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Can One Convert to Sikhism?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Wanderer2369, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Wanderer2369

    Wanderer2369
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    Can one convert to sikhism? If so, what is the process? If not, Name the reasons why? - Thanks. - Shukriya.
     
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  3. drkhalsa

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    Answer is Yes
    : Really Simple
    Becoming a sikh ask for both internal and external commitrnents
    Here is brief discription of ceremony

    Amrit Sanskar, Baptism

    This is the sacred ceremony for the initiation into the Khalsa brotherhood. It should be taken only by those who are fully mature enough to realize the commitment required and the significance. The initiate may be a man or woman of any caste or previous religion. Generally they are encouraged to start behaving, acting and looking like a Sikh before seeking baptism. The baptism is done in a quiet place away from distractions where Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been installed. The initiate is required to wash their hair, cover their head, wear clean clothes and the 5K's before presenting themselves before 6 amritdhari Sikhs (those who are already baptized). Five amritdhari Sikhs will conduct the ceremony while one reads Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The principals of Sikhism are explained to the initiate and this is followed by Ardas and taking of the Hukam (opening of Sri Guru Granth Sahib to a random page and reading of a hymn). Amrit (sweet sugar water) is prepared in a steel bowl and stirred with a kirpan by the five beloved ones while Japuji, Jaap, Ten Sawayyas, Bainti Chaupai and 6 verses from Anand Sahib are recited. This is followed by Ardas and the initiate drinking the amrit five times in cupped hands and exclaiming Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh (The Pure Belong to God, Victory to God). Amrit is then sprinkled on the hair and eyes of the initiate and any leftover is drunk by all present. This is followed by an explanation of the code of conduct and discipline required for a Khalsa. The Khalsa is required to wear the 5K's and abstain from 1) cutting hair, 2) eating Muslim halal meat, 3) cohabiting with a person other than ones spouse and 4) using intoxicants such as tobacco. Other breaches of the code of conduct are also explained before Ardas is once again repeated. This is followed by taking Hukam and eating of karah prasad (sacred pudding) from a common bowl. If a person does not have a Sikh name, they take a new name at this time.



    Introduction to Sikhism[​IMG]
    [​IMG]A way of life and philosophy well ahead of its time when it was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind, social justice and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

    Who and What is a Sikh?
    The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are practical and universal in their appeal to all mankind.
    "I observe neither Hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save. The Lord of universe of the Hindus, Gosain and Allah to me are one; From Hindus and Muslims have I broken free. I perform neither Kaaba pilgrimage nor at bathing spots worship; One sole Lord I serve, and no other. I perform neither the Hindu worship nor the Muslim prayer; To the Sole Formless Lord in my heart I bow. We neither are Hindus nor Muslims; Our body and life belong to the One Supreme Being who alone is both Ram and Allah for us." (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib, Raga Bhairon pg. 1136)
    "Any human being who faithfully believes in: (i) One Immortal Being, (ii) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh, (iii) The Guru Granth Sahib, (iv) The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and, (v) the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion is a Sikh." (Reht Maryada, Sikh Code of Conduct)
    Philosophy and Beliefs

    [​IMG] There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions.

    [​IMG] The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form. The goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. Sikhs should remember God at all times and practice living a virtuous and truthful life while maintaining a balance between their spiritual obligations and temporal obligations.
    [​IMG] The true path to achieving salvation and merging with God does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.
    [​IMG] Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.
    [​IMG] Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.
    History and Practices
    The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding and criticized the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. Guru Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708.
    During his lifetime Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa order (meaning 'The Pure'), soldier-saints. The Khalsa uphold the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscious. The Khalsa are men and women who have undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions and wear the prescribed physical articles of the faith. One of the more noticeable being the uncut hair (required to be covered with a turban for men) and the Kirpan (ceremonial sword).
    Before his death in 1708 Guru Gobind Singh declared that the Sikhs no longer needed a living and appointed his spiritual successor as Sri Guru Granth Sahib, his physical successor as the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh felt that all the wisdom needed by Sikhs for spiritual guidance in their daily lives could be found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is unique in the world of religious scriptures because not only is it accorded the status of being the spiritual head of the Sikh religion, but besides the poetry of the Gurus, it also contains the writings of saints of other faiths whose thoughts were consistent with those of the Sikh Gurus. Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and full of ego. Sikhs only have custodians of the Guru Granth Sahib (granthi), and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) or in their home. All people of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara. A free community kitchen can be found at every Gurdwara which serves meals to all people of all faiths. Guru Nanak first started this institution which outline the basic Sikh principles of service, humility and equality. The most significant historical religious center for the Sikhs is Harmiandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at Amritsar in the state of Punjab in northern India. It is the inspirational and historical center of Sikhism but is not a mandatory place of pilgrimage or worship. All places where Sri Guru Granth Sahib are installed are considered equally holy for Sikhs.




