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Jaat - Paat ?


deepsingh
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i was just wondering, we know that keeping caste label is not good for your spirituality. What about the religious labels? When we say i am a Sikh, Hindu, Christan or Muslim. Isn't that so sort of caste/religious label? When Akal Moorat Guru Nanak Dev Ji said, "There is no muslim, there is no Hindu". Than how did we end up with the label Sikh?

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In my personal opinion and understanding of Gurbani, the word Sikh was used to describe a "student of the truth", and the word was above religious dogma - and was used in a universal context - hence anyone could be a Sikh including Muslims (Bhai Mardana, Pir Buddu Shah, Sain Mian Mir to name a few).

Our Guru's propounded the use of "Sikh" so the lafz naturally became associated with their followers.

I believe it was much later that the establishment of a "formalised" religion occured i.e. late 19th c.

This is of course a seperate issue to that of the establishment of the Khalsa and the doctrines contained within.

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the label sikh is used for the followers of gurmat, as taught by the Guru's. part of this is the following of the rahit maryada, as propounded by the gurus. we are not supposed to see people of different religions as less, but we still are meant to live separate from the world to some extent, and to follow the path of sikhi rather than to follow the paths of other religions. so while all religons head in the same direction, they all do so by their own path.

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i was just wondering, we know that keeping caste label is not good for your spirituality. What about the religious labels? When we say i am a Sikh, Hindu, Christan or Muslim. Isn't that so sort of caste/religious label? When Akal Moorat Guru Nanak Dev Ji said, "There is no muslim, there is no Hindu". Than how did we end up with the label Sikh?

Being a Sikh isn't a Jaat or caste. You become a Sikh because you bow down to your Guru. And there Sikhs out there who are "Proud to be a Sikh", thinking that being a Sikh is a Jaat, with that in mind having false pride for your Jaat is not good. I feel they live off there ancestors Glory, "living off the fat of the land" but I feel they dont amount to their ancestors Glory. I'm not saying don't be proud just dont have false pride.

You cant be a Sikh if you dont have a Guru. If being Sikh is a jaat thing, then your jaat is your Guru.

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In my personal opinion and understanding of Gurbani, the word Sikh was used to describe a "student of the truth", and the word was above religious dogma - and was used in a universal context - hence anyone could be a Sikh including Muslims (Bhai Mardana, Pir Buddu Shah, Sain Mian Mir to name a few).

Our Guru's propounded the use of "Sikh" so the lafz naturally became associated with their followers.

I believe it was much later that the establishment of a "formalised" religion occured i.e. late 19th c.

This is of course a seperate issue to that of the establishment of the Khalsa and the doctrines contained within.

I think what you are propounding here is a very liberal interpretation of what constitutes a Sikh and is more a post 1947 Gandhian interpretation than something that Sikhs of the Guru period would have recognised. This is similar to the Indian Socialist interpretation of the word Khalsa as 'pure' meaning that Raj Karega Khalsa just means rule fo the pure and can mean rule of Hindus, Christians, Muslims as well as Sikhs! You are right there were people of many different background who intertacted with the Gurus. Bhai Mardana for all intents and purposes was a Sikh of the Guru since he left many of his Islamic beliefs. The use of the words Sikh, Gursikh or Guru Ka Sikh in Sikh texts have a much more limited meaning than the one you have given. Nowhere in Sikh literature of that period is Mian Mir, or Pir Budhu Shah referred to as Sikhs. If the contemporary Sikhs did not count them as Sikhs then who are we to revise the concept of a Sikh to include them?

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tonyhp32 Ji,

I agree, it is a liberal interpretation - but it depends on how much one reads into "being a student of the truth" - there are of course many actions that characterise a Sikh as per Gurbani - thus restricting the definitionas you correctly state. But it also depends on what ones definition of Guru is i.e. is Guru Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach... and if so, then surely Truth, Guru and Sikh existed before Maharaj Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji came upon the earth...

The word Khalsa has been used in Gurbani before 1699, so again the interpretation used by some is not so wrong - the word was already in use before 1699, Maharaj simply saw it as the perfect word to describe his Singhs, this doesn't mean the the word no longer serves it's original purpose:

ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਨ ਭਏ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਿਹ ਜਾਨੀ ॥੪॥੩॥

Kaho Kabeer jan bha­e khaalse prem bhagat jih jaani. ||4||3||

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