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Debate: Spiritual vs Non Spiritual interpretation of Gurbani

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Harkiran Kaur, Jul 17, 2014.

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  1. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    I put this in the Hard Talk section for a reason... there seems to be a great divide in what should be a basic tenet of Sikhi. That being the interpretation of Gurbani with regards to a spiritual existence, God, and reincarnation (for lack of a better word).

    There seem to be two main groups:


    Group 1:
    Sikhs who interpret Gurbani to be nothing more than a poetic description of nature and science. There is no God, there is no spiritual existence, what we see is what we get. One life, only the physical universe and scientific rules. Any interpretation of anything 'spiritual' is simply metaphor describing the acceptance of only the physical reality and nature and how to interact with it. In essence, they are pure athiest in belief. We are born once, die and when we die everything we were, also dies. There is no spiritual aspect of us and nothing survives physical death.

    Group 2:
    Sikhs who interpret Gurbani to be describing a creator who is aware of creation. The Universe, akin to a 'dream' of the creator where everything within that creation posseses the same divine essence. Basically, everything IS the Creator and the Creator IS creation. This group also believes this one life is not enough time to attain union with the creator, hence belief in muliple lives (call it reincarnation for lack of a better word or perhaps better called transmigration or spiritual progress). Further within this group, some believe all life, all matter etc are all really different expressions of the one Creator God (also for lack of a better word... we are not referring to a bearded man sitting on a cloud but the formless - but definitely aware - Creator) and that the truth to the Universe is oneness... where everything is really merged (even the physical Universe prior to Big bang was in union) Separation and duality are illusions of perception of this physical existence which is only transitory. Hence, this group believes deeply in the spiritual aspect of existence beyond this physical one.

    Most (if not all) websites with information about Sikhi online, fall into Group 2 with regards to teaching on reincarnation, spirituality, and a conscious and aware Creator:

    http://realsikhism.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1248308791&ucat=7
    http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Reincarnation
    http://www.sikh.co.uk/reincarnation/index.html
    http://death.findyourfate.com/life-after-death/sikhism.html
    http://www.religionfacts.com/sikhism/beliefs.htm

    In opposition, the ONLY place I have seen those who fall into Group 1 are on this website (Tejwant Ji, Harry Ji, even spndamin Ji etc.) and whenever I see posts from them, they are adamant that their interpretation is correct and that everyone else's interpretations are wrong.

    This is not meant to stir up any controversy, but I assume it will at least a bit (unavoidably so) and hence why I put it in this section. I am not looking to start an argument over who is right, but just to try and understand the thoughts of those in group 1.

    Because I just can't grasp why there is such a divide among Sikhs when it comes to what should be a very basic aspect of Sikhi! I personally fall into group 2 as do seemingly the MAJORITY of Sikhs as per the links I provided above, and there are MANY more (I only grabbed a few to illustrate the point) In contrast, I can not find even one single site that describes Gurbani as just a metaphor for science and nature, suggesting that there is no spiritual side to existence.

    To Me.... This life can not be 'it'. I can't see how over the period of 200 years Sikhi would evolve to be just a metaphorically rich poetic way to write a science book. Why not just come out and say in plain langauge then... that there is no creator, and when you die that's it, everything you were is gone and your 'experience' goes black and that's it...We are accidents of nature and nothing more... Where is the purpose in life then? Or is that your reasoning, that there is no purpose and that we should just accept that fact?

    How would life have any meaning - since if group 1 is correct, in the end none of it would matter since we'd all meet our permanent demise in very short time anyway (comparison to age of the Universe vs human life) and all would then be permanently forgotten anyway??

    Please everyone keep it civilized...
     
