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Moving Forward, Or Sliding Backward

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

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    Moving Forward, Or Sliding Backward
    by T. SHER SINGH




    I was not surprised to see Rajesh Mehta at the gurdwara. I knew he occasionally attended the Sunday morning services, and sometimes even dropped in at other hours.

    After the kirtan, we headed for the langar hall together.

    We are close friends and there was a lot to talk about and catch-up this time around. However, during a lull in the conversation - it must have been when I was engrossed in lapping up the heavenly daal - the discussion took an unusual turn.

    "You know, Sher, I'm a Hindu but I love coming here because the kirtan and being amidst the sangat brings me peace. But I've often wondered: do you ever go to a mandir? Any Hindu temple?"

    "Why do you ask, Raj?" I was doing my lawyer thing, I guess - answering a question with a question, to bide time.

    "Oh, it just hit me ... I've never seen you at my mandir. And I've never heard you talk about visiting one, ever. So, just curious ..."

    "Well," I said, "You know, I have visited the most famous of them all. At Badrinath, in the upper Himalayas. I was in the vicinity - a mere two days' trek away - when I was in Hemkunt, and took a diversion to Badrinath. Have you been there?"

    "No, I haven't. You are lucky you had the opportunity!"

    I continued quickly, thinking I was on a roll: "And I've been to Hardwar, and Benares, and Gaya ... all major centres of Hindu pilgrimage. And umpteen ones in Bali and Nepal. You know I love visiting any place of worship!"

    "No, no!" piped in Raj. "I didn't mean as a tourist. Like me ... the way I pop in here every time the spirit moves me. I wonder if you EVER go to a Hindu mandir the way I come to a gurdwara."

    I went quiet, contemplative quiet, not sure what I should say.

    "For example, when was the last time you were in a mandir?"

    I thought about it and shrugged my shoulders.

    Raj: "H-m-mm. So tell me, have you ever been to a mandir in all the years you've been living in Canada? Thirty years, forty years ...?"

    I could see where he was heading, and didn't want to go there. I knew he knew the answer, and I wasn't willing to be drawn into a discussion on the issue.

    He looked at me and elbowed me gently. "Never? You haven't gone to a mandir here once, have you?"

    I shook my head in agreement.

    "How come?" I knew this was coming.

    "I don't know, Raj. I really don't know ... No particular reason, I guess."

    Mercifully, he dropped the subject. We got up and headed for the door.

    I was relieved, because Raj is dear to me and I didn't want to say anything that would turn into an argument over religion. Or hurt his sentiments.

    Ever since - and its been several months since that exchange - my thoughts have gone back to his question.

    I have searched deep into myself for the answer. I too have wanted to know the answer, because it was true - I do not enjoy going to a mandir, except as a tourist! - and it looks like I've subconsciously avoided going to one. It has no spiritual draw for me.

    I've struggled long and hard for an honest answer.

    And when I found one, it didn't surprise me - even though it took me a while to be comfortable with it. And accept it as the very part of my being. What shapes me, guides me, directs me ... in all that I do.

    I haven't dared to share this discovery of myself with Raj because I fear that he may not welcome it, or it may hurt him a bit. I value our friendship too much for me to risk treading on what is dear to him.

    But, if I ever have the courage to give him the answer one day, here's what it'll be:

    Well Raj, here's what I think. I think it is easy for you to come to a gurdwara, even though you are a Hindu. Each time you step over the portal of a gurdwara, you step five centuries into the future, and into a world which has peeled off thousands of years of onion layers of ritual and superstition to get to a simple and direct relationship between oneself and one's spiritual needs.

    On the other hand, every time I find myself stepping into a mandir, I see myself stepping back half a millennium into the past, leaving behind generations of human and spiritual progress, of all of the shedding of historical baggage that our ancestors have helped to do away with.

    Standing in front of the idols and surrounded by the rituals and superstitions, I would feel a stunning sense of betrayal to all that I have inherited and learned since my birth.

    I pass no judgement in what you do in a mandir, or as part of your faith and beliefs. But I certainly know for sure that it is not a path that I wish to tread.

