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Is it Possible for a Mona to Achieve Samadhi?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Calgacus, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Calgacus

    Calgacus
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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh,


    Is it possible for a Mona to get to the stage of samadhi and open dusam dwar through just the merits of seva and simeran


    Dear Khalsa Sadh Sangat,

    I have for many years been asking myself this question. Before I proceed it is important I outline my character before your blessed and glorious selves. I am not a 'Sikh' in the term this contemporary moneh proclaim themselves, drinking, smoking and fornicating and suggesting that being sikh only requires to be so through right of birth, how foolhardly!. However, I would proclaim my allegiance is with his Royal Highness, His excellency Emperor Guru Granth Sahib JI, Regal Sovereign of all realms, I will only bow my head before his greatness.

    I have tried to live as a sikh but the path is very hard, However, I feel through sewa and simeran perhaps I may get somewhere, Now Khalsa ji can you please answer me this can a mona gain the ability to perform samadhi and perhaps enjoy the niceness of dasam dwar..... I eagerly await your response Khalsa Ji
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Calgacus ji

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

    I hope my remarks are helpful. Your questions about samadhi, dasam dwar, simran and seva are about spirituality more than they are about religion. Simran and seva are part of Sikh spirituality, but one does not have to be a Sikh to perform either one.

    Religion and spirituality overlap. But, religion and spirituality are not exactly the same. Religions of the world all have examples of yogis, swamis, ammas, gurus, boddhisatvas, saints, mystics, or other spiritually conscious people, whose lives serve as models for spirituality. Religions have unique teachings that point to how to be spiritually conscious. But it is also possible to be highly evolved and very conscious spiritually, yet belong to no religion. One can even follow a spiritual path that is open to all religions. Whether connected to a religion or not, spiritual growth is usually accompanied by a teacher of some kind who can provide guidance and help a novice grow. I know Jewish people who study with Tibetan Buddhist monks. I know Hindus who are members of the Kabir panth. There are mystics within Islam who are guides to non Muslims.

    One word of caution, perhaps two. A teacher is important because a teacher can sort out what is truly a matter of spiritual growth and development, and what is self-delusion coming from the ego. But to find a teacher who is genuine, authentic and spiritually developed is not a simple matter of looking one up on the Internet. There are many con artists making money and doing worse in the name of religion. So, in choosing a teacher, be careful.
     
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  4. Ambarsaria

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    Calgacus ji I am just curious what are your expectations out of the following two that you have mentioned in your post,


    • stage of Samadhi
    • open dusam dwar

    When I put in “samadhi dasam dwar” in a Google search I end up mostly in the “Naam Simran” sites and “sants”, etc., websites other than this SPN thread.

    If you achieve these two what happens after or once found or reached you will be always able to retain or be able to re-create.

    I am just not sure on the following,


    • How far are you from your desired goals?
    • Are these the only goals of importance to you right now?
    • What are your plans beyond these goals?
    Sorry about the questions but I have learnt that sometimes the questions lead to possible answers even though these may seem unrelated.

    There is a thread on “Naam” and meditation in the following which may be of value,

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-youth/8672-naam-my-understanding.html

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    YES YES YES YES YES !!!!!!.

    :redturban: welcomemunda :redturban: welcomemunda :redturban: welcomemunda :redturban: welcomemunda :happysingh: welcomemunda
     
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  6. BhagatSingh

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    Here's a mona who definitely achieved samadhi, he could NOT have done what he did without meditation.
    This reminds me of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev ji (and the Sikhs after him) who went through tortures that were much worse. In a way, this video allows us get a glimpse of our own history. (Especially for those who say Guru Arjan cried or something during torture... he probably didn't)
    Not suitable for younger audiences
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-MBhe5Wac8&feature=player_embedded
     
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  7. Ambarsaria

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    Bhagat Singh ji so sad to see the video. We can all see how the person pouring the kerosene made sure he did not get caught in the heat ( as well as all the police) by making a long fuel line on the ground to set the monk on fire. One does not make comments about the body burnt as such.

    However Sikhism is quite clear about self-immolation or its glorification. That did not stop some of our leaders to ignore this either. The following from Wiki,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fateh_Singh_%28Sikh_leader%29

    An excerpt,

    " After a few unsatisfactory meetings with Nehru, on 16 August 1965, Fateh Singh threatened another fast-undo-death and self-immolation, if a Punjabi Suba was not created....."

    Just anecdotal, we could see Sri Harmandir Sahib area from our house. So we were on our roof looking for smoke coming from Akal Takhat Sahib where self-immolation places were built in all four corners on the roof of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib complex. Even as kids growing up we knew it as a sham. Suddenly orange juice used to appear just in time. Just like Master Tara Singh ji used to disappear in the name of Police arrest in cozy Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh while the poor people from villages boarded police buses with small "gathrian" (small packets wrapped in cloth) to see them through the arrests.

    In my mind self immolation by the monks (in the form of passivity and renunciation) is another image (almost mirror) of the training of young muslim kids to wear suicide belts. By the way not that I necessarily trust or want to claim first hand knowledge, one of our friends from Pakistan told me that the suicide kids are available for a monetary consideration in Pakistan from their handlers who brainwash them. This world looks like a stage with great stage handlers. If a religion teaches a monk to do and others to help him do self-immolation I do not see value for such a religion whether they teach you samadhi, dasam dwar, kundalini, etc.

    Mera Sat Gur (Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and the ten Gurus) is fine for me whether I can live or follow to be 100% by his guidance. Any small percentage I achieve is a gift in my life.

    YouTube - bulleh shah kalam punjab punjabi muslim sikh hindu one god

    I do not like all symbology but it is pretty reasonably assembled with reasonable decency and equity.

