ABOUT US       CONTACT US       DISCLAIMER       HOME PAGE       NEWS AND VIEWS       SEARCH       SIKH AND YE SHALL FIND
   

MySikhSense.com
 
TIME to ACT

My Sikh Sense
By MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa


Hari Singh Bird Khalsa

“When the adversity will hit, the communication will break.
Never break the communication, neither with an enemy nor
with a friend. Keep communicating. That’s what God does.
Just understand. Communication is vibration. Keep vibrating,
but positively. Never listen to negativity." The Siri Singh Sahib

Questions for Sikh Ministers

Sat Nam. Dear Fellow Ministers of Sikh Dharma!

Your response to these questions is humbly requested.

.) Did Guru Gobind Singh direct men AND women to tie turban?

.) Why don't Sikh women tie turban?

Kindly respond to each question.

NOTE: So far only a couple respondents have replied to these questions, with only a couple of replies dealing directly with the question of why Sikh women do not tie turban.

Thank you!

MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa --

See Life According To Hoda Katebi.

See 'My Sikh Sense' Regarding Nikki Haley.

See Harpreet Singh On Why Sikh Women Don't Tie Turban.

Read on. Back To Beginning.

Photos To Ponder


These women claim to be Sikh. Which of them are identifiably Sikh?

"Given the positive and growing public awareness of Sikhs,
Sikh women manifestly express their parity with men when
they tie turban, thereby advocating gender equality. Without
the turban the perception persists that Kaurs are not true Sikhs.
Singhs are perceived to be the genuine, even dominant gender.
Women wearing the turban makes gender equality more apparent.

Sikh women make a powerful statement about gender equality
when they tie turban. It is a graceful and effective way of putting Sikhs
and other communities on notice. It says, "We are who we are in support
of everyone's human rights irrespective of gender." -- DualityOptics.com

Pages And Points To Ponder

See Turban Is Bana. See Duality Optics. See The Essence of Kaur. See The Turban Is A Bigot Detector. See Broad Points. See But Where Are The Women? See The Role And Status of Sikh Women. See U.S. Sikhs Want Women To Sing At Golden Temple. See Bibi Kiranjot Kaur On Women's Rights. See A Muslim Woman Teaches Kirtan. See Women Are Not Allowed To Play Kirtan. See Sikhism And Homosexuality. See Why Do You Not See Any Sikh Women? See Sikh Identity Is For Men Only. See When Will Sikh Men Stand Up. See Sikh Women's Issues. See Women And The Sikh Religion. See My Response To The Sikh Minister Survey. See How To Make Yoga Classes LGBT Friendly. See Punjabi Sikh Optics Do Matter. See What's With Sikhs And Gender Equality? See Circumstance. See The Woman Pope. See Women Are Much More Than This. See The Question of Authority Within Sikhism. See Should Mixed Faith Marriage In Sikh Temples Be Banned? See Balvinder Kaur Saund. See Maharani Jind Kaur: Saint Soldier. See Sudha Kaur Chopra On Gurdwara Security. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? See Life According To Hari Nam Kaur. See I Fight Like A Girl. See Dastaar For Sikh Women. See The Turban Is A Crown. See The Essence of Kaur. See Life According To Joan Baez. See Menstruation From A Woman's Perspective. See Granny Stops Burglar. See Life According To Andrea Mitchell. See 'Sikh' And Ye Shall Find. See The Story Behind My Turban. See We Are We, We Are One. See Sikhs Shine. See Women Wimps Or Warriors. See Women Warriors. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh. See Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar. See Amazon Women. See How The Marines Transform Me Into We. See Memories of Khalsa Women's Rifle Drill Team. See Definitions. See Sikh Definitions. See Glossary of Sikh Terms. See Greetings, Names and Titles.

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By SS SatHanuman Singh Khalsa.


SatHanuman Singh Khalsa 

Experience is the best teacher.

Sat Nam. Dear Fellow Ministers of Sikh Dharma, kindly permit me to share a recent missive I received from a fellow minister regarding the practice of Yoga, then my response.

Sorath, Fifth Mehl, Second House, Ashtapadees: One Universal Creator God. By The Grace of The True Guru: They read scriptures, and contemplate the Vedas; they practice the inner cleansing techniques of Yoga, and control of the breath. But they cannot escape from the company of the five passions; they are increasingly bound to egotism. ||1|| O Beloved, this is not the way to meet the Lord; I have performed these rituals so many times. I have collapsed, exhausted, at the Lotus Feet of the Guru.

My response:

Raj Jog Takhat Dhan Dhan Guru Ram Das!

While I agree Singh Sahib, the practice of Hatha Yoga is limited and any Siddhis developed in the practice of any school of Yoga can cause egotism, you like other Sikhs bring to mind those fundamentalist Christians who quote scripture -- but miss the mark!

I Sardar ji, am 67 years of age. I met Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh ji at the age of 21 (1971). My story, that of a young man not searching for a Guru or even a path, is one only Siri Guru Nanak Dev ji could have blessed me with!

My Teacher arrived as I was ready to remember who I am. Ask yourself how a white man, born to Christian parents in post World War II America, came to adopt the path of Sikhi?

If Harbhajan Singh Yogiji hadn't taught me Kundalini Yoga, had he not been a devoted Sikh of the Guru, had he not directed me to the Shabd Guru, connected my soul to the Holy Nam, how would I have lived this Path, which you were born to for over 45 years? 

There are many Souls, not of Punjabi or even Indian lineage, who are drawn to the Path of Guru. Many first awakened to their Destiny by learning Kundalini Yoga (as Taught by Yogiji). Some will get it, some will move on. Some realized their Guru is the Shabd, some not. It's Guru's blessing for each Soul to live the Dharma of the Shabd Guru.

Kundalini Yoga opened me up -- bringing the Naam, and if one listens, one will awaken to the Guru's Hukum! You may want to question yourself, not me?

I am Amritdhari, I have grandchildren born Sikhs! Kundalini Yoga, as Taught by a Khalsa named Harbhajan Singh, is no ordinary Yoga! 

The issue for you, my brother, is you've not had a Teacher nor the practical experience! I suggest you meditate more and judge less until you experience Chardi Kala! Perhaps after you experience the power of Kundalini Yoga (a minimum of 40-days), we can have a conversation that's based on real experience.

I walk with my Guru. He is within me.

Kindly visit me at SatHanumanSingh.com. Spend some time browsing. I know you'll find much more than you even want to know.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh! --

Read on. Back To Beginning.

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By SS SatHanuman Singh Khalsa.


SatHanuman Singh Khalsa 

We are IT!

Sat Nam. Shakespeare spoke through Hamlet: “There is no right or wrong, only thinking makes it so!”

It’s the mind which separates each Soul from its True Nature - The Divine! G-O-D is... not only within but also without! All our deepest longing is in our personal communion with our Self!

This Divine Spark lies deep within and beyond the Mind - Mantra takes us “deeply beyond the Mind.”

While we seek new life forms or even gods beyond Earth, our Solar system, we have forgotten or lost our collective memory that our Soul is G-O-D, and we are One with this One - we are the Light we seek, we are ALL that is!

Beliefs are temporary. Knowledge comes from experience. I do not believe in a god or any spirit , or even trust my soul to be saved by any personality or any god!

I know I am and that is THAT!

We continue to ask - WHY, while the response is always WHY NOT?

Yogi Bhajan taught to dwell in G-O-D, not to Trust in God!

Why do I write G-O-D rather than God?

We are the Generator! We are the Organizer! We are the Destroyer! We are the Giver! We are the Originator! We are the Deliverer! WE ARE THE G-O-D!

Meditation is listening to our True Being - this is Sat Nam!

As you meditate thoughts will come and go - patiently listen and know. You are in cinque - keep up, you will be kept up!

Brave and fearless is the soul who faces the Divine Source of all that is.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh! --

Back To Beginning.

See OneIsTheAnswer.com.

