Why you are the cause of decay

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Ever wondered why youth do not come to the Gurudwaras? Where have we gone wrong? Why have we failed to encourage them to attend the Sunday Diwans, or particpate in religious ocassions? The reasons are simple, though you may not want to face the truth.

To begin with, the youth have little understanding of what a Gurudwara really is. Their understanding is, that it is a place where we go and bow down to our Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, sit down quietly and try and concentrate on what the Granthi is reciting, or to understand what the Ragis are singing. Their mind is never in the Darbar because they claim that they do not understand an iota of what is going on in there. Ask them, you will not imagine what these youth do not know. They rarely look forward to stepping foot again into the Darbar. The only aspect of the Gurudwara they may actually enjoy is the Langar and catching up with their friends. Their perspective of the Gurudwara is a grim one. Why go to a place, they say, where we don’t understand anything, people come there to gossip and show off and are constantly fighting over power?

They have not made up that persepctive. They have witnessed it. No one has explained to them what the meaning of a Gurudwara is and what its place is in our spiritual development. We have failed them and with time to come, they will fail us in return. Any wonder why the youth are rolling in apostasy? Our youth are now amongst those in the world who are known to do drugs, smoke, hang out in dark places and even indulge in the pleasures of the senses. To them that is the real world. We know who these youth are and yet we have done close to nothing to try and bring them back to Sikhi. Our failure is our own selves.

When we are not in Sikhi ourselves, why do we even bother trying to comprehend why the youth are straying? Everything begins with the self. The way you portray yourself is the way you will see the world. If you are in Sikhi, so will the youth be. Just try it. You will need less reason to coerce them back. All they need are role models which they cannot find anymore. The few they do find are seen as old-fashioned, traditional or orthodox because the ‘modern’ Sikhs way out number them.

If you and I will adopt Sikh values and commit ourselves to the Guru and promise Him that we will do all that a Sikh is required to do, believe me, the world will follow our examples. You set the wrong examples, you will see for yourself the results of your actions in your own children. We have forgotten our important role in our community and many do not even care. We already know so much but do nothing to refine our beings because we are ourselves weak in spirit.

If we want our youth back in the Gurudwaras, let’s see you there first.

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6 Comments

  1. Preet said,

    June 15, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Valid point.
    My husband and I have often discussed this issue.
    Although, I believe a subtle approach is required – parents need to educate kids on the benefit of attending diwan and doing sewa at the gurdwara rather than the hard handed approach most parents adopt.
    An attempt has been made in some gurdwaras to set up screens to display gurbani translations, which I think is a positive step forward.

  2. lakhvir said,

    June 15, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    Preet Ji,

    Parents do have the greatest responsibility, as you have correctly pointed out. Sadly many parents are not as passionate about Sikhi and living the right example for the youth to look up to and emulate. These parents are so liberal about their beliefs that when their kids go to the Gurudwara, they have no one at home to turn to when they come home wih questions. In today’s generations, these parents will barely even consider encouraging their children to walk the path of Sikhi. It has often been noted how parents even discourage their kids from Amrit. It is nevertheless heartening to see the sublt efforts being made by individuals in attracting the youth back to the Gurudwaras by ways of installing SikhiToTheMax (this is happening in our Nairobi Gurudwaras now). But these are only steps leading to the top, and if the youth are not given additional support in keep climbing the ladder, they at risk of either getting stuck where they are or even falling bacl altogether. The repair to this damage is to walk the path ourselves and bring up our family in the teachings of our Gurus because there is no guarantee any one else ever will even bother.

  3. violasiris said,

    June 15, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    The parents should be there to set examples, but also they should be doing the right things in the places of worship rather than just attending. Also how they live their lives outside the places of worship (daily contact points with the youth) is what influences the most. The best thing is to give a solid foundation, so that even though they stray when they come back they have a home for God in their hearts, a well set out, correct home for God.

  4. lakhvir said,

    June 15, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Well said, violasiris, for your further insights. Well worded.

  5. Puneet Kaur said,

    June 19, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    GuruFateh Ji

    I completely agree with your views Veer ji. We need to be role models so that the youth can find answers to their questions and be on the right track..

    But the state of youth here is really sad and horrifying ji, literally brings tears for the way they have done kesa di bedbi & waheguroo….. its a sorry state!

    But i see a ray of hope somwhere….

    Guru rakha

  6. lakhvir said,

    June 20, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    GuruFatehJi, Puneet Kaur Ji

    The last time I went to Punjab (2000), I was excited – I was savouring the moment to see the land of my Gurus and see the sea of dastaars . . . but how heartbroken I was. Sikhi was no longer prospering in the land of the Sikh Gurus and my soul wept. But what concoled me was the inner voice that told the manmukh in me (I was clean-shaven then) that nothing more is required to make things better only if I could help make the number of clean-shaven manmat moorakhs cut down to one less if I could dedicate myself into becoming a Guru-wala Sikh. GuruJi led me out of that heartbreak because now there is one more Sikh added to uphold the principles of Sikhi. I'm foerever a sacrfice to my Guru for bringing me back to Sikhi for I don't know what I would have been without His Grace. 'Hum rulte phirte, koi baat na poochta.'


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