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Are The Important Scriptures Of World Religions, Simply Opinions?

spnadmin

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Re: Are the important scriptures of world religions simply opinions?

What I was suggesting is that in the final analysis that they are somebody's thoughts on an unknowable subject. )

Unless I am misunderstanding you, Sri Guru Granth Sahib does not represent somebody's thoughts, but rather revealed truth.

on an unknowable subject

Yes unknowable in the ordinary ways of knowing.

The fact that it was openly declared that the actual knowledge of the Truth was missing, was very commendable.

Neither gurus, nor bhagats, nor sants would have stated the "actual knowledge of the Truth was missing" but rather they are saying imho that a critical mass of us are "missing" the Truth.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Himmat Singh ji,

Guru fateh.

Thanks for the response.

I am not, at the moment, convinced that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not based on theological reasons. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji appears to me to have been compiled principally to enshrine the theological studies and conclusions of Sikh Gurus and Bhagats.
So do you mean the above is your own personal opinion and nothing more?
If it is something beyond that then I would like your to elaborate that by stating your theological reasons or facts.

What in your opinion is a difference between theology and pragmatism?

Isn't theology a part of dogmas that Sikhi rejects?

There also appears to me to be great emphasis on "God". Whether "God" is referenced as "Ik Ong Kaar", parmeswar, brahma, prabhu, parmatama, or not seems to be a technical point. However I will search for your previous posts on this site, that go into this point, and if need be will come back to you to discuss further, if you also wish to.
I will wait for your response but just to simplify and focus on what Sikhi is based on, we have to understand Mool Mantar first which describes what Ik Ong Kaar IS, which is totally different than "God" which involves a deity and a dogma. The rest of the names which are more than a few mentioned above compliment Ik Ong Kaar in a poetic manner but for a Sikh it is a must to understand and grasp the distinction between Ik Ong Kaar and "God" otherwise all discussions become futile and become tugs of wars of egos. Nothing more. Mool Mantar is the blue print of Sikhi. In fact, you can find my little essay about it in the forum.

I fully agree with you that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji does not set out a dogmatic way of life. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji on its own does not prescribe a proscriptive way of life, but does provide much spiritual guidance, and intimates principles of socially tolerant, constructive and truthful conduct.
Well, if your above statement is true than it contradicts with your claim that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is based on theological reasons because as mentioned before any theology requires dogmas.
So, which is it?

This is a very deep topic. It is not really appropriate to discuss it with respect to scriptures being the result of humans' imaginations.
Very briefly, it is based on the outcome of the Gurleen Kaur vs SGPC Indian High Court case, in which people who claimed to be sikhs and previously acknowledged by all their relatives and local society to be sikhs, who believed in and held up Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Guru and beleived in only one God, were deemed to be non-sikhs as a result of trimming their eyebrows. These people, including myself (as I trim my beard occasionally) were essentially left in limbo with no religion. I deeply resent that, as I see it as a most intolerant action on part of the ones left as Sikhs, which is a very small minority of those who claim to be sikh (including myself).
Here, you are once again confusing yourself between the pragmatic Sikhi and the rules, regulations and archaic laws of the Indian constitution. These have nothing to do with the spiritual side of Sikhi but just the political side. You must be very much aware that there is a quota system for people to enter into the universities in India. SGPC which sponsors and manages many Sikh colleges wanted the court to decide how to define a Sikh for this very purpose so that the preferences are given to the Sikhs and the court decided what a Sikh is. It is your right to disagree with the court's decision but it has nothing to do with the thread you have started. This is a separate matter all together. I do not understand your resentment towards Sikhs and Sikhi when the decision was made by the High court.

Hopefully, one day when we get rid of the caste systems from all aspects including in Sikhi and the quota system is eliminated, then we will not have to go to the courts to decide who is a Sikh or not, however the purpose of this was very narrow and it has nothing to do with you or with me as we are not seeking the admission to any Sikh college in Punjab. So, this resentment is unfounded and irrelevant in our discussion about Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Opinion/hearsay

One definition you give for opinion is:
1.a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

I would say this applies well to what I am referring to.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has passages which refer to the Lord as unknowable. This confirms, IMHO, that what is written therein, and in other scriptures, with respect to the Lord, is based on the authors thoughts and judgement alone. Hence what is written with regards to the Lord is an act of faith (ie not absolute "Truth", or complete certainty"
Once again, for me Lord has nothing to do with Ik Ong Kaar in Sikhi. As the original translators were non Sikhs and were Christians, they gave Sikhi a Biblical slant and many of their Sikh students who translated the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji carried on with the same. Bhai Manmohan Singh is one of them.

In the fear of tooting my own horn and immersing into me-ism while talking about One-ism, I do apologise in advance and would like to share with you that I did write a little piece which can be also found in this forum." Lord as Ik Ong Kaar", which in my opinion is an insult and distortion of the true meaning of Ik Ong Kaar.

If I am not mistaken, I think you are confused about the word "unknowable" in Gurbani and used this as part of the definition of an opinion by our Gurus.

Unknowable talks about the immensity of Ik Ong Kaar. It has nothing to do with,
"One definition you give for opinion is:
1.a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty".
But to the contrary.

Secondly, there is nothing called Absolute "Truth" in Sikhi like in the dogmatic religions, however Truth is absolute and it is explained very well in the first pauri of Jap by Guru Nanak.

This act of faith is captured in this couplet:

<table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width=""> <tbody><tr> <td style="border: 1px inset;" class="alt2">
aisaa naam niranjan ho-ay.
Such is the Name of the Immaculate Lord.
jay ko man jaanai man ko-ay. ||13||
Only one who has faith comes to know such a state of mind. ||13||​
</td></tr></tbody></table>
This couplet is repeated 4 times at the end of Pauri 12 to 15. Pauri number 12 has the word ਮੰਨੇ Manei which means one who understands and accepts which is different from Pauris 13 to 15 where the word is ਮੰਨੈ Maneiei meaning one who has understood and accepted. This is nothing to do with faith as you claim. As mentioned before Mool Mantar is the Blue print of Sikhi, Jap ji is the foundation of Sikhi and the rest of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji leaves us to our own individual endeavours of what kinds of buildings we want to construct with the help of the blue print and the foundation.

Lastly, before these 4 pauris, there are pauris that show us how to be good listeners. Gurbani shows us the steps how to breed goodness within and gives us the tools to become better as beings. It has nothing to do with faith. Hence, we do injustice to Gurbani and to our visionary Gurus when we pick a couple of lines just to prove our point. It is like the ends justifying the means rather than the other way around.

I am not really referring to hearsay. Hearsay is akin to rumours, which then as a result of a "Chinese whispers" action can end up as nothing like the original comments/statements. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji is quite authentic, although the oral traditions and history your referred to may have contentious elements, and may have a major bearing on what is now practised. That is bye the bye though, as it is scriptures I would be pleased to limit discussion to.
Now, you are contradicting yourself. Here is your original statement:

"All holy texts, and that includes the Bible, Koran, Vedas,Torah and now Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as well, are ALL opinion."
You know it very well that all other Scriptures except Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are based on hearsays which are akin to rumours especially when something is written 60 to 120 years after the words had been supposedly uttered. These are like "Chinese Whispers", using your terminology.

I have said repeatedly that if the oral traditions and the oral history like Sakhis contradict Gurmat ideals of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji then they should be rejected vehemently and can not be made part of the Miri-Piri concept of Sikhi.

I am not disputing the content of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji are authentic compositions, of the claimed contributors. All that I was intimating was that they are not revelations, not words of God, not sacred, not holy, but are written thoughts, that arose from human beings imaginations, albeit gifted human beings.They happen to convey messages, but ultimately the messages conveyed are perceptions of the authors.
Pardon my ignorance but what is in bold seems like more a dogmatic babble with a Biblical slant. Would you be kind enough to elaborate what you mean by the above?

Everything is written and expressed by men unless the "God" you believe in is a deity and dogmatic. I would also like you to express this distinction that you have in your mind.

With this in mind, any statement that suggests that the compositions are opinion, should not be slammed as offensive. It may be insensitive to say this to Sikhs, but they should really be able to understand and stay calm.
You have to explain how you have come to the conclusions that the compositions are opinions rather than visions. What made you conclude that? Aren't you a Sikh as well? Are you directing the above to yourself?

