Guru Granth Sahibís Gurbani, (Sikh scriptures), Co-authored by the Sikh Gurus
and the Hindu & Muslim eminent Sages, does not profess or subscribe to the
numerous theories and conjectures of the other religions as to how and when the
Universe was created. Sikhismís concept is that only the Creator knows as to
when and how He created the universe. In the founding Guru, Nanak Sahibís
n pfieaf pMzqI, ij hovY lyK purfn]
n pfieE kfdIaf, ij ilKin lyKu kurfxu]
vfru n jogI jfxY, ruiq mfhu n koeI]
krqf isrTI kAu sfjy, afpy jfxY soeI] jpu, pAuVI 21
[of origin] isnít known to the Pundits,
known, it would be (written) in Purans [Hindu scriptures].
isnít known to the Qazies (Muslim clerics),
known, they would have written it in the Koran.
it was Lunar/Solar calendar Night/Day the yogi doesnít know
or month no one knows.
the Creator created the Universe, He himself knows. Jup,
afp sfijE, afpInY ricE nfAu]
kudriq sfjIaY, kr afsxu izTo cfAu] afsf dI vfr, m: 1 pMnf 463
(He) created Himself and manifested His own Name
Secondly He created the Nature, pervading in it,
rejoiced. Page. 463.
siqnfmu, krqf, purKu, inrBAu, inrvYr, akfl mUriq, ajUnI, sYBM gurpRsfid] jpu, pM:
1 (one) God, His Eternal Name exists; He is the Creator, all
Pervading (omnipresent), without fear and enmity, (He is) immortal, formless,
self-manifest and is realized by Guruís Grace (Illuminating Word).
to the above fundamental hymn Guru Nanak Sahib defines that primordial Godís
existence is eternal.
sLcu, jugfid scu] hY BI scu, nfnk hosI BI scu]
existed, in the beginning, through the eons (ages), He exists now, will exist in
A hymn, that constitutes first part of the three-part Sikhismís prayer
that Sikhs all over world recite thousands of times daily, further describes
almighty Godís divine attributes,
Tfkuru qum pih afdfs] jIAu ipMzu sBu qyrI rfis]
mfq ipqf hm bfirk qyry] qumrI ikRpf mih sUK Gnyry]
n jfnY qumrf aMqu ] AUcy qy AUcf BgvMq]
smgRI qumrY sUqR DfrI] qum qy hoey so afigafkfrI]
giq imiq qum hI jfnI] nfnk dfs sdf kurbfnI] rfgu gAuVI, suKmnI, pMnf 268
(Only) You are the deity, supplication to you. Soul and body are your
You are mother and father; we are your children. By your grace I have many
No one knows your (divinityís) limit. Over and above the highest is the
Whole creation is stringed in your (laws of nature). They all function
according to your Will. Your state and size only you know. Nanak, your servant,
is ever dedicated to you. Page. 268
The Sikhismís another novel concept is that the
One-God is the sole Creator, Provider, Savior and Destroyer of life. Guru, Angud
Dev Sahib says,
afpy sfjy kry afip, jfeI iB rKY afip]
ivic jMq AupfiekY dyKY Qfip AuQfip] afsf dI vfr, pMnf 475
The God creates the Universe and embellishes it; having created, He takes
Populates it with the beings, and oversees re-creation and annihilation
cycle (life). Page 475
rfKY eyko afip] mfnuK kY ikC nfhI hfiQ] suKmnI pMnf 281
He alone takes, saves life. In manís hand is nothing. Sukhmani Page 281
n sfjy puiC n Zfhy, puiC n dyvY lyie] srI rfgu, pMnf 53
doesnít consult [anyone] to create or destroy life.
Nor does [He] consult [anyone] to give or take away [Bounties]. Sri Rag,
mfir jIvfly avru n koeI] rfgu mfrU, m: 3, pMnf 1068 (gu: gRM: drpn, poQI 7, pM:
(Creator) himself kills and resurrects (Life), no one else. Page 1068
Guru literally means a spiritual guide or teacher. In Sikhism there are three entities, the God, the Guru and the Sikh; and Guru is the sole intermediary between a Sikh and the God. Guru Arjun Sahib edited and compiled scriptural compositions, authored by the preceding Sikh Gurus and venerated Hindu and Muslim sages with common philosophy, in the Granth, which now personifies perpetual Guru of the Sikhs by virtue of the Sikhism's fundamental doctrine, ĎWord is Guru, Guru is Wordí. Envisaging the probable future abuse of the August seat of the Guru by the Pretenders, Guru Gobind Singh edified, ĎAll Sikhs to regard the Granth Sahib as their (spiritual) Guruí.
