Français  |  Mission  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Contact  |  What's new  |  FAQ  |  Search  | 

Welcome to The Heritage Web Site

-->
MY HERITAGE
New Heritage
Main Page
New Account
Set as Homepage
My Account
Logout
GOLDEN JUBILEE
Statistics
DIDARS
COMMUNICATE
Forums
Guestbook
Members List
Recommend Us
NEWS
Timelines
Ismaili History
Today in History
LEARN
Library
Youth's Corner
Ginans
FAIR
Gallery
Photo Album
Others


www.ismaili.net :: View topic - Excerpts from Guru Granth Sahib
FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups  ProfileProfile   
Login to check your private messagesLogin to check your private messages

Excerpts from Guru Granth Sahib
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.ismaili.net Forum Index -> Doctrines
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:26 pm    Post subject: Excerpts from Guru Granth Sahib Reply with quote

Ya Ali Madat.

Over the course of my research for my thesis and personal searches, i read these few phrases from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs)..these are a few stanzas from Jap-ji that at times harken back to verses of the quran (in my humble opinion)..i believe Guru Nanak the first guru was a contemproray of Pir Shams (SA) i could be wrong..but here goes..
let me know your thoughts..




There is One Reality, the Unmanifest-Manifested;
Ever-Existent, He is Naam (Conscious Spirit),
The Creator; pervading all;
Without fear; without enmity;
The Timeless; the Unborn and the Self-existent;
Complete within itself.
Through the favour of His true Servant, the Guru,
He may be realised.
He was when there was nothing.
He was before all ages began;
He existeth now, O Nanak,
And shall exist forevermore.

The text as given constitutes the Mul-Mantra or the basic principles as taught by Guru Nanak. God is described as the One Supreme Being (Nirankar), the Unmanifest-Manifested (Ekankar), the Eternal Verity, the Conscious Spirit pervading all forms that emanate from Him-He upholding the whole creation. He is not apart from His creation, but is immanent in every form.

"This universe is the Abode of the True One
And the True One resides in it."

He being the Creator of all, has no equal and has therefore, none to fear or envy. Again, He is above causation, has a sure existence, but not subject to births and deaths.

He, the Timeless One, existing before time, in time and beyond time, is the only object of worship, and can be reached only through the favour of His Holy Word in Man.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nanak sums up the different systems of human thought, preached for the realisation of oneness with God. He states their inadequacy to reveal the great Reality. Philosophy, intellectual power, outward observances, like the purification of the body (which cannot purify the sinfulness of the mind), keeping silence and fasting etc., are but futile endeavours to reach the Goal. There is only one way to reach Him, and that, says Nanak, is to make God's Will our own. His Will is already a part of our being, but we are not conscious of it. It is not question of finding or creating something new, but rather of attuning oneself to what is already there.

STANZA I


One cannot comprehend Him through reason, even if one
reasoned for ages;
One cannot achieve inner peace by outward silence,
not though one sat dumb for ages;
One cannot buy contentment with all the riches of the world,
nor reach Him with all mental ingenuity.
How may one know the Truth and break through
the cloud of falsehood?
There is a Way, O Nanak, to make His Will our own,
His Will which is already wrought in our existence.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hukam'' or Will, itself, is something which no words can describe. It baffles all description. The real understanding of the Divine Will comes only by direct revelation to every soul. But, with a view to bring home some idea of it, the Master indicates the multifarious aspects directed by His Will. He then goes on to indicate the touchstone by which one may know those who have become one with His Will. The knowledge of the Divine Will means the destruction of the ego.

STANZA II


All things are manifestations of His Will;
But His Will is beyond description.
By His Will is matter quickened into life;
By His Will is greatness obtained;
By His Will some are born high and others low.
By His Will are men's joys and sorrows ordained; (1)
By His Will (the pious) obtain Salvation;
By His Will (the impious) wander in endless transmigration.
All exist under His Will,
And nothing stands outside.
One attuned with His Will, O Nanak, is wholly freed from ego.

(1) The reference here is to the Law of Karma or the Law of Cause and Effect. Our joys and sorrows are all ordained-being the result of our past actions. "As one sows, so does one reap,'' is a common aphorism. Elsewhere, Nanak, has beautifully said:

The flowing pen of His Will,
Runs according to our deeds.

_____________________________________________________________

or as we sing in ginan..
"Dosh Dayalji ko kyun kardijiye, karme likhiya so hi paave.

Shams
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:19 am    Post subject: Sikhism and Pluralism Reply with quote

The only comment that I would make on this is that if you just provided me with the translations without reference to they originating from Sikhism, I would have thought that they were Ginan translations! What this brings about is the strength of pluralism, i.e., contacts with different traditions serve to reinforce and illuminate our own concepts. In this example the concepts of Tawheed, Divine Will and Karma are highlighted and illuminated by studying a different tradition.

It is also an illustration of commonality of traditions, that there is more in common between traditions than differences. This can serve as a powerful force for peace and understanding where there is much conflict around.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:43 am    Post subject: Next 2 stanzas. Reply with quote

Let me know when you folks bore of reading this.
I just find it fascinating the similarities to Suratul Ikhlas...

Stanza III
Some sing of His greatness,
but only according to the power bestowed upon them;
Some sing of His bounties, taking them as His signs;
Some sing of Him as incomprehensible;
Some sing of Him, as transmitting dust into life,
and life into dust again:
Creator and Destroyer, the Giver of life and its Withdrawer.
Some sing of Him as at once the nearest, and the most remote,
There is no end to His description.
Countless have tried to describe Him,
but He still stands beyond all description.
His recipients may tire, but His bounty is untiring;
Ages upon ages, Man has fed upon it.
His Will directs the world;
And yet, O Nanak, He dwells beyond concern or care.


God's Will is indescribable and the question arises-how may we become one with it? Guru Nanak replies that the best we can do is to sit in meditation at the early hour of dawn and commune with His Holy Ward. Our actions and our efforts count no doubt-it is through them that we achieve human birth-but, says Nanak, we cannot earn Salvation, for it must come as the gift of His Grace. Guru Nanak, in the Jap Ji, turns time and again to this paradox, that Salvation is only possible through His Grace, yet we need effort to achieve this Salvation.



Stanza IV
True is the Lord, True His Holy Word;
His love has been described as infinite.
Men pray to Him for gifts, which He grants untiringly.
When all is His;
What can we offer at His feet?
What can we say to win His love?
At the ambrosial hour of the early dawn,
Be you in communion with the Divine Word
And meditate on His Glory.
Our birth is the fruit of our actions;
But Salvation comes only from His Grace.
O Nanak, know the True One as immanent in all.

Communion with the Holy Naam-the Divine Word- together with meditation on His Glory, is the "open sesame" to the realization of the One Being. Word is the substance and the power by which all life is made. Holy communion with its rapturous strains, is a gift that can be attained only through a Living Master.

In His company a life of holy inspiration and love of God is followed and the inner eye is opened to see the presence of God in all things. Nanak had hinted of this in the prologue itself and now proceeds to describe the greatness and importance of such a soul. A True Master is not a mere human being, but has become One with God, and as such contains in Himself the powers of all the gods and goddesses. He is veritably the Word made flesh and blood. The one lesson that such a Master teaches His disciples is to meditate always upon the Lord, the Creator of everything, and never to forget Him.
[/b]

Stanza V
He can neither be established nor created;
The Formless One is limitless, complete in Himself.
Those who worship Him are honoured;
Nanak, ever sing of the Treasure-house of all virtues,
Let us sing of Him and hold communion with the Word,
with hearts full of loving devotion;
For then shall all sorrows end and we be led joyously Homeward.
The Master1 is the Song Eternal or Word personified;
He is the Vedas, the scriptures;2
He is saturated with the Divine.
He is Siva3, He is Vishnu3, and He is Brahma;3
And their consorts Parvati,4 Lakshmi4 and Saraswati4 also.
The greatness of the Master, even if known,
cannot be described with mortal eloquence.
My Master has taught me one thing;
He is the Lord of everything, Him I may never forget.

(1) The word used in the original is Gurmukh, which at once means the mouthpiece of God and the Master who leads His disciples on the Path of God.
(2) The Master possesses the knowledge of the Divine on which all scriptures are based.
(3) The Master displays all the attributes of the gods forming the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, symbolic of the principles of creation, preservation and destruction. Like Brahma, the expounder of the Vedas, He imparts Divine knowledge and thereby gives a new birth to His disciples-the birth in spirit. Like Vishnu He protects and preserves them from all harm and like Siva, He destroys all evil propensities in them.
(4) Similarly the goddesses: Parvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are symbolic of devotion, wealth and learning. He is a prototype of all these virtues.

In this stanza, Nanak develops more fully the paradox just touched upon in stanza IV. One cannot attain union with God through the observance of certain outward actions, viz: reading of scriptures, saying of prayers, going on pilgrimages, observance of silence, fasts and vigils, performance of rites and rituals, all of which but form part of Apra Vidya which prepare the ground for creating interest for higher life and developing devotion. You may make the best use of them. But these outer acts cannot give emancipation. They are by themselves meaningless. What matters is His glance of Grace. If one has received this, one is blessed indeed. And yet, if Salvation depends on God's love alone, let us not Iive in idleness. A life of inertia can lead nowhere and God helps those who help themselves. No doubt Salvation is achieved only through Grace, yet one must make oneself worthy of the same. And the only way to make oneself worthy is by following the Path taught by a true Moster. By becoming conscious of the Divine Plan, we make His Will our own.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just go on...I am enjoying it. This kind of comparative study is useful and enlightening. Not only are you knowing about another tradition but you are also forced to reflect about your own traditions and understand them in a new light. I would not mind reading your entire work on this. As a matter of curiosity, is Dasond mentioned explicitly anywhere?
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:45 pm    Post subject: Dasond in Guru Granth Sahib Reply with quote

As far as i have gone in this..(just the jap ji to date) there isn't an explicit mention of dasondh..this part of it focuses solely on Allah..the Naam and his attritubes..or lack thereof..since he is above and beyond attributes...
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:54 pm    Post subject: More Granth.. Reply with quote

Stanza VI
If I may only please Him, 'tis pilgrimage enough;
If not, nothing-no rites or toils-avails;
Whichever way I look, I find that in His creation,
None has won salvation without His Grace-regardless of Karmas.1
You can discover untold Spiritual riches within yourself;
If you but abide by the teachings of your Master.2
My Master has taught me one lesson:
He is the Lord of everything, may I never forget Him.