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  3. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    You missed my name. You perhaps missed gurbani tuk, 'ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਹ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਗਏ ਪਾਛੈ ਪਰੀ ਬਹੀਰ ॥ Kabeer, the crowds follow the path which the Pandits, the religious scholars, have taken. but we at SPN, 'ਇਕ ਅਵਘਟ ਘਾਟੀ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਤਿਹ ਚੜਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਕਬੀਰ ॥੧੬੫॥ There is a difficult and treacherous cliff on that path to the Lord; Kabeer is climbing that cliff leaving crowd behind ||165||

    Gurbani is for all time to be worth living, creative - ghari ghari ka laikha mangai. It is not to waste precious time sitting, parroting in a cave. Meditation is one of the means to waste precious moments. We might suppress our miseries momentarily by drugging our mind with meditation but when , ' ਮਾਇਆ ਗਈ ਤਬ ਰੋਵਨੁ ਲਗਤੁ ਹੈ ॥੧॥ where did the impact of meditation or smadhi goes at that time. Let us be practical.
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Akasha ji,

    Guru fateh.

    Firstly, thanks for the great thread. I will respond to you in details about it later on but I am urged to say something very important.

    No one is dissing "Spirituality" in this forum. Spirituality is part and parcel of Sikhi. Living one's life with the concept of Miri-Piri (Temporal-Spiritual) is a life of a Sikh.

    Perhaps, we all understand the Piri part differently depending on our personal experiences and there is nothing wrong with that. It is rather a must because after all we are all individuals from different upbringings, backgrounds etc.etc.

    Sikhi is not an external imposition as most of the religions are but an internal manifestation which being a Sikh, a learner, a seeker is all about.

    Will talk about it in detail later.

    Thanks again for this food for thought. :)

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    To be fair Akasha ji, this depends entirely on your definition of spirituality. If I understand your post correctly, you are defining spirituality as that which cannot be explained by science. I do not not agree with this as I believe there is only one reality which science and philosophy interpret in their own way. If the views of science and philosophy do not match then it is due to misinterpretation of either one. This is especially true regarding Sikhi, since it is not encumbered by fairy tales or hocus pocus. Sikhi has no qualms with science, nor does science have any qualms with Sikhi.

    When gurbani says that the creator is aware of creation and contemplates over the creation, is it not describing us? We are all pieces of the creator. When we think and contemplate, it is the creator who is thinking and contemplating.

    The belief that multiple lives are required to attain union with the creator doesn't hold water. Sikhi teaches that an elevated level of consciousness is required to realize your oneness with everything. However through reincarnation, the consciousness has no recollection of past lives. The slate is wiped clean with every reincarnation. There is no spiritual progression.

    Some people believe in heaven and hell. Some people believe in multiple births and deaths. But everyone agrees that what we do in this life determines what will happen in the after-life. Sikhi even appeals to those who do not believe in an after-life, as the focus is on becoming one with everything while alive. We don't have to wait for death.
     
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  6. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    And doesn't your interpreation work if the BASE OF REALITY is really ONE Universal consciousness (pure energy without form) rather than matter???

    I guess my interpretation of spirituality is kind of different from others too in that I believe there really is only one thing in existence and that is one formless energy which is conscious. And yes it is US... as we collectively are the creator... but the Creator is also more than us. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji "HE IS ME" I cant remember the page) and also (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji p 736 Creator is the director of this play we call life and ALL of the characters but when the costumes are removed there is only one) So I guess my interpretation is that reality is really spiritual in nature not physical. Indtead of the opposite who believe matter is the base of everything and there is no 'spiritual' or that spiritual is just our mind or thoughts or something. My interpretation also agrees with reincarnation, but not in a traditional sense of the word... yes our 'essence' our consciousness survives and evolves through progression, but not as a separate entity playing hoscotch with bodies. But because there really is only one consciousness and when we die physically, I believe its like the actor (p 736 again) removing the costume and remembering they were in fact the actor the entire time. But each character played adds something to the overall experience of the one consciousness.

    This interpretation also agrees with science... as in Universal field theory... also we can already see the breakdown of the physical by peering into the subatomic. There really is one field / energy at the base of everything.
     
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  7. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    I agree with everything you wrote, up until here:
    My interpretation is that the Universal Consciousness is like the ocean. Our own consciousness is like a piece of that ocean trapped in a glass. The glass is not real, yet we are confined by it. The goal is to realize that we are the ocean, and not the glass. When we die, the glass breaks and its contents return to the ocean. The ocean continues to fill new glasses, but not necessarily with the same droplets.

