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Essence of Sikhism?


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Dear All,

I discovered this site by chance and have just become a member.

I am not sure if my question is appropriate especially in light of the fact that this is specifically for "Gurbani and Gurmat Discussion". I looked into the other forum, but the topic headings did not appear encouraging.

I know very little about Sikhism and would like to know more. A little less than two years ago, prompted by my wife's remark, "Sikhism is about the development of wisdom", I joined another Sikh discussion group in order to learn about that "wisdom". This resulted in a year long off-list correspondence with one particular member of that group, and a short time with another member and an owner of a well known Sikh site. In the end I managed to push all three of them away with my eagerness to convince them of my own views.

I intend to stay here just long enough to get any information I need, so no reason to fear that the same thing will happen here.

I could just go to the various websites and get information, or I could even sit down and talk with my wife. But my problem is, I have heard short quotes by Guru Nanak and Kabir which, at the time I heard them, I liked. However, be it with my wife or anywhere else that I have been, one big obstacle in looking into the actual teachings, is the constant reference to “Godâ€. I admit this is in part due to my own lack of patience.

You see, I became an atheist about 28 years ago at the age of 15. From that time on for the next 15 years I was completely uninterested in any religion. So when I finally did, because of a personal tragedy, I was attracted to another religion. And now with the views of that religion influencing me, it is all the more hard to even remotely accept the idea of God or Akal Purukh. :-(

So what I really want is, someone to draw out the essential points of Sikhism which apply to the individuals outlook, not on any social or political level (I am completely uninterested in these), but to how he would deal with his experiences, perhaps with the aim of seeing through ‘Maya’ and coming upon a correct perception and understanding of reality. This appears to me as quite a difficult task, but perhaps some of you may have the understanding and intelligence to do it without much difficulty. If not, don’t sweat over it, I will try not to have any expectations.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Sukinderpal

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Good afternoon Mr S

Im sure the admin can provide you with a list of previous dicussions that may interest you, use the Search option its great!

Hmm, well i would ask you, do you exist?

If you say yes, then you accept that you exist within an existance.

That existance is known to some as 'Har'.

If you say no, read Descartes.

Existance is everything there is. (that includes you)

Belief doesn't come into it, you just proved it to yourself.

The varities within the existance are all linked( Ik Onkar), they are diverse and 1 at the same time, hence Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Jaap Sahib formulates 'ik hai fir anek hai' ( x to the power of 0 = 1, x can be anything, but due to the mathematical significance of the power of 0 they are = 1(har))

Another way of looking at it, when a lay person walks into a jewelery shop he sees rings, chains, necklaces, etc he differentiates because his mind likes to do so! On the other hand a spiritual person will walk into THE SAME SHOP AND JUST SEE GOLD( because he has REALISED that x to the power of 0 =1)

Sukinder, please note, many subjects we study in school and college are a search for the truth;

Science - scientific truth

Maths - Mathematical Truth

History - Historical Truth

Guru Granth Sahib Ji maharaj starts where all these subjects are heading, , Satnaaam.

When you ask a scientist about thier discoveries they will normally say, this is the scientific truth,,, AS FAR AS WE KNOW,..... The Truth in gurbani is Eternal, it is timeless and therefore is science will always be trying to catch up with Gurbani!

Foreveryday use Gurbani provides a range of meditations to make you a HAPPY PERSON, in fact it wakes you up to reality(your true self)

Gurfateh

Harpreet

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You see, I became an atheist about 28 years ago at the age of 15. From that time on for the next 15 years I was completely uninterested in any religion. So when I finally did, because of a personal tragedy, I was attracted to another religion. And now with the views of that religion influencing me, it is all the more hard to even remotely accept the idea of God or Akal Purukh. :-(

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Sukinderpal

How do you become an Atheist?? Simply refusing to belive the existence of a Supreme Conciousness or by proving that he does not exist.

Whether God exists or he does not exist is not the question. The question is Do you Exist?? Your existance itself proves his existance. Your being here proves that you had a mother...without a mother and father you would not be possible. If you had no recolection of your parents would you still find it difficult to belive that you had/have parents. Regardless of the decision you make to not believe in the existance of your parents. They Exist(ed). Allah is the eternal parent who is beyond the captivites of the Mind and Time. The Child of a Immortal is but immortal himself. But remember by believing in him you are not doing him a Favor. You can Divorce your parents legally or personally, but does that mean their existance has vanished? That your were not the product of their creation.

Search within yourself, don't listen to me when i say God exists and belive my statement that he exists. Search for yourself with honesty and Sincerity....the Search must go within you, not outside. We look for God on the outside...because we see money, wealth on the outside which we belive makes us happy, so we think god must be outside as well. Our search outwards is heading in the wrong direction, go within....and if you happen to find something within which is nameless, you will not find 'God' rather you will find something that is beyond the description you had in your mind, call that by whatsoever name you wish to call him. Once you've felt the presence of a Super Conciousness within you, you will find him everywhere. The Journey, this Pilgrimage must be taken within.

