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I am sort of new to Sikhism

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by FranglophonePunjabi, May 3, 2013.

  1. FranglophonePunjabi

    FranglophonePunjabi
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    Hello everyone,

    I am kind of new to Sikhism and have a few questions I'd like cleared up. Basically, I am a Canadian-born Punjabi guy, born to parents who are Sikh only by name. Outside of going to the Gurdwara a few times a month, and participating in Sikh and Hindu holidays, my upbringing was completely secular. I hadn't the slightest clue what Sikhism was all about, until last week.

    I was browsing on Youtube and came across a video by United Sikhs, the one where they're down in the America after the hurricane last year. The man being interviewed explained why they were there, and how helping others tied into his religion (Sikhism). I was impressed and watched their other videos and really really liked what I saw. I checked out their website and read the section where they had info on Sikhism. I was impressed enough to make an account on this website and ask for help lol.

    So on that United Sikhs website, I learned a little bit about the 5 K's, the 3 pillars of Sikhi, and also that Sikhs only believe in ONE GOD. All of this is new to me by the way, when i say I don't know the first thing about Sikhism, I really mean it.

    Okay so now I do have a few questions about the religion. Please excuse my ignorance, and hopefully I don't come across as rude or overly-sceptical. The thing is, I spent most of my teens looking for a religion I could call my own. I never considered Sikhism because the behavior of the so-called "Sikhs" around me really threw me off and I thought they were just following the religion. Most of the elder Punjabi guys in my life drink, I didn't know it was against the religion. Most older Punjabi men and women fold their hands in front of pictures of the Gurus, I never understood what that was going to accomplish. They lied and talekd behind each others' backs, and this was just the tip of the ice-berg. I hope you can understand why I was driven away.

    Anyways, I spent a lot of time researching other religions, but never spent a lot of time on any single one because I always found something that I disagreed with, never got a good explanation, so I would dump it. I hope it isn't like that with Sikhism, and I am going to try and keep an open mind, and if I do come across something I don't agree with, I am open to hearing the other point of view. Okay so here goes:

    1) I think one of the purposes of life is to help people and try to make the world a better place through your actions. I honestly do believe that being a good person is the most important thing in life. Moreso that being religious. Most of the really nice people I have known in life have either been Agnostic or Atheist. I just want to know, what does Sikhism say is going to happen to them when they die? I remember going to the place of worship of a particular religion a few months ago, and being told straight up that I could be the nicest, most thoughtful, caring and helpful person in the world, but if I died an "unbeliever", I was going to be punished severely for all eternity. Does Sikhism teach the same about unbelievers?

    2) Is prayer necessary? I read a while back that there are certain prayers a Sikh has to do throughout the day. Now I do bow down in front of the Guru Granth Sahib (I didn't know what the name was until 3 days ago, see what I mean lol?), get my parshad and sit down when I go to the Gurdwara, the last visit being a very very long time ago. Anyways, is the praying stuff necessary. I don't get it because growing up, my parents told me that everything that happens is the will of God/predetermined. So if that is the case, why pray? If it is gonna happen, it will happen even if you don't pray, and if it isn't a part of God's divine plan, it isn't going to happen, no matter how hard you pray.

    3) Meditating on God's name. Again, is it really necessary? I read it is to clear your mind and help you relax. But I get the same results after a good hard workout in the gym or a long run outside. Could I just substitute exercise for meditating. And also, I know that "remembering God" is one of the 3 pillars, but is it literally "saying God's name" or can it be something else? If I recognize the human race as one, view everyone as equals and help people, isn't that a form of "remembering God"? I don't mind repeating "Waheguru Waheguru", I just think it would be better done while doing sewa and not just meditating, because that way you are actually making a difference.

