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Wrathful God???


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What are the views in regards to God?..Is God wrathful, who will punish his/her creations in order to teach, or be just? Or does God see all as his children, who are childlike..Humanity makes mistakes, just as children do..So does God feel that he/she does not have to forgive them, because they (humanity) are not to blame?..Just as children, they don't know any better?..Just wondering what everyones thoughts are about this.. :)

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Gurfateh

You seem to have an overly Christain/Ismalic conception of God. Dualistic thinking would presume God as somehow separate from ourselves yet Sikhi and the Gurus reject this ideology. We all essentialy contain within us God, in the terms that we all have an aatma which is an aspect of God. there is nothing but God. Our ego clouds realising our aatma through maya/our own ignorance. Whether or not we achieve to spiritual heights or not, is not due to God's wrath but due to our own karm (actions). At the same time in Sikhi there is grace from God through bhagti. In this sense Sikhi is a fusion of devotional bhakti and spiritual aspiration to acquire wisdom (jnaan). Realise yourself and you realise God. Love and realise the Naam you will attain Brahm-Gyan.

As Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and later reiterated by Bhai Gurdas in his varan 'Take on step towards God and God will take a thousand toward you' - in otherwords, start aspiring and grace will come.

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Written by Yuktanand singh:

Concept of God is a foundational topic. It is also impossible to discuss. An entire book could be written about it and still not do it justice. It is a subject for the scholars to entertain.

I suggest that everyone may please read the references as they occur. Please try to read the entire Shabad before proceeding further with the article. It would not hurt reading the entire page where the quote is from. Doing so would help us touch the spiritual wisdom in Gurbani. The message of Gurbani is the same, on all pages, just presented in different words.

Please forgive me that due to time constraints I did not support all statements with Gurbani. However, all statements here are according to Gurbani and Gurmat, as far as I understand them. Please indicate the mistakes so that they can be corrected.

Here is a web site for reading quotations:

http://www.sikhnet.com/sggs/translation/0397.html

The nature of reality is difficult to understand, especially because, we transfer our own preconceived definitions to it. This adds to our ignorance. We need a clear understanding of the terminology we use in our discussions. We also need to be intellectually humble.

"Concept of God" cannot be discussed rationally since God can be neither conceptualized nor described. This is because, just as we cannot see our own face God is not an object of observation and, the reality is completely different than what we know from the empirical world. The difference between truth and ordinary human awareness is just like being awake versus being asleep. No discussion can bridge this gap.

Guru Ji says, "Beyond the world of Vedas, Bible and scriptures, my Lord Master is clearly before my eyes." (397:7) Why are the scriptures unable to describe Him? Eternal reality is rather, a subject of the heart. Mind cannot understand everything that the heart sees. The word "Mann" in Gurbani often refers to the heart, not the mind, even though it is erroneously translated as the mind. When our mind submits to Guru's word, it converts into an exalted awareness, called Surat (3:6).

Ordinary awareness does not include this faculty. Surat does not require any reasoning, just as, when I see you standing in front of me I do not need a mathematical proposition to prove that this is so. Through Surat, we can see the unseen, and we comprehend the otherwise incomprehensible facts.

If we notice, Guru Ji did not touch any intellectual issues like immanence/transcendence, the origin of creation, and Karma, etc., in the Mool Mantra. Doing so would demean the reality of God, as if we are able to understand these, when in fact, we are not. Guru Ji did not even give any name to God except that He Himself is the true Naam (Satnam).

Often it is easier to discuss what God is not than to discuss what God is. Here is a short discussion on how Gurmat regards Hukam, free will, and redemption.

Since Hukam is an integral aspect of God's nature, it cannot be explained (1:7). We must know that God's will, or Waheguru's Hukam, does not have the same character as our will, because God has no other. Our will could be whimsical, rooted in ego, duality, and it may involve some selfishness. Hukam does not conduct some kind of dictatorship either. Rather, the closest example of God's will is, love. We could say that Hukam is another name for God's intent that all living beings return to the source, Waheguru Himself (678:3). This is, in fact, the culmination of all love there is. We are born with a desire to belong to someone, and we do not feel complete until we do so. But we are fulfilled only when we belong to someone eternal. God takes pleasure in our union with Him (23:10, 174:10). This is manifest as Hukam, throughout the creation, the blooming flowers as well the dry leaves under our feet.

We evolve starting from inanimate objects, until, as humans we seek and ask questions rather than taking our existence for granted (176:10-16). This includes evolution of the ego and the accumulation of Karma. Only as humans we are ready for that aspect of reality which is ever present everywhere but is also totally hidden from the physical and intellectual realm. The entire creation is a set up, so that, whenever we take a path that leads away from Waheguru, in other words, when we sin, it results in suffering and the suffering turns us inward, it forces us to look beyond the appearances. This is a natural course of events, not God's wrath. Suffering is, simply, a blessing in disguise. God does not desire that we suffer. But this is His Hukam, His Love.

Why did God start this in the first place? Guru Ji says that just as a fish cannot find the limits of the ocean, we can not know why. When we do know the answer, we cannot explain it to others. The most fitting explanation is that it is all God's play (655:4).

Why does God play in a way that we suffer? This question is erroneous because it is based on duality. Since, in reality, it is all God Himself, then no one is separate from Him and no one really suffers except God. Suffering is not eternal. Only God, and His love, is eternal. We are like someone who is sitting on a treasure but feels and lives like a pauper. We are miserable in the darkness of ignorance (657:19). Our own choices make us suffer. We are left free to make our choice, in the present moment, one step at a time. We can choose to continue to suffer or to take shelter in Waheguru's Hukam that leads us out of this cycle of Karma. God watches patiently, always here to help us.