Page 569, Line 11 -- Guru Amar Das

O Nanak, the treasure is within you; do not search for it on the outside. ||2||

Where YOU exist HE cannot be and when YOU are no longer he IS.

I know i didn't answer your questions regarding Sikhism, but i hope someone else here can give you answers related to the essential points you desired.

In the end this is all i have to say:

" HE AND ONLY HE IS THE TRUE LORD. HE IS TRUTH -- SATNAM.

HE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE. THOUGH ALL VANISH HIS REALITY WILL NEVER LEAVE.

HE CREATED MAYA -- THINGS OF VARIOUS COLORS AND EMOTIONS AND DISPOSITIONS.

HE CREATES ALL THINGS AND WATCHING OVER THEM, HE ALSO GIVES THEM GREATNESS.

What a wonderful thing Nanak has said. He says God makes the creation, and having made it, He looks at it, just as a painter paints a picture, then steps back a little to view his work. He observes it closely, he steps to the right and looks, steps to the left and looks again. Then he views it from a distance, then he takes it up to the window to scrutinize it in the light and in shadow. He examines it in a thousand ways, as does a sculptor.

HE CREATES ALL THINGS AND WATCHING OVER THEM, HE ALSO GIVES THEM GREATNESS.

Thus He gives prominence and importance to His creation. So God is not against samsara or else why should He create it?

Nor is he maya's enemy, or why should He bother with it? So the difficulty encountered by logic had no ground with the devotee. Nanak says not only does He create but He admires His creation and looks at it exultantly, thus giving it honor and importance. Remember, God has created you and having created you he has examined you from all sides, and He is still looking at you constantly as a part of His own handiwork, giving you dignity and importance; and on its own all sin will fade away from your life. If you remember this you will move about as a creation of His. You will speak and hear, fully conscious of the fact that you are His creation. In all your dealings you will be conscious of the fact that you are His and He is looking after you all the time. He watches over you constantly. He provides you with comfort and care. He looks at you lovingly, again and again. He never tires of looking at you. He is pleased with you for it is He who has made you. He is neither disappointed nor disheartened by your ways or else He could destroy you so easily. No matter how bad and sinful you become, His flame of hope for you never burns out. No matter how far you wander away from Him, no matter how completely you forget Him and turn your back on Him, His loving gaze is still fixed on you. For He knows that if not today, tomorrow you are sure to return. Sooner or later the prodigal must return, his coming back is certain, for the further you go away from Him the more unhappy you will become, like a little child who has run away from home.

A little child, barely four years old, ran away from home. He took a small bundle of clothes and set out. A policeman found him going back and forth along the side of the road a number of times.

He approached him, thinking he needed help, and asked, "Where do you want to go? Where have you come from?"

The child said, "I have run away from home but Mother always said not to cross the road, but to stay on this side. Now I don't know what to do, since I can't cross over."

How far can a small child stray? Even if he does, Mommy has always set a limit and how can he disobey her? How far will you wander from God? Even if you are angry with Him for some reason, you will keep shuttling between home and the road crossing. How far can you go and where will you go? Wherever you roam it is within His boundaries. Wherever you are will be within Him. Your anger is the anger of a little child; it is nothing but a part of love. He is never displeased by your displeasure.

Nanak says: He gives you importance and glorified you. What He has created He surveys, and He likes what He surveys. "

Waheguru

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Dear Harpreet and Pheena,

I hesitated at the point of mentioning about being atheist, as this is not even an issue with me. I guess I should have found another way of expressing what I really wanted. I did not intend to draw your attention to this fact at the expense of the main point, which is to know more about Sikh teachings as it applies to daily living. My intention is so that I may be able to relate with my children, who are and will be brought up as ‘Sikhs’. I intend not to interfere nor object to my wife’s bringing them up that way.

One impression I got from your response is that, any meaningful statement of fact is consequence of the belief in Akal Purukh. So I guess there is no way of avoiding this. I remember now about some discussions I had with a cyber friend, that in the end it always came down to the question of “beliefâ€. :-/

Anyway, in the meantime it has also occurred to me that I may be attached to the idea of having something clearly laid out for me. I guess I should not cling to this and instead develop more patience and courage to deal with life as it comes. In the end, conditions, the primary influence of which is ‘karma’, *rules* and my fears and projections can only make it more difficult to appreciate this.

Thanks for your efforts.

Regards,

Sukinderpal

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Dear Harpreet and Pheena,

I hesitated at the point of mentioning about being atheist, as this is not even an issue with me. I guess I should have found another way of expressing what I really wanted. I did not intend to draw your attention to this fact at the expense of the main point, which is to know more about Sikh teachings as it applies to daily living. My intention is so that I may be able to relate with my children, who are and will be brought up as ‘Sikhs’. I intend not to interfere nor object to my wife’s bringing them up that way.

