The Fruits of Guru Nanak

Arthur books, christ, christianity, Discrimination, diversity, faith, God, history, plan of salvation, President Monson, religion, theology 17 Comments

I’m not even sure how I got it, surprisingly, but in the short time I lived in Idaho, I received an interesting gem.  It’s a book called Religions of the World: A Latter-day Saint Perspective, by Spencer J. Palmer.

I’ve always enjoyed books about world religions, especially the obscure and forgotten, but I was expecting something rather bland, or apologetic, or dismissive.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This one was actually very unbiased, concise, and interesting.  It didn’t break any new ground, necessarily, except that it offered interesting comparisons and contrasts with other major world religions.

I found that book packed in an anonymous box last week and decided to give it another read.  As I read about Guru Nanak I was struck by one tiny thing: how comparatively little we really know about him or his life.  How can anyone believe in a prophet whose life we can’t relentlessly scrutinize?

I’m not going to go into detail about his life here.  A quick appeal to Wikipedia will take care of the information you need to get started, I guess, but let me get to the thrust of this post.  How do we test the fruits of a prophet we know so little about?  As I read, my mind went over the prophet I feel I know so well, Joseph Smith, and I was impressed by how we scrutinize his life for tiny details.  Every scrap of information about his life has been scoured by historians, theologians, apologists, and lay-people, for clues as to whether he is a true prophet, and yet no-one to date has really been able to come to a consensus.  Was he a charlatan?  A saint?  A prophet?  A nut?

Guru Nanak DevRight around the time of Christopher Columbus, northern India was embroiled, as it is now, in a theological struggle between Hindu and Muslim.  To be fair, Guru Nanak does have a few interesting sources about his life (all written after his death), but for the most part, we know little about him compared to Joseph Smith.  The people he lived with in the north of India spent their entire lives agonizing and struggling over their age-old question: which religion is right, Hinduism or Islam?  No doubt many people prayed mightily towards Heaven asking for divine guidance.  Is Hinduism worth dying for?  Was Mohamed really a true prophet?  That struggle was personified in Guru Nanak, whose simple initial revelation, “There is neither Hindu nor Muslim,” must have jarred most of his listeners.  “Neither Hindu nor Muslim?” they must have asked themselves.  “What else is there?”

I felt moved with immense compassion as I read about this struggle, especially in light of the invasion of India by the Moguls.  Here was a whole civilization, turned over by wars and religious strife, foreign to Americans, who lived and died struggling with the great questions of the soul, and here was a prophet among them, Guru Nanak, who offered peace, and eschewed outward ordinances in favor of clean living and always remembering God in your heart.

How can I possibly determine whether Guru Nanak is a true prophet if I have so little information about him?  Where are all the documents?  Stanford hasn’t done any word imprint studies on his writings, his mother never wrote a Biography of his life.  There are definitely no Sikhs here in Lexington repeatedly bearing testimony to me, “I know that Guru Nanak was a true prophet.”  Not to say there isn’t any information about him (and, to be fair, there are some Sikhs here in Lexington, if you seek them out, pun intended) but it seems quite lean compared to what we have about Joseph Smith.

Zoroaster (Zarathustra)Let us swing back a few thousand years and move a few hundred miles to the West to Iran, where we find the cradle of  another world religion, that of Zoroastrianism.  One could easily argue that Zoroastrianism is the grandfather of all monotheistic faiths.  They have been around for thousands of years, though their numbers have dwindled in the last couple centuries.  Want to approach Zoroastrianism objectively, and test the fruits of Zoroaster (Zarathustra)?  What do we know about him?  Well, a quick survey of historians will reveal that he probably lived sometime between 6000 BC and 100 BC.  That’s right, we can nail down his life to a 5900-year period.  Recently, the number has settled right around 1100 to 1000 BC, but how on God’s Green Earth are we supposed to find out if Zoroaster was a true prophet if we can’t even agree on the millennium in which he lived?

And where did Zoroaster live in this period of time?  I’ll quote Wikipedia this time:

Yasna 9 & 17 cite the Ditya River in Airyanem Vaējah (Middle Persian Ērān Wēj) as Zoroaster’s home and the scene of his first appearance. Nowhere in the Avesta (both Old and Younger portions) is there a mention of the Achaemenids or of any West Iranian tribes such as the Medes, Persians, or even Parthians.

