ave you ever wondered why there are different appearances and attires within Sikhs? Why do Sikhs follow different rehits (set of rules)? In this article, we will discuss diversity within Sikhs and what purpose such a diversity serves within the Sikh panth.
Akaal Purakh Ki Fauj
There are two main types of Sikhs. There is a Sikh who follows the Guru and the Khalsa (collective of initiated Sikhs) is both a Sikh and the Guru, just like Guru Gobind Singh Ji is a Chela (disciple) and the Guru. Guru Khalsa is Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s form and makes decisions for Guru Gobind Singh Ji as Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Within the Khalsa, different people like to do different things. It is not about categorizing them into different groups. It is similar to how some people like academics and others like working with their hands. For example, in the army, some soldiers are at the front-line, others are at the back doing intelligence gathering, some are good with artillery (timing things and measuring distances), etc. It is a myth in our culture that a Sikh is only a Sikh.
Khalsa is Akaal Purakh Ki Fauj meaning the army of God. Within an army, there are different people with different duties, and they are good at the unique skills they have.
Similarly, Taksalis are very good at Paath (reading scriptures), Akhand Kirtani Jatha is good at Kirtan (devotional music), Nihung Singhs are good with Shashtars (weapons), Nanaksaris are into Simran (remembering Vaheguru), and Nishkam Seva Jatha is into Seva (selfless service). In that sense, these are not groups, but it is a style of being. Khalsa Panth is as big as the universe. So, there is a place for everybody in it. Therefore, If you are more on the spiritual side, it doesn’t mean that Amrit (nectar of Immortality) is not for you because when you require it, you still have a Kirpan (sword worn by initiated Sikhs) on you.
We shouldn’t be worried about people being different. We need the mentality that unity is different from uniformity. Uniformity means that we are all the same. Most people think that uniformity is unity, but that is not how the world is. God has made this world with different types as Guru Nanak Dev Ji says,
ਰੰਗੀ ਰੰਗੀ ਭਾਤੀ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਿਨਸੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਉਪਾਈ ॥
Therefore, instead of thinking about making everybody the same, we should be thinking about unity. Unity means uniting despite our differences. Taksalis, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Nihung Singhs, Nanaksaris, and Nishkam Seva Jatha should all be joined together and working for the one purpose that is Chardikala of the Panth. As a Gursikh, our Hukam (order) is to look beyond the differences and embrace unity.
This article is a transcribed version of the video below.