    4) Do I need to take Amrit to be a "good Sikh"? Pretty self-explanatory. I have heard people say in real life and also read online that it is absolutely necessary. But here's the thing: the best Sikh I know is NOT baptized. He actually does do all the meditating and praying on time stuff, even has a largw part of the Guru Granth Sahib memorized. He is very knowledgable on the religion, from what I have seen/heard. But he has not taken Amrit. So does the fact he doesn't keep his hair make him a "bad" Sikh/person in the eyes of God, even though he has all the other stuff down?

    5) And lastly, I'd really just like to know, what does being a Sikh mean to you? Please don't feel like you need to write an essay lol. Just in a few sentences, I'd like to know what Sikhism has brought into your life, and how you feel it has made you a better person. How has it enhanced your life? I consider myself an Agnostic right now and try my best to be a nice guy, but I know I am not perfect. How can Sikhism help me be a better person who has a positive impact on the world, since being a good human being and helping others is the thing I am most concerned with.

    That's all I can think of right now, I'm sure more questions will pop up later lol. Thank you in advance to anyone who took the time to read it and I look forward to hearing your replies :peacesign:
     
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    #1 FranglophonePunjabi, May 3, 2013
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    FranglophonePunjabi ji

    Your English is quite good. Better than mine. You laid out all your predicaments so very clearly.

    I want first of all to say intuition tells me that there are more Punjabi Sikhs like you than you may realize. Having said that, let me jump right in. What is Sikhi?

    Converts and those rediscovering Sikhi are told many predictable things that I never found very enlightening. I like to start with the 3 pillars of Sikhism because they define a way of life that allows you to realize your own self as a Sikh when at the same time being true to the path. These are Naam Japna, Kirat Karni, Vaṇḍ Chakkō. None are easy to put into practice. Take it slowly and learn from your mistakes.

    Naam Japna (often taken to mean reciting banis): Naam Japna may mean chanting; it does not have to. It may mean reciting Nitnem; you can work toward that. I see Naam Japna as asking of yourself that each footstep you take, each deed, each word, be helped along by the banis, by the Shabad Guru, so that the values taught by Guru Nanak become part of your consciousness. For me that points to faithful study of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    Kirat Karni (often taken to mean earning an honest living): This is the pillar of living a truthful and authentic life. A life where you live by your own serious efforts, according to the talents and gifts given you at birth. At the same time enjoying the gifts of Akaal which are put there for you. Guru Nanak founded a spiritual community where he himself tilled fields and tended cattle. He was not 100 percent of the time withdrawn in meditation and prayer. He is the model of being present in the world of work as well as prayer.

    Wand Chakko (taken to mean giving to charity and giving to humanity, near and far, good and bad, to the best of your abilities): I take this as the pillar by which we give back; we give to others who are in need. Need can mean poverty; but it does not have to mean that. It can mean despair, loneliness, grief, illiteracy, sickness. Guru Nanak taught Wand Chakko through example. He brought the tyrant Babar "to his knees" making him aware of his moral corruption and convincing him to return what he had stolen and to make the lives of his captives whole again.

    Now what I have found is this. Those Sikhs who have inspired me the most, which means they have taught me the most, do not define themselves by chanting, nitnem, daswand, and the occasional sewa. They are Sikhs who dive into the mix of these pillars in their lives. In my experience, they are focused on one of the pillars more than the other two. But... by leaning on the one they realize the others. Who meditates on and studies Shabad Guru with a passion, arrives at the understanding that without sewa study is an abstraction. Who earns an honest living, succeeds, and perhaps even becomes very rich, very very rich, comes back to Shabad Guru to find the purpose behind the wealth and gives back quietly and constantly through Wand Chakko. Everyone is unique. All have taught me that the 3 pillars work together according to NO set of rules or guidelines.

