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Guest The answered
Vaheguru ji ka khalsa, vaheguru ji ki fateh!

You are not the only one who has converted to islam from being an atheist, and then found sikhi! What you said there is exactly how i felt about islam back then.. It was better than christianity or other monotheistic religions i knew at that time. But it was continuous struggle against my own consciousness to accept things like kafirs going to hell. I used to read a lot about other religions too at that time, which gave some comfort, but at the same time made it even more frustrating.. i had started to believe in bits here and bits there. Then i came across Sikhi! It was the happiest time of my life. Everything in Sikhi made sense. It was love and freedom and pure bliss to read Gurbani for the first time. I was even childish enough to believe that everyone would automatically become sikhs if they just heard about it because it's so perfect and wonderful (well i still partly believe that, they just need to hear a bit more..)

I don't know what else to say.. but i'm happy for you, partly because your story reminds me of my own journey. I just hope you won't have too much trouble with the muslims you know and that they would still accept you as friend (which may be difficult). And it's good you are seeking Gursikh company right from the beginning.. i didn't for the first couple of years, and it's something that i regret. But you seem to be wiser.

Vaheguru ji ka khalsa, vaheguru ji ki fateh!

Thank you for this kind reply. It's good to know that there are other people in the same situation. I'm guessing you live in Canada or America though.

Still, I might join this forum so I can talk to you about things.

Vaheguru ji ka khalsa, vaheguru ji ki fateh!

You are not the only one who has converted to islam from being an atheist, and then found sikhi! What you said there is exactly how i felt about islam back then.. It was better than christianity or other monotheistic religions i knew at that time. But it was continuous struggle against my own consciousness to accept things like kafirs going to hell. I used to read a lot about other religions too at that time, which gave some comfort, but at the same time made it even more frustrating.. i had started to believe in bits here and bits there. Then i came across Sikhi! It was the happiest time of my life. Everything in Sikhi made sense. It was love and freedom and pure bliss to read Gurbani for the first time. I was even childish enough to believe that everyone would automatically become sikhs if they just heard about it because it's so perfect and wonderful (well i still partly believe that, they just need to hear a bit more..)

I don't know what else to say.. but i'm happy for you, partly because your story reminds me of my own journey. I just hope you won't have too much trouble with the muslims you know and that they would still accept you as friend (which may be difficult). And it's good you are seeking Gursikh company right from the beginning.. i didn't for the first couple of years, and it's something that i regret. But you seem to be wiser.

Vaheguru ji ka khalsa, vaheguru ji ki fateh!

Thank you for this kind reply. It's good to know that there are other people in the same situation. I'm guessing you live in Canada or America though.

Hi - I consider myself a Gursikh although I am not Amritdhari. I would be happy to meet up with you (I am from Birmingham) and help where possible. Whilst my religious knowledge is dwarfed by more learned people here I am not completely clueless.

Gur Fateh

Sounds like a possible proposal. I'll join the site so I can communicate with you.

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Only five, Read the shabad. Guru Sahib has repeatedly re-defined religious terms. In Sukhmani Sahib he re-defined terms like Pandit, Baishno, etc. These were all religious paths. Same in the shaba

vir ji, there are books written by scholar Naranjan Singh available for free with free shipping from www.sikhnation.com. The explanations of Sikhi given by the saint who wrote these books are highly illuminating. I recommend you order these books and begin your investigations there.

There are English discourses on Sikhi available from http://www.gurunanakacademy.com/audio/index.php?q=f&f=%2FEnglish+Katha%2FBhai+Parminder+Singh+Ji . These are from a very spiritually accomplished sikh who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Hope you enjoy these.

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What makes anything like that a correct choice is following the religion with unshakable and undying faith...which you are not doing at the moment.
I know I'm not doing that at the moment. But the thing is, I haven't made my decision yet. I am asking here so I can find somebody who can help me make the decision. My heart tells me one thing very strongly, but my head tells me to be cautious.
I didn't mean that you haven't made a decision to leave Islam/become a Sikh.. When I stated "following the religion with unshakable and undying faith, which you are not doing at the moment, I actually meant that you are not following Islam with undying faith. You said that you haven't made a decision yet, but I was actually referring to your decision to become a Muslim, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for the confusion :)
I don't have much time now, so I can't finish responding to your post sorry.
'The answered', it's fine. When you get the chance to finish responding, please explain what a 'salam' is, and please explain what Puggis' are.

