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Is a lion really that brave ??

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Jan 2, 2005.

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  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    All of us have often heard stories about how we SINGHS are lions..because lions are brave, awe inspiring etc etc. Anyone who has watched National Geographic or Disney's Discovery Channel Documentaries or Animal Planet...will tll you that the LION is the LAZIEST, greediest animal...a lion NEVER hunts..he lets his lionesses hunt for him....and then GRABS the "LION'S SHARE" ( which is sometimes the whole carcass) for himself before he lets the females eat..

    Lions as a Species sleep the most and lions are NOT particularly brave...it is just their relative bigger size that intimidates others..who are better hunters like the cheetah, leopard etc. And lions will run away from their prey when a group of wild dogs hyenas arrive..

    Looking at thse charecteristics of lions, i find it hard to convince my students that GURU GOBIND SINGH JI really modelled us after lions ??

    Secondly we have heard stories "praising" horses, swans, etc and "deriding" donkeys, cranes, crows etc. We are supposed to be "horses" and not "donkeys"..WHY ?? arent Donkeys a perfectly good hard working species..it is just man's perception that we prefer horses because it can run faster and is used in war...but a donkey can work harder and longer... in fact a mule is unchallenged in certain types of mountain climbing/load carrying etc.

    And being "swans" is ok but cranes have their place too...and what would we do without scavengers like crows..it is just like saying we must all be "brahmins"...but then who would carry our scavenging work if everybody became brahmins.. every species and everything created by GOD has its rightful place.. i think it is wrong to place preferences...how would you feel if you were a "donkey" and everybody preferred the "horse" and ignored you ?? or everybody rushed to admire the "brave lion" and left you hanging out with the hyenas..

    Just some random thoughts inspired by the questions little minds ask me during gurbani paath classes... and i am still seeking answers ??
     
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  3. muslim

    muslim
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    good point
     
  4. Eclectic

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    Maybe a tiger would do? I mean, Im not saying one should just go and change aspects of their religion...I think in the past that has caused way too much trouble.:down:
     
  5. Singhstah

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    Maybe the reason guroo sahib chose lion because lion is the king of the jungle, and it dosent go around picking fights, and no one fights them cause they know theyll get killed and if the lion needs to it will attack. And i dont think guroo sahob actually modelled us after lions he just wanted us to be brave like them, were meant to be like in the shabad all about wat the khalsa shud be like,i cant rember wat it is called though.
     
  6. GushK

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    I think it's not to do with what they're actually like but what they are meant to represent. In most people's eyes a lion represents pride, power and strength.
    ( ever watch the Lion King? :D )

    Similarly, just as being a sardar meant having a higher status and respect (doesn't mean it actually did in every case) but that's why in 1699, every sikh was made a sardar....to uplift a nation
     
  7. drkhalsa

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    Very well said!!!

    It is interesting that same question came to me many years back when I was watching Discovery channel in India



    Talleyrand
    I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.

    It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life. - Elizabeth Kenny

    It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions. - Daniel Defoe

    Join the company of lions rather than assume the lead among foxes. - The Talmud

    Arab proverb: Quotes on Leadership
    An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.

    A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring
    lion when he discovers a mistake of others.
    -- Albert Einstein, quoted in Ehlers, Liebers Hertz





    Christ as Lion

    (From Forerunner Commentary) 1 Peter 5:8 (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)


    Christ is also symbolized as a lion, but not as a lion seeking to devour. Lion for Christ is used in the sense of "controlled, majestic power," but for Satan it is the symbol for one who is ruthless, stealthy, powerfully aggressive, bent on defending its turf, and destruction, often working from ambush. There are many similarities with the attributes of the "serpent."

    A pride of lions will stalk and attack animals that are larger than they are—including wildebeest and water buffalo weighing thousands of pounds. It is a beautiful, deadly sight to watch lions working together as a team to bring a water buffalo down.

    When lions attack, they do so through multiple attacks from every side. Eventually, one lion gets a grip on the throat of the water buffalo and kills it by strangulation. It is a slow and painful death. The water buffalo goes down, and the lions begin eating it before it is dead.

    Satan is a lion, roaring, looking for and stalking whom he may devour. Male lions will even eat the young of their own pride to establish their dominance. It does not matter that they are related. If they are hungry, and a little kitten is around . . . one bite and it is gone.


    John W. Ritenbaugh
    The Spiritual Mark of the Beast



    2 Peter 1:19-21 (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)


    It is from verse 20 in particular that we derive the principle that the Bible interprets itself. This means that somewhere within the pages of Scripture, the timing, the location, the characters, and the symbols employed in symbolic texts like parables and prophecies are explained or defined. It is our job to search them out.

