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Non-Sikhs on Sikhism

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Archived_Member16, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    [SIZE=+2]Non-Sikhs on Sikhism[/SIZE]
    Some thoughts of modem writers on Sikhism and Gurbani.

    Rev. H. L. Bradshaw

    After thoroughly studying the philosophy of Sikhism, Rev. H. L. Bradshaw observed:
    Sikhism is a Universal world Faith, a message for all men. This is amply illustrated in the writings of the Gurus. Sikhs must cease to think of their faith as just another good religion and must begin to think in terms of Sikhism being the religion for this New Age … It completely supplants and fulfils all the former dispensations of older religions. Books must be written proving this. The other religions contain the truth, but Sikhism contains the fullness of truth.

    Bradshaw also writes:
    The Guru Granth Sahib of all the world religious scriptures, alone states that there are innumerable worlds and universes other than our own. The previous scriptures were all concerned only with this world and its spiritual counterpart. To imply that they spoke of other worlds, as does the Guru Granth Sahib, is to stretch their obvious meanings out of context. The Sikh religion is truly the answer to the problems of the modern man.
    Archer

    Archer, in his book on the Sikh faith comments:
    The religion of the Guru Granth is a universal and practical religion … Due to ancient prejudices of the Sikhs it could not spread in the world. The world needs today its message of peace and love.
    Dorothy Field

    Another scholar, Dorothy Field in her book, "The Sikh Religion," writes:
    Pure Sikhism is far above dependence on Hindu rituals and is capable of a distinct position as a world religion so long as Sikhs maintain their distinctiveness. The religion is also one which should appeal to the occidental mind. It is essentially a practical religion. If judged from the pragmatical standpoint which is a favorite point of view in some quarters, IT WOULD RANK ALMOST FIRST IN THE WORLD. (Emphasis by the author). Of no other religion can it be said that it has made a nation in so short a time.
    Macauliffe

    In his book, "The Sikh Religion," Macauliffe writes:
    Unlike the scriptures of other creeds, they do not contain love stories or accounts of wars waged for selfish considerations. They contain sublime truths, the study of which cannot but elevate the reader spiritually, morally, and socially. There is not the least tinge of sectarianism in them. They teach the highest and purest principle that serve to bind man to man and inspire the believer with an ambition to serve his fellow men, to sacrifice all and die for their sake.

    Macauliffe deems it necessary to draw the reader's attention to another significant feature of Sikhism which distinguishes it and separates it from other philosophical and religious systems of thought:
    The Sikh religion differs as regards the authenticity of its dogmas from most other great theological systems. Many of the great teachers the world has known, have not left a line of their own composition, and we only know what they taught through tradition or second-hand information. If Pythagoras wrote any of tenets, his writings have not descended to us. We know the teachings of Socrates only through the writings of Plato and Xenophon. Buddha has left no written memorials of his teaching. Kungfu-tze, known to Europeans as Confucious, left no documents in which he detailed the principles of his moral and social systems. The Founder of Christianity did not reduce his doctrines to writing, and for them we are obliged to trust to the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark. Luke, and John.

    The Arabian Prophet did not himself reduce to writing the chapters of the Quran. They were written or compiled by his adherents and followers. But the compositions of the Sikh Gurus are preserved and we know first hand what they taught. They employed the vehicle of verse, which is generally unalterable by copyist, and we even become in time familiar with their different styles. No spurious compositions or extraneous dogmas, can therefore be represented as theirs.

    The author of the 'Vie de Jesus' was a great admirer of Jesus Christ. Greatly impressed as he was of the spiritual message delivered by Christ and those of the Semitic thinkers that preceded him, he posed the question: "Whether great originality will again arise or the world be content to follow the paths opened by the daring creators of the ancient ages?" Bearing Sikhism in mind, Macauliffe answers the above question in the following words:
    Now there is here presented a religion totally unaffected by Semitic or Christian influences. Based on the concept of the unity of God, it rejected Hindu formalities and adopted an independent ethical system, ritual, and standards, which were totally opposed to the theological beliefs of Guru Nanak's age and country. As we shall see hereafter, it would be difficult to point to a religion of greater originality or to a more comprehensive ethical system

    Macauliffe continues:
    Guru Nanak was not a priest either by birth or education, but a man who soared to the loftiest heights of divine emotionalism, and exalted his mental vision to an ethical ideal beyond the concept of Hinduism or Mohammadanism.
    Dr. W.O. Cole

    Dr. W.O. Cole, of the U.K. wrote more than half a dozen books on Sikhism. In 1985, he visited India where communal disturbances had created a virtual turmoil and thousands of people were killed. In a key note lecture by him on the Mission and Message of Guru Nanak Dev, he gave a message to the Sangat there and through them to all of humanity:
    Remember the tenets of Guru Nanak, his concepts of oneness of God and Universal Brotherhood of man. If any community holds the key to national integration of India, it is the Sikhs all the way.

