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I Refuse To Bow To Guru's Pic. Am I Right?

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I Refuse To Bow To Guru's Pic. Am I Right?

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Dear All

SSA

The more I am understanding gurubani , one thing for clear is that waheguru is the only eternal power who will remain with me for ever. It's for guru's teaching I am able to understand this. But as in many other sikh families , there are gurus pictures and portraits and Sikhs bow to them, for me it is wrong and I am sure that even as per gurus teachings.

I have also stopped celebrating lohri, rakhi and holi. I can share my life with others in many other ways. Bowing to guru
Pic is no different to idol worship and I reject it.

How can I convince my family and ask them to stop it? Also what will be the most respectable way of getting away with current pictures if guru? Should I hand over to someone else( which I don't want as they will start using them) or something else?

Thanks
 

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Re: I refuse to bow to Guru's pic.. Am I right

gurtej khubbar ji

My penny's worth of opinion.

Sounds as if you are a person of conscience. It can be difficult to find a balance between acting in a way that upholds your beliefs and judging others. Bowing to a picture of one of our Gurus is not required, and many would say it is not even part of Sikhi. We mata tek to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. We Sikhs do not engage in worship of idols. For your family bowing to pictures of the Gurus may be a sincere action. They may not see it as a form of worship. I would not judge them. You also should not judge yourself. Be confident. Follow your own wisdom on this matter and do not second-guess yourself.

When you get the message out, That festivals like Lohri are not part of Sikhi, and bowing to pictures is not part of Sikhi either, then you have done your job according to your conscience.
 

Ishna

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Re: I refuse to bow to Guru's pic.. Am I right

Good on you Gurtej ji.

Why don't you try sharing what you've learned from Guru Granth Sahib Ji with your family and ask them why they bow to the pictures, and see if they can back it up with Gurbani? You don't want to make it an arugment though, just an exchange of ideas to hopefully get them thinking. Your example is also good. But you won't be able to change them, they'll have to change themselves (with Guruji kirpa). So don't sweat it if they don't come around to your way of thinking.

About the pictures, I don't think you necessarily need to get rid of them, unless they are causing other people to bow. You can still have Sikh artwork as long as you recognise it as such - artwork, an inspiration piece of artwork perhaps, but nothing more.

But if it's easier for you, sell them perhaps on ebay? Or donate them to a charity shop where they might be purchased by a non-Sikh, or for an Indian restaurant. Give it to someone who you know wouldn't bow to it. My Gurdwara has lots of paintings and I've never seen anyone bow to them - can you offer them to your Gurdwara?

Good luck
Ishna
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Re: I refuse to bow to Guru's pic.. Am I right

1. the pics are not real - they are imaginary..and thus DIFFER from painter to painter..
2. They are not "Holy"...( Most people are afraid to get rid of them because they are "holy" and so offer them to Gurdwaras !!or send them for Saskaar !! IF they stop bowing to them that is..
3. Take them OUT of Circulation...burn them..( as I did) because even to a NON-Sikh they give the WRONG IMPRESSION....because the GURU as DESCRIBED IN SGGS is Vastly different from them !! Have you ever seen a Picture of GURU Nanak ji carrying a pile of wet dripping muddy grass on his head ? Have you seen a painting of Guru Nanak ji Farming...ploughing...milking his cows ?? NO..we see Him perpetually sitting under a tree or looking into space with palm up !! THATS NOT GURU NANAK JI in REAL LIFE !! Why perpetuate a LIE or at best SEMI-TRUTH ??? Same goes for all other pics..Have you seen a Pic of GURU TEG BAHADUR in Battle ?? Have you seen Guru Har rai Ji as a Pharmacist ?? Have you seen Guru harkishan Ji attending to the Sick ??..You see painters pick and choose..and you help perpetuate that fallacy/semitruth by buying and displaying those one sided pics of MULTI sided GURUS..
 

BlazinSikh

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Re: I refuse to bow to Guru's pic.. Am I right

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!

