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Questions... Sikhism And Saiva Siddhanta

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by OneDayWonder, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. OneDayWonder

    OneDayWonder
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    Hello,

    I'm a Northern European practicing Hinduism (Saiva Siddhanta from Natha lineage) while I have a great respect for Sikhism.

    I have several questions concerning Sikhism & to make sure that I would really get a proper answer, I decided to join this forum instead of just asking in a random religious site (where every person of a different background share).

    1) What is Sikh view on Saiva Siddhanta (if there's any)? I see enough similarities... I believe it is Sikhism who believes that believers of other faith will get what they desire after the death, no? Today, rather Christian woman, told me that she had seen videos of several NDE and since there a woman saw Jesus, Mohammed & Buddha working together, the woman is persuaded that Hinduism is false or that Ganesha is false, yet she believes in angels. I believe that NDE, like I once read Sikhism declare, is, in the end, inspired by the on-earth beliefs or encounters. Like seeing Jesus in Jerusalem & Krishna in Mumbai (while I don't worship Krishna as per my personal beliefs) Can you explain your point of view?

    2) What makes Sikhism still accept caste system if they know their religion is against it? (I'm sorry, I just feel that part is sad... Majority probably rejected it, yet I have read several articles about heavily emphasing on caste system when searching someone for marriage...)

    3) I read that Sikhism rejects a sacred language. I didn't know that until today, so that made me wonder - what is the main reason why Sri Guru Granth Sahib is written mainly in gurumukhti? (in Gurudwaras that is) or is it changing in foreign temples now that versions in English exist as well? (like in USA, UK etc.)

    4) Sikhism is a householder path, does that mean that Sikhs in all cases MUST have kids/family?

    5) What Sikh view on people who are born asexual (without sexual attraction and/or sexual desire whatsoever)?

    And here's something that I think is the saddest part - it's a shame that many sikh men are trimming & cutting their hair. I personally like how devout Sikh men look + I like men with long hair in general. (in an ascetically pleasing way as a painting. The World is beautiful, that's how I see sikh men too) So, I find it a shame that they take their religion for granted.

    Ok, I apologize for the last part, it's just my attempt to encourage you, even if I have no business to do so.

    Hope you have a wonderful day.
     
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    #1 OneDayWonder, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
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  3. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Welcome to SPN, OneDayWonder. I can't answer many of your questions, but some thoughts on some of them:

    Does your other forum go by the initials 'RF' by any chance?

    Culture perpetuates caste within some Sikh communities. Sikhism itself thoroughly rejects the caste system.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'rejects a sacred language'.

    Sikh Gurus actually standardised the Gurmukhi script. Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is written entirely in Gurmukhi script, because that was the script at the time. Gurmukhi is a fascinating script, easy to learn, and one's pronunciation can be greatly improved by learning the corresponding script. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is written in poetry, a lot of it rhyming, rhythm is very important, and all of this is best conveyed by the original script.

    Sikhs do tend to fall into ritualism around the Gurmukhi script, though. Gurdwaras will only have Granth Sahibs written in Gurmukhi on the palki because it is the only authentic version. It's true - no one can translate it without infusing an element of bias. It's poetry!

    Opinions vary. There is no dogma around it.

    No dogma around it.

    Enjoy the forum!
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Hello!
    I think the Sikh view on all religions is to be devoted to it, no matter what it is. I cannot speak for Sikhism, only my understanding of it, there are many that will give a different one, an interesting reply would be from my good friend Bhagat Singhji who is more spiritual than me. My understanding is that Sikhs do not get what they desire after death, after death, they are dead. I do not believe in NDE, suffice to say if you are dying, there would be much going on in the brain.
    What makes Sikhism laud superstition and ritual, what makes Sikhism go against many of the facets that made it Sikhism in the first place, well blame people and culture for that one, not Sikhism.
    By sacred language I assume you are talking about the language only understood by Brahmins, Sikhism wanted the information to be able to be read by as many people as possible. People are encouraged to read the SGGS, it is not a privilege.
    this is the sort of 'rule' that makes me laugh, what do you think? does it sound like a sensible plan? Sikhism encourages the use of our brains rather than just follow blindly rules and diktats. We have the essence, the foundations, the rest is down to us.
    Again, I am struggling to keep a straight face here, there is no Sikh view on such people, although from a personal level, I would be deeply envious.

    Yes, that it is
     
  5. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Harry many people have NDE, near death experiences. And it's actually interesting to hear their experiences because during NDE consciousness is operating differently than it normally does in everyday.... very differently. So it poses a challenge for those who study the phenomenon.
    Coincidentally I was just recently watching some lectures where these scientists were talking about all the available anecdotal evidence. It's a fascinating subject. I won't comment further on the matter as I have yet to look deeper into it. If anyone is interested in these lectures I can send you the links.