    You sound like someone who might find your personal way of Sikhi through Wand Chakko, serious and dedicated service. Go to the websites of United Sikhs or Khalsa Aid and find out how you can help. Give time and attention to those around you. Start small but be steady. Sikhs of the Guru, with whom you make company through Wand Chakko, will teach by example everything else you need to know. Good Luck.

    p/s There is nothing lol about you at all!
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    There is no sin concept in Sikhism, do you what you want in life, just be prepared to deal with consequences. God does not sit in judgement on you, he does not smile when you help a child cross the road, he does not grimace when you think of women, the idea is not to live a life out of fear and the possibility of reward, but to live a life of truth for no other reason than it is the right way to live.

    .

    I do not pray myself, but that is a personal matter, everything that happens is not the will of God, somethings are down to your own will, when your will aligns with Gods will, I consider that to be acting in Hukam, if you follow Hukam, then you will have the best shot of the life as best as it could be, if you follow your own will, anything is possible. Following Hukam out of fear or a sense of reward is pointless, you have to understand, you have to develop wisdom.

     
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  5. Ikk Khalsa

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    Sikhism is a practical way of life. Naam Japo means keeping God in mind all the time. Chanting “Waheguru Waheguru” for hours is not the meaning of “Naam Japo”. Doing Nitnem is more of cleansing your mind, disciplining your life, and thanking Waheguru for whatever you have.
    Vand Chhako means share some of your earnings with the poor or unfortunate ones. It could be food, clothes, money, or as simple as shoveling snow off your elderly neighbor’s drive way or donating blood. Most of the Gurdwaras committees mismanage the money now days so it’s better to help someone first hand rather than trusting someone with your money.
    Since Sikhism is a way of life so we do not suppose to think about after life (hell or heaven). If you can live your life by Sikh principle, your will have piece of mind and no regrets in your life and that will be your heaven.
    Taking Amrit will not make you a “good Sikh” however it will make you a “proper Sikh” (Only if you live by its principles). You will see a lot of Sikhs who have taken Amrit but they don’t live their lives like a true Sikh. Back in the days Hindus used to tell their young daughters in cities like New Delhi that if they feel threatened just find a Sikh (Sardar) and go to him. If you are a true Sikh (Amritdhari), now it is your duty to stand up for the weak:.
    I would like you to read some of our history and please stay away from some made up stories about Gurus doing miracles.
     
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  6. FranglophonePunjabi

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    Hello spnamin ji, thank you for taking the time to reply!

    I feel the same way. I suppose it is because most Punjabis aren't ever exposed to what Sikhi really is about, and end up associating Punjabi culture with the teachings of the religion. A shame really.

    Okay for this one, I have started to read some of the japji Sahib online to see what it is all about, so I suppose you agree that is considered "Naam Japp"? And if the teachings of Guru Nanak are that we should live honestly and be kind to one another, then I wantto incorporate them into my consciousness too!

    This makes a lot of sense, I never thought about it like that before. I thought it was like a schedule, where you say to yourself "okay I'm going to spend this much time meditating on Waheguru, then go out and spend this much time doing sewa....". But I suppose it is impossible to do one without doing the other two as well.


    Will do, thank you!

    Oh I just thought it was funny that I didn't even know the name of the Guru that I had been bowing down to every time I went to the Gurdwara as a child hahaa. But it's probably more sad than anything else.
     
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  7. FranglophonePunjabi

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    Thank you for your reply Harry ji!

    Okay but then what happens to someone who dies without having done the "right" thing? Sikhism teaches rebirths, does it not? So wouldn't that person come back as something else until they got their act together? So then isn't someone who is doing the "right" doing it to avoid punishment after death? Maybe not entirely for that reason, but at least partially?



    Again, is there a reward for "acting in Hukam" and a punishment for not doing it? You mentioned that there is no concept of sin in Sikhism, so then how is one rewarded and punished?




    Surely there must be more to Sikhism than just doing good deeds and helping others! I mean, it is an organized religion after all, aren't there rules you have to follow, limits that you can't cross? From my own experiences, most other religions teach that you should be kind to your fellow man. But I can't be a Jew/Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist simply by being a good person. There are other things that are required of me to be considered "in the fold". Isn't it like that in Sikhism as well?
     
