Top: The Harimandir Sahib, Golden Temple, of Sikh Dharma
Bottom: Granthi (Sevadar) reads from the Guru during an Akandh Paath
An Akandh Paath is the recitation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, all 1430 pages, start to
finish, by a group of readers, which usually takes about 72 hours. Reciting these words is a
formula for experiencing one's own divinity, inspiring
and uplifting for all those involved. It
is done in original Gurmukhi, English,
or a transliteration.Note:Guru Gaddi Day celebrates
the occasion of Guru Gobind Singh declaring in 1708 that going forward, the Siri Guru
Granth Sahib would forever be the Living Guru of the Sikhs. Today's
Mul Mantra, the opening words of the Guru ...
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE WORD
The Siri Singh Sahib taught about the unique classes of languages. He
called them phonetic languages where the sounds of the syllables impart
meaning by the way they resonate with the archetypal human psyche. He
described Gurmukhi, Sanskrit and French as three such languages. In the
16th century, the second Sikh guru, Guru Angad, created the Gurmukhi
alphabet to phonetically represent many, if not all, languages.
"Guru Angad, the second Sikh Master, invented the Gurmukhi script. Guru Nanak named Guru Angad to succeed him as the Guru for the Sikhs in 1539. Gurmukhi means "from the mouth of the Guru." The Gurmukhi script accomplished something very special. It allowed people to be able to read and pronounce the songs written by Guru Nanak. Up until that point in history, the dialect spoken by Guru Nanak and his contemporaries had no written equivalent. Written languages were reserved for the powerful, the wealthy, and the high-castes. There was no writing or reading based on the common language.
THE GURMUKHI ALPHABET
"The meaning of the Word-Sound is not what is important.
It is the effect of the Word-Sound that matters." -- Hari Singh Khalsa
Gurmukhi was developed to be a very precise phonetic language. By learning to pronounce Gurmukhi, people could not only learn to read and pronounce the songs written by Guru Nanak; they could also learn how to pronounce the songs that Guru Nanak had preserved during his life from other masters and sages, even if those songs were in a completely different language. The purpose of Gurmukhi was not to simply represent the common language of the time, but to allow people to read and sing sacred songs in other languages as well.
Why did this phonetic language develop? And what does it have to do with the Shabad Guru – the Guiding Sound of Wisdom?
Being awakened or enlightened is not simply a mental state. It is a physiological state as well.How we breathe, how the glands secrete, how the nervous system is operating—all of this changes based on what we speak, what we hear, and what we perceive. When Guru Nanak sang his songs, the words he brought forth had a two-fold effect. On the level of language, they imparted a certain philosophical meaning of how to see the world. But in the science of Naad (sound), the songs have the ability to change the physiology of a person and bring them to a more heightened state of consciousness.
IMPORTANT: The invention of Gurmukhi was key to opening the doors of the Shabad Guru to all people. Through learning this very simple, precise method of pronunciation, and by repeating the words of the sages, you begin to induce in yourself the same state of consciousness that they were in when they sang the songs. It begins to create the same changes in the physiology. It opens the door to higher awareness. And all that is required is your breath and voice imitating and repeating those sounds.
This is the essence of the Shabad Guru. It is between you and you. There is no one else involved. It only requires your breath reciting this sacred poetry. By this practice, there is a process you undergo within your own ego and identity to transform your awareness to live at these heights." -- Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa
(Ik) Ong Kar, Whaheguru ji ki fateh. Siri Bhagauti ji sahae. Var Siri Bhagauti
patshahi dasmeh. Pritum Bhagaute simar kai, Guru Nanak lain dhiae.
Guru te Amar Das, Ram Dasai hoin sahae. Arjun Hargobind no, simrau
Siri Har Rae.
Siri Harkrishan diaiai, jis dithe sabh dukh jae. Guru Teg Bahadar
simriai, ghar nau nidh
avai dhae. Sabh thain hoe sahae. Dasvan Patshah, Siri Guru Gobind
Singh Sahib ji,
Maharaj, sabh thain hoe sahae. Dasan Patshah di jot, Siri Guru Granth
Ji de path didar da dhian dhar ke bolo ji... Sat Nam! ... Siri
One Creator of Creation -- all victory is His. May God's Sword be our
After first worshipping the Adi Shakti, the Primal Power, meditate
on Guru Nanak.
Then Angad, Guru Amar Das, and Ram Das,
may they grant us their protection.
