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Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by msbaath, Oct 9, 2010.
Very Interesting question.But along with it you have also raised many points, the value of which perhaps you did not really understand, nor you have explained with convincing evidence.You have mentioned many issues, but it appears many of them are based upon a lot of heresay that you have assumed to be facts.
For my own clarity, I would ask you to clarify some of those issues so that we can arrive at a sensible conclusion, it would be helpful to all.
Let us try and take some of them and make sense.
You say :- "i mean there is so much confusion about maryada, the present sgpc which claims itself a rightful heir to akaal takht came into existence in 1900s, and they made a maryada depending on the scholars of that time which cannot be the correct maryada".
Can you please qualify the above statement, with factual evidence.I certainly would not rule out that many detractors of the Panth do use these aimless and unfounded arguments to undermine the Sikh faith.
The present SGPC is an elected and registered legal body of the Sikhs and and has been representative of majority in the Sikh panth at any given time.It was seen necessary to have this body in 1900s due to the politicalisation of communities in the Punjab.It is elected legally through a recognised process.Its poor and weak and politicalised functioning currently cannot be associated with its rightful entity and place.The poor and weak functioning is altogether a different matter.It does NOT claim any heirship to the Akal Takhat.It is duty bound to look after the Akal Takhat and affairs of certain specified Sikh Gurduaras within the Punjab;it also includes the same gurduaras that are now in Haryana, and Himcahal Pradesh.It is a soceity that the whole panth agitated for many years through the morchas/ agitation against the british colonial government.
The maryada was NOT dependent upon the scholars.But Guru Granth sahib, and supported from evidence in the original Rehatnamas, compiled by the contemporaries of Guru Gobind Singh Ji;proven precedents and historical practices and finally the factual history.That is FOUR points of sources that are not influenced by anyone, scholar or not a scholar.Views and scholars were invited from all over the Sikh world; not simply a "few".But these had to work within the context of the Four points of sources.This process took nearly 18 years to formulate, check and counter check before finally the final copy of the propsed draft was seen fit to be published as the FINAL document.
Anything based upon the Gurbani of Guru Granth sahib cannot be inaccurate nor change between then and now or in time to come.THIS IS BANI recorded by the Guru Sahiban in Guru Granth sahib by themselves.Not a word has been changed.Whether it is scholar NOW or then, the interpretation of Gurbani is the same, will be the same and remain so.Some language used to describe something in layman's terms may change.But the principles anchored would be the same as when it was revealed by the Gurus and now.
Following continuous digression of practices by all types in management of Sikh Gurduaras and affairs, it was seen necessary to have a standard uniformed practice [Maryada]so that no further mahant type scenarios could develop and damage the Sikh religion and sangats.Such negative and derogatory onslaughts were seen from the arya smajist, Nirankaris, and the derawaad type babas and not to exclude islam and others like the christians.
My question to you is again, WHAT makes YOU think that is it not "the correct maryada?"A simple claim like that does not qualify anything and is evidently devoid of any substantial fact material.Very much, it is heresay fuel,like the unknown leading the unknowing.
"i believe, so whats the point in following such a maryada which doesnot come directly from the guru."
To follow a organisation/society / group one has to have an uniform and values, as such these are SIKH VALUES decided collectively by the Panth- the wholesome of the Sikh society.The core values that support these are in the Guru Granth sahib.They do come from the Guru Ji.The few ppeople who have read a little of the Guru Granth keep making such superficial claims that it is not in the Guru Granth sahib.If one reads carefully fully, it is all there.Incidently, some is in the bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji as well.
To begin with,I suggest read the Sarb Loh Granth-Guru Gobind Singh says;-
THE KHALSA IS MY PARAMOUNT IMAGE,
IN THE KHALSA EVER RESIDES MY SPIRIT.
THE KHALSA IS MY BELOVED AND VENERABLE MASTER
THE KHALSA IS MY DIVINE PROTECTOR
THE KHALSA IS MY BODY AND SOUL
THE KHALSA IS THE EMBODIMENT OF THE TRUE AND PERFECT GURU
THE KHALSA IS MY GALLANT ANG KNIGHTLY FRIEND,
I HAVE STATED THE TRUTH WITHOUT AN IOTA OF MISCONSTRUCTION,
GOD AND GURU NANAK ARE TO THIS MY WITNESSES
THE KHALSA IS MY FATHER AND MOTHER
Try understanding that.The zeal, power, the magic and electrifying blood chilling message is very loud and clear.But people who have never read the the writings of Guru Gobind Singh, with the insight and linguistic equipment it requires, not only misinterpet these powerfully sustaning words and writings but degrade themselves by exposing their own shallow knowledge , simply good enough to ridicule the Guru and their teachings!