  8. FranglophonePunjabi

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    Thank you Khalsa Ji, I will keep this in mind :winkingmunda: Funny that you should bring up the last part about staying away from stories of Gurus doing miracles. I remember growing up, my mother used to occasionally tell me about the battles with the Mughals, and how Guru Gobind Singh Ji would bring his dead soldiers back to life to continue fighting! Of course I never believed her, but it is nice to know that most Sikhs reject miracle stories such as this one and that the religion does not make any tall claims.
     
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  9. Ikk Khalsa

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    This is where the common sense comes in. If Guru ji could bring dead soldiers back to life, why couldn't he bring his own children back to life?
     
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  10. Ishna

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    Dear Franglophone ji

    Forget everything you thought you knew about Sikhi. Welcome to The Twilight Zone.

    I highly recommend searching the forum for existing threads about reincarnation, hukam, free will and punishment for bad actions.

    Sikhi's "reward" is closeness to Creator and "punishment" is disconnection from It.

    Shalok from japji Sahib on Ang 8

    ਸਲੋਕੁ
    Salok.
    Shalok:

    ਪਵਣੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਣੀ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਧਰਤਿ ਮਹਤੁ
    Pavaṇ gurū pāṇī piṯā māṯā ḏẖaraṯ mahaṯ.
    Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.

    ਦਿਵਸੁ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੁਇ ਦਾਈ ਦਾਇਆ ਖੇਲੈ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ
    Ḏivas rāṯ ḏu▫e ḏā▫ī ḏā▫i▫ā kẖelai sagal jagaṯ.
    Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play.

    ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਬੁਰਿਆਈਆ ਵਾਚੈ ਧਰਮੁ ਹਦੂਰਿ
    Cẖang▫ā▫ī▫ā buri▫ā▫ī▫ā vācẖai ḏẖaram haḏūr.
    Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.

    ਕਰਮੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੇ ਨੇੜੈ ਕੇ ਦੂਰਿ
    Karmī āpo āpṇī ke neṛai ke ḏūr.
    According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.


    ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ
    Jinī nām ḏẖi▫ā▫i▫ā ga▫e maskaṯ gẖāl.
    Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows -

    ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਉਜਲੇ ਕੇਤੀ ਛੁਟੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
    Nānak ṯe mukẖ ujle keṯī cẖẖutī nāl. ||1||

    O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them! ||1||
     
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  11. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I'm not going to answer everything, but here are a few random thoughts about things I like about Sikhi.

    I avoid the use of the word God because that conjures up an imagine of an old grim-faced man pointing a judgmental finger at me. There are plenty of other words to use.:noticekudi:

    I do not believe in miracles - ever. I define a miracle as an action by some supernatural being that abrogates Natural Law. Natural Law is the stuff you study in science class. I believe the Deity set up the universe to run in a certain way and It would never break the laws Itself has created. Sometimes things happen that seem to break Natural Law. That just indicates that there are some things we don't yet know. Imagine that. Some Sikhs disagree with me. That's OK. There's a lot of room for disagreement in Sikhi. Let's just be civil about it. :swordfight-kudiyan:

    Sikhi treats me like I'm an adult. It doesn't ask me to check in my brain at the door and it isn't comprised of a bunch of rules telling me the proper temperature of bath/shower water or how to clean my butt after I poop. It gives me some principles and, for the most part, leaves it up to me how to apply those in my life. Of course, that presupposes I have studied enough to know what those principles are. I suggest looking into the Sikh Rehat Maryada. It defines a way that many Sikhs have found works to live according to what is taught in Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji.:japosatnamwaheguru:

