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A Thought on Possible Contradictions Relating to the 5 K's and Amrit

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Caspian, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Caspian

    Caspian
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    I come from a gur-sikh family and when I was little my grandpa would read stories to me about the teachings, practices and lives of the Gurus. Growing up however I started becoming less and less religious; although, I think I have a considerable amount of knowledge pretaining to sikhism and other relegions. Despite the fact I think I "know" a lot about these relegions, I cant help but waiver between being agnostic and athiest (lol, this has a lot to do with me taking science courses cuz my punjabi family wants me to become a doctor, so typical huh?). I know there's no real contradiction between sikhism and science but I think that there are some contradictions between the teachings, practices and lives of the gurus. For my example, I will cite from "SikhiWiki" which is a wikipedia like site dedicated to information on sikhism.

    Example 1:

    This is an anecdote from the early life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

    "Guru Nanak from an early age evidenced a questioning and enquiring mind. He soon mastered the Vedas and Sanskrit and was enrolled into a madrassa to study Persian and Arabic. Picking up both languages quickly, he surprised his teacher by composing an acrostic on the Persian language. When it was time for Nanak to be invested with the twice born thread the “sacred” thread, called the Janeu, he refused to take part in the ritual. When the priest continued to insist that the young Nanak done the string he went into a trance and sang: Let mercy be the cotton, contentment the thread, Continence the knot and truth the twist. Oh priest! if you have such a thread, Do give it to me. It will not wear out, nor get soiled, nor be burnt, nor lost. Says Nanak, blessed are those who go about wearing such a thread." So basically, a young Nanak rejected the ritual thread of the Hindu priest and justified it by suggesting that a simple piece of thread cannot make you a true Hindu, it's almost "for show" instead a true Hindu or any "good person" in the eyes of god has all the good attributes within them (this is the interpretation I was told from my grandfather).

    Now if you fast forward to the time of the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, becoming a true Sikh would require one to take amrit and keep the 5 K's, even though amrit in sikhism is symbolic for something that lays within you by the grace of god. Can it not be argued that the same thread Guru Nanak rejected was symbolic of the same idea? If in fact a piece of thread cannot make you a true hindu then surely Amrit and the 5 K's alone cannot make you a true sikh, but my question is whether or not they are even needed to be on the path toward God. If what is important is that which lies within you, then the external acts of drinking amrit and keeping the 5 K's are trivial? Can one reject amrit and the 5 K's for the same reason Guru Nanak rejected the thread? The priest in the story told Guru Nanak that a person would not be considered religous without this thread, and let's face it, Sikh's arent considered "relegious" unless they are amrit-shuk and display the 5 K's, yet Guru Nanak still rejected the ritual and Guru Gobind created a ritual. I view this as a contradictory practice. This also leads me to another example

    Example 2

    For this example ill paraphrase, if you actually want to read the evidence i suggest you google it (lol) but im sure this is common knowledge to most of you. One of Guru Nanak's contribution to the world was the idea of a "Universal Message" that did not only apply to Hindu's but to Muslims as well and others too. When asked if he was either a Muslim or a Hindu he replied by saying "Neither" or by saying "both" and even as a baby, when a muslim priest visited his house and presented him with a jug of water (symbolizing islam) and a jug of milk (symbolizing hinduism) to see which one he would place his hand in, he put his hands in both. Having said this, if, hypothetically, guru nanak was alive today and someone were to ask him if he was a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh... would Guru Nanak still say he isnt any one of them? or all of them? I am aware our relegion does not suggest a muslim or hindu cannot achieve oneness with god, instead it suggests that anyone can do it, but I am afraid that by the simply creating "sikhism" this alienates alot of people. Personally im inclined to believe sikhism is more a way of life like Buddhism then a relegion in the same vein as Islam, Christianity or Hinduism but if a muslim can reach god and so can a hindu then of what importance are the 5 K's. If simply being the best person you can be, believing in god, and praying is enough then what purpose do the 5 K's have and Is that purpose ultimately trivial?

    Anyways, im just trying to expand my knowledge so im lookin forward to reading replies from a different perspective as mine. Ive thought bout this issue alot so i even have my own answer for it, but it doesnt satisfy me so im hopin you guys can explain this matter to me :p.


    - Gurinder
     
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  3. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh

    It is an eye opeining message so das thanks you.

    Das was a Hindu and then became the Sikh.

    So here goes the explation by very of Akal.

    First Master did not oppose Hinduism (soory Sanatan Dharma) nor Islam.He went to court of Akal Via river vein.Akal told him that there is no Hindu nor any Muslim as Creator by self is free from Faith.

