In this article, I will attempt to clear some of the points that organizations such as the RSS have brought forward. Though most Sikhs who have knowledge of our glorious history and enlightening Bani can easily refute the points made by the RSS, however others who are new to Sikhi might become disillusioned upon hearing the parchar of the RSS.
Two points that are commonly brought forward by the RSS will be countered using Gurbani and Sikh history. The two points, which this article will focus on, are, Guru Gobind Singh Ji worshipped Kalika Devi (Chandi Goddess) and the second being that he worshipped Bhagauti (Durga Goddess). I hope that the proofs, which will be provided in this article, will ensure that those who have limited knowledge of Gurbani and Sikh history will not fall prey to the parchar of nefarious organizations such as the RSS.
The RSS makes the claim that while Sikhs say that Gurmat condemns the worship of gods and goddesses, Guru Gobind Singh Ji worshipped goddesses, the proof of this is contained in Bachittar Natak.
ਮਹਾਕਾਲ ਕਾਲਕਾ ਅਰਾਧੀ ॥2॥
“Mahakal Kalika Aradhi”
In addition, it appears that the Guru wrote Chandi Charitar in praise of goddess Chandi and has described the importance of its recitation, e.g.
ਜਾਹਿ ਨਮਿਤ ਪੜ੍ਹੈ ਸੁਨਹੈ ਨਰ, ਸੋ ਨਿਸਚੈ ਕਰਿ ਤਾਹਿ ਦਈ ਹੈ ॥232॥ (ਚੰਡੀ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਉਕਤਿ ਪਾ: 10)
ਫੇਰ ਨ ਜੂਨੀ ਆਇਆ ਜਿਨ ਏਹ ਗਾਇਆ ॥55॥ (ਵਾਰ ਚੰਡੀ ਪਾ: 10)
The RSS has purposely or accidentally over looked the message of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, which is contained in the Dasam Granth.
ਨਮੋ ਪਰਮ ਗਿਆਤਾ ॥ ਨਮੋ ਲੋਕ ਮਾਤਾ ॥52॥
Salutation to Thee O Supreme Knower Lord! Salutation to Thee O Universal Mother Lord! ||52||
In the above quotation, Kalika does not mean anything different from Eternal. To dispel all the doubts we show the condemnation of the worship of goddess in these six statements.
a) Guru Gobind Singh Ji has ordained the Sikhs:
ਬਿਨ ਕਰਤਾਰ ਨ ਕਿਰਤਮ ਮਾਨੋ ॥
Except Waheguru (God), do not accept anyone as the ruler and controller of the world.
Moreover, it is written in the Var (ode) of Chandi:
ਤੈਂ ਹੀ ਦੁਰਗਾ ਸਾਜਿ ਕੈ ਦੈਤਾਂ ਦਾ ਨਾਸ ਕਰਾਇਆ ॥
O Lord! By creating Durga, Thou hast caused the destruction of demons.
It proves that there is a Creator of Durga and she is His Creature. Is it possible that the Guru counsels his Sikhs one thing and he himself does the totally opposite? It is not possible.
b) Guru Sahib makes this supplication and promise:
ਤੁਮਹਿ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੋਈ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਧਯਾਊਂ ॥ ਜੋ ਬਰ ਚਹੋਂ ਸੁ ਤੁਮ ਤੇ ਪਾਊਂ ॥
I may remember none else except Thee; and obtain all the required boons from Thee. (Chaupai Sahib)
ਇਕ ਬਿਨ ਦੂਸਰ ਸੋ ਨ ਚਿਨਾਰ ॥
Do not accept anyone except God as God. (Shabad Hazaray)
ਭਜੋਂ ਸੁ ਏਕ ਨਾਮਯੰ ॥ ਜੁ ਕਾਮ ਸਰਬ ਠਾਮਯੰ ॥
I recite only the Name of the Lord, which is useful at all places. (Bachittar Natak)
ਨ ਧਿਆਨ ਆਨ ਕੋ ਧਰੋਂ ॥ ਨ ਨਾਮ ਆਨ ਉਚਰੋਂ ॥38॥
I do not meditate on anyone else, nor do I repeat the Name of anyone else. ||38|| (Bachittar Natak)
From the above quotes, it is clear that Guru Sahib worshipped none other than one Supreme Creator. Is it possible that Guru Sahib acts against his own promise?
c) The author of a Granth writes the name of the deity he worships in the beginning of the Granth. There he writes the invocation. Scholars can tell which deity the author worships from the invocation.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji has always used the invocation:
ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
One Eternal, True, accessible by the grace of the Guru.