    Have you ever been in love? I have and I can tell that when that happens, repeating the name of the person you love, over and over again is natural and joyous. I see Naam Simran in this light. Waheguru is my beloved and I love repeating that name. It opens me up to the presence of the Deity around me that is always there, but rarely noticed. (We are not separated from our Creator; we just are unaware of Its presence.) As an interesting sidelight, my parrot picked up on it, much to the delight of other Sikhs and the puzzlement of non-Sikhs. "Waheguruwaheguruwaheguru(squawk)prettybirdwaheguru..."
    No birds, so I use a fish. :fish:

    The Khalsa. Not every Sikh becomes Amritdhari, but I think it makes sense to work toward that direction. It is quite possible to live a Khalsa lifestyle without accepting the blessing of Amrit. At some point, I would suggest you try it out. There are definite rules once you accept the Amrit that are optional to other Sikhs. None of the rules are silly or without explanation, there is meaning and purpose to each one. Although I don't believe that it's necessary to be Amritdhari to be Sikh, I do believe something is missing if you aren't. The Khalsa are the strong backbone of the Sikh nation. It's good to accept Amrit. :kaurkhalsaflagblue:

    Being a Sikh is an experience. To fully embrace the experience, I think you need to look like a Sikh. Unshorn hair - all your hair - and a turban are part of the experience of being a Sikh for many Sikh men and some Sikh women. (A lot of women keep kesh but don't tie turban.) Sikhi is a journey, an adventure. I suggest you grab onto that adventure and live it to its fullest. :faujasingh:

    One hard and fast rule, often broken: Prayer is an act of worship. Sikhs worship only Akal Purakh (by whatever name you're calling It at the moment). Sikhs should not be praying to anything else, most especially not to pictures of Gurus that aren't even real pictures of Gurus. :kudifacepalm:

    I strongly suggest that you begin reading a bit of Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji every day. Start on page 1 and read a shabad or two - or more - every day. I don't suggest a certain amount to be read each day because sometimes a phrase, a tuk, an idea will jump out at you and you need time to think and feel before you go on. It takes more self-discipline than you can know to do this each day, but if you do it, you will eventually have read Guru ji in its entirety, something every Sikh ought to do. Doesn't it make sense to get to know Guru ji, just as you would a human Guru. It might take a year, five years, ten years. After finishing, I suggest you start over because when you will be at a different level, and it will speak different ideas to you. :whatzpointsing:

    As usual, I sit down to offer a few thoughts and end up writing an essay. I hope it's not TLTR. :sippingcoffeemunda:

    Last thought. If you don't have a kara, get one and wear it. After you've worn it for a while, you'll understand why. :kaurkhalsaflagred:

    DISCLAIMER: I follow the SRM to the best of my ability. What I have written are my own ideas; other Sikhs disagree with me on some points. Please don't take anything I say as the last word on Sikhi. We are all learning and I have no idea what tomorrow will teach me.
     
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  12. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    Sat sri akaal/Welcome dear .

    following shabad from Guru Granth Sahib ji ,define a Sikh very well and its very hard to become a SIKH . rare very rare are Gurmukhs , each n every breathe is at stake ,only few are associated with SHABAD .

    "Gur satgur ka jo sikh akhavey "ie " One who call himself SIKH..."

    Mėhlā 4.
    Fourth Mehl:
    Gur saṯgur kā jo sikẖ akẖā▫e so bẖalke uṯẖ har nām ḏẖi▫āvai.
    One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name.
    Uḏam kare bẖalke parbẖāṯī isnān kare amriṯ sar nāvai.
    Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar.
    Upḏes gurū har har jap jāpai sabẖ kilvikẖ pāp ḏokẖ lėh jāvai.
    Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. All misdeeds , negativity shall be erased.
    Fir cẖaṛai ḏivas gurbāṇī gāvai bahḏi▫ā uṯẖ▫ḏi▫ā har nām ḏẖi▫āvai.
    Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name.
    Jo sās girās ḏẖi▫ā▫e merā har har so gursikẖ gurū man bẖāvai.
    One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind.
    Jis no ḏa▫i▫āl hovai merā su▫āmī ṯis gursikẖ gurū upḏes suṇāvai.
    That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate - upon that GurSikh, the Guru's Teachings are bestowed.
    Jan Nānak ḏẖūṛ mangai ṯis gursikẖ kī jo āp japai avrah nām japāvai. ||2||
    Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. ||2||
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    We should not read poetry as if it is prose. Sikhi is not matter of following prescribed sadhanas and is not exactly like going to the gym for a spiritual workout according to a prescribed routine. Let's consider this

