Waheguruji ka Khalsa Waheguruji Ki Fateh.
Sikh community is passing through a very turbulent phase. Mostly people are neither aware of proud sikh history, nor are they aware of basic sikh concepts. That's why we find large chunk of sikh population moving away from sikh way of life. Instead we found ourselves completely engulfed in brahminical practices.
I always used to think reason behind this. How come Sikhs started following all those rituals which are clearly rejected by Gurbani? One answer that we often hear in our casual group discussions is that, our so called religious leaders, priest class, are least interested in spreading the true message of guru, but are more interested in identifying ways to increase the size of 'golak.' So next question arises - Then why do Sikhs follow these pujaris? The only answer that is left with me is - Sikhs do not invest time in self study. Whereas we were clearly instructed to get in direct touch with 'shabad guru' without any mediator - 'sab sikhan ko hukam hai, guru manio granth'.
The decadence in our society can be judged from one simple observation: Sikh people those who have grown old would recall listening to stories on sikh history from their parents in their childhood. The next generation, who is now in adolescent stage, would fondly remember listening to bedtime saakhis from their grand-parents (dada-dadi or nana-nani), regrettably not from their parents. But the new generation who is now in childhood stage is very unfortunate, as neither their parents nor grand-parents have the knowledge base that they can download to the coming generation. This serious concern always keeps bothering all like-minded well wishers of sikh panth.
But does it take a big effort telling stories to kids from the chapters of sikh history? All one has to do is to purchase good story books from the market, then simply read 1-2 stories for children during bedtime. It's so simple and effortless to spend 15-30min with children daily, and try to answer their innocent questions. But it's a bitter fact that books on sikh history and literature are not easily available in our homes. And even if they are available, they are not read. Reason is same - Sikhs do not invest time in self-study. I strongly believe, there's no substitute of self-study. But can we fill the gap to some extent with the help of modern day technology? While pondering on these questions, idea of 'Saakhi' came to existence. Waheguruji blessed me with the effort to prepare a mobile application on sikh history and ideology.
In this mobile app, stories are presented not in written form but as audio files. It contains short audio stories with average length of just 4-6min only. Users can listen 'ik saakhi har roz' along with their children. Each story is ended up with a short message to make the learning relevant in modern day times. Folder of 'Sawaal Jawaab' is also there, containing frequently asked questions on sikh way of life.
Hope this small initiative will be liked and will be useful to promote universal message of Gurbani. I will keep on enriching the content on the basis of feedback received from your side.
Currently 'Saakhi' app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or from sikhsaakhi.com. It will be available shortly for iphone also.
Gurpreet Singh (G.P.)
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