Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
My name is Amarjit S. Gulati and I’m based in Malaysia.
Kindly consider this blog as a collection of my research, understanding and views about Sikhism and happenings within the Sikh community.
Articles and videos presented in here are based on my personal experience and growth as I had to unlearn many misconstrued concepts of Sikhi and re-learn the ‘redefined’ messages.
I slowly began to understand the “true” meanings of Guru Nanak’s teachings when I started questioning the many rituals and practices I was taught to do in the Gurdwaras and in my own life.
Recently, after spending some time reading and understanding the Shabads within Guru Granth Sahib, I began to see the practical side of Sikhi.
Guru Nanak was a highly elevated, practical and God realized being. He cared for the entire creation. During his time, he outright challenged the lies and stereotype rituals of the Hindus and Muslims.
Guru Nanak says, “God resides within us as well as on the outside.” Guru Nanak believed in One and Only God, (hukam) – Law of the Universe (Hukmi Howan Akaar).
He was against the caste based system introduced by the Poojari Brahmins. He brought about radical change in the minds of the oppressed and made them to ‘think’.
It took 239–years (1469 – 1708) from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh, and in between, to complete the mission of creating a perfect, eternal, spiritual guide for all of mankind. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib!
Today, I have discarded all ritualistic beliefs drilled down to me by my parents and the clergy.
Truth be told, it has not been easy for me. I had to battle (I still do) with many stereotypes and closed minded people along the way (including some of my own family members.)
They refused to thwart the ritualistic Brahmanical and Poojari concepts. Some even still strongly belief Sikhism is an off-shoot of Hinduism and Islam.
The biggest battle I had to encounter was within my own mind.
The battle within the mind is the toughest and constant. But, I’m grateful for taking a step in this direction. My life has been a very interesting journey of continuous learning, unlearning, re-learning and self discovery.
With the encouragement and blessings of the Creator within me, I aspire to do my best to share my findings in this blog.
The authentic Sikhi of Guru Nanak is very beautiful and practical. Guru Nanak did not create another religion. Sikhism is a practical way of life!
Many years had passed in my younger days with certain set beliefs about the Sikh religion and spirituality. These were either knowingly or unknowingly passed down to me by my parents and the Sikh Clergy – Giani (priest), Kathakaars (preachers) and Kirtanees (singers of hymns).
To be honest, during my younger days, I was considered an average child and rather mischievous. I was exposed to bad company (like any teenager) and made several bad decisions. For me, Sikhism was just a term and so long as I didn’t cut my hair, had a turban on my head, took Amrit, I deemed myself a Sikh.
Me and many other Sikh youth of my time didn’t have a choice but to rely upon the Satsangs and discourses from tapes and books.
It is only during the later part of my life, somewhere in 2014, at 42, I began to realize a few authentic concepts of Guru Nanak’s teachings.
One of the biggest challenges I had to face was to unlearn and re-learn the new concepts. Without proper guidance in Gurbani, I found it rather difficult to decipher the real messages contained in Guru Granth Sahib. As you know, the entire Guru Granth is in poetry form and is written in several languages.
Nevertheless, I had a strong desire to want to learn and I took it upon myself to learn it on my own. At that time, many suggested I should get Professor Sahib Singh’s ‘Guru Granth Darpan’ or Teeka (translation), which I did.
It was then I began to see a pattern, a formula to learn Gurbani. It was then I realized, Gurbani has a set of rules, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation etc. However, later I also realized the Professor’s Darpan is also riddled with many Snatan and Brahmanwadi concepts.
In 2015, I was priviledged to hear Bhai Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwaley’s recordings and that made a huge impact upon me. I began to tear down many veils of doubts and began hearing his discourses daily. In the same year, I travelled to Patiala, India to pay him a visit. I stayed in Parmeshar Dwar for a week, spending quality time with him, while attending many of his daily programs.
In 2018, I met a rare teacher, Giani Jaspal Singh Pandhi. He served as the head Granthi of Gurdwara Sahib Subang for many years. Much change and understanding of Gurbani concepts has also derived from his explanations and teachings too.
I have 2 beautiful children (9 and 11 years old; at the time of creating this blog).
One of the biggest challenges I had faced (and still face until today is), how do I answer my growing up kids about the many Sikhi misconceptions?
You see, before I came to realization about Guru Nanak’s authentic Sikhi (Nanakian philosophy), I told my children the same old stories and sakhis my parents and clergy told me.
For example, I told them there is a ‘Jam Raj’ and he is the judge who sends his ‘Jamdoots’ (messengers of death), to take out the soul from the body when one dies. I told my kids, this ‘JamRaaj’ sits in another realm and when one dies, depending on whether they did good or bad, they will be taken to this place first and Jam Raj will decide what sentence to give us or whether if we deserve to got to ‘Heaven’ or ‘Hell’.
But isn’t all this true? Aren’t these Sikh beliefs?
My answer is NO! It is a belief that has been passed down from generations to generations and stems from the Hindu scriptures (Purans and Simratees). Gurmat does NOT subscribe to the concept of a ‘Jamraj’ or ‘Jamdoot’ or any of the other common concepts like reincarnation, chitr-gupt, churasi lakh jun, etc.
So, my biggest challenge now was, how do I tell my kids the truth? How will they perceive me? Why would a father lie about something like this to his own children? These questions hit me real hard and that’s when I felt I had to do something. I decided to create this blog.
My kids are still learning and have many years ahead of them. At least I know, when they are old enough and -mind-ready, they will have a reference point to go to. They will know what is Guru Nanak’s philosophy. I hope.
I also hope not only my children, but anyone (Sikh or non-Sikh) who arrives here, will appreciate the content and will have the courage to learn and accept the TRUTH.
I hope all will be able to see the ‘true’ power of Guru Granth Sahib and can relate with the simple, realistic and practical living of Gurbani too.
Gurbani should be the focal source of guidance in every human beings life.
I am but a mere insect, trying to explore the skies where Eagles reign. No pen (or keyboard in my case) can describe Guru Nanak, the 9-Gurus, our Bhagats, Gurbani or the Sikh philosophy. I apologize to the sanggat in advance if anything I’ve written or write in the future is hurtful. Know that my intentions are pure and not to hurt anyone.
I encourage you (the readers) to comment or ask any questions you may have. Once you’ve read an article, and if you find it helpful, can you please share it with your family, friends and on social.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
Amarjit S. Gulati
Author – JeevanJach.com