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Answer Evil With Goodness !

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Archived_Member16, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    This Shabad is by Bhagat Sheikh Fareed Ji in Salok Fareed Jee on Pannaa 1381

    PrIdw bury dw Blw kir gusw min n hFwie ]
    dyhI rogu n lgeI plY sBu ikCu pwie ]78]

    fareedhaa burae dhaa bhalaa kar gusaa man n hadtaae ||
    dhaehee rog n lagee palai sabh kishh paae ||78||

    Fareed, answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger.
    Your body shall not suffer from any disease, and you shall obtain everything. ||78||

     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Soul ji

    This shabd is a good one for meditation, easy to carry around in the mind and think about silently throughout the day. I feel it will have a calming and balancing effect.

    Thank you for this.
     
  4. Sinister

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    This shabad mostly carries an aesthetic value and little less substance. (and in many worldly scenarios cannot be practiced).

    even we sikhs didnt answer evil (mughal raj and genocide) with "goodness"... we answered it with militarization and conflict.
    I dunno I just see a conflict in this teaching with our faith and I fail to see how it is relevant in most scenario's (if it is meant to be applied to every scenario).:hmm:

    -Sinister
     
  5. spnadmin

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    Sinister (shall I say "ji")

    Religious scholars, for example Soul Jyot, can certainly give a better response than I.

    The shabd is inspirational in tone and it doesn't touch specifically on the Guru or Banis. It is more along the lines of Divine Sermons, found at the back of many NitNem. A kind of spirituality check.

    I am not certain where these lines are in the Guru. Knowing the context would help somewhat.

    What is interesting about your comment, at least in my opinion, is that the Christian notion "turn the other cheek" is not consistent with Sikhi. But then revenge is not consistent with Sikhi either. Detachment from strong negative emotions is consistent with Sikhi, and we are advised to do this by finding a place mentally and emotionally that takes our focus to a neutral place. That is what I get from the statement "answer evil with goodness" . Not so much moral advice, but more a way of creating balance by cancelling out evil. The alternative would be an obsession with our negative emotions. And medical science has taught us that anger and rage contribute to many diseases and conditions (arthritis, heart disease, and so forth). Satgur teaches the same thing and adds that negativity alienates us from God.

    Most respectfully,

    It would be good to hear from other individuals on this.
     
  6. spnadmin

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    Sinister ji,

    I had a few moments and found the entire Shalok . Since the invocation to Fareed is by Fareed, I should have known. Anyway, here is the entire context for the statement. Anyway it is far from atheistic in tone. And speaks to the necessity of detachment to ready ourselves for death and thereafter.

    Section 41 - Shaloks Of Shaykh Fareed Jee - Part 005

    Remember that place where you must go. ||58||
    Fareed, those deeds which do not bring merit - forget about those deeds.
    Otherwise, you shall be put to shame, in the Court of the Lord. ||59||
    Fareed, work for your Lord and Master; dispel the doubts of your heart.
    The dervishes, the humble devotees, have the patient endurance of trees. ||60||
    Fareed, my clothes are black, and my outfit is black.
    I wander around full of sins, and yet people call me a dervish - a holy man. ||61||
    The crop which is burnt will not bloom, even if it is soaked in water.
    Fareed, she who is forsaken by her Husband Lord, grieves and laments. ||62||
    When she is a virgin, she is full of desire; but when she is married, then her troubles begin.
    Fareed, she has this one regret, that she cannot be a virgin again. ||63||
    The swans have landed in a small pond of salt water.
    They dip in their bills, but do not drink; they fly away, still thirsty. ||64||
    The swans fly away, and land in the fields of grain. The people go to chase them away.
    The thoughtless people do not know, that the swans do not eat the grain. ||65||
    The birds which lived in the pools have flown away and left.
    Fareed, the overflowing pool shall also pass away, and only the lotus flowers shall remain. ||66||
    Fareed, a stone will be your pillow, and the earth will be your bed. The worms shall eat into your flesh.
    Countless ages will pass, and you will still be lying on one side. ||67||
    Fareed, your beautiful body shall break apart, and the subtle thread of the breath shall be snapped.
    In which house will the Messenger of Death be a guest today? ||68||
    Fareed, your beautiful body shall break apart, and the subtle thread of the breath shall be snapped.
    Those friends who were a burden on the earth - how can they come today? ||69||
    Fareed: O faithless dog, this is not a good way of life.
    You never come to the mosque for your five daily prayers. ||70||
    Rise up, Fareed, and cleanse yourself; chant your morning prayer.
    The head which does not bow to the Lord - chop off and remove that head. ||71||
    That head which does not bow to the Lord - what is to be done with that head?
    Put it in the fireplace, instead of firewood. ||72||
    Fareed, where are your mother and father, who gave birth to you?
    They have left you, but even so, you are not convinced that you shall also have to go. ||73||
    Fareed, flatten out your mind; smooth out the hills and valleys.
    Hereafter, the fires of hell shall not even approach you. ||74||
    Fifth Mehl:
    Fareed, the Creator is in the Creation, and the Creation abides in God.
    Whom can we call bad? There is none without Him. ||75||
    Fareed, if on that day when my umbilical cord was cut, my throat had been cut instead,
    I would not have fallen into so many troubles, or undergone so many hardships. ||76||
    My teeth, feet, eyes and ears have stopped working.
    My body cries out, "Those whom I knew have left me!"||77||
    Fareed, answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger.
     
