Monthly Archives: February 2008

SONG OF JOY!

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Guru Arjan SGGS page 924

Friend, my Friend – standing so near to me is my Friend!

Beloved, my Beloved – with my eyes, I have seen my Beloved!

With my eyes I see my Beloved

sleeping upon the bed within each and every heart.

My Beloved is the sweetest ambrosial nectar.

My Beloved is with all, but cannot be found;

the fool does not know this taste.

Intoxicated with the wine of Maya (worldly concerns)

mortals babble on about trivial things.

Giving into illusions, we cannot see the Beloved One.

Says Nanak, without Guruji’s help, you may not comprehend

the Friend who is standing near.

 

My God – the Support of the breath of life- this is my God.

Merciful One, my God is the Merciful One- the Giver of gifts.

The Giver of gifts is infinite and unlimited;

deep within each and every heart.

My Beloved is so beautiful!

My Beloved created Maya (worldly illusions; everything you can’t take with you).

Maya, so powerfully pervasive – enticer of all beings and creatures.

One whom my Beloved rescues sings praise to the True Naam,

and contemplates the Word of Guruji’s Shabad (the SGGS, the scripture we are reading).

Says Nanak, one who is pleasing to my God;

well, my God is very dear to that person.

 

I take pride, I take pride in my Beloved.

I take pride in my God.

Wise, my God is the source of wisdom.

Creator/Creation, our only real Master, is all-wise, and all-knowing.

All-wise and all-knowing, and forever supreme.

The Naam of my Beloved is Ambrosial Nectar.

Those who have this wondrous destiny recorded upon their foreheads;

taste it,

and are suddenly satisfied with the Source of the Universe.

They meditate and find the Beloved.

They place their pride in the Beloved One.

 

Says Nanak, my Beloved is seated on eternity’s throne;

which is the only True royal court.

 

This song of joy, my Beloved’s song of joy;

listen to this song of my joy in my God.

The wedding song, my Beloved’s wedding song;

the soundless sound of the Cosmic One’s wedding song resounds.

The soundless sound resonates,

and the Word of this Shabad (hymn) resounds.

Join me, join me, in continuous, continual rejoicing!

 

Meditate on MY God! Everything will be obtained.

My God does not die, or come or go.

Thirst is quenched, and hopes are fulfilled;

the Gurmukh (one who takes the SGGS as Guru/Guide/teacher)

meets with the absolute, unmanifest One.

 

Says Nanak, in the home of my God,

songs of joy are continuously, continually heard.

 

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Filed under Inspiring, THE VOICE OF THE SIKH GURU/SCRIPTURE

Senior Car Jacking

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If you’re going to have a Senior Moment, make it a memorable one!

From: http://www.thehumorarchives.com/joke/Senior_Car_Jacking

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, “I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!”

The four men didn’t wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad.The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why… For the same reason she did not understand why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12 packs of beer in the front seat!

A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake.

The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn’t stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.

No charges were filed.

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Filed under Comedy, Honoring Our Elders, Multicultural

Western Atheist’s Take On Sikhi

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Posted in: America
By Dr. John Smith
Feb 21, 2008 – 4:22:20 PM
John Smith from Atheist Society Writes About Sikhism:Dear Ali, please help us. We were very impressed with your website and agreed that religion in general is no longer needed, we can all be humanistic and live in peace and harmony. We are in the process of making a website which will hopefully help to destroy the religious doctrines which divide humanity. We were doing great with knocking out Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha’i, even Buddhism but we have gotten very stuck with Sikhism. This religion is (to put it nicely) “a big pain in the ass” (Please pardon the language) We have only found one site which tries (very poorly) to argue that even this religion is not needed, but the argument is irrational and very unscientific unlike the very rational arguments you use.When we read the following from your website, we found what you said to be amazingly interesting:

“Doubt Everything Find Your Own Light.”

