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General Akath Katha (story That Can Not Be Described In Words)

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!!

Guru payari sadh sangat ji I have already posted two times in this august forum but those were comments in others' posts. I wanted to put up a post of my own ever since. And today I am going to do it. I already introduced myself. The sole purpose of my earlier postings and current posting is the will to share with you all what I learnt about sikhi (or ‘spirituality’ as both are synonymous) in satsangat where only Waheguru himself can send someone when he is supremely pleased with that individual.

Jis No Kirapaa Karay Tis Satasa(N)G Milaae ||

One who is blessed by the Lord's Grace, joins the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation.

(Ang 366)

But before we start I would like to lay down some ground rules or the basic premises around which this thesis will be built, so that only those who concur with me on these fundamental postulates should read further, and those who do not - have the option to reject it without wasting their valuable time. But if they so wish they may continue reading. They might also find some common ground eventually, who knows? So, here we go:

First, a spiritual teacher (Guru or guru) is not to be seen as the same as a worldly teacher as his (or her, it does not matter) status is far, far above a worldly teacher even if that worldly teacher happens to be a Nobel laureate, a scientist, a professor, a thinker, statesman or someone of socially and intellectually very exalted status. A worldly teacher's brief is just so limited in comparison to a spiritual teacher’s that, in fact, we should not compare the two at all. The tragedy, however, is when we talk of spiritual teachers, either because of our over-zealous attitude and religious affiliations we tend to blow their personalities totally out of proportions as miracle-workers or on the other extreme due to our purely materialistic understanding of the universe that we live in, we bring them to the level of just social reformers, refined thinkers, philosophers or givers of ethical codes of conduct.

The reality, however, is they are much more than that. They are, in fact, our only means to understand and know the complete and supreme truth, the greatest of all imponderables facing human intellect, that transcendental reality of the universe, we call God.

Let’s understand this that however intelligent a worldly teacher can be they are prone to err here and there, now and then, whereas a spiritual teacher is faultless as he has merged and become one with the Lord who is beyond error:

Bhullann A(N)Dar Sabh Ko Abhul Guru Kartaar ||

Everyone makes mistakes; only the Guru and the Creator are infallible.

(Ang 60)

So it will be a fatal error to assess or evaluate Guru’s words or teachings by comparing them with what others including the worldly-wise men say and, especially so when they are, or apparently look to be at variance with the Guru. Guru’s word is the ultimate authority which supersedes all other worldly authorities, because even those seemingly infallible men can make mistakes (because if they are neither Guru (and of course they are not God) they are fallible (see above line from Gurbani one more time). So Guru's word takes precedence over anything else at all times.

Let us illustrate this point a bit by taking an example. For this, we will take a look at the history of evolution of science on earth. We know that the scientists whose works and discoveries won them highest accolades and recognition, and which were held to be of paramount importance and formed the basis of future scientific research were later found to be wanting in some respect or the other, and their theories or assumptions had to be revised. For example, Dalton who was among the pioneers engaged in finding the ultimate building block of matter, mistakenly thought ‘atom’ to be the smallest particle as the term ‘atom’ etymologically means the smallest particle which cannot be further cut or sub-divided into smaller fragments. But he was later corrected by Ernest Rutherford, another scientist, who established that atom is not the smallest particle as it has three even smaller particles inside, namely proton, neutron and electron. So a scientist was found to have postulated incorrectly. In turn Rutherford’s atomic model had to be revised by Neil Bohr in order to render explicable some physical phenomena that were observed later. As the science evolved further even Bohr’s assumptions had to be modified to accommodate later scientific observations and findings, notably of Louis de Broglie and Erwin Schrodinger.

Most of these scientists whose names we have mentioned were Nobel Prize winning scientists, meaning that they are the most respected names in their respective fields of endeavor. So if their work needed revision or alteration or modification by fellow or successive scientists at some later date we can at least conclude without hurting anyone’s sentiments that science may attempt, and it does succeed in doing so, to reveal but just a small speck of the total reality that we live in, but it cannot claim to know or reveal the whole truth which is Infinite. Religion calls this whole as well as wholesome truth, God.

The spiritual teacher (we will call him Guru or guru from here on) reveals the ultimate truth to the seeker or disciple in totality. Nothing remains unanswered or mystic after that sublime experience. And whatever is realized at the pinnacle of the spiritual experience is something which goes beyond time and space, that is, it never needs revising or modifying or correcting. It’s FOREVER true like God himself:

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ

ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥ (Ang 1)

True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages.

