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Arshdeepsingh

Education

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WJKK WJKF,

 Ever since I've gotten into sikhi I have started thinking their isn't much use in education. Im not saying education is useless and everyone should not go to school. Im trying to say people put too much stress on education than sikhi. The things we learn in school arnt going to be of any use after we die, but the naam we japed and the things we learned from bani will. For example ever since I was young my parents said their is only use in education and nothing else, but if they had put that much emphasize on sikhi than education who knows where i would be.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think I am wrong? Do you think I am right?

Honestly I dont know if I am right or wrong. Sometimes I think I am right; sometimes wrong.

 

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You aren't the first to have this thought and you certainly won't be the last. From my experience this "realisation" occurs to young people who can't be bothered to put in the effort to get stuff done anymore. They think if they give some vague, spiritually "enlightened" justification as to why education is futile, they'll somehow appear to be special beings who've transcended the norms of the grind of daily life; the kind of grind that the kaljugi rabble are just too foolish and unblessed to relinquish.

Great stuff if you're looking to see out your years unmarried and genuinely devoted to Sikhi and seva and related things until your dying day; not so great if mummy and daddy expect a respectable career, a married partner, and a few kids from their offspring.

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58 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

You aren't the first to have this thought and you certainly won't be the last. From my experience this "realisation" occurs to young people who can't be bothered to put in the effort to get stuff done anymore. They think if they give some vague, spiritually "enlightened" justification as to why education is futile, they'll somehow appear to be special beings who've transcended the norms of the grind of daily life; the kind of grind that the kaljugi rabble are just too foolish and unblessed to relinquish.

Great stuff if you're looking to see out your years unmarried and genuinely devoted to Sikhi and seva and related things until your dying day; not so great if mummy and daddy expect a respectable career, a married partner, and a few kids from their offspring.

So you disagree with this thought. 

Im not saying education is futile, its just people put it over sikhi and give too much emphasis to it.

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1 hour ago, Arshdeepsingh said:

So you disagree with this thought. 

Im not saying education is futile, its just people put it over sikhi and give too much emphasis to it.

I know where you're coming from and I'm inclined to agree with you on principle. We can't detach ourselves from the world by eschewing education that leads to fields where we should be functioning in order to help the faith to grow, because that would be a death sentence for our future as a people. Yet our predisposition towards materialism is what I think you're alluding to, in terms of how our people view education as a means to reach a certain status and the financial rewards it brings, whilst neglecting other important yet intangible avenues of interest.

I think it's a balancing act, brother. Find the sweet spot that works for you and keep at it. Don't renounce the world and its mundanities like a sanyasi. It seems cool when you're young, but without even a basic education things will be tough. Unfortunately, people don't see the soul within most of the time. 

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2 hours ago, Arshdeepsingh said:

So you disagree with this thought. 

Im not saying education is futile, its just people put it over sikhi and give too much emphasis to it.

I'd say that Guru Gobind Singh ji himself placed a very high value on a rounded education. It has its obvious advantages. I think they wanted us to be intellectually sharp as well as spiritual. The amount of emphasis Guru ji placed on educating oneself and becoming familiar with the world and literature, a part of which is exemplified in the Dasam Granth and the extant manuscripts of kavis who were part of his darbar for whatever time, point at this. 

It isn't the be all or end all, but it has its importance. Sikhs becoming a detached, purely spiritual community was never on the cards. Our ancestors engaged with their environment and even remoulded it. 

Lots of different types of education was essential for Sikhs to do this, including military, strategic, statecraft and a general understanding of the literature and society of the time. 

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16 hours ago, Arshdeepsingh said:

WJKK WJKF,

 Ever since I've gotten into sikhi I have started thinking their isn't much use in education. Im not saying education is useless and everyone should not go to school. Im trying to say people put too much stress on education than sikhi. The things we learn in school arnt going to be of any use after we die, but the naam we japed and the things we learned from bani will. For example ever since I was young my parents said their is only use in education and nothing else, but if they had put that much emphasize on sikhi than education who knows where i would be.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think I am wrong? Do you think I am right?

Honestly I dont know if I am right or wrong. Sometimes I think I am right; sometimes wrong.

