Guru Gobind Singh Ji has very clearly stated that anyone who is without unshorn hair and shaster must not appear in his presence. Such a person is like a sheep that can be led anywhere by anybody.
Guru Ji also says that the Reht that is maintained by a Sikh is more precious to him and brings the Sikh closer to him. By implication, this means that the Sikh who claims to be a Sikh but does not keep the Reht of the Sikh, cannot be as dear to the Guru as the one who keeps the Reht.
So will the Guru see us all as the same? Will He treat us all as equal, having clearly stated the above in his Bani?
Oh yes, the Guru loves us all. No doubt about that. But when it comes to distributing the goodies, who do you think should get and who shouldn’t ? Guru is impartial and will give everyone equally, you will say. But let us learn from history.
Guru Nanak loved all his Sikhs. He loved Baba Budha Ji and all the others, but when it came to the GurGadhi, who got it? Did they all? No, only the one who won the Guru’s heart by obeying his every command, got it. Bhai Lehna became Guru Angad. Baba Budha remained Baba Budha, not that he was not loved or respected by Guru Ji.
Does Guru Ji play favourites? Did he select Bhai Lehna because he liked him? Some of us may think so, but to kill this idea ever developing, Guru Gobind Singh Ji came on the stage with his naked Sri Sahib(sword). Who got the chance in a lifetime to give Amrit to Guru Gobind Singh Ji? There were thousands of beloved Sikhs of the Guru present. We may think he liked/loved some more than the others. But he did not call his favourites. He had none. He loved them all. So he took out the Sri Sahib and asked for heads. Those who gave themselves to the Guru became the Panj Pyare. The rest remained Pyare Sikhs. The Panj Pyare got the chance to give Amrit to Guru Ji. The Pyare Sikhs just watched and wondered why the discrimination, why the favouritism, why they and not us, we are also Sikhs therefore we should also have the same rights.
Any Sikh who looks down upon another or discriminates against another has not understood Sikhism. “na ko bairee nahi begana” comes to mind and the example of Bhai Khanaiya. A Sikh tries to better himself daily. He competes with himself and not with anyone else, thus he should not compare his Sikhi with that of another.
Discrimination is usually in the mind. It is our own guilty conscience or feelings of insecurity, inferiority, etc. We jump at shadows and shout discrimination. Recently, I was in a queue at a supermarket. An Asian lady was in front of me. One white man who was at the counter had to go and exchange one item he was buying. The counter cashier started dealing with the other customers. When it came to the Asian lady’s turn, the white man came back and the cashier started to attend to him. The Asian lady turned to me and said “the whites always discriminate against us Asians”. I saw no discrimination in serving that white man who was so much ahead in the queue, but this lady saw discrimination, and she will continue to see that because she feels discriminated against even when she is not.
“Rahnee rahey soee sikh mera..”. Guru Gobind Singh Ji says that the one who lives the Reht is my Sikh. the rest of us can aspire to be Guru ji’s Sikhs. Only the Guru will decide whether we are his Sikhs or not, we may claim as much as we want.
Autar Singh (Malaysia)