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Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

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  #1  
Old 26 July 2010, 07:36 PM
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Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

I would like ONLY our Sikh friends in this forum to help me with my understanding, or lack thereof, of our almost identical/slightly diverging spiritual paths. If my thought process is flawed at any point, it was by no means meant to show any disrespect, and I would like to be corrected on that.

As per my understanding of the Sikh practices,

1. The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the Guru.
2. The Guru (in the form of) Guru Granth Sahib is given a place of honor, which is decorated with flowers and symbols; and the scripture covered with nice/expensive pieces of cloth.
3. Everyone prostates before this Holy book which represents the Guru.
4. Hymns are read/sung from this Holy book and the Pathi explains their meaning.
5. A food plate is kept by the side for the blessing of the Guru, which is mixed with the rest of the food to make it Langar.

In Hinduism,

1. The devotees prostrates before a deity, which represents God Himself.
2. God (in the form of deity) is given a place of honor on the alter and is decorated with tilak, nice outfits and flowers.
3. Hymns are read from Bhagwad Gita and their meaning explained in the form of a Pravachan.
4. Food offered to and blessed by the Lord is mixed with the rest of the food to make it Prasadam.


In one case I am supposed to believe that some ordinary paper with hymns printed on it becomes sacred and represents the Guru; while in the other case, clay or marble or a piece of wood formed into a deity represents God Himself.

In one case devotees prostrate before the Book representing the Guru; in the other case they do it before the deity representing the Lord Himself.

In both cases, they read/sing hymns which essentially define their dharma.

Both eat the food sanctified by the presence of divinity in their middle.

In both cases people are exercising their beliefs in front of a Guru or a Deity.

Why the acrimony?

On a different note,
Regarding the caste system in Hinduism, Boota Singh has been cabinet minister in many central governments in India because he represented the Dalits and the Sikhs. And the people working in the crematoriums in Punjab are served food outside of the main dining area of a Gurdwara. We do have Dalits among Sikhs too. It is something culturally rooted amongst people of all religions there.

We have so many varnas and social groupings in Hinduism. If one were to check the matrimonial section of any Sunday paper in Punjab or Delhi, one would see the various groupings that the prospective Sikh brides/grooms belong to, and the request that suitable matching families from those groupings only need apply.

Why cant we just accept the fact that we have two sets of books in two different languages meant to meet the spiritual needs of people based on their religious affiliation? Why do the beliefs/practices of one have to be shown as better than the other? Why can't we accept that some of our common deficiencies are culturally rooted. Most of all, why must each group pick apart what they consider to be deficiencies of the other and gloat over them?
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Old 27 July 2010, 05:35 PM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

I completely agree with your last sentence. People who think their religion is superior are the stupidest people. Especially true for hindus and sikhs whose religion preaches that everything and everybody is manifestation of God.

I would like to make just few comments ( to highlight the difference):
1. Sikhs who practice the caste system are doing it opposite of what the religion tells. Basically, they can't defend their practice by quoting religious text.
2. The halwa becomes prasad only by Kirpan, not by sitting besides the guru granth. And all prasad is eaten, nothing is left for the "guru"

Not a ideological difference, but a practice difference, is amount of time visitors spend in listening to the kirtan. The times I have visited the temple with my hindu friends, they just rang the bell, did matha-tek, took prasad and out.
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Old 29 July 2010, 12:03 AM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Quote:
As per my understanding of the Sikh practices,

1. The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the Guru.

In Hinduism,

1. The devotees prostrates before a deity, which represents God Himself.
Forgive my intrusion into this forum. I don't know that this post will go through, but on occasion something is written on internet and left unclarified and this leads to nothing but confusion which is then manipulated by political people with an agenda to divide. And that I find to be the biggest tragedy.

1. The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the Guru.
vs.
1. The devotees prostrates before a deity, which represents God Himself.

First of all, Sikhism has a lineage of 10 dedhari (in the body) Gurus who have all died. All 10 are believed to be One Jyot which was merged in God Consciousness and cannot die. According to ancient traditions the Guru is the same as God.
Guru Gita Verse 32Verse 32 of the Guru Gita states

"Gurubrahma guruvisnurgururdevo mahesvarah Gurureva parabrahma tasmai srigurave namah"

Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Visnu, the Guru is Lord Maheswara. The Guru is actually the Supreme Divinity and therefore we bow down to the respected Guru. Therefore what does this mantra mean then: "gurubrahma guruvisnur gururdevo mahesvarah gurursakshat parabrahma tasmai srigurave namah"


The Guru is actually the Supreme Divinity...
http://www.shreemaa.org/drupal/guru_gita_0
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਦੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਦੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ
Gurmukẖ nāḏaʼn gurmukẖ veḏaʼn gurmukẖ rahi▫ā samā▫ī.
The Guru's Word is the Sound-current of the Naad; the Guru's Word is the Wisdom of the Vedas; the Guru's Word is all-pervading.

