Because I have not to worship and appease many a god and goddesses and seek the help of so many of them to meet my need. Rather I depend upon one God, who is Omnipresent and is with me whosesoever I be.
My God has no equal and has none to fear from. By praying to Him I seek the protection of one, who is Himself fearless and makes me lose all my fears. My God is kind and merciful and forgives my sins, if I sincerely pray for that. My God is all powerful and my enemies therefore dare not touch me. I have no rituals to perform to call Him by my side. I simply meditate on certain of His qualities and he stands by me in the particular form and shape of that quality. I can meditate on His qualities anywhere, any time and on every occasion and my seeking His help is so simple and easy that it tempts me to be a Sikh.
Because I need not go from door to door to seek guidance and advice, I have all guidance and advice incorporated in one and only one Holy Granth. It is the fountain from where all knowledge springs. Through it I see my God visualized. It gives me a clear vision and a true perspective of this world and the world to come. It has in it the axioms of a happy life a life of beauty and joy forever, it makes me slight the most fearful the death itself, from which emanate all fears. It brings home to me all the different values of life personal and impersonal, social and individual, worldly and heavenly, pertaining to my soul and my God. With it I soar to immeasurable heights. With it I go fathoms deep in successful search of invaluable rubies and diamonds and with it I stand exalted high as Heavens. It puts into motion the innermost strings of my life. It carries me there where human intellect fails. It makes me distinguish right from wrong and puts me on the right track. It is a guide that never deserts. It has a transcendent beauty, an excellent music and an ambrosial food for my yearning soul and through it I feel one with universe, nay, and one with God Himself. Its constant enlightenment lets me not swerve from Sikhism.
Because I am never alone, My Guru though invisible to human eye, is always with me. He is a great warrior, unsurpassed in velour, a knight among heroes’ saviour of the innocent, and kind and merciful and noblest of the noble souls who always comes to help me wherever and whenever I meditate and call on him for help. When I am upset and feel lonely, when I am faced with insurmountable difficulties and dangers, when enemies seem to overpower me, I concentrate on his dynamical personality and Lo! He is there by my side. Isn’t it then worthwhile to a Sikh?
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Master, has put on me three Commands Service, Simran and Sacrifice. Service of the humble and the needy, Simran (remembering) of the Master’s great qualities and Sacrifice of self to uphold the right and the just. These are the picks of human excellence. To achieve this excellence I hold on as a Sikh. ;
Because Sikhs are a martial community they always prefer to die a heroic death to an ignominious life. They rejoice over death for a noble cause. They take it as the sweet will of God and grumble not, when faced with death. Their past history abounds with such deaths and they recollect their innumerable martyrs in their regular prayers every morning and evening to imbibe their spirit of sacrifice. It enlivens their souls and reminds them of Guru Gobind Singh’s Command. To die a coward is the greatest sin with them. A death in the battlefield is what they covet most. They would not turn their back on the enemy. It is their martial spirit that has given them a place and an identity in the world. This incentive to martialism keeps me a Sikh.
Because of the heavenly nectar … Amrit … that Guru gave me, I am a Sikh. It gives me the supremacy of Nam, hardness of steel, coolness of water and sweetness of honey. With it, I feel transformed to super humanity. I imbibe the spirit of Guru Gobind Singh and present a look of the very Guru himself.
With my long hair and comely beard I vie in appearance with Christ and Mohammed, with Ram and Krishan, with Balmik and other Rishis of Bharat. (They wore long hair and beard). I feel a Shiva in me with a sword in hand to safeguard the interests of the weak and the humble, to protect the honor and chastity of women and to defend my people and my land against aggression. What a wonderful transformation by this Amrit that makes me a Sikh! “
Because practicing Sikhism is so simple. No complexities of rituals and ceremonies, fasts and austerities, renunciation and reclusions or heavens and hells. I have no conch shells to blow, no bells to ring, no deities to appease, no pilgrimages to undertake. I preserve my long hair and beard as nature has given them and keep a comb to cleanse them every day. To look decent and civilized I keep my loins covered with a “kachhehra.” I wear a sword to meet unforeseen enemies and an iron bracelet an emblem to remind me of the bondage (discipline) to my Guru. I eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, wear when naked and enjoy as I will, provided these do not pollute my mind, nor harm my body. The only criterion with me is to preserve a clear conscience and rear a sound body. This simplicity of faith and freedom of joy are the greatest inducements for me to be a Sikh.
