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Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

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Concept of 'God' In Sikhism

Navjoti Marwaha

Sikhism is religion of the Sikh people. The word Sikh means one who seeks after truth. The first word in the Sikh scripture is ‘Sat’, which translates to truth. Sikhism is based on truthful living. A Sikh is defined as a person who believes in:

   –   One God.
   –   The ten Gurus of Sikh history.
   –   The sacred scripture “Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji”
   –   The teachings of the ten Gurus and Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
   –   Baptism according to the method outlined by Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal Guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh Gurus from 1469 to 1708. It is a collection of hymns (shabads) or bani that describe the qualities of God and why one should meditate on God's name.  Guru Gobind Singh ji (1666-1708), the Tenth Guru, affirmed the sacred text Adi Granth as his successor, elevating it to Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The text remains the holy scripture of the Sikhs, regarded as the teachings of the Ten Gurus. The role of Adi Granth, as a source or guide of prayer, is pivotal in worship in Sikhism.

Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh Holy Scripture describes the characteristics of God. Throughout 1430 pages, Guru Granth Sahib Ji describes and praises God. The opening of the scripture tells us about the description of God: “God is one. He is the Supreme Truth. He the Creator is without fear and without hate. He is immortal. He is neither born and nor does He die. By Guru’s grace shall He be met. Chant And Meditate on His Name. In the beginning, He was the Truth. Throughout the ages, He has been the Truth. He is the Truth now and He shall be the Truth forever” (Guru  Granth Sahib Ji, 1).

ੴ ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ 
ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ 
ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ
ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ
ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ || ਜਪੁ ||
ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ || 
ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ||

God is one,
He is the Supreme Truth.
He the Creator, is without fear and without hate
He is immortal.
He is neither born and nor does He die
By Guru's Grace shall He be met.
Chant and Meditate on His Name
In the beginning, He was the Truth.
Throughout the ages, He has been the Truth.
He is the Truth now and he shall be the Truth forever.

The most important aspect of being a Sikh is to understand that, there is one endless God. He is indescribable, inestimable, indubitable, infallible, intangible, imperishable, immutable, immortal, immaculate, immanent, unconquerable, unique, formless, fearless, deathless, timeless, ageless, compassionate, and omnipresent and creator of all. "There is only the One Supreme Lord; there is no other at all. Spirit, soul and body, all belong to Him; whatever pleases His Will, comes to pass" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 45 ) 

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੋਇ || 
ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡ ਸਭੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੁ ਹੋਇ ||

 
There is only the One Supreme Lord; there is no other at all.
Spirit, soul and body, all belong to Him; whatever pleases His Will, comes to pass.

God loves everyone. Sikhs believe there is no one superior to God. Furthermore, Sikhs believe that God created all beings, animals, birds, creatures, including humans. When the first great Guru, the founder of Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave this definition to the people who believed differently in God, they were surprised and they asked him, who told you this and how did God come in existence? The great Guru explained that God Himself gave him this information. God has always been present. The concept of time is very worldly. There is no time, beginning or end when it comes to God. This is very hard to understand for us humans because we are used to the concept of begin and end with time.

People further asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji about what does God look like? The great Guru preached that God is formless. God is beyond gender and shape. “He has no form, no shape, no colour; God is beyond these three qualities. One understands Him, O Nanak, with whom God is pleased” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 283) God has no body, He is the greatest Spirit of all and our soul is a part of Him.

ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਿੰਨ || 
ਤਿਸਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਏ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁਪ੍ਰਸੰਨ ||

He has no form, no shape, no color; God is beyond these three qualities.
One understands Him, O Nanak, with whom God is pleased.

The main difference between Sikhism and some of the world's other religions is that there are people who worship Jesus and believe Jesus is God, some people worship Buddha and believe Buddha is God. The Sikh Gurus themselves said that they are not to be worshipped. They expressed very clearly not to worship anyone except God. Guru Gobind Singh Ji even put it in harsh words and said, “Those who call me God will fall into the pit of hell. Consider me as a humble servant of God and have no doubt about it.” He wanted to be very clear that He is not God and should not be worshipped. One should only worship the One Almighty Lord.

REFERENCES

1. www.granthsahib.com
2. www.gurugranthdarpan.com
3. www.srigranth.org
4. www.realsikhism.com

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