover to see who destroyed the Mughal empire, here is a map of the Maratha sphere of influence at it’s zenith:

  82. Tony,

    Presently the hardest part of being a Khalsa Knight is wearing the turban and being seen as Bin Laden.

    The vows themselves are not hard, are they?

    Please review and tell me if you don’t simply ASSUME that every police person (on duty at least) is drug free, with sexual integrity, and extremely cautions about ever pulling a trigger.

    1. Kesh, uncut hair: Khalsa Sikhs vow to keep their bodies natural and live wholesome lives. No intoxicants, no smokes.

    2. Kanga -comb: They bathe daily and keep clean.

    3. Kirpan – the sword: Khalsa Knights vow to defend the innocent and/or oppressed. A Khalsa Knight is under vow to jump in and help those being oppressed or attacked. They feed the poor too.

    4. Kara – the bracelet: They vow to defend the Divine Ideals, and again never to attack. Khalsa Knights vow to be ethical, to shun corruption, to live truthfully.

    5. Kacchera – underwear: Khalsa Knights wear underwear (rather like simple boxer shorts). This symbolizes the 5th Khalsa vow. Khalsa Knights treat all men and women as brothers and sisters, as equals. They vow to not view the opposite sex as sex objects or romance objects, or practice any sort of rock-star-itis

    Which of the Khalsa vows are you breaking? Why? What are you getting out of it? The Sikh Guru promises to help us drop our addictions and save our honor at the same time. The SGGS says it is rare but not difficult to be GOOD. You need help. We all do. This is called GRACE.

    Ever notice something that all Faiths have in common. Allah, the fearies, the angels, Jesus, Shakti and Shiva can’t help you until you ASK.

    Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened, ask and it shall be given…

    Jag is right. Sikhs didn’t come up with that. Jesus said that centuries before Sikhi developed. Sikhs know we are preaching what everyone already knows and what the world’s great Sants have always taught!

    The Buddha taught that we should practice, loving kindness, equanimity, joy in other’s success, and compassion. He taught that WAY before Nanak ever lived, or Jesus, or Mohammed.

    He stole it from the Hindus. In fact Buddha was born a Hindu, like Guru Nanak.

    Is there a competition between religions?

    If we must compete, lets see who can do the most good fasteest!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  83. Who is a Sikh?

    The person who calls one self Guru’s Sikh – Guru here being the One God gets up early in the morning and thinks of the One God. Washes the body and sings the praises of the One God.

    Then he works hard for his living and shares with the needy and at the same time keeps the One God in mind.

    Keeps the five strong senses in control such as anger, greed, lust, attachments and ego. Keeps calm and acts with intelligence.

    Loves the One God and shares the message of one God with others. During daily prayers prays for the well being of others wherever they are in the world.

    Guru Arjan was a picture of calmness and accepted his death that what ever you do my beloved is sweet. The Sikhs Gurus did not perform miracles and took life as it was given. Good and what we say bad was the same for them. The Sikhs try to follow that and as we all know it is not easy.

    Satnam Kaur

  84. Dear Tony, Dear All,

    Guru Nanak spoke to the Muslims and said : be a good Muslim; Guru Nanak spoke to the Yogi (Hindu holy man) and said : be a good Yogi. In both cases he meant : be a good human being, care for others, see all as the children of God, who is our mother and father.

    Both Guru Gobind Singh (10th Guru) and Guru Nanak (1st Guru) wrote that God is present in the Mandr (Hindu place of worship) and the Masjid (Muslim place of worship).

    At Guru Nanak’s death Muslims and Hindus both claimed his body, as they both saw him as a holy man in their tradition.

    Guru worked on being a Godly person by anybodies standard. Guru Nanak says in Sidh Goshst (Guru Granth, Rág Rámkalí) that he walks in Satguru’s (God’s) Will.

    I have a Gujarati Hindu friend who works with a Panjabi Sikh as chaplains in an Immigration Removal Centre here in the UK. They care for anybody of whatever religion with whom through their combined knowledge of subcontinental languages they can communicate.

    They are both good Hindus and good Sikhs, they have humanity and compassion.

    Kind Regards,

    God Bless, Peace be upon you, Namasté, Gurfateh,

    Harjinder Singh
    Heston, UK

  85. Jag,

    Every “Sikh” on earth could be the lowest of the low horrible slime-ball – though in truth I have met several honorable Khalsa Knights myself and I am told of several others I haven’t met yet – but I care only for Guruji, and the Sikh teachings found in the Sikh scripture.

    Sikhi is very simple. You must read the book (not worship it) and follow the instructions within. If you are a true student of Guruji, then you are a Sikh (“Sikh” means student). Beyond that. the Khalsa are those who keep the 5Ks and the Khalsa vows.

    Guru Arjan
    Page 386 of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib

    While standing up,
    and sitting down,
    and even while asleep,
    reflect on Creator/Creation.
    Walking on the Way,
    sing Praises.

    With your ears,
    listen to the Ambrosial Sermon.
    Listening to it,
    your mind shall be filled with bliss,
    and the troubles and diseases
    of your psyche shall all depart.

    (Pause and consider this teaching)

    While you work at your job,
    on the road or at the beach,
    meditate, and sing.
    By Guru’s Grace,
    drink in the Essence of Infinity.

    The humble person
    who sings the Kirtan of Praise,
    day and night,
    does not experience having to go
    with the Messenger of Death.

    One who does not forget the One,
    twenty-four hours a day, is emancipated;
    O Nanak, I fall at THAT one’s feet.

  86. Kamalla, curiously, a comment appeared on another post that makes the very same point about Chrsitianity and the Bible.

    Here it is:

    The bible is not a science book, my dear friends, it is a guidelline for living in respect to oneself and each other. In the bible, there is no proof of wether or not God exists and any discussion about it is pointless and mostly irrelevant. Living honorable and respectfull is much more important and, as a matter of fact, the major point of any religious book.

    Now let’s go back to science, shall we.

  87. Yes, science…but not scientism. Religion is not science and science makes a crappy religion. First of all it assumes that people with brilliant scientic minds are superior humans, which is false. Scientists aren’t better humans.

    Many “scientists” are not open-minded. They fix facts, and play with statistics and mislead to satisfy their own egotistical agendas or because they are paid to generate falsehood by corporations or by religious groups. Even university scientists can easily be corrupted, and often are.

    Basically humans are tested around $tuff, sex/romance and power. Will you sell your soul for money? Sex? Fame? Clout? To live on Easy Street?

    Many people are depressed and sell their souls for boredom, apathy, some altered state or another, for TV, for fantasies that don’t help and so forth.

    Whatever religion, or non-religion, assists you in being the best you, an ethical and brave human is the BEST religion for you. Whatever one works, and they all work if used correctly. There have been wonderful Sants from all paths – even atheists.

    People say religion is a crutch.


    Is it so bad to admit that we are weak and need some help from the wisdom of our ancestors on how to be good humans?

    Guru Arjan wrote:
    Page 266 of the SGGS

    Of all religions, the best religion
    is to sing the Naam (call God’s Name)
    and maintain good conduct.

    Of all religious rituals,
    the most sublime and sacred ritual
    is to erase the filth of your dirty mind
    by keeping the company of humble and holy people.

    Of all efforts, the best effort
    is to keep the Naam (awareness of the Divine)
    in your heart, forever.

    Of all speech, the most ambrosial speech
    is to hear Praise and give Praise with your tongue.

    Of all places, the most sublime and sacred place,
    O Nanak, is any heart in which the Name of God abides.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  88. Dear all,
    Science is also a gift of One God so that we can understand and serve nature accordingly. Medicine has been given to make life easy but that does not mean that God does not exist.

    Once a Sikh came to Guru Gobind Singh and said he wants to do sewa ( service) and Guru ji points to the kitchen but he said I want real sewa. Then Guru Ji just told him to run and keep running. That’s what he did. When exhausted he fell and was taken in by the people of that town. There was disease and suffering in the town and this guy knew medicine and he was able to help them and he stayed there many years till the Guru called him back.

    We have science to tell us about our world but we don’t have the eyes to see God as God is. We can only experience God as Love. As they say our brain will explode as Peter had become blind with just a little light of God. Our little brains cannot cope with the science of God. Those who have seen God cannot explain what they see as they don’t have the words. Guru says: How can a dump person tell the pleasure of tasting the sweet meal?

    One God is our medicine and when you are suffering from ailment you don’t ask who discovered the medicine and what is it made of you take it fast to get better.

    Satnam Kaur

  89. The Sikh scripture/Guru, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, basically has no stories in it. It is a hymnal, full of poems/songs of praise, or of longing, and sermons/teachings.

    However the lives of the lineage of the 10 Sikh Gurus are studied, and Sikh children are told true stories at bedtime.

    Guru Nanak (Sikh Guru #1), the source of Sikhi, did not believe in avatars, He did not believe that there is a human who is also God – like Jesus or Krishna. That said, Guru Nanak seems to have been a pretty enlightened and outrageous child:

    Sakhi of Sacred Thread
    When Guru Nanak attained the age of nine, the day was fixed for him to wear the sacred thread prescribed by Manu, the originator of Hindu rituals and the caste system. After worship and recitation, Pandit Hardial started to put the sacred thread around Guru Nanak’s neck. Guru Nanak stopped him and asked, “Dear Pandit, what is the use of putting this thread around my neck ? What authority is attained by wearing it ? What special deeds of faith one can perform by wearing it in addition to those which are already performed without it ?”

    Pandit Hardial replied, “O Nanak, one gets spiritual birth by wearing it. you get the liberty to go to the kitchen upon wearing it. you get the freedom to participate in the religious rituals of the world. Brahmins and Kshatris are impure without wearing it and cannot take part in religious rituals and ceremonies. They do not have the right to perform the Saradh—feast of serving food every year to Brahmins so that it may reach the dead ancestors. Without this their ancestors face the pangs of hunger and thirst in the next world.”

    Guru Nanak further asked, “If one gets spiritual birth by wearing it, the thread should be put around the soul. What is the use of wearing it if the wearer continues to tell lies, back-bite and do other lowly deeds after wearing it like the Brahmin administering it. The sacred thread should be such that its wearing may make the wearer compassionate, contented, celibate and truthful in his dealings. Dear Pandit, if you have a thread of this type, I am ready to wear it. This type of thread will not be broken, nor soiled or burnt when the body is cremated. That True Thread will always remain with the soul even when the body is burnt.”

    Pandit Hardial,in a bid to make Guru Nanak understand, said further, “O Nanak, we are not starting this sacred thread ritual for the first time today. This ritual has been performed for a long time. Nobody has refused it before you.” In order to expose Brahmins’ greed to eat and get offerings behind the facade of this ritual, Guru Nanak recited:

    A thread of cotton is spun and the
    Brahmin twists it, a goat is slaughtered
    and eaten and everyone is asked to wear the thread.
    (Raag Asa. p. 4 71)

    Pandit Hardial came to understand this hymn and was convinced that Guru Nanak would not wear that cotton thread around his neck. He also saw that if the common people grasped the meanings of what Guru Nanak had said, they would stop wearing the thread. He would be deprived of the goat and other offerings for performing this ritual from them also. On account of this fear he put the thread in his bag and returned home.


    Article taken from . “Bedtime Stories” written by Santokh Singh Jagdev.

  90. From Wikipedia:

    The stories of Guru Nanak’s life are collected in writings known as the ‘Janamsākhīs’. The most popular Janamsākhī purports to have been written by Bhai Bala close companion, before Guru Nanak left this world [4]. However, the writing style and language employed have left scholars such as Max Arthur Macauliffe certain that they were composed after Guru Nanak left this world.[5]

    Bhai Gurdas, the scribe of the Gurū Granth Sāhib, also wrote about Nanak’s life in his vārs. However, these too were compiled after Guru Nanak’s demise, and are less detailed than the Janamsākhīs. Sikhs tend to hold Gurdas’s accounts in higher esteem because of the author’s generally perceived trustworthiness.