(1) Karma: Action. This term in Indian thought refers to a very complex Hindu doctrine. It emphasises belief that our present actions determine our future, not only in this life but in the life to come. There is nothing like chance. Man works according to a chain of cause and effect. Though spiritual salvation is not possible without Grace, yet, says Nanak, we must deserve that Grace by our Karmas or actions in this life or the lives preceding.
(2) Guru: This term makes its appearance frequently in the Jap Ji and indeed is freely used in all the Sikh scriptures. It stands for a spiritual teacher and whenever Nanak uses it, He does not mean any person who sets up as a spintual guide, but one who has reached the highest plane in the spiritual journey, who is no longer separate from the Almighty and has become His mouthpiece.

Through certain yogic practices one can prolong one's life and master super human and miraculous powers. But, says Nanak, these do not necessarily win God's goodwill, without which all is vanity. In fact, in a later stanza XXIX, Nanak unequivocally states that such supernatural powers, more often than not, become hindrances in the way of full realisation of God.

Stanza VII
If one could extend one's life to four ages,1
nay make it ten times longer;
If one were known throughout the nine planes of creation;
And everyone therein followed him in respect;
If every creature praised him to the sky:
All this and more has no value
if God's eye looked not kindly upon him:
Without His goodwill, he will be reckoned
as the meanest worm amongst worms;
And sinners shall charge him with sins.
O Nanak, He bestows virtues on those who have none,
and adds to the store of the virtuous.
But there is naught that can bestow aught upon Him.

(1) Nanak here is referring to the ancient Indian doctrine of the four Yugas or cycles of time, which somewhat parallels the Western belief in the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

Nanak makes frequent use of such concepts and doctrines from ancient Hindu lore; but He refers to them not in a spirit of scientific truth, but often as a Divine poet, who employs allusion and mythology to drive home His point

Nanak, after a brief digression (Stanza VII) resumes the theme of the secrets of Spirituality. Having already told us that at-one-ment with God is made possible by making His Will as our own, this, in turn, by communion with the Word, whose secret is revealed by a Living Master, He now explains the fruit of such communion. One rises above physical consciousness and comes into Cosmic Awareness. One achieves the status of a True Saint and the mystery of creation stands revealed .

Kabir also makes the same statement:

"When you transcend into the beyond, a subtle voice is heard.
This voice only a 'Brahm Giani' can hear."

This inner voice, heard in moments of concentrated meditation, is not to be confused, as has often been done, with thevoice of conscience. Our conscience is nothing more than the sum of our past actions, passing judgment upon our present ones. As such it varies from person to person. But the inner Voice of true meditation is something universal. something that does not change, but is the same for all. The next three stanzas (IX, X and XI), carry on the theme of the fruit of communion with the Word, which makes possible all kinds of attainment, material, intellectual and spiritual, leading ultimately to the Godhead.



Stanza VIII
By communion with the Word one can attain the status of a Siddha,1
a Pir,2 a Sura3, or a Nath;4
By communion with the Word, one can understand
the mysteries of the earth,
the supporting bull5 and the heavens;
By communion with the Word, the earthly regions,
the heavenly plateaux and the nether worlds stand revealed;
By communion with the Word,
we can escape unscathed through the portals of Death;
O Nanak, His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy,
for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

(1) Siddha: A man endowed with supernatural powers.
(2) Pir: A Muslim divine or a spiritual teacher.
(3) Sura: Gods.
(4) Nath: Yogin - an adept in yoga.
(5) Dhaul: It is the fabled bull, supposed to be supporting the earths and heavens, cf. footnote under VII ibid

Stanza IX
By communion with the Word,
one can attain the powers of Shiva, Brahma and Indra;
By communion with the Word,
one can win esteem from all irrespective of one's past;
By communion with the Word,
one can have yogic insight with the mysteries of life and
self all revealed;
By communion with the Word,
one can acquire the true import of the Sastras,1
Smritis2 and Vedas;3
O Nanak, His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy,
for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

(1) Sastras: The philosophical treatises of the Hindus.
(2) Smritis: The ancient scriptures of the Hindus.
(3) Vedas: The earliest books of human thought.


Stanza X
By communion with the Word,
one becomes the abode of Truth, contentment and true knowledge;
By communion with the Word,
one gets the fruit of ablution at sixty-eight pilgrimages;1
By communion with the Word,
one wins the honour of the learned;
By communion with the Word,
one attains the state of Sahaj;2
O Nanak, His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy,
for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

(1) Ath-Sath: Literally these two words mean Eight and Sixty, i.e. sixty-eight. Nanak is once again making use of the Hindu behef that ablutions at sixty-eight places of pilgrimage bring purity from all sinful acts. see footnote under VII ibid.
(2) Sahaj: This term refers to the state when the turmoil of the physical, astral and causal worlds with all their enchanted panorama, are transcended and Ihe Great Principle of life is seen within.

Stanza XI
By communion with the Word,
one becomes the abode of all virtues;
By communion with the Word,
one becomes a Sheikh, a Pir and a true spiritual king;
By communion with the Word,
the spiritually blind find their way to Realisation:
By communion with the Word,
one crosses beyond the Limitless Ocean of illusionary Matter;
O Nanak, His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy,
or the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

Nanak, having tried to describe the fruit of communion with the Word, in the preceding four stanzas, now goes on to tell about the state of one who has attuned his will with the Divine Will which cannot be described, as His Will is beyond description. The idea of the controlling power in this world may be said to be the Divme Will. God Himself is Formless, but He assumed Form, He became the Word or Naam. It was from this Word that the various planes of creation sprang into existence, one below the other. He who practises the Word, i.e. withdraws his soul from the body and lets it be drawn up by the power of the Divine Music of the Word, can progress from one spiritual plane to another, until he reaches the very Source and becomes one with it. As he proceeds on the journey, his mental and spiritual horizons widen. His soul is cleansed of its past sins and freed from the binding chains of "Karma". It thus transcends suffering and escapes from the wheel of transmigration. Once one has attained true salvation, one can help others on the Path as well. Great indeed is the Power of the Word, but unfortunately there are very few who know it. All this occupies stanzas XII to XV.

Stanza XII
None can describe the condition of one
who has made God's Will his own;
Whoever tries to do so, must realise his folly.
No supply of paper, pen or scribe can ever describe
the state of such a one.
O, great is the Power of the Word;
But few there be that know it.

Stanza XIII
By practice of the Word,
one rises into universal consciousness
and develops right understanding;
By practice of the Word,
ne develops clairvoyance and transvision of the whole creation;
By practice of the Word,
one is freed from sorrow and suffering;
By practice of the Word,
one shall not go to Yama1 after his death.
O, great is the Power of the Word,
But few there be that know it.

(1) Yama: it is known to the men who know of the world Beyond, that at the time of shaking off the mortal coil, souls are ushered into the other world by certain messengers who are the angels of Death (Yamduts). Sinners are badly treated by them, while the others are invariably led before Yama, the king of Death. But one who practises the Word escapes Yama altogether; for he is received at the Astral World by the Radiant Form of the Master and is escorted by Him to the spiritual planes.

Stanza XIV
By practice of the Word,
one speeds on to the Higher Spiritual Planes unhindered;
By practice of the Word,
one gets into the spiritual plane openly and honourably;
By practice of the Word,
one escapes the by-paths of Yama, the king of Death;
By practice of the Word,
one gets in close touch with the Truth.
O, great is the Power of the Word,
But few there be that know it.

Stanza XV
By practice of the Word,
one finally attains salvation;
By practice of the Word,
one leads one's kith and kin as well to freedom;
By practice of the Word,
one saves not only himself but when he becomes an Adept,
many others whom he guides;
By practice of the Word,
one freed from desires, escapes from the wheel of transmigration.
O, great is the Power of the Word,
But few there be that know it.

Holy communion with the Word or Naam, says Nanak, is the only means to achieve oneness with the Supreme Lord. No other means can procure for man this end. It is the Spirit Current, emanating from One Being, as it does, that forms all the spiritual and material planes, reverberating in and out of all of them. It comes down from the purest spiritual planes to Materio-Spiritual and thence to Material planes, changing in Sound as it posses through the different planes. The main sub-divisions of the spiritual and astral planes are five in number as given by various scriptures. It takes on five different Sounds as it passes through them. These five Sounds are termed by the Masters or those who are Adept in this Science, "panch Shabd" (or five Words): "Panch" also literally means "head" and Nanak, in this passage, refers to both these meanings. The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. All the Saints are conscious of the one and the same Word, which may be defined as the Five-Sounded Word. Naam, Bani (or Word) and Hukam (or Will) are used by Nanak almost synonymously. Those who are all along conscious of the Divine Word or God-head, become His mouthpiece and are called Sant. Such Ones are honoured in His Court and are His chief workers. It is the communion with this "Five-Sounded Word," which unites one with the Lord. All other means fail. It is from this Word that the whole creation springs up and returns to It on its dissolution. It is resounding within all of us and man's body is verily God's living temple. The saints of all denominations speak of the same, as the only means by which to reach the ultimate Reality.

The Muslims call It "Bang-i-Asmani" or the Voice coming from the Heaven. Shams Tabrez and Khwaja Hafiz Shirazi speak of the same as has already been quoted in the introduction. The Hindus express the same by the words "Nad" (Music of the Spheres), "Akash Bani'' (the Voice coming from the heavens) and "Udgit" (Music of the Beyond).

St. John, in the Bible, defined it thus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him and without Him was nothing made that was made."

Stanza XVI
The Saint (or the Word personified),
is acceptable at His Court and is the Chief Elect therein;
The Saint adorns the threshold of God and is honoured even by kings;
The Saint lives by and meditates on the One Word.
Whoever discusses and expounds the mystery of His creation,
realises that the works of the Creator are beyond reckoning.
Dharm or Word born of His Grace is the proverbial bull
that is harmoniously sustaining the creation,
Whosoever realises this verily knows the Truth.
It is nothing but the Word,
that is carrying the crushing load of the entire creation;
For were this earth upheld by a bull,
that in turn must be supported by some other
planet and that by another, and so on ad infinitum:
What a tremendous load !
What other power could support it?
None, but the Word.
There is no end to the creation;
There are countless forms of life with varied names,
species and colours;
Writ on the objective world by the Everflowing Pen of the Creator.
Who can reckon His creation, and if one could,
how great would be the count?
How great is His Power and how beautiful His handiwork?
Who can count the measure of His sweet bounty?
With one Word1 of His, this vast creation blossomed into being;
And a thousand streams (of life) sprang into existence;
What power have I to conceive of Thy wonderful nature?
Too poor am I to make an offering of my life to Thee;
Whatever pleaseth thee, is good.
Thou art forevermore;
O Formless One !

