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Who is a Sehajdhari?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Hardip Singh, Oct 12, 2010.

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  1. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    As per the Mahan Kosh by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, the Punjabi word ‘Sehajdhari’ means as followings:-​

    ਸਹਜਧਾਰੀ :- ਵਿ – ਸਹਜ (ਗਯਾਨ) ਧਾਰਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਸੁਖਾਲੀ ਧਾਰਣ ਵਾਲਾ, ਸੋਖੀ ਰੀਤ ਅੰਗੀਕਾਰ ਕਰਨ , ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਇੱਕ ਅੰਗ, ਜੋ ਖੰਡੇ ਦਾ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਾਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਦਾ ਅਤੇ ਕੱਛ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਦੀ ਰਹਿਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਰਖਦਾ, ਪਰ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਬਿਨਾ ਆਪਣਾ ਹੋਰ ਧਰਮ- ਪੁਸਤਕ ਨਹੀਂ ਮਨਦਾ।

    This means one who is slowly slowly adopting the divine knowledge. This also stands for one who is adopting an easy going path. Further, Bhai Sahib confirms them to be a part of Sikhism but have not been initiated into Khalsa Panth and they do not wear the mandatory Kachera or long underwear and the Kirpan but believes and have faith only in Guru Granth Sahib jee.

    However,Sikh Rahit Maryada makes no mention of the term Sehajdhari Sikh. But Section 4. (Chapter X). (Article XVI)(i) of the Sikh Rahit Maryada, which is applicable to all Sikhs (including Sehajdhari) makes it mandatory to keep the Kesh or heir of his children intact. A Sehajdhari, therefore, is one who has entered the path of Sikhism and he will continue to be a Sehajdhari till he fully accepts the moral and spiritual vows of Sikhism, than to be called a practicing Sikh.



    But, if we go by the meanings of the word ‘Sehaj’ than it stands for ones thoughts or his beliefs, Sidak, faith etc. Than this word when becomes ‘Sehajdhari’ as a noun it means more for ones spiritual stability (ਆਤਮਿਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ) and calmness of his inner mind or soul in adapting to the truth.



    If so, than we all who have been initiated into Khalsa Panth’s fold or are Amritdharis, are actual Sehajdhari first.



    I request my learned friends at SPN to put some more light on this crucial aspect.



    Regards & Guru Fateh
    Hardip Singh
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Hardip ji

    There are 5 other threads with a similar title. Normally the SPN policy would be to merge this question with one of the other threads. For now let's leave this as a separate thread because the other discussions are about a particular problem as their starting point. Let's see what happens before a decision is made to leave this as it is or merge it with another discussion.
     
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  4. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    Sr Sahib Hardip Singh Ji, Gurfateh , An interesting question, but also that has presented numerous challenges to the Sikh religion in more than one ways; currently very disastrously as this term is used by the unknowing and mischievous elements within the community and outside to not only change the identity but the very pillars of the faith as completed by Guru Gobind Singh.

    You are right to offer the definition as presented in the Mahan Kosh, by esteemed Bhai sahib Bhai Kahn Singh Ji.But, the reallity is, what the Mahan Kosh says is simply an academic definition of the word itself , and nothing more.That definition does not explain in detail , how and why it is related to the Sikh religion, or in what context it is used.

    That is the differentiation we need to understand and make clear.The word was used at a particular time in the history of the development of the Sikh religion and was generally associated to those who were newly getting to know the religion and taking an interest, and learning about it and on path to become fully conversant Sikhs, as explained by your kind self.

    In latter years, it became famously associated with the Sikhs from Sindhi background.Now, many Sikhs themselves are infamously inviting the protection of this word to mitigate their own weaknes to retain the persona of a Sikh as defined in the maryada.That is where the problems begin.Others are notoriously politicising the term to gain entance and control of the Sikh institutions and to discard the Sikh identity and make it a stooge of the 'boa constrictor'wider Hinduism.

    I will try to come back to this and expand as I get time.I also think you asked me a question sometime back, but as this is rather a large forum, I lost the track and was side tracked as well unfortunately.I apologise.
     
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  5. sunmukh

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    Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

    With greatest respect to Hardip Singh ji , IMHO, discussion of such terminology is unlikley to be fruitful. Use of such terminology is used to categorise people over man-made criteria. The Light of the One Lord pervades throughout His creation, and this should be sufficient for those who claim they see all as equals. If one wishes to see others in a different light due to their colour, faith, caste, gender, or appearance ought to consider how this fits in with teachings of SGGS ji.

