This is a picture of a school friend of mine, in Rishikesh. He is no longer a Sikh anymore. This picture is a reminder to me of how people can change so much and go in a drastically different direction. It reminds me of my struggle for finding my identity when I was a teenager and going in a direction away from Sikhi. It is easy to look good, but a whole other thing to live the lifestyle and actually sustain it.

32 Responses to “112182003974468495”

  1. I agree with you on that!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We all went through this and there’s no easy answar. Maybe it’s about being happy and confident in, what you’re and what you stand for. Living life with some principles is far more satisfying than one without. The sikhway is to live life like you want, not by what others, peers and media encourages you to. R.S.B.

  3. isingh says:

    sometimes like you said you need to do what you can handle and nothing more. i think parents need to be aware of that too. i saw so many muslim students(college) go from one extreme to another…it was truly a sad thing to watch (in both directions).


  4. Anonymous says:

    Our Gurus have freed us from slavery of all kinds. Therefore, people who are slaves of their ‘ego’, environment, media or mindset, etc. find it difficult to continue as Sikhs. It is easy to sail in the direction of wind but it takes some effort to go against it. Sikhism, right from the begining, has learned to weather the winds and as with the tree in the strong winds, it sometimes loose some dry & weak leaves to the winds. May GOD grant this gentleman ‘sumat’ to realze his mistake and may he be blessed again to be a Khalsa. Dear, Gurmastak Singh Ji, please share your experiences of teenage, which you have mentioned in the caption, with us. It will be helpful for weak & meek poeple like me.
    Jatinder Pal Singh

  5. I’ll write about my “younger” years in the future. I need time to think and write.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree, I myself follow sikhi very closely but lately have been a little confused. so i guess sometimes it takes a little confusion to find true dedication

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oooooh – your mom would have been so mad!

    — Anon from NYC

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gurumustuk!!!!!!!!!!!! You better say hi back!!!! I’m obsessed with your blog!!!!!! I love Narayan.
    -Jagjit Singh and Chitra

  9. I have to lost many friends who have given up the sikhi way of life and one of them was someone i looked up to. Even My brothers have cut their hair and made liqour their best friend. If it was not for the company of friends i had, i too may have lost the battle.
    i know better now but when i was young the pressure to fit in was so great that ones i thought of running a way from it all. And i was born to a Punjabi Sikh Family. For me picking my friends may have saved my life. Now that i am older i am so happy i didn’t give in. Knowing God looks after you is such a great feeling.

    Waheguru Satnam

  10. The pressure!! Hello… Jagjit Singh and Chitra :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    jagjit singh and chitra…famous ghazal singers!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think there is too much pressure to adopt and maintain the Khalsa identity especially on our youths.

    During Guru ji’s time Sikhs came in all forms, they were shaven, trimmed breads, and full beards. But when Khalsa was formed they were given a uniform to be the saint-soliders. I don’t believe it was ment to be imposed on all Sikhs. This is a pressure that we are creating ourselves and enforcing on ourselves. We must realise that Sikh’s and Khalsa’s are two different entities.

    Sikh’s are learners / disicples of the spiritual path to God.

    Khalsa’s are the fearless pure ones who have attained enough understanding of Sikh scriptures to be the moral authority and fight for whats right even in the face of death.

    We must realise this face and stop pressuring our kids our people on paths they are not ready for. Let them be Sikh and cut their hair if they wish but explain to them this dunia (world) is an illusion, it is a materialistic world.

    Our real home when the soul leaves these vessals (our bodies) is in the blissful love and presence of the Waheguru (almighty God).

  13. I agree that we shouldn’t put a lot of pressure and think being a Khalsa is the only way.

    However, what I have generally seen with many of my friends who are no longer Sikhs is that they threw it all away….in order to be a normal “joe”. If they maintained some spiritual practice or connection with God then that would be great. But many of them threw it away to smoke, drink, and do many things which are bad in any spiritual lifestyle.

