541.The Man in Blue – Sikhs and other traditions

I have noticed that many Sikh authors who write about other traditions compare the bad practice of others with the wonderful teachings of Guru.

Many people who have come into Sikhi from ‘outside’ notice how little of these wonderful teachings are practiced by present day Sikhs, regardless whether they are amritdhari or not.

The person who ‘honour killed’ Amritpal Kaur from Sint-Truiden, Belgium, was an amritdhari Sikh, the people responsible for the killing of Jagdish Singh’s sister from Coventry were amritdhari Sikhs.

In both these cases there were many voices in the community who stressed the disobedience of the girls killed, but not the disobedience to basic Sikh teachings of those guilty of murder.

Those who broke the legs of Jasvir Singh thought they acted on behalf of Guru.

Christians who claim to be the followers of that wonderful enlightened person Jesus, the son of Joseph, have persecuted those amongst their own who did not agree with the ‘main stream’, in a most horrible manner.

In the late 16th century, Philip II, husband of (bloody) Mary Tudor, who was amongst other things the Lord of the Netherlands, punished protestant males with being burnt alive and protestant females with being buried alive.

You should read about the crusades in East Prussia and the Baltic, in the Middle East or in the south of France where non-main stream Christians were massacred. And yet Jesus gives not even the slightest excuse for such behaviour.

I have read Al Quran from cover to cover more than once, and could not find any excuse for Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Taliban or the present ‘Islamic State’.

Through my interfaith contacts I know that many Muslims want nothing to do with any of the organisations that I mention above.

I was recently in East London at a meeting about Gaza, mostly attended by Muslims of Bangladeshi background. There was a lot of anger, which is unfortunate, but nothing was said against Jews or Israelis that would be punishable by law.

They, like Sayeeda Warsi, like me, just cannot understand why so many in the west do not condemn the appalling way in which the people of the West Bank and Gaza are treated by Israel.

The Shoa does not give Israel the right to lord over the Arab inhabitants of Israel/ Palestine. Injustices by westerners are no excuse for the behaviour of above mentioned Muslim organisations, who often kill more Muslims than ‘unbelievers’.

We should be like Guru and look for good people of all faiths !

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540.The Man in Blue – See God in All

If you do not see God in all – You won’t see God at all

The above statement in italics is not a quote from the Guru Granth Sahib, but it is in tune with the Guru’s teachings. The problem we face is that most Sikhs come from South Asia where equality is not well understood.

Apart from the categories that you find in the equality laws there are other reasons to discriminate ‘the other’, like for instance because he/she is younger or from the wrong jaati (groups like Jats, Ramgarhias, Chamar etc), from the wrong state or the wrong part of your state.

Many South Asians have problems seeing God in females, in people with dark skins, in people with disabilities, or in people whose children have disabilities. Caste, as in the four castes of Manuvád is not often discussed amongst Sikhs, but there is lots of mention of Jats, Ramgarhias, Chamár etc (see above).

Jats are not a caste, but as farmers they are seen to be above Rámgarhias, who themselves are seen as being above Chamárs, who are leatherworkers or cobblers, those that work with the skins of dead animals.

The real test comes when you ask religious people to see God in people with different sexual preferences. Almost all religions are obsessed with sex. They might accept wife beaters, swindlers or alcoholics, but will tell you that you cannot be a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Sikh if you are a homosexual.

Homosexuals could be in a truly loving relationship, approaching Guru’s ideal of having two bodies and one soul. They could be always honest, think about God with all they do, do honest work and share with others, but it is to no avail.

Homosexuals have been a persecuted minority who were marginalised from society. They could not have steady relationships, often had casual sex in urinals and other unsavoury locations, with ever changing partners.

Now secular society has discovered that as long as homosexual relationships are between consenting partners, these partners should have the same rights as heterosexuals.

This takes homosexuals out of the funny clubs, the urinals etc. This opens the door to having steady loving relationships, to working towards Guru’s ideal of marriage, having two bodies and one soul.

The Guru considers procreation a perfectly natural and God given process, but does not order us to ‘go forth and multiply’, as the Bible does.

A loving relationship with God should be our highest priority, all other loves are impermanent, all other loves end with death. But that does not mean that true unconditional love for another human being is bad. Such love should be based on the similar principles as love between the soul and the All-Soul.

Books on Sikhi in English

 The best book on Sikhi is the Guru Granth Sahib

It is easily available on the internet from www.sikhitothemax.com with the original text (gurmukhi font) transcription and translation in (American) English. Do not rely on ‘quotes’, always read at least a full shabad (‘hymn’) for better understanding within context.

If you have any further suggestions, with or without comments, please send an email to
harjindersingh.amritsar@yahoo.co.uk

Man in Blue

Teach Yourself Sikhism
W. Owen Cole
NTC Publishing Group, Chicago, 1994
ISBN 0-8442-3747-7

History of the Sikhs and their religion
[Vol 1 – The Guru Period (1469 – 1708)]
Edited by Kirpal Singh and Kharak Singh (publisher: Dharam Prachar Committee, SGPC, Amritsar).
ISBN 81-8092-001-1

Sikh Stories (Storyteller)
Anita Ganeri and Rachael Phillips
I know nothing about this book – Man in Blue

Universality of the Sikh Religion:
A Guide to Understanding Sikhism and the Sikh Religion
Jaspal Singh Mayell
I know nothing about this book – Man in Blue

Sikh Gurus, Their Lives and Teachings
K. S. Duggal
UBS Publishers Distributors Ltd., New Delhi, 1993
ISBN 81-85674-99-X
I did not enjoy reading previous efforts by K S Duggal – Man in Blue

Dictionary of Guru Granth Sahib 
Surindar Singh Kohli
Singh Bros., Amritsar, 1996
ISBN 81-7205-174-3
Very useful when you start reading the Guru in the original – Man in Blue   

Essentials of Sikhism
Daljeet Singh
Singh Brothers., Amritsar, 1994
ISBN 81-7205-117-4
I do not like this book – Man in Blue

Fundamental Issues in Sikh Studies
Editors: Kharak Singh, Gobind Singh Mansukhani, Jasbir Singh Mann
Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, 1992
Should be useful, suspect it to be rather academical – Man in Blue

The Golden Temple
Patwant Singh
ET Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong, published 1989
ISBN 962-7375-01-2
Beautiful, rather costly, get from library – Man in Blue

Recent Researches in Sikhism
Edited by Jasbir Singh Mann, Kharak Singh
Punjabi University, Patiala, 1992
Should be useful, suspect it to be rather academical – Man in Blue

The Name of My Beloved, Verses of the Sikh Gurus  translated by Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
HarperCollins Publishers, San Francisco, 1995
ISBN 0-06-067049-5
Useful translations, have some issues with the author’s views on Sikhi, but I would still recommend it –  Man in Blue

Sri Guru Granth Sahib, English and Punjabi Translation (8 volumes)
translated by Manmohan Singh ( highly recommended)
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, 4th edition 1993
I love these 8 potia, but the English is very old fashioned, the Sikhi to the Max translation is a modernised version of Manmohan Singh’s work – Man in Blue

Sikh Religion and Women
GS Sidhu
I am no fan of G S Sidhu – Man in Blue

Dawn of Divine Wisdom
Bhai Ram Singh Ji
Was AKJ Jathedar in the UK, good and loving person, some AKJ personalities are remarkably sensible – Man in Blue

Based on a list found on the Sikhs in Belgium website
Don’t mind my comments,
read these books and compare with what you find in the
Guru Granth Sahib