Friday, January 23, 2015

Anti-Sikhi Parchaar (Part 2): Topic - Nitnem Banian & Dasam Bani

Once I went somewhere, and a group of individuals that looked like Gursikhs asked me to come to one side and sit with them as they wished to ask me something. This was at a time where the normal Sangat was not present at the Gurdwara Sahib, and they made sure that other Gursikhs were not with me when talking to them. One person said, “The Sikh nation is suffering attacks and is weak because we have failed to all accept ‘one Panth – one Granth – one Maryada’. Instead we have set up our own Panths, we don’t believe in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji alone and we don’t accept one Maryada… Do you believe there is one Panth, one Guru, and one Maryada?” I replied, “Yes, I agree there is only one Panth, one Guru and one Guru’s Maryada.” 

Then the clever mind games began. “Do you believe Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Perfect Guru?” A pretty stupid question which the person should know the answer to, but it was asked as part of the plan to do anti-Sikhi parchaar. Anyway, I replied, “Yes,” (when really I should have avoided getting in to the trap of keep saying 'Yes' and instead replied, "Why? Are you doubting Guru Ji? Don't you believe Guru Ji is Perfect?") Then they asked, “Do you believe that that something that is Perfect is complete within itself and contains everything that you need?” I again replied, “Yes”. Then they asked, “Do you agree that if Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Perfect Guru then it is complete and nothing outside it is needed as everything needed is within it?”

I realised where this guy was going with the conversation and stopped him, and asked, “Do you believe Jaap Sahib is Gurbani? Please answer - Yes or No?” The other people quickly responded, “Hold on, hold on, he will get there, first hear what he wants to say." The other individual continued to say,  "I want to discuss with you Dasam Granth.” I responded, “To be honest I have no interest in discussing such a topic with you. Firstly, I don’t engage in such debates or discussions. I have come to do Parchaar seva and teach children the basics of Sikhi. Secondly, it is forbidden by Sri Akaal Takht Sahib to discuss this topic. I am not a scholar and if you wish to take any matters regarding Dasam Granth then you need to present yourselves to Sri Akaal Takht Sahib. Thirdly, I have not read all of Dasam Granth nor am I an expert that I can explain you something on the topic. So please don’t discuss such topics with me. Can you please tell me – do you believe in Jaap Sahib, Svaiyye, Chaupai Sahib, and Ardaas?”

The intentions of the men that looked like Gursikhs became pretty clear. Rather than confessing that don’t believe in the Banian that were recited to make Amrit which leads to their claim to be a Sikh, they went around in circles. Below are some of their claims along with a Gurmat response…

#1. "We “have to” [in the tone of “we are forced to”] to recite Jaap Sahib, Svaiyye, Chaupai and Ardaas by the Panj Pyaare when we took Amrit. We don’t have a choice. Because they told us we have to read it and its instructed in Sikh Rehat Maryada." RESPONSE: The question was “Do you believe that Jaap Sahib, Svaiyye, Chaupai Sahib and Ardaas are Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s Bani?" Clearly the question was not answered. 

#2. "There is nothing wrong with reading any composition which has a "good message" and praises Vaheguru. For example, whether Guru jee wrote Jaap Sahib or not, we should recite it because it praises Vaheguru and doesn’t have any anti-Gurmat thing in it."
RESPONSE: Clear admission that person doesn’t believe in Jaap Sahib as Bani. "If you don't believe it to be the composition of Guru Gobind Singh jee then why do you read it? So why did you take Amrit where this Bani was recited to make the Amrit?" If one was true to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and believed that Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Bani is not Bani, then one shouldn't take Khande-Di-Pahul (Amrit) and not comply to the prescribed Nitnem stated in the Panthic Sikh Rehat Maryada, as Guru ji says:
ਅਖਰ ਲਿਖੇ ਸੇਈ ਗਾਵਾ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
"I sing the (Guru's) Word which You have written; I do not know any other Bani (Word). ||1||Pause||" 
(Basant M:1, 1171)

