Compare the two news items ( only food for thought)


Haridwar, 1490

A man allegedly entered the holy water of the Ganga and started pouring water towards the west, but was held by the Pandit association for the “sacrilegious” act, a Brahmin said today. “A man was yesterday held pouring water in the wrong direction at the pious ganges at Haridwar, in gross violation of the Vedanta conduct,” he said.

The Shankrachary of Kanshi, Shri Vedanti ,said a high-level inquiry into the “blasphemous” act had been ordered. AII*

*AII- As I Imagine (news service from the past )

Man enters Golden Temple with meat
Amritsar, May 25

A man allegedly entered the Golden Temple here with meat but was held by SGPC volunteers for the “sacrilegious” act, an SGPC official said today. “A man was yesterday held with meat in the pious community kitchen of the Golden Temple in gross violation of Sikh conducts,” he said.

Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, said a high-level inquiry into the “blasphemous” act had been ordered. — PTI

OK now here is the point - I am neither supporting nor disagreeing with the meat man. I was just musing -
  • were the brahmins really open minded in the 1490's
  • or was it the greatness of Guru Nanak that led them to understand
  • or is it that we have metamorphosized into the ritualistic punda's.


Great post! Very intuitive.
The ideal comparison would be that in the current context there would be panj piare who would walk into the Darbar Sahib and show the futility of "some" of the rituals that are going on there. Then the people would be enlightened.
nightridermonk said…
Dear Gagan,
I am a junior from St. John's but probably you do not remember me. Let us look at each of these things seperately.
The first act is more related to human greed than religion. Do we not have enough learnings from them in our Granth Sahib? We do. We just cleansed the parts that got added to their religion. It takes saints to do that. Veerey kissey hor de religion ya rabb warey bolna ni apaan ne. Saanu ki lainaa?
The second case in point is also right as you have mentioned. But remember, this guy was arrested because such an act hurts sentiments of others. Main amrit chakeya hoyaa aa.. mainu nahi lagnaa changaa.
In the same spirit does keeping 5 kakkey amount to a ritual. In a sense it does! Why do we do it? Because, it is a symbol. And we love to do it. Ohnaa naal wi ahi hoya veerey. after thousands of years of existence, ppl got greedy and metamorphed their religion.
JE apaan kuj ni kitta.. then people will not understand the importance of keeping 5 kakkey, amrit chakna etc. Once that happens it will become a ritual without meaning. Then ppl will criticize us like u have criticized them.
Will they be wrong in criticizing us ?
Both acts are related to human greed:
Hardwar might have been a place of great human learning and activity just as Amritsar once was. But as in 1400AD at Hardwar and now in Amritsar - the reason for our visits is not to be a part or witness that greatness but rather some misguided metaphysical pilgrimage ? a pilgrimage that would somehow clense us.
No one place is more pious than any other. if we were visiting amritsar to learn from the great history of the place, the great teachings of guru granth sahib - wow that would have been magnificent. But what are we doing we are arresting people for petty reasons. And imagining that somehow some place can be desecrated . (maybe this guy might really have been a nonsensical person, but look at the bigger picture.) Moreover, the only desecration is when a person considers himself to be better than his counterpart.( eg. our own mental model of the society baptized > meat eater baptized > the patit etc. what a shame.)

In washing the temples with milk and plating them with gold, we have completely lost the "one" that namdev served, the one who existed neither exclusively in temple nor in masjid or gurdwara.

as for kakars: Why do I keep long hair and have certain behaviourial characteristics- not because I belong to a group that wants to call itself a religion. never.

I keep them for the teachings nanak that brought me to an understanding - that a natural life is the best way to be near the creator. And from the love of Nanak if we do wear certain peices of clothing or artifacts - they are personal - they are not a qualifying criteria to join a gang called religion , but rather an emotional(metaphorical) symptom of following a path (panth).
an Indian said…
Guys, for the first time on the net have I found such rational discussion about Sikhi. I thank Waheguru for the wisdom with which your posts have cut through the smog that I've seen grow over the Sikh way of thinking in the past few years.
Thank you Niyarakhalsa for this blog.
Thanks to all who've commented.
how to ollie said…
I'm always looking out for great blogs. Seems like you have a good one here. Diamond in the rough.