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A slightly absurd question

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Canada, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Canada

    Canada
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    Hello everyone,

    My wife and I are new sikhs. We have not yet taken Amrit (because there is no Gurudwara nearby) but we are very, very dedicated to the Guru's Hukam.

    I come here to ask a question because I have tried and tried to find the information myself but it is not working.

    We live in Canada (obviously!) and we want to immigrate to India. This in itself was a large research project; trying to figure it all out.

    We want to expand our yoga practice to include Kundalini. We want to learn Punjabi. We want to learn more about Sikhi.

    We REALLY want to leave Canada, and go to India/Punjab where we can learn all of these things. I have heard of Sikhi schools for children (Miri Piri, Fateh Academy etc.) but there do not seem to be any schools for adults.

    If you have any information, please let us know.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
     
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  3. ActsOfGod

    ActsOfGod
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    GurFateh Canada Ji,

    Will try to touch on the more salient points to keep this short:

    Would recommend you look at some of the many available resources online to get started in Gurmukhi. For example, BasicsOfSikhi has some good videos. This is a good starting point: http://youtu.be/cEojher7SxQ

    Learning Sikhi can take an entire lifetime, so would suggest you start out small and take things at your own pace. Start with online resources, meet other Sikhs, start listening to kirtan, try to attend Gurdwara in person if possible (or listen to live kirtan online). You can also listen to katha and read about Sikh history to increase your knowledge. However, I would caution you from picking an individual (or a group) and following them or what they say. Sikhi is unique among the world's faith, and the best thing you can do is to experience it for yourself.

    Before making the trip to India, I would suggest you spend some time in North America immersing yourself in Sikhi. If possible, make a trip to Vancouver or Toronto (whichever is closer to you), or locate the closest Gurdwara and pay a visit. You will meet many people who can help with many of your questions almost immediately.

    Btw, kundalini yoga is a not a requirement to practice Sikhi. If, however, you feel like doing this yoga purely for it's exercise/physical benefits then there is no harm in it.

    Just as a note, since I'm unaware of your motivations for wanting to move to India. Sikhi can be practiced and lived anywhere, you can just as easily be a GurSikh in Canada as in India. So it is certainly not a requirement that one must live in India or that being in India can help with your spiritual progress. Maya is just as powerful in India as it is in Canada. The obvious benefits of being close to Sri Harmandir Sahib and being able to visit etc. are there, of course.

    Hope this helps,
    AoG
     
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  4. Canada

    Canada
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    There are many reasons that I don't really want to get into; but basically we want to immerse ourselves in the lifestyle and teachings. We are already practicing yoga, so we are only looking to expand to Kundalini.

    To be honest, we want to live in an Ashram, or work at a Gurudwara. We are very serious about what we have found, and we really want to leave Canada (we still wanted out before we knew about Sikhi years ago).

    I appreciate your response, but we have made our decision and just really need some help finding some information!

    Thanks!
     
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    there is no need to go to ROME to be a Catholic...same goes for Sikhi...no need to go to Amritsar....Just as one could find a good Catholic in Tunisia....one can find a good Sikh in Timbuktoo...SIKHI is WITHIN...look within...and begin practising TRUTHFUL LIVING...first step...

    This Survey shows some rather surprisng facts..Countries like ISRAEL and Singapore, Norway, etc are more "Islamic" than Saudi Arabia which is LAST ranked !!!

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/m...ore-more-islamic-than-malaysia-study-suggests
     
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  6. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Might I ask what part of Canada? I was not born into Sikhi either... I am in Halifax...

    My journey into Sikhi started about 10 years ago, I had always been spiritual but when I came across a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, I read and everything just clicked. Since then, I have been reading a lot. Three years ago, I contacted the local gurdwara... and made the step to start attending. I have been regularly attending for the last 3 years. I have been to India once, and I am going back again this fall, and will do Amrit when I am there.

    Right now, I have adopted the 5 k's (minus kirpan until I do Amrit), and I also tie a dastar all the time (which I worked up to bit by bit) the only time I can't tie it yet is at work because I am in the military and only Sikh men are allowed to have turbans in uniform (and I am fighting that with with help of World Sikh Organization Canada as we speak).

