Sikh Leaders without Conscience

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Friday, April 30, 2010, 05:13 (2762 days ago)

The following is taken from "Sikhism and Tantric Yoga" by Dr. Trilochan Singh.

Sikh Leaders without Conscience

Beggars today are Kings and Rulers,
Blockheads have set themselves as scholars,
Blind men are connoisseurs of gems;
Such is the style of living in the world these days.
Scoundrels and mischievous men have become leaders.
A liar is considered a perfect man.
Such is the character of the present age,
Says Nanak, even in such times,
The divine Master can teach us how to choose.
Adi Granth: Angad, Var Malar p 1295

In our three hundred years of turbulent history, the Sikhs have produced great saints, mystics, scholars, poets, artists, and military leaders who were not only brilliant organizers but proved, under the most challenging circumstances, to be uncompromising fighters for freedom, integrity and faith of the Sikh people. But in the past three decades the process has been reversed. It is our misfortune that when the Sikh community agitated during the British period to oust hereditary priests (mahants), who under mischievous support from the British government were attempting to make historical Sikh shrines their private property, the British government passed a Bill in 1925, which opened the way for even irreligious people to get together in the form of political organization and get elected to control the vast funds of these shrines and misuse them for enhancing their own political prestige and completely neglecting the religious, cultural and missionary functions historically' connected with these shrines. This Bill permitted a Committee to be formed and elected exactly as political elections are held in which any un-Sikhlike Sikh falsely claiming to be a Sikh, not necessarily religious, can stand for election, and with the support of the majority, even communists and communist sympathizers have at times become Office bearers. Before partition of the country all the historical shrines of Pakistan were also under their control. The Delhi Committee broke away some years ago because S.G.P.C. refused to allow them to publish my book, Guru Tegh Bahadur: Prophet and Martyr, for which they had signed an agreement with me without consulting them. The S.G.P.C. was not actually against the book or against me as such, but they wanted to dismiss the controlling committee on such pretext, and Ravel Singh, who was then in the present position of Mahinder Singh as Secretary, suggested that this was the best issue. It would bring down the committee and prevent them from doing the type of work they were unable to do. When later Ravel Singh became a Minister in Gurnam Singh's ministry, he came crawling on all fours for complimentary copies of the book. Later, with the formation of new States, the Sikh shrines of Haryana and Himachal went out of the control of the S.G.P.C.
Unfortunately no other Sikh organization worth the name contested the elections to form a democratic opposition except some fake Sikh organizations put up temporarily by the Ruling party, who always suffered defeat. Mrs Gandhi considered the present rotten S.G.P.C. leadership most suitable to her scheme of political affairs and that has enabled the present rotten leadership to survive unquestioned for over a decade. No Sikh drinking wine is eligible to be a voter, and any member who is known to be drinking wine should be expelled out of the S.G.P.C. immediately. Yet quite a large number of members of the Executive and the General body, and even the so-called missionaries (pracharaks and Head pracharaks) drink wine like fish and have acquired these positions by making false declarations. None of the Presidents of the S.G.P.C. in the past twenty years that I know of were religious in any sense of the word except to some extent Sant Fateh Singh and Sant Chanan Singh, and none of them including the two Sants had the requisite knowledge of Sikh scriptures and Sikh polity and yet 10 million Sikhs all over the world expect them to do everything that is necessary for the religious progress of the Community. During the last three decades these S.G.P.C. leaders have abused and misused their powers and funds to such an extent that the eminent scholar Sardar Kapur Singh and I had to write very strongly and even bitterly on such issues as changing the four Takhats to five, declaring the S.G.P.C. President to be the Pope of the Sikhs during Lachman Singh Gill ministry, and the shameful Havan-kund drama, and other melodramatic stunts which brought nothing but humiliation to this brave community.