    If a constructive discussion is to take place, it would be good to know upon what basis it is considered that knowledge of such words is a crucial aspect. Does knowledge of them, and use of them, make one more likely to see God in all, or are they used to divide communities?

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  6. sunmukh

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    Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

    Chaan Pardesi ji, it is sad to note the terms you use to describe people of other faiths. They are all part of the One Lord's creation and to use derogotary terms to describe other fellow soul-brides is not becoming of a soul-bride of the One Lord, the Lord who is Husband to be of all. It is also sad that you feel people have anything to gain from taking control of an institution. Your sentiments are not atypical though, and I am sorry you and many others have not learned from SGGS ji. The jewels are being missed whilst one gathers shells.

    Please let me share some of my understanding a few of the teachings of Guru ji , with you:

    People enter the world naked, and leave likewise. They will take nothing from it other than their karma. Some live in fear of people taking control of an institution, or other material assets, yet all can be removed, replicated, subsituted, merged, broken up or recreated at any moment as the Lord wills. He created them and He can destroy them. Only He is the Great Giver. Instead of maintaining attachment to temporary worldly items, one should endeavour to remove such fears and attachment to worldly matters. Living in fear of someone else taking control of material assets is built in assocation with a mixture of greed, envy, jealousy, anger, resentment, hatred and ego. These are all non-virtuous traits that can rapidly destroy karma. There is no loss even if even all or any gurdwaras and temples of all or any insitutions of all or any faiths are taken control of by members of other faiths, or by people of no faith. They will go anyway. They simply are not permanent. There is great loss if one loses karma, whilst one chases and protects a shell.

    The supreme Gurdwara, the supreme temple, with gates to the Lord is in the human mind. The opportunity to worship at it is only available whilst one is in this human form. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The gates can be entered if you walk towards them, and no set procedure is required, and no set appearance. Only love for the Lord who will welcome you with open arms, at anytime of the day or night, even if all material temples are all in disrepair, abandoned or seized. This is the fortress of the mind and cannot be broken if the mind is resolute. it is God's fortress and can never be broken or seized if your mind accepts God as your protector.

    All the material ones can be rebuilt, together with all the dressings and paraphernalia that accompanies them, as long as one has faith in the One Lord. The one in the mind is not so easily reformed. If the opportunity is lost whlst one chases mirages, one may have to endure suffering for aeons until another opportunity arises. If one believes in Karma as SGGS ji speaks of, then put your faith in the One Lord. This faith can be embedded in one's karma until one's light remerges with the Lord, but material items will all return to dust at some time or another, including all institutions.

    Best wishes
    :happymunda:
    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  7. findingmyway

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    Sunmukh ji,
    In an ideal world I would totally agree with you. However, we can already see the effects of people with other agendas taking over our religious institutions has had on our way of life. Unfortunately many people do not take the time to fully understand Gurbani or their understanding becomes coloured by those at the top as they respect these people and do not question them.

    As a species, we humans are very weak minded. I think Guru Gobind Singh Ji recognised this and that is one reason why he gave us a distinctive appearance. People who do not want to make that commitment are welcome to choose. However, if we are to retain our identity and prevent Guru Nanak Dev Ji's message being lost or distorted over time, then it is important to protect our Gurdwaras as that is where the majority get their guidance from.

    Spiritually these things are personal. However, such definitions also have an impact on political situations in the real world which we simply cannot ignore. If a officially recognised Sikh does not require the sympols bestowed after taking khanda di pahaul then for those who choose to keep them and treasure them, they cannot hope to have them legally recognised in any country. This is not saying that others are not Sikhs, simply that if we have a legal (not spiritual) definition then things like getting employers to accept wearing of the turban, kirpan etc will be less of a challenge.

    It is for freedom of choice and freedom from outside influences that such debates are required. It should not be a way of saying that one is better than another-most definitely not as only Waheguru knows that. However, for those wanting to keep the Khalsa Roop, they are having to fight for that right more and more. Also we are having to fight more and more against outside influences that are introducing practices that our Guru's were strictly against.

    With mutual respect,
    Jasleen Kaur
     
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  8. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    SANMUKH Alleges:-

    "Chaan Pardesi ji, it is sad to note the terms you use to describe people of other faiths. They are all part of the One Lord's creation and to use derogotary terms to describe other fellow soul-brides is not becoming of a soul-bride of the One Lord, the Lord who is Husband to be of all. It is also sad that you feel people have anything to gain from taking control of an institution. Your sentiments are not atypical though, and I am sorry you and many others have not learned from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. The jewels are being missed whilst one gathers shells".



