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A Few Questions About Sikhi!

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Aisha, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Aisha

    Aisha
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    Hello everyone!

    It has been a while since I've logged on, I want to thank everyone who posted in my other thread, your advice was wonderful and made the entire process much easier. Someone asked me to update on my situation, I will later when I have a bit more free time, but right now I have something else I want to figure out (sorry for the rushed post!).

    I have been studying Sikhi intensively for the past 2 months or so, trying to learn as much as I can and have even started going to the Gurdwara on a regular basis. I really really like the religion and the more I learn, the deeper I want to delve in. I am doing this because at the start of our relationship, my BF spent a lot of time looking into Islam. He did not convert (which I am fine with), but I figured that it would only be fair for me to do my best to understand what his religion is all about.

    The Sikh community has actually received me a lot better than I thought they would! I don't wear a hijab so it is not obvious (by appearance) that I am Muslim, but when I tell people my name it is. The most refreshing thing for me is how no one is pestering me to convert. I remember the first few times I went, people wanted to know if I was going to become a Sikh to marry my BF. I told them that I was there to learn about the religion and that converting wasn't something either of us cared about. And that was that. No one has brought it up since. I have done seva on a few occasions, everybody was very nice. But the best part is listening to the songs/poetry in the prayer hall, they are very soothing and relaxing. The Gurdwara here is very active and modern, every week Canadian-born Sikhs who can speak fluent English give lectures, followed by meditation (Simran). I do my best to attend as much as I can.

    Anyways, I was surfing the web for some Islam-Sikhism comparative work when I came across a post by an ex-Sikh who had converted to Islam. She gave a a handful of reasons for her conversion, and what I would like to do is put them in this thread and see what the Sangat here has to say about it. I don't want to ask in real life because I don't want the people at the Gurdwara to feel like I am only there to refute Sikhi (because I am not), it's just that I do not have enough knowledge to be able to know if what she is saying is true or not, and skimming through this site it is pretty obvious that most people on here know what they are talking about, plus you are all a nice lot and I hope you won't take offence ::cool:

    Okay so here is what she said (bolded parts added by me):


    1) However, a lot of the teachings of Sikhism are taken directly (or mixed up and combined) from Islam and Hinduism/Buddhism. However, it is impossible to have a discussion about this with a Sikh as they will become angry if you mention this.


    Is this true? And if so, what is the reasoning behind it?


    2) However, all (Sikhs) say He is omnipresent (everywhere), which contradicts He is One. The Sikhs will argue and describe their belief in one God in everything as a drop of water, and God is like the body of the water, so we are part of Him and somewhat separate. I no longer believe this, nor does it make sense to me anymore. But yes, once it made sense, and I did believe in it. However, it left me with a lot of other unanswered questions, such as if God is everywhere/in everything, isn’t everything worth of worship? Also, what part of us sins, our bodies or souls? Of course, our souls. So, how could that be part of a Perfect Creator?



    I would like to know the answer to the underlined part above.


    3) In Sikhism, we are taught we need to overcome our egos. Now, I feel this is the most egotistic and arrogant claim, that any part of you is part of the Divine Creator. This is not a humbling belief at all. For example, if you look around you know, EVERYTHING has been created for a purpose, but the creator/maker is not physically part of it. Take a basic table (for example), it’s made for sitting at and putting dishes and food on it. The man who made it is not physically in there, not at all. The table is a sign of the maker, and he is SEPARATE from his creation. This is so basic.

    What is Sikhi's rebuttal to this?


    4) I used to wonder why children die, why is there suffering, hunger, poverty, etc. When I got to the line in Surat Al Baqarah where Allah says that we will be tested with loss of wealth, loss of life, etc. and give glad tidings to the patient ones, I wept. Again, I got an answer to a basic question I had that I could not find a clear answer for in the Sikh Holy Book. In the Sikh Holy Book, I was taught that affliction is a result of bad sins committed by us in our past lives. This reasoning never stuck with me, it didn’t seem fair/correct to me. However, in the Quran, the purpose of affliction was that it is a test, and the solution is to be patient. It was like my heart and my head had said the Shahaadah without me uttering it.


    And this? Could someone please explain the concept of karma to me? Why do the sins of past lives follow us? Shouldn't we get a clean-slate every time?


    Original source: http://sisters.islamway.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=862



    Thanks again everyone!
     
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  3. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Aisha Ji

    It is good to learn and not converting is also sensible as it does not matter which way you lie down on the bed of faith, as your 'bottom' has to always be in the centre of it.
     
  4. harcharanjitsinghdhillon

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    they say Allah is separate from creation, but quran is also talking about the immanent part of god..in whichever direction i move my face i see him,, this verse is from islam..Allah in islam is the immanent part of god-sargun in creation, or sometimes called the kaalam- universal mind..if you look carefully the quran most of their revealations they are saying that god is saying or talking.. so their revealations are mostly coming from the manifested immanent part of god.. this immanent part of god had created the whole creation, and at the same time sustaining it.. after creation god did not left the creation, and let the creation to run by it s own will. god is always there.. without him nothing can move.. if you go much deeper in quran, you will notice that the whole revealations of quran is thru the sound of the bell only.. in sikhism we call this not a complete revealations, only partial.. revealations related to sound of bell is limitted only applicable to region of time and space only.. founders of sikh religion gurus has realised in their daily meditation, the sargun plus nirgun part of god.. they had went much higher then time and space..in sikhism god is sargun and nirgun..in order to understand nirgun, try to understand sargun first.. just imagine sargun is the space in a house and nirgun is the space above the house.. the spirit of god is everywhere, in and out of the creation.. when you are worshipping, you are actually worshipping this subtle spirit, but not the object.. you cannot put the whole of god that has no beginning and end, into a object form and start worshipping it. the unlimitted is always unlimitted.. i will continue again during my free time. GOD is everywhere.. god has 3 principles working at the same time,,creating,, sustaining and distroying..all 3 in ONE.. thanks
     
