D&D Religion's "Ask About Sikhism" Thread Watch

USingh
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#361
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#361
(Original post by Oswy)
Many major religions have doctrines which are critical (sometimes mildly sometimes forcefully) of 'non-believers' (i.e. atheists or agnostics).

Does Sikhism have an official view on atheists and atheism?
You see in Sikhism the aim of life is to love God and experience the bliss of this. Obviously an atheist won't be doing any of this, but that's their loss really. Nothing else like "they must be destroyed" lol. Atheists are fellow human beings as much as a Sikh is or a member of another religion is, and a Sikh must also remember that it is God's own will that causes someone to be an atheist! Therefore we have no right whatsoever to feel hatred or be critical of atheists and it is God who in his own time will bring people towards him, nothing to do with us. Furthermore God tell's one to be humble and see his light in everyone equally.
In terms of the afterlife every individual soul will be judged based on their actions alone. If an atheist has done good in their life they will indeed be rewarded for this, just as any religious person would. However, they will not be able to enter God's presence. But hopefully if someone has been good they will be reborn understanding about the need to love God.
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USingh
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#362
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#362
(Original post by Suave)
"The genuine are placed in His Treasury, while the counterfeit are thrown away"

What does this mean? Who are the counterfeit and where do they go when they are thrown away?
The counterfeit are those who haven't understood God's command to always keep him in one's mind, to serve him through always keeping his name enshrined in the mind. IMO it's not really about where they are being sent TO, what's more important is that they are being sent OUT of God's court.
In sri Jap Ji Sahib Guru Nanak Dev Ji writes that the saints accepted by God sit there beautifully and with grace, those who haven't been approved by God can't possibly stay there with them.

Basing it on the rest of Gurbani, one would imagine where they go depends on how their life was spent. If they've done good deeds they may go to a heaven to 'enjoy' or be sent "down there" if they've done bad deeds. Then back to the cycle of births and deaths. If they were spiritually inclined in their previous life and they did make efforts to love God, then most likely they'll be reborn as a human straight away and probably into a spiritual household (how spiritual/which religion would depend on their karma or God's grace), or if they are really bad then they may be deprived of human life for God alone knows how long.
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Suave
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#363
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#363
(Original post by USingh)
The counterfeit are those who haven't understood God's command to always keep him in one's mind, to serve him through always keeping his name enshrined in the mind. IMO it's not really about where they are being sent TO, what's more important is that they are being sent OUT of God's court.
In sri Jap Ji Sahib Guru Nanak Dev Ji writes that the saints accepted by God sit there beautifully and with grace, those who haven't been approved by God can't possibly stay there with them.

Basing it on the rest of Gurbani, one would imagine where they go depends on how their life was spent. If they've done good deeds they may go to a heaven to 'enjoy' or be sent "down there" if they've done bad deeds. Then back to the cycle of births and deaths. If they were spiritually inclined in their previous life and they did make efforts to love God, then most likely they'll be reborn as a human straight away and probably into a spiritual household (how spiritual/which religion would depend on their karma or God's grace), or if they are really bad then they may be deprived of human life for God alone knows how long.
K, cheers.
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Oswy
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#364
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#364
Well, you're doing pretty well so-far I have to say, but how about this:

Is there anything in particular, any religious principle, law or prohibition in Sikhism which your average liberally minded atheist might find objectionable in your opionion. Isn't there any hint of what might be considered, outside of Sikh religion, as racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise might be considered contrary to western liberal society?

I mean to say, is Sikhism so nice that it offends no-one?
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USingh
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#365
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(Original post by Oswy)
Well, you're doing pretty well so-far I have to say, but how about this:
Haha! Glad to hear that :cool:

Is there anything in particular, any religious principle, law or prohibition in Sikhism which your average liberally minded atheist might find objectionable in your opionion. Isn't there any hint of what might be considered, outside of Sikh religion, as racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise might be considered contrary to western liberal society?

I mean to say, is Sikhism so nice that it offends no-one?
On race, as I said earlier the tenth Guru said "Recognise the human race as one", there is no difference between any race, no one is higher or lower than the other. The Guru's also taught eradication of the caste system and also not to think one class is higher than another. Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains prayers from both high and low castes and classes.