I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with those terms. I thought 'salam' was a Muslim greeting, so now I'm confused.

Thank you.

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Guest The answered

^Salaam is NOT Muslim but URDU and Urdu is a beautiful language. Pugg is the punjabi word for Turban and Puggis would be Turban wearing Sikhs i guess. like turbanators lol

'Asalamu Alaykum' is an Arabic Muslim greeting with a religious origin. It is used in many different languages, however. It means 'may peace be upon you', which is a beautiful saying but for some reason Muslims are not permitted to share this prayer with 'Kafirs': non-Muslims.

'Puggi' was something I heard one of my Urdu-speaking friends refer to Sikhs as. I got annoyed every time people did things like this, but what can you do? Ignorant attitudes are so common with people.

I read about the Gurus on Sikhs.org, but there was no biography of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Do you know where I can find one? All those links people sent have been very useful anyway.

BTW, I've applied to join the forum but I haven't recieved my confirmation email yet.

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In my opinion, brother you can still be a Muslim and reach God. But become a TrueMuslim. Don't follow the mislead ones that cause terror to the innocent and just have ritualized everything.

Just become true in Islam practices. Repeat the Lords name. Muslim pray to Allah, so see Allah as the God for all not just Muslims. The Lord is one and no one owns him.

Make an honest living. Always be honest in every practice and hold Truth as the highest.

Give to others in need. Regardless of their faith or no faith.

Think about it. Islam is not bad. The people that distort it for personal gain are bad.

Even in Sikhi therer are people out to destroy the true message. Islam was found way before so many have twisted it's practices and the true message takes much effort to discover.

If you still believe in your heart that Sikhi is the path for you then by all means become a Sikh.

Like the pervious poster said talk to a Gursikh in your area about it. They will be able to educate you more on Sikhi.

Thing is, I have some issues with some parts of Islamic theology. For example, the concept of Eternal Hell (how can a benevolent, loving God ever condemn even the greatest sinner for eternity?), as well as issues with several other less crucial things. There are so many things within Islam that my heart can never accept, even if my head does. I want to follow what I really believe, and to have heroes and concepts I truely admire, rather than just following dogma because it's there and 'towing the party line'.

That eternal hell bit is what religions use to scare a person into following their religion and prophet. But Islam is not like that. People have over time distorted the actual message. Many concepts were added and some taken away all for controling society under one rule.

Here is a example, what if you do become a Sikh then over time you discover something in Sikhi you don't accept. Many don't accept the Hukam for keeping uncut hair. Many don't accept taking Amrit from the Punj Pyare. Many don't want to adorn the Khalsa Identity. Many don't want to accept Guru Gobind Singh Sahb ji's Bani.

If you do choose to start practicing Sikhi teaching then your taking a leap of faith at first, which won't let you down, but the mind can play many tricks with the person.

No one will try to convert you(my take is there is no such thing as convert from one religion to another because the Truth is one and only humans see it differently based on their knowledge). Really your not converting from anything to the next. Your just following the Truth instead of the mind. The clouds in front of your eyes are clearing.

Please give a read to the Gurbani I presented in my last post by Guru Nanak Dev ji. Become that TrueMuslim and the Lord and you will be one and the same.

Difficult as it might be to pull the True message out of Islam teaching you have Guru Nanak Dev ji's teaching to guide you.

And if you're ready to just burst out of your seat and say I want to be a Sikh then just start practicing Sikhi. You can pm me or just ask here what are the ways you can start practicing. There is no ceremony or anything. Just start living as a Sikh and when your ready to take Amrit then do it and keep living as a Sikh, but now you have made that committment never to turn your back on Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and the Lord.

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Guest The answered

My forum account still hasn't come yet, so I still need to wait in order to contact anybody via PM.