  7. drkhalsa

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    Dear friends


    This above Lines are from Sri guru Granth Sahib writen by Baba Farid Ji ( Graet Sufi Saint!)

    I cant claim to understand it fully but will give my current understanding

    As I understand Farid Ji is not giving moral advise instead it is kind of discriptive statement

    farid is adressing to self and stating very plain , logical ( in light of current science)

    O Fareed doing good to bad . not engrossing yourself with anger
    body is not inflicted with disease ,get ( benifit of ) everything


    Taking revenge on bad automatically need you to be filled with Anger and definately Anger / stress translated into harm to health ( is leading cause of morbidity today!)



    Good and BAD are relative terms and depend on situation prospectice etc
    Infact all actions are of God ( Karta purakh /Doer Being) whether good or bad

    So message as I think is reacting to bad is Ego inhancing mechanism of self and result in anger . still it does not mean inaction instead it means non egoic neccasary action and not revenge is better

    Reagrding our most respected guru Sahibaans None of the Guru EVER fought any war of revenge of anything .Among all the wars fought by mainly Two guru Sahibaans ( Sixth Guru ,and Tenth Guru ) Not even a single was for revenge

    Instead Notably ( to my limited knowledge of sikh history ) ALL WERE ON PRINCIPLE OF DOING GOOD TO BAD

    Tenth Guru Repeatedly helped the Hill Rajas of North inspite of their Repeated shameless treachery against Guru Gobind Singh ji when ever they asked for help



    thanks


    Jatinder Singh
     
  8. drkhalsa

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sinister

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    Dear aad00002,

    I think you might have misinterpreted my above statement.

    I said that the shabad was "aesthetic" (ie: visually pleasing yet lacking depth) in nature not "atheistic".

    That said,
    answering evil with "goodness"

    It all depends on the type of "evil" we are dealing with. And whether the evil being performed is largely 'tolerable'. In this statement lies the paradox... what is "goodness"? Better yet, how can one possibly reply to evil with this "goodness". Except Baba Fareed has it the other way around: he's asking
    Whom can we call bad? There is none without Him. ||75||

    So he is signifying that he has no conceptual meanings of "GOOD" and "BAD" so how can one prosecute that which is evil with "GOODNESS" (main argument is to question morality)

    An example:
    I doubt "goodness" brought down British imperialism and I highly doubt "goodness" brought down the facist Nazi regime. Unless you consider 'War and Conflict' (without the notion of revenge) as intriniscally "good".

    Thankyou for the shalok, (I read it all...it was VERY interesting!)
    Like I said the shabad has only an aesthetic value and portrays a largely Utopian story (its a poetic point of veiw which incorporates the the paradox of morality). With the entire shalok the line (answer evil with goodness) makes alot more sense. So lets remember to read it always in context rather than by a line-by-line scenario.