However, in Yasna 59.18, the zaraθuštrotema, or supreme head of the Zoroastrian priesthood, is said to reside in ‘Ragha’. In the ninth to twelfth century Middle Persian texts of Zoroastrian tradition, this ‘Ragha’ – along with many other places – appear as locations in Western Iran. While Medea does not figure at all in the Avesta (the westernmost location noted in scripture is Arachosia), the Būndahišn, or “Primordial Creation,” (20.32 and 24.15) puts Ragha in Medea (medieval Rai). However, in Avestan, Ragha is simply a toponym meaning “plain, hillside.”

Apart from these indications in Middle Persian sources which are open to interpretations, there are a number of other sources. The Greek and Latin sources are divided on the birth place of Zarathustra. There are many Greek accounts of Zarathustra, referred usually as Persian or Perso-Median Zoroaster. Moreover they have the suggestion that there has been more than one Zoroaster. On the other hand in post-Islamic sources Shahrastani (1086-1153) an Iranian writer originally from Shahristān, present-day Turkmenistan, proposed that Zoroaster’s father was from Atropatene (also in Medea) and his mother was from Rai. Coming from a reputed scholar of religions, this was a serious blow for the various regions who all claimed that Zoroaster originated from their homelands, some of which then decided that Zoroaster must then have then been buried in their regions or composed his Gathas there or preached there. Also Arabic sources of the same period and the same region of historical Persia consider Azerbaijan as the birth place of Zarathustra.

By the late twentieth century the consensus among some scholars had settled on an origin in Eastern Iran and/or Central Asia (to include present-day Afghanistan): Gnoli proposed Sistan (though in a much wider scope than the present-day province) as the homeland of Zoroastrianism; Frye voted for Bactria and Chorasmia; Khlopin suggests the Tedzen Delta in present-day Turkmenistan. Sarianidi considered the BMAC region as “the native land of the Zoroastrians and, probably, of Zoroaster himself.” Boyce includes the steppes of the former Soviet republics. The medieval “from Media” hypothesis is no longer taken seriously, and Zaehner has even suggested that this was a Magi-mediated issue to garner legitimacy, but this has been likewise rejected by Gershevitch and others.

So we know where he lived, give or take a thousand miles, and we know what time period, give or take a few thousand years.  And by the way, there may have been more than one Zoroaster.

Again I ask, how do we know a true prophet?  The Bible says a few things, but let’s focus on one:

Matthew 7:15-20

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth devil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

So my question is, how do we test the fruits of these prophets? Not only these prophets, but anyone who has claimed revelation in the past.  What about Mani, who led the people now known as Manicheans, who expanded upon what he saw as truths in Christianity and Zoroastrianism? What of Confucius, whose followers led thousands in Ancient China (all bureaucrats in the government were well-versed in Confucian texts). Do we know as much about Mo Tzu, whose teachings were seen as a real competitor to Confucianism early in its history, as we do about Sidney Rigdon or John Taylor or Thomas S. Monson?

A few possibilities come immediately to mind, some conclusions that easily could be made by the modern reader.

1. We don’t need to test their fruits. Zoroaster was a prophet who lived thousands of years ago, to a people who lived thousands of years ago. These people don’t pertain to us. We know the truth, and we can just forget about these guys.  Besides, if they were so right, where are they now?

Forgive me, but doesn’t this seem like an arrogant conclusion? To dismiss an honest, sincere group of people because of distance or difference seems quite wrong, at least to my heart, especially in the case of Zoroaster, whose religion has endured longer than any other monotheistic religion, and that historians even date to before Judaism (many historians believe that it was actually the Babylonian exile, and the Jews’ exposure to Zoroastrian thought, that really ironed out their concepts of Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil, etc.).  If time is any indication of truth, it’s arguably on their side, not ours.

2. We can automatically dismiss anyone who didn’t teach about Christ.

Fair enough, if you believe Christ really was the Son of God, which I do, for the record. However, how many of Basava’s followers knew about Christ or His teachings? Guru Nanak’s world was divided into Hindus and Muslims, and the wars between them. Christ, to them, was some obscure prophet, mentioned in the Qur’an, or maybe a Bodhisattva, but not really someone whom the average person knew about. Furthermore, is it useless for a prophet to teach about loving one another in a land where Christ’s name is not mentioned? Is a prophet not “true” if he teaches that we should cease our murders and contentions and try our best to live a holy, charitable life?

3. We can dismiss them because we don’t have any useful information about their lives, like we do about Joseph Smith. We simply can’t test their fruits, and thus we can see that God doesn’t want us to know about them. If God wanted us to know about them, information about them would have fallen into our (or Joseph Smith’s) hands.

