Monday, 24 December 2012

December and Sikhs - is it Christmas or something more?

December is usually a lead up to Christmas which is a celebration of the birth of Christ (without going into the debate of whether Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December). Now the majourity of people will still celebrate Christmas as a cultural reason rather then religious. People will spend time swapping presents, eating too much, meeting up with family/friends and watching TV shows only on TV at this time of year. 

Sikhs take this time of year to remember the sacrifices made by our brothers - the Sahibzadey.


The four Sahibzadey, Baba Ajit Singh, Baba Jujhar Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh, Baba Fateh Singh, were sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and gave up their lives at the ages of 17, 15, 9 and 7 for justice and truth.

21st December

Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh were educated and trained as saint-soliders. They both traveled with Guru Gobind Singh Ji to the city of Chamkaur where the fourty Sikhs were attacked by thousands of Mughal forces. In the battle that followed, both Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh died bravely on the battlefield.

26 December

SahibzadeyBaba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were captured along with their Grandmother, Mata Gujri Ji in the city of Sirhind. They were imprisoned overnight in an open tower with no food or water. In the following days, the youunger Sahibzadey were taken to the governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan, and he offered them their lives, freedom and wealth if they converted to Islam. The Sahibzadey refused and were bricked alive.

Mata Gujri Ji was left locked in the open tower were she was martyred.

So this time of year for Sikhs is a time of rememberance for the Sikhs. We remember that standing up for truth, justice and freedom is more important than our lives and that our young brothers, our grandmother and many other Sikhs gave up their lives so that we can be here today. They did not falter when challenged and did not lose their faith.

As a Sikh we believe that the whole human race is our family - so if we are to give presents, why are we choosing who to give presents to and more importantly, why not give presents to those who are not as well off as we are. Why are we forgetting our own history and planning Christmas parties, big dinners and shopping.

Lets not get carried away in the Chritmas tradition of over spending, over eating and talking too much. Look at the meaning of the Sahibzadey names Ajit - Unconquerable, Jujhar - Tenacious (not readily giving up), Zorawar - Brave, Fateh - Victorious. Sikhs should live in this way. We should not falter and lose our faith either.

Sahibzadey, An Animated Movie ----- Trailer

Forgive me if I have said anything wrong......

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Meat Q&A with Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj

Guru Jee please tell me can Sikhs eat meat?

ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋਰੀ ਕੀਏ ਜੁਲਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਹਤਾ ਨਾਉ ਹਲਾਲੁ ॥
ਦਫਤਰਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਮਾਂਗੀਐ ਤਬ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਕਉਨੁ ਹਵਾਲੁ ॥੧੮੭॥
"O Kabeer! Those that use force and kill and call it lawful, after going to the Court of God, what will be their state? ||187||"
(SGGS - Ang 1374)

But my friends told me that I should eat meat because it is good for me and will make me strong. Is it that bad if I have meat now and again?

ਕਬੀਰ ਖੂਬੁ ਖਾਨਾ ਖੀਚਰੀ ਜਾ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੋਨੁ ॥
ਹੇਰਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਗਲਾ ਕਟਾਵੈ ਕਉਨੁ ॥੧੮੮॥
"O Kabeer! The dinner of beans and rice is excellent, if it is (just) flavoured with salt. I am not ready to have my own throat cut to have meat with my bread? ||188||"
(SGGS - Ang 1374)

But Guru Jee, why can't Sikhs eat meat?

ਦੂਖੁ ਨ ਦੇਈ ਕਿਸੈ ਜੀਅ ਪਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਵਉ ॥
"Do not cause any being to suffer, and you shall go to your true home with honor."
(SGGS - Ang 322)

That's all good, but I have seen Nihang Singhs do Jhatka and they say that its on going tradition to slaughter goats and eat its meat. So is it okay for the Nihang Singhs to do Jhatka?

ਜੀਅ ਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥
ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥2॥
"You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? If you religious people are doing "religious" killing for meat, then what is A-dharam (atheism)? If you are a religious person then whom will we call a butcher? ||2||"
(SGGS - Ang 1103)

Okay. What about eating fish? I suppose that isn't really meat?

ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥
"O Kabeer! Those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ||233||"
(SGGS - Ang 1377)

Guru Jee, can eat meat and still do Bhagti (devotional worship)?

ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
"If in all is the one God, then why kill a chicken?"
(SGGS - Ang 1350)

Does it affect our spirituality if we eat meat?

