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

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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Dec 21, 2010
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Vouthon ji not to stop BhagatSingh ji from addressing your query here is hay-penny worth of my thoughts.
What do you think of it? Christ says that we can have by grace the same oneness with the Father that he Himself has, such that Jesus will be in us, and we in him, and the Father in Jesus - all one in perfect unity.


  • same oneness with the Father that he Himself has,
    • same understanding
  • such that Jesus will be in us, and we in him,
    • joy of like company
  • and the Father in Jesus - all one in perfect unity.
    • joy of being all in consonance of the creator/God so recognized
      • living as created by the creator and the potential so endowed
Whole bunch of merriment and tears of joy
japposatnamwaheguru:cheerleader:tablakudi:
Your thoughts much resonate with this thread. Guru Nanak Dev ji, I am sure, would have taken great joy in people acquiring wisdom. Guru Nanak Dev ji, I am sure, would have been ecstatic to see people reaching and conversing at level of wisdom with him. Putting all this to practice and using all this to live in consonance with one creator and creation, hence Sikhism was born and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji came to be.

Regards.
 
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namjiwankaur

SPNer
Nov 14, 2010
557
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Sat Nam _/|\_

I was reading about the Sufi teachings on seven spiritual levels. Most of us don't go very far. A few rise to that seventh level and become pure vessels, so pure that they can speak the Truth because they have removed all the veils & the barriers to behold the Divine in this lifetime.

Guru Nanak was awakened to that pure Realization during this lifetime and this is why his words are like a conversation with God. They really are an opportunity for us to take in a conversation with God.

Good poll.

Nam Jiwan :)
 

BhagatSingh

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Apr 25, 2006
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Thank you brother Bhagat ji mundahugThis has been most enlightening!

Because Christianity is a Western religion we don't tend to use the terms such as "dualism" and "non-dualism", so it has been difficult for me to fully understand what is meant. You have, nonetheless, really aided my understanding. I am not knowledgeable about the words in question (I would have to read more deeply into, say, Vedanta or such).
I will load this post with links for your reading. I enjoyed reading through them myself a while ago.
Dualism in the west is used for mind-brain (in psychology), subject-object (in philosophy) dualism. In the east, we use to mean all of the dualities of the world such as night-day, male-female, good-bad, the most fundamental and important duality to overcome is soul-God duality. In Non-dualism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta), the soul IS God and vice-verse, absolutely no difference! None. One of it's most famous proponent was Adi Shankara.

The line of thought in Sikhism originally comes from Qualified Non-Dualism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishishtadvaita). The soul is God but has separated from Him, and the idea is to merge back to be God again. So the soul is God but there's a qualifier, only when it attains liberation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramanuja taught this philosophy, and he influenced some of the early Bhagats in Sikhism, who then influenced later ones.

We talked about Madhvacharya and Dualism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvaita) already.
250px-Shri_Madhvacharya.jpg

Notice in the painting he is holding two fingers up. He says that essentially (in reality) soul-God are different, male-female are different, day -night are different. They are not one and the same (like the other two would say) but two distinct entities.

There were two videos I posted in a reply to Confused ji, do take a look at those as well. Shin Zen young, Robert Thurman and Deepak Chopra are all great speakers. The former two are Buddhist. The latter is Hindu.

According to what you write above, I would say that the Catholic mystics are non-dualist in the sense that the distinction between man and the Godhead is overcome on one level and yet they are dualists in the sense that God is still, in essence, a separate, trascendent being on another level.
My reading leads me to conclude those quotes/teachings are dualism in essence. Yes God is everywhere for the dualists. He is present is us and in the world. Wherever we look we may see Him but ultimately He is separate from us. We cannot be Him, only have good relations with Him as we do with another being. This is the vibe I am getting from your elaboration and the quote. I have not read the entire canon so maybe other parts are non-dualist, who knows but clearly the essence is dualism. But I remember you said some mystics were perscecuted by the Church, this maybe so because they might believe in a Non-Dual reality, and the Church sees Christ's message as Dualist.

We call this becoming God by grace. We do become God, if that is non-Dualism, but not in Essence (as he is only in Himself, transcendent aspect)? Would that still qualify as non-dualism?
This is Dualism. God is transcendent and immanent is actually part of both Non-Dualism and Dualism but their claim to essential reality is different.

Non-Dualism would say we are in Essence God Himself. "Aham atma.. (I am the soul)" said God in Bhagwad Gita.

Ambarsaria ji,
Beautifully put.
Your thoughts much resonate with this thread. Guru Nanak Dev ji, I am sure, would have taken great joy in people acquiring wisdom. Guru Nanak Dev ji, I am sure, would have been ecstatic to see people reaching and conversing at level of wisdom with him. Putting all this to practice and using all this to live in consonance with one creator and creation, hence Sikhism was born and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji came to be.
PS vouthon ji,
I am not enlightened, nor would ever claim to be
Remember, just be honest if you ever do become enlightened.
 
Oct 19, 2012
124
81
There are many types of gurus, some are coming from higher planes not to form religions but to take back the herd of sheeps back to our true home, such khand. In sikhism we define such gurus as satgurus. Mind you maya also will send some false gurus to impart some untruth teachings. All sikh gurus had earned salvation no question on this. True gurus will always speak of naams. Sat sri akal
 
Feb 23, 2012
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642
United Kingdom
I believe in the "Pantheistic Paradox", Identity in difference....

My dear brother Bhagat ji mundahug

I truly must thank you in all sincerity for the wealth of information that you have given to me in your last post. I had never heard of the Dvaita (Indian dualism) tradition before and I must say, I find it utterly fascinating! I am very much impressed by Shri Madhvacharya's courage in stating outright his beliefs about the nature of reality. His ideas are compelling.

I must ask you, nonetheless, something about Sikhi. You say that the Gurus adhered to a "qualitative non-dualism" and that when one merges with Waheguru, there remains nothing of the soul's identity left, absolutely everything becomes lost in the abyss of deity, with no distinction on any level between the Godhead and the soul.

This, however, has not been my understanding from the Granth and the books I have read on Sikhi do not state this either. Rather I see a position much similar to the Catholic mystics, teaching an identity in difference ie that we become God and perceive no difference between ourselves and Him, yet we retain some measure of creatureliness, a small "point" to which we can return after an ecstatic loss of all self-awarenes and still being an independent "I" experiencing God as the Beloved, while also feeling that the knower and the known are one without any difference, at the same time. It is a paradox and for me it fits because God is infinite and is the coincidence of opposites. We can only be either "this or that", black or white, male or female, gay or straight etc. God however is not "this or that". He can both transcendent and immanent. And when we unite with him, we go beyond "this and that", and can be at once completely One with him without any distiction and also separate. This is identity in difference, it is paradoxical, contradictory and yet I see it as reality. For me Non-Dualists emphasis their essential Unity with God without any awareness of self, whereas Dualists emphasise their distinction from him as the Lover, caught up in the embrace of the Infinite Beloved. I do not see them as necessarily at odds, rather I see the Catholic mystics - and actually Sikhi too - as a via media, a middle path between both.

Let me use the example of the Western mystic Arthur Koeslter. Koestler writes that, "The "I" ceases to exist because it has . . . been dissolved in the universal pool." But he goes on to say that when the "I" thus ceases to exist he experiences "the peace that passeth all understanding." Who experiences this peace? If there is absolutely no distinction between God and Koestler, how can there be an "experience" of peace? Yet Koestler says that there is no duality between himself and Creator, the "I" of his independent, separate selfhood has utterly ceased to exist. On some level, "I" remain "I", even when "I" have been totally absorbed in God and have had my individuality annihilated in Infinite Being. Identity in difference is plainly expressed here. Inasmuch as I have been dissolved in the Infinite Being and have ceased to exist as myself, I have become identical with that being and I mean "identical" with absolutely no distinction and no awareness of any duality; but inasmuch as I still feel that I, Koestler, experience a peace or blessedness, I still remain distinct from the Infinite Being.

Scholars call this, "the Pantheistic Paradox" and it is what the Catholic mystics adhere too and tbh, I discern it in Sikhi as well (although I admit that I may be wrong).

