Hard Talk I'm At The Verge Of Losing My Faith In Sikhi. Maybe Already Have. I Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Rajveer_97, May 23, 2018.

  1. hernandres

    hernandres SPNer

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    As the original post was a long post to me this is the best way I could address this to stay in context and not drift. I will try my best to inform you of what I know from my studies in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. I am a Sikh convert for 8 years or so now I used to practice Roman Catholicism and have taken various philosophy classes and Christian religious classes. I hope I could offer you a better understanding of Christianity and the core of the Abrahamic religions that isn’t presented in a romanticized manner in which perhaps you have been presented.

    • The Gurus’ ideals have lived 100% intact, through the SGGS Sikhism is the only religion in which the actual creators of the religion wrote and was compiled by the creators. Jesus did not write, Mohammed did not write. And the Jewish tradition for 100s of years was passed down through oral history.
    • The example you give above has nothing to do with the fault in Sikhism and you should not use it to attack or lessen your own faith. People will always claim to be some religion and do not act as the religion tells them to. This is like saying Islam is a horrible religion, because of Extremist Islamic Terrorist groups or Christianity is a horrible religion, because Christianity is to blame for genocides all across the globe especially in the western hemisphere. Religions and Scriptures stand on their own they are not subject to definition by those who claim to be a so called “Follower” yet fail to adhere to to the religious commands.
    • It really shouldn’t matter to any of us that whether the Gurus married within their own caste despite preaching against such barriers. That can be a complete coincidence many people marry within their own race in fact most people do that doesn’t make most people racist. The Gurus also did not recognize caste so, to say they did not see through the lense you are looking at marriage.

