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The Erotic Metaphors of Waheguru

INTRODUCTION

So do not set forth parables for Allah. Truly, Allah knows and you know not. – Qur’an 16:74

Islamic theology places absolute importance on maintaining not just the perfection of Allah, but also the perception mankind has of Him.

To this end, we hold, as part of our creed, the following understanding of God which, we would like to think, no Sikh would disagree with.

In his book, Tawhid of Allah’s Most Beautiful Names & Lofty Attributes, Prof Muhammad ibn Khalifah al-Tamimi of the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia, cites this foundational principle which underpins the true beliefs of the Muslims:

THE SECOND FOUNDATION: To exalt and elevate Allah over and above the matter of any of his attributes ever resembling attributes of his creation.

To prove this principle, he cites the following verses of the Qur’an as evidence:

1. His saying, “There is nothing like Him,” [Qur’an 42:11] is an evidence exhibiting that Allah is Exalted above anything resembling any of His Attributes of Perfection. …

Ahl al-Sunnah [the People of the Prophetic Tradition] agree that there is nothing like Allah in His Essence, Attributes and actions.

2. His saying, “So do not set forth parables for Allah.” [Qur’an 16:74]

Ibn Jarir al-Tabari said in commentary to it: “So do NOT provide for Allah parables, nor compare Him by setting up counterparts, for He has NO like or similitude. [1]

Ibn Kathir said: “i.e. do not set up with Allah rivals, likes or parables“.

3. His saying, “For those who do not believe in the Hereafter is an evil description and for Allah is the highest description…” [Qur’an 16:60]

4. His saying, “…and His is the highest description in the heavens and in the earth; and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [Qur’an 30:27]

“Allah has depicted Himself, that He has the highest description, and that is a reference to absolute perfection, which embodies matters that are present and meanings that are affirmed. …” [2]

5. His saying, “…Do you know of anyone who is similar to him.” [Qur’an 19:65]

It is reported on Ibn Abbas that he said when commentating on the ayah: “Do you know of any match or peer to the Lord?” …

6. As for His saying, “Say, ‘He is Allah, (the) One.” [Qur’an 112:1]

The One implies that He has no like or equal.

7. Likewise, His saying, “And there is no co-equal or comparable unto Him.” [Qur’an 112:4]

Oneness implies perfection and partnership signifies imperfection.

Two: The indication of the intellect towards the falsity of any resemblance between the Attributes of the Creator and the attributes of creation.

1. The position towards the essence is the same as the position towards the Attributes. Allah has no like unto Him in His essence, Attributes and action. …

In view of this, we know that Allah has no like and similitude; and parables that bear a resemblance to creation are not set forth for Him, rather, He has the highest description. [3] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

The above seems pretty self-explanatory: God is perfect in the absolute sense of the word and from every conceivable angle. Hence, not only would it be entirely futile to compare Him to anything by way of metaphors or similitudes, but also wrong.

It would also be important at this point to tackle the argument of contrasting and not comparing God to His creation. Let’s take the attribute of knowledge for instance. While it is true that God has given us a certain amount of knowledge of the world and the hereafter, the difference between the two would be so insurmountably vast that while it would be true to say that our knowledge in comparison to His is close to nothing, any attempts at making a direct comparison would be impossible. And it is in this sense of contrasting the attributes of God and His creation that Islam has mentioned. As an example, the companion Anas bin Malik al-Ansari reported that Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:

Truly, Allah is more delighted with the repentance of His slave than a person who lost his camel in the desert, but eventually found it (unexpectedly).” (Bukhari, Muslim)

In this tradition, delight or pleasure is contrasted by way of non-equivalence, i.e. to show that no matter how much pleasure one might derive, Allah will always be more delighted over His slave’s repentance. Similarly, traditions that emphasise on Allah’s mercy do so by contrasting the immeasurable vastness of His mercy to that of His servants in comparison to the mercy shown between two servants.

It is forbidden for the intellects to liken Allah, the Most High, to anything and for the imaginations to limit Him. – Imam ash-Shafi’ee

With this in mind, we would maintain that no other religion holistically, consistently and comprehensively upholds the perfection of Allah as Islam does.