    So First Master gave message of sprituality.Which takes us above barriers of fundmentalism of religeon.He preached faith to Yogis,Vaishnavs and Muslims.From the people preached by him.Some wanted to be like Him.So they became Gursikh.

    We as a Sikh enjoy the status of Guru.First Master did bow to his successpr the second Master.

    Being a Sikh one does not gives up old faith of So called Hinduism or Islam but after becoming one ,one becomes true to his/her faith.A true Sikh is true Hindu/Muslim/Christian while being a true Sikh.Like all river converges to sea,Ultimate truth of all faiths at present comes to us ultimatly.

    So it was only during the time of Ninth Master when King Aurang Zeb Ji treied to make two faiths(so called Hindus and Muslims) as one(Muslims).Akal created the Third(Panth Khalsa).

    So our five kes are further forwarding of Janeu and Shara.They are the similar symbols.

    We have Gatras like Janeu.There is a Sakhi that Tenth Master told potnetial converts to remove Janeu and put them on tree.Thoses trees were to be reborn a Humans.So as per Sau Sakhi,Janeu were not irrelevents.

    Guru only tells that outword Janeu without feeling attached to it are worthless.Same applies to our 5ks.Unlike Janueu which lower caste(Sudara),Apostates(Vrta),Outcaste(Chandalas),infidals(Malechas) along with ladies were not allowed to dawn.Any Human
    can have Amrit and 5Ks.

    There is stroy that Akal inform of Vishnu made Bhagat Ravidas Ji wear Janeu while he was a Chandal.But main thing was to have a feeling of qulties before wearing Janeu and then outword symbols come as a proof.

    So if we have all the true feelings of Singh,we will have 5ks in outward appearance and we will partake Amrit.What we have in mind should also be visible when it comes to faith.So Amrit is a result of mental state.Without mental state appropriate to faith is not there there is no use of Amrit,Sunnat or Janeu.

    Akal Bless.
     
  4. Amritdhari_grl

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    Okay, here's what I think:

    The difference between wearing a janeau and taking amrit is simple.

    Wearing the janeau is supposed to "purify" you and give you a spiritual rebirth. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said however, that he had seen men that wore a janeau but they still lied, still cheated, still stole form others and bascially lived the lives of sinners. He said that the simple act of wearing a cotton thread wouldn't purify his soul. He wanted somehing stronger, something that would actually work. But this doesn't mean that the janeau was totally useless. If you were a devout Hindu and you had the nessesary faith and love for God then it would work because you had the most crucial part: FAITH.

    By the time Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born however, people had turned the janeau into a mindless ritual. They believed that it would purify thier souls and save them without any work on thier part. THIS was why Guru Nanak Dev Ji wouldn't put on the janeau. He didn't want something that was only symbolic of his faith, he wanted something stronger, something that would further help his soul.

    Taking amrit is different because you do not take amrit and then suddenly your soul is saved. No. It does not work that way. You have to WORK to keep your amrit. Taking amrit helps you actually physically cut back on the sins you commit everyday.

    For example: When you take amrit you are forbidden from smoking or drinking. These two things are sins because of thier addiction. When you smoke or drinking pretty soon you get addcited to it and then that's all you can think about. Amrit saves you from this because even if you are tempted you know you can not drink it otherwise you will break your amrit. This also goes for eating meat. Some people may argue that we need meat to live. Well, in some cases that was or is true. For example, when humans used to live in the wild we had to hunt other animals to live. We had no other choice. Or in places like Africa, sometimes poeple are so poor that they MUST eat animals because they are the most easily accessible thing. BUT in rich countries like Canada or the U.S or Britian, we can afford to get other foods and NOT eat meat. EATING MEAT JUST BECAUSE YOUR TONGUE LIKES THE TASTE IS A SIN! It is murder. Amrit stops you from this too because meat eating is also a kind of addiction and it HURTS living creatures CREATED by God. Another thing is hair cutting (WHY do you bother cutting your hair? Who the hell are you trying to please? The world? Cause guess what buddy, the world will always hate you. There is no need to cut your hair! It's a gift from God and it is a PART of you. If you can cut your hair then why not your finger? Cause it doesn't hurt?). By taking amrit you are also prevented from committing adultry. (Admit it, adultry is just WRONG)

    See all the things taking amrit prevents you from doing? All the potential mistakes that could ruin you life? Also when you take amrit you are slowly improving your self and instilling good virtues into your life. More example of this can be found at: SikhiToTheMAX - Enabling Gurmat Knowledge

    Also when you take amrit you have to read 7 baania. (5 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon and 1 at night) And even if you don't understand them, they WILL have an effect on you. No matter how small. It's like butter in a container. You can take the butter out, but some of it will still be stuck to the container.