As an example, consider what these scholars write of Sikhi:

"...The Sikh God is one with whom the devotee becomes completely absorbed: "As the fish I find the life of absorption in the water of God" (Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, p166). As the fish is absorbed in the water that is God, the soul is absorbed in the lightness that is God. The fish, even though absorbed in the water that is God, does not lose its fishness, its fish-identity-formation, even though absorbed in the light of God. A panentheistic system, such as Sikhism, allows the soul to retain its soulness while merging with God. The soul, in other words, is not identical with God, even after merging with God, but one might say God is part of the soul. A strict identity soul = God is incarnationism and this is considered anathema in Sikhism. The Granth uses the beloved/lover metaphor for the relation of self to God. God is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. The lover retains her identity yet merges with her beloved, in contrast to the Vendantic theological writings of the Hindu Shankara. Unlike Vedantic theology, Sikhism, by maintaining a panentheistic system, safeguards against the problems of Hindu pantheism. The soul retains its aloneness, yet it is webbed within the larger ecosphere and sphere of the divine..."

- Marla Morris


In fact, I expressed myself incorrectly earlier on. Catholic mystics do teach that we unite with the Essence of God. In the third book of his "Espousals", Blessed Jan Van Ruysbroeck (1293 – 1381) speaks in rapturous terms of the soul's vision of God and of its absorption into the divine essence. He drives the point home with an exciting metaphor: as a drop of wine fallen into the ocean becomes the ocean itself, so the lost soul in God becomes God. "We are beatified in His Divine Essence," says Ruysbroeck, and this is the attainment of the Kingdom of those who love God. Some other mystics:


"...Whether Lover and Beloved are near or far is all one; for their love mingles as water mingles with wine. They are linked as heat with light; they approach and are united as Essence and Being..."

- Blessed Ramon Llull (1232 – ca. 1315), Catholic mystic & Franciscan missionary


And Tauler tells us:​


"...In this way the soul takes flight away from itself and from all creatures, for in the simple unity of the Divine Godhead it sheds all multiplicity. It is now exalted above itself...In such a state a man can lose himself entirely in God...Beyond this, he is led into another Heaven which is the divine Essence itself, where the [human] spirit loses itself so completely that no trace of the self remains. What happens to him there, what he experiences and enjoys, no man can ever tell or conceive or understand. Indeed, how could the mind ever grasp such a thing? Even the spirit of man cannot comprehend it, for so submerged is it now into the divine ground that it knows nothing, feels nothing, understands nothing but God alone in His simple, pure, undisguised Unity..."

- Johannes Tauler (c.1300-1361), Catholic mystic & Dominican priest


So the Catholic mystics do say that we unite with the Essence of God. Yet according to them because God is inifinite, we never fully comprehend the Essence or pass wholly out of our creaturehood because we have a created soul. Its like trying to fill a jug with all the water in the Pacific Ocean. It would burst. This is what Saint Faustina described:


"...The two loves come face to face: the Creator and the creature; one little drop seeks to measure itself with the ocean. At first, the little drop wants to enclose the infinite ocean within itself; but at the same moment, it knows itself to be just one small drop, and thus it is vanquished, and passes completely into God like a drop into the ocean. At first, this moment is a torment, but so sweet that, on experiencing it, the soul is happy...My communion with the Lord is now purely spiritual. My soul is touched by God and wholly absorbs itself in Him, even to the complete forgetfulness of self. Permeated by God to its very depths, it drowns in His beauty; it completely dissolves in Him - I am at a loss to describe this, because in writing I am making use of the senses; but there, in that union, the senses are not active; there is a merging of God and the soul; and the life of God to which the soul is admitted is so great that the human tongue cannot express it..."

- Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), Polish Catholic mystic


Instead of trying to contain the infinity of God, which is impossible because God is infinite and transcedent, we simply "surrender" our independent identity to Him and dissolve in Him.​

Read:​

Eckhart asks what happens to the soul which "has lost her proper self in the unity of the Divine Nature." The word "proper" here is used in the sense of "peculiar to oneself," or "individual"; so that the "proper self" means the self as a separate individual. This is "lost" — faded away in the fana experience — in the Divine Unity. What then happens to it? Eckhart writes:
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Does she find herself or not? . . . God has left her one little point from which to get back to herself . . . and know herself as a creature.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The thought is oddly expressed. But it is evident that the "one little point" is the point in which the "I" still remains its individual self even when "lost" in the Divine Unity. The word "lost" refers to the identity of God and the soul, while the "little point" is the element of difference.[/FONT]


[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Suso may also be quoted in the same sense. A passage which I have already quoted in another context may be quoted again:[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In this merging of itself in God the spirit passes away and yet not wholly.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]This bears surely the same meaning as Eckhart's sentences about the "little point," and may be taken therefore as evidence of identity in difference[/FONT]


I am not convinced that Sikhi teaches the full non-dualism of Hindu Vedanta. Sikhi, to my mind, teaches something completely distinct, an identity in difference, a middle way between the extremes of Non-Dualism and Dualism.

I do not think that any of the Catholic or Sufi mystics would have had the slightest problem with the Granth's description of union with God. In fact, they probably would have thought the Gurus were fellow Catholic/Sufi mystics if one didn't tell them that they were of a different faith! :grinningkaur:

Catholic mysticism and Sufi mysticism are the primary exponents of deep spirituality in Christianity and Islam and are "siblings" to one another. They essentially teach the same or at least very similar mystical doctrines. What is true for Sufism is generally speaking true for Catholic mysticism and vis-a-versa. I would place Sikhi in the same category as Sufism and Catholic mysticism as teaching an identity-in-difference "the Pantheistic Paradox", rather than Vedantic Non-Dualism. That is not to say that Non-Dualism is in error, far from it, it is right and true but in its own way, focusing - like the dualists - on one aspect of the bigger picture whereas Sufism, Catholic mysticism and Sikhi can see it from two different, paradoxical perspectives.

Just my humble two cents, I admit that I may be totally wrong gingerteakaur

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as always.
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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There is clear duality (in continuum and linked though) in terms of the in-finiteness of the truth and all being a reflection in parts small and large while all so attached to the source.

Kabir Bani sung by Ustad Ghulam Mohammed Chand Rabaabi presented by Balwant Gurunay.wmv - YouTube

salok mahalla 9th(1 to 8) mohammad rafi , neelam shahni - YouTube

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ਪ੍ਰਭਾਤੀ
प्रभाती ॥
Parbẖāṯī.
Prabhaatee:
ਪ੍ਰਭਾਤੀ।
xxx
XXX

ਅਵਲਿ ਅਲਹ ਨੂਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੇ ਸਭ ਬੰਦੇ
अवलि अलह नूरु उपाइआ कुदरति के सभ बंदे ॥
Aval alah nūr upā▫i▫ā kuḏraṯ ke sabẖ banḏe.
First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings.
ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ ਚਾਨਣ ਰਚਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਫਿਰ ਆਪਣੀ ਅਪਾਰ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਬਣਾਏ।
ਅਵਲਿ = ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ, ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਵਿਚ, ਸਭ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ। ਅਲਹ ਨੂਰ = ਅੱਲਾਹ ਦਾ ਨੂਰ, ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਜੋਤ। ਉਪਾਇਆ =(ਜਿਸ ਨੇ ਜਗਤ) ਪੈਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ। ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੇ = ਖ਼ੁਦਾ ਦੀ ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦੇ (ਪੈਦਾ ਕੀਤੇ ਹੋਏ)।
ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਖ਼ੁਦਾ ਦਾ ਨੂਰ ਹੀ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਨੇ (ਜਗਤ) ਪੈਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ, ਇਹ ਸਾਰੇ ਜੀਅ-ਜੰਤ ਰੱਬ ਦੀ ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦੇ ਹੀ ਬਣਾਏ ਹੋਏ ਹਨ।

ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ੧॥
एक नूर ते सभु जगु उपजिआ कउन भले को मंदे ॥१॥
Ėk nūr ṯe sabẖ jag upji▫ā ka▫un bẖale ko manḏe. ||1||
From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1||
ਇਕ ਰੌਸ਼ਨੀ ਤੋਂ ਹੀ ਸਮੂਹ ਆਲਮ ਉਤਪੰਨ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਚੰਗਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਮਾੜਾ ਹੈ?
ਨੂਰ = ਜੋਤ। ਤੇ = ਤੋਂ। ਕੋ = ਕੌਣ? ॥੧॥
ਇਕਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੀ ਹੀ ਜੋਤ ਤੋਂ ਸਾਰਾ ਜਗਤ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ। (ਤਾਂ ਫਿਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਜਾਤ ਮਜ਼ਹਬ ਦੇਭੁਲੇਖੇ ਵਿਚ ਪੈ ਕੇ) ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਚੰਗਾ ਤੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਮੰਦਾ ਨਾਹ ਸਮਝੋ ॥੧॥
ਲੋਗਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲਹੁ ਭਾਈ
लोगा भरमि न भूलहु भाई ॥
Logā bẖaram na bẖūlahu bẖā▫ī.
O people, O Siblings of Destiny, do not wander deluded by doubt.
ਹੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਵੀਰ ਲੋਕੋ! ਤੁਸੀਂ ਵਹਿਮ ਅੰਦਰ ਭੰਬਲ ਭੂਸੇ ਨਾਂ ਖਾਓ।
ਲੋਗਾ = ਹੇ ਲੋਕੋ! ਭਾਈ = ਹੇ ਭਾਈ!
ਹੇ ਲੋਕੋ! (ਰੱਬ ਦੀ ਹਸਤੀ ਬਾਰੇ) ਕਿਸੇ ਭੁਲੇਖੇ ਵਿਚ ਪੈ ਕੇ ਖ਼ੁਆਰ ਨਾਹ ਹੋਵੋ।

ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਸ੍ਰਬ ਠਾਂਈ ੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
खालिकु खलक खलक महि खालिकु पूरि रहिओ स्रब ठांई ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Kẖālik kẖalak kẖalak mėh kẖālik pūr rahi▫o sarab ṯẖāʼn▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.
The Creation is in the Creator, and the Creator is in the Creation, totally pervading and permeating all places. ||1||Pause||
ਰਚਨਾ ਰਚਣਹਾਰ ਅੰਦਰ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਰਚਨਹਾਰ ਰਚਨਾ ਅੰਦਰ। ਉਹ ਸਾਰਿਆਂ ਥਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਰੀਪੂਰਨ ਕਰ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। ਠਹਿਰਾਉ।
ਖਾਲਕੁ = (ਜਗਤ ਨੂੰ) ਪੈਦਾ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ। ਸ੍ਰਬ ਠਾਂਈ = ਸਭ ਥਾਂ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਉਹ ਰੱਬ ਸਾਰੀ ਖ਼ਲਕਤ ਨੂੰ ਪੈਦਾ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਸਾਰੀ ਖ਼ਲਕਤ ਵਿਚ ਮੌਜੂਦ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਸਭ ਥਾਂ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਮਾਟੀ ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਜੀ ਸਾਜਨਹਾਰੈ
माटी एक अनेक भांति करि साजी साजनहारै ॥
Mātī ek anek bẖāʼnṯ kar sājī sājanhārai.
The clay is the same, but the Fashioner has fashioned it in various ways.
ਮਿੱਟੀ ਕੇਵਲ ਇਕ ਹੀ ਹੈ ਪ੍ਰੰਤੂ ਘੜਨਹਾਰ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਘਣੇਰਿਆਂ ਤਰੀਕਿਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਘੜਿਆ ਹੈ।
ਭਾਂਤਿ = ਕਿਸਮ। ਸਾਜੀ = ਪੈਦਾ ਕੀਤੀ, ਬਣਾਈ।
ਸਿਰਜਨਹਾਰ ਨੇ ਇੱਕੋ ਹੀ ਮਿੱਟੀ ਤੋਂ (ਭਾਵ, ਇੱਕੋ ਜਿਹੇ ਹੀ ਤੱਤਾਂ ਤੋਂ) ਅਨੇਕਾਂ ਕਿਸਮਾਂ ਦੇ ਜੀਆ-ਜੰਤ ਪੈਦਾ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਹਨ।

ਨਾ ਕਛੁ ਪੋਚ ਮਾਟੀ ਕੇ ਭਾਂਡੇ ਨਾ ਕਛੁ ਪੋਚ ਕੁੰਭਾਰੈ ੨॥
ना कछु पोच माटी के भांडे ना कछु पोच कु्मभारै ॥२॥
Nā kacẖẖ pocẖ mātī ke bẖāʼnde nā kacẖẖ pocẖ kumbẖārai. ||2||
There is nothing wrong with the pot of clay - there is nothing wrong with the Potter. ||2||
ਮਿੱਟੀ ਦੇ ਬਰਤਨ ਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਕਸੂਰ ਨਹੀਂ, ਨਾਂ ਹੀ ਕੋਈ ਕਸੂਰ ਹੈ ਘੁਮਿਆਰ ਦਾ।
ਪੋਚ = ਐਬ, ਊਣਤਾਈ ॥੨॥
(ਜਿੱਥੋਂਤਕ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਦਾ ਸੰਬੰਧ ਹੈ) ਨਾਹ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਮਿੱਟੀ ਦੇ ਭਾਂਡਿਆਂ (ਭਾਵ, ਜੀਵਾਂ)ਵਿਚ ਕੋਈ ਊਣਤਾ ਹੈ, ਤੇ ਨਾਹ (ਇਹਨਾਂ ਭਾਂਡਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਬਣਾਣ ਵਾਲੇ) ਘੁਮਿਆਰ ਵਿਚ ॥੨॥

ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਸਚਾ ਏਕੋ ਸੋਈ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਕੀਆ ਸਭੁ ਕਛੁ ਹੋਈ
सभ महि सचा एको सोई तिस का कीआ सभु कछु होई ॥
Sabẖ mėh sacẖā eko so▫ī ṯis kā kī▫ā sabẖ kacẖẖ ho▫ī.
The One True Lord abides in all; by His making, everything is made.
ਉਹ ਅਦੁਤੀ ਸੱਚਾ ਸਾਈਂ ਸਾਰਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਰਾ ਕੁਛ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਮਰਜੀ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਹੀ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।
ਸੋਈ = ਉਹੀ ਮਨੁੱਖ।
ਉਹ ਸਦਾ ਕਾਇਮ ਰਹਿਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਸਭ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਵੱਸਦਾ ਹੈ। ਜੋ ਕੁਝ ਜਗਤ ਵਿਚ ਹੋ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ, ਉਸੇ ਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੋ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ।

ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਸੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਨੈ ਬੰਦਾ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਈ ੩॥
हुकमु पछानै सु एको जानै बंदा कहीऐ सोई ॥३॥
Hukam pacẖẖānai so eko jānai banḏā kahī▫ai so▫ī. ||3||
Whoever realizes the Hukam of His Command, knows the One Lord. He alone is said to be the Lord's slave. ||3||
ਜੋ ਕੋਈ ਭੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੀ ਰਜਾ ਨੂੰ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ਕੇਵਲ ਉਹ ਹੀ ਇਕ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਨੂੰ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਕੇਵਲ ਉਹ ਹੀ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਗੋਲਾ ਆਖਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ।
xxx ੩॥
ਉਹੀ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਰੱਬ ਦਾ (ਪਿਆਰਾ) ਬੰਦਾ ਕਿਹਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਰਜ਼ਾ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਉਸ ਇਕ ਨਾਲ ਸਾਂਝ ਪਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ॥੩॥

