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Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Letter to an apostate friend

Dear Mandeep,

Guru Fateh!

How are you? Hope you are in 'Chardi Kala'. Mandeep, I feel my duty and most importantly my right to comment on what I was a witness of, when I met you last. That moment really shattered me. And this happens only when you experience something unexpected. I don’t know under which circumstances you took this step; but believe me this is really very unfortunate.
When we call ourselves Sikhs then why not be one. Every fruit is tastier in its ripe form. Unripe fruit never beckons. It has become a natural tendency that we forget our past as we move on in our lives. Our lives has become like concentric circles rather than a spiral. Isn't it possible that we proudly possess our heritage, culture as we move-on? We can be engineers, doctors, diplomats, executives; and with all these we can also be 'Puran Gursikh'.

The heritage that we are now possessing cannot be valued. It is a gift to us by our Gurus. It is a gift by those gurus who sacrificed their whole life, their families for us. This is gifted to us by that person who gave us the status of guru and addressed us by saying:

‘’khasla mero roop hai khaas" and "khalsa meri jaan ki jaan"

After the death of four Sahibzadez, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib wrote a letter of victory, 'Zafarnama' to Aurangzeb. In that letter he wrote:

"How does it matter if you have killed my four sons. My Khalsa is still there to challenge you".

"If you think you have done a great job by diminishing four candles; beware, the fire (Khalsa) is still there".

This was the kind of trust that our Tenth Master had on us. Aren't we becoming ungrateful and discourteous by turning our backs at him.

Justifying our sins on medical grounds is like ridiculing the sacrifices of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, Baba Banda Bahadur, Bhai Taru Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Mati Dass, Bhai Sati Dass, Bhai Dayal Dass, Bhai Subeg Singh Shahbaz Singh and many others whose number runs in millions.

Daily in our Ardas we remember those who proudly possessed 'Sikhi' with their ‘kesh’ intact till their last breath.

"sikhi kesan swasan naal nibhai"

Then in our Ardas we ask for the courage to possess these ‘kesh’:

"baksho; sikhaan nu sikhi dan, kesh daan."

After doing such an act will it be possible to attend the Ardas? Will it not be an act of hypocrisy?
Saying that these five 'Ks' have no value today is really an irresponsible act. We cannot be so ungrateful by viewing his gifts in a practical human utility. These are the gifts of love from our father. Can we value love? Is there any standard on which love can be measured? Is there any machine on which love can be weighed? No. Indeed love can be expressed. We can express our love by possessing these gifts. These five 'Ks' may have some significance in the past, but now these are a necessity. Do we throw a gift given by our beloved when it is not in use?

Mandeep, we should be proud to be a part of that religion which is an amalgamation of science, philosophy, psychology, theology and most importantly universal humanitarian principles. Our Ardas does not end unless we say "Good for all" ("sarbat da bhala")

The Scientific principles which were proved later had already been postulated by the Gurus:
About gaseous cloud before the Big Bang:

arbad narbad dhundookara ; dharan na gagna hukum apaara" (Guru Nanak Sahib ; pg. 1033, SGGS)

About other galaxies and planets:

paataala paataal lakh aagaasa aagaas" (Guru Nanak Sahib ; pg. 5, SGGS)

About the expansion of the Universe:

"kai baar pasreyo paasaar ; sada sada ik ikankaar" (Guru Arjun Dev Ji ; pg. 276, SGGS)

About the origin of life:

sache te pawna bhaya pavne te sach hoey ; jal te tribhavan sajeya ghat ghat jot samoe" (Guru Nanak Sahib ; pg. 19, SGGS)

An inevitable question now arises. Can't we be Sikhs from our heart? Why to show it externally? What we look from inside should be a reflection of our heart. If one is a true Sikh from inside, it will automatically be reflected from his outlook. If it is not; won’t it be an act of hypocrisy again? Didn't the younger Sahibzades have Internal Sikhi? What was the purpose of sacrificing their lives for these ‘keshas’?

This issue really needs attention. We can't ignore the past and ostracize the sacrifices made by thousands of individuals just for our own selfish interests.


Ripudaman Singh


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