Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Suicide and Sikhism?

A few days ago I read news about a woman committing suicide with her children in front of a train in England. This just makes me sad and heartfelt. What I don’t understand is why men and women that are supposed to be "Sikhs of the Guru" would do such acts? What could be that bad in life? I guess her faith in Akal Purakh Waheguru is lost and they feel no one in this world can help them, husband, parents, brothers, sisiters, neighbors, in-laws, Gurudwara and not even anyone in the the Khalsa community which was known for helping raise orphans left behind by Hindu and Sikhs alike and hindu women sex slaves freed from Mughals attacks on India. Those brave Sikh men and women martyrs come to mind that didn't lose faith, sacrificed everything and fought all the way till end. They didn't give up hope.  Life is beautiful and let us cherish it.  Suicide seems cowardly and I don't think a Sikh of the Guru would do such an act.  He or she would fight till death but not give up Our Gurus did not go on hunger strikes or give up.  They taught us how to live free life.  I know it is easy for me to say and I have not experienced a life of real poverty, but here is my take on it if I ever get into this situation.  If I in debt, so what?  Let it all go!  What is the worst?  They could put me in jail or I would have to live on the streets, so what, I am still breathing.  This doesn't mean get in to huge debt though.  Live within your financial means and don't worry about what people say.  And, yes, tomorrow is another day and things could only go upwards and better from this point on.  Don't give a crap if you family ignores you, don't give a crap if your boss fires you from the job, don't worry if you don't have any money in your pocket.  Satguru is always with you or as a Gursikh will say "Ang sung Waheguru!"  You can always go to Gurdwara, do seva, enjoy langar and feel good about yourself for contributing to humanity.  Guru's langar will satisfy your hunger while you look for a job and place to live.  I also don’t understand why a Gurusikh would also go on hunger strike, since that is almost like committing suicide. Darshan Singh Feruman come to mind who died because of hunger strike in the 1960’s.   Don't get me wrong here, I have the utmost respect for him and others for fighting for justice, having compassion for humanity and causes and having the courgae to do it.  Who am I to judge anyways?  And, when does a Gursikh or Sikh community in general would know that all means have failed and it is now time to pick up the sword to fight against these injustices. Should Bhai Feruman have picked up the sword instead of going on hunger strike?  I don't know but these questions do come to mind.  True gursikh men and women just don’t commit suicides, they fight for justice peacefully and if that is denied they take up arms as a last resort. I wish the woman had someone to talk to that could show her the Guru’s way. I hope we can learn lessons from all this.  A loss of a loved one would be the hardest for anyone! I really don't have anything to say on this except that only listening, reading, reciting Guru's words or advice from a true Gursikh would be able to help cope with the loss.

13 Comments:

Blogger Gurinder said...

Khalsa never lifts his sword even when all revenues are shut. the only time khalsa will lift his sword when a war is called upon them, ( self defense).

Khalsa (sikh): They are Fearless and Do not give fear to others.

We need to follow the teaching of Guru Granth sahib very closely.

Guru Gobind Singh ji said that he does not loves a Sikh, but he loves the discipline (actions) of the sikh. How many of us really live the way of sikhi? If we do then we are in constant state of mind no matter what happens to us.

That's why in the past Singhs and Kaurs were able to sacrafice themselves and their children so that we could have the freedom to practice sikhi. To give life is not an easy task, but everyone can say that they will give their life for the sake of sikhi.

Well, If we do not discipline our lives the way sikhi demands then giving our life is out of our reach and saying something is just is a saying....

3:08 PM, September 20, 2005  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

Gurinder Ji,

Thank you for the comments. Learned a few things from them. My comments were mainly about suicide among Sikhs. I wish it would not happen.

4:47 PM, September 20, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

I know that I went off track. but if we merge ourselves into gurbani, meditation then we will not feel depressed in our life no matter what happens. We do call ourselves sikhs but we do not even follow the basic rules, eventually we are going to get caught in the cycle of major depression and so on..
have good day.