Sexism- The Guru's taught complete equality of the sexes. Women are in no way lower than men and are allowed to have as much involvement in religious activity as men are, I think Sikhism was the first religion in India (atleast) that had women leading 'services'. Women are also as involved in the martial side as men, and the baptised women also wear all 5ks including the sword. In actual fact one of the Tenth Guru's bodygaurds during war time was a woman!
Furthermore, any practices which could be seen to demean women, eg. the veil, or the old indian practice of Sati- a woman burning herself on her husband's funeral pyre, were banned.

Homosexuality- As a Sikh, one doesn't have any relationship outside the boundaries of marriage. The Anand Karaj- the Sikh marriage ceremony is designed to take place between a man and a woman. Therefore, if someone does have homosexual urges, they can be a Sikh, but just can't act on them.
If someone want's to live a full homosexual lifestyle outside of Sikhism, that's nothing to do with anyone. God alone judges someone, not a human. All we need to think about is God's light being present in all humanity, and act accordingly. We are not here on earth to argue with people.

On the issue of liberalism, I think it would be an understatement to say that Sikhism believes in "live and let live". It would be more apt to say Sikhism believes "I will die so that you can live how you wish".
A prime example of this would be the sacrifice given by the ninth Guru. Under fanatical Mughal rule in India which sought to convert all non-muslims,Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib gave his life so that Hindus(who's beliefs are rejected by Sikhism) could have the right to practice their religion!

You may want to have a look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omCpLbe9zuM
The whole vid is great but 3:50 onwards is to do with what you are asking.

So in short:p: , IMO I don't think Sikhism could really offend anyone.
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Suave
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#366
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#366
What do you mean by the first religion in India that enabled women to lead 'services'?
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USingh
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#367
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Leading the daily temple programmes and reading from the scriptures to the whole congregation. If I'm wrong I apologise, it was just something I've read in a few articles over the years (written by both Sikhs and non-sikhs).
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Suave
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#368
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#368
Women would read and teach from the Vedas to brahmins in the Vedic Period so I wouldn't say that what you said was accurate.
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CHAMON
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#369
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#369
(Original post by USingh)

Sikhism could not offend anyone.
That's true. Here is an article by an Atheist.


John Smith from Atheist Society Writes About Sikhism:

Dear Ali, please help us. We were very impressed with your website and agreed that religion in general is no longer needed, we can all be humanistic and live in peace and harmony. We are in the process of making a website which will hopefully help to destroy the religious doctrines which divide humanity. We were doing great with knocking out Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha'i, even Buddhism but we have gotten very stuck with Sikhism. This religion is (to put it nicely) "a big pain in the ass" (Please pardon the language) We have only found one site which tries (very poorly) to argue that even this religion is not needed, but the argument is irrational and very unscientific unlike the very rational arguments you use.

When we read the following from your website, we found what you said to be amazingly interesting: "Doubt Everything Find Your Own Light." "Last Words Dear friend, if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next. You can expend all your life or look for eternity and will find nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Look instead in service to humanity. You will find “meaning” in your love for other human beings. You can experience God when you help someone who needs your help. The only truth that counts is the love that we have for each other. This is absolute and real. The rest is mirage, fancies of human imagination and fallacies of our own making." By Ali Sina Why is this interesting? Because we found this religion of Sikhism to be in agreement with you! This is why we have a problem. We tried to look at their holy text (Adi Granth) but didnt find the usual absurdities we found in the other religious books. In fact its refreshingly inspiring and very good!? Maybe you can have some better luck.

We tried to visit a couple of websites and got more of a shock. Did you know that they believed in Democracy, freedom of speech, choice, expression, freedom of religion, pluralism, human rights, equality between men and women, equality of all people regardless of race, religion, caste, creed, status etc. 300 years before the existance of the USA! Theirs is the only religion which says in their religious scriptures that women are equal in every respect to men. They even had women soldiers leading armies in to battle against "you know who" (The usual suspects - Muslims!) Their history is a proud one, they fought in both World Wars. Even Hitler praised them for their bravery and Aryan heritage! Dear Ali, this religion is hard for us to try and criticise but you are an expert and may find some faults overlooked by us. In their holy book, there is a round earth, water is made from chemical elements, there is even mention of the evoution process, big bang and life on other planets! This is pretty crazy and amazing stuff, who would have thought that these New York taxi drivers (There are lots of Sikh taxi drivers in NY) would have such an amzing faith? We read up some information of what Bertrand Russell had to say about Sikhism, this is the man who destroyed Christianity (same applies to Islam and Judaism) and exposed its absurdities, but even this great man got stuck when it came to Sikhism! In fact he gave up and said "that if some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them. Russell was asked that he was talking about the third world war, but isn't this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? In reply, Russell said, "Yes, it has the capability, but the Sikhs have not brought out in the broad daylight, the splendid doctrines of this religion which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it."

