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Hukam (Will) and Sikh Values

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Archived_member15, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
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    My dear brothers and sisters kaurhug

    I am very much intrigued by the Sikh theological concept of "Hukam" (Will). I have been pondering this idea deeply. I am really amazed by the number of teachings of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji that I already, deep down, believe. Much of Sikhism resonates with my deepest convictions and, interestingly enough, with many facets of the Catholic faith.

    First of all, before I get onto the topic of Hukam, I would like to ruminate on a small handful of Sikh concepts which gel perfectly with my own convictions and conscience (there are too many too pack into one post lol!).


    "...Sikh moral and ethical values are based on the idea of natural law - similar to the Roman Catholic idea of natural law - the way God wants the universe too work...Nowhere in the Guru Granth Sahib is divorce mentioned because marriage is preordained by God. The Gurus believed in the commitment to marriage...Sikh theology, like Catholic theology supports the idea that there is only one kind of morally good sexual act: sex between a man and woman who are married and who are having sex to conceive and raise children to perpetuate God's creation...According to the Guru Granth Sahib human life begins immediately at the moment of conception and that creation of life is the will of God...The embryo or zygote that God has created is a divine gift which has to be nurtured and nourished to prepare it for the world, and the time in the womb is a valuable element of the spiritual development of the human being...For Sikhs an embryo or foetus has feelings as soon as conception takes place. In the Guru Granth Sahib there are verses which describe how the unborn child has the ability to meditate upon God's name as soon as it is conceived...Since Sikh theology argues that the soul is 'born' immediately upon conception it can be infered that it would be a sin to abort a foetus because, first, human life is created by God, and second, to abort the life would be to interfere with God's creative work...The sex of a child is preordained and God's hukam (will). Children are gifts from God and couples should accept God's will...From an analysis of the Guru Granth Sahib it is clear that the Gurus had a high respect for life, which they viewed as a gift from God. Thus, a Sikh has to accept that the life he/she has was decided by our karma and that God has determined how many breaths we 'breathe'. The injuction that God has preordained how longt we live and whether we have to suffer goes against the increasing modern practice of euthanasia and mercy killings. As a result there is no place for mercy killing, assisted suicide or euthanasia in Sikhism, for death happens when God commands it..."


    - Jagbir Jhutti-Johal (in "Sikhism Today")


    Natural Law, reverence for marriage and discouraging of divorce, sacredness of human life from conception till grave, human life and the soul beginning at conception, children a gift from God and thus opposition to abortion, sex determination, euthanasia/mercy killings/assisted suicide...WOW!!!

    As a Catholic this is like sweet music too my ears. I have never studied another religion which validates so many areas of Catholic moral doctrine!

    The Granth is such a stunning book of spiritual wisdom that I am truly stunned that it is not more readily available in English! If I go on to Amazon I can find literally thousands of translations of the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Dhammapada of Buddha or the Qur'an...but so few of the Adi Granth! I think that this is a real travesty!

    Now to focus on "hukam". The emphasis upon the "divine will" in Sikhism has made me reflect intently upon the importance of the Will of God within my own religion. Anybody who has read the Gospels or has even a faint knowledge of the lives and teachings of Catholic saints, while recognize the similarity between Catholicism and Sikhism in this respect.

    I'm going to focus on it a little now.


    From Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Gospel of Matthew 7):


    "...Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will [hukam] of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’..."


    - Jesus Christ (Sermon on the Mount)




    From the "Our Father" prayer that Christians around the world recite daily:


    "...Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy Will [hukam] be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not to the time of trial but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory unto the ages of ages..."


    - Jesus Christ


    "...I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me..."


    - Jesus Christ




    "...And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless: not my will, but your will be done..."


    - Jesus Christ




    "...Whosoever shall do the will [hukam] of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother.."


    - Jesus Christ




    Its not those who say "Lord, Lord" (have mere faith) but those who do the "will [hukam] of the Father". Unlike with Evangelical Protestantism, in Catholicism and in the Bible salvation is open to all who do the "will" [hukam] of God.


