Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

6 Daya Singh Rahit-nama


Weapons and Warfare

Weapons are worshipped (kari puje) during the initiation ritual. Do not falter in battle. In battle display dignity before an adversary. Take special care of horses and weapons. A Khatri should not mount a mare, only a stallion. [7, 74, 75, 82, 83]

Caste

To adopt the forms of caste is not to our taste. Any member of the four castes can take amrit initiation. 26 The following are useless: a Khatri without a weapon, a Brahman without knowl­edge, a Shudra with learning, and a recluse with a woman. The religious duty (dhuram) of a Khatri is to bear weapons and consume food. [22, 73, 77]

Travel and Pilgrimage

Do not go where the Guru is no longer remembered. A Sikh must visit both Amritsar and Anandpur. When visiting Darbar Sahib in Amritsar always ask for blessing and offer Ardas. The Sikh who has not bathed at Amritsar is as impure as unwashed clothes. Without visiting Anandpur and Kesgarh you cannot acquire knowledge of the Sikh faith. Damdama is the Guru's Kashi. He who bathes at Muktsar will be spiritually liberated (mukat). [15, 51, 54, 83, 92]

False Teachers and Enemies of the Gurus

Singhs should have no dealings with (1) the followers of masands, (2) Dhir-malias, (3) Ram-raiyas, and (4) those who have under - gone the tonsure ceremony. Do not take food or water from the hands of a Kanphat yogi. Do not trust yogis, Jains, or those who are clean-shaven. Those who have taken amrit initiation should have nothing to do with either a Brahman or with a faqir of Sakhi Sarvar Sultan. Do not make friends with a hillman . 27 The person who slanders the Guru should be beheaded. [10, 25, 40, 42, 62, 83, 88]

Attitude Towards Muslims

An initiated Khalsa who bows to a Turk is a despicable creature. He who associates with anyone who mixes with Turks goes to hell. Do not trust Turks. Do not make friends with a Muslim. End the authority of the Turks. A Turk is an enemy and should be slain with the sword. Do not consume halal meat. Pay no heed to a [Muslim] pir. Those who worship Muhammad will go to a horrible hell. Anyone who eats food prepared for a Muslim festival, who offer sweets to a Muslim holy man, or who brews intoxicating liquor goes to hell. Do not trust the illegitimate offspring of a Muslim. Do not desire to learn Persian. Anyone who reads Persian is a tanakhahia and not my Sikh. Do not drink water from his hand and do not trust him. [12, 29, 35, 42, 44, 57, 59, 77, 79, 83, 84, 87, 90, 91, 92]

Attitude Towards Hindus

Do not worship at cenotaphs, nor pay heed to any temple, religious vow, place of pilgrimage, goddess, god, fasting, 1-lindu worship, idols, mantras, or Brahmans. Do not make libations to the gods. Do not repeat the Gayatri, nor the evening prayers of Hindus. Do not worship at the cenotaph or tomb of some dead person. Do not hold a shraddh ceremony. Do not wear a sacred thread, feed a clean-shaven person, worship an idol, believe in an earthen image, or desert your own Guru. Do not observe the following: offerings to ancestors, Hindu evening ritual, bride-price, worship of the sun and planets, worship of gods, idol worship. Belief in the merits of particular phases of the moon is futile. Do not pierce your ears or your nose. Do not believe in the six darshans. Do not wear a tilak. Do not take food at a hair-cutting ceremony. Do not undergo a tonsure ceremony. A Brahman should not ride a bull. End the authority of the Hindu. A Singh should feed a Hindu. Having become a Singh, do not seek to learn the Hindu scriptures. You will become involved in the futile concerns of the Brahmans and will abandon the Guru's hymns. It is acceptable to have studied the Hindu scriptures before becoming a Singh. If a Brahman does not maintain his kes uncut and has not been initiated into the Khalsa do not accept food from his hands or make any offering to him. Those who worship Shankaracharya, Dattatreya, Ramanuja, or Gorakhnath will go to a horrible hell. [10, 12, 14, 30, 37, 40, 42, 44, 50, 61, 62, 69, 75, 76, 77, 83, 87, 88, 91]

Salutations

Be the first to shout `Fateh ' (Victory!). Let your shout of victory be for triumph over your own wayward self. [18, 25]

The Gurmukhi Script

Learn to read the scriptures in Gurmukhi. [87]

Sundry Prohibitions

Do not worship members of the Bedi, Bhalla, or Sodhi sub-castes.- [41]

The principal issues which arise from this list are the following:

  • The author is concerned about the Khalsa ' s attitude towards Muslims. The number of injunctions directed against them make this abundantly clear. He is particularly concerned that a Khalsa must never eat kuttha meat. 29 Roundly he declares that `those who worship Muhammad will go to a horrible hell ' and that all Muslims `should be slain with the sword ' . ;0 This catalogue of wickedness makes it unlikely that.the rahit-nama was written during the early nineteenth-century period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A late eighteenth-century date seems to be indicated.
  • If the author had much to say against Muslims he had even more to say against Hindus, particularly against the practice of wearing a sacred thread.` 1 Their conventions are branded as mere superstitions and the shraddh ceremony is prohibited. Brahmans are criticised, although they are accept-able if they maintain the kes uncut and take initiation into the Khalsa. 32 The Khalsa is urged to end the authority of the Hindus, though its members are apparently permitted to feed a Hindu.
  • Loyalty to the Guru is stressed.
  • Considerable emphasis is given to wearing the kachh.',
  • Smoking the hookah is firmly prohibited. Tobacco (tamdku) is proscribed.
  • The author details in specific terms, the various tanakhah's that may be awarded.
  • Detailed instructions are given for Khalsa worship, Khalsa initiation, and the distribution of karah prasad.
  • Weapons are part of the Khalsa ' s apparel, although they receive no emphasis.
  • The langar is not mentioned.
  • Reference is made to only four out of the Five Reprobate Groups.
  • A strict view is taken of sexual morality.
  • The Five Ks are not yet enjoined, but the author is drawing closer to them in item 70.

 

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