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Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Dildar, May 15, 2012.
I am trying to understand how much atheism is compatible with sikhism.
Sikhism started with Guru Nanak exclaiming There is One God !
(He did not say there might be a God!)
Well Ek Onkar Satnam the opening lines of the Sikh prayer, can be translated in two ways:
1) There is but one god and truth is its name.
2) There is but one constant and truth is its name.
Take your pick
For me they mean the same thing.
Veer Ji I was referring to Ek Onkaar as I have not translated that yet ,may be I will get to Satnaam one day.I have a feeling it is to be transfused instead.
Guru Granth Sahib says that God and Creation exist, a definition beyond our imagination, someone believing or not believing in them doesn't affect God or creation either.
I will give you another example. You have an argument with someone. You are about to slap the other person, but something inside you asks you to stay put and let it pass. We don't care how you understand that, your conscience, soul, inner voice or God. But all Sikhi asks is to praise it for helping and hold on to it!
Veera that example does not prove him as much as it proves an instinct in us to avoid conflict ,but the fact that you have the capacity to love and so feel to hug another being does go some way to prove their is Intelligent Design,I suppose an Atheist would see love as a genetic survival mechanism.
No, or else ek onkar would be useless.
Here is a related thread
After 15 years as an atheist and just over a year as a Sikh, I would say that atheism has no resemblance whatsoever to the Sikhism that most of us were brought up in, however, I feel it has a huge resemblance to the Sikhism that started life in the mind of Guru Nanakji. In fact, if you give the word 'God' its true Abrahamic meaning, you will find that a lot of Sikhs believe in a Creator, a Creative force, an energy, a divine order, that has no relationship with the image of God that a lot of people have, a vengeful, jealous, angry, personality ridden deity.
As a Sikh, I believe that this force, this energy, WaheGuru, shows me the way to truth and truthful living, I have to confess I do not worship this force, nor am I in awe, or in fear, I feel only love for this force, and a desire to emulate, to copy the facets of this force, to be in tune, in line with it.
It means I have no access to all the fun things in religion, reincarnation, meditation, a desire to show others how holy I am through what I eat, magic, rituals, miracles, the changing of this divine order through prayer, the asking of the order for favours, doing deals, no..., all I have is the truth and love
Something I have always admired about atheists is that truly good atheists, and there are a lot about, do good for the joy of doing good, for the love, with no expectation of any reward or pat on the back. I have attempted to implement this reason for doing good now that I am Sikh, as I feel Sikhi stands for unconditional love more than any other facet, and for one reason only, to give, and to feel pleasure in giving, I find this easier to do by depersonalising God
hope that helps, my view only.....
Veer Ji you don't love the force but you love your wife,has not your impersonal force allowed for this personal love?
Awid miD AMiq pRBu soeI hwiQ iqsY kY nybyVw ]15] In the beginning, in the middle and in the end, God exists. Judgement is in His Hands alone. ||15|| aad maDh ant parabh so-ee haath tisai kai naybayrhaa. ||15||
So you don't decide how long you have been Sikh ,whether you worship or not he decides, but its not personal.lol
Veer Ji You say you feel only love for a somewhat non descript force and you expect me to believe it.Describe your love,do you wake saying it's name or does lust awaken you. Is not your love personal?
What you believe and my expectations of such unfortunately tend not to influence my own standings, I apologise if they should lol
You can see this force every day, it is in the eyes of new born babies, in the eyes of those that tell the truth, it is the aura surrounding a bird feeding its young, and it is also in the face of the lion feeding on a deer.It is in the majesty of a waterfall, in lovemaking when two become one, in stopping to help a stranded motorist, golden fields on a summers day, your dog licking your face, How can one not love this
Veer Ji You seem to be in love with Nature!
Brother Harry Haller ji, you remind me so much of the Catholic mystic Angelus Silesius that I'm beginning to think that you are the Sikh Angelus Silesius mundahug
Man, if not for the fact that I don't believe in reincarnation, I would suspect that his person has returned in you...He lived from 1624 - 1677...
Dig this gingerteakaur
"...No thought for the hereafter
have the wise,
for on this very earth
they live in paradise.
All heaven's glory is within
and so is hell's fierce burning.
You must yourself decide
in which direction
you are turning
Unless you find paradise
at your own center,
there is not
the smallest chance
that you may enter.
Saints do not die.
It is their lot
to die while on this earth
to all that God is not.
The vengeful God
of wrath and punishment
is a mere fairytale.
It simply is the Me
that makes me fail.
No ray of Light can shine
if severed from its source.
Without my inner Light
I lose my course.