    The paradox in this shalok lies in answer "evil" with "goodness" but in the same shalok just above he has written;

    The head which does not bow to the Lord - chop off and remove that head. ||71||
    That head which does not bow to the Lord - what is to be done with that head?
    Put it in the fireplace, instead of firewood. ||72||


    Bhagat Sheikh Fareed Ji seems to be portraying a dual tone. Extremely harsh on those who do not beleive and answering them with an evil act (ie: chopping of their heads). But then again evil is really in the eyes of the beholder.

    If taken out of context it seems like a jihadist statment of some sort. It certainly does not connotate answering evil with "goodness"
    Is this a jihadist statement of some sort? or is he referring to his own head (removing ego with the head being symbolism of the ego?)?
    is something being lost in translation?

    Thats the beuaty of poetry...It can be translated either way!
     
  10. spnadmin

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    Sinister ji,

    Apologies for the misreading of "aesthetic" and thank you for the generous way in which you responded.

    In a previous reply I stated that I am not a religious scholar. All of your recent comments are truly questions that deserve the attention of someone grounded in theology and moral philosophy. After a day or so, and some reflection, I might make a feeble attempt to reply.

    Hope that there are others out there with better replies.

    Respectfully
     
  11. simpy

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    Respected Sinister Ji,

    this is a simple statement-
    answer evil with goodness and do not feed anger- what you are calling militarization and conflict; infact was - freeing the victims of JABAR and JULAM.

    we have examples of Bhai Kaneeyaa Ji, who did such a wonderful job in this context. His life is a perfect example to support this statement. :cool:

    we can never find everybody living with this kind of attitude, just not possible

    yes there are people, and not only in Sikhism, you can find them in every faith; yes very very rare though:)



    forgive me please


    Respected Sinister Ji,

    it also depends on how much one can twist it or stretch it- EVEN AN ELASTIC BREAKS AT ONE POINT......

    forgive me please
     
  12. Sinister

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    Dear Surinder K.

    "we have examples of Bhai Kaneeyaa Ji, who did such a wonderful job in this context. His life is a perfect example to support this statement."

    lol ... you completely read my mind I was thinking of Bhai Kaneeyaa Ji as well this morining and was going to relate it to this thread. Thats a perfect example of "answering evil with goodness" (although you are in a way helping evil not directly defeating it).

    "freeing the victims of JABAR and JULAM."

    I understand this... but the means by which this was acheived was not by goodness ... but through pain, struggle, war and sacrifice!

    So if you consider engaging in War: thus thrusting swords and arrows through the flesh of your enemies until they submit as "goodness" then you may be mis-directed in your morality.


    Means: evil
    Cause: is just or "rightous"
    Clearification:
    "Sikhs used evil means to attain an end which was just and pure (to our perspective, of course).... An evil (war) needs to be performed if the evil you are dealing with is intolerable". Intolerable evil can only be met and countered by evil means through the hands of the rightous (as odd as it seems...this is the paradox and the Morality question posed by Baba Fareed Ji above...READ CAREFULLY BETWEEN THE LINES...especially verse 71)

    I have written on this topic numerous times on numerous forums and would love some further discourse.

    I think this is the better "un-twisted" version of sikh practice that applies to reality and doesnt, as many before me would say, "add insult to reason"

    -Many thanks
    Sinister


    Dear Dr. Khalsa

    I suggest you read into the campaigns of Banda Singh Bahadur.... And keep in mind sensitive historians always replace words. Be on the lookout, you will usually find "revenge" replaced with "justice". :wink:
    Although not a Guru, Banda Singh Bahadur was a compatriot of the tenth Guru and his campaigns never condemned by our Guru Ji but welcomed as part of the larger struggle against an evil mughal empire.
    Most Sikhs should know this important phase of history. Our Guru Ji appointed him military lieutenant specifically to punish the Governor of Sarhind who had killed his two youngest sons.

    Regards,
    Sinister
     
  13. simpy

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    Respected Sinister Ji,

    We can be benign or we can be S-I-N-I-S-T-E-R, it all depends how we explore the issue on hand.

    A man can look at a woman with the eyes of a brother, and may be able to develop a sister-brother relationship with her.

    The same man can look at the same woman with the eyes of a lover and may be able to develop a deep romantic love relationship with her.