    When we add the following three vital verses to our understanding of this principle, however, we end up with a very significant corollary:

    u For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. (Malachi 3:6)
    u Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
    u Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

    Each of these verses proclaims God as constant, consistent, unchanging. It is this quality of God—that He is faithful to what He is—that allows us to trust Him. We can have confidence in God and His Word because He never changes! Could we rely upon a double-minded God (see James 1:6-8)? Could we have faith in a Being who constantly blew hot and cold? Never! With our God, though, we need not fear inconsistency.

    Thus, if God is constant and His Word interprets itself, the corollary principle is that the Bible's interpretation of its symbols is consistent. This must be true! If the Bible gave us two contradictory interpretations of a symbol, how could we ever feel confident that we understood its meaning? This corollary underscores II Peter 1:19, where the apostle informs us that "the prophetic word [is] more sure" than even eyewitness accounts! We can have confidence in our understanding of the prophecies and parables if the symbols we interpret match what we understand in other areas of Scripture. Otherwise, we could never be sure!

    This means that every symbol from Genesis to Revelation is consistent in its interpretation. If a rose means something in one part of the Bible, it will mean the same elsewhere, though the context may modify it slightly. If God is consistent, His Word—His revelation of Himself to us—must also therefore be consistent.

    This conclusion may raise some questions. How can that be? How can, for instance, a lion represent Satan in I Peter 5:8 and Jesus Christ in Revelation 5:5? Is that not contradictory? Not at all! Our understanding is correct, but the meaning we give to the symbol is wrong. We have defined it too narrowly.
    A study of the symbol of the lion brings out several characteristics the Bible emphasizes: It represents strength, predatory ferocity, majesty, and leadership. The lion is the symbol of a ruler, a king, and often a very fierce and powerful one. These are the general meanings of the symbol based on a lion's traits. They help us to comprehend what God wants us to focus on in the context. Thus, a lion can represent both Satan and Jesus because they both have a lion's characteristics.

    It wasn't a human solution, but a divine one. Once again God surprised him. But the surprises continue: What did a lion mean to John? What does a lion represent to us? For John's contemporary civilization, a lion represented fierceness and the power. There is nothing to be more feared than a hungry lion; it is respected by all animals. It is an animal that represents sovereignty. (In our days, England is represented by a lion on its national shield, and it is historically a country of war). So John would justify his joy thinking: "finally at the end of human history, of sin, of man's filthiness, the murder of Jesus Christ, the persecution against the church and of its martyred saints, etc, they are re-vindicated by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior. Therefore, that which best represents Him is a lion; it was a guaranteed result, the sovereign over all.






    Richard T. Ritenbaugh
    Parables and Prophecy





    This conclusion may raise some questions. How can that be? How can, for instance, a lion represent Satan in I Peter 5:8 and Jesus Christ in Revelation 5:5? Is that not contradictory? Not at all! Our understanding is correct, but the meaning we give to the symbol is wrong. We have defined it too narrowly.

    A study of the symbol of the lion brings out several characteristics the Bible emphasizes: It represents strength, predatory ferocity, majesty, and leadership. The lion is the symbol of a ruler, a king, and often a very fierce and powerful one. These are the general meanings of the symbol based on a lion's traits. They help us to comprehend what God wants us to focus on in the context. Thus, a lion can represent both Satan and Jesus because they both have a lion's characteristics.



    What Judaism says about it



    Let us look at one song from Perek Shirah:

    "The lion is saying, 'God shall go out as a mighty man, he shall arouse zeal, he shall cry, even roar; he shall prevail over his enemies (Isaiah 42:13)."
    Called the king of beasts, the lion is the most feared predator. Formally abundant in the land of Israel, no prey was too large for the lion to tackle. Scripture constantly uses the metaphor of the lion to represent great power:

    "The lion is the mightiest of animals, and turns away before no-one." (Proverbs 30:30)
    Likewise, when the Mishnah wishes to instruct us in the trait of might, it finds no better example than the lion:

    Yehudah ben Teimah said: Be as mighty as a lion... to fulfill the will of your Father in Heaven. (Mishnah, Pirkei Avos 5:24)
    But what is this might that is required of us? Surely working on physical power is not the object of this Mishnah. Fortunately, the Mishnah elsewhere gives us a definition:

    Who is mighty? He that conquers his [evil] inclination...(Mishnah, Pirkei Avos 4:1)
    The might of which we are speaking is an inner strength that enables one to defeat one's baser drives. Physical power is nothing to be proud of; it is simply a gift from God. It is only inner might, which man exercises through his own free will, of which he can justly be proud.