5:23 PM, September 20, 2005  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Well, as per my knowledge, the Sikhs do use weapons for purposes other than self-defense and that is defending others if need arises.
Khalsa is fearless - yes! That's how it is meant to be. If you are fearless you are blessed! But I have yet to know a man who is essentially nirbhau...

About Suicide: Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, irrespective of their religious or cultural background, is something that happens in this world and has pervailed. Thank God, all of us are not aware of such circumstances that could drag us close to that stand ever. Waheguru! Suicide is a very pathetic stage (literally). It is peoples ultimate call for help. I don't know if others will agree, but circumstances are a great force in shaping what we are. And when things go wrong, you have to be immensely blessed to not lose all hope and trust. We are but human. God has but not the meaning which could be identically strong for all. Every one, the very normal, usual us (includes all), get ambivalent about the things happening in our lives. We all need to hear Wahegurus reinforcement, but through a medium more lucrative and real: someones kindness, comfort, and love. So if you are strong, share that strength with those around you: people have a tendency to keep their sorrows to themselves. And also share your Satguru with them and them with your Satguru in your prayers, if you may. Call them not weekend, who are week-willed, for circumstances might have broken those pillars of strength on which their lives and happiness exist.

I know the comment is way longer... But a couple of things more. This woman who killed herself with her kids, might be suffering from Postpartum Depression and it is very very serious and pretty common.

7:45 PM, September 20, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

you are right about Postpartum depression. Our community does not have knowlegde about this condition. we need to teach every community that if there is something deviate behavior in the mother then they should take them to the hospital right away. postpartum depression has several stages, where woman have the urge to hurt the baby and themsleves. there is an imbalance in neruotransmitter in the brain.

Simply, they need medical help.

9:46 AM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

manjit singh ji,

Its wonderful to hear the changes that you have made in your life. It is extermely difficult to give up one's life style. May God bless you!!

Can you please share your feelings, what inspired to make this decision? It would be greatful to make a difference in other peoples lives too!!!

one thing I learned last week when I was at the Gurdwara " meaning of Granth sabhib"

we loosely use word such as holy book or holy scripture.... However the real and powerful meaning of Granth is Gra - means Knot, nth- means infinity.

Guru - Gu- darkness and Ru- light

therefore, Guru that brings light into our dark lives and also who knots us with the infinity(God).

Knot is a powerful word.

I love to learn new things about faith.

again, Chardikala!!!!!!

9:56 AM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

About my lifestyle change, all I can say is that it was my calling. It has not been a sudden change but a gradual one. I look at it as a new journey or a new chapter in life. A lot of good things have come out of it. I used to hate the whole world, depressed, but somehow realization came that it was me not the world. There was always this inner desire to go back to Punjab all the times and hated life here. I can't believe my wife (a non-sikh American) even stayed with me during those times because there were fights all the times. But somehow she stuck around and I thank her and God for all this. Anyways, what I want to say is that God just works mysteriously. If my life was changed, I am sure anybody's can.
This year attended a Sikh camp, and both my boys (11 and 7) became vegetarians on their own without any pressure. It shows their leadreship and strong will of not to just go with the flow. I am hoping my daughter (14) and wife will make this change one day.

I am trying to teach kids Punjabi at least 20 minutes a week. They are like sponges and pick up pretty quickly. I hope to have them be able to read and write by next year. Goal is that if they can learn to read and write, vocabulary will come slowly thru reading. I wish there was a good Punjabi to English dictionary. Punjabi is so easy to teach. For reading and writing, just 35 letters and "lagan matra" need to be memorized. Rest is just building vocabulary.

Sorry too long of a post!

10:47 AM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

Manjit singh,

Thank you very much for sharing this! May Guru ji bless you and your family.

12:09 PM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

Sorry it ended up a long post!

