Monday, December 27, 2010

The concept of Guru Granth-Guru Panth should be revived

Sharomani Gurdawawara Parbandhik Committee (SGPC) has asked the central amend Sikh Gurdawaras act to enable it to co-opt few persons from foreign  countries.There is no likelihood for the acceptance of such a request.Moreover such co-option of a few persons of its choice by the party in power in SGPC, who so ever it might be can not make it a representative party of Sikhs world over. The need today is the formation of world Sikh representative body who should take the decisions of Sikh panth issues,to be binding on all the Sikhs world over.sgpc should play the leading role for the formation of such a panthic representative body in co ordination of the other Sikh organisations, which can also deal with the Sikh problems world over as united Sikh force.

SGPC is an elected committee under the Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925 and only the Sikhs residing in punjab can be its voters.It has to function under that law to manage the historical Gurdawaras in punjab.Merely co-opting some members from out side punjab and even from out side India if allowed,of its own choice,it can not become a representative body of the Sikhs world over.It should discharge its own functions with honesty of purpose and to preach Sikh religion in punjab,wherein the Sikhs and particularly younger Sikh generation including the children of some Sikh leaders are openly drifting away from Sikh code of conduct and this trend is increasing day by day.
If it succeeds to restore Sikh code of conduct in Sikhs in punjab,then certainly it can further make efforts to preach Sikh religion out side.Punjab,which is mentioned as homeland of Sikhs must be given first priority by sgpc,being in the dangerous zone to day.For this purpose SGPC must have honest,capable with commitment to Sikh religion,its members and office holders beyond any political pressure and party factionalism.The present set up has failed so far to show good results.

 In fact Sikh concept of Guru Granth and Guru Panth needs to be revived,so that Sikhs world over can take the decision on Sikh issues through their representatives.Though it is a difficult task to select or elect the representatives of Sikhs world over,but not impossible.A Sikh commission may be set up for this purpose consisting of suitable and capable Sikhs.

Guru Gobind Singh,tenth Sikh Guru completed the final phase of Sikh religion,which had been founded by Guru Nanak Dev and developed by the second to ninth Sikh Gurus.All the Sikh Gurus had the same Divine Spirit and their Divine teachings are to be obeyed by the Sikhs without any reservations.

Three very important injunctions were issued by the tenth Sikh Guru to complete the final phase of Sikh religion,which made Sikh religion to be an independent world religion, to be so soon included in the list of the first five religions of the world and the Sikhs to be a separate nation,by setting up its own Sikh empire through out north India,with whom Britishers had to come in to agreement,after establishing their rule in rest of India,not to interfere in the territories of each other.

The first was to prescribe the Sikh initiation of Amrit-khande de pahul and Sikh emblems and the Sikh code of conduct in that respect,on Baisakhi of 1699,which provided the separate Sikh identity and the procedure to become and act as Sikhs.The tenth Sikh Guru prepared the Amrit himself and administered it to panj piaras-five beloved ones,with five Sikh emblems,and their names sufixed with Singhs,who were prepared for the supreme sacrifices and who were made the Sikh leaders.Then the Guru himself took the Amtit from them in that very manner and gave the authority to five such Sikhs to administer it to other Sikhs.History records that over twenty thousand Sikhs took the Amrit on that day,which is more than sufficient to establish that it was made mandatory for all the Sikhs to become and act as Sikhs.

The second was to make Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal Sikh Guru in perpetuity,being the Divine Spirit of Sikh Gurus and to always remain under its Divine guidance.The tenth Guru just before his heavenly abode made Guru Granth Sahib as his successor,instead of any other living Guru,and commanded the Sikhs that Sikh panth was established as directed by Akal purakh and they should accept Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru and take its Divine guidance with purity of heart.

The third was the concept of Guru Granth and Guru panth,that all the Sikhs having taken the Sikh initiation and observing the uniform Sikh code of conduct as prescribed by him, called Guru panth,should take the Sikh panth decisions themselves through their own representatives in the presence of and under the guidance of Guru Granth Sahib,which should be acceptable to all the Sikhs and binding upon them.This was the only way to keep the entire Sikh panth united.

In the post ten Sikh Guru's period,the Sikhs remained in struggle against the mughal empire and Afgan invadors, for their sovereignty and freedom of religion,for about a century and they followed the Sikh concept of Guru Granth and Guru Panth.They took Sikh initiation and observed Sikh emblems and code of conduct as prescribed.They took the Sikh panth decisions through their representatives acting as Guru Panth,in the presence of and under the Divine guidanance of Guru Granth Sahib,mostly at Akal Takhat Sahib,which remained acceptable to them and binding upon them.They established their Sikh empire by ousting the mighty mughals and Afgans.

Even in Singh Sabha movement and Akali movement Sikhs had been taking some decisions on Sikh panthic issues through their representatives.The decision to set up Sharomani Gurdawawara Parbandhik Committee in 1920 for the management of Sikh Gurdawaras was taken at Akal Takhat by the representatives of the Sikhs as Guru Panth,for whom the pre-requisite was the Sikh initiation and strict observance of Sikh code of conduct.They were successful to get the enactment of Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925 from British administration.

However this concept of Guru Granth and Guru Panth stands over looked for several decades,which has incapacitated the Sikh to take decisions over the Sikh panth issues.which needs to be revived without any further delay.Sikhs are now spread over through out the world and their representative body to act as Guru Panth needs to be formed, so as to involve them all for such decisions on Sikh issues.