    So in essence, I don't believe the play has to end for the actor to realize he is just playing a role.

    I agree. This is why I stated that Sikhi has no qualms with science. If there is a discord between the two, then it is due to a misinterpretation of either one. :kudihug:
     
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  8. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    You and I think ALIKE :winkingkaur:

    It's those who don't believe consciousness is anything more than some sort of reaction between neurons that disappears when the physical body dies. Those are the ones I can't comprehend how they think... though as I said, the intention of this post was not to debate who is right but just why people think they way they do.

    Nope you misunderstood my concept of spirituality... since I believe that consciousness (formless, energy, aware) is the basis of the Universe and not matter... I believe matter arises out of consciousness... then my concept of spirituality does agree with science. In that the double slit experiment for example shows that a conscious observer does in fact affect the outcome of the experiment, and the electron behaves differently (either as a wave or a particle depending on whether or not it is observed) this shows us a definite connection between consciousness and matter at a base level - since electrons are basic components of every atom in existence!
     
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  9. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    I'm familiar with that experiment. Doesn't this give credence to the notion of Maya, in that what we interpret with our senses is not the fundamental reality? The Naam is the sound which our senses interpret as different notes. These different notes make up the musical composition of existence, known as the Shabadh.

    I think this goes back to the idea of "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" If no one existed to behold the Universe, would it exist in its present form, or would it simply be a wave of potential energy? So in essence, we are the Universe beholding itself, contemplating itself, and manifesting itself. This fits nicely with what gurbani describes the essence of reality to be.
     
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  10. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Akasha ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    We are all here to interact, discuss and learn from each other. I have mentioned many times before that disagreements are part and parcel of Sikhi and its learning process.

    It is OK if you do not comprehend others’ viewpoints regarding this subject and let's be open in our disagreements and I hope we can remain like that with civility during our interaction and hence learn from all participants.

    Kudos to you and Sherdil for the great educating interaction.

    Now coming back to the subject at hand, the three words you have often used to express your point of view with are Spiritual, Spirituality, Consciousness and Creator.

    Let's try to decipher these from the English dictionary first.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/spiritual

    spir·i·tu·al (spr-ch-l)
    adj.
    1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.
    2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.
    3. Of, from, or relating to God; deific.
    4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred.
    5. Relating to or having the nature of spirits or a spirit; supernatural.

    Religious, spiritual, or ecclesiastical matters. Often used in the plural.

    Modern spirituality is centered on the "deepest values and meanings by which people live." It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.

    Spirituality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

    Here is a snippet from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/spirituality

    Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it's about participating in organized religion: going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. For others, it's more personal: Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spirituality
    noun, plural spiritualities.

    1.the quality or fact of being spiritual.
    2.incorporeal or immaterial nature.
    3.predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritualtendency or tone.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/consciousness
    con•scious•ness
    [kon-shuh s-nis] Show IPA
    noun
    1.the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings,etc.
    2.the thoughts and feelings, collectively, of an individual or of an aggregate of people: the moralconsciousness of a nation.
    3.full activity of the mind and senses, as in waking life: to regain consciousness after fainting.
    4.awareness of something for what it is; internal knowledge: consciousness of wrongdoing.
    5.concern, interest, or acute awareness: class consciousness.

    The following is from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It is just a snippet I chose. You can read the rest to form your own understanding.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/consciou/

    The problem of consciousness is arguably the most central issue in current philosophy of mind and is also importantly related to major traditional topics in metaphysics, such as the possibility of immortality and the belief in free will.

    Here is one more. Again this is just a snippet:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/

    Consciousness

    First published Fri Jun 18, 2004; substantive revision Tue Jan 14, 2014

    Perhaps no aspect of mind is more familiar or more puzzling than consciousness and our conscious experience of self and world. The problem of consciousness is arguably the central issue in current theorizing about the mind. Despite the lack of any agreed upon theory of consciousness, there is a widespread, if less than universal, consensus that an adequate account of mind requires a clear understanding of it and its place in nature. We need to understand both what consciousness is and how it relates to other, nonconscious, aspects of reality.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/creator
    creator
    cre•a•tor
    [kree-ey-ter] Show IPA
    noun
    a person or thing that creates.
    the Creator, God.
    So according to the dictionary, Creator means a deity which Sikhi does not have.

