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Is this the end?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by amarinder, Jun 17, 2014.

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  1. amarinder

    amarinder
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    Jawarlal nehru once said," Most of the big Empires fell not because of external forces but because of the crumbling within."

    Same is true for our religion. We fought the hardest battles but is on the verge to loose because of our own people. In my school's class, out of total 20 boys, 18 were sardars and tied turbans. After 12 class, most of them cut their hair. In my college, 40 boys were from punjab but only 5 were sikhs( an indication that sikh boys that study in good colleges). In my MBA class, all boys were from punjab only 2 are sikhs ,including me.

    In normal punjab collges its the same scenario. Whats shocking is that now even the families either dont object to hair cuts or even tell their own sons to get them cut. Shockingly, some boys even cut their hair in mid twenties after taking care of them for 20+ years.

    The point is 80 percent of the sikh boys have cut their hair in punjab. After getting married, their sons dont grow hair from birth. So, you can say that once a boy get his hair cut we have 90 oercent chance that one entire sikh generation is gone FOREVER. Imagine the case 70 percent sardars are gone within a period of 20 years.

    People who cut their hair are the ones who dont do Nitnem. So, an indication is that 80 percent sikhs dont do nitnem. Again, there guys wont be teaching their children about significance of japji aor Rehras.

    We, the Sardars are on the brink of extinction.
     
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  3. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I am afraid it is much much worse even than that, out of those that continue to keep their hair, and continue to do Nitnem, most have little or no idea what is contained in Nitnem, but carry on doing it and keeping hair regardless, I am sure there are those that will view this situation like yourself, however, Sikhism is not limited to the Punjab, I am confident that in time to come, Punjab will end up with the lowest Sikh population in the world, why? because there is a revolution going on, gone or the days when you could stop a fully turbaned Sikh in the street and be guaranteed a 'Sikh', what you mostly get these days is someone that has been browbeaten into keeping hair and doing Nitnem, either by family or peer pressure, what we need are people that actually want to be Sikhs, people that hunger for it, that need it, rather than those that were born into it and take it for granted, Punjab will simply vanish under a multitude of deras and babas, Sikhism in the Punjab will go full circle, with lots of traditions and rituals, the true meaning of Sikhism will be lost.

    However, outside of Punjab, Sikhism will flourish, will grow, will find its roots, will find the very principles that enabled it to flourish back in the day, Sikhism belongs to the world, not just Punjab.
     
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  4. amarinder

    amarinder
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    I have never been outside punjab. One of the main reason that sikhism is punjab is going down that our society as a whole determines what an individual does in his or her life. While deciding career, we think engineer and doctor get most respect so we do that. We think people with big cars get more respect so we give away our lives to buy big cars and so on.

    One of the major factors that has brought sikhism in punjab to its knees is the NRIs. When these guys left punjab, they had to shorn their hair to get jobs. And their sons born were also clean shaven.When NRI comes to punjab with their families, show off their riches and lavish life style to Rural sikhs, we are in awe. And just want to copy them somehow. And the simplest way is to do shave off hair. And once a brother gets a hair cut, THEN the hair cutting trend spreads like AIDS between his cousins and friends.With each boy telling his mom, see mom "bua ji de munde the v katte le vaal" and then the copy cat trend continues.


    What kind of revolution? NRI's sons and daughters dont give a damn about sikh culture except dancing like peacocks whenever somebody starts playing dhol. Does whites and other race people converting? I dont think so. If 10,000 sikh leave religion, only one converts. I dont think thats good mathematics
     
  5. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Amarinder ji many thanks for your comments, which clearly reflect your concerns, love and affection for Sikhi. I have commented on some of the points you raised (very valid ones, may I add) below. Your comments are in green ink.
    <?"urn:[​IMG]<st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">United Kingdom</st1:country-region> but this is changing. We have new blood flowing into the once arid crops of Sikhi – many Sikhs are doing sterling work towards revival by running schools in Gurdwaras and setting up schools independently of Gurdwaras. When we first arrived in the <st1:country-region w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region>, from <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kenya</st1:country-region>, in the late sixties there were none, within or outside Gurdwaras – now we have hundreds. This is a fact for rejoicing and not getting despondent – true a lot of work still has to be done, and it’s the duty of every individual who believes in cares for Sikhi, in some manner or another, to contribute towards progress and redevelopment of the lost causes. I feel very distressed by comments which generate further despondency and panic amongst the nation. Of course we must be down to earth in recognising and determining our problems and not be unnecessarily over-optimistic. Active participation is essential for every well-meaning Sikh. Just sitting on our cushy chairs and preaching is not enough – we need field work.

