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IronLion

Is God formless?

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Hello... 

From my readings I understand God to be formless and genderless and incomprehensible. However, I have read in a couple placed that God created man in his image. How could humans be the image of God when God is formless and present in all of creation. To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round. Can someone elaborate on this notion that God created humans in God's image? Thanks!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

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God has 2 forms:-

1) Nirgun which is also formless (and is greater of the 2).

2) Sargun which is also form.

 

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1 hour ago, IronLion said:

Hello... 

From my readings I understand God to be formless and genderless and incomprehensible. However, I have read in a couple placed that God created man in his image. How could humans be the image of God when God is formless and present in all of creation. To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round. Can someone elaborate on this notion that God created humans in God's image? Thanks!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

That refers to Jot, not the body. 

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3 hours ago, IronLion said:

Hello... 

From my readings I understand God to be formless and genderless and incomprehensible. However, I have read in a couple placed that God created man in his image. How could humans be the image of God when God is formless and present in all of creation. To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round. Can someone elaborate on this notion that God created humans in God's image? Thanks!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

Khalsa Ji, 

yes, Waheguru is formless. The formless Waheguru can adopt any form, at any time...

 

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Guest Kaur 2

VJKK VJKF

ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤਾ ਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਹੈਂ ॥੯॥੧੭੯॥

O Lord ! Thou art Immortal ! 179

ਅਜਬਾ ਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਹੈਂ ॥

O Lord ! Thou art of Wonderful Form!

Another one is:

ਨ ਕਾਏ ॥

Thou art the Bodyless Lord

Another one:

ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਨ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਾਤਿ ਸੁ ਜਾਨਈ ਕਿਹ ਜੇਬ ॥

How to know Thee when thou art Formless, Colourless, Casteless and without lineage?

ਤਾਤ ਮਾਤ ਨ ਜਾਤ ਜਾ ਕਰ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਬਿਹੀਨ ॥

Thou art without father and mother and art casteless, Thou art without births and deaths.

Yet another:

ਅੰਗ ਰਾਗ ਨ ਰੰਗ ਜਾ ਕਹਿ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਾਤਿ ਨ ਨਾਮ ॥

Thou art without body, without attachment, without colour, caste, lineage and name

And another:

ਅਨੰਗੀ ਅਨਾਮੇ ॥

Salutation to Thee O Bodyless Lord ! Salutation to Thee O Nameless Lord !

ਸਮਸਤੀ ਸਰੂਪੇ ॥

Salutation to Thee O All-Form Lord !

Another:

ਅਨੂਪੇ ਅਰੂਪੇ ਸਮਸਤੁਲ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ॥੧੫॥੫੮॥

Unique, Formless, All-Pervading and All-Destoryer.58.

Another:

ਅਰੂਪ ਹੈਂ ॥

Thou art Formless Lord !

ਅਨੂਪ ਹੈਂ ॥

Thou art Unparalleled Lord!

ਅਜੂ ਹੈਂ ॥

Thou art Unborn Lord !

ਅਭੂ ਹੈਂ ॥੧॥੨੯॥

Thou art Non-Being Lord! 29

Another:

ਨਮਸਤ੍ਵੰ ਅਰੂਪੇ ॥

Salutation to Thee O Formless Lord !

All these are from Jaap Sahib, I'm sure there are many many more pangti's about Vaheguru being formless. I would highly recommend you to study Jaap Sahib it has so much praise about Vaheguru and it so beautiful.

VJKK VJKF

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God may be Formless but He is still a Person, and He has a Personality.  He is not some impersonal "force" or energy.  His Personality has traits like Love, Mercy, Compassion, Fearlessness, Forgiveness etc.  His is independent and not some force to be manipulated like in a maths equation.  He listens to prayers and gives orders (Hukam's)  He feels His devotees pains and will runs to them when they call out to him (sincerely).  He can take on a form to connect with us. 

He is everywhere, but his special expression is in the body, in the heart.  