    Guru Nanak was born on 13 April 1469 in a Hindu family of the Bedi Khatri clan,[6] in the village of Rāi Bhōi dī Talva, now called Nankana Sahib (after the Guru), near Lahore, Pakistan.[7] Today, his birth place is marked by Gurdwara Janam Asthan. His father, Mehta Kalyan Das Bedi, also known as Mehta Kalu, was a Patwari—an accountant of land revenue in the government. He worked for the Muslim landlord of the village, Rai Bullar. Guru Nanak’s mother was Tripta Devi and he had one older sister, Nanaki.

    …Sikh tradition states that at the age of thirty, Nanak went missing, and was presumed to have drowned after going for one of his morning baths to a local stream called the Kali Bein or the Humber Bain. Three days later he reappeared and would give the same answer to any question posed to him: “There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim” (in Punjabi, “nā kōi hindū nā kōi musalmān”). It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teachings of what was then the beginning of Sikhism.[12] Although the exact account of his itinerary is disputed, he is widely acknowledged to have made four major journeys, spanning thousands of kilometers. The first tour was east towards Bengal and Assam, the second south towards Ceylon via Tamil Nadu, the third north towards Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet, and the final tour west towards Baghdad and Mecca.[13]

  91. Hi Tony.
    Have had so much fun reading this blog on my religion.
    When Guru nanak came on the world stage in 1469 – the world around him was a pretty depressing place – what with the religious bigots – both hindu pandits and muslim mullahs having long forgotten the principles of their religions for wordly riches. Dharam Pankh kar udria…meaning “true religion and dharma had grown wings and flown away….the Kazis took bribes to deny justice..the Pandits plundered their own while professing all sorts of purities, rituals of purification – in Guur nanak Jis words..the Pandits declared the Muslim rulers Malechh – evil and dirty ( in private) – and refused to eat from their hand…but in Public..they wore the Blue clothes of the Mughals, spoke their language..and prsotrated themselves before them in subjugation and consumed the hallal meat prepared by the muslim rulers ( privately they professed vegetarinism and refused to sit with others of their own religion even (low castes).

    Indeed Guru nanak had a great task before him…to reform society and lead it towards the True God of Creation.

    1. The Guru Sahibaans right from Guru nanak Sahib were TOTALLY AGAINST all castes, inequalities, sexism, gender inequalities, foeticide, widow killing, daughter killing etc etc. The Gurbani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is amply full of evidence of this.

    2. The INSTITUTION of Guru Ka Langgar ( Communal Kitchen of the Guru at every Gurdwara) is one of the very FIRST STEPS in this direction – those who sit together and eat together are equals and brothers. Before this the High Castes would never ever dream of sitting near a low caste..much less eat with him.

    3. The INSTITUTION of SAROVARS/BAOLIS/KHOOS like at Chherta Sahib… where ALL can bathe together, drink together..again cut at the very ROOTS of the inequalities and discriminations of the Castes high and low divisions and FALSE man made Superstitious BHARAMS of sucham bhittam, sootak etc. Before this there were “High Caste” bathing places, wells ONLY for high castes etc.

    4. The ESTABLISHMENT of towns like Amritsar, Goindwaal Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, KartarPur Sahib etc etc by the Sikh Gurus where men of every “caste”, occupation, leaning, race, religion, etc etc were specially INVITED to settle down and PROSPER TOGETHER without and special favours to none was another GURU STRATEGY to Bring Together all humankind as equals. Na Ko beri nahin begana..sagal sang hum ko bann aiyee as a matter of PRINCIPLE. Before this the various castes lived in SEGREGATED muhallahs or areas…the lowest sudars lived far away from villages at the periphery.
    Thus over a period of about 250 years the Sikh guurs wen about their task of bringing back humanity on the correct Path of the Creator.

  92. Na Ko beri nahin begana..sagal sang hum ko bann aiyee as a matter of PRINCIPLE.

    I love this line Guru is saying: I have no enemies and no one is separate from me all are my relatives. All creation is friendly.

    It will be heaven on earth if we felt like this. Guru Nanak spoke to all and so does Guru Granth and when people start talking to each other they find something in common that they can use to make friends.

    Satnam Kaur

  93. There are no casts systems in the West, per se, there are, of course, increasingly well-defined economic division but they aren’t quite castes. How does this impact on a major aspect of Sikhi, it’s inclusiveness? With no need to deal with castes does this diminish its raison d’ete? Or does Sikhi fast-forward a few centuries and take on the rich-poor divide?

  94. Caste systems was there to keep the rich and poor divide. The pundits have been rich and educated ; and the untouchables poor and working class.

    The concept of sharing food together in the free kitchen- free so that there is no excuse to exclude the poor – in Sikhi was to bring the rich and poor together on the same platform.

    Sikhi does not expect all to be rich or all to be poor. Some will be rich and some poor. But both should have the desire and should share their wealth with the needy.

    If the rich one day find themselves to be poor it should not cause too much pain but get up and get started again.

    The soul is royal and in this life sees itself as beggar and is in pain – but it is only a dream. A rich man falls asleep and dreams that he has lost every thing and cries but once he is awake and realises that it was only a dream; he laughs.

    Sikhi should be able to help with all social issues now and in the future. It is basic as any other belief system that we should act with humility and love BUT the main difference in Sikhi with some other belief systems is that we have to love the One God without that all good deeds are just good deeds.

    If there were no problems to solve then there will be more time to sing the praises of the One God and live happy ever after. The main reason for Sikhi is to know and merge with the beloved.

    Satnam Kaur

  95. <>

    Hi Tony,

    I slightly disagree. People who are “lower-upper middle class” in the USA and Canada (the UK has an ancient feudal caste system of course, so lets skip them) believe that we do not have a caste system.

    But those born to the very highest Gora (white)caste and those born very colored and poor KNOW that they are in the upper class and the lower class.

    Trust me as someone who has fallen from the upper middle class into the lower class this life (due to a bad divorce and other life traumas) you KNOW when it happens. Suddenly it is completely clear that we do have a caste system.

    The difference is that money can buy you quite a lot of upward status in the West. But don’t imagine the upper class is going to invite you to join any of their elite clubs no matter how much money you have.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  96. The difference between “castes” per se and divisions based on economic status is that an economic status can be altered..BUT a Brahmin cannot become a Sudra ever…and a Sudra will forever remain a sudra even AFTER DEATH. As such the caste sytem transcends life and is part of karma. In earlier times a Sudra who even accidentally “heard” the religious texts – moulten lead was poured in his ears…and if he accidentally spoke a line from a religious text.moulten lead was poured in his mouth or his tongue was cut out – that was an attempt to keep the sudra a sudra because it was beleived that hearing/speaking the religious texts made one MUKSHA/muktee !!! No Sudra was ever allowed to learn Sanskrit – language of the Gods…Monopolised by the Local Self appointed Agent of God – the Brahmin.

    The Sikh Gurus effectively attacked this by using Gurmukhi – the common peoples language for their divine writings and declared thta MUKSHA is everybody’s Birth Right. Anyone – sudra or Brahmin could be a SIKH and attain MUKSHA through the Gurus teachings.
    The other “symptoms” of caste disease were tackled by the Communal kitchen guru ka Langgar, communal Bathing/drinking places ( in 1950’s when i left India for malaya i noticed that the Indian Railway Stations had different designated water TAPS – one MUSLIM WATER and the other HNDU WATER. A muslim couldnt drink municipal water from a Hindu tap and vice versa. No one bothered to check that underground the two taps shared the same water mains !!
    Kamal is right wehn she says the elite clubs dont give two hoots to how much money you geneology counts – an instant millionaire friend who struck a lottery a few years ago is still persona non grata at the elite rich boy clubs even though he has more money than some established members – his family background doesnt match his money !!

  97. Guru Nanak did have miraculous moments, or maybe he had little sacks of milk and blood palmed? Sory is just a good either way!

    Honest Living

    After explaining some merits of truthful living at Lahore, Guru Nanak came to Talwandi to see his parents. Taking permission from them, he took Bhai Mardana with him and embarked on a long journey to the Hindu sacred places of pilgrimage. From Talwandi they reached Bhai Lalo’s workshop at Saidpur which is now known as Aimanabad in Pakistan. Bhai Lalo was a carpenter of Ghataora caste who earned his living by honest labour.

    When Bhai Lalo saw two saints coming towards him, he put aside the work in hand and laid a bed for them. It was time for lunch so he went to prepare the meal.

    After preparing the meal, Bhai Lalo requested Guru Nanak to come to the kitchen and eat his meal there. Guru Nanak said, “Bhai Lalo, every place is clean and pure for us. Please bring the meal here.” Bhai Lalo obeyed the command of Guru Nanak and brought the meals to them. At the bidding of Guru Nanak, Bhai Mardana divided the meal into three parts and all ate it sitting together. After eating the meal, Bhai Mardana asked Guru Nanak, ‘This meal tasted like nectar. What had been put in it ?” Guru Nanak replied, “Bhai Mardana, this was the taste of truthful earning which you tasted. This taste is above the taste of worldly delicacies.”

    On the third day, when Guru Nanak started to leave, Bhai Lalo requested Guru Nanak to stay on for a month.

    One day Malik Bhago, a high government official of the city, gave a general feast. He invited Guru Nanak to the feast. Guru Nanak declined the invitation saying, “We are fakirs, What have we to do with your feast ?” on receiving the second request from Malik Bhago, Guru Nanak took Bhai Lalo with him and went to Malik Bhago’s residence. Malik Bhago said to Guru Nanak in great anger, “You are dishonouring Kshatris by eating dry chapaties in the house of a low caste carpenter. I invited you to this feast which offers delicious food. why are you refusing to eat this ?”

    In order to make Malik Bhago understand, Guru Nanak took Bhai Lalo’s dry chapati in his right hand and Malik Bhago’s fried sweet cake in his left hand. When he pressed the right hand fist pointing it towards the poor, people saw that drops of milk of honest labour were dripping from it. When Guru Nanak pressed the fried sweet cake held in his left hand and pointed it towards the rich, the onlookers saw blood trickling from it.

    Guru Nanak said, “Look Malik Bhago, wealth accumulated by cruelty towards the poor is like sucking their blood. Money collected retained the blood of the poor. you had invited me to partake of blood,leaving food pure as milk. How could I accept it ?” Hearing this Malik Bhago fell silent.


    Article taken from . “Bedtime Stories” written by Santokh Singh Jagdev.

  98. .”.BUT a Brahmin cannot become a Sudra ever…and a Sudra will forever remain a sudra even AFTER DEATH.”

    Oh now we have an expert on Hinduism.Most of the Hindu scriptures from the Vedas to the Ramayana are written by people who were from the lowest castes but became elevated to Brahmins later on.So instead of promoting false properganda why dont you tell us why did the Gurus themselves continue to practise caste which as all know Sikhs do upto this day with all their caste Gurudwaras and the intercaste fighting.

  99. Good debate among hindus and Sikhs going on here

  100. I also like the Sakhi (story) when Guru Nanak visited the sun worshipers who were throwing water from the river towards the sun and Guru Nanak turned his back to them and started throwing water in the opposite direction. The sun worshippers laughed at him and said you are doing it all wrong the water should be thrown towards the sun. He said ‘ My fields are in Kartarpur and it is so hot so I am watering my fields’. They laughed even more and said that watering your fields from here is impossible.
    ‘But your efforts to send water to the sun are worthless too’. They were quite surprised to hear that and some joined Guru Nanak’s path after that.

    Satnam Kaur

  101. Blessings Tony,

    “Gyani Jarnail Singh” is an expert in Sikhi.

    The “Gyani” in his name is added (like Dr.) because he has studied Sikh theology at university (or Gyanis study for years in Gurdwaras). His parents and grandparents were also Gyanis.

    This does not make him a “priest” rather he is a “scholar” – knows the language, Gurmukhi. and has studied Sikh history and so forth.

    Why not start a “Who are the Hindus?” thread? Hinduism is a fantastic and fascinating religion!

