Sikhism : An Offshoot Of Hinduism

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Sikh80, Jul 18, 2008.

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  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin 1947-2014 (Archived) SPNer Supporter

    Jun 17, 2004
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    Now to the matter of Nanak who in his inimitable way shakes the foundations of how we think about God.

    Nanak has just emerged from a deep spiritual experience in the forest, and this happens.

    After this, Guru Nanak donned a religious costume and associated constantly with religious men. He remained silent for one day, and the next he uttered the pregnant announcement, 'There is no Hindu and no Musalman. We have heard this before.

    The Sikhs interpret (at the time of Macauliffe's writing) this to mean generally that both Hindus and Muhammadans had forgotten the precepts of their religions.

    On a complaint made by the Nawab's Qazi, or expounder of Muhammadan law, the Guru was summoned before Daulat Khan to give an explanation of his words. He refused to go, saying, 'What have I to do with your Khan?' The Guru was again called a madman. His mind was full of his mission, and whenever he spoke be merely said, 'There is no Hindu and no Musalman.'

    The next part of the story focuses upon Muslims only

    To be a Musalman is difficult; if one be really so, then one may be called a Musalman.
    Let one first love the religion of saints,and put aside pride and pelf as the file removeth rust.
    Let him accept the religion of his pilots, and dismiss anxiety regarding death or life;
    Let him heartily obey the will of God, worship the Creator, and efface himself--
    When he is kind to all men, then Nanak, shall he be indeed a Musalman.

    The seeds of the message of Guruji can be found already in this early teaching of Nanak I. Nanak then goes on and develops his radical argument, and takes some political risks in the process.

    Make kindness thy mosque, sincerity thy prayer-carpet, what is just and lawful thy Quran,
    Modesty thy circumcision, civility thy fasting, so shalt thou be a Musalman;
    Make right conduct thy Kaaba,[6] truth thy spiritual guide, good works thy creed and thy prayer,
    The will of God thy rosary, and God will preserve thine honour, O Nanak

    Nanak, let others' goods be to thee as swine to the Musalman and kine to the Hindu;
    Hindu and Musalman spiritual teachers will go bail for thee if thou eat not carrion.
    Thou shalt not go to heaven by lip service; it is by the practice of truth thou shalt be delivered.
    Unlawful food will not become lawful by putting spices therein.
    Nanak, from false words only falsehood can be obtained.
    There are five prayers, five times for prayer, and five names for them-
    The first should be truth, the second what is right, the third charity in God's name,
    The fourth good intentions, the fifth the praise and glory of God
    If thou make good works the creed thou repeatest, thou shalt be a Musalman.
    They who are false, O Nanak, shall only obtain what is altogether false.

    And then,

    He is a Musalman who effaceth himself,
    Who maketh truth and contentment his holy creed,
    Who neither toucheth what is standing, nor eateth what hath fallen--
    Such a Musalman shall go to Paradise.

    What about Hindus, then? What does Nanak say?

    At God's gate there dwell thousands of Muhammads, thousands of Brahmas, of Vishnus, and of Shivs;[3]
    Thousands upon thousands of exalted Rams,[4] thousands of spiritual guides, thousands of religious garbs;
    Thousands upon thousands of celibates, true men, and Sanyasis;
    Thousands upon thousands of Gorakhs, thousands upon thousands of superiors of Jogis;
    Thousands upon thousands of men sitting in attitudes of contemplation, gurus, and their disciples who make supplications;
    Thousands upon thousands of goddesses and gods, thousands of demons;
    Thousands upon thousands of Muhammadan priests, prophets, spiritual leaders, thousands upon thousands of qazis, mullas, and shaikhs--
    None of them obtaineth peace of mind without the instruction of the true guru.
    How many hundreds of thousands of sidhs and strivers, yea, countless and endless!
    All are impure without meditating on the word of the true guru.

    There is one Lord over all spiritual lords, the Creator whose name is true.
    Nanak, His worth cannot be ascertained; He is endless and incalculable.

    Nanak takes his audience then, and us today, to a new level of comprehension of the nature of God. God does not emanate from the "spriitual lords" He is one Lord over all spiritual lords, and all of creation. He has no intermediaries. So Nanak is not proclaiming a pantheistic understanding of god, but one that is essentially and fundamentally theistic, a god who is pooran, whose attributes cannot be counted, whose nature is inexhaustible, who is True and exists in spite of His Creation.

    So Nanak Dev ji concludes,

    My beloved, this body, first steeped in the base of worldliness, hath taken the dye of avarice.
    My beloved, such robe pleaseth not my Spouse; How can woman thus dressed go to His couch?
    I am a sacrifice, O Benign One, I am a sacrifice unto Thee.
    I am a sacrifice unto those who repeat Thy name.
    Unto those who repeat Thy name I am ever a sacrifice
    Were this body, my beloved friends, to become a dyer's vat, the Name to be put into it as madder,
    And the Lord the Dyer to dye therewith, such colour had never been seen.
    O my beloved, the Bridegroom is with those whose robes are thus dyed.
    Nanak's prayer is that he may obtain the dust of such persons' feet.
    God Himself it is who decketh, it is He who dyeth, it is He who looketh with the eye of favour.
    Nanak, if the bride be pleasing to the Bridegroom, he will enjoy her of his own accord.

