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Gurmat & Vedanta

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Are Gurmat and Advaita Vedanta similar? What are the major points that differentiate Gurmat philosophy from Advaita/other schools of Vedanta?

 

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Guest Guest Singh

In case somebody can provide some useful links that'd be very helpful. Maybe some related past discussions on this site itself? Thank you!

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In my understanding, ved meams gian and vedant is solely gian based study. advaita means thats the belief that paratma and atma are one .

there is a belief among dvait bhav vashnus that bhagwan(Sargun saroop)is the creator and doer and nirgun saroop brahm is basically jarh. 

sikhi would mostly align advait philosophy but it focuses on prem bhagti instead of gian.

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Some of the principles both schools have in common have helped me understand Sikhi in a way i just wasn't getting anywhere with by solely reading Sikh texts, because the underlying philosophy of both has been studied and translated to a greater degree than what's currently available for Sikhs. Some of the philosophical concepts broached by the great Sikh kathavachaks in regards to a Gurmat perspective were always a mystery to me because I was wondering from which source they were obtaining these concepts. Once you start studying the Indian texts, it's like a lightbulb goes on. I use to get lost within minutes of listening to Katha from Giani Sant Singh Maskeen and Giani Pinderpal Singh, but now I not only tend to keep up, but I'm also learning. It's helped me quite a bit. It's strengthened my belief and affinity for Sikhi rather than sent me spinning in different directions. If you're the kind of person who begins to doubt what you know and believe when introduced to new thought, it perhaps can be risky, lol. Apne have a genetic predisposition to latching onto alien philosophies while turning their nose up at their own, lol. 

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On 3/30/2020 at 3:40 AM, H908 said:

sikhi would mostly align advait philosophy but it focuses on prem bhagti instead of gian.

Veerji/Penji I was actually talking to an Advait Vedanti and this is the point that I also raised based on my scarce knowledge about Vedanta. The guy was like no we also have Bhagti, and was quoting some text from around 8th century by (i hope I remember it correctly) Acharya Ramananda. So that confused me and got me thinking as to what it is that really differentiates Gurmat and Vedanta philosophies of existence, goals of life, and the means to achieve them, and other such broad questions. I've never done a sehaj paatth of SGGS ji so I turn to this forum as a kind of shortcut.😅

On 3/30/2020 at 5:06 PM, MisterrSingh said:

It's strengthened my belief and affinity for Sikhi rather than sent me spinning in different directions. If you're the kind of person who begins to doubt what you know and believe when introduced to new thought, it perhaps can be risky, lol.

Nahin veerji enna ghatt ni haega pyaar Guru Maharaj naal. I know it's MY knowledge that is limited. I would like to go through the texts that helped you, please do let me know which ones they are, IF you remember the names.🙏

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On 3/30/2020 at 4:36 AM, MisterrSingh said:

Some of the principles both schools have in common have helped me understand Sikhi in a way i just wasn't getting anywhere with by solely reading Sikh texts, because the underlying philosophy of both has been studied and translated to a greater degree than what's currently available for Sikhs. Some of the philosophical concepts broached by the great Sikh kathavachaks in regards to a Gurmat perspective were always a mystery to me because I was wondering from which source they were obtaining these concepts. Once you start studying the Indian texts, it's like a lightbulb goes on. I use to get lost within minutes of listening to Katha from Giani Sant Singh Maskeen and Giani Pinderpal Singh, but now I not only tend to keep up, but I'm also learning. It's helped me quite a bit. It's strengthened my belief and affinity for Sikhi rather than sent me spinning in different directions. If you're the kind of person who begins to doubt what you know and believe when introduced to new thought, it perhaps can be risky, lol. Apne have a genetic predisposition to latching onto alien philosophies while turning their nose up at their own, lol. 

Yes, knowledge of different schools og thought in india and even in islam is very helpful for Gurbani. Good taksaals/vidhaalye and steeks/tikakaar will teach you the background of every shabad. As the gurujis had many conversations myriads of people from all schools. And some of gurbani is those responses, background is very important. 

Even knowing the stories of Rama etc.

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On 3/31/2020 at 9:13 PM, Guest Guest Singh said:

Nahin veerji enna ghatt ni haega pyaar Guru Maharaj naal. I know it's MY knowledge that is limited. I would like to go through the texts that helped you, please do let me know which ones they are, IF you remember the names.🙏

I started with the Bhagvad Gita, because I was familiar with the mythology around the events of the Mahabharata, so it seemed like a more accessible way of beginning. I'm currently working through a translation of the Puranas. There's obvious differences between Gurmat and the Vedantic strand of philosophy, the promotion of the caste system being the most glaring one, but I try to understand why such beliefs originated, and then appreciate why Gurmat disavows such teachings. 

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Vedant is very hard to access. You would have to be a lifelong scholar and very learned to study it. Gurmat is for everyone written in a language ppl can learn. 

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On 3/30/2020 at 5:06 PM, MisterrSingh said:

Some of the principles both schools have in common have helped me understand Sikhi in a way i just wasn't getting anywhere with by solely reading Sikh texts, because the underlying philosophy of both has been studied and translated to a greater degree than what's currently available for Sikhs. Some of the philosophical concepts broached by the great Sikh kathavachaks in regards to a Gurmat perspective were always a mystery to me because I was wondering from which source they were obtaining these concepts. Once you start studying the Indian texts, it's like a lightbulb goes on. I use to get lost within minutes of listening to Katha from Giani Sant Singh Maskeen and Giani Pinderpal Singh, but now I not only tend to keep up, but I'm also learning. It's helped me quite a bit. It's strengthened my belief and affinity for Sikhi rather than sent me spinning in different directions. If you're the kind of person who begins to doubt what you know and believe when introduced to new thought, it perhaps can be risky, lol. Apne have a genetic predisposition to latching onto alien philosophies while turning their nose up at their own, lol. 

