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Shabad, Naam, Amrit, Hukam, Guru - Are They Synonyms?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Ishna, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    I was reading T. Singh Ji's article The Guru: Meaning and Business of the Guru (available here), when I came upon this paragraph:

    As discussed in detail in Part 1 of this Reflection, whenever there is a mention of Guru or Satguru in the Gurbani, it points only towards the non-dual Divine Principle (Shabad, Hukam, ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, etc.). Therefore, the Gurmat's Guru or Satguru or Divine Teacher is situated in the True Home within (Heart). Hence the Gurbani's Satguru neither takes birth nor dies; for he does not have material mother and father. As the Shabad is the Expression of the Satguru, hidden in the Shabad is the mystery and the Essence of this Illuminating Factor. Thus the Satguru, Raam, Gobind, Gopaal, Sahib, Sajjan, Sant, Saadh, Shabad, Naam, Bani, Hukam, Amrit (Immortality), Blissful Realm, Truth, Nij Ghar, and so on, are in essence one and the same.
    Do you think Satguru, Naam, Shabad, Hukam, etc. are essentially interchangable words when reading Gurbani, or are they distinct concepts?

    I always thought they were distinct concepts: Shabad was the Guru's message, the Naam was what you realise by understanding the Shabad, Hukam is the way life goes or the natural laws (I'm not good at expressing this yet).

    I look forward to the sangat's thoughts. Many thanks.
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    I agree with T Singh...different words for the same meaning...and essence.
    Milk-Yoghurt-Lassee-Sour cream-cheese-paneer-different words for the Same Original stuff...we have Milk..and from that we" realise "yoghurt ??...cream..ghee..butter..sour cream..lassee..milkshake..etc etc etc..all have to have MILK...maybe too simplistic a comparison but essentially T SINGH is bulls eye...SIKHS waste too much time splitting hairs...KABEER Has said this so beautifully..he says..the SAINTS drink the MILK+Cream...the World drinks the BUTTER-MILK !!..or worse..just WATER strained OUT from making Cheese/paneer ??
     
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  4. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Guru is the guide
    Hukam is the guidance
    Shabad is the medium
    Naam is the pukar (call)
    Amrit is the quality of anyone who accepts Hukam
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    I do appreciate such a bold reply. Even though I do not agree with your description of "amrit," your reply loosens up the grey cells for a lively discussion. In my understanding, all emanate from the oankaar, but everything cannot be the same as everything else. As in "interchangeable words." Otherwise we have a muddle.

    p/s How are things going? School and family. You had a lot on your plate this past year. :)
     
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  6. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Yes it is hard to explain Amrit, is it the gift from Guru, the jal of sarovar, freedom from death or definition of the Creation?
     
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  7. Ishna

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    It is the sweetness of being which the Sikh is blessed with by Naam simran.
     
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  8. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    In general we take meaning of Sabd as sound (awaz), word (akhar), talk (kalam), name (Ism), essence (zameer), spoken word (bachan), exposition (wazahat), clarity (sarahat), expression (izhar), speech (taqrir), etc. From grammatical point of view, Sabd means a word, hymn or rendering. From linguistic point, Sabd is a composition of sounds. The sound means depicting a thing or a naad (tune). The Vedas tell us that "naad" brought into being fourteen bhavans or regions of the universe. In the Quran, it is mentioned that "kalma" created fourteen tabaqs or divisions. St. John, in his Gospel, has written that "Word" is the root cause of the creation.

    In Mahan KoshBhai Kahn Singh Nabha gives the meaning of Sabd as 1. Tune; Sound; Sabd (Dhun(i); Awaz; Sur) 2.Word; stanza; discussion 3. Knower of the God. (Brahm Gyata) 4. Teachings of the master (Gurupdesh) 5. The God, the Creator (Brahm, Kartaar) 6. Religion (Dharm; Mazhab) 7. Message (Paigham; Suneha) 8. Stanza (The stanzas of various saints) 9.The working life (karmic jeevan) 10. Meaning or purpose of the word (Vachya arth; sabd da maksad).[1]

    Etymologically Sabd is made of two word-sounds: ‘S’ and ‘bd’. S or ‘svai’ means self, (‘hau’+‘mai’ also combined to be spoken as ‘haumai’) and ‘bd’ means to kill, finish or end. Sabd thus means ‘to kill, finish or end haumai’.

