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Sikhism; the most advanced religion?

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posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 08:04 AM
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I was just reading about Sikhism recently and I am very impressed with what I read about it. We often hear a lot of criticism about religion being regressive, controlling, close-minded, ego-centric, fundamentalist, dogmatic violent etc.

For the first time I have across a religion to which one none these criticisms apply. In fact Sikhism is completely the opposite. A religion way ahead of it's time.

Background

Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak who was in 1469 who was born into a Hindu family. He was strongly opposed to the doctrines of Hinduism and Islam and created a religion that some call a synthesis and purification of Hindu and Islamic thought. However, Sikhism has many unique beliefs and rituals of it's own. Guru Nanak is said to be a very charitable, enlightened humble and god-loving man. He enjoyed the company of spiritual and religious men as a child, though his father did not approve of this and wanted him to lead a socially normal life of earning a decent living, marrying and raising a family.

A story goes that his father gave him a large amount of money for Nanak to set-up his own business. Nanak, while walking in town spotted a group of hungry ascetics under a tree that he spent the money on feeding them all. His father was furious and chided him, but Nanak insisted that it was a true bargain.

Nanak was strongly opposed to the Hindu caste system, superstitions and religion itself. Nanak believed all men and women are born equal and born without religion. He is famous for the saying "there is Hindu and no Muslim" he advocates the true religion is that of god and brotherhood.

Guru Nanak was known to mock the rituals of many religions. An example of which was when he partook in a Hindu ritual in the Ganges. Where thousands stood in the Ganges facing east and making offering of water to the departed souls of friends and family. Nanak, mocked them, by facing west. The people around him jeered at him telling he was suppose to face east. Nanak then said "why and to whom are you making this offering" and in unison they responded "This water is suppose to reach our dead forefathers in the heaven" Nanak smiled and said "I too am watering my crops miles away, if your water can reach the heavens, can't mine reach my crops"

Guru Nanak claimed to have had communion with god and preached to both Hindus and muslims alike across India and Tibet, getting a huge following from both the Hindu and Muslim religions, his disciples he called "sikhs" which means "learned" or "able disciple" and founded the religion Sikhism. Before his death, he selected one of his disciples through testing to be handed the title of "guru" meaning teacher. This practice was carried out in succession until the 10th and last guru.

The gurus were said to be very learned and enlightened men, and were said to possess special abilities and healing powers. They are all depicted with golden auras. They all maintained that no man should bow to anyone but god and prohibited their followers from worshiping the gurus themselves.

The practices of Sikhism

Sikhism is the only religion in the world that has the practice of giving free food to the hungry. According to the gurus the right to food and water is a basic right of human life and should not be denied to anyone. This food should be served at temples(gudwaras) by sikhs.

The food should contain a variety of vegetables, breads, lentils, sweets to satisfy the nutritional requirements, and ones hunger,and be enjoyable for the people.

The other practices include singing hymns together and community activites, games to maintain positive cohesion.

The main beliefs, principles and values of Sikhism

According to Sikhism, Sikhism is not the only way to attain god, but one of them.

1. Monotheism:

There is only one god, and he is "true name" he has no gender or form. In God is both refered to as a he and a she. He/she is omnipresent and maniest in everything but also a soverign and omnipotent.

2. Infinite and eternal life:

All human and animals have souls and they go through a succession of many lives in many life forms untill they are liberated from the cycle of birth and death and reunite with the source.

The creator created many planets, universes and there is life on them.

3. Reality

The physical universe is "maya" or illusion. Nothing exists, nor space nor time. Matter is nothing more than a veil that hides the absolute reality and man must attain spiritual trascedence and free themselves of desire to break free from the illusion.

While, the material reality is an illusion, it is immediately real to the senses of man. A man expeiences trascedence not by ascetism, but by living in society and contributing and leading a balanced life of work, charity and meditation.

3. The laws of the universe

There is only one law of the universe and that is Karma. For every cause there is an effect.

4. Moral and values

- All men and women are equal. We are all part of the same source.

- Work honestly and hard and become independent

- Respect all life. Any life has the spirit of God.

- Fight and defend for the rights of men and animals

- Share and Donate 10% of your earnings to charity and the poor

- We all have our own personal rights of freedom, but must also accept that our rights are limited by our society and it's laws and must live accordingly.

- All Men and women should uphold their chastity untill marriage. They then should operate as a family unit, live with each other lovingly and nuture their children.

Immorals and prohibited behavior:

- No superstitions, idol worship, animal sacrfice, fasting, circumcision, worship of graves/pictures, wearing of cumpolsory veils for women or pilgrimages. The temple of god resides within and it can be reached by a thought.

