Welcome to SPN

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

Sign Up Now!

The Five Realms

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by arshi, Nov 30, 2009.

Tags:
  1. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    THE FIVE REALMS

    by Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’

    japji Sahib is generally regarded as the master piece of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. However for a Gursikh every word (i.e. shabad) uttered by the Sikh Gurus is a master piece in itself. Guru Nanak was ‘sarab kalaa smapooran’, that is, he was adept in every art and science of the spiritual world. In pauris 34-37 he dwells on the five realms (or levels) of spiritual existence (aatmik avastha).

    Man’s existence on earth is fraught with distractions. The natural human instinct is to taste life through physical impulses and worldly desires – the mind is always looking outwards and seldom within. Only after persistent meditation and application will the initial urges for worldly comforts and pleasures will give way to sober thought and self-reflection. For this it is essential for an individual to glance into his soul. Gradually the real purpose of life will dawn upon the jeeva. Those who are lucky may find the real purpose of their human form. With the guidance of Satguru (the True Guru) he will soon start developing the spiritual aspect of his personality. With the Guru’s grace he will soon rise in spiritual status – from tammo gunn (the lowest strata of spiritual existence) he will progress to rajjo gunn (the middle strata of spiritual existence) and then gradually to satto gunn (the higher level of spiritual existence). The final goal, of course, is the Param Pad or Chautha pad (the highest status of spiritual being – the Supreme State).

    In pauris 34-37 Guru Nanak outlines the Five Realms, the first four realms are the spiritual levels through which the soul has to progress before reaching, the fifth and the final Sach Khand (the realm of Truth) i.e. merging with the Supreme Soul thus attaining the highest spiritual accolade (Param Pad). These khands deal with the travel of the soul, spiritual consciousness, not of the body.

    In the Lord’s Court jeevas are judged by their actions – karmi karmi hoe vichhaar.Those who receive His Grace reach His Abode (Sach Khand). Worldly accolades may mean very little in His Court. As and when man’s consciousness links to its real purpose, his outlook on life changes. He becomes less materialistic and inclined more towards spirituality. He starts rising above the worldly demands and begins to overcome the five stalwarts (thieves), i.e. kaam (lust) krodh (anger, rage), lobh (greed) moh (attachment) ahankar (ego). Clean living begins to nurture a clean mind and a sharp intellect. A clean mind will react like a processed film roll, receptive to pure thoughts which result in good and noble deeds. Pure intelligence is like the purest of paper ready for writing pure thoughts by burning the emotional attachment and grinding it into suitable ink for the task (jaal moh ghas mas kar ma kaaga kar saar – Guru Nanak Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 16).

    He realises that the emotional attachment to family and friends is futile as none of them will go along with him in the end - deykh kutamb mohi lobhaanaa chaldiaa naal na jaaee (M: 3 – GGS 32).A pure mind free of emotional attachments elevates the soul towards higher spiritual plains of bliss. The soul of such a person has successfully traveled to the Gian Khand (The Realm of Knowledge).

    Once the jeeva is on the right path, the incentive for further spiritual advancement becomes a stronger goal. The relisation of constant spiritual progress is not achieved though intelligence but through change in disposition and consistent movement away from maya towards disciplines required for sehaj avastha. The mind must be remoulded to conform to the experiences of the spiritual world. Once the person is in Gian Khand, his innerself begins to undergo transformation. The mind and the transformed innerself begin to work together and, in the process, the soul takes the shape of grace and unparalleled beauty. In the saram khand the jeeva begins to think like devtas (deities).

    The Lord’s continual Grace renders the jeeva free from negative forces and the soul stands rock solid against the onslaught of sinister, darker forces. The mind and the soul become so strongly interlinked that negative external forces are totally nullified.

    Let us briefly consider each khand:

    Dharam Khand- Realm of Dharma (spiritual law)

    God created wind, water, fire and the nether regions and then regulated nights, days, weeks and the seasons. Amidst all this He established the earth as a home for Dharma. He placed the various species of beings whose names are countless. The jeeva has to perform its action on this khand and by these actions he shall be judged in His Court. The Lord of Truth sits in His True Court. The ripe and the unripe, the good and the bad, shall be judged there and only the true devotees will receive the Mark of His Grace. This Nanak says is the Dharam Khand, where all are judged by their righteous living. Dharam Khand signifies the philosophy of right thoughts and actions.

    This is also the khand where our soul goes to after death unless the individual has already elevated himself to the status of a braham giani – i.e. has the knowledge of God – when a shorter route is determined by the Lord. Here, it is believed ‘’Dharam Rai’ holds his court. Dharam Rai with his staff - army of jammdoots - controls the whole Dharam Khand. The length of one’s stay in Dharam Khand is determined by the strength of the desires and attachments one possesses. The higher the spiritual status attained during the earthly existence the quicker the transition to the next level – Gian Khand. An enlightened soul will, depending on his faith, receive assistance in progressing to the other realms – in the case of devout Sikhs it is believed Guru Nanak will carry his devotee safely through to the highest of the realms Sach Khand.

    Gian Khand - Realm of wisdom (knowledge)

    In the Gian Khand, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme.

    In this Khand there are numerous lands and mountains with air, water, fire and other elements. There are many deities like Krishna and Shiva. Many brahmas are carved out in a variety of forms, colours and shapes. There are many karam bhoomis (arenas of action) where a person can perform good and bad deeds (this means the jeeva is still being tested) and there are many saints like Dhru and the spiritual discourses to guide you. There are countless deities like Indra, siddhas, buddhas, Naths and prophets; there are countless galaxies with their own orbits including the Sun and the Moon.

    Whilst many devas (knowledgeable and spiritually evolved souls) reside in this realm, surprisingly there are also many false gods (daanavs). Thus, this is a realm where souls are still tested by mixing fully evolved spirits with those which are still evolving and those which still tempt the soul with false desires. However, guidance and help is available from many agents of God who come down to assist, i.e. in this khand there are both disciples and gurus with divine knowledge. There are numerous gems and oceans as there are kings and emperors. Numerous banis (languages, means of communication) and modes of meditation and disciples who follow these exist in Gian Khand.

    Spiritual knowledge is predominant in the Gian Khand. However, there is also an opportunity for its residents to experience the vibrations of naad (celestial music) and wondrous and miraculous (extraordinary) acts of spirituality (tamaasha, kautak) and sights of bliss (anand). Gian khand offers the opportunity for the souls to develop their spiritual consciousness and awareness.

