Jump to content

Pre British rule..sikhi


Recommended Posts

Here about it alot, and only come into my thinking until recently (from nihangs.)

So fill me in people; is it true that prior to british rule sikhs would marry with hindu rituals,etc. Harmandir sahib had idols of hindu gods and that we use to basically be sikh/hindus (kinda thing.)

Im confused, fill me in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah its true, even in those days in India people used to call us Hindu, then Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderwala came and said where not hindu where Sikh. Theres loads of stories but i cant remeber most of them. Hopefully some other peeps here can help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mayb not you but, ppl thought dat sikhi was the same as Hinduism, some sikhs even today idol workship Hindu Gods' even when Guru Ji said not to idol workship any idol and call the stone God.

This is an extract from an artical called, "Struggle For Freedom 1947-2004".

1950: The Broken Promises

In 1950, depite protests by Sikhs, the Indian constitution was adopted, which failed to even recognise the Sikhs as a sparate religion or "kowm", instead Sikhs were categorsied as Hindus, and remain defined as such under Article 25 of the Constitution. The British recognised Sikh marrages under the Anand Karaj Act 1909, however this was replaced by the Hindu Marrage Act 1951. Sikh marriages are no longer recognised. To get a marriage license in "secular India", Sikhs have to sign a form entitled "The Hindu Marriage Act of 1951"

THERE YOU GO MY FRIEND. :?

Then there was a domino effect on sikhi and thats why Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindrawala came.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guru Sahib told us that we were neither Hindu nor Muslim but Human. I find his contribution better than anyone. It's really hard to become human who loves, respects and get along with everyone.

I think if Guru Nanak Dev ji comes to this world once again he would exclude Sikhs as well, if we go by present situation of Sikhs.

Yes, Sikhism is separate path to reach almighty and there is no doubt about it but every single Sikh is part of Humanity. This is what Kahan Singh Nabha has written in his book "Hum Hindu nahi hain" as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gurfateh.

Then why did we have idols in the gurudwarai? was it because of the masands who looked after the gurudwara (i hurd from a book) ??

I ask this because nihangs consider themselves, in essence, hindus (according to shastar vidiya) and although i agree with most points, this was kinda confusing for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive heard it from Malaysian friend, who died last year. I wish I had something to back it up with. Before anyone gets the wrong idea about me i dont hate Hindus' i've got soo many hindu mates'. Maybe im wrong?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So fill me in people; is it true that prior to british rule sikhs would marry with hindu rituals,etc. Harmandir sahib had idols of hindu gods and that we use to basically be sikh/hindus (kinda thing.)

Im confused, fill me in!

Yes it did happen. After the fall of the Sikh kingdom, many of these purported Granthis in Sikh temples were in actuallity Hindus. They behaved like Sikhs in order to gain control of the temples. Remember, a priest in Hinduism is a position of authority and power with monetary wealth to back it up. With Sikhism becoming popular, many Hindus were denouncing their religion to join Sikhism. Unable to stem the tide of the rising number Hindus denouncing Hinduism, many Hindus became pseudo Sikhs in order to have control of the Sikh temples. Slowly their Hindu colors started showing when they claimed Sikhism is a sect of Hinduism and idols were brought into the Harmandir. The Singh Sabha movement was started to 'cleanse' Sikhism of these deviant followesr who were in actuality Hindus.

Yeah its true, even in those days in India people used to call us Hindu, then Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderwala came and said where not hindu where Sikh. Theres loads of stories but i cant remeber most of them. Hopefully some other peeps here can help.

The point that was brought up actually happened in the late 17th century. I don't think Bindrawalla was even born at the time.

In 1950, depite protests by Sikhs, the Indian constitution was adopted, which failed to even recognise the Sikhs as a sparate religion or "kowm", instead Sikhs were categorsied as Hindus, and remain defined as such under Article 25 of the Constitution. The British recognised Sikh marrages under the Anand Karaj Act 1909, however this was replaced by the Hindu Marrage Act 1951. Sikh marriages are no longer recognised. To get a marriage license in "secular India", Sikhs have to sign a form entitled "The Hindu Marriage Act of 1951"

The Hindu marriage act was enacted NOT because Sikhs were behaving Hindu like but because Hindus in India today do not recognize Sikhism as a separate and distinct religion.

