I have 2 questions I'm confused about.

 

1)  If the Divine Essence is in everything then why be against a Hindu's image of Saraswati, for example.  Why is a Hindu deity (or any other) considered inferior or not worthy of being an aspect or Naam of the Divine.  I do not mean to offend.  I'm just trying to learn.

 

2) I don't understand Sikhism regarding other religions.  I read on websites that Sikhs consider all paths as valid paths to the Divine yet parts of SGGS seem to criticize them.  Hoping someone can clarify. 

 

3) I would also like to learn more about the concept  and practice of daya/compassion in Sikhism.

 

Thanks!

 

Jasnoor

 

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Guroofateh Jasnoor Jee, hope you are well.

 

Real good questions! Let me being by saying that my response is my own humble opinion and so please forgive me if I say anything offensive or misleading. I really do encourage that after listening to what myself and others have say, you do form your own  views and that you do not take anything as “gospel”.

I have chosen to answer both of your questions together if that is ok, as I believe that they are inter-linked.

 

As you have said, I am sure that the very thing that attracted you to Sikhi in the first place was its "universalism”. That unlike all previous religions that seems to conjure the idea that God was this old man upon a cloud in a white gown with a long grey beard; he is more personal than that. Sikhi teaches that God is IN everything because he IS everything. It’s not that God is within humans and not other life forms and that he is within the “holy man” and absent from the “sinner”. For he is the wind, the sun, the chair, the table, the pen, the paper, the car, the vegetation, the elements of the periodic table. He is in vibration of every atom. He is the beauty within Mozart’s symphonies and within each pigment of Picasso's paintings. 

 

Prior to the arrival of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Jee, Hindus and Muslims were at each other’s throats regarding whose religion was considered to be superior. The arrival Guru Sahib aided to dispel the notion of "right way to worship” and a "wrong way”. To remove the mere labels of religion in that “I am Christian” or “I am a Muslim” thus removing the divide of ‘them and us’.

 

He came to enlighten humanity and rid the world of superstition and meaningless rituals. He taught that visiting sacred shrines have no effect upon ones spirituality, that fasting, praying to Mecca, remaining abstinent, bathing in the Ganges and worshiping stone idols do nothing for the soul.

In relation to your first question specifically of the Hindu deities, I interpret it as that  Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Jee emphasised Gods almightiness and thus by confining him to a stone idol, a demi god or Mecca, it severely limits his power. This also applies to Islam and Christianity. If you read these scriptures you see that they not only lack grandeur and portray God as God of earth rather than the universe, but these paths are also caught up in rituals and have lost their original message.

 

 Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee tells us:

 

“  I do not perform Hindu worship services, nor do I offer the Muslim prayers... - Even the Vedas do not know the Guru's Glory. They narrate only a tiny bit of what is heard

 

Thus, Vaaheguroo is not a demi-god or a deity, he is above all that. Thus, our emphasis should focus solely upon becoming a humble and honest being, serving mankind remembering God; by meditating upon the naam. A line in gurbaani sums this up beautifully…

 

mihar maseeth sidhak musalaa hak halaal kuraan ||

Let mercy be your mosque, faith your prayer-mat, and honest living your Koran.

saram su(n)nath seel rojaa hohu musalamaan ||

Make modesty your circumcision, and good conduct your fast. In this way, you shall be a true Muslim.

karanee kaabaa sach peer kalamaa karam nivaaj ||

Let good conduct be your Kaabaa, Truth your spiritual guide, and the karma of good deeds your prayer and chant.

thasabee saa this bhaavasee naanak rakhai laaj ||1||

Let your rosary be that which is pleasing to His Will. O Nanak, God shall preserve your honor. ||1||

 

With that being said, Sikhi is not like the Abrahamic faiths which preach their path to be the only true path. Just has a river has many tributaries; they all lead to the same source.  There are no instructions which tell you how to love your parents, so why do you need rituals or instructions to love Vaaheguroo? Just as his creation is so diverse, so are the methods in which to love him. Sikhi may just be the most direct as it remains undistorted. Thus…

 

baedh kathaeb kehahu math jhoot(h)ae jhoot(h)aa jo n bichaarai ||
Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false.