    • Every religion is a faith, faith is not that in which you know something as a fact it is to believe in something knowing that you don’t know. If you are going to use this to deter you belief in Sikhi and to measure other religions with you will never find another religion. The argument I can present you is that Sikhi has the greatest truth of all the religious books, go out and read the bible and koran and you will find that the SGGS still has the greatest truths. The other I can present to you is that no other human being except for Guru Nanak has been fought over as much. Islam says he’s theirs and is a saint, Hinduism says he’s there and he’s a saint, even the Buddhist believe he is a reincarnation of Buddha Rinpoche they call him Nanak Lama.
    • This is not a new phenomenon Christianity was small it did not become a major religion until 300 AD and for the most part was only adopted because the it became the official religion of the Roman Empire by many. Christianity wasn’t what it was today always it was a Jewish Sect for well over 200 years and a non-major religion for probably another 1000 years. Sikhism is still a young religion.
    • As for Islam Mohammed died around the year 630 AD and it wasn’t until the 8th century about 100 years later that it really grew larger and it then took until the 13th century that Islam actually began to become the religion that we think of today.
    • Both of these religions also had help because they already had followers from Judaism since both of these religions are Abrahamic. Sikhism didn’t have this advantage because the Guru’s would not say that it was a continuation of either Hindu or Islam it was a new religion. The other big factor that Islam and Christianity have in conversion is that they took over other countries and forced religion upon people. They even committed genocide all in the name of their religion. Sikhism has never ever done this and that shouldn’t be a negative that should be an absolute positive.
    • Sikhism remains confined partly because of the things you mentioned such as not going out and spreading the word and proselytizing. There is also less of a yearning to do so because we believe other faiths and paths can also lead others to God. Where as in Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam there is a need to go out and save souls or they will go to Hell and suffer for eternity.
    • Again, it doesn’t matter what “bad followers” of a religion do it doesn’t affect Sikhism or the teachings.
    • They didn’t survive because religions like Islam had to be followed religions such as Islam and Christianity as bad as it sounds were Theocratic Dictatorships that forced their religion on people. They would tear down anything that opposed their religion they were fanatics they murdered, raped, and mammed thousands of people in the name of their religion. Things such as a Gurdwara in Jerusalem would be heresy and punishable by death. Remember they believe their God is not the God of all they have a specific God at least during that era.
    • You are trying to make assumptions on what the will of God is this has no value in the argument against Sikhism and like I stated before there is no need for everyone to be Sikh, because unlike other religions we do not believe in only 1 path to God.
    • As I stated earlier the religion is still young this could be said about just about any religion in its infancy.
    • You can’t be dismissive of the fact that Islam and Christianity both spread their religion by sword and the imperialism that’s much too big of a factor to simply dismiss. A quick look at Wiki and I found this statement. “Nevertheless, a clear turning point occurred when the Hindu empire Majapahit in Java fell to the Islamised Demak Sultanate. In 1527, the Muslim ruler renamed newly conquered Sunda Kelapa as Jayakarta (meaning "precious victory") which was eventually contracted to Jakarta. Assimilation increased rapidly in the wake of this conquest.” So, it’s not as if they just went and preached Islam in Indonesia and everyone just converted because they ideals were superb. There were influences, most of Europe was Catholic, but when the Calvinist movement happened they quickly turned to Protestants and in England as soon as the king made the King James Bible, separated from the Catholic Church and made the Church of England everyone quickly converted as well. People changed their minds rather quickly in those days and were easily influenced by their rulers.
    • The Sikh Rehat was not made until 1945 which was far past the Sikh Empire and Golden Age you speak of. I also do not understand where you get the idea that Sikh Philosophy was diluted the SGGS has stayed the same since its creation. It has not been edited or changed for it to be diluted and once again you are falling victim to the “look at these bad Sikhs, that means Sikhism is wrong.”
    • I am not sure what teachings you have gotten, but Sikhs believe the Guruships ends with the SGGS, people may make sects and believe whatever they want. SAT GURUS after the SGGS do not exist period. I don’t know if you are confused about Guru as in a teacher and SAT GURUS as in the “TRUE GURUS.” I have heard some people believe in a living Guru, but that is not Sikhi that is a cult of Sikhi that has taken their own interpretation of Sikhi. Similar to what Jehova Witnesses and Mormons are to Christianity. These so called Gurus should not be met with ridicule they should be met with indifference as they are not Sikhi at all and we they should never be recognized by Sikhi.