    Sanmukh Ji appears to confused and quotes irrelevently.I would suggest Sanmukh Ji to re-read what I wrote and understand it first.NOWHERE I have described any people of OTHER FAITHS.But yet, he has plucked words out of the sky ... from no where; and made some exaggerated history galore.

    I recall reading somewhere, Knowing a religion simply is lame, but practising it with slighted twist is a cardinal sin.This is exactly what I see here.

    I cannot resist to say, that while Sanmukh ji is collecting the jewels,he wants to be oblivion to the the walls of his collections being broken down.That is his choice.

    Not too long ago, in Hitler's Germany, someone said...when they came for the jews, I kept silent.Then they came for me , and I found no on was left to stand for me.


    The very Guru Granth sahib Sanmukh ji qoutes from has been targeted by such mischievious elements; and another granth is being sat parralled.But he sees that not.


    ...According to Sanmukh's understanding and interpretation ,the Gurus and their Sikhs who fought against the Mughal tyranny and to protect the identity of the faith and values of Sikhism, were wrong?Should they have remained silent and continue collecting the jewels?Allow the massacre of Sikhs and the poor to continue?Bhai Taru Singh and Mani Singh Ji's martyrdom should be of no value.

    Reading shabads partly from the Guru Ji, does not make the Sikh message whole.These days, I note many people easily get these shabds and use them freely, does not mean the essay is entirely correct and steadfast.

    In the real world, spirtuality is as necessary as will & power to suvive politically.I dont need to go there.It is well documented, by the actions of the Gurus and the Sikh history.But what Sanmukh ji chose to "miss" is the Rehat and the need to defend its existence from nefarious agendas of ill wishing groups of people.They want to exploit socially, politically and spirtually the Sikh people and Sikh spirit based upon the teachings of Gurus.


    I think, Bibi Jasleen Kaur Ji has explained very adequately,therefore there is no need for me to repeat.Well done, Bibi Ji.
     
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  9. sunmukh

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    Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

    Chaana Pardesi ji, please let me explain why I thought your terms of reference belittled others:

    In this sentence:

    “Now, many Sikhs themselves are infamously inviting the protection of this word to mitigate their own weaknes to retain the persona of a Sikh as defined in the maryada.”

    It seems to me you are using “infamous” and “weakness” in a pejorative sense, yet the ones who see no value in maryada would not necessarily see themselves as weak or as villainous. Someone who sees themselves as Sikhs but have no desire to have outward appearance of a defined Sikh, would not feel guilty of lacking such a persona. They may even see themselves as strong willed and liberated of attachment to appearance, but neither camp need comment on the other. It is only negative thoughts of others that lead to such comments.

    Then there is the sentence:

    “That is where the problems begin”

    There are no problems if one sees all as equals. The outward masks, and use of words to categorise the variety of mask, create problems, and even then the problems are problems of the mind. They are not real problems. Within all is God. Who has the power to say that the God behind one mask is weak, or villainous at heart, simply because the mask is not the same as one’s own? Furthermore, there are countless different manifestations of God, but if one distinguishes between them, to afford some deferential treatment then the concept of One God is lost.

    Then this section of the next sentence:

    “Others are notoriously politicising the term to gain entance and control of the Sikh institutions and to discard the Sikh identity…”

    This is an assumption, and it uses a pejorative word: “notoriously”. Even if “others” were doing this, which some may indulge in, it does not make it a wicked act. Up and own the ages, people have syncretised religion. Even in light of all the changes in perception that have taken place in recorded and unrecorded history, Truth has persisted, persists, and will persist. This is the essence of the slok to Mool Mantar in Japji Sahib. Whilst people opinionate, discourse, and debate upon religion and God, leading to changes over time in perceptions of the mind, the Hukam of the Lord continues to prevail, completely unswayed and untouched by the opinion of the day.

    Finally there were the last few words used to describe another faith:

    Others are notoriously politicising the term to ….. make it (Sikhi) a stooge of the 'boa constrictor'wider Hinduism.

