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THE GROWTH OF RESPONSIBILITY IN SIKHISM


GURU RAM DASS 1534-1581
SERVICE

The Sikhs became fearless, as their Guru taught them;

Get rid of all superstition and fear. There is nothing save God to inspire fear in us..............................

He alone may fear who practices sin; the good man is ever happy. Why should we fear anybody, when we know that God is true and just? (Sri Rag IV)

All superstition about inequalities and differences being removed, the disciples had acquired a character best fitted for entering on a career of Service.

Guru Ram Dass, the fourth Guru required his Sikhs to be always ready to service to others. His special orders were to minister to the want wayfarers. Thus had Charity come out of home. It became frequent to see Sikhs fanning and giving water to the weary travelers.

Bhai Gurdas says. "A Sikh enjoys supreme bliss in satisfying another's wants."(Var 7) Again, a Sikh is one "who lives honestly and by his munificence confers favors on others." (Var 6)

The fourth Guru himself says, "I'll pull pukha (fan) and draw water, and eat whatever Thou shall give me."(Suhi IV) it becomes a custom among the Sikhs to spend as little as possible on them and bring all that was saved as a contribution to the free kitchen established by the Guru.

This system of sacrificing something for the common good was further extended and organized by the fifth and sixth Gurus. Guru Arjun laid it down as a rule that every Sikh should set aside at least one-tenth of his income for national purposes; and the Guru himself set an excellent example. He lived a simple life and renounced his claim to the whole income derived from his landed property and house rents, and settled it on his enemy, Prithia, and saintly Mahadev.

When emperor Jahagir offered to complete the building of the Akal Takhat at his own expense, Guru Hargobind thankfully declined the offer saying : "Let me and my Sikhs raise this throne of God with the labor of our own bodies and with the contribution from our own little resources. I want to make it a symbol of my Sikhs service and sacrifice, and not a monument to a kind's generosity."



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