Kids Corner


The World’s Best-Kept Secret
Part II
- Janam Da Firangee,
Sikhi Mai Mangee





I very much appreciate the encouraging words I received regarding my last column. I am pleased that there are others who agree that laughter and humor have their place in the Diwan Hall, albeit they must be employed judiciously.

hasandhiaa(n) khaelandhiaa(n) painandhiaa(n) khaavandhiaa(n) vichae hovai mukt(i)
Laughing, playing, adorning, eating, therein is liberation to be found. [Guru Arjan, GGS:522.10]

Mark Twain tells us in a similar vein: “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

It continues to sadden me when I see people doing langar seva, for example, with frowns on their faces. If seva is seen as a chore rather than a privilege, it should be left for others who do it with joy.

What continues to concern me are what I call the gurdwara watchdogs – those who do not come to diwans to do simran, or do kirtan or ardaas, but are on constant lookout for real and imagined infractions of gurdwara protocol.

I repeat an experience I had when I sustained a severe leg injury and was in great discomfort and hence using a cane. There was no more room on the bench in the diwan hall.  A sevadar brought me a folding chair and placed it adjacent to the bench – it was very unobtrusive. Someone promptly complained quite loudly and then lodged a complaint later with our gurdwara committee.

When it comes to complaints and concerns, I confess to having one of my own based on an observation at one gurdwara this summer. I saw a person in the diwan hall with a topi – a baseball cap on. In my view, this is a violation of our Rehat Maryada, which specifies a head covering in the form of a scarf or bandana, if not in a turban.

This is the same gurdwara where I was chastised me for including some humor in my talk there. I do not want to be too judgmental here in that I would rather have this fellow come to the gurdwara than not come at all.

September 7, 2017

Conversation about this article

1: G J Singh (Delhi. India), September 10, 2017, 4:21 AM.

Let's stay away from becoming an organized religion, something that Sikhi inherently is not, so that it can flourish in the way it was meant to be. It's a personal code of conduct -- more importantly, of belief -- as long as that belief is not intrusive on others. Let's keep in mind, the Rehat Maryada as we follow it today was formulated by mere mortals who wanted to eradicate the corrosive Hindu (and Muslim) influence and its rituals and superstitions on Sikhi.

2: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, USA), September 17, 2017, 2:48 PM.

The beauty of Sikhi lies in its universality. It does not brook sectarianism or narrow loyalties in any shape or form. It is the religion of mankind and not of any particular group. Guru Nanak traveled all over the world, meeting people of different creeds showering love and service for the regeneration of all mankind on earth.

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Part II
- Janam Da Firangee,
Sikhi Mai Mangee"

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