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Grief In Sikhism

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Grief In Sikhism


Jun 24, 2010
Forgive me if I posted this in the wrong place, please feel free to move it.

I have a question which I would like some general insight into (it is a bit hard to articulate as im not sure exactly what im trying to ask), I've been thinking of this idea of grief or other emotions in relationship to events that we typically have little control over. Such as a sudden death of someone in your life.

While intellectually I understand the concept of Hukam.... Im trying to reconcile the natural human emotions and what place they play with in Sikhi. I understand that perhaps the greater goal is to reach a level which is beyond these emotional dualities, but in practical every day life is it possible to experience these emotions while living within Hukam? If so, how does the SGGS guide us to do that?

Right now, I'm struggling to find a middle ground. Where if I want to move beyond the duality then its almost like denying the actual feelings that come up....


May 11, 2010
Ancient Greece
perhaps the greater goal is to reach a level which is beyond these emotional dualities
That is a very Buddhist stance angrisha Ji.

but in practical every day life is it possible to experience these emotions while living within Hukam? If so, how does the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji guide us to do that?
From whatever I have yet gathered of the Sikh Philosophy, denying one's basic emotions of grief, sadness or dejection is never expected, that is just quiet mental torture inflicted on oneself.

What do we do when we lose a dear one?
Not cry? Not express grief?

Sikhi does not require this. Guru Granth Sahib does, however extort us to see the big picture. If someone dies, we shall also die someday. If someone is facing a particular hardship, ours might be the next turn. And it all happens within the Hukam. Acceptance of the Hukam is one of the most basic teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib, and probably the hardest one too. But, we are all, students of faith and of life, and Guru Sahib guides us on our spiritual journey.

ਰਾਗੁ ਮਲਾਰ ਚਉਪਦੇ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ਘਰੁ ੧
Rag Malar Chaupadas. 1st Guru.

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
There us but One God, True is His Name, Creative His personality and Immortal His form. He is without fear, sans enmity, unborn and self-illumined, By the Guru's grace, He is obtained.

ਖਾਣਾ ਪੀਣਾ ਹਸਣਾ ਸਉਣਾ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਗਇਆ ਹੈ ਮਰਣਾ ॥
Amidst eating, drinking, laughing and sleeping, one forget death.

ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ਖੁਆਰੀ ਕੀਨੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਜੀਵਣੁ ਨਹੀ ਰਹਣਾ ॥੧॥
Forgetting his Lord, man has ruined himself and rendered his life accursed. He is not to stay here.

ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ॥
O mortal, meditate thou on the one Lord's Name.

ਅਪਨੀ ਪਤਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਵਹੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
This wise thou shalt go thy home with honour. Pause.

ਤੁਧਨੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਤੁਝੁ ਕਿਆ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਮਾਂਗਹਿ ਲੇਵਹਿ ਰਹਹਿ ਨਹੀ ॥
What they, who serve Thee, give Thee? They rather beg all the beings; thou are the life within those beings.

ਤੂ ਦਾਤਾ ਜੀਆ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਾ ਜੀਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਤੁਹੀ ॥੨॥
Thou are the Giver for all the beings, thou are the life within those beings.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਧਿਆਵਹਿ ਸਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਸੇਈ ਸੂਚੇ ਹੋਹੀ ॥
The God-conscious beings who remember God; they receive Nectar and they alone become pure.

ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਮੈਲੇ ਹਛੇ ਹੋਹੀ ॥੩॥
Day and night contemplate thou the Lord's name, O mortal. Through it the filthy are rendered immaculate.

ਜੇਹੀ ਰੁਤਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਸੁਖੁ ਤੇਹਾ ਤੇਹੋ ਜੇਹੀ ਦੇਹੀ ॥
As is the season, so is the comfort of the body and so is the body itself.

ਨਾਨਕ ਰੁਤਿ ਸੁਹਾਵੀ ਸਾਈ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਰੁਤਿ ਕੇਹੀ ॥੪॥੧॥
Nanak, beauteous is the season, in which the Lord's name is meditated upon. What is any season, without the Lord's Name?

(Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj, page 1254)
Sadness on a particular hardship is not duality. Duality is however forgetting that everything transpires in the Hukam, and we too shall not remain forever.

Even while writing this post, I feel myself unworthy of 'answering' such a significant question. I am just a student, a novice, perhaps I may not have understood your question, or perhaps I may be entirely wrong at all. But this is all I have to offer at this moment.

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