    Meanwhile Tony, heart awakened Hindus and heart awakened Sikhs have no problem loving each other. Hate-full Sikhs and Hindus aren’t really being good Sikhs or Hindus. They should walk their talk.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  102. Even a cursory look at the Gurbani – writins of the Sikh Gurus, as well as the Bhagats of Hinduism, Sufis like Sheikh Farid Ji will show that there is not a single instance of any anti remarks regarding the Hindu Religion or Islam. What is said is for a Hindu to be a GOOD HINDU and a Muslim to be a Good Muslim. What is condemned are the bad practises of both – religious bigotory, hypocracy, rituals etc that had crept into the followers. Such is equally true of modern day Sikhs ( IF the Gurus were to return to Earth today..the Sikhs would be told to be Good SIKHS and discard all the bad practises they have picked up along the way.
    As amatter of fact it is the HIndu Bhagats like Namdev, Kabir ji that have much harsher words for their co-religionists that have discarded the beliefs in the Vedas and Simritis and adopted the ways of the ungodly- catching hold of their noses at the mere sight of meat…while devovouring HUMANS in the darkest periods of the Night..Guru nanak Ji says..Haak Praya nanaka us soor us gai..meaning that..staking claim to another’s property, woman, goods, labour, rights etc is as if feeding on pork for a Muslim and beef for a hindu. Halal is NOT that sanctified by reading verses..but the FRUITS of HONEST LABOUR. Meat bought with the blood money squeezed out of poor labourers exploitation cannot ever become hallal even if a million holy verses are read over it.
    Sikhs are the ONLY religious group that PRAY Sarbatt da Bhalla as a matter of course daily in all gurdwaras. Sarbatt da bhalla means Goodwill Towards ALL. a Good Sikh has no problems loving any Human or even animal because as they say..IF you cannot see GOD in everything and dont see GOD at all.

  103. Dear Jag ji.

    I would love to have a few names of Sudras who have been elevated to Brahmins in Modern India. I will show this list to my students. You need not go back too far..period from 15th Century – today will do nicely.
    From what i read in the news..the Mandirs are WASHED and PURIFIED…after a sudra/Muslim vists them. Is that true ? I read in the news that this was doen after the Indian President Kalam visted a Mandir and also after a Muslim minister visted a mandir. If you have read/heard/have evidence of any Gurdwara being so washed/purified after anyone visiting it..i will be glad to get my hands on the news. Bad practises of Sikhs must be brought out as well ( Castes in Sikhi are the Baggage they carry forward from HINDUISM…the Gurus and Bhagats tried their very best to make us DROP this dirty laundry..but modern day sikhs still love their dirty clothes..what can be done ?? any suggestions will be welcome too.
    Na ko beri nahin begana..all are my brethren Ji.

  104. Gyani Jarnail Singh,

    It is wonderful to have you posting here. I pray you won’t mind if I take this opportunity to “bridge” between Unitarian Universalists and Sikhs. UUs have lots of questions; most very practical, along the lines of how can we help Sikhs facing these horrible hate crimes?

    As you may know, I was raise UU. UUs have no dogma. They are happy (even impressed) that I am a Sikh and fascinated by the Khalsa, of course! I am welcome to call myself a UU as long as I keep the 7 UUs principles. As a UU I honor and uphold:

    1.The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

    2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

    3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

    4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

    5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

    6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

    7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

    There have been many many UU heroes, particularly in USA history. Browse this link
    to understand more about UUs and the UU movement/history.

    Will you comment on the UU principles from a Sikh perspective and then answer some of the questions UUs and other non-Sikh readers may have regarding Sikhs and hate crimes since 9-11?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  105. From:
    Background on Post-9/11 Discrimination
    (Sources available upon request:

    Immediately after 9/11, an epidemic of hate crimes against minorities swept the US. The wave of hate crimes and hate violence affected Muslim Americans and anyone perceived to be Muslim: Sikh, Arab, South Asian, Latino, and other brown-skinned Americans. Incidents occurred in every part of the public sphere: houses, workplaces, airports, school grounds, and street corners, in nearly every major city in the United States. In targeted communities, temples were burned, homes vandalized, families threatened, jobs denied, children bullied, women harassed, men and boys beaten and murdered.

    Sikh men with turbans have been most affected by post 9/11 hate crimes. Post September 11 backlash violence has been primarily directed at those perceived to resemble the enemy – a turbaned and bearded Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda leader. Nearly all people who wear turbans in the United States are Sikh, members of the world’s fifth largest religion who trace their heritage to the Punjab region of India. On September 15, 2001 in Mesa, Arizona, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man, became the first person murdered in the hate epidemic. Out of the estimated nineteen people murdered in the immediate aftermath, four were turbaned Sikh men.

    Many hate crimes and incidents have gone unreported.

    The federal government officially reported a 1700% increase in ‘anti-Muslim’ hate crimes, from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001. This only includes crimes both reported to and recorded by police departments. Community and civil rights organizations have reported thousands of hate incidents in the year following 9/11, including at least nineteen murders.

    Hate crimes are only the tip of the iceberg.
    Violent hate crimes are the most obvious manifestation of a wide range of prejudiced behavior, including verbal harassment, threats, staring, and avoidance. Qualitative research documents subtle forms of discrimination that do not appear in police statements or newspaper reports – Sikhs, Muslims, and South Asians treated as perpetually foreign, alien, laughable or un-American. Millions of Sikh, Muslim, and Arab Americans have experienced subtle or overt forms of the post-9/11 hate epidemic.

    Hate crimes and incidents have profoundly negative effects on targeted communities. In a recent Harvard study, 83% of Sikh Americans, reported that they or someone they knew personally experienced a hate crime or incident, and 64% expressed fear of danger to themselves and families. Many members of the Sikh American community face deep-seated feelings of fear, insecurity, and disorientation. Others indicate bitterness or anger. Still others channel their frustration into positive, hopeful responses. It is clear that the hate epidemic has dramatically altered the social and psychological well-being of Sikh Americans and other minority groups.

    State-sponsored discriminatory treatment of Sikhs, Muslims, Arabs, immigrants, and non-citizens is ongoing. “Private violence” is carried out by citizens, “public violence” by our government. Soon after the immediate outbreak of private violence, our government began to allow greater provisions for racial profiling in both immigration enforcement and domestic security programs. While these provisions were meant to protect our national security, they have violated and further alienated groups who fall into designated categories. These groups include turbaned Sikhs who have consistently experienced public violence in the form of employment discrimination, immigration enforcement, targeted security searches, or prisoner abuse.

    The hate epidemic persists today.
    Many believe that these hate crimes disappeared after the initial 9/11 aftermath. However, spikes in hate violence in the United States correspond with terrorism abroad as well as critical moments in the U.S. war in Iraq. At the onset of the war in Iraq, three turbaned Sikh cab drivers were shot in the San Francisco Bay Area alone. Due to inconsistent classification and tracking procedures at local, state, and federal levels, there is no way to provide exact statistics for present-day hate crimes. While the number of hate crimes has not returned to levels reported in the aftermath of 9/11, qualitative research confirms that Sikh, Muslim, and Arab Americans continue to experience subtle yet damaging forms of discrimination in both private and public realms.

  106. There has been hate and love in the past and is now and will be in the future. The question is how do we deal with it.

    Guru’s Sikh should try to keep faith in such situations and reduce the risk if possible. A Sikh should not hide but try to help people to change their views so that they don’t attack anyone. It is a difficult task but if more people speak to each other and get to know each other then there will be few people who are strangers.

    Guru says: Love God and help others to love God.

    Satnam Kaur

  107. I have received a note from Gyani Jarnail Singh that he is busy with a 3 day reading of the Sikh scripture this weekend and will be back on Monday or Tuesday.

    Any positive media about Sikhs is wonderful and rare. Sikhs need more friends like Tony!

    Satnam Kaur how much do you yourself get heckled etc. walking around London wearing your daastar (turban)?

  108. Tony,

    I just received an amusing email from a Sikh Studies professor, someone who is not a Sikh but who studies Sikh religion and history. I sent this link “Who are the Sikhs? and I got back:

    “Who is Tony Carson?”

    Can you post a little bio and description of your work here for we new-comers?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  109. A woman wearing a Turban is a rare sight and I get noticed and never forgotten. The Sikh men try to ignore what they see.

    Most people find it curious and ask how long does it take to tie it.

    Promotion chances with a turban are almost zero at the work place. It is good idea to go self employed which I am beginning to explore. Blazing speed for all it is myth Tony .. things may change.

    Satnam Kaur

  110. Well, this takes us full circle. I asked ‘Who are the Sikhs’ because 1) I didn’t know; 2) they weren’t telling — all I was learning from this religion was from the newspaper headlines, and it wasn’t flattering.

    My message from the beginning was that I thought the Sikhs should be selling themselves to combat the bad press; later I talked of Sikhi as being a ‘corporate’ ‘brand’ that needed constant selling.

    Then I started to learn a little about the Sikh message.

    As with Muslims, a few Sikhs seemed to be trashing a religion that most westerners don’t understand anyway. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. All real Sikhs should be looking for ways to explain their religion/culture to the larger culture in NA and the West … that may be required for survival.

    I take it that in its heart Sikhi isn’t at all militant, even though much of the imagery is (dagger, ‘warrior’). Well, it seems to me, from my advertising/marketing/sales promotion background that the Sikhs had better start getting out their message or they’ll lose the fight to intolerance.

    Really, why sit back and take that crap? Feminists didn’t.

    And to borrow Kamalla’s question about London and the turban, if Sikhs want to be the most conspicuous dressers in the entire city, they have two choices: to be looked at as wierdos or to explain their dress and their religion in a way that people will not only understand, but admire.

    I’ve had nothing but resistence to the one key thought since the beginning of this thread and for the life of me I don’t get it. Selling your brand may sound like cheap marketing but it may well be the salvation of it.

    Plus, maybe people will actually BENEFIT from the message.

  111. For the last 20 years I have been to many different areas of London and the UK with my turban on my head. The British mostly keep quiet about what they see. But my aim has been to give exposure to the Sikh image in a positive manner.

    Harjinder Singh and I both go the Houses of Parliament with the kirpans and turbans and educate the security there.

    We go to meetings relating to chaplaincy within collages, attend residents meetings, active groups and we normally get positive reaction once you start talking to people.

    Tony, what suggestions do you have to sell the brand – though talking here and sharing the message of Guru is a blessing.

    Satnam Kaur

  112. Put pressure on the Sikh organizations to become pro-active in ‘selling’ the brand. That would involve all the activities of any major brand and more, but it needs to be done. Again, I’m not trying to cheapen Sikhi by using the term ‘brand,’ I’m just using the corporate language.

    Just as a tiny example, someone at a Sikh headquarters somewhere should be monitoring cyberspace for conversations like the one we’re having here and 1) learn from it, 2) offer assistance, 3) connect threads, 4) use this as an opportunity to reach the marketplace of ideas, 5) use it to change perceptions where (if) they need to be changed.

    Again, if the Sikhs depend on the press to get their message out, they will lose because what appears in the press is almost always bad news.

  113. Bless you Tony,

    I have been gracefully and sweetly suggesting the same things to Sikhs for several years.

    OK, Ok, I have been screaming like a banshee!

    (Banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld).

    “Auuugggkkkkt!!! I can’t watch! Sikhs are so horrible at PR!” I screech and groan.

    “I like that about them.” my husband Ken responds.

    Tony, it is so much more complicated than I first imagined. Sikhs really did almost lose their culture. So your blog here is serving the purpose of educating “Sikhs” about Sikhi, as well as everyone else about Sikhi Their holy book is written in a very easy language called Gurmukhi that evolved into present day Punjabi. But they can’t understand Gurmukhi any better than you and I can understand Old English. The English translations are distorted; strange and sexist and patriarchal. And as Satnam Kaur keeps mentioning, she was lucky to learn about Sikhi growing up in her “Sikh” family. She had a devout Grandfather, that was it.

    Native Americans have similar problems. They are losing their languages; doesn’t take long. A mere generation of neglect can throw a whole culture into extinction, if you are small and under attack.

