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What's Wrong With God?

Inderjeet Kaur

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One cannot discuss the nature of God meaningfully because that nature is ineffable. The Mul Mantar does it as well as it can be done with words. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be a Sikh. There are many other things to be that aren't nearly as troublesome. I could be a banker or a firefighter or even a (gulp!) barber. The nature of God," whatever that is, must encompass action that cannot be realized in static words. I apologize that this is so big. I didn't mean it to be. But it's 0614 and I'm too tired to redo it now, so live with it.,

 

Harkiran Kaur

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in my opinion, it does matter, the Allah the muslims worship is a god that most muslims understand to be the giver of bliss and provider of happiness, the Ram the Hindus worship is a god that most Hindus are able to manifest in any manner of beings and objects, and the God the Christians worship has all manner of personality traits that are very human like, so in a sense, is an imperfect being, none seem to ably describe Waheguru
Are you sure? Or perhaps is that how THEY imagine our Creator / Source to be? Just because a certain group of people ascribe certain (mostly human) traits to something / someone they can’t fully understand doesn’t mean that entity actually fits their interpretation.

I would say it’s more logical that ALL humans are really having the same entity / creator in mind (the source of all) however they will ascribe traits as per their experiences, culture and understanding. Where Gurbani is different is that it straight out says we can’t ever understand fully. However I don’t think at the core of it all, they are ‘different’ entities that each culture are worshipping...

Hope that made sense...
 

Ishna

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Are you sure? Or perhaps is that how THEY imagine our Creator / Source to be? Just because a certain group of people ascribe certain (mostly human) traits to something / someone they can’t fully understand doesn’t mean that entity actually fits their interpretation.

I would say it’s more logical that ALL humans are really having the same entity / creator in mind (the source of all) however they will ascribe traits as per their experiences, culture and understanding. Where Gurbani is different is that it straight out says we can’t ever understand fully. However I don’t think at the core of it all, they are ‘different’ entities that each culture are worshipping...

Hope that made sense...
I think this position is supported by Gurbani and is the most logical.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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I agree with what bhainji Harkiran Kaur wrote, but it'll be a "cold day in hell" when others see this.

I remember a discussion I had with an evangelical Christian. I was translating the Mul Mantar. She actually agreed with me until I explained the meaning of nirvair.
"So your God doesn't hate anything?"
"Our belief is that the Creator doesn't hate period."
"Your God hates only sin, right?"
"We believe the One hates nothing, not even sin."
She exploded.
"YOUR GOD ISN'T RIGHTEOUS. YOUR GOD IS NOT THE SAME AS OURS. AND YOU ARE WRONG."
"sigh.* End of discussion.

 

Ishna

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I was reading So Dar last night, and some things stood out to me. It's just my understanding, yours might be different.

Where are You?
So many people and things hint at You.
All of creation is a symphony of notes in the song that is You.
Everyone says how great You are
But only people who've heard the Song actually know you.
And no one can transmit the hearing of the Song to anyone else.
They have to hear it for themselves.
And it's priceless.
Also, the metaphor of the blind people and the elephant comes to mind.
 

Harry Haller

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You and I seem to be reading the shabad differently, brother.

You're focused on the first line, which to my mind talks about a kind of hypocrisy; if not literally fasting and murdering, then metaphorically illustrating the futility of a hollow ritual to please Allah while simultaneously committing bad deeds.

Kabeer ends by saying Allah is hidden within every heart and implores the Qazi to search there, within himself, to find Allah / the "One Lord".

I think if a bhagat like Kabeer was addressing Christians, he or she might say that God is hidden within every heart and that the Christians should search there instead of eating the bread and drinking the wine to please God one moment and then murdering for pleasure in the next.

But is the Allah within that Kabeer refers to the same as the Allah described by Islam? Probably not. But the word is to a degree transferrable. Just like the word "God".
possibly, but is to a degree enough when your talking about the ultimate power of the universe? is to a degree enough to lump them all into one?
 

