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Getting to the Bottom of It: The Concept of Hell in Sikhism

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I am posting this question for another forum member. What vichaar does the forum have for the shabad, and particularly for the lines in bold font.

    Some believe that this shabad is a prohibition of eating meat. I am myself not persuaded of that.

    To these eyes, the mention of hell as a punishment for the 5 thieves uncontrolled needs expert explanation.

    Many thanks,

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ਤਿਲੰਗ ਮਹਲਾ ਘਰੁ
    Ŧilang mėhlā 5 gẖar 1
    Tilang, Fifth Mehl, First House:

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ
    Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
    One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

    ਖਾਕ ਨੂਰ ਕਰਦੰ ਆਲਮ ਦੁਨੀਆਇ
    Kẖāk nūr karḏaʼn ālam ḏunī▫ā▫e.
    The Lord infused His Light into the dust, and created the world, the universe.

    ਅਸਮਾਨ ਜਿਮੀ ਦਰਖਤ ਆਬ ਪੈਦਾਇਸਿ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥੧॥
    Asmān jimī ḏarkẖaṯ āb paiḏā▫is kẖuḏā▫e. ||1||
    The sky, the earth, the trees, and the water - all are the Creation of the Lord. ||1||

    ਬੰਦੇ ਚਸਮ ਦੀਦੰ ਫਨਾਇ
    Banḏe cẖasam ḏīḏaʼn fanā▫e.
    O human being, whatever you can see with your eyes, shall perish.

    ਦੁਨੀਆ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਖੁਰਦਨੀ ਗਾਫਲ ਹਵਾਇ ਰਹਾਉ
    Ḏunīʼn▫ā murḏār kẖurḏanī gāfal havā▫e. Rahā▫o.
    The world eats dead carcasses, living by neglect and greed. ||Pause||

    ਗੈਬਾਨ ਹੈਵਾਨ ਹਰਾਮ ਕੁਸਤਨੀ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਬਖੋਰਾਇ
    Gaibān haivān harām kusṯanī murḏār bakẖorā▫e.
    Like a goblin, or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat.

    ਦਿਲ ਕਬਜ ਕਬਜਾ ਕਾਦਰੋ ਦੋਜਕ ਸਜਾਇ ॥੨॥
    Ḏil kabaj kabjā kāḏro ḏojak sajā▫e. ||2||
    So control your urges, or else you will be seized by the Lord, and thrown into the tortures of hell. ||2||

    ਵਲੀ ਨਿਆਮਤਿ ਬਿਰਾਦਰਾ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਮਿਲਕ ਖਾਨਾਇ
    valī ni▫āmaṯ birāḏarā ḏarbār milak kẖānā▫e.
    Your benefactors, presents, companions, courts, lands and homes -

    ਜਬ ਅਜਰਾਈਲੁ ਬਸਤਨੀ ਤਬ ਚਿ ਕਾਰੇ ਬਿਦਾਇ ॥੩॥
    Jab ajrā▫īl basṯanī ṯab cẖe kāre biḏā▫e. ||3||
    when Azraa-eel, the Messenger of Death seizes you, what good will these be to you then? ||3||

    ਹਵਾਲ ਮਾਲੂਮੁ ਕਰਦੰ ਪਾਕ ਅਲਾਹ
    Havāl mālūm karḏaʼn pāk alāh.
    The Pure Lord God knows your condition.

    ਬੁਗੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਪੇਸਿ ਦਰਵੇਸ ਬੰਦਾਹ ॥੪॥੧॥
    Bugo Nānak arḏās pes ḏarves banḏāh. ||4||1||
    O Nanak, recite your prayer to the holy people. ||4||1||

    Ang 723
     
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    #1 spnadmin, Jul 18, 2009
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  3. harbansj24

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    I am extremely weak in quoting and proper understanding and interpretation of specific Guruji's shabads.

    But I have been brought up in an environment of beliefs of Sikhism. Though a strict vegetarian myself, I do understand that our Gurus have said that entering into controversy of whether or not to eat meat is foolish. So I do not think that eating meat, if necessary, is forbidden. If that was the purpose then it would have been clearly written that killing and eating a living object is bad. But here it has been mentioned as eating a carcass (an animal found previously dead) which is of coarse undesirable. I think, here Guruji means indulging in pleasures which are like a carcass for the soul.

    Further, I do not think that Guruji means the hell that some say we face after death. In my humble opinion he means the living hell that we will find ourselves if we do not moderate our urges.

    I think this is perfectly in line with human experiences and also medical opinion. We may get a feeling of temporary gratifiaction after wrongful indulgence but we have to dearly pay for it by physical, mental and spiritual deteroriatian. This is no less than the experience of hell.

    I hope this interpretation by an "anari" makes sense.

    Harbans Singh
     
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  4. Huck_Finn

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    very interesting thing is that this shabd has a lot of farsi words.

    was this addressed to farsi speaking/understanding sangat?
     
  5. spnadmin

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    Harbansj ji

    Agree completely. You have said it concisely int two places.


    • here Guruji means indulging in pleasures which are like a carcass for the soul.


    • We may get a feeling of temporary gratifiaction after wrongful indulgence but we have to dearly pay for it by physical, mental and spiritual deteroriatian.
     