    Saram Khand - Realm of beauty, humility

    In the realm of humility, there is grace and unparalleled beauty (saram khand kee banee roop). Here the term ‘bani’ means structure or creation, i.e. the Saram Khand is a creation of utmost beauty and grace; many forms of incomparable beauty are fashioned here. These aspects of beauty and grace cannot be described and anyone who dares will only regret failure. Here the spiritual consciousness of manush’s (jeeva’s) quintessence soul and mind are shaped and developed to a level of perfection equal to those of devtas (deities) and siddhas. This stage is essential before devotes can enter Karam Khand.

    Karam Khand (Realm of Lord’s Piety/Grace – mehar, bakshish)

    This is the realm where the manush receives God’s approval. The jeeva’s earlier battles are rewarded here by receiving the Lord’s Grace. Only the great spiritual warriors dwell here. The Lord resides in every particle of their souls, i.e. they are drenched in the nectar of Lord’s Essence. The soul experiences the force of spiritual vibrations – referred to by Guru Nanak as ‘joar’

    Here souls of the highest virtue like Sita reside. Their souls are so beautiful and radiant that they cannot be described. Their majestic glory is such they can neither die nor be deceived. Saints of the highest order imbued in the Lord’s Name dwell here.

    Sach Khand (Realm of Truth)

    The Formless Lord resides in Sach Khand (Realm of Truth). He creates and then watches over His creation with love and compassion. The soul is completely absorbed in the Universal Soul. With His Grace the jeeva can see across the door to where only the Lord is seen – nothing else. The jeeva’s spiritual consciousness (surat, dhyan) is constantly engaged in Lord’s praise. With God’s Grace he is able to see numerous planets, solar systems and galaxies. These scenes cannot be expressed as there is no limit to His creations. By His command are created various worlds and forms of life. He rejoices watching over these with His merciful Grace. Nanak says it is impossible to describe these experiences i.e. these can be felt but not expressed.

    Sach Khand is the ultimate spiritual plain. There is nothing else beyond this. There is no limit to the expanse and reach of the Realm of Truth – in fact it encompasses the entire creation of God including the other four realms. Sach Khand is waheguru and Waheguru is Sach Khand.


    SUMMARY

    Dharam Khand: Realm of Dharma (spiritual law).
    Gian Khand: Realm of wisdom (knowledge)
    Saram Khand: Realm of humility and beauty
    Karam Khand: Realm of Grace (mehar)
    Sach Khand: Realm of Truth


    Author's notes:

    1. Writing about the Five Realms is the most difficult task a writer can undertake. This is the FIRST EDITION of the article – it may undergo changes for quality and accuracy.

    2. For simplicity, throughout this article, I have referred to the masculine gender but, wherever appropriate, this should be read as including the female gender.

    3. Differences of opinion are inevitable when interpreting Gurbani. The author most humbly regrets any inaccuracy or errors in quoting or interpreting Gurbani and prays Sat Guru grants him the boon of greater insight into understanding the Guru’s word.


    Copyright: ISBN 0 948522 02X
    Rajinder Singh ’Arshi’
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 13
    #1 arshi, Nov 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2013
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Sikhism The Edict by Beloved Fives - The Panj Piaras - Implications Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Oct 30, 2015
    India Mumbai gang-rape: five held over attack on photo-journalist Breaking News Aug 24, 2013
    India Five injured as Namdhari groups clash Breaking News Feb 26, 2013
    'punj mint' The different hues five minutes can adopt Inspirational Stories Feb 8, 2013
    Islam Celebrity Saudi preacher 'raped' and tortured his five-year-old daughter to death Interfaith Dialogues Feb 5, 2013

  3. NALWA

    NALWA
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    6
    Rajinder Singh Ji. Thank you for elaborating on the 'Pajh Khands'.I will share it with my friends and family.Regards
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    World’s saintly people have shown different transit stages of conscious for mankind. It is established that the path of Dharma is of spiritual consciousness. Ancient Rishis have suggested two transit stages and third as objective, first stage is Karam Khand (which is practiced by body) that can be taken as seed, second Upasana (by mind) its branch and third sphere is objective wisdom (enlightenment) which is the fruit. Similarly Islam suggests three transit stages and fourth the ultimate (objective). They are Shariat (Code of conduct), Triqat (sacrifice), Maarfat (Divine Knowledge) and fourth is Haqqikat (Truth) – the objective. Guru Nanak Ji wants to take us to Truth like the Islam. But unlike Islam and Hindus, it seems Guru Nanak has dived deeper than other and has detailed four transits stages and the fifth objective- the sach-khand where the conscious of selected pure has to reach.

    In the first level, the seeker abandons vice and performs virtuous deeds and thereby ascends from Tamas to Rajas and Rajas to Satva Guna to pass and approve the first stage of righteousness – by the Dharma - the Department of justice. The seeker in this level sees God in all and nurtures Love. In the second stage(Gian Khand) the seeker dwells on the glory of God and has a yearning for union with Him. In the third stage(Saram Khand) chains of various vices (Vikars) are broken and the seeker becomes humility personified. Ego does not dare to encompass his heart. In the fourth stage(Karam Khand) he attains ‘blissful state’, state of nibbana equipoise and tranquility and renounces the desires and expectations arising from worldly life. By this time the devotee is almost merged into Him. In such a case, the fifth realm sachkhand does not belong to the devotee; but is rather a description of a vision of God. The Gurmukh who realizes the fourth state is called “the Turiya avastha or Parampad.” - Guru Granth ang.940.15. It is also called the Supreme State and Amara Pad or the Deathless stage (Guru Granth ang.725.9). It is beyond the cycle of birth and death (Guru Granth ang.1110.12) and of eternal wonder and celestial bliss (Guru Granth ang.1036.9). Therein lies ineffable glories and light. The merger is like the merger of the light of the individual into the light of God. Like the mingling of a drop of water in the ocean.” - Guru Granth ang.227.15.

    Most of the authors consider these steps of Spiritual stages to be achieved in sequence one after the other. However, I have observed them to be with different approaches concurrently guiding the devotees to the goal. I think one cannot adopt any step for Dharam Khand or reach Gian Khand without the saram (efforts) and Grace (Karam Khand) of God. Further, if these five steps are to be put into sequence, believing them one after the other, in that case Saram Khand, making an effort by the devotee, should be the first. It is only after one decides to move on the path of God that one will take the step of practicing Dharam, the righteous deeds. It appears that all these steps work jointly to demolish the wall of ignorance, of course, with different intensity at different times with different individuals.