    So basically, amrit actually physically helps you to live a better life. It's not just symbolic like the janeau.

    Hope this helps :)

    waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru jee kee fateh
     
  5. kiram

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  6. Caspian

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    First of all id like to thank you for your take on this issue, very insightful. However...

    One of your quotes intrigued me, "If you can cut your hair, why not your finger? Cuz it hurts?" it reminded me of something someone said to me when I was little. Upon being asked why I was keeping my hair by a 6 year old christian friend (I was around 6 too) I replied by saying exactly what you said. Something along the lines of "Because it is god's gift to us" etc. The boy replied by saying "Then why do you cut your fingernails? Didn't god give you those?" lol only childern can think of sumtin like that to say, but i didnt really have anytin to say back to that... i'd like to see if you could give me a worthy reply to a childish question thats stuck with me for so long :p
     
  7. Caspian

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    The above question was directed "amritdhri_grl" but if anyone else wants to answer please go ahead.

    by the way, Kiram, thank you for the video, it was very insightful and basically told me exactly wat i was thinking to myself. I would like to confirm with you however what he was basically saying was "the rules that Guru Gobind Singh Ji provided, once followed, can garentee the outcome 100 percent, but if not followed exactly (ie how Christians follow ther rules or Muslims follow thers) then the outcome may or may not be the same depending on how those muslims or christians lived?" once again, appreciate the video.
     
  8. kiram

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    Caspian ji,

    The saakhi told in the video very beautifully portrays the essence, the beauty of a Sikh's life, that is enriched when one lives the life that Guru ji portrayed.
    Like Sada SatSimran Singh ji says, it is all about "Experiencing that guarantee" .

    Chardikala !!
     
  9. BhagatSingh

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    Here's what I would have said back to the child:
    reproduced here from Hair and General Sikh Philosophy.
     
  10. Amritdhari_grl

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    Lol nice. No, that is a good question though. Here's my answer:

    Growing our hair doesn't affect how live. We can live normally and do normal things and look good with long hair. Keeping hair long doesn't affect how you eat, or how you can do certain things or whatever. Also, if your doing a certain job that requires hair that is short so it won't get in the way, then let my tell you about a wonderful little invention called rubber bands.

    Nails are different however. Have you seen pictures in the guiness book of world records of the male and female with the worlds longest nails? If you haven't I suggest you go look it up, because holy cow, those things are HUGE! Having nails like that would make it almost impossible to do ANYTHING! You couldn't eat (you'd have to bacially use you nails like forks), sleeping would be harder, imagine going to the BATHROOM with nails that long, and you'd always be in danger of killing yourself with your nails or popping someone's eyes tou because in case you haven't noticed, as nails get LONGER they get HARDER. Plus you can only begin to image how many different diseases you'd pick up because of your nails. Gross.

    It would make living impossible. So we have to trim our nails to keep them under control because like BhagatSingh said above, we just don't need huge nails in today's society.I'm sure God understands. :)

    But there' no need to cut our hair.

    Here are the pictures of those two people I mentioned above:
    http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/1827/4548gn4.jpg

    http://www.recordholders.org/images/laengste/nails.jpg
     
  11. Archived_Member4

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    Caspian ji

    To answer your question, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji was speaking to Sikhs. For the Sikhs follow their Guru. Anyone that wants to be a Sikh must follow the Guru. Muslims follow the Koran and Christains follow the Bible. Just like in the video the Khalsa Panth if followed by the way Guru ji says there is a 100% gurantee and otherwise for a Sikh the outcome may or may not be the same. Also your remark on saying I am an agnostic or atheist is against Sikhi. The first Shabads in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji are, One Universal Creator God. What other proof does one need? A Sikh must have faith in their Guru otherwise one is lossed in his own mind. Agnostic deny that one cannot prove that God exist, so they infact are rejecting the first shabads of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Then atheist deny there is a God and this is also rejecting the first shabads of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. A Sikh does not reject any bani written by the Gurus no matter what. To ask question about Gurbani is one thing but to challenge Gurbani is completely a selfish act and there will be consequences for it.
     
  12. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh
    Not only we remove fingernails but also say other waste product from our body.So waste hairs which are broken are removed by Comb ie Kangha.
     
  13. BhagatSingh

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    Just to clarify, I actually meant that during the caveman days, our nails got used a lot and would erode. So the eroding was like a "nail clipper", it kept them short. same way a beaver keeps its teeth short, it continuously gnaws on wood.

    Nowadays we dont use our hands and nails like we did back then, so we NEED to cut it (for the reasons in Amritdhari grl's post).
     