ਅਲਹੁ ਅਲਖੁ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਗੁੜੁ ਦੀਨਾ ਮੀਠਾ
अलहु अलखु न जाई लखिआ गुरि गुड़ु दीना मीठा ॥
Alhu alakẖ na jā▫ī lakẖi▫ā gur guṛ ḏīnā mīṯẖā.
The Lord Allah is Unseen; He cannot be seen. The Guru has blessed me with this sweet molasses.
ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਅਦ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ। ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਦਾ ਮਿੱਠਾ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਦਾਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ।
ਅਲਖੁ = ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਮੁਕੰਮਲ ਸਰੂਪ ਬਿਆਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋ ਸਕਦਾ। ਗੁੜੁ = (ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੇ ਗੁਣਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ-ਰੂਪ) ਗੁੜ। ਗੁਰਿ = ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ।
ਉਹਰੱਬ ਐਸਾ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਮੁਕੰਮਲ ਸਰੂਪ ਬਿਆਨ ਤੋਂ ਪਰੇ ਹੈ, ਉਸ ਦੇ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਸਕਦੇ। ਮੇਰੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ (ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਗੁਣਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ-ਰੂਪ) ਮਿੱਠਾ ਗੁੜ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ(ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਸੁਆਦ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਦੱਸ ਸਕਦਾ, ਪਰ)

ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੇਰੀ ਸੰਕਾ ਨਾਸੀ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਡੀਠਾ ੪॥੩॥
कहि कबीर मेरी संका नासी सरब निरंजनु डीठा ॥४॥३॥
Kahi Kabīr merī sankā nāsī sarab niranjan dīṯẖā. ||4||3||
Says Kabeer, my anxiety and fear have been taken away; I see the Immaculate Lord pervading everywhere. ||4||3||
ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀ ਆਖਦੇ ਹਨ, ਮੇਰਾ ਸੰਦੇਹ ਦੂਰ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਹੁਣ ਮੈਂ ਪਵਿੱਤਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਨੂੰ ਹਰ ਥਾਂ ਵੇਖਦਾ ਹਾਂ।
ਸੰਕਾ = ਸ਼ੱਕ, ਭੁਲੇਖਾ। ਸਰਬ = ਸਾਰਿਆਂ ਵਿਚ ॥੪॥੩॥
ਕਬੀਰਆਖਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਉਸ ਮਾਇਆ ਰਹਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਨੂੰ ਹਰ ਥਾਂ ਵੇਖ ਲਿਆ ਹੈ, ਮੈਨੂੰ ਇਸ ਵਿਚਕੋਈ ਸ਼ੱਕ ਨਹੀਂ ਰਿਹਾ (ਮੇਰਾ ਅੰਦਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਜਾਤ ਜਾਂ ਮਜ਼ਹਬ ਦੇ ਬੰਦਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਉੱਚਤਾ ਜਾਂਨੀਚਤਾ ਦਾ ਕਰਮ ਨਹੀਂ ਰਿਹਾ) ॥੪॥੩॥
http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=1349&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=1&k=1&fb=0
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->We of one source but of different types and molds.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

itsmaneet

SPNer
Jun 13, 2012
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Nagpur, India
yes he already had mukti & was here to mukht many sinners like me ...

to elaborate - i can't elaborate my feelings & trust on him also feel it's unexplainable for me.
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
Dec 21, 2010
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itsmaneet ji thanks for your post.
yes he already had mukti & was here to mukht many sinners like me ...

to elaborate - i can't elaborate my feelings & trust on him also feel it's unexplainable for me.
One of the important points I want to note is that this thread is not about evaluating Guru Nanak Dev ji. It is more a positive way of looking into Mukt/mukti so that we can learn from his life. There are much assumptions and statements by some as to people are just born so. The truth is that likes of Guru Nanak Dev ji, and many others actually worked very hard in their lives and the results are much a reflection of that. God/creator's grace is quite important but so is living the life versus just talking, studying or postulating. So called armchair coaches and athletes sitting in front of TV or computer and passing out advice..

Just some thoughts.

Sat Sri Akal.

 

BhagatSingh

SPNer
Apr 25, 2006
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Re: I believe in the "Pantheistic Paradox", Identity in difference....

My dear brother Bhagat ji mundahug

I truly must thank you in all sincerity for the wealth of information that you have given to me in your last post. I had never heard of the Dvaita (Indian dualism) tradition before and I must say, I find it utterly fascinating! I am very much impressed by Shri Madhvacharya's courage in stating outright his beliefs about the nature of reality. His ideas are compelling.

I must ask you, nonetheless, something about Sikhi. You say that the Gurus adhered to a "qualitative non-dualism"
That's Qualified*, meaning Humans are God but there is a qualifier - only after liberation.

and that when one merges with Waheguru, there remains nothing of the soul's identity left, absolutely everything becomes lost in the abyss of deity, with no distinction on any level between the Godhead and the soul.
Yes, this only happens on death, as we cannot completely merge in God whilst we are alive, because there is always the tiniest bit of human left even in a Satguru (the word is used to highly advanced Guru and for God). But we have to make efforts whilst we alive ot have any sort of chance to merge. Th efforts must be made now, this present moment to escape from the rebirth.

This, however, has not been my understanding from the Granth and the books I have read on Sikhi do not state this either. Rather I see a position much similar to the Catholic mystics, teaching an identity in difference ie that we become God and perceive no difference between ourselves and Him, yet we retain some measure of creatureliness, a small "point" to which we can return after an ecstatic loss of all self-awarenes and still being an independent "I" experiencing God as the Beloved, while also feeling that the knower and the known are one without any difference, at the same time. It is a paradox and for me it fits because God is infinite and is the coincidence of opposites. We can only be either "this or that", black or white, male or female, gay or straight etc. God however is not "this or that". He can both transcendent and immanent. And when we unite with him, we go beyond "this and that", and can be at once completely One with him without any distiction and also separate. This is identity in difference, it is paradoxical, contradictory and yet I see it as reality. For me Non-Dualists emphasis their essential Unity with God without any awareness of self, whereas Dualists emphasise their distinction from him as the Lover, caught up in the embrace of the Infinite Beloved. I do not see them as necessarily at odds, rather I see the Catholic mystics - and actually Sikhi too - as a via media, a middle path between both.
Yes this is entirely consistent with my views and my reading of Catholic mystics. Qualified Non-Dualism (Vishishtadvaita Vedanta) is the middle path between Advaita and Dvaita.

By default we tend to be on the Dualist side so Non-Dualism is emphasized but it's the middle path no doubt.
Scholars call this, "the Pantheistic Paradox" and it is what the Catholic mystics adhere too and tbh, I discern it in Sikhi as well (although I admit that I may be wrong).
Sikhism is Panentheistic. Meaning Creation is part of a much larger God.

Pantheism is Creation and Creator are the same. This is not Sikh philosophy.

Marla is correct! gingerteakaur
In fact, I expressed myself incorrectly earlier on. Catholic mystics do teach that we unite with the Essence of God.
We can differentiate between Catholicism and Catholic mysticism. My reading was aligned with yours when you presented the verses from Catholic canon - they were dualistic. In contrast, I would say the mystics are non-dual.

Instead of trying to contain the infinity of God, which is impossible because God is infinite and transcedent, we simply "surrender" our independent identity to Him and dissolve in Him.
Yes. There are several layers of infinity. God is a much larger infinity than us, possessing several infinities into himself. We are also infinite.



I am not convinced that Sikhi teaches the full non-dualism of Hindu Vedanta. Sikhi, to my mind, teaches something completely distinct, an identity in difference, a middle way between the extremes of Non-Dualism and Dualism.
To clarify once again.
It doesn't teach Advaita Vedanta nor Dvaita, it teaches Vishishtadvaita. They are not the same. One is pure non-dual, the other dual, Vishishtadvaita of Sri Ramanuja is a mid-way meeting of Dualism and Non-dualism, it is called Qualified Non-Dualism.




I do not think that any of the Catholic or Sufi mystics would have had the slightest problem with the Granth's description of union with God. In fact, they probably would have thought the Gurus were fellow Catholic/Sufi mystics if one didn't tell them that they were of a different faith! :grinningkaur:
Yes not in this sense. But they would disagree with other parts of theology such as rebirth, avatars, sacred forms of God, etc. They are not the same faith.
For example, I don't see a Sufi or Catholic agreeing to this image of God for example:
ਸੰਖ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਗਦਾ ਹੈ ਧਾਰੀ ਮਹਾ ਸਾਰਥੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਾ ॥੧੦॥
He wields the conch war-horn, quoit-chakar, mace, He is the Great Charioteer of His saints. - pg 1082

This is not merely metaphorical ie. those icons do not just carry a meaning, they are real. God incarnated on Earth and was a charioteer of Arjuna, he wield the conch,chakar and mace, etc. If you read the entire page 1082, this will be clear.

