My Debate With A Sikh (Imported From My Old Blog)

This was originally posted in January of 2009 on my old blog. The debate took place in August of 2007. I am combining my parts ONE and TWO as Blogspot [at the time] had a cut off on the length of the post.

PART ONE:


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


What a wonderful Hadith verse… however, if you accept that, you should also accept this:

Hadith from Bukhari, vol. 7, # 715, that details Islamic wife beating:

“Narrated Ikrima: ‘Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes! When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, “By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this,” holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, “By Allah, O Allah’s messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa.” Allah’s messenger said to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” The prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes.” The prophet said, “You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.””

Also, book 009, Number 3512, 3526, and 3527 show that beating your wife is legal.

Sahih Muslim #2127:

When it was my turn for Allah’s Messenger to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi’. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O ‘Aisha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?

Muhammad even beat women. When Peter struck the ear of the Roman Guard, Jesus healed it. Muhammad hit women and even was involved – personally – with the slitting of 900 throats. There are pictures of Jesus with children all around him, even telling his disciples they should be like them. There are no such renderings of Muhammad.

Muhammad personally murdered. He personally beat women. And he slept with very, very young girls and had many more wives than “Allah” would allow.

The Quran clearly states that Muhammad was a sinner (his own words), and that Jesus was sinless. Is Muhammad really the superior “prophet” to look to? Especially in light of Jesus clearly stating himself to be the creator of the space-time continuum… e.g., Jesus created and sustains the cosmos.


GODSDOG SAID…


hi Papa,

i would caution in putting full faith in all of the hadiths as many are of questionable source and interpretation for a muslim, only the koran is the revealed scripture, the hadiths are creations of man

i agree that much of the misogny and violence coming out of islam is due to emphasizing the hadiths over the koran also, i could reference interpretations that show muhammed to be the kindest and most gentle of men, but since he was commissioned by god (as many of the jewish prophets), we must be careful in judging based on third parties and hearsay i am a sikh, i earnestly try to show respect for all the spiritual traditions of the world

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Beating of the wife, a call to murder (“prescriptive,” whereas the passages in the Bible are histories, or “descriptive”), the relegation of non-Muslims to Dhimmitude (second-class citizens), and the fact that Muhammad is called a sinner in the Quran and Jesus is called sinless, are all in line with the Hadith.

Also, that caution against the Hadith, then, would caution me when others use quotes from it, either negative or positive. (Like your post.)

All this still does not change the fact that verses ascribed to a Jin were removed, nor does it deal with the historical fact that Muhammad slit the throats of young boys and men as well as other murderous acts in history. His marrying a 9-year old is another issue.

Jesus ministry stands in stark contrast to Muhammad’s, Godsdog.


GODSDOG SAID…


papa,

you are entitled to your view and i certainly cannot change it

please understand i am not comparing or contrasting jesus and muhammed…that is not the purpose of this blog

i have great love for the christ as well as the deepest respect for muhammed(pbuh), the sikh gurus hold a special place in my heart

as a sikh, i feel the lord in his infinite mercy has revealed to different people (even today) different paths to him

personally, i feel the best and easiest way is to humbly submit to the lord in your heart…this truth is indisputable and is verified by the bible…by the koran…by the torah…by the vedas…and by guru granth sahib

anger at and disrespect of other religions and their founders is an obstacle which must be removed from the path if one truly wishes to see clearly

there is truly only one judge

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Unfortunately, Godsdog, using the rules of logic (non-contradiction and excluded middle), your saying many paths lead to one is easily proven unwarranted by the mutually exclusive claims between these religions. Your main problem is when you say this: “as a sikh, i feel the lord in his infinite mercy has revealed to different people (even today) different paths to him.” This goes against Judaic thinking, Christian thinking, and Islamic thinking. You are here judging these religions are wrong and your opinion about them is right, and thus, I am wrong. You are self-refuting your claims in your post above.

One author put it this way:

I feel it a duty to bear my solemn testimony against the spirit of the day we live in, to warn men against its infection. It is not Atheism I fear so much, in the present times, as Pantheism. It is not the system which says nothing is true, so much as the system which says everything is true. It is not the system which says there is no Saviour, so much as the system which says there are many saviours, and many ways to peace! – It is the system which is so liberal, that it dares not say anything is false. It is the system which is so charitable, that it will allow everything to be true. It is the system which seems ready to honour others as well as our Lord Jesus Christ, to class them all together, and to think well of all. Confucius and Zoroaster, Socrates and Mahomet, the Indian Brahmins and the African devil-worshippers, Arius and Pelagius, Ignatius Loyola and Socinus – all are to be treated respectfully; none is to be condemned. It is the system which bids us smile complacently on all creeds and systems of religion. The Bible and the Koran, the Hindu Vedas and the Persian Zendavesta, the old wives’ fables of Rabbinical writers and the rubbish of Patristic traditions, the Racovian catechism and the Thirty-nine Articles, the revelations of Emanuel Swedenborg and the Book of Mormon of Joseph Smith – all, all are to be listened to: None is to be denounced as lies. It is the system which is so scrupulous about the feelings of others, that we are never to say they are wrong. It is the system which is so liberal that it calls a man a bigot, if he dares to say, “I know my views are right.” This is the system, this is the tone of feeling which I fear in this day, and this is the system which I desire emphatically to testify against and denounce.