    It's a choice of moving forward with five hundred years of progress. Or sliding back five hundred years of regression!

    And rest assured that though I choose a different path than yours, this path requires me to protect YOUR right to practice YOUR faith as YOU deem fit, within YOUR mandirs and anywhere else you choose, no matter who - I or anyone else! - finds it difficult to understand or follow. To defend your right to the death, as did our Ninth Master in Chandni Chowk in the heart of Delhi, and as countless others have done since then and through the centuries.

    It gives me no great pleasure to tell you that my knees simply will not bend, my head will just not bow, before an idol, no matter how beautiful, how tall, how rich ...

    I believe that no other entity - man, woman, child or object - can help solve my problems or wash my sins away. There's no prophet or priest, sant or saint, idol or icon, that can bring me prosperity, stave off evil, punish my enemies, get me a promotion, bring me wealth, or guarantee me salvation, etc., etc.

    Life doesn't work by proxy for me. There are no interceders for me - not even Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind Singh.

    All that I have going for me is the way they have shown, which I have to follow and, if I do what I have to do, I will be able to achieve what they themselves achieved.

    Yes, I pray for grace ... but from no flesh or stone or icon.

    I need no broker. God - call Him/Her what you will - for me is not hiding behind gimmicks, like the Great and Powerful, Supreme Wizard of the Kingdom of Oz. He is as accessible - as directly and easily - as a father and mother, sister and brother, friend and lover.

    It's a very personal relationship. Therefore, I need to walk the walk ... myself! I will pay for my wrongs ... and learn from them. I will benefit from the good that I do.

    The gurdwara that I go to - and not all gurdwaras fit that bill - facilitates my journey. A mandir has nothing to offer me on the journey I have chosen.

    * * * * *


    I am not, and never have been, blessed with the gift of certainty in all the things that I believe in and follow. I know that, more often than not, I'll be wrong and, from time to time, I'll have to regroup with all of my faculties and start all over again.

    Accordingly, what I have stated above is how I feel and what I believe in. Honestly.

    I shared it all with a Sikh friend the other day to see if it met the test of the light of the day.

    He pounced on me as soon as I finished, and instantly accused me of betraying all that Sikhi stood for - by being intolerant of other faiths.

    I begged to differ.

    Sikhi demands that I be tolerant - and more! Actually respectful! - of other faiths. Which I am. I revel in the devotion and faith and commitment others show, in their respective ways, to their spiritual path. And get inspiration from it.

    But Sikhi at no point requires me to delve in those practices as a show of support or empathy.

    The passionate verses of the Bhagats Namdev, Ravidas and other great Hindu souls included in the Guru Granth, drench me in joyful tears and inspire me along my own path, but at no point do I then adopt the very rituals they delved in (and overcame).

    Moreover, I do not criticize Hindu - or any other - forms of worship. I do not advocate any opposition to it amongst those who practice them. I neither proselytize nor preach.

    Yes, I do try to discern for myself and share with my fellow-Sikhs what is true, unadulterated Sikhi and what isn't - and I try to add to the dialogue for those who wish to know about Sikhi.

    And yes, I do tear off the veils of pakhand (hypocrisy) and fraud, no matter which mantle the scoundrel throws on his shoulders - Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jew or whatever - but never, NEVER do I give myself or anyone the license to decry another's religion.

    Thus, for example, it is no right of mine to question the worship of idols BY Hindus. But I do question when the worship of idols is used as a front for insurance scams by insuring those very idols for millions of dollars.

    I do not question the Hindu practice of worshipping a multiplicity of gods and goddesses, but I do take umbrage with charlatans who prey on those very human sentiments to scam millions of dollars from their devotees thus blinded by their devotion.

    And so on and so forth.

    Someday, I hope, I'll have the courage to tell dear Raj to his face my answer to his question.

    In the meantime, I await your judgements ... and continue to hide behind the pseudonym I have assigned him for the purpose of this exercise.


