Sikhism Religion Views

Introduction to Sikhism Religion Views

Sikhism is a 500 year old faith with a universal message of love and service to humanity. Here are some views from a selection of non-Sikhs on the Sikh religion.

University Professor

Rev. H. L. Bradshaw, a well known professor, after thoroughly studying the philosophy of Sikhism observed that Sikhism is a universal world faith, a message for all men. This is amply demonstrated in the writings of the Gurus. Sikhs must cease to think of their faith as ‘just another good religion’ and must begin to think in terms of Sikhism as being the religion for this new age. The religion preached by Guru Nanak is the faith of New Age. It completely supplants and fulfils all the former dispensations of older religions. Books must be written proving this. The other religions also contain the truth, but Sikhism contains the fullness of truth. Bradshaw also says that Guru Granth Sahib Ji of all the world religions alone states that there are innumerable worlds and universes other than our own. The previous scriptures were all concerned only with this world and its spiritual counterpart. To imply that they spoke of other worlds as does the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is to stretch their obvious meaning out of context. The Sikh religion is truly the answer to the problems of modern man. Archer very rightly commented that, “The religion of the Adi Granth is a universal and practical religion….Due to ancient prejudice of the Sikhs it could not spread in the world. The world today needs its message of peace and love.”

Noble Laureate

Miss Pearl S. Buck, a noble laureate, while giving her comments on the English Translation of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, wrote “I have studied the scripture of great religions, but I do not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as I find here in these volumes. They are compact in spite of their length and are a revelation of the vast reaches of the human heart varying from the most noble concept of God to the recognition and indeed the insistence upon the practical needs of the human body. There is something strangely modern about these scriptures and this puzzled me until I learned they are in fact comparatively modern, compiled as late as 16th century, when explorers were beginning to discover that the globe, upon which we all live, is a single entity divided only by arbitrary lines of our own making. Perhaps this sense of unity is the source of power I find in these volumes. They speak to the people of any religion or of none. They speak for the human heart and the searching mind.”

Historian

Arnold Toynbee, a historian, who has done much work in comparing cultures writes, “Mankind’s religious future may be obscure, yet one thing can be foreseen. The living higher religions are going to influence each other more than ever before, in the days of increasing communications between all parts of the world and branches of the human race. In this coming religious debate, the Sikh religious debate, the Sikh religion and its scriptures, the Adi Granth, will have something special of value to say to the rest of the world.”

Hindu Mystic

Swami Nitya Nand (passed away at the age of 135 years) writes in his book ‘Gur Gian’, “I, in the company of my Guru, Brahma Nand Ji went to Mathra…while on pilgrimage tour, we reached Punjab and there we met Swami Satya Nand Udasi. He explained the philosophy and religious practices of Nanak in such way that Swami Brahma Nand Ji enjoyed a mystic lore. During the visit to Golden Temple, Amritsar, his soul was so much affected that he became a devotee of the Guru. After spending some time in the Punjab, he went to Hardwar. Though he was hail and hearty, one day I saw tears in his eyes. I asked the reason for that. He replied, I sifted sand the whole of my life. The truth was in the house of Guru Nanak. I will have to take one more birth in that house, only then will I attain Kalyan”. After saying that the soul left his body. Swami Nitya Nand also wrote of his own experience, “I also constantly meditate on Waheguru revealed by Guru Nanak. I practiced Yoga Asanas under the guidance of Yogis and did that for many years. The bliss and peace that I enjoy now had never been attained earlier.”

World Famous Free Thinker

Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher and free thinker and is said to have given Christianity (same applies to Islam and Judaism) a body blow and exposed its absurdities. However, even this great man got stuck when it came to Sikhism! In fact he gave up and said “that if some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them”. Russell was asked that he was talking about the third world war, but isn’t this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? In reply, Russell said, “Yes, it has this capability, but the Sikhs have not brought out in the broad daylight, the splendid doctrines of this religion which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it.”

