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Opinion Definition of Diety, Human Form, God and Waheguru

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Harkiran Kaur, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Wikipedia would disagree <snipped unnecessary quip. Try "some members"- AK>. Even the word Deity does not have to point to a human like supernatural figure:

    "Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form. Some faiths and traditions consider it blasphemous to imagine or depict the deity as having any concrete form. (Does this not include Sikhi concept of 'formless' Creator?) Deities are often thought to be immortal, and are commonly assumed to have personalities and to possess consciousness, intellects, desires, and emotions comparable but usually superior to those of humans.

    1. Sikhi describes Creator as being formless (yet possessing all forms). This qualifies with Wikipedia's definition of the word 'Deity'

    2. Possesses consciousness / Awareness. In fact in Sikhi Gurbani shows us this consciousness / awareness is the only ONE. It's this SAME consciousness that is behind ALL beings. This consciousness IS 'God'.

    SGGSJ Pg. 24. I'll post the full shabad in a separate post to not make it confusing.
    ਏਕਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਹੈ ਜੀਅ
    Ėkā suraṯ jeṯe hai jī▫a.
    There is one awareness among all created beings.
    ਸੁਰਤਿ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕੀਅ
    Suraṯ vihūṇā ko▫e na kī▫a.
    None have been created without this awareness.

    Back to NDE / OBE. What is happening is a dissociation from the temporary and impermanent physical body, to glimpse the permanent reality as ONE awareness / consciousness. In reality there is nothing 'leaving' anything. As the physical experience is entirely contained within the Creator, where is there to 'go'? This is also why I try to exlain that reincarnation in sense of how other religions see it, is not accurate. I understand how Tejwant Ji would reject it. If there is only the ONE consciousness... God, then who exactly is reincarnating?? However, transmigration is better terminology. There IS spiritual unfolding and progression. The ONE is essentially becoming more aware [of itself] and experiencing itself subjectively through its own creation. NDE / OBE are glimpses at the ultimate permanent formless reality that is the truth, and it happens by dissociating from the physical... detuning from thr radio station if you will. But nothing is actually 'leaving' anything... except the illusion.
     
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    #1 Harkiran Kaur, Feb 1, 2016
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  3. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    To satisfy the rules:

    ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ਘਰੁ ੪
    सिरीरागु महला १ घरु ४ ॥
    Sirīrāg mėhlā 1 gẖar 4.
    Siree Raag, First Mehl, Fourth House:
    ਏਕਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਹੈ ਜੀਅ
    एका सुरति जेते है जीअ ॥
    Ėkā suraṯ jeṯe hai jī▫a.
    There is one awareness among all created beings.
    ਸੁਰਤਿ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕੀਅ
    सुरति विहूणा कोइ न कीअ ॥
    Suraṯ vihūṇā ko▫e na kī▫a.
    None have been created without this awareness.
    ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ
    जेही सुरति तेहा तिन राहु ॥
    Jehī suraṯ ṯehā ṯin rāhu.
    As is their awareness, so is their way.
    ਲੇਖਾ ਇਕੋ ਆਵਹੁ ਜਾਹੁ ॥੧॥
    लेखा इको आवहु जाहु ॥१॥
    Lekẖā iko āvhu jāhu. ||1||
    According to the account of our actions, we come and go in reincarnation. ||1||
    ਕਾਹੇ ਜੀਅ ਕਰਹਿ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ
    काहे जीअ करहि चतुराई ॥
    Kāhe jī▫a karahi cẖaṯurā▫ī.
    Why, O soul, do you try such clever tricks?
    ਲੇਵੈ ਦੇਵੈ ਢਿਲ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
    लेवै देवै ढिल न पाई ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
    Levai ḏevai dẖil na pā▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    Taking away and giving back, God does not delay. ||1||Pause||
    ਤੇਰੇ ਜੀਅ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਤੋਹਿ
    तेरे जीअ जीआ का तोहि ॥
    Ŧere jī▫a jī▫ā kā ṯohi.
    All beings belong to You; all beings are Yours. O Lord and Master,
    ਕਿਤ ਕਉ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਆਵਹਿ ਰੋਹਿ
    कित कउ साहिब आवहि रोहि ॥
    Kiṯ ka▫o sāhib āvahi rohi.
    how can You become angry with them?
    ਜੇ ਤੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਆਵਹਿ ਰੋਹਿ
    जे तू साहिब आवहि रोहि ॥
    Je ṯū sāhib āvahi rohi.
    Even if You, O Lord and Master, become angry with them,
    ਤੂ ਓਨਾ ਕਾ ਤੇਰੇ ਓਹਿ ॥੨॥
    तू ओना का तेरे ओहि ॥२॥
    Ŧū onā kā ṯere ohi. ||2||
    still, You are theirs, and they are Yours. ||2||
    ਅਸੀ ਬੋਲਵਿਗਾੜ ਵਿਗਾੜਹ ਬੋਲ
    असी बोलविगाड़ विगाड़ह बोल ॥
    Asī bolvigāṛ vigāṛah bol.
    We are foul-mouthed; we spoil everything with our foul words.
    ਤੂ ਨਦਰੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤੋਲਹਿ ਤੋਲ
    तू नदरी अंदरि तोलहि तोल ॥
    Ŧū naḏrī anḏar ṯolėh ṯol.
    You weigh us in the balance of Your Glance of Grace.
    ਜਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਤਹ ਪੂਰੀ ਮਤਿ
    जह करणी तह पूरी मति ॥
    Jah karṇī ṯah pūrī maṯ.
    When one's actions are right, the understanding is perfect.
    ਕਰਣੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਘਟੇ ਘਟਿ ॥੩॥
    करणी बाझहु घटे घटि ॥३॥
    Karṇī bājẖahu gẖate gẖat. ||3||
    Without good deeds, it becomes more and more deficient. ||3||
    ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈਸਾ ਹੋਇ
    प्रणवति नानक गिआनी कैसा होइ ॥
    Paraṇvaṯ Nānak gi▫ānī kaisā ho▫e.
    Prays Nanak, what is the nature of the spiritual people?
    ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋਇ
    आपु पछाणै बूझै सोइ ॥
    Āp pacẖẖāṇai būjẖai so▫e.
    They are self-realized; they understand God.
    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਕਰੇ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ
    गुर परसादि करे बीचारु ॥
    Gur parsāḏ kare bīcẖār.
    By Guru's Grace, they contemplate Him;
    ਸੋ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥੪॥੩੦॥
    सो गिआनी दरगह परवाणु ॥४॥३०॥
    So gi▫ānī ḏargėh parvāṇ. ||4||30||
    such spiritual people are honored in His Court. ||4||30||
     
