Sikh Missionary Society
Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd.)
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Fax: +44 020 8574 1912
Reg. Charity No: 262404
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Happy New Year 2017 as we celebrate Guru Gobind Singh ji’s Parkaas* Gurpurab (Birthday)

Guru Gobind Singh Ji

May happiness and blessings of the Guru be with all as we enter the New Year.

On 5 January, the global Sikh community celebrates  the Parkaash(birth) of the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh ji.

“The ethos of the Sikh faith was enunciated by Guru Nanak, strengthened and augmented by his eight successors and finally brought to a self surviving maturity by Guru Gobind Singh.”
(quote from a paper by late scholar/poet,  S Jaswinder Singh Chadha.)

Guru Gobind Singh ji completed Guru Nanak Sahib’s mission of establishing Sikhi as the global Khalsa Panth, the egalitarian Order of the Khalsa.

Today, Sikh identity, ideology and institutions continue to face challenges in India and in the Sikh diaspora. For British Sikhs, as for other UK communities, year 2016 will be remembered as the year when UK decided to leave the European Union – the “Brexit”.  In the US, minority communities including the Sikhs, are apprehensive following Donald Trump’s victory to become the next President due to his extreme right wing views.  Other countries can follow this trend to the extreme right to cause problems for the minorities by challenging the very ethos of multi-culturalism.

Terrorism in the name of misguided “Islam” which has been spreading since 9/11, has posed challenges for Sikh identity in the West. Yet, as a recent Sikh Network survey has shown, Sikhs continue to remain invisible to the government of the UK and other Western countries because they are not counted and monitored reliably as “Sikhs” under the current system. For example, many crimes against Sikhs are recorded as crimes under “Islamophobia”!

There is a new awakening to push Sikh identity at global level. There is a global Sikh reaction to being lost in figures as “Indians” or “Asians” or misidentified as “Muslim” or even mis-profiled as “terrorists”.

The challenges to main stream Sikh ideology and the independence of central Sikh institutions have been only too obvious for more than a century when Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha was compelled to write “Hum Hindu Nahi”. There are Snatan dharmi Sikhs who are now openly preaching Brahmanic thought.

In 2016, there was much appreciation of the talks by S Harinder Singh of US to make us rethink about the successful decision-making processes  established by our Guru-persons and followed up by the Guru Khalsa, especially in the 18th Century. We welcome such educational efforts.

Internal controversy about the Dasam Granth must be avoided by fully accepting the Guruship of Jugo Jug Attal Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib in accordance with the Command of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Dasam Granth should be researched and celebrated as an invaluable source of literary heritage but not placed at par with Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Otherwise, today, Sikhs are better engaged with governments in the diaspora countries. We look to Year 2017 as the year of Chardhi Kalaa of the global Khalsa Panth.

Let us "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." (Albert Einstein)

May the Khalsa be imbued with humility and high wisdom. (Sikh Ardaas)

Have a promising and fulfilling New Year.

For further information -

Parkaash = illumination. Birth of a saintly person who becomes a source of spiritual enlightenment.
Gurpurb (or Gurpurab) is a religious festival commemorating a Guru.
For Sikh word concepts refer to the glossary

Commemorating Guru Tegh Bahadur's Shaheedi (martyrdom) for Religious Freedom
Guru Tegh Bahadur gives his head,
                                  but not his faith
Unique was the deed of Tegh Bahadur
(Guru Gobind Singh, Bachittar Natak.)

The anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur's shaheedi is observed on 24 November.

Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75 C.E.), the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, gave his life for the religious freedom of all. He saved the sub-continent of India from religious bigotry and thus, according to Bhai Gurdas II, "Stabilised the world." That message of Bhai Gurdas II is particularly relevant today in the context a destructive war in the Middle East in the name of a world religion by the so called Islamic State at one extreme, and a political presidential victory in the US on the back of racial and religious divisions, at the other. Today, the world can learn from the shaheedi of Guru Tegh Bahadur who opposed the religious bigotry of Emperor Aurungzeb.

To quote from a forthcoming study,
The martyrdom was a momentous and unique event in the history of human evolution towards a just society in which everyone has the right to practice own religion, subject only to the mutual respect between diverse religious paths.
Never, in the annals of human history has a religious head of one belief system given his life for the religious freedom of another religion...
In desperation and unable to invoke their numerous gods and goddesses, one leading Pandit made it known that in a dream he had been told by Lord Siva to go to Nanak IX, Guru Tegh Bahadur for protection.
(Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur 1621-1675 by S. Gurmukh Singh OBE)

The debt which humanity and India owes to Guru Tegh Bahadur has yet to be fully acknowledged.

