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Interpretation of Religious Scriptures

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Siri Kamala, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Siri Kamala

    Siri Kamala United States
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    This thread has been redirected from Sehajdhari Sikh Foundaton: Comments Please !http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-...hajdhari-sikh-federation-comments-please.html


    My thoughts exactly -- thank you for putting it so well!

    ballym, when I read what you are saying (and thank you so much for your thoughtful response, by the way!), it spoke to me. That is the petard on which many Christian Biblical literalists have been hoisted -- live by the literal interpretation of Scripture, die by the literal interpretation of Scripture.

    When you ask someone who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible if they now plan to stone their child to death the next time their child is disrespectful to them, they will look at you and ask if you are insane. If you ask if they are aware of the fact that the poly-cotton shirt they're wearing is a sin, according to the book of Leviticus, which dictates that threads of different fibers should not be woven together, they will appear dumbstruck and mumble something about, "Well no one believes that -- that's just silly..."

    And yet, *there it is in Christian Holy Scripture*.

    The reality is, *everyone* of *every faith* cherry-picks what works for them from Scripture. Everyone interprets. You could gather together 10 Conservative Christian scholars who claim to believe the Bible is "the inerrant word of God," and every one of them would have a different interpretation of certain passages. A Scripture is only as inerrant as the people who are interpreting what it says.

    There is the question of what should be taken literally and what is intended to be metaphorical.

    There is also the question of what things were intended to apply only to people of that time, and what things were written with the intent that they should be "normative" and apply to ALL people who believe over ALL time.

    There is also the matter of how accurately we are able to translate what was written in an ancient language that we no longer use today. My understanding is that Gurmukhi is to modern-day Punjabi language as Chaucer's Middle English is to modern-day English -- most people would struggle to accurately understand what is being said, never mind get the nuances and symbolism and "in group" references that may not be in use at this point in time. (Please correct me if my understanding on that count is wrong.)

    So the conclusion I have come to is that it is fruitless to try to adhere to a literal interpretation of any Holy Scripture -- there's no way to be sure one is actually doing it right. What can be done is to read it with an open mind, an open heart, a measure of common sense, and a focus on the things that ARE clear about what Sikhs reject as untrue, embrace as true, celebrate as delightful, believe to be pleasing to God, and then read the Guru Granth Sahib *with those things in mind* rather than with a measuring tape, a set of scales, a calculator, and a dictionary.

    More thoughts than time allows -- I'm so enjoying exploring it though. Thank you to everyone who is sharing their thoughts/opinions/insights here!
     

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  3. findingmyway

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    Re: Sehajdhari Sikh Federation! Comments, Please

    The Guru's wrote the SGGSJ themselves so I will not liken it to the bible. If we want to prevent the misinterpretations that have afflicted the bible and other texts, then it is important to understand it in the original context rather than just relying on your own interpretation. People like Prof Sahib Singh have dedicated years to studying Gurbani grammar and spellings to ascertain the real meanings. Most of the English translations have a biblical slant and use hilarious flowery words IMHO. The choice of what to follow is your personal one, but to say the rest is wrong is an insult to the Gurus. Especially as the contents have been written in such a way as to avoid others y tampering with it. It has been barely over 500 years so we have history (ithihaas) rather than mythology (mithihaas).

    Your perception is incorrect. Panjabi is very much alive and well! The Guru's used simplified language compared to previous scriptures to make the Guru Granth Sahib Ji accessible to the common man. They used local languages depending on where they were to speak to the common man in that area and that is why things change. There are languages such as Persian but even within Panjabi, there are lots of dialects. If you've been to England, you'll know how much dialects can differ and it's the same with Panjabi. There is actually a previous thread about this. Some people may struggle more than others as they speak a different dialect than the passage is written in. My understanding is weak as my Panjabi is diluted due to being 2nd generation outside of India. However, people from India understand a lot more as they speak more so have a larger vocab and more correct grammar than me. The difficulties come from the fact it is all poetry. A huge amount is using metaphors and often this is what is lost in translation. Much of the shabadguru is not supposed to be taken literally and the way I am figuring things out is to refer to other sections of bani. Nothing is contradictory about the Guru's teachings so you will find the answer elsewhere about correct interpretation. With it being poetry, things often can be interpreted on a number of levels too. So even of there are 2 separate interpretations, they may not be incompatible. Everytime I read a shabad I see something new and learn something new even if I've read it before!
     