  14. dyal kaur khalsa says:

    It reminds me when i start in kundalini yoga and i get really indentified with the way of life and of looking as a sikh. i was just 16 years old and six months later aprox i asked to the master if i could be a sikh, (take the amrit) and he told me that “rome wasen`t build i a day and that slowly and steady i will win the race, now im 21 and i look into the past and i really wasen`t prepared.In the middle of those years i start a very deeply inner process of recognixing who i really am and i did that “window shopping” that all we know.
    So keeping up is the best way of live in mi experience.

    i wanted to share that with you…
    dyal kaur khalsa from chile

  15. Some of the ppl have really left some intelligent thoughts, which actually inspired me to share my thoughts as well. Yes, a lot of our kids do ’cause of peer pressure and resort to drinking, smoking and other activities, which hurt them mentally, physically. But that certainly is not the case with everyone.

    One of the blogger, explained the difference between Sikh and a Khalsa. To my astonishment, these days where ever I see people have added Khalsa to their names..Seems like a ritual to me. Please no offence to anyone, but explain me this, Khalsa is supposed to be pure, flawless, and many other qualities. Yes there were, are distinguished personalities in this world, which can be given that title, Siri Singh Sahib one of them. Take the famous example, Diamond and Cubic Zircona..both look the same but deep down there, qualities don’t match…

    I think I have said enough..We as a society have created so many rituals and identies, that our kids are gonna have all sorts of problems …


  16. Anonymous says:

    so you are suggesting people should get your permission to choose their name!!
    Shakespeare said whats there in a name!
    remember Mohammad Atta!


  17. isingh says:

    second to last ann, well said (the one gmsk replied to). although i haven’t made up my mind weather
    to agree with you or not but really nice choice of words. i wish you had signed it though.
    it’s a shame you didn’t.

    gurumustak, i’m not trying to put you on a pedestal and i know it hasn’t been a year like you said.
    but i’ve read so many posts from western youths on here and it seems they really look up to you.
    I would encourage you (gurumustak) to do a summer camp for kids
    7-12 or something. it’ll mean so much for the kids. why do you think people send kids to punjab?

    i think you’ll be surprised at the turnout. i’m a parent and i would like the camp run this way (religious stuff
    and fun stuff too like hiking and so on). but obviously this is only a suggestion…i’m willing to donate $500/year. and i’m not
    advocating that it be free but try not to price anyone out. most kids in my culture (as oposed to yours) come here and see taxi drivers
    and alcohol and that’s it. my brother and i are the only kids that have collge degrees and decent jobs in my family.
    also, god willing, i would also offer to teach punjabi/gurmukhi (one week).

    i apologize, since i’m at work this piece wasn’t well thought out. it takes me a while to make my thoughts flow on a piece of “paper”.


  18. Diane says:

    I think that the young man will always hold in his heart the beauty and truth of the things he learned and experienced. Send him your love and blessings, not judgment.

  19. xSHANTIx says:

    These things are all Gods plan i guess when it comes to where people end up in their life..its not right or wrong its jus how people use the knowledge they are given and turn it into actions that provides our outcomes. I hope he is happy in life whatever path he chose..SAT NAM

  20. torontosingh says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    It is true that Sikh means learner, and you indeed are a Sikh if you implement in your life what you learn and go out and try to learn more about Sikhism.

    I don’t think one can be called a Sikh if they learn that cutting their hair is not permissible, but still decide to do so, because what have you learned then, nothing. To be called a Sikh you must follow Guru Sahibs Hukam to stay distinct and keep the Sikhi saroop. As a Sikh there is only one link to Vaheguru and that is through Guru Sahib, so you can meditate all you want, but without Guru Ji’s kirpa and blessings you are not going to get very far. And how does one get Guru Sahibs blessing?, by following his hukam, whether that be not cutting your hair, not drinking, not smoking etc, and by keeping amritvela and taking amrit.

    Also anyone who does not believe in Amrit, or does not believe that it is required is also not a Sikh. I don’t know how anyone can believe that there is some other way, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself took Amrit from the Panj Piaray. How can one be called a Sikh who doesn’t want to follow in the steps of his Guru?

    Living the life of an Amritdhari Sikh may seem difficult to some people, and it is at first, but one is not a complete Guru Ka Sikh until he/she has recieved Amrit and is a part of the Khalsa. This does not mean that you have to take Amrit right away, you do it when your ready.

