1. Sikhs are often asked, for the sake of argument, if Guru Nanak was a Prophet.
Sikhs do not need to entertain the question whether the Guru Nanak was a Prophet.
Guru Nanak and the other nine Sikh Gurus were not "prophets" in the Semitic sense.
For instance, they never tried to impress people by performing miracles or by making
predictions. They did not put their own people on a high pedestal in their holy book.
Their teaching does not revolve around some small nation, its history, or its future.
They did not scare people with a fear of an everlasting hell, or lure them with
reward of a heaven.
2. Sikh Gurus did not promote any predictions about how this world will end some
day, because, end of the world has absolutely no relationship to how we are supposed
to live today. We all know that most of us will die of other causes before it ever
happens. Any story about when the world was created, or if woman was created from
man's ribs, has no significance in how we should live today, either. In God's eyes,
all such topics are superficial and irrelevant. Guru Nanak taught us to ignore them,
and to live with awareness that life could come to an abrupt end at any moment. For
a sane person, whether this world ends today, next week, or in thirty thousand years,
has no importance at all for one's spiritual welfare.
3. A Sikh is prohibited from arguing with people who believe in foolish dogma and
who insist on making ridiculous arguments. For example, some people insist that a
prophet must perform miracles. People have turned sticks into snakes, heal the sick,
walk through fire, etc., routinely on the stage everyday. The Gurus did not believe
in engaging in such circus show just to make people believe in them. People
attracted in this manner will follow someone out of fear of punishment or, hope of a
reward. Such people can not endure the rigors of the actual practice of God's Love,
which should endure even in the face of adversity. Such people cannot understand why
anyone would love God even if there were no reward forthcoming at all.
4. Only those who are quickened by the spirit can survive on the narrow path of true
love of God. Additionally, the Gurus wanted us to worship God who is always with us,
not to seek the Gurus, or someone else, for our deliverance. Some miracles have
occurred spontaneously, out of love and mercy. But that is the extent of miracles
from the Gurus. People, who continue to be attracted to their Messiah because of
the miracles, can read about a true Saint's view of such acts. I posted it last
year, in the story of a Muslim Saint, here:
5. A serious study of Gurbani makes it clear that the Sikh Gurus were conduits of
God's message. It other words, it was God Himself manifest through a human body.
This phenomenon has occurred in the past, before the Ten Sikh Gurus, and it will
continue to occur in the future. Some are better at it than others. Ignorant humans
try to impress their own beloved Messiah's holiness on the basis of an unusual birth,
an unusual death, rising after death, miracles, predictions, advance knowledge of
science, etc. The ignorant will continue to argue as to whose prophet was the true
one, or the greatest. In God's eyes, this is never an issue, regardless of what
theories we invent or write in our holy books. God Himself holds the key to our
deliverance. He has not given it to any one entity.
6. The Gurus saw the mistakes made by others before them. They refrained from making
any declarations that could induce people to worship them instead of God. This is
their unique greatness. They wanted us to follow only God. Their message is as pure
as God's Holy Name. Whatever the Gurus said was as if it came from God's own mouth.
Those who ignore it knowingly are in fact, committing a sin. A true test of God's
Word, and the Messiah who conveys it, is whether this message joins us with God,
whether it makes us realize God's love for us. On the other hand, if a message
promotes arguments and fights while trying to make us follow some person or even
God, on the basis of punishment or a reward, then, it is not from God.
7. There is only one God. We are all his children. He loves us equally. Our mistakes
take us away, and a correction puts us back on a path of return, to our Father. This
is called religion. He forgives our mistakes (our sins) all the time. God does not
punish anyone. Our own sins punish us, because each action has built-in
consequences. This is God's law. He gives us free will to make our own choices.
God is always here with us, to help us if we sincerely ask Him to and if we have a
sincere inner desire to refrain from mistakes. He is not impressed by a mere show of
such desire. We are required, with each breath, to choose between remembering God
during our daily activity and thus get closer to Him or forgetting Him, and accept
the consequences. It is all quite simple. Really. Granted, that some nations could
not understand abstractions. Hence they were prescribed religion in the form of a
8. A true religion is nothing new. Guru Nanak wrote in Japji, that God gave it to
us when He created us. The entire universe is following it in the form of God's
Will. We lose it through many lifetimes of erroneous conditioning. God sends His
Saints, from time to time, to uncover it from inside our own heart. God does not
seek to divide people on the basis of one Messiah's authenticity in contrast to
another. Only we do this. A true religion is that which helps us live in peace and
in harmony with God's creation, in its entirety.
9. A true religion teaches a sane life, a life that is lived being spiritually in
touch with reality. Any teaching that lacks this is, simply, fooling us with false
promises that are, sadly, exposed after we die. Often, such teaching is the result
of our own misinterpretation of the stories that were invented to coerce us into a
religious life. It is time to grow above those stories. Guru Nanak taught that God
is the only reality and God is the only one who is eternal. The invisible, God, is
the source of life while the visible world represents a constant flow towards
death. A true religion teaches a mystical, inner connection with God through a
constant Remembrance and Gratitude, called Simran.