  14. Caspian

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    To Amritdhari Grl:
    The reason why I gave everyone the anecdote of the child asking me why i cut my nails was to highlight the fact that the arguement of "We keep our hair because god gave it to us" is not a valid arguement, it's the simple answer but as the fingernail example shows, It's not exactly a fool proof answer. There's got to be more of a reason then simply "Because god gave it to us." Thats why i brought up that anecdote :p Also as a side note, not only am aware of the the 2 guinness record holders for longest fingernails, i saw them on tv when they used to air the televised show and they do lead completely normal lives, the girl made a special point of saying that she can cook, eat and do everything just fine (including going to the bathroom and you no ...lol).
     
  15. BhagatSingh

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    There isn't a fool proof answer to anything in this world. In the end, it all comes down to your understanding of things.
     
  16. Caspian

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    i would beg to differ, scientific inquiries have fool proof answeres, wether or not we find them and can prove them is a different matter. However, philosophical matters may have no fool proof answer, i can agree with u there. Thus ur assertion, "there is no fool proof answer to anything in this world" is more philosophical, and defintly not a scientific statement, but by the very nature of ur statement (posed as an answer to my statement) you must acknowledge that paradoxically what u are claiming may be wrong (because it cannot be a fool proof answer lol). Therefore. in theory, there may in fact be fool proof answers to everything! :p Just thought id lighten the mood :D
     
  17. L-Plate

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    Gurinder, your post reminded me of questions I myself have asked many times. Please, this will be a long post but persevere and you will understand me.

    Like you, I encountered many contradictions about Sikhism during my upbringing. These were more about displays of Sikhism around me than what the Gurus did. I would like to give an answer to your question but feel I must give some background on myself before you will fully understand my answers.

    Before I tell of how my thinking has changed, let me tell you how it was:

    I too am born into a Sikh family. My parents were ordinary farmers, not highly educated, and were the first generation to come to England and called over my grandparents, uncles and aunts. My father cut his hair soon after arriving here; his explanation was that he was offered a good job only on this condition. My own hair was kept uncut until I was old enough to beg that they cut it. It was not because of taunts; I was stronger than most other kids and can remember defending the only other Sikh boy in my school against being picked upon for his long hair. It was more because it meant nothing to me, like most people my parents and relatives would explain the requirement to keep long hair because ‘We should not interfere with how God made us’ or ‘we are commanded not to cut it’ and that Sikhs would die to defend their hair from being cut (there’s the contradiction). Unfortunately, these explanations do not give a ‘fool proof’ answer as you say.

    These people were asking me to be a model Sikh but never made the time to educate me (and possibly themselves) on the subject, just demanding always strict obedience to rules without being able to give a convincing reason for them. They grew up in India where the education system and society gave them their understanding, be it good or bad.

    Other examples of contradictions were (these may not apply to you, but are common in my community):

    Sikhism denounces the caste system, but lower caste people would be looked down upon and people from them would be called various derogatory names. Where I live there are several Gurdwaras which each have their own following according to caste.

    We are told by peers that, unlike Hindus who idolise many gods, we have only one God and his will has been given to us by the Gurus and we should look for guidance from their gift to us of the Guru Granth Sahib only, but those same people who tell us this have idolised a constant stream of Babas and Sants who offered to give cures for all problems by their blessings (usually for a price). To challenge the words of these men was treated as blasphemy and would be quashed with threats of punishment by parents. My mother suffers from schizophrenia, believe me, I have met more than a fair share of these ‘Holymen’. My parents have spent most of their life up to retirement (but no longer thankfully) believing in magic and that someone has put a curse on her.

    A visit to a Gurdwara or someone’s paath would in itself feel like idol worship, just a chanting of verse, often mumbled incomprehensibly (sorry, sounds bad but I am being honest). Most people would just quickly enter, pay their respects, and leave like they had fulfilled a sense of duty. I tried many times to sit and try to understand the message but the words were incomprehensible to me. I put this down to my never having learned Punjabi officially, I can speak, having been brought up in a Punjabi speaking home and married an Indian born girl, but the words used were not to my understanding. I thought that others sitting around me, those who did their paath every morning and night could understand but, later found out that they were just sitting, absorbed in the poetic chanting, not being able to hear clearly what was being read. It was always a meaningless experience that I would partake in with a sense of duty that had been drummed into me. When I was very young, we had an old paathi who would stop and close the Guru Granth Sahib and explain in simple Punjabi to everyone present what the meaning of the verse he had just recited was. When he was around the room where the paath was being read was always popular. After he died, which must be at least thirty years ago, I have never come across any paathi interested in explaining the meaning of the verse as he did. Has reading paath become similar to the Brahmins chanting of the Vedas? Think to yourself why some offer to pay for a paath to be read at a Gurdwara then hurry off to work (at my local about ten are usually being read at once in closed cubicles). In my understanding they are missing the point, but where is the guidance from the custodians of our religion?