For further reading -

Congratulation on Guru Nanak Sahib's Prakaash Utsav (Birthday)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bhai
Guru Nanak Sahib (1469-1539): Religious, Social and Political Revolutionary

ਸੁਣੀ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ਦਾਤਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਗ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਠਾਇਆ।
Sunee pukaar Dataar Prabh Gur Nanak Jagg maahi patthaaiaa.
The Benefactor Lord listened to the cries (of humanity) and sent Guru Nanak to the world.
(Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 1.23)

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਧੁ ਜਗਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਆ।
Satgur Nanak pargateya miti dhund jag chaanan hoa
With manifestation (birth) of True Guru Nanak, the mist [of ignorance and falsehood] disappeared and there was the light [of knowledge and righteousness conduct.]
(Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 1.27)
(Note: u pronounced oo as in root )

Any Sikh festival connected with a Guru is referred to as a Gurpurab. So, on 14 November, 2016, the Sikhs worldwide celebrate the Prakaash Utsav Gurpurab of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh theo-political system and the Sikh way of living called Sikhi (not Sikhism.)

Traditionally, the Prakaash Utsav (birthday) of Guru Nanak is celebrated on the full moon day (pooranmaasi) in the Indian month of Katik, which usually falls in the month of November each year. However, historians have confirmed that Guru ji was born on 15 April, 1469.

He revolutionized religio-social and political thought of the day and introduced a way of life for those who would follow the path of truthful conduct. These were his Sikhs, meaning students who sought the Ultimate Reality by following the path of righteous conduct. The Sangat (holy congregation) became the main medium for collective guidance in the presence of the Guru � the Guiding Light of Guru Nanak which after Ten Guru-persons, today resides in the Sikh holy Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Shabd or Word Guru.

Guru Nanak�s message was egalitarian and revolutionary in his day. Love (prem) for the Creator Being called by many Names in his Baani (Guru�s Word or teaching), is central to his message. That love is expressed by following the path of truthful conduct and by seeing God in all and treating and serving all without distinction. He condemned inequality in any form, under any excuse or on any basis e.g. gender, colour, caste or creed. He condemned superstition, ritualism and despotic use of authority. Such a revolutionary ideology was bound to clash with both, the king and the priest.

He was well aware of the sacrifices and socio-political challenges which lay ahead for the Sikhs. He forewarned those who would follow this path of God-centric selfless love and service:
If you wish to play this game of love, then place your head on the palm of your hand and come my way.
In his meditation, Baba [Guru Nanak] found the whole world burning (with the fire of lust and anger).
(Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 1.24)

And so, Guru Nanak set out to take his message to the world and travelled thousands of miles during long tours lasting over many years.

Publications and articles on this Website give information about Guru ji's life, mission and vision for a just society.

Further reading -

Articles on Sikh Ideology & Identity

Current Affairs advisories from Sardar Gurmukh Singh(Principal Civil Servant ret'd /
Member, Board of Jathedars, The Sikh Council UK) and Chair of the Sikh Missionary Society Advisory Board -

Further Reading

Congratulations to Sardar Gurmukh Singh on his Order of the British Empire OBE in New Year 2016 Honours List

Further Reading

Sikh Missionary Society (U.K.) & Sikh Council UK

Sikh Council UK (Board of
                                          Jathedars) meeting at the Sikh
                                          Missionary Society UK on 4
                                          July 2015
Sikh Council UK (Board of Jathedars) meeting at the Sikh Missionary Society UK on 4 July 2015
Sikh Council U.K.The Sikh Missionary Society (U.K.) is now affiliated to the Sikh Council UK supporting the principle of Sikh unity to pursue Sikhi miri-piri objectives in the UK & Europe (following the Paris Sikh Summit of 26 November.

Further reading -

Remembering Delhi Pogrom 1984
The bodies of butchered Sikhs being
                                quickly desposed off by the Indian
                                Government.Sikhs worldwide remember the 1984 pogrom in which, according to official figures, at least 3,000 Sikhs were killed by organized mobs in Delhi in the first 3 days of November 1984. Thousands of Sikhs were also killed in other cities of India. While the terror of the human slaughter within such a short time was horrifying, the contrived completeness of the failure of the Indian administrative system was inexcusable.

