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Heritage Symbols of a Heritage

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by IJSingh, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. IJSingh

    IJSingh United States
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    The Symbols of a Heritage
    by I.J. Singh

    “History”, as T.S. Eliot said “has many cunning passages, contrived corridors and issues . . .”. Insofar as religions deal with people, places and events, they are amenable to historical analyses. But religions deal with a reality that transcends history — a reality that the senses cannot perceive and the intellect cannot fathom, yet with which the soul can commune. At that point in awareness one is in the domain of faith. Faith is better than belief. In belief someone else does the thinking for you; in faith, you accept the truth not at someone else’s say so, but because you have internalized it and endorsed it. Belief can mature into faith. From belief comes dependency; from faith, strength. The intangible realm of faith is a symbolic reality that is best expressed through symbols.

    It is well to remember that the dimension of faith is not that of science. Of Man’s many concerns, the deepest — faith — is symbolically expressed. By definition symbols and signs signify something else beyond themselves, yet a symbol participates in defining the reality to which it points. A flag is not a nation but a symbol of it and attests to the shared history and dignity of a nation. That is why good people will fight and die for a flag but not let it be desecrated; it becomes significantly more in worth than the price of the cloth from which it is cut. A symbol therefore, can’t be easily replaced by another, or be subjected to scientific logic, nor can it be judged by the criteria of the marketplace.

    Symbols are seen in every act of faith. They live and die but only after a historical catastrophe which greatly alters a people’s perception of self and their destiny. The death of existing symbols constitutes devastating events no less important than the phenomena that give them birth and shape. Symbols cannot be invented at will or intentionally produced by committees like business logos. They grow out of the collective consciousness of a people and have to be accepted by the subconscious dimension of their being. Their majesty and power lies in their symbolic character, not in any utilitarian value they might possess. Symbols are found in most aspects of man’s creative activity — art, music, mathematics, history, religion. In fact, man’s cultural history is often symbolically expressed. A cross is a symbol of Christ’s suffering, not the reality of it. After 2000 years of diaspora, the Jews seem to have recognized how symbols connect people to their roots; witness the growing popularity of the Lubavitchers.

    India has produced many new religions — Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism among others. Of these only Sikhism remains as a visible, active and distinct entity; others have reverted into the uneasy but comforting fold of Hinduism. Buddhism remains a powerful presence in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Japan, but not in the land of its birth, India. Galbraith is correct in his somewhat facetious observation that anything that goes to India or develops there eventually gets Hinduized. He was talking of industry but it is equally true of religions. Islam in India is not quite the same as it is elsewhere, nor is Christianity. Sikhism too has lost some of its luster and much of its pristine purity by its constant brushing with Hinduism. If Sikhism has not been absorbed into the Hindu fold entirely it is not for want of trying by Hinduism, but due to two reasons: 1) Its distinct philosophy which is at odds with and bluntly scornful of many Hindu practices, but that is a minor factor in its survival since most Sikhs are not well versed in it, and 2) The distinct external symbols of Sikhism which set the Sikhs apart in appearance and behavior.

    Sometimes, I think that the rot in Sikhism had set in, but has been checked somewhat by the dramatic trauma to their psyche that occurred when the Indian army attacked the Golden temple and many other gurudwaras in 1984. In many ways, those events and the subsequent continuous state of war between India and the Sikhs has forced most Sikhs to reexamine their values and their sense of self. Many Sikhs who were no longer recognizable, became so by readopting the symbols of their faith. It was a horrendous price to pay for the Sikhs, but in the longer historical perspective, the benefits may be increased self-awareness.

    The most visible aspect of Sikh tradition, and the most controversial are the external symbols. Not surprisingly, they generate the most intense internal debate and external concern. The interesting point is that only in Sikhism are such weighty and important matters debated by the laity. It is like “war being too important to be left to the Generals.” The theologians and the clergy may preach and teach but the discussion is led and fueled by the ordinary folks who have to live the religion in the modern world; these people are on the front lines and know the price, the problems, the frustrations as well as the rewards. And many of the people have never even taken the final vows (Amrit) of becoming Sikhs. It was just as true at the time of Guru Gobind Singh as it is now that many Sikhs never adopted all of the symbols of Sikhism but — like the Marrano Jews — kept their faith. Such “Sehajdhari” Sikhs have occupied an important and honorable place in Sikh history. But more about them another time.

