02-Aug-2005, 09:26 AM
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Enrolled: Jun 23rd, 2005
Location: Eugene Oregon USA
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| | Re: Guru Nanak - a successfull entrepreneur
Sat Nam! It is well known and accepted that Guru Nanak did not create Sikhism out of nothing. Much of what Sikhism is about existed before Guru Nanak. Some of it existed in Hinduism, some in the yoga sutras of Patanjali, and some in other religious paths. My way of saying what he did was that he "cleaned up" a lot of the inequities and meaningless rituals that prevailed at the time. So you are correct to state that Guru Nanak incorporated ideas and or some practices from other religions. Fine.
I have some doubt about the veracity of your statement that you do not wish to offend anyone, because you obviously know that what you are saying - or at least the way in which you are saying it - will be controversial among those who have studied the life of Guru Nanak to any serious degree. Controversy is fine if it is initiated by significant factual findings that run counter to the prevailing view, but you have not substantiated either the special significance of the customs you say that Guru Nanak has borrowed from other religions, nor have you substantiated the factuality of your statements that Guru Nanak sought to find what might appeal to the common man, nor that he travelled in order to learn and assimilate from other religions. The latter is plausible, but you have not substantiated it.
I do not know where you got the idea that Guru Nanak did not know what his message was going to be or that he wanted to find out what the common man wanted to hear. (Underlined and in red font in quoted text from your post below). I have read about Guru Nanak's life in a number of places and never have seen this sort of statement. While you say that you do not wish to offend anyone, I have to say that I find myself offended by some of what you have written, and also offended that you would make a documentary about something which it appears that you are only just beginning to learn about. This kind of thing always baffles me - people writing books about the wisdom of life when they are 22 years old and have not even discovered their individual identity apart from the values imparted by their families, and people making documentaries because they CAN, not because they know what it is that needs to be communicated! The biography of Guru Nanak that I have by Dr. Gopal Singh 1967 published in India does not give the impression that Guru Nanak travelled in order to learn what those practicing other religions were doing nor to determine what the common man might want to hear. It is said that he spoke wisely about religion at the age of six - well before he did any travelling. Instead the impression is given that when he travelled he already had his ideas in mind and challenged existing practices, and answered questions that were asked of him with eloquent poetic wisdom - some of which replies have become famous Sikh scriptures with their own names. I am not enough of a scholar to give the names of some of them, (maybe Asa di Var is one of them) though I could look a few of them up if need be. There are others here, such as Gyani who can state some of them immediately. The idea Guru Nanak had about the common man was that he wanted to make his teachings available to everyone of any education level. To do that he learned the languages of at least some of those places he travelled to and included words from other languages besides Punjabi in his teachings. Then he expressed his teachings in the common vernacular using metaphors that relate to common experiences. Much of what Guru Nanak espoused can be found in more challenging literary form in the Vedic works - the Bhagavad Gita for example. But he put everything into common terms for all to be able to relate to his messages. This is not the same as trying to determine what the common man might like to hear. It is a vastly different thing!!! I hope your research will go to depths considerably beyond films such as "Fiddler on the Roof." If Guru Nanak included some acts which were customary in Christian and Jewish and other religions that is not nearly as significant as his philosophical contributions - such as the equality of men and women, the accessibility of religion to all people and to abolish the notion of the caste system. I usually do not go on "rants" like this, but on this one it looks like I took your bait. Nam Hari Kaur, Eugene Oregon
Originally Posted by rajsikh
first of all i dont mean to hurt anybody's feelings,but because in discussion everyone has right to present his thesis.so i am expressing my point of view
right now i am working on documentry on sikhs of new york(even though i am not very experienced documentry maker)but i know all the technical and other things, how to make documentry from your own home
but because documentry not only want technical know how,it also demand proper research.
so i decided to do little research ,and intresentingly when did i started,first thing i found was one historian CUNNIGHAM'S VIEW ABOUT SIKHISM.
and when i read that view i was stratled,he said Sikhism is a syncretistic religion.i was baffled by this word,i took dictionary to find the meaning of this word.
i still cant beleive what i found in the dictionary,it say syncretistic mean fusion of 2 or more beleifs into one.i was shocked to see this,and honestly this word changed my whole direction to do some research.
so i decided to do my reserch on muslim,christian and jewish religion to find out what cunnigham really mean.
i ordered jesus of nazrath episodes on dvd from netflix
i watched the whole life of jesus and also saw how he started new mission,in the stating part they show jewish religion,because jesus was jewish,in one episode thay show handling of jewish holy book ,after they are done reading book they take bible to a very well maintained place and cover the book in beautiful clothes and then closed the door.it remind me how we respect our shri guru granth sahib,second thing i saw water pool where everyone wash their body part before they enter synagouge,third thing i saw men have full beard and also waring turban on their head,fourth thing i noticed was people in the temple are meditating at different different places in synagouge
i became more curious,i went again to netflix to serch about any movie which would show jewish life in old time,luckily i found one title FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
i ordered that movie too and watched whole movie,in the movie they show life in one village in russia when czar was ruler,they show their day to day life,in the middle of the movie they show marriage ceremony of hero's daughter.
hero show off all the stuff he is giving to daughter .at one time they show all the jewish go to their rabbi to take guidance from their bible ,and ask what bible say about this and that
my point behind telling all these thing is that as everyone know guru nanak travelled to middle east and all over india
he was thinking about starting a new mission too,but he needed the idea as to what message his mission should give to common masses,and to see what a common really want to hear.
by roaming all over and discussing all points with different people he learned all these things
and then he started his sikhism mission,which allured people from both hindu and muslim beleifs,because he got all good things from both religions as well as new ideas from jewish and christian belefs,which indian people were not awared of
so in my view guru nanak dev ji was a very deep thinker and innovative person.