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Zoroastrianism Sikhism and Zoroastrianism: A Dialog

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by curious seeker, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. curious seeker

    curious seeker
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    Dear Narayanjot

    I thank you for your kind words. What can I say? I have an inquiring mind. I have experienced the Divine and I thirst for it. I am always looking to find the best way and place , format, and-or belief system, to worship, Him, to understand Him (as much as that is possible) to serve Him. I long for a community that understands the need of humanity for, as some Sikhs have said God centeredness, that wants to care and nurture its members, while teaching them sound doctrine and practice. While, above all, living the faith as it were. Is that too perfect? Perhaps, but even a community 50% like that would fill my soul with bliss.

    Now I am far from perfect. Do not event think that I am close to being anywhere near where I need to be at with the Great Knower and Lover that is our Beloved and Loving Teacher and Friend.

    Also I am more than a little surprised to see how men waste truly precious teachings and go for all sorts of superstition, logically invalid, contradictive beliefs, attitudes and aberrations. I am wary of manipulators which are always trying to twist messages to enslave people's minds. And I believe some messages lend themselves to easy manipulation. On the other hand, I am also weary of those that cannot or will not call evil, falsehood, and manipulation what they are. and are always making excuses for evil, error and ignorance.

    What truly makes me wonder about man's mental health, though, is when one finds a teaching that is so harmonious with the self evident truths that are out there, (yes I say self evident because I do not believe God hides in some dark room and refuses to come out or show His goodness, love and compassion) and yet its adherents just waste. their precious treasure with narrow mindedness, impracticality and blind adherence to harmful traditions or notions and miss the TRUTH that man's needs and problems are universal and need the universal message of the universal God to overcome them.

    Well I am off my soap box. I have so much too learn about you and your faith, traditions and all those names and terms in, what you call that beautiful sounding language, Gurmukh?. That Ebook you posted in your last is saying either EXACTLY what I have believed ever since l left the spiritual deserts of atheism and the manipulations of Christianity. I tell you, it was like some one was reading my heart and mind. I am not ashamed to tell that I cried and I am only 36 pages into it. (I guess I have better buy some handkerchiefs:))

    You want me to talk and post on Zoroastrianism? Well I can but it wil be a little at a time because, I have my fingers into so much stuff right now. Besides its a bitter sweet for me to talk about The Ethical Vision of Goodness (Daena Vanguhi) What most Conservative Irani Zartoshtis call the Behi Din/ Din e Behi or Good Religion and what the Parsis think they follow (sadly they don't)

    I will tell you this, while I do not believe in miracles in the sense of God or even God's Teachers and Thought Provokers (Zarathushtra calls himself both) breaking natural laws. The religion of Nanak and the religion of Zarathushtra are kissing cousings. More than that, they are almost like twins. Zarathushtra was a master of the brief and profound thought, pregnant with possibilities and shades of meaning and, if anything Sikh Guru's, specially the Granth, compliment and, I never truly thought I had EVER said this of any religion, apparently (I am not yet familiar enough or convinced enough of this to call it a fact) surpass his teachings.

    Finally, I will end this long post by being very bold, I hope you forgive me and understand when I ask: Just how normative of Sikh theological thought is this wonderful Essentials electronic book that you have connected me with? And if it is normative are Sikhs actually seeking to convert others to the most wonderful faith behind that theology? I mean such a message has to be offered to a mankind that for just too many milenia has been trapped in superstitious, innerly contradictive and easily manipulated belief systems. That can spawn truly harmful and destructive sects (The Taliban, Al Qaeda, Wahabbis, Raelian's, Davidian's, and People's Temple, come too easily and quickly to mind) I mean and, again, pardon me if I am being too forward, to not, at least, be VERY INFORMATIVE and OPEN with such truly wonderful teachings, in such a world as the one we live in today, can almost almost be called treason to humanity.

    Well like the Gathic Zoroastrians say
    Ushta (Something like Radiant and Happy Illumination) Te (to You)
    Curious
     

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  3. curious seeker

    curious seeker
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    Hi!