ਗੁਰੁ ਈਸਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਬਰਮਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬਤੀ ਮਾਈ ॥

Gur īsar gur gorakẖ barmā gur pārbaṯī mā▫ī.
The Guru is Shiva, the Guru is Vishnu and Brahma; the Guru is Paarvati and Lakhshmi.
~Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji p. 2
------------------------------
aacaaryam maam vijaaniyaan naavamanyeta karhichit na martya-buddhyaasuyeta sarva-devamayo guruh "Know the acharya to be as good as Myself. Never disrespect him. Never envy him or consider him as an ordinary man for he is the sum total of all the demigods."

~Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27
---------------------------------------------
shikshaa-guruke ta'jani krsihnera svarupa antaryaami, bhakti-shrestha ei dui rupa " One should know the shiksha guru to be Krishna Himself. As guru Krishna has two forms__as the Supersoul and as the best of devotees."

~Chaitanya-caritamrita, Aadi Leela 1.47
---------------------------------
ਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਜਿਨ ਮਨੁ ਲਗਾ ਸੇ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਾਇ ॥
Gur cẖarṇī jin man lagā se vadbẖāgī mā▫e.
Those whose minds are attached to the Guru's Feet are very fortunate, O my mother.

ਗੁਰੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
Gur ḏāṯā samrath gur gur sabẖ mėh rahi▫ā samā▫e.
The Guru is the Giver, the Guru is All-powerful. The Guru is All-pervading, contained amongst all.

ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਡੁਬਦਾ ਲਏ ਤਰਾਇ ॥੨॥
Gur parmesar pārbarahm gur dubḏā la▫e ṯarā▫e. ||2||
The Guru is the Transcendent Lord, the Supreme Lord God. The Guru lifts up and saves those who are drowning. ||2||

ਕਿਤੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਸਮਰਥੁ ॥
Kiṯ mukẖ gur salāhī▫ai karaṇ kāraṇ samrath.
How shall I praise the Guru, the All-powerful Cause of causes?

ਸੇ ਮਥੇ ਨਿਹਚਲ ਰਹੇ ਜਿਨ ਗੁਰਿ ਧਾਰਿਆ ਹਥੁ ॥
Se mathe nihcẖal rahe jin gur ḏẖāri▫ā hath.
Those, upon whose foreheads the Guru has placed His Hand, remain steady and stable.

ਗੁਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਪੀਆਲਿਆ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਕਾ ਪਥੁ ॥
Gur amriṯ nām pī▫āli▫ā janam maran kā path.
The Guru has led me to drink in the Ambrosial Nectar of the Naam, the Name of the Lord; He has released me from the cycle of birth and death.

ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਭੈ ਭੰਜਨੁ ਦੁਖ ਲਥੁ ॥੩॥
Gur parmesar sevi▫ā bẖai bẖanjan ḏukẖ lath. ||3||
I serve the Guru, the Transcendent Lord, the Dispeller of fear; my suffering has been taken away.
~SGGS Ji ang 49
****************************

The tradition is that Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Master placed His own Jyot into the Adi Granth and gave the Shabad Gurbani within the pages the Gurgaddi. So let's take another look at that first tuuk/verse:

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਦੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਦੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ
Gurmukẖ nāḏaʼn gurmukẖ veḏaʼn gurmukẖ rahi▫ā samā▫ī.
The Guru's Word is the Sound-current of the Naad; the Guru's Word is the Wisdom of the Vedas; the Guru's Word is all-pervading.

ਗੁਰੁ ਈਸਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਬਰਮਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬਤੀ ਮਾਈ
Gur īsar gur gorakẖ barmā gur pārbaṯī mā▫ī.
The Guru is Shiva, the Guru is Vishnu and Brahma; the Guru is Paarvati and Lakhshmi.

From the Primal Nada comes the Sound current which is Guru's words. And later in Japji Sahib it says:

ਅਖਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਖਰੀ ਸਾਲਾਹ
Akẖrī nām akẖrī sālāh.
From the Word, comes the Naam; from the Word, comes Your Praise.

ਅਖਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੀਤ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਹ
Akẖrī gi▫ān gīṯ guṇ gāh.
From the Word, comes spiritual wisdom, singing the Songs of Your Glory.
~SGGS Ji ang 4

So we see these Vedic Sanskrit concepts which are rooted in Sruti being expressed in Guru Granth Sahib.

Veda are those fundamental Tattvas, from whom the Cosmos has sprung up and grown. That Veda which we know - has been termed as Shabda Veda. The foundation of Shabda Veda is Tattva Veda, which is all-pervading in the cosmos. It is only on the foundation of Tattva Veda that, Veda Granthas have been written by the Rishis...

