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Do All Roads Lead To Rome?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Harry Haller, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    There are many different attitudes to Sikhism on this forum, this is good in my opinion, as somewhere between the first voice and last voice lies the truth, so I would like to think that this forum stands for the truth, and at the very least stands for free speech.

    The question then is, given all the opinions and voices, are all religions pointing to the same? Can a Sikh, a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim, all sit down and find that they have a common objective? In my opinion, they cannot.

    rome.jpg

    Allow me to explain why. Most religions operate through a carrot, and I defy anyone to say otherwise, Christianity has at its heart, forgiveness. To be a Christian is to be forgiven for all sins, as Jesus has already died for this, this is a big facet for Christians, and explains why Christianity has had such a big impact amongst some Sikhs in Punjab, for whom the lack of a concept of sin and forgiveness seems to be a major problem. Hinduism has its heart enlightenment, and for this, one has to journey through many lives and karmas before one finds this enlightenment. Islam seems much more simple, everlasting paradise, what all these religions have in common is that after death, things certainly get better, and if one has lived a good life, or lives, then eternity is spent in some sort of heavenly area where happiness and bliss abounds.

    In my opinion, there is not definitive statement about what happens to Sikhs when they die, a good Sikh could not care less about death, or what happens after death, many, including myself accept that death is the big sleep, that there is nothing. Some say to me, how can you accept that? well for me, its not allowing myself to be sold a carrot, if I accept nothing, then life is everything, not a test, or a proving ground, but everything, heaven and hell, what I do here does not get me into the exec wash room, what I do here is real, not an illusion, and herein you have the problem, if you believe in everything, then you can take a bit from this religion, a bit here, a bit there, and before you know it, your driving round with a red light on your Audi.

    In my opinion Sikhism is light years away from other religions, because it is not trying to save you, it is giving you a code of conduct to live by, for no other reason than it is the right way to live. For some unfortunately, this is not enough, it is not sexy enough, so now we have our own publications to match others, now we can proudly claim that we are sexy too, we can allow ourselves a great big carrot. In my view, no Sikh should live life to please 'god', no Sikh should even try and please 'god' which again is a big feature of many religions, a Sikh should live by the facets of Akal Purakh as described in Mool Mantar, for no other reason than to please themselves, you cannot please an energy, you cannot make deals with an energy, you cannot beg an energy, you cannot pray to an energy, all you can do, as a Sikh, is be in consonance with that energy as best you can, and then try and do better tomorrow, and all for no other reason than to be a cog that keeps that energy bright. That is our fate, that is our reward.

    So the question Do all roads lead to Rome? Can one be a good Sikh, and accept the facets of Sikhism, yet still treat Akal Purakh as a personality, as a bearded turbaned deity? Is there any harm in doing so? or is it the thin end of the wedge?
     
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    #1 Harry Haller, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2015
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  3. sikhing444

    sikhing444 United Kingdom
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    Dear Harry, I enjoyed reading your post!
    In my opinion, all roads do lead to Rome, but the question is how many of us reach Rome?
    Many people think its so far away and unreachable that they have actually created little villages along the way. A village for christains, hindus, sikhs and moslems etc. So people settle in these villages along the road to Rome and scuttle to and fro from it!

    Because the reality is that in Rome (which i understand that you mean is the home of the Divine Waheguru) is a place where there is no discrimination between gender, class,culture religion, background, race etc. and that is a difficult concept for many people to uphold, so its easier for them to live in the villages where they can exercise their culture and rituals and keep their identity. ie it is easier to live separate and have a cultural identity rather than loosing it and merging into a oneness - in Rome.
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    thank you!

    What I am attempting to put forward is that all religions do not end up in the same place, or even have the same objective or goals. All roads do not even lead to Rome in our own religion, Sikhism, so to expect all the worlds religions to agree on 'Rome' is almost impossible. In my view I have reached Rome, but only for short periods, but then, that also depends on my interpretation of Rome, and also yours.,

    I agree with you, that is because to many it is unreachable.