    The bigger picture: Hate crimes are happening in the USA particularly but also Cananda and the UK. All brown-skinned peoples are being hassled. Sikhs in turbans get it the worst. Muslims in the West don’t usually wear turbans.

    Sherman Alexie, a Pacific NW Native American writer shares: “September 16th (2001), I was walking in downtown Seattle when this pick-up truck pulls up in front of me. Guy leans out the window and yells, ‘Go back to your own country!’ and I was laughing so hard because it wasn’t so much a hate crime as a crime of irony.”

    My father fought in WW2 and my parents taught me about what it was like in the late 1930s when the Jews started suffering from all those hate crimes and they didn’t get media attention.

    Tony, True Sikhs believe in the Creator and they believe that the whole Cosmos is talking to us. It is right and proper that the Khalsa Knighthood be targeted this time. They believe it is God’s Plan and they believe that their Guruji is using YOU Tony, as their agent. They are already spreading your link around.

    You loving advice and help are well received, but how good are you or I at promoting ourselves in Denmark using Danish? Remember: no proseltyzing allowed.

    Thanks again.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  114. Look, Kamalla, if I walked around London with a banana in my ear, I’d expect to get some attention. If I walk around with a turban while others are wearing either nothing on their head or baseball caps, I’d expect attention. And, if that turban began to be associated with evil (bin laden), I’d either take it off or spend a lot of time explaining it — I couldn’t afford to be indifferent.

    The Sikhs aren’t about to take off the turban, nor should they, so they had better start explaining it as a symbol of their beliefs.

    I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. Sikh International (or whatever the ‘governing’ body is called, and there had better be one) should be hard at work explaining the turban, the conspicuous dress and the religion because the average guy on the street when he sees a turban is not thinking sweet thoughts, that’s a known reality, so do something about it.

    Here in Canada Sikh ‘terrorists’ blew up a plane (allegedly) a few years back as you well know and the headlines on the Sikhs have been negative more or less ever since. And as far as I’ve been able to see, the Sikhs haven’t bothered to do anything about it except complain about their bad press. That’s nuts.

    A few months ago Sikhs had a parade in the Vancouver area for some festive occasion and one of the guys associated with the bombing was publicly celebrated on the parade floats and on the backs of jackets, presumably with the approval of the parade organizers. What are we to take from that?

    With all the mixed messages, the public needs to know what the Sikhs are thinking, why they want to dress differently than others and how they want to be engaged in the larger culture. Why wouldn’t they?

    The Sikhs should have a large non-proselytizing PR department. They need it for the health of their religion.

  115. A Sikh (Harmander Singh) has organised the first Sikh Marathon in Ilford, part of London on 26 August and hopefully this will become International.

    Guru Nanak went out four times on in all directions of India to spread the message by singing about the Creator and highlighted issues. The Sikhs should go put and beat the drum and help the needy. There is so much to do, so many opportunities. The Sikhs are at the infant stage but I hope they grow soon as I do believe Sikhi has the answers.

  116. The question is obvious: can a Sikh run a marathon in a turban?

  117. Fauja Singh is about 80 years or so and has broken marathon records for his age group and is an amritdhari and runs in his turban and kirpan. Harjinder Singh and I will be walking/running in our turbans. It is possible to secure your turban. The Sikh soldiers have fought wars in their turbans and rode horses in their turbans. No problem. Can you imagine a sea of blue turbans creating small blue ripples? Where there is Will there is a way.

    The best PR is to get involved in the community, human right issues rather than leaflets.

    A documentary on the work they do. What do you think about that? Are there pressing issues in the USA they could get involved in.

    We are running 20 diversity seminars this year and food events to bring communities together. I think we need positive action to win the hearts and minds and that is Guru’s way.

    Guru says Win your own heart and you have won the world.

  118. Guru says Win your own heart and you have won the world.

    What a wonderful thought.

    Why blue turbans? Colour doesn’t actually mean anything does it? Could you wear fascia if you wanted to?

  119. Hello. Indeed a really an interesting discussion. I would recommend the following site for a quick overview of Sikhi, the Sikh Way of Life:

    Bye Eva.

  120. […] Beautiful, isn’t it? From out Who are the Sikhs? […]

  121. The Khalsa Knights (the Saint/Soldier) .wear blue that’s their uniform. The blue colour copes better with dust and stains in the heat of India rather than white.

    Some think blue is energetic.

    There is no restriction on colours really. All colours are good as they are all made by the Creator.

  122. Kammal Rose Kaur Ji has asked my opinion on the following UU Principles…Here is an off the cuff response from me attemoting a comparative look at the UU principles from a Sikhi point of view..

    1.The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
    2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
    3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
    4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
    5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
    6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
    7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

    1. Gurbani declares..Search not ever the Lord without..The Creator is within each and every part of his creation..The One Lord is pervading ALL Ramkali Mh 3 Page 953, Hundreds of times the Gurus and Bhagts have asserted again and again that its not just the outward riches, or flashy clothes, or appearance that should “attract us”..but the inherent worth and dignity of each and every part of the Lord’s Creation. The poor and the meek have just as much rights and dignity and worth as the rich and the powerful..the children of the streets have just as much dignity as the children enrolled in premier schools

    2. Its not by sheer accident that the First Pyara who got up in Vasakhi 1699 clarion Call by Guru Gobind Singh ji for a “Head”..was named DYA Ram. Dya is Compassion and Guru declares that for RELIGION to successfully plant its roots..DYA..Compassion has to come FIRST. Then the second person to answer the call was DHARAM Chand…”Religion” !! So DYA came first as the SOIL in which the seeds of Dharam (Religion) were to be planted…”accident”….? “plan” ??..”design..fluke..coincidence ?? (The remaining three payaras Names continue this “compleat man” design but explaining all that would make this mail too long)
    Dya or compassion in Sikhi is not just the…” don’t kill the chicken..its cruel !!” ( killing for food cannot be cruel ) or the jain ideology that even when walking be careful not to step on the ant ( thus Jains wear masks to prevent breathing in germs and thus killing them..and they sweep the road before them to sweep away insects etc they would kill by stepping on them). IF that were the case than a Sikh would be sinning if he swatted the mosquito….or swatted the pesky fly..or used pesticides on his crops..or used bleach etc on his laundry. Unfortunately “Dya” is wrongly construed by many Sikhs as just this sort of “compassion”. Its NOT this way at all. True “compassion” or Dya is Giving of ones-self. Those who make TRUTH their fasting, contentment their pilgrimage, cognition and Meditation their ablution, compassion their deity and forgiveness their rosary..they are most sublime of persons..declares Guru Nanak ji on Page 1245.(Sggs)
    Sikhi lays great emphasis on Justice, equity and compassion not only among humans , but also on all of Gods creation. Guru Arjun Ji declares in Asa M 5 Page 376 Sggs – Lord’s nature is pervading ALL the Forms and Colours..and Guru Amardass Ji says..O true KING..TRUE is thy NATURE. PG 463 Sggs Again it is written..Through they Nature we see thy POWER and through thy nature we fear and have the essence of Happiness..through thy nature exist the skies and the entire creation..through thy nature exist the Vedas, the Puarans, the Semitic Books, and ALL LOVE, The NATURE..the Living Beings of the world..Through the nature are Virtues, honours and dishonours..Guru nanak Page 464 Sggs.
    Thus a Sikh is an environmentalist..automatic greenpeace activist..automatically a human rights activist… a preserver of forests…clean rivers..anti-pollution… and animal rights supporter
    As far as Human relations between man and Woman are concerned…Guru nanak ji was among the first and most vocal on Gender equality – all along in almost all civilisations and societies…the woman (Eve) had been placed on rib level..and in Indian Society at feet level (jutee – footwear of Man!!) Guru nanak Ji declared…So kio manda akheayeh jit jammeh rajaan… Why call her LOW who gives birth to KINGS ? Todays some Sikhs under the influence of the “fundalmentalist brahminsed fringe” have sadly begun to put aside this teaching of Guru Ji and discriminate against “woman” – thus no woman can do Kirtan/path/sewa at harmandir sahib or be member of the Panj Payras. Forward looking Sikhs are fighting hard against this.
    3. The Khandey bate dee pahul ceremony in which persons of all castes, rich and poor, whatever region race or creed, men and women share the same dress, drink from the same bowl, implies that Sikhi accepts all and demolishes all man made discriminations. In a Sikh gurdwara ALL irrespective of religion, creed, race, gender, status (king and pauper) ALL are WELCOME. All can perform any and all SEWA (voluntary work ), and partake of langgar, eat together, sit together and pray together. Preaching/giving spiritual discourses, reading of scriptures for the Congregation is of necessity restricted to “Qualified” Khalsa. On a personal level…even that is dispensed with..personally even a Non-Sikh” is allowed to read the SGGS scriptures, sing the gurbani etc – only caveat is the respect of SGGs must be maintained at all tiems.
    4. In Sikhi its mandatory for…seeking..learning..querying and actively looking ou for TRUTH. Sikhi doesn’t encourage “closed eyes blind faith”..ask no questions and you will be given no lies/wrong answers… etc is taboo. Every Sikh is encouraged to.. LISTEN..SAY..QUESTION..and BELIEVE. Kichh sunneah kich kaheayeh…. As long as we are here in this world Nanak..we should hear somewhat and speak somewhat ( Gods praises ) Guru nanak Page 661 Sggs. Meeting with a PIOUS person..have a conversation with him..BUT meeting an IMPIOUS person..Keep MUM – Kabir page 870 Sggs. Discourse and discussion are encouraged and deemed important.
    5. In the Sikhi concept of the PANJ – no individual has any veto power. Just like the ancient Greeks ‘democracy”..Sikhs have the Gurmatta. This institution held sway until the 1850’s rule of mahara Ranjit Singh. Each Sikh soldier or civilian was invited to a Gurmatta..each one had the right to stand up and speak his mind…and a final decision of CONCENSES was then taken by the assembly after hearing all. The MISL Leader..the CHIEFTAN..had the same right as the lowly soldier..the footman..the cleaner. Thus once a stable cleaner was chosen to be NAWAB at the Mughal court After the fall of the Sikh Empire in 1850..the British institution of “secret ballot elections” have taken root in Sikh Society. The Panj system has also been put on the back burner. Now the Panj is highly politicised and serve their political masters.
    6. Sarbatt Da Bhalla… Goodwill towards ALL is the Final Call at the end of each Ardass or Prayer session of Sikhs all over the world. Even before a battle with the enemy – this same supplication was delivered before the Almighty. Due to this, it is no coincidence that Bhai Khnaiyah during Guru Gobind Singh Jis battles with the Hill rajahs and mughals was found giving water to BOTH – Sikhs as well as the fallen enemy soldiers. When a complaint was made to Guru Ji – about this….and on being called up to explain his behaviour..Bhai Khaneyah replied..OH My Lord..I DONT see the fallen as SIKHS or Muslims or Hindus..ALL i see is YOUR IMAGE on each person..Hindu sikh muslim. Guru Ji was so happy with this answer that he gave Bhai Khaneayh a tin of SALCE and told him..from now on besides giving water to the fallen soldiers…you may also put salve on their wounds. Thus Bhai Khaneayh is the Forerunner of the International RED CROSS . Thus the Goal of the Sikhs is also Worldwide Peace, stability, prosperity and goodwill of all men towards all. Prosper thy neighbour is Sikhi. Every person has the Universal right to Peace, Liberty and Justice. Guru teg bahdur Ji – went to delhi to give His head for Freedom of ALL religions…Human Rights and Justice for all. Emperor Aurengzeb was forcibly converting ALL to Islam in an attempt to have just ONE religion in his empire – Guru teg bahadur Ji resisted that with his life.
    7. Respect for Gods NATURE is inherent in Sikhi as explained earlier. All Sikhs are environmentalists, conservationists, anti-pollution, anti-war and oppression, preservers of nature, forests, clean water resources, nuclear free world, against undue cruelty t animals..etc etc – we firmly believe all of this INTRICATE WEB of nature is INTER DEPENDANT. Any serious failure of any component is sure to impact the others…as we are already house effects, global warming, melting ice caps glaciers, extinctions of various species, disappearing rain forests, pollution of air and water resources etc etc – this is happening because MAN in his arrogance ( I have made thee in my IMAGE and appointed thee as Master !!) has abused his position in this web of God.

