Judgement, Criticism, The Mind, & Being a Sikh

This weekend I have been thinking about various things, watching my thoughts, and how my mind reacts to different things. I wanted to share these thoughts since I know they are common issues that many of us face, and hopefully it will make you think differently about similar things that you deal with in your life.

On Saturday Baba Iqbal Singh (Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib) visited us here in Espanola, New Mexico along with four young female students (and a few other guests) who tour with him.

To this point I had heard the name "Baru Sahib" and Akal Academy, but knew very little about the organization and what their schools were like. Before Baba Iqbal Singh arrived I was talking with someone else in the room who was telling me about the school and how boys and girls dressed exactly the same (not being able to tell if the person is a girl or boy). I also heard that there were no mirrors in the whole school (I think to prevent vanity/ego/self consciousness). I wondered how they tied their own turbans. Then later on Babaji was telling all of us about the school and how the senior children start their morning at 12:30am in the morning and finished their Amritvela sadhana at 4:30am! He went on to describe how the children were very well behaved and obedient and that many of the graduates of the school have achieved a lot in life. He "painted" a picture that appeared too good to be true as if it was a sales pitch of all the good things. I couldn’t imagine kids this way. In my mind I started wondering if the kids were happy there, or if they felt repressed or forced by their parents to become the "perfect Sikh". (Keep in mind, these thoughts were not based on any real experience except for hearing a few things about the school and talking with two students for a few of minutes). I remember going to boarding school in India and being punished harshly if I was late for Gurdwara or didn’t wake up for morning Sadhana. It wasn’t a positive experience for me and many others (Though, I turned out OK, didn’t I?) Maybe this was why I was thinking about the school in this way because of my own experience in boarding school.

In relation to the school program It was interesting as I watched my mind and the thoughts that came into my head. I started to think critically about some of the things and how extreme/strict the school sounded in some areas. I thought about how a school like this probably wouldn’t be possible in western countries because of the cultural differences and less obedience. I remember when I went to boarding school in India (1983-1993) all of us "western" kids were the biggest troublemakers. Most of the Indian kids did as they were told, but it was the apposite for the western kids. Being raised raised in America was a huge cultural difference. It was natural for us to question authority, and "stand up for our rights" as is a big part of the American history. This created a very different atmosphere for the teachers and the school to deal with. 

Anyways, my point of bringing this up is not to poke at Akal Academy or look for fault. In the process of the day I started evaluating why I was thinking certain things and realized that this was very much like how people react to "3HO" or so called "American Sikhs"/yoga/Yogi Bhajan. It normally starts with someone knowing little (or nothing) about us, and then hearing some tid-bit of information from someone, and then a critical judgment follows. I think another factor is that when someone appears to be doing something good (especially in the religious world) people are often critical of them (especially if they are doing something more disciplined then them self). I was surprised to watch my thoughts being critical without any real reason or much interaction with these people. The main issue was that I perceived them as doing something different than my experience as the "correct way". To me this is the crux of all the criticizing and judgment (especially in the Sikh communities!). Everyone has their own understanding and opinion about how something should be done and what is right and wrong. Many of us are raised and taught differently. I consider myself very open minded, so was a bit surprised by my initial feelings and wanted to delve deeper into what was triggering these thoughts. The positive thing is that I was conscious of this and felt like I was watching my thoughts on a television, and able to evaluate why I felt this way.

Lunch with Baba Iqbal Singh and guests was a very formal meeting, and during lunch many of us shared our background, and people from the different local Sikh companies and organizations shared information about what they do (I talked a few minutes about SikhNet). We told stories and shared experiences from our different origins and backgrounds. 