In a previous paper titled Erotic Tales of the Dasam Granth, we argued that it was unbecoming of a God-fearing and God-conscious person, let alone one chosen by God for receiving divine revelation, to use sexually explicit language in conveying a moral teaching when there’s far more safer and prudent ways, particularly in an age of promiscuity, decadence and hedonism, of doing so. We, thus, concluded that if the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, was the author of the Dasam Granth, then he could not have been a true emissary of God’s.

In this paper, however, we charge Sikhism with accusing God of using sexual metaphors involving the intimacy enjoyed between a husband and wife on their wedding night to describe the relationship between Himself and His servants!

WAHEGURU’S SEXUAL METAPHORS OF WAHEGURU

Listen, listen, O soul-bride: you are overtaken by sexual desire-why do you walk like that, swinging your arms in joy? Guru Granth Sahib 37

Unlike the eroticism of the Dasam Granth, the following verses are recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) itself, and metaphorically describe the relationship between the soul and God using the bizarre example of the sexual intimacy enjoyed in bed by the husband and wife!

If I surrender my body like a bride, the Enjoyer will enjoy me. Do not make love with one who is just a passing show. The Gurmukh is ravished like the pure and happy bride on the Bed of God, her Husband.
(GGS, Nanak, 21:18-20)

Her Husband Lord does not come to her bed; day after day, she grows more and more miserable.
(GGS, Amar Das, 31:9)

Upon her beautiful and cozy bed, she enjoys the Love of her Lord. She is overflowing with the treasure of devotion.
(GGS, Amar Das, 38:12)

She does not enjoy the pleasure of His Bed; without her Husband, her ornaments are absurd. The discarded bride suffers terrible pain; her Husband does not come to the bed of her home.
(GGS, Nanak, 58:13-4)

That soul-bride keeps her Husband Lord clasped tightly to her heart, and through the Word of the Shabad, she enjoys her Husband Lord upon His Beautiful Bed.
(GGS, Amar Das, 127:5)

Then, when the King of spiritual wisdom comes to her bed, He shall take her, and enjoy her.
(GGS, Nanak, 359:12)

I am thirsty with desire and longing for my Husband Lord. … I am adorned with Truth, and I have applied the mascara of the Fear of God to my eyes. … My bracelets, robes and ornaments beautifully adorn me. The soul-bride becomes totally happy, when her Husband Lord comes to her home. By the charms of virtue, I have enticed and fascinated my Husband Lord. He is under my power …. Renouncing all other brides, my Beloved has become my lover. The sun has risen, and its light shines brightly. I have prepared my bed with infinite care and faith. My Darling Beloved is new and fresh; He has come to my bed to enjoy me.
(GGS, Arjan Dev, 737:10, 13, 15-8, 20-3)

O Nanak, the soul-bride enjoys and ravishes her Beloved; God is pervading and permeating everywhere.
(GGS, Amar Das, 770:6)

This night, I did not sleep with my Husband Lord, and now my body is suffering in pain. Go and ask the deserted bride, how she passes her night.
(GGS, Farid, 1379: 9)

Ironically, Sikhism places a lot of emphasis on the important issue of fidelity and sex. So much so that the Guru Granth Sahib categorically advises against lust literally being the last thing on one’s mind at the point of death:

At the very last moment, he who thinks of women, and dies in such thoughts, shall be reincarnated over and over again as a prostitute.
(GGS 526:7)

Further still, a verse from arguably the most sexually explicit chapter of the Dasam Granth, the Charitropakhian, warns against approaching another man’s wife even in one’s dreams!

Ever since I came of age, my Guru has taught me: Son, for as long as you have breath[] in your body, keep developing love with your own wife, but never even dream of going to someone’s else bed.
O woman! Women from every corner come to me to get their wishes fulfilled. They bow their heads in respect.
The Sikhs are my sons, their wives my daughters.
O woman! Tell me how is it possible for me to form physical relations with them? [4]

Yet, the use of the carnal human act of copulation as metaphors for God seems to entirely undermine all these convoluted and extreme measures of safety.

The language employed for these metaphors will invariably evoke the graphic sexual imagery of foreplay and/ or intercourse associated with said union! And to argue that not everyone would be inclined to think in this way concedes that, at the very least, one person will, which, of course, is bad enough.

