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Sikhism Creation of the Universe as Expounded in Guru Nanak's Hymns

Discussion in 'Book Reviews & Editorials' started by drdpsn, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. drdpsn

    drdpsn Canada
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    Creation of the Universe
    As Expounded in Guru Nanak’s hymns

    Dr. D. P. Singh*

    <O:pGuru Nanak in his hymns of Jap(u) Ji, Asa di Var, Siddh Goshth and Maru Sohilé has shown incredible understanding of the mystery of creation. It is fascinating to note that some of the concepts/theories expressed in these Banis were not known to modern science until eighteenth century. In this way one can safely observe that Guru Nanak’s ideas were the forerunner of the modern scientific tradition. Let us now analyse the ideas about the physical world as mentioned in Guru Nanak’s hymns. <O:p
    Before Creation
    Using advanced scientific techniques scientists have been able to know numerous secrets of the universe during the present century. By the analysis of the light coming from distant galaxies, nebulae, pulsars and newly found stars, the scientists have calculated that our universe was born about 12 billion years ago. How was the universe created? When and Why was it created? Scientists are unable to pinpoint the answers to these questions. Many theories are in vogue concerning the evolution of the universe. It is generally assumed that our universe started out as a super dense ball called the ‘cosmic egg’ or the ‘primal atom’. On explosion of the ‘cosmic egg’ all the fundamental particles of matter came into existence in a very very short span of time. With passage of time, galaxies, nebulae, pulsars, suns, stars, planets, moons and earth… took birth from this cosmic dust. This process is still in progress in several galaxies and nebulae. In the expanse of the universe, millions of stars are taking birth, getting evolved and are dying on completion of their life span even now. Ultimately all these are being converted into a highly dense matter of ‘cosmic egg’. The existence of ‘black holes’ confirms this fact. This process of creation and destruction is going on and on in the universe.
    Another prevalent theory is that our universe was created about 12 billion years ago. Since its birth, it is expanding and will continue as such for the next 29 billion years. Then under the force of gravitation its contraction will start which will continue for next 41 billion years, till, it again takes the shape of the ‘cosmic egg’. Even this is not the end. This whole process of creation and destruction will start again with the explosion of the newly formed ‘cosmic egg’. This cycle of creation and destruction will continue forever. In Guru Nanak’s hymns many interesting facts about the creation and evolution of the universe are present, which appear in consonance with the modern scientific concepts. Scientists agree that there was nothing like the moon, the sun, the earth, the galaxies and the day or night before the creation of the universe. Guru Nanak had expressed such a view about 500 years ago in one of his hymns of ‘Maru Sohilee’ :
    arubud nurubud dhundhookara
    For endless eons, there was only utter darkness.
    dhuran n gugunaa hukum apaaraa
    There was no earth or sky; there was only the infinite Command of His Hukam.
    naa dhin rain n chundh n sooruj sunn sumaadh lugaaeidhaa
    There was no day or night, no moon or sun; God sat in primal, profound Samaadhi. ||1|| (SGGS, Maru M. 1, Page 1035)
    jhilamil jhilukai chundh n thaaraa
    The dazzling light glitters, although neither the moon nor the stars are shining;
    sooruj kiran n bijul gainaaraa
    neither the sun’s rays nor the lightning flashes across the sky.
    akuthee kutho chihun nehee koee poor rehiaa man bhaaeidhaa
    I describe the indescribable state, which has no sign, where the all-pervading Lord is still pleasing to the mind. ||8|| (SGGS, Maru M. 1, Page 1035)
    Birth of the Universe
    In 1930, a Belgium astronomer Georges Lemaitre expounded the ‘big bang’ theory, which describes the way in which the universe began. He suggested that about 10,000 million years ago all the matter of the universe was contained in a primal atom- which he described as a super dense ‘cosmic egg’. This he said exploded and its many fragments became galaxies – one of which contains our solar system. All these galaxies are moving apart at incredible speed. Thus in the great explosion an unlimited number of material particles flew across space, which gave birth to planets, stars, galaxies, etc. Another popular belief – The Steady State Theory – was advanced in 1948 by British cosmologists Harmann Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle, who suggested that the universe was eternal and that it has always existed. They said that matter is continuously created, apparently from nothing, at the rate of 62 atoms of hydrogen per cubic inch of space every 1000 million years. This is sufficient to form new galaxies to fill in the gaps caused by the expansion of the universe. In 1965, an American astronomer Professor Allan Sandage adapted the ‘Big Bang Theory’ and developed it into his ‘Pulsating Universe Theory’. He suggested that the universe is created, destroyed and then re-created in 82,000 million – year cycles. At the moment, he said, the universe is only 12,000 million years along the expansion stage, and it will continue to expand for another 29,000 million years before the galaxies overcome the force of the ‘Big Bang’ and begin to contract. Eventually, he maintained, moving at millions of miles an hour, they will converge and fuse again into their primal atoms which will then explode once more to re-start the whole cycle. A universe is, in other words, not without end but with an infinite number of endings … and beginnings. Thus, scientists have different views about the universe’s birth. They are unable to say something definite about it with strict confidence.
    Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, says:
    Ja karta sirthhi ko saaje, Aa-pe jaa-nai soee. (Jap(u), Stanza 21)
    i.e. that only the creator knows that when and how the universe was created.
    The Process of Creation:
    In ‘Jap(u) Ji’ Guru Nanak points out the process of creation of the universe in the following verse:
    keethaa pusaao eaeko kuvaao
    You created the vast expanse of the Universe with One Word!
    tis tae hoeae lukh dhureeaao
    Hundreds of thousands of rivers began to flow. (SGGS, Jap(u) Ji, Page 3)
    i.e. The Creator created the whole universe with one word. Then lakhs of streams of life began to flow. Doesn’t this ‘eko kavao’ (i.e. cosmic sound) appear as the sound of the explosion of the ‘cosmic egg’ (from which the universe is thought to be created by the scientists.)?
    Concept of Time:
    There are several different ideas in vogue about the time of creation of the universe. According to Christians, the universe was created in 4004 BC. Until the 18<SUP>th</SUP> century, scientists were convinced that our earth was only a few thousand years old. Using geological data and analyzing the fossils, Kelvin, a famous scientist, suggested by the second half of the 19<SUP>th</SUP> century that the earth is about 20 million years old. During the 20<SUP>th</SUP> Century, using ‘Radioactive Dating Technique’ it became known that our earth was created about a few billion years ago. Our solar system is found to be 4.6 billion years old. Our Milky-Way galaxy is said to be about 10-15 billion years old.<O:p></O:p>
    The founder of the Big Bang Theory, Georges Lemaitre had suggested that the explosion of the super dense ‘cosmic egg’ took place, about 10 billion years ago, which led to the creation of the universe. There is no precise date of creation. British cosmologists Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle, who had proposed ‘The Steady State Theory’, suggest that the universe is eternal and that it has always existed. The founder of the ‘Pulsating Universe Theory’ Allan Sandage is of the view that about 12 billion years ago, a great explosion had occurred resulting in the birth of the universe. But he is unable to tell us about the precise date of its birth. Thus it is obvious that even the great astronomers and cosmologists of the twentieth century had been unable to pin point the exact date or time of the creation of the universe. Just like the above trend … it seems almost definite that even in the present century the scientists will not be able to find out the exact time when the universe began either. Now let us have a look at what Guru Nanak had said on this issue in his hymns. In ‘Jap(u)’ written in the first half of sixteenth century, he had raised a pertinent question:
    kuvun s vaelaa vukhuth kuvun kuvun thith kuvun vaar
    What was that time, and what was that moment? What was that day, and what was that date?
    kuvan s ruthee maahu kuvun jith hoaa aakaar
    What was that season, and what was that month, when the Universe was created?
    Vel na paa-ee-a pandati, je hovai lekh puran.
    Pundits did not knew the time otherwise they would have written it in Puranas.
    Vakhat na paa-eo kaadee-a, je likhan lekh Kuran.
    The Kadies (Quazies) also knew not otherwise they would have recorded it in the Quran.
    Thit var na jogi jaan-ai, rut maaho na koee.
    Yogis do not know the lunar date or the weekday, nor does anyone know the season or the month.
    Ja karta sirthhi ko saaje, Aa-pe jaa-nai soee.
    Only the creator of the universe knows all that. (Jap(u) Ji, Stanza 21)
    Let’s take a deeper look into these verses…Guru Nanak raises the questions in his above cited hymns as: What was the time, lunar date or the day, which was that weekday, season or month when the material world came into being? Then he himself has replied: The Pundits (Hindu Scholars) did not know the answer otherwise they would have recorded it in Puranas (Hindu Holy Books).The Kadies (Quazies) also knew not otherwise they would have written it in the Quran (Muslim’s Holy Book). Yogis do not know the lunar date or the weekday, nor does anyone know the season or the month. Only the Creator of the universe knows all that. Thus Guru Nanak has pointed out very clearly that it is not possible to know the exact time of the creation by any means. Even with the use of very advanced scientific techniques available in twenty-first century, it has not been possible to arrive at the truth of the subject. Obviously, Guru Nanak’s ideas about the creation of the material world (Universe) propounded about 500 years ago are in consonance with modern scientific thoughts. [End of PartI] (To be concluded)
     