    It's not about privelege but personal interests and survival. The general public does not read scientific papers, only the brahmins (in this case scientists) are reading and writing in peer-reviewed articles.
    Does this mean the scientists are priveleged? No it just means, not everyone is interested in studying and performing experiments, etc.

    Like I enjoy studying things I am interested in, I actively listen to lectures, but most of my friends aren't interested and they don't do those things. Does that make me priveleged? No

    So similarly, brahmins (in this case theologians) in India were interested in studying ancients texts, translating and elaborating on them. I can relate to that because i love doing those things as well, whilst many people around me could care less.

    People like to different things. Someone is interesting in martial arts, someone is interested in repairing, someone is interested in painting, someone is interesting in singing and so on.

    Survival
    People like to survive, so sometimes they sacrifice their interest to ensure their survival and the survival of their family. Men tend to take more dangerous, stressful, higher-paying jobs with longer hours in order to support their families.
    Back then men were carrying on the work that their fathers were doing because this ensured their survival. So if their father was a carpenter, they would learn that trade from him and use that to earn a living.

    Personal interest is the primary factor in societies with more facilities and easier living conditions. For societies with harsher living conditions, survival is the primary factor.

    Sanskrit
    So Brahmins (in this case priests and theologians) actually wanted people to learn about what they were studying. So there would actually teach it and do elaborations on historical texts in temples.
    Today kathavachaks do katha.
    Like I am writing this post because I am interested in the subject and want to tell you what I know.
    It's the exact same thing. It's a different name for the same thing. I am playing the role of a Brahmin.

    So you have these Brahmin groups who are maintaining traditional texts, studying them, memorizing them, elaborating them and teaching them. After a long time, they started noticing that the general public was changing, languages were evolving, and the public was becoming so disconnected with the language, Sanskrit, they had preserved.

    Why did they preserve the language (Sanskrit) because a lot of the old texts were written in it and in order to understand something best, you need to read it in the language it was originally written. Like Guru Granth sahib is best understood in Gurmukhi.

    The times had changed. They need to change their way of doing things with the time.

    So these guys had to do something. They started translating texts into local languages. And the gurus started explaining these to the masses. And in Northern India, our 10 Gurus were spear-heading this as well. Getting the texts translated by local scholars and explaining them to the masses. This tradition is called Pothi Mehl tradition. There are many Sanskrit texts that have been translated into Punjabi and Braj, along with the commentary of the sikh scholars.

    Brahmins also started training members of other castes to able to teach this stuff to their circles. In northern India, Guru Ramanand (whose bani is present in Guru Granth Sahib) had desciples from all kinds of castes Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Ravidas, etc.

    So a lot of things were happening and the there is much more to it than what most people are aware of.

    Anyways I like the other answers you gave. Nothing to add to those.
     
  6. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    I think Ishna and Harry have aptly answered your questions.
    Now it's our turn.

    Shaiv religion as I understand is the woship of Shiv ji and his forms. Do worship any particular forms? the shiv-ling? Or do you practice meditation techniques mostly? Do you listen to and sing songs about Shiv ji?
    I am curious as to what you believe and practice. What traditions are specific to the Nath tradition?
    How does the Nath tradition view Shaivism?
     
  7. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    OneDayWonder ji welcome and thanks for your post. Some comments below:
    Sikhism does not believe in differentiated treatment of people regardless of their beliefs. The basic teaching is that we generally reap what we sow. However when and how and if such materializes may be beyond complete understanding. The basic path is to live in consonance of all creation around and try to do so with most understanding recognizing one would never have all understanding.

    Sikhs may be as culturally intertwined in tradition as others. Whereas Sikhism teaches to rise above it, all the time and eliminate such; would it take 100 years, 500 years or for some forever is a variable only known to individuals, clans and so on. No denying it plays a non Sikhism guided part in many situations unfortunate as it may be.


    Punjabi (Gurmukhi script) was chosen from what I know by our founders based on its availability and usage by rich and mighty to the underprivileged and considered less equal in the culture and societies of the days. This contrasted sharply against the privileged usage of Sanskrit by Brahmins of the day to manage Hinduism religious affairs. The founders encouraged knowledge to be available to all and the path to understanding available to all regardless of stature, caste or other aspects. Choice of Punjabi was to share and to remove the need for any intermediaries to understanding creator or creation or to get salvation through knowledge.
    Sikhism simply guides that raising families, being part of a productive society is no hindrance to understanding or seeking so called salvation. Abdication, going to hills, shunning work, fasting, other prevalent rituals were no pre-requisite to developing any understanding of creator, creation or living thereof in consonance of such knowledge.
    Sikhism does not teach discrimination but understanding. If through lack of understanding there is discrimination, it is not a message of Sikhism but a challenge for Sikhism and Sikhs to seek more knowledge.

