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Sikhi ੴ - Meaning And Pronunciation

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Sherdil, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    This thread has been diverted from Meaning Of Rahao

    Is Ek Onkar an instruction on pronunciation of Onkar, or does the Ek hold any significance in Sikhi Philosophy itself?

    Can Ekankar and Onkar be used interchangeably in Gurbani, or do these terms refer to distinct characteristics of the Divine?

    How does ੴ give us the complete picture of the Divine?

    To start off, I offer Bhai Gurdas ji's take on the subject.

    There is a lot said by him, but we can start off with Vaar 3, paurie 15:

    ਏਕਾ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੇਖਾਲਿਆ।
    Aykaa Aykankaaru Likhi Daykhaaliaa.
    एका एकंकारु लिखि देखालिआ ।
    By writing 1 (One) in the beginning, it has been shown that Ekankar, God, who subsumes all forms in Him is only one (and not two or three).
    Ekankar was shown by writing 1

    ਊੜਾ ਓਅੰਕਾਰੁ ਪਾਸਿ ਬਹਾਲਿਆ।
    Oorhaa Aoankaaru Paasi Bahaaliaa.
    ऊड़ा ओअंकारु पासि बहालिआ ।
    Ura, the first Gurmukhi letter, in the form of Oankar shows the world controlling
    Oora was placed beside it as Onkar

    Note: This was taken from searchgurbani.com. I found the English translation to be embellished, so I produced my own translation in blue.
     
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  3. BhagatSingh

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    They are the same thing. Just written differently in the English script that is because English script does not have any words for nasal sounds. The way we have bindi and tippi in Gurmukhi.

    @Sherdil

    This is a good place as any to discuss ੴ

    ਓਅੰਕਾਰਿ ਉਤਪਾਤੀ ॥
    He created the universe from a singular, continuous Aum sound, known as Aumkar.
    ਕੀਆ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਸਭ ਰਾਤੀ ॥
    From that came the days and nights, the duality.
    ਵਣੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਣੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ॥
    The forests, grasslands, waters; the three worlds.
    ਚਾਰਿ ਬੇਦ ਚਾਰੇ ਖਾਣੀ ॥
    The four Vedas, the four sources of creation,
    ਖੰਡ ਦੀਪ ਸਭਿ ਲੋਆ ॥
    the realms, the stars and all the worlds,
    ਏਕ ਕਵਾਵੈ ਤੇ ਸਭਿ ਹੋਆ ॥੧॥
    With one syllable, Aum, everything happened.
    - says Guru Arjun, 1003

    Sri Granth: Shabad/Paurhi/Salok SGGS Page 1003

    The very fabric of the universe, this forum, this post, this word, is Onkar.

    So it's not an instruction in pronunciation. Rather it is inherent in Onkar. Onkar is inherently Ek Onkar, One Onkar. Onkar is one continuous sound vibration. ਓਂ - that is the syllable, ਕਾਰ - continuous. one continuous syllable.
     
    #2 BhagatSingh, Apr 22, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  4. Sherdil

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    I agree. Onkar is the sargun (manifested) form of the Divine. However, the One is also nirgun (unmanifested). The nirgun aspect of the One is Ekankar, which has been denoted by the numeral 1 in the mool mantar as Bhai Gurdas ji discusses in his vaars, mentioned in OP. Onkar is the Kavaao (utterance) that emanated from Ekankar. It is the all-permeating Shabd (uterrance). It is the Akhar (word) from which all is manifested.

    Onkar is the word, and the speaker of this word is the nirgun Ek which has been written as Ekankar (numeral 1).

    Ekankar is discussed on page 838, GGS:

    ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
    ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥
    Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
    One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

    ਏਕਮ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
    एकम एकंकारु निराला ॥
    Ėkam ekankār nirālā.
    The First Day: The One Universal Creator is unique,

    ਅਮਰੁ ਅਜੋਨੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਲਾ ॥
    अमरु अजोनी जाति न जाला ॥
    Amar ajonī jāṯ na jālā.
    immortal, unborn, beyond social class or involvement.

    ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ॥
    अगम अगोचरु रूपु न रेखिआ ॥
    Agam agocẖar rūp na rekẖ▫i▫ā.
    He is inaccessible and unfathomable, with no form or feature.

    ਖੋਜਤ ਖੋਜਤ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ ॥
    खोजत खोजत घटि घटि देखिआ ॥
    Kẖojaṯ kẖojaṯ gẖat gẖat ḏekẖi▫ā.
    Searching, searching, I have seen Him in each and every heart.

    ਜੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਈ ॥
    जो देखि दिखावै तिस कउ बलि जाई ॥
    Jo ḏekẖ ḏikẖāvai ṯis ka▫o bal jā▫ī.
    I am a sacrifice to one who sees, and inspires others to see Him.

    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਈ ॥੧॥
    गुर परसादि परम पदु पाई ॥१॥
    Gur parsāḏ param paḏ pā▫ī. ||1||
    By Guru's Grace, I have obtained the supreme status. ||1||
     
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  5. BhagatSingh

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    That's not what I said.
    That's not what Guru Arjun Dev ji said.

    Onkar is the vibration from which all things came into being.
    Thus Onkar has no form of its own. It is suksham.

    ਤੂੰ ਸੂਖਮੁ ਹੋਆ ਅਸਥੂਲੀ ॥
    From subtle, unmanifest, you have become gross, manifest.
    -102

    From Suksham to Asthool.


    Ekonkar/Ekankar/Onkar/Aumkar is a vibration, which has been given the syllable Aum ਓਂ, because -

    1. Aum ਓਂ is the most primal sound for man, vocally.
    2. It is similar to what is heard as the resting note in your ear.

    That's why

    Your usage of sargun and nirgun is a bit off but sure I get what you are saying.

    This is known as Nir + Onkar (meaning - Not-Onkar), Nir-Onkar.
    ie Nirankar, which means - absolutely nothing, Sunyata, void. Not even vibration.

    Not-Onkar.

    But
    Both Onkar and Nir-Onkar are formless because vibration is formless. However Nir-Onkar is absolutely void of anything, not even vibrations exist in this state of being. Not even Onkar exists here.


    No

    Ekankar is the same as Onkar. There is only one Onkar regardless of whether you write 1/Ek/one or not.

    There is only one Onkar regardless of whether you write 1 or not.

    No.

    Onkar/Ekankar, the One Continuous Aum (Ek-1, On-ਓਂ-syllable Kar-continuous), is the syllable from which the universe came into being.

    Who "uttered" it?
    Hari, who is Nirankar


    There is only one Onkar, which is written as Aumkar, Ongkar, Omkar Ekonkar, Ekankar, or simply as Om, Aum, Ong, etc.

    You can write it how ever you want to write it. We all know you are talking about that one syllable Aum, that is known as Ekankar.

    Exactly!

    Onkar is a vibration. It has no form itself. It creates forms. All forms emerged from a vibratory state of being, ਤਰੰਗ.


    ਪਸਰਿਓ ਆਪਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਨਤ ਤਰੰਗ ॥
    He himself permeates into endless vibrations.
    -275



    No.
    Onkar = Ekankar. It means One Continous Om. Ek = 1, Kar = Continuous, Om = the syllable

    Ekonkar is the most primal sound. The most primal syllable. It is very basic, and requires no complex movement of lips or mouth or tongue.

    Even a mute can chant it.


    Even a mute can chant, A U and make nasal sounds, provided they have some functional vocal chords.



    ਏਕਮ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥ ਅਮਰੁ ਅਜੋਨੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਲਾ ॥ ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ॥
    Firstly, that Ekankar (one Onkar), that vibration, is unique. It is deathless, birthless, casteless, and detached. That vibration has no form or feature, it is beyond the scope of the mind (in its totality) and it is beyond the senses, (and can be seen by withdrawing the senses and getting absorbed into pure vibration, into Hari, into Onkar vibration)

    (This is also describing a human state of being.
    Ultimately whatever Onkar is, it is to be known inside, as your very self.)

    ਖੋਜਤ ਖੋਜਤ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ ॥ ਜੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਈ ॥
    Looking and looking and I saw it everywhere. Those who see it and show others, I am a sacrifice to them.

    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਈ ॥੧॥
    By Guru's Grace, this high state of being is known (inside us, within us we can see it, we can become it, we can meet it, we can merge with it).
     
  6. Sherdil

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    Guna is a physical attribute or quality. Sargun is with attributes and it refers to creation which is Onkar. Nirgun is without physical attributes or qualities. Ekankar is nirgun.

    Akar means shape / form. Nir is the negation.

    Nir + Akar = Nirankar (without form)

    Ek + Akar = Ekankar (The form of 1)

    ਓਂ + Akar = Onkar (The form of ਓਂ)

    All form is vibration, so how can Onkar be formless? Formlessness refers to the soul (aatma) that is part of the supreme soul (param-aatma). That is timeless and indestructible. That is the One Actor who is playing the role of all the characters. When creation is no more, Ekankar will still remain.