    I don’t think any Sikh would be pleased if Sikhi was to be described with metaphors associating it to a snake that traps, crushes and envelops others faiths. However a child is born without faith and no knowledge of the faith of its parents. There is a reason for rules in maryada on how children are raised and on who can marry whom. It is not to do with free choice. Furthermore it makes no material difference whether Sikhi is seen independently, or as a sect of Islam, of Hinduism, of Christianity or of Buddhism, or of any other faith. It is as it is, but the mind whilst it continues to seek to create a self-identity, rebuffs anything that has variant traits by belittling them, even though the traits are all created by the One God. Sikhi teaches one to remain detached, as attachment to pre-existing objects of desire wanes, rather than to merely shift to another extreme, which in this case would be seeing all else in a bad light. Shifting the attachment of one’s mind from one set of objects to another, whether the objects are envisaged to lead to gain or loss, is not Sikhi. Surrendering one’s mind to Guru within, to the Lord’s Hukam, is Sikhi. It requires great patience, even with one’s “enemies”. They can all be used as objects to build compassion, resolve, endurance and patience, but the mind can be conquered.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
    #8 sunmukh, Oct 14, 2010
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  10. sunmukh

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    Dear findingmyway ji

    I completely understand your position. However discussion of “sehajdhari” term is not new. The Indian High Court has ruled over who is a Sikh and who is not, in the Gurleen Kaur/SGPC case. There is nothing that can be changed with respect to legal definitions of Sikhs, as the judgement sets a precedent for any further disputes. The evidence and proceeding within that case, together with the judgement, can be referred to, in disputes that may arise in other regions.

    I cannot work out what can be gained from going over the same political/temporal issues at the root of the court case. As far as I am concerned in my little world, there is no point in even trying to discuss definitions any further. I would urge non-Sikhs to leave defined Sikhs to do as they please, and I would urge defined Sikhs to leave non-Sikhs to do as they please. Each can make whatever they want from material issues, but it is best not to interfere. When one is rejected or spurned by the other, the rejections are often accompanied by some form of criticism. A few get very defensive over any criticism of their faith and practices, even though they may have been intended to be constructive. Some see any comments from “outsiders” like a bull sees a red flag. Getting angry is a sure-fire way of destroying inner peace, in this life. It also destroys karma, if one believes in it. Avoiding conflict, is a sure-fire way of building inner peace, in this life.

    The only added dimension is spiritual. In this, everything is a matter of individual opinion, and individuals’ understanding of Gurbani. The boat can take you anywhere as it attempts to cross the world ocean. Whether it goes by sehaj/slow track, or fast track, or not at all, or whether there is any ocean at all to cross, depends on Truth, the Lord’s Hukam and past karma. You cannot change consequences of past actions, but you can change consequences of actions in this life, which will only be suffered in the future, until one escapes from the cycle. It an argument of short-term “gain”, versus long-term gain.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
    #9 sunmukh, Oct 14, 2010
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  11. findingmyway

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    We all need some level of attachment to our appearance otherwise we would not make the effort to be presentable. If we are not presentable we would not be taken seriously in this world.

    It can also be said that those who do not have the Sikhi swaroop are more attached to their appearance and worldly acceptance beased on their appearance. Hairstyles for example take more thought and effort and therefore signify a greater attachment to appearance.

    If attachment is there to Sikhi swaroop at least it is associated with a reminder of Ek Oankar whenever a person gets dressed so attachment to that outer appearance is not necessarily a bad thing! Especially if associated with a spiritual inside.

    Jasleen
     
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  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Simply put..SIKHI is a Life Long LEARNING PROCESS...and just as in School we have Kindergarten kiddies as well as advanced PHd students...each is a STUDENT (SIKH)...so ONLY in SIKHI can we have 'sehaj...dharees..keshadhareesss....naam..dharees..pagdhareess...kakaar dharess...whatever and all are still SIKH....ONLY GURU JI really knows.
     
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  13. whatcomesafterfour

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    if the end aim is to be one with the light...why wear different cloaks?
     
  14. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    maybe..a cloak is necessary to conceal the Dagger ?? or ones real ID ?/
    ha ha just joking ji...btw ONLY FIVE comes after four....(maybe Before four becasue Only Five is older..ha ha apologies if any Singh ji is offended..cheerleader:blueturban:icecreamkaur
     
  15. findingmyway

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    why wear a uniform at work? it reminds you of your role in life.

    if we all wore the same cloak wouldn't life be super boring and dull ;)
     
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  16. Chaan Pardesi

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    Why not make it simpler still ...embrace ONE religion-islam wants to make the world one and simple...and green ...all will have a single cloak....a single dagger...and single cause....that will make simpler and one light for all.
     

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