    This is the very same theology of the "will" underpinning the teaching of Pope Pius XII and subsequent teaching of the Holy Office in 1949 (the highest authority in the Vatican on doctrine) which condemned the theological errors taught by a renegade priest called Feeney who embraced the false notion (influenced perhaps by protestantism) that there was no salvation outside Christ and his Church:


    Holy Office, Aug 9, 1949, condemning doctrine of L. Feeney (DS 3870):


    "...It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member of the Church...God accepts an implicit will [hukam], called by that name because it is contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills [hukam] to conform his will [hukam] to the will [hukam] of God...."





    From some Catholic saints:



    "...Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: "Love is the bond of perfection;" and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God's: "The principal effect of love is so to unite the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same things." It follows then, that the more one unites his will with the divine will, the greater will be his love of God. Mortification, meditation, receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity are all certainly pleasing to God - but only when they are in accordance with his will. When they do not accord with God's will, he not only finds no pleasure in them, but he even rejects them...The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything. Our Redeemer came on earth to glorify his heavenly Father and to teach us by his example how to do the same....Our Lord frequently declared that he had come on earth not to do his own will, but solely that of his Father...To do God's will - this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul...A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint..."



    - St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696 –1787)



    "...It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will...I would rather be the vilest worm on earth by God's will, than be a seraph [highest angel] by my own..."



    - Blessed Henry Suso (1290-1365)





    "...Those who give themselves to prayer should concentrate solely on this: the conformity of their wills with the divine will. They should be convinced that this constitutes their highest perfection. The more fully they practice this, the greater the gifts they will receive from God, and the greater the progress they will make in the interior life..."



    - Saint Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582)




    Much love! kaurhug


     
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  3. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Vouthon Brother some comments to your great post.

    More on the rest below,
    AJ: The important point to note is the world “rajaaaaaaaaaaah”/consonance. It is very subtle but important difference. Being in consonance with one creator’s creation and live accordingly is emphasized versus specific code book of rules, dictates or messages. Greater understanding of this faculty is encouraged through greater understanding which then becomes reflective in ever better living in consonance. Sikh never stops to improve or be better and there is no end game.
    AJ: This is much at variance and basically can be totally rejected as to being close to Sikhism without making the believers in this feel bad to be neededled on so many points.
    AJ: Just brilliant coincidental and enriches the fact that people thousands of miles apart without modern means of communication were thinking so alike spiritually as Sikh Guru ji in Punjab, India and the good people in Italy.
    AJ: Just brilliant coincidental and enriches the fact that people thousands of miles apart without modern means of communication were thinking so alike spiritually. This being so even before the time of the birth of first Sikh Gurur ji in Guru Nanak Dev ji who was born in 1469 AD, in Punjab.

    AJ: Sikhism provides high regard to the one infinite creator and does not believe that a human will ever understand 100% of creator and creation. So what not understood is the will part and taking actions based on understanding and will creates fascinating results. At times testing or challenging such as you do good to someone and they do bad to you! Why so? Such will forever continue and are part of being in infinite creation.

    Hope above is of value in the dialog.

    Regards.
     
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  4. Archived_member15

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    More on Sikh moral values, I was really moved by reading this in the Sr Guru Granth Sahib ji:


    "...From the union of the mother's egg and the father's sperm, the form of infinite beauty has been created. The blessings of the Light all come from You; You are the Creator Lord, pervading everywhere...In the first watch of the night, O my merchant friend, you were cast into the womb, by the Lord's command. Upside-down, within the womb, you performed penance O my merchant friend, and you prayed to your Lord and Master. You uttered prayers to your Lord and Master, while upside-down, and you meditated on him with deep love and affection. You came into this Dar Age of Kali Yuga naked, and you shall depart again naked. As God's pen has written on your forehead so shall it be with your soul. Says Nanak, in the first watch of the night, by the Hukam of the Lord's command, you enter into the womb..."

    - Guru Granath Sahib ji, p1,022 and p74


    The sacredness of life within Sikhism touches me in a powerful way. In my opinion, this is probably the greatest evocation from any religious scripture as to why wilful abortion - unless done by consequence perhaps in the course of saving the mother's life - is a wicked and inhuman crime. Since I am strongly pro-life, I really respect this stance from the Adi Granth.

    I think that I am going to quote some of my above findings on the interfaith section of a Catholic forum I am on. I want to share with them these wonderful, divine teachings!