To Only Five:

I've kind of seperated different parts of your post into different quote marks, putting related comments together so it's easier to reply to in a coordinated manner.

That eternal hell bit is what religions use to scare a person into following their religion and prophet. But Islam is not like that. People have over time distorted the actual message. Many concepts were added and some taken away all for controling society under one rule.

Please give a read to the Gurbani I presented in my last post by Guru Nanak Dev ji. Become that TrueMuslim and the Lord and you will be one and the same.

Difficult as it might be to pull the True message out of Islam teaching you have Guru Nanak Dev ji's teaching to guide you.

I've tried thinking about this idea for a while, and I can't put together a single response to it. It seems a simple proposal at first glance, but when I think deeply, I can't get my head around it! I think it is because of the big differences between the Eastern and Western religious philosophies. I will ask a question though:

What benefit would there be in doing this over actually following Sikhi directly? Spiritually, surely it is easier to travel a well-trodden path than to try to fight though an overgrown one? Or, if you are concerned about the social/worldly issues with leaving Islam, other Muslims would find me following an unorthodox form of Islam just as unnaceptable as leaving altogether, if not worse.

If I have misunderstood what you have said please explain. Perhaps you are asking me not to change anything, but to remember that God will accept the worship of a true Muslim as much as He accepts the worship of the Sikhs?

This is getting hard to fathom, I'll better move on to the next point! :)

Here is a example, what if you do become a Sikh then over time you discover something in Sikhi you don't accept. Many don't accept the Hukam for keeping uncut hair. Many don't accept taking Amrit from the Punj Pyare. Many don't want to adorn the Khalsa Identity. Many don't want to accept Guru Gobind Singh Sahb ji's Bani.

If you do choose to start practicing Sikhi teaching then your taking a leap of faith at first, which won't let you down, but the mind can play many tricks with the person.

Yes, this is definitely a concern of mine. I certainly don't want to make the wrong choice here, which ever way I go. That's why I am looking for somebody who I can learn about Sikhi from before I decide to take the plunge, so to speak. But I want to learn from somebody in person, not over the internet. Trusting the internet and its inhabitants (who are often quite 'strange', to say the least!) too much was also a mistake I made once. Never again. I want to pass my life with flying colours!

It's also easier to establish a friendship with somebody you know in person. Good friends are one of the best things life can offer. I have good friends now, but unfortuantely dogma will force them to cut those friendships.

BTW: I'm not really concerned about the hair or the other issues you mentioned. They are just external things and don't really have an impact on this decision for me.

No one will try to convert you(my take is there is no such thing as convert from one religion to another because the Truth is one and only humans see it differently based on their knowledge). Really your not converting from anything to the next. Your just following the Truth instead of the mind. The clouds in front of your eyes are clearing.

This is how I see it. I'm not really converting, this is more like a liberation, or an arrival at a true understanding of myself. This was always inside me, it just needed to be ready.

And if you're ready to just burst out of your seat and say I want to be a Sikh then just start practicing Sikhi. You can pm me or just ask here what are the ways you can start practicing. There is no ceremony or anything. Just start living as a Sikh and when your ready to take Amrit then do it and keep living as a Sikh, but now you have made that committment never to turn your back on Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and the Lord.

I can't PM until I am actually a member, which won't be for a while I suspect! :D

Just to add, it is really useful to have these discussions, because they let me think about myself, ask questions and come to an understanding.

To UKGupt Kaur:

Did you manage to read the shabad?

Yes, I think? Are you referring to the one in your post?

Something that needs to be cleared up with me is the terminology. I'm not certain what all the words people are using here mean.

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Thank you for this kind reply. It's good to know that there are other people in the same situation. I'm guessing you live in Canada or America though.

Still, I might join this forum so I can talk to you about things.

I live in Finland.. not exactly next to UK either (but i do visit there sometimes). I sort of agree with the people here, that maybe Guru Nanak Dev ji's words would help you to live as a better muslim. The core of Sikhi (Gurbani), is something that transcends all religions, it's about inner reflection and finding out who you really are.. it shows a way beyond the rituals and how to develop true love and awareness of God.. and it doesn't really matter which religion you belong to. The outer aspect of Sikhi (freely growing hair, turban, 5 K's etc.) isn't necessarily more valuable in itself than the way things are done in other religions.. but sometimes it happens that people find a certain way "natural" to them.. they feel like a fish in the water.

