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Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Harry Haller, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Gurfatehji

    I quite like the idea that our Gurus left us all their knowledge and experience by way of a living Guru, the SGGS. However, other than being a written record that gives us the tools to deal with life and live it as a good sikh should, is there any further than that?

    Does the SGGS have properties that elevate it above merely a written transcript, I am aware that it should not be worshipped, but cherished and respected as a living Guru, but does the SGGS have properties that one could call mystical?

    I suppose to clarify this argument, one would have to debate whether the Gurus themselves had special powers, or mystical abilities, I would like to think the Gurus were human beings that had understood completely the point of Sikhi, and endured everything that they did with no other abilities than are open to you and me, if that is the case, then the 11th Guru, the living book , surely would embrace a similar vein that promoted enlightenment through understanding, study and practical implementation of knowledge through action, I believe there is nothing further than this, I would be most interested in anyone who felt mysticism in Sikhi
     
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  3. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Veer Ji
    Is God not mystical or in your pragmatist Sikhi of tools is he is just an optional extra! (No time to argue as have to go out ,just got the ball rolling for my friend)
     
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  4. Harry Haller

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Believe it or not, as far as I am concerned, God did nothing other than Create, the rest is down to us, so I suppose I work on the basis of nil intervention by Creator

    That makes Creator not even an optional extra, more of uhmm just a Creator, I suppose
     
  5. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Veer Ji I'm back,don't the maker of Range Rovers or anything for that matter provide an after sales service and warranty,especially for driving club members ?
     
  6. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Respected spji,
    The hangover of other thread has to come to an end. We are all different and have the right to disagree in an agreeable manner,; let the gone be bye gone. It is a club. The world is a bigger club


    with love and regards.
     
  7. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Ok Veera ,I will agree in a disagreeable manner, for your hangover a joke;

    'A husband and wife are shopping in their local Wal-Mart.
    The husband picks up a case of Budweiser and puts it in their cart.
    'What do you think you're doing?' asks the wife.
    ... 'They're on sale, only $10 for 24 cans he replies.
    'Put them back, we can't afford them demands the wife, and so they carry on shopping.

    A few aisles further on along the woman picks up a $20 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket.
    What do you think you're doing?' asks the husband.
    'Its my face cream. It makes me look beautiful,' replies the wife.
    Her husband retorts: 'So does 24 cans of Budweiser and it's half the price.
     
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  8. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Gurus had controlled the 5 vices, they were the biggest MYSTICS of the world.
     
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  9. Ambarsaria

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    For me much depends upon the definition of terms.

    As I understand it Sikhism is not narrow enough and Mysticism is broad enough that there is no point trying to relate the inclusion and exclusion without specific examples.

    Mysticism related to spirituality touches many of the same inners as Sikhism. Mysticism related to mystical powers is another ball of wax. With the following description I see Mysticism pulling away from Sikhism core values,

    So with the above understanding, mysticism as understood by the layman, does not line up with Sikhism.

    Humbly submitted.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  10. Navdeep88

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Harry Ji,

    Umm... I think Guru Nanak Dev Ji embraced this quality of mysticism. In Sant Maskeen Singh Ji's katha, He often describes how Guru Ji would say "Mardana, get the rabaab ready, bani aye aa"... is that mysticism? the idea that Guru Ji claimed surrender, claimed they did not know how to speak any longer and upon this surrender, bani was uttered from the beyond??

    this is just something i picked up on, if its incorrect, please dont jump me.
     
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  11. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Anti-Mystical Musketeers ,Quote 'Modern understanding, The present meaning of the term mysticism arose via Platonism and Neoplatonism—which referred to the Eleusinian initiation as a metaphor for the "initiation" to spiritual truths and experiences—and is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality ,divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight'
     
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  12. Ambarsaria

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Navdeep88 ji that is not Mysticism to relate the coming of thoughts in poetic or such rendition. Many a times a poet will write down the same way and many a prose is written the same way. With tape recorders and such not being in the environ, one way to keep your thoughts alive would be to share, bring it vocally into your conscious for remembering, and so on. I would translate your "Mardana, get the rabaab ready, bani aye aa" in that context. Of course it is only conjecture so I too stand corrected.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  13. Harry Haller

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Taranjeetji,

    I have a running agreement with Spji that we will disagree on every post we make, I suppose we do it to play devils advocate, but I would be lost without Spji's disagreements, in fact, sometimes his disagreements are the only posts that actually validate my argument lol
     
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  14. Harry Haller

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Spji,

    As you know, I am a lover of pre 1994 Range Rovers, which would not have a warranty anyway, and even if they did, the warranty would only work if the service schedule had been stuck to, religiously, which means all servicing and maintainence done as per the schedule, otherwise the warranty is worthless.