    I will be happy to discuss further..

  123. Hi Tony,
    i found your questions in your post (about having a banana in your ear) just slightly ludicrous because –

    To feel that I have to go out of my way to explain that I’m not Bin Laden to people without turbans, I’d first have to make the assumption that every one with out a turban is stupid, igonorant, uneducated and/or bigoted.

    However, instead I feel the vast majority of people are well meaning, educated, sensitive, tolerant and accepting. If they happen to be curious as well they can ask questions as you are doing, which I’m happy to answer to the best of my ability.

    People who do assume Sikhs with turban are radical Muslims also probably assume any and all Muslims are radical. If so they are wrong on both accounts.

    It’s a little like thinking all blacks commit crimes and have babies out of wedlock, or that all all men with very short hair are Nazi loving skin heads who want to wipe all non anglo people from the planet, or that all women with short skirts are soliciting. In other words stereo typing in the very worst way.

    My first encounter (Prior to my conversion to Sikhi) with a turban wearing person was a feeling of utmost respect. I felt that had glimpsed a person of high spiritual caliber and commitment. This is also the reaction I get from people I meet as a sikh in my community.

    So it’s never occured to me these people might view the me as a terroist. After all the suicide bombers are first of all DEAD -they won’t be coming back so no one has to worry that I’m one of them. Bin Ladin, if is still lives, is hiding out some where on another continent. So No worries there either. The suicide bombers all had short hair no turbans so that also really does not factor in.

    I’m sorry to say that you sound a little wishy washy in your post in that you would have no conviction in what you were doing – if you felt you stood out in any way- you’d immediately change your behaviour to fit in. Sounds like if wearing bananas in your ear came in style you’d be right there doing it. I have a hard time reconciling that image with a person of your journalistic capabilities and temperment.

    So i’m going to chalk up your entire post as a bid to start to promote dialouge, and a request for information.

    Please check this site-

    The text is from an article originally requested (about 12 years ago) for an article in the Fresno Newspaper to be printed in conjunction with a sikh parade for non sikh onlookers.

    The webpage includes informative pictures to go with the text.

    The same text with along a group photograph has been circulated around the US as flyers to be handed out in communities at schools etc.

    It has been posted to e-groups as an attachment to be modified for individual communities.

    There are literally hundreds of sites on the subject of sikhism on the internet and they continue to grow. A curious person could spend months reasearching it all.

    It’s a little unfair to suppose that sikhs have not been doing anything to provide education.

    The media is more or less into negative sensationalism. Yet The San Jose Mercury Newspaper regulary puts out Full page (or longer) Articles on sikhs with coloured photos to educate their Community about Sikhs as do many other Local Papers in cities across the US.

    About the time the Governer of California legalized the wearing of kirpan for Sikhs students all local TV stations featured the story in a positive light.

    The sikh community is very thankful to you for your interest, and for your open mind hope. I are giving you some satisfactory answers.


  124. The following UU Principles:
    1.The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
    2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
    3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
    4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
    5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
    6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
    7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

    What can I say? Gyani Jarnail Singh has explained it so well. As Guru says :All creation is good and if they believe in the One God they should continue doing your good work and share the message with others. We all have a lot in common. We have the same Creator – what more can one want.
    Lets all fall in love with the Creator and the Creation.

    Satnam Kaur

  125. Thank you Gyani Jarnail Singh!

    On behalf of Unitarian Universalists (whom I am am absolutely UNOFFICIALLY speaking for) thank you for taking the time to reflect, upon the UU Principles. I am confident that UUs can use your words to better educate themselves and others regarding Sikhs and Sikhi, and as further motivation to continue to fight hate crimes against Sikhs.

    Again on behalf of Sikhs everywhere (also unofficially) thank you Bill Sinkford, Presidient of the Unitarian Universalist Association ( for mobilizing UUs into activism on behalf of USA Sikhs and USA Muslims within three days of 9-11. UUs have sponsored so many community forums and enthusiastically attended our Sikh Gurdwara Open Houses!

    September 14, 2001:

    An Open Letter from the Rev. William G. Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

    Dear Friends,

    As this week has unfolded, my fear that Arab and Muslim individuals and communities would be attacked has sadly come to pass. Let me re-state my call to Unitarian Universalist communities to reach out and stand with our Arab and Muslim sisters and brothers who lament the terrorists acts of this Tuesday and grieve with us the losses.

    Let me also encourage our congregations to reach out to Sikh communities in this country. Though the Sikh community is not Muslim, they too are at risk of being blamed for this tragedy.

    Our task as people of faith is to be present to our grief and fear, but not to respond with anger. We must seek justice and, as our President says, to punish those responsible. But retribution will not create safety, nor move us toward justice.

    Yours in faith and hope,

    William G. Sinkford

    Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  126. Tony,

    Is there a Sikhi Central? Gyani Jarnail Singh has answered this question a bit (not that all agree with him, of course but MANY do):

    “5. In the Sikhi concept of the PANJ – no individual has any veto power. Just like the ancient Greeks ‘democracy”..Sikhs have the Gurmatta. This institution held sway until the 1850’s rule of mahara Ranjit Singh. Each Sikh soldier or civilian was invited to a Gurmatta..each one had the right to stand up and speak his mind…and a final decision of CONCENSES was then taken by the assembly after hearing all. The MISL Leader..the CHIEFTAN..had the same right as the lowly soldier..the footman..the cleaner. Thus once a stable cleaner was chosen to be NAWAB at the Mughal court After the fall of the Sikh Empire in 1850..the British institution of “secret ballot elections” have taken root in Sikh Society. The Panj system has also been put on the back burner. Now the Panj is highly politicised and serve their political masters.”

    For a very short time Sikhs had their own country, and then the Brits invaded. The British fought a war against the Sikhs and won, but they fell in love with the Sikhs. Thus the British helped the Sikhs and they also hindered the Sikhs.

    Sikh Central is presently in India but Sikhs in diaspora have no representation in the present (British established) Sikh religion administration. Some/many accuse Sikh Central of being infiltrated by nonSikhs or taking bribes, or corporate lobby money. Some/many disagree!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  127. Dear kamalla kaur ji,

    Yes the SGPC – elected by the million or so eligible “SIKHS” (according to SRM) every five years according to the British Govt sponsored Gurdwara Act a sort of Sikh Central.
    Its authority is confined to old Punjab – now divided into Punjab/Himachal/Haryana. Efforts are underway to take away Haryana out of its spehre by forming a Haryana SGPC. Delhi already has a DGPC for Delhi gurdawras and the Patna Takhat as well as Hazoor Sahib Deccan are independently controlled by their states. So not only are the few MILLION Disapora Sikhs not reprsented in the SGPC….so are a few million Sikhs in the rest of INDIA ( those outside Punajb/Haryana/himachal). So in a way the Sikh Central is a very MINORITY sort of “Sikh central”…similar to if the Citizens of Vatican were to be Catholic Central on behalf of the 1 billion or so christians…

    2. The point to note is that the Govt of India holds the “Elections”… so it decides when and when… For example during the tenure of Jathedar GS Tohra…he was defacto President ( together with his assembly) for a total of FIVE TERMS..25 years ++ as the Govt decided to have NO ELECTIONS. Thus it is a Sikh Central over which the SIKHS have absolutley NO CONTROL. GS Tohra was kept in power for a quarter century….for reasons known/unknown ?? and the SIKHS coundnt do a damn thing about it.
    3. Due to the SGPC being a “Financial Powerhouse” Goluck money from all historicl shrines runs into hundreds of millions yearly…anyone in control of it is in POWER. Inspite of the Indian govt using all sorts of “proxies”….newly set up Gurdwar Boards and such…the SGPC has traditionally been won by the Akali DAL…now the personal fiefdom of the BADAL Family/Dynasty…since the 1970’s !! Thus when “POLITICS” rules the roost..invariably shady chraacters stand and win…through money laundering/vote buying/alcohol flows freely, hoodlums roam freely and drugs etc..every weapon in the arsenal is used to retain the status quo…95% of the SGPC members are TAINTED heavily. The one or two “religious” ones get voted out subsequently or turn over a “old” leaf and join the rascals As it stands now the SGPC is heavily infested with self serving politicians..more into politics than religion – and thus Harjinder Singh is absolutley right when he is foolhardy to have the Present SGPC do any amendments to the SRM..they are sure to do worse than better- as they already institutionalise Brahminised rules like NO women in harmandir Sahib kirtan and other sewa- …they SELL “ritualised readings of SGGS called Akahnd paaths ( readings done by anonymous granthis in anonymous places and times…and this is supposed to help the buyer get wishes !!)…given half a chance they may very well put it ALL this RITUALISATION in writing in the new SRM. IMHO we are much better off with what we have in the Present SRM !!

  128. Hi Tony,

    A Sikh Turban ( called Dastar) is far more secure than what we see in Hollywood “Sultans and Ali Babas etc” wearing on their heads.
    The Sikh dastaar has to be tied – fold upon fold individually..over a smaller turban inside it. Such a turban seldom comes off easily – as sikh soldiers in the two World wars and on battlefields have proved many times. In fact in both World Wars Sikh soldiers NEVER wore the Helmet.
    Those dastaars that do come off easily..are the “Lazy Sikh’s turban”….those are heavily STARCHED and tied when slightly moist…as they dry off on the head..they dry hard as Hard hats. The LAZY SIKH then just removes the hard-hat type of turban and puts it on just like a hardhat…lasting for weeks or months !! This type of turban is easily knocked off. Thus it is “practical” ( for lazy sikhs) BUT not as per our rehit ( code of Conduct) as Sikhi is also Personal daily Bath, daily Combing of hair twice a DAY and retying of turban each time one goes out is mandatory.
    Colours have no special significance…a sikh can and does wear Fascia…although such wont go down well with a long white Beard. I normally stick to Blue/white/Saffron. RED was the colour of the MUGHALS.Uniform…and thus some fundamentalists shy off RED..but any colour is OK.

  129. Dear Kammala Kaur Ji,

    This is the very first i have heard of the UU’s and their Principles…and i found them so simialr ro Sikhi and Gurmatt – once again affirming my faith that ALL comes from the Same God/Creator. It si no accident that Guru nanak ji saw His Creator in Bhagat kabir the weavor , Namdev, Sheikh farid the Sufi, Ramanand the Brahmin, pipa the king (Royalty), dhanna the farmer, sain the barber, Ravidass the leather worker, sadhna the butcher…common and not so common people all over the known world..and thus not only collected their divine writings..but gave them EQUAL place of HONOUR in our Shabd Guru the SGGS. We thus bow not only to the Sikh GURUS..we also bow to ravidass..sheikh farid..sadhana..and dhanna ji etc etc. What a beautiful collection of Like MINDS…all singing the praises of the Divine Creator in as many languages..and dialects !! And now I came to know the UU really glad you intoduced me to them. Verily this world is a small place….and all roads lead to…GOD. Correctly said..IF we cant see GOD in ALL.we cannot see God at all.

    Thanks a lot

  130. Sikhs ahve three Fundamental Principles.
    1. KIRT Karo – Honest Labour
    2. WAAND CHHAKO – SHARE the FRUITS of this
    Honest labour
    3. NAAM JAPO – Live life according to Gods way
    as revealed in GURBANI of SGGS.

