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Karma And The Creator

Nov 15, 2004

My knowledge of Sikhi is almost zero. Some questions have arisen for which I would like to know the answer. So I put forward them here on this forum with the hope that some knowledgable person will be able to answer them. Here are the questions.

What is Karma according to Sikh teachings?
Is Akal Purukh identified also as Creator?
Does Akal Purukh also control that which IT creates?
Assuming that Karma means in some sense, 'cause which brings about fruit', and assuming that the answer to the above is yes, how are these two compatible?

Thanks in advance.


Sep 16, 2004
The scientific concept of cause and effect, action and reaction is called the law of Karma(in religious parlance). A man reaps what he sows. Is it not typical that in spite of the law of Karma, man expects nectar after sowing poison?
Just as our present life is the result of our past Karma, the present Karma will determine our future life. Karma operates in this life and succesive ones. The law of Karma does not cease to operate after death, because death is just a matter of physical disintegration, and has no effect on the soul, which survives.
God is the Creator of the first Karma, the origin of the universe, and the destroyer of Karma.
Good or evil by frequent repetition leave their impression on character. A man doing wicked deeds continuously will turn into a bad character. This produces states of mind, like anxiety, fear and guilt, all of which will cause pain and suffering to the individual.
Karma does not mean that everything is pre-ordained and that man has no free-will. He carries his past Karma in the form of character. It is his own actions that make him what he is. Guru Nanak says, "The record of my deeds cannot be effaced because God has recorded them." Man has to sow seeds, the choice and the initiative to certain extent. He also has the ability to change the course of events even though circumscribed by heredity and environment. God as the Ruler of the Universe controls the over-all destiny of individual. Like the prodigal son, sinners turn to Him only as the last resort.
Sikhism modified the theory of Karma in two directions. Firstly, efforts of the individual are necessary for improving his own condition. Man is responsible for his lot. He must not blame God for his destiny. He must think of the present and the future. Secondly, Karma can be changed by prayer and the Grace of God.
When an individual learns to submit to His will, he ceases to make new Karma. He offers all his actions to Him; he acts as the instrument of His Will. According to Sikhism, all past Karma may then be erased through the association with saints, and meditation on "The Name".

If the theory of Karma were carried to its logical extreme, no man would deserve redemption. In Sikhism, the doctrine of Karma is modified by the "Principle of Grace". Man's sincere efforts and noble deeds achieve precious little. What is required is a constant solicitation of His aid in effort of spiritual endeavour. Recitation of Gurbani, meditation, acts of love and charity are merely a means to win His Grace.
An humble devotee, like the true bride, surrenders everything to the pleasure of her lord. Surrender to God does not mean slavery but freedom and the extension of one's horizons. Exemplary conduct, good actions and sweet words are necessary, but without Grace, they produce no result. According to Guru Nanak, Karma can abe undone only by His Grace. Just as it is the privilege of the Head of the State to pardon a felon who has been duly convicted by a court of law, in the same way, it is God's prerogative alone to redeem evil-doers and enable them to enter His Kingdom. It is His privilege to grant Grace to those whom He likes. Accordting to J.C. Archer, the Sovereignty and Omnipotence of God is manifold in his dispensation of His Grace.
The doctrine of Grace, does not mean that there are certain chosen prophets and chosen people, God does not have any favourites nor does He make any arbitrary choice. A devotee only prepares himself for being the recipient of His favour. He must empty his mind of evil and fill it with "The Name". This alone creates an awareness of the presence of God within one's self.
The Grace of God may come to the scholar or the unlettered, the high or the low, the rich or the poor. It does not depend on birth, knowledge wisdom or penance. Those who seek His Grace through service and humility understand the purpose of life. Fire lies dormant in wood; one has to kindle it by effort. To realize the Truth is to get in tune with the Infinite.
The Almighty is so Grace abounding-Kirpanidh-that the receiver shouts to Him: "Enough, no more" His bounties know no limit or hindrance.