    There are many ways to look at Sikh symbols, the most popular way is to say: The Guru ordained them, ours is not to question why or what he meant by them. There is merit in that position. But the Guru did not bar us from thinking; so let us see what history can tell us. If symbols emerge out of shared history, how did we come to these five? And how has history affected them?

    The Sikh with his external uniform and symbols is a Khalsa, a soldier in the army of God. This army created by Guru Gobind Singh was not made to rule over others or to shepherd a flock of sheep-like devotees. Unlike the army of Christ where only the clergy were to be in uniform, in this army of the Khalsa all followers were to join, all were to wear the uniform, everyone was always on call.

    Though symbols are not to be judged by their utilitarian value, some of the Sikh symbols seem to be more functional than others. If long hair is de rigueur, a comb is essential for grooming, particularly for a people who knew no peace and lived on horseback. For a people fighting for survival, a sword as a weapon ensured survival. Again, befitting their life-style and India’s terrain and weather, knee length drawers were appropriate. A steel bracelet spoke of the strength of steel; its circle, of a life with no beginning and no end. This strong wide band of steel could also protect or be used as a weapon. In seventeenth century India, when there was a price on every Sikh’s head, when a non-Muslim could not wear a turban, carry a weapon or ride a horse, when it was easier and more tempting to join the faceless anonymous hordes, the long haired Khalsa boldly asserted their presence through their visible symbols. These symbols were a uniform of the Khalsa and still remain so. The philosophy of the Khalsa is eternal and the symbols represent it.

    When I look at these symbols nearly three hundred years later, I see that most Sikhs have made a distinction even though at a subconscious level and look at symbols in two different tiers. Circumstances and times have indeed changed. The sword, the comb and the knee length drawers were primarily utilitarian and seem to have changed the most with time. The sword that most Sikhs carry nowadays has been reduced to a symbolic level. Sometimes it is a dull blade a few inches long, more often it is a symbolic sword no more than an inch or two long attached to a comb or a pendant; at times it is only an impression of the sword inlaid into the wood of the comb. The sword has changed from a practical instrument of defence to a symbolic presence of that principle, of strength and resoluteness in action. Similarly, the knee length drawers which were the only garment worn below a loose, long shirt have been modified by most Sikhs who wear the conventional underwear to go with other street attire. The comb though utilitarian has not changed all that much because it is still necessary for the long hair, although many Sikh women now carry only a small non-functional miniature.

    The steel bracelet and the long hair remain what they have always been — strictly symbolic. Professor Puran Singh likened the steel bracelet to a wedding band signifying the marriage of the Sikh to the Guru. However, a marriage is a sacrament only where there is real love; for many philanderers the bracelet, like the wedding band, can come on or off with equal ease. Others would rather lose a finger, a hand or a head than a wedding band. A Sikh surgeon would need to remove it and pocket it lest it tear the gloves. If the identity of a Sikh depended only on a visible bracelet, it would be easy for one to hide and that is not what Guru Gobind Singh intended. The long unshorn hair, strictly symbolic, with no pragmatic use or value in the marketplace remains the centerpiece of Sikh identity. It was true 300 years ago and remains equally true now.

    One wonders what circumstances in history mandated that only the men adopt the turban to cover the long hair and not the women. The women do maintain all the Sikh symbols including the long unshorn hair. But in the Indian cultural milieu, without a turban they are not easily distinguishable from the millions of Indian women who are not Sikh. Certainly there is no bar to women wearing a turban and some Sikh women in India do; almost all of the Western converts to Sikhism do.

