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people trying to talk me out of Sikhism

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by carolineislands, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. carolineislands

    carolineislands
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    What is up with people trying to talk me out of becoming a Sikh? It's starting to bother me. They make me feel like it's some kind of flaky, nutty thing to do. It's not like I'm a child -- why are people not happy for me?

    It makes me wonder if these people really care about ME or if they just care about their own ideas.

    It would be nice to have more support in my decision, but it's not going to change my decision. It is just sad that people would try to discourage someone from making a commitment to a faith that so obviously is right for them in their own heart.

    I would love to be around people who would smile and be happy when I put on the chunni and would embrace me at my baptism.

    It's hard being in a small community where there are no Sikhs. Which communities in the US have the most Sikhs?

    I did see a picture of a Sikh man at my new job and have contacted him so maybe that will be at least one real live person I can talk to. Hopefully he has some family around here.

    I don't understand people who want to discourage others from choosing the path they love.

    :{-:)
     
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  3. Sherab

    Sherab
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    Caroline-ji, i'm sorry you've felt that way.

    I think they;re uncertain how a gori would take to panjabi ideas, and customs.

    For me, as a teenager, it's much easier to go out with teenage friends to a gurdwara, and go listen to kirtan, and practice gatka then it is for an older person to walk in. Sadly, most kaurs don;t even know english, so you're going to have to rely on translation and info from panjabi youth - between teenagers to those in their 30s (not really youth, but same idea).

    I think above all, they're just worried.

    But there is NOTHING, and i mean NOTHING from stopping you, and proving them wrong.

    In fact, i ENCOURAGE you to prove them wrong.

    But the best advice is to take it slow, and amke some panjabi friends. People that like you for you, and they'll happy for you at amrit sanchar - not because you're a sikh, but because you're their friend who made a big step.

    Sorry if i offended, or have mis communicated in any way.
     
  4. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Thing aboutt Sikhism is that it is a non-misiionary faith so Sikhs are not aggresive in promoting their faith hence a lot of people don't really know about it.

    As for the chunni, I am glad it makes you happy, but Sikhi is far far more than that (as you no doubt realise). You could at this stage be a Sehajhdhari (slow adopter Sikh), and study all facets of Sikhi and yet not have the outward appearance.
     
  5. carolineislands

    carolineislands
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    Yes, that's me. :) I haven't put on the chunni yet but when I do, I would like to have some other Sikhs to share with my joy in that event. I know it shouldn't bother me when people react negatively. I am learning about Sikhism in the way that I need to, which is to be as thorough as possible so that when I do take on the outward signs, there is enough substance inside to support it.

    Good news is that I contacted the Sikh man at my new place of employment and he is going to put me in contact with his wife. He said he thinks it is wonderful when people come to Sikhism and that he and his wife feel it helps them take a fresh look and new appreciation for their faith.

    That's the kind of support I was hoping for.

    I know I'm on the right path. I did find out that the gurudwara that is about 45 minutes drive from here sometimes has 200 -300 people!

    I am so excited!
     
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Sometimes, for a person who has converted or is thinking about converting to Sikhism, there is a need "to get it right" because one does not have years of exposure to Sikhi and Sikhism. We don't wear our new faith like a comfortable old sweater that has taken on the shape of the body that wears it. Not enough time has passed.

    I fuss over all kinds of things that in the end are not the fundamentals, even while knowing that some things are more deeply important than others. And there is always a nagging thought that someone will be offended and perhaps want to tell me that I should really just pack it in.

    So Caroline ji, your feelings are understandable. But Randip ji is telling you something that should help you focus on those ways of understanding that will in time give you the confidence that does not depend on the world of this and that.
     
  7. Randip Singh

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    Good for you!

    For me the struggle with the 5 thieves is the cornorstone of Sikhi.

    I have come accross many "Sikhs" with all the outward appearance of Sikhi....long hair, flowing beard, and Chunni etc but they realyy struggle with the basic struggle with the 5 thieves.

    For me the starting point is the 5 thieves. Thry and be a Gurmukh>>God willed....and avoid being a Munmukh >>>>>self willed.

    Sikhism can easily sit alongside other faiths too because Sikhs recognise Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Rama, Krishna as prophets too. Our Guru's are not any better or lesser than them.
     
  8. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    I wouldn't say that. If you study the history of these people... you will know what I mean.
    Then again I might be wrong...
     