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first. Read on.

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Why there are so few converts* to Sikhism

In past years, I have often used the term “Gora Sikh/Sardar” to identify myself. In recent times, I much prefer “Sabat Surat Sardar” or “Pakka Sardar.”

No religion begins without converts and all religions begin as rebellions. However, many people born into a given faith tend to overlook this fact. Converts are often looked upon with some suspicion, or considered inferior devotees. (See Tribalism.) The reverse of this is the idea that converts reinvigorate a religion – new people bring new life to it – new blood.

Religious conversion has been categorized as follows: free choice conversions; death bed conversions; marital conversions; forced conversions, and conversions of convenience, such as greater opportunities for upward mobility. Examples of this were non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire or under the Mughals in India who adopted Islam, or when parents wanted a child to be admitted to a prestigious Christian school. This was fairly common during The British Raj.

Westerners, however, who develop a keen interest in Sikhism are confronted with something quite unique and challenging. The common view in the West among those few who know anything at all about our religion is that Sikhism is NOT known to actively proselytize, but that it does accept converts. The challenge for the Western convert to Sikhism involves, among other things, language.

My personal experience with Punjabi has combined frustration with some frivolity. I am quite proficient in the Spanish language; less so in Punjabi. However, my pronunciation in both languages has been considered excellent by native speakers. Good pronunciation can be both an asset and a liability in that people fluent in these tongues assume that I too am fluent, and begin speaking too rapidly for me. I use both words and hand gestures to slow both Spanish and Punjabi speakers down!

We do not proselytize as some other religions do, but since 9-11 we have been committed to educating non-Sikhs - especially in the West. In my view, parchar is very important. The great ragi from Australia, Bhai Dya Singh, once visited our south Florida Gurdwara Sahib and said something profound – I never forgot it, “Sikhism is the world's best-kept secret!” I maintain that the world needs Sikhi – Gurbani is an oasis with a spring filled with wonderful water, but thirsty people pass it by.

My wise and dear friend, Sardar Nirmal Singh Ji [Camp New Delhi] suggests that we Sikhs should give up hesitation and turn more proactive in talking about ourselves; our beliefs and faith practices to non-Sikhs in the West. In this way, the good that Sikhi offers becomes more visible for others to learn from and build on for common good. Given that there are far more Western converts to Islam, Buddhism, and various Hindu sects, than to Sikhism, it comes as no surprise that there are so-called “white” adherents of these faiths, whereas Western Sikhs, like me, often get the “But you're a white man!” reaction to my saroop.

Once, at a Sikh owned and operated hotel, a young gori lady working at the front desk – no stranger to Sikhs – began her conversation with me with these very words! After I spent five minutes explaining to her that Sikhism is not a race, ethnicity, or nationality, or language, but a religion whose principles guiding behavior are what are central, she reiterated, “But you're a white man!” I also get from many gora people, “Gee, you don't look like you're from India!”

I have come to the following conclusions regarding neophytes to our faith. They ought be told that Gurbani should be their priority. They do not have to immediately stop cutting their hair. The five kakkars and the turban do not have to be straightaway concerns. Sikh sewadars assisting prospective converts should point out the internal diversity within any Sadh Sangat. Point out to these people, for example, the fellow in Nihang bana with a long kirpan, and say that no newcomer should feel obligated to look like this.

Newcomers should be educated about diet. Yes, many Sikhs are strict vegetarians, but others are omnivores with an emphasis, like me, on carnivore! We should explain why we do not eat halal and employ the jhatka method with the instantaneous killing of an animal, preferably with the single blow of a sword or ax, and that some Sikhs, out of respect for their Hindu friends and relatives, avoid beef.

Khalsa status can be a goal and something evolved to. This does not mean that new Sikhs should be discouraged from adopting the Sikh saroop if they are so inclined to do so. What about our Sri Guru Granth Sahib for the newcomer? I offer the following to fellow Sikhs purely as “food for thought.”

Some years ago, I was very impressed with something a mullah in Egypt said. He made the point that a Western convert to Islam reading a Qur'an in English translation, but reading it with careful thought and devotion was superior in the eyes of God to someone in the Near East  mindlessly reading it in Arabic and relying only on memorization based on repetition! Repeating words from holy scriptures is not always a bad thing. As always, Nirmal Singh Ji reminds me that Gurbani commends both Veechaar and Simarnaa, remembrance - both have their uses in learning and living values.

It is not my intention to challenge the use the Punjabi language or Gurmukhi in any way. Once more , my wise and beloved friend, Nirmal Singh Ji, has pointed out the issue of language needs to be examined in a thoughtful manner. No one is trying to disconnect the original language from our Sri Guru Grant Sahib. I also, as a Westerner, appreciate Punjabi as an aid to identity in the Diaspora for youngsters to stay culturally connected with their ancestral roots and receive the message of Gurbani/Kirtan/Katha.

Many a Western convert to Sikhi has lamented the insularity of Punjabi Sikhs in their interaction with non-Punjabi Sikhs [and non-Sikhs] arguing that this prejudice to inconsistent with the message and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. My own experience as a Western convert to Sikhi is to have seen people marginalized when they should have been embraced. Inclusion – not insularity should be promoted and often it is not. Sikh ignorance of and lack of interest in the ideas and experience of Western converts should be a source of concern given the sad state of affairs in Punjab with drug and alcohol abuse as well as the persecution of Sikhs in the Muslim-dominated countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

However, I want to be fair. Through the years, I have been warmly welcomed by so many Sikhs of Punjabi origin. Most people who are Sikhs are such the result of accident of birth, I do not imply that this is insignificant. People born into Sikh families have received a great blessing from God. Those of us who are Western converts have also received a blessing from God, but have been given a different path to the same divine essence. Sadly, there are still some people from my home Sadh Sangat who still treat me as an outsider despite over three decades of involvement there and having been president of the Florida Gurdwara. (See Notes.)

I have written through the years about the limited hospitality guests receive. It has always saddened me to see non-Sikh guests to a Gurdwara Sahib be greeted and recognized by a committee person, but then receive only minimal attention and friendliness from Sangat members. The excuse that language prevents cordial interaction is unconvincing. One does not have to be fluent in English to smile at a guest. A smile is a form of Sewa. Moreover, the infighting that occurs in Sadh Sangats often reaches local media including radio, television, and newspapers. This leaves people with a bad impression of our community.

I have even witnessed verbal abuse and fisticuffs even when there are non-Sikh visitors present at a Diwan. My respected online friend, Sardar Jaidev Singh Ji in America, argues that if we hate, argue, and fight each other, why on Earth would anyone join such a group? (See related Issue.) All religions, however, do have their fair share of infighting. If humans were perfect, we would not need congregations as we would already have achieved union with God.

There are other positive things that counteract the negative. I have said on many occasions that my Christian wife has more Sikh friends than I have. My beloved mother, another devout Christian, worshiped at our Gurdwara Sahib for the last four years of her life and was accepted by so many in our Sadh Sangat. No one ever questioned their regular presence at a Sikh place of worship. My mother, born in Italy, said her prayers in Italian and absorbed our Shabads via the translations projected on big screens. God, of course, is multilingual!

My mother always had trouble keeping a chunni on her head. Caring women helped her with this and I, across the Diwan Hall, would regularly gesture to her to keep her head covered. Eventually, I went online and learned how to tie a hijab for her, which would stay on her head. I purchased several hijabs for her. The wonderful thing is that no one questioned my mother's presence at our Diwans. I was often asked this question only out of pure curiosity, “Is your mother a Muslim? I would reply, “No, she's a Christian!" (Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?)