Human birth is a special form whereby we can connect with God.  Higher beings like gods, goddesses and angels long for human bodies just for that fact.  A saint is so much in communion with God that we say they are non-different, like an ocean and wave.  a Brahm Giani is also His Form.

 

 

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7 hours ago, IronLion said:

Hello... 

From my readings I understand God to be formless and genderless and incomprehensible. However, I have read in a couple places that God created man in his image. How could humans be the image of God when God is formless and present in all of creation. To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round. Can someone elaborate on this notion that God created humans in God's image? Thanks!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

God is formless, so obviously  the man human form can not be the image of God.

The bodies are just insentient coverings, but real thing is the surtee, the soul, the jeev atma. That is why when the jeev atma, leaves the body, that very body becomes lifeless and falls down and disintegrates in the 5 tattwas , which then  all of them return to their origin

Gurbani beautifully tells us something about it in simple words,  in the Aartee we do listen so often.

ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਸੋਇ

Sabh Mehi Joth Joth Hai Soe ||

सभ महि जोति जोति है सोइ ॥

Amongst all is the Light-You are that Light.

So just to give an example, Wahiguru Akal Purukh can be like a Sun, and the soul in the body, like a ray from that Sun.

In that way, it does make sense what you say you have read, because that very lifelike light of Him, permeates the body, giving it life or consciousness.

Just as a ray is not different from the Sun as it has all its attributes, so is the individual soul related to Him. 

Needless to say, with His grace, that very individual ray now, can one day return and merge in Him, becoming one with Him without any distinction, the Sun.

Stay blessed.

Sat Sree Akal.

 

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On 4/2/2018 at 2:47 PM, IronLion said:

Hello... 

From my readings I understand God to be formless and genderless and incomprehensible. However, I have read in a couple placed that God created man in his image. How could humans be the image of God when God is formless and present in all of creation. To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round. Can someone elaborate on this notion that God created humans in God's image? Thanks!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

but also don't get confused with abrahamic God term.

Use the nirguna sarguna concept of gurbani

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Hey everyone, 

I appreciate all the replies. It has been quite helpful and also clarifies for me when I read that God has form, but is formless in the same line. Thank you all for helping this make sense to me!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

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On 4/2/2018 at 7:17 PM, IronLion said:

However, I have read in a couple placed that God created man in his image.

Where did you read that, the Bible?

On 4/2/2018 at 7:17 PM, IronLion said:

To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round.

While I would agree that God isn't a "human", I would not extend that to saying that God does not listen to prayers, in the way that a King would listen to commoners' grievances and give relief.

The issue of God, his form, and creation is a complex one. God is both nirgun (formless) and sargun (formed). But here are some excerpts from Gurbani for thought. One must perceive the metaphors here:

 

God is neither male nor female:

ਸੁੰਨ ਮੰਡਲ ਇਕੁ ਜੋਗੀ ਬੈਸੇ ॥

Sunn Manddal Eik Jogee Baisae ||

The Yogi, the Primal Lord, sits within the celestial sphere of deepest Samaadhi.

ਨਾਰਿ ਨ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕੋਊ ਕੈਸੇ ॥

Naar N Purakh Kehahu Kooo Kaisae ||

He is not male, and He is not female; how can anyone describe Him?

ਧਨਾਸਰੀ (ਮਃ ੧) ਅਸਟ. (੧) ੪:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੬੮੫ ਪੰ. ੧੭ 
Raag Dhanaasree Guru Nanak Dev

 

Portraying God in the form of a man:

ਤੇਰੇ ਬੰਕੇ ਲੋਇਣ ਦੰਤ ਰੀਸਾਲਾ ॥

Thaerae Bankae Loein Dhanth Reesaalaa ||

Your eyes are so beautiful, and Your teeth are delightful.

