Genesis of Khalsa

It is a noble culture, as well as an intellectual utopia to build on the unseen, that intangible consciousness-architecture where showmanship is put aside and one faces the odds with confusion, chaos, complications, and contradictions while attempting to unravel the unfathomable.

Let’s start unraveling…

A cosmic-psyche has a tangible presence. That presence is consciousness. There is a separate consciousness template for each species. Any given consciousness is the lower manifestation of its governing cosmic-psyche. And each cosmic-psyche has a specific role to fulfill in creation.

The consciousness of a particular cosmic-psyche fulfills the requirements of the noble culture mentioned in the opening paragraph. Globally, we call the material manifestation of that consciousness Sikhism.

In this essay, I intend to share knowledge about Sikhism which Sikhs themselves have difficulty grasping and explaining. Events central to Sikhism fly in the face of widespread assumption that it does not give credence to mystical happenings and manifestations called forth by individuals. In fact, as I will go on to show, Sikhism has at times pivoted on mystical incidents expressly engineered by several of the ten Gurus.

One such example, which I have been writing about for almost forty years, centre on the events at Anandpur Sahib in 1699.

Various political and ruling factions have been able to hide evidence relating to this event that was once openly available, including the suppression of eye-witness accounts from the time, which the old-fashioned Sufi could still share if they wished.

The tenth Guruji was tasked with delivering a dutiful and responsible race that would provide global protection, and keep the Light of Balance from going out. So, at the end of March 1699, he invited Sikhs to a meeting at Anandpur Sahib.

What transpired at the meeting was shocking. To this day, Sikhs are unable to explain it, unable to reconcile in their minds what happened with what they think possible in the world. They have therefore conjured up lies and created a mytho-logical account of the event which presents the tenth Guruji as a trickster and a showman, a mere stage performer – all of which traits are antithetical to the very essence of Guruship.

The story goes that Guruji asked for Sikhs to step up who would be willing to give up their heads for the Guruji; that he whisked them away one-by-one out of sight of the congregation, and that he reappeared each time with blood dripping from his kirpan, asking for the next Sikh to pledge himself. The moral of the story is much like that which Kahlil Gibran writes about love, namely, to follow the Guru, lay oneself at his feet, though his ways may be incomprehensible. A similar interpretation is found in the Jewish Torah regarding Abraham’s sacrifice of his son.

Here is what actually happened in March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib….

On a stage and immersed in a deep, practical-samadhi, the tenth Guruji asked for a Sikh who would be willing to give up his head for his Guruji. A Sikh came forward, offering himself humbly. He walked on to the stage, and was directed to kneel down and bow his head execution-style, and with one swift move of Guruji’s sword he was decapitated. His body slumped, his head rolled around, blood spewed everywhere.

Guruji asked for another Sikh to step forward. Another decapitation followed.

In total, five Sikhs were decapitated on the stage at Anandpur Sahib that day.

Afterwards, Guruji moved towards a large metal bowl containing fresh water and recited invocation prayers. During his recitation, Guriji asked his second wife (he had three wives, and two of them bore him his four sons known as the Chaar Sahibzaade) if she had anything she wished to input. Accepting the invitation, Guruji’s wife added dried pure sugar to the water.

The fact of being a Guruji, and the creation-authority conferred upon such beings, combined to transform the sugar-water from simply being an object to having agency. This agency manifested in its authority over Death to stay the execution of the individual until their duty-responsibility has been fulfilled.

Guruji then knelt on the stage, and fused a head with the body lying nearest to it – not the body from which it had been originally parted. He administered the sugar-water – the material object infused now with life-giving agency – to the newly reconfigured body. The dead Sikh gained consciousness and recovered from his ordeal. He was now Pure, born of neither blood nor flesh. He was now Khalsa.

The procedure was repeated five times in total. When all had recovered, they were escorted off stage to wash and change their clothing. The five earlier decapitated, now reconfigured and breathing Sikhs, reappeared on stage in the now famous saffron attire of the Panj Piyare (the five Pure ones), wearing the five Ks of Khalsa.

