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In Gurbani, is it 'Karma' or 'Actions' ???

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Ishna, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Greetings

    Was reading this shalok:
    ਸਲੋਕ

    Salok.

    Shalok:


    ਗੁਰ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਗੁਰ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰਨ ਨਾਰਾਇਣਹ

    Gur gobinḏ gopāl gur gur pūran nārā▫iṇėh.

    The Guru is the Lord of the Universe; the Guru is the Lord of the world; the Guru is the Perfect Pervading Lord God.


    ਗੁਰ ਦਇਆਲ ਸਮਰਥ ਗੁਰ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਤਿਤ ਉਧਾਰਣਹ ॥੧॥

    Gur ḏa▫i▫āl samrath gur gur Nānak paṯiṯ uḏẖārṇėh. ||1||

    The Guru is compassionate; the Guru is all-powerful; the Guru, O Nanak, is the Saving Grace of sinners. ||1||


    ਭਉਜਲੁ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਅਸਗਾਹੁ ਗੁਰਿ ਬੋਹਿਥੈ ਤਾਰਿਅਮੁ

    Bẖa▫ojal bikẖam asgāhu gur bohithai ṯāri▫am.

    The Guru is the boat, to cross over the dangerous, treacherous, unfathomable world-ocean.


    ਨਾਨਕ ਪੂਰ ਕਰੰਮ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਗਿਆ ॥੨॥

    Nānak pūr karamm saṯgur cẖarṇī lagi▫ā. ||2||

    O Nanak, by perfect good karma, one is attached to the feet of the True Guru. ||2||

    and the last sentence caught my eye. Its an idea expressed by Granth Sahib many, many times.

    I get caught by the word 'karma'. If we interpret 'karma' as it is commonly, i.e. what you do now will have effects later, or your actions now affect your rebirth, it seems like a bit of an impossible feat. Who can know their karma, who can do anything except leave it up to the scoreboard in the sky?

    When you check the dictionary for the word, in this case, ਕਰੰਮ (karamm), it says 'from karama'. The definition of 'Karama' is either actions, or destiny or fortune.

    Is the reader then free to apply whichever definition they see fit?

    Can the last sentence be translated as

    O Nanak, by perfect good actions, one is attached to the feet of the True Guru. ||2|| [Ishna's interpretation only]
    Or am I over-analysing. Can it be that the word karamm is employing two concepts - i.e. 'O Nanak, it is the result of perfect good actions whereby one is attached to the feet of the True Guru'? Which sort of employs a version of 'karma' (your actions affect what is to come) but also puts the emphasis on your actions now rather than waiting for the scoreboard in the sky to do it's thang?

    Sorry if this has already been discussed.

    Thank for persevering with my dodgy brain. teehee

    Edit:
    OMG! Then Bhai Manmohan Singh translates it to the even more vague and irritating:

    ਨਾਨਕ ਪੂਰ ਕਰੰਮ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਗਿਆ ॥੨॥

    Nānak pūr karamm saṯgur cẖarṇī lagi▫ā. ||2||

    Nanak, perfect is the destiny of him, who is attached to the True Guru's feet.
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Ishna ji

    One day, not long ago, like you I threw a mini-fit on this exact topic. ਕਰੰਮ is Karam not Karma AND Karma and Karam are actually 2 different words. My frustration made me check every single usage of the word "karma" and then I realized that I was not looking at Karma at all.

    They are two different words.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1. Karma = ਕਰਮਾ = consequences of past actions/past lives

    ਜੇਹਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮਾ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤੁ ॥
    Jaehaa Beejai So Lunai Karamaa Sandharraa Khaeth ||
    As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2. Karam = ਕਰੰਮ = good deeds, good fortune/outcome, destiny In the tuk, karamm will be translated incorrectly.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਪੂਰ ਕਰੰਮ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਗਿਆ ॥੨॥
    Nānak pūr karamm saṯgur cẖarṇī lagi▫ā. ||2||
    O Nanak, by perfect good karma, one is attached to the feet of the True Guru. ||2|| And the mistranslation results from turning "pur karamm" into "perfect karma."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    They are spelled differently. They mean different things. The differences are consistent throughout the tuks of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. We can look at grammatical formations later. Now you remember that word by word analysis I did viz one of your questions a couple of weeks ago? Same problem there, and I highlighted the issue in blue font, at http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/guru-...ervant-nanak-has-realized-god.html#post177086

