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Bowing to Saints... Why yes & Why Not ?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by care4sikhi, Jun 25, 2004.

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  1. care4sikhi

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    People bow to saints and some do not. I want to know your thoughts.

    Many people would not bow to saints but are willing to do so when it comes to shasters, places where the gurus have sat, shoes when they are doing seva of cleaning them.

    Many are happy to bow at other things as well but when it comes to a sant it becomes a definate no no?

    Please explain why!
     
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  3. CaramelChocolate

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    [Keep in mind that I'm not Sikh]

    I would say no. Guru is the guide for all Sikhs and should be the only guide, therefore to give it a special respect they bow to it, and also to show the Guru that the Guru has special authority in the person's life. By bowing to other than the Guru, it makes it less special as they are doing this act for just one than the Guru, and they are surrendering to other than the Guru.
    So if they bow to something, they are giving it the same authority as Guru in their lives.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  4. Arvind

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    Mattha tekna i.e. Bowing head represents surrendering ourselves. In case of sikhs, this is Guru to whom we surrender, which can be only One. We surrender our mat (mind/knowledge) etc, and ask for Guru's mat. Some people give respect to saints by touching their feet or mattha tek, which is not right.
     
  5. Critical Singh

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    100% Agreed
     
  6. CaramelChocolate

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    The bowing act is performed for Guruji alone then it should not be performed for anyone other than Guruji, but if touching the feet is not done to Guruji ever then it can be done to anyone. My reason for this is that it shows respect to Guruji if they are going to save certain acts for Guruji alone and it gives Guruji authority in their lives.
    I have seen in Southall Gurdwara, people walking around Guruji and bowing from the back as well, also going around the sides whilst touching the golden fence around it, I always thought this was a Hindu thing - what about this, is it right or wrong?

    Also I have seen people after bowing to Guruji, people touching floor near those singing kirtan and then infront of the glass booths that have scriptures in them [or Guruji I'm not sure], who thinks it is ok to do this?
    Personally I say bow to Guruji alone, and if your gonna touch 'feet' of Guruji then don't do it to nobody else.

    Would be interested to see the views on touching golden fence around Guruji etc. though.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  7. Arvind

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    Bowing to fence or floor etc. is due to our limited knowledge i.e. ignorance. This 100% denies the fact which says - Guru is omnipresent. Actually, we never consider Guru Ang Sang, and think guru exists in Gurudwara ONLY, and we try to pay our regards by doing such actions. Once the realization of Guru Ang Sang comes up, then these actions wash out by itself.
     
  8. CaramelChocolate

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    I disagree - God is omnipresent, not Guru. Guru connects us with God. Guru with within maya whereas God is outside maya. Everything within maya has it's limitations.

    Btw, some people think I am insulting Guru to say he's not omnipresent. I think it is an insult to God to say anything other than God is omnipresent.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  9. Arvind

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    Wow. I correct myself from the light of your words. I mistook Guru and God as one entity (I dont know what shud I call if not entity). In my previous post, I meant God.

    Thanks for pointing this out CC. There need to be different protocol for respect for Guru and God, as those are different due to Maya.
     
  10. CaramelChocolate

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    No problem, we all make typos :)

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  11. Arvind

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    This discussion gave me a new quest to seek better understaning for these two words - Guru and God, and take this beyond my typo mistake.

    Guru Granth Sahib ji is Guru, which shows the way to attain unity with God. Then this leaves no place for saints! What about the saints who work hard towards showing you way to Guru Granth Sahib ji, and push us that path by explaining the meaning of terms. Or is it that we just need to move on our own paths considering Guru Granth Sahib ji as THE Guru, make up meaning of terms on our own as per gurbani/gurmat vichar, and nothing else!
     
  12. CaramelChocolate

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    Wow, I am glad you have brought that up, it is an interesting pickle...

    In my opinion saints are for those who don't philosophise and need someone else's philosophies in order to help them understand Guruji. For philosophers like us, we can use saints for extra help and more ideas in order to increase our already high knowledge, or for a deeper clarification on something we do not do ourselves. However saints are not to be followed, they are their to point us in a better direction to God though Guruji.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  13. Arvind

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    I guess, we all including saints are students of the same school studying in different grades (saints being senior students), so entry level people like me, may consult them ocassionally and exchange notes! (Gurmat Vichar)
     
  14. CaramelChocolate

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    Since we're on the topic of bowing... Those who won't bow to saints and only to Guruji, do you ever refure to bow in a Gurdwara if their is a picture or a metal khanda infront of the Guru? [meaning that your bowing to the symbol and not actually the Guru].

    Also, off topic, but, in a Gurdwara once they had diya lamps - I thought this was not allowed?

    Actually I might start a thread on the way Gurdwaras are set out...

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  15. Arvind

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    While bowing to Guru Granth Sahib ji, the physical movement is there, where one might appear bowing to money golak, picture, sheets, symbols etc. But I think, our mind is bowing to Guru Granth Sahib ji and not the other objects in between. The feeling (of surrender, and asking for Guru's mat i.e. Naam) is more important, which is generally not visible at the outset.

    Diya lamps are not allowed, as this encourages generally superstitions etc.
     
  16. CaramelChocolate

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    While we're close to the topic... What is the symbolism of offering to Guruji [money, flowers etc.]?

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  17. Arvind

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    Offering or surrendering is of own matt (mind), and begging is for Guru's matt (mind)
     
  18. CaramelChocolate

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    Ok I'm lost...
     
  19. Arvind

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    When we bow, that is symbolic of offering our limited flawed knowledge, and requesting for Guru's knowledge.
     
  20. CaramelChocolate

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    Aren't we talking about offerings?

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  21. Arvind

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    Yes, I was talking about offerings only, that from bowing point of view.

    About money, flowers... things u mentioned, anything which can be taken to be beneficial to the maintenance and development of Guru Granth Sahib ji, sikh community including sewadaars (Gurudwara staff), is fine. Recently, I witnessed people offering in kitchen - milk, other edible things for human consumption (as anyone can sit in langar), and in office - carpets, sheets, toilet tissues etc. Getting back, I guess your query is about offering to Guru ji only - and I rewrite about knowledge. Not sure, if this helps!
     

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