Guest Maha_Pavitar Posted July 5, 2004 Report Share Posted July 5, 2004 Cheapest Entertainment in Town--The Gurdwara By: Kanwar Ranvir Singh (learning zone yahoo group) today, it seems to me that gurdwaras are not for education, but for entertainment: we listen for particular artistes (ragis) and comment on the quality of the music and/or voice. we may be amused or entertained by some more outlandish fairy stories - sakhis, and we are encouraged to take part in some ritual activities in order to pay for our sins/insure our future - mainly donations of 10% (daswand) or holding an akhand paat (continuous reading of the whole guru granth sahib, but who listens to the whole thing?) or hosting langar. bored by the meaninglessness of the guru's diwan (the teacher's court - the classroom?), we focus on the quality of the free meal (langar was good/bad/indifferent) and its service. we want the venues for our cheap evening to be as nice as possible - look at the marble, the size, etc. if i may, this is the first shot of a protestant sikhism - a focus on the book and its meaning. today sikhs do not see the book. what they see is the golak - the money box. 99% of under-30s have never seen the guru granth sahib ji, but 100% have seen the golak. this does not go far enough. it is not a question of focusing on gurbani. it is a question of recognising gurbani as the guru once more. so far, people interpret gurbani in the light of reht, dasam granth, sakhis, but rather gurbani should be used to see which elements of anything else is useful. where have these mukhis/jathedars, wannabee popes comes from? what about this range of sants with their devoted and even fanatical followers? all of this reminds one of the state of the catholic religion just before the reformation. gurbani can explain gurbani. this is mainly because a great deal of it is already commentary. whenever a guru wanted to further clarify he did so. hence, we have already had editions with each guru before the final edition. this is the light of the guru. the body of the guru went from father (nanak) to son (angad) to grandson (amardas) [according to gurbani] through guru gobind singh to the khalsa - female and male. the body of the guru is alive and well. of course, once we acknowledge that our work in the gurdwara is educational, it is hard to see how wasting resources on fancy buildings, multiple readings of the text, unhealthy food or teachings assistants (granthis, ragis, etc.) who cannot communicate with those who read gurmukhi as an additional language, is really purposeful. rituals often seem meaningless to one who wants an answer to the question the guru poses, "how can i lead a truthful life?" if it isn't in gurbani why should i want to listen to a bunch of heebie-jeebie merchants who are making it all up? the simplicity of worship of the one inward god i can grasp as revolutionary. from god incarnate (hindu) to the son of god (christian and greek), to the messenger of god (islam), to the teacher about god inside (gurmat). the twin poles of guru granth - an authenticated text - and guru panth i can understand. an authenticated text guiding a reborn person committed to her/his new family through the passing of guru bloodline on march 30, 1699 from a human to a group that by now had faith in the inner tutor, the satguru, the inner intelligence of beingness. the three prayer times (dawn, evening and bedtime) as markers of the passage of the day make sense to me. its four don'ts i can understand as taboos preserving sikhs from outdated views of spirituality. its five ks make sense as augments for the evolutionary techno sapiens, a next step in human interaction with nature. for nature is not separate from god. god fills us and all of nature and the names (activities) of god in all breathes through the universe and turns it into a song (gurbani). extending this song through naam jaap - god into godliness - is the simple theme of the simplest ceremonies of birth, marriage, death, of gathering at the gurdwara to share, discuss and grow. please forgive the rapid process of writing but the thoughts had been moving in me for a long time. my educational needs to learn about the spirit have never been met at the gurdwara - does this mean that the guru had no teaching and learning strategy - i think not. any thoughts pyareo? 0 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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