Sarup Singh Alag contaminates Sikhism with Occultism

Charnjit Singh Bal

Sarup Singh Alag’s claim that he is distributing his books free is questionable, in view of the fact, that he has been collecting funds from the credulous Sikh individuals, institutions, and Gurdwara societies in India and abroad. Every couple of years goes globetrotting to solicit funds. According to grapevine sources he received $70,000 to $75,000 from four local Gurdwara societies and a radio station during his tour, in May-June of this year 2008, of Canada’s Metro Vancouver that has more than dozen Gurdwaras. Apparently there is no accountability or audit of these funds.

Whereas his professed claim to distribute his books free and apparent lack of accountability of the funds he collects is questionable, the contents of his books are more than questionable. The occult content in his one book ‘BHAGAT CONTRIBUTORS OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB’ that I have read is analogous [common] to Hindu mythology rather than cognitive Sikh scriptural anthology and authentic Sikh history.

During his visit to Akali Singh Sikh Gurdwara, when confronted by congregation’s half-a-dozen Sikhs, including Society’s President and the Permukh, he not only agreed with them, but also thanked them profoundly for having brought to his notice the occult content in his book, and promised to make amends and exclude mystical and mythological content his future writings. However, according to his host, Alag told him that his writings are impeccable but he didn’t want to argue with the vociferous critics.

Occult Content in ‘Bhagat Contributors of Guru Granth Sahib’

Note: We have scribed the ludicrous extracts from Sarup Singh Alag’s book, in verbatim text including original spellings and grammar.

Sheikh Farid

‘It is said that soon after his [Farid’s] birth when his mother tried to breast-feed him, he did not suck milk till night because he had been observing Roza (fast) at the time of his birth.’ P. 8

‘It is said that at the time of Farid’s death even a small piece of cloth to serve as coffin could not be found in his house. For the tomb over his grave, the brick’s were taken by pulling down a portion of one of the walls of his house.’ P. 9

Bhagat Jaidev

‘Thus three volumes of his compositions came into being to be known as 1. Darshan Raghav, 2. Geet Govinde, and 3. Chandia Lok. Of these, his Geet Govinde has been generally accepted as better in terms of poetics, music and thought contents. ----- It is generally accepted among his followers of Jaidev that Akalpurakh (God) Himself used to come in the form of Jagan Nath, so as to listen to this book.’

‘He was too old and week to go to the river Ganga to bathe therein. However, floods caused a miracle, perhaps an outburst of a devotee’s love for his deity. The Ganga river changed its course a little and started flowing just by Jaidev’s residence.’

‘Once it so happened that Jaidev stopped completing a verse and God himself completed in his absence.’ Pp. 11-12

Bhagat Ravidas

‘There is on page 345 of the Guru Granth Sahib depicted the scene of this beautiful, unique town. The inhabitants of this place suffer from no anxiety or apprehension, pain or sorrow. This town of the name of Begumpura is saturated with immense pleasure because the echoes of Divine Name are ever heard all around.’ P. 41

COMMENT: The author’s implied interpretation of Bhagat Ravi Das’s hymn epitomizes his ignorance of Gurbani’s concepts and textual construct. No such geographical town exists on the face of the earth. In actuality the hymn depicts an exhilarative spiritual state where an eminent pious person transcends mundane miseries and worries.

‘Once a Brahmin was about to set out for Haridwar to have a ritual purificatory bath there. Bhagat Ravidas approached him with a two-pice (small Indian coin) he had saved from his righteous earnings and requested him that he may offer this coin to mother Ganges only when she stretches out her hands seeking the offer. The Brahmin took it as a joke, but still accepted the coin and left for Haridwar. It is said that as the Brahmin was having his bath, mother Ganges stretched out her hands and sought for offering her devotee Ravidas had sent. The Brahmin was wonderstruck, but still he put the coin on her hand. Mother Ganges was immensely pleased on receiving an offering from her devotee, and in return she gave for Ravidas, a golden bangle to the Brahmin who was tempted by this beautiful and costly object. On his return he did not give that bangle to Ravidas ---- but instead gave it to a King and earned considerable in lieu of it----. The King’s wife----requested her husband that he should order the Brahmin to bring another such bangle----. The King ordered the Brahmin to bring one more bangle----.’

