Jump to content
TheeTurbanator

"When all other methods fail, it is proper to hold the sword in hand" - Guru Gobind Singh Ji: A Response to those who Advocate Violence

Recommended Posts

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

 

Recently, there has been an assassination attempt on a man named "Kuldeep Singh" from Virginia, USA, over the desecration of the "Khand Di Phaul" Amrit Sanchaar ceremony of the Khalsa Panth. In May of 2016 a famous Sikh preacher named "Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale" was also faced with an assassination attempt, which was also carried out by not the Indian government or some external power, but by fellow Sikhs. Without going into the specific issues behind the motivation of their attempted assassinations or the issues themselves, I would like to discuss the very use of violence as per Sikhi.

I have seen some Sikhs, as well as some users on this sub, who openly advocate for violence. I would just like to remind them that although from a Sikh point of view violence has historically been advocated and used, the context under which it was used is very important. Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself says:

"ਚੁ ਕਾਰ ਅਜ਼ ਹਮਹ ਹੀਲਤੇ ਦਰ ਗੁਜ਼ਸ਼ਤ ॥ ਹਲਾਲ ਅਸਤ ਬੁਰਦਨ ਬ ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰ ਦਸਤ ॥੨੨॥"

"When all other methods fail, it is proper to hold the sword in hand. (22)"

-Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Dasam Granth, Ang 1471

As anyone who can read can clearly see the Guru very specifically states that the sword (in this case symbolizing violence) must only be used when "all other methods fail", the Gurus message is very clear, yet its some of those who claim themselves to be Sikhs of the Guru who are having a hard time understanding what the Guru himself is saying.

On the issue of those who manipulate or change Sikh practices, spread misinformation, and are disingenuous, the answer is not to go out and assassinate them or endorse physical violence against them, but to rather have an open dialogue and show them the errors of their ways, becuase dialogues are what really change peoples minds, not putting a bullet to their heads, becuase then their is no one to save. If you have to resort to violence in response to someones opinion, then you have already lost, becuase you have shown that you cannot win the battle of ideas, and thus must resort to your primal instincts.

The problem with killing someone, is that you dont necessarily kill their ideas, and in some famous cases, killing someone can even act as a catalyst to spread the idea even further. A prime example of this is the Shaheedi of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, which inspired Sikhs to take up arms and fight back against the Mughal tyranny. This doesn't go to say that all people who are assassinated are morally correct, it just proves that killing someone can have the opposite intended effect.

When you kill someone, you also take away their ability to later redeem themselves, and if after the fact you find out that they were innocent, you are not able to bring them back. It is only in the most dire of circumstances that physical violence should be used, becuase violence itself doesn't prove who is morally correct, only who is martially superior.

Lets also not forget that when you "kill" someone, as per Sikhi, you aren't killing them but rather just their physical vessel. On a deeper philosophical level, according to Sikhi, everything and everyone is just another form of ੴ, which is ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ (Akaal murat), meaning essentially beyond, above, not subject to ("A" prefix), death, time, end (Kaal), "Image" personified (murat), so in essence, "you" aren't killing anything.

The concept of Justice is often confused with Revenge. Revenge is one-sided, and motivated by self-interest, Justice is impartial. Revenge is more "An eye for an eye", while Justice provides a solution to the problem, and tries to resolve it. Revenge is often driven exclusively by emotion, while Justice is usually driven by logic and rationality. Often times people like to bring up the historical example of Guru Gobind Singh Ji ordering Banda Singh Bahadur to fight the Mughal forces. This was not done out of "revenge" for the brutal execution of the Chaar Sahibzaade, the 4 biological "sons" of the Guru (technically all Sikhs are his sons), but rather to deliver the long awaited Justice to the Mughals, to free people from their oppression, take back stolen land, and as a defense mechanism to prevent further conflict and oppression. Sikhi does not advocate the concept of revenge as many claim, however it does fully advocate Justice.

"ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੇ ਭਗਤ ਨਿਰਵੈਰ ॥"

"The devotees of the Supreme Lord God are beyond hate and vengeance."

-Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1145

One might ask, if unjustified violence and forms of revenge are not acceptable in Sikhi, then how should Sikhs deal with serious issues of those who attack Sikhs and Sikhi by manipulating traditions, spreading misinformation, being corrupt, etc? There are a verity of different ways Sikhs can deal with these issues:

  • Education: The most effective, and tired and true method to change people has allways been education. If you disagree with someone, instead of trying to assassinate them, its a better idea to get to understand their point of view, and change it. Check out this article on how to change peoples minds.