Another author said:

The Achilles’ heel of the claim that all paths lead to the same destination is the problem of internal consistency. Each religious tradition makeqs truth-claims which contradict the truth-claims of other religious traditions. We will briefly examine three areas of disagreement.

(1.) The first area of contradiction regards the nature of the ultimate reality (such as God). One discovers there is a vast chasm between monotheistic religions (such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam), and pantheistic religions (such as Hinduism, Buddhism). Muslims claim that there is only one God, Allah, who created the universe from nothing. Some Hindus, on the other hand, believe not in a personal creator, but in Brahman, an impersonal absolute reality which permeates all things. Other Hindus believe that there are millions of deities (such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and Krishna) which are manifestations of Brahman.

(2.) A second area of contradiction relates to the fate of individuals at death. According to Islam, each of us will die once and then face judgement by Allah. Depending on Allah’s judgement we will spend eternity in heaven or hell. In contrast, many Hindus claim that we will live (and have already lived) many lives on earth. Hindus believe that the conditions of our past and future existence are determined by the cosmic laws of karma. Following death each of us is reincarnated into a different form (human, animal, etc.).

(3.) Each religious tradition also identifies a universal problem that afflicts humanity. This brings us to a third area of disagreement. Hindus, for example, claim that the universal problem is samsara. Samsara is an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth (reincarnation) in which every person is trapped. Only through knowledge of one’s relationship to Brahman and religious devotion can this cycle be broken and moksha (release) experienced. Christianity, on the other hand, maintains that the universal problem facing every person is separation from the God. According to Christianity, each person has rebelled against God by violating his commands (what the Bible calls sin). Christianity insists that there is no human solution to this problem. Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ can this problem of separation from God be overcome. Christians believe that Jesus Christ paid our sin-penalty through his death on the cross in order that our relationship with God might be restored.

These conflicting claims about the nature of the Ultimate, the fate of individuals at death, as well as the universal problem facing humanity are only a few of the conflicting assertions made by different religious traditions. These conflicts render implausible the claim that “all paths lead to the same destination.” Perhaps the following will help illustrate why this is the case. Consider the following two statements:

—– Northwestern University won the Big Ten championship in football in 1995.
—– Northwestern University did not win the Big Ten championship in football in 1995.

It is obvious that both of the these statements cannot be correct at the same time. This self-evident truth is often referred to as the principle of “non-contradiction.” This principle has a significant implication for our investigation. Two contradictory assertions cannot both be correct. Thus, if two religions make truth-claims which contradict each other, they cannot both be right. For example, when Hindus claim that there are many Gods and Jews claim that there in only one God, one of them must be wrong . In addition, when Muslims claim that each person lives only once and then faces judgement and Hindus claim that each person lives many lives determined by the law of Karma, one of them must be wrong.


GODSDOG SAID…


thanks papa,

well reasoned and logical,

you are right and i am wrong

i will end with this…true god realization is not a function of reason or logic…it is primarily, perhaps only, a function of love and humility

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


All I am pointing out is the following Godsdog:

“All truth is relative!” (Is that a relative truth?); “There are no absolutes!” (Are you absolutely sure?); “Its true for you but not for me!” (Is that statement true just for you, or is it for everyone?) In short, contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible.

It isn’t that I say you are right or wrong, it is that Logic is a universal law, like math is. When the Hindu says that nothing exists and that all is an illusion, but then builds a house using geometry, math, physics, and the like, he is throwing his own philosophy to the wayside and accepting the Theistic philosophy… whether he realizes it or not.

In fact, these laws are so universal that one cannot refute the Law of Contradiction without using it (thus undermining his purpose).

Jesus spoke differently than any other founder of a religion. I have already pointed out that the Quran speaks of this difference by calling Muhammad a sinner (Sura 40:55) but saying Jesus was sinless (Sura 3:46).

One author puts it thus:

I want to leave the reader with this thought by Robert Hume. In his book, The World’s Living Religions, he comments that there are three features of Christian faith that “cannot be paralleled anywhere among the religions of the world” [I can add here, the cults either]. These include the character of God as a loving Heavenly Father, the character of the founder of Christianity as the Son of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Further, he says:

“All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances. Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion” (p.285-286).

