Sikh Turban, Women & Dasam Granth

The turban of old signified authority, supreme evolved thought, balanced judicial judgment, chivalry, integrity, gallantry, graciousness, politeness, honesty, and deference to higher authority and thought.

In the same way that the system of female global leadership, supported by male life-partners, fell into disarray, so the prestige of the turban fell from grace… until the Sikh elite (the Khalsa) was formed and made to bear secular responsibility.

Following the last evolutionary realignment, seers and sants were unequivocally instructed to shed their aloof dispositions, and instead live their lives of advanced awareness while also fully participating in the secular world, lest their spiritual progress be permanently stopped. This strata of the secular sant is embodied in the Khalsa – the elite of advanced awakening.

The first five Khalsa were beheaded. They lay prone, until Guriji fused together heads and bodies (not in their original configurations, it should be noted) and administered amrit, produced and infused with female energy via Mataji. The beheaded came back to life. But they were not yet invested with the ethical responsibility required of them and that was to be part of their hyphenated secular-spiritual existence moving forward.

The investiture of secular roles and responsibilities for the Khalsa came in the form of the five articles of faith. The first of these, unshorn hair, signifies creation, which is protected and celebrated by the five-metre long male turban and the three-metre long female chunni. The male turban and the female chunni are therefore one and the same.

The turban signals to others that the wearer is ready to defend and protect the weak and oppressed; and women need only wear the turban if no men are available to carry out their responsibility, and only in a context of war and hand-to-hand combat.

For a woman to wear a turban outside of these conditions is an insult to men; it questions the latter’s capacity to fulfill their secular responsibility and it casts aspersions on their valour.

‘Educated’ Sikhs, however, have argued that the turban may be worn by women as well as men. Indeed, they positively demand this ‘freedom’, stating that Guruji instructs the very same. Their claim refers to a poem written by one of the Gurujis. Now, poems as we know are full of metaphor and allegory. They are artistic productions in which poets – like the particular Guruji noted here, who wrote fluently in five languages – take liberties with language to produce certain lyrical and rhythmic effects. And when rendering this in multiple languages… well, we all know the innate untranslatability of words across different languages… then the task becomes one of reaching for a sense and meaning that fits with that language.

So, those who call upon the particular poem in question here to support their claim and ‘right’ for females to wear the male turban, and who see in the poem an injunction to do so, in fact see nothing of the poem beyond their own imperfect interpretation – itself a dynamic product of their individual, social, cultural, political and ideological milieu. To fully know the poem, they really ought in fact to master poetry and the five languages in which Guruji wrote – leaving their own literal reading of the poem, which reflects nothing more than their own desires, at the door.

An important point here: the poem is attributed to a particular Guruji despite being penned in a language whose vocabulary and syntax made use of diacritical marks that post-date the Guruji. This along with several individual theses, pothis and books was eventually brought together into a single volume in 1890. This volume is the Dasam Granth. It contains Jaap Sahibji and Benti Chaupeeji – both of which are inaccurately attributed to Guru Gobind Singhji. These poems (for they are not banis) were subsequently integrated into morning and evening Sikh prayers – confusing and needlessly so.

The alleged poetry by Guru Gobind Singhji forms part of the Dasam Granth and sits side by side with poetry that embellishes eroticism, including BESTIALITY, along with five extremely erotic practices written in detailed pornographic terms alongside mantric and tantric material (which would include kundalini yoga). The entire volume appeals neatly to those within Hinduism who are on the cusp of leaving it in dissatisfaction, and who are mesmerised by the pure subjective Sikhism of Sri Guru Granth Sahibji. And in this volume, long hair or a full untrimmed beard is not a prerequisite; however, ‘keski’ the smaller under-turban, is sanctioned. Based on this misinterpretation contained in Dasam Granth indication is apparently given to wear a turban as one of the five Ks instead of hair – or so it is argued by the likes of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha amongst others. In that case, bestiality is also acceptable, is it?

It is a red herring to assume that the term ‘Dasam’ invokes Guru Gobind Singhji’s authorship of the material contained therein. Sikhs have been thrown, and erroneously shepherded, into this assumption because the word is associated with the number 10, and of course Guru Gobind Singhji was the tenth Guruji. Not wishing to dishonour the elaborate work of Dasam Granth, the Sikh hierarchy gave the publication respect, as they would any other scripture. This accommodation then became the platform for the dissatisfied exiting Hindus into Sikhism to argue in favour of the alleged poems of Guru Gobind Singhji to be formally included into the mainstream Sikh prayers.

One has to consider the period in which this took place. Sikhs had faced an almost total wipeout, with more than forty percent of its population killed during two encounters against an overwhelming army. Thus, any new recruits into Sikhism were positively welcomed, and they held sway. It was a pivotal moment, therefore, when compromises were made including acknowledging the alleged poem – that is the crux of the argument by those favouring female turban-wearing – by Guru Gobind Singhji as a formal bani. In the case of Jaap Sahibji and Benti Chaupeeji, once these attained bani status their integration into formal morning and evening prayers was a mere formality. Unfortunately, until Sikh authority does not officially rescind the Dasam Granth banis to their original status as poetry, their controversial use and attribution remains.

Reverting….

The second point: the saddest part is loyalty to a thought, and inability to give up a cherished ideal, such as that of the under-turban as the formal arbiter of Sikh identity.

Additionally, why, I ask (up to this moment in time), are Sikh women using a literal (mis)reading of a poem to configure their self-worth around the right to wear the turban in place of the chunni, or even – as is happening – underneath it? Why adopt a form of purdah whose removal Guru Nanakdevji was pivotal in championing along with other freedoms and respect for women?

Guru Nanakdevji successfully championed the thought that only a free and trusted woman was capable of giving birth to a child born into freedom of thought and freedom from a slave mentality. Indeed, only with a woman’s permission could a child, especially a boy, be born. He maintained that women, of all races, ought to be responsible for their own sexuality and sense of sexual integrity. He impressed upon Sikhs that men had possessions, and women belongings; and that no man possessed the women in his life, but that they belonged to these women.

Guru Nanakdevji impressed about Sikhs that man is answerable to woman, not the other way around. It may often look like women take a back seat in public and let men run the show; but in Sikhism, ultimate authority lies with women.

So, why, I ask as a Gursikh who takes pride in dressing as chicly as possible, do exquisitely beautiful Sikh women feel the need to emulate men, and forego their natural beauty as women?

The very purdah that Guru Nanakdevji fought to bring you out of, you are now throwing back in his face. You are hell-bent on assuming the Muslim woman’s head-to-toe covering – yet, the Sikh fought to free women in India from slavery and from the religious injunctions of successive empires. Now, living in a free land, you chuck the valour and deaths of your ancestors back into their faces.

