Be the Cause

Chughzy’s Beard

Ik Onkar. Satnam.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa.
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

“There is no such thing as a Hindu or a Muslim, there is only one religion: Humanity” – Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

There have been many spiritual teachers that each have prescribed a path of unity to us all. Each teaching us that there is no reason to divide us as humans. To live as one, to live as truth, to live as love.

So why do my Sikh leaders always ask me why I trim my beard, or why I don’t wear a turban. Why do they state that I have to become a Sikh because of what Islamic extremists did to “our” people hundreds of years ago? Don’t they understand that my people are all people. Don’t they understand that my soul has no religion, that my soul knows no history. Before I was born, I was not a Sikh concerned about the welfare of the religion, before I was born I was with God, who knows no Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jew, or Hindu religions. My history is God. If my goal is to be as close to God as possible, then my religion is meditation and community service, my religion is kindness, love and unity. And understand this my Sikh brethren, Guru Nanak Dev Ji had no religion. He was at one with God. Do not become a member of the Sikh religion but rather become a Student of the 11 Great Gurus, hence become a Sikh, a Philomath.

Understanding the Gurus requires an understanding of what was irrational with the world at the time of their existence and an understanding of what they did to change that irrational behavior. The question to ponder now is not whether we are Sikhs or not, but whether we are still on the same path that the Gurus were on. Do we still look at the world and try to correct the injustices, the inconsistencies, the inequalities that plague this world of ours? What would Nanak do if he were alive today… and would we follow him?

The beauty of Nanak, and all of the 10 living Guru’s, was not the religion that we started in their name, but the purpose of their existence. They questioned everything and attacked the real issues and problems that infested the societies they lived in. Great Students of Nanak, ask yourself this: if Nanak existed today would he care whether his followers sat on floors during the free langar (lunch), or would he be more concerned with women’s continuous plight for equality, the rights of the poverty stricken, and the rights of all people to worship as they please? Would he be more concerned about people trimming their beards or the fact that 1/5th of the earth’s population doesn’t have access to clean drinking water, the fact that every year thousands of young Asian girls are unwillingly forced into a life of prostitution, or the fact that world peace is not considered a realistic possibility? The fact that after 500 years of his teachings on love his so-called followers kill each other because of disagreements on where to eat lunch, the fact that after speaking out against the caste system in the Hindu religion his Sikh followers have created one of their own. Great Students of Nanak, what would Nanak be concerned about today, and what do you find yourself concerned about.

If Guru Gobind Singh Ji were alive today, what would he be concerned with. I gather that he would take up sword against the rich corrupt tyrants that keep the poor in their current status. He would fight the system that keeps things the way they are. He would fight the hate that exists in all of our hearts. What do you concern yourself with? What do you take up arms against? Chughzy’s Beard.

A Sikh is someone who is constantly learning, constantly meditating, and constantly doing community service. Wearing a turban does not mean that you are no longer inflicted by the five deadly sins our scriptures speak of. Wearing a turban does not mean that you can hide behind your uniform and sneak your way into God’s arms. Watch for the ego that comes with wearing turbans, the automatic assumption that you are closer to God as a result of your headdress. You have created an all new caste system, with the Sikhs again divided, the turban wearers at a higher class than the cuttsurdhs.

Great followers of Nanak, question everything. Ask yourself why hair is to be kept uncut. Hair is a God given gift so one should not trim God’s gift. But what about your Liver? Is your liver provided by the devil thus making it acceptable to drink oneself into a state of retardation? And your digestive system, your heart, your bones, all provided by the devil, so is it okay to neglect your health? Work 12 hour days, neglect your wife and your kids… because they are not God’s gifts… and when you ulcer acts up because you are too greedy, remember, do not trim your beard. Wearing a turban does not mean that you have given into all of your Guru’s wishes. Your Guru’s wishes go beyond just uniform.

Hair is a God given gift, as is everything else. Treat everything and everyone with respect. Treat your hair with respect, clean it, don’t cut it, but don’t turn it into a commercialized commodity either. Do it because you believe in the philosophy and follow the philosophy. Know that the uniform you wear is a uniform of sainthood. Know that it is essential to be a saint on the inside before you gavintly display your affections of the almighty to the public. All uniforms from all societies are granted, they are a privilege to wear. Police officers have to graduate from their academy before they are put into their costumes. Judges have to first become veteran lawyers before they can wear their robes to court. Similarly, in order to obtain the divine grant to wear the Sikh uniform you must have an understanding of what a Sikh is, what she believes in, and what she stands for. Most non-Sikhs don’t understand why you wear turbans.. they need to be educated. Most Sikhs themselves don’t understand why they wear turbans, they shouldn’t.

Ask yourself why you do the things you do. If your response is that it was written; If your entire purpose of doing something is that it was written some hundreds of years ago; If it is because your parents implore you; If it is because it is the way it is, or because of your culture or society: Then know that you are not a Sikh/Learner/Student, you are a Follower.

Keep your hair because you believe that God can create a more beautiful face for you than you can for yourself. Believe that you wear your turban out of respect.

The Gurus didn’t teach us how to wear turbans, they taught us how to recognize injustices and how to fight for a unified world focused on God’s glorious energy.

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
Victory will belong to God.

— Chughzy

A Sikh Ramadan

I too, along with most of my friends, wondered why this Ramadan, I had decided to fast. There is nothing in fasting or sacred baths (states Gurbani), only meditation on the name of God matters. So why do millions forego the sacred right to eat during the day for an entire month? What is so spiritual about denying yourself your human needs?

This Ramadan, as asteroid dust drew up the sky like fireworks, I fasted. To discover what it means to be Muslim; To deny myself the food that so many go without; To attain a higher level of consciousness.

To attain global peace we need global understanding. We have to invoke that vision of ourselves that is compassionate to one another’s needs, thoughts and behaviors. I attempted to be one step closer to understanding my Muslim brethren.

But as 4:57pm rolled along and my appetite grew exhausted, it was no longer about religion. Eating after the days fasting made me realize that I still had more to eat that most people on the planet. Why is it that I had plenty of food and water after only 13 hours of fasting while most go days without the same bare necessities? The hunger I felt at 5pm is a hunger that most live with their entire lives. And here I was, gorging on dates, bread, rice, washing down the entire 13 hours spent earlier. I wondered what it would be like to live without food or water for an entire week. I did feel fortunate for the food I had, but also felt far removed from the average human being.

Ramadan also brought me closer to self realization. As each moment of hunger passed I felt invincible, impregnable. Nothing could effect me. I felt a calm I had never experienced before. In the past, hunger had always irritated me, now it comforted me. I felt as if I could give up anything in the name of God, even life. A friend of mine once stated that you find energy in everything you do when doing God’s work. Truth is, I don’t really know if God wanted me to fast, it doesn’t matter, I felt closer to her for my own sake, closer to my fellow Muslims.

This Ramadan, I cleansed myself internally, eternally. This Ramadan I attempted to rid myself of sins committed years ago, lives ago.

This month I found myself breaking fast with strangers. We came from different countries, spoke different languages, the moment of kindness was the common bond between us. This month I fasted, I honored my Muslim brothers and sisters in their age-old tradition. This Ramadan I felt closer to God.

In the name of Nanak, I am Muslim. Eid Mubarak.

— Chughzy

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