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Saint-hood And The Sikh Faith

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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Jul 4, 2004
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Sainthood and the Sikh faith

Recently Sardar Mahinder Singh Khaira, a learned person and writer from UK asked me to clarify the Sikh position on the issue of saint-hood. Reproduced below is what I wrote to him in reply. Would you say I gave him the right advice?

The theory of creation propounded by Guru Nanak envisages that the Eternally Existent (Satnam) fashioned the universe out of Himself/Herself and took abode in every atom of the created. (eh jag sache ki hai kothri sache ka vich vaas)

One part of the self-revelation was the revelation of attributes of the Ever True. This makes Him the original Guru (guide, teacher). This discovery is the bedrock upon which the structure of the faith, its theology and the spiritual pursuits prescribed for the seeker are raised. Knowing this is to enter the ‘region of knowledge’ with its myriad nuances and elevating, inspiring effects. The spiritual goal of the seeker, prescribed by Guru Nanak, ordained by the Creator, is the imbibing of the divine attributes until one completely merges into the Ultimate Reality like ‘water into water.’ This requires incessant striving to consciously shed the dross of material existence and the loving intense urge to seek the merger. This important step in the elevation of the self to spirituality is complete transformation of human nature (from selfishness to altruism). The process is described as happening in the ‘region of discipline’ (shramkhand).

This status beckons the seeker to act in the mundane world; briefly it involves performing the role of Ultimate Reality in ones sphere and level of existence. This assuming unlimited responsibility for the welfare of the entire creation is termed as existence in the ‘region of karmkhand.’ It is the pen-ultimate stage of spiritual striving and renders one eligible for receiving His approval (grace), which of course cannot be earned.

The basic condition of the path to be trodden thereafter is characterised by extreme humility. In particular the seeker must assume oneself to be a sinner while imploring Him to bestow grace (nadar). The dedication to serve the Lord of Creation must now become absolute, regardless of the human cost and worldly consequences. It may lead to resisting evil physically and even to martyrdom. This is liberation, release, summum bonum, jiwan-mukti or salvation. Those who receive his grace, of course, come to reside eternally in the ‘region of truth’ (sachkhand).

At no stage (step) of spiritual development aimed at realising the full spiritual development does one become spiritually superior to any other seeker or being. One increasingly bows with humility as the fruit laden tree bends with each passing day. There is no space for superior spirituality. The constant guidance that is necessary throughout the journey is provided by the scripture, the eternal Guru Granth and the company of seekers, the Guru Khalsa panth. Both the entities have been duly anointed and consecrated in that position by the Guru himself, with divine sanction.

The ordained priesthood as well as the consecrated saints that are available in other traditions as intermediaries between man and God are totally irrelevant in Sikhi (the Sikh faith). The Guru holds both to be responsible for many ills of the world and constitute impediments on the path to spirituality.

Guru Granth and (to a lesser degree) the Guru Khalsa panth are the only guides available to a seeker in the arduous, but immensely rewarding spiritual journey. Apart from that all Sikhs are ‘brothers in faith in the Guru’ (gurbhai). In the structure of the Sikh faith, on the spiritual path prescribed by it and its theology there is no space for the consecration of saints. Those who presume to consecrate and those who deem human sanction as proof of elevated spiritual status are unequivocally disapproved of and are called ‘shameless hypocrites.’ (kulhan dende bawle lainde vadde nilaj, chuha khad na maavai tikkal banhe chhaj).
 

swarn bains

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Apr 9, 2012
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Saint in Sikhism is he who recites God and guides others to recite God. Other faiths designate saints by voting by the people of that faith. It is sort of political system. He who does not recite God and has no divine knowledge votes for someone else to be a saint is absurd. How does he know that the person he is voting for is a saint. There are two schools of thought in religions. eastern and western. In western system of thought ; he who cam show miracle is a saint. but in eastern system he who shows miracle is an egotistic. ego destabilizes the mind so it is against divine rule. Stability of mind by straightening it is divine knowledge. Take it what you want.
 