In times to come, medical procedures will make surgically attached fully-functioning penises available – will you demand those too, in order to feel fully human? It is not Sikhism which maintains gender inequality – but you are using Sikhism as the battleground for fighting the hierarchies and inequalities of the world around you…. and unfairly so.

Look to Sikhism. Understand that therein women are regarded as life’s teachers; men as life’s students. A man, having reached the highest echelons of inner awareness possible for man, can only aspire to the next layer of progress if he is born into the female phenomena. That is, man has to be born as woman in order to evolve further. This is a highly simplified version of a deeply complex, sometimes contradictory and confusing system, so I am keeping it simple… but consider this: religion tends to focus on men rather than on women, on teaching men of the faith rather than women.

As I said: women are life’s teachers; men, life’s students.

And yet, here you are – so many of you Sikh women today – fighting for a right to be like your men, when you’re already so much more advanced than them. But, go on, please, trample over all the hard-won struggles of your forbears in the Sikh faith, seek out turbans today, penises tomorrow.

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Reflections on proposed caste discrimination legislation: or ‘What is this thing called caste?’

The question I put to the British parliament is this; Why is her Majesty and the entire stratum she occupies not included in the proposed caste law, and why is it limited to race and aimed only at South Asians as it is currently tabled?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions of caste are as follows:

  • One of the hereditary social classes in Hinduism that restrict the occupation of their members and their association with members of other castes.
  • A division of society based on differences in wealth, inherited rank, or privilege, profession, occupation or race.
  • The position conferred by caste standing.
  • A system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, endogamy, and social barriers sanctioned by custom, law, or religion.

My argument:

Please read Caste, Class and Community in India: An Ethnography Approach by Balmurli Natrajan (William Paterson University).

The article’s argument supports my view that we are confusing class/economic distinctions with caste, such that the economic status of social groups is being projected onto, and even conflated with, social caste.

The fact is that like-minded social groups gel and function together as they have intimate nuanced understanding that cannot be accessed by other groups. To put it another way: we humans are neither psychologically nor socially identical, and do not share the same life experiences. This does not, at least in various Indian cultures, emerge as prejudice but is rather a form of snobbishness verging at times on hostility.

Precisely because of this, it makes sense therefore that individual social groups practice social endogamy and establish their own kinship clubs – Gurdwaras are a case in point. And they should be encouraged in doing so.

My point is that caste is a paradigm encased in structured cosociality rather than in subjugation and unequal power relations.

(And if we are talking about the latter, it is worth noting that I have repeatedly experienced rejection by well-to-do so-called lower castes – which blows apart the idea that oppression works in one direction only!)

The problem with the proposed legislation against caste discrimination is that it is embedded in the notion that caste is a form of unequal class/economics relations. It simply does not recognise the cosociality of caste as a valid, necessary and comforting form of in-group identity.

But consider this: in playgroups, babies can clearly be seen exhibiting strong likes and dislikes towards each other; they congregate in like-minded groups. Who taught them such prejudice? No-one. We human-animals psychologically attach ourselves to, and associate and intermingle with like minds.

This is not prejudice. What precisely it is, we have yet to sort out.

Now, for those who say caste as practiced today – in the form of class/economic inequality and hostility – is a historical phenomenon within South Asian societies… go learn your history!

Buddhism, Sikhism and Vedism in earlier times – before Bharat lost her substantial lands and succumbed to successive periods of colonization – did not apply caste divisions as we understand them today.

Indeed, caste division is not ‘Indian’ at all. It began in the west as a form of rigid social organisation whereby people were not permitted to work outside the occupational bandwidths set by the state, as happening to trades people in the United States. The Roman Empire relied on this to protect itself from implosion. Thus, caste refers in this sense to established western practices of restricting people to certain occupational domains, which restricted them socially and economically.

Such casteism continues to operate in the west today, as a cursory examination of recent English history illustrates. The cost of moving beyond the barriers of one’s caste was experienced by King Edward VIII when he deigned to marry Wallis Simpson – he had to abdicate. Even Prince Charles was not permitted to marry at will, but was shepherded into a marriage of convenience.

All of this is not to say that caste is not an aspect of Indian cultures. But as I noted earlier, it was certainly not a feature of earlier Buddhist, Sikh or Vedic societies, especially not in the western form of restricting people to particular occupational bandwidths.

Originally, in Bharat, children were given into the care of faith-teachers whose task was to find the appropriate occupation and role of their wards, and to encourage them to fulfil that. So, a farmer’s child with artisan skills would be encouraged in that direction, while the child of unskilled workers would move into farming if they exhibited the abilities for such work. It followed that people did not necessarily follow in their parents’ footsteps; they moved across groupings freely based on their skills-set.

It also follows that parents did not prize financial solvency when looking for life-partners for their children, rather they laid greater store by a prospective son- or daughter-in law’s capacity to manage their affairs responsibly and maturely.

However, older western societies have come to exert a strong influence on the modern construct that is Hinduism, which is itself the product of a socio-political revolution against the perceived rigidities of Vedic practices. Ironically, Hindusim has curated the kind of casteism for which the whole of India has become renowned, and which it erroneously embraces as an inalienable and intrinsic aspect of itself.

Consequently, we forget that caste refers to a bandwidth of in-group intimacies that in fact have been vital in enabling the successful transnational flow of people. Sikhs and others who moved to East Africa or to the United Kingdom were intrepid aspirants, but they were only able to ease the isolation that migration brings by congregating with others who shared their language, diet, rites and rituals, and who could advise them of local mores and provide a network of support.

Against the cosociality that caste traditionally referred to in older Indian societies and cultures, is the highly stratified system of difference which it exhibits in the west and which we forget to call out because we are so busy misunderstanding and denigrating our own eastern cultural heritages and practices.

And if we are in doubt as to the rigid boundaries that caste builds in the modern western world, let’s consider how our kids from North America and England emerge from university with degrees – equipping them to practice some trade or other, but which actively preclude them from switching trade or following another occupational strand. For that, they have to go right back to university and re-train, and get re-certified.

The same restrictions apply ofcourse to trades-people. Since the emphasis is on economic security and socio-economic mobility, very few people get to change occupational track despite showing flair and having accumulated skill-sets that make them ideal for jobs other than those they’ve been certified to do. The moral degeneracy of this situation is that it stratifies people, restricting them ‘to their own kind’. Yet, when they embody such stratification and hierarchy, we call them out and propose anti-caste legislation. When the system itself enforces this, why blame the people for imbibing it?!

