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Sikhism and Feelings of Bliss

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Harry Haller, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Gurfatehji,

    I watched the youtube video on the 'drinking' thread kindly provided by soul jyotji. Unfortunately, I got as far as 'we are all supposed to be without humour and very serious' bit when my computer crashed, but luckily I did found more.

    It confirmed something I was aware of, that the feeling you have when you drink, is dwarfed by feelings of bliss in your love of god.

    What I want to know is, can anyone, hand on heart, say that they have experienced these feelings of bliss through waheguru?, I would be most interested to know what this feeling is like,

    I read a lot of people talk of the love of god, with such feeling, that I feel I must be missing out somewhere, for some, I get the feeling its a bit like the emperors new clothes, but others, Ishnaji, Bhagatsinghji, Ambersariaji (no, not you sinnerji :grinningsingh:), SPNadminji, and findingmywayji to name but a few, speak of the love with real real conviction, like it was the most important feeling in the world.,

    Today I had to go and see a christian minister, a lady, very charming, very polite, I asked her whom she loved most, jesus or her husband, she replied that was unfair question, I then asked whether she felt the bliss in her life, she answered that sometimes in the morning she felt at peace, yes, I kept on, but what about the bliss!!, she said sometimes she felt happy, and at times a feeling that could be called bliss. Thinking about it, most granthi's look fairly miserable, I don't think I have seen one peacefully at bliss..

    So fellow sikhs, please tell me, in frank language, what this bliss feels like, not what it should feel like, but exactly what it feels like, if you feel it

    thank you
     

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  3. Ishna

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    Great question Harry ji!! I'm sure you've felt it, or something like it, cos you have the itch!! peacesignkaur

    Way past bed time but super quickly... this is a hard question because it's very subjective - is what one person feels the same as what someone else feels? And our only point of reference to describe these feelings is also subjective!

    I would say I have three main states of being these days:

    1) the worst state is feeling no connection. Drives me mad, makes me feel adrift, I can't focus, can't find peace in ANYTHING.
    2) the second feeling is my primary state these days but I'm still working out the bugs... it's a feeling within my body which is... inspiring... I wouldn't call it peaceful as such it's more like a warmth... like having a blanket on the inside... (maybe I have a fever? haha)... it's like knowing someone's got you covered, got your back, is looking out for you... it's a comfort... a contented state... a satisfaction... I haven't mastered the art of staying in this state, but sometimes it's very profound, like when I lost my father-in-law just over a year ago... part of me (the smaller part?) was upset and grieving for the loss but the overwhelming feeling was of this stability and warmth. Part of me said "are you heartless??" but no, I could feel the heart part, but the warm part was bigger. On the flip side, certain little things will tip me right back to mode 1, like reading about violence against women, or screwing up a job my boss gave me (I have a real nice boss... it would be easier to screw up if he was nasty!).

    3) this is the bliss snap-shots. They don't last very long. The longest they last is a few moments at best when I'm totally engrossed in some Gurbani, or a moment is just right, like when you catch a sunset and you realise how small you are in the universe.... When the Gurbani just strikes those major chords inside and everything is crystal clear for an instant and you feel like you could just explode with love and expansion and clarity and awesomeness. I never got this feeling when intoxicated. I wish it would last longer!!

    But you have to be careful you don't set yourself up with expectations... the bliss can't become the goal, you can't feel disappointed or as if you've failed if you don't get that feeling, because that's not the point. You've just got to, I dunno, try your darndest at doing what you think is right and hoping for the best... saying "okay Guruji, show me the way" and look out for the signs. Maybe the contented feelings are the markers along the way???

    Sorry this is a bit rambly, it's hard to describe because it's so subjective. And it could just be regular workings of a human mind, I dunno. But I feel like I'm on the right track so I stick with it.