    Hoping above is of some value in answering your query.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I see, a bit like getting completely wasted and then having a conversation about whats going on in your head. Personally I prefer my conversations lucid, I fail to see how the stress of being at near death can bring anything other than gibberish to the table. My brain operates differently when I have to brake hard to avoid a small child crossing the road, next time it happens I will post my thoughts before and after. Maybe someone could study that phenomenon.
    the point is that the general public have the option to read scientific papers, no one is going to make it hard for them....

    are you informing me or teaching me?
    oh, I can see where this is going.....

    gosh its almost like your saying that the Gurus merely translated Vedic texts and explained them to the locals, but with turbans and kirpans thrown in, and then called it Sikhism!

    our? who do you represent?
     
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  9. Tejwant Singh

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    Pardon my ignorance but what is NDE? I know what it means but how does one know and prove that one was just off the cliff. This like believing in talking snakes, miracles or any other mind made event.

    In my opinion there is nothing called NDE. If there were, then we would be at the bottom of the cliff and would not be here to talk about it about seeing fairies, angels, talking snakes and/or some old man in a white long dress telling you," Son, I saved you from staying with me".
     
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  10. BhagatSingh

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    Well people who have experienced NDE report much more lucidity than your everyday experience.

    Haha that's not NDE. But certainly it can lead up to it if the child was instead a large truck ;)


    Lol no they can't. They won't understand the language and they won't understand what is going on. The Brahmin (in this case modern scientists) by virtue of what they do make it hard for the general public to understand.

    Go read a few, you'll know what I mean.


    Informing as an informer, teaching as a teacher

    That's a nice strawman. I won't go into it because it's not the point.

    My point is that there were efforts by high castes to bring the knowledge to the lower castes. And people seem to be unaware of these efforts and the situation itself, and call it privilege.


    ਹਰਿ
     
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  11. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Bhagat Singh ji thanks for your post. One may not agree with all others say but all differences allow more learning if one is so inclined.

    Separately, would you be kind enough to start a thread on NDE? Perhaps in the non-religious section like interfaith dialogue. I am pretty sure in my mind that one hardly knows much and extremes like NDE and even drugs, disease may enlighten us, as unfortunate as these may be, but still a possible catalyst may be for such discoveries. For example consciousness devoid of sensory inputs intermittently or on a prolonged like in "Coma", etc., and recovery from the same. Extreme sensory inputs like what you said about a truck coming head on towards oneself, and so on.

    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: Feel free to share privately with me any NDE links that you will classify as scholarly or of merit.
     
    #10 Ambarsaria, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  12. BhagatSingh

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    Satsriakal!
    Sure thing.

    Indeed. Such experiences like NDE challenge the materiatic/mechanistic scientific worldview and further research on these phenomenon will lead to a new paradigm in science.

    I would say consciousness devoid of sensory input is an experience everyone should have. I don't mean everyone should go into Coma lol. I mean everyone should develop such a consciousness if only for a moment and have a glimpse into it.

    Some people call that NDE. However, I would just call that a high-stress environment.
    What I think we should reserve the word NDE for is - Experiences where the person is clinically dead and their brain is not working.
     
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  13. kulbirs

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    Dear OneDayWonder:

    Though I am an not an expert on religious studies not a devout sikh, but what I understand from my reading of sikh scriptures and learnings from my ancestors is that Sikhism is about Following the Laws of Nature and Abiding by the Will of Almighty (by whatever name you call it, we sikhs commonly call Waheguru, Satnam, or Sat Kartar, etc.)
    In the opening verses of Sikh holy book, a question is asked How to become truthful and break the wall of falsehood that separates us from our Creator. Guru Nanak replied - by following the laws of nature (Hukum) and abiding by the Will of the Lord (Raza).
    The Hukum of the Creator cannot be described, as it is beyond our comprehension. Only when the Lord desires (bestows ITS love) one becomes aware of his HUKUM and follows the Hukum. So, what is the method to understand and follow ITS Hukum? By following the Shabad Guru (holy verses of Sikh Holy Book - Guru Granth Sahib) in one's day-to-day life and always abiding by the Will of Lord, the Almighty bestows upon ITS blessing, and ALL is Revealed. ... ...to be contd..
     
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  14. chazSingh

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    I think in life you have a true sikh (one who is actively seeking experience / first hand knowledge of the truth, and a 'labelled' sikh i.e. one who labels themselves as a sikh based on if they were born in a sikh family...but is not actively nor interested in delving into the SGGS Ji (religious Tribalism)

    What makes Sikhism still accept caste system if they know their religion is against it?
    it is not sikhism that accepts caste...it is individuals that do...again, this depends on if you're referring to a True Sikh (one who is actively seeking Gods experience, or the person who just labels themself as a sikh to be part of a community, but has very little interest in seeking experience of God

    Sikhs Trimming and cutting hair?
    Is a Shame, but again...only a True Sikh interested in Seeking Waheguru will look into why leaving your body at peace is useful or beneficial for their journey to God...
    someone who just labels themselves as a Sikh would see no purpose for it, or anything in Sikhi...because they are not interested in seeking Waheguru.
     
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  15. BhagatSingh

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