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Review of miracles in sikhism

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by vsgrewal48895, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    In Sikh history two episodes come to mind, where miracles happening or performing led to serious consequences;

    1. Baba Atal Rai son of Guru Hargobind has to give up his life at the tender age of nine for innocently performing a miracle.

    2. Ram Rai son of Guru Hari Rai lost Guru -ship to his younger brother Guru Hari Krishen for showing miracles to Aurangzeb and changing a word in the hymn of Guru Nanak to appease the emperor.

    There are lot of anecdotes about the Sikh Gurus and Miracles written in Suraj Parkash, and other story books pounded by Granthies on Sikhs daily, which in itself go against the Philosophy of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak refutes miracles in his dialogue “Sidh Gost”, which leads astray one from the path of spirituality and truth. In a number of stories told and written, Guru Nanak himself is involved in performing miracles, which is unacceptable during the present times. One anecdote as described by Gurdas Var 1, Pauri 36 details his visit to Bagdad with Mardana is already have been posted. Story describes him taking the son of the Pir Dasatgir to upper and lower worlds by melting in to thin air and bringing a bowel of sacred food from there for the Pir.

    The Sikh preachers instead of denigrating the miracles, they tell the upgraded concocted stories of the miracles performed by Sikh Gurus, which have been passed through generations by oral traditions.

    Miracles in Sikhism are forbidden (ਬਿਬਰਜਤ), and are only accepted happening by the Will of Akal Purkh, referred as Mythological Kamdhayn (Elysian Cow), by Bhagats and Sikh Gurus in AGGS;

    ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਸੁਰਿਤਰੁ ਚਿੰਤਾਮਨਿ ਕਾਮਧੇਨ ਬਸਿ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਰੇ ॥

    Sukh Saagar Suritar Chintaaman KaamDhayn Bas Jaa Kay Ray.

    The Akal Purkh is the ocean of peace; the miraculous tree of life, the jewel of miracles and the wish-fulfilling cow are all under Its power. -----Ravidas, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1106-15

    Miracles were only practiced by Sidhas to show spiritual superiority but Guru Nanak resented their egotistical greedy approach to spirituality that will lead one astray from the path of Truth;

    ਸਿਧ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਚਹਿ ਰਿਧਿ ਸਿਧਿ ਜਾਚਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਜੈਕਾਰ ॥

    SiDh SamaaDhee Antar Jaacheh RiDh SiDh Jaach Karahi Jaikaar.

    The Siddhas in Samaadhi beg for wealth and miracles, and proclaim victory.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Gujri, AGGS, Page, 504-3

    ਸਿਧੁ ਹੋਵਾ ਸਿਧਿ ਲਾਈ ਰਿਧਿ ਆਖਾ ਆਉ ॥ਗੁਪਤੁ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ਬੈਸਾ ਲੋਕੁ ਰਾਖੈ ਭਾਉ ॥ਮਤੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਭੂਲਾ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਉ ॥

    SiDh Hovaa SiDh Laa-ee RiDh Aakhaa Aa-o, Gupat Pargat Ho-ay Baisaa Lok Raakhai Bhaa-o, Mat Daykh Bhoolaa Veesrai Tayraa Chit Na Aavai Naa-o.

    If I were to become a Siddha, and work miracles, summon wealth and become invisible and visible at will, so that people would hold me in awe - seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 14-6

    ਚਾਰਿ ਪਦਾਰਥ ਅਸਟ ਮਹਾ ਸਿਧਿ ਕਾਮਧੇਨੁ ਪਾਰਜਾਤ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰੁਖੁ ॥

    Chaar Padaarath Asat Mahaa SiDh KaamDhayn Paarjaat Har Har Rukh.

