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Reincarnation / Transmigration: Revisited & Re-explored

Discussion in 'Intellectual Articles' started by IJSingh, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. IJSingh

    IJSingh United States
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    To Indian philosophic and mythological lore belong the roots of the very rich and complex idea of reincarnation and transmigration. Semitic religions – Judaism with its two offsprings, Christianity and Islam, and the Bahai faith sidestep them.

    Reincarnation.jpg

    Both Hindu Vedantic and Semitic systems, whose beginnings are lost in antiquity, posit that a Day of Judgment follows the end of life. In the Divine Court each of us will be judged and held accountable for our transgressions – in thought and deed; mitigating circumstances accommodated, willful behavior noted.

    Depending on this final balance sheet, the Indic systems posit that, most likely, we are returned for another sojourn on Earth to atone for what we have done or left undone. In what form we return, as what species of life, rests on that final audit of our life. The Creator has a choice of 8,400,000 species to choose from. And the cycle continues from one birth to another – recycled again and again until and unless liberated. What and when does that happen? It depends. In the rare case of having lived an exemplary life of rectitude and service to the Creator, we would, at judgment, be released from this perpetual recycling.

    And this freedom is the goal of human life. So proclaim the Indic religions.

    Clearly the ideas of reincarnation and transmigration are both powerful and sophisticated; they define an exquisite model of finely calibrated justice at the end of life. They also interweave all creation into one large tapestry.

    But are these processes merely transactional or are they transformational?

    Given their enormous presence in the larger Indian culture, reincarnation and transmigration come across as the dominating themes in the Guru Granth Sahib.

    Should they be?

    Given the overwhelming frequency in the Guru Granth of these topics, the majority of Sikhs likely views reincarnation and transmigration as fundamentally real. It’s true that they are promoted as such in Hindu mythological lore.

    This also means that our focus in life automatically shifts to what will likely happen after death. We then begin to undervalue this life on Earth – its needs, rewards, promises and challenges while we overvalue rituals and practices that we do not understand but that motivate us by fear of the unknown to come.

    The lines of Bhagat Trilochan from the Guru Granth (p. 526) are the most often cited by those who interpret matters literally. His words in translation follow:

    “At his very last moment, one who thinks of wealth, and dies in such thoughts, shall be reincarnated over and over again, as a serpent.

    He who dies in thoughts of women shall return as a prostitute.

    One who dies thinking of mansions shall be reincarnated as a goblin.

    ......

    At his very last moments, one who thinks of the Lord, says Trilochan, shall be liberated; the Lord shall abide in his heart.”

    Most commentators that I have read or heard take Trilochan’s words as the gospel truth – absolutely literally true. I, on the other hand, look at them as beautiful poetry that needs to be interpreted in the context of time, culture and the march of science.

    An academic biologist, Dr Sukhraj Singh Dhillon, responded to one of my essays that remain analytically critical of our literal embrace of Trilochan with a judgment that I salute for its brevity but not for help in resolving this controversy. He said: “The aspect of our belief in Reincarnation/transmigration and next life will affect how we interpret gurbani. …. IJ Singh doesn’t believe in reincarnation and transmigration but Rawel Singh does. Most of the members (readers) fall in one category or the other.”

    I believe that a 3-line statement as this does not enlighten us. I have parsed this theme at length in several essays but specifically in one titled From Here to Eternity. Today I have cannibalized that and a few earlier essays on related topics to stitch together this new perspective.

    My views on reincarnation etc are more nuanced than are implied in the four-word comment above.

    What then to make of Trilochan's hymn and the myriad other references to transmigration and reincarnation in the Guru Granth?

    A non-traditional reinterpretation of Trilochan could become transformational rather than remaining transactional, and yet be consistent with the fundamental message of Gurbani.

    If one takes the Hindu view of the cycle of birth and rebirth literally, one would then be logically bound to look for one's ancestors in cockroaches, rats, mice, lions or kings and queens, depending upon how their earthly lives were measured by a heavenly judge. It seems to be a logically coherent and consistent model, but not a likely one.

    Why NOT to interpret Trilochan’s hymn literally?

    Literal interpretation of the last stanza of his hymn, for instance could suggest to us that one may sin the whole life to one's heart's content; all that is necessary to be in the Creator’s good grace is to die with the name of God on one's lips.

    Now, how does that fit the model of perfect justice?

    The poetry and imagery must be kept in mind in exploring the meaning.

