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Balkaar

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Balkaar last won the day on February 26

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About Balkaar

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    Tav Charnan Man Rahay Hamaaraa

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  1. Veeray a Sikh is anyone who adheres to the precepts of Guru Nanak Dev - oneness of god, equality of humankind, sewa, vand chakna and simran. Bhai Mardana, Baba Buddha and several other mahapurash were Sikh, but not Khalsa, as they had not taken Amrit, for reasons I don't have to explain to anybody except perhaps a drunk child. Nevertheless, they were Sikh and followed Sikhi. This definition of 'Sikh' was very inclusive. It included men and women with kes and without it, people who identified as Hindus and Muslims - Bhai Mardana never stopped being a 'Muslim', his request to go on Hajj was exactly the thing which led to Guru Ji's Westward Udasi - but abandoned those parts of their old faiths which did not conform to the Sat Bacchan of Guru Nanak. This is what Sikhi is, and what a Sikh was, until very late on in the 19th century. The Khalsa Panth was created to protect this Sikhi, and Sikhs, all those described above - Sufi disciples of the Gurus, the followers of ravidas and kabir, Nanakpanthi Sindhis and Punjabis. The Panth of Guru Nanak Dev was always vulnerable in India because it was small, and staunchly opposed to the ritualism/casteism/priesthood of the Brahmins and the fanaticism of the maulvis. The Hindu and Muslim elite decided it has to be crushed for this reason, which was why Guru Hargobind Sahib became miri piri da malak and first armed the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib fully realized this spirit of bir ras in creating the Khalsa Panth. The Khalsa was, first and foremost, an army. The Khalsa is a fortress, and Sikhi is the treasure hidden inside it. The warrior's life is not for everyone, because dharam is not the same for each person, but different according to the whims of Akaal Purakh. Some are warriors, some help in other ways. The Khalsa mans the walls of the fort, the Sikh does seva of the people inside. A Khalsa can be a Sikh and Khalsa at once.
  2. It isn't, but that's rarely the narrative put forward by parchariks, kathavachiks and camp sevadars. The much more common one runs along the lines of 'these Sikhs died rather than remove a single hair, what excuse does the mona have?". It's negative reinforcement. How we treat language matters, the phrasing of a sentence is often much more decisive in convincing someone of its correctness than the intellectual merit of its contents. This assumes that amritdharis, simply by being amritdharis, are honoring the meaning of Sikhi and showing allegiance. As well as being demonstrably wrong, this is a very toxic notion - the idea that somebody in a turban is immediately believed to possess virtue in greater measure than someone with cut hair, has certainly assisted snakes-in-turbans like the badals in their rise to power (because their turbans act as a kind of political smokescreen, something to impress the rural folk who are so easily awed by the sight of a white bearded man in a dastaar). These seemingly harmless ideas can have dire consequences. If we wish to judge someone's allegiance to Sikhi we ought to look at their actions, not their roop.
  3. I agree to an extent, teach uneducated sehajdharis Sikh values first, make sure they are entrenched, and a point will come in their lives when they cannot fail to see the value of the Khalsa lifestyle. But alienating them by casting aspersions on their loyalty to their Guru: and guilt-tripping them with stories of our ancestors, which make them start keeping their hair out of a sense of shame or inadequacy: are extremely counterproductive methods which will only lead to more and more people forsaking the Khalsa identity. These methods are also way too common, particularly in so-called 'Sikhi' camps, where many kids come away feeling estranged from Amritdharis whom they begin to regard as fanatics. This is very dangerous for someone in the formative years of their life. A lot of Amritdharis seem to be completely unaware of the psychological effect they have on non-Khalsa Sikhs. Those who wear Guru's roop, are considered to be representatives of the Guru, the way they behave has a direct impact on Guru's reputation in the eyes of the beholder. So when we get Amritdharis who are cold and exclusionary towards uninformed monaay, how could they not start believing the same about Guru, and drift further and further away from him? If we show unconditional pyaar to our sehajdhari brothers and sisters, they will begin to feel pyaar for us, and by direct implication, for the Guru and his bana/rehat. I don't blame monaay for the extent of hair-cutting in the qaum. The onus is on the Khalsa, as the steward of the Sikh nation, to rectify this.
  4. What actual good is going to come of this question? There are 25 million Sikhs across the planet, as compared to the 1 billion+ adherents of Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism, all three of which harbor malicious designs against Gursikhi, and you actually wanna reduce the number of Sikhs even further. 'Sikh' and 'Singh' were never even considered to be the same thing up until very recently. Those arguing otherwise should investigate historical accounts from the era of the Sikh confederacy/empire and base their judgement on these itihaasic facts rather than 20th century prejudices. In particular the distinction between 'Khalsa' and 'Khulasa' Sikhs. Just as Sikhs are being whitewashed out of the history of India, the contributions of Sehajdhari Sikhs are also being whitewashed out of the history of the qaum.
  5. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh, I'm looking into the historical usage of sukha by Sikhs, but I'm not sure where to begin. If anyone could help me out and point me in the direction of historical accounts (sikh, british, persian, anything really) or puraatan granths I'd very much appreciate it. Just a note, I'm not looking to begin a debate on the rights or wrongs of sukha maryada, my main concern is subjective historical study. I understand some people may not agree with this maryada but benti, please don't turn this thread into another clash of the titans and get it closed down. WJKK WJKF
