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Are Sikhs responsible before the Sangat?


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A Catholic woman posted that some Sikh woman started having adulterous relations with the Catholic's husband.

I posted:

On 3/21/2018 at 6:53 PM, BhForce said:

Theoretically, Sikhs are supposed to be responsible before the congregation, but we have too many wishy-washy Sikhs who will cry like a baby about the "Panthic Police".

Then some anonymous "giani" replies:

15 hours ago, Guest guest said:

sikhs are not supposed to be 'responsible before the congregation', that is none-sense.  where did you get that idea?

My response:

Where did you get the idea that Sikhs are not supposed to be repsonsible before the sangat?

I'm guessing you view Sikhism as merely an individual endeavor. (If not, reply with what you meanwhen you think Sikhs have no responsibility before the Sangat.)

That's not Guru Nanak Dev ji's conception of religion. (I do not want to get sidetracked on terminology of religion vs. dharam. If you want to call it dharam, fine.)

You do know that Guru Nanak ji created a panth, right?

ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਿਕਾ ਜਗਤ੍ਰਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਪੰਥ ਚਲਾਇਆ।

Maariaa Sikaa Jagati Vichi Naanak Niramal Panthhu Chalaaiaa |

In the world, he established the authority (of his doctrines) and started a religion, devoid of any impurity (niramal panth).

ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੪੫ ਪੰ. ੪


A panth is an organized religion.

It's not a free-for-all.

Question: Is a Sikh responsible before the Guru? If not, then what's the point of calling himself a Sikh?

If, on the other hand, a Sikh is responsible before the Guru, then who holds the Guruship today?
Answer: The Sangat/panth/Panj Piyare.

Do you deny Guru Gobind Singh ji invested the Guruship within the Panth (Sangat)?

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Responsibility before the Sangat in the Sikh Rehit Maryada

The Sikh Rehit Maryada available here outlines how Sikhs are responsible before the Sangat: 



a. Any Sikh who has committed any default in the observance of the Sikh discipline should approach the nearby Sikh congregation and make a confession of his lapse standing before the congregation. 

b. The congregation should then, in the holy presence of Guru Granth Sahib, elect from among themselves five beloved ones who should ponder over the suppliant's fault and propose the chastisement (punishment) for it. 

c. The congregation should not take an obdurate stand in granting pardon. Nor should the defaulter argue about the chastisement. The punishment that is imposed should be some kind of service, especially some service that can be performed with hands. 


If you're one of those who hates the SGPC, the same basic thing exists in Taksali or Nihang rehit.

If you don't accept any of those, you're neither in the mainstream nor the alternative stream of Sikhism. You're just on your own little island doing whatever comes to mind. Which you can do.

You can do whatever you want, but where do you get off pompously asking me where I got the idea that Sikhs are responsible to the Sangat?

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Bad sangat, and dissociation with bad sangat


And just as good sangat increases spirituality, bad sangat destroys it:


ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਰੀ ਮਰਉ ਕੁਸੰਗ ਕੀ ਕੇਲੇ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਜੁ ਬੇਰਿ ॥

Kabeer Maaree Maro Kusang Kee Kaelae Nikatt J Baer ||

Kabeer, I have been ruined and destroyed by bad company, like the banana plant near the thorn bush.
ਉਹ ਝੂਲੈ ਉਹ ਚੀਰੀਐ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਹੇਰਿ ॥੮੮॥

Ouh Jhoolai Ouh Cheereeai Saakath Sang N Haer ||88||

The thorn bush waves in the wind, and pierces the banana plant; see this, and do not associate with the faithless cynics. ||88||

ਸਲੋਕ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀ (ਭ. ਕਬੀਰ) (੮੮):੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੧੩੬੯ ਪੰ. ੩ 
Salok Bhagat Kabir


ਕਬੀਰ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਰੀਐ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਨਿਰਬਾਹੁ ॥

Kabeer Sangath Kareeai Saadhh Kee Anth Karai Nirabaahu ||

Kabeer, associate with the Holy people, who will take you to Nirvaanaa in the end.
ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਜਾ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਨਾਹੁ ॥੯੩॥

