Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

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Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby sikh_13 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:25 am

Dear Sadh Sangat Ji !

I write this post (not knowing if it would get past our moderators) to get the inputs over some of the queries I have. I have seen sikhism over last few decades and the way it has evolved. There were days when sikhs were respected and honoured. Then the 'sab toh wada ghalughara followed' - we saw our generation massacred in front of our own eyes. The same sikhs who use to rescue hindu women picked by muslim invaders watched their own sisters mothers and daughters brutally raped. We also saw our so called turbaned leaders guide us from one holocast to then next one. Punjabi subsided - our village folks started speaking hindi and started following religious faiths beyond those permitted by The Gurus. I saw sikh identity go down from being a revered identity to one being despised and made joke of. More over I witnessed (or rather heard) a sikh girl motiviting her lover to cut his hair (so that he would look smart) at Shri Anandpur Sahib (birth place of the Khalsa) - and they were spending a night together in the sra - pretending to be husband and wife.

Dear fellow sikhs - our religion has degraded from being a honoured one to one which is made joke of. Who is to be blamed? No one but ourselves. We thrive on killing our people. When 'Bluestar' happens - sikh 'generals' lead it. When youth is tortured and killed in punjab 'kps sigh gill' leads by 'scoring' high. When sikhs were killed in india in November of 1984 - 'gyani' jail singh continues to be quite. the story goes on...........

Our next generation does not exist!
Our leaders are exploiting on the hard work done by our ancestors and our fore-fathers!
Our girls seek marriage outside our religion!
Our Gurudwara prabhandaks are good businessmen seeking to make the best of the 'facility'!
Our youth lurk after 'tempetations'!
Our moderators are oriented towards their own goals!

I am confused and I seek help from the sangat! I have followed a strong religion - a religion that woud give own / kids / anyone's life for causes close to their heart (be it removing hair or anything). Now i cannot follow this religion sinking into another religion! I need a strong base - I need a base wherein I dont mind dying for my religion.

I seek your opinion on continuing in this faith or giving it up cos of the condition it is in today and the way it is headed!

Waheguru Ji da Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Di Fateh!!!

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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby rani_vancouver » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:53 am

Bhai Sikh_13,

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!


After to read your article, I feel that you don't start from the basics. The very first question for a religious follower, or before doing any task/work, should be, why am I doing this, what purpose does it serve for me?

In this case, you should be asking what purpose a religion is to serve you?

The purpose is salvation, spirituality, realization of your true sacred self, becoming one with your higher self, the creator...
For all this, what you really need is the Guru, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. That you can read, research, pray from, while sitting at your own home. Guru Sahiban has blessed us with Shabad Guru by providing us a direct link with the Creator, so we don't have to depend on anyone.

However, since we live in this world, we have to deal with the real world too, that is a necessity, not spiritualiy. All types of things happen, bad days come, good days come, we make some progress, we digress. We keep trying and moving forward. The point in all this is to keep trying to do your best while staying at Chardi Kala. It is to practice the strength and knowledge you gained from Shabad Guru. It in itself is not religion.

It is like you going to the gym to exercise your body to become strong. The gym itself is not your body, it is just tools to make yourself stronger. Similarly, this world is just a tool to practice your spirituality; in itself, it is not spirituality, religion.

Finally, instead of looking from outward to inward, please redirect your focus from inward to outwards. Focus on the very root message of the religion, which is Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the rest is just stuff happening, we try our best, and whatever God wills so it will happen, and we live in His Hukam in Chardi Kala.

Best Wishes.

Rani Kaur
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby tejpalsingh » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:55 am

sikh_13 ji,
I believe that every concerned sikh shares the concerns you have raised.

We do not want to or do not know how to adapt to changed circumstances. In other words we are trying to block the evolution process and failure to do so is frustrating us.
Concerns you have raised are more about outer identity and less about divinity or sikhi, which means it is more a socio-political matter.
If we look around then we will find that it is not sikhism or sikhs alone, changes have been seen in the practices of all the religions around us oweing to changed circumstances, regimes, scientific & technological development etc etc.Change is law of the nature which is irreversible. As such, again it is lack of adaptability on part of we sikhs which is causing concerns.
There is no religion free of criminals and corrupt politicians in the world. Please do not expect sikhs/sikhism to be an exception in modern world since we are part of same human race.We have seen with our own eyes what sikhs were doing to non-sikhs in Punjab in the decade of 80s. Same sikhs who useed to protect hindu women were killing hindu men in front of the eyes of same hindu women. Those hindu men were husbands, brothers and sons of these women.
I am sabat-surat sikh but I use to see clean-shaven sikhs around me who are much more attached to sikhi than I am. But we conveniently call them patits while claiming ourselves to be true sikhs.

