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Sargun/Nirgun?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Gurpreet Kaur, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. Gurpreet Kaur

    Gurpreet Kaur
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    GurFateh Jio!

    Can someone explain to me what the Gurbani says about the concepts of Sargun/Nirgun, how is this contradiction expressed in the Bani...what do you feel Guru Ji is saying about these aspects of God? Also, why do we not worship both forms of Him?
     
  2. Amarpal

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    Dear Member (Saihajleen),

    Nirgun and Sargun are only dualities. In fact they are one and the same. I explain it based on physical phenomenon with which we all are familiar.

    Take the Sun light it is colourless, here I take colour as Guna and I call sun light as Nirguna. If this light is passed through a prism, it splits into seven colours and each of this has colour (Guna). If these split light beams are collected and inverted back by suitable optics, they will all merge and again become one colour less beam. Nirguna can become Sarguna and Sarguna can become Nirguna. With this example one can see that Nirguna has all the Gunas in it. So if in scripture you find some where Nirguna and Sarguna, to me it appears all the same. Summation of all the Gunas is equal to Nirguna, this is what I have tried to tell in above example. In other words out of the Nirguna all the Gunas originate. 'Karta Purakh' has all the Gunas, but there is no need for 'Karta Purakh' to show them off, Karta Purakh remains in Nirguna state.

    As I have said, Sarguna and Nirguna are dualities. If one starts dissolving the dualities from life in real sense, then one move further making progress on the path to spirituality. Ultimately the last duality is dissoved by 'Gurparsadi' where the being's Nirakaar part merges with 'Sat Kartar'. The individual may have Akaar as a living being but her/his spirit has merged with 'Karta Purakh', the duality had disappeared. It was in this state that our Guru Sahibs lived their lives, body ceases to have any meaning to them except for carrying out their mission, that is why our Guru Sahib could sit on hot Kiln with hot sand being poured on his head, yet Guru Sahib remained in perfect peaceful state of mind. Guru Sahib was beyound dualities, he was one with 'Karta Purakh'.

    With Love and Respect for all.

    Amarpal
     
  3. Gurpreet Kaur

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    Thankyou for you reply Amarpal Ji, sorry for my late reply, I was abroad for a few weeks.

    I understand that these are dualities now, but this means we have no identity yes? I mean, and I hope I can explain this properly, do we have any identity since we are the sargun form of Vaheguru? If we don't, then why are we striving for Mukti, and from what? If it is all God then why try to escape this? I know there is suffering in life, but it makes no sense.

    Islaam and other semitic religions believe that Allaah created out of nothing, hence we are separate from God, hence we have a purpose and identity. If we are a form of Vaheguru, then why is He trying to realise Himself?

    Also, if we go through so many cycles of births and deaths in reincarnation, yet ultimately we all merge back in him, then where is the justice? Someone may have completed only 10 cycles for example, and God had decided to destroy or end creation, in which case the Brahmgyani who worked so hard to reach that state would recieve the same reward (merging back in Him) as the guy who had gone through 10 cycles only.

    Finally, a esoteric and spiritual experience cannot be described as it is compared to a mute person tasting sugar and being asked to explain or describe the experience. However, then how can we ascertain that the experience we are having is the correct one and not just our imagination or hallucinations or other tricks of the mind, having no guidelines to compare it with?
     
  4. Kandola

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    sargun- gods actual form (yes he does have a form). when we do simran, we'll get to the state of dasam duar. when dasam duar opens (on the top of the head), you'll see god. thats sargun, when you see gods actual form.

    nirgun-what we see, the formless version. but is this form everywhere?

    no!

    the reason is, if god was everywhere, would he not be in our hearts and minds and would we not always be remembering him? and would we not be following guru jis hukam 100%?

    nirgun is everywhere, just not in the hearts and minds of people (well in some he is)
     
  5. lion

    lion
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    >>Islaam and other semitic religions believe that Allaah created out of nothing, hence we are separate from God, hence we have a purpose and identity. <<<<



    Dear seihajleen kaur ji ,can you kindly explain, what purpose they and what identity they have????why they r separated fom GOD?? for what purpose??why GOD has sent them to suffer on this earth???why? remember muslims r ones who most suffering!
     