It's great to see that you have thoroughly researched into this. That's an awesome trait to have. The guys who are coming up with Non-Dualism/Dualism and such tend to be like that. ;)

I must ask you what kind of religious practices are you involved in? What do you do to actively reach out to God?
 
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Re: I believe in the "Pantheistic Paradox", Identity in difference....

I must ask you what kind of religious practices are you involved in? What do you do to actively reach out to God?


My dear brother Bhagat ji kaurhug

As ever, thank you for your very thorough reply. It has been most helpful in helping me understand Non-Dualism/Dualism, concepts which I had not been familiar with prior to this thread, and indeed had little to no knowledge regarding.

On my religious practices, that is likewise an interesting question.

I have a variety of what one could call "exterior" and "interior" practices. On the exterior level, I am like an other orthodox Catholic in that I attend Mass every Sunday and read the Bible. I also try to live a good life, reading the mystical writings of my faith and trying to detach myself from my cravings. I often meditate using the Rosary, relecting on Christ's life through the different mysteries, the Glorious, the Luminous etc. I try to see God in everything, in every place, situation, person etc.

It should be stated that in Catholicism, the earlier practices of the spiritual path are what we call "meditation". Meditation is explicitly discursive, using mental images, ideas, thoughts, concepts, memory (this is known as cataphatic prayer) in other words the left side of your brain - the one dealing with discursive thought.

"Contemplation", on the other hand, is a freeing of the mind from all images, thoughts, concepts, ideas, sense perceptions etc (this is known as imageless prayer). This is the supreme intuitive awareness of God and equivalent to what many of the Eastern religions mean with the word "meditation".

On the interior level, one of my main practices (although not the only one) is the praying of, "The Jesus Prayer", or "Prayer of the Heart".

I just sit quietly with the intention of my will focused on the presence of Christ within, and gently say, "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me" - inhaling on the "Lord Jesus Christ" and exhaling as I say, "Have mercy on me". I start by speaking it out loud then get quietier, and quietier and quietier, until barely a whisper and then I only think it in my head, and focus on breathing. If I become distracted by thoughts, I simply notice them and let them go and return to the breathing and recitation. Eventually I do not even say the prayer in my head, but have it in my heart centre. I sit in perfect stillness, breathing, noticing thoughts as they come and returning again to focus on the breath.

This is interior prayer, what Christians might call Prayer of the Heart as opposed to prayer of the head. I try not to become attached to outward forms of prayer, to the literal act of counting physical rosary beads, rather I just enshrine the rosary of the Name of Jesus within the very centre of my being, my heart-centre. The Sufis have a saying, "The Mind is the slayer of the Real". My prayer is often not an affair of the mind. It is a movement of my whole being. I create an airport within my heart for these thoughts to land and dissipate, so that all of my attention can be focused upon the breath.

The breath helps me detach myself from my thinking, discursive mind and become more aware of what Catholic mystics call the "Ground of the Soul", beyond thought, feeling, emotions and sense-perception.

I once had a particularly strange experience during Contemplative prayer, in which I lost awareness of myself, my body and my external reality. It actually induced me into a state of panic and fear when my discursive mind came kicking back.

You see, I would feel pure "elation" and "exhiliration". A warmth would come through my body after about half an hour of intense Contemplative prayer and meditation. I would get this tingling feeling, that would be very, very pleasurable. In my chest - and this was the most memorable bit - I would get this sensation like pure ectasy that would completely take my breath away, and I would grow faint and gasp out loud like in a sweaty heat wave, but I had no sweat and felt marvellously cool. It was almost like a tension but a very cool and pleasing one that would rise throughout my entire body. I would feel completely calm and joyful for about a day or two after, as if I was high on some kind of drug or had just had a release of endorphins.

I still get this from time-to-time, although I am trying as much as possible now to detach myself from such "feelings" arising from sense.
One time, it got really severe. I had experienced a very intense prayer session and went to lie down, because it was late at night, with that feeling of breathless ecstasy still in my chest. And this time, I had the feeling of being sucked as if into a whirlpool. It is difficult to explain but I had the sensation of being pulled to the extent that I visually - whether in a dream-like state induced by my ecstasy or awake - saw a kind of whirling vortex that was dragging me, my mind, my soul I don't know - away from my body, into the very heart of something. It reminded me of a tunnel. It was dark but there were kind of concentric circles made of very thin threads of different colours - blue, purple, green, red, pink - you name it, all around me like a top, and sides and bottom; whirling, whirling and whirling in a cyclinder formation. I kept going deeper and deeper, and then I got terribly afraid. It seemed to genuinely be taking control of me. I felt as if I had no power over this movement, deeper and deeper into the vortex. I couldn't go as far as God, or the force or the pull or whatever you call it, wanted me to go. I was too afraid that I was going to die, that the experience was so powerful that I would literally be torn away from my body and become utterly destroyed and reduced to nothing by God or this force, this pull.

...I had just lay down and was very excited because I had just received this wonderful, warm, ecstastic feeling in my chest...And it was just when I lay down in that state, that I felt myself pulled into that tunnel... it was not sleep too me but rather a literal change of location from my bedroom to this tunnel or vortex or whirlpool [the room faded away as if actually breaking up, like a mist and reappeared later on in the same fashion after the experience]...

And so I pulled back. ['I' seemed to return and stop this experience and this interjection ended it]. I pleaded in my head, 'No, I can't go any further, please'. I pulled and forced myself to resist. I actually remember saying mentally, screaming in my mind, 'I can't do this, I can't go any further'. I resisted and pulled and pleaded and was basically in a state of absolute panic and terror. And before I knew it, I felt myself moving backwards, [up the tunnel?] and eventually I was back in my bedroom again, shaking, freezing cold and terrified. I don't know how much time had elapsed...It ended up with me that night feeling pulled into a tunnel/whirlpool with the colours as described around me in concentric circles...I was being pulled into this and lost awareness of any physicality...

I was seeing circular, amoeboid, or tunnel-like patterns and had the sensation of being "pulled" into them as if it were a tunnel. I felt myself increasingly lose control of and awareness of my body, which was what made me feel terrified when "I" returned and realized what was happening. Strange, strange experience. It was a mental image, or vision that arose spontaneously in the course of my contemplation. It was not self-automated, since it took me completely by surprise. I wrote an account of it later in my diary, and when asked shared kit with one my Buddhist friend's who told me that my experience (which I explained to her in greater depth) had been my entering into Jhana but without proper preparation or understanding of what was happening to me, hence the panic. My religion calls it a "flight of the spirit" ie:

St. Teresa of Avila described all this phenomena in various places in her collected works ... and she is a Doctor of the Church.

In Chapters 28-31 of "Way of Perfection" she describes the inner stillness that comes upon us in contemplative prayer ... the desire to close the eyes and draw inward "like a turtle drawing in its shell." The faculties quiet ... first the will then intellect and memory. These are "suspended" or "absorbed" in her terms ... what she calls the prayer of recollection ... then quiet ... then union. In union we are left in a very delightful, peaceful sense of intimacy with God ... without the "burden" of thoughts and feelings. We are not "doing" we are "being." These are fleeting moments that sometimes come upon us ... perhaps lasting 15 to 30 minutes. These prayer states are described in greater detail as the 4th and 5th mansions in "Interior Castle."

Perhaps this interior prayer deepens yet further. It may flow over from our interior faculties (intellect, will and memory) to our exterior sense. Ecstasy is the prayer of union that also impacts us physically. As St. Teresa describes the body cools, we're unable to move and left as though dead and sinking or being drawn deep within oneself to our very center ... but it is extremely delightful at the same time. The flight of spirit is a variation on this ... where we experience a sense of spiritual movement perhaps out of the body or to a different place/locality. And in this very deep prayer (with the eyes closed), we may experience all sort of interior lights or images played out in our mind ... our spiritual eye. These are imaginative visions. All these types of experiences are described in the 6th mansion of "Interior Castle."