Pleading ignorance?  Really? “We don’t need to know something because we don’t know something.” This may be precisely the reason why most people in the world don’t know who Jesus Christ really is. “If God wanted me, here in Urumqi (or Jakarta or Chongking or Tokyo or anywhere else not predominantly Christian), to know about Jesus Christ, God would have sent that information here, but He hasn’t.”

4. We can dismiss any religion whose followers are a tiny group compared to the whole. For instance, why study the teachings of Alevi Muslims if they are such a minority in the world, even amongst the Muslim world?

For the record, there are probably more Alevi Muslims in the world as there are Latter-day Saints, and the Alevi are a tiny minority compared to the Muslim World as a whole. Secondly, when has truth been determined by the majority? And what was the result?

5. The particulars of a prophet’s life aren’t important, what matters is the fruits we see in the followers.

Take quantum mechanics as some sort of analogy here.  By the 1800s, Newtonian Physics had pretty much permeated all of the scientific community.  Edmund Halley’s orbital prediction of what is now called Halley’s Comet was regarded as an ultimate triumph of Newtonian Physics, and the philosophers finally concluded that if one could know the starting positions of all the atoms and matter in the Universe, one could calculate all of history over billions of years.  However, when we really started to dissect the atom, Newton’s ideas broke down on the quantum level.  We discovered entanglement and particle spin and all sorts of new, amazing, sometimes counter-intuitive facts about how things work on a tiny scale.  Yet, to this day, we haven’t seemed to reconcile Quantum Mechanics with the Universe on a large scale, and the search for a Unified Theory is one of the most interesting searches in physics.

So the resulting Universe we see has emergent properties that seem (we’re still working on this) different than the properties on the Quantum level. Are prophets the same way? Does the whole of a religion have emergent properties that aren’t explained by the life of a single person who founded it? Can we test the “truth” of a religion by these emergent fruits, ignoring what the prophet did?

This seems a bit more plausible, considering there are so many prophets we don’t have information about. Except, is that really what we’re taught in the Church? Furthermore, what if the religion died out many years ago, so we can’t necessarily see the fruits of it now?

6. We can test a prophet by the book they brought forth. If we ask if the book is true, then we can know if the prophet is true. No book? Then see #3.

Does that mean that if you can’t read, then you’ll never know? Does that mean all the prophets in history who didn’t have a book are not true? Literacy is truth, and illiteracy is damnation? What about the Christians in the Middle Ages who didn’t have access to the Bible because the Bible was restricted to the clergy? Were they doomed, never having a true testimony?

7. Those prophets taught some truth, we know that from Latter-day revelation. Therefore, we can just accept that they taught some truths, but reading about them, knowing about them, or studying their teachings is unnecessary. All truth is contained in this Church.

This is pretty much what our Church teaches us, right? Certain prophets had access to the Light of Christ at certain times in history, and did much good, but we really needn’t concern ourselves with the particulars. I can’t help but thinking this is still being overly dismissive of other teachings, other cultures, and other people. Shouldn’t we search diligently for truth wherever it can be found? Joseph Smith seemed to snatch up truth wherever he saw it, whether it be in the rituals of the Masons or papyri he thought belonged to Abraham. This has led me to #8, which is closest to what I consider to be the truth.

8. The truth is complicated.

The older I get, the closer #8 seems to reality.  However, I thank God that I’m in a religion right now that can tie the Human Family together in a way that accepts and appreciates truths everywhere and anywhen.  In the darkest times at night, and on Sundays when I listen to what’s taught from the pulpit, and when I travel and see people of all different colors and faiths and nationalities, and when I read history books full of brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for their faith, even faiths much different than my own, I don’t have to accept on blind faith the conclusion that the majority of my family (the Human Race) is damned for Eternity for not knowing the name of Christ.  There isn’t a privileged time or place for personal salvation.

And this is very comforting to me.

Comments

comments

Comments 17

  1. Great post, and I’m glad to see Guru Nanak (and a few of the others you mentioned) getting some attention here. I learned about Nanak from an Indian Christian friend in college and found him quite fascinating. Kabir and Mozi are cool, too.

    -Chris

  2. This is pretty much what our Church teaches us, right? It is expressly the opposite of what Brigham Young and Joseph Smith taught over and over again …

    That seems to call for an essay all of its own.

