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Why are people converting to Sikhism?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Astroboy, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    A Punjabi cultural Sikh (me, astroboy) wants to know what draws people to the Sikh faith. An article which I just read only increases my curiosity as what really interests people from other faiths to be drawn to Sikhism.

    Here's the article I am talking about:

    http://www.rt.com/news/white-sikhs-foreigners-who-found-faith-in-sikhism/

    Please pour out your genuine views here.
     
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  3. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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  4. Astroboy

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    A comparative study on the concepts as presented in Christianity and Sikhism. This article was written to open the eyes of unsuspecting Punjabi-born Sikhs about the conversion tactics of Evangelists.
    Beware the Evangelist
    http://www.info-sikh.com/PageEvan1.html


    Attention to Narayanjot Kaur Ji


    Your presence is highly needed as you are THE advocate to deal with a debate (if it arises).

    Humbly requested by: astroboy a.k.a. namjap


     
    #3 Astroboy, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  5. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    There's one constant I find in converts into Sikhism. It is the women who convert and lead the way for their families especially their children. For example, Sat Kirin Kaur, the mother of Gurumustuk Singh is widely talked about while nothing about her husband is said. As a general principle, I think Sikhism appeals to especially women as compared to other religions.

    Could it be because the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji praises women whereas it is not so in other religious scriptures?

    Quotes from Sri Guru Granth Sahib
    In praise of women.

    "We are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies, we take another one, we are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her. Only the One True Lord is without woman" (Guru Nanak Dev, Var Asa, pg. 473)
    Marriage is an equal partnership of love and sharing between husband and wife.
    "They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies." (Guru Amar Das, Pauri, pg. 788)
    Women have an equal right to participate in the congregation.
    "Come my sisters and dear comrades! Clasp me in thine embrace. Meeting together, let us tell the tales of our Omnipotent Spouse (God). In the True Lord are all merits, in us all demerits." (Guru Nanak Dev, Sri Rag, pg. 17)
    God is the husband and we are all his brides.
    "The spouse is but One and all others are His brides. The false bride assumes many religious garbs. When the Lord stops her going into another's home, then is she summoned into her Lord's mansion without any let and hindrance. She is adorned with the Name and is dear to her True Lord. She alone is the true bride and the Lord lends her His support." (Guru Nanak Dev, Ramkali, pg. 933)
    God is our Mother as well as our Father.
    "Thou O Lord, art my Father and Thou my Mother. Thou art the Giver of peace to my soul and very life." (Guru Arjan Dev, Bhairo, pg. 1144)
    Faithfulness to ones spouse is stressed.
    "The blind-man abandons the wife of his home, and has an affair with another's woman. He is like the parrot, who is pleased to see the simbal tree, but at last dies clinging to it." (Bhagat Nam Dev, Bhairo, pg. 1165)
    The rape and brutalities committed against women by the Mughal invader Babar condemned.
    "Modesty and righteousness both have vanished and falsehood moves about as the leader, O Lalo. The function of the Qazis and the Brahmins is over and the Satan now reads the marriage rites (rape). The Muslim women read the Quran and in suffering call upon God, O Lalo. The Hindu women of high cast and others of low caste, may also be put in the same account, O Lalo." (Guru Nanak Dev, Tilang, pg. 722)
    The practice of women burning themselves on their husband's funeral pyre (sati) condemned.
    "They cannot be called satis, who burn themselves with their dead husbands. They can only be called satis, if they bear the shock of separation. They may also be known as satis, who live with character and contentment and always show veneration to their husbands by remembering them." (Guru Amar Das, Var Suhi, pg. 787)
    The ritual of dowry so prevalent in Indian society condemned.
    "Any other dowry, which the perverse place for show, that is false pride and worthless gilding. O' my Father! give me the Name of Lord God as a gift and dowry." (Guru Ram Das, Sri Rag, pg. 79)

    (The above quotes extracted from (http://www.sikhee.com/womenandsikhism.htm)
     
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  6. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    I'm not too sure if praising women may be a huge factor instigating conversions.

    But I will tell you what I am very sure about!!
    In this day, if a religion were to come forward and praise people that are GAY!, then this would lead to a massive conversion all around the world.peacesignkaur

    So maybe there's a baba or dera out there looking for new ways to get more followers and more money, well they can now comfortably have a plan B if plan A fails!!!!!
     
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  7. Luckysingh

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    The highest number of conversions are to 'no religion', infact more people are leaving religions to become atheist. These conversions to sikhism are nowhere near the conversions to christianity and islam.
    However, when looking at actual numbers some results may be misleading because we have to take into account other factors such as birth rate which is 3 fold for islam as their numbers of newborn are 3 times as high than others!!
    Other factors are, the numbers that drop out of other religions to convert compared to the numbers converting that have no religion initially.