    The four great blessings, the eight supernatural spiritual powers of the Siddhas, the wish-fulfilling Elysian cow, and the wish-fulfilling tree of life - all these come from the Eternal and Infinite Akal Purkh. -----Guru Arjan Raag Todi, AGGS, Page, 717-18

    ਇਛਾ ਪੂਰਕੁ ਸਰਬ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਵਸਿ ਹੈ ਕਾਮਧੇਨਾ ॥

    Ichhaa Poorak Sarab Sukh-daata Har Jaa Kai Vas Hai KaamDhaynaa.

    The Akal Purkh is the Fulfiller of desires, the Giver of total peace; the Kaamadhaynaa, the wish-fulfilling cow, is in Its power. -----Guru Ramdas, AGGS, Raag Dhanasari, AGGS, Page, 669-19

    ਕਾਮਧੇਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਮ ॥

    KaamDhayn Har Har Gun Gaam.

    The Khaamadhayn, the cow of miraculous powers, is the singing of the Glory of the Eternal and infinite Akal Purkh's Name. -----Guru Arjan. Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 265-5

    ਪਾਰਜਾਤੁ ਲੋੜਹਿ ਮਨ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ਕਾਮਧੇਨੁ ਸੋਹੀ ਦਰਬਾਰੇ ॥ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਮਾਇ ਰਸਾਇਣਾ ॥

    Paarjaat Lorheh Man Pi-aaray, KaamDhayn Sohee Darbaaray, Taripat Santokh Sayvaa Gur Pooray Naam Kamaa-ay Rasaa-inaa.

    O my beloved mind, if you wish for the 'tree of life'; if you wish for Kaamadhayna, the wish-fulfilling cow to adorn your court; if you wish to be satisfied and contented, then serve the Perfect Guru, and practice the Naam, the source of nectar. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1078-4

    IMHO happening of a miracle and performing a miracle are two different things. A miracle happens under the command of the Will of Akal Purkh, while a miracle is performed to show egotistical superiority of spirituality. The saints could perform miracles if they desired so, since there is no difference between God and Its Saints. The later do have discriminating intellect/ wisdom not to perform miracles against the Will of God. Sikh Gurus Arjan and Tegh Bahadur could have shown some miracles during their martyrdom as well as Guru Gobind Singh during his battles with the Muslim kings but they elected not to. Kabir expresses in Raag Suhi;

    ਸੰਤਾ ਕਉ ਮਤਿ ਕੋਈ ਨਿੰਦਹੁ ਸੰਤ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਏਕੋੁ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋ॥

    Santaa Ka-o Mat Ko-ee Nindahu Sant Raam Hai Ayko, Kaho Kabir Mai So Gur Paa-i-aa Jaa Kaa Naa-o Bibayko.

    Let no one slander the Saints, because the Saints and the God are as one. Says Kabir, I have found that Guru, whose Name is Clear Understanding. -----Kabir. Raag Suhi Lalit, AGGS, Page, 793-11

    There are instances recorded in AGGS of the miracles happening as Willed by Akal Purkh.

    1. Bhagat Namdev & Cow;

    Bhagat Namdev lived during the 12th and 13th centuries A.D. During the rein of Mohammed Bin Tuglak, the King at Delhi, he had to pass through Delhi during days of his pilgrimage to the Holy Places. On seeing an increase in the number of his disciples, the King arrested him and ordered him to resurrect a dead cow.

    The Sultan said, "Listen, Naam Dev: let me see the actions of your God.” The Sultan arrested Naam Dev, and said, "Let me see your Beloved God.” Bring this dead cow back to life. Otherwise, I shall cut off your head here and now.

    "Naam Dev answered, "O king, how can this happen? No one can bring the dead back to life. I cannot do anything by my own actions. Whatever the God does, that alone happens.” The arrogant king was enraged at this reply. He incited an elephant to attack.

    Naam Dev's mother began to cry and she said, "Why don't you abandon your God Ram, and worship his God Allah?”Naam Dev answered, "I am not your son, and you are not my mother. Even if my body dies, I will still sing the Glorious Praises of the God.” The elephant attacked him with his trunk, but Naam Dev was saved, protected by the Akal Purkh.