There is no deviation, right from the founder, Guru
Nanak Sahib, through nine successive Sikh Gurus (Nanaks) to Guru Granth Sahib,
in the fundamental concepts, philosophy or edification of Sikhism. And since all
the ten Gurus and Guru Granth have had a common spiritual philosophy and
illuminating message passed-on from the predecessor to the successor and
enshrined in the guru Granth Sahib, there has always been only one true Sikh
Unlike some other religions there are no demigods,
prophets or Avatars (divine incarnates). The Sikh Gurus (Nanaks) did not claim
to be prophets, faith healers or purveyors of salvation or damnation; nor did
they claim to posses the supernatural powers to perform miracles. These powers
they ascribed to the almighty (omnipotent) God. The Sikhismís concept of the
Guru is, ďWord is Guru, Guru is Word.Ē In other words Guruís
eternal Word (edification) is the Guru, not his mortal body. As per this novel
Sikh tenet the Granth, that contains scriptures authored and stamped by Sikh
Gurus and Muslim and Hindu holy sages, is Sikhsí perpetual now. Guru Nanak Dev
sbud guru, suriq Duin cylf] isD gosit, pMnf 943
Translation- (Guruís) Word is (my) Guru; contemplation (upon divinity) is (Guruís) disciple. G. G. S. Page 943
siqguru isK kI krY ipRqpflf] syvk kAu guru sdf dieaflf]
kI guru durmiq ihrY] gurbcnI hir nfmu AucrY]
True Guru saves his Sikh (disciple) from vices. To a Sikh Guru is always
Guru obliterates Sikhís bad mentality, because the Sikh recites Godís
siqguru isK ky bMDn kftY] guru kf isKu ibkfr qy hftY]
isK kAu nfm Dnu dyie] guru kf isKu vzBfgI hy]
True Guru cuts Sikhís materialistic attachments, and Guruís Sikh
abstains from vices.
True Guru instills Godís euphoric Name. Guruís Sikh is blessed.
siqguru isKu kf hlqu plqu svfrY]
siqguru isK kAu jIa nfil smfrY] rfgu gAuVI, suKmnI, m: 5, pMnf 286
True Guru makes Sikhís present and future (hereafter life) blissful.
Nanak, Guru keeps a Sikh in his heart. P.286
To dispel ignorance and promote excellent spiritual consciousness Guru Nanak Sahib composed inspirational hymns, which he himself recited and sang. The Guru's universal message to the mankind was to pursue spiritual excellence through the Guru's illuminating word, and rational faith as opposed to dogmatic blind faith that spawns pagan rituals, taboos prejudices and superstitions. To disseminate his universal message through education, discussions and discourses Guru Sahib embarked upon four odysseys to the prominent Hindu and Muslim holy shrines all over the Indian sub-Continent and Middle East.
The successive nine Sikh Gurus enriched the message with their own and Muslim and Hindu holy sages scriptures. That quintessential message advocates rapport (harmony) with the eternal God (through the Guru's enlightening 'WORD') and shun all blind faith rituals and pagan rites that the self-serving holy quacks and spurious Gurus profess as sacred religious rites. Sikhism advocates rationalism and pragmatism in the pursuit of exalted spiritual consciousness and forbids occultism and blind faith ritualism. Guru Granth Sahib's Gurbani (Sikh scriptures) states,
kbIrf jhf igafnu qhf Drmu hY, jhf JUTu qh pfpu] slok 155, kbIr jI, pMnf 1372
Kabira, where knowledge is, there is religion.