    Can I call you Mari? Yes Bahais! I am afraid that my experiences with Abrahamic religions have been far from good. Bahai religion 'reads' pretty good. However there are some red flags. They do go around different religions trying to convert people by misquoting and sometimes even fabricating scriptures to make people believe that Baha Ullah was foretold in the scriptures of the would be convertee. Recently in the US they have had some major fights and schisms. Down here in Florida, they have basically pulled up their stakes and disappeared. Now some of the nicest people I have met on the Net are Bahais , once you break through their need to claim that Bahaullah was prophesied about in your scriptures. By the way, this might sound stupid but I only know one way to stop being ignorant, ask questions! Do Sikh have prophesies?

    Zarathushtra was, and is, the world must misunderstood teacher. Suffix it to say that the religion that came after him (some 300 years after) brought back in the gods he had kicked out, the use of a powerful drug he had forbidden and in general totally altered his teachings while still claiming to follow him. I promise I will post on Zoroastrianism in a few days I just can't now.

    Blessings
    Curious
     
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  4. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Re: Introducing Myself

    Hi, Curious Seeker ji,

    I am generally called Mai and I would be most pleased if you call me that.

    I didn't realise that Baha'i was Abrahamic. I'm afraid that religious branch loses me at the first mention of God being angry. I do insist that any Supreme Being that holds my allegiance be better behaved than I am, and I have outgrown temper tantrums (most of the time).

    If by prophesies you mean predictions of the future, I think not. In fact, I don't think that sort of thing enters into Sikhi at all! Any thing like astrology or fortune telling is against our code of conduct, the Sikh Rehat Maryada. (Should you wish to take a look at it, I've linked it here. It's really not very long or complicated and it would give you a good idea of how we are supposed to behave. It isn't perfect, but it's what we've got for now.) As close as I can think of predicting the future would simply be cause and effect. If I do A, then B will result. But that's logic, not prophesy.

    I think many of us now are making a huge attempt to keep Sikhi from being corrupted as Zoroastrianism was. We have the whole Hinduvta movement which insists that we are really Hindus to be reassimilated into the fold, that we don't even exist as a separate religion.

    We have even within the ranks of Sikhs those who are trying to bring in a whole silly mythology along with a bit of porn, which would certainly change the whole religion into something unrecognisable as Sikhi. (Now there are those who would be quite indignant, perhaps even violent at my saying that, but it's the truth.)

    It's late now and I'm getting careless with my words, so I better quit for now.

    Later.

    Chardi kala! :ice:
     
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: Introducing Myself

    curious seeker ji

    The missionary work of Sikhism is typically taken to mean organized efforts to strengthen and deepen knowledge of Sikhi among Sikhs. Proselytizing outside of the religion is not typical, in fact so far I have never witnessed nor read of it.

    Missionary colleges, Guru Granth academies on the web, these are the kinds of organizations that provide opportunities for in depth study and do reinforce the need to teach Sikhi.

    As for the word "normative" that I used I think on a different thread. Let's just say that currently Sikhism is experiencing some pressure at its core, historical tensions are building, differences are being emphasized. It is hard to find the center right now, as the poles of opinion have laid claim to the "truth." The references that I have given you from Global Sikh Studies.net >> Home Page are not only by established Sikh scholars, but they are valued by independent religious scholars. Many of the authors who have contributed to that site are formally trained in theology and religious studies.

    I have checked into this personally. At the beginning of my own journey into Sikhism I had a strong need to know whether the materials I was reading would withstand severe tests of internal coherence. I asked people whose opinion I value, who had formal training in theology, to read and judge whether these materials were examples of coherent theology. They kindly obliged, leaving their own religious orientations aside, as I asked them to do. . These writings got better than passing grades.

    My own assessment is that the e-book Essentials of Sikhism represents the broad view. It was written by a highly respected person. There is nothing there that echoes sentiments coming from British-inspired attempts to undermine Sri Guru Granth Sahib, or from brahminical traditions, or from politically inspired efforts to question Sri Guru Granth Sahib as our 11th Guru.
     
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  6. curious seeker

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    Re: Introducing Myself

    Hi Mai

    Sorry I mispelled,

    Thank yoiu so much for the link to the Code of Conduct! I meant to say could I call you Mai not Mari:hmm:! Well Bahai's come out of Islam and while they are something like Islam Lite, they do consider Abraham a prophet, so ... Abrahamic.

