Guru and Sikh
by Yuktanand Singh

Preface

The following are some essential thoughts on God, Guru, and His Seekers. This document will serve to answer the questions frequently asked by the Sikhs and the non-Sikhs on the net. Writing a complete but a short answer is very difficult. A barely adequate discussion on the Sikhs can get quite cumbersome and hairy. You may want to save it on a disk first. A sincere spiritual seeker will find, at the least, a few useful hints here. It can be used as a concise reference on the Sikh thought, also. In my opinion, this is a 'must read' for those who are searching for a spiritual teacher.

By the way, I am not a scholar on the Sikhs. I have not studied any literature formally. I hope this document is a good example of, how Sadh Sangat can influence an ordinary person. As the Fifth Master has said: "My friend, hear from me about the miraculous rewards of a Sadhu's company. A totally disabled person is able to climb over a mountain. An idiot becomes able to explain the Four Vedas like a scholar. A blind person can see the three worlds, as a consequence of meeting his Holy Guru …… I cannot possibly describe all the supreme virtues……!" (SGGS, p.809-10)

I should prefer someone with better writing skills and a spiritual life to write it. However, the need for dissemination of correct information about the Sikh Path, in plain English, is now. It would be a shame not to share what I have learned from observing some real Gursikhs (in flesh!) Most of this, is simply a representation of the words of Shri Naranjan Singh Ji as I heard them, and some writings based on his words. It may be colored with my own understanding. As Wayne Dyer says, "These words are not mine," and I am no Wayne Dyer. Writing this paper has been a learning experience in itself. If I waited to post it only when it is perfect, it would never be posted! I expect it to evolve and rectify further, as the fellow readers continue to offer corrections of my mistakes.

I have adhered to male gender throughout. This is for convenience only. Females are equally important wheels in a Sikh household, Gurudwara, and Sikh society. They are the mothers of future Khalsa (God's Own). I have paraphrased and condensed most of the quotations. Because I believe that elucidation of their meaning is more important, than an accurate literal translation that may be confusing due to antiquity of the verse and our cultural differences. Sometimes I have omitted the extensions of "Ji" etc., for the Gurus, because respect for them is inherent to their name. I have tried to avoid the use of non-English words in sentences, except where there is no substitute.

The aim of this document is to represent how Guru Gobind Singh, The Tenth Master, must regard today's Sikhs. Let us keep in mind that The Tenth Master's (and God's) aim was to start a Panth that is stable like a rock, a Path that will withstand all the storms of change in the coming generations. To achieve some organization, I have arbitrarily created five categories here: 1) The Anti Sikh, 2) The Common Sikh, 3) The Sikh, 4) The Gursikh, and 5) Khalsa. These categories are definitely an oversimplification. In a real world they often overlap, because the human life is dynamic. No one's life can be pigeonholed into any one of these. Many individuals move back and forth among these divisions, especially the earlier ones, throughout their life.

To save time, most readers could easily skip the section on The Anti Sikh, which is here only to make this discussion more comprehensive. The sections on The Common Sikh, and the Sikh, will be important only to the Sikhs, mostly. Section on The Gursikh will be useful to all readers. If you are interested only in the 'Guru', go to this section after the introduction. Those, who still have nagging questions about basic Sikh philosophy and practices, may have gone through the 'Terms and Phrases' section too fast. I tried to be very concise, therefore, each word in that section, is important.

I am deeply indebted to Sandeep Singh Brar for making this article available to everyone on the net, in a format that is easy to navigate.

Key to quotations:
SGGS = Sri Guru Granth Sahib
DG = Dasam Granth
SLG = Sarab Loh Granth


This document is humbly dedicated to Sadh Sangat
In memory of Saint Scholar Shri Naranjan Singh Ji
Of Guru Nanak Ashram, Patiala, Punjab, India

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!


Yuktanand Singh
June 1998