The reputation of our Langar, especially at Harmandir Sahib, has always impressed people around the world. Serving meals without charge to 50,000 people per day and 100,000 at Gurpurbs is amazing. I have a non-Sikh friend who visited Amritsar and was not only impressed with the Langar itself but with the level of hygiene particularly how plates and utensils were thoroughly cleaned. Yes, one would think that the Langar would be a means of spreading our faith. The Langar is praised by many, but when I look, for example, at the Hindus who walk down the street from their mandir to our Gurdwara Sahib for the Langar, their interest is a free meal. They can get a meal at their temple, but there is a charge. To be fair, and sad to say, many Sikhs come to the Gurdwara just to eat Langar.

Allow me to repeat something I have written about many times before. What are the motivations for non-Sikhs to visit a Gurdwara? I suggest that there are six such motivations with some obvious overlap. 1.) basic curiosity 2.) a person has a Sikh friend 3.) a student in a comparative religion class 4.) a person involved in interfaith programs 5.) a political candidate looking for support 6.) a person with spiritual thirst who may or may not know that Gurbani can quench that thirst. Most significant in my view is the 6th motivation, which we as Sikhs must addross in better fashion.

With the passage of time, established religions tend to develop new denominations and sects. Some of these evolve into completely independent groups, while others remain marginal to the mainstream. In Sikhism, there are groups such as Nihangs, Namdharis, Nirankaris, Sindhi “Sikhs,” and the 3HO [Sikh Dharma International]. Given that the first four groups have their origins in the subcontinent, what is of primary interest here is the 3HO group, which began in the West. 

This group was founded by Yogi Bhajan. There is an emphasis on Kundalini yoga and vegetarianism, but a reverence for our Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the five kakkars. They try to spread the teachings of our ten Gurus, our Granth, but also the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Despite their rhetoric of outreach, they are quite insular and peripheral. 

I met Yogi Bhajan over 30 years ago here in south Florida at the home of a devout member of our local Sadh Sangat. He predicted that I would eventually take Amrit, but it was unimportant to him that I was not in his 3HO group. As a Vietnam veteran with many comrades afflicted with drug, alcohol, and tobacco addictions, I know Yogi Bhajan helped many of them. Even those who left Sikhism benefited from his influence. Some former members of this group have joined the mainstream Sikh fold.

I conclude this essay with a specific recommendation. When people express an interest in converting to our faith, stress Sahajdhari gradualism. Point out devout Sahajdharis. Encourage newcomers to join with other Sikhs in all religious and social activities and become active members of Sadh Sangats. Keep Khalsa baptism as a goal. -- Source.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See 'My Sikh Sense' Regarding Nikki Haley.

*Notes

Sat Nam. Fetehpal Singh was president of Florida Gurdwara in 2000, a unanimous choice of two antagonistic factions. At the end, he was given a Siropa from the incoming committee in recognition of his reconciliation efforts.

The word Sahajdhari was known before becoming prominent during the 1880's as a definition of a Hindu or Muslim, or a non-sikh who had a inclination towards Sikhism but had not taken the step to become a full fledged Khalsa or Amritdhari. If a Hindu was interested in become a Sikh as many thousands were during this time then he would first dispense with his Hindu belief and study Gurbani and do the Nitnem prayers. Right from the times of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the procedure to become a Sikh was to get the Pahul from the Guru and follow the instructions given by the Guru. In 1699, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji changed the traditional method of giving 'Pahul' into 'Khandey di Pahul', he told all the members of the Sangat to adopt this way, if they wish to become part of the new Sangat - Khalsa. Those who followed the instinct of their own mind and ignored this order of the Guru failed to become part of this order.

Sahajdhari Sikh is the one who "practices Sahaj." The word "Sahaj" comes in Sri Guru Granth Sahib a number of times. It is not something that can be practiced. It is a stage that can be achieved by devotedly practicing Vaheguru-Akalpurakh's Naam. However, this differs from someone who is Khalsa as this is the belief, which must be practiced and maintained. "Sahaj" of the word "Sahajdhari" is a Punjabi word, which means 'slow', whereas "dhaari" means to 'adopt'. Therefore, 'Sahajdhari' Sikh means a 'slow adopter' of Sikhism and has no connection whatsoever with the 'Sahaj Avastha' - A stage of unaffectedness or equipoise (perfect balance). Although a Sahajdhari may acquire the progressive steps in order to become a practicing Sikh, some people are still considered a Sahajdhari as they do not keep uncut kesh or hair or adopt the name, Singh, yet they can still follow the main beliefs of Sikhism.

There is a slight difference in people who are considered Sahadharis and hose who are Keshdharis. The main difference is Sahajdhari is one who follows the main beliefs of Sikhism, yet does not keep uncut hair or adopt the name Singh within their name, however Keshdharis, or normal Sikhs are those who do not cut their hair, and may follow the Five Ks and use the name Singh/Kaur, however they remain classified as a Keshdhari as they have not been baptised. This is considered the main difference. Source.

*BTW: Sikhs do not convert, they transform. Use of the term convert especially in relation to latter day Sikhs is inaccurate. One does not simply convert to or adopt another spiritual path. Those who choose Dharma, i.e., adherence to a righteous duty or path, which is fulfilled by the observance of custom or law with conformity and commitment to one's righteous duty and nature, as in Sikh Dharma, experience a true transition, a real transformation of consciousness.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh! --

Read on. Back To Beginning.

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Gurdwara Watchdogs:
Janam Da Firangee, Sikhi Mai Mangee

April 17, 2018 --Through the years, from my experience as a youngster and in my informal conversations with non-Sikhs at interfaith gatherings, I have learned that all faiths have adherents who are too preoccupied with trivial details rather than authentic spirituality. There is often a fine line between important, visible symbols and adherence to one's faith, on the one hand, and superficiality on the other.

In my local sadh sangat, there are what I refer to as constant watchdogs, always on the lookout for real and imagined practices they consider undesirable. There is one fellow, for example, who reprimands elderly sardars who do not completely cover their hair and under-turbans with their dastars. Apparently, he has no appreciation of the fact that senior citizens may well be contending with vision impairments, nerve disorders, Parkinson disease symptoms, and other issues, and therefore may not be able tie their dastars as well as they did in their younger years. I always thought that respect for the elderly was a fundamental value.

I just had an experience with another watchdog who told me that I did not have my rehal (X-shaped foldable book-rest) in the proper place. I have a small prayer book stand on which I have a Nitnem and an English-Punjabi/Punjabi-English dictionary. Of course, I usually have this in front of me in the diwan hall, but when it is very crowded and when I prepare to stand for the ardaas, I place it to my side so that I neither interfere with myself nor anyone else.

This particular fellow chastised me and said that the rehal should always be in front of me. I wonder if he would have said anything to me were I perceived to be a Punjabi Sikh rather than a Westerner. I am sad to say that there are Punjabi Sikhs at my gurdwara in south Florida who still consider me an outsider (see marginalized) despite my having been a Sikh for almost 40 years; having been a member of this sadh sangat for 30 years and having been only one of two Western Sikhs to have been presidents of predominantly Punjabi sadh sangats in North America.

Sikhi is not a race; nor an ethnicity; nor a nationality. True, a particular language and alphabet is central to our faith, but our faith consists of a set of universal principles that are meant to be lived by, not dogma or ritual.

We also have a person who is concerned with the position of people's feet relative to our Guru Granth Sahib. A lady at the age of 72, was re-positioning her legs and feet on the diwan floor, when this person who was in the line waiting to mattha-tek said something to her. He reprimanded her for pointing her feet at our Guru Granth Sahib when she was merely changing her body position.

Shouldn't this fellow have been focusing more on his obeisance to Guru Sahib than on the body adjustments of other devotees?

I am reminded here of the story of Guru Baba Nanak in Mecca. His feet, considered unclean, were facing the Kaaba and a mullah was offended and gathered a crowd in protest. Baba Nanak said, “Brothers, why are you so upset?” The mullah replied, “Because the sacred stone represents God and you don’t put your feet in the direction of God. That is bad!” Baba Nanak replied, “If you can tell me where God is NOT, I will gladly point my feet there.”