In the evening was the real opening for me as we had a cozy get together with the guests and sangat at someone’s house. We started with some kirtan celebrating Guru Gobind Singh ji’ birthday and then when the guests arrived the Akal Academy Girls Jatha played some beautiful kirtan. It was inspiring to see them playing together with the same type of stringed instruments that were played by some of the Gurus and Bhai Mardana. Their voices were so strong and powerful as they sang four different shabads. Charanjeet and me were sitting right up front and her eyes were fixed on them as she had never heard anything like this. Baba Iqbal Singh ended each shabad summarizing the meaning. Before we had dinner Avtar Hari Singh gave a nice slide show presentation about the Kalgidhar Society. It gave us an overview of all the different work that this organization does, as well as the impact on the students and goal of the schools that are all over the Punjab. After getting to know them better and processing why I was thinking this way I was able to see them for who they are (without clouds of doubt and judgment). It was impressive to see the extent of work that they do in India. I am thankful that they took the time to come and visit us so we could learn about this organization and form bonds of unity. Next time I go to India I would like to visit one of the schools to experience it for myself.

My point of writing all this is to share how easy it is to quickly criticize and judge people who you know little about, OR just because they do something different than you. In the Sikh community there is a lot of intolerance for people that do things different. People judge those who cut their hair, don’t do this…or that….or do something "wrong" in their opinion. I’ve always thought of "Sikhism" being more of a lifestyle and way of life, than a religion. You can follow the path that the Guru’s laid out and you’ll reach a certain promised goal. I think of the Sikh lifestyle as a set of tools which guide you quickly along on your spiritual journey. However, this is not the case these days; Instead the Sikh lifestyle is being practiced more like an intellectual thing and book of rules and regulations that everyone feels compelled to enforce based on their opinion, as if they are the "Sikh Police". What happened to the sweetness that Mata Sahib Kaur gave to the Khalsa by putting the sugar in the water of the first Amrit Sanchar? It seems that everyone is fighting, and out to get one another. Every day when we do Ardas and bless the Gurprashad we instill the strength of steel as the Kirpan goes through it; and as we taste it we are supposed to remember this sweetness of this path and bring this sweetness to our lives and those around us. Sikhs cannot be the protectors and leaders of the world if they loose this sweetness and are always fighting. It is a fine balance.

I had a friend visit from England recently and after a few days we both realized many major differences in how we practiced some things related to Sikhi. Overall the core practices were the same, but there were some things which were different and conflicting. It was interesting learning from each other. We were both open minded so it was fine. Many of the practices in my opinion seemed a bit extreme and I didn’t agree with. However, I understood that this was how she was raised and learned Sikhi, and this worked for her. In the same way I have learned and experienced Sikhi in different ways myself (which other people might not agree with either). In the end neither of us were right or wrong. What counts is that we are on this path working on ourself to become better people.

There are so many different people from different backgrounds and one way isn’t the only way (otherwise there would not be so many religions and spiritual paths). Sikhi is such a beautiful path and lifestyle to follow. It seems somewhere along the way (maybe when the British took over India) Sikhi started being practiced like a rulebook, and the guilt complex came in with judgment/heaven/hell/guilt. Even some of the English translations of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib reflect this with the way that it is translated.

It’s no wonder so many are no longer practicing this beautiful Sikh lifestyle when at every turn they are judged and criticized. When an outsider reads about Sikhi it all sounds so beautiful, but in practice we as a a whole worldwide community have a long way to go to get back on the path that the Gurus left for us. When people think of Sikhs they should think of kindness, courage, strength, honesty, nobility, and most of all ACCEPTANCE! So much of what Guru Nanak taught was about breaking down the barriers of differences and showing that we are all One. He taught a message of acceptance, equality, oneness, and yet this practice is largely ignored. We could probably argue about the definition of a Sikh and say that someone who cuts there hair is not a Sikh. While this is not the full path that was taught by our Gurus, who are we to judge whether someone else is a Sikh or not? That is a very personal thing between a person and their Guru. We all go through our ups and downs in life which hopefully teaches us lessons and brings us closer to this Oneness/God.

