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Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by japjisahib04, Oct 23, 2014.
Very well said and thanks so much for your input. I agree with you in many aspects. Let's see what the viewpoint of notanotherloginplease is. He/she in the post below contradicts him/herself.
Let's take this one by one what is in bold written by him.
If the above Sakhi did not happen in reality with which I happen to agree with, then his latter comment, Please let me know if you are Ok with changing bani. I am not. contradicts the former one.
If the Sakhi did not happen, then no one has changed any part of the Gurbani. Period. End of discussion. He/she has answered his/her own question. Nothing took place according to his first statement.
We can not take these Sakhis on their face value to prove our point in the interaction and mind you, I do not blame notanotherloginplease for quoting this Sakhi because it has been quoted by so called Sikh Scholars in their Kathas, Keertan/Kathas quite often to argue their senseless point as you very well said in your own post.
We all misspell Gurbani, Words in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji larivaar are changed unintentionally, we skip some words in the same manner all the times while reading Gurbani loudly or silently. To make mistake is a human nature and especially it is understandable for us Sikhs when we make mistakes intentionally or unintentionally as long as we learn from them. Sikhi is all about learning,unlearning and relearning daily.
Secondly, Ik Ong Kaar is not vengeful, punisher as the gods of Abrahamic religions and others are. Moolmantar shows us that. If we understand it properly, Nirvair, Nirbhau Ik Ong Kaar teaches us through our Gurus that we should become conversationalists which will make us cultivate internal manifestation within others rather than the external impositions as the dogmas of the other religions command their honchos to dictate that to the followers.
Thanks to our visionary Gurus, we do not have any Pope/Popa in our way of life called Sikhi. Each of us is responsible to carry the Sikhi torch lit in a responsible manner.
Now coming back to the topic of discussion. I asked some questions to notanotherloginplease and they are worth repeating here in order to deepen/widen our thought process in Sikhi. I will answer them myself for more clarification.
1. What does Ghumar (Potter) mean in Hindu religion?
In Hinduism, a potter- Ghumar is a low caste person who will never hop scotch to any higher caste no matter how many reincarnations he/she goes through, the latter belief, the Hindus believe in fervently because a Brahmin will always be reincarnated as a Brahmin not as a potter/Ghumar.
Let me also add one more thing. This is the reason Sikhi acknowledges reincarnation but cultivates internal manifestation in these fervent believers that if you follow a Sikhi Path, then you will get rid of this silly belief. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is filled with these examples and encouragements to get rid of this belief. Acknowledgement of some belief in other religions is not an acceptance in Sikhi
2. What does Ghumar-Potter mean in Islam and the two other Abrahamic religions?
Having explained the meaning of Ghumar-potter in Hinduism in which the person is a low caste reject, let's delve what it means in the Abrahamic religions of which Islam is part and parcel of.
Potter means God in all 3 Abrahamic religions, unlike some low caste reject like in Hinduism who shall remain at the bottom of the totem pole of hierarchy.
The Torah or OT, the Jewish Scripture, The New Testament NT, The Holy Bible- The Christian scripture and The Holy Koran- The Muslim Scripture are filled with the verses singing praises of The Potter- Ghumar.
3. Does it mean the same thing in the above 2?
Answered above in 2.
4. Who is the Shabad addressed to by Guru Nanak, Hindus or to the Muslims?
This beautiful Shabad is addressed to the Muslims on page 466 in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our only Guru. And the more important thing which we should always keep in mind is that this Shabad was penned by Guru Nanak a couple of centuries before this so called Sakhi supposed to had had taken place.
Sahni ji,I am sure you are aware with the help of your great Gurmat wisdom that this Shabad was addressed to the Muslims for whom Ghumar- The Potter is God and not to the Hindus for whom Ghumar- Potter is a low caste reject and shall remain so no matter how many births and deaths the potter goes through.
Now, allow me to request you to share your vast Gurmat wisdom with us.
Based on the above, would your understanding of the Shabad and the nonexistence/existence of the Ram Rai Sakhi change?
Thanks & regards
S. Tejwant Jee
Gurbani is satguru - sat+guru = sacha guru = universal truth for all time to come, thus gurbani is to be understood with gurbani and not based on man made sakhi. All questions are answered in gurbani. So I never listened to any sakhi.