Personally I do not see it as an offense if people bow to the pics of Guru's or not the choice is for them to make, not for me to critize. Personally i do bow my head (just my head), in respect to the Guru's, who have shown me the path to Akal Purakh Waheguru Ji. And yes i do agree the pictures of Guru's are all different, but to me they just help me remind the great deal of sacrafice that they have done for us. But yes the day I meet Waheguru Ji (if he/she shows me mercy) then I Will not just bow but, lie my whole body for my Waheguru Ji Sahib.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!
 
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Re: I refuse to bow to Guru's pic.. Am I right

I can in no way justify me bowing
To pictures and idols but at the same time say all other rituals ( fasting, fire worship ) etc are wrong. I actually feel that this defy all the sacrifices the gurus did.. We are just going backwards if we continue to do that.

Sikhi is so pure that even gurus can't
be worshipped , when I bow to gurus,'I am bowing to word ( shabad).. Bani guru, guru hai bani ...
This is what makes me come closer to ultimate reality not the pics
 

Tejwant Singh

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Re: I refuse to bow to Guru's pic.. Am I right

Dear All

SSA

The more I am understanding gurubani , one thing for clear is that waheguru is the only eternal power who will remain with me for ever. It's for guru's teaching I am able to understand this. But as in many other sikh families , there are gurus pictures and portraits and Sikhs bow to them, for me it is wrong and I am sure that even as per gurus teachings.

I have also stopped celebrating lohri, rakhi and holi. I can share my life with others in many other ways. Bowing to guru
Pic is no different to idol worship and I reject it.

How can I convince my family and ask them to stop it? Also what will be the most respectable way of getting away with current pictures if guru? Should I hand over to someone else( which I don't want as they will start using them) or something else?

Thanks

Gurtej ji,

Guru Fateh.

First of all I thank you for your candor. Bowing to the pictures is like idol worshipping in my opinion because we do not know if Our Gurus' "pictures" are a lot more or less than it meets the eyes, but more important is that our Gurus would not want us to do that. If they wanted it, the would have hired great portrait painters of their time, but they did not do that on purpose.

Bow to the Guru that resides in all of us and to the SGGS, our only Guru in order to study it, which will help you breed goodness within to share with others.

Enjoy your journey.

Regards.

Tejwant Singh
 

Harry Haller

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The more I am understanding gurubani , one thing for clear is that waheguru is the only eternal power who will remain with me for ever. It's for guru's teaching I am able to understand this. But as in many other sikh families , there are gurus pictures and portraits and Sikhs bow to them, for me it is wrong and I am sure that even as per gurus teachings.
A lot of us here have already been through this phase, it is the realisation that we have been fed a complete load of rubbish for years, and that Sikhism is light years away from the Sanatan Vedicised religion that we thought was Sikh. Of course, once we realise this, we feel we have to change the world, spread the message, open the eyes of the blind, etc etc.

However, do you have the right to chastise someone, much older than you, and tell them that everything they know is actually wrong? that they have spent a lifetime indulging in rituals and ceremonies that have nothing to do with Sikhism? I think we should focus on the young, the growing, try and change the future, rather than the past.

A year ago, when I was similar to yourself, I was about to inform my father that he was in contravention of Sikh thinking, as he faced a picture of Guru Nanakji and prayed. Although my father is certainly an enlightened man, and able to take criticism from anyone, I did not have the heart. Later I mentioned it, and he smiled at me, 'Son, I am not worshipping the photograph, I am using the image to focus my mind on God, the photo does not just show a Guru, it shows serenity, courage, graciousness, all the facets that I would like to adopt to be more like my Guru'.

Be careful my friend that your new found enthusiasm does not alienate you from the rest of your family and friends, there is a mid ground, where information can be shared, imparted, without causing offence and making others feel small and uninformed.

Also, Sikhism is not about ignoring religious festivals, or eating cold porridge whilst the world lets off fireworks, there is no harm in enjoying festivals provided you know that some festivals have little or nothing to do with Sikhism.

As a Sikh, I do not believe in Christmas, however, it would be petty of me to blind myself to the joyful celebration going on around me, and not be a part of it, or appreciate its colour and magic.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

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and tell them that everything they know is actually wrong?
Veer Ji It is ones own conceit that makes one think that oneself is right and them wrong,everything you see is your eyes representation of something else.Guru is still family,to keep pictures of your family is good.
 

