Daily Topic for October 12, 2011
John the Baptist knew that water itself did not remove sins. Only repentance coming from a conviction of the Holy Spirit would wash away spiritual filth. Could it be that Tegh Bahadur understood this, at least in part? Could his wise words be used by those who, like John the Baptist, want to point the way to Jesus?
Pray for today’s workers to understand the beliefs of those they encounter before trying to point the way to Jesus.
Sikhs of Punjab have labeled Sikhs living in Assam, India kacha (incomplete) because they have intermarried with the Assamese population. Today, ethnic Punjabi Sikhs hold tightly to their Sikh traditions among the dominant Assam Hindu culture.
How did Punjabi Sikhs wind up on the eastern side of the subcontinent? It’s an interesting story. In 1820, Assam was threatened with a mass invasion from neighboring Burma. Five hundred fierce Sikh warriors from Punjab agreed to help repel the invading force. After the fighting ended, some of them stayed behind and became part of Assam’s culture. Over time, subtle differences in appearance and culture emerged between the Sikhs from Assam and those from Punjab. For instance, Sikhs of Assam have a slighter build, eat rice instead of wheat, and act more like Hindus.
In the 1660s, a Sikh guru by the name of Tegh Bahadur visited Assam in hopes of teaching the Assamese the ways of Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak. One of Bahadur’s famous sayings was, “One cannot be purified simply by washing one’s body since the polluted mind cannot be washed with water. It is only the True Name of Almighty God that can wash away all sins and emancipate the soul.”
Pray that the Sikhs of Assam will learn about Jesus, who alone can wash away our sins, and give us spiritual completeness.