And to what degree will anti-caste legislation be enforced? Will Gurdwaras have to provide a register of how many people of other castes (cosocial cultural groupings, as they themselves see it) attend in order to stay on the right side of the law? What counts as discrimination? Will I, as somebody who has repeatedly experienced discrimination from so-called lower castes, be safe-guarded and be able to pursue my case under law?

Will the British monarchy be allowed to continue to exist in its closed forms, while the average person on the street gets vilified for belonging to a group they know intimately and feel a sense of support, security and belonging with?

Clearly, I am missing the point of the anti-caste legislation, because it feels to me very much like a stick with which to beat Indians. And the best thing is, we Indians are culpable in this, because we know nothing of our own history or that of caste as a phenomenon.

Bhindrawale: an alternative view

‘The Sikhs are the only race, that I know of, who sacrificed their own nationhood in order to free the non-Sikh population of India from more than one thousand years of humiliation, subjugation and occupation at the hands of not just one but two (Semitic) Empires. They did so having fought for and secured their own independence as a nation under Islam rule more than 200 years earlier.’ Avtar

For you to appreciate this hard-hitting essay I need to explore, examine, and briefly lay bare what is a Sikh.

It is a misnomer that being born into a practicing Sikh family makes you a Sikh. Certainly, children practice the rites and ritual of Sikhi. But that is learned behaviour. Even when mimicking their elders, and perhaps even aspiring to be a proper Sikh through such mimicry, children are not Sikh in the metaphysical sense.

A Sikh, as I have written countless times, is a strata above the realm of advanced Sants, Svamis, Sufis, and Saints. A sant is one who has absolute mastery over the psychic realm. A Sikh is responsible for the welfare of the sant realm.

At the times of, and attendant in seva to, the ten Sikh Gurus, (and due to the high originality of advanced innovation), a Sikh was an unbelievably calm pacifist, who, when required, would to lay to rest a repeat killer. The Sikhs of those times never had need to raise their voice. Their psychic bearing and presence was enough.

Bear in mind, in those times artificial voice projecting apparatuses such as the megaphone and later the mic and loudspeaker system, had not yet been developed. So, an orator of that period, regardless of faith, literally had to shout to get his message across. Shouting behaviour has not died, in India at least. People there seem to forget that they are using microphones, and can therefore speak gently. The screaming and shouting automatically raises one’s blood pressure, heightens one’s nervous system activity, and leads to a tensed physiology, which renders one primed for a physical confrontation. The person sounds and behaves assertively.

Another problem of the birth-Sikhs is that they are reared on stories of historical events that highlight bravery, courage, chivalry, and heroism. These are stories of fighting the odds and succeeding, more often than not. However, the Sikh parent imparting such stories is themselves not a Sikh in its full reality, but like their child a Sikh by birth only. And therein lies the problem of Sikhism.

A Sikh is one who, coming from any faith, is the master of, and has hands-on responsibility for, those who are an authority over the so-called spiritual world. That was what separated the Sikhs of the Gurus from the faithful of all other faiths.

Only the best of the best, the most humble of the humble, found a way to be in the seva of the Sikh Gurus. Some attributes of a Sikh:

* An analyser, scrutiniser, and improver…of whatever they may confront

* Addressing every female as ‘Ma’am’ and treating every female with dignity, chivalry, and lack of misogyny

* Studies war tactics and stealth strategy

* Master of hand-arms combat

* Outmanoeuvers opponents strategically

* Sikh men/women are regarded as tender, passionate, sensual lovers by most South Asians

* Remain faithful and loyal to one partner

* Their word is sacrosanct

Only with the above clarity will you be able understand today’s essay.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

According to web searches he was born Jarnail Singh Brar on 2nd June 1947, and he died on 6th June 1984 aged 37. Leader of Damdami Taksal, one of the five formal seats of Sikhism, he was an outspoken orator. He voiced the resentment of the ordinary Sikh about their betrayal by the Hindus: leading up to and even after India’s independence, the Hindus had promised a separate Sikh nation; they reneged on this promise.

His popularity stemmed from his insistence that the faithful remain vigilant, and abide by the high requirements of the elite Sikhs, the Khalsa. Like the majority of Sikhs, he saw the events of bygone times through rose-tinted glasses, rather than accepting that society has always been a multi-spectrum of misfits who dally with idealism and bemoan the failures of others.

The majority of Sikh ‘leaders’ increasingly fail to appreciate what it takes to become a Sikh, and that there are unbelievably high standards of advanced knowledge required to progress into the Khalsa realm. The same was true of Bhindranwale, except that in his case his heart was in the right place. Like other leaders, though, he was not advanced enough to recognise the what or the why that makes a Sikh and the Khalsa uniquely responsible and thus special.

An insight: The sublime is experienced by nearly all practicing Sikhs as a faith-right; however, collectively, it remains an unquantifiable realm. They are moved and ‘protected’ by this arena, but they are oblivious as to how best to describe its existence, or the experiences it yields.

He was precisely in the same boat as your average run-of-the-mill Sikh. Like them, he too sensed, but he could not explain the sensation.

He was a doer, a go-getter, one who could not sit still. He readily took a stance against anything or anyone whom he considered to have fallen from the excellence he thought all Sikhs should live by. Drugs, a hedonistic lifestyle, and irreverence for the image of the perceived Sikh status quo rankled him. His generation blamed all society’s ills on the wealth that Panjab enjoyed as the green, agricultural energy-field of India. Panjab literally fed, and to this day feeds, India. This brought prosperity.

Prosperity in tandem with zero pressure of either local wars or impending invasions, led to parents showering their children with monetary gifts hitherto unheard of in India. Sikhs were, and are, massively wealthy compared to the rest of the non-west European world. In fact, when I traveled the countries that were at that time locked behind the iron curtain almost twenty years after leaving Panjab, I was shocked to see those countries suffering from lower, weaker, almost non-existent infrastructure; and the local poverty was breathtakingly shocking even in comparison to the Panjab of twenty years earlier.

So, Panjab was wealthy. Wealthy enough to send members of their family to study abroad, and indeed to live abroad; these members in turn sending remittances back to the family village and home, thereby increasing the family’s earning and power-prestige further.

The handicap of wealth is improved health. Health, married to wealth, automatically childs conceit, self-importance and delusions of the self as an omnipotent being. Sikhs of his time suffered from the same disease of the avant-garde, technicolour palette of romanticism seducing monologue, with philosophies spiced with short-lived interactions with European industrial civilisation.

In a mixture of multi-complex rationales, he laced his oratory skills with the insistence that wealthy Sikhs ought to pressure their children towards the rites normally associated with a Sikh monastic lifestyle. Its conditions are so confusing to an outsider, especially when each male is meant to see each woman as his sister or mother, yet be anxiously prepared to marry one of these very women, and thereafter, to engage in and enjoy a full sexual life with her. It’s a case of heads I win, tails you cannot live a normal lifestyle, unless you marry. These rich kids, emasculated by the parental pressure he advocated, threw tantrums.