    The reason I ask about prophecies is because the Bahai's use those to try to claim that Baha Ullah was predicted by other religion's own scriptures. Since you have no prophecies then they are handicapped in trying to convert Sikhs, although, knowing their methods they will probably claim that Nanak was talking about Baha Ullah:). Don't laugh but they have actually argued that Baha Ullah is physically related to Abraham, Zarathushtra AND Mohammed!

    By the way, thank you so much for the link to the Code of Conduct I am trying to understand it as I read it.( You realize, I hope, that your terminology its new to me and and somewhat confusing , when you use so many Non-English terms.)

    I do have yet to find a prophecy that, upon study, stands up to that study or has been fulfilled, so put me on the agnostic camp about prophecy. Now deduction or prediction that is something else, and it does involve logic and a bit of understanding of human nature as well.

    Ah the Hinduvta! Believe it or not even Parsis a are being proselityzed to give up their religion and 'come back'. I though Hinduism was tolerant? I guess that is another one of those Political Correct lies. Now there are, what, 700 million Hindus and only 30 million Sikhs, am I correct? That can be very dangerous. What kind of protections do you have under Indian law?

    Mythology? Porn? Why is it that people always want to be ignorant corrupt and superstitious. Its a rethorical question. The only answer is education. Do you have something like the Islamic or Mormon schools? ( You know the Mormons, have their kids go to secular school, mostly, and then they have to go to Mormon school to learm Mormon values. Islam has schools like that too, although I don't know if they have many secular schools.)

    What does Chardi kala! mean?

    Till the next post and thanks for all your help!

    Blessings
    Curious
     
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  7. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Re: Introducing Myself

    Hi, CS ji (May I call you CS?)

    I understand well the confusion with all those Punjabi words. Although I grew up semi-fluent in Punjabi - I could actually read Gurmukhi before I could read English - in April 2006, I had a major stroke and lost my Punjabi. All of it. I didn't know the word "Sikh" or even my own name! I guess that part of brain was destroyed because it has never come back. I retained only one word, "Waheguru," but starting there and with the help of the Internet and a few friends, I have managed to relearn a great deal. It can be done, if you are determined to do it. Don't be afraid to ask.

    Chardi kala literally means something like "high spirits" in Punjabi. It is a sort of attitude of eternal optimism that is an integral part of the Sikh way of life. My Dad described it thus: "When your enemy has his boot in your face, his knife at your throat and his gun cocked at your temple, you laugh at him. "Ha! You can kill me, but you can't defeat me." That's chardi kala. That's what it means to be a Sikh." Chardi kala is the distinctly Sikh virtue. There's a really good article on it here.

    I personally find such things as prophecies annoying. This probably comes from a lifetime of fighting off Christian proselytisers, including my mother's family. I love talking about Sikhi because I love it and it is the central part of my life. I do not, however, believe everyone should believe as I do or live as I live. Anyway, Guru calls those he wants, that's not for me to do.

    Under Indian law, Sikhs are Hindus. Need I say more? We were completely betrayed by Nehru and MK Gandhi at the time of independence and the constitution of India was written, declaring us to be Hindus. We have never accepted this, but it is the law. With that kind of attitude, you can imagine the great protection given us in that country. In 1984, Indira Gandhi sent the army to destroy our holiest place, the Golden Temple and she was killed by her Sikh bodyguards. After her death, thousands of Sikhs were murdered in a government-sponsored pogrom. You'll learn a lot about that as you hang out here.

    I seem to be writing to you late at night. I'm tired and need to go.

    Thank you for your blessings.

    Chardi kala! :ice:
     
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  8. curious seeker

    curious seeker
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    Dear Naryanjot

    Thanks for your reply. You say that:

    "The missionary work of Sikhism is typically taken to mean organized efforts to strengthen and deepen knowledge of Sikhi among Sikhs. Proselytizing outside of the religion is not typical, in fact so far I have never witnessed nor read of it."

    Well what did Nanak do in his 5 journeys? What did the other Gurus do? I mean Sikhs came from converting Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims, right? The reason of course was that all those that spread the religin considered it a better answer for the human condition.

