In reference to Shaster-Vidya and Self-Delusion
I am a bit lost in what the author is trying to say about the use of Gukha and shifting hands.
I have both studied Gukha and taught it. I am out of practice as when I came to Australia there was no one with whom I could continue and none of the Sikhs were that interested.
However, I think some of what is written in the article, is wrong either due to a misunderstanding on my part as I was unable to follow the author, or due to the author’s lack of understanding of Gukha. Most likely the answer is somewhere between. But let me make a few points.
Firstly when comparing Gukha to fencing are you using the same weapons? I think not. Each weapon has advantages and disadvantages. If someone is highly qualified in one weapon then they can use it to their advantage over the other. It would only be fair to compare them if they both used the same weapon or if the fight was for real. This is not an option and it is the main advantage of a curved sword over a pointed fencing sword. So by comparing different weapons and not allowing the Gukha master to use the benefit of their weapon it would not be a fair challenge.
With regard to use of the fencing sword, same techniques used in Gukha are applied but of a different scale. In Gukha one is taught to use large circles. Whereas in fencing small circles are used. It is the same approach but with a difference. When one masters Gukha, one can use what has been learned and apply it to other weapons but it must be adapted to that weapon.
Secondly, the circular motion is used to build up speed. The author tried to point out that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. This is true and if we were looking at one one strike this could be applied. However, strikes are blocked and there needs to be more than one strike.
If you are making straight strikes you must stop the sword twice, once at the end of the first strike and at the start of the nest. In circular motion one stop is needed. Therefore with repeated strikes a circular motion is needed for maximum speed and to get in before the other person has time to defend the strike. Fencing also uses a circular motion. When deflecting other persons weapon it is most advantageous and is used by the better ones.
Thirdly, you have not applied the curved sword or Gukha to the way it was meant to be used. In old times people did not fight one on one as in the movies.
They fought in a group with large numbers from both sides all mixed up. A large curved motion helps to protect from an attack that may not be seen. Your pointed fencing sword would be of little use in this situation. Also, people had protection against cuts. In some cases they had chain mail and a normal straight sword is not able to cut through this. However, a curved sword is designed to open the chain mail and thereby kill the opponent.
I do not know about the teaching of Hindu practices in Gukha. I have not seen it although someone may misunderstand some of the practices. Just as someone who does not understanding about the Sikh view that God is without form and then sees Sikhs bowing to a book would think they were praying to an idol. It may be that such did happen to you and then the teacher was not right and your opinion on it would be justified. However, that is not what I understand about Gukha.
My cousin Amarjit Singh from Delhi forwarded me an email with your Website. I found it very interesting and look forward to good sensible reading.
Good Luck and Best Wishes.
Preetmohan singh ji and Rajinder singh ji,
Heartiest congratulations to you on the new launch for the welfare of Sikhs. Preet you have done a lot for Sikhs and may Waheguru give you strength and long life to contribute more to further the message of our Gurus.
We are with you and wish you every success.
Sat Sri Akaal ji,
I am very pleased to see SikhSpectrum.com. It is really a sound and attractive approach towards the preach of Sikhism. There should be a programme for awareness of Sikhism in the young generation.
A great debut. Congratulations on your intellectual vision and wide approach. It is refreshing. In his feedback, however, AP Singh Ji has said that you should ‘keep to the strict measure of unadulterated Sikhi concepts only.’ Quite frankly, I hope you don’t. It seems more appropriate to be pluralist and place Sikhi unselfconsciously in a wider world of ideas as you seem to be doing with solid articles like World Bank Funded Health Care: Reality or Deception by Vineeta Gupta and Greed and Social Creation of Wealth by John Fleming. We don’t have enough e-sites and discussion groups that are outward-looking and invite non-Sikhs to the party.
Afterall, did Guru Nanak wait for the world to come to him? No, he went to the people and mixed up with their languages, poetry, music, beliefs, problems and customs. Thus we have the grand tradition of inter-linguistic, artistic and inter-faith scriptural dialogue of which Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the sole example in the world. It is not written in ‘pure’-Sanskrit, Aramaic Greek or chaste Latin; neither is it ‘pure’ Pali, Arabic or Hebrew.
The Sikh scripture are a selective blend of some of the best words of the age regardless of caste, creed or religion. That is what is unique about the Guru’s vision: it does not live on one level, in one language, in one lifetime. It is truly the first and best example of inter-faith dialogue in the world, and that is what Sikhi is about, in my view.
If A.P. Singh can write us an article on what are these ‘pure unadulterated Sikh concepts’ we will join and discuss them as among most advanced and futuristic ideas on the planet. But one cannot discuss in a vacuum or without wider reference points. We must allow SikhSpectrum.com to reverse the unfortunate trend that Sikhs have developed of not mixing up, not sharing their Guru’s legacy and continuing to live in an airless Sikh ghetto.
Let us live in the big world and embrace it with love and service.
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