Too often we focus on these outward things and try to find difference and divide rather than find similarity (black, white, brown, sehejdhari, amritdhari, this sikh, that sikh, good sikh, bad sikh). If you are Amritdhari and don’t do your banis one day…or miss something, automatically the norm is guilt for many. I look at this lifestyle as a set of tools that you practice to get certain benefits and reach a certain goal. A good story to illustrate this is the story of Guru Gobind Singh and the Goldsmith. Just as you might exercise to stay healthy. If you commit to exercise every day and miss a day I would hope that you wouldn’t beat yourself up about it. You simply failed to get the benefit from that "tool" that day, and get back to doing the exercise the next day. right? I’m not trying to make a light matter of the commitment to our Guru when taking Amrit, but just trying to show how guilt and criticism take away from this experience of being a Sikh and how it is personal thing that you work on every day. I live this way because It makes me feel good and connects me with a higher self. I don’t do it out of guilt or obligation. We are not perfect beings and it takes work on a daily basis. As long as you keep trying and working on guiding yourself back to this path when you "stumble off" then you are fine.

To summarize I’m trying to make a few points.

  1. If we are more conscious of our thoughts and our mind it is easier to make a change and be open to other people and differences. To see the oneness and sameness in each and every person in spite of any perceived differences. The first step to breaking a habit is to be aware of it and conscious when you are doing it.
  2. Just because someone practices or does something differently than you doesn’t make the other person’s way wrong or incorrect. We all relate to things based on our own experience and what is right for me isn’t necessarily right for someone else.
  3. Don’t judge or criticize people (as hard as that may be since it is human nature to do so). Instead use this energy to work on your self and become a better person. None of us are perfect. Each of us have more than enough things to work on in our own life.

Well, hopefully all this makes you think about things in your own life differently. I like to share my personal thoughts and experiences in hope that the lessons that I learn can help others the same way. Like you all, I am not perfect and am working on myself, trying to become a better person. Hopefully we can do this together!

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    32 Responses to “Judgement, Criticism, The Mind, & Being a Sikh”

    1. I have been thinking a lot about the same sort ofthing.

      It started with a debate about a picture of Mata Sahib Kaur with earrings. From there it went to contact lenses.

      As I read the thoughts of others, I couldn’t help but think about how legalism has crept in. We would rather just have hard and fast rules than to have the freedom to think and decide.

      What is the spirit of the rule? In this case, I think the idea was to leave our bodies as Vaheguru made them. The rule itself isn’t really so important; the reason is. Almost everything in Sikhi has both a temporal and an eternal meaning. There are good, practical reasons to keep the 5 Ks on us at all times, but more important are the spiritual reasons.

      So if someone practices Sikhi differently than I do, my only question is, is what they’re doing within the spirit of what Guru Ji teaches? The details change; the teachings don’t.

      How important are our differences? Let’s treat each other as brothers and sisters, not as Sikhs and Mughals.

      I guess I should end this. I’m not even sure if it would make sense to anyone other than myself.

    2. R Singh says:

      Its important to be conscious of your thoughts and how you react to certain situations and then analyze, relate, learn and improve. In doing this I often realize how much of a hypocrite I am, so I guess I need to work on the learn and improve aspect. With Wahegurus blessing hopefully I will. Very good post, thx

    3. Manmohan Singh says:

      Very well summarized.

    4. Satnam and waho waho on your wonderful sharing beta ji.

      You are so right. Siri Singh Sahib ji always encouraged me to teach you to meditate when you were a boy. You resisted this. Yet, doing something of this nature always has a level of resistance or hurdle to go through. So, if someone does not push you to the experience of meditation, then you have to push yourself. Yes, both your pushing yourself or receiving a push from another should be gentle and kind. But sometimes it is not i.e. Yogi ji was booming and pushy at times…..with tough love just as a mother has to be with her child sometimes.

      My point of course is that when you fall into meditation, you get the peace of mind to see the external events with more neutrality.

      I have some questions too…were you able to get beyond the mental reaction and what did you find out about the school and the kids? like the work they presented and did the school look interesting?

