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Why Sikhi failed to spread


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have you ever heard of ramgarh in panchkula? chamba's rani who married banda singh? doad rajputs doing seva of guru nanak? chamkaur di garhi? katoch dadhwal rajputs giving sons to khalsa (their descendants are now jatts as they lost rajput rank marrying jatts)...raipur rani giving her son who is the progenitor of the chauhan sikh rajputs of the region? minhas rajputs giving their sons to khalsa? where do you think sikhs come from? the sky? hindu parents gave their children to khalsa and until your garbage singh sabha came along, people of the same tribe were considered brothers and helped each other with marriages and battles like the janjuas who allied with their muslim counterparts to fight the mughals...

ram singh pathania and baba maharaj singh were allies.... pathanias are rajputs btw..

there are other hill rajput states who helped the guru as well and still have the gifts bestowed upon them by the guru. 

There have been many Sikhs of Rajput origin. What are you trying to prove here?

Bhul chuk maaf

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Isn't this because we've tried to trap Sikhi in a box and not understood the real thing? Haven't we reduced Sikhi to grow hair and Amrit (sanskar)? or may be it's just the effect of Mind/Kaal because

1. Post 20th century the Singh Sabha mindset has hurt the 'Sikh' numbers by sidelining and ignoring the Sehajdharis and Nanakpanthis. For example: There was  a time when nearly all non Muslim Sindhis

How many times have I heard jatts use the term "bihari bhaiya" in a derogatory term.  We all need to unute under the Nishaans of maharaj whether you are tava face, peasant, wood worker, road sweaper &

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^^^

 

Better that then having them mass gang-raped and then murdered anyway.

 

Much more humane way to go. 

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This is an interesting topic. Simply from a anthropological perspective. 

As a non Sikh, simply looking at it this  historical angle, and how religions spread I would state the following in regards in Sikhism.

1) From a theological perspective, Sikhism didn't offer anything radically different. In a country with a vast Hindu and Muslim populous - Sikhism (for the first 3 centuries) tries to combine Sufi Islamic mysticism with aspects of Hindu beliefs. The Hindu influence can be seen from the later Gurus - this dichotomy causes schisms  within the tradition. Thus hinders rapid growth that is indicative in other world faiths, ie. Islam, Christianity, - Also the infighting between the guru families/ "apostles" and emerging sects didn't help.

I could also mention here that there were issues with conflicting dogmas within Sikhism - monotheism and aspects of polytheism, (I've mentioned some in previous posts so won't elaborate here) this may not have been a problem for say the trinity in Christianity, for spreading in Europe. As Europe was largely primitively pagan and a more advanced beliefs system that incorporated aspects of previous beliefs AND MAKES MORE SENSE only made it more palatable to the locals. Sikhism was up against Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism - all advanced in theology - thus a new ethos would have to disprove older systems and as it were make more sense for the more educated class to accept. Which it obviously didn't. 

2) Christianity, Islam, Buddhism all produced to higher morals for large civilisations/empires. They all in their own way inspired art, culture, theology, etc (more true for Christianity and Islam) that attracted hordes of people towards their faiths. Outside the 10 Gurus, Sikhism only has Raja Ranjeet Singh to name as a suspenseful Sikh leader. Who exactly follow the teachings of the Gurus himself, or inspire future generations to expand his cause. His successors very quickly made sure any Sikhs empire would not flourish.

Most of its culture, art, architecture etc is borrowed from Islam or Hinduism. - thus not giving it a strong independent identity. 

3) Sikhism lacks the ability to inspire religious practice. - This might seem harsh but I'm not disputing there are many religious Sikhs that are deeply religious because of their faith. But compared  to more successful religions, Sikhism falls short. This is more true in the modern world, where Sikhism is struggling to keep it's current members within the faith let alone acquire new ones.

 

My comments are not meant to offend anyone, just my perspective. I may be wrong, but that's what I think it is.

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3) Sikhism lacks the ability to inspire religious practice. - This might seem harsh but I'm not disputing there are many religious Sikhs that are deeply religious because of their faith. But compared  to more successful religions, Sikhism falls short. This is more true in the modern world, where Sikhism is struggling to keep it's current members within the faith let alone acquire new ones.

Which successful religions are you using in your comparison?