Please bear in mind that Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher and free thinker. We have been trying for weeks now to find a way to fairly and rationally criticize and find fault with this religion but have failed. We even found out that there are many people converting to this religion in the USA and Europe as well as Russia (Mostly well educated and affluent white people). We tried to find some of their literature and see what kind of claims they make, but unfortunatley they have no missionary material as they do not have missionsaries! People become Sikh by learning usually by chance or by coming in to contact with them. They are currently the 5th biggest religion in the world and growing quite fast in the west and Russia. Please help us as we are stuck, to give you an example of they are all about we found the following websites: http://www.sikhnet.com (This is a pretty good site and helpful) http://www.hope.at/sikhism (This site is very easy to follow, check it out, they have a Womans section and a Martyrs section, it looks like that you are not the only one trying to expose the falseness of Islam, Sikhs scholars did it hundreds of years ago and got killed for it!) http://www.sikhs.org (This is the site that was on CNN when Sikhs in the USA were mistaken for Arabs and Middle Easterners and were attacked by mindless morons)

Please help us out, we cant make our website about religion being the cause of war and disharmony when we have this one and only religion which makes a hell of a lot of sense! lol (I thought Atheism had all the answers but were kind of stuck now.) We look forward to hearing from you, we respect your great views and want to promote them to everyone, thank you for your time, take care.
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CHAMON
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#370
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#370
BTW - The above was addressed to 'Faith Freedom' an anti Islam site. (and also covers other religions)
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_H_
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#371
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(Original post by CHAMON)
That's true. Here is an article by an Atheist.
not entirely convinced by the authenticity of that letter/article...
would be nice if its true, but even if it isn't it woudn't matter (to a Sikh)
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CHAMON
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#372
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(Original post by _H_)
not entirely convinced by the authenticity of that letter/article...
would be nice if its true, but even if it isn't it woudn't matter (to a Sikh)
True,

But, if you want confirmation you can write to the author to verify it.
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Suave
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#373
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#373
Do Sikhs pray to Ambe/Durga Ma? Reason I ask is because I found this and this.
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USingh
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#374
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#374
Woah woaahhh big no no
In doing that he is automatically NOT a Sikh anymore (thats if he even was Amritdhari in the first place, hes not even wearing a kirpan (sword) ).
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Suave
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#375
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#375
Really? Why does Guru Govind Singh praise Durga Ma (at least allegedly) in in the Chand Di Var?
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USingh
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#376
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Lol, I had a feeling that this was coming up soon
Firstly praise in terms of worship is only towards Vaheguru/God, who is formless.
If you have read Guru Gobind Singh Ji's writings, it becomes crystal clear that he ONLY worships Vaheguru, and many times in comparison to Vaheguru he has 'put down' the devtas, anyone who has read these isn't left with an iota of doubt that he worshiped any of them.
Now,you need to understand that it was Guru Gobind Singh Ji's nature that when he talked about someone, he ALWAYS praised their good qualities, because that's the way he was. There is a difference between praising someone's good qualities and worshipping someone.

Take for example the Zafarnama, although it's original form is a letter to the Emporer Aurganzeb, it is a prayer in its own right. Aurangzeb had been barbaric to the Sikhs, broken oaths that he had taken over his own religion (promising to allow Sikhs to pass peacefully but then attacking them nonetheless). And warring against Aurganzeb's armies Guru Gobind Singh Ji's two elder sons had been martyred. He completely spoke against him and put him down for breaking his oath in the first part of the letter, however look at what Guru Sahib wrote here in one part of the Zafarnama:

"Aurangzeb is the King of Kings and very prosperous. He is a good swordsman and agile horse rider.
Aurangzeb is beauty personified. He is bright minded and the Lord of His Kingdom"
There are PLENTY more lines like this about him. Had people been worshippers of Aurangzeb, they would start saying that Guru Gobind Singh Ji worshipped him also!