Meditate on Guru Arjun, Hargobind, and Siri Har Rae. Meditate on Siri
upon seeing whom all sufferings shall depart. Meditate on Guru Teg
and the nine treasures shall come to you. Supreme is Guru
Gobind Singh, protector of the Faith, Master of the unity, may he protect us
The Light of the ten gurus, the living Guru, Word of God, and Truth
the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, by meditating on it Words, all sufferings
Meditate O pure ones and utter... Sat Nam! ... Siri
is nothing but your own inner consciousness.
Now I will agree with you that you cannot always
feel this God, but that is because you think that you
are separate from God. We call it Maya.
Maya is the
illusion of separateness: it is the quicksand of this life.
Sometimes we sink into this quicksand and then we
need a hook; we need some guidance to help us pull
ourselves out so that we can continue our journey.
The hook that we use to do this is called the Guru." Life According
To Yogi Bhajan.com.
"One Hukam* per day prevents Truth decay."
purpose is the celebration of Naam (the Word)."
Dharma was founded by Guru Nanak Dev
in the Punjab area of Northwestern India, now Pakistan, in the 15th
Century. The Sikhs that live there speak the Punjabi language. The
word “guru” means one who can take you from darkness to
light and guides you on the right path. After his death a series of
nine Gurus led the Sikh Panth, i.e., the Sikh community, until 1708
At this time this function passed to the Panth and the Siri Guru Granth
Sahib, which is the 11th and remaining Guru.
Siri Guru Granth Sahib is composed and compiled by the Sikh Gurus
themselves. Therefore, it is original and authentic.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib does not contain any autobiography of any
of the Gurus, or Sikh history. It contains Hymns, i.e., Psalms, which
direct one to lead a truthful and spiritual life, a message for the
whole of humanity.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurmukhi script, the actual
contemporary language of the Gurus. See WhaHe
*Hukam: Random reading from the Guru, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This Guru, in book form, contains psalm-like songs authored by the Sikh Gurus, and other Sikh, Hindu and Muslim saints -- thirty-six authors in all, while they were in God consciousness. These speak of everyday situations and worldly activities, emotions and attachments, and the options or means we have to transmute emotion into devotion and become attached to the Divine. Siri Guru Granth Sahib begins with Japji Sahib, which begins with EK -- Oneness, which expresses the entire meaning of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib -- to be at ONE with the Divine. Before "taking a Hukam" it is customary to recite "Ardas," an invocation that calls on the Primal Power, and the eleven Sikh Gurus, including Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
It is a Sikh's sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent.
SECURITY AND SAFETY
GENERAL ORDERS FOR SEVADARS
The Security and Safety Sevadar's duties include...
Monitoring all activities occurring in the presence of the Guru as well as other activities of the members in order to maintain
a safe, hazard-free environment, and a peaceful, respectful Gurdwara decorum.
Assisting the Sangat in the performance of their worship and
other activities, especially to include the arrival and departure
of families with young children, giving aid and comfort to the
elderly and the infirm, and greeting visitors.
Taking direct Protective and/or Defensive Action in the event
of emergency circumstances such as fire and medical response,
disruptive or disorderly activity, or any act of aggression
occurring within or without the Gurdwara or amongst members.
The gathering and dissemination of intelligence data, and the
subsequent alerting of sangat members, and appropriate local
authorities to the existence of issues or circumstances involving
imminent or potential risk to the security of the Guru, sangat
members, or Gurdwara property.
Interfacing with, and assisting Local Fire and Medical Emergency
or Law Enforcement Response Team members in order to maintain
appropriate and respectful decorum in any emergency conditions
occurring in the presence of the Guru or upon the Gurdwara property,
NOTE: The above mission statement is intended to be general
in nature as opposed to specific, since it applies to the commonalities
of all Gurdwaras. ‘Special Orders’ are to be formulated
and disseminated mostly by local sangat members after consultation
with local Fire, Medical Emergency, Law Enforcement or other
agencies, and thereafter applied to the conditions peculiar
to local requirements, which may vary according to the Gurdwara
layout, structure, or the other unique geographical, economic,
and technical considerations of a specific Gurdwara.
Security does not happen by accident.
Security is herein defined as those actions or systems,
which minimize or prevent any adverse impact on our
sense of well-being, and our pursuit of happiness.
With rare exception, nobody wants to think about
Security, but everybody wants and needs to feel secure.
We can choose to be proactive-secure or reactive-sorry.