 

Brother,

education is necessary to live and earn our daily bread, generally speaking.

Sikhee is essential for cutting our bonds from mayavee creation to become free, merge in Him and become one with Him.

Both can coexist at the same time, and are necessary in their respective fields, and as far as we know our limits and  goals.

The key is logic, sense and balance.

Sat Sree Akal.

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19 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

You aren't the first to have this thought and you certainly won't be the last. From my experience this "realisation" occurs to young people who can't be bothered to put in the effort to get stuff done anymore. They think if they give some vague, spiritually "enlightened" justification as to why education is futile, they'll somehow appear to be special beings who've transcended the norms of the grind of daily life; the kind of grind that the kaljugi rabble are just too foolish and unblessed to relinquish.

Great stuff if you're looking to see out your years unmarried and genuinely devoted to Sikhi and seva and related things until your dying day; not so great if mummy and daddy expect a respectable career, a married partner, and a few kids from their offspring.

 

16 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

I know where you're coming from and I'm inclined to agree with you on principle. We can't detach ourselves from the world by eschewing education that leads to fields where we should be functioning in order to help the faith to grow, because that would be a death sentence for our future as a people. Yet our predisposition towards materialism is what I think you're alluding to, in terms of how our people view education as a means to reach a certain status and the financial rewards it brings, whilst neglecting other important yet intangible avenues of interest.

I think it's a balancing act, brother. Find the sweet spot that works for you and keep at it. Don't renounce the world and its mundanities like a sanyasi. It seems cool when you're young, but without even a basic education things will be tough. Unfortunately, people don't see the soul within most of the time. 

 

15 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

I'd say that Guru Gobind Singh ji himself placed a very high value on a rounded education. It has its obvious advantages. I think they wanted us to be intellectually sharp as well as spiritual. The amount of emphasis Guru ji placed on educating oneself and becoming familiar with the world and literature, a part of which is exemplified in the Dasam Granth and the extant manuscripts of kavis who were part of his darbar for whatever time, point at this. 

It isn't the be all or end all, but it has its importance. Sikhs becoming a detached, purely spiritual community was never on the cards. Our ancestors engaged with their environment and even remoulded it. 

Lots of different types of education was essential for Sikhs to do this, including military, strategic, statecraft and a general understanding of the literature and society of the time. 

 

1 hour ago, harsharan000 said:

Brother,

education is necessary to live and earn our daily bread, generally speaking.

Sikhee is essential for cutting our bonds from mayavee creation to become free, merge in Him and become one with Him.

Both can coexist at the same time, and are necessary in their respective fields, and as far as we know our limits and  goals.

The key is logic, sense and balance.

Sat Sree Akal.

Thank you all for your wonderful replys and teaching me not to renounce the world, but create a balance for myself of education and sikhi and that education is essential for sikhi to exist.

 

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1 hour ago, Arshdeepsingh said:

Thank you all for your wonderful replys and teaching me not to renounce the world, but create a balance for myself of education and sikhi and that education is essential for sikhi to exist.

 

You recognise there's a problem. That's a very good thing. Most of our people go through life without attaining such a realisation. 

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There is nothing wrong with not wanting to go to school, many bhagat jis have not went to dunyadari schools (when regarding earning gyan for a living) and have found Paramatman ji through modest lives such as Sri, Ravidas ji. I just think it would be wise to go to school and try to pursue a govt job that will be easy to survive off of through an honest earning. That way it will be affordable to donate dasvand to dharma without suffering kashtt.

Edited by Preeet
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I think education is very important, especially for Sikhs. Without education, u will either have to do unskilled jobs, be on welfare, or live as a baba which is freeloading off of gurudwaras. The thing with unskilled jobs is that they r disappearing fast, not enough to go around, machines replacing them, and u might be mistreated. And u might nor earn enough to support yourself and ur parents. Also it will create an image that sikhs are an uneducated lot, which alot of sikhs ppl care about as they have spent their lives creating the opposite image.

Being on welfare is really bad for a sikh. First they will not be following hukam of doing kirt. Second society will look at you n sikhs as undesirables. This is becoming more important as most countries are becoming anti-immigrant. So if ur a load on the country, they might get rid of you. Also welfare and benefits could be cut off anytime. And hardearned money of ppl is being taken away from them thru taxes to be given to u. 