(1) The Hindus believe that the Word was "Eko-Aham Sahu-syam" meaning thereby "I am one and wish to become many". The Muslims say that the word was "Kun-fi-Kun" as "He willed, and lo, all the universe sprang up".

Guru Nanak, in this stanza, gives the picture of those engaged in good deeds, those who seek to reach Him in diverse ways. These set ways, though praiseworthy, are not to be compared to the God-vision made possible by communion with and practice of the Iloly Word, by which means alone, one can make God's Will his own.

Stanza XVII
Countless there are that remember Thee,
and countless those that love Thee;
Countless there are that worship Thee,
and countless those that seek Thee in austerity and penance;
Countless there are that recite from sacred books Thy praises;
and Countless those that, absorbed in Yoga,
stand indifferent to the world;
Countless those Thy devotees who contemplate Thy attributes
and wisdom;
and Countless those that practice truth and charity;
Countless are the heroes that boldly face the foeman's steel;
and Countless those who have vowed silence,
meditate onThee with unceasing love.
What power have I to conceive of Thy wonderful nature?
Too poor, am I, to make an offering of my life to Thee.
Whatever pleaseth Thee is good:
Thou art forevermore;
O, Formless One.

Having spoken of the pious, Nanak now lists the impious.

Stanza XVIII
Innumerable are the fools, stark blind in ignorance; and
Innumerable the thieves and crooks that thrive on ill-gotten gains;
Innumerable those that exercise tyranny and oppression; and
Innumerable the cut-throats living by heinous crimes;
Innumerable those that revel in shameless sins; and
Innumerable the liars that practise fraud and falsehood;
Innumerable the impious that live on unwholesome1 foods; and
Innumerable the slanderers who add to their burden
by calumniating others.
Innumerable, the many for lowly Nanak to describe.
What power have I to conceive of Thy wonderful nature?
Too poor, am I, to make an offering of my life to Thee.
Whatever pleaseth Thee is good;
Thou art forevermore;
O Formless One !

(1) The words used in the original are Mal and Bhakh. which mean eating unwholesome food and refer to non-vegetarian diet and intoxicants. Even vegetarian diet and otherwise harmless drinks, if procured by unfair means, are also classed as unwholesome and as such their use proves a positive hindrance on the Path.

Manifold is His beauty, and vast is His creation. It baffles all description. Words cannot picture it adequately. Yet if words are inadequate, they are the only means at our disposal. God Himself is nameless, and the various names by which He is described were employed by the Master-souls: and though these can never do full justice to the subject which is indescribable, yet they give us some vague idea and stimulate us towards the Path.

Stanza XIX
Countless Thy names and countless Thy places;
Unapproachable and inaccessible
Thy innumerable heavenly plateaux;
Even by the word countless,1 we fail to describe Thee;
By words we describe Thee and by words we praise Thee.
By words, we acquire Divine knowledge,
and in words are sung Thy hymns and attributes;
It is words we employ in speech and in writing;
In them is our fate ordained;
But He who ordains is above such writ.
As Thou ordaineth, so do we receive.
Thou art immanent in all;
And nothing is where Thy Word is not.
What power have I to conceive of Thy wonderful nature?
Too poor, am I, to make an offering of my life to Thee.
Whatever pleaseth Thee is good;
Thou art forevermore;
O Formless One !

(1) The words count and countless are of little consequence for the Almighty. He who is immanent in everything and is the very life of the creation itself, knows every particle thereof.

Our souls have been wandering under the control of the mind and the outgoing faculties and have been defiled by impressions of the outside world, so much so, that we have become identified with the body and forgotten our own self and God. How to purify the mind from the dirt of sins and free the soul from the bondage of matter, forms the subject matter of this stanza. To make His Will one's own, by communion with the Ward, is the only means to this end. Actions, good or bad, fail to procure communion within, as they keep one attached to the outward observances, which bind the soul to matter.

Lord Krishna says:

"Good or bad actions are fetters,
which equally bind the soul to the world, irrespective of
whether they are of gold or of iron".

The horizon of mind is darkened with the mists of sin gathered in previous births. Until these are cleared away, the Sun of Divinity cannot shine Forth in full glory. Holy Naam -the Divine Word- and naught else clears the mists away and restores the mind to ist original transparency. There is no holier sanctuary than that of the Purified mind.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have this stanza separate because it reminds me of a ginan by pir sadardeen (SA) where the pir states "Kapda Dhove so Kya Hova....."


Stanza XX
When the hands, feet and the body are besmeared
they are washed clean with water;
When the clothes get dirty and polluted,
they are cleansed by soap;
When one's mind gets defiled by sin,
it can be purified only by communion with the Word.
Men do not become saints or sinners merely by words.
But they carry deeds with them wherever they go.
As one sows, so does one reap;
O Nanak, men come and go by the wheel1 of birth and death
as ordained by His Will.

(1) The inexorable Law of Karma or the Law of Cause and Effect also works under His Will.

Good actions like acts of mercy and charity although commendable in themselves do not have an important bearing on the highest spiritual attainment. They cease to be of consequence once the soul begins its inner journey from the "Til" or the third eye:

"If therefore thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of Light."

Matt 6:22.

Borne along the Current of the Word, the soul reaches "Amrit-saar" or "Amritsar" or the Fount of Nectar, the Amritsar in man. There any impurities that may be still clinging to the soul are finally washed away. Thus the soul is made fit for the onward journey to the highest spiritual plane of "Sat Naam" which is of ineffable greatness and glory.


I am going to end this here for today. Have to go back to my sources for clarification on somethings..and look at my translations...and notes from what I've garnered from all this.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:05 am    Post subject: Guru Granth Sahib- Enlightrened Work Reply with quote

In my opinion it is an enlightened work! Both in terms of its composition and translation. It made me feel as if I was reading the Ginans: Sakhi Mahapad Keri Vaat koik jaanne, Bhraham Prakash and Bujh Niranjan. It has certainly stimulated further interest. Where did you get the translations from. Are they available in a printed form? If so could you provide details. Thanks.

Please continue...
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Guru Granth Sahib- Enlightrened Work Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
In my opinion it is an enlightened work! Both in terms of its composition and translation. It made me feel as if I was reading the Ginans: Sakhi Mahapad Keri Vaat koik jaanne, Bhraham Prakash and Bujh Niranjan. It has certainly stimulated further interest. Where did you get the translations from. Are they available in a printed form? If so could you provide details. Thanks.

Please continue...


I don't believe these are available in printed form (I could be wrong) my source is a local Gyanji and a couple of Sikhs that have become good friends with me.
I believe that the Sikh Authorities in Amritsar are very very strict on the printing, transportation, and distribution as well as maintenance of the Guru Granth Sahib, since like Pir Pandiyatejawanmardi, they conisder the Guru Granth Sahib a Guru.
Gyanji is the equivalent of a Hafiz in the matter and him and the others have some text and explanations that were translated into English that i have access too...otherwise it is going to be recitation only....they help me translate (my broken punjabi skills don't suffice) put it into prose..refer to their guides and help with the explanation..the amazing thing is that he goes into a trancelike stage whilst reciting this..it is very very enthralling to witness everytime...I will ask them for the source of the printed explanations and see if i can get my hands on a copy of them...
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:20 am    Post subject: More! Reply with quote

Stanza XXI
Pilgrimages, austerities, mercy, charity and alms-giving,
cease to be of any consequence,
when one gets an ingress into the Til - the Inner Eye;1
Communion with and practice of the Holy Word,
with heart full of devotion, procures
admittance into the Inner Sprritual Realms,
washing away the dirt of sins at the Sacred Fount2 within.
All virtues are Thine, O Lord; I possess not one,
There can be no worship without practicing the Holy Word.
From Thee has emanated the Bani or the Holy Word,
which is the path to salvation;
Thou art Truth,3 enchantingly sweet,
and my mind yearns for Thee.
What the occasion, what the epoch,
what the week, what the day;
What the season, what the hour,
when Thou first came mto being or expression ?
The "pandits" could not discover it,
else they would have recorded it m the Puranas:4
Nor could the qazis5 determine it,
else it would have been in the Quran;
Nor could the "yogis" or any one else divine it.
The Creator alone knoweth the hour,
when He came into manifestation.
How shall I address Thee or praise Thee, O Lord?
How shall I describe Thee or know Thee?
O Nanak, one and all speak of Thee,
each wiser than the rest,
Great art Thou, and greater still, is Thy Holy Word,
What it Wills, cometh to pass.
Thy greatness Thou alone knoweth.
And those, O Nanak, that claim to know the most,
shall have no honour in the life beyond.

(1) Til: it literally means the mustard seed. Here it is used for the ganglion between and behind the two eyes. Hindus call it Shiv Netra or the Third Eye. In the Gospel it is termed as Single Eye. The Sufis call it Nukta-i-Saveda. It is the seat of soul in man. It is the first stage where the soul collects itself and is enabled to rise in the higher spiritual planes. Guru Ram Das, in this context, says: "Mind wanders away every second as it has not entered the Til." Bhai Gurdas has given a beautiful description of it in his Kabits and Swaiyas Nos. 140, 141, 213, 265, 269, 270 and 294. Kabir has also referred to Till, in his Dohas or couplets. Tulsi Sahib, tells us that mystery of God is revealed only when one penetrates behind the Til.
(2) The sacred Fount of Necear is the Amrit-saar or Amritsar in man. It is not to be confused with Amritsar, the sacred pool founded by Guru Ram Das (4th Guru) and completed in the time of Gura Arjan (5th Guru). The Sacred Fount, here referred to, by Nanak, is situated in the third spiritual plane, called the Dasam Duwar. The Mohammedans call it Hauz-i-Kausar and the Hindus term it as Prag Raj. It is here that the pilgrim soul gets ist real baptism and is washed clean of all impurities and regains its pristine purity.
(3) Truth or Sat Naam resides in Sach Khand, which is the highest of the five spiritual planes, where the Formless One dwells. This is explained in the stanzas assigned for the various planes at the of the text.
(4) Pandits or the learned men conversant with hindu scriptures, like Vedas and Puranas-the ancient treatises.
(5) Qazis or the Muslims learned in religious law and theology.

God's creation is manifold, and beyond human comprehension. The finite cannot conceive the infinite All attempts to know Him and His Creation fail. However, one thing, says Nanak, is certain and that is that everything emarmtes from the One Source.


Stanza XXII
There are millions of nether regions and skies above skies;
Man has wandered endlessly in His search:
The Vedas also say the same.
The Muslim books speak of eighteen thousand universes,
but it is the same Power that sustains them all:
If it could be accounted for,
an account of it would have been recorded.
All attempts at description are in vain;
O Nanak, admit His greatness;
He alone knows Himself.