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  3. satnamwaheguru

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    Books on Guru Nanak Dev ji and other Sikh Gurus

    Books on Guru Nanak and other sikh gurus can be found at http://www.jsks.co.in/sikhgurus.htm .

    The website contains plenty of books related to Gurbani , Sikhism, Sikhs, Sikh Culture, Sikh Faith , Sikh Philosophy etc. Its the website of B.Jawhar Singh Kirpal Singh , one of the oldest publishers and distributors of sikh religious books .
     
  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Re: Books on Guru Nanak Dev ji and other Sikh Gurus

    Satnamwaheuguru Jios..
    Gurfateh.

    It would be helpful IF you gave some scanned pages from the books..or Reviews which give some additional info.
    Providing a website and lists of books by a COMERCIAL ADVERTISER FREE of charge in POSTS..is not very helpful.
    Further I find that this webiste/publisher published mostly books based on sants derawaad and not strictly per srm/Gurbani..too many mythological tales such s sau sakhis etc.
    SPN is a Resource centre for sikhs/non-sikhs..we must serve to provide CORRECT information. Thank you Ji.
     
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  5. sarbzapra

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    Personally i felt the same thing that how can a person born in 1469 can explain the birth of this universe, when the modren science broght the thory of "big bang" in around 1930s... Guru Nanak was a real Guru, Poora Guru a complete nevigator for this world. I dont know why my own Sikh kaum cant understand his concepts and gone back to from he (Guru Nanak) tried to pull out.
    Thanks for the info.
     
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  6. Luckysingh

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    I'm not sure about the full details as I have not checked into them but I can assure that some mentions by Guru Nanak Dev Ji such as the moon not being it's own light source, and it obtaining light from the sun..etc.. had already been mentioned long before in the koran.
    I'm not sure who would actually get more credit but maybe the koran does which is why we don't find many sikh claims.
     
  7. Harkiran Kaur

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    THIS is what drew me to Sikhi so fiercely! I have always been deeply interested in cosmology - wanting to learn of the deeper inner workings of our Universe. Some interesting things I noted:

    So long ago, long before the advent of quantum physics, written in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (P 21), was this line:
    <TABLE cellSpacing=5 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>Wherever I look, I see the Lord pervading there, in the union of Shiva and Shakti, of consciousness and matter. </TD></TR><TR><TD>jah daykhaa tah rav rahay siv saktee kaa mayl.

    Why this line gave me shivers? Because an experiment known as the double slit experiment, proves the intricate connection between consciousness and matter. In fact, there is proof that a conscious observer is required to even manifest the subatomic particles that make up all matter... including our brains! (There goes the long standing theory that our consciousness is merely an emergent property brought about by the complexity of our brains!) What came first? Consciousness or matter? (chicken or egg)?? In our case it was consciousness... now proven by science! The 'measurement problem' scares many scientists for this very reason! Matter simply can not exist without a conscious observer!!! Consciousness CREATES matter.


    Also there are many references in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji to the 'cosmic sound' and the Universe being created by a 'word' In fact, Sikhism is not the only religion to describe the creation of the Universe in this way. What is really interesting is that all matter is really energy reduced to a slow vibration. Matter as we experience it, does not really exist at all... it's an illusion (Maya). In reality, the vast amounts of empty space between subatomic particles seems solid to us because of electromagneic forces holding everything together. The truth is, that through science we know that the basis of all the Universe is vibration... pure frequency. Sound is one part of the spectrum, so is light, and heat, etc. I often wonder if the term 'word' is used, but the original meaning might be 'frequency' which did not really exist back then. Because right from the smallest subatomic particle to the sound we hear, the heat we feel, the light we see, even things we touch and feel (which are really electromagnetic forces - again vibration - holding everything together at the subatomic level) are all pure frequency! 'The cosmic sound' is frequency... pure frequency... ALL frequency. The Universe is now being compared to a hologram by quantum physicists.


