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Summary of Question:Worship
Category:Other
Date Posted:Saturday, 5/12/2001 4:13 PM MDT

i am v. confused, god is within us right?, so can i do path to a painting of guru's? ie. if i was to stand in front of a picture of guru nanak and do japji, or sing shabads, would this be wrong, because it would be 'artificial' worship?

should i rather concentrate on the feeling of god within?
also, i know that hindu's do food offerings to god on a 'thal'(sp?), do we do this as sikhs? do we offer food to god, like roti and sabzi on a dish as an offering, because i thought this sort of thing was counted as a 'meaningless ritual', if this is not a meaningless ritual, what would be an example of one, because i don't want to be doing anything wrong.
many thanks, any response is much appreciated. I also have a comment about this site, i am 18 now, but as i was growing upmy mom and dad did'nt explain sikhism to me at all, i saw it as a bunch of restrictions, but when i was 16, i started asking questions to my dad like what it meant to be sikh, how did we know it was right etc., most of which he could not answer, so i looked up sikhism on the net, and found sikhnet's translation of sggs. i soon realised that i WAS a sikh all my life, but did'nt realise it, everything i thought life was about was the same as sikhism. it was just that it was not explained to me in terms of spirituality via mt parents.i am so proud to be sikh, though i still have many questions in my head. i am now striving to become a better sikh, and know my purpose, i am mucho happier now that i have guru in my heart. thankyu sikhnet.

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REPLY
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Dear JasJi--

Sat Siri Akal. It is a wonderful thing to confirm yourself as a Sikh, as you have discovered!

When we do paath, we do not (need to) do it in front of picture of Guru Nanak or other Guru. God is within us all, and God is IN ALL. So worship of God can be all the time and in any form, since we can honor God in all. That said, we do not worship any single Guru, but many of us find that pictures of the Gurus are inspiring. They each had such remarkable lives, when I see a picture of 10th Master Guru Gobind Singh, I am reminded of all he did for us, and I find this inspiring. This is not worship.

It is not our place here to judge Hindu practices. Sikhi teaches us that God is not swayed by offerings (such as food, money, etc) or sacrifices of things. Sikhi teaches us that the one who remembers God as often and in as many ways as possible is the true devotee. The one who serves others selflessly (serves the God in others) is serving God Himself. Sikhi says devote your LIFE to bani, bana, simran, seva, and you are worshiping. That is why we DON'T do food offerings and worship of pictures. We worship Siri Guru, as represented by Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and we bow to this only.

Now, perhaps you find that the 'sacred space' in your home is the corner/space where the picture of Guru Nanak hangs. Guru Nanak was a remarkable person! Perhaps this is a good place to make as your personal altar space or sacred space for reading bani, shabds, etc. Perhaps it is a place for you to study Guru's teachings and sit quietly and meditatively. By all means, practice feeling God within, but this in itself is a PRACTICE, made easier by repetition of the Naam, using a mantr such as Wahay Guroo Wahay Guroo. No worship is artificial when done sincerely and from the heart. Even our mistakes (in reading bani or ardas) are covered when our hearts are sincere!

I hope this helps. Guru Rakha,

-DKK



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