| I know this seems like a really elementary question but it's not as easy to answer as I thought it might be. Honestly, I am not sure when a person starts calling themselves a Sikh. When you make the decision to be a Sikh? When you are completely faithful with morning meditation and follow the 3 pillars? When you wear dastaar? Honestly, I wear dastar at home and sometimes when I go out but not often. The reason I don't is because I don't want people to ask me if I'm a Sikh because I simply don't feel worthy to represent Sikhi. | Maybe you're unsure whether to call yourself a Sikh because you're not there yet. Everything in your post is about what other people think. Basically you will know in your heart when you have decided to commit yourself to Guru. Anyone who bows their head before Guru, Guruji accepts that person.
I know that might sound soppy, but its the truth. I don't feel worthy of representing Guruji... and that's why I am hesitant to call myself a Sikh. To me, its kind of like calling yourself an "expert" or a "saint." When are you an expert? How much do you have to know? When are you a saint? How good do your actions have to be? How clean does your heart have to be? When do you call yourself a Sikh?
Realistically there are a lot of people in the world. And you're not going to be accepted by some of them for one reason or another. The question is do you accept yourself? are you secure in yourself?
and go from there.
I have to ask this question, but why are you wearing a dastaar?
Because in the next paragraph you talk about being an expert or a saint. I know we've had some interesting conversations and you've basically called me self-righteous. (And that's fine but I mention it in this context because you're talking about feeling unworthy, being a representative, being an authority, being a saint.) And none of that has to do with Sikhism. Those are misperceptions. Panji, there are some Jathas of Sikhs that follow babas and sants. But I'm of the opinion if anyone says he's a saint he isn't and the holy people are cleaning the bathrooms not on stage doing katha. If you took amrit, for example, you would be taking it with old people, young people and maybe a few kids. Would you look at the kid and say, "Wow there's a saint I'm unworthy?" I don't know why people have the opinion that amrit means you become something unreal. It's like entering the first grade. But it is deeksha.
And if you want to enter into a Guru-chela relationship, you have to have deeksha. You don't convert to Sikh religion, you accept
the Sikh Guru. And there are different levels of that acceptance, but basically it starts with deeksha which in Sikhism is amrit or khandi-ki-pahul. Accepting a Guru means you practice bending your will. In the measure you surrender, you will progress. You can be a Sikh just by believing and accepting Guru. But if you want the Guru-disciple relationship, you need initiation which is an energy transmission. It's not just something you get putting on kakkars. But you can deepen your practice and start by wearing some kakkars, dastaar, and saying nitnam, singing kirtan, and try to make a practice of getting up for amrit vela. Include as much as you want. Make your plate very rich with wonderful things. It's all about attunement and praise.
As for your friend the doctor, you mention that she doesn't keep kes. Well what's that tell you? It tells you she's not practicing her own faith. So what does she care whether you are practicing her faith? She's probably a wonderful person. But she's not a religious Sikh. So don't be disappointed if you're interested in Sikh religion and she probably is not.
Now you're wearing a dastaar. That's not bad. But the first thought is "why?" Do you know why?
I mean someone that interested in Sikh religion to tie dastaar but afraid to go up to Guruji's palki in Gurdwara and matatek to Guru seems a bit strange. So I'm asking do you tie a joora
? Because the whole point of wearing a dastaar is to protect the kes and joora. So it would be silly just to wear dastaar like you would wear a hat or for fashion. And generally speaking, if you understand the importance of tying dastaar, then always wear it, don't stop wearing it or wear it only to Gurdwara for a decoration.
So I'm inviting you to jump in with both feet and not give a care what other people think. But do it right, for the right reasons. Make a commitment... to Guru. It's all about the Guru. A lot of people and myself included are not much impressed with self-styled saints. I've seen way too many scandals. I'm not interested in yoga master this or dedhari guru that. I've learned my lesson. At one point in my life it took me years just to laugh again because I was so crushed because of bad things that happened and what I knew about spiritual betrayal. I was so demoralized I actually wanted to die. I'm kind of surprised to still be alive, I really thought I would just sicken and die. It took me years to recover from that. I really learned something about yamas and niyamas.
Sikh religion doesn't believe in making converts because it isn't a missionary religion. People will naturally evolve in their own time based on their karam. There's no concern about whether someone is "saved." So there's no reason at all to be shocked if someone thinks it's unnecessary to convert. She's right! You don't have to. But that's not the key question. The important thing is do you want
to? And if the desire is there, then YOU explore that. It's your journey. It's your life. But she is right. Jesus is a kind of Guru too. But there must be a reason you're drawn to the Sikh Satguru.
I really only started following this path with intensity for the last few years. But I was involved with Sikh religion my whole life. I was exposed to a lot of different practices, 3HO, Shabd Surat Yoga, Kundalini and Kriya yoga from childhood basically. Growing up I was very strict about keeping my kes and never let anyone touch my hair with scizzors. I never plucked or shaved my arms or legs. Even in High School gym class I got so many stares from the make-up girls but I always loved my hairs. So Sikhism isn't something new to me. I was trying to be a practicing Sikh when I was in High School, but my karam was such that I drifted into all kinds of other teachings. And now I've been all around the block practicing bramacharya in Hindu ashram, Christian monastery, practiced all kinds of tapas and different sadhanas attended lectures by Tibetan Buddhists, etc. And came full circle back to Sikhism.
So I really do believe theres a karmic thing about why you're born in a certain religion or around people of a certain religion. My parents were Christian but I was reading my aunt's Bhagavad-Gita and Peace Lagoon, (a terrible English translation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji that I don't think 3HO even sells anymore.) I remember telling my aunt when I was a child, "I'm a Sikh." And keeping my hairs and then all those decades I studied everything else only to one day come back to Sikhi. It's kind of weird if you think about it.
Your hair has a yogic purpose. Dastaar has a yogic purpose. If you don't understand the purpose then you should find out. If your drawn to wearing dastaar, wonderful. But if you miss out on the purpose, it won't do you much good. A lot of people born in Sikhi don't even know very much about Sikh religion. But I invite you to dive in deep and investigate more and more. Give up on worrying about who's holy or not. Basically my theory is the Earth is closer to the hell realms and we have a lot more messed up people then good ones. You just do your best. Just keep tying your dastaar, saying your paath and singing your praise. It'll all work out. And don't forget to go into that Gurdwara and bow your head right down before your Guru. Don't even look to the left or to the right. I would recommend you start wearing a kara, if you aren't already. Try to get a sarbloh one. Sarbloh has a powerful shakti. It's strongly electro-magnetic.
I want to add one last thing. My great grandmother was an occultist. Now, it's important to know, just because someone has powers doesn't make them holy or good. My great grandmother was a very powerful person. And the way my mother and aunts talked about her, she was someone you wouldn't want to know. When she died, no one wanted to stay in her house and it burned down. And there's a picture they have of her where her eyes look like Charles Manson. So, again just to emphasize about the saint thing, don't be too impressed with these occult and yoga people. There are dimensions and djinns and spirits and weird stuff and you can have experiences, but none of that makes you holy. The lower astral is a lot closer than the devas are. And the lower astrals always lie.
~Bhul chak maaf