    I cannot but conclude that the Gurus are divinely inspired of God! peacesign
     
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  5. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Vouthon ji you got to be little bit careful that Sikhism does not reject condoms, Coitus interruptus, etc.

    Actions taking full account of wisdom and understanding, yes.

    Regards.
     
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  6. Archived_member15

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    Much love to you! peacesignkaur
     
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  7. Harry Haller

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    Out of all the Sikh concepts Hukam is the most important to me, I believe that if you follow Hukam, you live the life Creator wished you to live, if you do not follow Hukam, you live a life you could have avoided, sure bad things will happen, and sometimes bad things happen to good people, this is nothing to do with previous lives or karma, this is Creation at work, I do not believe it is anything personal. It could be the effect of nature, disconsonance, lack of respect for environment,

    This is the second post I have read today from one of another adherent that was fascinating to read, unfortunately my Veer Ambarsariaji has stated everything I could have commented on, and much more,

    It is a genuine pleasure to interact with someone from another adherent and embrace what binds us, rather than be told where we are going wrong, or have misinformation presented

    mundahug
     
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  8. Archived_member15

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    Neither do I peacesignkaur Its one part of my religion's teaching (condoms) that I'm not convinced (wholly) about. The Eastern Orthodox Church allows condoms peacesignkaurI have read though that some Sikhs are against condoms (although I personally agree wityh you that there not immoral).

    While Catholics are to respect official Church teaching, they are also allowed to make a decision of conscience and use condoms privately, after talking it over with their spiritual advisor (priest). This must be well thought over though before doing and be mutual between the couple.
     
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  9. Ambarsaria

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    Vouthon brother that is great. You have choice of slightly different homes while being in the same neighbourhood. I suppose no condoms is simply desired by the wise to discourage casual sex and keep it reserved for creation only. There may be value in that, I don't know.

    By the way there is no encouragement of Hedonistic values or concepts in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji versus say Yogi Mahesh and likes of him in various sects.

    Now in terms of your desire to see some details on what I did not elaborate upon. It may appear as fault finding, negative, disparaging, but I only do it in the form of contrasting. I apologize ahead for any erros of emotion in my answers.


    <TABLE style="mso-cellspacing: 0in; mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184" class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 0; mso-yfti-firstrow: yes; mso-yfti-lastrow: yes"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8 1pt inset; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8 1pt inset; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8 1pt inset; BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8 1pt inset; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt; mso-border-alt: inset windowtext .25pt">VJ: "...Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,
    <FONT color=black>AJ: <I>In Sikhism, no kingdom of Heaven generally perceived (say as per Islam) as a place with concubines offering you grapes, cheese and wine, rivers of milk, maidens serenading you as you just enjoy plenty, and so forth. <?"urn:[​IMG]
    VJ: but only he who does the will [hukam] of my Father who is in heaven.

    AJ: See comments on heaven above!

    VJ: Many will say to me on that day,
    AJ: There is no such concept of that day in Sikhism. Every day is that day.

    VJ: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name,
    AJ: There is no prophesying recognized in Sikhism.

    VJ: and in your name drive out demons
    AJ: Sikhism does not care about demons. They are too scared of Sikhs and do not exist near Sikhs.

    VJ: and perform many miracles?’
    AJ: Sikhism does not believe in miracles but rather in things not fully understood.

    VJ: Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’..."
    AJ: Creator in Sikhism is not vengeful or un-loving regardless of what one does. One faces the consequences fair and square through creation all around. Creation also does not work on direct here and now action-reaction.. Sometimes one perishes before experiencing a reaction.

    VJ: And lead us not to the time of trial but deliver us from evil.
    AJ: There is no focus or acceptance of deliverance.







    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Regards and not to offend or disparage.
     
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  10. Archived_member15

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    My dear brother Ambarsaria :)

    I have an appointment so will comment quickly and get back to you later!

    I am not at all offended. I would much rather that in dialogue with each other we express our disagreements, concerns and emotions freely or else it is not genuine dialogue at all but an "act" so to speak. So I very much respect your honesty!


    Much love in and sorry to rush! kaurhug
     
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  11. Archived_member15

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    My dear brother Ambarsaria peacesign

    "...There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love..."

    - 1 John 4:18


    I'm back!