I totally agree with you. However,only Sakhis that compliment Gurbani and are based on the Sikh history should be acknowledged because Sikhi is laden with oral history as our visionary Gurus did not write anything from refusing to wear Janieu at a very young age, Udasis to Khandei de Pahul on purpose.
But my point in the post above is totally different.
Let's give the benefit of the doubt to notanotherloginplease ji and to other believers of this Sakhi about Ram Rai. If they believe the Sakhi to be true where Ram Rai changed the word on purpose from Musalmaan to Bayimaan, then according to the meaning of Potter- Ghumar as God in the Abrahamic religions, it would be a lot more offensive to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb because he was being called a Bayimaan by Ram Rai.
Ram Rai is saying, according to the Sakhi where he supposedly changed Gurbani word out of fear of Aurenzeb that all the followers of the Abrahamic religions are Bayimaans including the Musalmaans. Aurangzeb would have chopped his head there and then.
Lastly, Ik Ong Kaar is a lover not a punisher. We learn that in Moolmantar that we recite several times a day. The Nirvair,Nirbhau Ik Ong Kaar will never punish anyone through our Gurus no matter how much wrong one may have done but to the contrary.
Our Sikh history is filled with the Sakhis about our Gurus being conservationalists rather than punishers. The Sakhi about Sajjan Thug to Banda Singh Bahadur where they made the evil/cruel people into wonderful human beings.
This is what I was trying to convey in a subtle manner.
Thanks for your input & regards
I think the main underlying message of the shabadh is that the clay which makes up our bodies is the same clay that makes up everything else. This message doesn't change if we view the potter as God or as a mortal.
Why exactly a Muslim was used to convey this message most probably has to do with the Quranic account of how Allah created man, as has been discussed. But for those of us who have not read the Quran, this shabadh conveys that the body placed in the soil, becomes part of the soil itself. That same soil then ends up on the potter's wheel.
Forget the logistics of how exactly a potter would attain such clay from the Muslim graveyard. That's not the point. The point is to see everything as one.
This idea works even better if you view the potter as God. The dead body decomposes and fertilizes the soil, which gives nutrients for other forms of life. This is all a natural process that occurs with the Hukam. It also reaffirms the notion that the body is merely dust. From dust we come and to dust we go.
So either path we take, we end up at the same point.
I also see a correlation between this shabadh and the "Fools wrangle over meat and flesh" shabadh. In that shabadh, the underlying theme was that meat and vegetables are made from the same clay. So which one really leads to sin?
In the meat and flesh shabadh, the word ਭਾਂਡੇ (bhandae) refers to the human body. In the Muslim grave shabadh, the same word refers to a pot. In various places in gurbani, the human body is referred to as the vessel which contains the soul. Vessel of flesh to be exact. Therefore, I believe the terms flesh and clay are actually synonyms when used in the context of these shabadhs. The bricks that the potter makes can then be viewed as non-living things, like rocks, because they cannot contain a soul.
In my opinion, the part of the shabadh which needs further exploration is why the clay weeps when burning coals fall upon it. At first glance, I am reminded of a shabadh in which Guru Nanak describes the sugar cane weeping and crying as it is boiled. Why would he attribute such human characteristics to inanimate objects? Perhaps his intent was similar in both shabadhs.
GGS, page 142
ਮਃ ੧ ॥
मः १ ॥
ਵੇਖੁ ਜਿ ਮਿਠਾ ਕਟਿਆ ਕਟਿ ਕੁਟਿ ਬਧਾ ਪਾਇ ॥
वेखु जि मिठा कटिआ कटि कुटि बधा पाइ ॥
vekẖ jė miṯẖā kati▫ā kat kut baḏẖā pā▫e.
Look, and see how the sugar-cane is cut down. After cutting away its branches, its feet are bound together into bundles,
ਖੁੰਢਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਰਖਿ ਕੈ ਦੇਨਿ ਸੁ ਮਲ ਸਜਾਇ ॥
खुंढा अंदरि रखि कै देनि सु मल सजाइ ॥
Kẖundẖā anḏar rakẖ kai ḏen so mal sajā▫e.
and then, it is placed between the wooden rollers and crushed.
ਰਸੁ ਕਸੁ ਟਟਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਤਪੈ ਤੈ ਵਿਲਲਾਇ ॥
रसु कसु टटरि पाईऐ तपै तै विललाइ ॥
Ras kas tatar pā▫ī▫ai ṯapai ṯai villā▫e.
What punishment is inflicted upon it! Its juice is extracted and placed in the cauldron; as it is heated, it groans and cries out.