    The same man can look at this same woman with the eyes of a worst fellow and end up having his name shining allover in the lists of sexOffenders. :confused: :confused:

    Doesn’t matter what one does, at every corner there are more than one path for our mind to fly :rofl:……….

    Have fun writing and having further discourse …

    There are many more things, if one want, every panna of Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can provide you this kind of masalaa, if this is what you are looking for :{-:)
    you can debate on the issue of why Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji have a different lifestyle :cool: ....
    you are not the first one lost in these issues and you are not the only one either :hmm: ...
    lots of history you can find that can confuse you, support you, reject you, AND satisfy your ego :whisling: ........



    Enjoy ;)

    here is another one

    PrIdw jo qY mwrin mukIAW iqn@w n mwry GuMim ]
    AwpnVY Gir jweIAY pYr iqn@w dy cuMim ]


    and more

    ikJu n buJY ikJu n suJY dunIAw guJI Bwih ]
    sWeIN myrY cMgw kIqw nwhI q hM BI dJW Awih ]


    PrIdw jy qU Akil lqIPu kwly ilKu n lyK ]
    AwpnVy igrIvwn mih isru n^ØIvW kir dyKu ]


    PrIdw ijn@ loiex jgu moihAw sy loiex mY ifTu ]
    kjl ryK n shidAw sy pMKI sUie bihTu ]


    this is the best one


    PrIdw QIau pvwhI dBu ]
    jy sWeI loVih sBu ]
    ieku iCjih ibAw lqwVIAih ]
    qW sweI dY dir vwVIAih ]


    Forgive me please

    respected Sinister Ji even a better one

    PrIdw rqI rqu n inklY jy qnu cIrY koie ]
    jo qn rqy rb isau iqn qin rqu n hoie ]51]
    mÚ 3 ]
    iehu qnu sBo rqu hY rqu ibnu qMnu n hoie ]
    jo sh rqy Awpxy iqqu qin loBu rqu n hoie ]
    BY pieAY qnu KIxu hoie loBu rqu ivchu jwie ]
    ijau bYsMqir Dwqu suDu hoie iqau hir kw Bau durmiq mYlu gvwie ]
    nwnk qy jn sohxy ij rqy hir rMgu lwie ]52]




    we need to read between lines, sure sinister ji, Gurbani has the answers for every question within itself

    forgive me please
     
  14. drkhalsa

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    Dear Sinister

    Many thanks for your response.

    In your post you pointed out that the Particular part of Gurbani seems non practical

    thats why I explained that our guru never advised anything that they never practiced .

    About Banda Bhadur and many Known sikhs like him . They are niether my GURU Nor they wrote gurbani and were bound to do mistakes and they payed ofr all they did.

    I again humbly ask you tellme where our Guru Sahibaans failed to do what they advised in gurbani

    Whatever Guru Sahibaans did all they did in total detachments from the feeling of revenge

    Again Good and evil are relative terms .



    Jatinder Singh
     
  15. ripdrool

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    The turn the other cheek in the Bible is amazingly overused by people as an example of contridiction.

    It's used as a metaphor. Someone slapping your face isn't gonna hurt you that bad so just give them the other one to slap as well. It's over with and you can move on. The person doing it is probaby gonna feel worse inside than you are.

    It has nothing to do with someone threatening your life or doing grevious bodily harm to you. The Bible clearly states there are repurcussions for doing such things.

    "Answer evil with goodness" might be pretty close to the same thing. I believe common sense should dictate a good many things we do.
     
  16. Sinister

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    To Dr. Khalsa (Jatinder Singh), I truly love they name!

    Are you in academia feild...teaching or something of the sort or practicing Medicine? or do you beleive that currently the Khalsa is in need of a doctor?
    Please dont take offence (the conversation of discussing names came up and I was always intrigued by yours)

    Although I personally dont know of anything Our Guru's did wrong I have a feeling the the process of "deification" of them has hindered the study of who they actually were and how valiantly they lived. To say that a man can do no wrong is this very act of deification, which goes against my beleif.
    Why cant we look at our religion with a just eye and appreciate it for what it was and what we can make of it (not the in-between).