  • Ignoring: Oftentimes people just do stupid stuff for attention without having a hidden agenda or malicious intent, if this is the case, then just ignore them and deny them any attention. Check out this article on 10 tips to dealing with Trolls.

  • Denunciations, boycotts, or even excommunication: In the worst case scenarios (aside from using physical violence), denunciations, boycotts, etc are to be used when the individual refuses to change their ways despite every other effort. This has historically been used by the Khalsa Panth and even the Guru himself, it is reffered to as "tankhiya". However, a tankhiya is not the end, and their is allways an option for redemption, but that is up to the Khalsa Panth and Guru to decide.

These are just a few of many options, however the main idea is that there is a long list of protocols one must follow before physical violence can even be an option.

Edited by TheeTurbanator
edited to fix formatting issues and typos
  • Like 4
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Recently, I have seen some Sikhs, as well as some users on this forum, who openly advocate for violence. I would just like to remind them that although from a Sikh point of view violence has historically been advocated and used, the context under which it was used is very important. Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself says:

"ਚੁ ਕਾਰ ਅਜ਼ ਹਮਹ ਹੀਲਤੇ ਦਰ ਗੁਜ਼ਸ਼ਤ ॥ ਹਲਾਲ ਅਸਤ ਬੁਰਦਨ ਬ ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰ ਦਸਤ ॥੨੨॥"

"When all other methods fail, it is proper to hold the sword in hand. (22)"

-Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Dasam Granth, Ang 1471

As anyone who can read can clearly see the Guru very specifically states that the sword (in this case symbolizing violence) must only be used when "all other methods fail", the Gurus message is very clear, yet its some of those who claim themselves to be Sikhs of the Guru who are having a hard time understanding what the Guru himself is saying.

On the issue of those who manipulate or change Sikh practices, spread misinformation, and are disingenuous, the answer is not to go out and assassinate them or endorse physical violence against them, but to rather have an open dialogue and show them the errors of their ways, becuase dialogues are what really change peoples minds, not putting a bullet to their heads, becuase then their is no one to save. If you have to resort to violence in response to someones opinion, then you have already lost, becuase you have shown that you cannot win the battle of ideas, and thus must resort to your primal instincts.

The concept of Justice is often confused with Revenge. Revenge is one-sided, and motivated by self-interest, Justice is impartial. Revenge is more "An eye for an eye", while Justice provides a solution to the problem, and tries to resolve it. Revenge is often driven exclusively by emotion, while Justice is usually driven by logic and rationality. Often times people like to bring up the historical example of Guru Gobind Singh Ji ordering Banda Singh Bahadur to fight the Mughal forces. This was not done out of "revenge" for the brutal execution of the Chaar Sahibzaade, the 4 biological "sons" of the Guru (technically all Sikhs are his sons), but rather to deliver the long awaited Justice to the Mughals, to free people from their oppression, take back stolen land, and as a defense mechanism to prevent further conflict and oppression. Sikhi does not advocate the concept of revenge as many claim, however it does fully advocate Justice.

"ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੇ ਭਗਤ ਨਿਰਵੈਰ ॥"

"The devotees of the Supreme Lord God are beyond hate and vengeance."

-Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1145

One might ask, if unjustified violence and forms of revenge are not acceptable in Sikhi, then how should Sikhs deal with serious issues of those who attack Sikhs and Sikhi by manipulating traditions, spreading misinformation, being corrupt, etc? There are a verity of different ways Sikhs can deal with these issues:

  • Education: The most effective, and tired and true method to change people has allways been education. If you disagree with someone, instead of trying to assassinate them, its a better idea to get to understand their point of view, and change it. Check out this article on how to change peoples minds.

  • Ignoring: Oftentimes people just do stupid stuff for attention without having a hidden agenda or malicious intent, if this is the case, then just ignore them and deny them any attention. Check out this article on 10 tips to dealing with Trolls.

  • Denunciations, boycotts, or even excommunication: In the worst case scenarios (aside from using physical violence), denunciations, boycotts, etc are to be used when the individual refuses to change their ways despite every other effort. This has historically been used by the Khalsa Panth and even the Guru himself, it is reffered to as "tankhiya". However, a tankhiya is not the end, and their is allways an option for redemption, but that is up to the Khalsa Panth and Guru to decide.

These are just a few of many options, however the main idea is that there is a long list of protocols one must follow before physical violence can even be an option.

Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

That's a really good article on changing people's minds. Shukria veer ji. 

I'll definitely be digesting that article for a while. 

I'm not sure much of a dialogue opportunity exists with grooming gangs,  but definitley what you've said has great application to many problems the Sangat face and definitely a lot of opportunity for application in life in general. 