    Guru Nanak has explained: “eradicating of haumai with Sabd in Sidh Gosht.”[2] He says: “In egotism, the world was formed; forgetting the Naam, it suffers and dies. One who becomes Gurmukh contemplates the essence of spiritual wisdom through the Sabd and he burns away his egotism.”[3] Eradicating egotism and individualism from within, and erasing duality, the mortal becomes one with God [4]. Without the Sabd, the essence does not come and the thirst of egotism does not depart.[5] The Guru's Sabd abides within the mind, and egotism is eliminated from within.[6]

    Haumai is the one which detaches the being from God. Haumai is the darkness which does not allow the being to see the God, the true light and put up effort to be one with Him. It does not allow the being to meditate on the God. Guru removes this darkness of haumai with Sabd. Sabd thus depicts the removal of haumai, the darkness; it thus becomes Guru; gu+ru, the remover of darkness. It depicts the God, the giver of light; the light that is God. Sabd thus is personified as God, Guru and a being. Sabd has been so described in Indian literature. In English it is ‘word’ and in Latin it is ‘logos’. However in Sikhism, it has very deeper spiritual connotation as compared to other religious scriptures. Sabd in Sri Guru Granth Sahib has the connotations as God, Hukum (Order) of the God received by Sat(i)gur, Guru Mantar, Gurbani etc [7].


    The Holy Granth describes ‘the Sabd’ implicitly. Before the creation, sabd (as God) existed in its latent form and as such had no name. In this state, It was something completely established in Itself and was thus known as Asabd (sound-less), Anaam (nameless), Alakh (non-understandable), Agam (inconceivable), Akah(i) (unutterable) and Akath (indescribable). When it came into manifestation, It was called "Sabd" or "naam". Sabd when hidden was anaam; when in manifestation it became Naam.

    The unwritten or sound sabd or Name is of two types: Firstly we have the attributive names of the Supreme Reality, such as, Hari, Govind, Ram, Haq, Rahim, etc. Secondly, the names brought to the world out of empirical studies, observation of nature, or experience of great prophets, such as, the Name "Om" in the Upanishads, ‘Ahura Mazda’ in the Zend Avastha or Tao of Lao Tzu. Wahiguru, Sat(i)nam and Onkar are immensely evocative and highly esteemed in the Sikh scriptures.

    Whatever is spoken or heard, written or read is Sabd. It reveals the real nature of things and explains the hidden reality or mystery thereof. The Sabd is the revelation by God and the True guidance for a being to perform. The word of God is a lighted lamp in the darkness of ignorance which helps in self realization. It is in this context that the scriptures of various religions have the clear references to the basic common factor, the Divine Light as the only means for creation and maintenance of the universe and the regeneration of mankind.
    Purpose of sabd is to reach a state where thought is absent. Its scope lies in not allowing yourself to be moved by any form of allurement. Its nature is stillness and its activating agent is wisdom.[8]

    Sabd has been the cause of attention in various religions in various word forms. Almost all the religions have accepted Sabd as pertaining to God in one form of other. Sabd is considered as God Himself, Sabd as written word, Sabd as Name of God (Naam), Sabd as Sound, Sabd as Guru, etc. in all the religious scriptures, "Sabd" is stated to be the root instrument of creation, development and the regeneration of the universe.

    According to the doctrine of Logos, as propounded by Philo Judaes, a Jew, who lived in Alexandria in the first-half of first century B.C. and first-half of first century A.D., the Word is the creative, actively expressed and revelatory thought and Will of God which is at once distinguished and identified with Him. It is the immanent Rational Principle in the universe, and it is the active principle in all divine and esoteric knowledge. The Logos is the Reality of all realities underlying the whole universe. It is the First Substance from which everything has its origin.

