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Gurus= Kings? Question From Edx Harvard Course: Sikhism Through Its Scriptures

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Gurus= Kings? Question From Edx Harvard Course: Sikhism Through Its Scriptures

Simranjit

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Hi!

I'm following the course indicated in the title thread and I just read "Traditionally, a guru was anyone who imparted either religious or secular knowledge of a particular domain. The guru in Sikhi came to acquire a spectrum of meanings--discussed at greater length in a separate section--with Guru Angad's succession exemplifying the role of Guru Nanak as a “king who ruled both the temporal and spiritual worlds.” Further, the Sikh Gurus came to be bear the title of “Sacha Padshah” or “true king.” Their court possessed the trappings of a royal court, serving as a reminder to Sikhs that their Gurus' authority was above that of other “earthly” kings"

I'm European (from Barcelona) and "king" has for me historical connotations of "power over others" which I find difficult to reconcile with the idea of the Gurus that I have built so far.

What kind of authority did they have? What do they mean with "heir court possessed the trappings of a royal court"?

I'd be grateful for any the comments about it.

Thanks!
 

dalvindersingh grewal

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Relating a Sikh Guru to a king is out of the place. No Guru has even allowed himself to be equated to an earthly king. Sacha Patshah in real terms means the Guru who controls the hearts and minds of the people with his spiritual greatness. It thus is different than being a king.
 

Simranjit

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Relating a Sikh Guru to a king is out of the place. No Guru has even allowed himself to be equated to an earthly king. Sacha Patshah in real terms means the Guru who controls the hearts and minds of the people with his spiritual greatness. It thus is different than being a king.
Thanks :)
 

sukhsingh

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Traditionally, a guru was anyone who imparted either religious or secular knowledge of a particular domain.
I would agree that in its purest sense guru I believe that 'Guru' means source of knowledge and therefore a teacher..

I think the idea of being a king is misunderstood .. Sovereignty as a concept within sikhi is unique in that we all are sovereign .. We all are Kings.. Unrealised Kings.. We should aspire to have total freedom of thinking and use truth as the measure ..
And what gives those of us who have experience of SGGSJ and pir guru is a respect for the 'Sacha pathsha
 

Sikhilove

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Hi!

I'm following the course indicated in the title thread and I just read "Traditionally, a guru was anyone who imparted either religious or secular knowledge of a particular domain. The guru in Sikhi came to acquire a spectrum of meanings--discussed at greater length in a separate section--with Guru Angad's succession exemplifying the role of Guru Nanak as a “king who ruled both the temporal and spiritual worlds.” Further, the Sikh Gurus came to be bear the title of “Sacha Padshah” or “true king.” Their court possessed the trappings of a royal court, serving as a reminder to Sikhs that their Gurus' authority was above that of other “earthly” kings"

I'm European (from Barcelona) and "king" has for me historical connotations of "power over others" which I find difficult to reconcile with the idea of the Gurus that I have built so far.

What kind of authority did they have? What do they mean with "heir court possessed the trappings of a royal court"?

I'd be grateful for any the comments about it.

Thanks!
The Gurus arent Spiritual Kings because of money or power over others, that would make them material kings.

They were elevated to become Spiritual Kings by putting their heads, their egos on the Ground and accepting that We are One.

A mortal Earthly King and a Spiritual King are two different statuses.

One isn't dependant on the lack of existence of an ego. The other is.
 

dalvindersingh grewal

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I would agree that in its purest sense guru I believe that 'Guru' means source of knowledge and therefore a teacher..

I think the idea of being a king is misunderstood .. Sovereignty as a concept within sikhi is unique in that we all are sovereign .. We all are Kings.. Unrealised Kings.. We should aspire to have total freedom of thinking and use truth as the measure ..
And what gives those of us who have experience of SGGSJ and pir guru is a respect for the 'Sacha pathsha
It is going beyond the reality. Let us not take the history away from the truth.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

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The course to take and the question to understand is do we have power over our Self.

