Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Faith that works

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by vsgrewal48895, Mar 24, 2009.

Tags:
  1. vsgrewal48895

    vsgrewal48895
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    662
    Faith as defined by free dictionary;

    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
    2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
    3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
    4. Often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
    5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
    6. A set of principles or beliefs or way of life.

    FAITH THAT WORKS

    ABSTRACT

    A faith only works, if you work it, which means living the teachings in word, thought, spirit, and deed on day to day basis. The truth of the matter is that racial and religious ego is the root cause of religious wars, which is far more dangerous than the individual ego. We all together have to face this Truth, and Truth is the only faith that works. Understanding the “Divine Will" results in the destruction of the ego - whether it is the racial ego, the religious ego, the spiritual ego, or the individual ego.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥

    Nānak hukmai jė bujẖai ṯa ha¬umai kahai na ko¬ė.

    O Nanak, one who understands Akal Purkh’s Command, does not speak in ego. -----Guru Nanak, japji, AGGS, Page, 1-10
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accepting the "Will of God" was the basic philosophy of religious prophets. Nanak named Akal Purkh’s will "order (ਹੁਕਮ)". Taoism called it "non-interference" while Zen gave it the name of “let-go", Christianity called it "surrendering to the will of God.” In Sikhism God’s Will is accepted unconditionally by singing Its praises in the Company of Holy. It is expressed in selfless service to humanity and it works who works on it i.e. living the teachings of Sabd Guru at each breath and morsel of food (ਸਾਸ ਗਿਰਾਸਾ) says Guru Arjan in Raag Asa;

    ਤੁਮਰੀ ਓਟ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ਆਸਾ ॥ ਬੈਠਤ ਊਠਤ ਸੋਵਤ ਜਾਗਤ ਵਿਸਰੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਤੂੰ ॥

    Ŧumrī ot ṯumārī āsā. Baiṯẖaṯ ūṯẖaṯ sovaṯ jāgaṯ visar nāhī ṯūʼn sās girāsā.

    You are my support, and hope. While sitting down or standing up, while sleeping or waking, with every breath and morsel of food, I never forget You. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 378-6

    This is the way to be ready to receive Akal Purkh’s Grace. Guru Nanak responds to his own question in Japji and indicates that one can be free from illusions by complying with the Order of Akal Purkh;

    Q. ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥

    Kiv Sachi-aaraa Ho-ee-ai Kiv Koorhai Tutai Paal.

    How to become truthful? And how can the veil of illusions are torn away?

    A. ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥

    Hukam Rajaa-ee Chalnaa Nanak Likhi-aa Naal.

    O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey and walk in the Way of Akal Purkh’s Will (ਭਾਣਾ). -----Guru Nanak, Japji, AGGS, Page, 1-6& 7

    Guru Arjan confirms it in Raag Sarang;

    ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਗਾਏ ਗੁਨ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨਸਿਓ ਸਭੁ ਪਰਮਾਦ ॥

    Saadhsang Gaa-ay Goun Gobind Binsi-o Sabh Parmaad.

    Singing the Glorious Praises of the Akal Purkh of the Universe in the Company of the Holy dispel all illusions. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1226-18

    Mother Nature functions in perfect order (ਹੁਕਮਿ). It determines seasons and the succession of day and night. Guru Nanak writes in Asa Di Vaar in details about the Will of Akal Purkh. Planets revolve around the sun because of order. The galaxies and solar systems are balanced in space because of order. Protons and electrons are balanced in an atom because of order. Photosynthesis in plants and plankton in the ocean produce oxygen that we breathe, because of order. The grass grows the trees flower because of order. Our heart beats; our food is digested and produces energy -- all because of order. Its order is the cause of organization that exists in nature. Our acceptance of the laws of nature is acceptance of "Will of God or The Divine Will."

    ਜਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਰੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਜੋ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਹੋਇ ॥

    Jis Man Vasi-aa Taria Soey, Nanak Jo Bhavai So Hoey.

