Do You Believe Guru Nanak Dev Ji Became MUKT/”got Salvation”?

Do you believe Guru Nanak Dev ji achieved mukti/salvation?

  • YES, elaborate so we may learn.

    Votes: 14 77.8%
  • NO, describe so we may learn.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Other: Please post an explanation so we may learn.

    Votes: 3 16.7%

  • Total voters
    18

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
There is much discussion about mukti/salvation at SPN. There are aspects of killing or eliminating five thieves. Re-incarnation has been bundled in and introduced into the dialog by some. Others believe that there is only one life as humans and we better achieve and do what we will ever be able to do and it better be in our life times. There are quite a few who are centric on Naam (wisdom of the creator) simran/recitations, etc.

I personally find it instructive to look at examples and learn. So hence this thread and I raise here the question,

Do you believe Guru Nanak Dev ji became mukt/”got salvation”?

For me the Guru ji clearly became mukt (found salvation or mukti). The tell tale signs are as follows,

  • Guru ji without being physically around are as much present as they were in life of people of the times
  • So Guru ji have traversed past the physical manifestation of living for posterity

I believe we should try to emulate or try to live our lives through Guru ji as an example. Some aspects were,

  • He did not banish to seek the creator
    • He traveled to seek wisdom and spread what he learnt
  • He was not stuck into a methodology of achievement
    • With the right mindset and living thereof he just achieved through living a normal family life
  • He did not profess or overtly seek to control the five thieves but lived so these were not a hindrance to good living
  • He did not lay out one liners, one words and other shortcuts and magic mantras to help people find salvation
    • His was a life style of living it and teaching by example

Hence,

Question: Do you believe Guru Nanak Dev ji achieved mukti/salvation?​

What do you think?

Sat Sri Akal.

PS: For me many others have found salvation. Some examples outside of Sikhism that I do so believe in the likes of,

  • Buddha
  • Jesus
  • Many great saints of Catholicism
  • Muhammad
  • Einstein
  • etc.
By the way I do not believe that believing in God/creator is any prerequisite to finding mukti/salvation. Atheists and agnostics can achieve it as much as anyone else.

Enjoy the following too in tune and words if you can,

Gurdas Mann - uchadar babe nanak da.flv - YouTube
Baba Nanak - Jazzy B / Jandhu Littranwala lyrics - YouTube
AANVI BABA NANKA - YouTube
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My dear brother Ambarsaria ji peacesignkaur
A brilliant thread!

Yes, I do certainly believe that Guru Nanak Dev attained to enlightenment/salvation/liberation/moksha/nirvana, whatever one calls that supreme state.
He could not have taught the profound and beautiful teachings that he did, lived the life that he did, found the Sikh Panth and continue to have such an enduring presence in the hearts of so many, had he not.
Guru Nanak's writings resonant with my own heart. "Whom shall I despise since the one Lord made us all?" Nanak said. Guru Nanak believed that all humans are equal, regardless of color, ethnicity, nationality or gender. He was ahead of his time by about 500 years.

What an incredible soul.

The importance and enduring legacy of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji can be seen in this special message sent from the Vatican to the worldwide Sikh Community in 2010 on the feast day of his Prakash Purab:

PONTIFICIUM CONSILIUM PRO DIALOGO INTER RELIGIONES

N. 764/10

18 November 2010

Dear Sikh Friends,

Cordial greetings of peace and joy to you from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Office of His Holiness the Pope Benedict XVI for the promotion of relations with people of different religious traditions, as you celebrate on 21 November this year the Birth Anniversary of Siri Guru Nanak Sahib.

Occasions such as this offer us both Christians and Sikhs who believe in the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of all human beings, the opportunity to expand our reach out and extend our engagement towards the well-being of all.

Promotion of the common good of humanity is, in fact, one of the many avowed goals of all world religions. This goal, as we know, is inextricably linked to the recognition of the dignity of human persons. “The duty to respect the dignity of each human being, in whose nature the image of the Creator is reflected, means in consequence that the person cannot be disposed of at will” (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Peace, 2007). In essence, it means total and unimpeded respect for the other no matter what creed, colour, culture, or social condition he or she may belong to. Evidently, it is both a right and a duty as well. We, as believers, therefore rightfully uphold ideas and works that are based on mutual respect and that generate brotherhood, joining hands to promote the common good.

In a world best with lack of respect for human persons and violations of their fundamental rights, we, Christians and Sikhs, along with people of other religious traditions and persons of good will, share the huge responsibility to serve in society as catalysts that promote respect for human dignity because peace is in danger when human dignity is not respected and when social coexistence does not seek the common good.

Wishing you, once again, a Happy Prakash Divas of Siri Guru Nanak Sahib!

Jean-Louis, Cardinal Tauran (President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)
Archbishop Pier Luigi, Celata (Secretary, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)
Attached Files

BTW I would just like to add that I have been blessed this night with a wonderful fireworks display by my Sikh neighbours across the street from where I live. I believe they were celebrating Diwali? Splendid show!
 
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Ambarsaria ji,

You appear to have your own peculiar take on the concept of Mukti. This must be why you include Einstein and the one person I consider the joke of religious history, namely Mohammad, in your list. Also I don't see the Buddha mentioned anywhere. Or maybe he is included in one of those atheists / agnostics? ;-)

You stated about Guru Nanak:
[*]He did not profess or overtly seek to control the five thieves but lived so these were not a hindrance to good living


Taking Mukti to be more or less synonymous to Enlightenment, I therefore ask this: What is enlightenment and enlightened is to what? And Liberation / Release is release from what?

My own answer:
Enlightenment is the culmination of the development of wisdom. Wisdom is to understand the way things are / Truth, its development therefore means to gradually grow deeper in such understanding which at enlightenment, becomes absolutely clear. Liberation ultimately, is therefore, from ignorance.