Harry Haller

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Are you sure? Or perhaps is that how THEY imagine our Creator / Source to be? Just because a certain group of people ascribe certain (mostly human) traits to something / someone they can’t fully understand doesn’t mean that entity actually fits their interpretation.

I would say it’s more logical that ALL humans are really having the same entity / creator in mind (the source of all) however they will ascribe traits as per their experiences, culture and understanding. Where Gurbani is different is that it straight out says we can’t ever understand fully. However I don’t think at the core of it all, they are ‘different’ entities that each culture are worshipping...

Hope that made sense...
yes it makes perfect sense, however, it only validates the point that each entity, and each interpretation is different and therefore to group them together and use a common word for all of them is incomprehensible,
 

Harry Haller

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I agree with what bhainji Harkiran Kaur wrote, but it'll be a "cold day in hell" when others see this.

I remember a discussion I had with an evangelical Christian. I was translating the Mul Mantar. She actually agreed with me until I explained the meaning of nirvair.
"So your God doesn't hate anything?"
"Our belief is that the Creator doesn't hate period."
"Your God hates only sin, right?"
"We believe the One hates nothing, not even sin."
She exploded.
"YOUR GOD ISN'T RIGHTEOUS. YOUR GOD IS NOT THE SAME AS OURS. AND YOU ARE WRONG."
"sigh.* End of discussion.
but she is correct, her god is not the same as our god,
 

Ishna

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possibly, but is to a degree enough when your talking about the ultimate power of the universe? is to a degree enough to lump them all into one?
If a Muslim goes looking for Allah within and finds Waheguru, then what is the problem?

More specific to the title of this thread, the word 'God' predates Christianity in northern Europe. Technically speaking it shouldn't apply to the Christian God, whose name is Yahweh. Technically speaking the word 'God' has etymology in what may have meant something like 'invoked idol', but the history of the word is vague. The word 'God' is flexible and usually the audience can figure out just which conception of the divine the speaker is referring to.

Perhaps I should use 'god' with a lower case 'g'.

I struggle to pronounce 'Waheguru'. :(
 
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Ishna

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possibly, but is to a degree enough when your talking about the ultimate power of the universe? is to a degree enough to lump them all into one?
Also, what do you think of all the examples of other God names used in Gurbani? Obviously Gurbani isn't singing the praises of those god-characters. So why does it use them at all?
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Ishna wrote: (Sorry, I'm not getting the quote thingy working correctly.)
Also, what do you think of all the examples of other God names used in Gurbani? Obviously Gurbani isn't singing the praises of those god-characters. So why does it use them at all?

I have asked myself that many times and still don't have a satisfactory answer beyond thinking "maybe Star Trek was right." Maybe they do exist as created beings, possibly extraterrestrial aliens, but certainly not as gods of any sort. Maybe the weight of so many minds of so many people believing in them for so long has given them some sort of existence. I told Yamraj something like that when he showed up in my NDE a few years ago. Or maybe, just maybe...

Maybe they are poetic metaphors that the people of that time and place would understand and relate to.
 

Harry Haller

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well to my mind its quite simple, most religions offer a detailed explanation on the character of God, Allah, Ram, whatever, Sikhism is the only religion to my mind that on the whole says, 'I just don't know', so a Muslim looking for Allah within would not be satisfied with the huge blanks in Sikhism, what he is looking for has definitive traits, Waheguru does not have definitive traits, it has unknown traits
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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... Waheguru does not have definitive traits, it has unknown traits
I think the Mul Mantar is as close as we come to a description.

ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ
Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯ nām karṯā purakẖ nirbẖa▫o nirvair akāl mūraṯ ajūnī saibẖaʼn gur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace ~

ਜਪੁ
Jap.
Chant And Meditate:

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ
Āḏ sacẖ jugāḏ sacẖ.
True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages.

ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥
Hai bẖī sacẖ Nānak hosī bẖī sacẖ. ||1||
True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. ||1||

(Some would leave off the lines starting with "Jap." I refuse to argue about this.)

The one word "Nirvair" separates Sikhi forever from the Abrahamic religions. They view God as always being angry about - hating - one thing or another, most often about the sinfulness of us humans. "Nirvair is translated here as "no hatred." I have most often seen it translated as "No enmity."

