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How Do Animations of Sikh Gurus/Heroes Hurt Religious Sentiments?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by spnadmin, Jul 31, 2010.

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Which images of Sikh Gurus, Sants or shaheeds offend or hurt your religious sentiments? Please check

  1. Posters of Sikh Gurus

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  2. Calendars with images of Sikh Gurus

    9 vote(s)
    24.3%
  3. Postcards of Sikh Gurus

    9 vote(s)
    24.3%
  4. e-cards for gurpurabs with images of Sikh Gurus

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  5. Animated videos of the janamsakhis of the Gurus

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  6. Gurbani kirtan videos with pictures of Sikh Gurus

    6 vote(s)
    16.2%
  7. Images of Sikh Gurus on the walls of Gurdwaras

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  8. Images of Sikh Gurus on the walls of private homes

    9 vote(s)
    24.3%
  9. Illustrations of Sikh Gurus in books about Sikhism

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
  10. Illustrations of Sikh Gurus in articles on the Internet or in magazines

    4 vote(s)
    10.8%
  11. None of the above

    18 vote(s)
    48.6%
  12. Other. Kindly tell us about it in the discussion thread.

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Recently, in fact only yesterday, a site on the web removed all of the digitized animations of a well-known series of stories about the life of Guru Nanak.

    (An image grab of a frame from one of the videos is attached.)

    The day before protests were lodged against You Tube and the video user removed the animations. Complaints were lodged with SGPC asking that legal action be taken for "hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs." On facebook, a large number of discussions via personal pages and wall-to-wall posting raged.

    At the bottom of the controversy was the belief that the digitized animations were not only disrespectful but they promoted idolatry. Idolatry is specifically forbidden in the Sikh Rehat Maryada.

    But can that claim stand up? Do animations promote idolatry, any more than single images promote idolatry? Not to push the technicalities too much --- but --- an animation is nothing more than single images arranged in frames that are then timed to shift one to the other automatically, at a set speed.

    So almost any image of our Gurus could be said to promote idolatry. Or hurt religious sentiments of Sikhs by promoting idolatry.

    We have posted a poll so the membership can express its views. We would also like you to explain your views in this thread by posting comments as replies to the lead article.
    • When you reply would you tell us how you define idolatry? What does that mean to you?
    • Are there any images of our Gurus that would not promote idolatry in your opinion?
    • Or do all images promote idolatry?
    • And last question: What is your understanding of the term in Indian law "hurting religious sentiments?"
    I have uploaded some images just to give a sense of how many different ways in which we have already integrated images of the Gurus in our lives.
     

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    #1 spnadmin, Jul 31, 2010
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    re: Do animations of Sikh Gurus promote idolatry?

    The kinds of images we find on the Internet

    First row from left to right:

    1) Guru Arjan Dev and Bhai Gurdas from the Art of Punjab web site.
    2) Image of Guru Nanak from a video presentation of Tu mera mata tu mera pita by Bhai Gopal Singh ji
    3) Still frame from a video animation of the life of Sant Kabir ji

    Second row from left to right:

    4) Still frame from a video produced by sikhvideos, Guru Nanak Daata Bakshi Lai Mission
    5) Image taken from an e-card animation remembering the shaheed of Guru Teg Bahadur ji
    6) Cover from an e-book, Guru Nanak and Prayer, found on the Sikhnet site

    Third row from left to right:

    7) Fresco of Sikh Gurus from the wall of a Gurdwara in India
    8 ) Page grab of a 2006 claymation animated video on DVD of the life of Guru Nanak, by "Religions of the World: Our World Faiths Animated"
     

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    #2 spnadmin, Jul 31, 2010
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  4. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    Re: Do animations of Sikh Gurus promote idolatry?

    What you are going to do with thousands of murals and paintings on walls of Harmandir Sahib oe at Akal Thakat. Those too will come under this catagory. Are these people going to destroy or remove those too. swordfight
     
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    #3 Hardip Singh, Jul 31, 2010
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  5. spnadmin

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    Re: Do animations of Sikh Gurus promote idolatry?

    Hardip Singh ji

    Forgive me but I was the one who asked the question because it has been the theme of the week on the Internet, it would seem. There was no other way to ask it. Without getting the question overly tangled up in words and phrases. :)

    But I agree with you.