    "Understanding japji" by Karminder Singh Dhillon

    This is an excerpt from the first article of several on the subject which can be found in The Sikh Bulletin at http://sikhbulletin.com/

    specifically http://sikhbulletin.com/Bulletins/SikhBulletinNovDec2007.pdf
     
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  14. Harry Haller

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    uhm well they die, Sikhism does not teach rebirths per se, it all depends on interpretation, in my view, anyone who does the right thing to avoid punishment knows nothing and understands nothing, those that understand the truth know what is right and what is wrong.There is no prize, no ceremony,

    Why does life have to be some sort of game show, you either act in Hukam, the way, or you act your own way, you are rewarded by not having a host of sexually transmitted diseases, not going bankrupt, being unhealthy, worried, being constantly consumed with fear, constantly waiting for your actions to catch up with you, its called Hell, and its right here on Earth. Heaven is a connection to Creator, it is living by the truth and being pure, without motive, or lusts and desires, just a heartfelt feeling to be at one with the supreme.

    The relationship between a person and Creator is not based on rules or limits, it is based on understanding. Someone may appear to be the most pious person ever, but if it is motived soley by the greed of salvation, then it is not true, the truth maybe very different indeed, who knows who turns into what when confronted with the mirror of truth, the priest becomes the abuser, the tramp becomes the saint, those that cherish Creation, every day, without fuss or even mentioning their actions, they shine.

    The only rules and limits are those that either take us toward the light or further away, breaking the rules weakens the connection, it is our choice,

    Let us be simplistic, either fill your life with woman, drugs, booze, fast cars and dodgy dealings, but be prepared for when it all bites you on the behind, or find the ultimate pleasure, the connection with Creation, and life by Hukam, not your own will, until it is second nature, and you feel the confidence and peace of acting as is your potential. I cannot see where religion comes into it :)
     
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  15. Brother Onam

    Brother Onam United States
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    Waheguru paji,
    Young brother, if you are drawn to the Wand Chhako aspect of Sikhi and desire to experience the Divine through serving the needy, the sufferers, the poor, you are already embracing the better part of what is true Sikh devotion.
    All the rest is icing compared to that -love in action.
     
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  16. FranglophonePunjabi

    FranglophonePunjabi
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    Thank you for the warm welcome Ishna Ji, very much appreciated!

    I am trying my best not to sound stupid, but I don't think I'm doing a very good job. You see, maybe it's because I am MUCH MUCH more familiar with the Abrahamic religions than Sikh, but when I read stuff like "Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.", it makes me think that someup up there IS keeping track of what we're doing, and then "O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them!" reminds me of the Islamic concept of Judgement Day.

    Harmanpreet Ji's post also had "One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind." So does God favor people who meditate/chant over people who don't?

    And also, "That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate - upon that GurSikh, the Guru's Teachings are bestowed." Again, it reminds me of the Abrahamic concept where God saves whom he wills and leads astray whom he wills.

    I hope that didn't sound too dumb :blushh:
     
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  17. FranglophonePunjabi

    FranglophonePunjabi
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    Thank you for clearing that up Harry Ji! This is the only thing I stumbled over in your post:

    More specifically, the bit about rebirths. I thought Sikhism DID teach rebirths, that the goal of life is to escape from the cycle of births and deaths and ultimately go back and merge with God? How that is done, I thought, was by following the rules of Sikhism. Which is why I had asked what happens to people who are not Sikhs.
     