    When Guru nanak ji met the Sidhs and Yogis in the Himalayas ( they had retreated there away from so called temptations of the word to meditate !! WHICH Guur nanak ji told them is “cowardly behaviour” to run away from ones RESPONSIBILITIES)…one of the Siddhs thought he had Guru ji cornered on Waand Chhako. They gave Guru Ji a Til seed ( sesame seed – which is a tiny seed) and told Him..Show us how you SHARE this. Thei argument was..IF ONE doesnt have enough to feed himself/his family..then he cannot possibly SHARE. Guru Ji had said NO..anybody can share if he has the will. A Beggar may ahve the will to share half a loaf…a billionaure may find it so difficult/painful to give a doantion of a PENNY !! Its all a matter of WILL.
    So the Siddhs gave Guru Ji a TINY SEED and told us how to share this.
    Guru Ji asked for a Koonda ( stone receptacle for pounding with mortar – sidhs and yogis use this to pound and mix drinks etc ) and a Pitcher of water. Guru ji placed the seed in the koonds..and after pouring in the water..pounded the seed and mixed it up. Then he told the sidhs..everyone can have a GLASS….share and share tiny sesame seed for twenty persons….Where there is a WILL there is a WAY.

  131. Sadh Sangat (enlightened community),

    I have questions about Khalistan (a proposed Sikh independent nation). First of all can Sikh readers explain to those here of UK descent:

    In precisely what ways is Khalistan the same and in what exact ways is Khalistan different from Camelot?

    Camelot is described in this video in the goopiest silliest fashion. Still beware, this is a deep “myth” – based on a true story most probably – of our race.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  132. What a beautiful collection of Like MINDS…all singing the praises of the Divine Creator in as many languages..and dialects !! And now I came to know the UU really glad you intoduced me to them. – Gyani Jarnail Singh

    It has been a profound honor and privilege for me, I assure you!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  133. Harjinder Singh and I were in the company of Guru Granth Sahib yesterday and one of the Sabads was about the following theme.

    In India arranged marriages was the norm and when a newly wed would return home after say honeymoon- the bride’s friend pester her to tell them what is he like. She is shy and does not say a lot.

    The sabad was: My friends are saying tell us about him but I am so full of love and preoccupied with the beloved that I don’t have any words for them. The relationship was perfect.

    The sadh sangat ( all soul brides) were singing and it was heaven on earth.

    Satnam Kaur

  134. In India arranged marriages was the norm and when a newly wed would return home after say honeymoon- the bride’s friends pester her to tell them what is he like. She is shy and does not say a lot.

    ….yes thats what is sung about in the famous Folk songs made popular by late Surinder Kaur ..
    Muklaveh wali raat..kidhan gujareahee..

    IN the Guru Granth Sahib Ji..there are many such shabds that deal with US being the Brides of Waheguru..and the sheer BLISS of time spent with ones BELOVED. There are no words to describe such sublime bliss…

    In one shabad Guru Arjun Ji describes that He met His Beloved in a DREAM….and when He awoke..he wanted more sleep so that he could dream on some more about His Beloved…in another shabad Guru Ji describes how he met Waheguru while AWAKE…and in this case Guru Ji wants to remain forever that he cna continue to spend time with his Beloved..a “contradiction”..Not at all….whether we are “sleeping/dreaming” or “awake”…the essential is to meet our Beloved. Whichever state leads to meeting our Beloved..thats the state we want.
    Thanks Satnam kaur Ji….for an inspirational moment of bliss… humbly..Jarnail Singh

  135. “Harjinder Singh and I were in the company of Guru Granth Sahib yesterday and one of the Sabads was about the following theme.

    …The sadh sangat ( all soul brides) were singing and it was heaven on earth.” – Satnam Kaur

    Sikhs relate to our scripture as being fully alive and active, so we “keep company” with the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Satnam Kaur doesn’t share whether she went to a community Gurdwara (which means, Guruji’s House/Home) or whether she gathered in Sadh Sangat (humble community or congregation) at someones home.

    Either way Sikh “church” is the same. Sikhs come together, take off our shoes, cover our heads if they aren’t already covered, and sit on the floor together in the company of our scripture. The SGGS is on a beautifull throne and we bow fullly before this throne and offer a gift to Guruji. Sikhs bow to no other.

    Then Sikhs sing hymns from the SGGS called shabads or sabads (sacred teachings). Sometimes people stand and speak. I have no idea what they are saying because they tend to speak in Punjabi. Still singing together and using music as a group meditation is the main focus, or it should be, of Sikh communal worship.

    Sikhs also say a group prayer, the Ardas. Sikhs everywhere say this same prayer daily, and when we gather together. It reminds Sikhs to remember events in Sikh history and to stay strong to our faith and way. It also asks for power and blessings to pour down on all true devotees from all Faiths, all those who love Creator/Creation and wish for Peace. There is a place where personal prayers for people are offered.

    The peak of the Sikh group worship experience is when Guruji speaks. Towards the end of the Sikh service the scripture is opened in expentancy of wonderful synchronicity happening. Whatever page the SGGS opens to, that teaching/instruction/command is shared with the congregation, the sangat.

    After the Gurdwara service, whether it takes place in a huge temple, or in a private home, Sikhs eat holy langar (community meal) together.

    It is a feast! Best Indian food in town, in my opinion. Open to all. You can even skip the religious service and simply go EAT!

    Many Gurdwaras serve langar to people sitting, all at the same level, but at tables, with chairs. Some Sikh Gurdwaras serve langar to people sitting at the same level, on the floor.

    Though a few “riots” in Sikh Gurdwaras have been caused by sects and politics ala India, others have been caused by grandmothers, and grandpapas throwing chairs at those crazy Westernizing youngsters!

    Amazingly Sikh elders can usually sit and rise from the floor no problem, while even young people in our culture get leg cramps after only a few minutes of floor sitting. I think we should throw our furniture away myself. It appears to be crippling us – especially those decliner chairs, I mean recliner chairs!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  136. On 13 August, the question of Sikhs running marathons while wearing turbans was raised by Tony and partly responsed to by Satnam Kaur. I wish to give afuller reply.

    There are currently six elderly Sikh runners here in the UK who combine to make the world’s oldest Relay Marathon Team.

    Their details are Ajit Singh (from Huddersfield) age 76, Ajit Singh (from Slough) age 79, Amrik Singh (from Glasgow) age 76, Gorbakhsh Singh (from Kent) age 77, Karnail Singh (from Ilford) age 77 and of course, Fauja Singh (from Ilford) was 96 on 1 April 2007.

    A team of five (excluded Karnail Singh completed the Edinburgh Relay Marathon in 2005 in a time of 4 hours 13 minutes, a team of four, excluded Gurbakhsh Singh and the older Ajit Singh completed the same race this year (new course) in 4 hours 59 minutes.

    The younger Ajit Singh and Amrik Singh have run over 1000 long distance races between them including about 80 full marathons. Fauja Singh ran his first of seven marathons at the age of 89 including the New York City Marathon in 2003 – a few months after 9/11 to help overcome the mistaken identity backlash crimes agains the Sikhs. Hehad brought the world best marathon time for men over 90 from 7 hours 52 minutes to 5 hours 40 minutes in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon only six weeks earlier.

    Another Sikh runner, Harbhag Singh who runs for Darlington Harriers has run 111 marathons – all under 4 hours each. He has also run in 12 hour and 24 hours running events. All of these Sikhs wear a turban while running.

    Finally, Fauja Singh who had a sports contract with ADIDAS – the oldest athelete ever to have a contract is planning to make a comebackto marathon running when he is 98 and to carry on running races until he dies.

    As his trainer I can confirm the following as per a sports article written in July 2005 when Sikhs In England (SIE) organised a Back the Bid supporting the London 2012 Olympics bid event:

    “Fauja Singh already holds the 10,000m record (64 minutes – Lahore Marathon January 2005), 1/2 Marathon (2 hours 29 minutes and 59 seconds) and the Marathon record (5 hours 40 minutes and 1 second) both at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in September 2004 and September 2003 respectively.

    B Cushen (Secretary of the British Masters Atheletic Federation) wrote:

    Thank you for inviting the BMAF along to your Back the Bid promotion. It was a most enjoyable and inspiring event. I attach a copy of the report that will be posted on our web site. Good luck to you and Fauja in all his races. Bridget

    94 year old breaks 5 records within 94 minutes

    As part of their contribution to the Back the Bid campaign, the Sikh Community hosted a record-breaking event at Mile End Park Stadium, East London, on Saturday 2 July. Star performer was the indefatigable 94 year old Fauja Singh. His aim was to run 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, the mile and 1500m, and a 3000m continuing on to finish the 5000m. Six races covering eight distances in a time limit of 94 minutes. Impossible? – nothing is impossible for the ex-farmer from the Punjab! Together with his enthusiastic coach, Harmander Singh, who himself had just missed out on the qualifying time for 10000m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and a group of training partners, Fauja clocked 19.97 (hand timed) for the 100, missing the UK record by 7/100th of a second. In the 200m he obliterated the UK M90 age group 200m clocking an amazing 45.13sec. The 400m he covered in 1.49.28sec, to become the first in Briton ever to contest this distance. The UK 800m time he beat by 18.02 sec, running 4.20.97sec. The magic mile he ran in 9.40.13, timed at 9.03.37 for 1500m in the process. The last event, the 5000m, 12½ times round the track, seemed a daunting target. Cheered on by the Mayor, local Press and supporters, he reeled off consistent laps, setting a new UK M90 3000m in 18.38.48 and continuing to complete 5000m in 31.31.12, just 5.67sec off the current UK record. With five records, or six, if you allow for the fact that all races plus recovery time were completed within the 94 minutes, Fauja still had enough puff to conduct media interviews!”

    On Sunday 26 August SIE which incorporates the Sikh Sports Association will be hosting the first ever Sikh Relay Marathon where teams of all faiths and mixed will be covering the 26.2 mile (42.195km) distance on the 2km training route used by Fauja Singh – raising money for the local Mayor’s Charity Appeal (Victim Support) in the process. Fauja Singh and his junior friends will be the team to catch on the day.

    The mother-in-law of the current Prime Minister – Gordon Brown was inspired by Fauja Singh’s achievements so much that she also ran a full marathon for Fauja Singh’s favourite charity – BLISS – which helps with the care of premature babies as baby Louise – Gordon Brown’s first child who was born prematurely sadly died despite everyone’s best efforts. Fauja has a stapline – ‘the oldest running for the youngest’

    Harmander Singh – a mere baby at 48

  137. Harmander Singh,

    I know you do lots of puiblic speaking, reprersenting Sikhs to various nonSikh groups and agencies in the UK. What is your take on Tony’s question about our (Sikhs’) present lack of positive media coverage and successful public relations in the West?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  138. Wahegur ji ka Khalsa
    waheguru ji ki fateh

    Fauja singh is Awesome – he is my hero and inspiration. When i have difficulty walking i think of him. Just because i’m 54 i can’t blame it on age. If i just keep hanging in there maybe it’ll get better. Cuz if the “Adidas Singh” can do it so can i, i just have to try. Thank you Bhai Sahib for your example

  139. Thanks for the compilation of valuable information. Newsitems and Emails being not falling in the category of Copy Rights, any one who comes across righteous thought, should be shared so that others may also benefit. While keeping Sikh Identity, we should read, recite, comprehend and practice the Divine Knowledge contained in the Guru Granth Sahib. Practice is far better than merely preaching. Let us lead the
    Truthful life so that others may follow us.
    With best wishes,

  140. Guru Angad (#2 in the Sikh lineage of Nanaks)
    Page 726 0f the SGGS

    The One who created the world watches over it;
    what more can we say, O Siblings?
    Creator/Creation knows,
    and Creator/Creation acts.
    The Beloved One laid out the garden of this world.

    Savor the story,
    the story of the Beloved One,
    which brings a lasting peace.

    (Pause and reflect)

    She who does not enjoy the Love of her Husband,
    shall come to regret and repent in the end.
    She wrings her hands, and bangs her head,
    when the night of her life has passed away.

    Nothing comes from repentance,
    when the game is already finished.
    She shall have the opportunity to enjoy her Beloved,
    only when her turn comes again.

    The happy soul-bride attains her Husband.
    She is so much better than I am.
    I have none of her merits or virtues;
    whom should I blame?

    I shall go and ask those sisters who have enjoyed their True Husband.
    I touch their feet, and ask them to show me the Path.

