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May We Live the Political-Spiritual Doctrine!

July 18, 2023

Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!

The Sikh world marks July 21 as Miri-Piri Day.

What is Miri-Piri?
Miri-Piri encapsulates the Political-Spiritual doctrine in Sikhi, rooted in the worldly and the timeless and sovereignty beyond the nation-states. Miri comes from Perso-Arabic “Amir” or “Emir” and signals political power. Piri comes from the Perso-Arabic “Pir” and signals spiritual power.

When did it begin?
It began with Guru Nanak Sahib. The Guru introduced a new paradigm of IkOankar, 1Force, that shaped a unique worldview where the “spiritual” and the “political” were not separate spheres. The Guru lived out Raj-Jog (rule-union) by establishing “Creator-ville.” The IkOankar paradigm was manifested in creating city-states, such as Kartarpur Sahib, where a new system of “rule” was implemented and realized a “union” of the coexistence of various communities.

Guru Nanak Sahib set up the city of Kartarpur after undergoing the udasis(epical journeys “to meet Wisdom-oriented” ones), as there did not exist a rule in any other city that would abide by these new principles inherent in the IkOankar worldview.

Guru Nanak Sahib’s Raj-Jog principle is referred to in the following excerpt:

[Guru Nanak Sahib] enjoyed the Raj as well as the Jog; the enmity-free One lives in the [Guru’s] heart.
[The Guru] became free due to incessant Nam-Identification, and with it, benefited the whole creation.
Sanak-like sages and Janak-like kings have been singing the virtues of [Guru Nanak Sahib] for many eras.
Great, great, great is the Guru; [the Guru’s] birth was useful and good for the world.
Bard Kal voices: Melody of [the Guru’s] glory is heard from the nether-regions as well.
O’ Guru Nanak, the lover of 1-Light’s Identification! You enjoyed the Raj and the Jog.ii
     Guru Granth Sahib 1390

How was it implemented?
Bhai Gurdas writes that Guru Nanak Sahib proclaimed no political authority other than Akal Purakh. Guru Arjan Sahib later echoed this by stating that there was no savior Monarch, but only the Immortal Being. - (Bhai Gurdas, Ramkali Var Patshahi Dasven Ki)

With the establishment of Akal Takht Sahib (Timeless Throne Sovereign), Guru Harigobind Sahib solidified and institutionalized the idea that immortal authority belongs only to Akal Takht Sahib.

Thus, the Raj was envisioned and declared by Guru Nanak Sahib. Institutions to establish the Raj were developed through the Ten Nanaks, and the Sikhs were trained by the Ten Nanaks, Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, on how to connect with the One and govern justly.

The Sikh doctrine of Miri-Piri is that spirituality and politics are integrated and that the political dimension is complementary to Sikh spiritual activity, legitimizing capturing political power as a catalyst for social change.

May we be inspired to live the Miri-Piri doctrine?
May the Wisdom-Guru guide us!

Watch, Listen, Read

What do Sikhs think about the Political and the Spiritual?

Miri comes from Perso-Arabic “Amir” or “Emir” and signals political power. Piri comes from the Perso-Arabic “Pir” and signals spiritual power. Miri-Piri encapsulates the Political-Spiritual doctrine in Sikhi, rooted in both the worldly and the timeless...

The Political-Spiritual Being

Listen as Harinder Singh and Jasleen Kaur explore Miri-Piri from a Gurmat (Guru’s Way) perspective, as inferred from Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle). Event moderated by Manvinder Kaur.

Guru Teghbahadar Sahib Voices: O Mind! Transcend

Transcendence lies not in the wishful disappearance of opposition from without but in the resolution within to disregard and rise above it. How do we rise from the fragmented universe of our fears?

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