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Hard Talk Does Amrit Erase All Sins?

Sherdil

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Jan 20, 2014
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Gurbani tells us that sin (karma) is accrued from dualistic thinking. Then why is the notion of Amrit as a get-out-of-jail card peddled amongst some panthic circles? Naam is the only remedy that can wash away the grime of ego, then why do some presume that a man-made offering can do the trick? Clearly the elixir is lacking some key ingredients, evidenced by the number of people who go to take Amrit again.

Does this confusion arise from the word Amrit itself, which translates to immortality? A reference to the drink consumed by the Hindu deities to regain their God-like status. How and why did this term supplant the original Khande de Pahul title conferred upon this ceremony?

Is the notion of salvation through ceremony a development of exposure to Western ideas of baptism? Is the Amrit ceremony nothing more than an initiation into the Khalsa order? A pledge, perhaps to uphold the rehat of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and lead the panth as the temporal arm of the Guru (the spiritual arm of course being Guru Granth Sahib)?
 

Sherdil

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Jan 20, 2014
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Is this peddled before or after explaining Sikhism is free of all superstition?
Before. I think this explanation is not given at all amongst the circles in question. I think they are the type to have more affinity for superstition in the first place. The two go hand in hand. Not that I intended to target any specific groups. Only the practice itself I believe needs a more honest presentation.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
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Jan 31, 2011
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I was thinking the same, how about this
an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
"a sin in the eyes of God"
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Oct 13, 2011
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In Semitic religions, sin is that which goes against God's laws, angering God. That makes no sense in Sikhi, where God is nirvair.

I think it may be more useful to come from a different direction. Perhaps we could consider "sin" to be that which (appears to) separate us from the Divine. Sin could maybe be seen as the veil that locks us into duality.
I find it interesting that the "five thieves" are described as things that rob us of serenity, not usually as sins.

I have read the article "Paap" in Sikhiwiki and frankly, am more confused than when I started it. The last two
paragraphs, however, might prove useful.

According to the teachings of Sikhism, thoughts, words or deeds based on egoity take one away from God. Haumai is annulled by nam, contemplation of God’s Name, and nam is realized by grace of the Guru. When nam comes to abide in the mind, man is cleansed of all sins. When the mind is polluted by filth of sin, it can be washed clean by devotion to nam (Japji, 20).

Numerous texts can be cited to show that kam (lust), krodh (wrath), ahankar (pride), etc. have to be eradicated or subdued before nam can abide in one’s heart. Man must shed lust, anger, falsehood, slander, greed for riches and the ego; again, one must get rid of the lust for woman, and worldly attachment; only then can one attain access to God even while living in this world of illusions. He must cleanse his mind of pride, of attachment to wife and children and of desire; only then, saith Nanak, shall the holy Lord abide in man’s heart, and he can, through the Word, get merged in His Name (GG, 141).
I would be willing to define sin as that which (appears to) separate us from the Divine. If Sikhi is pantheistic or panentheistic, then Sikhi must teach that Divine is omnipresent and we cannot be separated from it. We can, however, seem to be separated, feel ourselves to be separated, and act and think as if we really were separated.

This is defining sin in relation to ourselves rather than according to the reaction of the One.

Am I making sense or just wandering around in a semantic minefield?
 
Last edited:

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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In Semitic religions, sin is that which goes against God's laws, angering God. That makes no sense in Sikhi, where God is nirvair.

I think it may be more useful to come from a different direction. Perhaps we could consider "sin" to be that which (appears to) separate us from the Divine. Sin could maybe be seen as the veil that locks us into duality.
I find it interesting that the "five thieves" are described as things that rob us of serenity, not usually as sins.

I have read the article "Paap" in Sikhiwiki and frankly, am more confused than when I started it. The last two
paragraphs, however, might prove useful.






I would be willing to define sin as that which (appears to) separate us from the Divine. If Sikhi is pantheistic or panentheistic, then Sikhi must teach that Divine is omnipresent and we cannot be separated from it. We can, however, seem to be separated, feel ourselves to be separated, and act and think as if we really were separated.

This is defining sin in relation to ourselves rather than according to the reaction of the One.

Am I making sense or just wandering around in a semantic minefield?
makes perfect sense to me, we are only harming ourselves, sin is perhaps completely the wrong word, as it has too many Abrahamic connotations
 

Sherdil

Writer
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Jan 20, 2014
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What if we view sin within the context of karma? The more karma you accrue, the greater your separation from the Divine. The separation of course is the illusion produced by the mind. The only "sin" we can commit is to think of ourselves as a distinct entity. The more we think in terms of self-interests, the stronger this habit or illusion of "I am" becomes. Naam on the other hand, tunes you in to the Universe. You think of the Universe before yourself and how you are just a cog in this machine. You strive for the greater good, rather than what is merely good for yourself. I don't think a man-made elixir can cure a lifetime's worth of damage developed from self-centered thinking.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Oct 13, 2011
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You can't get any better than Gurbani. Of course.

From a slightly different, and not contradictory, perspective, karma is the spiritual effects of whatever we cause. In other words, we reap what we sow, both physically and spiritually.
 