    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: More immolations reported at Yahoo with Tunisian crisis and I doubt these are meditation/samadhi derived,

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110117/ts_nm/us_tunisia_protests_immolations
     
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    #6 Ambarsaria, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  8. spnadmin

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    Ambarsaria ji

    Great video and the voice was haunting. I was able with some searching on the YouTube site to find out it is Juman Khan from Pakistan. His songs, including of Bulleh Shah can be found at APNA a punjabi heritage site, at http://www.apnaorg.com/music/juman/

    Somewhat disappointing: on reading the comments at the video site the message is completely lost on some. Thanks.
     
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  9. BhagatSingh

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    Ambarsaria Ji, my point was not about self-immolation (or samadhi-derived self-immolation??). If you missed it, I was pointing out how samadhi can reduce one's suffering to a great extent, that one can bear immolation or hot stoves or boiling water with unflinching courage. Making reference to the fact that many people do not believe that Sikh Gurus could go through torture without suffering, or they believe that they would have to be Gods in order to do it.

    Oh and not to mention the fact that a mona was able to attain samadhi. :interestedmunda:

    But since you brought up self-immolation, I will take this opportunity to learn about why you reject self-immolation as a way of peaceful protest.
    BTW I read this bit already, my thoughts below.
    Comparing a conscious decision to brainwashing, a peaceful vs an utterly destructive method. Seriously? I think you can do better. Do give it a try.

    Cheers


    PS:
    Wiki
     
    #8 BhagatSingh, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2011
  10. Ambarsaria

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    Bhagat Singh ji I am very unsure how to read some of your comments. Still I will submit my comments and I have taken your comments as appropriate to address in this post.

    "I was pointing out how samadhi can reduce one's suffering to a great extent"

    His suffering was so reduced that he has to submit himself to burning! AmI missing something.

    "why you reject self-immolation as a way of peaceful protest."

    Where is the peaceful part. Somebody putting kerosene on somebody and lighting a match.

    "conscious decision to brainwashing, a peaceful vs an utterly destructive method"

    So I am to believe that put somebody alive on fire is not destruction. I wish he had exploded and took some of the others around him with him and that would have put a stop to it in terms of people exploiting people,

    _ Somebody knew about it including his handlers (some type of so called spiritual teacher)
    - Somebody picked the spot, bought the kerosene and lighter
    - Somebody in police hierarchy authorized police to not charge the arsonist who poured kerosen and then lit the fire
    - Police almost appear to be an accessory when they keep people back as may be someone could have saved the person from murder

    I am to believe it is Samadhi/meditation or something when the guy does not show much emotions or reaction. A mentally sedated person will react the same way if you prop them to sit.

    Sorry I don't see anything good in burning people or seeing people being burned alive no matter what the circumstances.

    Sant - Sipahi's created by Guru Gobind Singh ji are spiritual and also fighters who have the courage to stand up and address injustice to them and others.

    Soorah so pehchaniye jo lareh deen kay hayt, purza purza kat marey kabhi na shaday khet!

    YouTube - Soora So Pehchaniye - Bhai Joginder Singh Riar



    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  11. BhagatSingh

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    Ambarsaria ji,
    It's quite simple actually. The Vietnamese government was oppressing the Buddhists that lived there. After some serious conflicts and protests, this dude Thich decided to protest strongly and raise awareness by self-immolation. This is a peaceful way. Just consider its alternative.
    The alternative to this would be to take up the sword, and kill people, which is far more destructive than this. Are you telling me that there is more good to be found when 1000s and 1000s or people die for social cause vs just 1 or two people? I don't think so. This is a peaceful method, and no harm in it, if one decides to do this, is aware of the consequences, and has done everything else one could do then there is nothing wrong with it.

    Guru Gobind Singh ji took up the sword after all peaceful methods failed. Methods with the same meaning as this self-immolation. Guru Arjan Dev ji, Guru tegh Bahadur ji, Mati Das ji, Dati Das ji, Dayala ji, so on and so forth. These were peaceful methods to oppose the oppressive government at the time. This same meaning that we find with our Guru Sahib's (voluntary) martyrdom are found within Thich Nhat Han's (voluntary) self-immolation. The meaning is that "we have tried and tried, yet you guys continue to oppress, it is enough...". Such acts are meant to motivate the masses to take action, and they work!

    Veerji, let me remind you that actions alone are not good or bad. What is good or bad is the reasoning and meaning behind that action.
    Let me give you a few examples to illustrate this point.
    Why do we do this ritual of tying a turban everyday before we begin to do other things?
    The meaning is quite clear, we wear the garb of Khalsa to announce to the world and ourselves that we will uphold Dharm, that we will uphold righteous and truthfulness. (this is what is means to me, I can't speak for anyone else.) Would this action be condemnable? Nope! there is genuine meaning to be found behind it. BUT what if the meaning of wearing a turban everyday was to keep bad spirits away? now that isn't very good reasoning, just a lame meaning to this ritual.

    Another Sikh reference, look at Guru Gobind Singh ji's call to arms. He is essentially calling for people to violence. But what does this violence mean? It is self-defense, to protect one's lifestyle, to protect one's belief system and to protect those who cannot defend themselves. NOW violence actually becomes a necessity (if we study the time period), now violence is not seen as a bad thing. There was good reasoning and it had positive meanings attached to it just like the turban. It was for a greater cause, just like the martyrdom and just like this protest.

    Now, when do we condemn something. We condemn something because the meaning behind it is just bad, and damaging.
    Guru Nanak 1- 10 condemned sati. The reasons for Sati are horrible. The meaning is some sort of a twisted form of husband-worship (at least that's how it was seen during their time). This is why it was (and still is) condemned.