    I just wanted to comment a little more, first of all, on the last part of your post:



    This is a very interesting observation. Is the God of Christianity - and indeed Abrahamic, Zoroastrian and other traditions - "vengeful" and "un-loving"?

    The first thing to understand is that in Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism, Hell is not a "place". There is no spatial place in time and space were dwell "damned people". That is a figment of cultural myth and popular folklore rather than of dedicated theology. Hell is considered by Catholicism to be a "state of being", a mental state. It can occur both in this temporal life and in the afterlife - although its the latter that receives the most notice, by Christians and non-Christians alike.


    "...The images of hell that Sacred Scripture presents to us must be correctly interpreted. They show the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God. Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy...[It is] a condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life...The thought of hell — and even less the improper use of biblical images — must not create anxiety or despair..."

    - Blessed Pope John Paul II (General Audience, July 28, 1999)


    "...We must see that hell is not an object that is 'full' or 'empty' of human individuals, but a possibility that is not 'created' by God but in any case by the free individuals who choose it..."

    - Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), Catholic theologian


    One could think of the medeival Church art based upon Dante's "Inferno" with its terrifying depiction of the various spheres of hell.

    However, none of this is derived from the Bible or even Sacred Tradition.

    Its popular folklore, although prevailing in the cultural imagimnation and very deep-set.

    Rather its based upon two sources: the apochryphal "Apocalypse of Peter" from the third century AD and the depictions of hell in the Qur'an, which was translated into Latin near the beginning of the Second Millenium.

    The Bible speaks seldom of "hell", unlike the Qur'an - in which it is mentioned nearly on every page - and when it does so, like with heaven, it is never spoken of in the literalistic manner of the Islamic hell (a real, literal place of torture wherew people drink poisonous water, have their skin burned off and various other horrors).

    Much of the understanding of "hell" is not biblical but part of the cultural imagination of the Western world.

    Certainly there is no concept of hell in Judaism or in the Old Testament, which accounts for about a third or even quarter of the bulk of the Bible.

    In the New Testament we find many passages such as the following:


    "...But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect..."


    - Jesus Christ (Gospel of Matthew 5:44-48)




    God makes his sun rise on evil and good without partiality and with equal love and care? And furthermore this selfless, impartial, open-ended, universally applicable love is the justification for the need of Christians to love their enemies?


    It is also important to know that the state of "hell" is not a state in which the person is deprived of God's love. When we die, we are all engulfed by the same flame of Divine Love. It is the state of our soul that will determine how we experience that flame.

    This was explained by Saint Isaac the Syrian:



    "...Those tormented in hell are tormented by the invasion of love. What is there more bitter and violent than the pains of love? Those who feel they have sinned against love bear in themselves a damnation much heavier than the most dreaded punishments. The suffering with which sinning against love afflicts the heart is more keenly felt than any other torment. It is absurd to assume that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is offered impartially. But by its very power it acts in two ways. It torments sinners, as happens here on earth when we are tormented by the presence of a friend to whom we have been unfaithful. And it gives joy to those who have been faithful..."

    - Saint Isaac the Syrian (died 700 AD)



    Hell is not something that God "does" to a person. Jesus told us that heaven is "within us" and so naturally hell is too. Rather hell is a state of mind into which a person wilfully chooses to become immersed in. God's love offers that person a release from the agony of trying to separate Himself from the love of God.

    God is not a dictator. The person must freely choose to embrace the love of God.

    Hell is a self-willed desire to be separate from God. It is the result of a deliberate, clear-sighted rejection of our Creator by those who choose to live for themselves in "splendid" isolation. There is great pleasure and satisfaction in being absolute master of oneself and having total independence - and yet there is a terrible consequence. To worship oneself is lunacy because the self is never satisfied with itself. In St. Augustine's words "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

    And so this obsession with Self, this idol-worship of oneself to the detriment of others, forgetting that humanity is one and made in the Image of the One God and that we all rise and fall as a unity, has the inevitable consequence of being unsatisfactory. We can never be satisfied wholly with ourself, because this is of course an illusion. No human being is sufficient unto Himself. He lives for others, he lives to move beyond Himself, to deny Himself and become one with God in the unity of the human family.

