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Summary of Question:"Joota"
Category:Sikh Practices
Date Posted:Thursday, 8/12/1999 1:44 AM MDT

Why are Amritdari Sikhs not allowed to eat from other person's (non amritdari's and people of other caste) plate ?????

This practice is sometimes practiced as an historical custom, it is not from Guru Gobind Singh's request. And, of course, customs can be practiced as wisely or ignorantly as the practitioner.

I'll attempt to interpret the custom in the best possible light (which is not to say that everyone practices it that way). To be sure, Khalsa does not respect caste. Rather than say, Khalsa cannot eat from another person's plate, as if eating from other people's plates is a normal thing to do (which Khalsa is prohibited then from doing), consider it in this way. Eating from another person's plate is not a very graceful or sanitary thing to do under any circumstance, unless you know that person and their health status very well. So, put it down as intelligent wisdom for living, that people in general should not eat from other people's plates. It's somewhat ungraceful, there may be a touch of greed involved in wanting more food, and it's a potential cause for transmitting sickness. In this light, if one's spouse, parent, child or other relative, or close friend has received too much food and one wants to avoid wasting that food, then perhaps it's a good thing to eat it rather than throw it away. And, in
that light, since all Khalsa are sons and daughters of Guru Gobind Singh ji, then all Khalsa is family. If one trusts the purity of another persons commitment to living gracefully as Khalsa, and if one feels that Khalsa person is healthy, then perhaps it's okay to share the food. But why do it at all? Another aspect of Khalsa is to be contented and grateful for the Guru's Prashad that is given to us, not to be greedy and looking for more and more to eat. Guru's hand gives us everything, so what is the exception all about, that we need to have more food from someone else's plate?

In other words, re-focus the assumptions in your question: In the exceptional situation where one is going to eat food from another person's plate, whose plate would be appropriate? Most likely, only one's family member or close friend, someone who is well known to us. If one wants to make an exception and include <any Khalsa> in that regard, that would be a personal, customary choice. Guru Gobind Singh did not say that's what we should do. It's not a hard and fast rule of Khalsa.

Krishna Singh Khalsa

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