    For women, wearing of the turban over their long hair appears to have less to do with their understanding of Sikhism and more to do with the cultural constraints or with the particular school of thought or teacher who has influenced them. One need also remember that around the time that the Sikh symbols evolved, the Muslim rulers had barred non-Muslim men from wearing a turban. In the Indian culture the turban for a man signified respect irrespective of religion, women did not wear it. It was worn by a man who mattered and at that time, the emphasis of the rulers was to debase the subjects and deny them basic human dignity, self worth and self respect. The Gurus reversed this process and the turban though not one of the five basic symbols of Sikhism became inseparable from them, at least for the men.

    To serve well symbols must remain visible. Sometimes they are hidden much as the Marrano Jews found it necessary to hide their Jewishness when survival demanded it. Sikh symbols too can be easily concealed — all except the long, unshorn hair. That is precisely why in the annals of Sikh history the unshorn hair have commanded the highest value. I don’t know if Guru Gobind Singh so intended but in the subconscious dimension of their being, the Sikhs have somehow created a hierarchy of their symbols; the long unshorn hair have come to occupy the place of first among equals. A Sikh historically and now, declares his presence by this gift of his Guru. This is wholly consistent with the philosophic significance of a Sikh, and I venture to say that no matter how Sikhs change and what demands are placed upon them, as long as there are those who call themselves Sikhs, there will be long-haired Sikhs in the form that Guru Gobind Singh gave them. The dictum on the interdependence of form and function is significant and worthy of our attention.

    A person gets from a symbol what he puts in it. It can be one man’s comfort and inspiration as easily as another’s jest and scorn. In the final analysis, symbols are an embodiment of history, not sentiment.


    [Extracted from the author’s book “Sikhs and Sikhism- A view with a bias” (pp. 29-34) published in 1998 by Centennial Foundation, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada]

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  3. Rupinder.Singh

    Rupinder.Singh Australia
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    What an inspirational article...!!!....

    Loved the differentiation between belief and Faith, Significance of symbols, loved every bit.

    The only thing I personally don't like is the devision of Sikhs into any sub cults like sehajdhari, amritdhari..or others...but then Author has left this topic for some other time.. so I wont go into details of that.

    Thanks very much for sharing these thoughts...

    One more thing i would like to highlight is the requirement of spreading of such valuable thoughts in sikh community. As author has already expressed "...discussion is led and fueled by the ordinary folks who have to live the religion in the modern world; these people are on the front lines and know the price, the problems, the frustrations as well as the rewards..."

    People get frustrated when they dont have a reason for their actions, appearance, or symbols...Sharing these thoughts of author will definitely give the common sikh a reason for their existence.


    Keep flowing...

    Rupinder Singh

    :singhsippingcoffee:
     
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  4. hsvirk

    hsvirk
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    Dr IJ Singh is a prolific writer on Sikh affairs. He always feels the pulse of Sikhi in his writings. I like his note on Sikh symbols as worthy of emulation by Sikh Sangat. Wish him Chardi Kala.:interestedsingh:
     
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  5. seeker3k

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    Good article from the point of view of I J Singh. I have some concerns. The symbols what give us the ID it out of date. The kirpan was given by Gobind Singh to protect one self and protect others who can not protect them self. How can few inch long kirpan can do that? The kasha was good then in warm whether but in cold it does not work. Kash is hidden under the pants now days how that can give one’e ID? Kanga may have been usefull then when Sikhs lived in jungles. Now every one live in their homes in city or village. One do not need to comb their hair out in the public. Kara can not protect one from guns. So that is out dated too. Only thing that give us our ID it kesh which Gobibd Singh asked us to keep. There is no where in his writing to have turban on.
    <?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    I fully respect the Gobibd Singh giving the 5k to make us stand out. Who are we fighting now? We should change the kirpan to gun.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I don’t think Gobind Singh told us to keep the useless symbols just for the sake of keeping them. If we don’t change with time we will be left behind.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    WE should take this great philosophy to the world and don’t put it in the box.
    True identity is not in the symbols it is what we living. Our living examples can show the world how great and humble we are.
    I just came back from <?xml:::eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Punjab. What I saw there is troublesome. Punjabi buys more whisky in Punjab then any other province in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">India</st1:country-region>. They are cheating their brother and nabours. The courts are full of Sikhs they are charged with this or that crime. The Nihangs are trying to take over small gurdwaras by force. In their gurdwara they serve bhang. They keep 10<SUP>th</SUP> Granth next to SGGS.
    There are more sehjdhari Sikgs in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">India</st1:country-region> and world. These amritdhari highjacked the Sikhism. No one care about the sehjdhari Sikhs. Amritdhari think sehjdharis are noth Sikhs. This kind of behaviors should be condemned. We are all Sikhs weather sehajdhari or amritdhari. If we are going to fight among our self surly out sider will take it over as it was done to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">India</st1:country-region> by mugals n Enghish.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The world was very rough 500 years ago but now it is different world. The fighting era is gone. It is the vote that decide not the kirpan.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It is not the Hindus swallowing us it is us who are not changing with time.
    There is no leadership from SGGC. They are fighting among them self to get in power.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I know this is very harsh word I have written. I am sorry if I offended any one. But some one have to write.
     
