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Questions from a New Sikh

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by be_still, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. be_still

    be_still
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    Hello all! I am fully ready to convert to the Sikh faith, because I believe it is the way I was meant for.. (long story). But, as a "white" women, it is hard to "be" a Sikh. I have been to my local Gurdwara, but the only other white women there talks about Kundilini, and not the religion. I am a bit shy, so I don't want to offend anyone because of my lack of knowledge...


    I would like to know, what a typical day of a Sikh is, as far as prayers.


    Where do I learn Gurbani?


    Do women wear a turban/ chunni all the time, or just in the Gurdwara?


    Does the Kirpan need to be a certain size? ( I have a small one since I can't have it showing at work)


    I just need help, any help, is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

    P.S. I am familiar with the 3HO, but I don't really find them the "best" authority....
     
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    #1 be_still, Nov 9, 2010
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  3. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    I would like to know, what a typical day of a Sikh is, as far as prayers. <? />


    Where do I learn Gurbani?


    Do women wear a turban/ chunni all the time, or just in the Gurdwara?


    Does the Kirpan need to be a certain size? ( I have a small one since I can't have it showing at work)


    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    animatedkhandaHi be_still, welcome and congragulations for your choice and decision...

    1]Sikhism has no firm boundaries although the desirable and guidance is that a Sikh should arise at the amritvela-earlier than dawn and have a fresh shower before indulging into prayers.But most people I know including me will arise around 6 /7 [ unless it is auspicious ocassion]and have a shower before doing the Jaap Ji sahib and completing an Ardaas.With practice it is hoped one would have become perfect and dedicated in their practice.

    In the evening most times,when I can, I will do a family Rehraas sahib and an ardaas.But almost ritually , every night, the Kirtan Sohilla is completd without fail.This goes for Jaap ji sahib too.This a general pattern of most ordinary Sikhs with familiy life and work commitments.The more steadfast may do more Paath- Jaap sahib, sukhmani sahib etc throughout the day.


    But if you can only do once in the morning or evening, that is okay.You can always recite the Naam throughout the day.With discipline and practice you may increase how you decied to say the Paath- daily prayers.

    I am a practical and down to earth person, and keep sikhism simple.Some are more riggid and will find my suggestion unacceptable.Being a Sikh and then becomming a Sikh are two different things, the latter is a slow process.So worry, not.If you miss your prayers sometime in the day or the week.

    2]There are many channels to learn Gurbani these days.Through the internet, books on your own;and at Gurduaras through teachers.This really depends on the resources available around one.One of the simple principles, you must remember daily is the notion of sarbat da bhalla, Kirt Kamaii and wand shakna- and sewa, however little you may do on a daily , weekly basis.

    Sarbat da bhalla, is praying and working for the welfare of humanity;Kirt Kamaii is honest earnings through an honest job/work; and wand shakna is share what you can with the needy.

    3]An initiated Sikh female , may use a Dupatta to have her head covered in sangat and public.Some may wear a Keski - small sized turban around the head.This is then covered with a dupatta.There is no compulsion for either, although for cultural reasons for all Sikh females it is deemed respectful and desirable for a female to keep the head covered with a shawl or dupatta or Chunni as you called in public or sangat; and esspecially when dressed in traditional clothes; a simple chunni over the head when dressed in western suit trouser.

    4[Strictly speaking, there is no size limitation for carrying a Kirpan.But abroad and nowadays, as it can be misunderstood;therefore it is advisable to carry a Kirpan that conforms to the law of the country.The smallest Kirpan from my understanding is 6 inches, which is also the norm accepted in many countries outside India lawfully.I agree with you that it is not desirable to draw attention in public by carrying a large Kirpan or one that is not within the law agreements of that nation.My view is a Kirpan should not be displayed openly, but carried under the garments; but also ensure when entering Government buildings etc , one should advise the security of the Kirpan in possession.In UK, departments find this acceptable.

    Some Sikhs use a Kirpan embedded into their Kanga, but I dont feel that conforms to the law of the Sikh religion, in reallity.Although because of the current state of affairs,that is an area that needs review by the SGPC; esspecially when boarding planes.


