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I leave my body as the kirtan reaches my ears and rushes through my veins. The human in me dies every time I listen to a verse from the Guru Granth Sahib, and for that moment I dissolve into the infinite. Nothing matters, I am free and unbound by the fake facade of maya, the materialism, around me. The presence of an infinite creator overcomes my consciousness and I merge with content. My soul reaches a state of equilibrium and for that moment, there is no need to strive for anything else. All hunger dies. I listen with my ears not to mere words, but sacred truths revealed through the vibration of cosmic love. There is no language that can translate the ecstasy which overcomes my being. I am a Sikh, a learner, of the true source of creation, God.

I believe in the hukam, will, of Waheguru and pray for His grace and mercy in the lives of all. I am not perfect, but I strive to be a more understanding and compassionate soul. I try to listen and recite the Japji Sahib, Rehiras Sahib, and Kirtan Sohila daily. I understand the importance of implementing the teachings transcribed in the Guru Granth Sahib into my everyday life. I try to gain more knowledge regarding Sikhism by referencing Sikh history, movies, documentaries, and books. I listen to Katha from great Sikhs like Sant Giani Maskeen Ji for inspiration and understanding. I do not intoxicate myself with alcohol or drugs of any kind, and I am a student in medical school with an intent to help others in their time of need. However, some may say that I am not a true Sikh. I have short hair and a trimmed beard. I am not Amritari.

We went to dinner at Uptej’s dorm suite today, and we were joined by another Sikh medical school student, Bhavneet. Uptej is an Amritari Sikh woman who keeps her hair neatly wrapped in a dastaar. Bhavneet also keeps her hair covered and has been waiting to take Amrit for many years now, because she believes it is the most important part of Sikh Rehat, discipline. However, she went a little further saying that only an Amritari Sikh could claim Sikhism their path, because without Amrit a follower is not a true Sikh. However, the Gurus believed that all are created equal and that there is no such thing as a Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, or Jew because all life is One. Many Hindus and Muslim saints are also included in the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib further illustrating that all humanity is one regardless of race, religion, caste, or creed. We all come from one divine light.

Sikhism is based upon the universal oneness of the universe and its creator, God, who is infinite and without form. No mortal has the tongue nor the ability to fully describe the intensity of God’s power, benevolence, and beauty within every single atom of the universe in which His grace resides.

Avil Alh nUru aupwieAw, kudriq ky sB bMdy ]

“First God created the Light; by His power he created all people equal.”

eyk nUr qy sBu jgu aupijAw, kaun Bly ko mMdy ]1]

From One Light came the entire universe. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1||

logw Brim n BUlhu BweI ]

“O people, in doubt wander not, my brothers,”

Kwilku Klk Klk mih Kwilku pUir rihE sRb TWeI ]1] rhwau ]

“Creation in Creator, and Creator in Creation, Totally filled in all places. ||1||Pause||”

mwtI eyk Anyk BWiq kir swjI swjnhwrY ]

“The clay is the same, but various ways by the Fashioner.”

nw kCu poc mwtI ky BWfy nw kCu poc kuMBwrY ]2]

“Nothing is wrong with the pot of clay – nothing is wrong with the Potter. ||2||”

sB mih scw eyko soeI iqs kw kIAw sBu kCu hoeI ]

“The One True Lord abides in all; by His making, everything is made.”

hukmu pCwnY su eyko jwnY bMdw khIAY soeI ]3]

“Whoever realizes the Hukam of His Command, knows the One Lord. He alone is said to be the Lord’s slave. ||3||”

Alhu AlKu n jweI liKAw guir guVu dInw mITw ]

“God is unseen; He cannot be seen. The Guru has blessed me with this sweet molasses.

kih kbIr myrI sMkw nwsI srb inrMjnu fITw ]4]3]

“Says Kabeer, my anxiety and fear have been taken away; I see the Immaculate Lord pervading everywhere. ||4||3||”

I understand the importance of the Sikh Rehat of Guru Gobhind Singh Ji and the vital attributes of the Khalsa brotherhood. The Khalsa kept Sikhism strong through the Mughal raj when there was a small bounty for the head of a Sikh. The sacrifice of Guru Gobhind Singh Ji’s sons who would rather die than lose their faith and convert to Islam at such young ages. Sikhism has sacrificed thousands upon thousands of lives for justice, freedom, tolerance, and understanding of God. I cannot even begin listing all the sacrifices in Sikhi. Baba Deep Singh once said, “Sir jaave ta jaave, mera Sikhi sidhak na jaave” (If my head is severed, let it be, but don’t severe my Sikh way of life). These sacrifices cannot be forgotten for the love of God was so strong in these souls.

During the volatile contextual history of Guru Gobhind Singh Ji, it was highly important to distinguish a Sikh from a Muslim or Hindu. If the religion and the message of Sikhism were to survive, a new identity of fearless warriors was to be created known as the Khalsa. However, in a new world of globalization and cubicles that identity is becoming harder to keep especially in Western countries. One must make a harsh decision now, either live and assimilate in the West or keep the roots of the Khalsa and its bana with prejudice. Does Sikhism reside so much in the look or is it more concentrated in the heart and faith of the mind? I personally know the attachment I have to Sikhism in my heart and the relationship that I hold with Waheguru in high regards. There is a very powerful and intrinsic love I have for my people, religion, and faith. If the time ever came to shed my life for  a greater cause, I can most certainly say that Sikhi would be the infinite force behind my passion for justice and truth. No matter if I do not have a pugh or a long beard, in my soul I am a Sikh of the Gurus. I know my relationship, what is yours?

Many Sikh youth question the religion they have inherited, and see it as beautiful but too restrictive. Too many black and white rules, rehats, guidelines, and strict regulations. The passion dies inbetween the thirst for God and the rules and regulations laid by panthic associations such as the SGPC. The relationship between a human soul and God is an extremely personal and inner one, because God is indeed within all creation. We are apart of His divine glory, so who can tell us that this is the way and that is not. The Gurus understood the unbiased lens of spirituality and thus expelled all notions of this way and not that. We are a people lost in a world of trial, and God is the only hand that can guide us but is everypresent if we just take the time to look. I am not going to let society, organized associations, or any giani tell me that my Sikhi does not follow the rehat when indeed my love is only growing for Waheguru everytime I utter His praise or contemplate His glory. No one can take my faith from me, so I follow the path of the Gurus who understood my desperation to surrender. Everysingle atom is Khalsa by birth, and so everyone is joined by a brotherhood blanketing all creation. A Sikh is one who is supposed to understand when he recites, “Nah Koi Bari na he Beganna,” (There is no stranger or enemy).

Guru Nanak believed, “Truth is HighHigher Still is Truthful Living”. In the Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak says that God only understands the language of love and that comes from the heart with true devotion. We must not branch, divide, and corrode the message of compassion in the Guru Granth Sahib but instead we must unite and accept with love all who walk the path of the Guru and those who do not. Sikhism has many enemies like the RSS, and many fear that a more liberal perspective of Sikhism will create dangerous Hindu influences, but we must not forget that the journey to God is a personal voyage and not a political one. In terms of spirituality and personal growth, we must stand united as a sangat to different views and accept the appeal of the Gurus who opened the door to oneness without a need for rituals, superstitions, castes, creeds, and such. They understood Waheguru’s depth so they were open-minded for they comprehended the vastness of His creation.