  9. Archived_Member1

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    i'm glad you've met sikhs who are supportive of your choice... and i hope your experience at the gurdwara is good too.

    when i became interested in sikhi, most of my sikh friends were living in india, while i was in the US. so while i had some "support", when it came down to meeting LOCAL sikhs, i had a really hard time of it. i found that at the gurdwara, the vast majority of people there looked at me like i was some sort of alien, come to invade their sanctuary. :) i had just returned from india, i knew i was dressed appropriately and behaving appropriately, and yet all i got were rude/confused stares and not a single warm welcome. it took me several weeks of regular attendance before people started to return my smiles, and even then there was so much suspicion... *sigh*

    i'm not trying to dissuade you... eventually it worked out for me, i guess i was at the wrong gurdwara or something, because now that i'm in a place with a smaller sikh population, people are much more welcoming. i guess it doesn't hurt that there is a small 3HO presence here, so people have actually SEEN white sikhs before. :)

    i just pray you're not disappointed or worse if people aren't terribly welcoming at the gurdwara at first.

    the fact that you've talked to local sikhs and they're positive about it is a very good sign, and knowing someone in the community will help a lot. :) also, a gurdwara of a couple hundred is probably easier to navigate than the gurdwara of 1500-2000 that i was originally attending. :)

    interestingly, noticed that the minute i put on my dastaar, i was MUCH more accepted wherever i went. i guess some people see it as a sign of commitment...

    sorry, i'm rambling. :) your post brought up a lot of memories for me. it isn't too long ago i was in the same spot as you. :) and now, i couldn't be happier with my choice. i KNOW i did the right thing.

    oh, and the non-sikhs will come around too... i live in texas, of all places, and people are downright friendly in their curiosity about my choice of faith. :)


    oops, one more thing... major sikh populations in the US are in northern California (freemont, san jose, yuba city, bakersfield), LA, Seattle, New York (specifically Queens), Houston, parts of New Jersey.... there are also HUGE populations in Toronto and Vancouver in Canada - if you're near the border.



    agreed 100%! sometimes it's easy to get so excited about the outward trappings that we forget the really important stuff. :)
     
    #8 Archived_Member1, Jan 31, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  10. carolineislands

    carolineislands
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    Thanks for the heads up. I think I might have already had a similar experience when I moved to a new city and first started attending the Black church there. I had been part of the Black community for while, both in Haiti and US but not in that particular city. I am a musician and have sang and played with Black gospel choirs for years. But coming into a new community was odd. They didn't really know how to take me until I joined the choir and they realized I was not really as white as I look. :}{}{}:

    Eventually people got used to me.

    Yes, this is very encouraging to me. Actually they just sent me to a link where one gets the daily reading from the Golden Temple and suggested I listen to it and read it each day. Here's today's:



    But, what is "Darshan?"

    Pardon me for asking, but are you a woman or man? Women wear Dastaar? I know some of the 3HO Sikh women wear turbans -- also called dastaar?

    Funny, I have that assurance as well. There is no other faith I could embrace as fully as Sikhism. I know I'm headed in the right direction.

    Thank you. It's nice to know there are others out there who have blazed the trail already. :up:


    You are so inspiring!

    Yes, I want to become a decent representation of Sikhi before I start wearing the badge. I have not searched all my life for a path to truly love God to get to this place and make a game out of it. I heard a Sikh man giving a presentation at a university and he spoke of a discussion he had with one of his students in which he asked her who she believed was going to get into heaven. She said only the people who believed as she did. He asked, but how about the Hindu who lives a good life and follows his religion? The girl answered that the Hindu would go to hell. And what about the Muslim, he asked? The Muslim too. Finally he asked, And what about me? She replied that he too, would be going to hell. Then he said that if hell was where God wanted to send him that would be fine with him because all he wanted from God was to love him.

    I want that kind of love. I think the outward signs of Sikhi are beautiful. And, believe me, when it comes my time to put them on, I will be very honored and happy to do it. But that's not the motive or the goal. The goal is to be so in love with God that my tongue forgets how to make harsh words and I can start to remember to be mindful in thought and deed. To love God so much that I can say, "Send me where you will God, as long as you allow me to love you -- even if it's hell."

    I do have the Kara and I will wear it for the first time tomorrow. It's the symbol of my intention and a reminder that I am on a different path now... my life has a purpose and that purpose is to fall more in love with God with every passing moment.
     
    #9 carolineislands, Feb 1, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  11. Archived_Member1

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  12. Huck_Finn

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  13. carolineislands

    carolineislands
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    Beautiful!

    Thank you very much -- I understand now.

    This concept is similar to what some 'charismatic' christians call being "annointed" or filled with the holy spirit. In Haiti, the vodouissaints said they were 'ridden by the lwa.' Not exactly the same, but similar.

    Have a beautiful day.

    :)
     

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