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Just Me Reflecting..(and typing it!!)


sikh_fauge
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The mughal empire and its attack on "hinduism" and the hindustani people; As we all know, the sikhs were subjected to the most horrid of ordeals, and the gurus themselves (along with their family members) were victims. Severed sikh heads were rewarded with money!! Such was the regard mughals had for the sikhs.

The period of maharaja duleep singh and queen victoria is quite a fascinating, and rather heart breaking period during which the punjab was raped of its riches, and the sikh kingdom was occupied by the foreign rulers, christian missionaries flourished, and non educated white men took responsibility of government positions.

The partition of india; as we all know, the sikhs suffered greatly at the hands of muslims (however the sikhs were also guilty of bloody retaliation); arguably this was because of the division the british raj period had stirred in the minds of the people.

Then the khalistan movement/period..the akal takht was attacked (irrespect of its size) and the sikh people were treated in most vile ways; murders, raping, looting,etc was prevailent in most hindu populated areas. Sikhs were labelled terrorists and prior to all the events above, they were provocated in many instances.

Then of course we have modern legislations which completely disreguard the relegious identity of the sikhs (despite it being integral to their faith,) the communal tensions (moreso amongst the youth,) the common (however expected) racism, which is prevalent in most countries (towards sikhs,) the disrespect or lack of respect shown towards sikh holy shrines/places of importance (such as the upkeeping of gurudwarai in pakistan) etc etc.

Although im at that often occuring period of bhagti/spirituality (where naam is ever satisfying to the heart and soul) i cant help but become anxious and full of so many thoughts when reading the painful accounts of what sikhs as a people have had to face, and continue to face today.

It seems there is an ongoing struggle for the sikhs as a people..what are we missing..what can we do to stop history repeating itself? What can we do to stop this trend (or so it seems) of being treated like second class citizens? And is it wrong (in light of gurbani) to turn a blind eye to obvious traits in the universal society and focus on our spiritual lives, within our own little communities??

As a general observation, it seems, in general, the sikh community has lost the balance of bhagti with shakti (shakti being a metaphor for socio-political activeness) or finds it quite natural to fit, extremely, in one of the above states of mind (with few exceptions of course.)

Shouldnt we strive to make changes in the world?? Or is this drama out of our power?? Couldnt/shouldnt we push more sikh youth into political fields, since the pen IS mightier than the sword??

I cant help but be extremely frustrated at this moment in time..what can i do to help this struggle?? How can i contribute in making the sikh community move forward?? I guess i pose these questions for everyone in my position..because its all fine and dandy leading spiritual lives and being cosey in our communal gatherings, but what is this doing on a world wide scale?? For me, nothing. I want to help us move forward..i need some direction!! I think as a community we need direction.

(Looks at drawof and lalleshvari, btw gurfateh singh, sorry i havent been in touch!)

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Don't become a reformer if you want to be reformed. Then preserve your energy. And the miracle is that if you are reformed, if you are transformed, then many will be transformed through you. Your very catalytic presence will be enough. Just your being there, and many will be thrilled with the unknown. Just your touch, and something will start vibrating in them.

So become pure yourself, not worry about other, when you have become pure and one day the unlit lamp becomes lit through the one who is already lit. The flame jumps from one place to another. Just closeness is needed.

With that said, i also believe that all of us have some responsibility to our community and our religion. We definetly shouldn't turn our backs, but at the same time, we should not deprive ourselves of our own transformation.

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Veer Fauge, it's great that you shared your thoughts. There were some really interesting ideas and questions in there.

I guess the first thing i would say is that no matter what, don't get discouraged. Yes, there are a ton of things out there we could justifiably get down about, but going that route doesn't do anything for us... not personally, nor on a community level.

I went through a similar phase, becoming disillusioned for a lot of reasons, including some of the ones you mentioned. Looking back, the problem arises when we start feeling we need to fix the world. We need to remember that everything that happens is within Hukam, so the universe is unfolding exactly as it should. Of course, we should do whatever we can to live right and make a positive difference, but there's no sense in trying to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.

:arrow: You're right, the general Sikh ideal is one of a well-rounded, balanced, highly-evolved being who has a spiritual foundation, yet also contributes in a positive, practical way to society. Two questions though: how much to be involved in worldly affairs, and on what projects?

That's where the spiritual foundation comes in... it's what will guide us accurately as to our destiny, where we fit into the grand scheme of things as one tiny piece of the cosmic puzzle. Like they say, "follow your heart". If you feel a stronger pull to the spiritual side, go with that. Maybe that's where you are in your personal journey. If you feel like complimenting that with social activism work, that's great too.

As Sikhs, our goal is to be one with Vaahiguru, not to make the world a better place. If positively contributing to the world is part of it, fine. That's great, as long as the motivation is grounded in a spiritual base. This is what makes the Sikh brand of activism unique... it is rooted in spirituality. But most people make the mistake of ignoring their spiritual development and considering social activism the goal itself. For Sikhs, it is a means to our goal, not the goal itself.

So don't feel overwhelmed, Veer. 8) The world was fine before we came into it, and it will go on just fine if we're not here.

Having said that, on community level, i do think we should encourage more Sikh youth to be active politically, in some way or another. It's an integral aspect of the Sikh identity.

Robots in disguise.

There could be an interesting thought in there, or it could be nothing. Hard to tell as is.

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P.S pheena, i agree that people will be inspired if we ourselves are a reflection of the wonders of god. Its just sad that even the gurus, who were those transformed beings, were subjected to such harsh realities..sikhs who would sell their clothes to pay for langar (such love) whose heads were severed for money..simple folk who died for the kingdom of the sikhs, at the hands of so called allies..then our own hindu brothers, turning against us in recent times..seems even those who have had the privalege of meeting these transformed souls, in the end, succumb to their vices. But i see where ur coming from..ultimately, youre right. Its just hard to follow i guess. Life goes on!

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this is gonna sound like a cliche. but change starts with you on a personal level.

what can you do? start with one small step. go out and volunteer ur time to a cause that you think is worthy. and then take it from there.

the world isn't gonna change with just that one step. but for one person, it will. and that's what counts. if you help only one other person out, you will have changed the world for both yourself and the person you helped.

but...

i think you should definitely keep what All1 said in mind. the world was fine before we came into and it'll keep goin long after we're gone. and a Sikh's primary goal is to merge with God.

don't feel upset sf. tha's not what this drama is about. everyone here has to deal with something negative. for our Guru's it was dealing with betrayal. for us, it's something else. and for the next generation, it'll be something else. the point is that we should try to learn something out of those experiences (and i'm not talkin about learning to hate those who did us wrong... i'm talking about learning how to deal with that kinda stuff with grace). it's up to us whether we let it get us down or we deal with it in a positive way by trying to make a change in ourselves or what we do.

but please don't try to take responsibility of the entire world and sikh community on ur shoulders. u'll just end up crushing urself under the weight.

remember... one step at a time.

and if u dun like that... u can remember this one: rome wasn't built in a day.

cheer up buddy.

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