    I believe that the world today is in desperate need of a faith that is not encumbered by irrational theologies. As I study, and I have studied basically all the major faiths , I have only found 2 rational hope giving faiths, that are not handicapped by irrational theologies or traditions. One is the Religion of Zarathushtra (And please note, that I do not refer to Zoroastrianism, because that is what men did to his religion. I refer to what he taught and not to what any one else taught and adulterated in his name) and, frankly, Sikhism, although I need to do a lot more studying of your faith to be sure. Still from what little I have seen so far , yours is a faith that could answer the human need like no other.

    It also rings true which is , of course, essential. But the reaon I , not you, used the word normative, is that I was askiog you if what you so kindly provided in that link to the Essentials of Sikhism , was normative of Sikh theology because, if it is, then you must understand that you have THE answer for the human heart and mind, not just for your own culture group but for humanity.

    You asked me about Zoroastrianism, and I will give you answers, but right now I must tell you that one of the greates gifts of Zarathushtra to mankind, is the Universality of his doctrine. He more than all other (And here I would have to make an exception of Nanak, at least by inference, since I believe he alsohad the whole of humanity present in his mind) founders, understood that we are ONE, that we all have, in spite of surface differences, the same hope and dreams. So he preached to and for EVERYONE regardless of condition, gender or any other limitation.

    I think that Sikhs have a wondrous treasure, and that you ought to share it as well as tfy to keep it unsoiled. One goal does not negate the other. I am glad that you consider the wonderful theology behind Essentials to be the normative or broad view Sikh theology If it isn't it certainly ought to be.

    As to pressure, from outside and inside your faith. A message of Equality Reason, God Centeredness and a Loving and Rational God represents a danger to many.

    To the god traders and purvetors of irational theologies, to the fanatics and fundamentalists, to the secularists, to the tyrannical , tyo the envious and the hateful. Here , i will again give you something of what Zarathushtra taught , not because I perceive it to be superior but because I perceived it to be in harmony with Sikhism and indeed something that might openand motivate some minds.

    Zarathushtra taught that God crated man to be his Hamkar, meaning fellow worker, in the battle against ignorance , darkness , falsehood and wrong. To have man become like unto Him in ethical nature and through man uplift the whole opf creation making it wonderful (Fresho Kereti) Man must fight error, ignorance, evil not only in himself but in others, and in society as a whole. That is why he said he wanted to convert ALL THE LIVING , that is to change their minds and hearts, to teach them that Truth and Right are the ONLY path .That you cannot keep to yourself what is TRUE, and RIGHT, because to do would not be right since we are all creations of the Wise and True Lord. You have a gift from the Wonderful Teacher and you have to share it

    Do not be surprised you have enemies you represent a clear danger to them because if you inform every one of your message if you make Sikhs of many, you will be destroying their power structures , their ideologies and their finances. They know this even if you do not know it. The Hindu establishment is scared of you the manipulators within your own ranks are scared of you,. The day you become more powerful you will make more enemies , among the powers that be in all religions, and ideologies , that is the lot of the kind , the rational . But that is also your strength, that you have the answers to liberate billions and make the world Wonderful like Zarathushtra, and I am sure Nanak and all your Gurus, saw it.

    Blessings
    Curious
     
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  9. curious seeker

    curious seeker
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    Hi Mai!

    Wow a stroke so young! Now can you tell me the difference between Gurmukhi and Punjabi? When you say that ' I guess that part of the brain was destroyed because it nevr came back' Do you mean you never got your ability to retrieve your ptrvious knowledge of Punjabi back? I see however where you did remember the Divine name (at least one of its forms) That shows you that devotion is stronger than strokes, at least some times.

    Oh I am sure I can learn the language, if I have the time, I certainly will , I mean I learned some Old Avestan, and that is a dead language. However, I have to go by steps otherwise I will get involved in so many things that I won't have time to really delve into them.

    Hmmm. Chardi kala, sounds like a combination of optimism , a dare devil attitude and courage, interesting. Thanks for the link, I will study it.