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    #4 seeker3k, Apr 15, 2011
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  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    seeker3k ji

    I agree with much of what you say...not all of it...but you make some stark points... that deserve to be taken to heart and taken in hand.
     
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  7. Tejwant Singh1

    Tejwant Singh1
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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
    In spite of what some readers have written above, I have the following to say.
    Dear readers, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had cleverly divided the non-Muslims of India by issuing a Shahi Farman, "Except for the Hindu Rajputs no-one else can wear a sword, ride a thoroughbred horse, ride an elephant or ride a palanquin (Palki)".
    Until then the Sikhs were easily identified with the Hindus because there was no way to tell any visible difference. The Sikh philosophy was an internal matter between the Guru and his Sikhs.
    Even Muslim used to come to the Gurus for guidance. That is what prompted Emperor Jahangir to write in his autobiography: "the Hindus going to their fraud Guru is understandable but even the stupid Muslims are going to him. I have been thinking since long that either this Guru must change his ways or I should ask him to convert to Islam." This one thought process prompted Jahangir to take action against Guru Arjan Dev ji which led to his martyrdom in Lahore.
    Therefore, what young Guru Gobind Rai -until then he was not a Singh- decided to do was to challenge the authority of Emperor Aurangzeb. The Great All Knowing Guru knew what he was doing and what would be the consequences and far reaching outcome of his bold action.
    Therefore, the whole process of showing his drawn sword to the gathered Sikhs on that day of Baisakhi at Anandpur Sahib in 1699; declining to accept any of the traditional offerings from his Sikhs; asking for one of his Sikhs to 'offer his Sheesh'; challenging them when no one came forward after the first call; and then when one stepped out to offer his head taking him aside and coming back with blood on his sword was to sensationalize the situation and bring out the most devoted, daring and fearless amongst his followers.
    The Great All Knowing Guru knew the consequences of his daring act. He also knew what the future would hold for him as well as for his followers. Since the wearing of the sword was a challenge to the Shahi Farman of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, obviously, if one has to wear a sword in public, one would have to defend one's action. And in defence of one's actions, a horse would be required for effective combat and quick getaway.
    And one should be agile in combat. To be agile, it would be obvious that one should be dressed appropriately and not wear a cumbersome dress like the Hindu dhoti or the Chaddar/Lungi. That is where the Kachha becomes relevant. The Kachha was, anyway, the dress of the soldiers of those times. Even the English had their Indian-native soldiers dressed in Kachha with a short shirt or jacket at the top. The Katchha is called 'short breaches' in the then English official terminology.
    The other symbols -the Kesh accompanied by the necessary comb and the Kara have their spiritual significance. The Kesh, besides being symbolic of a spiritual person, are offered to the demigods in a Mundan ceremony among the Hindus of male children only. On the contrary the Sikhs respect the purity of Gods' creation by keeping the Kesh inviolate.
    Observance of the Guru's symbolism has made the Khalsa a Saint Warrior who can even dare a devil to battle. The sword may not be his chosen weapon for self defence in real life battles nowadays -except in exceptional cases- but the symbolism is very important for the faith as it is a stepping stone for righteous thought and righteous action. It brings a steely steadfastness into one's belief.