A couple of years ago S.G.P.C. started using vegetable ghee for karah Prashad, Sacramental offering for the Temple, while Yogi Bhajan has been using honey instead of sugar. These ignoramus leaders do not know that in his Kahits Bhai Gurdas, nephew of the third Guru of the Sikhs, calls it Panchamrit (sacramental offering consisting of five ambrosial ingredients). On this issue Sardar Kapur Singh writes in Sikh Review April 1972:
When the Punjab Gurdwara Act was placed on the statute-book in 1925 the main objective was to clean the Sikh Gurdwaras from managerial control of those whose commitments to Sikhism had become doubtful. The other motive which inspired these arrangements has been claimed to be the determination to keep Sikh holy shrines free from interference of the State. Those who have watched this experiment during the last almost half a century, have no illusions left either that the objective and the impulse have remained inviolate.
Sardar Kapur Singh argues in this article that in other religions like Christianity, the entire direction of the interpretation of the doctrines and exposition of theology as well as the ritual and ceremonial management of centers of religion has been in the hands of a class of specialists, specially ordained, exclusively trained and wholly dedicated to the cause of religion. But under S.G.P.C, says Sardar Kapur Singh, The Sikh Gurdwaras have become cesspools of vulgarity and corruption, and the low level to which the practice of Sikhism in these centers of religion has been reduced is a matter over which every sensitive Sikh sheds tears of blood. We may leave aside the manner in which the offerings and the funds of these Gurdwaras are utilized because what is here happening is just that which was to be expected in the circumstances we have ourselves generated. But it is the practices, the doctrines and the rituals of the religion that have been corrupted, vulgarized and degraded in a manner which holds little hope for a return to regeneration and renaissance of religion unless the Guru helps us do it through some miracle that causes the gravest possible concern.
The Punjab government does not contemplate at all that those placed in control and management of the historical Sikh shrines and their endowments through an adult suffrage are competent or permitted to pronounce upon Sikh doctrines, Sikh theology, Sikh rituals and the foundations of the Organization of the Sikh Church. Yet only recently the gentlemen of the Gurdwara Committee of Amritsar have pronounced, through the pronouncement of unanimous voting, that henceforward there should be deemed five Takhats, Seats of Authority, instead of the four traditional Takhats. Now, however, the willful custodians at Amritsar have issued an ordinance that henceforth the karah-prashad at Harimandir Sahib and the Takhats under their control is to be prepared with hydrogenated oils and not with butter fat and thus the Sikh sacramental food has been degraded to the status of a Nagpuja (snake workshop of the Hindus in which such offering is made). Under what authority and for what reason has this open sacrilege of Sikh rituals been introduced?
There is nobody, not many, who understands the implication of these gross acts of perversion and degradation of Sikh doctrines and rituals which are daily being committed by those into whose hands we have foolishly entrusted the management and control of the Gurdwaras. There are not many who have the time or courage to protest against what is being done. There are not many who when appraised of this situation are prepared to shake off their lethargy and act in defense of the purity of Sikh doctrines and rituals. What the Guru has in store for the Sikhs and Sikhism He alone knows, (p 47-49)
In 1974 three gentlemen, Gurcharan Singh Taura, President of S.G.P.C., Mahinder Singh, Secretary of S.G.P.C, and Hukam Singh, President of the now defunct Singh Sabha Centenary Committee, were invited by Yogi Bhajan.

