ਹੈਰਾਨ ਹੋ ਜਾਵੋਗੇ ਇਹ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਪਰ ਸੱਚ ਆ ..
ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੇ ਰੱਖੀ ਸੀ ਖਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੀ ਨੀਂਹ
In this section, we shall discuss Gurbani Shabads and concepts explaining Sikh philosophy on independent Sikh State while refuting misinterpretations used against Khalistan. It is quite often asked by supporters of India why the word ‘Khalistan’ is not mentioned in Gurbani. The answer is very simple. It is neither the goal nor the ultimate objective of the Sikh way of life. It is not a divine principle that a State must be named Khalistan. It could have any other name the Sikhs so choose. This does not mean, however, that the concept of a Sikh State is anti-Sikh. It simply means that in order to lead an independent life, a separate State can be established if required. Besides, the Sikh Gurus never supported the idea of Sikhs having only one State or advocated any State name in particular. War for an independent State must be fought on Sikh principles and its establishment must also be on the Sikh principles. The lifestyle of the Gurus and their message clearly prove that a separate Sikh State, be it Khalistan, Sikhistan, Khalsa Raj or anything else, is not against Sikh teachings. What the Sikh Gurus advocated was opposing the rule of tyranny, oppression and injustice. This is exactly what the Sikhs are doing in striving for independence of Khaistan.
In Gurbani, the concept of Raj-Yog is mentioned numerous times. A true Sikh, Gurmukh, is instructed to practice Raj-Yog in his life. For example:
ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਜ ਜੋਗੁ ॥੧॥ (੨੧੧)
By Guru’s Grace, practice Raja Yoga. (211)
Raj refers to royalty or worldly authority while Yog refers to spirituality. An ideal godly person, a Gurmukh, is to have worldly authority as well as being a spiritual person. A Gurmukh is an embodiment of ethical and moral virtues. He is not just a saint but a soldier as well. He is not only humble but also possesses martial spirit. He stands for right, truth and justice. He is not afraid to fight injustice and lay down his life for righteousness. While remaining steadfast in his faith, he fearlessly defies tyrant and oppressive rulers. A true Gurmukh who practices Raj-Yog is the one who has risen above all materialistic attachments while living in the world. He sees no difference between all humans; all are equal to him. Being an active householder, he remains absorbed in the remembrance of God while forever willing to raise arms in defense of righteousness. Guru Gobind Singh Ji speaks of a true Sikh in the following verse:
ਧੰਨ ਜੀਓ ਤਿਹ ਕੋ ਜਗ ਮੈ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਚਿਤ ਮੈ ਜੁਧ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥
Blessed is the life of that person in the world, who has God’s Name in his mouth and heroism in his heart.
These ideals prove that Sikhs are not to remain other-worldly or away from politics. Having a political authority is very much part of the Sikh way of life because only God oriented people serving as rulers can bring about true justice, fairness and equal treatment to the entire humanity. Only a society of Gurmukhs can serve as a true role model for the world. They would set up a country where there are no sorrows, corruption, injustice, poverty and other immoral practices. Such a country in Gurbani is called ‘Begumpura’ (State without sorrows).
ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥
ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥ ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥
ਅਬ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੂਬ ਵਤਨ ਗਹ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਕਾਇਮੁ ਦਾਇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ॥ ਦੋਮ ਨ ਸੇਮ ਏਕ ਸੋ ਆਹੀ ॥
ਆਬਾਦਾਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਸਹੂਰ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਗਨੀ ਬਸਹਿ ਮਾਮੂਰ ॥੨॥
ਤਿਉ ਤਿਉ ਸੈਲ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਹਰਮ ਮਹਲ ਨ ਕੋ ਅਟਕਾਵੈ ॥
ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਖਲਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਸਹਰੀ ਸੁ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩॥੨॥ (੩੪੫)
Begumpura, ‘the city without sorrow’, is the name of the town. There is no suffering or anxiety there.
There are no troubles or taxes on commodities there. There is no fear, blemish or downfall there. ||1||
Now, I have found this most excellent city. There is lasting peace and safety there, O Siblings of Destiny. ||1||Pause||
God’s Kingdom is steady, stable and eternal. There is no second or third status; all are equal there.
That city is populous and eternally famous. Those who live there are wealthy and contented. ||2||
They stroll about freely, just as they please. They know the Mansion of the Lord’s Presence, and no one blocks their way.
Says Ravi Daas, the emancipated shoe-maker: whoever is a citizen there, is a friend of mine. ||3||2|| (345)
Begumpura is not simply a utopia, spiritual or immaterial place. It is a heavenly place that must be emulated in this world for the benefit of humanity. In this State, God is the True King who is the father of all and all humans are His children. No one is discriminated, treated unjustly and suffers in poverty in this State. This is the kind of a State envisioned in Gurbani and Sikhs who practice Raj-Yog are instructed to set up such a State. Hence, Sikh rule of Khalistan would only be a first step towards realizing that goal.
