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Support For The Concept Of Reincarnation In Sikhism?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Original

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    Tejwant Singh Ji

    Quite frankly, like every other educated being, we're taught to think objectively. Element of emotion n fancifulness are completely removed from the equation, dealing with facts without fear or favour, is what our stance is. That is to say, Sikh history will be half told without the proper signification of the then theory of reincarnation within which it evolved. Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji's unsubstantiated statement, ought to, in my view, need revisiting.

    As for forefathers, yes, we're fortunate to have traced our historical beginnings back to early period of human history. And, what has been passed on to us by our father's is what we will pass on to our children - Ikonkar satnam waheguru Ji.

    I must attend to my butler's call - it's lunch time for me !

    Take care
     
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  2. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Original ji,

    But you still hopscotched on your flipflopping on reincarnation as if you were trying to walk on hot coal. I am sure our forefathers also told us to learn in order to have convictions which in Sikhi are not etched in stone. This is the reason we are called Sikhs, students, learners where there is no absolute truth like in Abrahamic religions or in Hindutva but truth is absolute, for now..

    I will wait for your input while you revisit what Gyani ji said.

    BTW, why are your butler's gloves so dirty?

    Enjoy your grub but please order your butler to take the dirty gloves off.
     
  3. Original

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    Tejwant Ji

    Forgive me for much of not wanting to but because of my perspective that you'd be dispositioned as such. Kindly migrate over to my recent say on another thread, "..... interpretation", perhaps some comfort n understanding will pave, I'm sure.

    Good day !
     
  4. Ishna

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    The concept of literal reincarnation is a can of worms. It makes things more complicated and is a distraction away from Naam.

    Reincarnation brings with it:
    • Reduced compassion: The horrible idea of karmic births and this reduces compassion for other beings in the world. A person is suffering? Oh well, it's just their karma, they must have been a bad person to deserve such a life. Don't feel bad about their suffering, they obviously deserve it. To quote Rajesh Koothrappali: "I'm a Hindu. My religion says that if we suffer in this life, we are rewarded in the next. Three months in the North Pole with Sheldon, and I'm reincarnated as a well-hung millionaire with wings."
    • Apathy: So what if I don't strive in this life, I'll do it in the next one. (I kid you not, I've heard a lady at Gurdwara say something to this effect to me.)
    • Unequality: It perpetuates casteism, and, in Buddhism, the idea that a woman has to be reborn as a man before she can be 'liberated'.
    Useless concept. Throw it away. It's more trouble than it's worth. You are a human now, anything else is totally irrelevant. @Original Ji, this is what I believe Guru Arjan Sahib was getting at with with his shabad on panna 378.

    imho.
     
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  5. Original

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    Not if you treat it as a primitive concept and understand how societies and people were shaped and affected by it. It is an integral part of both social and religious constitution of the then Indian society, understanding of which is fundamental to grasp Nanak's dissent and ideology.
    Guru Nanak made it a feature to lead humankind away from it [reincarnation] and bring them to god-realisation.
    As primates, we once had a tail and now its gone, so too will the theory of reincarnation, what's left of it. From historical perspective it was part n parcel of social and religious evolution - look how refined we are today [Sikh] and look how much modern Sikhism is doing to correct errors of past civilisations.
    As a law student years ago, I together with a host of international law community challenged the caste system on the basis it being a racial discrimination. I'm pleased to tell you, that, what we were then denied by both the Indian Government and the UN has recently been triumphed. So yes, we are moving in the right direction, but sadly lot of damage has been done due to humankind's primitive concepts.

    Yes, we are humans beings now en route to our true home, spiritual beings.
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

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    Original ji,

    Would you be kind enough to elaborate? What my question has to do with your sympathy above?

    I asked you a direct question and expect a direct answer when you admit two different things on the same subject. Yourself being a lawyer should know better than that.
     
  7. Original

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    Respected Tejwant Ji

    Forgive me for the late response, weekends are a complete retreat for me, whenever possible.

    You can ask almost anyone about controversial topics and they’ll be happy to give you an opinion, backed of course, by arguments and facts. Moreover, anyone can take a stand, and almost everyone can argue their viewpoint, but not all come with an open mind. Largely because their views and opinions are deep rooted in some philosophical or a particular system of belief. Our system however, is founded on the freedom of everything within the confines of spiritual, temporal system and regulated by sober conscience, which is underpinned by a set of hard-core values. We act on our instincts, whereas, sizeable population do so on instruction and prescription. I believe that we are obligated to strive for something more subtle, more meaningful and completely harmonious. And, in that we ought to carefully examine all sides of an issue, listen attentively to the arguments being made, and to come to a true understanding of how different people see the issues and what it means to them. Then, and only then, can we form an educated position and lead boldly in that direction, all the while demonstrating empathy for those with opposing views.