  6. Mr §ingh

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    From the knowledge GUru ji's blessed me with, I think it is the wall of 'haumai' which is supparating our Atma from PARAMatma
    when we get of rid of Haumai, it's all ONE -


    jb hm hoqy qb qU nwhI Ab qUhI mY nwhI ] Anl Agm jYsy lhir mie EdiD jl kyvl jl mWhI ]1]

    When I am in my ego, then You are not with me. Now that You are with me, there is no egotism within me. The wind may raise up huge waves in the vast ocean, but they are just water in water. || 1 ||
    ang 657

    ------------------------
    basically aim is to remove 'mai' - 'me' and become 'tu'

    pMnW 1375, sqr 10 -- Bgq kbIr
    kbIr qUM qUM krqw qU hUAw muJ mih rhw n hUM ]
    Kabeer, repeating, "You, You", I have become like You. Nothing of me remains in myself.


    bhull chukk maaf
     
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    I beg to differ with the above interpretation.

    The way I understand this is that, not just by repeating "YOU, YOU" HIS NAME- (which are many and none)-we can become IKONGKAARlike, but only by repeating the deeds many times over we can seek HIM within.

    Tejwant
     
  8. Kandola

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    by saying "you, you", he merged into god. thats what hes saying. he was remembering god. simran.

    he was saying "you, you"

    meaning,

    "there is only you, here is only you, there is only you"

    who is you?

    the answer is god.
     
  9. lion

    lion
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    well,i agree on above statements...we needs to remove our "EGO" from our minds....if we keep doubting,doubdting,and doudting....there is no end of it.....no matter what religion you may fowllowing....i have met the few people in this situation...i know a christian guy...who was converted to hinduism,then islam,then buddism,then janism, but still he was unhappy...and now he is studying about sikhism...and only God knows, where he will gonna end up......
     
  10. singh99

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    Saihajleen Kaur Ji

    Very interesting questions.

    Think of the soul as the inside of an orange and the orange peel is a collection of Haumai, and the other four Vikaars. The soul ( Atma ) must dispense with the Vikaars that envelope it in order to merge with the Great Soul ( Param Atma ) or Waheguru. The process of breaking the Vikaars is the process of realisation in which the soul realises it's true calling in this world. With each rebirth the peel becomes thinner or it becomes thicker. When the peel is no more then the soul has achieved what it had come into the world for.

    You enquire about injustice. What greater justice is there than the consolation that Gurbani gives that each and every soul will one day reach it's final destination. In Islam they believe that if you do A, B and not do C then you are assured a place in heaven. If you don't do A and B but do C then you are bound to burn in hellfire and Allah with be 'merciful' enough to provide you with a new skin each time your old skin has been burnt away in hellfire so that you don't miss out on the pain of his 'justice' lol This simplistic notion makes sense among people who wish only to be told to do something and not think and experience for themselves. The oldest maxim is that life is about experience. An older and a wiser person may impart knowledge of his life experience to a younger person but in the end until you experience the same things that the older person went through you will not know the value of his knowledge. You will experience life and with each rebirth you will continue either up the road to Waheguru or back downwards away from Waheguru. Waheguru is all love. There is no injustice in his court. We die and we are judged in an instant, we do not lie in graves awaiting judgement days that never come like in Muslim beliefs.

    You also asked about whether we can judge our spiritual experience and know whether it is real or an hallucination. How can I explain this, rather like your example from Gurbani I too am like a mute person tasting sugar and then being asked to describe it. The only thing I can say is that when you experience, you know whether it is real or a hallucination. I could tell you about the experiences I have had but then you will naturally ask 'how do you know they were real and not hallucinations'? The only thing that I can say then is that being the one who experienced I know that it was real.

    Fateh
     
  11. Arvind

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    sukhmani Sahib talks about Sargun and Nirgun. I feel explanation of those tukks are relevant to understand this concept. I will gather more details about this, before posting my response.

    Regards.
     