    There is another question and it might require a lawyer. Do we truly understand what the Indian Constitution means by "attack religious sentiments" which I believe is the term it employs.
     
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    #4 spnadmin, Jul 31, 2010
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  6. dalbirk

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    Re: Do animations of Sikh Gurus promote idolatry?

    I for one do really feel that the images posters & videos of Guru Sahibaans will promote idol worship as we have already seen most of the rural folks bowing before pictures who do not know an iota of Gurmat .
     
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  7. H.S.VIRK

    H.S.VIRK India
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    I agree with views of Hardip Singh. Idolatory is bane of Sikh religion. U can find it in all Gurdwaras, including Golden Temple. Sikh pilgrims in Golden Temple worship Beri trees, Nishan Sahib, Hukamnamas written on display boards, Guru granth sahib and Monument to Shahid BAB DEEP SINGH with in the holy precincts. How can we avoid this Idolatory?
    We behave neither like Muslims(non-idolators) nor Hindus(idolators) but our mode of WORSHIP resembles more like Hindus. We do not FOLLOW message of GURUs recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib but worship the Holy Book more like Hindu Idols. One can observe this ritual during early morning installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Golden Temple.
    H.S.VIRK
     
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  8. Harry Rakhraj

    Harry Rakhraj
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    #7 Harry Rakhraj, Aug 1, 2010
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  9. ik-jivan

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    I think it would help to understand why idolatry is rejected. We recognize Ik Onkar – the One Universal Creator God, Beyond Birth and Self-Existent. To be all this, Ik Onkar’s whole state must be formless and timeless. Anything that is created and has form has the potential of being misused as an idol. Idolatry is excessive reverence toward the objects of faith, whether living created beings or images of created beings.

    The difference between idol worship and worshipping Ik Onkar by focussing attention on an object of faith is a matter of where we attribute reverence. Is it the object that we revere, or is the object a focal point for those who cannot comfortably comprehend the One Who Is All? Not everyone’s mind can contemplate or develop communion with an infinite, formless Creator Being and they need a small chunk. That’s why almost all religions ‘package’ God in some kind of form. And most of us still need gurus and prophets because we haven’t evolved consciousness enough to commune or even acknowledge that such is possible. However, science and philosophy haves made a lot of progress defining ‘collective consciousness’, so we are now affirming that we are of the One Mind.

    How do I define idolatry? What does that mean to me?
    Idolatry is believing that any created thing, animate, inanimate or even animation is greater than any of the myriad other created things. All of THIS is Ik Onkar. . . you, me and everything else too. Recognizing that all is the One, love for all things should be equal. Ah, but let’s not confuse love with ‘like’ and ‘dislike’.

    We carry samsaras from one lifetime to the next, which give us unique preferences and attractions, but these sentiments are not love. These are the curricula of our unique life-lessons. Thinking that ones personal preferences are ‘right’ or ‘better’ than another person’s is simply ego play.

    Love is the unconditional hope and will for the prosperity and wellbeing of God’s expression of creativity – life, in all its forms. We can enjoy what we like, because they are gifts from God, but we should also remember that these objects are gifts and not God in totality.

    We also need to accept what we don’t like about creation, because these things too were given as gifts by God. For a creature, like you or me, to even think that THAT THING doesn’t belong here suggests that we believe our wisdom and our intelligence are higher and greater than God’s.

    Are there any images of our Gurus that would not promote idolatry in your opinion?
    Well, if images and effigies of the goddess Kali have devotees, I would think any and all image of the Gurus could be used to promote idolatry too.

    Do all images promote idolatry?
    Promote? I would say, ‘increase the potential risk’ of idolatry. Promotion of idolatry comes in the form of inculcated beliefs. Someone has to think or repeatedly be told to think that the object is to be revered like God. Social conditioning (and those samsaras) dictates what we each revere, hold sacred and consider holy.

    As William Shakespear said, ‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ In my opinion, we should really be working to change our minds before we think to change our environment. When we set out on the path to eliminate risk, it become difficult to know where to draw the line. Should we cut down every tree and bury every rock to eliminate the risk of having Wickans worship them? Is there a chance that Sikh children will see Dora the Explorer animations and start thinking that Dora is God?