One impression I got from your response is that, any meaningful statement of fact is consequence of the belief in Akal Purukh. So I guess there is no way of avoiding this. I remember now about some discussions I had with a cyber friend, that in the end it always came down to the question of “belief”. :-/

Anyway, in the meantime it has also occurred to me that I may be attached to the idea of having something clearly laid out for me. I guess I should not cling to this and instead develop more patience and courage to deal with life as it comes. In the end, conditions, the primary influence of which is ‘karma’, *rules* and my fears and projections can only make it more difficult to appreciate this.

Thanks for your efforts.

Regards,

Sukinderpal

My apologies for putting the spot light on the Atheist part of your post...but the reason i did so was because, If i had said things about Sikhism, i would not be able to avoid mentioning God. I am assuming that you would have a difficult time trying to accept whatever i am trying to present about sikhism with the idea of an Infinite Being. I hope that made some sense.

Regardless of how much faith you have in the beloved Mother of all, by no means am i trying to judge your ways. I myself denounced god at an early age, i personally did so out of ignorence with futile results because regardless of the fact that i denounced him, he still found me. It was a completly unexpected experience for the first time a flood of rememberence of his being rushed back. It is an experience one Never forgets, as the quote i posted above goes, his hope for you is unconditional and never dies.

There are 3 Foundation acts in Sikhism that are to be used in Daily life.

http://www.sikhnet.com/s/SikhIntro

Nam Japa - To get up each day before sunrise, to clean the body, meditate on God’s Name and recite the Guru’s hymns to clean the mind. Throughout the day, continuously remember God’s Name with every breath.

Dharam di Kirat Karni - To work and earn by the sweat of the brow, to live a family way of life, and practice truthfulness and honesty in all dealings.

Vand Ke Chakna - To share the fruits of one’s labor with others before considering oneself. Thus, to live as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.

I hope this gives you a good start. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask. Im sure someone will be able to help you out.

Waheguru.

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Dear Pheena,

I am posting my response to this in the other forum "Formal debates & discussions" as I think this discussion is not appropriate for this one. Of course, I don't expect it to go on much longer though, as few seem to be interested in taking part.

Sukinderpal

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Well Guru maharaj ji does say that the path is 'Kaneo tikkhi valo nikki', 'sharper than a sword and fine than a hair'.......

Maya(anything that distracts us from our REALITY) is infested in our minds, if you want clear instructions how to overcome hardships and have something clearly laid out fo you then i would say;

Learn Gurmuki asap! And go to the source, Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.

The Essence of Sikhism? go to the root - the 'mool';

Mool Mantra is a good place to start - mp3 format please download as listen, tell me what you think.

http://socs.qmsu.org/sikh/audio/cheemaUncl...heemaUncle).mp3

Please post any issues you want to debate Sir, im sure they will reply in thier masses !

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Dear Harpreet,

I have a relatively slow computer with some pop-ups and pop-under invading my machine, plus I live in a country (Thailand) where the phone lines are still not optimized for internet use. So even half an hour after clicking on your link, nothing happened. I do have the English translation of the SGGS downloaded, but I can’t say when I will make the necessary effort to read any part of it. I do have a degree of aversion to ‘reading’, which is why I always prefer and enjoy reading messages and posts off the internet, them being relatively short and don’t demand much attention in terms of time period. I had posted a response to this forum yesterday, but it seems that due to technical reasons, it has been lost. Anyway, this is good, since reconsidering what I wrote, I think I got carried away and crossed some boundaries and was feeling somewhat embarrassed about it. I liked your quote below:

>>>Well Guru maharaj ji does say that the path is 'Kaneo tikkhi valo nikki', 'sharper than a sword and fine than a hair'.......

Maya(anything that distracts us from our REALITY) is infested in our minds, if you want clear instructions how to overcome hardships and have something clearly laid out fo you then i would say; <<<

It has been a long time since I thought about this myself. I guess I might just as well state it, I study the teachings of the Buddha, the above idea is also stated in his teachings.

However, when I said that I realized my own need to have ‘something clearly laid out’, I was referring to my own attachment and concluded that I didn’t need to follow my desire. This is not to say that there is little value in having a comprehensive knowledge of the teachings, this is very useful. In fact one similarity I observed between Sikh and Buddha’s teachings, is just this fact about he importance of “listeningâ€, it is completely essential.

However, how we approach this matter is important. It must not bee seen as something which will have a somewhat magical influence or even thinking that with time ‘something will sink in’, because in the meantime we would have accumulated a host of attachments and misunderstandings. And these will seed and grow. In the end, as most if not all followers do, we read and listen ‘ritualistically’. And if an outsider were to make an observation, he would notice a host of ‘rites and rituals’ being adhered to. But the so called follower won’t know it, as he has identified himself with doing this and doing that in the name of ‘correctly following the teachings’. Truth has been lost sight of, and Religion has taken over.

Wisdom seeks and recognizes wisdom, but how do we know when it is there?! One sure way is to notice if there is any ‘detachment’ involved, but even here there is so much room for self deception, Maya. We may not notice that the same basic tendencies to greed, aversion and ignorance are operating here as it does there in the so-called materialistic world. What is likely added further is the factor of ‘conceit’ which makes superficial assessment and comparisons about ‘self’ now doing the right, good and religious thing and those others out there are the bad guys. The extreme is when someone becomes so self-righteous.