Sikhism affirms the omnipotence of God and consequently modifies the concept of Karma. Man is not a helpless puppet. The course of fate may be compared to the flow of a river, while individual action may look like an eddy, or a whirlpool or a wave.
Man has a dual role: firstly, as a person in a particular community and environment, working under certain limitations, and secondly, as an individual with a free will, wanting to do this thing or that to elevate himself. He is like a merchant trading with a certain capital. He may lose it or invest it wisely, to earn profit. He is free to sow the seed, but once he has done so, he has no option other than to reap the fruit. Predestination is responsible for the present; but the present gives us an opportunity to mould our future. It is just like the rotation and revolutions of the earth. The earth revolves around the sun and is influenced by it, but it also has its own motion.
According to Sikhism, man is an action being, a Karma Yogi, who has to overcome his difficulties with understanding and wisdom. The effort of the individual should take the form of detached action and not, feeding his ego. He must work altruistically, for mankind, and not for the self.
Spiritual effort has to be blessed by Divine favour in order to be successful. This effort requires self-surrender, to His Will. If man works selfishly, in Maya, he suffers; if he works selflessly according to the Will of God he is saved. This self-surrender is a conscious effort to win divine grace. The self-effort is to bring the Divine Will and individual free will into harmony. That is how the two wills become reconciled. Man's salvation lies in his own effort to drown his Ego in the Divine Will.
Guru Nanak explains the point through a metaphor:
"The mind is the paper on which are recorded in the sum of our deeds, good and bad, the impressions, of the habits of our cumulataive past. Against this, and limitless are the virtues of our Lord, for He turneth dross into gold and the fires(passions) of the body extinguish."
Dear confused

this from some website and you may have already read this but I will try to explain as i know

Yes AkalPurakh is a creater of all creation and yes he is also controller of it also but still there is karma I will try to explain I don’t know your religion but if you are from hindu religion than it will much easier to understand

Akal purakh is super master creator i have used these terms just to remind that as for purpose of explanation we putting akal purakh in a role of ordinary creator ( like humans with limitations) but in reality Akal purakh is such a great creator that whole creation can compared to just a split second thought process of Akal purakh .

So know this creation ( like a game )created by Akal purakh has some rules which is called karma and it determines the materilistic aspect of life of a being ( Which in hindu philosophy are explained as three modes of nature or maya 1) goodness 2) passion 3) ignorance as according to Bhagvat Gita animals are considered to be in mode of ignorance so there karma is in automated mode without much freewill and also humans who don’t care about god ( manmukhs in sikh concept are in same mode of ignorance but there Karma could possibly be influenced by people in other modes who have more free will
So as advised in Hindu philosophy doing good deeds or karma leads to good fruits is there and in this way human can elevate himself to mode of goodness but still he is playing a materialistic game doing good deeds so reeping good deeds so again in the same cycle of death and birth In simple word if you do good deeds off course you deserve good fruits of it but to enjoy these fruits again you have to take birth again

So what i mean is that karma is always bad it can never be good in any case

But the beauty of Sikhism is that guru ji graced all with the fourth mode which is above these three materialistic modes
As in this mode every thing action human ( gurmukh ) does is for the god , in remembrance of god so each and every action is for the service of Akal Purakh so there is no resulting karma this beyond the law of karma and this answer of the riddle how karma is exhausted and this mode is mode of bhakti devotion to lord in which human cease to exist for himself he just exist as part of ,as aservant of god and is liberated from cycle of death and birth

qRY gux mwieAw mohu hY gurmuiK cauQw pdu pwie ]
qRY gux mwieAw mohu hY gurmuiK cauQw pdu pwie ]
The three qualities hold people in attachment to Maya. The Gurmukh attains the fourth state of higher consciousness.
»Y gux mweAw mohu hY gurmuiK caQw pdu pwe ]
tarai gun maa-i-aa moh hai gurmukh cha-uthaa pad paa-ay.

Page 33, Line 11 -- Guru Amar Das
sqguir imilAY iqRkutI CUtY cauQY pid mukiq duAwru ]2]
Meeting the Guru, the bondage of the three qualities is cut away, and in the fourth state, the Door of Liberation is attained. ||2||
sqguir imilEy qãkutI CUtY caQY pid mukiq duAw{ ]2]
satgur mili-ai tarikutee chhootai cha-uthai pad mukat du-aar. ||2||

Page 68, Line 14 -- Guru Amar Das
cauQy pd mih shju hY gurmuiK plY pwie ]6]
In the fourth state, there is intuitive balance; the Gurmukhs gather it in. ||6||
caQy pd mih shju hY gurmuiK plY pwe ]6]
cha-uthay pad meh sahj hai gurmukh palai paa-ay. ||6||

Page 113, Line 7 -- Guru Amar Das
cauQI pauVI gurmuiK aUcI sco scu kmwvixAw ]4]
The fourth state, the highest, is obtained by the Gurmukh, who practices Truth, and only Truth. ||4||
caQI paVI gurmuiK åcI sco scu kmwvixAw ]4]
cha-uthee pa-orhee gurmukh oochee sacho sach kamaavani-aa. ||4||