    The Guru makes a sacrifice of Himself. This is also very different. Neither Hindu nor Muslim.
  2. spnadmin

    spnadmin 1947-2014 (Archived) SPNer Supporter

    Jun 17, 2004
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    And here is something very interesting written by Macauliffe in his Preface to The Sikh Religion

    To sum up some of the moral and political merits of the Sikh religion: It prohibits idolatry, hypocrisy, caste exclusiveness, the concremation of widows, the immurement of women, the use of wine and other intoxicants, tobacco-smoking, infanticide, slander, pilgrimages to the sacred rivers and tanks of the Hindus; and it inculcates loyalty, gratitude for all favours received, philanthropy, justice, impartiality, truth, honesty, and all the moral and domestic virtues known to the holiest citizens of any country.

    Macaulife wrote in the 19th Century...

    A movement to declare the Sikhs Hindus, in direct opposition to the teaching of the Gurus, is widespread and of long duration. I have only quite recently met in Lahore young men claiming to be descendants of the Gurus, who told me that they were Hindus, and that they could not read the characters in which the sacred books of the Sikhs were written. Whether the object of their tutors and advisers was or was not to make them disloyal, such youths are ignorant of the Sikh religion, and of its prophecies favour of the English, and contract exclusive social customs and prejudices to the extent of calling us Malechhas, or persons of impure desires, and inspiring disgust for the customs and habits of Christians.

    So what are we discussing today? Why?

    bRhm mhys isD muin ieMdRw byAMq Twkur qyrI giq nhI pweI ]1]
    barahm mahays siDh mun indraa bay-ant thaakur tayree gat nahee paa-ee. ||1||
    Even Brahma, Shiva, the Siddhas and the silent sages do not know Your State, O Infinite Lord and Master. ||1||
  3. Astroboy

    Astroboy ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap) Writer SPNer

    Jul 14, 2007
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    I have no intentions to put you in a corner, Harjas Ji, by the temptation to do so is definitely there.
    Aad Ji, more diplomatic approach is the preferred choice.
    Just so that you also are able to see my point of view more clearly, here are excerpts of a slide I compiled 2 years ago.
    Sorry the pics are not transfering but without these pics, the story is only half told:-

    Dravidian India"
    by T.R. Sesha Iyengar, Madras, 1925,
    Asian Educational Services,
    31 Hauz Khas Village,
    New Delhi 110016, 1995 reprint, Rs. 265
    ISBN: 81-206-0135-1.

    He describes the Dravidian origin of Brahmanism and the major Indian gods.
    Of course, mainstream scholarship has now come around to the view that Shiva, Vishnu and his incarnations, are of Dravidian origin. But in the early 20th century, that was not the case.

    Prakrit Origin of Mahabharata

    Iyengar was one of the earliest to realize that the legends in the
    Vaishnava and Shaiva literature were originally composed in Prakrit
    and only much later translated into Sanskrit.

    "J.Kirste in his article on the Mahabharata question contributed to the Indian Antiquary, Vol.31, expresses the view that, when Pushyamitra killed the last of the Maurya kings, Brihadratha, in 183 BC, the Brahmanas re-established their ancient ascendancy, and the deline of the Buddhist religion followed.

    During this period, the Brahmanas collected all the legends of Vaishnavitic and Saivitic stamp into one large work, translating them, at the same time, from Prakrit into {p.6} Sanskrit. This was handed down orally till the second century AD, and then reduced to writing.

    Megalithic Structures
    Iyengar was fascinated with the constructors of the Megalithic structures so universal throughout India. He notes, "A large mound near Chingleput is surrounded by a number of megalithic graves, and believed to have been inhabited by a bearded race of `Pandayar'.

    Regarding the Araikandanallur pagoda, he writes, "The Araikandanallur [ftn. see Indian Antiquary Vol.5] pagoda near Tirukoilur is a striking object built on a rock, and is remarkable on account of the existence five singular cells cut in the solid rock, where local traditions say the five Pandavas lived during their exile. In one of the structures were found some fragments of bones and some scraps of iron. There is ground for presuming that these structures were used as burial places."
    (Iyengar 1925, p.50)

    ANCIENT remains of a sunken city first discovered by a team of Dorset-based explorers have been revealed by the force of the Asian tsunami, say archaeologists.
    Bournemouth's Daily Echo reports that divers and scientists, led by explorer Monty Halls, made the spectacular find of a lost civilisation off the coast of southern
    India three years ago.

    Divers from India and England made the discovery based on the statements of local fishermen and the old Indian legend of the Seven Pagodas.

