To Sikh or not To Sikh


One of the things I have been thinking about lately is how to deal with friends who I grew up with who are "moving away from the Sikh lifestyle" (to put it lightly). I saw some friends recently who I haven’t seen in a long time and noticed that one had started to cut their hair. Whenever see I someone going through this type of change I struggle keeping negative/judgmental thoughts from surfacing. It is as if I am watching myself, and consciously see a thought come up…and then I ask myself, "Why am I feeling that way? What is triggering that thought?". At least I am conscious of it, and am really just trying to grapple over the best way to deal with these feelings in a neutral way.

On one hand these are my friends who I love and will support no matter what, but I think initially the change is a bit of a shock which causes a reaction. My mind then tries to justify it. I am normally stuck between how to deal with it. Does one just act like nothing has changed and just go about as usual? I guess this partially depends on how close you are to the person and if it is appropriate to talk to them about it. I can only speak from experience though because I went through these things myself. Sometimes maybe we need these situations to learn and deepen our understanding of being a Sikh. I have found that the times I have made major changes in my life were when I was most "miserable". Sometimes things have to get really bad for one to make changes and see what things are all about. When everything is fine and dandy…the normal tendency is just to cruise through things. It’s when we have hardships that we pray…and look at our life more critically.

When you are raised a Sikh there is always the pull from society to "fit in" and do the things that other non-sikhs do. Trying to understand why we do all these things as Sikhs can be hard as a youth, which is needed to combat the social pressure. For me, having gone this route I experienced those things and felt very empty as I moved away from Sikhi. I was on this path for a while in my late teens/early 20’s. It is easy to get caught up in this "Maya" and loose touch with the essence of Sikhi and the teachings of the Gurus. Once you get so far away and deep into it, it becomes harder to re-connect with Sikhi. I am thankful that I had a very loving family and sangat who pressurized me, and helped me see what I was doing. They made me conscious of the course I was taking, which wasn’t the best direction for me.

If I were not a Sikh what would my life be like?? I can’t imagine that, because now Sikhi and being a spiritual person is so much a part of me that not having that seems so empty. However, I think everyone has a right to choose their path in life. Ultimately we can learn from the hands of time (which can be a long and painful path) or we can avoid the pain and learn from enlightened Spiritual teachers (The Sikh Gurus, Buddha, etc) that can give is a clear and short path.

Looking back now I also see how my parents tried to help me avoid different hurdles that they went through. They have gone through certain things and didn’t want me to go through them. However, as children we tend to not always want to listen to our parents and choose to just do what we want anyways. Now being older and a little bit wiser I can see the value of what my parents were trying to teach me. It all make sense and is clear; but when you are in the situation many times we don’t think our parents understand or know what is best for us.

Ok…getting a bit off my original thought. My main topic was on judgmental thoughts of others. I think these normally come when you are doing something that you feel is better. So if you are doing all your banis, are Amritdhari, etc you might have a thought about someone that is not doing that. These thoughts were probably not there before you started doing/being XYZ. I guess there is a certain standard that you have when you do something different, and you try to compare yourself with your standard to what you think other people should be doing.

I guess it is just something that one needs to be conscious of when you are thinking critically about other people so that you can keep it in check. I am grateful that most of the time I am very conscious of my thoughts and I catch myself thinking things. It is like me watching a movie…but of myself. I believe the first step to making a change in your life is being conscious of the thing you wish to change. Many people do negative things all the time without really knowing or understanding why.

These thoughts and experiences I think are probably common for people on a spiritual path. Maybe this is just part of the test of being more spiritual? We get confronted with pride, ego, lust, anger, greed. I think it is ok to come in contact with these things…but to not let them take hold is the challenge for us all. The test of the true Gursikh I think is to stay neutral and not be affected by these. Ultimately we are all one and part of God, so need to see everyone around as part of you…and you part of them.

I don’t have any major conclusion or solution. I’m just writing out my thoughts as they come. The only thing I can suggest is to watch your thoughts when you think critical/judgmental things about others and try to go deeper and understand why you feel that way. I have found that love and acceptance works much better than being critical/judgmental. One unites and the other divides.

