Me and my religion

I was born in a liberal Sikh family of clean shaven Sardars. My earliest associations of my religion all date back to the childhood memories of having sat by the side of my father in the Gurdwara. I used to be on the look out for cues as to when to bow and when to fold hands for the ardaas. I would, however, pitch in with unabashed gusto when the congregation would vociferously affirm their faith with ‘Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh’. Another distinct memory is that of studying at the eleventh hour for the school exams with the octogenarian village Granthi’s soporific, early morning drone, from the distant Gurdwara mike, for company. These childhood memories apart, I would have consciously and sub-consciously picked up values from my community but I never gave the issue any thought.
Today, when I am the father of two inquisitive daughters I am forced to give it some serious thought. What does being a Sikh mean to me? What are the core values that I would like my children to imbibe? After much thought, I have reached a tentative list.
A Sikh is a lover of freedom. Freedom to pursue happiness. The Gurus struggled all their lives for the freedom to pursue a religion of their own choice. They struggled essentially on behalf of the larger community of different faiths.
A lover of freedom has to be a liberal man. Freedom for oneself and freedom for everybody else. Sikhism is thus the very anti-thesis of Fascism. Sikhs are egalitarian in thought.
A Sikh is a lover of justice and truth. In his pursuit of justice he is never daunted by the odds. A Sikh thrives in situations where the odds are pitted against him. He is the champion of the weak and the powerless and is always ready to take up a public cause in the interest of justice.

12 thoughts on “Me and my religion”

  1. for that which you describe as a sikh, and that so overlaps with the existing articulated philosophy of the american constitution, shouldn’t every good man be, and strive to be, that? irrespective of being or not being a sikh?

    no intention to offend you, but isn’t religion only a redundant cover for general life’s philosophies? i think the little ones should grow up knowing all religions and developing a philosophy of their own… i dont have a kid so i dont know what all they ask and how… 🙂

  2. hello sir,

    I am Davinder Singh, a member of arrivesafe.
    A person is called sikh if he
    – kesh – unshorn hair and beard
    – karra – Steel bangle
    – kacha – countrymade underwear
    – kirpan – for protection
    – kangi – comb

    but in contemporary world, this is not possible and anybody can practice any religion irrespective of his physical appearance.

    Second why do we have so many sects inside sikhism.

    “Ek pita, ekas ka haam baarik, tou maara guru haee”
    One father; we are all the children of the One. You are my Guide (Guru)

    Ek onkar means One God, then why most of the Orthodox Sikhs don’t visit temple, church, mosque.

    So according to me Sikhism is like any other religion in India with full of contradictions and prejudice.

  3. Hello Paji,
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on what Sikhism means to you. I agree with your perspective. Sikhism comes from within, it’s an inspiration, a strength and faith that carries us forth.
    Lots of love to the family.

  4. wonderful way to define… excellent.. am agreed… keep it up.
    regards
    yashpal rana from Ambala
    99964 00009

  5. HI AMITABH

    AT THE OUTSET PLEASE ACCEPT MY FELICITATIONS FOR MAKING SUCHA GOOD AND VIVID WEB SITE WITH LOT OF PRAISEWORTHYARTICLES. I WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR DEFENITION AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE IN THE BACKDROP OF YOUR RELIGIOUS LEANINGS…..NICE
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
    SREEJITH

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