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Taoism Tao = Waheguru, the Ek Onkar?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Rory, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Rory

    Rory
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    I used to be quite interested in Taoism and in my readings about Sikhi I think there are a lot of parallels.
    One being that (in my opinion) the formless and mysterious nature of the Tao is similar to the formless and mysterious nature of the Waheguru.

    The very first verses of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching:
    1. The Tao that can be spoken is not the constant & unchanging Tao
    The name that can be named is not the constant & unchanging name
    The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
    The named is the mother of myriad things
    Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
    Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
    These two emerge together but differ in name
    The unity is said to be the mystery
    Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders


    Do you think this is at least in someway similar to our understanding of the Waheguru?
     
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  3. namjiwankaur

    namjiwankaur
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    Sat Nam

    Maybe that is why I love the Tao so much. I would love to continue a thread on comparing Taoism with Sikhism.

    I think there are websites that post one of the 80 parts of the Tao each day. I would be willing to do that here so we can look at it and see how it relates to Sikhism.

    I always thought Taoism was an off-shoot of Buddhism, but I'm not sure. Also wondering whether Taoism or Buddhism are older?

    I think Taoism and Buddhism both have the ability to offer people spiritual truths regardless of the religion they practice. Buddhism, to me, is as much a philosophy as a religion. I'm not sure if the same is true of Taoism. Does it have a position on the existence of the Divine?

    TTYL
    Peace kaurhug
     
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  4. Rory

    Rory
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    Hey bhenji, that sounds like a great idea. :) I'll pick up my Tao Teh Ching again and contribute to this, it's a good idea; I think it's important we realize that Truth should be something found not just in Sikhism, but anywhere there is a yearning for it (?)

    Feel free to pick a verse and post, I'm sure it'll arouse some interest and maybe we'll inspire a few people to pick up the Tao' and give it a read.

    The tricky thing is there are two "types" of Taoism.

    Philosophical Taoism is what most of us in the West would identify as "Taoism"; an abstract philosophy based on the writings of the sage Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching. It's hard to call philosophical Taoism a religion because these types of Taoists do not have any kind of clergy, any tradition outside reading Tao Te Ching, no holy-days, no temple or any organized gathering. Essentially, there is no institution; philosophical Taoism is basically just philosophy based around the teachings of the Tao Te Ching, and nothing more.
    This is the most popular form of Taoism in the West, and I would say this kind of "new-age" Taoism has only come about in the past 60 - 100 years, although the Tao Te Ching is dated at about 3rd Century B.C.
    (Here is a good resource by a philosophical Taoist, the site includes an English translation of the Tao Te Ching: http://www.taoism.net/)

    Religious Taoism is a little disillusioning, compared to the former; I haven't read a whole lot about it, but it is a lot different and more extensive than philosophical Taoism. Religious Taoism is the "traditional" form of Taoism, which the vast majority of Taoists in China identify with. This traditional Taoism has a pantheon of Gods & Goddesses which are worshiped, and are thought to serve different roles in nature. There is a hierarchical clergy, organized ceremonies, and (as far as I remember) there is a collection of what we would call "saints". This form of Taoism has no specific date of origination, instead it's claimed that traditional Taoism was begun by Lao Tze when he wrote the Tao Te Ching in 3rd Century B.C.

    This page explains the difference quite well: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/taoism/beliefs/religious_1.shtml

    Buddhism is dated around the 4th Century B.C., so it outdates the writing of the Tao Te Ching. The thing is that Buddhism did not significantly enter China until 3rd Century A.D., at which point Taoism already had quite a strong following. As far as I know, it is around this time that ideas from Taoism were merged with Buddhism. I think it's generally agreed that Taoism influenced Chinese Buddhists immensely, despite Buddhism (technically) being 1 - 2 centuries older.

    Sorry if my explanation was long-winded and confusing, I have a feeling it was. I think the best way to find out this stuff is to research from sites like BBC, who have professional and neat writers. ;)
     
  5. namjiwankaur

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    Rory ji

    You are very knowledgeable on Taoism. Yay! I know very little about it, but I'm looking forward to studying it more with you and anyone else who would like to do this. I've wanted to learn about it for a very long time.

    Taoism.net looks really interesting. I've learned much from the religion section of BBC. I will read up on Taoism there also.

    Would you want to choose one part of the Tao to explore here?

    :singhbhangra:
     
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  6. namjiwankaur

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  7. itsmaneet

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    Many tried to describe the Almighty but it's indescribable. And Sikhism got perfection in it & i am not sure any other religion got tht much perfection as Sikhism.

    Am not much known to Taoism but 'Waheguru'. Waheguru is the combination on 2 words - Wahe - Wonderful & Guru - The Divine Light.

    SGGS Ji says, it took 36 ages for the formation of the Divine Word/Gurmantar - WAHEGURU.
    9 Ages each for 'Wa' 'He' 'Gu' 'Ru'. So one can imagine the power & intensity of this Divine Word 'Waheguru'.
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I disagree, this is the road to whose khacha is bigger and whiter, a good Hindu is as relevant, and as enlightened as a good Sikh. Na koi hindu, na koi muslim. We are all followers of the truth. I can have a conversation with another of a different religion happy in the knowledge that we are both the same, nothing is more perfect, all are the same.

    kindly supply the relevant shabad
     
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  9. itsmaneet

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    I beg i pardon, this is confirmed in Sarab Loh Granth ..... Combination of Waheguru is also well explained by Bhai Gurdas Ji in Vaar 1, Pauri 49
     
  10. Rory

    Rory
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    I get what you're saying, but even so, let's make this a study in how truth is universal. The Tao Te Ching is a lot older than the Sri Granth, so I think it is interesting to see the parallels between two philosophical religions from such different timeframes. I think it shows the credibility of the message of the Gurus that they did not teach something completely new; they got a hold of the truth that others had searched for and got glances of in the past.