    Gurbani has used Sabd as written as well as unwritten in the form of sound. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the written Word while recitation of God’s Name is sound word. In the sound form it is taken to mean dhun, naad, bani etc.

    From the theological point of view; Sri Guru Granth Sahib relates Sabd to ‘The God’ ‘Order of God’, ‘Guru’, ‘Religion’, ‘God’s word given by Guru’ and ‘gurbani’. From the above the implications of word are given below:


    Everything from beginning to end exists in Sabd. The physical elements, the subtle and ethereal powers and vibrations, the causal seeds and essences, one and all are from Sabd and nothing but Sabd personified. We live and have our very being in Sabd and ultimately dissolve into Sabd. All the scriptures of the world tell us that Sabd is above the material and efficient cause and All-Controlling Power of the Universe. He is all in all Himself and revels in His creation by supporting it by Sabd. [9] In speaking, in seeing and in words, one must remain immersed in the Sabd. [10]


    Guru
    Etymologically the word Guru is composed of two terms-gu- means darkness and ru- meaning Light. The word Guru thus means from darkness to light or from ignorance to enlightenment. The term 'Guru' in Sikhism is not used for a teacher or a guide or an expert or even a human body but as a spiritual guide who enlightens the mind toward the God and guide one to be in union with the God.

    Meanings- 1. Sweet forms of sugar (Gud, Siahkand) 2. to put up effort, to kill, to damage, to raise (yatan karna; udam karna; maarna; nuksaan karna; ubharna; ucha karna) 3. Originated from ‘gri’ root meaning to gulp and teach; Guru is the one who eats ignorance and explains the knowledge of the matter to the learner. (Guru sabd gri dhatoo ton bania hai. Is de do arth han; niglna te samjhauna. Jo agyan nun kha janda hai ate Sikh nun tatt gyan samjhaunda hai uh guru hai) (Mahan Kosh). [11]

    Sabd-Guru

    Sabd-Guru has a special connotation is Sikhism. Sabd is considered as Guru in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sabd and Guru are interconnected. The word is Guru; the Guru is the word; the word contains all nectars [12]. The Sabd is the Guru, to carry one across the terrifying world-ocean. [13] Darkness is removed from the body by the light of lamp of Guru’s Sabd. Sabd is the Guru and Peer; the serious guide with depth of knowledge; this is why the entire universe is madly seeking the Sabd. [14]

    Guru is the one who gives gyanthrough sabd and enlightens the true disciple, a Gurmukh removing darkness of ignorance and salvaging through Naam. When the sabd is itself considered as Guru, the repertoire of gyan, the enlightening and salvaging process starts with the Sabd Guru.

    Sabd Guru Gyan Naam Naad (Anhad) Enlightenment Salvation Gurmukh

    Guru Granth Sahib as Sabd-Guru

    In the Sikh context Sabd Guru refers to the sacred compositions of the Gurus and the holy saints and sufis incorporated in the Scriptures Sri Guru Granth Sahib. [15] Guru Gobind Singh anointed Sabd-Guru as the ever living guru of the Sikhs. Passing of Guruship to Sabd Guru rather than to a Guru in living body form was not just a sudden thought by Guru Gobind Singh. All the Gurus themselves advocated Sabd as Guru and emulated it so. They considered that the sabd is the real guide, the guru and not the body which is merely an instrument to deliver word. A scripture too is an instrument of delivering the word, hence is equally important. The essence is that the sabd alone is guru and not its bodily forms. The follower of the guru has to follow the sabd and not the body activity or form. One has to have faith in the word and follow it up truly if one wants to get enlightened. These facts are available in Guru Granth Sahib and the other contemporary records.