    Anyway, this exact line of thought, and the TRUTH that I read in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, are what drew me to Sikhi. No other faith contains so much scientific knowledge in their holy books.... scientific knowledge that at the time was long from being discovered. Proof to me that Guru Nanak Dev Ji had divine knowledge!




    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
     
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    #6 Harkiran Kaur, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  8. Harvir007

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    You cannot say that this is science. Science by definition is where assertions are made and are also backed up by EVIDENCE. Things we can observe and experiment on in other words. To say the Guru must have had some sort of divine authority is outright irrational on the basis that if one is to make a claim regarding the Universe, then one should be able to justify this claim. No where can I see, is this assertion backed up by evidence and therefore, cannot be deemed a scientific claim.
     
  9. Harkiran Kaur

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    Here are a few quotes from prominent scientists who you will undoubtedly recognize the names of. If they had any doubt in their highly scientific and empirical minds, they would not have made these statements!!!

    Frequency / Vibration... (cosmic sound)

    Nikola Tesla - "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."

    Albert Einstein - “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”

    And a second Einstein quote that relates to the illusion of reality or Maya:

    Albert Einstein - "A human being is part of the whole called by us universe , a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty"

    I had a bunch of quotes from many prominent scientists but I cant find them now... but if these scientists are in agreement with quotes from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which was written long before their times... and long before the advent of modern physics, I think it was either a HUGE and very improbable coincidence....or divine knowledge! Apply Occam's Razor to the above!
     
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  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    NO ONE CLAIMS GURBANI IS "SCIENCE" OR THAT GURU NANAK jI IS A "scientist"..this is realm of dharam...religion....Guru Nanak ji gave His "theory" on How the Universe is created and evolving...and How to LIVE OUR LIFE in perfect consonance with the Universe so we successfully Merge back into HIM.....SGGS is NOT a Book of Science..its a manual of LIFE.

    What many are indeed saying is..What Modern Scientists..are saying.TODAY......in their "THEORIES" ...is what GURU NANAK Ji has already said 500 years ago...when all such "Scientists" were NON-EXISTENT and the world was in the DARK AGES !! GURU NANAK JI SHONE back then as a Star of Knowledge that is being regurgitated today by "scientists"...
    Its entirely up to an individual whether he wants to believe in Einsteins "Theories" or Guru Naanak Jis "theories"...
    winkingmunda
     
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  11. Luckysingh

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    It is marvellous that we can explain many things in line with physics!!

    There is no doubt that consciousness is the true entity.
    Maya is all physical matter. When we take this matter out of the equation, then we are left with pure consciousness.
    The higher consciousness is no other than our Lord.

    I find all this quite fascinating and a joy to learn more.
     
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  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    The SHIV in the Tuk quoted refers to The JEEV ATMA..the Soul in a Living Body...and the Shaktee is MAYA..the illusion...this is what we see all over..Prof sahib Singh teeka.
     
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  13. Luckysingh

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    Another very interesting truth and theory that you don't really hear about is the one of 'quantum entanglement'
    Entanglement is when two particles are separated and these can be protons, electrons or molecules.
    What happens is that the seperated particles keep the same charachteristics and they also go through the same kind of physical changes.
    -Let's say that we are talking about 2 electrons that are separated and put on complete opposite ends of the universe or planet.
    Then when one electron is rotated clockwise with a certain wave force, then the other separated elctron will go through the same wave change and turn the same amount but counterclockwise. Thus the correlated value will be the same.

    This entanglement proves that if an action is submitted to one, then the other responds as well, which implies that both are still one and the same.

    The counterproductive reaction also shows how everything is balanced and is a result of some initial stimuli.

    Gurbani also states that everything came from one same origin when the universe was created and the whole creation is like beads bound together on a thread which itself is the thread of God consciousness.

    P485
    <TABLE cellSpacing=5><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD>ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ

    Sabẖ gobinḏ hai sabẖ gobinḏ hai gobinḏ bin nahī ko▫ī.

    God is everything, God is everything. Without God, there is nothing at all.