NOTE: We can view the subject of Security as an unpleasant, even terrifying concept, or as a fearless, even exhilarating exercise in courage. We can choose to be passive, wimpy victims,
or proactive, fearless survivors. To those members of the Sadh Sangat who choose
to remain in denial with regard to matters of Security
and Safety, who either claim that Gurdwara Security is unnecessary,
or who dismiss any thought of improving Gurdwara Security, I suggest
that you not only recall the tragic events of the August 5, 2012 Gurdwara
assault in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School
killings in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012, but that you
recall the days of Operation
Blue Star, the tragic assault on the Guru in Amritsar, India, June 1-6, 1984, a week which will live in infamy...
the event that involved the desecration of the Golden
Temple, and the destruction of the Akal Takht.
Going back much farther, remember Aurangzeb? Keep in mind also that the Siri
Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma established a policy whereby a Security
and Safety Sevadar is posted at the door of the House
of Guru Ram Das Gurdwara in Los Angeles, California, even to this
day. His vision being that Gurdwara Security and Safety is not about acting out
of fear, it is about selflessly serving the Guru and the Sangat while
fearlessly defending the weak and protecting the innocent for which
Sikhs have a sacred duty. See Refuse To Be A Victim Course. See World's
Worst Mass Shootings.See How To Build A Team at Plus1Equals11.com.See Women: Wimps or Warriors?. See Are You Among The 'Unchurched'?
SANT SIPAHI - SOLDIER SAINT
JAPJI SAHIB - 37TH PAURI
Karam khand ki bani jor. Tithai hor na koi hor. In the realm of Karam, the Word is Power.
No one else dwells there,
Tithai jodh maha-bal sur. Tin meh ram rahia bharpur. Except the Warriors of great power, the Spiritual Heroes.
They are totally fulfilled, imbued with the Lord's Essence.
Tithai sito sita mehma mahi. Ta ke rup na kathne jahi. Myriads of Sitas are there, cool and calm in their
majestic glory. Their beauty cannot be described.
Na ohi marahi na thage jahi. Jin kai Ram vasai man mahi. Neither death nor deception comes to those
within whose minds the Lord abides.
Tithai bhagat vasahi ke loa. Karahi anand sacha mani soe. The Devotees of many worlds dwell there.
They celebrate; their minds are imbued with the True Lord...
is a blend of saint and soldier; this is a complete person.
are not a soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you
are only a
soldier, not a saint, you will start kicking others around." -- Yogi
"I can think of a number of fanatical, over-zealous religious groups who
would do us all well to take Yogi Bhajan's advice." -- Hari Singh Khalsa
Sat Nam. The Siri Singh Sahib was asked to express his priorities for a community gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply, “Security, Security, Security.” I share his vision. I have the concern that with the passage of time, nay, even as we speak, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre will fade away just as the memory of the infamous 1984 Operation Blue Star attack on the Sikhs in India seems to have disappeared from our recollection. Many Sikhs simply tag these events as the will of God and Guru, which is true, but we cannot stop there. There is a deeper message, a challenge, that has apparently gone unnoticed, i.e., our sacred duty to fearlessly "defend the weak and protect the innocent," just as Guru Gobind Singh taught us. So, I am requesting that the Sikh ministers act to meet our present day challenges. Not out of a sense of fear or apprehension, but with the same courage and fearlessness as did Guru Gobind Singh and our beloved Siri Singh Sahib. I urge my fellow ministers to answer this call by purchasing the Active Shooter Survival Training DVD shown below, and sharing it with their respective sangats. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh.
BE PREPARED AVOID BECOMING A HELPLESS VICTIM GET THIS SURVIVAL TRAINING DVD, NOW!
A reality-based training production.
Training covers the following topics.
Planning for Survival
Stopping the Shooter
Escaping the Violence
Hiding from the Shooter
Preventing Violent Intrusions
Collective Survival Strategies
Disrupting the Shooter’s Intentions
Training includes a step-by-step how-to, such as:
Protecting yourself from extreme violence
Responding to an active shooter
Managing workplace violence
Improving Gurdwara security
Becoming better prepared
Saving innocent lives
Points To Ponder
Most people are reactive when it comes to their safety and well-being.
Most people respond only after threats have materialized and the problem is acute.
This approach brings little solace to the victims and is dangerous.
The most effective security is preventative as well as pro-active.
The radicalization of fringe elements in society is increasing.
The targeting of minorities is nothing new and will continue.
Community preparedness is a must; its absence is a liability. --
Alon Stivi, CEO, Direct Measures International
value is not in how many experiences you have had.
It is in your stability -- in how much sacrifice you can do.