“Last Words Dear friend, if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next. You can expend all your life or look for eternity and will find nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Look instead in service to humanity. You will find “meaning” in your love for other human beings. You can experience God when you help someone who needs your help. The only truth that counts is the love that we have for each other. This is absolute and real. The rest is mirage, fancies of human imagination and fallacies of our own making.” By Ali Sina

Why is this interesting? Because we found this religion of Sikhism to be in agreement with you! This is why we have a problem. We tried to look at their holy text (Adi Granth) but didnt find the usual absurdities we found in the other religious books. In fact its refreshingly inspiring and very good!? Maybe you can have some better luck.

We tried to visit a couple of websites and got more of a shock. Did you know that they believed in Democracy, freedom of speech, choice, expression, freedom of religion, pluralism, human rights, equality between men and women, equality of all people regardless of race, religion, caste, creed, status etc. 300 years before the existance of the USA! Theirs is the only religion which says in their religious scriptures that women are equal in every respect to men. They even had women soldiers leading armies in to battle against “you know who” (The usual suspects – Muslims!) Their history is a proud one, they fought in both World Wars. Even Hitler praised them for their bravery and Aryan heritage! Dear Ali, this religion is hard for us to try and criticise but you are an expert and may find some faults overlooked by us. In their holy book, there is a round earth, water is made from chemical elements, there is even mention of the evoution process, big bang and life on other planets! This is pretty crazy and amazing stuff, who would have thought that these New York taxi drivers (There are lots of Sikh taxi drivers in NY) would have such an amzing faith? We read up some information of what Bertrand Russell had to say about Sikhism, this is the man who destroyed Christianity (same applies to Islam and Judaism) and exposed its absurdities, but even this great man got stuck when it came to Sikhism! In fact he gave up and said “that if some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them. Russell was asked that he was talking about the third world war, but isn’t this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? In reply, Russell said, “Yes, it has the capability, but the Sikhs have not brought out in the broad daylight, the splendid doctrines of this religion which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it.”

Please bear in mind that Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher and free thinker. We have been trying for weeks now to find a way to fairly and rationally criticize and find fault with this religion but have failed. We even found out that there are many people converting to this religion in the USA and Europe as well as Russia (Mostly well educated and affluent white people). We tried to find some of their literature and see what kind of claims they make, but unfortunatley they have no missionary material as they do not have missionsaries! People become Sikh by learning usually by chance or by coming in to contact with them. They are currently the 5th biggest religion in the world and growing quite fast in the west and Russia. Please help us as we are stuck, to give you an example of they are all about we found the following websites:  http://www.hope.at/sikhism (This site is very easy to follow, check it out, they have a Womans section and a Martyrs section, it looks like that you are not the only one trying to expose the falseness of Islam, Sikhs scholars did it hundreds of years ago and got killed for it!) http://www.sikhs.org (This is the site that was on CNN when Sikhs in the USA were mistaken for Arabs and Middle Easterners and were attacked by mindless morons)

Please help us out, we cant make our website about religion being the cause of war and disharmony when we have this one and only religion which makes a hell of a lot of sense! lol (I thought Atheism had all the answers but were kind of stuck now.) We look forward to hearing from you, we respect your great views and want to promote them to everyone, thank you for your time, take care.

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Filed under Multicultural, Sikhi

A Bad Bad Day In Corporate Cubicle Land

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VIDEO OF A BAD BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE

A friend sent me this video link, an assortment of examples of really bad days as filmed by surrveilance cameras in modern offices. I am struck by the horrible, dehumanizing, work conditions that corporate employees put up with!

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Filed under Multicultural, Seva - Helping Others, VIDEOS

Religious Literacy and Stephen Prothero by P. Willow Cloin

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A university friend and I attended a lecture by Dr. Stephen Prothero recently, and she has kindly allowed me to publish the “extra credit essay” she wrote for her Religious Studies class below. Stephen Prothero is busy exposing how little USAers know about this world’s religions. He didn’t even mention Sikhi in his talk or on his quiz; which is not surprising because Sikhi has not been taught as a world religion in the West until very recently. Dr. Prothero asserts that even those students in his university classes who say they are Christian do not know the first thing about Christianity. Can you pass his religious literacy quiz?

