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After Death in Sikhism

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by LearningGuy, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. LearningGuy

    LearningGuy
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    Hey I'm new to this forum, I'm not a Sikh, and I'm just trying to learn more about Sikhism. (out of curiousity)

    I'm curious about what Sikhs believe happens after death. Muslims and Christians believe in 2 destinations (heaven/hell)

    1. What happens when a Sikh who follows the 5 Ks dies?
    2. What happens someone who is a sikh but doesn't follow the 5 Ks dies?
    3. What happens when someone who isn't Sikh and doesn't even believe in a god dies?
     
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  3. kaur-1

    kaur-1
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    Source:Copied from a post on another site.

    "Pyare jio, due to rise of muslim students harrassing sikh kids in London and Bradford in attempts of conversions. I will be putting up some old posts about conversations I have had with muslims, in the hope the young sikh kids can use these arguments to educate themselves, and counter questions on sikhi.


    Waheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa!
    Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!!

    Pyare jio, recently I encountered a bibi who was heavily influenced by islam. She wanted to have a debate with me. She seemed quite confident she was going to convince me about the superiority of Islam. I accepted. The angle she used was all about life after death.

    A few weeks later I was talking to another local Gursikh about this. He said this was so strange. He said in the office he worked, he too was approached, and also asked about life after death. He said not only this, but his brother who studies in a birmingham university was also asked the same questions. So was his sister, who is a teenager in a leeds school. We thought this cannot be a coincidnce that in the matter a two weeks four practicing sikhs are approached by muslims with exactly the same questions. These are just the people we know, how many more?

    Wondering about this, we came to the conclusion, that there must be some kind of organised approach to this. Quite possibly an egroup, which regularly lists questions which can be asked to all non-muslims, to question their faith, and then interest them in islam.

    Two weeks ago, I met another sikh who works as a teacher in a school. He said he has alot of muslim kids in his class. He said one of them even came up to him, put his arm around him, and said, "give me half an hour, and I will convince you islam is the only way." He said he was amazed at the level of confidence in these kids that they could say something like that to their teacher.

    Below is the debate we had about this subject, initiated by the bibi.

    Bibi: Bhaji, You sikhs believe in reincarnation. This is a completely absurd theory. It does not make sense. How can a human then become a pig?

    Das: Bhen ji, both sikhs and hindus believe in re-incarnation, but our belief is different in some areas, but the whole concept of re-incarnation is not about what a person becomes in their next life, but about escaping the cycle of life and death and becoming mukht.

    Bibi : But how do you become a pig from a human?

    Das: The body is just a vessel, only the soul is what is of value. This soul can be born in any vessel.

    Bibi: I do not accept this, I think it is absurd.

    Das: Bhen ji, that is your choice. A person after death is judged according to their thoughts & actions. It is according to this judgement, that they are honoured or dishonoured in the next life. But even this is not so important. The important thing is to be able to break the cycle in life and death, while alive. To be able to attain a spiritual plain and obtain mukhti. Then it does not matter what you will be in the next life, for you are free and merged with God. That is the key to re-incarnation, that one breaks free from this cycle.

    Bibi: Fine, but is sikhi the way? Judgement day will come upon us all.

    Das: Yes it will, and it happens everyday. Everyday we are judged, and every action we do has a re-action. But in the end to Judgement day will come, we call it the Dharam Raj, you call it different.

    Bibi: No, judgement day will come to everyone on this earth. The day will be beckoning, when Allah judges all, and the muslims will rise.

    Das: You mean the muslims will rise, ie. all the ones buried in coffins will rise again and you will have an army of zombies fighting against non-muslims. You find re-incarnation absurd, but you find this acceptable?

    Bibi: Islam is the truth, it is the only way. All those who are non-muslims will become muslims.

    Das: Judgement day as a concept is complete nonsense. It does not make sense.

    Bibi: How can you say that?

    Das: Bhen ji, relax and listen. Firstly you believe in a day. Why? God, Allah, Waheguru, does not believe in day and night, God is timeless. Day and night is a concept of man, and the result of the earth circling the sun. Why would God wait for a day to judge everyone. God is beyond that. It is a continuous process as in sikhi has with the Dharam raj. Do you believe God is not capable of judging people continuously. Why wait for a day? Them muslims who died centuries ago are then unlucky for they have had to stay in coffins all this time, decomposing, waiting for this day to come when they can be judged. Does this not seem an ineffective way, surely continuous judgement via dhram raj is more sensible, and God`s way is Truth. I see more truth in continuous judgement.