ਸੋਹਣੇ ਨਕ ਜਿਨ ਲੰਮੜੇ ਵਾਲਾ ॥

Sohanae Nak Jin Lanmarrae Vaalaa ||

Your nose is so graceful, and Your hair is so long.

ਕੰਚਨ ਕਾਇਆ ਸੁਇਨੇ ਕੀ ਢਾਲਾ ॥

Kanchan Kaaeiaa Sueinae Kee Dtaalaa ||

Your body is so precious, cast in gold.

ਸੋਵੰਨ ਢਾਲਾ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਮਾਲਾ ਜਪਹੁ ਤੁਸੀ ਸਹੇਲੀਹੋ ॥

Sovann Dtaalaa Kirasan Maalaa Japahu Thusee Sehaeleeho ||

His body is cast in gold, and He wears Krishna's mala; meditate on Him, O sisters.

ਜਮ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਹੁ ਖੜੀਆ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮਹੇਲੀਹੋ ॥

Jam Dhuaar N Hohu Kharreeaa Sikh Sunahu Mehaeleeho ||

You shall not have to stand at Death's door, O sisters, if you listen to these teachings.

ਹੰਸ ਹੰਸਾ ਬਗ ਬਗਾ ਲਹੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਜਾਲਾ ॥

Hans Hansaa Bag Bagaa Lehai Man Kee Jaalaa ||

From a crane, you shall be transformed into a swan, and the filth of your mind shall be removed.

ਬੰਕੇ ਲੋਇਣ ਦੰਤ ਰੀਸਾਲਾ ॥੭॥

Bankae Loein Dhanth Reesaalaa ||7||

Your eyes are so beautiful, and Your teeth are delightful. ||7||

ਤੇਰੀ ਚਾਲ ਸੁਹਾਵੀ ਮਧੁਰਾੜੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥

Thaeree Chaal Suhaavee Madhhuraarree Baanee ||

Your walk is so graceful, and Your speech is so sweet.

ਕੁਹਕਨਿ ਕੋਕਿਲਾ ਤਰਲ ਜੁਆਣੀ ॥

Kuhakan Kokilaa Tharal Juaanee ||

You coo like a songbird, and your youthful beauty is alluring.

ਤਰਲਾ ਜੁਆਣੀ ਆਪਿ ਭਾਣੀ ਇਛ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪੂਰੀਏ ॥

Tharalaa Juaanee Aap Bhaanee Eishh Man Kee Pooreeeae ||

Your youthful beauty is so alluring; it pleases You, and it fulfills the heart's desires.

ਸਾਰੰਗ ਜਿਉ ਪਗੁ ਧਰੈ ਠਿਮਿ ਠਿਮਿ ਆਪਿ ਆਪੁ ਸੰਧੂਰਏ ॥

Saarang Jio Pag Dhharai Thim Thim Aap Aap Sandhhooreae ||

Like an elephant, You step with Your Feet so carefully; You are satisfied with Yourself.

ਸ੍ਰੀਰੰਗ ਰਾਤੀ ਫਿਰੈ ਮਾਤੀ ਉਦਕੁ ਗੰਗਾ ਵਾਣੀ ॥

Sreerang Raathee Firai Maathee Oudhak Gangaa Vaanee ||

She who is imbued with the Love of such a Great Lord, flows intoxicated, like the waters of the Ganges.

ਬਿਨਵੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਦਾਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਤੇਰੀ ਚਾਲ ਸੁਹਾਵੀ ਮਧੁਰਾੜੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੮॥੨॥

Binavanth Naanak Dhaas Har Kaa Thaeree Chaal Suhaavee Madhhuraarree Baanee ||8||2||

Prays Nanak, I am Your slave, O Lord; Your walk is so graceful, and Your speech is so sweet. ||8||2||

ਵਡਹੰਸ (ਮਃ ੧) ਛੰਤ (੨) ੮:੬ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੫੬੭ ਪੰ. ੧੩ 
Raag Vadhans Guru Nanak Dev

 

The same shabad mentions that true understanding of the form of God only comes by contemplating the Guru, otherwise God is unfathomable:

ਵਡੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥

Vaddae Maerae Saahibaa Alakh Apaaraa ||

O my Great Lord and Master, You are unfathomable and infinite.

ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਹਉ ਆਖਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ॥

Kio Kar Karo Baenanthee Ho Aakh N Jaanaa ||

How should I make and offer my prayer? I do not know what to say.

ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਤਾ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਣਾ ॥

Nadhar Karehi Thaa Saach Pashhaanaa ||

If You bless me with Your Glance of Grace, I realize the Truth.

ਸਾਚੋ ਪਛਾਣਾ ਤਾਮਿ ਤੇਰਾ ਜਾਮਿ ਆਪਿ ਬੁਝਾਵਹੇ ॥

Saacho Pashhaanaa Thaam Thaeraa Jaam Aap Bujhaavehae ||

Only then do I come to realize the Truth, when You Yourself instruct me.

ਦੂਖ ਭੂਖ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਕੀਏ ਸਹਸਾ ਏਹੁ ਚੁਕਾਵਹੇ ॥

Dhookh Bhookh Sansaar Keeeae Sehasaa Eaehu Chukaavehae ||

The pain and hunger of the world are Your making; dispel this doubt.

ਬਿਨਵੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਾਇ ਸਹਸਾ ਬੁਝੈ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥

Binavanth Naanak Jaae Sehasaa Bujhai Gur Beechaaraa ||

Prays Nanak, ones skepticism is taken away, when he understands the Guru's wisdom.

ਵਡਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਹੈ ਆਪਿ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥੬॥

Vaddaa Saahib Hai Aap Alakh Apaaraa ||6||

The Great Lord Master is unfathomable and infinite. ||6||

ਵਡਹੰਸ (ਮਃ ੧) ਛੰਤ (੨) ੬:੭ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੫੬੭ ਪੰ. ੮ 
Raag Vadhans Guru Nanak Dev

 

Portraying God in the form of a man:

ਬਾਗੇ ਕਾਪੜ ਬੋਲੈ ਬੈਣ ॥

Baagae Kaaparr Bolai Bain ||

You wear white clothes, and speak sweet words.

ਲੰਮਾ ਨਕੁ ਕਾਲੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਨੈਣ ॥

Lanmaa Nak Kaalae Thaerae Nain ||

Your nose is sharp, and your eyes are black.

ਕਬਹੂੰ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਭੈਣ ॥੧॥

Kabehoon Saahib Dhaekhiaa Bhain ||1||

Have you ever seen your Lord and Master, O sister? ||1||

ਮਲਾਰ (ਮਃ ੧) (੯) ੧:੩ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੧੨੫੭ ਪੰ. ੭ 
Raag Malar Guru Nanak Dev

 

God is both formless and formed, absorbed within the Creation:

ਰਾਗੁ ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਦੁਪਦੇ ਘਰੁ ੮

Raag Bilaaval Mehalaa 5 Dhupadhae Ghar 8

Raag Bilaaval, Fifth Mehl, Du-Padas, Eighth House:

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ (ਮਃ ੫) ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅੰਗ ੮੨੭ 

Ang ViewVerse View

 

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥

Ik Oankaar Sathigur Prasaadh ||

ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤੇਰਾ ॥

Mai Naahee Prabh Sabh Kishh Thaeraa ||

I am nothing, God; everything is Yours.

ਈਘੈ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਊਘੈ ਸਰਗੁਨ ਕੇਲ ਕਰਤ ਬਿਚਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਮੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Eeghai Niragun Ooghai Saragun Kael Karath Bich Suaamee Maeraa ||1|| Rehaao ||

Here, You are formless; there, You are with form. You play within, O my Lord and Master. ||1||Pause||

ਨਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਫੁਨਿ ਆਪਨ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮੇਰੇ ਕੋ ਸਗਲ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥

Nagar Mehi Aap Baahar Fun Aapan Prabh Maerae Ko Sagal Basaeraa ||

You exist within the city, and beyond it as well; O my God, You are everywhere.

ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਰਾਜਨੁ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਰਾਇਆ ਕਹ ਕਹ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਕਹ ਕਹ ਚੇਰਾ ॥੧॥

Aapae Hee Raajan Aapae Hee Raaeiaa Keh Keh Thaakur Keh Keh Chaeraa ||1||

You Yourself are the King, and You Yourself are the subject. In one place, You are the Lord and Master, and in another place, You are the slave. ||1||

ਕਾ ਕਉ ਦੁਰਾਉ ਕਾ ਸਿਉ ਬਲਬੰਚਾ ਜਹ ਜਹ ਪੇਖਉ ਤਹ ਤਹ ਨੇਰਾ ॥

Kaa Ko Dhuraao Kaa Sio Balabanchaa Jeh Jeh Paekho Theh Theh Naeraa ||

From whom should I hide? Whom should I try to deceive? Wherever I look, I see Him near at hand.

ਸਾਧ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਿਓ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਗਰ ਬੂੰਦ ਨਹੀ ਅਨ ਹੇਰਾ ॥੨॥੧॥੧੧੭॥

Saadhh Moorath Gur Bhaettiou Naanak Mil Saagar Boondh Nehee An Haeraa ||2||1||117||

I have met with Guru Nanak, the Embodiment of the Holy Saints. When the drop of water merges into the ocean, it cannot be distinguished as separate again. ||2||1||117||

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ (ਮਃ ੫) (੧੧੭) ੨:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੨੭ ਪੰ. ੧੮ 
Raag Bilaaval Guru Arjan Dev

 

In the end, one can only see the essence of God via his Name:

ਕਾਇਆ ਨਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਊਤਮੁ ਕਿਉ ਪਾਈਐ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਜਨ ਕਰਹੁ ॥

Kaaeiaa Nagar Mehi Raam Ras Ootham Kio Paaeeai Oupadhaes Jan Karahu ||

Within the body-village is the Lord's supreme, sublime essence. How can I obtain it? Teach me, O humble Saints.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਿ ਸਫਲ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਮਿਲਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਅਹੁ ॥੨॥

Sathigur Saev Safal Har Dharasan Mil Anmrith Har Ras Peeahu ||2||

Serving the True Guru, you shall obtain the Fruitful Vision of the Lord's Darshan; meeting Him, drink in the ambrosial essence of the Lord's Nectar. ||2||

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਹਰਿ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਚਾਖਿ ਦਿਖਹੁ ॥

Har Har Naam Anmrith Har Meethaa Har Santhahu Chaakh Dhikhahu ||

The Ambrosial Name of the Lord, Har, Har, is so sweet; O Saints of the Lord, taste it, and see.

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ (ਮਃ ੪) (੪) ੩:੧ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੮੦੦ ਪੰ. ੨ 
Raag Bilaaval Guru Ram Das

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On 02/04/2018 at 9:47 AM, IronLion said:

Hello... 

From my readings I understand God to be formless and genderless and incomprehensible. However, I have read in a couple placed that God created man in his image. How could humans be the image of God when God is formless and present in all of creation. To me it makes sense that God would be formless because this whole of creation is God and a manifestation of God. God isn't just a human figure sitting somewhere making the world go round. Can someone elaborate on this notion that God created humans in God's image? Thanks!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

-I. 

You have quite a mish mash there. It says in christianity and maybe other abrahamic faiths that God created humans in his image. Sikhi does not say this.

Sikhi says God is formless, yet he is also all forms. As in all of creation is God. So how can we say only humans r in Gods image? All of creation is God yet God is also seperate from creation. And God is also the jyot or the life light in all. Or the soul in all.

 

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