Something I and every Sikh soon realises is that there are alot of contradictions in the religion.
This confuses the seeker and many get disillusioned and leave the path. Or just carry on the path but never dig deeper to really understand the deeper divine wisdom.
For example take the 5Ks, they are very visible symbols of the religion. Everyone knows about them. Everyone says Guru Gobind Singh Ji told us to wear them. When I started wearing them I along with many other Sikhs I know went through a stage of thinking I am better than the people who are not wearing them. Because we had the belief that by strictly wearing these symbols it showed Guru Gobind Singh Ji how much we loved him. And that meant we were blessed.
However, when we read the Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji we quickly learnt that NOT ONE SINGLE EXTERNAL symbol or uniform or ritual gives us salvation. And that believing any symbol , any religious uniform or any religious ritual was going to please God was false.
So there we were CONFUSED. On one side you have the religion saying we need all these symbols, uniforms and rituals. But the very Guru we have infront of us right now says they are USELESS. Only NAAM is of any use.
Then I found that most Sikhs I know choose to follow what the religion says and keep on getting harder in the symbols, uniforms and rituals. And let the religion overrule what their Guru Granth Sahib ji is telling them.
We keep saying Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji is our Guru, so read the following from our Guru and apply it to our own attitude towards the 5Ks, Bana and Sikh rituals.
I realise that some Sikhs will feel offended that this email is challenging what they hold most dear. But this is not meant to offend. Guru Gobind Singh ji gave us all these external things in 1699, but he also told us that Guru Granth Sahib ji is now our Guru. So why dont we put the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib ji – our Guru right now, HIGHER THAN ANYTHING that has gone before? And stop judging others who dont have the same Sikh appearance?
If we put the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib Ji higher than even our Sikh religious practices, we would be the greatest, open minded, loving hearts, full of naam that the world had ever seen.
Read the following quotes carefully and apply them to our own Sikh practices – they are the benchmark of Truth:
Keski : The Turban that pleases God
Purify what is impure, and let the Lord’s Presence be your religious tradition.
Let total awareness of God be the turban on your head. ||12||
Kabeer, when you are in love with the One Lord, duality and alienation depart.
You may have long hair, or you may shave your head bald. ||25||
Kabeer, why do you slander the wife of the king? Why do you honor the slave of the Lord?
Because one combs her hair for corruption, while the other remembers the Name of the Lord. ||160||
Kirpan : The sword that pleases God
Guru (Nanak Ji) implanted the almighty sword of the Teachings to illuminate his (Guru Angad Ji) soul.
If the bride wears the Lord’s Name, as the garland around her neck,
if she uses the Lord as her toothbrush;
and if she fashions and wears the Creator as the bracelet around her wrist,
then she shall hold her consciousness steady. ||2||
You wear two loin cloths, and keep your head covered.
If you know God and the nature of karma,
you know that all these rituals and beliefs are useless.
Says Nanak, meditate on the Lord with faith.
Without the True Guru, no one finds the Way. ||1||
To forsake pride, emotional attachment, and the sense of ‘mine and yours’,
is the path of the double-edged sword. ||3||
The peace which is obtained by serving God, the Lord of the Universe –
that peace cannot be found in kingdoms or power. ||1||Pause||
The wealth of the Naam is worth millions of kingdoms to me;
O God, please bless me with Your Ambrosial Glance of Grace. ||1||
Among masters, You are the Master. Among tribes, Yours is the Supreme Tribe. ||1||
I dedicate my mind to Him, and renounce my ego. This is the Path which I shall take.
Dust Of Your Feet