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What Is A Soul?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Articles' started by singh_man, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. singh_man

    singh_man Canada
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    Friends, I've been thinking lately of what exactly is a soul? With the ability of a soul to transmigrate as some form of energy, or as it reincarnates, or transcends into other heavenly forms.. what properties does a soul have that actually goes with it? Does it think? Does it have feelings? Does it remember or forget things? Is it male/female? Does it have desires, wants and wishes? What properties of a soul transmigrate with it?

    Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 4.19.15 PM.png

    Heavy thinking here for a Tuesday ;-)
     
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    #1 singh_man, Mar 24, 2015
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  3. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Are you referring to present life or after death. If it is after death then this fairy tale is against gurmat.
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    A soul is one of those strange words that mean whatever you want it to mean. It actually means nothing, but it can mean everything.

    See what I mean, your asking what a soul is, but you already establish that it has the ability to transmigrate as some form of energy, that it reincarnates, that it transcends, its a great word isn't it!

    I think it retains your sense of humour and a list of the funniest films you have ever seen, together with the top 3 best sexual interactions you ever had.

    Of course souls do not think, they are powered by an intel i7 processor, they just compute!

    no souls have soulings, which are like feelings but different.
    Souls do have a habit of forgetting things, only yesterday one came in my shop and completely forgot what it was it came in for.

    its male, but sometimes enjoys cross dressing, and oddly swinging!

    egg salad, all souls love egg salad.
    the smell, all souls smell like vanilla.

    I would be extremely happy to debate the above with anyone who feels different, I have a soul tied up in the back of the shop and intend to bring him out to back up my views.
     
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  5. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    look, you can get away with this sort of stuff on other forums, in fact some of them love it, but I have read it several times, and from an informative point of view, it does not really say anything, its not quite as ridiculous as my post, but its not even that funny either! I am not sure what such posts achieve, or what point they make.
     
  6. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
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    Read Mool Manter...

    What it describes is Waheguru...what it also describes is you...your soul...

    that is your true reality...what you really are....gurbani says...know thyself and you will know the creator..

    only your Ego sense makes you think in a limited way...i am only this body...i am limited in what i can do and think and achieve...i am small in this vast universe...this is Ego...

    your are unlimited...you can achieve anything, you can become anything...you only need to dip in and see for yourself who you are and go beyond the limits of your physical body. The moment you realise you are more than the body, you're whole perception changes...your view of everything changes.

    you are a drop of water from the ocean.....ocean has so many more attributes compared to the drop of water....yet...both are just water....one and the same.. :)

    As Ego dissolves and you come to know of your soul more...you will feel more free that you ever have...more alive than you ever have...radiant consciosness...
     
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  7. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Exactly! I agree with you. Let me make it more clear what is soul? Gurbani tells, 'ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਤਾ ਸਿਮਰਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ਆਤਮਾ ਦ੍ਰਵੈ ਰਹੈ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਆਤਮਾ ਪਰਾਤਮਾ ਏਕੋ ਕਰੈ ॥ When I shift my paradigm I identify myself and my thought process elevates in that state, ' ਆਤਮਾ ਪਰਾਤਮਾ ਏਕੋ ਕਰੈ ॥ constructive thought process takes over destructive thought process. Thus soul is my paradigm. In whole of Guru Granth Sahib word 'Parmatma' does not come at all. 'Atma' is constructive thought process and par+atma is destructive thought process.

    best regards
     
  8. N30S1NGH

    N30S1NGH
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    By Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

    Gyan Parbodh ਪਾਧੜੀ ਛੰਦ ॥
    पाधड़ी छंद ॥
    PAADHRAI STANZA

    ਤ੍ਵ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
    त्व प्रसादि ॥
    BY THY GRACE

    ਦਿਨ ਅਜਬ ਏਕ ਆਤਮਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਅਨਭਉ ਸਰੂਪ ਅਨਹਦ ਅਕਾਮ ॥
    दिन अजब एक आतमा राम ॥ अनभउ सरूप अनहद अकाम ॥

    On a day the curious soul (asked): The infinite and Desire less Lord, the Intuitive Entity.
    ਅਨਛਿੱਜ ਤੇਜ ਆਜਾਨ ਬਾਹੁ ॥ ਰਾਜਾਨ ਰਾਜੁ ਸਾਹਾਨ ਸਾਹੁ ॥੧॥੧੨੬॥
    अनछि्ज तेज आजान बाहु ॥ राजान राजु साहान साहु ॥१॥१२६॥
    Of everlasting Glory and long-armed; the King of kings and Emperor of emperors.1.126.