Your value is in how effectively and how consistently you can
live for others. Your value is in how you can take command of
yourself and others in any situation. Your value is in your capability
of firmly planting yourself in the neutrality of your higher consciousness
and standing as a pillar of strength, turning every negative to a
Your value is how quickly you are there when the call comes." -- Yogi Bhajan
consciousness is a state of being whereby we live in service
to humanity, inspiring and assisting others to do the same. And while
it is our sacred purpose to celebrate Naam and live as saints,
it is our
sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent." -- Hari Singh
Q: DOES YOUR SANGAT OR GURDWARA NEED MORE SECURITY? CONTACT YOUR POLICE DEPARTMENT TO GET A SECURITY AUDIT.
Q: DOES YOUR SANGAT HAVE A GURDWARA SECURITY COMPONENT?
IF NO, YOU CAN GET HELP ORGANIZING A SECURITY MISSAL HERE.
IF YOUR SANGAT AND GURDWARA SECURITY IS ADEQUATE,
SHARE YOUR STORY HERE OR CALL 800-528-0413 EXT 354 EASTERN.
RESPONSES ARE CONFIDENTIAL
A POST 9-11 HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION
remains true today, in the ancient tradition of ignorance,
that people of faith and otherwise good sense hasten
to ostracize and demonize any person or group
whose beliefs and customs are unlike their own.
at the Sikh Gurdwara in Fresno, California
Photo courtesy of Christian Parley, The Fresno Bee.
after September 11, 2001, an epidemic of hate crimes against minorities
swept the United States and other countries. The wave of hate crimes and hate violence affected Muslims especially, and anyone perceived to be a Muslim, e.g.,
Sikhs, Arabs, South Asians, Latinos, and other brown-skinned people.
Incidents occurred in every part of the public sphere: houses, roadways, workplaces,
airports, school grounds, and street corners, as well as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras in nearly every major
city in the United States. In targeted communities, places of worship have been burned,
homes vandalized, families threatened, jobs denied, children bullied,
women harassed, men and women beaten and murdered.
RECENT VIOLENT ACTS AGAINST RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
SIX SIKHS SLAIN
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Sikhs murdered at their Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Top left to right, Satwant Singh, Sita Singh, and Paramjit Kaur,
Bottom left to right, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, and Suveg Singh.
Sikh community members in the wake of the Oak Creek murders.
ANOTHER SIKH SLAIN
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Dalbir Singh of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, murdered in his store.
MUSLIM GIRL WOUNDED
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Malala Yousuf Zai, a 14 year old girl, was seriously wounded by religious fanatics for speaking out for peace and human rights. More.
I am a former U.S. Marine and someone who has been involved with Gurdwara and Solstice security for decades. I would like to address what I see as a general absence of security/soldier consciousness within Sikh communities by quoting the Siri Singh Sahib, who said: “Human is a blend of Saint and Soldier; this is a complete person. If you are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around.”
The Siri Singh Sahib was once asked to express his priorities at a 3HO Solstice Sadhana gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply was, “Security, Security, Security.” And since the establishment of the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, and until this very day, a sevadar is posted at the door of the gurdwara as ordered by the Siri Singh Sahib. Security has been a priority consideration since the earliest days of 3HO/Sikh Dharma.
recently speaking with a sangat member regarding the subject of Gurdwara
Security and Safety, she mentioned how she thought she would engage an active-shooter incident
within her community. She said her first instinct would be to physically
cover any potential victims with her body as a shield. I advised her
that this would be exactly the wrong action to take. I suggested that
she think about the instructions given by airline attendants concerning
an in-flight emergency. Passengers are advised to take self-saving
actions first by utilizing their oxygen mask on themselves before
attempting to assist anybody else.
may seem counter-intuitive, but self-preservation must be the first
response in order for other potential victims to be protected and
defended. Contrary to the unfortunate outcomes of numerous recent
horrific events, an active-shooter event is not a situation where potential victims
are without recourse. This is addressed in numerous, simple, and surprising
ways in a survival training video called Survival
Edge: Active Shooter Survival, available at ACTCert.com (ACT stands
for Attack Countermeasures Training), which I urge all communities
to acquire and view. This DVD provides a reality-based, step-by-step
training program that covers how to protect yourself and others from
extreme violence, including responding to an active shooter, managing
workplace violence, improving Gurdwara
security and safety, becoming better prepared, saving innocent
lives and surviving terrorism.
Though the outcome of the shooting event in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012 was horrific, those murders might have been preventable to a significant extent. There are specific actions (some even at the time of the attack) that could have possibly mitigated the outcome.
Since the incident, many Sikhs have opined that as unfortunate as it was, it was the will of God and Guru. This is true. But I opine that the event did not just happen in order to happen. It happened with a clear and challenging message to the Sadh Sangat: as Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh, it is our sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent.
My question is, what are we collectively doing to meet this challenge? What are we doing in the way of securing our communities, whereby we honor our sacred duty?