      I have heard that Baru Sahib does extensive seva and relief work all around the world. Is this true?
      Did you find their educational approach interesting or effective?

    5. Getting Healthy says:

      Baru sahib does very good work, and their educational program is one of the best in the world as they are using techniques used internationally. They are also trying to open a school in every single village as to reduce the alcohol and tobacco usage. You can check out http://www.kalgidharsociety.org/ for more info.

    6. Jasmeet Singh says:

      This was a very thought provoking opinion paaji. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they have certainly made me think about how I see myself and others around me who are Sikhs. Thank you. Gur Fateh!

    7. Himmat Kaur says:

      I have been to Baru Sahib and spent a little over a month there. The students are remarkable. They take in children from all over the world and teach anyone who wants to learn from them. They are so emphasized on education that even a visitor will be expected to learn something. I have had a chance to get to know some of the students that go there- they are super disciplined, and equally as beautiful. These students learn how to live as humans and learn how to discipline themselves, it is quite remarkable.

      I am sure that it is not all perfection, but they do turn out incredibly educated students. Their approach is different but look at what good they have done for the world. They are building schools for the rural communities in india and working to get education to the underpriviledged, plus all the aids research and drug prevention/recovery programs they have. They do great work for the world.
      -Himmat Kaur

    8. Guru Jaswant Kaur says:

      Sat Nam GMS! This is so true. These are the biggest problems I feel are facing Sikhi nowadays, the absence of understanding and lots of judgment. There is a lot of judgment and measurement going on here in Singapore and Malaysia too. I can’t tell if the situation is getting better or worse, but I have to consciously make myself not add to the problem; it is so easy to be complacent and just become judgmental too. Its an interesting thing, the mind, and I’ve discovered that the only way I can make a change is to strengthen my sadhana so that I can change the way I deal with situations, people and I can’t expect others to change but I can change from within. So for now that’s what I’m trying to do!

    9. amandeep singh says:

      very well written.

    10. While talking to another friend about marriage issues and being Amritdhari…I remembered another thing. Many people who are not Amritdhari perceive those that are; as fanatics and extreme, and it has become a negative thing for some people to become Amritdhari. They fear that their child will become a fanatic and extreme as well.

      I have a punjabi friend whose parents were extremely apposed to her taking Amrit. It’s interesting to see how the commitment of Amrit has become a dividing factor. As a parent I would think someone would be excited that their child would take this step. I think this has become this way because many Sikhs who take Amrit follow a very strict way of practicing Sikhi, and do the things which I was writing about in this article (judement, narrow perspective on Sikhi, criticism, etc). It seems that it becomes like a “holier than thou” club as if everyone else was a “sinner” and they are better. Getting into the details the types of things that are practiced would only start a huge argument so I’ll steer away from that.

      I was reading a comment on SikhNet news and someone was extremely rude and judgmental about the person in the article and remember another person’s response to this person saying something like they were like the Sikh “Taliban”. I think there are many people that really are like this (in the extremism way).

      Anyways….something else to think about.

    11. I’ve been blessed to visit and attend baru sahib for the past four summers. the place is remarkable and word can not describe it. when one goes up the steep mountain side and enters the valley, the energy of the place cuts through one’s neurosis and neurotic mind. Baru SAhib has so much healing, and there is definitely a divine energy, that lets a person experience their soul, whether it is at Midnight sadhanas (nitnem, sukhmani sahib, and asa di vaar) that end at 4:30 in the Morning, or the bhogs of many akand paaths that happen every three days. or its the amounts of seva one can immerse them selves with in… also another amazing thing is that all the people there have a practical jeevan, meaning they practice sikhi, ie sadhana and doing seva

      there are also so many life changing stories about campers and parents, who had no inkling of sikhi, but spending a month there, changed their lives for ever…

      as ms. himmat kaur said above, its not all perfect, but all the amazing amounts of seva they are doing for rural punjab and the world is remarkable. Considering all the problems with in Rural Punjab, such as the being the state with the highest addiction rate to drugs and alcohol.