    I hope that explains the basics.But if you have time, you can read the following leisurely.Most of it is sensible....

    http://www.thaisikh.org/sikhism/sikhwayoflife.php

    [unfortunately Divorces a real reallity these days even among Sikhs]
     
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    #2 Chaan Pardesi, Nov 9, 2010
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  4. davinderdhanjal

    davinderdhanjal United Kingdom
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    Chaan Pardesi Ji,

    I agree and am thankful for your comments to help the newcomer. I in fact saw your site and find it laid out very well and easy to access. The simplicty attracts attention and for newcommers is a source with least confusion.

    With your permission I will pass the address to other people I know who may benefit too.

    About divorce and other legalities - I think we should separate these from religion - each country has its own rules and regulations depending on the system ad support it gives to the adherents of law of the country. Divorce is not something that a religion can dictate - it happens, no god fearing person wants to hurt or break up union of that type but if you force people to do things that are not in their control - untold damage can ensue.

    If in case it does happen then we have to resolve it in a manner that is 'fair' and as I see it only present day courts can do it but we can help by being true to each other and to god.

    In present day Punjab India (may be other places too) where circumstances govern the behaviour of some misguided people, especially greed, they have found ways of killing or blowing up the women (possibly because there is no divorce)- this is not Sikhi especially when reading through what you have put down in the site information (I do believe that).

    If the religion has to contribute anything to this it has to be practical help - just sermons are not enough. It has to come from the top - may be 'hukam namas' that tell the gurudwara authorities to educate people that this not the way (there are other things too like killing girls before they are born that put us in par with Islam however they blow all life that does not agree with their religion!) with the infinite amount of funds that Sikhs bestow on them!

    Can you imagine what the newcomers will understand if they found that these are the things that 'some people calling themselves sikhs' do - frightening!
     
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  5. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Hi,

    There are two types of Sikh basically.

    1)Those who have taken Amrit:

    They must comply with the 5 k's (including long hair), read the prayers at certain times etc

    2) Those who have not taken Amrit:

    These Sikhs don't tend to have long hair but have trimmed beared etc, but they believe in the teachings of the Sikh holy book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    It is up to you which stage you wish to be at. Initially I would say take stage 2 and read the Sikh Holy Book and understand the Sikh concepts.
     
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    #4 Randip Singh, Nov 9, 2010
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  6. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    "There are two types of Sikh basically".

    I would disagree with the above.There is no such definition that defines Sikhs as two types.There is only one defined Sikh as according to the teaching of Sikhism and the Sikh code of conduct.

    The definition of a Sikh has been well defined very clearly by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

    However, as a result of poor practice of the religion by many Sikhs, some catogories of Sikhs appear to have emerged which have been self accepted by whoever that falls into that sphere; and thinks best describes them or their lack of Sikh commitment.

    We may see Sikhs who follow strictly the correct procedure of Sikhi; or those who follow to a degree most of the principles or some of the principles which may include or exclude the outer articles of faith and are not initiated into the Khalsa.

    That means they have lapsed their religion proper.

    The second "type" as claimed and given is not supported by the Gurbani, Sikh protocol or the existing Sikh definitions from both history and rehatnamas or by the two main Sikh bodies the SGPC and DSGMC, who have defined Sikhs through the law.It is only a reflection of the poor commitment to sikhi among Sikhs.

    [[The issue of sehajdhari [slow learner] sikh, although recognised, is not accepted or part of a defintion of a proper or improper Sikh or even a type of Sikhi.It is and was only accepted in practice for the genuine sehajdahris, and not those who claim it today; when most are really patits[way laid, apostates].

    Poor practices of the religion is found among Sikhs who have fallen from Sikhi grace.This includes those who may have started to adopt to the turban after having abandonned it initially; or growing beard slowly , and others who though born into Sikh homes never initialy grew their hair.

    However, these are not any part of the recognised Sikh faith, but acts of patitpoona committed by the weak Sikhs and to justify their actions they have have always sought to mitigate their poor actions of lacking in Sikh faith and appearance by claiming existence of types within Sikhism; is totally a non starter according to the Sikh law.
     
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