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Contradictory Themes in Sikhism

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by atwalamar, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. atwalamar

    atwalamar
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    Hi, I'm finding it difficult to reconcile what I think are certain paradoxes within Sikh philosophy. So I thought I would post my comments here to see if anyone could offer any insight.

    The first major paradox that I am consistently puzzled by is how, there is emphasis, on the one hand on how God, the creator has ultimate control over human affairs and that we are mere puppets in his master play. I can cite many passages from the scriptures to support this, but briefly off the top of my head, see for instance sukhmani sahib, astpadi 11, (Jo tis bhavai soi hog) and Rahras, Asa Mahala 4 (Ji jant sabh tera khel). Correspondingly, we find themes such as what is in one's destiny or cards (bhaga) will come to be and is out of our hands (sukhmani Sahib, Astpadi 14, Manukh kai kish nahi hath).

    On the other hand though one also comes across passages that highlight how one sows he reaps (Jap Ji Sahib, Pauri 20, Ape bij ape hi khah) and that man must make efforts to realize god. However, if what's written in our cards is written in our cards and what is destined to happen will happen then where does that leave human action? Where does the balance between 'free will' and 'determinism' lie? If everything I do, down to the most minute thing and the thoughts I have are in fact willed by god (because he controls everything) then the idea of free will becomes a facade.

    The second point I wanted to make concerns the importance of being a 'householder' in Sikh philosophy. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was critical of yogis, monks and mystics that would abandon their families and retreat into the mountains and jungles in their pursuit of enlightenment. Notwithstanding the fact that Guru Nanak Dev Ji himself and many of the other Gurus spent most of their lives away from their families, often in deep meditation for many years, sikhism in general emphasizes the importance of the household and civil engagement.

    The question I have here though is what is the point in remaining engaged in household activities if at the same time one has to constantly appreciate how they are ultimately false and will not lead towards salvation. For instance in Asa di Vaar (koor meeaa, koor beebee khap hoe khaar), 'false is the husband, false is the wife; they all waste away their lives.' If love of the wife and children (whereby love undoubtedly entails some level of attachment) is ultimately false, why get married and bother in the first place? I think that it is far more difficult to practice detachment while engaged in worldy and householder activities. Although 'maya' manifests itself everywhere and cannot be escaped, I think in certain settings it would be easier to practice 'the truth' and to detach yourselves from vices (ego, anger, lust, greed, attachment)...That's why buddhist monks retreat to the monastary and why even many of the Sikh saints sought places of solitude to practice meditation. Although the point of abandonment (of your family) is a valid one, if you don't start a family to begin with then it's not really a problem (and thus the strong links between certain religious traditions and celibacy). Why buddhists retreat to monastaries isn't to remain there in relative isolation for the rest of their lives but to practice enlightenment in a controlled environment (where it is easier to do so) until higher levels of spirituality are attained--thereafter one can contribute back to society and spread the message of compassion.

    I don't mean to promote buddhism or anything like that but sometimes I just don't see the point in engaging in worldy affairs when the underlying point even in sikhism is to remain detached from them.


    Amar
     
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  3. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh

    There is no paradox in Gurmat as such but some people do not understand Gurmat or do false interpetaiotn to be premeptive from false slander Protestants or Arya Samjis put on them in past.

    1. First Issue,It is absolute that Akal only controls us Manas Ke Kichchh Nahi Hath.Saying Ape Beej Ape Hi Khah means that Akal by self is seed and self is eater.

    But sometime realtive things are writtan say some verse will say that we need to do good but later on same will say that it can happen by will of Akal.Deeds are realtive and Akal is absolute.

    So misguided people go after reltive things and some time try to undermine the absolute.Best Example of that can be seen at Sikh-MARG "The Way Of Life" .

    It is wrong interpetation of the followers and they may not have answer to question youself raised.
    2.Answer of that lies in Dasham Granth.Re Man Aiso Kar Sanyasa
    [SIZE=-1]Previous[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]Sri Dasam Granth Sahib; Displaying page of 2326 Home[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]Next[/SIZE]
    ਤਬ ਜਰੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਬਿਸੇਖ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਨ ਕਾਸ੍ਹ ਘਿਰਤ ਅਸੇਖ ॥ ਤਬ ਜਰਯੋ ਤਾਮਹਿ ਰਾਇ ॥ ਭਏ ਭਸਮ ਅਦਭੁਤ ਕਾਇ ॥੧੩੦॥੩੫੭॥
    तब जरी अगनि बिसेख ॥ त्रिन कास्ह घिरत असेख ॥ तब जरयो तामहि राइ ॥ भए भसम अदभुत काइ ॥१३०॥३५७॥
    Then with many grass-blades, the faggots alongwith ghee (clarified butter), the flames of fire arose, in which the king was burnt and his body was reduced to ashes.130.357.