That Akshara-Brahma, which having a central-appearance, self-originates in the womb of Jagada-Janani Mahamaya, and thus grants five Kalas to a nishkal Awyaya thereby making it sakala is known as Param-Brahma. http://knol.google.com/k/tattva-veda#

Now I am not a Vedic scholar, but I think it's clear that the "theology" of Sikhism is rooted in the Sruti of the Vedas. The Ek Akshara Shabda Brahma is a form of Parabrahm.
The Gayatri Mantra
Part 2: Inner Meaning & Analysis
The First Word Om (Aum)
"It is also called Pranav because its sound emanates from the Prana (vital vibration), which feels the Universe. The scripture says "Aum Iti Ek Akshara Brahman" (Aum that one syllable is Brahman)." http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/aa061003b.htm

ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ
Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯ nām karṯā purakẖ nirbẖa▫o nirvair akāl mūraṯ ajūnī saibẖaʼn gur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace ~
~SGGS Ji ang 1

Ik▫oaʼnkār
Ek Omkar
Ek Akshara Aumkara

Really, we are in root basic terminology only talking about the same concepts which are modernly encrusted over with a multitude of obscurities to forge divisions and differences.
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Old 29 July 2010, 12:41 AM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Quote:
2. The Guru (in the form of) Guru Granth Sahib is given a place of honor, which is decorated with flowers and symbols; and the scripture covered with nice/expensive pieces of cloth.

In Hinduism,

2. God (in the form of deity) is given a place of honor on the alter and is decorated with tilak, nice outfits and flowers.

Actually.... to show how superficial are these "differences."


ਜਿਤਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਕਾ ਮੁਖਿ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਤਿਨ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਕਢਾਇ ॥

Jiṯne bẖagaṯ har sevkā mukẖ aṯẖsaṯẖ ṯirath ṯin ṯilak kadẖā▫e.
All of the devotees and servants of the Lord have the tilak, the ceremonial mark, applied to their foreheads at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage.
~SGGS Ji p. 733
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Even the Sikh Guru is wearing tilak mark (and bearing a "caste" name).

ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਸੋਢੀ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਦੀਆ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਚੁ ਨੀਸਾਣੁ ਜੀਉ ॥੫॥
Rāmḏās sodẖī ṯilak ḏī▫ā gur sabaḏ sacẖ nīsāṇ jī▫o. ||5||
The Guru then blessed the Sodhi Ram Das with the ceremonial tilak mark, the insignia of the True Word of the Shabad.
~SGGS Ji ang 723

------------------------------------------------------------------
And if that isn't enough similarity, according to Gurbani, even God, in the roop of Vishnu, is wearing tilak.

ਸੰਖ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਮਾਲਾ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਬਿਰਾਜਿਤ ਦੇਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਤਾਪੁ ਜਮੁ ਡਰਿਓ ॥
Sankẖ cẖakar mālā ṯilak birājiṯ ḏekẖ parṯāp jam dari▫o.
He is adorned with the conch, the chakra, the mala and the ceremonial tilak mark on his forehead; gazing upon his radiant glory, the Messenger of Death is scared away.
~SGGS Ji ang 1105



In Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib is treated as a Living Guru because the Shabad Bani and mantra NAAMs of the Lord's names are in it and are considered to be a boat of mukti if you jap them, or sing the sankirtana of the Lord's praise.

ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਪਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥
Gur sabaḏ kamā▫i▫ā a▫ukẖaḏẖ har pā▫i▫ā har kīraṯ har sāʼnṯ pā▫e jī▫o.
Acting in accordance with the Word of the Guru's Shabad, the medicine of the Lord's Name is obtained. Singing the Kirtan of the Lord's Praises, divine peace is obtained.
~SGGS Ji ang 446
--------------------------------------------

ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਜੀਅਰੇ ਛੁਟੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਚੀਨੈ ਆਪੁ ॥੩॥
Har jap jī▫are cẖẖutī▫ai gurmukẖ cẖīnai āp. ||3||
Chanting the Name of the Lord, O my soul, you shall be emancipated; as Gurmukh, you shall come to understand your own self.
~SGGS Ji ang 20
-------------------------------------------
ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥
Mil sāḏẖsangaṯ bẖaj keval nām. ||1||
Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, vibrate and meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.
~SGGS Ji ang 378
-------------------------------------------
"Many of you, as spiritual seekers, would be practicing japa sadhana. When you were initiated you would have been told that you should do japa,Tat japah jadarthabhavanah - the recitation, chanting or japa of the mantra is to be accompanied by a contemplation on its importance or meaning. As a matter of fact, japa, according to Patanjali, is not merely a mechanical chanting of the Name, although chanting is also Japa, but it is tadartha bhavana or the contemplation on the meaning of the mantra. To give an instance, 'Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya' is a mantra. Chanting this is japa. Japa can be of two kinds: external verbal japa, as well as internal manasika japa, or mental japa. Japa is the repetition of a mantra, which is a mysterious group of letters or phrases so connected with one another that when the mantra is chanted a peculiar sensation or vibration is generated in the entire system. That is the difference between ordinary words or sentences or groups of phrases and a mantra. A mantra is the result of a vision of a seer and it is the concrete manifestation of the deity or devata through the world of language, which is made to manifest in the mantra." http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/disc/disc_90.html
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Old 29 July 2010, 01:13 AM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Quote:
3. Everyone prostates before this Holy book which represents the Guru.