Where sanctimony is, there is sin. Sloke 155 P 1372
avir kfj qyrY ikqY n kfm, imlu sfD sMgq Bj kyvl nfm]
Other (dogmatic) rites are of no avail to you, join the congregation of saints and praise (God's) Name. P. 378
schu AurY sBu ko, Aupir scu acfru ]
To extolling eternal God's Name, all dogmatic rituals are inferior, extolling eternal Gods Name is the superior rite. Page 62
Drmu idRVY scu koeI] gurmiq pUrw juig juig soeI]
rwqw eyk ilv qwr] Ehu gurmuiK pwvY AlK Apwr]4] rwgu bsMqu, m: 1 pMnw 1188
jyhVw koeI mnu`K Awpxy ihrdy ivc ieh inscw ibTWdw hY ik sdw-iQr pRBU dw nwm
ismrnw hI ieko iek TIk Drm hY, auhI guru dI miq dw Awsrw lY ky sdw leI (ivcwrW
dy twkry) Afol ho jWdw hY, auh mnu`K iek-qwr suriq joV ky AibnwsI pRBU ivc msq
rihMdw hY[ guru dI srn pY ky auh mnu`K AidRSt qy byAMq pRBU dw drsn kr lYNdw hY[
sRI guru gRMQ drpn, poQI 8, pMnw 594-597
man who embeds the belief in his heart that contemplation of eternal Godís
Naam (praise) is pious act, he, through Guruís edification becomes a serene
person. He, by virtue of being attuned (to Him), spiritually blends with the
eternal God. By submitting himself to Guruís illuminating edification, he
realizes the invisible and infinite God.
srb Drm mih sRyst Drmu]
hir ko nwmu jip inrml krmu] suKmnI, m:5, pMnw: 266
ArQó (hy mn!) swry DrmW nwloN cMgw Drm hY ik pRBU dw nwm jp (qy)
pivqģ Awcrx (bxw)[
The superior religious rite is recite
His name (sing His praise)
sgl mqWq kyvl hir nwm ]
goibMd Bgq kY min ibsRwm ] suKmnI, m: 5, pMnw 296
ArQ- swry mqW dw incoV pRBU dw nwm
hI hY, ies nwm dw invws pRBU dy Bgq dy mn ivc huMdw hY[
The essence of all religious persuasions is Godís
It dwells in pious mendicants hearts.
Approach to Spirituality
The Sikhism prescribes rational approach in pursuit of exalted spiritual consciousness and assimilation of Man's immortal soul with the primal soul (eternal God), and proscribes dogmatism, ritualism, asceticism or monasticism as form of religious practice. Rejecting ascetics and monksí ritualistic contrition, penance, austerity, pilgrimage, paraphernalia and guise etc. in pursuit of salvation Guru Nanak Sahib says,
jogu n iKMQf, jogu n zMzy, jogu n Bsm cVfieaY]
jogu n muMdI mUMiz mzfieaY, jogu n isM’I vfeIaY]
aMjn mfih inraMjin rhIeY, jogu jugiq iev pfeIaY]
Re-union is not in (asceticís quilted) wrap; re-union is not in staff.
Re-union is not in smearing (body with) ash.
Re-union is not in wearing earrings or in shaving one's head.
Re-union is not in sounding (asceticsí mealtime) little horn (whistle).
While living in the materialistic world, remaining un-materialistic is way to reunion.
jogu n bfihr mVI msfxI, jogu n qfVI lfeIaY]
jogu n dys idsMqir BvIaY, jogu n qIriQ nfeIaY]
aMjn mfih inraMjin rhIeY, jogu jugiq iev pfeIaY] rfgu sUhI, m: 1, pMnf 730
Re-union is not in tombs/graveyards; Re-union is not in ritual meditation.
Re-union is not in wandering in native or foreign lands.
Re-union is not in ritual bathing at shrines.
Living in the materialistic world, remaining un-materialistic is way to redemption. P. 730
fundamental concept of religion is a combination of monotheistic religiosity
tempered with Rationalism, Humanism, altruism, socio-religious Liberalism and
cultural Pluralism. The religion should inspire a Man to sing the Lordís
praises at all times and instill in him human virtues, moral excellence, social
values and altruism. According to Sikh philosophy, religious dogmas, pagan
rituals, pilgrimages, polytheism, idolatry, sacrifices, etc. have no place in a
religion. These futile rites tend to delude a man into false sense of piety and
engender ego that ironically drive him away from the God.
jip mn siqnfmu sdf siqnfmu]
hliq pliq muK AUijl hoeI hY inq iDafeIaY hir purKu inrMjnf]
DnfsrI,m:5, pM :669
Recite, O my mind the (Godís) eternal Name, eternal Name
at all times.
