The Litmus Test Of Sikhism | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

The Litmus Test Of Sikhism

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
Gurfateh

I find myself analysing stories of the Gurus, pictures of the Gurus, and discovering contradictions constantly.

Take for instance the way the Gurus are often presented in picture. Normally sitting on a raised cot, with people fawning all over them.

The Gurus were a model of humility, can it be believed that they would really accept being put on a pedestal?

When the Langar was established, its sole purpose was to make everyone equal, all sitting on the floor, next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, all people being equal. It then does not make sense that the Gurus themselves would allow themselves to be elevated above this, it is contradiction.

I watched a Gurdwara on television yesterday, the Granthi read out Bani as if he was invoking a magical chant, people watched him, some closed their eyes, some seemed to be connected, the majority were there for the show. People approached the living Guru, and offered money and prostrated themselves before the SGGS. Again, I am not so sure that any living Guru of the ten that were born, would be able to just sit there and accept money and bowing, surely the Gurus were one of us, equals, surely there is a better way to show someone you love them than an offering of money and bowing and scraping, surely the best love you can offer a Sikh Guru, is to follow and live the Bani.

Watching the Gurdwara yesterday, and bearing in mind the constant never ending pandering to what people want (Jyots, pictures, Ardasses that get fulfilled, meaningful Hukamnamas, good langars, big car parks, etc), it seemed to me that poor old Creator has been largely forgotten about. The one being that this whole show should be about has been sidelined. For a religion that is so heavily dependent on the universal truth, we sure do not show it, preferring the lies that sit easily with 'the people'.
 

Ishna

Enthusiast
Writer
SPNer
May 9, 2006
3,249
5,184
People approached the living Guru, and offered money and prostrated themselves before the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Again, I am not so sure that any living Guru of the ten that were born, would be able to just sit there and accept money and bowing, surely the Gurus were one of us, equals, surely there is a better way to show someone you love them than an offering of money and bowing and scraping, surely the best love you can offer a Sikh Guru, is to follow and live the Bani.
Bhaji, wasn't it Guru Arjun Dev Ji himself who put the Adi Granth on a pedestal and slept on the floor himself, such was his adoration for the Shabad?

What conclusion does your analytical mind come to over that image? :sippingcoffee:
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
What conclusion does your analytical mind come to over that image?
Sisji,

I am still thinking about my reply to the shabad you quoted in another post, however, my conclusion would be that the Bani in the SGGS is the word of God, and therefore, deserves more respect than the Gurus did when they were alive. I have always thought of the SGGS as the eleventh Guru, however, your image brings to mind the SGGS being the Guru's Guru, which is a completely different perception to the eleventh.

:sippingcoffeemunda:
 

Searching

SPNer
Aug 8, 2011
146
218
Harry ji
What you have stated in your your first post is not a test of Sikhsim but Sikhs.
How is Sikhism at fault if people offer money to the Granthi while he is reciting bani?
Do you find any mention of these practices is SGGS ji ? Does SGGS ji endorse it?


The Gurus were a model of humility, can it be believed that they would really accept being put on a pedestal?
Harry ji, During my college days, I remember the teacher used to be on a raised surface, we called it stage, as it enabled every one of us to see him clearly, which is always better than hearing a voice coming from someone in a mob whom you cannot see.
It helped us in understanding him better.
Similarly if the Gurus were seated on a raised surface while they were addressing the sangat, it makes perfect sense to me.
This would enable people to see the Gurus and also ask questions.
However I doubt the Gurus would sit on a raised surface during langar. Yes that will be a contradiction.

It is of course also about love and respect. And if Gurus accepted the love and respect given to them by sangat I see nothing wrong in that.

Let me ask you a question. Where would you keep the SGGS ji. On ground or on a raised, clean surface?
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jul 4, 2004
7,689
14,357
72
KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
A. Sikhism..is composed of SIKHS....Manmatt..Hankaar..Lobh..Moh..Krodh..all SIKH-DEH
problems...

B. Shabad..Gurmatt ...no DEH..no hunger, anger, krodh, lobh moh kaam no HUMAN
FAILINGS.
C> Guru Arjun Ji in deh form ELEVATED the GURMATT-SHABAD FORM above himself.