  6. Precisely. It's no different to saying that in order to properly study the Vikings, you gotta start worshipping Odin. Some, but, I suspect, not nearly as many as the treasure trove of Islamic charchas on this forum might suggest.
  7. Because India is Hindu Raj, the Hindus possess most of the power and the wealth. Greedy people will always suck up to the rich and powerful in order to acquire some of their wealth and influence for themselves - history provides thousands of examples of people strategically marrying off their daughters for the purposes of economic/social advancement. Indian Sikhs permitting the marriages of their daughters to Hindus is yet another manifestation of this universal human phenomenon. When Sikhs start reading Bani and actually begin to comprehend the toxic nature of maya/daulat, we'll begin to see a reversal in this disturbing trend.
  8. 33 posts and nobody's thought to question the stunning leap of logic which maintains that the acceptance of Sikhi by one disciple of Sri Chand means that Sri Chand also accepted Sikhi? It's like saying Jesus wore sneakers because some of his disciples today wear sneakers. The only proof of Sri Chand's acceptance of Sikhi would be Sri Chand's acceptance of Sikhi, not Mehar Chand's or anyone else's.
  9. They're under attack in one respect and one respect only as far as I can tell - any complaint or grievance they have is automatically shut down as 'racist' by society at large. Saying that though, an examination of the thinking behind these complaints always throws up the same themes - "the immigrants are taking our jobs and our houses". If this were truly the case, then the solution would be a pretty obvious one - make more jobs and build more houses. But the greedy men currently in power in this country would rather not do this, thus they are constantly resuscitating these politically expeditious lies about immigrants, to avoid having to spend their money. The working class whites are being played by the rich whites, and they just can't see it.
  10. It's true, and unfortunate, but the British were at one point very keen on documenting the Sikhs (for purposes of recon I suppose, getting to know the enemy). We wouldn't know half the stuff we do about the era of the Sikhs Misls and Empire if not for their drawings and accounts - apnaay have always been notoriously bad at documenting and preserving their itihaas. Just look at all the historical buildings, frescoes and artworks which our lot have destroyed, painted over or replaced with their beloved tacky white marble. We seem to have lost most of our creativity as a people.
  11. Now that you mention it it is odd. Guru Tegh Bahadur appears to be the only Guru whose persona underwent a complete overhaul in Sikh art. I suppose since all art is a reflection of the imagination, and since Guru Tegh Bahadur was known more for his bhagti than for any military feat (to my knowledge he undertook no campaigns against foes), this is how Sobha Singh imagined he must have looked. An honest mistake probably. This is a trend in contemporary Sikh art, artists representing the figures of our history based on what they know of them - and this knowledge very rarely incorporates puraatan itihaasic sources. This must be why you get all these paintings showing Singhs decked out in flashy armor like the Desi Knights Templar, when historical sources are pretty unanimous that they dressed very lightly in that period - wore barely anything except their kakkars.
  12. I'm no expert obviously, but I suspect that may be the reason why Pahari art can at times appear rather generic - the subjects always appear in the same sorts of garb, positions and poses. Perhaps they were intended for easy reproduction. And as reproductions become more prominent, artists may have wanted to insert details here and there marking the pieces as their own.
  13. Of course Singhji, but Phula Singh was a member of the orthodoxy of the faith, not the mainstream or the secular aristocracy/nobility. He may have worn red, but if the sources testifying to his religious zeal are to be believed then I have my doubts. The mainstream of any faith on the other hand has always interpreted the tenets of their religion more loosely.
  14. The Guru Sahibaan may have worn earrings, I don't know enough about Sikh art to say and I don't really believe its a big deal. But art isn't always a mirror of the truth, rather a reflection of the artist. There is no certainty that the Gurus commissioned these paintings of themselves, or that they were even present as subjects for the painter. How else does one explain all the portrayals of the same Guru which look completely different from one another? As OP has said, there is not enough consistency in these images for us to come to a conclusion about this. Every one of these paintings was painted well after the decease of the Gurus they depict, as well as by Pahari Hindu masters. Just as European artists are always representing Christ as a white guy, why wouldn't a Hindu or Mughal painter depict Guru Sahib in the manner of a Hindu Raja? Accuracy clearly wasn't the intention of these artists - that painting of Akali Phoola Singh posted earlier shows him wearing red garments when we know for a fact that Akalis were forbidden from wearing red as per puraatan rehtinamaay.
  15. Marriage is supposed be a union of souls not a union of maya. It's about spiritual companionship, and provides a Gurmat-sanctioned way to control kaam. This is the Sikh basis for marriage bhenji, not all these superfluous secular determinations of ownership, inheritance, legitimacy of children etc. All these financial concerns are the things that destroy marriages, not the things that preserve them. There's an old adage about never going into business with a friend - seems to me like an even worse idea to enter into what is essentially a business contract with your spouse. I understand that what you're saying is the way the real world works though, and that is precisely the reason why I have no intention of getting married.