But, what’s far worse, is that these metaphors force a conceptual substitution of the husband for God. Hence, much less maintain and uphold the sanctity of God, Sikhism abhorrently fosters the erotic conceptualisation of our Creator!

CONCLUSION

Who has not been ruined by sexual desire? What am I? Guru Granth Sahib 1194

So what is the wisdom in employing such language to metaphorically describe a relationship let alone one involving the Creator Himself? Couldn’t He have chosen something non-sexually- and family-friendly?

No heart imagines Him [God], except that it is destroyed. – Sheikh Mar’i ibn Yusuf al-Karmi al-Hanbali

What benefit, for instance, would those who have hit puberty derive from being told that a true relationship with their Lord could be as intimate as that between a man and his wife on, of all days, their wedding night?! For one, such a metaphor would, at least experientially, be wholly lost on them. And if such pubescent youths reside in a society where scantily-clad women and pornography are a normal part of growing up, and where premarital relationships are fully encouraged, then what will they envisage when reading such verses other than sexually forbidden thoughts concerning God?

In addition, the language does nothing but anthropomorphise God in a most vile way. After all, which God-conscious person would want to reduce the sacred relationship between the human and the divine down to the carnal pleasures and sexual appetites of man? Who would want to visualise themselves as a bride being “ravished” in bed by her lover when thinking of God?

What’s more, once the doors for such an approach are opened, then where’s it all to end and how far can metaphors of this nature be taken?

These metaphors, in fact, run contrary to the following verse in the Sikh scripture which states:

Sexual desire and anger are the wounds of the soul. The evil-minded ones forget the Naam, and then depart. True are the teachings of the true Guru. The body and mind are cooled and soothed by the touchstone of Truth. This is the true mark of wisdom: that one remains detached, like the water-lily, or the lotus on the water. Attuned to the Shabad, one becomes sweet, like the juice of sugarcane. (GGS 152:11-6)

If the true mark of wisdom entails detachment, then what’s the authors’ justification for including such verses that would conversely serve to strengthen the attachment to sexual desires?

And if “lust, anger, egotism, jealousy and desires are eliminated by chanting the Name of [the] Lord” (GGS 1389:1), then the Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth contribute significantly in making certain that lust and desires remain completely intact.

We seek refuge in Allah from such evil!

This is merely the inevitable consequence of forsaking the true guidance of God, and striking metaphors and similitudes for Allah. It is for this reason that one of the great early scholars of Islam, the well-known Imam ash-Shafi’ee was quoted on the authority of ar-Rabee’ ibn Sulayman, and cited by Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, as declaring:

It is forbidden for the intellects to liken Allah, the Most High, to anything and for the imaginations to limit Him and for the thoughts to assert and for the souls to think and for the minds to delve deeply and for the ideas to encompass and for the intellects to understand anything but what He has described Himself with or with what He has been described by His Messenger. [5] (bold, underline ours)

Similarly, Sheikh Mar’i ibn Yusuf al-Karmi al-Hanbali said:

Allah, Glorified is He, is different from all occurrences (al-hawadith). His Essence does not resemble essences and His Attributes do not resemble attributes. He does not resemble anything from His creation and He does not resemble any occurrence. Rather, He is without parallel from created beings, there is nothing like Him, neither in His Essence, nor in His Attributes nor in His Actions. To Him belongs Absolute Existence and He is therefore not bound by time nor is He restricted by place and to Him belongs Absolute Oneness through His Self-Sufficiency and His Independence in all His Actions. EVERYTHING that your heart imagines or occurs to your mind of goodness, splendour, glory, radiance or beauty, or ghostly figure or modes of personality, Allah is DIFFERENT to it. Read: “There is nothing like Him.” [Qur’an 42:11] Do you not see that when He manifested Himself to the mountain it was shattered to dust because of its immense awe of Allah? Just as He does not manifest Himself to anything except that it is shattered to dust, in the same way no heart imagines Him, except that it is DESTROYED. Be satisfied with what He has been pleased with for Himself and stop at the information He has given about Himself, accepting, submitting and believing. [6] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

All this should be more than enough evidence to prove to those sincerely seeking after the truth that the Gurus were most assuredly false representatives of God.

