Friday, May 26, 2006

Curbing Hate Crimes Against Sikhs

Curbing hate crimes against Sikhs

With the lack of western media attention to hate crime against Sikhs and lack of willingness of education administrators of each state in America to include it in the textbooks. Here are some of my ideas and alternatives that I think may work for others as well:

1) Be nice, courteous, helpful, sincere and confident. These gestures are respected and admired everywhere no matter what country, religion or culture.
2) Make your presence known by wearing a turban. Go out and attend a gathering of non-Sikhs. It could be attending a July 4th parade, attending a cemetery on Memorial day, show and tell at school, ethnic festivals, coaching soccer, baseball, tutoring, attending a senior center, volunteering in a hospital, funeral of a community member in a local church, running a marathon etc.
3) Support a hate crime victim and his/her family by attending their bhog or funeral and if there is a court trial, with a full turban looking and acting like a Sikh.
4) Invite people to attend Gurdwara especially your kids and their friends, so future Sikh kids don’t become the victims of hate crime. Do all the good you can by wearing a turban to counteract the bad image associated with turbans and terrorism.
5) Run for an office in your community as a turbaned Sikh.

Great Memorial Day weekend to friends in America!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

How Guru's blessing has changed my life?

This post started as a comment on Gurumustuk’s blog, but ended up here for being too long. I didn’t feel right to take up his blog space for this long of a post. Please read the last paragraph if you decide not to read the whole post.

I have known about Sikhnet since 1996 or so thru a relative who mentioned that I can get a Hukamnama directly from Harmandir Sahib. Even though I grew up in a semi Sikh environment, I still was the farthest thing from having spirituality in life and did not even fully understand the meaning of Hukamnama. Still clean shaven, ate meat, drank alcohol, depressed, angry, miserable, full of hatred for feeling like I was being treated unfairly and discriminated at jobs, hated by family and hated for life in general. Sikhnet was the only site that I knew of which had positive and inspiring news within the Sikh community and it looked like everybody else in Sikh online and print media had been focused on the negatives aspects of things in India, America and everywhere else Sikhs lived. I always loved the fact how things were (and still are) kept positive on Sikhnet discussion forums and in general, and junk was filtered out. My interest in Sikhi grew after 2001, and thru reading answers to people’s problems on forum discussions, It looked like it was run by western Sikhs, but still I had no idea what 3HO was or what it did. I only had heard of the name Yogi Bhajan once or twice growing up in India and saw his picture once on Yogi tea package that my wife had bought.

Then the news came of passing away of Yogi Ji and I read the tribute on Sikhnet about him. I was just amazed how he was able to impact people’s lives through yoga, helping them open up successful businesses along with spirituality. I especially loved Yogi Ji’s quote “Can’t see God in all, can’t see God at all”. I had heard and read the negatives as well but wanted to see it myself. I checked out “ and read things but still was not comfortable. This was around December 2004 after his death. Now, I had done a little yoga all my life since I was about 5 years old, when I first saw by brother-in-law putting a pillow on the bed against the wall and standing on his head. That image had stuck with me ever since and I just kept trying to imitate standing on head as a kid but was never really successful. But I did learn some other moves that I could do easily.

Then around spring 2005, I happen to visit the 3Ho site again and saw “Khalsa Youth Camp” listed as one of the events for summer. I felt the cost was kind of high, but decided I needed to overcome my fears, and insecurities. These feelings only came from me being ignorant about Sikh way of life myself and thinking I just don’t know enough and add the western culture on top of that, it was even harder. My non-Sikh wife was (and still is not) comfortable with my life changes and she had all kinds of questions about camp. She was not comfortable with leaving the kids alone at the camp with strangers so asked several questions and wanted me to go. She talked to the camp director and thought that he was very nice and soft spoken.

