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A Faith Ahead of its Time: The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by sukhmen, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. sukhmen

    sukhmen
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    These words were the title of a paper i'm writing for my english class. When saying hypocrisy, i'm talking about the caste system. After digging through newspaper articles, interviewing people, and researching more on the role of the caste system in Sikhism, I am completely full of disgust.
    I had thoughts of addressing this issue to the officials at my local Gurdwara (Sacramento,CA) but that idea was shot down by many saying such things as,
    "If this subject was to be brought upon in a Gurdwara, there would be a total outrage from the followers...The officials at the Gurdwara wouldn't even allow it."

    I am a 18 year old who has been a Sikh all his life.
    These past years I have realized, although I whole-heartedly admire and appreciate the principles and morals Sikhism teaches, I am an Atheist.
    A moral follower of Sikhism, a spiritual follower in myself.
    I continue to go to the Gurdwara every week.
    What has this come to? A 18 year old atheist who has more principle than people who have devoted there LIVES to Sikhism?
    Please. I don't want guidance...I don't need faith. Just an attempt to understand this nonsense.
     
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  3. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    :)
    All I can do is smile at your post. At this time, I dare not add anything else to that...
     
  4. sukhmen

    sukhmen
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    I'm afraid it seems like that is what everybody does.
     
  5. ranghi29

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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    how are you disgust about the cast system ? we don't have a cast system !!:confused:
     
  6. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Actually, Sikhism IS a faith ahead of time but the application of its principles are as always, not accepted by the traditionally bound people if a new thing is introduced to them.

    Sukhmen Ji,

    Your views are wordily expressed so well and with so much ease; I would like to congratulate you for bring out what has been at the back of my mind for a long time.

    I want to share this video with you.
    YouTube- Back to the Future Johnnny B. Goode

     
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Sukhmen,

    Guru Fateh.

    First of all I admire and congratulate you for your honesty, candor and bluntness.

    The title of your essay,"A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism" says a lot about how you feel which is understandable.

    However, the hypocricy is misplaced. It is not in the Sikhi per se, which is a way of life but in the people who have failed to follow the teachings given to us in SGGS, our ONLY GURU.

    There are many Sikh families who still practice caste system which is totally against Sikhi but there are also many who do not. So, when I said that your anger, disappointment is misplaced, this is what I meant.

    In my family of " Bhapas", there are Jatts, Ramagarhias, Rajputs, Aroras and many more from different castes and clans and there is no rift but harmony and acceptance of each others' customs.

    Sikhi is the only way of life , which has not stopped in time, unlike other religions, but evolves with our own understanding of Gurbani.

    A young man like you can help change all this and make people follow the teachings of SGGS. Start a FB, Twitter group and find like minded people who think like you and abhor the hypocricy practiced by the Sikhs in the name of Sikhi and create discussion groups, pamphlets and start visiting Gurdwaras as a group to spread the teaching of SGGS against the caste system.

    We, here at SPN are at your disposal for any kind of help you need. You can also use this forum as a venue and invite the like minded people of your age and start a new thread so we can discuss this openly and create a framework together how to combat this apartheid practiced by some which gives a bad name to Sikhi.

    Let's work together and you will see how you will be able to change the Sikhs with your efforts, honesty and thoughtfulness.

    Let's get the ball rolling......

    I want to thank you for coming and posting your thoughts here and opening our eyes and I urge you to help us all become proactive in combating this.

    Do not forget to post your essay here when you have presented that in your English class.

    Regards and waiting for you to become the engine of change so that we can tag along behind you.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  8. sukhmen

    sukhmen
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    I appreciate your response namjap. It seems like it depends on the new generation to realize this.
    This will still not prevent me in taking action - I will try to do all I can to voice this where it needs to be, whether that be on the internet, or in a Gurdwara.

    Comments, criticism, and anything else would be greatly appreciated.
     
  9. sukhmen

    sukhmen
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Tejwant Singh,
    Thank you for that, it means a whole lot, honestly.
    I will make be making a group for Facebook as soon as I can, and I would greatly appreciate it if somehow everybody on SPN would join.
    I understand how not everyone exercise the use of the caste system, but a lot of people in which I know in one way or another use it.
    Just reading a definition on Sikhism would enlighten peoples minds,
    Sikhism - A monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 16th century by the guru Nanak. Sikhism rejects caste distinctions..
     
  10. dalbirk

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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Actually Sukhman Ji , the title should be ' Sikhism : A faith ahead of its time , the hypocricy of Sikhs . ' A very refreshing post .
     
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  11. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Dear Sukhmen ji,

    It is nonsense. It cannot be understood.

    I concur with what others have said, Sikhi is not to blame, the problem is with some of those who call themselves Sikhs.

    Forgive my ego, but I will once again call on Mai's law.