Because it is not a faith to be practiced in temples or lived in seclusion, I have to practice it in daily life, behind the plough, on the roadside, in the workshop and on the table; I have to be a Sikh at home, a Sikh abroad, a Sikh in society and a Sikh in battlefield. I have to be a Sikh in thought, word and deed, in my dealings with the world at large and a Sikh like in all stations of life. It is a life to be lived and not a tenet or a philosophy to be preached. No recitations, no formalities, no celebrations are of any avail, unless I live up to these. It is the action that counts with me. I must not say but do, and I must appear as I] am and not what I am not. No show, no deceitful presentation of myself is my creed. It is therefore that I am a Sikh.
Because I need no priestly order to redeem my sins, I am priest to myself. I can stand alone and pre” to God for my redemptio: He listens to my prayers. Have also full faith in congregation of my people devotees of my Guru. We sit together in the presence of our Guru Holy Granth, sing in chorus hymns from the Granth, till we are all one and in harmony with the Guru. We stand up then and pray with folded hands for redemption of our sins, for proper guidance in life and for his blessing for the entire mankind and the Universe. There I feel one with universe, a member of the common brotherhood, and lie prostate at His feet with all humbleness praying, for the common good of all friends or foes. What a wonderful prayer! Hence I am a Sikh.
Because Sikhism recognizes no caste or creed as high or low, nor is there any color, country or races bar. Its doors are open to the black and white to the western and the eastern and to the Negro and the American alike. There are no untouchables with the Sikhs. They run free community kitchens and call them Guru Ka Langar.
Whosoever may contribute, the rations cooked in the Langar are considered to be that of the Guru, there is only the service that they do in person. It is therefore that even the wealthiest among them and the persons commanding greatest respect male or female are seen cooking meals and cleaning utensils jin the Guru ka Langar, where all dine sitting in one and the same row (pangat) and partake of one and the same food regardless of the fact of one’s descending from a royal lineage or having in hand a beggar’s bowl or of being a Brahman or a Shudra. Again they have common bathing tanks at Amritsar.
Taran and a Baoli at Govindwal, constructed by the Gurus themselves, where all are welcome to have a dip without the least distinction of caste or creed. When they join hands in congregational prayers, they place no bar on anybody may be of any nationality or professing any religion. Their common mess, common temple and common prayer with a common Holy Granth to revere and one common God of all to pay their homage to, are the grand insignia to their deep-rooted faith in one common brotherhood of man. They stand for equality and fraternity and their congregation (Sangat) and their mass dinners (Pangat) are wonderful spectacles to look at. It is the universal brotherhood, a common wealth of man in Sikhism that appeals to me to be a Sikh.
Because it is a faith based on Unity of God and Brotherhood of man. Love of God and service of humanity are the main themes with it. Human soul enchained in human body feels separated from God and it has to be reunited with Him. Love is the only uniting force. Service humanizes and makes one tenderhearted and receptive quality essential for a loving heart. Love and service are hence enjoined upon every Sikh. He quits his bed early in the morning to get himself immersed in the love of his great Master, and with sunrise he devotes himself to the service of humanity, performing all the time his routine duties with all sincerity and integrity noble ideals for a man. To own these I earnestly aspire to be a Sikh of the Guru.