[Note: please scroll down to the end of this essay for definitions of the five Ks and other terms, such as Guru, Sikh, Singh, Kaur, Khalsa]

Now came the turn of Guruji, Guru Gobind Rai, to kneel before the Panj Piyare and ask if they deemed him worthy to receive the sanctified authority of the sugar-water. They in response asked him what he would be willing to sacrifice. He agreed to four sacrifices; but these were deemed to be insufficient. It was only upon the offer of the fifth sacrifice that Guruji was administered the sugar-water by the Panj Piyare. And only then was he, like the Panj Piyare, accorded the name assigned to those bearing duty-responsibility: Singh. Guru Gobind Rai thus became Guru Gobind Singhji.

Whereupon, the sugar-water was renamed Amrit, its agency in conferring duty-responsibility to those consume it confirmed and thus sanctified. This means that whosoever takes Amrit is embarked upon the journey of becoming and thus fulfilling the role of a global protector. This was not understood by the masses gathered at Anandpur Sahib that day in 1699. Indeed, many thousands of men and women took Amrit that day, but they did so in the belief that it was an elixir and would liberate them. They did not fully comprehend the duty-responsibility which consuming Amrit would imbue them with over time.

The events at Anandpur Sahib that day in late March 1699 spread like wildfire.

The birth of the Khalsa, its foundation in life-revival – which as the facts related above illustrate was not strictly or only the case, though it was a significant part – spread fear in the minds of India’s Moslems.

Sikhs publicly abhor (white/black) witchcraft, and indeed any type of psychic ESP environment and practice. However, Sikhism has at various crucial moments pivoted on the psychic manipulation of matter, bending the rudimentary rules of creation applicable on this planet.

Islam on the other hand is rooted in awe of psychic machination, and values ESP more than divinity. It hones in on and beseeches psychic intervention, deeming it godly, Allah. However, Islam relies on anger mismanagement and ego-laced arrogance, and its adherents justify their actions as scriptural. But it must be remembered that the Koran mimics and mirrors the Torah, which in turn is not scriptural but is a set of guidelines which its own adherents regularly discuss and debate.

In order to counter the absolute value that Islam places on the psychic, over and above divinity, the Gurujis at critical moments employed the very principle of psychic environments to make a point. However, they never used the facility to protect themselves or cheat death, even though they had dominion over death. However, this changed, to a degree, as a consequence of the events that took place at Anandpur Sahib on the new moon in the last week of the month of March, now celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April.

Despite their fear, the Moslems were in awe of the Khalsa. And in war, when they were sure of death, they would seek out a Khalsa, to die at their hands. They did so in recollection of the indication by their Prophet of a coming race which he referred to as angels. These were the Khalsa.

Incidentally, I had the opportunity once of sharing these facts with a Japanese world war two veteran. He told me:

“We feared the Gurkha of course, but it was the Sikhs who evaded death time and again. We could never understand how at the very last moment a Sikh would evade death until, once his duty was accomplished, he could be killed. We put it down to kismet, luck, something like that; but we also viewed and accepted it as a form of zen shogun.”

Hazrat Mohammad, the prophet, the originator of the more fanatical version of the Hebrew faith, now called Islam, stated that a warrior-honest race will evolve to root out evil and protect goodness. He said, they will keep untrimmed beards, and untrimmed hair. Unlike seers, however, they will comb their hair not backwards but by bending forward at the torso and combing from the back of the head towards the forehead. They will be known for their honesty and truthful lifestyle. They will be seers from an arena above divinity, and they will have the consciousness termed duty-responsibility to protect them as and when needed. (Note – death itself is answerable to duty-responsibility, as the events of Anandpur Sahib described above testify to). They will suffer for their responsibility, a responsibility exercised for the greater good of the masses. and holding a grudge will not be in their makeup.

Old Islam resembles the Europe of today. We see Europe on its way to becoming an Islamic caliphate, choosing to wage endless and traumatic war upon the people of the Middle East, while supposedly showing their compassion by allowing the refugees it creates through such war to settle in Europe. Old Islam – or Mohammedism as it was then known – carried out a similar unceasing war on Aryadesh (now called India). The brutality re-invoked and re-established a protector race that in previous times had occupied the landmass of Europe (all but forgotten now except for the language influences it left behind). That protector race with its ideology of graciousness has, in current times, as in the olden times of its existence, come to be called Sikh.

