Friday, April 28, 2006

To know Sikh way of life is one thing, but to live is totally another !

I have heard a lot of W.H. McLeod's books on Sikhism and partially read one of them during 80's. He sure seems to create a lot of controversy in his analysis of Sikh history and life of Sikh Gurus. I just want to say one thing to him and all of the readers who may follow him or criticize him. Read Japji Sahib yourself, or any of the banis in the Guru Granth Sahib, and reach your own conclusion. Here is a link:

http://www.sikhnet.com/sggs/translation/

To think or to know a religion or its history is a one thing, but to live it, feel it, and experience the Sikh values of karma, dharma, peace, truth, love, compassion, courage, discipline and devotion is totally another. Mr. McLeod may know and think Sikhi and may have lived in Punjab, read and researched history and on the life of Sikh Gurus and he even may be a great philosopher or analyst but he sure will never know what it feels like to live a Sikh way of life. To know, anylyze and think Sikhi is one thing, but to live like a Sikh is totally another. He has not lived it or felt it. It is kind of like a fat doctor who knows reasons, studies and effects of being fat but tells his/her patients to run, lose weight, gives advice on good diet and prescribing pills for obesity. I have read parts of Bible and watched many documentaries, lived in America with a wife who grew up Christian, know some Christian history, occasionally listen to Christian talk radios but even all of these things combined do not make me any expert of Christianity. I have tons of questions that logically do not make any sense to me about Christian faith and a church does not give me the same feeling of peace, courage, discipline, fearlessness, happiness and love towards God that I get from a Gurdwara or being with a Sikh.

http://www.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/news.nsf/NewsArchive/78FE7CFDB57BCA168725715E00608AC4

The cartoon below also says it all:
http://www.sikhtoons.com/Mcleod.html

3 Comments:

Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

The introduction of that article on Sikhnet is very long but totally worth a read. It is worth more of my time to read that article than to read any of Mcleod's works (of which I've read some).

5:14 PM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

2 separate comments:

1) I have read all McLeod for Sikhism, probably not all(lol), but the 2 main books, for exhaustive intro to Sikhism. And I have nothing against the man. I learnt SO much from those books. I did. It was for a university course i took in Sikhism at the University of Waterloo. I didn't find anything personal or offensive there. But I have not read any of his "opinionated" works on Sikhism and hence I am not in a position to comment on it.

2) You bring up an important point and an even more important topic of discussion - one regarding non-Sikh scholars. SO you are right, living it is a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y different than studying, writing or even observing it. That's why, they are called critics and mainly the scholars of the religion. They are not called the people of faith, for religion comes to all, faith alone to those who commit to it and live by it.

I consider this one of the most relevant and important topics of discussion for the diaspora and have oft thought about writing about this...but never really put all my concerns and thoughts together.

But thank you for bringing this up.

What do you think Manjeet singh ji....should we have foreign scholars? Are they important? Have they proved useful in the past? Should Sikhism be taught by non-sikhs?
God, my list of questions never ends...

1:59 AM, April 30, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

"I consider this one of the most relevant and important topics of discussion for the diaspora and have oft thought about writing about this...but never really put all my concerns and thoughts together."

Just do it! Since you write so well too.

"What do you think Manjeet singh ji....should we have foreign scholars? Are they important? Have they proved useful in the past? Should Sikhism be taught by non-sikhs?
God, my list of questions never ends..

We really don't have any control over foreign or non-Sikh writers or scholars admiring or criticizing Sikhi or Sikhs. And, I guess it all depends on the subject matter and content of their writing. Everybody is subject to their opinion or judgement. Personally, I would not even care what they are saying, since I know Wahguru is watching and is the ultimate knower of our inner minds. Their writing may be a result of their limited exposure or understanding and not necessarily their fault. I wish all Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike in America, Canada and in the rest of the universe taught Sikhism. The more the better. People are smart enough to know who is teaching it genuinely and who is teaching it to put it down or negate it.

8:20 AM, May 01, 2006  

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