    What Trilochan says to me is that if you were obsessed with mansions all your life, then you may as well be a ghost or a goblin that supposedly haunts such buildings. If money and treasures have defined your life, you may as well be a snake. (In the Indian culture, snakes are reputed to make their home near buried treasures.)

    Why? Because your character traits have emerged from your preoccupations and values - that is the kind of a person you have become. I interpret all of the examples in his hymn similarly - it is metaphorical language, not to be literally translated.

    To my mind, what Trilochan means here is to point to what one has become over a lifetime of habits. "Reincarnation", then, is used as a metaphor (this is poetry, right?), for the biological life cycle.

    So, until we get it "right", we are going to embody the human (or animal) experience over and over again in this life. Put another way, until we learn to live without a personal stake (haumae), we are going to attach ourselves to behavioral modalities which, unchecked, lead to addictive/neurotic personalities, and so the cycle continues.

    It is not possible to talk about "here and hereafter" in the traditional Indian culture without reference to reincarnation. Indians take the matter quite literally and seriously. It is not an easy matter to upend the whole applecart. The Gurus, therefore, taught in the language of the people and in the context of the times in which they lived. The Gurus chose the language and style that would resonate with the average person.

    This is exactly why the Guru Granth visits this recurring theme on reincarnation and transmigration so often.

    Some level of prophetic language a la Trilochan may be necessary to goad people into the right behavior. Hence the dire warnings in his writing!

    Guru Granth also reiterates, more than once, the Hindu belief that there are 8.4 million species through which the soul may cycle and recycle until liberated. I think the number is not to be taken literally. It is like saying in English that there are a gazillion species; it is not a fixed number but it is large.

    If tomorrow, greater or lesser number of species is documented by evolutionary biologists, one must not conclude that the ancient Indian philosophers or the Sikh Gurus were in error. Effective teaching requires that the cultural context be kept in mind.

    So, what do I personally believe happens after death?

    My reading of the Guru Granth Sahib further connects me with the morality play in two well known lessons. When Socrates, at his trial, was asked if there was life after death his answer was simply awesome. Said he, if there is then it would be absolutely great; a fantastic opportunity to meet great minds like Hippocrates who had gone before him. And if there were none then it would be like a dreamless sleep; he was an old man and needed the rest.

    The second view I share with you comes from Norman Vincent Peale, the 20th Century prophet of Positive Thinking. He compared life after death to the birth of a baby. If you could ask a baby in utero its opinion of life after birth, the answer might be that it is at home where it is – why exchange that comfort for the unknown. Asked after birth of its prenatal existence it would have no opinion.

    Death is a veil, like birth, through which we may not see. If you live this life right, the afterlife would take care of itself. It surely would be no less.

    Science tells us that matter and energy change form but are neither created nor destroyed. This says to me that we have always been and will always be around in some shape or form, including what is left of the (degraded?) version or fragments of our DNA.

    In reincarnation and related questions theanalogy that comes to mind is the engineering concept of servomechanisms, with a continuously recalibrating circuitry, that have error-sensing feedback loops that modify the process as indicated by the data coming in.

    This is how I would translate the idea of the greater biological life cycle in the language of today. Many such feedback circuits are known to exist in human neuronal connectivity, for instance.

    My view would be that, metaphorically reinterpreted, the terms reincarnation and transmigration really mean that after death everyone and every species has life that becomes part of the greater biological life cycle.

    In the context of a large expansive biological life cycle, it remains immaterial whether one ends up pushing up roses or becoming a feeding frenzy for worms; either is equally meaningful.

    This is how I see the cycle of birth and rebirth, reincarnation or issues like transmigration.

    End-of-life questions on reincarnation and related matters are not really helpful. What is critical instead is the challenge posited by Guru Amardas (Guru Granth p. 922): What footprints will you leave in the sands of time? (Eh sareera merya iss jugg meh aaye ke kya tudh karam kamayaa).

    You might be wondering why I am engaged in such a protracted rigmarole around this when some readers will surely take umbrage at my analyses. What I am hoping for is not a 2-line or 4-word summary judgment but for a continuing and thoughtful conversation, not confrontation, on matters that are both timely and important to cleaning the cobwebs of our mind.

    Statements and edicts etched in stone are not helpful.
     
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  3. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Whether frequency of quotes of jea jant or juenes in the Guru Granth are linked with transformation of mind in this life or is it reincarnation and transmigration and really mean that after death everyone and every species has life that becomes part of the greater biological life in 8.4 lakhs cycles?