  3. #2. Yes, it does. I’m not very literate when it comes to legit historical discourse, really, so I just stick to personal observations in relation to facts I see. Still, I hold to the fact that in the Church nowadays, #7 seems closer to the conventional wisdom, though it is, indeed, not what JS or BY taught.

  4. Great post! I really enjoyed hearing about this. With regard to whether or not a prophet is true, here are some thoughts.

    Maybe it’s just me, but why does a prophet have to be “true” or “untrue”? Is it our Mormonism that imbues us with the idea that a prophet, or church has to be “true” or not? Isn’t it reasonable to take the teachings from Nanak, like Joseph, and accept them for what they are? Certainly I am at liberty to accept parts of Joseph’s teachings, like Nanak’s, and reject others. Is it all or nothing?

    I agree with #8, the truth is complicated. It is complicated by the fact that there are nearly as many ideas of what “true” means as there are people who theorize about it. It is complicated by the fact that life is paradoxical, and truths almost always have their opposites, which are also valid at times. It is complicated by the fact that many people use differing methodologies for determining truth.

  5. Re: 4

    I think some of us are attracted to religions (and careers and political systems) that tie salvation (or earthly security) to believing correct things about the world. But there may be a bigger picture in which our security and salvation as the Kingdom of God are instead tied to the presence of opposites to balance our individual weaknesses.

    The analogy would be opposing sets of hormones in the human body that together regulate it.

  6. I really like the teaching that there are no Hindus and no Muslims, only people. It reminds me of the idea in Camelot when Merlin turns Arthur into a bird, and for the first time Arthur realizes that all the boundaries between lands were imagined, not real. In reality, all the land was connected and indistinguishable as separate kingdoms.

  7. I’m not even sure how I got it, surprisingly, but in the short time I lived in Idaho, I received an interesting gem. It’s a book called Religions of the World: A Latter-day Saint Perspective, by Spencer J. Palmer.

    It’s the text book for the CES Institute class “Comparative Religions.” The book also addresses an interesting point (to me at least): that church leaders disagree on whether the similarity in religion comes from God, Satan, or Other. Fascinating reading. The book is easily and readily available. Check out your local institute today!

  8. #4 “Certainly I am at liberty to accept parts of Joseph’s teachings, like Nanak’s, and reject others. Is it all or nothing?”

    I don’t think it could be all or nothing. It is more of “good” and “better”. I don’t know of very many prophetic types who have found a following of people that don’t have something to say that appeals to people. In other words, something they said must have been of worth to a lot of people or we wouldn’t still be talking about them.

    The local pastor down the street gives a sermon on Sunday which is of value to me if I follow him, but I’d rather go to my LDS church to get a “better” sermon or feeling from the spirit. That doesn’t make the pastor “all bad” and of no worth, just not worthy of my time. Parts of Nanak’s teachings can be of value to me if applied to my personal beliefs. I just find the teachings of Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ to be better.

  9. #9. Jaspinder – are you still around? Can I ask you a few questions about Guru Nanak? For instance, what evidence do you use to determine whether Guru Nanak was who he said he was? What criteria do Sikhs use to determine this?

    And when you find out about other prophets, for instance, Joseph Smith, do you have a “process” to determine whether you believe in what he says? If you’re interested, I’d be very curious to your answer to these questions.

  10. Post
    Author
  11. I actually took the Religions of the World class at BYU taught by Spencer J. Palmer with the book you mention used as a text book. Something I remember from class (it was a long time ago) is that Brother Palmer always emphasized the similarities in the prophets especially those bringing monotheistic faith in a polytheistic world. The stories have many interesting similarities.
    I wish I could go back and take the class again now that I have some idea what some of the religions are like.

