Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thoughts on World Aids Day & Guru's Rehat

Today is World Aids Day, and I have been asked to say a few words tonight on behalf of the King's College Sikh Society at a vigil being held in the university. So as I was walking to my morning lecture I was thinking about Sikhi and Aids. It dawned upon me that a 'Sikh of the Guru' could never get Aids, which led my mind to ponder over fundamental parts of Rehat (discipline) given by Guru Ji and how they help us and society. (Note: By the way, this is not what I am going to be saying tonight! Tonight I will be just saying a short prayer for the welfare of humanity and those suffering from disease & ilnness).

When one takes Khande-di-Pahul (Amrit), a person makes a declaration that his or her allegiance is solely with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the Guru Khalsa Panth.

Each and every person taking Amrit makes a vow. They promise to avoid and never commit four things, known as the Bajjar Kurehats. According to the Panthic 'Sikh Rehat Maryada', the undermentioned four transgressions (tabooed practices) must be avoided are:
1. ਕੇਸਾਂ ਦੀ ਬੇ-ਅਦਬੀ
Keshaa Di Beadbee: To dishonour the hair

2. ਕੁੱਠਾ ਖਾਣਾ
Kutha KhaaNaa: To eat a killed animal (i.e. meat, fish or eggs)

3. ਪਰ-ਇਸਤਰੀ ਜਾ ਪੁਰਸ਼ ਨਾਲ ਗਮਨ (ਭੋਗਣਾ)
Par Istree Ja Purash Naal Gaman (BhogNa): Intimate relationship with a person outside of marriage

4. ਤਮਾਕੂ ਦਾ ਵਰਤਣਾ
Tamaakoo Da Vartnaa: Using tobacco (which means using any narcatic drug or intoxicating substances, e.g. alcohol, opium, cannabis etc)

So each person taking Amrit takes these four vows.

How amazing is the Guru? I cannot praise Him enough or understand His Glory!

What is eating the world away? Disease and illness of individuals and society!
Some of the diseases are physical, mental and spiritual and extend from individuals to across society.

Blessed is the Guru's Sikh, who has taken Amrit, and follows the vow and promise he or she made to the Guru!
Blessed is the Guru's Sikh, who has taken Amrit, and honours their Rehat given by Guru Ji.
Blessed is the Guru's Sikh, who has taken Amrit, and escaped the illnesses of society, illnesses of the body, and illnesses of the soul by obeying the four vows he or she took.

Everywhere you look, television, newspapers and around university, you see VANITY, and MORE VANITY. In pursuing to please others, people have become 'OBSESSED' with their appearances and have become entangled in worldly fashions. More horrifying, is to see young children in primary school even putting make-up on their faces and wearing adult-like clothes. On the other hand, you see people who have nose studs, and piercings coming out left right centre from their face! There is a craze to DEFORM the body in the pursuit of fashion fads and trying to seek happiness. People are steering away from natural beauty, peace of spiritualism, and living harmony with the Creation and Creator.

O Guru Ke Pyaari'o, blessed is my Guru who asked His Sikh to never dishonour his hair, and remain in the GRACE and GLORY of the Creator, and to maintain and take care the gift of the body given by Waheguru. The Guru asked His Sikh who wishes to become His, to promise, "I will not dishonour my hair." That Sikh enjoys the practical bodily function of the hair on his or her body, which Waheguru implanted in nature. That Sikh uses the blessed hair to meditate on Waheguru, with each and every hair vibrate Naam. That Sikh is honoured with a Graceful and Glorious appearance of an ANGEL!

So Thanks to the Guru's Grace, the Guru's Sikhs, those who taken Amrit and made these promises are free of becoming ungrateful of the gift of the body, and remain in spiritual, bodily and natural harmony and peace.

Many religions and traditions slaughter animals slowly and ritualistically, believing that this is the PURE and SANCTIFIED way of doing it. (?) Furthermore, certain religions believe that if someone has committed a terrible sin or wishes to thank God, then one should sacrifice an animal to God. Strange how the sacrifice is for God, but the PERSON and THEIR FAMILY end up eating the dead animal! How will God be pleased with people destroying and killing his creation in HIS NAME!? Ritually slaughtered animals are killed slowly so that their blood drains out of the body. In the name of God, the distressed grief the animal's heart beats so fast that blood pours out of the slits cut by the butcher. Due to the animal in prolonged PAIN and intentional SUFFERING; chemical toxins are let off in the animal.

People say, "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT"! Who would want to eat suffering and cruelty? I would rather be a carrot, piece of Saag, or Gobi, rather than be an abused Pig, Cow or Chicken (note: just to clarify, if don't follow along with the joke - I am referring to the "you are what you eat")! However, blessed is my Guru, who given His Sikh the guiding principle to maintain a healthy body and refrain from those foods which cause harm to the body and mind, as the body is the temple of Waheguru.
ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥
baabaa hor khaaNaa khushee khuaar.
O Baba, the pleasures of other foods are false.

ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
jit khaaDhai tan peeReeai, man meh chaleh vikaar. 1. rahaa-o.
Eating which, is unhealthy for the body, and cause wickedness and corruption to enter into the mind. 1. Pause.

Thanks to the Guru's Grace, the Guru's Sikhs, those who taken Amrit and made these promises are free from barbaric acts of butchery, and are free from health outbreaks caused by Western farmers who TORTURE animals and ABUSE them in animal factories (which is no better than the pain caused by Halaal/Kosher way of slaughtering) causing mad-cow disease, foot and mouth disease, bird flue, and other illnesses due to genetic modification of animals.