Last year I along with my younger sons drove to Espanola to attend the Khalsa Youth Camp in Espanola for two out the three weeks. It was my and kids first time to any Sikh camp in a Western or Indian Sikh environment. My daughter had signed up for a summer course at school before I found out about the camp so she and my wife could not go. All I can say is that you just have to check it out yourself and make your own conclusions. Personally, we loved it. My kids were able to learn “mool mantra”, stories of Sikh Gurus, gatka, Bhangra and other activites that I could not get them thru their brain in the last 6-8 years I have been trying myself. Both of my sons became vegetarians without me pushing it on them. The older one has not cut his hair since camp. He does not wear a jhoora or patka yet, but he does not want to cut it. I am just going to leave it up to him. The camp is a great experience for any kid. And, now a Sikh Film Festival for kids and by kids. Who says, Sikhnet, Yogi Bhajan or 3HO has not impacted Sikh lives all over the world. I look at this way, a lot of us follow all kinds of life quotes by various non-Sikh politicians, writers, CEO’s, Lincolns, Gandhis, Kennedy’s etc. in Western and Indian media, but can’t follow a few quotes from one of our own Gursikh who impacted so many lives. I would not be the same if Sikhnet had not become part of my life learning, Sikhnet would not here if Yogi Bhajan had not become part of western Sikh’s life learning, and Yogi Bhajan had not been a great Gursikh if it was not Guru’s kirpa and blessing.

Human Rights in India? Boo!

When I read the story below, It reminded me of a radio ad of a local dairy company here in the east bay called “Berkeley Farms”. Since Berkeley is known more for its university and hardly has any land, the end of the ad kind of goes like this “Farms in Berkeley?” Moo! Hence, the title of my post on human rights and justice system in India. I think it should be called “the injustice system” because of its excellent record of injustices done to the people of other faiths like muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, lower Hindu castes, victims of industrial accidents and people in general who are poor and victims of unfair and unjust practices of police, politicians who are supposed to be looking out for their welfare. They forget that these very same people voted them in these places of authority and leadership etc.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sikh life - A singing life!

Every time I go to Gurdwara, I have noticed that only the ragis are the ones that sing shabads and majority of the people are pretty much quiet. I am also one of those people who just sits and just listens quietly. There is only one reason for this quietness in me; being ignorant of the raags that are being sung and not knowing of the words in the shabads. Also, there was not much encouragement early on either from the family. And historically the Granthis or raagis in the gurdwara don't really ask anyone to sing along a particular shabad. If there were a few lines being repeated, I could take part in the singing of the shabads and I think Gurdwara would be more enjoyable and fun experience for not only people like me but even the little kids to whom we are trying to instill Sikhi. Kids just love singing songs and it is amazing how much they remember and make it part of their life. I just wish one day, all Gurdwaras would help singing along with shabads because that is how Guru Granth Sahib is organized with various raags and Guru Nanak sang divine songs all the times. I understand I have to do my part in learning shabads, if I only knew which one would be sung ahead of time to give me time to prepare. Imagine how much more the Gurdwara experience would be! Sometimes, it feels like we are too serious in Gurdwaras and worry about what others think and it prevents us from fully coming out and experience Gurbani fully. Please remember this is just one viewpoint.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Girls top scorers in schools in India!

Here is a news story which is a very positive trend in India. With the recent women sex ratio decline, I only wish that their talent at work places was recognized more and there was less discrimination and more opportunities given to women in all fields. This also includes performing Kirtan at Darbar Sahib and having more women Granthi and Jathedarnia at Gurdwaras. Yes, it is really nice that they can perform kirtan at all other Gurdwaras, but why not Harmandir Sahib. I just don’t understand how some Sikh Gurdwaras are being allowed to be taken over by fanatics. If it is not checked, it won’t be far when Sikhs would be considered another religion like Islam that is run by a bunch of fanatics who discriminate against women. That will take standing up to Sikh value of equality of sexes as written in the Guru Granth Sahib by sangat members at local level, writing to the Jathedars again and again, writing to government leaders again and again. During my student days, I remember one of my professors mention in class that every year how most of his top students were women in many engineering classes. Then he added he only wished that there were more of them!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sati – How this Hindu sacrificial practice in India started and still goes on?

Growing up in Punjab, I had heard so many times about Sati practice in Hinduism and learned that Sikh Gurus wrote against the practice. The ritual sounded cruel to me as a kid and I kind of accepted it as a Hindu thing but never really understood as to why, how and when it originated within Hinduism till today? If you are in a same position as me, here is some info:

What bothers me more is that even within the currents laws of democratic India people's lives are affected. I mean this is year 2006 and it still goes on.