It should, therefore, be evident from the above that it is Islam that stands to guard and maintain the absolute perfection of Allah, while at the same time providing mankind with an holistic and consistent method for protecting against all inappropriate and blasphemous thoughts of our beloved Creator.

[1] Fn. 221: Tafsir al-Tabari, 14/148
[2] Fn. 223: Al-Sawa’iq al-Munazzalah, 3/1032 and Sharh al-Tahawiyyah, p.144.
[3] M. ibn K. al-Tamimi (2002), Tawhid of Allah’s Most Beautiful Names & Lofty Attributes, (Al-Hidayah Publishing & Distribution), pp. 114-8
[4] S.K. Singh, Charitropakhyan: Story of Roop Kaur, (Translation by Prabhjot Singh), pp. 13-4.
[5] Fn. 335: Majmu’ Fataawa of Sheikh al-Islam 4/6.
[6] U.S. al-Ashqar (1999), The Names and Attributes of Allah According to the Doctrine of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal Jama’ah, (Jam’iat Ihyaa’ Minhaaj Al-Sunnah), pp. 194-5.

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13 comments

  1. These are actually poetic metaphors used to describe the personal relationship with a person and God. Many verses of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are poetic or are analogies which is why many scholars dedicate their life to understand these and share their knowledge and experience of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib with other.

    • We know they’re poetic metaphors (in case you missed it, our title read: “The erotic METAPHORS…”.
      Our objection is obvious which you’ve failed to address: of all the themes in the world, why would God opt for sex in making a point?

      The point is that He, of course, wouldn’t since He is Pure and above using such digusting metaphors. Hence, this is proof that the Guru Granth is nothing more than the work of a human who falsely attributed this book to God.

      • These LINES are out of context and SEXED up. Disgusting attempt at saying some thing that is really not there.
        “She does not enjoy the pleasure of His Bed; without her Husband, her ornaments are absurd. The discarded bride suffers terrible pain; her Husband does not come to the bed of her home.”
        This is about human putting sex more importance than god, the union of god is what is promoted, so the lord does not come to the home of such people/women.

        A total distortion of the scripture. Muslims try with the Bible as well, someone needs to correct the content may be do a true reflection of the scripture. Shame on Muslims who have done this. Name a Sikh website that has done this sort of thing?? You will not find one.

        • Are they?! Have you argued and shown how they’ve been taken out of context and sexed up? No! As usual, you Christians (yup, we know you’re one) are quick to make assertions, but slow to back them up with any proof.

          As for the Bible, then it has some of the most disgusting sexual language in any book ascribed and said to be inspired of God. Only a deluded person would claim otherwise.

  2. Abu Muhamed Aleee

    As Salaam Alaikum Akhi are you going to write an article about the new video you just made with the leader of basic of sikh ?

  3. Clearly this post has been written to undermine Sikhi as a religion. Although I will refrain myself from making my own judgements and opinions Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and any other religion for that matter, I find it almost funny how someone had manipulated such a beautiful text into something perverted and immoral. I am sure Islam does not promote this sort of behaviour. As you have tried your hardest to undermine Sikhi in every possible way, I thought I would help you understand the REAL meaning rather than allowing you to spawn out your own perverted interpretations:)
    The reference to being “ravished” by the Lord is a reference to the love between a husband and wife being similar to the Lord and his followers in that the Lord loves that his followers are with him/trust him/love him. These references are not to be interpreted in a sexual context as Sikhi views lust to be one of the deadly sins which prevents us from reaching God. To think of them in a sexual context would be allowing lust to pervade your thoughts.
    The reference to the soul bride not being able to enjoy his bed without her husband lord is a symoblic reference to humans being unable to enjoy the world that God has provided us with if we do not follow the Guru thus our Lord.
    The quote, “I am thirsty for desire”, is only a sexual reference if your own thoughts dwell in lust and sexual desire. The metaphor means that as followers of God, we are thirsty/hungry/eager for our Lord’s love.

    I could continue, but I believe my point is made. I hope this helped you dispel the sexual connotations you associated with the pure and perfect Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I do not see how anyone could see Sikhi to be a man-made religion and then argue Islam is not, but that’s probably on a differen blog post.