    Admin deletion: No one was critcizing, but rather questioning the logical connections between some assertions and their associated inferences/conclusions.

    In case, of the Buddhist, he had good reasons to have himself self-immolated. He was working towards a greater cause of which he was only a small fraction. He knew that if he could do this successfully that the suffering of many would be reduced, and it would not lead to bloodshed (as you know Buddhists have picked up weapons when they needed). There should be no doubt about the peaceful nature of this action when we compare it to its alternatives.

    -------------------------------
    Ambarsari ji,

    Samadhi is a state of high concentration and alertness. its a state when essentially one has merged with the ONE. Where all dualistic notions of the world, and all notions of the self (meism, haumai) are extinguished. One can assume this monk has attained samadhi because monks are constantly practicing and traning their minds towards this goal.
    During his self-immolation protest, since he had attained samadhi, Thich, was able to take the enormous amounts of pain from the fire, that a normal person could not even imagine. Similar to how Guru Arjan Dev ji was able to endure the intense heat of the plate and the sand being poured on his head. he felt great pain but he was able to reduce his suffering by entering into a state of high concentration and alertness, samadhi. The video shows the power of intense training in meditation, and one can find similar examples, in our history, as well.

    Sat sri akal
     
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  12. Ambarsaria

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    Bhagat Singh ji I am going to let others contribute.

    I believe we are passing each other by in our dialog and I don't want to monopolize the media here.

    I generally like your posts but at times I am distressed to see some comments but let us leave it to be my ignorance to understand.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    Something to consider when we try to place samadhi in the context of Sikhi. Bhagat Trilochan asking whether the traditional path to samadhi makes any sense. Very tough language too, as is the style of Bhagat Trilochan ji, who never beats around the bush. Many of the symbols of the ascetic or monastic path mentioned in each of the verses. These throughout Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji identify the order of monks linked to each sort of symbol. So it is possible to know which bhagatji was referring to.

    ਗੂਜਰੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਲੋਚਨ ਜੀਉ ਕੇ ਪਦੇ ਘਰੁ ੧ (Ang 525)
    Gūjrī sarī Ŧrilocẖan jī▫o ke paḏe gẖar 1
    Gujri Reverend. Sire Tirlochan.

    ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
    Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
    There is but One God. By the Guru's favour, He is obtained.

    ਅੰਤਰੁ ਮਲਿ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਨਾ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਉਦਾਸੀ ॥
    Anṯar mal nirmal nahī kīnā bāhar bẖekẖ uḏāsī.
    Thou hast not cleansed thy heart from filth, though apparently thou wearest the dress of a hermit.

    ਹਿਰਦੈ ਕਮਲੁ ਘਟਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਕਾਹੇ ਭਇਆ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ॥੧॥
    Hirḏai kamal gẖat barahm na cẖīnĥā kāhe bẖa▫i▫ā sani▫āsī. ||1||
    In thy body's heart - lotus, thou hast not recognised the Lord, so what for hast thou become a solitarian?

    ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲੀ ਰੇ ਜੈ ਚੰਦਾ ॥
    Bẖarme bẖūlī re jai cẖanḏā.
    The world hast gone astray in doubt, O Jaichand,

    ਨਹੀ ਨਹੀ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    Nahī nahī cẖīnĥi▫ā parmānanḏā. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    and hast not realised Lord, the Embodiment of supreme bliss. Pause.

    ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਖਾਇਆ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਬਧਾਇਆ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਮੁੰਦਾ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
    Gẖar gẖar kẖā▫i▫ā pind baḏẖā▫i▫ā kẖinthā munḏa mā▫i▫ā.
    Thou wanderest, eating in every house, hast fattened thy body and wearest a patched coat and ear - rings for the sake of wealth.

    ਭੂਮਿ ਮਸਾਣ ਕੀ ਭਸਮ ਲਗਾਈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
    Bẖūm masāṇ kī bẖasam lagā▫ī gur bin ṯaṯ na pā▫i▫ā. ||2||
    To thy body, thou hast applied the ashes of crematorium, but being without a Guru, thou hast not found the reality.

    ਕਾਇ ਜਪਹੁ ਰੇ ਕਾਇ ਤਪਹੁ ਰੇ ਕਾਇ ਬਿਲੋਵਹੁ ਪਾਣੀ ॥
    Kā▫e japahu re kā▫e ṯaphu re kā▫e bilovahu pāṇī.
    O why mutter spells, O why practise austerities and why churn water?

    ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਉਪਾਈ ਸੋ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਣੀ ॥੩॥
    Lakẖ cẖa▫orāsīh jiniĥ upā▫ī so simrahu nirbāṇī. ||3||
    Meditate thou on the Immaculate Lord, who has created the eighty four lakhs of existences.

    ਕਾਇ ਕਮੰਡਲੁ ਕਾਪੜੀਆ ਰੇ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਕਾਇ ਫਿਰਾਹੀ ॥
    Kā▫e kamandal kāpṛī▫ā re aṯẖsaṯẖ kā▫e firā▫ī.
    O Ochre - coloured Yogi, why carriest thou a water-pot and why wanderest thou to thy sixty eight holy places?

    ਬਦਤਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਸੁਨੁ ਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਕਣ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਾਹੁ ਕਿ ਪਾਹੀ ॥੪॥੧॥
    Baḏaṯ Ŧrilocẖan sun re parāṇī kaṇ bin gāhu kė pāhī. ||4||1||
    Says Trilochan, hear, O mortal, having no corn what is it that thou thrashest?