    Guru Nanak in this stanza draws a wonderful picture of our earth, established by the Creator amidst the nights, seasons, air, water, fire and nether world whose beauty and comforts reminds us of His existence. All are performing under a maryada (code of conduct) and amidst earth is designated as Temple of Dharma to practice righteousness (This view is in contradiction of the Semitic view that Adam and Eve were exiled from the Heaven and sent to the earth to serve the punishment awarded to them for disobeying dictate of God). Guru Nanak regards the world not as a place of suffering, but as a meaningful creation of God wherein noble, truthful, and selfless actions can bring a person closer to realizing Him. This world according to Sikhism, is “the abode of God”.Dharam Saala’ ‘Inn’ - a place where people are on the move stay for some time and then leave; these travelers have no sense of belonging towards the ‘Dharam Saala. Ironically, he does not know from where he came and where will be go back but during this short transit period, the ego and pride leads him to believe that he is going to stay here forever and as such commits excesses, whereas God has assigned the earth for the humans to live a virtuous life.

    In order to stage the world show, He has created numerous creatures with different habits and different names. The nights, seasons, air, water, fire provides them the needed environment to perform their responsibilities and practice righteousness. He says their names and colors are countless. Guru Nanak has used the word color for forms and shapes to convey the fact that no matter in which form and shape the different species are, in essence all form of lives are the same. They are told they will be judged by their deeds to pre-qualify upliftment for further stages. Since due to karama, the issue of noble and evil comes up, it is said they will be judged not by a biased but by the Truth Himself in His truthful court and, ‘EQY scy hI sic inbVY cuix viK kFy jjmwilAw ]Qwau n pwiein kUiVAwr - there, only the Truth is judged true; the sinners are picked out and separated no one can escape The false find no place there. Guru Nanak in this stanza clarifies the meaning of, “pMcy sohih dir rwjwnu” ] - the court of ‘rajan’ which we read in stanza 16 and says ‘sacha aap sacha darbar tithe sohen panch parvan” so this is the sphere of pure who are selected as true and not of kings. The blessed are marked and they are identified by expression of glow on their faces.” - Guru Granth ang.1096.14. One can raise a question, If they have these signs of acceptance and are already approved and selected as ‘panch’ then what are they doing in Dharm khand, they should be in sach khand. We will answer this in next pauries. Guru Nanak in next line says upon presentation of files of their deeds, here false and true (ripe and unripe) shall be differentiated by Justice Ministry.All this may seem like fiction but once we get in, we will realize it in Gian khand.

    It is most heartening in spite of the very fact we know that we are not going to live on this earth forever, the consciousness of the wicked, faithless cynics wanders around in search of transitory wealth, unstable and distracted (The world is a transitory place of mortality - know this for certain in your mind - Guru Granth ang.721.5). We consider it as our permanent home and concentrate more on materialistic values and forget that what will go along with us are our deeds, nurturing of love and chanting of His Name only. And not the materialistic values which are like the shade of a tree. The devotees realizes all the worldly possessions are as good as huge pile of dry grass catching fire or as the transitory shadow casted by moving cloud. The summary of this stanza is that the devotees while chanting His Name shall understand that they have come on this earth to perform particular functions. Such a devotee would be called Dharma Khandi who taken the principle of law into his life while chanting His glorious virtues. The main purpose of these spheres is to shed light on the existence of God and His creation. (34)
    Best regards
    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
    • Like Like x 11
  5. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Sahni Ji

    Gurfatheh and thank you for sharing your interpretation of the Five Khands.

    Most of what you have written is in line with my own thoughts and understanding. However, there are a few differences in our analysis, but these are expected on a topic as vast as this. I remember once listening to a video recording of Maskeen Ji wherein he mentioned a scholar giving a very erudite, weighty and interesting performance on the Five Realms. When asked by Maskin ji, who was very impressed by the lecture, whether the scholar was quoting from experience, the learned man quite candidly and spontaneously replied no and that his talk was a purely based on an academic research.

    Best wishes and chardhi Kala

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Arshi Ji

    I would love to receive your input to enhance our knowledge and let us not close it by 'agree to disagree' statement before I submit my second part.
    Best regards
    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Sahni Ji

    Gurfateh

    I was not being intentionally dismissive or evasive in response to your learned contribution. I did not comment in detail for the following reasons:

    (1) Your post did not directly allude to the contents of my article – it appeared to be a ‘stand alone’ contribution

    Another gentleman does something similar, i.e. cuts and pastes his article on the same topic without any reference to, or comment upon, the current article – I generally tend not analyse such posts. However in your case you have shown far greater interest and humility and requested further comment and I would most certainly oblige.

    (2) I am undertaking 6/7 weeks travelling schedule in a week’s time and did not wish to be locked into a prolonged debate or discussion. Whenever I engage in any exchange of ideas I aim to learn myself and at the same time enhance my own spiritual awareness.

    I agree with most part of your contribution and there are only one or two areas where I am unsure as to what you are exactly trying to say. I will come back on these soon. Meanwhile take care and God Bless.

    Best wishes and chardhi Kala

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Mohinder Sahni ji

    A unique insight is given by your comment: Most of the authors consider these steps of Spiritual stages to be achieved in sequence one after the other. However, I have observed them to be with different approaches concurrently guiding the devotees to the goal. I think one cannot adopt any step for Dharam Khand or reach Gian Khand without the saram (efforts) and Grace (Karam Khand) of God. Further, if these five steps are to be put into sequence, believing them one after the other, in that case Saram Khand, making an effort by the devotee, should be the first. It is only after one decides to move on the path of God that one will take the step of practicing Dharam, the righteous deeds. It appears that all these steps work jointly to demolish the wall of ignorance, of course, with different intensity at different times with different individuals.

    You are speaking from your own experience and connecting your experience of observing and guiding others. I believe you are saying that you suspect that spiritual evolution may not be linear in every case as individuals come to grips with moving beyond the gunas, and progressing in various khands or realms.


    It is hard to put your concept into words. Would you expand on this part of your earlier post.

    This particular comment also seems to match up with arshi ji's description of Gyani Maskeen question about "personal experience," and that the lecturer in the scenario seemed to dismiss Gyani Maskeen's question. You however are comfortable with it. Personal experience seems also to have had great value for you because it inspired you to think and write deeply on this subject.

    arshi ji will be unable to interact in this thread for a few weeks. Therefore, I hope you do not mind my questions and comments. Thank you.


     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Narayanjot Kaur Ji

    Dhruv and Prahlad could find God without attempting any religious instruction, baani or guru. They were blessed with Divine Knowledge by birth from their guardian and from the age of five in their firm belief for the very existence of God and with that determination they went on chanting His Name single minded and merged in Him. In addition gurbani tells us, 'ghal na mileo save na mileo, mileo aaye achinta'.It is all His Grace and unfortunately there is no formula for grace, otherwise if american could send space shutle to moon, they could also have sent similar mission to different khand and had come back and said hey, just pay and drive in . It is not something physical but state of mind. Infinite love and devotion with total surrender to Him - hukam rajaayee chalna. can lead us for merger.

