A ’panth’ is an ethical path. Followers of the Sikh path are called members of the Sikh Panth. Members of the Panth are required to be true to the teachings of our Gurus, the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib and follow no other religious text or scripture, or individual. – Guru Manio Granth. The Global Sikh Council (GSC) was formed in 2014 as a result of concerns felt by diaspora Sikhs over the mushrooming of various deras run by sants and babas, who mislead gullible Sikhs to follow distorted versions of our Gurus’ teachings.
GSC is a worldwide Sikh organisation with membership of national level Sikh organisations from around the world. No self appointed leaders or an agent of any political party, religious clergy or governmental agency can be a member of GSC. It’s representatives are selected by the member organisations to form the General Body of the Global Sikh Council. The member representatives in turn select the Board, and the Executive Committee.
The Constitution of the GSC requires members to be true to the Gurus’ teachings, contained in the Guru Granth Sahib, and promote the very unifying final order of Guru Gobind Singh , ‘ Sabah Sikhan ko hukam hai, Guru Manio Granth’. GSC believes that Guru Granth Sahib is the only Guru of the Sikhs and strictly no other scriptures should be placed parallel to the Guru Granth Sahib in any gurdwaras or any Sikh events wherever or whenever these might happen in any part of the world.as Rehat Maryada states, ‘ No other book should be afforded the same reverence as the Guru Granth Sahib.’
The Global Sikh Council also believes that the Sikh Rehat Maryada published in 1945 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is the code of conduct to be followed by Sikhs in their daily life. GSC promotes the general guidance of the 1945 Rehat Maryada in bringing the Sikh teaching contained in the Guru Granth Sahib into our daily life.
The Rehat Maryada says that the following scriptures should be read or recited: Japji Sahib of Guru Nanak and Jap Sahib and Ten Swayas of Guru Gobind Singh (early morning prayers), Sodar Rehras ( evening prayer) this includes nine shabads from the Guru Granth Sahib, Chopai of Guru Gobind Singh and Anand Sahib. Sohila is recited before going to bed. At the Amrit Ceremony the five prayers offered are: Japji Sahib, Jap Sahib, Ten Swayas, Benti Chopai and the first five verses of Anand Sahib. This is exactly what the GSC promotes.
We need to remember that the Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru and after adding Guru Tegh Bahadur’s bani, Guru Gobind Singh gave an injunction to all Sikhs to accept Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru. No one can add or take away a single letter. The Rehat Maryada was written by Sikh leaders which are accepted by the whole panth. The Rehat Maryada should be practised by all Sikhs till the panth decides whether or not to bring any changes.
Unfortunately, some politically appointed Jathedhars themselves lead in promoting anti – Sikh teachings. We are saddened that Jathedhar Iqbal Singh is abusing his position by stating that the Global Sikh Council is panth dokhi when he himself is placing the Dasam Granth on a par with the Guru Granth Sahib at Takht Patna Sahib, and is criticising the GSC for opposing this distortion and dilution of Sikh teachings. It is the duty of every Sikh to continue to criticise and expose such anti – Sikh practices.
We request all Sikhs to think seriously and decide for themselves who are panth dokhis, GSC who promotes the supremacy of Guru Granth Sahib or those like the Jathedar, who demote it by putting other scriptures at par with our Guru (Guru Manio Granth).