Oh, all those celebrations!

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As much as fanfare and celebrations excite the world, they sometimes worry me. Every year, I keenly observe the dedication with which Sikhs around the world mark the day of Vaisakhi.

In 1999, the world witnessed the same celebrations, but on a grander scale. Now, we have amongst us more celebrations and, from what I gather, I can see how people are so fond of their heritage that they like to share it with the rest of the world. So, what am I really worried about then?

I’m rather confused. While all these celebrations are being done with earnest intentions, I’m left lost for words about where we are headed. As a Sikh who constantly works towards bettering the self and becoming Khalsa, which really is the true picture of a Sikh, I’m ever in search for ways in which I can become closer to my Guru. This is besides visiting the Gurudwara or knowing the names of our Gurus that I believe most Sikhs are simply comfortable to know. As for the rest, they just wait for life to do it for them.

It doesn’t work that way.

Going to the Gurudwara, doing our nitnem and doing seva are all becoming empty rituals. Then we have all these celebrations happening and people hardly even realise how the Guru has created opportunities for us to wake up and use them to become Gursikhs. We have simply become a lazy lot and thankless too.

How can one claim to be a Sikh when they do not even heed the Guru’s Hukam? If the basics are not even being done, then what is the use of going to the Gurudwara and taking part in seva?

It is sad to note how many Sikh youth are doing away with their kes, and shockingly, the elders are no less lost. Men are trimming their beards and cutting their kes and the women are no less guilty of cutting short their kes. Chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol doesn’t even strike us as an insult to the Guru. We squabble in our Gurudwaras, we break the Sikh code of conduct, and yet we dare to call ourselves Sikhs! To add insult to injury, we do nothing, or precious little, to correct ourselves. What use are all these celebrations and fanfare if they are not being harnessed in making each one of us better Sikhs?

How we love to console ourselves and think that we can fool the Guru as well! We are degenerating into exactly what the Gurus took us out from. We readily spend bucket-loads of money on everything else, but endlessly only discuss whether we should spend big money on helping out the needy in our community and investing in things that would serve the community for ages to come – and honour the Gurus for all they have done for us.

But, despite the numbers game that the world loves to play, all is not so grim and grey for those who are still on the path of the Guru. Just spare us all these celebrations if they are not geared towards investment in Gurmat and parchar.

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2 Comments

  1. violasiris said,

    June 21, 2006 at 8:48 am

    Sadly, every religion is becoming empitier & emptier… it seems we are becoming religious in the sense that we fullfil obigatory rituals rather than religious in terms of full committment, dedication & love to God…

  2. Navjit Kaur said,

    June 21, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Despondently!!! we are enjoying the funfairs and get together’s but forgetting the message of our True Guru. We fulfill mandatory rituals rather than religious.
    Indeed we need to work hard and educate our youth to save our future.
    Would be nice if we as youth could do something!!!

  3. lakhvir said,

    June 21, 2006 at 11:06 am

    GuruFatehJi, Navjit Kaur
    There is something we can do . . . continued self-introspection and to make every single effort we can to help make things better for Sikhi – by considering our own self worse than the others so that we have more to work on ourselves than to expect others to do the same for themselves. In the end, it’s only those that feel the pain that can do something to ease it. You are the change that you want to see in the world. That’s the toughest part – to transform our own self. The rest will simply be content to follow an example, and it’s really up to us what sort of example we want others to follow in us – bad or good. The aim of this article was to awaken our inner beings so that we can realise who the onus is on.

    Remember, Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s clear bachan, ‘Jab lag Khalsa rahe niara, tab lag tej dio mai sara. Jab eh gahe bipran ki reet, mai na karo in ki parteet.’ All these manmat-filled celebrations fall under the category of bipran ki reet, and in them, the Guru is not with us. It’s our choice – whether we want to be part of his Khalsa, or belong to bipran ki reet, because if we follow the way of Gurmat (Khalsa), that is where the Guru bestows his complete self in us.


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