CEED – UNITED SIKHS Blog https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:45:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Becoming an Eco-Sikh !! https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/03/becoming-an-eco-sikh/ Thu, 14 Mar 2013 19:41:36 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1862  

 USLogo  EcoSikhPoster

UNITED SIKHS  in collaboration with EcoSikh is planning to outreach all their members and sangat about Sikh Environment Day.

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !!

15th March 2013, Fremont California:

Environmentalism and Sikhism are commonly looked upon as two completely separate theologies. It is only when we look closely at the Gurbani, we can see how important our environment is to basic Sikh spirituality.

Somehow in the mixture of the waves of immigration, and shifting our focus from an agrarian lifestyle to more post-modern modes of production, we have forgotten how intrinsic and crucial our environment is, and has been, to the existence of basic Sikh philosophy and history. We have armed ourselves with physical, political, and legal protections to keep each spiritual thread intact on our sacred bodies. Despite being miles and years apart from our traditional history as agrarian innovators in Punjab, we still maintain a spiritual thread that connects us to our past and spiritual homeland. A homeland that is being decimated by international corporations, corrupt politics, lack of regulations, economic impositions, and so many man-made health and environmental disasters. The very roots of our metaphorical spiritual hair, whose roots are embedded in the environment that inspired Guru Nanak to start a powerful religious movement, is being destroyed by our decisions as modern Sikh consumers. The cyclical impact that we have on our environment is a spiritual embedding in our beliefs as Sikhs, which is something that Guru Nanak, himself, stressed when he stated “Pawan guru pani pita mata dharth mahat.” (Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all).1
We must transform the question of “Who am I as a Sikh?” into “Who am I as an eco-Sikh?” Many of us will be surprised to find direct references to ecology in the Gurbani. But it is through the Gurbani where we will understand what our role as an ‘eco-Sikh” entails.

The Gurbani equates respect for every hair on one’s body to respecting all areas that God permeates, including forests, “O Nanak, He is pervading and permeating all places, the forests and the meadows, the three worlds, and every hair.” 2 If we, as Sikhs, are committed to maintaining our external and internal appearance as the gurus required, how can we ignore our duty to also maintain the environment? Caring for the earth is a not just a value that we must uphold, but is also a direct Hukam that aligns with the “Gurmukh’s path,” 3 “If someone is going to teach me something, let it be that the Lord is pervading the forests and fields.” 4 In aligning ourselves to this Hukam here are some steps that we can take to be responsible, environmentally conscious eco-Sikhs:

1. Planting Trees, replacing lawns with your own home-grown vegetables, and replacing your gardens with native plants and habitats. The Guru Granth Sahib states, “we shall reap the results of the seeds which we sow.” 5 We must engage in actions that promote sustainability for the whole planet. For more information on “food not lawns” please visit http://www.foodnotlawns.com

2. Use bio-degradable and recyclable plates, knives, forks, and napkins. Composting is a great way to minimize the amount of trash thrown out, and to enrich the soil for your gardens. For more information on composting, please visit http://www.epa.gov/compost/

3. Biking, walking, or taking public transportation instead of using a car is a great way to reduce carbon emissions in a healthy way.

4. If you cannot grow your own vegetables or fruits, as a consumer, you should choose to buy organic food from local farmers. Not only do you avoid exposing your family and the environment to the harmful effects of pesticides, but you also invest in local farmers and businesses.

5. Educate yourself and promote research in sustainable organic farming techniques.

The lasting effects of the Green Revolution that occurred in Punjab has unfortunately driven the “green” out of the revolution and has caused farmers in Punjab to look for alternative farming techniques. Heavy pressure for more food grain crops forced many of these farmers to focus on mono-cropping with the use of pesticides and insecticides. Increased dependence on pesticide use has drained the soil of its alkalinity and salinity; thus causing the soil to be unfit for growing crops, and further pressuring farmers to be dependent on chemicals to support the growth. This has resulted in irreparable damage to the farmers in Punjab and consumers. In addition to negatively impacting the environment, the use of pesticides and the depletion of the soil has caused many consumers to suffer from rare types of cancer at an alarming rate. By promoting research in sustainable organic farming techniques, areas such as Punjab and our own local farms will be able to farm organically, in an economically sustainable fashion. This will also maintain healthy soil, environment, and nutritious crops.

It is our responsibility to treat our sacred environment with as much respect as we treat our bodies and appearance as Sikhs. This is not a change that we make on one day of the year, but a lifelong commitment that we make with the environment and with God.

1. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 8, line 10.
2. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 133,, line 13.
3. Singh, Jagtaran. “Sikhism the Green Religion.” SikhNet | Sharing the Sikh Experience. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <http://fateh.sikhnet.com//sikhnet/news.nsf/
4. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 92, line 12.
5. ” Saving Environment” WaheguruNet Sikhism info – WaheguruNet. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <http://www.wahegurunet.com/saving-environment>.
Amitoj Singh
Coordinator, UNITED SIKHS India
E: unitedsikhs-india@unitedsikhs.org



Sikh International Film Festival 2011 in New York: October-8th, 14th, 15th https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2011/10/sikh-international-film-festival-2011/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2011/10/sikh-international-film-festival-2011/#comments Sat, 01 Oct 2011 15:41:12 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1143 29th Sep, New York, NY:   UNITED SIKHS invites all to attend the Sikh International Film Festival 2011 from Oct 14th – Oct 15th, at the Asia Society  & Museum, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY.  On the 8th October children’s films will be shown at the Hofstra University, Student Center, in New York.

The schedule for the Children’s Film Festival is as follows:

Saturday, 8th October: Hofstra University, Student Center (11:30 am – 2:30pm)
Friday, October 14th : Featuring Session (7:00pm 10:00pm)
Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY

Saturday, October 15th: Short Films (11:30am – 1:30pm), Documentaries (2:00pm – 5:00pm)

****Winners of the Short Films and Documentaries will be judged by a distinguished panel of judges****

To purchase tickets to the Film Festival, please visit: www.sikharts.comm

The Sikh Art and Film Foundation is a tax exempt non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contact: Mankanwal Singh
P: 1-516-698-8546
E: mankanwal.singh@unitedsikhs.org | unitedsikhs-usa@unitedsikhs.org


https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2011/10/sikh-international-film-festival-2011/feed/ 1