Catholic vs. Sikh - 2017-07-24 - Kavneet Singh

Author Recorded Monday July 24th, 2017

There are 1 episodes in the Versus:Sikh series.

I saw a video of Kavneet Singh speaking about Sikhism on YouTube. I reached out to him and he agreed to speak to me about his faith. I used to live beside the Gurdwara Nanak Darbar Community Center Sikh Temple, and have always admired the Sikh people. • Support the CVS Podcast: • Be a guest on a livestream:

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi I'm company single listening to Catholic verses six tell the listeners if you would a little bit about yourself just a bit of background who you are what you believe and how you came to believe it I'm 40 years old I'm a Sikh I was born in the in a sick family as well and very happy you know in content following the Sikh religion what was your first experience as a child can you talk a little bit of your earliest memories sure yes I mean Sikhism is really about experiencing so it's not simply just having say it's really about the experience so I mean when I look at my childhood you know it was really a gradual process for me getting that understanding of religion and the Sikhism and it still is an ongoing process so I mean really yes it started from my parents my parents introducing the Sikh religion to me they were practicing see and I grew up having our religious scriptures it's actually called a little grunts I've G which is our living group in the former scriptures and in the house and I grew up in and so you know they they practiced and prayed we had an actual room which was dedicated for praying and so you know I grew up with that another thing that's quite good growing up was where I learned a lot was going to see camps so a lot of the local temples Sikh temple during the summer period would hold sort of kids camps and they would you know have you know general sports activities and fun activities but also they would also have you know teach you about the Sikh religion I mean one of the things is would be with the Sikh religion is you know having been originated from from India from Punjab region all the texts are in guru Mukhi which is similar to Punjabi and so for me I was born in England so mine my first language was was English even though my mother tongue is canoe I think both languages but I really am more comfortable in English so for me it was quite difficult to understand the Scriptures properly you know I couldn't just simply like like I read a book you know an English book but with my religious texts it was quite difficult to understand so really initially he was just learning the religious texts and learning the prayers but we didn't really know the meaning and the meaning really came at the grew up like you said the holy texts weren't completely accessible to you and all that but there's a sort of atmosphere of religion there must have been a time at or just after the theory's Anu had to come to a decision am I going to believe this sincerely in my heart or am I only going to go through the motions so what was that like for you yeah I think it was really quite a slow process for me as long it was like quite gradual and I would say maybe a pivotal moment would be about four years ago I really started questioning what life was really about as we grow up the sort of system of Education just teaching you about making money getting a car getting a mortgage having a family and you know about three four years ago I came to the point in my life where I did all that and suddenly I might where do we go so that's when I started questioning and I'm like well actually you know that is what we taught then I started really going into our our our guru our religious scriptures and really going more deeper into it and around that time around three years ago there was a you know them doesn't YouTube channel core basics of Sikhi you know what the Sikh faith is about and I said a lot of those questions that we that I had in my mind and really explained our religious scriptures and what our guru is saying in English in simple form and that really did to me answered all my questions and then really I think everything just kept moving more closer towards religion and actually things started making a lot more sense but it's still ongoing I mean you know being a Sikh one thing is is that you just can never say you know enough you know it's all about in constantly the minute that we say hey I know everything that's the minute ego kicks in and that stops you from learning but you know again that's all for my guru guru teacher those are a little grunts I view again the religious scriptures our Livengood is teaching from darkness to light so you know what we thought was with life you know actually was and I was back and look at say my actions my my direction in life you know it was okay you know solving what the world was doing but you know really you know today I'm getting close I'd say I'm more getting out of that getting more closer to the light and feel more free or more more more relaxed liberators live a lot more liberated exactly yeah I mean even our parents to an extent you know they are technically brainwashed to following the way that you know the government wanna run the economy you know we just follow that right and unless we have that knowledge and that's we're lucky enough to get that knowledge in that direction it's very difficult to break away from that I mean you know the six eight doesn't say don't live in the world the six eight says live in the world live in that world so for example it gives you a very interesting concept of the lotus flower so you know basically it's not like I mean I know some religion what they say that you know what we should actually discard the world and go up in the mountains and you know meditate and that's it no but the Sikh religion is really different it's a extremely practical religion you expect you to have a family