    Take the performance of Sikh soldiers from any of the Regiments of the Indian army -the Sikh Regiment or the Punjab Regiment or even those Artillery and Tank Regiments which are purely manned by Sikhs. With their slogan of 'Chardi Kala', they would always perform exceptionally well, is an accepted norm in the Indian army. Even non-Sikh officers commanding Sikh soldiers admit that it's an honor to command them. One can depend upon them at anytime. One may say that 'go-getting or being dependable' is a typical Punjabi trait but the fact remains that other Punjabi troops have not performed as well as their Sikh counterparts.
    I have been witness to a very interesting conversation between a senior Pakistani army officer and us Indian Prisoner of Wars in 1972 as a consequence of the 1971 war. (I was a POW in Pakistan for one year) One of my colleagues POW -a Hindu from UP area- asked the Pakistani army officer who had come to visit us, "Now that Pakistan has been defeated and Bangladesh created (the complete Pakistani army surrendered in the east) which Indian soldier do you respect the most in battlefield?" The Pakistani officer replied, "Oh! We can still take on any Indian soldier even now but we have to be very careful when facing Sikh soldiers."
    Take the case of Kargil war in 1999. The most difficult job of blocking the Pakistani assault to clear their line of communication and supply route to the top of Tiger Hill feature was given to the 8th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment. The Battalion was deployed between the Line of Control and Tiger Hill feature in a narrow space. Three times the Pakistanis attacked them in their dug-in position and tried to breach the defensive line. And each time they were defeated. They even left the bodies of their dead officers and soldiers and never back to claim them. The Sikh Battalion lost one officers (a non-Sikh Lieutenant), 4 Subedars and Naib Subedars and 30 Other Rank -Havildars, Naiks and Sepoys.
    Without their heroic and gallant action, the capture of Tiger Hill by India would have remained a distant dream and we may have ended up in stalemate situation. The 8th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment was awarded 3 Vir Chakras, 11 Sena Medals, 12 Mentioned-in-Despatches, 7 Commendations and a unique citation by Punjab Government for collective bravery. Despite these awards, several retired senior Sikh army officers felt that there was an element of bias against the Sikhs when compared to higher category awards given to non-Sikhs soldiers for actions which were less gallant. That may be so because the Sikh Regiment remains the most highly decorated in the Indian army to the envy of many. The contention of the retired Sikh officers is that others were given more and higher awards to offset this balance.
    Take the case of Battle of Saragarhi fought on 12 September 1897 between 21 Sikhs of the 4th Battalion (then 36th Sikhs) of the Sikh Regiment of British Indian army while defending an important outpost over a hill against 10,000 Afghans and Orakzai tribesmen of the North West Frontier Province. It is one of the seven unique battles of collective bravery in the world as declared by UNESCO.
    What is it that makes the Sikh soldier so brave even in these times when values have degraded? It is the symbols ordained and bestowed by the Mighty Guru three hundred years ago. When my next book 'Battle for the Khyber Pass' -between the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Pathans- was being edited by an American lady, she asked, "Since everyone in a Battalion cannot possibly maintain the same spiritual standards in these times, then what makes the Sikh soldier perform so well compared to others".
    My reply, "Even if half the number of Sikh soldiers in a Battalion are observant Sikhs, their spiritual aura and dedication carries the rest (the non-observant) with them and they are able to over come their enemy. Even if they are out numbered like in the Battle of Saragarhi, it leaves their enemy gasping for life. It makes their enemy remember them with fondness for ever. The Pathans who fought the 21 Sikhs were large hearted to admit their bravery. That is how we know what really transpired."
    Therefore, dear readers and seekers, symbolism of the Khalsa is very important. If you sit down and meditate upon the NAAM, then you will understand. Be an observant Sikh. Those who are destined to observe the Maryada of the Khalsa are the blessed ones. Hail to the Great Guru! Jai Jai Jai ho Guru Gobind Singh!
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
     