Our Gurus credentials are impeccable,but ours the students are far from so ,he that frees you from all that has power over you and gives you rule over your Self .He invokes in you a primal power.I could go on and on but you get the idea,if that’s not the description of a true king then it should be.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Hi!oned a

I'm following the course indicated in the title thread and I just read "Traditionally, a guru was anyone who imparted either religious or secular knowledge of a particular domain. The guru in Sikhi came to acquire a spectrum of meanings--discussed at greater length in a separate section--with Guru Angad's succession exemplifying the role of Guru Nanak as a “king who ruled both the temporal and spiritual worlds.” Further, the Sikh Gurus came to be bear the title of “Sacha Padshah” or “true king.” Their court possessed the trappings of a royal court, serving as a reminder to Sikhs that their Gurus' authority was above that of other “earthly” kings"

I'm European (from Barcelona) and "king" has for me historical connotations of "power over others" which I find difficult to reconcile with the idea of the Gurus that I have built so far.

What kind of authority did they have? What do they mean with "heir court possessed the trappings of a royal court"?

I'd be grateful for any the comments about it.

Thanks!
Simranjit,

Well said. As a matter of fact, Sacha Patshah is only Ik Ong Kaar in the SGGS, our only Guru, except in Bhatvani, the commoners who sang praises of our Gurus as they were Kings in a metaphorical manner.

Kings were the most ruthless people in the world. Your own Spanish history, along with Great Britain's, Portugal's, Netherlands', Italy's, France's, Belgium's etc shows this ruthlessness.

When Guru Nanak wrote the following Shabad about the woman on page 473 of SGGS, our only Guru, many Sikh Scholars translate the line in bold below where Kings is mentioned as nobles, great people but not in my way of thinking. Here Guru Nanak is saying, why one would talk ill about the woman who even gives birth to the most ruthless, the kings.


ਮਃ
Mėhlā 1.
First Mehl:

ਭੰਡਿ ਜੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਨਿੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਮੰਗਣੁ ਵੀਆਹੁ
Bẖand jammī▫ai bẖand nimmī▫ai bẖand mangaṇ vī▫āhu.
From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.

ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਭੰਡਹੁ ਚਲੈ ਰਾਹੁ
Bẖandahu hovai ḏosṯī bẖandahu cẖalai rāhu.
Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.

ਭੰਡੁ ਮੁਆ ਭੰਡੁ ਭਾਲੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਬੰਧਾਨੁ
Bẖand mu▫ā bẖand bẖālī▫ai bẖand hovai banḏẖān.
When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.

ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਰਾਜਾਨ
So ki▫o manḏā ākẖī▫ai jiṯ jamėh rājān.
So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.


ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੀ ਭੰਡੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਕੋਇ
Bẖandahu hī bẖand ūpjai bẖandai bājẖ na ko▫e.
From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.

ਨਾਨਕ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ
Nānak bẖandai bāhrā eko sacẖā so▫e.
O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.

ਜਿਤੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਭਾਗਾ ਰਤੀ ਚਾਰਿ
Jiṯ mukẖ saḏā salāhī▫ai bẖāgā raṯī cẖār.
That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful.

ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲੇ ਤਿਤੁ ਸਚੈ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ ॥੨॥
Nānak ṯe mukẖ ūjle ṯiṯ sacẖai ḏarbār. ||2||
O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord. ||2||
 

sukhsingh

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Please share your opinion. I have given mine already. It is not fruitful to ask the same question again and again in different ways.
Can we please first clarify which translation you lean towards.. My understanding is that it is the second.. Once we make sure we are talking about the same thing then we can explore it
 

Tejwant Singh

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Can we please first clarify which translation you lean towards.. My understanding is that it is the second.. Once we make sure we are talking about the same thing then we can explore it
As mentioned before, please read my take in post #9. And let's not make this a messaging app if you do not mind.
 

sukhsingh

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So I would agree that the first 'official' translation is flawed but I'm not sure i can make the leap to the second translation..

Rajan to me is better translated to sovereign
And I don't see in shabd any reason to read into it the word 'ruthless'
 

Tejwant Singh

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So I would agree that the first 'official' translation is flawed but I'm not sure i can make the leap to the second translation..

Rajan to me is better translated to sovereign
And I don't see in shabd any reason to read into it the word 'ruthless'
Then I would advise you to read the history of all the invaders who invaded India as a starter and then we can go around the world. Babur was the king as you call sovereign, then. Was he a nobleman who abducted and raped women at will, killed people at will, made many concubines for his pleasures and they were all Hindus?