Thus spoke Guru Gobind Singh when he took me unto his fold the Khalsa. Master has sent me here with a message from Him and I shall convey to you what he has said to me. I shall have no secrets from you, nor shall add from myself. Have no doubts about it that I am His servant, a devotee of His. I do not pose to be the Omni cent, but he has honored me by calling me His son and entrusted me certain duties and responsibilities for the successful performance where of I have sought his help. He has promised the same and enjoined upon me to stand always for righteous truth and justice and uproot the evil doers.
I draw all my potency from Him alone and look to no other deity, god or goddess. I hold sword as an emblem of His unparalleled and unexcelled power to annihilate the vice and the vicious and to fight for the humble and the unprotected, I have orders to raise an army of invulnerable soldiers, every one of whom shall match with a lakh and a quarter. I shall draw them from the so called “Shudras” and “Vaishas” to humble the pretentious high castes. I shall be true to my name only if I convert those lowly people into Sardars, Rajas and Statesmen. My sparrows shall prey upon the hawks of tyranny and oppression. They shall safeguard the interests of the weak and the lowly and protect the honor and charity of women. I shall give them a distinct uniform that shall never be put aside a saintly appearance of the Rishis of world but the velour of Arjan and Krishan. I shall nourish no lamb or sheep but my Sikhs shall always have swords on to meet aggression and offence. They shall be my Saint Soldiers. I call upon you to join my army and defend the cause I have espoused, imbibe a warrior’s spirit and always have my uniform on.
It shall be the symbol of your inner high spirits.
Be heroic but not ostentatious.
Let not vanity soil your serene self.
Be humble but suffer no humiliation, It damps your spirits.
Be of the world but spotless, people may not finger at you.
Be graceful, God will then be gracious to you.
Be lovable and he will shower his blessing and love on you. Meditate on his great qualities in the ambrosial hours before dawn and start your task of the day with a clear and guiltless conscience.
Let service and sacrifice be your watch words in life
Service of humanity and sacrifice of self to uphold truth and righteousness.
Entertain no fears, as it is but the will of God that always prevails.
Be chaste and respect the chastity of women.
Suffer no intoxicants, nor shall ye smoke.
I have named you; Singh a lion and you have therefore to forgo all sluggishness.
I have no place for cowards and you have therefore to discard all cowardice.
I have taken you unto my fold and you have therefore to be always in the costume of my fold; it gives you my appearance and you shall never disfigure it.
I have enlisted you a member of my common wealth Khalsa, the pure, and you have therefore to be pure in through, word and deed. The Khalsa meditates on the one living, Divine
Being with unshaken faith and love.
The Khalsa discards all gods and goddesses, idols, tombs, hermits and monasteries.
The Khalsa recognizes no facts, pilgrimages, charities and austerities.
The Khalsa kindles in him one Divine radiant light it is only then that he is Khalsa, there then remains no difference between me and the Khalsa.
Such a Khalsa belongs to the Master, who has all victory to himself victory is yours therefore, when you initiate yourself into the folds of the Khalsa, the initiation starts with the Amrita, the sweet drink consecrated with the Shabad (hymn) of Guru Nanak. I have stirred it with the double edged sword of mine to steel the hearts of the Khalsa against timidity, cowardice, weakness and irresolution. You have to drink it from one and the same bowl to be one of the brotherhoods that recognizes not your former caste, creed, color or faith, and initiates you into a common fold irrespective of previous sect or birth.
In such a commonwealth of the Khalsa I see myself, rather my Master personified and to it pay my home age in all humbleness in perfect devotion. Five of them the five Piaras (My beloved ones) shall administer the same Amrita to me, and initiate me, into the fold of the Masters’ Khalsa.
Any five of the true Khalsa shall represent me and just as a candle enlightens another candle, the Five shall kindle the light of the Khalsa in whosoever desires to be so kindled.
This sermon makes me a Sikh.
The Khalsa is my own image;
I reside in the Khalsa So long as the Khalsa maintains its separate entity.
I shall bestow all my bounties on it.