    4th Nanak suggesting that we find natural Samadhi in family life. It is better to be a householder. :)

    ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੪ ॥ (Ang 1246)
    Salok mėhlā 4.
    Slok 4th Guru.

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਨਿ ਸੇ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ॥
    Saṯgur sevan se vadbẖāgī.
    Very fortunate are they, who serve the True Guru,

    ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਏਕ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ॥
    Sacẖai sabaḏ jinĥā ek liv lāgī.
    and who are attuned to the One True Lord.

    ਗਿਰਹ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਮਹਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਧੀ ॥
    Girah kutamb mėh sahj samāḏẖī.
    In their own home and family, they remain absorbed in the Lord's trance.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਸਚੇ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੧॥
    Nānak nām raṯe se sacẖe bairāgī. ||1||
    Nanak, they, who are imbued with the Lord's Name, are truly detached.
     
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  14. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    The MOST IMPORTANT point we must always keep in MIND is that GURU NANAK JI SAHIB..delivered a COMPLETELY NEW and DIFFERENT DIVINE MESSAGE...a HUGE PARADIGM SHIFT AWAY form all previous and established paths, divine messages and religions etc.
    Bhai Gurdass Ji refers to this NEW PATH as the NIRMAL PANTH.

    ALL the succeeding GURU SAHIBS..( even those who like Bhai lehnna Ji and Bhai Amardass Ji had spent virtually entire LIFE TIMES in those previous Paths...Bhai lehnna Ji had gone on Yearly DEVI Yatras to Mata vaishno Devi and this presumably followed all the Hindu Rituals of samadhi fasting, mandir aartees etc etc etc FAITHFULLY for over 40 YEARS of his life ..and Bhai Amardass ji was into his SIXTIES when he came into contact with GURBANI via his in Law relationship with Bhai Lehnna Ji -Guru Angad Ji )....THEN FURTHER PROPOUNDED ONLY THE TEACHINGS of GURU NANAK JI SAHIB.

    NOT a SINGLE TUK in SGGS goes AGAINST the Divine Message/Path to Him set out by GURU NANAK the FOUNDER....Sabh te WADDA Satgur Nanak) also shown in the usage of the One and ONLY pen name NANAK for GURBANI penned by the successor GURUS. This is NOT a "GIMMICK" or "false humility" being shown..its a TRUE REFLECTION of the CORE CONCEPTS and Beleifs of Guru nanak Ji being truly followed by His successors even 200 + years later as in the Gurbani of Guru Teg bahadur Ji and the ACTIONS of Guru Gobind Singh ji..and the Sikhs after 1708. Guru Arjun Ji sahib took INFINITE CARE in choosing the GURBANI of the Various Bhagats, Bhatts, Muslim Saints for inclusion in the AAD POTHI SAHIB so that these writers strung across a wide spectrum of Indian space and TIME..also GO BEAUTIFULLY HAND IN GLOVE with the GURBANI of the SIKH GURUS led by GURU NANAK JI SAHIB.

    1. Where there was a need Guru Ji felt needed to be fulfilled..as in a SCRIPT...Guru Nnak ji popularised the GURMUKHI SCRIPT ( and thus discarded the "religious scripts" already in vogue in the Vedas/Purans/Koran etc ) Apparently Guur Ji felt that this usage of a different SCRIPT was vital and hence the GURBANI and SGGS is in that script.
    2. As to the "words" already in use and commonly understood among the Guur Jis "target audience"...Guru Ji used the same words and the same languages, idionms, muhavras, mythological tales, examples, festivals (kumbh Mela Hardwaar), religious institutions Hardwaar, Ujain, Mecca etc, BUT GAVE ALL THESE HIS UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT MEANINGS.

    So there are "Krishans" and KRISHAN in Gurbani.."rams" and RAM...."gopals" and GOPAL.."meccas" and MECCA.."hardwaars" and HARDWAAR !! and they are NOT THE SAME. Simaraly there are "samadhis" and SAMADHI..."hukms" and HUKM..."fasts" and FAST...."teeraths" and TEERATH..."naam" and NAAM....and someone who assumes that these are SAME..is makinga HUGE MISTAKE.
     
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  15. Archived_member14

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    I had decided to stay away from posting here, but this one has necessitated a response.

    =====
    In general, we are lost in the world of ideas with little or no grounding in reality.
    Someone had in mind the concepts of mona, of Sikh, of Samadhi etc, proliferated further on these ideas and decided to initiate a thread here. This stirred up a similar process in others (including me, no doubt) some of who expressed their thoughts in response, which then caused further proliferation in all those who read them. This of course is natural. However it is what I’d like to point out, and by making reference to some of the concepts discussed here, try to show the importance of coming to understand the distinction between reality and concepts.

    The problem of course, is not in that we live and function using concepts, but we do need to understand this for what it is. If not then as happens all the time, we are so taken in by ideas that when it comes to the use of concepts in order to be free from delusion, we end up in fact, even more lost in it.

    Why should anyone go about thinking himself a mona or sardar, Sikh or non-sikh in association with such matter as morality and mental development? Let alone coming to any kind of conclusion about oneself, such as being this or that kind of person, there is no need even to think in terms of young, old, man or woman. Attachment to an identity is an obstacle to understanding the truth of who we really are, basically a series of experiences and conditioned responses.

    And look how far we go in our ignorant response towards labels. What necessitated this idea about Samadhi? If particular good deeds are conceived of as leading to Samadhi, why should the concept mona come into the picture? And if good deeds are indeed good and difficult to come by as it is, why the attention goes on to the idea of achieving Samadhi?