ੴ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ ॥
One True Eternal, Victory to the Wonderful Lord.
Then how can anyone conclude that Guru Sahib worshipped Durga? It simply never happened.
d) Sikhs believe that the Ten Gurus were in reality One. Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s ideas and objectives were the same as those of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. This is written in Guru Granth Sahib Ji:
ਭਰਮੇ ਸੁਰਿ ਨਰ ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵਾ ॥
The angelic beings, goddesses and gods are deluded by doubt. (Ang 258)
ਦੇਵੀਆ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਨੈ ਮਰਮ ॥
The goddesses do not know His mystery. (Ang 894)
ਮਹਾ ਮਾਈ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਨਰ ਸੈ ਨਾਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥3॥
ਤੂ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੀ ਆਦਿ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਨੀ ॥4॥
One who worships the Great Goddess Maya will be reincarnated as a woman, and not a man. ||3|| You are called the Primal Goddess. At the time of liberation, where will you hide then? ||4|| (Ang 874)
Then Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself says in the Akal Ustat:
ਚਰਨ ਸਰਨ ਜਿਹ ਬਸਤ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥
The goddess Durga takes refuge at the feet of Eternal and abides there.
Guru Ji further says:
ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਦਾਸੀ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧ ਅਗਿਆਨਾ ॥
The blind, ignorant, self-willed manmukhs forsake their Lord and Master, and dwell on His slave Maya. (Ang 1138)
Guru Angad Dev Ji describes the goddess as a sweeperess of the court of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Then how is it possible that a descendant of that tradition could go against the ideas of his ancestors and against his own writings and worship the goddess?
e) It has been established that Guru Gobind Singh Ji only worshipped One Eternal Waheguru and taught His Sikhs to do the same. Now, let us look at the Shabad and analyze it some.
The word ਕਾਲਕਾ does not refer to goddess Kalika but to the One Eternal Lord. The word in fact is a compound word, made up of two separate words.
The first word is: ਕਾਲ - Death
The second word is: ਕਾ - of
This is not an attempt to break up words so Gurbani can be misinterpreted as in Guru Granth Sahib Ji the word ਕਾਲਿ has been used numerous times.
ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਕਾਟਿਆ ਭਉ ਕਾਲ ॥3॥
Meditating, meditating in remembrance on the Lord, I am rid of the fear of death. ||3||
ਜਿਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨ ਭੇਟਿਓ ਸੇ ਭਾਗਹੀਣ ਵਸਿ ਕਾਲ ॥
Those who have not met the Primal Being, the True Guru, are most unfortunate, and are subject to death.
Therefore, the line in correct form would be: ਮਹਾਕਾਲ ਕਾਲ ਕਾ ਅਰਾਧੀ ॥2॥
ਮਹਾਕਾਲ - Death
ਕਾਲ ਕਾ - of death
ਅਰਾਧੀ - worshipped
This means that Guru Ji worshipped the One Supreme Power that is death of death. By reading the next lines, it becomes quite clear that these in fact are the correct meanings.
ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਰਤ ਤਪਸਿਆ ਭਯੋ ॥ ਦ੍ਵੈ ਤੇ ਏਕ ਰੂਪ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਗਯੋ ॥
In this way, my meditation reached its zenith and I became One with the Omnipotent Lord.
It is a well-accepted belief in Sikhi as well as in Hinduism that a goddess is not Waheguru but His creation. If we assume that Guru Ji worshipped a goddess then we must admit that before Guru Ji started meditating there were three forms in existence: Lord (Waheguru), Goddess (Kalika) and Guru Ji himself. After a long period of meditation, He became one with Waheguru, which means three forms then became two.
However, what Guru Ji says totally contradicts this baseless theory. He clearly states that there were only two in existence: Himself and Waheguru. After meditation, Guru Ji merged with the Light of the true Lord and thus became one with Him. Therefore, two became one. This proves that the worship of goddesses by Guru Sahib never happened. Not only are these stories a fabrication of the truth but also they are a grave misinterpretation of the message of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
(Based on Hum Hindu Nahin by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha)
To be continued...