    Well proselytizing has become a bad name, because of the techniques used, and the attitudes shown, by the people who practice it now a days. However, sharing your faith with others , specially , if your faith is as beautiful and as sound as Sikhi , is something that ought to be done. The Guru may call those He wants , however, I believe there is no reason to doubt He is calling every one, now calling is not forcing, but calling He is. People have to be faced with clear choices and informed so that they can choose accordingly. Remember Sikh Gurus shared their faith. Those who heard the call and accepted it became Sikhs, if that had not happened we would not be having this, very long conversation. Man, I must really stop being so long winded.

    I have studied religions for 29 years now, ever since my mother died and I, as an atheist at the time, had a spiritual experience. I have learned that very few faiths are logicallly valid and most are totally irrational and can only be held either on blind faith or by unthinking , unquestioning minds. I have also learnt that we pay a horrible price as individuals, societies and as a race, when we do not question our beliefs. Bad beliefs, not necessarilly evil, but just plain wrong or contradictory beliefs, create those scourges of man that are secularism and fanatical unthinking faiths.

    Look at what the Taliban, for example has done and is doing. That is the product of what Zarathushtra called wrong, senseless thinking. It affects others, it wrongs them. Look at those Sikhis these fanatics beheaded, or at the 3000 poeple who were butchered in New York and on and on. Choices, thoughts , words and actions, all have consequences many times for totaly innocent third parties. We must attempt to make people see that God, to be God, has to be above ordering murder, mayhem and genocide. We must change minds, not only because it is the right thing to do, but out of individual and communal self interest.

    Unfortunately, and with all due respect, Islam's theology lends itself to be manipulated in such ways that sects, like the Taliban, and the Wahabbi's, and murdering megalomaniacs, like Bin Ladin, spring forth from it. And Islam is far from the only faith with a sloppy theology. Xianity is no example of clarity, logic and clear thinking. But in today's world, we are told to not call wrong , wrong, or evil evil , to look the other way, not to think things through. So we end up paying lip service to untruth because we dare not question it.

    In any case I have concluded that basically there are two faiths that stand closer to Truth and God, the old faith of Zarathushtra and your own faith. Basically the other faiths are held by persons that have not thought things through, do not care to think, accept authority blindly, have bought into it emotionally and-or have never questioned their assumptions And, let me tell you, when man becomes emotionally invested in one of these faiths, he will do the impossible to defend the most undefensible of doctrines.

    I have personally witnessed brilliant, educated men with two or three PHDs attemp to defend such things as the immaculate conception, the infallibilty of the Pope, the genocide ordered (supposedly) by Yahweh on the Cananites, the salvific effects of circumcision, among others, or simply make themselves into pretzels pretending to answer Epicurus whom, in the 3rd Century BCE put a figurative hammer to Abrahamic theology and shattered it irretrievably in a few sentences of exquiste logic, and mind you he was a pagan.

    And please do not get me wrong mind and logic can only take you to what is logically valid and most probable. Faith, practice, and spiritual experience are the only things that can take you all the way to the presence of the True One. But you have to filter all faiths , doctrines and ideologies through mind and logic otherwise you will be totally confused. Besides the same Creator that gave us the ability to believe and to experience Him-Her, also gave us the discerning mind and the logical ability to test the doctrines of men and He gave these attributess to us for us to use them, not to let them go unused.

    When you describe to be the abuses, that even a supposedly tolerant religion like Hinduism can be twisted into committing by the god traders and manipulators, I can only say to you: If people were exposed to the Truth of GSS and-or the Truth of the Gathas of Zarathushtra and they internalized this Truth by either converting or reforming their own way of thinking and their religion's theologies , then such things as you described happenning to Sikhs would be a lot less likely to happen. Besides the greater your numbers the more likely you would not be persecuted.

    Finally one last thing, in your opinion how likely is it that that Sikhs can:
    1. Have a civil right movement to change India laws and get protection?
    2. Failing that, would Sikks massively emigrate?
    3. How likely is that Sikh could have Sikhistan or autonomy in India?

    Well I have written a small book, instead of a post . I am sorry, hope you are understnding of an old curious seeker!

    Thanks for your kindness!

    Blessings
    Curious
     
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  10. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Hi, again, CS! I hope you're having a chardi kala day!

