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Summary of Question:why are there such differences between sikhs?
Category:Sikh Practices
Date Posted:Tuesday, 4/13/1999 8:00 AM MDT

Vaheguru jee ka khalsa

Vaheguru jee ki fateh

this is the first time that i've been on this disscusion forum, i have been on the main discusion before but have been unable to do so at the moment.

I've been going through some of the questions and the replies. It appears that there are great differences in the beliefs of the western sikhs and the sikhs of the punjab. I myself am from the uk and i have been born and raised here. I wasn't raised as a sikh, and i came into sikhi only a few years ago.

Getting back to my question, there are some very big differences in the beliefs of the western sikhs to the punjabi sikhs. For example, we do not practise yoga (nor accept it as sikhi), we do not believe in contraception, we do not believe in dating, we do not accept homosexuality (although we don't condemn people who are), we believe that the 5 k's (panj kakaar)should be worn at all times and we greet each other with the Gur Fateh. There are many other differences. We are part of the same faith, yet it seems that we are practising totaly different ones.

I have seen Yogi Jee in the UK as well as some American sikhs. I see that you are dedicated sikhs but i don't understand some of your practises. I am not trying to judge you or any individual, but i feel that there is a lack of understanding between us.

I will reply back refering to certain rehit marayada and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee on the above issues. Please could someone shed some light on this issue, because as we are part of the khalsa brotherhood i feel that there should be greater communication between us.

With Love.

Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa
Vaheguru Jee Ki Fateh

**********
Response:
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Sat Nam, ji. You have asked a very wonderful question. In the next day or so I will post the text and some insights into a Shabd of Gurbani, (known by its first line as "Raj Yog Takht Deean, Guru Ram Das." This Shabd, when understood in its entirety and in context, completely dispells the uninformed notion that Sikh Dharma has nothing to do with any sacred practices of "Yoga." Yoga means "union of the individual with Sat Nam and Wahe Guru," pure and simple, and then living a healthy balanced life in a very unhealthy and polluted, technological civilization.(no part of the world is isolated from modern stress and pollution). To do that we must breathe and be physically fit. We are not talking about any other, corrupted practices which Guru Nanak and our other Sat Gurus spoke out against. But their own joining of humanity with divinity was also nothing but a "Yoga." The evidence is all in Gurbani and Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Ignorance breeds wrong views and misunderstanding. And those who say that Gurbani teaches against Yoga are not regarding the whole of Gurbani. Let us truly look to Gurbani (including the Shabds and teachings of Guru Gobind Singh, "Reh Man, Eh Bidh Jog Man Chaou") to be diligent and faithful to our own Guru's teaching.

Blessings (I will offer more complete information in a day or so, my references are at another location).

On a number of other points, (ie., contraception, dating, homosexuality, the 5 K's, and customary greetings) more can be shared, but I'll close for now by noting that these "differences" may not be so real as you imagine, and also perhaps not so important compared with all that we, as Sikhs of the Guru and as members of humanity, have in common. Isn't that one of the great tragedies being played out in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Ireland, and (I must add) India? That divisions within humanity are destructive, whereas harmonious unity was what Guru Nanak taught, prayed, pleaded and led us to cherish? When a tiny hair is held in the hand it is imperceivable. When that same hair is in the eye (where it doesn't belong) it can be very painful. Moreover, in the Ardas we praise those who can see even the "Faults" of others and overlook ("unsee") them. How much more so the possibility of an orientation that simple cultural variations and personal choices can be honorable and acceptable even though the may be slightly "different"? We can discuss more about this by continuing the discussion.

Sincerely,
Krishna Singh Khalsa



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