Member In Focus: Joginder Singh Foley

Joginder Singh Foley

Jan 26, 2008
Stoke On Trent
- Meet Our SPN'er in Focus -
- (Fortnight Jan 1, 2010 to Jan 15, 2010) -

Joginder Singh Foley
Username : Joginder Singh Foley

What is your name in the real world beyond the forum?

Joginder Singh Foley

Please tell us about your first experiences of Sikhi (either in your family or as a convert).
Where to start? This was a gradual process. I started questioning my religion of birth, Irish Roman Catholicism, in which I had lost all interest and belief in by the age of 12. As a child one of the first questions I asked was, What happens to the soul on the death of the body? Roman Catholicism could not give me a decent answer that I felt was a good one, one that I could understand and accept. Sikhi on the other hand, with birth and re-birth and eventual reunion with Vaheguruji, gave me an answer that I could understand and was right.

What events and experiences inspired you to continue on your journey learning about Sikhism, and deepening your understanding?
My journey on Sikhi was a gradual process at first; but soon the parts started coming together. The more I learned, the more all the various aspects of Sikhi became easier for me to understand and adopt into my life to the point that, as I progressed on my journey of Sikh, I found out something new that a Sikh should do or not do in his life. Adapting this to my life became easier and second nature.

If you could name one thing about Sikhism that is most important to you (something that you would never give up) what would it be?
Sikhi. It is an integrated package and it would be unthinkable for me to give up any part of Sikhi.

Were there individuals who were role models, who taught you how to be and live as a Sikh?
Vaheguru and the 10 Guruji's. Apart from them there are too many individuals who where role models and who I found out about as my study and acceptance of Sikhi grew in depth.

Who may have motivated you to learn more about Sikhism?
Vaheguru opened my mind and planted the seed that was to grow into the Sikh. I am now whataever Vaheguru must have seen something in me that was worth saving.

Did you ever experience barriers as you continued on your journey?
I have never seen too many barriers from family, friends and work. The only people who have disappointed me are those Sikhs who don’t follow Sikhi correctly, and who prefer to cut their hair, don’t wear kakkars, don’t wear pagh, etc. etc., and who generally seem to prefer all that maya has to offer rather than what Vaheguru has to offer.

Thinking of yourself today as a Sikh, how do you live Sikhism in your own way?
By trying to follow the Sikh Rehat Maryada to the best of my ability, by doing what a Sikh should do and not doing what a Sikh should not do in his life.

How do you understand Seva to the Guru and to the panth, in your own words and in your own experience?

Serving the Guru by worshiping the Guru as the omnipotent, all knowing, and universal One, the only Creator. By living my life according to Guru's rules and regulations. As all humans come from the one Guru, we are all equal. Others are no better or worse than me, and I should offer service and assistance to all humanity who ever they are, if they require it.

What is the most difficult part of being a Sikh?
I have so far never had any real difficulties in being a Sikh. The best thing about being a Sikh is that being a Sikh gave me the strength to give up alcohol, as I was an alcoholic before was a Sikh. For that alone, never mind all the other wonderful things that I have gotten out of Sikhi! I give thanks to Vaheguru for showing me the way from alcoholism.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the Readers?
No matter how hard or difficult it is to do, study, and learn, and stay true to Sikhi. We Sikhs have in Sikhi, Vaheguru, the ten gurus and Siri Guru Granth Sahibji. In them we have something truly wonderful and useful to offer to ourselves as Sikhs and to offer to our fellow humans, Take it from me, and all the other white/gora/whatever Sikh, who where not born Sikhs, but who learnt and studied and practised Sikhi, and who became Sikhs!

What are the top 5 critical things that you would lve to see for SPN members?
What about letting us use personal pictures as well as avatars, or instead of avatars? This shabad was selected to thank SPN member Joginder ji for this interview

Ang 103 Guru Ram Das Dev ji

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥
thoon maeraa pithaa thoonhai maeraa maathaa ||
You are my Father, and You are my Mother.

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਾ ॥
thoon maeraa bandhhap thoon maeraa bhraathaa ||
You are my Relative, and You are my Brother.

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ਤਾ ਭਉ ਕੇਹਾ ਕਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥
thoon maeraa raakhaa sabhanee thhaaee thaa bho kaehaa kaarraa jeeo ||1||
You are my Protector everywhere; why should I feel any fear or anxiety? ||1||

ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਤੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਪਛਾਣਾ ॥
thumaree kirapaa thae thudhh pashhaanaa ||
By Your Grace, I recognize You.

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰੀ ਓਟ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਣਾ ॥
thoon maeree outt thoonhai maeraa maanaa ||
You are my Shelter, and You are my Honor.

ਤੁਝ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਸਭੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਖੇਲੁ ਅਖਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥
thujh bin dhoojaa avar n koee sabh thaeraa khael akhaarraa jeeo ||2||
Without You, there is no other; the entire Universe is the Arena of Your Play. ||2||


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