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Curiosities and Questions about Sikhism

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by Kampfsdottir, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Kampfsdottir

    Kampfsdottir
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    Hello there.

    I'm fairly new to anything related to Sikhism (was only made curious by a video regarding the Golden Temple's kitchen, and have been digging in to as much reading as possible in the last few days as a result), and I have some questions. I'm sure that, with enough time, I could find the answers myself, but I'm hoping some of you wonderful people can help me speed the process. :D

    How, exactly, does Sikhism consider the Gurus? Are they similar to Jewish or Islamic Prophets? Are they to be worshiped? Are they considered to be above other humans?

    Something I read early on, but haven't seen referenced since, is that Sikhism has a search for "The Truth", which I believe was used to refer to looking beyond the subjective and perceptual illusions of human life and finding, or becoming closer to, God. Is this actually a focus or part of Sikhism, or a misinterpretation by a Western source? If it is a focus/part, does it trump other things in the religion (ie: does Truth come before Discipline, or Charity, or Community)?

    And finally (at least for now): I've heard much of Sikhism's tolerance, yet while cruising the net (and even this forum) I've seen things that cast a bit of a shadow on that. Most prominently the arguments regarding the Kesh, and statements declaring those with short hair to be "disgusting", not "real Sikhs" and various other things. Are these statements of condemnation a minority, or a majority of opinion?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. itsmaneet

    itsmaneet
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    Re: Curiosities and Questions

    Satsrakal ! - answer is short and simple 'Sab Sikhan Ko Hukam Hai Guru Maneyo Grath'.... Means, all Sikhs are ordered to accept only Guru Grath Sahib Ji as their GURU. As far as the Ten Gurus in Sikhism are concerned, they never asked Sikhs to bow before them ... but we being Sikhs are grateful to our Gurus to bring us on the right path and therefore have immense respect and love for our Gurus/Teachers. Guru Nanak Ji is the first Sikh Guru followed by the other Nine (bodily Guru). The Tenth Guru our father transferred the devine power to Guru Granth Sahib Ji to end the worshiping bodies ... 'Bani Guru Hai Bani' Gurbani is our GURU now that would last forever....
     
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  4. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
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    I don't know about Sikhism but I worship the ground they walked upon, as we are more animal like than human, they are the only true humans.
     
  5. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    They tried to raise us from animals, if only we would listen and behave like humans, instead of ignoring them and behaving like animals
     
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  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    The Gurus, in my opinion were ordinary men who lived life by the highest ideals. They are teachers, they showed us the way to live life in the same way, to be like them, honest, upstanding, brave, loving, compassionate. The thoughts and philosophies of the Gurus, and indeed other wise men form the SGGS, which we believe is the very word of God. It is a written essence of the very goodness that forms our own inner voice, our inner Guru. The Gurus were a complete physical manifestation of that inner voice, that is what makes them so special. However they taught that it is Creator that is worthy of worship, and not themselves, with some firmness.

    In Sikhism, the name of God is 'truth', truth is very important, truthful living, thinking, speaking, acting, all very important.As far as looking beyond the subjective and perceptual illusions, this is also very important, but slightly different in Sikhism, we are enouraged to look beyond Maya, but not encouraged to reside there.The Sikhs are , in my view, secular as well as spiritual. Meditation, sitting on mountains, ash smearing, living alone without family or work are all frowned on, the idea is to see through the attraction of Maya, as well as living in the real world. I suppose it is to know your enemy :)

    This forum is completely unlike any of the other forums, we try and keep a balanced and logical view of Sikhism, a philosophical one if you will. To some, this forum stands for heresy, as we debate and discuss topics that send a lot of Sikhs into mad frenzys, with calmness and discretion. A lot of rumours that have crept into Sikhism that are lauded on other sites, are debated here, often to no other conclusion than readers have a balanced view of the issue. You will probably find that the kesh argument is a small argument compared with say meat, meditation, reincarnation, whether it is better to spend your life helping people or praying, lots of wonderful issues and topics that can be discussed in an open and adult fashion. Also moderator interference is kept to a minimum, we all attempt self moderation

    I hope you have a wonderful time here, :)
     
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  7. Harvir007

    Harvir007
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    Sikhism does get it right morally in most instances however most of the community is overshadowed by many things against the teachings of Sikhism. Ego and pride still resonate as does superstition and myth. I notice how you mention how some Sikhs tend to look down on Sikhs without kesh and you are right to mention this.