    All the Gurus considered sabd as the supreme path provider and the true spiritual guide. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru passed on Guruship to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sabd Guru. [16]

    The Sabd Guru; Sri Guru Granth Sahib is thus the True Guru of Sikhs. All Sikhs are urged to follow the Guru’s teaching as recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. They must realize the spirit of Sabd through reading or through Sadh Sangat; the congregation of the holy Sikhs in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. If they follow the teaching of Sabd as understand through the congregation of holy; the Sadh Sangat, and mould their life according to Sabd Guru; they shall surely be redeemed. It is futile to hanker after the mortals who use the Sabd Guru to maintain their status and to gain power and pelf. [17] The congregation of the holy (Sadh sangat)is the instrument of delivery of the sabd.

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is thus the supreme religious Sikh scripture. It is now venerated as the printed Word on 1430 full scale pages and revered as Guru. These Words are the hymns of 6 Gurus, (Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur) and great Hindu and Muslim saints of the twelfth century to seventeenth century A.D. The hymns are in lyrical form i.e., in 31 chosen Ragas and 29 Raginis making a great variety of 70 rag-raginis but all blended ina harmonious way. The teachings of Guru Granth Sahib are natural and spontaneous. They have nothing ritualistic; whatever is taught is directly appealing and applicable without any difficulty. It is easily understood even by the commoner and practiced by all without any barrier of caste and religion.

    Gurbani is a living rhythm imparted through Sanga. Bani in Guru Granth Sahib is the creative force of the infinite rhythm. It has the permutation and the combination when recited it creates the internal rhythm of the body and the being.

    The words of Sri Guru Granth Sahib are all practical and lived through by the Gurus and saints themselves. They are soul-stirring, guiding to spiritual heights and attainment of the Ultimate. Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi found, “Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the matchless Divine Treasure of synthetic embrace of the whole global community and a paradise of spiritual harmony.” Pear S Buck studied the scriptures of all great religions, but “did not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.”

    The power and projection of the sound current in the sabds of Guru Granth Sahib are in Ragas. These Ragas are a methodology of harmonious play of life force. The blessings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib nurture in trees, humans, bees and birds, demons and angels alike. It is a song celestial which sings the glory of the sole god in one harmonious melody from the beginning to end. Once the honeybees sat on a branch to create the honey and tape the Gurbani was played at a distance constantly. That beehive gave three times the honey of the other hives.

    Guru Granth is matchless divine treasure of synthetic embrace of the whole global community; Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a paradise of spiritual harmony. True integration, harmony and unity can only usher in, or a solid foundation of love. This love stands out beautifully harmoniously synthetically in its pristine purity and glory in Sri Guru Granth Sahib where the hymns-celestial of divine lovers of different religion, faith, creed are enshrined in one religion of Love, in brotherhood on man and in sole father hood of God. So Guru Granth Sahib flows and glows the salvation of humanity. [18]

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is thus about the universe and for the universe and has the applicability for people from all walks of life globally. This universality aspect needs to be expounded and propagated further so that the message of Guru Granth Sahib reaches all the corners of the world, is understood and applied to make the world a better living.

    Keeping in view, the above aspects, Sabd is discussed as in various religions in general and in Sikhism in particular in its various forms as God, God’s Order (Hukum), and Guru. A Gurmukh’s salvation process by the guru is also considered through God’s Name (Naam), Divine Musical Hymn (Bani), Divine Music (Anhad Naad), Knowledge (Gyan), Divine Light (Jyot). Sri Guru Granth Sahib is thereafter discussed as Sabd Guru- as a Word revealed, as Record of Origin of Universe, its history of Installation, Doctrines, Concepts and Theories, its Universal Relevance. Finally how the word is expounded through Sadh Sangat and Khalsa are given out.

    [[1] Mahan Kosh, National Book Shop, New Delhi, 1985 edn, p.46

    [2] Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Siddh Gost M 1, p.943-945.