that lives the life live amongst each other but basically be like a lotus flower so how the quality of a lotus flower are that it lives in in water in water where a lot of their dirty muddy region it but it never ever allows that the stick to that Lotus well so you constantly looking up towards God so keeping God central to your life living within admire with the world the illusion living within that world but not allowing all that dirt to stick to you right so that Lotus lie you love it your dirty look as well and at the same time it never will drown in that water it'll always be above the water so keeping your head above keeping North Central and living like we are told to be in the world but not of the world so it's a similar idea and we need to engage with the world and help transform the world really but I read about Sikhism that there is no priesthood and it's actually forbidden to have a priesthood and it seems interesting because you mentioned family life and it would seem that if you're not going to marry God as our priests and our religious do in the Catholic faith if you're not going to have that vocation that it seems the only remaining location would be marriage or on married life how is unmarried life seen I mean when I said you know be married I mean there's no strict rule you know Sikhism is about having 100% freedom if you look at all our free and all the religious people that are there in this example you know most of my married some of them are not married no big deal also you're saying that there are priests yeah I mean priests meaning we have what they call they call them grunty's so in each Sikh Gurdwara in each example we have what you call a grunty a grunty is similar to a priest in that that grunty is there to to read our guru scriptures it doesn't mean that nobody else can read the scriptures it's a bit like having a school you go there to learn you go there to enlighten your soul take yourself from darkness to light you know if you don't have somebody like an expert in that field to help you then it can get quite difficult to to get the correct direction one common question that allows my guest no matter what worldview they hold is about the best-case scenario and the worst-case scenario and the difference between the best-case scenario and the worst-case scenario after death yeah what we believe in that if you if you connect with God if you become one with God while you on earth then you will merge back into God so your soul will know back into God and will break away from the cycle of birth and death so that's is that the best scenario right if you don't then basically you're going to go in a cycle of birth and death and which are the millions and millions of cycles right you've got insects it's not animal we thought bacteria anything with a life form you could be one of those in depending on your action that's what you're going to become you're going to go through that whole life cycle and then based on your actions you may come back into a human to try again what is the worst-case scenario you could you remain lost in the Oblivion of low level life form forever probably not forever right there's going to come an end to it because the only thing that can last forever is God you always given another chance so everyone ends up in heaven basically yes because you know everything came from God everything has to go back into God right so yes absolutely but what on Hulu tells us it's based on your actions it's based on you merging with God's interactions so if your actions are such that you do connect to God and you do merge with God then for sure you're going to be one with God and that's I both lend whether that will happen for everyone again the seed you sow is what you reach there is a major difference between scenario one where everyone does in fact end up eventually with God and scenario two where that's not the case I think the way I look at it is you know if we all came from the one then it's very possible that everything can go back to the one we because we are all from the one it cause decides that you know what we're going to carry on forever then they may will so really it's up to God we wouldn't know the answer to that if no matter what we do and no matter what we choose we will end up with God that seriously undermines morality because if I'm talking to you and you're striving to unite with God quickly and I say well I'm going to go the other way I'm going to go the slow route I'm going to go delve into evil I'm going to cause harm to others and take advantage of others and get physical pleasure at the expense of others during every lifetime that I can just to explore and I'll see you in heaven I'll see you in heaven later don't worry about it I'm I'm stirring things up I'm being a bad boy but it's all theater and we're going to see each other in heaven one day do you not see how that undermines all of morality oh definitely I mean our sick of religion definitely doesn't tell you that so what the Sikh religion says is that the seed you sow is what you read there are consequences to every action good or bad so before the Sikh religion that concept doesn't exist that you know I can just get away with it and just go in the slow lane and you know I'll feel it no does that mean wouldn't work so what it seems like you're saying is that there are definitely permanent lasting consequences to going in the opposite direction away from God yeah atonal scriptures if somebody's acting the colony negative right then yes you're going to constantly be coming back and you're going to do the same thing again what about unity what about religious unity is it important to you that people come to the fullness of religious truth or are you happy having Buddhists Muslims Jews Hindus Satanists and everyone else going their own path and what Icahn said is a bit old religion I'll give you a couple of examples so we have clinical