    Only this morning I had a conversation with an old schoolmate and dear friend of mine who started knocking all and everyone i.e. how we are sliding on a slope towards disintegration and that this slope is getting steeper and steeper, how the Sikh channels are not doing much for Sikhi and the youth. True, I accepted, but what, I asked him is he doing towards correcting this imbalance – pin-drop silence. Most of us, I am afraid, are quite happy to criticise and denigrate but shy away when it comes to contribution in terms of money and effort.

    (an indication that sikh boys that study in good colleges). In my MBA class, all boys were from punjab only 2 are sikhs ,including me.

    Again this is very true of academic activity in the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region>. I have been involved with colleges and universities in the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region> for over 35 years. I have lectured to very large groups (100 – 150 students) and not a single sabat-surat Sikh to be seen in most lecture theatres but this is changing, new cohorts from the Sixth Form colleges should address this problem – I feel confident things will change for the better.

    Whats shocking is that now even the families either dont object to hair cuts or even tell their own sons to get them cut.

    This is a sad fact – it appears people have become either conditioned to our place/fate in the world or have become far too ‘modernised’ to take their children back into the fold. It would appear the parents are more in need of instruction than the children.

    The point is 80 percent of the sikh boys have cut their hair in punjab …. 70 percent sardars are gone within a period of 20 years.

    Whilst I do not know the statistics but one does not need to know the exact figures to realise what you are saying is correct. We all know the impact of the 1984 tragic events and the subsequent dilution of Sikh values and morale and the drug problems – problems in abundance plus a very divided nation. This is why Sikhs look to the Sikh Diaspora in countries such as the <st1:country-region w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> and the states for solutions and as mentioned above a lot of good work (inter-mingled with issues and problems) is going on in these countries. We all hope our resolve will bring rewards in the near future.

    an indication is that 80 percent sikhs dont do nitnem …. wont be teaching their children about significance of Japji aor Rehras.

    All the more reasons that we help institutions, set up by well-meaning Sikhs, to ‘spread the word’. It is true that there are people in some institutions with vested interests but we must not tarnish all with the same brush. There are some pretty genuine people with the interests of the Panth at heart. We must recognise these and support them in their efforts to revive Sikhi. There will always be some differences within us and so there should be for a healthy environment. However, whatever our view point we must be genuine in our approach – criticising for the sake of criticising for selfish goals is certainly the way forward.

    We have problems and issues in abundance but as a sucker of chardi kala I look forward to greater unity in the Panth.

    The above comments are not aimed at anyone on the forum or otherwise – these are just an expression of my sentiments for the well-being and future of Sikhi. Heartfelt apologise if, inadvertently, I have hurt anyone’s feelings.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’

    PS when posting this I briefly saw your response to Harry ji’s post blaming NRIs – this is exactly the kind of thing we must avoid – well what about Bollywood, an Indian product – perhaps more on this later.
     
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    #4 arshi, Jun 17, 2014
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  6. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Hey don't forget Sikhi is spreading beyond Punjabis :)

    And vast majority of non-Puniabi who become Sikh, take it all the way (because we have been yearning for that personal spiritual connection) so for it's not a cultural or social thing... we are definitely in it to practice it as fully as possible. That's why majority of westerners who become Sikh, also become Amritdhari... and vast majority tie dastars, even women... like myself and that includes all of us who never set foot in a 3HO ashram either! I found it through purely Punjabi sangat.

    There are actually MANY of us.... and maybe when some of the Punjabi Sikhs see us practicing it fully, they will start to come back when they realize what a gem Sikhi really is!
     
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  7. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    great Message Akasha :)

    The world is a constant flow of hot and cold, light and dark, hatred and compassion, revenge and forgiveness...

    for a person to truly recognize divinity or a path to divinity, they often must experience the opposite...

    for we would not know the beauty of light...if we hadn't experienced the dark...

    Let the play unfold...lets keep our connection to naam strong, and continue to inspire others that have fallen into the darkness...it is our duty :) there is always ample opportunity for positive action when everything around us seems so negative...
     
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  8. Abneet

    Abneet
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    I agree that Punjab Sikhs are going downhill and its hitting near rock bottom. The rituals,deras,pakhandi babas, drugs, RSS, female foeticide and Sikh sects are destroying the root of Sikhi in Punjab. But I disagree that Sikhi will be gone from Punjab. I believe and hope that in the future that Sikhi will flourish through Punjab after a reset button occurs (revolution). I wouldn't be surprised if it happens within next 20 years where 75 % of young men are drug addicts and can't find jobs are just lost in life.