I am not into Guru worship, and only wish to learn from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji and apply what I learn,, but I can easily bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and do so in defernce to Sikhs feelings. Likewise they should be able to tolerate expression of others opinions on discussion forums.
Once again you have shown your dogmatic trait in the above. There is nothing called Guru worship in Sikhi. I have no idea where you got that from. Guru means a teacher and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is our only teacher. Do you bow or matha tek to your elders who have been your teachers? This is nothing but a sign of respect in our tradition as is kissing the Bible or putting one's forehead on it.

More after hearing from you. I must confess that I am learning a lot through our interaction and I want to thank you for that.

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 
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sunmukh

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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Dear Sangat ji, please forgive me for referring to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji in this topic.

On reflection, it would have better for me to have refrained from referring to any particular scriptures at all.

By naming them, and in particular Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji, I have probably very much over complicated the point I was trying to make - that all scriptures, irrespective of who wrote them, when they were written, and how authentic they are, are all rooted in creative thinking of human beings alone, as opposed to revelations from any supreme beings, entities, energies or forces. They are no different to any other unproven theory. Some facets are subsequently seen to be true, such as elements related to human behaviour, but other facets such as references to God, heaven, hell, karma, reincarnation are all unproven and unprovable concepts. They rely on faith alone, and often these unprovable aspects are what binds somebody to a particular faith as opposed to another. Some people develop fear of what will happen if they do not believe, even though there is no substantive evidence. Likewise some people feel very contented and happy, by holding a faith, but still without any substantive evidence. Unsubstantiated theories are very powerful, and are able to make people develop all sorts of emotions.

As such I was trying to suggest that anybody who gets attached to any scripture to the point of getting emotive when anybody else makes comments that contradict their own strong views, is in a way showing that they are very attached to what is in essence only a worldly item. The same applies if someone gets attached to the author(s), or practices.

IMHO any form of attachment to what is left behind upon death runs against the grain of bani (whether it is found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or other scriptures).


The fact I even mentioned Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji, has possibly raised some emotional responses. I am sorry to do that, and that is my error for which probably lead to me being admonished on a previous forum. However it is also in hands of those who get emotional, to control their emotions, if they do fully follow what the scripture is suggesting - avoid emotional attachment. This is the conundrum that I finding it very difficult to understand.



Each of you who have kindly responded have made much appreciated comments which I need to ponder over. If need be, I will respond in course but am time limited.

Tejwant Singh ji, I really need to read what you have previously written with regards to the Mool Mantar. As you rightly state I may be involved in an egotistical tug of war. I will read what you have written.

Sat Sri Akal
 
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Tejwant Singh

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Himmat Singh ji,

Guru Fateh.

Disagreements are part and parcel of the learning process. Gurbani shows us how our Gurus disagreed with people from other religions and expressed their reasons of disagreement. This proves how our Gurus were visionaries in human behaviour psychology especially in a tribal, patriarchal society they lived in at that time where disagreements were and still are a form of disrespect and insult especially when one disagrees with one's elders.

During our Guru's time, if one disagreed with the rulers, then he/she was slaughtered as history is its evidence. Our Gurus taught us how to start a conversation with those ones whom they had disagreements with especially at the time when sword was wielded at will. League of Nations by Woodrow Wilson and UN came hundreds of years later. Even during the G20 summit held in Seoul, South Korea this week, there was hardly any agreement. Boardrooms are filled with disagreements which help the companies to grow daily through consensus which is the natural consequence of disagreements provided all parties are willing and the objective is growth and improvement in any aspect.

What I am trying to say is that our visionary Gurus were ions ahead in their thought process and if we follow their teachings,we can improve ourselves as human beings and it is not an opinion but proven facts and practiced daily by all consensus seeking peoples and countries whether they are Sikhs or not. However, sadly to say that the honchos who control the panth through their self grabbed power and money in the guises of SGPC,DGMC and the Hukumnaamas through the Takhats have not grasped this wonderful concept.They have corrupted the essence of Sikhi which our Gurus had envisioned. We need a total overhaul from the top and it should be solely based on Gurmat ideals given to us in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our only Guru.

Our Gurus gave us the tools to start a conversation and also showed us how to control the five vices- kaam krodh,lobh, moh, hankaar- because we can not get rid of them as they are part of the human DNA. So, it is okay to be emotional.:)

You write:

They are no different to any other unproven theory. Some facets are subsequently seen to be true, such as elements related to human behaviour, but other facets such as references to God, heaven, hell, karma, reincarnation are all unproven and unprovable concepts. They rely on faith alone, and often these unprovable aspects are what binds somebody to a particular faith as opposed to another. Some people develop fear of what will happen if they do not believe, even though there is no substantive evidence. Likewise some people feel very contented and happy, by holding a faith, but still without any substantive evidence. Unsubstantiated theories are very powerful, and are able to make people develop all sorts of emotions.
I agree with you that Hell, Heaven, Reincarnation are unproven facts, hence they are not part of Sikhi because they are based on subjective truths on which the dogmatic religions are based, unlike Sikhi which is based on objective reality. As I mentioned in my earlier posts to you that it seems that you at times find it difficult in your mind how to distinguish between Sikhi and other religions, and there IS a difference which I have tried to express.

Karma is again different than it is in the Hindu concept. Karma in Sikhi means,"we reap what we sow" in this life as reincarnation does not come in the equation. Hence, Karma in Sikhi is a proven fact.

Tejwant Singh ji, I really need to read what you have previously written with regards to the Mool Mantar. As you rightly state I may be involved in an egotistical tug of war. I will read what you have written.
I apologise, if I gave you that impression. I used the word WE which includes all of us.Afterall we are all humans and Sikhs- students, learners, seekers- which at times make us trip on our self created dust mounds piled under our rugs by us.

Thanks for the interesting interaction.

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 

sunmukh

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Info Today 13:37 PM sunmukh Ek OnKaar Sat Naam
Dear SPNadmin – Gurfateh ji
by sunmukh ji
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji could all be regarded as variant manifestations of the Truth. As there is only the One, then all variations are part of the same, and in this case my opinion, your opinion, or anybody else's opinion becomes as valid as anybody elses, past, present or future.

by spnadmin
If we follow your argument to its logical conclusion then Sri Guru Granth Sahib is manmukh and manmat.
I can understand why you may see that as the logical conclusion. However it would seem to be valid if we only go back only as far as origins of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. I don’t see Guru Nanak Dev ji having any Guru as his guide, other than the creator. Ultimately all creation has divine origins, and all others are in the same situation. If we go back to this stage, then there is no basis for anybody to be termed manmukh, or any perceptions to be termed manmat. There is no reason why any individual should get judgemental about what represents a manmukh and what is manmat, unless one wishes to categorise people. We can simply mentally note those affected by the world, and ensnared by it, and those who are able to survive and thrive spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally despite the world. All are God’s creation, and is with all at all times. I would not wish to term anybody a manmukh, in a pejorative way, least of all Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji

by spnadmin

After the word "jap" in Japji Sahib ji we read

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥

aadh sach jugaadh sach ||



True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages.

ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥

hai bhee sach naanak hosee bhee sach ||1||


True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. ||1||

It seems also that you projecting various opinions onto the cinema screen and then commenting about that. Which evades my question.

So we return to place of bewilderment. How can "True" be an "Opinion?"

I tried to explain in the previous post that truth as any one individual knows it, is based on one’s perceptions of it. I apologise for my failure to convey this. With respect to the particular lines you quote, I understand “sach” as an objective, absolute reality – creation as it exists including all laws and principles that govern it. . This is unchanging but it does not imply I or anybody else, knows it, least of completely. This implies that any representation made of it is limited to one’s knowledge and experiences to any point in time, and what is expressed will be one’s perception, or opinion of that collected knowledge and experience. It changes over time. What may have been perceived as cast-iron truth 2000 years ago, would not necessarily by seen as truth today. What an animal/beast perceives as truth will not be what the average human perceives as truth, and what some higher life form sees as truth on some distant planet will not be what we perceive as truth. Despite these fluctuations “sach” remains as is, and unchanging, and collectively all the variant understandings/perceptions/opinions are comprised within “sach”. When one acknowledges the variations, as all part of “sach”, then one may stop believing one’s opinion as the truth.


Sat Sri Akal
 

sunmukh

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Dear Seeker9

Gurfateh ji
by Seeker9
But then let's look at who wrote the other great Scriptures and who wrote Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and compare them........having compared them then, if we conclude that the authors of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, i.e the Gurus and Bhagats, were in a completely different world (never mind ballpark!) spiritually to the authors of the other texts, then I would ask, how important is the core question on this thread about opinion V truth?