- Do not succumb to the obsession of greed for material possessions. They are all temporary and you will depart without them when you pass away.

- Do not take drugs, alcohol and tobacco and other intoxcicants. They will only degrade the thinking faculties and impair health.

An interesting story is what one Guru said about tobacco hundreds of years before it was discovered it was injurious to health. He said to one of his disciples "While alcohol can destroy many families; tobacco can destroy many generations"

- Do not engage in petty superficial gossip, bragging and lying

- Do not worship or idolize priests. There is no priestly class and one can engage in religious rituals or prayers without them.

5. The purpose of life salvation

A man attains transcedence by work, charity and meditation. A man accures karma by his actions. Always have a positive and optimistic outlook view of life even in sorrow that abounds in life.

A man must conquer five enemies; pride, anger, greed, attachment, and lust with five weapons; Contentment, charity, kindness, positive attitude, humility.

[edit on 27-12-2004 by Indigo_Child]




posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 09:12 AM
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One of the nicest kids I ever met was a young sikh I met in California. They have the advantage ofbeing just odd enough to esapce immersion in this culture, which should keep their minds alive.

When we played, he would charge at full speed and we would meet each other in mid air, to collide like charging knights in a joust.

I once asked him to take off his headscarf and He told me his hair was about three feet long. He was probably ten at the time. Harmonus was his name, and I do fondly recall him.

Arkaleus



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 01:19 PM
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I was reading about the practice of heard scarves/turbans and not cutting the hair. It is the only aspect of Sikhism that is a bit iffy with me.

The sikhs believe that hair has an electrcity of some kind and should not be violated.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 06:10 PM
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That's very interesting. I was researching the beliefs, histories, and practices of every major religion awhile ago, and haven't found near the amount of information you have found. It does seem to be a religion ahead of its time, and is much like Buddhism with which I share many beliefs. The only thing that jumped out at me was the value of donating 10% of income to charity. I've never seen such a thing mentioned in any religion before. I'm not trying to discredit you or anything, but I'd definately like to know where you found your information. If I read some more about it I might just convert. About the practice with hair growing.....it seems a little off to me too, but you'll rarely find anything that encompassed ALL of your beliefs. You can still be a Sikh and not practice it. I've got a friend who's Sikh and told me awhile ago that many practicioners of the religion don't follow this rule but still consider themselves Sikh.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 09:20 PM
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It's always interesting to see what the Gnostic Guru, Samael Aun Weor, has to say about any given subject.

This is what I found regarding the Sikh religion, in his book titled: "Esoteric Treatise of Hermetic Astrology"(Bear in mind, that it is from a PDF translation that may not be fully accurate):





CHAPTER 5

LEO


Annie Besant narrates a case of Master Nanak, which is well worth the while to transcribe:


“It was a Friday that day, and when the hour of prayer arrived, master and servant headed towards the mosque. When the Kari (Muslim Priest) started the prayers, the Nabob and his retinue prostrated themselves, as is prescribed by the Mohammedan Rite; Nanak remained standing, still and silent. Once the prayer had ended, the Nabob confronted the young man and, indignant, he asked him:"

“Why have you not fulfilled the ceremonies of the Law? You are a liar and a fake. You should not have come here to stand like a post".


Nanak replied:

“You prostrated yourself with your face on the floor while your thoughts wandered through the clouds, for you were thinking of bringing horses from Candar and not in the recitation of the prayer. As to the Priest, he was automatically practicing the ceremonies of prostration, while at the same time his thoughts were in saving the she- donkey that gave birth days ago. How was I going to pray with people who kneel out of routine and repeat words like a parrot?"


"The Nabob confessed that in effect, he had been thinking during the entire ceremony on the planned purchase of horses. As far as the Kari was concerned, he openly manifested his disgust and pressed the young man with many questions."



Really, it is necessary to learn how to pray scientifically; the one who learns to intelligently combine Prayer with Meditation, will obtain marvelous Objective results.

But it is urgent to comprehend that there are different Prayers and that their results are different.

There are Prayers which are accompanied by petitions, but not all prayers are accompanied by petitions.

There are very ancient Prayers which are authentic Recapitulations of Cosmic events and we can experience their entire content if we meditate on each word, on each phrase, with true conscious devotion.

The Our Father is a Magical formula of immense sacerdotal power, but it is urgent to comprehend in depth and in a total manner the profound meaning of each word, of each phrase, of each supplication.


