Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Sikh Rehat Maryada: The Why & the Wherefore

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by IJSingh, May 5, 2013.

  1. IJSingh

    IJSingh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    371
    Sikh Rehat Maryada: The Why & the Wherefore

    Why do we have one? Do we even need it? Couldn’t we live without it?

    The questions are challenging. And provoking; the idea, however, is to start -- not a fight but a conversation, so put on your thinking caps and turbans.

    Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 4.48.19 PM.png

    I didn’t dream up these questions. Good people, Sikhs and non-Sikhs, ask them everyday not only about the Sikh Code of Conduct (Rehat Maryada) but the many similar codes that are basic to the many religions around the globe. The Internet is abuzz with such challenges every day.

    My focus is obviously on Sikhi and its fundamentals even though I’ll refer to the reasoning of some non-Sikh and secular traditions as well.

    When such questions surface, as they do with awesome predictability, some rough and ready answers come to mind. To wit, this is our tradition and it is sacred. To question is to profane it. Or this is what the Guru-Founders of Sikhi gave us; how dare we try our puny little intellect around it? This closes all conversation on the matter. To shut down communication means a person has been silenced but not that he has been persuaded. This then wouldn’t be consistent with the values of the Founder-Gurus.

    And all the way on the other end of the spectrum is the extreme view that this Code is what some bright Sikhs thought up, in a different time and place. The world has changed. It may have been good then but no longer. Look at how many Sikhs don’t follow it – particularly when it comes to the long unshorn hair etc. Isn’t it time to change it if not to jettison the whole kit and caboodle?

    Even those who carp continue to hold that Sikhi is a beautiful spiritual practice and path. The core purpose of spirituality is to set us free; why then should we be bogged down by a man-made set of practices that we fondly label requirements of the faith? All we need to do is to recognize the universality of the spirituality of the faith so that differences between people vanish. Spirituality enables us to see the humanity in all and transcend distinctions of caste, creed, color race, gender, national origin, even culture and language.

    When such differences vanish then we become one with the teachings of Sikhi that tell us “Maanas ki jaat sabhe ekae pehchhanbo (Dasam Granth, Akal Ustat, Kabit 15, p 17) Aval Allah Noor Upayya kudrat ke sabh bande (Guru Granth p 1349); and then we can celebrate the idea of “Na ko baery naahi begaana” (Guru Granth p 703).

    In this view then the defining question is, “Does spiritual awareness mandate a code of conduct? Isn’t such a code self-limiting and self-defeating strategy for spirituality? Why not let everyone go for what turns them on in the manner that seems suitable, as long as universal connectivity remains the direction and goal. This takes me to the heady days of the 1960’s when I came to this country. The mantra then was “Tune in, turn on, drop out.” In time the many that lived it discovered its shallowness. The goal was good, the practice risky, scattered and often clueless.

    Let’s take a more expansive view.

    With eyes wide open let’s step into the minefield of the Sikh Code of Conduct (Rehat Maryada). Laws don’t come out of thin air. Long-standing habits of a community become traditions (habits of the heart) and then get enshrined into law, particularly if the practices appear to be under siege. I have explored the history and process of the development of the Sikh Code of Conduct in an earlier essay and will not address it here.

    A few things first while we delve into the why of any people and their code of conduct and then we hope to segue to the Sikh perspective.

    What is a Code for? I referred briefly to the spiritual core and raised the issue of why shouldn’t everyone follow his or her muse in how to define Nature and worship an ineffable Creator.

    Am I mounting a defense of the existing Sikh Code of Conduct? Yes and no.

    Religions serve mankind in many ways but the one idea that dominates in most, if not all, is the one of life after death. Let me be absolutely clear – I am not going to touch this matter with a ten foot pole. My concerns today are more Earthly. If religion is going to dominate our waking hours surely then it should connect more with my earthly existence and provide me more meaning in it. If there are to be any codes of religious conduct they have to be lived here on earth, not in heaven or hell when we are dead. And that’s my take.

    The individual human, bright and intelligent as he is, is much too frail to survive beyond minutes after birth without someone caring for him. (Forgive my use of he/him; it is a non-gender generic expression throughout this essay.) That no man is an island is a truism beyond the literal meanings of John Donne’s poetry. Even the muscularly and intellectually gifted individual best survives and thrives in packs and tribes; civilizations and cultures can never be built by one person alone.

    Times of solitude are essential but neither physically nor psychologically are humans equipped to handle life totally alone.

    The smallest earliest grouping we form is that of a family, the largest would be the supranational conglomeration of countries, nations and continents.

    Let’s revert a moment to the smallest unit of civilization – a family. Even this unit must evolve a set of rules that members respect and will follow. These control how we treat each other in the intimacy of a family’s small circle.

    There then we have unwritten rules of behavior – a tacit code of conduct. We ignore it at our own peril. We generally obey it because our survival depends on it.

    True that humanity’s success stories became clearly more obvious as mankind learned to form cohesive groups larger than nuclear families and tribes. Only then could larger entities like neighborhoods, villages and towns and finally nations come into being.

    But where did these values come from that united people into such large coherent groups?