Jesus said He was God Almighty, not a way or a path. Jesus said He was the Way, the Path, the Light. He said He was the Creator of the space-time-continuum, and the Jews tried to stone him for saying it. (See John 8:58-59 for one example of the many.) You give lip service to Jesus, but do not give his own words credence.

Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Muhammad, Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, and all the guru’s and religious leaders who have misled the masses since have not all made the claim in such Theistic terms that they are the creator of life itself. Only Jesus.

I didn’t say it, nor did I infer it. Much like the laws of logic are separate truths unto themselves. So to are Jesus’ words.

In order to change their plain meaning one has to “add” something to them, another text or person’s opinion (like the Book of Mormon or Nanak’s interpretation). Remember, Jesus said that all those who came before him (Buddha, Confucius, and the like) were liars. I didn’t say it. Jesus did.


GODSDOG SAID…


sura 3:46 (of jesus)
[3:46] “He will speak to the people from the crib, as well as an adult; he will be one of the righteous.”

<<>>

in sura 3:51, jesus says:
[3:51] “GOD is my Lord and your Lord; you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path.”

<<>>

sura 3:55
3:55 (And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ.

brother…let us agree to let the one lord god be the judge

amen


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Who are the others that are righteous? Jesus said in John 7:24 for us to “judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

In Matthew 7:16a, Jesus says we will “know them by their fruits…”, this knowing requires judgment Godsdog. Religious pluralism. Like you posit, cannot know their fruits. I use what we know about the fruits of both Islam and Muhammad to judge that they are doctrines of death. Can you name one Islamic country where the Quran is law where a person is not killed for converting from Islam to Christianity? I know them by their fruits Godsdog.

1 Timothy 5:20 tells us to “rebuke” the sin of someone before other people. In order to rebuke someones sin we must judge that someone’s conduct.

In Luke 12:51, Jesus says that he brings division, not peace. This division is the fact that he claims to be our Creator, not the messenger for the Creator. This “absolute” divides people, such as ourselves Godsdog. (Have you read the Bible? I am curious, many who do not understand Jesus have not read the New Testament the whole way through. Have you?)

II Timothy 4:2 tells us that the word is for “reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, with all long suffering, and doctrine.” Doctrine is what I am talking about here.

And, Godsdog, do you discount Jesus calling Himself God? And if so, on what basis, or why. Is it that you feel the Scriptures have been changed? Is it that you do not realize whom and to what culture Jesus was speaking to? Is it because you have been told repeatedly by people who themselves haven’t read the Bible that Jesus isn’t who he said he was?


GODSDOG SAID…


papa,

i have read the bible (once cover to cover and still randomly read passages from it)

i guess, my understanding of it is a bit different than mainstream christians

was jesus god? yes

was he the one and only son of god? not in my understanding

when one become perfect like our father in heaven is perfect, the lord brings one so close to himself that there remains no distinction

the ability to become one with god is a wonderful gift given to the human soul, not even the angels have been bestowed this gift

al-hallaj also said “i am the truth” and was duly tortured and killed, many saints have realized the same reality

take care in the distance you assume between yourself and the lord…he is closer to you then your very breath and heartbeat

in the true name of the victorious


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


When you see the Bible (specifically the New Testament) speak of the “Son of God,” you cannot interpret that with a 21st century meaning. You have to understand what that phrase meant to the 1st century Jew.

Al-hallaj may have said he was truth, but Jesus is the only one to prove that He was God Almighty (raising Himself from the grave)… again, the Creator of space and time. Al-hallaj is not the Creator of the space-time continuum. In other words, Jesus claimed to be God, not part of creation, but the progenitor of it. This is the clear understanding of Jesus’ words in light of the 1st century Jew.

I think this should wrap up this conversation. I will pop in here and there to discuss these important issues… but I must congratulate you for having more nerve than most to stay in the conversation and debate/discuss such issues. This is more than many others do. Even if you didn’t deal with the main topic, that is, who Jesus said He was, not who I or you say He is.

God Bless, Godsdog.

PART TWO:


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Do Sikhs believe in reincarnation?


GODSDOG SAID…


yes, sikhs believe in reincarnation

krishna, buddha, muhammed, nanak and all the perfected ones took innumerable bodily incarnations until they realized the one lord and attained to his infinite presence

accordingly, these perfect souls at times choose to take additional bodily incarnations in order to teach and set an example to their brethren

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Thanks,

You should consider reading my blogs on this:

By-the-by. You have just judged the Holy Scripture of Christians and Muslims. Why? Because they reject pantheism as a worldview. I am merely pointing this out because you seem to not want people to “judge,” yet you just did by saying one position is true which by logic says other positions are wrong.