As I have written many times before, one of my heroes has been the late Khushwant Singh. I have the strong feeling that he would agree wholeheartedly with my opinions here. Sikhi should be about love, forgiveness and humility. What I often see in some amongst us is arrogance and intolerance. We Sikhs experience prejudice and discrimination on a regular basis. Shouldn't we simply focus on being kind and forgiving to each other?

I am reminded of something from an Urdu poem which in translation goes something like, “My face was dirty, but I was obsessed with cleaning the mirror! -- Source. Read on.

See 'My Sikh Sense' Regarding Nikki Haley.

See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism.

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

April 22, 2018 --I preface this column by stating that I am not a Nimrata ‘Nikki Kaur Randhawa Haley (widely known as ‘Nikki Haley‘) admirer. This should be apparent from the title I have given to this column. I contend that Nikki Haley has sold her soul to Donald Trump in the interest of her long-term political advantage – future higher office.

To be fair, there are a few positions – a very few – that she has taken that I do approve of. She has, for example, been critical of the persecution of gay people in various parts of the world.

Nikki should also be commended for calling Russian meddling into the 2016 American election an act of “warfare.” Moreover, when Trump was criticized for ignoring the women who accused Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual assault, Nikki stated clearly that women who accuse men, including the President, of sexual misbehavior “should be heard.”

Trump was not always pleased with Nikki’s comments, but maintained – at least publicly – a good relationship with her, but complained about her privately.

Let us begin with Nikki Haley's ‘religion‘. Yes, she had two wedding ceremonies, a Sikh marriage ceremony and a Christian one. She is a Christian by her public proclamations in the recent years of her political career. She is a member in good standing of a Methodist church. According to our Rehat Maryada, a Sikh is a person who does not owe allegiance to any other religion. True, she remains proud of her Punjabi and Sikh heritage, which is a good thing, but she is not a Sikh. Her parents are devout Sikhs and her father wears a turban. (See Duality Optics: Why Sikh Women Don't Wear Turban.)

Nikki knew that she could not get very far in conservative Republican circles in South Carolina as a non-Christian. Only God and her conscience knows whether her conversion to Christianity was a meaningful one or one of political expedience. I am reminded of Henry of Navarre [Henry IV of France - King of France from 1589 to 1610 I.C.E.] who was baptized a Catholic, but raised a Protestant, but in order to be king of France had to renounce Protestantism and return to Catholicism. Henry was believed to have said: “Paris vaut bien une messe” - “Paris is well worth a mass!” Returning to Catholicism had enabled Henry to gain the loyalty of most Frenchmen.

In a way, history, repeated itself with Nikki Haley. She also endeared herself to Trump's daughter, Ivanka, which probably helped her get her cabinet position as UN ambassador.

In 1996, Nikki married Michael Haley, I reiterate, with both Sikh and Methodist ceremonies. By the way, my wife, who worships with me at our south Florida Gurdwara, is also a Methodist. Nikki claims to be a devout Christian, but attends both Sikh and Methodist services. In 2014, she and her husband made a pilgrimage to the Harmandar Sahib during a visit to Punjab.

During an interview with a Christian magazine, she was inappropriately asked if she hoped that her parents would convert to Christianity. She replied, "What I hope is that my parents do what's right for them." I would have preferred for her to have said something more fearless like, “Sikhs respect Christianity. Therefore, Christians should respect Sikhism!”

Nikki supported Marco Rubio - not Trump - in the Republican primaries prior to the 2016 presidential election. When Rubio dropped out, she then supported Ted Cruz. When Trump became the Republican candidate, she said that she would vote for Trump, but was "not a fan."

Her first speech as UN ambassador, taking a page out of Trump's book, emphasized American financial contributions, and referred to the UN not as the “UN,” but as the “US/UN” as if money was everything.

I have no trouble with Nikki's and Trump's support for Israel. What I have trouble with is their unqualified support for any and all Israel actions. There are Jewish resistance groups in Israel opposed to its right-wing government's policies. The Trump administration conveniently overlooks these Israeli opposition groups.

In July 2017, after The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] designated Hebron's Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs as Palestinian territory and as endangered world heritage sites, Nikki called these decisions "tragic on several levels." This exemplified her and Trump's total bias against Palestinian interests at the cost of human decency.

In December 2017, Nikki warned UN members she would be “taking names” of countries that vote to reject Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. She wrote a letter saying that Trump and the United States would take such a vote very personally. In other words, agree with Trump or else! Nikki has even said that the UN has "bullied Israel for a very long time" and pledged that the US would end this unfair treatment.

Now, she is defending Trump's use of the term "Mission Accomplished" after the Syria raids despite the fact that we have no coherent, long-term strategy there, and have actually achieved little or nothing in the recent wave of much publicized bombings.

But she was clearly not on the same page as Trump when she recently announced new sanctions against Russia that Trump back-peddled on. She has been commended by some for snapping back and speaking out about her position when she was criticized by some of Trump's people ... as often happens in this tumultuous White House between members of the same administration.

Nikki Haley's political future is, of course, closely linked to Trump's floundering ship, so we shall see, won't we? -- Source.

Note

Sat Nam. Fetehpal Singh was president of Florida Gurdwara in 2000, a unanimous choice of two antagonistic factions. At the end, he was given a Siropa from the incoming committee in recognition of his reconciliation efforts. Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By Sukhraj Singh Dhillon

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

April 24, 2018 -- I like your message about Sikh watchdogs bullying the sangat in the name of blind rituals.

Now you seem to be doing the same in the name of religion. Your obsession along with Sher Singh of SikhChic about change of religion by Nikki Haley is not helping the Sikh image. Thousands of Sikhs in Doaba alone have changed to Christianity and the same goes for American Christians to Sikhi. On the other hand, a majority of people like myself are born, for example, as Sikhs, and will die as Sikhs. Kindly look in your own lap as Baba Farid’s shabad says, “Farida jey tu aakal lateef hein, Kale likh naa lekh; Apne girwaan mein sarr neevan kar dekh..."

Guru Nanak tells us to become a good human being before we become a good Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and so on.

Your message appears to focus on dislike for President Donald Trump and more on UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. She did not become Governor or UN Ambassador just because she changed her religion. Thousands do that.

From my personal experience I see Nikki Haley and her parents as wonderful hard working people. Many people don’t. But I see how she ended up associating with the Christian faith. I believe her when she says it was easy for her to understand the Christian message and to relate with it.

Here is why! The oldest Sikh Association in the South-East United states was registered in North Carolina and named “Atlantic Coast Sikh Association” because its members included families from NC, SC, Georgia, and even Virginia (all on the Atlantic Coast in the Southeast). I was not the first but one of the earlier Presidents and Trustee Board Chairman and that was in the 1980s. We bought the first Gurdwara building in 1984. We used to take the kirtan jatha to SC for those who could not come to NC.

Why am I telling you all this? The reason I am mentioning all that is that Sikh children were not exposed to Gurdwara and the Sikh religion the way we imagine and judge her. Her parents are regular visitors since they started the Gurdwara in SC and are extremely nice and devoted people. They donate money and they participate in Akhand Path; both Ajit and Raj Randhawa. The parents and even girls take an interest in the religion of their parents. We should learn from her situation.

Even today, it’s not a bad idea to teach children who have grown up abroad to learn about our religion in English, so that they don’t feel that it is easier to understand and associate with Christianity, as Nikki has claimed in one of her videos on Youtube.

Let us take leave from judgement and congratulate her for her achievements as Governor and now UN Ambassador. She is the product of our community.

With regards to all,

Sukhraj Singh Dhillon, USA -- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

April 26, 2018 --Piare Sukhraj Singh Ji, there are good and devout people as well as fanatical people and those preoccupied with rituals in all faiths. You and others, Sikh and non-Sikh, are free to admire Nikki Haley, and those of us with major concerns about her, have the right to continue to express our reservations about her and her “guiding light” - Donald Trump.