    This is where religions have a place. Exactly how religions began in human societies and projected a sense of their purpose remains problematic. I am depending on the work of social scientists, particularly a 2007 essay by an atheist, Stewart Guthrie, in this brief discussion today. Human society’s formative theoretical framework posits three models: 1. Wishful thinking, 2. Intellectualism (Cognitive model) and 3. Social glue.

    I will not analyze these in any great detail; very briefly wishful thinking rests on the need to identify some force for all the good and bad acts of nature that people saw, such as shooting stars, lightning and thunder. Cognitive thinking tweaks emerging knowledge and the rational process to explain how the world functions and that process continues without end. The social glue model may have been first elaborated by Prodicus around 420 BCE and was also touted by Karl Marx in the 20th century; it was best developed by Emile Durkheim in 1912. In this model any ideas or actions that promote cohesion in a people were considered sacred, hence the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane.

    There is, at least in the United States, a hybrid fourth model in place and that is American civil religion – non-sectarian faith but one that draws its sacred symbols from the nation’s Christian history. It becomes the national cohesive force promoting models of integration and assimilation -- the “American Way.” The Bully Pulpit then belongs to the elected President while the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of rights become the sacred scriptures. See the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville and Robert Bellah’s 1967 work for an exhaustive commentary. These sacred documents then become the Code of Conduct of this civic religion.

    Now we come to skating on thin ice. In my view religion’s primary purpose is not so much to prattle about how life will be after we are dead but how it should be lived here and now. Keep in mind that how to make a life and how to make a living are two very different matters. The former is the domain of religion, for the latter one finds the appropriate vocational training at a university or similar place. Every religion is, by definition, a way of life for a people, so there must be rules to the game. This essay today is crafted to incite the dialectic on and about our written and unwritten code of conduct. Surely these are matters that deserve rethinking, clarification, rewriting and re-editing.

    I sometimes argue that we should look at the worldwide presence of Sikhs as the thousands of runners at a marathon. If I rate the runners from one to ten, at “one” are those who will run the race in record time; nearer “ten” are the also-rans or those who might never finish. But they are all on the same path though not at the same place at the same path at any given time. Sikhs on their journey of Sikhi are similar. Some live the requirements of the faith to the nth degree and are closer to one in ranking; others, nearer ten, are like fellow travelers. Most of us are somewhere in between. We need to treasure them all and nurture them towards a higher level, if they so desire.

    I point out that fully seven of the Ten Commandments that are the core of Judeo-Christian systems speak of right conduct in societal issues, not of heaven or hell after death. In Buddhism the eight-fold path speaks of how to live here on Earth. Much of Sikh teaching is focused similarly – on truthful living and on community service in this world.

    Religions to be lived well on Earth have to develop rules of fair conduct between neighbors, a sense of self and an ethical framework. The spiritual life – keep it in mind – is to be lived in this messy, noisy, confusing and competitive world, not in some idealized heaven sitting next to the prophet. The idea is to live here and discover the divine that is to be found within us, (Mun too jot saroop hai apnaa mool pehchhan, Guru Granth p 441)

    Religion, thus, becomes the most potent force in creating communities. And communities have rules – a code of conduct. They also have some power to enforce the rules. The power has waned now but used to be fearsome not too many centuries ago.

    Rules of conduct mean that families and communities will develop lines distinguishing themselves from neighbors. It is rightly said that good fences make good neighbors. Privacy requires them, rules mandate them, but fences must not hermetically seal neighbors from each other. Yet, fences, sometimes, tend to become tight seals and impenetrable walls. Fences, at best, are made up of codes – understood, even written and with a mechanism of enforcement but with kindness.

    Fences exist between nations as they do between friends, even relatives. Religion is often the glue that binds a people. There is no guarantee that people of the same religion will get along. Witness the number of sects that exist in every major religion, even Sikhi has a few. Look at Bangladesh, a country of Muslims that violently separated from Muslim Pakistan to become an independent nation. Or explore the long conflicting history of Sephardic and Ashkenazy Jews. Christianity has so many sects that one loses count. Orthodox Communism that I would label a quasi-religion could not hold the diverse people of the former Soviet Union together when it collapsed in 1989. Think of the bloody record of the Sunni and Shia – sects of Islam – that seem to agree on little except their hatred of the West.

    Rules and enforcement are two related items. Nations of the world are trying to evolve common ground in these matters through the United Nations. Most civilized nations have functioning civil and criminal judicial systems. Religions may or may not have an effective system in place at this time. Sikhi is in such a reality now. But these are matters for another day and I have visited some of these issues in other writings. No system is perfect nor is any Constitution – that is why they continue to get amended as necessary. Witness the most recent history on the proposed gun laws or revisit the 1965 issue on civil rights in the United States.

    Institutions that shape us and our lives, therefore, are family (parents), school (education), church (religion) and state (government). We need a closer examination of these and how they collaborate to give us a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

    Don’t base your actions on how many people follow the code and how many don’t. Remember that religions are for imperfect people who are on a path. Abandoning the whole code of conduct is like throwing out the baby with the bath water. Who should do the amending but they who live and die by the rules? People must not be goaded to act in a hurry or react in frustration. Amending comes from consensus building that takes more time and patience than we seem to have.