ਜੇ ਰਤੁ ਲਗੈ ਕਪੜੈ ਜਾਮਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਲੀਤੁ ॥
ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਚੀਤੁ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਉ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਾ ਦਿਲਿ ਹਛੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ॥
ਅਵਰਿ ਦਿਵਾਜੇ ਦੁਨੀ ਕੇ ਝੂਠੇ ਅਮਲ ਕਰੇਹੁ ॥੧॥
"If one's clothes are stained with blood, the garment becomes polluted. Those who drink the blood of others - how can those people's consciousness be pure?"
(SGGS - Ang 140)

Guru Jee does becoming a vegetarian make me religious? If I just give eating meat, does that please you?

ਮਾਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਝਗੜੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੈ ॥
ਕਉਣੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਉਣੁ ਸਾਗੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਸਮਾਣੇ ॥
"Only the fool quarrels over the question of eating or not eating of the meat; that person does not have the True Wisdom. (Without True Wisdom or Meditation), the person harps on which is flesh and which is not flesh and which food is sinful and which is not."
(SGGS - Ang 1289-1290)

So a Sikh doesn't eat meat because a Sikh should have compassion and kindness for living life, but what thing makes a person religious if just becoming a vegetarian doesn't make a person religious?

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤ ਮਿਟੇ ਸਭਿ ਭਰਮਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥
"Chanting the Name of the Lord all doubts are dispelled. Naam, the Name of the Lord is the highest religion."
(SGGS – Ang 874)

Guru Jee thanks for clearing up things.

(Copied from an email.)


Thursday, 15 November 2012

The right to vote.....

Since today is the PCC elections I thought I would right about something I am passionate about - the right to vote.

Firstly, let me say those who do go and vote - well done!

Those who don't go and vote, I have to ask the question - why?

If we look back in history people gave their lives to get this right to vote and today many of us don't even register ourselves on the electoral register let alone go an vote.

One example - the Suffragette movement:

In the US, women over 21 were first allowed to vote in Wyoming from 1869 and in Utah from 1870, and this was then extended to women across the US in time for the 1920 presidential election.
Women over 21 were allowed to vote in New Zealand from 1893, in Australia from 1894, and in Canada from 1919. Women in the UK were given the vote in 1918 if over 30 and meeting certain qualifications, and in 1928 this was extended to all women over the age of 21.

1912 was a turning point for the Suffragettes in the UK as they began using more militant tactics, such as chaining themselves to railings, setting fire to mailbox contents, smashing windows and occasionally detonating bombs. This was because the current Prime Minister at the time, Asquith, nearly signed a document giving women (over 30 and either married to a property-owner or owning a property themselves) the right to vote. But he pulled out at the last minute, as he thought the women may vote against him in the next General Election, stopping his party (Liberals) from getting into Parliament.

One suffragette, Emily Davison, died under the King's horse in 1913. She was trying to pin a "vote for Women" banner on the kings horse. Many of her fellow suffragettes were imprisoned and thus went on a hunger strike as a scare tactic against the government.

The Liberal government of the day led by Asquith responded with the Cat and Mouse Act. When a Suffragette was sent to prison, it was assumed that she would go on hunger strike as this caused the authorities maximum discomfort. The Cat and Mouse Act allowed the Suffragettes to go on a hunger strike and let them get weaker ans were only released from prison when they were very weak thus causing no embarrassment to the government if they died outside of prison. Some were too weak to be released and were then force fed via a tube. This led to those suffragettes outside of prison not having enough strength to continue opposing the government.   When those outside of prison regained strength and began fighting for the right to vote again they were re-arrested for the most trivial of reasons and the whole process began again. This, from the government's point of view, was a very simple but effective weapon against the Suffragettes.

This is just one example from history - we could look at black people voters rights in the US around the 1700s or we could look at South Africa and how citizens there fought for their right room vote .

Looking to recent years:

In Kuwait (2005) a bill was passed that allowed women to vote for the first time and run in parliamentary and local elections.

Only last year (2011) were the Saudi Arabia women given the promise that they would be able to vote and stand in elections.


So why are we not voting?

Why are we ignoring all these people in history who have fought for us to have a right to vote?

I agree that sometimes we don't like any of the candidates standing - but that's the choice available so either make a choice or stand yourself - either way get involved.
Don't just vote for anyone or the party your parents have always voted for - do you research and choose a candidate that you agree with....

