Truth is Bitter series 5
In the western world especially in North America, when some one asks us whether we are Hindu or Musalmaan, with great pride say we are Sikhs. Most of us hope they do not ask
“ what is the difference”?
I would like to make sure that I have no objection to any person’s religious beliefs or traditions. It is a fundamental human right for a person to believe and practice his or her religion in Canada.
Guru Nanak the founder of Sikhism spread his philosophy by engaging in healthy dialogue based on logic. A ritual or tradition ( marzada ) practiced without logic was rejected by Guru Nanak . However about 300 years after Guru period it is common among Sikhs to practice similar to idol worship or rituals ( Viprin Ke Reet ) by our Hindu friends. Guru Nanak rejected idol worship and therefore not acceptable in Sikhism. Idol worship or Moorti Pooja has a big part in Hindu religion, we have nothing against them as it is their right to do what ever they like to do. The followings are the examples, Sikhs are doing without realizing that they are actually performing idol worship or rituals (Karam Kand) which are against Gurmat philosophy :
- Matha takena (touch with forehead ) the base foundation (cement tharra) of the Sikh flag ( Nishan Sahib ).
- Wash the flag pole with milk.
- Burning incense or light a Diwa at the base (tharra) of the flag pole (Nishan Sahib).
- Matha takena and put flower garland to imaginary Guru’s photographs or Guru’s moorties .
- Matha takena at the main door of the Gurdwara and put dirt on the forehead.
- Matha takena to sangat’s shoes at the Gurdwara ( seen mostly in India ).
- Matha takena or touch the Manji sahib where Guru Granth Sahib is prakashed.
- Viewing Guru Granth Sahib’s page by lifting the Ramala ( darshan karna ).
- Walk around Guru Granth Sahib ( prakarma ) and walk backward in front of Guru Sahib in Gurdwara.
- Place prepared meal tray ( Langar ) in front or near Guru Granth Sahib before sangat start eating the Langar.
- Kirpan bhet to Langar and Karah Prashad to make blessed food.
- Matha takena to fly wisk ( Choor ).
- Wash floor with milk where Guru Granth Sahib will be prakashed in Golden Temple, Amritsar and may be in other places as well.
- Jot Jalani with desi ghee and place near Guru Granth Sahib during Akhand Path.
- Place Water jug near Guru Granth Sahib during Path, to get it blessed with Gurbani.
- Worship and place food offerings at site of mythical small stone or brick structure (matth ), known as martyrs place ( shaheed’s place ).
- Visit Gurdwara on sangrand, puranmasi, amavas and other similar days, whereas Guru advices us that every day has same importance.
Gurbani teaches us that a deity( moorti) made of stone or marble can not help any one as it is a lifeless material thing. If one throw the deity in water it will sink and would not help you to save from drowning. If you hit the moorti with some thing, it will break, in other words the deity can not protect itself. Then how it will help or save the person who is worshiping it, placing food , money, flowers and light a jot in front of the deity? That is what we Sikhs are doing in the above listed examples of idol worship. One see no Gurmat, logic or any scientific explanation in these practices and they do not comply with Guru Granth Sahib‘s philosophy.
Sikhism supposed to be distinct from rest of the world religions. If Sikhs carry on performing practices similar to other religions, we would be considered same as them, then one should not get offended if say, are you Hindu or Musalmaan ?
The time is here for Sikhs to wake up and start using their discerning intellect (bibek budhi) and find out what is happening to Sikh rights in India? In India, the followers of Hinduism (R.S.S) is no longer consider that Sikhism is different from Hinduism, as they have successfully converted Sikhs to practice Viprin Ke Reet, the difference is, they practice in Hindu temples and we Sikhs do it in our Gurdwaras. At present time, in India, Hinduism is trying to bring only Muslim and Christians to their fold, without mentioning Sikhs, because Sikhs are already acting like Hindus. Therefore we are considered Hindus in Sikh clothing (banna ).
Sikhs have unique identity but that is not enough to differ from Hindus, unless we all start living our life the way Guru teaches us. Sikhs spend millions of dollars, their hard earned money on religious institutions ( Gurdwaras ), in turn Sikh sangat do not get single cent’s worth of Guru’s Wisdom ( Gurmat ) from these Gurdwaras. Sikh sangat and the Gurdwara management teams are both responsible for this, but Sikh sangat is more at fault, as the sangat is not knowledgeable for the basic concepts of Gurbani and they also do not ask the Gurdwaras to teach Gurmat. So once the Sangat would get educated with basic fundamental rules of Gurbani ,the problems with rituals would be solved.
Dear Sikhs you have to find out yourself whether you are a Sikh or not. One thing for sure to become a Guru’s Sikh, one has to read and understand Guru Granth Sahib’s bani to become a Gurmukh, only then, what ever Marzada you would like to practice, it should pass the test of logic and science.
Ramjit Singh Mann