Page 117, Line 3 -- Guru Amar Das
piV piV pMifq monI Qky cauQy pd kI swr n pwvixAw ]5]
Reading and reciting, the Pandits, the religious scholars, and the silent sages have grown weary, but they have not found the supreme essence of the fourth state. ||5||
piV piV pNifq monI Qky caQy pd kI swr n pwvixAw ]5]
parh parh pandit monee thakay cha-uthay pad kee saar na paavni-aa. ||5||

Page 129, Line 6 -- Guru Amar Das
gur prswdI ko ivrlw bUJY cauQY pid ilv lwvixAw ]1]
By Guru`s Grace, a few come to understand; they center their consciousness in the fourth state. ||1||
gur prswdI ko ivrlw bUJY caQY pid ilv lwvixAw ]1]
gur parsaadee ko virlaa boojhai cha-uthai pad liv laavani-aa. ||1||

Page 154, Line 12 -- Guru Nanak Dev
qurIAwvsQw siqgur qy hir jwnu ]1]
but the fourth state, union with the Lord, is known only through the True Guru. ||1||
qurIAwvsQw siqgur qy hir jwnu ]1]
turee-aavasthaa satgur tay har jaan. ||1||

Page 231, Line 7 -- Guru Amar Das
qRY gux myty cauQY icqu lwieAw ]
it eradicates the three qualities, and attunes the consciousness to the fourth state.
»Y gux myty caQY icqu lweAw ]
tarai gun maytay cha-uthai chit laa-i-aa.

Page 284, Line 14 -- Guru Arjan Dev
nwnk cauQy pd mih so jnu giq pwey ]5]
- O Nanak, in the fourth state, those humble servants attain salvation. ||5||
nwnk caQy pd mih so jnu giq pwE ]5]
naanak cha-uthay pad meh so jan gat paa-ay. ||5||

Page 297, Line 3 -- Guru Arjan Dev
qIin ibAwpih jgq kau qurIAw pwvY koie ]
The world is in the grip of the three qualities; only a few attain the fourth state of absorption.
qIin ibAwpih jgq ka qurIAw pwvY koe ]
teen bi-aapahi jagat ka-o turee-aa paavai ko-ay.

Page 370, Line 15 -- Guru Arjan Dev
qurIAw guxu imil swD pCwny ]2]
And then, the fourth state of bliss was revealed to me by the Holy One. ||2||
qurIAw guxu imil swD pCwny ]2]
turee-aa gun mil saaDh pachhaanay. ||2||

Page 509, Line 11 -- Guru Amar Das
mwieAw kw mUlu rcwieEnu qurIAw suKu pwieAw ]2]
He created the root of Maya, and the peace obtained in the fourth state of consciousness. ||2||
mweAw kw mUlu rcweAonu qurIAw suKu pweAw ]2]
maa-i-aa kaa mool rachaa-i-on turee-aa sukh paa-i-aa. ||2||

Page 603, Line 5 -- Guru Amar Das
mn ry qRY gux Coif cauQY icqu lwie ]
O mind, renounce the three qualities, and focus your consciousness on the fourth state.
mn ry »Y gux Coif caQY icqu lwe ]
man ray tarai gun chhod cha-uthai chit laa-ay.

Page 604, Line 7 -- Guru Amar Das
gurmuiK hovY cauQw pdu cInY rwm nwim suKu hoeI ]3]
But one who becomes Gurmukh comes to realize the fourth state of celestial bliss; he finds peace through the Name of the Lord. ||3||
gurmuiK hovY caQw pdu cInY rwm nwim suKu hoeé ]3]
gurmukh hovai cha-uthaa pad cheenai raam naam sukh ho-ee. ||3||

Page 686, Line 2 -- Guru Nanak Dev
cauQy pd kau jy mnu pqIAwey ]7]
when one centers his mind in the fourth state. ||7||
caQy pd ka jy mnu pqIAwE ]7]
cha-uthay pad ka-o jay man patee-aa-ay. ||7||

Page 839, Line 9 -- Guru Nanak Dev
qIin smwvY cauQY vwsw ]
One who overcomes the three qualities, dwells in the fourth state.
qIin smwvY caQY vwsw ]
teen samaavai cha-uthai vaasaa.

Page 840, Line 13 -- Guru Nanak Dev
caudis cauQy Qwvih lih pwvY ]
The Fourteenth Day: One who enters into the fourth state,
cadis caQy Qwvih lih pwvY ]
cha-udas cha-uthay thaaveh leh paavai.