  12. Responding to the topic of the Guru Nanak, prophets, spokesman for God, enlightened, and smart people in general:
    Throughout the history of our world, the Spirit of the Lord has enlightened, instructed or awakened many souls – in many lands, of many cultures. Some of these have prophesied. Doubtless many true prophets are nameless to us still. Remember in the days of Lehi, when he was one of many others who prophesied of the upcoming destruction of Jerusalem? Who were those other guys? We are not told. But, Lehi was the one chosen to lead his family into the wilderness, to go back for the records, and to keep records. We, as LDS, also know that other records have yet to be revealed. How can I possibly determine whether Guru Nanak is a true prophet if I have so little information about him? Well, we can’t. Know for sure, but, we certainly should humbly respect that many are called.
    In the history of the world, philosophers have expanded their thinking to realize and record learned truths – And, some truly are essential puzzle pieces to ‘the big picture’. While some ‘precepts of men’ are ridiculous, some have great merit. Prominent physicists theorize of incredible things, in order to understand “everything”. Parallel and multiple universes, membrane universes, M Theory; an 11th dimension – infinite yet close. These concepts are a delight to consider! Black Holes and Big Bangs feeding each other in infinite events… YES! These physics and mathematical concepts truly do touch on some eternal principals! Broad, complex and exciting… and go hand in hand with what we are taught in our recorded scripture: That God, by his only begotten Son created, “worlds without number”,(Moses 1:33). And, in the temple, we are taught that God sent Jehovah and Michael to “go down, for there is space there” and organize our terrestrial home. Seekers of knowledge and understanding throughout the history of our world are what must have been among the “noble and great ones” (Abr. 3:22-23) in the pre-mortal existence. We as LDS are encouraged to seek further understanding of all things. Our written scriptures, are recorded “highlights” of gospel history; puzzle pieces that make up what our restoration prophets have clarified are a part of “the Plan of Salvation” for the family of man. Ancient and obscure, true prophets or saints certainly existed. Many enlightened men and women have been touched by the Spirit of the Lord – and enlightenment is obviously not exclusive to Mormons. We as LDS, are encouraged to seek knowledge. We don’t know all, but our gospel or our ‘good news’ is that we have knowledge sufficient to our eternal progression: Humility, faith, repentance, baptism, charity, service…, etc. We have further taken on the mantle or responsibility as LDS to do the work of the our Heavenly Father through missionary work, service and especially temple work for those who have gone before, who are being taught of the Plan of Happiness. I love
    Moses 1: 4-5, 39
    4) And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.
      
     5) Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.
         
     39) For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

    We know there have been many prophets in the history of our world that didn’t get ‘ink’. We also know that all men have the ability to attain levels of ‘enlightenment’. We certainly grow when we hear others testify of truth. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young simplified or distilled the definition of our knowledge to ‘what we need to know’. That certainly doesn’t mean our quest for further understanding stops there. Mormons don’t literally have access all knowledge and all truths, but we are promised that we can obtain, line upon line, precept upon precept. On the most personal level, we are so fortunate to know that it is possible to seek a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, our advocate with the Father!
    Thought-provoking blog, thanks!

  13. you are very wrong about Guru Nanak, I suggest you go and do proper research with defined results. Please Read and understand the Guru Granth Sahib.

    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).

    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, 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).

    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 color; 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.

    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.

    There is only one God, he is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.

    “You
    are the Creator, O Lord, the Unknowable. You created the Universe of
    diverse kinds, colours and qualities. You know your own Creation. All
    this is your Play.” (Guru Nanak, Var Majh)

    “The
    Formless Supreme Being abides in the Realm of Eternity. Over His
    creation He casts His glance of grace. In that Realm are contained all
    the continents and the universes, Exceeding in number all count. Of
    creation worlds upon worlds abide therein; All obedient to His will; He
    watches over them in bliss, And has each constantly in mind.” (Guru
    Nanak, Japji)

    God cannot take human form.

    “He neither has father, nor mother, nor sons nor brothers.” (Guru Nanak, Maru)

    “Burnt
    be the mouth that asserts, the Lord takes birth. He is neither born nor
    dies; neither enters birth nor departs. All pervasive is Nanaks Lord.”
    (Guru Arjan Dev, Raga Bhairon)

    The
    goal of human life is to break the cycle of birth’s and deaths and
    merge with God. This can be accomplished by following the teachings of
    the Guru, meditation on the Holy Name and performance of acts of service
    and charity.

    Without
    devotion to the Name Divine is birth in the world gone waste. Such
    consume poison, poisonous their utterance; Without devotion to the Name,
    without gain they die, and after death in transmigration wander.” (Guru
    Nanak, Raga Bhairon)

    “True life is life in God, contemplation on the Name and the society of the saints” (Guru Arjan Dev, Dhanasari)

    “I
    shall merge in the Lord like the water in the sea and the wave in the
    stream. The soul will merge in God and like air I shall look upon all
    alike. Then why shall I come again? The coming and going is under the
    Will of the Lord and Realising This Will, I shall merge in the Lord”
    (Bhagat Kabir, Maru)

    “The
    disciple of the True Guru (God) dwells upon the Lord through the
    teaching of the Guru and all his sins are washed away” (Guru Ram Das,
    Var Gauri)

    “Our service in the world gets us a seat in the Court of the Lord” (Guru Nanak, Sri Rag)

    “One known as disciple of the holy Perceptor must, rising at dawn, on the Name Divine meditate” (Guru Ram Das, Raga Gauri)

    Scripts came from the God! just like you said messengers were sent to pass the message of god

    meaning
    of Guru is a teacher, in Sikhism there are many reference and
    explanation how the world was started and even now some of those things
    are being using used
    Normal
    Family life (Grasth) is encouraged, celibacy or renunciation of the
    world is not necessary to achieve salvation. The devotee must live in
    the world yet keep his mind pure. He must be a soldier, a scholar, a
    saint.

