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Do You Have To Take Divine Inspiration Of Guru Granth Sahib Literally To Be A Sikh?

Bunky

SPNer
Jun 6, 2011
12
11
I love Sikhism, Sikh culture, and Sikh values. Do many Sikhs take the it all literally or do some take it figuratively and use it more as a code of ethics/values and to share a common culture with their peers?

I have a hard to being religious due tonot being able to take leaps of faith in religious matter.

Respectfully

-S
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,180
51
I do not consider myself religious, in that I observe no rituals or ceremonies, I have no faith that God will move mountains for me regardless of my actions I have faith in the grace of God, and I consider myself very much a Sikh, but then I consider Sikhism a way of life, rather than a religion,

I have a hard to being religious due tonot being able to take leaps of faith in religious matter.
good, your learning! lol
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,206
Bunky ji

Please read threads in the Gurmat vichaar section before continuing with the thread.

  1. The topic of literal translation and literal interpretation have been discussed thousands of times here.
  2. Some will say YES you should take the words of the Guru literally; others will say NO.
  3. Inspiration (your word) --- can't be literal. Only words can be taken in a literal way. Maybe you want to rephrase your question.
  4. Being a Sikh and taking Guru Granth Sahib literally are completely different issues. Why did you think to link them together in the same question?


Thank you
 
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Bunky

SPNer
Jun 6, 2011
12
11
Bunky ji

Please read threads in the Gurmat vichaar section before continuing with the thread.

  1. The topic of literal translation and literal interpretation have been discussed thousands of times here.
  2. Some will say YES you should take the words of the Guru literally; others will say NO.
  3. Inspiration (your word) --- can't be literal. Only words can be taken in a literal way. Maybe you want to rephrase your question.
  4. Being a Sikh and taking Guru Granth Sahib literally are completely different issues. Why did you think to link them together in the same question?


Thank you
Thank you. Would you be able to point me to a particular thread in that forum, I wouldn't know where to start.

I'm not really sure how to rephrase my question at this time. I'm just wondering if some people merely participate in Sikhism because they like the teachings, but don't believe they were divinely inspired to the first guru, but rather just philosophical system that developed over time culminating in the Guru Granth Sahib.

I'm sorry for my ignorance about all of this. I assumed that to be a Sikh or be accepted in the Sikh community at being a Sikh a person should probably believe the Guru Granth Sahib is THE book, or a message from Waheguru.

I'm sorry if I sound like an idiot, my brain functions a little differently than the neurotypical brain and, I have issue with translating thoughts into words.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,206
Thank you. Would you be able to point me to a particular thread in that forum, I wouldn't know where to start.

I'm not really sure how to rephrase my question at this time. I'm just wondering if some people merely participate in Sikhism because they like the teachings, but don't believe they were divinely inspired to the first guru,

I don't know. I can only answer for myself.


but rather just philosophical system that developed over time culminating in the Guru Granth Sahib.

In some ways, the teachings of Guru Nanak are consistent with the devotional and ethical teachings of the bakhti movement of Northern India. Guru Nanak was deeply schooled in the books of Hindu philosophy, and also simpatico with the teachings of holy men who broke away from that philosophy (Kabir and Ramanand, and others). However, Guru Nanak's bani is something that I consider to be a radical change from all that went before him. His bani is not a linear progression, an evolution or an off shoot of any other philosophy. imho. That would be another good thread topic that you could start.

I'm sorry for my ignorance about all of this. I assumed that to be a Sikh or be accepted in the Sikh community at being a Sikh a person should probably believe the Guru Granth Sahib is THE book, or a message from Waheguru.

I'm sorry if I sound like an idiot, my brain functions a little differently than the neurotypical brain and, I have issue with translating thoughts into words.

Bunky ji

I would not want you to apologize for any "ignorance." Nor should you apologize for "sounding like an idiot" which you do not. You actually have rephrased the problem if not the question. Thank you. I now have a better idea of what you are asking.

Guru Granth Sabhi ji is the GURU, and it contains the revelations of the 6 Gurus and all the bhagats and poets included by our 5th Guru Arjan Dev ji. So it is a book of inspiration, and it is something to take seriously as it is the everlasting Guru. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains within it the light, the jyote, of all the Sikh Gurus who came before the time when Guru Gobind Singh declared the granth to be guru.

The sticking point is the word "believe" --- and perhaps that is the way that this thread can really take off. What do each of us posting mean by "believe" and what is it that we "believe?"

I guess from that the transition to literal meaning is easier to see. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a book of poetry, and so literal meanings will take us off course. Literal meanings cannot get us to the core of the meaning of poetry.

Poetry asks us to try to map our own experiences in life and our own reality onto the inspirations of the poet. In the case of Guru Nanak... Does he say anything that triggers a sense of a different truth in me? Can I learn from reading his words how to adjust to that truth? Do I learn anything about the hypocrisy and meanness in my own life? Learning, inspiring, being open to inspiration, seeing things differently, tuning into a greater truth than truths found in the narrowness of my own experience, triggering insight, wanting to change ... these are impulses that are very different from "believing" in literal meanings. Yet I believe. I believe that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the only Guru. I believe that the Mool Mantar lays the foundation for understanding Guru Nanak's message. By doing that the Mool Mantar is a framework for everything else I believe.

That is only one person's response to your question. There have to be others.

Now here is a link to a thread that might explain better literal meanings and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The discussion is about metaphor. There are other threads and I will post them from time to time.
http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/gurmat-vichaar/32638-use-metaphor-gurbani-how-use-when.html
.
 
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