    • The SGGS although repetitive is much deeper than the Bible and most likely the Koran. I have studied Islam, but have never fully read the Koran so I will only speak about Christianity and Judaism since I am much more familiar with those 2. This idea that you speak of repetitiveness, in the New Testament the majority of the it is 4 gospels which are the same story written from different perspectives. It doesn’t get more redundant than that the other thing is that I can sum up the entire Bible 5 pages or even in 1 paragraph. Which you could probably do to most religions watch…….. There is 10 commandments you should obey these 10 there is one last commandment that Jesus left and that is to love your neighbor as he loved you. So, basically treat everyone with love and respect and spare judgement because that is not your role to play. Help the needy and pray. I just described the entire bibles message in a nutshell. Ya, there’s much more to it than that, but that is basically the sum of it. Allah simply means the 1GOD we believe in the 1Creator it is the same God I doubt Islam has a problem with that.
    • What guidelines are missing Guru Gobind Singh has the 52 Hukamnamas you have tons of poetry that tell you how to live your life and after all of that you have the very life of the Gurus to take as an example of how to live your life. No other religion can offer you such a historical account of their religious creators. History was being documented at an incredibly high level during the Guru’s time this wasn’t 2000 years ago like the times of Jesus and Mohammed.
    • Catholics don’t idol worship that is an extremely disrespectful notion to the Catholic Church. You are being misinformed heavily by extremely biased people.
    • Christians also criticize people for leaving their religion or even for converting to a different denomination. Wars were fought over which “denomination” was the best in Christianity. Again, you are doing the “Bad Sikhs do this, so Sikhi is bad.” To be vegetarian or not has for the most part been answered by Sikh scholars and knowledgeable Sikhs. It is a choice the Guru himself said “The fools argue about flesh and meat, but they know nothing about meditation and spiritual wisdom.” Although this is the only Shalak in which is usually used to defend meat eating. I’m vegetarian although because I believe animals have souls so I have come to my own understanding. I won’t starve to death to avoid eating meat although the other thing is you mentioned critical thinking. Research the impact meat has on your body, what your teeth are made to eat, you don’t have K9s you have incisors, but they are not K9s like animals. Farming animals is also inefficient and much more food can be produced if you replaced animal farms for agriculture. I have also not read anywhere that says you can question the Guru that seems more like a thing your family or someone taught you. They do this in every religion you will ever come across they will tell you to just have faith and to trust in God. Which isn’t a bad thing, but everyone should and will question their faith again faith is not knowing it is believing.
    • Buddhists do reap the benefits of meditation what you are forgetting is that Sikhism is supposed to be the last teaching. The other religions failed to communicate the whole truth and that is why Guru Nanak was sent. Sikhism is the truth and we believe other religions also hold truths. The truth never changes so if we believe meditation is good and Buddhists do too it doesn’t really matter. Basically that truth was handed down to them from God.
    • The arguments you are presenting here are the popular arguments of an Atheist towards all religions. These will never be answered that is why we have faith. Once again you presented the “bad sikhs equal bad Sikhi” you never felt fully accepted as a proper Sikh? To whom to other people or to Sikhism itself? Because judgemental people who are Sikh isn’t a reflection of Sikhi it is a reflection of their Ego.
    • To conclude I feel that a lot of the problems you have is actually not what Sikhi it is with the people you know who are Sikh and the way you feel around those people. You tend to place a lot of what Sikhi is on the people who are Sikh. You must understand that in all religions there is good followers, bad followers, and common followers this is not something that is unique to only Sikhism. A religion and its sets of beliefs stand on their own regardless of what the person “Claims” to be. I can claim to be a horse, but horses don’t look like humans right? So, anyone can claim to be a “Sikh,” but real Sikhs should have certain values, qualities, and prescribe to a certain way of life. What I urge you to do is concentrate on the text alone these are direct writings from the Guru’s and Selections made by the Gurus. Concentrate on what they believe and are tell you, not on the Sikhs you see around you. Is the text misleading you ? is it recommending you be a bad person?
    • My subjective view on why Sikhism is greater than Christianity and Islam
    1. Christians and Islam believe if you don’t follow their path you go to hell. Sikhs believe that it is a person's actions not their religion that determines that.

