Gursant Singh’s response to Gurumustuk Singh’s (Mr SikhNet ) blog post: “Universal Sikhi ~ Across Cultures, Religions & Continents”
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
Dear Gurumustuk Singh Ji,
In reading your recent article you make some points that need to be answered.
You say: "Detractors will try to tell me how yoga is against Sikhi without even understanding what I practice and the practical benefits of it to a householder.” http://www.sikhnet.com/news/universal-sikhi-across-cultures-religions-continents
There is nothing to understand, Tantric yoga is against Sikhi, always was and always will be! Read the SRM (Sikh Rehit Maryada), the Rehatnamas of Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Nand Lai, that a Khalsa should not practice any tantric yoga asanas, yantras, mantras and Tantras. Sikhs may hold differing opinions on physical yoga asanas, such as some of the Kundalini Yoga that you practice. Some believe it is totally against Sikhi; others believe it is fine as long as it is only regarded as an exercise for fitness. But they all agree on this: Tantric Yoga asanas and the tantras & mantras of Yogi Bhajan are not a part of Sikhi. Dr. Trilochan Singh outlined this quite clearly in a book after spending months with Yogi Bhajan. I’m sure by now you’ve at least heard of his book “Sikhism and Tantric Yoga” which I encourage you to read if for no other reason to try and understand how most of the Sikh world views Yogi Bhajan, 3HO and the un-Sikh like practices Yogi Bhajan taught you and you so stubbornly are attached to. Here is a link where you can download the book for free as a pdf: http://gurmukhyoga.com/forum/index.php?mode=page&id=1
Then you say: “Then there are some people who have so much anger or hate inside themselves that they have made it their “mission” to slander, spread false and misleading information, making every attempt to put down SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa and Sikhs from western origin, in a supposed attempt to “save” others from us, as if they know THE right way.”
Well, there’s a great deal of judgment here on your part. Does it not occur to you that, rather than hate, there are a lot of people who feel extremely concerned about the way that Yogi Bhajan’s Sikh Darma & 3HO are practicing a form of Sikhi that is not congruent with SRM and is moving further away on a daily basis? Does it ever occur to you that these individuals feel the need to point this out? Can you not see that this attempt to set the record straight is not motivated by hate but by a genuine concern for the future of Sikhi? I see this concern on Sikh discussion groups from all around the world. Many Sikhs are genuinely worried about the direction that 3HO and SD (Sikh Dharma) are taking as you can read on this forum: http://www.wackoworldofyogibhajan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=292#p1332
Furthermore, false and misleading information can easily be defeated with facts. I have yet to see you, Sikhnet or other SD members meet any of this so-called “false and misleading information” with facts. Your usual response is to either ignore the info, delete it from the forum if you have the power to do so, or to indulge in what is called an ad hominem attack - to attack the character of the messenger. This is what you are doing in your article when you say “there are some people who have so much anger or hate inside themselves”. How do you know they are motivated by hate? How do you know that they are not genuinely concerned? Has SikhNet never responded to legitimate concerns by Sikhs that Yogi Bhajan was given Hindu last rites and many 3HO members participated in Rishikesh as Anju Kaur at SikhNN.com so clearly revealed in her article published almost a year ago now because SikhNet believes the story is false or that you think Anju Kaur is engaging in a “hate campaign”?: http://www.sikhnn.com/headlines/2680/yogi-bhajan-given-hindu-last-rites?page=2
Now, about knowing “THE right way”. As you know Sikhi is a path of discipline and there ARE rules. Of course, Sikhs are very independent people and, over the centuries, many different interpretations of the “rules” set by Guru Sahib sprang up. Thus, in the early part of the 20th Century a document was produced with the approval of the SGPC and the Panth called the Sikh Rehit Maryada. It codified all the different rules and customs of Sikhi into a form that was approved by the SGPC and the Panth. Many respected Sikh saints and scholars contributed to its creation. It is readily available in Punjabi and in English. It may even be posted on Sikhnet. https://www.facebook.com/gursant/posts/10204756323447315
It’s really very simple. Either you follow SRM or you don’t. For example, the SRM specifically prohibits “the veneration of any graves, or monuments erected to honor the memory of a deceased person.” Yet we have seen the followers of Yogi Bhajan bowing to his memorial in Espanola as was done in the elaborate four day celebration 3HO & Sikh Dharma hosted at Yogi Bhajan’s ranch in October of this year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgIZIREIQi8
SRM also prohibits the performance of Hom, the Hindu ritual lighting of ritual fire and pouring intermittently clarified butter, food grains etc. into it for propitiating gods for the fulfillment of a purpose. There is ample evidence on the Internet of Yogi Bhajan’s long-time students who call themselves Sikhs and use Singh, Kaur & Khalsa in their names, not only participating in this ritual, but organizing and publicizing it. This is simply not allowed by SRM. To do these kind of things flaunts the very intent of SRM and offends the sensibilities of devout Sikhs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGPVRbahulw
When this is brought to your attention by concerned individuals your response is to say that this is an “interfaith event”. No, it is a Hindu worship of their fire god. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y26B8Y51ZJo
You say: “They spread false info saying we regard Yogi Bhajan as our “Guru”.