    With sikhism itsel,f I personally think that the numbers disregarding sikhism including drop outs and younger generations that have no regard or couldn't care less are infact much higher than the numbers converting into the religion.

    I have not consulted any figures and have made the statements above from general knowledge of awareness. So if I got something very wrong, I apologise!!
    But in my opinion this is how the majority see it!
     
  8. mariposazul

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    WJKK WJKF,

    As someone who falls under this category, I will share only my own experience. I cannot speak for the rest.

    1. As a human: Despite the obvious historical facts of how various religions have caused more harm than good in the world, I find that if used as it should be, religion can serve as an important tool for the spiritual development of a person. So for me, religion was always been a factor in my life. Not always practiced, and that is when a lot of problems arose, but none the less, always a possibility in order for my spiritual evolution. So the search has been a long one, but worth it.

    2. As a woman: I was raised in a Roman Catholic Christian background and honestly I never had any negative experience either with clergy or dogma directly at my own person, it served as a foundation to the awareness of a spiritual world. However, I found that I didn't believe nor share the same views with some of the most important fundamental ideas with Christianity and leaned more toward Eastern thought, so as my search expanded and became more aggressive and serious, so did my natural separation to this religion. In Sikhi, I have found that nowhere in the practice of our Gurus nor in our living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, can anyone, man or woman, get away with even harming the hair on a woman, it is just not supported - period. Not even to 'discipline' the woman, nor is her husband's authority surpasses her judgment. If there is any such practice among Sikhs, then it is culture - simple as that, absolutely, no loop hole. We are equal, we still keep our grace, our dignity and our character and our role as mothers, teachers, professionals and if we need to defend we do, no weakness there, how can you argue with that? Why wouldn't a woman want that?

    3. As a non-Punjabi/Indian: It is some karmic destiny I was born in the culture I was born into and family I was born into. There will always be a dominant of someone or some group in any scenario, whether that be religion, society, government, what have you, and to have that as a deterrent to persue your spiritual development is silly. It was Guru ji's choice to have Sikhi develop where it did, and if it was truly just for Punjabis or Indians, then Sikhs would have remained in Punjab. The point that many different castes became Sikhs and coming from a majority of the two faiths at the time that were arch rivals - became Sikhs is proof enough that it is not a 'click' it is a religion for humanity. Up to now, I have not once experienced any negative backlash or 'rejection' from the majority as for my coming into the Khalsa Panth fold.

    4. Numbers in conversions/reversions: The reason Christianity and Islam get more converts/reverts to their faiths is because they are the two religions that have effectively marketed themselves due to the simple fact that in these two religions, spreading of their religion is vital and important and a MUST and they really believe that their way is the only and/or best way. Even though some may argue that nowadays conversion/reversion should come from the heart. History has shown that in these two religions' case it has been predominately by force, even though these actions may have gone or go against the basic fundamental practice of peace or love taught by them. Personally, I never believed in forcing a faith or ideology (whether religious or governmental) on anyone, nor do I believe it being forced on my own person; naturally I would retaliate if anyone would dare, and as I learned about Sikhi and its history, this act of defiance is very prevalent in Sikhi and nowhere else have I found this particular characteristic. Not only for preservation of a persons or faith, but for humanity, no matter race, creed, gender, etc... this is a key factor. Besides, historically, Sikhs have always been few and seriously outnumbered, but always steadfast in standing their ground. It is not the number of people in the fold, it is the depth and breadth of their courage that will keep things afloat.

    5. And my main reason I chose Sikhi and not any other path, not even Atheism: Sikhi goes beyond just a 'religion' or a 'way of life', it is the specific development of one's spiritual side and earth bound side. It goes beyond 'rules' or social or religious boundaries. One is responsible for always being grounded in this pursuit. It is the realistic and straight forward acceptance of the reality of the spiritual world and its relationship to the earth bound world. Even if we do good deeds out of the kindness of our hearts and with no expectations for even a 'thank you', we will bow and give our heads to Wahe Guru ji and Khalsa Panth even if after our physical death Wahe Guru ji wills our souls to eternal suffering we accept it with grace, humility, courage and love, that unconditional love that only Wahe Guru ji can bestow upon us. No where else have I found by scripture or historical facts, such courage or discipline, not in any other religion, not in any other culture, not in any other military, not even among the bravest of the elite forces - there is something surreal and special in Sikhi, and the 10 Master Gurus understood that very clearly, it is something attainable for everyone, the educated, the illiterate, the rich the poor, the men, the women, even the children....how much easier and more direct can it get?