    So to touch on your first point, no, we (well at least I) don't think of the Guru's as upper primates. They were teachers more than anything. The notion that they have some sort of divinity is an absurd one in my eyes. However quite a lot of respect is paid towards them due to them being the leading contributors to Sikhism being ordained as an organised religion.
     
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  8. Archived_member15

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    I must say, in all honesty, that I have found nothing but love, tolerance and respect on this forum - indeed I have found brotherhood and sisterhood transcending religious frontiers :sippingcoffeemunda:

    Of all the forums I have been on, SPN is easily - by a clear mile - the most tolerant. On other forums, dedicated to a religion other than my own, I have often been received warmly and in a friendly manner but still seen as a "guest" - an outsider if you will. I have often been offered the chance to convert to the majority religion of the forum and received incredulous "why's?" when I politely declined.

    On others I have been received less warmly (althouh warm at first once my lack of desire to convert became evident, Evangelical Christians did not react kindly to me at all on a previous forum).

    I have not encountered anything like this on SPN. On the contrary, the atmosphere here is so very accepting and open.

    If some would call SPN "heresy" - then consider me a heretic 0:)

    I think that the posters on here are a true credit to Sikhi.
     
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  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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    Forums are like carpets in many ways...carpets can be used as in "Sweep under the carpet" (hide out of sight)..and carpets have to be cleaned sooner or later...at SPN we hang the carpet out to dry on a daily even hourly basis..and so it looks like we have a very dirty carpet while others never take out their carpets for cleaning "showing" they are very clean....well its up to the discerning GUEST to find out which is which...a carpet that pretends to be very clean by virtue of never taken out to sun/clean..or the one that seems very "dirty" because its out there hanging in the sun every hour or so...
     
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  10. Kampfsdottir

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    I like this answer.
     
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  11. Amarpal

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mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> Kampfsdottir Ji,

    Sat Siri Akaal

    In response to your post, I share my understanding with you.

    (i) How, exactly, does Sikhism consider the Gurus? Are they similar to Jewish or Islamic Prophets? Are they to be worshiped? Are they considered to be above other humans?


    My response

    The ten Guru Sahib and finally Siri Guru Granth Sahib are our Gurus (Wise teachers). Our ten Gurus were very evolved souls born in human form with the mission of life to guide us and save us. They were perfect instrument of the 'Sat' (God as you make call) but they were not 'Sat'.

    They were above all those humans who have not used their intrinsic potential to evolve to the pinnacle of spirituality and become divine.

    We do not worship their human form but follow all their teachings as an act of faith and truth.

    I do not seek any parity for our Gurus or indulge in any comparison with entities of other religions and thus will like to be excused on this part of your question.

    (ii) Something I read early on, but haven't seen referenced since, is that Sikhism has a search for "The Truth", which I believe was used to refer to looking beyond the subjective and perceptual illusions of human life and finding, or becoming closer to, God. Is this actually a focus or part of Sikhism, or a misinterpretation by a Western source? If it is a focus/part, does it trump other things in the religion (ie: does Truth come before Discipline, or Charity, or Community)?


    My response

    Truth for us means that stand unchanged, as it was in all past , remains the same in present and will continues to remain the same for all the time in future. The only entity that qualify to this is the 'Sat' itself. Realising 'Sat' is the ultimate mission of life for we Sikhs. When the person becomes 'Sat' like i.e Godly, it merges into 'Sat' where it realises the 'Sat' in all its infinitness and profoundness. Truthful and selfless pure living dedicated to the 'Sat'is the way to accomplish this ultimate mission of life for Sikhs. Disciplining the five senses and five organs of action, stablising the functioning of brain for the intended mission, selflessly serving (service includes charity, physical and mental work) the creation of the 'Sat' which includes living and non-living entities viz. air, water, earth etc

    (iii) And finally (at least for now): I've heard much of Sikhism's tolerance, yet while cruising the net (and even this forum) I've seen things that cast a bit of a shadow on that. Most prominently the arguments regarding the Kesh, and statements declaring those with short hair to be "disgusting", not "real Sikhs" and various other things. Are these statements of condemnation a minority, or a majority of opinion?