One influence here is the idea in one’s mind about time, place and activity associated with religion as against all other activities. This very idea is productive of all kinds of wrong interpretations of what is and what should be. I think, there must be absolutely no discrimination as regard appropriateness to ‘right reflection’ and contemplation or direct understanding. Any dualism makes it harder for understanding with regard to the present moment to be developed, because wherever we are, it is always NOW.

One other factor of influence I have recently come to reflect on is based on distinguishing two kinds of wisdom. On the one hand, which is common to *all* followers of any religion, is ‘seeing danger in unwholesome states of mind’. The other which is quite rare amongst individuals, is seeing the danger in “ignoranceâ€, ‘not knowing’. However without any degree of development in the latter, there can’t be any deep appreciation of the former. All kinds of unwholesomeness comes in many degrees and shades, and there are those which disguises as ‘goodness’, wholesome. So if we don’t have the ability to discern and discriminate, then we will quite easily be lead along the wrong path.

This is why I am always led to the conclusion that ‘karma’ and other past influences over countless lifetimes, is determinative of whether we will go the correct way. Because the major factor influencing this is whether if we have come upon a ‘wise friend’ and have the good fortune of associating with wise people. The opposite, as in the example in Sikh teachings, about touching a lump of coal and getting one’s hand black, is “everywhereâ€. People think that they can find good ‘sangat’ in the Gurudwara, but is it? (Try the Bangkok Gurudwara. :-() Or else, they associate ‘good conduct’ with reading and “talking†about the teachings and visiting gyanis and so on as comprising good sangat, but should we be so quick to make such a conclusion? But alas, we *will* find what we seek and what we seek is reflective of our own level of understanding, so in the end it comes back to whether we have accumulated enough good karma. :-/

You said:

>>>Learn Gurmuki asap! And go to the source, Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.

The Essence of Sikhism? go to the root - the 'mool';

Mool Mantra is a good place to start - mp3 format please download as listen, tell me what you think.

http://socs.qmsu.org/sikh/audio/cheemaUncl...heemaUncle).mp3 <<<

As my time is indeed quite limited, better I do not have any expectations. In the end, conditions rule!

You then said:

>>>Please post any issues you want to debate Sir, im sure they will reply in thier masses !<<<

From experience I have come to the conclusion that ‘debates’ are self-defeating. Each party relying on the ability to sort out information and thinking logically does not in the end get at the root of the problem, which is ‘attachment to views’ and ‘ignorance’. The winner goes back being more entrenched in his outlook and the looser is simply more confused. Ignorance is indeed very deep. It influences all our choice with regard to which line of reasoning we will take or even being attached to the reasoning process at all. And all the way to our final conclusion it leads us to further being caught in the grips of Maya.

I do have the tendency to be preachy, hope you don’t mind my long-winded response. :-)

Regards,

Sukinderpal

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But alas, we *will* find what we seek and what we seek is reflective of our own level of understanding, so in the end it comes back to whether we have accumulated enough good karma. :-/

Hmm, well i would like to suggest that you read the Paradox of Evil, by MS Cheema, heres the link, it takes not time to download!

http://www.sikhifm.com/sikhismevil.htm

This should give you some more information karma, free will, choice etc

People think that they can find good ‘sangat’ in the Gurudwara, but is it?

No. Welcome to kalyug my friend! :roll:

You might want to read osho's discourse on the jap ji sahib;

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinebooks/BookX...e%20vol%201.txt

its a very nice read !

because wherever we are, it is always NOW.

Hence why Guru Ji precribes the us meditation on breath, Jap Ji Sahib, 'Dihan Karo bibhut' - actually there are 3 different meditation techniques f you read the line carefully,

Dhyian itself is beutiful, Dhyan = Chen = Zen

Gurfateh

Harpreet

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Dear Harpreet,

Thanks for your response.

First of all allow me to make a small correction to a statement I made. I said that individuals seeking to eradicate ignorance are very rare. Upon further reflection, I think that this is not entirely true. I think it is more common than it appears; only the level of understanding involved is very weak. Only I think this group of individuals is common more in those who seek answers in various philosophies than do religions. However because of the strength of the accumulated tendencies to ignorance and views, they come to be easily satisfied with answers. The explanations that sound so convincing are just those that click with what deep in, we believe in. It seems as if the philosophies and religions teach us something new, but more likely we just find them attractive because they agree with our own underlying views. But of course, we can’t say for sure how many of those views have been accumulated, and if any present conditions can cause us to change our minds. However if we are held fast to a certain mistaken view, then logic and reasoning cannot dislodge it. In fact because with each argument we bring up to justify our position, a strong attachment is quite likely being developed at the same time.

You recommend that I read the following:

>>>http://www.sikhifm.com/sikhismevil.htm

This should give you some more information karma, free will, choice etc <<<

I am not sure why exactly you wanted me to. But this one I did read :-).