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  4. Siri Kamala

    Siri Kamala United States
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    Re: Sehajdhari Sikh Federation! Comments, Please

    Hmmm... I'm a little confused :confusedkudi: so I hope you can help me to get a little more clarity here? :happykudi:

    On the one hand, you're saying, " If we want to prevent the misinterpretations that have afflicted the bible and other texts, then it is important to understand it in the original context rather than just relying on your own interpretation."

    But OTOH, you're saying, "The difficulties come from the fact it is all poetry. A huge amount is using metaphors and often this is what is lost in translation. Much of the shabadguru is not supposed to be taken literally and the way I am figuring things out is to refer to other sections of bani. Nothing is contradictory about the Guru's teachings so you will find the answer elsewhere about correct interpretation. With it being poetry, things often can be interpreted on a number of levels too. So even of there are 2 separate interpretations, they may not be incompatible."

    So...even if I don't rely on my *own* interpretation (which would be a ridiculous thing for me to attempt at this stage of my learning anyway, given that I don't yet understand the language and can't even read the characters properly :blinkingkudi: ), I may be offered two different interpretations from people who do know what they're talking about, and *then* I will have to use my best judgment to determine which is more true/right/accurate, etc.

    Is that correct?
     
  5. Siri Kamala

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    Re: Sehajdhari Sikh Federation! Comments, Please

    Thank you, spnadmin ji! I somehow missed this response earlier.

    And then there are the bazillions of ordinary, practicing Catholics I know whom I refer to as "cultural Catholics." My ex-husband's Irish family is a perfect example of this. His mother was excommunicated for (of all the stupid things) divorcing a man who beat her black and blue and later marrying a man who treated her gently and with love without first getting an annulment of her marriage to the man who beat her.

    She moved to another state and continued to attend Mass with her new husband, and I say "good for her."

    Her daughters are, to my knowledge, pro-choice on the issue of abortion, they don't believe homosexuality is a sin, nor did they remain virgins until they married. I know that all of them use birth control.

    And yet the Catholic church's teachings expressly forbid all of these things* based on Vatican II's interpretation of Biblical scripture.

    *(The notable exception now being that Pope Benedict has decreed that it is acceptable to use condoms for the prevention of disease -- this is a RADICAL departure from previous teachings which basically said, "Hey, if you don't want to become ill or die from a STD, don't have sex with anyone but your spouse. Period. If you sin by doing so and you get a disease, hey... y'know, maybe you deserve to die." It was sort of a social Darwinist twist along the lines of Survival of the Holiest -- ugh.)

    Over the last 1500 years, many different Popes have modified what gets included and what gets redacted out of that Bible. Both the meanings and the normative weight of various passages have been reinterpreted over that period of time. I've no doubt that if you were to put (the badly misnamed, IMO) Pope Innocent III in the same room with the current Pope Benedict XVI, a fistfight would break out over how radically different their interpretations of scripture might be.

    Only 800 years separate them. There is no language barrier because both of these men would be fluent in Latin as well as other languages relevant to the study of Jesus, his historicity, and Christology as a whole.

    What does separate them is a sufficiently significant number of years that they would differ GREATLY in perspective and consequently in wisdom and judgment. Pope Innocent still believed all sorts of nonsensical stuff about mentally ill behavior and epileptic seizures being caused by demonic possession. He most definitely believed that women were not the equal to men (I'm not sure Pope Benedict would entirely disagree with him about that!). And he believed that the Spanish Inquisition was a Great Idea! :idea: :thumbsuppp: (The thumbs up being from Pope Innocent III, not me!)

    As I have, at this point, only studied a small portion of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, I cannot say how much likelihood there is that the passage of 500 years would result in a significantly different interpretation of intent from the original, but it doesn't seem wildly improbable to me if only because so much has changed in just the last TWENTY years, never mind the last 500...

