Sikhism - Valus and Beliefs

Sikhism - Valus and Beliefs

Mool Mantar

It is the opening verse of the Guru Granth Sahib.
This occurs hundreds of times in the Guru Granth Sahib.
It summarises Sikh beliefs.
It is taught to young children, and used by all Sikhs, for prayer.
There is One God
Whose Name is True
The Creator
Without fear
Without hate
Beyond the cycle of birth and death
Self-revealing As Grace

There is One God

Sikhism is monotheistic. This means that there is only One God to whom we should pray.
80% of the 1430 pages of the Guru Granth Sahib are praises of God. The Sikh scripture (Guru Granth Sahib) begins with Ik Onkar which means"There is One God." The Ik is the number 1. 'Ik Onkar' written in a circle.
There cannot be any image or statue of God.
The Gurus are only God's messengers. They were humans who lived a few hundred years ago. Pictures of them are for the educational purposes of showing their life stories (janam sakhis).

Ik Onkar
Whose Name is True

Naam means the Numenon or a Numinous feeling. Numinous means a sense of awe such as when one sees the stars at night. SatNam means that the Presence of God is the True Reality.
Naam also means Names. The Names of God such as Ram (from Hinduism), Allah and Rahim (from Islam) and Sunnya (from Buddhism) are all true. The Names describe the actions of God.
The most popular Sikh names are WaheGuru (wonderful or amazing grace), Akal Purukh (eternal spirit), and SatNam (true reality). The Creator

God has created numberless worlds and solar systems with life on those worlds.
Before creation, God was in 'sunnya samadhi' meaning 'meditation on the void'.
God commanded creation to begin and hundreds of thousands of rivers began to flow.
Air became water and all life has come from water.
Without fear, without hate

God's Presence (Naam) fills creation.
God's Light is the Inner Light of all beings.
Since God is with everyone there is no one to fear or to hate - all people are equal: people of different races ("Recognise the human race as one"- Guru Gobind Singh); people of different religions; and women and men.
Immortal, Beyond the cycle of birth and death

God existed before the beginning of creation and will exist after the end of creation.

Creation exists so that we can experience God's Names as a creature. The law of karma is a law of cause and effect - what goes around comes around. People will be rewarded and punished according to their actions on earth by God in heavens and hells and then sent back to earth to receive another learning opportunity.

There are five major problems or panj chor (five thieves) that stand in our way. These are kam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (favouritism), and haunkar (pride). These feelings become problems when we think of samsara (the physical world) as the true reality and, therefore, feel doubt about our existence which leads to self- obsession (haumai). The world then becomes maya (the world of illusions).

However, when we realise that God is the Reality (SatNam), then the 5 feelings become a way of interacting with the physical world (samsara) in a positive way. Through simran (remembrance of God) we come to recognise God's love for us and for others and begin sewa (selfless service), the opposite of haumai (selfishness). Mukti (liberation) is when we are free of the cycle of life and death because our actions are good and will lead us to God. This is following God's hukam (law).

Self-revealing as Grace

God reaches out to us in creation as grace/love. This aspect of God is called SatGuru or True Guru. God is our Inner Tutor or intuition. 'Gurmukh' is when we turn our face (mukh) to God, while 'manmukh' is when we turn our face (mukh) to our selves and become self-obsessed. Since God reaches out to everyone, there is no need to follow any particular religion or to follow any intermediary (someone in between), e.g. a priest.

Eventually, all beings will surrender to the flow, their inner nature, and re-join God.

Golden Threefold Path

The Sikh way of life can be summarised as Nam Japna (remember God), Kirt Karna (work honestly) and Vand Chhakna (share with others).

Nam Japna means to remember God in your life, to think about God's activities (Names), and to sing the praises of God.

Kirt Karna means to regard all honest work as acceptable. There is no work that a Sikh cannot do. (Under the Hindu caste system certain jobs were reserved for 'untouchables'.) However, a Sikh cannot harm or exploit another person through their labour, e.g. drug dealing or prostitution. Sikhs should work rather than beg (which was common among Hindu and Buddhist holy men at the time).

Vand Chhakna means to share your earnings with others. Many Sikhs believe in giving daswandh or ten per cent of their money to help others. Sometimes this is given in the langar (free vegetarian kitchen) or for other sewa (selfless service).

Attitudes To Other Religions

Attitude to Hinduism
The Gurus disagreed with Hindu worship because they believed:

- that there was only One God and not 33 million deities.
- that God has no form and, therefore, idols cannot represent God.
- that God is in everyone so there is no need for a brahmin (Hindu priest).
- that God is in everyone so the caste system is wrong, especially the exclusion of the lowest castes, the untouchables. They were not allowed to enter temples.