    “Beauteous
    lady! hast not heard with thy ears, To the husband’s home must thou
    come, nor for ever canst thou in the parental home abide” (Guru Nanak,
    Sri Rag)

    “I
    that in the parents home on the Lord meditated, In the husband’s home
    bliss have found. Blessed is the entire life of such.” (Guru Ram Das,
    Sri Rag)

    “Those known as celibates knowing not the right device, discard house and home.” (Guru Nanak, Asa)

    “Forsaking
    the household, one’s mind took him to the forest, but it could not get
    peace even for a moment; but when it sought the refuge of the Saint of
    the Lord, its wanderings ceased and it returned to its own home. One
    abandoned his relatives and became a Sannyasi, but the craving of the
    mind did not cease. One’s desires are not finished without the Word of
    the Guru, which alone can bring peace. When hatred for the world wells
    up in ones mind, he becomes a naked recluse, but the mind wanders
    ceaselessly and these wanderings do not end his desires, but when he
    meets the saints, he reaches the House of Mercy. Siddhas learn numerous
    Yogic poses; but their mind only after miraculous powers yearns. Thereby
    comes not to them fulfilment, content and peace of mind.” (Guru Ram
    Das, Bilaval)

    Sikhism rejects all distinctions of caste, creed, race or sex.

    “All
    are created from the seed of God. There is the same clay in the whole
    world, the potter (God) makes many kinds of pots.” (Guru Amar Das,
    Bhairo)

    “Recognise the light (of God) and do not ask for the caste, There is no caste in the next world.” (Guru Nanak, Asa)

    The
    Guru’s stressed the full equality of women, rejecting female
    infanticide, sati (wife burning), permitting widow remarriage and
    rejects purdah (women wearing veils).

    “We
    are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are
    engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the
    lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies, we take another
    one, we are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill
    of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is
    none without her. Only the One True Lord is without woman” (Guru Nanak,
    Var Asa)

    “They
    cannot be called satis, who burn themselves with their dead husbands.
    They can only be called satis, if they bear the shock of separation.
    They may also be known as satis, who live with character and contentment
    and always show veneration to their husbands by remembering them.”
    (Guru Amar Das, Var Suhi)

    I
    establish thee as my son, that you spread My Path. Go and instruct men
    in Righteousness and the Moral Law, and make people desist from evil.’
    I stood up, with joined palms, and bowing my head to Lord God, I said: Thy Path I shall spread only if Thou be at my back.
    For
    this was I born into the world, I utter only how and what God uttered
    to me, for I am the enemy of no one. He who calls me God will surely
    burn in the fire of hell. For I am only the servant of God: doubt not
    the veracity of this statement. I am but the slave of the Supreme Being
    come to witness His Play. I tell the world only what my God said to me,
    for I will not be silenced through fear of the mere mortals. I utter as
    is the Instruction of my God, for I consider no one greater than Him. I
    am pleased not with any religious garb, so I shall sow the seeds of the
    Unaccountable One. Nay, I worship not stones, nor am I attracted by
    denomintional coats. I utter only the name of the Infinite and so attain
    unto the Supreme Being. I wear not matted hair, nor ear-rings, nor have
    regard for any such ritual, and do only what God bids me do. I repeat
    only the Name of One God who fulfills us, at all places. No, I utter not
    another’s name, nor establish another God. I dwell upon the Name of the
    Infinite One and so realise the essence of the Supreme Light. I give
    thought to none else, nor utter another’s name. O God, with Thy one Name
    I am imbued. I have no other pride. Yea, I utter only Thy Name and
    eradicate my endless sins. (Guru Gobind Singh, Vachitra Natak)