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  4. Admin Singh

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    IMHO, I would always take all definitions in Wikipedia with pinch of salt, certainly will not believe in whatever is written in Wikipedia as it is no way an official definition and it is ambiguous and constantly edited by humans to serve their own agendas.

    For the sake of discussion, we would like to reference the official dictionary definitions:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deity

    Full Definition of deity
    plural de·i·ties

    1. 1 a : the rank or essential nature of a god : divinity b capitalized : god 1, supreme being

    2. 2 : a god or goddess <the deities of ancient Greece>

    3. 3 : one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful
     
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  5. Harkiran Kaur

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    I still don't see how that can't apply... the essential nature of 'God' or supreme being... how does that not fit?? Nothing in there even in that definition says 'deity' must be a supernatural human-like form...or am I missing something??? How exactly would Waheguru NOT fit in the above definition? The essential nature of 'God' / Supremem Being...
     
  6. Ambarsaria

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    Let us add some Masala to the chutney ;)

    According to SGPC English version of Sikh Rehat Maryada the following goes;

    Rehat Maryada: Section One

    Chapter I - Sikh Defined

    Article I – Definition of Sikh

    Any human being who faithfully believes in:

    • One Immortal Being
    •Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh
    •The Guru Granth Sahib
    • The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus
    • The baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh.​

    So two parts are important: Immortal; being

    (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/)

    Full Definition of immortal
    1. 1 : exempt from death <the immortal gods>

    2. 2 : exempt from oblivion : imperishable <immortal fame>

    3. 3 : connected with or relating to immortality

    4. 4 : able or tending to divide indefinitely <immortal cell lines produced in culture>

    Full Definition of being
    1. 1 a : the quality or state of having existence b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things c : conscious existence : life

    2. 2 : the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence; especially : personality

    3. 3 : a living thing; especially : person


    Harkiran Kaur ji you may like the following too,

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/threa...ath-or-transformation-into-other-souls.34878/

    Hope it helps,

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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    #5 Ambarsaria, Feb 2, 2016
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  7. Admin Singh

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    Any ideas:
    • Who did this transliteration of SRM in English for SGPC?
    • Was there any special panel of scholars formed to achieve this transliteration?
    • If yes, who were these scholars?
    • It would also be interesting to know, what was their educational background as far as English is concerned?
     
