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Problems Becoming A Sikh

Eternalcalm

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Oct 3, 2010
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4
For years now I've known Sikhism is really the only religion that fits my beliefs: One God, no rituals, no hierarchy of priests fleecing the flock, no blood sacrifice (nor or in it's past), no idols and no completely unbelievable fabricated history (like the Middle Eastern religions).

I love listening to kirtans and have visited a Gurudwara close to my house several times.

My only problem is the 5 ks which I am not, and am not sure I will ever be ready, to adopt. While I understand the meaning of having uncut hair as accepting the way God made things, I like having short hair and letting it get just a little bit too long makes me feel very unclean and uncomfortable.

I also worry about taking on symbols and such as possibly being ostentatious.

But I have heard about Sahajdaris, and now I wonder if it is actually possible to become a Sikh without wearing the 5 Ks. Be a Sikh but not a Khalsa?
 

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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Eternalcalm ji

What changes in lifestyle and appearances would you be willing to make to "become" a Sikh?

Are you also thinking that to be a Sikh one must be Khalsa (initiated)?
 

ballym

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May 19, 2006
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No A sikh need not be a khalsa. i know Eternalcalm is here to raise a storm I guess but a mere definition is not going to change sikh religion. It will make it stronger. The breaking force results in making a stronger bond.
Sikhism has become stronger after 1984.

More efforts to dilute it make it stronger.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Sikh Reht Maryada
SIKH CODE OF CONDUCT AND CONVENTIONS

[SIZE=-1] Section One

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] CHAPTER 1[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]
The Definition of Sikh :

Article I
Any human being who faithfully believes in
i. One Immortal Being,
ii. Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib,
iii. The Guru Granth Sahib,
iv. The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and[/SIZE]​
[SIZE=-1] v. the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh
[/SIZE]​
There it is copied exactly from the English translation at the SGPC website. http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_one.html

Most Sikhs are not initiated (Amritdhari, Khalsa); it is not a requirement for being a Sikh according to the most generally accepted Code of Conduct. There are other Codes, but almost all Sikhs accept this one.

So the short answer is, No, Amrit is not necessary to be a Sikh. You must believe in it, but you don't have to accept it.

However...and this is just my personal opinion...not permitting yourself to be blessed with Amrit is a bit like attending a banquet and eating the appetisers and sort of nibbling on the entree and skipping desert altogether. So much of the richness and depth of the experience of being Sikh is missed without accepting this blessing.

Becoming a[n aspiring] Khalsa is a huge commitment, I think even moreso than marriage. It should never be entered into lightly. It is very difficult and, speaking for myself only, I fall far short of what a Khalsa should be (which is why I call myself a[n aspiring] Khalsa). But it is so much worth the effort. I know how bad this sounds and I should no doubt have my hand slapped for typing this, but I sometimes wonder, what is the point of being a Sikh if you are not either Amritdhari or working towards it. Naughty, bad elitist me!

Still I know most Sikhs are not Amritdhari; in fact, some of the finest Sikhs I know are not. If I may offer some unasked for advice, keep your mind open to the possibility of someday receiving Amrit. You never know what may happen if you hang out with Guru ji long enough.


[SIZE=-1]

[/SIZE]​
 
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Eternalcalm

SPNer
Oct 3, 2010
3
4
No A sikh need not be a khalsa. i know Eternalcalm is here to raise a storm I guess but a mere definition is not going to change sikh religion. It will make it stronger. The breaking force results in making a stronger bond.
Sikhism has become stronger after 1984.

More efforts to dilute it make it stronger.
You "know" wrong then. Whatever it is that you are slandering me about is of your own imagination (I wasn't even alive in 1984 and don't even remember much of anything until approx. 1991 so... whatever, this is just abhorrent behavior).
 

