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I'm Thinking Of Going To My Local Gurdwara


Guest seth

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I am a 27 year old man from Indiana (USA). I was raised as a christian since birth and was heavily involved with our non-denominational church. By the time I was 17-18 I had many doubts that had never been answered. I have been agnostic since that time and have looked into many religions on my own and in college. I was never introduced into sikhism until I started looking into the science of hair which has always fascinated me. After doing some reading I stumbled upon some sikh blogs and realized I had much more to identify with than any other religion. I still consider myself slightly agnostic. I feel I must be humble and realize that I have no way of knowing what is truly sacred or if anything is sacred(or profane) in this world. For all I know after much mediation and learning I will have a different opinion. I mean no offense when I ask this, I truly respect your religion, culture, and lifestyle. But my question to you all is why do you take your own or the Guru's word that he/you knows there is a true god? Faith does not suffice as an answer for me (as a forewarning). Faith is only defined by itself in my eyes(which is not a definition). Regardless of anyone's opinions, I would still like to go visit my local Gurdwara. Do you have any recommendations for me? I have been reading online and books and have taken a personal vow not to cut any of my hair or beard but still feel somewhat lost as a total westerner. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you all.

-Seth

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It may sound unbelievable (I've not decided where I stand on this matter personally) but the philosophy espoused by our Gurus is really wonderful. I would hazard a guess that your disbelief is not to

Brother if one can reach God being a christian or muslim or hindu etc.. then what is the point in being a Sikh? And where does our Guru ji say that you can reach Vaheguru ji following any religion?

All religions lead to god in the sense that all religions are talking of the same god. There is only one, who is called by many different names. Gurbani says that Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jain

The concept of God is more complicated in Sikhism. In Abrahamic religions, God is like a father-figure watching over all of us. In Sikhism, we are all a part of God. Everything in the universe is Him. This includes the good and the bad.

There is something that willed the universe into being, and that something will remain once the universe is no more.

No one has been able to pin-point what that something is. Physicists are still struggling with this because their equations fall apart at the moment right before the big bang.

Our Guru says that we cannot know God absolutely, because "He" is beyond comprehension. However, we can observe him indirectly through the workings of the universe. We call this Hukam, which means His command.

Wether you look at it scientifically or from a Sikh perspective, there is something that eludes us from fully comprehending our universe. That elusive something is what we call God. Scientists will call it something else.

There is no way to answer your question directly. I did my best :-)

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When you go to the gurdwara, there will be a place for you to put your shoes. You must remove them before entering the prayer hall. You must also cover your head. There is usually a basket with bandanas in it, just take one and then give it back on your way out.

When you enter the prayer hall, there will be priests singing hymns or talking. There is a large central structure that looks kind of like a tent. A priest will be waving a brush-like thing over a book. Follow the path down the middle of the room and bow before the book. This is to show respect to the book because it is our guru (teacher). When you bow, get on your knees and touch your forehead to the ground. Nothing too dramatic, just a simple gesture to show respect. Now you can take seat on the floor anywhere you like on the men's side.

Now just sit back and observe. When people stand to recite a prayer, just do as they do. I think people will be happy to see you. It's not everyday that a non-Punjabi person walks into a gurdwara. I'm willing to bet that someone will come forward to introduce themselves once the prayers have concluded.

Let us know how your experience went!

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For all I know after much mediation and learning I will have a different opinion. I mean no offense when I ask this, I truly respect your religion, culture, and lifestyle. But my question to you all is why do you take your own or the Guru's word that he/you knows there is a true god? Faith does not suffice as an answer for me (as a forewarning). Faith is only defined by itself in my eyes(which is not a definition).