      Another thing is that Baru sahib also offers free medical care, to anyone who needs it, there have been people from the US who go there for detox therapy at baru sahib, and often there are people from New Delhi and Chandigarh who come to baru sahib for treatment…

      Baba Iqbal Singh Ji’s vision is to have over 150 schools/academies of free education with in the next five, is remarkable… so far they are at 35 i think?

      also they just started Akal University, its a co-ed college at baru sahib, and classes started this fall semester =) engineering then it will branch out to nursing, then alternative health and so many more things =)

    12. Navpreet Kaur says:

      Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
      Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

      If someone I knew was taking Amrit I would be really excited and happy for them, as people should be. But on the other hand, some people take amrit because they want something really badly ( a son, money, success in their career). They just go through the motions and don’t really consider it at a spiritual level. Taking amrit gives us a chance to work on ourselves, and it shouldn’t just be considered a ritual, just going through the motions. In a way that might be creating a negative image too.

      Just some observations I noticed.

    13. sunny says:

      every punjabi family is different. the girls parents might be insecure about themselves and ashamed that they are not “amritari” and taking thier anger out on thier daughter for no good reason!!

    14. DR Sandeep Singh says:

      Very well written and thought provoking.There is lot of learning from the thoughts for me.
      thanks writer.
      I personally feel that by nature Man is a tool of expression of thoughts into action- Talking,looking and otherwise.And allthe expressions of mind have the color of mind.The world is polluted by negativity and so is mind which dwells in this world and diverse so are naturally most of our expressions.Which leads to our becoming Sanitary Inspectors-while looking at wrong,differences of others we pollute our own minds more and in the process get more negative.It’s a vicious circle.And everyone is trapped in this- even people who are religious.

      The power of judgment is not divine but outworldly materialistic.Only way to get out of this circle is going inside by meditation and simran- to oneness of EK ONGKAR- TILL we see God in us and then God in ALL.Till then May Guru support us, give us SUMAT and we desist from wrong doings and thinkings.

      only way to change people is change ourselves to such an extent that our bodies become radiant and magnetic with divine grace,light and bliss and im all the people we see glory of true Guru spreading everywhere.
      waheguru Ji Ki Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

    15. devinder pal singh says:

      Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
      Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

      I read articles posted in this site now and then and am impressed with their range and simplicity. Yes when we achieve that small bit we tend to act like a male bird waving its head plume to draw attraction and announce its dominance. In this context I would like to recall the episode narrated by Late Sant Singh Ji Maskeen where Mohammed Sahib went for the early morning Nawaz with his grandson. The experience was enriching and deeply satisfying, however on his way back the youngster was critical of sleeping people in the Arab street, to which Mohammed Sahib retorted that the whole effort of the morning Nawaz was wasted because of the critical comments passed and he went back with his grandson to do Nawaz.

      Yes it is important to practice prayer and religion but it is also important to accept others as they our for we in our judgment are likely to falter. The discipline needs to be practiced strongly for one’s own self and never as a policeman.

      Thanks
      Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
      Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    16. Dalip Singh says:

      Satnam
      I am really grateful that u have taken your time to write on such an important topic. Thank you so much as it really helped. Even i have been havingthe same problem and your post actually answered many of my questions. Thank you. Satnam

    17. Guru Shabd Kaur says:

      Can I get an Amen….thanks Gurumustak for bringin all this to light as I am one of the people that gets extremely judged in the Sikh community for outward appearance’s, which is actually been really good because it shows the people that are truly aware and relate to your soul and the vibration that you carry or if they are just attached to the maya of outward appearances. Personally I have found I enjoy simple people that have no religious beliefs but have chosen to be kind to all at all times as opposed to one that does all the sadhana in the world but cannot treat our fellow brother and sister humans with kindness and love.