The Our Father is a prayer of petition, a prayer to converse with the Father who is in secrecy. The Our Father combined with deep Meditation produces Marvelous Objective results.

The Gnostic Rituals, Religious Ceremonies are authentic treatises of Occult Wisdom for the person who knows how to meditate, for those who comprehend with the heart.

The one who wishes to tread the Path of the Tranquil Heart, should concentrate the Prana, Life and the Sexual Energy in the cerebrum and the mind in the Heart.

It is Urgent to learn to think with the heart, to deposit the mind in the Heart Temple. The Cross of Initiation is always received in the marvelous Temple of the Heart.


Nanak, the founding Master of the Sikh Religion in the sacred land of the Vedas, taught the path of the Heart.

Nanak taught fraternity among all Religions, Schools, sects, etc.



When we attack all Religions or any Religion in particular, we commit the crime of violating the Law of the Heart.

In the Heart-Temple, there is a place for all religions, sects, orders, etc.

All Religions are precious pearls strung on the golden thread of the Divinity.
Our Gnostic Movement is made up by people of all religions, schools, sects, spiritualsocieties, etc.

In the Heart-Temple there is place for all religions, for all worships. Jesus said: “Loving one another thou shalt prove that thou art my disciples


The Sikh Scriptures, like those of every religion, are really ineffable.

Among the Sikhs, Omkara is the Primary Divine Being who created heaven, the Earth, the waters and all that exists.

“Omkara: is the Unmanifested, Endless, Primary Spirit, without a beginning, without an end, whose Light illuminates the Fourteen Dwellings, instantaneous knower, internal regulator of every heart."

“Space is its power. The Sun and the Moon are its lamps. The army of the stars, its pearls, Oh Father! The odoriferous breeze of the Himalayas is your incense. The wind refreshes you. The plant kingdom pays you tributes of flowers, Oh Light! For you are the hymns of praise, oh, destroyer of fear! The Anatal Shabda (Virgin Sound) resounds as your drums. You have no eyes and you have them by the thousands. You have no feet and you have them by the thousands. You have no nose and you have them by the thousands. This your marvelous work enraptures us. Your Light, Oh, Glory, is in all things! The Light of your Light radiates from all beings. This Light radiates from the teachings of the Master. It is an Arati."


Nanak, the Great Master, in accordance with the Upanishads, comprehends that Brahma (the Father), is One and that the Ineffable Gods are merely his partial manifestations, reflections of his Absolute Beauty.



The Guru-Deva is the one who is already one with the Father (Brahma). Fortunate is the one who has a Guru-Deva as a guide and director. Blessed be the one who has found the Master of Perfection.

The path is narrow, strait and frighteningly difficult. One needs the Guru-Deva, the director, the guide.

In the Heart-Temple we will find Han, the Being. In the heart-Temple we will find the Guru-Deva.


Now we will transcribe a few Sikh stanzas about the Devotion to the Guru-Deva.


“ Nanak! Recognize him as the true Guru, the beloved one who unites you to The All...

“A hundred times a day I would like to sacrifice myself for my Guru who has converted me into a God in a short time.”

“Even if one hundred Moons and a thousand Suns shone, profound darkness would reign without the Guru.”

“Blessed be my Venerable Guru who knows Han (the Being) and who has taught us to treat friends and enemies alike.”

“Oh, Lord! Favor us with the company of Guru-Deva, so that together with Him, we, lost sinners, may make a journey by swimming.”

“Guru-Deva, the true Guru, is Para-Brahma, the Supreme Lord. Nanak prostrates himself before Guru-Deva Han.”



In India, a Samyasin of the mind is one who serves the true Guru-Deva, who has found him in the heart, who works in the Dissolution of the Lunar Ego.

Whoever wants to put an end to the Ego, to the "I", should annihilate Anger, Covetousness, Lust, Envy, Pride, Laziness, Gluttony. It is only by putting an end to all those defects in all the Levels of the Mind, that the "I" dies in a radical, total and definite manner.





PEACE

[edit on 27-12-2004 by Tamahu]



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 09:28 PM
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I find this immensely interesting and plan on doing some research!
Anyone with any starting links to share?



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 09:30 PM
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Where's ZeroDeep when you need him? He's our resident Sikh and give a true insight to his religion.

Hinduism has a few similarities to Sikhism, however from my understanding and teachings of hindu pandits, Sikhism is like an extremist form of hinduism. They believe you must accept all the Gurus (I think there is 10, not sure, Deep?) and accept all their structures, such as the hair etc, if not you are not a true Sikh.