    The Guru Nanak animations would not form the basis for idolatry unless someone in the lives of Sikh children (or naïve adults for that matter) led them to believe that the image they see is God. That would be very, very difficult, given that the child would also see all kinds of different images coming from that same TV or computer screen. Nothing short of brainwashing would be needed to accomplish a conversion of belief of this proportion.

    What is your understanding of the term in Indian law "hurting religious sentiments?
    I’m not familiar with this term. Yet the language makes me wonder if those complaining about the animations are experiencing excessive reverence toward Guru Nanak.

    Clearly the complaint was lodged due to intolerance toward others’ views. To require that all opinions and perspectives other than the ‘officially endorsed’ one be silenced seems contrary to Sikh principles to me.

    On the other hand, if the animations featuring Guru Nanak or any other person were, in any way, misrepresentative of his character or deeds, there would be reason to take offence. Defamation of character is also contrary to Sikh principles.

    So, what’s the system for arbitrating when two Sikh principles are used to counter and undermine the other? Should tolerance be upheld in this situation or should defamation be put down? Or are we going to allow the secular rule to stand, wherein might is right and the loudest cry wins?
     
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  10. seeker3k

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    Re: Do animations of Sikh Gurus promote idolatry?


    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5COwner%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[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]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[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]--> In Sikhism there is no room to worship any Idol whether it is made from stone or mattel or painting on paper or canvas. Also there is no room in Sikhism to worship any living person or animal. I have been writing and talking about this for long time. But no one is interested to stop this. Or do any thing about it. An Idol is non living thing no matter what it is made of.
    Hurting the religious sentiment is very broad word and it used by most every one. Every one uses it for his own benefit.
    If the pictures and mettel are being sold in the compound of Harmander then how can any thing can be stopped? We all have to start with our self. I my self never had any Guru’s picture at my home nor I will have any.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Seeker3k
     
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  11. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    ik-jivaan ji

    One small reply to a very small part of your comments. I have since researched the part of the Indian Constitution regarding "attacking religious sentiments." The term is "attacking" not "hurting" as has been used during this controversy on the web. And though i am not a lawyer, the claims made that the animations hurt/attack religious sentiments do not seem to hold water. You quote from Shakespeare is IMHO relevant., though you gave it in a slightly different sense.
     
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  12. rotrge

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    Re: Do animations of Sikh Gurus promote idolatry?

    A photo is just that a photo until you put more meaning to it. At that point it becomes Idolatry. Christians have hundreds of pictures, movies and the like depicting jesus nobody's crying about their Christian sentiments. In the end Waheguru is who we worship not our Gurus. Our Gurus were filled with the jot of Waheguru to teach us not to worship any but Waheguru. If someone wants to show the lives of our Gurus in a respectful manner go for it, otherwise how will we learn of them and their sacrifices.

    :redturban:
     
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  13. Rupinder.Singh

    Rupinder.Singh Australia
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    I was thinking about the same thing a couple of days ago. The gurudwara I visit does have Photographs of our Gurus in main hall and langar hall has photos of our shaheeds like bhai taru ji, Baba Deep Singh ji, photographs from 1984, and some other photographs.

    Now there are a few perspectives to look at those pictures.

    First, go to each photo and matha tek
    Second, accept these photos as our history, and remembrance of our history.

    third, reject all these images(in all forms) as if promoting idolatory.

    and many more other views and perceptions.

    In my opinion, all the above perceptions will keep on haunting sikh principles unless and until we educate our sangat what sikhism is and what are the reasons behind sikh principles.

    Education is the only key to eradicate misconceptions. if sikh sangat is aware of the right reason behind sikh principles, then we might have as many photos as we want as historical references, but we will never worship those.

    Sometime , what hurts in photos is the presentation of an image which actually contradicts sikh principles. the artists who come up with these ideas, are not at large aware of sikh principles, so again the key lies in education.

    It wont hurt, if under each photo, few lines be added as "Worshiping of pictures and idols is against sikh principles, this image is only for historical illustration"

    Root cause of all these problems is lack of right education, only education can provide us reasons, and once those reasons are justified, no one can shake us.


    Bhul Chuk Maaf ji

    Rupinder Singh
    mundahug
     
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  14. ik-jivan

    ik-jivan
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    Narayanjot Kaur ji,
    Small is good. I honestly wish I could do more of it when I write – haha – but it seems there’s always a concept ‘blob’ and I can’t express it without a lot of words. _/\_

    Maybe you could share your understanding and possibly online source references for this Indian Constitution (attacking religious sentiments) here. I would like to know a little more about it, if you could please.