1) From a theological perspective, Sikhism didn't offer anything radically different. In a country with a vast Hindu and Muslim populous -

You don't feel that status given to females or the lowcastes/kuffar being regarded as equal before Waheguru irrespective of their beleifs?

 

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3) Sikhism lacks the ability to inspire religious practice. - This might seem harsh but I'm not disputing there are many religious Sikhs that are deeply religious because of their faith. But compared  to more successful religions, Sikhism falls short. This is more true in the modern world, where Sikhism is struggling to keep it's current members within the faith let alone acquire new ones.

 

Bro, can you please expand on the above? Do you have any strong arguments to present?

Bhul chuk maaf

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Well yes I do, from personal observation and from the empirical experience of other Sikhs that I have spoken to. Also from my study of the faith scripture.

Now I did say, "there are many religious Sikhs that are deeply religious because of their faith" so I'm not doubting that there are religious Sikhs. However on the majority I see a cultural affinity and a one sided arbitrary historical narrative that gives some credence towards an religious "identity".

There is an "idealism" of Sikhism that is taught but Sikhs in practice terms fall short of this. To give you an recent example I witnessed myself. Sikhism promotes gender equality and prides itself on being the most equal  gender faiths. A few days ago I was invited to a Sikh wedding, the groom was not a Sikh. Being aware of the issues this was going to cause some problems, the wedding was not held in a Ghudwara. Most of the relatives of the bride were not religious - nor were most of the guests - however there was a lot of hostility from "religious" Sikhs who were arguing with the brides family. Eventually the wedding went ahead but with a slight bad taste in the air. I heard many statements from young Sikh girls on how hypocritical religious Sikhs were, "it wouldn't have been an issue if the girl was non-sikh". 

From my own studies of Sikhism, I find these kinds of issues and a lot others you can find on the forum (Sex in Sikhism, homosexuality, place of women, marriage, etc) due the fact that there are too many contradictions in early Sikhism. The 10 Gurus were all different, some vastly. As a result the scriptures have contracting verses which can't seem to answer fundamental questions relating to Sikh ethos - ie. were the Gurus born naturally or  without sexual intervention. A lot of mixed theology mixed with Indian culture is what in reality what Sikhism, in its current form, is. Hence such issues.

For young people that are more analytical minded - especially University graduates, understanding an analysing faith is a fundamental aspect of developing ones identity. Don't question it and just follow it might work for India but falls short in other countries. And it's why Sikhism fails to inspire and spread.

 

Ps- I don't wish to get into a long debate about this, these are just my personal musings. I may be wrong.

 

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chatanga1

Sorry missed your reply;

Which successful religions are you using in your comparison?

Those would be the ones with over a billion followers - namely Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, - I left out Hinduism simply because it failed to spread largely outside its country of origin esp. in the last 1000 years. 

you don't feel that status given to females or the lowcastes/kuffar being regarded as equal before Waheguru irrespective of their beleifs?

Please see my above reply, the status given to women is at best theoretical. It seems to work in theory in India where women still play the obedient house wife role, however when tested in modern western countries, you soon realise that not everything is as it seems.

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chatanga1

Sorry missed your reply;

Which successful religions are you using in your comparison?

Those would be the ones with over a billion followers - namely Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, - I left out Hinduism simply because it failed to spread largely outside its country of origin esp. in the last 1000 years. 

you don't feel that status given to females or the lowcastes/kuffar being regarded as equal before Waheguru irrespective of their beleifs?

Please see my above reply, the status given to women is at best theoretical. It seems to work in theory in India where women still play the obedient house wife role, however when tested in modern western countries, you soon realise that not everything is as it seems.

Really interesting topic and congrats truthseeker for such articulate responses.

My two paisas about Hinduism spreading outside India in the last 1000 years.

Even to date you can see the influence of Hinduism in far-off countries like Indonesia. In fact one of their island (Bali) is Hindu-majority.

There are massive Hindu temples like Angkor vat in SE Asia. Borabudur in Indonesia is another example (Hindu-Buddhists as they are both interchangeable in the dharmic context, just like Hindu-Sikh ;) ).

I can go on about Indonesia's Hindu heritage but don't want to hijack the thread. few quick points besides Borabudur and Bali: Their national airlines is named Garuda, language: Bhasha, currency: Rupiah, a former President SukarnoPUTRI (yes, daughter of Sukarno), Lord Ganesha is on their currency notes.