    2. Sikhs have never tried to conquer the world.

    3. Everyone is equal period and gender does not matter. Christianity and Islam are barely coming around to that, but for most of their existence there has always been a barrier against women.

    4. Only 1 person is basically beloved by various religions and that is Guru Nanak, Islam= Baba Nanak, buddhism= Nanak Lama, Hinduism still Guru Nanak, think about that for a second Guru Nanak was so amazing that these religions all tried to claim him. Why would religions want to do that unless this man was speaking the undeniable truth one that transcended religions.

    5. We believe in the brotherhood of mankind as the highest order.

    6. Our scripture was written and selected by our Guru’s they were NOT composed by others we are the only religion who can offer that.
    I hope I did a decent job in answering your questions i apologize for any mishaps or misrepresentations of Sikhi that I have performed. I am only human this is written out of the best of my understanding from research I have done and my limited understanding of Sikhi and the will of God.
     
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  2. Rajveer_97

    Rajveer_97 Writer SPNer

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    Even though I agree with this, you can't live a life without reciting the bani which has been prescribed by the Gurus for Sikhs to read, so meditation can't be taken away and still call it following Sikhi. There might be other philosophies better suited to that lifestyle.
     
  3. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller

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    there is a massive difference between meditating and reading.......
     
  4. Rajveer_97

    Rajveer_97 Writer SPNer

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    First of all, thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. I really appreciate it. Secondly, apologies for the late response, I have been quite busy. This apology goes to others as well, I'll try to respond where I can as soon as I can.

    There isn't actually any way to verify this reasoning and it's a really strange reasoning as well.
    I am reading through the Bible right now and I do find it to be quite interesting, but I am yet to form a final judgement because I don't feel I've read enough to form one. The Quran I've only read a little bits, even though it's much better than what some people may make it out to be, I struggle to believe in it. But still, I won't rule it out until I've read it properly. The way I see it so far, I could pick any of these however and make arguments for how it is the greatest truth. I realise though I'd reach a point where I'd need to make a leap of faith, for I do believe there is SOMETHING out there, I just want to make sure it's an educated leap of faith.
    As for fight over Guru Nanak. Yes it's true, but why only Guru Nanak? Why not such fights over the other Gurus? If there were any please do correct me if I'm wrong. But it does seem to me like even though Sikh philosophy for the most part remained intact through the centuries, it's universalism did become slightly more restricted.
    This restriction of Sikhi to Punjab is somewhat damaging, have you heard of the recent groups of Sikhs in the UK trying to turn being a Sikh into an ethnicity? I know this is the people's fault, not fault of the teachings themselves, but it's worth talking about. In this manner Sikhi becomes a regional practice, not a universal truth.

    Truth is exclusive. There can't be more than one. I'm not saying people NEED to be converted. I recognise the importance of orthopraxy over orthodoxy as per Sikh values and I have tremendous respect for it. But this shouldn't be a reason for community to a keep such a Truth to themselves. In this case again I do recognise the difference between the fault of humans and the original teachings. But the Khalsa was given the authority to carry these teachings forward.

    Agreed, but discussions like these need to be had to make progress.

    I agree with you. I was never dismissive of how much pressure Islam and Christian empires put on "non-believers" until they converted. Looking more into it I read that in case of Indonesia, which was a very tribal society, it was a case of convert the ruler and the people will follow.

    You misunderstood me here, maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't say the Sikh scripture itself was diluted. My point was, as Max Arthur Macauliffe states in the introduction to the Sikh religion, barely anyone was left knowledgeable enough about Gurbani for it to be followed properly. Very few gyanis themselves understood the SGGS ji properly. Hence the reason most Sikhs only differentiated from Hindus in terms of their dress, but in terms of ritualism and daily practice there weren't big difference. I wish I could source better but this is in A History of the Sikhs by Khushwant Singh.

    Not what I was getting to. My point was how does one differentiate between a true guru and a fake guru? But we don't need to go further on this one, I don't think it'd go anywhere for now. But just to be clear, I'm not relating these gurus to Sikhi. But the idea of such spiritual gurus is obviously not just restricted to sikhs.

    I agree, the repetitiveness makes sense in terms of the nature of the SGGS

    I'm in agreement here as well. The sources are not really that clear. But I have heard that the wives of Guru Gobind Singh were cremated in different places which are still marked as such.

    The authenticity of the 52 Hukams is debatable. So I don't consider them reliable until I'm shown a proper historical source.

    I was in error here. I did receive this particular piece of information from someone biased.

    If this was a world where we only had one religion vs atheism debate, then I'd happily believe and not question. But it isn't. There are many beliefs out, each has their own convincing arguments and questionable ones and so I will question. The most recent thing that doesn't sit well with me is in gurbani it says not to follow Guru's actions, but what they say. If I'm interpreting this wrongly then correct me, but I see a good leader as one who leads by example. This kind of thinking could just give anyone a free pass to preach one thing and do another.

    I find it hard to believe this anymore. If God was to sent down this truth and if as we are taught this God is kind, loving, helpful then such truth would have been better known to a larger group of people. Most people have barely even heard of it.

    I've been thinking about this and my completely honest answer is I think it's likely Sikhi might not be for me. I'll read it, I'll still study it and I'll learn what I can but I am inclined to treat it more as a philosophy.