II

Gurcharan Singh Taura

Gurcharan Singh Taura, at present President of S.G.P.C, does not know English and during his visit to the U.S.A. could not communicate with the American Sikhs except as Shakti Parwha says, "through the language of love, transcending all barriers." He could not question them nor could he read their journals and literature. There is a wide gap between the knowledgeable and practicing Sikhs and those cult followers of Yogi Bhajan who live in cloistered life in ashrams with un-Sikhlike names, Ahimsa Ashram, and Mahadev Ashram. The word ashram has been defined by Swami Janakananda Saraswati in his book Yoga, Tantra and Meditation as Workshop, the place where you find your kind of work. Gurcharan Singh Taura found it difficult either to reduce this gap or to please Yogi Bhajan without offending a large section of the Sikh Community in London, Canada, and the U.S.A. In his Communication with the American Sikhs he either used "the language of love" or responded as Yogi Bhajan desired him to do, but in his relation to Indian Sikhs he either artlessly avoided them or used his usual tricks of a politician.
About six years ago Gurcharan Singh Taura and Giani Bhupinder Singh (Ex-Head Priest of Golden Temple) got elected to Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) on the same day and virtually in the same manner with substantial support from Mrs Gandhi's Party. On the eve of the election the whole legislature group and Akali leaders assembled in Minister Balwant Singh's house. I was incidentally there and with me was also Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh's son, Bhai Sahib Balbir Singh. In that gathering it was a shocking sight to see quite a large number of these legislators entering Balwant Singh's living room and taking pegs and pegs of whiskey and rum. The then Akali Chief Minister Gurnam Singh, a confirmed alcoholic, came late and first prostrated before Sant Fateh Singh and moments later whispered into my ears that he and 35 Akali M.L.A.'s were revolting the next day against Sant Fateh Singh's group, and forming their own government with the support of Mrs Gandhi's party. Among the prominent who were to be with him, he counted Atma Singh, Ravel Singh, and Gurcharan Singh Taura. The next day this very thing happened. Balwant Singh saved the situation for Akali Dal and Taura knew which side his bread was buttered.
Late in 1973 Gurcharan Singh Taura gave a fiery speech on the martyrdom day of Baba Fateh Singh at Sirhind, where this youngest son and his older brother were bricked alive by the Mughal governor. Taura declared that like Mujib ul Rahman of Bangladesh, he would organize a Mukti Bahni (Liberation army) to fight against Mrs Gandhi's regime. I doubt if up to this day Taura knows the meaning of the Bengali word Mukti Bahni. When I informally asked a Congress Minister how they are reacting to Taura's Mukti Bahni threats, he replied, "Only through such sham bragging heroism can he become hero in the eyes of the sentimental Sikhs and a most reliable tool in the hands of Mrs Gandhi." Although Gurcharan Singh Taura remained outwardly a strong supporter of Akali Dal, he struck a secret deal with Mrs Gandhi to be a pliable political tool in her hands in return for undeclared political privileges for him.
Jathedar Sontokh Singh of Delhi who was the leader of Delhi Akali Dal promised Mrs Gandhi the same thing and stuck to his promises. I came to know of these details from Sardar Jogindera Singh, Governor of Raj as then, when I went to Rajasthan for research work in Jaipur Palace library on Guru Hari Krishan's life. While Taura was taken to task for striking a secret deal with Mrs Gandhi and meeting her without the permission and knowledge of Akali High Command, and started steadily retracing his steps, Santokh Singh of Delhi felt that Mrs Gandhi's dictatorship and tough attitude towards other Akali leaders was a golden opportunity for him to become an undisputed leader of the Sikh community. While other Sikh leaders were in prison for indefinite periods, he could build himself up as the right hand man of Mrs Gandhi. I sent a letter to Akali Dal High Command urging them not to surrender to Mrs Gandhi's coercive threats, and Surjit Singh Bamala who was cautiously conducting the agitation assured me that he would not stop fighting till all the political demands of the Sikhs were given. While Taura, who was sitting on the fence till he lost the Rajya Sabha election, shifted to the support of Parkash Singh Badal, Santokh Singh fell into the pit out of which he may find it difficult to rise again.
There is another enigmatic side of Gurcharan Singh Taura's character, which only he can explain. A very important member of S.G.P.C. who is currently in the U.S.A., for some time bears witness to the fact which Sant Fateh Singh narrated to me. Sant Fateh Singh had a special liking for Mahinder Singh and whenever he wanted to go into hiding or become anonymous, he quietly rested in Mahinder Singh's house, where he was looked after with special care and tenderness by his family. While the Head Granthi and all other Assistant Secretaries of the S.G.P.C. were retired at the age of 60, Mahinder Singh was given a favored and illegal treatment of serving beyond 60 years by Sant Fateh Singh. All the Executive members generally supported the Sant. But on this issue Gurcharan Singh Taura expressed such strong thoughts against this illegal extension that he registered his dissent and was the only member of the S.G.P.C. Executive who walked out of the meeting. Three days before Taura was to be elected President, after Sant Fateh Singh's death, I was incidentally at Amritsar for research work. Ajmer Singh Akali Dal Secretary told me that Gurcharan Singh Taura had assured all the members of his group that the first thing which he would do after being elected would be to shunt out Mahinder Singh. The wily Mahinder Singh is still there at the age of 72 or more. He refuses to retire because he makes himself indispensable for every S.G.P.C. President who wishes to use Golden Temple and S.G.P.C. funds for self-publicity and not for religious literature. A President with different tastes and different character would not only have kicked him out but also held inquiries into all his misdoings. I am sure Taura has benefited greatly by keeping him illegally on the post for over a decade. Such things can take place only in a hopelessly unscrupulous organization like the S.G.P.C. which is stinking with such vulgar and naked favoritism and nepotism. The irregularities, the corrupt atmosphere, and utter disregard for office rules, and constitutional propriety, could be expected only from Sikh leaders like Gurcharan Singh Taura. His unethical and anti-Sikh activities reach a climax in his blind appreciation for every un-Sikhlike Tantric practice and utterance of Yogi Bhajan, and it is on his recommendation that Yogi Bhajan is alleged to have been given some privileged decoration of unusual nature by Akal Takhat.
If one reads the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha during the period in which Taura was a member of the Rajya Sahib (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) one will note that he has not given one significant speech in favor of any Sikh political cause. On the other hand, more often than not, he has generally voted with the Ruling party. There should have been an election of S.G.P.C. every four years, but Mrs Indira Gandhi gave Taura a free hand to continue, and build a fifth column for her support within the Akali Dal. She did not succeed because the rest of the Akali Dal rallied behind Prakash Singh Badal, Mohan Singh Tur and Sant Harcharan Singh. And this gentleman was the leading spiritual Authority, a dummy Pope, as projected by Yogi Bhajan, who came to the U.S.A. to do for Yogi Bhajan what he wanted them to do.

