Sikh Missionary Society (U.K.)
ਸਿੱਖ ਮਿਸ਼ਨਰੀ ਸੁਸਾਇਟੀ (ਯੂ.ਕੇ.)

Celebrating 550th Guru Nanak Parkash (Birthday) Anniversary
&
50th Anniversary of The Sikh Missionary Society UK

Guru Nanak's Nirmal Panth to Khalsa Panth

State of the Panth and next steps:

Where are we? Where are we going? Where do we want to be?

Guru Nanak Sahib's 550th Parkash anniversary is being celebrated across the globe.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bhai Mardana

Guru Ji's Message is evergreen and relevant to all times and places. As we celebrate so we also reflect on the state of the Khalsa Panth today. We ask ourselves if we are the true followers of the Sikhi preached by Guru ji. If not, then we need to rediscover Sikhi in its pristine form.

The True Source for doing that is Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib as ordained by Guru Gobind Singh ji. The Singh Sabha Movement started by Gursikh scholars in the second half of the 19th century was a milestone initiative in Sikh tradition to guide ourselves back to the Sikhi as taught by Guru Nanak Jot and Jugat over a period of 239 years from 1469 to 1708.

Today, we have hundreds of gurdwaras and Panthic jathebandis. There is no shortage of paper and electronic information and publications about Sikhi. We need to lay the foundation for Sikhi milestone achievements for the next 50 years as we celebrate the arrival of Guru Nanak Sahib 550 years ago.

We need to spread Gurbani-based guidance about the most pressing issues facing humanity today.

Below are links to some selected articles by Sikh diaspora scholars for special publications by Gurdwaras and organisations commemorating Guru Nanak Sahib 550th Parkash Divas:

Congratulation on Guru Nanak Sahib's Prakaash Utsav (Birthday)

Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bhai Mardana

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 12th of November, 2019, the Sikhs worldwide celebrate the 550th 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 -

Happy Bandi Chhorr Divas: Day of Liberation

Happy Bandi Chhorr Divas: Day of Liberation
(Sikh festival coinciding with the Indian Divali)

  • Celebrating the release of 52 Indian rajas secured by Guru Hargobind, the Bandi Chhor Guru (Deliverer from prison)
  • Commemorating the martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh
  • Remembering countless Sikh martyrdoms in the struggle for the freedom of the sub-continent of India from tyrannical Mughal rule, spearheaded by the Khalsa in the 18th Century
  • Sikh freedom from the darkness of superstition and ritualism
Sri Harmandir Sahib
(When) the lamp is lit, darkness is dispelled …
Where there is light of knowledge, ignorance is dispelled.
(Guru Granth Sahib p.791)

The story of Divali (also spelt as Diwali) for the Sikhs is a story of the Sikh struggle for freedom from the oppressive Mughal regime. The festival coincides with the Indian festival of Divali.

From the time of Guru Nanak (1469 - 1539), the founder of Sikhism, popular seasonal or folk festivals like the harvest festival of Vaisakhi, or ancient mythological festivals like Holi and Divali, or worship rituals like Aarti, began to take on a new significance for the Guru's students, the Sikhs. The "Guru" as the Light of Guru Nanak passing through 10 Guru Personalities and now residing in the Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, used these festivals and special days e.g. first day of each lunar month called Sangraand, as occasions for promoting His teaching themes. And so the Sikhs were slowly diverted from darkness of superstitious ritualism based on fear and ignorance to an enlightened ideology based on reason and belief in One Creator.

The enlightened ideology of Guru Nanak gave new significance to ancient festivals like Divali and Vaisakhi.

Thus, "(When) the lamp is lit, darkness is dispelled … Where there is light of knowledge, ignorance is dispelled."
(Guru Granth Sahib p.791)

For further information -

Dr Jasjit Singh honoured in recognition of his valuable contribution to Sikh Studies
Manpreet Singh Badhni Kalan honoured in recognition of his valuable contribution to Journalism

Dr Jasjit Singh and Manpreet Singh Badhni Kalan being honoured at the Sikh Missionary Society U.K.

Dr Jasjit Singh, a Research Fellow in Religious and Cultural Transmission at the University of Leeds, followed up his earlier research with another related project, Sikhs and the Media.

He gave his first introductory presentation at the Sikh Missionary Society UK on 17 February, 2019 under three main headings:

  1. How have Sikhs been represented in ‘mainstream’ media?
  2. How have these representations led to the emergence of British Sikh media?
  3. What is the need for this project and how will the Sikh Missionary Society UK be involved?

Dr Jasjit Singh and Manpreet Singh Badhni Kalan were both honored at the Sikh Missionary Society at this event.

Further reading -

New Publication on 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.)

A one year study by S. Gurmukh Singh OBE has been published by the Sikh Missionary Society UK. The debt which humanity and India owes to Guru Tegh Bahadur has yet to be fully acknowledged.

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." Today, the world can learn from the shaheedi of Guru Tegh Bahadur who opposed the religious bigotry of Emperor Aurungzeb.

The ebook is available at the following link - Life and the Unique Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675)

Articles on Sikh Ideology & Identity

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

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.

Remembering Delhi Pogrom 1984

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.

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).

The bodies of butchered Sikhs being quickly desposed off by the Indian Government.

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

Achieving 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
The Five Sikh Articles of Faith

Further Reading

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:

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

Guru Nanak Dev Ji

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.

Today in Sikh History:

(1780) : Raja Ranjit Singh Sukarchakia, Sher-e-Punjab
(1757) : Martyrdom of Baba Deep Singh Ji, Jathedar Taruna Dal (Misl Shaheeda'n) at Amritsar.

Departments

Sikh Missionary Society (U.K.) Background

Read about the Sikh Missionary Society, its background History, activities and the managing committee. Learn more...

Resource Centre

Browse our Book, Audio and Video library and read publications and articles in our Resource Centre. Learn more...

Hall Hire

Find out more about hiring the Mata Sahib Hall for Birth, Engagement, Marriage, Akhand Path, Sehaj Path and more Learn more...

Ongoing Classes and Courses

Gurmukhi / Panjabi Classes
Learn to read, write and speak Panjabi.

To find out more about Panjabi Classes at the Sikh Missionary Society please call us (020) 8574 1902.

Times: Fridays 6.00 - 7.30 PM

Panjabi Class
Kirtan Class

Kirtan Classes
Learn to play and sing Kirtan

You can bring your own instruments for practice and accompaniement.

To find out more about Kirtan Classes at the Sikh Missionary Society please call us (020) 8574 1902.

Times: Wednesdays 6.00 - 8.00 pm