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Article by Jaswinder Singh.


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Essays on

Sikhism

My Thirteen Reasons For Sikhism

My focus is to highlight how Sikhs living in a western society

have to deal with problematic issues, where certain western

values don't blend with Sikh religious principles. I also

believe that up the point that I was "lucky" to know of the Sikh

religion, which helped guide my decisions, but unfortunately

many of today's young grow up ignorant to what Sikhism is.

Below I have listed 13 points why I think Sikhism is the best

religion in the world, and what it has to offer to Sikhs and to

the World, and why Sikhs should not abandon their faith, but

strive harder to understand it, learn about it, and one day

realize that it is worth keeping, holding on to, and prizing in our

hearts and souls.

1. Sikhism does not look down upon people who follow other

religions as "inferior, non-believer, etc". That is one reason

why you don't see Sikh Missionaries actively pursuing

conversions.

2. Sikhism is a religion of Equality. Equality between Men and

Women and also stressing "universal equality" amongst all

human beings. Which all other religions do not have.

3. Sikhism is a modern way of life, it doesn't subject people to

valueless rituals. A few examples being the caste system,

bathing in holy rivers, facing a certain direction for a prayer,

slaughtering animals in the name of God, circumcision.

(NOTE: I'm talking of Sikhism, not cultural practices.. which at

times are not up to date with the teachings of the religion, as

can be seen in all religions)

4. Sikhism, is a religion of worship of One God (Waheguru).

A God that has no 'chosen people', a God compassionate to

all, Who is not bonded to a "single religion", Who is to be

found and realized by all, Who is not pleased with ritualistic

behaviour, and that is only pleased by "ANYONE" who with

true devotion LOVES HIM, yes a God for all the UNIVERSE..

not just of Jews, Sikh, Hindus, Muslims, etc.

Waheguru himself spoke to Guru Nanak Dev Ji the founder of

Sikhism on the "Day of Revelation", when Guru Nanak Dev Ji

was called to God's court and given his directives to preach to

this world.

Waheguru spoke the following verse on this most blessed

day to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the entire world. Known as the

Mul Mantra.

other places before other hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Ik Onkar (There is but One God)

Sat Nam (Truth is His name)

Kartaa Purakh (The Creator, The Supreme Being)

Nirbhau (He is without fear)

Nirvair (He is without enmity)

Akal-murat (Timeless, without form)

Ajuni (He is beyond births and deaths)

Saibhang ( He is self-enlightened)

Gurprasaad (He is realised by the grace of the

True Guru)

Jap (Meditate on the Name)

And in God's court Guru Nanak spoke the following, which

God accepted and condoned, and comes after "Jap".

Aad sach (He was True in the beginning, (before

anything (the universe, time) existed)

Jugaad sach (He was True when the ages

commenced and has ever been True)

Hai bhi sach (He is also True now)

Nanak hosi bhi sach (Satguru) Nanak (says that)

he will eternally be True.)

5. Sikhism believes in reincarnation. As the worldly science

is improving and people are starting to realize this

phenomenon is true (through hypnosis and near-death

experiences) they will understand the "Greater Glory" in the

Sikh scriptures to have realized this concept while others

don't believe in it at all.

(Note: Only Hinduism and Buddhism share these values of

reincarnation, and many Christians are starting to believe it,

and though Muslims rejects this notion, I believe many believe

in it as well.)

6. Sikhism stresses that God judges all people as to their

actions in this world. It does not matter which religion they

practice, or were born to. Hence the theory of Karma is also a

part of Sikh religion.

The ultimate reward in Sikhism is to be freed from the

PAINS of 'births and deaths' that Humans undergo. Reflect for

a few minutes, and think of how much we as people suffer in

life? A tremendous amount!

The older you are the more you will know of it.

Unlike other religions, which offer a heavenly paradise,

where one is rewarded with Virgins (only for the males as one

scripture has it) and rivers of wine (which ironically is not

sanctioned for one to drink here on this earth). Sikhism

rewards people with the concept of becoming "one with God".

Where the soul is immersed back into the Godly soul, like a

raindrop is immersed into the ocean and hence finding ever

lasting bliss. (Never to be reborn again)

This is for both MALE and FEMALE. No sexism exists in

the scripture. I challenge all to look for themselves, and see

that a religion born 500 years ago, has accepted the equality

of sexes as well as people, which not even today's western

society has, nor any other religion has. This is just one

reason why I adore the Sikh religion. Men and Women are

Equal in all respect.