Now I understand that the all religions have their moderates and that to me is the better Sikh religion, the more moderate one. The original Sikhism to me seems almost dictatorish in its structure and rigidity for acceptance.

Deep, please correct my ignorance if I am wrong.



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 01:16 AM
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Zhangmaster,

Yeah Sikhism does seem very close to Buddhism, that is partially because both are based on the same Vedic roots. However, Sikhism has distinct differences as well.

While Buddhism encourages ascetism; Sikhism encourages that a man contributes to society and leads a balanced life of work, charity and meditation. I am completely in agreement with this, because if men do not contribute to the advancement and betterment of society, then it will weaken and fragment.

Sikhism says that spirituality is practiced through karma that can only be accured through action in the immediate reality. It makes sense to me. if salvation could be attained through conceptions, then why would we incarnate in physical reality?

Guru Nanak said spirituality is practiced through action, meditation and charity and he called it a rememberance. I know that I am infinite, eternal, all knowing and inperishable, but yet I am not. So how do I actualise what I know? The process of actualization is through action.

So to know that I am the absolute; I must know that I am not the absolute. I must know who I am at this moment. At this moment I am a physical human; a part of a society. This is like Buddhism - to eventually attain a state of the non-dual mind through spiritual evolution.

Sikhism, however, maintains a more scientific notion that evolution is also physical. According to Sikhism, the form of "man" is the highest and is attained after evolving from lesser complex life.

The most fundamental difference between Sikhism and Buddhism is how God is percieved. Buddhists believe in an impersonal and all pervading life force/energy. While, Sikhism believes in a personal, sovereign and all pervading life force/energy.


The only thing that jumped out at me was the value of donating 10% of income to charity.


Yes, this does seem to be true.

en.wikipedia.org...

Sharing: It is encouraged to share and give to charity 10 percent of one’s net earnings.


I've got a friend who's Sikh and told me awhile ago that many practicioners of the religion don't follow this rule but still consider themselves Sikh.


Yes, I know many Sikhs who do not follow this rule either. Sikh simply means "learned" and in fact it seems more like the social system of an advanced spiritual society.

Have you noted that both Jesus and Krishna were said to have long hair?

[edit on 28-12-2004 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 02:21 AM
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Now I understand that the all religions have their moderates and that to me is the better Sikh religion, the more moderate one. The original Sikhism to me seems almost dictatorish in its structure and rigidity for acceptance.

Deep, please correct my ignorance if I am wrong.


I personally don't get the impression of dictatorship from Sikhism. It sounds like your Hindu priest has some miconceptions. That of course does not surprise me.

Sikhism is perhaps the only religion in the world that says that it is not the only way or religion to reach God, but one of many. It also states that all men and women are equal. This is a polar opposite to the Hindu caste system and practices of "sati" burning women alive when their widowed.

Sikhism also allows non-sikhs to enter it's temples.

That certainly does not suggest extremism, does it?



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 03:08 AM
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For some information about sikhism you guys can check out,

www.sikhs.org
www.sikh-history.com...

It has a lot of information about Sikhism. I'm Sikh myself, and most of what is posted here is correct. All are welcome in the temples, called Gurdwara's, and food is provided for all. A small donation is usually given when entering the prayer hall, usually $1 here in the US. People sit and listen to the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, which contains the teachings and stories of the 10 Guru's. This book is considered the final Guru. Donations are made by many families in the communities surrounding the Gurdwara.

The part about not cutting the hair usually now applies to those seeking a sort of baptism called Amrit. If u take part in the ceremony u become a true devotee of God, and follow the strict rules of the religion. Nowadays, with increasingly growing population in the US and Canada, some of the ways are not so strictly practiced, such as cutting of hair.

The religion is pretty peaceful, advocating love, hardwork, family, and meditation. We are taught to respect all people and all religions, because God comes to his people in many different ways.

There was a lot of fighting in the 80's, with India conducting Operation Blue Star to kill as many Sikhs as possible. The history of Sikhism is very interesting; it includes driving back the Muslims, creation of a Sikh kingdom, war against Britain during their occupation, and the handing over of the Kohi-noor Diamond at the end of the Second Anglo-Sikh War. Later came British division of Sikh kingdom, and brought upon drama with Pakistan and Kashmir.



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 10:12 AM
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I have a question. I have been studying on this. What does this faith believe about "karma" In actuality....this faith follows a lot of what I already follow in Wicca.....but though I understand that all people are children of the one energy force, what happens at the end of all.....I currently believe that you continue to reincarnate time after time....until you get it right in living a good clean life and achieve the purity to merge with the all creating energy force (God?) if you don't...you just continue to have to relive it till you get it right (such as murders, rapists, those that lie, steal etc...)