    October 19, 2010
    http://www.sikhchic.com/columnists/moving_forward_or_sliding_backward
     

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  3. findingmyway

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    This is an excellent question and one that I have been pondering for sometime.

    My Amritdhari friend who grew up in India thinks its not right for a Sikh to be seen in a mandir as he feels it endorses their belief system. I think his concern is the increasing Hindutva influence on Sikhi he has seen over time.
    I have grown up in a multicultural society so didn't think anything of visiting a mandir, Buddhist temple, synagogue, masjid, church, cathedral. If we expect people to show us understanding and respect we should do the same courtesy back and by visiting out of curiosity I have learnt a lot about people from other faiths. I do not actively go to the other places. Mainly when invited or as a tourist as I prefer the Gurdwara.

    What are other people's thoughts?
    Jasleen
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    I personally attend another place of worship, and in fact attend, only for the marriage or funeral of a close non Sikh friend or family member. Perhaps I would attend an inter-faith convocation dedicated to a important social cause.
     
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  5. dalbirk

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    A very good article by T.Sher Singh Ji . It almost endorses all of my feelings regarding a Sikh visiting any Hindu temple in particular . Going to a temple is like sliding back by at least three millenium not just five hundred years
     
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  6. spnadmin

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    There is a genuine impulse in reflecting on one's feelings when entering another place of worship, as you imply. The questions for me are something like this.

    It is a test of where and how often I feel connected to what is divine.

    Do I connect with anything in this place? Does it feel sacred to me? Am I sliding backward in time? Perhaps I am sliding to nowhere, neither forward nor backward nor sideways? If I cannot feel myself making any connection at all, then what am I doing in this place? If I feel nothing, should I not admit that is my personal truth and just stay away?
     
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  7. sunmukh

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    Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

    This is a very pointed issue raised by T. Sher Singh ji. It has great ramifications

    If one posts on a Sikh forum, claims he/she is spiritually moved by entry into a Hindu mandir, (or other temple of any other faith than a Sikh gurdwara) then one is likely to be branded as one who lets the side down, unreliable, a weak sikh or even non-sikh.

    If on the other hand one claims he/she never has anything to do with any other religion, perhaps on the basis that it can do nothing for the person, or perhaps because the other faith is claimed to be backward or superstitious, then one could be branded as intolerant, or close-minded.
    It is a no win situation. There is no middle ground that allows for full respect for all faiths, whilst continuing with practice of one's own, which in the case of Sikhi I believe to be respect for all Guru Sahiban and simple worship of the Lord. Nevertheless I am convinced this was the intention of Guru Nanak Dev ji, to emancipate people from the chains of ritual and superstition, and from reliance upon middlemen, and I feel T Sher Singh ji is also expressing that sentiment.

    I have seen in the period of two short years that I have been posting on a sikh forum, and now this one, that I have been targetted by Sikhs whenever I have not toed the line of Sikhs who follow rehat.

    Even on this forum, in at least a couple of my posts when I have made comparisons with Hinduism, have been queried with an almost paranoid intonation that some form of harm will come to Sikhi if common features are actually found between the two faiths.
    This has been most disconcerting, and in my own humble opinion, there will be non amritdhari sikhs, like me, who will actually spurn Sikhi because of the attitudes of gatekeepers to Sikhi.

    At the same time these very same gatekeepers bewail the continual loss of potential sikhs to deras, and other faiths, yet in my own opinion it their own perpertual and incessant dwelling on what is a sikh, and what a sikh has to do to meet the claimed demands by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji upon all and every person who claims to be sikh, that leads to people interested in One God and SGGS ji as Guru to quit the faith altogether. They either simply move to deras, where they get no such treatment from co-disciples, and they can get one with worship of the Lord, often still with SGGS as a source sripture, but with another sect leader/baba. They can put up with this, but not the most unwelcome blacklisting by supposed co-disciples. Alternatively they abandon faith altogether or move to a faith like Christianity.

    From a personal level of visiting other temples, I have visited a mandir once about 3 years ago. I was invited by a Hindu friend ( married to a Sikh lady) to celebrate a birthday of their young son. They did some arti and sang kirtan collectively. Whilst they were singing, all together I was uplifted. I wondered why Sikhs do not engage in collective shabd singing. It is very inspirational.