Like I said earlier, if we regard Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as an instruction manual written by world leading experts, unrivalled in their field by any other human at the time, then one can hopefully be satisfied they have drawn more on actual knowledge and experience than opinion....

It depends entirely on how one wishes to perceive Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, or any other scripture if one valued that instead. It may be of no concern at all, but on the other hand may be very important to one.

The same is true of the actual compositions then as well. Some are happy to recite, and are fully satisfied by that, some wish to read into each and every individual letter, with attention to any grammatical marks, and some are happy to just pay nominal obeisance.

IMHO Guru Nanak Dev ji made clear that others had expressed many thoughts upon the nature of the creator yet had done so without knowledge. He also expressed that no knowledge of the creator existed, and that anybody who thought they knew would be unwise to make out they knew. These are powerful and commendable statements and should IMHO be leading followers of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji to lose their bonds to any set practices of religion altogether. Faith in a formless creator, is all that is advocated by Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, together with a truthful, compassionate, tolerant way of life, yet the attachment to religion persists, to the point that adherents are offended by contrary statements. Yet Guru Nanak Dev ji made radical statements, and Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji recognises the range of beliefs. It would seem a body of people have over time set up to protect any deviation from their own perceptions and opinions as to what Sikhi is, and along with that goes a considerable degree of intolerance to any expression of opinion. Although the intolerance can be expected to a degree, as some do get passionate and emotional over “their” religion, and this occurs across religions, there seems to be a lack of willingness to understand that Sikhi did not develop without revolutionary and evolutionary changes being found acceptable. It has to accept changes will still have to be made if it is to survive in the long term. It has been empowered to make changes, if the changes are more likely to serve its sangat. If the empowered managers of the religion see fit to exclude sangat that do not make the grade, whether because they do not look like sikhs, or because they express opinions in articles or newspapers or over the internet, then they are neither recognising the universality of sikhi and how it used to treat all as equals, not are they recognising how sikhi developed from human beings rejecting existing practices. A failure to practice what is written in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, without any ritual, and move with the times to endear Sikhi to people in need of spiritual guidance, is most likely to continue to impact heavily upon those who fail to follow truthful ways of life, such as in Punjab. If lay people see possible role models as not able to perform truthfully, or see them as following superstitious practices, they themselves will not become role models at a later date. If they see role models as becoming isolationist and putting down shutters upon them on account of appearances, even though they remain theistic, they will move to sects and deras who welcome them.

What people say, write and do changes others lives. What Guru Sahiban managed to do despite the odds epitomises that. It takes people to do that, and it requires open-minded attitudes to allow any positive, constructive changes to take place. Such people are termed sikhs because they are learners, not because they have closed minds.


Sat Sri Akal
 
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sunmukh

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Ek OnKaar Sat NaamDear Jasleen Kaur ji

Gurfateh ji

Originally Posted by sunmukh http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/inter...ptures-world-religions-simply-opinions-2.html - post136792


I am not, at the moment, convinced that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not based on theological reasons. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji appears to me to have been compiled principally to enshrine the theological studies and conclusions of Sikh Gurus and Bhagats.

by findinmyway ji

Sunmukh ji,
Forgive me but a few things confuse me still. I looked up the meaning of theological just ot be sure:
-based on God's revelation to man of his nature, his designs, and his will
The Guru Granth Sahib Ji says we cannot FULLY know his nature, designs or will. I think you will agree that is the TRUTH. This is where the fact of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji being written by the original teachers comes in as that means the truth has not been distorted or misninterpreted by others.

Agreed.

by sunmukh ji
There also appears to me to be great emphasis on "God". Whether "God" is referenced as "Ik Ong Kaar", parmeswar, brahma, prabhu, parmatama, or not seems to be a technical point. However I will search for your previous posts on this site, that go into this point, and if need be will come back to you to discuss further, if you also wish to.

by findingmywayji

The name used does not matter but the fundamental belief is defining. In Sikhi, God is not a being or an entity but is present everywhere. Belief in God or otherwise does not affect Akaal Purakh's existence. This is a different concpet from other religions which try and second guess everything. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji also goes way beyond belief in God-it is guidance for living.


Agreed, although I would also say it does not matter what the nature of a supreme power is. Faith that there is such a higher power is all that is required.


by sunmukhi ji

I fully agree with you that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji does not set out a dogmatic way of life. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji on its own does not prescribe a proscriptive way of life, but does provide much spiritual guidance, and intimates principles of socially tolerant, constructive and truthful conduct.


by findingmyway ji

But if its opinion how do you know the conduct advised is truthful? An opinion cannot be described as truth! If you also refer back to spnadmin ji's post which quotes the 1st pauri of Japji by Guru Nanak Dev Ji an talks about truth, you saying that is opinion says you believ he was lying?!!!

I am neither suggesting Guru Nanak Dev Ji was lying or not lying. There is no reason for me to suggest he was lying and I do not believe he was, so I do not need to or wish to. Advice on conduct is based on historic and current knowledge of effects of human behaviour, how individuals’ conduct affects and individual, and how it affect society, and also on how collective actions affect individuals and society as a whole. Guru Sahiban had knowledge of such behaviour and of deeds, and hence is based on experiential or observed matters of fact, or effectively truth . This is not disputed in any way. What is suggested is that knowledge of the creator, or a higher force, was no more known than by any other members of any other faiths. Any comments on such aspects ought, IMHO, to be treated as opinion and perceptions on the part of the relevant authors. This does not mean does not have to have faith in the perceptions expressed. Having faith transforms a person. It changes the persons’ state of mind altogether. One can have hope when there is no cause for hope, and one can undertake actions that may otherwise appear unrealistic. The faith does not have to be built on any form of truth at all.

by sunmukhi ji

This is a very deep topic. It is not really appropriate to discuss it with respect to scriptures being the result of humans' imaginations.
Very briefly, it is based on the outcome of the Gurleen Kaur vs SGPC Indian High Court case, in which people who claimed to be sikhs and previously acknowledged by all their relatives and local society to be sikhs, who believed in and held up Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Guru and beleived in only one God, were deemed to be non-sikhs as a result of trimming their eyebrows. These people, including myself (as I trim my beard occasionally) were essentially left in limbo with no religion. I deeply resent that, as I see it as a most intolerant action on part of the ones left as Sikhs, which is a very small minority of those who claim to be sikh (including myself).

by findingmyway ji

It sounds like you are confusing your bitterness with religion with belief in the Guru?


I am still a bit bitter about this fact, but I don’t think I have lost the slightest faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. It has in fact strengthened it considerably, as I see Guru as the only real reliable source of spiritual guidance, and unlike humans, actions of the Guru will not deviate from outward expressions of equality.


by sunmukhi ji

One definition you give for opinion is:

I would say this applies well to what I am referring to.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has passages which refer to the Lord as unknowable. This confirms, IMHO, that what is written therein, and in other scriptures, with respect to the Lord, is based on the authors thoughts and judgement alone. Hence what is written with regards to the Lord is an act of faith (ie not absolute "Truth", or complete certainty"


by findinmyway ji
Actually I would say the fact that Guru Ji admits that Waheguru is not completely knowable shows how truthful the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is, as Guru Ji is not making up things beyond what can be known by humans.


Exactly. Thank you. Now why couldn’t I say that so succinctly ?


by sunmukhi ji

I am not disputing the content of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji are authentic compositions, of the claimed contributors. All that I was intimating was that they are not revelations, not words of God, not sacred, not holy, but are written thoughts, that arose from human beings imaginations, albeit gifted human beings.

by sunmukhi ji

Why follow them is the words are from imaginations? This is very contradictory in many ways so please explain.


All thoughts are rooted in the mind. When perceptions are not based on fact, they are the consequence of an amalgam of thoughts processes which are subject to outside influences, as well as being the outcome of creative thought based on experiences. This to me represents somebody’s imagination. It is based on a variant mixture of knowledge, experiences, traumas, achievements, analysis and creative thinking. It produces a perception which may or may not be based on fact, or on an intermediate level of fact.


by sunmukhi ji
any statement that suggests that the compositions are opinion, should not be slammed as offensive. It may be insensitive to say this to Sikhs, but they should really be able to understand and stay calm.

by findingmyway

So far this discussion has been very calm. We are confused and asking for clarification-is that so wrong? Again I'm sensing bitterness from past experiences...