    Chances are, that good is not even known for what it is, and the concept of Samadhi has at some point become an ideal, leading then to ‘ambition’ directing the thoughts. Clearly we do not know even in principle, which kind of Samadhi we are talking about. Were we really to know what good states really are and how some of them could possibly lead to ‘right’ Samadhi, we’d know not to speak about the concept in the abstract? This is reflected in the fact of the illustration given about the monk involved in self-immolation.

    It is clear that the monk did what he did driven by very strong aversion. It is also clear that he was involved in worldly affairs, something a monk should not be, to such an extent that his sense of right and wrong became very perverted. How could such a monk have attained Samadhi which in fact must be the end result of good? If anything, he was driven by strong sense of self-righteousness and this is what motivated him. And concentration, anyone can train himself to concentrate hard on an object whereby experiences through the sense doors do not interfere. It is what we do all the time for example when absorbed in some activity that interests us.

    There is also an inclination to judge good and bad in terms of conventional (social) values instead of mental qualities with distinct characteristic, function and proximate cause. Would this not then lead to justification for acts which in fact are driven by ignorance, craving and aversion? Much perversion with regard to moral values grow out of this.

    At no time is there any justification for anger, let alone acts of violence. If we start to think that killing oneself or someone else in the name of justice is OK, we move away from the possibility of developing kindness and encourage instead, more attachment. And with this, good of other kinds such as truthfulness, moral shame, sympathy and equanimity also become hindered. What can be said then about ‘faith’ in the good? Does this then get replaced by faith in a person or an ideal, which in fact can only be attachment? Besides, when aversion is not seen for what it is, would it not likely that pity which is a form of aversion then be mistaken for compassion?

    And is this not what happens whenever there is the perception of oppressor vs. the oppressed? If indeed it were compassion towards the downtrodden, this would have been conditioned by kindness. And if kindness were known, would one perceive the other as oppressor? If one is to have compassion, should it not be more towards the one doing wrong now, since he must reap the fruits of his deeds in the future, whereas on the other hand, the victim is in effect receiving the result of his own wrong deeds in the past. Don’t we react too late so to speak?

    But even when we have the oppressed in mind, the fact is that we are reacting to our own unpleasant feelings most of the time. Compassion can never give rise to such kind of feeling. Lacking in understanding of the way things are, we conceive wrongly of situations in which misplaced values are attached. The effect is discomfort towards the particular situation, and so in the end it is never about the other person, but only *me and my feelings*.

    It is mostly due to a myopic vision, one involved in the affairs of this world, which causes our sense of value to become distorted. And with the kind of perceptions and when good is not seen for what it is, how can wisdom ever grow? I consider this a really dangerous position to be in?!
     
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  16. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Confused ji you write very well. Thank you.

    I particularly like how so succinctly you put the following,
    "It is clear that the monk did what he did driven by very strong aversion. It is also clear that he was involved in worldly affairs, something a monk should not be, to such an extent that his sense of right and wrong became very perverted. How could such a monk have attained Samadhi which in fact must be the end result of good? If anything, he was driven by strong sense of self-righteousness and this is what motivated him. And concentration, anyone can train himself to concentrate hard on an object whereby experiences through the sense doors do not interfere. It is what we do all the time for example when absorbed in some activity that interests us."

    For me to even associate that self-immolation staged, watched and assisted by a crowd to anything good is abhorrent. His sense of perversion was supported by his so called colleagues, teacher and others. What an absolutely disgusting (to me) spectacle showing the power of perversion and subversion with arbitrary titles like "Samadhi", etc.

    I also felt the title of the thread terrible in its concept and creation by linking mona, etc., and samadhi as though it is a realm of limited application and only available to some and not others as you also alluded to in your post.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  17. BhagatSingh

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    Confused ji,

    I want to make several points with regards to your in depth response. I agree with the first half of your talk about ego and how it is attached to identities. The idea that "I am a Sikh" or "I am a Buddhist" is one's ego talking. Guru Nanak said something similar when he became enlightenment. The first thing he said when he came out of the river (in which he meditated for several days) is "Na koi Hindu, na koi Musulman". These identities are false. They will not go with you to the hereafter.

    Now onto the rest of your post.
    Do you agree that the above quote is what Samadhi really is?
    If so, how can you say that anyone can enter samadhi "when they are absorbed in some activity"?
    Samadhi is not for everyone. Sometimes there are genetic and environmental factors that limit or inhibit a person from entering samadhi. In Sikh terms, we can refer to God's grace. Where we must work towards God and God responds to our hardwork. If and when he sheds his glance of grace on the individual, they are liberated, essentially, they have entered into samadhi. But not all individuals obtain His grace.

    You say:
    Aversion to what? Please clarify.


    You say that what he did was a wordly effort. Indeed it was. But if enlightened people don't make worldly efforts for betterment, who will?
    There is a concept of Miri Piri in Sikhism. In essence, it means that a Sikh must balance her wordly and spiritual affairs. This balance is necessary so that we can work for the common good (through various activities like community kitchen or even taking up arms to defend oneself; worldly) and work towards finding God within (through meditations involving singing, reciting, repeating, and listening; spirituality).

    Renouncing the world is discouraged in Sikhism for this reason. However, one must live detached while living amongst and participating in wordly affairs.


    Confused ji, it is not possible to justify anger, as it is an emotion that will always arise as a response to the environment. However, one can feel anger and not react to it, as great saints do. This of course, requires intense meditation through which intuitive understanding is obtained.

    About violence, hmm... what if someone came at you with a knife and stabbed you. And you figured she was going to do it again then again ...and again... as she draws her knife back, ready to plunge in your gut.
    What would you do at this point?
    a) let her stab and kill you
    b) defend yourself

    I await your response.
     