GODSDOG SAID…


hi papa,

i look forward to reading your blog and will get back to you

btw, i am not “judging” the bible or the koran, simply stating my understanding of reincarnation as it applies to the prophets and saints of the world religions

whats all this in the bible about john being elijah come again?

as you know, belief in reincarnation was tolerated if not explicitly accepted by the early christian church until the nicene council

as for the koran:

“And you were dead, and He brought you back to life. And He shall cause you to die, and shall bring you back to life, and in the end shall gather you unto Himself.” (2:28).

cheers

[….]

papa,

i’ve read over the two links you listed and you make some very good points

now i’ll refrain from going point-counter point with you as we will be here for weeks…g

btw, i am not a pantheist and neither is sikhism…my posts here are my beliefs and understanding,

i’ve never intimated that mine is the only truth…but you have

so be it

cheers

[….]

papa,

question for you, if “jesus” is the only way to salvation and the lord wants us to realize this, why isn’t everyone born into a christian family? its not fair that some are born muslims or sikhs or hindus or buddhists and not able to hear christs message without bias…why is the heavenly father so unfair that he handicaps billions in the search for truth?

if there is only one way, why so many different types of flowers, trees, dogs etc., one kind of each would be sufficient, no?

cheers

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Godsdog,

Engaging as always I see. That’s a good thing. I want to tackle two quick things that if you wish we can talk about later. First, reincarnation is impossible outside of the pantheistic (or panantheistic) worldviews. I have studied comparative religious thought for about 20-years, and I can emphatically state that monotheism or atheism do not allow for the regression of the soul. That’s one, not two. Reincarnation was not accepted in the Christian community until Nicea. I have likewise studied the early church for almost as long as comparative religions… and I can likewise – emphatically state – that this is not the case. Usually people who believe this also believe the Bible was put together at Nicea, Jesus was elevated to God-Almighty, and the like. I would love to discuss these things more with you in the near future if you wish. However, since I love Scripture, we will start here… sorta.

Before we get into the Scripture you mentioned, and oft repeated one in New Age and Eastern thinking, I want to get some ground rules going, and these ground rules are exegesis and hermeneutics (I will post them on my site under “Science of Interpretation” – you should read it before going further). These rules have been around for 2,500-years. You should become acquainted with them as they will make your studying more fruitful. Okay, the Bible… what fun!

Matthew 17:12: (Jesus Words) “But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did do to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”

John and Elijah did not have the same being — they had the same function. Jesus was not teaching that John the Baptist was literally Elijah, but simply that he came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17).

Secondly, Jesus’ disciples understood that he was speaking about John the Baptist, since Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:10-13). Since John had already lived and died by then, and since Elijah still had the same name and consciousness, Elijah had obviously not been reincarnated as John the Baptist.

Thirdly, Elijah does not fit the reincarnation model, for he did not die. He was taken to heaven like Enoch who did not see death (2 Kings 2:11; Hebrews 11:5). According to traditional reincarnation, one must first die before he can be reincarnated into another body.

And finally, this passage should be understood in the light of the clear teaching of Scripture opposing reincarnation. Hebrews 9:27, for example declares, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment” (John 9:2).

So, we have Scripture clearly stating that John the Baptist came in the “spirit and power”. Saying that when I send a lawyer to court to sign papers for me, he is going in my spirit and power is not saying the lawyer is me. Same concept. Also the Bible clearly mentions that we die once. These two verses define the limits of the other verse you quoted from. The Bible interprets the Bible Godsdog.

Rule of Definition.
Define the term or words being considered and then adhere to the defined meanings.

Rule of Usage.
Don’t add meaning to established words and terms. What was the common usage in the cultural and time period
when the passage was written?

Rule of Context.
Avoid using words out of context. Context must define terms and how words are used.

Rule of Historical background.
Don’t separate interpretation and historical investigation.

Rule of Logic.
Be certain that words as interpreted agree with the overall premise.

Rule of Precedent.
Use the known and commonly accepted meanings of words, not obscure meanings for which their is no precedent.

Rule of Unity.
Even though many documents may be used there must be a general unity among them.

Rule of Inference.
Base conclusions on what is already known and proven or can be reasonably implied from all known facts.


GODSDOG SAID…


papa,

thanks for the reply,

reincarnation is not a make or break issue for me personally, i don’t care if i’ve haven’t “lived” before or if i have to “come back” as long as i don’t forget the one lord

reincarnation does, however, make intuitive sense to me

although there are numerous references to reincarnation in sri guru granth sahib, sggs also states that this human body is extremely difficult to obtain and there is no guarantee when one will obtain one again

so we need to cherish this human life and follow the lords call to faith and righteousness and not assume we have innumerable human lives ahead of us to make amends

i feel there is a last day of judgement (as stated in the bible and koran) when this current cycle of the lords play comes to an end

on that day, if i am consigned to hell due to my beliefs or statements…so be it…i ask only that i do not forget the one…if this wish is granted, hell will be a paradise for me

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


Okay Godsdog, track with me buddy… focus like a laser beam. The Quran and the Bible are theistic books. They have in mind a being that created even time itself.

