Festival of Life & Democracy

Nowadays, both the Festival of Life (a period of spiritual introspection for Sikhs), usually celebrated around the 13th April, and Democracy, are a catastrophe crammed into ubiquitous kitsch-deluded masculine grandiosity, positioning so-called virtue. However, both fall well shy of their own original and exacting standards.

Vasaakh:

Is a period within the cycle of a season of a hemisphere. It is the second month of the traditional earth calendar in the northern hemisphere. The first month began around the 12th /13th of March. Traditionally, there were 13 months in one year cycle, where some months had 32 days, and others less than 28 days. These months approximately correspond to what is now known as the astrological calendar. Indeed the astrological calendar also had 13 divisions, of which one was particularly short in duration.

Vasaakh represents the regeneration of the northern hemisphere, as it emerges from its winter hibernation into new life. It indicates the same, at a different point in the calendar, in the southern hemisphere. Vasaakh happens twice on our planet. Once in the northern, and then in the southern, hemisphere.

For Sikhs of the northern hemisphere, Vasaakh at a very rudimentary level refers to introspection, awakening, deeper consciousness, and overall spiritual repose, lived within full secular responsibility. For Sikhs of the southern hemisphere experience this psychic-spiritual sensation, and inner introspective regeneration, the festival of Vasaakh has to take place at the appropriate point in the seasonal cycle. Regeneration on the cusp of autumn/winter would be nonsensical, obviously.

Given the epithet of soldier-saint, circulating since the time of Guru Arjandevji, it is fitting that Vasaakh should also represent a moment of reaffirmation of our secular responsibilities (as much as of spiritual regeneration). In this regard, we pledge anew to be conscientious, trustworthy, reliable, dependable, and accountable through the five Ks; to protect lives, even those of enemies (and especially at the first time of engagement), and including those of every species occupying our own geographical zone (without becoming pedantic about the unseen life form).

Vasaakh is the second month of the Arya calendar. Remember, Sikhs, when they occupied Europe and especially the northern countries of Europe were then also known as Sikhs, Arya and Khalsa (Khalsa is another very ancient name, which at that time meant merging into the One. It retains the same meaning today but is usually confused with a word derived from the Aryan-influenced region north of Persia).

However, for a Sikh who advances and exalts into the Khalsa, the responsibility is even more exhaustive, meticulous, comprehensive, thorough, detailed, and exacting.

For me, at my own personal level, my white turban including the Five K’s represents that I am duty bound to protect the right of my enemy to take my life.

However, as a Khalsa, protection of life is my basic fundamental duty.

Therefore, while my enemy may want to take my life, protecting my own life takes priority for me as well as safeguarding his life. If he persists, then I must (without flinching) put him to rest, and say a prayer prior throughout. And I must bear no hatred towards him or his community for his actions against me. In fact, I must locate his immediate family and offer my on going assistance for the vacuum left by the slain.

As you can see, being a practicing Sikh, and then evolving into the fully fledged Khalsa is not as easy as many Sikhs seem to think. Simply being born into a Sikh family does not mean that you are a Sikh. The fundamental requirements of being a Sikh are a tad difficult; and elevation into Khalsa is well nigh impossible.

The most telling point of Vasaakhi is that Life has to be celebrated. A celebration steeped not in wanton drunkenness or salacious behaviour, but characterized by an inner audit of the preceding year and setting parameters for the coming year. The idea is to protect Life, thus allowing Life to give life to Life.

Hence, Vasaakh, the second month of the earth (northern hemisphere) calendar is the Festival of Life.

Democracy:

Is control and governance of an organisation or country by the majority of its eligible members.

The original idea was to put aside quarrels that escalated from verbal abuse to physical violence, armed attack, ultimately to death. Thus, wise men (no, not women; remember, women were/are inferior and unclean due to their menstruation) devised a holistic means to conduct their tribal clan’s mechanization. This included the involvement of the soothsayers, medicine person (they were both female and male), and then the formal ritual brigade, some of whom evolved into formal religious heads. Religious heads, ritually excellent, and had an intricate understanding of ancient medicine and alchemy, in tandem with psychic ability: this then allowed them hands-on responsibility and a veto in debates about communal care.

Over the past fifty years, political communities in certain cultures have distanced the influence of the religious order, and endeavoured instead to promote an isolationist-secular schema.

Nevertheless, the voting minority still suffers. Seldom was/is a single item of their need addressed. Promises and pledges are seldom kept by those in power.