  18. Archived_member14

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    Bhagat ji,


    Quote:Samadhi (Sanskrit: समाधि) in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali.
    It has been described as a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object,[1] and in which the mind becomes still, one-pointed or concentrated[2] though the person remains conscious. In Buddhism, it can also refer to an abiding in which mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.[3]
    In Hinduism, samādhi can also refer to videha mukti or the complete absorption of the individual consciousness in the self at the time of death - usually referred to as mahasamādhi.


    C: I have a problem with it for several reasons.

    1. An attempt to explain Samadhi by making reference to different ‘schools’ gives the impression almost, that different causes can lead to the same result.
    2. Although one could talk about creating dualities and unnecessary distinctions, the idea of “non-dualistic state” is wrong; being that consciousness arises to experience an object, one performing the function which the other does not.
    3. To suggest that “the person remains conscious” while in Samadhi, creates a mental picture in which two consciousness can arise at the same time, or else creating a duality in which a ‘person’ stands apart from the consciousness?
    4. What is said about the Buddhist view on Samadhi is not correct. There Samadhi is used in reference to two different kinds of development. One is the development of calm leading to what is called Jhana. The other is a reference to the mental factor ‘concentration’, which arises with all consciousness, but here one which accompanies moments of Right Understanding.

    It is therefore very misleading to suggest:

    “the mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience”.

    The mind becoming concentrated and calm is result of one kind of development and this *does not* lead to the ability to discern ‘the changing flow of experiences’. Being that the ability to understand moment to moment experiences is result of a very different path of development. While in the other, the goal itself is to *remain concentrated*. Besides, again here, it creates a misleading mental picture where consciousness with one object can somehow influence a subsequent consciousness with a totally different object. When the fact is that the conditions for the arising of one falls away completely and the next one arises by totally new set of conditions.

    =========
    C: That was to point out the nature of samadhi experienced by the monk in the illustration. I was saying that one could train oneself to have what I’d call “wrong samadhi” which would be fueled by attachment rather than any understanding. The example of being ‘absorbed in some activity’ was to highlight attachment as being the conditioning factor and common to both.

    =========
    C: Yes, Samadhi is not for everyone. But why is this? Is it not due to lack of understanding about some aspect of one’s experience? If so, why then refer to such things as genetics as being possibly an influencing factor? It sounds like the ‘mona’ idea to me. ;-)

    As you well know, there have been scientific experiments involving doing brain scans of the subjects in an attempt to compare people who mediate with those who do not. The observation made is that those who do meditate, their brain exhibit patterns which are similar to one another and those who don’t have totally different patterns. And in the end the conclusion is that meditation is good for you.
    But what do they know!!?

    The scientists were completely ignorant, came from a materialistic outlook and had nothing better to do, while the meditators; they were just sheep and quite stupid ones at that.

    No one who can enter Samadhi would involve himself in such kind of experiments. Why? Because he’d know that it is actually about the development of understanding and that experiment like these very easily mislead. Indeed one of the conditions for entering deep concentration (of the right kind), is being removed from ‘crowds’. How this is actually determined is by the knowledge and understanding expressed. In other words, those who do know what Samadhi really is and seek to find out whether someone else has the ability to experience such a state, would do so by *talking to that person*. It would be his understanding particularly, that of the difference between a wholesome and unwholesome state of mind, which will provide a clue as to whether what he is involved in is worthy of respect. And even if we were to have confidence that such a person is indeed wise, we’d still have to find out if we ourselves are any close to being qualified to do Samadhi.

    =========
    .

    C: To the situation towards which he protested.
    Did you think that I was referring to the state of mind when he was seated and set fire upon? No, that must have been strong attachment and wrong view at play.

    =========
    C: Worldly in the sense of having no understanding of the way things are and instead being influenced by Maya. Instead of acting based on right knowledge about what is wholesome and what is not and about what is right cause and what is wrong, his is a case of being mired in ignorance and drawn in by situations judged as good and bad. While the wise would know that this is due to one’s own projections, this monk was busy pointing his finger at others.

    Being enlightened does not stop one from doing what must be done; on the contrary, one’s actions are pure and considered in fact to have only now become productive. But productive towards what end? Certainly not one which must conform to any misguided sense of values that we are likely to entertain, must it? ;-)

    =========
    C: I’d suggest:

    Develop understanding, this is the only solution. The distinction between worldly vs. spiritual is something I’d not make. I think it can lead to problems, starting with this very idea to “balance”. If indeed this is a wrong distinction to make then it must be the result of wrong perception of things, and would this not then lead to misdirected efforts? Would not much of it involve ‘self’ who goes about trying to balance situations? And would this not give rise inevitably, to attachment?

    On the other hand, if there is understanding in which no situation is seen as better or worse than any other, would not one then act rightly given that it is now not burdened by the kind of value judgements? In other words, there is no time or place in which understanding is not to be developed. This kind of understanding does not lead to an attempt to move away from responsibilities, but on the contrary, face them unhindered by attachment towards any particular outcome.

    ========
    C: Renouncing in the final analysis means renouncing one’s attachments. Not having this understanding, if someone seeks to give up living the household life, this would actually reflect attachment to an idea / situation on his part. But on the other hand, if someone fails to see attachment for what it is, any decision on his part to live amongst people, this would likewise be an excuse for giving in to attachments. And yes, he would definitely be involved in attempting to control / manipulate situations all the time.

    So again, develop understanding, is what I’dsuggest.