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 04:17 PM
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The first truth that Sikh boy taught me of his faith was the name of the first Guru: Nanak.

The story related above was a refutation against the Muslims, who at the time of Nanak's conversion had conquered India. The Indians practiced their Hindu religion alongside the Muslim faith, and the two often disagreed about theological matters. Nanak, a true Master, does not accept the social pressure of the Muslim Prayer, and directly speaks the truth of what is going on in the thoughts of the Muslim faithful. In this fashion He affirms God's True Faith in the chiding of the Muslims for their lack of True Spiritual Gnosis.

To learn the tools is like the prayer, for they have submitted themselves to Allah, but to use and guide the tools of faith and prayer should be the aim of the craftsman.

Nanak is brave and stands against the people that outnumber and surround him. This affirms the divine quality of Nanak's words, because him who is sent by God does not fear men when delivering the truth.

Because of this strength, he is able to communicate the vital wisdom of directive use of the Pure Thought. This is the kind of leadership and society we need to found our Magnificent Race upon the earth. These are the kind of wise men to guide the setting of her foundation stones.

It is like Saying to America: "You all obey the law, and work diligently as the law commands, but what is it you produce with your labor?"

To what end go your efforts and thoughts, if not your money? Americans, like those Muslims in the days of Nanak, perhaps even today, forget that greatness and goodness do not lie in mere obedience to forms of social orders and material possessions, but in the constructive and intelligent direction of spiritual power and awareness.

So to what then, Americans, do you direct your mind to now?

Arkaleus.



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by LadyV
I have a question. I have been studying on this. What does this faith believe about "karma" In actuality....this faith follows a lot of what I already follow in Wicca.....but though I understand that all people are children of the one energy force, what happens at the end of all.....I currently believe that you continue to reincarnate time after time....until you get it right in living a good clean life and achieve the purity to merge with the all creating energy force (God?) if you don't...you just continue to have to relive it till you get it right (such as murders, rapists, those that lie, steal etc...)


I am not very familiar with the faith of Wicca, however from what you have said, it is similar in some ways.

There IS a sovereign god with whom we can have a personal relationship, of whom we are children, smaller parts that form the greater whole.

We go through the cycles of birth and death in many life forms until we are liberated and reunite with the source. So, it's not really a question of "getting it right" It's more about experiencing the multiple facets of reality and life through a synergy of action, charity and meditation.



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 08:09 PM
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Well, there is nothing for me to add in respect to the Sikh doctrine, in theory and scripture; however, if I might add, as pious as it may seem in theory, the mundane utterance and outright onerous attitude of it's current form has been deliterious to the teachings of the Gurus.

Loony: good to see more Sikhs on this site, are you Punjabi? If so, then maybe you can vouch for Punjabism superseding Sikhism.

Deep



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 11:20 PM
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I am Punjabi also, first generation American. The current attitudes and prevailing authoritarian structure of the Gurdwara's, coupled with the mindset of some of the people has led to a belief stucture that isn't what the Guru Granth Sahib expresses. I think things changed in 1984, as fierce opposition of the indian government's actions fueled outright dissent among those in the Sikh community.

The next generation of youth seem to be wildly different, as they have made the gurdwara's into a youth community, with activities, teachings, and lectures geared toward getting them to understand the tenets of the religion and to learn how to practice them, something that much of the adults have forgotten.



posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 11:03 PM
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Text Red

FOR EVERYONE.....whose main concern is TURBAN.......

From an article that Shanti Kaur Khalsa presented at the Women's Seminar at the World Sikh Samelan, Amritsar, 1995.


"...Physiologically speaking, the turban creates a dramatic effect on the body. The human skull is not solid, but is made up of 52 moving plates, whose alignment affects our well being and our mental processes. Osteopathic Doctors have developed a science of cranial adjustments to treat many general and specific ailments. By tying the turban, and thus creating the proper pressure and angles, the bones of the skull are automatically adjusted, and remain aligned throughout the day. In situations of mental activity or emotional stress, when the cranial bones tend to go out of proper alignment, the turban contains and maintains the integrity of the skull. This contributes greatly to our strength and ability to succeed under pressure. In addition to this, the effect of the Kesh properly combed-up and the acupressure points that the turban presses at the temple contributes to the person's ability to maintain an elevated state of mind, a higher state of consciousness. All of this was apparent to me the very first day I wore the turban of the Khalsa..."



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