Sikh narcissism the root of Violence in Austria

Over at Huffington Post, a lovely reflection on “The Cancer of Religious Narcissism” appeared recently. It’s point of orientation was the violence amongst Austrian Sikhs. The focus however, was on how religious narcissism is often the cause of such religious violence- when the slightest doctrinal difference leads to bloodshed… not only amongst Sikhs, but also amongst other faith communities. For example, in 2008, Greek and Armenian priests and worshippers exchanged blows at one of Christianity’s holiest shrines.

Catholics all over Europe have killed Protestants by the thousands and slaughtered their children, and Protestants have done the same. The Crusaders mounted genocidal attacks on Arabs and Jews. Modern efforts to win over moderates in Afghanistan are consistently sabotaged by fundamentalist military chaplains who tell our troops they’re fighting Satan and should be murdering anyone they can’t convert.

Precisely what the Imams are telling the Taliban. For homicidal proclivities seem endemic to most of the world’s major religions. Hindus and Muslims slaughter each other, as do Israelis and Palestinians, Sunnis and Shiites. And the Bible is filled with genocide, supposedly ordered by God. Why is this so?

The author’s’ answer: most organized religions are based on systems of belief. And we all want to believe our own tales are fact.

Every religion is trying to create a consensual reality. That is to say, the more people you can get to believe your legend, the easier it is for you to take it as fact. If everyone around you believes something, it’s actually difficult not to believe it yourself. In the famous Asch experiment, in which the deliberate lies of seven stooges convinced most experimental subjects to deny the evidence of their own senses, only one of the seven stooges needed to give the correct reading for the nave subject to feel able to buck the tide. This is why fundamentalist cults always isolate themselves — to eliminate the possibility of a contrary view.

We fight to prevent our legends from being disrespected, disagreed with, to assert our version of facts as truth. But wait. Our faith isn’t rooted in legend. Our Guru is poetry, to be experienced.

There are differences in practices, but as another blogger said it best- we can celebrate diversity.

Check out the entire article.


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16 Responses to “Sikh narcissism the root of Violence in Austria”

  1. an Indian Sikh says:

    “The authors answer: most organized religions are based on systems of belief. And we all want to believe our own tales are fact.”

    “But wait. Our faith isnt rooted in legend. Our Guru is poetry, to be experienced.”

    Amazing how the author has got it absolutely right.

    Thankfully though,
    “There are differences in practices, but as another blogger said it best- we can celebrate diversity.”

  2. an Indian Sikh says:

    “The authors answer: most organized religions are based on systems of belief. And we all want to believe our own tales are fact.”

    “But wait. Our faith isnt rooted in legend. Our Guru is poetry, to be experienced.”

    Amazing how the author has got it absolutely right.

    Thankfully though,
    “There are differences in practices, but as another blogger said it best- we can celebrate diversity.”

  3. Harinder says:

    Yes SIKHS being a modern religion does not have the baggages of some of the exisiting older religions.
    We dont have to kill any one for variance in way we practise Sikhsims .
    If some one asks me why ?
    The answer is in our immortal GURU “GURU GRANTH SAHIB”.
    Their is no laid out SOP( standard operating procedure) to do our ardas.
    There is no order in Guru granth sahib to kill any one if he does not do ardas in particular manner.
    It is the legacy our ancesteral wise men in form “SIKH MARAYADA”.
    As Sikhism becomes Global religion and people of diffentent race , continents ,religions adopt SIKHISM each shall find a new way to say prayer to “WAHEGURU” .
    Why should a Spanish or a American Sikh say ardas in a manner that early SIKHS followed.
    His communication with Waheguru will be between him and Waheguru alone.
    The Jatts or khatris or Ramgarhias or Ravidassis have no right to impose their ardas on them as they would never understand the meaning of 40 mukta for that part of history did not affect his ancestors.
    GURU GRANTH SAHIB is Univerasl scripture and should not be seen thru the narrow prism of Punjabi origin.
    That is why Austria events are wrong and killing in name of “WAHEGURU” would surely see waheguru dealing with these boys.
    Their actions reminds u of “Wahabis, Nazis and Taliban “.