Every human reaps what he sows within the reason and will of Waheguru’s will. Those who do good will be taken care of in this life and that after, no matter if the person is a Sikh, Muslim, Christian, or Jew. All men are created one and all the labels that have been created just build more walls hindering the light of divine’s present within the heart and mind. We must learn to see the stars we lay under as everyone’s all the same. I make it a spiritual practice to respect every soul no matter the view or the ideals. Within all resides His creation, so who am I to judge.

Sikhism should no longer be exclusive but rather all inclusive as it was meant to be. Maryada is a must, but tolerance which preaches righteousness and truthful living is more important. Let people follow the path as they will without judgement, lest you be judged by your own actions. Lets stop dividing and instead begin uniting as humanity with justice, valor, integrity, courage, and love within our hearts.

What do you think? Who gets to be a Sikh? What if someone is not ready for Amrit? Many shaheeds during 1984 came from the West with cut hair and died in the fields of Punjab for justice, were they any less brave or Sikh? Will loosening the definition of a Sikh make Sikhism weaker as a panth? How do you see the future of Sikhism? How do we prevent secluding Sikhs without kesh by current Sikh definitions?

I believe these questions must be answered in a changing world desperately in need for the words of the Guru Granth Sahib appealing to a universal truth. Ek Oankar, God is One.

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The 3HO Sikhs have inspired me for countless years as a Punjabi Sikh in the United States; however, a simple google search opens the door for heated controversy and debate. Is 3HO a cult?

“The 3HO Foundation is a Global Community of people who practice and share the teachings of Yogi Bhajan so that they may serve, inspire, and empower humanity to be healthy, happy, and holy. 3HO’s Global Community is comprised of people who are dedicated to living a life that uplifts and inspires. Over the past 40 years, 3HO has become a vibrant, dynamic community of leaders, teachers, students, and seekers practicing the time-proven technology of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan grounded and centered in a philosophy of compassion and kindness. People from all walks of life and on every continent share this technology and are experiencing their potential, realizing peace in their inner world, and participating in a healthful lifestyle.” [www.3HO.org]

I have been well aware of the 3HO organization for years, and I have been inspired by the lifestyle as well as the authenticity. Living in California and attending the annual Sikh parade in Los Angeles, I would see the grace of the 3Ho community serving side by side with native Sikhs and non Sikhs alike. Many men and women have joined the Khalsa brotherhood which abolishes all caste, creed, and economic class. In reality there is no Punjabi or 3HO Sikh, because Sikhism is an experience for humanity and in no way exclusive to any one group, race, or people. Sikhism carries a universal message of compassion, service, and selflessness.

Yoga is an intrinsic pillar in the lives of most 3HO Sikhs as taught by Yogi Bhajan decades ago in America. Kundalini Yoga is a powerful experience with chanting, stretching, and breathing exercises which serve to increase both energy and self-awareness. Many people find peace, relaxation, and profound changes within themselves after such revitalizing yoga. I have not had the chance to partake in Kundalini Yoga as of yet, but I am waiting to experience it for myself. Today many “Sikhs” are blind sighted by anything that seems to have any relevance with Hindu practices after years of turmoil in India; hence, many are skeptical of the merging of Sikhism with yoga. However, they are missing a fundamental part of Sikhism in that analysis. Meditation and naam jaap are vital to reaching the gates of God in Sikhism. The balance of Miri Piri ensured by Guru Hargohind Singh Ji made a profound impact on the physical upkeep of the body. Spiritually, socially, mentally, and physically one must remain balanced.

Exercise releases endorphins which are just as powerful as many anti-depressants prescribed by doctors. In the book, Spark, Dr. John Ratey expands on amazing research showing how the brain is directly affected by exercise. Memory is increased, mental strain lessened, stress decreased, and neurological pathways strengthened. Exercise acts as a fertilizer to create new branches and strengthen old ones in the brain. In addition with all the mental benefits the physical ones are apparent and well known. Now combine exercise with mental discipline and you get yoga. Whether the person takes it spiritually or religiously is solely up to them, but the benefits are undeniable and should not be tossed aside with misconception and ignorance.

One Sikh cannot tell another that jogging or cardiovascular exercise is not apart of the Sikh religion or philosophy prescribed by the Gurus, and in the same way one Sikh cannot tell another that yoga is not a part of Sikhism. Both induce better health and have only positive effects on the body. Hence, yoga is a great vehicle to get in shape physically and mentally and should be given a chance and practiced with spirituality in mind.

Rick Ross has created an internet site where he cites the danger of various cults, and the 3HO is one of his “concerns.” Rick Ross himself has had a rocky life and has been arrested, sued, and indicted for many false accusations causing him to file bankruptcy in his latter career. Although these statements about the man may be personal, it is important to get his perspective of who he is and what he has been through to see where he is coming from. His advocation against “cults” began after his own religion, Judaism, was influenced by a church and many converted out of it. He felt that he needed to stop the church, and hence began his short lived career of “intervention.” Perhaps his narrow-mindedness can be found in his fear of losing what he finds himself so close to – his faith Judaism.

Rick Ross assumes many things about the 3HO organization, but has done very little to hinder the Sikh lifestyle in America. The attack leveled against the organization is pointed more strongly at Sikhism than the organization himself. His misunderstanding of the Sikh faith has skewed his perspective on what Sikhism is all about. It is not simply a religion, instead Sikhism is an intense voyage of experience lived through a discipline lifestyle. Sikhs believe in destroying the ego while surrendering to a merciful God who has created the entire Universe with love, compassion, honesty, and humility. Sikhs believe in prayer, mediation, faith, and One God above all. Sikhs believe in raising a family, and living in the world of possession with a great sense of detachment. Sikhs believe that the Khalsa is an order of brotherhood where Truth is to be upheld by justice. Sikhs are seekers of truth that walk a lonely path, not seeking approval by all, but only of the one and only Lord of all. Sikhism is open for all who are trying to find themselves within themselves. God = Truth.

A letter from John Smith of the Atheist Society expresses the universal appeal of Sikhism:

” Dear Ali, please help us. We were very impressed with your website and agreed that religion in general is no longer needed, we can all be humanistic and live in peace and harmony. We are in the process of making a website which will hopefully help to destroy the religious doctrines which divide humanity. We were doing great with knocking out Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha’i, even Buddhism but we have gotten very stuck with Sikhism. This religion is (to put it nicely) “a big pain in the <admin-profanity filter activated>” (Please pardon the language) We have only found one site which tries (very poorly) to argue that even this religion is not needed, but the argument is irrational and very unscientific unlike the very rational arguments you use.


