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Karma and Freewill

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Neutral Singh, Nov 2, 2004.

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  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    By Trilochan Singh Ji


    The fact that man suffers for his bad deeds, or is rewarded for his good deeds
    inevitably leads to the theory of Karma.

    In Sikhism, the law of Karma according to which we reap what we sow is not
    inexorable. The burden of our sins, the taint of Karma, the weight of all the
    past can be thrown off, by diving deeper into Truth, by the Grace of God, and by
    leading a purer and nobler life.

    This life, the human life, is an opportunity for this freedom to rise or to fall
    into the pit. There is no determinism in our fate, if we rise above the level of
    Nature.

    At the level of Nature or animal existence, we no doubt reap what we sow, but at
    the spiritual level of existence which can be reached by moral and spiritual
    efforts and illumination, man attains his freedom.

    It is freedom, not only from the wheel of Karma, but also from birth and death.
    Those who lead a purely temporal life at the level of the sense, "their deeds
    follow them and they reap what they sow.

    "Kirt una ka metis nah, oh apna bijia khah"
    - SGGS 1183

    But the Guru's word erases the blot of thousands of evil deeds of the past, and
    the greatest sinner can become the greatest Saint.

    "Gur ka sabad kate kot karma."
    - SGGS 1195

    Countless sins of the past life are washed away by the illumination of the Word.

    "Kot kotantar papa kare ek ghari meh khovai."
    - SGGS 438

    It is not a mere coincidence that Guru Nanak and the subsequent Sikh Guru's had
    the closest doctrinal relations with the Qadariya and Chisti schools of Sufis
    which believed in free will in opposition to the Jabariya Sufi school of thought
    which according to orthodox Islam, is based on complete dependence on Divine
    Will.

    The idea of determinism and fatalism is repugnant to the Sikh mind as it does
    not reconcile with the idea of reward and punishment, nor with the doctrine of
    Grace and Compassion.
     
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