    But if this is the case, does the lion represent the point that is being made? Certainly; for it is not the physical prowess of the lion at which we are marveling, either, but rather a different trait that is unique to the lion of all big cats. Consider the following discussion by a behavioral zoologist:

    "Hitherto we have known little more than the savage side of big cats, for we have relied on the stories of big-game hunters. But in recent years zoologists have been investigating a multitude of astonishing details in the tender family life of lions... The lion is undoubtedly a creature with a highly aggressive disposition. But within his clan he controls his bloodthirstiness so effectively that he can be called a friendly, even a tender-hearted beast. What is it that inhibits his aggressiveness when in the presence of fellows he knows well?" (Vitus B. Droscher, The Friendly Beast, W. H. Allen & Company, London: 1970)
    The lion is termed mighty, not because of its great physical strength, but because it can act with restraint despite it. This power, to subdue and override the animalistic drives that try to destroy us, is the leonine trait that we are encouraged to emulate.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The two types of lion power, the outer strength that it uses in hunting and the inner might that it uses to subdue itself with other lions, reflect two ways in which God relates to the world.

    The internal might of the lion is demonstrated by God when we are in exile. The wicked nations inflict suffering on His chosen people and abuse His holy places. Yet God does not avenge His honor, but controls his anger and tolerates their wickedness (for the sake of the needs of our exile).

    Moshe said, "The great, mighty and awesome God" (Deuteronomy 10:17)... Daniel came and said, "The nations are subjugating His children; where is His might?" And he did not say "mighty." Then the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah came and said, "On the contrary, that is His might; for He subdues His inclination and is slow to anger with these wicked ones." (Talmud, Yoma 69b)

    The only external lion power present during exile is that manifest by the nations that subjugate us:

    Yirmiyah saw Babylon as a lion, as it is written, "The lion arose from the thicket" (Yirmiyah 4:7). (Midrash Vayikra Rabbah 13:5)
    At the time of redemption, however, God will manifest the external power of the lion, when He exacts retribution from the evil nations. It is this which is heralded by the song of the lion: "God shall go out as a mighty man, He shall arouse zeal, He shall cry, even roar, He shall prevail over His enemies."


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, let us note a very simple point. Lions are very scary animals. We may have a watered



    So We can see that in all religious philosophy Christianity , Judaism and even in new age scientist like einstien used the metaphor of lion so it is just a metaphor and there is nothing we should stick to like some religions have stuck to it with pregudice whether ina positive or negative sense

    HINDUS -- COWS, monkeys , rats
    Muslims -- Pigs and donkey


    But in sikhism there is no such prejudiced sticking and there is no harm in what LION Represents to be

    I think this clears the matter and also give lot of answers to Gyani Jarnail Singh to give to their students


    with Regards
    jatinder
     
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  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh.


    A very big thank you to all of you. Most refreshing thoughts and ideas prersented. My students will have a gala time discussing so much.

    Reading the line about the army of 100 lions led by a sheep...brought to mind the KHALSA RAAJ ARMY fighting the BRITISH...led by sheep(traitors) like Dogra Generals laall Singh and Gen Tej singh. Verily the Brave Lions LOST due to the incompetence and cowardice of the SHEEP Generals.

    See how Muslim kavi Shah muhammed writes an eye wittness account of this battle:

    Jang Hind Punjab da hon laggah
    Dovenh faujaan dekho bhaarian neh,
    AAj hoveh SARKAAR taan mull paveh
    Tegaan jo Singhaan ne mariyaehn neh....

    Singhaan, WANG NIMBOOAN ,
    lahoo gorian de nichor sutteh
    EK Sarkaar bajhohn
    faujaan jit ke aant nu harain neh...

    the British lost over 700 white soldiers and officers at this one battle in the Anglo-Sikh War ( the Single BIGGEST loss ever for the British Army ever in India)...and the British would have left India that fateful day had the traitors not sopunded the bugle for retreat and led the fresh forces back across the sutlej and left the field frot eh British to stage a comeback.

    So once again a big thank you.

    Jarnail Singh
     
  9. Lion King

    Lion King
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    Sat Sri Akal,

    From what I know, the male lion was never made to hunt, its physique was made only for combat. Male lions usually don't survive till old age. They solely live, for the sake of the protection of the kingdom or its annexation. Lions are very graceful and majestic in its build, and also bold, true to its name. A lion is bold and direct, i.e. if you compare it to the tiger. The tiger is more sly and mysterious - according to its habitat of the undergrowth; but a lion is bold by necessity that it lives in the open grasslands and can never hide its massive build.