    Now, let’s look at all 3 in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?S=y

    1. Spiritual is used 666 times in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji pertaining to different words with different meanings.

    2. Spirituality is used only 6 times in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji with all 6 different words which mean different things.

    3.. Consciousness is used 447 times for different words with different meanings contextually speaking.

    4.. Creator is used 1365 times for the same reasons given above.

    As English is the language we use to express our thoughts according to Gurbani, it is important to put each word in the context of the whole Shabad so we can grasp what our Gurus mean by this.

    In order to further this discussion, I would like you to define these three words from your own viewpoint based on Gurbani so we can learn from all of us. You may quote Gurbani to clarify yourself.

    Lastly, you write:

    Would you be kind enough to elaborate the above in Bold? As far I know, I never imposed my thoughts onto anyone else but always expressed my views and asked questions about others'. I never claimed that "my way or the highway" nor did I ever claim that my interpretation is the only correct one.

    I am a bit puzzled by your above claim.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    this story from real Sikhism

    Hmmmmmm
    now Sikhiwikki

    I see, according to Sikhiwikki, the tenth master had 3 wives, so much for equality of the sexes.


    Sikh.co.uk

    In my view, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was written for the common man, the above is a nicely Vedicised interpretation of Sikhism, as is most of the site.

    deathfindyourfate.com
    I dont even know where narak is...

    religionfacts

    So, if we are lauding these websites as some sort of authority, then surely weight must be given to all content, which equates to Sikhism being some sort of mish mash between Islam and Hinduism, where our Gurus bring people back to life and have multiple wives, where there is a hell, and where the vedic type of meditation is supreme.

    I put it to you that given the enormous variety of thoughts on Sikhism, the safest position, to me anyway, is to embrace what you know as fact, reject what you know as rubbish, and go from there.

    A Sikh website that I find appealing is http://www.sikhspectrum.com


    I actually make every effort to ensure that my opinions are put across as my opinions and nothing more
     
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  12. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    In contrary to the summary of Japjisahib, where a beautiful simile of goldsmith portrayed by Guru Nanak in a very simple manner narrates that once impurities in the gold are removed under furance, gold settles down (in melting pot)for preparing ornaments of gold, in similar manner (with guru dai gian dai tap) by imbibing divine knowledge, chattering of manh can be stablized and as such our sufferings end, it is pity interpretation of most of the pankties that alludes reincarnation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ends in something like this (paraphrasing): "Remember the Naam, the name of the Lord, to end the cycle of births and deaths."

    I think what Guru Ji is trying to say here is that by imbibing and practically living the divine virtues, the 5 evils will be eliminated. If they are gone, you will no longer fluctuate between different personalities, you will no longer be a greedy snake one day and a lustful elephant the next, you will have effectively broken the cycle, no more reincarnations for you, and as a result, be living a Gurmukh lifestyle. Guru sahib throughout gurbani is concerned of our present life but our interpretation mostly is based on after death.

    It all depends how we understand and interpret gurbani. Like, 'ਚਵਰਾਸੀਹ ਲਖ ਜੋਨਿ ਉਪਾਈ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਦੀਆ ਸਭ ਹੂ ਕਉ ਤਦ ਕਾ ॥ as per my understanding to 8.4 millions habits, guru sahib is saying like zillion in common English and (rizak diya) provide them for their elevation the godly virtrues, thus all animal instincts within me gets transformed and not as is assumed material bhojan for sustenance.

    Similarly when guru sahib says, 'ਇਹ ਲੋਕ ਸੁਖੀਏ ਪਰਲੋਕ ਸੁਹੇਲੇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਆਪਹਿ ਮੇਲੇ ॥੪॥ once we closely look at the pankties, we will realize over here parlok stands for my thought process which determines my 'lok' my bodies action. And if my thought process is imbibed with divine wisdom then my present is at peace. When we read lok gaeyo parlok gvaeyo - once thought process is corrupted our bodily actions are affected accordingly.
     