    The king said, "The Qazis and the Mullahs bow down to me, but this Hindu has trampled my honor.” The people pleaded with the king, "Hear our prayer, O king. Here, take Naam Dev's weight in gold, and release him.” The king replied, "If I take the gold, then I will be consigned to hell, by forsaking my faith and gathering worldly wealth.

    ” With his feet in chains, Naam Dev kept the beat with his hands, singing the Praises of the Akal Purkh.” Even if the Ganges and the Jamunaa rivers flow backwards, I will still continue singing the Praises of the God.” Three hours passed, and even then, the Akal Purkh of the three worlds had not come.

    Playing on the instrument of the feathered wings, the Creator of the Universe came, mounted on the eagle garura, and cherished Its devotee. The Akal Purkh said to him, "If you wish, I shall turn the earth sideways. If you wish I shall turn it upside down. If you wish, I shall bring the dead cow back to life. Everyone will see and be convinced.

    "Naam Dev prayed, and milked the cow. He brought the calf to the cow, and milked her. When the pitcher was filled with milk, Naam Dev took it and placed it before the king. The king went into his palace, and his heart was troubled. Through the Qazis and the Mullahs, the king offered his prayer,” Forgive me, please, O Hindu; I am just a cow before you.

    "Naam Dev said, "Listen, O king: have I done this miracle? The purpose of this miracle is that you, O king, should walk on the path of truth and humility.

    "Naam Dev became famous everywhere for this. The Hindus all went together to Naam Dev. If the cow had not been revived, people would have lost faith in Naam Dev. The fame of Naam Dev spread throughout the world. The humble devotees were saved and carried across with him.

    ਸਗਲ ਕਲੇਸ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਭਇਆ ਖੇਦੁ ॥ਨਾਮੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਨ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ॥

    Sagal Kalays Nindak Bha-i-aa Khayd, Naamay Naaraa-in Naahee Bhayd.

    All sorts of troubles and pains afflicted the slanderer. There is no difference between Naam Dev and the Akal Purkh. -----Namdev, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1166-12

    2. Guru Nanak and Elephant story:

    During the reign of Emperor Sikander Lodhi (Brahm Beg) Guru Nanak and Mardana were passing through Delhi. At the death of King’s elephant, “Mohavat” and his family were crying being scared of the expected punishment. The Guru heard their wailing and crying. Guru was moved to see their sad story and tale of woe.
    Guru asked the Mohavat that if your elephant becomes alive, would you stop crying. Yes Sire! But can dead ever become alive? Hearing this Guru began Kirtan:

    ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਰੁ ਭਾਗੋ ਕਿਸੁ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਉ ॥ਜਿਸ ਕੈ ਡਰਿ ਭੈ ਭਾਗੀਐ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ਮਾਰਹਿ ਰਾਖਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਤੂ ਬੀਜਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਥਾਉ ॥

    Sabd Marai Ta Maar Mar Bhago Kis Peh Jaou, Jis Kai Darr Bhai Bhagia Amrit Ta Ko Nauo, Mareh Rakheh Ayk Tu Beejou Nahi Thauo.

    One who dies in the Word of the Sabd conquers death; otherwise, where can you run? Through the Fear of God, fear runs away; Akal Purkh’s Name is Ambrosial Nectar. You alone kill and protect; except for You, there is no place at all.------Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1010

    The elephant became alive as soon as the Mohavat touched the elephant’s head as the kirtan ended and advised by the Guru. The king arrived, when informed about the incident and inquired, O, Great Saint! Is this you who resurrected the elephant? The Guru answered, “The Life and Death Giver is God”, the saints pray but the Mercy is of Akal Purkh. At certain times, when a saint and the God are one, the God hears true prayers and if It wishes It bestows Its Mercy.
    The king said, “If you pray again, will this elephant die again?