What are the way things are / Truth? To me the obvious answer is, that which make up our moment to moment experiences, this include “mentality” or that which knows / experience something, and “physicality”, or that which does not know anything. Understanding these must then answer the questions regarding birth, aging, sickness and death, the implication of which is that final release, must mean release from the cycle of existence. (Did Einstein or Mohammad answer these questions? Obviously not.)

It is because of ignorance that there is attachment, aversion, conceit, jealousy, miserliness, immorality. Release from ignorance must then mean that these would also be totally eradicated.

One important implication of all this is that, all those who become enlightened, when teaching, must point to the same Truth / Truths and also the Path leading to this.

I hope this has answered your question to some extent.
 
Enlightenment is the culmination of the development of wisdom. Wisdom is to understand the way things are / Truth, its development therefore means to gradually grow deeper in such understanding which at enlightenment, becomes absolutely clear. Liberation ultimately, is therefore, from ignorance.

Dear brother Confused ji mundahug

My understanding would be that in Buddhism, enlightenment is the realization of the Four Noble Truths - the reality of suffering and impermenance, the origin of suffering in craving and attachment, the knowledge that the cessation of suffering is attainable and the path to the cessation of suffering which is the Noble Eightfold Path. One must to achieve this "take refuge" in the Buddha, the Sangha (Community of Lay and Monastics) and in the Dharma (The Teaching of the Buddha). Finally the Buddha taught of the "Four Marks of Existence" - that all things are impermanent, that this impermanence causes suffering, that this impermanence means that all things in creation are "Not Self" (ie have no lasting nature) and that 'Nirvana' is peace, freedom from this cycle of attachment to impermanence, a state of stillness which would enable a person to become enlightened in this life and in the next wholly freed from this transient world and the cycle of samsara, and after death be in a state beyond the reach of place and time now that cravings have become extinct like a candle flame blown out by the wind. One comes to such awareness through wisdom, which enables one to see the conditioned links that make up the Five Skhandas, and therefore perceive Notself - the illusion of selfhood created by these five aggregates.

Do you think that such knowledge is attainable only for Buddhists? Would you accept that people from other faiths have and can attain to such enlightenment?


"...All conditioned things are impermanent. The one who knows and perceives this fact ceases to be miserable. This is the way of purity of vision..."

- Buddha, the Dhammapada


You see I do not think that such "purity of vision", such wisdom, is limited by faith. I believe that many shinning lights in the heaven of spirituality, all over the world, in different cultures and belief systems, have attained to such wisdom - because human nature is one, we share a common mind, predicament, suffering and therefore the path to liberation for all of us is the same, even with our wide disparity of cult. However I have got the impression from past discussion with you that you adhere to a strict, exclusive belief in "salvation" which can be experienced only by Buddhists. I recall quoting mystics from my faith only to find you dismissive of their experiences.

Thus I believe what Cardinal Cusa once said:


"...But, how should we bring the manifold of religions to one unity, since our people have defended their religion with blood, and they hardly will be willing to accept a new, unified religion?

Answer: You should not introduce a new religion. But, you should yourselves comprehend, and then show to the peoples, that the true religion is presupposed before all other religions. The unity is before the separation occurs...You will find that not another faith but the one and the same faith is presupposed everywhere...Moses had described a path to God, but this path was neither taken up by everyone nor was it understood by everyone. Jesus illuminated and perfected this path; nevertheless, many even now remain unbelievers. Muhammad tried to make the same path easier, so that it might be accepted by all, even idolaters. These are the most famous of the said paths to God, although many others were presented by the wise and the prophets...Even though you acknowledge diverse religions, you all presuppose in all of this diversity the one, which you call wisdom...There can only be one wisdom. For if it were possible that there be several wisdoms, then these would have to be from one. Namely, unity is prior to all plurality...There is but one religion in the variety of religious faiths..."

- Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401 –1464), De Pace Fidei, Catholic mystic
& highest bishop under the Pope in his day

"...Cardinal Cusa claimed that God sent a variety of prophets into the world in order to reveal Himself to humanity. To achieve this goal these prophets created a variety of faiths...In this manner Cusa gives such figures as Buddha and Muhammad a similar status to that of prophets of the God of Israel... n short there is but one religion, but a diversity of religious faiths. Because of this Cusa does not think that religious diversity need be a source of conflict. For Cusa since the diversity of faiths are merely different ways of articulating the same underlying truth, there is no real basis for mutual attacks over these differences." - Ethical implications of unity and the divine in Nicholas of Cusa By David John De Leonardis
Thanks :sippingcoffee:
 
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to my understanding base on sikhism is to find permanent salvation or breaking away from cycles of birth and death with the help of naams rising above duality, mind must be surrendered completely..Yes to me guru nanak did found permanent salvation because he always speaks on naams.. but the most vital off all are we all of us are going to earn salvation after being subjected to his teachings?? for satgurus no probelm they will earn salvation easily
 
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Ambarsaria ji,
I will have to go with Guru Granth Sahib and Prakash ji on this. Guru Nanak Dev ji is the One who grants mukti! Your question is not applicable to any of the Gurus.

ਸਤਜੁਗਿ ਤੈ ਮਾਣਿਓ ਛਲਿਓ ਬਲਿ ਬਾਵਨ ਭਾਇਓ ॥
In Sat Yug, You tricked King Bali into humility, in the form of a brahmin dwarf, Vaman.

ਤ੍ਰੇਤੈ ਤੈ ਮਾਣਿਓ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਘੁਵੰਸੁ ਕਹਾਇਓ ॥

In Treta Yug, You were called the ideal warrior-king, Ram of the Raghu dynasty.

ਦੁਆਪੁਰਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ਕੰਸੁ ਕਿਰਤਾਰਥੁ ਕੀਓ ॥

In Dwapar Yug, as the shudra Krishan Murare, you liberated Kans.

