by SS Varnjeet Kaur Khalsa, Espanola, NM
We as Sikhs living in the modern world sometimes forget the experiences of the original Gurus and how they fought for our religious freedom. During 17th Century, when India was ruled by Mughals, Sikhs and people of other religions were humiliated and deprived of any right to conduct their religious practices.
Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Guru of Sikhs, raised his voice against oppression and fought for years for religious freedom. His father Guru Arjan Dev was put to death by boiling in a cauldron and sitting on a hot iron plate because he refused to convert to Islam.
Can WE as Sikh Ministers live in the reality and commitment of these Gurus who so boldly fought for us almost 300 years ago?
I ask myself, if I personally had been subjected to this kind of torture, what would I have done? It is a very tough question. It is out of this courage and complete faith that the vows of being a Sikh Minister were born:
We will perform human service and be a source of inspiration to all.
We will die gracefully, never accepting any act of pressure to prove us cowards.
We will not have any fear of death when we lay down our lives for God.
The vows of a Sikh Minister are a daily commitment. I find that reading them helps me to remember and re-commit to what it means to have the honor of being a Sikh and specifically a Sikh Minister. May we all feel the daily blessings of what an incredible gift has been given to us by Gurus and the Siri Singh Sahib. Wahe Guru!
About the Author
SS Varnjeet Kaur Khalsa is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. She serves as President of the Hacienda de Guru Ram Das Corporation board and is Vice-President of Sikh Dharma of New Mexico.