    Actually, I was 41 when I had my first, very minor stroke. I have a blood condition that causes my blood to clot a lot and have had numerous health problems. No bother. I'm on warfarin (Coumadin) until something better comes along. We take these things in stride. I'm a fighter and this is one more battle. I was in a coma for a while (I actually died two times, too) and most of mty nurses were Kaurs. Seeing my kara and body hair, they surmised that I was Sikh and did jap-naam - repeating "Waheguru" - to me. Coincidence? Synchronicity? Divine intervention? Who knows? Who cares?

    Gurmukhi is the alphabet used in writing Punjabi, which is the language. It can be confusing because sometimes the words are used interchangably, which is not really correct.

    Chardi kala is living with a smile on your face and love in your heart no matter what happens. Enough bad stuff has happened to me that I know whatof I speak. The ability to live that way, I think, comes from the Sikh belief that everything that happens is the Hukam of Waheguru (Will or Command of God). I have a couple of times had experiences where I have I have seen and lived the truth of this and seen it all in a wider perspective than is possible in my normal state of consciousness.

    My major experience of proselytising comes from Christians, not Muslims. It started with my Roman Catholic mother's family who were determined that I was to be one of thwm and enforced that for a number of years until - it's an interesting and possibly amusing story. Here it is on my autobiographical blog, The Unringed Bell. I have collected posts from my other blogs together here for convenience. It needs some editing. Someday I'll get around to it. Maybe.

    I will be absolutely honest. My knowledge of Zarathustra comes mostly from Richard Strauss' musical composition. I tried to read the book by Nietzsche once, but got bogged down. I imagine that neither of those has anything to do with the teachings of the real person.

    I have always believed that God BWN plays by the rules. What appear to be miracles are the actions of natural law that we don't yet understand. Logic has its limits certainly. Very few people seem to reach that limit, however. It is easier to use blind faith and sloppy reasoning than to think things through. I do that on occasion, but I try not to do that on really important things like religion maple syrup.

    I think not everyone is ready to be a Sikh. It takes a certain disposition and commitment that some people are not yet capable of. We are all on this journey, each at her/his own place. I am overjoyed to talk about Sikhi to anyone who wants to learn about it. I see no reason to talk to those like my medical caregiver (born-again, spirit-filled Christian) for two reasons: her religion serves her well and who am I to try to undermine her faith. My second reason is that it is a waste of my time. I manage to stay very busy and using my time on something that is neither productive or fun is just plain stupid.

    Your questions:

    1. We have had that movement for many years. It just tends to get us killed/injured/. imprisoned without tangible results.

    2. Many, if not most Punjabi Sikhs, dream of moving abroad, Canada, the UK and the USA being the most sought-out destinations. All these countries have immigration quotas that make that difficult.

    3. Khalistan! Our homeland is called Khalistan! Forget autonomy in India. The GOI (government of India) will never permit that. The immediate cause of the 1984 genocide was our fight for our homeland Khalistan comprised of the various pieces of Punjab, torn down the middle at Partition and further chopped up inside of India. This is a very controversial subject within the sangat (congregation/community). I am obviously a Khalistani. If you have time, you might enjoy checking out my blog, The Road To Khalistan. (Read it. Please. Please, read it!) It is really written for Sikhs and I assume a certain amount of knowledge about Sikhi and Sikh affairs, but I do have a good number of nonSikh readers who seem able to follow it quite well.

    Now I have used too many words as well. I m,ust look up Epicurus' argument!

    Again, many thanks for your blessings.

    Chardi kala!

    :ice:

    happymunda

    PS: BTW means "by whatever name"
     
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    #9 Mai Harinder Kaur, Mar 3, 2010
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  11. spnadmin

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    Re: Introducing Myself

    Blessings to you curious seeker ji

    I have replied to some specifics in-line and confess that my responses may not be adequate to meet your need for rigorous insight.

    I have not replied to the parts of your message about your own faith. I will do that a bit later on. :) Thanks for your kind words.
     
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  12. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    Hi Curious :tongue:



    [​IMG]

    its great to know abt Zoroastrian here ,


    can you tell me more abt Zora scripture ?
     
