The meaning of Duality

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The meaning of Duality

Postby Gopi Singh » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:42 am

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

I have been recently pondering the multitude of references to the word and/or concept of "duality" in SGGS. I've formed my own interpretations, but I'd really like to hear what others think this word means? What is duality as refered to in SGGS?
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby Nihal Singh Kanakpuria » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:51 pm

Gopi Singh wrote:Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

I have been recently pondering the multitude of references to the word and/or concept of "duality" in SGGS. I've formed my own interpretations, but I'd really like to hear what others think this word means? What is duality as refered to in SGGS?



I think its about being one with the universe, being one with the creator and all its creation. Understanding and truly accepting in the heart that everything is a extension/manifestation of one and only source.

When you dont understand or accept the above you are in a state of duality, an example of that state is that most ppl think about god or pray to god as if they are praying to someone else, they externalise the concept of god to be someone/something different. This causes god to be external and hence creates 2 distinct dimensions in your mind, you and god. Do i know anyone who is not in a state of duality..Nopes

I dont know if my analogy above gave you the idea, its a pretty difficult concept to explain or even think about and to me its a work in progress , my understanding is being refined day by day...
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby himmat_singh » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:01 pm

Gopi Singh wrote:Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

I have been recently pondering the multitude of references to the word and/or concept of "duality" in SGGS. I've formed my own interpretations, but I'd really like to hear what others think this word means? What is duality as refered to in SGGS?


Sat Sri Akal

I struggled over the same just a short time ago.

In this context, I personally believe it relates to the dichotomy of emotional situations.
For example, bad vs good, sorrow vs joy, love vs hate, intruige vs indifference.

It is best to avoid feeling like this and suffering from such mood swings- ie try to follow a path that does not lead to such extreme feelings; to do this try to run your life along middle of the road position. If you do so you will not get so stressed out when you encounter changes.

In the past (ie during time SGGS ji was composed) many of preachers of other religions, were very much into telling people this is right or that is wrong, whereas really only God knows. They even had different gods and really it is quite possible to justify any actionsby saying this pleases this god, but something totally opposite pleases another god. So having one God avoids this ability to claim all ones actions are acceptable. Above is a simple explanation of my opinion only. I personally believe core Nanakian Sikhi is largely to do with training the mind to cope with tumultous times, learning to accept fate/destiny and being content with life.

Other possibilities

Socrates (greek philospohy) wrote about how different people perceive the same thing quite differently.

eg some people see a beer mug as half-full, whilst others will see it as half-empty, wheras the quantity is exactly the same.



There is also much in Hinduism on duality, and it could be to do with that.

Heres an excerpt from a Wikipedia site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism, and there is more on the site. (obviously with it being a wiki site, anybody can have made up what appears on it)


"In Vedanta philosophy

The Vedanta philosophy is divided into Dvaita (dualistic) and Advaita (non-dualistic) monism. Neither propose dualism in consciousness and matter. While Dvaita philosophy recognizes the differences between Jiva and Ishvara, Advaita philosophy looks at everything as Brahman which has three fundamental attributes sat-cit-ānanda (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss). Advaita vedanta insists that the experiential personal realization of unity of everything must be achieved. Until a person achieves such realization, Advaita Vedanta uses the Samkhya dualism of consciousness and matter for describing the world. Dvaita, on the other hand, rejects the notion of equating Atman with Paramatman as they are different entities. Dvaita holds that upon Mukti, one enjoys the same quantity of bliss as sat-cit-ānanda but one can never be equal to Brahman."
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby Nihal Singh Kanakpuria » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:10 pm

himmat_singh wrote:
Gopi Singh wrote:Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

I have been recently pondering the multitude of references to the word and/or concept of "duality" in SGGS. I've formed my own interpretations, but I'd really like to hear what others think this word means? What is duality as refered to in SGGS?


Sat Sri Akal

I struggled over the same just a short time ago.

In this context, I personally believe it relates to the dichotomy of emotional situations.
For example, bad vs good, sorrow vs joy, love vs hate, intruige vs indifference.