    ਉਚਰਿਓ ਆਤਮਾ ਪਰਾਤਮਾ ਸੰਗ ॥ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਸਰੂਪ ਅਬਿਗਤ ਅਭੰਗ ॥
    उचरिओ आतमा परातमा संग ॥ उतभुज सरूप अबिगत अभंग ॥
    The soul said to the Higher Soul; the Germinating Entity, Unmanifested and Invincible;

    ਇਹ ਕਉਨ ਆਹਿ ਆਤਮਾ ਸਰੂਪ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਅਮਿਤ ਤੇਜ ਅਤਿਭੂਤਿ ਬਿਭੂਤਿ ॥੨॥੧੨੭॥
    इह कउन आहि आतमा सरूप ॥ जिह अमित तेज अतिभूति बिभूति ॥२॥१२७॥
    What is this Soul Entity? Which hath indelible glory and which is of queer substance."2.127.

    ਪਰਾਤਮਾ ਬਾਚ ॥
    परातमा बाच ॥
    The Higher Soul said:

    ਯਹਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਆਹਿ ਆਤਮਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਅਮਿਤ ਤੇਜਿ ਅਬਿਗਤ ਅਕਾਮ ॥
    यहि ब्रहम आहि आतमा राम ॥ जिह अमित तेजि अबिगत अकाम ॥
    This Soul is itself Brahman;" Who is of Everlasting Glory and is Unmanisfested and Desireless.

    ਜਿਹ ਭੇਦ ਭਰਮ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਮ ਕਾਲ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਸਤ੍ਰ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਰਬਾ ਦਿਆਲ ॥੩॥੧੨੮॥
    जिह भेद भरम नहीं करम काल ॥ जिह सत्र मित्र सरबा दिआल ॥३॥१२८॥
    Who is indiscriminate, actionless and deathless; Who hath no enemy and friend and is Merciful towards all.3.1228.

    ਡੋਬਿਓ ਨ ਡੁਬੈ ਸੋਖਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕਟਿਓ ਨ ਕਟੈ ਨ ਬਾਰਿਯੋ ਬਰਾਇ ॥
    डोबिओ न डुबै सोखिओ न जाइ ॥ कटिओ न कटै न बारियो बराइ ॥
    It is neither drowned nor soaked; It can neither be chopped nor burnt.

    ਛਿਜੈ ਨ ਨੈਕ ਸਤ ਸਸਤ੍ਰ ਪਾਤ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਸਤ੍ਰ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਤ ਪਾਤ ॥੪॥੧੨੯॥
    छिजै न नैक सत ससत्र पात ॥ जिह सत्र मित्र नहीं जात पात ॥४॥१२९॥
    It cannot be assailed by the blow of weapon; It hath neither an enemy nor a friend, neither caste not lineage.4.129.

    ਸਤ੍ਰ ਸਹੰਸ ਸਤ ਸਤ ਪ੍ਰਘਾਇ ॥ ਛਿਜੈ ਨ ਨੈਕ ਖੰਡਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
    सत्र सहंस सत सत प्रघाइ ॥ छिजै न नैक खंडिओ न जाइ ॥
    By the blow of thousands of enemies, It is neither wasted away nor fragmented.

    ਨਹੀ ਜਰੈ ਨੈਕ ਪਾਵਕ ਮੰਝਾਰ ॥ ਬੋਰੈ ਨ ਸਿੰਧ ਸੋਖੈ ਨ ਬਯਾਰ ॥੫॥੧੩੦॥
    नही जरै नैक पावक मंझार ॥ बोरै न सिंध सोखै न बयार ॥५॥१३०॥
    It is not burnt even in the fire. It is neither drowned in the sea nor soaked by the air.5.13
     
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    #7 N30S1NGH, Mar 26, 2015
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  9. N30S1NGH

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    I was trying to explain in other thread, gurbani supports both absolute truth/reality and relative truth/reality. In undivided non dual absolute truth (everyone's/everything true nature), there is no life after death as absolute truth is above from life and death, its eternal-akaal morat. However, in relative truth/reality there is definitely life after death- hell/heaven, karam-samasara, reincarnation etc.
     
  10. singh_man

    singh_man Canada
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    Sorry .. but a bit confused here? What is "everyone's true nature"? Does absolute mean physical and the relative mean spiritual?
     
