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Converting to Sikhism

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by GodIsTruth, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. GodIsTruth

    GodIsTruth
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    Hi all.

    I have been giving a lot of thought to becoming a Sikh and I would really appreciate any advice that anyone would have on the matter.

    I myself am generally against converting to another religion as I believe all religions lead to the same place, oneness with the Creator.

    I was raised in the UK in a Christian household. I have always believed in God, but my own personal beliefs and spirituality conflicted with that of Christianity on many fundamental and important issues. I will not bore you guys by detailing all these here, but sufficed to say I could not continue practicing a religion for which I did not agree with.

    Since a young age I had always been interested in Sikhism, (my two best friends were Sikh), but at that time I did not know enough about it to become a Sikh. As I have got older (now in mid-20's), I have found that my own beliefs are very close to that of Sikhism (and quite similar to Hinduism).

    My partner is Sikh and she has never tried to convert me in anyway. I have attended a Gurdwara many times and really do feel a sense of the community there.

    I love my partner and one day want to marry and have kids with her. I would like my children to be be raised as Sikh's to give them a connection with God and help provide them with a moral compass in the harsh western world.

    I do not drink, or smoke, or eat meat, (for personal not religious reasons), and I am truly longing for a connection with God once more.

    But is the fact that I believe in many of the things that Sikhism teaches, and that in many of the ways I live my life (veggie, no alcohol etc.) are closely related to the way a Sikh should live their life reason enough for me to become a Sikh?

    At what point does a person become a Sikh. Is it when one becomes a Khalsa Sikh, or when one truly takes the teachings of Sikhism to heart. If this is the case perhaps I have been a Sikh for most of my life.

    I know that this is not a question that anyone can truly answer for me, but any guidance advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry about the long post...thanks for taking the time to read my post.
     
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  3. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Rituals are what the world is accustomed to. Converting rituals, prayer rituals, marriage rituals, etc. All religions encourage the reading of holy scriptures. But reading alone is just a ritual. Reading with understanding will bring you closer to the fact that God already resides within you and it is pointless to search Him from outside yourself. Making pilgrimages for e.g. are all an outer show of what the world wants.

    Some people sing hymns in trance states, shouting at the top of their voice. The more noise they make, the better they feel. God's Light shines within every Soul regardless of religion. Religions are labels. God's Light that shines bright within one's self makes him a Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh's hymns state thus as seen in the video below.

    Jaagat Jot Jape by Bhai Manpreet Singh in Raag Gujri Todi with lyrics - Baisakhi 2011 - YouTube

    Translation of the Hymn is as follows:-

    He the Khalsa meditates on the Ever-Radiant Light day and night and rejects all else but the one Lord from the mind. He decorates himself with perfect love and faith, and believes not in fasts, tombs, crematoriums, and hermit cells even by mistake. He knows none except the one Lord in the performance of acts of pilgrimage, charities, compassion, austerities and self control.

    So now let's see how the origin of symbols also has its origin in the spiritual aspect of man. Lighting the lamp in the temples or sounding the bell in the church all have their origin from the inner light and inner sound current - Shabad.

    On page 237 Line 4 of SGGS it is stated,

    <table cellspacing="5"><tbody><tr></tr><tr><td> ਸਹਜੇ ਅਨਹਤ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਇਆ
    सहजे अनहत सबदु वजाइआ ॥
    Sėhje anhaṯ sabaḏ vajā▫i▫ā.
    In peace and poise, the unstruck vibration of the Shabad resounds.
    </td></tr> <tr><td> ਸਹਜੇ ਰੁਣ ਝੁਣਕਾਰੁ ਸੁਹਾਇਆ
    सहजे रुण झुणकारु सुहाइआ ॥
    Sėhje ruṇ jẖuṇkār suhā▫i▫ā.
    In peace and poise, the celestial bells resound.
    </td></tr> <tr><td> ਤਾ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੭॥
    ता कै घरि पारब्रहमु समाइआ ॥७॥
    Ŧā kai gẖar pārbarahm samā▫i▫ā. ||7||
    Within their homes, the Supreme Lord God is pervading. ||7||
    </td></tr></tbody></table>
     
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    #2 Astroboy, Aug 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2016
  4. GodIsTruth

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    Thanks for the post, it is greatly appreciated.