You are fully entitled to seek any from of clarification you request, and I will try to reply. I may struggle at times, as I have to go to work, sleep etc. There is some resentment that people who claim to the outside world to be tolerant, are at times not so tolerant of opinion within its circles. I am beginning to accept it though, and Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji helps me to accept.

by sunmukhi ji

I am not into Guru worship, and only wish to learn from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji and apply what I learn,, but I can easily bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and do so in defernce to Sikhs feelings.


by findinmyway ji

Following the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is Guru worship. Applying it to your life is Guru worship. Bowing to it in a ritual motion is not!

Agreed, but that is not what is obvious to the western world.. Additionally there really is an increasing form of Guru worship, extending from circling of Guru ji a number of times by some, more elaborate manji sahibs/chananis and building of sachkhands.


by sunmukh ji

Likewise they should be able to tolerate expression of others opinions on discussion forums.

by findingmyway ji

Has this forum not accpeted you expressing your opinion? However, in any discussion other viewpoints will also be expressed and we should all be able to hear those too.


Very much so. Thank you for your patience and the positive feedback.

Sat Sri Akal
 

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
SPNer
Feb 19, 2010
108
136
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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Dear Tejwant Singh ji

Gurfateh ji

Thank you for your further post and feedback.


by sunmukh ji

I am not, at the moment, convinced that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not based on theological reasons. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji appears to me to have been compiled principally to enshrine the theological studies and conclusions of Sikh Gurus and Bhagats.

by Tejwant Singh ji
So do you mean the above is your own personal opinion and nothing more?
]If it is something beyond that then I would like your to elaborate that by stating your theological reasons or facts.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji paid considerable attention to Bhagats such as Ravidaas ji, Farid ji, Kabeer ji, Naam Dev ji and Trilochan ji. They possibly influenced him to a big degree

These Bhagats have shabds enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.Guru Arjan Dev ji decided they were of sufficient merit to be included therein.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji includes abundant references to Hindu practices and deities, and to practices of other religions such as Islam and Jainism. There are some common features with some other religions, such as dharma, karma, sangat.

There is a theme of pushing one to attain mukti or enlightment whilst living, through dealing with emotions that affect how one thinks, to realise the Truth. Dealing with emotions is common with Buddhism. The idea of a “lotus” developing and blossoming whilst still living in the mud (of the external world), is common with Buddhist ideology


by Tejwant Singh ji

What in your opinion is a difference between theology and pragmatism?

Theology I had understood to be the study of God, based on the latin roots of “theo” and “logy
.
Pragmatism, I had understood to be a very commonsensical, practical way of viewing matters, which lead to a more objective and discerning perspective

Today I looked up the words and found these definitions on dictionary.reference.com

Theology:: 1. the field of study and analysis that treats of god and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.
2. a particular form, system, branch, or course of this study.

Pragmatism
1. character or conduct that emphasizes practicality.

2. a philosophical movement or system having various forms, but generally stressing practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value.


I don’t feel I am way out with my understanding of the words, although I may be misapplying them when I use them. I am currently of the understanding that Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is pragmatic, but advocates full faith in a single deity.


by Tejwant Singh ji
Isn't theology a part of dogmas that Sikhi rejects?

I don’t believe so. Dogma is related to obdurate, obstinate, stubborn close-minded attitudes. Theology is not necessarily dogmatic. Theology is simply study of divinity. The concepts of divine spirits, studied by theologians such as Guru Nanak Dev Ji have evolved over time. Techniques to study divinity have also evolved, from speaking to people of various beliefs (eg as by Guru Nanak Dev Ji) to laboratory studies to what happens to the mind when in a meditative state. Then Guru Nanak Dev Ji version of Sikhi gradually evolved further and was added to with concepts such as langar during 3 Nanaks time, miri being enhanced under 6 Nanaks time, and introduction of Khalsa in 10 Nanak’s time. This required analysis and review of what was important at the time, and this implies a study, even if it was not academic in any significant way. However as stated above, decision making on which bani was to be included and what was to be excluded, suggests a prior theological study.


by sunmukhi ji
There also appears to me to be great emphasis on "God". Whether "God" is referenced as "Ik Ong Kaar", parmeswar, brahma, prabhu, parmatama, or not seems to be a technical point. However I will search for your previous posts on this site, that go into this point, and if need be will come back to you to discuss further, if you also wish to.

by Tejwant Singh ji
I will wait for your response but just to simplify and focus on what Sikhi is based on, we have to understand Mool Mantar first which describes what Ik Ong Kaar which is totally different than "God" which involves a deity and a dogma. The rest of the names which are more than a few mentioned above compliment Ik Ong Kaar in a poetic manner but for a Sikh it is a must to understand and grasp the distinction between Ik Ong Kaar and "God" otherwise all discussions become futile and become tugs of wars of egos. Nothing more. Mool Mantar is the blue print of Sikhi. In fact, you can find my little essay about it in the forum.

I found two essays, which are similar save for the responses. On one, an essay from a Ek Ong Kaar Kaur is included as a form of reply and some of it is in common with what I believe Guru Nanak Dev Ji was driving at.

http://www.sikhdharma.org/pages/mool-mantra-eokk?page=0,0

(Mool Mantar - The Blueprint of Sikhi Marg.)http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/gurmat-vichaar/16256-mool-mantar-the-blueprint-sikhi-marg.html
I will write a little on that thread in a few days time.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji portrays a vision of a creator, although the various names given to such creator are wide-ranging.

By sunmukh ji
I fully agree with you that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji does not set out a dogmatic way of life. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji on its own does not prescribe a proscriptive way of life, but does provide much spiritual guidance, and intimates principles of socially tolerant, constructive and truthful conduct.

by Tejwant Singh ji
Well, if your above statement is true than it contradicts with your claim that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is based on theological reasons because as mentioned before any theology requires dogmas.
So, which is it?

I don’t think theology is limited to any dogma. Theology is simply a study of beliefs related to God/divinity. Dogma on the other hand is a rigid way of perceiving matters. Ego is very much in control. One then puts faith in a fixed set of concepts, which is the dogma. Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji does not suggest a dogmatic way of life, and in fact advocates totally the opposite. It does refer to sikhs, and in the generic sense sikhs are learners. This implies study of spiritual matters. It would be pointless to study, if there was a dogmatic attitude. If one is not willing to change direction based on what one has learned through a theological study ( as Guru Nanak Dev Ji conducted) , then one need not consider oneself a sikh, as one will be dogmatic and egotistical. Studies can continue throughout life. Fixed rehats and hukamnamas run against the very idea of being a sikh. This is dogma. No doubt it will be argued that one is learning from 11 Guru Sahiban.

by sunmukh ji
This is a very deep topic. It is not really appropriate to discuss it with respect to scriptures being the result of humans' imaginations.

Very briefly, it is based on the outcome of the Gurleen Kaur vs SGPC Indian High Court case, in which people who claimed to be sikhs and previously acknowledged by all their relatives and local society to be sikhs, who believed in and held up Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Guru and beleived in only one God, were deemed to be non-sikhs as a result of trimming their eyebrows. These people, including myself (as I trim my beard occasionally) were essentially left in limbo with no religion. I deeply resent that, as I see it as a most intolerant action on part of the ones left as Sikhs, which is a very small minority of those who claim to be sikh (including myself).

by Tejwant Singh ji
Here, you are once again confusing yourself between the pragmatic Sikhi and the rules, regulations and archaic laws of the Indian constitution. These have nothing to do with the spiritual side of Sikhi but just the political side. You must be very much aware that there is a quota system for people to enter into the universities in India which sponsors and manages many Sikh colleges wanted the court to decide how to define a Sikh for this very purpose so that the preferences are given to the Sikhs and the court decided what a Sikh is. It is your right to disagree with the court's decision but it has nothing to do with the thread you have started. This is a separate matter all together. I do not understand your resentment towards Sikhs and Sikhi when the decision was made by the High court.

