Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Am I really a Sikh?

My entire life, I have been calling myself a Sikh.  Every time someone asks me "what religion do I follow?" and my answer has been "Sikhism" or " I am a Sikh".  Does that truly make me one though? Now I have read and heard of all of the technical debates about definition of a Sikh thru Indian media, government politics and even within some Sikh circles thru organizations like Sehajdhari Sikh Society or Sabha or something like that in India which wants voting rights in SGPC elections.  This has gotten worse over the years and to some degree may be manipulation by Indian government or organizations which want to keep Sikhs within the Hindu fold, even though Sikhism is an independent religion.  Anyways, going back to my title of the post, so what makes a person a Sikh and am I right to call myself one?  Personally, I say yes and no, when I read the following shabad, because I haven't regularly gotten up in the morning and done path my entire life.  I should put myself in a category of Sikh one day and not so Sikh another day when I become lazy or busy or get entrapped by maya and make excuses.

मः ४ ॥
Mėhlā 4.
Fourth Mehl:

गुर सतिगुर का जो सिखु अखाए सु भलके उठि हरि नामु धिआवै ॥
Gur saṯgur kā jo sikẖ akẖā▫e so bẖalke uṯẖ har nām ḏẖi▫āvai.
One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name.

उदमु करे भलके परभाती इसनानु करे अम्रित सरि नावै ॥
Uḏam kare bẖalke parbẖāṯī isnān kare amriṯ sar nāvai.
Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar.

उपदेसि गुरू हरि हरि जपु जापै सभि किलविख पाप दोख लहि जावै ॥
Upḏes gurū har har jap jāpai sabẖ kilvikẖ pāp ḏokẖ lėh jāvai.
Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased.

फिरि चड़ै दिवसु गुरबाणी गावै बहदिआ उठदिआ हरि नामु धिआवै ॥
Fir cẖaṛai ḏivas gurbāṇī gāvai bahḏi▫ā uṯẖ▫ḏi▫ā har nām ḏẖi▫āvai.
Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name.

जिस नो दइआलु होवै मेरा सुआमी तिसु गुरसिख गुरू उपदेसु सुणावै ॥
Jis no ḏa▫i▫āl hovai merā su▫āmī ṯis gursikẖ gurū upḏes suṇāvai.
That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate - upon that GurSikh, the Guru's Teachings are bestowed.

जनु नानकु धूड़ि मंगै तिसु गुरसिख की जो आपि जपै अवरह नामु जपावै ॥२॥
Jan Nānak ḏẖūṛ mangai ṯis gursikẖ kī jo āp japai avrah nām japāvai. ||2||
Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. ||2||

जो सासि गिरासि धिआए मेरा हरि हरि सो गुरसिखु गुरू मनि भावै ॥
Jo sās girās ḏẖi▫ā▫e merā har har so gursikẖ gurū man bẖāvai.
One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind.