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Is there room for the "self" in religion?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    BALPREET SINGH is legal counsel and acting executive director for the World

    Sikh Organization of Canada.

    The purpose of the Sikh faith is to recognize and connect with the self. But this begs the question, what is the "self?"

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sikh scripture, tells us that within all creation and within each soul resides the light of God. The true self is the embodiment of God's light and is beyond pain, suffering or death. The reality of the true self is hidden by the wall of ego. Ego is the mistaken identification of the self with the material world. Ego takes five particular forms: lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride. Ego is the cause of human suffering and is what has separated us from God.

    The Sikh faith teaches that because God resides in each soul, all humanity is one, regardless of differences in gender, creed, class or caste. It is only ego that separates us from each other and is the source of conflict between individuals and communities.

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib describes ego as a very serious and chronic disease. In the Sikh faith, the solution to ego is to meditate on naam or the name of God, which is revealed by the Guru. By meditating on naam, one is able to transcend ego and see God's light within. Self realization for Sikhs is God realization. The soul merges with God as a droplet of water merges with the ocean, and one attains a state of complete equipoise and bliss. Ironically, recognizing the self leads to a state of selflessness in which one loves and serves all, seeing God in every soul.

    So, overall, the 'self' plays a key role in the Sikh faith, but only when we recognize what the true self is.

    Read more:Is there room for the 'self' in religion?[/FONT][/LEFT][/FONT][/COLOR]
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