  11. N30S1NGH

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    Sorry about the confusion. Everyone's true nature is absolute(Paratma) as absolute (non duality truth) is substratum of all experiences, of everything.

    Absolute Reality- that which involves non duality, That which never changes, that which is eternal, that which is inextricably a part of the all, that which is beyond interpretation and beyond comprehension by minds without infinite vision

    Relative Reality in relations to this topic- that which involves duality due to ignorance(avidya)/illusion, since there is ignorance about our true nature -seperate I ego arises- since there is separate I there are karams- good or bad-samasara, since there is good or bad karams there is fruition of those karams in form of hell, heaven, reincarnation etc, life after death etc etc.
     
    #10 N30S1NGH, Mar 26, 2015
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  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    not all SIkhs believe this, some of us believe in the unknown after death, with nothing being a possibility
     
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  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    i would understand this as the nature that exists once all the falsehoods have been stripped away
     
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  14. N30S1NGH

    N30S1NGH
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    Truth is already here and now at this very moment everywhere, if it wasn't then it won't be true( eternal, always presence). Abidance in truth, functioning from it away from egoic conditioning helps automatically falsehoods to be strip away.

    One cannot go beyond egoic conditioned mind with conditioned mind, one can go beyond mind with grace(here and now-automatically drawn with effort/effortless) to whats beyond mind- pure intuitve awareness can take this consciousness(surti) beyond mind.
     
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    #13 N30S1NGH, Mar 26, 2015
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  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    but how do you know what is truth and what is not
     
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  16. N30S1NGH

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    One of the ways is Deep contemplation and abidance in mool mantar by one's already present unconditioned, pure undefined surat ( pure intuitive intellect/consciousness). Many of us read mool mantar-truth conceptually intellectually with egoic conditioned mind thats why truth cannot penetrate deeper as we have egoic conditioned intellect shield around it.

    Truth is always eternally present, it has to be felt rather than conceptually intellectually talked about, its not a concept, it cannot be conceptually understood by mind (mind cannot understand whats beyond mind) but felt, experienced and realized by our deep already present consciousness/awareness.

    Here are the various deep meanings or commentary of word surat (source- japji sahib teeka by sant gyani gurbachan singh bhindranwale)

    Manaie Surat Hovaie Man Budh ||

    1. Surat means intellect

    2. Surat means pure consciousness.

    3. Surat means awakened divine love

    4. Surat also refers to pure portion of mind

    5. After realizing importance of naam Surat in above context also means one realize the knowledge of bibek budh (intuitive intellect- inner spontaneous voice which guides and also gives knowledge to distinguish good and bad)

    6. After realizing importance of naam or following naam.. surat alsos means esoteric/gnosis knowledge of mahavaks- great unity statements of absolute truth.

    7. After realizing importance of naam or following naam , one gets knowledge of shabad and spontenously abide their surti in shabad.

    8. After realizing importance of naam or following naam , mind abides in the knowledge of self- one's antish karan gets cleaned and their antish karan gets transformed purely their perception changes from worldly to divine perception.
     
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  17. chazSingh

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    God Bless Ji, Enjoyed reading this :)
     
  18. Original

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    Pyara Singh Man Ji,


    Put the kettle on and sip the text – sorry its long, but I had to give you the needle n thread to stitch to fit.


    Enjoy -


    Being a Sikh, you must look at everything with an open mind and appreciate the diversity in nature. No two observers experimenting one phenomenon will arrive at identical results from two different vantage points.


    As an ideology, the existence of the soul is subjected to various interpretations and evaluation from a range of different perspectives. Different tongues have expressed different versions; the skill is to discern that which resonates with your inner-voice [Satnam Waheguru] and corresponds to your belief and value [Sikhism].


    Historical Perspective


    Before I set out to explain the realm of the soul, I need to make some general comments on the basic concept of Sikhism as a system of belief. The reason for doing this is to give you an understanding of the historical background. The writings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are to some extent literature, the foundation of the Sikh religion, but more so, a social heritage of today’s Sikh generation.


    From a Sociologist's perspective, it is a fundamental assumption that when we are born we are confronted by a social world, which is just as real as other realities. That as a result, shapes our behaviour. What we are as individuals is decided by the particular society in which we live and by the particular social group to which we belong. This is due to the world around us, which channels our actions, constraining us to act in particular ways. The principal agencies responsible for shaping us to behave the way we do, are, cognitive [mindset], genetic [biological] and environmental [culture]. Nanak, the founder of Sikhism was the product of the times in which he was born with a strong sense of spiritual supremacy.