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  13. kggr001

    kggr001 Netherlands
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    I believe that narak is here and its nowhere, it's the people who interpret situation they don't like as narak, for the one that has the lord in his heart there is no narak no matter in what situation that person is, he will see it as Lords Hukam.
     
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    #12 kggr001, Jul 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  14. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    A very revolutionary sabd where Guru sahib talks of animal in the gurbani like, 'ਫੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ SGGS.477 - Guru Sahib is not telling us the story of animals and or their language but are explaining that these animals in fact are sitting within us and are also teaching us a technique how to channelize them, 'ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹੁ ॥ dirt of pashu and pankhi birti had accumulated to the extent that no amount of logic realizes the presence of these animals and teachs us a techique to remove the filth. SGGS 651. (over janam janam is not different reincarnation but our shortcoming over short comings.

    Coming back to the sabd 'ਫੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ - Now elephant does not play the rabbab neither Ox or crow play the 'taal'. I estimate there must be about 20 shabads like these where a literal reading leaves us flabbergasted and one wonders what our Gurus or Bhagat intended to convey. Surely there is a deeper meaning to the revelations in Gurbani besides the literal. To understand shabads like these, it is necessary to keep in mind a few pointers. Firstly, the overall teachings of Gurbani must be kept in mind, like, Naam, Satsang, Guru, God, Truth, etc. Then , aid must be taken from other shabads which have used for example the animal imagery. Guru sahib is picturizing the animal instincts within me in this sabd. The elephant is a (symbol of lust -) once we are able to manoveor the lust, then it start playing guitar player (contemplation on His sifat salah) without renouncing sex. Similarly, the ox (who is symbol of wild nature, anger, taunting nature) after chanelling anger, now is beating the drummer (celestial sound music of truth), and the crow (symbol of vishta (eating manure) – slandering, backstabbing) plays the cymbals (by manouvering them, my life is become a poetry). Then only we will able to come out of ajooni.
     
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  15. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    We interact with God in the sargun form (creation)

    question is can we interact with God in the Nirgun? (formless state, that which existed before the Sargun)...the source that will always be here

    Gurbani says the Nirgun can be experienced within your very own being...because the sargun form (that includes us) came from the nirgun...we have that connection already there...but dyaan is far too much on the Sargun...very little balance

    So really it is a question of whether people believe the interaction with Sargun is enough? Seva, compassion towards all, working with community...being a useful human being.

    and whether people believe that the Nirgun can actually be experienced...and how it can be experienced...and whether being conscious of the Nirgun is purposful to our existance as a human being

    Quite simple...Gurbani says this is our unique opportunity to experience the Nirgun...we have all the tools in our very being...

    what do we have in the Sargun form that came from the Nirgun...? the shabad..the gurbani...in Sri Guru Granth

    attach your consciousness to it, and let it guide you inwards..

    create a balance between your outer sargun interaction, and the nirgun connection...

    Simran, meditation, contemplation to reflect inwards with the aid of gurbani...is priceless...and absolutely 100% guides us towards the SOURCE...i have not a single doubt in this..

    just my humble opinion....feel free to disect it :)

    God Bless
     
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  16. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Excellent post Chaz ji.....couldn't have put it better myself. The more you research Gurbani the more you realise how little we know. This is why Guru Nanak repeatedly reminds us to nurture humility, above all.

    Bless you.

    Rajinder Singh 'Arshi'
     
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  17. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Tejwant Ji,

    I was not referring to you specifically, but in general, those who have claimed things like "There is no God" or "There is nothing beyond the physical" etc. have not usually tagged "In my opinion..." to it. But instead have stated "according to Sikhi". The problem is, everyone interprets things differently, and we can never know if one another are correct or not so none of us should claim our thoery is the correct one. And in fact, I actually believe that Gurbani can be interpreted on several levels... and I think it was on purpose... so that there IS a message for both the physical life we are living, and the nonphysical or spiritual. Why can't both messages be contained within the same words at the same time? It would certainly be a testimate to the awe and power of Gurbani!!!