    I work in Corrections. One of the things we're struggling with is how to reintegrate released prisoners into life in the modern world when they have been imprisoned for the last 15+ years. These are people who have never used a computer... have never made a call on a cell phone... have never played a movie on a DVD player or listened to tunes on an iPod, have never read an eBook, have never employed a GPS to get where they need to go. And yet these things are commonly accessible to people all around them and may be required if they want to get a job, travel, etc. The ease with which these tools connect us to others (and to thereby understand others) and to information in general usually results in the ability to shift rather easily from fear of what is different or unknown to acceptance of what is different or unknown because our ease of access to information about that different/unknown thing happens with much greater ease and speed than ever before. We fear less when we come to understand more.

    How different the world will be in just another 20 years...

    This is why my focus is so much on the internal... the implications of Sikh practice and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on the soul... rather than on the physical manifestations of devotion and faith. All of these things fall away when we die. All of these physical things will become moot when the time comes that we are less and less human and more and more machine. Who, 500 years ago, could have predicted such an evolution for our species?

    Just some things I'm thinking about...
     
  6. spnadmin

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    Siri Kamala ji

    In the spirit of continuing the discussion in its new and probably much better location I would reply to this one paragraph
    as follows;

    If we look at the various versions of the Christian and Hebrew testaments that have been endorsed by the Roman church, we would probably find that there were not "many" but more accurately "several" where modifications and redactions occurred--- until Vatican II. The number of approved Roman Catholic Bibles mushroomed after Vatican Council II. It is an interesting point, worth some investigation.

    Prior to Vatican II, the outstanding and historical translation of the Latin bible, or Vulgate, in use for centuries, was spurred by the rise of Protestantism. That instigated a response in the Roman Church to translate the Latin Bible into common languages, in large part because of the impact that the German Bible of Martin Luther was having on conversions away from the Roman Church.

    But more to the point of the thread title "interpretations of religious scriptures." The interpretations of scripture in the Roman Church have changed frequently, and are also debated in a heated fashion in ecclesiastical circles. The average Roman Catholic accepts the story told from the pulpit as to what he/she should believe, or rejects it.

    And this is a unique aspect of Sikhi that I find most attractive. In the Sikh Rehat Maryada we are enjoined to learn Gurmukhi and to study the Guru Granth. "Parchar" or evaluation of scriptures is an ongoing activity in gurmat classes worldwide, in gurdwaras at night and in special clinics and gurmat camps. Experts can be freely challenged by members of the sangat. There is no clergy, and it is incumbent on Sikhs to study and discuss the meaning of gurbani. Because of this, ordinary people who have not attended "granthi school" become major voices of scholarship as they delve deeper and deeper into historical sources and comparative analyses. IMHO, that scientists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges apply their analytical skills and become established and recognized scholars of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, on a par with professors of religious studies, is not only remarkable, but it is also rare in other faiths.
     
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  7. Siri Kamala

    Siri Kamala United States
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    AMEN ~ especially to your last paragraph, spnadmin ji.

    I get the sense you've discussed this stuff a time or two before... ;-)
     
  8. spnadmin

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    LOL! No, Siri Kamala ji!

    This is probably the first time I have discussed this particular issue. It is something that amazes me all the time.

    One thing that has been discussed here, though I have not. There is considerable discussion on forums and in general about the importance of requiring a high level of formal education of our granthis. I have not the tiniest doubt that this would be a good thing. But I do FEAR that in time that would lead to institutionalizing "expert" knowledge and would discourage "parchar" because in the end for many of us it is easier to be told what to think by an "expert". Sorry to say.
     
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  9. Siri Kamala

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    Dear spnadmin ji, so long as communication is unrestricted in at least a large portion of the world, I trust that the definition of what counts as "expert" will become increasingly broadened, not more restricted. Everything is becoming decentralized and globalized in this marketplace of ideas. The good ideas (like Sikhi!) will succeed and the bad ones (like backwards, fear-based, repressive fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity and Islam) will fall away. The only way they succeed these days is in the hands of despotic leaders who either control their resources literally (as with the Taliban) or brainwash them into believing their future in the afterlife is at stake, regardless of what resources they have access to in this life (as with Fred Phelps - I doubt he has more than a handful of followers who are not family members either by birth or marriage...).