In this life and hereafter your countenance will be
cleansed; remember, always, the omnipresent and unblemished God. Page 669
However mere reciting, listening or singing Gurbani
or living like a recluse, monk or an ascetic is not an ideal Sikh-way of life. A
Sikh has to cultivate Guruís edification, extol God's Name through Guru's
illuminating Word, be compassionate to Godís creatures, earn an honest living
and share with the needy.
scu qfpr jfxIeY jf isK scI lyie,
dieaf jfxY jIaf kI ikCu puMnu
dfn krie ] afsf dI vfr m: 1, pMnf:468
Eternal God is realized by
grasping (Guru's) edification, being compassionate to beings and give charity. Aasa Di Vaar M. 1 Pg. 468
nfmf khY iqlocnf, muK qy rfimu
hfQ pfAu kir kfmu sB, cIqu inrMjn
nfil ] kbIr jI, slok 213, pMnf 1375-6
Nama Says, Trilochana with your mouth recite God's Name, with your hands and
feet do all work, but keep mental harmony with God. Sloke 213, Kabir Ji, Page
Gfil Kfie ikC hQhu dyie] nfnk rfhu
pCfxih sie] rfgu sfrMg kI vfr, m: 4, pM: 1245
One who earns his livelihood and hands out some to the needy.
Nanak, comprehends way (true religiosity). Page 1245
dieaf kpfh sMqoKu sUqu, jqu gMZI
eyhu jnyAU jIaf kf, heI q pfzy Gqu]
afsf dI vfr, m: 1, pM: 471
Cotton of compassion, yarn of contentment, knots of morality, twists of
It is the spiritís Janeo (Hindusí ritual twine) if you have it (Pundit),
put it on (me). Page 471
form of worship is to meditate on the name of God as taught by the Guru's
teachings that are enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib which is considered the
perpetual spiritual Guru of the Sikhs." Macauliffe
Sikh gurus practiced what they preached
Guru Arjan Sahib's son Hargobind was born in 1595 A. D. Punjab was ravaged by the famine and smallpox from 1594-1599 A. D. Guru Arjun Dev Sahib toured the region helping and comforting the sick and destitute. To protect his infant son from his (Guru's) brother Prithi Chand who is said to have made three attempts to murder Hargobind, the Guru Sahib took him (Hargobind) along on his tours. Infant Hargobind contracted small pox. Some superstitious people, especially women urged the Guru Sahib to perform worship of the Mata-Devi (Hinduís smallpox Goddess). Guru Sahib refused. Instead he put his faith in the Guru's illuminating Word and the benevolent God. Hargobind recovered. To dispel any prejudices, superstitions taboos and Idol worship tendencies in the Sikhs he composed this hymn.
nyqR prgfs kIaf gurdyv] Brm gey pUrn BeI syv]
pfrbRhm pRB ikrpf DfrI] sIqlf qy riKaf ibhfrI] pMnf 200
Guru illuminated (spiritual) vision, superstitions vanished, faith, culminated.
Infinite God bestowed His benediction.
From smallpox wonderful God saved (Hargobind). Page 200
is continuation of reason. William Adams
is to believe what we do not see and the reward of this faith is to see what we
The Sikhism's universal message inspires a man to be a noble human being and cultivate all the essential human virtues to become a true religionist, whether a Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc. A person born into Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian family is not necessarily endowed with the pious attributes of the given religion. As per Sikh credo one has to go through the progression of becoming a virtuous human being, Sikh and ultimately a Khalsa (noble Sikh). That the human virtues are essential part of Sikhism is evident from the Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib,
qY nr ikaf purfn suin kInf, an pfvnI Bgiq nhI AupjI, BUKY dfnu n
Man what did you gain from listening the Purans (Hindu scriptures),
God's contemplation is not inspired in you; you gave no charity to the needy.
kfmu n ibsirE, kRoD n ibsirE, loBu n CUitE dyvf]
pr inMdf muK qy nhI CUtI, inPl BeI sB syvf]
Lust is not forgotten, nor is anger forgotten; greed is not obliterated.