:sword:I wonder if "No Negativity" might work. Those whose Punjabi exceeds mine, please comment.
 

Ishna

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well to my mind its quite simple, most religions offer a detailed explanation on the character of God, Allah, Ram, whatever, Sikhism is the only religion to my mind that on the whole says, 'I just don't know', so a Muslim looking for Allah within would not be satisfied with the huge blanks in Sikhism, what he is looking for has definitive traits, Waheguru does not have definitive traits, it has unknown traits
Sure, compared to a god-character like Allah, Yahweh or Thor, the description of god in Sikhi is not very personal. Although Gurbani can be very personal about it when it talks about the Husband Lord. Guru Sahib sung about god being his Beloved. He sung about the light within everything. Gurbani itself says to look for Allah within - Gurbani's words, not mine. I think, if you're told there's treasure here, even if you think that treasure is going to be a big gold trophy, and you start digging, and you find diamonds, it's was definitely worth digging for the trophy, because you found something so much better.
 

Harry Haller

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Sure, compared to a god-character like Allah, Yahweh or Thor, the description of god in Sikhi is not very personal. Although Gurbani can be very personal about it when it talks about the Husband Lord. Guru Sahib sung about god being his Beloved. He sung about the light within everything. Gurbani itself says to look for Allah within - Gurbani's words, not mine. I think, if you're told there's treasure here, even if you think that treasure is going to be a big gold trophy, and you start digging, and you find diamonds, it's was definitely worth digging for the trophy, because you found something so much better.
but were not those words directed at the Qazi?
 

Ishna

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maybe its telling him that the true Allah can be reached by following the shabad?
Yes, I think it might be. I think that's what Gurbani is getting at whenever it uses the names of other gods.

Here's another one ang 885:

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ
Rāmkalī mėhlā 5.
Raamkalee, Fifth Mehl:

ਕੋਈ ਬੋਲੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਕੋਈ ਖੁਦਾਇ
Ko▫ī bolai rām rām ko▫ī kẖuḏā▫e.
Some call Him, 'Raam, Raam', and some call Him, 'Khudaa-i'.

ਕੋਈ ਸੇਵੈ ਗੁਸਈਆ ਕੋਈ ਅਲਾਹਿ ॥੧॥
Ko▫ī sevai gus▫ī▫ā ko▫ī alāhi. ||1||
Some serve Him as 'Gusain', others as 'Allah'. ||1||

ਕਾਰਣ ਕਰਣ ਕਰੀਮ
Kāraṇ karaṇ karīm.
He is the Cause of causes, the Generous Lord.

ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰਿ ਰਹੀਮ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
Kirpā ḏẖār rahīm. ||1|| rahā▫o.
He showers His Grace and Mercy upon us. ||1||Pause||

ਕੋਈ ਨਾਵੈ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਕੋਈ ਹਜ ਜਾਇ
Ko▫ī nāvai ṯirath ko▫ī haj jā▫e.
Some bathe at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, and some make the pilgrimage to Mecca.|

ਕੋਈ ਕਰੈ ਪੂਜਾ ਕੋਈ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਿਵਾਇ ॥੨॥
Ko▫ī karai pūjā ko▫ī sir nivā▫e. ||2||
Some perform devotional worship services, and some bow their heads in prayer. ||2||

ਕੋਈ ਪੜੈ ਬੇਦ ਕੋਈ ਕਤੇਬ
Ko▫ī paṛai beḏ ko▫ī kaṯeb.
Some read the Vedas, and some the Koran.

ਕੋਈ ਓਢੈ ਨੀਲ ਕੋਈ ਸੁਪੇਦ ॥੩॥
Ko▫ī odẖai nīl ko▫ī supeḏ. ||3||
Some wear blue robes, and some wear white. ||3||

ਕੋਈ ਕਹੈ ਤੁਰਕੁ ਕੋਈ ਕਹੈ ਹਿੰਦੂ
Ko▫ī kahai ṯurak ko▫ī kahai hinḏū.
Some call themselves Muslim, and some call themselves Hindu.