Thirdly, living as a baba has the disadvantages of both above things. Not enough positions to go around, low pay, benefits cut off any time etc. Also in the past being a granthi was a respected position because the granthi was educated, and would provide tutoring in gurmukhi etc. 

Fourth, if u r uneducated u cant help make decisions that sikh ppl will need to in the future. Such as can kirpaans be allowed in spaceships, can we eat synthesized meat, can we genetically engineer our babies, is capitalism and democracy the best types of governments/economies, should gmo be allowed in langars, should all langar be gluten free as gluten intolerance is increasing, should sarbat khalsa be online etc., should there be a sikh colony on mars,  To help with these n other problems that sikhs will be facing, we need educated, informed, part of society sikhs.

Fifth, you can help out more people if u r educated n wealthy. Also it isnt easy to focus on bhagti all day, all the time. Try it. On a weekend, try this suggestion given by bhai pinderpal singh: do ishnaan dress all in white, go to a clean, quiet place where u cant be disturbed. And do nitnem then do simran all the way until its rehraas time. Take a pillow or gadhi for ur back n butt. Also keep a water bottle nearby. And u get 15 min lunch. Thats it. Try it. 

Sixth, lots of ppl think sikhi is incompatible with modern life. And u dont want to spread such misrepresentation, i hope.

 

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1 hour ago, Arshdeepsingh said:

 

Thank you all for your wonderful replys and teaching me not to renounce the world, but create a balance for myself of education and sikhi and that education is essential for sikhi to exist.

 

Just one point, education is not essential for sikhee to exist.

It is like saying, I am a teacher,  and this is essential for being a football player, for example. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

Sikhee is complete by itself as per Gurmat, it needs no complements.

Sikhee to be fully realized needs only love, faith and regular devotion.

Sat Sree Akal.

 

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28 minutes ago, harsharan000 said:

Just one point, education is not essential for sikhee to exist.

It is like saying, I am a teacher,  and this is essential for being a football player, for example. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

Sikhee is complete by itself as per Gurmat, it needs no complements.

Sikhee to be fully realized needs only love, faith and regular devotion.

Sat Sree Akal.

 

Exactly

 

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Education and sikhi both need to be balanced for a successful personality. If you never learnt English. .. like my grandmum you would not be able to communicate on this website.  If you never learnt punjabi then you would not be able to read and fully understand gurbani. 

If you are not properly educated then you will not be able to earn your livelihood which is important as Guru Nanak dev ji tells us kirat karo. If you are not earning enough then can you wand chako... if you are not having any spare? 

If we are not doing any naam japna whilst getting our education then education alone does not proove to be fruitful.  

Therefore we need to balance our education with naam japna... and teach our kids the importance of both as well.  

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Although education and wealth (and status) aren't mutually exclusive, there's katha out there which discusses how Man finds himself completely entangled in the accumulation of money once he starts upon that road. Many say, "I'll be different. I'll know when to stop. I'll use my money for the betterment of my fellow man." And it never happens. Even when he or she is sleeping their soul is lost in how much must be made, or worried about not losing what they have. When you listen to something like that from a Gurmat perspective it hits you what a burden excessive wealth can be. Heck, even Charles Dickens did an admirable job of broaching a similar subject in A Christmas Carol. Definitely worth a read.

Of course, education and wealth, as I said, aren't always the best of bedfellows. Education for self betterment is one of the best things a person can do for themselves.

 

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10 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

Although education and wealth (and status) aren't mutually exclusive, there's katha out there which discusses how Man finds himself completely entangled in the accumulation of money once he starts upon that road. Many say, "I'll be different. I'll know when to stop. I'll use my money for the betterment of my fellow man." And it never happens. Even when he or she is sleeping their soul is lost in how much must be made, or worried about not losing what they have. When you listen to something like that from a Gurmat perspective it hits you what a burden excessive wealth can be. Heck, even Charles Dickens did an admirable job of broaching a similar subject in A Christmas Carol. Definitely worth a read.