People change religions from that which they are born into – I did that, and I remain proud of my parents' devotion to their Christianity just as Nikki Haley remains proud of her parents' Sikhism. I continue to use my Dad's surname, “Tarney”, because I have always thought highly of him and my paternal grandfather. You want to congratulate Nikki Haley for her achievements – continue to do so! I assure you, many of us are more disturbed by her ultra-conservative ideology and policies than her conversion to Christianity.

Also, remember, once upon a time, she was very much opposed to Donald Trump, what changed for her? The prevailing winds blew in Trump's favor and she chose to set sail with him!

Evangelical Christians love conversion stories and have, for example, financially rewarded many Muslims who have, 1.) converted to the Christian faith and, 2.) most importantly, have denigrated Islam. Such converts often go on lucrative speaking tours!

Allow me to share a personal and very hurtful story from what was supposed to be a friendly, upbeat interfaith gathering. At the end of this meeting, an evangelical pastor came up to me smiling and shook my hand, but placed a miniature New Testament in my hand saying, “Please read this and learn about Jesus, the only true God and Savior!” I was more distressed than offended, and, yes, was tempted to immediately give the book back, but took it home and eventually gave it to a Christian friend. This pastor is a person whose support Nikki Haley needs and seeks to remain influential. I am fully aware of my own shortcomings. I am a Sikh not a saint!

There are times when we must speak out regarding injustices and hypocrisy. Nikki Haley has no trouble working for a president whose refrain of “Fake News” is used by dictators around the world to justify the suppression of democracy and freedom of the press. America has always had a very different message!

I have enormous respect for Baba Farid. However, if we always adhered to, "Farida jo tai maran muki an tinha na mare ghumm. Apnarai ghar ja i ai pair ttinha de chumm," would we Sikhs have survived to this day?

Respectfully submitted,

Fatehpal Singh Tarney -- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

April 27, 2018 --Piare Sukhraj Singh Ji, let me set the record straight in a number of ways. 1.) I am a registered Republican, but a Never-Trump Republican. I was also a Never-Hillary person! 2.) Donald Trump won thanks to Hillary-haters – not Trump-lovers. He is a narcissistic vulgarian preoccupied with his own wealth and power. You give him too much credit for the economy, low unemployment, and lower crimes rates - like Trump himself, who takes credit for everything positive and denies any complicity in anything negative.

You write, “This is not [a] political forum...” Politics and social matters are relevant in this discussion group given our Sikh tradition of Miri-Piri – the close relationship of the temporal and spiritual components of human life.

I supported John Kasich of Ohio in the primaries although I disagreed with some of his positions. As president he would have behaved with great dignity and worked in a bipartisan way. It has been said of Trump that when you elect a clown; you get a circus – I tend to agree! I continue to maintain that Nikki Haley is two things: she is window dressing for Trump: a woman; a minority, and a person who once opposed him, which shows how magnanimous he can be – in other words, he is not always vengeful.

Beyond that, she reflects all his views and policies: 1.) the UN should be America's foreign policy instrument because we pay more money into it than other countries and 2.) how dare other nations question any of our decisions! We will remember those nations and eventually punish them! I reiterate that I am glad that Nikki Haley remains proud of her Punjabi heritage and Sikh parents. She is free to attend and worship at Sikh Gurdwaras even though she is a Methodist Christian as is my wife.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that people who oppose Trump are in favor of open borders, illegal immigration, and those who exploit welfare programs. You seem to live in the Fox News bubble, you should branch out and not merely to Breitbart and Sinclair!

Fatehpal Singh Tarney -- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

April 28, 2018 -- Piare Sukhraj Singh Ji, Nikki Haley was free to become a Methodist just as my wife is free to remain a Methodist and yet worship with me at our Gurdwara Sahib. Nikki Haley is an ambitious politician taking advantage of a high-profile position, UN Ambassador, and using it as a springboard to higher political office. There are, of course, Sikhs in India and other parts of the world who are equally ambitious.

What concerns me about Nikki Haley is her willingness to subjugate traditional American values, including basic diplomatic civility, in order to stay of the good side of Donald Trump. Threatening other UN members with retaliation for simply questioning U.S. positions is pleasing to Trump, but disturbing to many good people of conscience. She did not have to take a post under this unpredictable president, but she did. Many Sikhs approve of her because they are sure that she'll never be “anti-Sikh.” However, there are many non-Sikhs who will never be “anti-Sikh.”

Believe me, I do not relish harsh exchanges with anyone – least of all fellow Sikhs. You sing the praises of Donald Trump which troubles me greatly. Even though you do not listen to it, you sound very much like the talking points one gets on a daily basis from Fox News.

Have you no concern for a man who gives himself an “A+' for his presidency when some of his closest associates have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI? Who denies climate change and claims it is a Chinese hoax? Has had record-breaking turnover in his administration? Who has stated there were “good people” among the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis demonstrating in Charlottesville, Virginia? Has said blatantly racist things about Muslims and Hispanics? Wants a military parade – not to respect our troops, but to outdo what he observed in France at Bastille Day – a parade that might cost anywhere between 20 and 30 million dollars? Money that would be better spent helping the over 40 thousand homeless veterans in the country. He has given high positions to family and friends and is shameless enough to say that his son-in-law – a young real estate person – suddenly is an expert on Middle East peace! I could go on.

Anyone who questions any of Trump's words or actions receives nasty and threatening responses. This is authoritarianism and not American. Like authoritarian leaders everywhere he spends much of his time at rallies in front of carefully selected, adoring fans who feed his colossal ego. Our greatest presidents were not like this.

Let me end this with something very personal. I fought and bled for my country in Vietnam and still suffer from post-traumatic stress issues: nightmares, flashbacks, irritability, anger, depression, etc. Moreover, I still have throat problems due to Agent Orange exposure. My Sikh faith has been my unwavering support.

Trump, on the other hand, avoided military service during the Vietnam War on account of alleged bone spurs which never impeded his golf game. He led an extravagant playboy lifestyle in New York City, while others died in war, but now wants us all to believe he is the super-patriot. You are free to accept this – I do not!  

Fatehpal Singh Tarney -- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Duality Optics: Why Sikh Women Don't Wear Turban.

Back To Beginning

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By SS Ranbir Singh Bhai


Ranbir Singh Bhai

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

April 29, 2018 -- Dear Fatehpal Singh, I utterly agree with your rational, facts and point of views. Thank you for voicing your disappointments.

Since November, life is a miserable experience while listening to a imbecile. I do try to listen but then my mind starts to develop acute form of rational retardation.

As to Punjabi culture, my experiences with men and women of such culture are, are of very strong beliefs and unquestionable personal positions which rather be mired with superstitions than to self-pondering inquest.

Most Punjabis rather pontificate to others, than to question their own beliefs and then educate others, I mean educate others, which is quite obviously tribalistic in nature and lends to your commentary how you see things as a Native American and proud to embrace applied Sikh values not the theoretical precepts.

Keep up,

Ranbir Bhai, Beverly Hills-- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

May 1, 2018 --In this post I am responding to various comments, pro and con, made by others. I admit to having a particular axe to grind regarding Donald Trump and his subordinates given my military service in Vietnam. I repeat that religion and politics are volatile topics that often intersect.

I have mixed feelings about how my www.sikhchic.com column on Nikki Haley has generated so much feedback – both favorable and unfavorable. I agree with the opinion that she is not a practicing Sikh, but I question the idea that she is a successful politician simply because she has attained high governmental positions. She has accused, for example, the UN of “bullying Israel” through the years, but she, in turn, bullies the UN by her threats to punish those member states who oppose American policies there! Is this in the spirit of the UN charter? She does what Trump wants her to do and if she were do otherwise, she would not be UN ambassador for long.

I always thought that humility was a Sikh virtue. Trump is the antithesis of humility! It is true that non-Christians in India during the British Raj converted to Christianity for educational opportunities and economic advantages, but others kept true to their original faiths and still did well in Christian schools. Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley probably had a combination of political and spiritual motivations in their conversions to Christian faiths.