    So it is not a case of picking the meaning you want to suit yourself. The lol misdeeds and bad kars lol of translators provide a pretty consistent baseline for independent learning. We learn more by their weirdnesses. I don't want to attribute motives to any of them, but sometimes they do get carried away by 'karma' :grinningkaur: Most of the time Dr. Sant Singh translates Karam as Karma, but he is very subtle. Instead of translating Karam either as karma or as "good deeds," he blends the two ideas so that Karam becomes karma of good deeds. Like he is splitting the difference by throwing in a freebie. Wonder why we get confused? After all, they are the experts!
     
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    #2 spnadmin, Jan 3, 2013
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  4. Ishna

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    Thanks adminji for your thorough reply. Hopefully it sinks in this time.

    It's so easy to get sidetracked by translations.

    Is ਕਰਮ the stem word for ਕਰਮਾ or are they totally unrelated?

    What is meant by ਕਰਮੀ? As in:

    Karmī āpo āpṇī ke neṛai ke ḏūr.

    According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.


    Thanks again.
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    Ishna ji

    The best part of the translations is they get you started. Frustration is part of moving ahead because you take the bull by the horns.

    The stem of both is kar from the Sanskrit "do" "create" just as in Ek Oankar or Kartar Purakh.


    ਕਰਮੀ is the plural of ਕਰਮਾ as in karmee is the plural of karma (but I want to double-check this) because it looks as if the translator has it flipped and I don't want to be reckless. If karma is a masculine noun ending in kanna sounding like aa, then the plural would be formed with bihari sounding like ee Self-doubt is always a good thing in my case. It makes me constructively paranoid.
     
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    #4 spnadmin, Jan 3, 2013
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  6. Ishna

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    Ambarsaria veer ji said in another post:

    I've highlighted the above in red because a Gurmukhi search of srigranth returns 61 results for ਕਰਮਾ . So, what does this mean then?

    Link to search results http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=AdvancedSearchGurbani

    Many thanks
     
  7. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    Karam = our deeds, but sometime it mean blessing also

    Karmaan =destiny :interestedmunda:
     
  8. Ishna

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    Is there a difference between karmaan and karmaa? If so, I'm asking specifically about karmaa, without the bindi.

    Oh I wish I could download linguistics into my brain like they do in the Matrix. :mundabhangra:
     
  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Karmī āpo āpṇī ke neṛai ke ḏūr. ....

    Overly simplistic example...

    Daily every morning I puch puch my dog and feed him a piece of bread...
    Daily every morning my neighbour..throws a brick at his dog...

    Daily ( becasue of my karmee..Via my actions/karam/doing/...I get closer to my dog or vice versa...
    Daily becasue of the same karmee - actions/karam/doings..my neighbour an d his dog get further apart..

    We are the DOG of the Creator...as Bhagat Kabir Ji delcares...and we are tied by the neck by a chain HE hold in His hands..and we go where He goes/commands..we prostrate ourselves at His feet...and we GET CLOSER and CLOSER and closer to HIM !! The MORE we LOVE HIM..the more He loves us back...WHY ?? Its certainly NOT due to our "past lives..our past karmas..or future karmas actions..ITS WHAT WE DO NOW...in this present life.

    People like Bhai Taru Singh who was scalped alive..was certainly MUCH CLOSER to His GURU due to his ACTION of loving his KESH more than his life..than some Honey Singh YO YOING about on stage..even though BOTH share the same SINGH in their names...do we really think that their "past lives" or past Karmas feature in this scenarion...why do we REVERE Bhai taru Singh ji and REMEMBER HIM in our daily ardass and most curse the likes of Honey Singh...becasue of their ACTIONS in their HUMAN LIFE..their PRESENT life that is VISIBLE to us..and thats the EXAMPLE we are to FOLLOW...thats what the Sikh martyrs TAUGHT US...by direct leadership by example....same for our GURUS..our bahgats..and in our SGGS..the PRESENT LIFE MATTERS MOST...do whats RIGHT..each time..every time..so that we are DRAWN CLOSER and not driven FURTHER AWAY...Karmī āpo āpṇī ke neṛai ke ḏūr.
     