7. In Sikhism, Men and Women are able to carry out prayer

rights. There is no priest class, unlike other religions, where it

is controlled by men. Hence again women are equal partners

in Sikhism. Sikhism is a very egalitarian religion.

8. "Sikhism is an intellectual way of life"! Sikhs are told to

explicitly seek knowledge within the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Knowledge is the "key" to enlightenment.

One must understand the Guru's written words in the Sri

Guru Granth Sahib, in order to help themselves transcend

this worldly ocean and reach the higher spiritual goals given

to Humankind by God.

The challenge of being a Sikh is truly a hard one, the

majority of the world today have not the courage in them, nor

the will power, nor the willingness to spend time to pursue

this "intellectual" and "spiritual" journey and achieve that

ultimate state of ETERNAL BLISS.

People are reluctant to face this challenge, since it is a

difficult and long one, this is why people are unaware of the

greatness of their Sikh religion. They continue to play in this

world (metaphorically speaking) in pursuit of happiness, yet

never achieve it. Happiness is only temporary. It is eternal

bliss (Anand) that we want, which the Guru guides us on how

to achieve, in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Happiness (Bliss) can not be bought with riches, etc.

Happiness is a state of mind. Bliss is the state of being one

with our mind, soul, and heart. One can only find it by being

able to control (cleansing) the mind, which Sikhism stresses

one to do, with God's Naam (Name. Then only will one

achieve true lasting happiness (bliss) within ourselves.

I challenge the readers to spend some time, to read up

on the lives of Sikh Gurus, read the Sikh scripture, along with

the other religions open mindedly, and Sikhism will pass as

the most objective, logical, equal, humanitarian religion.

A good place to start is Sandeep Singh's WWW home page.

The Sikhism Home Page:

www.sikhs.org

9. Sikhism is a religion which builds character. It tells its

followers to be "hard workers" to earn their daily bread. To

share this with others, as well as to remember the Lord in

their heart. Hence within Sikhism, there is a compassion

towards all of humanity, a fact of social reform.

10. Sikhism is the only religion that allows all people, of any

caste, colour, creed, religion to come to "ANY"! of their holy

places, without restriction, and be given equal respect in all

matters.

All are served in the Gurdwara (holy temple of the Guru),

and in the kitchen with the same dignity. All are allowed to

participate in Singing Hymns on stage even if they are not

Sikhs. All are allowed to read the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (if they

know how to read Gurmukhi Script) All are allowed to discuss

Sikhism in these places of worship even if they are not Sikhs.

"A very good example which comes to mind is Bhai

Chaman Lal even though he is a Hindu. He sings Gurbani

hymns all over India in Gurdwaras and tells wonderful stories

of the Gurus. Sikhs respect and give him equal dignity, even

though he is not a Sikh." I personally love his singing and his

stories. He's more of a Sikh than I am.

Hence one does not have to even change religion, to

follow Sikh practices and sing the Glories of God using Sikh

scripture and that truly is the greatness of Sikhism.

11. Sikhism allows one to follow the path to enlightenment, at

their own speed. This enlightenment comes with their own

understanding and awareness of the message in the Guru

Granth

Sahib Ji and how much effort they have given to incorporate it

in their lives.

Sikhism allows people to interpret the Guru Granth Sahib

for themselves (unlike other religions) and with increasing

awareness and understanding, the person will gain greater

(deeper) understanding of the "divine" words of the Gurus,

who were in direct communication with The Creator and wrote

what God told them in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

12. Sikhism is the only religion where the Scripture is written

by the Prophet of the religion who was in divine

communication with God, out of all the other worldly religions

whose scriptures were written later by people.

13. Sikhism is the only religion that has in its Scripture,

Hymns of Divine saints who had attained that state of

perfection and communion with God in life. Be them Muslim or

Hindu (from every caste). Hence Sikhism is truly a religion that

has broken down barriers between religions, to show the

world that, "anyone" can reach God by immersing themselves

in His love. That is why Hindu and Muslim saints divine hymns

from God are also recorded in Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Sikh Gurus are not only honouring the achievement of

these Saints throughout time, but are sending a message to

the world. Sikhism is not the property of those who are born in

Panjab or to Sikh families. It is a religion for all of humanity,

men and women, be they of any caste, creed or colour and be

they born to any religion in the world. Sikhism is for all of

humanity, let us not forget the entire universe.

By Jaswinder Singh

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