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Why sikhi isn’t spreading

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Lionchild, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Lionchild

    Lionchild
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    Why sikhi isn’t spreading
    By Bindy Bains

    WJKK WJKF

    Part of a reply from another forum…

    We haven’t spread our beautiful religion to other parts of the world because we are afraid of the power the raw spiritual, untainted energy that new sikhs often have. We used to have that energy on a large scale in the times of the gurus and shortly after. Then we stopped somewhere down the line and decided that the Punjabi race was the only way to expand, and we got too used to ourselves and well it all went down hill from their for the most part. To much Cultural and racial inbreeding (couldn’t find another word to describe it , sorry) can be a fatal mix to a religious community.

    Think about it, the sikhs that say that sikhi is not for new people and you have to be born into it – they are actually betraying/denying their own heritage! A great number if not 70-80% of the sikhs today are born into families that at one point, in their family history, were moved to take up the Sikh faith. That’s one of the main ways sikhi spread – it was people accepting guru ji’s message (converting or realizing).

    Now I don’t like the word converting or convert, people who have entered sikhi where always sikhi to begin with, they just needed time and help to realize the path! So today, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do what other religions have done in the past and are doing. There are different ways to reach out to the world other than going door-to-door and forcibly converting people.

    Sikhi must be spread, and there are many millions of people out the world who want to know more about god and are in need of helping hand. Yet the sikhi community and the actual institutions that run today are very poorly equipped to handle new people who are interested in sikhi. The punjabi community dominates the sikhi scene, and that is not a good thing because when a new sikh, especially from a different background appears. He\she is overwhelmed by the fact they are alone and sometimes can’t understand what’s going on (as what I felt when I went t down to surrey last year).

    I speak from experience. Long stares, ugly faces, talking behind backs, rude remarks, that’s the daily treatment received when I go to my gurdwara, one reason why I don’t go up to my gurdwara very much. But listening to other people opinions is not going to do anyone any good, so just move on and be yourself.

    So that is one reason why sikhi isn’t spreading, there are other issues, but this is the main one.
     
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  3. Amardeep

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    you are absolutely right. we have the same problem here in Denmark where i live where noone realy knows about sikhism, although most people share the thought of sikhism. they are sikhs, but "they just dont know it" if you can put it in that term...

    but what do you think can be done? the muslims are trying by aproaching people of other faiths and manipulating with their religious scriptures in order to proove them wrong... this is not the way ..

    in denmark we are trying to make the people more aware of us, by spreading information about the sikh community. its a long process, and we have just started it recently..
     
  4. Lionchild

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    Nice points Amardeep, to give a few suggestions of how to deliver the message of the guru without trying to convert ppl directly...

    Seva, Seva, and more seva - this is the most important way to spread sikhi! When seva is done for people whether they convert or not, it is benifical to everyone. Remember, it has to given to everyone, and not just ppl who might be interested in sikhi.
    Letters and articles - this is also important, there is so little papers and articles available to the western and most of the world on sikhi values and subjects. Papers, articles, pamphlets and leaflets and posters are in the category.
    Support help lines/sites - a web site of phne line for ppl of all backgrounds to call and get help for all sorts of problems. Kind of like seva except it isnt really. A website or usergroup like the one evolving here at SPN is also a good place for new and potential sikhs to ask questions and get answers.

    Some Do's and dont's

    Do do seva and more seva
    Do place leaflets and articles of sikh interest
    Do help poeple regardless of background
    Do get out int he community and make your presence known.

    Don't try to directly convert ppl (comparisons, door-to-door, bribing)
    Don't try to push sikhi on ppl
    Don't try to bash or critisize other ppl's faiths

    there's some general stuff to think about.
     
  5. Amardeep

    Amardeep
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    sath shri akal bindy..

    well..i like your "do and dont" list hehe.

    i am going to the Gurdwara this weekend and i will try to ask the "uncles" if they will support a "camp" in june where I will teach the young kids about Shaheed Guru Arjan Dev Ji's martyrdom as his annivsary is comming up. i will do this in the local language, as most of the kids speak this language better than punjabi..

    i hope this will be a start since we have no activities whatsoever in the Gurdwara overhere.

    and im working on a website to promote sikhism among young sikhs in denmark, which will be a start, and if it gets a lot of activity then i will try some of your other do and donts..

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
     
  6. Lionchild

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    A reply from another forum to the same thread...




    Agreed... when I entered sikhi, I got the 5 kakars quite soon, perhaps to soon. Without knowing what they really meant. Now, I know better than to just take amrit right away, it;s a deep dicision and one that cannot be taken lightly. So I will take amrit sometime next year, provided i'm ready for it.

    Back in the living human guru's days, it was acceptable and a good choice to spread the word of sikhi in one community. This is because sikhi was still maturing and getting it's roots developed. If expansion would have happened in other areas without maturing first, then there would be problems later on and the possibility of expanding to fast and/or without proper direction.

    However we are long past the mature stage and in fact are in a decline stage where there isn’t enough new ppl to balance out the existing sikhi population. And over the years, this has further evolved into a population that is largely stuck with itself and little exposure to new Sikhs from different background. Now there really isnt a problem of expanding in one community, however if the community grows within itself for too long, then rituals, problems, degrading and boundaries start to develop. Then as more time progresses, it just gets harder to reverse or stop the issues/problems.

    These issues can be countered by expanding in existing communities (being born in sikhi family), spreading sikhi (new sikhs), and revived sikhs. This is happening, there are many new sikh that are born into families, as well as youth/adults going back into the faith as well as the odd new sikh (convert) coming in. These groups have tremendous power to change and revive aging communities. And often have the raw, untainted energy that can move/inspire others to follow.

    However... this group is far outnumbered and overwhelmed buy percentage of sikhs who are not really practicing, borderline’s (and lechers) who don't contribute to the sikhi community. That presents an obvious problem – how can you truly make a difference if your not being well represented?

    Well it will take some time, let’s just say 50 years before these groups can make a noticeable impact on the sikhi community. Until then, expansion into unknown areas and places that sikhi doesn’t exist is the next step in sikhi. The sikh community Punjab will decline further, and will go into religious hibernation for quite some time, during that time, North America and the UK region will prosper and become the unofficial centers of sikhi population, even if the numbers are not as big as Punjab. In the distant future, Punjab will rise again, with the help of the growing/large sikhi community in other parts of the world.

    My long reply…

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