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Is Dancing Permitted by the Sikh Religion?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by bgemini36, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. bgemini36

    bgemini36
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    Ok i need some opinions on this topic. i think that Bhangra, hip hop, or any other type of dance is not against the sikh religion. Because i do hip hop and bhangra, soo it is just a way to express your feelings or your passion. At points, i have been told that dancing is against the sikh religion. but the religion also says that stick with your dreams, as long as they dont involve bad intentions. Soo i jus need some i jus need sum advice and opinions..:roll:
     
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  3. Admin Singh

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  4. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    I went and read the "Dancing To The Kirtan" thread. I am totally confused. When I listen to kirtan, I often find my body swaying slightly to the rhythm. Is this dancing? When I walk and jap naam, I find myself walking to the rhythm of my chant. Is this dancing? When I do housework, I often listen to kirtan or jap naam and my motions tend to be with the rhythms being heard Is this dancing?

    To all those, I wouldn't consider them dancing. Dancing is more volitional and recreational, I think. What about religious dance? I believe losing oneself in the dance, as do some ecstatic Sufis and also a few Christian sects, is dangerous, as I believe Sikhi teaches us self-control.

    Another thought just popped into my mind. Two well-matched opponents in gatka really do appear to be dancing.

    So what about non-religious songs? Certainly dancing in a licentious or provocative manner would be strongly discouraged. Personally, I see nothing wrong with "clean" as opposed to "dirty" dancing. Sikhi does not give us rules for every occasion. The SGGS ji is not a rule book. We are given a certain world view, a particular way of being in the world without a lot of "Thou shalt not this..." and "Thou shalt not that," ala the Abrahamic faiths.

    I think intention is that main thing. Why are you dancing? That would be a starting point.

    Dancing in the Darbar Sahib of any gurudwara would be a break of protocol, if not a break of maryada.If your dancing - or dancing around - is disturbing others, I would say to knock it off.

    A bunch of unrelated statements.

    I'll end with, I like dancing. Mani and I used to do a lot of ballroom dancing, crowned with our passe doble with kirpans flashing and our audience - family and friends - always holding their breath to see if either of us were to be seriously injured. We never were, although Mani did once twist his ankle in a waltz.

    I love Sikhi. I love being a Sikh. Sikhi is an exuberant, life-affirming way of life; some form of dance is a natural part of that.

    I guess I go along with Emma Goldman. "If there's no dancing, I don't want your revolution." Or your religion.
     
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  5. harbansj24

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    Mai ji,

    You are right. there is no ban on clean dancing in Sikhi.

    But in the specific instance of dancing to the tune of Gurbani in the presence of SGGS is just not done. Sitting and swaying or nodding while listening to kirtan is a different thing. Even clapping with the tune is not on.

    I am not good in quoting from SGGS, but I do remember a tuk. " Aeh laptang! Nach adharaman!" which roughly translates as "You jumping ***! dance is not the way to worship!" I do not recall any any positive reference to dance in SGGS whereas there are countless references to kirtan.

    I remember Bhai Vir Singh Ji making a specific reference that unlike in Hindu temples where dancing and clapping are specifically encouraged as a mode of worship this should not be done in Sikhism.

    I would like to point out that until earlier part of 20th Century dance in hindu temples was done by " Deva Dasis" who were exploited by pujaris. Later Rukmani Arundale brought it out of temple, converted into art form and so the world famous "Bharat Natyam" was born!
     
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  6. AusDesi

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    Not true for all dance but you're right about Bharat Natyam. Dancing in Hindu temples is not only limited to classic forms like Bharat Natyam. In many traditions especially those related to Krishna like Gaudiya Vasihnavas anyone can dance during kirtans. Also, Garba was tradionally done during Navratri in front of the goddess by the women of the village/locality.
     
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  7. Randip Singh

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    Question should be, is dancing banned by the Sikh religion? :)
     
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  8. spnadmin

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    Deva Dassi's are still "dancing" though perhaps no longer in temples. And the practice is upheld by the international Convention on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, as a way to "protect" familial traditions globally.

    The Devadasi Tradition in Southern India
    Sexual Exploitation and the Devadasi Tradition in Southern India | Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

    If Indian society reveres family and marriage, why do parents facilitate the sexual exploitation of their female children by dedicating them to the Devadasi practice? To answer this question effectively, it is important first to understand the custom. The Devadasi tradition is an ancient practice under which parents dedicate female children to a deity. Although the tradition itself and societies’ view of it have changed over the years, the Devadasi practice continues today and is predominate in parts of southern India.



    Parents devote their children at a young age, dedicating “[n]early 9 out of 10 girls . . . at or before the age of 10.”[24] When parents dedicate their young daughters to the Devadasi practice, the tradition considers the young girls “married” to the goddess of fertility, Yellamma.[25] In fact, the Sanskrit translation of the word “Devadasi” literally translates into “god’s female servant.”[26] Parents give Devadasi children to the temple priests, holy men, and various upper class men in the community, often from the high Brahmin caste.[27] These men are patrons of the girls, giving them gifts in exchange for sexual services.[28] This patronage may last for an hour or years.[29]


    Parents or holy men offer the girls for sexual services after their first menstruation; the Devadasi women end sexual service when they become “too old and unattractive.”[30] Estimates state that most girls are “married” between the ages of eight and twelve, initiated around age fifteen, and finished with their sexual career by the age of thirty.[31] The tradition prohibits Devadasis from marriage, as it considers them married to the deity.[32] Even after women become too old to perform sexual services, they still perform ritual dances, conduct ceremonies, and collect alms at the temple. Throughout their tenure, followers of the tradition view the Devadasis’ services as offerings to the goddess Yellamma.



    Originally, society viewed the Devadasi tradition, and to some extent still views it, as a religious practice. The main Devadasi temple is now in Belguam, Karnataka-Saundatti, India.[33] According to some accounts, the Devadasi practice originated before Hinduism and other religions in India. [34] Eventually, it became a mainstream part of Hinduism in certain regions.[35] Society used to view Devadasis as respected courtesans of the court. [36] They performed ritual ceremonies and dances at their respective temples.[37] The tradition evolved as a manner in which to please the mother goddess, Yellamma and ensure her fertility.[38] Her followers believed active sexual congress was necessary for her fertility.[39] However, throughout history, the practice and beliefs surrounding the tradition transformed because temple priests began losing power and colonialism ensued. As these changes occurred, societies’ view of Devadasis began to change. Presently, a majority of the public views the Devadasi tradition as a form of religious prostitution.



    The Devadasi practice is now illegal in India.[40] In 1984, the Indian government passed the Karnataka Devadasi Act and in 1988, it passed the Andhra Pradesh Devadasi Act.[41] Both acts declared Devadasi dedication ceremonies and forced sexual use of Devadasi girls, with or without consent, unlawful.[42] The acts also permitted Devadasis to marry and deemed their children legitimate, even though they did not carry their fathers’ surname.[43]



    Despite these laws, the Devadasi tradition and the stigmatization that goes along with it continue to flourish in India. Officials rarely enforce the laws outlawing the practice and priests hold the Devadasi ceremonies in seclusion.[44] The practice is prevalent in Karnataka and surrounding states, such as Andhra Pradesh.[45] There are approximately 23,000 Devadasis in Karnataka today and approximately 17,000 in Andhra Pradesh.[46] Illustrating the magnitude of the problem, researchers estimate that the number of Devadasis in Karnataka accounts for approximately 80% of all sex workers in the area.[47] Moreover, Devadasis account for an estimated 15% of all sex workers in India.[48]
     
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  9. max314

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    :rofl!!:
     
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