    Inderjot Kaur
    :angryyoungkaur:
     
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  9. Ruqa

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    What about Punjabis of other faiths converting to Sikhi? I mean what are the statistics and what are they compared to those that are pan-desi converting?
     
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  10. Astroboy

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    Inderjot Kaur Ji,

    I thank you for your reply from the heart. It does make me re-think my own stand with regards to things I've taken for granted, since I am born into Sikhism.

    It is an eye-opener for me as it allows me to step outside of my present state of belief and view it from your point of view.
     
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  11. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    I was wondering, 3HO Sikhs who have toured Latin America and the two most talked about African Black Sikhs are there real converts in Africa and South America or are they only in Kundalini Yoga.

    Maybe someone could show me the stats and/or video clips.

    My second question: Isn't it high time we had other groups like Missionaries to introduce the teachings of the Guru. If there are, where are the videos?
     
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  12. mariposazul

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    Astroboy ji,

    WJKK WJKF

    Thank you for posing the question. It's all a learning process and honestly we need each other to help in our spiritual growth and how to apply it best in our day to day lives. You are one lucky Singh having been born into Sikhi and just the fact of your query shows you appreciate it. Stay in Chardi Kala always about it.

    Inderjot
    :whatzpointkudi:
     
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  13. mariposazul

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    Ruqa,

    I am not aware of formal statistics out there which point out the diverse origins of adherents to Sikhi. I know there are some from Indian ancestry or Indian directly themselves who have chosen Sikhi, but again its through interviews and articles I have come across on specific individuals that I have become aware of this.

    Until someone finds the need to do the research and field work on it, we won't know exactly.

    Inderjot
    :whatzpointkudi:
     
  14. Astroboy

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    Sikhism - By Janet Lant

    Listen Chris Hammers, I never got around to telling you some of the things about Sikh religion that convince me of its authenticity. One major evidence is the "Holy Book" of Sikh religion known as the "Granth Sahib". The Granth Sahib was complied over a period of 240 years by the hands of the beings that founded Sikh religion. All copies are matched to the original handwritten one. It is scientifically impossible for any known being to write a book with all the qualities found in the Granth Sahib. Below are some of those amazing qualities:

    • It is written using very deeply profound words obtained from over 16 languages. (I would say that it's words are more profound then that of any other Book on the planet, but that would not get anywhere, I would be simply dismissed as being biased)
    • The words from over 16 incompatible languages are incorporated in a way that they make perfect sense.
    • The alphabet the Granth Sahib uses was invented by the Supreme Beings that wrote it. The Alphabet is called Gurmuki, it is impossible to make a spelling mistake using this alphabet because it has logical grammar rules. Every word or sound can only be written one way. Not like English where the k in knife is silent. This is the easiest alphabet to master. I bet the world would be using computers a long time ago to write things using speech recognition programs if Gurmuki was the business language of the world.
    • Every sentence is written in poetry of the highest order. (William Shakespeare would have been envious.)
    • At the same time every sentence rhymes.
    • At the same time everything is in music verse form, so that all sorts of musical instruments can be played while it is sung.
    Sikh religion believes praying should be a very pleasurable, stress reliving, thought provoking event. Most other religions believe praying should be a act of submission (Catholics make you kneel allot!), unquestioningly following rituals, and fear of a jealous Angry God (the Ten Commandments of Judao-Christianity state something about God being a Jealous God and one prone to Anger.) Now Chris, tell me does it make sense following a God who is so immature he gets Jealous, how insecure could that kind of a God be! And how wimpy and powerless must this God be if he gets Angry.
    The God of Sikh religion never gets Jealous because he made all those awesome things that make insecure persons jealous. Sikh religion also says God is without anger. Their is a very beautiful song about this in the Granth Sahib!
    Plus before the Equal Rights movement, infact 540 years before , Guru Nanak said many nice Praises about women, instead of condemning them like all the other great religions do.


    If you want to read more testimonies by converts here's the link:
    http://www.searchsikhism.com/stories.html

    For e.g.
    John Morgen was a son of high priest Rev. Bran Morgen of Barrowford, England. Young John served British Army and police for some time but all the times he was feeling impatient. As he wanted to satisfy his spiritual quest, therefore he studied many religions but of no avail. Ultimately he came in contact with Giani Bharpoor Singh of Southampton who gave him basic understanding of Sikhism.
    Go to link for full story: http://www.searchsikhism.com/si32.html
     
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    #13 Astroboy, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  15. Auzer

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    Thank you for the post brother!

