The interesting discussion and positive outcome of the talk, "Do we need religion today?" created a desire among the youth to arrange another discussion on the mission of the life of a Sikh. The talk also brought out the answer to the question often asked by the youth, "Why did Guru Nanak found another faith?"
The audience, I was to address, was well aware of the basic principles of the Sikh faith. The talk, therefore, was a dialogue to crystallize the ideas of the participants about the subtle and unique aspects of Gurmat It is briefly stated below:
1. Let us first understand the Sikh faith. Then we can ask, ‘why did Guru Nanak found the new faith?’
When the Guru came out of the Bein ( a small river), he told people "Na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman". By preaching "People cannot be divided into Hindus and Muslims", the Guru laid the foundation of a new faith, independent of Hinduism and Islam. He revealed that all human beings are children of the same Father, and all of us are equally loved by Him. Anyone, who loves Him, realizes Him. The Guru, thus, destroyed the barriers dividing people into mutually hating creeds and faiths. In Jap, he stated, "the holiest person is one who considers oneself to be an equal member of humanity."
However, disregarding this philosophy, today Sikhs are themselves divided into different sects and groups, each considering itself to be superior to the others. It has become a great hurdle in the spread of the knowledge about Gurmat among Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.
2. How did the Guru preach the unique principles of this faith?
He founded two institutions, Sangat and Pangat where all people irrespective of their faith, caste or creed, were welcome and treated as equals.
In the Sangat, they sing His virtues (perform kirtan) and love Him by any or all names, Ram, Allah, Guru, Gobind, etc. The philosophy to be understood was that no one can claim a franchise on God. page 658.
Further, anyone who loves Him can realize Him. ijnI n`mu iDE`ieE` gey mskiq G`ilÒ .. Jap.
The Guru thus, rejected the belief that the followers of a particular faith alone are entitled to go to Heaven while others will be sent to Hell.
In Pangat everyone, including Hindus, Muslims, men and women, high caste and low, sit together and eat as equals free food provided by the Guru (Guru ka Langar).
3. What is the Mission of Human Life?
The mission of the life of a Sikh is not to get into Heaven after death. While living, one should aim to realize the Lord vibrating everywhere in the universe and in every living being. Living according to the Will of the Lord and singing His virtues during the earthly life is living in Heaven.
Ignoring Him and suffering from vices, such as ego, anger, lust, greed, etc., is living in Hell. The Guru preached that there is no place called Heaven or Hell where people are destined to go after they leave the world.
4. Can believers of a Faith be saved by their prophets?
We are judged by our deeds alone. No one, a prophet or a god, can intercede in His court, sewa, simran, sat santokh, and singing His virtues help one to realize the mission of human life. Wishing well for whole humanity lights the path to the Lord. This helps a person to lead the right kind of life to realize the Lord. Such a person gets honors from the Lord.