    18. Baljeet Singh says:

      WJKK WJKF,

      Dear Paji,

      This was a very well written and thought provoking article. I really enjoyed it and easily found myself saying “hey I do that too.” The part that really made me think was the “GUILT.” I do the REHRAS Sahib Ji daily. And there are days I miss it because stuff just came up. What follows is me going into this huge feeling of GUILT, oh my God I missed doing Path today. But the way you described that stuff happens so don’t beat yourself over it made me think it over again. I honestly feel much better now. Thank you so much for sharing your opinions with us.

      Also I really wish this was how our entire Sikh community felt worldwide. Unfortunately many let their Pride, Anger, Ego and Quest for Power come in their way and use our Wonderful Religion to benefit them. A prime example is the on-going politics in Gurdwaras. If only everyone would get along Sikhism would truly best Religion out there.

      WJKK WJKF

      Baljeet Singh

    19. Prabhu Singh says:

      Guru Shabd Kaur Ji, it is unfortunate to hear that the Sikh community is judging you. If you enjoy people who are kind at all times without religious beliefs you should normally enjoy the company of Sikhs. Truly Sikhs do not have religious beliefs, they only have Dharma. They either live righteously as Sikhs, with kindness and compassion, or they don’t. A true Sikh doesn’t get attached in the maya of outward appearance, they accept their bodies just as God made them. They stand in the image of their Guru and they would rather give their life before giving one precious hair and falling to the sickness of maya. The outward appearance of the Khalsa defies all maya, and radiates the pure natural human form, Akal Moorat, the image of the undying.
      There does seem to be a hint of bitterness in your comment towards Sikhs in general but specifically to those who have a strong sadhana. Maybe you are not being “extremely judged” but just assume that. After all, if somebody actually does “all the sadhana in the world,” they are likely more like saints than people who are into judgments and maya. Either way, good luck in your journey. I hope that Sikhs may leave behind that attachment to “the maya of outward appearances” and simply live in the image of their Guru, the perfect natural form given by God without illusion (maya).
      WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru Ji Ki Fateh!

    20. Manvir Singh says:

      Sat Siri Akal,

      When we use negative qualities to describe the world, we are naturally destroying our own selves.

      However, I would like to point out that in this modern world many people have not had or experience love.

      The world has changed so dramatically and the communities have been plundered into darkness. Sewa is nowhere to be seen.

      Therefore I believe that even in being judged we should learn to forgive, and perhaps find love that is so often missing in this world.

      How do we find love, and how do we Love the Unseen Lord? Kirat, Sewa, and Simran are the tools, ones daily sadhana of exercise, right nutrition, and practice of self discipline can hopefully allows us to reach that unknown ‘thing’.

      Peace to all

    21. Jaskooner Singh says:

      You mentioned that Indians are more obedient and Americans were more individualistic. I think is just because Indians are a lot more ‘grounded’ than Americans. In India the cheapest thing you can buy is human life and there is no nanny state to cushion any falls so you have to rely a lot more on your family and feudal connections.

      Also, Indian people come from a very different ethical. moral universe than Americans and any comparisons you make that cause you negative feelings may just be not understanding why that person acts that way.

      I have found that if a person who follows the rules to the letter without understanding its spirit has no choice in this matter, it is involuntary, they just cannot see and it is a waste of time trying to persuade them. Hopefully if they practise enought eventually their brain may thaw out a bit.

      If by error you were smoking in a Gurudwara someone would inform that this was incorrect behaviour very quickly because they ‘know’ that it is their duty to help you. Likewise if one see’s an accident about to happen one would do everything to stop it, these are almost involuntary actions. If you give someone a holy writ their brain will get stuck on every word but no doubt there motivation is to help you.

    22. Amrit says:

      Thank you so much… Namo Namo Namo
      This is an issue I am dealing with personally, and you’ve just hit the nail on the head!

      Thank you

    23. Narinder Kaur says:

      Loving it!!!