    ==========
    .
    C: Anger, like all unwholesome states, is dealt with only by coming to gradually understand it better and better, which happens only when it arises and appears to wisdom. It is eradicated however, not before craving for sense objects is completely eradicated. In the meantime anger can be known for what it is and like an enemy having now been identified, would have less opportunity of overwhelming us.

    With this in mind one might then ask, would so-called meditation, in which the consciousness experiences an object other than anger, how could this ever lead to the diminishing of anger in general? And if when coming out of the meditation, attachment to sense objects arises as it used to before, why should it be seen as capable of controlling anger?

    =======
    C: It is useless to think along such lines, the fact being that no one knows what will happen when the time comes. But of course, you misunderstood my point and I therefore need to clarify.

    Forget about defending. Would I actually kill? Given the love for oneself and so much aversion accumulated in my case, I think I would. But not only in such a situation, if for example my children were threatened, I’d not hesitate to kill any number of people whom I consider a threat. And talk about threat, how much of a threat is the situation of termites infesting a part of one’s house and destroying a few things? Not that much isn’t it? Yet, although with some hesitation and bearing with the situation for some time, that is what I do. Only in this case, it is by hiring pest controllers who end up doing the dirty job for me. And now the time for the rats is coming, they have been troubling us for a few years now…. :-/

    Bhagat ji, I was not expecting anyone here to be without evil tendencies. What I was trying to encourage however, was to understand them for what they are. And I was trying to discourage strongly, any tendency to judge some expressions of evil in certain situations as being justified. I consider this a very dangerous position.

    While I may kill in self-defense because of so much attachment and accumulated aversion, so long as I know these to be harmful and are what lead to the wrong deed, the chance of getting on the right track which is the development of right understanding still exists. However if I believed that this is OK in some situations and not in others, it must be due to *not* taking into consideration that fact of attachment and aversion being cause which must necessarily bring corresponding results. Instead I have taken right and wrong as being determined by situations, ones in which a lot of wrong understanding is invested. This is a situation of facing in exact opposite direction to the light.

    What do you think is behind the thinking of the Islamic suicide bomber for example? Having failed to see harm in aversion and attachment, and being involved in thoughts about this and that, he has spun a good story which is then used as excuse to kill other people. If we continue to supply justification for some evil act, are we not then moving in the direction of the Islamic extremist?
     
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    #17 Archived_member14, Jan 20, 2011
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  19. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    I have many questions for you Confused ji. What I am going to do is go through the bits of your post one by one, and express concerns or questions to which you can answer. Hopefully, this will be fruitful for other members as well.

    I would encourage everyone else, to comment where the Sikh perspective or any another perspective differs from Confused ji's response.

    Ok tell us about your practice. What do you do?

    Would you agree that practices that differ from yours can get anyone to the same result (result that you are aiming to reach)?
    Yes I think the idea is that when that consciousness experiences being one with what it's experiencing. Notice how we are talking about it in a dualistic manner, we always do and we can't help it, we can only experience that oneness, in which the distinction between subject and object are dissolved.


    I don't get this point at all.

    We can say a person is unconscious when they are asleep (they aren't paying attention to anything), during samadhi they are conscious (fully alert). Please respond in light of this.


    Just to clarify, Is Jhana "I worked all day, now i am relaxing. I am calm" OR a state where the individual is experiencing a reduced though level OR both?


    And right understanding is knowing intuitively that everything is impermanent and attachment is to these impermanent objects leads to suffering?

    Would you say that this understanding can come about by concentrating one's mind and paying attention to our experience of various things we have attachment with? by paying attention to various thoughts that unfold within the mind?
     
  20. Archived_member14

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    Bhagat ji,

    I’ll respond to just one part and leave the rest for later.


    Confused: :) Just live life naturally.

    If this sounds straightforward, either you have understood it, which means that there is no need to ask the other questions you’ve asked, or it means that you completely misunderstand it. If you don’t understand it, the following explanations may help. (It took me a few years after I first heard the particular understanding, to arrive at the above conclusion with some confidence and not by way of logical reasoning.)


    A suggestion made early on in my study which was a bit surprising but immediately made sense was that, the Buddha’s teachings are ‘descriptive’ rather than ‘prescriptive’ in nature.

    The knee-jerk reaction to the idea concerning ‘end result’ is, How to go about it? What to do? This is fine when it comes to conventional living, for example, the thought to build a house would require efforts directed in many directions without which the end result won’t materialize. However, when it comes to the matter of development of understanding, such thoughts about ‘methods’ and ‘how to’ shows lack of understanding.

    What we take as being ‘life’ or ‘our life’ is in reality, a series of mental and physical phenomena arisen by conditions, performing particular functions and falling away immediately. The fact that we conceive of a house and think to build one, is due to functions performed by such mental and physical phenomena. These phenomena are all there is, and if we ‘think’ to control them, right understanding would have it that the very ‘thought’ was conditioned and the realities involved fell away already by the time. And so the notion itself would be then seen as mistaken.

    Indeed to get things done in the conventional world in which ‘how to’ is a valid question, requires the mental and physical phenomena to be as they are, namely conditioned, fleeting and beyond control. Without realities rising and falling away, we’d not be able to think nor to utter a sentence, let alone get things done. Imagine if they were not this way!

    How could words form if sound didn’t rise and fall away one after another and with mental realities interspersed? And not only this, how could I know who I’m speaking to if there was not also the reality of seeing experiencing visible object and associated with this, the thoughts creating the concept of that other person? Indeed, even though in reality there is only one consciousness arisen at one time, that we get the impression of so many things happening together, is due to the rapidity of these mental and physical realities. (Trillions of mind moments in the span of a lightning flash).