Guru Sahib told us that we were neither Hindu nor Muslim but Human. I find his contribution better than anyone. It's really hard to become human who loves, respects and get along with everyone.

Rubbish! Guru Nanak Dev Ji claimed he was neither 'Hindu or Muslim' but he never claimed he was neither Hindu or Muslim but human. You're adding your own stuff here. Also he was not a reformer of Hinduism nor was he a Muslim as how many Hindus and Muslims would like to believe.

Maybe he said it because he wanted everyone to be united and not divide themselves under religious clubs or he wanted to set himself apart as some sort of a free thinker who was not a Hindu or Muslim but instead a 'seeker of truth'. Whatever his reasons may have been, by the tenth Guru it was clearly defined that Sikhs are a separate religion from Hinduism and Islam. Maybe at the time Guru Nank Dev Ji's original purpose was just movement to raise spiritual awareness but one cannot deny there was some intention on his part to start something new other wise why bother setting separate Gurdwaras with Masands elected by him? He could have instead led the life of a sufi saint ie Kabir or started reformation within Hinduism ie the Bhakthi movement and the Arya Samajists.

Your intentions are nobel but unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. In fact your response is quite astounding especially when Hindus are literally spitting in the face of Sikhs by claiming Sikhism a sect of Hinduism! Why do you fear the truth? Why are you advocating us to be blind to the truth?

Sikhism NEEDS to be protected from the onslaught of Hinduism. I'm sorry but I cannot agree with you. If we be complacent and emulate your attitude, Sikhism might meet the same fate as Jainism and Buddhism and future Sikhs will be confused as to who to they really are. I for one would dread to see future generations visiting mandirs and going back to idol worship and casteism. No, we need to instead raise awareness and stop the spreading of these lies.

I think if Guru Nanak Dev ji comes to this world once again he would exclude Sikhs as well, if we go by present situation of Sikhs.

I very much doubt that and this is merely your opinion which is quite negative and I wonder why. Why would Guru Nanak exclude Sikhs when he started Sikhism? Why do you judge the Sikhs so badly when they are the ones who are being oppressed by the Hindus? What do you mean by 'present' situation Sikhs?

Yes, Sikhism is separate path to reach almighty and there is no doubt about it but every single Sikh is part of Humanity. This is what Kahan Singh Nabha has written in his book "Hum Hindu nahi hain" as well.

Nobel thoughts but not very practical. You sound just like those Christian liberals who are Muslim apologists covering up for this vile cults nastiness just so that they may appear very 'politically correct'.

No doubt Sikhs are part of humanity but rest assured, they are still Sikhs. I understand you want to sound egalitarian and not wanting to offend Hinduism or Islam, but the truth is truth. The Gurus called a spade a spade and this why the were so respected. What have you to say to the following assertions made by the Gurus? You'll note, they were not too PC.

Sikhism and Other Religions

Hinduism

Bani Concerning Hinduism

Similarities

Reincarnation

Like Hinduism Sikhims believes in the transmigration of the soul. There are countless cycles of births and deaths. One only breaks this cycle when they achieve mukhti (merger with God)

Karma

Karma regulates the reincarnation and transmigration of the soul, Sikhism links Karma with the doctrine of Grace.

"Mortals obtain a human body as a result of good deeds but he reaches the gate ofsalvation with God's kind grace." (Guru Nanak, Japji)

Maya

The world is just an illusion and some get enchanted with this illusion and forget God

Differences

Sikhism rejects polytheism and accepts monotheism. Whereas Sikhism starts with one God and universalizes Him, Hinduism starts with many Gods and occasionally gives glimpses of 'One'.

"I do not accept Ganesha as important. I do not meditate on Krishna, neither on Vishnu. I do not hear them and do not recognize them. My love is with the Lotus feet of God. He is my protector, the Supreme Lord. I am dust of his Lotus feet." (Guru Gobind Singh, Krishna Avatar)

Authority of the Vedas and the belief that the truth revealed in them is absolute and that reading them one can realize perfection.