      Sometimes in life we get so bogged down with the rules…the don’t and do’s..we forget what we wish to be in life…happy, content and in love with Guru Ji’s charan
      …your post came right on time…just when i was getting frustrated at why others did and i didn’t…and couldn’t put thought to word or paper…my Guru Ji came to my rescue through your post.

      I now take each day as it comes, whatever life throws… I assess each situation for it’s merits and demerits…and make decisions based on ‘How would Guru Ji respond?’

      So all i can say is …Thanx-you…for channeling the sunlight in my direction x

    24. this is wonderful to read. as someone who isn’t a Sikh but who enjoys and accepts the Sikh traditions, I’ve always wondered if the Sikhs in turn are able to enjoy and accept my traditions, which are more like the traditions of many 21st-century westerners — cutting my hair when I want to, having a glass of wine with dinner, reading from the banis some days and sleeping in other days.

      I teach US history and this week my classes have been exploring the first encounters of Native American Indians and European explorers. It’s so clear in their early writings that they were fascinated not by what they had in common, as humans, but what was different, especially things like skin color, hair length, and beards. The students come in with the naive but reasonable question of why couldn’t the Indians and Europeans just get along. The real answer is what Gurumustuk is exploring here: why do any of us judge and criticize others simply for being different, for following different paths? Especially those of us, like the followers of Guru Nanak Ji and the followers of Jesus Christ, who read and speak so often about acceptance rather than judgment, of spiritual generosity rather than spiritual greed — we’re the ones who have to start the revolution of universal acceptance, and that’s far easier to talk about than to practice. Honesty and self-acceptance: that’s, in my opinion, where it all can begin.

    25. GURINDER SINGH RAKHRA says:

      Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
      Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

      When I read the whole words about Baru Sahib..I gave a visit to this place to meet one of my relatives studying there….I was totally amazed the way she acted towards me with lots of respect and a proud sikh Girl which she was not that kind of before.

      I must say, Baru Sahib is the right place to make our kids to walk on the true path of SIKHISHM.

      Baba Iqbal Singh ji, I totally owe you for all this..

      Keep the spirit continueee……

      Gurfateh

      GURINDER SINGH RAKHRA

    26. ujjalbir says:

      It is well expressed.I studied in a Irish school in India and have been working in India for many years, never been toWest. I have experienced many pulls and pressures however Sikhi is an individualmatter more so since in Mumbai where Iam presntly Sikhs are few and far .In a public transport one could see no Sikh .As rightly brought out Sikhi teaches how to go through life. Naam Simran is like a bank more you pray more you benefit and it helps you in bad days.When Igo to a to gurudwara sahib I listen to theGurubani but avoid judgements and discussioun.

    27. Though I am kind surprised you knew I wrote regarding your blog entry on my own blog, thank you for the comment and for the insights of your blog. stay in chardi-kala!

    28. ive been lucky enough to meet them, they are a beautiful soul and they speak english really well!

    29. Dear Gurumustuk,

      Thanks for reassuring me that I don’t have to hit myself with a stick on the days I miss my sadhana.. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one! :)

      It’s really sad that this judgement issue is so prominent in our community – the same community where the Guru’s first message to us is EK – One. I guess it sounds simple but its the hardest teaching to live by!

      Thanks for writing such an important post – I hope it reaches as many people as possible!

      Satnam,
      Harkiren Kaur

    30. Veerji
      Wahe guru ji ka khalsa
      Wahe guru ji ki fateh
      I really loved the article ‘Judgement criticism, the mind and being sikh’ very inspiring, appreciated. sikhi teach us ‘One name infinite form and infinite name infinite form’
      Guru Kirpa Ji
      regards
      Veer Manpreet Singh

    31. Saran Kaur says:

      WJKK WJKF SANGAT JI

      below is a copy of a email i sent to a close friend-i think it will benefit all.. it’s in relation to ang 1110 sri gru granth sahib ji..