    She who understands
    the Hukam of Guru’s Command, O Nanak,
    applies the awe/fear of God
    as her sandalwood oil;
    she charms her Beloved with her virtue,
    and thus obtains Him.

    She who meets her Beloved in her heart,
    remains united with Him.
    This is called union.
    As much as she may long for Him,
    she shall not meet Him through mere words.

    As metal melts into metal again,
    so does love melt into love.
    By Guru’s Grace, this understanding is obtained,
    and then we experience the Fearless One.

    There may be an orchard of betel nut trees in the garden,
    but the donkey does not appreciate its value.
    If someone savors a fragrance,
    then s/he can truly appreciate its flower.

    One who drinks in this ambrosia, O Nanak,
    abandons all doubts and wanderings.
    Easily and intuitively, we remain blended with the Infinite One,
    and thus we obtain immortal status

  141. Kamalla Rose Kaur, you asked

    “What is your take on Tony’s question about our (Sikhs’) present lack of positive media coverage and successful public relations in the West? ”

    As some one who also trains others in the art of engaging with the media (having been trained myself) I feel there are several factors under two headings, but all focus on the core issue, i.e.

    The elders’ die-hard attitude and desire in seeking answers from their peers in the Punjab to problems they face in the West,

    The first heading is the lack of outward looking activities by the Sikh ‘leaders’.

    The facors here include:

    1. Factionalism based on ‘Jathebandis’ , the anti-Sikh practices such as ‘caste’ based groupings, gender discrimination and taking advantage of the deference to age by those who are younger than them. All of this denies sufficient effort in raising if not promoting awareness of the unique and distinct separate Sikh identity to that which the information hungry media – an opportunity lost in promoting links with the media.

    2. The abject failure in accepting that age alone does not qualify one to be a ‘leader’ but it only helps if some wisdom was gained along the way in getting to their age. It is assumed that competency is automatic and only comes with age. The fact that many who hold positions of ‘power’ within the Sikh community somehow are able to divorce their personal ego nurturing actions from the responsibility that comes with the positions they hold. As a result, when something good has happened, people who were once thought to be dead suddenly come out of nowhere for the photo opportunity but are nowhere to be seen when things are not so good or very bad – in such instances, it is always someone else’s fault and communication skills are suddenly ‘missing’ – an opportunity lost in promoting links with the media.

    3. The (Sikh) community, as per it’s non evangelical ethos does little to promote the positive role models and achievements from within – Even Fauja Singh has had very little focused support from most Gurdwaras. This is not saying that he has not been welcomed wherever he has gone, but there has not been the proactive support such an icon would attract if he had been of another faith or nationality. For example, very few Sikhs came out to line the route when he carried the Olympic Torch for the Athens Games even though he was given the most prestigious section of the relay route by the organisers – an opportunity lost in promoting links with the media.

    4. Despite numerous opportunities to get media savvy and the need to become accessible when non-Sikhs make enquiries, Gurdwaras and many other Sikh institutions shy away from appointing a media spokesperson for their organisation who is equipped with relevant skills or data or available when required – an opportunity lost in promoting links with the media.

    The second heading is the reluctance to learn attitude of some – but influential sections of the media.

    Here, the factors include:

    1. Lumping anyone who looks different into one generic group regardless of the differences between them – example was the photo of the Sikh man arrested after 9/11 – just because he had a turban and a beard – as did Osama Bin Laden – the media never did apologise to the Sikh community the ‘labbelling’ that one picture stuck on it.

    2. Good or bad, whenever there is a large gathering, the media focuses on the Sikhs as they stick out – we are very photogenic – if the event is good, the Sikh appearance is trivialised, if the event is bad, the Sikhs get it in the neck so to speak.

    3. The media, together with other public agencies, wrongly assumes that the Sikh community is structured in the same lines as the Ecumenical Church or Government Departments – wrong – Every Sikh is equal and wants to be an individual/leader – so why always just go to the ‘usual suspects’ who quite often are either no longer in touch with grassroots feelings or accepted as ‘leaders’ in the traditional Max Weber sense. I am not being negative about the media here but some there are some within it (the media) who almost look for the divisions and if they cannot find any, they are suspected of creating them in order to make the item newsworthy.

    Overall, methinks there is much to be done by both sides – the Sikhs and the media to have a clearer understanding of each other.

    I think the media is a very powerful institution for it not just reports news, it is capable of creating it – Sikhs need to learn to work with it not shun it or against it.

    I trust I have given my ‘take’ on the matte.

    Harmander Singh

  142. So Tony,

    I think Harmander Singh (UK) and Gyani Jarnail Singh (Malaysia) have done a beautiful job of describing the problems Sikhs are facing, in the West and in India.

    Did you know that Sikhi is the 5th largest relgion on earth? There are more Sikhs than Jews alive at this time. However, True Sikhs who actually follow the teachings of the Sikh Guru/scriptures run more in the hundreds, I imagine. Hard to say.

    Any questions? Any advice?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  143. The Sikhs are a minority but Guru Gobind Singh measured each Sikh being equal to a quarter million strength, why quarter I don’t know. The Sikhs are present in each continent and most countries. I think the scene is being set for the Sikhs to work hard and support humanity; and spread God’s rule.

  144. “I think the scene is being set for the Sikhs to work hard and support humanity; and spread God’s rule.” – Satnam Kaur

    Tony and all,

    Creation’s rule. The rule of the Cosmos. Make Mama Nature the Ruler.

    Again Sikhs do not believe that Nature is fallen and evil, and that God is separate. Creation and Creation are One. God is Nature and also the core of our very own natures.

    “God” is as very loaded word, isn’t it? I am tempted to use “the Tao” as a better translation, but the Tao is too impersonal a concept.

    “The Sikhs are a minority but Guru Gobind Singh measured each Sikh being equal to a quarter million strength, why quarter I don’t know. The Sikhs are present in each continent and most countries. I think the scene is being set for the Sikhs to work hard and support humanity; and spread the Beloved One’s rule.” Satnam Kaur, with KRK edit.

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  145. Here is what guru says about rule of the Beloved.

    This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Maaroo on Pannaa 1071 of Siri Guru Granth Sahib

    Maaroo, Solahas, Fifth Mehla:

    One Universal Creator. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

    He infused His power into the earth.

    He suspends the heavens upon the feet of His Command.

    He created fire and locked it into wood. That God protects all, my brothers. ||1||

    He gives nourishment to all beings and creatures.

    He Himself is the all-powerful Creator, the Cause of causes.

    In an instant, He establishes and disestablishes; He is your help and support. ||2||

    He cherished you in your mother’s womb.

    With every breath and morsel of food, He is with you, and takes care of you.

    Forever and ever, meditate on that Beloved; Great is His glorious greatness! ||3||

    The sultans and nobles are reduced to dust in an instant.

    God cherishes the poor, and makes them into rulers.

    He is the Destroyer of egotistical pride, the Support of all. His value cannot be estimated. ||4||

    He alone is honorable, and he alone is wealthy,

    within whose mind the beloved abides.

    He alone is my mother, father, child, relative and sibling, who created this Universe. ||5||

    I have come to beloved’s Sanctuary, and so I fear nothing.

    In the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, I am sure to be saved.

    One who adores the Creator in thought, word and deed, shall never be punished. ||6||

    One whose mind and body are permeated with the beloved, the treasure of virtue,

    does not wander in birth, death and reincarnation.

    Pain vanishes and peace prevails, when one is satisfied and fulfilled. ||7||

    My beloved and Master is my best friend.

    The Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts, is in all places and interspaces.

    Meditating, meditating in remembrance on the Perfect Transcendent beloved , I am rid of all anxieties and calculations. ||8||

    One who has the Name of the beloved has hundreds of thousands and millions of arms.

    The wealth of the Kirtan of the beloved’s Praises is with him.

    In His Mercy, beloved has blessed me with the sword of spiritual wisdom; I have attacked and killed the demons. ||9||

    Chant the Chant of the beloved , the Chant of Chants.

    Be a winner of the game of life and come to abide in your true home.

    You shall not see the 8.4 million types of hell; sing His Glorious Praises and remain saturated with loving devotion||10||

    He is the Savior of worlds and galaxies.

    He is lofty, unfathomable, inaccessible and infinite.

    That humble being, unto whom beloved grants His Grace, meditates on Him. ||11||

    beloved has broken my bonds, and claimed me as His own.

    In His Mercy, He has made me the slave of His home.

    The unstruck celestial sound current resounds and vibrates, when one performs acts of true service. ||12||

    O beloved , I have enshrined faith in You within my mind.

    My egotistical intellect has been driven out.

    beloved has made me His own, and now I have a glorious reputation in this world. ||13||

    Proclaim His Glorious Victory, and meditate on the beloved of the Universe.

    I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to my beloved.

    I do not see any other except Him. The beloved pervades the whole world. ||14||

    True, True, True is beloved .

    By Guru’s Grace, my mind is attuned to Him forever.

    Your humble servants live by meditating, meditating in remembrance on You, merging in You, O One Universal Creator. ||15||

    The Dear beloved is the Beloved of His humble devotees.

    My beloved and Master is the Savior of all.

    Meditating in remembrance on the Naam, the Name of the beloved , all desires are fulfilled. He has saved the honor of servant Nanak. ||16||1||

  146. Dear Kamala Kaur ji,

    You wrote:
    “The Sikhs are a minority but Guru Gobind Singh measured each Sikh being equal to a quarter million strength, why quarter I don’t know…

    The actual phrase is Sava Lakh…. 125,000.
    In Punjabi Society..the Sava..25% more than whole..1.25 is ver popular concept..thus we always give USD 1.25…Rupees 1.25 as Collection in a Gurdwara…thats the bare minimum. Next would be 11, 21, 31, 51, and 101..and so on…alwys NEVER a Round Figure. Thats “Sikh” Numerology for you (if theres one ).
    But seriously imho Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared The KHALSA a “notch” above the ordinary..thats why it is known as “Sava Lakh se EK larroan..tabii Gobind Singh Naam Kahooan..meaning.. EACH of the Khalsa shall do battle alone with a force of 125,000..then only shall i be called Guru Gobind Singh…This was amply proved on the Battlefields of Chamkaur Sahib..and modern SARAGARRHEE in Afghanistan. Sikhs have so many “Alamos” in their history….

    Jarnail Singh

    In a Sikh wedding if the Grooms side donate USD 21….then the Brides side will give out USD 11 ( the Grooms side will always leave room for the Brides side to save “face” because the Brides side may NEVER go above the sum donated by the Grooms side or it spells “trouble” both sides will discreetyly find out/work it out

  147. Donation competition might be more cultural than Sikh. The Sikh wedding is I think unique as it is between the bride, bridegroom and the Creator. The concept has been based on the sabad from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib- a journey of the soul to recognise and love the Creator and finally merge with the Creator. Within the wedding both souls should work together and help each other to meet the Creator.
    Guru Granth Sahib is then opened (at page 773) and the first stanza of the Lavan quartet is read from it. The same stanza is then sung by the choir while the couple slowly and reverentially circumambulate the Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, clockwise, the bridegroom leading and the bride following, both continuing to hold their ends of the scarf throughout. They bow together before the Guru Granth Sahib before rising up for the circumambulation and again before resuming their seats on completing it. This process is repeated for each of the remaining three stanzas. The ceremony is concluded with the customary singing of the first five and the concluding hymn of Anandu followed by ardas, in which the whole congregation joins; yak or hukam (reading a verse from Guru Granth Sahib opened at random) is then received and karahprasad, the Sikh sacrament, distributed.