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    #3 harcharanjitsinghdhillon, Jan 14, 2013
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  5. Ishna

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    Hi Aisha bhainji

    Glad to hear your experiences at Gurdwara have been positive so far. :happykudi: Sikhs don't generally try to convert, which is good and bad. Good, because freedom of thought and decision is important for human development, and bad, because Sikhi doesn't swell in numbers like other religions, or seem as welcoming at first glance.

    I was a member of Islamway Sisters for a little while a couple of years ago when I was exploring Islam. The people there were very nice. I also read that Sikh-to-Muslim story. I think there is actually a part 2 in the forum itself but I can't remember 100%. I'm glad she found her place but sorry at the same time that it isn't Sikhi.

    This is a generalisation - has she really tried to talk to every Sikh about this? How can she say it's impossible to discuss this with a Sikh if she hasn't asked them all?

    Sikhi is a distinct religion and philosophy. Here's some information on Nanakian Philosophy from the Sikh Bulletin: http://www.sikhbulletin.com/Bulletins/SikhBulletinJanFeb2009.pdf

    That said, lots of religions touch on the truth, so it's only natural to find similarities and parallels between most religions.

    You'll find Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji advises against many Hindu and Muslim practices (like fasting, sacred thread, ritualised prayer, circumcision). In this way it is clearly not just some combination of Hinduism/Islam. Not sure where aspects of Buddhism come into Sikhi - never really encountered any myself.

    You will find many Sikhs here happy to talk about Sikhi's relationship with Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism though, contrary to the authors experience.

    There is only one thing worthy of worship, and that is Naam. God in Sikhi is fundamentally different to Allah. Allah is separate from the creation, whereas Waheguru is the essence that runs through creation.

    Regarding sins, Sikhi's interpretation os sin is not as black and white as Islam's. I would say, if I had to choose between soul and body, it is the body that sins. The physical body is plagued by the 5 theives. If we were all rules by our souls we would be perfect. But we are physical beings with free will prone to making mistakes. That's called Life.

    I kinda addressed this in the paragraph before. There is nothing but God. Distinct existence is like a wave on the ocean. The wave is a wave, but it is still part of the ocean. It rises up as itself, then fades away again. When the wave thinks itself to be the ocean, it is ego, and it will suffer because it is not the nature of a wave to be independent. It is the nature of the wave to merge again with the ocean.

    The creator can't be separate. If it is, where is it? It needs to reside somewhere. That somewhere must be greater than the creator. If we are here, and creator is over there, what is in between?

    Karma as it is commonly understood isn't part of Sikhi (you'll find that out when you read the Nanakian Philosophy link from Sikh Bulletin). Karma is a mechanism to support the caste system. Sikhi rejects the caste system and therefore karma.

    I struggle with the concept of suffering and god myself, so I can't say much. The "god sends us suffering to test us" line doesn't compute for me. To make a 5 year old child suffer and then kill him, what is the test in that? It isn't fair. It is kinda psychotic.

    This thread explores suffering and Sikhi: http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/interfaith-dialogues/35701-worst-places-in-the-world-woman-4.html

    I hope this has been some help. I don't think I've been very clear. It's hard to explain.

    Islam can offer easy answers to things, very human-computable reasons. But is it the Truth, or is it just what's easiest for human minds to understand? I don't say that with any disrespect to your religion, sister.
     
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    #4 Ishna, Jan 14, 2013
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  6. BlazinSikh

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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!

    Miss Aisha Ji, even though i, like you is still studying sikhism. I still want to attemp to answer your question.

    1) Sorry for me about to sound ignorant, but i can say the same for islam, it is nothing but a combination of Juadism, and Christianity, abit of pagainism, and a few of its own teachings. But see the thing is Waheguru Ji never has, nor will change his command. I believe his command is the same just said or translated in a different way. So obviously this sister has not fully understand Islam/Sikhism. Plus a sikh that is angry is not really a sikh, because this is one of the 5 vices of sikhism.

    2) Hahahahahahahahaha now she has definatly not understood sikhism, the answer i have is a yes and no. Now what i mean is that i human should be loved, never hated, if you see GOD in every being then you will be killing your anger which is one of the 5 vices. So you do not worship human being but love them as they are the creation of GOD. The sins bit i a have not got an answer for that so i will let some one take care of that (sorry).

    3) Ego is the reason we human fail to become one with GOD, now in an Abrahamic religion when you look at christianity, is one of the 7 deadly sin not ego, if not then having Christ as a prophet in Islam is a mistake (sorry if i sound rude, i assure i do not intend to hurt anyone feelings). When you eliminate your ego, you have killed aside of you that no one likes and you allow GOD to enter through you. I mean in an Abrahamic religion if you look at Christ did he have an ego? No he didn't that is why he was able to send the message of GOD through the world, he himself never even claimed to be GOD.