    But even then, the warranty would only involve replacing parts with new, the warranty would not in any way involve the performance of the car being increased to levels beyond the performance as indictated.

    This means that if we folow the schedule religiously, all we can hope for is a car that operates at the highest level of its specified performance, it cannot feed the five thousand on 3 fish, it cannot move the heavens, it cannot go beyond 125mph, its 0-60 is never going to get better than 10.7 secs, if it has a crash, some mysterious force is not going to protect it, it remains metal and plastic, just metal and plastic in the best condition it could be in.

    There was a story in the press recently about a Nigerian nurse, who, when presented with a dying child, proceeded to run about the room screaming 'help me jesus', until told to shut up by the mother, whilst the father attempted to revive the child, so which one is to be, practical implentation of knowledge to try and achieve perfection and oneness, or running around screaming for mystical help?
     
  15. Taranjeet singh

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Harry Veer ji
    I begin as follows:
    It is to clarify that I have never felt any mysticism myself nor have heard any one saying that one has realized the Ultimate.

    Meaning of Term
    1. a.
    Immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God.
    b. The experience of such communion as described by mystics.
    2. A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.
    3. Vague, groundless speculation. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mysticism


    There are two ways of interpreting as to that you are aiming at by mysticism.

    1. One way to look at ‘mystical powers’ is to equate these with as super natural powers, spiritual powers, occult powers etc that I would quantify in Punjabi equivalent of Ridhi, sidhi etc.

    2. The other would be, and more appropriately, the power to commune with the God as and when wished. I make second presumption here that anyone who is in communion of God or is self realized person shall have an access to the powers as stated above @ sl.1 above

    Per-Sikhism


    There is a reference to Ridhi, sidhi etc. in Bani as well. I had searched for ‘supernatural spiritual powers’ and there were about 20 results. You may try out different combination of words at srigranth.org; I am quoting two of these as the meanings of the lines are self contained.


    The nine treasures and the miraculous spiritual powers come by contemplating the Immaculate Naam, the Name of the Lord. [220-19]

    Those who meditate in remembrance on the True Guru, are blessed with wealth and prosperity, supernatural spiritual powers and the nine treasures.[1405-17]

    Your second part of the question relates to whether Gurus had mystical powers. I believe that they were Perfect Human being and self realized persons. Guru Nanak dev ji could turn the direction of the Mosque as per his convenience is an ample proof that Gurus were blessed with the super natural powers, the phenomenon of which we cannot explain.


     
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  16. Harry Haller

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Taranjeetji,

    My take on this is that the higher you proceed on any path to enlightenment, the higher your perception and mental abilities increase, some call it a third eye, the ability to see things that others cannot, I do not think this is a supernatural power at all, I think this is your brain working at a higher level, being able to read people better, to perceive people better, means you can, to the untrained eye, read minds, see into the future, etc, it is none of the sort of course, merely to look at a person and understand what they are capable of doing, and what they probably will do, this is perception and perception only, if you are tuned into the Creators frequency, then the whole of mankind is available for your study, and you will have the ability to relate completely to the tycoon, the rapist, the drug addict, the prostitute, and understand what each is going through and how each deals with life,

    Is knowing the hearts of so many wisdom? Is understanding the thoughts of so many knowledge? The Gurus knew all hearts and minds, they knew what people were capable of, they knew who was good, and who was not so good, who was faking, and who was real,

    Once you have this knowledge and perception, the world is yours, and at that time, you say to yourself, ask not what your world can do for you, but what can you do for your world............

    On that basis, I put the point forward that mysticism within Sikhism does not exist, cannot exist, for that would make a mockery of the tribulations and sacrificies of our Gurus, and Sikhs throughout time, it is cold hard mental tuning to the Creators frequency, instructions contained in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji for living by.

    Anyone who feels they can get to the same level by chanting, praying, concentrating has as much chance of passing a University degree in the same fashion, mystical learning begats mystical knowledge

    This is a good time to quote from dear Herman Hesse

    Hesse stated that there were artists and mystics, artists were those who could create what they saw in their mind, to produce music, paintings, art, whereas mystics were those who had the same visions, but without the ability to create, I have always thought of mystics as second best because of this, I would rather be an artist, studying how to be able to create, than a mystic
     
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  17. Scarlet Pimpernel

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  18. Taranjeet singh

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Harry Veer ji,

    I have gone through your post for three times. I shall react to it as per my very limited understanding of the things. Being conscious of this and the wrath of sangat , I shall only observe as follows:

    I agree with you at most parts. If our mind is cleansed so much that senses and sensual objects becomes under control, it is the first stage that we are moving in direction of having a resonance with the creators frequency. What you call as the Third eye is stated to be ‘Chautha Pad’ in Gurbani.