ਉਗ੍ਰਸੈਣ ਕਉ ਰਾਜੁ ਅਭੈ ਭਗਤਹ ਜਨ ਦੀਓ ॥

You blessed Ugrasain with a kingdom, and You blessed Your humble devotees with fearlessness.

ਕਲਿਜੁਗਿ ਪ੍ਰਮਾਣੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰੁ ਅੰਗਦੁ ਅਮਰੁ ਕਹਾਇਓ ॥

In Kali Yug, You are called Guru Nanak, Guru Angad and Guru Amar Das.

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਜੁ ਅਬਿਚਲੁ ਅਟਲੁ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖਿ ਫੁਰਮਾਇਓ ॥੭॥

The sovereign rule of Sri Guru is unchanging, steady and permanent, and Your arrival is the Command of Adi Purakh. ||7||
Page 1390

Cheers

PS Confused ji we believe Buddha is God. Thus the question of mukti is not applicable to Him either.
 
Vouthon ji,


Had you expressed a correct understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, I’d simply ask you to tell me how this is the same as other teachings. But you have not done this and also gone on to add your own concepts, such as, “all things in *creation* are…..” and this makes the whole thing very confusing. I therefore will begin by asking, based on the following:

“Quote: "...All conditioned things are impermanent. The one who knows and perceives this fact ceases to be miserable. This is the way of purity of vision..."


Please give a few examples of “conditioned things” and what does it mean for those things to be conditioned?

Also you might like to ask yourself this: Why the need to see any a, b and c teacher and follower of religion as all pointing to the same reality / understanding?

If you have a solid basis for this, please point out to me what it is that I am missing. Saying that I am dismissive of other paths and that I “adhere to a strict, exclusive belief” does not tell me anything other than that you continue to be deluded.

Thanks.
 
Bhagat ji,


PS Confused ji we believe Buddha is God. Thus the question of mukti is not applicable to Him either.


But the Buddha did not consider himself any different from other beings who are subjected to birth, old age, sickness and death. And if his disciples thought of him as God, how could they be enlightened and considered the Sangha, one of the Three Gems?
 
I think one should understand the distinction between
MUKATi and MOKSHA. (Salvation)

From Gurbanee one can see a quote as
ਕਰਮੀ ਆਵੈ ਕਪੜਾ ਨਦਰੀ ਮੋਖੁ ਦੁਆਰੁ

करमी आवै कपड़ा नदरी मोखु दुआरु ॥

Karmī āvai kapṛā naḏrī mokẖ ḏu▫ār.

By the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is obtained. By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.

Thus MOKSHA(Salvation) is a rare phenomena and is subject of pure NADAR of the Creator GuRu/Prabhu.
. From Gurbanee one learns about Mukati as Jeewan Mukati.Now one may attain the status of being Jeewan Mukati but still may not attain salvation

There is strong evidence in Gurbanee to ascertain that GuRu Nanak Dev ji attained
both status.

Prakash.S.Bagga
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
Confused ji thanks for your post. Whether you like it or not, I have included Buddha ji in my starting post. The name was on my mind and I made an error. As we all know I am no person to be making judgements on such people but I make simple humble citations from the heart. There are far too many to be cited around the world of times past and times present.

Now to your post and couple of comments.
....... Taking Mukti to be more or less synonymous to Enlightenment, I therefore ask this: What is enlightenment and enlightened is to what? And Liberation / Release is release from what?
For me Mukti/Mukt (getting salvation/"one's having achieved salvation") goes beyond "Enlightenment.

Example a person by themselves, recluse, fully enlightened is not Mukt/"got salvation". For me a true test of true Mukti/Mukt is that the form, physical, the time, the place, etc., become of no consequence.

So it is a two points journey,

  1. Enlightened
    • Essential
  2. Enlightening
    • Essential as this causes the separation from form, physical, the time, the place, etc.
    • Here we are almost 543 years past the time Guru Nanak Dev ji was born
    • Millions of his sons and daughters,
      • without a physical connection to his lineage
      • without the impact of 500 plus years on his message
      • all over the world and not just Nankana Sahib and surrounding areas
Let us take stock of our lives and see where we are at? Some of us has some time left on this earth while many others are closer to dust that we will merge with again in years and decades to come. There can be no confusion or illusion where the Mukt/"got salvation" people stand. They are a shining light that so gets absorbed by many, they are like "paras"/"magic stone" and whoever they touch turns to Gold. The touch is not superficial but intense recognition and understanding of these so enlightened.
My own answer:
Enlightenment is the culmination of the development of wisdom. Wisdom is to understand the way things are / Truth, its development therefore means to gradually grow deeper in such understanding which at enlightenment, becomes absolutely clear. Liberation ultimately, is therefore, from ignorance.

What are the way things are / Truth? To me the obvious answer is, that which make up our moment to moment experiences, this include “mentality” or that which knows / experience something, and “physicality”, or that which does not know anything. Understanding these must then answer the questions regarding birth, aging, sickness and death, the implication of which is that final release, must mean release from the cycle of existence.
Confused ji great truth in the above that you state at least the way I read it.
(Did Einstein or Mohammad answer these questions? Obviously not.)
The enlightened don't need to answer to anyone nor describe their wisdom. What we need to observe is the impact they had at spiritual level and functional level for thousands, millions and even billions. It simply cannot be just washed aside in rhetoric.
It is because of ignorance that there is attachment, aversion, conceit, jealousy, miserliness, immorality. Release from ignorance must then mean that these would also be totally eradicated.
Confused ji to be enlightened you don't need to be like God/creator. Stay human as we are and all before were. What made them different was enlightenment in spite of all that you postulate as prerequisites to enlightenment. It matter little if they slayed the five thieves. It mattered much if they had such under control on a sustained basis and that is the best one can hope for or expect to achieve and still find enlightenment.
One important implication of all this is that, all those who become enlightened, when teaching, must point to the same Truth / Truths
Confused ji the enlightened share their wisdom without asking for you to write and exam and give you a mark on pass, fail and distinction. The enlightened wanted to teach you fishing and did not give you fish to eat for a day.
... and also the Path leading to this.
Confused ji why should there be a single unique path or runway to take off on "Enlightened Jets". The enlightened teach us the skills. The paths vary and much of the other parameters of existence vary. That is creation.

