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On The Path To Becoming A Sikh

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    A question, and one that is always with me. Where do I start and how do I become Sikh? There is no formal conversion. Once I heard that everyone was born a Sikh, but then forgot, and had to find the way back.

    It's not that simple. I am not a Sikh by birth, I am not Punjabi, or Indian, or Malaysian, or the child of Asian-born Sikhs living in North America.

    Most non-Sikhs born in the US who became Sikh did so as followers of Har Bajahn (Yogi Bajhan) and through kundalini yoga and the 3HO organization. They refer to themselves as the Western Khalsa, and Asian Sikhs frequently refer to them as 3HO Sikhs. I know that this path to Sikhi will not work for me for many reasons, most pertaining to where I live and the responsibilities that I have willingly accepted and I will not turn my back on them.

    Since I am not Asian or born of Asian parents, the non-western path is not something that is easy to figure out. Language and culture make things difficult. What would I do? Begin by going to Gurdwara? No one would know me or perhaps even grasp that my intentions were serious. If that is a reasonable path, how do I introduce myself as someone who needs direction and guidance? Would someone have to sponsor me? Do I change my name? Do I take amrit? Those are just a few of my questions. Often Asian Sikhs reject the idea of westerners becoming Sikh. After much research I have found very little to answer my questions.

    I don't speak or read Punjabi, though I am studying the language so I can understand gurbani and the hukamnama in the original language. I have become vegetarian, do banis almost everyday, and listen to the hukamnama every day, unless I am out of range of the Internet.

    So if anyone can answers these questions, or get me started at least, that would be wonderful.


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  3. badmash

    badmash
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    Hello. Good to make your acquaintance. Please do check your PM.
    thanks,
     
  4. Hardas Singh

    Hardas Singh
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    I am in a similar situation, having learned about Sikhism from a very close Punjabi friend, and now have become a Sikh, but i can never seem to learn enough, anyway i can learn more would be helpful.

    P.S. I am 19 and still live at home and I doubt my parents would approve of me being a Sikh so it would be difficult for me to visit a Gurdwara...
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Satyadhi, I would have liked to answer sooner, but work late on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. At 19 you are an adult and as such need to make decisions that are based on knowledge, information and reflection. I will never se 19 again, and came to Sikh beliefs only 2 years ago and much later in life than you. All I can share is that study and meditation are very important. Read as much about Sikh history and philosophy as possible; meditate on the Naam. Listen to the Hukamnama faithfully and eventually its message will make sense and begin to guide your decisions and temper your emotions. There is so much to enrich your life in Sikhi. Like you, I am seeking a place where I can express my belief more completely. It will happen when it is supposed to happen.
     
  6. Dimitri

    Dimitri
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    Hello

    I think you have already taken a very important step - learning Gurmukhi or punjabi.
    According to Guru Granth Saheb - the best religion is to do good deeds and always remember the creator. Guru Granth Saheb is very unique in the sense that its written by Gurus themselves. I think the knowledge in it is valuable - no matter what faith 'tag' you want to give yourself. This is the bottom line for me.
     
  7. sahilmakkar1983

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    Gurbani is great.. everything written is by our Gurus.. the GOD's incarnation...
    Reading the gurubani is communication with them.. (if we read it carefully)

    Each n every word is very deep.. and deep... and only by understanding punjabi or gurumukhi grammar
    we cant understand it..
    it cn raise our inquisitive ness.. cn generate thirst f GOD within us..
    To understnd the Gurubani .. altleast we need to realise the GOD.. see the GOD..
    then only we cn understand the words of our Gurus..

    Gurubani is not only for read .. BUT LINES HAS SOME MEANING TO UNDERSTAND AND FOLLOW..
    1. Some tells .. what is purpose of human body
    2. Some tells ,, what is true happiness
    3. Some tells .. how to get rid of the circle of carnations again and again(JANAM-MARAN chakkar)MOKSH

    4. some describe the way to start the spiritual paths.
    5. some lines describes the experience of a devotee on the spiritual path..
    6. Some tells the power or capability of perfect master
    7. Some tells ..what is need of true master(Living).. and who is true/fake master
    8. Some lines .. tells how to proceed on path after realisation of GOD(seeing the GOD.. within our self)
    but each and every line is instruction for us on spiritual path.. And tells that we NEED a guru.. GURU...


    GURU GURU NIJ KARMAN MOR, GURU BINA MEIN NAHI HOR

    Gurufateh
     
  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    dear aad0002 and satyadhi

    here is another link which has all the information of gurbani

    Pathway to God @ SearchGurbani.Com

    just click on preference in navigation bar and click on the preference and select the english translation by manmohan singh.it will also help you to understand gurbani.
     
  9. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    The genius of Nanaak is very great. Imagine how big his sould must to inspire the great devotion and depth of spirituality of his followers. Thanks for the inspiring words kds, Dimitri, Sahilmakkar.
     
  10. roopk

    roopk
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    I Think the best way for you is to contact the 'Granthi' at your local/nearby Gurudwara. He can guide you thru. the process Baptization. it should be a formality only. KIndly reply back after meetig the person. I believe you do not trim your hair. Baptisation is carried out for the sikhs who undertake to go by the teachings of The gurus and and also abide by the edicts as contained in Granth Saab.

    Hi..what is the level Of your Punjabi????? I mean can you speak or talk.
    luck.
     
  11. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    roopk ji

    Many thanks. I posted my questions some time ago, and you have taken them seriously in spite of that.