We have a prime example of the role and fallout of pledges in the blatant lies peddled by politicians in the run-up to Brexit in the United Kingdom. The liars, far from being criminally charged, went on to hold high office, as in the case of Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary.

Interestingly, if a man leads a group of women along a romantic path, while securing large sums of money from them, he is criminally charged. Yet we, the cattle-voting-class, are repeatedly told that politicians cannot be hauled into a criminal court, since they only offered pledges.

Such pledges, to revert again to Brexit in the United Kingdom, included the insistence – nay, assurance – that the monies saved from not being part of Europe would help turn around the failing National Health Service. But neither Boris Jonhson nor Nigel Farage (then leader of UKIP) can be prosecuted for their ‘pledges’ on the matter, because these have since been defended merely as suggestions and not promises to the electorate they deliberately misled.

This, guys, is democracy.

A con-artist who makes pledges to several women, only for the latter to find out they’ve been duped, would feel the full wrath of the law. But in democracy, liars (read: politicians) actually benefit from their lies, amassing financial and political advantage.

Many an English politician is therefore a criminal, as well as a recipient of bribes who then takes full advantage of his political position… as is the standard charge leveled at the average Indian politician. The difference is that in the English political system you ‘donate’ officially in order to buy your MPs support and protection; whereas in the Indian political system the donation is unrecorded. But the same bribery takes place across both systems.

This is democracy.

One example is from the mother of Parliamentary democracy and the other is from the world’s largest democracy.

So, is there a better system?

Yes indeed. And, no, it is not proportional representation.

The first cast-iron surety we need to put in place is that elected officials who lie during election are to be dismissed from office, criminally charged, and their ill-gotten gains confiscated.

Then, to equally reflect the minority racial or a religious group, a consensus of the population establishes in order to attributes a ratio to each voting group. This means that the minority under the ratio formula will have exactly the same power to their vote as the majority. Thus, now we have governance with consent rather than governance of the numerical votes cast. Numerically, the majority will still cast the larger share of the votes cast; however, due to the ratio formula, the minority voter will have an equal say in the actual outcome and politics.

The ratio formula outstrips the dated, inflexible, and unaccountable voting system termed democracy, and the new outcome would in its truer sense be democracy in earnest.

This system would have enormous positive impact globally, especially in many artificially-constructed countries by the Europeans, as in the case of the Ottoman Empire, in Africa, and across each and every country/landmass that came under the race-European empire.

Yes, it is up to us, the voiceless cattle-class-voter, to demand the fairer ratio vote.

And at this junction, just past, namely that of the spring equinox, in alignment with Vasaakh and the ‘Festival of Life’ that is Vasaakhi, why not push for and establish this fair voting system?

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Contemplation, Meditation, and Samadhi

This essay comes in response to feedback on my essay (13th December 2015) entitled “Sikhs and Meditation”. It was noted that I left elements unexplained, shrouded in ambiguity. Indeed, this was deliberate because field workers at my level are constrained in terms of what they are permitted to divulge.

Field workers with my level of responsibility are tasked with aiding the development of a seeker’s inner awakening, and we do by giving indications and pointers. Seldom do we impart precise instructions. The reason for this is that we may only operate within set parameters, and to overstep our boundaries is to invite demotion – no questions asked – by those charged with examining our conduct and the content of our guidance, who may do so under disguise as seekers themselves.

So if I was vague in “Sikh and Meditation” it was intentional.

Part of the reason why those at my level are policed arises from the discrepancy between what we see and what you see. We have, at times, unparalleled access to memories encased within creation which you would normally reference as past, present and future. That which you call the future, you perceive as unfathomable, unpredictable, unformed, shrouded in unknowability though hovering like a cloud on the horizon, subject to change and react to any given stimulus.

To speak of the future is, in your conception of things, to embody unreliability. But once the future has come to pass and shifts into the category of the real, whether of past or present, you can see that which we at my level already know. Namely, the future is a precipitate of all that has happened and is happening, and more so it is implicated in – and a co-determinant of – that which forms the past and the present.

The future is not awaiting expression or fulfillment, it has already expressed and fulfilled itself.

To put it simply, the future is not a state of becoming. It has become.

The interaction and the co-existence of past, present and future (to use the categories with which you are most acquainted) is a cornerstone of Sikhism and of Vedanta philosophy. We address the pool of interactive awareness of past, present and future – that which you imagine as distinct temporalities bound by a relationship of teleology and process – as the Akashi Records.

