Hukam Vs Karma Vs Destiny Vs Choice

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by singh_man, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. singh_man

    singh_man SPNer

    Nov 16, 2006
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    Hi there -

    I just came back from a young friends funeral. He was only 35, 2 beautiful kids and a lovely wife. Died from a 4 year battle with cancer. Very sad. The Antam Ardas was peaceful and comforting. But reoccurring message I kept hearing was that this was Guru's Hukam and he planned it this way. And that his close friends in this life had close relationships in the past life. So I'm struggling because I'm starting to develop the understanding that God has enabled this world with the power of life from birth to death and provided us humans the power of intellect where we can establish reason, thought, feelings and CHOICE. God has given us the power to make choices in our life and has "built-in" the consequences of our choices in the forms of stress, depression, pain to happiness and peace.

    So my question.. do we live under the rules of past karma, or in a pre-destined blueprint of our life ("whatever happens was designed this way for us..."), or we suffer now because of past lives / karma, or is it a natural part of life that tests our devotion and connection to God to enable us to do some amazing things and experience amazing connections that brings positive energy. The thoughts of the late Bhai Jagraj Singh come to mind and the story of his life journey and where he ended up and the huge positive impact he imparted.. truly amazing.

    Looking for any insight and guidance.

    Grateful as always.
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  3. seekingsikhi

    seekingsikhi Writer SPNer

    Sep 28, 2017
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    I am incredibly new to sikhi, so perhaps I'm too green to really be of help, but I think of life as a river and hukam as the current. It's paths are only defined for a period before they are reshaped by something. We sit in a boat coasting down the river. The current of hukam carries us to certain places. Sometimes they're places we want to go, and we let the current take us. Sometimes they're places we don't want to go and we try to avoid them. Sometimes we want to go someplace that is thoroughly against hukam. We paddle and strain and force the boat to go the other direction. Sometimes we get there, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we get there but we're so darn tired by then that we can't do anything when we're there. For me, following hukam is like that sweet spot between riding the current and gently using your oars to steer you toward where you want to go.

    Now to expand the analogy a little, lets say that you built the boat yourself. You are building it piece by piece. Every time you do something harmful to your karma, it's like screwing up on a piece of your boat, and throwing it into the river. Sometimes they're small pieces that you'd barely notice when you encounter them in your boat (like burning your toast when you don't have time to make more), and other times it's a huge chunk of ship that almost capsizes you. You float down the river on the currents of hukam. The currents in a river aren't trying to send debris into the path of your boat, but they get in the way regardless. The iceberg wasn't aiming for the Titanic, but it struck it nonetheless. The point I'm trying to make is that we've thrown some or much of that debris in the water ourselves, and the current of hukam has simply drifted them back toward our boat. The river and debris aren't malicious or vindictive; they just are what they are.

    Hope this was helpful in some way.
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  4. Balbir27

    Balbir27 Look for what is, not what you think should be Writer SPNer Supporter

    Nov 5, 2017
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    Sat Sri Akal (God is Truth)

    The answers to the questions you have posed may be found within you.

    Some of Guru Nanak’s guidance in the SGGS, for contemplating answers, may include (kindly read the whole stanzas):

    Page 1

    Hukmī hovan ākār hukam na kahi▫ā jā▫ī.
    By His Command, bodies are created; His Command cannot be described.

    Hukmī hovan jī▫a hukam milai vadi▫ā▫ī.
    By His Command, souls come into being; by His Command, glory and greatness are obtained.

    Hukmī uṯam nīcẖ hukam likẖ ḏukẖ sukẖ pā▫ī▫ah.
    By His Command, some are high and some are low; by His Written Command, pain and pleasure are obtained.

    Page 3

    Mannai jam kai sāth na jā▫e.
    The faithful do not have to go with the Messenger of Death.

    Page 4

    Akẖrā sir sanjog vakẖāṇ.
    From the Word, comes destiny, written on one's forehead.

    In the end, dwell not in the past for it is simply history which cannot be changed, even though some try to rewrite it.

    Worry not about the future, for it has not yet happened.

    Instead, learn from the past, plan for the future and live in the present.