I understand that the author is speaking about how ‘good’ and ‘evil’ can exist together and how this is compatible with the fact of an all good creator God.

Luckily for me, I don’t have to deal with such issues. ;-) For me good and evil does not exist ‘out there’. In fact it does not even exist ‘in here’. I find myself less inclined to think in terms of existence/non-existence duality. ‘Good’, wholesome states are as transient and dependent on complex set of conditions as is ‘bad’, unwholesome states. When one perceives in oneself this interplay of conditions and how one state of mind arises and falls and can at any time be followed by what may be an opposite quality, then one is not surprised by anything, nor is one inclined to pinpoint and attach labels. And just as it is in here, so it must be out there for other people. There is consequently less and less tendency to characterize, except perhaps to make illustrations.

When the reference is to direct verifiable experiences, then there is no need to make any abstractions and create imaginary situations to stress a point. When the world is seen as arising and falling in an instant with each perception, then there is no need to make any ‘conceiving’ with regard the world, i.e. the conventional world. Without this understanding, it seems that we will have an egocentric view of the world, as in ‘our world’ or ‘mother earth’ etc. and then become so idealistic about it. In the same way, there is no need to be a good, compassionate or loving person. Why presuppose a ‘world’ to act upon? If in the moment there is a perception of ‘suffering’ in someone, then compassion can arise there and then and it would have performed its function of alleviating the suffering of another. And if there is no compassion, well and good, just know that there were not enough conditions. But should we be deluded by some ideal? Can ideals spur compassion when there is no level of understanding in the moment? Why further increase one’s ignorance?

Once there is any duality at all in our minds, automatically we seek to explain it. Then our vision becomes myopic and we get caught in linear thinking, seeking examples ‘out there’ which will support our outlook. We are not open to the possibility that there are indeed a large host of conditions at play with the arising of any one momentary experience. Instead we are caught in a world of stories which we attempt to string together to explain our position but will never be able to do without running into contradictions, and further spinning out more stories.

I do appreciate though, the fact that the author is able to see through the illusion of ‘free will’ as much as he has. And I do admire his ability to think straight, though I wish that he grow to not need to justify his position.

>>>

Quote:

People think that they can find good ‘sangat’ in the Gurudwara, but is it?

No. Welcome to kalyug my friend! <<<

No this is not kalyug. Though we may be at the edge of the ‘good era’, because there are still wise people around to interpret the good Teachings available. Kalyug will start when, the Teachings being still available whether carved on stone or gold or written on a CD, however there won’t be anyone wise enough to get the real meaning out of it. People will then start to prefer the words of poets, and philosophers and sweet sounding words of the many gurus and sants and leaders of this cult or that.

You also asked me to read this:

>>>You might want to read osho's discourse on the jap ji sahib;

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinebooks/BookX...e%20vol%201.txt

its a very nice read ! <<<

It is too long, and I don’t have a taste for Osho. So I think I will pass this one.

>>>

Quote:

because wherever we are, it is always NOW.

Hence why Guru Ji precribes the us meditation on breath, Jap Ji Sahib, 'Dihan Karo bibhut' - actually there are 3 different meditation techniques f you read the line carefully,

Dhyian itself is beutiful, Dhyan = Chen = Zen <<<

Yet all kinds of ‘conceiving’ can happen centered on this one object. Such objects may give rise to a concentrated mind, but that is about it. Wisdom is another matter, and in this case, ‘breath’ as an object of wisdom is the most sublime. Not because it has any magical affect on anyone who concentrates on ‘the conventional object’ we identify as breath, but that ultimately it is a very refined object conditioned by the mind. So only a person who is completely in tune with his mental activities from moment to moment, can breath be of any value. For the rest of us, it is as good an object for the underlying greed, aversion and delusion as anything else. Sorry to contradict you here :-).

Regards,

Sukinderpal

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Ive read your above posts in respect to the last paragraph i fail to see the how our views differ, all i did was show you the link between Dhyan and Zen?!

Also in regards to kalyug, i dont understand what your trying to say, you say we are on te end of a good era because there are still people who can interpret the meanings correctly.... well yes i agree

you then go on to say that..... Kalyug is ...when....'People will then start to prefer the words of poets, and philosophers and sweet sounding words of the many gurus and sants and leaders of this cult or that.'

are you suggesting that people havnt STARTED doing that already ? yes they have.......!

I find myself less inclined to think in terms of existence/non-existence duality.

Explain please i would love to learn about more about this

nor is one inclined to pinpoint and attach labels

Doesnt this fit in with the story about the spiritual personal walking into the jewellery shop ?

Also i need you to explain this

I find myself less inclined to think in terms of existence/non-existence duality.

but then you say

Once there is any duality at all in our minds, automatically we seek to explain it. Then our vision becomes myopic and we get caught in linear thinking,

yes or no to duality?