Here, maybe that didn’t help, let me try this. The Biblical view of God and His action in the world and final judgment is neither that of Kismet, the fatalism of Islam, nor that of Karma, the deterministic cause-and-effect of Hinduism and Buddhism. The human actors always behave as if free in their choices and therefore responsible for them.

If you read that small paragraph above, you will see that reincarnation cannot stem from theism, and even within theism there are theological differences that preclude Allah (in Islamic thought) from even caring enough to Judge righteously.

So to the first point. The theistic God has personality, He grieves, feels pains when people decide to reject Him, and is even angered. The God that Sikhs and Buddhist, Taoists, Hindu’s and others speak of is merely a force. This God did not create the “time/space continuum,” but matter and the universe are eternal like this “Mind” is eternal. (There are deep philosophical problem to an actual infinite regress of events in history, but this is a discussion for another day.) Reincarnation, in fact, can only run in a pantheistic worldview.

And since we know that both the theistic God who is personal and creative cannot exist at the same time as a “Force” who is impersonal and not creative (even using “who” for this pantheistic “god” is wrong), then either there is judgment or there is not. Logically then, both gods (the pantheistic one and the theistic one) could both not exist, making atheism the answer. But in pantheistic thinking this “Force” has always “existed” alongside matter, or, nature. This then makes this “Force” susceptible to nature’s influences and laws. The Judeo-Christian specifically created nature and therefore nature’s laws. So He is above these laws and not subject to them in any way, shape, or form. (I might add that the laws of logic and order come out of God’s nature of Being.) The “Force” of reincarnation is subject to nature and human actions.

This conversation shouldn’t be about debate; this one should be about clarity of thought. I want you to walk away from this conversation learning new truths that you may not have considered in the past. Our world puts limitations on us — in that one cannot disavow logical applications of thought about certain issues. And reincarnation and pantheism are at odds with your personal talk of judgment and a God who is active and cares and is angered. Both concepts cannot be true, and if this is what Sikhs believe — that both concepts are true — then you can surmise on your own if this belief is true or not. It is not my opinion or yours… you can reason to the logical conclusion using principles outside of yourself that both you and I can tap into.


GODSDOG SAID…


thanks papa,

very impressed with your theological knowledge and thought processes

i would humbly submit, however, that you do not truly understand sikhism

the waheguru of sikhism is not a “force”, it is a personality and the timeless supreme being (akal purakh)

please read some of sukhmani sahib to at least get a better understanding of sikhism and its expounding of the one without a second, the most high lord

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


I do not truly understand… like I do not truly understand the “prophet” of Allah, Muhammad.

I will read what you mentioned.

[….]

Realize Godsdog that Hindus teach that there is a “Mind” that is timeless. But this “Mind” is impersonal, and that all “personalities” are an illusion because this eternal “Mind” is not personal. In fact, this is why pantheists – those who believe in reincarnation – try to rise above personality by altered states of consciousness, as well as other techniques (some completely stop talking and engaging with loved ones – like in Tibet and in India for example).

Absorption into this “Mind” seems to be the goal of Eastern philosophy. They lose “themselves” in the infinite Mass/Mind… there is no “me” or “you” in Eastern thought. …

… …

Which, if true and believed by you, you are one mind arguing with another mind (mine) that no minds like ours exist. That is self-refuting. But, I will look into this even more. But I have read Nanak and others and feel I have a decent grasp on your philosophy, with areas that I need to grow in knowledge in of course.


GODSDOG SAID…


hi papa,

long time, no chat huh?

these are very subtle points you are bringing up

the drop merging in the ocean (becoming one with god) and other such metaphors are applicable to some extent

the impersonal Mind you refer to is the classic advaita vedanta, where the impersonal brahman is elevated beyond and is considered higher than the personal ishwara or lord

in sikh philosophy there are two simultaneous aspects of the one lord

nirgun – without attributes
sargun – with attributes

one aspect is not greater than the other, the lord is both simultaneously

if your question is does our individual personality remain after merging with the one lord…i believe it does, it is the ego (sense of separateness) that is lost

cheers


PAPA GIORGIO SAID…


A couple things, I just put two videos up on my site that I think you will enjoy watching… I just found them but they are similar in discussion matter.

and, I have a site that I think you would benefit from (I have read every article on this site… good stuff. Especially for the seeker), it is:

A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

OF THE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS

FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

THE END

Ex-Members of 3hO Talk of Heartache and Betrayal Years Later

UPDATED WITH VICE’S EPISODE:

  • This is about how Kundalini Yoga and Yogi Bhajan are now seen accurately as a cult that harmed people in many ways, and they are still doing damage, though many of the victims don’t realize it when it’s happening.

