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Jamdoot - Metaphor or Reality?

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Gurbani often mentions the 'Jamdoot' presiding over the heads of those who are not in tune with God. Now, from what I understand, the Jamdoot is an 'angel' of some sorts in Hindu texts (correct me if I am wrong), and this suggests that Gurbani is saying that those who do not heed God will be struck down by this entity.

What I do not understand is whether this Jamdoot is to be taken as a physical being, or whether the Jamdoot represents death and the cycle of rebirth. This also applies to the ideas of 'hell', 'rakshish' (devils), etc.... in Gurbani.

This brings forth another question. How much metaphorical value are we to apply to the Guru's word and how much are we to take literally. I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

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It is reality but not limited to reality, it could be interpreted as metaphorically as well depending on individual perception and higher state of mind.

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Read Unditti Dunia by Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh. He talks about mystical Gurmat topics, like Dharam Raaj, Jamdoots, Sach Khand etc. Book is available in english and Punjabi. But it is very complex and hard to read.

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gurbani is not a poetry, so there can be no metaphors

being a sikh you call gurbani a poetry? do you think this to be a stories written? no no my dear this is true satt

listen to this -

satgur ki baani satt satt kar jaano gursikho har kartaa aap muhun kadaave

so once guru arjan dev ji recited

tan man kaat kaat sab arpi vich agni aap jalaavi

mian mir ji said "guru ji this is a metaphor? guru ji said "no mian mir this is baani of akaal purakh

and not a poetry.

then mian mir ji said" guruji how this is possible that a person himself sits on fire and himself lits the fire

guruji smiled and said "mian mir i will not do the arth of this but show you this

and you will cry at that time so it happened

another incident

once a nirmla sadhu said to maskeen ji that "nanak dukhiya sab sansaar" is a ati upma alankaar(means to describe things in extreme like example your face is as beautiful as moon, )

but maskeen ji said that gurbani is not a poetry

but that sadhu brought a set of big roses after one day and said to maskeen ji"look maskeen see how these are smiling, look the blush, look the smile, look the colour, these flowers are happy and show happiness maskeen "

and now it is your turn to answer maskeen

so maskeen ji prayed to guru sahib in mind to help as this was a difficult situation and so

guru sahib helped and maskeen ji said "after 24 hours you have brought this bunch of flowers just keep it for12 hours in front of maharaaj and see what happens

that sadhu began to cry and said "forgive me please for gurbani is nit a poetry it is true true true

obviously those flowers would have dried after 12 hours

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I don't know about this specific point (i.e. is Jamdoot referred to in a metaphoric capacity or a literal one) but anyone who says that bani does not use metaphors to illustrate points doesn't know what they are talking about.

Look at how often Guru ji referred to themselves as simple 'dhadhis' or bards in bani for example. Now think about the implications of us taking that literally!

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whatever it may be but main point is that jamdoots are actual devil creatures that come at the time of death of an bad karma person. there are many many stories and real life incidents to prove it. even some of the NDE researches have proved their existence

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Read Unditti Dunia by Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh. He talks about mystical Gurmat topics, like Dharam Raaj, Jamdoots, Sach Khand etc. Book is available in english and Punjabi. But it is very complex and hard to read.

Could you possibly provide a link to the book?

whatever it may be but main point is that jamdoots are actual devil creatures that come at the time of death of an bad karma person. there are many many stories and real life incidents to prove it. even some of the NDE researches have proved their existence

I would like to see some any of these NDE studies (im not exactly sure what NDE is so could you possibly elaborate on that also) if you have access to them.

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Read Unditti Dunia by Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh. He talks about mystical Gurmat topics, like Dharam Raaj, Jamdoots, Sach Khand etc. Book is available in english and Punjabi. But it is very complex and hard to read.

+ 1 for the link, please. Is it on the 'Books' section of this site?

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Waheguru

Jamdoot, dharamraaj, narak, all this is a reality. We should better know while we are living that if we walk on Guru's Paath and take Amrit, that is the place we would go to. Guru Sahib Kirpa karan and give us buddhi

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It is all 'real' !!!

So are the angels and tooth fairy.

Let's not forget 'santa' !

If you 'Believe'- then it becomes real for the believer.

Has someone really had an NDE and gone to the narak of hell and then come back ????

I don't really think so !

From what I know about NDE's and OBE's, there are NO similarities of cases that describe some sort of hell.