:roll:

Mr S, you seem to say stuff like

From experience I have come to the conclusion that ‘debates’ are self-defeating

then you say

Sorry to contradict you here

I get the feeling you do not want to debate but just preach, if you want to do that then i am very interested in your sermons! To be honest i do't want tp debate on your level, im too thick and do not have wisdom from Gurbani to share with you on a deeper level, from what little i do know, it seems as;

Buddha and Nanak got their Amrit from the same pool.

please answer the above questions, i will be grateful!

Gurfateh

'never born, never died'

H

I think the 'Essence of Sikhism' topic sh

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Dear Harpreet,

Firstly I must ask you to be patient with me. I have a short attention span and often my memory is faulty, as a result I am the most disorganized person I know, which may be reflected in the way my messages are written. They are rather free flow.

You said:

>>>Ive read your above posts in respect to the last paragraph i fail to see the how our views differ, all i did was show you the link between Dhyan and Zen?! <<<

Perhaps I just carried over the sentiment from a Buddhist discussion group I am involved in, where currently there is a discussion pertaining to “mindfulness of breathingâ€. Some of us do not believe that the Buddha taught ‘formal meditation’, whereas others believe that it is indispensable to walking the path. So here, having the impression that you believed in it, I just felt the urge to express my view. I know that you are saying nothing more than that attention to breath can induce a degree of concentration. What follows from that, I don’t know.

You said:

>>>Also in regards to kalyug, i dont understand what your trying to say, you say we are on te end of a good era because there are still people who can interpret the meanings correctly.... well yes i agree

you then go on to say that..... Kalyug is ...when....'People will then start to prefer the words of poets, and philosophers and sweet sounding words of the many gurus and sants and leaders of this cult or that.'

are you suggesting that people havnt STARTED doing that already ? yes they have.......! <<<

I missed out adding that Kalyug will be the time when *nobody* understood the Teachings. And that the Books might be simply objects of interest in terms of ‘ancient teachings’ which has nothing to do with application to living. Scholars may try to study it, but only out of curiosity. But I am proliferating, it is not important I think, shouldn’t we just leave this matter? :-)

You asked:

>>>Quote:

I find myself less inclined to think in terms of existence/non-existence duality.

Explain please i would love to learn about more about this <<<

If experiences are seen as momentary arising and falling, there is less inclination to posit any existence out there. It is not that one believes that ‘the world out there is just the product of the mind’, this would be a contradiction because the experience *is* of something out there while it lasts. And it makes sense to believe that there are other conditions at play other than the mind. Only ‘nothing remains’ beyond rise and fall. And when ever there is going to be any “knowing†it is going to have this same characteristic of rising and falling never to reappear again. What makes anything appear to last is ‘ignorance’, at the level of perception, as well as at the level of naming and identifying. The computer in front of me seems to exist and last only because I am not able to perceive rise and fall and I “believe in†the computer. And I justify its existence (and my own), by holding on to the memory of past experiences where the same kind of misapprehension has taken place.

Of course we do live in the ‘conventional world’ and relate to family, friends, places and situations. In fact, I do mistake the unreal for the real and react with all kinds of emotions 99.99% of the day. However, when it comes to the question of discerning what is real and what is not, then only that which is experienced “now†can be said to be so, the rest is all a product of ‘thinking’. And ‘thinking’ is also real, but the percepts are illusory.

So in the end, one can’t say “nothing exists†since there *is* experience, and one can’t say “everything exists†since there is the perception of the fleetingness of those same experiences.

If I *insist* on the objective reality of the percepts, then it is inevitable that I build around it all kinds of ‘stories’, justifying its existence and create an illusory world of relations, where everything else exists and made to appear lasting.

How does this sound to you? I feel there is something more to be said, but I can’t put my finger on it.

You asked:

>>>Quote:

Once there is any duality at all in our minds, automatically we seek to explain it. Then our vision becomes myopic and we get caught in linear thinking,

yes or no to duality? <<<

Dualistic thinking is product of self/other split, so it is not helpful. But of course very difficult to identify, I am caught in it 99.99% of the time. :-(

You said:

>>>Mr S, you seem to say stuff like

Quote:

From experience I have come to the conclusion that ‘debates’ are self-defeating

then you say

Quote:

Sorry to contradict you here

<<<

When I start writing I have not clear plan what I would write. In the last letter, by the time I came to the end of it, I saw that my statements did not agree with yours, so just out of a feeling of friendliness I wanted to say “sorryâ€, in case you may feel slightly offended. :-)

You then said:

>>>I get the feeling you do not want to debate but just preach, if you want to do that then i am very interested in your sermons! <<<

I would not presume to do that. Though I think all of us when expressing our viewpoints are in a way ‘preaching’. And I do realize that my style of saying things is more ‘preachy’ than others. And of course, one can’t deny an element of wanting to ‘share’ with others one’s own understandings. However on the whole, believing that any kind of ‘teaching’ must be done with a mind of ‘friendliness’ from a background of ‘comprehensive and deep knowledge’, both of which I don’t have, being generally quite ‘conceited’ and having only a ‘kindergarten level’ of understanding, it would be a great mistake to act as a ‘teacher’. And no, I don’t like debates, and if I get the feeling that any discussion is leading to it, I will bow out of it.