    This complaint about the Guru Nanak animations seems to be IMO the misuse of law to retort to a sense of personal attack, rather than an attack against the Sikh religion. I wonder if the SGPC will hold the same view and let the animations stand, or whether there will be a formal definition created to clarify how/when animations featuring the Gurus or anything related to Sikhi are in breach of the Indian Constitution.

    Interesting questions for our times . . .
    ikonkaar
     
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  15. jasi

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    SS AKAL JI.

    Narayanjot Kaur Ji.

    My only comments are there is no room for idol worshiping or performances of any rituals in Sikh's life style.

    Before we preaches the world of our beliefs not to have idol worshiping or belief in non cast system ,we must practice what we preach.

    Our main places of preachings which is run by these so called Granthies and leaders must display to the world our practical deeds by following what our Gurus left us to follow to spread their teachings around the world.

    How could we can say in today's societies that we do not believe in cast system when all our Sikh communities are being further divided on cast system basis.This cancerous elements of cast system in our lives which is most demeaning the person in low cast with such a demoralizing system was eradicated by Guru Nanak Dev ji and Guru Gobindh Singh Ji by creating Khalsa regardless of any cast system.

    Man is known for his deeds not by his birth .

    Even Rama proved by eating BARES from BHILINI a low cast Bhagat of Rama that all of us with one class by birth and man is known by his deeds.This cast system was just a system created by MANU Ji to control the society.

    "JIN KE APNE GHAR SHEESHE KE HO ,WOH DUSRON PER PATHAR NAHI FANKETE.

    (the one who has their own houses made of glasses they do not through stones on other people houses.)


    Sikh philosophy is free from all rituals and cast system and we are completely drenched into by practicing what is not right.

    There goes our new generations for understandings of our concept of Sikhism which we are showing by hypocritical preachings not to worship idols or pictures but when they see duality in our daily way of lives. we do Artie or pictures worshiping and perform all kinds of rituals and false beliefs.

    Some of our Sikh business communities start keeping all kinds Hindu idols in their business places and lit all kinds of incenses to worships,parform arties rather than following Jap Ji Sahib and one God who is there for all..

    All this mess has to be eradicated which our Gurus put end to most sicken disease of cast system in Hindu India where idols worships and cast system made our country under thousands years of slavery and cruelty towards so call low cast people beyond one's thinking.

    Who is going to do that when our main stream preachers are not practicing what the preach. Day by day we are being further divided on basis of cast system. Our Gurudwars are being opened on cast system basis .

    The cancer has started since 1925 and worsen to that extent that one day our new generation will make mockery of us of our duality in practice Sikhism what we preach.

    Idol worship was existed in all over the world but eliminated long time ego with evolutions of the truths but we are still clinging on which put us over 2000 years of slavery by foreign countries,

    To dominate the EGO Guru Sahibs have given us crystal clear GUIDANCE'S IN Gurbani to treat all human beings as one like your self created by EK-Onkar.



    Wahe Guru Mat bakhshe.

    Jaspi






     
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    #14 jasi, Aug 1, 2010
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  16. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    jaspi ji

    Thanks for pointing in an important direction. Last night while pondering this subject of idols I found myself asking this question: What hurts Sikhism? As Seekr3k said earlier, the idea of "hurting religious sentiments" means as many different things as the people who are feeling hurt and can be self-serving. What hurts Sikhism? That is the question that worries me. Caste is one of those things. There are others that deserve our energy, our concerted intelligence to resolve.
     