ਕੋਈ ਬਾਛੈ ਭਿਸਤੁ ਕੋਈ ਸੁਰਗਿੰਦੂ ॥੪॥
Ko▫ī bācẖẖai bẖisaṯ ko▫ī surginḏū. ||4||
Some yearn for paradise, and others long for heaven. ||4||

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ
Kaho Nānak jin hukam pacẖẖāṯā.
Says Nanak, one who realizes the Hukam of God's Will,

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਜਾਤਾ ॥੫॥੯॥
Parabẖ sāhib kā ṯin bẖeḏ jāṯā. ||5||9||
knows the secrets of his Lord and Master. ||5||9||​
 

Harry Haller

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Yes, I think it might be. I think that's what Gurbani is getting at whenever it uses the names of other gods.

Here's another one ang 885:

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ
Rāmkalī mėhlā 5.
Raamkalee, Fifth Mehl:

ਕੋਈ ਬੋਲੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਕੋਈ ਖੁਦਾਇ
Ko▫ī bolai rām rām ko▫ī kẖuḏā▫e.
Some call Him, 'Raam, Raam', and some call Him, 'Khudaa-i'.

ਕੋਈ ਸੇਵੈ ਗੁਸਈਆ ਕੋਈ ਅਲਾਹਿ ॥੧॥
Ko▫ī sevai gus▫ī▫ā ko▫ī alāhi. ||1||
Some serve Him as 'Gusain', others as 'Allah'. ||1||

ਕਾਰਣ ਕਰਣ ਕਰੀਮ
Kāraṇ karaṇ karīm.
He is the Cause of causes, the Generous Lord.

ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰਿ ਰਹੀਮ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
Kirpā ḏẖār rahīm. ||1|| rahā▫o.
He showers His Grace and Mercy upon us. ||1||Pause||

ਕੋਈ ਨਾਵੈ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਕੋਈ ਹਜ ਜਾਇ
Ko▫ī nāvai ṯirath ko▫ī haj jā▫e.
Some bathe at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, and some make the pilgrimage to Mecca.|

ਕੋਈ ਕਰੈ ਪੂਜਾ ਕੋਈ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਿਵਾਇ ॥੨॥
Ko▫ī karai pūjā ko▫ī sir nivā▫e. ||2||
Some perform devotional worship services, and some bow their heads in prayer. ||2||

ਕੋਈ ਪੜੈ ਬੇਦ ਕੋਈ ਕਤੇਬ
Ko▫ī paṛai beḏ ko▫ī kaṯeb.
Some read the Vedas, and some the Koran.

ਕੋਈ ਓਢੈ ਨੀਲ ਕੋਈ ਸੁਪੇਦ ॥੩॥
Ko▫ī odẖai nīl ko▫ī supeḏ. ||3||
Some wear blue robes, and some wear white. ||3||

ਕੋਈ ਕਹੈ ਤੁਰਕੁ ਕੋਈ ਕਹੈ ਹਿੰਦੂ
Ko▫ī kahai ṯurak ko▫ī kahai hinḏū.
Some call themselves Muslim, and some call themselves Hindu.

ਕੋਈ ਬਾਛੈ ਭਿਸਤੁ ਕੋਈ ਸੁਰਗਿੰਦੂ ॥੪॥
Ko▫ī bācẖẖai bẖisaṯ ko▫ī surginḏū. ||4||
Some yearn for paradise, and others long for heaven. ||4||

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ
Kaho Nānak jin hukam pacẖẖāṯā.
Says Nanak, one who realizes the Hukam of God's Will,

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਜਾਤਾ ॥੫॥੯॥
Parabẖ sāhib kā ṯin bẖeḏ jāṯā. ||5||9||
knows the secrets of his Lord and Master. ||5||9||​
its saying we are all the same and all hanker after the same thing, and rather than go for heaven or paradise just accept and do your best?
 

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This Shabd is found on page 874 of the SGGS ji.

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