    ਕਈ ਦਯੋਸ ਬਰਖ ਪ੍ਰਮਾਨ ॥ ਸੱਲ ਜਰਾ ਜੋਰ ਮਹਾਨ ॥ ਭਈ ਭੂਤ ਭਸਮੀ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਧਨ ਧਾਮ ਛਾਡਯੋ ਨੇਹ ॥੧੩੧॥੧੫੮॥
    कई दयोस बरख प्रमान ॥ स्ल जरा जोर महान ॥ भई भूत भसमी देह ॥ धन धाम छाडयो नेह ॥१३१॥१५८॥
    That pyre continued to burn for several years, when the body of the king was reduced to ashes and he abandoned the attachment of wealth and place.131.358.

    ਮੁਖ ਭਗ 8
    मुख भग 8
    CHAPTER 8

    ਸ਼ਬਦ
    शबद
    SHABAD

    ੴ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹ ॥
    ੴ स्री वाहिगुरू जी की फतह ॥
    The Lord is One the Victory is of the Lord.

    ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ ॥
    रामकली पातिशाही १० ॥
    RAMKALI OF THE TENTH KING

    ਰੇ ਮਨ ਐਸੋ ਕਰਿ ਸੰਨਿਆਸਾ ॥
    रे मन ऐसो करि संनिआसा ॥
    O mind ! the asceticism be practised in this way :

    ਬਨ ਸੇ ਸਦਨ ਸਭੈ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਹੁ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਉਦਾਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    बन से सदन सभै करि समझहु मन ही माहि उदासा ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
    Consider your house as the forest and remain unattached within yourself…..Pause.

    ਜਤ ਕੀ ਜਟਾ ਜੋਗ ਕੋ ਮੱਜਨੁ ਨੇਮ ਕੇ ਨਖਨ ਬਢਾਓ ॥
    जत की जटा जोग को म्जनु नेम के नखन बढाओ ॥
    Consider continence as the matted hair, Yoga as the ablution and daily observances as your nails,

    ਗਯਾਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਆਤਮ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ਹੁ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਭੂਤ ਲਗਾਓ ॥੧॥
    गयान गुरू आतम उपदेशहु नाम बिभूत लगाओ ॥१॥
    Consider the knowledge as the preceptor giving lessons to you and apply the Name of the Lord as ashes.1.

    ਅਲਪ ਅਹਾਰ ਸੁਲਾਪ ਸੀ ਨਿੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਦਯਾ ਛਿਮਾ ਤਨ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥
    अलप अहार सुलाप सी निंद्रा दया छिमा तन प्रीति ॥
    Eat less and sleep less, cherish mercy and forgiveness;

    ਸੀਲ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਸਦਾ ਨਿਰਬਾਹਿਬੋ ਹ੍ਵੈਬੋ ਤ੍ਰਿਗੁਣ ਅਤੀਤਿ ॥੨॥
    सील संतोख सदा निरबाहिबो ह्वैबो त्रिगुण अतीति ॥२॥
    Practise gentleness and contentment and remain free from three modes.2.

    ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਹੰਕਾਰ ਲੋਭ ਹਠ ਮੋਹ ਨ ਮਨ ਸੋ ਲਯਾਵੈ ॥
    काम क्रोध हंकार लोभ हठ मोह न मन सो लयावै ॥
    Keep your mind unattached from lust, anger, greed, insistence and infatuation,

    ਤਬ ਹੀ ਆਤਮ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਦਰਸੇ ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰਖ ਕਹ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੩॥੧॥
    तब ही आतम तत को दरसे परम पुरख कह पावै ॥३॥१॥
    Then you will visualize the supreme essence and realise the supreme Purusha.3.1.

    So even if someone goes to jungle ,it may not matter that self realisation is done.

