Saturday, March 08, 2008
Are you a moderate Sikh? Do you, like many others, identify yourself as a Sikh, but just not a very strict or orthodox one? Sikhi is a very difficult path and so instead of going all the way, many who identify themselves as Sikhs tend to find comfort in an easier version.
I often wonder what the moderate Sikh is supposed to do. Against what set of values does a moderate Sikh operate? Who has said that a moderate Sikh can cut his/her hair, eat meat, drink alcohol, etc?
In reality, there is no such thing as a moderate Sikh, orthodox Sikh, strict Sikh, Mona (haircut) Sikh, Amritdhari Sikh, Jatt Sikh, Khalsa Sikh, Sehjdhari Sikh etc. There can only ever be one type of Sikh: one who genuinely attempts on a daily basis to live according to the teachings of the True Guru.
If we do not even know what the teachings of our Guru are, then it is deeply dishonest to call oneself a Sikh. A Sikh is a student of the True Guru, but what kind of student knows next to nothing about what his or her Guru teaches?
When we waste some money, we feel a sense of loss. Yet, we are wasting our entire lives without a second thought. I find it shocking that so many educated young people simply do nothing whatsoever to find out what Sikhi is all about, despite the great number of resources that are now available.
The True Guru wrote compositions that are absolutely amazing and unmatched, yet we squander away our time on useless activities like accumulating wealth, which will not go with us when we die. We want to feel like Sikhs, but without the effort. We want to do every single thing a Sikh has been told not to do and yet still call ourselves Sikhs. How completely bizarre!
I do not understand how we can not feel even a little sense of embarrassment when living such an obvious lie. I have met people who are very proud to be called Sikhs, yet they agree that they do not understand and practice a single teaching of the True Guru. At the very least, we ought to be honest with our own selves.
Are you a Sikh by name alone? What have you been doing lately to practice the teachings of the True Guru? Have you made any attempt at all? If no, then do you plan to do so shortly? If still no, then how are you a Sikh?
Being born into a Sikh family does not make one a Sikh any more than being born to parents who are dentists make one a dentist. When we die, the God will not say, “Oh, you called yourself a Sikh, so you’re ok, go through!” Calling oneself a Sikh without doing anything about it and having no genuine intention of doing anything about it, is more like being an imposter than a Sikh.
I hope these words do not offend, but if they do, then focus your energy on learning and practicing more of Sikhi. Otherwise, you are not a Sikh. If you are not a Sikh, then what are you?By Bhai Gurvinder Singh