    He alone is carried across, within whose mind the Akal Purkh abides. O’ Nanak, that alone happens, which is pleasing to God’s Will? -----Guru Nanak, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 854-3 & 4

    Willingness, honesty, open-mindedness, and humility are indispensable in accepting God’s Will. Willingness is important as it unlocks the door, which then opens itself. Looking through this door, one shall see a pathway with an inscription; this is the way to a faith that works. Acceptance of a situation is not the same as liking it. It is just an acknowledgement of the reality with the hope that it shall pass too. It may require an affirmative action. We need to subdue self-will that blocks the entry of God’s will in our lives. Faith is necessary but it alone is of no avail. We can have faith and still keep God out of our lives. We have to turn our will and lives to the care of God. Let Thy Will is done is also the message in Raag Bilawal by Guru Arjan:

    ਜੋ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਰਹੁ ਸੋਈ ਭਲ ਮਾਨਉ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਛੂਟੈ ਸਗਲ ਗੁਮਾਨੁ ॥ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਕੀਆ ਸਗਲ ਜਹਾਨੁ ॥

    Jo Tum Karoh So-ee Bhal Manou Man Tay Chootai Sagal Gumaan, Kaho Nanak Taa Kee Sarnaa-ee Jaa Kaa Kee-aa Sagal Jahaan.

    Whatever You do, I accept as good. I have eradicated all egotistical pride from my mind. Says Nanak, I am under Akal Purkh’s protection; Creator of the entire Universe.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 824-5

    Understanding the “Divine” or the knowledge of the "Divine Will" implies the destruction of all types of ego -- racial, religious, spiritual or individual. “O Nanak, one who understands `Divine Will,' is freed from ego”. The individual ego is the building block for any kind of ego. The iron curtain of individual ego separates us from each other and from understanding God. An Enlightened person sees not only himself in the world, but the whole world in him. This means that one has no one to fear and no feelings of enmity towards others. Absence of ego means recognition that there is one humanity regardless of color, caste, creed, and sex differences. But unfortunately it does not work easily as we are born with lower instincts, leading in false beliefs and empty rituals as explained by Guru Nanak in Raag Parbhati:

    ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਮਹਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਿਸਥਾਰਾ ॥ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਤਨਿ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਬਣਾਏ ॥ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਕਬ ਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਏ ॥ਇਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ਭਗਉਤੀ ਮੁਦ੍ਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ਪਾਪ ਕਰਹਿ ਪੰਚਾਂ ਕੇ ਬਸਿ ਰੇ ॥ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਇ ਕਹਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਉਤਰੇ ॥

    Man Meh KroDh Mahaa AhaNkaaraa, Poojaa Karahi Bahut Bisthaaraa, Antar Kee Mal Kab Hee Na Jaa-ay. Kar Isnaan Tan Chakar Banaa-ay, It Sanjam Parabh Kin Hee Na Paa-i-aa, Bhag-utee Mudraa Man Mohi-aa Maa-i-aa. Paap Karahi PanchaaN Kay Bas Ray, Tirath Naa-ay Kaheh Sabh Utray.

    Within the mind dwell anger and massive ego. Worship services are performed with great pomp and ceremony. Ritual cleansing baths are taken, and sacred marks are applied to the body. Still the filth and pollution within never depart. No one has ever found God in this way. The sacred ear rings -- ritualistic hand gestures -- are made, but the mind remains enticed by Maya. Sinners continue to commit sins, under the influence of the five thieves. They bathe at sacred shrines, and claim that everything has been washed off. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Parbhati, AGGS, Page, 1348

    Question arises that why one should have to do anything if things work according to the “Will of God' anyway? If God wants us to do well, we will do well and good; if God wants us to do evil, we will do evil. Once we surrender to Its will, our acts should be God’s responsibility.

    But the answer is, Big No.

    We have the responsibility to make choices -- good or bad.