It is best to avoid feeling like this and suffering from such mood swings- ie try to follow a path that does not lead to such extreme feelings; to do this try to run your life along middle of the road position. If you do so you will not get so stressed out when you encounter changes.

In the past (ie during time SGGS ji was composed) many of preachers of other religions, were very much into telling people this is right or that is wrong, whereas really only God knows. They even had different gods and really it is quite possible to justify any actionsby saying this pleases this god, but something totally opposite pleases another god. So having one God avoids this ability to claim all ones actions are acceptable. Above is a simple explanation of my opinion only. I personally believe core Nanakian Sikhi is largely to do with training the mind to cope with tumultous times, learning to accept fate/destiny and being content with life.

Other possibilities

Socrates (greek philospohy) wrote about how different people perceive the same thing quite differently.

eg some people see a beer mug as half-full, whilst others will see it as half-empty, wheras the quantity is exactly the same.



There is also much in Hinduism on duality, and it could be to do with that.

Heres an excerpt from a Wikipedia site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism, and there is more on the site. (obviously with it being a wiki site, anybody can have made up what appears on it)


"In Vedanta philosophy

The Vedanta philosophy is divided into Dvaita (dualistic) and Advaita (non-dualistic) monism. Neither propose dualism in consciousness and matter. While Dvaita philosophy recognizes the differences between Jiva and Ishvara, Advaita philosophy looks at everything as Brahman which has three fundamental attributes sat-cit-ānanda (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss). Advaita vedanta insists that the experiential personal realization of unity of everything must be achieved. Until a person achieves such realization, Advaita Vedanta uses the Samkhya dualism of consciousness and matter for describing the world. Dvaita, on the other hand, rejects the notion of equating Atman with Paramatman as they are different entities. Dvaita holds that upon Mukti, one enjoys the same quantity of bliss as sat-cit-ānanda but one can never be equal to Brahman."


Himmat Singh,

Duality does not mean one state at one time and another state at another time, thats still a single state at 2 different points of time. (happy & Sad , love & hate etc)

Loosely put Duality is 2 dimensions, different states at one point of time. That's why duality can never be related to simple human emotions or basic attitutional differences.

I think your making the same mistake most modern spiritualist do to sell their books, masking basic phsycology as spirituality.

Rest upto you

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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby Serjinder Singh » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:44 am

Sat Sri Akal
A simpler way to understand duality is to consider three different kind of worldviews.
One is where there is no scope of any role for the eternal reality ie God. As in science, or in some atheistic religions and philosophies such as Sankhya, Budhism, and Jainism there is no supreme creator or God.
Secondly,
Philosophies where there are two parallel entities (hence the word dual or duality) running the universe. For instance, in Sankhya philosophy(one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy), one, the material world or Prakirti only is capable of creation and second a conscious being or Purusha, such as humans, or deities that can be capable to do something but only in cooperation with Prakiriti also known as Maya. The combination of Purush and Prakiriti is also known in Yoga as Shiv and Shakti.
This existence of two independent entities is known as Duality in Indian philosophy and such philosophies that subscribe to this concept are known as dualist philosophies. In Sanskrit and Hindi the word used for ‘Duality’ is Dwaitvad.
Thirdly,
we have Sikhism and Vedant which are known as Monist philosophies. In these two, there is only one eternal reality or God entity. The Prakirti, or Maya in case of Sikhism is not independent of God but rather is a creation of God. We have for instance, in Asa di vaar the statement:
Apeeney aap saajio, apeeney rachio nao. Dooi kudrat sajiai kar asan ditho chao.
He created His Being Himself, and Himself created His Naam. Then secondly, He created Kudrat (Prakirti or Maya) and then witnessed the spectacle of (His creation) sitting on His seat.
That is why, we have numeral 1 at the beginning of Mool Mantar to declare at the outset that Sikhism has only ONE entity – that is Creator Purush or Karta Purakh able to create independent of Maya or Prakirti. Word Purakh is reminiscent of Sankhya word Purush. Those who believe in the importance of Prakirti or Maya are Dualists or Dooja Bhao followers but not Sikhs.
Although Vedant also has similar view, there is a slight difference from Sikhism.
Whereas, Maya or Prakirti according to Sikhism is real because it is created by God the eternal reality. For Vedantists, Maya or Creation is not real. It is an illusion.