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  6. Randip Singh

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    If you read this thread:

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/8828-fools-who-wrangle-over-flesh.html

    This pretty much tackles the meaning of this and other shabads.

    Sikhism is not about being involved in the controversies about meat and vege. It is a decision for ones own conscience. I know Amritdhari's that eat meat, and other that do not. I cannot see more spirituality in one than the other.

    The point made here is valid about reading shabads in context. People twist them far too often and make them sound pro-vege.
     
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  7. vsgrewal48895

    vsgrewal48895
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    Dear All,

    Harbans Ji is right in general. IMHO this Sabd conveys that all visible things are created by God and are perishable and will be of no avail at the time of death. Indulging grossly in the lower instincts is hell thus making the world as a goblin. Happiness lies in humbly suplicating on Akal Purkh's Name. Guru Nana in Siri Raag gives the hint about heaven and hell;

    ਅਮਲੁ ਕਰਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਬੀਜੁ ਸਬਦੋ ਕਰਿ ਸਚ ਕੀ ਆਬ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਹਿ ਪਾਣੀ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਕਿਰਸਾਣੁ ਈਮਾਨੁ ਜੰਮਾਇ ਲੈ ਭਿਸਤੁ ਦੋਜਕੁ ਮੂੜੇ ਏਵ ਜਾਣੀ॥ਮਤੁ ਜਾਣ ਸਹਿ ਗਲੀ ਪਾਇਆ॥ ਮਾਲ ਕੈ ਮਾਣੈ ਰੂਪ ਕੀ ਸੋਭਾ ਇਤੁ ਬਿਧੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥

    Amal kar ḏẖarṯī bīj sabḏo kar sacẖ kī āb niṯ ḏeh pāṇī, Ho¬ė kirsāṇ īmān jammā¬ė lai bẖisaṯ ḏojak mūṛė ėv jāṇī. Maṯ jāṇ sėh galī pā▫i▫ā. Māl kai māṇai rūp kī sobẖā iṯ biḏẖī janam gavā▫i▫ā.

    Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Sabd be the seed; irrigate it continually with the water of Truth. Become such a farmer, and faith will sprout, and know it to be heaven and hell, you fool! Do not think that your Husband Akal Purkh can be obtained by mere words. You are wasting this life in the pride of wealth and the splendor of beauty.
    -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 24


    Cordially,

    Virinder
     
  8. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    narayanjot Kaur Ji,

    Let's tackle this hell issue from a different angle. See this gurbani tuk:-

    ਜੋ ਸਿਮਰੰਦੇ ਸਾਂਈਐ
    जो सिमरंदे सांईऐ ॥
    Jo simranḏe sāʼn▫ī▫ai.
    Those who meditate on the Master

    ਨਰਕਿ ਸੇਈ ਪਾਈਐ
    नरकि न सेई पाईऐ ॥
    Narak na se▫ī pā▫ī▫ai.
    shall not be thrown down into hell.

    ਤਤੀ ਵਾਉ ਲਗਈ ਜਿਨ ਮਨਿ ਵੁਠਾ ਆਇ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥
    तती वाउ न लगई जिन मनि वुठा आइ जीउ ॥२॥
    Ŧaṯī vā▫o na lag▫ī jin man vuṯẖā ā▫e jī▫o. ||2||
    Even the hot winds shall not touch them. The Lord has come to dwell within their minds. ||2||
     
  9. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    Here's another one (Please view whole shabad for clearer understanding):-

    Page 177, Line 8
    ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਬਚਨਿ ਨਰਕਿ ਨ ਪਵੈ ॥
    गुर कै बचनि नरकि न पवै ॥
    Gur kai bacẖan narak na pavai.
    The Guru's Word saves one from falling into hell.
    Guru Arjan Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok
     
  10. spnadmin

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    Thank you all for your contributions. To focus a little better, the friend in question wanted to know your understanding of that particular shabad. What is your personal understanding. :)
     
  11. vsgrewal48895

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    Dear All,
    As I understand there is no hell in Sikh Thought. Present life is miserable with out contemplation and reflection on Naam. By following the Naam one becomes dead while alive.

    Cordially,
    Virinder
     
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  12. Randip Singh

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    Ok lets analyse this closely, and particularly these lines:


    Ḏunīʼn▫ā murḏār kẖurḏanī gāfal havā▫e. Rahā▫o.
    The world eats dead carcasses, living by neglect and greed. ||Pause||

    Gaibān haivān harām kusṯanī murḏār bakẖorā▫e.
    Like a goblin, or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat.


    murḏār – is the dead.

    Ḏunīʼn▫ā murḏār kẖurḏanī gāfal havā▫e. Rahā▫o.

    The world lives off the dead – is probably a more accurate translation.

    Gaibān haivān harām kusṯanī murḏār bakẖorā▫e.

    Like a Demon they live off the bones of the dead. – is probably more accurate.



    I think the problem lies with the accuracy of the translation and in what context this is meant to be.

    This shabad clearly is focusing on peoples behaviour and their addiction to the 5 thieves. Through Greed they neglect others. They exploit others/ They are in effect living off the earnings and hard work of the dead. They are knawing at their bones like demons or Goblins.

    The shabad is saying, that all this around you that you value so much will disappear. Don’t become so attached. People live and exploit others (live off the dead). If you get attached to the thieves you will be in a perpetual hell here.
     
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