    The Gurbani has stated the purpose of life at more than one place. The basis objective of the human body is different from animals. The object of human body can not be to be just like animals and birds. [Thread: Animals are more Sikhs…]

    BeI prwpiq mwnuK dyhurIAw ] goibMd imlx kI ieh qyrI brIAw ]
    It is the only incarnation which has the potential of transcending the cycle of life and death and become one with ONE.

    keI jnm Bey kIt pqMgw ] keI jnm gj mIn kurMgw ] keI jnm pMKI srp hoieE ]
    keI jnm hYvr ibRK joieE ] 1] imlu jgdIs imln kI brIAw ] icrMkwl ieh dyh sMjrIAw ]1]


    After so very long, this human body was granted. Now it has become possible to end this perpetual cycle of life and death.
    Now is the turn to meet Him, the Lord of the Universe. What is meeting HIM? It is self realization, being one with the ONE.

    Quote

    Once you have this knowledge and perception, the world is yours, and at that time, you say to yourself, ask not what your world can do for you, but what can you do for your world........Unquote....At this point one lives for others and his Karmas are over as He is one with the ONE. The Soul merges in the eternal and the mind gets the eternal peace.[Rest I shall be able to tell when I have achieved that stage for which I do not aspire. Life is a continuous phenomenon. Death is only a visit to change room for the beginning of a new play and we may start from where we left in our last life. [I am not sure of this aspect, seniors may kindly like to advise as theory of Karma should fortify this.]]


    QuoteAnyone who feels they can get to the same level by chanting, praying, concentrating has as much chance of passing a University degree in the same fashion, mystical learning begats mystical knowledge. ….”Unquote
    I presume that it may not be as simple. How many Bhagats have we heard of during past three or four centuries who could make it to the ‘finals’?
    I know of none. But there may be few.

    People who reach this stage that they are completely attuned would be one in Billions and that also if he casts His Grace.[Gurbani]
    We may make efforts but unless and until he approves of us the merger or the realization is not possible. [Gurbani]

    Having learnt the objective of life, it is always advisable to work on that Guru Sahibs had instructed.
    Sikhs do not aspire to be mystics . Sikhs want HIS continued blessings and courage to move by HIS Will or as per HIS order by becoming Gurmukh. And if He is pleased He may take us out of cycle of incarnations. Dhur Likhe Sanjog [ Our meeting HIM is pre decided since ages]

    Sanjog vijog dui kar chlavey Lekhe avay Bhaag

    We get that is destined.

    An artist can create ..yes.. But what? If some one can create..HE should be as Good as GOD.

    Note and Caution : I have made all efforts to state that is per Gurbani. But there are chances that something might have crept in post that needs the kind attention of my Seniors.It is humbly submitted that necessary amendments may be brought in during the progression of thread.
     
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  19. Harry Haller

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Taranjeetji

    mundahug
     
  20. BhagatSingh

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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    SP ji,
    Exactly :) Thank you for this SP ji, he is brilliant.

    Navdeep ji that's the idea.

    I don't think many people understand what mysticism is. It becomes a label for what they dislike not for what it actually is. The entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is written by mystics, so I think there is no question of whether Sikhism embraces mysticism. The entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is describing a way to reach liberation by merging with God.

    Harry ji,
    = mysticism.
    If someone were to say that is supernatural. Would it change that? Would is change the actual thing? Would it make that more mystical than it already is?

    Everything is perception Harry ji. There is nothing outside of perception. The growing of this perception to extremely powerful, ecstatic and vivid states is referred to as a mystical experience. This is when you feel you are the perception and the perception is you. This is called "merging with God" in Eastern philosophy.

    "chanting, praying, concentrating" sounds like "cold hard mental tuning to the Creators frequency". Cold hard is repeating one word over and over again for several hours, and having your complete attention on that one word for the entire time. Try it and see how difficult it is.

    Harry ji, the mystic experiences states that are so much more vast and vivid than anything that can be created. I don't think Hesse understands this. My guess is that he was not a mystic. To say a mystic is second best to the artist because he cannot recreate his state for you, would be grossly unjust. It is like asking a human to wave his arms up and down and labelling him second best to a bird if he cannot fly.

    ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥
    आसा महला १ ॥
    Āsā mėhlā 1.
    Aasaa, First Mehl:

    ਆਖਾ ਜੀਵਾ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਉ ॥
    आखा जीवा विसरै मरि जाउ ॥
    Ākẖā jīvā visrai mar jā▫o.
    Chanting it, I live; forgetting it, I die.

