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How did Guru Nanak influence Hinduism?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Rainbow Mage, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

    I saw a thread where a Hindu person said he did, so in what ways? Examples please?
  2. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

    Complicated but fairly consistent
    I'm not sure of this claim, personally.

    I do not doubt that Guru Nanak influenced the culture that Hindus subscribed to for the better, but Sikhism at its beginning was pretty much indistinguishable from Sant Mat and Bhakti movements, except that it did not use Hindu or Islamic scriptures. It didn't deny them, though:

    ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਕਹਹੁ ਮਤ ਝੂਠੇ ਝੂਠਾ ਜੋ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥
    Beḏ kaṯeb kahhu maṯ jẖūṯẖe jẖūṯẖā jo na bicẖārai.
    Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false.

    Ways in which Sikhism and some other ways influenced Hindu culture, in my opinion, are:

    Discouraging murti-worship
    Discouraging people from observing the caste system
    Promoting gender equality
    Seeing no difference between Hindus and Muslims in a time when people were fighting a lot (Guru Nanak's famous quote, Na koi Hindu, na koi Musulman: There is no Hindu, there is no Musulman) - this doesn't mean Sikhism is a "mix" of Islam and Hinduism though.

    Yet Sikhism also has some things which are not common in other ways, such as Sikhism's discouragement from jyotisha (astrology), bathing in rivers, rituals, gurupuja ("worship" of the guru) and so on.

    My two cents. :)
  3. Gaura Priya

    Gaura Priya IRL

    I still scratch my head over the amritdhari ceremony.

    And the fact that those who take amrit grow their hair out, reminds me of the babajis in India. :D There is strength in teh hair!
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

    Complicated but fairly consistent

    I love long hair. I'm a wearer of it long. Clean shaven, though. :D
  5. Gaura Priya

    Gaura Priya IRL

    Maybe unconsciously I don't want to keep a beard, LOL. :no:

    Plus, I don't think Sikhism in the beginning was ever really institutionalised until the later gurus came into play, along with the constant harrassment of the Moghul rule. After all, Guru Nanak seemed to be very pacifistic, and it wasn't until someone like Guru Gobind Singh that brought all these militaristic feelings into the religion...

    It just seems so... kshatriyic!

    Having grown up in beautiful BC, we have ALOT of elderly Punjabi Sikh men in my old city hanging out at the local bus stop in that funny Punjabi language. Seeing those turbaned men saying 'kiddaN' and doing the Indian head wobble is definitely a spectacle to see. :D

    I like having short hair on men... and long hair on women. :) Only babajis and other such mystic yogis can grow out their hair and get away with it! :D
  6. Breathe

    Breathe Bitter Edgelord :^)

    Complicated but fairly consistent
    LOL, maybe that's why. :D


    Well, the ten gurus were all Khatri members, so I think that's to be expected to some extent. Dropping culture from religion can be very, very difficult, and it becomes even more difficult when the religion has a large number of people from the 'home area' of the religion. I don't think joining the Khalsa is something that is compulsory for Sikhs, only that they believe that it is an ideal they are willing to go for if the time comes.

    I've never actually seen the head wobble, despite living in an area with a large population of Sikhs (it's supposed to be either 14% Asian, or 14% Sikh in my area, I forget which, but Sikhs make up a large percentage of people). Maybe I've just never noticed it because it's so common here?


    I can't keep short hair, I just don't like it for some reason. My wife wants it as long as it was again for um.. certain reasons I shouldn't go into.

    We need a zipper-mouthed smiley. :p
  7. Onkara

    Onkara New Member

    There became an option for the lower castes to renounce their caste and be equal. I think that was a big impact on Hindus. Also a move away from the Brahmin ownership of scriptures and access to knowledge etc. Not to mention that anyone could become merged with the guru and it didn't matter about gender, caste or austerities.

    Guru Nanak Ji brought the teachings of the Upanishads and Puranas to the mases in an every day language (not sanskrit) and was able to overcome arguments such as myths & superstions, form of God, dualism versus nondualism etc. He opened the way for negating the need for samadhi for knowing the divine.

    I am not sure if it was Nanak Ji directly during his life, but he made way for communal kitchens, unrestricted gurdwara (with 4 doors) etc. All of this became possible.

    I am under the impression that the religion didn't "stand alone" politically until much later, perhaps not until the 10th Guru and Khalsa was formed, but I would still like to confirm that hypothesis.

    I love the SGGS and hold Sikhism in high regard. :)
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