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Sikh Philosophy Network » Blogs » danielle k » Entering into Sikhism: Questions on Reht Maryada.
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Entering into Sikhism: Questions on Reht Maryada.

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Posted 10-Aug-2009 at 19:42 PM by danielle k

have been exploring all kinds of Sikhi resources, and while I understand the keeping of one's hair to distinguish the Sikhs from other groups, *that* is something that one can easily enter into.

I have also read that piercings are not permitted, but I already have quite a few. I could take them out, but they mark significant episodes in my life and are not in honour of any other god or religion, furthermore taking them out would constitute altering my body again, surely? And, I don't have any tattoos but if I did, would I have to remove them? Again, wouldn't that constitute further violation of the body?

And what about the fact that I was born with bilateral cleft lip and palate. I have had many surgeries to fix this and improve the appearance. These were carried out throughout my life. Should my parents have left me as I was? Impossible! I wouldn't have been able to eat properly! And if I hadn't had my jaw realigned I would've worn down my teeth very quickly!

I feel sort of confused about this.

I have a lot of other ethics/moral/daily life questions, but nobody to answer them. Unfortunately, the people I have contacted to learn about Sikhi from have not responded at all. I don't know why, and I am upset that curious people, such as myself, who are genuinely interested, reading the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and trying to take on a Sikh lifestyle seriously and with solemnity (waiting until they have understood things well before going for baptism or calling themselves Sikh) are not being at all helped to enter into the religion, or encouraged to learn more.

It makes me upset. I feel that this is not God's way.

D
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  1. Old Comment
    Embers's Avatar
    Hi Danielle
    I hope you are happy for me to comment based on your blog? If not then please remove

    When I first arrived in my new city I asked those who knew more than me where I should go and explore. I was told not to go into certain streets in case I run into trouble, but to go to other places if I wanted to enjoy myself.

    The same could be said for any “true” religion, it isn’t the scars or our past that matters, it is the decisions we make now as we are presented with some new routes to take. How well we stick to the paths matters more than our education, money or our body. If someone asks me about my money or the way I look then I would be prepared for them to ask me for something more along those lines, sooner or later.

    I read a few of your comments and found them interesting. I too have been thinking I should start my own threads to receive stronger answers to my questions. I find people tend to address the initial question first.

    Regarding “is” and “is not” and “Self” and “others” the quick answer is that there is no other as everything exists in the Self. The Self is also referred to as God, or Waheguru. “Is” and “Is not” are dual by nature, one cannot exist without the other, no matter how absurd its opposite may be to our logical minds. However both “is” and “is not” exist in the Self/Waheguru; who is whole and absolute. When our minds focus on the dualities e.g. Good/Bad, Black/White we miss the whole (Waheguru) in which the dualities exist. A mind focused on dualities is lead into the play of Maya. To find peace, then one must go beyond Maya and the play of opposites. The opposites still exist, but You are beyond them. This affects our relationship with Waheguru, because our minds look to the opposites to find an answer. Often we make a decision based on the best one of these opposite decisions, choosing the best one to match our personality. Later we find we need to choose again and we are left feeling unhappy and in doubt as the balance tips to the other extreme and we have to act contrary to before. There is no need to be baptised or to “do” anything. The best use of time is meditation and reflection on the scriptures I often feel.

    I hope you continue to contribute.

    Kind regards, Ambers.
    permalink
    Posted 25-Aug-2009 at 17:30 PM by Embers Embers is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Dear Danielle,

    I will express my opinion of Sikhism, it may be wrong for some and right for others.

    I believe Sikhism is not a religion, it is a way of life. It is very humane that we have all named it another religion.

    Now about your piercing query..what I understand is that in older times in India, ladies were not treated equally as males of society, they were asked to cover their face in public, they were lured into jewelery as elegancy, but actually all this jewellary was kind of chains, which make females less efficient compared to males, all this led to weak stereotype for females.

    Sikhism, stood against all those things that make or highlight females as different, weak or less confident gender. In those days rarely any male was into piercing and regarded it as sign of weakness. So piercing was not allowed in Sikhism on this basis. To make everyone equal. All this led to brave females like Bibi Bhani and alike who proved that they are not weaker or less efficient in any manner.

    So this is my opinion why piercing is not allowed in Sikhism.

    Regarding your question related to bilateral cleft lip and palate, I would say Sikhism never says that one cant deform his/er body to cure some ailment. We all cut nails, as part of keeping us hygienic. Sikhism emphasize on hygienist approach to life and our body. But if there is no ailment or physical disorder then why should we deform it. We have to weigh our underlying intentions against our decisions. And if intentions are wrong then obliviously decision is not right according to gurmat (God's way).

    Other thing I follow is that it is the way we live life that matters the most in Sikhism. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a guide to live life in the truest possible way.

    So please don't get upset about your queries. One is upset only when one is fearful, but Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji tells us to be fearless.Only those are fearless who are true to themselves, true to their underlying intentions, true to their decisions, and thus live a true life without any fear.

    I would ask my fellow SPN members to please correct me if I am wrong anywhere as I dont want to lead anyone into wrong direction.

    Please keep flowing....

    Rupinder Singh
    permalink
    Posted 28-Aug-2009 at 21:17 PM by Rupinder.Singh Rupinder.Singh is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Dear Danielle
    Like any other religion in Sikhism also many do's and don'ts have come into existance. Rehat maryada is one where there are differences.
    One grows in Sikhi through association with the Shabad Guru in the form of Gurbani. And this growth leads to being aware of the ever presence of Shabad Guru within.

    The Amrit and Adorning of Five Kakars is the Guru's call to the Sikhs which fasttracks the progress.

    For doubts on issues related to Rehat seek guidance of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji . A quite meditation and thinking would bring clear understanding and any unnesary fear.
    permalink
    Posted 25-Feb-2010 at 20:42 PM by gur_meet gur_meet is offline
 
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