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Re: To All Converted Sikhs Out There!
Posted by Shakti Parwha Khalsa Send Email to Author on Saturday, 1/10/1998 3:48 PM MST
Sat Nam, Ji. I really didn't want to respond to this question, but somehow could not resist, because you "hit a nerve" when you talk of anyone being "converted" to become a Sikh. I realize this is common language, but I strongly object to the implications inherent in the word. Conversion indicates a forced change - or a change as result of some kind of external pressure. My experience is that 29 years ago, when I heard Yogi Bhajan speak about the ideals and teachings of Guru Nanak, when I learned that a Sikh is one who worships Truth, and when I chanted SAT NAM and other mantras in Gurumukhi, my soul felt that I had come home. Yogi Bhajan taught a way of life. Had he tried to force a religion on us, believe me, we would probably have run away. But he taught us fundamental principles and practical practices, he called it the 3HO way of life, Healthy, Happy and Holy. It included ishnaan, sadhana in the ambrosial hours, chanting God's Name, and, yes, Kundalini yoga to prepare the mind and body. Being an idealist, at the same time a very practical down to earth person, I found in Sikh Dharma a way of life that nourishes my soul and satisfies my mind. I don't like fanaticism, and I try not to be lazy. To have found the Shabd Guru is the greatest blessing in my life. I long for the time when all Sikhs, whether born into the religion or "reborn" into it will be in harmony with each other, and we can " live and let live." 29 years ago I had no knowledge of the problems that have beset the Sikhs in Punjab. I was not "politically aware," and it came as a great shock to discover Gurdwaras in Canada and the US were overrun with political agendas. In the Gurdwararas we American born Sikhs have established, we don't have speeches about anything except the Guru. We go to be with the Sadh Sangat and sing Gurbani Kirtan. Guru Nanak carried his message of One God, One Truth as far as he could on foot, and people who followed him and espoused his teachings became his Sikhs. Nowadays, by train or plane, by TV and audio tape, people all over the world have the opportunity to discover the Guru, and if their souls recognize and remember who they are, they too will become Sikhs! Yes, we can have missionaries to spread the teachings, but never to "convert" in the sense that most people understand the word. Guru Nanak taught respect for the equality of all people, men and women, of all races, colors and creeds. I hope we can live up to his message, for it is surely a most Aquarian attitude, and desperately needed in this day and age!
humbly yours, Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa

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