Some persons hold the views that SGPC should be elected by the Sikhs world over.It can not be so done under law relating to it. SGPC is elected under the provisions of Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925 and only those Sikhs who reside in punjab can contest the elections to be its members and become the voters as well to elect them.It is for the management of historical Sikh Gurdawaras in punjab.In 1947 west punjab went to pakistan and so its jurisdiction was curtailed to east punjab which is in India.The Sikhs world over have to form their representative organization, being the need of the day, which should consist of the Sikhs of high standared of commitment and of
honesty ,integrity,capability and dedication to Sikh religion and Sikh cause.

The concept of Guru Granth-Guru panth, as ordained by Guru Gobind Singh, be revived, the over looking, of which for a long time has incapacitated the Sikhs to take the correct and the collective decisions as to the Sikh panthic affairs.It has been reiterated in Sikh  rehat maryada as well, that all the decisions affecting the Sikh panth should be taken by the panthic committee and the accredited representatives of the panth,  form a meeting of the
panth,  and their decision is called Gurmatta, to be taken in the presence and Divine guidance of Guru Granth Sahib, on the subjects which are calculated to clarify and support the fundamental principles of Sikh religion, such as safeguarding the position of Sikh Gurus and the holy Guru Granth Sahib, the purity of the ritual and the panthic organization. The decisions of the panth are to be invoiable and binding on all Sikhs.

These should not violate the Divine teachings of Sikh Gurus and the Divine thought of Guru Granth Sahib and the established Sikh traditions of Sikh religion, which are binding upon Sikhs. The Sikh panthic decisions were taken in this manner at Akal Takhat by the Sikhs during the Sikh struggle in 18th century and they became victorious to wipe out the mughals and Afgan invaders and to establish Sikh empire.

Sikhs are now spread world over and there is now the need of a world Sikh representation of Sikhs, may be named as, Sharomani Sikh Panthic Council,  as the Sikh interests are the same every where. It can effectively solve the  problems of the Sikhs world over. It can preach Sikh religion in the world, with the co-ordination of all the Sikhs and Sikh organizations, for which Sikhs are being accused not to have discharged their duty to bring the message of Sikh religion, of love and peace, to the notice of the world, needed today. It can make the Sikhs to live in Sikh code of conduct and Sikh way of life, from which they are now drifting away, particularly the Sikh younger 
generation. It can take the decisions on Sikh affairs unitedly as the involvement of all the Sikh is a must to make the decisions to be acceptable to all Sikhs, in accordance with the Sikh concept of Guru Granth-Guru panth, which are being brought under disputes, day by day.

SGPC, is the creation of Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925, to manage historical Sikh Gurdawaras in punjab, and to preach Sikh religion. It has to function under the provisions of that law. No one can contest its election, who is not a resident of punjab, under the act. Its representation in the world panthic council will be very effective, being the main Sikh representative body, to do the constructive work for the solution of the Sikh problems and to
preach Sikh religion in Sikhs and in the world.

Akali Dal, which was the exclusive punjab Sikh political party,  has now virtually become the punjab regional political partywith the Hindus and muslims,  as its members, to give it a secular out look, to meet the requirements of election laws,  to contest the assembly and parliamentary elections. It may do so with the Sikh support, as the political Sikh power is only concerned with punjab, where the Sikhs are in majority and that too with the tinge of secularism,  as the election laws demand.

Thus there has to be a World Sikh Representative Panthic Council ,which will be of great help also to the political Sikh power in punjab, to deal with their issues with the needed courage, capability and honesty of purpose, to achieve Sikh religious and political aims. Delhi Gurdawaras management committee is for historical Gurdawaras at Delhi. Similarly ,are the management committees of Takhats, Hazur Sahib and patna Sahib  for those Takhts. These Sikh organizations should take active part in setting up of the world Sikh panth council, without any fear psychosis, which will be of no interference in their functions.

The blue print of the world Sikh panth council, at present, may be,  to take the representatives of the organizations, elected by the Sikhs, just as SGPC,  management committees of,  Delhi Sikh Gurdawaras, Sikh Takhats at Hazoor Sahib, Patna Sahib, other traditional Sikh organizations, world Sikh Gurdawaras management committees, to be divided in,  6 or 7 zones,  world over, to represent on the basis of population and any other such Sikh organization elected by the Sikhs. The number  of representatives of these organizations may be fixed according to the number of Sikhs, they represent. These representatives may co-opt the distinguished Sikhs known for their services to Sikh panth as fixed, world over, to make it truly representative.

This panthic representative council of the Sikhs world over should hold its, periodic meetings, Sikh congregations and other functions at Akal Takhat , Amritsar  and have its secretariate in that complex,while some sub offices in sother coutries as deemed proper. The Akal Takhat Jathedar, should be its spokesman and to ensure the
compliance of its decisions, to be nominated by it. The authority of Akal Takhat, which is now being eroded, will be restored and its sanctity maintained. It may make the rules and regulations for the appointment, qualifications and powers of jathedar Akal Takhat and of the jathedars of other Sikh Takhats for their smooth working without any overlapping of their functions interse without any dispute between them,which surfaced in the recent past,being not in Sikh interests. A commission may be set up to sort out the procedural matters and to
select this panthic council,which may consist of retired Sikh judges,and Sikh scholars,which may take the views of the Sikhs and Sikh organisations world over to make it acceptable to them.

Mewa Singh (U.S.A.)

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