    We can say this is the end, but we never knew when is the end. Nobody knows. Those Sikhs in the jungles back in the 1700's who had prices on their heads didn't lose faith. Hey we have been in worse times. This is a very bad time but I can be sure that Sikhi will flourish entirely one day. It will take time indeed. Sikhi isn't a path for everyone remember that. Those who cut their hair we can blame their parents or themselves for forgetting about Guru's teachings. But its partially Khalsa Panth's fault for lack of parchar. Khalsa Panth need to be leaders and an example for those Sikhs who are lost in their faith. As of right now there is lack of that too. Right now the Panth is not doing what its supposed to. But in the future, who knows what can happen. Hope the best for the future of the Panth.
     
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  9. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Although I absolutely agree that full Sikh bana includes the hair, and I concede every argument about why hair should be kept (why would I not, I am after all a Sikh), I also feel that too much is put on the hair as a sign of inner Sikhism. It is possible to follow Guru's teachings whilst not having hair, just as it is possible to ignore Guru's teachings with the biggest juda in the world, making people keep hair is not going to save Sikhism, encouraging people to live good truthful lives so that they yearn to keep their hair is a different matter.

    It is unfortunate that for most people in Punjab, Sikhism is something that has been foisted on them with little or no explanation, on the one hand, they are told that Guru Nanakji liberated them from pointless ritual and superstition, from caste discrimination, to see the sexes as equal, but then on the other hand, they are told to wear articles of clothing, to keep hair, they see their elders being ritualistic, superstitious, they get used to the sadness that surrounds a female birth, the anger when castes intermarry, and who can blame them for wondering that Sikhism is even more ritualistic, superstitious than other religions.

    Without a good Sikh heart, the hair, the kirpans, the kachera, kanga, kara, are all as pointless as the thread that Guru Nanakji allegedly refused to wear on account it would not make him a better person, we have come full circle.
     
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  10. Abneet

    Abneet
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    Sorry I kind of mis-led you on what I meant by that quote. I mean we can blame the parents or the kids for their lack understanding of the guru ji's teachings but who's real fault is it. We don't know it might be due to their past life they have to go through this phase or we can blame (like me) the Khalsa Panth not being there to inspire those Sikhs who have quarreling minds. We are silent as we can be at the moment. Punjabis are still doing marriages based on caste and rituals because they have no guidance. Christian Sikhs in Punjab are being told to keep their turban and beard to fit in but practice Christianity lol. Things are bad in Punjab even sardars are among the drug addicts in Punjab. The thing is who is making it more ritualistic than it was. Who is stopping the Sikhs from doing what they are supposed to do? Is it entirely our fault or is that in the 80's and 90's Indian gov't wiped out 250,000 Sikhs and now we are left with these kind of Sikhs.....

    I agree with you keeping hair is not what we should encourage other Sikhs to do first of most things. Just like parchariks these days that say chak amrit only. Then they don't care about what you do afterwards. Sikhs who are infused in worldy affairs at the moment need that guidance to understand gurmat and live by the rules of gurmat. If I was to do parchar on a mona I wouldn't tell him to keep his hair first. I would teach him and led him on the right path that our Gurus have laid down for us and eventually he would understand himself the important of keeping kesh (hopefully lol). Most turbaned Sikhs shave and a lot drink by the way, but they remember their Guru and come to gurdwara often and etc.. But 75% monas are not interested in Sikhi and do shave and drink atleast in my country I know. Very few monas do naam japna and read Bani and I utterly respect them for that.
     
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Sorry, I do not understand what their past life would have to do with it?

    Can you please define Khalsa Panth?

    You make Sikhs sound like village idiots with no brains for themselves, no one needs to stop Sikhs doing anything, Sikhs need to start thinking for themselves

    I am a mona, I think the thought of you doing parchar on me is probably enough for me to start growing my hair lol

    oh thats ok then!

    why?
     
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  12. Abneet

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    Of course if you believe in karma and reincarnation like Sikhs are supposed to you would understand as I remember to don't believe in that.

    The Khalsa Panth is the worlwide community of Khalsa members. Whos job is supposed to fight and serve the weak and also do parchar so Raaj comes. Right now there isn't no organized Khalsa Panth as again I mentioned 250,000 Sikhs mostly beard and turbans were killed in Punjab leaving the Sikhs in a bad state.

    Sikhs are partially to blame for our weak leadership. RSS and other missionaries pouring into Punjab is happening with a purpose. Them distorting school books about our guru's history is quite the problem. Other stuff too that Indian gov't has been doing in this "silent genocide".

    Doing parchar on you would be a big task eh?

    No its not okay for those Sikhs with hair to do those things. but they need guidance to take the next step. I meant i respect the few monas that do naam simran or seva atleast thats only 5% of the total.
     
    #11 Abneet, Jun 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  13. gur_meet

    gur_meet India
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    Just a thought and a question to ponder.

    When does a person begins to change ?


    By change here means starts to keep hair, go for amrit , begins to do regular nitnem simran and vichar , ...

