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Sikhism Concepts of Sikhism by Pritam Singh Gill [Maya in particular]

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by Ishna, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Borrowed this book from Gurdwara Sahib library: Concepts of Sikhism by Pritam Singh Gill, Formerly Prinipal Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar. It was first published in 1979 by New Academic Publishing Co, Mai Hiran Gate, Jalandhar. I'm reading the 2004 reprint. It's really quite good - I encourage you to get a copy and read it.

    For a taster, and the purpose of review, here's what Ji says about Maya:

    A. What is Maya?
    Maya is one of the basic concepts of Hindu Philosophy. In discussion of all philosophical topics, the concept creeps in one from or the other. According to this concept, the Universe if a mere illusion, a deception, a delusion ; that which is not a reality ; that what is only apparent ; Reality is Brahman only ; the rest that is seen does not exist ; it is unreal. Thus life in this world is of no importance. This illusion is called Maya.

    B. Maya is Sikhism :
    The concept of Maya in Sikhism is different. Sikhism believes that the Universe does exist but it is not exactly what it physically looks like ; it is not, therefore, real ; its appearance is different from what it actually is. In Sikh Scriptures, the word Maya is used in the following different senses :

    1. Physical World :
    The physical world is not what it looks like ; besides matter it has another very subtle content in it which cannot be known by the senses and it is that subtle content which determines the entire nature and function of the material universe. Without that it is incomplete. That content, therefore, has more importance than the matter. This subtle content is the 'spirit' (Atma), which is a part of Supreme Spirit (Param Atma), the Creator of the Universe. That is the dominant content and must, therefore, be of foremost importance.

    2. Sensual Pleasures :
    <snip> ... So to run after the physical pleasures of the world is to run after an illusion which is sure to mislead man.

    3. Material Wealth :
    <snip> ... So money is also termed Maya because it cannot purchase spiritual satisfaction. <snip>

    4. The Phenomenal World
    The phenomenal world is called Maya because it changes ; it is not permanent ; it is not what it looks like. <snip>​

    Books: still better than the Internet.
     
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  3. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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  4. Ishna

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    I've read some of it, but I lean more towards what Pritam Ji has described in his book (see the OP).
     
  5. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    This subtle content is the 'spirit' (Atma), which is a part of Supreme Spirit (Param Atma), the Creator of the Universe.

    The above is saying the same thing... it's not something different. They are describing the same thing. The two authors are not in disagreement with each other.
     
  6. Ishna

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    I do agree with this bit

    Whatever takes us away from the Divine Consciousness (Mool, Source, Origin, etc.) becomes Maya for us. For example, if wealth takes us away from the Divine Nature, then the wealth becomes Maya; if the spouse, children, friends or relatives become the source of forgetfulness of our godly state, then they become Maya; if the house or other worldly possessions make us forsake the Truth ('"ਸਚ"), then they become Maya; and so on. In other words, the sense of one's existence separate from the Divine Essence is Maya, or the sense of existence founded on anything other than the Supreme Being is called Maya - "that which is not".
    I'm not too sure about the rest of the article, though. It may just be the language it's written in, though.

    Ultimately, how we relate to the material world is whether or not we are in bed with Maya or Guru Sahib.
     
    #5 Ishna, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Ishna ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    It is a very interesting book. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    My 2 cent worth.

    Maya in Sikhi is anything that shoves us away from our Gurmat fulcrum and leads us towards me-ism.



    Illusion is not the right term for Maya in my opinion. As I live in Vegas, it is more related to trickery by a magician, a third person, whereas Maya is a personal perception of our moral, spiritual and temporal boundaries, and all these are subjective to the individual.

    Maya in Sikhi is anything that shoves us off from our Gurmat fulcrum and leads us towards me-ism. The physical world is still being discovered with telescopes and other gadgets. Our visionary Gurus were right when they said that. We are still discovering a lot and a lot more is left to be discovered. Science and Sikhi are in sync in this.

    Coming to Atma and Paramatma, they are both names of Energy. Atma is the mini me of Paramatma and the mini me merges with its big daddy- Ik Ong Kaar.

    Hmmm, as a Las Vegan, I know what it means. Allow me to add something here. When the Hotel Venetian was about to be open, many Bible thumpers from south came to Vegas to protest about it for some reason. After all, Vegas is nothing but Papier-mâché glitter.I have no idea why they chose that hotel in particular.

    Anyway, they even won the court case to protest on the hotel's pavement rather than away. They belonged to the Baptist Churches of the south. They all stayed in Riviera which is not there anymore. One of the journalists from the Review Journal got hold of their hotel bills and posted them on the paper's site. The reason of his posting was to show the amount of porn movies they had rented in their hotel rooms after the daily toil of protests and sending others to hell.

    Yes, sensual pleasures laced with debauchery have been common all over the world especially in India, the land of kamasutra, sensually carved temples, the maharajas with their multiple wives and concubines. The Mughal era made things even worse or better depending on one's point of view. In other words, debauchery multiplied many folds then.

    The other thing which was very common in Hinduism was that the family used to give one of their daughters to the Pundit of the temple for keeps or rather she was demanded. These young girls were called Devdasis which literally means 'Servants of God' but were meant to please the Pundits who claim to have a red phone between themselves and their deity.

    On the other side, sensuality is the basic ingredient of procreation. So for a Sikh it is important to learn how to dance on egg shells without crushing them.