    Have faith! animatedkhanda Jo Bole So Nihal...Sat Sri Akal, right? :muscle: :thumbsuppp:
     
  10. spnadmin

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    Well I believe that the debt of gratitude I owe you here is for your optimistic assessment of the future. Good, because I tend to be weighed down by doubts. You are proposing an almost Darwinian view of the evolution and survival of ideas, and how ideas become extinct and how novel thoughts take hold. I am glad that Sikhi has taken hold on the modern mind.

    Having said that, I just posted today some really depressing news in Interfaith Dialogs/Islam about just how despotic leaders can be. Two people who are members of religious minorities, in two different stories, have been arrested under the blasphemy laws of Pakistan. I feel we should be sobered up by this, because anything can happen "here."
     
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  11. Archived_member14

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    Kamala ji,




    The direction you are coming from and object of consideration is no doubt different from mine. But it so happened that when I first joined another Sikh group before I did this one, I made a comment there, to the opposite effect to the one you are making here. I had said that the better teachings will vanish while the bad ones will remain. Of course I wasn’t thinking about such people as the Taliban, but more those who would end up giving the impression of religiosity, or they could in fact be kind and gentle and morally upright, however because they *lack wisdom*, any good becomes corrupted in the long run. Indeed many of these would speak out against such extremists as the Taliban and involve themselves in matters of social justice etc. But this is the very thing which attracts the unknowing masses, and they too end up going down the spiral of corruption…..

    I hope you don’t mind me giving some input from the Buddhist perspective which may be relevant to this thread. Here are quotes, some by the Buddha himself and others are by the commentaries:

    *************

    Kindred Sayings xvi, 12
    "Thus have I heard: The Exalted One was once staying at Savatthi, at
    Jeta Grove, in the Anathapindika Park.
    Now the venerable Maha-Kassapa went into his presence, saluted him
    and sat down beside him. So seated, the venerable Maha-Kassapa said
    this to the Exalted One: 'What now, Lord, are the conditions, what
    is the cause that formerly there were both fewer precepts and more
    brethren were established as Arahants ? What, lord, are the
    conditions, what is the cause that now-a-days there are more
    precepts and fewer brethren are established as Arahants?'
    'It happens thus, Kassapa. When members decrease, and the true
    doctrine disappears, there are then more precepts, and few brethren
    are established as Arahants. There is no disappearing of the true
    doctrine, Kassapa, till a counterfeit doctrine arises in the world;
    but when a counterfeit doctrine does arise, then there is a
    disappearance of the true doctrine. Just as there is no disappearing
    of gold so long as there is no counterfeit gold arisen in the world.
    So it is with the true doctrine.
    ' The earth-element, Kassapa, does not make the true doctrine
    disappear, nor does the water-element, nor the heat-element, nor the
    air-element. But here in the Order itself futile men arise, and it
    is they who make the true doctrine disappear.
    'Take the sinking of a ship, Kassapa, by overlading: it is not thus
    that the true doctrine disappears. There are five lowering things
    that conduce to the obscuration and disappearance of the true
    doctrine. Which five?

    'It is when brethren and sisters, laymen and laywomen live in
    irreverence and are unruly toward the Teacher, live in irreverence
    and are unruly toward the training, live in irreverence and are
    unruly toward concentrative study.
    'But when they live in reverence and docility toward these Five,
    then do these five things conduce to the maintenance, the clarity,
    the presence of the true doctrine.""

    **************

    Further in the commentary to the Parinibbana Sutta, we read about
    MahaKassapa’s concern for the preservation of the Dhamma:

    “ ‘In the teaching which the Blessed One established with effort, a thorn
    has so quickly become a major evil defect. This wicked man is indeed
    capable of growing and acquiring other companions like himself and so
    causing the teaching to disappear.........As flowers blown by the wind
    scatter here and there, so by the influence of people like this, as time
    passes, a rule of training or two will be lost from the Vinaya. A
    question or two will be lost from the Sutta; a difference between stages
    or two will be lost from the Abhidhamma, so in due course, when the root
    [basic text] is destroyed, we will become like demons. Therefore I will
    have the Dhamma and Vinaya recited. When it is done, this Dhamma and
    Vinaya will be immovable like the flowers tied together by strong string.
    It is for this reason that the Blessed One walked three leagues to meet me
    [see Ja 469]: gave me the ordination with three homilies [see SN11 220];
    gave me his own robe from his body in exchange; talked about the path
    through a simile of the moon, by waving his hand in the sky, and made me
    realise the truth; gave the jewel of the whole teaching three times.
    While monks like me remain alive, let this evil man not prosper within our
    doctrine.