    From the first Guru Sahib to the ninth Guru Sahib, Amrit was still given to Sikhs, but was known as ‘Charan Pahul’. Amrit is not something that the tenth Guru established, and certaintely not something that can be simply ignored. To be a true Gursikh you must accept the full package, which is the teachings and instructions of all ten Gurus, you cannot just pick and choose. Being initiated into the Khalsa Panth was the last step in the process.

    It was not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings, I only wanted to clear up this misconception, one that I am hearing for the first time. Is this something that all of Yogi Bhajans students believe?

  21. Anonymous says:

    SSA tortontosingh,

    Forgive me bro but I think thats a very orthodox view. And the way things are going that view is less luckly to be supported by Sikh youths, especially in the west.

    When youths have to make up cover stories have how they got beaten up and their hair cut off. You know things have got really bad for them to make up such things….as recently reported.

    Sikh parents need give their children the freedom to chose keeping their hair or not. But explain to them the significance of keeping it and history behind it. Time will dictate how things will evolve.

    Do not despair if you see Sikhs not keeping their hair anymore but still take pride in calling themselves Sikh. As I’ve personally seen some turbanned guys who keep hair yet go niteclubs, drink yet still are seen as Sikhs but inside theirs nothing Sikh about them and give the faith a bad name.

    We should not restrict Sikhi on petty things like race, nationality, jatha, amritdhari, mona sikhs, meat eaters , vegaterians. These are just cosmetic things.

    I see a brighter future for Sikhism making it the true global religion, a complete spiritual way of life, it was ment to be.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Rehut binah neh sikh kahavey, rehit bina dar chotah kavey – without the rehit one can not call themselves a sikh, without rehit you will suffer – Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj

    Here is the answer to all -no ifs or buts, no its whts in the heart that counts as long as ur sikh from heart it doesnt matter wht u look like. if you were truley sikh from heart the outward appearance would follow naturally.

  23. Anonymous says:

    To the poster above me, can you give me the link to a website or source where you got that quote? If you are going to hold such views at least back them up to the fullest with evidence and sources.


  24. Anonymous says:

    the above gurbani comments are certainly true but in reality todays youth are not at all bothered by this.so you can just politely convey your point but i bet they will instead be more interested in next shahrukh khan movie!


  25. Anonymous says:

    probably true….

    I’m an optomist (i think i spelled that right lol) I see a very bright future for Sikhi. Because I see Sikh and Khalsa two different entities which nature and time is proving right, to my understanding of Sikhism.

    At the end of the day it will all work out for the best. God Willing.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh.

  26. torontosingh says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    To you it’s just an orthodox view, but to me it is my Guru’s view. Just because the youth are not strong enough to follow Guru Sahibs hukam’s, does not mean that we should start making up our own rules. What ever Guru Sahib has ordered us to do is for our benefit, not to harm us. If people think that they are wiser than our Guru, and that there is no need for hair, or to take Amrit, then that is up to them and all I can say is Good Luck.

    Bhai Lehna followed the hukam’s of Guru Nanak without question, and he himself became one with Vaheguru and was given Gur-Gaddi as Guru Angad Dev Ji. The greatest rewards lie in following what Guru Sahib has said. It took 10 Gurus to complete the Sikh religion, and when someone neglects to follow what has been established, that person him/herself is incomplete. Us manmukhs do not have the wisdom or power to change any of the tenets of Sikhism.

    Sikh parents need to act as role models for their children. If they themselves don’t practice any aspect of sikhi how can they expect their children to? Children that are born in Gursikh families are more likely to grow up comfortable with their appearance and other aspects of Sikhism, I myself am an example of this.

    We should not try to find faults with Sikhi, because our Guru Sahibs were perfect and they created a perfect religion. The faults are within us, as we are tempted by maya in this age of Kaljug, to stray from our Guru and the path he has lain down for us. I think we’re over-thinking to much, the formula (Sikhism) has been tried, tested and proven true, all we have to do is just follow it.

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m trying to argue with you, because I’m not. I’m just stating the simple truth, and it is up to you and others to decide whether they will accept this truth or not.

    Rehit pyaree mujh ko, Sikh pyaara nahi – (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
    Guru Sahib loves Sikhs that keep full rehit, not ones that just call themselves Sikhs and don’t follow Guru Sahibs Hukam.

    “I see a very bright future for Sikhi. Because I see Sikh and Khalsa two different entities which nature and time is proving right, to my understanding of Sikhism.”

