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How Important Is Matha Tekking?

Harry Haller

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Gurfatehji

Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru ji Ki Fateh

I do try my best to avoid talking about Sikhism to other Sikhs, I find it a pointless and stressful exercise, I rarely see eye to eye, and I dislike arguing about religion, however, I found myself being drawn into an argument, I tried my hardest to tactfully concede my point of view, but in the end, I was accused of behaving in a complete unSikh like manner,

The subject is how important is it to Matha Tek in front of Babaji when you visit someones house. I will be honest, I find it irrelevant, to read Babaji is a different matter, I do not think you can read enough, as long as it is actually reading and understanding, rather than just whizzing through for the sake of it, but Matha Tekking, I find living and understanding Baniof much more importance than paying lip service by Matha Tekking. Access to Bani for me is more through my computer these days, I do not Matha Tek my computer, I just read the Bani and try and learn and practice it in life, to elevate the act of Matha Tekking above this seems ludicrous to me.

However, I am now told that it is also good practice to Matha Tek a picture of Ek Onkar, but this just seems like more superstition to me, in the end I had to concede that I clearly was not a Sikh, which was upsetting for me to say, but rather than argue a point which was clearly causing friction, seemed the easiest thing to do,


Comments please, thank you
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

With YOU 110%. Lip service/peer pressure/mummy daddy told me so/what will others think/everyone does it......are the Major reasons why sikhs matha tek...its just a mere Formality..nothing more. I see no reason to join these...so if I feel like just going in and sitting down..i do that..or if i dont feel worthwhile even going upstairs..i dont..the ONLY Time I DO FEEL like Matha Tekking..is before i sit down for my RAOL..in an akhand paath/sehaj paath...then i feel i have to Connect and offer my apologies ofr any inadvertant mistakes or errors and to ask Guru ji for His Kirpa and understanding to bless my 2 hours communication with HIM.....
You see Guur Ji says..Tudh bin mannggeha sir dukheh dukh...and bin bolian sabh kich jaanda...To ASK for anything besides HIM/His Kirpa..is jst asking for trouble...and He KNOWS our needs without being asked..YET we have Granthis making lists to read in ardass...and all the "needs" are NOT his Kirpa.naam but worldy goods...so called sukh..a direct violation of Gurbani..i feel that very offenisve and hypocritical..hence my avoidance of such ardasses and matha tekking sessions..
 

simranbir

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May 15, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

With YOU 110%. Lip service/peer pressure/mummy daddy told me so/what will others think/everyone does it......are the Major reasons why sikhs matha tek...its just a mere Formality..nothing more. I see no reason to join these...so if I feel like just going in and sitting down..i do that..
waheguru g ka khalsa
waheguru g ki fateh

me also with u 70% for lip servce as its not that important but not its not a mere formality....... its the emotions of sangat to kiss the dust of guru's feet.

but yes matha tekana is really really very important for every sikh or non sikh while going guruduwara sahid otherwise it would make us and babaji at the same level which we are definitly not.
 

Harry Haller

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

I see no problem with bowing before anyone I fully respect, such may be my parents, or elderly relatives, or learned people with wisdom. I bow out of pure respect and also humility, did not Guruji wipe Sri Chand's feet with his own beard, such actions destroy the ego, and make a mockery of the whole game of pride and status, I find such humble behaviour makes you stronger, as it means you cease playing the game that we all play called life.

I do not play games with Guruji, if I were to see him, of course I would bow to him as I bow to my mother or father, but to elevate this act to the point of importance, to say it there is a point to it, to even suggest it is Sikhi, in my view is wrong, there is nothing Sikhi about bowing, it is pure respect and an expression of heartfelt love.

However in the world we live in, where more are concerned with the bowing over the content, I believe such discussion can only further the pearls of wisdom that must be first absorbed, and then lived, that is the SGGS.

I am sorry to say that I find the more elaborate the Matha Tek, the more shallow the individual, I would be most interested from anyones opinion that feels the opposite
 

Ishna

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

I am sorry to say that I find the more elaborate the Matha Tek, the more shallow the individual, I would be most interested from anyones opinion that feels the opposite
Harry ji

I want to give you the example of when I first started going to Gurdwara Sahib, and I was so nervous I would get to darbar sahib very early so no one would see me. One morning, before anyone else was in there, a Singh came in and did the most elabourate matha tek I've ever seen to date - he didn't just bow, he layed down on his stomach! I would like to say it was a genuine matha tek, but I recall he had a friend with him at the time. So even that may have just been for the friend's benefit. But who am I to judge?
 