    And so this state of mind, this egoism and exaltation of oneself, this neglect of God and of other people, ultimately leads to dissatisfaction, to "restlessness" because man never be at rest or at peace so long as he does not find Himself - his true self - in God. When we find God and become one with Him, when we allow his Divine Light to envelope our whole being and rise again to our true, original nature and source in the divine - then we find peace. This is heaven.

    As Pope Pius XII explained in 1939: "In the light of this unity of all mankind, which exists in law and in fact, individuals do not feel themselves isolated units, like grains of sand, but united by the very force of their nature and by their internal destiny, into an organic, harmonious mutual relationship which varies with the changing of times".

    And so man is not satisfied with Himself and the attempt to separate and deprive Himself of the love of God. There is no satisfaction in this. He will be restless and unsatisfied because the only satisfaction and rest that can be found is in God.

    Hell and Heaven are not different places. People will not be sent one way and others another. There is no time or space in the infinite, eternal, unfamothable emptiness of God. Hell and Heaven are both experiences of the same single reality: God. It is one's state of mind/soul which determines how one experiences God's love in the afterlife, as a hell or a heaven, just as in this life.

    Much love peacesign
     
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  12. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Vouthon brother ji, I am concerned. We are too close for comfort as I see wisdom piles merging mundahug. However your contributons are breath of new fresh air and enriching.

    I do have two questions and comments.

    Question 1: In Christian TV ministeries that I have watched sometime just out of curiosity, the resurrection, heaven and hell are not addressed the way you have. At least that has been my general take away.

    Speaking of your posts, would these be considered main street understanding or enlightened if not deviant undertsanding?

    Question 2: I have watched some transmissions out of Mecca translated live on Satellite TV. I was literally shocked at the violence centric focus in terms of punishment if you did not do this or that and so on about non-believers. I was literally taken aback.

    Since there appears linkages between Islam and Christianity as people of the book, why such divergence when emanating from a possible single source?

    Question 2 is perhaps better addressed by a Muslim but you are much more learned than me in this area so I posed. Don't feel obliged to comment

    Regards.

    PS: Brother if you take heaven and hell to be inside oneself, I don't think you are going to find anything as close to Catholicism as Sikhism.

    The only divergence and perhaps also a great one will be for Jesus to speak for God versus Sikh Guru ji detested if someone even came close to classifying them as such and they never claimed it either.
     
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  13. Archived_member15

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    mundahug My dear brother Ambarsaria mundahug


    May God Bless and keep you!


    Thank you very much for your thoughts, questions and comments which I will answer to the best of my ability. Tonight I will focus solely on the first question.




    What an interesting question! If the TV miniseries was Evangelical Protestant, then I would not be surprised. If Catholic, then I would be, truly.

    The Catholic Church officially teaches that hell and heaven are not "places" but "states". It also teaches that we cannot ever be separated from the love of God and we are never deprived of it, whether our minds/hearts/souls are in the state of heaven or hell. How this doctrine is to be understood, is expressed and articulated by people in different ways using different sources, mystical writings etc. Catholicism is a Unity in Diversity. You will never find it expressed identically by two people, even though the truth that these two people both believe and are teaching is fundamentally the same, identical in essence.

    However ordinary Catholics might not properly understand this. And who can fault them? They are mostly good people following the faith tradition they have inherited but not delving all that deeply into it. You will even find apologetic websites and so on that teach errors of the faith. I just shake my head and refer people to the sources. Human beings are fallible.

    However I am honestly telling you what we believe.

    God is Absolute, Undifferentiated, Supreme Being. God is above all dualism, all opposites. Catholicism, courtesy of our beloved theologian Cardinal Cusa, teaches that god is the "coincidence of opposites" all opposites coincide in Him. He is the ground of being and existence, so in essence you can say that he does not "exist" because he created "existence". But neithee does he "NOT EXIST" because he is the ground of existence. This is called the "double negative". The great 13th century Catholic mystic Meister Eckhart noted: "If I also say, God is a Being, it is not true; He is transcendent Being and superessential Nothingness. I say that God is neither a being nor intelligent and He doesn’t ‘know’ either this or that. God is free of everything and therefore He is everything. I pray God to make me free of God, for [His] unconditioned Being is above God and all distinctions...We ought not to have or let ourselves be satisfied with the god we have thought of, for when the thought slips the mind, that god slips with it. What we want is rather the reality of God, exalted far above any human thought or creature. God is above being. But if i say that God is not a being and that he is above being, I do not by doing so deny isness to God. On the contrary I embrace it in him..."