    Full shabadh please.
     
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  7. BhagatSingh

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    Guna is referring to the Satva Guna, Rajas Guna and Tamas Guna. Sargun means all of the Gunas. Nirgun means none of them. Just know that for now because this is outside of the scope of this discussion.


    On to the discussion -

    Akar means shape or form.
    And Nir + Akar means - Not-Form or Without Form.
    Nirakar.

    ਆਕਾਰ and ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ - That is correct. However you are confusing ਆਕਾਰ and ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ with ਏਕੰਕਾਰ and ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ.

    These are two different concepts.


    That undermines your whole argument.

    Ek + Akar is just that - Ek Akar.
    ਏਕ ਆਕਾਰ


    It would NOT be Ekankar, which is - Ek Onkar.
    ੴ - ਏਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ

    Ekankar is short for Ek Onkar.
    ਏਕੰਕਾਰ is short of ਏਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ

    Nirankar is short of Nir Onkar
    ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ is short of ਨਿਰ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ

    Say it out loud.



    Onkar means One Syllable Aum that is Continuous.

    ਕਾਰ means continuous process. So ਓਅੰਕਾਰ meaning the one ਓਂ syllable that is continuously vibrating.



    Do not confuse this with ਆਕਾਰ and ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ. That is a mistake. They sound similar but these are different concepts. I can show you how ਆਕਾਰ and ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ are related to this and how they tie into this discussion but first try to grasp this -

    ਏਕੰਕਾਰ / ਓਅੰਕਾਰ - means one continuous ਓਂ vibration
    ਨਿਰ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ -> ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ means "not even ਓਂ vibration", absolute void


    No form is not vibration in the sense you are thinking of.
    Vibration is the essence of form, meaning it underlies the form and gives birth to form, but there is definitely such a thing as form.

    Form and vibration are perceived as separate things.

    When you are looking at the monitor, you are seeing form. When you read the words, you are seeing form. When you fingers hit the keyboard, they are hitting form.

    Form is perceived through our senses.

    So on one level it exists. On another level it arises from Vibration.


    Because it is pure vibration, it lacks form.

    Remember Onkar (formless, vibration) creates forms as explained by Guru Sahib above.
     
    #6 BhagatSingh, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  8. Sherdil

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    Guna is a Sanskrit word meaning attribute. The 3 Gunas are qualities found within all things according to certain schools of Hindu Philosophy. Sargun means with physical attributes. It is not referring to the 3 gunas. I maintain that Onkar is sargun as it is all things manifest. This is within the realm of the discussion.

    There is no ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ (Nirakar) in Gurbani. There is only ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ (Nirankar).

    Nirakar is grammatically incorrect. You need the tippi (nasal sound) to make the word flow. Nir + Akar = Nirankar

    Ji, there is no such thing as Nir Onkar. You aren't following the rules of grammar.

    Kar comes from Akar. As a suffix, it points to the beginning part of the word signifying "the form of". For example the 5 K's of the Khalsa are known as the Panj Kakkar. Kakkar means "the letter ਕ".

    Form is still vibration. Even though we perceive countless forms around us, it is still one vibrating energy.
     
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  9. Original

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    Welcome back Bhagat Singh, its good to talk ! First n foremost, whatever one's disposition, the fact that we are conversing on "Sikh" forum, by virtue thereof we are all connected to the 1 shabd
    Waheguru come what may.

    Good question [Why is the ੧ there]! As a concept, Baba Nanak put the mathematical over the literal for a reason [debate for another time], suffice to say, mathematical concepts were held universally true over scientific theories, hence, the 1. Take for example 8x3, the answer will always be 24 no matter where you are in the world or the universes. And, since the subject matter for Baba Nanak was to show that "God" has both an existence and being rolled into 1 [mathematical truth, see 8x3] which is absolute and pure a concept through the application of mathematical sophistication as opposed to scientific experimentation and philosophic postulations. Indeed, modern day science confirm Nanak's mathematical concept over any other theoretical thinking when seeking ultimate reality and truth.

    For example, take hard core reality of tables n chairs. Break them down to their sub-atomic existence what do you get ? Electron, protons, quarks and gluons, etc. Their existence can only be explained and proved using mathematical equations. Similarly, the existence of Nanak's Ekonkar can only be realised through the understanding of the mathematical a concept and consciousness a reality.
     