When we read the following from your website, we found what you said to be amazingly interesting: “Doubt Everything Find Your Own Light.” “Last Words Dear friend, if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next. You can expend all your life or look for eternity and will find nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Look instead in service to humanity. You will find “meaning” in your love for other human beings. You can experience God when you help someone who needs your help. The only truth that counts is the love that we have for each other. This is absolute and real. The rest is mirage, fancies of human imagination and fallacies of our own making.” By Ali Sina Why is this interesting? Because we found this religion of Sikhism to be in agreement with you! This is why we have a problem. We tried to look at their holy text (Adi Granth) but didnt find the usual absurdities we found in the other religious books. In fact its refreshingly inspiring and very good!? Maybe you can have some better luck.

We tried to visit a couple of websites and got more of a shock. Did you know that they believed in Democracy, freedom of speech, choice, expression, freedom of religion, pluralism, human rights, equality between men and women, equality of all people regardless of race, religion, caste, creed, status etc. 300 years before the existance of the USA! Theirs is the only religion which says in their religious scriptures that women are equal in every respect to men. They even had women soldiers leading armies in to battle against “you know who” (The usual suspects – Muslims!) Their history is a proud one, they fought in both World Wars. Even Hitler praised them for their bravery and Aryan heritage! Dear Ali, this religion is hard for us to try and criticise but you are an expert and may find some faults overlooked by us. In their holy book, there is a round earth, water is made from chemical elements, there is even mention of the evoution process, big bang and life on other planets! This is pretty crazy and amazing stuff, who would have thought that these New York taxi drivers (There are lots of Sikh taxi drivers in NY) would have such an amzing faith? We read up some information of what Bertrand Russell had to say about Sikhism, this is the man who destroyed Christianity (same applies to Islam and Judaism) and exposed its absurdities, but even this great man got stuck when it came to Sikhism! In fact he gave up and said “that if some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them. Russell was asked that he was talking about the third world war, but isn’t this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? In reply, Russell said, “Yes, it has the capability, but the Sikhs have not brought out in the broad daylight, the splendid doctrines of this religion which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it.”

Please bear in mind that Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher and free thinker. We have been trying for weeks now to find a way to fairly and rationally criticize and find fault with this religion but have failed. We even found out that there are many people converting to this religion in the USA and Europe as well as Russia (Mostly well educated and affluent white people). We tried to find some of their literature and see what kind of claims they make, but unfortunatley they have no missionary material as they do not have missionsaries! People become Sikh by learning usually by chance or by coming in to contact with them. They are currently the 5th biggest religion in the world and growing quite fast in the west and Russia. Please help us as we are stuck, to give you an example of they are all about we found the following websites: http://www.sikhnet.com (This is a pretty good site and helpful) http://www.hope.at/sikhism (This site is very easy to follow, check it out, they have a Womans section and a Martyrs section, it looks like that you are not the only one trying to expose the falseness of Islam, Sikhs scholars did it hundreds of years ago and got killed for it!) http://www.sikhs.org (This is the site that was on CNN when Sikhs in the USA were mistaken for Arabs and Middle Easterners and were attacked by mindless morons)

Please help us out, we cant make our website about religion being the cause of war and disharmony when we have this one and only religion which makes a hell of a lot of sense! lol (I thought Atheism had all the answers but were kind of stuck now.) We look forward to hearing from you, we respect your great views and want to promote them to everyone, thank you for your time, take care.

Dr. John Smith “

Those who do not understand the basic tenets of the Sikh lifestyle and perspective cannot try to expose what they know nothing of. This is exactly what happened with Rick Ross and his blind-sighted plunge into defeating something that was different. These white people look different with turbans and beards. They get an overflow of energy from this yoga and chanting, so something must be wrong. There must be some kind of trance that is changing these people in such dramatic ways. Different does not mean wrong or weird, because to me difference is beautiful. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru compares the religions and philosophies of the world to a gorgeous and vibrant garden. Each flower bringing uniqueness and beauty.

Some find so much happiness that others begin questioning how and why. Some find so much faith and love in God that people ask who has changed them into a different person. Some fall in love so much with life and surrender to His will that people ask if they were manipulated. Some find another path to lead them, so people ask if they were converted. Are we as humanity so limited that we fear for change in our own lives, but even more in the lives of those around us. Why can’t people be happy if people have found their happiness elsewhere. All paths lead to the One God, so what is there to fear.

Be open. love life. Accept Others. I believe the 3HO organization put it right when they came up with “Healthy, Holy, Happy” Its a great motto for a great life.

Those who do not understand the path will mock it, and call it oppressive to free thinking. They love their ego too much to see how it is suffocating their real soul which is infinite beyond life and death. Yogi Bhajan said that people do not rebel against religious institutions, but instead they rebel against self discipline in their lives. Religion gives us that self discipline, and those who cannot sit with themselves and realize this, run from religion outwardly but from themselves inwardly. Yogi Bhajan also said that religion is not for everybody, but it is for anybody. We all awaken at our own times in life, and we will be on different levels when we do. We all will march together toward the light as ONE.

-GOD BLESS

                   Biology class is finally over and learning human anatomy has really made me think about being a human carnivore. Strip the human of the outer epidermis, the skin, and within you see the flesh of any other animal. We are animals with a higher consciousness, but the main ingredients are very much similar. From the genetic code to the actual flesh there is little difference between a human and another organic living creature. The grand exception comes from the ability to consciously be aware of time, existence, and emotion. We are superior only because of a highly wired and intricate highway system of neuro-pathways that shoot across millions of paths each second.

               I was watching a video of a human dissection and it was truly fascinating. The cadaver looked fresh and the whole body was in amazing condition. The face had an expression of awe with the mouth drawn open and the eyes peacefully closed on the chopping board of sorts. The presiding doctor who was doing the dissection began picking away at the different levels of tissue to get into the organs as the face remained composed and cold. I was sure he was dead when the doctor chopped out the heart for closer inspection. I guess that clip inflicted more pain on me than the dead father, son, or grandparent laying on the dissection table. The fate of us all may not be in an itunes video about dissection, but death is surely an inevitable and inescapable ticket. It made me think in a deeper perspective of the daily ego we so easily stride around carrying high and heavy. Perhaps the animals we munch on for dinner have a clearer conscious and unity with the universe than the ignorant man who appears to dine with superiority. 

                 Every cell in the human body lives to function and survive for the overall good of the system. The cell if damaged or dysfunctional may even kill itself for the survival of the greater tissue it lives for. There is no weekend or coffee break, as my professor says, for the cell and like a horse it works until its demise. Regulating organelles, ions, division, particle immigration, and thousands of other jobs each cell makes Obama’s job seem like a piece of cake. Dividing generation after generation to create a linage of function and work. We could learn a thing or two about life by just taking a small glimpse inside the universe which lies within the depths of the skin we feel so insecure about. The flesh which traps our souls in the physical plane of time harbors secrets of a greater truth if one takes the time to introspect the intricacies of life itself.

                All matter is composed of atoms and within every atom ninety-nine percent is empty space. Scientists are still debating whether electrons are real components or mere wave like particles of energy. Hence, empty space constitutes the great majority of the earth as we see it. The human eyes magnify the world through a lens which sees the mosaic of atoms as objects, people, stars, planets, and so forth. However, if we were to see the world at the level of the atom we would be exactly where we are now. On a planet, an electron, orbiting the sun, the nucleus, while only seeing vast distances that we call space. The universe is infinite in the scope as seen by NASA, but the distance is purely relative to the size as seen with the smallest building block of matter, the atom.