    I completely agree that one can only know God directly from within, that you could search the entire world and find nothing truly Divine, but that simply upon reflecting on your own soul in your own house, experience the infinite love of the creator.

    In past meditations I have often felt a deep sense of the interconnectedness of all beings through God. In essence, it was a feeling that part of my own soul existed in all the peoples of the world In doing so, causing harm to others is in fact attacking your own soul. Through this knowledge, harming others is completely illogical

    Sorry...I'm going a bit off topic here aren't I?

    I truly believe that the religions of the world are paths to God and throughout the years have studied and learnt from many of them.

    Although I can read and post on forums such as these (which are a great help), and can learn from the variety of religions that exist, I always feel that I am doing this from the outside looking in.

    Perhaps my Ego is rearing its ugly head and this outward acceptance has become more important than my connection with God. I put Spiritualism as my religion, but the truth is, I don't know what my religion is. Religion unites people towards a common spiritual goal, and guides them to help them avoid the evils of the world. Although I am united in returning to the creator, I feel the path is a lonely one.

    Thanks for your advice, again, it is greatly appreciated.
     
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  5. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    The path isn't lonely. The Guru states that there are countless Brahmas and other Celestial Beings which the Lord has fashioned and who are seen along the way towards our true home, Sach Khand.
     
  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    its not that complicated in my view, live by truth and love, your a Sikh
     
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  7. GodIsTruth

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    Hi again,

    Sorry for my last post being a bit self-pitying, it was late and I think I was a bit tired.

    I guess I will continue as I have been doing. Searching for God through all the wonderful religions of the world.

    Reading some of Guru Nanek Dev Ji's teachings, I have experienced a connection with a religion that I have never done before. I can truly say that my own beliefs mirror many of those within Sikhism.

    I think I got a bit caught up with wanting to "show" my beliefs, in some way wanting to show the 5 K's a proof of my beliefs (which are real). In truth, this is wrong as I would be doing it for the wrong reasons. Not because I truly understood the reasons behind the 5 K's, but because I wanted to be accepted as a Sikh, in the community and the wider world.

    Myself and my Sikh partner both share very similar beliefs in relation to life, religion and morality. One day if we were to marry I know that she would like a anand Karaj. Even though I truly believe in the all of the teachings of the Gurus that I have read, how could I truly makes promises to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, when I myself was not a Sikh and have not read and understood many of its teachings.

    Thanks for your posts, especially Astroboy, you really hit the nail on the head. I have let the wish to appear outwardly as a Sikh overcome my internal search for truth.

    In time I may decide to become a Sikh, to follow the 5 K's. But I should do this for all the right reasons and not et my Ego take over. The truth is that as I believe many of things Sikhism does, and my partner is Sikh, I wanted to display the 5 K's to be accepted and be able to marry my partner. Even though my intentions were good, I can see that this is not reason enough.

    My reason to convert must be driven by an internal passion to learn from the Gurus, to fully understand their teachings and to apply them to my life. Once this is done, then I may truly, convert to Sikhism both internally, and outwardly.

    Sorry for (another) very long post
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I wouldn't worry about it, your already Sikh
     
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  9. Rory

    Rory
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    GodIsTruth, welcomemunda
    From what I can see, you are on the right path - or at least, you're starting at the right spot. I personally am still struggling with a lot of things internally, keeping me from becoming what I would call a Sikh; I think it's important to always put God before ourselves. I think this is a good litmus test, to check if we're doing things for the right reason; ask yourself "Am I really doing this for God? Or am I doing it for my own ego, or by my own preferences? Am I sure this is the right thing to do by God?" - then think about your answer for a while. Double check. :D

    Whatever you do, keep going! By God's grace we'll hopefully find our way if we just keep following the light at the end of the tunnel and checking regularly to make sure we have God as the focus of our journey.