 Even in Thailand, 'Hindu-influence' is everywhere. recent attack on a Brahma temple revealed another aspect of Thailand's ancient links to Hinduism. The royal family also claims (like Sri Guru Gobind Singhji)  links to Lord Rama.

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you don't feel that status given to females or the lowcastes/kuffar being regarded as equal before Waheguru irrespective of their beleifs?

Please see my above reply, the status given to women is at best theoretical. It seems to work in theory in India where women still play the obedient house wife role, however when tested in modern western countries, you soon realise that not everything is as it seems.

status of women in Sikhi, look at the gender imbalance figures in Punjab 

treatment of lowcastes, there is an exodus of the LCs from jat-controlled Sikhi. Ravidassias have made their own 'religion' others are joining christianity or Buddhism where the reservation privileges are the same as given to Sikh/Hindu LCs. this (the exodus) could be the one reason why Sikhs number is dwindling.

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Really interesting topic and congrats truthseeker for such articulate responses.

My two paisas about Hinduism spreading outside India in the last 1000 years.

Even to date you can see the influence of Hinduism in far-off countries like Indonesia. In fact one of their island (Bali) is Hindu-majority.

There are massive Hindu temples like Angkor vat in SE Asia. Borabudur in Indonesia is another example (Hindu-Buddhists as they are both interchangeable in the dharmic context, just like Hindu-Sikh ;) ).

I can go on about Indonesia's Hindu heritage but don't want to hijack the thread. few quick points besides Borabudur and Bali: Their national airlines is named Garuda, language: Bhasha, currency: Rupiah, a former President SukarnoPUTRI (yes, daughter of Sukarno), Lord Ganesha is on their currency notes.

 Even in Thailand, 'Hindu-influence' is everywhere. recent attack on a Brahma temple revealed another aspect of Thailand's ancient links to Hinduism. The royal family also claims (like Sri Guru Gobind Singhji)  links to Lord Rama.

 Japan and other parts of east asia also Hindu devtas/devis are worshiped . They have been incorporated into Shintoism and Taoism. There are temples dedicated to Indra, Brahma, Saraswati, Shiva, Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu etc in Buddhist countries of East Asia :-

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/before-buddhism-hindu.html
http://videshisutra.com/2013/02/01/hindu-devas-take-a-silk-road-trip-to-japan/

Some good books on this :-

books.google.ca/books?id=2et6AgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=upendra+india+japan&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fXRWVMegI4mVyQTqt4KACg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=upendra%20india%20japan&f=false

http://books.google.ca/books?id=V7phngEACAAJ&dq=hindu+gods+japan&hl=en&sa=X&ei=q3VWVOWfLcP4yQTj1IC4DA&redir_esc=y … 

Ramayana as the national epic of Laos : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phra_Lak_Phra_Lam

One thing particularly interesting is the reverence for Indra in Buddhist tradition, something that has been been waning in Hinduism/Vedic since Shiva and Vishnu became more popular.

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Friend on SM told me how he recently met a senior member of delhi sikh gurdwara committee and enquire steps taken by them to handle missionaries. He bluntly told him, "they have chosen their new religion, there is nothing we can do". 

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15 hours ago, amardeep said:

Does anyone know where I can find more info on the Sindhi Sikhs/Nanakpanthi Hindus?
 

http://hindutatva.yuku.com/topic/3601/Focus-Sindhi-Hindus-are-Sikhs-Yes-and-No

 

 

Bro i can connect you to live sources, i am part of a jatha which consists of both..where are you located ?

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On 05/07/2015 at 11:33 PM, amardeep said:

Gurfateh

I'd like to open a discussion on why Sikhi failed to spread significantly as a religion and failed to attract large numbers of converts outside Punjab. Even in Punjab, Sikhs probably never made up more than 10-20% of the population. Indeed, "small" pockets of converts can be found outside Punjab in Afghanistan, Bihar, Maharashtra etc. The latest Indian census reports reveal that Jammu and Kashmir has a Sikh population of some 200,000 (with most in the Jammu area and not in the remote Kashmir valley). Maharahstra likewise has some 250,000 while Bihar has a ridicilousily small number of only 20,000 (consider that Sikhi has been represented in this area for more than 300 years!!)... Rajastan has some 800,000 Sikhs while Madya Pradesh has 150,000 (which I find quite interesting to look further into). While these figures might sound astonishing to some, one just has to compare to the number of Christians in India - there are more Christians in India than there are SIkhs worldwide! Likewise there are more Muslims in Uttar Pradesh than there are Sikhs worldwide! To add insult to injury, there are almost double as many Muslim Punjabis as there are SIkh punjabis!