At different stages of this spiritual path we need faith and those who walk on the faithful path will recieve the end goal of life. Many people use faith in the wrong way. Here is one example: A person doesn't complete a task to their full ability because they lack the effort or tired, lazy. They say God will do it and turn a blind eye to the job. The job doesn't get done and there becomes a problem because no one took care of the task. Where does any of the Guru's say to lack the effort or be tired, or lazy. The Gurus teach us to be the opposite of these. When talking about faith in Sikhi we also need to include Guru's command (Hukam/Satguru's Grace). The Gurus tell us many things to do that will help us realize God. Just like how a child puts faith in their father to teach them how to ride a bike without falling. Once the father lets go of the bike and the child is riding the child understands having faith in their father was virtues. The Gurus tell us take one step toward me and i will take thousands of steps toward you. Meaning i will carry you across if you take that one step. Is one step that hard to take for the Creator? A guy takes 1000 of steps to make sure his wife doesn't leave, but sometime she leaves for whatever reason. The guy reflects..........i did everything to make her happy.........so what went wrong!!! The problem was the guy put faith in the wrong thing in life. Human relationships are based completely on faith and in a second the bank account can be emptied by the wife. What makes a guy put this much faith in a woman, but makes him reject putting faith in Guru's words of being a God? Do you ever hear a husband say i am agnostic about my wifes love toward me. His buddies will ask him.............does she love you...........his answer............absolutely without any doubt. But the guy knows deep down that he just jumped off of a bridge not knowing what the outcome will be in the future. Faith in the right people and situations is not a bad thing at all. We are all ignorant, but if we complete all acts which Guru tells us to the best of our ability, then we can leave it to faith and recieve life's goal. God can be experienced if the first step is taken.

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p.s an even harder concept to get your mind around is that we treat SGGS as a human being not as a "book" as stated above.

please go to your local temple and ask as many questions as you wish!

The one thing about sikhism that is different to other religions is the respect for all other religions our guru points out that being a good sikh, christian , muslim etc all lead you to the one god. There is no absolute proof of any god so no one can answer your question, but if your looking for rational check out pascals wager theory(again not just applicable to sikhism)

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our guru points out that being a good sikh, christian , muslim etc all lead you to the one god.

Brother if one can reach God being a christian or muslim or hindu etc.. then what is the point in being a Sikh? And where does our Guru ji say that you can reach Vaheguru ji following any religion?

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Brother if one can reach God being a christian or muslim or hindu etc.. then what is the point in being a Sikh? And where does our Guru ji say that you can reach Vaheguru ji following any religion?

Oh Please!! Don't start the ridiculous debate that the only way to reach God is through Sikhism.

Are you telling me that in the tens of thousands of years of conscious human presence on this planet, it was only 500 years ago in India that the only path to God was identified???

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Oh Please!! Don't start the ridiculous debate that the only way to reach God is through Sikhism.

Are you telling me that in the tens of thousands of years of conscious human presence on this planet, it was only 500 years ago in India that the only path to God was identified???

Oh Please!!!! Are you telling me the all loving God will let billions of people go without food, shelter, and make many atheist????? Is this what your all loving God does???? What came before the Vedas? What is written in the vedas?? You don't know because you have never read them or even studied them. Yet you want to comment on thousands of years of history!!! Completely ridiculous!!!!

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Oh Please!! Don't start the ridiculous debate that the only way to reach God is through Sikhism.

Are you telling me that in the tens of thousands of years of conscious human presence on this planet, it was only 500 years ago in India that the only path to God was identified???

It may sound unbelievable (I've not decided where I stand on this matter personally) but the philosophy espoused by our Gurus is really wonderful. I would hazard a guess that your disbelief is not to do with the credibility and purity of the message of our Gurus, but more to do with the modern day exponents of that philosophy who really aren't doing Sikhi any favours.

I would like to think Sachkhand isn't only populated by Singhs or Singhnis, as I believe there are some naturally intuitive (and rare) souls who don't prescribe to any religion or denomination per se, but are connected to what we would call God in a way that comes naturally and easily to them. However, for the rest of us we need a certain framework (or maryada) which helps us progress towards those objectives. But when you think of the great Mahapurash and Sants post 20th century such as Baba Isher Singh, Baba Nand Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh, Baba Ji Rampur Khera Wale, etc., I do think these great souls found something of huge worth in Sikhi.