 

aleh raam jeevo thaerae naaee ||
O Allah, O Raam, I live by Your Name.

 

Hope his has helped jee. When I have more time I  might explain this again. I also don't mind clarifying anything up.

 

Take Care, God Bless!

 

Vaaaheguroo Jee Kaa Khaalsaa Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!  

Sat Nam


GoraSingh Ji, thank you!  You have clarified so much for me. I will need to keep rereading it to truly take it all in.  I am thinking I might dig out my paper journal over the weekend and freewrite on this to take it in as deeply as possible.  I have over all practiced Abrahamic religions so my way of relating to all this is causing me to feel so blessed. 


As I look over the questions I asked, I hope they didn't look harsh and critical.  I just find myself getting confused.  And that is actually good because it causes me to search for the answers.

 

 

GoraSinghUK said:

Guroofateh Jasnoor Jee, hope you are well.

 

Real good questions! Let me being by saying that my response is my own humble opinion and so please forgive me if I say anything offensive or misleading. I really do encourage that after listening to what myself and others have say, you do form your own  views and that you do not take anything as “gospel”.

I have chosen to answer both of your questions together if that is ok, as I believe that they are inter-linked.

 

As you have said, I am sure that the very thing that attracted you to Sikhi in the first place was its "universalism”. That unlike all previous religions that seems to conjure the idea that God was this old man upon a cloud in a white gown with a long grey beard; he is more personal than that. Sikhi teaches that God is IN everything because he IS everything. It’s not that God is within humans and not other life forms and that he is within the “holy man” and absent from the “sinner”. For he is the wind, the sun, the chair, the table, the pen, the paper, the car, the vegetation, the elements of the periodic table. He is in vibration of every atom. He is the beauty within Mozart’s symphonies and within each pigment of Picasso's paintings. 

 

Prior to the arrival of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Jee, Hindus and Muslims were at each other’s throats regarding whose religion was considered to be superior. The arrival Guru Sahib aided to dispel the notion of "right way to worship” and a "wrong way”. To remove the mere labels of religion in that “I am Christian” or “I am a Muslim” thus removing the divide of ‘them and us’.

 

He came to enlighten humanity and rid the world of superstition and meaningless rituals. He taught that visiting sacred shrines have no effect upon ones spirituality, that fasting, praying to Mecca, remaining abstinent, bathing in the Ganges and worshiping stone idols do nothing for the soul.

In relation to your first question specifically of the Hindu deities, I interpret it as that  Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Jee emphasised Gods almightiness and thus by confining him to a stone idol, a demi god or Mecca, it severely limits his power. This also applies to Islam and Christianity. If you read these scriptures you see that they not only lack grandeur and portray God as God of earth rather than the universe, but these paths are also caught up in rituals and have lost their original message.

 

 Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee tells us:

 

“  I do not perform Hindu worship services, nor do I offer the Muslim prayers... - Even the Vedas do not know the Guru's Glory. They narrate only a tiny bit of what is heard

 

Thus, Vaaheguroo is not a demi-god or a deity, he is above all that. Thus, our emphasis should focus solely upon becoming a humble and honest being, serving mankind remembering God; by meditating upon the naam. A line in gurbaani sums this up beautifully…

 

mihar maseeth sidhak musalaa hak halaal kuraan ||

Let mercy be your mosque, faith your prayer-mat, and honest living your Koran.

saram su(n)nath seel rojaa hohu musalamaan ||

Make modesty your circumcision, and good conduct your fast. In this way, you shall be a true Muslim.

karanee kaabaa sach peer kalamaa karam nivaaj ||

Let good conduct be your Kaabaa, Truth your spiritual guide, and the karma of good deeds your prayer and chant.

thasabee saa this bhaavasee naanak rakhai laaj ||1||

Let your rosary be that which is pleasing to His Will. O Nanak, God shall preserve your honor. ||1||

 

With that being said, Sikhi is not like the Abrahamic faiths which preach their path to be the only true path. Just has a river has many tributaries; they all lead to the same source.  There are no instructions which tell you how to love your parents, so why do you need rituals or instructions to love Vaaheguroo? Just as his creation is so diverse, so are the methods in which to love him. Sikhi may just be the most direct as it remains undistorted. Thus…

 

baedh kathaeb kehahu math jhoot(h)ae jhoot(h)aa jo n bichaarai ||
Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false.

