This letter was posted on the Facebook page for the local Gurdwara where I attend (Maritime Sikh Society). Permission has apparently been granted to use it. It is a letter sent by an American female MD (Dr. Janet Lant, MD) who is embracing Sikhism, and why she chose this path. The letter was to a friend of hers, who had condemned the Sikh faith before she embraced it. I just read the whole thing and it's very awe inspiring!! Her reasons for finding and following this faith almost exactly echo mine!!! (equality for everyone including women, frustration at the way Christianity and all the other religions place women into a subordinate position and refer to women as unclean and cursed, and also the fact that Sikhi totally agrees with science.) It is as true today as when it was written, and contains knowledge only scientists of today in recent times are only beginning to find out (proof of divine knowledge). It's a bit long, but it's definitely worth the reading! ------------- Sikhism - By Dr. Janet Lant Listen Chris Hammers, I never got around to telling you some of the things about Sikh religion that convince me of its authenticity. One major evidence is the "Holy Book" of Sikh religion known as the "Granth Sahib". The Granth Sahib was complied over a period of 240 years by the hands of the beings that founded Sikh religion. All copies are matched to the original handwritten one. It is scientifically impossible for any known being to write a book with all the qualities found in the Granth Sahib. Below are some of those amazing qualities: 1. It is written using very deeply profound words obtained from over 16 languages. (I would say that it's words are more profound then that of any other Book on the planet, but that would not get anywhere, I would be simply dismissed as being biased) 2. The words from over 16 incompatible languages are incorporated in a way that they make perfect sense. 3. The alphabet the Granth Sahib uses was invented by the Supreme Beings that wrote it. The Alphabet is called Gurumukhi, it is impossible to make a spelling mistake using this alphabet because it has logical grammar rules. Every word or sound can only be written one way. Not like English where the k in knife is silent. This is the easiest alphabet to master. I bet the world would be using computers a long time ago to write things using speech recognition programs if Gurumukhi was the business language of the world. 4. Every sentence is written in poetry of the highest order. (William Shakespeare would have been envious.) 5. At the same time every sentence rhymes. 6. At the same time everything is in music verse form, so that all sorts of musical instruments can be played while it is sung. 7. Sikh religion believes praying should be a very pleasurable, stress reliving, thought provoking event. Most other religions believe praying should be a act of submission (Catholics make you kneel allot!), unquestioningly following rituals, and fear of a jealous Angry God (the Ten Commandments of Judao-Christianity state something about God being a Jealous God and one prone to Anger.) Now Chris, tell me does it make sense following a God who is so immature he gets Jealous, how insecure could that kind of a God be! And how wimpy and powerless must this God be if he gets Angry. 8. The God of Sikh religion never gets Jealous because he made all those awesome things that make insecure persons jealous. Sikh religion also says God is without anger. There is a very beautiful song about this in the Granth Sahib! 9. Before the Equal Rights movement, in fact 540 years before , Guru Nanak said many nice Praises about women, instead of condemning them like all the other great religions do. Quotes about Women in Sri Guru Granth Sahib In praise of women. "We are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies, we take another one, we are bound with the world through woman. We grow up stronger and wiser having drunk milk from the breast of woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her. Only the One True Lord is without woman" (Guru Nanak Dev, Var Asa, pg. 473) 10. Marriage is an equal partnership of love and sharing between husband and wife. "They are not husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one spirit in two bodies." (Guru Amar Das, Pauri, pg. 788) 11. Women have an equal right to participate in the congregation. "Come my sisters and dear comrades! Clasp me in thine embrace. Meeting together, let us tell the tales of our Omnipotent Spouse (God). In the True Lord are all merits, in us all demerits." (Guru Nanak Dev, Sri Rag, pg. 17). God is the husband and we are all his brides. "The spouse is but One and all others are His brides. The false bride assumes many religious garbs. When the Lord stops her going into another's home, then is she summoned into her Lord's mansion without any let and hindrance. She is adorned with the Name and is dear to her True Lord. She alone is the true bride and the Lord lends her His support." (Guru Nanak Dev, Ramkali, pg. 933) (note: Lord is