III

Giani Mahinder Singh

The word Giani from the original Sanskrit word Jnani means a "man illumined with the knowledge of God." In Sikh history one who was adept in expounding Sikh scripture was addressed as Giani. Those who preserved the oral tradition of expounding Adi Guru Granth as studied by Bhai Mani Singh from Guru Gobind Singh and interpreted to his students by him, were called Sampardayik Kianis. Giani Mahinder Singh belongs to another class of secular Gianis who cannot interpret a single page of Sikh scriptures correctly. They are neither respected nor popular in Sikh society. In terms of religion and ethics they are sure that even if God exists, he cannot prevent them from doing anything profane in the precincts of the Golden Temple.
Sardar Kapur Singh aptly describes the intellectual equipment of this class of Gianis to which Mahinder Singh belongs. He says that "During the recent years the term has been considerably devalued both literally as well as on a political level. The universities in the Punjab confer the academic degree of Giani on any person who passes through a cheap examination in the Punjabi language and literature, not necessarily the Sikh scriptures, and in post-Independent era, a Sikh is contemptuously referred to as Giani by the non-Sikhs with the twin object of denigrating him, as well as avoiding the formal courtesy of addressing him as Sardar—the courtesy title reminiscent of a period when the Sikhs were the rulers in this part of India." (Sikh Review, Jan 1974, p 59) Mahinder Singh's impropriety and unscrupulous attitude to all the staff members of his office, the Ragis, the pracharaks, and the citizens of Amritsar is well known. But the impression of Yogi Bhajan and his followers as expressed in their Journal is, "Mahinder Singh brought with him the true experiences of what Guru Nanak taught as selfless service. These experiences were communicated in such a way that it inspired all of the American Sikhs in a really profound way. All those who came in contact with him will remember him by his unswerving one-pointedness of mind and spirit of sacrifice in helping the Gurus message to reach America and in helping American Sikhs in their visit to the House of the Guru" (Sikh Dharma: Winter 1975, p 12). For this reason 3HO has sent him the title "Khalsa" and they address him as Giani Khalsa Mahinder Singh in their articles, thus denigrating the word "Khalsa" to the level of "Giani" of Mahinder Singh's type. I had the pleasant opportunity to see this certificate sent by Yogi Bhajan the day after it reached him. It was in the files of S.G.P.C. for a couple of days, and then he removed it to his house as a precious gift from those whose interests he has rightly served. Yogi Bhajan told me on the phone, when I was in Yuba City talking to a 95-year-old Freedom Fighter Thakur Singh Tulli, that when Mahinder Singh retires he would appoint him Secretary of his Establishment in Los Angeles. But Mahinder Singh refuses to retire and I am sure that before he retires he will throw the whole Taura group into the ditch.
Mahinder Singh knows that the Ruling coterie of S.G.P.C. leaders act as a Feudal Clan and they consider public money of S.G.P.C. to be the fief of this coterie. The S.G.P.C. Journals which have specific purpose have become picture books to print all the pictures of Gurcharan Singh Taura, Mahinder Singh, Yogi Bhajan and other 3HO worthies. Many issues have been devoted to publish all the trash that is sent by Yogi Bhajan's secretaries and to malign his opponents and critics. The October issue of Gurdwara Gazette 1974 contains about 145 full page pictures of these gentlemen, shown being garlanded in different places. When people ask Gurcharan Singh Taura as to why he has not during his tenure published even 30 page biographies of the Founders of Amritsar and the Golden Temple, his reply generally is that he has no money for that purpose. But he has money enough to publish his own and Yogi Bhajan and Mahinder Singh's pictures on art paper to the extent of about 145 pages in one issue of the Gurdwara Gazette. The very thought of doing some genuine religious work is distasteful to them. We see in another magazine of S.G.P.C. articles written almost every month by Gurcharan Singh Taura. They are no doubt written for him by ghost writers, and he rarely takes the trouble to read them before and after they are printed. This practice has been going on in Delhi also, where one can see that Jathedar Santokh Singh is allegedly the author of more articles than any single author has been able to write in that period.
Gurdwara Gazette is virtually these days "Mahinder Singh-Yogi Bhajan Gazette." Of course Yogi Bhajan never writes. He talks and shouts. His secretaries to whom he has given much longer titles than any member of the British Royal Family, sometime write with the audacity which surpasses his. Premka is known as Mukhia Singh Sahiba Sardarni Premka Kaur Khalsa, American Administrative Director of Sikh Dharma Brotherhood and one of the first women ever to be ordained as Minister of the Sikh Faith. (Gurdwara Gazette, October 1974) Sat Simrin in this very issue of the Gazette calls herself, "Director of Public Relations and Director of Spiritual Education, 3HO Foundation, California" (p 80, 81). Expressing her special gratitude to Mahinder Singh for all he had done for 3HO and for all he was still doing, Sat Simrin Kaur says, "And to you dear Giani ji goes our love and gratitude for all you have done and for continued dedication to the House of the Guru." (p 81)
Mahinder Singh is the second top religious and spiritual authority of the Sikh Panth whose spirituality sends 3HO people from Yogi Bhajan down to a chain of Directors and Mukhia Singh Sahinas into ecstasy. They are always prepared to do anything for each other. When birds of a feather flock together they always fly that high.