    [3] ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਨਾਮਿ ਵਿਸਰਿਐ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਈ ॥
    ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ
    (
    rwmklI mhlw 1, pMnw.946:3) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Ramkali M 1: 946:3)

    [4] ਹਉਹਉ ਮੈ ਮੈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਖੋਵੈ ਦੂਜਾ ਮੇਟੈ ਏਕੋ ਹੋਵੈ (rwmklI mhlw 1, pMnw.943:5) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Ramkali, M1:943:5)

    [5] ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਰਸੁ ਆਵੈ ਅਉਧੂ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਿਆਸ ਜਾਈ
    (
    rwmklI mhlw 1, pMnw.945 :1) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Ramkali M.1:943:5)

    [6]uਰਕਾਸਬਦੁਮiਨਵiਸਆਹਉਮੈ iਵਚਹੁਖoਇ॥(m 1, Mਨਾ 61:5) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, M.1: p.61:5)

    [7] Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha: Gurmat Martand, Part I, SGPC Amritsar, Oct., 1983, p.131.

    [8] Extracts from "The Path of Sudden Attainment" by Hui Hai : a scripture of Mahayana
    Buddhism translated by John Blofeld: Method of Enlightenment by sudden apprehension.

    [9] Basant M1

    [10]ਆਖਣੁਵੇਖਣੁਬੋਲਣਾਸਬਦyਰਹਿਆਸਮਾਇ॥ (ਮਃ3, ਪੰਨਾ 35:9) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, M3, p. 35:9)

    [11] Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, Mahan Kosh, p.419, 421)

    [12] bwxI Guru hY bwxI ivic bwxI AMimRq swry[[(pMnw, 982) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, p.982)

    [13] ਸਬਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਭਵਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰੀਐ ਇਤ ਉਤ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

    [14] sbdu gur pIrw gihr gMBIrw ibnu sbdY jgu baurwnM[[(pMnw, 635) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, p.635)

    [15] Harbans Singh (ed), 1992, Encyclopedia of Sikhism, , p.276

    [16] Bhatt Wahi Talaunda, Pargna Jeend. As mentioned in ‘Guru Kian Sakhian’ (ed. Piara Singh Padam and
    Giani Garja Singh Publishers Kalam Mandir, Patiala:1986, p.14)

    [17] AwigAw BeI Akwl kI qBI clwieau pMQ[[
    sB isKn ko hukum hY guru mwinau gRMQ[[
    guru gRMQ jI mwinau pRgt gurW kI dyh[[
    jo pRB ko imlbo chY Koj sbd my lyh[[


    [18] Yogi Harbhajan Singh: Eternal Glory of Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Simriti Granth; Aduti Gurmat Sangeet Sammelan 2001: Jawadi Taksal, Jawadi, Ludhiana
     
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    #7 dalvindersingh grewal, Jan 1, 2014
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  9. Taranjeet singh

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    I hope not.
    as per my understanding..
    Your question can be answered in slight details to make things clear. I am told that Gurbani is written and is meant for those who have attained the stage of Brahm- Gyan and those who have not and are fiddling their ways to arrive at conclusions and concepts for themselves and to reach at some respectable stage in terms of realms as stated in Jap ji sahib.

    In view of this a person is a beginner at initial stages and at appropriate stage he can be called to be a Brahm- Gyani or something equivalent. For a person like me who is a beiginner, I shall always keep my self clear that Guru is different from Hukum and Hukum is different from Naam. We have small explanations whether explicit or implicit in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Naam is different from shabad e.g. Shabad is Gurbani and Naam is something that is given by the Lord through the Gurus who are stated to be the divine intermediary for this purpose. It is incumbent upon me to keep this difference in mind. If I do not do this I shall not be able to understand the Gurbani. May be if I use these terms interchangeably I may not be proceed ahead at all. I shall not be able to get the message that is being conveyed if I start using these terms as synonyms.

    It may be after a great practice of reading and Paath and Rehat that one may understand things as stated in Bani of Guru Sahibaan. May be, It is in intermittent stage where one intensifies naam-simran /jaap etc to reach the levels of Brahmgyan or higher spritual gains.It is at this stage that we are given an understanding to understand the Bani in a reasonable manner and we can employ the terms as we are comfortable with.