    After the lecture, he was asked what drew him to the study of Sikhism, he replied:
    Theologically, I cannot answer the question what drew me to the study of Sikhism. You may call it, the purpose of God. But to be more specific, the unique concept of universality and the system of Langar (free community meal) in Sikhism are the two features that attract me towards the study of Sikhism. Langar is the exclusive feature of Sikhism and found nowhere else in the world. Sikhism is the only religion which welcomes each and everyone to its Langar without any discrimination of caste, creed, color, or sex.
    Swami Nitya Nand

    The opinions of some Hindu mystics also should be quoted to understand their experiences with the Sikh faith. Swami Nitya Nand (expired at the age of 135 years) writes in his book "Gur Gian":
    I, in the company of my guru, Brahma Nand Ji, went to Mathra ... While on pilgrimage tour, we reached Panjab and there we met Swami Satya Nand Udasi. He explained the philosophy and religious practices of Nanak in such a way that Swami Brahma Nand Ji enjoyed a mystic lore. During the visit to the Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar, his soul was so much affected, that he became a devotee of the Guru. After spending some time in Panjab he went to Hardwar. Though he was hail and hearty, one day I saw tears in his eyes. I asked the reason for that. He replied, "I sifted sand the whole of my life. The Truth was in the House of Nanak. I will have to take one more birth in that house, only then I will attain Kalyan." After saying that the soul left his body.

    Swami Nitya Nand also wrote of his own experience:
    I also constantly meditate on Waheguru revealed by Nanak. I practiced Yoga Asanas under the guidance of Yogis and did that for many years; the bliss and peace, which I enjoy now, was never obtained earlier.

    Spiritual Triage
    Finally, here are some excerpts from the proceedings of a seminar on the life of Guru Nanak Dev. It was conducted at Simla, now in Himachal Pardesh, by the Panjab Historical Society Lahore, before World War I. The seminar was presided over by the lieutenant governor of Panjab.
    After hearing the lecture by Joginder Singh, Pundit Ramsaran Das, a prominent Hindu intellectual observed that Guru Nanak was a great reformer of the Hindu faith.

    Nawab Zulfkar Ali Khan of Malerkotla disagreed with Mr. Das and commented that Guru Nanak was a great Muslim fakir, his best friend was Bhai Mardana, a lowly Muslim. His best devotee was a Muslim, Rai Bular, the village chief.

    The governor, in his presidential remarks disagreed with both and said that according to what had been told by the speaker, Guru Nanak was a great Christian.
    Guru Nanak, however, states in Gurbani:
    "I am neither a Hindu nor a Muslim, I am a human being."



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  3. BaljinderS

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    Excellent!!!!!
     
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  4. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    If non-sikhs can contribute so much to sikhi, I think sahajdharis/Mona sikhs can do much better if they are lovingly embraced. They have been shunted out by their brothers only. I do remember many who have preferred to remain sahajdharis after 1984. It is they who shall help provide the sikhi to expand both in numbers and in spirit. They understand the basics of sikhi and should be welcome by us. I have all the regards for them...Times up..
     
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  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    I too have the same sentiments Jios...
    But seriously speaking NO ONE has ever prevented any sehajdharee from writing an excellent BOOK/ARTICLE on Sikhism along the lines of Pearl S Buck..or say all those things the Non-Sikhs are fAMOUS for saying about Sikhism....
    But there would be a huge hue and cry if for example..Pearl S Buck were to turn up at Akal takhat ( OK a bit melodramatic here..may be i should say..her nieghbourhood GURDWARA...) and insist she be allowed to do hukmnamah in Sangat or be a member of the Panj or be a Granthi and do sangtee ardass...????..or macauliffe did this..or Bradshaw attempted that....so THAT is the real difference between these COMMENTATORS and SEHAJDHREE sikhs among us... we feel really "GOOD" that these NON SIKHS come along and praise OUR "RELIGION..our GURU SGGS..etc..etc...BUT has any praised MODERN SIKHS ?? The sehajdharees are "sikhs"....these non-sikhs are book authors...vast difference
    The sehajdharees are "OUR PROBLEM"..we SIKHS need to address them man to man and win them over becasue they are the Sikh next door...among us...( to be fair..we "Amritdharees/keshadharees/half keshas" are the sehajdharees "Problem"....they too need to talk to us man to man becasue we are among THEM too !!)cheerleader
     
  6. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Gyani ji,
    I think you have mixed up two things.
    We have individual approach and Panthic approach.