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  13. curious seeker

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    Re: Introducing Myself


    Hi Narayanjot

    Perhaps I am mot using the correct word when I use proselytizing. Its not that believers should go out and assault others a la Christians , that is not what I mean. What I believe one ought to do is inform others of the existance of a reasonable faith, that does not have to depend on blind obedience to an authority. A faith that sees God consistently. I mean just to give an example, God is called love itself in the New Testament , yet Christians ho;d that it is the word of God when the Holy Spirit, kills Ananaias and his wife for taking some money and lying about it. The problem with that? Wel,l even most men do not go about killing people for stealing a few dollars and lying about i., So why make God worse than most men? In fact, He cannot possibly be worse than most men, that is just blasphemy.

    Unfortunately, is not only believing in God but making sure you are not believing in something that makes God into a being ethically inferior to even a few men. After all, our religious teachers, were and are men, and there is always the danger that men would manipulate other men for their own reasons.

    Look, for example at whom ever said, (We cannot just assume it was Moses) that Yahweh (The Jewish name for Deity) ordered the genocide of the Cananites. What is more likely, that God would order genocide or that some one with an agenda would use God to goad believers into committing genocide? Ttoday, what is more likely that Allah rejoiced when Al Qaeda butchered 3000 plus innocents or that Bin Ladin and his cohorts, used God to cover their muderous act?

    Years ago, I worked for the Salvation Army. We used to deal with a lot of addicts and alcoholics but also with people with mental and emotional -problems some of them were Fundamentalist Christians. Many of them had a vey low esteem of themselves. This people believed that the Bible was inerrant truth So when Paul said in Romans, for example, that men were basically abject and totally corruot bei9ngs incapable of doing good, , many of this people had this very low opinion of themselves because they have been taught exactly this same thing and that God looked at them in that way

    Needless to say untold ,damage has been done by teachings such as this and worse, You do not have to tell people yours is the only way , it isn't God can make any one in any system of belief into a saint. BUT the fact is, that it is much easier , let alone far healthier, to believe, and indeed to live when your belief system does not enslave you, diminish you, or load you with guilt. Indeed the whoe world would be a far better and safer place, if we helped others get rid of some of those beliefs.

    The way people look at God and the way they believe God looks at them is extremely important . I believe that those faiths that have , a constructive, ennobling and uplifting universal message, have, to some extent, a responsibility to at least communicate that message to others not necessarilly to convince (I believe firmly that true conviction comes from self conviction) them but to make consider that there are other options, other possibilities and let them hear other messages and choose for themselves what to do about such messages, if anything.

    Blessings
    Curious
     
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  14. curious seeker

    curious seeker
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    Hi Harmanpreet

    Well while I am well versed in Zarathushtrian doctrine and scripture (I have translated the Gathas into Spanish and I have worked with others in a new upcoming version in English. I do not know if I can be labeled a Zarathushti, although , at one point I considered myself one.

    You see I believe God has only one religion His. What we call religions are in the words of Zarathushtra Ethical Perceptions. Ways at looking at the nature of the One and Reality In short in modern terms they are theologies of men about the nature of God. Thus, while I do believe that Zarathushtra was certainly a spiritual giant and A world Teacher . I cannot totally accept the label of Zarathushtrian, because I believe in a continuing human journey. Zarathushtra himself said it this way referiing to his doctrine:

    This is the Ethical Perception of the Saoshyants (Meaning saviors, benefactors.) he asked God: Most Wise one when shall the saviors of the lands come with adavanced doctrines? Tellingly he does not call himself savior but a seer, a true invoker, a teacher of righteousnes and perhaps most approptely THOUGHT PROVOKER. HE DID NOT GIVE LAWS NOR COMMANDMENTS HE DID NOT ESTABLISH PRACTICES OR TRADITIONS, HE TAUGHT PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY, PRINCIPLES UPON WHOM OTHERS , THESE SAVIORS /BENEFACTORS OF THE LANDS WOULD BUILD.

    He also talked about druj, delusion, falsehood, wrongfulness, something similar to maya, I guess. But he looked at the ethical conceptions of men (That is their theologies, what we call today religions) and clearly taught that some were the daevayasna, that is worship of illusory deities, which he called the products of bad or senseless thinking te Ethical perception of the Wrongful .