    Whereas, certain things are beyond our control -- those are the laws of nature, which cannot be broken by any one and are laid down according to Akal Purkh’s Will. These laws are blind but their justice is even handed. This is what surrendering to Will of God and “letting go" is all about.

    Making a good choice;

    In making a good choice one has to get rid of the ego and be humble to accept Its Will.

    ਖੁਦੀ ਮਿਟੀ ਤਬ ਸੁਖ ਭਏ ਮਨ ਤਨ ਭਏ ਅਰੋਗ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟੀ ਆਇਆ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰਨੈ ਜੋਗੁ ॥

    Khudee Mitee Tab Sukh Bha-ey Man Tan Bha-ey Aroag, Nanak Dristtee Aa-eaa Ustat Karnai Joag.

    When we “let go,” the ego, it erases selfishness and conceit. Peace comes, and the mind and body are healed. O Nanak, then I come to see the One who is worthy of praise.-----Guru Arjan, Gauri Bawan Akhri, AGGS, Page, 260-9

    ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਛੁ ਹਉ ਨਹੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਆਹਿ ਨ ਮੋਰਾ॥ ਅਉਸਰ ਲਜਾ ਰਾਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਧਨਾ ਜਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ॥

    Mai Naahee Kach Haou Naahee Kich Aah Na Moraa, Aousar Ljaa Raakh Lehu Sadhna Janu Toraa.

    I am nothing, I have nothing, and nothing belongs to me. Now, protect the honor of Sadhana, Your humble servant.-----Bhagat Sadhna, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 858-17& 18

    Making a bad Choice;

    The self-willed individuals usually make a bad choice. Knowing better, they still come to wrong decisions in life, induced by negative thought processes. They end up blocking the entry of God in their individual lives. Guru Nanak in Raag Sorath, Guru Amardas in Raag Maru, and Kabir in his Slokes refer to this choice;

    ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ ॥

    Nānak a¬oguṇ jėṯ¬ṛė ṯėṯė galī janjīr, Jė guṇ hon ṯa katī¬an sė bẖā¬ī sė vīr.

    O Nanak, all evils are like chains thrown round the neck. These are snapped by good qualities or virtues, who are true brothers, and helpers. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 595-8 & 9

    ਲੋਕੁ ਅਵਗਣਾ ਕੀ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਗੰਠੜੀ ਗੁਣ ਨ ਵਿਹਾਝੈ ਕੋਇ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਗੁਣ ਪਾਈਅਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥

    Loak AvguNa Ki Baneh Ganthrhi GouN Na Vihajhai Koey, GouN Ka Gahak Nanaka Virla Koyee Hoey, Gurparsadi GouN Paa-ee-anh Jis No Nadar Karey.

    Many are those that gather bundles of demerits; none deals in virtue. Rare is that person, O Nanak, who purchases virtue. By Guru's Grace, one is blessed with virtue, when the Akal Purkh bestows Its Glance of Grace. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1092-15

    ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥

    Kabir Man Jan Subh Baat Janat Hee Aougan Karai, Kaahay Kee Kuslaat Haath Deep Kooey Parai.

    Kabir, the mortal knows everything, still he makes mistakes. What good is a lamp in one's hand, if he falls into the well? -----Sloke Kabir 216, AGGS, Page, 1376-4

    Universal Conscience or God is universal energy. We are part of it. The universe is all energy and the energy is all universes. The atoms and their subunits such as electrons, protons, and neutron are units of universal energy. The energy can convert into matter and matter can convert into energy. So everything is nothing but manifestation of energy. The atoms and subatomic particles that form molecules, cells, tissues, and organs, are our common constituents. The atoms and subatomic, charged particles do not grow old. They are ageless and timeless just like Truth. That is why Guru Nanak calls God the True one.

    ਸਚੁ ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੀਤਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਪਾਟੈ ॥

    Such Purana Hovai Naahee, Seeta Kaday Na Paattai.

