Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
Today is my 1st day at this forum and so excuse me for all the mistakes I make while writing my questions.
I work in a public school system in Virginia and is the only Sikh male maintaining my sikhi saroop in the system. I have a teacher who is doing masters in Religion Studies and so is interested in the answers of his following question about Sikhism. I would greatly appreciate help from anyone who can answer any of his questions at the earliest possible. I do not fully understand his questions and also not that good in English and so seek your help.
Here under is the teacher's email to me.
Hi Mr. Singh,
This is Beau Obetts from Yorktown. I had asked you if I could interview you for a class I am taking about religion since we need to interview people of different faiths. If you are okay with this, could you please send me answers to the questions listed below in the next few days? If you would rather do an in person interview that is fine too, just let me know when you are available. Also, if you can't do it, please let me know as soon as possible. Finally, if there are any questions you feel uncomfortable answering please feel free to skip them. Thanks for your help. Beau
1) What are some of the main rules your religion gives for living an ethical life? How do you go about living a good life? Are there rules your religion accepts that you reject?
2) What does your religion say about salvation and the afterlife? What do you believe about the afterlife?
3) How does your religion deal with the question "Why do good things happen to bad people?"
Do you accept any of the answers offered by your religion? If not, how would you address the issue? 4) Are there any other ways that your personal belief differs from the official doctrine of your religion? 5) Do you have any favorite passage(s) from the scripture of your religion? If so, why does it appeal to you?
Satgurji Aap Sab Te Mehar Karan Ji. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
- Please read the reply here
2nd battle of Chamkaur (transferred from Help:Format a page by HS)
We are pleased to note an exhaustive account of battle of Chamkaur Sahib in your esteemed Sikhiwiki website. Indeed it is a painstaking work from your side. We congratulate you over this magnificent outcome.
The period of 2nd battle of Chamkaur is 21,22 and 23 Dec., l705. In Bikrmi, it is 6,7,8 Poh l76l The Evacuation of Anandpur Sahib is on the night of 20th Dec., l705. The 300th year Martyrdom celebrations of two elder Sahibzadas were commemorated on 2l,22 and 23 December 2004, at Chamkaur Sahib, at National level, by Panjab Government led by Capt. Amarinder Singh. Similarly, the300th year Martyrdom celebrations of two younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh were commemorated in the last week of Dec.,2004 at Fatehgarh Sahib (Sirhind)
Sikhiwiki website needs some corrections in Second Battle of Chamkaur Sahib. We mention as under:-
1. Wazir Khan (Suba Sirhind) did not participate in this battle. Mughal Generals –Nahar Khan, Gairat Khan and Khawaja Mohammed Murdud participated in this battle. 2. Departure of Guru’s entourage from Anandpur Sahib is on 20th Dec.,l705 in the night. 3. Battle at Sarsa rivulet is at the dawn of 2lst Dec.,l705. It is few miles away from Kiratpur Sahib towards Ropar. Parwar Vichhora happened in that commotion.
4. Arrival at Chamkaur is in the afternoon of 2lst Dec.,l705. 5. Guru along with two elder Sahibzadas , 5 Piaras and 40 Sikhs took charge of Kachi Garhi of Chamkaur in the evening of 21st Dec., l705. 6. The distance between Ropar and Chamkaur Sahib is l6 KMs. 7. Kachi Garhi was owned by Bhai Budhi Chand and some record it of Chaudhry Roop Chand and Jagat Singh. The descendents of Roop Chand and Jagat Singh are still there in Chamkaur Sahib. 8. Guru Gobind Singh visited Chamkaur in l759(Bikrmi) for the first time, 2 years before the 2nd battle of Chamkaur. At the behest of hilly Rajas, a Mughal contingent led by Sardar Sayad Beg and Alif Khan attacked Guru in l759(Bikrmi) , at a place called Ranjitgarh in Chamkaur. They were defeated by the Sikhs. 9. The Kachi Garhi was besieged by l0 lac Mughal Army. Guru has himself penned in the Zafarnamah.There should be no doubt in it. This battle was fought by Mughals along with hilly Rajas.Ere to it, several battles had taken place between Guru and Mughals in the past. The Mughals were aware of Guru’s strength. Hence this strength. 10. When Saragarhi post of 2l soldiers could be attacked by l0,000 Pathans in l897 why it cannot be l0 lacs in battle of Chamkaur. To conjecture a figure of 700 or l000, in the siege of Kachi Garhi is not a justice to the unique battle of Chamkaur. 11. The figure and names of 40 martyrs of Kachi Garhi as given by S. Kahan Singh Nabha are taken as authentic. Figure given by SGPC in 2004 was not in fact correct. It was later withdrawn by SGPC itself. The credible figure of martyrs is 40 Sikhs and two Sahibzadas. In the Theme Park of Chamkaur 42 Pillars of Rock installed in the Open Air Theatre, are indication of that. 12. Vastar and Shastar and Kalgi was given to Bhai Sangat Singh by Guru Gobind Singh at the time of leaving Kachi Garhi of Chamkaur. From History point, it is now a settled issue. 13. On 23rd Dec., the day of l705, Bhai Sangat Singh alongwith other remaining Sikhs sacrificed their lives in the battlefield of Chamkaur. 14. While leaving Chamkaur at dead of night of 22-23 Dec.,l705, Guru uttered the words “Peer-e-hind mei ravad.” The same site is now known as Tari Sahib a few furlong from Gurudwara Katil Garh Sahib,Chamkaur. 15. The Saka Chamkaur Theme Park is in ruins. Its Construction is stalled since 2007. Politics has taken toll of it.