Eternalcalm

SPNer
Oct 3, 2010
3
4
There it is copied exactly from the English translation at the SGPC website. http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_one.html

Most Sikhs are not initiated (Amritdhari, Khalsa); it is not a requirement for being a Sikh according to the most generally accepted Code of Conduct. There are other Codes, but almost all Sikhs accept this one.

So the short answer is, No, Amrit is not necessary to be a Sikh. You must believe in it, but you don't have to accept it.

However...and this is just my personal opinion...not permitting yourself to be blessed with Amrit is a bit like attending a banquet and eating the appetisers and sort of nibbling on the entree and skipping desert altogether. So much of the richness and depth of the experience of being Sikh is missed without accepting this blessing.

Becoming a[n aspiring] Khalsa is a huge commitment, I think even moreso than marriage. It should never be entered into lightly. It is very difficult and, speaking for myself only, I fall far short of what a Khalsa should be (which is why I call myself a[n aspiring] Khalsa). But it is so much worth the effort. I know how bad this sounds and I should no doubt have my hand slapped for typing this, but I sometimes wonder, what is the point of being a Sikh if you are not either Amritdhari or working towards it. Naughty, bad elitist me!

Still I know most Sikhs are not Amritdhari; in fact, some of the finest Sikhs I know are not. If I may offer some unasked for advice, keep your mind open to the possibility of someday receiving Amrit. You never know what may happen if you hang out with Guru ji long enough.
Thank you very much for this response it is very informative. I am not opposed to becoming am Amritdhari one day at all, if it sounded like I was saying that. Just, at this point I don't know when that will be. It is a very hard thing for me.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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Thank you very much for this response it is very informative. I am not opposed to becoming am Amritdhari one day at all, if it sounded like I was saying that. Just, at this point I don't know when that will be. It is a very hard thing for me.

It's good that it's a very hard thing. That means you take it seriously.

Another bit of uncalled-for advice: do not wait until you feel worthy of Amrit. None of us is worthy. It's attitude and willingness and commitment that count.

If/when the time comes that you are seriously considering accepting this Gift, please let me know. I have a few suggestions given to me by my Dad. Nothing new or secret, just useful.
 

ik-jivan

SPNer
May 4, 2010
68
108
Mai Harinder Kaur,
I've been thinking about it . . . actually I have read a lot about it. You wrote. 'do not wait until you feel worthy of Amrit' and I have to laugh, because that is exactly what keeps me from Amrit. I can't even think of wearing the kara, because I don't feel worthy of even that. Yet, I know . . . from this needling conscience . . . that I am destined to take Amrit one day . . . when I have dealt with a few matters of vanity. I don't debate, nor argue against the values of keeping kes, but man, my ego sure likes silky smooth legs!

I, for one, would appreciate learning those few suggestions your Dad gave you. Please share.

Sat Sri Akal,
t
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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Mai Harinder Kaur,
I've been thinking about it . . . actually I have read a lot about it. You wrote. 'do not wait until you feel worthy of Amrit' and I have to laugh, because that is exactly what keeps me from Amrit. I can't even think of wearing the kara, because I don't feel worthy of even that. Yet, I know . . . from this needling conscience . . . that I am destined to take Amrit one day . . . when I have dealt with a few matters of vanity. I don't debate, nor argue against the values of keeping kes, but man, my ego sure likes silky smooth legs!

I, for one, would appreciate learning those few suggestions your Dad gave you. Please share.

Sat Sri Akal,
t
Sure ik-jivan ji,

The instructions are very simple. For a period of time - at least a month - live as if you had already taken Amrit. Try on being a Khalsa. It convinced me that, worthy or not, I needed the real thing.

I have found that actually making those promises/taking those vows makes it all a bit easier.

"Silky, smooth legs" look like a plucked chicken to me! In fact, keeping kesh is the easiest part of being Amritdhari because it's something that just happens without making any effort. And I would think being free of the meaningless ritual of the razor would be a great relief.

As for the kara, if you are not worthy of it, you need it all the more to remind you to at least try to be worthy.