He, meanwhile, gained fame and popularity. For he constantly evoked age-old glories of sword-fighting, small hand-arms defence, and overcoming outrageous odds against trained armies of invaders, or indeed against ‘home grown’ newly settled Muslim rulers. He drew crowds. He spoke uncompromisingly, mired in passion as if he had returned fresh from sword-fighting and hand-to-hand combat. Sikhs so love tales of hand-to-hand combat against overwhelming odds…his popularity increased exponentially. However, he had never set a foot on a battlefield, and he had no formal or informal military and tactical training.

He was an orator, one who had the ability to inflame his audience. He evoked passions. His message stirred people. He became an irresistible force. This drew the attention of the politicians. However kitsch he appeared to seasoned politicians nevertheless he commanded a sizeable vote bank that they couldn’t ignore. So, his ego was massaged, and seduction-hypocrisy gained momentum. Everything has a price. He had a price. It was a matter of identifying that price and leveraging him into the politicians’ pocket.

His price?

A date with destiny, a reluctant delusion that he was ‘chosen’ to deliver respect, along with self-determination to Sikhs within the statehood of a collective India.

Expatriate Sikhs stoked, inflamed, and financially supported calls for an independent state named Khalistan (and not Panjab). I truthfully cannot recall him advancing that particular idea, but the theme of self-determination never left his lips. In reality, all he sought – and as is the demand of all Sikhs – was dignity via the fulfillment of a promise; and the honest barter of that promise made to Sikhs by Pandit Nehru and (Mohan Dass Gandhi) Mahatama Gandhi, in the days before India’s independence.

This set him on a collision course. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi stepped into the ring and offered a staged, well-practiced trade-off; stopping short of Sikh demands for the fulfillment of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.

A dance of Shiva had begun.

Death was on the cards.

Each thought it would be the other’s.

The death drum gathered speed.

And he made one naive mistake after another. He miscalculated the world of politics. In fact, he had zero appreciation of politics. He did not understand that you cut a tree for firewood one day and the next day you stand on its stump delivering a speech pronouncing your credentials as an ecologist.

His lack of military service became evident in his utterances. He took the bait. He prepared to take on the might of the Indian army’s modern weaponry and tactics with his handful of men equipped with small arms weapons. He was neither a politician, nor a strategist or tactician. His popularity was based on his honesty, earnestness and frankness. He lacked guile. He lacked deceit. He lacked hypocrisy. He lacked cunning. What he said was what he meant. Wonderful attributes for a religious orator. But as a politician and military tactician he was a dead duck.

If he had had a cunning mind, then he would and could have instigated a war between Pakistan and India. This would have brought the Sikh regiments stationed far afield from Panjab back to the border with Pakistan, which in the main is shared by Pakistan and Panjab. Simultaneously, he would, on the quiet, have had his own followers present in various cities ready to occupy main-frame buildings; the armed occupation of which would have put him in control of mass broadcast, and of transportation, thereby causing maximum and immediate mayhem among the people. Thereafter, he could have incited the Sikh regiments to support his quest for the negotiation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution from a position of reasonable strength. Just for the fun of creating discord and facilitating the possible breakup of India, Pakistan would have supported him to the hilt, politically and militarily.

However, he did what no Sikh army had done in Sikh history. He occupied the holy shrine of Amritsar not for its protection from an imminent attack but for sheltering in. After all, prior to his occupation Amritsar was under absolutely no threat from an imminent Indian army attack.

A majority of expatriate Sikhs were against his occupation of Amritsar. Yes, he had supporters, but they were a minority, albeit a vocal one.

The outcome?

A foregone conclusion.

A mere formality.

He totally played into the hands of the politicians.

The rest is history.

I witnessed the events here in the UK, and am shocked by how many of the people who ridiculed him at the time, including his lack of education, now address him as a glorified, proud, fearless Sikh General.

Yes, they call him General!

He was an innocent man, honest and sincere as the day is long. But a General? Are Sikhs really that desperate that they equate his tactics with those of a General? I absolutely will credit him with fearlessness, courage and strength of character. He did not sell himself short. But a General? Come on, please, you Sikhs can do better than that. Give him plaudits, but let us not get carried away with overly emotional praise either.

Having said that, for me as a Sikh, he gave me the one thing no one else had delivered up to that point.

Let me explain.

While traveling Europe I would come across veterans of the first and the second European war (1914-18 and 1939-45) who many a time would present themselves to me as admirers of the Sikh soldiers and battalion, and who would salute me as an orthodox young Sikh. Apart for these European war veterans, everyone else would confuse me for an Arab, Muslim or indeed a Hindu. I was never recognised as a Sikh.

Because of this sincere, honest, earnest Sikh preacher, today I am recognised globally as a Sikh, part of a nation of people who gave up their own kingdom, their country, in order to free India.

My nation, a people I am proud to call my own, the Sikhs, made a selfless sacrifice foregoing their own nation for the sake of securing freedom for what is now more than a billion people in India.

Yes, the ruling classes cheated us out of a promise. But that is the political Hindu for you. The citizen Hindu and Muslim of India, by contrast, categorically maintains that we do deserve our own statehood. I thank them for their support.

Yet in today’s India, the arrogance of some Hindu politicians is leading them to proclaim that all citizens of India are Hindus.

I once again want to remind them that ‘Hindu’ is neither a race nor a religion.

Hindi is a communal language of communication that slowly gathered momentum following its birth just over one hundred and fifty years after the establishment of Sikhism.

Hindi is like the fabled pan-European language Esperanto. Nothing more and nothing less.

And as for Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale: Sikhs, he was a seasoned preacher, a Giani. He was not a Sant in any shape or form. Please, let us not get over emotional about his credentials. Let us be sincere in our evaluation.

As a Giani, what he achieved for Sikhism is that which the best amongst us will never be able to emulate or attain. He gave me global recognition, a global presence. And, no, I do not accept the excuse that globally, in the age of the internet, race Europeans mistake me for a Muslim. The truth is that they hate me because of the colour of my skin – pure and simple. It is race and culture hatred that they exercise. And the easiest way to murder me is to call me a Muslim. Race Europeans are neither that ignorant nor that stupid that they cannot tell me apart from a Muslim. Exactly how many Muslims in the western world walk around with their traditional very loose cloth wound around their heads? I have only ever seen three in all my years of living in race European countries.

