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Sikh Concept Of God


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What is the Sikh concept of God? Most of the books on Sikhism in the west seem to put fourth the view of monotheistic God. While a lot of Sikhs seem to have the idea of a pantheistic God or the belief of some type of panentheism.

It seems to me we ourselves are confused on the concept of God in Sikhi at times.

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Welcome Gyan Parbodh to the forum.This is based on my own research both on modern day school of thought and traditional sikh school of thought-

You will find two Sikh school of thoughts-

Modern day Sikh thought of God: abhramic version of God (due to british influence when they were ruling India, they implanted their protestant victorian influence on sikh thought- to divide and rule- Sikh religion as we were seen as a threat- british umpire)

Traditional Sikh thought of creator:

Vahiguroo (God)

In Sikh theology, Vahiguroo is ONE ( "Ik" Ongkar). However, to realize and feel oneness of Vahiguroo in everyone, in everything and in Vahiguroo attributes, Vahiguroo is consider to have two states- nirgun and sargun. In fact, whole sikh foundation is based on nirgun and sargun state of Vahiguroo.

Definition of Nirgun form/state of Vahiguroo in its essence is Sat(truth) Chit(Supreme Consciousness) anand (Blissful) which cannot be described but knowledge of supreme existence of Vahiguroo can only be felt and attained

Definition of Sargun form/state of Vahiguroo- Sargun state of Vahiguroo is when nirgun original state of Vahiguroo immanent its attributes:

i) Shabad - which explains the attributes of Vahiguroo but most importantly- shabad which has (gyan)knowledge of Vahiguroo When one meditates on shabad, it unites human being fully with God.

ii) Creation- creator is infused in its creation like how fragnance is infused into the flower.

iii) Physical form of Vahiguroo- Highest emobidment of Vahiguroo- Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji divine avtar of Nirgun Vahiguroo followed by six different type of avtars in Indic Philosphy.

Nirgun state of Vahiguroo transcendent its attributes to sargun during creation and it's ever present through out cycle of yugas/ages (Satjug, treta, dvapar and kaljug).

Perfect example of Nirgun transcedenting its immanent to Sargun is deep spiritual meaning of - Ikongkar (First Mantra in our living guru- Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)


Ik- Indicates Nirgun form/state of Vahiguroo

Ong- indicates nirgun attributes transcedent itself to sargun - shabad/creation

Kar- Kar intertwines both sargun and nirgun state of Vahiguroo

a) What are Vahiguroo attributes?

- Attributes of Vahiguroo are limitless and its beyond human comprehension as stated in jaap sahib (one of most important composition which talks about nirgun sargun flow of God).

However, main attributes of Vahiguroo are mentioned in Gurmantar- Vahiguroo itself and Mool Mantra.

Gurmantar- Vahiguroo

Vahi (Acharaj/Wonderful Roop) Guroo - Bring one from darkness to light

As our state of mind changes, one start feeling deeper meaning of Vahiguroo Gurmantar-

Vahi (Acharaj/Wonderful roop) Guroo- chaitan roop (all prevading super consciousness atma paratma)

Mool Mantra-

Ikongkar = ( One Vahiguroo Nirgun/Sargun Interconnected/intertwine with one and another)

Satnaam- His name is truth

Kartapurkh- He himself is creator.

Nirbhau- He is without fear.

Nirvair- He does not have any enemy

Akaal Moorat- He is without time, he is exist without shape or form.

Ajooni- Without birth/death

Saibhang- He is light of knowledge

Gurparsad - He can be felt by grace of Guru(Vahiguroo)

Jap - Meditate

Aad sach means Vahiguroo always been truth. One cannot find confine- Vahiguroo in time or space- Aad Sach.

Jagud Sach- From the beginnning of all yugs(ages) you are truth.

Habhi Sach: Vahiguroo is truth in the present with no change.

Nanak Hosi bhi sach: Nanak says, vahiguroo will be always truth in future with any change

In gurbani nirgun and sargun are one:

Sargun Nirgun Nirankar Sun Samadhi Aaap, Aaapie Kiya Nanaka Apaie Fer Jaap ||

Gurbani further illustrates one immanent to many:

Nirgun Tae Sargun Thiya (From Nirgun vahiguroo, sargun came).

From formless, He appeared as form.

Then in Jaap sahib, Guru gobind singh ji shows us how nirgun transcedent to many and then from many back to one(Nirgun):

Ek moorat(i) anek darsan koon roop anek|| (Jaap)

Thou, the One Entity, appearest as Many creating innumerable forms.

Khel khel akhel khelan ant ko phir(i) ek||81||

After playing the world-drama, when Thou wilt stop the play, Thou wilt be the same One again.81.

b.) How this whole universe was created?

- The whole universe/multiverse was created by shabad resosance(divine sound) upon nirgun vahiguroo transcedenting its attributes to sargun.

As our living guru- gurbani states:

Utpat Parloa Shabade Hovaie

Creation and destruction occurs through divine shabad

Shabade hi fir opat hovaie

Through the shabad, creation happens again.

c) What is the shabad behind creation and destruction?

Gurbani states:

Pirthame On(g)kar So Dhun Poran Jagat Mae Raha ||

Fist ongkar was recited and that resosance created world and give nourishment to this world. (Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Dasam Granth Sahib)

Ongkar aad kathni anad, Khal Khand Khyal Gurbar Akaal ||

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vahiguroo Ji Ka Khalsa Vahiguroo Ji Ki Fateh

Singh i found this to be truly inspirational. I have always wanted to establish how the two attributes applied practically but you have comprehensively explained them. Could you please explained the divine sound in more detail if possible.

Do we say that Vahigurooo infused his divine light into the Das Guru Sahibans or do we say that they were actually a form of Vahiguroo.

Muslims strongly challenge the theory of transcendent Lord, but i think their concept holds the Lord as one dimensional where as ours is multi-dimensional.

Your comments would be much appreciated.

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Could you please explained the divine sound in more detail if possible.

Lot of snatan mat or hindu mat praise- three devta's- bhram, vishnu and shiv- lot of them idiolize them but our gurmat sidhant does not idiolize them. Gurmat sidhant while acknowledging three devta's- bhram, vishnu and shiv duties in divinity- creation/perservation/destruction, while giving them due respect want divine seekers to even rise above from sargun maya- three dieties, even beyond maya, guru maharaj want us to take our consciousness intuition to when it all begin and how it all begin which is shabad, its from shabad - maya appear be it form of these dieties, rajo, tamo, sato, sargun pasara. It's divine sound- ongkar everything came, so guru maharaj advise us to connect to that divine sound. Now that does not mean one have to meditate on ongkar it just means whatever gurmantar or mool mantar, shabad we use from gurbani, sooner or later during destruction of ignorance upon time of bhramgyan one merges back in resosance supreme consciousness bliss- Vahiguroo.

Do we say that Vahigurooo infused his divine light into the Das Guru Sahibans or do we say that they were actually a form of Vahiguroo.

No light was infused, they were Vahiguroo ji in sargun saroop himself. Vahiguroo decided to appear in a form and appear infront of miror- Vahiguroo ji decided to take roop of our ten guru maharaj.

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Is the way the term God is used in modern translations a misrepresentations of the Sargun aspects portrayed in Gurbani?

Also what is the relation of Akaal and Waheguru with the Universe and eternity and infinity? Just trying to look at a few concepts.

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