I was only 14 and I think in retrospect I wasn't prepared for the loss of awareness of my body. It was a shock and my response was fear. I lost all sense of time and place. I did not feel my physical body, I was light and in a state of bliss, but it drove my to panic when my thoughts returned.

Do you know of "Centering Prayer", brother Bhagat ji? It is a Catholic form of Contemplative prayer (what you might call "meditation") which I find particularly beneficial and condusive to my soul/mind.

Here is a Catholic priest and modern mystic Fr Thomas Keating explaining something about "Centering Prayer" and ultimate reality:

The Ultimate Reality with Father Thomas Keating - YouTube

Father Thomas Keating Centering Prayer at The Crossings - YouTube


Also the late Catholic mystic and priest Fr John Main OSB (1926-1982), who taught contemplative prayer with what Catholics call "Prayer Words":

The Beauty of Prayer - John Main OSB - YouTube

I also use Prayer Words, here is a description of the movement founded by Fr John Main and his technique (Based mostly upon the teachings of the Desert Fathers, Saint John Cassian and the Cloud of Unknowing). In this video they use the word "meditation" rather than "Contemplation":

Silence in the City - Young Christian Meditators' Stories - YouTube


Here are some Catholic mystics on this form of Contemplation with a prayer word:

"...The end of every contemplative and the perfection of his heart incline him to constant and uninterrupted perseverance in prayer: and, as much as human frailty allows, it strives after an unchanging and continual tranquility of mind and perpetual purity. This prayer (The Lord's Prayer), although it seems to contain the utter fullness of perfection inasmuch as it was instituted and established on the authority of the Lord himself, nonetheless raises his familiars to that condition which we characterized previously as more sublime. It leads them by a higher stage to that fiery and, indeed, more properly speaking, wordless prayer which is known and experienced by very few. The formula for this discipline and prayer that you are seeking, then shall be presented to you. Every monk who longs for the continual awareness of God should be in the habit of meditating on it ceaselessly in his heart, after having driven out every kind of thought, because he will be unable to hold fast to it in any other way than by being freed from all bodily cares and concerns… This is then the devotional formula proposed to you as absolutely necessary for possessing the perpetual awareness of God: 'O God, incline unto my aid; O Lord make haste to help me.' You should, I say, meditate constantly on this verse in your heart. You should not stop repeating it when you are doing any kind of work or performing some service or are on a journey. Meditate on it while sleeping and eating and attending to the least needs of nature. This verse is an unassailable wall, an impenetrable breastplate, and a very strong shield for all those who labor under the attacks of demons. It does not permit those troubled by acedia and anxiety of mind or those depressed by sadness or different kinds of thoughts to despair of a saving remedy….This verse, I say, is necessary and useful for each one of us in whatever condition we may live. If I am boiling over with a multitude of different distractions of soul and with a fickle heart and am unable to control my wandering thoughts. Let the mind hold ceaselessly to this formula above all until it has been strengthened by constantly using and continually meditating upon it, and until it renounces and rejects the whole wealth and abundance of thoughts. Thus straitened by the poverty of this verse, it will easily attain to that gospel beatitude which holds the first place among the other beatitudes. For, it says, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven'..."

- Saint John Cassian (ca. 360 – 435), Church Father & Catholic mystic


Another is the anonymous author of the 14th century book "The Cloud of Unknowing" - one of the most influential of all medeival Catholic mystical texts, in terms of lay appeal and popularity - which presents contemplative meditation - or 'preparation' - as a teachable, spiritual process enabling the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God.

A wikipedia article in which it is mentioned says:

The Cloud of Unknowing an anonymous work of Catholic mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century advocates a nondual relationship with God. The text describes a spiritual union with God through the heart. The author of the text advocates centering prayer, a form of inner silence. According to the text God can not be known through knowledge or from intellection. It is only by emptying the mind of all created images and thoughts that we can arrive to experience God. According to the text God is completely unknowable by the mind. God is not known through the intellect but through intense contemplation, motivated by love, and stripped of all thought

I am not sure that I would use the word "nondual" because, as you know, I have my reservations about both nondualism and dualism as to whether they are appropriate or precise terms, however it is an accurate description.

The Cloud was written, not in Latin but in Middle English - which means that it was intended primarily for laymen rather than for priests and monks.

The Cloud of Unknowing elucidates a number of cultivation exercises by which spiritual practitioners can learn to mentally empty themselves, and this is described as "putting other thoughts away."

The Cloud of Unknowing calls these "special ways, tricks, private techniques, and spiritual devices".

The Cloud of Unknowing, advises the aspirant to concentrate on a single syllable such as "God":


Quote:
<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset" class=alt2>Choose whichever one [word] you prefer, or if you like, chose another that suits your tastes, provided that it is of one syllable. And clasp this word tightly in your heart so that it never leaves it no matter what may happen. This word shall be your shield and your spear whether you ride in peace or in war. With this word you shall beat upon the cloud and the darkness, which are above you. With this word you shall strike down thoughts of every kind and drive them beneath the cloud of forgetting. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Read:


Quote:
<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset" class=alt2>"...The Cloud of Unknowing also talks of various methods. "Think of nothing but God himself so that nothing will work in your mind or in your will but only God himself. You must then do whatever will help you to forget all the beings [external forms] whom God has created, and all their works":

"See to it that there is nothing at work in your mind or will but only God. Try to suppress all knowledge and feeling of anything less than God, and trample it down deep under the cloud of forgetting. You must understand that in this business you are to forget not only all other things than yourself (and their doings-and your own!) but to forget also yourself, and even the things you have done for the sake of God."

...In the Cloud of Unknowing you are also told to "surrender yourself to God, so that you do not admit even a single selfish thought which is your own," whereas Dionysius the Areopagite instructed us on the way to cultivate as follows:

"Exercise yourself unceasingly in mystical contemplation; abandon feelings; renounce intellectual activities; reject all that belongs to the perceptible and the intelligible; strip yourself totally of non-being and being and lift yourself as far as you are able to the point of being united in unknowing with him who is beyond all being and all knowledge. For it is by passing beyond everything, yourself included, irresistibly and completely, that you will be exalted in pure ecstasy right up to the dark splendour of the divine Superessence, after having abandoned all, and stripped yourself of everything."..."



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The Cloud emphasises experience above all:


“And so I urge you, go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest.”
—The Cloud of Unknowing (14th Century, Anonymous)


Read:


Quote:
<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset" class=alt2>The author [of the Cloud] quickly advises that in contemplation, in what he calls "the darkness of the cloud of unknowing, the beginner must not let ideas about God, his wonderful gifts, his kindness or his works distract us from attentiveness to God himself... They have no place here." At first that seems surprising that we should let go of even our noble thoughts and images of God if we are to travel this path. To our 'awake' thinking mind this is a paradox.

To keep oneself focussed when distractions come (including "holy" thoughts), the author of The Cloud suggests centring attention on a short word:

"Choose a short word. Fix it in your mind so that it will remain there come what may. This word will be your defence in conflict and in peace.... Should some thought go on annoying you, demanding to know what you are doing, answer with this one word alone." (5)

The author of The Cloud constantly advises the beginner to strongly associate with this 'word' your faith in God and his providence and goodness:

"Let this little word represent to you God in all His fullness and nothing less than the fullness of God. Let nothing except God hold sway in your mind and heart." (6)

This is the experience of those who practice contemplative prayer whether they be saints of ages past or the saints of today who are choosing this path again. The author of The Cloud says:

"In the contemplative work itself, he does not distinguish between friend and enemy, brother and stranger. I do not mean, however, that he will cease to feel a spontaneous affection toward a few others who are especially close to him. ... The point I am making is that during the work of contemplation everyone is equally dear to him since it is God alone who stirs him to love. He loves all plainly and nakedly for God; and he loves them all as he loves himself." (8)

Indeed, the ideal presented by John the Baptist when he says "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30) is the ideal of contemplative prayer:

"And so reject the thought and experience of all created things but most especially learn to forget yourself, for all your knowledge and experience depends upon the knowledge and feeling of yourself. All else is easily forgotten in comparison with one's own self. See if experience does not prove me right. Long after you have successfully forgotten every creature and its works, you will find that a naked knowing and feeling of your own being still remains between you and your God. And believe me, you will not be perfect in love until this, too, is destroyed." (9)

Contemplative prayer then according to the author of The Cloud cannot be considered as self-serving or focussed on self. He says unequivocally "do not think what you are but that you are" (10). Indeed this path is surely what the world needs now, for all to reflect on not "what" we are but just "that" we are.