Allow me to continue exerting my First Amendment right to free speech by the following. I am sure that Nikki Haley is as proud of Sikh military traditions and history as are the rest of us. I think of the Battles of Chamkaur and Muktsar against the Mughals and Saragarhi against the Pathans and Afridis where we Sikhs were heavily outnumbered. Think of all the Sikhs who went off to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe to fight with the British in two world wars.

When Anandpur was under siege in 1704 by the Mughals and the forces of the hill chiefs, certain Sikhs wanted to give up and return home. Guru Gobind Singh Ji told them that were they to depart, they were no longer Sikhs in the Khalsa. He required them to sign a disclaimer to that effect. Only forty put their thumbs on the disclaimer. When they reached their homes, they were shamed by the women of their villages. A very courageous and devout Sikh lady, Mai Bhago, motivated the women to continue to chastise these deserters. She put one men's clothing and led these once disgraced men back into battle at Muktsar.

Let us also remember all the Sikh soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought in the wars with Pakistan or participated in UN peacekeeping forces. There are also Sikhs serving in the armed forces of many nations other than India including the United States.

I would like to ask Nikki Haley how many Sikhs through the centuries does she think avoided military service on account of very minor ailments? Her patron, Donald Trump, avoided military service due to bone spurs, in a war in which over 58 thousand of her fellow Americans died. I know Vietnam veterans who lost vision, limbs and have other handicaps resulting from combat in a war in which Donald Trump did not serve. Yet, he has made fun of a disabled reporter. What does she think of this?

I have a theory, and I have a right to it, that Trump thinks that leaving the Democratic Party and abandoning his liberal views and becoming an ultra-right wing conservative makes up for his avoidance of military service in a time of war. His supporters ignore or defend any and all of his behaviors. Moreover, he claims that anyone who criticizes him is in favor of illegal immigration; a weak military; open borders; high crime; high taxes, and high unemployment. This is nonsense!

I end this post by stating that I remain good friends with a number of fellow Sikhs who admire Nikki Haley and hope for even high political office for her.

Fatehpal Singh Tarney-- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By Fatehpal Singh Tarney


Fatehpal Singh Tarney

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

May 1, 2018 --Piare Jaidev Singh Ji,

I am glad you made reference to the evangelicals. I do not want to be the only Sikh who does so. There are many folktales within the Christian tradition referring to pacts between people and Satan, or lesser demons, in exchange for things like wealth, fame, and power. In Western literature this is known as the “Faustian bargain,” where morality, spiritual values, and civility are sacrificed in the interest of riches, high status, and influence. Gurbani teaches us that these are all materialistic, sinful urges that make one forget God. Faust was a character in German folklore who surrenders his soul in exchange for magical powers giving him access to the material things of the world.

The Christian evangelicals who ignore Trump's crude language, behavior and misdeeds – past and present - are a case in point. The positive economic things that Trump/Haley supporters call our attention to are not necessarily the result of Trump actions. The notion that Trump really cares about ordinary people is unconvincing to me.

The story of Christmas is about a family in the Middle East [Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus] seeking refuge. Does this story have any contemporary applications in either the Middle East or Mexico for all the so-called devout evangelical supporters of Donald Trump? I think not!

Fatehpal Singh Tarney-- Read on.

See Gurdwara Watchdogs. See Why There Are So Few Converts To Sikhism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By Rabinder Singh Bhamra

Re: Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Kaur Randhawa Haley: Trump 2.0

May 3, 2018 --Gur Fateh!

There are so many letters about Nikki Haley in the last few days about her religious affiliation. All i know is that she belongs to turbaned Sikh family and occupied head of state of South Carolina. she is married to an American Christian but from the family background she hails from a Sikh family and understands Sikhism very well. She is a Sikh sympathizer. She is doing a very good job as America' s U.N Ambassador. Her oratory is very strong, influential and in good American English. She is doing an excellent job there as an ambassador. I feel proud to have her there.

I do not know whether she converted to Christianity or not. But how many Sikhs are married to American ladies and how many Sikhs are clean shaven Sikhs in this country? So please stop looking at her from that angle. She is working as a politician and not a preacher in a Gurdwara.

Rabinder Singh Bhamra, Westbury, NY

My Sikh Sense
By SS Ranbir Singh Bhai


Ranbir Singh Bhai

Re: Why there are so few converts to Sikhism

Dearly respected and loving brother - Fatehpal Singh.

As you may notice I never address any one with such respect at GLZ.

You deserve my respect due to your own commitment to Sikhi and commitment to your own deep introspection. I salute you.

Punjabi Sikhs are arrogant and feel entitled. These characteristics are very anti-Guru and anti-Sikh teachings within Sikh scriptures.

As you can see the ongoing GLZ dialogues verify my observations.

White Sikhs from the West, whom I have known for some 47 years, are numb to their limited rituals and arrogance of being Sikh instead of living Sikh.

Both groups are now in utter decline. They should be. Sikh practice is very confining when a Sikh does not daily embrace his Guru as in Guru Granth Sahib message - You are Me.

White and brown Sikhs are accustomed to their own survival instincts, which are Compete and Compare. This attitude is based on 100% judgement and 0% trust in the Guru. This judgement is characteristic of the Punjabi culture. We thrive on it. We compete. We compare. We boast. We embellish our history, which we actually don’t know, and don’t care. We belittle each other using false narratives of our degrees and status at the expense of other's self-respect and self-esteem.

No wonder Sikhs are walking targets today. They will be in the future unless our next generations stop dealing with the old generations, which is useless and redundant in the 21st century.

White Sikhs are also declining. Their offspring are aimless and directionless. Their parents are ignorant of Punjabi culture and it’s nuances. Society today demands that you must clearly project your identity with merit  and excellence. White Sikhs have fallen to the wayside after the passing of Yogi Bhajan.

White Sikhs, from my advantage point, are very similar to Punjabi Sikhs - arrogant about their decision to become Sikhs and looking like Sikhs instead of living as Sikhs. They are unable to transfer their legacy to their children. Most are stuck in a time warp. But their children have options. One is obvious. Not to look like a Sikh and for the most part not to be a Sikh. They have opted for being just good and fair human beings. They have chosen the best option: denounce their adopted Sikh faith; forget their parent's Judaism and Christianity; and finally - move on to practice Yoga as exercise and live for joy and satisfaction. Now there is a new business paradigm - teaching Yoga!

The sophistication of Sikh values, the depth and spirit of Sikh sacrifices are unknown to most Sikhs especially to the academics and their bookish arrogance. It shows in their ignorance during their intellectual discussions. It’s very sad for me to read and see. It extinguishes my adherence to my deeper values when I listen to Sikh academicians.

My Brother - Guru lives within you and me. We don’t need a congregation of the ignorant and arrogant. Sikh Gurus and Bhagats in scripture admonish such behavior including those who are Sikhs.

This is America. The only great country on this planet. I am so happy that I am not among my own. Instead I am among all God’s beings, and daily experience the human spirit. Nowadays strangers give me more wisdom and respect than friends or people known for lifetime.

Also, don’t listen to people over 50 years old. They are on the verge of becoming obsolete. They are set in their ways and their ways and thinking are becoming obsolete.

Today - the smartphone is a friend, a Guru, a sex partner, an entertainer, a business partner, a communicator with people called family and friends. Smartphone stays close to you and remains in your pocket. Friends and family don’t, and cannot.

World has changed. We need a changed perspective.

Please travel on your journey alone. You are doing well. I enjoy your narratives.

I’m still Ranbir Bhai in Beverly Hills - sitting near a beautiful fountain with a strong cup of dark coffee from Guatemala. It’s going to be a wonderful day in Beverly Hills. I will watch people all day long. I will be served. I am. You are. We are.

Ranbir Bhai -- Read on.