    If Panth can make someone 'Panth- Ratan' who is not even eligible for the same, it makes me surmise that there is something wrong at that level. It is a cause of worry . Recent edict of court that sahajdharis be allowed to participate in the election of the office bearers of SGPC, was not taken very kindly by sikhs. It shows general apathy toward them. Lip sympathy would not be meaningful. If we really consider their plight they have become 'trishankus' i.e they are neither sikhs nor Hindus and no wonder after few generations they would prefer their way out. Many sikhs avoid writing 'singh' with their names. If the trend continues, I apprehend that there would be significant contraction in the number of sikhs. If we are ready to admit American as sikhs it makes sense that it is we who should encourage 'sahajdharis' to come within the fold of sikhi. Your apprehensin is not well founded Sir,No shajdhari is so ambitious to claim that he is not worthy of. Only those sikhs who are in a position to sway things in their favor would indulge in that and that recent award of Panth Ratn has proved beyond any doubt.

    Coming to individual approach I think it is time that there should be free flow within these families. Sikhs avoid marrying their daughters in their families for the single reason that they may not be treated as social out caste. The mind of society is moulded by the sikhs themselves. Unless we do something about this things shall not change automatically.

    Coming to last point that is Amritdhari sikhs, I would be at liberty to presume that if SRM is strictly followed the population of 'Khalsa' would be just few thousands and we shall not be proud of this as well. I have slightly digressed and would stop here.
    Time for introspection and retrospection as well ! Yeah, Pearl S Buck would have done full justice to that I want to state.
     
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  7. sukritkaur

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    Gyani Jarnail Singh.
    I agree with you on the fact that Sehajdhari Sikhs and Amritdhari Sikhs need to work together however over the years both have established their own seperate communites and neither is willing to address the growing divide. I am a girl who has kept her kesh, ocassionally does path, often researches about the panth. When I go to the local gurdwaras for Naam Simran and sit in the Sangat, I feel as though I'm not even acknowledged by the Amritdhari girls there, they seem indifferent to me and the fact that I've come to the Gurdwara for the same reason as them: to listen to gurbani, bow to and experience the SGGS jI, and be a part of the sadh sangat. In my area it's even gotten as bad as girls who wear dastars do not speak to girls who although also amritdhari just choose to cover their heads with patkes ! This really is madness, if I feel as comfortable as I do, one can only imagine how our monay brothers and sisters feel when they walk through the Gurughar. No wonder they seek out the deras of theses fake Babas, firstly its because they're uneducated but also because they don't feel welcome at the Gurdwaras. Fortunately for me I do have an inner voice that asks me to go to the Gurdwara and experience Naam Simran and strive to understand and implement the meanings of the hukamnamas into my life but what about those just starting to get in touch with Sikhi after a long while and are looking for support? We can never achieve unity if we don't have honest discourses among ourselves on accepting each other and working as a unit to become better Sikhs despite the fact that the jouney of some into Sikhi will be longer than that of the others. I remember watching something with two U.K. Sikhs and how they returned to Sikhi, and one of them was saying he really benifitted to how open and willing to help the Sikhs in the Amritdharis he came across were.
    Here's a link with the first part, there are five and what I said will be mentioned in one of the 5 parts (Don't worry it's very interesting to watch): Discover Sikhi Show Ep-One (Roots) (HD) Part 1/5 - YouTube

    The only reason I have not taken Amrit is because I want to become the best Sikh I can be before I enter Guru Gobind Singh's Family. I know children of Amritdhari parents who took Amrit unaware of the personal commitments one must make and ended up not completely keeping with the commitments of being a Sikh. I want to improve my spoken Punjabi, expand my Punjabi vocabulary, learn how to interpret and understand Gurbani, learn more about Sikh History, and perfect my Nitnem and other Baanis like sukhmani Sahib and Jaap Sahib before I take Amrit. I don't want waking up at Amrit vela and doing my Nitnem to be a chore or a ritual as it has become for some people. It is foolish to think I can become a perfect Sikh prior to taking Amrit but I want to include these basic things for me to recognize that I am ready for this commitment and will fulfill it wholeheartedly. I am sixteen and hope to take Amrit by the time I'm 20.
    Sat Sri Akal, forgive any misguided thoughts and please don't hesitate to correct me
    Sukrit Kaur
     