My concern is that with the passage of time, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre and other tragedies will fade away. I strongly encourage all members of the Sikh community – and especially Sikh Dharma Ministers – to act now to meet this ever-present challenge – not out of a sense of reactionary fear, but with the same attention and fearless dedication as our beloved Siri Singh Sahib.
As a member of the 3HO Solstice Security and Safety advisory team, I am working to help develop programs and awareness, and I am happy to receive communication from sangat members.
In the wake of the attention now being given for and against gun ownership, I have frequently recalled a scene from many years ago with a wince, even a shudder on one hand, and a smile with a head-shake on the other.
Women: Wimps or Warriors?
I was in a mixed group discussing security and gun safety training in which a young woman reluctantly picked up a handgun between her thumb and forefinger as if picking up a dead mouse. The scene stuck with me ever since. And all the recent talk about guns and violence has especially caused me to recall that silly albeit sad scenario. Silly because it looked so comical, sad because it is indicative of where I see many women, today.
a woman is attacked by a gun-toting assailant, her chance
of survival diminishes greatly if she has no training in
survival skills, e.g., martial arts and
"You can view security as a terrifying concept, or as an exercise in courage.
You can be a passive and wimpy victim, or a proactive and fearless warrior."
I am a passionate proponent of a more equitable balance
between our collective Saint-Soldier mind set as Sant
Sipahi. In this context I strongly urge Khalsa parents, especially
women, to consider the following points.
1) Become more familiar with leadership and survival skills, and acquire a working knowledge of firearms in general, and handguns specifically.
2) Consider enrolling your children at the New
Mexico Military Institute, located in Roswell, New Mexico. My
kids graduated high school with honors at NMMI in the early '80s,
the first children of Sikh
Dharma to attend a military school in America. The Siri
Singh Sahib expressed pleasure upon observing
cadet training when he visited NMMI in 1983. He advised us then that he
would have enrolled his own children at NMMI if he had known of its existence. A larger group of Sikh children
who attended the school in India also attended NMMI in the early '90s.
"If you cannot walk together, you
cannot work together." -- Yogi Bhajan
"Those who shall not learn to obey shall never
be in a position to command." -- Yogi Bhajan
"The Synergistic Equation is: 1 Plus 1 Equals 11. When
this synergistic equation is applied, the individual's
'me' morphs into a collective 'we' perspective. The result:
Tasks are accomplished exponentially." -- 1Plus1Equals11.com
NMMI provides an outstanding two year college option for your sons and daughters upon completion of their
time at Miri Piri Academy.
For those families for which MPA is not an option, NMMI has an excellent
four year high school college prep program in addition to their two year
college program, which is ranked #2 in the nation, and for which scholarships
are available. SeeNMMI
Strategic Measures Statistics. The former Sikhi students/graduates
of NMMI provide a testament to the advantages of attending NMMI, which
include a rigorous and challenging lifestyle, camaraderie and fellowship,
and outsanding leadership
training especially, along with NMMI's excellent scholastic program,
which prepared them for additional university training and exciting
careers anywhere in the world. NMMI is the only American prep school
that has a history of accommodating the Sikhi lifestyle, i.e., sadhana, kesh, turban, sipahi training, and vegetarian diet. And it is an excellent environment for our children to learn leadership
and soldiering skills for which the Siri Singh Sahib was a passionate
proponent. The NMMI program offers MPA students and other Sikh youth
is a unique and reasonably cost-effective opportunity to transition
from the Indian to the American experience together, and continue
bonding with their Sikh peers. SeeNMMI
4) Reflect on the Siri Singh Sahib's words, "Human
is a blend of saint and soldier; this is a complete person. If you
are not a soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are
only a soldier, not a saint, you will start kicking others around." SeeWomen Warriors. SeeGurdwara Security. See Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar.
I know of no readily available source of formal leadership
training available to our Sikh youth other than the New Mexico Military
security is local.
Homeland security begins with hometown security."
We gladly accept all, and we will exclude none, for after
all, we're the same - we are all One." -- Guru
Dharma is a householders' spiritual path by which practice
one may, by God's grace, be blessed with the virtue known as
humility along with the good fortune to overcome the mental and
spiritual affliction known as pride." --
M.S.S. Hari Singh Khalsa
Believe all religion and scripture
is an expression of the One Creator.
Respect the rights and freedoms
of all spiritual paths.
Espouse the sanctity of the
path of the householder.
Believe it is God's blessing
to serve others, and to protect the weak.
Derived from a Sanskrit word meaning, Sa-all, and Dhana-blessings.
problem at this moment is the majority of us do not want to do sadhana
(spiritual practice). These unfortunate people are really cursed.
