Universality, Intention In Sikhism & Other Religions | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Universality, Intention In Sikhism & Other Religions


Jul 2, 2012
A few things which struck suddenly 5 minutes ago about "revealed" religions (I include Sikhi in this to an extent) - if a person is somehow stranded on a desert island, or for some reason it is impossible for them to learn about the religion, what happens then?

Or what happens if you are stranded somewhere with no idea which direction Makkah is in, and with no means to learn what to do? To the Sikh, what if you are traveling somewhere and in need of urgent guidance from Shri Guru Granth Saheb; what do you do then? The only place you can really find a SGGS is in gurdwara, and there are many places on earth where you could be at least a 5 hour journey from one. Something that only recently occurred to me as weird is how inaccessible SGGS must have been before the internet. If not for the internet, I most definitely would never have heard even a word quoted from Shri Guru Granth Saheb - but the Bible is everywhere I look, and I know many places I could go tomorrow morning and buy or borrow a Qu'ran without too much hassle.
How did Sikhs study the SGGS in depth with only one per community? I suppose Gurbani is recited as often as the gurdwara is open. Maybe you could argue that this is an important communal aspect of Sikhism.

I am sure this topic could be delved into more deeply, but there are just a few questions that popped into my head quite recently. Probably a simple and cliché kind of question, but the community here always manages to churn out some interesting perspectives.

This is what I'm getting at: why isn't religion (or worship, to be more specific) something we should need only our own bodies and minds for, and nothing more? When it comes down to it, isn't that all we have? Why do you think we need dastar, a gurdwara, 5 Ks, the Bible, (if you're Catholic, a Priest for consecration on the Sabbath), a Qu'ran, prayer mat, compass & map, etc. etc... when there are possible scenarios when all of those would be unavailable to us, and all we would have would be our bodies, minds and conscience?


Jun 12, 2011
Yes, I see what you are saying, and for the most part, I agree. I had most of the values of a Sikh long before I learned what Sikhi was, just from listening to my conscience and the universe. But I really do like coming to this sangat sometimes to learn new ideas I might not have thought of by myself, to re-focus myself when I have a little too much maya on my mind, and to remind myself that I am not alone or crazy for having such beliefs.


Dec 4, 2011
Hey, it reminds me of the movie 'Castaway'
If you've seen it you will remember that he uses a football as his friend. He simply draws a face of two eyes and a mouth and then keeps it dry in the cave as it rests on it's set comfortable area.
This movie made me realise how rituals and stone or carved Gods arise out of innocent human action.

The human mind demands that you speak to someone and have them acknowledge your actions. I'm sure that most of us would end up using some kind of tree or object as a natural reference point to talk to when the urge would arise.


Jul 2, 2012
Hey Scarlet Pimpernel, what I meant by "revealed" religion is a religion which claims to be sent by God or a belief system "revealed" by God to humanity via prophets/messengers (or for my point's sake, the Gurus). Nothing else implied and it's just a common handle to refer to those kinds of theistic religions.


Aug 18, 2010
World citizen!
Interesting question Rory ji!

Essentially I think faith is very much a personal thing. For me it is a personal guide and moral compass. My faith gives me strength to deal with life and remain true to myself. I think the external appearance and symbols are there as an aid to help maintain whats inside, especially in moments of weakness. My Kara, for example is a constant reminder to connect me to my values. In Sikhi, the other important aspect to identity is so people know who to go to when they need help and to ensure you never run away from responsibility. These things are not essential but they are helpful for the individual. I don't think anything should be followed blindly!

Scarlet Pimpernel

We seek him here,we sikh
May 31, 2011
In the Self
why isn't religion (or worship, to be more specific) something we should need only our own bodies and minds for, and nothing more?
Rory body needs air to live otherwise it's just a dead body,your mind uses Scripture like Spiritual Air,it's like when that guy on the Island wants to Scuba dive he can snorkel on his own but he can go deeper with air assistance .

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Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

The complete Shabd as composed by Guru Arjun ji and recorded on page 392 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is as follows:

ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Asa Mehla 5 (SGGS Page 392)

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ...

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