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 !

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.