Monday, November 1, 2010
Sikhism , like any other religion, must guard agianst the demons of cultural irrelevance and stagnation
To survive any onslaught, real or perceived, all that an ideology or religion or culture has to do is its own relevance and worth to the world in which it aims to survive. This is true of all ideologies. including secularism, and all relgions, including Sikhism. The only demon that any religion or ideology or culture should ever dread is the of its own irrelevance and stagnation. Ideologies and cultures are essentially an intellectual infrastructure on which the moral, spiritual or intellectual growth of mankind is founded. The word "growth" itself implies ceaseless renewal. Therefore, they must keep pace with this constant and ceaseless updating of human knwoledge and understanding. Any religion that refuses to do so will fall by the wayside. We have seen that happening to all religious beliefs ( like that the earth is the center of this universe ) or ideolgies ( Marxian thought). Once they closed their doors to new ideas and new developments, they wrote their own epitaph. Sikhs have nothing to fear from any one because as a a reigious class, they are among the most modernising and intellectually enterprising people, capable of taking changes around them in their strides. Sikhism is also an oucry of the human spirit against fundamentalism and jigoisitic narrow mindedness. An angry Sikh or a fundamentalist Siikh is a contradiction in terms, and an affront to the "sehaj marg" taught by our Gurus. All those who swear by the name of the Gurus must steer clear of the evils that they themselves criticise in others. And the best course open to a Sikh is to avoid criticising others anyway, because Guru Granth Sahib declares all paths as worthy of our repsect; "Jit duaare ubhre, titte le ho ubhaar."Unfortunately, however, we suffer from the same weaknesses that our brethern from other faiths do. This must be accepted with grace, so that an honest effort may begin towards getting back to the goal of love and human brotherhood preached by oru Gurus, saints and seers."Ghat ghat main har jeo vasse / Santan kahio pukaar!"