    Can't wait to hear other people's experiences!!! icecreamkudi
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Ishnabhenji,

    I can discourse till the cows come home on philosophy, the need for long hair, even alcohol with some conviction, but the feelings of love for god, thats a hard one, I am afraid to my shame, I have not even listened to the shabads you kindly sent the link to, I find it hard to listen to shabads with my mum, she is so enthusiastic, ah this bits great, listen to this, she will say, and I just cannot feel it.

    I can relate to the warmth of someone watching over me, but only to the point where it all comes crashing down around me, and I realise I was just being complacent

    The truth is, 15 years ago, I had rather a bad experience, a sort of life changing, well almost life ending experience, and since then, my ability to 'feel' is lost, almost to the point, where I am actually not sure what love is. I feel that the world is a magic theatre and we are all just playing roles assigned to us,


    Ishnaji, bliss is not my goal, but I am finding myself more and more contented along the way, so we will have to see what happens , thank you bhenji :)
     
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  5. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Veera
    Many people feel different things, it is hard for me to understand the 'bliss' another person feels, I suspect it is very personal,Absolute bliss is rare to find ,to describe my 'bliss' would be of no benefit to you and in any case how would you know what I call 'bliss' is what you mean by the word.Although I was excluded in the 'bliss' feelers may I say even when I'm tipsy ,I know that it must be gained through the Word, or else what is the Word for?
    Before my sinner status had been reached, I think it was when I was around twenty years of age my father gave me an English translation of the entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ,it was in 4 parts .As my faith was new I started reading it with avidity.
    Slowly I managed to read it line by line in Punjabi and then in English to make sure I understood it ,those were my keshdari days, and on reflection although it has taken me another nineteen years to start a full reading again (with the aid of the internet)I can say the closest you will get to what you want to feel is through Gods Word.

    Shabad is the way, but you must let it penetrate your inner mind ,then you won't remain the same person ,true understanding is hard too!
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/S7KHp73r4-s" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="425"></iframe>
     
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  6. BhagatSingh

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  7. Ishna

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    Harry Bhaji

    On the other side of sleep and have to run off to work now!

    This is a little off-topic but could you perhaps have something like a post-traumatic stress disorder? You might want to see a psychologist and talk through the incident and that you feel you don't have any feelings anymore. A psychologist might be able to give you more personalised tools for introspection and bring your feelings back.

    When I read that you haven't listened to the shabads yet, what jumps out at me is that perhaps you don't want to listen to them because you don't want to be disappointed and find it doesn't fill you with anything? It can be much easier to talk about religion and lifestyles without actually living them, and this is especially true when there is a fear of doing the living part.

    My recommendation would be to put down the more traditional aspects of Sikhi (ie. the kirtan, the simran) and start reading SGGS yourself. Just start reading it, don't try to analyse it, just try to read it with a broad mind so you don't get stuck on one little word here or there which seems out of place, or a description you don't jive with. Read it and hopefully somewhere in those 1429 pages you'll find a shabad, a pauri, a tuk which gives you a glimmer of clarity.

    Try approaching Sikhi from a new angle, not from your mum's angle. The kirten, the simran, that can all come later. You need to lay some foundations I think, construct some pillars you can return to.

    For me pesonally, when I get confused, fed-up with religion and totally disconnected from Waheguru, when I can't read my nitnem because I feel too angry, I just focus on the fact that Waheguru is the force which is all around and acknowledge it in my mind. Waheguru will bring me back when it's time.

    Have you taken that first step of acknowledgement?

    Okay, now I'm late for work (again)!

    Gurfatehjios cheerleader

    Ish
     
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  8. RamanS

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    Sat Sri Akal Harryji,

    I have had few brief blissful type of experiences in my life which I am grateful for. For some time I spent a lot of time trying to understand them and expecting another to come. I remember reading a psychology article which I thought gave a good description of spiritual experiences. It said a common thing experienced in these experiences is a sense of time experienced in terms of quality and not quantity, boundlessness, and transcendence. But these are just basic descriptions and each experience is different for each person. Nowadays, I feel content listening to and trying to focus my whole concentration on each word of the Shabad whether it is me reciting it or someone else. Who am I to say..maybe this feeling is bliss too. I think contentment is more important because if you are expecting bliss all the time you might overlook the everyday joys of life.