We can't entirely blame sikhs for that. The big brother is arrogant. 

Indian religions have had a hard time flourishing in the subcontinent , because the insidious big daddy always wants to call the shots. 

Don't forget Buddhism was once a heavily patronized religion in india , and despite originating in india , its not present there anymore, except maybe 0.5% of the population whereas in neighboring countries like sri lanka, thailand, bhutan, and even tibet , its a MAJORITY religion. How could a religion achieve to influence masses in neighboring countries while being deprived of considerable following in its country of birth. Many say there was a mass persecution of buddhists some 1500 yrs back during the era of brahminical resurgence. Brahminical kings like pushyamitra shunga were believed to have kept bounties on head of brahmins (reminiscent of what happened to sikhs during mir mannu period) , their monks butchered, their monasteries burnt , and then very conveniently buddha was included as a 9th avatar of vishnu , but even that as a deceiver. Meaning buddha avatar was someone who deceived people from vedic religion.

Jainism is another religion that failed to flourish , despite being perhaps as old as hinduism . They number no more than 40 lacs today and jains themselves have considerable confusion over their identities , more than half of the ones i know think they're simply a sect of hindus. There's a minority in them who can see the clever schemes being done against them by the 'big brother' but apparently are voiceless in a sea of other jains who're in bed with the larger brahminical demography.

Sikh leaders knew the 'elder bro' doesn't let any other survive because he's arrogant and egoistic of his antiquity and of his culture. How often do you hear the phrase "But sikhism is just 500 yrs old , we're 5000 years old" 

Sikh leaders were aware that sikhism will meet same fate as that of buddhism and jainism if sikhs don't manage to wrestle back the control of gurudwaras from the hand of mahants. And with waheguru kirpa, same happened via the holy grace of Singh Sabha movement , a movement which saved sikhi for us , else you are aware of history as I told you.

No wonder then the 'elder bro' gang doesn't like the singh sabha and tat khalsa movement of the 90s and continuously bad mouth them.  There are many on this forum itself who bad-mouth the singh sabha movement without realizing it did us a huge favor when we needed it the most.

Yes, Singh sabha had its own shortfalls , one being what you feel , the loss of intellectual, deeper-wisdom , but that can be achieved by studying gurbani and other indian scriptures if you like. Beware though, there're very subtle differences between sikhi and these other thoughts that may not be recognizable to the naive eye.

PS : Did you find any mention of islam, "evil mughal empire" in this entire post. nope , they came later, the naked dance of breaking each other was already going on in the subcontinent , something they would like you to not believe

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17 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

I started with the Bhagvad Gita, because I was familiar with the mythology around the events of the Mahabharata, so it seemed like a more accessible way of beginning. I'm currently working through a translation of the Puranas. There's obvious differences between Gurmat and the Vedantic strand of philosophy, the promotion of the caste system being the most glaring one, but I try to understand why such beliefs originated, and then appreciate why Gurmat disavows such teachings. 

I have one friend who's very expert in rigveda , he says Raam never existed and curses Ramayan and his author over the villain-ization of Indra. Indra in rig veda is one of the most prominent gods , but in Puranas he runs around haplessly , often having his heavenly position snatched by the demons , and everytime vishnu rescues him. Whereas in vedas , indra "orders" vishnu. 

My rigvedic friend didn't like it , and he claims modern day hinduism has NOTHING to do with vedas at all. That puranas are incredibly anti-vedic in their tone and that the krishna in mahabharat is essentially what is indra in rig veda. 

Beware of hindu nationalists though who try to make their scriptures sound older than what they really are.  

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6 hours ago, H908 said:

Vedant is very hard to access. You would have to be a lifelong scholar and very learned to study it. Gurmat is for everyone written in a language ppl can learn. 

Sanskrit is not that tough of a language . There're several parts of gurbani you would struggle to translate, let alone understand !! 

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3 hours ago, AjeetSingh2019 said:

I have one friend who's very expert in rigveda , he says Raam never existed and curses Ramayan and his author over the villain-ization of Indra. Indra in rig veda is one of the most prominent gods , but in Puranas he runs around haplessly , often having his heavenly position snatched by the demons , and everytime vishnu rescues him. Whereas in vedas , indra "orders" vishnu. 

My rigvedic friend didn't like it , and he claims modern day hinduism has NOTHING to do with vedas at all. That puranas are incredibly anti-vedic in their tone and that the krishna in mahabharat is essentially what is indra in rig veda. 

Beware of hindu nationalists though who try to make their scriptures sound older than what they really are.  

To be fair, I'm not approaching it from the perspective of buying into the personalities and events as if they happened last week as if my life depended on it, lol. I just want to bolster my understanding of certain underlying thought that Sikh scriptures and Gurmat references, which have been expanded upon in greater detail in other sources. Consistency and chronology of these non-Sikh scriptures is, so far, not an issue for me.

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7 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

To be fair, I'm not approaching it from the perspective of buying into the personalities and events as if they happened last week as if my life depended on it, lol. I just want to bolster my understanding of certain underlying thought that Sikh scriptures and Gurmat references, which have been expanded upon in greater detail in other sources. Consistency and chronology of these non-Sikh scriptures is, so far, not an issue for me.

no offense to any hindu brother reading this, but hindu chronology never makes sense to me, unless u admit a lot of what you call "history" is infact mythology 

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2 hours ago, AjeetSingh2019 said:

no offense to any hindu brother reading this, but hindu chronology never makes sense to me, unless u admit a lot of what you call "history" is infact mythology 

Who knows. Eventually, everyone's history will become someone else's mythology given enough time.

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