Guys, the Sikh as a people have not yet delivered on their duty and responsibility. In times to come, when humanity faces certain extinction, the Sikhs will stand alongside others to defend against this but it will be the Sikhs’ contribution that will be the linchpin, that will allow humanity to survive.

People from three other races also hold this cardinal knowledge. Those races live in lands conquered and occupied by Europeans. For the safety of humanity, governance of those lands must revert back to the indigenous races. After that happens, it will take seven to ten generations for their psyche to realign with their past identity and knowledge, and they will be ready to share the Sikhs’ global responsibility and avert this planet from being wiped out. Only a release from the bondage of the present will provide the essential elements for the Sikhs, and then the Khalsa, to manifest a mechanism for our survival.

You cannot all become Sikh, let alone become Khalsa.

Meditation leads to samadhi.

Samadhi leads to practical-samadhi.

But none of this progression is possible without grace.

And grace? Well, it has to be earned.

To earn grace, you have to throw yourself upon the mercy of a Sadhu. You relinquish your life to a Sadhu at each birth. They may be vile, arrogant, whatever; but you must not judge them. An unseen authority will notice your sacrifice; and will send a divine mentor to teach, guide, and honour you with grace. The obstacles are unbelievable. You are set to fail. But it is not the passing or the failing that counts. The telling point is humbleness. Truth will only take you so far. It will not set you free. Humbleness will set you free.

The journey begins with humbleness.

Avtar

…………………….

Here are deeper definitions of Guru, Sikh, Khalsa, and the meaning of the five Ks.

GURU:

First, it ought to be clear from the fore-going depiction of events at Anandpur Sahib in 1699, and of Guruji’s actions there, that a Guru is not a teacher or an enlightener. It is an insult to Sikhs and to India more generally to apply such secularist descriptions to any guru, though these people and many others besides are daft enough to use the title – in its ridiculously false definition – and hope that the person thus conferred the name of guru will deliver them from the cycle of life and death… but as you may have guessed, there’s no chance of that actually happening.

What is more, secular people who refer to each other as guru inadvertently establish an ongoing bond with them whereby the one on the pedestal is obliged to drag the other into the unfathomable. Sounds good, right? But what it really means is that both are tied into to a contract where whenever one of them fails and falls down the selection-progression ladder – from human to animal or insect – the other will accompany them down there.

Call another a guru or jockey yourself into a position to be called a guru, and both of you will seriously inhibit your progress towards being free from the bondage of life and death …so, do not call another person a guru, and do not allow yourself be tagged guru either, is my advice here.

Having clarified what a Guru is not, let’s clarify what it is. Guru is an entity by whose intervention they who are at the apex of divinity attain moksha, albeit the lower level thereof. Guru at this junction is unseen, a sense-teaching entity, beyond the sound-light conundrum. One cannot meditate into moksha, as one can with divinity; one accesses and advances into moksha by invitation, or more usually by recommendation (what we otherwise call grace), hence the need for an intervening entity – the Guruji.

SIK-KH:

Sikkh is the actual and correct spelling for a Sikh when written in English. However, I will use the spelling Sikh for ease of comprehension.

Sikh is an analyser, scrutiniser and improver of every aspect of life, from the secular to the divine…yet they remain humble throughout.

Sikh, despite all the things you may have heard it described as, also refers to a realm above that of the divine. One of the tests of divinity is to be born and live one’s life in a secular household environment. The divine undergoing secular tests are currently born into Sikh households. Sure, divinity can be attained by the recluse – often thought of as the ultimate detached individual – but the more difficult test to be mastered is that of maintaining one’s stature and status while navigating the quotidian and mundane everyday tasks of the householder. Those of my position have seen many a person’s hard-won divinity unravel in such trying circumstances. It is not easy.