>>>To be honest i do't want tp debate on your level, im too thick and do not have wisdom from Gurbani to share with you on a deeper level, from what little i do know, it seems as;

Buddha and Nanak got their Amrit from the same pool. <<<

:-) My level?!! I only know how to ‘extrapolate’, in the end, I may not be able to comprehend *your* level. Most of the time I forget about the level of my own ignorance, but sometimes I realize that the layer of dust covering my eyes is indeed *very* thick!!

Regards,

Sukinderpal

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First Mr S i would like to apologise if i have come across as a 'nit picker'! :wink:

In relation to kalyug matter, the reason for the point i made before was due to the fact that alot of people on this forum do believe it is kalyug, i just wanted to see what you thought of it all. From the above post i understand from your point of view that; Kalyug begins, when NOBODY knows the true essence of the teachings. okie ? :thumbsup: :down: ?

I would also like to thank for your prompt reply, i must say your previous post was very intriuging, please could you tell us more about the 'breath', its importance, and how we can use it to help us link to our 'reality'.

I feel there is something more to be said, but I can’t put my finger on it.

You asked:

Please add more Mr S, this is very fascinating !.....

Can you tell us about love and its role(in life)?

I really do believe that from what you have posted above that you do have a good grasp for the essence of sikhism already - please note, i do emphasize that this is my opinion, others may not agree.

I would now like invite you to tell me the Essence of Bhuddism(from what you have perceived)........take as long as you want Sukinderpal......

For others in this forum, the reason why we must seek knowledge of this kind is because it can be very useful for us if used correctly. Nowadays it is common practice for many Sikhs to 'tolerate' all other forms of religion(if you want to call it that), but deep inside they feel that theirs is the best! What im trying to say is that Gyan is Gyan, Gyan from the Nectar(which is inside of every person) is beautiful regardless of if a Sikh,Muslim, Christians, etc....

AMRIT IS AMRIT, we have a habit of drinking Amrit from 'our own cups' exclusively. Imagine this, there are 3 glasses of Water(respresenting Amrit) on the table, normally, a Sikh will only drink out of a Sikh glass(Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj), the Muslim doesn't want anything to do with the SIkh glass, he has his own glass(Prophet Mohammed(PBUH))! Similary, the Christian does'nt want anything to do with the the other to glasses, because his glass has got Jesus written on it !

:bling:

The true fact of the matter is that when you tip the glasses over the waters are the same and they merge together. So to conclude the water is the same, dont be afraid to drink out of the others glass. :yo:

Looking for to your replys Mr S

Gurfateh

Harpreet

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Good Afternoon

When there is you, there is no he. When you die(ego), all is he, then you may experience Ik onkar.

Does 'god' need you to worship 'him' Ms Hayes ?

Harpreet

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Dear Harpreet,

>>>First Mr S i would like to apologise if i have come across as a 'nit picker'! <<<

You are not, but you are doing just the thing, namely questioning, which is good for both of us. I am too self-conscious (spelled conceited) to ask questions, but while I remain on the sidelines, I have observed some real ‘nit pickers’ who, because they always ask the right questions, have come out with deeper understanding than I do. So please feel free to question any and everything I say, you could be doing us both and perhaps others too, a great favour.

>>>I would also like to thank for your prompt reply, i must say your previous post was very intriuging, please could you tell us more about the 'breath', its importance, and how we can use it to help us link to our 'reality'. <<<

I am happy that you appreciate these things, but now I am feeling somewhat apprehensive. The best gift any person can ever give another is the gift of Truth; however, because I know that my level of understanding is indeed very low and that I am quite susceptible to the influence of greed, ignorance and conceit, I must ask you to be very discerning. And even though I may ‘assert’ my views, please see it as just my personal way of expression and not think that I am very sure of myself.

About ‘breath’, I think you did not get my point previously. I do not encourage ‘willed’ meditation on any object, least of all the breath.

There are two basic types of mediation, each useful but having different goals. The first, is ‘tranquility’ (I will include Samadhi here), whose object is to develop ‘wholesome’ states of mind. This kind of meditation has many ‘concepts’ which can be taken as object, including breath. The other kind of meditation is ‘insight’ and this is unique to Buddhism, the object here is a “reality†experienced in the moment through one of the five sense doors and the mind. Here, when breath is the object, then it must be the very special and refined materiality being conditioned by the mind, and is all together different from what you and I understand by the concept of breath. Let us leave the second kind of meditation and talk about the first one.

Even when practicing samadhi, one’s understanding of the difference between wholesome and unwholesome states of mind must be quite good. Otherwise, if one starts with an unwholesome state of mind and mistakes it for wholesome, then one follows the wrong way, and the goal will not be reached. If there is a level of concentration, one will mistake unwholesome concentration for real samadhi. In this day and age, it is quite unlikely that such persons exist. Because he would have to be so sensitive to mind states, that it would be difficult for him to live the life of an ordinary lay person, but would instead prefer an isolated place where food and shelter is provided to him without struggle. Otherwise, too much distraction cannot lead to putting effort long enough to arouse real Samadhi.