Please forgive me for muddling up this thread with politics. Essentially this thread has over-spilled into many different aspects, and I am principally to blame. I prefer to stay out of politics, but when people are disenfranchised I do get interested. These are as you say separate topics, so I will stop here



by Tejwant Singh ji
Hopefully, one day when we get rid of the caste systems from all aspects including in Sikhi and the quota system is eliminated, then we will not have to go to the courts to decide who is a Sikh or not, however the purpose of this was very narrow and it has nothing to do with you or with me as we are not seeking the admission to any Sikh college in Punjab. So, this resentment is unfounded and irrelevant in our discussion about Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

All noted.

by sunmukh ji

One definition you give for opinion is

1.a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certaintyl

I would say this applies well to what I am referring to.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has passages which refer to the Lord as unknowable. This confirms, IMHO, that what is written therein, and in other scriptures, with respect to the Lord, is based on the authors thoughts and judgement alone. Hence what is written with regards to the Lord is an act of faith (ie not absolute "Truth", or complete certainty"

by Tejwant Singh ji

Once again, for me Lord has nothing to do with Ik Ong Kaar in Sikhi. As the original translators were non Sikhs and were Christians, they gave Sikhi a Biblical slant and many of their Sikh students who translated the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji carried on with the same. Bhai Manmohan Singh is one of them.

I will write on the Blueprint of Sikhi Marg thread soon. Thank you for sharing your thoughts thereon and above, which I read with interest. It does open up new ways of thinking for me, but I do believe in a single God, and my mind is blocking any idea of not believing in God/Waheguru. My life revolves around such belief.

by Tejwant Singh ji
In the fear of tooting my own horn and immersing into me-ism while talking about One-ism, I do apologise in advance and would like to share with you that I did write a little piece which can be also found in this forum." Lord as Ik Ong Kaar", which in my opinion is an insult and distortion of the true meaning of Ik Ong Kaar.


I came across that thread when searching for the one related to the Mool Mantar. I don’t think it matters too much if a term is borrowed from an abrahmic religion, or any religion, to epitomise “Ik Ong Kaar”, unless you feel words like prabhu, waheguru, takhar, malik do not do sufficient justice to “Ik Ong Kaar”, but then you will meet a problem as such words do appear very frequently in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (save for waheguru). People tend to use a limited section of their vocabulary, and others tend to understand from just this small range.

by Tejwant Singh ji
If I am not mistaken, I think you are confused about the word "unknowable" in Gurbani and used this as part of the definition of an opinion by our Gurus.
Unknowable talks about the immensity of Ik Ong Kaar. It has nothing to do with


by sunmukhi ji
One definition you give for opinion is

1.a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty".

by Tejwant Singh ji

But to the contrary.

I agree “Unknowable”does convey a sense of the infinite nature of Ik Ong Kaar. It also conveys a sense a lack of certainty about the nature of Ik Ong Kaar. By virtue of such statements all the sections relating to the nature of Ik Ong Kaar are then opinion.
ਪਾਰਬਰ੍ਹਮਅਪਰੰਪਰਦੇਵਾ
paarbarahm aprampar dayvaa.
The Supreme Lord God is Infinite and Divine;
ਅਗਮਅਗੋਚਰਅਲਖਅਭੇਵਾ
agam agochar alakh abhayvaa.
He is Inaccessible, Incomprehensible, Invisible and Inscrutable.


It is commendable that Gurus and Bhagats admitted this. In unison with acknowledging the lack of knowledge, they principally turned to faith as the means to achieve the state of mind that was sought. Along with this ran psychological techniques to control behaviour and emotions. This is exactly what made Sikhi unique and a pragmatic way of life, and distinguished if from faiths that claimed knowledge of the Lord. [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]

by Tejwant Singh ji

Secondly, there is nothing called Absolute "Truth" in Sikhi like in the dogmatic religions, however Truth is absolute and it is explained very well in the first pauri of Jap by Guru Nanak.

by sunmukhi ji
This act of faith is captured in this couplet

naam niranjan ho-ay
Such is the Name of the Immaculate Lord.
jay ko man jaanai man ko-ay. ||13|
Only one who has faith comes to know such a state of mind. ||13||

by Tejwant Singh ji
This couplet is repeated 4 times at the end of Pauri 12 to 15. Pauri number 12 has the word ਮੰਨੇ Manei which means one who understands and accepts which is different from Pauris 13 to 15 where the word is ਮੰਨੈ Maneiei meaning one who has understood and accepted.


I feel this difference only differentiates between an individual who accepts in pauri 12, as opposed to groups who accept in pauris 13 to 15. I don’t think either refer to understanding – only acceptance/surrender in faith.

by Tejwant Singh ji

This is nothing to do with faith as you claim. As mentioned before Mool Mantar is the Blue print of Sikhi, Jap ji is the foundation of Sikhi and the rest of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji leaves us to our own individual endeavours of what kinds of buildings we want to construct with the help of the blue print and the foundation.


Faith is the keystone that continues to keep away doubt when there is lack of knowledge of Ik Ong Kaar, and leads to a nirankaar, (or formless creative enactor), both nirgun and sargun (both without attributes and with attributes). Without the keystone of faith all the walls fall down. Each of us will develop understanding as we do vichaar/contemplate bani. Likewise all contributors to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji will have developed an understanding of the nature of Ik Ong Kaar, how to live their lives, and what to suggest to any followers. This can be carried back in human history to time immemorial. It can be carried forward likewise. All this time, whilst individuals continue to express their opinions on the nature of Ik Ong Kaar, the nature of Ik Ong Kaar is neither lessened or increased, and Truth unchanges.

by Tejwant Singh ji
Lastly, before these 4 pauris, there are pauris that show us how to be good listeners. Gurbani shows us the steps how to breed goodness within and gives us the tools to become better as beings. It has nothing to do with faith. Hence, we do injustice to Gurbani and to our visionary Gurus when we pick a couple of lines just to prove our point. It is like the ends justifying the means rather than the other way around. (

I guess you are referring to pauris 8 through 11. It is best this is discussed on another thread. You may be right about references to listening, in those particular pauris, but you may not. I think there may be a big difference between in pauris 8 through 11.

The sihari in place of a bihari may be making a huge difference.

by sunmukh ji I am not really referring to hearsay. Hearsay is akin to rumours, which then as a result of a "Chinese whispers" action can end up as nothing like the original comments/statements. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji is quite authentic, although the oral traditions and history your referred to may have contentious elements, and may have a major bearing on what is now practised. That is bye the bye though, as it is scriptures I would be pleased to limit discussion to.

by Tejwant Singh ji
Now, you are contradicting yourself. Here is your original statement:

sunmukhi ji "All holy texts, and that includes the Bible, Koran, Vedas,Torah and now Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as well, are ALL opinion."

by Tejwant Singh ji
You know it very well that all other Scriptures except Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are based on hearsays which are akin to rumours especially when something is written 60 to 120 years after the words had been supposedly uttered. These are like "Chinese Whispers", using your terminology.

I do contradict myself sometimes, and over time probably quite frequently. What I understood 2 years ago will not be the same as I what I understand today.
I don’t think I have contradicted myself here though. One refers to expression of opinion, ie a speculative theory, (opinions relating to a creator in this case) and the other relates to onward communication of statements (hearsay) I have said repeatedly that if the oral traditions and the oral history like Sakhis contradict Gurmat ideals of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji then they should be rejected vehemently and can not be made part of the Miri-Piri concept of Sikhi.
I agree with you, but it is up to individuals to decide what to believe, and Sikhi is evolving however much people deny it and try to prevent such evolution.

by sunmukh ji

I am not disputing the content of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji are authentic compositions, of the claimed contributors. All that I was intimating was that they are not revelations, not words of God, not sacred, not holy, but are written thoughts, that arose from human beings imaginations, albeit gifted human beings.They happen to convey messages, but ultimately the messages conveyed are perceptions of the authors.

by Tejwant Singh ji

Pardon my ignorance but what is in bold seems like more a dogmatic babble with a Biblical slant. Would you be kind enough to elaborate what you mean by the above?

Everything is written and expressed by men unless the "God" you believe in is a deity and dogmatic. I would also like you to express this distinction that you have in your mind.

Your last paragraph above suggests you have fully understood what I have been trying to suggest all along, when I have been suggesting all scriptures represent opinions of humans, so no-one should be offended if another human passes any comments on them. That is all the section in bold is re-emphasising. That there is only human input and no other. As to the God I believe in, I will leave to the Blueprint of Sikhi Marg thread

by sunmukhi jiWith this in mind, any statement that suggests that the compositions are opinion, should not be slammed as offensive. It may be insensitive to say this to Sikhs, but they should really be able to understand and stay calm.

by Tejwant Singh ji
You have to explain how you have come to the conclusions that the compositions are opinions rather than visions. What made you conclude that? Aren't you a Sikh as well? Are you directing the above to yourself?