    I will take my source from Japjisahib and will try to present views. First pauree ends with 'kiv sachiara hoeyeea kiv kuteh tuteh pal and is linked Hukam. Second pauree starts with function of Hukam and is related with manh but as I have noticed most of the translation does not link function of hukam with manh but with creation of God. When Guru sahib says hukmi hovan jea, how does it (jea jant in bilogical life form) fit or is linked with how to transform and be truthful. Therefore 'jea' is thought process I follow. Gurbani makes it clear 'jea jant sabh bhaey pavitra satguru kee sach sakhi by emoluting divine traits all negative 'jea jant' thoughts are transformed. We have not seen any animal or birds being transformed by listening satguru kee sakhi. Similarly when guru sahib says, 'sabhna jea ka ek datta so mai visar n jaey - that remedy to transform 'sabhna jea' within me is 'ek datta' the truthful wisdom of divine. And juenes are explained gurbani 'maya naam garabh juene ka teh taj darsan pavoh'
     
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    #2 japjisahib04, Apr 11, 2015
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Thanks Inderjeet ji for deciphering this fear based code from the Sikhi perspective. Yes, Sikhi acknowledges reincarnation and the Hindu concept is repeated quite often in the SGGS, our only Guru.

    However, in my opinion acknowledgment of this concept is not its acceptance in the idea based Sikhi. SGGS urges us to have a conversation about it for better understanding of this concept.

    Thanks once again for this thoughtful expression.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    Tejwant ji,

    Are you able to provide any examples where Gurbani urges us to merely have conversation about it, rather than speaking of Re-incarnation as actual fact...

    you would think if your point is valid, Gurbani somewhere says "re-incarnation, interesting, but not the truth, however the subject is worth discussing"... :)

    otherwise, why would Guru Ji ask us to waste our precious time (of which we have very little of) discussing a concept that has no truth in it? Doesn't Guru ji only want us to focus on the absolute truth? why tell us to appreciate this human life...why tell us that we have lived through countless lifeforms to now be blessed with human life? whats the point? for mere discussion of a non truthful fact?
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Chaz Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Please pull out any whole Shabad from the SGGS, our only Guru, about reincarnation and post it with your own understanding, then we can have a very fruitful interaction about it.

    Thanks for your keen interest.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
  7. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    S. Chaz Singh Ji

    I was expecting a shabad or any pankti you feel supports reincarnation. Anyway, unlike other scrripture which supports reincarnation or judgement after death gurbani clearly tells us, ' ਅਹਿ ਕਰੁ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਅਹਿ ਕਰੁ ਪਾਏ ਇਕ ਘੜੀ ਮੁਹਤੁ ਨ ਲਗੈ ॥ ਚਾਰੇ ਜੁਗ ਮੈ ਸੋਧਿਆ ਵਿਣੁ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਨ ਭਗੈ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਛੁਟਈ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਾਧੂ ਸਤਸੰਗੈ ॥ - there is no carried forward laikha. All is settled here then and there, thus question of reincarnation does not arise.
     
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    #6 japjisahib04, Apr 19, 2015
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  8. Original

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    Respected Gentlemen

    Sikhism is a system of belief and as such doesn't need derogations or scholarly interpretations. It is the word of our "guru" and is therefore true. Of course, one may tailor stitch to fit for purpose in yielding personal benefit because the word is omnipresent. But otherwise, simple literal interpretations ought to be an immediate comprehension by the mind giving the words their ordinary signification, unless, when so applied they produce an inconsistency, or an absurdity or inconvenience so great as to convince the reader that the intention of the Banikar could not have been to use them in their ordinary signification as to mean something completely anew.

    Guru Nanak was a social reformer who detested Brahmnical practices, but not all together denounced Hindu ideology. The ideology surronding birth, death, rebirth, karma, dharma and so forth are very much Hindu. Of course, we can sugarcoat reincarnation to advance our disposition in light of western thought and practice, but the beauty found in verses, literature resonates with an aspiring soul which is very much Indian. All the Gurus and the Banikars were from sub-continent India, their pattern of thought was Indian. In light of modern advances of science and technology together with evolutionary modifications there can arise valid arguments to validate alternative interpretations of reincarnation. But insofar the written word of SGGSJ is to be read and construed, it must in my view, be with the intent and the disposition of the writer at the time and era of his social being notwithstanding contemplative mood.