If we vote and get our voices heard then we can be apart of the conversation and either support or argue with policies the government bring in BUT if we don't vote then do we really have a say?

So get out there and vote, today and for every election in the future.

 Apologies for any mistakes.......

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bandi Chhor and the rest of the world....

Many people would have gotten the text or message 'Happy Divali' yesterday and thus many people (including politicians, the media, and ourselves) will celebrate or give you good wishes for Divali, the festival of lights and not Bandi Chhor, the day of freedom/liberation.

As a university student there is very little that can be done as university is a massive place and there are so many students, lecturers and staff around - but as a Sikh it was my duty to educate those who were wanted to listen what Bandi Chhor is about and why as a Sikh we celebrate it......

Something small that I did was take in a card and box of chocolates for my lecturers so share. In the card I wrote:

I got a lot of e-mails and lectures coming up to me to say thank you and say that they had never heard of Bandi Chhor before, but they were really impressed with the morals behind the day and loved how the card was written. To me, this was them thanking maharaj - as He is the one who has instilled these morals in us and taught us how to live. 

It was only something small - but for me a great way to share the morals that we live by and share that yesterday wasn't just a festival of lights - but a day to remember these teachings of standing up for those without a voice ...... 

So a benti to all - share the message of Gurbani with the world and show them how compassionate and community based our morals are.

Please forgive me for any mistakes.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Bandi Chhor

So many of us will be celebrating Bandi Chhor tomorrow - but what will we be doing?

Taking a day off school/work, spending time with our family, lighting candles, going to the Gurdwara, watching firework displays ........

Guru Hargobind Ji taught us to stand up for those without a voice, stand up against the injustice in this world - so can we make a difference?

Being a Sikh is also about being
an activist, choose something you are good at and use that ability to make a difference - whether that's making videos/podcasts on human rights issues, speaking to your MPs, or even speaking out for people closer to home or in your neighborhood that can't afford to keep the heating on this winter or for the child down the road who can't afford his school uniform because they are overpriced -- lets do something!

Lets also teach our friends, work colleagues, lecturers, family members that we celebrate Bandi Chhor - the day of freedom/liberation - and that we are willing to stand up for the right of others.........


Friday, 12 October 2012

With maharaj's kirpa........

A start of a new year at University and we all begin with fresher’s week. Typically the week goes by pretty quick as we all move in to a new place, make new friends, catch up with old ones, visit the fresher’s fayre and spend lots of money on societies and things we usually don't need.

This year is my third year at University and something different happened. Whilst walking through campus, a young Muslim lady came up to me and said 'you don't know who I am but I've seen you walking around campus for two years now and I'm really inspired.' She continued 'It’s rare to see a female Sikh wearing the turban and I feel really encouraged and inspired to see you wearing it with pride.'

Now at the time I just thanked her and got talking about difficulties that she faced while wearing a headscarf and how hard it can be to be accepted by the wider community.

Later on, I realized that she wasn't complimenting me but my father - Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Sahib gave us the strength to stand out from a crowd and be proud of our identity regardless of gender, caste, status, etc. This got me to realize (and remember) that when we walk down the street wearing a Dastar (the uniform of a Sikh, our crown), we are representing our Guru and should walk upright with pride, we should speak properly and politely as if we were speaking to our Guru and we should act as we would act in front of our Guru.

We are blessed that Maharaj has given us this identity, these kind compassionate morals to live by. We should be proud to walk down a street wearing a Dastar and we should teach the next generation that its ok to look different because we are born to stand out.

‘This is the unique and distinct life-style of the Gurmukhs’
Sri Guru Amar Das Ji Ang 314

A saying I've recently come across is
Inline images 1

'Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no-one would believe it.'

This is the way a Gursikh should act - with honour, with dignity, with compassion and more importantly with humility.

If I have written anything wrong or I have upset or offended anyone by writing this please forgive me, this was not my intention.


Monday, 16 April 2012

Derby Smagam April 2012

Bhai Jagdev Singh France, Sunday Rhensabhi Keertan

Bhai Jagpal Singh, Sunday Rhensabhi Keertan

Bhai Onkar Singh, Saturday Evening Keertan

More videos available on;
or just search
'Derby Smagam April 2012'
to enjoy the keertan.

Also, all MP3 audio recordings can be downloaded from

Enjoy and please share with those who couldn't make it. 


Wednesday, 28 March 2012