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Summary of Question:Re :God And Karma
Date Posted:Tuesday, 3/14/2006 10:14 AM MDT

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

I read the previous question of God and Karma and two sakhis to support karma. My question arose after reading the explanation of suffering by "religious people". Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh ji's account of suffering made sense according to story told. But what of Guru Arjan Dev's sacrifice and Guru Teg Bahadur ji's sacrifices? Does that also fall into the "paying your karmic debt" category? or are there any exceptions to this and a pooran mahapurakh like Guru Ji can take on the karmas of others and pay the price with their own suffering? I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Thank You

Dhan Guru Nanak

Sat nam. Yes, that is a good point. All our Gurus were highly evolved spiritual beings and Teachers to the rest of us. When one follows a spiritual teacher, that teacher has a responsibility to the follower(s), and such a responsibility may mean the ultimate sacrifice. To do any less can bring a heavy karma on the one who is the teacher. History is full of examples of both kinds of teachers.

While I don't literally know if 5th Guru's suffering was also karmic, I do know that such a sacrifice was for the greater good and for a divine mission, in this case, the future of Sikhs as a people. Guru Arjan understood this. The needs of the divine mission far outweighed the needs of the one. But understand the consciousness behind it! It is a consciousness of knowing that the divine mission CANNOT BE FULFILLED without such a sacrifice. That is different than, say, suffering a bad marriage because one is too afraid of the alternative or afraid of what others will say. Our Gurus acted out of love, most people act (and react) out of some kind of fear.
Our Gurus and martyrs understood that the only True choice they had was pain and death, because they had to prove to the mughals that Sikhi would not be stopped at any price, whether a guru or a gursikh.

It is not part of Sikh teaching that the sacrifices of our Gurus absolved us or Sikhs before us of our collective karma, so I cannot speak to that as a Sikh. BUT, this is exactly the concept behind Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, and it is a buddhist teaching as well. There are Buddhist lamas and tulkus who dedicate their suffering and intentionally take on pain to mitigate the karma of 'sentient beings.' So this spiritual concept is both understood and practiced by those evolved enough to do so.
Guru ang sang,

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