ਭੀ ਸੋ ਫੋਗੁ ਸਮਾਲੀਐ ਦਿਚੈ ਅਗਿ ਜਾਲਾਇ ॥
भी सो फोगु समालीऐ दिचै अगि जालाइ ॥
Bẖī so fog samālī▫ai ḏicẖai ag jālā▫e.
And then, the crushed cane is collected and burnt in the fire below.
ਨਾਨਕ ਮਿਠੈ ਪਤਰੀਐ ਵੇਖਹੁ ਲੋਕਾ ਆਇ ॥੨॥
नानक मिठै पतरीऐ वेखहु लोका आइ ॥२॥
Nānak miṯẖai paṯrī▫ai vekẖhu lokā ā▫e. ||2||
Nanak: come, people, and see how the sweet sugar-cane is treated! ||2||
A reader might be perplexed as to how inanimate and dead things can cry out. Well, what is different from these inanimate things and a dead body? I think this provokes introspection towards the idea of "Who am I?" Am I the body, or the soul within the body?
The next path I am led towards is a short poem written by Baba Farid, which does not appear in Guru Granth Sahib.
I thought I was alone who suffered.
I went on top of the house,
And found every house on fire.
Sufis consider the process of awakening to be a painful experience, because the destruction of Haumai is seen as traumatic by the ego, which is the part of the self that is concerned with "me-ism". Divine union with The One is therefore portrayed as a burning fire. Baba Farid says he thought he was the only one who felt such pain, but when he reached the top of his house (opened the Dasam Duaar) he saw that everything around him was consumed with the fire of Divine union.
I am more inclined to agree with the latter path to explain this shabadh, because the burning coals falling on the clay remind me of the turtle asking for the burning coal in the wedding shabadh written by Bhagat Kabir ji. The wedding theme of that shabadh also illustrated the union of the soul-bride and the husband-lord.
Sherdil ji thanks for your post. Great discourse. The other Sakhi; created by the poster in the first post is equally irrelevant. That is about iron coffins; when their body turns back into earth and elements, it is not usable as clay. I am not aware of common folks being buried in steel/iron coffins pre- Guru Nanak Dev ji as that is the period of Kabir ji. So the poster has created another irrelevant Sakhi for Musilmans while putting irrelevant spin to a very simple meaning of all is one as you stated and as I understand from the shabad. I 100% agree with how you write as it is all one. Cremation, burying, letting the sea take the body, letting the bears eat the body as the native Indians sometimes do in the Canadian arctic, and so on.
Your posts I much enjoy, whenever you post. Whereas I am guilty of finding faults I believe given the lack of activity in the forum, how many have been turned off by fault finding and people who simply discourage through negativism.
Please fellow Sikhs, stop dropping one liners or keep finding faults while rarely ever giving complete understanding of a complete shabad by yourself. Many have thousands of posts but may be handful complete shabad with their understanding posted. It is understandable if such encourage others, it is inexcusable if such discourage.
I wish spnadmin ji was with us as she would not have spared anyone no matter how much the post count. Please please people get off the commenting and self flagellation dual relationships and post complete shabads for all to enjoy, comment on or learn from. No body needs anyone to challenge them into this mode. If you love Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji you will do it benevolently for the love of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
I used to love and be excited to post here but negativism and the negative emotions some posts create here has been wearing me off. I wish much well and love to all on this forum. If I did not, I would not post like this to see others throwing bricks at me in return.
I do plan to make my posts in Asa di Vaar series complete and then perhaps say bye to the forum. I have learned much here but it has become much less productive for me and that perhaps is just my fault or way of understanding.
Sat Sri Akal.
PS: See the shabad upto the pauri and if you can read Punjabi see the discourse of Prof. sahib Singh ji. No body at spn comes close to Prof. Sahib Singh ji and generalization that no body has understood this shabad or gotten the essence of it is simply that, just worthless statements.
I have not added my understanding but I am in line with what Prof. Sahib Singh ji explain.
Sat Sri Akal.
Ambarsaria ji, thank you for your words of encouragement. I share your sentiments. When I browse through the older threads on this forum, I am struck by how eloquently and respectfully people discussed various topics. I hope that this forum can return to that caliber of discussion, so that it becomes an enjoyable experience for all members.