    Attending to the subject matter at hand, reincarnation, I'll reiterate...at Gyani Ji's remarks above:

    "...gur ghar, from an ideological perspective, treated reincarnation [note, not birth] as an ailment and nam simran a remedy, for how otherwise or from what must Nanak come to the rescue of humankind ? Yes, reincarnation it is from which Nanak must rescue the separated soul and reunite with the omnipotent, thus ending reincarnation. However one may view reincarnation or word it differently, but it indeed be, impossible to understand and interpret the moral base and development of Sikhism without accepting its validity. The reason arguably is quite simple, the deep n profound faith element it inspired and the abiding influence exercised amongst the people at the time denotes reincarnation indispensable.

    Do I need to say more ? No !

    We must never forget that people do not act and make choices in a vacuum. The factors influencing their choices can be understood, and these influences lie at two levels. The first level is that of the values and beliefs they have learnt through socialisation. What is socialisation ? It is the process by which we acquire the culture of the society into which we are born [at Nanak's time it was predominantly Hindu with a touch of Islam] What is culture ? It is the learned behaviour in any particular society, that includes for example, ideas [Hindu n Islam] techniques, practices, habits, which are passed on by one generation to another - in a sense, a social heritage. Also, a set of solutions to problems that, in the course of time, our predecessors have met and solved. In this manner of speaking, not only is Gurbani literature, the foundation of Sikh religion, but also the social heritage of today's Sikh generation.

    The second level is practical constraints, that is, social engineering. In both levels, knowledge and understanding of the "society" at the times of the gurus and the banikars is fundamental. The then society was instrumental in giving birth to Sikhism. Reincarnation was for the people of Nanak's times what redemption and resurrection is for modern day Christians. Any attempts to interpret Gurbani in its absence would fall flat on its face rendering it inaccurate. It's like giving meaning to "married-bachelor" and asking, "what's north of North Pole ?"

    Just as the story of science can never be told without the moments of revelation of Copernicus, Darwin and Einstein, so too the story of Nanak's Sikhism will remain incomplete without the theory of reincarnation.

    I write with a jovial pen full of serene fluid on a tender leaf, try and repay me likewise.

    Goodnight n Godbless
    PS - I think reincarnation has been mullered beyond death, I'd like to leave with your permission ! Thank you
     
  8. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    sat sri akaal Ishna ji

    How it reduce compassion ? if someone is suffering ,helping him/her amounts to your good karma.:mundacare:

    • Unequality: It perpetuates casteism, and, in Buddhism, the idea that a woman has to be reborn as a man before she can be 'liberated'.
    Kindly elaborate how it perpetuates casteism ? and Sikhi is not Buddhism .
     
    #188 harmanpreet singh, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  9. chazSingh

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    ishna ji

    you wrote:

    Reincarnation brings with it:
    • Reduced compassion: The horrible idea of karmic births and this reduces compassion for other beings in the world. A person is suffering? Oh well, it's just their karma, they must have been a bad person to deserve such a life. Don't feel bad about their suffering, they obviously deserve it. To quote Rajesh Koothrappali: "I'm a Hindu. My religion says that if we suffer in this life, we are rewarded in the next. Three months in the North Pole with Sheldon, and I'm reincarnated as a well-hung millionaire with wings."
    when you yourself see someone is need...what does it bring into you? does it bring the above? or does it bring compassion, the wanting to help, to be someone that might uplift them in some way rather than what you have written above...why worry about what others think..is the most important thing not what you yourself think and how you inspire others?

    you wrote:

    • Apathy: So what if I don't strive in this life, I'll do it in the next one. (I kid you not, I've heard a lady at Gurdwara say something to this effect to me.)

    again, what do you think? why worry about what others think or how they take it.. IF and i say IF....karma, and reincarnation is the TRUTH, should we brush it under the carpet because people think a certain way...

    • Unequality: It perpetuates casteism, and, in Buddhism, the idea that a woman has to be reborn as a man before she can be 'liberated'.

    there are so many people, so many opinions and ideas and thoughts...countless...what matters is what you yourself think...

    Me personally, i Accept the notion of "as you sow shall you reap" ... i think it is universal law. Therefore i accept i am where i am because of what i did...i don;t blame anyone for anything...it is all my doing...and from this moment onwards (the present)...i wish to make changes to the way i am as a person and at the same time seek to experience Waheguru to the full...to sow better seeds and hopefully reap what i crave, knowledge and experience of my creator... :)

    i don;t think i should discard anything because others take a concept in a negative way...
     