clinical groups so our religion was formed by the first guru guru nanak dated 50 in 1469 our fifth who was martyred by the the Mughal Empire and for not converting into Islam his son could hug Govinda the six the six guru then started up an army to protect in order to self-defense and even though his father was killed by a mobile ruler he didn't hate all Muslims he didn't hate Islam and he actually built a mosque for some really poor Muslims living within his City he saw the ring on the street and he's like you know how come you don't have a temple and it said well you know the two poor he built them a moth I'll give you another example going back to the first group living in India it was mostly was a very know a lot of Hindus there and they tried to put a religious threat they believe in the religious threads that are that are sort of flashed by their priests and he actually rejected the threat in a nice way he said look I don't want that red because this red are you trying to put on my hand it can be broken it could be burnt give me a religious thread that is full of compassion give me a thread that is full of honesty a religious thread that can never be broken and you know independent look to him as well give me that and he thought well I don't want it then so what he was trying to do that with he's trying to break them away from their institutions but if you look to our night women guru Tegh Bahadur's be he gave his head for the Hindu faith you know the Hindus were being converted from all directions in India into Islam and he gave his head for the Hindu faith even though the first guru rejected the threat so he gave his head for the freedom often of legend it's amazing you know like what do you say to that plenty of stories of martyrdom I think in all religions certainly in Catholicism of people given your lives for those of other faiths or of no faith but do you believe that your religion is the best religion or is it just one of many paths I happen to believe that my religion is the fullness of religious truth do you feel the same way about Sikhism yeah I think so I mean with ik ism you know we believe our Goulburn safety is everything for us it was true from the beginning it was true throughout the ages it was six to now and it will always be true in the future so if timeless and it's a guru for the world so we have actual religious texts from other religions so our gurus when they when they travel the world they met a lot of religious Hindus religious Islamist and you know they recognized that what certain special individuals who spoke that truth so when they did they took those words and they put them into our gurus IP so it's absolutely amazing because the truth is not just in one person it's in everywhere right so if you're following Christianity and you know you're getting that alignment and you're connecting to God it's going to be shown in your action and you know you can learn from each other in a way directly to they're in the right direction so who is Jesus for you historically and mystically so spiritually well I mean you know Jesus is mentioned in our scriptures um I don't really know a lot about Christianity I mean I do read a little bit here and there I mean you know just people in general like friends over the years that follow different religions but really I haven't gone deep into it mainly because my guru grunts I have you give me all the information and an experience that you know experienced the that it works it genuinely work so I don't never felt the need to sort of go looking elsewhere but it you know I have no issues learning about other religions I think I think it's very interesting do you in Sikhism have avatars because Jesus is seen by the Hindus as an avatar of God the way we see things is I mean it's quite different to the Hindu religion I mean Hindu religion is quite vast so it's not really just one set of scriptures or rules but I mean we definitely don't do idol-worshipping our religion started from the first group 1469 we have ten and physical gurus that came down in human form and for us they were God on earth but they aren't God so for example like you have the Sun and you have the moon and how the moon reflects the light on yes so it's a similar thing our gurus our physical gurus are a reflection of God all the actual religious scriptures they actually came from God and and that's why they're in the Guru Granth IV so we we treat our guru granth ID with the upmost respect for example you know when we go to the Sikh temple we bow our head down in front of the room grand side to just give total respect but it's not we're not bowing down to a book we're going down to God's words the knowledge the words that are contained in that right the hall is shut up guru so basically is in a way it's like the words of God is our group yeah and that would get and that's what gives us our direction that takes us out from darkness to light we have Saints in the Catholic Church as everyone knows we can kiss the statue or the icon just like a soldier that's away in battle might kiss a picture of his mother or of his wife knowing full well that that little tattered picture is not the person it's just a representation of the person and the love that they're showing towards that image is not for the physical image itself obviously I'm sure that's exactly what's going on with with your reverence for your gurus all of them it might be a bit of fundamental difference because our gurus always inspired us to not follow that physical image for example we have no paintings of our gurus they don't exist and I think there's a reason for that and also we don't make yet we definitely don't make statues of our group because it's not the physical gurus that we worship at all it's not their faces or their their body that we worship if the words of God it's interesting that you talk about the word of God because one reason that we have icons and