    Mohinder Singh Sahni
    Kuwait
     
    • Like Like x 4
    #8 japjisahib04, Dec 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2009
  10. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Dharm Khand – Realm of Dharma (Spiritual Law)

    Normally, we translate Gian into knowledge. But in the spiritual world, Gian is much higher than the knowledge. The academic knowledge which does not lead one to salvation but further entangle him in Maya is not Gian but is just information. Further that scholar who is full of greed, arrogant pride and egotism, is known to be a fool and not educated and is always confused within the perimeter of words. Thus there are two types of Gian. One is academic and the other is self realized or I would say who has taken personal experience or dip in it.

    Generally it is the view of many authors that Guru Nanak has described five realms or stages in the Spiritual path leading to the ultimate merger of the Atma with Partmatma in the stanzas 34.37. For the proper comprehension of this view we may refer to his earlier message that “Precious stones, jewels and gems shall be treasured in your heart if you hearken One Word of the Guru -The japji-6.” But my humble opinion is that these stanzas 34-37 contain very comprehensive view regarding the relation of Atma and Partmatma and the means for the merger of the Atma with Parmatma. At the very outset before we start it is established “Until God had not created the universe there was nobody or until there was no air there was no waves or bubbles in water.” Guru Granth ang.1427.16.

    In earlier stanzas though the object of Guru Nanak was to worship God, but he had to start from where his audience was. The mythological concepts (Naad etc) and figures (Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Krishna etc) were all well ingrained in the mind of those who were seeking spiritual guidance from him. Though he was using the mythological name but at the same times he was conveying the message that all of them are from One and they have no independent role. This was essential for effective communication. But at the same time, use of these concept and name of the figure by Guru Nanak in explaining does not mean that those concepts and figures are true or Guru Nanak is endorsing the mythology to which they belong. Similarly Guru was using the old Indian terminology while referring to four khanis (In stanza 26) and so on. Now while coming to Gian Khand when his conscious had reached at the tenth door, he is dismissing this concept and their being avatar for worshiping in its total, by stating there are not one but millions of Brahmas, Vishnu, Inders etc. The beauty in Guru Nanak presentation is that he had the vision that in certain time scientists will authenticate about millions of Sun and Moon and other planets, thus in his state of consciousness he witnesses and added by saying millions of suns and moons along with Brahma, Vishnu etc. in order to give a hint for the accuracy of His vision.

    The function of Gian khand is to make us aware that, “ibnu bUJy krm kmwvxy jnmu pdwrQu Koie ] - to carry out such deeds (hollow rituals) without understanding and following it as a tradition is to lose the treasure of this human life. i.e. Empty rituals are for empty mind – Guruji tried to fill our mind with Gian” - Guru Granth ang.33.2 and that millions of people had wasted their opportunity by wrong way of worship, let us not waste it. Gurbani further guides us, ‘PrIdw jn@I kMmI nwih gux qy kMmVy ivswir ] mqu srimMdw QIvhI sWeI dY drbwir ]Fareed, those deeds which do not bring merit - forget about those deeds. Otherwise, you shall be put to shame, in the Court of the Lord. SGGS. 1381.2.

    Further, the heading of this stanza is Dharmkhand and it is combined with Gian Khand. This indicates any deed done without touchstone of Dharma, it turns out to be empty ritual. Thus my karma should stem from Gian. As, ‘DrmI Drmu krih gwvwvih mMgih moK duAwru ] jqI sdwvih jugiq n jwxih Cif bhih Gr bwru ] The righteous waste their righteousness, by asking for the door of salvation They call themselves celibate, and abandon their homes, but they do not know that walking in the experience of God is true brahmcharaya. Celibacy is not concerned with your body but more with your mind.

    In earlier stanza Guru Sahib draws a wonderful picture of our earth, established by the Creator amidst the nights, seasons, air, water, fire and nether world. But over here he is talking many air, water, fire. What is the message he wants to pass to us?

    Best regards
    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Sahni Ji

    Gurfateh

    The contributions and response to the article inspired me to make time and reflect further on the spiritual issues of the soul. However, when discussing, debating issues it is customary to first get direct response to one’s article – but no such direct response was forthcoming from you in relation to the article. A simple ‘drop in’ makes it difficult as to how to respond and from where to begin. This can only be tackled in two ways – either by a brief reply which I gave earlier or a detailed analysis of the respondent’s contribution which I am now going to undertake – I do not believe in half measures as no one gains from these.

    Hinduism speaks of two stages to the final destination – Gian Kaand (kanda).

    1. Karam Kaand (actions; by body)

    2. Upasana Kaand (meditation; by mind):

    Upasna, which literally means "Sitting near", denotes a prescribed method for approaching a Deity or God. One meditates on the all-pervading Brahman as some aspect of creation e.g. fire, water, food, mind etc.
    It is also described staged practice of a prescribed method of worship for pleasing and winning the attention of the deity or it can be a deity-less practice of austerities involving meditating upon some aspect of nature as told in specific Vedic Upasanas. Sikhism rejects all this – as you are well aware of.

    Gian kaand (wisdom; enlightenment)

    Acharyas (learned religious leaders) counsel the disciples according to their state of development. Hence they are not for everyone.

    You are absolutely right in that Islam belives in four stages and the fourth is manzilay maksood (The Truth – Haqiqat)

    1. Shariat (Code of conduct),

    2. Triqat (tyaag; sacrifice),

    3. Maarfat (Divine Knowledge)

    4. Haqqikat (Truth) – the objective. Guru Nanak Ji wants to take us to Truth like the Islam.

    Guru Nanak and Islam agree with the final destination - only the approach may vary.

    Par aseen doosrey dharma toan kee lenaa denaa! And you are right that “unlike Islam and Hindus, it seems Guru Nanak has dived deeper” and my article dealt only with Guru Ji’s message in Japji Sahib.

    Guru Ram Das (the Fourth Nanak) composed four hymns (Four Laavs) as the core part of the wedding ceremony (Anand Karaj – Ceremony of Bliss) which bids the couple in Holy Matrimony

    The four laavs define the four phases (or facets) of righteous living through which a person progresses towards his ultimate goal, i.e. to be one with God or in other words for his soul to merged with the Universal Soul (parmatma). Your comments in quotation marks.

    1. To fulfil the duties of wedded life (life of the householder); to perform good deeds and follow the path of righteousness,

    “In the first level, the seeker abandons vice and performs virtuous deeds and thereby ascends from Tamas to Rajas and Rajas to Satva Guna to pass and approve the first stage of righteousness – by the Dharma - the Department of justice. The seeker in this level sees God in all and nurtures Love.”