    Hope it helped:)

    • Only the intellects that are corrupt and impure would see these sexual metaphors attributed to at-Tayyib al-Qudoos (The Pure) as beautiful!

      What you’ve explained: “The reference to being ‘ravished’ by the Lord is a reference to the love between a husband and wife being similar to the Lord and his followers in that the Lord loves that his followers are with him/trust him/love him,” is something we have not denied. It’s obvious that that’s what these metaphors are describing (did you even bother to read our article?). What we’re asking instead is why The Pure and The Wise would be compelled to use such vulgar metaphors to make said point when it could have been done in so many purer and wiser ways which wouldn’t bring to mind two newly married couples copulating on their “suhaag raat”.

      The fact that you find the use of such metaphors beautiful says so much about how far away you are from the truth.

      All we can say in response is that you should try and dispassionately think about the arguments we’ve forwarded to you Sikhs, think about who and what God really is, stop blindfollowing your forefathers, and try and recognise the obvious: it is unbecoming of The Pure and The Wise to use such sexual metaphors (and that’s what they are; let’s be brave enough to call a spade a spade) for any reason or explanation.

      Finally, if the metaphor of a newly wedded couple awaiting the moment of copulation, presumably for the first time, does not carry sexual connotations, then pray tell what does?!?!

  4. these are not metaphors these are simileys and u better know what a similey is
    waheguru one formless supreme almighty without gender .
    by saying metaphor u r insulting waheguru as sikhi doesnt allow

    • Care to define both and explain how these are one but not the other?

      Waheguru being genderless is irrelevant re the argument at hand.

      You insult God by claiming such disgusting metaphors are approved of by God.

  5. Islam cannot be from God because it is based upon the Qur’an which has internal contradictions. Any revelation from God will be consistent within itself. It will not contain internal contradictions. Since the Qur’an does contain internal contradictions, it cannot be from God, and any religion that is based upon it is not from God.The Qur’an says that man was created from a clot of blood.Qur’an 96:1. Proclaim (or Read) In the Name Of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created- 2. Created man out of A (mere) clot Of congealed blood;The Qur’an says that man was created from was created from clay.Qur’an 6:2 (Also 7:12) 2. He it is Who created You from clay, and then Decreed a stated term (For you). And there is In His Presence another Determined term; yet Ye doubt within yourselves!The Qur’an says that man was created from was created from water.Qur’an 25:54. It is He Who has Created man from water: Then has He established Relationships of lineage And marriage: for thy Lord Has power (over allthings).These are internal contradictions that indicate the origin of the Qur’an was not the mind of God, but the mind of man, Muhammad.

    • This has nothing to do with the subject matter at hand.

      But, for the moment, we’ll suffice ourselves by saying that these verses are not contradictory; and you’ve done nothing to prove that they are except make an empty claim.

      Let’s help you! Here’s the Law of Non-contradiction “(A and not-A) false”. Now, Gurdeep ji, can you use this formula to EXPLAIN and PROVE how these verses are contradictory?

  6. God is transcendent and there’s nothing like Him in the created phenomenon. But to make Himself comprehensible to His creatures (here, mankind) in their relatable experiences, He has to use human ways & language. Hence the sending of messengers in the first place. Hence the anthropomorphic description of Him thru limiting human language in the second.

    Thank you for this courteous comment Sharan. We’ve decided to address you directly herein rather than regurgitate the entire comment anew.

    The aim of man is to taste & experience the most joyous relationship he can have with the Creator and hold fast to it. Now He created man and all the various forces and passions that control and overwhelm us. So it is only by His Grace can these passions be rightly channeled. Because these passions are His gifts to us as well. It is when we succumb to them and abuse them that it becomes sin. For example, lust rightly channeled is to make love to one’s spouse, otherwise it is a perversion. Some are so intoxicated by these gifts of God in their passions, addictions, romanticism & indulgences that they are not able to comprehend what unwavering devotion to Reality or God and the profound joy of being in love and one with Him feels like.

    In principle so far, agreed.

    That’s why the Gurus use various humanly relatable experiences to show us how God is spontaneously relatable by us and fasten our devotion to Him.

