BREAKING: Sri Akal Takht Sahib Issues Sandesh in reaction to UK Gurdwara violations
Wednesday 17th May, 2006
EXCLUSIVE: Panthic Weekly News Bureau
Amritsar Sahib, Punjab (KP) – Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the Sikh Supreme Authority of the Sikh Nation, has issued a 'Sandesh' (memorandum) on the prohibition of ‘saraab-kabaab’ (liquor and meat) at religious functions and marriages following a meeting held with representatives of the Respect Guru Ji Campaign (UK).
View the Sandesh in Gurmukhi
Panthic Weekly has brought to light in recent years that many UK Gurdwaras are using money from the Sikh Sangat or Gurdwara funds to open ‘recreational centres’ or ‘community centres’ which are then used to hire out for parties and where the use of sharab (alcohol), smoking of tobacco, other intoxicants and the preparation and consumption of meat are permitted. UK Gurdwara management committees, which allow such perversions of Gurmat, justify their acts as ‘catering to the needs of the community’. Also, a small number of Gurdwara management committees have allowed Pavitar Saroops of Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to be taken to hotels, banquet halls and other premises where there is alcohol, intoxicants, meat and where lurid singing and dancing take place after the Anand Karaj.
With the help of the Budha Dal and Tarna Dal, members of the UK Sikh Sangat were granted an audience with Giani Joginder Singh Vendanti, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Ji. The meeting was held at Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar on 1st March 2006. Evidence and proof of abuse towards Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and of violations of Sikh principles in recent years, collected by the Respect for Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Campaign in the UK, were presented to the Singh Sahib and the Panj Piyarey (Five Sikhs) at Sri Akal Takht Sahib.
On reviewing the evidence presented before them, Sri Akal Takht Sahib has recognised the deep problem that exists in the UK. As the Sikhs’ supreme authority, Sri Akal Takht Sahib has voiced its concerns by issuing a new 'Sandesh' strongly reinforcing Sikh Rehit Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct) and Gurmat (Sikh principles) on the following issues:
• Any form of intoxicants (alcohol, drugs etc) and preparation or consumption of foods such as meat, fish and eggs are not permitted on Gurdwara property.
• Guru-ka-Langar should be prepared and observed in accordance to Gurus' maryada (tradition).
• No person under the influence of intoxicants is allowed inside Gurdwara property.
• Inside the property of the Guru Sahibs, only the recital of Gurbani, katha, kirtan and reccounting of the Gurus' history are permitted.
• Buildings bought or constructed using the Daswand (one tenth of earnings) of the Sikh Sangat or Gurdwara donations are solely to be used to be used for Gurmat purposes and the betterment of society.
• Anand Karajs (Sikh wedding ceremonies) etc must be performed in Gurdwaras in accordance to Gurmat and the Panthic accepted Sikh Rehit Maryada.
• There is no permission granted for dancing and singing or any acts which go against the principles of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Sri Akal Takht Sahib is clear on its position on the above abuses of Sikh principles and has unanimously condemned the abuses towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the exploitation of Gurdwara Sahibs in the UK.
Gurdwaras are where Gurmat ( Guru Sahib’s principles) are implemented and maintained rather than manipulated or exploited. It is the duty of all Gurdwara management committees to adhere to the above and implement this Gur-Maryada (code of conduct sactioned by the Gurus) immediately for the betterment of the Sikh religion in UK.
The Respect Guru Ji Campaign (UK) told Panthic Weekly, “With increasing wakefulness of these issues, the UK Sikh Community will contribute in resolves that maintain the honor and prestige of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our eternal Guru, and take a leading role within the global Sikh community.”
So now we have something recent, as in last month, to take to Gurudwara Sahibs to enforce the above problems.
Congratualations to the Global Sangat on this issue, now all we need to do is enforce it.