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Theology (33)
HUKAM, Arabic hukm for command, order, decree, law, has acquired in Sikh usage a metaphysical shade connoting the Divine Law or Order, regulating the entire universe. Its importance in Sikh theology is indicated by its occurrence at the very beginning of the Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture), in the first verse of the Japu. In the penultimate line of the stanza, Guru Nanak puts the fundamental question of how enlightenment is to be gained: How is Truth to be attained? How is the veil of falsehood torn asunder? In the final line of the stanza, he provides the answer: Nanak, thus it is written: Submit to the hukam, Walk in its way.
ISHVAR from Sanskrit Isvara isa = ruler, master, ord+vara = environing, enclosing, ie. the allpervasive Lord) is one of the several names used in Indian philosophy for God, the Ultimate Reality, also known as Brahman. There is however a subtle conceptual difference between Isvara and Brahman as interpreted by Sarikaracharya, philosopher ofVcdanta. Brahman, he holds, is the Ultimate Reality or Pure Consciousness devoid of all attributes {nirguna) and all categories of the intellect {nirvisesd), while isvara is the personal aspect of the impersonal Brahman.
KATHA is the noun form of the Sanskrit word kath, meaning to speak, describe, narrate or interpret. In religious terminology, kathd stands for exposition, analysis and discussion of a passage from a scripture. It involves a full length discourse on a given text, with a proper enunciation of it and elucidation with anecdotes, parables and quotations, of the underlying spiritual and theological doctrines and ideas. Since scriptural utterances and verses were generally pithy and aphoristic, they needed to be expounded for the laity and there emerged in the Indian tradition forms such as tikd (paraphrase), sabddrlha (gloss) and bhdsya (commentary), with pramdnas or suitable authoritative quotations from religious and didactic works to support the thesis or interpretation.
MUKTI or Mukti and its synonym mokh (Sanskrit moksa, Pali mo(k)khd)are derived from the root much (to let go, release) and seem to be identical in primary meaning with the English words deliverance, liberation, release, freedom and emancipation. Although sometimes translated as `salvation`, mukti is different from the Christian salvation. The latter is a composite concept embodying redemption and reconciliation. Redemption is `the change in man`s relation to God by the removal of guilt and sin` (R. Hazelton, `Salvation` in a Handbook of Christian Theology edited by M. Halverson and A. Cohen, London: Collins Fontana Books); guilt and sin, however, are not basic to the concept of mukti.
NADAR (Arabic nazar: glance, favourable regard, favour), implying Divine grace, is a concept central to Sikh religious tradition affirming its faith in a Transcendental Being responsive to human prayer and appeal for forgiveness and mercy. It reiterates at the same time a belief in the sovereignty of Divine Will (razd) overriding the law of karma which itself is a constituent of hukam, the all pervading and all regulating Divine Law. From His Will flows grace which as the divine initiative leads the seeker to his ultimate destiny. It is postulated as the critical determinant in this process.
26. NAM
NAM (lit. name), a collection of sounds possessing the capacity to signify a person, place, thing or idea, is a key term in Sikh theology, embodying a concept of central importance. It subsumes within it the revelation of God`s being, the only fit object of contemplation for the individual, the standard to which his life must conform, and the essential means of purification and liberation. Nam translates easily and accurately into the English word `Name`, but this does not provide an actual understanding of its full import as a conceptual category in Sikhism. Even as commonly understood, a name is not a mere label.
ONKAR, generally written down as Oankar in Sikh Scriptural writings, is derived from the Upanisadic word Oankara (om+kara) originally signifying pronouncing or rendering into writing the syllable Om. Known as synonym of Om it has been used in the Vedic literature and, in particular in its religio philosophical texts known as the Upanisads, as a holy vocable of mystical signification and as the most sacred of the names of Brahman, the Supreme Self or the one entity which fills all space and time and which is the source of the whole universe including the gods themselves. The word om, the most hallowed name of Brahman, is derived, according to the Gopathabrdhmana (I. 24), from dp `to pervade` or from av `to protect`.
PARAMARTHA, a combination of param, i.e. the highest or the supreme, and artha, i.e. meaning or objective or purpose, is, in literature, the title generally applied to a work of exposition of a scriptural text. Unliked which deals with the text in an elaborate and comprehensive way, the paramdrtha, in contradistinction, refers only to the inner or central meaning of the text. In Sikh exegetical literature, the paramdrtha tradition goes back to the Janam Sakhis, the first ever written accounts of Guru Nanak`s life, which also contain elaborations and expositions of some of his compositions.
29. SANT
SANT, commonly translated as saint though not very exactly, for the English term, used in the adjectival sense `saintly` for a person of great holiness, virtue or benevolence, has a formal connotation in the Western culture, is a modified form of sat meaning lasting, real, wise and venerable. Sat or Satya has been used since the Vedic times for the Ever existent, Unchanging Reality or the Self existent, Universal Spirit, Brahman or God. The term sant came into vogue much later. The word occurs frequently in the ancient Pali literature of Buddhism in the sense of tranquil, true or wise.
30. SIKH
SIKH. The word sikh goes back to Sanskrit sisya, meaning a learner or disciple. In Pali, sisya became sissa. The Pali word sekha (also sekkha) means a pupil or one under training in a religious doctrine (sikkha, siksa). The Punjabi form of the word was sikh. The term Sikh in the Punjab and elsewhere came to be used for the disciples of Guru Nanak (1469-1539) and his nine spiritual successors.

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