    The problem is that of all the mental realities ignorance is the one which overarch our life and which leads to attachment taking the driver’s seat. Attitudes which work in the conventional world are carried over to the Dharma And this is the cause for the interpretations of the Buddha’s teachings being what it is today, namely 99.99% of them are wrong. Of course, it is not easy and is why only a Buddha could come to know about conditioned phenomena and the reality of Anatta or no-self. So now I try to explain a little about this:

    Seeing arises not because anyone wills it, likewise hearing, touch and so on. Some people argue that they can choose to open and close their eyes and this proves that they can control whether or not to see. But this is exactly an example of ignorance at play driven by an attitude developed in conventional dealings, applied and insisted upon when now thinking about the Dharma.

    That we can choose to open or close our eyes is in reality an illusion. What really takes place amongst other things, is that the very thought about eyes was conditioned by other perceptions preceding that moment. The thinking about ‘eye’ and subsequently to ‘open’ or ‘close’, including any intermittent identification with the experience as in, “my eyes” or “I shall open or close”, none of this occurred by choice. There is of course ‘willing’, however this will is not free but rather, conditioned, and to think otherwise is due to the influence of self-view. The problem comes from the perception of lastingness in both oneself as well as the object and with this, the idea of control.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to show is that, at no moment is there not a reality, ones which have arisen, performed functions and fallen away already by the time they are known. What we usually end up taking for real, are what I call, shadow of reality, namely, the thoughts which follows upon such experiences. And it is here that the illusion of control dominates. In the case of deciding to close one’s eyes, does it happen as promptly each time? If not, would this not have been due to different perceptions arising in between? And could it not even be that, one will *not* in fact close one’s eyes because of hesitation or that some other thought arose which drew the attention away?

    I often like to give the example of touching.
    Reach out your hand and touch the computer screen (note that if you do it, it couldn’t have been without reading my suggestion, and if you decide not to, that too is a conditioned reaction). What was experienced? Was it heat or hardness or was it pressure? Could you have determined which one of these would be the object of experience? You may note also that the idea of ‘touching the screen’ etc., arises *immediately*, indeed you may have been dominated all through, by the process of thinking, involving perceptions of self, situation and objects out there. But if you analyzed you’d see that in reality however, there must have had to be the experience of seeing and touch as well, although there was no awareness of them at all.

    In the case of a decision to close one’s yes, what if the light in front was so strong that it passed through the eyelids? Besides, the other experience which arose through the other sense doors during that time, was any of that willed? And when finally deciding to open the eyes, must it be that seeing was the first of the sense door experiences to appear? Could it not be hearing that arose even when the eyes opened? Like now, with the eyes open virtually all the time, are there not also the other experiences, which would mean that during those moments, there is no seeing? And this is another matter to consider.

    Seeing is the one reality which experiences visible object / light. This means that the rest of the time we live in total darkness, like the blind. The actual seeing happens in fact, only a very small percentage of the time, yet the impression is that we see all the time. This is purely due to the power of “thought”, namely that we think so much in pictures. This of course is natural, but we do need to know that it takes place and not come to believe wrongly, in the continuity of seeing.

    Coming back to your question, “Ok tell us about your practice. What do you do?”

    Do you now see the problem with it? On the other hand, the suggestion to develop understanding is not a matter of “doing”. It is a prompt in fact, to not be driven by desire and mistaken perceptions, to do anything in order to make particular states arise. It is suggesting that the only sensible attitude is one which sees the need not to move away from the present moment into an idealized situation and activity. When this has happened to any extent, one would know that there is no control and that even if one remained lost in ignorance day in and day out, upon reflection one would still not see sense in trying to do something in order to change the course of events. And at that very moment, one would have gotten even if only for a moment, on the right track.

    And this is how it must be. One little step at a time, but we shouldn’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t happen often enough. What is seen as inhibiting is impatience and attachment to result, which causes one to be tempted by suggestion to follow this or that practice / method in order to have the desired results. Unnatural would mean here, following a practice with the aim of getting more than what one is naturally endowed with. Not seeing the fact that one is driven by greed which actually takes one in the wrong direction.

    It is attachment to self which cause us to be moved by greed and fear. Sometimes we fear that if we do not become proactive about such things, we’d be driven by evil tendencies. But this again is what ignorance and self-attachment has projected, I’d say it is Maya in one very tricky form. Indeed there is more cause for encouragement in that the development of right understanding supports the development of morality and other kinds of good.

    Someone who has strong tendency to greed, hatred and delusion cannot will himself to be without them. On the other hand, someone else who has a greater tendency to good, desirable states will arise even if he does not want them to. A generous person for example, may decide not to give when thinking about his bad financial status, but would end up giving anyway when the situation arises. And wisdom in seeing harm in ‘self-attachment’, in effect clears the way for wholesome states to arise without the interference of a ‘self’. In other words, wishing to be a better person is in fact not the way to become one. ;-) People need to note the agitation associated with such attitudes. The Middle Way should result in ease and does not mean giving in to evil. It is not proactive, but neither is it standing still, although the accusation often comes of this being the case. But you tell me Bhagat ji, take me for example, do you not perceive much activity here? Would I go on and on as I do now, was I giving in to laziness and other evil tendencies. ;-) But I’d better stop now or I’ll be accused then, of being overactive. :)
     
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  21. spnadmin

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    Admin note: Just a caution, that it is important in our questions and answers to one another to relate commentary at some point to the thread topic "can a mona achieve samadhi?" All the elements are here in recent comments but it may be difficult to tie them together in relation to what the thread starter has asked. Another point to make. It is not so much that Buddhism is overshadowing the topic. Rather the meaning and place of samadhi in Sikhism is getting lost in the dialog. Thanks
     
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