    ਆਖਣਿ ਅਉਖਾ ਸਾਚਾ ਨਾਉ ॥
    आखणि अउखा साचा नाउ ॥
    Ākẖaṇ a▫ukẖā sācẖā nā▫o.
    It is so difficult to chant the True Name.


    ਸਾਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਲਾਗੈ ਭੂਖ ॥
    साचे नाम की लागै भूख ॥
    Sācẖe nām kī lāgai bẖūkẖ.
    If someone feels hunger for the True Name,

    ਉਤੁ ਭੂਖੈ ਖਾਇ ਚਲੀਅਹਿ ਦੂਖ ॥੧॥
    उतु भूखै खाइ चलीअहि दूख ॥१॥
    Uṯ bẖūkẖai kẖā▫e cẖalī▫ahi ḏūkẖ. ||1||
    that hunger shall consume his pain. ||1||

    ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਾਇ ॥
    सो किउ विसरै मेरी माइ ॥
    So ki▫o visrai merī mā▫e.
    How can I forget Him, O my mother?

    ਸਾਚਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਾਚੈ ਨਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    साचा साहिबु साचै नाइ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
    Sācẖā sāhib sācẖai nā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    True is the Master, True is His Name. ||1||Pause||

    ਸਾਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਤਿਲੁ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥
    साचे नाम की तिलु वडिआई ॥
    Sācẖe nām kī ṯil vadi▫ā▫ī.
    Trying to describe even an iota of the Greatness of the True Name,

    ਆਖਿ ਥਕੇ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਈ ॥
    आखि थके कीमति नही पाई ॥
    Ākẖ thake kīmaṯ nahī pā▫ī.
    people have grown weary, but they have not been able to evaluate it.


    ਜੇ ਸਭਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਕੈ ਆਖਣ ਪਾਹਿ ॥
    जे सभि मिलि कै आखण पाहि ॥
    Je sabẖ mil kai ākẖaṇ pāhi.
    Even if everyone were to gather together and speak of Him,

    ਵਡਾ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਘਾਟਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥
    वडा न होवै घाटि न जाइ ॥२॥
    vadā na hovai gẖāt na jā▫e. ||2||
    He would not become any greater or any lesser. ||2||

    ਨਾ ਓਹੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੋਗੁ ॥
    ना ओहु मरै न होवै सोगु ॥
    Nā oh marai na hovai sog.
    That Lord does not die; there is no reason to mourn.

    ਦੇਦਾ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਚੂਕੈ ਭੋਗੁ ॥
    देदा रहै न चूकै भोगु ॥
    Ḏeḏā rahai na cẖūkai bẖog.
    He continues to give, and His Provisions never run short.

    ਗੁਣੁ ਏਹੋ ਹੋਰੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥
    गुणु एहो होरु नाही कोइ ॥
    Guṇ eho hor nāhī ko▫e.
    This Virtue is His alone; there is no other like Him.

    ਨਾ ਕੋ ਹੋਆ ਨਾ ਕੋ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥
    ना को होआ ना को होइ ॥३॥
    Nā ko ho▫ā nā ko ho▫e. ||3||
    There never has been, and there never will be. ||3||

    ਜੇਵਡੁ ਆਪਿ ਤੇਵਡ ਤੇਰੀ ਦਾਤਿ ॥
    जेवडु आपि तेवड तेरी दाति ॥
    Jevad āp ṯevad ṯerī ḏāṯ.
    As Great as You Yourself are, O Lord, so Great are Your Gifts.

    ਜਿਨਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਕੀਤੀ ਰਾਤਿ ॥
    जिनि दिनु करि कै कीती राति ॥
    Jin ḏin kar kai kīṯī rāṯ.
    The One who created the day also created the night.

    ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਹਿ ਤੇ ਕਮਜਾਤਿ ॥
    खसमु विसारहि ते कमजाति ॥
    Kẖasam visārėh ṯe kamjāṯ.
    Those who forget their Lord and Master are vile and despicable.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਵੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਸਨਾਤਿ ॥੪॥੩॥
    नानक नावै बाझु सनाति ॥४॥३॥
    Nānak nāvai bājẖ sanāṯ. ||4||3||
    O Guru Nanak, without the Name, they are wretched outcasts. ||4||3||
     
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  21. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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    Re: Does Sikhism embrace Mysticism

    Bhagat Singh veer thanks for your post. I do want to understand your understanding of the text you put in Bold.

    Specially what you understand by the word "Name" in the shabad. As we all know it is highly found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I take it to mean "Understanding" or "identification" for the "creator". As with each name goes more than the name and it conjures up a visualization of the named.

    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: Isn't there a saying that math is the universe. So such should closely align with the mool mantar as the unwavering truth.
     

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