In Hinduism,

3. Hymns are read from Bhagwad Gita and their meaning explained in the form of a Pravachan.


I don't believe that all Hindu sects routinely read Bhagavad-Gita in their temples. So I don't see what this comparison is trying to show. I do believe that bowing is a cultural sign of respect shown to a Guru or devata in every Hindu sect. Just as Hindu's will object to worship shown to murthi being mischaracterized as worship of an inanimate object, so a Sikh will object that he is bowing down to a Holy "Book or a mere "representation." A Sikh submits to the Shabad-Jyot which resides in the words of Guru's bani and the Naams of the Lord which are originating from mantras.

So in this respect, a Hindu will worship a certain form and the Sikh will worship another, but both are worshipping the actual One Absolute Divine which is pervading in all forms.

Quote:
"April 13, 1919, fifty British Indian Army soldiers, under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing lasted for ten to fifteen minutes, until ammunition was running short. [1] Official British Raj sources placed the fatalities at 379, and with 1,100 wounded.[2] Civil Surgeon Dr Smith indicated that there were 1,526 casualties.[3]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre



"On 2 May 1905, Arur Singh, the manager of the Golden Temple, ordered the removal of a large number of images from it's precincts. This single measure precipitated a fierce public controversy all over the province, with members of the Singh Sabha, the Arya Samaj, the Brahmo Samaj and several other key socio-religious organizations leaping into the fray. In addition the general public, particularly Sikh soldiers, exhibited a keen interest in these lively proceedings.

In less than a month, two distinct positions crystallized over the idol controversy: one side supported Arur Singh and the other chose to vilify him. The Tat Khalsa aligned with the temple manager and advanced a series of reasons for backing his fiat. These merit close attention if the changing vision and constitution of sacred space among the Sikhs is to be properly understood."

~The Construction of religious boundaries: Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition, by Harjot Oberoi, p. 323
http://books.google.com/books?id=1NK...page&q&f=false

Moreover it needs to be said that original Sikh tradition was sanatan, and origin of this term comes from the shared Hindu Dharma. In 1905 the British Raj had installed a caretaker of the central Harimandir Gurdwara after the reform Singh Sabha had usurped power from the original Sanatan Singh Sabha. This "jathedar" held a position given to him by the British. It did not ever before exist in Sikh history. Traditionally the pujaris and mahants of the Udasi and Nirmalay sects were the caretakers of the Sikh Gurdwaras. This British appointed "jathedar" not only did he place a siropa of honor around the neck of General Dyer following the Jallianwalla bagh massacre committed by the British against own Punjabis,

but in 1905 he REMOVED the murthis from the Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple). It is known that removed included a lifesized murthi of Vishnu, a murthi of Chandi-Durga, a murthi of Bhagavan Krishna and a murthi of Guru Ram Das Sodhi.

So it is correct to say Sikh "religion" has been altered by influence of the British with deliberate intent to drive a wedge between Hindu and Sikh community, to oppose Indian Nationalism as pro-British Sikhs worked as soldiers-sepoys upholding British rule. This is the legacy of separation, deliberate distortions, exaggerating differences, even actual editing and manipulative translations of Sikh religion existing to this day.

And if we closely analyze the collection of evidence what emerges from Sikh history is something decidedly and recognizably Hindu in orientation.

While Max Arthur McAuliffe achieved the position of Deputy Commissioner in Punjab in 1882, Macauliffe wrote the popular Tat Khalsa text. It is admitted that a knowledge of the religions of the people of India is a desideratum for the British officials who administer its affairs and indirectly for the people who are governed by them so that mutual sympathy may be produced. It seems, at any rate politic to place before theSikh soldiery their Gurus prophecies in favor of the English and the texts of their sacred writings which foster their loyalty. The Sikh Religion,1909, M.A. Macauliffe, Preface xxii



From the above quote, it is clear that one of the main objectives for Macauliffe was to inculcate loyalty within Sikhs for the British Raj. At the time, the SanatanSikh Raj had been displaced by the British Raj, and as such, Sanatan Sikhs, especially the Akali Nihangs, were naturally very hostile towards the British. [2]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanatan_Singh_Sabha
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Old 29 July 2010, 01:25 AM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

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In one case I am supposed to believe that some ordinary paper with hymns printed on it becomes sacred and represents the Guru; while in the other case, clay or marble or a piece of wood formed into a deity represents God Himself.
I find you have a lot to learn about other people's religion. 1. You aren't "supposed" to believe in anything. But hopefully you can respect what other people do believe in and tolerate that.

"In one case I am supposed to believe that some ordinary paper with hymns printed on it becomes sacred and represents the Guru;"

Sikhs don't worship a "book." They worship the Sruti Truth in the Shabda, the beej mantra syllables of the Names of the Lord as being capable of creating a vibrational Presence of the Shabda Parabrahmha directly.

"while in the other case, clay or marble or a piece of wood formed into a deity represents God Himself."

Because of the mantras, and the prayers and the thoughts and vibrational energy of the worshippers, ordinary objects are made to contain shakti, which again is energetic vibrational Presence. I'm sorry if you cannot accept, do not believe, or cannot understand this.

But neither a Sikh nor a Hindu can be described as "believing" what you have written in your paragraph.
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Old 29 July 2010, 02:09 AM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Quote:
In one case devotees prostrate before the Book representing the Guru; in the other case they do it before the deity representing the Lord Himself.

