Hard Talk Idols Of Sikh Gurus Being Sold In Market

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Aman Singh, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. notanotherloginplease

    notanotherloginplease Writer SPNer

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    Idol Worshipping is one thing and using idols to remind you of beloved is a different thing.

    Idol worshipping is not advisable in sikhism because idols can take you nowhere. Also Sikhs do no worship trees,animals, insects etc. They are no better than human so why should we worship them, we should worship what is better than humans at least. Simple.

    The photos(i know they are not real but an artist's impression), gurudwaras, shastras, Idols can help us to remind about them but they are not worth wroshipping. If they are used only for the purpose of remembrance, then I think there is no harm. But if one start worshiping (matha tex, washing with milk, putting flowers on top, dhoof batti, bells - shankhs etc.) them and take idol as a God, that's not beneficial.
     
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  2. sukhsingh

    sukhsingh Writer SPNer

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    I have to say I think @chetan sharma is making some very relevant points and we should go beyond the narrow definition of idol worship (which I think he is actually alluding to) and engage in the wider dialogue.. He as far as I can tell has rightly pointed out that no one has provided a reference proscribing idol worship per se.. And being pedantic has called out idol worship in the most crude and popular form of expression..
    Many people who profess to be sikh engage in 'idol worship ' in the way they worship SGGSJ and their conception of guru sahibs.. It would be obtuse to pretend that they don't..
    Personally I think many people conflate reverence of SGGSJ with worshipping it as akaal
     
  3. Ishna

    Ishna Enthusiast Writer SPNer

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    Well, if you want to interpret the Gurbani literally, then without reviewing every single instance where Gurbani criticizes idol worship broadly, I don't know if I could find a tuk that says "worshipping an idol as if it was God is wrong" in those terms. I don't know about you, but the references I've seen to idol worship in Gurbani have not been encouraging of idol worship by saying that it is useless. Why would you do something that is useless because SGGSJ doesn't say "it's wrong" in those words?

    And yes, plenty of people worship SGGSJ as an idol despite the Sikh Rehat Maryada using direct language and saying Sikhs should not believe in idolatry, leaving aside SGGSJ's poetic treatment of the matter. This is one reason I stopped going to Gurdwara - when they spent Gurdwara money on an air conditioner for the SGGSJ'd sukhassan room and not on replacing stolen Gurdwara equipment.
     
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  4. Truthsikher31

    Truthsikher31 SPNer

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    Not sure if and where it is said (literally in SGGS, but didn't Guru Nanak set examples of how idol worship is pointless. When he went to the Mecca and told them it didn't matter which way you faced, that essentially God is everywhere? But look at examples in India today, dont Hindus who worship stones, pour milk over them. And it's a waste, the milk is bought from the temple and just runs down the sewer. But I also see how matha tek is kinda idol worship
    I agree it's a form of respect. But I've seen people make matha tek into a "ritual". Then walk up to SGGS, bow down, get up walk around it and bow from each side. Oh, and even before setting foot into gurdwara, be it the dewan hall or the grounds of the gurdwara, they will matha tek. Nishan sahib, people walk around with their hand on the base and matka tek after a complete circle. I've seen in gurdwaras in India where you have historical items (swords of the gurus, footprints left by gurus or their horses) people matha tek to them. Is that still showing respect or worshipping?
     
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  5. sukhsingh

    sukhsingh Writer SPNer

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    It's a fine line between showing respect, reverence and worship.. Nihang singhs do puja to shastar but personally I don't see that as idol worship per se as they usually have a very sophisticated and in depth knowledge of what they are doing..
    It's quite complicated but I for one don't feel that find the diverse ways people practise or express their faith as being that important . I always think that you can recognise how hollow one's practice is.?
     
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  6. Truthsikher31

    Truthsikher31 SPNer

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    Growing up we used to get calendars from gurdwaras, over the years they would start piling up. Normally any calendar that was even a year old you would throw it away or recycle. But Is it wrong to trash or recycle calendars of gurus or gurdwaras, etc. I know some people face them when they do simran or do ardaas in the home. Some even matha tek to them. I've had to on parents orders. But I don't know is that a form idolizing, to keep old calendars?
     
  7. Truthsikher31

    Truthsikher31 SPNer

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    It is a weird fine line. To me when you do matha tek, it's a sign of respect, right? You do it when you see your elders (but that has its limit to). But excessive matha tek to me is like either you're showing off (look at me I "respect" every inch of this place, or people do it because everyone else is doing it.
     
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  8. sukhsingh

    sukhsingh Writer SPNer

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    Yeah I would agree.. Matha tek means nothing in itself.. All it actually shows is a physical, public expression of deference..

    The most pious amongst us can outwardly perform these public displays.. And please forgive me for I am not writing off matha tek and definitely not suggesting that those who do it are some how cynical

    I always have felt that the sewadaars at the gurdwara who are doing langar sewa, who clean the floors, who who stay out of the limelight are the ones whose behaviour resonates closely with the essence of guru nanak dev jis message?
     

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