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Warm greetings to all the readers, only in case the moderator finds the concepts of Sikhism strong enough to answer my thoughts that I am about to share. I am a sabat-surat sikh and I love tying my turban. I know I look good in a turban and I love the community that I am fortunately a part of. I love how we have truly become one of the most vital communities in maintaining peace on the planet.I had never been bothered by the history. I respected and was completely in condolence with what happened with our community in the last 3 decades in India after the events that took place in 1984 and I am no one to judge what went wrong and what went right. I never thought that the past of our community would decide the future of where we are taking Sikhism. But apparently, this is not the case. The more I explore the world, the more I come across the extremism that is going on in our people. I have always thought of myself as a normal human being, who belongs to the global community. Where my physical traits are not of much significance relative to my intellect. But this is clearly not the case. I am a sikh. And there are people who want to make us stand different than the global community. I am not sure if that's the right direction for any community to be. may it be Sikhs, the Muslims, the Jews, the Hindus or even the Christians. Clearing that out, I thought of myself as a normal human being until now. Someone with no limitations. Someone who can achieve anything by trying hard and putting effort on the cost of hard work and intellect. I have been in to the practice of meditation since 3 years. And this also has helped me understand Gurbani in a deeper way and feel more connected to the supreme consciousness. But there are some issues concerning me since more than 10 months now. I hope you guys can help me out.I work in a corporate environment, and I have been a very passionate student. I used to work for late hours in my college time and that has helped me make a good position on my professional front relative to my classmates. But due to some boundaries that have been defined in the education system, I wasn't able to get into the career position that I had always worked for. And that needs a lot of time and dedication. And that brings me to the point of this post. But before that, do you wonder the comfort level of a bride who is been dressed for the wedding with the heavy Joda and the accessories, plus the make-up and the head cover pinned with the hair (mostly a hairstyle that makes the head look in better shape to be covered with the dupatta of the joda). You guys know that such a dressed bride cannot even lay on bed for a nap if she needs. Her hairstyle would get spoilt. She cannot even cry properly due to the makeup. She cannot even think of washing her face with cold water if she feels hot. She cannot ride a fast speed bike and much more. And if I talk about adventure sports, you'd say I am insane. Right? We all have sympathies with such a girl on her wedding day for the torture that she faces in the name of dressing beautifully. Of course, she looks pretty. And she likes to feel like a queen on her special day. But she'd rather prefer not marrying if she has to carry the same torture everyday.Now, I hope you can relate the same with a sikh boy. Who has to take an extra 1 hour to get ready everyday. And then put himself in limitations for the whole day. I'll share what 99% of the sikh boys with sabat-surat personality in a fast working environment face. If someone has to put extra hours during the night for his personal growth(which can be extra learning for professional growth or some kind of a hobby that he follows), he still has to make it right at 6 o'lock in the morning if he wants to reach office by 9. This 3 hour gap only includes getting ready and having breakfast. I hardly see a working sabat-surat guy taking time for his basic needs in the morning like gyming and meditating and worshiping and having breakfast after tying a comfortable turban and beard comfortably all together and still reaching office in time. To make this happen, I have been skipping my breakfast everyday right from my childhood when I used to tie my patka and it used to take more than one trials sometimes to tie a comfortable and a neat patka. Then while riding off to the office on a 6 lane highway on my bike, the fear of getting my turban blown off exceeding a speed of 50 comes into play(I am not sure how many people have experienced it). Also, since wearing a helmet is not an option, the tan on the forehead has to be faced because the hankerchief cover only half of the face. Reaching the office, I finally deal with the discomfort of the last lard upon my ear which demands to be adjusted every 5 mins when I need to focus on a really sophisticated piece of code with full concentration. and adjusting the larh, I need to go to the washroom every 1 hour to see if I have not accidentally deformed my turban. And sometimes, I get a complimentary headache along. And if you are saying that the turban is not the cause of the ache, I agree with you. but it adds to the pain and if you deny that, I am not sure if you are human. And this brings off the first half of the day with struggle. I have been an athlete when I was a kid, jumping off, participating in gymnastics and what not. I still am in a nice health due to the habits that I have been able to cultivate as a child. But maintaining all of those is now becoming very tough. Working in office for more than 11 hours everyday that too in an exhausting manner as mentioned in the previous paragraph, and knowing that only reaching home and resting with a free head atleast could comfort you, you cannot have the courage to spend an hour in the office gym wearing the turban, where almost every excercize that you do would come with a fear of not spoiling your turban, and worse, you can't think of doing cardio and let your turban absorb all the sweat so that you are not eligible for social gatherings with the same sweaty and uncomfortable turban which stinks. My fellow mates can afford to go to the gym in the morning when all they have to do is wake up and brush their teeth and leave for the office gym. The workout