Today is 'World Aids Day'. Sadly, STDs are the MAJOR KILLER of the world. Aids and HIV is the biggest disease of society in the modern world. More than 39 million people around the world are living with HIV – slightly more than the population of Poland. Nearly two-thirds of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the dramatic rise in cases among women is particularly evident. Women now account for nearly half all infected adults worldwide. The global HIV/Aids epidemic killed MORE THAN 3 MILLION people in 2004.

However, blessed is my Guru, who asked his beloved Sikh to promise "I will never have an intimate relationship or have a physical relationship with anyone other than my wife/husband."

Thanks to the Guru's Grace, the Guru's Sikhs, those who taken Amrit and made these promises are free of this huge global epidemic and societal disease of STDs.

Every year, around 114,000 tobacco smokers in the UK die as a result of their habit. Deaths caused by smoking are FIVE TIMES HIGHER than the 22,833 deaths arising from: road traffic accidents (3,439), other accidents (8,579), poisoning and overdose (881), alcoholic liver disease (5,121), murder and manslaughter (513), suicide (4,066), and HIV infection (234) in the UK during 2002. About half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit. Smoking causes about 30% of all cancer deaths (including around 84% of lung cancer deaths), 17% of all heart disease deaths and at least 80% of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema. Furthermore, polls show that people underestimate the health risks of smoking and the effects of PASSIVE SMOKING.

However, blessed is my Guru, who asked his beloved Sikh to promise, "I will never touch or go near tobacco and intoxicants."

Thanks to the Guru's Grace, the Guru's Sikhs, those who taken Amrit and made these promises are free from the addiction, cancers, and diseases caused by tobacco and intoxicants.

Amazing isn't it, how if one walks on the path of the Guru, the Guru saves them from what we would call today global diseases and illness, affecting the body, mind and undoubtedly the soul.

Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru Piaare.

I think today on World Aids day we should reflect upon the wisdom given by our Guru and show appreciation to what we have been blessed with. And also as opportunity to pray for those who are less fortunate, are suffering from diseases, and especially the families left behind to struggle along with life after one or more of the child’s parents dies due to the disease. It is really sad. Rab Bhallaa Kare Sabhnaa Da!

One-way of doing sewa (which is very simple and everyone can do it) is joining the 'MAKING POVERTY CAMPAIGN'. They will send you emails and will send you template letters for various global issues to send to politicians. All you have to do is fill in your name, address and the name of your MP and press CLICK. So if you want to do that, the website is:

Note: This post is not intended to cause offence to anyone. If it has then bhul chuk maaf.
ed to cause offence to anyone. If it has then bhul chuk maaf.


Anonymous said...

Great Post. Vaheguru!

Confused Khalsa said...

The Guru asked His Sikh who wishes to become His, to promise "I will dishonour my hair."

i will NOT dishonour my hair!! :)

really good post, keep it up ji.

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

waheguru. thank you bhaji for pointing out the typo there. I have changed it.

thanks :)

allerleirauh said...

What is meant by 'dishonor the hair?' Does that mean cutting it? Or having it uncovered?

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Dishonouring hair means "tampering" with the hair. Therefore, one is not allow to do the following to ANY of the bodily hair:
- cut
- wax
- pluck
- burn
- shave

So, one should "maintain" the natural state of hair.

allerleirauh said...

Ah, I see. Cool, thank you.

Anonymous said...

wjkk wjkf

the vigil sounds did it go? what was it like? what did u say? were many sikhs there? were many other faith groups there?

sikhs need to get involved in global issues like this...well done veer ji

Anonymous said... is true that once one takes amrit, if they remain committed they can reduce their chance of contracting HIV via a sexually transmitted route...

however, somebody may have contracted HIV without knowing prior to be taking amrit and marrying in which case, amritdharis can still be exposed to HIV, even within a sanctified marriage

also, HIV is not only an STD it can be transmitted via nay exchange of blood, therefore everyone, including amritdharis, should be aware of eg needle stick injuries, for example if doing sewa with drug abusersHIV patinets, blood transfusions - ensure it is HIVnegative

i agree the amritdhari way of life reduces the chances of HIV do reduce the risk of HIV spread, but it is vital to remember that no one is immune to HIV..

this also applies to other harkrishan ji died of smallpox like many of his sangat...

bhul chuk maph

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

thanks for the above post.

very important points made.

In regards to Vigil. There were about 30 people. Most people were sitting in the Common Room area, and were asked to join in - so they did.

The vigil was a mix of poem readings, a play about the perceptions of aids, discrimination and prejudice against aids sufferers. then faith groups gave small talks on their faith perspective on issue.

The Christian vicar spoke about the stigma of Aids and how the Church needs to help more rather than cause problems.

The Hindu society rep spoke about God being in all. And once we realise God is in us, then we realise God is in others, so we don't look down upon others.

Then I spoke representing Sikhs. I congratulated the drama people and those who read poems on highlighting issues of prejudice, discrimination and looking down upon others. I said Sikhi teaches "If you don't see God in all, you don't see God at all." Reflected upon pressure needs to put on G8 and richer countries to help make medicines affordable in Africa and requested people to join campaigns such as "Make Poverty History". Ended with saying we should be lucky with have a family and when we go home on the weekend and see our parents, just appreciate and be thankful you have them... because a lot of children in Africa and other countries don't have parents due to Aids and their families have fallen apart.

No-one from Islamic society turned up.

To end with there was tea biscuits and refreshments.

It was informal programme. We sat in the common room area type place which is also used by students to eat, chill, use internet etc.

It was nice programme on whole. :)