IV

Hukam Singh

Hukam Singh was an unknown lawyer who joined the Akali Dal and became a prospective successor to Master Tara Singh. The author strongly supported him and his English Weekly, Spokesman for a whole decade, because he was also misled into thinking that he would be loyal to the Sikh cause. Ever since the Ruling Congress Party offered him Deputy Speakership and then other posts like governorship of Rajasthan, his whole career, as far as the Sikhs are concerned, became an exercise in treachery and betrayal of the Sikh interest. Sardar Kapur Singh was the Sikh Representative member in the Parliament when Hukam Singh was the Speaker. He is better equipped to write about his attitude towards the problems connected with the Sikh Cause. When the Sikh community faced crisis after crisis under the Congress Regime in its home state, the Punjab and also in U.P., this gentleman, Hukam Singh, did not extend a word of sympathy or moral support for the people whose votes raised him from an unknown figure to those high positions. He maintained this treacherous silence for more than a decade and a half. Although he used to write me long letters of deep appreciation and various requests for support to him and his paper at least half a dozen times a year, he met me at Patna in 1966 as if he were a dignitary from some upper world, and I was still a writer and historian from this poor world called the Earth. He pitied me and I pitied the Sikh Community. When Mrs Gandhi's Regime told him bluntly that they had given him more than he deserved for helping them for their anti-Sikh policies, then like a typical political acrobat he became champion of the Sikh cause and a Titular leader of a Centenary Committee Celebration which was to begin in 1973 or so. He got the chance of his life to pose and act as a great Reformer, and Renaissance leader for two years in speeches at least, if not in actions. To his good fortune and to the misfortune of the Sikh Community he neither reformed himself nor has he and his committee made any visible contribution in any field of reforms so far.
About a hundred years ago a Reform movement known as Singh Sabha movement made a significant contribution to history. S.G.P.C. decided to set apart 2 lakhs of rupees for the centenary and formed Singh Sabha Centenary Committee hoping that it would give them a face lift and remove at least some of their unpopularity. Hukam Singh, a friend of the President Gurcharan Singh Taura, was nominated President and himself became the Vice-President. Two rooms in the S.G.P.C. office were made the temporary Amritsar Office. Delhi Gurdwara Committee gave two rooms free and Rs 1500 per month for running the office in Delhi. It was expected that with so much money in hand they would at least publish the History of the Singh Sabha Movement and the complete works of Giani Dit Singh which could be published in one volume of about 500 pages. There was no doubt very convincing and unprecedented drum beating for forming Singh Sabha Committees in every town and every village, but Hukam Singh saw to it that no such committee was formed in Delhi or Amritsar, either because they did not like Delhi and Amritsar to be reformed, or because they were afraid of being seriously questioned by local people. Within two years they have published about 2,000 pictures of their own. The same Hukam Singh and Taura being garlanded across the table in as many places as they visited. They had money for all this. But they did not have money for 100 page biography of Giani Dit Singh. They did not have any money for any other useful production. They had money to reproduce disgustingly repetitive postures of their own faces. Any man could get tired of seeing his own face fifty to sixty times in the same official magazine, but not Hukam Singh and his Reformer companions. It was probably because it was the last chance of their life. They thought they are making history. But they were multiplying their follies.
In the very first meeting of the General Body constituted by them, Hukam Singh was taken to task and some members protested against his nomination as President. He expressed some sort of regret on his past performances and he was allowed one year. When on the next Baisakhi it was almost decided that Bhai Sahib Ardaman Singh of Bagrian was to be elected President, Gurcharan Singh Taura absented himself from the meeting, and the election was indefinitely postponed. When this was done Taura appeared on the scene, and everyone concerned understood the game. I was to deliver a lecture in the precincts of the Takhat Kesgarh Sahib. Bhai Sahib Balbir Singh, son of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh who was to attend the meeting, was kept out of the decision-making meeting.
At the end of two years Sardar Jogendra Singh, Chairman of the Delhi Gurdwara Committee, wrote to Sardar Hukam Singh that a Centenary generally lasts; only one year. They have been carrying out their work for two years, and yet the Committee that had given them premises and money does not know what has been achieved. So he firmly asked him to vacate the premises of Rakabganj Gurdwara immediately and he asked his office to provide any funds to him. Soon Hukam Singh and his drum-beating organization had to move out lock stock and barrel, and Hukam Singh Taura's Reforms and Renaissance ended there. And this Hukam Singh was the third spiritual authority that traveled all the way from India to the U.S.A. to give patronizing blessings to Yogi Bhajan on behalf of the whole Sikh Community. How did he claim to speak on behalf of the whole Sikh Community, I still cannot understand. The Singha Sabha Centenary Presidentship to which he and his friend Taura nominated themselves. This did not entitle him to any such spiritual authority which is reflected in his hastily written circular letters on July 5 and July 18, 1974 glorifying Yogi Bhajan and roundly abusing his critics. I do not know the details of the activities of the critics but this chapter will reveal that all the recommendations of Hukam Singh and Taura about the activities and spiritual status of Yogi Bhajan as a Sikh in the West were patently false and misleading.