    I wish you all the best whatever move you make, I hope God shows you the way.
     
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  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    But Roryji, you are Sikh already too! What makes either of you any less a Sikh than a bearded turbaned Punjabi? you are both looking for the truth, you are both honest, with others and yourselves, you are asking questions, you are finding the answers, its beautiful to watch, to observe, the only validation you need is that of Creator, I don't think either of you realise how blessed you are, you both put some Sikhs to shame, take your time my friends, enjoy the journey, no need to hurry, enjoy those wow moments, enjoy learning, enjoy working it all out, and seeing the beauty of life unravel before you through the bani tinted spectacles

    mundahug
     
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  11. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    This path towards the original home of Soul, going back Home is full of illusion doorways. Just like a turtle hatch-lings heading towards the ocean, are often full of predators to swallow them. Following Living Gurus, Babas, Deras and 'Sants' are the illusion. Such babas are NOT willing to put their lives at stake in order to uphold the basic truths of Soul. They are more comfortable living off other people's wealth by selling them their state of the art presentations. To them, "a sucker is born every minute" holds very true.

    Shabad Guru never changes the words. The wisdom therein is here forever and will remain the same throughout eternity. So follow no illusionary path. Guru is within. All we see with our physical eyes is processed by the brain for the sake of Soul. This drama of life is perceived by Soul, our True Selves.

    On page 441 Line 3 it is written,

    Page 441, Line 3
    O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light - recognize your own origin.
    Guru Amar Das - [SIZE=-1]view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok[/SIZE]

    You can click on the view Shabad icon to read the full shabad.

    Gurbani does not stop you from living your social life. It has only one condition which is to have the Lord at heart while one goes about performing one's daily routine. sukhmani Sahib stanza is full of such quotes like the one below:

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Ashtapadee:
    By His Grace, you partake of the thirty-six delicacies;
    enshrine that Lord and Master within your mind.
    By His Grace, you apply scented oils to your body;
    remembering Him, the supreme status is obtained.
    By His Grace, you dwell in the palace of peace;
    meditate forever on Him within your mind.
    By His Grace, you abide with your family in peace;
    keep His remembrance upon your tongue, twenty-four hours a day.
    By His Grace, you enjoy tastes and pleasures;
    O Nanak, meditate forever on the One, who is worthy of meditation. ||1||
    By His Grace, you wear silks and satins;
    why abandon Him, to attach yourself to another?
    By His Grace, you sleep in a cozy bed;
    O my mind, sing His Praises, twenty-four hours a day.
    By His Grace, you are honored by everyone;
    with your mouth and with your tongue, chant His Praises.
    By His Grace, you remain in the Dharma;
    O mind, meditate continually on the Supreme Lord God.
    Meditating on God, you shall be honored in His Court;
    O Nanak, you shall return to your true home with honor. ||2||
    By His Grace, you have a healthy, golden body;
    attune yourself to that Loving Lord.
    By His Grace, your honor is preserved;
    O mind, chant the Praises of the Lord, Har, Har, and find peace.
    By His Grace, all your deficits are covered;
    O mind, seek the Sanctuary of God, our Lord and Master.
    By His Grace, no one can rival you;
    O mind, with each and every breath, remember God on High.
    By His Grace, you obtained this precious human body;
    O Nanak, worship Him with devotion. ||3||
    By His Grace, you wear decorations;
    O mind, why are you so lazy? Why don't you remember Him in meditation?
    By His Grace, you have horses and elephants to ride;
    O mind, never forget that God.
    By His Grace, you have land, gardens and wealth;
    keep God enshrined in your heart.
    O mind, the One who formed your form -
    standing up and sitting down, meditate always on Him.
    Meditate on Him - the One Invisible Lord;
    here and hereafter, O Nanak, He shall save you. ||4||
    By His Grace, you give donations in abundance to charities;
    O mind, meditate on Him, twenty-four hours a day.
    By His Grace, you perform religious rituals and worldly duties;
    think of God with each and every breath.
    By His Grace, your form is so beautiful;
    constantly remember God, the Incomparably Beautiful One.
    By His Grace, you have such high social status;
    remember God always, day and night.
    By His Grace, your honor is preserved;
    by Guru's Grace, O Nanak, chant His Praises. ||5||
    By His Grace, you listen to the sound current of the Naad.
    By His Grace, you behold amazing wonders.
    By His Grace, you speak ambrosial words with your tongue.
    By His Grace, you abide in peace and ease.
    By His Grace, your hands move and work.
    By His Grace, you are completely fulfilled.
    By His Grace, you obtain the supreme status.
    By His Grace, you are absorbed into celestial peace.
    Why forsake God, and attach yourself to another?
    By Guru's Grace, O Nanak, awaken your mind! ||6||
    By His Grace, you are famous all over the world;
    never forget God from your mind.
    By His Grace, you have prestige;
    O foolish mind, meditate on Him!
    By His Grace, your works are completed;
    O mind, know Him to be close at hand.
    By His Grace, you find the Truth;
    O my mind, merge yourself into Him.
    By His Grace, everyone is saved;
    O Nanak, meditate, and chant His Chant. ||7||
    Those, whom He inspires to chant, chant His Name.
    Those, whom He inspires to sing, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord.
    By God's Grace, enlightenment comes.
    By God's Kind Mercy, the heart-lotus blossoms forth.
    When God is totally pleased, He comes to dwell in the mind.
    By God's Kind Mercy, the intellect is exalted.
    All treasures, O Lord, come by Your Kind Mercy.
    No one obtains anything by himself.
    As You have delegated, so do we apply ourselves, O Lord and Master.
    O Nanak, nothing is in our hands. ||8||6||
     