What stays the same is the light of the enlightened which lights our ways but does not chose the ways for us.Regards and thanks as always for your contributions.

PS:

1. Harcharanjitsinghdhillon ji says "...... for satgurus no problem they will earn salvation easily"
.

I assume by ..satgurus.. you are referring to Guru Nanak Dev ji and not someone that is not named in this thread.

Veer ji if you think the life of Guru Nanak Dev ji's was a piece of cake, try walking a few steps. Guru Nanak Dev ji lived in adversity throughout with overwhelming sea of skeptics and plain enemies who did not see eye to eye with his enlightened ways. Try taking a trip to Mecca or criticize the Brahmins in Benares. mundahug

2. Prakash.S.Bagga ji does raise some great observation.

I believe we will be totally amiss of teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Guru Nanak Dev ji if keep looking for some easy ways and waiting for the creator's lightening rod to strike us. All enlightened people lived tough lives and practical lives. Hence the need to be very averse of shortcuts, etc.

It may serve us well to identify and post about some enlightened people. Let our love not be guiding but what little enlightenment we have so guide us to bring such people to everyone's attention.

I am sorry, I cannot name anyone living in this category right now.

3. Vouthon ji great post and thanks for your wonderful effort and style of writing.

Your message is good and description very logical as to how things are. I have a mental block on God/creator classifying people at birth to be Prophet, etc. It flies straight in the face of so called equality in God/creator's space for all.
For example the following from your post,

"...Cardinal Cusa claimed that God sent a variety of prophets into the world in order to reveal Himself to humanity. To achieve this goal these prophets created a variety of faiths...In this manner Cusa gives such figures as Buddha and Muhammad a similar status to that of prophets of the God of Israel..... "

So technically the statement is correct that God/creator sent such to earth. But such is true of each and everyone and not just the folks mentioned.I believe God/creator embeds great and at times unlimited potential in all. How such produces fruit may or may not be known in all detail by anyone! The infinity of creator and creation is far to huge for our feeble minds beyond conjectures and wishful thinking.
 
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Confused ji,
Bhagat ji,
But the Buddha did not consider himself any different from other beings who are subjected to birth, old age, sickness and death.
Neither did God. God is not separate from His created beings. They are one and the same. Talk of separation comes from avidya, ignorance/inability.

And if his disciples thought of him as God, how could they be enlightened and considered the Sangha, one of the Three Gems?
Sangha? as in to accompany others, preferably spiritual beings? Is it like Sagh Sangat?

To answer your question though, His disciples can be enlightened by following His path of course.

Ambarsaria ji,
You missed Hindu saints like Adi Shankara, Ramanuja and Kabir. Adi Shankara was one of the first to say something akin to "Sab gobind hai" of Gurbani. He said all existence is Parbrahm. There is only Parbrahm.

Also Muslim ones like Rumi. His poetry, some of which I have read, goes deep into the soul.

I think by 'Satguru' HSD ji means any one who has completely merged in God. We use the term for God and to describe beings that merged with him. This includes Guru Nanak, Sant Kabir and the enlightened ones from Benares.
 
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Vouthon ji,

Had you expressed a correct understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, I’d simply ask you to tell me how this is the same as other teachings. But you have not done this and also gone on to add your own concepts, such as, “all things in *creation* are…..” and this makes the whole thing very confusing. I therefore will begin by asking, based on the following:

Please give a few examples of “conditioned things” and what does it mean for those things to be conditioned?

Also you might like to ask yourself this: Why the need to see any a, b and c teacher and follower of religion as all pointing to the same reality / understanding?

If you have a solid basis for this, please point out to me what it is that I am missing. Saying that I am dismissive of other paths and that I “adhere to a strict, exclusive belief” does not tell me anything other than that you continue to be deluded.

Thanks.

My dear brother Confused ji,

Firstly, do you think that "you continue to be deluded" is in accordance with "right speech", a keystone moral teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path? I have four Buddhist associates, two Therevada (one a convert from Catholicism to Buddhism) one Mahayana and the other Vajrayana, with whom I have had many a deep, engaging conversation and I can tell you that they have debated with the most entrenched and fundamentalist of Christians who have offended their faith greatly and yet they have never resorted to such language, always replying compassionately, as I would expect a follower of the Buddha to do. I think that you could have phrased your words in a slightly less offensive fashion ie "you continue to misunderstand", or "you continue not to comprehend". To accuse someone of "delusion" is very a severe and harsh accusation to make.

Secondly, you know as well I do, dear friend, that I am a theist and so therefore I call the universe "creation". I did not imply that the Buddha belived the universe to be created, I of course have read the Brahmajala Sutta and its depiction of the 'deluded' ( ;) ) Brahma who thought he was the Creator and convinced others to believe the same, that is the other "gods" who fell from the Abhassara and are reborn into this jhanic heaven. Brahma thought he had created them. When the Earth is formed later, one of these gods dies and is reborn as a human, who becomes an ascetic. Through diligent mental cultivation, he is able to recall just one immediate past life, from which he wrongly concludes that Brahma created humans, and that he is ‘eternal’ and ‘unchanging’. The Buddha thus illustrated how belief and worship of a creator god arose, according to his own understanding.

I am aware of this. I therefore know that in Buddhism there is no such thing as "creation" or indeed a "Creator". I think that you have inferred far too much from my own personalized use of the word "creation".