Vilification (of others) has not left you; your (sanctimonious) endeavor is fruitless.
ihMsf qAu mn qy nhI CUtI, jIaf dieaf nhI pflI]
prmfnMd sfD sMgiq imil kQf punIq nf cflI|| prmfnMd, sfrMg, pMnf 1253
Violence didn't vanish from your nature, (you) showed no mercy to the (God's) creatures.
Permanand, you did not congregate with saints and have pious discourse. Page 1253
is another cardinal virtue the Sikhism instills in a man. Guru Nanak exemplifies
unworthiness of a conceited man, through an analogy in reference to a large and
tall silk-cotton tree. This tree attracts birds who expect to feed on its
flowers and fruits, but fly away disappointed.
isMml ruKu srfierf aiq dIrG aiq mucu] Eie ij afvih afs kir jfih
Pl iPky Pul bkbky kMim n afvih pq]
imTqu nIvI nfnkf gux cMigafeIaf qqu] afsf dI vfr, pMnf 470
Silk-cotton tree is straight, tall and big; then why they (birds that) come hoping (to feed), fly away disappointed?
(Because) its fruits are tasteless, flowers bland and its leaves useless.
Politeness that signifies humility, Nanak, is the essence of virtues. Page. 470
kbIr sB qy hm bury hm qij Blo sB koie]
ijin aYsf kir BUiJaf mIqu hmfrf soie] slok 7, kbIr jI, pMnf 1364
Kabir, we are lowest of all; except us, everyone is better.
who comprehends this, is our friend. P. 1364
The cardinal vices an ideal
Sikh must relinquish are; Carnal lust, anger, greed, materialism and ego.
mn kf sUqku loBu hY, ijhvf sUqku kUVu] aKI sUqku vyKxf pr
iqRa pr Dn rUpu]
knI sUqku kin pY lfieqbfrI Kfih] afsf dI vfr, m: 1, pMnf
Mind's wickedness is greed; tongue's evil is falsity.
Eyes' dirtiness is to covet others' woman, and their
Ears' vileness is to listen and relish vilification of
others. Aasa Dee Vaar M.1 Pg.472
sfDo mn kf mfnu iqafgAu] kfm, kRoD, sMgiq durjn kI, qf qy
Ausqiq inMdf doAU iqafgy, KojY pdu inrbfnf] rfgu gfAuVI,
O holy men relinquish your ego.
From carnal lust, anger and company devious personsí
always distance yourself.
He, who relinquishes flattery and vilification, truely
seeks exalted spiritual state.Page 218
The Guru Sahib's remedy to alleviate the socio-religious, economic and political plight of the society was to found a egalitarian faith, i.e. Sikhism that promotes human rights, social equality, religious freedom, civil liberties, just political system and socio-religious harmony. The Sikhism is an open, liberal and a lay religion in which all are equal irrespective of caste, creed, color, gender status etc. The Guru is the sole spiritual authority and intermediary between the seeker and the God. There is no ecclesiastic hierarchy in the Sikhism, however there is an important place and role for the learned Sikh preachers.
The prevalent Social inequality was one of the reasons that motivated Guru Nanak to found Sikhism that evolved into Khalsa Panth. To eliminate the ignominious tiered Hindu caste system the Sikh Gurus started the institution of Langar (partaking of congregational meals) where everyone sits together at an equal level without any distinction as to caste, creed, gender social status, etc. as a means to ensure social equality. The institution of Guruís Langar essentially instills spirit of community service, equality and charity.
Both Muslim and Hindu male dominated societies relegated women to the inferior status and treated them like dirt. The sanctimonious Brahmins enforced the fatal ritual of Sati (voluntary or involuntary burning alive of a Hindu widow on the deceased husbandís pyre as a test of her chastity and absolute devotion to him). The Sikh Gurus, vehemently condemned Sati, Purdah, female infanticide and gender inequality.
sqIaf eyih nf afKIain jo mVIa lg jlMinH]
nfnk sqIaf jfxIain ij ibrhy cot mrMin] rfgu sUhI, m: 3, pMnf 787
Chaste are not those who burn on the (husband's) pyre.