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  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Taranjeet ji,
    I like the way you think...and the Latest "sehajdharee" row in PUNJAB proves my point. Those are sons of SIKHS but who DONT WANT to keep long kesh and want to trim beards etc. They consider themsleves as good as any other sikh and WANT to take part in SGPC elections, get elected, take power....it has happened in Malaysia..nearly half the Gurdwra Parbhandaks are clean shaven, who INSIST that they will ONLY cover their heads inside the darbar sahib (that too becasue its too early to discard that..but over time they WILL)....one insisted on his BALD HEAD being prominently shown on the Cover of a DVD Nagar Kirta non the 400th Anniversary of SGGS...I DONT wear a turban..but I AM a SIKH..so why cover my head on a DVD Cover ?? he said...the three Amrtidharees were shown in the BACKGROUND..becasue they did the "seva/work/leg work..BUT the BALDY provided the FINANCE !! ...and cant speak a word of Punjabi..etc but are Pardhaans skatars...what SIKHI/GURMATT or role models do they teach ?? One Pardhaan has constructed about 10 cubicles *like you find in an IT Office/Bank...with 10 sggs parkash...The Slogan hanging over his gurdwara says..Akhand Paath OFFER..Now so cheap..everyone can have one !! (Slogan copied form Air Asia..Offer..Flying by Air Asia is so cheap..Everyone can FLY ) This guy doesnt speak Punjabi..is cropped...has no clue to any sikh history..THESE are those so called "sehajdharees" making all the noise. GENUINE ones are quietly elarning and sitting in the background..even refusing to take the Panj Piayara Parshaad (I dont deserve it ) but on the otherhand the Cropped Pardhaan types will SACK the Granthi who dares to skip them whn distributing the Panj parshaad !!..so i do know what i am talking about...we need to make new stretegies..NOT Give up and RESIGN...
     
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  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Sukrit Ji..
    I know how you feel. Those are NOT my types of Amrtidharees at all....those are what Gurbani calls Gunn binn Garb karant..Nanak Uh ASAL KHAR....meaning.OH Nanak, the real DONKEY is one who is proud even when without nay gunns / good qualities...those are INSTANT AMRITDHAREES who think that after the ceremony of ADMISSION..they are in fact PHDs of the Khalsa !! Simialr to a Kindie toddler wearing his kindergarten uniform and proclaiming...NOW i can go to Daddys UNIVERSITY and sit in the DEANS CHAIR !! LAUGH at them and DONT be sad..IGNORE THEM and continue your journey towards the GURU...
     
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  10. sukritkaur

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    Thanks a lot Gyani Ji, you are the at the apex of awesome. I wish I could come to Kuala Lampur to give you a big hug.

    Thanks again,
    Gajh ke fateh bulaao WJKK WJKF
    Sukrit Kaur
     
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  11. Ishna

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    Taranjeet bhaji, can you please elaborate this line in your post:

    Are you saying that any American Sikh is on par with a Punjabi sehajdhari?

    I look forward to your clarification, please.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    sis, I think he means 3ho
     
  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Sorry, I just cant get my head round this meeting

    Amritdhari 1: So what do we put on the front cover of the DVD, how about some tasteful pictures of Guru, or a big Ek Onkar?
    Baldy: I want my bald head
    Amritdhari 2:Maybe Harminder Sahib, or a small gursikh boy praying
    Baldy: No, I want my bald head, I have polished it this morning ready for the photo
    Amritdhari 3: What sort of statement is this making? should we not have a religious theme?
    Baldy: Look I am paying for this I want a Baldy theme

    lol

    my own two pence, I do not consider myself sehajdhari, I am very aware of how short I fall in that dept and it needs to be rectified before I am able to feel any pride in myself, however I feel I cannot just grow hair, I feel that would be an ego or pride action, I also feel I would concentrate more on my looks than my spirituality, I think hair is such a huge part of Sikhi in terms of connection and vibration.........but the desire to cultivate it has to be a wow moment, not a duty
     
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    #12 Harry Haller, Jan 4, 2012
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  14. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Sukrit kaur Ji..
    Here is the reply..Gajj ke Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji KI fateh.
    The Hug is on its way via cyber space....
    Keep in Chardeekalla ALWAYS.japposatnamwaheguru:
     
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  15. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Hi sis
    Sahajdharis in India can easily relate themselves to other sikhs here vis a vis American Sikhs who have recently taken up sikhi but will take time to inculcate the same in the sense that our sahajdhari brothers have already done and achieved. I find it very easy to mix up with sahajdharis here than anyone who is yet to learn correct pronunciation and that itself shall take some time.