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  10. Ishna

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    Apologies for the late reply, I've been interstate for work and totally exhausted.

    @Original Thanks for your post, well said.

    @harmanpreet singh I have seen an attitude where people feel that a person is suffering as punishment for past sins, and that it is good to suffer, as it cleanses you of your sins. It's easier to ignore suffering when you think it is for their own benefit. And we should help people because it's the right thing to do, not for our own reward. The fact that good actions bring us closer is a happy side-effect.

    Karma-Reincarnation-Caste all go hand-in-hand.

    And thank Guru that Sikhi is not Buddhism.

    @chazSingh Exactly - why worry about it? Why spruik reincarnation as an idea, why think about it at all, when we know where our focus should be? Ergo... the whole system of reincarnation can go in the dustbin. :)
     
  11. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur India
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    When Gurbani speaks about the countless lifetimes you have experienced, please realize it's not talking about the haume. It's talking about the ONE underlying conscious awareness, the 'doer' behind ALL.

    The only way I can explain it is to say that every night when I dream, I experience an entirely new identity. Sometimes in the same identity I have now, other times as other identities. I could say with certainty that I have reincarnated thousands of times into those different dream characters. But, the dream characters themselves did NOT reincarnate. Why? Because they were all false right? Same too, this world is false and these separate identities we think we are, are false. The doer behind all identities is the Same ONE.

    So do YOU reincarnate? Yes. But not in the way you think. Because YOU are NOT the haume or separate identity you think you are. It's Waheguru who is experiencing all the different lifetimes.

     
  12. Ishna

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    Of course it's not, as haumai is a perceived separation between self and God.

    Sure. And that conscious awareness is God, not your personality, not your sense of self, not you in any way. You die.

    Agreed. God is the dreamer and we are the dream characters. Dream characters don't reincarnate, right? They have no reality or substance of their own outside of the dream.

    I think fundamentally we agree but our understanding of God, self and jyot are perhaps different. I am nothing, I die, I am a dream character. The jyot is God, the jyot continues. I am not the jyot. I am merely the cloth over the jyot. Ishna will not exist in an afterlife, Ishna is temporary. In reality there is only God.
     
  13. Harkiran Kaur

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    Exactly! Ishna Ji does not reincarnate but YOU DO! Because fundamentally, you are not Ishna! Science is actually proving that awareness consciousness whatever is not created by the body, it just exists. In fact all of reality is created by that one consciousness, which is you, me, everyone but we are one and the same. Each night when I dream I don't remember the previous dream character from the night before. But I was really the consciousness behind both. Or in the same dream, I might not recall that I am actually the monster chasing myself in my own nightmare! But I really am! It all happened in my dream! But when I wake up, I didn't cease to exist. I was the consciousness behind that character. The character ceases to exist but I don't. We (or rather the I AM) only changes forms, and we may not remember previous forms, but that's why the imperative to wake up while still in the dream.
    I have already accepted that I am not Harkiran. Harkiran is only one part I will play, have played, am playing right now. I am striving to realize universal consciousness.

    Tonight I might dream my name is Helga and I am a lumberjacks wife. When I wake tomorrow Helga will cease to exist but I won't. I realize that Helga is not my TRUE identity. But my consciousness my essence is who I really am. Since this reality is just another 'dream' which has no real substance, I know I will surpass it.

    So what I am trying to say is that Waheguru IS you and me and everyone. And that sense of self that you think is Ishna, is really Waheguru who has forgotten that Ishna is just a costume. This is what Gurbani talks about so much attachment. Attachment to this identity as if it's all we have. But it's not. It's like a person who had a whole life then at 30 gets profound amnesia and starts living a new life. Eventually he remembers his old life, but in that time he had built an entirely new identity around entirely new people and an entirely new life with different hobbies etc. So, which one is the real him? The answer is neither. The conscious awareness of sense of self exists outside both actually.

     
  14. Original

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    Dear All

    The important thing to remember is the difference between TRUTH and REALITY. Take for example, the multiple reflections of the moon in little pockets of water dotted around the globe.. Whilst the reflections holds true a representation of the moon at night, reality is a single moon casting all the reflections. This confirmation can only be had by looking up at the sky. Truth may not be reality, but can the reflections be denied their independent existence spread out in space below ? No ! Neither can Ishna [soul] be denied an infinite existence.

    Good day !
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    #194 Original, Aug 13, 2017 at 3:46 PM
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 7:39 PM
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