It is a great honor for us to present here the first-ever interview of the upcoming Sikh (read human) luminary or we can say ‘the original Sikh thinker’ of Jammu and Kashmir state who has sent neurons-shattering tremors to the hard-crusted intellectual and pathetically rigid outlook of the Sikh leadership towards the grand and pristine concept and dynamic ideology of Sikhism and who has, without doubt, perceptibly and literally shaken the misunderstood and misperceived but rigidly traditional and dogmatic foundations of the unproven and unjustified principles of Sikhism. The great and distinct personality whose first-ever interview we are going to share here is Principal Narinder Singh. He is also the founding member of ‘Tatt-Gurmat Parivar’ – an intellectual society established with the only mission of finding out the lost sheen, splendor, and magnificence of Sikhism while doing research and analysis in the laboratory of truth, logic, justice, and humanity.
Passionately discovering (with open and unrestricted mind), subtly observing the nuances that usually remains overlooked while reading the holy Guru Granth Sahib Ji (out of our own intellectual lethargy and social fear) and bravely disseminating the lost intellectual nuggets of the gold mine of Sikhism to the world (as discovered in its pure, unspoiled, and original form) in general and the followers of the Sikhism in particular has become his only mission in life. He is not an ordinary common man who embraces any religious values without questioning their validity and purpose and who follows blindly all the meaningless and baseless religious (Sikh) rituals and ceremonies – he is not the one who regularly goes to gurudwara out of some fear or to fulfill his need and greed or out of some social obligation, he is not the one who meekly accepts whatever blind practice goes inside the hallow centers of religion (read faith),and he is also not the one who doesn’t question the do’s and don’ts of one’s religion.
The pristine and glorified values and the principles of Sikhism have not been studied, observed, and practiced in a truly practical, unprecedented, original, and uncorrupted form as by him. He doesn’t claim that he has given something new to the Sikhism rather he says that he has just been searching the lost panoramic paradise of the Sikhism or making a humble human effort to discover the lost sheen, lost meaning, and the lost tenor of the genuine and pure concept of the Sikhism as gifted by the ten holy Sikh gurus to the whole humanity. For him organized religion is a threat to the entire mankind as far as their spiritual, mental, emotional, and intellectual maturity is concerned. Religion to him is not truly a religion (as commonly taken as something related to blind faith or the following of some uncanny rituals). For him religion means abiding by the eternal and unchallenged laws of nature e.g lion doesn’t attack and maul deer when it knows that its tummy is sufficiently filled but what can be said about we humans who in spite of knowing that we don’t need even a morsel of food still go on stuffing our tummies and thus end up falling severely ill. If you really want to bathe in the sacred and ambrosial water of pure and fresh knowledge about the Sikhism here is the only opportunity where you can do the same by going through the following interview that we recently took at his residence. It would not do any harm or be exaggeration in itself if we say that this interview was taken shortly afterwards he returned from his ancestral home in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir where he had gone to attend the last rites of his father. In his opinion Sikhism today is slipping behind the clouds of rituals and blind faith. It would also be a great surprise for you to know that while concluding the last rites of his father he didn’t follow the old set religious and conventional traditions and broke the glass ceiling of female oppression and suppression by letting her wife lit the pyre of his beloved father. Doesn’t it seem unprecedented and unconventional event to you and that too at the time when our minds have been hardwired to follow blindly and unquestioningly the dictates of the priestly class?
Lifepotter.com: What are your views about Sikhism?
Narinder Singh: Sikhism today has become ‘a ritualistic pattern of following blind practices’ and nothing else. Sikhism, in my opinion (after thoroughly going through what the ten gurus really wanted to say through the only authenticated and acceptable medium of the Sikh (read mankind) holy book (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji). As seen in other world religions, it is not a faction or a sect. Instead of calling it some factional or splinter group it should be taken as some dynamic way of leading an intellectually empowered, disciplined, open-minded and awakened life while abiding by the eternal and unchallenged laws of the Mother Nature. Sikhism, according to the original interpretation of the reverend Sikh gurus and other respectable luminaries whose words of wisdom are found in the Sikh (read mankind) holy book, is a dynamic and ultimate way of life where one strictly (in a disciplined manner) keeps to the sacred obligation of following the timeless and everlasting natural laws – ever present since the creation of the entire expanding universe. A Sikh is one who keeps on refining and updating his intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual knowledge. We can also say that Sikhism is a set of time-honored and time-tested natural laws that we all need to follow from our birth till the time of our departure from this world.
Lifepotter.com: Is Sikhism religion like Hinduism or Christianity?