"Our next generation does not exist!"..... How can you say so ?
"Our leaders are exploiting on the hard work done by our ancestors and our fore-fathers!"..... leaders are democratically elected by us/sikhs.
"Our girls seek marriage outside our religion!"..... Equal number of girls or more from other religions seek marriage with sikhs.
"Our Gurudwara prabhandaks are good businessmen seeking to make the best of the 'facility'!"....... At first place we are electing them, secondly we are the ones who after electing have given them free hand to do so, thirdly we have made them to determine who is a sikh and who not.
"Our youth lurk after 'tempetations'!"..... That is natural but of course need some control.
Our moderators are oriented towards their own goals!.............If I write the truth then my post will not be published but till date I have not been able to know the standards and scales they use to approve or disapprove the posts.

TO BE CONTD.

T.P.SINGH
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby Punjabi G » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:13 pm

“Look at the society we have become: We are a bi-polar nation, a bureaucratic, centralised state that presides dysfunctionally over an increasingly fragmented, disempowered and isolated citizenry.”

British Writer Philip Blond

If I hadn’t read this quote in New York Times, I would have thought he is describing current state of Sikh affairs! Instead he is writing about British affairs but his words resonate with most Americans and with me, a Sikh American. In fact, I see lots of parallels between American affairs and Sikh affairs of last few years. They are both a fine example of how few individuals in control of major institutions and power can be responsible for downfall of great nations!

But that’s the point! We may feel like things are going downhill and Sikh religion is facing numerous challenges today but ups and downs are natural and what needs to be remembered is that we as a member of this religion also have a duty to correct the wrongs. Yes, our current leadership is pathetic and we have been too naïve to leave our key institutions in the hands of corrupt, inept people but things change when everyone begins to realize it.

Last few decades were full of challenges for Sikh community. In India, political and religious persecution did not leave much chance for them to look after their affairs, a huge migration to the West left the community busy with efforts to settle and establish itself in their new homes and religious life was left with just few individuals and groups. It’s only natural that few undesired elements also took advantage of such situation.

The most important thing to remember is that we have Guru Granth Sahib as a spiritual guide and as long as we follow Guru Granth Sahib, we will be fine! Gurbani gives us all the tools we need and it’s important for every Sikh to get familiar with Guru Granth Sahib and it’s message. As Sikhs, we don’t have a priestly class and we don’t need to follow any religious “leaders” if their actions are not in accordance with Gurbani.

Things start at individual level and only individuals can make changes!
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby Kuldip S. Virdi » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:38 pm

Sikh_13 Jee,

Khushwant Singh in the first edition of the Histroy of the Sikh published some times in the mid 50s of the last century had predicted that Sikhs will become extinct species possibly within that century and we will be able to see Sikhs (artifacts) only in the Museums. How wrong he was in his prediction is borne out of the fact that we have today throbing and active sikh communities all over India, in most of the Western Countires of the world and else where. The Sikhs is Punjab do present a sorry state of state and your presentation in my humble view is to draw attention to the sorry state of affairs there.

As has been already pointed in one of the earlier post in this stringe, with socio-political-economical conditions prevailing in the Punjab, what most of the young people want there is to emigrate somewhwere out of India and make good there. They seem to have given up on the Punjab and India. The first step in this direction is to renounce their identity by giving up their sikh identity and some other further frustration in not being able to get some sponsor to call them abroad in their expected time frame, they are easy prey to substance abuse and being sucked into criminality. The community too rather then redirecting the energies of these people into productive activities either support their falling prey in sending them abroad by means fair or otherwise. Where do you think, such people have time and need to devote time and energy in harnessing the values of Sikhi. You do not get to be good sikh just being born in a family who are nominally Sikhs. Of course, if the family is deeply into sikhi, the values do get passed on rather easily to the younsters.

I had read some article on the subject you have raised in the Sikh magazine published from Kolkotta by one of the respected Bhai Saheb ( I foget his name as of now), who is professor emeritus in some medical school in Austin, Texas, US. According to him, even if Sikhi declines for wahever reasons in its palce of birth, it is assured of its long term survival in the world because it has taken roots else where such as Western hemipshere both because of diaspora and new Sikhs iniitated by Yogi Harbhajan Singh Jee. I do read about some very active gurudwaras in Canada, West and East Coast of US., there are several Universities again in canada and US having Chairs of Sikhism, where some work on the Sikhism is being done. There are several seminars/ discussions happening in all corners of the world covering Sikhi.

So, we do not have only darkness as painted in your post . As Rani bhenji wrote in her post, we have to define our own objectives of the religion and continue to make our own efforts towards achieving them with the direction of the SGGS and sagat of the Gursikhs.Sikhism is bound to be here for the eternity.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh,

Kuldip Singh
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby Theodorus » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:56 am

rani_vancouver ji,

After reading the original article and then reading this:
After to read your article, I feel that you don't start from the basics. The very first question for a religious follower, or before doing any task/work, should be, why am I doing this, what purpose does it serve for me?

