HAPPY GURPURAB TO ONE AND ALL
Guru Nanak came on earth with a grand universal mission. His mission was to spread and promote the message of Akalpurakh or Waheguru or God – not by wielding sword, which had remained a controversial tradition in some communities, but by the agency of the light of knowledge.
Many of us, even Sikhs, still don’t know his message. The message of Guru Nanak has been polluted more by his own beloved Sikhs than by any other community. It is a matter of great shame and deep embarrassment for today’s Sikhs that they have become the strong and more followers of blind faith and superstitions than any other community at present. The message of Guru Nanak was to establish ‘Universal Peace’, ‘Universal Equality’, ‘Universal Justice, ‘Universal Harmony’ and ‘‘Universal Adoption of Power of Reason or Logic’ and which can be achieved only by embracing the principles of love, justice, equality and rationality.
It is really a matter of grave concern that in spite of having clearly known that Guru Nanak was strongly against blind faith, superstition, caste-discrimination, untouchability, irrational rituals, and other phony customary and conventional practices, today’s Sikhs are still adhering blindly to all such shallow social and religious practices. Today’s Sikhs are not moving according to the preaching and teachings of the Guru. They are not paying due respect to his ideology of truth and logic, rather they are digging a deep pit for the pure, grand and strong image of Sikhism.
Sikhs of today can be seen indulging blindly in one or the other below mentioned blind practices without any rhyme and reason. These practices have been catching momentum from the last few years, even in the modern age. They are as follows:
1. Consulting astrologers to find out the best auspicious date for carrying out any family and professional event like marriage, birth of a newborn, opening of a new business set up, etc.
2. Cupping water in hands and then drinking it from an ‘enclosed cemented water repository’ near the entrance of gurudwaras.
3. Placing money in the hands of a Sikh priest during ‘Ardaas’ or ‘Standing Prayer’. This is done to bribe or make the priest or God happy so that our wishes may get fulfilled or we may be able to enjoy abounding happiness.
4. Dusting (with hands) of footwear placed outside gurudwaras. This practice was started with a grand mission to make one humble but this religious practice instead of killing our flared up ego has now become just an unmeaning daily routine without any real impact over the doers of such practice.
4. Using ‘black footwear’ , ‘a bunch of a lemon and green chillies’ , ‘a cut-out of a ghost like image’ , ‘a handwritten scribble by some saint or some mystical wording or number’, etc. at the door entrance of a business establishment or one’s home.
5. Not washing one’s hair on Thursdays and Saturdays.
6. Donating or offering mustard oil to roadside babas on Saturdays.
7. Keeping fasts and observing ‘Shraadhs’ or ‘Arranging communal feast in order to please one’s ancestors’.
7. Using ‘Sindoor’ or vermilion on their heads by married women.
On the whole, we can say that Guru Nanak Dev may be the first guru of Sikhs but they are also ‘Sikhs’ who totally misunderstood him altogether. They are also Sikhs who neglected the great ideology of the Guru. They are also Sikhs who instead of following the path of truth, honesty, justice and rationality, started embracing all superstitions and blind faith prevalent in the lifetime of the Guru. They are also Sikhs who have started doing discrimination in the name of caste, region and gender.
Guru Nanak said that man and woman enjoy equal rights, then why Sikh women still can’t sing ‘shabads’ (religious verses) at Golden Temple, Amritsar? Why such kind of discrimination with women in Sikhism? Why our Sikhs still not enjoy that communal harmony or communal unity with each other? Why there are so many divisions even in Sikhism itself? One sect says something and another sect says a different thing. Why is it so? Who is responsible for such terrible and critical state of affairs? Is it any outsider? No! It is only Sikhs who are responsible for such a dire state where a Sikh has become an enemy of a Sikh.
Throughout his life, Guru Nanak could be seen travelling far and wide and enlightening the common folk through his gentleman discourses, which were full of spiritual knowledge and power of logic. He never took fight with anyone, bad mouth anyone and moreover his style of teaching or discussion was simple, easily comprehensible and was totally enlightening one. On one hand, his lectures were full of day-to-day’s life examples and on the other hand, they were not targeted to only one particular section or stratum of society.
Guru Nanak never indulged in cheap criticism, rather his discourses, arguments and satire were highly intellectual and insightful ones. One could never dared to challenge his intellectual stature and his power of reason.
His methodology of singing spiritual hymns and bursting various myths related to religion and social life, was really unique and appreciative in nature. He didn’t feel afraid or ever act in a coward manner whenever he saw himself absorbed in debates with highly learned religious pundits, seers and big rulers. Fear was unknown to him. Faith in Supreme God, Truth and Logic were his three potent weapons through which he managed successfully in bursting the balloons of myths, superstitions, shallow and evil cultural and religious practices, and blind faith. While placing his arguments against the adamant and fanatic religious leaders and egoist social gentry of that backward times, he never lost his temper, he never got aggressive and defensive, rather he had always shown a decent approach full of humility, politeness, respect and well manners.
His only mission while travelling around the globe was to disentangle the common folk from the cruel oppression of the wickedness of shallow religion and phony cultural and social practices.
He courageously raised his voice against the long prevailing ‘Sati and Caste system’ of Hinduism. He protested intellectually against the evil practices of untouchability and superstitions connected to social and religious life. He always preferred a life full of reason, truth, honesty, courage and humanism. Deceiving common people on the name of religion and phony social values was something which he loathed a lot and this was the only ‘reason’ that propelled him to take the path of ‘world tour’ to make the people illuminated and enlightened. His simple and clear cut statement “Like a farmer who is unable to offer water to his fields while standing at his home, a devotee or a Sun worshipper can’t offer water to the Sun” was his one of the best argument that he had ever used in his entire life. Many such mind-opening arguments marked his successful and phenomenal spiritual journey on earth. He was really a great, universally respectable and highly learned guru but sadly his teachings were gravely misunderstood by Sikhs themselves or it will not be an exaggeration to say that his teachings have suffered a lethal jolt at the hands of Sikhs or it is we Sikhs who have killed his grand ideology.
Brief Bio-Sketch of Guru Nanak Dev ji
Name: Nanak (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, respectedly called by sikhs and also by some non-sikhs)
Date of Birth: 15-04-1469
Birth place: Talwandi Sabo, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan
Father: Mehta Kalu
Mother: Mata Tripta
Wife: Mata Sulakhni
Children: Sri Chand, Lakshmi Das
Died on: 22-09-1539 (Age69)
Succeeded by: Guru Angad Dev Ji