D< Most sants dera heads, satgurus, Gurus etc Consider themsleves Holier, above the SGGS..and have people matha tek to them, massage their legs feet, bathe them, ferry them around in expensive cars hotels etc etc. accept gifts, titles, haumaii ego hankaar kaam krodh lobh moh etc in full display...

A and D FAIL the LITMUS TEST.

B and C can never fail any such test becasue its above this test.
 

Luckysingh

Writer
SPNer
Dec 4, 2011
1,633
2,757
Vancouver
Harryji, just a few responses to some of the issues that you raised.
I don't actually feel that they are issues but it is simply the way we approach them. I've tried to give a few examples to highlight this.


Gurfateh

I find myself analysing stories of the Gurus, pictures of the Gurus, and discovering contradictions constantly.
Too much analysing or overanalysis in your case seems to cause confusion. Sometimes when analysing in such manner, we need to take a step back and re-approach with a different frame of mind!

Take for instance the way the Gurus are often presented in picture. Normally sitting on a raised cot, with people fawning all over them.
I cannot see what the problem is here!! If someone's voice or teaching is to be heard, then before the days of microphones, their platforms were raised so that everyone could be addressed.
Even now, we find that people in authority who's voice and instructions need to be clearly heard have raised platforms such as Judges and barristers..etc..

The Gurus were a model of humility, can it be believed that they would really accept being put on a pedestal?
Being on a pedestal does not make you a king, it makes your voice and statement heard equally by everyone and not just the ones adjacent to you.
When the Langar was established, its sole purpose was to make everyone equal, all sitting on the floor, next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, all people being equal. It then does not make sense that the Gurus themselves would allow themselves to be elevated above this, it is contradiction.
I'm not sure how or from where you get this image of Guru raised above everyone whilst consuming langar!!!
I watched a Gurdwara on television yesterday, the Granthi read out Bani as if he was invoking a magical chant, people watched him, some closed their eyes, some seemed to be connected, the majority were there for the show. People approached the living Guru, and offered money and prostrated themselves before the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Again, I am not so sure that any living Guru of the ten that were born, would be able to just sit there and accept money and bowing, surely the Gurus were one of us, equals, surely there is a better way to show someone you love them than an offering of money and bowing and scraping, surely the best love you can offer a Sikh Guru, is to follow and live the Bani.

The offering of money, is an expression used culturally in many different ways. It is NOT always in the same league as dropping money in a wishing well!!-(which seems like the only way you seem to be associating it with!!)
Whatever one feels inclined to do, then they should proceed- People in our culture offer money as an expression of love all the while. Sometimes it is just more than words to say' I love you and I care'and to offer some money to show this affection.
When we have family such as son or daughter come visiting, then often the parents will offer some money to their loved child when the
child is about to leave. This sum of money may be a small $5 or even $100, but whatever it is that does NOT matter, what matters is the simple offering associated with love and care.
I don't see anything wrong with this expression and simply accept and understand it as a cultural value.


Watching the Gurdwara yesterday, and bearing in mind the constant never ending pandering to what people want (Jyots, pictures, Ardasses that get fulfilled, meaningful Hukamnamas, good langars, big car parks, etc), it seemed to me that poor old Creator has been largely forgotten about. The one being that this whole show should be about has been sidelined. For a religion that is so heavily dependent on the universal truth, we sure do not show it, preferring the lies that sit easily with 'the people'.
Good point, this is the general problem with society not sikhism. It is always about 'I want, I want, I need, I need....'- Tjis is one of the first and easy trappings of 'ego' or humai, the me,me,me,me.....
I can explain or point to this in a way that you probably won't agree with as you relate it to vedic!!
Concentrate on the 'NOTHINGNESS' that is in fact 'EVERYTHING' and these trappings start to dissapear. Which is why the many that claim that simran helps them achieve this are correct in their approach as simran helps you focus on this 'nothingness'. It helps you move away from the me,me,me, me......
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
Luckyji

Too much analysing or overanalysis in your case seems to cause confusion. Sometimes when analysing in such manner, we need to take a step back and re-approach with a different frame of mind!
My analysing may be an inferior method to say, sitting in a room and squawking like a parrot for an hour, however, I find it adds the the sum of my knowledge and information.I am now of a mind that the SGGS should be revered for what it is, Gods word. It deserves to be raised, it is Bani, not the 11th Guru. It is the ultimate Guru.