    A funny story. The granthi of the local gurdwara doesn't speak English. Almost two years ago he hung up on me when I called to find out about a keertan performance at the gurdwara. I called back. He hung up. I called back, and he put his wife on the phone, and then she hung up. This didn't make me angry at all. I felt really bad because communication across languages and cultures made something simple so difficult. He is probably a wonderful person who thought I was trying to sell him something by phone-marketing. Only in America!

    But it actually got me thinking about the real challenges for someone who is non-Asian and not a Punjabi speaker. The critical mass of Sikh's in my area are nearly all from the Punjab in one way or another.

    The situation has improved somewhat. I have made personal contacts at another gurdwara. Your advice makes sense to me-- all that I probably have to do is ask someone to interpret when speaking to the Granthi. My Punjabi is very, very limited. I have no speaking ability. Just a word here and there. What I can do is read Gurmurki when it is written in the Roman Gurmurki font-- picking up more every day. Does that count?

    Thanks ever so much again and again.
     
    #10 spnadmin, May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  12. Arvind

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  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Arvind ji,

    Thank you for the link. I have actually read the article because I am a Sikhnet fan--big time. This was a very interesting story for a lot of reasons. Two generations of Western Khalsa, twins, father and sons working in high security, high-tech government operatons.

    You probably already know that the Espanola Sikh community has been active for a long time in providing security to various federal installations working on defense contracts, and also in computing applications. I am always blown away by the legacy that Bhai Harbhajan Singh ji has left-- in Espanola and all over the US and other parts of the world.

    Sikhnet is just one example of dozens. I respond frequently to Gurmustuk's blog because of the variety of inspiring things ji writes about. Right now he is feeling very tired because his baby daughter is teething and nobody is getting any sleep.

    The greatest part of this article was the decision of the "professional sikh" to wear bana to work, but only after he could go to India to get enough changes of clothes. And no big deal was made of it. This has been my experience-- only the most socially limited (and actually very angry and scared people) take issue with dastar and bana. Unfortunately some of them are so angry they have caused a lot of pain.

    Thanks again,
    Antonia
     
  14. irishmen2525@yahoo.com

    irishmen2525@yahoo.com
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    Wow. I am 17 and I converted to Sikhisim less than 2 years ago. I don't feel like people reject me at all. I have made contacts with sikh groups on myspace and they all see very welcoming. Plus I have met a Desi Sikh my age through a mutual friend, he has even offrd to accompany me to gurdwara. So, I feel very comfortable with myself, and I have absolutely no problem telling any one who wants to know, that I am a Sikh, not my parents, or family, or friends, or Sat Guru himself. I care not what they think, what matters is in your heart.
     
  15. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    irishman ji

    This is good stuff!! Mostly because you are much younger than many of us and are looking into the future with other young people. You may be telling us that the future will be more intelligent about these matters than the past. Glad you shared this.
     
  16. Lionchild

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    :unsure:

    Hi Antonia, I just have been stunned by your posts! You kind of remind of me when i was just starting getting into the sikh way of life. It's been over a year since then, its too bad things turned out this way... however, seeing your posts of you growing in the sikh community brings tears to my eyes. I hope you remain a sikh for the rest of your life.

    My words of advise to you: don't let others hold you back, nor let people discourage you from learning more. Acceptance into a community should never be your priority, it should be your priority to learn, a student - a sikh.

    Besides that, i see you are a moderator! Awsome job, now perhaps you can finish the "new to sikhi" section :wink:

    Hope to talk to you some time!
     
  17. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Lionchild ji

    You, yourself, have written some interesting and intriguing comments. I try to read all of them. It is really great that you remain in the forum! And this is a really caring note.

    Not to worry! There are plans afoot to add many more resources to the New To Sikhi Forum. So much can be done there. Kaur-ji and I have been talking.

    Stay in Chardi Kala:)
     
  18. stupidjassi

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    I dont know,whether its too late to reply to this post. but i just wanna give some advice to you :)

    if you wanna getting started, start from the basic , From Guru Nanak.
    read his teachings and basic stuff , which do not require you to religion change.
    like 'naam simran' , and other two pillars of Sikhi.

    Just let be easy and understand the phylosiphy . Just only phylosiphy.

    First Make yourself sikh( learner ) from inside and if that work out do it from outside as well ( if that`s possible)

    Bul cuk maf
    stupidjassi


     
  19. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Stupidjassi ji

    Thanks for responding. Yes, a lot has happened since I wrote that post. And the only reason I wrote it: Admin sent a message and said "you should start a conversation" "get to know other members". And stupid! I thought this was a requirement. So I wrote that. Now I would like to delete it. But things are very different now.

    First of all -- I have made MANY contacts on SPN, and the experience of interacting with them and following up on discussions has jump-started my knowledge and understanding.

    Then -- I can read much of the Gurmukhi and understand what I hear on audio -- not perfectly -- but good enough to even know when someone else is making a mistake.

    Then -- There are many Sikh theologians and spiritual writers who have written material that has taught me a lot.

    And- Various sevas keep me close to Guruji.

    Finally - I was taken under the wing of someone who got me started on daily Banis and meditation. Moreover the study of SGGS is totally part of my life.

    There are 45 people on my personal mailing list who are Sikhs around the world who are also teachers and friends. They think of me as a Sikh, and I think of myself as a Sikh. Friends, relatives and co-workers know me as a Sikh. It helps to have settled the identity issue. Now all I have to do is grow in spirit. Not bad!
     
  20. stupidjassi

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    nice to hear. but dont delete the post. many good things has been written here.
    good to grow. Take care. WJJK WJJF

    stupidjassi
     

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