 

aleh raam jeevo thaerae naaee ||
O Allah, O Raam, I live by Your Name.

 

Hope his has helped jee. When I have more time I  might explain this again. I also don't mind clarifying anything up.

 

Take Care, God Bless!

 

Vaaaheguroo Jee Kaa Khaalsaa Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!  

Sat Siri Akaal pyare Jasnoor Ji

Thank you for asking these questions.

I think Veer Gora Singh Ji has very eloquently answered the first two. I would like to comment on the third question, that of Daya / compassion. I think the life of Bhai Kanhaiya Ji, a Sikh from Guru Gobind Singh Ji's time epitimises the Sikh concept of daya. (Please check out Sikhiwiki http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Bhai_Kanhaiya  if you are not familiar). My understanding is that the term

Daya refers to both the compassion (or grace) that the Creator bestows upon the whole of creation every second of every day . It also refers to a quality which is essential to being a Gurumukh, symbolised by the name of the first Panj Piyara.  I have been blessed to have witnessed (and been the recipiant) of daya from many Sikhs over the years. The main difference is that it comes without expectation and very often when forgiveness is required. It is difficult to describe but you do know when you have received it!

Best wishes and Chardi Kalla,

Parminder Singh

Satnam

I love everything you wrote in your reply and I am so grateful  you took the time to help me out like that.

 

I am not surprised that Sikhism, even as one of the youngest religions, is the fifth most practiced religion in the world.  I think it holds a lot of the spiritual nourishment that the west is hungry for.  So many people have left the churches they grew up in, but I sense there is so much spiritual longing.

 

I explained to someone yesterday that the Sikh way of life is so simple and that is what makes it so profoundly beautiful. 

 

I understand that there has often been so much tension between Muslims and Hindus and Guru Nanak was trying to find the path of God that they could share together.  Even today there seems to be a lot of tension in some parts of Asia between Hindus and Muslims.  I hope as a Sikh, if I do take this path, I will be one who defends the unity in diversity as Guru Nanak did.

 

Peace,

Jasnoor


GoraSinghUK said:

Guroofateh Jasnoor Jee, hope you are well.

 

Real good questions! Let me being by saying that my response is my own humble opinion and so please forgive me if I say anything offensive or misleading. I really do encourage that after listening to what myself and others have say, you do form your own  views and that you do not take anything as “gospel”.

I have chosen to answer both of your questions together if that is ok, as I believe that they are inter-linked.

 

As you have said, I am sure that the very thing that attracted you to Sikhi in the first place was its "universalism”. That unlike all previous religions that seems to conjure the idea that God was this old man upon a cloud in a white gown with a long grey beard; he is more personal than that. Sikhi teaches that God is IN everything because he IS everything. It’s not that God is within humans and not other life forms and that he is within the “holy man” and absent from the “sinner”. For he is the wind, the sun, the chair, the table, the pen, the paper, the car, the vegetation, the elements of the periodic table. He is in vibration of every atom. He is the beauty within Mozart’s symphonies and within each pigment of Picasso's paintings. 

 

Prior to the arrival of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Jee, Hindus and Muslims were at each other’s throats regarding whose religion was considered to be superior. The arrival Guru Sahib aided to dispel the notion of "right way to worship” and a "wrong way”. To remove the mere labels of religion in that “I am Christian” or “I am a Muslim” thus removing the divide of ‘them and us’.

 

He came to enlighten humanity and rid the world of superstition and meaningless rituals. He taught that visiting sacred shrines have no effect upon ones spirituality, that fasting, praying to Mecca, remaining abstinent, bathing in the Ganges and worshiping stone idols do nothing for the soul.