I don’t know if these ramblings mean anything to you, but just wanted to get them out. I would love to hear other people’s experiences relating to this topic.

27 Responses to “To Sikh or not To Sikh”

  1. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Pajee – thanks so much for such an amazing article (and beautiful blog). I find myself constantly doing this as well.

    I often can see myself getting egoistic over small things and then thinking oh I never see x person do how much I do. At this point I laugh at myself thinking you fool stop being so critical and judgemental of others, how do you know what they do and don’t do?

    I think your right that its a lot better being aware that one’s having these feelings than not and quite rightly the more spiritually one grows the greater the tests from Guru sahib.

    Guru rakha

    (ps. pajee if I could your help – I’d like to post some video/audio clips on my blog – do you know how I can do this?)

    Fateh jee

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gurumustuk Singh,

    I’m glad you brought this topic up. I have the same problem with judgemental thoughts towards others. Mainly towards people who lie, cheat and hurt other’s i.e. non-Gurmat/Sikhi things. That’s the reason I look at others and have judgemental thoughts. Like you said I then think about my own actions, thoughts and deeds and realise I’m far from perfect myself. We should all look to Guru Granth Sahib Ji for answers. Any Sikh’s who know any quotes from Bani on this topic could you please share.

    Thank You

    mandeep singh

  3. Angad Singh says:

    Guru Fateh GMS!!

    Looking forward to seeing you in about a month’s time =)

    We tend to criticize people very easily especially when they go astray..it hurts us..but i guess saying nasty things to them is not the best way out..and as you say it all depeneds how close you are to the that person..

    If its a close friend i ask them wht happened etc but I keep re affirming them that i do not hate them for wht they have done cause I too have made mistakes in my life.

    However, i do not tolerate it when these people go about telling people how happy they are w/o the turban or how cool it is to drink..etc..that is when stand up and speak..

    guru ang sang!
    angad

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  6. sbk says:

    Everyone is free to choose their own path and find their own way. Parents raise their children to follow their own faith. This provides a base. As we grow we often question the beliefs we are raised with, so very normal and important developmentally. To search out who we are and know our ownselves to be true. Thank God for freedom of religion!! I am thankful everyday. Catholics become Buddhists, Buddhists become Methodist, Methodists become Hindu, Hindus become Muslims, Muslims become Jewish, Jews become Sikhs and on and on. That is the nature of live and the searching out of God. The face of the Divine wears many different expressions. For me it brings color and diversity, interest and a loveliness. To meet someone, even if they were once a close friend and see they are on a different path or exploring a new way…they have a story to tell. There story may makes us comfortable or uncomfortable, but it is there story. If the sincereity of friendship is true it is the story which is of greater value, rather than whether or not they still adhere to a practice which was once a common bond. All these things stretch us, stretching is good. That is one of the reasons we practice yoga, to experience a different way of discipline, flexibility and possibility. As we jusdge others, so we judge ourselves. When we no longer need to do either we will be practicing a supreme yoga… The Dalai Lama says his religion is kindess. Kindness and compassion are without judgement or fear and are the unifying factor for all humanity. In all honesty what does it matter what faith one lives. God is big enough for us all.

  7. Hi Gurumustuk,

    Thank you for keeping such a wonderful weblog and thoughtful posts. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months but have not posted any comments up to now.

    What sbk said was wonderful, and I really cannot improve on it. We all make our own choices in life and follow different paths. I’m sure your friends have their reasons for leaving Sikhi. As long as they are taking good care of themselves and not going down a destructive path (drugs, alcoholism, etc.), their choices are valid.

    But I know what you mean about being judgemental. I sometimes catch myself with judgemental thoughts, catch myself, and wonder why. Sometimes it’s obvious, and I feel is justified (such as when I see abuse of a child or an animal), but much of the time it’s not so obvious. I still can’t always explain to myself why I think those thoughts. But like you, I’m glad that at least I’m aware of it. I know some friends and even family members who express judgement of others and appear to be totally unaware of what they’re saying. It’s not too different from racial bias–most, if not all people, at times express stereotypical thoughts about another race or ethnicity. But we can only change it if we make ourselves aware of when we’re thinking those thoughts.