A vision when expressed in words is a form of opinion. Both can be substantiated or not. When there is no knowledge of Ik Ong Kaar, and the authors themselves (Sikh Gurus in this case) openly admit to this within their own words, they emphasise their opinions are theory. They also urge one to be a sikh. To be a sikh is to be a learner, and I wish to learn. Whilst doing so, I can believe in One God and try hard to follow the teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. I can await SatGuru’s grace, and any understanding I develop will be in accord with Sikhi. Sikhi does not require one to have prior knowledge of a set path, and to stay on such a narrow path. That runs against Sikhi, as Sikhi is complete freedom from such dogma.

by sunmukh ji
I am not into Guru worship, and only wish to learn from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji and apply what I learn,, but I can easily bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and do so in defernce to Sikhs feelings. Likewise they should be able to tolerate expression of others opinions on discussion forums.

by Tejwant Singh ji
Once again you have shown your dogmatic trait in the above. There is nothing called Guru worship in Sikhi. I have no idea where you got that from. Guru means a teacher and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is our only teacher. Do you bow or matha tek to your elders who have been your teachers? This is nothing but a sign of respect in our tradition as is kissing the Bible or putting one's forehead on it.

I haven’t said I don’t do this. If I resisted you might claim I am being obstinate or dogmatic.

I don’t think I need to add to what I have written now, and I have tried at great length to explain why it is important to recognise and accept any scriptures as expressions of humans, made with limited knowledge of Ik Ong Kaar. When one begins to treat them as more than what they are, then one shifts to emotional attachment which in the case of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is against advice therein.
Thank you all for your patience and your insight.

Sat Sri Akal
 
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spnadmin

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sunmukhi ji

I have deleted 4 replies because the fonts and quotes included major format distortions that are not permissible.

When posting use default fonts in a normal size.
Do not include PADDING when you quote sections from another thread.

In all fairness I tried to correct this myself. I clean up formatting for members as a matter of habit. However, the time to clean up one reply came to more than 20 minutes. It has been impossible to see what was stated by Tejwant ji or findingmyway or me, and what was stated by you. without considerable analysis. Color fonts only confused matters rather than clarify. At the risk of whining a bit - there is a difference between seva and servitude.

Deleted posts are being returned in reverse chronological order. This is not something that can be left in its unsightly form as things stand now. spnadmin
 
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Seeker9

Cleverness is not wisdom
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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Dear SPNadmin ji

Please don't put in effort on trying to reformat submiited post. I have saved them in Word on my PC so will try to reformat and resubmit, in a couple of days

Thanks anyway

:)

Sat Sri Akal

Dear Sunmukh Ji

I used to have the same issues....one possible workaround is to do everything in plain text, e.g in notepad instead of Word and then format within the SPN forum reply box

If you paste your Word text into Notepad, that will kill all the formatting and turn it into plain text

There are then options in SPN for colours and italics and a useful quotes button, as per the attached image, which will put your quoted sections in a box, thus making the original response and your corresponding reply easier to read side-by-side

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findingmyway

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Himmat Singh Ji,
I still don't see your point of view as there seem to be many contradictions in your statements and you are mixing up your discontent with sangat with your opinion of the Guru. So many of your posts on this thread reference Sikh politics or practices of Sikhs. These have nothing to do with the Guru's message so please can you keep these things separate and just focus on the writings in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. They are 2 completely separate issues. By allowing your judgment to be coloured, I would say that is biasing your views and therefore you need to re-examine your thoughts carefully. If you are doing metha tek to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, it should be due to your respect for the Shabadguru and desire to learn from the words, not for any other reason.
I have said before and I shall repeat. The fact that Guru Ji says not everything can be known shows he was a good teacher by knowing his limitations. It makes what he has said all the more true as we know he will not try and mislead us. You agree with this yet still claim it is not truth? On another thread you say sadh sangat is Waheguru Himself and therefore you accept a person can get their teaching from Waheguru. Yet here you insist that Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the other Guru's were just men. The whole of Gurbani is a way towards enlightenment but you show doubt that the Guru's reached this stage (by the fact you call their experience of it opinion) therefore you doubt in such a state. This begs the question why follow the Guru's words?

My final question to you is name me one concept in the Guru Granth Sahib ji that is not true as I cannot think of any. The lines you posted earlier confirm to me that Guru Granth Sahib Ji is truth as it shows that Guru Ji only shares the knowledge he has and does not try and guess at anything further. Guru's were humans but were enlightened humans like the other contributors to the Guru Granth Sahib ji and that is why they were able to know as much as they did about Akaal Purakh. We are very lucky they shared that knowledge with us.

Regards,
Jasleen Kaur
 

Admin

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Admin Note: We recommend exactly what Seeker9 Ji has stated... Microsoft Word is always problematic... and it is the best to avoid posting from it directly... it is requested to type the message in notepad and then paste it in the SPN message box and then use the Quote button
3963d1289770407-important-scriptures-world-religions-simply-opinions-quote.gif
just above message box to quote the message like below:

quote.jpg


Quoting the message like above would make a quoted message link below:


Aman Singh said:
Test Message!


This will make it more readable and spare yours & ours precious time wasted in reformatting lengthy posts, which can better be invested in more constructive jobs.


If anybody finds there posts disappearing without a clue then this could be the major reason.


All the Best!


Thank you for the understanding!


Gurfateh!
 
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Himmat ji,

My last post in this thread was moved to a new location by Jasleen ji. I guess that she was focusing on one aspect of what was being said, although when I wrote it, I did so with an understanding that it in fact was relevant to general theme of this thread. What I was hinting at is that the teaching on Karma is not just another opinion, but a truth, a universal one. That anyone who perceives it as opinion is his /her opinion and this is because of lack of understanding (and this is my opinion ;-)). But allow me to comment based on this part of your message:

sunmukh said:
I tried to explain in the previous post that truth as any one individual knows it, is based on one’s perceptions of it.

and

What may have been perceived as cast-iron truth 2000 years ago, would not necessarily by seen as truth today. What an animal/beast perceives as truth will not be what the average human perceives as truth, and what some higher life form sees as truth on some distant planet will not be what we perceive as truth.


Perhaps I am missing your point and I must admit that I’ve not read all the messages here. Also I realize that you were speaking mainly within the context of a belief in God. But you have compared the ‘perception of truth’ experienced by an animal with that of an average human being and also refer to the difference in terms of time and location, it impresses upon me therefore, that you are making a general statement about ‘truth’ as being relative to the perceiver. And this may be part of what has motivated you to think that *all* teachings are merely opinions. Would this be correct? If so, that would be your opinion, and here are some of my own ;-) :

I’ll start off by suggesting that there is truth and there is illusion. The former is the function of ‘wisdom’, the latter, of ‘ignorance’. These two, namely wisdom and ignorance are themselves very real. Also equally real is ‘perception’. So in the case of an animal, since surely it can’t be having any wisdom, all it ever perceives is illusion. Likewise this is for the human being and any other being here or on some other planet, now or 2000 years ago, if there is no wisdom, what he knows is illusion.

But I’ll just pause here and ask; is what I said above sound totally like ‘opinion’ to you or does some part of it impresses as being ‘truth’, one which is not relative but in fact universal?
But I’ll continue…
Wisdom / understanding serves a particular function and achieves what ignorance can never do but will keep speculating wrongly about. This is what someone has said about wisdom:

Quote:
“Understanding has the penetration of intrinsic nature, unfaltering penetration as its characteristic, like the penetration of an arrow shot by a skilled archer; illumination of the object as its function, as it were a lamp; non perplexity as its proximate cause, as it were a good guide in the forest.” <end quote="">

So apparently we have perceptions informed by understanding, without understanding and by ignorance. You could say therefore that what most people state about anything is opinion, since it would not be informed by wisdom but by ignorance. However if and when wisdom does arise to understand any reality now, including the ignorance and perception, then this surely must lead to expressions of “truth” wouldn’t it?

I had continued with further comments, but changed my mind and decided instead to stop and ask for your response.
So what do you think Himmat ji?</end>
 

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Sunmukh

PLEASE DO NOT RESUBMIT ANYTHING. Part of the problem is the use of Office Word and the bigger problems are the irregular use of fonts and also the confusion in the use of quoted material. I have it all cleaned up now.


I am so really sorry for having caused these problems, and am indebted to you for having spent time and effort sorting them out. Thank you very much indeed. Time to recompense with a few coppers.