    </TD></TR><TR><TD>ਸੂਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਮਣਿ ਸਤ ਸਹੰਸ ਜੈਸੇ ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

    Sūṯ ek maṇ saṯ sahaʼns jaise oṯ poṯ parabẖ so▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.

    As one thread holds hundreds and thousands of beads, He is woven into His creation. ||1||Pause||


    </TD></TR><TR><TD>ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਫੇਨ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਭਿੰਨ ਹੋਈ

    Jal ṯarang ar fen buḏbuḏā jal ṯe bẖinn na ho▫ī.

    The waves of the water, the foam and bubbles, are not distinct from the water.


    </TD></TR><TR><TD>ਇਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਆਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥

    Ih parpancẖ pārbarahm kī līlā bicẖraṯ ān na ho▫ī. ||2||

    This manifested world is the playful game of the Supreme Lord God; reflecting upon it, we find that it is not different from Him. ||2||
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
     
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  14. Harvir007

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    To Akasha. You're showing me quotes made by other scientists, what is your point? That the guru found these out before them? Again, no evidence. Also, you can't assert that those scientists were in agreement when they're the ones who originally made these claims, and justified them. If the guru did originally come up with this thesis, why doesn't he get credit?

    To Gyani. You can't claim that this is theory as theories are based on a set of facts, facts that are backed up at that. This is a belief system, it's faith. Do it the honour of calling that and don't relate it to reason. To be completely honest, I see no where, the germ theory of disease in the guru granth sahib, no word of atoms and it's odd. With the divinity you claim he has, he seemed to miss out on quite a lot?
     
  15. Harkiran Kaur

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    Harvir, again nobody is saying that Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a scientist or trying to be one. What I AM saying is that the knowledge he had and shared, that same knowledge is now being discovered by modern day scientists - some of the most prominent physicists in our time. And the nature of the information contained in these ideas, is not something that someone could just 'guess' or speculate on (at least that far in the past, long before modern scientific ideas and the advent of modern physics) and end up being accurate 500 years later when it's actually being discovered by science. And that (to me) is too much to be mere coincidence.

    Why doesn't he get credit? I think at least some of us who really look and notice the correlations ARE giving him credit! But as Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji says below, Guru Nanak Dev Ji does not need scientific credit in the form of some human given award.
     
    #14 Harkiran Kaur, Dec 12, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    HARVIR JI,

    Who is the one supposed to give the "credit" ?? What the Guru and other Bhagats before him said..is written in the SGGS..and its over 500 years old or older. The Guru doesnt need the "credit"...and neitrher do the Sikhs..facts are facts...whats been said is written and authentic. Just because some Noble Awards Committee in Stockholm doesnt know about Guru nanak Ji or Bhagat Kabir Ji and didnt give them "credit" or a Nobel prize..doesnt mean anything to the 25 million Sikhs. It just shows the ignorance of those Nobel Award Givers...and anyway Guru Ji has also said..Tu Sultaan..kahon hau MEeean...teri kavan vadayee...IF I call the Sultan MR. doesnt reduce the Sultan and calling a MR. "SULTAN/Emperor" etc wont make the ordinary Joe MR a SULTAN. Even if tomorrow the World Scientist Federation Awards Guru nanak the Scientist of the Century/Millineum/Whatever Award..it wont change anything..the GURU is still the GURU..

    2. At Guru Jis time and Even TODAY..the Hindus beleive the SMALLPOX is a "MATA"..DEVI and Manifestation of Kali Mata and these people perform all sorts of rituals to appease the Mother Kali when someone gets this...Gurbani dispelled this notion and said Small pox etc are DISEASES...and Guru harkishan Ji went to Delhi during one such Epidemic to help the sick and was struck by the same disease which killed him. Guru HAR RAI Ji maintained a HUGE Pharmacy of Drugs and medicines which even the Mughal Emperor availed at times. That during a time when diseases were thought to be "chhaya..shadow of evil..nazar lagdee..black magic..evil eye etc....

    SGGS does NOT encourage BLIND FAITH..its NOT a "beleif sytem"....the GURUS dont pretend to be anything but ordinary HUMANS..thats why there are no "miracles" in SGGS where a Guru waves his arms and the dead wake up...all you got is beleive and you will be saved..its a SERIOUS BUSINESS of DOING...ACTING...self discipline to GET the RESULTS. No closing your eyes and believing ONLY.
     
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