    The Truth does not grow old. When something is stitched by truth, it is never torn again.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 956-1

    The atoms in a child or a seedling are no younger than that of a wrinkled person or a yellowing leaf. It's only when we look at life in a specific form that we become victims of our habit of separating one form from the rest of things. By separating ourselves we create ego – a separate identity. The ego is a false self that we made up to compete with God. It is based on the thought that we are separate or duality.

    That iron curtain of selfish ego separates us from Universal Spirit or God. Once we accept God within and realize that it's not possible to be separate from God, we learn that we are love. We gain peace since we are one with God. We become joyful and happy and understand that we are eternal.

    Just as a sunbeam can't separate itself from the sun, and a wave can't separate itself from the ocean, we can't separate one mind from another as explained by Guru Arjan in Ragas Bilawal and Maru;

    ਸੂਰਜ ਕਿਰਣਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਜਲ ਕਾ ਜਲੁ ਹੂਆ ਰਾਮ ॥

    Sooraj Kiran Milay Jal Kaa Jal Hoo-aa Raam.

    The rays of light merge with the sun, and water merges with water.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 846-17

    ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਉਠਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਸਲਲੈ ਸਲਲ ਸਮਾਇਦਾ ॥

    Ji-o Jal Tarang Utheh Baho Bhaatee Fir Sallai Salal Samaa-idaa.

    The waves of the water rise up in various ways, and then the water merges again in water. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1076-3

    We are all part of one indivisible divine mind or the universal mind we call God. Our individual minds or consciousness is the divine image of supreme Parmatma. This recognition does not come easily. One does not automatically exclaim, “O, my consciousness you're the image of Divine light, so know your source.” In fact, one’s mind is in essence is akin to God, Ek Onkar.

    Surdas in his only hymn in AGGS, advises us to stay away from the company of the faithless persons: He considers it better for someone to be alone than to be in a bad company. In his own words:

    ਛਾਡਿ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਮੁਖਨ ਕੋ ਸੰਗੁ ॥

    Chaad Man Har Bikhman Ko Sung.

    O my mind! Let us get away from the company of faithless persons, who have turned away from Akal Purkh. -----Bhagat Surdas, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, and 1253-10

    The true Guru in Sikh faith is one who unites all the people of various faiths together with the Akal Purkh. The universal message in Guru Nanak’s Philosophy contains two words: compassion (ਦਇਆ) and contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ). The righteousness born out of compassion and contentment upholds the order of nature. The implication is that "Be compassionate to others; and be content within yourself.” The two words, compassion, and contentment; combine the philosophy of the whole world: of Christianity in the west and of all of the religions of the east.

    ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਤਸਰ ਏ ਖੇਲਤ ਸਭਿ ਜੂਐ ਹਾਰੇ ॥ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਦਇਆ ਧਰਮੁ ਸਚੁ ਇਹ ਅਪੁਨੈ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਵਾਰੇ ॥

    Kaam Krodh Maya Mud Matsar A Khaylat Subh Jooai Haaray, Sat Santokh Daya Dharam Such Ayh Apanai Greh Bheetar Vaaray.

    I have gotten rid of all my vices like sexual desire, anger, and deceit of worldly falsehood, having lost them in the gamble of life. Furthermore, we have accorded the entry of virtues of Truth, contentment, compassion, faith, duty, and purity of mind in our home. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 379-3

    If we practice this universal message, we could control the ego that creates enemies and causes wars. This could result in universal satisfaction and happiness.
    In everyday living, seeing ourselves as separate, we create chaos and disorder between things, "out there" and ourselves. We wage wars against the “other” people and destroy the environment. Considering ourselves as separate from other people, things, and events, we want to re-form them to suit our own desires. In viewing ourselves as not separate, we can create harmony and make violence obsolete. Instead of futilely trying to control the uncontrollable, a person in unity learns acceptance. This not because he has to but because he is at peace within himself and his new extended self.