    As per us Our God is in universe and Bandgi or service of that Lord is to serve universe.We go to secluison for self interest of imporing ourself.

    But we are told to serve others selflessly.One who does service(by will of God) without wishes(of returns) gets the Lord.

    so worship is serivce of others and in selusion,we are more pro self.

    When we know that family ,partner etc. are false and oour deeds are false and only God is true,and God only is truly in all,so we treat all as God and rather we get the position when it is realised that in us God only serve God outside us.All but God reamins.so better to carry out Productive work as a tool of Akal,then to go to Jungle.Had Akal wanted best people in jungle and seclusion then why did God made us social.

    In Past Vedanta and Nath Yoga had same God as we have but they failed as they prefered to leave socity and went for self imporvemtn via knwoledge.In us devotion is eqauly important and God is vaste and unlimited and when we find that in all and with devotion we serve that while serving all,we are blessed by same as we are in such position.

    In Budhists,there is no God at all,while some Mahayan and Vajryan due to Shavite influence make mortal called Budha as God at present.
     
  4. Archived_member2

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    Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!
    Amar Ji!

    Quote >>> . . . and that man must make efforts to realize god. <<<
    Quote >>>sikhism in general emphasizes the importance of the household and civil engagement. <<<
    Please provide references from Gurdev where He said so. I will be thankful.


    Balbir Singh
     
  5. simpy

    simpy
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    Respected Balbir Singh Ji,

    The path of Spirituality is mainly based on the Bricks of Faith. You need to have Faith in Guru- Be Guru a Human, God Within(insight), Granth, or any other form the mind believes.

    Guru is in that place where you are not yet; that is why you need Guru: to show you the path to get there. If you could know everything by yourself, you did not need any Guru. You have to leave your intelegence as this intelegence is based on the material world(FALSEHOOD/MORTALITY). Guru's intelegence is totaly the TRUTH/IMORTALITY.

    And to understand what Guru is saying you have to have solid faith in Guru's words.

    Just for example LIVE the truth that is said in MOOL MANTRA. Just that, nothing else.
    And then watch how it will open your inner eyes within days and then you will be able to understand the rest of Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    Literal translations are for worldly scholars.
    The real translation is known only after living the truth.


    i apologise if i hurt yours or any other readers feelings.


    Guru Mere Sang Sadaa Hai Naalaey.
     
  6. simpy

    simpy
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    To All

    For some reason the editor on this site is not working correctly today, the above post i ment for Respected Amar Ji.

    i apologise Respected Balbir Ji.
     
  7. simpy

    simpy
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    Respected Amar Ji,

    The path of Spirituality is mainly based on the Bricks of Faith. You need to have Faith in Guru- Be Guru a Human, God Within(insight), Granth, or any other form the mind believes.

    Guru is in that place where you are not yet; that is why you need Guru: to show you the path to get there. If you could know everything by yourself, you did not need any Guru. You have to leave your intelegence as this intelegence is based on the material world(FALSEHOOD/MORTALITY). Guru's intelegence is totaly the TRUTH/IMORTALITY.

    And to understand what Guru is saying you have to have solid faith in Guru's words.

    Just for example LIVE the truth that is said in MOOL MANTRA. Just that, nothing else.
    And then watch how it will open your inner eyes within days and then you will be able to understand the rest of Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    Literal translations are for worldly scholars.
    The real translation is known only after living the truth.


    i apologise if i hurt yours or any other readers feelings.






    Guru Mere Sang Sadaa Hai Naalaey.
     
  8. max314

    max314
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    It would seem that it is more a single Brick of Faith as opposed to multiple "Bricks". The faith that All is One.



    I don't know if I agree that the material world is a falsehood. The material world is, after all, the arena of our battles. The Gurus felt it worth the lives of thousands, perhaps millions in the pursuit of changing the state of the material world as it was back in Old India. The material world is as much God's creation as any other aspect of this universe, and is equally as valid. That is why miri and piri are not said to be at odds with one another, but are two balanced parts of the same cosmos.

    It would appear that the Guru only ever said one thing. The only thing that mattered. And it's the first line of gurbani.



    The mool mantra will not only grant you that, but it will also give you the ability to read the texts of any religion, philisophy, political ideology or fictional literature and allow you to see the same great truth hidden within.

    And you won't only see that truth in the monochromatic world of the written word, but you will see it everywhere you turn in your real life.