    But I worked up to where I am bit by bit, so that it wasn't a huge change all at once. Do little things over time and they become part of you and easy to keep up. I would have found it much more difficult to put on all the kakkars, tie a turban and do Amrit all at once right from the beginning. First of all, I would have failed my commitments made during the amrit sanchar... and the kakkars would have last very short time...

    I came to Sikhi not through 3HO / Kundalini yoga. Yoga btw is not a part of the Sikh faith. However, there is no harm in doing it for fitness etc. Kundalini yoga is not that common in India actually. It's practiced mainly by 3HO gora (white) Sikhs in New Mexico, US. Though it has spread in North America. But the vast majority of Punjabi / Indian Sikhs do not associate yoga with the Sikh faith at all.

    My suggestions (from experience) are take things slowly... don't jump in head first. Start by going regularly to the local gurdwara where you are, and do some seva there (help serve, or make rotis or do dishes etc). Get to know the sangat locally... they will be very supportive of you. (an Ashram btw is a Hindu temple isn't it?) Start doing paath (prayers... start with japji Sahib) each day.

    Don't lose your identity though either... keep in mind that Punjabi culture, though deeply embedded in the Sikh faith, is separate from the actual religion. You don't have to assimilate the entire Punjabi culture to be Sikh.
     
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  7. aristotle

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    Just to tell you, Kundalini Yoga is not very common in India, more so in Punjab. I have seen many Yoga Ashrams who practise different limbs of Yoga, but never one for Kundalini Yoga. Moreover, Sikh practitioners of Kundalini Yoga in India is close to zero, though there may be a handful of 3HO Sikhs who have travelled from the West to explore living in India.

    I had read some months back there is a 3HO Ashram near Anandpur Sahib. You can contact Miri Piri Academy people, they may have some information about the same.
     
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  8. Abneet

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    HAHA yeah it is better for you to stay in Canada especially in Toronto area or Surrey area where there is a good sangat for you and I am sure there are Gurmukhi classes and santhiya classes and kirtan classes for all ages too.

    Even though kundalini yoga has no place in Sikhi I wouldn't recommend it while taking Sikhi seriously. Yogi Bhajan and 3HO Cult do not have a good reputation within the Sikh community even though some are convinced in their camps in the West.

    Trust me the last thing you wanna do is move to Punjab. :grinningsingh::grinningsingh::grinningsingh::grinningsingh::grinningsingh:
     
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  9. Canada

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    Guys, I really appreciate your concern and comments... but we have our own reasons for wanting to leave Canada.
    Yes, we are near Toronto.. no, we do not want to live IN Toronto!

    We want to live in a warm climate, with better food, modest & simple people, and we want to live in a rural area; this is important, not in cities!
    India has large-scale agroforestry projects we'd also like to get involved with. I am aware that every country has its issues, and some of you think it is a bad idea to move to India/Punjab etc... but that's why I'm here asking what areas are friendly to foreigners wanting to learn and immigrate.

    With that said, I have heard that there is a sort of animosity towards 3HO and Yogi Bhajan. I don't know much about it. I know yoga isn't "part" of Sikhi; it's just something we'd like to incorporate into our lives as well. Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Kundalini, it seems a hot topic. Let's just say "Yoga" :)

    Really, I came to ask if anyone knows an area in India where there is a Sikh community, and where there would be the opportunity for westerners to learn Punjabi, Sikhi, Kirtan, and other things. I have heard of these Gurmat schools, but I can't seem to find much information on them; how to apply, how much it costs, or even who they will accept!

    Again, I appreciate the feedback but we are already convinced that we want to do this. In fact, we wanted to go to India before we even found Sikhi..

    p.s: To Akasha, I believe "Ashram" simply means a place where Yoga is practiced. Of course I may be wrong.
    Your story was great.

    Thanks again for the responses, some of them have helped a little.
     