Other than that, can you tell me what you think I "got wrong" in my previous post vis-a-vis the Buddha's teachings? I am genuinely interested, in that it would improve my knowledge. I had understood that the key facets of Buddhist doctrine were the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three Jewels and the Four [or three] marks of existence.

Thirdly, an example of conditioned things? The Buddha taught that all things are conditioned. That each individual part of the condition is "notself". Form is not self. Feeling is not self. Sensation is not self. All of these things are conditioned by other things. Anything that is conditioned is therefore subject to conditions. If it is subject to conditions, then its existence is not independent, but dependent on those conditions and so it is "NotSelf". To be conditioned is thus to be dependent on or influenced by something else. That is my understanding of conditioned. If I am wrong, then please do correct me - but actually tell me where I am wrong this time around :grinningkaur:
Your question makes no sense to me since it posits that I would believe some things in the material world not to be conditioned. Nothing is permanent. Everything changes. The only thing that is unconditioned according to Gautama Buddha is Nirvana, so pray tell me why you want me too look around at the universe and pick out one thing from everything that is conditioned?

But if you want an example, then why not use a human being. Humans are dependent on oxygen and nutrients to survive. We are not independent because we require the prior condition of the presence of oxygen and nutrients in order to exist. Therefore a human being is impermanent, not eternal and will undergo change.

Now, my understanding is that one does not need to be a Buddhist to understand the nature of "conditioned". Therefore wisdom is not restricted to any one belief system, nor does it need a belief system at all, rather anyone can come upon such wisdom through their own efforts in meditation and analysis of the universe, not to mention their own persons and the inner workings of the mind. It has been my impression from a past discussion with you that you believe such wisdom to be attained only by an explicit follower of Buddhism given that you believe no other religion to have taught such wisdom. I see that as a strict application of one's own opinion to the detriment of others and a failure to perceive common truths as expressed through different languages, cultures and philosophies. I thus agree with Angelus Silesius when he said:

"...The Nightingale mocks not the Cuckoo's note, 'tis true,
And yet you scorn my song if I sing not as you.

The more we let each voice sound forth with its own tone,
The more diverse will be the chant in unison.

Ah, were men's voices like the wood-birds' melody—
Each happy note distinct, but all in harmony!

Opinions are as sand,—a fool would build thereon.
You, building on opinions, are not the wisest one..."

- Angelus Silesius (1624 – 1677), Polish-German Catholic mystic & poet


If I am wrong on that front (ie that you do believe that non-Buddhists can attain to such wisdom and do not have a restricted view of "salvation), then please accept my humblest apologies.

I see harmony in apparent opposites because I believe that infinity is the coincidence of opposites and is ineffable and inexpressible. No religion and no human being has or ever can fully comprehended the infinite/unconditioned and so no religion or person can be called superior to another, even though our degrees of understanding differ, we ultimately are all left unknowing. All religions and all people have different approaches to that absolute truth and and all contain elements of divine revelation. However they comprehend that truth to varying degrees but are all united in that none of them has fully comprehended that truth, such that all must be understood in relation to each other. No religion or person has a monopoly on truth.

To use your own words, I believe that for anyone to claim to possess a monopoly on truth, the full knowledge of the "infinite", the inexpressable, the unconditioned, would in fact be "delusion", if one was to label anything with that name.

As I said on a previous thread, May we all mindfully appreciate the rich diversity of every person whom we meet. I end with words from a prevous pope:

"...All men, then, should turn their attention away from those things that divide and separate us, and should consider how they may be joined in mutual and just regard for one another's opinions...For discussion can lead to fuller and deeper understanding of religious truths; when one idea strikes against another, there may be a spark..." -

Blessed Pope John XXIII, AD PETRI CATHEDRAM (On Truth, Unity and Peace), 1959


Thank you!
 
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Bhagat ji,



But the Buddha did not consider himself any different from other beings who are subjected to birth, old age, sickness and death.

Neither did God. God is not separate from His created beings. They are one and the same. Talk of separation comes from avidya, ignorance/inability.

So God is subject to the cycle of existence?
I am confused about what you are saying.
First it sounded as if you were suggesting that Buddha was God different from us and for this reason he did not need to attain liberation. Now it appears that you are saying that like us, he was God too? And further that the concept of Mukti is therefore meaningless since we are all God? But then you also refer to ignorance and I wonder if what you are saying then is that Buddha was God after he became enlightened and this means that God is synonymous to enlightenment?

Is God not also used to denote the Creator and surely you don't mean that when someone who becomes enlightened, he also becomes the creator, do you? So why use “God” and not simply “enlightened”?

In any case, in the above you refer to the idea of separation vs. non-separation. Please tell me where did the Buddha ever express such an idea? What in his teachings is suggestive that enlightenment means merging with God or whatever else you might call it? Indeed everything he taught, in particular his teaching on the Dependent Origination points to the impossibility of there being such an entity or any kind of controlling agent. The DO in fact explains what life is all about, how there is continual birth, old age and death and this proves that God is a total friction.

Anyway, if as you suggest God is not separate from his created beings, does this mean that when I am ignorant, it is God who is ignorant? If he has control over all there is, then why did he choose for me to be ignorant of him, in fact not give any credit to the concept? And you, in expressing confidence in Him, is this because he made you more advanced than me? But even here, why make it that you remain with ignorance, attachment, aversion and conceit for a long, long time and then need to go through the process of gradually merging with him to finally get rid of these? Why would he do this? Being playful? Indeed why create anything? Is it because it is in his nature to do so which means that he cannot help himself?


Quote: And if his disciples thought of him as God, how could they be enlightened and considered the Sangha, one of the Three Gems?

Sangha? as in to accompany others, preferably spiritual beings? Is it like Sagh Sangat?

No, the Sangha of the Triple Gems refer to the enlightened disciples, not the average Buddhist layperson or monk. It is there together with the Buddha and the Dhamma for each to clearly reflect the other two. Someone like me, not only do not fit to be considered a Gem, is far from being in the position to even take refuge in them with any degree of confidence.