            Distance is relative to space, space is relative to size, and size is relative to the perspective of the beholder. The universe may be found and realized without ever opening a book or traveling millions of light-years away, for the vastness within every single breath of awareness reveals time at a standstill. The world freezes the moment we reach into ourselves and cease the exact moment that exists in the now. Freedom, liberation, peace, solitude, God, ourselves, and the universe can all be revealed in the silence of the mind. When the mind is tamed and the world stands still and we are in harmony with it, we become immortal. Death no longer exists, mysteries no longer matter, life seems plentiful, and worldly attachment seems foolish. The immortal window to reach God is in this exact moment for the next breath is never assured and the breath before the the one we took no longer exists. The past becomes a lie, the future becomes false, and the present becomes just that a present from God to unite with the universal truth of His grace.

                 The flesh disappears, the body no longer cages the soul, and the vibrancy of every atom begins to match the frequency of the universal one – God.

Tonight after everything that has happened, I have reaffirmed my greatest intuition that God does, indeed, listen. Please no matter how bad the storm gets; do not leave God. He is always there and listening. Let Him lead for He will find.

– God bless

Avil Alh nUru aupwieAw, kudriq ky sB bMdy ]

“First God created the Light; by His power he created all people equal.”

eyk nUr qy sBu jgu aupijAw, kaun Bly ko mMdy ]1]

From One Light came the entire universe. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1||

logw Brim n BUlhu BweI ]

“O people, in doubt wander not, my brothers,”

Kwilku Klk Klk mih Kwilku pUir rihE sRb TWeI ]1] rhwau ]

“Creation in Creator, and Creator in Creation, Totally filled in all places. ||1||Pause||”

mwtI eyk Anyk BWiq kir swjI swjnhwrY ]

“The clay is the same, but various ways by the Fashioner.”

nw kCu poc mwtI ky BWfy nw kCu poc kuMBwrY ]2]

“Nothing is wrong with the pot of clay – nothing is wrong with the Potter. ||2||”

sB mih scw eyko soeI iqs kw kIAw sBu kCu hoeI ]

“The One True Lord abides in all; by His making, everything is made.”

hukmu pCwnY su eyko jwnY bMdw khIAY soeI ]3]

“Whoever realizes the Hukam of His Command, knows the One Lord. He alone is said to be the Lord’s slave. ||3||”

Alhu AlKu n jweI liKAw guir guVu dInw mITw ]

“God is unseen; He cannot be seen. The Guru has blessed me with this sweet molasses.

kih kbIr myrI sMkw nwsI srb inrMjnu fITw ]4]3]

“Says Kabeer, my anxiety and fear have been taken away; I see the Immaculate Lord pervading everywhere. ||4||3||”

This is truly a gorgeous shabad song by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, one of the greatest punjabi singers of all time. Bhagat Kabir Ji composed the hymns, and they are presented in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji realized the most fundamental religious universal truth of all, God is in everything and within everyone. His presence and sweet nectar is found everywhere. We are all endowed with the light of God, so who is to say that one is right or wrong. We are God’s men and women. What a powerful message.

You can feel the powerful gravitational pull of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing from the heart. I was moved when I heard this shabad by him. He came to a gurdwara to pay his respect to a great message of peace and love by the Guru Granth Sahib. There is no Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Jew, or Muslim because we are all one in the same. No barrier exists in the creation of such immaculate love and beauty.

Everyday I find a new jewel in the vast mounds of Sikhism’s infinite treasure chest. This video and the symbolism it brings of Muslims and Sikhs coming together to praise God in peace really brings a settling reason to hope. Enjoy the video; there are two more parts that are on youtube.

(“Sansar Samundey Taar Gobindey” – Please carry me across the world-ocean, O Lord of the Universe – Kirtan sung by Bhai Manpreet Singh.)

Man runs into many walls in the worldly nature of society. We are continuously stabbed and pinched by the jagged wrath of society judging, sneering, and gossiping our every move. The experiences of life and the way in which it substantially molds our perspectives strengthens the notion that life is not easy. There are many struggles and too many dead ends. When the road finally straightens and all seems serene, right then life surfaces and reminds man that nothing here is pure bliss. Beyond our control or liking, life continues to happen. Some may call this destiny, kismaat, or others may believe that our decisions lead us to our goals. Neither is known for certain, but one thing that remains unquestioned is that life is not a script written by us. We did not choose our birth nor our inevitable death; hence, we have control over very minimal attributes in life itself.

The life we have been given is a chance beyond that of impossible, so I call it a miracle. No two men are handed the same fate at birth. Some are born to families where loving parents honor parenthood, others are given a meager life of survival. Some are born to the riches of an empire of kings and queens, others are born in shanties of poverty and starvation. Some are born to the whims of prosperous times, others are born to die in the hands of tyranny, genocide, and evil. Some are always thinking of ways to help others, while others are always plotting the destruction of foes. Countless are given a healthy body that functions to do work, others are born vulnerable to handicaps and death. Countless are seeking God in caves, statues, books, and churches. Countless diminish the power of God and drown themselves in their own egos. However, throughout all of these infinite differences one component is universal and that is the pursuit of happiness. Every single soul on Earth seeks happiness, but the way to achieve it is perceived by each man separately. No two people on Earth share the same thinking, because each has unique experiences that have sculpted their minds. The perceptions begin setting in stone and begin crystallizing over the years. Whether the crystallization of ideals hardening into stone helps man or hinders him depends on the quality of life experienced and the thoughts materialized thereof.

“dukh daaru sukh roag paaya jaa sukh taam naa hoi” (Pain became the medicine, and happiness the illness).” In the Rehras Sahib, a Sikh prayer, the Guru warns that pain is a vital component in remembering God. Man begins to drown in his own fallacies if the pain and sorrow of living never existed. There would be no betterment of the spirit as the Earth would become the ultimate Heaven of bliss. Pain and suffering bring man to his knees, and he silently begins to surrender as he realizes that his place in the universal power of God is very small and minute. I never understood and I still have a hard time fully understanding how man can be so arrogant and egocentric when he is but an atom in the size of infinity. However, our existence has a purpose; no matter how small our effect on the universe. The life we lead day in and day out is lived for a reason, because our desire to keep on moving through even the worst proves that we are not ready for the final transition – the transition of death.

“Nanak dukhiya sabh sansaar (Guru Nanak, a man of such high spirituality and Godliness was not spared from pain and suffering and neither is the rest of the world).” Life keeps us on our toes. We somehow believe that our future is still in our own hands endowing ourselves with power and authority. However, what stops a car from ramming you on the highway on the way home? What stops a close member in your family from getting an illness that proves fatal? What stops the wildfire behind your home just a few feet away? It just happens faster than a blink of an eye – life. Some were lucky enough to question how they survived, others had no opportunity to ask as they were swiftly taken. Appreciate your transient senses in the present moment with all there is to be thankful for. Plan for the future and make proper precautions, but never forget that at the end of the day, life does not wait. No one is ever ready to battle the stringent winters and cold throws of despair. God becomes the hand, man so desperately seeks, for guidance across the massive ocean of mental and worldly gaps. We will never truly know everything or become perfect, so we merely surrender and pray for His mercy.

The Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, continually warns man not to leave the world behind to find happiness. A man will not find happiness away from the world in which he lives. Running to remote caves, islands, and other areas will not help man find peace and content. He should live a balanced and disciplined life with God always on his lips and mind. I had at one point decided that I would lead my own life, and leave the people around me far away. I somehow believed that I was more righteous than them. The whole time I forgot that everyone has the God of light within, and every positive thing I do for someone else I am doing for God. Positive energy reciprocates into a positive lifestyle that sheds all the vices that make us so cruel and human. Actions speak louder than words, and positive actions are the real visible products of a pure soul. I decided that each man and woman on Earth was going to be a family member. I will respect every soul, because hatred will only cause me to hate myself. I will grow infinitely as a person accepting and loving all. Words hurt a lot less, because I smile a lot more. Backstabbing still pinches nerves, but no longer leaves me on the floor with blood squirting out of my heart. Like a bullet proof vest of love, I ward off the negative energy of the world and continue walking down the universal path of God.

In a recent movie called, Into the Wild, a young man leaves his seemingly perfect life in the pursuit of freedom and happiness away from the people he grew up with. He gets into Harvard and on the surface he has a perfect family life. However, he has grown up through rough times. He drives his new car for hours into the desert until he runs out of gas. He then burns his car and his wallet, leaving his identity and life behind. He was sick of the world, and how it so fatally butchered happiness. There was more to life than materialistic fulfillment, because the void within is so much deeper. He runs in countless circles on his voyage to the wilderness of Alaska. When he finally makes it, he starts going through depression and aimlessness. Life just becomes primitive and alone. There is no one else just him and nature. One day he accidentally eats a poisonous herb and begins to slowly die as his stomach and digestive system stop functioning. Too far from civilization, he stays in his shelter. In his notebook in his final days he wrote, “There is no happiness alone, it only exists in the company of others.” The movie was based on a true story. Life is meant to share, explore, and sail through in the company of fellow men dealing with the same journey in different ways.

Attachment begins to recede as one embraces God and his will. Surrender breeds selflessness in His submission. The limited time I have with those I love is minimal. All too soon it will be over. The moments I share with those whom I love dearly become precious treasures in a temporary life. We are all simply guests waiting in a room questioning what is on the other side of the wall. A barrier of dimensions shall sprout when death finally comes, but it will be nothing to mourn but rather to rejoice. A life well lived is a life emerged in the light of the Lord, Waheguru. Uniting with the supreme power and energy is the last hopeful stage in the soul’s progressive journey into the infinite unknown.

Be happy this very moment. Breathe and remember how grand the gift of living is. Be thankful. Look into the sky and reflect on the stars billions of light years away, and whisper to them that this life is beautiful. Just as they radiate from the depths of darkness in space, radiate your own life in the midst of worldly coldness. Warm the cold air in which you live every moment of the day. The choice is simple, “Be the candle to guide yourself and others or be the darkness of despair?

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Today I found a site which allowed me to legally download must every single audio recording of Sant Giani Maskeen Ji ever. I downloaded a little over two gigabytes of Maskeen Ji’s katha, and on my itunes it is calculated that I have about six days of continuous katha from Maskeen Ji. This site is a treasure of Sikh knowledge on the internet. Maskeen Ji was a jewel to the Sikh faith and his teachings and understanding of both the Sikh lifestyle and discipline are extremely deep. I have learned a lot by listening to Maskeen Ji who spoke fluent Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, and Farsi. He was a devout and pious man, and I know that his soul is now at peace with God. I wish these lectures were translated into English for the younger Sikhs and those not originally from Punjab. The site where you can download the katha is, http://www.maskeensahib.com

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    I have always been the religious type, constantly seeking the “right way to live life.” Always contemplating existence, the discipline of life, rights and wrongs, morals and ethics, black and white, and inner peace. Throughout this whole time I read countless books, articles, quotes and lectures from men of many faiths. I tried to listen from my heart to the five daily Sikh prayers, immersed myself in kirtan, and soaked myself in Sant Giani Maskeen Ji’s katha of Sikhism. I realized the simple truths of life and living throughout all of this; However, I could not seem to implement these simple truths into my life. I would change for a slight second or two, but then like a rushing tide of water, my egotistic thoughts would come flooding back into my mind. This whole time I thought I had defeated my ego, but I was very wrong. 

          I began judging others immensely. The world seemed wrong to me. How could he or she live the way they did – it was so immoral. I became a judge of everyone except myself. I distanced myself from others who did not believe what I believed. I was the one who knew everything. I put up barriers. The positive energy of being a Sikh was turning into negative frustration as others became scapegoats. I could not perfect myself so I began to find imperfections in others. I was a cynical critic of all men and life in general. I used events like 1984 to create separation from Hindus stemming from hatred. Slowly I was encasing myself in my own shell of what I thought life should be. My life was becoming dark, hallow, and lonely. There was no bliss. The whole time I thought I was coming closer to my faith, but I was really moving farther away from it. 

         I became argumentative and my anger started to take the better of me. I could blame a lot of who I was becoming on stress, but that just was not the case. I never slowed down to realize why I stopped smiling or why I closed people off without even talking to them. Why did I feel like I was always right and the world around me so wrong? My blogs over the last few months were evidence to my darkening outlook on life and I never seemed to notice it. 

       Sitting alone with myself was becoming increasingly difficult as negativity invaded my mind. The whole day I was so trapped in myself egocentrically that I shut out the rest of the world. They did not matter, it was my own personal journey. I was preoccupied with tons of work and tests, so I shrugged off my new negative outlook as my new reality. Life would soon be better when I would go home and hang out with the people I liked. Would the environment really make me more happy? I was making my education in the Caribbean the worst possible experience. No one was letting this happen, but myself. Sitting alone in the stillness of the night negative thoughts would come rushing into my mind accumulated throughout the day. I sat in bed an insomniac and prisoner to my wandering mind. My mind was slowly strangling the good hearted person I once was. The new negative energy was beginning to host itself within my every action. To distract myself I would put on a movie, slip in my Ipod headphones, or talk to a friend. I was running away from myself, because I did not like who I was becoming. 

         My own insecurities about myself were beginning to take a toll. I was no longer comfortable in my own skin, so I looked outside more than I would dare inside myself. I saw the worst in everything. I was shutting the world down, and becoming a huge skeptic of life, society, and people in general. I was interpreting the religion I loved so much in the wrong light. I saw life as a sheer lie with maya projecting a fake facade. The only goal was to better myself regardless of those around me. I wanted to become a doctor, make money, and take care of my family. I was wrong. “I” did not even exist.

         I was lucky to have a roommate as good as the one I was destined to have. A great man who always goes into every situation with a smile. I asked him how he dealt with so many of the annoyances in life, and he said that he only knew one thing and that was to make the best of everything. I nodded in agreement but inside I knew it was much harder for me than that.  