  12. lion

    lion
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    >>Islaam and other semitic religions believe that Allaah created out of nothing, hence we are separate from God, hence we have a purpose and identity<<<<<


    Saihajleen Kaur ji,

    if we look at other side of coin.....it sems like very funny to me...

    lets look at islam first,islamic holy book Quran says that islam is the ONLY WAY to reach GOD....hence all non muslims,whether they are christians,sikhs,hindus,buddists,jains or whatever.....they will be going to birn in the HELL fire,right???

    now, on the other hand, christian holly book Bible says,that christianity is the only way to reach God,hence all non christians,whether they are muslims,sikhs,hindus,budhists,or whatever,all these people will be going to birn in the hell fire...right???

    so according to both religions, ALL HUMAITY+ALL ANIMALS,birds,etc...will be going to birn in the HELL fire..so who is going to marriage in God anyways????

    my qustion is now,to whome we should trust??????
     
  13. Gurpreet Kaur

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    Singh99 Ji

    Thanks for your response all. Singh, I understand what you mean, however, do you believe that we are Vaheguru also yes? So, if the sargun roop is God also, why is God peeling those oranges Himself?
     
  14. Mr §ingh

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    Perhaps Blessing our 'vichri hoi roo'
    :)

    p.s check your inbox bhenji
     
  15. singh99

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    Saihajleen Kaur Ji

    I took another look at your posts and I think I need to elaborate on what I wrote as well as expand on my post.

    Firstly, Sikhism is about experience rather than endless intellectual speculation. Guru Nanak in japji Sahib informs us that the use of our limited human intellect will only take you a short distance towards self realisation.

    Using a limited number of words, we describe the Unlimited
    Truth—God! We are ignorant and lack understanding.
    Without realizing God within, there is no Spiritual Wisdom.
    (SGGS 934).

    God's sermon is profound and unfathomable. It is heard to be one thing, but it is understood to be something else; because it is beyond mundane description and explanation (SGGS 498).

    Even knowing God, I cannot describe Him. He cannot be described in words (Japji Sahib).

    What use is it to read, and what use is it to study? What use is it to listen to the Vedas and Kateb (Bible, Quraan, etc.) What use is reading and listening, if naturally or spontaneously the Self is not realised? (SGGS 655).


    So we can conclude that the road to self realisation is in experience and not in use of words or intellectual study. So to know truth one has to go through the experience and it is useless to then try and describe that experience.

    The Gurus describe the nature of that person who has realised his true self ( Brahm Gyani )

    The Brahm gyani is ever immaculate as the lotus untouched by water
    The Brahm gyani are not tainted by impartiality
    As the sun which warms all objects equally ( Sukhmani Sahib )



    We need to understand that as the Guru says we cannot quantify or analyse God using our intellectual abilities. Some religions may try and present an intellectual argument for what God can be or cannot be but for the Gurus this is just idle speculation.


    You mentioned Islam and how it views man as apart from God and to understand this we need to look at how the semitic religions developed. When early man saw the power of nature was greater than himself he ascribed divine powers to the things which affected his life, rain, thunder, the mountains and the forests were all thought of as gods and worshipped. In this way man thought himself to be apart from these gods. It was difficult for him to think of himself as in any way the same as the things, which made such a dramatic impact on his life. Later with the development of religion, the power of all these things were vested in one God who was placed in a heaven far away. With the development of a God apart from his creation as well as from man it is not possible to think in terms of God and creation as One. This is why the soul does not feature much in the Koran, it is man and his bodily existence after death which is commented upon. This is why the heaven to which Muslims aspire is a not a place of the spirit but a place where the pleasures of the body are taken care of to excess. This is also why the resurrection of the body on the day of judgement is so important.

    Compare this with number of times that the soul or the self is referred to in Gurbani and how the true realised person has no concern from chasing wealth, property or gratification of the senses.

    The problem with the intellectual pursuit of knowing God is that in the end it creates more questions than at answers. If God could be known intellectually then surely there would be no need for more and more commentaries on the Koran. Millions of pages have been written to try and explain what is supposed to be in the words of God!