    Also remember that just because someone is following a secular life does not automatically mean it’s an empty or directionless life. Many close friends of mine live in that secular sphere, but they do have moral beliefs and values and a sense of right and wrong. Some are also politically active and involve themselves in protests against things they feel are wrong.

    I’m also beginning to notice that often when people are in their late teens and 20’s, they may move more towards a secular way of life, then as they approach middle age, once again re-enter the religious sphere. I’ve seen a few return to their parents’ religion, and some move towards a different religion.

    I find myself at that point. I find myself moving towards Sikhi, which is different from anyone in my family. But I am gradually changing and moving in that direction. My brother also followed a secular life until his mid-twenties to early thirties, and now he and his family are more religious than our parents.

    It sounds like your friends are at a junction in their lives. Maybe later as they mature, they will return to Sikhi. Or maybe they will find a different religion to follow, or none at all. As long as they lead productive lives and are happy, does it really matter?

    Have a wonderful day, and stay in Chardi Kala!

    –Rochelle

  8. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts! This is all very educational and interesting.

    The main thing that is hard for me is when I see such value to the things we have been taught and when a friend appears to “throw it away” in exchange for being a regular “joe”…to look stylish…drink…party…etc. I think Rochelle is right, that for many this is a phase that some of us (including me) go through in order to experience life and find our identity. These experiences sometimes allow you to feel the emptyness of some ways of living and then value the spiritual lifestyle much more.

    I have seen many of my friends come and go, so can see this cycle clearly. Ultimately we want the best for our friends, so I guess just being supportive through all of it is important.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just as your parents decided not to follow the religion of their births, your generation has that same right.

    Just because they cut their hair and try something else, doesn’t mean that they have forsaken spirituality.

    Too many times, religion is used as cure for drug abuse, alcohol, and promiscous sex. Religion needs to go way beyond that.

    Even within the Sikh community, I am sure that there are people who have less than stellar morals.

    True morality is something that comes from deep inside someone. The rules of religion only work so long before the real person comes out. For that reason, if you ask me, it is the ones that are truly good inside that join spiritual groups, along with pretty bad or evil people who are hoping that following the rules will change them inside.

    Sometimes joining a group that separates people from society can be wonderful, but it also can be limiting. Still, I’m sure it is hard to see friends move away.

    I’ll bet though that even within your group, as you all grow up and have different incomes and lives, you will move away from certain people as well. Not on purpose, but it happens.

  10. sat dharm says:

    Thanks for sharing! I also catch myself thinking that from time to time, but then there’s like a little person in me that comes up and tells me: “Hey ji, you have gone through that too.” And I think that personita brings me some kind of understanding and comprehension about others’path. It’s very interesting.

    Sometimes, I actually still find myself wanting to go back to the partying, the fashion, the looks, the hip, etc. And it’s not that I think these things are bad, it’s just that, in my very personal experience, these things have always managed to cloud my understanding about what’s really essencial in life. So I just recently told my teacher that I felt like the lifestyle I chose to abandon keeps going along the dharmic path I embraced, and there are always this kind of circumstances where I clearly see what could be the outlook with the other path. Everytime I can see this I am grateful for having chosen a more conscious way of living. I don’t know if other people (born in dharma/chosen dharma) also have this kind of feeling, but it really helps me to kind of ponder situations and actions.

    Anyway, thanks again Gurumustuk for this post. It’s helpful to find a similar voice out there. By the way. I liked the image, it’s very descriptive.

  11. micki says:

    Such a timely commentary!
    We live in a global society that more and more embraces a “pseudo culture”, addicted to media, “fashion of the moment”, “Trends” when all these are just marketing ploys by some very astute if pointedly unspiritual people. I don’t see the precious ones around me who “give in to fit in” in judgement at all, I see them being manipulated, being preyed upon by people who study the vulnerabilities of different “demographics” and exploit them. It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain true to one’s beliefs, no matter if you’re christian, or sikh, or muslim, or jew, or buddhist, or any other heartfelt faith, but all the more reason to remain so.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Micki ,

    I think your comment is just
    wonderful.

