Me and my religion

I was born in a liberal Sikh family of clean shaven Sardars. My earliest associations of my religion all date back to the childhood memories of having sat by the side of my father in the Gurdwara. I used to be on the look out for cues as to when to bow and when to fold hands for the ardaas. I would, however, pitch in with unabashed gusto when the congregation would vociferously affirm their faith with ‘Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh’. Another distinct memory is that of studying at the eleventh hour for the school exams with the octogenarian village Granthi’s soporific, early morning drone, from the distant Gurdwara mike, for company. These childhood memories apart, I would have consciously and sub-consciously picked up values from my community but I never gave the issue any thought.
Today, when I am the father of two inquisitive daughters I am forced to give it some serious thought. What does being a Sikh mean to me? What are the core values that I would like my children to imbibe? After much thought, I have reached a tentative list.
A Sikh is a lover of freedom. Freedom to pursue happiness. The Gurus struggled all their lives for the freedom to pursue a religion of their own choice. They struggled essentially on behalf of the larger community of different faiths.
A lover of freedom has to be a liberal man. Freedom for oneself and freedom for everybody else. Sikhism is thus the very anti-thesis of Fascism. Sikhs are egalitarian in thought.
A Sikh is a lover of justice and truth. In his pursuit of justice he is never daunted by the odds. A Sikh thrives in situations where the odds are pitted against him. He is the champion of the weak and the powerless and is always ready to take up a public cause in the interest of justice.

Bizarre Thoughts on Creation

It has been theorized that the universe starts from a compact whole with a big bang throwing all matter into space. Galaxies, stars and planets are formed as matter is hurled through space farther and farther apart. The universe is expanding. Then it starts compacting again until everything falls back into a single whole. Maybe, a black hole eats up all. The process is like an unending game. All matter is governed by and behaves as per certain basic laws or rules. Sometime after the Big Bang the existing set of rules lead to the creation of intelligence or ‘Mind’ at one or more locations. The task for the Mind or collective intelligence is to figure out the underlying rules that govern the cyclical expansion and contraction of the Universe before it (the Mind, that is) gets snuffed out by the collapse of the universe into the single whole. Intelligence grows or evolves over time and space. It is racing against time. It has to crack the mystery before time runs out. If it cracks the rules maybe it can stop the cycle and evade destruction and become ‘God’. That is, take charge of the Universe from the hands of ‘God’. Thus, Mind is a unique entity which while being made up of matter and being governed by all the laws that govern matter, yet holds the potential for understanding and rewriting these fundamental rules. Mankind and all its striving is only a path in the evolution of intelligence. ‘God’ watches this drama or battle as it unfolds cycle after cycle until a new God (erstwhile ‘Mind’) emerges and starts its own version of creation and destruction, its own game. Thus universe or matter falls into the control of a series of Minds or Gods.