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Hard Talk Does Amrit Erase All Sins?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Sherdil, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    Gurbani tells us that sin (karma) is accrued from dualistic thinking. Then why is the notion of Amrit as a get-out-of-jail card peddled amongst some panthic circles? Naam is the only remedy that can wash away the grime of ego, then why do some presume that a man-made offering can do the trick? Clearly the elixir is lacking some key ingredients, evidenced by the number of people who go to take Amrit again.

    Does this confusion arise from the word Amrit itself, which translates to immortality? A reference to the drink consumed by the Hindu deities to regain their God-like status. How and why did this term supplant the original Khande de Pahul title conferred upon this ceremony?

    Is the notion of salvation through ceremony a development of exposure to Western ideas of baptism? Is the Amrit ceremony nothing more than an initiation into the Khalsa order? A pledge, perhaps to uphold the rehat of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and lead the panth as the temporal arm of the Guru (the spiritual arm of course being Guru Granth Sahib)?
     
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  3. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Is this peddled before or after explaining Sikhism is free of all superstition?
     
  4. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    Before. I think this explanation is not given at all amongst the circles in question. I think they are the type to have more affinity for superstition in the first place. The two go hand in hand. Not that I intended to target any specific groups. Only the practice itself I believe needs a more honest presentation.
     
  5. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    Before proceeding with this thread, I think a definition of "sin" in a Sikh context is necessary.
     
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  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I was thinking the same, how about this
    an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
    "a sin in the eyes of God"
     
  7. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    In Semitic religions, sin is that which goes against God's laws, angering God. That makes no sense in Sikhi, where God is nirvair.

    I think it may be more useful to come from a different direction. Perhaps we could consider "sin" to be that which (appears to) separate us from the Divine. Sin could maybe be seen as the veil that locks us into duality.
    I find it interesting that the "five thieves" are described as things that rob us of serenity, not usually as sins.

    I have read the article "Paap" in Sikhiwiki and frankly, am more confused than when I started it. The last two
    paragraphs, however, might prove useful.


    I would be willing to define sin as that which (appears to) separate us from the Divine. If Sikhi is pantheistic or panentheistic, then Sikhi must teach that Divine is omnipresent and we cannot be separated from it. We can, however, seem to be separated, feel ourselves to be separated, and act and think as if we really were separated.

    This is defining sin in relation to ourselves rather than according to the reaction of the One.

    Am I making sense or just wandering around in a semantic minefield?
     
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    #6 Inderjeet Kaur, Apr 2, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    makes perfect sense to me, we are only harming ourselves, sin is perhaps completely the wrong word, as it has too many Abrahamic connotations
     
  9. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    What if we view sin within the context of karma? The more karma you accrue, the greater your separation from the Divine. The separation of course is the illusion produced by the mind. The only "sin" we can commit is to think of ourselves as a distinct entity. The more we think in terms of self-interests, the stronger this habit or illusion of "I am" becomes. Naam on the other hand, tunes you in to the Universe. You think of the Universe before yourself and how you are just a cog in this machine. You strive for the greater good, rather than what is merely good for yourself. I don't think a man-made elixir can cure a lifetime's worth of damage developed from self-centered thinking.
     
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  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    ack, now you will have to define karma
     
  11. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    Gurbani uses the analogy of a merchant. Karma is like currency, except the richer you are the further you are from the Divine. We exchange our currency (figuratively speaking) for Divinity.
     
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  12. Inderjeet Kaur

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    You can't get any better than Gurbani. Of course.

    From a slightly different, and not contradictory, perspective, karma is the spiritual effects of whatever we cause. In other words, we reap what we sow, both physically and spiritually.
     
  13. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    Ji, can you further elaborate on this beyond the framework of Divine proximity within the mind? Is Amrit the remedy for the physical and spiritual burden of karma?
     
  14. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    I think that if we accept a definition of sin - and the karma that is a consequence of sin - as being that which apparently separates us from the One. The question becomes, "Does Amrit obliterate the apparent veil between us and the One?
     
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  15. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    I think we are forgetting that we already are living in the state of enjoying amrit ras. We are behaving like fish in the water and yet asking what is water.
     
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  16. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    Guru Gobind Singh introduced partaking of khande di pahul and not amrit as is made out these days. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib, amrit is linked to Naam. Amritsar Nhavai means one he a dip into meditating on Naam.
     
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  17. Sherdil

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    That is indeed the question, and by taking into account all members participating in this thread so far, I think the answer is a resounding no. The Naam, which we are meant to meditate on is the real Amrit, not the concoction prepared by your neighborhood beloved five. The question now remains of the motive behind promoting Khande de Pahul as a ticket into heaven. Does it stem from ignorance, or is it driven by a desire to see more members of the Khalsa in our panth? Is this really such a bad thing? Do the results justify the means in this regard?
     
  18. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Think of Amrit Sanchar as a swearing in ceremony like when you join the military... you swear to defend the country and put the needs of the country above your own. Similarly, Khalsa is like an army. You are swearing into the khalsa as a member. However, just like once you swear into the military, boot camp comes next! LOL It's just a promise to uphold the rehet maryada, uphold the code of conduct and as far as learning or any universe mystical secrets, its just a license to learn :) you still have to do the work to progress spiritually.
     
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  19. Sherdil

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    I think you have the right idea.
     
  20. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    I agree. Sin is used in Abrahamic religions. It has no place in Sikhi.

    The interesting part of Khandei di pahul is that it takes place after one has created the base in oneself through Gurbani, unlike in other religions where rituals like baptism, mundan, janieo etc. etc. and many other things take place when the child is an infant or very small.

    Khandei di pahul is not a must for a Sikh to be a Sikh. One does not have to partake in this ceremony and yet can remain a great Sikh.

    Having said that, the most important thing is that this wonderful ceremony takes place because of an internal manifestation rather than outer imposition. Most of the religions practice the latter.
     
  21. Sherdil

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    The concept of sin is not unique to the Abrahamic family tree. Sikhi does speak of paap, which translates to sin in English. From the outset of this thread we established that to sin in Sikhi is to think in duality. This causes one to accrue karma and makes the illusion of separation from the Divine to appear more vivid. By committing the sin of dualistic thinking the Divine figuratively pushes us away from Himself, thus widening the chasm between us and our Husband-Lord.

    All parties are in agreement that the filth of ego, i.e. the karma accrued from this dualistic mindset, is only washed away with the Naam / Shabadh. That is what the devotees "listen" for:

    GGS, page 3:

    ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਗਾਸੁ ॥
    
नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥

    Nanak bẖagṯā saḏā vigās.

    O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss.

    ਸੁਣਿਐ ਦੂਖ ਪਾਪ ਕਾ ਨਾਸੁ ॥੧੧॥
    
सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥११॥

    Suṇi▫ai ḏūkẖ pāp kā nās. ||11||
    
Listening-pain and sin are erased. ||11||
     

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