    As I can not access Sri Granth very well here, I will put my views on those words for now... and paraphrase where I can from memory... and will over the weekend start assmebling some quotes.

    1. Spiritual / Spirituality - to me, it referrs to that part of us which exists beyond the physical. The fundamental part of us that makes us who we are... the 'I AM' - the 'Experiencer' the 'Doer'..... I suppose my definition is slightly different than others because I actually believe that the phsyical (sargun) is the illusion which arises out of the nonphysical (nirgun) and not the other way round. I believe the non-physical or spiritual IS the base reality. Also that they are one in the same... (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji forget the page: Creation is born of the light and the light is within the creation). 'Ik Onkar' is both creator AND creation at the same time. Spiritual refers to that part of us associated with the base reality... beyond the physical.

    2. Creator - I believe that the Universe was created... I don't believe Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is just all metaphor to describe a physical Universe and science that governs it that just happened by accident. (Even Stephen Hawking can not account for how everything was initiated - there must have been an initiator prior to the big bang since everything has a reaction to action - things can not happen otherwise and this is basic science.) There are plenty of references in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji where it describes the Creator as 'watching over' or 'knowing' creation. That implies 'Ik Onkar' has awareness of creation in the very least. - Like others in this thread, I do not belive 'Creator' is as a diety described in religions - like some grey bearded old guy sitting on a cloud - but my understanding is more along the lines that there is really only one thing in existence - consciousness... or pure conscious / creative potential as one base energy field underlying everything. Since consciousness itself can not be measured and is formless it certainly fits. It also agrees with science (universal field theory) In fact consciousness is the ONLY thing you can ever know to actually exist and that is not an illusion or merely perception. Everyone knows their consciousness is real and its the only thing you can ever know for sure since everything else depends on measuring using devices within the 'illusion' or perception which is merely electrical signals sent to your brain. Essentially everything we experience is internal when you think about it. - Plus Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has many references to this world being as a dream / illusion. Some say that is some poetic metaphor for how fast life passes etc... I believe there is more to it and also agrees with science. Though I am not saying they are completely wrong either... but I believe there is more than one level of knowledge contained within gGrbani. I believe it can be applied to BOTH the physical and the nonphysical/spiritual and that is what is so awesome about it.

    3. Consciousness - Awareness, Sentience, the ability to experience. I do not belive it is merely a potential or product of the material world. I belive that the material is actually the product of or potential of consciousness (since I believe consciousness IS the base reality - nirgun, formless creative potential). Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji does mention the interaction between consciousness and matter... P 21 I believe paraphrased - Everywhere I look I see the Lord pervading in the union of shiva and shakti, of consciousness and matter - now again, I am not interpreting Lord as a guy sitting on a cloud, but instead the base Universal consciousness of which everything arises. Shiva and Shakti are using known references at the time to 'creation' and 'destruction' it is not refering to actual dieties (which I am sure you also agree with Tejwant Ji) but moreso the idea of creation and destruction that they represent. So even pulling apart the metaphor, it is still saying there is a consciousness or awareness that is interacting with matter on a very base level that pervades everything ('everywhere I look' - even down to the subatomic). This certainly agrees with science and the double slit experiment I already mentioned.

    To sum up my belief / understanding : We are the ONE creator (Universal Consciousness) subjectively experiencing itself through its own creation. (agrees with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 736 actor staging the play and playing all the characters, but that there is really only ONE actor) Because the part of us which is the experiencer or doer, is the real us... and not the character engaged within this life, this is why EGO needs to be removed. We the character are the transient illusion... we are all caught up in the parts we are playing right now, and have forgot who we really are (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji forget page but its part of japji I think... where it says once we realize that 'HE IS ME' what more is there left to do. Also many references to divine light within everyone. So basically how can it say 'He is me' and since its a message to everyone not just one person, then everyone collectively must be 'he' - just basic reasoning here - and that we need to shed ego to realize that 'He is Me' - as in the Universal ONE consciousness and my consciousness are one in the same... Creator IS creation...) Of course again, I am not meaning a 'he' as in some old guy sitting on a cloud... but the formless universal consciousness - awareness) There is also another spot forget the page again (sorry) where it says "Oh my mind you are the embodiment of the divine light, recogzie your own origin." So this journey of life / purpose and merging to me have much to do with shedding EGO and this temporary identiy of individuality and recognizing my TRUE identity which is ONEness... which speaks to me more of realization that 'I AM' - in other words... I am not temporary... I will not cease to exist when this physical identity / character dies.