Please read Babar bani
(Rag Asa, pg. 360)
Rag Asa, pg. 417-418)
(Rag Tilang, pg. 722-723)
(Rag Malar, pg.1288

sov·er·eign
ˈsäv(ə)rən/
noun
  1. 1.
    a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
    synonyms: ruler, monarch, crowned head, head of state, potentate, suzerain, overlord, dynast, leader; More
  2. adjective
  1. 1.
    possessing supreme or ultimate power.
    "in modern democracies the people's will is in theory sovereign"
    synonyms: supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, boundless, ultimate, total, unconditional, full; More
 

sukhsingh

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Then I would advise you to read the history of all the invaders who invaded India as a starter and then we can go around the world. Babur was the king as you call sovereign, then. Was he a nobleman who abducted and raped women at will, killed people at will, made many concubines for his pleasures and they were all Hindus?

Please read Babar bani
(Rag Asa, pg. 360)
Rag Asa, pg. 417-418)
(Rag Tilang, pg. 722-723)
(Rag Malar, pg.1288

sov·er·eign
ˈsäv(ə)rən/
noun
  1. 1.
    a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
    synonyms: ruler, monarch, crowned head, head of state, potentate, suzerain, overlord, dynast, leader; More
  2. adjective
  1. 1.
    possessing supreme or ultimate power.
    "in modern democracies the people's will is in theory sovereign"
    synonyms: supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, boundless, ultimate, total, unconditional, full; More
Fair point but I still can't see how we make the leap from Kings to ruthless Kings

I've always interpreted the whole shabd as essentially highlighting misogyny and Sexism.. It challenges the absurdity that women excluded because patriarchy has put in structures which has made them second class something valued less than men ... Yet it is a woman who gives birth to Kings.. Which resonates to me on many levels.

Ie. Kings whose social position is the highest but also and I think this is a more subversive reading but every son to a mother is a king..
Furthermore it reaffirms that all are born of a woman so whosoever you consider a king is born of a woman .
 

dalvindersingh grewal

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Simranjit,

Well said. As a matter of fact, Sacha Patshah is only Ik Ong Kaar in the SGGS, our only Guru, except in Bhatvani, the commoners who sang praises of our Gurus as they were Kings in a metaphorical manner.

Kings were the most ruthless people in the world. Your own Spanish history, along with Great Britain's, Portugal's, Netherlands', Italy's, France's, Belgium's etc shows this ruthlessness.

When Guru Nanak wrote the following Shabad about the woman on page 473 of SGGS, our only Guru, many Sikh Scholars translate the line in bold below where Kings is mentioned as nobles, great people but not in my way of thinking. Here Guru Nanak is saying, why one would talk ill about the woman who even gives birth to the most ruthless, the kings.


ਮਃ
Mėhlā 1.
First Mehl:

ਭੰਡਿ ਜੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਨਿੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਮੰਗਣੁ ਵੀਆਹੁ
Bẖand jammī▫ai bẖand nimmī▫ai bẖand mangaṇ vī▫āhu.
From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.

ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਭੰਡਹੁ ਚਲੈ ਰਾਹੁ
Bẖandahu hovai ḏosṯī bẖandahu cẖalai rāhu.
Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.

ਭੰਡੁ ਮੁਆ ਭੰਡੁ ਭਾਲੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਬੰਧਾਨੁ
Bẖand mu▫ā bẖand bẖālī▫ai bẖand hovai banḏẖān.
When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.

ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਰਾਜਾਨ
So ki▫o manḏā ākẖī▫ai jiṯ jamėh rājān.
So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.


ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੀ ਭੰਡੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਕੋਇ
Bẖandahu hī bẖand ūpjai bẖandai bājẖ na ko▫e.
From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.

ਨਾਨਕ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ
Nānak bẖandai bāhrā eko sacẖā so▫e.
O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.

ਜਿਤੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਭਾਗਾ ਰਤੀ ਚਾਰਿ
Jiṯ mukẖ saḏā salāhī▫ai bẖāgā raṯī cẖār.
That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful.

ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲੇ ਤਿਤੁ ਸਚੈ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ ॥੨॥
Nānak ṯe mukẖ ūjle ṯiṯ sacẖai ḏarbār. ||2||
O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord. ||2||
Sacha Patshah should be related to the ruler of truth or who has truth as the fundamental power which is beyond the power of the earthly rulers.
 

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