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The Answered,

You need to figure out if you have a problem with Islam or the so called 'muslims', if its Islam (which i doubt it should be) .. thn i dunno what you should be doing. If its the 'muslims' thn you'll find similar problems with the so called 'sikhs' as well.

btw do you like samose and paneer pakore? you can get them for free at a Gurudwara : ) .. Dhan Guru Nanak ..

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It is a ‘totally false’ argument that Sikhi believes all paths lead to the same goal and thus all religions are equal. From its very inception, Gurmat (the Guru’s Path) has been declared a unique and distinct path. Bhai Gurdaas jee writes:

“In the world, Guru Nanak Sahib jee established the authority (of his doctrines) and started a Path (of religion), devoid of any impurity.”

(Vaar 1, Pauree 45 – Bhai Gurdaas jee)

The claim that all paths lead to the same goal is covered in Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee’s book ‘Anhad Shabad Dasam Duar - Open discussion of unstruck ethereal music at tenth door of abode-divine’, pages 46-47:

QUOTE

"The Liberation-state of Gurmat is unique and different in concept from other religious faiths. Liberation is not the mere ending-up of the human body or just an escapement of the soul from its bodily cage. Some envisage liberation as riddance from afflictions associated with the human body. They believe liberation is unattainable as so long as the soul is caged within the human body. Others identify liberation as the fulfillment of their desires to abide in a heavenly abode. However, this kind of liberation falls very short compared to the Gurmat concept of liberation. Liberation is not the banishment of imagined pain and sorrow, nor can it be described as the disassociation of the soul-being from materialism. Yogic faith conceives liberation as empty consciousness through meditational practices that bear no semblance to the Gurmat concept. Vedantic faith believes in the removal of duality to arrive at oneness with The Absolute, in order to be liberated. Buddhism believes liberation to be a state of total renunciation of desire and negative thought - Nirvaana. Jainism considers that non-violence and non-killing leads to liberation. Mere escape from transmigration is not the essence of True Liberation....

Gurmat considers the above listed forms of liberation as halfway and incomplete. The swan-bird Gurmukhs who are blessed with Divine Enlightenment reject all these forms. They merge with The Divine Immaculate Light whilst living; they envision The Glorious Lord in full Divine Splendour.

Gurmukhs are sustained by the nourishment of Naam-Divine, while they behold The Lord at all times. They find True Liberation within this Love-Divine...Their Liberation lies in the sole occupation of Naam-Devotion, in accordance with Gurmat. This supreme state is reached through complete dedication, when one takes refuge within The Guru...what is not sought is a form of liberation devoid of God-Realisation."

If we use this viewpoint to analyse some mainstream schools of thought, we may reach the following conclusions:

In Hindu or Vedantic traditions, Liberation = various states according to different schools i.e. freedom from transmigration, realisation of self as God (Sohang) etc.

In Buddhism, Liberation = escape from desires / realisation of the nature of self / Nirvaana.

In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Liberation = heavenly abode

In Sikhi, Liberation = absorption into Vaheguru/Naam, the destruction of self/ego, the merging of Aatma (soul) into ParAatma (Universal Soul) - all of which can only be achieved through complete dedication to The Guru's Teachings.

The concept of equality exemplified by Sikhi is not the result of a debate concerning religions. The Sikhi concept of equality is an inward and outward acceptance of all and seeing everyone as a soul with the same divine father, rather than religious labels, which results directly from the practice of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee's teachings.

When it comes to true enlightenment, or liberation, Guru jee is very clear about its unique nature and definition within Gurmat; and in doing so we are taught who and what really is The True Teacher.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee over and over stresses the importance of "Gurmat Naam". Without Gurmat Naam no one can merge in Vaheguru or reach ‘Sach Khand’ (the spiritual Realm of Truth). In the House of Guru Nanak only Naam is found, the only tool to experience and merge into God.