one of the names of God) 12. God is our Mother as well as our Father. "Thou O Lord, art my Father and Thou my Mother. Thou art the Giver of peace to my soul and very life." (Guru Arjan Dev, Bhairo, pg. 1144) 13. The rape and brutalities committed against women by the Mughal invader Babar condemned. "Modesty and righteousness both have vanished and falsehood moves about as the leader, O Lalo. The function of the Qazis and the Brahmins is over and the Satan now reads the marriage rites (rape). The Muslim women read the Quran and in suffering call upon God, O Lalo. The Hindu women of high cast and others of low caste, may also be put in the same account, O Lalo." (Guru Nanak Dev, Tilang, pg. 722) 14. The practice of women burning themselves on their husband's funeral pyre (sati) condemned. "They cannot be called satis, who burn themselves with their dead husbands. They can only be called satis, if they bear the shock of separation. They may also be known as satis, who live with character and contentment and always show veneration to their husbands by remembering them." (Guru Amar Das, Var Suhi, pg. 787) 15. The ritual of dowry so prevalent in many societies condemned. "Any other dowry, which the perverse place for show, that is false pride and worthless gilding. O' my Father! give me the Name of Lord God as a gift and dowry." (Guru Ram Das, Sri Rag, pg. 79) 16. First Supreme Being Guru Nanak laid the foundation of Sikhism which believes in a casteless, egalitarian society which guarantees equal rights to Women. Each of the Supreme Being Gurus under authority of God gave women equal status. They gained social and religious freedom at a time when the existing religions and society considered women to be property. The false notion that they were inherently evil and unclean was removed. A woman was regarded as temptation-incarnate. The Gurus exposed the folly of such notions.(Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, they all directly say Women are Unclean and Inferior.]. 17. Sixth Supreme Being Guru Hargobind called Woman "the conscience of man". In religious gatherings, men and women sang and preached without any distinction. The wearing of purdah (women wearing veils to hide the face) was rejected as demeaning to women. Guru Hargobind refused to have dinner with any Queen who wore a veil. 18. Ik OnKar: means "One Creator" 19. The circle is a chakram representing the Universe, the double edged sword represents the positive and negative side of the Force, the 2 swords on the outside of the sphere represent the hands of the One Creator protecting and beholding all that exists and beyond. Dear Inquisitive, challenging brother "Chris Hammer", I will answer all your questions in better detail when time permits. For now I will torpedo your points. PLEASE READ THE KHALSA CONSENSUS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI. Then you will see that Sikhs have more Divine proofs then any other Religion. I was born and still am a Christian, but I will soon Convert to Sikhism. The main reason being the Bible is anti-Women, it talks about the Woman’s Curse, the Old testament says God wants you to steal a baby boys foreskin, Science now says that mutilative operation is very harmful to the Defenseless infant boy, Mothering Magazine did a Science article on it. But Sikhs knew one should never destroy any Gift God gives, so cutting of a skin from the genitals is quite Evil, what happened to Human Rights, The Sikh religion Honors infants and all beings! Everyday a teaching of the Bible is found to be harmful. First: You claim the proof that a revelation is truly from God, is Prophesy! As you know any occult palm reader etc... can claim they predicted an Earth Quake a year before it happened. All a Psychic has to say is next year the Earth will shake. Chances under rules of Science are that there is a good chance that some kind of explosion or Earth Shaking activity will happen in a year, so Prophesy is just clever manipulation of history. You say ""The Bible prophesied hundreds of years in advance giving detailed accounts of the major empires of the world and all major cities of the ancient world as well as the names of two emperors 200 years before they were born". I have read the Bible, I find that these so called revelation do not prove anything anyone can make them, it's easy to turn anything written in the past into a accurate prediction, by stretching interpretations to suite an end result. Not to really answer your challenge. SIKHS do not depend on Prophesy, because God like a Movie producer can make any changes whenever He/She wants to. What Proves the Sikh religion came directly from God is it is the only Religion in the world that has perfect Science. Your Bible was the reason Galileo was almost Executed, because the Bible was saying the Earth is Flat & the Sun revolves around the Earth. This Male Egotistical writing is now proven face by Science. The First Supreme Being GURU NANAK, "The Light that Dispels the Darkness", wrote many Divine Poems describing