To answer your question though, His disciples can be enlightened by following His path of course.

If they considered him God or thought that the Path was about coming to merge with God or whatever, that would be going against his teachings, therefore decrease the chance of the view being straightened. Enlightenment would in this case, be an impossibility.

And I would like to butt in here:

Also Muslim ones like Rumi. His poetry, some of which I have read, goes deep into the soul.

So do you think that the Buddha believed in the existence of soul as well? But of course, the idea of “merging” must imply something lasting in time which merges, and this is “soul”.
 
Ambarsaria ji,


Confused ji thanks for your post. Whether you like it or not, I have included Buddha ji in my starting post. The name was on my mind and I made an error. As we all know I am no person to be making judgements on such people but I make simple humble citations from the heart. There are far too many to be cited around the world of times past and times present.

So you have some reason to think that both Mohammed and Buddha were enlightened although their teachings were clearly very different? And when the Buddha pointed out the sixty odd wrong paths which all other religions come under, it is either that I'm misunderstanding this or that the Buddha made an excusable error?


....... Taking Mukti to be more or less synonymous to Enlightenment, I therefore ask this: What is enlightenment and enlightened is to what? And Liberation / Release is release from what?

For me Mukti/Mukt (getting salvation/"one's having achieved salvation") goes beyond "Enlightenment.

OK, but you will still have to answer these questions regarding what is enlightenment and what is liberation. And now also this, why do you think that enlightenment does result in liberation?


Example a person by themselves, recluse, fully enlightened is not Mukt/"got salvation". For me a true test of true Mukti/Mukt is that the form, physical, the time, the place, etc., become of no consequence.

So it is a two points journey,
Enlightened
Essential
Enlightening
Essential as this causes the separation from form, physical, the time, the place, etc.

I would like to remind you of the questions again:

1. What is enlightenment and enlightened is to what?
2. Liberation / Release is release from what?
3. Why do you think that enlightenment does not result in liberation?


Here we are almost 543 years past the time Guru Nanak Dev ji was born
Millions of his sons and daughters,
without a physical connection to his lineage
without the impact of 500 plus years on his message
all over the world and not just Nankana Sahib and surrounding areas
Let us take stock of our lives and see where we are at?

I don't understand the significance of this; please provide some kind of commentary.


Some of us has some time left on this earth while many others are closer to dust that we will merge with again in years and decades to come.

Is this “merge” the same kind as that which happens during Mukti?


There can be no confusion or illusion where the Mukt/"got salvation" people stand. They are a shining light that so gets absorbed by many, they are like "paras"/"magic stone" and whoever they touch turns to Gold. The touch is not superficial but intense recognition and understanding of these so enlightened.

I can imagine a Radha Soami or disciple of Sai Baba saying more or less the same thing about their beloved teacher. But I’m sure that you can do better than them.


My own answer:
Enlightenment is the culmination of the development of wisdom. Wisdom is to understand the way things are / Truth, its development therefore means to gradually grow deeper in such understanding which at enlightenment, becomes absolutely clear. Liberation ultimately, is therefore, from ignorance.

What are the way things are / Truth? To me the obvious answer is, that which make up our moment to moment experiences, this include “mentality” or that which knows / experience something, and “physicality”, or that which does not know anything. Understanding these must then answer the questions regarding birth, aging, sickness and death, the implication of which is that final release, must mean release from the cycle of existence.

Confused ji great truth in the above that you state at least the way I read it.

Thank you.


(Did Einstein or Mohammad answer these questions? Obviously not.)

The enlightened don't need to answer to anyone nor describe their wisdom. What we need to observe is the impact they had at spiritual level and functional level for thousands, millions and even billions. It simply cannot be just washed aside in rhetoric.

Why? Why can't this be a reflection of the Yuga in which the bigger fool rises above the lesser fools to lead them?
Do you feel inclined to consider my arguments mere rhetoric?


It is because of ignorance that there is attachment, aversion, conceit, jealousy, miserliness, immorality. Release from ignorance must then mean that these would also be totally eradicated.

Confused ji to be enlightened you don't need to be like God/creator. Stay human as we are and all before were.


You are saying this, but a good explanation to back it up is needed.
Actually, try all you might to make God sound perfect, you will not be able to do it. Indeed at one time I used to amuse myself with the thought that, a hundred of the most knowledgeable Theists of all religions will not be able to make God look as good as one wise Buddhist describing the qualities of a Buddha!


What made them different was enlightenment in spite of all that you postulate as prerequisites to enlightenment. It matter little if they slayed the five thieves. It mattered much if they had such under control on a sustained basis and that is the best one can hope for or expect to achieve and still find enlightenment.

If there is a reason to reduce them, then there is greater urgency as a result of greater understanding, to eradicate them. If they can be reduced, then why not get rid of them totally? If merely reducing them is already enlightened, what is it to then totally getting rid of them?


One important implication of all this is that, all those who become enlightened, when teaching, must point to the same Truth / Truths

Confused ji the enlightened share their wisdom without asking for you to write and exam and give you a mark on pass, fail and distinction. The enlightened wanted to teach you fishing and did not give you fish to eat for a day.

Yeah, fishing. And my point is that, only one person is teaching this. Others say they do, but actually don't. Although they do end up occasionally giving out fish, these are however not ones they have themselves fished, but bought from the market.


Confused ji why should there be a single unique path or runway to take off on "Enlightened Jets". The enlightened teach us the skills. The paths vary and much of the other parameters of existence vary. That is creation.