Those killed, the widows, and their children who grew up without much support or succor, are the direct victims of the pogrom. The world Sikh community suffering from the collective trauma and remembering the pogrom, is the second victim. It may be argued that the Indian democracy, which failed to protect own citizens and continues to deny justice to the victims, is the third �victim� of this tragedy.

Pogroms, genocides and human tragedies, should unite all right thinking, fair-minded people above communal and religio-ethnic divides so that lessons are learnt, and history does not repeat itself. The politics of forgetfulness must not be allowed to suppress the traditional Sikhi spirit of remembrance expressed in the daily Ardaas (supplication).

In an ever shrinking world, no one can remain immune from large scale selective massacre of one community and prolonged delay in the delivery of justice. We remember those who lost their lives in the Sikh genocide of November 1984 and their families who continue to be denied justice to this day.

Further Reading

Guidance on the wearing of Sikh Articles of Faith in the workplace and public spaces
The Five Sikh Articles of FaithAchieving this Guidance on the wearing of Sikh Articles of Faith in the workplace and public spaces by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is an important step forward in recognition of the Sikh religious identity in the UK. The Sikh Missionary Society UK was represented by Gurmukh Singh (UK) in the drafting of the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidelines.

You should read this guidance if you require:
  • clarification on how the law currently applies to the wearing of Sikh articles of faith
  • examples of best practice in dealing sensitively and fairly with observers of the Sikh faith
  • a tool to strengthen good relations by promoting greater understanding between Sikhs and others
  • a guide for private and public sector organisations in terms of dignity and fairness at work, and service delivery with regards to the Sikh community, and in promoting good relations, and
  • links to other guidance on this topic
For further reading -

Sections 11 and 12 of the Employment Act 1989 as amended by Section 6 of the Deregulation Act 2015 exempts turban-wearing Sikhs from any legal requirement to wear head protection at a workplace.

Aim and Activities
The Aim of the Sikh Missionary Society is the "Advancement of the Sikh faith in the U.K and abroad" which is brought about by various activities:Guru
                              Nanak Dev
  • To Produce and distribute books on the Sikh Faith in English and Panjabi, and other languages to enlighten the younger generation of Sikhs as well as non-Sikhs.
  • To Advise and support young students in schools, colleges and universities on Sikh issues and Sikh traditions. If you belong to an educational institution and would like more information on Sikhism please contact the Resource Centre
  • To Arrange Classes, Lectures, Seminars, Conferences, Gurmat camps and the celebration of Holy Sikh Events.
  • To award prizes to children on the basis of their achievement and interest in the field of Sikh Faith and Panjabi Language.
  • To make available all Sikh Artefacts, Posters, Literature, Music, Educational Video's, DVD's and Multimedia CD-ROMs
Sikh Girl
Many Sikhism eBooks added to the eBook Publications section.
Information available on Various Health Issues in Punjabi.
You can check for Important Upcoming Dates on the Sikh Calendar
Sikh Boy
You can also participate in our online discussion forum...
Online Discussion Forum

Today in Sikh History:
(1919) : Sikh intelligentsia meeting resulted in the establishment of the Central Sikh League, as a political organization.
(1916) : Bhai Randhir Singh Ji, a great revolutionary, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
(1747) : "Ram Rahuni" fort was erected near Amritsar to resist Muslim invasions.

The Sikh Missionary Society U.K seeks financial and other help from Sikh Sangats and Gurdwaras to meet the objectives of the Society. The Society also acts as a Sikh Resource Centre and has over 1000 life and ordinary members from all over the U.K and abroad. 

The Sikh Missionary
                                          Society (U.K.)
The Resource Centre
Hall Hire Service
 Read about the Sikh Missionary Society, its background History, activities and the managing committee
Browse our Book, Audio and Video library and read publications and articles in our Resource Centre
Find out more about hiring the Mata Sahib Hall for Birth, Engagement, Marriage, Akhand Path, Sehaj Path and more

Ongoing Classes and Courses
Punjabi Classes - learn to read, write and speak Panjabi. To find out more about Punjabi Classes at the Sikh Missionary Society call (020) 8574 1902. 
Times: Wednesdays 6.00 - 7.30 PM

Kirtan Classes - learn to play and sing Kirtans - You can bring your own instruments for practice and accompaniement. To find out more about Kirtan Classes at the Sikh Missionary Society call (020) 8574 1902.
Times: Wednesdays 6.00 - 8.00 pm 

Contact us to find out more about our classes 

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