There is a very strong view that “logic and reasoning” is the approach prescribed in
Gurbani to learning and understanding Gurbani because it is in line with “modern thinking”.
There is another view that Logic and Reasoning has no place in Gurbani and cite this to be Manmat (ਮਨਮਤਿ).
A paper we have written addresses this issue. First the two views are presented
followed by an analysis of what Gurbani states and then we analyse the two views from the Gurbani perspective. We end with a conclusion.
It is shown that it is a folly to interpret Gurbani based solely on logic and reasoning without the considering “spirituality” and the “living presence”. The “living presence” is the presence of God in the creation which Gurbani refers to as Hukam (ਹੁਕਮੁ) and Jot (ਜੋਤਿ). Additionally without Gurbani teaching (Gurmat) we cannot use our logic or reasoning to decide on what is right (good) and what is wrong (bad) as this will be biased by our five evils. Our Gurus had decided through their own methods what we are to learn through all our scriptures and our role is to contemplate and reflect on these teachings and then put them into practice.
The view that “logic and reasoning” is Manmat (ਮਨਮਤਿ) is correct to a large extend. This is because we use Gurbani teachings or Gurmat to decide on what is right (good) and what is wrong (bad) otherwise our decisions this will be biased by our five evils.
NOTE: It is extremely important to appreciate the word spirituality (ਅਧਿਆਤਮ) according to Gurbani. The seat of spirituality lies in the Antahkaran and which is our inner self and generally not visible externally. The reader is alluded to this word but the meaning is not taken up in this document (Note the example in the article relating to Guru Nanak’s visit to the mosque with the Kadhi gives a gist of this concept).
The complete article plus another associated article “Thoughts” are available at the following link (copy and paste the link in the browser and download the articles).