    I could go on all day but, to cut a long story short, these experiences ended in me respecting the principles of Sikhism but not wanting to partake in meaningless worship and follow a set of rules that, as far as I could understand, may have been needed in times of oppression but had no use in today’s multicultural societies. To add to the negativity, I, who followed the principles of Sikhism to the best of my knowledge, would be made to feel inferior to another who walked around displaying the five ‘Ks’ but did not practice what he preached. Numerous lectures in the Gurdwara about those who did not adopt the five ‘Ks’ letting down their religion and those who gave their life for it would add to this inferiority. I would think: Who needs to be a member of this club where your outward appearance is the most important aspect? - If I know that I am a good person then that is all that matters and if there is a God who judges me then he should be pleased with me more than them.

    How did my thinking change? My perception of God and the Gurus’ vision changed. By pure chance the right books turned up at the right times in my search for knowledge that gave me an understanding of how things were in the Gurus days in convincing logic. I can now recognise the nonsense that has diluted the original message and created a doubter like me. I can now say that I have been given a spiritual concept of God that I can understand and have faith in. This is an important step, being brought up in a western culture the hardest concept is that of spirituality (not involving after-life and all the nonsense associated with it). Funnily, for me, this came from a fictional book written by a follower of a different religion, but only made full sense to me when I read another book about Sikhs. It should not be this way, a religion is formed to guide it’s followers in their faith, if it were not for my chance reading I would still be asking basic questions.

    I learnt that there are no strict rules to be brainwashed into me. There is just advice from a visionary teacher who says trust me, learn from my examples and I will show you how to live a worthwhile life. We too can have exceptional lives like them if we can understand and follow their way. This is now my immediate goal, to educate myself, so that I can learn from the teachings given to us. To be able to read the guidance in the book given to us, to a stage where I can repeat the message contained inside with full confidence (If the Paathis can’t teach me then I’ll have to teach myself). This, to me, is reason for daily reading of paath. Only after fully understanding and having no doubts can I follow the Gurus ways, and will I proudly call myself a Singh and display the five ‘Ks’ so that I will stand out in a crowd as one who is ready and willing to uphold his principles when needed.

    Taking of amrit, for me, is about marking an oath, where the water has the essence of steel to give a Singh the courage to uphold his values with the sweetness to give a humble manner. The important thing is the oath, not the water.

    This is my understanding of the five ‘Ks’ and amrit, not the hocus-pocus about God’s will about cutting hair or drinking holy water, but of standing proud as an ambassador of your faith and practising your principles. By giving the name Singh to our children and forcing them to keep the five ‘Ks’ without educating them is spoiling the religion, we are all Sikhs until we graduate into Singhs and Kaurs. We are not all capable of providing this education to our children ourselves, this is where it is a duty of the Gurdwaras which were initiated as a place for learning, some are trying but we need people like you who ask questions and persist in finding understandable answers to force change. A respected teacher once said to me ‘If you can’t beat them, join them!’ Don’t distance yourself, become part of the congregation and have the courage to make your voice heard if things don’t make sense.
     
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  18. Randip Singh

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    Excellent discussion.

    Firstly I would implore you from just reading information just at Sikhiwiki, there are many innacuracies there.

    You are correct about one point about Amrit and the 5 k's and the paralell's with the Janeo.

    However, one have to ask the question about what these symbols were actually for.

    For example the Janeo actually represented one's caste, i.e. one worse a Janeo out of different material's according to one caste status. Guru Nanak absolutely rejected this notion. Read the shabad surroundinding Janeo:

    ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ
    आसा महला १ ॥
    Āsā mėhlā 1.
    Aasaa, First Mehl:

    ਕਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਮਨੁ ਹੈ ਧੋਤੀ
    काइआ ब्रहमा मनु है धोती ॥
    Kā▫i▫ā barahmā man hai ḏẖoṯī.
    Let the body be the Brahmin, and let the mind be the loin-cloth;

    ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕੁਸਪਾਤੀ
    गिआनु जनेऊ धिआनु कुसपाती ॥
    Gi▫ān jane▫ū ḏẖi▫ān kuspāṯī.
    let spiritual wisdom be the sacred thread, and meditation the ceremonial ring.

    ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ਜਸੁ ਜਾਚਉ ਨਾਉ
    हरि नामा जसु जाचउ नाउ ॥
    Har nāmā jas jācẖa▫o nā▫o.
    I seek the Name of the Lord and His Praise as my cleansing bath.

