Finally, a serious disagreement!

2 Jan

Finally, a serious disagreement!

While Sarbjeet’s blog regarding Professor Puran Singh’s skepticism of analysis is quite impressive and compelling, I must say that I cannot disagree with him more! From my understanding, Professor Puran Singh is not questioning analysis itself, but rather the kind and purpose of analysis that most of us do.

In fact, Professor Puran Singh did do his fare share of analysis. He at first courageously rejects the faith that he inherited from his parents, searches other religions to quench his spiritual thirst, and comes back to square one: Sikhi. His actions clearly showed a personality that questions traditions, beliefs, and even religions. However, it was his journey of soul-searching and acquiring knowledge that leads him to a simple yet deep discovery:

“Saach Kaho Sun Layo Sabhai, Jin Prem Keeo Tin Hee Prabh Payo.”

This is the simple truth that he repeats again and again in this book. So, what kind of knowledge and thought does he deem as worthless?

Arbitrary beliefs and analysis for the sake of analysis: (i.e. How the world was created or what exactly happens to the soul after death –heaven, hell, reincarnation? Even the smartest Sikhs will admit on not knowing what Sikhi says, and the smarter ones will not even care.)

Actions performed for the sake of actions. (Fasting, ritualistic behaviors, etc)

A man who has acquired a depth of knowledge on other religions only presents and praises those religious figures which have a loving relationship with God. The kind of love that is inexplicably sincere and deep. All knowledge stems from this truth and all other knowledge is discarded.

You had mentioned the importance of analyzing and understanding bani. That is very true, but the purpose of analyzing bani is not to gain knowledge, but to build a relationship with Vaheguru the only way we know: understanding and reciting His bani. It is the feeling that we are striving to ignite and keep alive. If you notice, all of the shabads and saloks do two things:

  1. Only through love (and hence — feeling) can we attain Vaheguru
  2. How some our actions or beliefs either reject or support this

4 Responses to “Finally, a serious disagreement!”

  1. Sarbjeet January 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Thanks for pointing out Puran Singh’s discrimination of analyses. I missed it in my reading so far, but then I still have to finish reading the book. Will keep an eye out for it.

    Here is something more on this topic: In my post I suggested that Bani itself can be seen as an analysis (of life). If identifying the ‘essence’ of things and discovering causal relationships among interrelated parts of the system are what we mean by analysis, then because Bani is so much about describing essences (of God, Guru, Gurmukh, Brahmgyani, Manmukh, etc) and about causal relationships (haumai leads to suffering, etc), then isn’t Bani an analysis of life?

    However, now on further thought, if analysis entails ‘processing of information’ to arrive at some conclusion or decision, then in that case Bani may not be an analysis because the Guru is not processing information of any kind but merely expressing the Bani as it comes to him. “jaisee mai aavai khasam kee baanee thaisarraa karee giaan vae laalo || [722]

    (Yes, I know. Intellectual entertainment again. But let me say it before anyone does: yes, I am contemplating about the cow-dung on the wall till the cows come home.)

    The debate between empiricists and rationalists on the topic of knowledge is as old as the concept of knowledge itself. I continue to be curious about Puran Singh’s world-view (aka knowledge) shaped by his experiences of SCIENCE and SPIRITUALITY.

  2. Sarbjeet January 2, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    Interesting. No sooner had I posted the above comment than I saw the mail from SikhNet delivering the Daily Hukumnama from Sri Darbar Sahib to my Inbox. Provides quite a perspective on the whole thing.

  3. harbir kaur March 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    u guys r doing an awesum job.
    would like to join u.

  4. Sarbjeet March 5, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    Hi Harbir,
    Thanks. You are most welcome to join us in our monthly readings and discussions. Where are you located? As with our last discussion, we are planning to have the Skype on during our monthly meeting and so you can participate virtually. Also, if you’d like to contribute to this blog, pls let us know.
    We update our blog to inform the members of the monthly readings but not all our discussions get posted online. So I have added you to that email list.
    We are glad to have you board.

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