I write columns about my visits to the UK or the Netherlands or about going for a walk, but I also like to preach little sermons at you. My sermons tell you (and me) that if you do what Guru teaches us, you will become happier.
Do you want to be rich without having much money ? Do you want to be happy with who you are and what you do ? Do you want to always think about God ? Do you want to make an honest living and share with others ?
Or are your values about more and bigger motorcars and houses ? Do you think that happiness is in holidays on the other side of the globe, and each time with a different partner who stays with you only because of your money ? If that is your choice you will keep looking for more and more and not find happiness.
We should live a family life, but we should not be attached to our family. We should make an honest living, but should not be attached to the money we earn. We should share our money, goods and time with others.
Mentioning the welfare of all in our prayers is fine, but do we actually work for the welfare of all ? We have to serve all, also those outside our family, outside our circle of friends, those from outside our village, those from outside the Sikh panth. Or are we only doing seva to the sangat in the Gurdwara ?
Simran means meditation and Sikh meditation means thinking about God. Just repeating one of the many words for God that you will find in the Guru Granth Sahib is not good enough. Thinking about God with all you do, that is real simran. Then you will not lie or deceive people. Then you will always help others, regardless whether they are your family members or filthy junkies in the street.
Seeing God in all and everything will make you into a sant-sipahi, a saint-soldier who in a democratic country will fight against injustice and oppression by peaceful means and under a dictatorship might have to resort to armed resistance.
Would present day Sikhs stand up against racism or join racists against those foreigners who are even more unpopular than they are ? Should Sikhs not reach out to low caste people from UP and Bihar who come to Panjab fleeing poverty, discrimination and caste wars in their states ?
Sikhs should be in the forefront of the struggle for equal opportunities for all. Sikhs should not scan and abort female foetuses or ‘honour-kill’ female family members. Where are the women on Gurdwara committees, where are the female granthis and ragis ? Why is the podium for the ragis always on the side of the men ?
A Gursikh’s life is much more than doing nitnem or wearing the 5 Ks and turban. Doing nitnem is a tool to help you on Guru’s path and your five Ks should remind you to always keep on the path that is narrower than the cutting edge of a sword.