And, they claim Sikhs are just Hindus! I haven't even started on the issue and laws which affect Scheduled castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), against which our Gurus wrote as well.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Think different! The Sikh way!

Here is an news story I found on internet and would like to share about a Principal who taught his kids to think different. Hey isn't it what Sikh gurus did throughout their life times and beyond? There would not have been any Sikhs without the great foundation laid out by great Gurus and saints of Sikhs. With Guru Nanak questioning empty rituals that Hindus, Moslems, and humans in general were (and some still are) doing and logic behind them. Anyways, it just reminded me of the "Think Different" marketing campaign by Apple computer and thought I should share:

His radical teaching methods have won Mr. Singh (centre) the respect of his colleagues and students.
In his National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said Singapore needs "revolutionaries" and "insurgents" to win the new economy battle. DEBBIE GOH and LAUREL TEO spoke with some Singaporeans who struck out from the tried-and-tested route to make a difference in their respective fields.The first time Mr Harphal Singh met his top Secondary 3 class in Chinese High School, he asked the quietest boy in the room to scream.
"In polished English, he told me, 'I do not do that, Sir'," said Mr Singh.
"I refused to move on with the lesson until he screamed, so after 40 minutes, he managed a squawk. I then told the students to write an essay about the purpose of the lesson and they wrote about how I should not be trifled with.
"But that was not the lesson. The lesson, I told them, was this: If you dare not do things differently, and you are the best, you will never be great."
That happened in 1990.
Eight years later, Mr Singh, 43, now vice-principal of Buona Vista Secondary School, received a phone call from a student of that class of high achievers.
The boy had become one of Stanford University's top engineering students and he wanted Mr Singh to travel to the United States for an award ceremony.
But the award recipient was not the scholar. It was Mr Singh.
The students had nominated him for an award, which honours teachers who have had an exceptional influence on Stanford's engineering students.
In his 20 years of teaching, Mr Singh's radical teaching methods have won him the love of his students and respect of his peers.
He never used textbooks for his English class. Instead, he grabbed every opportunity that came his way and turned it into a lesson
Witnessing a student killing a red ant, he gathered the class for a funeral.
Everyone had a great time decorating the grave and inventing eulogies. The lesson ended with a two-day discussion on human and animal rights, he said.
Mr Singh said the conventional method of teaching was boring. he knew this from his days as a student.
He told The Straits Times proudly that he had failed in Secondary 1, 2 and 3, and barely scraped through his O-levels as he found his lessons too dull.
"Teaching the conventional way was very limiting, so I decided to interest my students in things that interested me. This way, I could teach with greater passion."
In a sense, he was lucky. His school principals let him get away with it.
Once, a principal saw him perched cross-legged and barefooted on the teacher's table, discussing philosophy with his class.
"He didn't call me up so I went to ask him why and he said, 'Harphal, you must be doing the right thing'."
He must have been, for his students were producing the best results in the school.Mr Singh's unconventional approach to teaching and learning has not prevented him from winning traditional career rewards.
He was recently named principal-designate of West Spring Secondary, which will open in year 2002.
He said: "I understand students and the pain of acquiring knowledge. So we need to have more fun. Too much obedience kills creativity, so we must allow students to do things they want.
"But we need to teach them basic social values and to be gracious as well. You can be a rebel, but not a rebel without a cause."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another Sikh website!

I just stumbled upon this Sikh website. Looks like a good site:

Actaully, after a little more reading, some of the website information sounds kind of biased. There mission statement sounds like a stern headmaster dictating to its students how and what Sikhism should be. Also, a lot of Sikh websites do not mention that God has no gender in Sikhism. Oankar has no gender.

Sikh Films and a Film Creativity Competition

To whom it may concern including all of you creative Sikh artists:

Here is your chance to enter a film competition held by Sikhnet

also, the Spinning Wheel is coming to the S.F. Bay Area on June 3! Check it out.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Whose religious/cultural rights and beliefs?