  4. Harinder says:

    Yes SIKHS being a modern religion does not have the baggages of some of the exisiting older religions.
    We dont have to kill any one for variance in way we practise Sikhsims .
    If some one asks me why ?
    The answer is in our immortal GURU “GURU GRANTH SAHIB”.
    Their is no laid out SOP( standard operating procedure) to do our ardas.
    There is no order in Guru granth sahib to kill any one if he does not do ardas in particular manner.
    It is the legacy our ancesteral wise men in form “SIKH MARAYADA”.
    As Sikhism becomes Global religion and people of diffentent race , continents ,religions adopt SIKHISM each shall find a new way to say prayer to “WAHEGURU” .
    Why should a Spanish or a American Sikh say ardas in a manner that early SIKHS followed.
    His communication with Waheguru will be between him and Waheguru alone.
    The Jatts or khatris or Ramgarhias or Ravidassis have no right to impose their ardas on them as they would never understand the meaning of 40 mukta for that part of history did not affect his ancestors.
    GURU GRANTH SAHIB is Univerasl scripture and should not be seen thru the narrow prism of Punjabi origin.
    That is why Austria events are wrong and killing in name of “WAHEGURU” would surely see waheguru dealing with these boys.
    Their actions reminds u of “Wahabis, Nazis and Taliban “.

  5. Trident says:

    Harinder,

    I hardly think that the motive for the events in Austria had something to do with ardaas being changed. In actuality there are pictures all over the web which clearly depict these "Sants" allowing people to bow to them in Guru Jee's Darbar. This is against the BASIC tenents of Sikhism.

    Also, you commented "Why should a Spanish or a American Sikh say ardas in a manner that early SIKHS followed?"

    ..because our ardaas has been set by our Panth. There is no such thing as a SPANISH/AMERICAN/CANADIAN sikh! You are a Sikh. Full stop. Sikhi is not segregated according to geographical location. If you are part of Khalsa Panth then you are bound by it's decisions. Also, I would argue without the sacrifices of the 40 mukthay and other countless shaheeds there would be no such thing as Sikhi in Spain..or America. When you take amrit and become a Gursikh your ancestors become all of the countless shaheeds that gave their lives so you could practice your faith.

    We should focus on creating a singularity within our Panth, not offshoots as suggested by your post.

  6. Trident says:

    Harinder,

    I hardly think that the motive for the events in Austria had something to do with ardaas being changed. In actuality there are pictures all over the web which clearly depict these “Sants” allowing people to bow to them in Guru Jee’s Darbar. This is against the BASIC tenents of Sikhism.

    Also, you commented “Why should a Spanish or a American Sikh say ardas in a manner that early SIKHS followed?”
    ..because our ardaas has been set by our Panth. There is no such thing as a SPANISH/AMERICAN/CANADIAN sikh! You are a Sikh. Full stop. Sikhi is not segregated according to geographical location. If you are part of Khalsa Panth then you are bound by it’s decisions. Also, I would argue without the sacrifices of the 40 mukthay and other countless shaheeds there would be no such thing as Sikhi in Spain..or America. When you take amrit and become a Gursikh your ancestors become all of the countless shaheeds that gave their lives so you could practice your faith.

    We should focus on creating a singularity within our Panth, not offshoots as suggested by your post.

  7. Harinder says:

    Life is never singular.
    History and life teaches us that it is plural.

  8. Harinder says:

    Life is never singular.
    History and life teaches us that it is plural.

  9. Dostum says:

    It is surprising to see educated people being carried away with stone-age ideas.

    First of all, the ardas is not made by waheguru. This is the product of SGPC. They took first para from Dashmesh ji's famous "chandi di war" ( From Prithm Bhagauti simar ke to Teg Bahadur simriyai..), then added text from time to time.

    A true prayer can not have any words. Do you think you are more intelligent than God (for, He needs to be told what should be done and what should NOT be done ! ) Why do people have to say 'ardaas' if they believe God knows everything ? Doesn't this show how hypocrite people are ?

    Lord knows more than what you can say or can not say.

    "Bin bolya sab kichh jaanda

    Kis aage kichai ardaas "

    And if these issues prompt you to attack on someone (that too in the presence of your own Guru ), that speaks volumes of your sikhi.

