not Sikhism just another religion? Don't
all religions preach the path to God?
Why did Guru Teg Bahadur sacrifice his
life for the Hindus, when Sikhism does
not encourage the practice of Hindu rituals?
According to the popular perception, religions
may be divided into two groups on the
bases of the definition of God and the
mission of human life:
i) God can be realized through
our faith alone. Unless you belong to
our faith you will go to Hell. The only
key to the Heaven is with out prophet.
For entering Heaven, people must accept
ii) God is Father/ Mother of all
people and loves every human being; He/She
belongs to everyone, believers (whatever
their faith) and nonbelievers. There is
no place called "Heaven" into which people
of a particular faith only would be allowed.
Anyone, who loves God, by whatever Name
Allah, Ram, Hari, Guru, Jesus etc. lives
in Heaven (while living in this world)
and realizes God.
There is also a third group, (it includes
Buddhism and Jainism) who do not require
belief in the existence of God. This group
is not included in this discussion.
Sikhism alone belongs to group
(ii). Hence, it is basically different
from all faiths. Other faiths,
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism,
belong to group (i).
While followers of other religious wish
to reach Heaven, Sikhism says Heaven or
Hell are not physical places where the
souls are destined to go after people
die. The devotees who love God and "see"
Him pervading everywhere enjoy "True Heaven"
while living here in this world. They
have no desire for an assumed place called
Thus, Gurbaani explains that when we love
God, and sing His virtues, we are in Heaven.
When we turn our back to Him and get involved
in lust, ego, greed, anger, etc. we suffer
Hell here in this very life.
Sikhism does not claim exclusive rights
to God. It accepts that God belongs to
everyone, believers and nonbelievers.
Anyone, a Hindu, a Muslim, etc. who loves
Him realizes Him.
Let us understand that morality and ethics
(one should be truthful, sincere, humble,
and helpful) are the same in all faiths.
Rituals have little value. It is the definition
of God and the mission of human life which
determine the nature of a faith.
To explain this: in any government, be
it a republic, a dictatorship, or a kingship,
people doing good deeds are honored and
those committing wrong actions are punished.
However, the three governments have different
kinds of constitutions and permit different
human rights to their citizens. Similarly,
morality and ethics are basically the
same in all religions but they differ
regarding the definition of God and the
mission of human life. Other religions
claim a franchise on God and His "Heaven"
while Sikhism teaches He is our common
Factor; we all are equal in His Court.
Sikh faith recognizes the right of every
human being to love God by any name and
by any method one likes. No one, not even
a king, has a right to force one's own
chosen Name or method to love God on people
of other faiths. In Guru Granth Sahib
all the names of the Almighty, whether
adopted by Hindus, Muslims, or Yogis were
accepted as His Names to be loved by people
according to their choice. Guru Teg Bahadur
protested against state oppression, which
included the threat of death, to forcibly
convert Hindus to Islam. He scarified
his life to protect the human rights
of the people to remember God by any
Name, Ram or Krishan, they love. This
is the basic principle a Sikh is to believe
and practice, and for which the Guru offered
his head. Thinking that the Guru gave
his life to protect the religion of Hindus
is belittling his sacrifice.