Thank you and Kind Regards :)

Himmat

Sat Sri Akal
 

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
SPNer
Feb 19, 2010
108
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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Jasleen Kaur Ji

Gurfateh Ji

I am sorry for intermingling posts with unrelated discontentment issues, I will try harder to keep on track.

With regards to Waheguru being the supreme saadhsangat, I do not see any contradiction. When one has faith in Waheguru ji then one has to beleive Waheguru will guide one, and "He" is receivng feedback as well. It is two way interaction and so is sangat. Is this opinion ? Of course it is, but I can still put full faith in it, just as I can still put full faith in whatever is written in SGGS ji, whether it seems like opinion to me, or seems like truth. I don't know what Truth really is - only the Creator knows this, and I believe Guru Sahiban and Bhagats are pointing to the same _ they did not know. However, this does not in any way rule out the ability to put faith into anything what one wishes to believe. It is mind control to produce a state of mind in which a nirankaar/formless Lord constantly abides with one. By surrender to such a belief, all doubts are removed and all the vedic aspects like rituals, worship to stones etc are all rationalised into one simple belief that Ik Ong Kaar is all around and is with one all the time as well, and will be with one hereafter as well, but one's fate is always in His hands (ie subject to His grace, kirpa) . There is no fear of death,no need to engage in complex rituals, pilgrimages etc etc. Accepting that humans form concepts without knowledge, but can still put faith into so formed concepts is a very strong tool indeed. This leads to a fearless, carefree spirit. Gurus/Bhagats did not care if somone else did not believe the same (ie followers of other religions during times of Gurus/Bhagats did not beleive the same). They could only think in this novel carefree attitude because they say everthing to date was based on lack of knowledge (of the Creator). As this was the case, they could also do likewise, rewrite the books exactly to fit the concept that they wanted. Worshipping a stone probably did cause doubt, as did making a pilgrimage, as did never pointing feet towards Mecca, and so and so forth. So they sorted out what they needed, and ensured that there was a rational pragmatic concept that they could put full faith into. This is incredible use of what is now derogotarily termed manmat, to forge a system that can withstand any doubts that might otherwise arise. The minds of humans has been used to create a rational faith. Other religions were also created by human minds but were seen by Bhagats and Guru Sahiban to be flawed.

I am not here to pick out flaws in SGGS ji and am not looking for them either, so respectfully decline to answer your question to point out aspects that are untrue. Whether there is truth or untruth does not matter, as combined it is a very rational way to put faith in a creator, stay contented, and find inner peace. However people who do not see the object will look outside and will try to shield Guru Ji, instead of using Guru ji to forge and mould their inner minds, to create the virtues and traits one visualises as desirable.

Sat Sri Akal
 

findingmyway

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I don't know what Truth really is - only the Creator knows this, and I believe Guru Sahiban and Bhagats are pointing to the same _ they did not know.

But Guru Nanak Dev Ji says Ik Oankar is truth, has always been truth and always will be truth. Therefore they did know this much. They shared what they knew as TRUTH and said the rest is unknowable. Therefore this cannot be opinion. Where there is opinion, it is stated.

However, this does not in any way rule out the ability to put faith into anything what one wishes to believe. It is mind control to produce a state of mind in which a nirankaar/formless Lord constantly abides with one. By surrender to such a belief, all doubts are removed and all the vedic aspects like rituals, worship to stones etc are all rationalised

Actually it is such faith that leads to these rituals you keep mentioning. If more people understood the Guru then more would follow the Guru's guidance as they would realise the truth in what is being said. Following opinion is what causes so many problems and tensions in the world. I am a scientist through and through and would not believe something I don't believe is truth. That is why I constantly stress to people to look at what Guru Granth Sahib Ji tells us rather than people's actions. People err and bring in opinion. Guru Ji tells us only the truth. The Bible and others were written years after so they are the opinion of the followers about what was said before. But Guruji tells us in his own words. By following opinion you can fall into the trap of following an ego driven path. Guru Granth Sahib Ji lays the truth, it is us humans who do not fully understand.

into one simple belief that Ik Ong Kaar is all around and is with one all the time as well, and will be with one hereafter as well, but one's fate is always in His hands (ie subject to His grace, kirpa) . There is no fear of death,no need to engage in complex rituals, pilgrimages etc etc. Accepting that humans form concepts without knowledge, but can still put faith into so formed concepts is a very strong tool indeed. This leads to a fearless, carefree spirit. Gurus/Bhagats did not care if somone else did not believe the same (ie followers of other religions during times of Gurus/Bhagats did not beleive the same). They could only think in this novel carefree attitude because they say everthing to date was based on lack of knowledge (of the Creator).

But they had more knowledge and that is where they differ and that is where why their Bani is so pure.

As this was the case, they could also do likewise, rewrite the books exactly to fit the concept that they wanted.

That is saying they are ego driven. Their action and words prove otherwise.

Worshipping a stone probably did cause doubt, as did making a pilgrimage, as did never pointing feet towards Mecca, and so and so forth. So they sorted out what they needed, and ensured that there was a rational pragmatic concept that they could put full faith into.

Hence the truth!! Everything makes sense, nothing is irrational.

This is incredible use of what is now derogotarily termed manmat, to forge a system that can withstand any doubts that might otherwise arise. The minds of humans has been used to create a rational faith. Other religions were also created by human minds but were seen by Bhagats and Guru Sahiban to be flawed.

Which is why they gave us so many truths to work with, otherwise we would also have fallen into those traps which require faith only nad little knowledge.

I am not here to pick out flaws in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji and am not looking for them either,

Because there are none! Several atheist societies have also tried and failed to find anything which is not true.

However people who do not see the object will look outside and will try to shield Guru Ji, instead of using Guru ji to forge and mould their inner minds, to create the virtues and traits one visualises as desirable.
Sat Sri Akal

I refuse to follow with blind faith. I see only truth in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, therefore I follow the advice and guidance of Guru Ji. If someone says it is just opinion then I will defend as it is questioning the integrity of my Guru which I have already established is beyond question. This is not defence of the entity Guru Granth Sahib Ji, but is trust in the Shabadguru-the wisdom/knowledge as that cannot be anything but truth. If it mere opinion, there is no reason to follow. Faith alone is not good enough. If I wanted to rely just on faith I would have become catholic when I attended a catholic school or remained atheist when I was in that phase!
 

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Gurfateh Confused ji

Confused said:
I realize that you were speaking mainly within the context of a belief in God. But you have compared the ‘perception of truth’ experienced by an animal with that of an average human being and also refer to the difference in terms of time and location, it impresses upon me therefore, that you are making a general statement about ‘truth’ as being relative to the perceiver. And this may be part of what has motivated you to think that *all* teachings are merely opinions. Would this be correct?

I would just like to emphasise, that the initial point being made was definitely in the context of a God/Gods/supreme divine force/Ik Ong Kaar and claims in scriptures. The point about animals cf other forms of life was only an example to try to show different levels of perception of truth, does not make the truth change.

Confused said:
I’ll start off by suggesting that there is truth and there is illusion. The former is the function of ‘wisdom’, the latter, of ‘ignorance’. These two, namely wisdom and ignorance are themselves very real. Also equally real is ‘perception’. So in the case of an animal, since surely it can’t be having any wisdom, all it ever perceives is illusion. Likewise this is for the human being and any other being here or on some other planet, now or 2000 years ago, if there is no wisdom, what he knows is illusion.
But I’ll just pause here and ask; is what I said above sound totally like ‘opinion’ to you or does some part of it impresses as being ‘truth’, one which is not relative but in fact universal?

It sounds like truth, but the truth I know and rank as universal, does not make it absolute truth. My “wisdom” is always going to be limited to what I make of my experiences and what I have learned. This makes it a perception, which is not the same as truth. Hence what you have written is your opinion, but may be seen by many as truth, even though its not necessarily.