As I was reading the story below, my thinking takes me to a Sikh point of view on this whole thing and a lot of questions come up as to what is normal and what is not. Which religious practice should I be defending or going along with as a Sikh? Now the question comes, who defines what in a society? Is it the majority of the people that make up the society? How right or wrong are they? Should the people that form the minority be allowed to practice whatever religious belief or custom they may happen to carry no matter how different they are from the belief of the majority society? The examples are enormously mind-boggling and same practice could look very extreme to some and very normal to others depending upon personal belief. What about religious or animal sacrifices, holy baths as in Ganges, idol worship, sorcery, pilgrimages, numerology, healing, palmistry, ghosts, demons, angels, fairies, vegetarianism, eating meat, hunting, marriage ceremonies (Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Christian etc), polygamy, homosexuality, lying, yoga, keeping slaves, racism, casteism, women sati practice, women sex slaves, child labor, sex education etc.? And, how about mythical stories of Ram, Hanuman, Krishan, David, Goliath, Greek gods, Egyptian gods. Indian gods and many other cultures? I mean the list can go on and on forever. Who defines which practice is religious and which is like a cult? How would a group like the one in the news story that has different practices would be viewed in a majority Sikh society or in a Khalsa Raj? Now some of the Sikhs would be up in arms with me even talking about the subjects of polygamy, child abuse or other subjects that are kind of historically not talked about. I guess it is not like alcoholism or drugs or killing of girl child or lying or cheating. I look at it this way, if I these things are not allowed to discuss and talk about now when Sikhs are a minority everywhere, how can be allowed during a Khalsa Raj? Who would define what is right or wrong behavior in a Khalsa Raj? Would there be a death penalty? Some people even think that reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a Khalsa Raj. Even at the local Gurdwara I visit, there are messages pasted to bring back Sikh soverienity lost since 1849. Now I have heard and read that some of the so called “Sikh Maharajas” (it’s an oxymoron) even in our history has had multiple wives such as Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and I think also whoever was the Maharaja of Patiala before Yadvinder Singh (the father of Amrinder Singh, the current chief minister of Punjab) which had like 200-300 wives or something. Is a Sikh that calls himself or herself a maharaja or maharani really following the rehat?

I believe answers to these questions would also range from very simple to very complex depending upon person belief and state of mind.

On the other hand, why am I even thinking about stupid things like this when Waheguru is taking care of it all. I guess thats what it means when they say someone is wandering in duality.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sikh cartoons if you haven't already checked them out

In the beginning I used to not like some of this guys work because I thought it was a little biased and more generalized, but some of the stuff is just very true and funny. I think he has really evolved. Check it out!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Sikh World within the World!

Looking at the various Sikh blogs out there, it amazes me as to how much talent is out there within the Sikh community which has not been harnessed by the big media, book and magazine publishers, movie makers etc. I don’t understand why? Is it racism, bigotry, the good old boys club mentality or lack of support and resources within Sikh community or people own internal fears and insecurity to not venture into new things or try new things? And, it is not just generic traditional labels by non-Indian for Indians and Punjabis such as engineers, scientists, insurance and real estate agents, cab and truck drivers, convenience and liquor store owners, gas station owners, motels, researchers, doctors or singers and dancers etc. I am talking trendy and some not so traditional professions and creative hidden multiple talents of turbaned Sikh women and men such as poets, writers, creative Bhangra and Gurbani musicians, teachers, skiers, swimmers, runners, policemen, fighter pilots, Sikh snow boarders, Sikh antique sellers, Sikh cartoonists, lawyers, Sikh fashion designers, movie makers, sports coaches, Sikh politicians and the list can go on. I guess some may think that it is a biased statement because my interests also lie in Sikhism, but just visit some of the Sikh bloggers that are listed under Sikhnet website and you will see what I mean. This is a great sign and shows the good health of Sikh community and its ability to sustain, open up to new things and seek adventure while maintaining Sikh and Khalsa traditions. This is really true when people say, a Sikh knows no bounds and Sikh community is hardworking and adventurous people. It makes me proud that Sikhs have this, their own little World within the outside World of human made land boundaries, maya, materialism, crime, murder, drugs, power, wars and control. I don't know but everytime I go to Gurdwara or listen to Gurbani at home that world just opens up for me. It almost seems magical. More Sikh talent please!!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

What makes a Sikh, a Sikh? Something everyone should read.