“God has given this gift. Nanak’s home is filled with only Naam, the Name of Vaheguru. ||4||4||” (Ang 1136)

Without Naam, no one can be liberated and merge with God. GurbaaNee is clear about this fact:

“Those enshrined the True Name within their heart, those within is the flowing current of Naam, and those whose consciousness is attached to the vibrations of the Guru's Baani obtain all comforts and liberation from Maya (the illusionary world). O Nanak! Without the Naam, no one is saved; You too swim across to the other side this true way in which there no chance of drowning. ||9||7||” (Ang 1013)

Sikhi is unique by the fact that it does not condemn others to Hell or say if you are not Sikh you are eternally damned like in Islam. Rather a Sikh prays at least twice daily for "Sarbat Da Bhallaa", meaning the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of religion, belief or faith.

"May the Divine-Name preached by Nanak be exalted. May all prosper and be blessed within Your Will." (Daily Sikh Ardaas)

Unless someone receives Gurmat Naam from Guru Nanak, there is no liberation. They will be rewarded for their good karma, but not liberated. They don't want liberation! Christians are content with heaven, and they will receive it. But then they will enter the cycle of births and deaths again, hopefully in a life, which will bring them closer to liberation. Gurmat Panth's respect of all religions goes as far as saying that they are not sent to eternal hell, they will get what they work for. Like Harmandir Saahib: God is open and available to all directions and all people of the world, but the path to God is ONE: Gurmat.

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Guest asdasdasd

It is a ‘totally false’ argument that Sikhi believes all paths lead to the same goal and thus all religions are equal. From its very inception, Gurmat (the Guru’s Path) has been declared a unique and distinct path. Bhai Gurdaas jee writes: “In the world, Guru Nanak Sahib jee established the authority (of his doctrines) and started a Path (of religion), devoid of any impurity.” (Vaar 1, Pauree 45 – Bhai Gurdaas jee)The claim that all paths lead to the same goal is covered in Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee’s book ‘Anhad Shabad Dasam Duar - Open discussion of unstruck ethereal music at tenth door of abode-divine’, pages 46-47:QUOTE"The Liberation-state of Gurmat is unique and different in concept from other religious faiths. Liberation is not the mere ending-up of the human body or just an escapement of the soul from its bodily cage. Some envisage liberation as riddance from afflictions associated with the human body. They believe liberation is unattainable as so long as the soul is caged within the human body. Others identify liberation as the fulfillment of their desires to abide in a heavenly abode. However, this kind of liberation falls very short compared to the Gurmat concept of liberation. Liberation is not the banishment of imagined pain and sorrow, nor can it be described as the disassociation of the soul-being from materialism. Yogic faith conceives liberation as empty consciousness through meditational practices that bear no semblance to the Gurmat concept. Vedantic faith believes in the removal of duality to arrive at oneness with The Absolute, in order to be liberated. Buddhism believes liberation to be a state of total renunciation of desire and negative thought - Nirvaana. Jainism considers that non-violence and non-killing leads to liberation. Mere escape from transmigration is not the essence of True Liberation....Gurmat considers the above listed forms of liberation as halfway and incomplete. The swan-bird Gurmukhs who are blessed with Divine Enlightenment reject all these forms. They merge with The Divine Immaculate Light whilst living; they envision The Glorious Lord in full Divine Splendour.Gurmukhs are sustained by the nourishment of Naam-Divine, while they behold The Lord at all times. They find True Liberation within this Love-Divine...Their Liberation lies in the sole occupation of Naam-Devotion, in accordance with Gurmat. This supreme state is reached through complete dedication, when one takes refuge within The Guru...what is not sought is a form of liberation devoid of God-Realisation."If we use this viewpoint to analyse some mainstream schools of thought, we may reach the following conclusions: In Hindu or Vedantic traditions, Liberation = various states according to different schools i.e. freedom from transmigration, realisation of self as God (Sohang) etc.In Buddhism, Liberation = escape from desires / realisation of the nature of self / Nirvaana.In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Liberation = heavenly abodeIn Sikhi, Liberation = absorption into Vaheguru/Naam, the destruction of self/ego, the merging of Aatma (soul) into ParAatma (Universal Soul) - all of which can only be achieved through complete dedication to The Guru's Teachings. The concept of equality exemplified by Sikhi is not the result of a debate concerning religions. The Sikhi concept of equality is an inward and outward acceptance of all and seeing everyone as a soul with the same divine father, rather than religious labels, which results directly from the practice of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee's teachings.When it comes to true enlightenment, or liberation, Guru jee is very clear about its unique nature and definition within Gurmat; and in doing so we are taught who and what really is The True Teacher.Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee over and over stresses the importance of "Gurmat Naam". Without Gurmat Naam no one can merge in Vaheguru or reach ‘Sach Khand’ (the spiritual Realm of Truth). In the House of Guru Nanak only Naam is found, the only tool to experience and merge into God. “God has given this gift. Nanak’s home is filled with only Naam, the Name of Vaheguru. ||4||4||” (Ang 1136)Without Naam, no one can be liberated and merge with God. GurbaaNee is clear about this fact: “Those enshrined the True Name within their heart, those within is the flowing current of Naam, and those whose consciousness is attached to the vibrations of the Guru's Baani obtain all comforts and liberation from Maya (the illusionary world). O Nanak! Without the Naam, no one is saved; You too swim across to the other side this true way in which there no chance of drowning. ||9||7||” (Ang 1013)Sikhi is unique by the fact that it does not condemn others to Hell or say if you are not Sikh you are eternally damned like in Islam. Rather a Sikh prays at least twice daily for "Sarbat Da Bhallaa", meaning the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of religion, belief or faith."May the Divine-Name preached by Nanak be exalted. May all prosper and be blessed within Your Will." (Daily Sikh Ardaas)Unless someone receives Gurmat Naam from Guru Nanak, there is no liberation. They will be rewarded for their good karma, but not liberated. They don't want liberation! Christians are content with heaven, and they will receive it. But then they will enter the cycle of births and deaths again, hopefully in a life, which will bring them closer to liberation. Gurmat Panth's respect of all religions goes as far as saying that they are not sent to eternal hell, they will get what they work for. Like Harmandir Saahib: God is open and available to all directions and all people of the world, but the path to God is ONE: Gurmat.