    To speak in terms of a belief-system is not to imply that the tenets making up Sikhism were clearly worked out abstract ideas or fully articulated and arranged systems in a consistent fashion. No, but rather, as a way of the ordinary people of the day holding beliefs without any clear reason why they were held. By and large these were simple ideas that were passed on by custom and tradition of one generation on to the next, that is, culture. Sikhism in that regard has the hallmarks of both Hindu and Muslim elements, the society into which Nanak was born. From that perspective it was only natural for Nanak to accept and reject religious practices of his time. The idea of the formless, timeless, shapeless Ik On Kar is synonymous with Allah, which Nanak accepted and notwithstanding Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva [Hindu trinity] rejected the Hindu doctrine of divine incarnations [avatars]. He, on the same principles accepted Hinduism's belief in rebirth, karma, and the periodic creation and dissolution of the cosmos. What followed, as a system of belief for Sikhism was that the motherboard upon which it based its outlook towards humankind and the cosmos was ideologically Hindu in its entirety? As for defining and mining the nature and character of the divine reality, Nanak accepted the omnipotent and ineffable concept of Allah, as is held sacred by Islam. Sikhism as a result, is a product of both religious experience and of social circumstances. It is quite ironic that a faith designed to reconcile the differences between the two faiths should itself have split off to become a third religion.


    The story of the soul is as old as humankind itself and unlike any other species has a metaphysical existence requiring spiritual eyes to see its invisible form. Although, humans are unique among all species in their ability to gather and utilise information from the external world to their best endeavors, but sadly, that is not enough to set them free from the processes of evolution. Humankind's liberation from the bondage of physical reality appears utterly hopeless before the Will of God. This particular evolutionary trend has profound implications for understanding the human condition within the meaning of religion.


    The age of enlightenment played a significant part in shaping modern science. The scientific method, a universally agreed set of rules for investigating phenomena, went a long way to show that logic need not grapple with faith. Almost, everything human’s value associated with religion can be explained and understood. Science and evolutionary theory have paved the way for understanding the immortality of the soul - nature the visible soul and soul the invisible nature.


    Seen as a dimension to bridge the gap between the physical and the metaphysical, religion helps construct an understanding for the existence of the soul. Such a system of belief is essential for the harmonious workings of nature. If that’d be correct then it follows that an effective ethical system need some sort of objective reasoning to ground both physical and metaphysical ideals, particularly for morality sake in a given social setting. Otherwise, there can be no intelligible notion of responsibility. If we are not considered responsible for our actions then it makes little or no sense to say that we acted rightly or wrongly. What sense a moral judgment has if we have no choice in the action we have taken? It is this kind of theoretical reasoning which gave rise to different ideologies. To circumvent the mischief in human nature and conform to a higher law [hukum], religion applies the maxim, “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” [law of karma]. The notion of just deserts as a measure for retribution in both deed and thought acts as a form of social control as well as spiritual progress. This is the moral law within which humans must operate and is intrinsically rubber-stamped on the human genome to bring about teleological end.


    Our most familiar ideas about ourselves are rooted in the traditional view that there is a radical difference between us and the natural world at large. We have often thought of ourselves as creatures having a dual nature; one part belonging entirely to the natural world and subject to natural laws, the other – the important part, transcending the natural world and quite different from it. It is to this part that our thoughts, desires, decisions and actions have been traditionally attributed to. Our body is inseparably bound to the world of the senses and is subject to the same fate as the rest of the universe. Taken together, we also have an immortal soul, which is not exclusively confined to the realms of the brain but independent of it. This soul is the realm of reason, which is beyond the senses, the mind and the intellect. And, since its non-matter it cannot truly be said to be in harmony with the rest of creation.


    Soul [Atman]


    Scientifically speaking, the soul is “energy”, which never dies nor gets destroyed but is eternal and ever lasting. It is part of a whole and the whole is God [idea]. The idea of rebirth is best understood through the processes of evolutionary transformations. These transformations are the states and the embodiment of consciousness in its various manifestations. A classic example is the caterpillar that knows not its potential to transform from a slithering insect to a beautiful butterfly in a process called evolution, which is analogous to the soul’s hidden potentiality of becoming, renewing and living forever. And, like the butterfly, which has no knowledge of aerodynamics or indeed physics in general, but that does not prevent it from flying because it was born to fly, so to, is the soul in its true form with the ability to become that which it truly is, a spiritual being that must ultimately merge with the harmonious whole – Satnam.


