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What is Excommunication in Sikhism?

Excommunication is a word that means expelling someone from the socio – religious order of the Sikhs as a larger community. Such an order is pronounced by the five head priests led by the Akal Takht Jathedar. The person who is excommunicated is a Sikh as per the tradition.

A Sikh is excommunicated for committing ‘bajar kuraihat’ (unpardonable offence). The four major offences under this are shaving off hair, keeping illicit relations, killing a daughter and for demeaning Guru Granth Sahib or the ten gurus. If one keeps faith out of religion then also excommunication is performed. It also demands for minor punishment known as tankhah for minor offences. The strong tradition of excommunication is prevalent since the days of the Guru Gobind Singh who was the tenth Sikh master.

This tradition is not written down but its procedure is passed on from one generation of the Sikh clergy to the next of its generation.

Content: Hindustan Times

By: Bhavna Sharma

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