(BTW, some of the photos used in Vice’s documentary are my wife’s)

(This was originally posted in 2010, brought here in 2012, updated 5-1-2015)

(Not ALL of the info below is 3HO specific)

I have written on the issue of evil and reincarnation/karma, here: Reincarnation vs. Laws of Logic

(Keep in mind the above critique is by a Sikh, not a Christian)

Shame on 3HO for NOT acknowledging innocent kundalini yoga students raped & abused by Yogi Bhajan! (Go to this forum to talk to and see ex-members talk about this abuse. If you’re having a problem signing into the website be sure to click on as a guest using the red button in the far bottom right of the screen.)

Yogi Bujan

Stories of Yogi Bhajan’s improprieties and crooked financial dealing (theft from members) can be found at the RegisterGuard.com (like this one). As well as found at Religion News Blog, (like: 3hO, and Yogi Bhajan as topics in their archive).

I have personally heard stories about Yogi Bhajan because of close family members that use to be involved in this breakaway form of Sikhism.

Having an extensive collection of comparative religious texts that deal in some-form-or-fashion with Sikhism mainly and 3Ho to a lesser extent, my understanding of this “sect” is unfortunately deepened via the personal stories of anguish below, merely confirming that which is already known.

Articles like these (See: BRITNEY SPEARS) are rare due to the small nature of this “sect” and people assuming it is part of the world religion of Sikhism.

….Bhajan taught, among other things, that he could see auras and see into the future. But perhaps his most outrageous claim was that he was the official religious and administrative leader of all Sikhs in the Western world. I am told that most legitimate Sikhs avoid any association with Bhajan’s group, and that Yogi Bhajanism is by no means representative of the five-century-old Sikh tradition whose homeland is in the Indian Punjab.

(source)

Further below I merely produce parts of the articles from REGISTERGUARD, in the hopes that it adds to an understanding of this movement (maybe a previous innocent naiveté, a, postmodern “who are you to judge” attitude) and how many lives it affected.

One should note that with extreme political ideologies as well as religious ones,

the family unit is broken up, either to bolster the State (communism, fascism, socialism), or a way for one man or a small group to control many (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Jim Jones, etc).

Remember, for instance, in the novel Animal Farm when the offspring of Jessie and Bluebell (two characters in the story — dogs) were taken away from them by Napoleon at birth and reared by Napoleon to be his security force. These dogs are trained to be vicious, going so far as to rip many of the animals to shreds including the four young pigs, a sheep and various hens. Similarly, as the sign over Auschwitz entrance to the medical facilities reads:

“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel.” ~ Adolf Hitler, A sign of his quote hangs on the wall at Auschwitz; Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, p. 23.

(Read More)

It is — the breakup up the family unit — a means for a person to control another. Isolation, separation and alienation leads to the group becoming a substitute family. Members are often encouraged to drop worldly (non-members) friends, may be told to change jobs, quit school, give up sports, hobbies, and the like (source).

Yogi Bhaja 2

Here is some great insight to this dilemma of people stuck in a cult (applicable to political extremes as well):

Milieu Control – the control of the environment including information, associations, time, and energy work to exclude any opportunity for opposition while also promoting the ‘party line’.

Mystical Manipulation – this is the ‘higher calling’ for the follower to be a part of a utopian goal which requires his full devotion. The followers see the leaders as having achieved this higher calling hence they are worthy to be followed.

Demand For Purity – the utopian goal can only be achieved by purity of devotion. Any failure to succeed means impurity exists somewhere and will be searched out by those in control.

Cult of Confession – Failure to succeed means confessions must be made. Any weakness or failure, real or perceived, are to be confessed for the sake of the group. Even confessions where no wrong was actually done can spur the group to more purity.

Sacred Science – The ideology, doctrine and mission of the group are so sacred that they must not be doubted or questioned. To do so is one of the worst offenses possible. However, without the option of questioning, a lie cannot be uncovered.

Loading the Language – Certain words and phrases are so loaded with meaning that stark choices are implied leading to the end of critical thinking.

Doctrine Over Person – What you see, hear or think is irrelevant in the face of the groups doctrine. You must submerge your opinions in the group’s worldview.

Dispensing of Existence – Only those who are committed to the group are valued. Those who oppose or betray the group can be dismissed, defamed, disfellowshipped, or killed.