    Bibi: yes, but your way, turns a human into a pig?

    Das: Bhen ji, You are stuck on one silly point. God gives his beloved souls many many chances, it is they who choose whether to take this chance or not. If they do not then they come back in some form or another. Just because muslims do not like pigs, does not mean they are bad. A pig is part of Allah`s creation aswell, just like everything else. A person who is a friend of God, is also a friend on his creation. That person learns to love and appreciate everything God has created.

    Bibi: No, in islam there is only one chance, there is only one way, and you are judged according to it.

    Das: How can this be the way of God? Even a mother with a child. The child as it grows up makes thousands of mistakes, the mother sometimes gets frustrated, but never stops loving the child. The mother always forgives and has that compassionate nature. And we are talking of God. It is God who put that compassionate nature into the mother. How can we say God is not compasionate at all? The human will make thousands of mistakes in their life, no matter how holy they are, but God will always love them, help them, and be compassionate towards them. he gives them thousands of chances.

    Bibi: Yes, true a mother is compassonate and so must be God. l have to read deeper, maybe in islam you do get another chance.

    Das: Then if you do get another chance, then that chance has a form. Whether or not you accept it, then that is a form of re-incarnation, and non-acceptance of Judgement day theory.

    (Bibi goes quiet, revelation suddenly dawns upon her)
    Bibi: No, No, I will have to get back to you ... We will talk about this again..

    Bibi left.



    Waheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa!
    Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!!"



    Sikhs definately do not believe that after death there will be awaiting for them pleasures, wine and women (virgin young women!).

    If you are new to Sikhi, I do recomend you look up discussions on Gurbani.
     
  4. LearningGuy

    LearningGuy
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    I wasn't saying Muslim or Christian's interpretation of heaven was correct. I was just giving an example, of what I wanted to know, so a Sikh could explain what Sikhs believe happens after death.

    Oh and what does Das mean? Does it mean "I" or "me" or is it a first name?
     
  5. kaur-1

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    Das mean I

    Try doing a search on "death" or something in that line on this forum or even try and read from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    From my experience only muslims tend to ask the "death" question and you sound like one. Sorry.
     
  6. S|kH

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    I dont worry about after-death.

    Nothing happens, you die.

    You live life to help humanity now.

    There is no heaven, and re-incarnation is a myth.

    Hence, Guru Nanak didnt care if he was buried by islamic or hindu rituals. Bury him anywhere, his life was over.

    depressing? yeah.

    but if u live your life for an end-game result...you should re-evalute mankind.

    ^this is my philosophy and does not respresent pure Sikh philosophy.
     
  7. LearningGuy

    LearningGuy
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    Yea, I'm not a muslim, I don't like some of the things it teaches. Like cutting off hands of thieves, the way Mohammed treated Jewish tribes in Medina, how early Islam spread, being able to marry 4 wives, having to pray in Arabic, having to go to Mecca once in a lifetime, etc.

    Well I'm hoping some Sikh can answer my questions. :)
     
  8. kaur-1

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    I hope you know how to use the SEARCH function on this site. It will be bring up results on "death". Have a good read. :)

    If you want to learn about Sikhi try reading this post by another forum member "Surinder kaur Cheema"

    "Naam Simran



    Naam Simran is the Sikh way of meditation. It is such a deep subject that it cannot be entirely explained theoretically. It needs to be experienced through undergoing a practical endeavor. Success depends purely on earnestness of the practitioner and most of all on Guru’s grace.

    As we start this journey we face a lot of difficulties. Some are related to the lack of faith; others are merely due to the lack of knowledge and proper techniques. Naam Simran is Guru’s Hukam. Different people describe different ways to do it. This is an effort to facilitate this learning process.

    What is Naam Simran:

    Naam is the name we address God, the Almighty with as well as we use it to praise Him. Naam can be any word or collection of words, a stanza, a statement that connects you with Him. This word must initiate unconditional love for Him in your mind. It can be His name that you been using to address Him so far or any words from Bani that express His presence every where and His unlimited Qualities and Praises.

    Can be “Waheguru”, “Satnaam”, “Satnaam Waheguru”, “Har”, “Haree”, “Har Har Har Har Haree Haree”, “Gobindey Mukandey Udarey Aparey Hareean Kareean Nirnaamay Akaamay”, “Eak Tuee Eak Tuee”, “Satnaam Sada-ee Satnaam”, “Ang Sang Waheguru”, “Mool Mantra” and many many more.