  • Like 1
  • Confused 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

On the issue of those who manipulate or change Sikh practices, spread misinformation, and are disingenuous, the answer is not to go out and assassinate them or endorse physical violence against them, but to rather have an open dialogue and show them the errors of their ways,

Right. Agree that non-violence should be countered with non-violence. If you had just left it at that, it would have been all good. 

46 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

The concept of Justice is often confused with Revenge. Revenge is one-sided, and motivated by self-interest, Justice is impartial. Revenge is more "An eye for an eye", while Justice provides a solution to the problem, and tries to resolve it.

However, I have no idea what you're trying to say here. When the United States killed (executed) Timothy McVeigh, was that justice or revenge? (I'm not saying he shouldn't have been executed.) I'm just asking the question in accordance with your definitions.

Also, how did killing Timothy McVeigh "solve the problem"? By killing him, did the 168 people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing come to life?

52 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

Revenge is often driven exclusively by emotion, while Justice is usually driven by logic and rationality.

Can you describe the way in which the process of deciding to kill Timothy McVeigh was driven not driven by emotion, and was driving by logic and rationality?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, GurjantGnostic said:

Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

That's a really good article on changing people's minds. Shukria veer ji. 

I'll definitely be digesting that article for a while. 

I'm not sure much of a dialogue opportunity exists with grooming gangs,  but definitley what you've said has great application to many problems the Sangat face and definitely a lot of opportunity for application in life in general. 

The belief is in the United States that capital punishment helps the healing process of the victims families and serves as a deterrent to future offenders, but it's effectiveness is the subject of much controversy. 

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, BhForce said:

However, I have no idea what you're trying to say here. When the United States killed (executed) Timothy McVeigh, was that justice or revenge? (I'm not saying he shouldn't have been executed.) I'm just asking the question in accordance with your definitions.

Also, how did killing Timothy McVeigh "solve the problem"? By killing him, did the 168 people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing come to life?

I just learned about this issue, and I need to learn more about it before I offer my opinion.  

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, TheeTurbanator said:

I just learned about this issue, and I need to learn more about it before I offer my opinion.  

Just look at this guy, trying to use facts and stuff. That's not the way we do things around here on Sikhsangat, bro.

Around here, we spout off on things of which we have no knowledge, and certainly no references.

Get with the program!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Just look at this guy, trying to use facts and stuff. That's not the way we do things around here on Sikhsangat, bro.

Around here, we spout off on things of which we have no knowledge, and certainly no references.

Get with the program!

Am I too machinery for you? 

Edited by TheeTurbanator
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the full article for peeps who don't know what's going on:

https://www.sikh24.com/2016/05/25/breaking-american-gurdwaras-call-for-boycott-against-kuldeep-singh-who-changed-the-sikh-amrit-ceremony/#.WqonY-jFIbU

 

TL;DR: He changed the amrit sanchar. As per Sikh Rehat Maryada, the panj baania must be read, in the following order:

Japji Sahib

Jaap Sahib

Tav Parsad Savaiye

Chaupai Sahib

Anand Sahib

 

What he did was he took out Jaap Sahib, Tav Parsaid Savaiye, Benti Chaupai Sahib and replaced them with other hymns, which goes against Sikh Rehat Maryada.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, using violence to settle non violent dispute is never okay not allowed, there is no historical sikh precedence for it- no maryada for it, Contary to gurmat and gurbani teaching.

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji bachan-

If all means have failed, its righteous to pick up sword.- Get ready for war

This is no where to seen or should be used as political weapon or gain or ego mechanism, self centrist ideology gain, factions infighting.

It could be only used for higher purpose of saving humanity when whole dharam is in threat thats a calling from all panj pyares and jathedars from takths - signed- its declaration of dharam yudh morcha or this can be also used on individual sikh basis as sikh is given full sovereignty by Guru- individual sikh life situations where his/her life is threatened-self defense and to save other lives.

Regarding pity sad state of affairs within sikh community where sikhs fighting against each other, CIA puts it perfectably:

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/jaspal-atwal-1.4563222

Canada's spies are bound tightly to their American counterparts, and respond to American priorities, and, says one of the ex-agents I spoke to, the Americans never really cared about Sikh extremists. As far as they were concerned, the Sikhs were just killing each other, which was fine with them.

Edited by N30S1NGH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, TheeTurbanator said:
Quote

Just look at this guy, trying to use facts and stuff. That's not the way we do things around here on Sikhsangat, bro.

Around here, we spout off on things of which we have no knowledge, and certainly no references.

Get with the program!