In both cases, they read/sing hymns which essentially define their dharma.


There is only One Dharma. All Dharmic religions observe this, be they Jain, Buddhist, Hindu's, or Sikhs.

Again modern Tat Khalsa Sikhs will define Sanskrit and Braj terms differently to exaggerate the differences. But the Adi Granth, Sarbloh Granth and Dasam Granth were written primarily as translations from Sanskrit and Braj or actually in Sanskrit and Braj. So, having brahmin Sanskrit scholars in the very households of the Gurus and having the sanatan sects of Udasis and Nirmalay being themselves Sanskrit scholars, only the conundrum of modern "re-interpretation" of these ancient terms and philsophical concepts becomes "separate" and "problematic."

Prior to the British sponsored Tat Khalsa movement 100 years ago, the Sanatan Hindu-Sikh community respected the Vedic and Puranic origins of these teachings. It makes no sense logically whatsoever that Shri Dasam Granth contains Devi Mahatmyam in praise of Devi, or that Shri Guru Granth Sahib describes the sargun God in terms of Vishnu's das avtaray and suddenly we have to "reject" that Dharma to "Sikhs" means one thing and "Dharma" to Hindu's suddenly means another.

Hindu means of the culture and heritage of the Indus Valley.

Sikh (derived from Sanskrit [Indic] word Shishya) means a disciple of a Guru.

Guru-Shishya relationship originates in Vedic Hindu Dharmic tradition.

And Panth means "path" not "religion."
Quote:
Why the acrimony?

Because the British Raj ruled by creating divisions and mischief like altering and editing scriptures to divide and conquer and keep the population subjected, ignorant and subservient. All forms of Indian Nationalism and unifying aspects like religion were manipulated and suppressed. The British brought Muslim Butchers into Amritsar to sell cow meat and promote meat eating, particularly among the British soldiery/Indian sepoys aka Sikhs.

They were met with an uprising from the Sikh Namdhari sect which killed the Muslim butchers for committing what was always a crime in Sikh ruled Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The same Sikhs who call God after Krishna Naams, including Gopala and Govinda, Protector of the world and protector of the cows, fought to the death and received torture of being blown apart by cannons in massacres to terrorize the population into submission.

After this, the British worked with M.K. Gandhi and Nehru to divide the Punjab in partition giving Sikh territories to "Pakistan," deceived Sikh leaders about giving Sikhs back a kingdom in the form of "Khalistan," Millions were dislocated, beaten, raped, tortured, killed during the riots and madness of partition creating huge scars and blame against Indian government for failing to defend Sikh interests.

There's just a lot of bad political history with Akali Dal morcha/agitation to promote Anandpur Resolution and the weakness of the Indira government in emergency to appropriately and diplomatically reach an accord with those points of grievance. After all that transpired, asking for recognition of language, respecting state boundaries, capitol of Chandigarh and some sugar mills, seems a tiny demand. At this time too, Sant Bhindranwale began lashing out at the "servitude of the Sikhs as second class citizens in India and promoted independant state of Khalistan, there precipitated an armed confrontation, an attack on Golden temple with resulting casualties of innocent unarmed pilgrims, resulting in retaliatory assassination of Mrs. Gandhi. Subsequent retaliatory anti-Sikh riots in which thousands were raped and killed and properties destroyed. Subsequent anti-Indian government uprising which lasted twenty years and which succeeded by colluding with Pakistani terrorists. Subsequent gallughara against Sikh militants and their families by Punjabi police which resulted in extra-judicial killings, disappearances, rapes, tortures, etc. and finally suppressed the militancy.

Why the acrimony?
Because we live in Kaliyuga, and people are just messed up. Because this has been a long, sad, miserable war of brother hating brother. And I hope and pray that it should heal and end for all time, and that land of Bharat will truly be Nation bright and shining in Dharmic justice as well as economic justice and success.



Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji's shaheedi for being willing sacrifice to face execution rather than be forced to convert to Islam. (For which He became known as the Hindu di Chaddur, blanket of protection of the Hindus, because His action spared the destruction of the Kashmiri pandits from same fate of forced conversion.)

ਹਰੀਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਸੁਤ ਵਏ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਤੇ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਭਏ ॥੧੨॥
darookrisan tin ke sut vae|| Tin te Teg Bahaadar bhae||12||
Har Krishan (the next Guru) was his son; after him, Tegh Bahadur became the Guru.12.

ਤਿਲਕ ਜੰਵੂ ਰਾਖਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤਾ ਕਾ ॥ ਕੀਨੋ ਬਡੋ ਕਲੂ ਮਹਿ ਸਾਕਾ ॥
Tilak janjhoo raakhaa Prabh taa kaa|| Koono bado kaloo maih saakaa||
He protected the forehead mark and sacred thread which marked a great event in the Iron age.