good post

only with naam can we reach vaheguroo .....

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It is a ‘totally false’ argument that Sikhi believes all paths lead to the same goal and thus all religions are equal. From its very inception, Gurmat (the Guru’s Path) has been declared a unique and distinct path. Bhai Gurdaas jee writes:

“In the world, Guru Nanak Sahib jee established the authority (of his doctrines) and started a Path (of religion), devoid of any impurity.”

(Vaar 1, Pauree 45 – Bhai Gurdaas jee)

The claim that all paths lead to the same goal is covered in Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee’s book ‘Anhad Shabad Dasam Duar - Open discussion of unstruck ethereal music at tenth door of abode-divine’, pages 46-47:

QUOTE

"The Liberation-state of Gurmat is unique and different in concept from other religious faiths. Liberation is not the mere ending-up of the human body or just an escapement of the soul from its bodily cage. Some envisage liberation as riddance from afflictions associated with the human body. They believe liberation is unattainable as so long as the soul is caged within the human body. Others identify liberation as the fulfillment of their desires to abide in a heavenly abode. However, this kind of liberation falls very short compared to the Gurmat concept of liberation. Liberation is not the banishment of imagined pain and sorrow, nor can it be described as the disassociation of the soul-being from materialism. Yogic faith conceives liberation as empty consciousness through meditational practices that bear no semblance to the Gurmat concept. Vedantic faith believes in the removal of duality to arrive at oneness with The Absolute, in order to be liberated. Buddhism believes liberation to be a state of total renunciation of desire and negative thought - Nirvaana. Jainism considers that non-violence and non-killing leads to liberation. Mere escape from transmigration is not the essence of True Liberation....

