Peace Through Dialog 2007 - Dr. Harsimran Singh : Peace Through Dialogue - Sikhism

Published: 28.12.2007
Updated: 09.01.2009

Jaina Convention
Federation of Jain Associations In North America

Peace Through Dialogue - Sikhism

Dr. Harsimran Singh

drsaab[at]optonline.net

 

Dr. Harsimran Singh has authored several books on Sikhism including the Divine Power, the A to Z's of Healing Through Prayer, the Spiritual Power; and the Power of Prayer. He has been on several interfaith panels, and conducted many symposia on the miraculous power of prayer through the Divine Power, Inc.

Ever see a flower vase containing flowers of different colors. Each flower is contributing its beauty, and its fragrance to the entire bunch of flowers but still maintains its own identity. The rose still remains to be the rose, the lily flower remains to be a lily, and the carnation remains to be the carnation. God created the universe in the same fashion as he created the nature. He created each human being different from each other. No one voice or one person matches with the other. You could recognize the voice of a friend even from far off distances. He created different colors of the human beings as well, some black, some white, some brown, and some yellow. God created this diversity in the universe to create the beauty so we don't get bored of looking at only one kind of thing. He made this universe so beautiful that no one wants to die whether it's a creature that flies, swims, crawls, or walks. Humanity at large did not appreciate this beauty in diversity. A person of one color started feeling superior to one of another color. A person of one religion started feeling superior to a person of another religion.

The principles of Sikhism are based upon equality and justice to all without any discrimination to age, gender, status, origin or in any other respect. The world needs to wake up to the realization of understanding each other's faiths and religions so the humanity at large loves each other rather than hate because of religious boundaries.

Let me just give a few briefs of the Sikh religion. The word Sikh originates from the Pali texts in which the word Sikho is used as the searcher of truth. It was in the 15th Century that the Indian subcontinent had two pre-dominant faiths, which were Islam and Hinduism. During those days certain practices such as female infanticide, sati, forcible burning of widows on their husband's pyres, polygamy, practices of ritualism, superstitions, and the caste system whereby unsociability was common. It was at that time there was a need for a voice that could say that all humanity is created by God and they are all equal, all days are auspicious, no time or place can be sacred in itself. That voice was the voice of Guru Nanak with a command to him. "Oh Nanak here is the liquid of immortality, go drink it in my name. I am with you and I bless you, go rejoice in my name and preach to others the lesson of non­discrimination and equality. Let this be your calling."

For the society, which was so much infested with the human degradation, it was not possible to accomplish to convey the message of God within Guru Nanak's own lifetime. So the divine light that Guru Nanak had gotten as a direct revelation from God passed on to nine more living Gurus and finally to the holy book Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Each Guru laid emphasis on one or the other aspect of life during this period of 250 years.

  • The first Guru, Nanak, rebelled against futile practices, empty rituals, superstitions and idol worshipping etc. He gave the humanity a lesson of one God who is infinite and all powerful.
  • The second Guru Nanak, the inculcated, the spirit of selfless service, and humility.
  • The third Guru Nanak, was a great defender of women's rights, he institutionalized the tradition of community kitchen, langar, and enforced equality for all rich and poor.
  • The fourth Guru Nanak, founded the spiritual Sikh capital to lead the humanity towards a spiritual way of life.
  • The fifth Guru Nanak, who was a literary giant, gave a spirit of self-sacrifice.
  • The sixth Guru Nanak, implemented the doctrine of spiritual and temperal equality in the Sikh's character.
  • The seventh Guru Nanak, instilled the spirit of fighting against oppression and respect for the hymns of Gurbani.
  • The eight Guru Nanak, proved that age has no barrier for gaining the spiritual power that is the gift of God and God bestows upon whomsoever God is gracious.
  • The ninth Guru Nanak, was one of the greatest defenders of freedom as he gave his life for defending the Hindu faith while they were being forcibly converted to Islam.
  • The tenth Guru Nanak, gave the spirit of giving up everything to fight against oppression. He sacrificed his four sons, his parents, and gave his own life while preaching the message of love. It was the tenth Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, who initiated amrit, he gave the title of Guru to the five sikhs to whom he baptized. For the first time in the human history on this birthday of Khalsa in 1 699, the Guru title was bestowed upon five most common people and they were made into Khalsa, meaning pure by baptizing them with amrit meaning something that shall never die.

Another example of history was set when Guru Gobind Singh Ji requested amrit to baptize himself from the five beloved ones setting an unequal example of equality having no status difference between the preceptor and the follower.

All these Gurus had instituted the spirit of saint soldier in the Sikh character. The Sikh's proved their saintliness by keeping outwardly looks of keeping long hair and the spirit of praying for the whole humanity in their everyday prayer rather than just for Sikhs.

"One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means." Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929- 1968)

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  1. Federation of Jain Associations in North America
  2. Guru
  3. Hinduism
  4. Islam
  5. JAINA
  6. JAINA Convention
  7. Jaina
  8. Pali
  9. Sikhism
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