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aakhanjor

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Jul 19, 2011
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hello. i have been practising sikhism for coming up to a year now and in all my 39 years of life i have simply never found anything quite as beautiful. it has filled me with wonder and i am finding myself wanting to embrace it more and more each day that passes. coming from a different viewpoint in life however, i am still filled with questions that are overflowing and was hoping if i may ask them here without prejudice or cause to offence.

so may i be so bold as to ask a question now, on my opening post?

i have read many places that guru nanak travelled to mecca and was admonished by a high ranking muslim for pointing his feet to the kaaba. supposedly guru nanak retorted by asking him if he could move his feet and point them to a place where god does not reside, thus the moral of the story being, 'god is everywhere'.

with regards to this, why must one not point their feet at the Guru Granth Sahib when in a gurdwara?

thank you in advance
 

Navdeep88

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Dec 23, 2009
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aakhanjor ji,

I believe Guru Nanak Ji did that because he found some who were too hung up on where God literally is. They needed to be taught to look elsewhere than literally in front of them to find, follow, worship God. Another way. Sometimes it is necessary to JOLT others out of ways that are unfruitful to get them to look inwards, to get them to question why they are doing what they do.

However, pointing one's feet at something is considered disrespectful in Eastern Culture. So when people visit the Gurdwara, Mecca etc. it should not be practiced. This is with the assumption that the worshipers know that their faith stems from their own heart and is anchored by what they worship (ie. its not the physical Guru Granth Sahib Ji that we bow before, as much as what is writ, the Truth of it that resonates with our hearts)

Thats my take on it anyhow. Hope its somewhat useful.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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aakhanjor ji,

I believe Guru Nanak Ji did that because he found some who were too hung up on where God literally is. They needed to be taught to look elsewhere than literally in front of them to find, follow, worship God. Another way. Sometimes it is necessary to JOLT others out of ways that are unfruitful to get them to look inwards, to get them to question why they are doing what they do.

However, pointing one's feet at something is considered disrespectful in Eastern Culture. So when people visit the Gurdwara, Mecca etc. it should not be practiced. This is with the assumption that the worshipers know that their faith stems from their own heart and is anchored by what they worship (ie. its not the physical Guru Granth Sahib Ji that we bow before, as much as what is writ, the Truth of it that resonates with our hearts)

Thats my take on it anyhow. Hope its somewhat useful.
This is correct.
and Not pointing ones feet towards the SGGS in a Gurdwara is DIFFERENT from the Method of Guru nanak Ji to drive home the point that God is Everywhere and NOT CONFINED to certain location ( as Bhagat Kabir Ji also asks..IF God is in the WEST-Mecca..then WHO is taking care of the EAST -Hardwaar ?? Who indeed ??? This is what Guur nanak Ji was trying to put across !!
WE also dont "point our feet" or even sit facing Backwards...In Class...in a Court room in front of a Judge...etc etc... is that also 'contradictory" ?? No its just a sign of 'respect"...when the JUDGE is NOT in the court room..we can turn our Backs/point our feet or whatever...as the "object" or Subject of our Reverence/respect is no longer there..BUT this is NOT the case with the BELIEF in relation to MECCA that GOD is Permanently RESIDENT/CONFINED there..This was the Beleif that Guru nanak Ji wanted expanded to include that GOD is everywhere.
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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aakhanjorji

My view is that the Sri Guru Granth sahibji is not god, or the creator, or the universal eternal infinite one. It is the living embodiment of the 10 Gurus, the guide to finding union.

As such we respect it, but we do not worship it, any more than we worship the trees and sky.
 

BhagatSingh

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Apr 25, 2006
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Ah yes, Guru Nanak opened their eyes to the fact that is also found in their own books:
50:16 We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. [says God]
Quran, Surat Qaf
 

Ambarsaria

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Dec 21, 2010
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On a related aspect there is the following that some do (I admit I did it at times through my ignorance too for sometime),

When you walk out after bowing in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, one would walk backwards in steps so as to not show your bak to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

One of my friends explained it in most elegant ways.


He said, "Once you bow your head, you have shown greatest level of humbleness and humility that will not be negated by any other actions like, walking normally with back towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, sitting comfortably as some people have difficulty crossing both their legs at the same times, etc.
Sat Sri Akal.
 

