image caption: Gurmukh Singh

Guru Nanak Sahib Prophet of the New Age

Bhai Gurdas wrote about the arrival of the Prophet of the New Age, World Spiritual Guide (ਜਾਹਰ ਪੀਰੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਗੁਰ ਬਾਬਾ):

The Benefactor Lord listened to the cries (of humanity) and sent Guru Nanak to the world. (Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 1.23).

In his meditation, Baba []]Guru Nanak] saw the whole world burning []]in the fire of lust, anger and greed]. (Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 1.24)

Guru Nanak Sahib reminded human beings that they were at the top of the evolutionary ladder (Sagal jon teri panhaari) and implicitly made the human race responsible for the global eco-system and own destiny: peace and prosperity or war and destruction were their own collective choices. He rejected exploitation and oppression under any pretext.

Honest living through hard work, service (seva) and sharing without discrimination are essential components of God awareness (Naam Simran) for achieving the objective of human life. This combination, revolutionized an impotent people who were following opt-out ideologies and false gods and were at the mercy of the tyrants and invaders and ignorance -spreading priesthood of orthodox religions. The same people were converted into an invincible Akal Purakh ki Fauj, the Khalsa, with clear Miri-Piri (temporal-spiritual) objectives.

Dr Ganda Singh wrote that Sikhs are a living practical example of the impact of the life and teachings of Guru Nanak on history. Like the Guru himself, they are practitioners of a way of life which combines spirituality with honest work and serving and sharing. They are never afraid to put their hand to any type of work that comes their way and they would strive to every nerve to make it a success. That is practical spirituality &ndash an expression coined by Brig. Rawel Singh in an article (see footnote articles).

In his Later Mughals, William Irvine wrote: In all the parganas occupied by the Sikhs, the reversal of previous customs was striking and complete. A low scavenger or a leather dresser, the lowliest of the low in in Indian estimation, had only to leave home and join the Guru when in a short space of time he would return to his birth place as its ruler, with his order of appointment in his hand. As soon as he set foot within the boundaries, the wellborn and wealthy went out to greet him and escort him. []]Vol 1 pp 98-99]

Sikhs have led India in non-violent struggle (satyagrehe) as well as armed struggle against oppression and for the freedom of all peoples of India. Yet, today, the Brahmanic-Hindutva boa begins to embrace Sikhi in its suffocating coils. The process started with Clause 25 of the Indian Constitution and now the clouds of bhagwanwaad Hindu Rashtra are descending in the name of ekta (unity) &ndash the type of ekta enforced by Islamic fanaticism in the 17-18th centuries and lamented by poet Bhai Santokh Singh. Once again, we are reminded that Guru Nanak Sahib first revolted against Brahmanic hegemony when he refused to wear the caste thread (janeu). So, history seems to have completed a full circle. Not surprisingly, the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, warned his Khalsa against the Bipran reet. Yet, we keep following these. That makes the Hindutva objective of assimilating Sikh that much easier.

The responsibility is ours to shun Bipran practices and to follow the path shown by Guru Nanak Sahib for the future survival of humankind.

Short articles for further reading:

Gurmukh Singh OBE

Principal Civil Servant retd.