"I have read all the Vedas, but my mind's separation from God is not removed and the five demons of my house (body) are stilled not even for an instant." (Guru Arjan Dev, Ashtpadis, pg. 687)

Sikhism does not recognize any priestly class.

"Kabir, the Brahman may be the Guru of the world, but he is not the Guru of the saints. He rots to death in the perplexities of the four Vedas" (Bhagat Kabir, Salok, pg. 1377)

Rejection of the Ashrama Dharma theory of dividing man's life into four stages. Instead the Gurus emphasized living the householders life. Rejection of the Varna distinction of division of human society into higher and lower castes.

"There are four castes of the literates, warriors, cultivators and menials and the four stages of life. He who meditates on the Lord is the most distinguished amongst men." (Guru Ram Das, Gond, pg. 861)

"The Lord asks not mortals caste and birth, so find thou out the Lord's True Home (truth). That alone is man's caste and that his glory, as are the deeds which he does." (Guru Nanak, Parbhati, pg. 1330)

The Gurus rejected the Avtara theory of the incarnations of God. The Gurus not only exposed the mortality of these gods but used stories to illustrate moral values, such as 'pride leads to a fall' illustrated by the story of Harnakhash, untouchability becoming superior through devotion to God by Krishna stories and stories where Bhrahma, Vishnu and Shiva are shown to be ordinary mortals. The Gurus stressed that there is only one God and that these gods and goddeses were not true.

"In every age, the Lord creates the kings, who are sung of as His incarnations. Even they have not found His limits." (Guru Amar Das, Ashtpadis, pg. 423)

"Millions of incarnations of Vishnu and Shiv, with matted hair Desire Thee, O Kind Lord, with endless longing of their mind and body. Infinite and Inaccessible is Lord, the World Sustainer, and He is the Omnipresent wealthy Master. The gods, perfect persons, heavenly heralds and celestial singers contemplate on Thee. The greater gods and heavenly dancers utter Thine praises. Myrids of kings, gods and many super human beings remember the Lord and hail Him." (Guru Arjan Dev, Chhant, pg. 455)

Worship of idols and images.

"The blind ignorant ones stray in doubt and so deluded, deluded they pluck flowers for worship. They worship the lifeless stones and adore tombs. Their service all goes in vain." (Guru Ram Das, Malar, pg. 1264)

"They who say the stone is a god; in vain is their service. He who falls at the feet of the stone; vain goes his labour. My Lord ever speaks. The Lord gives gifts to all the living beings. The Lord is within, but the blind one knows not. Deluded by doubt, he is caught in a noose. The stone speaks not, nor gives anything. In vain are the ceremonies of the idolater, and fruitless his service." (Guru Arjan Dev, Bhairo, pg. 1160)

The Gita and Vedanta goal of a Mukt. Once he achieves salvation he does not live for the community. In Sikhism the Gurmukh achieving salvation lives to save others.

"Abandon lust, wrath, avarice and worldly love. Thus be rid of both birth and death. Distress and darkness shall depart from thy home, when, within thee, the Guru implants wisdom and lights the Divine lamp. He, who serves the Lord crosses the sea of life. Through the Guru, O slave Nanak, the entire world is saved." (Guru Arjan Dev, Gauri, pg. 241)

Belief that reading of the six Shastras and their mastery will bring salvation.

"The greatly voluminous Simirtis and Shastras stretch out the extension of worldly love. The fools read them, but know not their Lord. Some rare one knows Him by the Guru's grace. Of Himself the Creator does and makes others do. By means of the True Bani, He implants truth within the mortal." (Guru Amar Das, Maru, pg. 1053)

"Many Shashtras and many Simirtis have I seen and searched them all. Nanak, they equal not Lord God's invaluable Name." (Guru Arjan Dev, Gauri, pg. 265)

Rejection of Sanskrit or any language as being sacred.

http://www.sikhs.org/relig_h.htm

If a Hindu read those scriptures, he or she may have found it very offending. Does this mean the Sikh Gurus were wrong and arrogant? The truth is the truth and one has to stand up for it no matter how offending it may be to another party and this is Sikhism.