 

Untill British colonisation, large Sikh communities was not really to be seen outside lands that had'n been under Mughal sway. There were very small communities of Sikhs across the Asian continent (in Arab lands) but Sikhi never did manage to attract a large number of devotees. It is also noteworthy that many of the Sikh communities outside Punjab in many cases descend from Punjabi immigrants. As such, these are not indigenous converts of the land.

What do you think is the reason Sikhi failed to spread?

If Sikhkhoj is planning to write in this topic - keep it civil and keep all personal attacks aside!

1) SGPC brainwashing Sikhs that your not a Sikh unless you meet their criteria since 1940s

2) Chai samosay useless fat singhs in 20ft 60kg dastaars wearing khalsa uniform on the outside but inside is an atheist inside living their own life with their own desires not caring for the future of sikhi and circumstances of Sikhs in present.

3) Gurdwaray committee members thinking short term and more worried about revenue flow through their donation box than Sikh population and how to increase that population.

4) Sikh youth not encouraged to be strong in their faith by parents and being brainwashed with atheist liberalism political correct nonsense by western media which is a gameplay cleverly played by enemies of Sikhi so that our religion will vanish because generations will forget Sikhi.

5) Sikh kids bullied by islamo-fascists or atheist fascist  who are allowed to mock other belief systems but promote their own with vigour. 

6) Sikh females brainwashed to think its ok to be with non-sikh males so that demographics and next generations of Sikhs will not exist because mothers will be non-sikhs aswill the kids. Something to ponder on.

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Waheguru hi ka khalsa 

Waheguru ji ki fateh 

Maskeen ji said = Guru Nanak dee bageechi Kevel Una hath aayi jina ne inu ujaad ya  hae fallaya nhi 

 

 

 

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On 28 September 2015 at 4:54 PM, truthseeker546 said:

This is an interesting topic. Simply from a anthropological perspective. 

As a non Sikh, simply looking at it this  historical angle, and how religions spread I would state the following in regards in Sikhism.

1) From a theological perspective, Sikhism didn't offer anything radically different. In a country with a vast Hindu and Muslim populous - Sikhism (for the first 3 centuries) tries to combine Sufi Islamic mysticism with aspects of Hindu beliefs. The Hindu influence can be seen from the later Gurus - this dichotomy causes schisms  within the tradition. Thus hinders rapid growth that is indicative in other world faiths, ie. Islam, Christianity, - Also the infighting between the guru families/ "apostles" and emerging sects didn't help.

I could also mention here that there were issues with conflicting dogmas within Sikhism - monotheism and aspects of polytheism, (I've mentioned some in previous posts so won't elaborate here) this may not have been a problem for say the trinity in Christianity, for spreading in Europe. As Europe was largely primitively pagan and a more advanced beliefs system that incorporated aspects of previous beliefs AND MAKES MORE SENSE only made it more palatable to the locals. Sikhism was up against Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism - all advanced in theology - thus a new ethos would have to disprove older systems and as it were make more sense for the more educated class to accept. Which it obviously didn't. 

2) Christianity, Islam, Buddhism all produced to higher morals for large civilisations/empires. They all in their own way inspired art, culture, theology, etc (more true for Christianity and Islam) that attracted hordes of people towards their faiths. Outside the 10 Gurus, Sikhism only has Raja Ranjeet Singh to name as a suspenseful Sikh leader. Who exactly follow the teachings of the Gurus himself, or inspire future generations to expand his cause. His successors very quickly made sure any Sikhs empire would not flourish.

Most of its culture, art, architecture etc is borrowed from Islam or Hinduism. - thus not giving it a strong independent identity. 

3) Sikhism lacks the ability to inspire religious practice. - This might seem harsh but I'm not disputing there are many religious Sikhs that are deeply religious because of their faith. But compared  to more successful religions, Sikhism falls short. This is more true in the modern world, where Sikhism is struggling to keep it's current members within the faith let alone acquire new ones.