Harry Haller

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Sis,

my personal feeling? it does not even have to be for anyone else's benefit, I think some people kid themselves that the more elaborate the Matha Tek, the more operatic the recitation, the more Path, the bigger the turban, the more parshad butter they can wipe on their beards all add up to being a better Sikh, when in my view, the best Sikh is the anonymous bloke, or lady, at the back who quietly comes in, does some seva, listens to the kirtan, learns something, validates his thinking maybe, and then leaves and carries on being a Sikh, on the way home, when he gets home, when he wakes up, when he goes to work,

I think people can fool themselves as well as trying to fool others
 
May 16, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh jio to everyone..!!

I agree with harry haller.Plus Matha tekna means....apna app guru nu sompana means apne Mat guru nu sompne te guru to Mat laine....
 

simranbir

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May 15, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Veerni Don't you bow to mother and father ?
hanji asi apne mamma papa agge shish chukane han galat nahi hai par ohna nu parmatma mann ke nahi aur eho mera matalabc g
edda respect taa assi kayian di karde han par kise v murti agge shish chukande.

aur agar pakke sikh ho ta waheguru g ki fateh bulaya karo apne mum dad nu

i mean say fateh to mum dad instead of bowing
 

simranbir

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May 15, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Veerni Don't you bow to mother and father ?
yes it is true that i never bow to my parents because they taught me to say fateh

your shish is really very valuable and should only be bowed to guru granth sahib ji

otherwise a sikh should always say fateh thats what guru govind singh ji taught us and our four sahibjade ji

please coment if you dont agree with me
 

Harry Haller

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Creator is everywhere, and in everyone and everything, this is the exact reason I do not feel Matha Tekking is a huge deal, it is no different to what Guru Nanakji preached against in Mecca, but by the same token I see no harm in bowing to Creator within other forms that deserve such respect, ultimately it is all Creator
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Creator is everywhere, and in everyone and everything, this is the exact reason I do not feel Matha Tekking is a huge deal, it is no different to what Guru Nanakji preached against in Mecca, but by the same token I see no harm in bowing to Creator within other forms that deserve such respect, ultimately it is all Creator
I agree with you Harry, although this issue of Matha Tekking (bowing) is common through all religions, some especially elaborate ie in Islam and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

In Orthodox Christianity - that is Eastern Catholicism - these Catholics are REALLY into this. They call it Zemnoy poklon ("great bow" literally ground bow) and here is an illustration of the Six different kind of Zemnoy Poklon:



These different bows are done at different times during the Eastern Catholic liturgy, especially at the mention of the Name.

In the West, Roman Catholics do not do the full Zemnoy Poklon but rather we do Poyasny ("little bow", literally belt bow) which is the first bow of only the head that you see in the image, and we also genuflect (bending at least one knee to the ground along with little bow of head as in above picture 1) whenever we enter or leave a Church before the Altar, that is the Tabernacle, where the Blessed Sacrament is kept, as in this picture:









I - rebel that I am lol - don't genuflect when I enter or leave the Church. My parents are always angry with me since they think that it looks "lazy" or is disrespectful towards the Altar and the Blessed Sacrament, however I honestly see no point in doing it because I think that it is "automated" and not necessary to my spiritual growth.

The custom of bowing the head at the mention of His Name was formally written into law at the Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, convened by Pope Gregory X: "Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be saved, the Name...Each should fulfil in himself that which is written for all, that at the Name every knee should bow; whenever that glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head".

I don't do it lol lol Does that make a bad Catholic???????? In fact since the 60's most Catholics don't do it. Its kind of been phazed out, and the Church doesn't bother. However everyone is still expected to genuflect or at least still does genuflect, but i don't.

Nevertheless I agree with you that I would be happy to bow before any person that I respect, as Blessed Pope John XXIII did with the Islamic mystic Rumi:


“In the name of the Catholic World, I bow with respect before the memory of Rumi.”

- Pope John XXIII, Message to Turkey, 1958
 
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Scarlet Pimpernel

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

yes it is true that i never bow to my parents because they taught me to say fateh
your shish is really very valuable and should only be bowed to guru granth sahib ji
otherwise a sikh should always say fateh thats what guru govind singh ji taught us and our four sahibjade ji
please coment if you dont agree with me
Veerni

Bow is physical extension of Self-Submission if done for right reason,if done for the wrong reason it's no longer bowing ,its just bending over.
 

