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Sikhism and Violence

Posted by dhansikhi on April 8, 2012 at 5:20 AM

Sikhs have started to keep weapons from the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Guruji took to weapons to stand against the oppression of the kings. Desperate times need desperate measures. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji kept two kirpans with him. One was called Miri and other was called Piri. One represented Temporal authority while the other represented Spiritual authority. This is why we sometimes refer to Gurus as ‘Do Jahan De Maalik’, meaning king of two worlds, not physical worlds but temporal and spiritual worlds.

Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji had made an army of Sikhs that would stand against any cruel and unjust action. Guru Har Rai Ji continued this trend and he had maintained a cavalry of about 20,000. Guru Har Rai Ji himself was more on the spiritual side, although the guru was always ready to fight the oppression.

It was made compulsory by Guru Gobind Singh Ji that every Sikh would keep a Kirpan (iron Sword) with him. From then on and till today Sikhs have kept Kirpan as a symbol of their faith, since Kirpan is one of the five kakkars.

So Are Sikhs Violent?

From the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji till today, Sikhs have never even conquered an inch of land, nor any of the battles fought by the Sikhs had been started by them. Sikhs have always defended themselves and others if necessary. Sikhs have been rescuing girls that mughals used to kidnap. During the British rule also, when Britishers would kidnap girls, Sikhs would rescue them during midnight. The parents of the girls would not get worried as they knew that it is 12:00 (Sikhon ke baara baj gaye). The term became famous during those times.

Once Gandhiji said that Sikhs are against his rules of non-violence and so were their gurus who always kept weapons with them. His comments did not last long because he soon got a reply for his comment. Someone wrote to him that, “You say our gurus are always ready with weapons and they are violent, where do your principles go when you see Lord Vishnu with a weapon in each of his hand, when you see Lord Shankar with a trishul in his hand”. A weapon in the hand indicates that the person is ready to fight. Sikh Gurus never used to keep their weapons in their hands. In fact the sword would come out only after the enemy has attacked first.

There are so many jokes made on Sikhs every year and there is near to no measure taken against that. This is because we Sikhs believe that if they can provide happiness to someone by making fun of themselves then it is a great honor. But when it comes to faith we can do anything to defend it. We have laid our lives for others, what are those jokes in front of that. Some Sikhs complain that after doing so much for the country what have they got, disrespect everywhere. But Sikhism is all about sacrifice for others. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that give your head and don’t ask the reason. “Sir Dijay Kaan na Kijay”.

So for all who think that Sikhs are violent, yes we are if we have to defend our faith. But we will take to weapons only if the enemy takes to weapons. Whenever there will be oppression or any danger to mankind, Sikhs will always be there to lay their lives for others.

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.


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