So Rupz and everybody here has every right to raise this issue and claim to the truth especially when Hindus around the globe are claiming Sikhism a part of Hinduism.

Again quoting your assertion....

It's really hard to become human who loves, respects and get along with everyone.

Nobody here is inciting hate towards Hinduism but just awareness to many Hindus dubious claim of Sikhims a sect of Hinduism and I believe this attitude is IN line with Gurus teachings.

I dare say Guru Nanak would be extremely proud of todays Sikhs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it did happen. After the fall of the Sikh kingdom, many of these purported Granthis in Sikh temples were in actuallity Hindus. They behaved like Sikhs in order to gain control of the temples. Remember, a priest in Hinduism is a position of authority and power with monetary wealth to back it up. With Sikhism becoming popular, many Hindus were denouncing their religion to join Sikhism. Unable to stem the tide of the rising number Hindus denouncing Hinduism, many Hindus became pseudo Sikhs in order to have control of the Sikh temples. Slowly their Hindu colors started showing when they claimed Sikhism is a sect of Hinduism and idols were brought into the Harmandir. The Singh Sabha movement was started to 'cleanse' Sikhism of these deviant followesr who were in actuality Hindus.

Does anybody have a fairly accurate idea of when these idols were brought into Harminder Sahib? From there we can ascertain how much influence Hindus have exerted on Sikhs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Sardar Moderator Singh

Harjot Oberoi was a Keshdari Singh, who following violent threats from certain parts of the Sikh community who took issue with his works but lacked the intellect to counter them (hence resorting to threats an violence), shed his kesh and has essentially strayed away from Sikhi.

Whatever the case, his book is good source material, whatever your viewpoint.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nek no wory,

Im going back soon

jus havn't had the time :LOL:

--------------

>>Harjot Oberoi was a Keshdari Singh, who following violent threats from certain parts of the Sikh community who took issue with his works but lacked the intellect to counter them (hence resorting to threats an violence), shed his kesh and has essentially strayed away from Sikhi.

Whatever the case, his book is good source material, whatever your viewpoint.<<

There are many books refuting Oberoi's work so I don't understand where you got the idea that Sikhs lacked the intellect to challenge him.

The book 'Invasion of religious boundaries' was specifically written to counter Oberoi. It contains papers by over 20 Sikh scholars which dissect and refute Oberoi's theories. Far from your claim that Sikhs haven't countered him, it is Oberoi who has not been able to answer his Sikh critics.

Perhaps a run down of the scholars would go some way to reassure you that Sikhs are not always into threats of violence and can counter some intellectually

Dr. Balkar Singh - Professor of religion- Punjabi university

Dr Bhagat Singh - former professor of history - Punjabi university

Dr Darshan Singh - Professor and Chairman, Dept of Guru Nanak and Sikh studies, Punjab University

Dr Gurbaksh Singh Gill - former professor Akal College

Dr Gurnam Kaur 0 Head, Sri Guru Granth Sahib studies dept - Punjabi university

Dr Jodh Singh - Professor and Head dept of Comparative religion, Punjabi university

Dr Madanjit Kaur - Professor, Guru Nanak Dev University

--------------------------------

same posts is goign on ur fav board Nek ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nek, he certainly is a recognised Sikh scholar because he has revolutionised the whole field. Barrier was focusing in on Singh Sabha reforms, but Oberoi shook up a lot of assumptions of previous scholars. I'd be amazed if his text isn't a basic course text for most recognised academic courses on Sikhi outside the punjab universities, not only due to his research but also his methodoloy (was it post-structuralist? It was certainly post-collonial - did he refer to Said in there? somebody has nicked my copy so can't remember)

As far as I'm concerned, the whole issue was abit of a Salman Rushdie in that most of the people crying murder hadn't read the book (and probably didn't have the capacity to understand it - I mean that in an unpatronising way, it is academic afterall - how many sardars have you met who have read Foucault???). Most of the claims of the text are pretty straightforward, that with a newly imposed colonial worldview western educated Sikhs reacted and imposed appeasing socio-religious boundaries that were not there before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jt Singh

I think you are mistaken in your belief that Oberoi issue is 'a bit of a salman rushdie'. Either you are not aware of the oberoi issue or were on a desert island when rushdie got his fatwa in the 80's otherwise I don't think you would have made such a comparsion.