Gurbani strongly lays emphasis on living an independent life. Consider the following verses for example:
ਫਰੀਦਾ ਬਾਰਿ ਪਰਾਇਐ ਬੈਸਣਾ ਸਾਂਈ ਮੁਝੈ ਨ ਦੇਹਿ ॥
ਜੇ ਤੂ ਏਵੈ ਰਖਸੀ ਜੀਉ ਸਰੀਰਹੁ ਲੇਹਿ ॥੪੨॥ (੧੩੮੦)
Fareed begs, O Lord, do not make me sit at another’s door.
If this is the way you are going to keep me, then go ahead and take the life out of my body. ||42|| (1380)
One may ask how this justifies Khalistan. First of all, it does not advocate Khalistan any more than it advocates the existence of India, USA, Canada, UK and Australia. In other words, the Shabad is not specific to any country. Rather, it embodies divine principles of living an independent life of honor and integrity. Although, the Shabad is giving general principles but it is the application of such principles that give support to the idea of Sikh State. Some of the salient points of the verses are as follows:
- One must ask and beg from Supreme God only. No one else can be looked upon as a means of reliance.
- One must not become a beggar-like. He must beg from God only. Hence, he must remain sovereign and keep his head high to preserve his honor.
- Death is preferred to violation of any of the two points above.
Applying the above mentioned points to the Sikh way of life, we can clearly see that Sikhs are religiously bound not to beg in front of the Indian government for any rights. Delhi rulers are humans and not God. Hence, Sikhs must not extend their hands towards the government begging for rights they have been given by God. Whenever they raise a demand, they must keep their honor intact by being steadfast in their faith, remaining high in spirits and not bowing to any worldly ruler. If their status and honor is maligned, disrespected or attacked in any form or fashion, they must raise arms to keep their sovereignty or die fighting. They must not become subjects of the government nor are they to accept any slavery. This is why each and every Sikh is called ‘Sardar’, the ruler.
Accepting Indian rule is a sign of slavery in itself. Sikhs cannot have any ruler except God above them. Khalsa being sovereign ruler in its own merit must not submit to the Indian rule. Whether it is a religious right or a political demand, a Sikh cannot be a beggar standing at the doorsteps of Indian rulers seeking justice and fair treatment. Indian rulers have already disrespected and attacked the honor and prestige of the Sikhs. Therefore, Sikhs must follow Gurbani principles of either fighting to win their freedom or die fighting. An honorable death is better than a life of dishonor and disrespect.
A particular Gurbani verse is sometimes quoted to prove that the creation of a Sikh State is rejected in Gurbani. The verse is as follows:
ਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਾਰੇ ॥ (੫੩੪)
I do not seek power, and I do not seek liberation. My mind is in love with Your Lotus Feet. (534)
If one asserts from the above verse that Sikhs must not create their own State for living then where is the justification for living in a Hindu state, India, or any other foreign country for that matter? Must not Sikhs then retire to a different place altogether which is not an organized territory or under any political rule? This way, Sikhs would become recluses, which is against the Gurbani injunctions. Hence, Sikhs must remain active householders fully participating in political affairs. Since this is the case then the actual implication of the above verse must be wholly different.
The verse speaks in the first person clearly stating that to have an individual desire to rule or seek salvation is wrong. The reason being that since Gurmat is not just an individualistic religion; the Sikhs must remain active in all spheres of life. A Sikh cannot be selfish and solely concerned about his own ends i.e. have a personal desire to rule or attain salvation. He remains active in the society and works towards bringing the greater benefit to others. When he fights, sacrifices or raises arms, it is not for any personal benefit or gain but to bring peace and harmony and restore justice. All his endeavors are for the welfare of society.
Guru Sahib states in the above verses that he seeks the love of God and His continuous remembrance (Naam Simran) as a mean of living a spiritual life. He does not seek either worldly rule or salvation (stay in heaven) as an alternative, which are not part of a true spiritual lifestyle. The verse, therefore, is teaching us that anything in place of God’s remembrance and love is harmful to the pure religious way of life. Without the love of God, everything else is insignificant and unimportant. The gist of the message is that whether one is entangled in worldly affairs by being a ruler or has achieved salvation, he must not forget God. God’s remembrance must remain the center of one’s way of life and such a person does not get allured by the political power or material gains. Despite being a ruler or a liberated one, he mentally remains unattached and unaffected by such things and keeps himself absorbed in Naam Simran. The following supporting verses bring home our point:
ਰਾਜ ਨ ਭਾਗ ਨ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਸਾਦਨ ॥ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਨ ਚਾਹੀ ॥੨॥ (੪੦੬)
(In exchange for Naam) Imperial power, fortunes, royal command and mansions – I have no desire for these. ||2|| (406)
ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ਹੋਵਾ ਮੇਲਿ ਲਸਕਰ ਤਖਤਿ ਰਾਖਾ ਪਾਉ ॥
ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹਾਸਲੁ ਕਰੀ ਬੈਠਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਭ ਵਾਉ ॥
ਮਤੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਭੂਲਾ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਉ ॥੪॥੧॥ (੧੪)
Were I to be a Sultan, to raise armies and to set my foot on the throne;
were I to possess the regal command; this would be worthless.