    Which brings me to one last quote... again paraphrased where it says to arrive at our true home when we die, we must conquer death while still alive. How better to conquer death than to realize it's an illusion and not the true reality??!

    Again, sorry I could not use actual quotes as I cant access the site while at work to post quotes... and if I messed up any of them when referring to them, I appologize, pls remember it was all from memory.

    :)
     
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  18. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Akasha ji, a great thread, quite aptly placed under ‘hard talk’.

    <?"urn:[​IMG]nis din bhajai’</STRONG> </I>M:9 Slok 29 – Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 1427-19). This is also repeated in Slok 43 (jeh ghat simran).

    Akasha ji, I have gone through your post quickly, which reverberates a number of my own feelings on the topic. The world/creation, as we see it and know, is itinerant and nirgun, in my humble opinion, is permanent and the reality – we can also view this in the form of sooksham (subtle) and asthool (physical) entities of the human body. I am, like all, a humble student and aim to constantly learn from Gurbani and from other enlightened minds. In no way do I assert my own interpretation to be the correct one.

    Again, I very much like what I have read in your posts.

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
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    #17 arshi, Jul 18, 2014
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  19. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Akasha ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for the great post.

    When I say, "In Sikhi there is No God", it is obviously my opinion based on my understanding of Gurbani and what God means in the world all over. God in any dictionary or in all religions is a deity where Sikhi has none. This is also the reason I never use words like God, Lord, Almighty, Creator. The reason being, none of these words describe Ik Ong Kaar which is the only term I ever use. I also usually ask people who come in the fold of Sikhi or/and who belong to other religions attend SPN to describe God with their own understanding.

    I do not lump Sikhi with other religions but compare it with them when the need arises. I never impose unto others about my views. The beauty of Sikhi is that anyone and everyone can dispute my understanding of Sikhi with theirs and educate me about it. Like any other Sikh I am open to learning. This is the only way we can learn from each other which Gurmat mandates.

    We all know that Gurbani is full of metaphors and it depends on the individual how to understand/interpret them. We also know that Sikhi is all about poetry. This is the way our visionary Gurus penned it and wanted us to feel it in our gut first before even understanding it.

    I am sure you know quite well that music moves us from inside out. Its birth is borne from the within and I am also certain that you are aware of how each poem in any subject written by anyone can be interpreted in many different ways .Some understand it literally and insist on that claiming that theirs only is the true interpretation and others think differently.

    Shabad Keertan moves many people who are not even Sikhs. My brasilian brother David listens to Asa de Var every day and other Keertan. He is an agnostic. I sent my van for a repair to my next door neighbor’s business and the person who picked it up is from Argentina. Bhai Harjinder Singh’s Cd was playing. Raul loved it and he wanted me to make a copy of it. I gave him about 10 cd’s of Keetan and he never stops thanking me. There are many others like these two who enjoy Keertan without understanding any word. This is the beauty of music which literally put all of us on this speck of sand called the Earth as one sans any demarcations.

    These ‘Good Vibrations’ that people feel while listening to Keertan can be named Spiritual, Emotional Connection or just “ Because I am Happy” feeling.

    This is the reason we all have different experiences while we listen to it and our understanding of the same varies.

    I have read with great interest how you understand the words Spiritual, Spirituality, Consciousness and Creator. As I do not use these words in my expressions of Gurbani, I can respect the meanings of the words which are meaningful to you. Perhaps, I may use different words to express the same.

    I do not think it is a good idea for anyone to divide Sikhs into groups and other Sikhs endorsing these kinds grouping. By doing this, we are no worse than the many Sikh sects like AKJ, GNNSJ from Birmingham, UK, and many others.