V

The Sikh Pope and Sacrilegious Decorations

When Yogi Bhajan invited me to dinner in a Chinese Restaurant in Washington along with Dr Shamsher Singh of the World Bank and Professor Balwant Singh of Lewisberg University, he lustily described how he presented Gurcharan Singh Taura as the Pope of the Sikhs. He told us that while attending an open air party some clouds appeared and there was some possibility that it would rain. Yogi Bhajan unexpectedly announced to the American visitors that it would not rain because the Sikh Pope was in meditation and praying that it may not rain. He asked the Sikh Pope (Gurcharan Singh Taura) in Punjabi language to behave and act as if he were in samadhi, which he did as best as he could, because the only time the Akali leaders go into samadhi like posture is when they doze or go to sleep. It must have been a hard exercise for Gurcharan Singh Taura even to act like this. While before 1945 I had the good fortune to see almost all leading Akali leaders saying their prayers regularly, after the partition of the country I have not seen any Akali leader praying or even worshiping even in the precincts of the Golden Temple. But I have seen them drinking wine, indulging in sacrilegious talk and revelry even in the Panthic meetings where the fate and future of the Sikh Community was to be decided. But here it appears Taura had no choice. He closed his eyes and acted as a Sikh Pope with some miraculous powers. Providentially or expectedly it did not rain. When the Americans rushed forward to thank him and question him, Yogi Bhajan whisked him away from there. There were one or two more stories which he told showing how he handled and conducted the Sikh Pope (Taura) not as a person but as his showpiece. In gratitude for all this Hukam Singh and Pope Taura circulated letters praising Yogi Bhajan and glorifying Yogi Bhajan and all he did in their 35 days conducted tour in the U.S.A. and condemning his just or unjust critics. Even in London U.K. Akali leaders told me that as long as Yogi Bhajan was with them it became impossible for them to talk to Taura, the Akali leader. In one of the letters glorifying Yogi Bhajan, Hukam Singh writes, "The S.G.P.C. appreciated the work done by 3HO and the Akal Takhat decorated the leader as Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Yogi and recognized him as the Head of the Sikh Dharma Mission in the Western Hemisphere," (Letter signed by Hukam Singh Taura dated 18 July 1974) The strangest thing about this letter is that Hukam Singh signs it on the top and the Sikh Pope Gurcharan Singh Taura signs below.
Yogi Bhajan's version of his titles and decorations is as follows: (1) In the March of 1971, Yogi Bhajan was ordained as Minister of Divinity for the Sikh Dharma by the highest Seat of Authority in the Sikh Religion, the Holy Akal Takhat (which means Guru's Throne) at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in India. At that time he was granted the authority to ordain others as Ministers and to perform the Amrit Ceremony which is the sacred ceremony of initiation into the Khalsa, the Brotherhood of the Pure Ones. He is the only Sikh Minister thus empowered outside of Amritsar. (Beads of Summer, 1972) (2) He (Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Yogi) was presented with the title and responsibility for serving as the Chief Religious and Administrative Authority for the Sikh Dharma in the Western World. He has been thus empowered, to instruct and initiate new members into the Sikh Dharma, to instruct and ordain Ministers of Sikh Dharma, to perform marriage ceremonies and to administer final rites, as well as to organize and give the proper form to Sikh Dharma throughout the Western Hemisphere by serving as a Guide to determine policy and to assist people in understanding and abiding by the instructions of the Gurus, as conveyed through the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. (Sikh Dharma Brotherhood, Winter 1975)
These three statements if true have been the most irresponsible, and sacrilegious acts of S.G.P.C. of which even the S.G.P.C. Executive members are ignorant. No document or resolution thereof has ever been published in the Gurdwara Gazette in which all resolutions of S.G.P.C. and all statements of Robes of Honor should be given: Hukam Singh and Taura say in their letter that he has been given the title of Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Yogi. May I ask Hukam Singh and Taura the following basic questions on this issue:
1) Since when has S.G.P.C. started giving "Singh Sahib" and "Yogi" as the titles to Sikhs? How is the ceremony performed and what are the qualifications for such titles and authority which Bhajan claims to have acquired so cheaply?
2) Every Sikh who is a baptized Khalsa can act as Minister for joining the Five who impart baptism, or to perform marriage ceremonies or the last rites of a person. For the last three centuries no special certificate or title was necessary to perform these functions. How is it that a special certificate was necessary for Yogi Bhajan? Was it that it was to be given to a Yogi and not to a practicing Khalsa? (3) As far back as 1905 baptism and other ceremonies were performed among Sikhs and non-Sikhs by Sant Teja Singh in the U.S.A. and U.K., and ever since then baptism, marriage rites and last rites are regularly performed in about a hundred Sikh temples in the U.K. and about the same number in the U.S.A. and Canada. When these functions are being already performed according to Sikh traditions, in this country for the last half century, where was the necessity to give him any such special authority or permission?
The words Sant (Saint), Bhai Sahib (Revered Brother), Singh Sahib (Exalted Sikh Divine) are honorifics which cannot be used as titles. They are used as a mark of respect. Bhai Sahib Vir Singh and Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh never received the title from Akal Takhat and they never used it themselves. It was reverently used by people who addressed them. The eminent Saint Baba Sham Singh who performed Kirtan (Hymn Singing) in the Golden Temple for 75 years was respectfully called Brahm Giani (a saint fully illumined by God's vision) but he never permitted people to call him like that. He would say call me: Ghulam Sham Singh (Slave Sham Singh) because I am a slave of Guru Nanak.
I appeal to 10 million Sikhs all over the world to raise their voices and demand an open inquiry into these perfidious deals which were carried out by Gurcharan Singh Taura, Mahinder Singh and Hukam Singh under Five Sikh Divines who are not the servants of S.G.P.C. or any other organization. Inquiry should be held on the following issues which involve very serious historical and theological problems, and which if left unanswered will cut at the roots of all Guru Gobind Singh did to create the Khalsa as free democratic people that cannot be controlled or made a fool of by any self-styled spiritual authority.
1) The word "Singh Sahib" is an honorific only for the Jathedars of Four Takhats and the High Priest of the Golden Temple. The person must be a baptized practicing Khalsa Sikh, and he is questioned by Five Sikh Divines about his moral and spiritual life before he is posted. There is formal ceremony of installing him Granthi which I watched once. How is it that Yogi Bhajan who neither keeps Rehat nor is competent to join the Panj Pyaras (Five Sikh Divines) for any ceremony was given this title which Hukam Singh calls a decoration while Yogi Bhajan claims to be the "Chief Religious and Administrative Authority in the Western Hemisphere." He has added the word Siri to it and he has started distributing this title with the additional prefix Mukhia Singh Sahib to every Tom, Dick and Harry he considers competent to serve him blindly. The Singh Sahibs who posted as Priest must be able to interpret the Sikh Scriptures and explain history according to the traditions of Suraj Prakash and Gurbilases (traditional historical works of great merit). Neither Yogi Bhajan nor the American Singh Sahibs ordained by him can interpret or even understand the Sikh scriptures. He is disposing of them as cheaply as he got it.
2) When Yogi Bhajan was given a Robe of Honor in 1974 in the form of Hukamnama (Letter of Blessings) he is addressed only as Bhai Sahib in it. If he had already received the title of Siri Singh Sahib from Akal Takhat why was it not added to that letter?
3) If in 1971 March Yogi Bhajan had already been made the only Spiritual Authority outside Amritsar, and Administrative Chief of the West, why then was it necessary to give him a Robe of Honor in 1974?
4) These gentlemen who are alleged to have given this Ecclesiastical title only to Yogi Bhajan, and further freedom to create an Ecclesiastical hierarchy of his own in 3HO, probably to impress the American Government that as Head of the Sikh Church he is entitled to tax exemption, then may I ask them who is the Spiritual Authority of this kind for the Eastern Hemisphere?