    Gurumustak Singh,

    Do not worry or think too much ,
    relax yourself.
    You know what you are, it does not matter what others say or do .

    And as for our thoughts , do not let them fly around too much
    Just believe and remember we cannot, even for a second ,try to understand the working of the Wahaguru.
    Others do not think or believe in the way that we do, so what !
    We can still be freinds with them while we just stay even closer to our Guru.

  13. xSHANTIx says:

    This blog was good timing as today i found myself judging someone and then feeling extreemly guilty, i swear u read my thoughts Gurumustuk!!

    A friend of my sisters has recently “converted” or started to follow the Sikh path. She tells everyone she is Sikh but i know that she drinks alcohol (underage) and well, does a lot of “unsikh” things. In fact not even things that arent Sikhi, just things that arent spiritual or beneficial to oneself. Ie things that typical western teenagers do.

    When my sister told me i found myself getting kinda angry so when i came off the fone i sat and reflected on how i was feeling, was i angry, jealous, what was i feling? In the end i came to the conclusion that i was hurt, i had a dented pride i guess.

    It took me over 2 years to tell anyone i was following Sikhi, never mind get to a Gurudwara and there is this girl, who gos to Gurudwara, has Sikh friends and claims she is Sikh with such ease, i guess i just cant see what its like to be in her shoes and see it from her perspective.

    Anyway, i think its Human nature to judge but its probably another learning process that we have to combat. The truth is we have no right to judge, that is Guru Ji’s job.

  14. Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Vaheguru ji ki FATEH!

    Very good topic!
    I thought of this many times myself. My first two reactions: feeling of betrail and fear. Betrail is quite understandable – you were sharing one path and how was it possible for that person to put a cross on it and step away. Fear is in the question: will this happen one day to me as well. And I tend to go as far from the person as I can. This is cruel, but I can’t risk it.

    I suppose in a large community you do not have to separate from a person so much, you can still be in touch; but if there are only handful of sikhs at one place (say it is Moscow) you can’t afford keep the company of person who went opposite way.

    I might have left Moscow for this reason… Well, this was one of them…

    I would probably say that this is the position of weakness. When one says that he/she won’t stand on his/her own. But here comes feeling of betrail. When you were walking together to one beautiful goal and then a friend of yours says: “I’m not sure I’m up to it, in fact I’m sure it’s not for me…”

    But then question is: you can’t really run from it. Also in the end you are always on your own.

    Still confused.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This Shabad is by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Raag Maajh on Pannaa 139

    pvVI ]

    pavarree ||

    Pauree:

    kwieAw hMis sMjogu myil imlwieAw ]

    kaaeiaa ha(n)s sa(n)jog mael milaaeiaa ||

    Destiny has brought together and united the body and the soul-swan.

    iqn hI kIAw ivjogu ijin aupwieAw ]

    thin hee keeaa vijog jin oupaaeiaa ||

    He who created them, also separates them.

    mUrKu Bogy Bogu duK sbwieAw ]

    moorakh bhogae bhog dhukh sabaaeiaa ||

    The fools enjoy their pleasures; they must also endure all their pains.

    suKhu auTy rog pwp kmwieAw ]

    sukhahu out(h)ae rog paap kamaaeiaa ||

    From pleasures, arise diseases and the commission of sins.

    hrKhu sogu ivjogu aupwie KpwieAw ]

    harakhahu sog vijog oupaae khapaaeiaa ||

    From sinful pleasures come sorrow, separation, birth and death.

    mUrK gxq gxwie JgVw pwieAw ]

    moorakh ganath ganaae jhagarraa paaeiaa ||

    The fools try to account for their misdeeds, and argue uselessly.

    siqgur hiQ inbyVu JgVu cukwieAw ]

    sathigur hathh nibaerr jhagarr chukaaeiaa ||

    The judgement is in the Hands of the True Guru, who puts an end to the argument.

    krqw kry su hogu n clY clwieAw ]4]

    karathaa karae s hog n chalai chalaaeiaa ||4||

    Whatever the Creator does, comes to pass. It cannot be changed by anyone’s efforts. ||4||

  16. Anonymous says:

    nwnk prKy Awp kau qw pwrKu jwxu ]

    naanak parakhae aap ko thaa paarakh jaan ||

    O Nanak, if someone judges himself, only then is he known as a real judge.

    Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru….

  17. SikhsRus says:

    I think those thoughts are a normal reaction Gurumustuk. Somehow I feel Sikhi is coming back and stronger than ever before. This is just a persnal gut feeling. People ask me all sorts of questions all the times about meat and alcohol. One being, don’t you feel like drinking when you smell alcohol or feel like eating meat when you smell meat. My answer alwasy is no! and that is not because I am trying to push my self to restrain myself, but since it was a very concious decision, I don’t miss any of those things. On cutting hair, two thoughts come to mind. One is that I really don’t like how I used to look with clean shaven and cut hair, even though many people would think I was handsome. Beauty is all about whose source of reference is chosen. Secondly, I thank God for bringing me to the point where I am today as a Sikh and hopefully even closer. It may take a while to learn to take the right steps towards Sikhi, but I don’t see myself ever going back to the clean shaven, cut hair, drinking, lifestyle where I hated the whole World. Thank you for this great post and thoughts!

  18. k says:

    It can hurt to see a friend show up with cut hair and a completely different look in their eyes. It can feel like you lost someone you knew. It can be a sad feeling.

    It’s like they have no guts. They abandoned their spirit so they could “fit in.” And now their eyes seem dull.

    Have you ever experienced having a friend who in different company is too woried about what others might think to acknowlege you? It really is sort of like that. They are not doing this to become Buddist or something, they are doing it for maya.

    I truly feel sorry for them. What a cowardly way to live.

  19. K: There is always more to the story than that though. When I was in my late teens early twenties I started shaving and wore my hair down and went to clubs. Someone could have thought like that about me…but here I am today.

    One of the points I was bringing up in my post was that sometimes people need to experience this MAYA to understand what they had. We have so many Gifts that we take for granted..and we don’t realize them till they are gone. It’s all a learning process.

  20. kiran says:

    Hence the word “SIKH” which means learner, just in case anyone didnt know.

    lots of pyar

    Kiran

    ps its 5* in london this evening, very cold xx

  21. Prabhu Singh says:

    I also try to recognize my faults and my judgements. I’m lucky enough, or I’m trained enough through sadhana (by Guru’s grace) that I try not to share or act upon my negative judgements. I always want to eliminate negative judgements, and they certainly are not a central part of my life.
    This topic you’ve brought up is where I find myself also making the worst judgements. I’ve never felt so betrayed as I do by Sikhs who cut their hair. I feel like these are the people who would desert you if you had to give your life on the (metaphoric or not) battlefield for righteousness.
    My judgements stem from my love for the Guru. It’s hard for me to imagine anybody wishing to consciously take steps away from the Guru and the Guru’s path. In reality every mistake I make in my own life, no matter how small takes me away from the Guru. The judgement should be turned inwards.

    Seeing ‘Sikhs’ who cut their hair, probably reminds us all of negative experiences and that is why we might judge them. Many of us have dealt with ‘Sikhs’ who want to judge us and slander our way of life. Some people want to slander us for keeping our hair in this ‘modern’ world. Some want to slander us for not following their rehit (opposite side of the spectrum). They’re both slandering what is sacred to us, what brings joy to us, what shows us what true love is. When I see a ‘Sikh’ who cuts their hair, I think it is ingrained in me that I firstly associate them with the category of people who bring negativity to me. This is a challenge for myself.
    It doesn’t matter if almost all or all of ‘their kind’ have hurt you in so many ways throughout your life. They might be different. That is really the challenge right there.
    Darkness is the friend of light, becuase it let’s us know what light is. Our enemies are our friends because they let us know who we are and what we believe in.