ਸਾਧਨ ਹੇਤਿ ਇਤੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਰੀ ॥ ਸੀਸੁ ਦੀਆ ਪਰ ਸੀ ਨ ਉਚਰੀ ॥੧੩॥
Saadhan het(i) itoo jin(i) daroo|| Soos(u) dooaa par soo na ucdaroo||13||
For the sake of saints, he laid down his head without even a sign.13.


ਧਰਮ ਹੇਤਿ ਸਾਕਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਕੀਆ ॥ ਸੀਸੁ ਦੀਆ ਪਰ ਸਿਰਰੁ ਨ ਦੀਆ ॥
Dharam het(i) saakaa jin kooaa|| Soos(u) dooaa par sirar(u) na dooaa||
For the sake of Dharma, he sacrificed himself. He laid down his head but not his creed.
~Shri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji p. 131
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Old 29 July 2010, 02:41 AM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Quote:
On a different note,
Regarding the caste system in Hinduism,

Why does everyone always go there?

Quote:
Boota Singh has been cabinet minister in many central governments in India because he represented the Dalits and the Sikhs. And the people working in the crematoriums in Punjab are served food outside of the main dining area of a Gurdwara. We do have Dalits among Sikhs too. It is something culturally rooted amongst people of all religions there.

We have so many varnas and social groupings in Hinduism. If one were to check the matrimonial section of any Sunday paper in Punjab or Delhi, one would see the various groupings that the prospective Sikh brides/grooms belong to, and the request that suitable matching families from those groupings only need apply.


Modern Tat Khalsa Sikhs in turn with the British Raj loudly condemn Hindu religion on basis of perceived "evils" and injustices of caste system. However worst discrimination of casteism and obsessive concerns regarding jati evolved in correlation with racist colonial system of British.

Quote:
ਬੇਦੀ ਭਏ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਨ ਰਾਜ ਕਹ ਪਾਇ ਕੈ ॥ ਦੇਤ ਭਯੋ ਬਰਦਾਨ ਹੀਐ ਹੁਲਸਾਇ ਕੈ ॥
Bedoo bhae prasann raaj kah paae kai|| Det bhayo bardaan hooai hulsaae kai||
Having been bestowed the kingdom, the Bedis were very much pleased. With happy heart, he predicted this boon:

ਜਬ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਲਿ ਮੈ ਹਮ ਆਨ ਕਹਾਇਹੈਂ ॥ ਹੋ ਜਗਤ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਿ ਤੋਹਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦ ਪਾਇਹੈਂ ॥੭॥
Jab Naanak kal(i) mai ham aan kahaae-hain|| Ho jagad pooj kar(i) toh(i) param pad paae-hain||7||
When in the Iron age, I shall be called Nanak, you will attain the Supreme State and be worshipped by the world.7.

ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥
Dohraa||
DOHRA

ਲਵੀ ਰਾਜ ਦੇ ਬਨ ਗਏ ਬੇਦੀਅਨ ਕੀਨੋ ਰਾਜ ॥
Lavoo raaj de ban gad Bedooan koono raaj||
The descendants of Lava, after handing over the kingdom, went to the forest, and the Bedis (descendants of Kusha) began to rule.

ਭਾਂਤਿ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਤਿਨਿ ਭੋਗੀਯੰ ਭੂਅ ਕਾ ਸਕਲ ਸਮਾਜ ॥੮॥
Bhaant(i) bhaant(i) tin(i) bhogooyang bhooa kaa sakal samaaj||8||
They enjoyed all comforts of the earth in various ways.8.

ਚੌਪਈ ॥
Chaupaee||
CHAUPAI

ਤ੍ਰਿਤੀਅ ਬੇਦ ਸੁਨਬੋ ਤੁਮ ਕੀਆ ॥ ਚਤੁਰ ਬੇਦ ਸੁਨਿ ਭੂਅ ਕੋ ਦੀਆ ॥
Tritooa Bed sunbo tum kooaa|| Chatur Bed sun(i) bhooa ko dooaa||
O Sodhi king! You have listened to the recitation of three Vedas, and while listening to the fourth, you gave away your kingdom.

ਤੀਨ ਜਨਮ ਹਮਹੂੰ ਜਬ ਧਰਿਹੈਂ ॥ ਚਉਥੇ ਜਨਮ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੁਹਿ ਕਰਿਹੈਂ ॥੯॥
Tin janam ham-hoon jab dharihain|| Chauthe janam Guroo tuh(i) karihain||9||
When I shall have taken three births, you will be made the Guru in he fourth birth.9.

ਉਤ ਰਾਜਾ ਕਾਨਨਹਿ ਸਿਧਾਯੋ ॥ ਇਤ ਇਨ ਰਾਜ ਕਰਤ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਯੋ ॥
Ut raajaa kaananah(i) sidhaayo|| It in raaj karat such paayo||
That (Sodhi) king left for the forest, and this (Bedi) king absorbed himself in royal pleasures.
~Shri Dasam Granth Sahib p. 128


According to Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth, Sikh religion did not (yes contrary to Tat Khalsa ideology) "reject" the Caste system. Dasam Granth speaks plainly about Bedi and Sodhi dynasty of Khatri/kshattriya caste being descended from Luva and Kusha, the sons of Shri Ramachandra of Avodhya. It simply restored the original Vedic conception which was propagated by the Vaishnav sants and bhagats of North India which influenced the culture during time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

So just as some Vaishnav sects accepted women, such as famous bhakta Mirabai, famous mleccha/Muslim born Vaishnav Sant Kabir Ji, and famous low caste bhagat Ravidas...
these radical reform teachings influenced Sikhism.
Meaning, it was Vaishnavism's radical bhakti sants who included traditionally shunned classes into the sadhsangat (women, outcastes and lower castes as spiritual equals and true brahmanas) in literal conformity with Bhagavan Krishna's teachings in the Gita.