    "In any large group of people, about 10% are really good, 10% are really bad, and the rest are just in there trying to survive, doing the best they can." (And their best often sucks raw eggs!)

    We all want to believe our own group is better than that. My experience with Sikhs is that it holds for us, too.

    I enjoy your forthrightness and honesty. Please continue to fight against caste in the Sikh community. I seem to recall Guru Nanak Dev ji saying something about "truthful living." That seems to be what you are doing.

    Keep up the good work, young brother!

    :ice:
     
  12. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Sukhmen Ji,

    This is a good article that compliments your cause.

    Will The Gurdwara Save Your Soul?
     
  13. Lee

    Lee
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    Sukhmen ji,

    I hope I don't sound condesending, but it is good ohhh so very good to hear such words from one so young. Others here have alreday said that the problem lies not in Sikhi, but with some of it's practitioners. I have been Sikh now for I guess almost 9 years, I have in that time met many, many Sikhs in person, and been to a good few Gurdwara's.

    I find that there are bascily three types of Sikh over here in the UK, and often woner how the rest of the globe mirrors that.

    Cultural Sikhs, that is those whos family are Punjabi in origin, perhaps second or third generation immigrants to the UK. For these people it is more important to retain some sembalance of their perants culture and I find they know little about Sikhi itself.

    Seeking Sikhs, of which I count myself. We make up the majority here, some of us keep the 5 k's some of us don't but we are all true seekers at verious levels of understanding.

    Gursikhs of Guru ji. Ahhh now these are the allusive ones, truly I have met perhaps three of them in my life, and what a good three they are.

    One old man who must be 70 old years old, with very little English, we talked with the aid of his son, and I found him truly enlightening.

    One woman of around 30 years old, who's white turban draw the eyes of all she passed, man she just didn't stop smiling, a very great and warm heart.

    One teenage boy who's honestly and questing truely shone with light from his eyes. I am indebted mostly to him.

    The rst of us try hard or not at all, God has craced the world with many differant people, and many differant 'mindsets' not all of us get it right all of the time. Is it getting better? I really can't tell, but as the saying goes I'll ask you not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
     
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  14. jasbirkaleka

    jasbirkaleka India
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    :wah:Sukmmen, you are absolutely right and I see no contradiction in being an athiest and being a Sikh who followes the teachings of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh ji It is very true that a large percent of Sokhs. especially the Jats, believe in caste ism.With no intention of seeming disrespectful,I sometimes feel that it would have been very helpfull if some of our great Sikh Gurus had married out of their caste.:unsure:
     
  15. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Re: A Faith Ahead of its Time;The Hypocrisy of Sikhism

    People smile for different reasons. I was smiling because we have discussed and explored issues like these on SPN. Caste System is just one of them like a tip of an iceberg.
    I smilled because I thought you would feel right at home. ;)
     
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  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Jasbir Kaleka Ji...

    Gurfateh.

    I liked your comment about..IF ONLY our Gurus had married out of caste !!! This would have been "helpful"....???????????????????????????????But couldnt grasp it...

    Have our Gurus failed us...( even an iota..as in NOT marrying out of caste ??) What IF..one or more Gurus had indeed married another caste...wouldnt THAT been an ADMISSION.or SHOW that they BELIEVED IN CASTE..when all their GURBANI..and all the effort they put into collecting Banis of ....SO CALLED...."OUTCASTES and DOWNTRODDEN DREGS of society, Chmaars, Chhimbas, weavers, jatts etc on EQUAL BASIS as their OWN REVEALED WORD.
    IS it more "helpful"..if just say Mata Tripta Ji was a chmaaree....or Mata ganga ji was a Ghumiaree..THAN the SGGS Containing the Banis of Ravidass Ji, Kabir Ji sitting on the SAME THRONE as GURU NANAK JI SAHIB and ALL the rest NINE GURUS..and the MILLIONS of SIKHS BOWING to SGGS in EQUAL REVERENCE for all ETERNITY. When a SIKH bows to Guru nanak ji..he also BOWS equally to Ravidass the Chmaar...Kabir the Chhimba..Dhanna the Jatt..etc etc etc WITHOUT even THINKING about CASTE..lowlifes..dregs of society etc. Would all the Chmaars feel most "helped" by one of their members being wife of Guru nanak Ji..than the FACT their Bhagts Bani is being BOWED to by ALL SIKHS just as equally as the Bani if Guru Nanak, Guru Anagd, Guru Amardass, Guru ramdass , Guru Arjun and Guru teg bahadur Ji...

    IN WHAT WAY would the "wife's caste" be HELPFUL..when even the FIRST BORN SON/Blood relationship/all the Social PRAMPARA/TRADITION etc were THROWN OUT THE WINDOW BY GURU SAHIBS when they CHOSE the next Guru on MERIT !! Wouldnt some one trying to be "most helpful"..then pointed a finger and said..It would have been helpful..if Guru nanak ji had given Gurgadee to a "chmarees" son....why DIDNT HE ??..IF he had..then all the ravidasses would be so LOVING towards US Sikhs..they would be so grateful..ya ?? and becasue Guru ji didnt do it....so NOW..the Ravidasees hate us...???