Back To Beginning

See Cultural Appropriation.

See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By Nirmal Singh


Nirmal Singh

Re Why there are so few converts to Sikhism

We have been treated to two very interesting perspectives on Western Converts to Sikhi by Fateh Singh ji and Ranbir Singh ji.

Both are very thoughtful persons with deep commitment to the Guru and their insights should help us all get a better understanding of the difficulties that the converted Sikhs face, not only to get integrated with the mainstream but also relating to continued nurturing of their quest and its facilitating its transmission.

If we look at the experience with and of the Eastern Sikhs, Deccani Sikhs, Mazhabi Sikhs and Sikligar Sikhs, etc., we would find a lot common with the issues mentioned by Fateh Singh ji and Ranbir Singh ji.

That should tell us something and my hope is we do not just look past it.

Respectfully,

Nirmal Singh, Camp New Delh i -- Read on.

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By Anonymous Kaur

Re: Why there are so few converts to Sikhism

This is an interesting topic. It has never been a matter of joining for me, it's a matter of how we live our lives according to Sikhism. There are many, many, many of us, and more coming.

Sikhism has touched the world in a very special way. Perhaps we all need to be one in spirit and quit judging the younger generation and just live as great examples. There is so much to offer each other and so much service to be done around the world. That is something young people can relate to. That is something to be proud of.

I am an American Sikh. I read someone saying that many left after the passing of Yogi Bhajan. Really? No, it's just nonsense and perhaps some wishful thinking. Our Sangat has doubled in size and most of the Sangat is now young people and couples who have 3 or 4 children. I travel all over the U.S. teaching and speaking and I find this everywhere. We are growing and will continue to grow, forever. That is the story of Sikhs. When anyone falls ten more will come in his place.

Many of our Sangats are now mixed both American and Punjabi Sikhs, young people included, and the new Phoenix Gurdwara, has now tripled in size. Construction is completed. All are welcome.

Our values and our lives are precious as Sikhs, and our daily ever-flourishing relationship with our Siri Guru Granth Sahib grows strong. We love our lives and are gratefully feeling the sacredness of how we live as Sikhs. There is no debate for us, we are strong in who we are and proud of our Sikh heritage.

No need for any negative dialogue, thank you. Just appreciating Sikhi and all the beautiful and faithful Sikhs all over the world.

Anonymous Kaur -- Read on.

My Sikh Sense
By MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa


Hari Singh Bird Khalsa

Re: Why there are so few converts to Sikhism*

Sat Nam. Anonymous Kaur apparently sees the world through white eyes, as opposed to colored eyes, given her fluffy, Trump-like commentary. She is unrealistic and naive when you consider that out of all the Caucasian families native to the 3HO/SDI Sikh Sangat after 48 years there is only one African American family. To this day, no one has attempted to answer or even to engage in discourse regarding the above questions.

For all her flowery rhetoric, it's interesting that Anonymous Kaur chose not to use her name or her location. Perhaps, next time, Anonymous Kaur will share with us her identity.

*Again, Sikhs do not convert, they transform. Use of the term convert especially in relation to latter day Sikhs is inaccurate. One does not simply convert to or adopt another spiritual path. Those who choose Dharma, i.e., adherence to a righteous duty or path, which is fulfilled by the observance of custom or law with conformity and commitment to one's righteous duty and nature, as in Sikh Dharma, experience a true transition, a real transformation of consciousness.

Here are a couple more questions in need of answers/discussions.

.) Did Guru Gobind Singh direct men AND women to tie turban?

.) Why don't Sikh women tie turban?

Given the positive and growing public awareness of Sikhs,
Sikh women manifestly express their parity with men when
they tie turban, thereby advocating gender equality. Without
the turban the perception persists that Kaurs are not true Sikhs.
Singhs are perceived to be the genuine, even dominant gender.
Women wearing the turban makes gender equality more apparent.

Sikh women make a powerful statement about gender equality
when they tie turban. It is a graceful and effective way of putting Sikhs
and other communities on notice. It says, "We are who we are in support
of everyone's human rights irrespective of gender." -- DualityOptics.com

MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa -- Read on.

*See Definition of Tribalism.

Back To Beginning

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first

My Sikh Sense
By Dr. Arjan Kaur Khalsa


Arjan Kaur Khalsa

My Story
Going behind the turban.

My local clients know me pretty well, they know about my spiritual practice, and we share our spiritual practice philosophies regularly.  But, most of you don’t really know who I am or what the turban means to me.

I’ve read some really sweet comments by many of you about my turban and thensome… ahem, not-so-nice comments from people.  So, today I’m giving you an insider’s look into ‘the turban’ and my spiritual practice, for those of you who are curious.

I am a Sikh. This is my spiritual path, and this has been a huge part of my life since I was 22 years old.

I grew up in a non-denominational, awesome family in the heart of the south in the U.S. My Dad has always been the type to look at ‘The One Universal Spirit’ that is contained in all beings and lives inside all of us.

By the time I was 21, I had already spent several years partying with my friends, playing pool, going to bars, frequenting Dave Matthews concerts (they got their start in Athens, GA, where I went to school, so I was at fraternity parties where they were performing for 50 people… awesome for me!), and going to college football games. At 22 years of age, I realized that I was done with all of this and looking for ‘more’.

All of the media and our culture dictated that what I was doing was supposed to make me happy. However, at the end of the day, I felt sad, empty, and lonely. I knew that what I had been doing for the past 6 years was not going to fulfill me for the next few decades and that there had to be something else out there to help me feel self-fulfilled, happy and joyful.

Enter a Kundalini Yoga student into the Pier 1, home store where I was working during Chiropractic school. To make a long story short, I was in love with this lifestyle at ‘Hello’. Kundalini Yoga and the Sikh spiritual path fulfilled this longing that I was experiencing.

The practice of it, for me, includes ‘Bana‘, which is a way of dressing so that we actually stand out and are recognizable (like a uniform for doctor or police), and those around us, remember that ‘Universal Oneness’ that lives in all of us. ‘Bana’ includes wearing a turban, which hundreds of years ago in India was typically only worn by royalty (so it’s like a crown!). The practice of wearing a turban by the Sikhs was also way of equalizing the people during a time of inequality and divisive caste system. (See More.)

When wearing a turban, we cover our crown chakra, which is an energy center located at the top of our head. Additionally, I don’t cut my hair, and I tie it up at this crown center. Energetically speaking, this helps to pull the Sun energy down and into the Crown energy center. The turban helps to keep the energy contained.

As for myself, my spiritual practice includes Kundalini Yoga, meditation, eating foods that help me to stay connected to that ‘Universal Oneness’, and living a conscious lifestyle that cares for my body, mind and spirit and helping to uplift those around me, if it's in my power (in Sikhism, this is called ‘Seva’ or ‘Selfless Service’).

I love and value ALL Spiritual Practices and appreciate all people who are conscious and loving and work toward making the world a better place for all.

Thank you so much for taking the time to find out more about me. I thought it may help some people in understanding who I am and why I look different.

My challenge to you today: Is there is someone in your community who looks different than what you are used to? This may include someone with a different religion or culture, someone from another country that you’re not familiar with, or someone with a disability or disfigurement. If so, I encourage you to take the time to ask them about who they are and what their life is like. Most people are just ‘normal’ people and like the same things you do… love, community, peace, and friendship.

Find the things that you have in common and enjoy those. I know that I always appreciate when people come up to talk with me out of curiosity, innocence and the intention of learning and understanding. -- Source. Read on.

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.

My Sikh Sense
By MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa


Hari Singh Bird Khalsa

What follows is an interesting article regarding the presence of tribalism in today's politics.

Democracy: We must use it or lose it.

I urge you to get out and vote.

MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa --

POLITICAL TRIBES
Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations
by Amy Chua, Yale Law School Professor


Amy Chua

Excerpt

Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most – the ones that people will kill and die for – are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based. But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles – Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the “Free World” vs. the “Axis of Evil” – we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics. Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy.