TAKE THE RELIGIOUS LITERACY TEST HERE

Religious Literacy and Stephen Prothero
by P. Willow Cloin

In order to offer a novel twist to this extra credit assignment, I Googled Stephen Prothero, and quickly discovered that a “buzz” has been going on for the better part of a year over his bestseller, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn’t.* I decided it would be useful to give a short rundown of the media coverage the book has had.

To judge by the media coverage, Stephen Prothero’s book has hit an American nerve. I’m happy to report that, because of this class, I was able to answer all but one of the 15 of the questions on his “Religious Literacy Quiz”. However, to borrow from the song, we Americans “don’t know much about Christianity” or any of the other world religions. His lecture and his interviews and his book all argue that religion is too dangerous and important a subject to allow our children to remain ignorant, especially in light of 9/11 and other religiously motivated events; we should do our best to educate our children about it.

One of the first things Prothero said in his talk was that religion is his favorite subject. One of the last things he admitted to was that he is a “confused Christian.” To round out his personal information, the publisher of his book, Harper Collins (HarperCollins.com) offers a quick bio for Prothero: he is the chair of the religion department at Boston University. His 2003 book, American Jesus, won awards from Publishers Weekly and the Chicago Tribune. He writes and reviews for the New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and other publications. He holds degrees from Harvard and Yale.

Most of the media predictably and gleefully cited funny examples of errors made on Prothero’s “Religious Literacy Quiz”; very few went much further in their reports. One of the best examples of this kind of newspaper coverage was that of USA Today, in “Americans get an ‘F’ in Religion,” by Cathy Lynn Grossman (March 7, 2007); it has the best “cute” examples, but she also reports on the status of schools that are teaching religion; it mentions the work of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, which is the most active proponent of religious literacy in schools that I located.

Mark Oppenheimer seriously panned Religious Literacy in the prestigious New York Times Sunday Book Review (June 10, 2007). He called the book, Prothero’s “Jeremiad”, and insisted that we’ve all given up on The Bible, so what’s the point? Oppenheimer writes, “Americans have crafted a religiosity that is more an idea of religiosity; together we have largely agreed to forgo its content…religious knowledge is not necessary to be a good citizen. It’s just necessary if one wants to be an educated person.”

Time Magazine’s April 2, 2007, cover humorously depicts a characteristically yellow and black copy of “Cliff’s Notes” for “The Bible” and reads, “Why We Should Teach the Bible in Public School.” David Van Biema’s cover story is a better than average rendering, until its last paragraph, which has an odd, out-of-place ring to it and I think it is a good example of some of the nuttier responses to Prothero’s book. It states:

“And, oh yes, there should be one faith test. Faith in our country. Sure, there will be bumps along the way. But in the end, what is required in teaching about the Bible in our public schools is patriotism: a belief that we live in a nation that understands the wisdom of its Constitution clearly enough to allow the most important book in its history to remain vibrantly accessible for everyone.”

Stephen Prothero underwent numerous interviews with the likes of PBS and the The US News and World Report, and answered the same questions and objections to his proposal repeatedly – would it be constitutional to teach religion in public schools? Who would teach such a class and how do you keep “preaching” out of the classroom? What about the teacher’s bias toward Christianity? He was also had guest spots on the Oprah Show and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

I agree with Stephen Prothero and I hope that his work at popularizing this subject will gather enough momentum for change. However, according to Dr. Charles Haynes (Senior Scholar, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center), in a panel discussion on PBS with Prothero, only one public school in Modesto, CA, currently requires a religion class. It would seem that those of us who would support Prothero’s views have our work cut out for us.

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Filed under Multicultural

Dr. Doris Jakobsh, Oh My! by Kamalla Rose Kaur

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One of my dearest and most controversial friends ever is Dr. Doris Jakobsh, a Canadian scholar who stumbled into Sikh Studies.