Of course, education and wealth, as I said, aren't always the best of bedfellows. Education for self betterment is one of the best things a person can do for themselves.

 

Some piercing truths there. Seen this happen with people I've grown up with.

I've got to check out A Christmas Carol soon. Been on Bleak House for a while now. 

 

George Orwell's Animal Farm is also VERY relevant to our community. It shows how an egalitarian movement becomes corrupted just like ours has been these days. 

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16 hours ago, harsharan000 said:

Just one point, education is not essential for sikhee to exist.

It is like saying, I am a teacher,  and this is essential for being a football player, for example. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

Sikhee is complete by itself as per Gurmat, it needs no complements.

Sikhee to be fully realized needs only love, faith and regular devotion.

Sat Sree Akal.

 

I understand your point on a purely spiritual plain. But from what I can see, Sikhi itself has a broad education embedded within. If we look at bani (including the Dasam Granth), we see that it does cover a broad expanse of subject matter (i.e. not just spiritual). If we also look at dasam pita's early life, we also see some serious and sustained effort being made to raise the intellectual levels of his Sikhs through literature. If we perceive this as a whole (Sikhi from our Guru Granth and Dasam Granth as well as irrefutable historical evidence), it doesn't appear as if there is a line between Sikhi as a spiritual endeavour and Sikhi as a vehicle for intellectual and social (and even societal) development. 

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14 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

Some piercing truths there. Seen this happen with people I've grown up with.

I've got to check out A Christmas Carol soon. Been on Bleak House for a while now. 

George Orwell's Animal Farm is also VERY relevant to our community. It shows how an egalitarian movement becomes corrupted just like ours has been these days. 

I read it for the first time a few days ago, and I must say it's surprisingly spiritual from a dharmic perspective. The many, many film and TV adaptations have failed to capture the heart of that story, instead defaulting to the standard Christian perspective (which isn't bad or inaccurate per se, but not exactly as the writer presents the story imo). Apparently, Dickens was heavily into the spiritualism movement of the Victorian era, and supposedly knew of concepts such as multiple lives, rebirth, spiritual guides, etc., so I guess that informed some of ACC. Probably the first Dickens story I've actually enjoyed. I read Oliver Twist a while ago and it was torture, lol.

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1 minute ago, MisterrSingh said:

I read it for the first time a few days ago, and I must say it's surprisingly spiritual from a dharmic perspective. The many, many film and TV adaptations have failed to capture the heart of that story, instead defaulting to the standard Christian perspective (which isn't bad or inaccurate per se, but not exactly as the writer presents the story imo). Apparently, Dickens was heavily into the spiritualism movement of the Victorian era, and supposedly knew of concepts such as multiple lives, rebirth, spiritual guides, etc., so I guess that informed some of ACC. Probably the first Dickens story I've actually enjoyed. I read Oliver Twist a while ago and it was torture, lol.

Yeah, Oliver Twist isn't his best work in my opinion, despite the characters enduring stamp on the English psyche. I too started with that when I was young and didn't read Dickens again until many decades later...

If you like that kind of stuff, try Pickwick Papers next. It's his first popular work (originally put out in installments) - it's a raw demonstration of young, developing literary genius at work.

By the way, his favourite book was David Copperfield - and I found it bloody awesome. 

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1 hour ago, dallysingh101 said:

Yeah, Oliver Twist isn't his best work in my opinion, despite the characters enduring stamp on the English psyche. I too started with that when I was young and didn't read Dickens again until many decades later...

If you like that kind of stuff, try Pickwick Papers next. It's his first popular work (originally put out in installments) - it's a raw demonstration of young, developing literary genius at work.

By the way, his favourite book was David Copperfield - and I found it bloody awesome. 

Yes! Oliver Twist put me off Dickens until I forced myself to read ACC. I don't know why Twist has gained the reputation it has. I find it to be quite embarrassingly cloying at times. That's probably the style he was going for, but still it's a bit much. Even something as apparently preachy as ACC doesn't lay it on as thick as I'd anticipated, which was a good thing.

I'll be going through those two titles you mentioned. I don't think i have them in my collection, so I may have to pick them up. I do have Great Expectations (unread), but as I said after reading Twist I was put off from reading anything from Dickens, lol. 