With all the teachings and all the knowledge,
isn't it a curse? It is. Sometimes you use the children as an excuse,
sometimes the husband. One way or the other, there is an excuse. To
be realistic with you, an excuse is an excuse, and sadhana is sadhana.
I know on some days, I am dead tired. I feel I can't do my sadhana.
Then what do I do? I go to the bathroom, I take cold water, and I
wash my face again and again, and again and again, until I understand
that I am fully awake. When I am doing my sadhana, sleep sometimes
wants to overtake me; I get tired. Sometimes I get home late and I
have to get up very early. Then I do pranayam
and I apply some yogic locks.
I do a lot of things that I have learned and I go through it as gracefully
as a humble human being should." -- Yogi
greatest reward of doing Sadhana is that the person becomes incapable
of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a victory
over time and space. Getting up in the morning is a victory over time,
and doing it (sadhana) is a victory over space." -- The
Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma
are specific passages taken from the Guru and read each day.
of the Khalsa Guru
believe in one formless God with many names, Who can be related to
by anybody through meditation. Sikhs
recite the Name many times each
day. And Sikhs do not worship idols or icons. Sikhs believe in karma
and reincarnation as Hindus do, but
they shun the caste system. Sikhs see everybody as having equal status
in the eyes of the Creator.
the 18th century, there were a number of attempts to prepare a codification
of Sikh customs. Sikh scholars and theologians started in 1931 to
prepare the Reht Maryada, the Sikh code of conduct and conventions.
This action has achieved a high level of uniformity in the religious
and social practices of Sikhism throughout the world. The Reht contains
27 articles. Article 1 defines a Sikh as: "Any
human being who faithfully accepts...
and teachings of the ten Gurus, and
The baptism bequeathed
by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe a primary allegiance to any
other religion, is a Sikh."
Articles of Dharma
The Five K's
are five articles or symbols that identify a person as a Sikh. These
include uncut hair Kesh, which is worn under a turban;
a small comb, Kangha; a style of breeches,
Katchera, or shorts, that are worn underneath one’s
clothing; a steel bracelet, Kara, and a small ornamental
sword, Kirpan, which are worn at all times.
the God-given hair and beard, kept unshorn
to sustain him or her in higher consciousness, and to be covered with
the crown of spirituality. The unshorn hair is coiled, and worn in
a jura or knot (bun) on top of the head (crown
chakra), and under the turban. See
the wooden comb, symbol and reminder of the commitment to cleanliness,
and used to groom the hair.
the specially designed cotton underwear, symbol and reminder of the
commitment to purity, and to refrain from sexual relationships outside
of marriage. (Khalsa Sikhs
also vow to refrain from eating meat or using tobacco, alcohol, and
all other intoxicants.)
KARA, the steel ring-bracelet, symbol of Infinity, worn on
the wrist, signifying the unbreakable bondage with Truth, The One
God, The One Reality, and freedom from every entanglement.
the small sword, the symbolic Sword of Righteousness, with which a
committed to righteously defend the innocent, and the fine line of
Truth. See GurdwaraSecurity.com.
Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, gave these five gifts to the Sikhs.
All Sikhs that choose to go through an initiation ceremony called
Amrit, wear these articles of faith. Sikh men take the name Singh,
meaning lion, and women take the name Kaur, meaning princess.
Dharma is a householders' spiritual path by which practice
one may, by God's grace, be blessed with the virtue known as
humility along with the good fortune to overcome the mental and
spiritual affliction known as pride." -- M.S.S. Hari Singh Khalsa
is founded on the principles of global interfaith communities and
mutual inter-community respect and harmony. The founders of Sikhism
defined and preached the principles of interfaith respect, dialogue,
and harmony. All members of the Sikh religion believe in only one
God. Sikhs are monotheists like Jews,
Christians and Muslims.
The Sikh religion promotes equality among all people. That means that
everyone -- men and women -- are treated in the same way. Sikhs are
expected to work hard, to be good and giving people, to worship God,
and provide service for all humanity. A Sikh, by definition, respects
and accepts all other world religions.
Further, the Sikh protects, guards, and allows the free practice of
the customs and rituals of other religions.
many Sikh youths belong to youth groups that are designed for Sikh
children and young adults. These groups teach Sikh youth about their
unique religious and cultural history and traditions. Many of these
youth groups are sponsored by a Sikh Gurdwara.
For Sikh families, the Gurdwara, i.e., Sikh church or temple, is a
gathering place for people to share their religious traditions. It
is the center for Sikh life and is a place where people can gather
for special social ceremonies like those marking a marriage, the birth
of a baby or a death in a family.
