There are four states religious practices namely, experience,
Knowledge, belief and ritual. Experiencing being akin to putting your
hand in a fire and experiencing the burning, pain etc. Knowledge
being a state of knowing through observation of the experience, say
someone sitting beside the experienced. Belief taking someone else’s
word; and ritual is obviously blindly following.
My reason for pointing this out is to suggest that the mere READING
any scriptures would not produce liberation, but its application.
Therefore, the verse below may not actually be condemning the Vedas
etc, but our practice and self-delusion that through mere recitation
we will find that Sat. Gurbani could be viewed as a finger pointing
to that one Divinity, yet, rather than following the direction the
finger is pointing (i.e. through practice of Dhyan), most of us are
simply holding onto this finger instead. i.e. accumulating knowledge.
There is a world of difference between knowledge and experience, most
of us know what a rose smells like, yet very few could convey that to
another. Gurbani contains profound knowledge if applied would take us
to actualised experience.
One may READS all the books of the Vedas, the Bible, the Simritees
and the Shaastras, but they will not bring liberation. One who, as
Gurmukh, CHANTS the One Word, acquires a spotlessly pure reputation.
To illustrate this point, the above Shabd starts with...
karam Dharam pakhand jo deeseh tin jam jaagaatee lootai
The context being drawn is the difference between superficial practice
(recitation,) and experience.
The second line again highlights that it’s the PRACTICE of Meditation
that leads to liberation as opposed to theoretical knowledge.
One can see similar examples throughout the shabad.
In my humble opinion, what is being suggested here is not that the
Vedas should not be respected, but how one APPLIES the knowledge
contained within divine revelations. I m sure many will see very
similar patterns in our current Sikh practices, mere recitation has
replaced much practice, although Dhyan is prescribed as our practice,
yet, very few of us even know either its meaning or practice. We are
using AGGS in very similar way to how the Vedas have been used,
parrot fashion recitations.Consciousness:
Gurbani asserts an experiential recognition that all existences is not just
an energy, but is Consciousness itself. There are three states of existence,
Physical made of energy, which is Consciousness.
Science has just about got to the physical is effectively made of Energy.
But what is Energy at its most basic fundamental level, not its
epiphenomena? Is it simply the potential difference between two points?
Manifesting itself as motion or similar? There are many such illustrations,
of course, science could show mathematically the possibilities of how
something exists, yet it fails to inform WHY in the first place!
We are trying to scientifically interpret Gurbani, I would suggest that this
is a premature act, simply because Science has got not anywhere Truths
understood and experienced in the Inner science of Eastern Spiritual
Science is still bound to old Newtonian boundries, based on macro bodies,
including Atoms, however, when atoms are broken down, when the make up of
the structure of "physical Reality" is explored as a sub atomic level, the
conclusions are very different from Newtonian Science.
e.g. Science confirms that one thing can not exist in two place at the same
QP- demonstrates that not is this theoretically possible, but experimental
evidence has "proved" it so. Please read Aspect Experiment, "Given the
results of the Aspect experiments, it would appear that the journey is over
and the final conclusion has been
made: experiments show that Quantum Mechanics is correct and complete, and
the EPR paradox put forward by Einstein is somehow invalid. Clearly, there
is some truth to this statement".
There are many such illustrations, clearly showing Science a very long away
from the "Truth".
The above is dealing with Physical realities, but what about the Inner
reality, subjective nature of a sentient being? Consciousness. Gurbani,
brings about transpersonal changes, allowing a Manmukh to cultivate a Gur
Mukh way of life, I m not referencing to an external appearance, but inner
changes that bring about behavioural, social and ethical changes within.
e.g. Consciousness is not understood in Science, in fact, William James, the
father of modern Psychology dismissed Consciousness as unnecessary in the
place of modern science. It is only over the past two decades that
Consciousness has even been considered worthy of scientific understanding.
Another simple example, Maya, considered as an illusion, yet many traditions
explain it as a force, perhaps similar to gravity, not seen, yet
Although Science has tried to identify Consciousness as an emergent property
of the Brain, neuroscience, blind sights, re-entrants, etc, the very notion
of finding something Objective and observable is barking up the wrong tree.
Science seems to have understood a Conscious state being created one every
25th of a second, whereas Zen Buddhist meditation practices, demonstrate it
as 1/74,000th of a second!.
perhaps we should not look at Scientific interpretation of Gurbani, but
Gurbani's interpretation of Science and its inadequacy.
Finally, DNA as soul! this is experimentally absurd, how does one explain
past life memories from people unrelated, i.e. do not share DNA). Please
refer to Prof Stevenson
(http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/162/4/823; and many other
references) The Science of Modern mind (materialists) places relentless
pressure so we all identify with our physical body. Our self image So the
idea of something surviving after death is absurd to the scientific mind,
even more difficult is rebirth and reincarnation. It is my opinion that the
truth lies with the existence of 5 bodies as suggested in various Eastern
traditions, anandmaya kosh (Bliss - pure content less consciousness sheath),
vijnanamayakosh (knowledge sheath, manomayakosh (mental sheath),
pranamayakosh (vital or emotional sheath),anamayakosh (physical sheath). The
soul appears to be the subtle body - the conglomerate of vital, mental and
theme bodies - in which the memory of past propensities (Karma) travels via
the modified quantum mathematics of the vital and mental bodies. This can
be demonstrated via quantum probabilities associated with mathematical
quantum wave function of these bodies. Please refer to Amit Goswami
We must remember that anything "oriental", other than mainstream is
considered not worthy of knowing or investigation, unless it is undermined
by the prevalent philosophy of the investigators, and its "Ego". There is a
lot at stake here, since the days of gallelio, Science and religion locked
in protracted war, this is further emphasised through Christian, Judaism and
Islamic thoughts. What will happen to these belief systems when for example
reincarnation is demonstrated?, or when existence is shown to be a
manifestation of profound content less Consciousness? What will happen to this
God sitting in Heaven? let us not underestimate the stakes. Sikhs at best
are disorganised and unable to meet this challenge without arming themselves
with the tools of academic language, understanding the philosophy behind so
called civilation that we all enjoy today.
Gurbani is Science of Consciousness, not blind faith as in religion, not
blinkered observable scientific "truths" completely ignorant and wilfully
ignoring the Observer in all that is observed, i.e. Sentient Being
With folded hands I plea with fellow Sikhs, we have NOTHING to prove, we do
NOT need Science to validate Gurbani Truths, let us not enter this needless
battle yet, this will do nothing more than confirm the Western stereotype of
Sikhs unless we have adequately trained individuals.