Here is a really interesting piece of writing as to what really makes a Sikh a Sikh, the relationship with the Guru as a guide or a channel or a boat and the problems that Sikhs have and are facing as part of this spiritual path in seeking Truth. Please don't forget to email the owner of website and thank for the wonderful job that has been done to teaching Sikhism. In addition to Sikhnet, is also one of my favorite Sikh sites.

more essays of interest:

Monday, May 8, 2006

Gurbani is life!

AMimRq nwmu prmysru qyrw jo ismrY so jIvY ]
amrit naam parmaysar tayraa jo simrai so jeevai.
Your Name, O Transcendent Lord, is Ambrosial Nectar; whoever meditates on it, lives.

ijs no krim prwpiq hovY so jnu inrmlu QIvY ]2]
jis no karam paraapat hovai so jan nirmal theevai. 2
One who is blessed with God's Grace - that humble servant becomes immaculate and pure. 2

Friday, May 5, 2006

And, now you know the rest of the story! Good day!

Here is a great story about Kaulan, a muslim women and how she was inspired by Guru Hargobind Singh Ji and the story behind pond "kaulsar". Please don't forget to thank Ekongkaar Kaur Ji for posting. Boy! There is so much to learn.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Apply for a U.S. Visa in Jalandhar

For those of you who have relatives in Punjab studying, doing business or planning a visit, here is good news:,000900010001.htm

US Embassy opens visa centre in JalandharPress Trust of IndiaJalandhar, May 4, 2006

To make things easier for immigrant visa seekers, the American Embassy on Thursday opened a visa application collection centre in collaboration with a private Indian firm.
"Apart from Jalandhar, US Embassy along with the firm, VFS, will open such centres at Chandigarh and New Delhi too so that instead of standing in queue in front of the Embassy, visa seekers could just submit their duly-filled applications to these centres from where it will be couriered to us," Karen P Schinnerer, Visa Officer of the Mission, said.
"Under the new system, all immigrant visa applicants scheduled for interview on or after May 1, should submit their completed packet-4 (information for immigrant visa applicants) documents at their nearest VFS office for which it will give a receipt," she said adding, for its services, the firm would charge a fee of Rs 337 from each applicant.
Asked about the reason for opening such centres, Schinnerer said the number of applications has swelled by 30 per cent in last two years and this system would be convenient for the people as well as the Embassy.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Yogi Bhajan – Making Punjabi Sikhs proud & May his soul rest in peace!

I just happened to read two different perspectives about Yogi Bhajan and decided to post what my thoughts are on this and if it matters to anyone to read.

Have you ever tried to reform a person from alcohol or a drug addiction and think it is an easy job? If you have then you know what I am talking about? If not, try it and you will see what I mean. Even try to tell them to read Guru Granth Sahib and listen to Gurbani and tell me how successful you were at the end in getting them to quit their addiction? I will get to this later.

Another question, given the outside pressures of non-Sikh socities where do you think Sikhism would be 100 years from now and if our children would be able to live happy lives without being lost?

Since the end of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s reign Sikh have been scattered all over the World for political and economic reasons from Thailand, England, Canada, Africa, China, Australia and United States. Even though Sikhs have been living in the United States since late 1800’s, not very many in America knew or to even this day know who Sikhs are, what values they carry and what beliefs they hold. The typical attitude of hatred, racism, sexism that prevailed towards Black African slaves, native Indians, women, the Chinese, Mexicans, the Irish, the Italians and others also prevailed towards earlier Indian immigrants most of whom were Sikhs from Punjab, with minority Hindus and Muslims. The attitude was persistent without regards to their religious, cultural or traditional beliefs and their ways of life. Even though the Sikhs with their distinct religious garb of turban on the head stood out more than everyone else, they were still labeled as Hindus.

Till about 1960’s, with America’s growing interest in spirituality and Eastern philosophies, practices like yoga and religions like Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism started to get explored. This is the time when Yogi Bhajan came to America and started teaching Kundlini yoga.

