Monday, October 22, 2018

Converting into Sikhism (Sikhi) Part 2

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! If you have not read part 1, I strongly encourage you to do so. And as always, resources and contact form are to the left.

Amrit Sanchar
Ever since 1699,  Sikhs have been getting initiated into this army/brotherhood/sisterhood called the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa in order to combat oppression and spread light and truth throughout the whole world. For those Sikhs who want to join the Khalsa, they must go thrown this ceremony called the "Amrit Sanchar".

Video of Amrit Sanchar

Video of Amrit Sanchar (2)

There are certain steps that must be followed during an Amrit Sanchar, but I will not get into that now. What is important to know is that once you receive Amrit, there's a code of conduct (called the Rehat Maryada) and a uniform (called the 5 ks) you must abide by. The rehat maryada changes based on what group you receive Amrit from. For example, if you receive Amrit from the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee), you can eat meat but just not ritually sacrificed meat (halal and kosher). BUT if you receive Amrit from AKJ, you must adhere to a vegan diet. But know whoever you take it from, AMRIT IS AMRIT. And is a huge, life-changing commitment. It is recommended that Sikhs practice living the Khalsa lifestyle at least a year before receiving Amrit so that you know you are ready.

10 Officially Recognized Mainstream Sects in Sikhi

Integrating Yourself into the Sikh Community:

For people coming into Sikhi, finding the right Sangat for them can be challenging but definitely not impossible. Here are some few tips to help you meet people within the Sikh community

1. Do an Ardas

It is important to have Sangat, but it is most important Sadh Sangat. You do not want to end up with the wrong group of people. That is why it is important to do an ardas to Guru ji first to help you find the right people. This seemed to have worked for me ;)

2. Go to the Gurdwara

Most people at the Gurdwara tend to be standoffish. That doesn't mean though that that is the case for everyone. There are some Sikhs (especially converts) that will approach you and offer you assistance. Don't be afraid to be honest about your desire to join the community. They will be more than willing to help. If one Gurdwara doesn't work out, go to the next one.

4. Join Sikh Organizations

Depending on where you live, there might be Sikh organizations. Don't be afraid to reach out to them. They should be happy to help. If you end up not liking one, join another one. Or better yet, start your own.

3.  Use the Internet

The internet is a good way to get into touch with Sikhs. Facebook is one of the main social media platforms that Sikhs use to keep in contact with each other. But be warned! Do not friend/follow any Sikh person without having a discussion with them first to see what they're out. There's a lot of creepy people out there.

Links to some helpful websites will be below:

Doing Seva: 

Want to do seva at the Gurdwara? There's plenty of ways to! Just watch the video below

Types of Seva at the Gurdwara

Memorizing Nitnem:

There are two ways that help people memorize Nitnem. The first is to recite Nitnem every day. Doing this over and over again, you'll eventually just start naturally memorizing things. But for some people (like me), this doesn't work. So instead, we memorize pauri by pauri.

Here is a book and cd by Snatam Kaur to help those who want to memorize Japji Sahib

Meditation of the Soul (Book and 2 CDs)

Another link to help people memorize Japji Sahib

Japji Sahib Playlist

Memorizing Gurmukhi:

There are multiple ways to learn Gurmukhi. The first one is to reach out to someone in your Sangat for help. Either that or join a Gurmukhi class. The second is to use flashcards. And the third way is to watch Youtube videos. Links to help you will be down below

Basics of Sikhi Gurmukhi Series

Punjabi Alphabet Video

Learn Sikhi Online

Punjabi Flashcards

That's all I have for now. Remember, resources are to the left. And I will be posting two of my playlists down below. It's important to note that all of the videos in my playlists are either in English or have English subtitles

Informative Videos about Sikhs and Sikhism

How to - Sikh Edition

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

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