    For anyone who doesn't know, "Tao" is a word meaning "path" or "way", which is used abstractly to refer to divine nature/light/order - Lao Tze held the opinion that there is no word capable of being used as a name for divine nature/light/order (something we as Sikhs would disagree on), and so he used the word "Tao" to refer to this mysterious force for convenience. This is not exactly a parallel because our understanding of divine nature is obviously a lot different, but I think we can still reflect on some of Lao Tze's thoughts and recognize that he was a man in deep contemplation who came close to understanding the entirety of the divine.

    IV. "The way is empty, yet use will not drain it.
    Deep, it is like the ancestor of the myriad creatures.
    Blunt the sharpness;
    Untangle the knots;
    Soften the glare;
    Let your wheels move only along old ruts.
    Darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there.
    I know not whose son it is.
    It images the forefather of God."
     
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  11. namjiwankaur

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    Rory ji

    What are some of the similarities and differences you see between Taoism and Sikhi?

    :sippingcoffee:
     
  12. Harry Haller

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    no problem brother, it must be hard knowing which Granth to quote from when you believe in so many

    no need to reply, we are sidetracking a good thread



    I find this quite consistent with Sikhism personally
     
  13. namjiwankaur

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    The Tao that can be spoken is not the constant & unchanging Tao

    This first line, imho, is acknowledging the existence of what Sikhs call Waheguru and Muslims call Allah and Ancient Egyptians called Neberdjar, (a Formless Supreme Truth/Being) but refrains from calling it God. Is it possible to say religion can speak of God without a belief in God. The Jains don't believe in a monotheistic God, for example, but they speak of this Mystery in a Nameless way perhaps?
    I am wondering if Taoism teaches anything on mantras.

    In Sikhism and Sufism, there is the concept of simran and zikr. Does the Tao say anything about remembering?

    As you can see, taking even a line at a time fills me with so many ideas and questions. I love contemplating like this.

    kaurhug
     
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  14. Rory

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    I'm going to have a good think about this and I'll get back to you on it :)

    I'm a little busy tonight sorting school things out but I promise I won't neglect this thread.
     
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  15. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Its hard to make a comparison between Sikhi and Tao. IMHO, that's because the Tao is more likely presented in a metaphysical way while Sikhi is about Spirituality.

    I found these as a match:-

    Lao Tsu - "Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness."

    Sikhi - Page 1372
    Kabeer, let yourself be a pebble on the path; abandon your egotistical pride.
    Such a humble slave shall meet the Lord God. ||146||
    Kabeer, what good would it be, to be a pebble? It would only hurt the traveler on the path.
    Your slave, O Lord, is like the dust of the earth. ||147||
    Kabeer, what then, if one could become dust? It is blown up by the wind, and sticks to the body.
    The humble servant of the Lord should be like water, which cleans everything. ||148||
    Kabeer, what then, if one could become water? It becomes cold, then hot.
    The humble servant of the Lord should be just like the Lord. ||149||
     
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  16. namjiwankaur

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    Astroboy ji

    I often pray for my heart to be softened, to be more like water than stone.

    Water is more than a metaphor...I have contemplated on how the mood improves after a shower. Water removes more than the dirt on our skin, I believe.

    I also tend to push too much. How can I explain this? I often fail to be patient and let my growth happen according to the Divine's timing. In this sense, too, it would be better to be water than trying to dig myself a hole to get to where I want to go.

    Water is about patience, living according to Divine will. As they say in the 12 step programs, Let go and Let God. Pushing forward might sometimes be important, but mostly we need to flow with What Is.

    But even then to want to be anything other than immersed in the Divine means we are holding back, not merging with Love, Life, Truth.
     
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  17. itsmaneet

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    My elder use to tell me "Do Kashtiyan Wich Pair Nahi Rakhide" that means - Never put your feet on two boats the same time or you'll get drawn. Taoism may be good in it's place but when a Sikh is in the boat of 'Sikhism' we have nothing to do with the other boats. ..

    My point is - 'Keep faith only in Sikhism' though nothing's bad to know or read other religions for our knowledge.
     
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  18. itsmaneet

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    Guruji uses different examples at different places. For instance water is for being Nirmal/Soft but just being like a water at all time is not accepted. Water too will change it's condition (dry up) when Sun comes out.

    Guruji says to be such tht no situation/condition can take your attention away from the Almighty.

    Further if you wana get rid of your anxiety/impatience, i wud suggest to recite 'sukhmani Sahib Ji'. It do works ...
    http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Importance_of_sukhmani

    Gurfateh !!
     
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  19. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Sikhism has enough boats of its own, some of which are further away from it than even different religions.
     
  20. Harry Haller

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    recite? or read and understand?
     
  21. Kamala

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    I'm pretty sure Buddhism is the second oldest religion :p
     

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