    To him, therefore, not all of what we call religions were positive.

    In any case , I am believer in God whom I posit to be, in agreement with Zarathushtra and with those whom I see as saoshyants. All Good, Most Wise , A Teacher, the father or source of truth, beyond sex, who holds all men and women equal before Him. One and only God that loves and nurtures man and creation. teaching him to become His hamkar that is his fellow worker in eliminating ignorance, wrong and evil from creation,

    Sadly precious few Zartoshtis today even understand this, let alone believe it. His doctrines were deviated by God traders and manipulators to the point that, for example most Parsis today consider themselves a close, tradition bound ,religion when Zarathushtra claimed that he wanted to convince all the living to follw his Vision.

    if you want to know more visit www.zoroastrianism.cc and www.zoroastrian.org

    Blessings
    Curious

    PS. The frahvar , that is the symbol you had in your post, is one whio was adopted thousands of years after his death and which, today, most scholars consider it an innovation made by the Achaemenians (Cyrus, Dariush, etc) to represent the Glory that God bequeathed to the Persian Sha in Sha (King of Kings)
     
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  15. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: Introducing Myself

    curious seeker ji

    Please do not think I am dismissing your response. From it I distill 2 issues:

    1) there is a need to find unifying themes that describe a positive relationship between "God" and creation and avoids the negative pitfalls of ancient and modern world religions;

    2) that Sikhs should spread the message of Guru Nanak more energetically than they have done.

    Forgive me if I am not understanding you. Forgive me if in my own need to be concise I am missing important points.

    The first issue is a good topic for Interfaith Dialogs. The second topic would be a thread for the Sikh Sikhi Sikhism section, and I will start one.
     
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  16. curious seeker

    curious seeker
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    Re: Introducing Myself


    Dear Narayanjot, hi!

    No I do not think you are dismissing my response at all. I mean I am really imposing on you with all sorts of questions. It is I who wants to make sure you understand that I am not trying to impose my opinions or concepts on you or any one else. I am just thinking things through out loud, so to speak. I see incredible potential for Sikhi and since, frankly, I am too familiar with self centered human nature, I am hoping against hope that 'religious' people and power hungry manipulators do not 'narrow mind' it into wasting such a potential.

    Actually, its very refreshing that you distill things and are concise. We humans usually have a problem simplifying things. Your points are very good. I see if I can start a thread on how we look at God in the light of scriptures. Would that express correctly what you talk about on your point one above? Let me know. As to point two I would love to join such a thread even though I am just a strange sojourner on your lists, at least so far.

    By the way, I always forget to ask, are there are any books, starting with basics and building into more advance ones, that you recommend, web sites other than this very excellent one? And one last question. I live in Miami, and I know there is Gurdwara (Spelling?) in the next county, do you happen to know any one there? I would like to arrange a visit for Florida International University students, actually, it would be a nice excuse for me to go as well.

    Be Blessed
    Curious
     
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  17. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: Introducing Myself

    curious seeker ji

    I don't know anyone in the Florida sangats.

    Your idea for a new thread about God in scriptures is an excellent topic and these threads typically do draw a lot of commentary.

    And... I did start a thread on Preaching, Proselytizing and Missionary Work in Sikhism. It has had about 2 dozen views. So far no one has posted. Actually -- I do not anticipate much of a response.
     
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  18. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    I know Fateh Singh (Frank Tarney in Florida). :happysingh: We had an article by him not long ago here in SPN. He's a great guy, too. Talks to schools and shares about Sikhi a lot.

    :happykudi:
     
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  19. curious seeker

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    Re: Introducing Myself

    Hi Narayanjot

    Is it all right if I join the thread?

    Blessings
    Curious
     
  20. curious seeker

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    Hi Mai!

    That's great! Where in Florida? I know there is a large Gurdwara in Orlando, but that is tii far I am looking at the ine in Broward county about 25 miles from where I live.


    Be Blessed
    Curious
     
  21. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    CS ji,
    I have sent him an e-mail asking for permission to give you his e-mail address and also sent him the link to this thread.

    I'll let you know as soon as I hear from him.

    :happykudi:
    :ice:
     
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