    Many Sikhs speculate answers about the future which I do not. I simply say, "I do not know" because Gurbani teaches me that.

    Disagreements in Sikhi do not create divisions but they make people closer by interacting more about the subject and hence learning through this experience. This is one more beauty of Sikhi. It expands our horizons of the understanding of humankind provided we do not become its mechanical parrots.

    I have gone through all the sites of your (group 2) and I am sorry to disappoint you, for me there is nothing Sikhi about them. They are filled with Hindutva as far as Kaama, reincarnation and other things are concerned. You can point out things that I may have missed in them.

    http://realsikhism.com/index.php?sub...8308791&ucat=7
    http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Reincarnation
    http://www.sikh.co.uk/reincarnation/index.html
    http://death.findyourfate.com/life-a...h/sikhism.html
    http://www.religionfacts.com/sikhism/beliefs.htm

    I have an idea so we can all interact together whether being on the same page or not.

    I would like you to choose any Shabads from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which include the words Spiritual, Spirituality, Consciousness and Creator. Please express your understanding of the particular Shabad and let others pitch in with theirs. This would be a great exercise for all of us to understand and then practice Gurbani.

    What do you think?

    As mentioned before, this is a great thread but its title is a bit judgmental which is fine with me. Let’s irrigate this Gurmat tree together and reap its fruits so that we can share them with others.

    Thanks & regards.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  20. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    There are in reality many other sites that mirror SPN....www.Sikhmarg.com is an excellent site....The Sikh Bullettin published at http://sikhbulletin.com/ is another one..Dr Devinder Singhs Understanding Sikhism is another...The Books published by the Sikh Institute of Chandigarh also good material, Sikh Missionary College at Ludhiana...

    Compared to the "crowds" and the Bheerr...Discerning Sikhs..are always few and far between....just go to any DERA in Punjab to see the CROWDS...but enter a LIBRARY..and count the number of Sikhs ?? Those who "IN" the SPN crowd..are almost always found in Libraries rather than at DERAS..

    I really love the postings of Sahni Ji (Japjisahib04)..he has hit the nail right on its tiny square head so well...and Tejwant Ji, Harry Ji, and the Late Narayanjyot Kaur ji..are the pillars of SPN....and pillars are always LESS then the BRICKS.....so dont count the numbers..weigh the substance..
     
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  21. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    <SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 11pt"><FONT size=2>Akasha ji<?"urn:[​IMG]
    You wrote:

    <o:p> </o:p>
    I mentioned in my earlier post (#15) that, although I went through you post rather hurriedly, I found it interesting. Fortunately, I am enjoying the break between university semesters (the lull before the storm) and had the time and the pleasure to go over your post a number of times and what I said earlier was an understatement – it is awesome - there is so much food for thought. The fact that you have stringed along so many concepts from memory makes it even more exceptional. My first reaction was to dissect some of your thoughts and add my own understanding and interpretation of them, mostly backing what you said – this would take many pages and many parmans illustrations from Gurbani and distract from your intended post over the weekend.

    Translations vary between individuals. We learn from each other, but the most effective learning, in my opinion, is by continually reading, interpreting and contemplating Gurbani. Over time we learn to converse with Guru Ji – Bani begins to talk to us and translation is no longer an issue. Immersion in Guru’s message will translate into actions and the negative traits will gradually begin to wane and transform into positive attributes. I have written several articles on these negative traits and how to overcome them, with Guru’s blessings, mostly for my own benefit. I need to revisit and revise these in the light of further insight gained from continually being attached to Gurbani. We can never do justice in translating and interpreting Gurbani. Only Guru Ji is perfect.

    <o:p> </o:p>
    I think the pankti you quoted from Ang 21 is:
    jah daykhaa tah rav rahay siv saktee kaa mayl. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 21–4 M:1)

    Another pankti, I assume, might interest you is from anand Sahib (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 920-12 M:3):
    siv sakat aap upaa-ay kai kartaa aapay hukam vartaa-ay.
    hukam vartaa-ay aap vaykhai gurmukh kisai bujhaa-ay.

    I really look forward to your next post.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
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    #20 arshi, Jul 20, 2014
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