    4) Now i am not going to lie in some cases i do believe GOD test us, but to test us by allowing us to die, now that is just fizz-goggling mad. Our past life is the result of what life we have and live today. I leave a link with a story that will describe, why we suffer or live happly
    http://www.realsikhism.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1193029371&ucat=9

    Aisha Ji sorry for the short answer, but i just wanted to give what i had. Hopefully this has helped you bit, if not then i am sorry.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!
     
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  7. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    Aisha Ji,

    First of all god bless you on your 'seeking' for the truth.
    secondly the above raises a good question.

    Not sure about 'worshiping' but yes if God is everywhere and within everything then we should be loving, caring, forgiving, compasionate towards everyone and everything.

    Many people that 'live' this understanding will clean the shoes of people in the gurudwara...it helps one become humble and recognise this one.
    Some people even go into the temple, they bow down to Guru Ji, then bow down to the sangat that is sitting around.

    Very few really 'know' 'feel' and 'see' god in all and God being one. Humbleness is the key to this.

    A real Sikh doesnt 'Worship' god. A real sikh is seeking to understand who they really are and to experience god. If God really does exist within us all, we only need to look within ourselves (our consciousness) to find the real answer.

    The answer to that is Simran and mediation on God. you will get your answers through this practice.

    why wait? start tonight? :)

    The second part of your question. Who comits the sin?
    This is as a result of our surface consciousness (ego) which thinks this is all that is 'Us' - This is mine...that is yours attitude. This limited 'self', causes the problems in our world and results in our sins.
    If we transcend this surface 'ego' through meditation we start to learn and actually see that our consiosness is so much more vast....the 'totality' of our consiousness is divine...and this totality is within us all.

    Once we have this experience in our lives through meditation, we actually see the God in all of us.
    after that why would be hurt one another, hurt ourselves, why would we go into war when we have uncovered the 'truth' that all is ONE.

    Quantum physics is a very spitiual scientific study of the world. take a look at this short video about how they are starting to understand the 'ONE' ness in us all.

    It's Time To Wake Up - We Are All One - YouTube
     
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  8. Brother Onam

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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
    My dear sister, thank you for your sincere and thoughtful post. I think if you continue to pursue the core of the Sikh panth, for whatever reason, you will become enamoured with it. You are on a wonderful quest.
    Some thoughts concerning your points:
    1. The only pure religion is the complete union with the Sacred Naam. As far as outward teachings, practices and beliefs, nothing comes about unaffected by its surroundings; there is no shame in stating that all religious traditions are a product of a certain people in a certain time and place, to restore their relationship with their Creator. Sikhi was born in a region where there was the confluence of Islam and Hinduism. The great souls used the best elements of either to illuminate the way towards perfect devotion. We may recognize some shades of Sufi (ecstatic union with the One in this lifetime), as well as shades of Bhakti (living all aspects of life as a loving sacrifice to the One). Anything that serves to lead us to higher communion with our Lord is a thing well-used. As far as Buddhism, Siddharta Buddha taught the elimination of caste distinctions long ago; perhaps his example inspired. No shame in that, either...
    2. The sukhmani Sahib teaches that Har is present in forests, in blades of grass, in mountains (and also in the poor girl Nirbhaya in Delhi), not in a vague, metaphorical way, but genuinely, wonderfully, divinely present, and the challenge for us -besieged by Maya and the thieves- is to recognize and see and cherish that Holiness. Not worship, because we are asked to worship only His Feet in the form of Naam, but cherish. If we were in that consciousness, there would be no terrorist bombs, no deforestation, no gang-rapes, no strip-mining, no air pollution, no Bangladeshi sweatshops to burn, no child pornography...because we would see Holiness all around.
    3. The enemy is Ahankar, to my mind; the believing that we are seperate and individual of the Life-giver. And such actions as lead us, in any way, away from oneness with Him is false ego in action. A holy man once wrote: "The greatest distance ever traversed by man, is when we turned our backsides to the Creator." Again, Har Har is present in the table, transcendant holiness is all around us, if we would but recognize it, but worship is reserved for the Most High; the Lord of all the worlds.
    4. I ask to please be forgiven if this is at variance from Sikh doctrine, but in my understanding, the soul is on a long journey trying to be purified of worldliness to the point that it may eventually become absorbed back into the Pure Love of Waheguru. Its physical appearances in this or that earthly body are rather incidental; the soul itself is rather unaffected by what we perceive as the be-all and end-all in this little earthly sojourn. So as it is embodied in a flesh-and-blood garment for a short spell here or there, it continues on the much grander quest to attain everlasting union (or re-union) with Waheguru, the Searcher Of All Hearts.
    Again, I am just a straw lying in the road, and any mistakes or errors in understanding are strictly mine. The Sikh panth is immaculate.
     
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  9. Harkiran Kaur

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    I always love the question about God being separate from creation!!!

    The way I think of creation: This world is an illusion. It's real certainly to us while we are immersed within it and we are bound by its rules while here, however when we are immersed within our dreams at night, those too are certainly just as real to us. I liken this reality to a dream, only this is the dream of the creator.



    If it is difficult to understand how this world could be a dream, imagine the void, at the beginning and all that exists and ever did exist was the creator, God. Nearly ALL religions speak of the Universe being created by a word or sound (Sikhi refers to Celestial music / sound-currents)... words = sound, sound = frequency / vibration, light = vibration, electromagnetic activity = vibration, ALL matter is basically energy at a slow vibration. So we know that for the entire Universe the basis is pure frequency.