    I have been raised in the UK and have been here some 44 years now. Whilst at school, we had daily assemblies with daily prayers and daily singing of Christian hymns. IAt primary school, grace was always said before mid-day meals. I found all this inspirational, and each and every one of the prayers and hymns made complete sense to me, with no hidden meanings. We had regular Christmas carol services in the city cathedral, school founders services. I still enjoy Christmas, and occasionally sing one or two of the hymns I learned off by heart. They are only hymns that worship the Lord God, rather than worshipping Jesus. The hymns were mostly written in the 18th or 19th century, as were the prayers, but they have been added to in the 20th century as well. This is not the case with Gurbani. I find countless people who do not know how to interpret Gurbani, even though they have been schooled in Punjab and know punjabi in depth. They need assistants to help them. This, to me, is very sad, and is down to inability on behalf of Sikh Panth to be realistic and to accept that language is dynamic and constantly evolves. If the Panth's stance does no change then it will not be long before very very few will know what they are reciting, and eventually there will be abandonment. No one, but no one follows Egyptian religions wrtten in heiroglyphics, and very few will follow Roman or Greek gods. Hindus follow their faith, but as SGGS tells us, much of it is recital. The same situation awaits Sikhi, and is becoming fact as years pass.

    So in fact, the Hinduvata elements that Sikhs fear so much and so vehemently, have nothing to do. They just need to be patient.
    Either potential or half-way sikhs will turn to them, or another religion, because intolerant Sikh gatekeepers reject these half-way sikhs, or alternatively sikhs themselves in a longer timeframe will become incapable of understanding their own scriptures without initial reference to a guide - ie someone who is equivalent to a Brahmin pandit.

    It is a most pessimistic projection, but I feel it is the realistic outcome. Radha Swami followers are now almost 10 million, Sacha Sauda followers are in several millions and there are other sects. In addition there are many who give up on faith altogether. In comparison Sikhs are c 20-25 million, but that includes all the ones that SGPC has defined as non-sikhs who form the overwhelming majority but are constantly being sniped at and condemned at every opportunity. Gatekeepers attitudes are leading to birth of new religions, in the land of the Gurus.

    I very much doubt if any one of 10 Guru Sahiban spurned any person drawn to Sikhi, and I very much doubt if Sr Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji rejected any followers on basis of 5 Ks, who have rejected all rituals, deities and superstitions of Hinduism and are prepared to accept SGGS as one Guru and believe in One God.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
  8. spnadmin

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    Sunmukh ji

    It is very clear that our Gurus Sahiban rejected no one. It is clear that Sri Guru Gobind Singh rejected no one. He did not even reject Auranzeb, even after his elder sons became Shaheeds.

    Some say Guru Gobind Singh did not write Zafaranameh. Others say that he did. I believe he did write Zafaranameh. Let us for the sake of this discussion accept for this one time only that Dasam Pita did utter these words:

    Come to me that we may converse with each other,
    And I may utter some kind words to thee. (60)

    I’d send thee a horseman like one in a thousand,
    Who will conduct thee safe to my home. (61)

    I’m a slave of the King of kings,
    And ready to obey His Call with all my heart. (62)

    If He were to order me thus,
    I’d with utmost pleasure present myself to thee. (63)


    His words are poignantly words of a desire for spiritual brotherhood. Only a great soul could utter these words. And then he goes on to say the following. In the couplete he gives Auranzeb credit for being able to enter into spiritual brotherhood and honor a reasonable reques, based on a mutual connection through One God:

    And if you are a believer in One God,
    Tarry not in what I ask you to do. (64)

    And the Dasam Pita emjoins Auranzeb to accept dharma because he recognizes that God.

    It is incumbent upon you to recognise the God,
    For He told you not to create strife in the world. (65)



    Yet Dasam Pita is no fool! And does not mince words.