The Akashi Records posit that past, present and future are encompassed within the frame of creation and non-creation, which contrary to the way you understand them are not distinct but are a particular kind of singularity.

We might say the same about the concepts of beginning and end – these have to be seen as a process of movement from one to the other, yet like past, present and future, like creation and non-creation, they are in fact one and the same. Beginning and end are simultaneously themselves and each other.

If I apply this to Sikhism, as a good Sikh (which I am not – recall, I am the not so terribly good Sikh!) I ought to adhere to and believe in the concept of the Akaal – the formless. What Sikhs fail to grasp is that the formless is not form-less; rather, it has a presence. In fact, it comprises a multitude of layers, a set of strata beyond whatever formless designation we impute to it in our minds.

The Akaal is not itself formlessness, but encapsulates the formless, whereupon we cognize that both Akaal and the formlessness it references are entities. They are not nothing, they are clearly something. (Note to Sikhs – this point is stated categorically in the Sri Guru Granth Sahibji by none other than Guru Nanakdevji – please locate the actual stanza).

Reverting to creation and non-creation. These are governed by karma. By this I do not mean the action-reaction, cause-effect thing you call karma, these being more accurately definitions of samskar (a sub-stratum of karma). No. Karma is the qualitative, not the quantitative, it is how the flow from a portal is governed, it is not the outflow itself. Karma governs the outflow, which when it coagulates forms creation.

To the ordinarywallahs, fixed on the notion of the social contract and our obligations within it, and to poets, who parlay the often sad and painful consequences of chasing after one’s desires, karma serves a particular and much-needed function to keep us on the straight-and-narrow as well as to romanticise the fall-out when you fail to do so.

However, the outflow which karma governs is itself already embedded in samskar, that is, it is already endowed with action-reaction and cause-and-effect, whose quantities are relative to the dilation of the portal. Hence, creation and non-creation are one complete segment of an expression from a given portal, which in turn has various dimensions, which are enclosed in zones. The zones interrupt, mingle with and travel through one another, while maintaining their individual integrity and unique vibration.

When you look out into the night sky, you see blackness, while those at my level see light. You see emptiness, we see creation and systems.

But back to “Sikh and Meditation” and the charge of vagueness that was the response of some to the essay. I deliberately and overtly glossed over the stratum of what you call meditation – but which those at my level know as contemplation, meditation and samadhi. The detail I gave in the essay was prerequisite to embarking on and achieving a state of contemplation. A starter-for-ten, if you like, where the vexed (and vexatious) relationship between pessimism and internal patriotism are explored.

You will recall that I outlined the rungs of advancement as progressing from diet-based, through thought-based and emotion-based, to the realm of humility and servility. These rungs are the reality to which you must become attuned, become one with internally, and then live outwardly, before contemplation commences.

Contemplation is not, as you would have it, internal debate of ideas and the suchlike.

Contemplation is not the place for conjecture. Conjecture must already have been gotten out of the way, dealt with, in the course of the rungs of advancement mentioned above, and through the process of attunement practiced first internally and then externally.

Contemplation is total opinionlessness. Opinionlessness is in turn the canvas on to which the depths of realism are ready to be drawn with broad brushstrokes, but one awaits intervention from another for this to happen. This other is duty-bound to you; it is their responsibility to trigger your initial entry into and beyond contemplation. They could be a person who makes an observation in passing or they could be your formal educator, a teacher whose presence is less transitory and more enduring.

My indication is that the vast majority of secular beings are not ready for contemplation let alone meditation. Many applicants sit cross-legged and announce to onlookers that they are in fact assuming the hallowed lotus posture. Sorry to break it to you, but what you do doesn’t even come close to the lotus posture. Every image you have seen of it is wrong, a falsity.

So what hope have you of entering contemplation, forget meditation and samadhi, when your knowledge of the lotus position is wrong? Especially when you do not even know that correct posture and joga (yoga as you call it) come after, and never before, one has attained contemplation, and that it is the latter that leads you into deeper inner resonance and joga ability.

Oh, and by the way, what on earth is a downward-facing dog?!?!

Idiots, certified to teach idiots, re-label postures in accordance with their own (or borrowed) brand of stupidity; and they ensure and enable the development of nothing more than inner darkness in those they purport to teach.

I cannot indicate strongly enough that meditation is dangerous.

Meditation is the pathway to your introduction to your inner light.

Meditation is the pathway to your introduction to your inner darkness.

At a secular level, you will never be able to differentiate between light and darkness. From within your present level of comprehension both are godlike.

Be warned and tread carefully.