#3. "There is no proof that the Panj Banian that we recite today to make Amrit were the same Banian recited in 1699 Vaisakhi to make Amrit. I have 11 proofs that don't mention the Panj Banian that are recited today!"
RESPONSE: There is proof! The first proof is that my Guru gave me Amrit with these Panj Banian. My second proof is that all Amrit Sanchaars across all Gurdwaras, Takht Sahibs and Jathebandis, recite the same Panj Banian without any controversy or disagreement. Thirdly there is a historical proof that these Panj Banian were recited in the Amrit Sanchaar of Vaisakhi 1699. The proof is written by Bhai Jaita jee who brought Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib jee's head from Delhi to Anandpur Sahib and later took Amrit, was renamed as Bhai Jeevan Singh jee and attained Shaheedi at Chamkaur Sahib. Bhai Sahib writes:
ਪਾਂਚ ਕਕਾਰ ਸੰਪੂਰਣ ਦੇਖਿ ਕੈ ਯਾਚਕ ਸਿਖਹਿ ਸੰਮੁਖ ਬੈਠੀਜੈ। ਜਲੋ ਬਤਾਸੇ ਲੋਹ ਪਾਤਰ ਮਹਿਂ ਡਾਰਿ ਕੈ ਛਹਿ ਸਿਖ ਆਸਨ ਬੀਰ ਲਵੀਜੈ। ਹਾਥ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਖੰਡੇ ਕਉ ਲੇਕਰ ਜਲੋ ਪਤਾਸੋ ਕਉ ਖੂਬ ਮਿਲੀਜੈ। ਜਪੁ ਕੋ ਪਾਠ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੰਗ ਤਿਹ ਸਿਖ ਪਾਤਰਿ ਦੂਸਰ ਹਾਥ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥੧੧੨॥ ਪਾਚਹੁੰ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਰ ਸੁ ਹੋਵਹਿਂ ਅਵਰ ਜੋਇ ਪਾਤਰ ਊਪਰ ਹਾਥ ਰਖੀਜੈ। ਆਪਨ ਆਪਨ ਬਾਰ ਯੇ ਪਾਂਚਹੁੰ ਪਾਂਚ ਹੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਕੋ ਪਾਠ ਪੜ੍ਹੀਜੈ। ਜਪੁ, ਜਾਪ, ਸਵੈਯੇ, ਚੌਪਈ, ਅਨੰਦ ਕੋ, ਪਾਠ ਸੋਂ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਤਿਆਰ ਕਰੀਜੈ। ਪਾਂਚਓ ਚੁਲੇ ਮੁਖ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਸੁ ਯਾਜਕ ਏਤ ਹੀ ਨੇਤਰ ਕੇਸ ਪਵੀਜੈ ॥੧੧੩॥ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਏਕ ਚੁਲੇ ਸੰਗ ਯਾਚਕ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹਿ ਗਜਾਵੈ। ਯਾਚਕ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੋ ਅਵਰ ਭਿ ਹੋਇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਏਕੁ ਹੀ ਪਾਤਰ ਪਾਵੈ। ਰਹਿਤ ਕੁਰਹਿਤ ਬਤਾਇ ਕੈ ਸਬਹਿਨ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕਰਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਦਵਾਵੈ। ਪੁਨ ਸਬ ਏਕੁ ਹੀ ਬਰਤਨ ਮਾਹਿਂ ਏਕਠਿ ਖਾਨ ਔ ਪਾਨ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧੧੪॥
"Seeing the Sikhs wear all five Kakkaar they sat in front. Water and Pataasay was poured in a iron utensil and the Sikhs sat in the poster of Bir Aasan (warrior pose). The first Singh held the Khanda and beautifully blended the water and Pataasay. The prayer of Jap[ji] was recited and then the Khanda was passed to the next Sikh. (112) The other four of the five kept hold of the top of the utensil. Turn by tun the five recited the five Banian. Jap[ji], Jaap, Svaiyye, Chaupai and Anand were recited to prepare the Pahul (Amrit). Five handfuls were put in the mouth, then in the eyes, and the Kes (hair). (113). After receiving one handful "Vaheguru Jee Fateh" was roared. All the rest of the Singhs and others received Amrit from the same utensil. Rehats (discipline) and Kurehats (prohibitions) were told to all and after Ardaas Karhaah Parshaad was given. Then they all ate from utensil. (114)."
(Source: Baba Jeevan Singh – ‘ਭਾਈ ਜੈਤ ਰਾਮ-ਜੀਵਨ ਤੇ ਰਚਨਾ’, S. Gurmukh Singh, Punjabi University, 1994)

Furthermore, the Bhatt Vehis, one of the earliest recorded accounts of Sikh history, states:
ਅੰਤਰਯਾਮੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾਂ ਇਨ ਕੀ ਤਰਫ ਨਹੀਂ ਦੇਖਾ, ਮਨ ਬਿਰਤੀ ਕੋ ਇਕਾਗਰ ਕਰੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਜਪੁ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਪਾਠ ਕਰੀ ਗਏ | ਉਪਰੰਤ ਜਾਪ, ਸਵੈਯੇ ਚਉਪਈ ਕਾ ਉਚਾਰਣ ਕਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਨੰਦ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕਾ ਪਾਠ ਕੀਆ |
"The All-Knowing True Guru did not look at them,  [instead] with a fixed mind Sri Jap Ji [Sahib] was recited. After chanting Jaap [Sahib], Svaiyye and Chaupai [Sahib], Anand Sahib was recited."
(Bhatt Vehi, Guru Kian Sakhian, Page 125)