  10. Harry Haller

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    are you debating with him or converting him?
     
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  11. BhagatSingh

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    Good observation.

    I think you are correct. However the word flows just fine and it is also present in the dictionary.
    ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ - Meaning in English - ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ in English - Shabdkosh | ਸ਼ਬਦ-ਕੋਸ਼ : English Punjabi Dictionary and Translation

    Why does it show up in the dictionary if it is grammatically inaccurate?


    Nicely explained. Thanks. I stand corrected.

    So ਓਅੰਕਾਰ would be the form of ਓਂ.

    If you say that ਏਕੰਕਾਰ is the conjoining of ਏਕ ਆਕਾਰ then ਏਕੰਕਾਰ is referring to the holistic ਏਕ ਆਕਾਰ. That I understand.
    It is an Advait Philoshopy concept.


    However ੴ stands for ਏਕ + ਓਅੰਕਾਰ. Are you saying that ਏਕੰਕਾਰ is never referring to ੴ, ਏਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ, the only Onkar?


    Advait Philosophy.

    However both form and vibration is reality to us in our daily life.

    Nirankar and Nirgun Parm Ishwar is also present in all things manifest. That does not necessarily mean they are form.

    Remember Onkar is vibratory, it is prior to form. Hence is it written prior to other things, it is written in the beginning of a granth or a writing or a poem.

    Onkar is vibration.

    When you say Onkar, your words are form, the sound you hear is form.

    However as Guru Sahib says Onkar is present everywhere, even before you chanted Ong. It was there and that it was present before there was any form creation.
    You may chant Ong, that is different from the Onkar that was there in the beggining.

    There is only one Onkar, that means the one continuous vibratory Aum.

    This has several implications.


    You cannot say "Onkar is vibration so it's a form coming from Ek Onkar" or that "Ek Onkar is different from Onkar". Onkar/Ek Onkar is the same thing according to Guru Sahib. There is only one Onkar.

    Furthermore -

    If you say "Onkar comes from Ek Akar/Ekankar, so it is form" That would be incorrect as well because Onkar comes prior to form according to Guru Sahib.

    Furthermore -
    If you say "Onkar is not that one syllable that is ਓਂ, aum" That is also not correct according to the grammar rule you explained.

    So what is your argument?
     
    #10 BhagatSingh, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  12. BhagatSingh

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    Obviously I am converting him... to Scientology. lol

    Harry, today I met my superior in grammar. There is no debate now, it's time for learning.
     
  13. BhagatSingh

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    You are right of course. I agree and I won't debate the absolute nature of the mathematical 1. However the question is not about Advait Philosophy.

    Rather it is about the design of the symbol itself. More specifically the design of the symbol specifically in Gurmukhi. The sanskrit Onkar ॐ is also Ik Onkar. This is because there is only one Onkar, regardless of whether you right ੧ or not. That is part of the concept of Onkar. So why does the symbol ੴ contain ੧, when it is redundant when placed next to Onkar, which is already 1?

    The answer lies in the design of the symbol, more specifically the shape of the ਓ.

    The answer lies in graphic design. Not philosophy or mathematics.
     
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  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    oh, your converting him...
    surely a forum is a place of debate and learning, if we were to not debate and just learn, then we would need some expert, some specialist, someone sent by god to instruct us, where could we find such a person?
     
  15. BhagatSingh

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    You are talking to him. Sorry I forgot to introduce him.

    Hi Harry,
    I am the son of God. How may I serve you?
     
  16. Harry Haller

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    laugh at my jokes, and make me one of the special people, one of the ones you have no wish to impart your learning to!
     
  17. BhagatSingh

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    Lol
    In due time.
    But Tbh I tried to tell you earlier but you are like an elephant and the son of God is like an ant. How can the ant convey a message to an elephant?
     
  18. Harry Haller

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    It can't thankfully, and I shall stay an elephant till time end, in any case, back to the topic before those with the red writing turn up
     
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  19. Harkiran Kaur

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    Can you please elaborate on the design? I did notice similarity between the OM symbol before and Ik Onkar (well if I look sideways). But this is first time I heard anyone say there is a definite design aspect to it.
     
  20. Original

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    Sir, are you suggesting that Baba Nanak Ji wanted to mirror bit of the ॐ into his ੴ ? Don't get me wrong, there's no hard core evidence to rule that out, particularly from a graphic perspective.
     
  21. Harkiran Kaur

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    Could you also say the same for the Tibetan version??

    [​IMG]
     
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