“While I was at Harvard I visited the gurdwara at Millis. It was managed by Gora Sikhs of Yogi Bhajan. I found this ‘marriage’ of East and West fascinating and decided I needed to know more about Sikhism. At that point in time, 1990-1992, Sikhism was not a subject that was often taught at the university level. That has changed somewhat since then. It was a new field of study as a lot of work had already been done on Islam, Hinduism and other Eastern religions. No serious study had been done on gender equality in Sikhism, so I chose this subject for my Ph.D.

For the whole story read:

Japji Captures The Heart of God

How fabulous Dr. Doris must have felt when Oxford Press, no less, published her thesis as a book!

Relocating Gender In Sikh History does not compare Sikhi with other faiths. It simply digs for the real history of Sikh women, and comes up very very short. Sikhs forgot to write down Sikh women’s history. Sadder yet, Sikhs forgot to write down Sikh men’s history too. Things that most every Sikh believes, historically speaking, are not that easy to document and prove.

Yet no one denies that Guru Arjan put together the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, or that he wrote the poems he claims to have written, or that the other poets in the Sikh scripture are also true and authentic historic leaders and artists.

For me, Relocating Gender in Sikh History is simply a look at the available historical source documents and Sikh’s claims of gender equality within Sikhi. It is clear to me that if Sikhs could pop up with historical documentation to combat Dr. Doris’s conclusions, we would. Instead some Sikhs passionately denounce Dr. Doris, slandering her wildly; the universal sign of losing a debate, or discussion.

“In her pathological desire to fit with the ‘Culture of the Fitters’ of the Sikh religion, and to form an ‘ugly gestalt’, she even has shamelessly attempted to demolish the best Khalsacentric work done on Sikh females by Dr. Nikky-Gurinder Kaur Singh documented in her book entitled The Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).” *

Dr. Doris and Dr. Nikky-Guninder Kaur are good friends. Dr. Nikky Kaur studies the Sikh scripture and reflects 0n Sikh theology in her book, while Dr. Doris writes about Sikh women’s history.

“Jakobsh feels she has the right to make Sikh female ‘sociological respectable’ by imposing rational efficiency of logical positivism. In the process, if she has to trample over to the sacred writing of the Sikhs in Guru Granth Sahib so it be!”*

*Doris R. Jakobsh: A Self-Appointed Researcher of Sikhism by J.S. Mann and S.S. Sodhi, published by Sikh Spectrum

Baldev Singh, another critic, is extremely angry with Dr. Doris accusing her of false statements about Sikh Gurus, maligning Jats, spurious anti-Sikh writings, questioning the martyrdom of Guru Arjan and the bravery of Sikhs, echoing of British anti-Sikh propaganda, manipulation of a population census, and absurd, misleading and deceptive statements.

Relocating Gender in Sikh History: Transformation, Meaning and Identity (Author: Doris Jakobsh)A Critical Analysis by Baldev Singh

But to nonSikhs, Dr. Doris simply appears to have had the bad karma to have been the first historian to focus on what we know and do not know about Sikh women’s role in Sikh history.

Are Sikh men responding better than Christian males faced with the same forces in the 1970s and since? Dr. Doris assures me that she has not received any death threats. This is good, very very good.

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Filed under Kamalla Rose Kaur's Writings, Multicultural, Sikh Women's Movement, Sikhi, The Khalsa Knighthood

The Sikh Motorcycle Club

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The Sikh Motorcycle Club

The Sikh Motorcycle club is the only one of its kind in all of Canada. The club is the result of hard work by BC Sikhs to single-handedly win the battle to amend the Motor Vehicle Act for the Sikhs. The club was formed by Avtar Gill, Malkeet Singh and radio Host Harjinder Thind.

The motorcycle club began holding regular meetings and started riding in flocks as well as writing the Constitution of the club. The main purpose of the club is to enhance communication between the mainstream societies and bring awareness about Sikhs. The Sikh next door is not a stranger.

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Filed under Multicultural, Seva - Helping Others, Sikh Women's Movement, Sikhi