10. A true religion is learned through practice, in a Holy Company (Sat Sangat)
and through a diligent and regular practice of meditative prayer, especially during
the early morning hours. God's simple truth does not require any strange practices
like, putting your body into contortions, a show, travel to holy places,
proclaiming someone as a savior and trying to 'save' others while losing your own
soul. Sikh Panth teaches us how to spiritually realize God's truth, and not just
talk about it. Without a true, spiritual, inner connection with reality, life is
simply wasted, regardless of how many more people you may have helped convert into
your own faith.
11. A Holy Company is Holy only if it is spent in sharing true and purely Divine
sentiment. Time spent in singing man-made verses or discussing our own ideas does
not create a Holy Company. Only rare individuals seek Holy Company. Meditative
singing of Gurbani, which came directly from God, ensures that a congregation is
Holy and truly spiritual. Gurbani is the only such vehicle available to man. All
other writings have been written by people. They were not dictated by God Himself.
12. Guru Nanak declared that he sings and composes only what God Himself tells him.
He did not, as some others claim to have done, write words dictated by some angel
etc. The Gurus collected and recorded all the Gurbani themselves. They put it in
music, so that it will be sung. There is no other such writing. Sikh Panth is
unique in that Gurbani and Rehet (lifestyle) make it possible to perpetuate a truly
spiritual, real Sainthood in the common households, obviating the need to run away
from the world or living in remote areas away from the society in order to achieve
13. Guru Nanak declared, God is one, and only one. It is a mistake to assume that a
devout, Sikh, Christian, Hindu, or Jew, etc. is not devoted to the same Allah that
a Muslim worships. Any religion that teaches that "non-believers" should not be
treated as fellow human beings is condemned. Any religion that condones or promotes
forced conversion and killing others "In the name of God," as a "Holy war," is
14. A true religion does not depend upon some prior covenant that God is said to
have made with a certain nation. God does not favor a special era in the past, a
certain nation, or a geographic location. Such stories are rejected because they
are not in agreement with truth, that God loves everyone equally. He sends His
messengers all the time, in all areas of the world. Some are widely known while
others are not. Gurbani does not promote any Messiah as the only one or the last
one, etc. We find that Gurbani is busy stressing upon an inner spiritual
relationship with God and teaching us how to restore it. Gurbani is not filled with
worldly wisdom. Some Muslims will also find it lacking in the details like, the
description of torture in an everlasting hell or details of the pleasures of the
flesh enjoyed in heaven after the judgement day. Nor do we find in Gurbani how to
thoroughly torture the "non-believers" before murdering them.
15. People who believe that whosoever does not share their own faith is an infidel
in the eyes of God, and thus, is worthy of condemnation, are some of the most
ignorant people ever to roam on the face of this earth. Such people are the real
problem in this world. They make it appear as if religion is the cause of all the
fighting. It is impossible to reason with such entities. They are best left alone.
As a Sikh, I pity those who were born in a Sikh household and converted to some
such religion. Even though they claim to have done so after "great research" they
have missed the entire point of Guru's teaching. It is sad that they never met a
true Sikh Saint. Had they done so, there would be no need to look anywhere else.
16. It is impossible to lead someone away from the message of God's pure love
expressed in Gurbani after they have experienced it in spirit, having been in the
company of a true Saint. Often, affluence and sophistication of the non-Sikh
society will influence some weak individuals, as it helps them get away from the
lifestyle of poor uneducated Sikhs who may be mired in the notions of cast etc.
However, it is much more important to persevere on the side of truth than to gain
affluence and sophistication or, to be promised heaven after death. Think about
this: a "heaven" that is inhabited by people who could not correct themselves
before they die will very quickly turn into another world just like this one. Who
wants to live there for an eternity? Would you call being stuck in such a world for
an eternity, a heaven? It is no wonder that these religions have to invent theories
to cover up their inconsistencies.
17. No particular religion has a monopoly over God's Word. A mere label or a verbal
declaration of our faith is of little value. God does not crave praise, nor does He
covet slavery of humans. These are only human characteristics. God's religion
demands only correct inner intentions, and acts that would manifest God's love for
everyone, making others follow your example. Gurbani, in Sri Guru Granth Sahib,
declares this. We need to accomplish it before death, not after.
18. According to the Sikh standards only someone who believes in Gurbani as God's
word can ever qualify to be considered as a perfect saint. Other saints, if any,
must have some form of deficiency, or they would also naturally recognize this
truth. Because of the importance of preservation of Khalsa Panth, we also look for
the lifestyle of Khalsa Panth as a prerequisite. We are not to dissect and judge
the spirituality of people on other paths, because that would be another sin. A
Sikh respects all Saints and Messiahs. We are not supposed to argue with anyone
about it. According to the Guru, all paths that take us towards God are acceptable,
in their own place. Everyone cannot be the same. Gurbani teaches us to let everyone
grow at one's own pace.
19. However, a Sikh does not need to adopt someone else's path simply to prove his
tolerance and understanding, or vice versa. A Sikh preserves his own distinctness
through following the discipline prescribed by the Tenth Master. Sikhs, as a
community, have never engaged in killing or a crusade to convert anyone. All
religions were respected under the great kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who
respected everyone's rights. He could have written the American Constitution
himself. This is just one simple example of the greatness that can be obtained
through the teachings of the Sikh Gurus.