    You occupy the throne, in the name of God, the Sovereign of all creation,
    But strange is thy justice, stranger thy attributes! (66)

    What sense of discrimination is this? What regard for religion?
    O fie on such a sovereignty! Fie a hundred times!! (67)

    Stranger than strange are thy decrees, O king,
    But beware that broken pledges boomerang on those who make them. (68)


    For this is a "brother" whose thirst for the blood of those who did not accept his tyranny could never be satisfied.

    Shed not recklessly the blood of another with thy sword,
    Lest the Sword on High falls upon thy neck. (69)

    These are sweet words, "Come to me so that we may converse with each other." These could be the words that draw me or anyone else to worship in a mosque (or dera, or temple, or synagogue, or church). But what should you do when you sit reverently before the scriptures of your brother knowing he might not hesitate to "shed" "the blood of another" through stoning of women, through jihad, through bombings? Or praise the deeds of those who do?


    If a Sikh finds comfort in shared worship, who am I to judge? However,
    Gobind Singh is not giving an unqualified endorsement to the idea of spiritual brotherhood. In Zafaranameh he invites his "brothers" to rise up to a shared moral standard. It is a fact that there are beliefs in other religions that are inconsistent with Sikhi. It is a fact that beliefs, which are hostile to Sikhs, are inscribed in Summa, hadith, Sharia, and in Old Testament and New. If a Sikh choses to worship as a Sikh, and only as a Sikh, who are you to judge?
     
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  9. kds1980

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    Some days ago SPN had many RS follower visitors.Majority of people here said that you people are not sikhs as you have accepted another Guru? Now is this logic of who are we to judge is not applicable on follwer of RS,Sacha sauda noormalihias etc.

    If a sikh find comfort in accepting a living guru dera then who are we to Judge?
     
  10. spnadmin

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    Are you suggesting that someone was a hypocrite?
     
  11. kds1980

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    I am just giving arguement against the logic Who are we to judge who is a sikh , Which many people give on this site.

    I also want to add that Guru Har ji disowned baba Ram rai just because he changed wording of Gurbani out of fear which could had been considered as a minor mistake done out of fear.The later Guru's told sikhs not even to associate with Ram rai followers .So sikhs always have rules to follow
     
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  12. findingmyway

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    Hypocrite would be someone saying that they have no right to worship their way. That is not what is said. They have every right to accept their own path but they do not have the right to hide behind Sikhi and distort bani to suit them-that is hypocritical.
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    Thanks for the clarification Kanwardeep Singh ji. I apologize if I was too hasty with my question.
     
  14. sunmukh

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    Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

    Bhen ji, they are indeed sweet words of a most compassionate soul.

    We do not know for fact who will resort to shedding blood, or stoning etc. when we sit with others whether they are of our own race or faith, or not
    It may even be ourselves. When great anger and hatred arises it takes the person into its complete control. It can lead the victim to do so many unvirtuous deeds. People lived togetherr in reasonable peace prior to partition. It was not just a little blood that was shed during partition, from all parties. My own parents were witness to this, and my mother retold events of neighbouring muslim family, whose ancestors who had lived for generations in the village coming to her in tears to shelter their wretched daughter from mob, but nothing could be done because of the determination of the such misguided people which included Sikhs as well as Hindus. Yet again blood was shed during late 70s and early 80s, although to a far less extent. All this was down to temporal pursuits, rifts between religious groupings, and fears of each other, which had nothing at all to do with any spiritual pursuits, and neither were they done in devotion to the Lord. When religious groups get obsessive about temporal aims, things always get very dangerous and it is only time before the touchpaper is lit. They begin to see their objective as right and others as wrong, yet they have nothing to do with devotion to the Lord. They see them ever larger as virtuous or good deeds, but the "opposite" side does not see them as good at all. The reactions and interplay, just fixates their positions and makes them more and more obdurate until finally sparks fly.

    When a person sits in a temple, and has arrived with the purpose of worship of the almighty Lord, then he/she can become absorbed into the Lord. They think not of who is sitting alongside them. When the place is built to uplift the mood, such as some churches are , especially with high wonderfully shaped roofs, as are a few gurdwaras, then it raises the spirit without a word being said. When the music resounds and echoes, or the hymns/shabds are sung rythmically and beautifully in tune, then the spirit is uplifted.