Even if one, through communion with the Word, merges into the infinite, one still cannot fathom its depths, for the illimitable has no limits. It is enough that the stream loses itself in the ocean. Blessed are they whose hearts are filled with the Divine Love, and no earthly possessions compare with them.



Stanza XXIII
His devotees praise Him,
yet never attain full knowledge of the Infinite;
Like streams tumbling into the ocean,
they know not the depths therein.
Even kings and emperors
with heaps of wealth and vast dominion,
Compare not with an ant filled with the love of God.

God's creation is limitless. Many have tried to fathom its mystery, yet none can know Him, until they reach His height. The soul beholds Cod when it enters into "Sach Khand," the highest of the spiritual planes. How can it be otherwise? How can one behold what is pure spirit with these material eyes ? One must transcend on the wings of the Word and one can only do so, through His Grace.


Stanza XXIV
Endless are His praises,
endless the words of commendation;
Endless His works and endless His gifts;
Endless His vision,
and endless His inspiration;
Endless and beyond understanding is His purpose,
Endless His creation, and endless the ends thereof.
Endless men's search in anguish for His limits,
but His limits cannot be found.
Endless He is, and none can know His end;
The more we say, the more He is.
Exalted is the Lord, and exalted His abode;
More exalted still His Holy Word.
He who reaches His height, He alone may glimpse Him.
O Nanak, He alone knows His greatness;
And it is only His glance of Grace, can lift us to His height.

His bounty is supreme. Magnanimous, as He is, He showers His gifts on all alike whether good or bad. All have their share, none is ignored. He knows us all, better than we do, and bestows on us what is the best for us. But the greatest of His bounties is the gift of the Eternal Song. When He confers it on man, out of His Grace, it makes him the king of kings.

Stanza XXV
His benevolence is manifold, and none can record it;
He is the giver of all, coveting nothing in return;
Many are the warriors, who are beggars at His door,
And many more, whose number is beyond reckoning;
Many are those who, misusing His gifts, wallow in sensuality;
Many who receiving His gifts, deny Him;
Many the fools who only eat and enjoy, but think not of the Donor.
And many lie afflicted by hunger, misery and pain,
which too are Thy gifts, O Lord.
Bondage and salvation both go by Thy Will;
None else has any say therein. If some dare claim otherwise,
he shall soon have cause to repent of his temerity.
He knows all and bestows accordingly.
But few there be that realise this.
O Nanak, on whom He bestows His Gift of the Song Celestial,
is the king of kings

Nanak, in this passage, refers to the uniqueness of God's attributes. Not only is He unique and peerless but so are His regents (the Master-souls), who sell the priceless wares of His Holy Word. Many have sung His praises and countless more, to come, might do the same, nevertheless the Almighty has remained, remains, and shall remain unsaid.

Stanza XXVI
Peerless1 are His attributes and priceless the pearls therein.
Peerless are His dealers and priceless His wares and stores.
Pearless are the customers that come and priceless the goods they buy.
Peerless is His love and peerless those that lose themselves in It.
Peerless is His Law and peerless His Court,
Peerless His scales of justice and peerless their measure.
Peerless is His generosity, peerless His acceptance.
Peerless His mercy and peerless His commands.
How peerless! How priceless! Who can describe Him?
His devotees singing His praises have sunk in silence,
And so have the Vedas, the Puranas and the learned.
The Brahmas and the Indras, sing of Him,
And the Gopis2 and the Govind2 do likewise.
The Siva3, and the holy Siddhas4 sing of Him,
The mortals and the immortals all, all Sing His praises.
Countless speak of Him, and Countless are about to make an attempt,
and Countless more departed, while singing of Him,
Still He remains and shall remain indescribable.
Man can behold Him only as He reveals Himself unto him,
O Nanak! Know Him as the only True One.
And those that claim to understand Him,
They are surely the most foolish of men.

(1) The word used throughout in this passage in the original is Amul. It is difficult to render it exactly by a single word in English. Literally it means priceless but is frequently used to mean incompatible and peerless, etc. Accordingly, both priceless and peerless have been employed in this translation.
(2) Gopis: or milk-maids - the mythical admirers of Lord Krishna or Govind, who were said to be tireless in singing His praises.
(3) Siva: An important Hindu deity.
(4) Siddhas: Disciplined souls, i.e. sages and seers.

Nanak now sketches in highly lyrical language the picture of God watching from His abode His many creations, which bow before Him in reverence.



my fingers are now tired of typing icon_sad.gif
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:04 pm    Post subject: Til and Amrit-Saar Reply with quote

Interesting. Qucik comparisons.

Til in our traditions corresponds to Bhamar Gufa.

Fount of Amristaar is the heart - Real pilgrimage takes place in the heart as per Saloko.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
shamsu



Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Posts: 644

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:51 pm    Post subject: Guru Nanak Reply with quote

This was reported to me.

The grandfather of Guru Nanak was a follower of Pir Shams.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: More Granth Sahib. Reply with quote

Stanza XXVII
How wonderful Thy gate: how wonderful Thy mansion,
From whence Thou watchest Thy great creation.
Countless the instruments and harmonies that play therein,
Countless the measures, countless the singers, that sing Thy praises.
The Elements - Wind, Water and Fire - sing of Thee,
And of Thee sing the king of Death and his recording angels.1
To Thee sing the gods and goddesses whose beauty is of Thy making.
To Thee sing Siva, Brahma and likewise Indra from his throne.
To Thee sing the Siddhas in their meditation,
and the Sadhus in their contemplation.
To Thee sing the ascetics, the righteous, the contented;
and the heroes no less.
To Thee sing the learned pandits and the rishis from age to age
reciting from the holy Vedas.
To Thee sing the heart-enslaving nymphs in the heaven,
the earth and the nether regions.
To Thee sing thy jewels (Saints) and the sixty-eight
places of pilgrimage.
To Thee sing the mighty warriors, the heroes of great prowess,
and all living creatures.2
To Thee sing the earthly regions,
the heavens and the universes created and supported by Thee.
Those that please Thee also sing Thy praises
and are saturated with Thy love and devotion.
And there are countless more that sing of Thee,
whom one cannot even remember,
All lie beyond the ken of Nanak.
He is and is alone the ever-existent Lord.
He is the Truth and true is His holy Naam,
He is, and shall exist forevermore.
He who created all creations shall never depart,
though worlds be destroyed.
He who made Nature with its many colours and many forms,
looks after His own handiwork, as it behooves His own Greatness.
He is the Supreme Master and does what He lists,
He is the King of Kings, the Almighty Lord,
And ours, O Nanak, is only to abide by His Will.

(1) Dharam Raj: Keeper of the Law who dispenses justice to souls after they have left the body, according to their actions, whose record is maintained by Chitr and Gupt, the two recording angels.
(2) Khanis: Nanak here refers to the four Khanis or categories of living creatures according to their mode of birth, to wit;
(i) Andaj: those born from eggs, like birds, snakes, fish, etc.
(ii) Jeraj: those born from the foetus, like men and animals.
(iii) Utbhuj: those that sprout from seeds, like trees, shrubs and vegetables.
(iv) Setaj: those that grow out of sweat, filth, etc., like lice and worms, etc.

Nanak, now turning from His contemplation of the Almighty, concentrates on the kind of life required to reach His door. During his time, Hinduism had precipitated itself into mere casteism and ritualism. The rites remained but the spirit was lost. The world was considered the root of all evil, and becoming a yogin and following certain set practises was thought the only means to salvation. Nanak points out the inadequacy of such an outlook and stresses that it is the inner discipline and not the outer codes that bring true spiritual progress. Instead of the wooden ear-rings and mendicant's wallet of the yogins, he recommends contentment, self-respect and endeavor; instead of their body-smearing ashes, cloak and staff, he recommends constant meditation, preparedness- for-death and the anchor of a living Master's teachings. Salvation is not the monopoly of the so-called yogins. It is made possible only by a certain spiritual condition and those who attain it, even if they are not yogins, may reach the Highest: and conversely those who are outwardly yogins but have failed to achieve this condition may never reach God's door. This spiritual condition, not only requires the rigorous inner discipline but enjoins a catholic outlook on life - an outlook where one looks on all as equals and sees His hand in everything.

Stanza XXVIII
Let contentment be your ear-rings,
And endeavour for the Divine
and respect for the Higher Self be your wallet,
And constant meditation on Him be your ashes.
Let preparedness-for-death be your cloak,
And let your body be like unto a chaste virgin.
Let your Master's teachings be your supporting staff.
The highest religion1 is to rise to Universal Brotherhood,2
Aye, to consider all creatures your equals.
Conquer your mind, for victory over self is victory over the world.
Hail3, Hail, to Him alone,
The Primal, Pure, Eternal, Immortal, and Immutable in all ages.

(1) Aa-ee Panthi: it is the highest sect of the yogins.
(2) Sagal Jamati: Classless class or class with no distinction between student and student, with boys from all sects and of all denominations, associating together in love and goodwill, and sitting together at the feet of one Master.
(3) Aa-des: it is a compound word consisting of Aadi (the primal) and Eesh (God). It is a form of salutation among the yogins.

Carrying on his substitution of the outer practices of the yogins by inner spiritual disciplines, Nanak recommends that we should make Divine knowledge our food (man does not live by bread alone), inculcate charity and mercy, and attune ourselves to the Music of the Divine Word. Nanak also forestalls the dangers that lie on the spiritual journey. Not only is wealth a hindrance, but the power one gains through self-discipline and partial spiritual attainment may itself become an obstacle in the way of fuller realisation.

One begins to practise these occult powers and absorbed in them, one tends to forget the real goal. Nanak, therefore warns us against this possibility. Once we have begun the journey God-wards. we must not rest, waver or wander on the Way.

Stanza XXIX
Let Divine Knowledge be your bread1,
Let Mercy be your steward.1
Let the Divine Music vibrating in all be your trumpet.1
He is the only Lord2 and has strung creation
according to His Will.
Wealth3 and supernatural powers4 estrange one from the Lord.
The world goes on the two principles of Union and Separation,5
And all receive their share, as He ordains.
Hail, Hail to Him alone,
The Primal, Pure, Eternal, Immortal, and Immutable in all ages.