Attitude to Islam
The Gurus disagreed with Muslim worship because they believed:

- that God is everywhere so that there is no need to visit any particular place or pray in a particular direction, e.g. Mecca.
- that God is in everyone so that there is no division between Muslim (believer) and kafir (unbeliever).
- that God is in everyone so that dhimmis (non-Muslims in a Muslim controlled country) should have the same rights as Muslims.
- that God judges people on their moral actions (e.g. compassion, faithfulness, modesty), rather than ritual actions (e.g. prayer times, washings, fastings)."Let compassion be your mosque, faith your prayer carpet and righteousness your Qur'n. Let modesty be your circumcision, and uprightness your fasting. Thus you will become a true Muslim" (Guru Granth Sahib).

Attitudes To Women

All 10 Gurus said that women were equal to men.
Guru Nanak wrote hymns to challenge the exploitation of women."Why curse her from whom all the greatest of men have been born? None can exist without a woman" (Guru Granth Sahib, p.473).
Women can lead all Sikh religious ceremonies in the Gurdwara such as reading prayers and singing hymns.
By encouraging men to serve in the langar (free vegetarian kitchen) the Gurus gave dignity to household chores.
Women as well as men can receive amrit. By using the name 'Kaur' (meaning princess) they are showing that they do not need to use their father's name and then their husband's name (showing that they belong to them).

Female saint-soldier (Archeress)
Women and family life were regarded as taking people away from God's worship but Guru Nanak said," Living within the family people can find mukti (liberation)" (Guru Granth Sahib, p.661). All the Gurus, except one, were married and had families.
Guru Amar Das ordered Sikhs to avoid practices, and those who took part in practices, that restricted women, e.g. killing of female babies, sati (where the woman would kill herself on her husband's funeral pyre), purdah (veiling of the face of women), and child marriage. He encouraged widows to re-marry.

Sikhism - Valus and Beliefs

The fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
“The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus' teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction.”
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity

“Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God's words and repeats his message to man.”
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'n, and Science

“And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been.”
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost

“The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial.”
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel

“But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything.”
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)

“Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine.”
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything

“The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree.”
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel

“The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus.”
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology

Bultmann calls the “coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages.”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

“The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ.”
Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth

“The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right.”
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17

Stephen Smalley asserts that “The Spirit-Paraclete ... in John's Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person.”
Marianne Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John

“The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious).”
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles

“The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space.”
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God

“The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world.”
Michael Welker, God the Spirit

The Paraclete's “Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed.”
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament

“While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors.”
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John

“The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit.”
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit

“The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life.”
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John

“The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete.”
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John

“This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing.”
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith

“Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present.”
Robert Kysar, John

“They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation.”
R. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary

“The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17).”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

“But today is the day I declare that I am the one who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the one who is Adishakti, who is the Mother of all the Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it.

I was the one who was born again and again. But now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the joy, the bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
December 2, 1979—London, UK

“I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
New York, USA—September 30, 1981

“Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982

“This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997

“The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective Resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective Resurrection.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982

“Today, Sahaja Yaga has reached the state of Mahayoga, which is en-masse evolution manifested through it. It is this day�s Yuga Dharma. It is the way the Last Judgement is taking place. Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their Spirit.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
MAHA AVATAR, ISSUE 1, JUL-SEP 1980 (Date and place unknown)

“The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all all the scriptures of the world. The time has come today that you have to become a Christian, a Brahmin, a Pir, through your Kundalini awakening only. There is no other way. And that your Last Judgment is also now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi

“You see, the Holy Ghost is the Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is the Mother... Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, the Mother's character is that She is the one who is the Womb, She is the one who is the Mother Earth, and She is the one who nourishes you. She nourishes us. You know that. And this Feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA

“It is the Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi

“She is your pure Mother. She is the Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Public Program Mar 22 1981—Sydney, Australia

“The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK

The Great Goddess is both wholly transcendent and fully immanent: beyond space and time, she is yet embodied within all existent beings; without form as pure, infinite consciousness (cit) ... She is the universal, cosmic energy known as Sakti, and the psychophysical, guiding force designated as the Kundalini (Serpent Power) resident within each individual. She is eternal, without origin or birth, yet she is born in this world in age after age, to support those who seek her assistance. Precisely to provide comfort and guidance to her devotees, she presents herself in the Devi Gita to reveal the truths leading both to worldly happiness and to the supreme spiritual goals: dwelling in her Jeweled Island and mergence into her own perfect being.” (Brown, 1998, 2)

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