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  10. linzer

    linzer Mexico
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    I would suggest contacting the India Embassy . I seriously doubt that they will grant you inmigrant status. They already have more people than they need and they really don't want the Sikhs they already have. If you have no family ties you need to have skills that they are missing. Are you a Rocket Scientist?
    You may be able to get a student visa but you won't be able to work.
    By the yoga and Sikhi is pretty much like apples and watermelons.
    Have you thought about Australia? they have a nice climate.
     
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  11. AngloSikhPeace

    AngloSikhPeace United Kingdom
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    Possibly a bit pessimistic, there are a number of western Sikhs who have immigrated to India. And they aren't all super-successful businessmen or academics. There's a Frenchman who works as a lowly farmer for instance.

    EDIT: on the question of whether India wants more Sikhs than they already have, the days of open repression are largely over. Unless you're a prominent activist or you have connections to a political party, they aren't going to refuse you for 'national integrity' reasons (or whatever you want to call it).
     
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  12. linzer

    linzer Mexico
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    Yes, perhaps a bit pessimistic , but I found India to be the least tourist friendly ,from a bureaucratic standpoint , of any country I visited. I've gone through the process here in Mexico .I can tell you it's not easy . I was sort of joking about the other.
     
  13. Canada

    Canada
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    Thanks AngloSikh. I am actually french Canadian... and I want to be a farmer. Small world.

    We are not political; and the only "activist" stances we have involve anti-GMO food and organic foods.. and animal rights.. but India is cool with vegetarians!

    We will be taking a trip as tourists, it seems like that is the only way to find the information we are looking for anyway.
     
  14. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Since you actually are interested in kundalini yoga and Sikhi together... have you thought about visiting New Mexico? (btw there is not so much animosity towards 3HO in general... some of them practice Sikhi very diligently... but it's how they teach that yoga is a vital part of Sikhi when it is not. It's not that people are upset that Sikhs are doing yoga... the two should just be kept separate is all) The weather in New Mexico is warm, and you will find both the yoga you are interested in and Sikhi. It would also be a good stepping stone to finding out about Miri Piri Academy etc. which might be your 'in' to getting to India. They employ people from over here to work at Miri Piri Academy and it's just outside of Amritsar I think. Not suggesting that you are actually interested in 3HO (though it's fine if you are) but since you are interested in both kundalini yoga and Sikhi, it's a way to kill 2 birds with one stone.
     
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  15. Canada

    Canada
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    Well, because of the comments I got, and all the things I saw about 3HO being a cult etc... I did some research myself.
    I don't really believe (or even care) about the personal allegations against Yogi Bhajan, but I can see how it could be seen as a cult. And especially as "not sikhi" because of all the odd Hindu and Buddhist things thrown in.
    I think he just made Sikhi 'fashionable' for white people, honestly.. and that's kind of necessary in the west if you want people to care about anything. So, you can argue it was a disgrace but I think he was just an avatar.

    With that said, we are interested in traditional Sikhi. We just happen to enjoy yoga (we are already yoga practitioners), and we actually learned about Kundalini from Gopi Krishna, not Yogi Bhajan.. I have even read some of his books. BUT, I can see how the end goal of Kundalini Yoga (having the serpent rise, big flash of light, tada!) would be in contradiction to experiencing the naam as the 'end goal'.

    But I am still interested in Yoga. I think it prepares the body to be linked with the mind and spirit; and it helps mold a body that can be without ego and serve the Guru's Hukam that much better. Just a simple Hatha Yoga or something, yea?

    I agree the two should be kept separate.. but there's also no need to think that one cannot help the other, or that by practicing both you are somehow doing something wrong or against the teachings of sikhi. Not to mention, I just like stretching.. my muscles get tense otherwise.

    Anyway, thanks for the response again! But no, we have no interest in going to the worst country in the world and learning a western version of anything eastern (no offense - just our opinion) :blueturban:
     
  16. aristotle

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    @Canada Ji,
    Bottom line, traditional Kundalini Yoga Ashrams (if you are not looking for a Dera, of course) are mostly located in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and they wouldn't be internet-visible, unless they are marketing themselves (and then will certainly not be what I think you are looking for).

