I was reading an article online and it was talking about Langar and how the Akhand Keertani Jatha (AKJ) do Pakhand (false rituals) by not eating for the hands of Non-Amritdharis (non-baptised Sikhs).
This is a debate for which I have been confused and looking long and hard to find the right answer, without following rituals. The main argument from the AKJ is that Amritdharis should prepare Langar only, as they have taken an oath to serve the Guru. How can people who have not taken Amrit, (a minimum requirement) provide Langar for Sikhs?
Now you may be thinking that Sikhism is about equality, therefore not letting non-Sikhs make food, who do simran and Jap Naam whilst making the food is wrong, but I would disagree. Why? Because; people who have not taken Amrit, cannot fully believe in the Sikh way of life and equality. When one gets given Amrit, he/she is re-born into the Khalsa Panth and told that all are equal and that they should eat and drink within the Khalsa Panth only. Most people that prepare Langar, at Gurdwara’s or for house programs commit one of the Four Cardinal Sins (Cut Hair, Fornication/Adultery, Eat Meat, Use intoxication/drugs). Anybody that does not commit any of these, keeps a good Rehit, follows all Sikh teachings, well then my question to them would be; what’s stopping you from giving you’re head to Guru Ji and receiving Amrit? What would Guru Gobind Singh ji think?? Would they want THEIR KHALSA to be fed by those who have not taken Amrit, those who disobey Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s orders of not doing the 4 Bujjhar Kurehiets
Yes there are many people out there who do Bibek as a ritual, because they have not understood the meaning, which leads them to thinking they are better then others, therefore defeating the reason why they are doing Bibek in the first place; purity and equality.
Just because someone holds a Sri Akhand Paaht at the Gurdwara Sahib and does a little Simran whilst making Langar, doesn’t mean it is Guru Ka Langar. How can it even be considered Guru Ka Langar if it is not prepared by Guru Ke Sikh? People often say that this is something that the AKJ started and is ‘pakhand’ but forget historical examples of Bibek:
“Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji has forbidden eating food which makes the body writhe in pain and fill the mind with evil. That is why he refused to accept the most nourishing and dainty dishes prepared in the house of Malik Bhago but preferred the simple dry food prepared by the so-called low-caste carpenter, Bhai Lalo. Similarly, Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji refused to drink water brought by a young man who had never done any service to anyone in his life.”
This shows that people that prepare Langar should be of a high spirituality, humble and kind. It can’t just be anyone who feels like making Langar. What if an atheist said he/she wanted to make food for people at the Gurdwara, because they feel it would be fun. Does this food become Guru Ka Langar if made in a Gurdwara by an atheist? I certainly hope not!
All Dharmik organizations state that an Amritdhari can eat from and with another Amritdhari, some people prefer not to, as they may follow a stricter Rehit than another GurSikh. However for me it seems that surely one should only eat from people with the same values and lifestyle. How can one eat from the hands of someone who does not even believe in WaheGuru? Are Bibeki’s the ones who are being ritualistic, by only eating from fellow Amritdharis, or is the person who is preparing the food at the Gurdwara only because they are holding a Sri Akhand Paaht and will do no form of seva until they do another Sri Akhand Paaht in a years time?
Yes, of course, if one does not know the meaning of why they are keeping Bibek, it can turn into a ritual, for which there is no place within Sikhi. However, we should understand that, as an Amritdhari we should only eat Guru Ka Langar, which has been prepared by Guru Ke Sikh. To me it seems people that want to eat from restaurants; McDonalds, etc. are the people that may be doing the ‘Pakhand’.