Solar Systems. If you know science you know Solar System means a planetary system in which all the planets revolve around a central Star. Second proof The first Supreme Being or Light that Dispels the Darkness-Guru Nanak with his own hands at the order of God wrote Hymns that say the Earth and many planets are round. I will now Quote a Divine Poetic Quote translated from Gurmukhi, that teaches that not only is Earth Round but there are uncountable Earths (planets), Uncountable Solar Systems around which they orbit, Uncountable Galaxies. Chris Hammer, you know that it was only a few decades ago when "Hubble" an astronomer discovered that we live in a Galaxy, then much later Hubble discovered that there are many Galaxies outside our own. Well Mr. Hammer, the Sikh Holy Scripture which is the only Holy Book written by the Founder(s) of its Faith. That is like saying Jesus wrote the Bible, instead of Chauvinistic men 100's of years after Jesus died. The Guru Granth Sahib, over 540 years ago stated that their were Countless Galaxies, Galileo was not born until 100 years later. Guru Nanak did not have a Telescope or vast scientific resources like Galileo did. If that is not enough & you demand Sikhs to have prophesy to be valid, then I will give you something no human not even Jesus knew, the Gurus said there are Universes upon Universes, Spheres upon Spheres. What this means is that when you reach the end of our 15 billion light years size Universe, go many times that distance into empty space, you will encounter the neighboring Universe, keep traveling and the scenario will repeat. Now the Spheres upon Spheres means that about 400 trillion Universes each the size of our one Universe make a Spherical structures called a Sphere, & that there are countless numbers of these huge Spheres each containing Trillions of Universes. Now Mr. Hammer, your God is a God of 1 Flat Earth, 1 spiritual heaven, & 1 Spiritual Hell! The Sikh God as I mentioned above is bigger, his Earth is a Sphere, he is master of many Planets, Universes, Galaxies etc.. plus his is master of countless Physical Heavens in addition to 1 Spiritual Heaven plus countless Physical Hells in addition to 1 Spiritual Hell! So your God Mr. Hammer is quite small in power etc... How come your Bible did not mention this. Now to give you a prophesy, in the Future your Scientists will discover that the Sikh religion was correct when Guru Nanak stated there are Universes upon Universes, then much further into the future your Scientists will eventual realize that Trillions of these Universes form a Sphere. Below is the Quote! Enjoy! "There are worlds upon worlds, solar systems upon solar systems, galaxies upon galaxies, universes upon universes, spheres upon spheres, They function according to Command of God. God gets joy by thinking of and beholding His Creation;" "Beyond this Earth, there are many more and more earths. What power bears their load from underneath? (Not the supposed bull, but God's Force)." "God's One Word created the world's expansion. And lakhs of rivers began to flow." "There are nether worlds and more nether worlds below them and there are lakhs of skies over them. Limitless the worlds beneath, limitless the worlds above. One may grow weary of searching out His limits. One can never reach the end of His Vastness." "The continents, worlds and solar system, established by God, sing His glories. God's enlightened beings steeped in the Name, who are pleasing to God, sing His praises" "God has His seat and His storehouses in all the worlds. Whatever is stored, was put only once for all, enough forever!" "How many Indras, moons, suns, and how many Star Systems[Surya Mandals], and stars, How many [countless], Siddh, Buddhas [like Gautama Buddha], Nath [Gurus], and how many forms and incarnations of Devi [Durga], How many Angles, Demons, Speakers of Truth[Muni], and countless Oceans having precious stones", My Dear brother Chris Hammers, You say "I am very sorry to hear of your bad experience with Christianity, but don't make the mistake of throwing out the baby with the bath water." Now listen, why do you consider my future plans of upgrading (converting) to Sikhism, as throwing out the baby with the bath water. I am not interested in converting because I had bad experience with Christianity, how could I have a bad experience when all I knew as an infant was Christianity. My parents like you tried to discourage me from embracing Sikh ways, they said Sikhism is primitive religion. I then proved to them exactly how misguided & ignorant they were. I did this by pointing out that Christianity began 2000 years ago, it was a primitive man's attempt to understand God. So it is Christianity that is primitive, Sikhism I taught my parents is a Religion of Divine Science. You gave some quotes from the Bible, about Stars, but the Man who wrote that had no idea that a star is a HOT SUN like our sun, not a cool pretty shiny grain of sand in the sky. Most of my relatives understand the Bible considers stars to be Gods heavenly