    Please clarify ... I thought Granth Sahib was in Punjabi Language? Is "Gurmukhi" another language? Or it is a language derived , mostly , from Punjabi language?

    Thanks!
     
  16. Ishna

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    Auzer ji

    Gurmukhi is the name of the script used to write the words in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. As I understand it the Granth Sahib is largely written in the lagnuage of old Punjabi with some other languages and spiritual terms including Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian.

    Other members may correct my mistakes, please.
     
  17. mariposazul

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    WJKK WJKF,

    Astro boy ji,

    There are a few who have come to Sikhi by other means, either direct contact to a Punjabi Sikh or traveling through India.

    Here is one such Singh of Dutch descent... Veer ji Harjinder Singh

    Dutch Sikh - Harjinder Singh (Man in Blue) I AM A SIKH - YouTube

    Again I haven't come across any stats, if they do exist, someone please share.

    But the purpose of those Sikhs who are teaching Kundalini Yoga throughout Latin America is to share the yog, because not everyone will become Sikhs. One thing is religion and another thing is yog.

    Personally when I hear the word 'missionary' I cringe. Mainly because it has such a negative connotation in Western Christian history. I know it is used for other faiths as well where the knowledge and information of those faiths are distributed for information and education, however, from personal experience, I don't like it when someone is pushy on giving me information on their faith, nor to join their group. I keep thinking that the best example for Sikhs to educate is to be present ourselves, to know the Sikh history and theology like the back of one's own hand and through our day to day action and interactions a person can get a positive experience.

    Each Singh and Kaur, no matter what age or nationality or race, are little 'missions' moving about as soon as we walk out the door.

    Inderjot

    :whatzpointkudi:
     
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  18. Sicarius

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    People are becoming more learned, especially with the internet. They question what they've been taught. Some go off and reject all religion, and deny God...in my opinion egoistically and ignorantly. Others, realize god is real, and go for a time without a central canon to study from. Then they read up on the many faiths and will read the writings of them. Each faith attracts an outlook.

    I think those who are attached to change in the material world are drawn to Sikhism. People who are open-minded, critically thinking, highly practical and above all feel a strong call to duty.

    This doesn't really include the Yogi Bajjan crowd that has a far more mysticaln angle. For the rest of Western Sikh converts however, I believe this to be the case.

    I've found 3 like minded individuals who accepted Sikhism or are attracted to it alongside of myself. All of them young men who are drawn to the upright, militant and wordly outlook of the khalsa.

    I couldn't handle the empty rejection of the world of Buddhism, Judaism was just Christianity without mercy and full of brutality (old testament), and Islam was just Christianity abridged/refined with an Arab twist. Other 'new' religions largely fall walk the line of cults and sects and are just more the same mythology. Bahai and Unitarianism are admirable in their own right, but are basically just a 'lite' smoothie of the same old bag. Sikhism is the real deal, it is a natural progression for someone who simply 'believes in God' and rejects religion, to be drawn to Sikhism with its utilitarian beauty and intellectual honesty. That is once they can get passed alot of the shenanigans that foolish so-called Sikhs have made it.

    Interestingly enough, I'm beginning to realize that the 5ks are a bit of a poster board for the religion. Sikhism stands out like a sore thumb in its superficial aspect, and as established in my previous thread although the Ks are neither obligatory nor necessary, it was the mystery and absurdity of them that drew me to learn more about the Sikhs.

    I am glad I have begun to walk the path of Sikhi. Much love to all. xD
     
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  19. Ruqa

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    Ishna ji hey how's it going? Oi mate I've got this book because I wanted to learn to read and write Punjabi and in the preface it says...'Guru Angad Dev introduced the Gurumukhi alphabet. Before Punjabi used to be written in Persian script. The Gurumukhi script is very simple and there can be no mistaking one letter for another...' anyway point is everyday Punjabi is written in Gurumukhi too. But you might have meant that. Can I complain a bit about the book? Too bad I will. Made in Delhi... That says something right there! It seems like every book made in Delhi uses this dodgey blurry font and anyway I haven't learn't anything from it. Waste of money! Anyway back to the topic. I want to ask you all if you know any Muslims personally that have converted to Sikhi without marrying a Sikh somewhere in the process. Does that question make sense?
     
  20. Ishna

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  21. Ruqa

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    Your weapon of choice lol looks good. I'll be honest when I was looking for a book I was being 'Indian' about it. You know 'why would I pay 25 for that when I can pay 7 for this?!' lol and then I get more 'Indian' and complain about how crappy it is when I get it! Lol truth is you usually have to pay more for quality. Will think about purchasing that sometime when i'm not being such a tight....
     

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