    Catholicism teaches that he is the "ground of Being" and so he is not a Supreme Being but is the Supreme Being actually above mere being. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas (13th century theologian) he is Subsistent Being Itself, and all other beings are only beings by participating in His being. In Exodus God says He is "I am Who Am" which is the basis for stating that God is in all things.

    We thus cannot ever be separated from God and there simply cannot be a place called "hell". This doesn't make sense to Catholic theology since if there was a place outside God's love and presence called hell then nobody would exist to live in it anyway, because his total absence would be non-being. In this single logical conclusion, from Catholic theology, the whole idea of hell or heaven as a "place" collapses. It simply is not tenable to Catholics. Its irrational in fact, if you consider it carefully.

    So that's the official Catholic teaching and from that understanding theologians, saints, mystics and others have broadened our understanding through their own experience of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church believes that its teaching (the deposit of faith) never changes but that we eternally grow in our understanding of divine truths, through the gradual enlightenment of humanity, and the progression of civilisation.

    God is all and in all and will "will be all in all" as the Bible says, and God is love.

    One Byzantine Catholic theologian once said:

    "...There is no true distinction between heaven, hell and the so-called purgatory: all souls partake differently in the same mystical fire (God's Love) but because of their spiritual change they are bound to different reactions: bliss for those who are in communion with him; purification for those in the process of being deified; and remorse for those who hated God during their earthly lives. Because of this [there is] confusion and inability of the human language to understand these realities..."

    And this lack of comprehension of divine truths, which are far above our knowledge, has sadly but understandably led to dilution of the truth and out right mistruths in the minds of ordinary, unlearned [in terms of religion] Western people who are not versed in their religion but influenced more by culture.

    Sikhism is a truly wonderful religion. I have found and am finding much in common with my own faith (Catholicism in both its Western and Eastern forms). It confirms most of my already held convictions and inclinations. And as I said I do accept and firmly attest that the Sikh Gurus were divinely inspired of God and had true experiences of the Divine.

    Catholics reject nothing that we find to be true and holy in other religions:


    DECLARATION ON
    THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS
    NOSTRA AETATE
    PROCLAIMED BY HIS HOLINESS
    POPE PAUL VI
    ON OCTOBER 28, 1965

    "One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole human race to live over the face of the earth.(1) One also is their final goal, God. His providence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all men,(2) until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with the glory of God, where the nations will walk in His light.(3) [Metaphorical of course ;) ]

    Men expect from the various religions answers to the unsolved riddles of the human condition, which today, even as in former times, deeply stir the hearts of men: What is man? What is the meaning, the aim of our life? What is moral good, what sin? Whence suffering and what purpose does it serve? Which is the road to true happiness? What are death, judgment and retribution after death? What, finally, is that ultimate inexpressible mystery which encompasses our existence: whence do we come, and where are we going?

    2. From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense.

    Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing "ways," comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men...The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men."


    Much love to you my dear brother :whatzpointkudi:
     
  14. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Vouthon ji I extracted the first line from our Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I wish you to flag how it lines up with core of your thoughts and citations mundahug.

    It will be quite instructive I believe.

    Regards.​
     
  15. Archived_member15

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    My dear brother Ambarsaria peacesignkaur

    As you request! winkingmunda

    I will gladly comment on the Mool Mantur and how it lines up with my thoughts and citations that you have extracted above.

    For a brief start (I'll elaborate later):


     
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  16. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Vouthon ji thanks for the reply. I would really like to see, say top 1,2,3 ... differences between your understandin and SIkhism Mool Mantar as posted. I see you already done the ground work but I like slightly clearer presentation if you ca.

    If not it is no big deal also.

    Regards.
     
  17. Archived_member15

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    I'm going to quote from an ultra-traditionalist Catholic authority, the founder of SSPX - a branch of traditional Catholicism that was excommunicated from the Church in the 70s for its extreme views and is now, slowly, being welcomed back again although with qualifications.

    The reason I am doing so is to demonstrate that even at its most extreme and traditionalist, Catholicism is still far more inclusivist than say mainline Protestant or Orthodox Christianity, and is probably the most compatible with Sikhism of all Christian demoinations.


