- Arguments in Sikh debates arise because:
- Practice of faith is different than what is written in AGGS.
- Literal translation of AGGS is given precedence over the meaning of the messages.
- Superiority vs humility, the former pertains to who is right and the later to what is right.
- Individual insecurity and fear.
JHAJHA: You are entangled in the world, and you do not know how to get untangled. You hold back in fear, and are not accepted by the God. Why do you talk such nonsense, trying to convince others? Since you stir up controversy, controversy you shall have. -----Kabir, Raag Gauri Bawan Akhri, AGGS, Page, 340 and 341
Argument is a discussion in which disagreements appear. A debate implies discussion involving conflicting points of view. It stresses the advancement by each side of facts and reasons intended to persuade the other side. Emotions are seldom assuaged by arguments. They can heighten a controversy and exaggerate differences. A large number of people can get involved in the advocacy of one view or the other. Basically an argument has two parts – a reason and a conclusion. The conclusion of an argument is one’s belief. The reasons of an argument explain why that belief is held. Sometimes a set of reasons is termed premises or warrants. In any argument, the issue must be clear. The opening phase of the argument must define its subject matter very clearly. It should indicate the particular view of the subject the arguer is promoting. It is this view that he seeks his listener or reader to accept, if his persuasion is to be successful.
What is not an argument?
Sabd Guru on arguments:
Wandering around sacred shrines of pilgrimage, the mortal is not cured of his disease. Reading scripture, he gets involved in useless arguments. The disease of duality is very deadly; it causes dependence on Maya. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1153-16
Receiving the True Teachings from the Guru, arguments depart. But through excessive cleverness, one is only plastered with dirt. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 352-11
Union with God is not obtained by arguments and egotism. But by dedicating the mind to Guru one obtains Naam and peace. In the love of duality and ignorance, one shall suffer. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 226-8
Through argument and debate, God cannot be found. The mind and body are made insipid through the love of duality. Through the Word of the Guru's Sabd, lovingly attune yourself to the True God. -----Guru Amar Das, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 230-10
The self-willed does not appreciate the excellence of trading in Truth. He deals in poison, collects poison, and is in love with poison. Outwardly, they call themselves Pundits, religious scholars, but in their minds they are foolish and ignorant. They do not focus their consciousness on God; they love to engage in arguments. They speak to cause arguments, and earn their living by telling lies. In this world, only God's Name is immaculate and pure. All other objects of creation are polluted. O, Nanak, those who do not remember the Naam, the Name of God, are polluted; they die in ignorance. -----Guru Amar Das, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1091
You preach to the others to have faith, but you do not practice what you preach. -----Guru Arjun, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 887-18
RARRA: The foolish, materialist picks arguments -- his heart is filled with corruption and egotistical intellect. For the Guru willed, conflict is eliminated in an instant through the Teachings, says Nanak. -----Guru Arjun, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 260-4
Some pass their lives in arguments and debates about scriptures. Some pass their lives tasting flavors. Some pass their lives attached to women. The Saints are absorbed only in the Name of God. -----Guru Arjun, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 914-2
The debaters debate and make their arguments. The Yogis and meditators, religious and spiritual teachers roam and ramble, wandering endlessly all over the earth. They are egotistical, self-centered, conceited, foolish, stupid, idiotic and insane. Wherever they go and wander, death is always with them, forever and ever and ever and ever. Give up your pride and stubborn self-conceit. Death, yes, death, is always close and near at hand. Vibrate and meditate on God-Waheguru. Says Nanak, listen you fool: without vibrating, meditating, and dwelling on God, your life is uselessly wasting away. -----Guru Arjun, Raag Kanrha, AGGS, Page, 1308-1-4
An argument is the worst sort of conversation, and ought to be avoided. Arguments based on mere possibilities are often spurious. Insolence is not logic. Similarly epithets are the arguments made from malice. An emotional argument cannot be won by logic. The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial.
The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it. Guru Nanak reflects on a spiritually ignorant person in Raag Majh Ki Vaar:
What can deep water do to a fish? What can the vast sky do to a bird? What can cold do to a stone? What is married life to a eunuch? You may apply sandalwood oil to a dog, but he will still be a dog. You may try to teach a deaf person by reading the Simritees (Hindu Scriptures) to him, but how will he learn? You may place a light before a blind man and burn fifty lamps, but how will he see? You may place gold before a herd of cattle, but they will pick out the grass to eat. You may add flux to iron and melt it, but it will not become soft like cotton. O Nanak, this is the nature of a spiritually ignorant-everything he speaks is useless and wasted. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Majh Ki Vaar, AGGS, Page, 143