THE GROWTH OF RESPONSIBILITY IN SIKHISM
RAM DASS 1534-1581
Sikhs became fearless, as their Guru taught
Get rid of all superstition and fear.
There is nothing save God to inspire fear
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
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
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
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."