31-Jul-2009, 20:45 PM
| || || || || |
Enrolled: Jun 1st, 2004
Location: Sikh Philosophy Network
| || |
Liked 4,146 Times in 1,927 Posts
| || |
| | Dilemma for Westerners?
Taken elsewhere from internet...
Having been a former Catholic who left that religion in my early teens for reasons I won't get into here, and having lived as an atheist for over 20 years, I have had very strong 'spiritual awakening' over the last two years. I've been studying comparative religion intensely for longer than that, and feel an emotional and strong connection with Sikhism. |
Dilemma(pls. don't be offended): Sikhism seems the most paradoxical of all religions in that, on the one hand, it's remarkable for it's reverence for and pursuit of Truth, logic, reason, practicality, and has no conflict with science, equality for women, etc. It's not pacifistic, which is congruent with it's foundation in reality. I find it both amazingly spiritual, compassionate , and also cool-headed and ready to fight when necessary.. yes! Now -- on the other hand, from the non-Indian perspective: like too many religions, it's extremely ethnic and region-centric. Punjabi is a necessity to participate in Gurbani/Kirtan. Lacking monks and clergy, it's disorganized and lacking political direction or power. Keeping the 5 'K's is an example of 'ethnic and region centric ritual and tradition. It seems, to the Westerner, an anachronism similar to the costume and appearance of Orthodox Jews, American Amish (German origin Protestant Christians stuck in the 16th century living in Pennsylvania..), for example.
Can I become Sikh and raise my American family as Sikh, following Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and finding a local Gurdwara that will accept clean-shaven Sikhs? Do I and my family have to 'become' 18th century Punjabi in appearance.. to avoid discrimination by other Sikhs?? This is a real dilemma, pls. do not dismiss lightly.. didn't one of your Gurus predict over 900 million Khalsa one day.. but how will Sikhism grow and be 'universal' if it clings to rituals and traditions that are unacceptable to the vast majority of non-Indians. This is serious questions, pls. don't be offended. God bless you for reading this far.