    Thoughts too are pure frequency... in our case, in the form of brainwaves...

    So if this is the dream of the creator, then it's easy to understand how the creator could be both outside the dream (as the dreamer) and playing all the characters (us) within the dream, and also all of the entire dream itself. Just as when you dream at night, you exist outside of your dream, and also within it, and everything (even inanimate objects) are also really you - everything = your thoughts, again pure frequency / vibration.

    In fact some religions and mystical traditions have a saying "As above, so below" (Emerald Tablet of Hermes) illustrating the fact that we (the below) also contain this creative potential (as the creator above).

    We have even been referred to as the "little dreamers within the big dream" in an article called "The Sleeper Awakens" by an author named Dr. Asoka Selvarajah ph.d (it's a really great article I think!)
    here's the link: http://www.mystic-mouse.co.uk/Wisdom_Texts/Mystic_Visions/Reality.htm



    The creation is born of God, and God is within the creation.
    So from the above you can see that everything is really ONE,... the creator. The separateness of us and everything around us, is the illusion. There really is only ONE universal consciousness in existence. We are not separate from it. We are all ONE. So we are all connected at a very deep level, and most never realize this fact, when they do hurtful things to others, or even the environment, animals etc. Everything is ONE.

    Further to the above:




    From the above, you can see that the creator (God) is the director of the play (this reality) and all the characters (us) but when the play ends (this reality ends) and he takes off all the costumes (end of separateness) he is only ONE, and in reality there only ever was the ONE, it's just our perspective that we are separate...that's the illusion. Just as in your dreams at night all the characters are really you, even if you only experience the dream from the vantage point of one character.

    So in summary, it's very easy for me to see and understand how the creator can be both outside of creation and how the creator can be within all of the creation at the same time. In fact, I think it would be more difficult to explain how creation could be completely separate from the creator!

    Since the creator is unknowable, and described as 'formless' in most religions, ask yourself what tools would a creative, formless being of pure Universal consciousness have, in order to create??? I believe the answer is consciousness itself - pure thought.

    I am sure my take on this will be pulled apart by some, but I came to this conclusion through noticing the similarities between many different religions on this matter. And I just deeply feel like everything is connected and is ONE and that there really is no separateness at all.


    Oh and ChazSingh Ji... You and I think alike!

    sonadmin Ji: The video Chazsingh Ji posted gets into what I was trying to explain before about subatomic particles being affected by a conscious observer, in another thread.
     
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  10. harcharanjitsinghdhillon

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    mind is still there, not surrendered yet.. so mind sees the waves and the ocean are 2 separate things.. mind always reassemble the ego. so surrender the mind, then there is no more ego.. but how far is the play of this ego.. scan it thru meditation..use naam as a guide, at last above the 10th gate the truth will be seen..our true soul or spirit will manifest at and above the 10th gate.. the rest below are all related to mind and body..we are not mind and body.. we are actually spirit soul, our true home is such khand,, where duality, and ego and time does not exist.. no male or female here..oneness with god is known here.. we sikhi does not make a destiny to islamic heavens where ego, time, and duality still exist.. PAIN and SUFFERINGS exist because of ego-mind and body.. all subjects related to duality are enjoyed by the ego-mind and body, but it does not do anything to the soul spirit development...food for soul spirit is NAAM.. there are 2 forces in life one takes you away from GOD, that is maya or kaal, or negative power, this power wants you to get separated, and always stay separated from the divine source..it wants you to always preserve your haumai or ego.. it will always show you some artificials heavens where temporary salvations are earned.. it will always show you the art of to reassemble your ego.. it will tell you your life is only once, and death is only once.. it will never teaches you the art to dismantle your ego- haumai.. the second force is GRACE, this is positive force, it will take you towards the creator.. it will teach you on how to dismantle your ego-haumai.. it will show us our true home such khand, where duality, ego and time does not exist.. if an opportunity is given to me to pick up the true DEVIL, then i will pick up THE UNIVERSAL MIND... this is the one that dresses us up with mind and body.. but actually in sikhism we does not believe in the devil.. most of the world religion revealations are coming from this Omkaar.. Guru granth is not coming from here, it is coming from much higher directly from god-sargun plus nirgun..please read the below link and see what else came from Omkaar.. if i am not mistaken in reality, Omkaar exist in a sound of a drum.. many realigions thought that this was the ultimate reality. but actually it was not.. god is seated much higher then this.. another thing is law of karmas.. actually law of karmas exist.. but that part which is related to caste system is rejected..HUKAM in sikhism consist of developing moral values,, law of karmas, and law of grace.. since all of us are still stationed under the domain of Omkaar, law of karmas are still applicable to us.. when we rise much higher then omkaar beyond maya, i mean in such khand, there the law of karmas does not exist anymore..there in such khand only grace of god exist.. no more pain and suffering anymore.. NAAM is the guide for this nothing else. please read the below link and see what else came from Omkaar.. at the beginning when nothing exist, there was no Omkaar, only nirgun was there.. thanks

    http://www.iuscanada.com/journal/articles/omkar.pdf

    the word OM is the essence of the 3 worlds only
     
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  11. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    Beautifully written and explained :)
     
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  12. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    The beauty is we can all withdraw our attention through Simran and mediation and 'dip' into this 'conscious observer' that lies within all things :)

    God Bless Ji.
     