    The name needs to become the adhaar (ADwr), the base for all the practice. So make sure you choose that name which is easy for you, and brings in respect, faith, and unconditional love for God in your mind . If you are going to do simran on your breath it must go along your natural breathing span so you don’t have to use it forcefully. You can choose several different words and use them at different times.

    For example, while driving use “Gobindey……”, while showering use “Har Har…….”, while walking “Satnaam” with one step and “Waheguru” with the following step and so on, while cooking use “Ang Sang….”; there can be so many different ways. This way Naam Simran becomes an enjoyable experience, especially in the beginning.


    Simran is remembering something again and again. So Naam Simran becomes the continous remembrance of God. It is the synchronization of Naam and Simran. So you are reciting Naam (Naam Jaap) along with the thoughts of whose name you are repeating.

    It can be done for a short or long span of time, at a scheduled period or for ever. So Naam Simran can be stated as the repetition of the Naam and the thoughts of God over and over again without stopping.

    Why Naam Simran:

    Naam Simran eventualy stabilizes your mind in God’s remembrance. That makes you become one with your inner spirit which ultimately leads to the unity with God. So Naam Simran done the right way, leads to the salvation with Guru’s grace

    Tools to help Naam Simran:

    To make Naam Simran a successful endeavor, following tools can be helpful. Most of these tools are interdependent in nature and effect.

    First step is to choose the word and start Naam Jaap, loud or silent. Second step is focusing your mind on Him. That’s where we always wonder- how. Following are some tools, which can help us to concentrate better:

    (1) Prayer:
    Start Simran with prayer. Prayer can be full Ardaas, first stanza of Ardaas or can be your own words or stanzas from Bani. Lovingly ask for God’s help in everything; for success of the Simran, for any wish fulfillment. Seek God’s aid and guidance. Then again end it with a prayer. You can also pause and pray while doing Simran. Prayer always helps. It boosts your confidence.

    Sample Prayers:
    krqw qU myrw jjmwnu ] iek diKxw hau qY pih mwgau dyih Awpxw nwmu ] Page 1329(SGGS)

    srin pry kI rwKu dieAwlw ] nwnk qumry bwl gupwlw ] Page 260(SGGS)

    (2) Love and Devotion:
    Love God. Love His creation. Love the words you are using as Naam. Love yourself- you are His creation. He is in you. Love every thing He provided you with. Love Him for His abundant goodness to us.

    riv rihAw pRBu sB mih Awpy ] Page 804
    Love with God brings in humility, faith, forgiveness, and devotion and is of great help in concentration process. And of coarse:

    pRym ipAwly vs hoie Bgq vCl hoie isrjnhwrw] Page 6(SGGS)

    Think of yourself being in Gurudwara Sahib, bowing and sitting in ardaas position, singing Bani, imagine yourself in Hari Mandir Sahib, holding Guru Ji’s Palla. All this helps to bring more love in your bhagti. It helps your mind and soul bow in humility which is essential for spiritual progress.

    (3) Contemplation (bIcwr) of Bani:
    We are blessed with such an invaluable gift- Bani. “Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji” is our Shabad Guru. And we must read, think, contemplate and then understand Gurbani. And most of all live accordingly. This is the key; try to live according to one teaching for one day, you will see the difference.
    Bani’s contemplation can be done in Sangat or individually. Bani tells us over and over again to do Naam Simran. It tells us what is more important in this human life. It teaches us everything that a human needs to know to do bhagti. It is essential-as all other tools we are discussing can be learned from Bani.

    miq ivic rqn jvwhr mwixk jy iek gur kI isK suxI ] Page 2(SGGS)

    (4) Faith:
    You must have full faith in God, the Almighty, Waheguru. Without faith nothing is going to work. We say we know about His existence. We say we know He is doing every thing. Then what happens when a small thing goes the way we did not want it to be? We blame others, our circumstances, even God and ourselves. Where has the faith gone in Karta Purkh?

    Faith is the acceptance of a preposition. And what is our preposition of God-
    He is the One.
    He is the Karta Purkh
    He is omni present
    He is unique and without equal
    And so on. …. All that is being said in Bani.

    Evaluate one day in your life and see how much you truly accept His existence.
    We know about God, and our mind is set to mistake this knowledge about Him as faith. We need to actually live this faith, this knowledge, only then by full means we can accept His presence.

    A person who is in faith faces fewer difficulties on this journey. When you are in faith- half the battle is done. Faith in Him makes us depend on God Himself, not on anything else.

    Read Bani. It will rejuvenate the faith in God in your mind. Once you start your journey, faith grows stronger and stronger.