Original

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Jan 10, 2011
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Respected @Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji

It would be much appreciated if you were to provide some sort of evidence on the "issue" of saint-hood within Sikhism. Surely, sainthood is not an issue, is it ? I'm of the view that definition of terms would be a good starting point to unravel whatever you are trying to advance, particularly, the word "Guru". Without going into too much detail, it is fundamentally vital to understand the composite nature of existence and being of Satnam.

Much obliged
 

chazSingh

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Feb 20, 2012
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Saint in Sikhism is he who recites God and guides others to recite God. Other faiths designate saints by voting by the people of that faith. It is sort of political system. He who does not recite God and has no divine knowledge votes for someone else to be a saint is absurd. How does he know that the person he is voting for is a saint. There are two schools of thought in religions. eastern and western. In western system of thought ; he who cam show miracle is a saint. but in eastern system he who shows miracle is an egotistic. ego destabilizes the mind so it is against divine rule. Stability of mind by straightening it is divine knowledge. Take it what you want.
in my opinion, a person who has become or reached the destination that which SGGS Ji inspires us to become or reach...is a Saint..
They would not call themselves a Saint...and show very little egotistical pride and achievement or power..or miracle. Their Duty being to Serve Mankind and Inspire others also.

Crossing paths with such a soul if required or ordained by Waheguru would be a beautiful thing...a Saint, a Pure Khalsa, a truely humble servant. Waheguru Himself radiating through that being...water in ocean...one and the same...
 

Original

Writer
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Jan 10, 2011
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London UK
in my opinion, a person who has become or reached the destination that which SGGS Ji inspires us to become or reach...is a Saint..
They would not call themselves a Saint...and show very little egotistical pride and achievement or power..or miracle. Their Duty being to Serve Mankind and Inspire others also.

Crossing paths with such a soul if required or ordained by Waheguru would be a beautiful thing...a Saint, a Pure Khalsa, a truely humble servant. Waheguru Himself radiating through that being...water in ocean...one and the same...
Hi Chz - hope you and your wife are in chardi kala ! May Waheguru remain ang-sang through n through.

Your observations above are spot on. Look what I've collated for you:

ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਲੋਚੈ ਗੁਰ ਦਰਸਨ ਤਾਈ ॥ ਬਿਲਪ ਕਰੇ ਚਾਤ੍ਰਿਕ ਕੀ ਨਿਆਈ ॥
ਤ੍ਰਿਖਾ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਦਰਸਨ ਸੰਤ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥ ॥੧॥

My mind longs for the Blessed Vision of the Guru's Darshan.
It cries out like the thirsty song-bird.
My thirst is not quenched, and I can find no peace,
without the Blessed Vision of the Beloved Saint. (1)
(SGGS p96) Sikhi wiki

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਪੂਰਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜੇ ਮਿਲੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਪਣੀ ਜਪੀਐ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਾਟੀਐ ਲਾਗੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਕਹਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਗੁਣੀ ਅਥਾਹੁ ॥ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਿਲੁ ਸੰਗਤੀ ਸਚਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਿਸਾਹੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰੈ ਸਿਰਿ ਸਾਹਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ॥੨॥ ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਕਾ ਆਸਰਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਠਾਉ ॥ ਮੈ ਧਰ ਤੇਰੀ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਤੇਰੈ ਤਾਣਿ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਨਿਮਾਣਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਾਣੁ ਤੂੰ ਤੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਉ ॥੩॥ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਆਰਾਧੀਐ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਤਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਰਖੇ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਰਾਖੀ ਜਿੰਦੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਗਲੇ ਦੋਖ ਉਤਾਰਿਅਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਖਸਿੰਦੁ ॥੪॥੧੨॥੮੨॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 46}

Translation [colour]: O'mind, if thou meet true guru then thee inherit divine treasures.