JimRinX

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Aug 14, 2008
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NOT Pointing Feet at something, or pointing AT your feet in order to insult someone, is a custom that I've read about a thousand times in relation to a thousand different cultures; so I assume it's one of those things that goes back to when we were all "One People, One Tribe".
Thus, while we should never seek to show anyone or anything disrespect by doing this, I think Guru Nanak Ji would want someone to point out that we should not take these Dogmas too seriously - as the real message of Sikhism and your sister-faith, Sufism, is T-O-L-E-R-A-N-C-E!!!
Dogmaticism Destroys, and Fanaticism Famishes!
Peace, Love - and don't point your feet at anything!
 

Ishna

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I step backwards after matha tek for about 4 or 5 steps. It's just something I like to do.

But I don't touch the ground at the door, or the steps to darbar sahib, or at the door to darbar sahib... I don't feel the need to do this, but more people do this at my Gurdwara than those who step backwards after matha tek.

To each their own I guess, sometimes.
 

Ambarsaria

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Ishna ji I don't think it generally matters much. Some habits are picked how others and your parents used to do things.

There may be a possible reason for touching the ground at the door. Normally when you go to someone's house, you will knock on the door or ring a bell, etc. This is done to announce you are at their door. There is no such option at an open door. In Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar there is a raised sill at most doors. So people touch those. In western Gurdwaras such is usually not the case hence the ground at the door. So this is simply to announce yourself entering Guruji's presence or let us call it their home.That is how I would understand it.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Ishna

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Ambersaria ji

My understanding of touching the ground at all these places is the Sikh want to pick up the dust of the feet of the other Sikhs and they commonly touch their forehead after and/or kiss their hand so personally I think it has more to do with the individual wanting to accumulate blessings than it does them announcing their arrival. You announce your arrival by going strait to Guruji once you have removed your shoes, covered your head and washed up if you're dirty, and announce yourself personally. That's how I'm seeing things, anyway! gingerteakaur
 

BhagatSingh

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Apr 25, 2006
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Yes Ishna ji, you are correct. And all these are just rituals unless one brings one's attention to the present moment, to the Hukam and acknowledges it's occurrence. Feel that God is closer to you than your own body!

Could it be thoughts? Well go closer.
Who is watching the thoughts? Maybe that is God.

Well if one does all that it is still a ritual but now it becomes a meaningful, useful ritual to that individual that will bring him closer to God.


Same could be said about the ritual of brushing one's teeth every morning, wearing clothes, tying a turban... these are all rituals (some religious, others are not) and can be used to reach God if the attention is brought to God while doing them.