wallpaper nothing more. Only in the Sikh religion is it clearly stated that Stars are Suns because the Granth states Suraa Mundala, meaning solar systems. I never said a Guru is "The Supreme Being". What I said is "The First Supreme Being GURU NANAK, "The Light that Dispels the Darkness", wrote many Divine Poems describing Solar Systems." The Sikh religion states there is only one "SAT GURU" meaning True God. When I refer to Guru Nanak as a First Supreme Being, it means Pehla Mehel or First Mehel, it does not mean GOD. God is The One Supreme Being, the Gurus were one step below as Supreme Beings under the One True Supreme Being. The word GURU comes from 2 words GU & RU, GU means Light, RU means Darkness. Combined they mean "The Light That Dispels The Darkness" or simply GURU. Clearly each of the 10 Gurus were and are Supreme Beings working for God the One True Supreme Being. Guru Nanak walked the Land like Jesus, only difference is Nanak walked much further distances, in fact Nanak at a minimum based on other nations historical records walked enough to circle the Earth 3 times over. But in the future I feel the distance record will increase even further, for example the nation of ITALY has villagers reporting their ancestors made company with Nanak, and the Provincial Governments of CHINA are reporting, that they had visits by Nanak, they have now proved that Nanking province And Nanking City were named to Honor First Supreme Being Nanak. If you read Genesis or the TORAH it has a section called "The Woman's Curse", which is a Man made Bible teaching that God punished Women because a mythical Eve gave Adam a forbidden fruit. I will give you an exact quote when time permits. This Bible chapter states that women have monthly menstrual cycles because God has Cursed her. In Genesis it also says a Woman's Husband shall strike her in the Head. Read the Bible & the Old Testament or Torah and you will see how much hatred of woman there is in there. It talks of God wanting Woman to be submissive to Man. I am a MD and no Bible Thumping Man tells me what to do. I told my Fiancée that I am almost sure I am converting to Sikhism & if he is unwilling to do the same, then he can hit the road. He said whatever I want he wants too. I have been teaching him many of the Khalsa Books on Sikhism, and he is impressed at the GURU's teachings. Chris Hammers, I studied all the religions, and found all flawed, only Sikhism was able to withstand my fierce assault. I tried & tried to find fault in Sikhism, I found NONE! When I first saw a Sikh, I thought he was a Muslim, I latter learned that most Muslims never wear a Turban, a Sikh wears a Turban, because it Give a Free Cranial Adjustment & tells him & everyone else that he is beneath no one and only God is above him! The Pro Woman aspect of Sikhism is only one of the many Divine Reasons I am planning on Upgrading to Sikhism. I find Sikhism is a very advanced Dharma for the Modern world. My current religion just has no place to meet my Modern Demands, its not like after I got my MD, some guy with a Old Testament is going to put me in the Kitchen, because some imaginary MALE GOD told him a Woman belongs in the Kitchen, HA HA! Of course I do a lot of work in the Kitchen, but only when I want to cook something I love & avoid the unhealthy restaurant food. The Tenth Supreme Being Guru Gobind Singh, when traveling by the woods, got of his horse upon the sight of a Tobacco Plant. He then drew his Kirpan (holy Sword) and chopped it up, then with his feet he smeared it into the ground. Onlookers belonging to many different religions, asked the Tenth Supreme Being, why have you destroyed that plant? The Tenth Supreme Being replied "Alcohol will destroy one Generation, But Tobacco will destroy many generations." Chris Hammers, as you know it was only about 4 years ago that Scientist discovered that Second hand Tobacco Smoke kills, thus destroying (damaging or killing) the fetus and destroying the lives of children & great Grand Children & friends. So because the Tenth Supreme Being was in constant communications with the One True Supreme Being (Ik Onkar, Sat Nam) he had access to absolute Science. Did the Men who wrote the Holy Bible not know about Tobacco, were the not in communication with the One True Creator? Sikhism is the only Faith that forbids Tobacco in its Scriptures. Read the English Translations by SANT SINGH KHALSA, also a MD! I only hope that God will let me earn the only True Degree there is the "Degree of Divine Sikhism". Chris it was my Medical Colleagues who during the 50's started routine Circumcision of Defenseless Babies. This was done to make extra income for medical professionals, Circumcision increases the transmission and acquiring of STD's. Plus many other problems, In my next posting I will give over 70 Scientific references proving my point. I will do this not to prove you wrong, but to prove another Sikh wrong. Chris even Jesus tried to ban Circumcision, because the practice is Satanic, no Loving God would ask anyone to