This is the last of the series of ‘Sikhi’ columns. In it I am wrapping up things and am emphasising principles already mentioned.
Nám japo, (meditate) think about God at all times, if you do this it should automatically lead to more ethical and less selfish behaviour.
Kirat karo, (honest work or honest study) Guru does not want his Sikh to be ‘holy beggars’. Sikhs should do an honest job regardless of the type of work they do. If you are a student the same principles apply.
Vand chako, share with others, share money, goods or time.
Before Guru passed away in 1708 he told the Sikhs not to look for a human successor, but to accept the Guru Granth and the Guru Panth, acting under the teachings of the Guru Granth, as their eternal Guru.
This is not practised by many Sikhs, who follow autocratic Pardhans, Jathedars without Jatha, various Babas and other so-called ‘spiritual leaders’ as ‘Guru’. Sant Babas, Jathedars etc are not the Guru Panth.
It is perfectly legitimate to read other books like Dasam Granth, Sarbloh Granth, Al Quran or the Bible, but our benchmark should always be the Guru Granth.
Transmigration of the soul : in the Guru Granth both the Gurus and the Bhagats regularly refer to the cycle of birth and death. I do not think this is a dogma, in the sense that if you do not believe in it you are not a good Sikh.
I think that it is not the personality that migrates, but the soul. To me the journey of the soul through many existences is some kind of spiritual evolution, where the Godly spark, God’s light that is present in all, travels through different life forms, developing to higher states of awareness on the way.
Harjinder Singh will not be reborn, but Harjinder Singh’s death will lead to his soul going to another life. I think that Sikhs should not believe in avtars as in Tibetan Buddhism or Hinduism.
Shahids. A Sikh should be willing to give her/his life in the struggle against injustice. But this struggle, including giving your life if needed, should be part of your humble seva, and not to make the ‘shahid’ into a hero.
The Guru Granth Sahib tells us not to worship or follow human beings. Our Guru points to God, not to himself as many Sant Babas do. So remember the sacrifices made, but our main effort should go into living a Godly life.
And finally, fighting against people because they do not agree with you is not part of the Sikh dharm, it is not the duty of a sant-sipahi. Throwing bricks through Gurdwara windows or breaking the legs of an old man is the work of thugs !