Kindly examine the above at your end.
Sri Chamkaur Sahib Development Forum is engaged in the all round development of the historic town and elaqa, since December 2003. Despite setbacks,it has, at its credit, a legacy of good work done. Thanks, Yours sincerely,
( Rajinder Singh Delhi) Patron
Kara and the Sacred Thread?
I was born into a Sikh family. As I grew up, I was forced to take Punjabi classes and Kirtan classes at my local Gurdwara. As a result, I also learned a lot about my religion; I’ve attended lectures, read books and biographies and been to spiritual classes. And after all that, I have to say, I still don’t completely believe in my religion.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, said the words, “Na ko-ee Hindu, Na ko-ee Musalman,” which means, No one is hindu, no one is muslim. His meaning was to explain that everyone is equal. There is no religion that divides us; we are all human.
So my question is, why on earth would he go start a new religion? That would simply cause further divide, and he was trying to get people to unite. His message was simply to love everyone, love one god, and help the poor and needy.
There is a story about Guru Nanak Dev Ji that I remember particularly well, and it’s called “The Sacred Thread.” The story explains that Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who was born into a Hindu family, was supposed to tie this thread around his wrist for religious purposes during a religious ceremony. However, he stopped the priest and asked him, “How is this thread sacred? Will it go with me when I go to God when I die? I will wear something that goes with my soul if you have it, for otherwise it is meaningless.” Now I don’t remember the exact phrasing he said, but that was the general idea.
Now compare this to the Sikh Kara… and ask the same questions. It won’t go with you when you die. It is simply a bracelet.
Of course you could make the argument that it is the symbolic meaning of the Kara that makes people wear it. But comparing it to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the sacred thread, I see far too many similarities between them. I’m sure the sacred thread had an important meaning too, but as Guru Nanak Dev Ji explained, it was simply that, a meaning, and not really sacred.
At the end of the day, it is simply a bracelet that you wear, and doesn’t reflect your soul that will go to God and be judged. I believe you should wear the meanings you want to reflect in this world on your soul and try to live true to them, for those will be judged when we leave this Earth. If God exists, that is; but that’s another discussion.
Yet Sikhi has changed so much from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who had introduced Khalsa, and the five K’s, including the Kara.
I can understand that it was a different time and Guru Gobind Singh Ji wanted symbols to unite his people, but regardless of that fact, I don’t believe true followers of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, or Sikhs, should try to divide themselves from everyone else, for as he said, we are all one.
Sikhism as presented by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, provides me more insight into life than anything else I have ever encountered about Sikhism. Loving everyone, treating everyone equally, and remembering that we are all human, not separate religions or castes.
If anyone has any other opinions or insight that they could provide me, I welcome them. I’ve just had these thoughts for a very long time and I genuinely want to ask other Sikhs what they think of them. I am not trying to attack my faith, but rather understand it. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Since this page can be edited by anyone, including my original questions and points, I'd like to post a link to my tumblr page where I had originally written this: www.thebenjaminbuttonmind.tumblr.com/post/153226352047/sikhism to be sure nothing is changed. I have written it in the format where an established user will review and activate the link in the next day or so, because it is not a harmful link. I was warned "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then don't submit it here." by this page, so I am simply trying to protect my discussion.
Reply by Hari Singh
Dear Manveer ji,
I believe that you missed the main 2 points made by the Guru when he refused to wear the Janoo - the sacred thread. This thread was a symbol for the promotion of discrimination. A janoo cannot be worn if your are a female or if you are a non-brahmin or a person of a lower caste. A woman was barred from wearing a janoo. Similarly a non-brahmin or 'Sudar' was not allowed to participate in the janoo ceremony or wear the sacred thread.
With due respect, this was the reason why the Guru refused to wear the 'sacred thread'. I think you were not explained the situation in the correct context and you may have missed that main purpose for the Guru refusing to wear this symbol. An evil and degrading symbol which was meant to elevate the male brahmin to a higher social level compared to all the others in that society.
Clearly that cannot be right. Guru Nanak believed in the equality of all humans and could not allow this ceremony to continue. Accordingly, although still a child, he refused to participate in this ceremony as it was a symbol of discrimination and segregation of section of the same community. As a child he challenged the establishment and the promotion of this degrading cultural tradition.
A kara on the other hand can be worn by any Sikh - male, female, black, white, high caste or of no caste, etc. So it is not a symbol of discrimination within the Sikh community - It is a symbol which promotes unity and non-discrimination; it promotes equality and unification of the human race. It is a symbol of unification and promotion of equality; it displaces segregation and sexual discrimination. In fact anyone who respects Sikhism and Sikh values can wear a kara.
The message of Guru Nanak is the same as the message of Guru Gobind Singh. All the Sikh gurus have shown the same path to obtain a better spiritual life. Each Guru has shown how the Sikh principles have to be applied to the circumstances of the time. As the world became more violent, the Sikhs had to modify their behaviour and carry arms to protect themselves, defend the weak and promote righteousness.
I hope this has provided you with some clarification. Please feel free to ask any questions if required.