    I acknowledge with pleasure the assistance of Kamaljeet Singh Dogra in preparation of this essay.

    A national conversation is the goal here. There should always be one in place – an ongoing reality. And that’s what we need – like yesterday.


    May 4, 2013
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 11
    #1 IJSingh, May 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2015
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Hard Talk Gender Inequality In Sikh Rehat Maryada? Hard Talk Oct 23, 2009
    The Sikh Rehat Marayada - How Did It Come About, And Is It's Role Today Relevant? Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Apr 14, 2015
    Does the Sikh rehat promote a 'healthy' attitude toward sexuality? Sikh Rehat Maryada Nov 2, 2013
    English Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Sikh Rehat Maryada SRM New to Sikhism Jun 18, 2013
    Sikh Rehat Maryada and the Divisions Sikh Rehat Maryada Oct 12, 2012

  3. seekree

    seekree
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    15
    The ideas are good but can be opposed by persons who donot like feedbacks.To my understanding sikh philosophy encourages questioning.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  4. Brother Onam

    Brother Onam United States
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    636
    Veerji,
    Thank you for the thoughtful exposition on the Rehat Maryada.
    In my own humble contemplations I look at the kara as one answer.
    I believe that one meaning behind kara is that we are bondslaves of Waheguru. We are shackled to Him/Her.
    When we look at the world today, most people delight in their freedom; freedom do do most anything (legal), and this is a vaunted state of living. But usually the end result of this lawlessness is depression, emptiness and gloom. This is perhaps the greatest captivity. But true liberty is really only achieved when we are bound by the laws of Love. This is a paradox that many many have learned through much suffering; chasing after the objects of the senses heedlessly is entrapment in the captivity of futility.
    So my kara reminds me, without shame, I am a helpless slave of the amazing Lord of Love, Waheguru Waheguru.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,190
    The Kara...and endless CIRCLE..No end or beginning..also symbolizes the attributes of The Creator...Worn on the "DOING ARM"...( for most) RIGHT Hand..ACTION hand..also symbolises an attribute of the Creator...and made of IRON..BASIC enough for all to afford.affordable ......simple to construct, LONG LASTING... etc etc...so many "reasons"...symbols....:kaurkhalsaflagred:
     
    • Like Like x 6
  6. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    In the case of my kara, it's too big for my arm and got hooked on a sacktruck while moving house a while ago and now it's the same shape as my relationship with IT (whatever It is) - oblong! hahaha

    I don't wear it anymore though. I feel it's a privilege, not a right, and shouldn't be worn unless with conviction otherwise it's just a bangle.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    The SRM was written for those that did not have the time or inclination to read the SGGS.

    Personally, I envisage one day, having the understanding that my free will only wishes to do the will of Waheguru, out of love, understanding, shackles intimate this will is enforced upon one, rather than embraced with a free heart.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    71
    That's quite the statement! Could you please elaborate on what you mean here?

    Also, sorry for bumping such an old thread lol.
     
  9. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    Its quite simple, a load of experts got together years ago, quite a few years ago, and between them decided what the SGGS stood for, what its interpretation was, and how it should be followed.

    This then became quite useful for the many people to whom the eleventh Guru is nothing more than a deity, full of ritualistic and dramatic readings, that you can close your eyes to and enjoy the sounds of the words. To those the SRM is a blessing, a nicely condensed version of what it is to be a Sikh.

    In my view, and it is only my view, every Sikh should make the effort to read and understand the SGGS using whatever mental tools are available, rather than rely on a third party. Personally I would not trust anyone other than my own brain, my own experiences, and my own intuition.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    71
    Thanks for the reply :)

    Why may they have done this?

    I'd argue it did the quite the opposite, especially the parts in bold...

    Sure, but I don't see what this has to do with the SRM and its relevancy...
     
    #9 JourneyOflife, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    it probably seemed like a good idea at the time! however, again, in my view, all it did was itemise the relevant rituals and ceremonies for a religion that was born out of rejection of such.

    ok, then state your argument, I argue that the SGGS has been reduced to the role of a deity, I look forward to your response

    What is the SRM based on, before we go any further?
     
  12. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    71
    I see. Is this view backed by any historical work, or is it a personal opinion? Nothing wrong if it is, just genuinely curious how you've come to that conclusion.

    It is impossible for me to state my argument-whether I agree or not- until I've learned a bit more about yours. When you say the "SGGS has been reduced to the role of a deity", what exactly do you mean? What are you comparing it being a 'deity' with? The idols of Hindu mythology?

    Also, since you've stated that the SGGS has been "reduced" to the role of a deity, can you point to any other time in Sikh history when it was treated differently to how it is today?

    Do you mean the historical context in which it arose, or the goal it seeks to accomplish?
     
  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    it is my personal opinion, if I get the time later, I will give it another read and post a 'ritual and ceremony' count.