Because for enlightenment to have any meaning, it must be with regard to that which make up our moment to moment lives. Ignorance accompanies our perceptions all the time. The development of understanding is therefore the process whereby this ignorance is dealt with and finally eradicated, resulting in clear understanding of what really goes on. And only one person taught this. Indeed this person was enlightened to the Four Noble Truths, the Third of which is the Path sometimes referred to as the One Path. More importantly however, the teaching of this person when correctly understood must involve the process called, Straightening of View. This includes the ability to distinguish between what is the Path and what is not the Path, meaning, recognizing wrong paths. And this is the basis for my position.


What stays the same is the light of the enlightened which lights our ways but does not chose the ways for us.

What is same are the five sense faculties and the mind each of which experience their corresponding objects. The one Path therefore, is that which leads to the full understanding of these.


Regards and thanks as always for your contributions.

If you don't agree with me, I hope at least, that you are not upset by my strong opposition. So far you've shown much patience which I greatly appreciate. ;-)
 
Ambarsaria ji,


So you have some reason to think that both Mohammed and Buddha were enlightened although their teachings were clearly very different? And when the Buddha pointed out the sixty odd wrong paths which all other religions come under, it is either that I'm misunderstanding this or that the Buddha made an excusable error? ;-)


Let us get a sense of historical perspective here. The Buddha lived around sixth century BC in India. At that time Hinduism as we know it now did not even exist. The main religion was Brahmanism with its primary sacred writ being the cultic Vedas. The Hinduism of the Upanishads developed with some impetus, according to scholars, from the Buddha's teachings and some of the texts were written after his death. There was no Judaism in its final form, no Christianity, no Islam, no Sikhism....most of the world religions did not exist yet and *none* existed yet in their final form, including Buddhism which was yet to undergo a long period of debate between different schools, the writing of the Pali Canon and much more development.

So why do you say that the Buddha condemned all of these religions that did not exist yet? Simply because he made general statements about "error" and beliefs outwith the scope of Buddhist cosmology/theology, that you, on a purely personal basis, apply to these faiths? You are aware that other Buddhists, Therevada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, are more considerate of other religions and do perceive truth - even if to an inferior degree - in their teachings and praxis. Your statement then about all other religions being "in error" is an interpretation of the Buddha's words rather than a verbatim, literal understanding, much like those who interpret Jesus' statement, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" in a restrictive fashion whereas others do not.

:sippingcoffeemunda:
 
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And only one person taught this.

A subjective opinion conditioned (no pun intended) by your personally held beliefs, personality type and personal experiences in life. Is not everything conditioned by experience? My selection of Catholic mysticism was conditioned by my basic personality and by my experience of being raised Catholic. Are not your views the same? Therefore why can you not see it from other perspectives and accept that truth might not be limited to one man, in one place, at one historical time or indeed to your own perspective born of your own experiences? Other people have different personalities by pure, random, natural chance; different life experiences; different circumstances and so develop distinct beliefs which, although different from your own, does not thereby qualify them as being "wrong, wrong, wrong".

mundahug
 
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Vouthon ji,


Had you expressed a correct understanding ……… “adhere to a strict, exclusive belief” does not tell me anything other than that you continue to be deluded.

Firstly, do you think that "you continue to be deluded" is in accordance with "right speech", a keystone moral teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path? I have four Buddhist associates, two Therevada (one a convert from Catholicism to Buddhism) one Mahayana and the other Vajrayana, with whom I have had many a deep, engaging conversation and I can tell you that they have debated with the most entrenched and fundamentalist of Christians who have offended their faith greatly and yet they have never resorted to such language, always replying compassionately, as I would expect a follower of the Buddha to do. I think that you could have phrased your words in a slightly less offensive fashion ie "you continue to misunderstand", or "you continue not to comprehend". To accuse someone of "delusion" is very a severe and harsh accusation to make.

And your response emanates from right view with loving kindness and some compassion as driving force? ;-)
In the Buddhist teachings “delusion” is another word for ignorance, one of the three unwholesome roots. You don't have a problem with this do you? But of course, I use delusion not to signify ignorance, which would mean that I would accuse you of being deluded all the time, but wrong view. Yes, I could have used “misunderstand” instead, but “delusion” happens to be louder. ;-) It was meant not to insult, but to shake. Could it be that it was the attachment accompanying conceit that confronted those words of mine?


Secondly, you know as well I do, dear friend, that I am a theist and so therefore I call the universe "creation". I did not imply that the Buddha belived the universe to be created, I of course have read the Brahmajala Sutta and its depiction of the 'deluded' …….

You had written:
“that all things are impermanent, that this impermanence causes suffering, that this impermanence means that all things in creation are "Not Self"”

You place the concept of creator in the same sentence where you try to point out the fact of impermanence, suffering and non-self which makes it a contradiction, and you accuse me of overreacting?


I am aware of this. I therefore know that in Buddhism there is no such thing as "creation" or indeed a "Creator". I think that you have inferred far too much from my own personalized use of the word "creation".

So it is not a contradiction to believe in the concept of creator / creation and at the same time, that phenomena are conditioned with the characteristic of impermanence, non-self and suffering?


Other than that, can you tell me what you think I "got wrong" in my previous post vis-a-vis the Buddha's teachings? I am genuinely interested, in that it would improve my knowledge. I had understood that the key facets of Buddhist doctrine were the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three Jewels and the Four [or three] marks of existence.

Perhaps another time in another thread we can get into a more detailed discussion. For now I think, my response to what follows should shed some light.


Thirdly, an example of conditioned things? The Buddha taught that all things are conditioned. That each individual part of the condition is "notself". Form is not self. Feeling is not self. Sensation is not self. All of these things are conditioned by other things. Anything that is conditioned is therefore subject to conditions. If it is subject to conditions, then its existence is not independent, but dependent on those conditions and so it is "NotSelf". To be conditioned is thus to be dependent on or influenced by something else. That is my understanding of conditioned. If I am wrong, then please do correct me - but actually tell me where I am wrong this time around

Or perhaps you could read some of what I've posted here in the past. I assumed that you have read some of those responses, and I was wrong? Anyway, if what follows does not suffice, let me know.