In my opinion, as Guru Nanak and other Gurus taught that every Sikh needs to seek the company of the lowest of the low in a society, Yogi Bhajan sought the company of people that were fed up with the rigid rules of the American society of early 1900’s ranging from racism, hatred , treatment of blacks, immigrants and women and their civil rights, World War I , II and the Vietnam War underway. Many people were taking refuge in drugs, sex and other maniacs of the society of the times to get their mind off these problems. Yogi Bhajan showed them how to take refuge in Guru Granth Sahib, Gurbani and Sikhi so they can be saved from drowning in this maya of World ocean.

Now back to my original question, what do you think your success would be to try to reform a drug addicted person?

Over the last few years after Yogi Bhajan’s death, I have heard and read both positive and negative comments from some western non-Sikh media and some Punjabi Sikhs about the man, about the organizations and companies he helped establish. This ranges from 3HO being labeled as a cult, his Yoga practices being called sex oriented and not Sikh norm, his encouragement of vegetarianism as a non-Sikh thing, some other allegations of frauding people for money, healing, numerology. Some Sikhs even treating Sikh Jathedars bad on the issue for their own political gain. I never really met Yogi Bhajan and have heard some of the lectures and quotes posted on

No Sikh is going to be perfect, whether of Indian, Punjabi or western or many other backgrounds to come in the future. We are all trying to get to the same place but somehow keep fighting about it as to how to get there. Who defines what is a wrong or right way to live as a Sikh? If believing in God, following the teachings of ten Gurus, and Guru Granth Sahib is cultish than I probably along with many others will fall into the same category, and then I say let it be. I know many Punjabis that call themselves Sikhs that cheat, lie, shave, cut hair, drink alcohol, do empty rituals and do all other things that Sikhs are not to do. I myslef was clean shaven, drank alcohol, ate meat myslef and called myself a Sikh. I was and still am the last thing being a Sikh bacause I have not even taken an Amrit. With the drugs becoming a major problem in India, many mothers and fathers probably wish they had Yogi Bhajans in Punjab to get rid their kids addiction. With millions of cows, chickens, pigs killed everyday for human consumption, some body would have to account for this sin and torture against God's creation. I just hope I am not one of them and leave with a positive credit in my life account. The more divisions there are within Sikhs, the quicker the panth will fall. The ultimate question is if you want to be a bridge burner or a bridge builder between various Sikh and non-Sikh communities?

Personally, I am glad and proud that Yogi Bhajan was a Sikh. I really don't care what non-Sikh media or some Punjabi Sikhs say. Everytime, I see the little children of western (black, white and others) or Indian backgrounds in their patkas and banas, future Khalsa Jathedars come to mind which will carry the sword and light of Sikhi. Yogi Bhajan was able to do that not very many Sikhs had been able to do that is to introduce Sikhism to a totally foreign culture, and build an organization that is making a difference in the World by bringing message of Sikh Gurus to the corners of the World that it has never gone before. I can’t say this was just a coincidence. A highway was just dedicated to his memory in New Mexico State, timing of which could not be any better especially after 9-11, when there is a great need for both western Sikhs and Punjabi Sikhs to unite and integrate into non-Sikh societies surrounding them and still be able to maintain Sikh values. I wish India would recognize him the same way.

Personally, I don’t believe in numerology, superstitions, empty rituals, pilgrimages, fasting, idol worshipping, following sants, and babas but I am trying to believe and follow vegetarianism as a Sikh way of life, teachings of 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib, trust God and my fellow Khalsa Sikhs of all backgrounds mentioned above.