         A day ago, I was talking to my older sister over skype on the computer when all of a sudden my whole perception of life collapsed to the ground. We had a conversation that changed my whole life and me forever. She was surprised to see what I had become in the midst of college and being away from home. I had grown up in my own little comfort shell my whole life. Now I was thousands of miles away in the Caribbean and my outlook was changing for the worst. Instead of growing as a person I was beginning to shrivel. I was shedding the happiness I had tried so hard to find all my life. Emptiness was eating my real soul and spirit with negativity. My ego manipulated my life and thoughts, and I became a prisoner in denial – the moment I stopped resisting its fatal lock. 

         She told me that life was not going to slow down and help me change. There was no transition of maturity or happiness as life progressed through the years. I had a plain and simple choice, do I want to be happy or sad my whole life? See the positive in everything or the negative in everything? I knew the path which I was going down was the negative, and I knew the consequences. A lot of my doors in life were going to change if my perception were to stay this way. I needed to change. I had to change everything I had become from the heart on up.

         I was shaken and taken aback by the conversation and like a butterfly in metamorphosis I changed. “I” died in that moment. I could not retain the emotions within me anymore. The person I thought I was broke down in the shower. Tears flooded down my face as I completely surrendered and welcomed the self realization that I had been waiting for my whole spiritual life. I fell to my knees for all the sins I committed daily. For judging others and perceiving the world in such a negative and wasteful way. I was disgusted at who I had become. I was on the track of becoming a cynical, closed-minded, and greedy man. The emotions were much too complex to even comprehend but there is no doubt that I, my ego, finally died that night. The ego which kept afloat my anger, perception, greed, and narrow-mindedness all vanished as I said no more. “I” realized that I was never that negative person within. I had been robbed and pillaged of my true identity. 

            I am not my skin, my flesh, my house, my career, my shoes, my clothes, my car, or my ego. I am really the selfless and positive light within – an infinite vibration. I am going to make it a discipline to smile and enjoy every moment gifted to me on this Earth. I am going to make it a habit not to judge others or myself. I am going to make it a habit of loving everyone and everything as one. I am going to make it a habit to disconnect myself with my ego infested hatred, division, and anger. I finally woke up that day as I fell to the ground asking God for His forgiveness. I felt as if this was what I had been waiting for, as the negative energy literally was expelled out of me. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru ji states that if you take one step towards God, God takes a million steps toward you. That day He finally came and proved to me His power to change a lost man in a moment. 

           I was always worried about what others would think about me, but now I frankly do not care. I have the right to be happy my whole life. Every line I hear in the Guru Granth Sahib rings so true now as I have moved away from my ego and closer to God. I have always been so afraid to let go, but that fateful day I finally did. I no longer have conflicts with anyone for nothing is an insult. If someone calls me a name or disrespects what I stand for, I no longer let it bother me because within I am stronger. My exterior is not who I am, and if someone wants to judge me they can be my guest. At one point, I too was guilty of this sin of judging others. When the Guru Arjan Dev Ji sat on the burning hot plate he smiled to the heavens above for he was soon going to meet his creator. He harnessed no hate toward the Muslims or the men who were carrying out his death. Bhai Mati Das Ji smiled the whole time as he was being cut in half, and Guru Gobhind Singh Ji sacrificed his whole family and himself for the spreading of truth, love, and justice. Who the hell am I to be carrying around a massive ego of hate when God is always within every man and the those around him. All are God’s children, and with Waheguru’s kirpa they too will one day be awakened when the time has come. 

          Whenever my mind introduces any element of hate, anger, or judgement, I stop it. I halt the thought and tell it to leave my mind. There is no room for your presence here in my mind. I do not care to hear what you have to say. I smile, love, and accept everything now and drench myself in the beauty of the present moment. I have let go of my ego. If someone tells me that I am skinny, ugly, or dumb I will smile and tell them that I am sorry but I have no complaints, but I am sorry you do, by the way you look great this afternoon – I will continue. I will not insult or slander back this person, for I will not defend something “I” truly am not. I have no control over how my body looks or how others judge it. I can simply be myself and accept who I am with the unwavering love of God who has given me such a beautiful transient gift. Nothing can hold me back for yesterday I destroyed my greatest enemy – myself. 

          The world is much more vibrant now and every person much more beautiful. Every religion a lot more significant. The cliche that one’s reality is his/her perception is perphaps one of the most significant truths of all. Since I changed my perception, the world has changed and the word of God has become so much more beautiful. Now when I hear the words, “Nah Koi Baire Nahi Begana” (There is no enemy or stranger), I cannot help but get goosebumps. “Ab Tuhi, Ma Nahe” (When You (God) are, I am not). From the bottom of my heart, I have zero hatred for anyone or anything in this world in which I live. All seems to be the gorgeous vibration of Waheguru in every direction I look. “Tuhe, Tuhe…”

         Everyday is still a battle and every second the parasite of an ego tries to beckon forth once again, but now I resist with full force. I have stopped feeding into the negativity of my mind, and I know that I am a lot happier because of it. I am seriously one step closer to God, and knowing who I really am. I have finally shed a lot of falsehood in my life. I smile now for the life that has been given to me is too deep a miracle. I breathe with passion, and walk with assurance in the power of God and my true inner-self. I have nothing and no one to fear. I am now living. 

      The Guru Granth Sahib really comes alive now that I am no longer blind. The sweet nectar comes with self-realization. Keep trying and trying for every step you take towards Waheguru a million are taken towards you. One day the moment will come in all types of forms to elevate you one step nearer to the infinite truths of God. Do not give up no matter how high the tides or how shallow the water may appear. Things will come and when they do you will be glad that you kept your prayers and thoughts with the Almighty. It may feel superficial at first, but very soon it becomes a miraculous healing power for happiness. I have found a direction with structure, and a heart with a true purposeful soul. I have been liberated, but still have a long way to go. Lord I am one step closer to you. In His grace and mercy I trust.

Comment posted by Abhay under Shaheed post,

“I am happy that you were not there during the days of Op. Bluestar, sounds like you are pretty trigger happy too.

Your blog post also gloats on how you stood up against sikh morality and what not in the face of your pal talking about his uncle’s being a part of the armed forces flusing militant elements out of the temple.

I am also pretty sure that apart from your forays into Punjab once every 3 years or so your connection to Punjab is through these blog posts only. Thats understandable, you know why….

Because no matter how or what you do, it takes more than a swashbuckler to do deeds that help your own people. You can prate about Operation Bluestar and all that, which even the hindus, muslims and sikhs know was a botched operation but you absolutely can’t come here and contribute to the development of Punjab.

I am a Hindu and a minority ethnic group from Kashmir, who were all on the run from internal strife there but I can’t blind myself with irrartional logic by going on a killing spree in my homeland. I have studied for a decade in Punjab, Chandigarh and then heartland of Punjab, Patiala. I graduated with wonderful sikh and non-sikh pals, discussed these very issues with them but I have never seen such venom spilled by them. you know why?

Because they all are in punjab and know that mistakes were committed from both sides post 84 and moreover it was a decadent political establishment that was at blame. No bosy passed a national consensus to persecute sikhs and neither could any group stop this on their own once it got mobilised by some depraved hindus.

