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    Some facts about the Sikh faith that many people don't know

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 5:31 AM [General]

    An article I found:

    Some facts about the Sikh faith that many people don't know:

    - Sikh faith teaches that everyone, regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender or colour is equal. To maintain this the Gurudwaras all over the world are open to anyone from any walk of life. Langar or free food is served at all times and is offered to all in a place where everyone, high or low, rich or poor, black or white, man or woman, sits side by side to eat together.

    - The scripture of the faith is based on the universal language - music. The Gurus were aware that music is a universal language. The scripture of the faith, Sri Guru Granth Sahib speaks to "anyone of any religion or none" (Miss Pearl Buck, nobel laureate) not just to Sikhs. It is the compilation of the writings of enlightened Gurus - their poems of love, of advice, of yearning and of bliss. The writings are not just by the Sikh Gurus but by enlightened Muslims, Hindus and those who belonged to low caste. This to emphasize the previous point that all are equal before God and that God belongs to no religion.

    - God in Sikh faith is the infinite supreme energy present in all creation. Its Name is "Truth" (Guru Nanak, Jap ji). It is the most merciful and without enmity. It moves the creation. It existed before and ever will. This is consistent with the finding of science that an infinite energy exists in the universe. Guru Nanak, the founder and first Guru, said in Japji, "thaapeya na jaaye kita na hoye aape aap niranjan soe," It cannot be created, it exists on its own. Now, what was the law of energy we read in Physics? Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it only transforms.

    - Sikhs follow the path of love to the Creator. Gurus said love towards all is love towards God, serving people is serving God.

    - Guru Nanak rejected ALL rituals, ALL superstitions, and emphasized only on remembering God.

    - Guru Nanak stated there were millions and millions of worlds, in the 1500s, even before Galileo invented the telescope. Is this alone not a reason good enough to trust the Guru?

    - Today, science is leading to findings that smoking and drinking alcohol is injurious to health. The Gurus prohibited them in the 1500s.

    - Hair was kept by Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu, Shiva, and by countless yogis of India. Also note that most tied a knot on the top of their head. There is certainly something spiritual about hair that we do not know of - the Gurus must have realised.

    - The history of Sikhs is unparalleled in world history. From non-violence to fighting for the weak, the Sikhs have portrayed all values. For five generations, Sikhs tolerated Muslim violence with non-violence, the Sikh Gurus sacrificed their lives silently. But then was the limit, the Gurus would not let Sikhs keep quiet and accept wrongdoings. This is when Guru Hargobind lifted the sword and started martial traditions among the Sikhs. Sikh faith taught the world tolerance to the greatest limit. The Sikh faith taught that if all means fail to stop the enemy, do not be ill-treated, do not accept what is wrong, fight against it. Khalsa belongs to God, and may victory be to God. It is important to note that Sikhs never fought to acquire land or resources but to protect and defend humanity.

    - Bhai Kanheya, Guru Gobind's disciple, used to feed and apply balms to Muslims on the battlefield. This was the very first red-cross in the world. Tell me, which army in the world has ever nursed the enemy? The Gurus taught compassion towards all.

    - Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru, was an enlightened being, the Mighty King of kings, but he was so humble he called himself a slave, of God. Which king has ever been so humble to have called himself slave? Guru Gobind Singh was the Great Teacher who knelt in front of his disciples to take amrit. Which teacher would ever kneel at their disciple? Guru Gobind was a democratic ruler, and he gave credit to God and his people. Never did the Greatest Guru take pride in Himself. He was the ruler who was kindest of all, possessing the mercy the world has hardly ever seen. He was the man who dared to write a letter to Aurangzeb, the ruthless Muslim king of the time, to tell him what wrongs he has done.
    Guru Gobind was a scholar and a poet beyond comparison. His poetry is immaculate and unparalleled - the rhyme and metre are perfect, unattainable by anyone ever. He possessed mastery over not one but many languages and a vocabulary that was close to infinite- who has ever attained this? It is said that Guru Gobind Singh swung his swords so fast that when he asked his disciples to shoot arrows at Him, the arrows were reduced to dust by His swords. People are elevated to an exalted state even by thinking of Him.

    - When all temples of the time were built at great heights, Guru Arjun made the Golden Temple where one had to step down, symbolizing humility as a path to God. The Guru opened doors from four sides, symbolizing everyone from all four corners is welcome. But there is only one way to entere the Guru's door - the path of love and devotion with the grace of a teacher Guru.

    - The names Singh and Kaur are the last names of Sikh males and females, respectively. Singh means lion, Kaur means lioness or princess. The Gurus confirmed the equality of women in society by starting a system where women did not have to change their last names post marriage. Only a woman will understand how it feels when her last name is changed upon marriage. Morever, Gurus elevated women to a status of a princess, a lioness. Sikh history also has women fighting alongside men in battles. Thus, Gurus ensured equality for women.

    - Today it is accepted by Social Psychologists that wearing symbols relating to own group strengthen interest in the group. Which means interest in the company of like-minded people, the sangat. For this, Guru Gobind Singh introduced the five Ks, the uniform of the Khalsa. The All-Knowing Gurus' genius is beyond praise.

    It is the order of Guru Gobind Singh ji to all Sikhs to take amrit. Guru Gobind Singh ji will not leave your arm if you can not complete five banis in a day. Understood, it is a committment, but a teacher helps their student when the student is not completing work. Some teachers may throw the student out, but my Guru Gobind certainly is not that kind, He is the most merciful, the most kind, he will put you on track. Once He has held your arm, you can leave him, but he will not leave you. Submit your head to Guru Gobind, and leave it to Him, "Prabh dori hath tumhare", "O Lord the reins are in your hands". Try your best to be committed. Let Guru take care of the rest. So, forget what your classmates say, listen to your teacher, the beautiful Master, Guru Gobind Singh. Take amrit now.

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