Thank you for showing interest about myself. I am just a normal (average) person who is striving to make through the life. I came to Canada when I was about 2 yrs old and my parents deported me to a boarding school in India for few years, and I thank them million times. I came back and completed my education. Got married two years ago, no babies.

My goal in the future is to unite all the great Philosophers and Writers etc from east and west so that all the inaccuracies brought up by other agents in Sikh religion are straightened out. I would like to promote higher education in our community in every field science, math, engineering, arts, religious studies, law etc. My thoughts are that we need to rise high in every field so that we gain so much power that people are willing to listen to our demands in more of peaceful way.

My other quest is to find out more on meditation and experiences that other people might have during meditation. There is only one thing that can travel at the speed of light or even faster is our soul. My belief is that by meditating and by the Grace of God we can travel beyond this universe and see for ourselves the existence of human life. I know it sounds like science fiction.

When Guru Nanak Dev ji was at Saudi Arabia, or Iraq. In the early morning he was reciting Japji Sahib and while reciting it he came to the part where it mentions that there are millions and millions of universes. A Muslim priest who belonged to Mecca got very upset and said that Nanak you are a liar, and he took Nanak to his high priest and told him what Nanak mentioned about in his meditation. The high priest said, Nanak there are only seven universes above and below the earth and that’s it. Nanak ji said to the high priest that you are absolutely right about it, because you or your higher beings had the only capability of going up to seven pataals but God has blessed me and I have seen millions and millions. The high priest said I do not believe you at all! Guru Nanak said then let me show you and would you like to travel with me. High priest said well I’m too old to travel why don’t you take my son along. Indeed that’s what Guru ji did and asked his son too close his eyes and say SAT Kartar and they came back after few moments. Not only they came back from the long journey but also brought parasad from other places where people were doing simran…. His son was astonished and could not believe what he had seen before his eyes……..

Now, the scientists have found 2 million universes and their prediction is that there are more than 100 million universes…. Just to travel the Milky Way from one end to the other end, which is in our universe, would take 100 million light years to travel. Well, to traveling beyond our universe is an impossible quest in a space craft because of E=mC2 limitations; therefore, only one nonphysical thing that can travel at that speed would be something which has more like properties of a light. It can’t be our physical body, but its our soul !!!!

It think I should stop rambling…..

12:21 PM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

Wow! Gurinder Singh, this is great stuff and pretty deep. It does sound like the movie "contact" with Jodie Foster but I think it would be wrong to compare it like that. It simply shows that you are soul searching and a seeker of higher Truth. I like your views about higher education among Sikhs and goal towards unity. Yes! we do need a lot more of thinkers and doers in all fields, ranging from philosophy, art, science, religion, space and especially a will towards unification in order to survive in world. Being a minority everywhere on this earth, we definitely need each others support and encouragement in all fileds. I also believe that sikhism is on the verge of a major breakthrough especially in the western world. The next 100 years will be very interesting to watch. I would not be surprised to see the next wave of great scientific discoveries and researches coming out by Sikh scientists, great Sikh artists, Sikhs moghals owning and running mega projects all over the world, Universities, medical hospitals being named after Sikh gurus in the western world. I think Sikhs have a really really bright future ahead of them and it is a great time right now since they are not at a major war with anyone except little internal rifts. If we don't take advantage of this window of opportunity during peace time to accomplish things such as getting higher education, doing discoveies, opening companies and being succesfull at what we like to achieve, we will be left in the dark ages like the middle east. The most important part of it all being is how to defend our faith during aggression from a majority government/society. We need to support more organizations like the United Sikhs, SALDEF or others, that can help Sikhs during peace and war times with medicine, food, shelter and may be even defense research to safeguard Sikh men, women and children. Given the right opportunity, we can really shine. Like Dr. Manmohan Singh's famous quote "the idea whose time has come". Sikhism is going to go places where it has never gone before, may be not in my lifetime, but definately in the next 100-200 years.