The people that believe, actually do a good job making this living world into narak !

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It is all 'real' !!!

So are the angels and tooth fairy.

Let's not forget 'santa' !

If you 'Believe'- then it becomes real for the believer.

Has someone really had an NDE and gone to the narak of hell and then come back ????

I don't really think so !

From what I know about NDE's and OBE's, there are NO similarities of cases that describe some sort of hell.

The people that believe, actually do a good job making this living world into narak !

Bhaji, there are several instances where the 'jamm' are mentioned. Why would you think they're not real?

ਮੰਨੈ ਜਮ ਕੈ ਸਾਥਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥

Mannai jam kai sāth na jā▫e.

The faithful do not have to go with the Messenger of Death.

ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇ ਭਾਗਹੀਣ ਜਮ ਪਾਸਿ ॥

Jin har har har ras nām na pā▫i▫ā ṯe bẖāghīṇ jam pās.

Those who have not obtained the Sublime Essence of the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, Har, are most unfortunate; they are led away by the Messenger of Death.

ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਤਬ ਹੀ ਨਰੁ ਜਾਗੈ

Kaho Kabīr ṯab hī nar jāgai.

Says Kabeer, the man wakes up,

ਜਮ ਕਾ ਡੰਡੁ ਮੂੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਲਾਗੈ ॥੩॥੨॥

Jam kā dand mūnd mėh lāgai. ||3||2||

only when the Messenger of Death hits him over the head with his club. ||3||2||

Not only are there Jamdoots, but there's Jampur (city of death) as well!

ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਠਉਰੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਨੀ ਜਮਪੁਰਿ ਦੂਖ ਸਹਾਹਿ ॥੩॥

Bin nāvai ṯẖa▫ur na pā▫inī jam pur ḏūkẖ sahāhi. ||3||

Without the Name, they find no place of rest. In the City of Death, they suffer in agony. ||3||

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Gurbani often mentions the 'Jamdoot' presiding over the heads of those who are not in tune with God. Now, from what I understand, the Jamdoot is an 'angel' of some sorts in Hindu texts (correct me if I am wrong), and this suggests that Gurbani is saying that those who do not heed God will be struck down by this entity.

What I do not understand is whether this Jamdoot is to be taken as a physical being, or whether the Jamdoot represents death and the cycle of rebirth. This also applies to the ideas of 'hell', 'rakshish' (devils), etc.... in Gurbani.

This brings forth another question. How much metaphorical value are we to apply to the Guru's word and how much are we to take literally. I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

Jamdoot is a physical being and so is Dharamraaj.

Dharam-raaj is also known as Jamm-raaj or Yamm-raaj.

Doot = messenger

So jamdoot's are basically messengers of Death of Jamraaj.

Jamm-raaj is also called as Dharam-raaj because he is given the duty by Sri Akaal Purakh Ji to decide, measuring by the scales of Dharam, about what is to be done to each and every soul after their death according to their Karams.

In both the following quotes that we read in Sodar twice a day, Dharam Raaj Ji is said to be singing God's praises.

Gāvan ṯuḏẖno pavaṇ pāṇī baisanṯar gāvai rājā ḏẖaram ḏu▫āre.
Wind, water and fire sing of You. The Righteous Judge of Dharma sings at Your Door.
Gāvan ṯuḏẖno cẖiṯ gupaṯ likẖ jāṇan likẖ likẖ ḏẖaram bīcẖāre.
Chitr and Gupt, the angels of the conscious and the subconscious who keep the record of actions, and the Righteous Judge of Dharma who reads this record, sing of You.

If we thought of Dharamraaj/Yamraaj, Jamdoot, dev, daanav, daint, chitar, gupt, bhoot, pret, sur, asur, narak, surag, pataal etc.etc. as simply metaphors...So much of Gurbani would simply be metaphorical!

Not only that, we will need to find what ever one of those are metaphors for!

In my opinion, our mind only understands things that it has visualised. If we haven't seen something we can't simply say that it doesn't exist.

Ka▫ī kot pāṯāl ke vāsī.
Many millions inhabit the nether regions.
Ka▫ī kot narak surag nivāsī.
Many millions dwell in heaven and hell.

Now, if we thought that Hell, Heaven and the other nether worlds are simply metaphors, what would the above quotes mean?

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The metaphors are for understanding.