    In essence the need to know God by intellect only leads to more questions and more doubt. There are many Islamic websites where ‘conversion’ stories are posted about how so and so found the ‘truth’ in Islam and go on the describe how they ‘studied’ many religions and found Islam is the ‘answer’. Quite apart from the fact that it is physically impossible to study all religions in their entirety in one lifetime let alone a few months which these people claim to have needed to finish their mammoth task! The intellectual route to God leads in the end to doubt. This is why so many Muslims will rejoice when they read a ‘conversion’ story. This removes the doubts that constantly face those who place intellect above spiritual experience because if someone else ‘converted’ to Islam then it must be the ‘truth’! But then look at any Islamic site and you will see them feature fabricated stories and ‘facts’ to prove some story or idea in the Koran is the ‘truth’ and so the author of the Koran must be God. A few which have been doing the rounds in the Neil Armstrong conversion story. Apparently according to the advocates of the intellectual way to knowing God, Neil Armstrong upon making his ‘huge leap for mankind’ on the moon heard the Islamic call to prayer and upon returning to earth was in Egypt where he heard the Azan again and became convinced of the ‘truth’ of Islam that he converted to Islam! Neil Armstrong has denied this and is in fact a born again Christian, but these stories of Neil Armstrong’s conversion still do the rounds on Islamic sites. One Muslim convert even went on the radio to say that he converted to Islamic after hearing this story! Recently a Bangladeshi newspaper printed a picture of a huge human skeleton that was supposed to have been unearthed in Saudi Arabia which the reporter went on to argue proves that the story in the Koran that one group of people were over 60 feet tall was ‘true’. Later it was discovered that the picture had doctored and the real undoctored picture was produced. The ironic thing was that the real picture was of a dinosaur fossil being excavated so a fact that disproves the Koran ( dinosaurs ) was used to ‘prove’ that the Koran was the ‘truth’!

    Now one needs to ask the reason why those who want to take the intellectual route to knowing God still have to take solace from their doubts by reading conversion stories or make up ‘facts’ which have no basis in reality. This obsession with being able to argue in an intellectual way which religion or which holy book is ‘true’ has lead to various books and websites where words from the Koran are twisted to mean something totally different to what they have been understood to mean for the last 1400 years, solely because the concept or idea they describe is not in line with current scientific knowledge. Apparent contradictions are explained away with pages and pages of verbal gymnastics and ramblings which in the end only show how deficient the intellectual route to knowing God is.

    So now you will realise how the Gurus based their views on their experience of God and not on intellectually viewing the world and trying to explain each and everything in it. In your first post you believed that the Nirgun and Sargun concept of Waheguru is a contradiction. Yes, if looked at it in our limited human knowledge we can say that it is a contradiction. But based on what the Gurus write about the way to realisation of Waheguru it makes perfect sense. Look at it this way, Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Arjan Dev were perfect in every sense. They were ‘Antarjami’ the knowers of all that is within everything. Now do you suppose that they would not know that using limited human knowledge we could arrive at the conclusion that Nirgun and Sargun are contradictory? There is a famous maxim that if you ask a question and get an answer who in your view is incorrect, rethink the question and approach it from another angle.

    The understand Nirgun-Sargun we need to have a look at the ‘whole picture’ and not through our limited view of the world and our existence.

    The majority of Shabads from Gurbani reiterate the Gurus’ advice that we must look beyond our limited human understanding and look to the experience of self realisation itself. Self realisation is achieved through Nam Jap, Truthful and alturistic living, honest labour and seeing the light of Waheguru in all. It starts when we realise that we have the light of Waheguru in us and we endevour to reduce the actions of the lower self the ‘I’ on our lives. A Muslim would probably ask what use is it for someone to have realised his self but then cannot describe it for the benefit of others. Maybe a Sikh would answer that what use is it for someone to think of aspiring to go to heaven when no one has returned from there to tell us what exactly it is and whether it actually exists!

    What is the self and how can we realise it?

    The self can be classified into two. The self centric self ( Hau ) is what man perceives to be ‘I’, that is the identity which he gives himself working within the limitation and confines of his intellect and his senses. This is what feels pain and pleasure. This identity he deems to be real and his true self ( atma ) he deems to be non-existent. In a sense the Hau is what is promoted in Islam as the identity of man and something that will remain in the grave until doomsday when it will join the resurrected body.

    The Gurus taught that the Hau is not real and has a temporary existence. It is through this self that man views the world and himself as distinct from God.

    The Hau is not to be suppressed but calmed so that it has no impact. Through the Hau we are able to work, provide for our families and in general take care of the mundane concerns of the world. The true self ( atma ) is that which blazes with the hidden light of God and is not subject to destruction and unlike the Hau is permanent. The Atma is what is revealed to us when we get self realisation through the Guru.