and take a bath in the gym itself. I can't even think of doing that knowing my chores that include tying my beard with a spray and a hairdryer and also the complete course of tying the turban and that too in proper light and electricity and proper space. We don't find that in the gym. I have missed a lot of days of my excercise only because of the discomfort that I feel with the turban or the days when some strands from my beard would strangely come out and instantly make me loose all my confidence for the rest of the day or some days when my turban would be in an uncomfortable shape... no matter how much urge I feel to work out. It happens. Ever wondered why most sikh guys are out of shape? We are not made for the regular healthcare efforts. We have an additional burden to handle all the time. I know some of you would say that I should try tying a parna or a dumala for workout, but in a corporate setting when I am not sure about the meetings that have to happen and I am not sure about the formal dress code, I cannot tie the same parna everyday. ie. It gives a tradeoff between having a good corporate look or a sporty comfort for gym, I have to choose one. Isn't that clearly a limited way of living? Some of you must be managing it. I too occassionaly tie a mini turban the day I want to have a good workout. Some of you guys would be using the local gym in your colony and would be going there after returning from office and trying a parna or a cap. But in a place where commuting between the office and home takes 1.5 hour, I don't think would fit my schedule. I was always fascinated by skydiving. As I child I would imagine myself falling in the winds without any limits of what actually would be the scenario. But now, I am having a difficult time to decide the kind of turban I would wear when I would be on a trip with my better half without compromising my personality. And yes, I have a hindu girlfriend who like me the way I am and doesn't ever want me to cut my hair. There fore, I had thought be keeping my wish of skydiving as a wish only. I thought I would never choose to go for such adventure sports and hoped that I would never get an opportunity. But my company is sending me to US with my team for a conference where all of us would also be having a tour and skydiving is in the intenary. I am doomed. Yes, I know guru maharaj and many other martyrs sacrificed a lot for the community. I should be ashamed of thinking the way I am thinking. But you see, when we talk about this with some one they say that they gave their lives for 'hair' ignoring the fact that all that mattered to them were 'principles' in which keeping hair was just another factor. There's difference between the two statements. I hope you know that. And most of the hype comes from the females who don't face such issues because no matter if a girl has cut her hair or not, keeping it requires the same efforts as a hindu girl would do. And we all know, most of the sikh girls now a days, freely trim their hair and make hype if a sikh boy does the same. And If we think philosophically, the martyrs sacrificed their lives once and for all and became eternal, but we guys are doing such sacrifices everyday by limiting our lives and living in discomfort and limits. I don't find it fair enough. We all know that turban destroys the hairline. Aren't we modifying the nature's course by the turban's traction instead of scissors? I won't cut my hair. I don't have the courage to face the taunts of my relatives and the sadness of my parents. Moreover, the damage that has happened to my hair can't be reversed, so theirs no use of cutting it. But one thing is for sure that I am unable to respect this concept in our religion. And I would forever find it unfair...
Honesty is central to Sikh ethics. But I do not see that promoted anywhere. All I see is 'earn money honestly', which is only part of the picture. Every knows the quote of Guru Nanak Dev Ji: "Truth is the highest virtue, highest still is truthful living". In Sidh Gosht, Guru Nanak Dev Ji also explains that 'Truth (God) loves (is drawn to) the Truthful (i.e. honest/pure hearted people)'. Truthfulness means honesty in our speech, thoughts, actions and intentions. I see that honesty is not valued among people these days. They think that e.g. 'white lies' are acceptable, that cheating for self gain is ok - (that if "nobody gets hurt" its ok to lie, but thats not true). Leading double lives, deceiving people about their intentions, etc. I find that people think that lying is necessary part of the modern world, is practical, is a means of fulfilling base desires and plans. Sometimes people lie out of fear or embarrassment, but why do you want to be a slave to such things? People lie, and yet I do not think anyone likes being lied to. So why do it? Being honest doesn't need a reason, yet lying needs a reason. Also, it becomes like a habit. By lying, I think so much misunderstanding and unpleasantness is created. Honesty is like an 'inner bath', it cleans your mind. It gives you all the good virtues like humility, kindness, strength. It fuses your inner and outer world, so brings peace, sincerity and integrity to you character. It is the wellspring of intelligence, wisdom and sincere devotion to God. It keeps you on the straight path. Most importantly, it exposes the Truth to you. There are many types of honesty. Honesty in our words (not telling a lie). Honesty in our actions (not deceiving people by them). And honesty in our thoughts- which means being honest with ourselves, within our own minds (for example, admitting to ourselves when we have done something wrong, or have ulterior motives in doing something). Honest self-reflection also makes you a better person. Then there is also dishonesty in the form of hypocrisy, like presenting something outwardly that is different from what is going on inside. An example is sitting down to 'pray', when internally thinking of worldly matters. By the way, by honesty I do not mean walking down the road with a megaphone confessing all your deep dark secrets, or broadcasting all the personal the things that your friends tell you, or using 'being honest' as a guise to hurt someones feelings. What I mean by honesty, if the absence of dishonesty.