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji describes what was before creation:
    ਅਰਬਦ ਨਰਬਦ ਧੁੰਧੂਕਾਰਾ ॥
    ਧਰਣਿ ਨ ਗਗਨਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥
    ਨਾ ਦਿਨੁ ਰੈਨਿ ਨ ਚੰਦੁ ਨ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਲਗਾਇਦਾ ॥੧॥
    “(Before
    the creation of the world) for endless eons, there was only utter
    darkness. There was no earth or sky; there was only the infinite Command
    of His Hukam. There was no day or night, no moon or sun; Vaheguru sat
    in primal, (like) in profound undisturbed meditation. ||1||”
    (Ang 1035)
    The universe did not come into existence by itself. The Creator created it:
    ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਪਵਨਾ ਭਇਆ ਪਵਨੈ ਤੇ ਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
    ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮੋਇ ॥
    ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਨਾ ਥੀਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਤੇ ਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥
    “From
    the True Lord came the air (gases), and from the air came water. From
    water, He created the three worlds (metaphor or common term for the
    universe and all within); in each and every heart He has infused His
    Light. The Immaculate Lord does not become polluted. Attuned to the
    Shabad, honor is obtained. ||3||”
    (Ang 19)
    According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee the creation was manifested from the Sunn (void) in which the creator eternally existed:
    ਸੁੰਨ ਕਲਾ ਅਪਰੰਪਰਿ ਧਾਰੀ ॥
    ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰਾਲਮੁ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰੀ ॥
    ਆਪੇ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੁੰਨਹੁ ਸੁੰਨੁ ਉਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੧॥
    ਪਉਣੁ ਪਾਣੀ ਸੁੰਨੈ ਤੇ ਸਾਜੇ ॥
    ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਕਾਇਆ ਗੜ ਰਾਜੇ ॥
    ਅਗਨਿ ਪਾਣੀ ਜੀਉ ਜੋਤਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ਸੁੰਨੇ ਕਲਾ ਰਹਾਇਦਾ ॥੨॥
    “In
    the Primal Void, the Infinite Lord assumed His Power. He Himself is
    unattached, infinite and incomparable. He Himself exercised His Creative
    Power, and He gazes upon His creation; from the Primal Void, He formed
    the Void. ||1|| From this Primal Void, He fashioned air and water. He
    created the universe, and the king in the fortress of the body. Your
    Light pervades fire, water and souls; Your Power rests in the Primal
    Void. ||2||”
    (Ang 1037)
    There are three distinct functions that Vaheguru continually performs through his creation:
    ਏਕਾ ਮਾਈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਵਿਆਈ ਤਿਨਿ ਚੇਲੇ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥
    ਇਕੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੀ ਇਕੁ ਭੰਡਾਰੀ ਇਕੁ ਲਾਏ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ॥
    ਜਿਵ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਵੈ ਚਲਾਵੈ ਜਿਵ ਹੋਵੈ ਫੁਰਮਾਣੁ ॥
    “Vaheguru,
    the One Divine Mother, emanated three functions. One, the Creator of
    the World; One, the Sustainer; and One, the Destroyer. He makes creation
    perform these functions to the Pleasure of His Will. Such is His
    Celestial Order.”
    (Ang 7)
    Guru Granth Sahib jee also tells us that the universe is not permanent:
    ਨਿਸਿ ਬਾਸੁਰ ਨਖਿਅਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਰਵਿ ਸਸੀਅਰ ਬੇਨਾਧਾ ॥
    ਗਿਰਿ ਬਸੁਧਾ ਜਲ ਪਵਨ ਜਾਇਗੋ ਇਕਿ ਸਾਧ ਬਚਨ ਅਟਲਾਧਾ ॥੧॥
    “Night
    and day, and the stars in the sky shall vanish. The sun and the moon
    shall vanish. The mountains, the earth, the water and the air shall pass
    away. Only the Word of the Holy Saint shall endure. ||1||”
    (Ang 1204)
    ਮ: ੧ ॥
    ਨ ਸੂਰ ਸਸਿ ਮੰਡਲੋ ॥ ਨ ਸਪਤ ਦੀਪ ਨਹ ਜਲੋ ॥
    ਅੰਨ ਪਉਣ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਕੁਈ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਤੁਈ ਏਕੁ ਤੁਈ ॥੪॥
    “Neither
    the sun, nor the moon, nor the planets, nor the seven continents, nor
    the oceans, nor food, nor the wind-nothing is permanent. You alone,
    Lord, You alone. ||4||”
    (Ang 144)
    Furthermore Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee tells us:
    ਕਈ ਬਾਰ ਪਸਰਿਓ ਪਾਸਾਰ ॥
    “Many times has the creation been created (the universe been created) and expanded.”
    (Ang 276)
    One question, which someone may ask, is “Who created the Creator?” To Guru jee tell us:
    ਨਿਰਭਉ ਸੋ ਸਿਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਲੇਖਾ ॥
    ਆਪਿ ਅਲੇਖੁ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਹੈ ਦੇਖਾ ॥
    ਆਪਿ ਅਤੀਤੁ ਅਜੋਨੀ ਸੰਭਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੋ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੧੨॥
    “Vaheguru
    alone is fearless, who has no destiny written on His head. God Himself
    is unseen; He reveals Himself through His wondrous creative power. He
    Himself is unattached, unborn and self-existent. O Nanak, through the
    Guru’s Teachings, He is found. ||12||”
    (Ang 1042)
    Fundamentally,
    one must understand and accept that humans cannot understand the limits
    of God’s creative power, creation and wonder:
    ਕੋਇ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਤੁਮਰੀ ਗਤਿ ਮਿਤਿ ਆਪਹਿ ਏਕ ਪਸਾਰਾ ॥
    “No one knows Your state and extent. You alone created the expanse of the Universe.”
    (Ang 1220)
    ਨਾਨਕ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੀ ਜਾਨੈ ਕਰਤਾ ਰਚਨਾ ॥੨॥
    “O Nanak, the Creator alone knows the workings of His creation. ||2||”
    (Ang 275)
    Thus
    it has been shown Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji gives Sikhs an understanding
    of the creation of the world that is very scientific and matches the
    views of contemporary scientists.