(1). The reference here is to the symbolic rituals of the yogins. When their food is ready, the steward sounds a trumpet to call all the yogins together to partake of the same. Nanak, while addressing them, calls all to come to their goal and taste Divinity, or the Bread of Life, by communion with the Holy Word ringing within all and calling the faithful to the spiritual banquet.
(2) Nath: Tbe yogins bow to Gorakh Nath. their Teacher. But Nanak advises them to own only one Nath or Master who is controlling the entire creation.
(3) Ridh: It means wealth.
(4) Sidh: The word used in the original is Sidh, i.e. to accomplish. It is generally used to suggest the mastery of Supernatural Powers. Nanak deprecates not only wealth but also the exercise of these powers as obstacles in the Path to the Highest.
(5) Sanjog and Vijog: These are the terms used in the original text and stand for the twin principles of separation and union whereby the play of the Lord unfolds itself.

By decree of the Lord, Man being separated from Him, is born in the world of action. Here he is led away into human error of attaching himself to the sensuous phenomena of the world. So long as he remains cognisant of the Divinity diffused in the world, he moves and has his being in Him. But when his petty ego cuts him off from the Lord and he asserts his independence and assumes the role of an active agent he unwittingly gets trapped into transmigration or the cycle of births and deaths. In physical life he suffers pain and misery until he regenerates himself by his innate desire for peace, and works therefor. This leads him to seek reunion with the Creator, the fountain-head of Everlasting Joy and Peace. But for this principle in Man for resurrection or reunion, there would he no spiritual awakening and no spiritual progress and the mighty play of the world would come to naught. Thus the twin-principles of Vijog (separation from the Lord) and Sanjog (the inherent desire for re-union with Him), control the motions of the world.

"Our hearts find no rest, until we rest in Thee."

St. Augustine

Nanak now turns his attention from the means of salvation, to the working of God's creation. The universe moves on the triple principles concerned respectively with creating, sustaining and destroying. All these principles work according to His will and are only His agents. But though God watches over these agents, they paradoxically cannot know Him who is the Subjective and the Formless, since they are part of the objective creation.

Stanza XXX
The Great Mother,1 conceiving, brought forth three regents;
The first creating, the second sustaining, and the last destroying.
What He desires, they perform,
They work under His Will.
But great the wonder, though He watches over them,
they behold Him not.
Hail, Hail to Him alone,
The Primal, Pure, Eternal, Immortal, and Immutable in all ages.

(1) Maee: This word in the original, can mean both Mother and Maya (illusionary matter). Nanak, referring to the two meanings, regards Maya as a mother who has borne three sons, who symbolise the three principles that sustain her dominion. They are the three deities representing the Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, the creator, the sustainer and the destroyer respectively; but all working only under His Will with no say of their own. Hence, Nanak enjoins the worship of the highest only and not gods and goddesses of a lower order.

And now Nanak, once again, returns to the Almighty Creator. He has His exalted abode in the different planes of all creation. Whatever arrangements He has made are made final and ultimate. He has made permanent laws in all spheres which set creation agoing. He is the Unchangeable Permanence.


Stanza XXXI
He resides in all the plancs of creation.
And has in them His munificent stores,
which were supplied only once and need no replenishing,
Whatever we receive, we receive by His decree.
It is He who has created His creation,
And He who watcheth over it O Nanak!
the works of the True One are genuine.1
Hail, Hail, to Him alone,
The Primal, Pure, Eternal, Immortal and Immutable in all ages.

(1) With most of us, it is a matter of common belief that the world is a mere chimera, a dream with no reality about it. This belief is evidently based on the transitory nature of all worldly phenomena. Everything appears like a meteor that flashes for a while and disappears. Hence, it is argued that man's sojourn here is no more than a dream. But, says Nanak, as the Lord is True, His words must also be true, and His creation is not mere illusion but His holy abode.

Nanak elsewhere has beautifully said:

"This world is the abode of the True One, and the True One dwells in it"

But communion with Naam is hindered by the earthly desires that pull at our hearts; and lead us away from the subjective Truth to the outside World. How then is one to overcome these desires? Nanak enjoins that the way lies through "Simran" or constant remembrance of the Lord. Other saints and sages have said the same thing. The subject of Simran has been dealt With in more detail in the introduction. There are two powers working in man: the "Pranas" or motor currents and the spiritual or sensory currents. Many yogins endeavouring to reach the Highest have sought to withdraw both these currents. But the Masters (Guru Nanak among them) have taught that it is unnecessary to control the "Pranas." One may withdraw the sensory currents without touching the "Pranas" through "Simran" and through focousing one's attention behind the eyes at the seat of the soul. Once one has withdrawn the entire sensory currents (the body continues to function normally as regards respiration, digestion and circulation, etc.) to this point, the soul may travel further on the spiritual path. This is an easy and natural Way.

The Master says:

"O Nanak, learn to withdraw the Life-current whilst alive,
Learn ye to practise such a yoga."

Again,

"Learn to die so that you may begin to live."

Holy Bible.

It is this technique of withdrawal that Nanak is referring to in this stanza, though he does not analyse it in detail, as he has glone this elsewhere in his teachings. He also reiterates that to achieve salvation through Naam, needs not only effort but also His Grace and Will.

Stanza XXXII
Let one tongue grow into a hundred thousand,
nay even twenty times more,
And each of them endlessly chant His holy name.
In this way lie the steps that lead Godwards,1
by ascending which one becomes one with Him.
On hearing of the Heavens,
even worms aspire to reach them,
Not knowing that salvation comes only through His Grace,2
And those who say otherwise, are vain babblers and liars.

(1) Ekis: The term used in the original text is Ekis or Ek-Ish: Ek means one and Ish means God, i.e. at-one-ment with God or union with One God.
(2) Again, Nanak, is emphasising that for salvation, we need not only effort but also His Grace and His Will.

Carrying the idea of the necessity of His Grace and Will for man's salvation, Nanak observes that in other matters as well - in fact in everything - His Will is all in all.


Stanza XXXIII
You have no power to speak or to be silent,
No power to ask or to give.
You have no power over life or death,
No power over wealth or state for which you are ever restless.
You have no power over spiritual awakening,
No power to know the Truth, or to achieve your own salvation.
Let him who thinks he has the power, try.
O Nanak! none is high or low, but by His Will.

From here begins the final part of Jap Ji. In it, Nanak gives a rapid survey af the various spiritual realms that the soul has to traverse in its Homeward journey. They are five in number:
(1) Dharm Khand or the Realm of Action.
(2) Gian Khand or the Realm of Knowledge.
(3) Sarm Khand or the Realm of Ecstasy.
(4) Karm Khand or the Realm of Grace.
(5) Sach Khand or the realm of Truth.

The first is the Realm of Dharm, which the soul must fully realise before it can rise to the next higher spiritual plane above it. This is the stage where the embodied souls must work fully cognisant that it is He who made the world phenomena with all the immutable laws which bind one and all. The law of cause and effect nobody can escape. What a man sows, he must reap. There is none outside His domain. Men's actions go with them after their death and are weighed in the scales of God's Justice. Those found wanting are sent for judgment aeeording to their actions. The only thing acceptable at his Court is "communion with and practice of the Divine Word." Those who adhere to it, are honoured.

Stanza XXXIV
Creating the day and the night, the months and the seasons,
The fire, the wind, the water and the nether regions,
Amidst all these,
He set up the earth as Dharm Khand or the arena of action.
And He peopled it with creatures of many colours and many forms,
Creatures of whom there is no count.
All are judged according to their deeds,
For true is the Lord and immaculate His Law.
Those acceptable to Him are honoured in His Court,
And it is only through His Grace that one may gain that distinction.
The imperfect are perfected there,1
O Nanak! It is there that this mystery is revealed.

(1) The last two lines- "Kach pakai uthe pa-aye, Nanak gia japey ja-aye" have been invariably interpreted by various translators, as stating that the true and the false are known there and can no longer deceive. But this does not appear to stand as it apparently ignores the fact that the lines follow on the reference to those honoured by God and the metaphor of "raw and ripe" suggests immaturity and maturity, rather than falsehood and truth.

Nanak, in this stanza describes the immense expansion of the soul s horizon when it enters "Gian Khand" or the Realm of Knowledge. Here the devotee sees the manifold nature with all created things. Here he begins to hear the rapturous strains of Melodious Song resounding through the whole creution. Here he feels excessive joy at the conception of Nature with her immutable laws, her infinity of forms and phenomena, multifarious creations and manifold blessings that he finds.

Stanza XXXV
Thus much of the Realm of Dharma;
And now Gian Khand, the Realm of Knowledge;
Countless its elements, air, water and fire,
And countless Krishnas and Sivas,
And countless the Brahmas fashioning various creations
of countless forms and countless hues.
Countless the Fields of Action,1 countless the golden mountains,2
And countless the Dhrus3meditating therein.
Countless the Indras, countless the suns and moons,
and countless the earthly and stellar regions;
Countless the Siddhas, the Buddhas, the Naths,
and countless the gods and goddesses.
Countless the Danus4 and the Sages,
and countless the bejewelled oceans.
Countless the sources of creation, countless the harmonies,
countless those that listen unto them,
And countless the devotees of the Word,
Endless and unending, O Nanak! this Realm.

(1) Karm Bhumi: A place, where one is endowed with a free will, and reaps the fruits of his own actions. This world is termed as Karm Bhumi for here reigns the principle of action and reaction or cause and effect.
(2) Sumer: The golden mountain seen in this spiritual plane by the devotees.
(3) Dhru: A saint proverbial for his steadfast meditation.
(4) Danu: Demigods.

From the description of Gian Khand or the Realm of Knowledge, Nanak proceeds to describe, "Sarm Khand," or the Seal of ecstasy. Here everything is enchantingly beautiful and marvelously strange, and words are of no consequence. It is here that the soul becomes etherealised by the power of the Word and one gets an insight into the real nature of things.



More later..
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:46 am    Post subject: Similarities Nanak / Pir Shamsh Reply with quote

As mentioned previously, there are a lot of similarities/parallels with our traditions, particularly with the Ginans of Pir Shamsh which suggests, that Nanak had a connection with Pir Shamsh. In Brahm Prakash Pir Shamsh talks about those who have achieved enlightenment and Nanak was one of the names mentioned. Instead of Naam Pir Shamsh uses the word Shabd. I will try to highlight some of the obvious similarities as under.

You wrote
"(2) Khanis: Nanak here refers to the four Khanis or categories of living creatures according to their mode of birth, to wit;
(i) Andaj: those born from eggs, like birds, snakes, fish, etc.
(ii) Jeraj: those born from the foetus, like men and animals.
(iii) Utbhuj: those that sprout from seeds, like trees, shrubs and vegetables.
(iv) Setaj: those that grow out of sweat, filth, etc., like lice and worms, etc."