    2. To understand ones inner self and to search the path of realising God.

    “In the second stage (Gian Khand) the seeker dwells on the glory of God and has a yearning for union with Him.”

    3. To experience the ecstasy of mind.

    “In the third stage (Saram Khand) chains of various vices (Vikars) are broken and the seeker becomes humility personified. Ego does not dare to encompass his heart.”

    4. Unification with God. Attainment of the true Lord with the Grace of the guru. Mind body and soul are fixed on the Lord and only his Name rings in the heart.

    “In the fourth stage(Karam Khand) he attains ‘blissful state’, state of nibbana equipoise and tranquility and renounces the desires and expectations arising from worldly life.”

    You further wrote:

    “By this time the devotee is almost merged into Him. In such a case, the fifth realm sachkhand does not belong to the devotee; In such a case, the fifth realm sachkhand does not belong to the devotee; but is rather a description of a vision of God.” Agreed.

    And then again:

    “The Gurmukh who realizes the fourth state is called “the Turiya avastha or Parampad.” - Guru Granth ang.940.15. It is also called the Supreme State and Amara Pad or the Deathless stage (Guru Granth ang.725.9). It is beyond the cycle of birth and death (Guru Granth ang.1110.12) and of eternal wonder and celestial bliss (Guru Granth ang.1036.9). Therein lies ineffable glories and light. The merger is like the merger of the light of the individual into the light of God. Like the mingling of a drop of water in the ocean.” Again agreed.

    “Most of the authors consider these steps of Spiritual stages to be achieved in sequence one after the other. However, I have observed them to be with different approaches concurrently guiding the devotees to the goal.”

    Have you personal experience of this? If so, please elaborate.

    “I think one cannot adopt any step for Dharam Khand or reach Gian Khand without the saram (efforts) and Grace (Karam Khand) of God.”

    I am glad you have used the word ‘think’ in the above statement and not ‘know’. You will again need to expand on this – ‘think statements’ without further detail and back up leaves the reader ‘high and dry’. Kindly elaborate.

    “Further, if these five steps are to be put into sequence, believing them one after the other, in that case Saram Khand, making an effort by the devotee, should be the first. It is only after one decides to move on the path of God that one will take the step of practicing Dharam, the righteous deeds. It appears that all these steps work jointly to demolish the wall of ignorance, of course, with different intensity at different times with different individuals.”

    In my humble opinion Saram Khand is an advanced stage of spiritual awareness wherein lies unparalleled beauty and grace. How can this precede Dharam Khand and Gian Khand.

    “Guru Nanak in this stanza draws a wonderful picture of our earth, established by the Creator amidst the nights, seasons, air, water, fire and nether world whose beauty and comforts reminds us of His existence. All are performing under a maryada (code of conduct) and amidst earth is designated as Temple of Dharma to practice righteousness”. Agreed

    “Guru Nanak regards the world not as a place of suffering, but as a meaningful creation of God wherein noble, truthful, and selfless actions can bring a person closer to realizing Him. This world according to Sikhism, is “the abode of God”.Dharam Saala’ ‘Inn’ - a place where people are on the move stay for some time and then leave; these travelers have no sense of belonging towards the ‘Dharam Saala.” Agreed

    “Ironically, he does not know from where he came and where will be go back but during this short transit period, the ego and pride leads him to believe that he is going to stay here forever and as such commits excesses, whereas God has assigned the earth for the humans to live a virtuous life.”

    I think it is best to end with this beautiful and educational shabad – as thay all are.

    ਗਉੜੀਚੇਤੀਮਹਲਾਕਤਕੀਮਾਈਬਾਪੁਕਤਕੇਰਾਕਿਦੂਥਾਵਹੁਹਮਆਏ {ਪੰਨਾ 156}
    kat kee maa-ee baap kat kayraa kidoo thaavhu ham aa-ay.


    If we were to ask ourselves the two questions:

    Who is our Father? Who is our Mother?
    We may reply that from within the fire and the bubble were we sprung.

    Scientists put forward several theories regarding the origin of man;
    Genesis (Bible) presents another alternative. The debate goes on and on.

    But more importantly another question crops up?
    For what purpose were we born? This is perhaps a harder question to answer and therefore, not many bother to address it.

    Guru Ji says:
    O Lord, no one can measure Thy wisdom. My (man's) knowledge is very limited. My (his) shortcomings are innumerable; my deficiencies are unquantifiable.

    In the cycle of birth and death we have assumed many forms; for example, many times were we reborn as trees, plants, and beasts.

    Many times we dwelt as serpents, and yet many times we were flown as birds.

    Man in his limited wisdom, commits many sins, thinking and hoping nobody watches over him.

    But how mistaken he is, he may forever be watchful and look around him, but he can never hide from Thee.

    I have visited many banks of sacred rivers; I have also seen the Nine Regions; I have been to many shopping arcades, cities and market places.

    If the trader or the pilgrim were to weigh up his actions in his heart, his sins will far outweigh his virtues.

    Man's sins are as immeasurable as the water that fills the seas and the oceans.

    O Lord take mercy upon or souls and extend a little pity to keep this mankind (laden with sins) afloat; for without Thy Grace, which can keep stones afloat, it will for sure drown.

    Man's soul burns in the fire of ignorance and sin; his innerself is being shredded by unseen scissors of worldly desires and vain pursuits,

    Pray Nanak that man may come to terms with the Lord's Order so that he may forever live blissfully.
    (Translation: R.S."Arshi" )

    Apologies in advance for the long response and any errors.

    Best wishes

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 6
    #10 arshi, Dec 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
  12. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Arshi Ji

    Thank you very much for your comments and presenting it better than me.
    Your question:
    Have you personal experience of this? If so, please elaborate.
    To be very frank with you, despite my sincere approach I am still at the nursery level. It is only when I ponder over the Gur sabd, 'Ram japo jee aisai aisai dhru prahlahad japieo har jaisai' . I feel that when your pervarish is carried out in an environment, which is divorced from hollow ritual, to meaningful devotion or meaningful execution of some business, then you only need efforts to start with, like a family business. Moreover, sachkhand, saram khand (jiwan mukta) are state of mind and it is not something that we achieve after our death. I will go little further that invention of all the technologies like, train, car, plane, T.V., computer, mobile system, sattelite etc is result of those only who have given self devotion. Most of them never went to school even or had their subject on that topic. The idea was almost descended 'achinta'.
    Best regards
    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
    • Like Like x 3
  13. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Sahni Ji

    I am deeply touched by your humility - I would not have expected your answer to be any different. The fact that you did not fall for the ’trick’ question indicates a much higher level of spiritual awareness than the nursery level you admit to. Please pray for me as well.

