image caption: Gurmukh Singh OBE

Vaisakhi 1699: The High Point of Guru Nanak Jote-Jugat Mission - Part II

ਜੋਤਿ ਓਹਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਇ ਸਹਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਫੇਰਿ ਪਲਟੀਐ

 

They shared the One Light and the same way the King just changed His body.

 

(Part II: Definition of a Sikh)

       It was stressed in the introductory first part last week that approach to the interpretation of Gurbani should be with reference to Sri Guru Granth Sahib &ndash the Divine Light or Jote - and the Jugat or the living way (reht) as shown by the Ten Guru-persons by own example. Otherwise, we get diverse interpretations which mislead and give rise to deras and gurudoms while modern Sikhs have a free for all preaching their own version of universal Sikhi! We even get different definition of who is a SIKH! These elements deny the Sikh Reht Maryada and the great Sikh institutions and Sikh identity based on a holistic interpretation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and as lived and taught by the Ten Guru persons.

During the Vaisakhi 1699 at Anandpur Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh ji revealed the identity of the ideal/perfect human being guided by the teachings and lives of the Ten Guru-persons. So, claims by some that they are guided by the universal teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib only while they deny the great miri-piri Sikhi institutions built by the Ten Guru-persons by own examples and shaheedis, and defended by the Khalsa Panth over the centuries, do create doubts about their true motives. More so as we face so many challenges to independent Sikh ideology and institutions. We cannot ignore the Sikhi as lived and taught by the Ten Gurus by own example and go back to square one.

Therefore, the definition of a Sikh in the Sikh Reht Maryada is an important assertion of the Sikh identity derived by the Guru Jote-Jugat during the Guru teaching period from 1469 to 1699. The Sikh Reht Maryada describes a Sikh as: Any human being who faithfully believes in One Immortal Being Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib The Guru Granth Sahib the utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and the Amrit Initiation bequeathed by the tenth Guru and, who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh.

Let us be clear: Sri Guru Granth Sahib is universal. It is for all humanity to seek guidance from. However, the path of Sikhi based on the correct interpretation of Gurbani as lived by the Ten Gurus is for committed Sikhs &ndash no matter at which rung of the Sikhi ladder they stand. They must believe in One Immortal Being and the Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. They must believe in the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib and the utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus only and none other. They must have faith in the Amrit Initiation bequeathed by the tenth Master. They must not owe allegiance to any other religion. They must be Sikhs of the Guru.

From next week, we look at the contribution of each Guru-person to the ultimate revelation of the Khalsa &ndash the ideal human being &ndash on the Vaisakhi Day in 1699. (Continued next week).

Gurmukh Singh OBE