    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਿ ਸਮਾਉ ॥੧॥
    गुर परसादी ब्रहमि समाउ ॥१॥
    Gur parsādī barahm samā▫o. ||1||
    By Guru's Grace, I am absorbed into God. ||1||

    ਪਾਂਡੇ ਐਸਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ
    पांडे ऐसा ब्रहम बीचारु ॥
    Pāʼnde aisā barahm bīcẖār.
    O Pandit, O religious scholar, contemplate God in such a way

    ਨਾਮੇ ਸੁਚਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਪੜਉ ਨਾਮੇ ਚਜੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
    नामे सुचि नामो पड़उ नामे चजु आचारु ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
    Nāme sucẖ nāmo paṛa▫o nāme cẖaj ācẖār. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    that His Name may sanctify you, that His Name may be your study, and His Name your wisdom and way of life. ||1||Pause||

    ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਨੇਊ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਨਾਲਿ
    बाहरि जनेऊ जिचरु जोति है नालि ॥
    Bāhar jane▫ū jicẖar joṯ hai nāl.
    The outer sacred thread is worthwhile only as long as the Divine Light is within.

    ਧੋਤੀ ਟਿਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ
    धोती टिका नामु समालि ॥
    Ḏẖoṯī tikā nām samāl.
    So make the remembrance of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, your loin-cloth and the ceremonial mark on your forehead.

    ਐਥੈ ਓਥੈ ਨਿਬਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ
    ऐथै ओथै निबही नालि ॥
    Aithai othai nibhī nāl.
    Here and hereafter, the Name alone shall stand by you.

    ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਹੋਰਿ ਕਰਮ ਭਾਲਿ ॥੨॥
    विणु नावै होरि करम न भालि ॥२॥
    viṇ nāvai hor karam na bẖāl. ||2||
    Do not seek any other actions, except the Name. ||2||

    ਪੂਜਾ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਮਾਇਆ ਪਰਜਾਲਿ
    पूजा प्रेम माइआ परजालि ॥
    Pūjā parem mā▫i▫ā parjāl.
    Worship the Lord in loving adoration, and burn your desire for Maya.

    ਏਕੋ ਵੇਖਹੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਭਾਲਿ
    एको वेखहु अवरु न भालि ॥
    Ėko vekẖhu avar na bẖāl.
    Behold only the One Lord, and do not seek out any other.

    ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਤੁ ਗਗਨ ਦਸ ਦੁਆਰ
    चीन्है ततु गगन दस दुआर ॥
    Cẖīnĥai ṯaṯ gagan ḏas ḏu▫ār.
    Become aware of reality, in the Sky of the Tenth Gate;

    ਹਰਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਠ ਪੜੈ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥
    हरि मुखि पाठ पड़ै बीचार ॥३॥
    Har mukẖ pāṯẖ paṛai bīcẖār. ||3||
    read aloud the Lord's Word, and contemplate it. ||3||

    ਭੋਜਨੁ ਭਾਉ ਭਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਭਾਗੈ
    भोजनु भाउ भरमु भउ भागै ॥
    Bẖojan bẖā▫o bẖaram bẖa▫o bẖāgai.
    With the diet of His Love, doubt and fear depart.

    ਪਾਹਰੂਅਰਾ ਛਬਿ ਚੋਰੁ ਲਾਗੈ
    पाहरूअरा छबि चोरु न लागै ॥
    Pāhrū▫arā cẖẖab cẖor na lāgai.
    With the Lord as your night watchman, no thief will dare to break in.

    ਤਿਲਕੁ ਲਿਲਾਟਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ
    तिलकु लिलाटि जाणै प्रभु एकु ॥
    Ŧilak lilāt jāṇai parabẖ ek.
    Let the knowledge of the One God be the ceremonial mark on your forehead.

    ਬੂਝੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ॥੪॥
    बूझै ब्रहमु अंतरि बिबेकु ॥४॥
    Būjẖai barahm anṯar bibek. ||4||
    Let the realization that God is within you be your discrimination. ||4||

    ਆਚਾਰੀ ਨਹੀ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਾਇ
    आचारी नही जीतिआ जाइ ॥
    Ācẖārī nahī jīṯi▫ā jā▫e.
    Through ritual actions, God cannot be won over;


    ਪਾਠ ਪੜੈ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਇ
    पाठ पड़ै नही कीमति पाइ ॥
    Pāṯẖ paṛai nahī kīmaṯ pā▫e.
    by reciting sacred scriptures, His value cannot be estimated.