that we have statues and that the Catholic Church is comfortable with what others regard as idolatry and idolatry is forbidden for us but the reason that we're comfortable with what people think of as idolatry is because of the Incarnation the Word of God was made flesh that he actually took on the ineffable God became man and so that that ushered in a new economy of images which i think is unique in all of the world religions for example Islam and Judaism are two monotheistic religions but they're they're horrified by what's going on in the Catholic Church because of the ultimate transcendence of God we have a God whose immanent and transcendent and not only that he's a Trinity and the second person incarnated took on flesh so it's a completely different ballgame and that has implications for everything when I go to heaven I will have a physical body when I walk around on this planet I treat my physical body as just as real as my eternal soul it's not as perfect as my soul it's not the primary aspect of who I am but it is central to Who I am body and soul and so when I go to heaven I will see God Almighty in the flesh incarnate because he did not dissing Ternate when he ascended into heaven after his death burial and resurrection but there is no confusion there's only one God and we only worship God and much like what you were saying about your religion everyone is pointing to God and we honor those who point to God and those who have heroic virtue and who give their lives to God with devotion and love they're the heroes that we reverence the most especially the mother of God right to each their own you know like it works for your religion it you know it helps you to connect that's the key that's the key thing that we believe in you know does it help you connect to God I mean for example just the sort of basic concept that way we're taught is that you know we are born with ten dots okay nine of those all the physical and one is hidden for the spiritual side so I'll just give you a basic understanding two ears nostrils amount and two down below those are the nine doors that we have to experience as well but is one door which is cold which to the tenth door which is hidden which is actually within our mind when we close our eyes and we sort of go within that is our tenth door and in our meditation you know being grateful to God meditating on God's name you know these types of actions are really really important to to connect with God so you know our eyes are are there to sort of see okay the physical sort of world what was created but the world is a temporary place it's not something which is permanent but whereas our mind is safety part of our our soul which is eternal and never dies and that's why there's a three fundamental principle one is a spiritual side the other one is you know helping others and you know we treat our body as we need it you know so for example if we need a body which is stronger because we're lifting a lot of things around then fine you know what go away training and get that shape and get on with it but you know we don't believe in doing something to our body that just is there for show there's got to be a practical reasons and a positive reason for that so definitely you know taking care of your boiled importing definitely because it's you know it's carrying your soul right so we have to give our we have to give our body the correct food we have to clean our body right we have to clean our clothes that we were on a body but what happens is is what it teaches us in our scripture is what happens when your mind gets dirty how do you clean that you can't see that with soap or water so we close our eyes and we meditate to God's name and we read those scriptures and we connect and that is how you wash your mind and it will make the whole world better as well right so okay you can think about this if you I mean you know we believe that okay our soul comes from God so when I saw very first time with the you know put on us or put in the world or the universe by God it was pure but as as obviously it went through its life is taken up karma so what we are told by a guru is that anything that is bad enough it's from me right any bad actions anything bad I mean it's from me so anything good is from you because it can't be any other way so what we believe is that when we bow our head down to the Guru grunts eiope what we should be doing what we're trying to do we're trying to give our mind and our head to the glue so what we're trying to do is try to actually kill our own 4:9 practically because what happens is we keep trying to emerge as God we try to be a good person we try to get happy but what we find is that all those successes are temporary the lasts a moment and then it's back to square one again the only determinant happiness is merging with God that's the only one and only permanent happiness or contentment so what we trying to do while we're on earth and that is human life form is the highest life form and that's where you can pray you know as an animal I think it's very difficult to pray to God you know we've been given that brain and you know we can reason and make choices so what we're trying to do is we're trying to merge with God while we're on earth not after right so if we merge while we're on earth and our actions speak for that then we are going to merge with God now once we merge with God in no in our scripture to ask it says well what is that place where you reside God you know now I mean we don't believe that God is somewhere up in the heavens or somewhere up there you know it's all here it's in our mind basically within because you could be a billionaire right you can have all the wealth in the world but if you haven't all got in your mind and you don't have that connection you know that you just don't have that eternal happiness so you're still a slave right to to what's going on in your mind and what happens