Friday, September 2, 2011

Religion: rituals and core values

My take on the SGPC issue. "If I am not willing to abide by the generally accepted practices of a community, why should I be keen to have a say in the running of its religious affairs? I should be quite content to leave it those who respect the widely respected core practices of that religion. I see a contradiction in my not observing the external symbols of a religion and yet being so concerned about how its shrines are managed."


A S Rai said...

Sir,I was thinking on this issue yesterday,for I knew your position from earlier posts.
While thinking on this issue,few doubts cropped up in mind,and I shall be grateful,if you could kindly clarify.
First,is the religion being practised In consonance with the spirit in which the Gurus had desired. For instance, at each point, Gurus seek guidance from higher power. They have not laid down any fixed rules, for fixed rules are antithetical to project of spirituality.
To me, the whole view that only keshdharis can vote is indication of pride and haughtiness. For me Sikhism is much more than growing beard and hair.
However, I also believe that whatever happens as per the will of Guru. He has placed those who claim to be closest to Him, at a farthest distance.

harcharan bains said...

A S Rai: "He (She?) has placed those who claim to be closest to Him (Her?) at a farthest distance..." says it all. As for voting rights, my view still is ( and not because this may indirectly endorse the views of the party I am close to) that if I don't care to observe the external symbols of my religion, I should not fuss around about who controls the shrines because after all even a shrine is at best only an external symbol. In a religion that goes beyond these symbols, shrines also do not hold much meaning, neither should their management. But if I believe it should, then I should be honest enough to go the whole hog and embrace other symbols too. In an enlightened view of Sikhism -- like the one you have hinted at - the importance we attach to shrines is totally misplaced: "Moti ta mandar oosre, ratni da hoe jadao/ Mat dekh bhoola veesre, tera chit na aave nao" ...or .."Antar gat teerath mal nao" .. or.."ghar hi main amrit bharpoore, man mukkhaan swad na aaya."