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  10. Luckysingh

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    This can ONLY mean ONE thing !!!

    -This means that we don't understand something that we think we do !!

    Personally, I'm not bothered about understanding it, but that doesn't mean I'm rejecting or denying it !!
    The ONE thing I fully understand is that for a true gurmukh- he/she overides and becomes above any restraints or weights of karma.
    Thus a Gurmukh can make it possible for it to cease to exist !!
    So, why bother with the details. if I should be aiming to rise above it ??
     
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  11. spnadmin

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    ishna ji

    I am now befuddled by your question. Do you want a literal translation? Or, an explanation of the meaning of the word in the context of gurbani shabads? Gyani ji was providing the more comprehensive aarth of the word as concept of "past deeds."

    Earlier, I gave this translation. It can be followed up with a declension for all grammatical cases if that is what is causing confusion. Ambarsaria ji in his example number 5 was actually citing the accusative case which would: 1) either complement a verb (e.g., reaped karma/the consequences of actions), 2) or imply the object in another kind of grammatical pharse (e.g., because of karma/past actions).

    The word is originally sanskrit and forms the accusative case in the same way in Punjabi. The translation to past actions or past lives is dependent on context of use. Guru Nanak rejects the vedic idea of karma but that does not mean he does not refer to it. All Nanaks ji may be addressing one or the other idea, but you cannot tell how the word is being used without the specific shabad.
     
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  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Our BODY is the KHET...and its "actions" are the result of EARLIER "ACTIONS"...and Thats why REHAT - meaning DISCIPLINE is so important that Guru Ji says..REHAT pyaree MUJH KO.."SIKH" Pyara Nahin...why ?? Because REHAT makes the SIKH..not the other way around.

    Why do modern armies keep on exercising...marching...drilling...shining shoes already shining like mirrors...keeping strict discipline..because thats what an army has to do...once they get a recruit who ..shines his shoes ONCE and says..ENOUGH...I already know how to shine my shoes..a SIKH who reads the japji once and declares..ENOUGH..i know it....the Army will sack that soldier at the next drill..and the SIKH can remain whatever BUT NOT what the GURU LOVES...REHAT...DISCIPLINE..CHUN CHUN ke Baandhi dastaar..kesh combed twice or more times..etc etc...shoes shined again and again..uniforms ironed daily..etc etc..are DAILY ACTIONS that RESULT in a Good Army man..a GOOD SIKH....

    Such an army man will not think twice about an order to attack the enemy..such a SIKH will have his SCALP removed rather than have his hair cut..

    I just cant understand why people need to jump straight away into "PAST/FUTURE" ..lives we havent seen or even heard about..no where is anyones past or future life explained..shown...the entire 1429 anng SGGS is about the PRESENT HUMAN LIFE..
    Which Army soldier thinks he is "shining shoes" because in his past life he was a schoolboy always walking through mud ?? ( Punishment of past life ??)..and what this shining shoes will result in his "FUTURE LIFE" ?? A GOOD SOLDIER lives for THIS LIFE. Simialr to a SIKH..the REHAT..his daily actions are to BRING HIM CLOSER to His Creator...IN THIS LIFE. PERIOD. What i SOW in the MORNING..will grow and be ready to HARVEST by NIGHTFALL...today here and now...not in my next life as a buffalo...or ??? What I have successfully SOWED all my life..will be harvested on my DEATHBED...and BURNT along with me.
     
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  13. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    Well Said Gyani ji , its Present Moment ,Present breathe which is important rather than Past or future .
     
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  14. spnadmin

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    I dont' get it either. Maybe the common sense solution is not pious enough for modern eyes/ears and was not pious enough for our elders! I keep thinking of child Nanak ji on his sickbed speaking to the doctor and wondering, Was Guru Nanak as a child talking common sense to an educated person? For centuries we are fixated on "karma."

