Hello Everyone

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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:28 pm

BFS wrote:Thanks Luke, lovely photos!

Your welcome, but Google Images deserves 97% of the credit. Lol

We're all enjoying the Sikh info, so why stop? Hehe. Perhaps this week is unofficially "Sikh-mania Week" here at Dharma Wheel.

I just wanted to provide links to other Sikh-related threads I created:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2290

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2331
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:46 pm

Hi Everyone,

Apologies for my short absence, just got ever so slightly pulled away.

Luke, i have answered your question on Indira Gandhi in the following thread:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2331&start=0

"It sounds like it's primarily single-pointed meditation that you do, using breath or mantra. Is this right? Also, do you have an individual guru?"

It is a combination really. Single pointed meditation is used where we focus on the breath initially and move onto Mantra's, but we also listen to the teachings that are sung to a deeply moving melodies and let it penetrate us so that we become immersed in it and then have good will towards all living beings.

Infact, at the closing of a prayer, Sikhs will say:

"Nanak Naam Chardikala, teraa bhanaa Sarbaht dah Phahla"

Which translates to:

"Let the Naam which came through came Nanak keep everyone in an ever ascending spirit, and through the will of the Lord let everyone be blessed."

Not just Sikhs exclusively.

From a Buddhist perspective I believe that this would most possibly be Metta Meditation and perhaps chanting?

"As an ordinary westerner, when I see all these white people wearing white turbans in the first picture, I feel like bursting out laughing because of the silliness of it all."

The colors worn by Western Sikhs are a reflection of their tradition. From a cultural perspective, White is normally worn by Sikhs who Teach the Dharma. It is similar to the Monks who will drape themselves in a simple garment to keep the body warm and lessen their attachment to the world so that they can focus solely at the task inhand (My understanding ofcourse).

Personally i think they look rather dignified,respectable and honorable as they have dedicated their lives to a higher calling, but then that is just my perception ofcourse.

...read a story in Sikhism to demonstrate compassion of a Sikh who had mortally wounded a man in battle, but he had not yet died, and the sun was high and it was hot. The Sikh grabbed a shield and shaded the man so he was comfortable as he could be before he died.

That is a very nice story and not far from other examples of virtue.

Another event that happened during the age of warfare was the act of Bhai Kanhaiya.

During the Wars between Sikhs and the Moguls. Guru Gobind Singh would assign specific tasks to certain soldiers, but he singled out Bhai Kanhaiya, a person who had become a Sikh at the hands of The 9th Guru and was immersed in the teachings and specifically assigned him the task of providing water to everyone.

During the war, Bhai Kanhaiya not only gave water to Sikhs, but the Moguls too. When the Sikhs saw this they could not believe it and told The Guru. The Guru summoned Bhai Kanhaiya and asked why he gave water to both Sikh and the Mogals. Bhai Kanhaiya simply responded that he did not see any difference between them and saw the same divinity in everyone. The Guru responded that he was glad that he had understood the real meaning of his task and then instructed him to tend to the wounded also.

Personally that story had a huge impact on me, especially when one does begin to read into the history.

"...marijuana mixture thing that Sikhs have? From what I had heard, the use of it has been dismissed, except for a small group that uses it and stays high constantly with a sort of "combat could happen at any time" justification. Any thoughts or explanation surrounding that?"

They are a small group who are constantly high, but they have gone contrary to The teachings, The Guru the people who were beside Him at the time.

The Guru Granth Sahib teaches:

"O mortal, why are you going into the forest of corruption?
You have been misled into eating the toxic drug."
Sri Guru Granth Sahib P 1252

As well as:

"Even if wine is made from the water of the Ganges, O Saints, do not drink it."

Sri Guru Granth Sahib P 1293

"Thanks so much for coming to this community, sharing of yourself with us, and also being open to our beliefs and comments as well."


I would like to say that is my pleasure and would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to discuss so openly.

In my eyes, this the hall mark of people who are truly on a Spiritual Path.

Thanks,

Lotus
A Sikh studying the Teachings of The Buddha.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:55 pm

Hi Lotus,

I appreciate your previous responses. I just wanted to ask you some simple questions, if you don't mind.

Can a folding knife (like a Swiss Army knife) be considered a kirpan? Is a Sikh allowed to use his kirpan as tool, such as using for cutting rope or cutting a cake, or is it only supposed to be used only for fighting?

Did you mean that Western Sikhs are not allowed to wear any color other than white? Would you be shunned by your fellow western Sikhs if you came to your temple wearing a red or blue turban? You said that white is worn by Sikhs who teach Sikh-Dharma, but not every Sikh teaches Sikh-Dharma, right?

Is the source of every part of the Guru Granth Sahib known? For example, is it known which parts were said by Nanak Dev and which parts came from the later Gurus or other sources?

One of my earliest memories is of a Sikh. An Indian Sikh architect was a close friend of my mother and father when I was little. He was a cool guy who always looked sharp and he usually wore a suit with a black or red turban. I don't remember seeing him carry a knife, so it must have been concealed.