‘Now the Brahmin found himself in a tight corner. When he could think of no way out, he went to Ravidas. He admitted his deceit----. He further told Ravidas that his life is spared only if Ravidas helps him get the queen another bangle----. Ravidas advised him to have patience, and then asked him to look into the bowl which was full of water--. The Brahmin looked intently into the bowl. He saw the Ganges flowing therein and many such bangles also lying on its bottom.’ Pp. 42-43

‘He lived to a ripe old age of 151 years, and died in 1529 AD----.’ P.47

Bhagat Sain

‘He used to remain absorbed in Divine Name at night and visit early morning to the royal palace to message the king’s body so as to cure it of various physical maladies. One day he had some guests and he remained occupied all the night in Kirtan or singing of Divine eulogy. Thus service of the saints and the Sangat made him miss his duty at the palace to serve the king. Realizing the intensity of his love for the saints and the Sangat, God Himself adopted sain’s form and went over to the palace and served the king. Consequently the malady of the king was cured. On the other hand Sain, after he got free from his guests, went over to the king with utter humility so as to seek forgiveness for his absence. The king saw from afar Sain approaching and calling him to his presence the king removed his cloak and put it on him as a token of his pleasure. He further told Sain that the way he messaged him last time had really captivated him. All his ailments had vanished. This was heard by the entire mankind. In this way God Himself intervened to prove the greatness of his devotee.’ Pp. 49,50

Bhagat Dhanna

‘He was one of such devotees as remain ever absorbed in God even when they are occupied in various jobs to earn their livelihood. It was this deep devotion of Dhanna that ultimately enabled him to have glimpse of the Timeless Lord in a stone.’ P.54

Bhagat Sadhna

‘Consequently, the poor Sadhna had his hands chopped off as a punishment for the crime he never committed. -----. Sadhna also prayed to God;’

‘The Lord listened to his prayer and accepted it. God through His graceful benevolence made his hands healthy once again.’ P.76

Sarup Singh Alag and other mythology oriented scholars’ such ludicrous writings could be dismissed as rigmaroles, if these didn’t impact Guru Nanak’s cognitive and pragmatic Sikhism negatively. The Gurbani, Sikh scripture, does not propagate occultism avatarism, witchcraft or wizardry. It is the legacy of anonymous Hindu, pseudo-Sikhs or quasi-Sikh scholars’ Works, i.e. Dasam Granth, Gurbilas, Panth Perkash, Suraj Perkash, Janam Sakhis etc. The Gurus and Gurbani’s co-authors, eminent Hindu/Muslim holy sages, attributed the supernatural powers to the absolute God alone. The Sikh theology subscribes to the divine mystical phenomena i.e. creation of universe with its galaxies, solar systems, bountiful planets with prolific flora and animated fauna and life-sustaining natural elements etc.

Sultan had Nama (Namdev) tied [and said] let me see [your Hari] Beethla’s (miracle).

Resurrect the dead cow or I will cut [your] throat right here.

[Namdev said] how can it happen? No dead [body] comes back to life.

Nothing happens by my doing. What the God wills happens. GG. P.1166

Sidh [Nath] said listen Nanak, you showed miracles to the world.

Show some [miracles] to us too, why do you delay?

Baba [Nanak] said listen Nath Jee, and uttered the truth,

‘Except true [God’s] Name’s glory, I have no other miracles. Bh. Gurdas, Var 1-34

[India’s Afghan Rulers], summoned thousands of Pirs [to cast evil spell], when [they] heard Mir [Moghul Babar] was rushing to invade.

But, Moghul invaders burned Mansions, palaces; and laid Princes’ chopped bodies to rot in the dirt, (because) no Moghul was blinded [by Pirs’ evil spell]. GG. P.417

Occultism in Erudite Scholars’ Views

“The gist of the argument is that pursuer of spirituality should beware of thaumaturgy [witchcraft, wizardry]----.” Babania kahania, Dr. Sahib Singh, p.56”

“But in the world of religion, opposite practices are seen. The attributes of the [so-called] Saints’ are described by their abilities to perform miracles. In the pursuit of wizardry and witchcraft, people regress from worship of humans to animals, birds, craters, dunes and trees.” Ibid, p.57

“Whereas the Sikh literati authors of Gurus’ biographies, were high-flying poets, they were also conversant with the literatures of ancient Hindu and western religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, that are replete with paranormal tales associated with their holy savants. Some people consider paranormal and unnatural acts of the [so-called] eminent persons as signs of their excellent holiness. Under the influence of this school of thought many Sikh scholars, in their flights of poetic imaginations and the envy, lest their Guru Sahibs’ spiritual and religious excellence be perceived inferior to other religionists, have contaminated their biographies with paranormal tales.” Dr. Ganda Singh.

“No Janam Sakhi is perfect and true but Para Mokha’s is absolutely rubbish.” Prof. Gurmukh Singh; Jiwan té Rachna, p.52 [Gurdev Singh Sidhu, (ed.)]

“Zest for occult acts is for the people fascinated with the paranormal fantasies, the spiritually-kindled peoples’ minds are aloof from it. Bh. Kahn Singh Nabha, Gurmut Martund, Vol. 2, p.802