In our Ginans they are referred to Chaar Khaann. I am not sure whether they are defined that way. Nevertheless it is illuminating.


You wrote

"Nanak, now turning from His contemplation of the Almighty, concentrates on the kind of life required to reach His door. During his time, Hinduism had precipitated itself into mere casteism and ritualism. The rites remained but the spirit was lost. The world was considered the root of all evil, and becoming a yogin and following certain set practises was thought the only means to salvation. Nanak points out the inadequacy of such an outlook and stresses that it is the inner discipline and not the outer codes that bring true spiritual progress. Instead of the wooden ear-rings and mendicant's wallet of the yogins, he recommends contentment, self-respect and endeavor; instead of their body-smearing ashes, cloak and staff, he recommends constant meditation, preparedness- for-death and the anchor of a living Master's teachings. Salvation is not the monopoly of the so-called yogins. It is made possible only by a certain spiritual condition and those who attain it, even if they are not yogins, may reach the Highest: and conversely those who are outwardly yogins but have failed to achieve this condition may never reach God's door. This spiritual condition, not only requires the rigorous inner discipline but enjoins a catholic outlook on life - an outlook where one looks on all as equals and sees His hand in everything."

In Bhraham Prakash Pir Shamsh discusses all the false methods of renunciation and then talks about real renunciation as pointed out by Nanak. I am currently working on the complete translation of Bhraham Prakash and will be happy to share it with you once it is complete.

You wrote

"Stanza XXVIII
Let contentment be your ear-rings,
And endeavour for the Divine
and respect for the Higher Self be your wallet,
And constant meditation on Him be your ashes.
Let preparedness-for-death be your cloak,
And let your body be like unto a chaste virgin.
Let your Master's teachings be your supporting staff.
The highest religion1 is to rise to Universal Brotherhood,2
Aye, to consider all creatures your equals.
Conquer your mind, for victory over self is victory over the world.
Hail3, Hail, to Him alone,
The Primal, Pure, Eternal, Immortal, and Immutable in all ages.
Stanza XXIX
Let Divine Knowledge be your bread1,
Let Mercy be your steward.1
Let the Divine Music vibrating in all be your trumpet.1

The Master says:

"O Nanak, learn to withdraw the Life-current whilst alive,
Learn ye to practise such a yoga."

Again,

"Learn to die so that you may begin to live." "

Consider the similarities with the following Ginan "Abdu Jugat Jol Santosh" by Pir Shamsh

O slave! Make the way your bag, contentment your vessel, and let the thought process and reflection be the stirring stick. Wear the two earings of patience and mercy. Let the 'geenaans' be your food.

O slave! The sage in this world is the one, whose heart is free from matters other(than faith and religion). That sage is a master in the world.

O slave! My Guide bestows knowledge and the perception of renunciation, so make his company your ashes. Meditate truly upon the True Faith, for thus does a sage become a master.

O slave! Retain the sun and the moon(Imaam and the Peer) in your hearts and consciousness, keep such a stick(thoughts) always. Then the force (nerve) channel sukhmannaa will begin to vibrate after being activated and hence will produce a musical sound. Very few are aware of the mysteries of such a phenomenon

O slave! shun all the misdeeds and focus your concentration on the region joining the ingla pinglaa and sukhmannaa force channels. Then you will initiate, play or hear celestial sounds. Peer Shamsh says that if one dies while still alive, he will not have to take up further births.


You wrote

"From here begins the final part of Jap Ji. In it, Nanak gives a rapid survey af the various spiritual realms that the soul has to traverse in its Homeward journey. They are five in number:
(1) Dharm Khand or the Realm of Action.
(2) Gian Khand or the Realm of Knowledge.
(3) Sarm Khand or the Realm of Ecstasy.
(4) Karm Khand or the Realm of Grace.
(5) Sach Khand or the realm of Truth."

Pir Shamsh has mentioned these as among the ten steps to realisation.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:00 pm    Post subject: last few verses of Jap ji. Reply with quote

These are the last few verses of Jap ji..
if folks are interested i'll post more stuff from sikhism and what i learnt..
also kmaherali..maybe you and i can collaborate and do a paper on Japji and your work on Bhamargufa?

Shams


Stanza XXXVI
Divine Knowledge illumines all in the Realm of Knowledge,
While Divine symphonies play unending music,
and Joy and Bliss reign supreme,
Next, the Realm of Ecstasy, where the Word is enrapturing.
Everything created here is marvelously strange,
and beyond description,
Whoever tries to describe the same, must repent his folly.
Herein the mind, reason and understanding are etherealised,
the self comes to its own,
and develops the penetration of the gods and the sages.

In the Realm of Grace, man rises above the evanescent charms of the phenomenal world. He sees all nature standing submissively to serve at God's Feet. His Word purifies the soul of its sins and awakens the latent energies in it. Matter no longer blinds the inner vision. For him, the Lord pervades everywhere and he is now fully conscious of Him. Here one comes face to face with the Word in Its pure substance. And he now knows himself and his true origin, for he sees himself as of the same substance as God. Finally, the pilgrim soul reaches Sach Khand or the Abode of Truth. Here complete Oneness is realized and it sees all universes functioning according to His Will in devout awe and adoration. Even remembrance of such a vision is blissful, but the vision itself is such that no eye has ever seen, the heart cannot conceive and the tongue cannot describe.

Stanza XXXVII
Higher still stands Karm Khand, the Realm of Grace,
Here the Word is all in all, and nothing else prevails.
Here dwell the bravest of the brave, the conquerors of the mind,
filled with the love Divine,
Here dwell devotees with devotion,
incomparable as Sita's.1 Illumined with beauty ineffable,
All hearts filled with God,
they live beyond the reach of death and of delusion.2
Here dwell the Bhagats or Sages drawn from all regions,
Who rejoice in the True One and live in perpetual bliss.
Sach Khand or the Realm of Truth is the seat of the Formless One.
Here He creates all creations, rejoicing in creating.
Here are many regions, heavenly systems and universes,
To count which were to count the countless,
Here, out of the Formless,
The heavenly plateaux and all else come into form,
All destined to move according to His Will.
He who is blessed with this vision, rejoices in its contemplation.
But, O Nanak, such is its beauty that to try to describe
it is to attempt the impossible.3

(1) Sita: The wife of Rama known for her great devotion.
(2) The word delusion here refers to the delusion of maya or matter.
(3) Karara Sar: Literally it means, hard as iron; metaphorically, impossible.

Now Nanak, before concluding, lists the qualifications required of a devotee before he can succeed on the spiritual path. He sums up these qualifications as six in number. The first of these is chastity of thought, speech and deed. This is the first prerequisite for the dawn of Higher Life, and is the foundation on which the superstructure of spirituality is raised. Christ has also said: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Purity is, verily, the key that unlocks the door of meditation leading to the Mansion of the Lord. Secondly, one must develop patience, which enables one to bear cheerfully whatever may befall. Thirdly, one must have control over one's thoughts and cast away all desires to insure equilibrium of mind. Fourthly, steady, daily practice of, and holding communion with, the Word with full faith in one's Master. Fifthly, one should live in the devout awe of His Presence, stimulating one to untiring effort to achieve ultimate union with Him. And over all one must love Him with an intensity that burns up all impurities and blazes the way to His door.

Stanza XXXVIII
Make chastity1 your furnace,
patience your smithy,
The Master's word your anvil,
and true knowledge your hammer.
Make awe of God your bellows
and with it kindle the fire of austerity,
And in the crucible of love,
melt the nectar Divine,
Only in such a mint,
can man be cast into the Word.
But they alone who are favoured by Him,
can take unto this Path,
O Nanak, on whom He looks with Grace,
He fills with Ever-lasting Peace.

(1) Chastity here refers not only to physical purity, but even more to the spiritual one, of spotless thoughts, words and deeds.

In this Finale, Nanak, by way of an epilogue, gives a complete view of life, its nature, ist purpose, and its salvation. We are all like children, whom the mother earth nourishes. Each one sows the seeds of his actions and reaps the fruit thereof. God's justice is immaculate. They that act well move nearer towards Him; they that do not act well move farther away from Him. They alone who practise the holy Word will be saved-not only they, but countless more-their companions and disciples, through their good actions.

Finale
Air is the Master, Water the father,
and the Earth the mother,
Day and Night are the two nurses
in whose lap the whole world is at play.
Our actions: good and evil,
will be brought before His court,
And by our own deeds,
shall we move higher or be cast into the depths.
Those who have communed with the Word,
their toils shall end.
And their faces shall flame with glory,
Not only shall they have salvation,
O Nanak, but many more shall find freedom with them.

Here, all the living beings are likened to children. The water (i.e. sperm) is the father, giving them life. The earth, like a mother, affords them nourishment. Day supplies them with work and is, therefore, the male nurse-while the night lulls them to rest, as a female nurse. The breath of the True Master imparts the Divine Word, without which a man's soul is dead.



thanks...

Shams
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:25 am    Post subject: Re: last few verses of Jap ji. Reply with quote

ShamsB wrote:
These are the last few verses of Jap ji..
if folks are interested i'll post more stuff from sikhism and what i learnt..
also kmaherali..maybe you and i can collaborate and do a paper on Japji and your work on Bhamargufa?

Shams



Thanks for sharing this with us. I would be interested in the stuff about Sikhism. There is nothing wrong with knowing about another tradition. One of the strengths of pluralism is that contacts and knowledge from others serve to reinforce the understanding of one's own tradition if correctly interpreted.

From your translations, it seems your contacts are inspired or enlightened souls. It would be interesting to know about Sikhism from their stand point...

I would be interested to work with you on the paper. This we could discuss at a personal level.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
star_munir



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1670

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard in waez that Name of Guru Nanak is in two Ginans if any one know than tell.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message Visit posters website
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

star_munir wrote:
I have heard in waez that Name of Guru Nanak is in two Ginans if any one know than tell.
I know for sure one of them. In Bhrahm Prakash the following is mentioned.

or naanakshaah ne paayaa - ek naam nishva karine dhyaayaa.........................................47

And Nanak Shah attained peace, he practiced the word with conviction.

agam neegam puraann kuraanaa - saaheb mahimaa bhaa(n)khat naanaa....................121

Ancient sacred vedas, the Quran and the teachings of Naanak have all discussed the Divine mysteries.