For us, who don’t have such level of understanding, it is inevitable that we go wrong. Attachment has many variety and shades, one of which is that it appears calm like tranquility, such that a person can mistake this for the real thing. Of course conditions are very complex and a person though he has wrong samadhi, if he can on other occasions be moral and restraining, and he observes his mind in relationship to the world (conventional), then he can not be too influenced by the wrong meditation. Only he should be careful not to associate positive result in daily activities, with the practice of meditation. Or else he can grow more and more attached to the practice, and become unable to cope with real life. Better if he recognizes such practice as perhaps a means to ‘calm and relax’ and not think that it is increasing his understanding, because understanding develops only in real life situations. Best would be, that he does not need to be calm and to relax at all (except for sleep) and have the opportunity to instead understand ‘why he is tired and needs to relax’! And in the process he may discover that the root of all his problems is the ‘defilements’ in his own mind. ;-)

So better not be tempted to find a shortcut, but develop more patience to understand life (one’s own mind) as it comes. In the name of ‘doing’ the right and religious thing, we will only be taking the wrong route, ignorant of the fact that our ‘greed’ is leading the way under the illusion of developing more good. Like I said in another post, wisdom has the characteristic of being ‘detached’, it does not mind anything and does not seek anything special.

>>>

Quote:

I feel there is something more to be said, but I can’t put my finger on it.

You asked:

Please add more Mr S, this is very fascinating !..... <<<

Right now, nothing comes to mind. But I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity to view this matter again in the future.

>>>Can you tell us about love and its role(in life)? <<<

In Buddhism what most people call “love†is but another face of ‘attachment’. In contrast there is the reality of Metta; this is sometimes translated as ‘loving kindness’ or ‘friendliness’. Attachment is towards certain people only, but friendliness as in metta, does not exclude anyone. If you feel it towards somebody and not towards others, then it must not be the real thing. We are attached to our family and friends and mistake it for love and not realize that this causes us to be so agitated and controlling at times and self-satisfied and indulgent at other times. The level of our ignorance is so great that we shut out or explain away any negative effect concerning this particular view and even go to the extent of building a philosophy around our attachment and calling it ‘Love’. And I am extremely attached to my own children. However there have been moments when I look at them with metta, and believe me, there is a world of a difference!!

>>>I really do believe that from what you have posted above that you do have a good grasp for the essence of sikhism already - please note, i do emphasize that this is my opinion, others may not agree. <<<

:-) You are the second person to make such a statement.

>>>I would now like invite you to tell me the Essence of Bhuddism(from what you have perceived)........take as long as you want Sukinderpal...... <<<

I am not qualified to do this. But we can talk about things and I could say something which may be true to the Buddha’s teachings, though I wouldn’t be too confident about that.

>>>For others in this forum, the reason why we must seek knowledge of this kind is because it can be very useful for us if used correctly. Nowadays it is common practice for many Sikhs to 'tolerate' all other forms of religion(if you <snip>

So to conclude the water is the same, dont be afraid to drink out of the others glass. <<<

I don’t believe all religions point to the same goal, perhaps in words only, but in reality, I believe a definite cause leads to a definite goal, and all religions have different configuration of causes, though in verbal description they may even use the same concept, Mukti, enlightenment and so on to identify the goal and talk about God, Allah or Tao and Akal Purukh as though they were synonyms.

But this is not the point. You have brought out the one major cause for our being caught in the cycle of birth and death, which is “attachmentâ€. Being attached to sensual objects and people is no worse than being attached to one’s religion. Guru Nanak most likely did not want Sikhs to be ‘loyal’ to a religion, but instead to seek Truth. I think to pay respect to him, the best way is to follow what he has taught, not to defend a religion. ‘Understand’ his teachings is to understand him. Otherwise you can gaze at his image all day, and still not ‘see’ him at all.

But of course, to just point out these things, is not necessarily saying the right thing at the right time. It requires wisdom and compassion to see what others need to hear and still there will be those who are never going to be interested in seeking the Truth at all. So I am satisfied that you are at least interested and do not expect more people to be. ;-) And of course, I am not even confident about my own grasp of the matter.

This is already too long, so I will end here.

Best wishes,

Sukinderpal

Ps: my email address is sukin@csloxinfo.com, in case we have to take this off-list. And please expect a delay in any response, as I am going to be busy the next few days.

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”. Being attached to sensual objects and people is no worse than being attached to one’s religion. Guru Nanak most likely did not want Sikhs to be ‘loyal’ to a religion, but instead to seek Truth. I think to pay respect to him, the best way is to follow what he has taught, not to defend a religion. ‘Understand’ his teachings is to understand him. Otherwise you can gaze at his image all day, and still not ‘see’ him at all.

:yo:

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