    Kind regards.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Sahni Ji

    I must apologise – I forgot to endorse your views re: jeevan mukta. I concur 100%.

    In fact there have been ghatnaas in my own life, which back this up with reference to my father Ragi Balwant Singh Ji. He did kirat (normal work) like us all but did Kirtan in his spare time. He performed Nishkam Kirtan for over 70 years and those who knew him acknowledged him as a true saint but an unsung hero, for he shunned publicity and praise. He was an epitome of grace and humility. In fact one great aatma (bless his soul) who used to present ‘Guru Maneo Granth’ on Amrit Bani Radio (London) and who shares his name with you (S. Mohinder Singh Cheema) admitted he had visions of my father and mother living in a white house in Gurupuri, Sachkhand during their lifetime.

    He said this on many occasions including on air. At first I did not believe this – I thought he was just buttering us up. He also mentioned this to my parents. But this did not change my father in any way – he remained a picture of humility – even at the age of 87 he did Kirtan and walked without a stick.

    But now that both my parents and Mr Cheema have gone I have begun to actually believe in this. During my lifetime I was closer to my mother but now I feel closer to my father and his memory wells up tears in my eyes and fills up my heart with ecstasy impossible to describe. I am so honoured and blessed to have had a father like him – he has been responsible after his departure to enable me to change direction and to enhance my spirituality.

    Kind regards

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Arshi Ji

    I am glad to hear that you are blessed son of an enlightened soul. I have heard this name but am not able to recollect. Few people are so lucky. My best wishes for you.

    By the way I have noticed from your post about some translation. Have you written any book or translated any hymn from SGGS?

    In order to continue our inter action, I would be obliged to receive input on my second submission on five realm so that I can submit the rest of it.

    Best regareds
    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
  16. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Sahni Ji

    Yes, I am planning writing a book but, currently, although I am trying to go into semi-retirement (I am in my late sixties) and concentrate on Kirtan and writing, I have not been able to totally break away from friends who are continually keep on offering work and would not take no for an answer.

    However, I am making time to write articles, which are also uploaded on my website www.arshiwaves.co.uk – please do not read too much into the photo, which was not really a part of any grand egotistical pursuit. It is simply the cover design of my latest CD ‘Sahib Mera Meharvaan’, which I have asked my web designer to upload on the site (I personally am not too IT orientated) for all to listen without charge or any obligation – pure nishkaam sewa – if I can call it sewa - as all the credit must go to Satguru Nanak. My current web master is rather inefficient and lazy and things are taking time.

    I will be setting up a new icon on the website ‘Gurbani Vichar’ so please do visit and offer your valuable feedback. Whilst I may not always be able to respond, since all this is managed single handed with own funds, my appreciation will be no less.

    I will be honoured to comment on any submission of the rest your Five Realms, however, in view of my travel plans my response may be slow.


    Warm regards
    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi'
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Arshi ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for a very thought provoking essay about the Five realms. My questions are not about what you wrote, but thanks to what you wrote made me thinking and I need your help in untangling the web of thoughts developed while reading your essay. As mentioned before, I just like to think aloud.

    According to the dictionary the meaning of REALM is:
    realm

    –noun 
    1.
    a royal domain; kingdom: the realm of England.

    2.
    the region, sphere, or domain within which anything occurs, prevails, or dominates: the realm of dreams.

    3.
    the special province or field of something or someone: the realm of physics; facts within the realm of political scientists.
    Origin:
    1250–1300; ME realme, reaume < OF reialme, deriv. of reial < L rēgālis regal [​IMG]
    Realm Definition | Definition of Realm at Dictionary.com



    • 1. Are these five realms mentioned by you tangible or intangible ones?
    • 2. If they are tangibles then where are they located?
    • 3. If not then how one can experience them and can this experience be shared with others in a tangible manner?
    • 4. Are these realms interlinked? If so, then in what way are they linked?
    • 5. Can one hop scotch from one realm to the other or is there a right order like the steps of a ladder?
    • 6. What happens if one is successful in one realm but a total failure in the other one? How does one mend that?

    As the meaning of the word Sikh is a learner, a student which implies that making mistakes and learning from them is a norm for a Sikh in Sikhi not an exception.


    • 7. So, as making mistakes is a must then, is there a conflict in reaching these realms and being a Sikh which is a life long learning process?

    After you have helped me untangle this web of thoughts then I would like to interact about each realm with you.

    Once again, Arshi ji, thank you very much for helping me think by writing these kinds of thought provoking essays.

    Regards,

    Tejwant Singh
     
  18. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Tejwant Ji you embarrass me. An individual of your spiritual status asking, humble me, for advice on spiritual matters – I am as much a learner as you are – in fact you are perhaps more spiritually advanced than me.

    You have asked some excellent questions though, as one would expect from you. I have a sneaky feeling you already have some ideas about the solutions – It will be helpful if you could first share these with us. My situation is like that scholar referred to in Maskin Ji’s anecdote above (repeated below):

    “I remember once listening to a video recording of Maskeen Ji wherein he mentioned a scholar giving a very erudite, weighty and interesting discourse on the Five Realms. When asked by Maskin ji, who was very impressed by the lecture, whether the scholar was quoting from experience, the learned man quite candidly and spontaneously replied no and that his talk was a purely based on an academic research.”

    Some of the questions you have asked only a brahmgyani can answer, but I am only a humble Sikh (a learner) just like yourself.

    However. I can offer a few thoughts on what you have asked – these are only my humble thoughts, based on my perceptions and not necessarily on experience. The Khands mentioned by Guru Nanak are Levels of Spiritual Ascendancy – we do not always have the right vocabulary, unfortunately to put every spiritual experience in words.

    Realm is perhaps the nearest English translation for Khand – the nearest dictionary meaning of realm appears to be: “region, sphere, or domain within which anything occurs, prevails”. We may also call it ‘plane’ or ‘level’.

    Your questions:

    Pease treat the answers as pure academic responses.

    1. Are these five realms mentioned by you tangible or intangible ones?

    Answer: Great, greeeeeeeeeeat Q. Khands are the spiritual stages through which the soul progresses. On a physical plane this is intangible but on the elevated spiritual plane it is perhaps tangible (experienced by the soul - sparsh). Remember the body is made of five tats, one of them, for example, (akash, ether) is experienced by sparsh.

    2. If they are tangibles then where are they located?

    Answer: Not relevant in view of (1) above.

    3. If not then how one can experience them and can this experience be shared with others in a tangible manner?

    Answer: No the experience cannot be shared. Only the Guru’s Grace can reveal these.

