You are not a Sikh if you are so small minded that you can not listen to other peoples point of view. Yes, it is Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s command that Sikhs that all Sikhs will bow to Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Guru but Guru Sahib Ji never commanded that we shall go deaf to all others. One of the fundamentals of Sikhism is to respect all religions but follow our own. The perfect example of that is Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Gurbani included in Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not just of the Sikh Gurus. If our Guru Sahiban were open to listening to and respecting people of other faiths, why aren’t we open to listening to each other?
Sikhi is now broken into many jathas (or should I say groups) that all believe they have the right way of practicing Sikhi. Interestingly enough each seem to offer some evidence or another validating their existence and why their way of preaching is the right way. Typically the mukhis (head) of the jathas are very tolerant of each other or at least for the sangat to see, so they don’t further divide Sikhi or drive people away from it. Usually it is fools like me, people that are new into Sikhi or people that end up believing so strongly in on jatha or another that forget we are all the same. No matter what Jatha you belong to if any or how you practice Sikhi as long as it is in line with what you learn from Guru Granth Sahib Ji, you are a Sikh. To be a Sikh you don’t have to follow one Jatha or another, you just have to follow Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the instructions of the Panj Pyare.
Guru Granth Sahib Ji nor the Panj Pyare belong to anyone Jatha, they belong to everybody. Just like Guru Nanak Dev Ji belonged to everybody; not just the Muslims or the Hindus. It is a popular Sakhi (story) that when Guru Nanak Dev Ji left for Sachkand, the Muslims and the Hindus fought over who got to cremated the body Guru Ji left behind. Guru Ji proved that he belonged to everyone when in the morning instead of the body, the followers found flowers which were then divided between the followers from two religions. The same jot (light) that was within Guru Nanak Dev Ji now resides in Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the message is still the same. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is for everyone that is willing to listen and follow the path Guru Ji shows us.
If our Guru, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, sees no difference in us, then why the create the difference ourselves? All Sikhs should listen to each other and respect each others views. Listening and respecting does not mean that we become like them or have to follow the views. It gives us resources to try and understand what Guru Granth Sahib Ji is telling us, what the Panj Pyare are telling us, so we can become better Sikhs. I like to believe different Jathabandi (groups) exist within Sikhism so we can use the resources they offer to connect with Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Because end of the day no matter what jatha you are from, if you can’t connect to Guru Granth Sahib Ji or Waheguru Ji, its all pointless.
Let us look beyond what Jatha someone belongs to and see the Sikh in them. Be a student and learn from all, do whatever it takes to connect with Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Waheguru Ji.
May Waheguru Ji bless us all to be one with Him.
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