Friday, 12 November 2010

What is your Surname?

What is your Surname?

Where is the Singh or Kaur?

I hear this question many a times, "What's your surname?" When I say I am Inderjeet Singh another question comes up "No no, I know you are Inderjeet Singh but what's your surname?" When I say I am Inderjeet Singh stressing "Singh" as my surname I don't get a very good response from the other end. Interestingly this question doesn't come from a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim but from Sikhs.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji refused to wear a Janeo from pandit and talked about equality of all. Guru Amar Das Jee refused to give darshan to a relative who claimed that he is from the same family as Guru Amar Das Ji and therefore should be given preference in the sangat. We are still ignorant about what our Guruji asked us 300+ years ago during the formation of Khalsa. We are still carrying the same names even when Guru Gobind Singh Ji (Not Guru Gobind Singh Rai) asked us to remove the family names. Who will tell us to remove Bedi, Sodhi, Saini, Bindra, Bhatia, Arora, Malhotra, Sahni, Basson, Bal, etc. We proudly say that Sikhism does not believe in the caste system, so why are the words khatri, jatt, sikhligar, chure, saini, ramgaria, pappe still in use? Why are we still carrying the same names?

We are not content with Singh as our Last name. We are so proud of our so called last names that we are known by them. Does it really matter so much? I wonder, have we really cut the bondages of the caste system that our guruji wanted us to? Guruji saw that in order to be united the caste system cannot exist and asked us to be one by calling ourselves Singh/Kaur. Why are we still entangled in the same names when we have clear instruction that we need to remove our caste from our name since we are Sikh?

So let us all take it as a reminder that in order to be one, we need to shed our false caste and last names and be one both by name and heart. Let us all realize and implement what our 10th guru said "Recognize mankind as one". Let us all rise above the narrow thinking and unite together as one family with one name. Let us be recognized by the whole world as a family of Singh and Kaur who believes in one God and the teachings of Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Here are some lines from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee that talks about the significance of ones Name:-

ਕਬੀਰ ਕੂਕਰੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਮੁਤੀਆ ਮੇਰੋ ਨਾਉ ॥
kabeer kookar raam ko mutheeaa maero naao ||
Kabeer, I am the Akaalpurakh’s dog; Moti is my name.

ਗਲੇ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਜੇਵਰੀ ਜਹ ਖਿੰਚੈ ਤਹ ਜਾਉ ॥74
galae hamaarae jaevaree jeh khi(n)chai theh jaao ||74||
There is a chain around my neck; wherever I am pulled, I go. ||74||


ਜਾਤਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਨਹ ਪੂਛੀਐ ਸਚ ਘਰੁ ਲੇਹੁ ਬਤਾਇ ॥
jaath janam neh pooshheeai sach ghar laehu bathaae ||
God does not ask about social class or birth; you must find your true home

ਸਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਾ ਪਤਿ ਹੈ ਜੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥
saa jaath saa path hai jaehae karam kamaae ||
That is your social class and that is your status - the karma of what you have done.

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਾਟੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਨਾਇ ॥410
janam maran dhukh kaatteeai naanak shhoottas naae ||4||10||
The pains of death and rebirth are eradicated; O Nanak, salvation is in Waheguru's Name. ||4||10||

Finally a shabad by Guru Amar Das Ji that says it all:

jwiq kw grbu n kir mUrK gvwrw ]
jaath kaa garab n kar moorakh gavaaraa ||

Do not be proud of your social class and status, you ignorant fool!

iesu grb qy clih bhuqu ivkwrw ]1] rhwau ]
eis garab thae chalehi bahuth vikaaraa ||1|| rehaao ||

So much sin and corruption comes from this pride. ||1||Pause||

Click Here to read the complete shabad and think about it.

If one reads the book
SAHIB-E-KAMAAL Guru Gobind Singh by Lala Daulat Rai (an Arya Samaji) 1901, one would realize that the downfall of Hindus was started because of caste system. It was so entrenched that one sect would feel happy at the downfall of the other. Is the Sikh panth today not in the same boat?

There will be arguments by the dozen about the impracticality of dropping surnames, but we all know when a numerologist suggests that we add another alphabet in our name or spell it differently, we are very keen to oblige and make changes to ALL documents, just in case ………..(the Laxmi mata refuses to come!!). When our Guru Granth Sahib, says something, we, overrule it.

It is time for SIKHS to wake up! The sooner, the better for all.

- From Reading Sikh Youth Associating e-mails....

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