These days everybody, who is sympathetic towards the Sikh religion, is worried about the problem of its preaching system. In the form of Guru Granth Sahib, we have been gifted with the gurmat principles for the welfare of all, which, if spread in a better manner, can bring up the new possibilities, not only for our young generation but for the whole humanity.
Today the existence, identity and the number of followers of world’s any religion are due to its achievements, diversities, and qualities.
Now if we have a closer look at our community and our religion then where are we standing? We would come across the facts that our identity is in danger; our number is very less. One of the other major visible challenges in front of the Sikh identity is the cutting of hair by Sikh youth which require a need of serious investigation. Our number is very less; its results are worrying. Any community, which gets established after a long struggle, when gains a high status then it starts enjoying the pleasure and luxuries, which they have earned from the struggle, and that is the time when the feeling of communal brotherhood starts deteriorating. Now we prefer our materialistic interests over the spiritual values.
The critics and the enemies of Sikh religion are fully aware of fact that to make Sikhs ineffective, they will have to wait until the religious emotions within them die completely because this religious enthusiasm bears a continuous motivation in them to sacrifice themselves. We would have to find the ways to retain these religious emotions in us. While remembering the worldwide famous poems ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Paradise Regained’ written by an English writer, Milton, I feel that now our community is in the Paradise Lost phase and we should try for the Paradise Regained.
To understand every question and every secret of this world, we must have the knowledge of some method. Every philosophy in the world has some basic principle and without understanding these basic principles, we can not get the in-depth knowledge of that philosophy. The same rule applies to the religions also. Every religion has a fundamental principle, without understanding which, the reality and philosophy of that religion can not be understood. In the same way, without understanding the Shabad Guru – Guru Granth Sahib, it’s impossible to understand the Sikh religion.
It is a fact that in the present times, we are running in a race to compete with each other to gain the materialistic luxuries. It is an age of competition and the duties for the home, family, religion, legacy, culture and community have left far behind. We are living in the 21st century. Getting connected with Knowledge, Science, having the understanding of today’s technology and adopting it in our life has become a necessity but breaking away from our roots is like leaving our moral values.
The very first step to eliminate any religion or any community is to delete its memories. No religion can flourish further if its guardians are not intelligent and capable enough. Only those communities can sustain, which successfully handover their religious and historical legacy, their language and their culture to their next generations.
The leaders, intellectuals of our community and all of us will have to sit together, think and try to find how we can save our turned away generations from this darkness. We always talk about the moving ahead of communities and religions, but wise people say that sometimes we need to stop and introspect.
Talking about the introspection, we would have to introspect lot of concerns. Our concern is that the education system of these days is developing the children as a money-earning machine only, would this education system develop the capability of a being a good human or creating a good society. Our concern is that the parents these days complain that their children are out of their control and disobey them. The children are not treating their parents rightly, they are not respecting them, they are not taking proper care of their parents, the same parents who shared every single happiness with their children, provided them every possible comfort and kept every pain away from them in the best possible manner. Our concern is that our children, our youngsters, are denying their language, their legacy and their looks. This is such an issue which is directly related to our existence and personality. The children, youngsters and the whole next generation of our community is disappointed, and hence turned away from Sikhism. We must try to find its reasons.
Guru Nanak Sahib named us ‘Sikh’, before Him we were the slaves. Guru Nanak Sahib made us alive; due to His love we got a new birth. Guru Nanak Sahib freed us from the caste system and racial discrimination and then gave us an immortal ‘Bani’ for reciting; He gave us the philosophy of Shabad Guru. The Shabad Guru with which Guru Nanak created a new human, would that Shabad Guru capable of turning and bringing back the deviated ones? This is a big question.
There are many reasons; we made the gurudwaras for worshipping, for relief, for peace, but what we have turned them into? Our gurudwaras should have become the ‘School of Thoughts’, the ‘Spiritual Colleges’. These are not spreading the fragrance of Sikhi style of life.
Socrates, a famous philosopher, said, “Not only there is a need to get the knowledge but to renounce the ignorance too.”
Religion is a holy philosophy. Guru Nanak Sahib motivated us to be religious but the anti-religion people of these days consider it as an obstacle in the way of development and technology. Sometime ago, the American President, Bill Clinton, gave the slogan ‘Go Back to Religion’ to the Americans. In the Hobart University, to get the Bachelor of Arts degree, students have to pass a paper of Religion because it is the religion only which teaches the ethical values, truth, patience, morality, humanity, brotherhood and way of living the life to human.
We must remember that this is the age of knowledge and we have been gifted with an ocean of knowledge, Guru Granth Sahib. It has the cosmic vision, so can be called as ‘The Light House of Humanity’. Guru Granth Sahib is the ‘Syllabus of Life’.
Today world is moving towards the ways to make the life better. The whole world is talking about ‘Space for others’, ‘Personality Development’ and ‘Communication Science’, all of these can be obtained from Guru Granth Sahib but the Sikh community, which claims themselves as the owner of Guru Granth Sahib, just does not have the time to understand and make the others understand it. We believe in Guru Granth Sahib but we don’t obey the Guru Granth Sahib. We go to gurudwaras, bow our head in front of Guru Granth Sahib and come back to home. One question could have arisen in the mind of believers of Guru Granth Sahib, “Aren’t we worshipping Guru Granth Sahib like an idol or statue?” The center of communities, around which these revolve, is their religious books only. The communities which treat the rituals and customs as their religion, they gets entrapped in the sludge of ignorance.
We are very much interested in making the buildings of gurudwaras and showing our homage in presenting the expensive ‘Rumales’. Of course it represents our homage and love for our Guru Granth Sahib, but the roots of our homage should be deeper. The roots of homage should be the knowledge.
Guru Granth Sahib talks about every aspect and side of life, the only need is to understand and make others understand it. We respect the outer side of Guru Granth Sahib a lot, but reading, discussing, understanding and making others understand it, do not lie in our agenda. The thinking of a famous philosopher, Betard Russell, is that the efforts done by Sikhs to reveal the beautiful message of Guru Granth Sahib are equal to zero.
Today non-sikh scholars are getting attracted towards the philosophy of Guru Granth Sahib. The world has turned into a global village and only that religious book would be accepted by all which would have the message of brotherhood and love. From this point of view, only Guru Granth Sahib is the single religious book in which there isn’t anything for any special religion, society, caste, or racism but it talks about the whole humanity.
The scholars are thinking to create such a religious model, which talks about the social, economical and religious needs of human. This exists only and only in Guru Granth Sahib.
Today’s biggest need is the need to give ‘dashvand’, i.e. 10%, of our sense, understanding and good behavior. All of us donate money; let’s donate good sense to the community. Let’s close the eyes of our emotions and use the eyes of sense and intellectuality. Let’s all of us water the plant of Sikhi leaving the obsession and passion of homage. We should try to circumambulate our surrounding; we should try to know ourselves. The way we are very much aware of our rights, we should be aware of our duties in the same way.
If we want to preach the Sikhism, we will have to tell the duties and Sikhi to this new world with new heart and new mind. We will have to show the Sikhi in our heart. Now the world would not get impressed with talks and showoff. The Sikh community can touch the hearts of others with their good deeds only. With Shabad Guru – Guru Granth Sahib, not only children would take care of their legacy but people would bow their heads in front of them too. There are three stages of Sikh philosophy:
Dastaar – Look Like A Sikh.
Raftaar – Think Like A Sikh.
Guftaar – Behave Like A Sikh.
Member, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee
Chairman, Gurmat College Gurbani Sangeet Academy
(Mobile No. 09810239084)