Sherdil

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Jan 20, 2014
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You can't get any better than Gurbani. Of course.

From a slightly different, and not contradictory, perspective, karma is the spiritual effects of whatever we cause. In other words, we reap what we sow, both physically and spiritually.
Ji, can you further elaborate on this beyond the framework of Divine proximity within the mind? Is Amrit the remedy for the physical and spiritual burden of karma?
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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Jul 14, 2007
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I think we are forgetting that we already are living in the state of enjoying amrit ras. We are behaving like fish in the water and yet asking what is water.
 

dalvindersingh grewal

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Jan 3, 2010
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Gurbani tells us that sin (karma) is accrued from dualistic thinking. Then why is the notion of Amrit as a get-out-of-jail card peddled amongst some panthic circles? Naam is the only remedy that can wash away the grime of ego, then why do some presume that a man-made offering can do the trick? Clearly the elixir is lacking some key ingredients, evidenced by the number of people who go to take Amrit again.

Does this confusion arise from the word Amrit itself, which translates to immortality? A reference to the drink consumed by the Hindu deities to regain their God-like status. How and why did this term supplant the original Khande de Pahul title conferred upon this ceremony?

Is the notion of salvation through ceremony a development of exposure to Western ideas of baptism? Is the Amrit ceremony nothing more than an initiation into the Khalsa order? A pledge, perhaps to uphold the rehat of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and lead the panth as the temporal arm of the Guru (the spiritual arm of course being Guru Granth Sahib)?
Guru Gobind Singh introduced partaking of khande di pahul and not amrit as is made out these days. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib, amrit is linked to Naam. Amritsar Nhavai means one he a dip into meditating on Naam.
 

Sherdil

Writer
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Jan 20, 2014
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I think that if we accept a definition of sin - and the karma that is a consequence of sin - as being that which apparently separates us from the One. The question becomes, "Does Amrit obliterate the apparent veil between us and the One?
That is indeed the question, and by taking into account all members participating in this thread so far, I think the answer is a resounding no. The Naam, which we are meant to meditate on is the real Amrit, not the concoction prepared by your neighborhood beloved five. The question now remains of the motive behind promoting Khande de Pahul as a ticket into heaven. Does it stem from ignorance, or is it driven by a desire to see more members of the Khalsa in our panth? Is this really such a bad thing? Do the results justify the means in this regard?
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Jul 21, 2012
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Think of Amrit Sanchar as a swearing in ceremony like when you join the military... you swear to defend the country and put the needs of the country above your own. Similarly, Khalsa is like an army. You are swearing into the khalsa as a member. However, just like once you swear into the military, boot camp comes next! LOL It's just a promise to uphold the rehet maryada, uphold the code of conduct and as far as learning or any universe mystical secrets, its just a license to learn :) you still have to do the work to progress spiritually.
 

Sherdil

Writer
SPNer
Jan 20, 2014
438
873
Think of Amrit Sanchar as a swearing in ceremony like when you join the military... you swear to defend the country and put the needs of the country above your own. Similarly, Khalsa is like an army. You are swearing into the khalsa as a member. However, just like once you swear into the military, boot camp comes next! LOL It's just a promise to uphold the rehet maryada, uphold the code of conduct and as far as learning or any universe mystical secrets, its just a license to learn :) you still have to do the work to progress spiritually.
I think you have the right idea.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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I agree. Sin is used in Abrahamic religions. It has no place in Sikhi.

The interesting part of Khandei di pahul is that it takes place after one has created the base in oneself through Gurbani, unlike in other religions where rituals like baptism, mundan, janieo etc. etc. and many other things take place when the child is an infant or very small.

Khandei di pahul is not a must for a Sikh to be a Sikh. One does not have to partake in this ceremony and yet can remain a great Sikh.

Having said that, the most important thing is that this wonderful ceremony takes place because of an internal manifestation rather than outer imposition. Most of the religions practice the latter.
 

Sherdil

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Jan 20, 2014
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I agree. Sin is used in Abrahamic religions. It has no place in Sikhi.
The concept of sin is not unique to the Abrahamic family tree. Sikhi does speak of paap, which translates to sin in English. From the outset of this thread we established that to sin in Sikhi is to think in duality. This causes one to accrue karma and makes the illusion of separation from the Divine to appear more vivid. By committing the sin of dualistic thinking the Divine figuratively pushes us away from Himself, thus widening the chasm between us and our Husband-Lord.

All parties are in agreement that the filth of ego, i.e. the karma accrued from this dualistic mindset, is only washed away with the Naam / Shabadh. That is what the devotees "listen" for:

GGS, page 3:

ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਗਾਸੁ ॥

नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥

Nanak bẖagṯā saḏā vigās.

O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss.

ਸੁਣਿਐ ਦੂਖ ਪਾਪ ਕਾ ਨਾਸੁ ॥੧੧॥

सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥११॥

Suṇi▫ai ḏūkẖ pāp kā nās. ||11||

Listening-pain and sin are erased. ||11||
 

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