522.The Man in Blue – Violence in Southall

This is not a discussion about whether we should follow this ‘professor’ or that ‘kathakar, baba, pardhan, jathedar’. My subject is the fact that many Sikhs seem to be unable to discus differences in a respectful way ! Why do we have to fight over agreeing or not agreeing with Professor Sarbjit Singh Dhunda ? Why can’t there be a peaceful demonstration ?

I am inclined to the Singh Sabha way of thinking and I also try to develop my love for God and to open myself to the Love that The One keeps giving us. The Singh Sabha types usually have the right basic, more or less intellectual understanding, but are often not receptive to the ‘mystic’ side of Sikhí, which we share with the bhagats of the Bhaktí movement and with Sufi pírs like Sheikh Faríd.

There are different ways of looking at Sikhí. This can be annoying, but it is allowed. As long as people do not claim that Sikhs should believe in caste or that another Granth/Holy Book should be put at the same level as the Guru Granth, Guru leaves us a lot of freedom.

Mind you, many Sikhs ignore ‘One God – One Humanity’ or ‘Guru Granth – Guru Panth’. For reasons that I cannot understand many Sikhs value the writings of Bhai Gurdas more than the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Even in discussions on the internet we cannot agree to disagree with respect. Very soon participants in discussions get personal instead of trying to convince others using arguments.

I have in the past repeatedly written about the thugs who broke the legs of Jasvir Singh Hayes Wala and I publicly challenged those who threw stones through the windows of the Miri Piri Gurdwara because Professor Darshan Singh was inside.

Now we have similar or the same misguided ‘Sikhs’ who created mayhem and behaved in the worst possible way outside Southall Singh Sabha Gurdwara.

Everybody has the right to disagree strongly with others, be they Babé, Jathedars, Professors or whatever. They have the right to demonstrate and shout slogans to make their opinions clear to all.

But Guru taught us to use violence only as a last resort and not to act in anger or because we want to take what is not ours. Tenth Guru made peace with Rám Rai, earlier Guru’s came to an understanding with Sri Chand.

We are not only allowed, no we have to resort to violence if other means are not available to fight against injustice, against oppression. But nowhere did Guru use violence because individuals or groups had different opinions.

The breakers of legs, the throwers of stones and creators of general mayhem ignore Guru’s teachings. They deny freedom, they oppress and they commit injustice. Let us join the fight against this kind of anti-Sikh behaviour, let us try to liberate their minds from un-Sikh notions.

521.The Man in Blue – Sat Nám

On the ‘Sikh News Discussion’ yahoo group some members are discussing Nám and although the participants are meant to be ‘learned’ gentlemen, they all seem  keen to narrow down Nám to either one word or to specific texts.

I am only a sixteen year old Singh and do not claim to fully understand God and his or her nature. I also do not have a handy exact definition of what Nám means, just like I am not arrogant enough to even try to define God.

But I will explain my understanding of Nám without entering in the dialogue of the deaf that goes on in the ‘Sikh News Discussion’ group.

Nám is introduced to us by Guru Nanak on page 1 of the Guru Granth Sahib and is the third word after the figure one, the word Ongkár and the word Sat. This opening line, which Bhai Gurdas named the Mul Mantr, contains nine words/ combinations of words that all point to God.

Seven of those highlight aspects of God, but I think that the first two are more comprehensive. Ongkar is often explained as highlighting God who is both All-pervading and Almighty, both Imminent and Transcendent (inside all and over and above all) or Nirgun and Sargun (no qualities and all qualities).

Sat Nám is an even more all compassing statement. Sat of course means true, but it has been explained to me that in this context it is as if you are saying with much emphasis: Nám IS. So What or Who IS ? There is of course only one possible answer in a spiritual context: God IS, God IS the Absolute Truth.

I think that Nám is something like the Godly essence, the Godly principle and/or the Godly constitution of the Universe. Nám is present in all Gurbaní and in all other truly spiritual writings. Like God Nám is infinite and all-pervading, present on and in the planet Earth, in our solar system, our milky way and other milky ways, in the entire universe.

You and I are part of that system and therefore are part of Nám, and equally words like Vahiguru, Nirankar. Saibhang, Mukande, Paramatma and other descriptions of qualities of God are part of Nám, but they are not Nám.

You can do Nám simran using such words, you then do what is also mentioned in Gurbani, you sing God’s qualities. As we are only humans it is highly unlikely that we would come to a full understanding of all that is contained in Nám, or of all the different qualities of God.

Instead of trying to restrict God to one word we should be happy to have in the Guru Granth Sahib a guide that shows us the awe inspiring greatness of The One ! In the Gita Krishan showed Arjun the image of God, but God has such radiance that Arjun could not see God, just like you cannot look straight at the sun.

Our highest authority is the Guru Granth. This article reflects my understanding of our Guru. I hope I have not made too many mistakes.