Nanak; chaste (souls) are those who pine due to separation pangs (from God). P.787
BMiz jmIaY BMiz inMmIaY, BMiz
mMgx ivafhu] BMzhu hovY dosqI, BMzhu
so ikAu mMdf afKIaY ijqu jMmyih rfjfn ] afsf dI vfr, m: 1 pMnf 473
To woman (we are) born, in woman conceived, to woman betrothed and wedded.
Through woman the family and social circle grows, through woman procreation continues.
vilify her who gives birth to the great Rulers. Aasa de Var M. l. P. 473
teaches equal rights for all regardless of sex, race or background."
male dominated Muslim societyís dictatorial Muslim clergy and autocracy
enforced Purdah (a custom that requires the Muslim women to veil their faces
and/or cover themselves head to foot to spare their polygamous men-folk the
sensual temptations). Whereas a Muslim woman was, and still is, condemned to
death (by stoning) for fornication, the adulterous man was, and still is,
absolved without so much as a social stigma.
Sikh Religious philosophy professes two forms of death, physical and spiritual.
Whereas every thing visible, animate or inanimate, dies a physical death or
perishes, a man who forsakes God dies a spiritual death, which according to Sikh
Philosophy is far worse than physical death.
Physical death is an essential occurrence in the
Divine scheme of creation where change or renewal is a fundamental law of
nature. If there were no death, there would be no reincarnation and renewal.
Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib says the physical death is inevitable but a man can avoid
spiritual death by detaching one-self from ultra-materialism and developing
rapport (harmony) with the Lord by extolling His Name.
jo AupijE so ibnis hY pro afj kY kfl]
hir gun gfie ly Cfiz sgl jMjfl] slok 52, m: 9
Whatever is born shall perish, die today or tomorrow,
Nanak, sing Lordís praises and relinquish ensnaring materialism. Sloke
52, M. 9
rcnf sB JUT hY jfin lyhu ry mIq]
nfnk iQru nf rhY ijAu BflU kI BIiq] slok 49 m: 9
The whole creation is mortal, understand this my friend.
Says Nanak it doesnít last, just like a wall of sand. Sloke 49, M. 9
rfjf kUVu prjf kUVu sBu sMsfru] kUVu mMzp kUVu mfVI kUVu bYsxhfru]
suienf kUVu rupf kUVu pYnxhfru] kUVu kfieaf kUVu kpV kUVu rUpu apfru]
mIaf kUVu bIbI Kip hoey Kfru] kUiV kUVY nyhu lgf ivsiraf krqfr]
nfl kIcy dosqI sBu jgu clxhfr] afsf dI vfr, m:1, pMnf 468
Mortal is Rajah, mortal is populace mortal is whole world.
Perishable are pavilions, perishable are mansions; mortal are residents.
Perishable is gold, perishable is silver and mortal are those who wear.
Mortal is body, perishable are clothes and mortal is super beauty.
Mortal is husband and wife who toil themselves into dust (grave).
The mortal attached to falsehood (materialism) has forgotten God.
Who does one befriend? The whole world is transient. Aasa de Vaar M. 1, P.
Sikhism prescribes a rather unique way of mourning. Instead of wailing,
lamenting, or keening. Gurbani [Sikh Scriptures] of Guru Granth Sahib advises
the mourners to pray and supplicate for redemption of the departed soul and its
reunion with the God. Sunder Ji, the grandson of Guru Amar Das writes Guruís
last spoken words that describe Sikhismís concept of mourning,
mY ipCY koeI rovsI, so mY mUil n Bfieaf]
ipCY kIrqnu kirahu inrbfx jIAu] suMdr jI, rfmklI sd: 4, 5, pMnf 923
Donít anyone cry after I die, that certainly I donít like.
After I depart, sing divine Lordís praises only. Sunder Jee Ramkali Sudd.