"besides guru gobind singh ji gave the gaddi to guru granth sahib and it conains no reference to maryada all guru granth sahib stresses is to jap naam and live a righeous living."
That is not all that the Guru Ji says.I am afraid you have conveniently skipped the rest and concentrated on 0.1% of the Guru Granth sahib and make a sweeping statement ;shows one is being selective and not facing the reallity.When Guru Gobind Singh ji offered the GurGaddi to the Guru Granth sahib, he followed a maryada that was sat out by the preceeding Gurus.He offered, a narial and few other offerings,and bowed down- was part of a maryada.He read certain banis while preparing the amrit is part of that maryada that he sat out.He sat out the bana, and bani, and the Five kakaars as part of a definte maryada.So, it is erroneous to claim that he did not sat out maryada.This is a historic precedent and supported by the rehatnamas and his own bani.
"karam kaands were criticised by guru nanak dont u think taking amrit is reduced to a mere karam kaand."
Yes, in current times, some of the amrit practices have been reduced to more than a ritual.But that is the current mentality of Sikhs, not the fault actions of the Amrit as sat out by the Guru sahib.The moral, and ethical standards of many have fallen and become politicised.Some babas now claim their various amrit sanchaars better then the next.That is wrong.But that does not make the amrit as sat out to be adhered to be wrong and a karam kaand.These days many believe strongly sticking some used bottles filled with water [perhaps of alcohol; coke and other drugs]under the Guru Granth sahib for a few hours turns that into "amrit"!Gurmukh Loko, that is NOT amrit.The real amrit came at the price of five heads.A Sikh ready to take amrit must offer his whole to the Guru Ji.
If an amritdhari were to follow the noble principles and take amrit, that is not a karam kaand.It will never be ever.The magnificiency of the amrit lives forever.As one joins the naatural creation of God and lives by the principles of nature.
"i want to stress i would love to take amrit but im not sure even the panj pyares who give amrit are living a maryada which guru gobind singh stressed(just because of ignorance). so when there is no real khalsa(who has maryada of guru gobind singh) how can there be real amrit".
When Guru JI asked for five heads, he did not check their back ground to see if they were real Singhs or not.I think, I would say you are trying to make deals/excuses here, so that your getting out of the situation can be justified by the faults of others.Forgive me for saying that.
Sikhi is NOT about finding faults of others, but sharing our own faults with Gurbani and learning to correct that; and share the correction with the Gurmukhs who come the path of Sikhi.Here, you are also questioning the amrit given by the Guru through HIS process, by blaming the others of their own short commings, I regret to say.
"what i have concluded is that i should stick to guru granth sahib and its teachings and accept granth as my guru and that would solve the purpose for me hopefully i reach to God in this lifetime if not at least i have started the journey."
There is absolutely nothing that should stop you doing just that.But, I am confident as you begin to understand and take heed of the Guru Granth sahib, you will want to increase your own commitment.For the moment I would not worry about that.I have absolute faith that...it will come in time, as it came to me.Taking amrit is not a child's play, nor a game.It takes time,and it is harder still in these times when there are so many worldly attractions freely available.
In those days, Sikhs had to survive for the cause of the righteous and humanity; so committing to the Guru sahib on one simple principle was easy,though costly in terms of sacrifce and blood; but today, when self sacrifice and blood and head is less costly and not even asked;with the materialistic wealth and other attractions and the need to be accepted makes the challenging to be an amritdahri Sikh harder; but believe me it is more fulfilling than one thinks and more satisfying than we all will ever realise.Only that takes and adheres feels the contentment and joy, not another.
I would have offered you the qoutes from the Guru Granth sahib to show that it is all in there, but I have refrained from using Gurbani to push for points.
I would look forward to a reply from you supporting all that you have claimed, otherwise like many other times, I have noted , we will be just beating about the bush.