And kechera. Imagine being free forever from binding elastic and itchy lace and I can only imagine what a thong would feel like. Women's undergarments are devices of torture. Comfortable, loose cotton is a blessing.

My best wishes to you. Guru fateh!

And please smile. It's good for the disposition. icecreamkaur
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Eternalcalm ji,

Guru Fateh.

Welcome to the forum.

You write:

For years now I've known Sikhism is really the only religion that fits my beliefs: One God, no rituals, no hierarchy of priests fleecing the flock, no blood sacrifice (nor or in it's past), no idols and no completely unbelievable fabricated history (like the Middle Eastern religions).
You are right about the above. BTW, what religion were you born in?

I love listening to kirtans and have visited a Gurudwara close to my house several times.
That is interesting to know.

My only problem is the 5 ks which I am not, and am not sure I will ever be ready, to adopt. While I understand the meaning of having uncut hair as accepting the way God made things, I like having short hair and letting it get just a little bit too long makes me feel very unclean and uncomfortable.

I also worry about taking on symbols and such as possibly being ostentatious.

But I have heard about Sahajdaris, and now I wonder if it is actually possible to become a Sikh without wearing the 5 Ks. Be a Sikh but not a Khalsa?

Now, let me ask you, have you read and tried to understand and hence apply the message given to us in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, our only Guru?

If you have, how has it changed your life?

Please share with us.

Thanks & regards

Tejwant Singh
 

ik-jivan

SPNer
May 4, 2010
68
108
Mai Harinder Kaur,
Good advice. Thank you. And I might even be doing it now but don’t know it. How does an Amritdhari live, generally or exactly?

Oh, I think we all get use to the rituals of body-maintenance. I would like to and often do avoid sleeping and eating, because these routine tasks take up so much time, but the reality is, we do have to maintain the body.

When I say I don’t feel worthy to wear the kara, I don’t mean that I feel exceptionally unworthy. I have an unusually profound respect for bana and did from my first encounter with a Sikh. . . a very strange reaction and impression from just viewing The English Patient. My perception, and clearly not the generally accepted reality, is that no one should wear visible bana unless they are committed to becoming and being a true gursikh to the extent of their capacity. I just don’t think any living Sikh is practicing up to the Guru’s standards and because I believe that the role Sikhs play in the world is kind of like the Spiritual Law Enforcement Division, I intensely feel that training and discipline is necessary before we hang out a placard and tell the world we can and will serve the Hukam Commands of Sat Guru. Yes. I know it’s odd thinking, but it’s imbedded in me and I have to address it internally. Gurprasad is needed to open my eyes. Nothing else will change it. But feel free to comment. My reaction to your advice may give me some clues on where the issues are.

Oh, I could definitely wear the kechara! Wear do you find them in Canada? I don’t expect Victoria’s Secret carries them.

Smile? I’m a part-time clown. My job is to make others smile and laugh. Lifting spirits is very important to me, so I use a variety of means . . . whatever is appropriate for the person and situation.

Thanks for your advice and I hope you will extend a bit more too.


Sat Sri Akal,
t
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,206
Pardon my intrusion to this interesting conversation. I read it each day and think it is one of the most interesting discussions to have. My take on what to do and when to do it.

Not only does sehajdharii mean "slow adapter" but the Punjabi words also reflect that one is on a path, but walking more slowly. And that is they key to progress, one step at a time.

When the road looks empty the destination always seems much farther than it is. When the road is dotted with milestones then the destination seems within reach.

There is no need to be in a rush. What are you doing now that is consistent with the path of being Khalsa? Keep on doing it. What would be easy to change without much concern? Change it now. Focus on the positive changes. When you look back and see how much progress you have already made, then the more difficult steps are much easier to take.