So, the fact that the world now views me as a Sikh must be credited entirely to this one, very basically educated, sincere orator/preacher, who merely wanted the dignity and self-esteem of the Sikhs to be respected by the Hindu Government – the very Hindus who until 1946 had been slaves in their own land for just a little over one thousand years.

Sikhs deserve their dignity and self-esteem to be respected by the Hindu Government of India.

And on the anniversary death of this preacher I hope and pray it will begin to accept a world where Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhist, Jains, Christians and Hindus can live in peace with each other in the land we now call India: as autonomous cultures, languages, heritages, and dignities that together protect our collective defence, economy and infrastructure as these exist now.

 

 

Meditation within: Mechanical Time, Organic Time & Timelessness (German Time Vs Brexit Time)

European concept of time:

On 31st December 1899, a second was determined to be 1/31, 556,952.9747th of a mean solar day. In 1955, the second was re-calculated, using the caesium beam atomic clock, as 1/86,400th of a mean solar day. The present European concept of time was set then, in 1955. The quantum clock led to the femtosecond which is to a second what a second is to 31.71 million years, and to an attosecond, which is to a second what a second is to 31.71 billion years. That clock was superseded in 2015 by an optical lattice clock.

However, earth’s rotation, in conjunction with the galaxy and the universe, is irregular and slowing down, and the mechanical clock is utterly dysfunctional with and irrelevant to bio-organic time phase.

Arya concept of time:

Yuga:-

There are four yugas – Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. These each have a pre-determined duration lasting millions of years, and they follow each other cyclically. A cycle comprising the four yugas is known as a maha-yuga. Within this is the life span of the earthlings, demi-gods (please check wikipedia for a list of Arya and Greek demi-gods), and gods (Brahma etc).

Satya yuga – 1,728,000 years – golden age

Trata yuga – 1,296,000 years – silver age

Dvapara yuga – 0,864,000 years – bronze age

Kali yuga – 0,432,000 years – iron age

1 Maha yuga – 4,320,000 years

 

The Maha yuga is cyclical in both descending and ascending phase.

 

71 Maha yuga = 1 Manvantara (destruction and then recreation)

1000 Maha yuga = 1 kalpa (night of Brahma)

1000 Maha yuga = 1 Kalpa (day of Brahma)

1 day of demi gods = 360 earth days

 

Demi-Gods live for 100 years of their time scale, and are offspring of gods and humans.

Brahma lives for 100 years of its time scale, dies, after which a new Brahma evolves.

(It should to be noted that the Arya resuscitated the existence of the decimal point and the zero, without which astronomical calculations were impossible. They also re-established negative indices and algebraic rules).

Similar to modern timescales the Arya had a name for sub-atomic units of time and based their calculations on that understanding, called paramanu, where:

2 Paramanus = 1 Anu

3 Anu = 1 Trasarenu

3 Trasarenus = 1 Truti

100 Trutis = 1 Vedha

3 Vedha = 1 Lava

3 Lavas = 1 Nimesha (the twinkling of an eye)

3 Nimesha = 1 Ksana (moment)

5 Ksana = 1 Kastha

15 Kastha = 1 Laghu

15 Laghus = 1 Nadika

2 Nadika = 1 Muhurta

6 or 7 Nadika (depending on length or day or night) = 1 Prahara (1/4 of a day or night)

1 Day = 4 Yamas (6 hour period)

15 Days = 1 Fortnight (alternating between bright and dark period)

2 Months = 1 Ritu

6 Months = 1 Ayana (southerly & northern)

2 Ayanas = 1 day/night of demi-gods

 

Arya micro-timescale against modern time scale, is as follows:

1 paramanu = 60750th of a second

1 truti = 29.6296 microseconds

1 tatpara = 2.96296 milliseconds

1 nimesha = 88.889 milliseconds

45 nimesha (1 prana) = 4 seconds

6 prana (1 vinadi) = 24 seconds

60 vinadis (1 nadi) = 24 minutes

60 nadis (1 ahoratra) = 1 day

According to Arya sun time:

100 truti (atom) = 1 tatpara

30 tatpara = 1 nimesha (twinkling)

18 nimesha = 1 kashtha (bit)

30 kashtha = 1 kala (minute)

30 kala = 1 ghatika (1/2 hour)

2 ghatika = 1 muhurta (hour)

30 muhurta = 1 ahoratra (day)

 

Arya astronomical texts are divided time into two categories:

Murttakalah – manifest time or organic time

Amurtakalah – unmanifested time or mechanical time

 

Arya astronomer Varaha Mihira divided a day/night into 24 Horas (Greek ‘Ora’; Latin ‘Hora’; English ‘Hour’). From this is derived the 24 hour system. This was a change from earlier Arya astronomers divisions of day/night into 60 ghatikas.

The moon was used as the basis for the calculation of the fortnight and the month. The solar month entered calculations much later.

 

Samvatsara cycle:

Means a year. 60 samvatsara rotate in cyclical order, divided into three sections of 20 samvatsaras each. The 1st is Brahma, the 2nd is Vishnu, and the 3rd is Shiva.

 

All of this only comes into its own when we begin to rationalise the puzzle of incidents written in the Arya classics of Ramayan (life exploits of Lord Rama) and the Mahabharata (life exploits of Lord Krishna) into our current timescale. Lord Krishna’s time can be placed 70-100 millions years ago. Lord Rama’s period goes further back, aligning with the destruction of the planet which now litters (the asteroid belt) the space between Mars and Jupiter. It was during this time that Earth’s original moon was destroyed, and to stabilize our portion of the solar system an artificial moon was ‘brought’, manoeuvered, and set into motion around Earth. It is this ‘moon’ we see in the sky. It has secrets, slowly unravelling as humanity comes to terms with esoteric phenomena, albeit it has a sub-strata of three-dimensional Beings living there also – a technical civilisation vastly advanced than our own.

During a recent inter-galactic war, Mars had its protective atmospheric zone vaporized. Granted, it was badly depleted by the un-repentant extraction of its mineral and natural resources by humans, as currently happening here on earth. Also worth noting in addition is that Mars had a full set of oceans, lakes, rivers and fresh water; Earth in reality was a second, substitute home, and furthermore, up to that point ‘earthlings’ also resided on one other sphere within this solar system.

This latest inter-galactic war was a very recent event in the scheme of things. It remains fresh in the unconscious psyche of all non race-Europeans. It is this awareness that my seniors are very mindful of. However, a lower order shared with the Europeans the art of gunpowder, and weapons that could be used for destructive means. Later, a similar lower order gave details of projectiles, and their powering mechanisms to the German Max Muller when he visited old India. Thankfully, European mind thus far has only understood the very basic elements of the powering mechanism. This in-depth critical information was used to develop the V2 rocket by the Germans, a weapon of war during the European war (1938-1945), and is the bedrock of current space travel, of which the cruise missile is the latest ‘avatar’.