True Here And Now, O Nanak, Forever And Ever True.

Before we go any further a little clarification will be in place. From the above no reader please be tempted to think that I am some religious bigot, a detractor of sciences. Far from this, I have been a science student, not very bright one though. The only point I want to make here is this that I do appreciate science and the scientific temperament of mind, and can never belittle the courage, the sacrifice or the enormous and invaluable contribution of great scientists in making human life so much easy and comfortable on this planet. The only reason why I wrote the above lines is this that the greatest critique of religion or spirituality today comes from (pseudo-) scientific quarters who decry religion in the name of science.

It’s not actually science but the imperfect knowledge of some so-called educated, material-minded individuals who citing scientific research as the basis of their critique rule out the very existence of God and who therefore think religion is dead in modern age and does not have any scope, role or relevance in our times. Their greatest and most forceful argument comes from the simple fact that science whose powerful telescopes are now exploring the farther, and still farther nooks of the universe, and whose powerful microscopes have observed particles as small as an electron did not find God anywhere or the realms that every religion refers to like heaven or hell or beings like angels or demons or spirits or ghosts and so on. This is the only reason we have tried to look at the limitation of scientific inquiry by making a humble attempt to look at how theories of science are also being constantly revised and updated to keep pace with our ever widening knowledge base due to increasing sophistication of our research tools and cutting-edge technologies.

So there is no reason to believe that God does not exist only because He could not be found or seen by members of a particular branch of inquiry, that is to say only because scientific tools or instruments could not see Him (until the times of Dalton science could not see even one particle inside atom because it thought it had found the ultimate building block of matter in atom, however where science stands today more than 1000 sub-atomic particles have been discovered. Then Rutherford could not have imagined that a 3D model of an atom is possible. He was corrected by Bohr. But Bohr in his turn could not have thought it possible that his electron, which he visualized as a concrete particle going around nucleus in circles in a 3D space, could also possess a wave like character, and so on). In fact the only way to see and hear God is through Guru, as guru is one with Him:

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦ ॥ (Ang 1142)

There is no difference between the Supreme Lord (God) and the Guru. ||4||11||24||
The spiritual world is rife with evidence which is in stark contrast to scientific evidence. A materialist
asks where is God, and a spiritualist asks where He is not. What a contradiction of opinion? So if someone
sincerely seeks to tread the path to God realization they will have to listen only to the Guru and should
avoid everything and everyone that goes against guru’s word like plague even if that has the backing
of science or even if the whole world negates it. Only then can they raise their awareness to the level
of (true) saints, sadhus or Gurus who openly and with full conviction proclaim:

Adisatt Agochar Alakh Nira(N)Jan So Daykhiaa Guramukh Aaakhee ||12||

Gurmukhs behold with their eyes the Unseen, Imperceptible, Unknowable, Immaculate Lord. ||

(Ang 87)

Who can declare so openly to have seen Him in this world except for the Gurmukhs? The worldly-wise on the other hand are full of skepticism, if at all, about Him. The reason is either we do not believe our Guru(s) or we do not have the courage to tread in their footsteps to accomplish this feat ourselves.

ਭਗਤਾ ਤੈ ਸੈਸਾਰੀਆ ਜੋੜੁ ਕਦੇ ਆਇਆ ॥ (Ang 145)

The Lord's devotees and the people of the world are so unlike each other.

So true! Because the two follow two entirely opposing philosophies of life. Their approaches do not seemingly reconcile. So if you are a follower of science (because you are pre-destined to be so) follow it with all your heart and soul. Read science journals and literature, attend science seminars follow scientists’ blogs and so on (But a word of caution here will not be out of place and that is you will be doing it at your own peril. Because following science and imbibing only worldly knowledge you can get a good understanding of matter and the gross energies operating in the physical universe and the manifest world around you but without meditating on Naam at the holy feet of sadh sangat you can never have even a glimpse of, the transcendental and the subtlest of all, God). On the other hand if meeting ‘Brahm’ is your life’s objective (which should be so as Guru stresses this point almost on every page of Shri Guru Granth Saheb Ji, like this one:

Bhayee Paraapat Maanukh Dayhureeaa ||

This human body has been given to you.

Gobi(N)D Milann Kee eh Teri Bareeaa ||

This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe.