In this case, you should be asking what purpose a religion is to serve you?


The first thing that sprang to my mind was that you need to turn this around in:

The very first question for a religious follower, or before doing any taks/work should be "why am I doing this, what purpose does it serve for my religion?

In this case. you should be asking what purpose you are to your religion.
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby rani_vancouver » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:12 pm

Sat Shri Akaal Everyone,

Theodorus wrote:rani_vancouver ji,

In this case. you should be asking what purpose you are to your religion.


It is so good to hear from you Theodorus Ji.

My original comment was intentional as it is that we should be asking, why we are religious, what purpose is the religion to serve for us. To think what purpose we can serve the religion, in my opinion, will be against Sikh teachings for the following reasons:

It is a talk of Haumei (ego), to believe that **I** am able to do something, while Gurbani makes it clear that it is God who makes us to act in the fashion we do. If He causes us to walk on His path, that is His kindness. If He causes us to be trapped in Maya, that is also His order. If someone has any virtues, those are also given by God's kindness as all virtues belong to Him. One should not take any kind of ownership or pride in any virtue or asset in anyway. Even if our actions are to sing His praises or do some actions which promote His virtues, this is also His kindness that we are doing it. We have nothing of our own that we can offer Him or do for Him, hence religion.

The above can also be viewed differently as God or Guru is not in need of us, we are in need of God and Guru. It is like, think of a burning building and we get stuck in this building. We know the fire is severe and eventually all of it is going to become ashes including us. It is a matter of time, and that time is passing by fast. Then some firemen (or women :) ) show up. We will be relieved to see them. How wise it will be for us to think what can we offer these firemen, even that from the burning building where we are barely keeping our bodies safe? The best thing we can do is follow the instructions quickly and get out of there. Only kind thing we can do is for others who are trapped, to shout and let them know here are firemen, please get help etc... These firemen are no need of our help specially while we are trapped here.

According to Guru Sahiban, similar is our condition. We are trapped here, we need to follow the instructions of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and get ourselves freed. Only kind thing we can do is shout and scream to other people that please follow the instructions and save yourself, and also make sure these instructions don't get damaged in anyway, or get obstructed in anyway by someone evil putting wrong instructions on top of these or beside these to confuse the people. :) After to learn the instructions, we cannot get out instantly. Whatever actions, paths we have to follow while still in the building should be influenced/directed by the instructions, as it will be safe for us, and others. If we are managing, that means the firemen were very intelligent and kind to instruct us properly, it has nothing to do with we doing something great on our own towards the firemen. They do not need us at all, neither they want to live, be trapped in the burning building. They have zero interest in the burning building. :) This is one of the biggest mistakes I have seen religious people making, that they are doing this and this for Guru Sahiban on this earth, while they forget the most essential lesson that Guru Ji don't want to come here, they don't like it here, they have no attachment or interest in here, instead Guru Ji want us to detach ourselves from here too, and leave this place to move onwards. However, our actions should be kind to millions others who have to follow the same path to take the exit, to not ruin the instructions that are given to us and have to be passed down to the next generation, and so forth.

I hope this clarifies things. :)


Regards,
Rani Kaur
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby only4GOD » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:42 am

sikh_13 wrote:Our next generation does not exist!
Our leaders are exploiting on the hard work done by our ancestors and our fore-fathers!
Our girls seek marriage outside our religion!
Our Gurudwara prabhandaks are good businessmen seeking to make the best of the 'facility'!
Our youth lurk after 'tempetations'!
Our moderators are oriented towards their own goals!


So many things are "yours" sikh-13.

Do any of these claimed items actually belong to you or indeed to anybody at all?

Attachment does not have to be simply to goods; it can be to people, to processes and to practices. Religion is usually a set of practises, and it can become the be all and end all, with no recall of why one is practising.

People can get very attached to the practices of religions, so much so, that they lose track of how the religion came about. Sometimes the circumstances change so much from the founders times, that the religion just has to die, as it has no place in the changed world. The practices can be instantly recognised as nothing but out of place ritual, and new generations see it as such. There is constant evolution, and bemoaning it will not stop it. If it were possible to resist it successfully, we would be with all the very earliest religions from up to a million years ago, but very luckily we don't, as there were some pretty gory practices.

If you were to stick to Guru Nanak's message - Naam Jaapo, Kirat Karo, Vhand key Shako, then you would have nothing to fear even if you didn't follow routines and rituals prescribed rigorously by Tat Khalsa Sikhs. You would simply be a person who remembered God, worked hard to earn your keep, and compassionately shared any surplus. So what if you didn't pray twice a day, or didn't bow to a scripture, or drank the odd bit of alcohol to enjoy your evening, or trimmed your hair to make yourself presentable ? Doesn't mean you can't be nice to others, or have forgotten God, or you don't go to work.