    Till I reach that stage I shall keep these terms as distinct and different. Mr. T Singh and Mr. Grewal are very learned persons , in my opinion, that they have debugged the meanings of so simple looking terms and have arrived at some conclusions. I am not yet comfortable with the exegesis of Dr. Sahib Singh as well; How can I use these terms interchangeably, is beyond my comprehension and shall remain so till I find the meaning myself

    I am happy to employ the terms in very conventional manner. I shall not bother Mr. Grewal or T Singh for what they have authored. May be they are many steps above in the spiritual ladder in so far the understanding of Bani is concerned.

    For me there is very wide distinction between the terms stated by you.
    May we all be blessed with the understanding in due course of time and may we all meet and see one another in the Last realm of Jap ji Sahib, i.e. Sach khand.

    All the best to all....

    E & O E
     
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    #8 Taranjeet singh, Jan 1, 2014
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  10. Ishna

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    Thank you Dalvinder ji for sharing the article. It is a challenging article to read but very informative. It has helped me greatly!

    Taranjeet ji, thank you as well for your comments, which are more appropriate to my current level of understanding. It is good to be reminded that understanding is a process and we start as beginners with a beginner's understanding of Gurbani and work our way up if we are so blessed and committed.
     
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  11. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    its vital that we dont waste too much time splitting hairs...then we may not even notice that we have no more hairs left to split....and its time to say goodbye..Ghallehy ayeh annka saddeh utth jayeh...Kabir Ji is right..we waste time drinking the WHEY...and think we are very smart...while the simpleton eats the malaii and ghee makahnn paneer etc...the smart guy looks for the atomic formula of whey...
     
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  12. spnadmin

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    Gyani ji is correct about splitting hairs. I can see how these terms are as Mr. Grewal has stated, "inter-connected." I cannot see how these terms are synonyms for one another or interchangeable. Just as a thought-experiment, I chose 2 lines from Japuji Sahib in which Guru Nanak raises a problem and then resolves it.

    The translation is by Dr. Manmohan Singh.


    ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥
    Kiv sacẖi▫ārā ho▫ī▫ai kiv kūrhai ṯutai pāl.
    How can we be true and how can the screen of untruth be rent?

    ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
    Hukam rajā▫ī cẖalṇā Nānak likẖi▫ā nāl. ||1||
    O Nanak! By obeying, the pre-ordained order of the Lord's will.

    The problem: how can we know the sat? How can the veil of illusion be torn from our perceptions? And the resolution is: by falling in line with "hukam" or more specifically with the all-governing nature of hukam itself.

    Now the thought experiment. If we substitute 'guru" "amrit" "shabad" or "naam" in place of "hukam" does that change Guru Nanak's meaning?

    or.....Do the substitutions make sense? Hukam rajā▫ī cẖalṇā Nānak likẖi▫ā nāl. ||1|| Guru rajā▫ī cẖalṇā Nānak likẖi▫ā nāl. ||1|| Shabad rajā▫ī cẖalṇā Nānak likẖi▫ā nāl. ||1|| Amrit rajā▫ī cẖalṇā Nānak likẖi▫ā nāl. ||1|| Naam rajā▫ī cẖalṇā Nānak likẖi▫ā nāl. ||1|| I leave it to the kind readers to puzzle it out.

    By making substitutions, the message that results is perhaps meaningful because guru, amrit, shabad and naam are interconnected with "hukam." But, are they so interchangeable that we can remove "hukam" and simply slide another word in as if the Japuji is constructed from LEGO building bricks. Instead, Guru Nanak chose to use "hukam" at the very beginning of the Japuji to get across a particular idea in the 1st pauree of the Japuji (which has a carefully ordered progression of understandings). He did not use any of the other 4 words. I have to believe Guru Nanak was deliberate when he made the choice, or he would have chosen different words. Splitting hairs leads us down a rabbit hole
     
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  13. Ishna

    Ishna
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    There is a difference between splitting hairs and seeking definitions. When reading Gurbani, often one term is used to help describe another, and for someone who isn't familiar with the terms, it looks like one unknown is being described by another unknown, and so on. Seeking to understand the words, so to understand the Gurbani, is not splitting hairs. Without definitions, none of it makes much sense.