As far as I am aware, Oberoi has not had his effegy burnt by irate Sikhs and no Jathedar has put out a death order on him. Neither has Oxford University Press been torched and Oberoi does not live his life under the protection of Special Branch. I hope that next time you will refain from making ridiculous comparisons.

The Sikh response to Oberoi has been exemplary and one that would put the muslims to shame in how they handled rushdie.

You made a statement that the Sikhs who are opposed to Oberoi hadn't even read his book. Have you asked each and everyone of them ? If not then please be careful not to make assumptions. May I enquire whether you have read the Sikh academia's response to Oberoi ? I doubt it otherwise you would not be so quick to judge him a 'scholar'

>>Most of the claims of the text are pretty straightforward, that with a newly imposed colonial worldview western educated Sikhs reacted and imposed appeasing socio-religious boundaries that were not there before.<<

This is the main limitation of Oberoi's book. He takes a a period in Sikh history when the religion was at it's lowest ebb ( 1849-1873 ) and uses it as a base for deciding what Sikhism is. If the Sikhs of that period who for the most part were recent converts to Sikhism brought into their new religion the bagagge of caste, ritual, belief in spirits and gods and demi-gods then Oberoi takes this to be the 'norm' in Sikhism. For a book discussing Sikh identity and Sikh religious practices it is amazing that he does not provide more than a few quotea from the Guru Granth Sahib ! I wonder if he would be acclaimed as such a great 'scholar' if he had similarly claimed that Islam as we know it today is also a creation of the British because the Muslims of Punjab at that time were also taking part in the same rituals and beliefs as the Sikhs.

Jt Singhji, having read your reading lists on other threads as I assume that you have read 'Invasion of Religious Boundaries' or 'Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity' by J S Grewal ? The latter book pretty much demolishes Oberoi. If you have read these books then perhaps we can discuss this issue further.

As for the idol issue,

There is a lot of confusion about the idols issue. For one thing there were NO idols at all in the Harmandir Sahib, they were placed on the parikarma ( the rectangular walkway around the sarovar ). This is important because people often state wrongly that 'idols were in the Harmandir Sahib' and thereby create the impression that Idols were one time kept in the holiest of Sikh Gurdwaras.

The issue of when these idols were placed there can best be resolved byt looking at the accounts left by visitors to the Harmandir Sahib. There is no mention of idols being present in the complex during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The british visitors to the Harmandir Sahib during his rule and directlly after make no mention of idols. Maharaja Ranjit Singh took great personal interest in the running of the Harmandir Sahib and made appointments of Sarbrahs ( managers ) himself. The idols in the parikrama are first mentioned by the Singh Sabha newspapers in their attempt to awaken Sikhs to the mismanagement of the Harmandir Sahib by the British appointed Sarbrah. This is in the 1880's. So it is likely that the idols were placed in the Parikrama between 1849 -1880. As we all know large numbers of Hindus as well as many Muslims were regular visitors to the Harmandir Sahib in the 19th century. The Sarbrahs having lost the patronage of Sikh state either placed the idols in order to increase the number of Hindus visiting the Hramandir Sahib and hence increase the income or turned a blind eye when Hindus worshippers placed idols there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

C'mon Mr. Singh, try to read the post a little carefully

'the whole issue was abit of a Salman Rushdie in that most of the people crying murder hadn't read the book'

'in that'...it was a common criticism made of the Salman Rushdie affair that those who were most voicifirously against it had not read the book. I hope that next time you will at least try to read the sentence to the end before accusing me of drawing a 'ridiculous comparison' (which I never made) between the subsequent treatment of Rushdie and Oberoi, I am well aware of the differences my friend. I was pointing to something a little more specifc about the rushdie affair.

