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Do you ever wonder where Sikhi is going these days?


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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Do you ever wonder where Sikhi is going these days?

I look around at my fellow Sikhs and see less and less people living the Sikh Lifestyle. On one side I see many who were brought up in a Sikh family but don't really seem to have any real relationship with what it means to be a Sikh. Maybe they go to Gurdwara from time to time, but that is the extent of it. On the other hand there are the "Gursikhs" who on the surface look like Sikhs but seem so narrow-minded and disconnected with the teachings of the Gurus. They are quick to criticize you and tell you what is right and wrong according to their understanding of Sikhi. It’s as if they are trying to prove that they are better people.

I always have thought of the Sikh way of life as a “lifestyle” and not a rigid religion. The Gurus taught about openness and acceptance and not getting caught up in rituals. So much of what we do as Sikhs has lost it’s meaning to many and it has become a blind ritual. Everything becomes black and white…rather than being open-minded and looking deeper into the meaning of things. Living as a Sikh to me is not about “X” rules that you have to follow. People get so into black and white rules, which in the end can divide and separate rather than include and unify. If you do “X” than you are bad, or are not a Sikh. How about getting “Ex-communicated”? I laugh when I hear stuff like this. It is between a Sikh and his Guru not someone else to define who is a Sikh and who cannot be a Sikh.

When you look at some of the fundamentals of Sikhism (like equality of gender)…I always hear the lines that people say boasting that Sikhism is so great and has all these principles, however in practice these end up being ideals which to a large degree are not practiced by many. Its no wonder people are not staying as Sikhs.

I don’t think Sikhi is lost…but think that it is in transition. I have found that in my personal life that sometimes things have to get really bad in order for me to get motivated enough to make a change. So, in relation to Sikhi I think there will be a renaissance. As the older generation passes on and the new generation of Sikhs grow, many of the old rituals and practices will fall away and Sikhi will flourish.

Ultimately what helps guide me as a Sikh is really being open minded, and seeing all perspectives. Not being quick to judge someone. We have to be open and welcoming. Our judgments and close-mindedness is what repels our youth.

So, the next time you see someone doing something that you don’t agree with, think twice before judging him or her. Try to look at things from their perspective and be compassionate. You don’t have to agree, but at least allow them to have their opinion, rather than get caught up in trying to define it as right or wrong.

Have you ever noticed that when you are irritated or having a hard time in your life that you see negative things in other people (which most of the time is a reflection of yourself)? This understanding helps give me compassion and understanding towards others. So, when I see someone being hurtful, or making fun of someone I can be understanding, and know that this person is this way because of something in their life that they are unhappy about. This awareness also gave me a clearer picture of myself. So when I catch myself being critical and negative about things I can look deeper and understand that something is going on within me.

So… I guess I’ll end here for today. There are so many thoughts and it is sometimes hard to crystallize just one point. As I get time I’ll write some more and get into some ideas for solutions. I always tell people…if you are going to complain about something than you had better be a part of the solution. We have enough complainers. What we need are people that are willing to talk the talk and make the changes they wish to see.

“Be the change you wish to see”.

- Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa

Happiness comes out of contentment, and contentment always comes out of service

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when ppl say things like this, and i could have written that whole post myself if u had asked me a few months ago, there is truth behind it, but hopefully none of you ppl who care get too disheartened.

it really has no bearing on anything.

what can come from it? nothin .. its just a rant. u see so many things that u dont like and it ovewhelms u, so then u go and write it all down to get it off ur chest.

and then, u ask, now what? which is what gmustuk does at the end.l

but its also irresponsible cuz it makes it sound like there is no hope or something. u've only listed all these perceived problems, blown them up and dressed them down.

anyway, i could care less about his stupid post. just ignore it. it doesnt help anyone ...

*edit*

actually, he makes the maybe interesting point about apparent problems being reflections of ourselves.

from my experience, and its been an exciting one .. reading stuff like this and thinking it can force you to go out and be an activist or something.

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Awww...I think Gurumustuk's articles really ROCK! He's got a great way of wording things.

I don't think that one should underestimate the power that one individual can have. That even simple, ordinary, imperfect people can lead by example...or have a good idea.

The people that inspire me to sometimes do langar seva at gurdwara are the individuals that get up and do it! The people that inspire me to lead a more gurmat life are the ones that are doing it!

The people that make can make a positive difference are the ones that say...OK, I'm going to reach out to girl that cuts her hair wears a lot of makeup. I'm going to have the courage to be her friend. Maybe she will reject my friendship, maybe she will think I'm weird, but maybe I can be the one kesadhari bibi in the sangat that may change her perceptions about religion. I'm not going to wait for someone else to do it. I will do it.

I want to be that change. I want to inspire a climate of fellowship. I want to be so good at it that I make a gazillion friends and bloody well embarass everyone else that doesn't make that kind of outreach.

But before I can be that good, I must practice.

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I had a pleasure meeting gurmustak singh khalsa from sikhnet at Toronto Zoo with Ash Singh..great expereince.after the zoo we went to this singh mansion - i ll post more pictures on my meeting :)

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