    Perhaps it is the kind of situation where, if we use the word amrit to describe the taste of an apple*, the word Naam to describe the taste of apple pie*, the word shabad to describe the apple juice*, then although they're describing inter-related things which are slightly different, the individual still needs to have experienced the taste of said products before being able to fully understand them.

    *whines* But I want to taste it noooooooow LOL

    * Note: these apple products are arbitrary so please don't read anything into them)
     
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  14. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Ishna ji

    Asking for definitions is not splitting hairs. It is asking for clarity. So you are not the hair-splitter in my view. The hair-splitting comes in when enormous effort is spent to reduce concepts that are used in distinctive ways to a common denominator. The result is not informative; it leads to over-simplification. When Kabir ji speaks of drinking the whey as Gyani ji tells us, he is calling to question the manmatt habit of strangling dyaan by theories and analysis.

    Thinking back to the Japuji. The Japuji is Guru Nanak's description of his journey, and each pauree describes a step in his personal progression of spiritual discovery. Each pauree evolves from paurees that came before. They are tied together in sequence. Bowing to hukam begins the journey, and therefore it cannot be used as a synonym for concepts that follow. I have to think Guru Nanak knew what he was doing by beginning where he began, and making his way to the attainment of other blessings. He could have begun with "amrit" or "naam", but he did not. Hukam is dynamic and moves the universe. We submit to hukam; we internalize the others as we progress.

    What is the progression in the Japjui from hukam to naam, shabad, guru, or amrit? That would be interesting to map out. It might help clarify these distinctive meanings and at the same time clarify the unity among them.
     
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  15. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Naam is what you would call the state of being when one experiences waheguru One on One.
    You could say that is what you would call him, the experience, the description of 'whom'
    Shabad is the vibration of naam that can be the spoken word or sound.
    Amrit is the Sensory sensation one feels when having the naam experience.
    You are in COMPLETE HUKAM or his entire divine command only when there is NO influence of mind thoughts. Otherwise, we can still be aligned within hukam but not completely submitted whilst our mind still wanders.
     
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  16. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    One can only go so far in seeking definitions or gaining some form of reasoned clarity.

    most of this can only really be experienced...and even when experienced you won't be able to define it, or find the words to describe it...because it all goes beyind anything the mind can fathom.

    Define as much as you can, if only to put your mind to rest so that you can move forward in your journey...later you will find that what you experience within you can not be defined or explained so easily...and you'll give up on defintions :)


    concerning shabad, i believe shabad can be heard within ourselves, and guides our consciosness (who we really are) back to our source. like hearing a beautful sound amongst the noise of a busy market...it first grabs your attention and you are then drawn towards it

    I also believe Amrit like lucky Ji mentioned can be felt, experienced flowing within you and into you...is this really Amrit?...can i define it as Amrit? i don't think i can...but when this is felt, i don;t think i care anymore about defininf it, you just bath in that moment...and nothing else matters
     
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  17. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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  18. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    These are like North ,East ,South and West for they are four manifestations of one Magnestism that should help you to orient yourself .
     
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  19. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Remember when you asked about the SAT NAV ? You were on to something back then.
     
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  20. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
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    We seek him here,we sikh
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    What I mean is we think about where to go and we look at concepts to get us there but we just need to know where we are or 'know thy self' And the best way to do this is to concentrate all your effort on others.
    If anyone understands what I mean about anything ,then I say they are doing well ,as make it all up. lol
     
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  21. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    HUKM is the BEDROCK..the Foundation of the Entire Universe...the Laws - Physical as well as not, Electrical, Mechanical, Gravity, magnetic etc etc etc..the entire Universe is founded on HUKM....not a cell exists OUTSIDE HUKM...thats why Guru nanak Jis First STEP is acknowledgement of HUKM...everything follows this ....
     
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