    (5) Concentration (Dhyaan) (iDAwn):
    Our mind has a natural function of thinking. It gets information from the memory and brings it in front of our mental eyes that we call thought, and that arouses the emotions depending upon the nature of that thought. If it is a happy thought, we become happy, if it is something bad we may start worrying or become sad. So every thought arouses one or many emotions based on our past experiences and knowledge. We act happy, sad, mad, or anxious and so on. One thought leads to another and another, based on our knowledge, memory and emotions involving the subject of the thought.

    We have been doing this since we started seeing and feeling the outer world. This nature of our mind does not let us concentrate when we start doing Naam Simran. We are able to do Naam recitation (Naam Jaap) but not Naam Simran as Simran is directly related to the thoughts. Naam recitation alone without involving the thought process does nothing as mind keeps on playing its tricks and you cannot see and feel your soul. You have to still your mind and then Naam starts cleaning the mind and takes you further.

    kwhy kau kIjY iDAwnu jpMnw ] jb qy suDu nwhI mnu Apnw ]Page 485(SGGS)

    Dwvq mnu rwKY iek Twie ]

    Page 299(SGGS)

    Why it is Important:

    Mind is a shield between the outer world (false/grievance/maya) and the Soul (truth/Reality/God). When we are born into this world this shield is transparent. The thought process as it has the involvement of emotions makes this shield thick and opaque over time. This slate of mind gets so much written on it. Untill we clean this slate and make it transparent; there is no use of Naam Jaap.
    We can do this by changing our mind set. We need to change our thinking process entirely. To convert Naam Jaap into Naam Simran we have to work on our thinking.

    Control of Mind.
    One way of doing this is: As the thoughts occur in your mind, start involving the Creator in them. Bring God in everything you think. For example you are thinking of what to wear to work tomorrow: Ask for His guidance to choose your clothes. Communicate with Him as you do when you pray for anything. Thank Him for all the clothes He provided you. Need new clothes, ask Him to provide you new ones. Thank Him for guiding through the process.

    It may feel awkward in the beginning, as you are not used to do it. In fact the mind is not used to it, so remind yourself- God is everywhere- in every living and material thing. He is inside you. You walk with God. God walks with you everywhere you go.

    So you are consciously directing the consciousness of your mind. You can use this technique while doing Simran or even while actually choosing your clothes. When you do this you will notice fewer emotions are being aroused, so thought does not upset you much. And your mind starts to get irritated, as it could not do its job as it used to do before. Now your job is to do this again and again. When you keep controlling your mind repeatedly, the mind starts working under you, as it does not have another choice now. Eventually it will become a habit. You won’t be working under your mind anymore. You will not be a manmukh any more.

    (6)Accept those who are different from you:
    Not even two people on this earth are meant to be the same. God created this world this way. Accept it. There are millions of ways to do the one same thing. Love the diversity. It is the beauty of His creation. It will ease the task of forgiving others and yourself.

    (7)Learn from mistakes:
    Elaborate what you yourself and others do, follow the right deeds and discard the wrong, but do not hate yourself or others for doing anything wrong, as everything happens in His Will. And do not indulge in elaborating only. Learn from it. Leave the emotions alone that make you happy, sad, anxious and so on. Always ask for His guidance. This will help you overcome the five vices.

    jW pMc rwsI qW qIrQ vwsI ] Page 356(SGGS)

    (8)Staying Awake:
    Staying awake here means that live in consciousness. Feel God’s presence everywhere. Feel Him inside you and around (up to the infinity). Meditate on the ‘ Naam ‘ with deep faith and deliberation. Live teachings of Gurbani. Stop dubidha. There is One and Only One prevailing everywhere and in everyone. Be humble. Forgive yourself and others. If you are having problems in mind’s wandering condition-keep trying different methods to overcome this problem. It may be difficult but not impossible. duAwr qy AV ky inmrqw nwl Klo jwvo imhr jrUr hovygI[

    You just have to start; the rest is done by itself over the coarse of time. Guru is very loving. He will not let you wait for long if your intentions are good. Does not matter you are asking for anything or not. It is your devotion to God that plays the key role.

    crn srin gur eyk pYfw jwie cl, siq gur koit pYfw Awgy hoie lyq hY ] by Bhai Gurdaas Ji.


    (9)Simran on Breathing:
    It helps in developing concentration. Breathing is one crucial thing that is happening to keep us alive. It is the living energy of our soul on this Earth. So by doing Simran on our breaths we facilitate our way to reach our soul. As you are focusing on breathing the mind will not get much time to chase other thoughts.