    I will have both the Dhamma and the Vinaya rehearsed before what is not
    Dhamma shines out and Dhamma is kept out, before those who speak what is
    not Dhamma become strong and those who speak Dhamma become feeble, before those who speak what is not Vinaya become strong and those who speak Vinaya become feeble. Then monks, each memorising what he is capable of himself, will tell what is legitimate from what is not legitimate. Then
    this evil man will by himself incur censure and will not be able to hold up his head again....’” <end quote>

    ***************

    One’s own opinion is weakest of all, but if it agrees with the sutta, it
    should be accepted, but otherwise not. ‘The three Councils’ are the one
    of five hundred monks, the one of seven hundred, the one of a thousand.
    Only a sutta transmitted through them is authoritative; any other is a
    contemptible sutta, not to be accepted. Even though words and syllables
    appear in the latter, they should be known ‘as ones which do not appear in
    the Sutta, are not found in the Vinaya.’ “<end quote>

    *************


    The commentary to the passage (ch 5) regarding veneration of the Tathagata
    also has a lot of detail. Material worship (aamisa-puujaa) “cannot sustain
    Buddhism (saasana) for a single day, or even for the time it takes to
    drink one helping of rice gruel. A thousand monasteries like the
    Mahaavihaara and a thousand stuupas like the Mahaacetiya cannot sustain
    Buddhism. The deed done belongs to the doer alone. It is right conduct
    (sammaapa.tipatti) that is suitable as honour to the Tathaagata, for that
    is what he desired and what can sustain Buddhism.” <end quote>

    **************

    Monks, these two things conduce to the confusion and disappearance of
    true Dhamma. What two? The wrong expression of the letter (of the
    text) and wrong interpretation of the meaning of it. For if the
    letter be wrongly expressed, the interpretation of the meaning is
    also wrong..... Monks, these two things conduce to the establishment,
    the non-confusion, to the non-disappearance of true Dhamma. What two?
    The right expression of the letter and right interpretation of the
    meaning. For if the letter be rightly expressed, the interpretation
    of the meaning is also right....

    "When it disappears, it is the Great Work [i.e. Patthaana. That first disappears; when that has disappeared, …….. When the Abhidhamma-Pitaka has disappeared, the Suttanta-Pitaka will also disappear. When the Suttanta disappears, it is first the Anguttara-Nikaaya that disappears…………My disciples will only remember the Jaataka together with the Vinaya-Pitaka. It is, however, only the well-conducted priests that will remember the Vinaya-Pitaka. But as time goes on they will be unable to remember the Jaataka, and first the Vessantara Birth-Story will disappear……….. When the Jaataka has disappeared, they will only remember the Vinaya-Pitaka. As time goes on the Vinaya-Pitaka will disappear, but as long as a four-line stanza remains among men, so long the disappearance of learning will not have occurred.

    But when a pious king shall cause a purse containing a thousand pieces of money to be placed in a golden casket on the back of an elephant, and shall cause proclamation up to the second and third time to be made throughout the city to the sound of the drum, as follows: 'Anyone who knows a single stanza spoken by The Buddhas, let him take these thousand coins together with this elephant,' and yet shall fail to find anyone who knows a four-line stanza, and shall receive again the purse containing the thousand pieces into the royal palace, then the disappearance of learning will have occurred.

    *************

    "This, O Sâriputta, is the disappearance of learning.

    "Now as time goes on the last of the priests will carry their robes, their
    bowls, and their tooth-sticks after the manner of the naked ascetics. They will take a bottle-gourd, make of it a begging-bowl, and carry it in their arms, or in their hands, or in the balance of a carrying-pole. And as time goes on a
    priest will say, 'What is the good of this yellow robe?' and cut a small piece
    of yellow cloth, and tie it around his neck, or his ears, or his hair, and
    devote himself to husbandry or trade and the like, and to taking care of wife
    and children. Then he will give gifts to the southern congregation. And the
    fruit of this gift, say I, will be a myriadfold. As time goes on the priests
    will say, 'What do we want with this?' and they will throw away the piece of
    yellow cloth and persecute the wild animals and birds of the forest, and thus
    the disappearance of the symbols will have occurred."