    From what I can understand, to you Rome is a utopia, a heaven, a perfect place, a physical place. You see, to me Rome is a state of mind, a state of complete connection with Akal Purakh, the bliss comes from the connection, not a meditative connection, or a drug induced connection, nor one born of sexual frenzy, but a connection with the universe, with the creator, with everything and everyone. I am not sure how I would describe it, I suppose the best I can do is to be an Ambassador of Akal Purakh with everyone you meet.I do not live my life like this, I try and fail on a regular basis, but there are times, times of purity, times when the pretence of being a man is overtaken by actually being a man, times when you are burning so badly with the effects of hard living that it forces you to look deep inwards, so deep, that you see yourself stripped of all the ego, all the pride, when all you have is the innocence you were born with, yes, at times I have seen Rome
     
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    #3 Harry Haller, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  5. Original

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    Brother H

    As always enjoyed your write-up ! I'm of the opinion you'll make one hell of a writer on Sikhism once you've had 121 with Akal Purakh [jovial gesture].

    For you, and me included, Akal Purakh is "truth" - dress it up how you want to, but the fact of the matter is, we all in some respects accept the Sovereign Will. There are those who seek, there are those who have found and there are those who've not had the calling yet. Such is the nature of humankind.

    To understand Sikhism spiritual one need to abandon intellect and believe. I accept your admission - faith in Akal Purakh. In the words of St. Augustine "faith is to believe what you don't see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe". Nanak proclaims likewise [page 1412 SGGSJ]. NOTE - reward is not a carrot but a gift from Akal Purakh.

    Nanak in his time recognised the ordinary surroundings of life which were esteemed by Tom, {censored word, do not repeat.} n Harry to be the highest good, namely, fame, fortune and the pleasure of the senses; with these three he thought, the mind is so engrossed that it has little power to reflect on "truth". He found Satnam and put it in print SGGSJ -

    As with all things, the shortest distance between a human being and Trurh is a story. I have just the one tailor made for you. It's from Zen Buddhaism - enjoy.

    A professor of philosophy went to see a great Master, and he asked about God, and he asked about karma, and he asked about the theory of reincarnation, and he asked many things... questions and questions and questions. And the Master said, ”You are tired, the journey has been long, and I can see you are perspiring, coming uphill on such a hot summer afternoon. It must have been tiring. You wait; there is no hurry. These questions can wait a little. Let me prepare a cup of tea for you. And who knows? – while drinking the tea you may get the answer.”
    Now the professor was a little puzzled and became a little suspicious whether it was right to come to this madman. ”How can the questions be answered just by drinking tea?” But now there was no way of going; he had to rest a little. ”And the tea is not going to hurt in any way, so why not drink it and then escape from here?”

    The Master brought the tea, started pouring from his kettle into the cup, and went on pouring. The cup was full, and the tea started overflowing into the saucer, and the saucer was full. Then the professor said, ”Stop! What are you doing? The tea will start overflowing on the floor. Now the cup has not even space for a single drop more. Are you mad or something?”
    The Master had a hearty laugh, and he said, ”So, you ARE intelligent! You can understand. If there is no space in the cup then we cannot pour any more tea into it. Is there space in your head? I would like to pour all that I am, but is there space in your head? Is it not overfull, too much stuffed?
    ”This is my answer,” the Master said. ”Come again. First empty your head. Come in a state of not knowing. You are too knowledgeable. I can hear all the noise that is going on inside you. Come a little more in silence. And you have not come to learn – you have come to argue.”

    H as I always say, if you're content and happy in your current dispositoion then why question. Sikhism is a well of love - draw from it and drink.
     
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  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    you are very kind, I am fortunate that I am allowed a platform for my writing, for that I thank this forum.

    I am not sure where I fall into, which also begs the question, does everyone actually want to go to Rome? I find it hard to kid myself that the life that I lead, and have always led, will one day be replaced by some sort of serenity and utopia, and I can adopt some sort of wise owl look and burp in that way that wise old men do. It is the truth not that I seek, as the truth is there in front of us, it is the truth I try and live by, which means serenity and utopia can be yours for the day. I want to do what I do, but to walk more in the light than the dark.

