President SGPC, Sri Amritsar
The long saga of Sikhism is engraved in golden pages with sacrifices, martyrdom and struggle. The history of this distinctive and rare saga of Sikhism starts with the first inspiration “ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ।। ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ।।” – (If you desire to play this game of love with Me, Then step onto My Path with your head in hand) by universal master Guru Nanak Dev Ji to awaken the people of India from the slumber of slavery who had been suffering from centuries of political, social, cultural, mental and spiritual slavery. With these holy prophetic words of Guru Nanak Sahib, the Sikh Panth was born out of the oppressed people at the fortunate land of Punjab; with the journey of spirituality and martyrdoms, it got developed with the creation of Khalsa Panth of Sarbansdaani (who sacrificed the whole family) Sahib-e-Kamaal (versatile) Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. For the protection of the right and truth, with the inspiration to raise a voice against injustice and oppression, the Sikh Panth is the only unique religion in the whole world. In the world, one has to fight for rights, truth and against injustice or oppression with spiritual words and strength of arms. Both these powers enter Sikhism through the Shabd i.e. the holy words of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the martyrdom of Guru Sahiban.
To walk on the principle of ‘Kirat Karni, Naam Japna, Vand Chhakna’ given by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and on the path of truth and purity the prosperity comes with the ideals like ‘ਸਚ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਸਚੁ ਸੁਣਾਇਸੀ ਸਚ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ || – (Nanak speaks the Word of Truth; he proclaims the Truth at this, the right time.)’. The Gurbani gave us such spiritual words that taught us to live. Calling a king like Babur as ‘Jam (Yama-king of death), Sakta (authoritarian), Sheenh (tiger); to army as ‘procession of sin’; to contemporary ruling monarchical powers as ‘ਰਾਜੇ ਸੀਹ ਮੁਕਦਮ ਕੁਤੇ’ – (The kings are tigers, and their officials are dogs)’, ‘ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਕਾਸਾਈ – (The Dark Age of Kali Yuga is the knife, and the kings are butchers;)’, ‘ਰਤੁ ਪੀਣੇ ਰਾਜੇ – (bloodsucker kings)’, ‘ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਚੀਤੁ || – (Those who suck the blood of human beings-how can their consciousness be pure?)’, the loud voice of such words taught us to protect the public interest and to live against the atrocities being perpetrated. To execute the words given by Guru Sahiban, their ideology is put into practice through strength and sacrifice.
The basic intention of the Sikh religion is a commitment to principles, opposition and struggle against evil from all aspects. From these principles, we got the virtues like determination, and not backing down and running away. According to the tradition of Sikhism, if the arm of an oppressed person is held, then holding it till the end is Sikh dharma (duty). Let us gather on one platform and make our lives true and pure by putting before us the principles, sacrifices, martyrdoms given by the Gurus. To live a spiritual life, let us become the Sikhs of Guru, adopt Naam Simran and Bani-Bana. Be ready to protect the oppressed. Let us connect the coming generation with Sikhism, tell them about the martyrdom of Sahibzaadas, connect the children at home with Gurbani, and teach them to love the Gurmukhi script and Punjabi language.
My message to the Sikh community is that we must first lay the foundation on which the palaces of Sikhism are to be built. As the chief sewadar (servant) of the foremost organization (SGPC) of the Sikhs, I hope that all of you who have rendered services to me on behalf of the Sikh community will have my full support, and I am committed to fulfilling them to the fullest.Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.