    Felines, the whole cat family, have a lot of grace and majesty in their gait/walk, but this majesty is most obvious in the build and the mane of the male lion, else a lion's mane has less significance in such a tropical grassland.

    Bhul chuk maaf,
    Lion King
     
  10. rosethorne

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    WJKK WJKF, Dear Lion KingJi, Very well said it is. Truly the genuine idea of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, is yet to be revealed by Gursikhs. Because Satguru himself was having a majestic and magnetic appearance. We just can feel that Highly true Satguru, He was having so many things that was in his perception was so different by the other writers of all times. He was so magnifiscent in His thaughts that we have no idea of His Super Thaughts and visions. Actually it is true that Lions are not made for Hunting, They are having a lot of grace and majesty in their gait/walk. They solely live, for the sake of the protection of the kingdom or its annexation. Very true but every Gursikh when they are watching anything on any TvChannel, on which they got any idea related to Guru Sahebaan then one must see the whole aspect not the only visual aspect. In my view, we are Just humans, not capable to find the real feeling of our GuruSahebaan. Thats why we just need to rely onto SGGSahebJiMaharaj, And if we just look onto the Life of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Saheb, Then we feel that we are mistaken. WJKK WJKF.
     
  11. hps62

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    DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER

    ssakal

    I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS THOUGHT COULD COME FROM A SIKH .

    IT ONLY SHOWS WE ARE COMING OF AGE.

    We need every one to form a society .
    warriors , doctors ,engineers, scientist ,labrourer , frmers, enterprenurer , adveneturer ,sportsman, Jokers , singers , philosopher, intelleuctal etc

    Life is as big as your conception.
    Let us not restrict the only quality the sikh possess is that he is a Lion.

    Let us be a holistic society in which we are proud of doing what ever is by truthful means it would be spiritually rewarding.

    Let us also invent new roles still to be invented by mankind.

    The pulse of life should be felt from all angles and quarters

    luv

    hps62
     
  12. Lionchild

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    thanks for pointing that out...

    a random thought... we have always been tought that singh should be part of our last names for nales. It means lion, so if that's true - than we can name ourselves lion in any language!

    So for me, i was thinking lionchild, for others in other areas it could be - shishi, 狮, лев or whatever is suitable for the person.

    Some ppl might look down on this, but they do mean the same thing, isnt that the whole point?
     
  13. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh
    Then it is good to have name Darcy Leo.
    for African say Simon Osio Simba

    For Farsi Akaran Sheer.

    Say in Hindi das still remians Vijaydeep Singh but in Tamil Vijaydeep Singham/n.


    Das votes for you as aye!.
     
  14. Lionchild

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    lol, i actually still prefer sngh... but some ppl might want otherwise :rofl:

    I've heard about a sikhi huy called kaur singh, why woul dhe use both?
     
  15. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh

    Kaur is term for Kawar or prince and actual term for princess is Kuwari or Kumari but in Hindi such slangs are OK as both Kaur may mean Prince or princess.
     
  16. explorer

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    Respected Gyaani ji,

    Although I am not much aware of gurbani in depth, however I undertsand one thing is that Human being is the highly accliamed creation of God as said in AGGS.

    Now as far as the question of "Sikhs being a lion" is concerned its use have been more metaphoric rather than in the charatcteristic sense.

    The reference to other animals like Elephant(refers to lust), crow(refers to foul language), cuckoo(refers to "Birha") etc also have been used in the same sense.

    Guru Sahib ji wanted his Singhs to become his own roop(Sant-Sipahi) and not the animal "lion"(only showing ferocity).

    The lion part should be limited to metaphoric value(to cite a point) that they are not like sheeps and not to be reflected in actual sense as it has itw own bearings.

    With Regards,
    Tejpal Singh
     
  17. Sikh Namdhari

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    Sat-Sri-Akaal Gyaniji

    I think 'Singh' means Tiger, not Lion.

    Thought inspiring article all the same!
     
  18. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh

    Singh is lion.In Farsi term for it is Sher.

    The Tiger is meant by Bagh in Hindi or Vyaghra in Sanskrit and farsi term is Babber.India Singh is only fouynd in Gir Forest of Gujrat while Bagh is seen in mnay parts of India.
     
  19. bulleshah

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    The lion is the laziest of all creatures.
    And needs about for wives to satiate
    it's hunger for sex.

    Thanks.
     

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