Don't think that some tommorrow
you'll see God's Light.
You see it now
or err in darkest night.
No wonder you despise
the mob's insanity.
All that it demonstrates
He whose treasure house is God,
his earth is paradise.
Why then call those
who make this earth a hell
the worldly wise?
Where is my dewelling place? Where I can never stand.
Where is my final goal, toward which I should ascend?
It is beyond all place. What should my quest then be?
I must, transcending God, into the desert flee..."
- Angelus Silesius (1624 - 1677), Catholic mystic and poet
The Catholic mystics teach that we must eventually, "Go beyond God" or rather the idea of a God we can think of and reach that stage where we enter into "the naked Desert of the Godhead"....the very Ground of our Soul where God's Eye and our Eye are one sight, one love, one heart....
Many thanks for your most kind compliment, although I do not believe in reincarnation, I do believe that one or another, our essence can keep on trucking, we come from dirt, and we go back to dirt. Who is to say that Brother Angelus does not live on through the trees near his grave, the fruits of those trees that were eaten, maybe his DNA lives on in millions, if only they would open themselves to the possibility of the enormous wisdom that resides within us, harness that wisdom and know your true self, know your true self and everything could be revealed
My dear brother Harry Haller ji peacesignkaur
So very true and so very profoundly expressed!
What you said above brings back fond memories for me, of when I was a child, about ten or eleven, and first read His Dark Materials by the atheist children's author Philip Pullman.
There is an absolutely stunning bit near the end of that book, which I personally think ascends to such lofty heights that it is truly a classic of world literature, even though expressed through so simple a language so as for a child to understand and in fantasy terminology. In it the two protagonists, Lyra and Will aged 13 and 14, are forced to part ways and sacrifice their love for each other so that they can essentially save the multiverse from collapsing, since they come from different universes and their travelling between the two, in order to meet each other, had damaged and would ultimately destroy the very frabric of the Reality. As they embrace, before parting ways forever, they promise that when they die their Dust particles - which in the book is particles of actual human conciousness which form part of the never-ending, flowing stream of reality - and their body particles will search for one another, floating throughout all the worlds, and find each other hovering over some distant field in another world, where they will join together in eternity. Only in death, will their particles be able to be together and do together what their bodies and hearts were denied in life.
As a child this story had a great impact on me and it truly was a "spiritual eye-opener" and I will never forget the fact that it was an atheist/agnostic person who gave me this gift.
When I was older and started reading the Catholic mystics, I found in the writings of Blessed Henry Suso a kind of Christian, much older, mystical, adult counterpart to what Pullman had expressed in that novel and I want to share it with you, if that's alright, since I think (and hope) that it will mean something to you:
"...Before my inner eyes I placed myself along with all that I am, with my body, soul and all my powers; and around myself I placed all the creatures that God ever created in the heavens, on earth, and in the four elements, each with its own name, be it the bird of the air, the beast of the forest, the fish of the sea, the foliage and grass of the earth, the countless grains of sand of the sea, and, in addition, the tiny particles of dust reflected in the sunlight and all the drops of water, which as dew, snow or rain have ever fallen or will fall; and I wished that each of them was sending aloft a pleasant stringed melody torn from the essence of my heart and was thus playing a new exhilarating song of praise for the beloved gentle God from eternity to eternity. And then in joy the loving arms of his soul stretched out and reached towards the countless numbers of all these creatures. And his intention was to make them thereby happy, just as when a lusty, hearty lead singer urges his singing companions to sing cheerfully and to raise up their hearts to God...Come now, my dear Loved One, I shall uncover my heart and in this simple nakedness of all createdness I embrace your bare divinity. O you Love surpassing all love! The greatest love of an earthly lover for his beloved does not overcome the separation and difference of lover and beloved. But you, infinite Fullness of all love, flow into the heart of the beloved; you put yourself into the being of the soul, you who are simply All in All, so that not a single particle of the lover remains outside, but is lovingly united to the beloved...What is more, my Beloved One, I add this, the desire of a loving heart, that when my body will be reduced to the smallest particles of dust and covered with stone, some pleasing sound giving praise and glory may rise from every minutest particle, and piercing the hardest stone may rise to the heavens' heights, and may sound the proclamation of a loving praise, my body and my soul, united to one another, [and] may be joined to praise and glorify you eternally..."
- Blessed Henry Suso (1290-1365), Catholic mystic
Look Bani says Onkaar lives internally and externally, so in this sense it is impersonal and personal, so there is nothing wrong in having a personal understanding of Onkaar.
err what other way is there, how does an impersonal understanding work?