    Our beliefs come in many shapes and sizes, from the trivial, "I believe it will be a sunny day today" to profound leaps, "I believe in God". Taken together they give us a window of reality with time the adjudicator.

    Sikh theology speaks in some instances of reincarnation evidently. For example, Hemkunt Sahib, Hazur Sahib, Banda Bahadur [ in previous life was Madhouse Das, accomplice of Guru Nanak]. Guru Gobind gives an account of his past life and as a result we have Hemkunt and Hazur. To treat these as mythological or else is purely rational and subjective.

    All in all - the beauty of Sikhi is that, we are the Nanak's and Gobind's of yesterday - for they the spirit and we the body in 21st Century. Call it reincarnation, transformation, transmigration or whatever or none of them.
     
  9. chazSingh

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    Tejwant Ji,

    i clearly asked you a question. it is not a confusing question nor a trick question. here it is for you again:
    Are you able to provide any examples where Gurbani urges us to merely have conversation about it, rather than speaking of Re-incarnation as actual fact...
     
  10. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    Original Ji,

    The Guru Ji's came to tell us about the 'truth'

    you cannot say they are in any way affected by the Age or time of writing or society as it stood at that time. they would lose their integrity if it is in any way affected by what surrounds them. the truth is the truth...simple.

    regardless of all the theories that were put into place over countless years..the truth was, is and forever will be...the earth revolves around the Sun
     
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  11. Original

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    Dear Chaz Ji

    Once again you've not understood what I've said. Kindly re read and digest, I'm 100% of the view with what Sikh theology supports.

    Truth has always been and always will be, but the subject matter at hand is reincarnation. I've cited few examples which supports such system of belief without going into Gurbani.

    Have another read and if you want me to explain in more detail I will.

    Thank you
     
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  12. Tejwant Singh

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    Chaz Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.
    We all read Gurbani and try to understand it with the best of our abilities. As you do this as well, please pull out the Shabads that make you understand your own concept about the subject we are discussing, so that we can all learn from each other.

    Hence my response remains the same.

    Please pull out any whole Shabad from the SGGS, our only Guru, about reincarnation and post it with your own understanding, then we can have a very fruitful interaction about it.

    Thanks for your keen interest.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
  13. Harry Haller

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    the trouble with this is, sometimes the simple literal interpretations were never meant to be taken either simply or as literally, in my own view.

    I am not so sure, my understanding is that Brahminical practices go hand in hand with Hindu ideology. I do not believe he grabbed something and refined it, nor do I believe that Sikhism is a halfway house between Islam and Hinduism, in my opinion, he fashioned something brand new and from scratch. Any references to Vedic or Muslim philosophy were meant to be references not suggestions nor was he condoning them, in fact, I find most references are made quite tongue in cheek.

    and should stay very much Hindu
    This does not follow that reincarnation is therefore part of Sikhism.

    I have never thought of Sikhism as a leap of faith, I feel it is more pragmatic than that.

    Not all of us believe in Hemkunt Sahib, some of us see it as nothing more than a location that is responsible for much misery in people trying to reach it. I do not accept that Guru Gobindji had a past life, nor Banda Bahadur. It is not even out of subjectivity nor rationality, but out of what I feel the SGGS has taught me.

    pragmatism?
     
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  14. Sherdil

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    Perhaps some thought needs to be given towards what exactly is being reincarnated. Is it the individual or the One?

    Remember this shabadh? GGS page 736:

    ਰਾਗੁ ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਘਰੁ ੧
    रागु सूही महला ५ घरु १
    Rāg sūhī mėhlā 5 gẖar 1
    Raag Soohee, Fifth Mehl, First House:

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

    ਬਾਜੀਗਰਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਾਜੀ ਪਾਈ ॥
    बाजीगरि जैसे बाजी पाई ॥
    Bājīgar jaise bājī pā▫ī.
    The actor stages the play,

    ਨਾਨਾ ਰੂਪ ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਲਾਈ ॥
    नाना रूप भेख दिखलाई ॥
    Nānā rūp bẖekẖ ḏikẖlā▫ī.
    playing the many characters in different costumes;

    ਸਾਂਗੁ ਉਤਾਰਿ ਥੰਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਓ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥
    सांगु उतारि थम्हिओ पासारा ॥
    Sāʼng uṯār thamiĥa▫o pāsārā.
    but when the play ends, he takes off the costumes,

    ਤਬ ਏਕੋ ਏਕੰਕਾਰਾ ॥੧॥
    तब एको एकंकारा ॥१॥
    Ŧab eko ekankārā. ||1||
    and then he is one, and only one. ||1||

    ਕਵਨ ਰੂਪ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿਓ ਬਿਨਸਾਇਓ ॥
    कवन रूप द्रिसटिओ बिनसाइओ ॥
    Kavan rūp ḏaristi▫o binsā▫i▫o.
    How many forms and images appeared and disappeared?