Luckysingh

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Bowing to a picture of a guru, is better than bowing to a baba, gyani, sant mant.!!

We should bow only to the Satguru and the supreme consciousness


I too used to feel this way.
But now I think, well where is Guru Nanak ji ??
He is not around in physical form,but how about his soul or consciousness ??

I like to think of it as being 'ONE' and merged/submerged with the ONE AkAALPURAKH !!o

In effect you are bowing to something that is now complete part of the 'Supreme Consciousness'

This took out the doubt and misconceptions for me, but I acknowledge the picture more and may bow not physically but joining two hands directed to the akalpurakh waheguru, when picture catches my eye, mann/mind AND chit/consciousness.
 
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Dear all

I am actually very surprised by some of the responses. I think sikhs have become more concerned about other feeling ( even if parents) then following gurus true teachings. If waheguru is the only ultimate reality then why bow to anyone else even our own gurus. Infant they tried to teach us but we still going back to where they pulled us out from. A picture won't guide me neither my parents. It's the shabad that is important for me.

What will I do if I am stranded on an island alone with no pics, should I stop praying then ? What next , justifying giving water to sun or justify idol worship if Demi gods just because they appeal to Hindus?

No wonder sikhi talwar nalo tikhi..

Once I told my dad that I am not gona allow any alchohal in any of future festivals, he got angry and said we better dont celebrate coz ppl will make fun and say " when it's their turn, they trying to save money now by not offering drinks" , I did a small function in 5 star hotel to everyone surprise and none can say I wants to save
Money :) so inshort , we need to do things that ppl don't like if we need to be true to ourself
 

Harry Haller

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Sikhism is not about changing the world, it is about changing yourself.

I am certainly glad you have found the path, but by dragging those around you kicking and screaming on it, you will achieve nothing. If it is in them, they will find it themselves, if it is not in them, you are wasting your time, worry about yourself, find the mid ground, what is the point of leaving behind misinformation and incorrect facts, only to embrace Taliban like thinking and force your views on the world?

In this day and age, the numbers of those that worship a book, that pester creator for personal gain, that embrace all the facets that the Gurus encouraged us to forget, are great, huge, the majority. We have to play the long game, and that means acting as Sikhs, thinking like Sikhs, encouraging others, lighting a path, rather than telling everyone else where they are going wrong.
 

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Don't forget sadh sangat, Guruji says there is much to learn from people wiser than ourselves.

Although I commend your committment, when you say you won't allow alcohol, you might consider not putting up a tab perhaps, so you don't pay for the alcohol, but other people can still buy their own at your function. Perhaps that's what you meant.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

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A picture won't guide me neither my parents. It's the shabad that is important for me.
Shabad is a sound picture of an Ancient Truth,our Guru's rarely asked their sons what they should do,if your parents should ask your advice then give it, but remain reverent ,they will see from your example that one who knows his place ,knows God.
 
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Sikhism is not about changing the world, it is about changing yourself.

I am certainly glad you have found the path, but by dragging those around you kicking and screaming on it, you will achieve nothing. If it is in them, they will find it themselves, if it is not in them, you are wasting your time, worry about yourself, find the mid ground, what is the point of leaving behind misinformation and incorrect facts, only to embrace Taliban like thinking and force your views on the world?

In this day and age, the numbers of those that worship a book, that pester creator for personal gain, that embrace all the facets that the Gurus encouraged us to forget, are great, huge, the majority. We have to play the long game, and that means acting as Sikhs, thinking like Sikhs, encouraging others, lighting a path, rather than telling everyone else where they are going wrong.
It's a very thin line, honestly I don't care what anyone else does but I think it's my duty to them if they are doing anything wrong or if there is something they can improve. It's ones deed that will be judged so I really don't want to interfere in someone's life. But this is a basic thing.

I also try to explain to others including my mum and sis that its very important that they understand the meaning if gurbani as well instead if just doing kirtan. Once they do that they will become more aware themselves , my sister also celebrated karwachauth and I am sure most sikhs do, what is ur take on it? Do u think its fine as this has become part of punjabi life?
 

Harry Haller

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It's ones deed that will be judged
I do not agree with this, is it my duty to convert you, or your duty to convert me?

lol lol lol
 

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