I am almost done with translating Bhrahm Prakash. Hopefully it will be posted in the Ginan section soon or I will post it in the Forum.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
star_munir



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1670

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you
Back to top
View users profile Send private message Visit posters website
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:44 am    Post subject: Sikhism Reply with quote

The following article by Joe Woodard that appeared in today's Calgary Herald explains the Sikh faith: it's origins, historical development and doctrines. I feel it it something that we all should know about within the framework of pluralism. It enriches and reinforces our understanding of the shared concepts of Tawheed ( One ness of God), spirituality, Jihad (struggle against internal and external enemies), modesty and ethics - a strength of pluralism. It also highlights, differences of interpretation within its fold not unlike other traditions such as ours.

Four centuries of Sikh scriptural wisdom
'It is the word of God, truth of truth, a beacon for all humanity'

The first guru of the Sikh religion was Punjabi mystic Nanak Dev, who in 1475 realized that "God is one" -- Ek Ong Kar -- and that his own guru was Shabad, the Word of God.

But the 11th and last Sikh guru was, and still is, not a human being, but a book, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji or "great wisdom-teacher scripture."
The Sikh scriptures were installed in the Golden Temple of Amritsar 400 years ago this fall, in 1604 -- the same year King James of England commissioned the translation of the Bible that bears his name.

Curiously, the Sikhs of India were becoming a "people of their book" at the same time that the Reformation Christians of Europe were declaring sola scriptura, "scripture alone," as the only source of saving faith.

"The Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji is the living guru who sits on the throne of authority, the guide for life," said Calgary family doctor Harjot Singh, 38.

"It is the word of God, truth of truth, a beacon of light for all humanity."

About a fifth of the 1,430 pages in the Siri Guru Granth (the wisdom-teacher scripture) are owed to the first Guru Nanak, Singh said. The nine other human gurus, regarded as reincarnations of Nanak, contributed most of the rest of the Siri Guru Granth. But since Nanak said, "There is no Hindu; there is no Muslim," it also includes writings of 30 Hindu and Muslim saints.

"God has thousands of eyes, yet he has none. His forms are thousands, yet He has no form," Nanak wrote in 1545.

"While all the eyes and forms of the creatures in the universe are His, or belong to Him because He pervades all, yet He has no one form."

The Guru Nanak's writings became the Adi Granth or "primal scripture," to which his nine human successors added over the next 233 years, to a total of 5,894 hymns of 15,575 stanzas.

The fifth guru, Arjan Dev, built the Golden Temple at Amritsar, but realized that a temple to the formless God, grand but empty, would excite little reverence. So he took three years to compile the writings of his four predecessors and set them into groups of rhythmic verse. On Aug. 30, 1604, he enshrined these writings on a throne in the temple.

A century later, as Gobind Singh, the 10th guru, lay dying, he declared that there would be no more human gurus after him. The Adi Granth was now complete, and this Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji would henceforth be friend, philosopher and guide to all.

Ever since, in gurudwaras (temples) and private homes around the world, the Guru is taken from "his" private room every morning, placed on a special throne, and opened at random to a page for that day. The day begins with the chanting of the Nam Simiran or traditional Hindu names of God ("Ram, ram, hari ram . . .). Then a "hukam" or divine order is taken from a page of the Siri Guru Granth. And at day's end, the "living guru" is closed and returned to his room for the night.

Every year on Aug. 30, Sikhs celebrate the birthday of the Guru Granth, just as they celebrate the birthdays of the 10 human gurus.

Despite its origins within Hinduism (and the claim of some Hindus that it is a branch of their religion), Sikhism is now strictly monotheistic, forbidding idol worship. It officially rejects the caste system and asserts the equality of men and women. In addition to the equality of all humans -- and their faiths -- Nanak enshrined basic obligations of meditating daily on God's name, living by the sweat of the brow, and sharing what is earned.

There is some disagreement among Sikhs, whether a Sikh must be baptized into the Khalsa brotherhood, in order to be fully Sikh, says Simon Fraser University historian Hugh Johnston. But the large minority of Sikhs who chose to join the Khalsa from then on observe the "Five Ks":
- The kesh, leaving the hair uncut for life, because the pure protein, gathered in a topknot, acts like an antenna in meditation -- the hair doesn't grow endlessly, but falls out at a genetically predetermined length;
- The kara, a steel bracelet encircling the wrist, which serves as a reminder "who is in charge," Singh said, "and that we are to serve none but the almighty creator;
- The kanga, a wooden comb used to keep the hair neat and to symbolize "combing out the dead-wood of ego";
- The khachera, white cotton underwear to remind the faithful of their impulses and their obligation to be monogamous; and
- The kirpan, the ceremonial dagger that serves as a reminder that all power is in the hands of the deity, that Sikhs have a solemn obligation to stand up for the downtrodden, and that they need "every day to cut away the ego," Singh said.

Singh cheerfully admits Sikhism's reputation as a warrior faith, but denies any tendency to violence.

"Weapons are worshipped among Sikhs, but things that are worshipped are feared, respected," she said.

"What is revered is not to be used improperly."

The symbol of the Sikh faith is a double-edged sword, piercing a circle and framed by two curved scimitars. The double-edged sword represents the human being, framed by the scimitar of spirituality and scimitar of discipline -- "a Sikh is commanded to be a soldier-saint," said Singh. And when these two blades are balanced, the result is the perfect illumination of the human, as represented by the circle.

The wisdom of the Siri Guru Granth is universal, "beyond caste, creed, race, sex, religion -- it will speak to your needs," said Singh. Each gurudwara has a granthi, a minister who cares for the temple and the Guru Granth, who may lead some of the worship, but who has no special priestly powers. The Guru Granth itself has the priestly powers.

So what do the Sikh scriptures look like? The Jap Ji, the opening verses of the Siri Guru Granth, written by the first Guru Nanak, is taken to encapsulate the entire faith:

"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 --
"True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages.
"True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True.
"By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times.
"By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within.
"The hunger of the hungry is not appeased, even by piling up loads of worldly goods.
"Hundreds of thousands of clever tricks, but not even one of them will go along with you in the end.

"So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away?"
How? The Shabad ji, the word of God, the verses of Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji, are the way.

Guru Raj Kaur Khalsa of Vancouver, a director of the Raj Yog Nivas Centre, said the Sikh "dharma" (order) is "power to the people" -- "no intermediary between any individual and God" -- except the verses of the Siri Guru Granth themselves.

The individual verses of the Siri Guru Granth are written in one of 31 ragas or specific meters and scales. When they are chanted and meditated upon in their original Gurmukhi (Punjabi), they become the means of aligning the human soul with divinity.

"We call it naad, the frequency of the divine harmony," said Khalsa.

"When the words of the Siri Guru Granth are chanted in the proper rhythm and tempo and right consciousness, they cut through the ego and you're liberated, enlightened. Your soul is ruling rather than your ego, and your soul is in proper alignment with God.

"The Sikh experience is, the more you try to conceptualize God, the farther you get away from him. We rather activate the more subtle aspects of our being, so as to surrender to God."

Sikhs reject the Buddhist or Hindu notion that material existence is all essentially illusion or suffering. Rather, said Khalsa, "It's all God in balance." God is the creator of the world, but not separate from the world; and humans are enlightened, "God and humans are co-creators."

The suffering of the world is the consequence simply of error, mistake, said Khalsa, but sin is acknowledged by Sikhs: "There is only one sin; forgetting your oneness with God."

Khalsa said its warrior symbolism is essential to Sikhism: "The enlightened perception defends what is true and sacred," she said. And the warrior ethic has served their religion. The birth of Sikhism from the 16th to 18th centuries was contemporary with the rule of the Mogul (Muslim) emperors, who attempted to convert the Sikhs to Islam. The ninth guru offered himself up to the Mogul emperor in Delhi as a martyr for religious liberty; and of the last guru, it was said, "Had there been no Guru Gobind Singh, the entire country would have been circumcised" -- converted to Islam.

Guru Gobind Singh was in fact responsible for founding the institution that somewhat divides Sikhs today, says SFU historian Johnston. Singh founded the militant Khalsa brotherhood in 1699, long after codification of the Adi Granth texts, and partly as a militant reaction to the Punjab's Mogul or Muslim overlords. The Khalsa are the source of Sikhism's warrior symbolism, Johnston said. Only those baptized into Khalsa observe the "Five Ks" and, upon baptism, take the names Singh or Kaur.

"But some Sikhs -- Sikh just means 'disciple' -- will say it's not necessary to be Khalsa, some will say that they're not yet Khalsa, and some Khalsa will say that you have to be Khalsa to be a Sikh," Johnston said.

"The issue's blurry, just like the Sikh attitude toward caste. Sikhs will say they don't believe in castes, but they all know their caste, they all marry within their castes."

Sikhism today is the world's fifth-largest doctrinal religion, after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Though there are only 25 million Sikhs worldwide (compared to 900 million Hindus), according to the 2001 Canadian census, there are in Calgary almost twice as many Sikhs as Hindus -- over 13,000 to just over 7,000. (In Calgary, the most numerous non-Christian religion is Islam, with 26,000 adherents, followed by Buddhism, with 16,000.

Sikhism has been most prominent in the Canadian news as a result of the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182, which killed 329 people, and the ongoing trial of the alleged perpetrators. That terrorist act had followed over a year of intense Hindu-Sikh violence in India. In March, 1984, Sikh militants occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar, demanding an independent Sikh homeland; and that April, the Indian Army stormed the temple, resulting in what was variously reported as "several hundred" or "several thousand" deaths. Five months later, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. In the resulting Hindu riots, over 3,000 Sikhs were killed.

"In all religions, there are people who take things to extremes," said Calgary's Singh.

"Things were very different in 1984. When you have your holiest shrine stormed -- if the Vatican was stormed, wouldn't Catholics react?"

In the generation since, Hindu-Sikh relations have quieted considerably. Sikhism is now enshrined in India's constitution, and the current prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is Sikh.
jwoodard@theherald.canwest.com
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
hasandm



Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:11 am    Post subject: Dasond in Sikhism Reply with quote

Hi<BR><BR>Sikhism does have a concept of Dasond, remarkably called Daswandh, the linguistic relation is very apparent! And the Guru Granth Sahib also mentions Pir and Mureed as terms for the leader and disciple. i.e. Peer Mureed di Preet "love of the Pir from the Mureed."
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Dasond in Sikhism Reply with quote

hasandm wrote:
Sikhism does have a concept of Dasond, remarkably called Daswandh, the linguistic relation is very apparent! And the Guru Granth Sahib also mentions Pir and Mureed as terms for the leader and disciple. i.e. Peer Mureed di Preet "love of the Pir from the Mureed."
YAM,
Thanks for sharing this info. I knew intuitively that that would be the case. The lofty ideals and principles of Sikhism mentioned in the previous post could not have arisen without the ground of Dasond.