    Wise words.



    Such Universal Truths can turn even the most grie-stricken individuals into blissful beings.
     
  9. simpy

    simpy
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    jg rcnw sB JUT hY jwin lyhu ry mIq ]
    kih nwnk iQru nw rhY ijau bwlU kI BIiq ]





    :crazy:
     
  10. kaur-1

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    Veerji, could you elaborate in the above mentioned comment ? :{-:)
     
  11. max314

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    I don't believe it requires any elaboration.

    I'll allow you to interpret it any way you wish.
     
  12. learner

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    for some reason i can't see this font?. does anyone know what could be wrong?
     
  13. SSMDCX

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    Trust Is Bandgi, Faith Is Bandgi, Devotion Is Bandgi, Love Is Bandgi, Humbleness Is Bandgi, Kindness Is Bandgi, Fearlessness Is Bandgi, Winning Over Maya Is Bandgi, Winning Over Panj Doots And Desires Is Bandgi, Giving Tunn Munn An Dhan To The Guru Is Bandgi
     
  14. SSMDCX

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    He Is Referring To The Mool Manter - Ik Oankaar Sat Naam Karta Purakh Nirbhao Nirvair Akal Murat Ajunie Saibhun Gurparsaad - Anybody Who Understands This Maha Manter Mool Manter And Gets The Gur Parsaad And Dedicates Himself With Tunn Munn And Dhan To The Guru And Goes In To Bandgi Can Realize The Almighty
     
  15. Hai_Bhi_Sach

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    Atwalamar ji,

    Paradoxes will remain. You need to understand that the Bani was not written in one go by one person. The "Bani" is a collection of poetry by our Gurus and 15 Bhagats. Knowledge, experience and advice in poetic form that came to being under different circumstances in front of people with different intellects.

    It is not a story book and shall not be treated like one. It would also be foolish to expect all answers from Bani. A min of 25 souls have contributed to this Holly Granth. One may say there are 25 different opinions with the same goal in mind. You will however get the answer when you are one with the Gurus. The answers come to you automatically without even asking, actually all questions will disappear there.

    Each individual will get a different answer based on his mind set. The mind set is in the hands of nature. Have faith in Our Gurus.

    Yes you will reap what you sow. If you stay within the “bhana”, the will – meaning accept what nature has provided you. You have what is due to you, this is what you deserve. “Sabbar” Do not be anxious, what is due to you will come your way. If you strive to get something before your time then you are taking away what was not yours. The others suffer due to your greed. Here you have exercised your will. Grabbed some on else’s food when actually you did not really need it. Here you have taken control.

    When you become a yogi be renouncing the world. All you have done is to change your clothes. The real you has not changed. You have externally cast off things but your “kaam, krodth, lobh, moh ahankaar” are still live and well inside you. You have not become detached internally. One day the thought of a comfortable bed in front of sleeping rough etc will haunt you.

    This Earth is called a “Karam bhoomi.” This is the place where we make payments to Nature, Our Guardian" and each other for their dues. No one escapes this net. The reason why Guru ji may have put us this path is so that you make your payments and at the same time progress spiritually to merge into God.

    “Koor mian Koor Bibi “ This world is an illusion. One that is our mother could be or have previousily been your sister or wife. Any combination can take place. You son could be you father in your previous lives. What i understand Guru ji saying to us is do not cling to them (Moh) one of the five evils. (Salok Mehla 9). The conlusion of Guru Granth Sahib. Problem is that we do not want to move beyond " Jo mangey thakur apne te soi soi devey". We feel secure here.

    There are several ways to reach god. Our Gurus in their infinite wisdom provided us with a universal fool proof formula, the path, “The Prem Marg”. To reach god. A Buddhist way is a scientific way and is not wrong to awaken oneself. But he too shall pay for his “Karmas”. It could be through serious disease, illness, degradation of character or various other means …infinite ways……….. But Guru jis way that is through prem one accrues less bad karmas that other methods.

    I hope I have been able to give you some insight. This is my opinion. You can make yours. There are several messages in Siri Guru Granth Sahib to back what is my Understanding. Have faith, Trust Gurus and listen to them. The torch of Spirituality is in the hands of our Gurus in This “Time period”. The path of sikhi is open for all and is signified by the four doors to Harimandir Sahib.

    Good Luck :)
     

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