    I recently came across this quote which I enjoyed because it reminded me of the simple and often overlooked pleasures of life. Hope you enjoy it too!

    "When we say...that pleasure is the end and aim of life, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. It is not by an unbroken succession of drinking bouts and of revelry, not by sexual lust, nor the enjoyment of fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul." ---Epicurus
     
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  9. ravneet_sb

    ravneet_sb India
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    There are bliss situation expereinced

    First when our
    Surat (Imaginative Mind) gets attached to Guru's Bani

    Second
    When there is metaphysical balance
    What we think that we can phsically achieve.

    If we physically can not achieve, lets think less.
    Or If one Think's than Do Physical Effort to resolve one's own thoughts

    Third
    When Mind Soul and Body is in in straight line.
    What we think, we speak and act same.


    If one can realise this in his own life,
    one can share his or her experience.
     
  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    IshnaBhenji,

    0:) Just to clarify, what happened 15 years ago, if I were to analyse it, rid me off a lot of negative pulls and urges that left me empty and without feeling, only because all I knew at that time was the joys and pleasures the five thieves brought. Today, I feel content, optimistic and incredibly lucky!, but every now and then I think back to those days, youth, the future ahead, and the incredible highs, which, although I do not yearn for the same experiences again, to know that high exists in the relationship with the creator, would be something. I don't especially even want to experience it per se, I believe to focus on that, and that alone, would mean I have learned nothing. But as a side product to the main journey, yes, that would be something interesting. you are also correct, I do not listen because I do not wish to be disappointed, and yes, I am trying to lay foundations at this very moment, something will happen this week that will strengthen these foundations, thank you for your insight

    Gurfatehji

    I have to quickly write this post, before I forget the chat I had with my wife at 5am this morning, and then I am going to play everyone's videos, and try and learn something!

    My wife is now normally awake at 5am, as she knows it is when I seem to wake up, standing at the top of the stairs, I noticed Virgil the cat racing up at about 100mph, with a frantic look on his face, I looked down to my feet, Alfie and Dan were shuffling around, I wondered who was chasing him, Virgil came to the top of the stairs, saw Dan, and without any change in speed, did a perfect u turn and ran down, with the same frantic look on his face. Dan looked up at me, 'he is a crazy cat' he seemed to say. Poor Virgil, it is his dearest wish to spend more time in the hallowed bedroom, I think he must have thought he would just go for it.

    I spoke to my wife of the bliss of knowing god, maybe it does not exist, I mused, I said to my wife, that if I knew of this bliss, I do not think I would know of anger, or lust , or any of the five thieves, I would not drink, I would keep my hair,. why? she asked, not because of the bliss, but because I would be at peace, and I would know that finally, it did exist, and I could stop searching. There is nothing as disappointing for me than meeting someone who maintains they have found gods bliss and peace, and I see them in a moment of anger, maybe my expectations are too high, but I regard people who have found the 'way' through whatever path, extremely highly. We moved on to the topics of shabads, my wife is not a religious person, although highly spiritual, she stroked my cheek, and very tenderly said, 'you know those 3d pictures, the ones you have to squint and go cross eyed to look at, and then one day, you see the magnificent 3d image that everyone has seen but you, well, you just have to be in the right place to see it, but once you've seen it, you will always see it', instead of a nurse for the terminally ill, my wife could have been a preacher I think, but as always, she see's these insights as common sense and normal,