Well, apart from the fact the Yogi Bhajan was heard to refer to himself as “The Guru” on more than one occasion, let us take as a frame of reference a report recently published from the recent “Khalsa Council” meetings” by SS Gurujot Kaur Khalsa Secretary General Sikh Dharma International / Khalsa Council dated November 5th 2014 https://www.facebook.com/216237598428818/photos/pcb.853467994705772/853466121372626/?type=1&theater
Now the “Khalsa Council” is supposed to be a representative body whose function is to guide the Bhajanist Panth. I say that because there is never anyone on this council who is not a Bhajanist, which makes the name “Khalsa Council” presumptuous to say the least. Nevertheless let us examine the report by way of noting the number of times certain words were used.
Here are the numbers:
Siri Singh Sahib or Yogi Bhajan 31
Guru Ram Das ji 6
All other Guru Sahiban, including SGGS 0
Khalsa Council 22
Khalsa, other than Khalsa Council 0
Siri Singh Sahib’s Teachings 6
So, the so-called “Khalsa Council” report does not actually mention the Khalsa, it does not mention Guru Nanak Sahib nor any of the other Guru Sahiban – save Guru Ram Das ji – it does not mention Siri Guru Granth Sahib, yet it manages to mention Yogi Bhajan 31 times. Yoga, and Yogi Bhajan’s teachings each have 6 mentions but Gurbani, Simran and Seva have none.
The report closes by saying: "In closing the meetings, we did the Tratakum meditation together, and members shared how the Siri Singh Sahib touched our lives." The Tratakum meditation is the one where they meditate by staring at Yogi Bhajan’s picture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrxNgX7u_yM
So instead of finishing the meetings with an ardas and then the hukumnama of Guru Sahib, they finished with a meditation on Yogi Bhajan’s picture.
He may not be a guru to you in name but your actions show that you regard him as such. The true Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh ji would never, ever, ever engage in such un-Sikh like practices.
You say: "When I was a teenager and finding my way, I went through a phase of experimentation with drugs, alcohol, smoking, partying, etc. If my family, friends and community cast me out during this time then I would be a very different person than I am today."
No one wants to "cast you out" Gurumustuk, neither you nor your fellow 3HO & SD companions. I don’t understand what your point is here. Are you suggesting that you and the other Yogi Bhajan students are experimenting with your own version of Sikhi and we should just tolerate you until you have run your course?
Well, the “experiment in Sikhi” has been going on for forty five years and it’s time to get real. There are so many un-Sikh like practices that in which you all participate that we “regular” Sikhs would be derelict in our duty if we did not at least attempt to guide you to live by true Sikh values. Much as your family must have tried to show you that your adolescent ways were ultimately destructive.
If you really want to pursue this metaphor of Yogi Bhajan’s students being like adolescents misbehaving, then I would remind you that teenagers are notoriously unreceptive to advice, no matter how well meaning. Perhaps that is why Sikhnet deletes any posts that are in any way critical of Yogi Bhajan, 3HO or Sikh Dharma.
Gurumustuk Singh, we “regular” Sikhs simply want you to change your ways to align with Sikh Rehit and drop these Yogi Bhajan inspired un-Sikh like practices. Such things as Tantric Yoga, astrology, the crazy mantras that Yogi Bhajan made up, "Guru Yoga"(staring at YB photo), Hindu pujas, wearing gemstones for power & "energy" etc. The list can go on for a long time, but all these things have no place in Sikhi.
We have no illusions this will be easy; nor will it happen overnight, nor perhaps any time soon. But we are not going to go away. We too have dedicated out lives to Sikhi and it wounds us deeply to see our beautiful path being warped and twisted. We will be watching and we will be reminding you of how our beloved Guru Sahiban told us to live our lives. How you react to this is, of course, your choice.