Narinder Singh: Not at all! As already said before, Sikhism shouldn’t be taken as some religious philosophy or some blind faith like thing. Sikhism means an ultimate and the paramount way of life adhering loyally, unceasingly, and unfailingly to the ever-present laws of nature. Most of us are even confused about the definition of religion. Religion to us (common majority of us) is keeping blind faith in some supernatural power whose existence can’t be debated and that faith is usually augmented by adding color of hollow, weird, and strange ritualistic practices into it. Sikhism, as founded and propounded by Baba Nanak, was totally different from its today’s and commonly recognized but tarnished form. Baba Nanak didn’t establish any Sikh religion at all, he instead kindled the hibernating intelligence of the masses of that backward and un-enlightened time.
Sikhism meant to him the everlasting and unending learning or the perpetual and timeless search of the values and the principles of truth in their original form and not in their crooked and twisted forms as we can see today.
Lifepotter.com: Are you facing any threats while propagating this timeless concept of Sikhism in its original and unspoiled form?
Narinder Singh: Threats and dangers are the corollaries of espousing the path of truth. The world is not monochromatic i.e dyed in a single color. It is multi-chromatic. Multiple and varied mentalities exist in the world – some act as your foes and some act as your allies, some would understand sooner and some would later, and some would spread flowers in your way and some would throw thorns in your way. It is up to you – how you take the world. You can’t please everyone. We are not world pleasers, we are just the humble followers of truth and humanity. There is no denying the fact that the threats and dangers that were present in the past like the graved ones faced by Copernicus, Galileo, and Socrates are still present aplenty in today’s time of scientific breakthrough, intellectual explosion, mass awakening, and digitization.
The same dogmatic and orthodox people who were protesting against the scientific theory of Galileo (a heretic for that time) that the Earth revolves around the Sun were the ones who later on realized their intellectual impotency and thus in the end unhesitantly and naturally accepted Galileo’s scientific theory. The same people who made Socrates drink hemlock later on realized that what great and wise man Socrates really was. Such threats and dangers usually come in the path of the truth. We know that there are mortal dangers in our path but who can stop people like us for whom absorbing and living awakened and enlightened concept of Sikhism has become the only mission. Threats do come to such people who want to drill the crusty attitudinal and intellectual rigidity of the masses and who also want to revolutionize the way the world has been thinking since time immemorial but they don’t get distracted at all. They know very well their single-minded focus in life. Instead of taking such threats as our enemies we are taking them as our friends as they keep on prodding us that we need to be more courageous and determined while pursuing the sword like path of truth and justice.
As it is worldly known fact that Baba Nanak, being a truly cosmopolitan master, didn’t keep himself restricted only to gurudwaras, he also visited religious centers of other denominations – not just to pay respect to other faiths but also to hammer the prevailing cultural, traditional, and religious absurdities in such sacred centers of worship. Baba Nanak wasn’t afraid of any one (people of any religion or sect) in society as he clearly knew that his path was of truth, justice, and humanity and nothing could be above them – these were the only sum and substance of every religious philosophy and no one can challenge them at any manner. Baba Nanak’s message of spiritual empowerment, rational enquiry, and the service to the suffering humanity was not limited to one particular sect, creed, or factional group(Sikhism) rather it was meant for the whole mankind. Keeping fast, standing upside down, doing pilgrimages, offering milk to stone idols, and blindly following the set cultural and religious practices can be strange means of teasing one’s own bodies but not pleasing that Supreme Supernatural Power which we all adorably call God.
Regretfully, the same blind and meaningless practices and rituals (as challenged and prohibited by Baba Nanak himself) have entered the sacred precincts of Sikhism today. If washing the floor of the sanctum sanctorum (the spot where uninterrupted devotional singing is done and where Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is placed) of the Golden Temple with several buckets of milk is not a ritualistic practice than what? Can’t we use water to clean or consecrate the floor instead of using milk – a precious and valuable liquid meal for the suffering and famished children of the third world countries. Would Baba Nanak feel pleased and glad to see such ritualistic practice of today’s Sikhs? Was this the way to Sikhism as shown by Baba Nanak?
Lifepotter.com: Do you think that the young Sikh blood is really understanding and following what you want to say about the pristine and refined concept of Sikhism?
Narinder Singh: It would not be wrong to say that with the advent of social media – facebook, whatsapp, you tube, and twitter – the youth of today have become historically, culturally, and socially updated. Today, they are as much as intellectually smart and mentally refined as they were intellectually dull and mentally unripe in the past. The Sikh youth of today have become so much open-minded, courageous, and intellectually sharp and potent that the same respectable but rigid Sikh priests and saints who used to discourage and scare them from asking logical questions or who used to be the objects of great reverence and fear for them have become the very objects of mocking and laughter when they see them (wicked saints) indulging in petty human vices. Now nobody feels afraid of being cursed from any saint or honorable religious figure as the awakened people of today’s world have come to know that such saints have no mystical or magical powers with them. Moreover the breakthrough in science and technology has made our task much easier.
Principal Narinder Singh,
Upper Gadi Garh,
Jammu, Mobile No. 9419126791