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Defining a Sikh


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Gur Fateh!

I have a question concerning a set of information that I have seen replicated at various sources from the “Census of India, 1891, Vol.XX, and vol.XXI. The Punjab and its Feudatories, by E.D. Maclagan, Part II and III, Calcutta, 1892, pp.826-9 and pp.572-3.”

The most obscure one being that according to this census 78,952 Hindus and 859,138 Sikhs classified themselves as 'Guru Gobind Singhi'; and 129 Hindus and 3,621 Sikhs returned as 'Khalsa'.

Similarly, in the Census of India, 1881-1931, Punjab, vol.1 (Tumba, Sweden, International Documentation Centre 1964, microfiche) cited in, Richard G. Fox, Lions of the Punjab: Culture in the Making, University of California Press, London 1985, p.113., one sees references to Nanak Panthis and Sahajdhari and Gobind Singhi.

Moreover, in the 1891 census, ‘Sikh’ even appears under the category of ‘Hindu' and also groups such as: Akali, Arjan Singh Guru, Guru Gobind Singhi, Udasi, Kuka, Amardasi, Angad Guru, Anandpuria, Nirmala, Sikh, Tegh Bahadur Guru.

Subsequent to the Singh Sabha movement and Colonial Rule, one finds this array of multi-identities more rigidly defined as evidenced by the 1901 census where only Keshdharis qualified as Sikhs (R.G. Fox as above, p.112), however in 1911 people were permitted to define their own religious identity again, of course as we are all aware, the more strict definition of what a Sikh has held further sway since the turn of the 20th century.

Whilst we have various groups, historians, movements and writers presently purporting their research and views on some of the pre-1901 census identities which in some instances do appear to be somewhat contradictory, it does materialise that a variety of co-existing ‘Sikh’ identities and movements was the vogue prior to the 20th century...

-What are forum’s views on this front?

-What exactly qualifies say as ‘Gobind Singhi’ or ‘Anandpuria’ (terms alien to me personally)?

-What is the present position of these groups mentioned (and other that I may have overlooked) which would not qualify as Sikh per se under our present understanding/definition of the term?

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Gur Fateh!

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Got this from SGPC wesbite

The Definition of Sikh :

Article I

Any human being who faithfully believes in

i. One Immortal Being,

ii. Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib,

iii. The Guru Granth Sahib,

iv. The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and v. the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh

Does that mean udhasi and seeva-panthis are not sikhs???

Also on side note: Since we are discussing this topic with views and references and what not!!. I be moving this topic to formal debate section shortly.

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Gurfateh people

The Definition of Sikh :

Article I

Any human being who faithfully believes in

i. One Immortal Being -

Definition ; noun, 1 existence (http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/being?view=uk)

Im just wondering about 'does not owe any allegiance to any other religion' is a sikh ?

What about bhagats that were muslim sufis? They are muslims but can they be sikhs at the same time ? This may sounds silly but what if your a muslim who lives like a sufi and reads gurbani, and believes the ten gurus? Where would you fall then ?

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of allegiance is as follows

'noun loyalty of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause'

Im just enquiring as to the fairness to this statement...

I have no views yet do to lack of knowledge and information.

Anyone ?

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Merely believing in the Ten Gurus is not it! ..mgiht want to FOLLOW their teachings as well ;)

its like asking..if you do half the criterias to achieve an 'A' as a grade and half criterias of getting the grade 'B' your NOT an 'A' just cause you have done half of what you're required!

What about bhagats that were muslim sufis?

what about them? litteraly definition of SIkh is Seeker of Truth...

Bhagats are already enlightened hence not Sikhs :)

Bhull chukk maaf

GurFateh!

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The word sikh is universal. The definition of a Sikh is one that is seeking or learning. One does not have to be associated with the Religion Sikhism to be called a Sikh, nor does the Religion Sikhism has any copyright on the word Sikh. The word sikh in the Dictionary should not only define individuals associated with the religion Sikhism but the actual meaning of the word Sikh which is seeker/learner of Truth.

The word Sikh is universal as is the word Truth. One who is set out to learn or to seek thru the Guru is a Sikh.

The Term Sikh defined by the Rehat is only associated with the Religion, not the universal definition. To be a part of the Religion Sikhism and to be called a sikh thru the terms of Rehat is defined by the Rehat.

Any one can be a Sikh or is a Sikh because we are always learning or seeking the truth. We never stop learning. To know everything is to know the Infinite and that canot be grasped by the mind, so if you know everything, then you cannot be associated with the mind therefore you have no identity ie: sikh, muslim, christian, hindu.... When you associate yourself with the mind, you have a name to which you respond, you become again confined in the body. Mind is Man. Man has an identity. The goal is to have no identity.

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Pheena that was cool definition - Just one quick comment - if the goal is to have no identity, then was is the purpose of becoming a Nihung, Sevapanthi, Udhasis etc ?

Can you please distinguish between metal identity and physical identity and how to keep them separate?

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Pheena that was cool definition - Just one quick comment - if the goal is to have no identity, then was is the purpose of becoming a Nihung, Sevapanthi, Udhasis etc ?

Can you please distinguish between metal identity and physical identity and how to keep them separate?

To lose your identity you must first have an identity which has to be lost ie: nihungs, sevapanthi, udhasis etc. Most are stuck on this phase, they have not moved from having an identity to losing it. Identity is like having a path, but the path is not the destination. The destination lies at the end of the path. The path too must fall. As is the purpose of the Ego, which IS necessary, to say that i am walking on this path to god. Your ego must exist for you to lose it. For you to have an identity the ego is necessary. God set a path for you and if your ego did not exist, there would be no need for a path for you did not exist. It exists for that purpose so you can walk with an identity to lose it.

Your physical identity is given to you at birth and it changes everytime you come to into this world (reincarnation). In the physical body of a dog your identity was of a dog, not of a human. You took that identity and did not rebute against it, you felt as if you were a dog. The spirit has no identity, for it simply exists. you cannot say that the spirit's name is joe or fred. It has no name to which it responds, it has no shape to which it is confined to. it has no features which you can define. Identiless. it is diffcult to grasp as we can only see and grasp things which are defined.

Language gives life to identity and god is beyond both. Silence gives life to identiless and god exist in both. Language is necessary to fall into silence, and identity is necessary to transform into identiless. The undefined is only seen in silence, language is bondage, it is identity. Words are spoken for gaps of silence to exist in between them. The intention is not the words, but the gaps of silence they leave behind. Listen not to the words but to the gaps of silence. For only in silence do you lose all identity and begin to evaporate, once that transition begins to happen words have no meaning for you. Silence becomes everything. I am not talking about Silence of the tounge, but Silence of the mind of thoughtlessness.

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