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On 28/12/2016 at 8:30 PM, Arshdeepsingh said:

WJKK WJKF,

 Ever since I've gotten into sikhi I have started thinking their isn't much use in education. Im not saying education is useless and everyone should not go to school. Im trying to say people put too much stress on education than sikhi. The things we learn in school arnt going to be of any use after we die, but the naam we japed and the things we learned from bani will. For example ever since I was young my parents said their is only use in education and nothing else, but if they had put that much emphasize on sikhi than education who knows where i would be.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think I am wrong? Do you think I am right?

Honestly I dont know if I am right or wrong. Sometimes I think I am right; sometimes wrong.

 

It's important for Sikhs to well rounded.

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4 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

Yes! Oliver Twist put me off Dickens until I forced myself to read ACC. I don't know why Twist has gained the reputation it has. I find it to be quite embarrassingly cloying at times. That's probably the style he was going for, but still it's a bit much. Even something as apparently preachy as ACC doesn't lay it on as thick as I'd anticipated, which was a good thing.

I'll be going through those two titles you mentioned. I don't think i have them in my collection, so I may have to pick them up. I do have Great Expectations (unread), but as I said after reading Twist I was put off from reading anything from Dickens, lol. 

Great Expectations is another one of his great ones in my opinion. I think you have to totally forget OT and rediscover his writing. When you read his works notice the occasional, tiny snippets where he refers to people who were going to the 'colonies', especially India. Judging by the passing references I've read, he seems to have deemed them as losers of sorts without much going on for them here. It's relevant to us because his writings cover the period that we Sikhs were attacked and colonised by these people. So it gives us an insight into how some of these colonisers were perceived back home. 

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10 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

I understand your point on a purely spiritual plain. But from what I can see, Sikhi itself has a broad education embedded within. If we look at bani (including the Dasam Granth), we see that it does cover a broad expanse of subject matter (i.e. not just spiritual). If we also look at dasam pita's early life, we also see some serious and sustained effort being made to raise the intellectual levels of his Sikhs through literature. If we perceive this as a whole (Sikhi from our Guru Granth and Dasam Granth as well as irrefutable historical evidence), it doesn't appear as if there is a line between Sikhi as a spiritual endeavour and Sikhi as a vehicle for intellectual and social (and even societal) development. 

Brother Dallysingh101 Jee,

I have no where stated that both education and sikhee can not co-exist at the same time; even in my upper post I said each one is necessary in its respective field, my only point was the to the OP, as he said that, education is essential  for sikhee to exist.

It is here where I differ.

As one can be uneducated, but still be very much with the essence of sikhee, for to do His bhakti and become one with Him, which is all sikhee about, worldly gyan is not essential at all. The education of the world, is for the world, no matter even if one is a genius, it will not take you even an inch towards Him.

On the other side, even if one is intellectually dumb, but pure in heart and mind, then brother with His grace, even Brahma, Vishnu or Mahadev and their consorts, are tiny in comparison with the bhagat jan, gyan wise, as that sikh devotee, becomes a Brahmgyani, by becoming one with beloved Wahiguru Akal Purukh.

I will never ever advise anyone to not get education at its best, because while being in the world, we have to know about it, and the more the better, but we should not think that  education is essential to have His darshan, or get closer to Him.

Ravan had all the gyan possible, he even had accsess to the gods, but because he never knew about sikhee - bhakti, he never knew anything about Akal Purukh, nor did the entities to whom he worshipped, ever knew anything about Wahiguru.

For that purpose we have to strictly walk on the path of sikhee/Gurmat.

That´s it.

Sat Sree Akal.

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1 hour ago, harsharan000 said:

Brother Dallysingh101 Jee,

I have no where stated that both education and sikhee can not co-exist at the same time; even in my upper post I said each one is necessary in its respective field, my only point was the to the OP, as he said that, education is essential  for sikhee to exist.

It is here where I differ.

As one can be uneducated, but still be very much with the essence of sikhee, for to do His bhakti and become one with Him, which is all sikhee about, worldly gyan is not essential at all. The education of the world, is for the world, no matter even if one is a genius, it will not take you even an inch towards Him.