SINGH/KAUR:

Singhs and Kaurs are those who have chosen to practice a Sikh lifestyle in conjunction with the secular environment, and who do so without flinching from the challenges the secular may impose on their Sikh way of life. It is the ultimate test of detachment. Singh denotes male-energy; Kaur denotes female-energy (energy – shakti). Shakti itself has many layered definitions. As of course do Singh and Kaur.

KHALSA:

What about Khalsa? Well, it is not a name or label given to baptised Sikhs, as is universally thought. You cannot baptise the baptised. Rather, the consumption of Amrit, symbolic authority made material, confers upon the Sikh a duty-responsibility – which manifests in their new identification as Khalsa – which might more appropriately be thought of less as baptism than investiture. Baptism, insofar as it relates to Sikhism, refers for its part to the attunement of a being with Sikhism which then readies them for birth as a Sikh. Though it ought to be remembered (and this contradicts the previous statement to some degree), that being born into a Sikh family does not automatically indicate one’s attainment of Sikhism; though for the most part, being part of a practising Sikh household is a step in one’s progress towards awakening.

The Five Ks of Sikhism

Note: each of the following has multi-layered, more expansive, and deeper connotations and significances than those offered below. But the following will give you a basic initial insight into the five Ks of Sikhism.

KESH:

Tangled hair symbolises the emotional tangles of the mind that hinder one’s divine progress. The hair is detangled by the act of bending one’s head forward and combing the hair from that position, and thus symbolises the reminder to detangle the mind and it emotions. The movement of bending forward also lowers one’s head, and thus constitutes an act of humbleness too. Only detached humbleness untangles emotional entrapments.

KANGA:

The comb the Sikh wears in their hair. The teeth of the kanga signify, and remind one to use the mind’s thoughts to excavate for deeper and refined awareness from within one’s own antrkarna (soul) using the Atma. The Atma, as I have stated elsewhere and numerous times, is not the equivalent of the soul. The soul is the harmonised cooperation of the body’s internal organs to clear obstacles and allow for ever-increasing awareness, taking one from the lower disciplines of religion, rite-ritual, spirituality, and dharma into divinity and onwards into Sikhism.

KARRA:

The steel bangle, as it is universally referred to, the karra signifies deflecting the emotionality that hinders divine clarification. Once again, one uses humbleness to format a path from one to the other.

KIRPAAN:

The kirpaan has dual symbolism: forgiveness at the point of killing one’s foe, and the cutting edge of refined thought that is the basis from which one progresses into divine awareness.

KACHHA:

This signifies the refined, discriminating, and tranquil expression of all sexual emotions, that lead into higher realms of divinity.

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Meditation, Fighters, Warriors, and Khalsa-Warriors

This is an introduction to the next essay… which I promise will be both deep and shocking.

What is a warrior?

According to popular news, media and entertainment programmes, warriors are armed forces personnel who sit in helicopter gun-ships and shoot-to-kill at distant crowds that pose zero personal threat to them. These are the so-called warriors championed in the western media, whose acts are celebrated as brave and heroic.

We, from our background, do not deem such behaviour as warrior-like, at all.

It is worth briefly focusing on the classifications of fighter, warrior and divine warrior that sometimes get jumbled up together using examples most of us know…

The Knights Templar were an immensely wealthy, politically powerful, west European, Christian military order. They were religious rather than spiritual. They were fighters, not warriors.

The Shogun are an example of warriors. As are the original Sufis. Prior to conversion to Islam many centuries after the founding of Mohammedism, Sufism was a spiritual movement and therefore at a higher level than mere religiosity.

The original baptised Sikh – the Khalsa – were, until they diverged from their founding tenets in the 1950s, divine warriors.

Now let me clarify each of the three classifications of fighter, warrior and divine warrior.

Old-fashioned fighters never actually picked a fight. They defended. Trained in armed warfare, they also maintained and continued a tradition of working in the family business. Their readiness to kill or be killed turned on split-second emotions. They reacted to situations, but were proactive in that reaction.

Old-fashioned warriors were thoughtful protectors of life. More often than not, they ate humble pie. Humiliation was not a reason or justification for them to pick up arms or kill. Occasionally, they acted as consultants, intervening to defuse disputes and find face-saving solutions for all concerned parties. With the passage of time, however, the traditional value of responsibility diminished, and these warriors transmuted into mercenaries.