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  13. harcharanjitsinghdhillon

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    guru granth and divine expansion---

    http://www.onlyonegod.ca/Expansion.html

    Many world religions were thinking the ultimate reality was Omkaar..majority of their wisdom books came from this region.. so when they thought this was the ultimate reality they started making their destiny below this reality, you have here many types of heavens and hells here, but duality, ego and time, still exist here.. actually this ultimate reality which they thought, is actually the immanent part of god-sargun, where god creative energy starts.. and since sikhism does not believe in the devil,, we are taking Omkaar to be one of the Naam only, but not a complete god... those who thought it was the complete god, they fall into the trap..our true home is not located here in this 3 worlds or maya or kaal created by Omkaar..we came from much higher region such khand.. for the islamic people since they believe that they came from adam and eve, makes their destiny to this region where duality and haumai still exist.. but they does not know that they are falling into a deadly traps.. their wisdom books comes from Omkaar, since omkaar is not eternal, means there was no omkaar at the beginning when nothing was there, so their wisdom books does not have ETERNAL QUALITIES in it,, means only applicable to time and space of the present creation only.. our guru granth has eternal qualities in it, means it is always functioning and applicable no matter how many times god distroy and recreate the creation.. this is the greatness of sri granth
     
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    #12 harcharanjitsinghdhillon, Jan 16, 2013
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  14. Aisha

    Aisha
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    Thank you for the replies everyone! I'm glad I posted my questions on here, I couldn't have asked for a better response :wah:


    And sorry I didn't post sooner! I typed up a reply a few days ago but it didn't show up on here and when I went back to the old page, it was gone :02: So I will try this again!

    I am just going to go through some of the things that stuck out the most for me and comment on them.


    So this has something to do with Sikhism accepting that there are many paths to the same destination right? Like I have never personally met a Sikh who was even semi-religious say that this is the only path the salvation, so I can understand why there may be teachings from other religions incorporated into Sikhi.

    The way I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong, Sikhi believes that the core of every religion in the world is divine worship, which belongs alone to the supreme creator of the universe, and everything else- fasts, pilgrimages, rituals etc... are unnecessary dimensions that only clog pipes, cause confusion and ultimately dilute the purity of the original message.

    So to me, Sikhism is a religion that has peeled off the outside cultural layers that are present in so many of the world's other monotheistic faiths and instead focuses solely on revering the divine ruler of the cosmos. (No wonder Sikhi is so often at odds with Punjabi culture!).



    This is the part that always stumps me and if I had to guess, most other people who explore Sikhi as well. You mentioned that Islam offers very straightforward, very easy to understand answers to most questions people have about life and what follows it. I agree. This is largely due to the fact that the concept of God (Allah) in Islam is not difficult to understand. If you read the Qur'an you'll see that Allah is very much made out to be like a person- he has thoughts, feelings/emotions and opinions and often times acts upon them by intervening in human affairs. He will support one group of people over another, punish those He perceives to be wrongdoers by sending earthquakes/hurricanes etc... and reward people when he feels that they deserve it. The Qur'an is a book of commandments. Most everything in it is easy to comprehend and not up for debate. I always imagine it to be that the Universe is a glass dome and Allah is the external observer. And that's the way most other people perceive Him as well.

    Waheguru is different. He is present everywhere and in everything. He is not separate from his creation but rather an integral part of it. I get that.

    What I don't get is what I am supposed to imagine when my eyes are closed and I am praying. That probably sounded stupid but here is what I mean: when I pray to Allah, I know that I am speaking to a divine entity sitting on a throne somewhere beyond heaven. I know He is up there, somewhere, detached from the rest of us, looking down at me and listening to what I am saying. Even though Allah does not have a physical form, most Muslims I know (myself included) do come up with some sort of a mental image for what we think he may look like when we pray. It isn't to disrespect him or anything, it is just easier to concentrate that way.

    I have tried to pray to Waheguru before. But I don't think that Waheguru is sitting on a throne anywhere (right?). He is within us and everything else. He is not detached. I cannot come up with an image of a person/thing when I close my eyes. I would just like to know what all of you picture in your minds when you pray.



    Thank you, I will have a look!


    No, don't worry, it was wonderful ;)






    Okay I get it, God is in all means that everything is equally worthy of respect, not that everything is worthy of worship.







    I actually asked about the ego to my BF the other day, he gave a similar response to yours. What he said was that ego makes you think that you are superior to others and that you are somehow more important. Basically, you are placing yourself on a pedestal above others. When you eliminate your ego, you realize that although you yourself are a unique individual with your own personality, history and experiences, you still emerged from the same source as everyone else around you and thus are no more valuable than anyone else. Sort of like a tree can have a hundred different branches but they are still attached to the same foundation. And then you begin to understand that branches like you come and go, but the tree (God, the source, the sustainer) is the only thing that truly exists. I take it that's what you meant as well? That's how I read your post.






    Thanks for the link! I will surely have a read.






    Okay, like BlazinSikh Ji said.



    This part I do not fully understand. Are you trying to say that the concept of prayer does not exist in your religion and that instead the Sikhi counterpart is Simran? If so, does this also mean that Waheguru does not answer prayers or give us what we desire in this life? Growing up I was always told that if I wanted something, I should make dua to Allah and if my intentions are good, I would get it. Does a similar concept of "ask and thou shall receive" exist in Sikhi?