If God started this play, is He not responsible for the consequences? Yes, God is always responsible for everything. However, this does not relieve our suffering. God has given us the free will to choose the course that would get us back to where we belong and to be ultimately free of suffering. We need to choose which side of this game we are on, the winning side or the losing side. As long as we hold on to our ego, we are held responsible, and we suffer the consequences of our acts. We are free to make this choice only. The game continues the same, involving winners as well as the losers.

However, here is another issue. We are not free to understand all this and to make proper use of the freedom we have (7:9-11). This would often deflate our enthusiasm. Did Guru Nanak write this in Japji to make us fatalistic and pessimistic, to make us believe that our own effort is useless? This is how our ego reacts towards it, but its real significance is just the opposite of fatalism. Guru Nanak made this declaration from an enlightened state, not an egotistical state. Besides hinting against judging others, it is a message of hope, because everything is in God's powerful hands. The ego may regard it as fatalism, forgetting that God, our Father, loves us.

This is reiterated in the last five couplets of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (1429: 6-10). We are in bondage and thus, we are powerless. However, everything is possible when we place all our affairs in God's hands. Walking under God's light takes us towards God. Acting on our own keeps us self-centered. Friends and relatives may provide support, but it can not endure. Only Naam, Guru, or a Sant always stands by us (1429:9, 729:2-3).

This insight keeps our ego out of commission. This is important, because, as soon as we commend ourselves for our knowledge or engaging in Naam Simran, we have failed already. As long as there is "Me" and "Mine" Naam cannot enter. The goal, after all, is losing the small "I" and merging into our Source.

This is why we do not find "I am He" or "You are That" (Tat Tvam Asi) of the Vedanta in Gurbani.

The cut off point between God's Hukam and our own will is always in our heart, in the present moment, and nowhere else. This is the only point where we are free to make any choices. We have no control over the past or the future. We have very little control over our environment. But we have full control over how we react toward the hidden reality, here and now. This determines the course of events, as well as the results of our past actions. Waheguru has given us freedom to make this choice at every single moment, with each breath.

This brings us to the question of redemption. In Gurmat, sin (mistake) is not the real obstacle. We are born in sin, and live in sin day and night. Our sins are countless. No math can help us here. It is not possible for us, or anyone else, to recompense our sins. Sin leads to misery and to death. But we are bound, in the cycle of Karma, not because of sin, or Karma, but because of ignorance. Even the virtuous deeds, if performed in ignorance, could be just as binding as sinful acts, perhaps even more so. A sinful individual would be guilty and may seek to improve eventually, while the so-called virtuous person is stuck, bloated with a false ego of righteousness.

Redemption comes only from God's mercy. We need to understand also that, God mercy is not the same as our mercy. For example, our concept of mercy may envision someone vengeful. But since God does not punish anyone, then, the nature of His mercy must be different also. Let us try this. Sant Naranjan Singh Ji used to say this. Just as millions of years of darkness is removed in an instant by light, the same way, God's presence in our heart, His Naam removes all sins. Naam is synonymous with God's mercy or Gurprasad. This is another subject of discussion.

Thus God's mercy is His own presence, His light, a piece from His heart bestowed into our heart through Guru's mercy. Guru's mercy removes the darkness of ignorance and it redeems us. Then, sin has no place to stay anywhere. Karma is abolished because the tablet, the ego, where all the account of our actions was written, is dissolved when we are completely soaked with Guru's pure Love. (73:7-74:14)

I am not sure if this answers any questions or if it made any sense. Let us try this:

The Bani of Asa Di Vaar deals with the nature of existence and the human ego quite extensively. Those who live in ego, against the flow of God's will and God's love, live trapped in the circle of Karma, caught between the two grinding stones. Those who live in God's will are able to hold on to the pivot and thus escape the millstones (465:5-17).

We have discussed this before. Let us repeat the outline here again.

God created the nature (Kudrat). He enjoys watching it while not really participating in it (463:4). The creation includes both the truth and falsehood (463:6-15, 468:5-8). The creation as a whole is true. Those who deal with the truth are also true. But everything that takes birth and dies is, false, and thus not dependable (463:9).

Hidden inside this world of birth and death, lives the Eternal being (463:13). Through His will, some learn to seek it and are merged with it. Others see only the physical aspect and find only death in the end (463:14).

The law (Dharm) of Naam was established when the living beings were created (463:16). This law measures our inner sincerity versus deceitfulness, God's will versus our own will working in our heart. Sincere beings seeking the truth, whose intentions match their words, get imbued with Naam and, are victorious. Others lose out in this Divine play.

The Divine Will controls the entire nature. But it cannot be described (Japji, SGGS 1:7). Because of a lack of understanding of the Divine will, people invent different theories and different religious practices. But truth is obtained only through God's Mercy (467:9). Out of mercy, Guru gives us the Shabad, God's message (465:2). Then we are able to renounce our ego and reconnect with the truth.

The pair of opposites, birth and death, good and bad, pleasure and pain, heaven and hell, wisdom and foolishness, etc., all are based upon the ego (466:10-18). Ego is a sinister disease, however it has its own medicine built into it (466:18), that, it longs for peace and longs to become lost in love. This disease continues as long as we look for love in the wrong places. This results in fear, disappointment, pain and suffering. Thus, pain and suffering becomes our teacher (469:9).

Only Waheguru has what the ego longs for. The Shabad, God's own language, is boundless and unconditional love (2:3). Through God's Mercy we learn to become Guru's humble servant (466:19-467:3) and we fall in an unconditional love with God (474:3-10). Unconditional love asks no questions and it makes no demands. Then the disease of ego is eliminated. Then we become free.

source: sikhnet

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