Guru Granth Sahib - a perfect role model for people

After occasional posts on internet, reading blog post comments and occasional discussions with friends, family and people about Sikhism, one of the common things I have noticed is that a lot of people tend to give more preference to behavior of other Sikhs as their excuse for not following Sikh way of life, not keeping hair, cheating, telling lies and other things that Sikhs are not supposed to do or follow. The examples are numerous from faults in the langar, the way it is served, the way it is cooked, the way people sit, corruption in the Gurdwaras, rude behavior of Sikh sevadaars and other fellow Sikhs in a Gurdwara, making judgements about practices of other Sikhs such as how they do kirtan, how they pray, how they collect money or not collect money, how they spend money, how they are wrong or right in doing things. The list keeps going and will probably never end if you keep concentrating on the stuff. This question comes “how can I or you as a person live life as a Sikh if the mind is worrying about these things and is allowed to wander like that?” Is anything being left in God’s hand to make the final judgment of right or wrong? And, then who do we make our role model as a Gursikh or get a guidance from to follow the right path? Personally, there are times when I wish everybody would hide themselves and come to feet of Guru Granth Sahib to merge into bani and shabad of the Guru, because these negatives or passing of judgments sure can take a toll on a person and drain all their energy. But our Gurus instruct us to face these challenges and engage in this world and that is what they did in their lives as well. The examples are numerous where our Gurus met people from various backgrounds from emperors, merchants, fakirs, thugs, cannibals, cheaters, liers, killers and so on. Their teachings sure reformed so many to follow the divine path. What is different today than the times of Gurus, really nothing, except we have computers, cars and all other high tech gadgets and weapons. But all this high tech stuff has not really stopped us from cheating, lying, killing, hurting creatures, hating, loving and most importantly, living as humans. Are as very many people lost now as there were during the times when Gurus were physically present in human form? Why don’t we give more respect and importance to the words of our Gurus, saints and bhagats as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib and keep doing things or behaving like the Guru doesn’t exist. We look for and want to act like and follow all kinds of people role models such as Gandhi, George Washington, Lincoln, Beatles, Jennifer Lopez, Sharukh Khan, David Beckham and many others to make us better persons and leaders, but don’t seem to realize the ultimate boat that is waiting to carry us across this world ocean is sitting at the Gurdwara or in homes which have invited the Guru Granth Sahib. I wish everybody on this Earth, Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike would make Guru Granth Sahib their role model to learn things and better themselves. That is the one thing for sure will make all of us better persons instead of Hollywood, bollywood, politicians, presidents, prime ministers, kings, emperors, generals and others. It seems so easy yet everybody including me seems to be off mark somewhere.

The doors to Guru are many if we choose to enter and follow:

Monday, May 1, 2006

Is Hinduism in danger of losing conversion battle with Christianity, Islam and others? Are Buddhism and Sikhism winning global hearts and mind?

A while back I did a post on conversion tactics of Christian missionaries to convert people in Punjab. I just happened to run into following blog that pretty much has same story of Christian missionaries using money to convert Hindus in India. I think it must be a great time of stress for Hindus, since there is so much pressure from outside world, especially more Christianity and Islam. Even though Sikhs don't actively convert, but there seems to be a great number of Hindus that are influenced by teachings of Guru Granth Sahib, especially in Bihar and U.P. and even trasnlations of Guru Granth Sahib are underway in several Indian languages. Its funny that an English or Spanish or German translation is available now before an Indian language.

It just makes me question as to why people convert and how much spirituality does one have when they convert out of fear or for money? Let us say if some really right wing President takes over and secretly starts a forced mass conversion campaign of non-Christians such as Hindus, Sikhs or muslims in the U.S. or offers a million dollars each if they convert. You can not say it can not happen here, because history of native Indians and their treatment and conversion by Spanish explorers tells me otherwise. What would you do? Some people kill for even 100 dollars at a convenience store.

I have met a few missionaries that seem to have been so focused on China, India and now probably the Iraq, Afghanistan and rest of the Middle East? Is it a power or ego thing or a global control or really spreading of the message of Jesus? Why is the World following everything western from boring jeans and t-shirts, or be it suit and tie and leaving their traditions? Is it the fear of U.S. being the Super power or the global economic empire that America has created? Do bear in mind that these are just questions.

Since 9-11, I see the following sticker on cars everyday and several thoughts run thru my mind:

“God Bless America”

but God does not just bless countries with man made physical boundries, or people of one race or just humans and not animals. It blesses all creatures of the universe (at least in a Sikh way of thinking and following). America is a great country with a lot of financial opportunities if you are willing to learn its system and work hard. And you and I would not be here blogging because America started the internet and plus I live here. America’s global companies have a great impact on the people of the World and are shaping cultures, fashions, lifestyles of the World. But it does not mean that all of its power and money should be used to influence and buy people’s spirituality. But some Americans do interpret constitution as“Freedom of Christianity” instead of “Freedom of Religion”. Anyways, read and comment if you like: (I think the author should have titled it " Land of God, Grain and Gurus " instead) . Just kidding, I know the whole Universe belongs to God not just Punjab.!OpenDocument