    What I mean is that as Sikhs, we are more interested in the room where the SGGS is kept, the various rituals that govern the way in which the SGGS is presented, and the belief that it has some supernatural power that can be harnessed by bowing and praying to it. For some reason this can be used to assist in young Manoo passing his driving test, to help with more baby boys, or good luck for a new factory, and or Mercedes!
    You mean a time when Sikhs debated the SGGS, talked about it, read from it and discussed the meanings that they were finding within? Sorry I am not big on Sikh history, most of which has been infused with sexy stories portraying our Gurus as supernatural magicians with great powers, instead of the enlightened wise beings that I see them as.

    My opinion only........
     
  14. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    71
    I see. Would it then not have made sense to say "in my opinion, the SRM was written for those that did not have the time or inclination to read the SGGS", rather than making a more authoritative statement?


    I'm not sure I follow here. What does this have to do with the SRM? Most Sikhs don't follow it at all, heck I'd bet most Sikhs haven't even read it, so how can we blame the SRM for these behaviors?

    Also, are any of these behaviors explicitly endorsed in the SRM?


    What? Sikh history is not synonymous with the Sakhis. There's plenty of great sources on what the Gurus did, cementing of the Sikh identity from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh, and the activities of Sikhs following this period; everything from Banda Singh Bahadur's uprising to the consolidation of power by the Misldars, Ranjit Singh's empire and the role of Sikhs under British rule has been touched on, not just by Sikh sources but non-Sikh sources as well.
     
  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    absolutely, however, the post was written two years ago, I do try and make it quite clear that what I write is only my own opinion. However, If you have read any of my others posts it becomes quite clear that I do not consider myself an expert on traditional Sikhism, if anything, my thoughts and opinions border on heresy. I do agree with you on the subject of authoritative statements, they rile me too.

    well then don't ask question if you cannot keep up, your question, and I quote again

    It is impossible for me to state my argument-whether I agree or not- until I've learned a bit more about yours. When you say the "SGGS has been reduced to the role of a deity", what exactly do you mean? What are you comparing it being a 'deity' with? The idols of Hindu mythology?

    and I have answered your question with

    What I mean is that as Sikhs, we are more interested in the room where the SGGS is kept, the various rituals that govern the way in which the SGGS is presented, and the belief that it has some supernatural power that can be harnessed by bowing and praying to it. For some reason this can be used to assist in young Manoo passing his driving test, to help with more baby boys, or good luck for a new factory, and or Mercedes!

    now what is so hard to understand or follow? do you wish me to draw a few diagrams or make baby noises?

    no idea, I was merely answering your question

    no idea, I was merely answering your question, try asking a different question next time, or even better be more clear and concise in your questions.

    have you come here for the 10 minute or 20 minute argument?

    I disagree, most of what we know as history has been corrupted beyond belief

    maybe that suits your agenda?


     
  16. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    71
    Yes, I noticed it was a few years ago too. Sorry I hope that didn't come across in the wrong way, I've been going through some other threads on here and I notice you do always try to state that what you're saying is only your opinion :)




    Thank you. However, you have completely missed my point. I mean, you can't make statements like this:



    since we are actually talking about the SRM, Let's go through this one more time. (I paraphrase): you first stated how many years ago, quite a few experts got together and decided for themselves what the SRM stood for, and this "then became quite useful for the many people to whom the eleventh Guru is nothing more than a deity, full of ritualistic and dramatic readings, that you can close your eyes to and enjoy the sounds of the words."

    I then told you that I disagree, that if anything, the SRM helped eliminate most of the dogma, empty-ritualism and Hindu-influence which had seeped into the Panth in previous years. You then told me to state my argument, and I asked you a bit about yours- what exactly you mean when you say the SGGS has been "reduced" (implicitly by the SRM) to the role of a "deity". You then typed up a few sentences about "supernatural powers", "bowing", "praying", "Mercedes" and this confused me since I don't see how these are actually endorsed in the SRM.


    My point is most people haven't even read the SRM, so I don't see how we can blame it for this behavior when the vast majority of people don't base their actions off of it. Furthermore, the behavior displayed by most Gurdwaras towards the SGGS is far from treating it like a 'deity', if by 'deity' you mean akin to Hindu gods and goddesses.

    You previously implied that the SRM "reduced the role of the SGGS to that of a deity", but that doesn't check out at all when we take the facts I listed above into consideration...


    No, I've come here to see whether the vilification of the SRM on this forum is based on any actual academic work or not.

    I'm sure most scholars would disagree. Aside from some sakhis, what exactly is this history which has been corrupted beyond belief?


    SPN's "about us" says "our community has been around for many years and pride ourselves on offering unbiased, critical discussion among people of all different backgrounds." I don't think that entails trying to claim I have an "agenda" for simply wishing to know on which historical basis members of this site feel the SRM is unnecessary.

    If you feel the SRM has "reduced the SGGS to the role of a deity", then you're going to need to demonstrate what was going on in the Panth before it was drafted and then formulate an argument which actually shows, using real history, how the SRM's drafting in the 20th century damaged the Panth more than it hurt it.
     
  17. N30S1NGH

    N30S1NGH
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    23
    This whole over focus on Rehit maryada business is been totally blown out of proportion. It was circumstantial has context, stages. But its been turned into dogma to the point where one has wrapped their head around it and gotten stuck in initial stages.. now the dogmatic notions of it have become hindrance in one's spirituality.