4, 5, Pg, 923
Nanak Sahib Says,
sjx asIsVIaf ijAu hovY sfihb isAu myl] rfg gAuVI m: 1, p:157
Give [me] my friends, your blessings, so that,
I [my soul] may assimilate with the eternal God. Raag Gaurdi M.1, Page 157
sMq mUey ikaf roeIaY, jo apuny igRih jfey]
sfkq bfpury ju hftY hft ibkfie] slok 16, p: 1365
Kabir, why cry over a dead Saint who departs to his eternal abode?
Cry for the poor un-pious who sells his soul over and over for mundane
pleasures. Sloke 16, P. 1365
avr mUey ikaf sogu krIjY] qAu kIjY jAu afpn jIjY] slok 13, pMnf 325
concept of spiritual death is when an overly materialist breaks away
[spiritually] from the God and pursues worldly pleasures. To the overwhelming
majority of materialistic mankind the looming mortality is a cause of nagging
fear. Combination of this fear and mundane miseries outweigh the elusive,
fleeting joys of the corporeal life. The obsessive pursuit of illusory pleasures
makes people slaves to their own five cardinal vices (carnal Lust, Anger, Greed,
Materialism, Ego) and deprives them of real bliss in this life and eternal
spiritual life hereafter.
ies dyhI aMdir pMc cor vsih | kfmu kRoD loBu mohu ahMkfrf]
aMimRqu lUtih mnmuK nhI bUJih] koie n suxY pUkfrf] soriT m: 3, pMnf 600
In this [Manís] body squat five robbers, Carnal lust, anger, greed,
materialism and ego; robbing [Man] of nectar (eternal spiritual life), wayward
man is oblivious to it.
No one hears his cries (in the end). Soreth M.1, Page 600
The concepts of heaven and hell differ widely
depending upon the climatic conditions of the geographical region the people
live in and their notion of luxurious life style. People living in extremely hot
or cold climatic regions envisage heaven to be cool or warm place respectively.
The Muslims living in arid and hot deserts of Middle East fantasize heaven as a cool place stocked with abundance wine and fairies.
The Sikhism does not subscribe to such conjectures.
The Sikh scriptures advocate that a man should preoccupy himself with living a
life of human excellence while cultivating rapport (harmony) with the God, by
extolling His Divine Name. This is the Sikhismís professed Path, which leads
to a blissful life here. Only the omniscient God knows what happens to a soul
after death; it is not given to man to know that: So why worry? An eminent Hindu
sage Kabir Jee, whose inspirational scriptures are compiled in the Guru Granth
bfsu n bfCIaY, zrIaY n nrik invfsu] honf hY so hoeI hY, mnih n kIjY afs]
gun gfeIaY] jf qy pfeIaY prm inDfnu] kbIr jI, rfg gAuVI, pMnf 337
Desire not abode in heaven, neither fear dwelling in hell.
Whatever will be, will be, donít preoccupy your mind with hopes.
Let us sing wonderful Lordís praises.
From whom we get precious treasure (bounties). Kabir Ji, P 337
In the summer of year 1999 AD the Jesuits redefined
their Hell's concept which conforms to the five hundred yearís old concept of
Sikhism. An editorial in the prominent Italian weekly Civilta Cattolica says; ďHell does exist and is eternal, but it
is not a physical place and there is no fire. It is the condition of people who
live without God. It is not God who condemns man to hell, but it is man who
freely condemns himself to eternal damnation. Hell is a state of mind, a form of
existence of a man in which he suffers the pain of being deprived of God. A man
is condemned to eternal damnation when he prefers himself to God.Ē The Roman
Catholic Pope John Paul 2 affirmed this concept soon after.
Last Rites, Spiritual Perspective
Sikh philosophy does not subscribe to the theories and conjectures of
resurrection i.e. 'all human dead bodies buried in the graves will rise again';
nor does Sikhism believe that the burial guarantees heaven and cremation
condemns personís soul to hell. The Sikhismís fundamental belief is that no
matter how the dead body is disposed, the five elements, Air, Water, Earth, Fire
and Quintessence return to their natural states or sources. Therefore there is
no stipulation as to whether a Sikhís dead body is cremated, buried or
submerged in the water. However cremation is preferred because it is deemed more
eco-system friendly. Guru Amar Das says,
dJih iek dbIaih ieknf kuqy Kfih] ieik pfxI ivic AustIaih ieik BI iPir hsix pfih]
eyv n jfpeI ikQy jfie smfih] rfgu sorT, m: 4, pMnf 648
Some (dead) are cremated, some buried, some dogs eat.