The significance of understanding the concept of duality in the context of Sikhism is that those who are dualists consider Maya or Material World to be real and deny the existence of God or in case of Sankhya philosophy make God or Purush dependent upon Prakirti or Maya for any activity such as creation.
This is the reason we see God described in gurbani as Karta Purakh where God of the Mool Mantar is alone capable of creation unlike the Purush of Sankhya philosophy that is incapable to create without the help of Prakirti.
Also in Gurbani God is referered to as Samrath Purakh, ie the Purush that is capable or Samrath to act or create on its own.

In conclusion the use of word Duality or Dooja Bhao in Gurbani refers to Atheists, materialists, or atheistic tendencies among persons who think and believe that material world or Maya only is real and there is no spirit, Atama, or God.
Humbly
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby himmat_singh » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:27 am

Sat Sri Akal

Serjinder ji and Nihal ji thank you both for your posts that have at least helped me understand this word better.
It appears often in the translation I have, but really I have had to guess the meaning as best I can.
Thank you

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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby csghumman » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:54 am

I think duality means dubidha(confusion)

ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਭਰਮਾਈਐ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਡੋਬੇ ਪੂਰੁ ॥੧॥
Without the Word of the Shabad, people wander lost in reincarnation. Through the love of duality, multitudes have been drowned. ||1|
NAAM=GOD'S ATTRIBUTES,JAPNA=CONTINUOUS EFFORTS TO ADOPT GOD'S ATTRIBUTES BY LIVING ACCORDINGLY
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby Yuktanand Singh » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:33 pm

Serjinder Singh Ji has explained the concept of duality in Gurbani very well.

Advaita Vedanta says that everything besides the Atman (the Self) is only an illusion. Gurbani agrees, in a way, because if truth is always the same (1:4) then, the constantly changing visible world is an illusion, particularly to those who cannot see the stable hidden reality.

Gurbani says that the character of the material world is similar to an illusion because just as, a straw fire or the shadow of a cloud it is in a constant state of flux and change (717:5.) But this illusion exists. Since this is a fact, its origin and its purpose reside in truth (463:6) that is hidden somewhere within this illusion. The difference lies in our perception.

The contradiction here appears because, logically, if truth never changes then the ever changing world cannot be true. The string theory reconciles this contradiction in one way. For example, does the shape of existence resemble a twisted ring or a string? Is it an infinitely small particle or an infinitely large void? The answer is, neither, and all. According to Guru Nanak also, the possibilities are literally, infinite.

The contradictions are irrelevant in the unity where, truth is perceived with certainty. A dimensional world includes contradictions. It appears from Gurbani that Guru Nanak understood the truth but either he had no desire or had no means to explain it. We do not possess the capability to grasp the entire truth and thus there is no need to do so either. According to Guru Nanak, with each new discovery we feel that we have reached the heart of truth but real nature of reality is not limited. Truth is “Beant” (infinite) as described in Gurbani. It is easy for us to make these statements but only rare individuals grasp them (562:19.)

Thus, according to Gurbani, we should not merely marvel at the nature of existence but we should try to not lose sight of the underlying infinite unity within each being (668:16.) This is how we can eventually, eliminate the duality.

While on the subject of duality, I would like to mention a serious error in the translations. The word “Dubhida” (ex: 28:17) has been mistranslated in English. Dubidha does not mean duality. It means being double minded or being undecided. As long as our inner conduct does not match the truth that we talk about, we are said to be living in (a hidden) indecision or inner Dubidha.

Thus, in Gurbani the word Dubhida represents the state when we are not thinking according to what we say (85:1) Most of the time we say one thing but we think (and thus, act) differently. Gurbani calls it a form of hypocrisy or deception (528:5.) When our thoughts and our intentions (our inner conduct) match our understanding of the truth then, we are said to be free of Dubidha. Conquering the inner hypocrisy is an essential step. Self analysis and introspection are essential everyday. When we are free of Dubidha then, the goal of Raja Yoga (self-realization) is attained naturally (237:19.) People misinterpret these words also, thinking that Guru told us to practice the Raja Yoga of Patanjali consisting of eight steps. This, as we can easily tell from the rest of Gurbani, is not true.