    In this pangatee ਹਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮਾ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤੁ ॥
    Jaehaa Beejai So Lunai Karamaa Sandharraa Khaeth ||
    As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.

    You can read it either way. Either "she" is reaping what she has sown in past lives. Or, common sense interpretation, "she" reaps according to the seeds/deeds she has sown in this life for better and for worse, such are the consequences. And...If she doesn't sow any seeds, there will be no harvest.

    I agree. Great point Gyani ji
     
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  15. Ishna

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    Thanks Gyaniji for your efforts. Please don't get me wrong - I don't endorse the 'reap in next lives' concept (or next lives at all). I'm a here-and-now kinda girl. I just want to make sure I understand how it is all referred to in Guru Granth Sahib Ji since the English translations are so inadequate in this regard.

    SPNAdmin ji, my confusion in this instance is directly related to Ambarsaria ji's post. I should have made it more clear. He said:

    "2. The word Karma is not found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji except as in example 5 above "

    Here is example 5:
    5. ਕਰਮਾਂ / karmāʼn
    (ਸਿਰਿ) ਕਰਮਾਂ = ਕਰਮਾਂ ਦੇ (ਸਿਰ ਉੱਤੇ )॥੪॥
    - Based upon actions/deeds

    But a Gurmukhi search of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji reveals quite a few instances of the word "karma", so yes, it IS found in the Granth. Hence my confusion with Ambrasaria ji giving comprehensive examples of the word KRM, KRMee, etc but then saying 'KRMaa' doesn't exist in Granth Sahib.

    Sorry if I'm being a bit too pedantic.

    Edit: SPNAdmin ji, your post #10 has helped very much. I would be lost without your expertise and patience. Thank you.
     
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  16. spnadmin

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    Ishna ji

    No you are not pedantic. You are exacting of yourself and look always to the details. A scientist!

    I don't know that I have expertise. You seem to learn by building block by block and I try my best to pin-point the problem. Sometimes though I fear I am creating more confusion.
     
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  17. Tejwant Singh

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    As mentioned before several times,the acknowledgement of Hindu/Muslims practices/rituals/beliefs by our Gurus in the SGGS-our only Guru-is not an acceptance of the above but to show us how they all end up in the cul-de-sacs of our lives both spiritually and temporally. Gurbani is its proof.

    Tejwant Singh

    PS: Ishna ji. I want to thank you for your elbowing us in order to make us dig deeper into Sikhi as anthropologsits of the selves and hence become better.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  18. japjisahib04

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    Or let us be more clear, 'beejai bikh mangai amrit vaikhai eho niyao - Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 474.11 - we plant poison but expect amrit.

    Best regards
    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
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  19. spnadmin

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    japjisahib04 ji :thumbsuppp:

    It will take me a few minutes to recover, but then who can argue? A person lives, listens, looks around, thinks about it and concludes --- that's the truth! That is more than common sense.
     
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  20. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    IN Fact so many Good, clear absolutley transaprent examples form SGGS..as Japjisahib04 ji has provided one...

    a farmer who plants cotton plant but expects to harvest sugarcane ?? is this a THIS WORLD..this LIFE example or related to past/future lives ?? Its so clear and transparent...We have to really read the SGGS....and not get lost in Hinduism..islam..christianity..concepts that are just mentioned as REFERENCES...GURU NANAK JI brought the LATEST most PERFECT GYAAN..why on earth do we still go on looking so "lovingly" at the DISCARDED RUBBISH form previous religions..etc....Guru Ji threw them all in the Garbage..we went out and brought them ALL BACK..and then go about trying to justify where to :arrange" the garbage !! It just wont FIT anywhere..no matter how much we try...
    a father who insults his father..beats his wife..throws his mother out on her ear..is a FOOL if he expects his kids to love him.and honor him..his wife to love him....he has been planting POISON..and expects to reap HONEY ?//He will get his just desserts before he is dead..not in some next life as a dog or something...because DOGS dont insult their parents..they dont beat up on their puppies..blah blah..so whats the use of making that person into a DOG ?? ha ha..Fantasy...
     
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