    Translated into English the Lavan quartet or the Sikh epithalamium would read

    First Lavan

    By the first nuptial circuiting The Beloved sheweth ye His
    Ordinance for the daily duties of wedded life
    The Scriptures are the Word of the Beloved ,
    Learn righteousness, through them,
    And the Beloved will free ye from sin.
    Hold fast to righteousness,
    Contemplate the Name of the Beloved ,
    Fixing it in your memory as the scriptures have prescribed.
    Devote yourselves to the Perfect and True Guru.
    And all your sins shall depart.
    Fortunate are those whose minds
    Are imbued with the sweetness of His Name,
    To them happiness comes without effort;
    The slave Nanak proclaimeth
    That in the first circling
    The marriage rite hath begun.nuptial

    Second Lavan

    By the second circumambulation
    Ye are to understand that the Beloved
    Hath caused ye to meet the True Guru,
    The fear in your hearts has departed;
    The filth of selfness in your minds is washed away,
    By having the fear of God and by singing His praises
    I stand before Him with reverence, The Beloved is the soul of the universe!
    There is naught that He doth not pervade.
    Within us and without, there is One God only;
    In the company of saints
    Then are heard the songs of rejoicing.
    The slave Nanak proclaimeth
    That in the second circling
    Divine Music is heard.

    Third Lavan

    In the third roundabout
    There is a longing for the Beloved
    And detachment from the world.
    In the company of the saints,
    By our great good fortune,
    We encounter the Beloved .
    The Beloved is found in His purit
    Through His exaltation,
    Through the singing of His hymns.
    By great good fortune we have risen.
    In the company of the saints
    Wherein is told the story
    Of the Ineffable Lord.
    The Holy Name echoes in the heart:
    Echoes and absorbs us.
    We repeat the Name of the Beloved ,
    Being blessed by a fortunate destiny
    Written from of old on our foreheads.
    The slave Nanak proclaimeth
    That in the third circling
    The love of God has been awakened in the heart.

    Fourth Lavan

    In the fourth walk-around
    The mind reaches to knowledge of the Divine
    And God is innerly grasped:
    Through the Grace of the Guru
    We have attained with ease to the Lord;
    The sweetness of the Beloved
    Pervades us, body and soul.
    Dear and pleasing is the Beloved to us:
    Night and day our minds are fixed on Him.
    By exalting the Beloved
    We have attained the Beloved :
    The fruit our hearts desired;
    The Beloved has finished His work.
    The soul, the spouse, delighteth in the Beloved’s Name.
    Felicitations fill our minds;
    The Name rings in our hearts:
    The Beloved God is united with His Holy Bride.
    The heart of the Bride flowers with His Name.
    The slave Nanak proclaimeth
    That in the fourth circling
    We have found the Eternal Beloved . (SGGS 773 -74)

  148. Tony and Sam,

    Will you be moving this thread to your new site too? Can we have the link? Looks great over there!

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  149. The Sikhs should should not worry and leave the worrying to the One God who worries about all.

    I was made redundent recently and I was of course worried as I had three weeks to find an aternative job. Blessings!! The Beloved found the job I wanted near home and I start on 3 September.

    Here is what the Guru said:
    Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa
    SSGS page 467
    Salok, First Mehla:

    Men, trees, sacred shrines of pilgrimage, banks of sacred rivers, clouds, fields,

    islands, continents, worlds, solar systems, and universes;

    the four sources of creation – born of eggs, born of the womb, born of the earth and born of sweat;

    oceans, mountains, and all beings – O Nanak, He alone knows their condition.

    O Nanak, having created the living beings, He cherishes them all.

    The Creator who created the creation, takes care of it as well.

    He, the Creator who formed the world, cares for it.

    Unto Him I bow and offer my reverence; His Royal Court is eternal.

    O Nanak, without the True Name, of what use is the frontal mark of the Hindus, or their sacred thread? ||1||

    The next Shabad is by Guru Angad in Raag Raamkalee on Pannaa 955

    Salok, Second Mehla:

    O Nanak, don’t be anxious; the Beloved will take care of you.

    He created the creatures in water, and He gives them their nourishment.

    There are no stores open there, and no one farms there.

    No business is ever transacted there, and no one buys or sells.

    Animals eat other animals; this is what the Lord has given them as food.

    He created them in the oceans, and He provides for them as well.

    O Nanak, don’t be anxious; the Beloved will take care of you. ||1||

  150. Look, all religions are a vehicle to get us to a place where we can accept the great tomorrow. How you want to get there and how I want to get there, well, it may be different. But its the same search.

    So you go your way and I’ll go mine, but my route is one of tolerance and respect for other peoples’s opinion because I’m still open to learning.

    And learning, before religion, is how we can expect to understand.

    Respect each other, for God’s sake respect each other. He must has said that some where.

  151. Yes, all religions are vehicles. Do all people use these vehicles to go in search?

    Who do we respect? Respect has to be earned. We respect what people do and why? True there are many differnt people and many different ways. I have picked up two sabads from Siri Guru Granth Sahib where the Guru wants to serve and respect others. Guru’s aim is not to offend but speak out the truth and not all can speak or bear the truth.

    This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji ( Fifth Mehla) in Raag Prabhaatee on Pannaa (SGGS page) 1338.

    Prabhaatee, Fifth Mehla:

    Serving God, His humble servant is glorified.

    Unfulfilled sexual desire, unresolved anger and unsatisfied greed are eradicated.

    Your Name (Essence of God) is the treasure of Your humble servant.

    Singing His Praises, I am in love with the Beloved. ||1||

    You are known, O God, by Your devotees.

    Breaking their bonds, You emancipate them. ||1||Pause||

    Those humble beings who are imbued with God’s Love

    find peace in God’s Congregation.

    They alone understand this, to whom this subtle essence comes.

    Beholding it, and gazing upon it, in their minds they are wonderstruck. ||2||

    They are at peace, the most exalted of all,

    within whose hearts God dwells.

    They are stable and unchanging; they do not come and go in reincarnation.

    Night and day, they sing the Glorious Praises of the Beloved. ||3||

    All bow down in humble respect to those

    whose minds are filled with the Formless.

    Show mercy unto me, O my Divine Lord and Master.

    May Nanak be saved, by serving these humble beings. ||4||2||

    This Shabad is by Guru Raam Daas Ji in Raag Kaanraa on Pannaa 1308

    Kaanraa, Fourth Mehla:

    O mind, chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, and be carried across.

    Whoever chants and meditates on it is emancipated. Like Dhroo and Prahlaad, they merge in the Lord. ||1||Pause||

    Mercy, mercy, mercy – O Dear Lord, please shower Your Mercy on me, and attach me to Your Name.

    Please be Merciful, and lead me to meet the True Guru; meeting the True Guru, I meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||1||

    The filth of egotism from countless incarnations sticks to me; joining the Sangat, the Holy Congregation, this filth is washed away.

    As iron is carried across if it is attached to wood, one who is attached to the Word of the Guru’s Shabad finds the Beloved. ||2||

    Joining the Society of the Saints, joining the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, you shall come to receive the Sublime Essence of the Beloved.

    But not joining the Sangat, and committing actions in egotistical pride, is like drawing out clean water, and throwing it in the mud. ||3||

    The Beloved is the Protector and Saving Grace of His humble devotees. The Beloved’s Sublime Essence seems so sweet to these humble beings.

    Each and every instant, they are blessed with the Glorious Greatness of the Naam; through the Teachings of the True Guru, they are absorbed in Him. ||4||

    Bow forever in deep respect to the humble devotees; if you bow to those humble beings, you shall obtain the fruit of virtue.

    Those wicked enemies who slander the devotees are destroyed, like Harnaakhash. ||5||

    Brahma, the son of the lotus, and Vyaas, the son of the fish, practiced austere penance and were worshipped.

    Whoever is a devotee – worship and adore that person. Get rid of your doubts and superstitions. ||6||

    Do not be fooled by appearances of high and low social class. Suk Dayv bowed at the feet of Janak, and meditated.

    Even though Janak threw his left-overs and garbage on Suk Dayv’s head, his mind did not waver, even for an instant. ||7||

    Janak sat upon his regal throne, and applied the dust of the nine sages to his forehead.

    Please shower Nanak with your Mercy, O my Beloved and Master; make him the slave of Your slaves. ||8||2||

  152. Really enjoyed the viewpoints from so many different people regarding praxis of Sikh faith and theology. But ground-zero reality , a living dynamic relationship with a true God and heart to heart connection with man’s felt and real needs are things people cry out for. It’s talk and action modelled in people lives that makes a praxis of faith attractive and to desire more of God. Visit us at and see what God is amazing doing in the lives of people.

  153. Indeed God changes lives. Sikhi requires that you have to make a choice and change your life and give up the previous ways, in fact it wants the head on the hand.

    I am surprised that Pritam has left Sikhi and yet keeps the uniform of Sikhi by calling himself a Singh. I feel he is riding on two boats and is more likely to fall in the sea. He needs to make up his mind and accept the change God has made for him. He should believe in his chosen faith and change his name as he is not Guru’s Sikh any more.

  154. 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 . . . at the fundamental core of our relationship with God is a HEART issue and not a matter of form or appearances. We can fool no one or everyone but we cannot fool God. Our lives are laid bare to our Maker who looks into the innermost parts of our thoughts, being and attitudes. I am a saint and soldier for Jesus Christ [this words/terms are biblical in nature!!! having willingly made a conscious decision to follow the path of truth, holiness and righteousness. My heart is radically and dynamically changed within me . . . I am still the same person outwardly with neat short hair, prefers to wear jeans and T-shirts with the ocassional suit and tie, eat a simple well-balanced meal for my body is a temple of God, . . . but the metaphorphosis of my life from sinner to saint is a work of God purpose in my life. I am proud of my name G. Pritam Singh Sandhu and will not change it for anything. My name even has a prophetic divine significance and character. Visit and the stories of changed lives. You are in my prayers.

  155. Thank you Tony Carson, for allowing space for a discourse about faith. With every blessing to you, Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu. . . Founder, South Asian Connection and nIternational Coordinator, South Asian Global Convention [SAGC] . SPREAD THE WORD AROUND South Asian Connection *Serving God’s Purposes in Our Generation [Acts 13:36] . . . writing in from Singapore! I used to be a backpacker travelling to some of the most beautiful places on earth. I wished blogging was introduced in the 80’s . . . so much of my memories are in the tablets of my heart! Life with God is a Faith Adventure Par Excellence.

  156. We celebrating the birth of Guru Nanak on 20 November and visited three Gurdwaras in West London. It was 10.30pm and my Sister-In-Law rang to say she was in the Gurdwara and there are hundreds of Sikhs of all colures and many nations meditating on the Naam given by Guru Nanak. It was 2.30am before I got home.
    Guru Nanak’s message is giving peace to many. It was a blessing upon this earth the day Guru Nank was born. All the best to all.

  157. Hi Tony and All,

    Again, thank you for this wonderful thread. I have shared it with many Sikhs and nonSikhs and you have inspired me to start a wordPress blog called Kamalla Rose Kaur’s Kitchen.

    I need a blog coach now. You game?

    Kamalla Rose Kaur

  158. Dear all,

    Yesterday, all of a sudden the lights in our house went off and we were left in the darkness.

    Harjinder Singh, my husband had a look at the fuse box but no joy. Then he called his Sikh friend who came within minutes with a head light around his turban and fixed the fuse and lit our house again.

    His name is Amrik Singh and lives a true Sikh life – following Guru Granth path.

    Satnam Kaur

  159. Dear all,

    You are welcome to view the KhalsaKnighhood blog. You will find it interesting.
    Do ask questions.

    Satnam Kaur

  160. White Sikhs, talking about the Sikhs in Panjabi.

  161. I hope more women read this and decide not to be second class citizens we are taught sikhism is about equality we need to earn this equality i will be shoving my feministic principles down sikh mens throats until we are all accepted as equals.

  162. i like the sikh and allways knew there was somethink very special about them.
    even the non religious sikhs are nice people !

    the funny thing is that they believe in what all people want e.g. equal rights for all religions cultures genders etc.. and ironically all of this is echoed by their identity- the turban and 5 k’s.

    the sikhs r so visible by their turbans and identity, and yet equally invisible because no one whos who they are,

  163. I am proud to be a Sikh.

  164. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve
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  165. Thanks for finally talking about >Who are the Sikhs? | Carsons Post <Liked it!

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