Gurmat considers the above listed forms of liberation as halfway and incomplete. The swan-bird Gurmukhs who are blessed with Divine Enlightenment reject all these forms. They merge with The Divine Immaculate Light whilst living; they envision The Glorious Lord in full Divine Splendour.

Gurmukhs are sustained by the nourishment of Naam-Divine, while they behold The Lord at all times. They find True Liberation within this Love-Divine...Their Liberation lies in the sole occupation of Naam-Devotion, in accordance with Gurmat. This supreme state is reached through complete dedication, when one takes refuge within The Guru...what is not sought is a form of liberation devoid of God-Realisation."

If we use this viewpoint to analyse some mainstream schools of thought, we may reach the following conclusions:

In Hindu or Vedantic traditions, Liberation = various states according to different schools i.e. freedom from transmigration, realisation of self as God (Sohang) etc.

In Buddhism, Liberation = escape from desires / realisation of the nature of self / Nirvaana.

In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Liberation = heavenly abode

In Sikhi, Liberation = absorption into Vaheguru/Naam, the destruction of self/ego, the merging of Aatma (soul) into ParAatma (Universal Soul) - all of which can only be achieved through complete dedication to The Guru's Teachings.

The concept of equality exemplified by Sikhi is not the result of a debate concerning religions. The Sikhi concept of equality is an inward and outward acceptance of all and seeing everyone as a soul with the same divine father, rather than religious labels, which results directly from the practice of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee's teachings.

When it comes to true enlightenment, or liberation, Guru jee is very clear about its unique nature and definition within Gurmat; and in doing so we are taught who and what really is The True Teacher.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee over and over stresses the importance of "Gurmat Naam". Without Gurmat Naam no one can merge in Vaheguru or reach ‘Sach Khand’ (the spiritual Realm of Truth). In the House of Guru Nanak only Naam is found, the only tool to experience and merge into God.

“God has given this gift. Nanak’s home is filled with only Naam, the Name of Vaheguru. ||4||4||” (Ang 1136)

Without Naam, no one can be liberated and merge with God. GurbaaNee is clear about this fact:

“Those enshrined the True Name within their heart, those within is the flowing current of Naam, and those whose consciousness is attached to the vibrations of the Guru's Baani obtain all comforts and liberation from Maya (the illusionary world). O Nanak! Without the Naam, no one is saved; You too swim across to the other side this true way in which there no chance of drowning. ||9||7||” (Ang 1013)

Sikhi is unique by the fact that it does not condemn others to Hell or say if you are not Sikh you are eternally damned like in Islam. Rather a Sikh prays at least twice daily for "Sarbat Da Bhallaa", meaning the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of religion, belief or faith.

"May the Divine-Name preached by Nanak be exalted. May all prosper and be blessed within Your Will." (Daily Sikh Ardaas)

Unless someone receives Gurmat Naam from Guru Nanak, there is no liberation. They will be rewarded for their good karma, but not liberated. They don't want liberation! Christians are content with heaven, and they will receive it. But then they will enter the cycle of births and deaths again, hopefully in a life, which will bring them closer to liberation. Gurmat Panth's respect of all religions goes as far as saying that they are not sent to eternal hell, they will get what they work for. Like Harmandir Saahib: God is open and available to all directions and all people of the world, but the path to God is ONE: Gurmat.

Execllent post!!

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The Answered,

You need to figure out if you have a problem with Islam or the so called 'muslims', if its Islam (which i doubt it should be) .. thn i dunno what you should be doing. If its the 'muslims' thn you'll find similar problems with the so called 'sikhs' as well.

It's with Islam itself. I've had problems with the ideas of Muslims for a long time as well, but didn't care because there are good Muslims as well (like 'my Imam' who I mentioned before, and Sufi shaykhs) who don't fall into the trash that most Muslims believe these days. The issues with Islam that brought me to this are to do with some aspects of orthodox Islamic theology itself. They include things like this:

-Salavation based mainly on faith, meaning that anybody who for whatever reason fails to become Muslim goes to Hell (as in fire, brimstone and chains, not a metaphorical Hell or the modern Christian 'seperation from God' concept) forever, whilst bad Muslims will all get to Heaven eventually.

Sikhi doesn't believe in Hell, but in Reincarnation. And also that the good deeds and worship done by non-Sikhs are still valued and beloved to the Lord.

-Contradictions of reality and scientific observations, an issue common with Abrahamic religions. Includes such things as denial of evolution and the whole Noah's Ark story.

Sikhi is an eastern religion, so obviously hasn't inherited these various Middle Eastern legends. I don't know what Sikhs think about Indian mythology, but I have read that Sikhi doesn't go against science. I'm here to learn about you, so what is the harm in asking about this now?

-Certain actions of the Prophet Muhammad. I do not believe that he was a bad man, but some of the things he did were rather questionable and it seems that he regretted them and changed his mind quite significantly over the years. Makes sense from a secular perspective, but I have doubts that he is the Perfect Man, as Muslims believe.

I love the Guru, especially Guru Nanak Ji, Tegh Bahadur Ji and Gobind Singh Ji, and to me they are closer to the title of Perfect Man than Muhammad. Their actions were always good and inspirational and never leave room for doubt as to their good character. I don't know the whole story about them yet though, but again, that's why I am here: to learn.

-Similarly, doubts about some of the Sahabah, the companions of the Prophet, and the 'Rightly-Guided' Khalifahs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. Again, they were certainly better than other rulers of their time and better than later ones too, but perfect? Why did they not do anything to stop their generals committing oppression in India and Armenia?

I did here something about Ranjit Singh destroying a town somewhere, which obviously needs to be questioned and understood.

-An abundance of odd rulings and rituals that are impossible to explain without resorting to circular reasoning.

Sikhi is against blind ritualism, and all of the ceremonies that do exist seem to have very meaningful and symbolic explanations.

-The very extreme worldly punishments laid down in Shariah law, and the seemingly-unreliable system by which justice is reached. I've read all the excuses, but I don't understand why a loving God would demand death for appostates, homosexuals and adulterers. The first is quite upsetting to the religious community, the second is a bit weird and the third is a nasty thing to do, but none of them really warrant death.

Again, I'm not sure about the Sikh opinions on such matters. But if there were a death penalty for such things I would probably know about it. As far as I have learnt, Sikhs mainly follow the principle of live and let live, but that there are reasonable punishments for serious crimes as per any orderly society.

-The attitudes of more conservative Muslim sources towards the rights of women.

Sikhs are very keen on stressing gender equality. Unfortunately a lot do not practice upon this.

-Attitudes to non-Muslims. Fine, Christians and Jews are people of the Book and all, but what about atheists, Hindus, Pagans, Bahais, Shias etc? Don't they deserve freedom to worship as they wish too?

Tegh Bahadur and his company died agonising deaths in the name of the religious freedom of Hindus, despite disagreeing strongly with them. Again, it's well-established that religious freedom is a Sikh principle.

I could also write a long list of positive things about Islam as well, but I believe that my true religion should be one I have complete faith in, not something that I only follow half-heartedly. All the positive things about Islam are also found in Sikhism as well, it seems.

My reasons for being attracted to Sikhi are not confined to the above criticisms of Islam. Those are just the reasons why I would leave that religion in favour of Sikhi.

Please refrain from copy-pasting the above list on other forums or websites in the name of anti-Islamic rhetoric or European/Indian nationalism. Aside from the bad, there is plenty of good present in Islam, and just as Tegh Bahadur Ji laid down his life for the freedom of Hindus, Sikhs today should be willing to lay down their lives for the freedom of anybody, be they Muslim, Jew or Christian.

If the BNP fascists take over this country, Sikhs will be next on their list after Muslims and black people. They'll definitely end up banning the kirpan.

btw do you like samose and paneer pakore? you can get them for free at a Gurudwara : ) .. Dhan Guru Nanak ..

I love Indian food. Except for tomatoes, but let's not get into that issue, shall we? :D

Anyway, thanks everybody for your replies. I am planning on visiting a Gurdwara for langar soon. I also plan to keep this topic going, so don't leave! :D I wish my forum registration would arrive sooner.

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