    My response

    Education for us Sikhs started sometimes little more than 500 years in the past. Before that time most of us were illiterate (Only male from Brahman family were being educated at that time and thus we Sikhs did not qualify for it. Guru Angad Dev Ji created a script for us which he gave the name 'Gurmukhi' and introduced us to formal education.) This is further complicate by the fact that most of us come from farming communities or those supporting this activity. In farms, in those times, mostly we had to deal with animals and only anger and stick was the way to bring them under control and make them behave. This has been our training for the last so many centuries, may be, few thousand years. We become angry very fast, our fuse is very short, and we explode in no time. The judgmental nature also comes from same helplessness to put forward our point of view properly. This you have alluded to in your post.

    We are still learning to articulate our views without hurting the sentiments of others, we have made substantial progress but lot still has to be achieved. We will excel in this attribute also.

    The teachings of Sikh religion are enshrined in Siri Guru Granth Sahib. After the spiritual part was taken care of our Gurus went ahead to create a societal structure to protect and propagate teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. In doing so they created a uniform for Sikhs (I am not going into the need behind this act of of our tenth Guru Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in this post, but I only say in this post that there was an absolute need to do so) Kesh are the most visible part of this uniform. Any dishonour of Kesh brings in angry response. They sentiment behind this anger is the feeling that those who cannot even maintain this appearance of being a Sikh which involves only physical work, how can they enshrine the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib into the deeper layers of their brain i.e. their own being, which require much more mental discipline - controlling senses and organs of action, harmonizing functioning of brain to live truthfully on the earning of honest work, in accordance with Naam (teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib).

    With this rational those who do not respect Kesh as require by our tenth Guru, are not considered as real Sikhs.

    Now, I want to say that religions and they associated philosophies were not decided by the democratic process where minority and majority has some meaning; it was created by a small number, sometime even by one individual, who were/was spiritually very evolved and realised the 'Sat' and thus knew all about the spiritual world - the world beyond human existence.

    In matters related to Sikh religion (Sikhi), the authenticated (written by our own Gurus and approved by them personally and installed as Guru by them, during their own life time) scripture and directive principle shall prevail, minority and majority has no meaning - it is not a popularity contest; religion has to be effective and true to the purpose.

    With this I close the post.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
  12. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Questions are a great way to learn :grinningkaur:

    Guru means teacher so all the Guru's including the written SGGS are teachers to help provide guidance on living this life. The only thing to be worshipped is Ik Oankar or God. However, this form of worship can take many forms. My favourite is doing all I can to connect with and preserve nature as it is all part of Ik Oankar. Start by studying the Mool Mantar for understanding how the Sikh concept of God is so unique. The most important part of Sikhism is studying the SGGS and trying to be the best person you can be. Here's some reading to get you started:

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/26996-the-mool-mantar-sikhis-blueprint-roadmap.html

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/33504-blind-faith-in-sikhism-is-possible.html

    Charity, community etc are a way of understanding the truth. They are not mutually exclusive. Gurbani teaches us to be like lotus leaves in the vast dirty ocean-beacons of loveliness in the ugliness of the world!! :41::40:

    Sikhs like any other groups are humans!!! There are good and bad-narrow minded and broad minded ones, Sikhs with superficial understanding and deep understanding, Sikhs with different understanding. Sikhism is a personal journey. SGGS is written in poetry so understanding changes as we all move along this journey. I always say a philosophy should be judged on what it teaches and not on the behaviour of its followers. Followers are humans and can fall ;)
     
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