    We moved on to the discussion of knowing the creator within, I put forward the thought that you can never love and find that god within until you truly know yourself, and accept who you are. I now know that behind the boozing, drugs, and women, is a harry that cannot be defined by those actions, I feel I am getting closer to who I really am., which brings up another valid point, what, said my wife, about paedophiles, how can they love themselves, how can they accept themselves. How can life be anything other than one hard battle for them,should we feel sorry for them, as they have been given a hand that can never be converted to anything other than pain and misery, never mind the pain and misery caused to others. This leads me to believe that certain people are unredeemable, these are the people possibly that Guruji talked about as enemies, the ones that should die painfully, be smitten, be destroyed, the unredeemers, those are the ones that will never know bliss, but for the rest of us.................maybe, we are certainly qualified for it in the sense that we are redeemable
     
  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Sinnerji,

    I have started reading the english translation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, there are times I feel the words do not flow as well as they do in punjabi. I can read and understand punjabi, I think it would be better for me to brush up on my punjabi than find a good translation!

    Thanks for the link, yes, 90 mins long, thank you very much, nothing like starting off slowly eh brother, I will have to listen to the whole later, but , I have to concede that from the small amount I watched, the singer, and most of the people around him, seem to be in bliss, so that is a good starting point, the music is hypnotic and soothing, thank you
     
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    #10 Harry Haller, Jul 12, 2011
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  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    BhagatSinghji,

    AND THEN GOD JUST SITS IN YOUR LAP AND SAYS, DO YOU WANT A GRAPE!!!!!!!!

    brilliant! quite brilliant! now this chap, yes, he has found bliss, and his words, inspiring and poetic, thank you

    Ramanji, your quote validates me, thank you very much,
    Ravneetji, to me, what you have said only confirms that in order to find the creator, we need to find ourselves
     
  13. passingby

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    I 'feel' like answering straight and honestly to this. Here goes:

    I shall start off with Gurbani line "Ko virla gurmat challai jeo".

    When I was young I used to think and expect that in Sikh circles (especially in the jattha I was associating with ) people with real spiritual experiences would exist and could be met easily. Later on as I matured I realized it was not so. It is rare, very rare, in fact I dare say it is rarest of rare, to meet a person who has attained a high spiritual state in which he or she exists on a higher blissful plane on a daily basis. Most of the people, when they say 'anand aa gya' are actually confusing natural normal feelings of the mind with spiritual feelings. If you have experienced different types of physical exercise you'd know that you can get feelings of exaltation, purity, peace and even so called 'bliss' through various physical activities like jogging, weight training (after a workout that went exceptionally well), football (when you are completely drenched out with sweat and you fall down on the ground) and stretching like yogasanas etc.

    At a personal level I treat Gurbani not as a text of Sikhism but as a testimony and a communication about a higher existence given by certain unique and exceptional individuals. So when I read a quote like this:

    the last line holds a special appeal to me. I see a challenge in it. I can not only understand the literal and superficial meaning of the last line but I also see the idiomatic and deeper meaning. And that pulls my heart.

    So I don't care if I cannot find anybody who has found bliss or attained a higher state. Why? Cos I truly believe that only rarest or rare minds, who plunge deep into it without restraint, for whom finding the ultimate truth is the only important and worthy thing in life would be able to experience something which is beyond the normal perception.

    Spirituality is usually said to beyond mind and mental experiences, yet make no mistake that it cannot occur or 'descend' without a corresponding psychological mutation. And I believe (again this is a personal belief, I might be wrong) that for such a psychological mutation to occur there has to be a process in place which is much much above, higher or stronger than anything ordinary. If it were to be measured practically I would expect it to be AT LEAST this much that repetition of NAAM should be/would be going on incessantly in the deepest recess of mind 24/7. The whole mind, down to its deepest darkest and most unknowable layer would be reverberating with sound of NAAM. When such a state occurs I would expect a real divine change to occur, as promised by Gurbani. And that state is no ordinary state. Anything short of it is cheap. Do not get deceived by it.
    Finally there is only one way to find out whether what Gurbani promises is do-able, experience-able and that is by trying it out on one's own.

    As Vivekananda said, 'Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached'.

    I am tempted here to talk about Sri Ramakrishna but then it would be digressing a lot.