    The Guru said:

    ਮਾਰੈ ਜੀਵਾਲੈ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਸ ਬਿਨ ਅਵਰ ਨਾ ਕੋਇ॥

    Marea Jivaale Soi, Nanak Iss Bin Avar Na Koi.

    God alone Destroys and Resurrects, Nanak there is no one else but the Akal Purkh.-----Puratan Janam Sakhi

    On this, the elephant closed his eyes, took deep breaths and fell down dead. The king was wonderstruck and was numb with fear and asked the Guru to resurrect the elephant again.

    The Guru replied that now the elephant will stay dead, prayers and God’s Mercy resurrected him. Iron is iron, it is not fire but when you put it in fire, it gets red hot like fire. Similarly Holy persons become one with God during prayers, and can undo the things done by God but God cannot undo their doings and recited:

    ਮੇਰੀ ਬਾਂਧੀ ਭਗਤੁ ਛਡਾਵੈ ਬਾਂਧੈ ਭਗਤੁ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ ਮੋਹਿ॥ਏਕ ਸਮੈ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਗਹਿ ਬਾਂਧੈ ਤਉ ਫੁਨਿ ਮੋ ਪੈ ਜਬਾਬੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥

    Meri Bandhi Bhagat Chadave Baandeh Bhagat Na Chooteh Moeh, Ek Samea Mo Kaou Geh Bandeh Taou Foun Mo Pea Jabab Na Hoey.

    The devotee can release anyone from my bondage, but I cannot release anyone from his. If, at any time, he grabs and binds me, even then, I cannot protest.-----Bhagat Namdev, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1252 & 53

    Fakir Nazim understood about the Godly doings and advised the King, who saluted the Guru and returned to his palace.

    3. Kabir & elephant;

    Emperor Sikander Khan Lodhi contracted a severe fever and Kabir was called at the instinct of his enemies to cure the king. King was cured by the mere appearance of Kabir before him. Later the Qazi and others complained that Kabir is leading the people astray. When appeared before the king, he was told to salute the king and make obeisance to the monarch in the usual manner as his subject. Kabir replied that he did not know how to make prostrations, nor had any business with the emperor. He knew only God as the Sovereign of the world. The king ordered he should be bound with chains and thrown in the river. It is said that Kabir swam easily leaving behind the chains. He was thrown in to the fire, which got extinguished. When all modes to destroy him failed, a furious elephant was let loose on him.

    ਭੁਜਾ ਬਾਂਧਿ ਭਿਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਡਾਰਿਓ ॥ ਹਸਤੀ ਕ੍ਰੋਪਿ ਮੂੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਮਾਰਿਓ ॥ ਹਸਤਿ ਭਾਗਿ ਕੈ ਚੀਸਾ ਮਾਰੈ ॥ ਇਆ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਕੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੈ ॥ ਆਹਿ ਮੇਰੇ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਜੋਰੁ ॥ ਕਾਜੀ ਬਕਿਬੋ ਹਸਤੀ ਤੋਰੁ ॥ ਇਸਹਿ ਤੁਰਾਵਹੁ ਘਾਲਹੁ ਸਾਟਿ ॥ ਹਸਤਿ ਨ ਤੋਰੈ ਧਰੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਵਾ ਕੈ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਸੈ ਭਗਵਾਨੁ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਅਪਰਾਧੁ ਸੰਤ ਹੈ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ॥ ਬਾਂਧਿ ਪੋਟ ਕੁੰਚਰ ਕਉ ਦੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ॥ ਕੁੰਚਰੁ ਪੋਟ ਲੈ ਲੈ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੈ ॥ ਬੂਝੀ ਨਹੀ ਕਾਜੀ ਅੰਧਿਆਰੈ ॥ ਤੀਨਿ ਬਾਰ ਪਤੀਆ ਭਰਿ ਲੀਨਾ ॥ ਮਨ ਕਠੋਰੁ ਅਜਹੂ ਨ ਪਤੀਨਾ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਹਮਰਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ॥ ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਮਹਿ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਜਿੰਦੁ ॥