    If we see ourselves in others, then whom can we hurt? What harm can we do? -----Buddha

    The possibility of experiencing unity has tremendous implications in life. When there is harmonious interaction between us and our extended body, we feel joyful, healthy, and youthful. "Fear is born of separation." The transformation from separation to unity, from conflict to peace, is the goal of all spiritual traditions.

    "Don't we live in the same objective world, a disciple once asked his guru? "Yes," his master replied, "but you see yourself in the world; I see the world in myself. This minor perceptual shift makes all the difference between freedom and bondage."
    We have to raise ourselves to a new reality about science, religion and spirituality. This is what is needed to transform this earth into a paradise.

    Sikhism is the only universal religion free of issues such as creation vs. evolution. It does not claim any Immaculate Conception, or the only son of God or the last prophet. It decries the worship of stones gods. It does not rely on a priestly class. It regards all human beings as equal in every respect since we all originated from the same one source.

    ਰਕਤੁ ਬਿੰਦੁ ਕਰਿ ਨਿੰਮਿਆ ਅਗਨਿ ਉਦਰ ਮਝਾਰਿ ॥

    Rakat Bind Kar Nimmi-aa Agan Udar Majhaar.

    From egg and sperm, you were conceived, and placed in the fire of the womb. -----Guru Arjan, Jaitsari Ki Var Slokan Naal, AGGS, Page, 706-6

    ਗਰਭ ਵਾਸ ਮਹਿ ਕੁਲੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਤੀ ॥ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਿੰਦੁ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਉਤਪਾਤੀ ॥

    Garabh Vaas Meh Kul Nahee Jaatee, Barahm Bind Tay Sabh Utpaatee.

    In the dwelling of the womb, there is no ancestry or social status. All have originated from the Seed of God. -----Kabir, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 324

    Conclusion:

    In this modern era of science and technology, western people and younger generations believe in secular humanism as a spiritual and healing force. They perceive religion as a possessive and a destructive force. The real purpose of a religion is to advance spirituality. It has been hijacked and has become institutionalized. It wants to control people. Those who make a distinction between religion and spirituality feel possessed by a religion. They teach that people deserve to suffer because they are sinners. They regard disease an appropriate punishment. In spirituality they find no rules relating to God's love or God's ability to sustain us. Our collective survival, however, lies in recognizing new realities about religion, and its positive relationship to science and spirituality. We must recognize the path of secular humanism, based upon the principles of logic and reason. This alone offers the hope of providing everybody on this globe with the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. That indeed is the Truth that we are trying to realize here.

    ਙੰਙਾ ਙਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮੁਖ ਬਾਤਉ॥ ਅਨਿਕ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ ਕਰਿ ਭਾਤਉ॥ ਙਿਆਨੀ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਦਿ੍ੜ ਸੋਉ॥ ਕਹਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਛੁ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਊ॥

    Nganga Ngiaan Mukh Batou, Anek Jugat Saaster Kar Bhatou, Ngianee Soey Ja Kai Dirrh Souoo, Kehat Sunat Kuch Joag Na Houoo.

    NGANGA: Spiritual wisdom is not obtained by mere words of mouth. It is not obtained through the various debates of the Shaastras and scriptures. They alone are spiritually wise, whose minds are firmly fixed on the Akal Purkh. Hearing and telling stories, no one attains Yoga. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 251

    Truth is only achieved by living a truthful life with a rigorous honesty, willingness and acceptance and that is the way of life that works IMHO.

    Virinder S. Grewal
    virindergrewal@cablespeed.com
    Williamston, MI
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    General "Salvation" Through Faith or Works? Hard Talk Jul 16, 2015
    DEVELOPMENT OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE BY GURU NANAK Interfaith Dialogues Nov 30, 2016
    Interfaith Meet At Gaya -Concepts Discussed Interfaith Dialogues Nov 30, 2016
    Interfaith Meet At Gaya Interfaith Dialogues Nov 30, 2016
    Interfaith Religion In Sikhism Interfaith Dialogues Nov 30, 2016

Share This Page