(WATCHMAN EXPOSITOR)

May I also add that in these types of “religions,” there is no love story entwined in it. The video to the right is a “parable” of sorts on Christ sacrifice for us… it is the Cosmic Love Story that IS the Good News. I have a longer post explaining core Christianity a bit better (how we view our relationship to God), to wit:

In our busy schedules choose a single verse from each section and on Monday study that single verse about our sinful nature. Use an online resource such as Blue Letter Bible to read a commentary on it or Bible Gateway to read a version you haven’t read of the verse. (Or one of your home resources… whatever the case may be.) On Tuesday take a verse on forgiveness (mine, or one that has hit a cord with you over the years). Etc.

By Friday, T.G.I.F. takes on a new meaning. The following week, do the same, but with a different verse. Habits.

(WALK WITH ME)

…Continuing…

A slow, painful awakening led Premka Kaur Khalsa, a top secretary in Yogi Bhajan’s Sikh organization for almost 20 years, to leave the religious group in 1984, she said.

Premka Khalsa, 66, said she could no longer participate because of the inconsistencies she said she had witnessed between the yogi’s behavior and his teachings — the deception and abuse of power.

In 1986, she sued Yogi Bhajan and his Sikh organizations, settling out of court. In court papers, she alleged that the married yogi had sexually and physically assaulted her, that he was sexually involved with other secretaries and that, as the head of his administration, she worked long hours for little or no pay.

The organization’s religious leaders vehemently deny those allegations. Its business leaders did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Kamalla Rose Kaur, 55, another former member of Yogi Bhajan’s 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) who wrote for a grass-roots newsletter in the community, said a light switched on for her when she was researching and writing about religious groups and thought, “Hey, we’re acting a lot like a cult.”

Former member Guru Bir Singh Khalsa, 60, who had been appointed a “lifetime minister” by Yogi Bhajan, said he received a wake-up call in the early 1990s, when Sue Stryker, then an investigator with the Monterey County District Attorney’s office, laid out evidence linking members of his spiritual community to criminal activity. Stryker, now retired, said a member of Yogi Bhajan’s Sikh community pleaded guilty and served time in prison for a telemarketing scam that bilked seniors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These and other ex-members of Yogi Bhajan’s organization say they aren’t surprised by events unfolding now, six years after his death. Legal disputes threaten to splinter the community. Allegations of the yogi’s past wrongdoing are resurfacing. And the future of the Sikh organization’s businesses are in question.

The outcome will ripple far beyond the religious group, whose companies have become intertwined with the local economy and business community.

In Multnomah County Circuit Court, the group’s religious leaders are suing the group’s business leaders over control of the community’s multimillion dollar businesses, including Golden Temple natural foods in Eugene and Akal Security in New Mexico.

“Organizations/cults that have charismatic leaders and their followings, once their charismatic leader dies, this is generally the kind of thing that occurs,” Premka Khalsa said.

“It’s the meltdown of a cult,” said Kamalla Kaur, who spent nearly 20 years in 3HO, and now runs an Internet forum for ex-members. “They actually kept it together longer than we expected.”

Steven Hassan, a Massachusetts-based author, counselor and former leader of the Moon cult in the 1970s, said he has counseled about two dozen former 3HO members, including leaders, over the years.

“The group, from my point of view, was always about power and money,” he said. “(Yogi) Bhajan is the consummate … cult leader. By not specifying someone to take over, there often are these kinds of political battles and meltdowns — people basically being greedy like Yogi Bhajan was and wanting more of a slice for themselves.”

[….]

Watching the business leaders back away from the group’s religious practices, some former members said, reminds them of what they experienced when they decided to leave the group.

“You go through stages of discovery of how you gave away your power and were deceived,” Premka Khalsa said.

“Once the person who is defining your reality — the charismatic leader — once he’s not there continuing to enforce the beliefs, then your eyes start to open,” she said. “You see things in a different way, and it can be disillusioning.”

Premka Khalsa said that’s especially true for the yogi’s secretaries, such as herself, who sacrificed much of their lives to serve him.

“I met him at 25,” she said. “I was 41 by the time I left, so my life of family, child bearing and (being) productive in the world, that whole piece was gone. Nothing was put into Social Security, and I walked out with the clothes on my back.”

The women in his inner circle “were denied having a personal relationship with any other men,” she added. “Some of us wanted to get married and have children, but we got sidetracked into agreeing to forego that with the intention of serving something bigger than us. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.”

[….]

In her 1986 lawsuit, Premka Khalsa alleged that Yogi Bhajan repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her from November 1968 to November 1984.

McGrory, the religious leaders’ attorney, said his clients deny all the allegations in Premka Khalsa’s lawsuit, which “were never verified or substantiated.”

In court papers, she alleged that the yogi was sexually involved with various female followers, and that he ordered her to coordinate his sexual liaisons, including orgies, with other secretaries, which she refused to do.