In relation to your first question specifically of the Hindu deities, I interpret it as that  Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Jee emphasised Gods almightiness and thus by confining him to a stone idol, a demi god or Mecca, it severely limits his power. This also applies to Islam and Christianity. If you read these scriptures you see that they not only lack grandeur and portray God as God of earth rather than the universe, but these paths are also caught up in rituals and have lost their original message.

 

 Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee tells us:

 

“  I do not perform Hindu worship services, nor do I offer the Muslim prayers... - Even the Vedas do not know the Guru's Glory. They narrate only a tiny bit of what is heard

 

Thus, Vaaheguroo is not a demi-god or a deity, he is above all that. Thus, our emphasis should focus solely upon becoming a humble and honest being, serving mankind remembering God; by meditating upon the naam. A line in gurbaani sums this up beautifully…

 

mihar maseeth sidhak musalaa hak halaal kuraan ||

Let mercy be your mosque, faith your prayer-mat, and honest living your Koran.

saram su(n)nath seel rojaa hohu musalamaan ||

Make modesty your circumcision, and good conduct your fast. In this way, you shall be a true Muslim.

karanee kaabaa sach peer kalamaa karam nivaaj ||

Let good conduct be your Kaabaa, Truth your spiritual guide, and the karma of good deeds your prayer and chant.

thasabee saa this bhaavasee naanak rakhai laaj ||1||

Let your rosary be that which is pleasing to His Will. O Nanak, God shall preserve your honor. ||1||

 

With that being said, Sikhi is not like the Abrahamic faiths which preach their path to be the only true path. Just has a river has many tributaries; they all lead to the same source.  There are no instructions which tell you how to love your parents, so why do you need rituals or instructions to love Vaaheguroo? Just as his creation is so diverse, so are the methods in which to love him. Sikhi may just be the most direct as it remains undistorted. Thus…

 

baedh kathaeb kehahu math jhoot(h)ae jhoot(h)aa jo n bichaarai ||
Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false.

 

aleh raam jeevo thaerae naaee ||
O Allah, O Raam, I live by Your Name.

 

Hope his has helped jee. When I have more time I  might explain this again. I also don't mind clarifying anything up.

 

Take Care, God Bless!

 

Vaaaheguroo Jee Kaa Khaalsaa Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!  

Nonu ji,

 

This is the essential message of Sikhism, right?

 

Her Name is Truth.  Truth is One.  And She is everywhere. 

 

:)

 

 

 

 

 

Nonu said:

Jasnoor, all religions are like cars. They do the same work. take you from point A to B. The cars may be of different colour, make or size but essentially they are a mode of transport. Similarly, religions are a mode of transport to bring you close to the god, the Truth! Truth is omni. What is it???? It is being humble, love the people around you, help the needy, respect all kind of living forms, tread the path of truth and much more!

Andrea ji


I think you have put into words what appeals to many people who come to explore Sikhism.  It is a religion of tolerance and also allows for freedom from a rigid creed, etc., so that we can learn and grow into the unity and diversity of Sikhism.


Maybe I complicate things more than I have to. Maybe I need to try to simplify more and interestingly one thing I love about Sikhism is the simplicity of Sikhism.  That is such a gift for my heart and I think I need to embrace it more...this Simplicity is God in action.

 

Jasnoor

 

 

Andrea Alvarado said:

Just have to say, love the way you are digging deep. It is not easy and sometimes confusing, frustrating, the pits at times (at least for me), but one of the things how I saw Sikhi was yes belief in Akal Purkh, tolerance and defending truth and others' way of worshiping God, and serving fellow man. For me that is more than enough. But each individual has his/her path and how to approach this Truth. That is the beauty of the diversity of human kind and souls and the heart.

 

And well regardless of what path I take or the next person takes, personally I've always felt I am free to worship God and never agreed in damning the next guy because he prays differently or doesn't pray at all.Because if the damning to Hell would be real, then absolutely no one would be saved...one group would damn the rest of  humanity and the other group do exactly the same thing, but in reverse, so that would leave no one left on earth or in Heaven...and well that is just plain silly if you ask me.