Gurdwaras maintain a tradition of 'free' kitchens where food is prepared
and shared with the entire community. People of every
religion are welcome at Gurdwaras, and in the community kitchen.
Also, when people pray and worship in the Gurdwara, everyone sits
on the floor, grouped together. No one sits in front of or higher
than, anyone else. In this way Sikhs demonstrate their sense of social
equality. (Of course, the elderly and infirm are exceptions. These folks may sit in chairs.)
is no mark, which sets apart
The Ever Changeless Light of hearts.
No caste or sect, shape, form or hue;
Imagination can't construe
His Greatness or His countless Names;
The King Who o'er the three worlds reigns;
A million Indras can't compete;
God's men and demons touch His feet.
world's vast fortunes seem as weeds
Amidst the garden of His deeds.
Thus, by His deeds His Name is
Breath of Wisdom, Grace of grace.
Even forests slim or small
In glades and glens repeat the call,
"He is Infinite and All ... Infinite and All."
bow to Thee, Eternal,
Beyond death the Beauteous Form.
To the Merciful and Mighty,
O, I bow to Thee, Unborn;
To the One Who has no costume,
Whos beyond all destiny,
Without treasure, without body, Indestructible is He;
Who is Nameless and cannot be named,
Who occupies no space,
Beyond karma, beyond dharma, beyond need of dwelling place.
I bow to Thee Unconquerable, the Stranger to defeat.
To the Fearless, Self Sufficient One, the One without deceit;
To the One Who has no color, no beginning and no end,
Who is Bountiful and Faultless, Far Too Great to comprehend;
O, I bow to Thee Who art but One and Thee Who many be.
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to Him beyond all deeds, Who wears no special dress,
Who has no country, name or manner, the Desireless.
I bow to Thee Imperishable, Thee from sorrow free;
Beyond attachment, anger, pride, desire and greed is He;
To the One in need of no one, Who is worshipped in three worlds;
The Source of every treasure, He Who cannot be installed.
He Whos free from all affliction, independent of all breath;
He Who organizes and destroys, Who is the Death of death.
I bow to He Who generates, the One Who can't be known.
The Source of passion, strength and grace;
I bow to Thee, Unborn;
He Who is the Supreme Yogi, far beyond all intellect;
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth ...
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth.
bow to He Who has no caste, religion, faith or creed;
Sublime and All Prevailing Beauty, with no lineage;
The Countryless, the Garbless, Homeless, Spouseless, King of all,
Who dispenses death and mercy, He Who takes the shape of all.
O, I bow to the Creator, the Sustainer, the True Lord;
To the One Annihilator, low I bow to Thee Unborn;
To the One Who has no secrets, He Who is the Death of all;
The Creator of all beauties, their destruction and their fall.
I bow to the Sustainer, Omnipresent in all hues;
Who prevails throughout the universe, the Endless Well of Truths.
O, I bow to Thee, Immortal Lord, to Thee untouched by age;
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage ...
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage.
Who is Every Occupation, no relations, no restraint;
To the kind and constant Husband, Aspiration of the saint;
To the Endless and the Infinite, the Love of every soul;
The Creator and Destroyer, bend thou low, this mortal coil.
Bow down to the Lord of Yogis, the Sustainer of the wife;
The Enjoyer of all pleasures, the Caretaker of all life.
Who's kind and understanding, more impartial than the sea;
He Who dries up all life's fluids, O, I bow my God to Thee.
To the Bountiful and Fruitful, Who is not sustained by breath;
Who is Fearless and Desireless, He Who is the Death of death;
Who is Infinitely Gracious, Whos
within and out of me;
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee ...
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee.
bow to Thee, O Virtuous, upon Whom all rely;
He Who lives in everyone, the One from Whom all shapes arise;
To the Moon of moons, the King of kings, the most respected One;
Unto He Who has no comrade, Hymn of hymns and Sun of suns;
He Who is the Dance within the dance, the Sound within the sound.
To the Music of all music, to the Current, I bow down;
To the One Who is the Hand and is the hand's Activity,
Who contains all forms, all maya,
Great and Glorious is He.
Dispute of all disputes, the Supreme Siddha of the verse;
To the User of all weapons, Mother of the universe;
Who is All-Supreme in wisdom, without lust and costume free;
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to He Who cures disease, Who takes our daily care;
Present in both gods and demons, Who is Dutiful and Fair.