when you connect to God is you just all those wants just you don't even want that you don't need them you have everything if you look at the very first word of our scriptures it starts with the number one and the actual word we'll pick on our and that basically means the one through the sound on the whole world is created and so basically what it is not scripted you know once you do move your thoughts it's total contentment but there's no community there well these relations that we have wise kids they are part of this world but ultimately we're all one family what are we we're all part of God but when you're in God you won't be a family you'll just be God but but technically we are all one family because we agree that we're all from that one light right you know if you look at the Creator we our soul is the thing that is true our body it's false but you you and I when we go to heaven we won't be two will be one exactly if I'm right when you and I go to heaven you will be you and I will be i but we'll be perfected and we will we will see each other and we will be able to play and explore there will be a new creation that's my worldview but when I think about your worldview if you and I go to heaven we won't be two will be one exactly we will merge is emerging right you merge with God you become part of God that doesn't sound as exciting it doesn't sound exciting because really it's like you don't need anything else nothing else matters and that is it you know so it's something which you can never explain it's unexplainable I agree with you that God needs nothing and if and if you and I are God ultimately at the end of the day we don't need community we we are completely blissful content happy forever there's no problem how to explain the evil in the world if God is all good and perfect in philosophy what's called the problem of evil or the problem of suffering how did that come about from your perspective well if you think about it it was no good and there would it be a bad like you need that comparison right number one secondly what we go through in life is based on our previous actions our current actions and my ultimate aim is to worry about myself work on myself not not try to I mean I was yet help others but by helping others not helping myself so now why did somebody and you know we look at it we look at kids getting a view we look at you know bombings in Syria for example how do we explain that right it looks like God is an absolute monster some people say that now the thing is look at our gurus our goods were pure listing on earth for us and the fifth ghoul was martyred on a hot plate but I was wounded didn't feel any suffering whatsoever he just accepts God's will he was always one with God and he didn't kill a single dead of paint same with our ninth guru same with all the booths they didn't feel a single bit of pain because they were always one with God and what a Gooden tells us if when you are one with God you'll never feel pain now people go through sufferings what we were all going tells us is that that suffering is a blessing from God as well as the good things God gives you they're all they're all a blessing whether good or bad so it all comes down to acceptance of God's will you have to accept it well I agree that's that's what my church teaches but there's a big difference the difference is that my church teaches that because of our freedom to choose because of our free will there's a rebellion that gives rise to all these nasty consequences all of that karma as you would say but you don't seem to have a notion of sin or rebellion in your creation story do you know after he doesn't exist because of the sick we are to believe that whatever it's in our destiny whatever we experience in our life within God's will and we are to accept that we open up the very first evil in creation was it God that initiated that or was it man or a beast or a spirit or what we wouldn't know because we don't know the starting of time now you know sometimes what happens is you know something that we think it bad in our life and then later on we find out it was a blessing in disguise and you know sometimes we need that tough love to get us back on track so what happens sometimes I mean is the line that the book is also broke via what that means is the the sufferings that come in our life actually become our medicine and all the luxuries that all those comforts become obstacle just to wrap up a final thought what would you say that anyone that's listening well I mean what I would say is definitely get to know your real enemies in life enemies enough humans or people real enemies our lust anger greed attachment and ego whenever you feel sad whenever you feel depressed or stressed it's going to be linked to one of those five vices or a collection of those five vices and what's happening is that you just your mind is currently slave to those five one of those or all of those five Isis and the whole world by other way is to be with those by invited and just try to recognize that at least and then try to pinpoint which one of those five is causing me the greatest arm and then try to do three basic principle whole which is you know close your eyes whatever religion you are and just say God's name whatever God is to you even if you don't know how to pray just close your eyes and meditate the way you know number one and try to do that even if you can do it two minutes a day one minute a day and slowly gradually increase on a daily basis that would be excellent and you'll see a change number two go out there and help others right there helping others you're helping yourself and so help others in a selfless way whichever way is whether it's charity what you know helping somebody that needs our help and number three to try that to work hard in whatever that is and put real F into it and leave the rest to God if you like it we'll do it got some questions a piano go