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  8. seeker3k

    seeker3k
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  9. Tejwant Singh1

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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
    Thank you Seeker3k. I have read this story in the newspapers when the Kargil war ended.
    The basic fact is that the Pakistanis on top of Tiger Hill were a demoralized lot having lost their very important supply line -for food and ammunition- and the land line communication with their bosses in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir all because of the strong blockade by the 8th Sikh Battalion. Had this not been done, the story would have been different.
    Then there is an element of doubt about the story of how many Pakistani soldiers were there on top of the hill. This doubt was there even after the victory. The actual number of Pakistani bodies which were buried on the slopes of Tiger Hill was much less. All this came out in the newspapers with photos.
    Moreover, once the highest gallantry award -Param Vir Chakra- was awarded to a living man, (most of the times it has been given to martyrs) the written citation had to sound very impressive. In this case some amount of dubbing and fuzing had to be done to make it look like an impossible task.
    I have come to know that Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav -whose story you have brought out here- is often ridiculed by his colleagues and fellow soldiers for claiming to have done something against a stupendous odd though the truth is different. This sort of thing often happens in the confusion of a battle -happened during both the 1965 and 1971 wars. For the sake of these lucrative awards, people have made claims which turned out to be false. Some were later Court Martialed for frivolous claims to the contrary.
    And people from a particular region of south India have been known to run away from the horror of battles. They have called it tactical retreat whereas it was an outright and shameful rout -not once but many times over. It used to be a norm during the planning stage where senior commanders -both during the British times and even after Independence- used to put Sikhs or Rajput or Jat soldiers with ‘them’ so that ‘if they run, we can fill the gap before the enemy is any wiser’.
    There is no record of any of Tenth Gurus’ Sikhs having run away during the gruesomeness of battles. Instead they have stood the test of time with faith in their dear Guru.
    No one else carries their religious scripture into battle except the Sikh soldiers. An actual photo is shown as the header of SPN here. Why? It is their steadfastness in faith which is visible in their Symbols.
    For an Agnostic or a nonbeliever it may sound stupid but the fact remains that it’s the Sikhs alone who stopped the six monthly raids from Afghanistan which caused the destruction of over 3000 beautifully carved Hindu temples. It is only the Sikhs who put a stop to forcible conversions. It was all due to their faith in their visible symbols bestowed upon them by the Great Guru who did not fight for any personal kingdom but gave his everything for the sake of righteousness.
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
     
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  10. seeker3k

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    Dear Tejwant ji,
    <?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    It is not personal.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My intention is not to put down any race or religion. I am only saying there are many brave people in any race or religions. There is no end to arguing about who is brave or not. I look at thing from natural point. We should not live in past and worship the dead.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The question is the symbols that give us our identity. What symbol tells us that person is Christian? They wear cross under their shirt most of them. They are known for helping other people who are in need. One may argue that their motive it to convert others to their religion. It maybe so but they still help. I have never heard Christian say to people convert then we will help.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    What are we doing to convert others to Sikhism? We in the west are antagonizing others.
    You might ask how? WE brake rules of their religions and feel proud of it.
    If there is rule that no hairs allowed in food serving or making. WE take them to court and change the laws. It is in our own safety that person ridding motorcycle should wear helmet. Sikhs change that law. Schools ban knife in school we Sikhs are fighting to change that law. I do not want to list all the incidents here.
    If our religion is that sacred to us then why come to west, stay in Punjab <?xml:::eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">India</st1:country-region>.
    We will get respect if we respect.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The real symbols one should carry is respect the host countries laws. And respect their culture.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    What if one get hurt on head and must shave the hairs for the treatment. One should refuse the treatment? At hospital every one are asked to remove all ornaments from the body. Where is symbol then?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    If the Sikhism is so great then people from other religions be lining up to join it. I don’t see other people converting to Sikhism.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    How do you think I feel when amritdari tell me that I am not Sikh and can not do path at gurdwara?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As I said in <st1:place w:st="on">Punjab I seen Sikh in power that are so corrupt that it is hardly funny. No matter where I go all they want money to do things. Even NRI office does not talk with respect. NRI police station don’t help unless one pay. The <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">thana and tehseels are sold for lakhs of rupees. How the SHO is going to make money that he paid to get the transfer, he has to ask for money who ever come in for help.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Ever Sikh is an ambassador of Sikhism any action he do will reflect on his religion
     