    4. Are these realms interlinked? If so, then in what way are they linked?

    Answer: These are levels of ascendancy – normally, in sequence IMHO. I believe the spiritual ascendancy occurs in the order the levels appear in Japji Sahib but some believe otherwise – please read my dialogue with brother Sahni Ji. But anything can happen with Guru’s Grace. Sajjan Thug was transformed from a robber into a saint in an instance by Guru Nanak– brought forward karma?

    5. Can one hop scotch from one realm to the other or is there a right order like the steps of a ladder?

    Answer: Yes with Guru’s Grace.

    6. What happens if one is successful in one realm but a total failure in the other one? How does one mend that?

    Answer: Even at Gian khand stage, Guru Ji mentions that the soul is tested, but guidance and help is also available – see article portion reproduced below.

    Whilst many devtas (knowledgeable and spiritually evolved souls) reside in this realm, surprisingly there are also many false gods (daanavs). Thus, this is a realm where souls are still tested by mixing fully evolved spirits with those which are still evolving and those which still tempt the soul with false desires. However, guidance and help is available from many agents of God who come down to assist, i.e. in this khand there are both disciples and gurus with divine knowledge.

    You wrote: As the meaning of the word Sikh is a learner, a student which implies that making mistakes and learning from them is a norm for a Sikh in Sikhi not an exception. So, as making mistakes is a must then, is there a conflict in reaching these realms and being a Sikh which is a life long learning process?

    Tejwant ji only God is infallible “bhulanhar sabh ko abhul Guru Kartar” – surely allowances must be made for this – please distinguish between manmuks (totally responsible for his transgressions) and gurmukh (Guru takes over your problems and guides you along the path of spirituality – Nanak will hold your hand and help you cross over).

    You wrote: After you have helped me untangle this web of thoughts then I would like to interact about each realm with you.

    Again you are putting me on a pedestal. I am just as much a learner as you are. Read More:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=28344 (The Five Realms)

    Have I passed? :rolleyes:


    Getting very late here in UK – time for bed. God Bless.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Arshi ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I want to apologise from the get go if my open-mindedness and quest to learn from the learned like you has caused any embarrassment. That was not the intention or the goal.

    It is worth repeating what I said in my initial post and mean every word of it i.e. I do not have the creativity nor the talent to embellish things, nor do I consider myself a Sikh scholar, a historian, an intellect, an academic or even a highly educated person and nor do I intend or pretend to be either of them. I am glad to be a seeker, a learner and a student who loves to think aloud and is not ashamed of asking questions to the fellow Sikhs in order to learn. Hence, I have no spiritual status whatsoever because that is not my goal or the objective. I am here to enjoy the journey on this Gurmat train and hope that this ride never comes to an end.

    Arshi ji, as mentioned before by me in many of the posts that Sikhi is the journey of the individual, thus each one of us carries our own spiritual torch.

    Only Ik Ong Kaar knows which milestone each of us is at. No one else can find that out, no matter how much or how often they try to play The One.

    There is also nothing sneaky about my questions nor am I putting you to any test-How dare I?

    I am here to learn and interact and this forum and learned people like you make me gather my courage to ask the questions how basic they may be.

    I had never thought about these realms- Khands till I read your essay which made me thinking and was compelled to ask questions.

    Enough about me-ism, allow me to get back to the subject.


    Pardon my ignorance but can you define SOUL to me?

    What is it?

    Isn’t it just a clump of energy part of the ONE- Ajuni Sahibung- The Creative Energy?

    Can you also elaborate what you mean by the “elevated spiritual plane” where the same realm becomes perhaps tangible?

    Does that mean that “elevated spiritual plane” is a physical-tangible place?

    But you did mention above that this may be a tangible place. So, it seems the relevance lies in your own response above.

    If the experience can not be shared then how can one learn from them?
    Isn’t Sikhi about interacting and sharing?
    Our Guru can reveal these to whom and how?
    Does it become a hidden treasure- gupt khazaana for the individual to savour rather than to share with others who are less fortunate?

    And if so, then is it part of the Gurmat ideals?


    Would you be kind enough to elaborate the above for me?

    When you say, “Whilst many devtas (knowledgeable and spiritually evolved souls) reside in this realm”, then the Gian Khand- realm becomes a tangible physical place.

    Is that so?

    And I am a bit puzzled by the above that is in bold. Could you explain that in lay man’s terms?

    Lastly, let me reiterate again, that my post is purely for the interaction and learning process. There is no hidden agenda here.

    Thanks and regards.

    Tejwant Singh



     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Tejwant Singh Ji

    Gur Fateh

    Tuhadai ik ik swaal sava sava lakh da hai – weighty questions indeed - please take it as a compliment. I will try my best in answering some of the questions based on what I have gleaned from Gurbani. Your comments/questions are shown in italics and quotation marks.

    I want to apologise from the get go if my open-mindedness and quest to learn from the learned like you has caused any embarrassment. That was not the intention or the goal."

    I am not learned just learning with you along the way – a seeker as you say.

    It is worth repeating what I said in my initial post and mean every word of it i.e. I do not have the creativity nor the talent to embellish things, nor do I consider myself a Sikh scholar, a historian, an intellect, an academic or even a highly educated person and nor do I intend or pretend to be."

    You are just being humble- humility is the hallmark of Sikhism as preached by Guru Nanak. I have read your exchanges with Satyaben and others and if these are not scholarly then what are!

    "I am glad to be a seeker, a learner and a student”

    Likewise.

    “Hence, I have no spiritual status whatsoever because that is not my goal or the objective.”

    How do yon know? In fact later you have answered your own point – “Only Ik Ong Kaar knows which milestone each of us is at. No one else can find that out, no matter how much or how often they try to play The One."

    "I am here to enjoy the journey on this Gurmat train and hope that this ride never comes to an end.”

    Great attitude of mind, Tejwant Ji.

    “Arshi ji, as mentioned before by me in many of the posts that Sikhi is the journey of the individual, thus each one of us carries our own spiritual torch.”

    Very true, but hand over the torch to the Guru. Abandon your mind to the him and at the same time unburden your problems and place them at his door. By doing so the outcome of your actions will rest with the Guru and HE will carry YOUR torch for you and resolve all your affairs – remember - Man biechai satgur kai paas tis sayvak kay kaaraj raas – M:5 GGS 286). In return he only asks for humility and surrender to the Will of the Lord (hamri jaat patt gur satgur hum vaicheo – M:4 GGS 731). Its only when egotism departs that the state of supreme dignity (param pad) is obtained – says Guru Nanak (GGS 226).

    I am here to learn and interact and this forum and learned people like you make me gather my courage to ask the questions how basic they may be.

    We are ALL here to learn – a great opportunity given by the Lord by bestowing upon us the human form.

    “I had never thought about these realms- Khands till I read your essay which made me thinking and was compelled to ask questions.”

