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Sikhism: Structures And Functions Of The Gurdwara

2889 words - 12 pages

On November 13th 2005, I visited the Sri Guru Singh Sahiba, located on Airport Rd. It was my best friend's birthday who was going to have a preaching ceremony for her birthday. She invited all her close family and friends for a get together at the Guruwara for a praying ritual. I was really surprised that I got to be a part of this special event that was held. The reason why I chose this religion as my essay topic was because after she invited me for this ritual I felt as if I should do a little research so I will know what I will be doing there. Therefore, I was really fascinated that I wanted to go in depth to learn more about Sikhism and to gain a better understanding.For Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib is the living spirit of the Gurus. The Gurdwara is the home of the Guru Granth Sahib, and should be treated with respect. The Gurdwara is open all the time, for everyone. It is a place for worship, and service to God.Hence Sikhs offer all their respect by taking off their shoes and humbly sitting cross-legged in a Gurdwara. In Eastern culture, taking off shoes and covering one's head whenever you present yourself to someone holy is considered a way of respecting the person.A Sikh makes offerings (money, groceries, etc.) before the Guru to express their gratitude for their blessings. Sikhs do not give donations or charity to God or the Guru. It is a way of expressing their love and regards for Him. Sikhs go to the Gurdwara to express their thanks to God and to the Guru for the favors that he or she is enjoying as a human being.Furthermore, when a Sikh gives money for a social cause, it is not a charity or donation according to Sikh philosophy. This is sharing earnings with others. All things have been created by Him for His children who are supposed to share His gifts among themselves. This act of sharing is their responsibility and duty. By doing so they will not be obliged to anyone but doing their duty assigned to them by their Father, God. God is the creator of everything, He owns everything in this universe, and does not require money. God being the owner of everything in this world, and the giver of everything in this world, and the giver of everything to us, the question of His greed does not arise.Every religious organization/center is run by the contributions of the believers of that faith. Money is needed for maintenance of the buildings and for running the organization. Such expenses are met by offerings made by the visitors to the Gurdwara. Money is also spent for funding the projects to educate the members and their children about the faith.Why do men and women sit separately? Why is the stage always on the right side (the side of the men)? Why do we sit on the floor? It is hard for the people with back pains. In the Gurdwara, why is it bad for a person to sit against the wall?(i) Good social behavior and manners demand that one should not be sitting very closeor physically touching others' spouses. It is very difficult for anyone to...

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