This denial of the self however comes at a cost - detachment.

As time passes in the practice of contemplation, the author of The Cloud tells us our prayer will gather its own momentum and continue day and night beyond conscious control:

"In the midst of all, you will be offering to God continually each day the most precious gift you can make. This work will be at the heart of everything you do, whether active or contemplative and bring deep spiritual strength and nourishment to renew both your body and your spirit." (12)



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BhagatSingh

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Apr 25, 2006
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Vouthon ji,
Wicked!
I actually only read a 1/3 of your post. I will reply once I get time and give you a reply accordingly but so far it's looking good, you look like you are well on your way. You could teach Sikhs on this forum a thing or two about practicing such things.

PS you can break up large posts with colours, so it's easier to read on a monitor. :>
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Vouthon ji,
Wicked!
I actually only read a 1/3 of your post. I will reply once I get time and give you a reply accordingly but so far it's looking good, you look like you are well on your way. You could teach Sikhs on this forum a thing or two about practicing such things.

PS you can break up large posts with colours, so it's easier to read on a monitor. :>


Apologies for the length brother Bhagat ji :blushhh:

I think I got carried away LOL! icecreamkaur
 

Luckysingh

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Vouthon ji, Thanks for sharing your personal experience on here.
I think all of us that meditate can understand and relate to it in some way.

I too have enjoyed these posts and have actually learned what dualism and non- dualism is in greater detail.

Your technique for the 'Jesus prayer' reminded me of a very similar technique that I find beneficial.
I just sit quietly with the intention of my will focused on the presence of Christ within, and gently say, "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me" - inhaling on the "Lord Jesus Christ" and exhaling as I say, "Have mercy on me". I start by speaking it out loud then get quietier, and quietier and quietier, until barely a whisper and then I only think it in my head, and focus on breathing. If I become distracted by thoughts, I simply notice them and let them go and return to the breathing and recitation. Eventually I do not even say the prayer in my head, but have it in my heart centre. I sit in perfect stillness, breathing, noticing thoughts as they come and returning again to focus on the breath.

I like to do more or less the same with the breathing, as I find it mantains the focus.
I would use the 'Waheguru' gurmantar so to say with this method.
One inhales or breathes in saying 'Wahe' and exhales saying 'Guru'.
In addition, there is 'reverse breathing' so to say. One would bring IN the stomach or navel when inhaling and saying 'wahe' and then would release the stomach and navel area when breathing out whilst saying 'Guru'.

I believe this is mentioned in a shabad by Kabirji on page 1123

I only started meditation about a year ago and have tried various techniques, but this seems to be more preferable by me so far.
I find it keeps me more channeled and evokes an intense feeling of love in the heart for our One Lord.
 

Luckysingh

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Bhagat ji,
Some very useful information that you have given us here.
The vishishtadvaita is very interesting and I can now see how this is a middle between advaita and davaita.
It makes much more sense and helps to realise what we should accept.

In my opinion so far, I think it comes back to the nirgun and sargun aspects again.
I feel that the spiritual journey which we can begin here helps to align our consciousness.
We begin a journey where by being completely immersed in gurmat, we go through many repeated modes where nirgun becomes sirgun and sirgun becomes nirgun and so on....
This becomes a part of how the journey progresses until finally the consciousness can become one and advait with the God or almighty consciousness.

Do you interpret it in a similar manner, or do you think we still have some duality aspects once at the final frontier or when merged with the One ?
Or is that about some dual aspects remaining with soul, even when merged whilst consciousness is advait.
A little like where the consciousness becomes advait completely with immersion and soul may maintain some duality!!!
I know that when saying this, I am implying that soul and consciousness can be separate !!!
....Can get confusing !!!:interestedmunda:
 
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Feb 23, 2012
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Vouthon ji, Thanks for sharing your personal experience on here.
I think all of us that meditate can understand and relate to it in some way.

I too have enjoyed these posts and have actually learned what dualism and non- dualism is in greater detail.

Your technique for the 'Jesus prayer' reminded me of a very similar technique that I find beneficial.


I like to do more or less the same with the breathing, as I find it mantains the focus.
I would use the 'Waheguru' gurmantar so to say with this method.
One inhales or breathes in saying 'Wahe' and exhales saying 'Guru'.
In addition, there is 'reverse breathing' so to say. One would bring IN the stomach or navel when inhaling and saying 'wahe' and then would release the stomach and navel area when breathing out whilst saying 'Guru'.

I believe this is mentioned in a shabad by Kabirji on page 1123

I only started meditation about a year ago and have tried various techniques, but this seems to be more preferable by me so far.
I find it keeps me more channeled and evokes an intense feeling of love in the heart for our One Lord.

My dear brother Lucky ji gingerteakaur

Thank you so much for your reply!

Your technique is practically identical to my own. The Jesus Prayer is an ancient, Eastern Catholic breath-technique that can be dated to around the fourth century AD in origin in its systematic form although Christian ascetics had been doing similar things much earlier. I think that nearly every religion has a variation on this breathing technique with the exhalation and inhalation. I certainly know that there is a parralel in Buddhism and Islam. Sufi Muslims focus on the breath using the Shahada "There is no God but God" ie

"There is no God" - inhale

"But God" - exhale

There are many variants of the "Jesus Prayer" (a practice which is over a thousand and a half years old in Christian mysticism) and one of the other ones I use is simply, "Jesus Christ" ie

"Jesus" - inhale

"Christ" - exhale

I know this can look rather "Christocentric" to non-Christians but one must reflect on what the name "Jesus" means.

The name "Jesus" comes from the Aramaic Y'shua which means, "YHWH saves". YHWH is the Divine Name of God in Judaism/Christianity, which Moses taught us, it means "I AM WHO AM".

So for Christians meditating on the Holy Name of Jesus is meditating on the Name of God, Jesus made this explicit:


"...I have revealed your Name to those whom you took from the world to give me...Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your Name, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I kept those you had given me true to your Name...Holy Father, protect them by the power of your Name, the name you gave me..."

- Jesus Christ, Gospel of John

It is by calling on the Name of God that one is "saved" (attains enlightenment/liberation):


"...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved..."

- Romans 10:13

He means that not only spiritually but literally - his Name (Jesus) literally has God's Name (YHWH) contained within it! lol

Therefore when I pray the "Jesus Prayer" I am literally doing the Christian equivalent of meditating on the Naam within Sikhi.

When you speak of the "navel", you remind me of a rather strange Catholic meditative practice using the breath and the Jesus Prayer, which is described by Saint Symeon the New Theologian. Its called, "Navel-gazing".

It is from his work on contemplation known as, "The Three Methods of Prayer". He notes:


<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset" class=alt2>There are three methods of prayer and attentiveness, by which the soul is either lifted up or cast down. Whoever applies these methods at the right time is uplifted, but whoever employs them foolishly or at the wrong time is cast down...Watchfulness and prayer should be as closely linked together as the body to the soul, for the one cannot stand without the other. Watchfulness first goes on ahead like a scout and engages sin in combat. Prayer then follows afterwards, and instantly destroys and exterminates all the evil thoughts which which watchfulness has already been battling, for attentiveness alone cannot exterminate them. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
The first two "methods of prayer", one of which is called the "way of imagination" (ie discursive, through images, concepts and "divine" thoughts), are condemned. The central theme in “The Three Methods” is the need to guard the heart. The first two methods of prayer described by the author are in his view defective, and indeed potentially dangerous, precisely because they neglect the need for such guarding.


The third method is the prayer of the Heart for which Saint Symeon suggests the technique of "navel-gazing":


"...Above all else you should strive to acquire three things, and so begin to attain what you seek.