    But, this is where, of course, the parting of ways occurs.

    “As the hungry loves food and the thirsty is obsessed with water and the fool is attached to his family – just so, Naam Dev is in love with the Lord. [1] Being in love with the Lord Naam Dev has spontaneously or naturally or intuitively become detached from the entanglements of the world. [1][Reflect on this] Just like how a woman falls in love with another man, or how a greedy man is only in love with wealth and a lust-filled man is in love with women & sex – just so, Naam Dev is in love with the Lord. [2]” By giving us these examples Naam Dev ji makes it relatable to us the depth of his obsession & devotion to God.

    That’s all very well, but the question that arises is: how far should the boundaries of decency be stretched in order to relate this “depth of obsession”?

    For we are a sinful lot and we can easily relate with these examples.

    More accurately, some, and not all, will be able to relate to said examples. As for those who can’t, then these will be relatable to them only in theory, not in practice. In their cases then, surely the prudent question would be: how wise is it to expose them to such examples that may, rather than provide them with information that would serve to protect them from harm, expose them unnecessarily? All this, of course, presupposes that better examples for teaching these moral instructions aren’t available.

    Hence, one of the first passage you quoted is for when a woman is sexually turned on for a man, and the Guru is trying to make it relatable to her by “re-channeling” that force in her to the deeper, more profound, more real and more enduring intoxication with the Lord. Sikhism is about rightly re-channeling our emotions & passions and not abruptly stopping or disrupting them – which would only result in a rebellious & resisting reaction by us. This is human nature.

    You’re either confused in regards to the crux of the argument, or attempting to shift the posts. Firstly, the verses we quoted refer specifically to the metaphors in question; there’s no denying that. Secondly, the argument isn’t about which direction a woman should channel her desires, but about your Gurus using copulation aka sexual intercourse as a metaphor for representing the intimate relationship between God and man.

    Furthermore, how does a parallel exist between the sexual desires of a woman towards a man and the spiritual and emotional desires of a woman towards God, such that the Guru may effectively direct the former towards the latter?

    But let’s just entertain your argument for the moment. The key word in the above paragraph is “trying”. Now, why would these Gurus need to try and make something as explicit as a woman being sexually aroused relatable to her and, in turn, everyone else who is or isn’t sexually aroused? This seems to imply two things:

    1. That this woman cannot be taught in any meaningful way other than this.

    2. Any risks to anyone else seem either not to matter or are less important than the primary objective of allegedly teaching this woman.

    If a way of teaching her can be found that also minimises the risks of unnecessarily and prematurely exposing others to the problem she faces, then it stands to reason that the approach adopted by the Guru was patently foolish.

    Nowadays parents find it hard to have sex talk with their children often due to generation gap. Due to this awkwardness children seek other unreliable & perverted sources to educate themselves and are sometimes only comfortable in relating to this matter in explicit language which parents are often uncomfortable to use as medium of communication.

    If these parents do have a problem in educating their children, then this is the fault of the parents. To suggest that such children be further exposed to similar such explicit material, rather than being safeguarded from them, presupposes that they cannot be taught in a more sensible way.

    So Guru Sahib collects stories & tales from various places including his own personal experience to enlighten his Sikhs or the reader of the nature of woman and her various facets which men are usually unfamiliar with, as well as of the troubles & suffering upon others our lust and addictions can land us into.

    It seems that you’re perhaps referring more towards our article on the Erotic Tales of the Dasam Granth, rather than this article and subject.

    In some tales the writings are really romantic and erotic and are re-channeled and spiritualized – thus redirecting the consciousness of the reader from baser passions to a mystical experience of God. Some tales come with an advice at the end. While some are left for the reader to deliberate for themselves how a particular story had ended.

    Really?! Do these tales also include the tale on bestiality related in Charitar 68 – Tale of Son of a Shah? If so, then do you consider bestiality to be a “base passion” or an extreme perversion? Also, do you consider bestiality to be “really romantic”?

    How about the spilling of semen? Do you find that romantic too or just erotic? What about playing with a woman’s breasts?

    As Muslims, we would rather not deliberate over bestiality!