    But kudos to them as well.!

    How do you feel about Sahajdharis~ Are they not sikhs or are they?
     
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  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Guru Piayario Jios,
    Each and everyone who has the tiniest interest,in what our Guru sahibs have to say is a SIKH. Period. Sikh= Learner.....let him/her throw the first stone who is NOT a learner and sees himself/herself as already beyond all learning. clap clap !! That person is not a Sikh but the GURU....yeah..but for the fact thta in Gurbani even the GURUS didnt claim they knew everything...and didnt feel the need to "learn" anymore..just talk top down !!
    Fact number tqo..There are Fakes and True people in all groups..amrtidharees, keshadharees, part keshadharees, non-amrtidharees, etc etc..the ultimate JUDGE is the person HIMSELF and The CREATOR. Period. This is what I have learned..un-learned..and still RE-LEARNING form my 60 years of nearness to Gurbani/SGGS. Welcome to the Real World folks and smell the coffee...no ones perfect..heck no ones even close to perfect..ONLy the GURU is ABHULL.welcomemunda
     
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  17. Ishna

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    Bhaji

    My perspective on the issue is possibly a bit skewed.

    When I look at a Sehajdhari in India who cuts their hair, smokes and drinks, I can't put them at the same place on the Sikh spectrum as even one of the American (or any other kind of non-Indian) Sikhs who keeps all their hair, maintains nitnem and has received amrit via amrit sanchar. I think to put them on par because the Non-Indian Sikh's pronunciation is a little off is a bit harsh.

    It's a shame we have to judge each other and where we are at on the journey through Sikhi. This is where organised religion tends to fall down. People should be allowed to learn at their own pace and make the decisions they think are right at the time without being judged by anyone other than Guruji. I'm sure there are plenty of mona sehajdhari Sikhs with more love in their hearts for Ik Onkar than a 10 year Amritdhari who is such in name only, and plenty of Amritdharis who have a more solid relationship with Guruji than countless sehajdharis who couldn't care less about Sikhi and are only Sikhs because they were born into it.

    Humans are too complex. We're all just humans trying to swim through the ocean of life.
     
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    #16 Ishna, Jan 5, 2012
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  18. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    No one has a "Copyright" on Gurmatt. The "born" sikhs..sons of sikhs ...claim a copyright on the religion of their fathers..even while openly defying each mandatory teaching of Gurbani..are far distant to even the 3Hos who came voluntarily...most giving up their accepted lifestylesm parental religions etc etc to adopt the Gurmatt way (even if skewed a lot by way of Acquarious and astrology numerology etc etc ). Its like saying..I can even kick my father (becasue he is my father .... i dont respect him or obey him..) BUT..YOU the neighbour cant even bow to him !! or wave to him..becasue he is NOT your father..this is the born sikhs position most times i have met them....NOT TENABLE..Sikhi is a Path and anyone cna walk it...no copyrights and no possesiveness patent rights...
     
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  19. BaljinderS

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    For a second, lets just put aside the issue of Sehajdhari/Amritdharri sikhs etc

    I think the real focus should be on the values a person holds i.e what do they do for a living? What is their family like? This would speak volumes.

    If you really want to judge someone if they are worthy of a vote then ask them to do seva by hand and sit a TEST on Sikhism to see what they really understand. If they pass these two things then they should be allowed to vote. Just being practical ..lol

    What do you think? :)
     
  20. Joginder Singh Foley

    Joginder Singh Foley United Kingdom
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    WJKKWJKF
    Guru Nanakji's statement " I am neither Hindu or Muslim I am a human being " to me is the most important part of the statement as as this Sikh is concerned Sikhi is a message and way of life for ALL Mankind whether the rest of humanity wants to follow the path of Sikhi is up to humanity's choice as to accept or reject Sikhi Just this humble Sikh's opinion


    :happysingh::interestedsingh:
     
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