    However when the ongoings are political, or the environment is intimidatory to the point that one just knows that others are watching out for "disrespect" then the spiritual experience does not arise, and one wonders why one didn't just stay at home.

    I am in no position to judge a Sikh who chooses to worship as a Sikh and only as a Sikh (ie a Sikh by definition). If the same courtesy was returned, to those who choose to worship as sikhs of SGGS ji, and only as sikhs of SGGS ji, then all issues of who is sikh would dissipate, and people can collectively shift towards worship of the Lord instead of shadow boxing.

    Well more than half the threads on Sikh forums are to do with who lives in accord with defined Sikhi and who idoes not. This is all down to embedded ego. If sikhs of various types cannot live in peace with each other, and accept each other without getting uptight, even if the "other type" are completely virtuous, then they cannot expect to lose their ego all of a sudden, suddenly merge their identity with that of Sat Guru and accept a hindu, a muslim or a christian as a fellow traveller. The merger with Satguru is dependent upon losing one's own identity, and accepting Satguru's identity. It is not about who is Sikh, who is Muslim, or who is Hindu. Any strong or rigid categorisation will lead to duality. Ultimate goal of Sikhi is about oneness with the True Lord and breaking the cycle of reincarnation. It is nothing to do with being Sikh, yet most of the threads are about how representative of a Sikh one is. If one happens to come across a tool developed by Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians or Sikhs, and it known to work, then it should be used. SGGS ji does not admonish these religions per se, but rather admonishes the practitioners who fail to follow their religions truthfully.

    There is an open wound between otherwise fellow travellers. We are all on paths. If the wound is not attended to, then the common brotherhood of man, spoken of in japji Sahib will not and cannot arise. Mutually, fairly and respectfully we all have to see all as common travellers, that are placed on our own paths by the Lord, and that includes sikhs seeeing half-way sikhs, hindus, muslims, christians etc as equals, as well as them seeing all others as equals. It starts from individual level, but insitutions of religions have huge moral responsibilities to bring this deference to each other into effect. When the insitutions are using their power to influence opinion to the contrary, to either maintain or create splits then there is something seriously wrong and it is time to give up on them. Personally I have given up on the SGPC. It does not appear to have an agenda that would bring people together, to share their experiences and techniques for mutual benefit.

    If one institutionalised religion upholds jihads etc, then it does not mean the next has to do likewise. One can reject both, and put one's faith in the Guru and in God. I give my head to Him, who is the ultimate bank of all virtue, rather than to any insitutionalised religion that uses power for political ends. Guru Nanak Dev ji did this.

    We know what is good from bad in terms of compassion towrds people and and nature, but we start to see political or materialistic goals as things to judge people upon as well. Ultimately it will be God who is the arbitrator and it will be Him who judges whether we made the right choice, and in Him I place my trust.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
  15. sunmukh

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    Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

    Jasleen Bhen ji,

    Distorting bani is one thing, and should not be indulged in or encouraged. The same applies to any other scriptures, or even other writings of any other authors. if translating or interpreting one should do this with utmost sincerity and try to do full justice to the intentions of the author.

    "Hiding behind Sikhi" - that is a contentious point.
    It depends on how you perceive other faiths are fronting themselves and how you feel Sikhi ideology developed.

    If you believe Sikhi to be a result of one or more revelations and/or complete new thinking which developed wholly independantly of all other ideology, then it may morally but not legally have "copyright".
    However it can be argued that there are many common features that Sikhi shares with other faiths, especially dharmic faiths. A new faith that also has common features with Sikhi is not then hiding but simply happens to have to common features.

    Some may be fronting as Sikhi, but not all are. Some refer to SGGS ji, and some also refer to other scriptures as well. Some have origins going back as long as, or maybe even longer than the Singh Sabha movement, so even if they call themselves Sikhs, it does not mean they have set out to confuse.