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  8. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Possibly a friend of the "Clouds" or someone similar ;)

    Most likely someone similar as it was there for a long time.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  9. Harkiran Kaur

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    So according to Sikh Rehet Maryada, we have Creator is defined as an imperishable, conscious, existence! (Immortal Being). Which also agrees with dictionary definition of the word 'Deity' and hence 'God'.

    So what's the problem of using those terms for Waheguru Ji? We all understand we are not talking about bearded humanoid form sitting on a cloud.... but thoe above do not require those terms to be referring to that description.


     
  10. Ambarsaria

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    Harkiran Kaur ji I can make it work too by taking parts of the definition of what immortal is and what being is. One of the problems as I perceive it is that the only difference between a Sikh and Waheguru appears to be one is mortal and the other is immortal if we give it the most liberal interpretation. On top of that Sikhs being human are reasonably well-defined in terms of human characteristics and there may not be an easy mapping from that to "Immortal Being". However SGGSJ again and again states that the creator, for lack of a better word cannot be defined. So how can we reconcile. Another puzzle would be that science finds a way to make humans immortal, in other words immortal beings, do we emulate the creator as a result ;) Philosophical concepts are rarely black and white.

    By the way I have no personal problem for my own purposes knowing what, who or how the creator is, it is simply a sharing exercise so that we may learn even more.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  11. Harkiran Kaur

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    ... my point is only say that does it matter really what we use as terminology? It will always be difficult for us to even try to explain Waheguru. Even if we do have some actual concept in our heads. The terminology will never quite fit no matter what. But we still need terms to use in order to speak about our Creator! I like Waheguru... but my non Sikh friends have no idea what that is. And any attempts to explain it, automatically jumps to 'God' 'Creator' etc.
     
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  12. Ishna

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    I like to use the term "Akaal Sahib" when speaking among Sikhs.

    Among non-Sikhs, using the word "God" without qualifying it as panentheistic can give people a bum-steer. For most Western people, it conjures Allah, or YHWH.

    I've seen many Sikhs who seem to have a concept of Akaal Sahib as being a character/personality like the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. And that's unfortunate.

    At the end, all of our human language is insufficient to communicate what Akaal Sahib is. We can point to some qualities, but even then, they are just words use to describe the Ultimately Indescribable.
     
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  13. Harkiran Kaur

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    Even if you look up definition of panentheism... it makes use of the word 'God' to explain its points! LOL
    But yes, Sikhi is definitely panentheistic.
     
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  14. Ambarsaria

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    Folks at a personal and internal matter what the name is does not matter much if the understanding exists. I can name everything black as white and white as black in my head and go on with my life with no interruption or confusion. But as we know, as soon as I utter the word where word understands or commonly takes it differently, I will be trying to boil an ocean and it will not happen. So external communication including spn needs to use common understanding of English vocabulary and at that ensure that the common usage of words is depended upon in communication in the open. So for me there is a bit of a problem with using God, little less with using creator and beyond that I run out of common usage words that 99% of the word would understand or know the fine points of. Whether it is Ik-oankar; Ik-oangkar; waheguru; Akal Purakh; Gur; etc.

    I don't believe there is a simple answer other than to say for Sikhs there is no name for such. A name usually evokes a definition, a list of characteristics, anomalies to other how it is the same as or different from.

    So challenge stays as to what to call the one we will never fully know other than to say it is only one!

    For me ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār does it and in a more jubilant and expressive manner Waheguru does it.

    Sat Sri Akal and Rab Rakha ;)
     
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  15. Original

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    Academians,

    The dialectic you're engaged with is "ontological", the existence of a Being. Bhagat Kabir Ji on page 340 SGGSJ informs us that it is ineffable and since it is ineffable, whatever terminology, phraseology, etc. is employed to capture or define the same will fall short because no "alphabet" has those letters which would or could capture the Being. At best perhaps, like Guru Gobind Singh concluded after an endless writing spree that, " hey you....the little I know you or of you is through the workings of your infinite manifestations".

    Guru Nanak Ji opens up the Ontological dialectic thus, ik on kar satnam karta PURAKH [being].

    In answer to your question HKJ, this being has an "existence" and since existence isn't a predicate [...everything but the subject in a sentence]. For example, an existence cannot be a predicate - if it was then the following would be constructed thus :

    Men exist
    Santa Claus is a man
    Therefore SC exist. You get the drift ?

    Moving on, Nanak's satnam exists, no proof required. Waheguru is a gur mantar [more on it another time].