    The only way to gain scholarship of such an Ashram would be to travel there, spend a few days and then decide if that's what you are looking for.
     
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  17. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Of course they can both help each other.
    Any thing that can help bring your awareness into the present, will in turn help you conquer your own mind.

    Kundalini yoga doesn't make anyone a sikh, but at the same time neither is it anti-sikh.
    Maintaining a healthy balance with mind, body and spirit is essential, especially for a sant-sipahi (saint-soldier) gursikh.........keep it up!!!!!

    good luck on your quest.
     
  18. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Canada ji thanks for your posts. I have couple of comments on your posts
    Canada ji I find your statement quite anti-Sikhism fundamental thought. If I were to adopt your logic to the origins of Sikhism, the Guru ji's should have simply left for the Himalayas or hills like yogis as Punjab of then was in ways worst country in the world. They did not but worked from within at times with great sacrifice to improve lots of many. By the way if you take out so called baddies out of all the population of USA you will probably still end up with the goodies (your definition and values) in large numbers and perhaps grater than all the population of Canada.

    In terms of learning Eastern stuff
    from Westeners I believe you have a point. Look at the following Kundalini (claimed) video,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=18tTPWKwrj8
    Regarding your loves I bring to your attention that water table of all Punjab has been destroyed through ill managed infrastructure and septic toilets connected to the water table below. So source of organic and fundamental essence of life is gone. In terms of GMO and a closely related part of the same in terms of pesticides and herbicides, the excessive un-managed use of the same has tainted the earth that you step upon. The air is so polluted with unfettered and corrupt industrial infrastructure. You are about fifty years too late as then Punjab would have some elements of what and where you want to be. That is when the land was still mostly organic and animal dung was the source of much fertilizers. You could drill for water anywhere and drink it from the tap. That heaven on earth is lost.

    In terms of logistics about you living and working in India, if neither of you is Indian by birth it probably gets complex. But if one is, he/she can probably get some kind of certificate NRI, etc., and get paper work for other as spouse.

    Have a great day and wishing you all well and happiness in your pursuits, noble as these are.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  19. linzer

    linzer Mexico
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    I think he just made Sikhi 'fashionable' for white people, honestly.. and that's kind of necessary in the west if you want people to care about anything.
    Do you choose Sikhi to be fashionable? Maybe you're that shallow. I'm not.
    So, you can argue it was a disgrace but I think he was just an avatar.
    If there's a Greasy God of Greed perhaps.
    You need to read up on Sikhi a bit more. We don't believe in Avatars.
    Here's a couple of good sites
    http://gurmatgyanonlinepup.com
    http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/
    And review some the old threads here there a good source of information.
     
  20. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Canada Ji... I have visited India once already and going back soon... they are correct when they say about pollution. In fact, I was completely surprised at the air quality especially in Delhi. It looks 'foggy' all the time... you can't ever see a blue sky through the haze. But it's not fog... It's particulate in the air... Punjab was a bit better as far as the air... I didn't mind Chandigarh so much but for farming, I was told over there that there are high amounts of bad things in the soil like arsenic, and actually radioactive stuff too!

    This time I am going further North to Kashmir where they are trying to maintain their natural resources... trees, rivers, lakes etc. But even there I think they are starting to lose the battle...

    As for Yogi Bhajan... I really would rather not jump into that conversation. However, Sikhi does not believe in 'Avatars' - an avatar being an incarnation of God - and even if it did, I highly doubt Yogi Bhajan would have qualified.

    Making Sikhi 'fashionable' by including practices from another religion, that go against the basic teachings of Sikhi... well that's just wrong.
     
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  21. Canada

    Canada
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    I only came here to ask for the location of a westerner-friendly Gurmat school in India anyway! Thanks!
    I do need to learn more, hence the Gurmat school.

    Obviously I had been reading the Gita - hence the Avatars. Everything melds into one if you read too much in a few days/weeks :singhfacepalm:
     

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