  22. Gombesa says:

    I cant put what I really think cause Id end up writing a book on this subject in this forum, but to be as blunt as possible; Thier is 2 muslim men that are on trial in Lodi,Ca {where I attend Gurdwara } He lied to the F.B.I about going to terrorist camps in Pakistan, well he at first didn’t have a beard but as the trial goes on its getting longer and fuller.People then associate him with sikhs cause they see people around town with beards and a turban.To the townsfolk they look like SIKHS without a turban{like if they can’t wear one in custody}.They ask me isnt he sikh? NO,NO,NO.Sikhs would rather die than cut thier Kaysh, but why are guys that wear turban with trimmed beards isnt that Kaysh? ? THAT THROWS OFF EVEN ME. Now that looks like some people have no hair under their turban now. Dang it! They undermind all the Gursikhs…..Now its even harder to educated groups of group.Im sikh and its hard to distinguish who is real and who is cultural.Meaning no amrit vela,banis,true seva,etc….Just hair on thier face and a turban….PLEASE, PLEASE,PLEASE if you are real stay real dont mix up mix up.At this rate the majority sikh population will change for the very worse over the next generation, people will then shave and wear bandanas and who knows other changes.Learn Gurbani dont read it!Sorry for yelling.Listen to what GURU Gobind Singh laid down for us,REAL SIKHI.Not cultural sikhi but true sikhi.Again I could go on like the energizer bunny and keep going and going. Much more to say so little time but the rest of my life. Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki fateh!

  23. k says:

    Gurumustuk Ji,

    You are very fortunate to have made it through such a period. It is like playing with fire. So many take a step in that direction, then get involved in things that take them to a point of no return. Then through pride they justify their lifestyle wich only serves to distence them more.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think that everyone has the right to choose the way they want to live their life. I have seen people change just to “fit in” and I completely disagree with that.

    A person should live with dignity and without fear. I think when a person changes to fit into the society they loose their own personal identity.

  25. Sadhana Kaur says:

    Dear Gurumustuk Singh

    Thanks so much for your willingness to share your feelings and thoughts so honestly. I really enjoyed reading “To Sikh or not to Sikh�. I was moved to send my own comments, because the whole issue of judgment has been something that I experienced first hand when I chose to stop wearing bana.

    I wanted to first comment on the imagery of the Sikh woman in bana, and on the other side, the Barbie. Are these my only choices? I have been a part of the Sikh community for 20 years, both in and out of bana. I now choose not to wear bana. I describe myself as a conscious, compassionate, and spiritual being. I pray, I work, and I am a wife and a mother. I do my best every day to be the best person I can be. Does this make me a Barbie doll? Empty? Unconscious? Plastic? Cheap? (I think we all know the connotations of an image like that)

    And if I may, I would like to direct a comment to Sat Dharm Singh, who praised your use of that imagery saying, “I liked the image, it’s very descriptiveâ€?. Sat Dharm Singh, is this what you think of all women in the world not wearing bana? That seems to me to be a very narrow view point. There are at least 3 billion women on this planet who don’t wear bana. And I would even wager a guess that maybe a few of them are spiritual, good wives, good mothers, powerful, courageous and good people.

    As I mentioned earlier, I experienced a lot of judgment when I decided to stop wearing bana. It was certainly hurtful, and even those people with good intentions who were somehow trying to re-inspire me, or “save� me, only helped to push me farther away from the Dharma. However I also had a lot of support from family and friends, and slowly I found my way back. Now I follow the aspects of Sikhism that speak to my soul, and I have found this to be a healthy and happy lifestyle choice for myself.

    On the subject of lifestyle choices, I agree that going to extremes such as drugs or alcoholism is dangerous, and if a friend of mine were taking that route, and were in any danger, I would certainly do my best to intervene. But beyond that, I don’t believe it is my right, or anyone else’s to decide what is best for someone in terms of lifestyle, dress code, and spiritual path. I can imagine that it would be a shock to have a close friend suddenly change their lifestyle choices after having grown up with them on a certain spiritual path for many years. But in my opinion, this does not necessarily mean that they are making the wrong decision, or going “astray�.