  10. Dostum says:

    It is surprising to see educated people being carried away with stone-age ideas.
    First of all, the ardas is not made by waheguru. This is the product of SGPC. They took first para from Dashmesh ji’s famous “chandi di war” ( From Prithm Bhagauti simar ke to Teg Bahadur simriyai..), then added text from time to time.

    A true prayer can not have any words. Do you think you are more intelligent than God (for, He needs to be told what should be done and what should NOT be done ! ) Why do people have to say ‘ardaas’ if they believe God knows everything ? Doesn’t this show how hypocrite people are ?
    Lord knows more than what you can say or can not say.
    “Bin bolya sab kichh jaanda
    Kis aage kichai ardaas “

    And if these issues prompt you to attack on someone (that too in the presence of your own Guru ), that speaks volumes of your sikhi.

  11. Trident says:

    “Life is never singular”
    …I’m not concerned with ‘life’ here.
    Eka Bani, Ek Gur, Eko Shabad Veechar. (Ang 646: Guru Amardas Sahib Jee)

  12. Trident says:

    “Life is never singular”
    …I’m not concerned with ‘life’ here.
    Eka Bani, Ek Gur, Eko Shabad Veechar. (Ang 646: Guru Amardas Sahib Jee)

  13. Trident says:

    Dostum,

    As stated in my original post. I hardly think that the reason for the attack had to do with Ardaas being changed and more for the beadbi that these two were doing in Guru Sahib’s hazoori.

    Furthermore, the hullabaloo about Ardaas being changed was not about what was added but more about what was omitted.

    The addition of the 35 Bhagats barely attracted any criticism. I believe someone can respect any bhagat during ardaas.

    The MAIN point of contention was the fact that someone wanted to change ardaas from Pritam Bhagauti Simar Ke to Pritam Akaal Purakh Simar Ke. As you are aware, the opening of ardaas is from Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s Chandi Di Vaar and therefore NOT ALLOWED TO BE CHANGED/TWEAKED in ANY MANNER.

    ..we’re not talking about ardaas being changed here man. We’re talking about someone trying to change BANI.

    As far as the rest of ardaas goes. Some people keep it short. Some people do it slow. Some people do it fast. I’ve seen Singhs do ardaas that bring people to tears. However, the common denominator is that everyone begins with Pritam Bhagauti Simar Ke.

    Lastly, please try not to judge my “sikhi”. I don’t believe you’re in a position to do so. :)

  14. Trident says:

    Dostum,

    As stated in my original post. I hardly think that the reason for the attack had to do with Ardaas being changed and more for the beadbi that these two were doing in Guru Sahib’s hazoori.

    Furthermore, the hullabaloo about Ardaas being changed was not about what was added but more about what was omitted.

    The addition of the 35 Bhagats barely attracted any criticism. I believe someone can respect any bhagat during ardaas.

    The MAIN point of contention was the fact that someone wanted to change ardaas from Pritam Bhagauti Simar Ke to Pritam Akaal Purakh Simar Ke. As you are aware, the opening of ardaas is from Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s Chandi Di Vaar and therefore NOT ALLOWED TO BE CHANGED/TWEAKED in ANY MANNER.

    ..we’re not talking about ardaas being changed here man. We’re talking about someone trying to change BANI.

    As far as the rest of ardaas goes. Some people keep it short. Some people do it slow. Some people do it fast. I’ve seen Singhs do ardaas that bring people to tears. However, the common denominator is that everyone begins with Pritam Bhagauti Simar Ke.

    Lastly, please try not to judge my “sikhi”. I don’t believe you’re in a position to do so. :)

  15. Harinder says:

    Singulartiy has been attempted before too by

    GODS themselves :—Allaha ,Jesus , Ram etc

    but none have been able to Succeed till now.

    That is why Gurubani acknowledges the plural nature of life.

    How ever goodluck to u in your mission

  16. Harinder says:

    Singulartiy has been attempted before too by
    GODS themselves :—Allaha ,Jesus , Ram etc
    but none have been able to Succeed till now.
    That is why Gurubani acknowledges the plural nature of life.
    How ever goodluck to u in your mission