    Whichever scholars made rehit maryada obviously dropped the ball somewhere, totally forgot to include various context, stages include japji sahib khand stages/stages-state of mind, shabad as transcendental updesh-forewarning in bold just for many sikhs who follow rehit maryada so that we have some spiritual development framework as its listed in gurbani.

    Here is transcendence shabad from gurbani, originally addressed to muslims seekers who are stuck in their shariat, but this transcendence shabad applies universally to all:

    Ang- 1083
    saraa sareeath lae ka(n)maavahu ||
    Let your practice be to live the spiritual life

    thareekath tharak khoj ttolaavahu ||
    Let your spiritual cleansing be to renounce the world and seek God.

    maarafath
    man maarahu abadhaalaa milahu hakeekath jith fir n maraa ||3||
    Let control of the mind be your spiritual wisdom, O holy man; meeting with God, you shall never die again. ||3

    Here is full gurbani shabad beautiful transcendence message originally meant for our muslims brothers who are stuck in shariat since gurbani applies to all, this message also applies to sikhs as well who are in similar boat(frame of mind-state) to follow truth in their respective religion:

    source: http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbaniAction=Page&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0&fb=0&Param=1083

    ਮਾਰੂ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ मारू महला ५ ॥ Mārū mėhlā 5. Maaroo, Fifth Mehl:
    ਅਲਹ ਅਗਮ ਖੁਦਾਈ ਬੰਦੇ ॥ अलह अगम खुदाई बंदे ॥
    Alah agam kẖuḏā▫ī banḏe. O slave of the inaccessible Lord God Allah,

    ਛੋਡਿ ਖਿਆਲ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਕੇ ਧੰਧੇ ॥ छोडि खिआल दुनीआ के धंधे ॥ Cẖẖod kẖi▫āl ḏunī▫ā ke ḏẖanḏẖe. forsake thoughts of worldly entanglements.

    ਹੋਇ ਪੈ ਖਾਕ ਫਕੀਰ ਮੁਸਾਫਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਦਰਵੇਸੁ ਕਬੂਲੁ ਦਰਾ ॥੧॥ होइ पै खाक फकीर मुसाफरु इहु दरवेसु कबूलु दरा ॥१॥ Ho▫e pai kẖāk fakīr musāfar ih ḏarves kabūl ḏarā. ||1||
    Become the dust of the feet of the humble fakeers, and consider yourself a traveler on this journey. O saintly dervish, you shall be approved in the Court of the Lord. ||1||

    ਸਚੁ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਯਕੀਨ ਮੁਸਲਾ ॥ सचु निवाज यकीन मुसला ॥ Sacẖ nivāj yakīn muslā.
    Let Truth be your prayer, and faith your prayer-mat.

    ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਨਿਵਾਰਿਹੁ ਆਸਾ ॥ मनसा मारि निवारिहु आसा ॥ Mansā mār nivārihu āsā.
    Subdue your desires, and overcome your hopes.

    ਦੇਹ ਮਸੀਤਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਉਲਾਣਾ ਕਲਮ ਖੁਦਾਈ ਪਾਕੁ ਖਰਾ ॥੨॥ देह मसीति मनु मउलाणा कलम खुदाई पाकु खरा ॥२॥ Ḏeh masīṯ man ma▫ulāṇā kalam kẖuḏā▫ī pāk kẖarā. ||2||
    Let your body be the mosque, and your mind the priest. Let true purity be God's Word for you. ||2||

    ਸਰਾ ਸਰੀਅਤਿ ਲੇ ਕੰਮਾਵਹੁ ॥ सरा सरीअति ले कमावहु ॥ Sarā sarī▫aṯ le kammāvahu.
    Let your practice be to live the spiritual life.

    ਤਰੀਕਤਿ ਤਰਕ ਖੋਜਿ ਟੋਲਾਵਹੁ ॥ तरीकति तरक खोजि टोलावहु ॥ Ŧarīkaṯ ṯarak kẖoj tolāvahu.
    Let your spiritual cleansing be to renounce the world and seek God.

    ਮਾਰਫਤਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਹੁ ਅਬਦਾਲਾ ਮਿਲਹੁ ਹਕੀਕਤਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਨ ਮਰਾ ॥੩॥ मारफति मनु मारहु अबदाला मिलहु हकीकति जितु फिरि न मरा ॥३॥ Mārfaṯ man mārahu abḏālā milhu hakīkaṯ jiṯ fir na marā. ||3||
    Let control of the mind be your spiritual wisdom, O holy man; meeting with God, you shall never die again. ||3||

    ਕੁਰਾਣੁ ਕਤੇਬ ਦਿਲ ਮਾਹਿ ਕਮਾਹੀ ॥ कुराणु कतेब दिल माहि कमाही ॥ Kurāṇ kaṯeb ḏil māhi kamāhī.
    Practice within your heart the teachings of the Koran and the Bible;

    ਦਸ ਅਉਰਾਤ ਰਖਹੁ ਬਦ ਰਾਹੀ ॥ दस अउरात रखहु बद राही ॥ Ḏas a▫urāṯ rakẖahu baḏ rāhī.
    restrain the ten sensory organs from straying into evil.