Even, no matter how controversial Yogi Bhajan may be, I am sometimes amazed at what one person was able to accomplish. It is not an easy thing to have somebody follow and believe in what you are talking about. I also believe that even one of the western Sikhs or Sikhs from other cultures such as Japan/China which have embraced Sikhsim will one day outshine even Sikhs from India and become one of the great leaders in the world and change Sikh history for ever. This may be farfetched dream, but it can definitely happen.

Again thank you for the post and hope one day yours (future) and my kids or grand kids will be part of the world where Sikhs are as common as any other major religion on this earth. I guess I am rambling as well, but these are good thoughts.

3:19 PM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

You are absolutely right! Your vision about Sikhism is very accurate. You are also right that we need to defend our faith right now because of people in Indian gov are against Sikhism for some reason.

A south Indian person made this statement that he is very proud of people of Punjab. He said, according to history whenever India was attacked, even thousands years ago, it was through Punjab. And Punjab was demolished thousands of times, Yet people never lost their strength and faith and every time they would build it stronger and would rise higher from other parts of India.

Now, I would like to comment on Harbajan yogi. Yes, there were controversies around him, but we need to realize who and why these acquisitions were brought up against him. Lot of people began following his teachings on meditation and majority of them who really felt the difference have converted to Khalsa. However, lot of people who joined Yogi for peace came from different walks of life, therefore, some of them where alcoholics, drug abusers, major depression, child abuse and people with personality disorders and these people were in search of peace and wanted to place where they could find comfort. Well, indeed they did found peace but the way they were handling things were not to a high standard. When he confronted these people they felt they have been attacked and isolated by Yogi. Some of the people in that group were having extramarital affairs and Yogi told them to clean up their act and this not the way of Sikh dharma.

Eventually, their past was full of other experiences and they went against him and made all the acquisitions that could find. Despite of this mess, there were intelligent people who were engineers, lawyers and doctors who joined him because they have found what they were in search for long time and majority of these people left 3ho and became Khalsa.

Yogi never allowed himself to be praised or considered himself as a fake Guru’s.
However, those people will keep on slandering him, but I pray before God that they there souls are soothed and see where the truth lies.

These days especially in Indian community parents are extremely busy in making money. They work two shifts so that they could have big homes and nice cars. Eventually, their hard worked paid off and they end up building mega homes etc. However, they FAILED to pay attention to their children and they were never there for them when they needed their parents the most. Then these teenagers began to find comfort outside their home and became influenced by their peers. Majority of them got involved in gangs, alcohol and drugs. Actually, these parents worked hard but LOST everything at the end.

In Vancouver BC more than fifty percent of youth is doing drugs and are involved with gangs. When I was in Vancouver I have never seen youngsters at the Gurdwara. Even if you ask the parents why don’t you bring your children to the Gurdwara their answer is they have homework to do. Actually, they aren’t at home.

My point is that we cannot even control our own youth how can we influence people from other religions. We cannot even make our children to follow the path of Sikhism then how can we accept other people to listen to us. Well, Yogi was able to do all that despite the negative views on Sikhism was being portrayed on TV after 1984.

The post is getting toooo long

At the end, we need to focus on ourselves first then our family. If we are successful in this endeavor then we will be successful in other tasks.

4:34 PM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Gurinder said...

Sorry about few typos, I rushed through!

4:38 PM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger *~mad munky~* said...

God knows what was going through her mind :o(

I'm from a Sikh background and I've had days where I think it would be a blessing if I didn't wake up the next day. But for some reason, I am absolutely loathe to actually do anything to harm myself because I don't have the right to do that (if God wills that I die in my sleep or fall off a building so be it).

I have hope. I believe that God is helping me to stay sane for a reason - because He wants me to succeed :o)

Sorry - turned into a little soapbox moment there ;o)

2:03 PM, October 30, 2005  

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