    #9 seeker3k, Apr 16, 2011
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  11. Harwinder

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    Seeker3k ji understand your point of view and tell me if i am wrong. "We all should respect the cultures of other and thier religious beliefs". I am sorry you were treated with uneqaulity in the gurudawara by an amirtari. "Anyone seeking guidence should be able to do so".

    "Others must respect the culture and religious belief of u to"

    "we dont worship the dead we worship the soul and teaching of it that has been left behind"

    As for symbolism there is a lot that can be said but only one thing "needs" to be said.

    "Read The article agian"

    "Not a matter of respect for antoher but for oneslef"
     
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  12. Rupinder.Singh

    Rupinder.Singh Australia
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    I base by understanding of this topic on following definitions:

    1. Definition of Heritage
    Refer to dictionary.com
    "--. anything that has been transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition
    --. a. the evidence of the past, such as historical sites, buildings, and the unspoilt natural environment, considered collectively as the inheritance of present-day society"

    2. Importance of heritage

    There must be some importance of heritage, that UNESCO thought of having a special committee for this work that is "World Heritage society".

    3. How do we identify heritage.

    We identify any heritage through visual signs, customs, symbols, traditions, history, current practices, developing traditions, knowledge, law, language, way of living or anything that includes tangible or intangible expressions of culture that link generations of people over time.



    4. How do we preserve heritage:

    By preserving its above listed signs and symbols.



    -----------------------

    Sikhs have a great heritage and preserving it is every Sikhs birth right. Preserving Symbols is part of preserving that great heritage.

    It is not matter of proving that these symbols don't hold any value in modern way of life and are obsolete.

    -----
    eg.

    Modern world does not use Pyramids of Egypt for the purpose it was for built for, but we still adore it and preserve it coz it represents certain heritage values.

    A visitor to pyramids has different respect to it than the present generation of people who actually built it.
    -----


    And last but not least..

    Over the ages, Laws were made to preserve the heritage, and will be made in the future too. We were not made ROBOTS who only follow certain instructions and act according to those instructions only. We are human beings who have emotional values and Interests. Human beings consider emotional values and interests while making laws and rules. That is the beauty of mankind.

    In the end respect, acceptance and openness are the keys to peaceful life. People make mistake, we all make mistake, accept it, forgive, learn and move on.


    Rupinder Singh
     
  13. seeker3k

    seeker3k
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    Harwinder Ji,

    "we dont worship the dead we worship the soul and teaching of it that has been left behind."
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AS far as I know soul do not have image, it is not born nor does it die.
    How can one worship soul? Every thing is being done is to worship the dead n idols.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This is becoming argument so I will not write any more on this topic
     
    #12 seeker3k, Apr 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2015
  14. ravneet_sb

    ravneet_sb India
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    Deleted the direct quote of the entire starter article. spnadmin


    sat sri akaal,

    "sikh" who is sikh sikh is "learner"

    the first cause of conflict is duality related to "thought"

    guru's bani is without duality and is unison with true's nature

    in guru's bani there is no dual thought,

    and hence non conflicting

    the root cause of conflict is inside mind manifests through body

    root lies when mind speech and action are not in straight line

    this is root cause of conflict




    is there any one human who is not "sikh" "learner"

    it is religion for all human's on earth



    "khalsa" concept is by tenth guru it is "inside" "outside" same

    very difficult to achieve

    one's mind speech and action in straight line "(khalsa)"

    pure one's have guru's bani

    in thought
    in speech
    in action

    not just in action without thought (imagination)
    not just in thought without action

    all are "sikhs"
    rare and rarest is 'khalsa"

    dhan dhan "guru gobind singh ji"

    wahe guru ji ka khalsa
    wahe guru ji ki fateh
     

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