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    #10 Astroboy, Sep 1, 2012
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  12. GodIsTruth

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    Thanks for all the great advice, may I say it is refreshing to talk to people whose minds are not purely focused on the material world.

    Everyday I talk to people whose only concern is their bank balance, car, house etc. I myself am also guilty of letting this materialism consume every ounce of my energy. It has been some time since I have stopped and spoke to somebody to discuss, "What is the purpose of my life?"

    I completely agree Rory that it is important to check regularly we are truly on the path to God. The illusions that you speak of Astroboy are plentiful and their is nothing better at diverting us from our path to divinity like our own Ego.

    Reading some of the teachings of Guru Nanek, I have experienced a feeling of being guided towards the Creator, the shadows removed, and the illumination of the Creator is once more visible. There is no material possession on Earth, that makes me feel as rich as being on this path does.
     
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  13. davinderdhanjal

    davinderdhanjal United Kingdom
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    GodisTruth Ji,
    Like other contributors I believe you are a Sikh already and a good one at that as you are cautious not to veer off the track set by the Lord. May I add that if you do not look like a Sikh it may be that we do not value what the god has given us in our present body.
    I guess we may be arguing with the Lord to say we do not like the hair that you have presented to us (I just take hair as case there may be more) – if we, like our gurus, respected God's gift of the hair along with following the rest of the philosophy then you (GodIsTruth) as a follower would be a guiding light for wavering Sikhs.
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  14. GodIsTruth

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    Thanks davinderdhanjal Ji, I think you have really give me a insight into the reasons the Sikhs display the 5 K's.

    I must admit that until your post I was still a little confused why this was done. I have been actively reading up on the teaching of the Gurus and the 5 K's, but was still confused why I if you were truly devoted to God, why you would need to display this outwardly.

    I can see your point that cutting of the hair is in effect a act of vanity, against the image the Creator has designed us in. How strange that this was one of the main questions I had in relation to Sikhism, and it has been answered for me without me even asking the question.

    God truly does guide those who seek His light. Thanks again.
     
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  15. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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