Originally Posted by Narayanjot Kaur
curious seeker ji
The missionary work of Sikhism is typically taken to mean organized efforts to strengthen and deepen knowledge of Sikhi among Sikhs. Proselytizing outside of the religion is not typical, in fact so far I have never witnessed nor read of it.
Missionary colleges, Guru Granth academies on the web, these are the kinds of organizations that provide opportunities for in depth study and do reinforce the need to teach Sikhi.
As for the word "normative" that I used I think on a different thread. Let's just say that currently Sikhism is experiencing some pressure at its core, historical tensions are building, differences are being emphasized. It is hard to find the center right now, as the poles of opinion have laid claim to the "truth." The references that I have given you from Global Sikh Studies.net >> Home Page
are not only by established Sikh scholars, but they are valued by independent religious scholars. Many of the authors who have contributed to that site are formally trained in theology and religious studies.
I have checked into this personally. At the beginning of my own journey into Sikhism I had a strong need to know whether the materials I was reading would withstand severe tests of internal coherence. I asked people whose opinion I value, who had formal training in theology, to read and judge whether these materials were examples of coherent theology. They kindly obliged, leaving their own religious orientations aside, as I asked them to do. . These writings got better than passing grades.
My own assessment is that the e-book Essentials of Sikhism represents the broad view. It was written by a highly respected person. There is nothing there that echoes sentiments coming from British-inspired attempts to undermine Sri Guru Granth Sahib, or from brahminical traditions, or from politically inspired efforts to question Sri Guru Granth Sahib as our 11th Guru.
Thanks for your reply. You say that:
"The missionary work of Sikhism is typically taken to mean organized efforts to strengthen and deepen knowledge of Sikhi among Sikhs. Proselytizing outside of the religion is not typical, in fact so far I have never witnessed nor read of it."
Well what did Nanak do in his 5 journeys? What did the other Gurus do? I mean Sikhs came from converting Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims, right? The reason of course was that all those that spread the religin considered it a better answer for the human condition.
I believe that the world today is in desperate need of a faith that is not encumbered by irrational theologies. As I study, and I have studied basically all the major faiths , I have only found 2 rational hope giving faiths, that are not handicapped by irrational theologies or traditions. One is the Religion of Zarathushtra (And please note, that I do not refer to Zoroastrianism, because that is what men did to his religion. I refer to what he taught and not to what any one else taught and adulterated in his name) and, frankly, Sikhism, although I need to do a lot more studying of your faith to be sure. Still from what little I have seen so far , yours is a faith that could answer the human need like no other.
It also rings true which is , of course, essential. But the reaon I , not you, used the word normative, is that I was askiog you if what you so kindly provided in that link to the Essentials of Sikhism , was normative of Sikh theology because, if it is, then you must understand that you have THE answer for the human heart and mind, not just for your own culture group but for humanity.
You asked me about Zoroastrianism, and I will give you answers, but right now I must tell you that one of the greates gifts of Zarathushtra to mankind, is the Universality of his doctrine. He more than all other (And here I would have to make an exception of Nanak, at least by inference, since I believe he alsohad the whole of humanity present in his mind) founders, understood that we are ONE, that we all have, in spite of surface differences, the same hope and dreams. So he preached to and for EVERYONE regardless of condition, gender or any other limitation.
I think that Sikhs have a wondrous treasure, and that you ought to share it as well as tfy to keep it unsoiled. One goal does not negate the other. I am glad that you consider the wonderful theology behind Essentials to be the normative or broad view Sikh theology If it isn't it certainly ought to be.
As to pressure, from outside and inside your faith. A message of Equality Reason, God Centeredness and a Loving and Rational God represents a danger to many.
To the god traders and purvetors of irational theologies, to the fanatics and fundamentalists, to the secularists, to the tyrannical , tyo the envious and the hateful. Here , i will again give you something of what Zarathushtra taught , not because I perceive it to be superior but because I perceived it to be in harmony with Sikhism and indeed something that might openand motivate some minds.
Zarathushtra taught that God crated man to be his Hamkar, meaning fellow worker, in the battle against ignorance , darkness , falsehood and wrong. To have man become like unto Him in ethical nature and through man uplift the whole opf creation making it wonderful (Fresho Kereti) Man must fight error, ignorance, evil not only in himself but in others, and in society as a whole. That is why he said he wanted to convert ALL THE LIVING , that is to change their minds and hearts, to teach them that Truth and Right are the ONLY path .That you cannot keep to yourself what is TRUE, and RIGHT, because to do would not be right since we are all creations of the Wise and True Lord. You have a gift from the Wonderful Teacher and you have to share it
Do not be surprised you have enemies you represent a clear danger to them because if you inform every one of your message if you make Sikhs of many, you will be destroying their power structures , their ideologies and their finances. They know this even if you do not know it. The Hindu establishment is scared of you the manipulators within your own ranks are scared of you,. The day you become more powerful you will make more enemies , among the powers that be in all religions, and ideologies , that is the lot of the kind , the rational . But that is also your strength, that you have the answers to liberate billions and make the world Wonderful like Zarathushtra, and I am sure Nanak and all your Gurus, saw it.