It's nice to find somebody from a different religion who is easy to talk to. Christians are often difficult for Buddhists to talk to.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:53 pm

Hi Luke,

"Can a folding knife (like a Swiss Army knife) be considered a kirpan? Is a Sikh allowed to use his kirpan as tool, such as using for cutting rope or cutting a cake, or is it only supposed to be used only for fighting?"

A Kirpan normally has specific dimensions and so whilst a Swiss Army knife is quite good, it would be pretty difficult to qualify it as one.
Sikhs have a certain reverence for their Kirpans, so whilst it could be used for other purposes, it is not normally done. However, if the situation requires it then it is perfectly understandable.

Did you mean that Western Sikhs are not allowed to wear any color other than white? Would you be shunned by your fellow western Sikhs if you came to your temple wearing a red or blue turban? You said that white is worn by Sikhs who teach Sikh-Dharma, but not every Sikh teaches Sikh-Dharma, right?

Western Sikhs can wear any color turban and would be accepted with open arms regardless. Infact people of all faiths are welcome as well as people who are still incorporating practices.
Not everyone teaches the Dharma, but traditionally people who wear white Turbans are more orientated towards the Dharma and this indicative of it.

I wrote a small paragraph/article about the Turban and assuming it is OK with everyone, i would like to share this also.

Turban

Sikhs wear a Turban to instill a sense of right-action and to help build a strong ethical framework.

According to Sikh philosophy, having a firm rooting in Morality is vitally important if one wishes to make any progress with regards to their practice.

“One cannot claim to be a Man of God without doing good deeds that come from the Heart”
Sri Guru Granth Sahib – Page 4 – (My Translation)

Whilst we do not necessarily learn due to form alone, it makes it more conducive to practice.

The Turban serves to synergise The Adherents as One, exert a Dharmic influence on society and is considered a manifestation of strength,nobility and honor.

Within the Sikh Framework The Turbans primary purpose is to encase the full-length hair (Called “Kesh”) in a firm, respectful and practical way.
One can ofcourse secure the Kesh in a manner that they see fit depending on the situation, but as it is linked to our spiritual development The Turban is seen as the most befitting.

When this is taken into consideration, the Kesh is what is of central importance and the Turban acts to support it.

Hope that helped.

"Is the source of every part of the Guru Granth Sahib known? For example, is it known which parts were said by Nanak Dev and which parts came from the later Gurus or other sources?"

Every single page. Which Teachings came through which Guru are known exactly because we have the original manuscript and it was compiled by The Guru, not by its followers hundreds of years after.

"One of my earliest memories is of a Sikh. An Indian Sikh architect was a close friend of my mother and father when I was little. He was a cool guy who always looked sharp and he usually wore a suit with a black or red turban. I don't remember seeing him carry a knife, so it must have been concealed."


That is really nice and descriptive of how most Sikhs who wear a Turban in the West dress.

I would like to add that not every Sikh carries a Kirpan, infact not every Sikh maintains their Kesh and wears a Turban, much like not every Buddhist is a Monk, as we are all at different points of our journey but it something to respect understand and aspire towards i believe.

"It's nice to find somebody from a different religion who is easy to talk to. Christians are often difficult for Buddhists to talk to."

Thank you Luke, I appreciate that. It is only because Buddhists themselves are so understanding, tolerant and welcoming, i could not help but reciprocate.

My best regards,

Lotus
A Sikh studying the Teachings of The Buddha.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:13 pm

Lotus Lion wrote:Every single page. Which Teachings came through which Guru are known exactly because we have the original manuscript and it was compiled by The Guru, not by its followers hundreds of years after.

Thanks for info. However, I sense a bit of criticism of Buddhism in your reply.

I must state that teachings can be effectively transmitted orally for generations by dedicated people, and the quality of Buddhist teachings speaks for themselves. In my opinion, the Mahayana Buddhist Prajnaparamita sutras' teachings on emptiness have no equal.

Just to be clear, while I feel compassion and friendship towards the Sikhs, I have no interest in converting to Sikhism. I just find it interesting to learn more about Asian culture.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby lisehull » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:31 pm

Luke, I think you misread Lotus's intention. I don't feel he is criticizing Buddhism or trying to convert us.
:namaste:
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:40 pm

Hi Luke and LiseHull,

"Thanks for info. However, I sense a bit of criticism of Buddhism in your reply."

Not at all.

Infact i have a reverence for the Buddha-Dharma, so much so that i have been studying it for a few years now and find that it compliments my spiritual practices perfectly.

For example, I do Seva - helping for the sake of helping - in the Gurdwara and assist with the Langar - giving food to everyone - a common Sikh practice.

Initially it would be for a short duration and i would eat before hand.

I then read a line attributed to The Buddha which read:

"If you knew what i knew, you would never serve yourself before serving others"

This struck a cord with me and even today i will make sure that the vast majority if not all of people in the Gurdwara have eaten before i sit down.

This then further manifests itself with me helping everywhere I go as it part of me. Be it with friends, family or at work.