On the contrary, you guys who plan to study in the Carribean and Grenada and yakety yak and very conveniently write about your allegiance to sikhi in your blog posts, do you ever plan to invest the time or resources to at least for god’s sake know what had happened by delving deep into the subject?

Ever heard of authors who wrote on all aspects of sikhism, and insurgency, and socio political conditions: like Pettigrew, Jurgensmeyer, Patwant singh, WH McLeod, Brar, Oberoi, Khuswant Singh etc.???

Its time you armed your spite and anger, some of which I can claim to understand, with some intellect.”

My humble response to Mr. Abhay,

Well first and foremost, I would like to thank you, Mr. Abhay, for discussing this matter properly instead of being extremely impolite and disconnected. Some of your points are relevant and taken to heart, but unfortunately you have mostly failed to see why so many Sikhs around the world are particularly hurt about the situation leading to the Sikh massacre during the 80s and mid 90s. We have falsely been targeted as being fanatics, radicals, and terrorists because we demand justice for the genocide in the fields of Punjab and other Indian states during this volatile time in Punjab’s history. I have learned being a Sikh that there are many routes and paths to God whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, or Hinduism. In a beautiful Sikh Shabad, the Guru uses a metaphor of a garden to explain how beautiful the diversity of people and faith are in the world in which we live. In our Ardas every night in all gurudwaras throughout the world, we ask for the well being of mankind before our own.

Sikhs have a long history of fighting injustice. Our founding Gurus died for righteousness and justice rather than convert or bow their heads to defeat. The Sikhs fought when the Mughal raj threatened both Sikhism and Hinduism while protecting the Hindu women from being picked up at night. We fought when the British invaded South Asia sacrificing the most shaheeds in India while being less than two percent of the population. In the battle of Kargil, Sikhs put down their lives more than any other religion in India once again. Why were we not labeled terrorists and “trigger happy” then Mr. Abhay? I will tell you why, because when we die for your rights and life we are heroes and shaheeds, but when we die for our own people for in the name of justice we become terrorists. Sant Jarnail Bhindranwale, president of Damdami Taksal, used to preach Sikhism throughout Punjab before he was raised by the Indian government in a political move to entice the parties. Thus you are right that it was a politically stirred event which cascaded into the mass murder of Sikhs throughout India.

We want the promised glow of liberty, justice, and freedom in India because we paid so heavily for its independence. We want our brothers and sisters in Punjab to be able to live without fear. Is that too much to ask Mr. Abhay? Let me put the Indian governments quotes directly in front of you so you can have a taste of our oppression in India.

BEFORE INDEPENDENCE DURING SIKH FREEDOM FIGHTERS IN INDIA

“…in future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs” (The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31, 1929)
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“…the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom.” (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930)
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“I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. Let God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you (the Sikhs).
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When pressed further Gandhi said that Sikhs would be justified in drawing their swords out of the scabbards as Guru Gobind Singh had asked them to, if Congress would renege on its commitment.” (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Young India, March 19, 1931)
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“You (Sikhs) take my word that if ever the Congress or I betray you, you will be justified to draw the sword as taught by Guru Gobind Singh” (M. K. Gandhi).”

AFTER INDEPENDENCE THE SIKHS WERE LIED TO BY THE HINDU LEADERS

(TIMES HAD CHANGED)

To preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-kror [ 20 millions ] Sikhs, we will do so. (Balram Jhakhar, a colleague of P.V. Narsimharao, the former Indian Prime Minister)

” The Sikhs are a lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus … The [Government] should take strict measures against them.” (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, on Sikhs)

“Kya main taqat dushman (the enemy -the Sikhs) ke haath main de dun (How can I entrust power into the hands of the enemies).” (Jawahar Lal Nehru, 1961)

” I hate the very physique of a Sikh because of the turban and beard. ” (Vallabh Bhai Patel, late Indian top politician)

“I don’t give a damn if the Golden Temple and whole of Amritsar are destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead.” (Indira Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, communicating with Gen. Vaidya during “Operation Blue Star”)

“We have broken the back of the Sikhs and we will get them elsewhere.” (M. M. K. Wali, Indian Foreign Secretary, June 7, 1984, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio 740, As It Happens)

“Let us teach these bastards (the Sikhs) a lesson.” (Rajiv Gandhi, October 31, 1984)

“… a threat to the villagers that all males would be killed and their women taken to army camps to breed a new race if there was any militant activity in their village.” (Brig. R. P. Sinha, Indian Army, March 8, 1991)

“You do not know the might of our armed forces. We will eliminate 10,000 Sikh youths and the world will know nothing about it.” (Chander Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India, CK, 21st October, 1991)

“Raj Bina Nahin Dharam Chale Hain, Dharam Bina Sab DalleMalle Hain” which literally means that sovereignty is a must in order for a religion to survive; otherwise religion perishes (Guru Nanak).

Mr. Abhay I cannot call India my home or Hindustan a secular country. There is hatred and terrorism in the central government against the Sikhs, Muslims, and other minorities. I urge you to ask the Jews of Nazi Germany to get over what happened? Sikhs have fought oppression and tyranny in the past and will continue to fight it today. Many Sikhs left India in the 1980s because living in India was no longer possible as blood was being split on the Guru’s dharti again, and this time by the country we fought for. Our own country became a foreign land of intolerance. The injustices continue in Punjab as the state has been refused equal state funding,  Chandigarh was split from Punjab, its water is being diverted to other states, its commerce is given less value, and suicide by Jatt Sikh farmers are going unnoticed. Cults like the Dera are being funded and let loose by the anti-Sikh elements in the Indian government. The RSS are adamant on distorting Sikhism as Hinduism with false brochures, posters, and books.

When India in June of 1984 decided to invade the Golden Temple on that fateful day when thousands of devotees were present, India made the mistake of turning its back on its must loyal constituents the – the Sikhs. The Sikh library was burned to the ground although there were no “militants” within it. Hundreds of other gurdwaras were invaded during that time also. Then during Operation Woodrose, over 250,000 Amrithari Sikhs were tortured and killed in fake encounters. The pure disgust by which this whole incident happened, is why India cannot be a true democracy. No human rights organization was allowed to enter nor was the media. In Delhi the government sponsored the killings of Sikhs on the streets.

“India is ablaze with hate and anger. In city after city from one corner of the country to the other enraged mobs have gone and are going about systematically burning and looting Sikh properties and assaulting Sikhs without discrimination.” 1The Times of India

“Sikhs were sought out and burned to death. Children were killed, shops looted, cars burnt, markets destroyed, houses gutted. Trains were stopped and Sikhs were picked out and murdered.” Akbar M.J.