    ਕਤਹਿ ਗਇਓ ਉਹੁ ਕਤ ਤੇ ਆਇਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    कतहि गइओ उहु कत ते आइओ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
    Kaṯėh ga▫i▫o uho kaṯ ṯe ā▫i▫o. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    Where have they gone? Where did they come from? ||1||Pause||

    ਜਲ ਤੇ ਊਠਹਿ ਅਨਿਕ ਤਰੰਗਾ ॥
    जल ते ऊठहि अनिक तरंगा ॥
    Jal ṯe ūṯẖėh anik ṯarangā.
    Countless waves rise up from the water.

    ਕਨਿਕ ਭੂਖਨ ਕੀਨੇ ਬਹੁ ਰੰਗਾ ॥
    कनिक भूखन कीने बहु रंगा ॥
    Kanik bẖūkẖan kīne baho rangā.
    Jewels and ornaments of many different forms are fashioned from gold.

    ਬੀਜੁ ਬੀਜਿ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਬਹੁ ਪਰਕਾਰਾ ॥
    बीजु बीजि देखिओ बहु परकारा ॥
    Bīj bīj ḏekẖi▫o baho parkārā.
    I have seen seeds of all kinds being planted -

    ਫਲ ਪਾਕੇ ਤੇ ਏਕੰਕਾਰਾ ॥੨॥
    फल पाके ते एकंकारा ॥२॥
    Fal pāke ṯe ekankārā. ||2||
    when the fruit ripens, the seeds appear in the same form as the original. ||2||

    ਸਹਸ ਘਟਾ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਆਕਾਸੁ ॥
    सहस घटा महि एकु आकासु ॥
    Sahas gẖatā mėh ek ākās.
    The one sky is reflected in thousands of water jugs,

    ਘਟ ਫੂਟੇ ਤੇ ਓਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ॥
    घट फूटे ते ओही प्रगासु ॥
    Gẖat fūte ṯe ohī pargās.
    but when the jugs are broken, only the sky remains.

    ਭਰਮ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥
    भरम लोभ मोह माइआ विकार ॥
    Bẖaram lobẖ moh mā▫i▫ā vikār.
    Doubt comes from greed, emotional attachment and the corruption of Maya.

    ਭ੍ਰਮ ਛੂਟੇ ਤੇ ਏਕੰਕਾਰ ॥੩॥
    भ्रम छूटे ते एकंकार ॥३॥
    Bẖaram cẖẖūte ṯe ekankār. ||3||
    Freed from doubt, one realizes the One Lord alone. ||3||

    ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਬਿਨਸਤ ਨਾਹੀ ॥
    ओहु अबिनासी बिनसत नाही ॥
    Oh abẖināsī binsaṯ nāhī.
    He is imperishable; He will never pass away.

    ਨਾ ਕੋ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਕੋ ਜਾਹੀ ॥
    ना को आवै ना को जाही ॥
    Nā ko āvai nā ko jāhī.
    He does not come, and He does not go.

    ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਈ ॥
    गुरि पूरै हउमै मलु धोई ॥
    Gur pūrai ha▫umai mal ḏẖo▫ī.
    The Perfect Guru has washed away the filth of ego.

    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੇਰੀ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਹੋਈ ॥੪॥੧॥
    कहु नानक मेरी परम गति होई ॥४॥१॥
    Kaho Nānak merī param gaṯ ho▫ī. ||4||1||
    Says Nanak, I have obtained the supreme status. ||4||1||


    The same life-force appears as a snake, a bird, a plant, a fish, etc.
     
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    #13 Sherdil, Apr 20, 2015
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  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    what is the difference?
     
  16. Sherdil

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    In actuality, nothing.

    In terms of this discussion, everything.

    Reincarnation is taken to mean that the individual soul animates a new body after its current body expires.

    However if there is nothing but the One, then the individual doesn't exist. If there is nothing but the One then there is no birth or death. Thus, no reincarnation.