    Dravidian Basis of Sanskrit
    Iyengar fully accepted the immense contribution of Dravidian languages to Sanskrit. Thus, he notes, "The non-Sanskrit portion of the Dravidian languages exceeds the Sanskrit portion." (Iyengar 1925, p.70)
    He continues, "Tamil is not dependant on Sanskrit for the full expression of thought. The ancient or classical dialect of this language, the Sen Tamil, is almost entirely free from Sanskrit words and idioms. The finest works in Tamil, such as the Kural, are original in design and execution, and also almost independant of Sanskrit."
    (Iyengar 1925, p.71)

    "That our view of South India being the probable home of civilization is not entirely a baseless fabric of a dream receives support from Dr. Chatterji who says, `It would be established,' provided Hall's theory of Sumerian origins be true, `that civilization first arose in India, and was associated probably with the primitive Dravidians. Then it was taken to Mesopotamia to become the source of the Babylonian and other ancient cultures which form the basis of modern civilization." (Iyengar 1925, p.59)

    According to Sir John Evans [ftn. Presidential Address of the British Association, 1897- Science of Man, Aug. 1901], Southern India was probably the cradle of the human race.... The people who have for many ages occupied this portion of the peninsula are a great people influencing the world, not much perhaps by moral and intellectual attributes, but to a much greater extent by superior physical qualities. [ftn. Dr. C. Macleane's Manual of Administration of the Madras Presidency] " (Iyengar 1925, p.60)

    An examination of the Sumerian language in the texts transliterated and translated within the last few years reveals such close correspondences in the lexical structure and grammar that in all likelihood Sumerian is the PSDr. Furthermore on the basis of some linguistic and literary evidences it can be argued that Sumerian is in fact the Tamil of the First Cankam and that Sumeru, the cradle of human civilisation is none other than Kumari, the cradle of Dravidian civilisation." (Loganathan 1975, p.40)

    "It was proved years ago by Dr. Taylor that a Tamiloid language, now represented by its most cultivated branch in the South, constituted the original staple of all the languages of India. The existence of a Tamilian substratum in all the modern dialects of India and of the profound influence, which the classical Tamil has exercised on the formation and development of both the Vedic and the classical Sanskrit, is gradually coming to be recognised by students of Indian philology. [ftn. Origin of the word Arya - Tamby Pillai, Tamilian Antiquary, Vol.II, No.2 ]" (Iyengar 1925, p.78)

    "Agastya is said to have learnt Tamil, the language of the South, from Siva. From this it may be inferred that Siva was a Dravidian deity. [ftn. The Dravidian Element in Indian Culture,' by Dr. Glibert Slater, see p.108 ] Dr. Gilbert Slater {p.101} says that the fact that the Rig Veda refers to phallic worship with disapproval, seems to point to the establishment of the worship of Siva among the Dravidians before the Vedic period. To the Tamil every hill-top is sacred to the gods. Siva, the lord of the Dravidians, was Malai-Arasan (Mountain Chief) according to Dr. Oppert. Siva came to be known in later times as Dakshinamurthy, ie the God of the South." (Iyengar 1925, p.100-101)

    The discovery of a late Tamil Sangam age
    temple 50 km from Chennai
    strengthens the view that a string
    of Seven Pagodas existed along the Mamallapuram coast.
    The Atiranachandesvara Cave Temple, popularly known as the Tiger Cave and which is located 2 km ahead of the Shore Temple, has two temples: the one on the southern side resembles a tiger's head and has bas relief of elephants, and the one on the northern side has a Sivalingam.

    The inscription on the second pillar, belonging to the reign of Nandivarman III, spoke about a Kirarpiriyan of Mamallapuram, who donated 10 kazhanchu of gold to that temple. The interest that accrued from the gifted gold was to be used by the ooraar (residents of the village) and sabaiyar to celebrate a festival during the Tamil month of Kaarthigai. This pillar has a carving of a trishul (trident) on one side.

    Another important evidence is noted:
    "Dr. Stevenson [2.Siddhanta Dipika, Vol.IV, p.108 ]
    was the first to point out that Siva is not named at all
    in the ancient hymns of the Vedas." (Iyengar 1925, p.105)

    ISBN: 81-206-0135-1.
  4. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh Writer Historian SPNer Supporter

    May 25, 2005
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    I think there in lies the problem. Like Islamists, Christians and other groups who have debated this isssue, they too claim paralleles with their own faith.

    I think if you dig deep enough you can prove parallells with any faith.

    2 + 2 does not equal 5
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin 1947-2014 (Archived) SPNer Supporter

    Jun 17, 2004
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    Sikh Philosophy Network asks that the diversity of religious points of view be respected. Respecting the identity of Sikhism, its history, and its unique philosophical and ethical beliefs must likewise be respected. After 24 hours of serious discussion by forum leaders, our opinion was that respect for Sikh identity had not been maintained. Our decision therefore was to close the thread.

    Be cautioned that wherever and whenever in the forum this occurs again, same thread will be closed without notice.

    Sat Sri Akaal,
  6. KulwantK

    KulwantK SPNer

    Oct 31, 2007
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    Thank you. After looking over this very long thread it is indeed best to be closed.
  7. LatteLily

    LatteLily SPNer

    Mar 1, 2009
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    If that Christian Missionary truely read the Guru teachings, they would understand that there in only ONE GOD, and, One God, only. Christianity and Sikhism have many similarities, the only difference is the ignorances of people who do not truely know One God.
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