A short while back, another lower order was advising a European power on the development of a mechanism, with fuel system, and fundamental stablising factors, that would make the atomic weapon a redundant system; and that would allow travel to the nearest star system in about a couple of hours. The higher order, and I as one who had earned access to the debate, spoke out vehemently against sharing any further information with race-Europeans as they would only use it to subjugate other races; and far worse, they would start a fight with other Beings in our solar system and beyond, resulting in a war that would seal the final destruction of Earth. The exchange of information was duly stopped, and an agreement reached between Chen (Zen) and Indian mystics to stop all such exchanges until humanity has sufficiently evolved to a point where each human cares for their fellow human, the planet, and its resources and other dwellers.

Current technology is so utterly backwards that it can be classified as ‘primate weaponry’. Technically bereft, the current thinking (aka European consciousness) is limited to mechanical thinking. Asian thinking by comparison automatically includes the psychic dimension. Aboriginal thinking is pure and sublime, and is the only thought paradigm that has the capacity to fathom creation and its layered dimensional presence. Indian thought paradigm understands the concept of creation based on the organic timescale, but does not hold the key to unravelling its secrets.

The (Indian) organic timescale differs hugely from the European mechanical system. The contradictory mathematics and rules of physics have to be understood at a psychic level, and that is where meditation comes into its own. Meditation, where thought is held in poise, has to become the normal function; and it is only then that complex, hitherto incomprehensible, maths and laws of physics will allow further venture into creation. At the current juncture, humans can only travel a universe as a concept of an analytical thought-sphere, and even then mechanical technology, with Indian assistance and leadership, will limit travel along a single plane trajectory. It is only when humans appreciate the excellence of African, and thereafter Aboriginal, thinking that they will appreciate multi-layered dimensional life form and existence.

Yet, this very reality can also be experienced by merging into permanent meditation, which allows entry into samadhi. It is samadhi that is the opening portal, facilitating factual recognition of the multi-dimensional cosmos.

It is there that humans will engage with demi-gods, and gods…on a permanent basis.

Reverting…

The English copied the German (1938-1945) practice of beginning a day at midnight for purposes of industrial manufacture. Thus began the idiotic ‘day begins at midnight’ nonsense. It has remained in force ever since.

Now that England has exercised Brexit will it, I wonder, drop the German clock time, or retain the German war-time timescale?

Oh, the luxurious stupidity of ignorance…

Interestingly, it was I who re-introduced the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’, which was then used in the first part of The Matrix film trilogy. This came about because His Holiness in whose tutelage I was placed during my early teens had input into the making of The Matrix. We were watching the much-flaunted modern Bollywood version of the Mahabharata televised on BBC. We looked at each other and felt utter shame at the amateur depiction and rendition of the Indian classic. Interestingly, several of my tongue-in-cheek quotes had already been used regularly in Bollywood by this time. This happened because His Holiness has direct access to directors and actors from Bollywood. Thereafter, his access to Hollywood directors and actors and the making of The Matrix was a foregone conclusion. The Matrix is our rendition of Mahabharata, and its dialogue of how we explain the esoteric in common parlance.

Reverting…

During samadhi, time changes. It is an event-based system, and time has no meaning there per se. As an event-based system, samadhi doesn’t measure the passing of time. Here on Earth, although time sequence is organic, it is circumstantial. This means you can suffer, remain unaffected, or benefit from a situation. By contrast, in samadhi, events take shape and dissolve, but your circumstances remain unaffected. This is because mechanical time becomes dysfunctional and irrelevant. In samadhi, events surpass 360 degrees… a concept humans understand. 360 degrees is a three-dimensional concept, and limits our understanding of how space obscures, or indeed becomes an obstacle, unless one is advanced in samadhi; and only then it is possible to appreciate the limitation of 360 degree conceptual existence.

For example, space as you see and experience it is the very veil that obscures or hides advanced existence. During meditation, and with guidance on how to remain in samadhi, the space-veil disintegrates, or opens up, allowing experience of multi-dimensional existence. The human brain is incapable of fathoming this reality. After all, death experience is not brain-based; that experience is beyond thought-limitations also. Samadhi is not brain or thought based. One has to accept that several bodies co-exist and surround the physical entity. It is one of them that allows consciousness to experience advanced layers of existence.

It is in that advanced state that one meets demi-gods and then gods. Beyond that state lies a platform, an accepted state that is the domain of an Earth personality named Guru Nanakdevji, who re-established Sikhism…for the umpteenth time. It is Guru Nanakdevji who categorically states in his writing in Guru Granthsahibji that Akaal is an environment contained within yet another environment. Human three-dimensional consciousnesses is unable to understand that reality.

Note: I know this only because under tutelage I attained the pedestal of grace. It is that grace which allows me access to and understanding of certain matters. It is a privilege. And I am the first to say that I do not accept that I have the right to experience the higher states by my own volition. That environment is utterly complex, contradictory, and confusing. It is where, unless guided, one falls victim to the advanced ‘divine’ lure of the limited existence (that’s the devil).

And each of you who think that as a Sikh you need no one to teach, guide and show you the passage and its pitfalls, are ignorant and peddling utter nonsense. My dear Sikhs, advanced awakening is not the same as self-teaching masturbation. This is a very serious awakening and can only be accessed through humble service by not expecting anything in return. The person you are in servitude to is a person who is ultimate in experience and has personal accreditation to enter advanced states.

You must remain humble. If the person to whom you are attached is of a lower order do not fret; as your servitude and humbleness are recognised. Eventually, a guide, a mentor, a sublime light-Being will be assigned to you. That person will find you. An automatic, seamless relationship will evolve. However, that person will have to decide if he is willing to make you his ‘ang’. Ang means one’s own. One’s person. One’s self with itself. Where two become one. For reasons I have never fathomed, I attained that privilege. And it is that privilege that I function through, deciphering facts from assumptions.

For example, commentators regale how the gods are human in form and attitude, and their progeny even more so. In my autobiography, now in the process of coming into publication, I explain how and why that is not the case.

I will leave you with this thought. Look into the night sky. You see a lot of space. In advanced samadhi this very sector of our galaxy is empty space. We do not exist. Now conjecture and contemplate as you look at the night sky, and you see space.

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.

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…

Spring festivals, Sacrifice, Cannibalism & Sikhism’s New Year

Part I

End of one organic cycle: beginning of another.

This year’s vernal equinox falls on 20th March in the northern hemisphere. Amongst some cultures, this passage of time is celebrated according to tenets opposed to modernism and to modern perspectives. Isolationism couples itself with celebration of glories past. Subjective theorizing, loose philosophy, and a particular cultural moral compass on sexuality, combine to give us brain-drained commonsense, which clings to the cleverness of days long gone, unremarkable now but for the romanticised folkloric memories passed down the generations.