  18. FranglophonePunjabi

    FranglophonePunjabi
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    What a wonderful post Inderjeet Ji, thank you! Sounds like me and you are on the same wavelength with regards to a lot of things, like miracles and taking Amrit etc...

    I have taken your advice and started reading the Jaapji Sahib the other day. I can't read in Punjabi, so have to read the Romani version, but I am still going to try and memorize the entire thing!

    Also I will try and get a hold of a kara and see how it feels.
     
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  19. FranglophonePunjabi

    FranglophonePunjabi
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    Oh and one more thing: I am almost 19 years old. The last time I was at a Gurdwara was 8-9 years ago, back when I was 10-11. So I mean it when I said it has been a LONG time. Up until I was about ten, my family and I would go about twice a month. Then when us kids got a bit older, we didn't want to go anymore, and our parents not being practicing, didn't put up muchr resistance and eventually gave in.

    Since then, I've relocated and live in a new city, with a much larger Sikh population. I have not made any friends here who go to the Gurdwara on a regular basis, so I'd have to do it alone. And this may sound silly, but I am very nervous about the idea of going. It would be like if I went to a Mosque/Church/Synagogue etc... it has been such a long time, this would be my first time going as an adult. The only thing I really remember is that you have to take your shoes off, cover your head, and after you bow down Guru Granth Sahib, you get parshad. Everything else is a blur.

    No one is going to know who I am, I'm scared about getting judged for not having gone in such a long time. I'm worried I might screw up and do something to offend someone, I may as well be someone born into a non-Sikh family and going to Gurdwara for first time. It is extremely nerve-wracking. This Gurdwara by my home is quite large and has a website. They have this program where they prepare food at the Gurdwara and then go out into the poor parts of downtown and give it to the homeless/poor people, and it is something I really badly want to get invovled in. But to do that, I actually have to go there and talk to them!

    Has anyone felt like this before? And how was your first time? Also, any do's and don'ts of going to Gurdwara would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
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  20. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Franglophone ji :)

    It's good that you have a sense of "gee that sounds Abrahamic". When that happens you know you've probably got the wrong end of the stick and you've got a chance to investigate and see what other understanding you can reach that might be more in line with Sikhi.

    Personally my understanding of the parts you have issue with is that the 'Presence of the Lord of Dharma' is a combination or your own consciense and the greater society - you actions won't go unnoticed by yourself at your core or the society around you.

    The Court of the Lord is here, this world, right now. If your face is radient with love of Guruji, love of Creation, wonder of the world, Chardi Kala, and the sweat of your good actions, then you will be an example and role model for others to follow likewise. :cheerleaders:
    The quotes shared by Harmanpreet bhaji are outside my coherant understanding. My intuition is saying something about an inner realisation, a lightbulb moment, of the Creator in, around and beyond everything. When that moment comes into your mind it will be as if it's a compassionate blessing. It already exists within you, so there is no blessing coming from an external source. It happens within your own mind and heart from careful learning from the Guru and living carefully as a Sikh. Sorry if that's all a bit cryptic, as said I don't understand it enough to explain it, I'm just trying to verbalise what I feel from reading the passage quoted by my bhaji.


    You may like to read this issue of The Sikh Bulletin http://sikhbulletin.com/Bulletins/SikhBulletinJanFeb2009.pdf It contains an article by the late Dr Baldev Singh on Nanakian Philosophy - it will help explain some of the points of view here. I highly recommend it.

    About going to Gurdwara, we have a subforum for that. http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/new-to-gurdwara/

    Smile, don't worry, you already know the basics, the rest will just come naturally. If you're really anxious perhaps call the Gurdwara first and ask if someone can show you around on your first visit. It's a good way to get under someone's wing to being with.

    And yes, I can relate to how you feel. :grinningkaur:
     
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    #19 Ishna, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  21. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    respected Ishna ji , i feel quotes i quoted are not much different from your intuition :grinningsingh: ,but m unable to explain how :eek:
     
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