Yogi Bhajan cannot read or interpret Sikh scriptures. He does not live according to the Rehat of the Khalsa (that is the Khalsa Code of Conduct), and this fact can be put to test if he presents himself before the Five Sikh Divines at Takhat Patna Sahib or any holy place free from the perfidious and profane management of corrupt men like Mahinder Singh and his boss Gurcharan Singh Taura. He should be questioned on all the un-Sikhlike Tantric practices of Adi Shakti worship, his image worship as Tantric and Sikh guru, his distortions of Gurbani and Sikh history and his open insult to Guru Gobind Singh, and ego-maniac claims he has done more than Guru Gobind Singh.
5) Most of the un-Sikhlike practices of Yogi Bhajan and his Shakti Cult worship was clearly recorded in his magazines published before Hukam Singh and Taura came to the U.S.A. These gentlemen should be hauled before the Takhat Sahib and questioned as to why they failed to study his published literature before they announced blind support to all Yogi was doing and thus deliberately misguided the whole Sikh community.
6) All these leaders saw with their own eyes that Yogi Bhajan was distributing religious honorifics like hot cakes, and even Mahinder Singh was given the title Khalsa. This was nothing but a sacrilegious game to build a hierarchical Church of his own with Khalsa appearances and some Sikh practices but Tantric techniques and practices. And yet they pretended to believe that there was nothing wrong with these practices. The whole of the Adi Granth loudly condemns Tantric practices, the Shakti Cult and Shakta Mat, and yet these Spiritual authorities from Amritsar and Delhi ignored this. Either they do not know anything about the doctrinal aspects of Sikh scriptures or they just ignored it as a permissible religious transgression which they are authorized to bypass.
7) No single person can baptize or ordain any one. Yet Yogi Bhajan claims that for the first time in Sikh history he has been given this authority from Akal Takhat. The Sikh Community is entitled to know who committed this unforgivable, treacherous sacrilegious act.
8) Time and again he has claimed in his Journals that the meditation techniques which Guru Nanak brought to this earth were forgotten by the Sikhs after Guru Gobind Singh, because the Sikhs were busy with survival for existence, and according to him lost their meditation techniques, and their spiritual moorings. Only he reclaimed those mystical techniques and practices from the Tibetan Lama Lilan Po whose whereabouts and monastery are not known to anyone except Yogi Bhajan and he will never tell. And he did not impart these techniques to the Indians, but he has reserved these Tantric lollipops acquired from Lama Lilan Po only for Americans of 3HO. It is after Guru Gobind Singh, in the 18th Century, that we produced some of the greatest martyrs, the greatest mystics, saints and seers. It was the most glorious period of our history and this ignorant man makes it the spiritually dark period of our history. And yet this man who makes fun of our history, ridicules the whole Sikh community having lived in darkness for three centuries, distorts Sikh scriptures and does not know the ABC's of Sikh mysticism and mystical techniques, has been given according to Hukam Singh and Taura the rare title of Singh Sahib and Minister of Sikh Dharma in the Western Hemisphere.
9) No Sikh Temple, no Sikh Religious Society or Organization, no Sikh Congregation was consulted whether this man deserves to be made the Sikh Archbishop of the Western hemisphere; and no Sikh Organization has been informed as to what are the implications and powers attached to this title which has not been given to any person who is not a Khalsa in mind, body and Spirit, and who does not live according to the Code of Conduct of the Khalsa.
These are matters of national and international importance to the Sikhs on which rests the sanctity of our faith and the authenticity of our history and doctrines. It is absolutely essential that a high level inquiry should be held first into the misdoings of Gurcharan Singh Taura, Hukam Singh and Mahinder Singh, who are directly and indirectly responsible for the whole ugly situation in which innocent and very sincere American seekers of Sikhism have been left in the wilderness. Yogi Bhajan's utterances which are repeatedly printed and accepted by American Sikhs as gospel truth should be questioned. His Shakti worship, his attempt to misuse and mix up Sikh Sacred mantras with Tantric practices is a sacrilegious act for which he should seriously be questioned by knowledgeable Sikh divines who are outside the political influence of these treacherous and corrupt politicians who are responsible for all this state of affairs. If they had the moral courage to avoid being corrupted, or if they themselves had the requisite knowledge, experience and insight into Sikh doctrines and traditions, they could have put a stop to it and prevented Yogi Bhajan from doing such irreligious activities in the name of the Sikh religion.


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