Spring:

Pagans celebrate Ostara, performing rites and rituals in honour of fertility and regeneration, symbolised by the goddess Eostre (a Germanic word meaning east), who represents young women, fresh light, and the budding of trees and flowers.

Fertility and regeneration are celebrated by the gifting of brightly painted eggs, themselves embodiments of fertility and renewal, as are hares (which have symbolic connection to the moon).

Easter:

Historians and liberal theologians believe death and resurrection was initially, in Caucasian consciousness, associated with Attis – a Phrygian (an area now in Turkey) and god of vegetation. In his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection Attis represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter and rise again in spring. His cult began around 1250BC. The incidents attributed to him were grafted onto stories of Jesus’ life to make Christian theology more acceptable regionally. Elsewhere, other theologians indicate that Jesus’ life events as they appear in the gospels are lifted straight from the life of Krishna.

Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. It occurs at the end of Lenten (‘lengthening of days’), which lasts 46 days from Ash Wednesday (falling on 10th February this year) until Easter Sunday (27th March this year). Tradition counts this as 40 days, and excludes for various reasons Saturdays and Sundays.

The Thursday before Easter is Holy Thursday and commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper. The Friday before Easter is Good Friday, and it commemorates the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Saturday before Easter is Holy Saturday, a remembrance of Jesus’ entombment.

The Easter period represents two opposing worlds co-existing – darkness, sin and death on the one hand and resurrection, restoration of light, and spring on the other. The evening vigil between Good Friday and Easter day symbolizes the end of the first and the beginning of the second.

Currently, Easter Sunday* is one of the Christian calendar’s two holiest days. This is the result of public pressure forcing the western church to institutionalize the observance of Easter, despite early Christians not having observed it at all.

*(Sunday is named after the Scandinavian sun goddess Sunna. Sunna, interestingly, is a Sanskrit word used by Buddhaji as well as by Vedic and eastern philosophy. It refers to a state above stillness, quietness and nothingness.)

Around 325AD, Emperor Constantine ordered Easter to be celebrated on the first full moon of Spring, which occurs between 21st March and 25th April. It is noteworthy that the current biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion took formal root in the western church as a result of Emperor Constantine’s collusion.

The eastern church, by contrast, echoes Jesus’ own observance of the earlier tradition of Passover. It ought to be noted that at no time did Jesus renounce his Jewish religion. Nor did he insist on a new religion. He simply reintroduced clarity, and de-cluttered confusion. This year, Passover begins on Friday 22nd April and ends on Saturday 30th April.

Part II

Cannibalism

Numerous stories in Greek mythology involve cannibalism, but only between close family members. It was practiced to maintain purity and specialness and mirrored the Egyptian Pharaohic practice of incest, which aimed to retain the purity to the royal lineage bestowed by the gods.

Not too dissimilar to the Islamic practice of marrying within the family pool, cannibalism and Egyptian royal incest associated purity with, and emerged from, as well as being bounded, by kinship.

Privilege, prestige and oneness were the core precepts of cannibal practice originally, before it became widespread globally.

In Gough’s Cave, England, there is evidence of communal cannibalism practiced around 15000 years ago. In fact, evidence exists that cannibalism was actually still practiced around 2000 years ago in Great Britain, and across Europe during various periods, until recent times.

In World War II, there was reported cannibalism at the siege of Leningrad, among Soviet POWs dying in Nazi camps due to extreme starvation, and also among German troops when they were besieged in Stalingrad as well as when they were later transferred to prison camps in Siberia.

In India, the Aghoris (Indian ascetics), consume human flesh that’s been cooked on the funeral pyre, after the family of the deceased has left. They believe the flesh provides spiritual benefits, and they claim that it tastes like chicken.

In the USA, in 1931, New York reporter William Buehler Seabrook secured a chunk of human meat from the body of a healthy person killed in an accident, from a hospital intern, and he cooked and ate it. He reported, “It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was so nearly good, fully developed veal, that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal, and cannot be mistaken for goat, high game, or pork.”

In his book The Gulag Archipelago, Alexandra Solzhenitsyn describes cannibalism in 20th century USSR, where children, dead by famine, were eaten by their parents.

When the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes on 13th October 1972, the survivors resorted to eating the deceased during their 72 days in the mountains.

In England, on 23rd July 1988, Rick Gibson ate human flesh in public, in Walthamstow, London. The country does not have a specific law against cannibalism. He did so again on 15th April 1989, in Lewisham High Street, London. When Gibson attempted to eat human meat in Vancouver on 14th July 1989 the Canadian police confiscated his meal. However charges were dropped, and he went on to eat another piece of human flesh on the steps of the Vancouver court house on 22nd September 1989.

Part III

Cannibalism, Spring Festivals and Sikh New Year

Paganism has an unbelievable amount of words, rites and rituals that overlap with Vedic Brahmanism, as indeed do many of the Voodoo rites and rituals practiced globally. Brahmanism, briefly, denotes living in harmony with nature and venerating the organic template. It believes the egg has a special symbolic meaning, hence an old Pagan ritual of ‘sacrificing’ an egg by placing it under the foundations of new buildings for protection, well-being, and progression.

Nowadays, during Pagan and Christian spring festivals eggs are coloured brightly, the brightness communicating renewal, freshness, fertility, and the propagation of spices (which also represent fertility).

The Latin proverb “Omne vivum ex ovo”, meaning “All life comes from an egg” coincides perfectly with pure knowledge, the Vadantic scriptures, and the most modern de-mystified writing that exists today referred to and addressed as Sikhism’s living Guru. These all acknowledge that the whole universe was created from an egg. Creation, in Sikhism, is in fact repeatedly called an egg.

The egg thus continues to circulate today as a meaningful emblem of life and as an allegory for rebirth.

Sacrifice, nowadays, takes the form of a nominal food offering, a monetary donation to a religious or dharmic organisation, or to a charity, or else seva (selfless service for the benefit of another).

The sacrificial practice continues to be led by the elder male of a family group. The sanctity of the occasion is duly observed with reverent introspection, and a silent expression of gratitude that one is capable of offering the gift or service in the first place. It is interesting how without any external prompt humbleness automatically surfaces during the sacrifice.

We now live in a cycle of negative Shiva, as opposed to a cycle of positive Shiva. This represents transmutation, negative technology, self-interest presiding over charity, and the search for self-realisation. Thus, the charity of this cycle is the sacrifice of money, and/or giving away articles and items of wealth.