O Nanak! To possess all this and to forget Him (would be worse). (14)
Therefore, the verse under discussion does not oppose Khalistan or a Sikh State. On the contrary, it provides sublime principles for Sikhs to live by and carry on their struggle. Khalistan must be fought on the Sikh principles and Sikhs must be strict followers of their faith if they are to achieve victory. Political sovereignty at the cost of religion (Sikh way of life) will not be achieved and the Sikh movement would be bound to failure if the essence of Sikh life is ignored in its quest. No Sikh struggle can continue without religious awakening. Hence, Sikhs must always remember God, pray to Him, beg from Him for blessings and victory, and never forget Him during any worldly affair.
As to the question why Gurbani does not mention any particular rules to govern the State, Kharak Singh and Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon expound:
It is common knowledge that specific rules and regulations in the religious field are always dated. They often become rituals and cause complication. The important thing, therefore, in any religious or ethical system is not the laying down of any particular code or rules which can be more of hindrance than a help, but the values ingrained in it. So far as the values are concerned, the Guru Granth clearly indicated the attributes of God, the Sovereign, and explains how any temporal ruler failing to live by those virtues and values forfeits his right to sovereignty.
Albeit the Sikh Gurus did not give any dated laws concerning a political State, their teachings and deeds have clearly emphasized the importance of a political State for the Sikh nation to survive, flourish, prosper, and grow. Politics remains an inseparable part of the Sikh teachings. Puran Singh states:
No man or society that has risen from the dead into the life of the spirit can tolerate political subjugation or social slavery to unjust laws or rules. Politics, in the sense of fighting against all social injustice, all tyranny, all wrong taxation of the poor, all subjugation of man to man were the ‘politics’ of the Guru. Without freedom no true religion or art can flourish anywhere.via sikhfreedom.com
ਪ੍ਰੋਫੈਸਰ ਗੁਰਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਢਿੱਲੋਂ ਨੇ ਪ੍ਰਮਾਣਿਕ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਇਹ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਖਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੀ ਨੀਂਹ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਰੱਖੀ ਸੀ। ਭਾਰਤੀ ਚਿੰਤਨ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਸੰਤਾਂ ਮਹਾਂਪੁਰਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਆਗਮਨ ਮਨੁੱਖਾ ਜੀਵਨ ਨੂੰ ਗਿਰਾਵਟ ਵੱਲ ਲੈ ਜਾਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਪੱਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਖਤਮ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿਚ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਆਗਮਨ (੧੪੬੯ ਈ.) ਇਸੇ ਧਾਰਨਾ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ‘ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਧੁ ਜਗਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਆ’ ਵੱਲ ਸੰਕੇਤ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ।
ਇਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਮਹਾਂਪੁਰਸ਼ ਧਰਮਵੀਰ, ਕਰਮਵੀਰ, ਦਾਨਵੀਰ ਤੇ ਦਯਾਵੀਰ ਹੋਣ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਨਾਲ ਜਨ-ਮਾਨਸ ਨੂੰ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਦਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਦਾਨ ਕਰਕੇ ਸਹੀ ਦਿਸ਼ਾ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦਾ ਮਾਰਗ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਇਹ ਮਾਰਗ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਪਿਆਰ ਦੇ ਜ਼ਰੀਏ ਨਵੇਂ ਆਦਰਸ਼ਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਥਾਪਨਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਰੌਸ਼ਨੀ ਪ੍ਰਦਾਨ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ।
ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਆਗਮਨ ਜਿਸ ਸਮੇਂ ਹੋਇਆ ਉਦੋਂ ਭਾਰਤ ਦੇ ਰਾਜਨੀਤਿਕ, ਸਮਾਜਿਕ, ਧਾਰਮਿਕ, ਆਰਥਿਕ, ਅਤੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰਕ ਹਾਲਤਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਗਿਰਾਵਟ ਆ ਚੁੱਕੀ ਸੀ।
ਮੇਂ ਦੇ ਹਾਲਾਤਾਂ ਦਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਦੇ ਦ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟੀਕੋਣ ਦੇ ਨਿਰਮਾਣ ਵਿਚ ਬਹੁਤ ਵੱਡਾ ਹੱਥ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਦੇ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਕਸਦ ਨੂੰ ਸਨਮੁੱਖ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਉੱਪਰ ਅਮਲ ਕੀਤਾ। ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਦੇ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਨੂੰ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਨੀਝ ਨਾਲ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਵਿਚ ਵਿਆਪਕ ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਅੰਧਕਾਰ, ਸਮਾਜਿਕ ਗਿਰਾਵਟ ਅਤੇ ਰਾਜਸੀ ਅਨਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚ ਚੰਗੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਚਿਤਰਿਆ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਕਰੜੀ ਪੜਚੋਲ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੈ। ਵੱਲੋਂ ਫਤਹਿ ਪ੍ਰੈਸਫਤਹਿ ਪ੍ਰੈਸ