A satsangi said “Sikhism has no place for miracles” and he did not believe any miracles were possible. “The miracles you read about are exaggerated stories made up to take advantage of the gullible. There is no such thing as a miracle.”
He asked for Bhai Manjeet Singh’s views on Miracles and Sikhism
Bhai Manjeet’s response:
Sometimes situations arise where all practical means are exhausted.
If the Sikh facing the crisis has Naam in him, God Himself appears to rescue him.
The ordinary laws of physics do not apply to Him. He can do anything.
At SGGS Ang 1165, Bhagat Namdev Ji tells us of Prahlad Bhagat Ji.
In the rahao we are told Prahlad Ji was…
“Ram nama japibo karey : hirdey Har ji ko simran dharey”
(Prahlaad was thrown off a mountain, into the water, and into a fire, but the Sovereign Lord God saved him, by changing the laws of nature. ||3||)
Water could not drown, fire could not burn, falling off a mountain he was unhurt. Why? Because the Lord changed the nature of the elements. Is that not a miracle?
Bhagat Namdev Ji was challenged to revive a dead cow. The Bhagat refused. He replied.
“Mera kiya kichu na hoye: kar hai Ram hoye hai soye” (Ang 1165).
ਮੇਰਾ ਕੀਆ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ਕਰਿ ਹੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੋਇ ਹੈ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥
As the Shabad expands we are told the Lord actually revived the dead cow and it was milked.
Certainly that is a miracle. God can do anything.
“Prabh bhave ta pathar trave”
ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਾ ਪਾਥਰ ਤਰਾਵੈ ॥ (Ang 277)
Some modern day Scholars believe only in physical aspects of the universe. Gurbani keeps on reminding us the physical aspect is run by a Formless One. If He wills to help anyone in distress there can be no lack of miracles.
I do agree some sakhis are exaggerated. But miracles certainly happen if there is Naam.
If one does an act himself, Gurbani says it is not a miracle. In Asa Ki Vaar we are told in Slok M.2 which appears before pauri 22.
“Eh kinehi daat aapas te jo paaiye ; Nanak sa karamaat Sahib tuthe jo miley”(Ang 474/5)
“Jo ninda kare Satgur pure ki so Sache maar pachiaya” (Ang 306).
ਜੋ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੀ ਸੋ ਸਾਚੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਪਚਾਇਆ ॥
“Gur Satgur ke man Parbrahm hai Parbrahm shadaiyee” (Ang 310)
ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਹੈ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਛਡਾਈ ॥
So many other passages which tell us Nirankar springs unseen to the aid of the Satguru.
So, when we hear the sakhi of Vali Ghandari hurling a huge boulder at Guru Nanak, it is not surprising that the hard rock becomes soft like wax and the imprint of the hand gets set in the rock as it hardens again. Is that not a miracle in the context of what Gurbani says?. To protect His Bhagat “Raja Ram maya feri,” He deftly changes the laws of nature.
We are told “Guru Nanak Dev Ji was “Gobind roop”.
“Guru Nanak Dev Govind roop” (Ag 1192).
ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਰੂਪ ॥੮॥੧॥
At Ang 1252, Bhagat Namdev Ji’s Shabad tells us, God says “dass aninn mero nijh roop”
ਦਾਸ ਅਨਿੰਨ ਮੇਰੋ ਨਿਜ ਰੂਪ ॥
(Says God: my sewak devoted only to Me, is verily My very Image).
Bhagat Ji then gives some glimpse into the powers of such an aninn sewak.
(What is set by Me can be released by the Bhagat, but what is set by My Bhagat is never released by Me)
In this context, when we look at Paunta Sahib, we notice the Yamuna river raging and flowing behind the Gurdwara. But Guru Gobind Singh Ji had declared “Yamuna, ethey shaant ho ke jaya kar”.
As you can see for yourselves the river Yamuna flows quietly for the distance of the Gurdwara and gushes forth after that.
Everything is perishable but the word of the Saint (Satguru) always endures.
At Ang 1204, Guru Ji says:
“ Nis basur nakhiatar binasi rav sasiar benadha”
ਨਿਸਿ ਬਾਸੁਰ ਨਖਿਅਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਰਵਿ ਸਸੀਅਰ ਬੇਨਾਧਾ ॥
(Night and day, and the stars in the sky shall vanish. The sun and the moon shall vanish).
“Gir basudha jal pavan jaigo ik sadh bachan atlaadhaa”
ਗਿਰਿ ਬਸੁਧਾ ਜਲ ਪਵਨ ਜਾਇਗੋ ਇਕਿ ਸਾਧ ਬਚਨ ਅਟਲਾਧਾ ॥੧॥
(The mountains, the earth, the water and the air shall pass away. Only the Word of the Holy Saint shall endure. ||1||)
“And binasi jer binasi ut-bhuj set binadha”
ਅੰਡ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਜੇਰ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਸੇਤ ਬਿਨਾਧਾ ॥
(Those born of eggs shall pass away, and those born of the womb shall pass away. Those born of the earth and sweat shall pass away as well).
” Char binasi khateh binasi ik sadh bachan nihchaaladhaa”
ਚਾਰਿ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਖਟਹਿ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਇਕਿ ਸਾਧ ਬਚਨ ਨਿਹਚਲਾਧਾ ॥੨॥
(The four Vedas shall pass away, and the six Shaastras shall pass away. Only the Word of the Holy Saint is eternal. ||2||)
To make a broad statement that Sikhism does not believe in miracles is wrong. There are miracles abound. You must understand these miracles in the context of Gurbani. God is the Real Doer. He can do anything.
We are so used to the laws of physics as we see them operating daily. But for those with Naam, the laws of nature are changed by the Lord. When we see something which is extraordinary we call it a miracle.
Guru Amardas Ji says the Lord does miraculous things which we had not even imagined would happen.
“Achintt kam kare Prabh tinn ke jin Har ka Naam pyara” (Ang 638)
Sheikh Fareed Ji tells us God does things which we never ever thought could happen.
“Jo man chit na chetey san so galli Rabb kiya”(Ang 1383).
ਜੋ ਮਨਿ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਚੇਤੇ ਸਨਿ ਸੋ ਗਾਲੀ ਰਬ ਕੀਆਂ ॥੯੯॥
The turning of the mandir in Bhagat Namdev Ji’s case and so many other miraculous events are stated in Gurbani.
After reading the above, the sanggi wrote again :
“Hukam defying miracles are not accepted by our Gurus. I am unable to agree with the interpretation afforded to the various panktis. They are either metaphoric or taken out of context. Beg to differ on this.”
Below is Bhai Manjeet Ji’s reply:
The Gurus have spoken glowingly of the turning of the mandir in Bhagat Namdev Ji’s case. How is that not accepting the miracle which occured.?
The Gurus did not accept ridhi sidhi “miracles” or some illusions put by charlatans.
But these are acts done by God Himself or the Satgurus/Bhagats.
Hukam applies when there is “Shiv Shakti”.
“Shiv shakat aap upaaye ke Karta aape Hukam vartaye” (Ang 920 – pauri 26 Anand Sahib).
ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਵਰਤਾਏ ॥
Hukam applies in Shiv Shakti. But, the Satgurus were beyond Shiv shakti.
“Neh shiv shakti jal nahi pavna teh akar nahi medhni ; Satgur jogh ka taha nivaasa jeh abhigat naath agamm dhani” (Ang 883).