    Bẖujā bāʼnḏẖ bẖilā kar ḏāri­o. Hasṯī karop mūnd meh māri­o. Hasaṯ bẖāg kai cẖīsā mārai. I­ā mūraṯ kai ha­o balihārai. Āhi mėrė ṯẖākur ṯumrā jor. Kājī bakibo hasṯī ṯor. Rė mahāvaṯ ṯujẖ dāra­o kāt. Iseh ṯurāvahu gẖālhu sāt. Hasaṯ na ṯorai ḏẖarai ḏẖi­ān. vā kai riḏai basai bẖagvān. Ki­ā aprāḏẖ sanṯ hai kīnĥā. Bāʼnḏẖ pot kuncẖar ka­o ḏīnĥā. Kuncẖar pot lai lai namaskārai. Būjẖī nahī kājī anḏẖi­ārai. Ŧīn bār paṯī­ā bẖar līnā. Man kaṯẖor ajhū na paṯīnā. Kahi Kabīr hamrā gobinḏ. Cẖa­uthė paḏ meh jan kī jinḏ.

    They tied my arms, bundled me up, and threw me before an elephant. The elephant driver struck him on the head, and infuriated him. But the elephant ran away, trumpeting, I am a sacrifice to this image of the Akal Purkh". O my Master, You are my strength. The Qazi shouted at the driver to drive the elephant on. He yelled out, "O driver, I shall cut you into pieces. Hit him, and drive him on! But the elephant did not move; instead, he began to meditate. The God abides within his mind. What sin has this Saint committed, that you have made him into a bundle and thrown him before the elephant? The elephant lifts the bundle up, and bows down before it. The Qazi could not understand it; he was blind. Three times, he tried to do it. Even then, his hardened mind was not satisfied. Says Kabir, such is my God and Master. The soul of God’s humble servant dwells in the fourth state. -----Kabir, Raag Gond, AGGS, Page, 870

    4. Savior of Prahlad;

    ਕੀਨੀ ਰਖਿਆ ਭਗਤ ਪ੍ਰਹਿਲਾਦੈ ਹਰਨਾਖਸ ਨਖਹਿ ਬਿਦਾਰੇ ॥

    Keenee Rakhi-aa Bhagat Parhilaadai Harnaakhas Nakheh Bidaaray.

    Akal Purkh saved Its devotee Prahlaad, and tore Harnaakhash with nails.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 999-6


    There are no miracles accepted under the tenets of Sikh faith. Although the saints are capable of performing miracles being one with the God through Naam, but their spiritual wisdom does not let them interfere with the God’s Will.

    ਸਗਲ ਪਦਾਰਥ ਅਸਟ ਸਿਧਿ ਨਾਮ ਮਹਾ ਰਸ ਮਾਹਿ ॥

    Sagal Padaarath Asat Sidh Naam Mahaa Ras Maahi.

    All wealth and the eight miraculous spiritual powers are in the supremely sublime essence of the Naam, the Name of the Akal Purkh.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 203-9

    Virinder S. Grewal
    Williamston, MI
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Jun 30, 2004
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    Virinder ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Miracles mean doing something against the laws of Nature, in other words contradicting Hukam, hence no miracles in Sikhi.

    Dogmatic religions needed miracles so they could peddle their dogmatic snakeoil rub to the ignorants. Showing, performing miracles had multifold effects. The trickery mesmerised the spectators. It made their reasoning numb, hence it created a belief in the performer. This is the way all the dogmatic belief systems were conceived, that is where the term 'blind faith' came from. In other words, no questioning allowed.

    Miracles are the reasons that people still flock towards Las vegas in hordes.:)

    Thanks for the excellent write up.

    Tejwant Singh
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