chop of a very valuable pleasure producing part. Until the past 12 years I went to Church every Sunday, now hopefully I will get to go to Gurdwara any day of the week as convenient. Instead of hearing a fiery sermon, I will get to enjoy Divine Music & Hymns! And Chris Hammer, Only Ik Onkar or One Creator's name is Precious, not a Nice Guy named Jesus. I get the impression you are a Religious Fanatic, something that the Sikh Dharma shuns. Because Fanaticism puts a wall between ones spiritual connection to One True Creator. Sikhs don't waste time spreading Sikhism like other religions do because, one does not give away Diamonds. I am lucky I came across this True Diamond, I only hope I have the IQ it takes to follow the Super Advanced Spiritual Teachings of the "Lights that Dispel the Darkness or Gurus". See, I am not the only one that knows a Turban gives a Cranial Adjustment. It is a law of Physics, not Indian culture. Sikhism is from the future, Indian is from the past, you can take the wayward path if you like. Your comments indicate you already made many a wrong choice. And, the Gurus were & are Supreme Beings, and there is nothing you can do to hurt them or lower their power. Some other Sikh, wrote that Punjabi Sikhs are cutting their Hair and trying to blend in with western culture. Well that's theirs & their parents poor understanding of Divinity of Sikhism. So by dumping diamonds they don't hurt me one bit, its their loss. I as a very Modern American, know I am becoming even more Modern by adopting the Guru's (the Lights that Dispel the Darkness) teachings and way of life. If Punjabi Sikhs misbehave they loose big time. I have looked at all Religions and Sikhism is the only Dharma that can exist in its current form on any Planet in Any Universe, maybe the Punjabi Sikhs don't deserve this best of all Universal Knowledge anymore. I wore a Kara (Sikh bangle) to the last continuing medical education seminar, and some of my colleagues asked me about it. So I told them what it was and about Sikh Dharma, they showed great interest in learning more. Two of the ladies from the group asked where they could get a translation of the Sikh Holy book. Page 14 of the Khalsa Consensus Translation must be what peaked their interest! If God gave me more time, I know it would be so easy to get far more individuals interested in Sikhism! I never ever saw a Sikh of India sharing knowledge of Sikhism with a Non-Sikh. Probably a good thing in disguise, because, I have been told so much misinformation by Native Sikhs. For example some tell me Meat is good, then they justify such butchery by saying the Gurus ate it. When I ask them for proof they come up with sloppy translations. I then waste time dissecting them and find the Gurus are speaking against killing animals in those passages. For a person like myself, it is so obvious the Gurus could never condone eating meat. As meat is unhealthy & a Shameful destruction of Life Force. I quit eating meat 12 years ago, way before I even knew Sikhs existed. Thank God the Gurus wrote the Granth and not some body much latter on. The Spiritual Strength Of Woman - The following is an article that Shanti Kaur Khalsa presented at the Women's Seminar at the World Sikh Samelan, Amritsar 1995. BANA : The Khalsa Uniform Bana is our own flag. Bana is our Nishan that states unequivocally who we are. If we have the dress and fashion of a movie star, that makes a statement as to who we are. If we wear the clothes of beggar, that also tells the world what our status is. And if we wear the Bana of the Khalsa, this makes a statement of strength that cannot be ignored by the hardest of hearts. Bana is the image and dress of grace. Bana is the five K's of the Khalsa: Kesh, Kachera, Kanga, Kara, and Kirpan. Each one of these beautiful accouterments gives us strength and beauty. Bana is a statement that says, with a look, that I belong to Guru Gobind Singh, and He belongs to me. I belong to the Khalsa and Khalsa belongs to me as the drop of water forever merges into the ocean (Guru Gobind Singh). I would like to share with you my own story and experiences in relation to the Bana of the Khalsa. When I first became a Sikh, twenty-three years ago, I had never seen an Indian Sikh woman. I knew only American Sikhs, and in fact, very few of those. But I knew that Kesh and Dastar were part of the 5-K's of Guru Gobind Singh. And I knew that Guru Gobind Singh promised: If the Khalsa maintains the distinct path, I shall give them all my strength. But if the Khalsa leaves this path, then I will withdraw my recognition.... Guru Gobind Singh Well, as a young woman of 18 years, full of the spirit of life and the excitement of discovering the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, it never occurred to me not to wear a turban. The Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh wore the Dastar, and that was who I wanted to be. So it was with great sincerity that I tied my first turban. From the moment I put on a turban, the effect was immediate and exciting.