On the other side, even if one is intellectually dumb, but pure in heart and mind, then brother with His grace, even Brahma, Vishnu or Mahadev and their consorts, are tiny in comparison with the bhagat jan, gyan wise, as that sikh devotee, becomes a Brahmgyani, by becoming one with beloved Wahiguru Akal Purukh.

I will never ever advise anyone to not get education at its best, because while being in the world, we have to know about it, and the more the better, but we should not think that  education is essential to have His darshan, or get closer to Him.

Ravan had all the gyan possible, he even had accsess to the gods, but because he never knew about sikhee - bhakti, he never knew anything about Akal Purukh, nor did the entities to whom he worshipped, ever knew anything about Wahiguru.

For that purpose we have to strictly walk on the path of sikhee/Gurmat.

That´s it.

Sat Sree Akal.

I understand what you are saying brother. I think I should clarify my own position. When I say I believe education is an integral part of Sikhi, I'm not solely referring to formal academic education (though Sikhs should excel in this and go way beyond it if they are capable), because all formal education systems are essentially conditioning to make people useful in the local (national) economy and not much else. 

Guru Gobind Singh ji himself promoted and encouraged a broad education. Now if Sikhi includes following the direction of our Gurus, and I mean wider than just personal rehat, as in also understanding other social, corporate and personal developmental aspects of what they did as our divine guides. Then I still maintain that a broad education is part of Sikhi. This isn't just in literature, but other things such as the use of weaponry. These were all part and parcel of Guru ji's Sikhs lives (as pushed by Guru ji themselves).

I remember a sakhi (I think it was in Parchian Sewa Das? I just tried finding it but didn't have any luck), where dasmesh pita throws reed pens over the sangat in the darbar and said words to the effect of: Now none of my Sikhs are illiterate!

This is worth watching too - The volume is low and you'll need speakers or good headphones! It really brings home how broad the subjects studied at Anandpur where....

 

Edited by dallysingh101

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10 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

I understand what you are saying brother. I think I should clarify my own position. When I say I believe education is an integral part of Sikhi, I'm not solely referring to formal academic education. Sikhs should excel in this and go way beyond it if they are capable, because all formal education systems are essentially conditioning to make people useful in the local (national) economy and not much else. 

Guru Gobind Singh ji himself promoted and encouraged a broad education. Now if Sikhi includes following the direction of our Gurus, and I mean wider than just personal rehat, as in also understanding other social, corporate and personal developmental aspects of what they did as our divine guides. Then I still maintain that a broad education is part of Sikhi. This isn't just in literature, but other things such as the use of weaponry. These were all part and parcel of Guru ji's Sikhs lives (as pushed by Guru ji themselves).

I remember a sakhi (I think it was in Parchian Sewa Das? I just tried finding it but didn't have any luck), where dasmesh pita throws reed pens over the sangat in the darbar and said words to the effect of: Now none of my Sikhs are illiterate!

This is worth watching too - The volume is low and you'll need speakers or good headphones! It really brings home how broad the subjects studied at Anandpur where....

 

Exactly, even before embarking on Santhiya of Gurbani many teachers used to make their students read other various scriptures to properly understand what was being said. That being said not all the scriptures were spiritually orientated, some were about the material world (e.g not all the Vedas discussed spirituality). While its admirable that people so strongly believe that Gurbani will bless them with Brahmgyan, not everyone is destined to be a brahmgyani, its best if we let go of that shallow idea that one day we'll reach that stage and we'll be all knowing so who needs education.