    *************

    Samyutta Nikaya IX (20)7
    <...In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who will not listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, profound, transcendent, connected with the Void [alex: sunnata] — are being recited. They will not lend ear, will not set their hearts on knowing them, will not regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping and mastering. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

    "And again, there will be in the course of the future monks undeveloped in
    body... virtue... mind... discernment. They — being undeveloped in body...
    virtue... mind... discernment — will become elders living in luxury, lethargic,
    foremost in falling back, shirking the duties of solitude. They will not make an
    effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the
    as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. They will become an example for later generations, who will become luxurious in their living,
    lethargic, foremost in falling back, shirking the duties of solitude, and who
    will not make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

    End.
     
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  12. spnadmin

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    Confused ji

    Thank you for joining the discussion. The topic is complicated, is it not?

    This is exactly the nature of my concerns
    Schooling does not necessarily promise "wisdom." In Sikhi as well there are strong undercurrents that are drawn to the literary value of a religious text, or the perception that it has historical merits. They would argue that the teachings of such texts should be taken seriously because of its literary value, or perceived historical merits.
     
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  13. kds1980

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    Siri Kamala ji

    You are spot on here .That's why Guru gobind singh ji gave power to Guru Panth to take timely decisions what is good for sikhs and what is not
    .This worked very effectively.In 18 th century The sikh misls were divided and there is sometime in fighting among them too.Sarbat Khalsa use to gather and pass hukamnaama's.Unfortunately the central authority these days have fallen in corrupt hands
    and It has lost respect among sikhs.Also the problem majority of sects of sikhs just want to follow what their beliefs are and discard hukamnaama's of Akal takht.
     
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  14. Archived_member14

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    Spnadmin ji,


    Thank you for joining the discussion. The topic is complicated, is it not?

    Con: Normally I try not to think about these things. But sometimes thought proliferation takes place and instead of relating this to Dharma principles, it becomes just another worldly matter to involve in. This of course is sign of lack of any real understanding and strong attachment to stories and situations, with lots and lots of conceit arising in between. :-(

    ========
    Spnadmin: This is exactly the nature of my concerns

    Quote:I had said that the better teachings will vanish while the bad ones will remain. Of course I wasn’t thinking about such people as the Taliban, but more those who would end up giving the impression of religiosity, or they could in fact be kind and gentle and morally upright, however because they *lack wisdom*, any good becomes corrupted in the long run.


    Con: I have come to accept it as inevitable and usually focus on the individual. I do not think to preserve / protect the Buddha’s teachings nor do I make it my aim to pull others away from the influence of wrong interpretations of those teachings. It’s hard enough for me to have right understanding and when I discuss with others, it is mostly to test my own understanding. Of course there are times when I like to help others to also see the value of what I’ve learnt, but this comes usually during the discussions and not anything preplanned.

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    Spnadmin: Schooling does not necessarily promise "wisdom."


    Con: Schooling after all is aimed at worldly knowledge isn’t it? What could a formal study in philosophy and religion produces other than experts in the field? There was a time when, although I didn’t think to relate a logical mind to that of wisdom, I nevertheless thought that training in critical thinking and analytical ability would support any understanding that is already there. But a friend questioned me on this and I subsequently came to realize that I was wrong.

    Wisdom revolves around the present moment and no amount of worldly intelligence can make someone see this. Indeed a mind which is so good at analyzing in the abstract is also good at not being in the present moment! And usually so much attachment is involved, including to the ‘ability to analyze’ itself. So I don’t think that it should be expected that training in logical thinking would actually help in developing wisdom. Indeed what usually ends up happening is as the Zen story about pouring tea into an already full cup shows, namely one’s own ideas and belief in self, comes in the way of receptiveness to words of wisdom.

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    Spnadmin: In Sikhi as well there are strong undercurrents that are drawn to the literary value of a religious text, or the perception that it has historical merits. They would argue that the teachings of such texts should be taken seriously because of its literary value, or perceived historical merits.


    Con: In Buddhism the pursuit of literary knowledge with regard to the Dhamma has been likened to holding the snake by the wrong end. The risk is in that the snake might turn around and bite you.
     
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    #13 Archived_member14, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

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