Harry Haller

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Vouthonji

Many thanks for your post, I cannot believe how similar our religions are, although I feel the external signs of devotion are more prevalent in Sikhism. Matha Tekking, like hair, is a wonderful gesture of humility and devotion as part of a whole and complete acceptance of the Hukam of Creator, however without a complete acceptance and submission to will of Creator, they remain gestures only
 

Harry Haller

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Veerni

Bow is physical extension of Self-Submission if done for right reason,if done for the wrong reason it's no longer bowing ,its just bending over.
Spji,

I find your posts of late brimming with just the right balance of wisdom, wit and enlightenment, to the point that at time I am envious that I had not thought of some of your comments myself mundahug
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Vouthonji

Many thanks for your post, I cannot believe how similar our religions are, although I feel the external signs of devotion are more prevalent in Sikhism. Matha Tekking, like hair, is a wonderful gesture of humility and devotion as part of a whole and complete acceptance of the Hukam of Creator, however without a complete acceptance and submission to will of Creator, they remain gestures only

I agree brother Harry ji gingerteakaur

I agree that Matha tekking/Zemnoy poklon/genuflection is indeed a beautiful gesture of self-abegnation and self-surrender/abandonment to the divine providence. However I do feel that a lot of people just do it because they've been brought up doing it, they see everyone else doing it and its just kind of automatic without any true understanding of the Joy of Full Surrender to the Will of God. If done without this, then these actions are hollow. Our inner should be one with our outer; our inner state of mind should manifest itself in outward action - however some people seem to get caught up in doing the physical actions without the inner state of mind, if you know what I mean.

Indeed I feel that if done with the wrong mind set, it is really better not to do it at all.
 

Ambarsaria

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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

Sis,

my personal feeling? it does not even have to be for anyone else's benefit, I think some people kid themselves that the more elaborate the Matha Tek, the more operatic the recitation, the more Path, the bigger the turban, the more parshad butter they can wipe on their beards all add up to being a better Sikh, when in my view, the best Sikh is the anonymous bloke, or lady, at the back who quietly comes in, does some seva, listens to the kirtan, learns something, validates his thinking maybe, and then leaves and carries on being a Sikh, on the way home, when he gets home, when he wakes up, when he goes to work,

I think people can fool themselves as well as trying to fool others
Harry Haller ji I told you to not share what I do when going to a Gurdwara and SGGS being in presence lol lol.

As part of an associated behavior, I would normally not put my back towards SGGS at one time. Many people you perhaps see these days walking backwards after "Matha Tek". It came up as a point of note with one of my friends. He simply stated most elegantly,

Once you have offered your head in "Matha Tek" to SGGS, what else is needed.
Hence this habit of mine got abandoned.

In terms of bowing before SGGS. I treat the wisdom thereof and love of that wisdom as a person. Matha Tek is simply an expression of this and while on the ground prostate, I do talk to myself. No demands just reminders to self of being good, being better, being caring, wishing well, etc. So I find it functionally OK and unique time. But again to each their own.

Fundamentally if your heart has no respect, 100,000+ "Matha Teks" are not going to make it any better. Choice is for each one of us to show or not overtly show respect.

Sat Sri Akal.
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Re: How important is Matha Tekking

BTW in the West, Catholics used to do the full ground bows - the "full whammie" so to speak - until 1502, when genuflection became standardized. Also in Eastern Catholic Churches there are no seats but just a floor where everyone stands and of course bows at the appropriate times, whereas in western Catholic Churches there are seats - called pews - which is why we stopped doing the full one and instead brought in genuflection when entering Church, just before you sit down on the seat, and when leaving, always facing the altar.

We also still kneel down in our seats, putting our legs onto a kind of comfy cushion in front of us during the Eucharistic part of the mass, so we do bowing that way as well, and our head is of course bowed. I DO bow during this part - so I'm not a complete rebel lol

It kind of became difficult to do all that bowing in Churches along with seats which is why we had the change in 1502 :grinningkaur: But as I say in Eastern Catholic Churches they still do the full thing, much like Sikhs.

Eastern Catholics and Western Catholics share the exact same faith, we differ only in our cultural diversity, in customs etc. We are the same Church though.
 
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