ESSENCE OF THE SIKH ETHICS
Sikhism is a very distinct religious tradition which has related the Divine revelation with a way of life in a manner which shows the harmonious convergence of a belief-structure and a
value-ideal. The knowledge of the real and the goal of its realization are presented as one continuum. The life is lived as a journey towards Sachiara, the highest reality.
There is another important aspect of the Sikh religion. The people who came to accept the revelation as well as the life-ideal constituted a society which was given a very distinct identity. This identity has an internal as well as an external constituent. As in the case of many other perceptions, the element of external identity is more noticeable to a superficial observer. This also appears to be more in line with the observations of this kind. Such perceptions are, however, often also determined by the pre-conceived ideas about the nature of identity. The historical context of this identity is sometimes perceived to be an important element of the identity itself. The questions ofhistory are thereafter treated as the questions of its identity. This confusion results into invitation to the sociologists, anthropologists, and some historians, to continue talking about identity without reference to the ethical core which is its inner element. The results range from genuine confusion to intentional mis-reading of Sikhism.
Some of the recently produced literature on Sikhism shows the inadequacies of the methodologies which were devised to deal with societies which were insulated in their social interaction and their identities were related with their history. It is important to understand the question of Sikh identity in terms of its ethical ideal. The Sikh philosophy is the proper context in which the questions of its history and social development can be understood and
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