    If the individual doesn't exist then there is no karma to be accrued. In fact, the only sin one can commit is dualistic thinking. That is the cause of all suffering. When there is duality, the Beloved is far. When there is no duality, the Beloved is near.
     
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  17. Original

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    Enjoyed conversing with you brother H, but must put this reincarnation n thing to bed coz there's life out there.

    Goodnight and Godbless
     
    #16 Original, Apr 21, 2015
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  18. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Let us first know what is death and life through the lense of gurbani. In our nitnem we daily recite, 'aakha jeevan visrai mar jaon' (when I focus my mind on you I live and forgetting I die) or 'Nanak jit vaila visrai mera suwami {censored word, do not repeat.} vailai mar jao' - When I forget you Oh my beloved I die. SGGS 562.4 - Now do I physically die by ignoring the gurbani or it spiritual death? This mean through these pankties, guru sahib is trying to convey the definition of janam and maran and is referring to spiritual death and life. As gurbani reiterates, ‘ਜੋ ਮਰਿ ਜੰਮੇ ਸੁ ਕਚੁ ਨਿਕਚੁ॥੧॥ Jo Mar Janmae S Kach Nikach ||1|| Thus baani is all about spiritual life and death. It is not at all referring to physical death.

    To die every instant - 'pal pal marna' Guru sahib describes like this, 'ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਰ ਤਨ ਪਰ ਤੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਅਪਬਾਦੁ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ॥ ਆਵਾ ਗਵਨੁ ਹੋਤੁ ਹੈ ਫੁਨਿ ਫੁਨਿ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਤੂਟੈ॥੨॥ SGGS. 971.2 - every moment I die and am reborn and yell/bark like a dog when someone does not obey my order or bite like a snake, and this cycle of tossing and turning or coming and going of mind is not coming to an end (thus it is not mere 8.4 juenes but an endless cycle).

    Further again guru sahib clarify what is ava gavan, 'ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਥਾਪਿ ਕੀਆ ਸਭੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਏਹੋ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣਾ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਆ ਸੋ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਮੋਹਿ ਅੰਧੁ ਲਪਟਾਣਾ ॥੩॥ sggs.882.19. Through this paknti the cause of (aavan jaana)rebirth has been beautifully depicted. What survives and take birth again and again is the THOUGHTS - Meri, Meri, Mai . Guru Sahib make us realize that we are as insignificant as dust but tend to identify ourselves with this physical mortal body and mind so much that we think we are this body. ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਤਾਂ ਸਹੁ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਮਰਣ ਜੀਵਣ ਕੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੋਈ ॥ 441-4. This attachment to the body & mind is the cause of the cycle of physical birth and death. This notion is not only stressed in this particular sabd but this notion of "Deh-Adhyaas"[I am the body], is repeated over and over in all Gurbani.

    Thus I request you to kindly list a single pankti where gurbani talks of reincarnation of 8.4 juenes physically isntead
     
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    #17 japjisahib04, Apr 21, 2015
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  19. Original

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    Thank you Japjisahib Ji

    The getting caught up in a philosophical assumption and being emotional brings about cognitive dissonance. I have a holistic outlook to life and "belief" is very very personal, which as a pedigree Sikh, I live within. Insofar reincarnation - I was born and brought up in a culture that "believed" full stop. Just as the human body is dissected by a 21st Century surgeon and no soul is found doesn't mean the soul don't exist. It's a matter of belief.

    The point of the discussion which I was advancing was to show that reincarnation was part and parcel of an "ideal" system of the times in which the writers of SGGSJ lived. Take you for example, in a democratic society conform to the "rule of law" [social ideal] albeit dispassionately, but nevertheless obey as a social ideal. So too were the authors of SGGSJ within the confines of a system with which they had to accept a social ideal - reincarnation. Their pattern of thought and expression ought to be interpreted in the light of their environment. Where you and I could in this day and age, arguably, box our way out of a primitive concept [reincarnation] the Bankars unfortunately couldn't because conditions were not such.

    Ideologies develop overtime to better survival conditions, Sikhism too is evolving for better, but we must remain true to its founding conditions.

    I'd switch off from this forum - enjoyed the chit chat - thank you !
     
  20. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    You such a nice person, I would request you to kindly stay in this form to enlighten us.
     
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  21. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Originalji

    A forum is no good if there is only one voice, we are all learning from each other.
     
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