He Who knows all forms of cunning, the Embodiment of love;
Who bestows all life and charity, All Seeing Lord above;
To the Mantra of all mantras, Pure of fire and the Pure;
To the Jantra of all jantras, Conqueror of the universe;
The Immortal, Without Master, to the True and Blissful Form;
To the Tantra of all tantras, low, I bow to Thee Unborn.
I bow to He Who rules all wealth, the Brightest of the bright;
To the Seed of seeds, the Song of songs, the Form of dark and light;
To the Honored of all honored, without fear or mystery;
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to the Bestower of all knowledge time and space;
To the Source of love, the Source of strength, salvation, bliss and
He Who takes the form of passion, He Who takes the form of pain;
To the Harshest of the harsh, the Many and the One again;
To the Everlasting Sculptor Who is pleased with every mold;
The Embodiment of kindness, the Controller of the soul;
The Destroyer of the three conditions, future, past and now.
Who is the Life of life, bestowing undestroyable power;
To the Battle of all battles, the Embodiment of peace;
The Unalterable Essence, Formless through eternity;
To the Righteous Lord of Indras, Whos within and out of me;
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee ...
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee. --
dates are given in BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). These
years correspond to the same dates in BC and AD but by defining the
current period as the "Common Era" the nomenclature attempts
to treat all religions and beliefs as equal.
A DIVINE MIRACLE
A GURU, WITH NO HUMAN FORM
BUT AN OCEAN OF ‘NAAM’…
SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
NOT JUST A HOLY BOOK
BUT ‘THE GURU’ FOR ANYONE THAT CHOOSES
TO LEARN TO BE A ‘SIKH’
OF ANY CAST, COLOR OR CREED
A BANI FROM ‘AKAL PURAKH’ WITH THE OMNIPOTENT’S SPIRIT
‘DHUR KI BANI’… AS BEAUTIFULLY SPOKEN
BY OUR BENEVOLENT
BLENDED WITH THE MAGNIFICENCE
OF THE BANI OF THE ‘BHAGATS’
MAKES US COME TO A REALIZATION SO TRUE GURBANI IS THE HEAVENLY LIGHT
THE BEAUTIFUL INSIGHT
AS IT PREPARES A PATH
FOR US TO FOLLOW
IN THE AFTERMATH
AND A PATH
TO FOLLOW IN THIS
AS WE REALIZE THIS WORLD IS BUT
THAT WILL BURST ON THE RUBBLE
AND THEN, THE RIVER OF LIFE
IS NO MORE
NO MORE, IS THERE ANY STRIFE
AS WE HEAD TO GOD
TO ANSWER TO THE LORD
FOR DECEITS, LIES AND ALL…
SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
A LIGHT HOUSE
IN THE STORMY SEAS
OF THIS EARTHLY FIRE HOUSE…
A HEAVENLY SHIP
THAT WILL TAKE US
AND BEYOND THE TURMOIL AND THE BONDS
OF THE EARTHLY PRONGS
THE ANSWER TO OUR EVERY QUESTION
THE DIRECTION TO OUR EVERY MOTION
THE FORGIVER OF OUR EVERY SIN
THAT TAKES US ON TO A JOURNEY
THAT LEADS TO RESURRECTION…
AS WE READ THE PEARLS OF THE ‘GURMUKHI’
THE BEAUTIFUL WORDS
FORM A STRING SO STRONG
UNABLE TO BREAK, SUSTAINING ALONG
AS WE HOLD ON TO IT
FOR A BEAUTIFUL LIFE
AND IN THE HEAVENS BEYOND…
WE ARE IN AWE OF THE MIRACLES OF GURBANI
FOR THE GURU IS IN OUR HEARTS
AS WE READ THE SCRIPTURE OF GURBANI
AS IT LEADS US ON TO A DEEP UNDERSTANDING
FOR OUR REASON TO LIVE…
AS GURBANI STATES “EHO TERA AVSAR EHO TERI BAAR”
AND WE TRANSCEND INTO A STATE OF ‘SEHEJ’
WHERE THERE IS NO NEED
BUT A FEELING BEYOND
TO JUST WANT
THE PRAISES OFWAHEGURU…
EARTHS MAY COME AND EARTHS MAY GO
MOUNTAINS WILL TURN INTO RUBBLE
THEN TURN INTO PEAKS WITH SNOW…
BUT GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI WILL FOREVER BESTOW
BLESSINGS UPON US
AND CARVE A PATH FOR US
BEFORE THEN, FOR NOW, AND FOREVER MORE! --
So Nihal': "One who speaks this shall be blessed."
An exaltation traditionally expressed on occasions when
a rallying affirmation is appropriate. The answer to this
call is 'Sat Siri Akal': "Truth is supreme and