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Bushido- Code of the Samurai


Guest Javanmard
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Guest Javanmard

As the thread I has started earlier on the Hagakure has ended up becoming a thread on Tantrism (as if reading a few articles on it wasn't enough to answer any questions on the subject) I propose to introduce this thread dedicated to Bushido and classical works on Bushido and discuss these works, giving them a Sikh re-reading. Apart from Yamamoto Tsenutomo's Hagakure I propose to discuss Daidoji Yuzan's works as well as Musashi's Go Ri No Sho.

What seems to transpire from these works is the fact that the samurai was meant to be cultured and educated as well. Many samurai were poets, painters and philosophers. The tea ceremony and other classical Japanese arts were important in a samurai's education.

When I look at Guru Gobind Singh I find he competely embodies that ideal we all should strive to imitate: perfect warrior-knight, poet , musician and master of so many other arts. Dressing well is also important. This is in pure contrast with the whole idea of 'being simple' so much promoted by Neo-SIkhs and their hatred for classical culture.

what do you think?

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Gur Fateh!

I can't write much at present, however a request first, ADMIN Jeeo, please can we keep this thread strictly to the matter at hand to ensure this subject is fully discussed and developed.

I first read the Bushido when finishing my undergraduate studies and in many ways it was this text (later in conjunction with readings from the Dasam Granth) that really inspired me to move towards Amrit and a Khalsa lifetstyle -prior to that, as much as this will upset some, I simply did not wish to become like the streams of Katar-Amritdharis I saw and met growing up with the all too famous stance on 'being simple' with their own sub-culture of masculine-issues.

I saw direct parallels between the requirements for the Samurai and those I considered to be crucial to the Khalsa Singh, for instance:-

-Samurai would comb their hair every morning, cut their nails, maintain good health and engage in meditative and physical discipline (compare to actually undertaking Ishaan, Yoga, Simran, Paath, Healthy breakfast etc)

-Samurai were expected to master the science of weaponary and also keep weapons to hand, simultaneously they were also required to be skilled in healing arts (using herbs, what would consider now as first aid etc etc)

-Samurai during peaceful times were required undertake training in classical music and calligraphy and be well versed in classic literature (compare with the records we have of Khalsa Singhs of old trained in Raag Vidiya, Santiya and calligraphy of many Granths, Baba Deep Singh is an obvious example as indeed is Sant Gurbachan Singh Bindrawale).

-Samurai would only drink wine (saki) and not common alcohol or partake in any intoxicating substances.

-Most Samurai were married and were expected to maintain their traditions with their children from an early age.

...in short I found the Bushido to cover aspects of education, familial duty, principles, valour, courtesy & respect, horsemanship, managing the house, frugality and many others far over and above those extolled by modern institutions purporting to be the only true holders of 'Tat-gurmat-maryada' yet possessing very few of such skills although Guru Gobind Singh himself not onlyl displayed them, but sought to establish the very same if one looks further into his writings, life and relics...

Gur Fateh,

Niranjana

p.s. I know I'm running short on time, however this closing statement from the Bushido on cultural refinement has to be considered to really understand why all these matters are important and not simply "nakre" as I have so often been told...

"While it goes without saying that an attitude of hardness and strength if considered foremost in the way of the warrior, if strength is all you have you will seem like a PEASANT turned Samurai, and THAT WILL NEVER DO. You SHOULD acquire education as a matter of course, and it is desirable to learn things as poetry and the tea ceremony, little by little ("rumta rumta"), in your spare time...

...if you have no eduaction, there is no way for you to understand the reasons of things of past or present...you will run into obstacles..."

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Guest Javanmard

The bushido codes clearly refer to the mastering of different arts. Interestingly enough some rahitname incist on calligraphy. It is shameful that nowadays this art is not taught anymore and that practically no one in the Panth is trying to revive this sublime art practised by our Gurus. A few exceptions do exist but they are so few...

May I add that mastering Gurmukhi is an absolute requirement for ANY Sikh. Creating one's own gutka is surely a meritorious action to undertake as it combines simran and art!

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The bushido codes clearly refer to the mastering of different arts.

The Hagakure states that learning arts not directly connected with acts of war and aggression (such as poetry, calligraphy and painting) is "ruinous" to a true bushi. It states that learning them brings weakness and shame.

Interestingly enough some rahitname incist on calligraphy.

Why?

Creating one's own gutka is surely a meritorious action to undertake as it combines simran and art!

Are you sure that that's the reason? If so, the reason would differ substantially from the Oriental reasons.

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Guest Javanmard

Before I go on to answer Shasterkovitch's remarks I just wish to, en passant, give the link to a few remarks of Khushwant Singh on the Khalsa

http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/315000/audio...parrow_hawk.ram

Dear Shasterkovitch, thank you for your remarks and questions which are most appropriate.

The calligraphy of sacred texts has two major advantages: an artistic one and a meritorious one. The artistic one refers to the disciplining of the hand and mind, the union of paper, pen and mind. This is probably what you call the 'oriental reason'.

The meritorious one refers to the fact that copying down sacred texts is a form of simran hence meritorious as well. As Beauty is a door to the Divine calligraphy is one of the ways. Kukai Kobodaishi himslef considered calligraphy one of the noblest arts and also emphacised on the meritorious nature of copying the sutras of the Buddhist Dharma. I hope this satisfies your queries.

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Lalleshvari, thanks for your comments.

The calligraphy of sacred texts has two major advantages: an artistic one and a meritorious one. The artistic one refers to the disciplining of the hand and mind, the union of paper, pen and mind. This is probably what you call the 'oriental reason'.

Absolutely right. Bunbu ichi.

The meritorious one refers to the fact that copying down sacred texts is a form of simran hence meritorious as well. As Beauty is a door to the Divine calligraphy is one of the ways. Kukai Kobodaishi himslef considered calligraphy one of the noblest arts and also emphacised on the meritorious nature of copying the sutras of the Buddhist Dharma. I hope this satisfies your queries.

You're right! I think the crux is in beauty being the door to the divine. Kakuzo Okakura's book of Tea ("Teaism was Taoism in disguise") equates divinity with whatever is pleasing aesthetically.

With regard to calligraphy, I was thinking deeply about the place it occupies as the whole, or part of, a way of life. Tea has given me an alternative perspective on what the model ought to be, to compare against the way of life of a traditional khalsa sort of person. Japanese samurai may be an apt example, but may not be the most apt. I may be a bit biased, though. More than happy to discuss this with you in private, but not in public on this forum.

Anyway, thanks for your anwers and all the best.

Shasterkovich

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