    You could compare Sikh sects to Islamic or Hindu sects. Who is to say who is is hiding behind whom? What are the criteria? Are the same criteria used from 1st Guru through to 10th Guru through to present day?

    Is it because of usage of SGGS ji that you are suggesting some are "hiding as Sikhi" or do they blatantly call themselves Sikh with a view to confusing the ignorant aspirant ?

    I see no advantage for any well founded sects to hide as other religions. It is to their disadvantage, as their own followers will become confused. A budding sect may do in its early days, to deceive people and entice them in ignorance, but even then as soon as the followers realise they have been deceived, many may reject the faith because of the methods used.

    Aside from the sects themselves, there are also followers who are not committed to any faith, but are content to go wherever they wish to worship, as they please, picking and choosing bits and pieces, on the way. Sometimes they may visit a place of worship dependent upon where their friends/relatives are going, then they may switch six months later. If it is a cold/wet day and the usual place is far from home, they might go somewhere closer where they find peace, or join in communal worship. I don't think these people are losing out. The intention is there, and it is sound.

    Where would you (or others) fit yoga into Sikhi? There are many Sikh yoga practitioners, who keep all 5 ks and have taken amrit, yet yoga developed from ancient Hindu methods. Bhagavad Gita refers to most of the limbs of Hatha Yoga. Kundalini Yoga involves funnelling inner winds, through left/right/central channels through chakras. Some have sexual connotations, some require breathing exercises or posturing . Are these Sikhs actually Hindus masquerading as Sikhs, because they look like Sikhs, and claim to be Sikhs who do not recognise the Vedas, but use Hindu methods?
    Are the ones using forms of Hatha Yoga merely Sikhs who just happen to use an ancient Hindu method of concentrating and meditating upon a Godhead such as Krishna, with a view to developing their devotion to Krishna?

    In its base form this is bhakti-yoga, developing into Raja-Yoga. It appears to me to be adapted to focus on Satguru rather than Krishna. Some sects of Hinduism take Krishna to be a manifestation of the Lord Creator, who is claimed to be the personification of Absolute Truth. The parallels are uncanny. Krishna/Satguru - which do you choose?
    In Swayias, c p1408, Guru Arjun Dev ji is compared to Arjuna, and is held out to be Satguru, and a maifestation of the Lord.
    In other passages Krishna is held out as the divine Lord.

    There are many cross-overs between religions of all types, and when we look for common features we can find them. Similarly when we look for differences we can find them. As the goal of Sikhi requires removal of duality, then it is better to dwell on common features.


    Sat Sri Akal
     
  16. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Kanwardeep ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I know the above Sakhi is very common and is frequently used by kathavachaks and others to prove some kind of non-existent illogical point in my opinion. How much credence do you give to the Sakhi? As, we seek Nirbhau and Nirvair Ik Ong Kaar, which our Gurus also did and showed us how to, then it makes no sense that Guru Har Rai would be a punisher and issue a fatwa that no Sikh should associate him/herself with Ram Rai. It goes against the Gurmat ideals of Sikhi laid by our Gurus.

    Did Guru Ram Das do the same to Prithvi Chand his oldest son when he hid the letters from Arjan Dev as the Sakhi goes?

    Our Gurus were teachers. They were there to pick us up when we fell down. They were there to embrace us when we fell short of their expectations. They were there to encourage us to do it right the next time when we did something wrong. They were not there to shun us because we made some mistakes.

    Now, the same love, encouragement, instilling goodness belongs to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, our only Guru.

    Don't you think Guru Har Rai did the same to his son Ram Rai,provided this Sakhi is true?

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  17. ballym

    ballym
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    collective singing is hampered due to the fact that people do not understand the Gurbani words and can not sing along. In comparison, Hindu aarti and bhajans are simple are understood. Hence it is more participative.
    Here is Regina , se have a projector in Gurudwara and it helps in getting the wording. It helps participation. I saw one request in SPN for donation for projector sewa in Golden temple, even though it looked fishy.
    Such project should be implemented in ALL gurudwaras and software must be improved for better implementation.
     
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