 

Andrea

I didn't know the early gurus were Sufis.  I know many Sufis liked hanging out with the gurus, but not that they were Sufi.  Do you have any sources you could point me to which explain their connection with Sufism?  I'd like to explore it more.

 

Jasnoor


Nonu said:

Sikhism is a very young religion, no doubt. The people who gave birth to it wanted Sikhism to shun the negatives of the religions prevelant at the time of its institution. Religions like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, was and still is too ritualistic. Islam was being forced down people's throats and Christainity was also forced upon people but not as forcefully as Islam.

Sikhism was set up to give show a new way to connect to God for people who were tired of the complexity of religions on offer at that time. Thats why it attracted hordes of hindus and muslims.

It had its roots in sufism, a movement running parallel to religious movements. The early gurus were sufis and in my opinion sufism is the best way to connect with the almighty. Guru Nanak was a sufi. He wasnt a amritdhari and didnt believe in ritualism. What he believed in was that one has to be true to one's conscience and everything follows.

 

 

Sat Nam

 

Vikramjit ji

 

Hi.  Sufis don't actually "dance" if you are referring to zikr and whirling dervishes.  Zikr uses the body and voice to create bliss.  Whirling dervishes are whirling for God.  I think both Sikhs and Sufis understand the effect of the voice and body on spiritual states.

 

As for the rest, I really am ignorant on the topic so I really don't know.

 

Jasnoor  :)

 

vikramjit s wasu said:

I DONT THINK Guru Nanak had any time been influenced by any sufi saint

Now if other had similar views like Guru Nanak then it does not mean Sikhism had origin in sufism (even though BABA  Fareed ji came much earlier than GURU NANAK )

 

SOME basic differences are sikhs regard GOD as husband and sufis as wife

Dancing is part of many sufi types of worship. Sikhism does not believe in this worship (and this is present from the times of GURU NANAK)

Another SUFI wh was supposed to have contact with Sikhism was Mian Mir ji who was invited to lay the foundation stone of Harmandir saheb

Then there is Budhu Shah who was agreat devotee of TENTH MASTER GURU GOBIND SINGH He sacrificed his 4 sons and many devotees fighting the wars of TENTH MASTER.

 

so contact of sufi saints and interaction was there between sikh GURUS and Sufi saints right upto Tenth Guru who was again priased by another Sufi saint Bulle Shah

 

Nah Karoon Ab Kee,
Nah Karoon Baat Tab Kee.
Gar Na Hotey Guru Gobind Singh,
Sunat Hoti Sab Kee.

I speak not of now,
I speak of the then (time).
If it had not been for (Sri) Guru Gobind Singh (Ji),
Sunat (Islamic circumsizion) would have been applied to all (of India).

- Baba Bulleh (Abdullah) Shah

"Jasnoor the Sikh saidB

I didn't know the early gurus were Sufis.  I know many Sufis liked hanging out with the gurus, but not that they were Sufi.  Do you have any sources you could point me to which explain their connection with Sufism?  I'd like to explore it more.

 

Jasnoor


Nonu said:

Sikhism is a very young religion, no doubt. The people who gave birth to it wanted Sikhism to shun the negatives of the religions prevelant at the time of its institution. Religions like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, was and still is too ritualistic. Islam was being forced down people's throats and Christainity was also forced upon people but not as forcefully as Islam.

Sikhism was set up to give show a new way to connect to God for people who were tired of the complexity of religions on offer at that time. Thats why it attracted hordes of hindus and muslims.

It had its roots in sufism, a movement running parallel to religious movements. The early gurus were sufis and in my opinion sufism is the best way to connect with the almighty. Guru Nanak was a sufi. He wasnt a amritdhari and didnt believe in ritualism. What he believed in was that one has to be true to one's conscience and everything follows.

 

 

WKWF,

              Jasnoor Ji, it's been long we at NTS haven't heard from you, how are you.

WKWF.

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