    ਪੰਚ ਮਰਦ ਸਿਦਕਿ ਲੇ ਬਾਧਹੁ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਬੂਰੀ ਕਬੂਲ ਪਰਾ ॥੪॥ पंच मरद सिदकि ले बाधहु खैरि सबूरी कबूल परा ॥४॥ Pancẖ maraḏ siḏak le bāḏẖhu kẖair sabūrī kabūl parā. ||4||
    Tie up the five demons of desire with faith, charity and contentment, and you shall be acceptable. ||4||

    ਮਕਾ ਮਿਹਰ ਰੋਜਾ ਪੈ ਖਾਕਾ ॥ मका मिहर रोजा पै खाका ॥ Makā mihar rojā pai kẖākā.
    Let compassion be your Mecca, and the dust of the feet of the holy your fast.

    ਭਿਸਤੁ ਪੀਰ ਲਫਜ ਕਮਾਇ ਅੰਦਾਜਾ ॥ भिसतु पीर लफज कमाइ अंदाजा ॥ Bẖisaṯ pīr lafaj kamā▫e anḏājā.
    Let Paradise be your practice of the Prophet's Word.

    ਹੂਰ ਨੂਰ ਮੁਸਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇਆ ਬੰਦਗੀ ਅਲਹ ਆਲਾ ਹੁਜਰਾ ॥੫॥ हूर नूर मुसकु खुदाइआ बंदगी अलह आला हुजरा ॥५॥ Hūr nūr musak kẖuḏā▫i▫ā banḏagī alah ālā hujrā. ||5||
    God is the beauty, the light and the fragrance. Meditation on Allah is the secluded meditation chamber. ||5||
     
    #16 N30S1NGH, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  18. N30S1NGH

    N30S1NGH
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    23
    This is how mystic traditions in Islam view shariat, tariqat, marfat and hakikat. We have simliar framework as well stage break down are universally applied in gurbani as well:

    http://hazrat-inayat-khan.org/php/views.php?h1=31&h2=14&h3=16

    Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

    Prophets and Religions


    The Four Grades of Knowledge in Islam
    In Islam there is no caste, as the Message was meant to be for uniting humanity in one brotherhood, and yet it was found necessary to train the individuals according to their evolution in life. A training was given in four classes, namely, Shariat, Tarikat, Haqiqat, and Marifat.

    Since the world of Islam became busy in national and social affairs, the Shariat was held fast by the religious authorities and Tarikat only with a few pious ones, who sought the door of a Sufi, wanting an initiation in the inner light which was contained in the two remaining classes, Haqiqat and Marifat.

    The two immediate disciples of the Prophet, Ali and Sadik, were initiated by the Prophet, and were the great Masters of the inner teachings of the knowledge of God. Besides, the Sufis who existing during the time of the Prophet were benefited by the presence of the Prophet and the inspiration they gained in Sufism, to which one soon reaches through the path of Shariat, Tariqat, Haqiqat, and Marifat.

    Shariat means the law that it is necessary for the collectivity to observe, to harmonize with one's surroundings and with one's self within. Although the religious authorities of Islam have limited it to restrictions, yet a thousand places in the Qur'an and Hadith one can trace where the law of Shariat is meant to be subject to change to suit the time and place. The law of Shariat, unlike any other religious law, deals with all aspects of life, and it is therefore that the Prophet of Islam had to experience personally all aspects of life. The Prophet as an orphan, as a warrior, as a politician, as a merchant, as a shepherd, as a king, as a husband, as a father, as brother, as son and grandson, had to play different parts in the world's various aspects of life before he was prepared to give this divine law.

    Tariqat is the understanding of law besides following it, that we must understand the cause of all things that we must do and must not do, instead of obeying the law without understanding. Those who are not evolved are supposed to have faith and to submit to the law. It is for those whose intelligence does not accept things that cannot answer their reason.

    Haqiqat is to know the truth of our being and the inner law of Nature. This knowledge widens the heart of a person. When he has realized the truth of being, he has realized the One Being; he is different from nobody, distant from no one: he is one with all. That is the grade where religion ends and Sufism begins.

    Marifat is the actual realization of God, the One Being, when there is no doubt anywhere.

    When these four classes are accomplished, then the full play of Sufism comes. Sufi means Safi, pure--not only pure from differences and distinctions, but even pure from all that is learnt and known. That is the state of Allah, the pure and perfect One.
     
  19. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    no your coming across exactly as you intend :)

    yes, my opinion, not the opinion, nor the stance of this forum

    why can't I? is there an international law regarding forum etiquette that you uphold? Are you an enforcer?

    ok, one more time, just for you

    I did!

    you did! I like this way of debating! this is fun

    well I do not remember you saying this, but I do not agree that the SRM has achieved this

    Ah ok, lets do this slowly, my response is to the fact that the SGGS is treated as a deity, it is worshipped and ritualised instead of simply just being respected and read, I personally feel that the biggest respect that can be shown is by reading and carrying out the contents of the SGGS, rather than worrying about the ambient temperature.
    I see, do you have any reference to back this point up? I wager more people have read the SRM than the SGGS.
    oh but they do, instead of reading the SGGS to find out the answers, it is easier to just follow the SRM,
    I beg to differ

    facts eh....no definitive statements for you then!! But just to clarify, your saying that everything in your argument is fact, documented fact?