The info also illustrates the universality of the Peer Mureed relationship in all mystical/esoteric traditions. Sikhism like Ismailism is essentially an esoteric tradition.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:43 am    Post subject: More Sikhism stuff. Reply with quote

I've got some more sikhism stuff if anyone's interested..i'll keep posting.


ShamsB
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: More Sikhism stuff. Reply with quote

ShamsB wrote:
I've got some more sikhism stuff if anyone's interested..i'll keep posting.


ShamsB
YAM, at least one person is interested!
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malaysian Sikhs fight to retain 'Allah' in Granth Sahib

("The Times of India", July 5, 2008)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - A Sikh group in Muslim-majority Malaysia is
demanding the right to use the world "Allah" as a synonym for God and
has joined a legal battle by Christians against a government order
banning non-Muslims from using it, an official said on Friday.

The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council filed an application at the Kuala Lumpur
High Court on Tuesday seeking to join a suit by the Herald, a Roman
Catholic newspaper, against the government over use of the word "Allah",
said council president Sardar Jagir Singh.

The home ministry previously ordered the newspaper not to use the word
"Allah" in its Malay-language publication as a translation for God,
saying using the word would confuse Muslims. The Herald then filed suit,
claiming it had a right to use the word.

Jagir said his council, representing more than 100,000 Sikhs, wanted to
join the suit because the ruling would affect them.

The word Allah appears on "numerous occasions" in the Sikh holy book,
Guru Granth Sahib, he said. "Not a word can be altered. It's our holiest
book ... it will mean we can't practice our own religion."

Jagir said so far he has not received a court date. The high court is
scheduled next Wednesday to hear the applications of several Islamic
institutions that have applied to intervene in the suit to defend the
ban.

The Herald says "Allah" is an Arabic word that predates Islam and has
been used for centuries to mean God in Malay.

The government has not explained how the use of "Allah" by other
religions would confuse Muslims, but apparently wants to draw a sharp
distinction between the Islamic God and all other deities.

The case is an example of increasing complaints by religious minorities
in Malaysia that their rights have been undermined by government efforts
to bolster the status of Islam, the country's official religion.
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:


The word Allah appears on "numerous occasions" in the Sikh holy book,
Guru Granth Sahib, he said. "Not a word can be altered. It's our holiest
book ... it will mean we can't practice our own religion."


Shamsh, would you be able to quote verses where Allah appears? Thanks
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
ShamsB



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1118

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
kmaherali wrote:


The word Allah appears on "numerous occasions" in the Sikh holy book,
Guru Granth Sahib, he said. "Not a word can be altered. It's our holiest
book ... it will mean we can't practice our own religion."


Shamsh, would you be able to quote verses where Allah appears? Thanks


As soon as I have a chance - I am still in Europe.

Shams
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Respect diversity, accept the kirpans

By Naomi Lakritz, Calgary HeraldAugust 5, 2009

What is all the fuss about kirpans? And why did they suddenly become an issue at Gurdas Maan's concert at the Telus Convention Centre when they've never been an issue at public venues in Calgary before?

Sunday night's concert was halted because 10 elderly men arrived wearing kirpans under their clothes, as is required by the Sikh religion. So what? No doubt Calgary Sikhs have for years attended plays at Theatre Calgary, concerts at the Jack Singer, Flames games at the Saddledome and so on. No concert by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, no play and no hockey game have ever been shut down because of a Sikh in the audience, wearing his kirpan.

People are entitled to wear religious symbols. That means a Sikh should be as free to wear a kirpan as a Christian is to wear a crucifix around the neck. If we're not prepared to accept this in Alberta, then the next skid mark down the slippery slope to outright xenophobia will be for us to be like Quebec, whose government is being pressured to ban the wearing of religious symbols by civil servants, including teachers and doctors. Oppress one, oppress all is their motto.

France has long since gone that way. Let's not follow. In 2004, the French government banned visible religious symbols in public schools, including Sikh turbans. Just before the ban came into effect, then-president Jacques Chirac said: "Secularism is one of the great successes of the republic. It is a crucial element of social peace and national cohesion. We cannot let it weaken."

Chirac didn't weaken it. He destroyed it. Secularism should not involve suppression of people's religions or enforced cohesion; it should acknowledge people's individuality, respect their personal choice to wear a given religious symbol, and treat them all the same regardless. Secularism should make no big deal out of diversity. Otherwise, it becomes the great oppressor, not the great leveller of society, and its own dubious practice of equal opportunity oppression is far worse than the harmless wearing of religious symbols.

Kirpans have sharp points, which is why Transport Canada regulations require them to be taken on a plane in checked baggage, rather than carried on board. One can only imagine the harm a kirpan could do if it were wrested away from a Sikh passenger by some individual with terrorist leanings. But a concert hall is not an airplane, to be hijacked or crashed.

"The kirpan is no more symbolic (of) a weapon than the Christian cross is symbolic of a torture instrument," historian Sandeep Singh Brar explains on his website, sikh.org,which was the Internet's first Sikh site, and has been around for more than a decade. "To Sikhs the kirpan is religiously symbolic of their spirituality and the constant struggle of good and morality over the forces of evil and injustice, both on an individual as well as social level. The usage of the kirpan in this religious context is clearly indicated in the Sikh holy scriptures (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) and wearing it is meant to inspire a Sikh in their daily life," Brar says. So if Sikhs do not regard kirpans as weapons, why should the rest of the world show an overweening concern about them? Live and let live. Brar makes an interesting point about the cross. If Christianity were not the majority religion in Canada, would its followers be roundly condemned as advocates of torture for wearing that symbolic "torture instrument" in public?

To see how ludicrous the to-do over the kirpans at the concert is, one need only reverse the roles, as I learned a few years ago when there was an uproar about Sikhs not wanting to remove their turbans to wear bicycle helmets. Much grumbling at the time seemed to focus on the grumblers' refusal to pay the health-care costs of a helmetless Sikh who might be involved in an accident. Happy Mann, a Calgary Sikh, phoned me to say that the public needed to be set straight. "Sikhs don't smoke, but we are paying for health care for smokers and they are the biggest burden on the system. Baptized Sikhs don't drink, either, but we pay for the drunk-driving violations, the cost of counselling, the health care. But, Sikhs never complain about any of that," Mann said.

What bothers me most is the indignity suffered by the 10 elderly men wearing their kirpans. They were ordinary folks who came to the show in anticipation of enjoying a pleasant evening at a concert, just as any Calgarian would. Prevented from entering because of a religious symbol that they carry to remind them to live in a godly manner, they ended up being treated like "the other." Their ouster resulted in the entire show being halted. Where was all the respect for diversity that we're constantly told is a basic tenet of this Canada we live in?

nlakritz@theherald. canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

http://www.calgaryherald.com/story_print.html?id=1860915&sponsor=
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give and take on kirpans

Calgary Herald

October 8, 2009

City council's decision to review the city's policies about permitting kirpans at civic venues offers the perfect opportunity to craft a balanced solution that will be sensitive to the Sikh faith as well as to public safety concerns. The review is definitely called for, in the wake of an August incident in which Sikhs were turned away from a Gurdas Maan concert at the Telus Convention Centre, because they were carrying kirpans.

The kirpan is a type of dagger, often up to 10 centimetres long, which baptized Sikhs are required to carry. Calgary's Sikh residents have gone about their daily business for years carrying kirpans without incident. Their religious freedoms must be respected, but in turn they must also be sensitive to public concern about the possibility that a kirpan could be wrested away from its wearer and used as a weapon. The city's new policy should reflect an attitude of give and take, contributing to mutual respect on both sides.

Kirpans should not be banned from public places, but they should be worn instead in the form of a plastic or wooden replica. The 10-centimetre dagger should be reserved for private religious gatherings or worn at home. That kind of balance will avert another embarrassing and unnecessary incident like the one at the Telus Convention Centre, and ensure that Calgary's Sikhs are treated in public venues with all the respect that should be accorded every Calgarian.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

http://www.calgaryherald.com/story_print.html?id=2079922&sponsor=
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20934

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lower Mainland Sikh community rallies to help Syrian refugees

'It's the Sikh way, the Canadian way to offer help,' says Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai

The Lower Mainland Sikh community has come together to offer housing, schooling, food, clothing and a slate of services to help support to the Syrian refugees who are expected to arrive in the area over the next few months.

Officials estimate around 2,500 refugees could land in the region within the next few weeks, as part of the federal government plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the new year.

"The Sikh community has come to Canada themselves in many different ways from the early 1900's and onwards," said Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai.

"Welcoming others, newcomers, was part of their life, whether they knew them or not. Whether immigrants came from India, or whether they were refugees in tumultuous times during the 80s, the Sikh way, the Canadian way, was always to give them a home, help them at the temple and help feed them" he said.

Over the weekend Sarai facilitated a forum of Sikh organizations which had all expressed a desire to answer the Canadian government's call for help in resettling the refugees. The result is a list of wide ranging services:
&#9632;Free tuition for 1,000 students at Khalsa School for one year.
&#9632;Free meals, clothing and blankets for 2,000 refugees from Gurdwaras in Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Abbotsford and Surrey.
&#9632;A provincewide campaign to find free housing for an expected 200 families.
&#9632;Transportation from the airport.
&#9632;Pro bono medical services.
&#9632;Childcare for as many as 100 children.

Schooling for all religions

The Khalsa School, which has two campuses in Surrey and one in Mission, offers K-12 education based on the standardized B.C. Dogwood curriculum.

"We even have several teachers who speak Arabic, and we will do whatever we can to help the new students feel welcome." said principal Kamalpreet Bagga in a statement.

At the schools one period a day is set aside for Sikh religious or cultural studies, but Sarai says refugee students would not be required to take those courses and that interfaith teaching will be offered.

"Obviously they're not going to be Sikh. They're probably going to Shia or Sunni Muslim or Christians," said Sarai.

"So [the schools] would help facilitate any religious teachings that they may need. They basically want to make them feel welcome, feel at home."

&#8203;The group that met over the weekend has adopted the name Sikh Societies of British Columbia, and says the value of donations being offered is as high as $5 million.

"The community was grateful to take upon this challenge while being mindful of the fact that there might be some cultural and language barriers," the group said in a statement.

"Other community organizations are invited to join this cause as it affects our community as a whole and not just the Sikh community."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sikh-community-syrian-refugees-1.3330872?cmp=rss
Back to top
View users profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.ismaili.net Forum Index -> Doctrines All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB 2.0.1 © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group




Fatal error: Call to a member function Execute() on a non-object in /home/heritage/web/webdocs/html/includes/pnSession.php on line 400