#4. "But that is one or two proofs. We have 11. Would you believe one over 11?"
RESPONSE: If ten people are lying or don't know the full picture and one is telling the truth and presenting the complete picture - who would you choose to believe? The ten or one? I don't need any proofs when I have one telling the truth. Thank you.

#5. "Do you know that the Ardaas that people read is from the composition titled, "Durga Kee Vaar" (the Ode of Durga). Did you know that? It is therefore the worship of Durga and not Akaal Purakh!"
Did you know that the Bani of Aasa Kee Vaar is titled with the name of King Asaraj?
ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਵਾਰ ਸਲੋਕਾ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਲੋਕ ਭੀ ਮਹਲੇ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਕੇ ਲਿਖੇ ਟੁੰਡੇ ਅਸ ਰਾਜੈ ਕੀ ਧੁਨੀ
"Aasaa, First Nanak: Vaar (Ode) with Saloks (couplets), and Saloks written by the First Nanak. [To be sung] in the tune [of the Vaar] of Tunday (King) Asraaja." (Aasa M:1, 463)
Does this mean that Guru Nanak Dev jee worshipped the King Asaraj? The answer is - No! Aasa Kee Vaar is titled with the name of Raja Asaraj because the style of poetry singer associated to him is the style that Guru Ji instructs us to sing Aasa Kee Vaar. Now, coming to the Ardaas. Guru Ji similarly, gives the title of Chand Dee Vaar (the composition of which the Ardaas is the first paragraph) with the title "Durga Kee Vaar" because Guru Ji has used the heroic mythological tale of Durga to give his message of instilling bravery and courage in His Sikhs.

#6. "But did you know that the Chaupai that you read comes at the end of Charitr Pakhyaan?"

 RESPONSE: Yes! And your point being? Benti Chaupai Sahib is a prayer that is a supplication (Benti) for protection from the enemies of vice and sin. Where it is positioned in Dasam Granth makes no difference to a Sikh who got life from this Bani when it was recited for making Amrit and drinks the Amrit taste of this Bani every day in his or her Nitnem.

#7. "Dasam Granth was not created by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This scripture appeared years later and it was first called Bachitar Naatak Granth. For this reason this Granth is not the Guru's Granth."
RESPONSE: Whether this Granth was compiled after Guru Gobind Singh Ji does not change the fact that it contacts Amrit Bani that we recite for preparing Amrit and Nitnem and the works of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Whether each composition was a separate volume and joined together in one big scripture later by respected Sikhs, the fact that it contains the writings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji it deserves reverence and respect. Even if one thinks some of the compositions have been altered or tampered with over history, it still doesn't warrant any excuse for discrediting, disrespecting and belittling Dasam Granth.

#8. "It is forbidden to do Keertan from Dasam Granth in accordance to Sikh Rehat Maryada. Only the Keertan of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can be done." RESPONSE: Can I have the page reference for where it says that in the Sikh Rehat Maryada? Sorry - but there is no page reference because it is not written anywhere in there! The Panthic Sikh Rehat Maryada states:
ੲ) ਸੰਗਤ ਵਿਚ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਕੇਵਲ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਜਾਂ ਇਸ ਦੀ ਵਿਆਖਿਆ-ਸਰੂਪ ਰਚਨਾ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ ਤੇ ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਹੋ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ |
c) In the Sangat, Keertan only of Gurbani and, for its elaboration, the Bani of Bhai Gurdaas Ji and Bhai Nand Laal Ji, may be performed.
(Sikh Rehat Maryada)
Now, the question is what is Gurbani, i.e. the Guru's Bani? The first section of the Sikh Rehat Maryada, which defines who a Sikh is, clarifies that a Sikh must faithfully believe in the Bani of the Ten Gurus:
ਜੋ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਜਾਂ ਪੁਰਸ਼ ਇਕ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ, ਦਸ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ (ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤਕ), ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅਤੇ ਦਸ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਦੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੇ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਦਸਮੇਸ਼ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਉੱਤੇ ਨਿਸ਼ਚਾ ਰੱਖਦਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਹੋਰ ਧਰਮ ਨੂੰ ਨਹੀਂ ਮੰਂਨਦਾ, ਉਹ ਸਿੱਖ ਹੈ |
"Any human being who faithfully believes in One Akaal Purakh (Timeless God), Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Bani (divine-words) and teachings of the ten Gurus, Amrit given by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh."
(Sikh Rehat Maryada)
Keertan of Dasam Bani is done at Sri Darbaar Sahib (Amritsar), Sri Akaal Takht Sahib, and all major historical Gurdwara Sahibs.