Charity was also practiced during the negative cycle of Brahma. That period witnessed the beginning of the hallowed activity of sacred sacrifice of a living Being. Initially, the living Being was ordinary grain. Then it was fruit and eggs. Later, the sacrifice was elevated to one’s personal possessions, a sacrifice of personal wealth; hence the beginning of animal sacrifice. It began with small domesticated farm animals including the hare, until people’s grandiose egos pushed them to sacrifice ever larger animals. Then the (now) unacceptable happened. For numerous emotional and/or seasonal reasons, the sacrifice became human, moving from infants to adult females and adult males. However, the most potent sacrifice was deemed to be the sacrifice of young females.

Sacrifice, right from the beginning, involved conscious acknowledgement that the gift became sanctified through the act of sacrifice, that it was blessed and imbued with grace. Once sanctified, the offering was shared among attendees, so that they might be blessed by consuming the sanctified object – first grains, then eggs, then animals, and eventually humans. But human flesh consumption was limited in the Brahma period to the royals and the high priests.

This practice changed, as the governing thought-energy changed. Four of the five thought-energy states are:

  1. Maiea
  2. Brahma
  3. Vishnu
  4. Shiva

These each have three expressions of which two are applicable to ordinarywallas (being the positive and negative cycles). It has to be remembered that all four states are interwoven and interlinked. They exist in both their positive and negative templates as an everyday occurrence, and they flip between various expressions moment to moment.

Ordinarywallas are familiar with the trinity state concept of Hinduism, namely, Brahma – the coagulator, Vishnu – the stabilizer, and Shiva – the transmutator. Enveloping and preceding them is state one, the Maiea symmetry.

State one: Sacrifice of the inner self. Doubt is sacrificed, and clarity sought in the process.

State two: Grain and seasonal food become the sacrificial norm. Ego gains importance.

State three: Animal offering, followed by human offering, becomes the status quo.

State four: A proxy sacrifice is established in place of personal sacrifice, such that material objects become the sacrificial lamb.

Whichever way we look at it, the practice of making an offering during the period of regeneration, i.e. Spring, is driven by the norms of one’s customs.

To begin with, nature make a sacrifice of crops, and humans harvest and consume that sacrifice (death) once the crop or fruit is ripe. Thus, the concept of consuming death is itself nature-driven. We as humans eat death. Many, like myself, who are life-long lacto-vegetarian, pompously register our distain for eating death in the form of flesh. Yet we consume the dead. The dead in our instance are dead vegetables.

Pomposity in us compels us to declare we are superior to flesh-eaters. But are we, outside of our own high-falutin’ sense of authority, really superior at all to, and more internally advanced than, those we think of as emotionally-retarded, spiritually bereft, dead-flesh eating savages? No, we are exactly the same.

What is a vegetarian (Indian)? Let’s clear up the gobbledegook western terminology:

Selective Vegetarian (SV)       white meat eater, will consume eggs and fish

Vegetarian (V)                           will not consume eggs or fish – however, is not a vegan

Restricted Vegetarian (RV)     will not consume root or commercial vegetables

Vegan                                           will not consume dairy, eats commercial vegetables

Inaccurately, in the west, those who do eat eggs, fish and commercial vegetables, but not dairy, call themselves vegan. To date, however, I have yet to meet one who fulfills the criteria of the ultra strict vegetarian diet of Jainism.

Side Note: Dairy, natural yogurt and ghee are quintessential staples of the diet of Jain ascetics The above sentence is part of an old argument people would try to hammer me on regarding fats and cholesterol, when I maintained that fats and cholesterol are a quintessential components needed for a flexible healthy body, while manufactured foods are the evil that we need to reject totally. Thus, honey is fine as well as all nuts, but white sugar and processed food will prove to be the foundations of virulent disease, as opposed to dysfunctional bio-sphere disease. God, I was even hammered mercilessly when I maintained that healthy four-times-a-week sex was vital to retain youthfulness.

Smug?

Well yes, it is nice to be proven right, however if one is treading the inner awakening path, tutored by a descending Being, then sexual activity goes out of the window totally lest it be under strict conditions, in tandem with strict adherence to diet, coupled with several other observations that are mandatory…and the chances of meeting, and then being taken under the wing of a descending Being are between remote to never.

Leaving aside the pompous grandstanding of the vegetarians or those who follow the Jain diet, I put forward the concept that animals who eat a living Being, be that a leaf still attached to it stalk and branch, or an animal consumed alive, are better dieticians and far more honest Beings than the hypocrite vegetarian looking down on the meat-eating human.

And to the meat-eaters I ask: Simply because the animal you eat is not configured as a human does this make you any less a cannibal?

The majority of animals consumed share more than 50% DNA with humans. So how is it that eating an animal, which shares any percentage of DNA with a human, is not cannibalism?

Serious points to ponder.

An interesting side note: Fertilizer, earth and water, and the transformation of the three energy systems via a seedling into an edible vegetable is Shiva configuration in action. This is a very good example of transmutation. In simple terms, death of one entity giving life to a more progressive life form.

Reverting…

The concept of a sacrifice, in honour of nature’s regeneration in the northern hemisphere, is built into the human psyche. The Sikhs, annually, make the same sacrifice.

This year, Sikhs will celebrate their New Year on 13th March 2016. This date is lunar-based and changes annually.

Globally, the sacrifice the Sikhs will make on this date is several hours of repetitive prayer that invokes dissolution of

  • disease
  • mental problems
  • emotional ill-will

…and that seeks to replace it with peaceful resolution amongst all living beings, be they human or non-human.

But at the same time, Sikhs love a party, and the arrival of Spring will be no exception.

This year, from 25th – 27th March, the spiritual activity of defensive war games, hand-to-hand armed combat and other such disciplines will be practiced and celebrated in Panjab, and by Sikhs globally. The food offered and consumed will be lacto-vegetarian, and not a single desire for commercial partying will be exercised.

Please, join me as I invite you to share a miniscule moment of your time by either visiting a place of worship to say a prayer, or expressing a thought for global peace amongst all humans.

Alternatively, light a jôt or candle*, but like me do it on the quiet, and buy someone less fortunate than yourself a meal.

*(Candle and Jôt: Represents light. The wick is humanity’s ego, the beeswax or ghee is sinless purity. The flame is the divine nature. Five types of incense are used, representing five positive classifications of awakening. The five negative classifications are Kama-Lust, Krodh-anger-rage-wrath, Lobha-greed, Moha-attachment-delusion, Ahankar-ego-arrogance-nescience; or as I prefer, the five positives are non-violence, truth, non-stealing, controlled-chastity, non-attachment.)

My prayers are with you all, and I request that you accept my wish for your health and emotional well-being…and smile. No matter what, just smile.