    ਅਸਟ ਦਸੀ ਚਹੁ ਭੇਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ
    असट दसी चहु भेदु न पाइआ ॥
    Asat ḏasī cẖahu bẖeḏ na pā▫i▫ā.
    The eighteen Puraanas and the four Vedas do not know His mystery.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ॥੫॥੨੦॥
    नानक सतिगुरि ब्रहमु दिखाइआ ॥५॥२०॥
    Nānak saṯgur barahm ḏikẖā▫i▫ā. ||5||20||
    O Nanak, the True Guru has shown me the Lord God. ||5||20||
    So Guru Nanak is saying that God cannot be won by rituals.

    So what of the 5k's and Amrit?

    You are correct that these have become rituals now to some extent but at that point in time they had a significant practical effect.

    Drinking of different castes from the same bowl of water, waas unheard of in Indian society. The Guru called this Amrit i.e. Water of the Imortals (which harks back to Hindu mythology), i.e. those that drank from this water became immortal, and it was impossible to pollute this water by different castes drinking from it.

    The 5 k's each focuses one's mind on a particular aspect. It is ineffect a uniform (along military lines).

    Both things in effect used to promoted equality rather than difference (like Janeo).

    But I do agree, that these have become symbols rather than something of meaning nowadays.
     
  19. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Randip Singh ji and sangat, would you agree that Amrit was like their "good luck charm"? as in, it gave them a confidence boost just knowing that it will provide them with power and courage. ("What?? Even the Guru asked to be blessed my this amrit?? It must really have something special in it!"" sort of thing)

    Would you agree that amrit (being a ritual from the dictionary definition) was suppsed to appeal to people that already believed in rituals? as this would attract more attention eventually leading up to the "lucky charm effect" mentioned above.

    Would you agree that the wearing of the five K's was more like wearing a uniform of a club or an organization? What i mean is that this would create unity in the members, it made them feel like a family, along with giving them equal status, which would immediately appeal to lower casts; and would attract them to this "club" or brotherhood.
     
  20. ax0547

    ax0547
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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

    Haha - what a nice story - self contradictory eh!


    1. Fact of Science-:
    1. Nail and Hair are made from same dead cells ( part that doesn't hurt)
    2 facts for Khalsa -:
    1. Cannot cut hair
    2. Can cut nails
    2 facts for Common Sense-:

    1. Hair = Direct corelation to Sexual Desire
    2. Nail = Direct corelation to work/Kirat
    Relative Facts-:
    • Hair for Identity? - Hair on face and Pagg enough, why not cut hair from any part of body?
    2 facts to being a Khalsa/Sikh -:
    1. Not do adultry
    2. Kirat of five nails
    Conclusively,
    • 95% of time nails are in opposition to kirat karni!
    • 95%; people that do not cut hair from any part of body and take oath of such, provides Guru Sahib 95% probability that those people are going to be above excesive sexual desire - by accepting the natural norm! You would have to acknowledge that, many people postpone Amrit until after kids/marriage or into old age - this is a big factor!
    You have to remember - Khalsa is a institution of which rules as per Guru Sahib's hukam are followed = pure and above irrationality. This is where one is ought to be as a Sikh ( learned person). I could go on and on into little bits and peices like why khalsa and all that, which is kind of rlative but out of scope for this question!

    I'm sure your woudl not provide your kids with this answer at age 6! lol

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
     
  21. ax0547

    ax0547
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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

    Good inquiry though, but here is the answer!

    Let us first see what is Janeu is meant for - :

    Janeu is a consecrated thread that is worn by each and every Hindu Brahmin of India. This holy thread of 'Janeo' suggests the development of a male, from a young boy to a man. It is believed that a boy cannot be surmised as "Dvija" (twice born) until he wears the janeu. Besides the Brahmins, Janeo thread is also worn by the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. The type of Janeu is different for different caste groups or sects of people of the Indian subcontinent.

    One is Brahmgandh Janeu (with 5 knots or 3 knots), which is meant for Brahmins and the other is Vishnugandh Janeu (with one knot), meant for other classes. In case a Brahmin desires to become scholarly in the Vedas, he must wear janeu at 5 years of age. If a Kshatriya desires to gain strength, he should wear janeo at 6 and if a Vaishya desires for success, he must wear the Janeu at 8 years of age. Janeu is generally made of cotton thread; however Kshatriya and Vaishya wear threads made out of hempen and wool respectively.


    Brahmins use 'Janeu' thread with three strands. These three strands of 'Janeo' have been studied many a times and different personalities gave several opinions regarding this tradition. To some people, the three strands stand for the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Others interpreted it as symbolical of Mahasarasvati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. Many people believed it to be related with past, present and future.