ਰਾਗੁ ਗਉੜੀ ਪੂਰਬੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ਸੰਤ ਟਹਲ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥ ਈਹਾ ਖਾਟਿ ਚਲਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਆਗੈ ਬਸਨੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥੧॥ ਅਉਧ ਘਟੈ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਰੈਣਾਰੇ ॥ ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਸੰਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਤਰਿਓ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਜਗਾਇ ਪੀਆਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਰਸੁ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਜਾਨੀ ॥੨॥ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਆਏ ਸੋਈ ਬਿਹਾਝਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮਨਹਿ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਫੇਰਾ ॥੩॥ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਪੁਰਖ ਬਿਧਾਤੇ ਸਰਧਾ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪੂਰੇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਮਾਗੈ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਕਰਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੀ ਧੂਰੇ ॥੪॥੫॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 13}

Translation [colour]: grant me the privilege O Lord that I may become the dust of thy saints feet.

This was off the cuff to compliment your take. I'm a little tied up with work at the min otherwise interpretations of the above shabds would've been wkd and you would've loved it. Maybe another time, unless Swarn Singh Ji obliges !

TC
 

chazSingh

Writer
SPNer
Feb 20, 2012
1,644
1,642
Hi Chz - hope you and your wife are in chardi kala ! May Waheguru remain ang-sang through n through.

Your observations above are spot on. Look what I've collated for you:

ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਲੋਚੈ ਗੁਰ ਦਰਸਨ ਤਾਈ ॥ ਬਿਲਪ ਕਰੇ ਚਾਤ੍ਰਿਕ ਕੀ ਨਿਆਈ ॥
ਤ੍ਰਿਖਾ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਦਰਸਨ ਸੰਤ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥ ॥੧॥

My mind longs for the Blessed Vision of the Guru's Darshan.
It cries out like the thirsty song-bird.
My thirst is not quenched, and I can find no peace,
without the Blessed Vision of the Beloved Saint. (1)
(SGGS p96) Sikhi wiki

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਪੂਰਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜੇ ਮਿਲੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਪਣੀ ਜਪੀਐ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਾਟੀਐ ਲਾਗੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਕਹਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਗੁਣੀ ਅਥਾਹੁ ॥ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਿਲੁ ਸੰਗਤੀ ਸਚਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਿਸਾਹੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰੈ ਸਿਰਿ ਸਾਹਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ॥੨॥ ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਕਾ ਆਸਰਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਠਾਉ ॥ ਮੈ ਧਰ ਤੇਰੀ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਤੇਰੈ ਤਾਣਿ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਨਿਮਾਣਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਾਣੁ ਤੂੰ ਤੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਉ ॥੩॥ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਆਰਾਧੀਐ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਤਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਰਖੇ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਰਾਖੀ ਜਿੰਦੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਗਲੇ ਦੋਖ ਉਤਾਰਿਅਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਖਸਿੰਦੁ ॥੪॥੧੨॥੮੨॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 46}

Translation [colour]: O'mind, if thou meet true guru then thee inherit divine treasures.


ਰਾਗੁ ਗਉੜੀ ਪੂਰਬੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ਸੰਤ ਟਹਲ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥ ਈਹਾ ਖਾਟਿ ਚਲਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਆਗੈ ਬਸਨੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥੧॥ ਅਉਧ ਘਟੈ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਰੈਣਾਰੇ ॥ ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਸੰਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਤਰਿਓ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਜਗਾਇ ਪੀਆਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਰਸੁ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਜਾਨੀ ॥੨॥ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਆਏ ਸੋਈ ਬਿਹਾਝਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮਨਹਿ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਫੇਰਾ ॥੩॥ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਪੁਰਖ ਬਿਧਾਤੇ ਸਰਧਾ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪੂਰੇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਮਾਗੈ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਕਰਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੀ ਧੂਰੇ ॥੪॥੫॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 13}

Translation [colour]: grant me the privilege O Lord that I may become the dust of thy saints feet.

This was off the cuff to compliment your take. I'm a little tied up with work at the min otherwise interpretations of the above shabds would've been wkd and you would've loved it. Maybe another time, unless Swarn Singh Ji obliges !

TC
Great stuff OG...

Will take a deeper look through those shabads during morning contemplation ji.
 

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The salok is by Sheik Farid ji. Translation by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa. It appears on Ang 794 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

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