President George Bush

“Our Nation has always benefited from a strong tradition of faith, and religious diversity has been an important part of this heritage. The Guru Granth Sahib has provided strength, wisdom, and guidance to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs in America and millions more around the world. I applaud the Sikh community for your compassion and dedication to your faith. By sharing its message of peace, equality, and the importance of family, you help change lives, one heart and one soul at a time.” Bush added, “Laura (Bush’s wife) joins me in sending our best wishes.”

Sikhism Scholar

Dr. W. O. Cole of UK has written more than half a dozen books on Sikhism. After a lecture in Canada, he was asked what drew him to the study of Sikhism, and he said the following, “Theologically, I cannot answer the question what drew me to the study of Sikhism. You may call it, the purpose of God. But to be more specific, the unique concept of universality and the system of Langar (free community meal) in Sikhism are the two features that attract me towards the study of Sikhism. Langar is the exclusive feature of Sikhism and found nowhere else in the world. Sikhism is the only religion which welcomes each and every one to its Langar without any discrimination of caste, creed, color, or sex.”

Opposition of the Sikhs

Qazi Nur Mohammad, son of Qazi Abdullah, belonged to village Gunjaba in Baluchistan). He was with Nasir Khan of Kalat when the latter joined Ahmed Shah Abdali in his Jihad (Islamic Holy War) against the Sikhs. Qazi Nur Mohammad has written the account of the seventh invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Out of contempt for the Sikhs he calls them sag which in Persian means dog. However, he has paid the highest tribute to the character of Sikhs of the eighteenth century. A bigoted writer, who had a strong prejudice against Sikhs paying such glowing tribute to their character is a powerful indication of the character of Sikhs. He writes, “Leaving aside their mode of fighting hear you another point in which they excel other fighting people. In no case they would slay a coward or put any obstacle in way of fugitive. They do not plunder the wealth and ornament of women be she be a well to do lady or maidservant. There is no adultery among the dogs nor are these mischievous people given the thieving. Whether a woman young or old they call her ‘budhya’ an old lady and ask her to get out of the way. The word ‘Buddya’ in Indian language means an old lady. There is no thief at all among these dogs nor is there any house breaker born amongst these miscreants. Because they do not make friend with adulterers and house breakers.”

Dalai Lama

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, came out of Harmandar Sahib (Sikh shrine in India) after paying obeisance on the occasion of the 400th anniversary celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Scripture) at Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Dalai Lama said, “Guru Granth Sahib enshrines the message of universal brotherhood and good of all mankind.” He said that every human being wants to be successful but for this, peace of mind was important. “Peace cannot be bought with money, power, machines or technology advancements. It can only be achieved by inculcating human values of love, compassion, service and giving. All religions have special role to propagate higher values and these are enshrined in plenty in Guru Granth Sahib. I am not a Sikh but I respect all traditions and values of all religions that universally teach compassion, non-violence, love and service.” He appealed for introspection on how far people adhere to the teachings in each religion. He added, “The aim of mankind should not only be of advancement in every field but of spiritual growth and mental peace.”

‘Art Of Living’ Guru

Sri Ravi Shankar of the ‘Art of Living’ fame, said “the [Shri Guru] Granth [Sahib Ji] should be taught to children not only in the country [India] but also across the world.”

The Parliament of World Religions

In 2004 In Barcelona, Gustav Niebuhr, a non-Sikh writer for BeliefNet writes, “The main event at the Parliament of the World’s Religions was an act of hospitality. Within an immense steel-framed tent, pitched a few yards from the grey-blue waters of the Mediterranean, thousands of Christians, Jews, Muslims and many others have been learning a Sikh word for hospitality. The word is langar and, in practice, it means a vegetarian lunch served free… Mohinder Singh is chairman of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, a Sikh organization headquartered in England. His group built the canvas-topped gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, complete with carpeted wooden floors for the occasion… Clearly, the effort has impressed some people.” Rena Lauer, a Princeton University student attending the parliament, described her discovery of the langar as a ‘happy shock’. To her, it suggested that the Sikhs here had “the ability to balance having a very united and secure community with being able to give to everyone without a sense of discrimination.”

Summary to Sikhism Religion Views

People from all faiths and backgrounds have commended Sikhism as a way of life which promotes the values of total equality and oneness of humanity, which is needed in today’s world.

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