    A number of persons stated it to be representative of three qualities - sattva, rajas and tamas. A few considered the three strands as sign of three states-wakefulness, dream and deep sleep. Some of them mentioned it to signify three dimensions of Heaven (swarga), Earth (mrityuloka) and Nether Regions (pataloka). Out of all opinions, the most logical is janeu's account with Ida, pingala and susumna nadi, through which the 'kundalini' (hidden) energy reveals in 'prana' and realization.


    Janeu Thread - Indian Janeu Thread Tradition, Holy Thread Janeu, Janeu Ceremony of India




    Points to be noted -:

    Further initiates the case system and division. Humm, but is Khalsa a division too? Nope. A Brahmin can only have so many knots and so on according to class, but point of Khalsa is no class but unity!

    “the most logical is janeu's account with Ida, pingala and susumna nadi, through which the 'kundalini' (hidden) energy reveals in 'prana' and realization” – GOOD, but I will come back to this!

    Guru Nanak Said the following quotes relating to this sakhi!



    Make mercy thy cotton, contentment thy thread, continence its knot, truth its twist.
    That would make a janoy for the soul; if thou have it, O Brahman, then put it on me.
    It will not break, or become soiled, or be burned, or lost.
    Blest the man, O Nanak, who goeth with such a thread on his neck.
    Thou purchasest a janeu for four damris, and seated in a square puttest it on;
    Thou whisperest instruction that the Brahman is the guru of the Hindus--
    Man dieth, the janeu falleth, and the soul departeth without it.




    Points to be noted -:

    Guru sahib is asking that a true Janeu is one that contains -:

    Mercy, contentment, continence, truth = janoy for the soul (then put it on me).

    Next quote:



    Though men commit countless thefts, countless adulteries, utter countless falsehoods and countless words of abuse;
    Though they commit countless robberies and villanies night and day against their fellow creatures;
    Yet the cotton thread is spun, and the Brahman cometh to twist it.
    For the ceremony they kill a goat and cook and eat it, and everybody then saith 'Put on the janeu'.
    When it becometh old, it is thrown away, and another is put on, Nanak, the string breaketh not if it be strong.




    Points to be noted -:

    Guru Sahib is condemning:
    Thefts, adulteries, falsehoods, words of abuse, robberies, villanies and “Yet the cotton thread is spun, and the Brahman cometh to twist it”.
    Next Quote:



    By adoring and praising the Name honour and a true thread are obtained.
    In this way a sacred thread shall be put on, which will not break, and which will be fit for entrance into God's court.




    Points to be noted -:

    Guru Sahib is suggesting:
    Praising Name = true thread obtained i.e. how to (Mercy, contentment, continence, truth is obtained)



    There is no string for the sexual organs, there is no string for women;
    There is no string for the impure acts which cause your beards to be daily spat upon;
    There is no string for the feet, there is no string for the hands
    There is no string for the tongue, there is no string for I the eyes.
    Without such strings the Brahman wandereth astray,
    Twisteth strings for the neck, and putteth them on others.
    He taketh hire for marrying;
    He pulleth out a paper, and showeth the fate of the wedded pair.
    Hear and see, ye people, it is strange
    That, while mentally blind, man is named wise.




    Points to be noted -:

    Guru Sahib is giving the negatives/missings of Janeu:
    “no string for the sexual organs, no string for women, no string for the impure acts, no string for the feet, no string for the hands, no string for the tongue, no string for I the eyes” and without these “Brahman wandereth astray. Twisteth strings for the neck, and putteth them on others. Conclusively, “while mentally blind, man is named wise.”
    All in all such is the reasoning that Guru Sahib provided!
    Now coming to Khalsa, the “Gatra” (cloth part) was common part of military use for holding “Talwars”. Obviously, it would be required for “Kirpan” too, but also there some related other aspects. I assume, that you would agree that Khalsa code of conduct prohibits – *Thefts, adulteries, falsehoods, words of abuse, robberies, villanies*, while it also propounds *Praising Name = true thread obtained i.e. how to (Mercy, contentment, continence, truth is obtained)*. Furthermore, it propounds a “string” (used metaphorically by Guru Sahib and das) as explained by das in previous post, guarantees women the same right, as well for feet and hand ( If you follow the path of truth fullness as described by Guru Sahib) = not called mentally blind because Khalsa is that who is beyond irrationality (Khals = Pure). The most important point to notice are “…then put it on me, …Yet … cometh to twist it, ..putteth them on others”. According to the ritual of Janeu it is put on without consent and according to age, while acceptance of Amrit Chaka is one’s personal decision and only when he/she wills to be Khals. I will go further into importance of “Kirpan” and”Amrit Sanchar” as spiritual as well physical phenomena. Also, specifically answer your posed questions. Right now there is not enough time. Please, ask any specifics or flaws you find so that I can clarify those too.
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
     

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