Page 871, Line 1 -- Saint Kabir
cauQy pd mih jn kI ijMdu ]4]1]4]
The soul of His humble servant dwells in the fourth state. ||4||1||4||
caQy pd mih jn kI ijNdu ]4]1]4]
cha-uthay pad meh jan kee jind. ||4||1||4||

Page 908, Line 3 -- Guru Nanak Dev
qRY gux myty cauQY vrqY eyhw Bgiq inrwrI ]16]
Eradicating the three qualities, dwell in the fourth state. This is the unparalleled devotional worship. ||16||
»Y gux myty caQY vrqY Ehw Bgiq inrwrI ]16]
tarai gun maytay cha-uthai vartai ayhaa bhagat niraaree. ||16||

Page 909, Line 17 -- Guru Amar Das
gur prswdI iqRkutI CUtY cauQY pid ilv lweI ]17]
By Guru`s Grace, this triad is eradicated, and one is lovingly absorbed in the fourth state. ||17||
gur prswdI qãkutI CUtY caQY pid ilv lweé ]17]
gur parsaadee tarikutee chhootai cha-uthai pad liv laa-ee. ||17||

Page 943, Line 15 -- Guru Nanak Dev
cauQy suMnY jo nru jwxY qw kau pwpu n puMnµ ]
One who knows the Lord in the fourth state, is not subject to virtue or vice.
caQy suñnY jo n{ jwxY qw ka pwpu n puñnN ]
cha-uthay sunnai jo nar jaanai taa ka-o paap na puNnaN.

Page 1038, Line 4 -- Guru Nanak Dev
ijs no ik®pw kry hir gurmuiK guix cauQY mukiq krwiedw ]11]
Those blessed by His Grace become Gurmukh; they attain the fourth state, and are liberated. ||11||
ijs no Ïpw kry hir gurmuiK guix caQY mukiq krwedw ]11]
jis no kirpaa karay har gurmukh gun cha-uthai mukat karaa-idaa. ||11||

Page 1038, Line 17 -- Guru Nanak Dev
qRY vrqwie cauQY Gir vwsw ]
The three qualities are pervasive; the Lord dwells in His home, the fourth state.
»Y vrqwe caQY Gir vwsw ]
tarai vartaa-ay cha-uthai ghar vaasaa.

Page 1123, Line 4 -- Saint Kabir
cauQy pd kau jo nru cIn@Y iqn@ hI prm pdu pwieAw ]2]
That man who realizes the fourth state - he alone obtains the supreme state. ||2||
caQy pd ka jo n{ cIn@Y iqn@ hI pmé pdu pweAw ]2]
cha-uthay pad ka-o jo nar cheenHai tinH hee param pad paa-i-aa. ||2||

Page 1130, Line 8 -- Guru Amar Das
cauQI pdvI gurmuiK vrqih iqn inj Gir vwsw pwieAw ]
The Gurmukhs dwell in the fourth state; they obtain a dwelling in the home of their own inner being.
caQI pdvI gurmuiK vrqih iqn inj Gir vwsw pweAw ]
cha-uthee padvee gurmukh varteh tin nij ghar vaasaa paa-i-aa.

Page 1258, Line 7 -- Guru Amar Das
cauQY pid vwsw hoieAw scY rhY smwie ]3]
He comes to dwell in the fourth state; he remains merged in the True Lord. ||3||
caQY pid vwsw hoeAw scY rhY smwe ]3]
cha-uthai pad vaasaa ho-i-aa sachai rahai samaa-ay. ||3||

So you see it is such a simple formula but also seems to be secret because most of us spend our life as manmukh in mode of Ignorance and the very point of life we realise this submit ourself in will of Akal purakh we are freed of Karma and just the Forth mode prevails. This is the reason our Guru ji condemned the hindu practices related to Karm- Kand because you do any thing to improve your karma by various rituals and so called good deeds (donations , animal worship , yags, havens , daans to brahmins ...) you are stilldealing in karma and offcourse you are being fooled as you can see it your self .
So the only thing you need is become gurmukh and do each and every activity for the god, in name of god and in remembrance of god you don’t need to bother abut this Karma thing as for Sikhism Karma is sort of primitive thing and I would even say that for Gurmukh karma doesnot exist .


Oct 24, 2004
Delhi (India)
Dear Mr. Confused,

The moment you ask a question, you become a Sikh—a ‘shishya’ a seeker of knowledge or Truth.

The only timeless Truth is the temporally dimensionless ‘Akal’ purukh.

‘Karma’ is a Universal philosophy—be it in Hinduism, Islam or Sikhism. It is the chariot on which the soul progresses from good to better or from bad to worse, or reaches a zero-balance bottom-line ready to enter the “moksha-dwara”-- the larger Domain into which our individually identifiable sub-domains seek to eventually merge.

The paths which lead to the said dwara are many—therein lies the beauty & diversity amongst various religions or practices. Since ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’, he/she prefers one path to the other—although all paths are, in fact, equally beautiful.




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