    I am an insignificant spec to pass judgement on our Guru's thus will not participate in such a discourse.
    But to say that our Guru's did no wrong is equally disrespectful...not only to the faith but to our own psyche!

    we have strayed off topic ... which I don't like to do usually!

    So back to Baba Fareed Ji,
    Can evil be answered with "Goodness"?
    I dont know? depends on the "goodness" one wishes to implement!

    I have heard everything on this forum now.... Is militarization and conflict the "Good" Sikhs performed to answer Mughal agression and tyranny? .....seems to be the general consensus in the minds of many.

    again Baba Fareed is questioning morality if you read between the lines....Other interpretations would be welcomed!!



    Dear Surinder Kaur,

    I have never seen nor participated in general benign character assasinations of other members on this "PHILOSOPHY" site but you pose an exception.

    To label valuable discourse and discussion as "masalla talk" is the fundamental neo-conservative attitudes that persist to degenerate our faith. Open discussion is the most valuable tools the Sikhs had at their disposal in the past... and they participated equally and respectfully.

    But to think that you are morally superior because you are past the phase of "questioning" your faith is intrinsically negligent and wrong. This is not about ego or satisfying ego its about understanding ones faith and if you do not want to participate is such discussion then please leave the character assasinations (followed by your apologies) "at the door".

    Our faith was born with social discourse thus it cannot exist without fellow participation.

    People who question, are not heretics, but followers of true Sikhi. People who continously question their morality are the ones who are not "confused" but humane. The ultimate act of humility is questioning and awknowledging that 'I do not know'.

    To say that we can experience the enormous entity we call "God" is the most egotistical statement and mistake a human can make (this is also stated in the Gurbani).

    So discourse is all we have.... It is untwisted, un-egotistical and it is NOT MASALA!!!

    -SINISTER
     
  17. spnadmin

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    Sinister ji

    I don't know what the problem is, but my last two posts haven't registered.

    Respectfully
     
  18. simpy

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    Respected Sinister ji,

    i am extremely sorry, if my words hurt you.

    i used general terms to explain my view, if this bothers you i am sorry.
    this is my personal choice to call it massala talk- when Gurbani is distorted by the interpreters. And as Sikhs it becomes our duty to convey it to the distorter. It is distorters choice, take it or not. As it is Sikhs choice they point it out or not. And by distorters i mean all who misinterpret Gurbani- Sikhs and non-Sikhs.

    you are trying to convince others to read between the lines, Respec ted Sinister ji, everybody who contemplate gurbani does so. Takes can vary from person to person. but that does not mean that original thought is wrong.

    calling it massala talk when it is masaala, IS IT WRONG??? i don't think so.
    Can it hurt someone's character???-NO
    unless somebody wants to damage himself/herself.....

    forgive me please
     
  19. spnadmin

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    Respected members, what I tried twice to post.

    From Answers.com, the definition of character assassination:

    "A vicious personal verbal attack, especially one intended to destroy or damage a public figure's reputation."

    Character assassination can not be "benign." And, none of us on the forum are public figures. Most of us use forum names, not our real names, and most of us do not have public profiles. So none of us be maligned personally, because we post anonymously.

    "Massala talk" hardly damages or destroys a reputation, and there are no reputations to destroy because we are writing incognito. Who knows for sure that anyone is what they appear to be in a forum?

    There are going to be many, more times when an opinion hurts or offends. Sometimes individuals use expressions like "massala talk" and other times they write long paragraphs. But that is what happens in a forum: people express opinions and we have to think, "Do they have a point? Should I go back and look at what I have said?"

    Truly

    P.S. Now I hope the other two tries don't show up and I look like I have a disorder of some kind.
     
  20. simpy

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    Respected Aad0002 Ji,

    thanks for defining the term.


    Respected Sinister Ji,

    So by definition-who is doing character assassination:



    Respected Sinister Ji,
    Here on this forum, we are humbly discussing SIKH philosophy.
    What is Sikhi-
    The very first thing a Sikh has to do -believe in Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
    And if this truth does not go down your throat, what others can do.

    Guru is Divine, Guru is there where Chela is not, and Guru Shows the path to Chela.
    And if Chela is questioning the path-is he/she the chela.

    Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji De Bachan-
    jau qau pRym Kylx kw cwau ]
    isru Dir qlI glI myrI Awau ]
    iequ mwrig pYru DrIjY ]
    isru dIjY kwix n kIjY ]

    SO EITHER YOU ACCEPT IT AND DO VICHAAR ON IT POSITIVELY(to grasp the truth), OR YOU DO WHATEVER(many many other options)…..


    Respected Sinister Ji,

    Me neech ask for your forgiveness, humbly have a very clear idea who should leave what and where, and and with Waheguru’s Grace humbly and totally under control and at the right place. SatGuru di mehar hai. Thankyou for your suggestions.
    Yes followers of true Sikhi are those who question-HOW CAN I BECOME ONE, AS GURU JI WANTS ME TO BE.
    Not those who call it –IT IS OPPOSITE TO MY FAITH.

    If your faith is different than Guru Ji’s faith- ARE YOU A SIKH?????? CAN’T BE

    And Respected Sinister Ji, please don't think that i hate you, or i have something against you, i am just showing you the other part of the picture after you showed all of us your part of the picture. you are portraying your thoughts and understanding, i am portraying mine. i am not enforcing my thoughts on you, no body can, can they???

    you don't like it, your choice. when a person says something on a forum, regardless of what it is, others do response.....
    you cannot tell others to leave their ideas at the door because you don't like them or their ideas.

    You are at a Sikh Forum, you criticize Sikh Faith and values, you will get some response to it, how can you think that all who have a different thought than you, should read all this and then keep shut. World is round my dear- Karaa reminds this thing to the True Sikhs all the time......

    Forgive me please
     
  21. Sinister

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    Dear Surinder Kaur.

    Your words do not hurt me…they simply do not have any validity on a philosophy DISCUSSION site.
    All I ask from you is to refrain from labeling people (especially people you don’t know) as egoists. Passing labels around is an easy job whether this stems from some form of insecurity or not I don’t know and I don’t really care.

    But from examining many of the posts you have participated in I have noticed one element that is distinguishable…they all end up in personalized discussion of someone else’s persona.

    I get no sense of humble/respectful opinion just discrediting character assessment and labeling?

    Incognito or not these attacks are meant to degrade a person self-image rather than debate the topic at hand. Could you imagine if the scientific community or any other community started to debase theories/translations simply on the basis of personalized issues? They would achieve nothing but hate mongering. I strongly believe that you and I are past the stage of life where we need to result in name calling.

    “you cannot tell others to leave their ideas at the door because you don't like them or their ideas.” –SKC.
    Now you are distorting what I said…which is ….refrain from labeling NOT from adding ideas. And now that we are at the topic; exactly what ideas did you add to this debate? …none to my recollection

    So refrain from calling people egoists, distorters, massalla-talkers and the like if you have no valuable input (helps improve the debate and give it direction).
    Use words like; I disagree because…. Because….

    We can be benign or we can be S-I-N-I-S-T-E-R, it all depends how we explore the issue on hand.


    What is this suppose to mean?
    To be sinister is to be a leftist. That is what I am…that is what I believe a Sikh should be…unconventional and always questioning authority or the dominant voices of society (a liberal movement…always in favour of positive reform).


    There are many more things, if one want, every panna of Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can provide you this kind of masalaa, if this is what you are looking for :{-:)
    you can debate on the issue of why Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji have a different lifestyle :cool: ....
    you are not the first one lost in these issues and you are not the only one either :hmm: ...
    lots of history you can find that can confuse you, support you, reject you, AND satisfy your ego :whisling: ........

    What is this suppose to mean?

    I am out to satisfy my big ego, right? How does that relate to the debate at hand? How am I lost? Please bless me with your Gyaan then by debating the issue at hand!
    PS: this is my last post directed towards yourself. I possess neither the time nor stamina to participate in more erroneous personalized discussions that you so “tenderly” construct.


    àLook at the eloquence of Ripdrool’s or aad0002 statements…explaining “answer evil with goodness” as a metaphor (which we all understand it to be). But if you don’t read between the lines here then you will most likely be disappointed because most evil cannot be answered with goodness (which is common sense)…thus the shabad as I initially stated carries a larger aesthetic value rather than dictating some universal principle. (can we at least agree on this?)
     

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