    (10)Thank God for every thing:
    Thank Him for every thing you already have. It brings your mind into the prevalent state. By thanking God we give credit to Him for everything, this helps us to curb our arrogance and ego. It makes us realize that it is God and not we who is ultimately in control of our lives. Thanking God makes us humble and modest.

    Thank Him for your ability to breathe, walk, talk and eat. Thank God for your ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Thank Him for your level of intelligence, your circumstances, and your existence. You can find unlimited reasons to thank Him.
    He has provided us with inexpressible gifts:

    bhuqw krmu iliKAw nw jwie ]vfw dwqw iqlu n qmwie ]
    kyqy mMgih joD Apwr ]kyiqAw gxq nhI vIcwru ]
    kyqy Kip qutih vykwr ]kyqy lY lY mukru pwih ]
    kyqy mUrK KwhI Kwih ]kyiqAw dUK BUK sd mwr ]
    eyih iB dwiq qyrI dwqwr ]bMid KlwsI BwxY hoie ]
    horu AwiK n skY koie ]jy ko Kwieku AwKix pwie ]
    Ehu jwxY jyqIAw muih Kwie ]Awpy jwxY Awpy dyie ]
    AwKih is iB kyeI kyie ]ijs no bKsy isPiq swlwh ]
    nwnk pwiqswhI pwiqswhu ]
    Page 5(SGGS)

    Thanking God keeps us in constant contact with Him. Our relationship with God becomes unbroken.


    All this may sound difficult, but it is most rewarding when practiced. Do simran and inspire others to do the same. Guide them if they need help. Attend Sangat. Listen, read and sing Bani. Contemplate Bani yourself and with others. Do selfless seva. Help the needy. Live in God. Make your life’s motto: "Naam Bina Na Jivia Jai".





    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh."
     
  9. LearningGuy

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    I'll use the search button.
     
  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Sikhism FAQs:What happens to the individual after death?

    Q29. What happens to the individual after death?



    Human life is just a stage in the upward march of the soul. The individual has got birth as a human being, after going through lower forms of life. Human life is the final stage in the soul's progress to divinity. It is for us to make the most of this opportunity and thereby end our cycle of transmigration.

    Death means the destruction of the physical self. The ashes and bone dust mix with the elements. But the soul which leaves the body, awaits a new dwelling. Just as a person casts off worn-out garments and puts on other that are new, so the subtle soul casts off the worn-out body and dwells in a new form. If there were no continuance of the soul after death, how could it become perfect to merit union with the Almighty?

    Sikhism believes in the immortality of the soul. The devotee has no fear of the pangs of death. In fact he welcomes death, because it gives him a chance for the merger into Divinity. The evil person, however, dreads death. For him, it will lead to the unending cycle of birth and death. After death, man comes to the next birth according to what he deserves. If he has been wicked and evil, he takes birth in the lower species. If he has done good deeds, he takes birth in a good family. The cycle of birth and death keeps the soul away from Divinity. It can merge with God, only if the individual, by spiritual effort, has amassed the capital of the Name(the Holy spirit as understood by Christians) and thus lives with the Holy Spirit.

    Guru Arjan in the sukhmani dwells on the sad plight of the soul which is not endowed with the Name. The soul in its lonely march through darkness can only find sustenance in the word of God. Otherwise it feels the weariness and pain of isolation.

    The soul, Jiva, is a part of God. It is deathless like Him. Before creation, it lived with God. After Creation it takes bodily forms according to His Will. The soul is, however, nourished by virtue and meditation on "The name". The transmigration of the soul can come to an end by meditation and divine grace.
     
  11. vijaydeep Singh

    vijaydeep Singh
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    Gurfateh


    for 1,2 and 3 things are same.

    If God wants while that person is alvie,that person gets the state of salvation while being alive/Jivat Mukt/Haq Haq agah state/in Holy Ghost State.

    so while in that state person gets eternity and finds that all matter is God and no person mind left.So that person is free from death as death of body is irrelevent.

    So if Akal (Eternal God) wants,any one can get salvation while alive or after death(in Sikhs Salvation before death is encouaged) or else there is going to be rebirth.

    But as all spirits have come out of God one day all will be merging back to same so no need to long for hevan nor to fear of hell.

    If at all they exisit,Akalmade them and Akal can destroy them.Akal will live for ever.
     
  12. Tejpal

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    the best option when confronted with these brainwashed fragile ego's is to give them Ayahuasca then they too will see that there is no such thing as death , life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves :)
     
  13. learner

    learner
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    that was gud debate
     

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