    The Sikh scripture talks to man of various levels of consciousness. Some passages the sublime and mystic ones are able to grasp; some passages the egoistic, the fanatic or the addicted are able to grasp; some passages the yogis are able to grasp; some passages laymen like us are able to grasp. After all, God created everything that happens in this universe (that’s why they find existence). He is not alien to anything. Moreover, the SGGS is classified under various Raags, which is emanating from different emotions. And these quotations that you’ve cherry picked by ignoring other sublimer ones that are more abundant shows that these quotes don’t come right at the beginning of the scripture, but rather a gradual address to various emotional states of us as living beings in various moods.

    It seems as though you’ve returned back to the erotic metaphors of Waheguru with the above argument.

    We hold that these verses are not befitting God’s majesty and perfection, nor His absolute wisdom, in any context and without any context; hence the reason why we’ve cherry-picked them.

    In this regard, we couldn’t care less about other more “sublimer [sic] ones”, because they’re irrelevant to our argument.

    Thus, appealing to the nicer verses does nothing to explain away why these disgusting metaphors would be utilised by an all-wise deity to describe His relationship with us.

    I would like to add another important point that is, in Sikhism, it is clear that God, essentially unmanifest, is formless. This is first the basic understanding of Sikh perspective.

    We know; we’ve thoroughly exposed the contradictory concept of the Nirgun-Sargun concept in Sikhism.

    Hence, when you say that how can we go and imagine having sex with the Creator, that’s an issue for those who have not understood the Nirvanic nature of God. When Sikhs read such passages, they don’t actually imagine having sex with the formless Creator, rather, due to understanding the primary nature of God, such language automatically becomes symbolic and translates to an intimacy and bonding in the spiritual & emotional level.

    We never disputed that this language is symbolic (the very title of the paper carries the word ‘metaphor’!). What we said was: “The language employed for these metaphors will invariably evoke the graphic sexual imagery of foreplay and/ or intercourse associated with said union,” which could then “force a conceptual substitution of the husband for God.

    Hence, much less maintain and uphold the sanctity of God, Sikhism abhorrently fosters the erotic conceptualisation of our Creator”.

    As such, we never said that Sikhs will “imagine having sex” with God. What we argued was that such metaphors would “foster[] the erotic conceptualisation of our Creator”.

    In our conclusion we, therefore, asked: “What will they [i.e. ‘those who have hit puberty’] envisage when reading such verses other than sexually forbidden thoughts concerning God?” Not “of God” or “with God”, but concerning God, before clarifying and asking further: “Which God-conscious person would want to reduce the sacred relationship between the human and the divine down to the carnal pleasures and sexual appetites of man? Who would want to visualise themselves as a bride being ‘ravished’ in bed by her lover when thinking of God?” In other words, reducing this sacred relationship down to an anthropomorphic concept, and that too a sexual one!

    Now, if you’re arguing that there is no Sikh on this earth, who has been in a sexual relationship, who will ever think about that first intimate night when reading such eroticised verses, then you must hold your fellow Sikhs in far, far greater esteem and estimation than we do. Either you’re extremely naïve or extremely deluded!

    For example, being the bride and decorating oneself beautifully with ornaments and fine clothing, and yet the Husband Lord does not look our way means despite doing all the charities and all the good and having all the virtues, if God’s Heart or Grace is not won over, all that is then in vain.

    That seems like a far more watered-down interpretation than what we quoted! The verses we quoted spoke of the Husband Lord “ravishing” her on the “cosy bed”; coming to her “thirsty with desire” to “enjoy” and “sleep” with her.

    Couldn’t the all-wise, all-knowledgeable creator use a less base metaphor?

    And such a passage is relatable to both men and women because they would have gone through this in their marital life.

    And how about the one whose hormones are raging like wildfire and who lives in a society that’s largely hedonistic, promiscuous and decadent, with porn available at the click of a mouse button? How will such a one relate to this other than possibly in the wrong way?

    Maybe you are reading these passages with the Islamic perspective of God, which is only an aspect of the way God is wholly viewed in Gurmat, that’s why it has become an issue for you.

    Hope this was helpful.

    We hope that we’re reading them with our moral compass the right way round, is what we would say!

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