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ
सिरीरागु महला ३ ॥
Sirīrāg mėhlā 3.
Siree Raag, Third Mehl:
ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਣੇ ਜਿਉ ਦੋਹਾਗਣਿ ਤਨਿ ਸੀਗਾਰੁ
मनमुख करम कमावणे जिउ दोहागणि तनि सीगारु ॥
Manmukẖ karam kamāvṇe ji▫o ḏohāgaṇ ṯan sīgār.
The self-willed manmukh performs religious rituals, like the unwanted bride decorating her body.
ਸੇਜੈ ਕੰਤੁ ਆਵਈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ
सेजै कंतु न आवई नित नित होइ खुआरु ॥
Sejai kanṯ na āvī niṯ niṯ ho▫e kẖu▫ār.
Her Husband Lord does not come to her bed; day after day, she grows more and more miserable.
ਪਿਰ ਕਾ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਵਈ ਨਾ ਦੀਸੈ ਘਰੁ ਬਾਰੁ ॥੧॥
पिर का महलु न पावई ना दीसै घरु बारु ॥१॥
Pir kā mahal na pāv▫ī nā ḏīsai gẖar bār. ||1||
She does not attain the Mansion of His Presence; she does not find the door to His House. ||1||
ਭਾਈ ਰੇ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ
भाई रे इक मनि नामु धिआइ ॥
Bẖā▫ī re ik man nām ḏẖi▫ā▫e.
O Siblings of Destiny, meditate on the Naam with one-pointed mind.
ਸੰਤਾ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹੈ ਜਪਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
संता संगति मिलि रहै जपि राम नामु सुखु पाइ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Sanṯā sangaṯ mil rahai jap rām nām sukẖ pā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
Remain united with the Society of the Saints; chant the Name of the Lord, and find peace. ||1||Pause||
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਸੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਪਿਰੁ ਰਾਖਿਆ ਉਰ ਧਾਰਿ
गुरमुखि सदा सोहागणी पिरु राखिआ उर धारि ॥
Gurmukẖ saḏā sohāgaṇī pir rākẖi▫ā ur ḏẖār.
The Gurmukh is the happy and pure soul-bride forever. She keeps her Husband Lord enshrined within her heart.
ਮਿਠਾ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਨਿਵਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਸੇਜੈ ਰਵੈ ਭਤਾਰੁ
मिठा बोलहि निवि चलहि सेजै रवै भतारु ॥
Miṯẖā bolėh niv cẖalėh sejai ravai bẖaṯār.
Her speech is sweet, and her way of life is humble. She enjoys the Bed of her Husband Lord.
ਸੋਭਾਵੰਤੀ ਸੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਜਿਨ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਹੇਤੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ॥੨॥
सोभावंती सोहागणी जिन गुर का हेतु अपारु ॥२॥
Sobẖāvanṯī sohāgaṇī jin gur kā heṯ apār. ||2||
The happy and pure soul-bride is noble; she has infinite love for the Guru. ||2||
ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਸਤਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਾ ਭਾਗੈ ਕਾ ਉਦਉ ਹੋਇ
पूरै भागि सतगुरु मिलै जा भागै का उदउ होइ ॥
Pūrai bẖāg saṯgur milai jā bẖāgai kā uḏ▫u ho▫e.
By perfect good fortune, one meets the True Guru, when one's destiny is awakened.
ਅੰਤਰਹੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਟੀਐ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ
अंतरहु दुखु भ्रमु कटीऐ सुखु परापति होइ ॥
Anṯrahu ḏukẖ bẖaram katī▫ai sukẖ parāpaṯ ho▫e.
Suffering and doubt are cut out from within, and peace is obtained.
ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੩॥
गुर कै भाणै जो चलै दुखु न पावै कोइ ॥३॥
Gur kai bẖāṇai jo cẖalai ḏukẖ na pāvai ko▫e. ||3||
One who walks in harmony with the Guru's Will shall not suffer in pain. ||3||
ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹੈ ਸਹਜੇ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ
गुर के भाणे विचि अम्रितु है सहजे पावै कोइ ॥
Gur ke bẖāṇe vicẖ amriṯ hai sėhje pāvai ko▫e.
The Amrit, the Ambrosial Nectar, is in the Guru's Will. With intuitive ease, it is obtained.
ਜਿਨਾ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਤਿਨ ਪੀਆ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਖੋਇ
जिना परापति तिन पीआ हउमै विचहु खोइ ॥
Jinā parāpaṯ ṯin pī▫ā ha▫umai vicẖahu kẖo▫e.
Those who are destined to have it, drink it in; their egotism is eradicated from within.
ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਸਚਿ ਮਿਲਾਵਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੪॥੧੩॥੪੬॥
नानक गुरमुखि नामु धिआईऐ सचि मिलावा होइ ॥४॥१३॥४६॥
Nānak gurmukẖ nām ḏẖi▫ā▫ī▫ai sacẖ milāvā ho▫e. ||4||13||46||
O Nanak, the Gurmukh meditates on the Naam, and is united with the True Lord. ||4||13||46||
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Dec 21, 2010
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Ambersaria ji

My understanding of touching the ground at all these places is the Sikh want to pick up the dust of the feet of the other Sikhs and they commonly touch their forehead after and/or kiss their hand so personally I think it has more to do with the individual wanting to accumulate blessings than it does them announcing their arrival. You announce your arrival by going strait to Guruji once you have removed your shoes, covered your head and washed up if you're dirty, and announce yourself personally. That's how I'm seeing things, anyway! gingerteakaur
Ishna ji I am not the authority for sure.

I have taken sips at Harmandir Sahib where people used to wash their feet. I done the sill and put the hand on my forehead. This was way back. Then it meant a little that you walked in with bit of humility after such.

There is a saying,

Teray pairan di khak mereh cir mathey (Let dust under your feet be blessing for me)

So it is a matter of the heart. Even any one may have a different mind set when they do so one time versus another.

What one is now will never be the same exactly in the rest of their lives, or ever mundahug. All life is continuous series of small or large instances (see Confused ji's posts about instances). None two are exactly the same.

Do it once, do it again if it means something and don't do it if you don't want or it means nothing (like the space key on the keyboard). Earlier writings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji did not use space between words.


Life is just fun and frolic at times.

Sat Sri Akal.


 

Ishna

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The myraid and vastness of creation is in praise of Waheguru! kaurhug
 

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