    Maya can not purchase spiritual satisfaction? Again this is very subjective. Thanks to Maharaja Ranjit Singh who donated gold to gold leaf Harmander Sahib and also gave the same for Hindu temples. Sadly, this started the white elephantisation of our Gurdwaras with marble floors, golden domes etc. etc. Millions of dollars are spent to make these big ornate Gurdwaras and for their upkeep all around the world which is a waste in my opinion but come to think of it, it is a spiritual satisfaction for the honchos of these white elephants. This money can be spent to better use.

    So, although Maya can not buy 'Spiritual Satisfaction', it sure can give it a face lift.
    This is same as number one. The unknowable unknown using Donald Rumsfeld terminology.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  8. ActsOfGod

    ActsOfGod
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    Can't escape Maya, it is imbued in the very fabric of our existence. We need to utilize Maya to function in this world (e.g. handling finances to have food/shelter/clothing, having intercourse for reproduction and having children and raising a family, etc.) Also it's clear that Guru Sahib didn't advocate for us to go into the mountains and become an ascetic.

    So Maya will be there clinging to us with false promises until the moment we die. But in the instant that we die, it will abandon us and go chasing after someone else. Leaving us to fend for ourselves, when we need support the most.

    The trick is to recognize Maya, it's qualities, how it behaves, and what it's doing. When a person becomes Guru-conscious and Guru-oriented, this enlightenment comes naturally. Then, one can learn how to utilize Maya without getting caught in it's trap. So, a Gurmukh will use money, but won't get overly attached to it or mourn it's loss. The Gurmukh won't spend nights awake anxious about losing her fortune. She might use her material wealth to support humanity, for example, by donating to a shelter that feeds the homeless, or to buy food for the hungry, etc.

    The Gurmukh will value Naam as the most precious jewel, while recognizing the counterfeit nature of all that Maya has wrought (material possessions, sensual pleasures, family attachments, ego, etc.) But Maya in itself is not "bad" per se. It's a quality that is required for this material realm to function.

    I'm trapped, just like y'all are. :)

    [AoG]
     
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  9. ActsOfGod

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    Incidentally, Guru Sahib has taught us that even if one did go into the mountains and became an ascetic, this would not be sufficient to escape Maya. Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Ahankaar would still afflict that person, no matter if he spent decades in the mountains meditating.

    So there has to be a better way. And Guru Sahib has given it to us in Gurbani.

    [AoG]
     
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  10. Sherdil

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    Maya also pertains to the illusion, or delusion, of the self. Haumai is what creates distance between the soul-bride and husband-lord.

    Surrender of Haumai is again done through Simran.

    Me,me,me becomes You,You,You (Divine)

    GGS, page 1375:

    ਕਬੀਰ ਧਰਤੀ ਅਰੁ ਆਕਾਸ ਮਹਿ ਦੁਇ ਤੂੰ ਬਰੀ ਅਬਧ ॥
    कबीर धरती अरु आकास महि दुइ तूं बरी अबध ॥
    Kabīr ḏẖarṯī ar ākās mėh ḏu▫e ṯūʼn barī abaḏẖ.
    Kabeer: O duality, you are mighty and powerful in the earth and the sky.

    ਖਟ ਦਰਸਨ ਸੰਸੇ ਪਰੇ ਅਰੁ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਸਿਧ ॥੨੦੨॥
    खट दरसन संसे परे अरु चउरासीह सिध ॥२०२॥
    Kẖat ḏarsan sanse pare ar cẖa▫orāsīh siḏẖ. ||202||
    The six Shaastras and the eighty-four Siddhas are entrenched in skepticism. ||202||

    ਕਬੀਰ ਮੇਰਾ ਮੁਝ ਮਹਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਹੀ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਹੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ॥
    कबीर मेरा मुझ महि किछु नही जो किछु है सो तेरा ॥
    Kabīr merā mujẖ mėh kicẖẖ nahī jo kicẖẖ hai so ṯerā.
    Kabeer, nothing is mine within myself. Whatever there is, is Yours, O Lord.

    ਤੇਰਾ ਤੁਝ ਕਉ ਸਉਪਤੇ ਕਿਆ ਲਾਗੈ ਮੇਰਾ ॥੨੦੩॥
    तेरा तुझ कउ सउपते किआ लागै मेरा ॥२०३॥
    Ŧerā ṯujẖ ka▫o sa▫upaṯe ki▫ā lāgai merā. ||203||
    If I surrender to You what is already Yours, what does it cost me? ||203||

    ਕਬੀਰ ਤੂੰ ਤੂੰ ਕਰਤਾ ਤੂ ਹੂਆ ਮੁਝ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਹੂੰ ॥
    कबीर तूं तूं करता तू हूआ मुझ महि रहा न हूं ॥
    Kabīr ṯūʼn ṯūʼn karṯā ṯū hū▫ā mujẖ mėh rahā na hūʼn.
    Kabeer, repeating, "You, You", I have become like You. Nothing of me remains in myself.

    ਜਬ ਆਪਾ ਪਰ ਕਾ ਮਿਟਿ ਗਇਆ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਤੂ ॥੨੦੪॥
    जब आपा पर का मिटि गइआ जत देखउ तत तू ॥२०४॥
    Jab āpā par kā mit ga▫i▫ā jaṯ ḏekẖ▫a▫u ṯaṯ ṯū. ||204||
    When the difference between myself and others is removed, then wherever I look, I see only You. ||204||

     
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