    The real reason for writing to you HKJ is to share a fruitful thought with you and that is, what do you know of the Red Indians and their smoke signals ? Very little I guess ! Similarly, the original thought process of the Indians of India need fully to be understood before any analysis, evaluation or theoretical interpretations and investigations be deemed conclusive and appropriate. That is to say, it is impossible for someone brought up in a European culture to appreciate Chinese music because that music cannot mean the same to this someone as it would to a Chinese, who has been brought up in a different environment, with different values and different language.

    As you will no doubt agree, the purpose of a piece of music is to coney the composer' s emotions. But what can European know about the emotions of a Chinese ?

    It is clear that Oriental music "says" something different from European music and therefore a European cannot hope to Understand it. Understanding is a pre-requisite if you like and similarly, the words used by Gur Ghar has specific religious-philosophical meanings soaked in "raag" [music], which requires institutional distillation . Gurmat Sidhant [philosophy of Gurus] need to be academically studied for justice to be done.

    We will speak more on the nature and the existence of Nanak's being, which is a metaphysical treatise. For the record, Ikonkar can only be "lived" and experienced and praised. Understanding of something that is non-matter is what ? You tell me !

    Goodnight n Godbless
     
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  16. Sherdil

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    Sat Naam

    Sat from Sattyam (Reality / Existence)

    Naam in the mool mantar is masculine and therefore singular. This indicates that existence itself is its own name.

    A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. "Rose" is the name we have given the plant (subjective). It's real name is the rose itself (objective). Remembrance of the rose is its Naam Simran.

    Akal Purakh, Karta Purakh

    Purakh comes from Purusha. It denotes an all seeing, all doing cosmic entity. The One Actor who is wearing all the masks. I have seen English translations of "creative being personified". I would say it is more than just creative. It is an entity, but only personified for the sake of discussion and comprehension in Gurbani.

    Therefore, terms like deity and being ultimately fall short in my opinion. If I had to describe the One to someone, I would say it is everything. There nothing else. Everything is a singular entity that I refer to as The One (Ek).
     
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  17. chazSingh

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    when we name something, it starts to define a secondary entity. It's so difficult describing waheguru without the ego mind developing that boundary.
    only word i can think of that doesn't create that feeling...is the work 'Ik'...when i say that word i don't get that feeling of 'you' and 'I' ... and its the first word of bani... :)

    another word....'Tuhee Tuhee' 'only you' 'only you' gets me close to the feeling of 'one' of 'ik'

    Harkiran, you have been blessed to experience moments of that 'one' of being 'one'..so you're mind is able to fathom words like 'God' and 'Diety' with that feeling of oneness...

    but many other minds entangled in this Egotistical world will always get the feel of God \ Diety as being an all powerful being as a secondary entity to them.

    Thankfully more and more people are having experience of being 'one' or being 'ik' and the use of those words are deeper and more profound for the person that uses them...on the surface the person says God...within that person though manifest a sense of infinte oneness that just explodes in all directions

    enjoy that experience, dive deep into it...because we know deep down, not a single word available to us in all the languages of the world can do it justice :)
     
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  18. Ambarsaria

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    Original ji thanks for your post. I take note of one sentence which for me puts things to bed
    I have highlighted one part of your concluding sentence.

    Other than putting my thoughts in composition as nice as yours, I am in 100% agreement with you and so I have always understood it.

    The issue with most efforts by many is the desire to define the detail rather than the experience. SGGSJ and Guru ji's have repeatedly stated and Sikhs and many others continue to ignore. The gist is that the essence of;

    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār cannot be defined and only experienced and consequently the experience that is dynamically refreshing with every moment cannot be encapsulated.
    .You cannot define ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār in material and characteristic terms.
    Live it in consonance if you want to experience joy

    I will cite a silly example in this regard;

    Example: When I am typing on my keyboard, I am almost physically transferring probably hundreds of thousands of waves and atoms with the keyboard and receiving similarly. I believe I am one with the keyboard. I do the same with the keyboard, the table, the chair, the air and the living and non-living around me.

    This is the essence of being with one,ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār. Much of it is beyond what we may think or express, it simply is and it is happening all the time with all. Within this context, we are simply players in a play with some provided capacities and some eternal truths that may guide it all. We may knowingly or unknowingly continue to abide by or work within and claim as though we did it and say I know exactly how it is. The creation has surprises in every moment in our lives which at gross level we may think we have control over through our ego complex.

    To drive home the point in the following video you see the surprise while a bird may simply see it as an extension of the ocean and fly over it and humans built with invincibility in mind to some extent would be surprised and may not be able to cope.