    Jatinder Singh
     
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  4. Wanderer2369

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    One must read to a random passage - Meaning a requirement indeed is the language - for example, i am a protestant. I've been seeking a religion - and therfore a way of life for quite some time. I look onto sikhism for inspiration. But along the way i have had run in's with people who have discarded me- which led me to divulge unto the internet. But anywho - This leads me to two more questions - Must i be fluent in these languages? Secondly, you mentioned i must look like a sikh before the baptism.. - Does this mean eventhough in society my faith isnt "announced" - -Won't i face ridicule by other Sikhs? (If i have forgotten to mention- I'm not of indian origin. I'm Spanish).
     
  5. truthseeker

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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!

    I am truly glad to hear that u have embraced sikhism with such love wanderer JI,

    As for facing ridicule from other Sikhs, only those who are ingorant would dare say anything to you. And in that case they are not a TRUE sikh. A true sikh would welcome you with open arms and help u learn mor eand more about the religion. I
    f you have fallen in love with the religion and chosen to follow the path of Guru ji then so be it ,don't let what anyone says or does stop you from that. Because you are doing this for yourself and not for them. Try to remember this on your path.

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!
     
  6. truthseeker

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    Also... being able to speak, read and understand Panjabi would be a must. BUt as for being totaly 100% fluent, no of course not...i dont think there are even that many ppl born into the religion that cant understand it 100%. as time goes on.. u will learn more.. and slowly begin to understand the language.

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!
     
  7. Singhstah

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    wanderer ji you are not alone, there is a mssive community of non-asian sikhs called 3ho,perhaps you could get in touch with them they may be helpful to you about the language barier and so on.they are based in mexico.
     
  8. drkhalsa

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    Dear Wanderer

    I would adviseyo not worry about the others whether they hlep or not

    In sikhism there is no need of any middle man or priest or learned one
    the only guide in sikhism is Sri Guru Granth Sahib and you can read it in you r own language taht is english and you dont need any body else

    Here is the link for the download of whole Guru Granth Sahib in pdf format

    http://www.gurbanifiles.org/Gurm%20&%20Devan%20to%20English%20Translation%20&%20Translit%20of%20SGGS,%20SBS.pdf


    About your being White or Spanish it doesnot matter There are already thousands like you already practising Sikhism and fortunately there rae also some members on this forum itself who are jsut like yo have joined sikhism recently
    check these links out


    http://www.{url not allowed}
    http://prabhukhalsa.blogspot.com/
    http://www.mrsikhnet.com/


    Any way every body on this forum will be more than happy to offer you any help you need in this regrad

    Good Luck with you r spirtual Journey

    Jatinder Singh
     
  9. Wanderer2369

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    I have to admit it, but you have made me smile with joy. If i would've known that i could be embraced not for my origin but for my eager to learn a wanted faith - here. I would've so long ago. But drkhalsa, you speak of " true sikh's" I have been ridiculed by many for even speaking of such blasphemy. Actually, three of the Gurdwara's said no, because i wasn't their kind. Their exact words " You're not indian" Which led to my hesitation. But i must know punjabi? Are there schools for such things? can i have like a teacher- tutor if you will? Or is this absurd and not heard from? - Oh, these groups that you speak of.. Where can i contact them. Sorry new to this site and still trying to find myself around.
     
  10. Wanderer2369

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    Thank you i will also give those sites a shot. I mean since i've been welcomed here and all :)
     
  11. Lee

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    Hey wonderer,

    Where are you based?

    Cheers,

    Lee.
     
  12. Wanderer2369

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    Based? Meaning where am i from? - Canada - Toronto.
     
  13. Lionchild

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    Where are these gurdwaras? This is very disturbing.
     
  14. Learning_Sikhi

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    Hi Wanderer, I am also living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you please let me know which three Gurdawaras u have been, so that i can talk with somebody there regarding this issue?

    Also tell me if I can be any kind of help.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh
     
    #13 Learning_Sikhi, Aug 27, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2005
  15. Wanderer2369

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    I tell you Learning_Sikhi, i don't lie. Why start of on the "bad foot" as the saying goes. But I'm sorry, i will not say the locations. I can not incriminate these people. I forgave them within, so it is all dealt with.

    Help? Wow... I gotta' tell you - All. Everyone has embraced me here. Sincerely i feel overwhelmed. thank you.