      hi again lol – can you see what guru ji is depicting here.. guru ji is comparing this lifetime to a night.. that’s how quick it goes.. but also it is described as a night as we are not conscious and awake in the present moment.. we are trapped in ego which is a dream like state where we only relate to shapes and forms.. ie that’s we keep getting reincarnated, our mind has taken over and over pastlifes has inhabited a personality of it’s own. it has the same habits, likes,dislikes,judgmental attitude and hence separates itself from the rest of the world..it thinks that it is one identity and the world of people is another separate identity.. when really in essence we are one and the same..if it wasn’t for our soul/vibration/energy/being/conscioussness then everything around us is dead, ie is illusionary and made up in the mind..

      as soon as we take away all the power from the mind(the false i/we),by stop thinking or giving attention to the illusionary past or the hopeful future we will be present in the ‘now’.. the mind hates this and will do everything it can to attack you and make you think of meaningless thoughts over and over.. but thats okay coz as long as you monitor your mind and the way it throws random images and thought at you, then that shows you are aware of what it is doing.. and you/soul/being/consciousness is the silent watcher and the more you get in the habit of staying present the more you will naturally start realizing your true inner being which is limitless..which results in you slowly taking the power back from the mind and all that mental noise,that voice in your head, or all those images,forms and shapes will start reducing.. when all noise stops in your head and you do not identify yourself with your past experiences or hopes of the future you will be in the present moment of ‘now.. where you are already complete,whole,egoless,oneness,conciousness,life breath.. the only reality in NOW, don’t give the ego anymore power by thinking of past and future as they DO NOT EXIST. do not waste your life breath which is NOW by giving reality to past events.. they are just old ‘nows’, past reality’s that simply just happened.. they were meant to happen,, past karma.. stop your karma by taking shelter at guru ji’s sharan and think and meditate in the now!!!

      The second watch has begun; wake up, you unconscious being!
      Protect your riches, O mortal; your farm is being eaten.
      Protect your crops, and love the Lord, the Guru. Stay awake and aware, and the thieves shall not rob you.

      waheguru the hukam says it all!! wake up from inside your temple body, the mind is stealing all your breath of life!! do not suffer anymore in anxiety, guilts of past.. hope for a satisfactory future, fear of what may become of you.. give it up!! protect your breath.. protect the ‘now’ the only reality there ever is.. your farm/breath where good seeds should have been sown have been stolen by the panj chor, they distract us with thoughts of past and future while they steal our creative limitless breath NOW.

      Stay awake and aware, and the thieves shall not rob you.

      STAY IN THE NOW GOOD FRIEND AND YOU WILL NO LONGER BE A SLAVE TO THE MIND.. INSTEAD THE MIND WILL BECOME A SLAVE TO YOU.. THE SPARK OF GOD

      THROUGH MEDITATION ON WAHEGURU.. YOURSELF.. THE GEMS ARE WITHIN YOUAS GURU JI SAYS IN ANAND SAHIB – STOP LOOKING OUTSIDE FOR SALVATION OR COMPLETENESS – VIBRATE ON THE NAAM – THE SUPPORT OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL BEINGS.. CONSCIOUSNESS

      nothing is directed at you persoanlly, i’m just happy ‘being’ and just want to express myself to you.. wjkk wjkf

    32. Militant Athiest says:

      Good article. However, my opinion is that sikhism is a way of life. It should be an option to people if they want to live that way. By putting small kids into boarding schools such as baru sahib, i think that it is child abuse. A small kid is not able to decide for themselves. If you want to teach religion to your child, go ahead, but do it at HOME!! when you put them in a public school, it should be a secular system. I chose not to live the sikh way of life, but instead i live my own way. I make my own rules, my own decisions, etc. In order to be like me, it is important that whatever my actions are, they shouldnt cause unneccessary harm to others. I dont believe that i need religion to tell me whats right and wrong. if you have objections, email me:

      [email protected]