    There will be preachers and others who will simply say stay put and pray, the creation is not guiding you that way and you will do it at your own peril. To great or small ways through our failures and triumphs the same is happening with every moment of our lives. If you are looking for a surprise free, always helping where you define what help is, etc., it is simply an illusion you are creating for yourself. There is some predictability in the chaos but there is no definiteness at the deeper levels the deeper you look.

    By the way for me Waheguru simply means, "Behold how great "ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār" is or in praise of ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār!
    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  19. Harkiran Kaur

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    Ultimately ALL terms we can possibly use are physical language and so, created within this physical existence and can never do justice to what / who we are trying to explain. For me, some basic descriptors however are a given:

    Creative
    Existence
    Conscious ---- (though not as per our limited experience, but there is only ONE consciousness... and its the same in all of us) So IS conscious of its own creation and is actively participating within it because Gurbani says is not only orchestrating the play but playing ALL the characters.
    Fearless (because nothing to fear when there is only itself)
    Beyond birth and Death (exists, always has existed and always will - or outside of our concept of linear time)
    No Hatred ( Nothing to hate when there is only itself).
    Self Existent... (exists not as result of anything or anyone else - to me this kills the idea of our Creator BEING the Universe itself as in believing in unconscious science only the universe exists theory - for the simple fact that we are told Ik Onkar is self existent. The Universe however started - it has a beginning (Big Bang) which had to be initiated - Science also says the Universe will not last forever... there is not enough energy to keep it going forever. Stars die out, etc)

    For me this qualifies for the term 'God' as I don't associate the term with a humanlike form or entity but just as the commonly used term to mean 'Creator' or the entity which created the Universe.
     
  20. Original

    Original
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    Sherdil Ji

    I like what you write, but there is more. Baba Nanak used the mathematical 1 for a reason [1 on kar].

    Pls read below in conjunction with #14 - we've already established that Nanak's Ikonkar exists.

    The rationale behind it [1] was to show the perfect state of his satnam [God], the operative word being "perfect". But to ascribe a quality would mean giving it a an attribute and thus inconsistent with Nanak's Nirgun [attributiveless] God ? Moreover, Nanak knew that there is no such thing as perfect in the physical world and would accordingly, fail to ascribe such a quality [perfect] to it. His ingenuity to show the perfectiveness of his 1 on kar as a mathematical concept was carefully thought through proposition. What followed was:

    Take for example, a 360 degree circle [perfect]. Can such a circle be found in the physical world ? No ! It can however, be found in the mathematical [proviso: protractor, compass n pencil] world and as such is in itself an existence [meaning perfect]. For example, [why mathematical concept as oppose to philosophical] comparing horses with unicorns brings one to conclude that there are X number of horses and no unicorns, meaning, existence is not a quality or an attribute which unicorns lack. This forms the very basis of Sikh conception, meaning Nanak's Ikonkar does exist in a perfect state and is without attributes of any sort.

    The atheists then and even now argue that they don't believe in the "existence". We've proved that existence doesn't require proof. For this very reason in Philosophy, we've concluded that the existence of God is not a matter of "knowledge" but a matter of faith and must be subjectively argued and not objectively tested.

    Your writing reflects your understanding of conceptual Sikhi.

    Goodnight n Godbless
     
  21. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    Personally, I feel the numeral 1 was used to avoid ambiguity. There is only one way to interpret the numeral 1. It is perfect, as you said, and also universally understood.

    Professor Kahn Singh Nabha likens Oankar to Om. The latter describing the Hindu trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva (creator, sustainer, destroyer). The numeral 1 (Ek) placed before the Oankar communicates that the Hindu trimurti is a singular entity. It is the One who creates, sustains, and destroys.

    The full term is Ekankar Oankar. These two constituent terms are discussed separately in Gurbani. Ekankar is the nirgun aspect. Oankar is the sargun aspect. From Ekankar comes Oankar. Through the latter, creation is manifest, sustained and ultimately dissipated.

    It is the Oankar that reverberates through everything as the Dunn, Anhaad Naad, Shabadh.

    Sat (Existence / Reality) encompasses both sides of the same coin (Ekankar and Oankar). This reality is its own name, not to be confused with Naam jap, which is but one aspect of Naam Simran.

    We don't need to turn this into a faith vs knowledge debate. To do so would create a straw man and take the discussion in an off-tangent. Conceptualization of the terminology employed in the mool mantar serves to answer the question at hand: Do the terms "deity" and "being" accurately describe the Divine in Sikh philosophy? My answer is no.
     

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