Correct Gurmat teaching alone will dismiss concerns of ‘Sikh identity’
Sikhi is another name for Gurmat ideology. It has no connection with any garb, because garb has been rejected, and never accepted in Gurmat. Sikhi is such a teaching that has been inscribed in the Gurbani for Pandits, Pandhaas, Jogis, Naaths, Sanyasis, Bairaagis, Srevrhas, Qazis, Maulanas, Sheikhs, Pirs, Fakeers etc. It means that Gurmat has enlightened all the above types of garb bearers with the path of truthful understanding. None of the Guru Sahibaans or Bhagats ever told any of their pupils to shun their old garb in order to adopt a new one. The pupils were only advised to adopt the Gurmat ideology. This is perhaps because the ideology of the whole world can be unified despite existence of differences in outer garbs. The reason of discord is ideology, and not the garb.
Although Dasam Patshah did bind the Khalsa to wear a particular uniform, but we cannot call this uniform a garb because he had created Khalsa as an army of Akaal Purakh. When this army must fight to stand guard the truth against the army of the followers of garb bearers, then during the fight it needs a separate identity so that soldiers do not strike their own by mistake. By partaking Khande di Pahul from Khalsa, Dasam Patshah gave the message that hereafter the control of Khalsa Panth will be in the hands of Khalsa itself. Rather than some other person, now it needs to take guidance from Gurbani only. From that time, Dasam Patshah entrusted the responsibility of a personified teacher to the Khalsa. It is another matter that this fact has neither been seriously discussed nor propagated by Khalsa even until today. If this had been seriously discussed and propagated, then ever appearing stories of fake imposter Gurus will not be seen and heard, and neither these gangs of garb bearing saints would have surfaced.
The situation that the Khalsa inherited after Dasam Patshah was a phase of tough examination for Khalsa. The biggest challenge for Khalsa became the preservation of its own identity. The propagation of Sikhi dropped to second preference. This phase of tribulations and persecution went on for such a long time that the Singhs who had understanding of Gurmat either achieved martyrdom or expired. How could the study of Gurbani be carried while sitting on horsebacks day and night? The understanding of Gurmat was kept limited to accepting the God’s will, which is also the crux of Gurbani. Khalsa would face the God’s will cheerfully, and lived a carefree life while struggling with the adversities of that time.
Although that time also came when along with maintaining its identity, Khalsa became the owner of a kingdom. The possessions of a worldly kingdom unsettled the Khalsa from the path of truth. The Khalsa who was a lover of truth, because of the influence of material possessions, kept coming under the dominance of garb bearers. Khalsa, who used to desire indestructible spiritual kingdom (Abinaasi Raaj), turned his back to the Guru in order to attain worldly kingdom (Sansaari Raaj). To maintain the kingdom, it accepted subordination of those powers that wanted to destroy Sikhi itself. It was also the time when the propagation of Sikhi began once again. Many historical texts were created under the name of ‘history of the Gurus’ but their true purpose was to divert Gurmat. An exposition of Gurbani was created through educated Pandits after giving them Sikh appearance. Though the Gursikhs of that time opposed it vigorously, but even those Sikhs did not have the capability to expound Gurbani themselves. That is why, the antithetical preaching continued to be passed off as preaching of ‘truth’, the result of which is in front of us today.
The attacks on Sikhs in America and some European countries have happened because the outer garb of Sikhs and Afghans is very similar. Our missionaries, who are very large in numbers and have many preachers trained by them in European countries. Their preaching is limited to code of conduct and outer garb, instead of ideological understanding. Now there is a need to make the European people aware of Sikhi, but these preachers, or gangs of saints dressed in white, or scholars of our sects, or academicians from universities, or NamDhari Guru or his followers, all have failed. The world needs such a Gurmukhi intellect that is capable of providing ideological understanding of Gurmat.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Gursikhs have been concerned about the correct teaching of Gurmat. Towards this end, even though a lot of work has been achieved through their efforts, but the main act of throwing out the false doctrine from the true, just like separating water from the milk still needs to be done. Pristine Sikhi alone is capable to connect a Gursikh with his origin.
The understanding of spiritual knowledge that is, our ‘formless form’ is documented in Gurmat. But this aspect of Gurmat is totally absent from our teaching today. Our preachers are not giving answer to the questions of Radha Soamis, fake Gurus, and people of other faiths. That is why Sikhs are getting caught in the illusory web of Radha Soamis, so-called saints, and fake deceitful Gurus. There is no preacher to be seen, who using the light of Gurmat can make them aware (and hence awaken them) about this illusory web. If correct preaching of Gurmat had been going on from Gurdwaras, then lowlifes like Bhaniarawala would not have cropped.
The truth is that since the time the control and management of Gurdwaras has come back to the Sikhs, we have only worried about Sikhs, and have not yet felt the need to worry about Sikhi. But now with this new game plan of God, perhaps we will awaken from the slumber of apathy, and get attentive towards this responsibility bestowed to us by the Gurus. By exercising this responsibility with honesty, hopefully we will earn the blessings of the Guru.