One point I would like to make about saakhis is that their value doesn't lie in their historical accuracy or their account of supernatural feats. Their real value lies in the morals that they convey. For me, the moral of the Ram Rai saakhi is that we shouldn't compromise our morals to please other people. Or, at the very least, we shouldn't change gurbani to suit vested interests.
Thanks brother. Thats all what I meant and wanted to say but couldn't put it into words as you did very well.
Pardon my ignorance but I am a bit confused about this. The people who claim that this Sakhi is a moral lesson, then they also claim that Ik Ong Kaar taught our Gurus to be punishers as the whole Sakhi indicates where Ram Rai was banished by his dad Guru Har Rai who had supposedly changed one word in Gurbani.
So according to the understanding of the whole Sakhi by many, our 7th Guru punished his son for that rather than having a conversation for his supposed mistake in order to show him how Ram Rai could learn from his mistakes and move forward. The Two Words in the Mool Mantar- Nirbhau and Nirvair indicate to the contrary in my opinion.
Isn't learning from our mistakes the cornerstone of Sikhi?
How can anyone - including our Gurus- can banish people for being a Sikh, a learner, a seeker?
If we take the same thought process a bit further, then all believers in the so called dasam granth should be banished from Sikhi as well because they claim this as a second granth to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our only Guru.
So, my question to those who believe in this Sakhi's morals,do they also agree with the punishing part by our Guru too in Sikhi ?
Some people seem a bit upset and angry in this thread and also is some others. No one talked about the understanding about the Shabad but asked about it according to people's own understandings. This thread is all about Sakhis related to the Shabad.
I have a request to make to those who seem angry at others and their styles including mine which can be quite blunt at times, please let's have a conversation about it rather than throwing stones at others; so all of us can learn from each other and hence become better Sikhs with the shoulders to lean on of the fellow Sikhs as Gurmat ideals urge us to.
Anger and dissatisfaction can lead us no where as far as our quest to learn from each other is concerned. Disagreements are part and parcel of the learning process. We should not shun away from it by expressing our anger.
I have talked about this particular Sakhi regarding the discussion I had in another forum with a very good Sikh scholar late Dr. Hakam Singh whom I personally knew very well. He used to give explanation of the Hukumnaama in English at the Alhambra Gurdwara in Southern California. He had mentioned this Sakhi in the Gurdwara too. After our interactions through emails and personal meetings,as he was a family friend and a very learned man, he happened to agree with my take and explained to the Sangat of the Gurdwara one day why this Sakhi would not have existed.
Following is the thread for all to read and agree or disagree with.
So, once again, I request you to ponder on just one question regarding this WHOLE Sakhi.
1.Does Ik Ong Kaar teach us to become punishers or to become good Sikhs where we can learn from each through our mistakes?
Lastly, I would like to personally apologise to those who have felt hurt with my blunt questions and comments taken anger, which have never been my intentions since I have been the part of this wonderful forum since 2004. I promise to be a better Sikh with the help of all of you.
I know we have lost the Anchor of this forum in Narayanjot Kaur ji who kept us on even keel all the times and worked very hard despite her ailment. We are all thankful to her for that. Spn would not be here without her vision.
Let's keep her vision alive by becoming mini anchors to keep this SPN boat afloat on an even keel rather than making it rudderless in the midst of the storm which we have been in after Narayanjot ji's passing away.
I promise to do my best. Please do not hesitate to point me out when I have fallen in that aspect but I request you all to help me get up, dust off and carry on this journey on which we are all together in the same Sikhi boat.
Thanks & regards
I would take such trivial details with a grain of salt. I have no doubt that many of the saakhis are tall tales, which have been exaggerated over generations. If instead, you want to believe that Guru Har Rai gave his son a lecture, then I think that is fine. This doesn't change the moral of the story. However, I do believe there were some repercussions for a son who disobeyed his father. Perhaps this provides one explanation as to why Ram Rai was deemed unworthy to succeed his father as guru.
Nirbhou = Without fear
Nirvair = Without enmity
I think enmity differs from hatred, in that it involves being in a state of opposition to something or someone. It is related to the word “enemy”.
With these words, I believe Guru Nanak was trying to communicate that there is nothing but The One. He does not fear because He is everything. He has no enemies because He is everything.
In stark contrast, the pantheon of Hindu gods are often portrayed as being in conflict with various demons. Therefore they are not Nirbhou and Nirvair. They are neither Akaal or Ajooni. Thus, they do not meet the criteria to be considered God in the Sikh philosophy.