The Khalsa – referring to a state beyond divinity – were warriors with a difference. They had awakened perception. They were a movement comprising advanced Sadhus who were ordered to immerse themselves in family, business and secular life while simultaneously maintaining their divine ethos. Similar to the Shogun and Sufi strata, they were protectors of life; what set them apart from that strata of warrior was the fact that they had to protect another’s right to kill them. In war, they sought not to kill their foe, but to disarm them and thereby allow them to return to their families. If foes persisted, after at least three times of such magnanimous behaviour, they were killed.

Only those steeped in meditation can fully comprehend the ramifications of death and killing.

So, you see, unlike the poster-boys of the contemporary so-called warrior-class described at the beginning of this essay, a divine warrior would never deign to press buttons from a distance, raining death upon whoever happened to be there.

This is a prelude and companion to next week’s essay about Sikhism, Vaisaski and Khalsa….

Holi (festival of colour)

On the full moon of the last month of the Indian year (Phalgun – Feb/Mar), a special festival is celebrated.

I first experienced Holi in Panjab, after we had left Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising, and it was eye-opening.

I already knew the three main stories associated with the event. Inter-connected, they stemmed from the Arya tradition, morphed into Vedic tradition, aspects of which were then debunked in Sikh tradition, until they came to be made synonymous with Hindu tradition. The version of the story which one celebrates at Holi is usually chosen after a quick period of introspection as to which story resonates the most.

Story #1

An arrogant and obnoxious king of Multan, Panjab, considered himself the perfect human being – a god whom his subjects ought to worship. This king’s son, Hiranyakashipu (Hira, for short – which in its diminutive means ‘gem’), however, worshipped not his father but Lord Vishnu. When debate, dictates and threats proved useless in swaying the child to do his father’s bidding, the king employed a nursemaid to smear her breasts with poison before suckling the child. The nursemaid died from poisoning; Hira lived. Exasperated, the king then ordered his son to sit in his aunt’s lap – she who, following a prolonged period of penance had been granted the ability to withstand fire – and she would then sit on a pyre with the child in her lap. The son acceded to his father’s demand – his aunt was burned alive; Hira emerged unscathed.

Seldom making its way into this version of the Holi story is that Hira, Lord Vishnu’s worshipper, covered himself in an array of earth elements of various colours, and thus protected himself from the fire. The inclusion of such a critical aspect of the story would have been deeply problematic to a an Arya culture grown increasingly impotent in terms of its capacity for analytical understanding and instead pinning all its hopes on divine intervention. If Hira saved himself, whither the miracle of God’s intervention and grace!

Sikhs have taken up the baton of analytical understanding and insight discarded and lost by the Arya. Indeed, according to their dharma (i.e., Sikhism) there is no divine intervention. Psyche and divinity are logical aspects of creation, albeit at a rarified super-conscious level; though of course, they must get their hands dirty, so to speak.

Accordingly, Holi is celebrated as the victory of good over evil in the form of Hira smearing himself with the colours of the earth. No divine intervention in sight!

Story #2

As a child, Krishna’s skin pigment was deep purple. In fact, he was so deeply and darkly purple as to resemble people from Africa. You can conclude, therefore, what his origins were; I have an open mind about such things, but Hindu India is certainly not ready for such facts. Anyway, Krishna was besotted with Radha. She was fair. He was dark, very very dark, purplish-black indeed, on top of which he had all the usual boyish complexes. Following his mother’s advice, Krishna the child smeared Radha – who up until then had dismissed his approaches – with earth colours. Their differences thus muted, the children played together happily and went on to become the great lovers of Vedic Indian lore.

Story #3

Lord Shiva, a very boring guy should you happen to meet him since he is always meditating, is portrayed as moody, unapproachable and intolerant of mischief and petty conversation. You can decide for yourselves whether that makes him a social outcast or a god, though for my part I respect this configuration of his personality. Anyway, one day an upwardly mobile, divinely-steeped person decided to test Lord Shiva’s meditative focus. Assuming the form of an irresistible damsel, the changeling began dancing in front of Lord Shiva. Where others would have been fooled, Lord Shiva was not. The changeling was burned to ash with one look from Lord Shiva’s third eye, who then gave him back life. Thus, during Holi, ash is smeared on the forehead by the devout to represent the death and the revival of the changeling. Over time, earth colours were introduced too – suggesting some symbiosis of the various Holi stories.