    Can you explain what you mean?

  27. Anonymous says:

    [ “I see a very bright future for Sikhi. Because I see Sikh and Khalsa two different entities which nature and time is proving right, to my understanding of Sikhism.”

    Can you explain what you mean? ]

    yes…I’ve stated it in my previous post.

    ie…Sikh’s are learners / disicples of the spiritual path to God. (Can be anyone who give their loyality to SGGS ji and worships the one God (waheguru))

    Khalsa’s are the fearless pure ones who have attained enough understanding of Sikh scriptures to be the moral authority and fight for whats right even in the face of death. (Are baptised formally)

    Two different entities.

    Forgive me if I have said anything out of turn. But this is my personal take and interpretation on Sikhism and what I believe Guru ji wanted.

  28. Dear Gurmastak Singh Ji, I am sorry to have stirred up another discussion on your personal blog. But I just wanted to share my views. But after reading all this I think I should comment too, though I know it won’t end the debate.
    First about ‘Kesh’, as my dear friend said, to be a sikh means to be a student. But you have to take ‘admission’ to be a student. And for that you have to abide to a certain dress code or uniform. Keeping Uncut ‘kesh’ is part of ‘sikh’ uniform. So without kesh, a person can be anything but a ‘sikh’. Remember Guru Nanak told Bala & Mardana to keep unshorn hair if they wanted to be his companions.
    Secondly, about suffixing ‘Khalsa’ to our names. I fully agree that there are great people who certainly are like gems among coals. But anybody whosoever takes amrit is a ‘Khalsa’, he may not be up to the mark but he is a ‘Khalsa’ never the less. And I personally prefer suffixing ‘Khalsa’ to my name rather than cast denoting surnames like ‘Bhatia’, ‘Sethi’, ‘Sodhi’,’Gill’,’Sidhu’ etc.

    I don’t want to hurt anyone but one thing is for sure that diffrentiating between ‘Khalsa’ and ‘Sikh’ is the same as saying ‘Guru Gobind Singh’ & ‘Guru Nanak’ are different. And those who say that they can be ‘Sikh’ without ‘kesh’, I am extremely sorry for using harsh words but they want to ride two boats and friends unfortunately that is not possible. You may remember that in ’84 riots there were incidents when the mob let alone those who cut their hair themselves in front of them.
    I request all of you to please keep your kesh unshorn if not for any other reason but just in respect of those who laid down their lives to keep their kesh intact. Or you may think those martyrs were ‘orthodox’ & ‘sentimental fools’ and drive yourselves to barber shop for a trendy hair cut. The choice is yours.

    Once again I am extremely sorry from the depth of my heart if I have hurt anyone but this the knowlegde that I have received from my GURU.

    Please forgive me.
    Jatinder Pal Singh ‘Thug’

  29. torontosingh says:

    Oh sorry, what I was asking was how is nature and time proving it right…?

  30. isingh, about your suggestion of doing a camp. We actually have a great summer camp which just finished here. I used to go to it when I was little too. Next year we will promote our camps much more on SikhNet so everyone can have some notice and come if they wish to.

  31. I took Amrit along time ago and did not use Khalsa suffix to my name. It didnt hit until one day someone ask me what “goth” is my fiancee is she a jatt or shimba or whatever i got so offended. In this day and age and in Malaysia of all places people are still so critical if one is a jatt or Shimba but why was the Khalsa formed in the first place ? Was it not to make all equal and to stay away from this this kind of social branding.Now any one ask i say Khalsa. Last Name Singh Family Name Khalsa because it is a family a global family bound together with the blessing of the Guru

    Satnam Waheguru

  32. lcsk says:

    Waheguru, (Indy the Piper) . It is this view that will help us carry through is this new day & age. As sikh’s we are not meant to exclude. Or put one’s status (Oh I took amrit and you didn’t so I’m better in the eye’s of God)ahead of another. Sometime we let ourselves get to dogmatic and then we are no different from other religions. There is a reason we all sit in Lungar & Gurudwara at the same level. There is a reason why Guru Teg Bahadur sacrificed his life. If we forget these things we are no better then the rest. There is a certain consciousness that the Guru’s carried with them that I think is often overlooked. And it is that spirit that we have to maintain & uphold. sat nam