Saakath Sang N Keejeeai Jaa Thae Hoe Binaahu ||93||

Do not associate with the faithless cynics; they would bring you to ruin. ||93||

ਸਲੋਕ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀ (ਭ. ਕਬੀਰ) (੯੩):੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੧੩੬੯ ਪੰ. ੮ 
Salok Bhagat Kabir


ਦੇਵਗੰਧਾਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ॥
ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ॥
ਝੂਠੈ ਕੀ ਰੇ ਝੂਠੁ ਪਰੀਤਿ ਛੁਟਕੀ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਛੁਟਕੀ ਰੇ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਛੁਟਕੀ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਜਿਉ ਕਾਜਰ ਭਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਰਾਖਿਓ ਜੋ ਪੈਸੈ ਕਾਲੂਖੀ ਰੇ ॥
ਦੂਰਹੁ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਭਾਗਿ ਗਇਓ ਹੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਛੁਟਕੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਰੇ ॥੧॥
ਮਾਗਉ ਦਾਨੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਨਿਧਿ ਮੇਰਾ ਮੁਖੁ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਜੁਟਸੀ ਰੇ ॥
ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸ ਦਾਸ ਕੋ ਕਰੀਅਹੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮੂੰਡੁ ਸਾਧ ਪਗਾ ਹੇਠਿ ਰੁਲਸੀ ਰੇ ॥੨॥੪॥੩੭॥

Turn away, O my mind, turn away.
Turn away from the faithless cynic.
False is the love of the false one; break the ties, O my mind, and your ties shall be broken. Break your ties with the faithless cynic. ||1||Pause||
One who enters a house filled with soot is blackened.
Run far away from such people! One who meets the Guru escapes from the bondage of the three dispositions. ||1||
I beg this blessing of You, O Merciful Lord, ocean of mercy - please, don't bring me face to face with the faithless cyincs.
Make servant Nanak the slave of Your slave; let his head roll in the dust under the feet of the Holy. ||2||4||37||

ਦੇਵਗੰਧਾਰੀ (ਮਃ ੫) (੩੭) ੧:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੫੩੫ ਪੰ. ੧੬ 
Raag Dev Gandhaaree Guru Arjan Dev


As seen above, association with a sakat will lead to blackening of the soul. Therefore, Sikhs
are called not to associate with such people. The practical method through which this is effected is given in the excerpt from the Sikh Rehit Maryada above.

The sangat formally decides to dissociate from a sakat.

Now, here's where "responsibility to the Sangat" comes: It's true that no one has to be responsible to the Sangat if he doesn't want to be. But if you disregard the summons from the Sangat to explain yourself, the Sangat can choose to not associate with you anymore (excommunication). If you want to avoid this, then you can repent if you are remorseful, and the Sangat has the power to forgive you.

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Theoretical basis of Panj Piyare


ਪੰਚ ਪਰਵਾਣ ਪੰਚ ਪਰਧਾਨੁ ॥  

Those whose attention is towards the Name are accepted, approved, and the leaders.

ਪੰਚ = ਉਹ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨਾਮ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੁਰਤ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਚ ਜੁੜੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪਰਤੀਤ ਆ ਗਈ ਹੈ। ਪਰਵਾਣੁ = ਕਬੂਲ, ਸੁਰਖ਼ਰੂ। ਪਰਧਾਨੁ = ਆਗੂ, ਵੱਡੇ।
ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਮਨੁੱਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੁਰਤ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਚ ਜੁੜੀ ਰਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਲਗਨ ਬਣ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ ਉਹੀ ਮਨੁੱਖ (ਇੱਥੇ ਜਗਤ ਵਿਚ) ਮੰਨੇ-ਪ੍ਰਮੰਨੇ ਰਹਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ ਸਭ ਦੇ ਆਗੂ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਹਨ।

ਪੰਚੇ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਦਰਗਹਿ ਮਾਨੁ ॥  

The chosen ones are honored in the Court of the Lord.  