“Around 300 Sikh officers and men in uniform were done to death in the presence of non-Sikh soldiers, who stood as silent spectators.” 2 Economic and Political Weekly

Police officers “stood by and watched arson, rape, looting and murder, without making any attempt to intervene to protect citizens brlonging to the Sikh minority, without attempting to dissuade the attackers to call for reinforcements or other support, or even to inform the fire brigade.” 3 Independent Report

“Many people complained that, in some cases, the police were not merely hanging back, but giving active support.” 4 The Times

Mr. Abhay erase your nationalistic feelings and bias against the movement for just a moment, and pretend if you will, that you were a Sikh in Delhi during the riots. You were born in Delhi, and lived there your whole life. You were visibly a Sikh as symbolized by your kara, kirpan, and turban. You also strongly disagreed with Bhindranwale and the Sikh movement in Punjab, because you believed it was political nonsense. Then suddenly after the assassination of Indira Ghandi the Delhi police promise to protect you, and order you to give up all your weapons including your kirpan. Your house and business location are given to the mob via the congress party of India. Soon after, mobs come into your home and force your whole family onto the street and you now have no weapons for self-defense. Your elderly father is taken into the street and doused in petrol with a tire around his neck. You watch him burn alive as the police and mob watch and laugh. Your son is cut into pieces and also lit on fire. Your wife raped in front of your eyes. Somehow you escape with all the trauma, and find yourself twenty years later without an ounce of justice and no longer the energy needed to live nor die. You have become a stone. Their voices have been suppressed Mr. Abhay, and there are only a select few voices in the world left that remember and try to tell their stories. If I am called a fanatic for telling their stories years later so be it. I will not be silenced like they once were.

No government of India or Punjab has ever apologized for the torture and genocide of the Sikhs. I understand that this happened about twenty years ago, but try telling that to a widow in Delhi who watched her family burnt alive and is still living with the trauma. Try telling a woman in Punjab that all her five sons, the youngest eight, were murdered only because they were Sikh, but it would be better if she got over it because it happened in the past, and India is getting better. Pictures speak a million words, and the pictures of Sikh youth killed and dogs eating their body parts says it all in India. I live in California and I am safe from rioting, killing, and government kidnappings but I am not safe from my guilty conscious of being a Sikh and accepting what happened.

I am glad that you reference Khushwant Singh, because he was one of the biggest critics of India during the Delhi riots and the attack on the Golden Temple. He even wrote about it. AR Darshi was a Hindu politician in Punjab who wrote about the incidents in favor of a simple and generous, Bhindranwale, in his book the Ghallant Defender. The other writers you have listed have been strong advocates against Sikhism from the beginning so please do try and be fair.

“Pug bunkay koi sardaar ne bundaa.” By wearing a turban on does not become a Sikh or a sardaar. A true sardaar is one who lives like the Gurus did before him and in their hukum, will, he lives. Very few are actually true Sikhs. KPS Gill is theoretically a visible Sikh, but the amount of torture and killings he prompted in Punjab equates him more with Hitler or Stalin than a servant of humanity and God. A man who has spilled so much Sikh blood is hailed a hero in Hindustan today, just as Aurangzeb was in the Mughal raj when he put a small bounty on a Sikh’s head. Sant Giani Maskeen Ji in his Japji Sahib Viakiyha explains the line, “Asunk jor haram kor, asunk papee…” (There are many cheats, many sinners…). Maskeen Ji states that circumstances given to men really indicate there inner desires unearthed and the malice within is truly revealed when given a chance to surface. Men like Hitler were given supreme power, hence they committed so many crimes for they were given the opportunity. KPS Gill was given the whole police force and directed it toward cruelty and inhumanity. He was not a Sikh, but instead a mass murderer. Even in the Sikh morcha and movement some Sikhs were probably not in the movement for the right reasons or intentions. Some just wanted to loot, steal, vandalize, and fluster circumstances.

However, the Sikhs in the Golden Temple and other dangerous locations that stayed and fought for hours on end despite impossible victory, are the true shaaheds and heroes of the modern Sikh struggle for justice. Those were the true Sikhs who lived out the history of the Gurus before them like Guru Arjan Dev who sat on a hot plate and burned to death, Guru Tegh Bahadur who fought until his head was torn off, and Bhai Mati Das Gur da pyaara who was split in half. Guru Gobhind Singh Ji lost his whole family and his own life while fighting for Sikhi and human justice. Although he lost so much to the Muslim raj he was still so Godly to exclaim, “Manas Ki Jaat Sabhe Ek Pehchanbo” (All humanity is the creation of one God). These are the true Sikhs who would rather shed their heads than suppress their voices and actions for righteousness and the truth, “Sirr Jaavey Taa Jaavey Meraa Sikhi Sidak Na Jaavey” (If my head goes so be it, but I will not leave my Sikhi).

This Shabad is by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Salok Vaaraan Thay Vadheek on Ang 1410 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj:

jo tho praem khaelan kaa chaao ||
If you desire to play this game of love with Me,

sir dhhar thalee galee maeree aao ||
then step onto My Path with your head in hand.

eith maarag pair dhhareejai ||
When you place your feet on this Path,

sir dheejai kaan n keejai ||20||
give Me your head, and do not pay any attention to public opinion. ||20||

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Maaroo on Ang 1102 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj:

salok ma 5 ||
Salok, Fifth Mehla:

pehilaa maran kabool jeevan kee shhadd aas ||

First, accept death, and give up any hope of life.

Perhaps the most ironic twist in our history is that Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji died for both the protection of Sikhs and Hindus during the Muslim raj. The Hindu community that he sacrificed his life for was of Indira Ghandi’s direct ancestry. Our Gurus and Sikhs have sacrificed so much for humanity, but Mr. Abhay when we demand justice for those who were slaughtered by the government, our Hindu brothers and sisters turn the other way. If our Gurus had done the same to the Hindus during the Mughal raj we would all be living a Muslim lifestyle today.

Your rationale for Sikhs being too angry and radical is truly unwarranted. You will never understand our pain and anguish mainly because you are a Hindu living in Hindustan. We are Sikhs living in Hindustan, a country that denies us our religion in the Constitution and our very right to live. I live in America, because this is the true Khalistan where I can speak, write, and express myself on whatever I will. I have rights. I will not be killed for believing something that is against the majority. The government allows us to practice Sikhism in peace and we have no complaint. This is my new home, but Punjab will always be the dharti of my Gurus and my beliefs, hence I cannot forget about it either.

Milan Kundera, “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it was… The struggle of man against power is the struggle against forgetting.” I will never forget Mr. Abhay, and I plead for you to see the humanity in all of this terror, and deem whom the real terrorist entity was and is. Lets stop labeling men as Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims and just see for one moment humanity, because only then can we feel the hurt of death and despair. “Kudrat ke saab banday… Ek jot mai saab jugh objaiya (Men are all One, each with the light of the Lord). In a highly emotional and nationalistic song Rabbi Shegill asks Indians during the Gujarat riots, “Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan thay, Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain.” The Pope of Catholicism has also denounced the killings of Christians in India and Iraq. Nationalism becomes very dangerous and divisive when equated with the unwarranted murder of minorities.

I could write a million volumes if I were to give and rightfully so all the horrific accounts that occurred in Punjab and India in the last two decades. I move on with my life, but continue to remember and demand justice. I will surely write many books about the Sikh Struggle after finishing my MD degree. Mr. Abhay I do not have to live in Punjab to care, but I do agree instilling hate is not the solution but providing awareness is.

-God Bless

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