Am I too machinery for you? 

Was joking, bro. I was taking a self-deprecating dig at how we sometimes operate on Sikhsangat.

Go ahead and do your thinking, and then come back with a reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>♡VahigurooNAAMJANTAR,MANTAR,TANTAR>HAIJIO <♡withloveateycouragetokeepupthisbarosaourNAAMJORRHUMANBODYwillbelethalweapons>BRAHMGYANISAINTWARRIORS<♡<withoutneedforlethalweaponstouproot5bhootmayafromexistenceJio_/\_justasonecancercellseliminatedcreatesanotherasalizard'stail,likewiseeliminatingmatterovermind,WILLNOTENDCYCLEOFJANAMMARAM5BHOOTEVILMINDSJIO_/\_

myPaviterrCharnahathjorrBentitoBapuSuratSinghJiotofollow100%akjfaq.com♡GURUGOBINDSINGHJIONUPYARIREHIT♡vsadoptingstarvationofhindrss..ateyJaggiateyfamilydosameinsteadofbeggingworldforjusticeBEGVAHIGUROOJiowithADOPTINGSAMEBHAGTIATEYREHITLAHAJIO_/\_bhulchukmuaf_/\_♡♡VAHIGUROOJIORAKHABAHHDEHNPYAREYKHALSAPANTHNU♡♡

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, sitokaur said:

>♡VahigurooNAAMJANTAR,MANTAR,TANTAR>HAIJIO <♡withloveateycouragetokeepupthisbarosaourNAAMJORRHUMANBODYwillbelethalweapons>BRAHMGYANISAINTWARRIORS<♡<withoutneedforlethalweaponstouproot5bhootmayafromexistenceJio_/\_justasonecancercellseliminatedcreatesanotherasalizard'stail,likewiseeliminatingmatterovermind,WILLNOTENDCYCLEOFJANAMMARAM5BHOOTEVILMINDSJIO_/\_

myPaviterrCharnahathjorrBentitoBapuSuratSinghJiotofollow100%akjfaq.com♡GURUGOBINDSINGHJIONUPYARIREHIT♡vsadoptingstarvationofhindrss..ateyJaggiateyfamilydosameinsteadofbeggingworldforjusticeBEGVAHIGUROOJiowithADOPTINGSAMEBHAGTIATEYREHITLAHAJIO_/\_bhulchukmuaf_/\_♡♡VAHIGUROOJIORAKHABAHHDEHNPYAREYKHALSAPANTHNU♡♡

I cant read English Larivaar, can you please type your message properly so we can understand? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, TheeTurbanator said:

I cant read English Larivaar, can you please type your message properly so we can understand? 

They seem to be pretending to be an esl speaker. Whatever persona they want to embody on the internet is cool I guess. It's a free world wide web. 

Edited by GurjantGnostic
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>♡Vahiguroo NAAM JANTAR, MANTAR, TANTAR >HAI JIO<<♡with love atey courage to keep up this barosa our NAAM JORR HUMAN BODY will be lethal weapons >BRAHMGYANI SAINT WARRIORS<♡ without need for lethal weapons to uproot 5 bhoot maya from existence Jio_/\_ just as one cancer cell eliminated creates another; as a lizard's tail, likewise eliminating matter over mind, WILL NOT END CYCLE OF JANAM MARAN 5 BHOOT EVIL MINDS JIO_/\_

my Paviterr Charna hath jorr Benti to Bapu Surat Singh Jio to follow 100% www.akjfaq.com ♡GURU GOBIND SINGH JIO NU PYARI REHIT♡ vs adopting starvation of hind rss ..atey Jaggi atey family do same instead of begging world for justice BEG VAHIGUROO Jio; with ADOPTING SAME BHAGTI ATEY REHIT LAHA JIO_/\_ bhul chuk muaf_/\_ ♡♡VAHIGUROO JIO RAKHA BAHH DEHN PYAREY KHALSA PANTH NU♡♡

Edited by sitokaur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pranam  Gurjant SINGH JIO,

KIRPAN IS TO PROTECT YOU >FROM SPIRITUAL BHOOT< AS YOU DO BHAGTI AS >KIRPAN IS VAHIGUROO JORR IN SPIRIT<_/\_

prove to me you can get Jaggi out using offensive force with Kirpan, because that is just what our  adversaries waiting for...how many more Shaheeds, that has only made them  more corrupt, receive more support and manipulate justice  more?_/\_

MAAN JEETAI JAAG  JEET SINGH JIO!_/\_♡

Guru Nanak kirpa dya mehr karo Jio_/\_ 

Edited by sitokaur
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×