    I am surprised - they are covered by Guru Ji in Japji Sahib (Pauris 34 to 37).

    Pardon my ignorance but can you define SOUL for me? What is it?

    Your quintessence inner-self – the voice we often suppress when distinguishing between options. The voice coming from the ‘heart’ rather than the mind. The voice which we hear after we abandon the mind to the Guru (see above). The light which will emerge as we conquer (contain) the five negative traits. The ‘lamp of wisdom’ in the ‘mind's temple’ – kar kirpa jo Satgur mileo; man mandar meh deepak jaleo (Raag Gauri M.5). This is the only way to conquer egoism if jeeva is to achieve oneness with the Supreme Power. The Five Thieves rob us all the time and never allow us to remove the layer of maya which stands between us and our soul. How can we know the soul if we never open the door to meet him.

    Taj maan moh vikaa ḏoojaa joṯee jo samaaṇee.
    Renouncing self-conceit, emotional attachment, corruption and duality, their light merges into the Light. (Guru Arjan Dev)

    I am planning writing an article on soul and will share my thoughts with you again.


    I have dealt with the first half of your post and will try and get back on the rest of your post later. As you have realized from my earlier posts I am a little time constrained now because of my immanent trip to India. I hope to manage this before we leave but any subsequent discussion may have to wait for 6 to 7 weeks, at the very minimum, upon my return.

    Regards and Chardhi Kala ji.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 3
  21. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    488
    Tejwant Singh Ji

    Gur Fateh

    These are my humble submissions to the second half of your post. Your comments/questions are shown in italics and quotation marks.

    Q. “Isn’t it just a clump of energy part of the ONE- Ajuni Sahibung- The Creative Energy?”

    Naanak jal jaleyh samaa-i-aa joee joa meyke raam. (Guru Arjan Dev)

    O Nanak, as water mingles with water, my light (soul) has merged into the Universal Light (Universal Soul).

    Just as all the river flow into the ocean, so does each drop from the river end up in the MahaSagar – however, some unfortunate drops veer off the meandering river - but will rise again in the form of vapour and will get another chance to flow with the river, hoping this time to reach their destination – the MahaSagar.

    And again:
    Joṯee joa milee suk paa-i-aa jan Naanak ik pasaari▫aa jee-o. (Guru Arjan Dev SGGS 97)

    One’s light (soul) merges into the Light (Universal soul), and he finds peace. O Nanak, this is all the Expanse of the Universal Soul (The One).

    Further: When one's light merges into the Divine Light, the desire for Maya is extinguished (Guru Nanak SGGS 351)


    Q. “Can you also elaborate what do you mean by the “elevated spiritual plane where the same realm becomes perhaps tangible?”

    This is a state of spiritual awareness which arrives when we shed egoism and related vikaars – mentioned several times in my articles.
    However, I cannot not understand your ‘obsession’ (please pardon me) with the term ‘tangible’. Tangibility is a relative term. On the physical plane if we can touch and physically feel something, it is tangible, otherwise it is intangible. In the spiritual world something we can perceive with our quintessence soul is tangible, what we cannot must therefore must be the opposite – that is my humble understanding. Our vocabulary is commensurate with the physical world and does not always cater the Spiritual World.


    Q. “Does that mean that ‘elevated spiritual plane’ is a physical-tangible place?”


    No.


    Quote:
    2. If they are tangibles then where are they located?
    Answer: Not relevant in view of (1) above.

    Q. “But you did mention above that this may be a tangible place. So, it seems the relevance lies in your own response above”
    See the explanation, above, about tangibility.

    Quote:
    3. If not then how one can experience them and can this experience be shared with others in a tangible manner?
    Answer: No the experience cannot be shared. Only the Guru’s Grace can reveal these.

    I must stick by my previous answer – i.e. GENERALLY the experience cannot be shared – at least not in its totality. However, Brahmguni to Brahmguani anything is possible. Remember Guru Nanak, in Baghdad, took Dastgir’s son’s hand and gave him the tour of galaxy after galaxy (Bhai Gurdas Ji). Guru Nanak also passed his Jyot (Light) to Guru Angad Dev Ji and then the Second Nanak to Guru Amar Das Ji and so on. Guru’s GRACE is essential - then anything is possible.


    The experience cannot be shared otherwise. For example, if I were to ask a brain surgeon to teach me, on the spot, how to operate on a patient – he will think that either I am crazy or just pulling his leg.


    Q. “If the experience can not be shared then how can one learn from them?”


    By simran, meditation, by mingling with Saadh Sangat and by the blessing of the Holy.


    Q. ”Isn’t Sikhi about interacting and sharing?”

    Yes, answered in the question immediately above.


    Q. Guru can reveal these to whom and how?”


    One who has abandoned his head at the Guru’ lotus feet -Man biechai satgur kai paas tis sayvak kay kaaraj raas


    Q. “Does it become a hidden treasure- gupt khazaana for the individual to savour rather than to share with others who are less fortunate?”


    These points have been adequately answered above.

    Q. And if so, then is it part of the Gurmat ideals?


    Quote:
    6. What happens if one is successful in one realm but a total failure in the other one? How does one mend that?
    Answer: Even at Gian khand stage, Guru Ji mentions that the soul is tested, but guidance and help is also available – see article portion reproduced below.

    Whilst many devtas (knowledgeable and spiritually evolved souls) reside in this realm, surprisingly there are also many false gods (daanavs). Thus, this is a realm where souls are still tested by mixing fully evolved spirits with those which are still evolving and those which still tempt the soul with false desires. However, guidance and help is available from many agents of God who come down to assist, i.e. in this khand there are both disciples and gurus with divine knowledge.”

    Q. “Would you be kind enough to elaborate the above for me?”

    See the nadi/Mahasagar (river/ocean) example above.

    Q. “When you say, “Whilst many devtas (knowledgeable and spiritually evolved souls) reside in this realm”, then the Gian Khand- realm becomes a tangible physical place. Is that so?”

    Yes, only in terms of ‘spiritual tangibility’ – see comments above.

    Q. “And I am a bit puzzled by the above that is in bold. Could you explain that in lay man’s terms? Lastly, let me reiterate again, that my post is purely for the interaction and learning process. There is no hidden agenda here.”

    Seeing how the world operates these days you must forgive me for my cynicism sometimes.

    General note: I must apologise if some of my answers are brief – this is due the pressure of time – Every time I am on the computer my ardhangani (soul mate) looks over my shoulder to see what I am doing. She would not say anything but I can hear the silent Q - when are you going to help me pack? I will expand on some of the cotents in my forthcoming articles (obviously after more reflection).

    Warm regards.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
    • Like Like x 3

Share This Page