Monday, 24 December 2012

December and Sikhs - is it Christmas or something more?

December is usually a lead up to Christmas which is a celebration of the birth of Christ (without going into the debate of whether Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December). Now the majourity of people will still celebrate Christmas as a cultural reason rather then religious. People will spend time swapping presents, eating too much, meeting up with family/friends and watching TV shows only on TV at this time of year. 

Sikhs take this time of year to remember the sacrifices made by our brothers - the Sahibzadey.


The four Sahibzadey, Baba Ajit Singh, Baba Jujhar Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh, Baba Fateh Singh, were sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and gave up their lives at the ages of 17, 15, 9 and 7 for justice and truth.

21st December

Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh were educated and trained as saint-soliders. They both traveled with Guru Gobind Singh Ji to the city of Chamkaur where the fourty Sikhs were attacked by thousands of Mughal forces. In the battle that followed, both Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh died bravely on the battlefield.

26 December

SahibzadeyBaba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were captured along with their Grandmother, Mata Gujri Ji in the city of Sirhind. They were imprisoned overnight in an open tower with no food or water. In the following days, the youunger Sahibzadey were taken to the governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan, and he offered them their lives, freedom and wealth if they converted to Islam. The Sahibzadey refused and were bricked alive.

Mata Gujri Ji was left locked in the open tower were she was martyred.

So this time of year for Sikhs is a time of rememberance for the Sikhs. We remember that standing up for truth, justice and freedom is more important than our lives and that our young brothers, our grandmother and many other Sikhs gave up their lives so that we can be here today. They did not falter when challenged and did not lose their faith.

As a Sikh we believe that the whole human race is our family - so if we are to give presents, why are we choosing who to give presents to and more importantly, why not give presents to those who are not as well off as we are. Why are we forgetting our own history and planning Christmas parties, big dinners and shopping.

Lets not get carried away in the Chritmas tradition of over spending, over eating and talking too much. Look at the meaning of the Sahibzadey names Ajit - Unconquerable, Jujhar - Tenacious (not readily giving up), Zorawar - Brave, Fateh - Victorious. Sikhs should live in this way. We should not falter and lose our faith either.

Sahibzadey, An Animated Movie ----- Trailer

Forgive me if I have said anything wrong......

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Meat Q&A with Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj

Guru Jee please tell me can Sikhs eat meat?

ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋਰੀ ਕੀਏ ਜੁਲਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਹਤਾ ਨਾਉ ਹਲਾਲੁ ॥
ਦਫਤਰਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਮਾਂਗੀਐ ਤਬ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਕਉਨੁ ਹਵਾਲੁ ॥੧੮੭॥
"O Kabeer! Those that use force and kill and call it lawful, after going to the Court of God, what will be their state? ||187||"
(SGGS - Ang 1374)

But my friends told me that I should eat meat because it is good for me and will make me strong. Is it that bad if I have meat now and again?

ਕਬੀਰ ਖੂਬੁ ਖਾਨਾ ਖੀਚਰੀ ਜਾ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੋਨੁ ॥
ਹੇਰਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਗਲਾ ਕਟਾਵੈ ਕਉਨੁ ॥੧੮੮॥
"O Kabeer! The dinner of beans and rice is excellent, if it is (just) flavoured with salt. I am not ready to have my own throat cut to have meat with my bread? ||188||"
(SGGS - Ang 1374)

But Guru Jee, why can't Sikhs eat meat?

ਦੂਖੁ ਨ ਦੇਈ ਕਿਸੈ ਜੀਅ ਪਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਵਉ ॥
"Do not cause any being to suffer, and you shall go to your true home with honor."
(SGGS - Ang 322)

That's all good, but I have seen Nihang Singhs do Jhatka and they say that its on going tradition to slaughter goats and eat its meat. So is it okay for the Nihang Singhs to do Jhatka?

ਜੀਅ ਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥
ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥2॥
"You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? If you religious people are doing "religious" killing for meat, then what is A-dharam (atheism)? If you are a religious person then whom will we call a butcher? ||2||"
(SGGS - Ang 1103)

Okay. What about eating fish? I suppose that isn't really meat?

ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥
"O Kabeer! Those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ||233||"
(SGGS - Ang 1377)

Guru Jee, can eat meat and still do Bhagti (devotional worship)?

ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
"If in all is the one God, then why kill a chicken?"
(SGGS - Ang 1350)

Does it affect our spirituality if we eat meat?

ਜੇ ਰਤੁ ਲਗੈ ਕਪੜੈ ਜਾਮਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਲੀਤੁ ॥
ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਚੀਤੁ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਉ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਾ ਦਿਲਿ ਹਛੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ॥
ਅਵਰਿ ਦਿਵਾਜੇ ਦੁਨੀ ਕੇ ਝੂਠੇ ਅਮਲ ਕਰੇਹੁ ॥੧॥
"If one's clothes are stained with blood, the garment becomes polluted. Those who drink the blood of others - how can those people's consciousness be pure?"
(SGGS - Ang 140)

Guru Jee does becoming a vegetarian make me religious? If I just give eating meat, does that please you?

ਮਾਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਝਗੜੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੈ ॥
ਕਉਣੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਉਣੁ ਸਾਗੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਸਮਾਣੇ ॥
"Only the fool quarrels over the question of eating or not eating of the meat; that person does not have the True Wisdom. (Without True Wisdom or Meditation), the person harps on which is flesh and which is not flesh and which food is sinful and which is not."
(SGGS - Ang 1289-1290)

So a Sikh doesn't eat meat because a Sikh should have compassion and kindness for living life, but what thing makes a person religious if just becoming a vegetarian doesn't make a person religious?

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤ ਮਿਟੇ ਸਭਿ ਭਰਮਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥
"Chanting the Name of the Lord all doubts are dispelled. Naam, the Name of the Lord is the highest religion."
(SGGS – Ang 874)

Guru Jee thanks for clearing up things.

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