    He was right, once you temporary pleasure for what it is, it tends to put things into perspective.

    yes, I like this, after all, the big question has to be 'How do find Akal Purakh within', I think once that becomes the question, then other questions, reincarnation, meat eating, etc etc become irrelevant.

    thats a funny one, although I do not consider myself content and happy, more a case of Carpe Diem, however I do seem to to be happier and more content than those I interact with, I do love waking up in the morning in the early hours and heading for the shop, stuffing myself with sugar, and (today) playing the stanglers (always the sun, great song!) and then bouncing off the walls, running round in circles on all the machines that are in for repair, not knowing what is going to come in through the door, I guess for me, Rome is being in the best mental, emotional state to deal with the day, to get the most out of the day,to assist, to help,

    Sikhism is the path to Rome, maybe depending on your disposition it is all things to all men, I am not sure. I am deeply pragmatic and I find Sikhism deeply pragmatic, but then to some who are deeply spiritual, I am sure they find Sikhism deeply spiritual, one could even theorise that the SGGSji is like one of those pictures that look different, depending on angle, what I see in it, maybe others do not, although I feel there is a massive shift taking place in understanding, and for some reason, I think what is driving that shift is a desire to get back to basics, to the basics of Sikhism, before the interpretation became mired in established religious dogma. For that reason I do feel we need to bin every Abrahamic, Vedic translation, and start from scratch, or even better do it ourselves to ensure an intimate and private relationship and understanding. Could this understanding be individual, if so, it would make a mockery of the SRM and open the doors to all sorts of Dera type activity, but then if the SRM itself is based on the same understanding we are trying to get away from, where does that leave us?
     
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  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    It is interesting how often we use the word -Akal Purakh- to express Ik Ong Kaar. However, this expression is used only twice-page 212 & 1038 in the SGGS, our only Guru.

    I was wondering whether we use Akal Purakh so often in our daily lives because the expression makes us think of a deity either consciously or subconsciously or is there something else?

    Please help me discover this 'something'.

    Thanks

    Tejwant Singh
     
  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Akal Purakh, the timeless one, the eternal one, I suppose I like the fact that it is actually not used very often at all. Most people use the word god, but strangely enough, if you ask most Sikhs to name the Creator, they would tend to go for Waheguru, you are actually the only person I know that uses Ik Ong Kaar to refer to the Creator. Mind you, to be fair, I do not know that many people.

    well, to be fair, the same could be said for Ik Ong Kaar, and amusingly, I like the words Akal Purakh because the expression makes me thing of something that is not a deity, more an energy, one could even say, a philosophy, a state of mind, anything but a deity.
     
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  9. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Harry ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    In fact Akal Purkh is the expression that is used the most by the Sikhs all over but only comes twice in SGGS.

    I was wondering is it because of the 'Purakh' which means - a being-a deity?

    Just thinking aloud.
     
  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Tejwantji

    What would be your description of Ik Ong Kar?
     
  11. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    The Source of All there IS.
     
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  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    the source of all there is, together with all there is?
     
  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I came across this quote whilst writing to my mother and father this morning,

    At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?"

    I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters.

    As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything.

    "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.”

    Demian-Herman Hesse

    Any views on how Ek Onkgar compares to the Abrahamic God? or how the the Christian notion of forgiveness sits with Sikh Philosophy?
     
  14. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    All there is because of the Source.
     
  15. Sikhilove

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    Read Sri Dasam Granth Ji.

    It says that God sent down many messengers and over time they twisted the gyan and taught it differently to their followers e.g., Hindu Gods wanted themselves worshipped, Mohammed got his followers circumcised.

    Then he sent down the Gurus to teach the pure uncorrupted Truth that was supposed to be conveyed by earlier teachers.

    And so Sikhi became. Now Gurdwarras etc are becoming corrupted and spirituality is dying..

    This forum is a rarity in that good souls are trying to decipher and help teach each other and work through Truth.
     
  16. techsingh

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    Interesting and logical suggestion by dr devinder singh chahal.
    ੴ = ik oh beant
    Not ik onkaar.
    Makes sense.
    Maybe off topic.

    http://www.iuscanada.com/journal/articles/omkar.pdf
     

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