The first is freedom from anxiety with respect to everything, whether reasonable or senseless – in other words, you should be dead to everything.

Secondly, you should strive to preserve a pure conscience, so that it has nothing to reproach you with.

Thirdly, you should be completely detached, so that your thoughts incline towards nothing worldly, not even your own body.

Then sit down in a quiet cell, in a corner by yourself, and do what I tell you. Close the door, and and withdraw your intellect from everything worthless and transient. Rest your beard on your chest, and focus your gaze, together with the whole of your intellect*, upon the centre of your belly or your navel. Restrain the drawing in of breath through your nostrils, so as not to breathe easily, and search inside yourself with your intellect so as to find the place of the heart, where all the powers of the soul reside. To start with, you will find there darkness and as impenetrable density. Later, when you persist and practice this task day and night, you will find, as though miraculously, an unceasing joy. For as soon as the intellect attains the place of the heart it beholds itself entirely luminous and full of discrimination. From then on, from whatever side a distractive thought may appear, before it has come to completion and assumed a form, the intellect immediately drives it away and destroys it with the invocation of Jesus Christ...The rest you will learn for yourself, with God’s help, by keeping guarding over your intellect and by retaining Jesus in your heart. As the saying goes, “Sit in your cell and it will teach you everything.”..."

- Saint Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022 AD), Philokalia IV, pp72-73, Catholic mystic & poet

* "intellect" in Catholic mystical parlance was described by Saint Gregory Palamas by this definition: "The intellectual activity consisting of thought and intuition is called intellect, and the power that activates thought and intuition is likewise the intellect; and this power Scripture also calls the heart".
 
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Ambarsaria

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I wonder what all this has to do with either Guru Nanak Dev ji's teachings and/or our learning from his life of achieving mukti or being mukt if one so believes or does not believe.
The reason I state above is because I do not believe Guru Nanak Dev ji achieved what he did by inhaling/exhaling on couple of syllables or words. Are we looking for a short cut? Is the world around us so changed that we cannot even understand Guru ji's teachings before calming or shutting ourselves down? I can understand his teachings fully awake, in any situation if I think of them. Living by his teachings is a whole new ball game and is the difficult part.

Sat Sri Akal.

---------------------------------------------------------

PS: Brothers and sisters you can split any two syllable word to do the breathing or two single syllable words as a duple. I believe you can extend it beyond duples to multiple words or syllables for inhale and exhale.

If you do it fast enough you will hyper-ventilate. You should see stars or floating objects in front of you if eyes open. Keep doing ever more and you will start delinking the senses from the surroundings. You will in the end enter a trance and be in La-la land. Nothing wrong with it and I am sure at a level it is rewarding, worthwhile and at another level just plain fun and new experience.

To prove the point:

Ex 1: Vouthon Happy

  • Inhale ---- "VOUTHON"
  • Exhale ---- "HAPPY"
Ex 2: Lucky Singh

  • Inhale ---- "LUCKY"
  • Exhale ---- "SINGH"
Ex 3: Bhagat Singh

  • Inhale ---- "BHAGAT"
  • Exhale ---- "SINGH"

If you remember passionate embraces over time, I do believe one or the other partner partially ends up in this ecstatic state lol. Is it spiritual, I do not know!


Sat Sri Akal. mundahug
 
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Feb 23, 2012
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Muktee is NOT achieved by inhaling/exhaling..its achieved by TRUTHFUL LIVING..practise of Gurbani adopting Gurbani LIVING GURBANI..Becoming GURBANI...exhaling/inhaling assists one to LIVE.

Spot on Brother Gyani ji mundahug

In fact I am sure some people do not need/use such techniques at all.

Its only a method some use to help themselves become detached from distracting thoughts, desires and cravings, and of course for good overall mental/physical health (provided one does not over-strain their breathing and perfurate their lungs!), since the breath is what makes us alive and focus on it.

In and of itself though, without action and truthful living, it would be useless.

"...Higher than everything is Truth but higher still is True living..."

- Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, p62
 
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Feb 23, 2012
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If you remember passionate embraces over time, I do believe one or the other partner partially ends up in this ecstatic state lol. Is it spiritual, I do not know!​


Sat Sri Akal. mundahug


Well, I would say that the love between two people expressed in their embraces or through sex is indeed spiritual lolThey become one and give themselves to one another. Matter is holy, our bodies are holy, love is holy, embraces are holy. A beautiful image of the soul's union with God, which is why the "Lover/Beloved" metaphor seems to be so pervasive in poetry.

Brother Ambarsaria ji, as usual you are correct mundahug

Breathing techniques are not necessary. Even in Buddhism they become defunct once a person is able to clear their head without them and simply understand the Four Noble Truths.

Nevertheless they can be useful for people who struggle with afflictive and/or disorientating thoughts and need something to focus on to try and get some kind of inner stillness and peace.

There is nothing magical about syllables or words used. "Vouthon Happy, or "Bhagat Ji" would be legitimate - so long as they hold some kind of meaning for the practioner! People often just feel more relaxed and happy if they are focusing on something meaningful to them, ie their religion, their teacher, even friends or family or a word such as "love" with positive connotations.

It would be a mistake to think that there is something inherently "special" about words used or such.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but by no means "bad" in and of itself :) With proper practice - ie without damaging a lung through over-strained breaths or getting disorientated by mental images induced by the practice in the earlier phases when one isn't used to the breath technique yet - they can be condusive to good health and a clearer mental state, which helps some people lead truthful lives and become better husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, work colleagues etc.

Some people - just don't need it. Each to their own I say!

So long as nobody thinks that breathing techniques = spiritual life, then what's the harm? No religion teaches this, which is why the Cloud of Unknowing calls them, "special ways, tricks, private techniques, and spiritual devices" that is all they are "TRICKS" but some people like "tricks"! lol

As I said even in Buddhism they are for beginners and those still troubled by distracting thoughts. Once a person advances along their path, breathing techniques are used no more.

So for me its a personal thing, a helpful "device" if one wishes to use it. That's all.

I'll let Bishop Kallistos Ware speak:


"...For obvious reasons the utmost discretion is necessary when interfering with instinctive bodily activities such as the drawing of breath or the beating of the heart. Misuse of the physical technique can damage someone’s health and disturb his mental equilibrium; hence the importance of a reliable master. If no such starets is available, it is best for the beginner to restrict himself simply to the actual recitation of the Jesus Prayer, without troubling at all about the rhythm of his breath or his heart-beats. More often than not he will find that, without any conscious effort on his part, the words of the Invocation adapt themselves spontaneously to the movement of his breathing. If this does not in fact happen, there is no cause for alarm; let him continue quietly with the work of mental invocation.

The physical techniques are in any case no more than an accessory, an aid which has proved helpful to some but which is in no sense obligatory upon all. The Jesus Prayer can be practised in its fullness without any physical methods at all. St Gregory Palamas (1296-1359), while regarding the use of physical techniques as theologically defensible, treated such methods as something secondary and suited mainly for beginners. For him, as for all the Hesychast masters, the essential thing is not the external control of the breathing but the inner and secret Invocation of the Lord Jesus..."

- Bishop Kallistos Ware (born. 1934), Eastern Catholic [Orthodox]

That is our understanding of these techniques.

BTW A "starets" is a spiritual teacher/guide!
 
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BhagatSingh

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Apr 25, 2006
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Once a person advances along their path, breathing techniques are used no more.
A lot of the time the practice becomes an expression of their mental state rather than something that induces it.

One example of this is shabads where Hari is said twice as "Hari Hari". This is the expression of the mental state from years of practice and using rosaries.

All the ancient paintings of Guru Sahibs show them with rosaries. Those rosaries are an expression of who they are. It would be dishonest for them to not carry around a rosary.

A turban and beard is an expression of a true Khalsa. It would be dishonest for Him to not have a turban and beard.

A hijab is an expression of a devout Muslim...

A white markings are an expression of a true Sadhu...

I could go on. These are rituals as well as a way of expressing oneself. This applies to things like chanting and singing Bhajans (hymns from Guru Granth Sahib).
 
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