In the Vietnam War, viewing the conflict through Cold War blinders, we never saw that most of Vietnam’s “capitalists” were members of the hated Chinese minority. Every pro-free-market move we made helped turn the Vietnamese people against us. In Iraq, we were stunningly dismissive of the hatred between that country’s Sunnis and Shias. If we want to get our foreign policy right – so as to not be perpetually caught off guard and fighting unwinnable wars – the United States has to come to grips with political tribalism abroad.

Just as Washington’s foreign policy establishment has been blind to the power of tribal politics outside the country, so too have American political elites been oblivious to the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans – and that are tearing the United States apart. As the stunning rise of Donald Trump laid bare, identity politics have seized both the American left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way.

In America today, every group feels threatened: whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, liberals and conservatives, and so on. There is a pervasive sense of collective persecution and discrimination. On the left, this has given rise to increasingly radical and exclusionary rhetoric of privilege and cultural appropriation. On the right, it has fueled a disturbing rise in xenophobia and white nationalism. -- Read on.

See White Eyes. See A Liberal Defense of Tribalism. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban?

Back To Beginning

My Sikh Sense
By MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa


Hari Singh Bird Khalsa

Lifetime Achievement Award Received

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa! Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Sat Nam. On February 19th, 2018, one week before my 79th birthday on February 27th, I received an unexpected and exquisite gift of a Khalsa Kirpan, Model WL 18, the model with the Mother of Pearl/Silver handle and scabbard, which I immediately placed on my altar as God's blessing. Turns out this magnificent kirpan and carrying case was gifted to me by two long-time Sikh minister brothers, SS Jot Singh Khalsa, Milllis, MA, and SS Ram Dhan Singh Khalsa, Grand Junction, CO. Thank you, Jot Singh Ji, and Ram Dhan Singh Ji!

Khalsa Kirpan
Model WL18


The plaque inscription reads:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa
by SS Jot Singh Khalsa and SS Ram Dhan Singh Khalsa
In appreciation for outstanding service, this 19th day of February 2018.

BTW: Kirpan (keer pahn) literally means ‘hand of mercy’. It is a Punjabi (Indian) word for ‘knife’ or ‘dagger’, which connotes our philosophy of respect for the martial arts and weaponry, not as instruments of aggression, but as a means of defending the innocent and defenseless.

MSS Hari Singh Bird Khalsa --

Click here to add your thoughts. Read me first.



Pages And Points To Ponder

See Turban Is Bana. See DualityOptics.com. See The Essence of Kaur. See The Turban Is A Bigot Detector. See BroadPoints.com. See But Where Are The Women? See The Role And Status of Sikh Women. See U.S. Sikhs Want Women To Sing At Golden Temple. See Bibi Kiranjot Kaur On Women's Rights. See A Muslim Woman Teaches Kirtan. See Women Are Not Allowed To Play Kirtan. See Sikhism And Homosexuality. See Why Do You Not See Any Sikh Women? See Sikh Identity Is For Men Only. See When Will Sikh Men Stand Up. See Sikh Women's Issues. See Women And The Sikh Religion. See My Response To The Sikh Minister Survey. See How To Make Yoga Classes LGBT Friendly. See Punjabi Sikh Optics Do Matter. See What's With Sikhs And Gender Equality? See Circumstance. See The Woman Pope. See Women Are Much More Than This. See The Question of Authority Within Sikhism. See Should Mixed Faith Marriage In Sikh Temples Be Banned? See Balvinder Kaur Saund. See Maharani Jind Kaur: Saint Soldier. See Sudha Kaur Chopra On Gurdwara Security. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? See Life According To Hari Nam Kaur. See I Fight Like A Girl. See Dastaar For Sikh Women. See The Turban Is A Crown. See The Essence of Kaur. See Life According To Joan Baez. See Menstruation From A Woman's Perspective. See Granny Stops Burglar. See Life According To Andrea Mitchell. See 'Sikh' And Ye Shall Find. See The Story Behind My Turban. See We Are We, We Are One. See SikhsShine.com. See Women Wimps Or Warriors. See Women Warriors. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh. See Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar. See Amazon Women. See How The Marines Transform Me Into We. See Life According To Hoda Katebi. See Memories of Khalsa Women's Rifle Drill Team.





3HO Legacy Links

Moments, Memories and Missives

Early History Jot Singh Khalsa
Legacy Docs Singh Kaur Khalsa
Legacy Photos Shanti Kaur Khalsa
Legacy Photos II Kirpal Singh Khalsa
Legacy Photos III Amarjit Singh Khalsa
Legacy Photos IV Gurujot Singh Khalsa
Soul Singh Khalsa Siri Atma Kaur Khalsa
Yogi Bhajan Profile
Sat Jivan Singh Khalsa
Library of Teachings Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Ravitej Singh Khalsa Gurudass Singh Khalsa
Letters And Lessons Sat Bachan Kaur Khalsa
First Solstice Sadhana Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa
Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa Christmas In New Mexico
Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Profile Solstice Sadhana Security
Ganga Bhajan Kaur Khalsa SatHanuman Singh Khalsa
Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa
Bhai Sahib Dayal Singh Khalsa
Solstice Sadhana Celebration Solstice Sadhana Gurdwara Security

See more at 3HOLegacyLinks.com.

Memories to share? Register here.

Pages And Points To Ponder

MySikhSense.com

                                          

                                 

More Pages And Points To Ponder

Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.
See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.
See More Diversity Dialogues. See Institutionalized Racism.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?

See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.

See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.
See What White People Need To Know.

See Americans Need To Pay Attention.
See What's Wrong With This Picture?
See A Case Of Unjust Enrichment.
See What Tribalism Looks Like.
See Guidelines For Facilitators.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See KRI Needs To Go To Jail.
See Jon Stewart On Racism.
See The Ubuntu Philosophy.
See TheMahanTantric.com.
See Example of Tribalism.

See ACT For Diversity.
See Comments Con.
See Comments Pro.

See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Definitions.
See Questions.



3HO

ACT

Akal

Forum

Profiles

Yogi Tea

Sadhana

About Hair

Sikhs Shine

Solstice Diet

Stretch Pose

First Solstice

Chardee Kala

Solstice Rules

My Real Name

Early 3HO Photos

Later 3HO Photos

Obama43To1.com

The SikhNet Story

Our Family Photos

Before 3HO Photos

Diversity Dialogues

Letters and Lessons

Yogi Bhajan's Teacher

All for One Won for All

Summer Solstice 1973

To Serve Is To Succeed

For The People of Color

Christmas In New Mexico

Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa

The Essence ... You Are IT

Yogi Bhajan's First Student

Ma Bhagavati...in Memoriam

The Grace of God Meditation

Jot Singh's Early 3HO History

Advisory To 3HO/Sikh Dharma

This Is What Racism Looks Like

Awtar Singh's Early 3HO History

Kirpal Singh's Early 3HO History

The Songs of Livtar Singh Khalsa

The Solstice Sadhana Experience

A Gallery of 3HO Legacy Teachers

An African American Critiques 3HO

Rise Up Rise Up Sweet Family Dear

Hari Jiwan Singh's Early 3HO History

The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings

Guru Fatha Singh's Early 3HO History

Sat Santokh Singh's Early 3HO History

The Ubuntu Age - All for One, Won for All

Guru Singh's History of Summer Solstice

What Happens When We Fight Over Race

The Sikh Who Changed Modern-Day India

The 1974 Transition of Bhai Sahib Dyal Singh

Remembering Sat Nam The Grace Within You

More Video Stories of The Master Yogi Bhajan

Ending The Age of Me - Beginning The Age of We

MySikhSense.com
© All rights reserved.

 

 

ABOUT US       CONTACT US       DISCLAIMER       HOME PAGE       NEWS AND VIEWS       SEARCH       SIKH AND YE SHALL FIND