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  17. RaminderSingh

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    sat sri akal

    what is this youre talking of animations and pics of sikh gurus or heroes what steps SGPC has taken to stop publications in newspaper and calenders this all has to be stopped who are all hte pictures depicted what we all has been believing as gurusji's photo who gave them right to publish all this if a painter like sobha sing paints ant SGPC authorise and publish SGPC on it why? what authority SGPC is howcome they turn blind on all other facts and realities.

    firstly they should place check on themselves then on people

    animation is just an expression to let our offspring know our heroes and gurus

    gurfateh
     
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  18. roopsidhu

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    SSA,
    Idolatry can be defined as the religious worshiping of the idols. We can also say moorti-pooja. Gurbani teaches us not to do idol worship. As per gurbani the idols or statues cannot do any good for the humans. They are non-living objects. <?"urn:[​IMG]ਪਾਖਾਨਗਢਿਕੈਮੂਰਤਿਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀਦੇਕੈਛਾਤੀਪਾਉਜੇਏਹਮੂਰਤਿਸਾਚੀਹੈਤਉਗੜ੍ਹਣਹਾਰੇਖਾਉ
    Anyone claiming to be Sikh or follower of gurbani must not believe in idol worshiping. The idolatry should not be limited to statues or idols only; the worship of photos, portraits, stars, planets text or animals is also idolatry. Unfortunately we Sikhs sometime follow such rites in front of Jugo jug atal Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji also, which rites appears as a form of idolatry. Anyhow keeping a photo or mural at home or religious place is not idolatry but worshiping and praying in front of photos etc is idolatry.
    Yes in majority of the cases the images of the gurus can promote idolatry. But we should not forget that the new generation is educated enough and is aware of the fact that images are for records, respect and history only. In general among the masses the images may help promote idolatry.
    As per Indian Law the there is one section which states that: - whoever, with deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class ( by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise) by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, can be poisoned or fined or both.
    It is to be noted that law says, deliberate and malicious intension. Whenever such issues come up, we must think and conclude whether this act was deliberate or malicious intension or just an ignorant mistake. Before being too harsh, each and every case has to be handled based on the intensions of the persons involved.
    As far as idol worship is concerned , its against gurmat and has to be confronted and eradicated from Sikhism.
    Roopsidhu
     
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    #17 roopsidhu, Aug 2, 2010
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  19. Harry Rakhraj

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    HS Virk ji has raised a very pertinent point. It is, however, necessary to take a charitable view of the defaulters because they do it more out of ignorance than anything else. After all, Sikhism and Hinduism have a long common history. It is but natural that some legacy of customs and rituals gets carried forward, especially by unlettered and simple folks. And hopefully, with better education and information these remnants from a common past will wither and die out, leaving Sikhi in its pristine glory.
     
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  20. otilia

    otilia
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    Dear Narayanjot Kaur Ji,

    as a non born sikh, but truly admirer of your principles, I cannot understand why those fine art´s expressions would in any way promote idol´s worship. What we can suspect is that behind all this (and thinking of all other news I´ve been following), there is a campaign against such fine principles that sikhism has ... The only thing I wonder is who is/are behind and what are they up to or looking..????
    Otilia
    :confusedkudi:
     
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  21. jasi

    jasi
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    SSS AKAL JI

    Narayanjot Kaur Ji.

    What puzzle me that we have been blessed with one of the most practical religion with unique faith acceptable to all in this modern world but still could not go far enough to make the world aware of this ocean of knowledge and guidance to achieve the realization of sublime existences.

    Our self centered Granthies or leaders are very busy in their own politics in Guru Dwaras.There is more stess on preaching young Sikhs to Amrit shakana without proper preparations of an individuals.

    Come to look at when doing Ardas when we read universal words of love which are enshrined in our daily ARDAS which we repeat all the time "TERE BHANE SARBAT KA BHALLA "

    It IS AAMAZING EXAMPLE OF OUR FAITH WHICH BEGS WELFARE FOR EVERY ONE REGARDLESS OF THEIR ORIGIN OR CAST
    .

    Sikhism basic principals to follow in daily life :

    <table style="border-collapse: collapse;" id="AutoNumber5" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td>Nam Japna</td> <td>Remembering Waheguru</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kirt Karni</td> <td>Working sincerely for livelihood</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Wand Chhakna</td> <td>Sharing of resources</td></tr></tbody></table>
    The whole truth is very much simplified by our Guru Nanak Dev Ji :

    "Truth is the highest virtue and higher than is truthful livings."

    All rituals, idolatry and the rigidity of the caste system was twice eradicated by Guru nanak dev Ji and Guru Gobindh singh Ji by creating a pure Khalsa.

    One want to be Sikh Then follow Guru Nanak Dev Ji's philosphy.

    One want to be Singh (SANT SIPAHI) then follow Guru Gobindh Singh ji and Guru Nanak Dev ji's philosophy.

    jaspi






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