The taking of amrit means one completes the WHOLE journey of the Sikh faith, is the final line I have to say, the teachings of the Guru Granth sahib.Sikhi does not end in parts, it comes in parts but ends as a whole, that is something we must always remember.We also cannot be selective with the parts that suit us and claim we have achieved the ultimate final in Sikh form and faith and commitment to the Guru Granth sahib, without the end of it together.
ANkhi roop dastaar da vekhNa je,Singh ChaRkh khrian de utte charrde vekho.
Gurcharan Singh, Kulim,
London & Kuala Lumpur
Sada sara Ithas dastar da a, veri sda hi sanu wangaarde rahe
chann pardesi ji
im really thankful that you have taken so much trouble to answer my query but i still have some questions firstly i went a little offtrack when i said that maryada is questionable though that is an issue but my real issue is that as we know the true motive of sikhism is to lead man to God my question is "that how keeping the 5 ks will lead me to God?" i dont want to involve myself in any heresy or controversy im really confused.
I hope the following helps:
Technology of the 5 K's
Sikh dharma stresses the concept of involution,
which is the development of ones inner-self and
living in the will of God. The 10th Guru created the
institution of Amrit which has a code of conduct
that enjoins those Sikhs who have chosen to take
Amrit (called Amritdhari Sikhs) to wear 5 items of
faith called the 5K’s.
So how do the 5K’s help to achieve the development
of ones inner-self? Are they still relevant for
this modern world? This question is examined by
highlighting the historical significance, meaning and
functions performed by the 5K’s.
 Kara (Iron/steel bracelet)
This is a steel bracelet usually worn on the right
hand by right handed Sikhs and vice versa.
It is circular in shape reminding Sikhs that God has
no beginning and no end. It is also made of steel/
iron symbolising strength as well as humility, since
steel is affordable. In addition to this, both men
and women wear a Kara, representing equality. The
circle is also associated with unity and a good example
of this is the Olympic flag with its five circles
representing the unity of mankind and that of the
A Kara is firstly a consciousness activation tool. For
example if a Sikh was to try and steal something,
he/she would see their Kara and their consciousness
would remind him/her to not perform the
wrong deed. It is essentially a handcuff given to
Sikhs, by God. Secondly, metal around the wrist
affects the ions in the electromagnetic field, aligning
them and reducing harmful free radicals known
to degenerate cells. Thirdly a large Kara is used in
Shastaar Vidya (Sikh martial arts) and can be used
as a defensive instrument if the need should arise.
 Kachera (Sikh under garments)
This is underwear worn by Sikh women and men
that is made from white cotton and is secured with
The history of long underwear goes back to the Old
Testament which states, "Once they enter the gates of
the inner Court, they are to wear linen vestments,
They shall wear linen turbans, and linen drawers on
their loins." (Ezekiel 44: 18-19)
For the Sikh community, long shorts enabled Sikhs to
run freely in the battlefield. It was better than the
restrictive garments like the dhoti, worn by the other
communities, and therefore provided a military advantage.
It represents the commitment of a Sikh to chastity and
sexual restraint. A Sikh is not allowed to have a sexual
relationship before marriage or commit adultery after
marriage. So wearing a Kachera, is a continual reminder
of this commitment.
A Kachera creates a pocket of air around the thighs
and pelvic area which strengthens the nervous system
and helps to balance the internal temperature. The
knot tied at the navel maintains a pressure over the
diaphragm or solar plexus which can improve digestion.
The ‘Knot of the Guru’ which secures the
Kachera, also provides the wearer with a final conscious
action in the situation where the opportunity for
illicit sex may cause temptation.
 Kangha (small wooden comb)
This is a small comb made of wood, which is kept just
behind the knot of hair (joora) on the head.
In the past, the Sikh community have had to live in
jungles due to a continual threat of extermination. The
possession of a comb ensured that every Amritdhari
Sikh had the ability to maintain their long hair in a
good, clean condition. It is also a good hygiene rule
for everyone to have their own comb.
It represents the importance of discipline and cleanliness.
Amritdhari Sikhs comb their hair twice a day to keep
them clean and to thereby maintain their body temple.
Combing the hair also massages the scalp which
relieves stress. Finally, combing with a wooden
comb smoothes the electrical charge around the
hair, creating a calming effect.