 

My comments are not meant to offend anyone, just my perspective. I may be wrong, but that's what I think it is.

 

Dear 'Truth Seeker'

from 'an anthropological perspective' what exactly is your background?  I think it would be good to put your bias..cough cough... sorry i mean 'viewpoint' in 'context'.  otherwise what is the point in offering your perspective if we don't even know what kind of perspective it is?  these seem more like underhand insults/attacks coming from a hostile mind (not to offend anyone, just my perspective).  

1) "Sikhism didn't offer anything radically different"- the pure emphasis on Gods name alone as sanctifying/saving a person, is only mirrored in Gaudy Vaishnavas in Bengal (who were contemporaries).  And indeed this practice is adoptable by adherents of other faiths (so it's actually not even a 'missionary' faith).  You can see from Sikh texts that Guru Nanak used to discuss precepts with other religious groups on their own terms.  There emphasis here was a revival of devotion, not conversion.   

What mixture of monotheism with polytheism? Admitting the existence of Hindu gods and goddesses is not the same as ascending to their supremacy, and is not even the case in mainstream Hinduism.  You clearly have no idea about Hindu philosophy back to the Upanishads etc  

And where is the 'sufi mysticism' influence?  Bhagat Kabir- had a Hindu Guru, advocated name of 'Rama', was not technically a sufi.  and accepting saints in other religions doesn't seem to come into indian sufism until AFTER sikhism.  Guru Nanak used arabic words because he was living in a muslim state (madrassas etc) but his terminology is not the same as Sufi schools.  Bhagat Farid is revered purely on terms of his devotion, where is the ideological 'sufi' influence in his works?

The 'influence' of sikhs is extremely great, if you look at the shifts in thinking (shown in literature) amongst Hindus and Muslims in North India.  Why was the last Mughal emperor composing in Panjabi, when that dialect was miles and miles away, if the influence didn't reach the educated classes?  You can study the difference in poetry- sufi and hindu- before and after sikhism arose, you will see a shift.  You can look at the writings of the pundits and urdu scholars for yourself.  Also the rise of other philosophies advocating 'Name alone is required' all over india, as far as Assam.

So Sikhism wasn't confrontational.

2.  Christianity, Islam and Buddhism all took hundreds of years to establish their 'theologies, arts' etc and they all had historical schisms.  so again another comparative failure on your behalf.

do you think perhaps, that a 200 year genocidal campaign on sikhs, maybe didn't help the cause?

Maharaja Ranjit Singh- one little brief rule- yet look at the ethical standard- abolished capital punishment, abolish animal slaughter.  Oh yeas and Sikhs were what, 2% of the punjab population at this time.

'Failure to inspire practice' again how would you know?  Sikhs 'practice' in private.  You have no idea what what they are 'failing' to do.

 

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On 1 October 2015 at 9:48 PM, truthseeker546 said:

 

"However on the majority I see a cultural affinity and a one sided arbitrary historical narrative that gives some credence towards an religious "identity".

There is an "idealism" of Sikhism that is taught but Sikhs in practice terms fall short of this...

From my own studies of Sikhism, I find these kinds of issues and a lot others you can find on the forum (Sex in Sikhism, homosexuality, place of women, marriage, etc) due the fact that there are too many contradictions...

For young people that are more analytical minded - especially University graduates, understanding an analysing faith is a fundamental aspect of developing ones identity. Don't question it and just follow it might work for India but falls short in other countries. And it's why Sikhism fails to inspire and spread.

"from the empirical experience of sikhs i have spoken to"...give me a break.  did you think putting 'empirical' in front of that would make it sound any better?  I think the 'intellectual minds' these days would do better to study logical fallacies etc...

and its kind of obvious that ALL the above points could apply to any religious group.  and where are the contradictions you speak of?  did you mean contradictions or another word.  maybe on internet forums that attract teenagers etc 

these issues- place of women, homosexuality- they are being discussed in every religion in the west- e.g. church of England, which is still the religion of the british aristocracy, so another comparative failure on your behalf

"don't question it and just follow it"- doesn't that apply to other religions you mention?  Catholicism, Islam etc?  

 

 

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