I ask you...who was most voicifirious against Oberoi? Whose negative media helped pull the funding for his seat? Do academic critiques like the ones you've sited get concieved, written and published in a matter of months? No! The people who shouted loudest were not the nice people at Guru Nanak Dev University such as Prof. Madanjit Kaur, etc.

Contrary to your supposition, I have read academic responses to Oberoi! You should also read 'Contesting Perspectives on Sikh Tradition' by Grewal. This gives an excellent overview of the last few years of Sikh scholarship in the west.

You state that for a book on Sikh identity and religious practice, it lacks quotes from Sri Gru Granth Sahib. Could you point to quotes you would choose to use from Sri Guru Granth Sahib for the following;

- ardas

- karah prasad

- panj kakkar

- panj bania

- daswand

- socio-politcal identity

- relations with British Colonial regime

- religious diversity

That was a non-criticism. As far as I'm concerned, nor was he ever setting out to define Sikh religious boundaries as such, but instead pointing to historical changes that occured at a particular point, and the consequences this has had on Sikh identity today. The criticisms came from people like yourself who choose to be blind to the fact that religious boundaries have not remained static since the time of the Gurus.

Mr. Singh wrote;

'I wonder if he would be acclaimed as such a great 'scholar' if he had similarly claimed that Islam as we know it today is also a creation of the British because the Muslims of Punjab at that time were also taking part in the same rituals and beliefs as the Sikhs'

If that is your parody of the gist of Oberoi's text, then you have not, or chosen not to understand it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My whole issue is with you comparing Oberoi with Rushdie. I am sure there are better comparisions around but your use of Rushdie seems a bit suspect. Whenever anyone hears Rushdie the first thing that comes to mind is Satanic Verses and the death threat. Also the killings of various publishers and translators. I hope you understand now that even making a comparison is a limited manner is still likely to confuse not aware of Oberoi but those who have some knowledge of the Rushdie fatwa.

>>You state that for a book on Sikh identity and religious practice, it lacks quotes from Sri Gru Granth Sahib. Could you point to quotes you would choose to use from Sri Guru Granth Sahib for the following; <<

It is easy to make a selective list and then state that it wasn't possible to take quotes from the Guru Granth Sahib. Let me see, can anyone write a book about Sikhs or Sikhism and still manage to not quote from the Guru Granth Sahib? If anyone Oberoi has achieved the impossible here! I must say your ridiculous point about what quotes he could have taken about ' British colonial regime' from the Guru Granth Sahib is pretty foolish. One of the chief flaws in Oberoi's book is that in discussing Sikh identity and beliefs he makes no mention whether the rituals and beliefs followed by the Sanatan Sikhs were advocated by the Guru Granth Sahib. Things such as caste, idol worship, visiting graves etc. So it leaves the reader wondering which side is following the Gurus and which side is following Manmat. Oberoi's writing style leaves no doubt that he supports the Sanatans in this battle and rues the fact that the Tat Khalsa defeated his heroes.

>>Contrary to your supposition, I have read academic responses to Oberoi! You should also read 'Contesting Perspectives on Sikh Tradition' by Grewal. This gives an excellent overview of the last few years of Sikh scholarship in the west.<<

Oh dear. Please read my post and see that I actually asked you to read grewal's book. Quite funny since you asked me to read you post fully and you come up this yourself !

Care to re-read Grewal and the way he has demolished Oberoi's claim of a Sanatan Sikhism ? ( pages 25-29 ) especially his selective use of Koer Singh ( Gurbilas Patshahi Das ) when it suits his purpose but igonring him when his work supports the Tat Khalsa position. Grewal also makes the important point that for a book written about Sanatan Sikhs, Oberoi doesn't actually make clear who these Sanatan Sikhs were !. he leaves this section stating -

" His ( Oberoi's ) hypothesis of Sanatan Sikhism in the early nineteenth century appears to be vague and vacuous" ( page 29 )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...