What is meant by the spiritual word ‘divine’?

Posted on August 15, 2013 by shantanup

The word divine means that there is something specially good about an individual. What is this and where does it come from? Is it totally human, that is biological or is it supernatural, meaning that it is derived from a source that is external to the known biology in the science of human existence? How is being ‘divine’ defined and characterised? In what manner is the person good? Is it defined from to his inclination to do charitable deeds as his dharma, like a Mother Teresa? Does dharma mean living the life of a person doing caring things for all humans or animals or plants all ones life? Or is it his devotion to truth seeking and accomodating truth in his very nature?

Satya-advaita or truth accomodation does not mean doing only good deeds but doing what is necessary to follow the path of truth which takes one to ultimate truth and therefore the ultimate reality. That ultimate reality when fully realised turns out to be God Himself. Thus the question arises, does God make a person divine as having a heart of gold that comes from following the path of truth? The answers to these questions brings one into the science of what it is to be human. It rejects the theory of evolutionary biology that organisms have evolved naturally without direction and manipulation by God. Being divine is a God-inspired attribute of human beings. That is why God is known as Divine with a capital D. Those on the path of truth and truth accomodation (satya-advaita, oneness with truth) are divine persons doing good in life because they are the beneficiary of divine knowledge. This knowledge enables them to survive with a pleasant disposition in a difficult world where the natural order is assumed to be one of the survival of the biological fittest according Darwinian theory. The divine knowledge comes to the human beings from the Divine Creator of the universe, God.

Take for example Sikhism which has been regarded as a philosophy rather then a religion if Sikhs believe that God is uncontactable and uninterested in human affairs. If this is the case, it makes Sikhism an atheistic religion. If was indeed the case, one should have an explanation for how Guru Nanak and the other gurus who after him came to have what is regarded as a good, even divine heart such that his words became enshrined in the Holy book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib and large number of people started following the teachings. If God did not give him and other gurus their divine hearts full of knowledge and understanding where did they all learn it from? Who educated them to be such a good person. Without education how can a person acquire knowledge? And those were days when very little science was known to humans so there was very little scope to learn about life and the universe from personal studies and to then master it to such a level that a person gets to be known as an avatar in his own life time. In my view no human being can become so learned without help from a Divine being who I call God. I use the capital letter D only for God. This is what I think happened in the case of Guru Nanak. He was given a lot of good knowledge that was right for people in the Punjab area of India at the time of history that he was living in so as to promote peace among people at a time of conflict. But Guru Nanak himself did not know where that knowledge was coming from. I asked a Sikh gentleman Prakash Bagga at Speaking tree and he clarified Sikhism thus:

Dear Shantanu ji, I think when we are discussing any Indian philosophy /Religion the application of the word GOD in the context is very important to be clarified. If you consider GOD as some ultimate source of divine teachings then such a reference is alredy being known as BRAHM. Now the question is how correct it is to refer BRAHM as GOD.? One can see that the word BRAHM is PLURAL as Masculine Gender whereas the word GOD is SINGULAR as Masculine Gender. So that means the word GOD is the reference for SINGULAR of BRAHMto be written as BRAHM(u). So in this context the application of the word GOD as BRAHM(u) is absolutely correct. You may not be correct in your conclusion that Sikhs believe that God is believed to be uncontactable and uninterested in human affairs. Sikh philosophy is very clear that BRAHMu can be seen and listened to and that is why the source of divine words in SGGS ji is BRAHMu as THE WORD GuROO.These divine words have been listened by all SIKh GuROO in person and preserveved as DHUR Ki BAANI in SGGS ji. Sikhs believe that BRAHMu is present within all creations of the Universe.And this BRAHMu can be seen and known thru the WORD OF GuRu. But Sikhs do not believe in personal GOD/GODS or Demigods.And that BRAHMu or GOD can be known thru its creation.One can only realise the OMNIPRESENCE of BRAHMuor GOD thru its creation .You will appreciate there is a lot of difference in Realising and Knowing the SUPREME BEING BRAHMu or GOD.

This clarifies that in Sikhism Brahmu is a kind of voice from a Divine source external to the human body. This will make Sikhism a theistic religion and not an atheistic one. For many years I felt that Guru Nanak was a real avatar of Sri Krishna as the Supreme God. And Sri Krishna appears to us humans through the Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. I have regarded Brahma as being the source of divine knowledge which ultimately comes from Sri Krishna himself. It seems clear therefore that the Sikh gurus were the beneficiaries of that divine knowledge which has made Sikhism such an important religion in the world. This is the importance of BRAHMu in Sikhism.

Prakash Bagga has replied to this analysis with the following:

Thank you very much Shantanu ji for understanding the clarification given for your kind perusal. I appreciate your grasping power which very few are graced with. You are always most welcome for sharing of any views. It would be my great pleasure to share the same. If you get time we can share a very concept of NAAMu which is the real essence of devotion of Nirankaar Abinaasee PRABHu.

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