The head of Yogi Bhajan’s administration, and an editor and writer for his publications, Premka Khalsa said she worked on average 10 hours a day, five days a week. She alleged that she was paid $375 a month — only in her last three years with the group.

“It was another part of how he kept us bound,” she said. “We didn’t have independent resources. He had a fleet of cars — one of which was mine to drive. And he had properties to live on, but they weren’t mine. You had few independent resources, so it made it hard to live out on (your) own. He did that with lots of people.”

Premka Khalsa alleged in her lawsuit that Yogi Bhajan called her “his spiritual wife, destined to serve mankind by serving him in a conjugal capacity.” He said if she did so, he “would care for her for all of her natural life,” she alleged.

When Yogi Bhajan died in 2004, his wife Bibiji Inderjit was to inherit half of their community property, and he designated that his half go to Staff Endowment, a trust to support 15 female administrative assistants.

[….]

She said she was with the group from 1975 to 1985. In her 1986 lawsuit, she alleged that starting in 1978, Yogi Bhajan repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her.

The lawsuit alleged that the yogi was sexually involved with Guru Amrit Khalsa, as well as various other members of his administrative staff.

Guru Amrit Khalsa’s sister also alleged that Yogi Bhajan did not compensate her for skin and hair care products and snack foods she had developed and turned over to him in 1983 and 1984, after he had promised her an ownership stake or other payment

[….]

“Sikh means seeker of truth and therefore I was just a seeker of truth,” he said. “The reason I wanted to put those documents on the Internet was to just turn the light on in the closet.”

“Yogi Bhajan had a dark side, and I think a lot of people don’t want to see it because of what that means about him,” Guru Bir Khalsa said. “I know, for myself, I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to see it. It’s kind of tough when you think you’ve invested as much as you have into something.”

(THE REGISTER-GUARD)

yogi_bhajan_jemez_springs_1971

Bottom line with comparing healthy religion to a cultic idea of financial commitment:

Religious leaders regard their followers as being individuals who need protection and assistance, while cult leaders tend to regard people as a resource to be exploited. It seems to be the standard practice that cult victims will end up with no money. But people who become religious are often encouraged to adopt practices that can increase their income (e.g., by avoiding alcohol and drug use). Most people who regularly attend church and who are in a good financial position are expected to donate 10% of their income – which still allows them to have a good standard of living.

(source)

I want to leave the reader with this thought by Robert Hume. In his book, The World’s Living Religions, he comments that there are three features of Christian faith that “cannot be paralleled anywhere among the religions of the world” [I can add here, the cults either]. These include the character of God as a loving Heavenly Father, the character of the founder of Christianity as the Son of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Further, he says:

The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshiped, even with multitudinous idols.

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.

Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.

Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.


a small portion of a documentary about Bhagwan Rajneesh (an Oregon cult):


(For those readers interested, I debated a Sikh — not a 3Ho member — and we spoke about truth… since he was a seeker of it. Portions of this debate are reproduced here: FIRST DEBATE; SECOND DEBATE) <— this is a very old blog I had from a LONG TIME ago. Sorry for the neglected format).

Pat Condell Has Thoughts Of Becoming Religious? The Curse Of `Progressive` Feminism

Via Gateway Pundit:

An 8-year-old Yemeni girl has become the latest victim of the Religion of Pieces. Harwan, the little girl, lived in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen, near the Saudi border. Her family married Harwan to a bridegroom approximately five times as old as she was. He insisted on his marital rights on their wedding night. These marital rights included tearing Harwan’s genitals so that she bled to death.

The toxic combination of tribal culture and Islam means that child brides are common in Yemen. According to a 2010 Yemeni government report, more than 25% of Yemeni brides are 15 and under. The results are sadly inevitable:

Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation.

In September 2010, a 12-year-old Yemeni child-bride died after struggling for three days in labour to give birth, a local human rights organisation said.

One wonders if the activists who are properly trying to end this barbaric custom have tried to argue that, “Well, yes, Mohamed did take a 9-year-old bride but he was able to do that only because he was special. You’re not that special, so no pre-adolescent or barely adolescent bride for you.”

…read more…

In England, the Sikh community is speaking out about Islamo-Fascism:

(Caution ~ *VIOLENT*) One group of Khalistanis enforcing Taliban style Sikh Laws

Introduction to Khalistan Movement: The goal of the Khalistan movement is or was to create a Sikh homeland, often called Khālistān (Punjabi: ਖ਼ਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ, Hindi: ख़ालिस्तान “The Land of the Pure”), in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, depending on definition. Harking back to the 18th century Sikh Empire, the envisioned Sikh state would include the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, New Delhi, parts of the Kashmir, parts of Rajasthan, and parts of Gujurat. There is also a demand for areas in Pakistan, including Punjab and Sindh.