Even if Tat Khalsa/Singh Sabha Sikhi disappears through in-fighting between recognised Sikhs, then the people who left it will still exist, and will still be able to follow Guru Nanak's message with complete ease, if they want to. They can also choose to follow any other religion, and should feel comfortable if they choose another path, if any.

These people who are not recognised as Sikhs need nothing from institutional Sikhism. They just get on with their God given lives, and try to enjoy it as best they can. It is the controlling Sikhs who don't recognise others as sikhs who are constantly lamenting their situation. They shoot themselves at every opportunity they can get, then they claim foul and wail.

Here is one bloggers web-site I came across just today, and it was interesting reading. When new youth read these sort of texts, then of course they might think about what is going on, and then they make up their own minds as to how to treat religions. Guru Nanak's message above is timeless, and has no limitations as are imposed by particular religions, like current day Sikhism.

http://sikhismexplained.wordpress.com/
Moderator comment: The above site appears to be propaganda that Sikhs are only Hindus.
It is cleverly disguised as inromation. Normally we would not allow promotion of such sites.


Your slant on the moderators is unwarranted. They are simply following the owners instructions, who are entitled to do as they please, just as you as owner of your house can choose somebody to work on it, and can choose what the chosen worker does to it. You would not allow anyone else to choose how your house is kept and who enters it.

You will see on another current thread in the discussion forum, that Sikhs did not allow Sikhs to enter a Gurudwara in London, because one different type of person, Professsor Darshan Singh, who claims allegiance only to SGGS, instead of two scriptures, was supposedly coming to town. So much for claimed open 4 doors to Gurudwaras, like Harmandir Sahib. The doors are controlled by gate-keepers, and always will be; that is what moderators are also there for; they do what the house-owner tells them to do, and in no way are they "yours" because they let you in sometimes. If the site-owners have chosen to be Tat Khalsa, instead of the 1000 other flavours of SIkhi, then that is your problem, and not theirs.

If you don't like the moderation, then you are free to set up your own forum, start a blog page, or join another very open forum that does allow you to express your views, eg topix.
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby Theodorus » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:24 am

rani_vancouver ji,

Off course you are not wrong in stating:
The very first question for a religious follower, or before doing any task/work, should be, why am I doing this, what purpose does it serve for me?

In this case, you should be asking what purpose a religion is to serve you?

The purpose is salvation, spirituality, realization of your true sacred self, becoming one with your higher self, the creator...
For all this, what you really need is the Guru, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. That you can read, research, pray from, while sitting at your own home. Guru Sahiban has blessed us with Shabad Guru by providing us a direct link with the Creator, so we don't have to depend on anyone.


But I was referring to:
Our next generation does not exist!

when I said:
In this case. you should be asking what purpose you are to your religion.

Implicating that when our next generation does not exist, the Guru's path to God will be lost also.

Isn't also our (God given) task to help others understand what it is all about. In other words to guide the next generation to such an amount that they too will be able to ask themselves what purpose religion serves for them so they too can find out that this purpose is salvation, spirituality etc.

Off course:
it is God who makes us to act in the fashion we do.
and
If someone has any virtues, those are also given by God's kindness as all virtues belong to Him. One should not take any kind of ownership or pride in any virtue or asset in anyway. Even if our actions are to sing His praises or do some actions which promote His virtues, this is also His kindness that we are doing it. We have nothing of our own that we can offer Him or do for Him,

But it would be a bit like watching somebody drown and deciding not to jump in to help him, reasoning that if God wants that person saved he will save him.
Everything we do is God given but God also gave us 'free will'.

In your analogy:
The best thing we can do is follow the instructions quickly and get out of there. Only kind thing we can do is for others who are trapped, to shout and let them know here are firemen, please get help etc... These firemen are no need of our help specially while we are trapped here.

Perhaps while you are getting out you can point the fireman in the right direction to where others (lying down uncounsiously, intoxicated) are, so they too can be rescued.
And keeping the Guru's example in mind, even risk and loose your life, in the rescue of others.
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Re: Sikhism Today! - will we survive??? (UNMODERATED)

Postby Theodorus » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:40 am

Punjabi G ji,

Although I'm not going to judge anybody or anything (who am I to do that?) I do agree with:
what needs to be remembered is that we as a member of this religion also have a duty.

and
The most important thing to remember is that we have Guru Granth Sahib as a spiritual guide and as long as we follow Guru Granth Sahib, we will be fine! Gurbani gives us all the tools we need and it’s important for every Sikh to get familiar with Guru Granth Sahib and it’s message. As Sikhs, we don’t have a priestly class and we don’t need to follow any religious "leaders" if their actions are not in accordance with Gurbani.

and
Things start at individual level and only individuals can make changes!
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