(Ang 12)

that you have been sent on earth in human form because this is your chance to meet the Lord ) then forget about everyone and everything else and follow guru’s advice unquestioningly and take every single word of guru as the gospel truth:

ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਸੰਕ ਉਤਾਰਿ॥ (Ang 21)

Know the state of your inner being; meet with the Guru after getting rid of your skepticism.

(will continue)

swarn bains

akath katha , i believe you are a sikh on sikh philosophy network. to explain the akath katha, the closest explanation to it is sggs.
it is very difficult to express the mind of the writers of sggs. some people try to explain or interpret it by latinizing the explanation to make it more difficult. i would suggest it to you that you use your own mind to explain your views in mormal english language. you may need help, ask some one or take help from mahan kosh. To repeat the interpretation of sggs from someone else's latin language is worse than putting your subject as akath katha on sikh philosophy network. sorry for comments and i hope u will look into my feelings before cursing me.
Bains Saheb,

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

I cannot thank you enough for your comment! Your message assumes even greater significance as it is the first one my post attracted! As far as my English is concerned I have no pretensions about it. It is more bookish than conversational. I cannot help it! Because my schooling has been from a government school in Punjab where I started to recite A, B, C .... as late as when I was in grade 6! All my knowledge of English therefore has been gained through self study and from reading books. I am therefore well aware that it can not pass as natural English. I consider it an achievement of types that people like you spare their time to read my posts! So once again a heart-felt thank you!

Secondly, I wrote twice that the sole reason I am putting up a post here is the will to share with others what I learnt in Satsangat about (Sikh) spirituality. And I am very much aware and prepared to take in my stride any kind of criticism to my opinions because I can well anticipate and appreciate intellectual responses to the phenomenon of spirituality.

And as far as 'it is very difficult to express the mind of the writers of sggs' thing goes I fully agree with you. The reason is their teachings do not emanate from any worldly source they found in the loftiest possible flights of the human intellect or imagination, on the contrary, with Guru’s grace they mastered the sublime art of switching off their intellect completely and let the Divine take over and use their bodies to pass on His innermost secrets to His Creation through them. Please read the following lines that underscore the Divine source of Gurbani -

jaisee mai aavai khasam kee baanee taisaRaa karee giaan ve laalo ||
As the Word of the Forgiving Lord comes to me, so do I express it, O Lalo. (Ang 722)


dhur kee baanee aaiee ||
The Bani of His Word emanated from the Primal Lord. (Ang 627)


baanee biralau beechaarasee je ko guramukh hoi ||
Only a Gurmukh (which is very rare to be) can contemplate the Word of the Guru's Bani ||

eeh baanee mahaa purakh kee nij ghar vaasaa hoi ||

(as) this is the Bani of the Supreme Being; through it, one dwells within the home of his inner being || (Ang 935)

So no wonder their teachings come across to us ordinary mortals as very difficult.

But it will be erroneous, rather outright fatal, to assume that because it is very difficult to understand them it is OK to label their teachings 'very difficult', and using it as an excuse, to leave them sacredly recorded on the pages of our faith book without making any attempt to understand them! Especially so when we Sikhs take pride in calling Guru Nanak Dev Ji and then SGGS Ji as 'jagat baba' and 'jagat guru' i.e. spiritual guides for the entire humanity. So their message must be heard, understood and heeded to by one and all. I do not want to put much detail into this reply as I hope all your concerns, objections will be taken care of as I move further with the Divine Story (Akath Katha) in my next posts.

But before I conclude I must say two things: First, I will surely turn to any source for help whenever I felt the need to as I do not have any presumptions. Secondly, they say no writer can exist in vacuum. So, when I quote someone I consider authority, it should not be interpreted as I am not using MY mind. Because, you know, even in considering that person as authority on the subject I have exercised my (own) sense of discrimination by not listening to others who hold the contradictory views! So please read on with open mind and keep illuminating me with your constructive criticism and useful advice. I will sure benefit from your suggestions, and on my part I will try my best to keep the things as simple as possible. Even otherwise it is said the greatest truths are the simplest, and here in this thread I am trying to make a humble attempt to speak in praise of the greatest truth (rather the ONLY Truth, as per SGGS JI) of all - God! So hopefully every thing will be quite simple, naturally.

And finally please do not think I will ever curse you. I rather thank you for your reply to my post.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
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