Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My Frustrations

Wjkk Wjkf! Today I will be talking about my frustrations in relation to Sikhi. Lately, I have been very frustrated with myself. Why? Because I feel like I am in a cage when it comes to my spiritual progress. Whenever I go to the Gurdwara or to Sangat, if there are no English translations up on a screen, I don't know what's going on. I don't know what is being said which makes me unable to connect to the kirtan. And as someone who loves kirtan, it makes me mad. But this all stems from one thing: I do not know Punjabi. Even though Sikhi is a universal religion, it still mostly caters to Punjabi speakers. There are kathas in English (thanks to Basics of Sikhi, Nanak Naam, mySimran.info, and a few other Sikh channels), but most discussions of Sikhi are done in Punjabi. I want to learn about Sikhi, but how can I if I don't understand what is being said. Another thing about not knowing Punjabi is that I literally can't speak to half the Sangat. Because half of them (mostly older Sikhs) do not speak English. I love old people and gaining wisdom from them, but how can I if I can't communicate with them? Oh, and that reminds me of another thing, the hukamnama. I firmly believe in following the orders set forth by the Guru. But when you put the hukamnama only in Punjabi, I have no idea what the Guru just said. So how can I do what the Guru is saying if I don't understand what He's saying? All these frustrations built up in me the other day and I just started crying. I want to become a devoted/Amritdhari Sikh but I feel like this problem is holding me back. And unfortunately, due to being in college, I really don't have enough time to fully learn Punjabi. I have almost half of the Gurmukhi script memorized but that's just the alphabet. I still won't be able to understand the language.
Waheguru. I don't know how I'm going to solve this problem. I honestly need help. I wish the Sikh population here had the same resources at those in the UK, California, NY/NJ, Australia, etc. I mean, the other day I was looking out of curiosity where in the US they might be holding Amrit Sanchars and I found ONE. And that one has already passed. Compared this to the UK and other countries where they have several Amrit Sanchars each month/year. It's kind of sad. So that's my rant. I wrote enough. Hopefully, my luck will start to turn around. Wjkk Wjkf!

Edit: Thank you to all of those who have messaged me expressing empathy and giving me advice. I will write an update post after a few weeks. Also, excuse my bad writing lol. This is my blog so I really don't care about grammar and structure. 

Update (7/21/2018): Well, things did get better. I still don't know Punjabi (which is still a barrier when trying to talk to people), but I have developed a method to find shabads and hukamnamas read/sung in Punjabi. So yay me! Also, resources in the US (not counting Cali and NY) are still lacking for Sikhs. This isn't good. 

12 comments:

  1. Waheguru ji ka khlasa waheguru ji ki fateh,
    It must be frustrating. But keep patience. If you have time find ppl your age that are English speaking sikhs.
    with similar thinking and do sangat. Gurmukhi is integral but you can take your time. Focus on simran and what you can do with nitnem. Build a strong, enduring soirtual life by asking from the guru. Guru sahib knows your inner feelings and thoughts. Dont give up
    Wjkk wjkf

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    1. I definitely do not plan on giving up. I'm put too much effort into this lol. I have Sangat here (GurSikhs at that), but I don't really know Sikhs around my age (so high school/college) who are that into Sikhi. It's kind of sad. And yes, I will focus on Nitnem and simran. I just pray that Guru Sahib helps me out.

      Wjkk Wjkf!-Gurpreet

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  2. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. I will say for me it is mostly at the moment Japji Sahib, as far as learning Gurmukhi goes. I would say if there is a brother or sister there that can tell you the raags or the location in Maharaj that the hukamnama is from, that may help. Good luck sister, and if you make it back this way hit us up at Gurdwara!
    Walk Wjkf- Shawn

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    1. Wjkk Wjkf! Hello Shawn ji. I was not able to make it up to the Gurdwara for Thanksgiving break (too much going on) but I will be back home in 2-3 weeks. Then I'll have plenty of time to visit the Gurdwara. Tell Harbhajan ji I said hi. And I'll ask someone in Sangat if they can help me out with the hukamnama part. We're like family but at the same time I don't want to bother people lol

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    2. As sikhs it is our duty to sharre Guru Ji's teachings when people need it. Some of our family may be a little frustrated but I can almost gaurantee that there is a brother or sister who would love the oppurtunity. I know when people ask me about Sikhi there is a level of joy I get in explaining Guru Ji to anyone. I will say I have found the writings of Bhai Kabir Ji to be absolutely helpful when I am anxious or frustrated by some one or something. There are some translations here https://www.searchgurbani.com/guru-granth-sahib/author/bhagat-kabir . Hope this helps Ji!
      WJKK WJKF!

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    3. I will be sure to read a few of his writings before I go to bed. See you in December/January! Wjkk Wjkf!

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  3. Learn the other half of the Alphabet �� That way you can search for the hukhumnama and Kirtan translations from your phone (first half of your rant covered).

    Go to the big annual sikhi camps (wheather it be Canada or across the states) - I don't still really speak / understand Punjabi 100% so it was the camps where I got a years crash course of knowledge in one week lol surrounded by people in the sample possiotion as you.

    We are all in your position to a degree - the knowledge you'll learn from your own experiences will be far more benificial than that explained to you through others.

    Wait till Vaisakhi for Amrit Sanchar - remember; we're not here to 'TAKE' Amrit, we are 'GRANTED' Amrit when we are destined .. be patient with the plan of the Guru ����

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    1. I'm going to be honest here. I feel like even when I fully know Gurmukhi I might still need assistance with finding Shabads and such. This ain't Spanish.

      Questions about the camps
      (1) When are the camps held? Keep in mind I am a college student so I can't just get up and go when I want to
      (2)You do realize how expensive traveling across the states and going to camps can be right? Especially, Canada. Again, I'm a college student

      When I was talking about the kathas, I was talking about learning about Sikhi. The history, the code of conduct, etc. I can't gain knowledge about these things if I'm taught about it.

      I'm not receiving Amrit on Vaisakhi. I'm receiving it when I'm destined. And yes, I know you are not suppose to say "TAKE" but I slip up sometimes. Heck, I was ranting. There's probably alot of other things you can nick pick.

      Basically, it's not as easy as your making it sound like. You do not know what position I'm in right now. Just be glad that you are in a position where you can do all the stuff you want to do

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  4. As someone who speaks fluent Punjabi, I just wanted to say I understand some of your frustrations. Gurbani and gurmukhi in general are not very similar to Punjabi. The language I speak and communicate with does not help me understand kirtan or the Guru Granth Sahib. I have to look at translations as well. So please don't feel alienated. I believe many young sikhs - even those who speak Punjabi - are in a similar boat. Don't give up! I admire your devotion. My parents would be proud of you too ��

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    1. Awwww thank you bhenji. I have been that some Punjabi speakers themselves struggle. But we must not give up. I won’t give up 😊.Like I said in another comment, I’ve put too much effort into this lol.

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  5. Hi Jasmine,
    I feel for you, but I'm in the UK, miles from a Gurdwara and disabled, not reading Gurmukhi and feeling .. Not like a real Sikh. It's sad. Sikhism would grow so much more if something could be done. Thank goodness for Nanak Naam and Basics of Sikhi, but it's still not enough. I can't even get good translations in book form so I'm praying with kindle and possibly not great translations. Whining is now over, lol.

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    1. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa. Waheguru ji ki Fateh. This is an old post so I definately am not struggling with alot of the same things I was back then. Do not let anything make you feel like you are not a real Sikh! Living far away from the Gurdwara and having a disability can make it tougher on a person. I hope someone in the UK is able to help you out - Gurpreet Kaur

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