    I ma very sad...the Gurus did so much..we still keep asking for MORE. Did the Fcat that Guur Gobind Singh Ji sacrificed his ENTIRE FAMILY...has this been nay "helpful" in any way ?? How many SIKHS have really appreciated this fact ?? Would anyone be still saying..it would have been helpful..IF another Guru had also sacriicied his sons...his wife....NO NO JIOS..the GURUS have DONE so MUCH MUCH MUCH..we cannot even measure it...THE very Composition of SGGS is so UNIQUE in this WORLD..and its FOREVER a LIVING TESTIMONY to what the GURUS Taught/preached and PRACTISED. THEIR "PERSONAL" lives...had nothing left for us to DOUBT. I am very sure..that even IF one of them had married out fo caste..there would be plenty of people saying..OH..not really lah..the Guru just married to show off...to prove something....just to pretend to be equal...blah blah blah....How we can just DISMISS and OVERLOOK the SGGS and seek reasons in the Gurus personal lives..is beyond ME...To ME..even IF ALL the Gurus had married so called Lower Castes..BUT REJECTED ALL BANI By Ravidass ji, Kabir Ji , Dhanna Ji etc and Kept the GRANTH PURELY "GURU"...that would have been so much worse..then we Sikhs couldnt have claimed the SGGS as UNIVERSAL GURU at all !!
    Thus I DISMISS this marrying out of caste as "helpful"...as IDLE speculation of no consequence. My apologies in advance.:happysingh::happykaur:
     
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  17. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Second guessing our Gurus for anything is like disregarding the basic concept of sikhi which is IDEA BASED. Personalities with their castes, social class, material wealth or lack thereof has nothing to do with Sikhi.

    SGGS is full of examples that show us how to get rid of ritualistic life and embrace the pragmatic way of life. A pragmatist is a person with a Universal message because goodness and helping the fellow man/woman has no demarcation of any kind of divisions, either in the countries or in the peoples.

    So, if some Sikhs practice caste system, talibanisation, machismo, inequality of any kind, holding on to the heirarchial ladders etc. etc. should be reminded as often as possible that all these things are against the teachings of SGGS, our ONLY GURU. These people should not be condemned as personas non gratas but should be persuaded to embrace true Sikhi so that the baana they are wearing to show themselves as Sikhs should become meaningful rather than a mere costume at some costume party of life.

    It would be hypocritical on our part if we did not play our role as Sikhs and helped the people mentioned above by not acting as Guru Hargobind Sahib acted during Bandhi chor.

    After all, we are supposed to emulate our Gurus because they have spoken on our behalf in all 1429 pages of SGGS, our ONLY GURU.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  18. sukhmen

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    I have created a new Facebook group regarding this subject, and would like to thank all of you for showing your support.
    If there are any moderators / admin that can possibly send mass emails or pm's to all the people on here, that would be awesome.
    This groups focus: We stand here as a new generation plagued by old institutions that've proven failure. The caste system has no place in our era of egalitarianism where anyone can take the pursuit of happiness without encountering injustice. So, let's break the barrier.
    Breaking the Caste Barrier
     
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  19. jasbirkaleka

    jasbirkaleka India
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    Gyani Ji,Gurfateh.I absolutely agree with everything that you have written.It was very wrong on my part to use the term 'helpful'.Bieng a Sikh,how can I ever question or even doubt any act of our great Gurus.I,being a simple farmer,could not express my views in the right perspective.
     
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  20. Lee

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    I for one saw nothing wrong with your words. It is of course fine to question what Guru ji did, or even to question the motives of their actions, it is fine to say for example, It would have been helpfull if some of our Guru's married outside of their castes.

    Of course we can ask, question, and say these things.

    I think that Jasbirkaleka ji meant no malice and merley let his mouth speak what his mind was thinking.

    Furthermore he is correct, if one of our beloved Guru's did such a thing then it would have been the death of castism in Sikhi.

    Now having said all of this, am I being disrespectfull to Guru ji? I think not, can we not ask and question without being accused of disrespect?

    I do not know why Guru ji did not perform such an act, that is not for me to know, but I know no Gurmukhs, we are all Manmukh and so we do not understand, it is quite normal then, and correct to question what we do not understand. Or are we to be unthinking?
     
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  21. Randip Singh

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    Hi Friend,

    A starting point would be to ask what your understanding of Sikhism is.

    OK, lets start with, what is your understanding of God in Sikhism?

    1) Beardy man in sky?
    2)Woman in sky?
    3) Something else?
     

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