Guru and Sikh
by Yuktanand Singh

The Anti Sikh

We will start with the question, how not to be a "Bad Sikh," if there is such a person. So we begin with discussion of some sinister elements inside the Sikh arena:

This end of the spectrum is discussed simply for the sake of completeness. This does not pertain to people outside the Sikh faith. Anti Sikhs are those inside the Sikh society who appear to be Sikhs due to birth, appearance, or their claims in their writings, but they disrupt the faith through intentional acts. They show respect for the Sikh faith, along with their effort to confuse others with remarks and suggestions against the Panth. They will use obsolete and strange terms deliberately to create confusion and division among the Sikhs. For example: Anti Sikhs will try to rekindle the issue of cast and class in Sikh society to achieve their aims, because it still works on most South Asians. In reality, this issue has been long removed from the Sikh Panth, since the time of Guru Nanak, more than five hundred years ago.

You will also find them disrupting the places of prayer by causing fights in the Gurudwaras. They are eager to get elected to an office in Sikh organizations. Often, they try to control the Sikh places of worship, especially after a significant amount of money from worship offerings has been accumulated. Anti Sikhs need to be distinguished from those devout Sikhs who appear to be engaged in a similar activity while trying to defend a just cause, whose only interest is selfless service. Obviously, those who raise questions because of their ignorance should not be called Anti Sikh.

In the eyes of The Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh, sects, cults, saints and gurus with a Sikh appearance and name, who specifically lead the Sikhs away from the Sikh Panth, can be called Anti Panth. They undermine the Khalsa Panth, as it was outlined by The Tenth Master, without thinking. God has created a variety of people, for a reason. All have an important place in the divine plan. We should not argue with anyone. It is not for us to dissect the spirituality of others. Some of these people are very sincere and they appear to believe in what they do. However, some of this can be because of a religiously exalted Ego, because, to a Gursikh, their lack of esteem for the Panth is a clear evidence of some deficiency in their spiritual experience. It is very important to understand the following, a very common problem:

Just a miniscule mystical feeling, a religious emotion or fervor, can make us feel divine, and strangely, make us feel that we are "Almost there." Whenever this results in thinking that we are better than others are, or, if it leads us away from a genuine Path, there is definitely a flaw somewhere. Generally, the origin of such an exalting feeling is not to be blamed. Our fanatic interpretation of - an extremely limited spiritual experience - corrupts it. This is much more prevalent in the followers of imperfect gurus. The result is a stronger ego, and argument with others, to the extent that some feel justified and religious even if they kill those who disagree, 'In God's name!' (Torturing a nonbeliever, and inventing new devices to do it more thoroughly, has been the specialty of one such "religious" group!)

Some Anti Sikhs will stimulate doubts, and question authenticity of the established Sikh literature, under the notion of Sikh renewal and research. This is an issue of a separate paper. Anti Sikhs are modern counterparts of Meenha, Massand, and Ram Rai, etc. The correct Sikh response is to ignore them and avoid their company. The word "hate" is not found in Gurbani, neither should it be found in a Sikh's heart. To a Sikh, God has no enemy. The history of the Ten Masters also shows that a true Sikh does not instigate violence. He does not engage in a physical confrontation unless all peaceful means have failed. However, a Sikh cannot be a bystander to someone slander his Guru, persecute people because of their religion, or tyrannize the defenseless or the poor.

The Sikh way to fight the darkness of ignorance is to first flood it with the light of abundant goodness, as written by the Fourth Master, Guru Ram Das: "God's servant worships Ram Nam (generates goodness). When someone talks evil of him (ignites wickedness), he does not lose his serenity and simply continues in his virtue. He knows that God is in everything and everyone. God created everything. (He created the wicked also, for some reason). God gives people wisdom and, He Himself makes people do what they do. When it pleases God, He lets them find the True Guru. This resolves all their quibbling." (SGGS, p.720)