    At the Gurdwara I go to, every Sunday at around 7 pm, the entire sangat in the prayer hall sits cross legged together and chants "Waheguru", led by the people up at the front with the microphones and musical instruments (sorry I don't know what they're called!) for about an hour. I enjoy it but have also been told that Simran is supposed to be done silently for best results. Haven't tried that yet.





    This sounds like what Ishan Ji posted:


    It seems like eliminating ego is a very big part of the religion. Everyone has brought it up!

    But I do understand what you are trying to say. When people start making themselves the center of everything in life and develop the delusion that the universe revolves around them, it opens the door for arrogance and abuse to overwhelm their being and drive them away from everyone they ever loved. I have seen it with my own eyes.

    ""From dust we came, and to dust we will return."







    Thank you!! I am a huge science geek and really enjoyed that video! :D I find it really fascinating how the universe behaves like an orchestra in perfect synchrony. And that isn't a metaphor either. There is a universal frequency that all living beings can identify with. Nature is continuously producing music that we can't even hear. More to do with the "we are all from the same source" bit from before. I never considered that it could possibly tie in with Sikhi. I will definitely dig a bit deeper into this.
















    Everything else had already been said but your explanation for this point was just lovely. Thank you.

    A few things though, are humans the only life forms capable of purification and reunion with Waheguru or is the policy inclusive of other life forms as well? And as for reincarnation, does your ensuing form depend on your actions in this life or does everyone have to go to the "back of the line"? What I mean is, I always imagined reincarnation to be like a ladder- lowest life form at the bottom, humans at the top. Each step up is better than the one underneath. But if you are a human (at the top), and you don't merge with Waheguru after death, are you automatically going to the bottom of the latter, or does it have to do with how successful you were in this life at controlling the 5 evils et al?











    Talk about putting it in perspective! Great post!! Oh and thank you for using the Guru Granth Sahib Ji as a reference ;)





    You know, I've never had a Sikh say to me "Sikhi is the true path because science is only now just starting to understand what Gurbani revealed hundreds of years ago!". But that phrase is quite common among Christians and Muslims (substitute Christianity or Islam for Sikhi). Why is this? Because it sounds like Sikhi is a very scientific religion but a lot of people, including Sikhs, don't know about the science behind the teachings.






    That reminds me a quote I came across once, that mentioned how we are all the same being living life from a different perspective. Pretty deep stuff.

    The tricky bit for me though is, the dream analogy gives the impression that nothing is actually real, including us. The people in our dreams don't actually exist. And they only "merge" back into us when we wake up. But it sounds to me like Waheguru is always going to be "sleeping"- that is, the illusion of the universe is never going to disappear. Doesn't Waheguru need to wake up for us to return to him/her?




    Thank you!


    I like that last bit! Thank you for your post, it was great, and may I say, you look really pretty in blue :07:





    This entire thing brings one more question to mind: reading all your replies and also going by what I know, it does not at all sound like to me that Allah and Waheguru are the same being. They are actually polar opposites when it comes to things like punishment, reward and the purpose of life. But Sikhi says they are the same, just they have different names. How is that so? There may be some similarities but I think they are overshadowed by the differences.



    Thank you to everyone that posted once again! Sorry I couldn't reply to everyone, I just wanted to get the main points addressed and think that I have. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
     
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  15. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Aisha bhainji

    You sure ask some intense questions. :)

    I'm not sure about the 'many paths to the same destination' approach. I think the Truth is one path and people from all religions are either lucky enough to find it or they're not, and never find the path of Truth.

    The Truth is the same no matter what, but that's different to saying 'every path is the right path'. I would say every religion is a religion (including Sikhi) and the lucky few break through to the Truth, which is beyond any religion:

    ਭਗਤਾ ਕੀ ਚਾਲ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ

    Bẖagṯā kī cẖāl nirālī.

    The lifestyle of the devotees is unique and distinct.


    ਚਾਲਾ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ਭਗਤਾਹ ਕੇਰੀ ਬਿਖਮ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਚਲਣਾ

    Cẖālā nirālī bẖagṯāh kerī bikẖam mārag cẖalṇā.

    The devotees' lifestyle is unique and distinct; they follow the most difficult path.


    ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਤਜਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਬੋਲਣਾ

    Lab lobẖ ahaʼnkār ṯaj ṯarisnā bahuṯ nāhī bolṇā.

    They renounce greed, avarice, egotism and desire; they do not talk too much.


    ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ

    Kẖanni▫ahu ṯikẖī vālahu nikī eṯ mārag jāṇā.

    The path they take is sharper than a two-edged sword, and finer than a hair.

    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਆਪੁ ਤਜਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਵਾਸਨਾ ਸਮਾਣੀ

    Gur parsādī jinī āp ṯaji▫ā har vāsnā samāṇī.

    By Guru's Grace, they shed their selfishness and conceit; their hopes are merged in the Lord.


    ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਚਾਲ ਭਗਤਾ ਜੁਗਹੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ॥੧੪॥

    Kahai Nānak cẖāl bẖagṯā jugahu jug nirālī. ||14||

    Says Nanak, the lifestyle of the devotees, in each and every age, is unique and distinct. ||14||

    Ang 918 (14th paurhi of anand Sahib)


    Sikhi is unique and distinct, it is very much at odds with existing religions 500 years ago. Any similarities I would say are absolutes which you would find similar to most decent religions.

    Not sure about the core of every religion in the world being divine worship. More accurate to say the core of every person should be realisation of divine essence. Sikhi is very clear that you can be a great person but you fall short without Naam.