The ONE akaal purakh can present as many roles. He plays the role of chitr, gupt and dharamraaj.

I wouldn't view these as employees of God in heaven that decide our entrance to sach khand.

This becomes too abrahamic, like Peter at the gates of heaven and Jesus waiting inside !!

I always claim that if the belief in these metaphors helps you to understand sikhi better, then you I see no wrong in this.

Because, later on you come to realise that there is ONLY ONE GOD, and these metaphors are ALL HIM.

In my personal case, it helped me to believe these metaphors as actual beings when I first started. Then as you progress, you come to realise more and more of the TRUTH, all through his grace.

I don't like to speak against or for these metaphors, as it all depends on what pace and where you are walking on this spiritual path.

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I think before people call Jamdoots and Dharam Rai as metaphor they need to understand what a metaphor is. A metaphor is a word that is used in place of something to describe it. Metaphors are used in poetry quite often. For example in the following couplet which I dedicate to N30 Singh

ਬਰਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੂੰ ਹੈਂ ਬੜਾ ਬਲਵਾਨ, ਭਲਵਾਨਾਂ ਵਾਂਗ ਹੈ ਤੇਰੀ ਦੇਹੀ ਜਵਾਨ

ਜਦ ਨਿਕਲੇੰ ਤੂੰ ਘਰੋਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਬਹਾਰ, ਤਾਂ ਬਸ ਅਸ਼ ਅਸ਼ ਕਰੇ ਸਾਰਾ ਜਹਾਨ
The word ਭਲਵਾਨਾਂ(wrestlers) is used here as a metaphor to describe N30 Singh's body (ਦੇਹੀ) which is youthfully muscular(ਜਵਾਨ) and strong (ਬਲਵਾਨ). When he steps foot outside his home, the entire world goes ਅਸ਼ ਅਸ਼(wow wow).
Now those who understand poetry know that when Gurbani is using a metaphor and when it isn't. All the tuks where Jamdoots or Dharam Rai are used, they are NOT used as metaphor. If they are used as Metaphor then what are they used as metaphor of? what other word are they being used in place of that you think they are metaphor?

Today these Sikh missionaries who lack basic understanding of poetry say Jamdoots, Dharam Rai, Atma, reincarnation are all metaphor and are not real. They do not even understand what a metaphor is and yet they say it is a metaphor. During the olden times Sikhs did not have this lack of understanding of these mystical concepts because they in large part also understood poetry.

Edited by Jonny101
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I think before people call Jamdoots and Dharam Rai as metaphor they need to understand what a metaphor is. A metaphor is a word that is used in place of something to describe it. Metaphors are used in poetry quite often. For example in the following couplet which I dedicate to N30 Singh

ਬਰਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੂੰ ਹੈਂ ਬੜਾ ਬਲਵਾਨ, ਭਲਵਾਨਾਂ ਵਾਂਗ ਹੈ ਤੇਰੀ ਦੇਹੀ ਜਵਾਨ

ਜਦ ਨਿਕਲੇੰ ਤੂੰ ਘਰੋਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਬਹਾਰ, ਤਾਂ ਬਸ ਅਸ਼ ਅਸ਼ ਕਰੇ ਸਾਰਾ ਜਹਾਨ
The word ਭਲਵਾਨਾਂ(wrestlers) is used here as a metaphor to describe N30 Singh's body (ਦੇਹੀ) which is youthfully muscular(ਜਵਾਨ) and strong (ਬਲਵਾਨ). When he steps foot outside his home, the entire world goes ਅਸ਼ ਅਸ਼(wow wow).
Now those who understand poetry know that when Gurbani is using a metaphor and when it isn't. All the tuks where Jamdoots or Dharam Rai are used, they are NOT used as metaphor. If they are used as Metaphor then what are they used as metaphor of? what other word are they being used in place of that you think they are metaphor?

Today these Sikh missionaries who lack basic understanding of poetry say Jamdoots, Dharam Rai, Atma, reincarnation are all metaphor and are not real. They do not even understand what a metaphor is and yet they say it is a metaphor. During the olden times Sikhs did not have this lack of understanding of these mystical concepts because they in large part also understood poetry.

LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

I agree though, although it's hard for us to conceptualize without bhagti/simran, I do believe that jamdoots and such things mentioned in Gurbani are actual things.

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