    ab
    mai apani katha bakhano (now I relate my own story), the narrative
    becomes more personal. The poet tells us how in a previous life he
    practised intense meditation and austerity on the mount Hem Kunt until
    his spirit merged with the Divine. Then, how despite his desire to stay
    absorbed in harmony at His feet, he was told by the Almighty to take
    birth in the Kali age to show the world the path of truth, to rid it of
    superstition, and to teach it to worship God alone. Guru Gobind Singh
    accepted the charge humbly: “Thy word shall prevail in the world, with
    Thy support.” Without fear or malice, he would, he said, proclaim what
    God had told him. Lest people should start worshipping him instead of
    God, he warns them, “Those who call me God shall into the pit of Hell be
    cast. I am but the slave of the Supreme Being come to watch the world
    spectacle.” Guru Gobind Singh adored none but God and attached no
    importance to any religious garb or practice except the constant
    remembrance of God’s Name. Cantos 7 to 13 treat of the poet’s life as
    Gobind Rai, name by which Guru Gobind Singh was earlier known. (Gobind
    Singh was the name he assumed after he had himself admitted to the
    Khalsa Panth). Apparently, owing to the hostility of the neighbouring
    hill rajas, he moved to Paonta where he lived happily for some time.
    Then Fateh Shah (the Raja of Srinagar) attacked him “without
    provocation.” The rest of the autobiography is largely a description of
    the armed conflicts between the Guru and his adversaries. He defeated
    Fateh Shah, and his allies at Bhangani. At Nadaun he defeated Alif Khan,
    a Mughal commander sent to exact tribute from the hill chiefs. The
    Guru’s former enemy, Bhim Chand of Bilaspur, sought the Guru’s help in
    this action. Three expeditions sent by Dilawar Khan were also put to
    rout. The first, under Dilawar’s son, turned back merely upon hearing
    the tumult of assault by the Guru’s forces. The second and third, under
    strong commanders Hussain and Jujhar Singh, were distracted by other
    hill chiefs and ended in the death of these commanders. Guru Gobind
    Singh ends the story in canto 14 reaffirming his faith in God’s cosmic
    play. “All Time saveth His saints and punisheth those who renege on Him.
    He protecteth his saints from all harm …. He hath succoured me. His
    own slave.” Bachitra Natak is a clear and strong statement of God’s, and
    Guru Gobind Singh’s role in history. That is what gives it central
    importance in the formation of SIKHISM. Guru Gobind Singh confirmed the
    preceding Guru’s teaching centring on the oneness and perfection of the
    Absolute. Such oneness also implied the essential perfection of creation
    as part of the Absolute. But creation is perfect only in relation to
    the Creator not in itself.

    i WILL again re-iterate my opening paragraph in case you didn’t get it before.

    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).

    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, 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).

    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 color; 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.

    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

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