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  1. If there is one quality I am quite sure you don't yet possess, brother, it is patience. It seems you have a lot of maturing to do. And my name is not Imran. EDIT: Since I am curious to learn more, and since this environment appears hostile to questions and ideas that don't devotionally conform to memebers' pre-existing notions, perhaps I will have to take my enquiries to the much-reviled SPN. Maybe they are more amenable to a respectful discussion of difficult topics. Thank you for the suggestion.
  2. I appear to have provoked the ire of some of the members here. Allow me to allay any conspiracy theories that I am an active member on another forum and/or that I am attempting to undermine Sikhi. I am a lover of Sikhi and the Gurus, which is why I am keen to learn all I can about them. It is true that I am not a blank slate. I do have some knowledge. But I have plenty of gaps as well, and no doubt I have some misconceptions that I would be grateful if other members would clear up. I come in all humility, head bowed, hands open, ready to be corrected. With citations, of course While I've done a fair bit of reading and thinking and talking about Sikhi over the years, I steered clear of YouTube videos regarding Sikhi until relatively recently, when I came across the work of Dr. Karminder Singh Dhillon. His positions seemed to make a lot of sense, seemed qualified by citations from Gurbāni and from Bhai Gurdās's vāran, and I wanted to get a second opinion on what he was saying from people who might be more knowledgable than me. That's why I'm here. Clearly, I haven't wandered into the Karminder Dhillon fanclub, and I appreciate that. But I don't appreciate the negative insinuations and abusive tone. If you don't feel like providing full answers, that's cool. But at least don't do the anti-Gurmat thing and behave unkindly. That's not cool. Not least because it shows that, for all the facts and shabadan people might have accumulated, they have still failed to imbue within them the central point and purpose of Gurbāni – to live with love. Sorry for wasting all our time. I wish you all well. Peace out.
  3. Curious. What about when the gurgaddi was passed while the preceding and succeeding Gurus were both alive at the same time? How did the process of reincarnation work there?
  4. I don't see anything inherently wrong with this concept. According to Sikhi, all time and space is part of the Ek or One or 1, thus it can be argued that the idea of a particular time or place being more "divine" than other times or places is not strictly a Gurmat one. Eymologically, the root of the word amrit is mrit, which means "death" (the modern Panjabi infinitive verb marna, which means "to die", also originates from here). The modifier a- negates the root word. Thus the word amrit actually means "no death" or "beyond death" or "immortal". Vela means "time". So amrit vela literally translates to "Time of Transcending Death". Does this refer only to 4am in the morning? I'm not so sure. This idea of amrit vela being bound to a particular time of day does, however, appear in Yogic and Puranic paradigms. This from Wikipedia: Sikhs also use the word amrit in a context similar to that of the RigVeda, which referred to amrit as a "nectar" they called soma or somras, which appears to be some sort of hallucinogenic drink that the Maha Rishis credited with enabling their authorship of the Vedas, claiming to drink it in the opening verses of the RigVeda while paying homage to the diety Agni, God of Fire. The Maha Rishis referred to somras as amrit because they said it resulted in them "transcending death". Theories abound as to exactly what this substance was, but I think it is reasonable to assume that this was some sort of DMT-based concoction extracted from a particular plant. Guru Gobind Singh Ji changed the physical amrit to mere sugar water, with the true "Transcending Death" taking the form of surrendering to the hukkam ("Will") of the Ek, symbolically "mixed in" to the sugar water with a kirpān. Just out of curiosity, what specifically does Gurbāni have to say about "Amrit Vela"? Does Gurbāni also bind Amrit Vela to a specific time of day as per the Yogic and Puranic traditions?
  5. While I deeply respect your belief, I don't think the issue is quite as straightforward from an evidentiary perspective. Not only are the supposed Janamsakhis of spurious authorship (the earliest materialises over 200 years after Guru Nānak Sahib's birth) but the performance of "miracles" or "karamāt" appears to be antithetical to the hardworking, practical, humanist, down-to-Earth, anti-superstition ethos espoused by the Guru Granth Sahib. For example, in Sidh Goshat, Guru Nānak was challenged by the Sidhs to display miracles, and he refused, replying that realising God is the true miracle. I am not saying that these miracles definitely did not happen. I am simply asking how we can be so sure that they definitely did happen? In addition, I am curious as to why the Gurus performing miracles is so important to so many people? How does it affect their belief in Sikhi to say these miracles may not have happened? If you mean "anti-Brahmin", then I'm not sure Dr. Dhillon necessarily fits this description. He is quite respectful of other peoples' beliefs and accepts that the Vedic and Yogic (as well as Koranic) traditions have their own particular paradigms. He simply seems to be making the point that Sikhi established its own particular paradigm that deviated dramatically from pre-existing ones, but also acknowledges key overlaps. If you are saying that Dr. Dhillon is "anti-Brahmān", then I think that's a deeply mistaken belief, since Brahmān is actually the Hindu name for the Supreme Reality (the One God) and is very much at the core of the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism. And finally, if you are saying that Dr. Dhillon is "anti-Brahminism", then I would posit that Sikhi, too, is quite clearly anti-caste / anti-Brahminist in its tachings. Returning to my original query, however, I am curious to know whether or not you consider Sikhi to be an affirmation of Vedic/Yogic concepts like mantra and reincarnation?
  6. There appear to be two principal interpretations of Gurbāni emerging in modern debates. For the sake of discussion, let's call them: • Gurbāni Mysticism; and • Gurbāni Materialism. "Gurbāni Mysticism" is can be found in the typical Gyani kathha, which talk about the Gurus performing "supernatural" feats and "miracles", and interpret "Naam Simran" as the physical act of repeating words from Gurbāni over and over again in a manner similar to that of Vedic or Yogic mantra in an attempt to break the cycle of reincarnation and achieve mukhti. "Gurbāni Materialism" is the type of interpretation propagated by the likes of Dr. Karminder Singh Dhillon of Kuala Lumpur. He believes that Gurbāni uses the language and concepts familiar to people at the time, but only in an attempt to politely reject them by recontextualising their meaning. For example, the Vedic concept of reincarnating through 8.4 million lifetimes is only mentioned – according to Dr. Dhillon – to reject that very notion and say that human beings have the potential to "reincarnate" themselves in this lifetime depending on how they think and act; a person can think and act like a dog, like a donkey, like an insect, like a rat...or like a human being. He also states that the function of a mantra in the Gurbāni context is not to be repeated until bakshish is magically bestowed, but is supposed to be understood as a piece of advice from our Guru (man- means "mind", -tra means "tool"). I do believe that meditation is a potent practise, but I am not sure that simply stimulating the Pineal Gland (colloquially referred to as "The Third Eye") to release Dimethyltryptamine into the brain while awake is what Guru Nānak was asking his Sikhs to do, nor am I convinced that the DMT experience is objectively "spiritual" – although I certainly leave open the possibility that it may well be. I would be very interested to hear peoples' personal experiences and interpretations over how they see key lessons in Gurbāni, and what – if anything – separates Sikhi from the Advaita Vedanta interpretation of the Vedas.