Sikh analysis

Now let’s imbue proceedings with some Sikh analytical thought and insight. For this, I need to revisit my childhood.

As I said earlier, my first Holi celebration took place in Panjab after we had moved there from Kenya. In the days leading up to the event, all the local kids raced around borrowing each other’s possessions as if it were their right to do so (we would now call this thieving). We gathered together things we had thus ‘borrowed’, including from our own mothers’ kitchens, after school and raced to the local playground – basically, a large area of dry and barren earth, around which housing was erected, and which we used for playing gulli-danda, kick-about and, above all, cricket.

Escaping the clutches of mothers and sisters, as we ran we held close our booty of turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum, powdered red sandalwood, dried flowers, radishes, pomegranates, mehndi, gram flour, vibrant and deep coloured fruits and vegetables such as berries, grapes and beetroot, dried tea leaves and charcoal… and of course most important of all, water.

No single household had all these items, so we each gathered what we could find, and brought them to the playground where the older boys organised for us to take turns grinding everything into a paste using a pestle and mortar – basically a larger flat stone and a smaller more rounded stone. We would then leave the paste out to dry in the sun.

Each group of lads would end up with a fair amount of dry powder at the end of this activity. Three days before the last full moon of the year, younger kids like me were assigned to collect firewood from around the local area. As darkness fell and the full moon appeared on the horizon, we lit a fire to commemorate the symbolic burning of the young boy Hira.

The next day, the fun began. We dispersed our dry powder in large metal buckets filled three quarters of the way up with water. We filled our bicycle pumps, appropriately sealed to prevent leakage, with the colourful solution… and then it was a case of let them have it! No one was spared, as we sprayed all around us with colour, and everyone was a happy smiling target – old and young. Those of us who didn’t have bicycles yet, filled up glass Coca-Cola and Fanta bottles and shook them around. It was playful war.

Misunderstanding the rules, I would often forget the playful aspect in favour of the war aspect, thinking it was my mission to remain as dry as possible while soaking as many other people with colour as possible. One lad too umbrage at this misunderstanding of mine and came after me, glass bottle against glass bottle. The inevitable happened, the necks of the glass bottles broke, and I was slashed deep at the wrist just above the bone, while he was similarly if also less deeply cut. A gaping bloody wound opened up just centimetres from a huge vein that snakes its way around the wrist bone, and was duly wrapped in cloth. Instinctively, I submerged my hand and wrist into one of the buckets of colourful water, and then an elder yanked it out of the water and smeared it with some of the powder we had ground days earlier. I got an earful that day, and I still bear the scar to this day – but damn it was fun!

Looking back at the event now, I can apply some rational thinking to what went on.

The season is turning; bio-systems are undergoing a physical cleanse to release them from the rigours of winter; and the cold virus abounds. Cures and cleanses are sought in homeopathic medicines whose ingredients are earthbound. The beginning of springtime is thus the moment in which we boost our immune systems.

All of this activity is of course stepped in rite and ritual – but its effects are tangible and embodied.

In communities that celebrate Holi using traditional earth ingredients, none of the eye, skin, or inflation problems suffered by city dwellers are experienced; and rates of influenza are lower, as is their severity. In urban areas, by contrast, the use of industrial synthetic colours entails eye irritations requiring hospital intervention, severe skin problems requiring manufactured medicine, and seriously debilitating bouts of flu.

If I were you, I’d make my way to India – off the beaten track there are places where Holi celebrations last a month. Tell them Avtar sent you!

As for the story of Holi that resonates with me? Well, I prefer to conceptualise the event as a turning point away from old grudges, feuds and animosities; and towards the renewal of friendships and reinforcement of existing ties.

The new organic year has kicked off and has brought with it spring and new life.

Happy Holi!

Now, go bury the hatchet…