    I have been very much careful in differentiating between the teachings and people. Maybe the flaw is in me, but Sikhi isn't working for me. If it works for others I'm happy for them. I can't say I see it as a perfect set of teachings. It appears to be the kindest and most down to earth, but not perfect to me and I'm sorry if this hurts anyone's sentiments. I'll be continuing my studies and am open to having my mind changed in the future.

    1. It is true they believe this, but correct me if I'm wrong, there is the Judgment Day where everyone will be called before God and be given another chance. I don't know too much about it so it's something I'll look more into it. If this is true then even if at this stage someone doesn't believe in God then the result could be like infinite reincarnations. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing here with this concept, but just stating what I think.

    2. Something I have great respect for.

    3. For Christians this was largely cultural as well, which is similar to Sikhs. For a while women on their periods weren't allowed in the Harimandir Sahib which is ridiculous. Yes this is the fault of the practitioners again but same can go for Christianity. West has made quicker progress on gender equality than the east. Women are treated better in Sikh teachings than other religion, but one can go further and wonder why then weren't any seen as contenders for the Guruship when people were tested. Sikh history is still largely male dominated. There are no clear answers to this question maybe, but I'm not yet willing to give up and settle with "Accept what the Guru did".

    4. I already discussed this one above.

    5. Which I love.

    6. Which is indeed rare and important aspect of Sikhi.

    Once again thank you for responding to my post. I learned a lot from it and it got me to think more about where I was in error.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf



    .
     
  5. Rajveer_97

    Rajveer_97 Writer SPNer

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    There are different types of meditation. Once you read the bani repeatedly and start to memorise it then you can meditate on each word as you recite it. You can carry it with you wherever you go in your day to day life.
     
  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller

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    I am just fixing a server, I need some information from the HP server site, I found it, went back to the server, did it, and fixed it, information is information, I did not need to repeat the instructions again and again, nor did I need to memorise it and meditate on each word, I did not find that information to carry it wherever I go, I found it to use it, which I did.
     
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  7. Mannan Sabaani Lawi

    Mannan Sabaani Lawi SPNer

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    by how I am (a non-sikh and non-hindu) I think Sikhism/Hinduism is a GOOD RELIGION. Its GOD is the True GOD dude. i tell you. other Gods like Allah and Christianity's are just named God or called God unlike Sikh's. try asking it to help you.
     
  8. Ishna

    Ishna Enthusiast Writer SPNer

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    Please stop conflating Sikhi and Hinduism on this forum. They are not the same thing on so many levels. If you want to start comparing ideas of God between Sikhi and Hinduism you're going to have to get a lot more specific.

    Also I encourage you to be careful in how you're talking about other religions as you're very close to being disrespectful.
     
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  9. Rajveer_97

    Rajveer_97 Writer SPNer

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    Oh don't get me wrong, I agree with you. But I'm just saying Sikh Rehat has been quite consistent in making the importance of meditating on Gurbani. Guru Arjan Dev writes in SGGS ji about the importance of waking up at Amrit Vela for example to chant the name of God.

    My own everyday practice is more in line with yours, but I won't say it's strictly Sikh practice.
     
  10. Rajveer_97

    Rajveer_97 Writer SPNer

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    There is only one God and I'd rather not give this God religious labels.
     
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller

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    Has it? I disagree, I think over time contemplation and thinking with a view to enhancing wisdom and logic has given way to repetition and swaying and counting beads, could you tell me which time is not Amrit Vela? and also how does chanting actually help wisdom and logic? is it not a pointless ritual?
     
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  12. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal Writer Historian SPNer

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    It is unfair to say wrong or right until one has fully fathomed the facts. To fathom the facts there is need of serious study and experience. Off the cuff remarks are of no value and serve no purpose. I request the friends who given comments first attain the first hand knowledge or experience to have a firm foot to comment.
     