The change does not seem so great. And also we must remember that we are all where we are where we are according to the hukam of Waheguru. With his support we make progress.
 

ik-jivan

SPNer
May 4, 2010
68
108
Well, I figure Waheguru has brought me this far, so He will take me to wherever I am meant to be at the end of this lifetime. He has strewn my path with rose petals, luring me along in His direction. I just follow the trail with complete confidence now and a sense of humour.

The five internal enemies have pretty much lain down their weapons, but without any sense of defeat. Instead, it’s more a pragmatic alliance with the Supreme Being. Haumai still has its bag of tricks, like not liking hairy legs, but it also is aware of the vanity of such. I can laugh at the triviality of it all and know that eventually even that will dissolve.

I’m not overly concerned about the outward, symbolic identity. Whatever is keeping me bashful must be there for a reason. Who knows, maybe I am supposed to be some kind of Secret Agent Sikh. Maybe there’s a message in not looking like a Sikh, but still acting like one.

I’m in no rush NOW. I know where I am going. Looking back at those milestones, the trail that has lead me here is dotted with so many coincidental clues that I can’t avoid drawing a conclusion now. It’s been a natural evolution without a conscious agenda. I was seeking and conforming to Sikhi and could visualize its ideal, before I even knew it existed. Reading Gurbani for the first time was like greeting an old, familiar friend.

I keep discovering more of the ‘familiar’ from what is newly experienced in Sikhi. Waheguru opens the space, creating the want, and then He fills it. He knows how I operate! Makes me laugh! I would, indeed, rush to the end if I wasn’t ignorant and actually knew how to get there. This hide and Sikh game that Waheguru plays with me is custom tailored to a bhakta.

Thanks for the input and advice for the journey.

Now, where can I find a Seven Day Set of Kecharas in Canada? ; )

Sat Sri Akal,
t
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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I have no time to write properly right now, but I do have some kachera information. I would say you have some choices.


  1. Go to a gurudwara - or phone - and make a request.
  2. Buy online. I found this site: http://sikhstuff.com/category.php?id_category=11
  3. Phone Satnam Trust 604-592-5310 between 3 PM and 5 PM PT.
  4. They aren't difficult to make, but they need to be cut at sort of a funny angle to lie properly. I don't find any patterns/instruction online.
  5. You might try getting Victoria's Secret to make a special order.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
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A dear brother/friend of mine Kanwar Ranvir Singh made this statement, which is pertinent to this whole discussion. (A mona is a Sikh who doesn't keep kesh.)

This may offend and annoy some; it may uplift and inspire others. I think it can give us all something to think about.

perhaps you could say that a mona is one who has sat at the feet of the guru (guru granth sahib) but has yet to follow in the footsteps of the guru (guru nanak - guru khalsa panth). when the guru gets up, are they left behind?

what they have not yet done is offer their heads, to humble themselves, to allow it to become the dust of the guru's feet. they may listen and discuss, philosophize and speculate but it was obedience and faith, not reason that turned lehna into guru angad and five ordinary men into the 'satgur poora' of guru gobind singh.
 

ballym

SPNer
May 19, 2006
257
334
Mai is great... has logic.
Just give it a try if you are really interested in taking Amrit. Why not reach at 50-60% if you are not able to reach to 100%. That is beneficial.. If you feel guilty of not following fully then you have not really grasped Guru Nanak's Philosophy.
I hope I am not wrong...but I am happy if I am even 1% correct.
So,Go ahead and do it.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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British Columbia, Canada
Mai is great... has logic.
Just give it a try if you are really interested in taking Amrit. Why not reach at 50-60% if you are not able to reach to 100%. That is beneficial.. If you feel guilty of not following fully then you have not really grasped Guru Nanak's Philosophy.
I hope I am not wrong...but I am happy if I am even 1% correct.
So,Go ahead and do it.
No, Mai is not great. She has great friends and family, though. That was a quote from Kanwar Ranvir Singh ji. I myself have never heard it better said.

How many of us can do anything 100%? We just do our best.
 

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