    But i would like to speak to someone about converting.. If i may. Like the preperations. Actual preperations. Like where do i go. What do i look for? Things of this sort.
     
  16. Lee

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    Hey Wanderer,

    Conversion to Sikhi is very easy, just start living like a Sikh.
    Taking Amrit now that's a differant thing(one would imagine, I have not yet done it)

    The Rehat Maryada(Sikh code of conduct) says:

    Any human being who faithfully believes in
    (i) One Immortal Being,
    (ii) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh,
    (iii) The Guru Granth Sahib,
    (iv) The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and
    (v) the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh. This is the basic defineition of a Sikh, now although I have not yet taken Amrit(God willing one day) I still call myself a Sikh.

    If you want to convert there really(In my opinion) are no rites, or preperations as such to take. Go to Gurdwara(temple), get yourself a gutka/nitnem(book of daily prayers), hang around with other Sikhs, talk to Sikhs, and practice the Sikhi life. In doing this you have converted.

    As to taking Amrit(getting baptised), all Sikhs should work towards this, and this happens not by our will but by Gods. When I feel(or God lets me know) that I can live as a Khalsa(pure) Sikh, then I shall take Amrit, wear the 5 k's and take not a look backwards.

    Cheers,

    lee.
     
  17. Amerikaur

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    Wanderer,

    There may be several reasons why you encountered a less-than-warm reception at a gurdwara near you. There can be bad reasons such as prejudice or bigotry.

    But there can also be misunderstandings just based on different dialects of English, which may be a second or third language for the gurdwara-attendees.

    Indian English, like Singaporean English, may be based on UK English but has its own tones and inflections. It is very different than conversational North American English. I've personally found that many Indo-Americans and Indo-Canadians have said something to me that I thought was very rude...but no harm was meant.

    And, it could be pride. A small number of Panjabis get embarrassed when a westerner follows their faith better than they do...and rather than turning to introspection or to God for help in giving up their bad habits, they expend their energy in vitriol towards the westerner.

    None of us...not all Spanish, not all Sikhs, not all Asians, not all Europeans, not all Americans, not all Blacks, not all Whites...none of us are universally good nor are we universally bad. It takes all types to make up the world, and Sikhi is no different.


    There is certainly pride in the Panjabi community, and many that will say that learning Panjabi is "easy." To that I say apriendo Espanol es facil y con much@s Latin@s en el mundo, es muy importante saber Espanol! Tal vez, cada Sij debe aprender esta lengua tambien, no? Naturalmente, es un chiste, pero, espero que mi punto esta entendido.

    And if you don't speak Spanish...please forgive me!

    Sikhi is a beautiful faith, and being a Sikh is what is in your heart, your mind, your thoughts, your actions. It is not in your blood line, your eye color, or where your grandparents were born. If you believe, Guru will guide you.
     
  18. Wanderer2369

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    Lol! Haha, you have made me laugh on a rough day. Haha. Yes, i understood it. But yeah, living like a sikh? I noticed you dont wear a turban? Does this mean i dont have to as well?
     
  19. Amerikaur

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    Honestly, I couldn't tie a formal turban if my life depended on it. :eek:

    Personally, I do take steps to keep my hair covered in some fashion, I don't always succeed. No one to blame here but myself for my laziness and intermittent discipline.

    As far as what you have to do...we all have to cover our head in Gurdwara, but the Rehat Maryada says the turban is required for men, and optional for women, but...that is really more of a question to be meditated on in Simran. It is one thing to adopt a habit because you know that you are supposed to. It means even more to adopt a habit because it means something to you.
     
  20. truthseeker

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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!

    As part of our rehit we are to keep Kes (unshorn/uncut hair) and soo for men the only practical way of doing this would be to wear a turban. As for women like Amerikaur posed above she just tries to cover her head as much as possible. I personally do the same and wear a ramal on my head.

    The turban has a very important meaning in sikhi and you should come to learn more about the meaning of it before you decide to tie one yourself.

    Just take it one step at a time and learn more as you go.I Think that that is the only advice one can give to another. Living like a Sikh takes i guess one would say, alot of love for your Guru. But once you develop that love in your heart then nothing it is honestly just amazing.

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!
     
  21. Lee

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    Yeah I'd also like to add that the 5 k's are a requirement for Khalsa Sikhs.
    As posted yesterday I have not yet taken Amrit, so although wearing the 5 k's before I have to is a good idea, personly I feel I don't want to do dishonour to the Khalsa by looking the part before I am the part. Heh and of course I do wear the turban in gurdwara.

    Cheers,

    Lee
     

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