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Leisure Does Naming A Thing Give It Power?

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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I found it interesting that so many of us have names for the things we believe.

When something acquires a name doesn't it create a 'thing' that needs defining?
Is this how all the spiritual teaching and systems got started?

Once defined does it gain some kind of power...hmmm words have power...or is what they define hold the power?

I am just kind of thinking out loud here...he..he..... Any thoughts???
 

Ishna

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The only thought I have which is real quick is the opposite - naming a thing removes it's power, demystifies a thing, gives the namer some sense of control over the named.

That's why I like the fact that Waheguru isn't really a name... Not even The Name is named. It retains it's mystery and power IMHO.

Gurfateh
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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The only thought I have which is real quick is the opposite - naming a thing removes it's power, demystifies a thing, gives the namer some sense of control over the named.

That's why I like the fact that Waheguru isn't really a name... Not even The Name is named. It retains it's mystery and power IMHO.

Gurfateh
I don't understand, Ishna. Care to expand further?
 

Ishna

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I think people can be more frightened of something they don't understand. Let's take thunder as an example. When thunder wasn't understood it was a force used by the gods. As we understood it, named it, named it's individual parts, it became just thunder.

When someone has a disease, you find a lump or something, you don't know what it is, you're scared, you wonder what it is, and you are anxious until you find out what it is. When your condition has a name, it's not so scary, someone knows what it is, it's under control, it is not a mystery anymore.

If someone talks about a god with a name, the god loses it's all-encompassing and mysterious power. It becomes confined to it's name. It has become understood enough to be named. It can be identified, called upon, controlled.

The things we don't know yet are much more powerful than the things we do know about and which are thus named.

I think that's why Gurbani uses so many names for God, because It is beyond being named. Waheguru is more a description than a name. Guru Sahibs couldn't give It a name. If they knew it, they didn't tell us. We can only experience what we experience of it... We can only know it intuitively and we can't explain it to others, so we can't name it as such.

It's hard to explain.

At least, this is my initial response to your question. What's your idea?
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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It's hard to explain.

At least, this is my initial response to your question. What's your idea?
Oh! Thanks for your crystal-clear explanation. What comes to mind in a similar way is the word Karma. When something is beyond explaining, I label it as Karma. For example, why is one born a cripple or deformed and another isn't?
 

Ambarsaria

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Oh! Thanks for your crystal-clear explanation. What comes to mind in a similar way is the word Karma. When something is beyond explaining, I label it as Karma. For example, why is one born a cripple or deformed and another isn't?
Astroboy ji you are really asking the creator as to why's of the following,

For example, why is one born a cripple or deformed and another isn't?

Astroboy ji I believe it is not called Karma in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. It is the creation/creator that creates. The issue is why would a creator not create everything perfect all the time. So all look the same, do the same, feel the same and act the same. My understanding is creation is a continuous never ending transformation for all that is total creation. In these transformations some situations will be puzzling to us. We do not have creator's eyes and ears or vision.

One fundamental aspect of survival in creation is change. Change may be viewed as good or bad. But creation's timelines are beyond our days, weeks, months and years. Creation's view of humanity is beyond you, me and nearest and dearest to our hearts. Hence when transformations happen it is the job of the specific species (say us) to take note. If it becomes a trend we need to take more serious note. If it becomes widespread then we need to use the capabilities within us as created to do something about it. Creation embodies a fundamental survival element in all. It is for the created to recognize this, use the capabilities within them to do better for many more to come. In a way we are in a jigsaw puzzle where the Puzzle itself is changing and beyond total comprehension. Living in consonance with what is around and given the capabilities creation has given us perhaps is the only viable long term plan.


We do not need to dig too deep to understand what our Guru ji and Gurbani says about this,

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥

ArQ:- Akwl purK ie`k hY, ijs dw nwm 'hoNd vwlw' hY jo isRStI dw rcnhwr hY, jo sB ivc ivAwpk hY, BY qoN rihq hY, vYr-rihq hY, ijs dw srUp kwl qoN pry hY, (Bwv, ijs dw srIr nws-rihq hY), jo jUnW ivc nhIN AwauNdw, ijs dw pRkwS Awpxy Awp qoN hoieAw hY Aqy jo siqgurU dI ikrpw nwl imldw hY[

God/creator is one and is known as the truth, is the creator of all, present everywhere, without fear, without animosity, is timeless, is not guided by life cycles, is a self creation and is realized through its own (God/creator) blessing.
Sat Sri Akal.
 

Ambarsaria

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In terms of power or lack thereof I believe it cuts both ways like,


  • Mithey Lal (Sweet Lal) can hardly be expected to be other than sweet
  • Chorah Mal (Fat Mal) can hardly be expected to be skinny
  • Sukka Ram (Dried Ram) can hardly be expected to be jovial
  • Vir Singh (Brother Singh) can hardly be not imbued with brotherly love
  • Balwan Singh (Strong Singh) can hardly be expected to be pushed around
So I think sometimes these prevail but it can be hit and miss.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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Tom Hanks named his coconut 'Wilson' and see what happened.
Now Navy boys who play volleyball on deck shout out loud 'Wilson' if they loose the ball to the sea.
 

Ishna

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Tom's naming of the ball was a way for his psyche to take some kind of control!
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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Tom's naming of the ball was a way for his psyche to take some kind of control!
I think it was belonging-ness. What else could he control in a castaway situation!
 

mothdna

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Hi Guys. I just found this thread while searching Google for information about this question. I registered on this forum just to talk about it. I'm not a Sikh, but I'm very interested to learn, and I will be very respectful.

I think language is very powerful. In early human history, giving a concept a name would give you power over it, by letting you communicate with others about it.
For example, you are a hunter, and you want to hunt an animal - you can give your tribe very specific information with names and language.

I'm curious - Are there any Sikh stories that relate to names and power?
 

Ambarsaria

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mothdna ji welcome on your first post.

Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji established Khalsa in 1699 whereby every sikh male became a Singh (Lion) and every female became a Kaur (Lioness) in last names.

The martrdom of four Sahibzadas (four Sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji) is remembered in Sikhism with great endearment. The four were,

Ajit Singh

  • Always victorius
Jujhar Singh

  • A valiant fighter
Zorawar Singh

  • Possessor of great power
Fateh Singh

  • Victorious
The elder two Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh died fighting against Islamic rulers/invaders who wanted to either convert, banish or kill Sikhs.

Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were arrested by Muslim Government through betrayal by some Hindu housekeeper. These two were beheaded after being put in a wall when the wall rose up to their necks as shown in a painting below,



So just an example of names and naming in Sikhism.

Hope it helps your quest for knowledge a bit.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

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