    Why? who are you? SRM police? There is no vilification of the SRM on this forum, I do not recall being given a mandate to speak for the forum, I speak for myself, and if you read any more of my posts you will also realise that I do not pray, believe in the afterlife, believe in beardy, with his flowing long locks and sandals, or attend any religious or social events, so how can my opinions count as anything other than my own personal feelings. I am surprised you cannot tell the difference!
    first some questions

    Has any Sikh Guru performed miracles?
    Has any Guru married more than once?
    Who added patashas to the Amrit at Vaisakhi?

    After we have had an answer we can move forward on that point.

    oh do I have to? tell you what, Ill start another thread 'has the SRM reduced the SGGS to the role of a deity'!
     
  20. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    71
    Come on man, are you really going to resort to this? No, I am not an enforcer. But if you're going to make claims about the SRM "reducing" the SGGS to the role of a deity, you're actually going to need to demonstrate that its net effect has been negative, rather than positive. I'll be the first to admit that it isn't perfect and could use some updating, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go around telling people its horrible and was created because the individuals who drafted it were just so darn evil that they wanted to define Sikhi for everyone else and tell us how to live our lives, for no other reason than "it probably seemed like a good idea at the time".


    No.

    Aside from the case of Mata Sahib Kaur being the 'mother' of the Khalsa, no.

    Mata Sahib Kaur,

    This discussion has dissolved into tip-toeing around the issue. You've already stated that the stance on the SRM is your personal opinion. That's fine, and you're entitled to it. But I'm sorry, when you make points about the SRM "itemising the relevant rituals and ceremonies for a religion that was born out of rejection of such", it just shows a general lack of awareness about concepts like Miri-Piri, identity politics and the role of the Khalsa within the Panth.

    You claim the SRM has "reduced" the SGGS to a "deity". Did you know there were actual Hindu idols being taken into Harmandir Sahib (even at the expense of having to remove SGGS from the premises) before its drafting? Did you know members of 'low-castes' were barred from dipping in the Sarovar surrounding the Darbar Sahib complex because they were seen as been impure and unclean? Did you know the British had vowed to convert every Sikh to Christianity and toss Sikhi into the dustbin of history, to the point where they hoped that within a few generations, Punjabis would have to go to museums and look at old photos to be able to see what turbaned Sikh men and women used to look like?

    No? Because it was the leaders of the Singh Sabha movement (the people who drafted the modern SRM) that removed those idols from Darbar Sahib, brought back the SGGS ji, removed the restrictions on low-castes within the premises of the Harmandir Sahib, and prevented Sikhi from being wiped out by the British and/or absorbed into Hinduism. Now, are you going to tell me the fact that the SRM basically barricated Sikhi from outside malevolent forces and removed idols/caste distinctions at Sri Harmandir Sahib, was a bad thing?

    Did you know Rehatnamas have existed since the early 18th century? Did you know Guru Gobind Singh ji himself actually gave the Khalsa the right to draft Rehatnamas, revise them, and update them when necessary? These people didn't draft the SRM just because they were bored or wanted to ifringe on others' freedom to practice Sikhi and just "felt like it would be a good idea at the time". For all the whining that goes on about how Sikhi is so gosh darn Brahmanical these days and longing to go back to the good-old days before the modern SRM was drafted, people don't even understand that Sikhi WAS actually at one point controlled by real Brahman/Hindu forces who did not even hesitate to bring actual Hindu idols into the Darbar Sahib when they felt like it. These people actually DID regard the SGGS as just another deity and not just that, even turned the human Sikh Gurus into statues and brought them into the Darbar Sahib complex along with all the Hindu images and idols. Sikhi pre-SRM was a religion which would have disappeared within a few generations: on the one hand, the actual 'leaders' were too busy rotting it at the core and turning it into another branch on the tree of Hinduism. On the other hand, the British were fearless in their proselytizing of Christianity and desire to rid Punjab of Sikhs once and for all.

    For all its faults, it was the Singh Sabha movement which turned all this around. They kicked out the idols in Darbar Sahib, barricaded Sikhi from the British by spreading the Khalsa identity among the masses and then removed the previous leaders (who were non-Khalsa, and only interested in turning Sikhi into another branch on the Hindu tree) and replaced them with the Khalsa at the helm of Sikh institutions. That is the Khalsa's rightful place, not according to me, but according to Guru Gobind Singh ji. Nothing they did was against Sikhi, the Guru actually has given the Khalsa the right to draft Rehats and implement as necessary.