    Is it by listening to parchar.
    Is it when facing a Dukh ( suffering ) or a problem.
    Is it ' follow the group" - at peer level others are doing so.
    Does the intention to change as such come from within or is external influence .
     
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  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Reincarnation and karma are questioned by many Sikhs, not just me

    please define 'raaj comes'
     
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  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    when living by the self causes so many problems, when ego, pride, lust eat into your life so much that every day is hell, when you have a mountain of consequences from actions encouraged by the self, when, towards the end, you yearn for something clean, something pure, when you start to wash yourself with the soap of truth, when you realise the difference between the truth and the self, then, in my opinion, you begin to change
     
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  16. Awakeand Singh

    Awakeand Singh United States
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    I'd like to hear your definition of "self". It seems to me that you're making it synonymous with "ego". "Self", to me , represents that entirely-conscious aspect of being which views the ego and its unconscious, auto-pilot machinations, impressions, judgements, comparisons and fears. The overwhelming majority of us live almost our entire lives in ha'umai (ego, for lack of a better term). That "self" is precisely that which is the, "something clean, something pure", of which you speak.

    If you haven't seen it already I strongly recommend, "A New Earth", by Eckhardt Tolle, in which this idea is brilliantly elucidated, and which - to my mind - expounds the ideas put forth by the Gurus in easily-accessible contemporary language. It's not the first time I've flogged this book on these pages, and I'd like to know if others have gained the same impression.
     
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  17. gur_meet

    gur_meet India
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    Gurbani explains it in a different way. The word Haumai is often translated as ego in the absence of another suitable word means a separate self-identity . It is more equivalent to the word "I " . Gurbani explains the true nature of the individual as ' Jyote swaroope " - like saying a drop of the big ocean but being unaware of true nature because of presence of Haumai.

    The direction which gurbani takes is of purity within and purity in the world . There is direction towards oneness.

    I have not read the book but did looked at what was inside in a book store. There were some similar looking ideas being explained but having known gurbani it appeared dry .

    In gurbani "living by the self" means being manmukh.
     
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  18. Abneet

    Abneet
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    Raaj comes when we start doing what our Gurus told us to do.
     
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  19. gur_meet

    gur_meet India
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    Awakeand Singh ji

    Looked at the contents of the book "A New Earth", by Eckhardt Tolle online. Feels good that there is more and more thought towards oneness . There is also a chapter on illusionary self.

    About Haume gurbani says ( here also translator has used word ego )

    ਮਹਲਾ ੨ ॥
    Mehalaa 2 ||
    Second Mehl:
    ਹਉਮੈ ਏਹਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
    Houmai Eaehaa Jaath Hai Houmai Karam Kamaahi ||
    This is the nature of ego, that people perform their actions in ego.

    ਹਉਮੈ ਏਈ ਬੰਧਨਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੋਨੀ ਪਾਹਿ ॥
    Houmai Eaeee Bandhhanaa Fir Fir Jonee Paahi ||
    This is the bondage of ego, that time and time again, they are reborn.

    ਹਉਮੈ ਕਿਥਹੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਕਿਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਇਹ ਜਾਇ ॥
    Houmai Kithhahu Oopajai Kith Sanjam Eih Jaae ||
    Where does ego come from? How can it be removed?

    ਹਉਮੈ ਏਹੋ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਪਇਐ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਫਿਰਾਹਿ ॥
    Houmai Eaeho Hukam Hai Paeiai Kirath Firaahi ||
    This ego exists by the Lord's Order; people wander according to their past actions.

    ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥
    Houmai Dheeragh Rog Hai Dhaaroo Bhee Eis Maahi ||
    Ego is a chronic disease, but it contains its own cure as well.

    ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਜੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਤਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
    Kirapaa Karae Jae Aapanee Thaa Gur Kaa Sabadh Kamaahi ||
    If the Lord grants His Grace, one acts according to the Teachings of the Guru's Shabad.

    ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਜਨਹੁ ਇਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਦੁਖ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੨॥
    Naanak Kehai Sunahu Janahu Eith Sanjam Dhukh Jaahi ||2||
    Nanak says, listen, people: in this way, troubles depart. ||2||
    ਆਸਾ ਕੀ ਵਾਰ: (ਮ: ੨) ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੪੬੬ Page 466


    The Change comes when kirpa is there.


    Now to the topic. Sikhi came into existence with Guru Nanak . In the course of history there would be changes. Some would leave and some would come. At one place siks would be less while at other new ones would come. Guruji were for a better world and better humans.
     
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  20. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    to me the definition of the self is just that, the self, as in selfish, self self self, me, me me, as opposed to the truth, which can include the self, which can include anything, provided it is true
     
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  21. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    ok, sorry to be pedantic, but what is Raaj? you have explained how to bring about Raaj, but what is Raaj?
     
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