    Yup, you've nailed it when you say fasts, pilgrimages, rituals etc are unnecessary dimensions that clog pipes.

    Just to clarify, you're probably already aware, that Waheguru has no gender in Sikhi. He is not a he but we may call It a he for ease of communicating in poxy English, teehee :grinningkaur:. Waheguru is not much of an interacting deity. In fact, Sikhi is closer to deism than theism. A creative force which created everything, set hukam in motion to govern it, and pretty much leaves it running.

    Regarding prayer, you made the connection further down your post where you said that simran is emphasised more than prayer in Sikhi. Yes yes yes yes. 24/7 simran (awareness/rememberance of creator) is the goal, to dissolve our sense of separateness.

    You will find other threads here where we've all at some point I think explored the place of prayer in Sikhi. It's complicated.

    What to picture when you pray? When I do ardaas I sometimes imagine what a Guru Sahib would look like, standing there in front of me. For me, it's more about feeling than picturing but it might just be different ways our brains work. :) Images of far-reaching space usually end up in my mind during simran.

    Oh no! My battery is about to die on my netbook. Will write more later. I was just in the process of searching for 'pray' at www.srigranth.org to see if I could get some examples about prayer. You might want to try that in the meantime and see for yourself what Guruji has to say about prayer.

    Take care
     
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    #14 Ishna, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  16. Ishna

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    I stand partly corrected on my earlier comment. sukhmani Sahib, 7th paurhi of the 24th (last) Ashtapadi:


    ਇਹੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਜਪੈ ਮਨਿ ਕੋਇ

    Ih niḏẖān japai man ko▫e.

    One who chants this treasure in his mind -


    ਸਭ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਹੋਇ

    Sabẖ jug mėh ṯā kī gaṯ ho▫e.

    in every age, he attains salvation.


    ਗੁਣ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਾਮ ਧੁਨਿ ਬਾਣੀ

    Guṇ gobinḏ nām ḏẖun baṇī.

    In it is the Glory of God, the Naam, the chanting of Gurbani.


    ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬੇਦ ਬਖਾਣੀ

    Simriṯ sāsṯar beḏ bakẖāṇī.

    The Simritees, the Shaastras and the Vedas speak of it.


    ਸਗਲ ਮਤਾਂਤ ਕੇਵਲ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ

    Sagal maṯāʼnṯ keval har nām.

    The essence of all religion is the Lord's Name alone.


    ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਭਗਤ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ

    Gobinḏ bẖagaṯ kai man bisrām.

    It abides in the minds of the devotees of God.


    ਕੋਟਿ ਅਪ੍ਰਾਧ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਟੈ

    Kot aprāḏẖ sāḏẖsang mitai.

    Millions of sins are erased, in the Company of the Holy.


    ਸੰਤ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਤੇ ਜਮ ਤੇ ਛੁਟੈ

    Sanṯ kirpā ṯe jam ṯe cẖẖutai.

    By the Grace of the Saint, one escapes the Messenger of Death.


    ਜਾ ਕੈ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਕਰਮ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਪਾਏ

    Jā kai masṯak karam parabẖ pā▫e.

    Those, who have such pre-ordained destiny on their foreheads,


    ਸਾਧ ਸਰਣਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਆਏ ॥੭॥

    Sāḏẖ saraṇ Nānak ṯe ā▫e. ||7||

    O Nanak, enter the Sanctuary of the Saints. ||7||

     
  17. Ishna

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    The thing about prayer in Sikhi... is that more valuable than any physical request is the request to be close to Waheguru. To dissolve one's ego/sense of separateness from Waheguru, and to be blessed with Naam - the sense of Creator permeating everyone and everything, is greater than anything else anyone could ever ask for. To be dead while yet alive, to be involved but detached, to be linked to Guruji constantly... you do your best and accept the rest.

    It's that kind of deep-seated connection to God in the fibres of ones being which gave Sikh heroes the ability to endure terrible torture and hardship. Gyaniji can give copious examples of such.

    So, prayer is not so much about the day-to-day bits and pieces of life in Sikhi... it's about praise, it's begging for Naam, it's about remembering the Creator as much as you possibly can. With that comes the strength to go forth, do ones best in life, confront challenges and celebrate victories, all in the Ocean of Waheguru.


    ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ

    Āsā mėhlā 5.

    Aasaa, Fifth Mehl:


    ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਤਰੰਗੁ ਹਮ ਮੀਨ ਤੁਮਾਰੇ

    Ŧū merā ṯarang ham mīn ṯumāre.

    You are my waves, and I am Your fish.


    ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਹਮ ਤੇਰੈ ਦੁਆਰੇ ॥੧॥

    Ŧū merā ṯẖākur ham ṯerai ḏu▫āre. ||1||

    You are my Lord and Master; I wait at Your Door. ||1||


    ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਹਉ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਤੇਰਾ

    Ŧūʼn merā karṯā ha▫o sevak ṯerā.

    You are my Creator, and I am Your servant.


    ਸਰਣਿ ਗਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਗੁਨੀ ਗਹੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

    Saraṇ gahī parabẖ gunī gaherā. ||1|| rahā▫o.

    I have taken to Your Sanctuary, O God, most profound and excellent. ||1||Pause||


    ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਤੂ ਆਧਾਰੁ

    Ŧū merā jīvan ṯū āḏẖār.