#9. "Well, the Shabad "Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Eihai..." is against Gurmat. We are not the worshippers of the Hindu god 'Shiva'. It is sad that the Sikh nation has made the praise of 'Shiva' their national anthem." 
RESPONSE: I sense "Hinduphobia" (sounds like I've made a new word). Well, news flash, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji praises Raam! Would these people remove "Raam" from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji? No. Because where "Raam" is praised and revered, it means the "All-pervading One," referring to Vaheguru. "Raam" is an descriptive name for Vaheguru pre-dating the Hindu god 'Raam', the son of Dashrat. Similarly, "Shiva" is also mentioned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. "Shiva" is mentioned in some places as the individual called Shiva which Hindus revered as a demi-god, and other places "Shiva" refers to Vaheguru. Professor Sahib Singh Ji in Guru Granth Darpan translates "Shiva" to mean ਕਲਿਆਣ-ਸਰੂਪ, which in English translates to mean epitome of benediction, helper of others, master of happiness.
ਸੁਰਗ ਪਇਆਲ ਮਿਰਤ ਭੂਅ ਮੰਡਲ ਸਰਬ ਸਮਾਨੋ ਏਕੈ ਓਹੀ ॥ ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤ ਸਗਲ ਕਰ ਜੋਰਹਿ ਸਰਬ ਮਇਆ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਤੇਰੀ ਦੋਹੀ ॥੧॥
"In the heavenly paradise, in the nether regions of the underworld, on the planet earth and throughout the galaxies, the One Lord is pervading everywhere. Everyone calls upon You with their palms pressed together, saying, "Shiva", "Shiva" ("the Master of happiness", "the Master of happiness"). O Merciful Lord and Master, everyone cries out for Your Help. ||1||"
(Gauree M:5, 207)

ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਹਾਟਿਓ ॥ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਏ ਦਇਆਲਾ ਸਿਵ ਕੈ ਬਾਣਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਕਾਟਿਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥"When the Guru shows His Grace, the slanderer stops (slandering). The Supreme Lord God becomes merciful (upon that slanderer); with the Naam-arrow of 'Shiva', the Lord that epitomises helping others, (the Guru) cuts the head off (that person's ego). ||1||Pause||" (Todee M:5, 714)
In the Shabad "Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Eihai...", Shiva here means Vaheguru, not for a Hindu demi-god. This can be cross-referenced with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji with the above Shabads. The "a" sound at the end or in Panjabi (kannaa sound), it adds the mean "O" or ‘ਹੇ’. Therefore "Shiva" becomes "O Vaheguru" or "ਹੇ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ’ ਹੈ".

#10 "It is claimed that Bachitar Naatak is the autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, but it has no relevance to Gurmat or Sikh history. For argument sake if Guru Gobind Singh Ji did do meditation at Hemkunt [Sahib] in his past life, why do we need to know this? Our history begins when Guru Ji becomes the Guru, not before."

RESPONSE: Interesting that we don't use the same logic for each of the Guru Sahibaans. When analysing the life of Guru Angad Dev Ji we cannot help but mention his life as Bhai Lehna Ji. We don't just begin when he meets Guru Nanak Dev Ji, but we go beyond that and we remember that before meeting Guru Ji, Bhai Lehna Ji was a worshipper of of Vaishnu Devi. However, meeting Guru Nanak Dev Ji he gives up worshipping Vaishnu Devi and becomes a worshipper of Akaal Purakh. Similarly, when we remember Guru Amar Daas Ji, we also talk about their life before becoming the Guru when they were know as Baba Amar Daas Ji and had no Guru until meeting Guru Angad Dev Ji through his daughter-in-law. Similarly, history is written about and we remember the past life of Guru Raam Daas Ji when he is called Bhai Jetha Ji and so on. So why are people so disturbed and upset to read the history of Guru Gobind Singh Ji before he became the Guru? The whole Bachitar Naatak, which is the autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, is in Praise of Akaal Purakh and rejects all other religious paths, beliefs, and demi-gods.

Soon after, the group of individuals decided to change the topic and moved on to challenge Naam and the Gurmantar. The next post will discuss the topic of Naam and Gurmantar.

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