    I believe the Siri Singh Sahib said: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.� And in my opinion, the human experienced is too vast and diverse to classify into “wrong� and “right� or “good� and “bad�.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and for giving your readers a chance to share theirs. I don’t know if my comments will anger, or inspire, or maybe neither. But it was nice to have a forum to talk about this subject which I think is so important to our community.

    Sincerely,
    Sadhana Kaur

  26. Simran says:

    Gurumustuk Singh Veerjee,

    Yaar, your thought on the subject of “Judgemental & Critical attitude” reminds of a story I was heard about a Sikh who was following the hukam of his teacher of Naam Japna, Kirat Karna, and Vand Chakna. I could not give you the source of the story.

    After toiling for his daily bread the Sikh seeks-out anyone who is hungry and wants to join him for a meal. One night he met a man who had not eaten for the day but was an epitomy of slander, bad-mouthing, and bad language. The hungry man was using caustic language for everyone and everything around.

    The Sikh was patient and kept himself detached from everything this man was saying. After bringing him home the Sadhu prepared the food and was about to serve when this man started cussing the Guru of the Sadhu and God. The Sikh could not bear listening to such verbatum & language used against his Guru and God ends up throwing the Sikh out without serving him.

    After throwing him out the Sikh is quite disturbed and prays. Not feeling satisfied with himself, he goes to his Guru for guidance. The Guru refuses to see him for not being able to feed his hungry “brother” since we the children of the ONE.

    Any thought that brings out a sense of “holier than thou” attitude is a thought of a Spiritual failure (right?). Our Guru’s were “true kings” in the physical & spiritual realms however, their love for the Creator (and its creation) made themselves the servants of the Sangat(Sikhs, disciples who ever sought their help).

    The story brings out another tangent that I’ve been feeling lately is that of “I am a really better than some-one who is not spiritual and/or does not belong to a religion.” Am I serving my Guru by being alone, away from the company of those who do not inspire the love of the Guru in my heart? What do you think?

  27. Gurkiran Kaur says:

    Dear Gurmustuk Singh,
    Reading your blog and the following comments has left me in a deep state of thought. what you wrote has always been something I have experienced and to be really honest, I didnt know if anyone else had because I had never shared my thoughts. Thankyou so much for writing your thoughts and bringing a clarity in my mind. I do have close friends who do things that are not a part of “sikhi” and sometimes I find myself judging their deeds, and getting infuriated, saying “This is not right, it should be like this. they are not doing the right thing” But lik someone mentioned earlier, I am aware of my criticism and I am aware that what I am doing is not right. I try, everytime a critical thought comes into my head, to stop in my tracks and take a look at what I am doing. How can I possibly compare them to myself, when I sin so much myself. There are so many areas of my spiritual life that I leave unattended and never once have any of my friends questioned that, because we are SIKHS, we LEARN from our experiences and strive each day to become more and more like our Gurujis. Criticising someone is the worst thing a person could do. God is in everyone and how can a person be inadequate if they have God in them? How can I criticise the All pervading Source of Life?
    Whatever actions a person is doing, if they are wavering in their path or perhaps choosing a new one, It is none of my business to judge them because Waheguru has his master plan for each and every one of us, He brings happiness to all, and whatever is happening, is happening for a reason. and whilst this reason is not clear to you now, It most certainly will be in the future.
    In most cases, When I do see someone faltering, I refuse myself from criticising, because they are going through a certain phase in life and they have the greatest support with them(Waheguru) whether they are aware of it or not. Spirituality is something personal, it too is a part of religion, but what is religion if you dont believe. this trust in faith occurs when one has expereinced a life without it. God is ONe, and the paths to reach him are diverse and individual to each person.
    Stay friends with the person, be there for them when they need you to help them find their way back. But dont let it take over YOUR life. Sometimes the changing of a person is inevitable and there is nothing we can do about it. so why worry about it, when Waheguru is taking care of all. We are all from the source, HOw can we criticise his creation? He lives in us.

    Tohe Mohe Mohe Tohe
    Antar kesa
    Kanak Katak Jal tarang jesa

    I could write on forever. Thankyou once again for writing your thoughts. please forgive me if I have offended anyone of made any mistakes.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Gurkiran Kaur
    Australia