Thursday, April 24, 2008

'Untouchable' woman dies after Indian medics refuse treatment

'Untouchable' woman dies after Indian medics refuse treatment

Its ridiculous that in this day and age such horrendous discrimination can exist... and among doctors at that. Its another reason to remember that we are privileged as Sikhs to have the duty and responsibility to help those in need, regardless of caste, creed, gender, or orientation.

This means that we have to also begin to clean up our own backyard. Gender inequality that prevents our Kaurs from doing seva at Harmandar Sahib or having the honor of being a punj pyarai must stop, and the utter shameful separation of groups by caste or jatha. Ik Onkar... God is one. We are God. We are all one.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

SikhiToTheMax 2

SikhiToTheMax 2

Its out! and it is amazing!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pakistan to enact first law for Sikh marriages

Daily Times - Pakistan to enact first law for Sikh marriages

Seems that Pakistan is taking a large step to pass the first law worldwide directed strictly towards allowing Sikhs to participate in anand karaj marriages in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Nankana Sahib. It seems directed not only for those living currently in Pakistan, but the law allows Sikhs from anywhere in the world to come to solemnize their marriage.

Of course, it can be argued that most countries allow it in reference to a general marriage law, but still its a great step for Pakistani Sikhs.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The most Oppressed people on earth: The Caste system in India

Panchamas, or untouchables, have to deal with the horrible treatment from those higher in the caste system because those held higher in the Indian culture see the Panchamas as dirty sinners. Sad in this day and age...

read more | digg story

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sikh on the Street

This is an awesome short documentary on the perceptions of Sikhs by Americans post 9/11.You can download the high quality video here.

read more | digg story

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Bacteria of Humanity

The following is a post submitted to me by a good friend of mine :)

How can an individual be so addicted to something so deceitful? The caste system that our community is so addicted to and proud of having, is like the bacteria of humanity. Although Sikhism has raised its voice against these inhuman and unjust practices, this bacteria has remained deeply rooted in the society and even in the sikh community. Its damaging and debilitating. The main thing is not who is high caste or low caste, the real culprit is ego of the caste itself. Many people who do actually raise their voices against this practice only pay lip service and that is to get votes, although they do nothing to eliminate this system from the society. 500 years back Guru Nanak Dev Ji raised his voice against this practice:

“Know people by the light illumining them and do not ask their caste; for in the hereafter no one is differentiated by his caste.”

Guru Ji advised the people of the world to recognize people by the Lord’s light that shines in the body of everyone. It is the very same spark of the great Soul that glistens and gleams the body of everyone. Therefore one Soul should not be differentiated from another.

Guruji emphasizes on truthful living in which very few individuals believe and honestly practice.

“God does not mind our caste or birth, so let us learn the way of truthful living; for ones deeds proclaim ones caste and respect”

When a Sikh takes Amrit, he declares himself casteless. There is no distinction in any form in Sikhism every Sikh is equal to another Sikh. Guru Nanak Dev ji sets an example by associating himself with Bhai Mardana and Bhai Lalo. The Guru Granth Sahib ji is an embodiment of this human unity. We are all the same to God and all castes have no value in this age.

Now we ask who does this whole caste thing really matter to? Youth these days don’t know what to believe because they get stuck in between what others say. We all face it, whether it be by our friends or family. But who does it really effect is the real question. Some elders say that it is safer to be with the same caste because of the way each has adapted to their community and way of living. But if caste was eliminated when Guru Nanak said, there would have been no difference and everyone would have been equal. We should be one community in sikhi, now there are many different groups who declare themselves better then others.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Amritsar may go smoke free?

At least here in Alberta, there has been a huge push from the public towards a smoke free society. The changes are amazing... we now can go almost anywhere without having to face the stench of cigarettes. Although Amritsar has had a similar ban immediately surrounding the Harmandar Sahib, it looks like they may try to implement a city-wide ban.Awesome!

read more | digg story

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guru Arjan Dev Jee

Guru Arjan Dev - Wikipedia

Tomorrow is the day that Guru Arjan Dev Jee, our 5th guru was martyred by the Islamic rulers in India. Guru Arjan Dev Jee was one of our most prolific Gurus, with several major accomplishments:


Monday, May 07, 2007

BBC Documentary: The Sikhs

BBC Documentary about Sikhs:

Part I

Part II

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vaisakhi: looking back at ourselves

Vaheguroo jee ka Khalsa!
Vaheguroo jee kee Fateh!

As much as we like to celebrate ourselves in another year of the panth, I think its more important to look back and ask ourselves: "What has our panth done in the past year?"

I'm sorry to say, but this isn't like many of the Vadhiayaa posts that I've been seeing going up on most blogs... mostly because if the panth reaching God is our goal, this past year I've seen many many steps backwards.

But why is that? I see daily more kids being involved in sikhi, doing keertan, simran. More "sikhs" deciding to keep their hair, take amrit, and be willing to teach others. But at the same time, many many more vulgar, insulting, violent punks that have tarnished the panthic reputation as a group of saint-soldiers.

Take a look in any sikh forums these days... vulgar language, disrespect for others, death threats... its soo wonderful that we have these people calling themselves sikh. They run out, and wherever a site posts about sikhism, they swear, ramble, threaten... destroying a hard earned reputation that sikhs have worked centuries to obtain. I constantly see videos of sikhs fighting amongst themselves, filled with petty hatred, bickering...

