I am against institutionalised Sants, Deras and abhor the dominant position of the Sant Samaj on the decision making process of those in Amritsar who claim to be our leaders.
Institutionalised Sant Babas : Of course there are sants, people who are more holy than most, who have come very close to God. These sants might be free of maya and might have overcome the cycle of birth and death in this life.
As the Guru writes in Sukhmani Sahib, these sants are characterised by utter humility. They do not have to wear white clothes, they should not own big buildings adorned with marble and gold and have no need to travel in chauffeur-driven luxury motorcars.
I met wonderful humble people in Panjab, whom the scholars in Chandigarh would call ignorant villagers, in whom the light of God was clearly visible. I have not met too many Sants, but the ones I have met have a tendency to be rude, to have no loving bond with the Shabad, the word of God, and who direct you to themselves instead of to God.
Apart from the fact that these self appointed holy men have souls that are often not as white as their spotlessly clean white garments suggest, they are also in direct contradiction to Guru’s ‘Guru Granth – Guru Panth’.
Both the world wide Panth and local Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations should be run by ‘sarbat khalsa’ style open forums, not by Jathedars, authoritarian Pardhans or ‘men in white’. Sants, real ones, would be part of the Sarbat Khalsa and would have a natural authority, but not an institutional one.
Deras : There should be no deras owned by individuals, only Gurdwaras run by the sangat under the guidance of the Guru Granth Sahib. See above.
Sant Samaj: In a democracy people are free to set up their own organisations and as such I have nothing to say against this trade-union of self appointed holy men. But even the Badal controlled SGPC should know better than to give this organisation a voice in the running of the Panth.
Our leaders in Amritsar : According to the Sikh Rehat Maryada a Sikh is she/he who believes in One God and who follows the teachings of our Gurus. Guru Gobind Singh ordained us to follow Guru Granth and Guru Panth acting under its guidance.
Neither the SGPC nor the DSGMC are even near to being Guru Granth – Guru Panth.
Panj Piaré made up of SGPC employees are very far removed from Guru’s Panj Piaré. Jathedars making decisions without any say of the Guru Panth, political style elections where votes are bought by drink and drugs and where voters are judged by who their parents were or the length of their hair, it is all a mockery in the light of the teaching of the Guru Granth. Sádh Sangat, take your direction only from our eternal Guru, which shines God’s Light in our spiritual darkness.