Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why take pride in caste, you fool? Listen to the Guru's words!

With all of the false prides in castes, classes, titles, the human is lost in these divisions. Recent shooting in Vienna Gurdwara, fighting and arguing in others for all kinds of divisions and ways of worship and rituals. Jattpuna, marasipuna, Khatri sikh, rajput sikh, this sikh that sikh. This is all garbage. A wise Sikh rises above all this garbage like a lotus flower. Our Gurus clearly tried to steer us away from haomay (ego) and false pride, yet we all fall pray to this part of maya.

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੪ ਘਰੁ ੬
सूही महला ४ घरु ६
Sūhī mėhlā 4 gẖar 6
Soohee, Fourth Mehl, Sixth House:


ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥
Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:


ਨੀਚ ਜਾਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਤਿਆ ਉਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਇ ॥
नीच जाति हरि जपतिआ उतम पदवी पाइ ॥
Nīcẖ jāṯ har japṯi▫ā uṯam paḏvī pā▫e.
When someone of low social class chants the Lord's Name, he obtains the state of highest dignity.


ਪੂਛਹੁ ਬਿਦਰ ਦਾਸੀ ਸੁਤੈ ਕਿਸਨੁ ਉਤਰਿਆ ਘਰਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥
पूछहु बिदर दासी सुतै किसनु उतरिआ घरि जिसु जाइ ॥१॥
Pūcẖẖahu biḏar ḏāsī suṯai kisan uṯri▫ā gẖar jis jā▫e. ||1||
Go and ask Bidar, the son of a maid; Krishna himself stayed in his house. ||1||


ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਜਨ ਭਾਈ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਹਸਾ ਦੂਖ ਭੂਖ ਸਭ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
हरि की अकथ कथा सुनहु जन भाई जितु सहसा दूख भूख सभ लहि जाइ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Har kī akath kathā sunhu jan bẖā▫ī jiṯ sahsā ḏūkẖ bẖūkẖ sabẖ lėh jā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
Listen, O humble Siblings of Destiny, to the Unspoken Speech of the Lord; it removes all anxiety, pain and hunger. ||1||Pause||


ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਚਮਾਰੁ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਨਿਮਖ ਇਕ ਗਾਇ ॥
रविदासु चमारु उसतति करे हरि कीरति निमख इक गाइ ॥
Raviḏās cẖamār usṯaṯ kare har kīraṯ nimakẖ ik gā▫e.
Ravi Daas, the leather-worker, praised the Lord, and sang the Kirtan of His Praises each and every instant.


ਪਤਿਤ ਜਾਤਿ ਉਤਮੁ ਭਇਆ ਚਾਰਿ ਵਰਨ ਪਏ ਪਗਿ ਆਇ ॥੨॥
पतित जाति उतमु भइआ चारि वरन पए पगि आइ ॥२॥
Paṯiṯ jāṯ uṯam bẖa▫i▫ā cẖār varan pa▫e pag ā▫e. ||2||
Although he was of low social status, he was exalted and elevated, and people of all four castes came and bowed at his feet. ||2||


ਨਾਮਦੇਅ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਲਗੀ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਲੋਕੁ ਛੀਪਾ ਕਹੈ ਬੁਲਾਇ ॥
नामदेअ प्रीति लगी हरि सेती लोकु छीपा कहै बुलाइ ॥
Nāmḏe▫a parīṯ lagī har seṯī lok cẖẖīpā kahai bulā▫e.
Naam Dayv loved the Lord; the people called him a fabric dyer.


ਖਤ੍ਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਪਿਠਿ ਦੇ ਛੋਡੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਲੀਆ ਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਇ ॥੩॥
खत्री ब्राहमण पिठि दे छोडे हरि नामदेउ लीआ मुखि लाइ ॥३॥
Kẖaṯrī barāhmaṇ piṯẖ ḏe cẖẖode har nāmḏe▫o lī▫ā mukẖ lā▫e. ||3||
The Lord turned His back on the high-class Kh'shaatriyas and Brahmins, and showed His face to Naam Dayv. ||3||


ਜਿਤਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਕਾ ਮੁਖਿ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਤਿਨ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਕਢਾਇ ॥
जितने भगत हरि सेवका मुखि अठसठि तीरथ तिन तिलकु कढाइ ॥
Jiṯne bẖagaṯ har sevkā mukẖ aṯẖsaṯẖ ṯirath ṯin ṯilak kadẖā▫e.
All of the devotees and servants of the Lord have the tilak, the ceremonial mark, applied to their foreheads at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage.


ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਪਰਸੇ ਜੇ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ ॥੪॥੧॥੮॥
जनु नानकु तिन कउ अनदिनु परसे जे क्रिपा करे हरि राइ ॥४॥१॥८॥
Jan Nānak ṯin ka▫o an▫ḏin parse je kirpā kare har rā▫e. ||4||1||8||
Servant Nanak shall touch their feet night and day, if the Lord, the King, grants His Grace. ||4||1||8||

http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=733&english=t&id=31496#l31496

Update (7-23-2009):

As I was going to post these news stories below, I thought it linked to my last post above better than new post, so here it goes. This story is sad and shows how uncivil, gang, mob mentality still rules everyday Indian life. Nobody deserves to be killed like this in this day and age and yet everyday, hundreds and thousands die all across India for divisons over castes, religion, money, and corruption. I am not saying things are any better in U.S. either, U.S. has its own set of similar social problems like race, drugs, guns, abortion, religion. Anyways, here are the stories:

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090724/main2.htm

Haryana khap panchayat at it again
23-year-old youth lynched for marrying same-gotra girl in Narwana
Geetanjali Gayatri and Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Situation Tense

DC Mohammad Shayin and SP Satish Balan, who camped in Narwana all day, said the situation was tense but under control. It is learnt that the boy’s family has sought revenge for their son’s death. The villagers of Matuar have decided that since the boy is dead, the girl, too, must die.