So what can be done? At some point, I think we have to teach our friends, the youth, that a religion, like any organization, has standards. And I think that its up to us to help to approach those who have problems, and do what we can to ease their transitions... hate and anger are the two most painful vices that any person can have! Our gurus gave up their lives, and even with a sword, fought with love... let us hope that we all learn to do the same.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Meat, sikhi, and common sense

One of the topics that I hear a lot from sikh youth these days questions the concept of meat. There are a few general questions that always come up:

  1. Why can't we eat meat?
  2. Plants are living too, why can we eat them?
  3. What about eggs? What about fish? Insects? Mushrooms?
The problem is, that a lot of us don't understand the fundamental concepts behind sikhi, and so we don't understand how and why our rehat is important. I myself, have started by following what I was taught, and worked backwords to try to understand some of the reasons behind it. Here are my thoughts:

So why can't we eat meat?

As raj_karega_khalsa put it: "We dont refrain from eating meat for 'non-violent' reasons or something or because something is being killed. We refrain from eating meat for merciful reasons." Its wrong to cause pain. Simple. As much as we can try, all animals suffer when they are put down, especially in our modern slaughter house facilities. The halal preparation of meat is especially prone to causing pain. Killing a cow is just as bad as a chicken, a pig, or anything else that we term as "edible".

So the answer is simple: As a vegetarian, I don't eat anything with a nervous system. Why? Because the nervous system allows an animal/person to feel pain. Its the beginnings of consciousness. So cows? They can feel pain. Insects? They can feel pain too. Fish? Same thing. Celery? No nervous system, so bring it on!

This is important also because fungi, which are evolutionarily closer to animals than plants, are usually considered a vegetarian product for this very same reason.

But can't plants feel pain?

Plants can react to stimuli (like light, heat, etc.), but they can't feel pain, because they don't have nerves (which pick up pain signals) or a 'brain' (that can process those signals). Others reasons that people give for vegetarianism, saying that fruits and vegetables can regenerate are simply not true as things like carrots, yams, radishes, when eaten, destroy the plant.

So again, its a common-sense model of sikhi: mercy is a fundamental concept that is enshrined in sikhi, from our concept of vegetarianism to our kirpan which means literally "to allow mercy".

Once again, please note that these are my personal views, I may be right, I may be wrong. :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Life of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Part 1 & 2

The life of Guru Nanak, in a unique animation style.
Part 1...

Part 2...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Leading by example

I've been reading a few issues about people wondering what's more important: following their faith, or following their family. Gurbani tells us both that:

jin kae janae baddeerae thum ho thin sio jhagarath paap ||1|| rehaao ||
It is a sin to argue with the one who fathered you and raised you. ||1||Pause||

and of course:

charaneh gobi(n)dh maarag suhaavaa ||
The most beautiful path for the feet is to follow the Lord of the Universe.

So which is it? If one has to choose, what is that choice?

It's a good thing our Gurus led by example. You must respect your parents. But that doesn't mean that you have to do something thats wrong because they tell you to. We only need to look at Guru Nanak's life.

Guru Nanak was born into a hindu family... with hindu culture, hindu rituals, and hindu tradition. His father was proud, and moderately wealthy compared to most. But there are many recorded incidents where Guru Nanak actively disobeys what he's told and leads by example.

For example, when he grew up, his father told him to buy some goods to make some money, and instead he uses it to give food to the homeless. Other cases such as when his father took him to perform the hindu thread ceremony, Guru Nanak refused saying that a thread can be burnt, dirtied, destroyed, and that it won't bring him any closer to God. Certainly, Guru Nanak respected his father. But GOD was his first priority, and so should it be ours.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Language and Guru

Regarding our Guru Granth Sahib:

Many say that it is imperative that we learn Gurmukhi, and ONLY Gurmukhi for understanding Gurbani. While it may be true that the essence of what our Guru said is best understood in Gurmukhi, it is important to consider the meaning of language.

Look at the spread of Christianity for example. I hardly see anyone fluently conversing in Latin, but rather English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, ...

The Gurus went from place to place preaching in the language of the place they went. Our Gurus not only wrote in Punjabi, but Sanskrit, Persian, and others. In that respect, as our 11th Guru, wouldn't Guru Granth Sahib also preach to us in the language that the people of the place speak?

Just a thought.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Recently, I've gotten into podcasting (listening anyways). There are a couple that are directly relavent to Sikhi:

1. Sikhwithin Podcast - A biweekly podcast in ENGLISH that discusses several aspects of sikhi including shabads, history, etc. Listened to the latest one, and its really good!

2. W!N Podcast - A new podcast, that is supposed to be meant for the youth and cover a wide variety of topics including chapter by chapter reviews of books written by Gursikhs. Promising in theory, if you understand punjabi (although it is supposed to be in english...)

Do you have any good Sikhi related podcasts? Please let me know!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bhai Amolak Singh on Google Video

On the front page of Google Video, I swear this is an unaltered screenshot!

(The actual video is here)

Friday, October 20, 2006


Just to let anyone who might be reading this, if you are in the Edmonton Area, please come by to the Samagam!

It started today (Friday) and will continue for this weekend (until Sunday at noon). Program details will be:

5:00am - noon (Simran, nitnem, Asa di Vaar, Akhand Keertan)
3:30pm - 9:00pm (Simran, Gurbani Vichaar, Rehraas, Akhand Keertan)

please come if you can!

Google map link (its were it says "Michaels Park")

Monday, October 02, 2006

The cell... and the universe

See any similarities?
(click the image to see the full picture)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wow. Just Wow.

That was the only thing I could think of when I watched this video. It describes someone taking amrit, and it is incredible.

Please take a look!

From: Akaal Media Blog.