Quote:
I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.

Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.

He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth women, vaiśyas [merchants] and śūdras [workers] can attain the supreme destination.
~Srimad Bhagavad-Gita 9.25-32

And commentary: "It is clearly declared here by the Supreme Lord that in devotional service there is no distinction between the lower and higher classes of people. In the material conception of life there are such divisions, but for a person engaged in transcendental devotional service to the Lord there are not. Everyone is eligible for the supreme destination. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.4.18) it is stated that even the lowest, who are called caṇḍālas (dog-eaters), can be purified by association with a pure devotee."
http://vedabase.net/bg/9/32/en



ਅਧਮ ਚੰਡਾਲੀ ਭਈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਸੂਦੀ ਤੇ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟਾਈ ਰੇ ॥
Aḏẖam cẖandālī bẖa▫ī barahmaṇī sūḏī ṯe sarėstā▫ī re.
The lowly outcaste becomes a Brahmin, and the untouchable sweeper becomes pure and sublime.
~SGGS Ji ang 381
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Old 30 July 2010, 01:24 PM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Darshan Singhji,

Thank you very much for stopping by and taking the time to read and respond to the post.

Respectfully, I would like to have a heart to heart talk about the issues raised and try to remain mindful of your feelings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darshansingh View Post

I would like to make just few comments ( to highlight the difference):
1. Sikhs who practice the caste system are doing it opposite of what the religion tells. Basically, they can't defend their practice by quoting religious text.
It is not an accusation and we don't have to be defensive at all. If I were a sikh, I would not be giving away my educated, good looking daughter to an uneducated/uncultured, not so good looking person with low moral values and one who does not make enough money to support a family, just because the religious text says so. It is a matter of being practical regardless of whether it is sanctioned by the scriptures or not. In the South, there are separate churches among christians for converts from the Dalits and from other strata of society. Well off and better looking muslims don't associate with lower class muslims either. Heck, even in the good old USA, an African American woman with straight hair and relatively fairer skin commands a better match than just another ordinary african-american. We humans are the only species that have a sense of aesthetics and care about the looks of a prospective mate. Only in Hinduism, it gets called caste system and Hindus are vilified for that. I, for one, will not make any excuses and not ask for anybody's understanding/forgiveness for doing what is practical and what all humans do, regardless of whether the scriptural authority sanctions it or not. Not going to hide behind a technicality on this point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by darshansingh View Post

2. The halwa becomes prasad only by Kirpan, not by sitting besides the guru granth. And all prasad is eaten, nothing is left for the "guru"
Just for my understanding, what exactly do you mean the halwa becoming prasad by the Kirpan? In our local Gurudwara in California, they place a plate of the food to be served for langar, as well as a huge bowl of halwa for prasad, by the side of the Guru Granth sahib for being sanctified. Traditionally, does it have to be touched by a Kirpan? Is it just a metaphor? Please explain. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darshansingh View Post
Not a ideological difference, but a practice difference, is amount of time visitors spend in listening to the kirtan. The times I have visited the temple with my hindu friends, they just rang the bell, did matha-tek, took prasad and out.
That is a good observation. It will always remain like that. The Gurudwara service consists of reciting the Shabad to music. It is soothing to the soul. Beside the spiritual message, it is like attending a classical music concert with the hymns beautifully sung to a raag. It is mesmerizing. That is the best feature of a Sikh service - more of music by trained raagis and less of any lecture. It is very a beautiful way to keep the assembly involved/attentive/entertained with a calming effect.

As an aside, I have heard many times that Sikhism incorporates the best of Hinduism and Islam. I don't get it. To me it is reformed Hinduism, pure and simple. Islamists killed a Guru, entombed two sahabzadas alive; and committed untold atrocities against Sikhs. They made every attempt to convert the whole Sikh community to Islam. They don't want any adultration of their fanatic creed. They hate and killed both hindus and sikhs with equal vengeance at the time of partition. As we can see in today's environment, they cannot co-exist with people of other religions and would like a world domination. There are a handful of verses in the Guru Granth sahib written by mystics who were nominally muslim. Mardana was just another villager who came under the influence of Guru Nanak and should be classified as a sikh rather than a muslim. He surely did not shape/influence Sikh theology.