I cannot see what the problem is here!! If someone's voice or teaching is to be heard, then before the days of microphones, their platforms were raised so that everyone could be addressed.
Even now, we find that people in authority who's voice and instructions need to be clearly heard have raised platforms such as Judges and barristers..etc..
Do you know why you cannot see the problem?, because you have faith. I , on the other hand, do not have faith. I wish to know why most depictions of the Gurus, including those where the Gurus are not addressing folk, show them raised. I find it hard to believe that they carried themselves off in any other way than being most humble and full of love.

Being on a pedestal does not make you a king, it makes your voice and statement heard equally by everyone and not just the ones adjacent to you.
I see, and a 4 inch high manji will make this difference will it?

I'm not sure how or from where you get this image of Guru raised above everyone whilst consuming langar!!!
I am not sure how you have come to this conclusion, what I said was

When the Langar was established, its sole purpose was to make everyone equal, all sitting on the floor, next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, all people being equal. It then does not make sense that the Gurus themselves would allow themselves to be elevated above this, it is contradiction.

The offering of money, is an expression used culturally in many different ways. It is NOT always in the same league as dropping money in a wishing well!!-(which seems like the only way you seem to be associating it with!!)
Whatever one feels inclined to do, then they should proceed- People in our culture offer money as an expression of love all the while. Sometimes it is just more than words to say' I love you and I care'and to offer some money to show this affection.
When we have family such as son or daughter come visiting, then often the parents will offer some money to their loved child when the
child is about to leave. This sum of money may be a small $5 or even $100, but whatever it is that does NOT matter, what matters is the simple offering associated with love and care.
I don't see anything wrong with this expression and simply accept and understand it as a cultural value.
Yes, we do lots of things culturally, the killing of female babies, honour killings, are you suggesting that this 'culture' justifies this? We did a lot more things 'culturally' before the Gurus eradicated, or attempted to, the more vile of our cultural things.

I have made no association with reward based offerings, I am saying that a humble person would not wish such fawning.

As for using money to show affection, well this is my very point, just as it is far easier to give someone money rather than get them a thoughtful and meaningful gift, so it is easier to give the Guru money rather than give him your head.

You will have to excuse my lack of knowledge about all these cultural rituals and ceremonies involving money, I have little to do with this side of Sikhism.

Concentrate on the 'NOTHINGNESS' that is in fact 'EVERYTHING' and these trappings start to dissapear. Which is why the many that claim that simran helps them achieve this are correct in their approach as simran helps you focus on this 'nothingness'. It helps you move away from the me,me,me, me......
You are absolutely correct, I find this Vedic, ritualistic and serving no other purpose than for the self. As I have said before, the same effect can be had from Bhang.I do not wish to hide away and fool myself with elaborate mental exercises, I wish to be alert and with understanding.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
Let me ask you a question. Where would you keep the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. On ground or on a raised, clean surface?
If you had asked me this a week ago, I would have probably replied that it did not make any difference. The 11th Guru should be treated as one would the previous 10. However after input from my Sis Ishnaji and my Veer Gyaniji, I can see that the Gurus made it clear that the SGGS was regarded as high as one would regard Creator. I was unaware of this, and it will have a knock on effect on my thinking,

On that note, I am happy to answer that I would place the SGGS on a raised clean surface, in line with the regard that I hold its contents. I remain unconvinced that money should be put in front of it,

many thanks to all for input
 

Luckysingh

Writer
SPNer
Dec 4, 2011
1,633
2,757
Vancouver
Luckyji



My analysing may be an inferior method to say, sitting in a room and squawking like a parrot for an hour, however, I find it adds the the sum of my knowledge and information.I am now of a mind that the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji should be revered for what it is, Gods word. It deserves to be raised, it is Bani, not the 11th Guru. It is the ultimate Guru.
I don't know why your point comes to parrot behaviour, when I have not mentioned anything in that regard.
Over analysing means to look into something, be it a piece of art, theory or method or whatever in such a way that one gets a slightly distorted message from what one is actually supposed to get. This way it helps to step back and re-approach. I think you can understand what I mean by this.

Do you know why you cannot see the problem?, because you have faith. I , on the other hand, do not have faith. I wish to know why most depictions of the Gurus, including those where the Gurus are not addressing folk, show them raised. I find it hard to believe that they carried themselves off in any other way than being most humble and full of love.