    Self realisation starts when one beings to look within oneself.

    Everything is within oneself, nothing is outside oneself
    He who seeks the Lord outside himself is lost in doubt ( SGGS 102 )


    Man finds step by step the unity firstly within himself and between him and God and all creation. If he denies his true self he denies God within as well as God without. When he realises his true self he realises that the same universal spirit and light that pervades the universe outside him as the profound universe within him. In this state the apparent contradiction between Nirgun-Sargun based on our limited human knowledge is resolved. The self realised person views EVERYTHING as ONE.

    I searched and searched the body within
    The True Guru revealed life’s mysteries contained within ( SGGS 695 )

    In the body God is present, the body is His temple
    In the body is the place of pilgrimage of which I am a pilgrim ( SGGS 659 )



    Self realisation comes when one calms the Hau and through the love of the Guru and following the instructions of the Guru


    Through the Guru’s word alone there comes the moment of knowing
    My self is that self. Through faith in the Guru.
    The true self is known. What else do we need to know? ( SGGS 59 )


    God meets him who realises his self by the light shedding love of the Guru
    ( SGGS 364 )

    On knowing his self man meets God and then he dies not ( SGGS 1410 )

    Who is a man of wisdom? Says Nanak he who realises his self and understands God ( SGGS 25 )


    Whenever anyone approached the Gurus to become their disciple, the Gurus always pointed out that their path was thinner than a human hair and it is difficult to follow. The Gurus could easily have promised instant self realisation to all their followers and it was well within their power to give it but then what would their followers have learnt from this experience. We can say that God should let each and every child born know everything about what it has to do to achieve self realisation and the capacity to retain that knowledge. But then what would be aim of life? As I mentioned earlier life is about experience and a journey of self realisation.

    You also mentioned suffering in your previous post. Semitic religions relate suffering as punishment for disobeying God or as a test for the faithful which is given by God to test their faith. Gurmat does not agree with this. Suffering is related to being far from Waheguru and also as a consequence of our actions both in this life and the previous one. Waheguru has given man a free will, it is up to man to decide whether he wants to realise his true self and to see God and creation as one and not to be led into duality. Duality comes from viewing the world and God as separate and not as one. Duality leads to suffering because it entails having a world view that is in variance with the Absolute reality.

    Branded with a thousand marks of disgrace, Indra cried in shame.
    Paras Raam returned home crying.
    Ajai cried and wept when he was made to eat the manure he had given pretending it was charity.
    Such is the punishment received in the Court of the Lord.
    Rama wept when he was sent into exile, and separated from Sita and Lakhshman.
    The ten-headed Raawan, who stole away Sita with the beat of his tambourine wept when he lost Sri Lanka.
    The Pandavas once lived in the Presence of the Lord; they were made slaves, and wept.
    Janmayjaa wept, that he had lost his way.
    One mistake, and he became a sinner.
    The Shaikhs, Pirs and spiritual teachers weep;
    at the very last instant, they suffer in agony.
    The kings weep - their ears are cut they go begging from house to house.
    The miser weeps; he has to leave behind the wealth he has gathered.
    The Pandit, the religious scholar, weeps when his learning is gone.
    The young woman weeps because she has no husband.
    O Nanak, the whole world is suffering.
    He alone is victorious, who believes in the Lord's Name.
    No other action is of any account. ( SGGS 954 )


    When the person has realised his true self, pain and pleasure has no meaning.

    One who knows that pain and pleasure are both the same, and honor and dishonor as well,
    who remains detached from joy and sorrow, realizes the true essence in the world.
    Renounce both praise and blame; seek instead the state of Nirvaanaa.
    O servant Nanak, this is such a difficult game; only a few Gurmukhs understand it! ( SGGS 218 )


    I hope this post made things clearer for you. If you have any more questions please post them or email me

    GurFateh
     
  16. Gurpreet Kaur

    Gurpreet Kaur
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    Nirankaar Aakaar Api Nirgun Sargun Ek, Ekahi Ek Bakhanno, Nanak Ek Anek <--- Guru Ji answered:D

     
  17. etinder

    etinder
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    for the sargun roop of God please take a look into shabad hazare

    regards
     

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