It appears that we start walking in Gurmat (Guru’s teaching) with being mindful of the underlying reality during all our activity and we associate it with each breath (engaging in Naam Simran, with the help of Gurmantra) while staying in Guru’s presence. Instead of prejudging each situation object and each encounter, we ask the Guru for guidance (468:12) on how to act and how to react. We are to do so with each breath. All the other virtues and revelations sprout from this act of Simran (263:2.) Let us also keep in mind that Sikhi is an emotional path, of love and self-surrender, not a path of mere intellectual posture. This love is obtained from the Guru.

When we ignore this central message of Gurbani, we spend all our life in Dubidha and then we keep searching for the meaning of Naam. The goal of Gurbani is to attach us to the one constant presence that some people call God. It certainly takes some practice, and proper Sangat, to augment it and to be absorbed in it, but we can always (mentally) stop from our daily activity whenever we get a chance and take small steps towards self-awareness and analysis. This is all Guru asks from a beginner. The time to start being mindful of the truth is here and now.

Guru Nanak said, “Truth is supreme but higher still is living it” (62:11)
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby himmat_singh » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:31 pm

Sat Sri Akal

Serjinder ji and Yuktanand ji, thank you both for your detailed posts. They are enlightening to say the least.

As well as being detailed, they are nevertheless both quite heavy going – I am sorry if this comes across as me being rude again, as this is not intended and I am deeply grateful for you for sharing your knowledge.

The word duality appears over 400 times in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and hence it is good that we all understand it better.

From what you both write, I understand as far as Sikhi goes, there is one creation, which runs in parallel with the Truth that resides behind it. Hence it is akin to an ever-changing cloud. Nevertheless the creation is still part of that Truth, which most are unable to see. It is not critical that we see the Truth, but it is important we live truthfully.

There is one and only one supreme Creator being, who is not dependent or reliant upon any other body. He created Himself, and then all else, the creation, which whilst being part of Him, the One, can be seen only by those who realise the Truth or Him, Him being at the heart of His creation. Those few who realise the Truth, realise the essence of Him and His ever-changing creation.

Those who think of God as requiring assistance from other sources, eg other deities, are dualists, as are those who think there is only a material world with no God. These atheist types are dualist, because they believe in another force to God as being wholly responsible for creation.

I would be obliged if either of you could confirm this understanding as pretty much correct, or alternatively put me right

As to dhubhida, this inner hypocrisy, I will need to watch out for it until a new edition is available with corrections.

There is also this persistent reference in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji to three states, and trying to reach the fourth state intuitively. Are these three states the sat – cit – anand states, (truth, consciousness and bliss ) mentioned in my earlier post taken from the wiki site, with the fourth state being a single final state of realisation of the Truth ?
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Re: The meaning of Duality

Postby rani_vancouver » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:20 pm

Sat Shri Akaal Everyone,

I will also share my opinion on the matter. :)

Gurbani teaches us that God is the ultimate authority Who is doing everything and is also causing others to act in the manner they are acting. Nothing is out of His Hukam.
However, when we are influenced by this maya, we think this person did this to me, or circumstances led that to happen to me. We forget that it is Only One God under Whose Hukam all is happening, **nothing** is happening out of His Hukam. Our this failure to not see all happening under His Hukam is the duality (dubitha), which causes us misery.

I will share a sakhi to better explain this:
Guru Nanak Dev Ji explained the difference between different people as how the dogs and lions behave. If someone hits a dog with a stick, the dog thinks that the stick is hitting it, hences tries to attack the stick. However, if someone hits the lion with a stick, lion being more intelligent knows that it is not the stick that is hitting it, it is the person that is holding the stick that is hitting it. Lion will attack the person not the stick.

Similarly, we should not think anyone is doing anything that is not under God's Will. Learn to see beyond the material sources that cause things to happen instead see the actual Doer behind it all. This will elevate the duality.

I hope this helps.

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