I see, and a 4 inch high manji will make this difference will it?
Yes, it can make the difference as your message can be heard by all the people being addressed at the same level.
It is easier to address a number of people together at the same time and get your message across uniformly on the same level.



Yes, we do lots of things culturally, the killing of female babies, honour killings, are you suggesting that this 'culture' justifies this? We did a lot more things 'culturally' before the Gurus eradicated, or attempted to, the more vile of our cultural things.

We cannot categorise all things done culturally under one same heading.
The offering of money to close loved ones comes under family and love, NOT honour killings....etc... and all the other jargon you mentioned.


I have made no association with reward based offerings, I am saying that a humble person would not wish such fawning.

As for using money to show affection, well this is my very point, just as it is far easier to give someone money rather than get them a thoughtful and meaningful gift, so it is easier to give the Guru money rather than give him your head.
I think most people offer both!! You matha tek and place your donation, if your heart is not in either one then you shouldn't bother with it as then it becomes an empty ritual.
However, I cannot judge what the person doing matha tek infront offers and wether they actually mean it.

You will have to excuse my lack of knowledge about all these cultural rituals and ceremonies involving money, I have little to do with this side of Sikhism.
Cultural issues and sikhism shouldn't be mixed or put under one category.


You are absolutely correct, I find this Vedic, ritualistic and serving no other purpose than for the self. As I have said before, the same effect can be had from Bhang.I do not wish to hide away and fool myself with elaborate mental exercises, I wish to be alert and with understanding.
Finding yourself by detaching from your attachments for some moments is NOT selfish and doesn't fool you. It is not vedic philosophy either.
Bani says, that attachments that you attach to are what fool you throughout life.
Focusing on nothingness that is in effect everything is not like getting high on bhang and it does not make you less alert and confused.
To Connect with the One, one needs to disconnect wih surrounding attachments.
It is not selfish or sadly introverted in any way, but you cannot understand it if you haven't tried it.
We are all trying to Find ourselves and find the truth throughout our lives. Any simple exercises or learning done to help with this is not harmful to anyone in any way.
[/QUOTE]
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,185
51
To Connect with the One, one needs to disconnect wih surrounding attachments.
I disagree Chazji, connection whilst life rages around you, is the best time for connection.

We can all make our computers do amazing things, but making them do amazing things in a commercial environment is a different thing altogether.

Because when it counts, when that knowledge is needed, you had better be ready to practice it when all hell is raging around you, rather than your bedroom

regards
 

Luckysingh

Writer
SPNer
Dec 4, 2011
1,633
2,757
Vancouver
I disagree Chazji, connection whilst life rages around you, is the best time for connection.

We can all make our computers do amazing things, but making them do amazing things in a commercial environment is a different thing altogether.

Because when it counts, when that knowledge is needed, you had better be ready to practice it when all hell is raging around you, rather than your bedroom

regards
It' LuckySingh not Chazji, which shows that you seem connected elsewhere!!!:noticemunda:
I know what you mean about having the life events revolving around you whilst you connect, as this is what the goal actually is. It's getting to this stage that requires personal effort.
It is not about physical detaching by going into a quiet place away from the noise, it is about remaining mentally unattached such whilst attaching more towards creator. An few examples can be to 1) I must watch the episode of whatever later on, 2) I hope I don't get the cold for the party this weekend..3) I wonder what my mother will say about.....etc...etc...
These are all things and attachments that go through our mind once we quieten down. The goal is to TRY and Control yourself from drifting away into such thoughts.

Personally, I have found with myself that at first I needed to be away from everything and everyone whilst I was 'detaching'- YES, this may have seemed irrational and selfish to some, but it was the only way to help conquer my 'drifting' weakness.
Whereas now, I can detach myself from the surroundings without drifting whilst up and about anywhere, I could be driving, shopping, watching TV.....etc...
There are many references in gurbani about the one attaining salvation and naam who remains dead and unattached whilst still living.
This is the ultimate goal, but doing even a small percentage is not that easy.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

The Gurbani Framework calls for the use of GURBANI to understand, explain, translate and interpret GURBANI.


The Gurbani Framework is a response to a variety of distorted translations...

SPN on Facebook

...
Top