    "...There are three ways of receiving baptism: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

    Baptism of desire can be explicit...The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will [hukam] of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will [hukam]. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church..."


    - (Archbishop Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics)


    So that is Catholicism at its most "extreme" and still these extremists do not condemn people of other faiths to damnation like some of our brethren of other denominations. And that's us at our worst!

    Every encyclical of a Pope since the 1960s has been addressed to "All men of Good WILL".

    As in Blessed Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical "Pacem in Terris" (Peace on Earth): http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/j...cuments/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem_en.html

    Addressed at top to "All Men of Good Will".

    This emphasis on following the "Will of God" as known to one through the dictates of conscience and one's faith to attain to a state of union with God (salvation) rather than "faith alone" as in Islam and Protestantism (where one must generally be a member of these respective religions to attain to "salvation", or go to paradise in Islam) is where I think Catholics and Sikhs are particularly close and indeed complementary of each other.
     
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  18. Archived_member15

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    I was reading through the works of Meister Eckhart this morning when I opened up the book at a random page, and read a passage in his Talks of Instruction to his university students, written at some point in the late 1200s. It is, what I consider to be, a beautiful reflection on Hukam and so I thought I might share it with you:



    "...A man must train himself not to seek his own in anything, but to find and take God in all things...All the gifts that He has ever given on earth, He gave that he might give one gift - Himself...A man must learn to give up self in all his gifts, and keep or seek nothing for himself, not profit or enjoyment or sweetness or reward or heaven or own-will. God never gave Himself and will never give Himself in another's will: He only gives Himself in his own will. Where God finds his own will, there He gives Himself and bestows Himself in it with all that He is. And the more we die to our own, the more we truly come to be in that. Therefore it is not enough for Him that we give up self and all we have and can do just once, but we must constantly renew ourselves and so make ourselves simple and free in all things...We must school ourselves in abandoning till we keep nothing back. All turbulence and unrest comes from self-will, whether we know it or not. We should place ourselves and all we have in a pure renunciation of will and desire, into the good and precious will of God, together with everything that we may will or desire in any form...A man should become a God-seeker in all things and a God-finder at all times, in all places, in all company, in all ways. In this manner one can always incessantly wax and grow, and never reach an end of growth..."

    - Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), Catholic mystic and Dominican priest
     
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  19. prakash.s.bagga

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    VOUTHON Ji,
    With all respects to your views I would personally differ on a point that HUKAM
    is or can be considered as WILL.
    We therefore need to know more correctly about exactly What is Hukam as per
    Gurbanee.
    More on the subject after hearing from you.
    Prakash.s.Bagga
     
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  20. Archived_member15

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    My dear brother prakash ji peacesign

    As with all words in translation, we can never encompass the full meaning of Hukam or Naam with one English word. Take the word per in Italian. If you read the hymn by Saint Francis, "The Canticle of the Sun" the word is variously translated: for, by and through. Each translation subtly but significantly changes the meaning of the text. Most scholars think that Saint Francis intended it this way - to mean all these things.

    Hukam from what I have read of Sikh scholars, in simple terms, means Divine Command, Divine Will, Eternal Law, Cosmic Order etc. It is kind of all-encompassing and we are all subject to it and are urged to remove our contrary self-will, our ego, our passions, our self-absorption and live in the Divine Hukam. Since I regard self-will as being at the root of all human suffering, the translation of Hukam as Divine Will makes most sense to me on a personal level.

    Consider: "Nanak! One who understands Hukam, does not speak in ego" - that is self-will.

    "I came from the Celestial Lord; I go wherever He orders me to go. I am Nanak, forever under His Will" - again Will makes the most sense since it is where God's wants us to be, his Divine Plan, his Sovereign Command over all creation.

    All of creation exists and functions through, by, because and to the Divine "Hukam".

    For me, I understand it most especially as the Will of God.
     
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  21. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
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    I think we can consider about the Hukam from a Quote from Gurbanee as

    "EKO NAAMu HUKAMu HAI SATiGuRu Diaa BUJHAI JIO"

    It seems that HUKAMu is well clarified in this QUOTE.As EKO NAAMu

    What are your views on this quote.

    I may be stuck up with this only.I do admit that.

    Prakash.s.Bagga
     
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