ਪੰਚੇ = ਪੰਚ ਹੀ, ਸੰਤ ਜਨ ਹੀ। ਦਰਗਹ = ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਦੇ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਵਿਚ। ਮਾਨੁ = ਆਦਰ; ਵਡਿਆਈ।
ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਦੀ ਦਰਗਾਹ ਵਿਚ ਭੀ ਉਹ ਪੰਚ ਜਨ ਹੀ ਆਦਰ ਪਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ।

A decision by a devotee is accepted by God:


ਮੇਰੀ ਬਾਂਧੀ ਭਗਤੁ ਛਡਾਵੈ ਬਾਂਧੈ ਭਗਤੁ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ ਮੋਹਿ ॥

Maeree Baandhhee Bhagath Shhaddaavai Baandhhai Bhagath N Shhoottai Mohi ||

The devotee can release anyone from my bondage, but I cannot release anyone from his.
ਏਕ ਸਮੈ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਗਹਿ ਬਾਂਧੈ ਤਉ ਫੁਨਿ ਮੋ ਪੈ ਜਬਾਬੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥

Eaek Samai Mo Ko Gehi Baandhhai Tho Fun Mo Pai Jabaab N Hoe ||1||

If, at any time, he grabs and binds me, even then, I cannot protest. ||1||

ਸਾਰੰਗ (ਭ. ਨਾਮਦੇਵ) (੩) ੧:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੧੨੫੩ ਪੰ. ੧ 
Raag Sarang Bhagat Namdev


Five complete Sikhs are considered God:


ਇਕੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਦੁਇ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗੁ ਪੰਜੀਂ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ।

Iku Sikhu Dui Saadh Sangu Panjeen Pramaysaru |

One is a Sikh, two the congregation (Sangat) and in five resides God.

ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੩ ਪਉੜੀ ੧੯ ਪੰ. ੧


Guru Gobind Singh ji showed the practical method of putting this doctrine into effect with the institution of the Panj Piyare.

Question: Do you accept or deny the institution of the Panj Piyare?

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Historical examples

  • When a Sikh broke a Hindu's idol, the Hindu came to complain to Guru Hargobind ji. That's because the Sikh is responsible before his Guru. Today, jot of the Guru is in Guru Granth Sahib and the Guruship is practically held by the Sangat, Panth, and Panj Piyare.
  • When Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was thought to have killed his infant daughter, he was held responsible, and was excommunicated by the Sangat (Panth).
  • When Maharaja Ranjit Singh committed a flagrant violation of the Sikh rehit by wanting to marry a Muslim woman, he was held responsible before the Sangat by the Akal Takhat. If he wasn't responsible before the Sangat, then why did he present himself before at Amritsar?
  • There are examples after examples of Sikhs being held responsible before the sangat in history. These include Surjit Singh Barnala, Baba Santa Singh, Buta Singh, Kala Afghana, and many others.

Your position (that a Sikh is not responsible before Sangat) has absolutely no historical or doctrinal basis.

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3 minutes ago, CharhdiKala said:

What is the Sikh sangat?

Times have moved on. This isn't the 18th century anymore.

bro SIkhi is timeless it is for all time , the rehit is for all time , it is not going to change to accomodate wusses who can be besharam enough to go outside marriage but not admit their fault humbly and take their punishment???

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17 minutes ago, CharhdiKala said:

What is the Sikh sangat?

You serious bro? Sikh Sangat is all those who believe in Sikhi. 

There are local Sikh sangats, as well, as indicated in the Sikh Rehit Maryada, and as also referenced in Hukumnamas from Guru Sahibs.

19 minutes ago, CharhdiKala said:

Times have moved on. This isn't the 18th century anymore.

So you think you can dismiss an essay in 6 posts (with references) with 2 lines?

What specifically from above do you deny? Did you read it? If you don't want to read it, fine, but don't deny that Sikhs aren't responsible before the Sangat.

It's quite surprising that someone such as you who is posting such good pro-Sikh posts about keeping our Sikh population numbers up and looking out for threats from Muslims can post the above.

If times have moved on, why even bother about Sikh population numbers? Who even cares? Who cares if Sikhism or the Sikh panth lives or dies?

And if this isn't the 18th century anymore, it's certainly not the 16th or 17th century anymore, either, when Guru Granth Sahib ji was written. So why should we even bother with a 16th/17th century writing?

What are you on about, bro?

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