Now, what was the purpose behind Chandi Di vaar? It's not the characters involved that we are intrested in. The vaar is about a war, it is the war that is the reason Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote it. People pick out lines which are 'praising' the characters, namely Chandi/durga, however as I have explained above, this is simply where Guru Sahib appreciates the good points in everyone.
At the start of the Vaar Guru Gobind Singh Ji praises first of all God almighty, then the Guru's. Then there is another paragraph where he explains that God, as part of his play created 'demigods and demons' and caused them to fight each other. Therefore it is clear that none of the characters used in this vaar are God himself. Dasam Granth (the book of the tenth Guru) is only to be studied after Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and furtheremore the first two prayers in the Dasam Granth are the Jaap Sahib and the Akal Ustat, this is all for a specific reason, as after going through all of these its CRYSTAL CLEAR that only Vaheguru/the one formless God is to be worshipped.
So, in actual fact the only purpose Chandi Di Vaar it is simply a description of a war, using characters that most would be familiar with.
What the actual use of it is of the descriptions of war tactics and the swinging of the sword, it is the exquisite poetry of Guru Gobind Singh Ji that brings these things to life, therefore the use of larger than life characters is very much fitting.

In conclusion, Chandi Di vaar is simply a poem describing a battle, the wonderfully written descriptions of the battle by Guru Gobind Singh Ji evoke the warrior spirit and this is the meaning behind the poem. What characters were used does not matter and is not the focus of the poem. It is simply an epic which describes a battle between good and evil and the acts of bravery that were carried out in the war, and the way they were described, are there simply to inspire one to fight.

Hope that helped
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Suave
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#377
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Thanks.

Could you also explain to me why Guru Govind Singh prays to Shiva in the Dasam Granth where it reads:

O Shiva , grant me this boon,
That a may never avoid doing a good deed,
Never fear the enemy when I go into battle,
But surely go on to victory;
That I mat teach myself this greed alone,
To sing only of Thy praises.
And when the last days of my life come,
I may die in the mighty field of battle.
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USingh
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#378
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Aaah I just love Deh Shiva, the Khalsa national anthem.

The word 'Shiva' means "embodiment of goodness" (or along those lines depending on how one wishes to translate it). As you must know, what Hindus call Shiva, is also known as 'Mahadev'. In Kabyo Baach Benti Chaupai, Guru Gobind Singh Ji speaks against the use of the adjective 'Shiva' for the deity worshipped by Hindus, 'Mahadev'.

"He calls 'Mahadev' the eternal embodiment of goodness (Shiv), (and) does not know the formless lord."

So as you can see, in Deh Shiva Guru Gobind Singh Ji is praying to Vaheguru alone.
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Suave
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#379
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(Original post by USingh)
Aaah I just love Deh Shiva, the Khalsa national anthem.

The word 'Shiva' means "embodiment of goodness" (or along those lines depending on how one wishes to translate it).
From which language are you translating?

As you must know, what Hindus call Shiva, is also known as 'Mahadev'. In Kabyo Baach Benti Chaupai, Guru Gobind Singh Ji speaks against the use of the adjective 'Shiva' for the deity worshipped by Hindus, 'Mahadev'.
"He calls 'Mahadev' the eternal embodiment of goodness (Shiv), (and) does not know the formless lord."
I don't understand this. Can you elaborate further?
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SolInvictus
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#380
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(Original post by USingh)
Aaah I just love Deh Shiva, the Khalsa national anthem.

The word 'Shiva' means "embodiment of goodness" (or along those lines depending on how one wishes to translate it). As you must know, what Hindus call Shiva, is also known as 'Mahadev'. In Kabyo Baach Benti Chaupai, Guru Gobind Singh Ji speaks against the use of the adjective 'Shiva' for the deity worshipped by Hindus, 'Mahadev'.

"He calls 'Mahadev' the eternal embodiment of goodness (Shiv), (and) does not know the formless lord."

So as you can see, in Deh Shiva Guru Gobind Singh Ji is praying to Vaheguru alone.
Actually, no. Siva is a sanskrit word that literally means something to what we would understand in English as calm or temperate. Indeed, in its earliest uses it is not a name, but an epiteth of 'the one' regardless of its form.
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