    You may not like the SRM and that's fine, but at the very least, take the time to read up on what was happening in the Panth before it was drafted. Contrary to what you may feel, Sikh leaders aren't all out to spoil your fun or intrude on your right to practice as you see fit, many of them are simply interested in protecting Sikhi and will take the necessary measures to safeguard it when the need arises. By the way, the Rehats have historically only applied to Baptized Sikhs, so if you haven't taken Amrit, no, it doesn't apply to you. You can let out a sigh of relief now, Guru Gobind Singh ji actually did recognize that not everybody would want to join the Khalsa, and he was fine with it. Non-Baptized Sikhs like you (and me) are not bound by the Rehat at all, and are free to do as we wish. Historically there has always been a distinction between a 'regular Sikh' and a 'Baptized Sikh', and the current Rehat has eliminated that distinction by simply redefining 'Sikh' to mean 'Khalsa', but it was a necessary sacrifice in order to rid Sikhi of the malicious forces mentioned above. If you want to get more into this point, I can do so.

    I don't know about you pa ji, but even though I recognize the current SRM has its shortcomings, I'm also able to see how its overall net effect has been tremendously positive.

    Last point: they exist for different reasons. SGGS is a spiritual compilation. The SRM is a political document. Both have their place within Sikhi, and both are necessary to Sikhi's survival. The primary purpose of the SRM is not to force people to abide by somebody else's interpretation of Sikhi; it is to create a distinction between the Khalsa and non-Sikh religions and uphold that separate identity. It's no surprise that even the most vicious among the "Sikhs are Hindus" crowd cannot find a way to account for the distinctiveness of Guru Gobind Singh's Khalsa without making very outlandish (and easily disprovable) claims. The Khalsa Panth is the reason Sikhi did not turn into another Buddhism or Jainism in India. The SRM is the document which solidifies that distinctiveness. If you don't want to follow it that's fine, but that doesn't take away from the priceless role it has played in preserving Sikhi into the 21st century.

    Sikhs should actually take the time to learn about their history. The fact that Sikhs lack knowledge of their own history is one of the most destructive realities within the Panth today. I'd even go as far as saying you can't properly understand the many different dynamics at play within Sikhi (like what we've witnessed here with the Rehat conversation) without actually dedicating some time to learn about the history of Sikhi and Sikh politics. Claiming that most Sikh history is corrupted is a very outlandish claim and will require substantial evidence to back it up. There may be a level of hagiography to the accounts in the Sakhis, but that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater. Many are actually still extremely useful in our study of the past. Not to mention, the Sakhis are a VERY small blip on the massive spectrum that is Sikh history, so even if someone wished to discard them altogether, it would still leave no shortage of important documents and historical collections needing to be studied.
     
    #19 JourneyOflife, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  21. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    well, its called humour, it comes in useful!

    ok calm down, I am making a very simple point that you seem to have pounced on and now seem determined to squeeze every last drop of heresy out of. I will make my simple point again, but for the last time, the very existence of the SRM means that to be a Sikh, to know what it means to be a Sikh, to know how a Sikh should behave can be gleaned without study of the SGGS, so even if the SRM was the most wonderful document in the world, it would still have the effect of being a shortcut, and it will always be an interpretation. People as what does the SRM say about this, or that, when they could just study the SGGS and come to their own conclusion. No one is saying the SRM is nasty or evil. Do you understand this?

    Now regarding the history aspect, let us take something pretty given, that Mata Sahib Kaur added patashas to the Amrit in order to make Sikhs sweet natured, and became the mother of the Khalsa. What would have happened if she had not been there? Would we all be savages? Are you suggesting that the tenth master did not anticipate this? Are we saying that as enlightened as the Tenth Master was, he left something as important as this to chance? and that is why I have little faith in the recordings of Sikh history, there are just too many damn agendas. I have little choice but to run with what I can see, and what the litmus test of Sikhism validates, so in one fell sweep, multiple marriages, miracles, magic, boulders with handprints in, all fail miserably.

    ok, you are struggling with this, thats ok, allow me to explain once again

    Article IV - Meditating on Naam (Divine Substance) and Scriptures
    a. A Sikh should wake up in the ambrosial hours (three hours before the dawn), take bath and,
    concentrate his/her thoughts on One Immortal being, repeat the name of ‘Waheguru’ (Wondrous
    Destroyer of darkness).


    Firstly, Amrit Vela is taken as 3 hours before dawn, so there is a window of time for Amrit Vela? other times are not Amrit Vela? this is not ritualistic?

    Next your going to tell me there is actually some point in repeating
    the same word again and again? this is not ritualistic?
    Do you want any more examples, thats just the first page...

    yes, I did
    it did not stop the huge numbers of Deras in Punjab, do you know how many different types of Sikh there are at present?

    nothing much changes, when is the next poorenmashi by the way.....

    actually I am indifferent to it, I certainly would not lean on it to further my knowledge of Sikhism, and that is basically the point I was trying to make. However if Sikhism to you is waking up in the middle of the night and repeating the same word over and over, knock yourself out!


    I am not saying you are correct, its just not for me. Sikhism to me is incredibly simple, no rituals, no repetition of words, no specified times of holiness, just a holy manuscript of pearls of wisdom. To be a good Sikh is not to follow blindly the words of others, to bask in history that has been distorted, to follow rehats that if they do not apply to us means we can sigh with relief, no, Sikhism is between me and the Creator and the guide to this relationship is the SGGS. Its that simple.

    I am sorry that you find it so strange that a way of life that rejects ritual, should publish a document that specifies which rituals are appropriate to given events......
     

Share This Page