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:

Happy New Year 2020 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 2018 will be remembered as the year of the Brexit negotiations, and the countdown for the UK to leave the European Union (the Brexit) was approaching its end. In the US, minority communities including the Sikhs, have been apprehensive following Donald Trump's victory to become the 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.

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 2020 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.

Further reading -

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 each year. 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 around the world in the name of religion. Today, the world can learn from the shaheedi of Guru Tegh Bahadur who opposed the religious bigotry of Emperor Aurungzeb.

To quote from a 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 Bahdur for protection."

(Guru Tegh Bahdur: The True Story by S. Gurmukh Singh OBE, published by The Sikh Missionary Society UK)

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

For further reading:

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:

(1710) : Bahadhur Shah issued official orders to kill Sikhs.

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