Relating Sikhi

A while back I remember someone posing the question, Can you be a good person without being part of a religion? What an excellent question! While recently talking to a government official about allowing Sikhs to work in his agency with our Sikh articles of faith, he told me that he always felt judged by people of faith for not self-indentifying with a religion. What an interesting situation!

Now, I am neither a theological expert nor a saint-I would identify as a Sikh who is a work in-progress with many moments of procrastination. However, in both situations, the bottom-line for me is the power of Waheguru. Of course, a person can be good without being part of a religion. However, in my opinion, the difference between being an atheist and a good person vs. aspiring to be a good person and being a Sikh is that as Sikhs, we should attribute our goodness to something higher and more powerful than us-Waheguru. An atheist can attribute his/her goodness to himself/herself, which from my perspective can become a very selfish act that feeds ego.

My response to the government official was that the aim of a Sikh is not to judge the level of goodness in any person, but to focus on identifying his/her good characteristics. For Sikhs, those good characteristics are the sources of Wahegurus existence in each person. However, our existence in this world often feeds our ego, lust, greed, attachment, and anger which prevents us from seeing the good in others. Thus, the goal of Sikhs is not to judge someone else, but to be in control of these five vices so we can see the good in others and identify with Waheguru. And, taan-tah-dah, he should allow Sikhs to work in his agency with our articles of faith because we would not judge him. :-) (Of course, I did not say that to him.)

While thinking about these experiences, I started to realize how as Sikhs we have become very judgmental and selfish. Is it because we are more likely to have a stronger political and cultural affiliation with Sikhi than a spiritual one? Then how can we identify as Sikhs when the fundamental premise of Sikhi is how we relate with each other?


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13 Responses to “Relating Sikhi”

  1. jasvinder says:

    very true..we need to get rid of ego and see beyond it, and stop judging people based on the labels..and the goodness that comes from being a religious person is filled with humility is of a different kind to being a atheist. But we need to check our self what kind of religious persons are we, are we just following the religion or do we understand the teachings and apply them?

  2. jasvinder says:

    very true..we need to get rid of ego and see beyond it, and stop judging people based on the labels..and the goodness that comes from being a religious person is filled with humility is of a different kind to being a atheist. But we need to check our self what kind of religious persons are we, are we just following the religion or do we understand the teachings and apply them?

  3. Randep says:

    "While thinking about these experiences, I started to realize how as Sikhs we have become very judgmental and selfish."

    Isn't _judging_ exactly what you are doing here?

  4. Randep says:

    "While thinking about these experiences, I started to realize how as Sikhs we have become very judgmental and selfish."

    Isn't _judging_ exactly what you are doing here?

  5. bhai says:

    I think Gurubani as a philosophy has so many aspects that similar to Buddhism one could practice Sikhi in many contexts, while noting the importance of sangat (our sangha in Buddhism). Sikhism is also an ethnicoreligious identity with everything that means, and in this means and here we have sometimes a feeling of vulnerability that gets in the way

  6. bhai says:

    I think Gurubani as a philosophy has so many aspects that similar to Buddhism one could practice Sikhi in many contexts, while noting the importance of sangat (our sangha in Buddhism). Sikhism is also an ethnicoreligious identity with everything that means, and in this means and here we have sometimes a feeling of vulnerability that gets in the way

  7. JODH says:

    "An atheist can attribute his/her goodness to himself/herself, which from my perspective can become a very selfish act that feeds ego."

    I completely disagree without your perspective. I am born sikh but turned atheist by experience. I know a few of my atheist friends who very humble.

  8. JODH says:

    "An atheist can attribute his/her goodness to himself/herself, which from my perspective can become a very selfish act that feeds ego."

    I completely disagree without your perspective. I am born sikh but turned atheist by experience. I know a few of my atheist friends who very humble.

  9. Harinder says:

    SIKHI is a universal religion and has some unique philosophy :-

    1) Most Religions preach welfare of their co-religionist but SIKHS talks of universal Good.

    2) Sikhs can worship other GODS and still be a SIKH.

    3) It has both evolution and creator concept incorporated in its belief by the fact that a SIKHS is suppose to be a learner ( (evolutionary trait) and simultaneously SIKH is suppose to respect the way nature ( GOD ) created him eg Kesh (creator trait )

  10. Harinder says:

    SIKHI is a universal religion and has some unique philosophy :-

    1) Most Religions preach welfare of their co-religionist but SIKHS talks of universal Good.

    2) Sikhs can worship other GODS and still be a SIKH.

    3) It has both evolution and creator concept incorporated in its belief by the fact that a SIKHS is suppose to be a learner ( (evolutionary trait) and simultaneously SIKH is suppose to respect the way nature ( GOD ) created him eg Kesh (creator trait )

  11. bhai says:

    I think in relating Sikhi there is also the concept of translating Sikhi.

    For example one way of translating Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh can be translated, as an attempt;
    Ineffable provider of enlightenment in whose manifest commitment those are without flaw, they realize the experience of realized transcendent justice and calm.

    The vast meaning of phrases in Gurubani and the context in which they are manifest is profound, and when we talk about relating Sikhi, this is what can be related. So much more complex than translations which without context can simpilfy and obscure meanings.

  12. bhai says:

    I think in relating Sikhi there is also the concept of translating Sikhi.

    For example one way of translating Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh can be translated, as an attempt;
    Ineffable provider of enlightenment in whose manifest commitment those are without flaw, they realize the experience of realized transcendent justice and calm.

    The vast meaning of phrases in Gurubani and the context in which they are manifest is profound, and when we talk about relating Sikhi, this is what can be related. So much more complex than translations which without context can simpilfy and obscure meanings.

  13. This is really good that a person have the questions and they ask about the different things. It is very important that all of the people should try to become nice person.