Chandigarh/Narwana, July 23
The khap (caste) panchayats of Haryana defied law yet again when a 23-year-old youth was thrashed to death by a mob in Singhwala village of Narwana last night at his in-laws house where he had gone to bring back his wife.

The only crime the deceased, Ved Pal Mor of adjoining Matour village, an RMP who had shifted base to Moga soon after his marriage, had committed was that he had dared to marry within the same gotra. Soon afterwards, the Bhanwala khap of the community his wife, Sonia, belonged to had openly pronounced a murder sentence for the couple.

Sources said that Mor, accompanied by a posse of cops and a warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, reached the house at around 8 pm to “recover” his wife. Having accepted the marriage, her parents had brought her home from Moga a month ago on the pretext of a short visit.

However, on Sonia’s return to her house on June 20, she was hurriedly re-married to a boy from Belarkha, a resident of Harinagar colony in Narwana. Mor, unable to contact Sonia, moved the High Court yesterday, asking that his wife be produced.

The court appointed Suraj Bhan, a warrant officer, to “recover” the girl. The officer, along with the boy, reported at the local police station at 7:40 pm and sought force without informing the SHO of the purpose of his visit. Sources said that fearing a tip-off from the police to the panchayat and the family, he did not disclose the reason for police force.

He was given 20 cops after which he along with the police and the boy proceeded to the girl’s house. Reaching there, Mor started searching the rooms of the house when the girl’s mother, Dhanwati, raised an alarm. Hearing her cries, villagers barged into the house. At this point, the girl’s father, Dhanraj, too, came in.

While the cops and warrant officer (also injured, and admitted to a hospital) fled from the spot, Dhanraj, in an attempt to save the boy, asked him to hide in one of the rooms and bolt the door from inside. However, the mob charged from room to room, broke open the window of the room where Mor was hiding, pulled him out and lynched him, sources said.

An eerie calm prevailed in the village all day as cops kept vigil at the girl’s house though her family refused to speak, clearly under pressure from the happenings and the panchayat. At Matuar, Mor was cremated in the presence of the officials of the district administration and the situation is said to be calm but peaceful.

Mor and Sonia eloped and got married on March 9 this year 10 days before Sonia was to get married to a boy chosen by her parents. After their marriage, the girl’s family kept insisting that the “safety of their daughter” was paramount even as the Bhanwala khap, at a meeting, announced that the couple be “murdered” for violating societal norms according to which they were brother and sister and could not be married.

http://www.sikhnet.com/news/how-large-tent-sikh-qaum
how-large-tent-sikh-qaumJuly 22nd, 2009 by Jodha (TheLangarHall.com) Source: thelangarhall.com

Beyond brown or white Sikhs, beyond various caste Sikhs, when and how do we come together as Sikhs? Is the ‘jahaaz’ that is Guru Nanak’s Naam large enough to carry us all, or with a narrow set of doxies and praxis do we restrict those that can enter.

Despite the various attacks on the Singh Sabha movement for only promoting Khalsa hegemony and other spurious slanders by neo-Sanatans, post-colonialists (I am reminded of a professor that once told me that he would only become a post-colonialist, when colonialism ends) attempting to form neo-Brahman ‘intelligentsias’, those that believe they ‘own’ the Sikh identity, some Hindu chauvinist groups, and various beatniks, the movement was in fact very broad-minded and fought to enlarge the tent that is the Sikh Qaum.

They understood the difference between public and private aspects. In private, people may have their own practices, beliefs, etc. and while the Singh Sabha sought to bring these more in line with the practices and principles of Gurbani, they did allow some diversity in private. In public, we come together and stand by the Panthic rehat maryada.

For many years the Ravidasia, occupied such a place. They had distinct practices in their own places of congregation, but they were part of the larger Sikh Qaum. That was until now.


For some groups:

Now, followers of Bhagat Ravidass, who call themselves Ravidassias, are shifting out the Guru Granth Sahib from their shrines, thus making a permanent departure from the world’s fifth largest and youngest religion. In shrine after shrine, the Ravidassia sect authorities are either shifting the scriptures out or are telling the local Sikhs to take away the holy volume.[link]

While I am sure some groups will ‘hail’ the decision, it really is tragic. Where it has always been the Guru Granth Sahib that unites the Sikh Qaum, the actions of some abhorrent individuals in Vienna has led some in the community to a rift with the great Guru. The repercussions will be felt in the future.

Caste continues to divide our community and without real soul-searching as occurred during the Singh Sabha Movement, we will be doomed as a community. Friends that attend the Ravidas Sabha in Pittsburgh, CA have told me on numerous occasions that members of the sangat from El Sobrante Gurdwara have vandalized various properties. While there may be differences in practices and even some beliefs, Sikhs should engage with one another as brothers and sisters to discuss points of commonalities, instead of willing to commit violence against one another on small points of difference.

I am sure many will take issue with my writing, but this is an attempt by 1 Sikh to reflect on the events occurring about him and come to turns with a Qaum that has members only to eager to begin dissolving it. I have hope that the youth can make a stand. However, it requires all of us to move beyond words and actually commit to it.

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