I hope in the Realm of Truth that a bad Sikh is not favoured over a good non-Sikh to put it simply. The little that I know of Sikhi from what Jap Ji Sahib suggests (more than just the 1st Pauri... ;)) that His house is not divided over racial / cultural / religious lines as on earth.

Just my opinions.

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http://www.sikhsangat.com/Index.php?/topic/67610-getting-to-god/

Use above link for the tangent we went on,

Seth wish you good luck and remember take the plunge and check out your local gurdwara and ask lots of questions

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Are you telling me that in the tens of thousands of years of conscious human presence on this planet, it was only 500 years ago in India that the only path to God was identified???

If there is any other path to Vaheguru ji brother, then please enlighten me. (As far as I know) The ultimate aim of a Christian is to reach heaven, that of a Muslim is to reach Behshat. None of the prophets or devtas of Hindus even knew about Sachkhand ( Abode of Vaheguru ji). So they could not have reached there. Farthest a person can reach is the place where the guru (prophet, devi, devta etc) that they worship is present.

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All religions lead to god in the sense that all religions are talking of the same god. There is only one, who is called by many different names.

Gurbani says that Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jains see part of the picture, but a Sikh sees the whole thing.

Too much emphasis is put on the afterlife. If you are only doing good deeds because you think you will be rewarded with God's grace after death, then you have selfish motives.

If there is a heaven, I think you will find Sikhs and non-Sikhs living there.

The goal of a Sikh is to achieve liberation in this life. We are not supposed to be chasing some reward after we die.

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...But my question to you all is why do you take your own or the Guru's word that he/you knows there is a true god? Faith does not suffice as an answer for me (as a forewarning). Faith is only defined by itself in my eyes(which is not a definition)...

-Seth

I would say its about experience, we want to have the experience of Waheguru. So thats what we practice, having a real experience, once its real, then you know it, until then its an idea

But in order to have an experience you need traning/teaching on what to do and what not do. In the same way you want to drive a car, without an instructor it would be very difficult to pick it up, even harder if it was a huge truck, even harder an aeroplane! Reaching Waheguru is even more complex, but the Gurus simplified the method for the people so that a layman can reach God if he does the right things.

I would recommend reading the Japji Sahib which is the main hymn of all Sikhs, it contains the philosophy, ideas and many other things all put together in one hymn. This is repeated every single day but Sikhs all over the world.

here is a link

http://www.3ho.org/k...pji%20Sahib.pdf

also check out this video,

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Oh Please!!!! Are you telling me the all loving God will let billions of people go without food, shelter, and make many atheist????? Is this what your all loving God does???? What came before the Vedas? What is written in the vedas?? You don't know because you have never read them or even studied them. Yet you want to comment on thousands of years of history!!! Completely ridiculous!!!!

Why do I comment on thousands of years of history?

I have had the privilege to experience some things in life which made me realise that there are many roads to God and no one is more valid than the other - they are just different. As a Sikh, I am comfortable with that - my faith is strong enough to deal with that.

I visited an ancient temple complex in Guatemala called Tikal and had the opportunity to sit at the top of a temple and which the sun rise over the jungle - perfectly aligned with their temple structures - an experience I will neever forget. The Mayans worshipped various deities and the Sun. They were a civilisation that lasted a thousand years - who is to say that their faith is less valid than your faith?

I have had the opportunity to visit the temples of ancient Rome and Greece, Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh, mosques in North Africa and ancient hindu temples in Tamil Nadu.

I studied religion and theology at school and was taught Evolutionary Theory by the atheist-in-chief, Richard Dawkins at university.

I don't claim to be an expert, but have done as much as I can - to learn and challenge myself.

If occassionally you left your bedroom and your PC behind and challenged your brain to stretch itself beyond your comfort zone, you may have a more fulfilling existence.

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I studied religion and theology at school and was taught Evolutionary Theory by the atheist-in-chief, Richard Dawkins at university.

Wow that's pretty cool. What is he like face to face? Is he as vehement as he seems?

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