    According to Sikh Theology, the soul [atman] got separated from the supreme soul [parmatma] and descended into the lower worlds from the heavenly worlds.


    In the beginning was Parmatma [Ikonkar, light-sound, anbhua prakash-anhad shabad]. The soul, a particle of the divine light-sound [anbhua prakash-anhad shabad] existed in the realms of Ikonkar before descending into the lower worlds of creation. The soul is said to have had an existence in the spiritual world [sachkhand] before inhibiting the body. But when it woke to find herself in the body, it had forgotten all the perfections left behind in her own world, Sach-khand. During her trials and tribulations in this physical world something begins to happen. The stirrings within her constitution begin to unfold. She starts looking around into the physical world and a series of questions arise; who am I, how, when and where did I come from, for what and why everything is the way it is? This wondrous process of philosophising distils her subtle state of being. As the human part of her discovers the various forms in the natural world, a vague recollection supported by strong spiritual inclination produces this electromagnetic effect that begins to pull her into a fold. This fold of love, attraction, wishes and wants of physical beings, objects and the pleasures therein holds her captive, but not for long. These leisure’s and pleasures are short-lived. They are no more than glimpses, mere tremors, murmurs, recollections and resonances of her real world. Intuitively, she realises that nothing here in this physical world corresponds with that of her godly world and that this world is forever changing. Nothing here is permanent. The unending happiness and contentment for which she craves and pursues in objects and subjects is transitory. She, searching her kind from person to person like the bumble bee collecting nectar from flower to flower, alas, cannot be found amongst things made of matter because she is non-matter. She cannot become that what she is not.


    Her close encounters with the natural world of objects reveals intuitively; the imperfective-ness in all things made of matter for the real one in her world is perfect and beautiful. She realises the riddle of the self as deceptive and she, a prisoner of her own intellect. She encounters other experiences, which are sufficient to awaken her recollection of the perfectiveness from whence she came [pauri 34-37 Jap Ji Sahib]. This stirs her with a yearning to return to her true realm. This yearning is true love [sachi preet hum tum sa jori SGGSJ 658] and the longing to return to her origin [mool] becomes evermore appealing and pleasing. She wants to fly home […murgai nesana SGGSJ 938] on the wings of love, and this she does, when in her state of sleep she learns to leave the body and flies free. Then, in her contemplative mood she ventures within, shutting out all external and internal concepts, percepts and lets the sweet and soft sound of music funnel into the abyss of her being. All this informs her of her ideal and permanent home, Satnam Waheguru.


    The awakening helps her understand the processes of spiritual and intellectual evolution as being dependent upon conditions, circumstances, experimentations, realisations, and that, not all species are equal in that respect. This inborn inequality does not hinder development but rather gets eliminated through the process of evolution, which brings individual souls to this pitch of perfection, particularly, the humans. It is at this level the soul is able to discern from the mix of evolutionary inroads the way back to her home. Institutions offering such solace to aspiring souls are many, Sikhism being, just one.


    Following his mystical experience at Sultanpur Lodhi, Nanak the separated soul set about preaching his new find. What exactly was this new find is what Sikhism is, the reunification of the mortal with the immortal [atman parmatma] – a practical way to an eternal life.


    Having experienced the perfect and the imperfect, Nanak conceived a human form [spiritual] much more stable than his own and realised that there is no reason why such a form couldn’t be acquired to better the human condition. Thus he is led to philosophise, which will bring about the human to this pitch of perfection as a spiritual being having a “jolly” human experience [lila]. And, that it is the knowledge of the union between the two, spiritual physical, which is the overriding objective of the human birth.


    Nanak’s Sikhism is the home where “lives” Atman-Parmatma.
     
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  19. singh_man

    singh_man Canada
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    Wow! I'm going to have to re-read this several times ;-) Thanks for the post. Alot in here.
     
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  20. Original

    Original
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    The key thing to remember is that "time" as a dimension is like a double-edged sword. On the one side its infinite when calculated subjectively, and on the other, finite when calculated objectively. What this means in layman's terms is that an event can take place at "one" time in two different locations in space. That is to say,14th century Nanak of India could be in the 21st Century UK.

    Given that the soul is energy and eternal, all it does is change form. It doesn't die - Nanak and Gobind's of yesterday are today's SINGHKAUR.

    Love n Live
     
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  21. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Only through deeds though, not in names SINGHKAUR.
     
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