    Disclaimer: I have never experienced any high or above-ordinary feeling. My spiritual practice is much below average (honestly speaking) and therefore I do not even expect such feelings. I don't want to make the mistake of expecting more than what I deserve. As Gurbani says, 'Seva Thori Maangan Bahuta...'
     
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  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    passinbyji,

    Just to clarify, I am not really talking at this stage about complete bliss, complete union with the creator, just the sort of look and feeling that the people had in Sinnerji's post, the sort of look my mother has, when she cries at shabads, and shakes her head, and says 'waheguru is so beautiful', the chap from Bhagatji's post, in his eyes, yes you could see hmmm, thinking about it, is it possible I am confusing bliss with contentment. But then thinking about it, if all our perceptions are different, what I am calling bliss, another could call contentment, surely contentment is the first step to bliss, I would settle for contentment japposatnamwaheguru:
     
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  15. Ambarsaria

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    Harry Haller ji perhaps we should at least crudely define bliss and levels or degrees of the same,



    Beyond perhaps the above little flippant but in a way real, there must be something in the above as saliva starts to flow as I read descriptions :singhbhangra:

    Personal degrees of Bliss:

    1. Where nothing matters and you are comfortable and numbed by a feeling of comfort in full recognition of what ever you are surrounded by or doing.
    2. You see or do something and you are in a flash bliss state or "LaLa land".
    3. Understanding the creator and creation you are in synergy and peace with everything, you don't want to change anything, that is bliss.
    One certaily can visually observe bliss in others whether they think they are in or feel the bliss or not lol. For example I see some of the spners in a blissful state while posting sometimes and more than me.

    Here is a positive feedback we can provide to each other and rank the degree of bliss you find others in. The rating is no bliss (1) to maximum bliss (10).

    Some of my friends I rank as follows,


    • spnadmin ji (7)
    • Aman Singh ji (7.5)
    • Sinner ji (7.9)
    • Harry Haller ji (8.01)
    • Ishna ji (was at 5 not too long ago but fast moving towards 8) mundahug
    • Confused ji (8.3)
    • Bhagat Singh ji (7.75)
    Now if you want to improve your bliss index with me, say thank you more often lol

    Just some thoughts.

    For me greatest bliss I have felt lately is translating Shabads by reviewing the existing translation by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa ji, reviewing it in reference to Prof. Sahib Singh ji's Guru Granth Darpan (Teeka) and creating and writing down my understanding for sharing with spners.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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    #14 Ambarsaria, Jul 12, 2011
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  16. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Ambersariaji,

    Your post tied in with a thought I was having not 2 mins ago, something along the lines of we do not know how lucky we are, I recall a post I read when I first came to this forum,it was from a singh suffering a wasting disease, he was in constant pain, he wanted to die, but the thing that vexed him so much, and i have tears in my eyes as I write this, was that he found he could not concentrate hard enough to do simran, and this was the only thing he wanted to do , yet here I am, alive, reasonably healthy, a wife, stepson, animals, parents, people whom I have never even met, reaching out to help me, your post has humbled me somewhat, thank you
     
  17. BhagatSingh

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    I noticed how there is another decimal point with regards to my rating. I wonder what that means...

    BTW I think your bliss index might be shifted towards the 10. I would place the Gurus, Saints, Prophets and Avtars where you have placed us. We would all be much lower.

    10 would be death ;) there is only lala land at this point
     
  18. BhagatSingh

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    Seconded
     
  19. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Bhagat Singh ji I believe we need to apply the Bell curve once the sample is large with 5 as a mean. So yes it is little on the high side. Gurus would be approaching 10 if not at 10. But that is absolutely not for me to say.

    In terms of the extra decimal, thanks for noticing, this is a reflection of my understanding/appreciation of a bright young man that needs to be distinct and has shown to be so.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  20. Harry Haller

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    Ambersariaji,

    thank you :)
     
    #19 Harry Haller, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  21. P0TTER

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    Sadly that link does not work. Are others experiencing problems accessing it too?
     

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