Guru's Grace Vs Personification Of Waheguru

Ishna

Writer
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I was replying to this thread: http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-youth/34110-the-importance-of-kesh-for-sikh.html when I realised my reply had turned into a thread of it's own.

One criticism I have of that article is that it personifies God, which I don't think fits with the Sikh concept of God.

From my understanding, God isn't a being that judges the actions of an individual. No one can attract Its "displeasure". A more appropriate phrase would be that going against nature creates a barrier between the Sikh and God, or increases the distance the human has to cover to reach God.

It's like, the human/God relationship isn't about God looking at the tiny humans and squashing some with his finger and picking others up. It's more about the human looking up to God and working to get closer or not caring and drifting further away.

But now I've confused myself. Isn't God's Grace the flip side of God's displeasure? Logically you can't have one without the other unless my understanding of God's Grace is incorrect... the Glance of Grace which we all hope to receive. We can't do anything on our own without Grace. Is Grace a force of it's own (like Karma), or is the general understanding that it is something actually given by God to someone who has pleased It?

I'm sure Hukam fits in here somewhere too but I'm running out of lunch break at work!!!

Ishna
 

Ishna

Writer
SPNer
... is it presumptuous to bump my own thread?...

On another thread the topic of pleasing the Creator came up. I can't help but gather from the Gurbani I've read, and articles by others, that we can only get so far by our own efforts.

Good deeds and bad deeds either draw us closer or push us further away (Shalok of Japji Sahib).

But Grace is still required for full realisation of Naam.

Ang 898:

ਕਾਮਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੁ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਵੈ
Kām na āvai so kār kamāvai.
You do the deeds which do not help you at all.


ਆਪਿ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਵੈ
Āp bīj āpe hī kẖāvai.
As you plant, so shall you harvest.


ਰਾਖਨ ਕਉ ਦੂਸਰ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ
Rākẖan ka▫o ḏūsar nahī ko▫e.
There is none other than the Lord to save you.


ਤਉ ਨਿਸਤਰੈ ਜਉ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥
Ŧa▫o nisṯarai ja▫o kirpā ho▫e. ||3||

You will be saved, only if God grants His Grace. ||3||

Dr Karminder Singh Dhillon touches upon something in Understanding Japji - 5: The Core Concepts (May-June 2008 edition of The Sikh Bulletin) which hints at something like 'Grace' but he doesn't actually use the word anywhere in the article (that I can find). Dr Dhillon says:

The starting point of this deeper explanation is the principle
that even though everything is within Hukam: Hukmei Ander
Sabh Ko, Bahar Hukam Na Koey, God Himself is beyond
this Hukam, is not subject to this Hukam and outside of the
confines of Hukam. This simply means that there can be no
set of laws, rules, practices or methods that, if performed,
would lead to God. If there were, then God would be subject
to them, bound by them, and within them. More importantly
then, these laws, rules, practices etc would indeed be God, if
not higher than God. If someone claimed that doing x,y, and z
would lead one to God, then God is subject to x,y,z. God has
no choice but to meet up with someone who has done x, y
and z. That is the law or hukam. And if God has no choice,
then x, y and z is all one needs, nothing more. It also means
that doing x, y, and z is more important than God (why
bother with God, He simply has no choice once x. y. and z is
done). It further means that therefore x, y, and z is God. Guru
Nanak’s Sikhi, the whole of Gurmat and 1430 pages of
Gurbanee strive to shatter this myth that there is a method or
law or procedure by which God is bound and hence attained.
That He is beyond Hukam is the bottom line of Sikhi.
There is much more depth to the article and cutting bits of it will not do it justice - please do read it if you have the time.

Dr Dhillon's article concludes with this paragraph:

Because no order can be issued to Him, it is best to attempt to
move Him by way of song. Guru Arjun says in GGS page
268 Jis Thakur Sio Nahi Chara, Ta Ko Kijey Sad Namaskara.
For a Master who takes no orders, it is best that we always
bow before Him. Always bowing, not in fear or in
anticipation, but with love, devotion and affection – that is
Sikhi Gavna in essence. End.
So I would conclude that in the end, everything we do is in effort for Grace.

I am probably mistaken and happy to be corrected. Please share your views.
 
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