    You are my life, You are my Support.


    ਤੁਝਹਿ ਪੇਖਿ ਬਿਗਸੈ ਕਉਲਾਰੁ ॥੨॥

    Ŧujẖėh pekẖ bigsai ka▫ulār. ||2||

    Beholding You, my heart-lotus blossoms forth. ||2||


    ਤੂ ਮੇਰੀ ਗਤਿ ਪਤਿ ਤੂ ਪਰਵਾਨੁ

    Ŧū merī gaṯ paṯ ṯū parvān.

    You are my salvation and honor; You make me acceptable.


    ਤੂ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਮੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਤਾਣੁ ॥੩॥

    Ŧū samrath mai ṯerā ṯāṇ. ||3||

    You are All-powerful, You are my strength. ||3||


    ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਜਪਉ ਨਾਮ ਗੁਣਤਾਸਿ

    An▫ḏin japa▫o nām guṇṯās.

    Night and day, I chant the Naam, the Name of the Lord, the treasure of excellence.


    ਨਾਨਕ ਕੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਹਿ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥੪॥੨੩॥੭੪॥

    Nānak kī parabẖ pėh arḏās. ||4||23||74||

    This is Nanak's prayer to God. ||4||23||74||

    Ang 389

    And I be quiet now.

    :grinningkaur:
     
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    #16 Ishna, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  18. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    That depends on what you consider is the true 'us' The physical shell that exists here in the material world is NOT who you are. You must realize that the divine light within you, THAT is the real you! So you are correct... the physical you is not real. It's part of the illusion. It's only transitory. Look within... the 'seer', the 'doer' that experiences, that is the real you. And that real you is not separate from anyone else.

    To asnwer your question about what to picture when you pray. I try very hard to not picture anything. Instead I try to FEEL the light within myself. If I try to make up images in my mind when doing simran, then I feel those images will only lead me astray, because they are just something manufactured by me. Sikhi says Waheguru is formless, and unknowable directly. So by clearing my mind of everything except for what I feel when doing simran, then (for me) I feel that will open me more to the experience... because until you experience it, you don't know what that experience is going to be like. If I pictured some humanoid figure as Waheguru while I meditate / pray I think that would affect my perceptions of the true experience. So to sum it up, I clear my mind of everything except for naam. And I try to use all my senses to experience it, without any preconceptions. I immerse myself within it fully.

    And also, when you asked about the comparison that Allah can be asked for things and you can be given them. What I believe is that by leading a good life, doing good deeds like helping others, doing seva, helping the poor, etc. Those things will echo back to you manyfold. I don't believe in asking the creator for material things in this life... because that's not what life is about. Why would I ask the creator to provide me with more illusions within the illusion, when I am trying to break free of the illusion!? That's not what life is about...
     
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  19. chazSingh

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    Nicely said,
    no pictures, no images...i just use the shabad in gurbani...those sounds "satnaam" "waheguru" etc...they set my focus and direction....no images required :)

    then we just listen, feel and see withinand enjoy the journey ahead...
     
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  20. findingmyway

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    Aisha ji, I would love to add a few rambling thoughts if I may :)

    I'm glad you've had such a positive experience with the Sikh sangat

    Sikh philosophy strips down to basic human psychology so in its essentials it will resemble all religions!! However, it also is different as cultural trappings that appear in other religions are removed. (Modern day Sikhs are returning to those cultural trappings but that is another discussion.)


    Sikhi does not have the concept of sins. Your actions can be good or bad and take you further away from spirituality or bring you closer to feeling the connection with Waheguru (and hence great sense of peace). The only thing to worship is the concept of creation. Worshipping individual people/animals/objects leads to ritualism and can cause a person to lose focus from the purpose of life (doing the best and being the best person you can be). The propensity to do the wrong thing is something I will talk about later but is related to free will.


    The creator is not a person so this makes no sense to me. For me creation encompasses the laws of physics, the laws of nature etc. I experience the creator when I see a waterfall, a bird, orchids growing, snow fall etc. These laws govern everything including our lives. When I study how are genes work and how protein in our body is created it is incredible! How has it come to be? Due to creator pulling the universe together the way it is and keeping it in check through the laws. Its an unusual way of looking at things but avoids the complications of thinking of Waheguru as a person. A few others have dealt with the ego side of things beautifully.


    Karma and past lives are irrelevant. Karma acts in this life, i.e. the more you behave according to Gurbani towards helping others, the greater your spiritual side will develop. That is the greatest reward as it brings incredible peace of mind and incredible strength.
    Do you believe in free will? If you do, then there is no possibility of perfection. Waheguru is not a puppet master pulling your strings but has given you a set of functions. How you use your capabilities is your choice. Horrors in the world are committed by people, not God. Children suffering and illness is related to the natural order of things. When you study physiology and anatomy, the thing to wonder about is not why do people suffer, but how do things not go wrong more often!!! Pain is not a test but the natural order of things.
     
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  21. BlazinSikh

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    I agree, I used to place images in my head but it just makes it difficult for me to feel the kirtan, so the only thing i do is just put "Ik Onkar" image in my head and me reciting the kirtan (I previously made a mistake by saying simran) to Waheguru.

    Ah quick question, does anyone feel the hair on their body stand up when getting lost in to Kirtan (I previously made a mistake by saying simran)???

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!
     
    #20 BlazinSikh, Jan 22, 2013
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