"I must state that teachings can be effectively transmitted orally for generations by dedicated people, and the quality of Buddhist teachings speaks for themselves."

Ofcourse. Sikhs too have memorized the entire Guru Granth Sahib over several years as they are also immerse in The Teachings, much like Buddhists.

"In my opinion, the Mahayana Buddhist Prajnaparamita sutras' teachings on emptiness have no equal."

I appreciate that and whilst i am yet to read these teachings, i too have a strong connection with certain passages in the Guru Granth Sahib which have really brought peace, stability and an incredible depth to my understanding.

A certain affinity that one builds with their faith is totally understandable.

"Just to be clear, while I feel compassion and friendship towards the Sikhs, I have no interest in converting to Sikhism. I just find it interesting to learn more about Asian culture."

That was never the objective. Perhaps shine a light on the Sikh-Dharma and highlight teachings we have in common at best.

Also, please see my notes to the Moderators.

"Luke, I think you misread Lotus's intention. I don't feel he is criticizing Buddhism or trying to convert us."

That is correct.

Thanks,

Lotus
:namaste:
A Sikh studying the Teachings of The Buddha.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:07 pm

Lotus Lion wrote:
"Luke, I think you misread Lotus's intention. I don't feel he is criticizing Buddhism or trying to convert us."

That is correct.

Thanks,

Lotus
:namaste:

Okay, then I apologize for assuming negative things about you, Lotus Lion.

It's often hard to read people's intentions through text alone.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:35 pm

Hi Luke,

That's OK. No harm done.

It is a pleasure speaking to yourself and other Buddhists on this forum.

My best regards,

Lotus
A Sikh studying the Teachings of The Buddha.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby lisehull » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:02 pm

Hi Lotus, you may have already mention this but I am wondering, whereabouts are you located?
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:11 pm

Hi LiseHull,

I am from London. Just updated my Profile.

There are quite a few Sikhs here. Mainly concentrated in the East and West End of London as well as The Midlands - Birmingham and Coventry.

Thanks,

Lotus
A Sikh studying the Teachings of The Buddha.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby lisehull » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:14 pm

Hi Lotus, thanks for the info. I was just curious. Do you have any idea where the hubs of Sikh residents might live in the States (that's where I am)?
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Ogyen » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:37 pm

Hi and WELCOME!

My father comes from a sikh family that migrated to the US. My indian family is ok with Buddhism. It's not that far of a stretch from their own beliefs. Also it's far more familiar to them then Christian religions, I'm sure, from my mother's culture.

:heart:
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"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:43 pm

Hi Lise, OgyenChodzom,

"Do you have any idea where the hubs of Sikh residents might live in the States (that's where I am)?"

In the US, Sikhs are mainly concentrated in California - Yuba City, Fremont and San Jose as well as Washington DC and Española, New Mexico.

Please also see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism_in ... ommunities

Which may help.

OgyenChodzom, Thank you for the warm welcome. It is very kind of you. If you do not mind me saying, i think the avatar of "Chikni Sikhni" has got a nice ring to it.

"My indian family is ok with Buddhism. It's not that far of a stretch from their own beliefs."

The beliefs are pretty similar, so much so i believe that they are both expressing The same Teachings in different ways.
Buddha-Dharma is for the Monk and is orientated towards the Mind. Sikh-Dharma is for the Family and orientated towards the Heart.

For me, they compliment each other perfectly.

Thanks,

Lotus
A Sikh studying the Teachings of The Buddha.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby lisehull » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:02 pm

Lotus Lion wrote:Buddha-Dharma is for the Monk and is orientated towards the Mind. Sikh-Dharma is for the Family and orientated towards the Heart.


Hi Lotus, If I understand this sentence correctly, you are discounting a great number of lay practitioners who practice Buddha-Dharma, as you call it. That includes most, if not all, of the people in this forum . . . Would you clarify what you meant by the above?
And, thank you for the info on Sikh communities in the US.
:namaste:
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:26 am

Perhaps Lotus Lion means that Sikhism is easier on the brain than Buddhism. Sikhism may require less reflection and less questioning about ordinary appearances...
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:16 pm

Hi Lise and Luke,

Perhaps I should have rephrapsed that.

Lay followers influence my understanding about the Buddha-Dharma and I hold them in a high estimation.

From the material I have read the monk is ideal person to absorb the teachings, hence I wrote that. Did not mean anything else by it. Was making my post 'complete' as it were.

Apologies for any misunderstanding on my part.

Sikh-dharma is more orientated towards love whilst my understanding of the Buddha-Dharma is that it is more orientated towards the mind and for me compliment each other rather well.

For example the sikh-dharma speaks of people having inner thieves, lust anger greed attachment and ego and explains how to overcome them.

The order is important and I am yet to come across it of being spoken in a different order.

I read material on the buddha-dharma that echos similar thoughts.

I would like to give a more detailed response but have been called away and will be so for a few weeks. I will get back as soon.as I can.

Also, sincerly,thank you for having me. Everyone has been really nice understanding but inqusitive at the same time making for perfect dialog.

All the best for the moment,

Lotus
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