Why are they given so much prominence in Sikhism as if they had a hand in shaping the Sikh spiritual values? Is this is subconscious way to distance themselves from Hindus and protect their identity? It is hurtful for the two groups - Hindus and Sikhs - born of the same Punjabi blood to be picking on each other all the time. And it is discouraging to hear the claim that Sikhism is Hindusim, reformed as a result of Islamic values/influences. It was reformed because of the Bhakti movement of Guru Nanak and the base values creeping into the "practice" of Hinduism at the time; not because of the Islamic influence. I just hope that some day, the fear that Hindus want to see Sikhism disappear is purged from the Sikh psyche and they find themselves at peace without having to play the "muslim influence" card to protect their identity.
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Old 03 August 2010, 02:29 PM
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Re: Sikh and Hindu traditions.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
Darshan Singhji,
Thank you very much for stopping by and taking the time to read and respond to the post.
Respectfully, I would like to have a heart to heart talk about the issues raised and try to remain mindful of your feelings.
Thanks. And I enjoy this discussion with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
We humans are the only species that have a sense of aesthetics and care about the looks of a prospective mate.
Agree totally with you. But being a sikh, its easier to marry with other castes if you have similar educational and social background. I and my wife are from different communities, and ours was an arranged marriage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
Just for my understanding, what exactly do you mean the halwa becoming prasad by the Kirpan? Traditionally, does it have to be touched by a Kirpan? Is it just a metaphor?
Old Hindu/Indian custom in guru parampara was charan amrit. The guru would put a foot in the bowl of water and that water would become "amrit" for all the disciples. This parampara was practised in sikhs when guru-with-human-form existed. Guru Gobind Singh, made Guru Granth Sahib the eternal guru. He also started the practice of Khande-ka-amrit rather than charan-amrit. Thus food becomes prasad when khanda (kripan) passes through the food; along with ardas to Guru/God that "please make this food prasad". In most gurudwaras, when the food is cooked in kitchen, it is sanctified by kirpan and ardas before being served.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
As an aside, I have heard many times that Sikhism incorporates the best of Hinduism and Islam. I don't get it. To me it is reformed Hinduism, pure and simple.
The gurus didn't see people as hindus or muslims. On being asked who is better - hindu or muslim - Nanak said "whosoever does good deeds will be accepted in the court of God"
The terms "Hindu" or "Muslim" mean different things to different people. So making generic statements a best-of-hinduism-and-islam doesn't mean anything.
Now the disciples of gurus were both hindus and muslims and detractors also were both hindus and muslims. Guru Arjan Dev was tortured and killed on the orders of Jahangir, but Mannu, a hindu, gave the testimony.
Guru Gobind singh fought 13 or so battles, and 11 of them were against hindu kings of himachal area.
Another hindu gangu betrayed Mata Gujri and two sahibzade, who were eventually entombed. And prince of malerkotla tried to help sahibzade. The sikhs felt so much indebted to the prince of malerkotla that even after 250 years, during the riots of 1947 partition, when utter madness struck everyone, no muslim was killed within the boundaries of malerkotla.

This is just to reiterate that the gurus and hence sikhs are against the tyrants and untruthful exploiting people, not against particular religion.

The definition of God is sikhism is very similar to advaita god with added human-like qualities such as mercy, love and so on; this definition is very different from islamic god. The concepts of cycles of rebirth are same as hinduism. Moksha concept of concept is their in sikhism with a slight difference that "aim-is-not-moksha-but-aim-is-gods-feet". The difference with hinduism is again in practice. Hardly any hindu practices worship of formless god. And some hindus get offended if I don't bow to idols in a temple. This is where some authors will say its similar to islam. There is not much similarity with islam.

Again to say it reformed hinduism may put-off some hindus, who say, we are already the best and complete. We don't need any reformation.

So its safe to say that sikhism is a new religion; which has many similarities with hinduism.

As a note, Mardana, Baba Farid and Kabir were born muslims. Their bani is found in Guru Granth Sahib. The bani of many hindu saints - namdev, ramanand, ravidas, jaidev, dhanna is also in Guru Granth Sahib. Thus when I bow to Guru Granth Sahib, I bow to the word of all of them. A hindu friend of mine was taken aback that in guru granth the synonym of god was also allah along with ram, mohan, giridhar, gopal and so on. Its again our narrow mind who sees the word allah with disdain. Or the actions of present day muslims is giving it a bad name.

Present day sikh anger against hindus is because of the events of 1980s. Sikhs felt betrayed by hindus when Golden temple was attacked and destroyed. Sikhs felt further betrayed when 5000 sikhs were brutally killed in Delhi, and 10000 in the whole country; over a period of 3 days. Sikhs felt betrayed by hindus when they gave Rajiv Gandhi a huge victory just 3 months after the massacre he orchestrated. Sikhs felt betrayed by hindus when after 25 years just 10 people are convicted for the killing of 10000 sikhs. Sikhs feel betrayed when some godmen (ashutosh and sacha sauda guy) does actions to insult sikhs and their gurus; and govt takes no action.
I can go on and on.

Also you will see many posts in this forum who say that guru gobind singh was bhagat of Chandi; and some using the words that sikh gurus were self-styled godmen and such. These people are either uneducated, or silly, or mischievous. I just consider them uneducated. Some sikhs may see them as mischievous which causes further rift.
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