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    • questions were only brought up after the chabeel attack as a form of justification but I've never seen or heard  anything to back up the accusation
    •   Genie, I agree with the spirit of your suggestions, but I'm afraid the situation for Sikhs in America is much different than it is for Sikhs in England  The biggest difference is our population density, and that makes it harder than you might realize to accomplish some of your goals. America has a population that is 6 times as large as the population of England.  On the other hand, America has only half as many Sikhs as England.  To make matters worse, while Sikhs in England are almost entirely concentrated around the London metropolitan area or the West Midlands (two regions that, by American standards, are very close to each other anyway), Sikhs in America are spread out all over the place.  There are only a few places where we have sizable numbers, and even in those cases, it's not remotely close to what you would find in London, Birmingham, Vancouver, Toronto, etc.  To put this in perspective, take two places where incidents have occurred: Gresham, Oregon and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  Oregon is on the west coast, so you might think it is close to the Sikh community in California, but it is in fact 1000 miles from where I live in Los Angeles (same distance between London and Madrid).  Oak Creek is about 900 miles from New York, and 2000 miles from Los Angeles (greater than the distance between London and Istanbul). So when you ask Sikhs in America what they are going to do about these incidents, and I'm sitting here in Los Angeles, it would sound like me asking Sikhs in London or Birmingham what they are going to do about a random incident that affected the tiny Sikh communities in Madrid, or Athens, or Rome, or Norway, or Belgium.  It's hard to respond collectively as a "community" when the community is so thinly dispersed.  We just don't have the numbers.   I think having a private security force to protect Gurdwaras is a good idea.  However, I am not sure how feasible it would be in terms of raising the money required to fund such an operation.  Also, I imagine a lot of these Gurdwaras in isolated areas have very few sangat and may only be open irregularly.  Does the Sikh community have the resources to provide private security for Gurdwaras in far off places with just a handful of sangat?  Moreoever, such a security force would not address issues that take place outside of Gurdwaras.   What the Sikh community in America has done is establish organizations such as the Sikh Coalition and SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund).  These organizations help spread awareness about the Sikh community and provide legal resources to fight for civil rights and fight against hate crimes.  I think that is actually the most effective use of the community's resources, given how spread out and small we are.   Also, while I share your frustration with Sikhs seemingly fighting for other people's interests and neglecting their own, there is a method to their madness.  With how small we are as a community, one of the most effective ways to fight for and ensure our rights and security is to ally with other groups and organizations who are sympathetic to our plight.  By banding together with other oppressed groups who face similar challenges, we are stronger.     I'll add one thing: I think Sikhs in America should take it upon themselves not to live in the middle of nowhere.  We should try to live in metropolitan areas with a relatively large number of Sikhs and a relatively liberal community.  It is a shame that we are as spread out as we are.
    • *URGENT* Property Sale or Rent: URGENT REQUEST TO ALL There is potential of a halal meat shop opening in close proximity of Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sahib Somerset Road Handsworth Wood. The landlord has been made aware of the offence meat sale at the premises will cause to the Sikh Community which indeed will result in an outright objection by Sikhs across UK who fundamentally condemn this. While he understands this as an issue, he as a businessman has indicated the loss he is making with a vacant property. It is a MIXED USE commercial property with self-contained accommodation above. The property already has a constant rental income for the accommodation. There are 2 urgent options proposed to the Sikh Community: Purchase of the property (Currently on market for £149,995, offers are invited) Letting the property on a long-term lease As the Gurdwara are not currently in a position to undertake either of the above options, *we* *are calling upon anyone that may be interested in pursuing the request* Specifications of the property with both options can be made available upon request. The property is located on Somerset Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, B20 2JG. For further information or to express an interest please contact Mandeep Singh, Committee Member of Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Handsworth Wood on 07584374686 or email any inquiries to singhsabhagurdw
      ara@live.com. We urge all members of the sangat to spread this advertisement as much as possible. Thank you- Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Somerset Road.
    • Now that article 50 has been invoked and the UK is set to leave the EU club. What are the ramification for British Sikhs and Sikhs in the EU? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats once the UK regains its sovereign parliamentary powers.
    • I think you mean Bradford. However, legal action is never a gimmie. It is, moreover, costly. If the halal meat seller does buy the property, there would need to be a planning application to the local council for change of use because the shop is currently a beauty salon. As a neighbour, the Gurdwara would have the right to oppose any application, therefore, the first recourse would be to the local council. However, the anticipated success or failure of this approach depends very much on council policy. I am no expert on this specific area. What I do know is that pak muslims have majority influence in Birmingham just through sheer volume of presence through population. Given many of the councillors, and even the MPs, are muslim, I fear that a challenge to a planning application would simply be brushed aside.   Let's not be coy about this. It will be the latter.