Confused said:
But I’ll continue…
Wisdom / understanding serves a particular function and achieves what ignorance can never do but will keep speculating wrongly about. This is what someone has said about wisdom:
Quote:
“Understanding has the penetration of intrinsic nature, unfaltering penetration as its characteristic, like the penetration of an arrow shot by a skilled archer; illumination of the object as its function, as it were a lamp; non perplexity as its proximate cause, as it were a good guide in the forest.”
So apparently we have perceptions informed by understanding, without understanding and by ignorance. You could say therefore that what most people state about anything is opinion, since it would not be informed by wisdom but by ignorance. However if and when wisdom does arise to understand any reality now, including the ignorance and perception, then this surely must lead to expressions of “truth” wouldn’t it?
There are indeed different ways one could classify perceptions. Just as you say, some will be formed despite total ignorance ( eg blind faith). Then there are going to be perceptions based on anecdotal evidence, or hearsay and rumours. Then there are going to be perceptions based on empirical or experiential evidence. Then there is going to be understanding based on logical proofs.
Here we have the lowest form, based on total ignorance when it comes to a creator. It does not make the perceptions redundant though. It is simply recognised that they are based on speculation. This makes it plain that it is mental tool to soothe the mind, and knowing this makes it easier to handle it as such, as the mind is not then bound to any norms established by any ancestors, who developed their own methods but with concomitant insistence that what they preached was truth.

Confused said:
I had continued with further comments, but changed my mind and decided instead to stop and ask for your response.

I look forward to your further comments

Sat Sri Akal
 

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
SPNer
Feb 19, 2010
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Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Gurfateh Jasleen Kaur ji,

Thank you for your further feedback. I agree with much of what you have written, so have commented further on just the points where we seem to digress.
Findingmyway said:
Actually it is such faith that leads to these rituals you keep mentioning.
Faith can lead one both ways. The direction (ie the degree of superstition and ritual) depends on what one puts faith in. One can put faith into rational perceptions or into irrational perceptions. Whatever one chooses, can content the mind and lead to virtuous behaviour, if there is full faith and truthful adherence.
Findingmyway said:
People err and bring in opinion. Guru Ji tells us only the truth.
Guru ji tells us there is Truth, and offers opinions. This is truthful presentation by Guru ji. I am not saying Guru ji is lying or is withholding any facts, but am saying that what is being presented is a series of perceptions, and can always only express part of the Truth.
Findingmyway said:
By following opinion you can fall into the trap of following an ego driven path. Guru Granth Sahib Ji lays the truth, it is us humans who do not fully understand.
Which is why one should recognise what is opinion and what is not, otherwise ego increases as one begins to see perceive opinions as truth. Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji makes clear that no-one knows the creator, yet most will be more comfortable if they overlook this crucial aspect. Denial of something that is obvious is a characteristic of ego.
Findingmyway said:
Quote:
As this was the case, they could also do likewise, rewrite the books exactly to fit the concept that they wanted.
That is saying they are ego driven. Their action and words prove otherwise.
?? This doesn’t imply Gurus were ego driven at all. It implies the opposite. They were not stuck in ego, and were open-minded and prepared to abandon predecessor religions. This is not what egotistical people do. Egotistical people hang on to all the beliefs they are predisposed to, in their complete stubbornness even if all the evidence points to them being wrong to do so.
Findingmyway said:
I refuse to follow with blind faith. I see only truth in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, therefore I follow the advice and guidance of Guru Ji. If someone says it is just opinion then I will defend as it is questioning the integrity of my Guru which I have already established is beyond question. This is not defence of the entity Guru Granth Sahib Ji, but is trust in the Shabadguru-the wisdom/knowledge as that cannot be anything but truth. If it mere opinion, there is no reason to follow. Faith alone is not good enough. If I wanted to rely just on faith I would have become catholic when I attended a catholic school or remained atheist when I was in that phase!
I fully respect your wishes and intent, and there is good reason in what you say. This is how you feel so that has to be fine. The fact you write in this manner also shows you have faith. :)

We will have to continue to differ slightly as for me blind faith in the nirankaar akaal purakh (formless timeless supreme spirit)is more than good enough, and with the rationality of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji there is nothing to beat the combination.

Kind Regards

Sat Sri Akal
 
Nov 14, 2004
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Himmat ji,


Himmat:
I would just like to emphasise, that the initial point being made was definitely in the context of a God/Gods/supreme divine force/Ik Ong Kaar and claims in scriptures. The point about animals cf other forms of life was only an example to try to show different levels of perception of truth, does not make the truth change.

C: Thanks for the clarification.
Perhaps it is in the use of the word ‘truth’. But what I am now hearing you say is that there is an underlying truth which different beings perceive as per their level of understanding / misunderstanding. But if there is indeed ‘misunderstanding’, should we class this along with ‘understanding’ and then differentiate in terms of levels? Why don’t we just make a distinction between right vs. wrong where wrong is wrong and the right has many levels? Or do you think that this distinction between understanding and misunderstanding does not apply here?
Could you clarify further?

=========
Quote:Originally Posted by Confused
I’ll start off by suggesting that there is truth and there is illusion. The former is the function of ‘wisdom’, the latter, of ‘ignorance’. These two, namely wisdom and ignorance are themselves very real. Also equally real is ‘perception’. So in the case of an animal, since surely it can’t be having any wisdom, all it ever perceives is illusion. Likewise this is for the human being and any other being here or on some other planet, now or 2000 years ago, if there is no wisdom, what he knows is illusion.
But I’ll just pause here and ask; is what I said above sound totally like ‘opinion’ to you or does some part of it impresses as being ‘truth’, one which is not relative but in fact universal?

Himmat:
It sounds like truth, but the truth I know and rank as universal, does not make it absolute truth.

C: So are you differentiating between universal truth and absolute truth? Please explain.

===========
Himmat:
My “wisdom” is always going to be limited to what I make of my experiences and what I have learned. This makes it a perception, which is not the same as truth. Hence what you have written is your opinion, but may be seen by many as truth, even though its not necessarily.

C: I have been pointing to such things as ignorance, wisdom and perception itself as being truths. And I’ll add such things as thinking, seeing, hearing, taste, feeling, attachment, kindness, generosity, anger, the fire element, impermanence and insubstantiality as being similarly, truths.

Now it may be that I speak about these from a kindergarten level of understanding, but surely his does not make it opinion, does it? After all, even as I make this distinction between truth and opinion, I’d acknowledge the fact of ‘thinking’ taking place and this will be the very evidence that what I have been talking about are indeed truths. In the same way, when you talk about your wisdom being limited and differentiate between your perceptions of the truth from the truth itself, you are making statements about these same universal truths, namely wisdom and perception which I refer to.

But I agree with you, that not everyone will agree with what I’ve said; in fact I think very few will, although they will keep referring to these very things all the time. Since it is not just a matter of having such things being pointed out and in theory agreeing with it, but understanding its relevance in terms of the need to develop more understanding about them. The problem with most people is that they’d rather flit off to ideas they are so used to entertaining, in other words, to be lost in thoughts about the past and future and never seeing any need to understanding what is the reality *now*.

=========
Himmat:
There are indeed different ways one could classify perceptions. Just as you say, some will be formed despite total ignorance ( eg blind faith). Then there are going to be perceptions based on anecdotal evidence, or hearsay and rumours. Then there are going to be perceptions based on empirical or experiential evidence. Then there is going to be understanding based on logical proofs.

C: So you are using perception differently from how I use it?
Anyway, the way I understand it is that perception arise with *all* states. So the focus should be on what all is influencing the perception. And there is such a thing as direct penetration into the intrinsic nature of what is real. And this would have been the result of gradual development involving deeper and deeper understanding of all kinds of conditioned realities.

==========
Himmat:
Here we have the lowest form, based on total ignorance when it comes to a creator. It does not make the perceptions redundant though. It is simply recognised that they are based on speculation.

C: You are referring to ignorance not of what is ‘now’ which will include the ignorance itself, but something outside of this, namely the creator. This is why you go on to saying that it is alright to speculate as long as one knows that this is what one is doing. From my side, if speculating / thinking is the reality of the present moment, understanding its nature is the be all and end all. So apparently we are not talking about the same kind of ‘knowing’.

But we do not have to go into a debate about this if you think….

==========
Himmat:
This makes it plain that it is mental tool to soothe the mind, and knowing this makes it easier to handle it as such, as the mind is not then bound to any norms established by any ancestors, who developed their own methods but with concomitant insistence that what they preached was truth.

C: According to the way things are as I understand it, any such tool to soothe the mind is an encouragement to not look at what is happening now. The real cause for all the troubles in whatever form, is ignorance. And attachment to ideas including what seems to make us feel better, makes it even worse. The only real cure is the development of wisdom. But of course since the ignorance is so overwhelming including the attachment to having measurable results, we are tempted to find quick remedies. But know that this could turn out to be a case of licking honey off a razor blade, each time that we enjoy the taste, we also bruise our tongue and one day we find out that its in quite a bad shape.
 
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