 Kirpan (sacred sword)
This is usually a small single-bladed sword worn by
Richard Burton says, "The history of the sword, is
the history of humanity". Indeed the history and
heritage of the sword goes back to Hinduism, Christianity
and Islam. The Old Testament reads, "For
the Lord accepts the service of the people, He
crowns His humble folk with victory…let the high
praises of God be on their lips and two-edged Sword
in their hands." (Psalms 149, 3-6)
In the past, the Sikh community along with many
other Indian communities have been ruthlessly persecuted.
As a practical solution to this problem, the
10th Sikh Guru said, "If all other means of exhausting
injustice have failed, then it is indeed
righteous to use a sword."
It is this practical ideology which ensured the survival
of Sikh philosophy and many other religions
and cultures. A sword was kept by every Khalsa Sikh
to ensure that they had the ability to protect themselves
and anyone else from tyrants and oppression.
The Sikh Gurus, have used the sword as a metaphor
for God, divine knowledge, strength and justice.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji wrote, "Humility is my spiked
mace, and to be the dust under everyone’s feet, is
my Double-Edged sword. None of the wicked can
withstand this weapon. The perfect Lord has taught
me this." (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, p.628)
The function of the Kirpan is to serve humanity in
the form of protection. Guru Gobind Singh taught
Sikhs that when people have respect and reverence.
 Kesh (hair)
The keeping of long hair is given a great deal of
importance in Sikh dharma. But what is so special
about long hair?
The history of long hair goes back to the Bible. The
Bible talks of a man called Sampson who obtained
supernatural powers through his long hair. His hair
was later cut and consequently he lost his powers.
It is also a fact that most of the world’s prophets
and saints including Jesus, the Sikh Gurus and
Hindu prophets kept uncut hair.
G. A. Gaskell writes, "Hair of the head is a symbol of
faith, intuition of truth, or the highest qualities of
the mind." (Dictionary of all Scriptures)
Sikhs believe God to be a perfect creator. It therefore
follows that whatever God creates is perfect.
The keeping of long hair is therefore, recognition of
God’s perfection and the submission of a Sikh to the
Will of God.
The functions of hair can be divided into 4 categories
which are detailed below:
Male-Female energy balance
The energy of a man is a steady energy like the
light of the sun, whereas the energy of a female is
always changing like the light of the moon. The
female has a 28 menstrual cycle synchronised with
the changing lunar cycle. So nature has decorated a
man with a beard and a moustache to insulate the
lunar nerve which meets at the chin and which carries
a feminine energy from the moon energy.
Just like the skin, the hair helps to synthesize vitamin
D from sunlight and other more subtle forms of
cosmic energy. It also helps to supply the piturarygland
(located in the head) with phosphorous. Phosphorous
is an element which is used in meditation.
Psychic energy enhancement
When our bodies are not required to devote constant
energy to re-growing hairs we would daily cut from
our face, legs, head, and under arms, etc. (depending
on gender) we have greater psychic energy reserves
and resources at our disposal.
The hair on our body regulates body temperature and
our eye lashes, nostril hairs and ear hairs help to keep
out dust particles.
People generally cut their hair to look good for other
people, and look youthful. However, Amritdhari Sikhs
choose to follow a discipline which gives them the
confidence and courage to present themselves to the
world in the way that God has designed them.
Focused creative energy
Sikhs maintain long hair by coiling them up into a knot
(joora/rishi knot) at the top of the head above the
crown chakra (7th chakra). This helps to focus the
creative energy of the body and spirit on the 7th
chakra, which is our link to divinity. The channelled
energy helps to provide better mental focus, and
brings a meditative mind to everything we do. By pulling
the hairs together at the crown, it also decreases
the movement of the skull bones, creating a natural
cranial adjustment, which increases mental equilibrium.
Wearing 5K’s does not automatically make a good Sikh
and in addition to this, wearing the 5K’s without understanding
their purpose is nonsensical. The 5K’s are
not meaningless symbols, but instead are consciousness
activation tools which help us in living a life revolving
around God and submission to God’s Will.
msbath ji ,
u must read book the meaning of amrit ..by kartar singh trnslated by tarlochan singh ..
or autobiography of bahi randhir singh.
ur doubt about getting baptize ll b sort out