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Summary of Question:Gurus Contradicting Each Other
Category:The Sikh Gurus
Date Posted:Tuesday, 12/28/2004 1:41 AM MST

Sat Sri Akal,

As a Sikh Youth growing up in America, my parents have always exposed me to our religion and sakhis. The banis and sakhis really inspire and motivate me to become connected to our religion. They nurture me, and like a small child to its mother, I knew it was the truth, and did not question it in any way.

A couple years back, I read about Guru Nanak Dev Ji's encounter with the red string the Hindus wore to commit and accept thier religion. Guru Nanak refused to wear the jennay (I believe that's how you pronunce it..) because for many of the Hindus, it did not radiate their inner beliefs, and was worn like a costume, to show off and be proud.
My older cousin brought up a point that I had not considered before. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the foudner of Amrit, which, like the jennay, is meant to commit one to their religion. In essence, Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji share the same soul; they are both part of Nirankar. If Guru Nanak refused to wear the jennay, why did Guru Gobind create amrit, which represents the same thing? The gurus are the same spirit, so why are they contradicting each other?

One could argue that people were wearing the jennay to show off, and that amrit is a commitment, but there were/are Hindus who have a true commitment and there a Sikhs who drink Amrit to 'show-off'. There is probably a deeper and more spiritual meaning that my simple-minded, twelve-year-old self couldn't grasp, but is there any answer you could supply me with? Why did Guru Nanak reject the jennay when Guru Gobind, whose essence is the same as Guru Nanak, created amrit?

Thank you, I really appreciate your help


Ravleen Kaur

(REPLY) Sat Nam. Guru Gobind Singh gave Bana, so that his Sikhs, the newly born Khalsa, could not hide the fact that they are Sikhs! Distintive clothing is worn to remind us of our commitment, and to demonstrate our courage. Remember, Guru Gobind Singh had witness the execution of his father, Guru Teg Bahadur, upon which his Sikhs had run away in fear. So, at that time, 9 year old Gobind Rai determined that when he became Guru, his Sikhs would not be cowards, but would proudly wear bana, a "uniform" to identify them. Taking Amrit is not a ritual to show off, but for those who sincerely aspire to take Guru Gobind Singh as their father, and to live as Khalsa, they will experience its power and the blessing that it brings. This is something that no one can convine you about, because "Doing is believing." May God and Guru bless you with clarity of mind, and radiance of soul, SP

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