Some are thrown in water, others placed in a well (synagogue).
Nanak, in any case (soulís) destination isnít known. Raag soredh, M.4,
the peoples those who believe and/or prophesize that cremated personsí spirits
go to the hell and buried persons' souls go to heaven, and bodies will rise from
their graves on the day of resurrection, Guru Nanak refutes in a metaphor.
Although the reference is to the clay from a buried Muslimís grave that might
fall in the hands of a potter, it is applicable to all those who bury their dead
believing an assured passage of deceased personís soul to heaven and bodyís
resurrection. The Guru Sahib propounds metaphorically that if cremation of a
deceased can cause the departed soul to burn in hell, so can the clay from the
buried, decomposed body burn in a brick or potter's kiln when it is baked to
make bricks and pots. Guru sahib states,
muslmfn kI pyVy peI kuimHafr] GiV BFzy ietf kIaf jldI kry pukfr]
jil rovy bpuVI JiV JiV pvih aMigafr]
ijin krqY kfrxu kIaf so jfxY krqfru] afsf dI vfr, m: 1, pMnf 466
(If) the clay from a Muslimís grave falls in potterís hands, when he
moulds into pots and bricks and bakes, it cries out while baking.
During baking and burning it laments and cinders fly and fall.
Nanak, only the creator who created, knows (soulís final destination).
Aasa de Vaar, P. 466
Freed an eminent Muslim Holy sage inspires a man to be one with God in this life
and redeem himself because once he dies his body will definitely turn into dust.
syK PrIdu ipafry alh lgy]
qnu hosI Kfk inmfxI gor Gry] rfg afsf, PrId jI, pMnf 488
Says Sheik Freed, dear friend cultivate harmonious relationship with the
This body will turn into dust in the grave. Raag Aasa, G. G. S. Page 488
Although Omar Khayam writes from a romantic poetís
perspective in his composition, however his concept as to what happens to the
buried body is explicit. The essential message is that we all turn into dust in
Ah, make the most of what (time) we yet may spend,
Before we too into dust descend,
Dust into dust, and under dust to lie,
Sans wine, Sans song, sans singer, sans end. Omar
However the burial of the dead provides an invaluable source of research for the archeologists and anthropologists who are doing an excellent work of tracing the genesis, evolution and history of human race, nay, the life itself on this good earth of ours. They, in conjunction with their counterparts in the other scientific fields, are helping to debunk the conjectures, myths and surreal phenomena professed by the ultra orthodox religionists.
(On ancestors' behalf)
The Guru Granth Sahibís Gurbani refutes blind faith
rituals, pagan rites and dogmatic acts of charity involving donations and
offerings including feasts to the clerics or holy quacks by the survivors for
the benefit of the deceased. The Gurbani explicitly professes that such rites
and offerings are of no benefit to the deceased or the survivors, but only to
the crafty recipients who scam the offerings from the naÔve survivors. In the
just court of the omniscient God a man gets credit for only altruism and
philanthropy from oneís own honest earnings or charitable deeds performed
during his own lifetime. The Gurbani debunks superstition with metaphors and/or
ipqr n mfnY koAU, mUey isrfD krfhI]
BI bpury khu ikAu pfvih? kAUaf kUkr KfhI] gAuVI, kbIr jI, slok 45, pM: 332
No one cares for live ancestors, but descendents give ritual feast (on
How can the ancestors avail the offerings? Crows and dogs eat it. Kabir,
mohfkf Gru mohY, Gru muih ipqrI dyie] agY vsqu isafxIaY ipqrI cor kryie]
hQ dlfl ky musPI eyh kryie] nfnk agY so imlY ij Kty Gfly dyie] afsf dI vfr, pMnf
If a thief robs a house, donates (goods) to charity on ancestorís
*Stolen property is identified; he makes thieves out of his ancestors.
God cuts off hands of intermediary who brokered the deal.
Nanak, one gets reward for donations from his honest earnings. Aasa de
Vaar, Pg. 472
is if one foolishly believes that the donations from stolen property ever reach
his ancestors up there.