    In other words, use your God-given freewill, do your best and leave the rest to God.

    Kind regards.
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  5. Original

    Original Writer SPNer

    Jan 10, 2011
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    Sorry I couldn't attend to your post any earlier - I'll try n make it up with what I know !
    ..sorry to hear your friend died of cancer ! that perhaps is the defining feature of the human condition. 100,000 billion have already lived n died. We too will die. And as far as we know, none of them have made a come back and neither will we.
    ..for an objective enquiry we need to put emotion n value statements to the side, if I may - thank you !
    ..see it as an evolutionary experimentation to better the human genome for the future of humankind. Although, it wont be the very first of its kind, thousands, if not millions of evolutionary experimentation preceded it. This is how evolution works to perfect itself. One day we'll beat cancer.
    ..the idea is to console the grieving soul and epitomise our attempts to assuage the fear of finitude.
    ..this is pretty much dependent on perspective, context and interpretation - stay tuned, more later* !'ve analysed it well ? But if you were to think we have no choice in the decisions we make and the things we do then think again ! Without freewill there can be no intelligible notion of responsibility. If we were not considered responsible for our actions then it makes little or no sense whether we acted rightly or wrongly, does it ? What sense does a moral judgement have if we have no choice in the action we have taken ? So yes, we have a degree of freewill within which we make choices [Moral Philosophy]. Of course, factors n forces [hurricanes, earthquakes, etc] beyond our control are assigned to the workings of the natural world, we're utterly hopeless before such catastrophic events. Traditionally, we assigned theses events to the workings of God, but now science offers better understanding.
    ...I wouldn't say God has given us the power to make choices, more so evolution designed us this way. This is a phenomena that operates within the defined laws of nature, which enables us to make rational choices so they serve our survival needs for better. And indeed, the "higher law" [hukam], which is operating at every level of creation on both the physical n the metaphysical worlds accounts and adjudicates all actions [thought n deed] and accordingly hands out "just deserts" [punishment/reward must fit the act] when n where applicable. States such as, stress, pain, etc.. are part n parcel of the human condition. Religion offers existential solace, hence, advent of Nanak was to that end and Sikh thought is to ferry the grieving soul back to mum n dad, meaning, God.
    Consider the following and workout for yourself the notion of "just deserts":

    *Time exist all at once. Past, present and future are therefore, illusions, operating through a system called, linear cause-effect [karma] relationships. What this means is that every time you make a choice you cause an effect and that effect becomes the cause of yet another effect and so on. Things, situations, circumstances happen "one" at a time. For example, to get to destination B from point A, you have to walk from A to B, that is, from one location to another and in so doing you cause a timeline to appear. This timeline is perceived as a phenomena in 'time n space', meaning, whatever you do, occasion or experience will be in time n space. Taking your dog for a walk in the morning will create n destroy [karma] a great deal en route. That is to say, stepping on insects unknowingly that lie in your path, annihilating potential life forms through breathing n creating anew [carbon-dioxide > oxygen], meeting good, bad n the ugly, forming relationships etc. All this gets recorded and weighed by the Higher Law. The adjudicator [higher consciousness/god] dispenses just deserts accordingly, that is, good for good and bad for bad.

    The moral law is that you reap what you saw and the just desert mechanism operates inexorably. But because you're not seeing the completeness of life [philosophically], you're constantly snookered and have only a limited view of existence. This then is the reason why you fail to see how and why every living beings gets precisely what it deserves. To many people these are outrageous statements, but if we are to understand how "justice" operates in the world we live, then we have to first study life's big picture. We cannot examine life only from the view of the material sciences, we have to see life from a spiritual perspective to understand the subtle laws that governs our every move. With this knowledge [which religion offers] we can make choices that will lead us towards the harmony and happiness which we all seek in one way or another.

    The death of your friend, occurred in the physical world and not in the spiritual world. He lives and will continue to live in the spiritual dimension of your constitution, meaning , your consciousness. His death cannot be weighed religiously [dharm] because the cessation of biological functioning falls within the ambit of physical science and not metaphysical.

    speak soon - love to your dear son and good vibes all around !

    More when you're ready !
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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017

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