  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller

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    it would help if you could let us know which comments you are referring to and made by whom
     
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  14. Rajveer_97

    Rajveer_97 Writer SPNer

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    I agree that some people have become far to focused on merely repeating words they don't contemplate on, or even think simply repeating Waheguru mechanically is some sort of magic cure. But this still doesn't lessen the importance of reciting and contemplating on Gurbani as for a Sikh. Here are a few verses from Tankahnama by Bhai Nand Lal, in which Guru Gobind Singh Ji talks about the importance of daily prayers amongst other traits/habits:

    ਚੌਪਈ

    Chaupaī

    Chaupayee

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੧


    ਠੰਡੇ ਪਾਣੀ ਜੋ ਨਹੀਂ ਨਹਾਵੈ

    Ṭhaṇḍē pāṇī jō nahīn nahāvai

    If he does not take bath in cold water,

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੨


    ਬਿਨ ਜਪੁ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਪ੍ਰ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਦਿ ਜੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ (੨੫)

    Bin japu paṛhhhē prrasaādi jō pāvai ॥ (25)

    And without reading Jap, takes his food,(25)

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੩


    ਬਿਨ ਰਹਿਰਾਸ ਸੰਧਿਆ ਜੋ ਖੋਵੈ

    Bin rahirās sandhiā jō khōvai

    Without saying Rehras, passes the evening,

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੪


    ਕੀਰਤਨ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਬਿਨ ਰੈਣ ਜੋ ਸੋਵੇ ॥ (੨੬)

    Kīratan paṛhhhē bin raiṇ jō sōvē ॥ (26)

    Without reciting Keertan (Sohila) goes to sleep,(26)

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੫


    ਚੁਗ ਲੀ ਕਰ ਜੋ ਕਰਜ ਬਿਗਾਰੈ ॥

    Cug lī kar jō karaj bigārai ॥

    Through back-biting if he gets his way through,

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੬


    ਧ੍ਰ੍ਰਿਗ ਤਸਿ ਜਨਮ ਜੋ ਧਰਮ ਬਸਿਾਰੈ ॥ (੨੭)ੇੈ

    Dhrrig tasi janam jō dharam basārai ॥ (27)ai

    Cursed is his birth if he forgets the righteousness.(27)

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੭


    ਕਰੇ ਬਚਨ ਜੋ ਪਾਲੈ ਨਹੀਂ

    Karē bachan jō pālai nahīn

    One who stands not by his words,

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੬੮


    ਕਹੇ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਤਸਿ ਠੋਰ ਕਤ ਨਾਹੀਂ ॥ (੨੮)

    Kahē gōbind siṅgh tasi ṭhōr kat nāhīn ॥ (28)

    Says Gobind Singh, he is honoured nowhere.(28)

    Here's another from later on:

    ਕੀਰਤਨ ਕਥਾ ਸਿਉੁਂ ਮਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਲਾਵੈ

    Kīratan kathā siun man nahīn lāvai

    If he does not listen to the explications and singing of hymns,

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੮੧


    ਸੰ ਤ ਸਿਖ ਕੋ ਬੁਰਾ ਅਲਾਵੈ ॥ (੩੪)

    San ta sikh kō burā alāvai ॥ (34)

    And abuses a saintly Sikh,(34)

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੮੨


    ਨਿੰਦਾ ਜੂਆ ਹਰੇ ਜੋ ਮਾਲ

    Nindā jūā harē jō māl

    By back-biting and gambling, if he gains,

    ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ : ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਨਾਮਾ ਪੰ. ੮੩


    ਮਹਾਂ ਦ ਖ ਪਾਵੈ ਤਸਿ ਕੋ ਕਾਲ ॥ (੩੫)

    Mahān da kh pāvai tasi kō kāl ॥ (35)

    He suffers greatly through the death.(35)
     

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