Does Sikhism Embrace Mysticism?

Aug 29, 2010
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Prakash.s.bagga ji I totally agree in concept except for the differentiation between as Ik▫oaʼnkār vs EKANKAARu.

I have some additional thoughts and I will share these in the following thread over the next couple of days and I believe mutually we can have a good respectful dialog at that time,

http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/gurmat-vichaar/37225-sri-guru-granth-sahib-review-ik.html


Sat Sri Akal.

I welcome your approach. In fact we should move ahead in this way only
to develop correct understanding among ourselves as well for messages
of Gurbani.
I thank you for this .
Prakash.S.Bagga
 

Luckysingh

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Is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji mystical ? - Harry ji asks in the 1st post.

Well, may be not, but what makes it special. To someone who is unaware about sikhism, it just seems like a special book. Why do you treat it with so much respect ?-they may ask.

It was as we know started by Guru NanaK ji as a pothi and was then continued for over 200 years before the 10th Guru gave it us as the eternal 11th guru that would continue for eternity!!

I once explained this to a gora who was more than impressed.-
I told him-
- Well after Guru Nanak started it the following gurus contributed to it, BUT amazingly, in the same near exact fashion and poetic style and with the exact same approach that it all became ONE piece of work but by many people.
The end result is such that it seems like ONE person's hard put effort and not at all by a number of people!!!

In reality, Could somene now start a book and pass it on for 200 years and then the end result is such that it all seems like one continous piece of work and seems that it was written by the same person ?-

-Answer- NO WAY!!!!

This is what it is, exactly, the words of the Guru that were passed on from one guru to the other and their contributions were near exact similar in style and method of giving essence. - Infact, we can only tell who contributed what by way of numbers!!!
That shows exactly how humble they were and when endorsing a name in verses they would still use 'Nanak' the orignal contributer!!!!

The gora was amazed when he was informed this. Then I told him, that this also proves the fact that the Gurus were Gurus. The fact that it wasn't just next in line to the 'gadhi' as you would get with thrones for Kings and queens.
The next one just didn't take the gadhi and speak about what the predecesor endorsed or encouraged- they carried the 'light' or torch that spoke the words of the Guru.-Hence, the words are called Guru's Bani or Gurbani.

I mean just sitting back, and thinking about this for a few seconds, one realises and says 'WOW!!'

I mean, what Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave us for eternity still carries that same light that was passed on. He couldn't have given us anything better, this is why it is NOT just a religous book as in other religions. - It is MUCH MORE than that.

The gora could see now that these words it contains are not just spoken words.
You can call this 'Mysticim' if it explains it better and pleases you.
But I think that mysticism is stll not a strong enough word to describe it. It is much much more than any mystical figures!!!

So Harry ji, there is my answer about the magic and mysticism!!!
Simply that what we are talking about is beyond and better than that.
Magic and mysticim are words for describing Harry Potter books...etc...etc

Sat Kartar
Lucky Singh
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Mysticism is the inner dimension of a religion - the heart - which goes beyond outward rituals, creeds and restrictive traditions for a more intimate relationship between God and man. The goal of the mystic is direct experience of God leading to union with the divine and ultimately the loss of self. A mystic is a person who is not concerned with knowing merely the letter of the word, or with only outward religious dogmas, but rather with an intimate knowledge of the Spirit of the Word, of the heart of religion.

It was described well by Francois Fenelon, a Catholic mystic,


"...The surest and quickest way is to renounce oneself, forget oneself, abandon oneself, and to take no further thought of oneself except when this is required out of fidelity to God. The whole of religion consists simply in leaving oneself and one's self-love in order to tend to God..."

- Archbishop Francois Fenelon (1651 – 1715), Catholic mystic


A mystic is a lover of God.

Every religious tradition contains mysticism, to lesser or greater degrees.

Sikhism, in my opinion, is a very mystical religion (understood in the sense described above). In fact I regard the Guru Granth Sahib ji as containing a distellation of some of the greatest gems of mystic insights into pursuing the path of Union with God, ever committed to poetry!peacesignkaur


"...Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions,is the direct intuition or experience of God; and a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such an experience - one whose religion and life are centered, not merely on an accepted belief or practice, but on that which he regards as first-hand personal knowledge...A mystic is not a person who has queer experiences; but a person for whom God is the one reality of life; the supreme object of love. He is a religious realist. Mysticism, then, far from being abnormal, is an essential part of all religion which is fully and deeply alive; it is the light which the mystics cast on the normal spiritual life, their disclosure of the landscape in which we really live, not their occasional excursions into an abnormal spiritual life, which gives them their great importance..."

- Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), Anglo-Catholic mystic


"...The story of the Catholic mystics is one of an all-consuming, passionate love affair between human beings and God. It speaks of the yearning, a burning desire for the contemplation and presence of the divine…This yearning is a candle lit by the fire of divine love itself, which moves the mystics in their search and leads him, often arduous journeys, to discover and proclaim the all-encompassing love of God for humankind..."

- Ursula King, Catholic theologian
 
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Ambarsaria

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Vouthon brother thanks for your post. I have some personal comments as noted from my understanding of Sikhism and our Guru ji's teachings and life styles.
..... The goal of the mystic is direct experience of God leading to union with the divine and ultimately the loss of self.
Sikhism does not each direct experience of God rather recognition oneself as part of all creation that is of th e creator.

A mystic is a person who is not concerned with knowing merely the letter of the word, or with only outward religious dogmas, but rather with an intimate knowledge of the Spirit of the Word, of the heart of religion.
Much to agree with here and in general it is the understanding of creation so that our actions and living are in consonance with all that is around.

"...The surest and quickest way is to renounce oneself, forget oneself, abandon oneself, and to take no further thought of oneself except when this is required out of fidelity to God.
From what I have learnt or understood Sikhism is not about renunciation but rather ever increasing development and understanding and living thereof.


"...Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions,is the direct intuition or experience of God; and a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such an experience - ......"

- Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), Anglo-Catholic mystic
In Sikhism Guru ji did not pose as having experienced or having sought the same. The ever increasing understanding sometimes makes one feel ever more as though one has.
"...The story of the Catholic mystics is one of an all-consuming, passionate love affair between human beings and God.- Ursula King, Catholic theologian
From what I understand I believe Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji teaches to experience Creator through the creation 24/7 and nearest of near and hence the creator.

Just some thoughts to share. Always great to dialog with you.

Regards.
 

Luckysingh

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Some very good thoughts.

Infact, I happened to stumble on this thread which was started a while back.

The real reason is that some time ago I was explaining to a gora why our gurbani is not written in what we call a book. It was in this process of explaining similar to what I stated above in the post that I realised the 'magic like' strength that it had!!!

It was something that I've just taken for granted like many of us, I mean no one in this day can start something to keep the same style and essence of literature going for 200yrs in so that it appears done by one person only!!!- This is exactly what I realised and the gora was also amazed and mentioned the magic and mysticism in what we have before our eyes!!!

I think we accept and know that in sikhism we don't have such mystiscism or magic in the teachings as such. BUT, to someone like the gora, they can accept and see the power, strength and mysticism in the making of the physically present Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji right before their very eyes!!!

This again is something I had always taken for granted, like I say it actually defines and explains why the gurus were and are called gurus!

Waheguru
 
Feb 23, 2012
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My dear brother Ambarsaria kaurhug

Its great to see you posting again! :grinningkaur:

As always I find brilliant wisdom in everything that you say which makes me challange my understanding of things and helps me progress on my spiritual journey.

Vouthon brother thanks for your post. I have some personal comments as noted from my understanding of Sikhism and our Guru ji's teachings and life styles.
Sikhism does not each direct experience of God rather recognition oneself as part of all creation that is of th e creator.

Brother, could that not be seen as 'direct experience'? By the phrase 'direct experience' what I mean to say is, 'a direct conciousness of God in which we feel no separation' between himself and ourselves. I would feel that the very heart of such an 'experience' would be the realization of God's presence in all creation, which leads to us viewing humanity as part of a much bigger 'whole', inseparable from and dependant upon the rest of creation. Twentieth-century spiritual leader, Trappist and Catholic mystic Thomas Merton wrote, “God is everywhere, His truth and his love pervade all things as the light and the heat of the sun pervade our atmosphere. We are called to be mystics, each and every one of us.” That is Catholic mysticism in a nutshell. The experience of God in all things is true spiritual awakening and the very bedrock of the mystical experience/journey. That is what I mean by a intimate and direct experience of God, not in the sense of some kind of supernatural illumination. In fact Catholic mysticim discourages seeking such things. The following is true mysticism:


"...Reveal Thy presence,
And let the vision and Thy beauty kill me,
Behold the malady
Of love is incurable
Except in Thy presence and before Thy face

My Beloved is the mountains,
The solitary wooded valleys,
The strange islands,
The resounding rivers,
The whistling of love-stirring breezes;
The tranquil night
At the approaches of the dawn,
The silent music,
The murmuring solitude,
The supper which revives, and enkindles love

Let us rejoice, O my Beloved!
Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty,
To the mountain and the hill,
Where the pure water flows

There you will show me
what my soul has been seeking,
and then you will give me,
you, my life, will give me there
what you gave me on that other day:

The breathing of the air,
The song of the sweet nightingale,
The grove and its beauty
In the serene night,
With the flame that consumes, and gives no pains..."

- Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591), Catholic mystic


He sees God in everything! Karl Rahner, the 20th century’s foremost Catholic theologian and a Jesuit, said that the mystic finds God in all things and all things in God. Rahner himself has been labeled “the mystic of everyday life.” He took delight in the things of the senses. He loved ice cream and carnivals. In fact, a New York department store once demanded that he pay for all the bottles of perfume on a display counter that he had opened just to sniff the heady fragrances within.


Much to agree with here and in general it is the understanding of creation so that our actions and living are in consonance with all that is around.

kaurhug

From what I have learnt or understood Sikhism is not about renunciation but rather ever increasing development and understanding and living thereof.

Ah yes, but Fenelon was not speaking about ascetism or becoming a renunciate. Rather he was talking about sacrificing one's self-will so as to become fully one with the Divine Will. Here is the second part of that quote, which I never provided above:


"...The more enlarged our minds are when we contemplate nature, the more we discover of that inexhaustible wisdom which is the soul of the universe. Then do we see the Infinite Creator represented in all his works, as in a mirror, to the contemplation of his intelligent offspring...Oh my God! while so many of thy children are unconcious of thy presence in this glorious scene of nature that you present to them, still you are not far from any one of them...You discover yourself everywhere but men do not see you. All nature speaks of you and resounds with your most holy name; but its voice is uttered to defeaned ears - they will not hear. You are near them and within them but they fly from themselves and from you. They would find you, oh thou eternal and holy light, fountain of all pure and unfailing felicity, life of all true existence, if they would see thee within their souls...What do I see in all nature? God! God in everything, and God alone! Who does not see thee, has seen nothing. He is as if he were not, and his whole life is as a dream. Sorrow to the soul, that has not seen thee..."

- Archbishop Francois Fenelon (1651 – 1715), Catholic mystic


So I think that Francois Fenelon would actually have agreed completely with you!


In Sikhism Guru ji did not pose as having experienced or having sought the same. The ever increasing understanding sometimes makes one feel ever more as though one has.


Ah yes but Evelyn Underhill wasn't, to my understanding, speaking of some kind of "supernatural experience". The kind of experience she speaks of is within the grasp of all of us. It is not a spiritual experience rather it is a human one. The pursuit of a "spiritual experience" strikes me as counter-productive to the spiritual life. As the Catholic mystic Teilhard de Chardin once said, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience".

The difference is important methinks. :grinningkaur:

Evelyn Underhill wrote describing this experience of the mystic, "All is fused into one great work of art, all forms part of one living whole. The glory of that One Reality [is] ablaze in the humblest of growing things. We live and are in God, we are of His substance, we have heaven and hell in ourselves; what we make of ourselves, that we are. Thou art the sky and Thou art the nest as well…..Hidden in the heart of things Thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts, buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness. There are no breaks in the World of Becoming; Life, though it be instinct with spontaneity, though it cut new paths for its branching stream in fresh, unimaginable directions, behave in a thousand incalculable ways, ever remains one. Life immanent and life transcendent, the Temporal and the Eternal order, are the complementary expressions of a Reality which is one...Divine Love is not a single thread that links creature and Creator; but rather a web that knits up the many with the One...The natural things of the earth – the wheat, the vine, all growing living creatures – are already entinctured with Spirit, radiant of the divine loveliness, 'full of Thy glory', and hence….may become lenses that focus and distribute the flashes of the Uncreated Light...The movement of the self towards transcendence, its achievement of 'divine humanity', is an organic process. This Life – the divine elan vital – is an energetic spirit, thrusting itself to expression in and through the world."


From what I understand I believe Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji teaches to experience Creator through the creation 24/7 and nearest of near and hence the creator.

kaurhug

Just some thoughts to share. Always great to dialog with you.

It is always a pleasure for me to discuss with you, my dear friend. I am so glad that you are back!

Regards.
 
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