Your question makes no sense to me since it posits that I would believe some things in the material world not to be conditioned.

No, it posits that you do not know or understand what those things are.


Nothing is permanent. Everything changes. The only thing that is unconditioned according to Gautama Buddha is Nirvana, so pray tell me why you want me too look around at the universe and pick out one thing from everything that is conditioned?

The question was to make known the kind of perception used as basis upon which you then apply those ideas.


But if you want an example, then why not use a human being. Humans are dependent on oxygen and nutrients to survive. We are not independent because we require the prior condition of the presence of oxygen and nutrients in order to exist. Therefore a human being is impermanent, not eternal and will undergo change.

See, I was right to ask you those questions.
A human being in the above context is not a reality, but a concept / idea. So is oxygen and nutrients. Conditionality as taught by the Buddha exists between mental and physical phenomena, which is what the Noble Truth of Dukkha or Suffering is about. It is the Five Aggregates that you happen to cite in your last message. A human being is therefore in reality, these five aggregates arisen in one moment, only to be replaced by another set of five aggregates. *This* is the impermanency, suffering and non-self as marks of existence referred to by the Buddha.


Now, my understanding is that one does not need to be a Buddhist to understand the nature of "conditioned". Therefore wisdom is not restricted to any one belief system, nor does it need a belief system at all, rather anyone can come upon such wisdom through their own efforts in meditation and analysis of the universe, not to mention their own persons and the inner workings of the mind.

This is what exactly the Buddha said:

Loka Sutta: The World

Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "'The world, the world' it is said. In what respect does the word 'world' apply?

"Insofar as it disintegrates, monk, it is called the 'world.' Now what disintegrates? The eye disintegrates. Forms disintegrate. Consciousness at the eye disintegrates. Contact at the eye disintegrates. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too disintegrates.

"The ear disintegrates. Sounds disintegrate...

"The nose disintegrates. Aromas disintegrate...

"The tongue disintegrates. Tastes disintegrate...

"The body disintegrates. Tactile sensations disintegrate...

"The intellect disintegrates. Ideas disintegrate. Consciousness at the intellect consciousness disintegrates. Contact at the intellect disintegrates. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too disintegrates.

"Insofar as it disintegrates, it is called the 'world.'"<end quote>

A human being as you use it, the universe, these are concepts that give out the impression of lasting in time. They do not disintegrate. Any idea of impermanence attributed to these are just more concepts, amounting to being only a story about the particular characteristic. And no amount of such thinking will ever lead to the actual experience of these three marks. Although they can easily become the object of attachment associated with a wrong knowledge. Right knowledge on the other hand is associated with detachment.

Without the Buddha's teachings the default is that perceptions of people, animals, things, universe etc. are taken for reality. And it is on the basis of this that all other teachings are formed. The scientists seeks to find the origin of the universe, you in referring to the Creator and those other ideas about conditionality you cited, all these revolve around the perceptions of permanence, happiness, beauty and of self. They are what the Buddha’s teachings go directly against.


It has been my impression from a past discussion with you that you believe such wisdom to be attained only by an explicit follower of Buddhism given that you believe no other religion to have taught such wisdom. I see that as a strict application of one's own opinion to the detriment of others and a failure to perceive common truths as expressed through different languages, cultures and philosophies.

And I see you as unreasonably trying to make very different teachings fit together / sound the same. For what reason? I don't know.


I thus agree with Angelus Silesius when he said:

Quote:"...The Nightingale mocks not the Cuckoo's note, 'tis true,
And yet you scorn my song if I sing not as you.

The more we let each voice sound forth with its own tone,
The more diverse will be the chant in unison.

Ah, were men's voices like the wood-birds' melody—
Each happy note distinct, but all in harmony!

Opinions are as sand,—a fool would build thereon.
You, building on opinions, are not the wisest one..."

- Angelus Silesius (1624 – 1677), Polish-German Catholic mystic & poet

Right, and he is giving a non-opinion…..


If I am wrong on that front (ie that you do believe that non-Buddhists can attain to such wisdom and do not have a restricted view of "salvation), then please accept my humblest apologies.

You are giving me a chance to reform? ;-)
No, you were right in your first impression. Except a Buddha in his last life, everyone else needs to hear the Dhamma in order that enlightenment becomes a possibility.


I see harmony in apparent opposites because I believe that infinity is the coincidence of opposites and is ineffable and inexpressible. No religion and no human being has or ever can fully comprehended the infinite/unconditioned and so no religion or person can be called superior to another, even though our degrees of understanding differ, we ultimately are all left unknowing. All religions and all people have different approaches to that absolute truth and and all contain elements of divine revelation. However they comprehend that truth to varying degrees but are all united in that none of them has fully comprehended that truth, such that all must be understood in relation to each other. No religion or person has a monopoly on truth.

That's your story, one woven so that you can continue with the present perceptions and understandings.


To use your own words, I believe that for anyone to claim to possess a monopoly on truth, the full knowledge of the "infinite", the inexpressable, the unconditioned, would in fact be "delusion", if one was to label anything with that name.

Of course from your point of view, I am deluded. Why should I expect otherwise?


As I said on a previous thread, May we all mindfully appreciate the rich diversity of every person whom we meet. I end with words from a prevous pope:

Quote: "...All men, then, should turn their attention away from those things that divide and separate us, and should consider how they may be joined in mutual and just regard for one another's opinions...For discussion can lead to fuller and deeper understanding of religious truths; when one idea strikes against another, there may be a spark..." -

Blessed Pope John XXIII, AD PETRI CATHEDRAM (On Truth, Unity and Peace), 1959

Wishful thinking of an elephant stuck in the mud trying to pull out the other elephants similarly stuck. Is this the same pope who once said that Buddhism was a pessimistic religion?
 
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