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Abstract

Guru Nanak is the pioneer of interfaith dialogue in the history of the world. His revolutionary thought, outlook and efforts to reconcile men and philosophies may be seen in the social backdrop of his time, as depicted in the Adi Granth page 469. Adi Granth was the first Holy Scripture, which established the tradition of interfaith dialogue.  The holy Quran says: all prophets have been sent by God to different people, at different times, to deliver God’s grace to mankind. Therefore, Guru Nanak was as original as the earlier prophets, who spoke out of their revelations and not from other’s experiences. During his 25 - year long and intensive encounters with yogis, saints and religious men of all hues, Nanak insisted: “Religion must join the life current of humanity and should be socially and spiritually consistent.” He rejected burdensome legalism, wasteful, ritualistic and meaningless ceremonies in order to keep its essential practice close to the pure religion of man. Guru Nanak participated in interfaith dialogues with his message:  “sabna jian da eko data, so mein visar na jaye. Raha dovai, khasam eko jano.” “No body is high, no body is low … I am the lowest of the low.” “No body is Hindu, no body is Muslim.” In the 14th stanza of Japji, Guru Nanak states: “A wise person would not tread the path of communalism “. His emphasis on “God’s Grace “Gur Prasad” and the ultimate trust in righteous deeds were widely acclaimed. Ecumenism and reconciliation are the quintessence of Guru Nanak’s message which runs undercurrent all interfaith dialogues.

Composition of Guru Granth Sahib

For the preparation of the scripture, The first Guru (1469-1539) started collecting the revelations and teachings of the pious souls from their places, in their original different folk languages, who had paned away 250 years. Earlier than Guru Granth Sahib.

Examples:

Baba Sheikh Farid (1175-1265) an M from Punjab.Bhagat Jaidev (1201-1245), a Brahmin from Bengal.
Bhagat Namdev (1270-1350) an untouchable from Maharastra.
Bhagat Tirlochan (1267-1335) an untouchable from Maharastra.
Bhagat Ramanand (1366-1440) an untouchable from UP.
Bhagat Sain (1390-1440) an untouchable from MP.
Bhagat Dharma (1415-1440) an untouchable from Punjab
Bhagat Pipa (1426-1440) a Rajput king of Rajasthan
Bhagat Shiekh Kabir (1398-1495) a M. weaver from UP.
The dates of Bhagat Sadna a M bucher from Sind and Bhagat Sadna Beni are not known. Probably there were of the earlier products.

The first five Guru Granth Sahib continued the process of complaining and collecting the material for 135 years from (1439-1604) for inclusion in this scripture. The fifth Guru Arjan Dev ji got it insensible for 5 years. Under his personal supervision.

Out of 36 contributors, six are S Gs.; 7 Ms, 2 untouchables 1 and remaining He is of different denominations. Its Chapter is arranged in 31 Indian Classical Ragas. It consists of 1430 pages of large size. The verses of the ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur ji were added to it in the year. In 1705, before confirming Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib in the year 1708. It has a unique numbering says. For every hymn and chapter, giving the total number, with the headings and the name of the author. In all editions available, the live and P number is the same.

This digest of teachings of 500 years from Baba Farid (1175-1265) is a vast library in itself for the benefit of the leading life, covering each and every aspect of life.

This is a Unique scripture in which spirituality supersedes religiosity. Guru Granth Sahib is more than a spiritual guide a teacher for honest living, uniting people, upholding dignity of all castes, creeds and gender.

It is a Unique treasure for protection of civilization classical ragas, first events, inspiration to people, religions and the country. Guru Granth Sahib is a unique literary collection, which serves as a guidance souls of the entire humanity. It a source of inspiration to people to meet multifarious challenges of life for all times.

Language: Under instructions of The 1st Guru, The 2nd Guru Angad Dev ji  invented a script known as Gurumukhi, leaving and several scripts of that time. This is the latest among the scripts of the W. scientifically more simplified and made perfectly phonetic (pronounced as written) to suit different spoken languages inscribed in it.

Read: Some of us read Gurubani in a mechanical way first for the sake of reading, without making an effort to understand it.

Rituals and rites are not religious in S.ism. the Shabad (knowledge) and its implementation is the true essence.

We should understand the philosophy, ideology, The words and spirit of this scripture. It does not help if we read verses in one stretch of breath. Then, we may not understand its meaning: we should read with slow speed with a little loud voice (not very loudly). It is better if we split a verse into two-three-four or even more parts so that the next can be understood by breaks a verse into small portions.

The Bani is like the road signs to show us the way towards the destination.

It is actually a text book syllabus of life to be read, understood and followed in letter and spirit.

Style: Adi Granth which was compiled (1599-1604) also contains one line poetry.
Most of the scholars and readers are not aware of this most precious literary heritage of.

The Bani (hymns) of Bhagats in Shri Guru Granth Sahib in Raag Sarang, starts at from 1251. It contains two Shabads of Bhagat Kabir, Three Shabads of Bhagat Namedev and one Shabad is 6 at The end after words, there is one live.

This art of poetry has vanished from this Land.
On P 927, with the heading “Raag Ram Kali, Mohalla Punjwan, This Shabad delivers complete meaning of the Shabad in just 2 lines is complete in the meters of the classical Raag Ram Kali, praising The Absolute one God.

Concept of Khalsa:

1. Khalsa is an Arabic word. It stands for the land that belongs to the King and not to any individual person.
2. Till recently, the term was commonly used in maintaining revenue records in languages.
3. In those days, the word Khalsa was also commonly used for the fearless worshippers of God.
4. On P655, Kabir n his couplet says : Those slaves of God who love to worship have become Khalsa.
5. Sikhs were described as Nanak Prasad (worshippers of Nanak) and Nanak Panthis (i.e., Ss of Nanak) and as an offshoot of Hinduism.     This was against the basic spirit of Sikhism as non-believers also started claiming to be Ss as per with the believers. This compelled the     10th Guru to create certain barriers to save sim from the danger of assimilation 
6. Guru Granth Sahib planned foolproof transformation of the Ss and prescribed some self explanatory name of “Waheguruji ka Khalsa” i.e.,     The some people of the wondrous God. The 6th and the 9th Guru also addressed Sat Sangat as Khalsa in their Hukumnamas.

However, The word Khalsa does not mean Khalis and Pure no where is the term used in that sense in any language. To interpret the meaning of Khalsa or pure is a conspiracy to create div. separation from other human beings.

The word Aki is also wrongly interpreted as ‘Sikhs will rule’, Aki is an arabid word for ‘atheist’, one who denies the existence of God. Thus the true meaning of the couplet is that the nonbelievers will vanish and people of the wondrous God will rule. In no way it relates to the Khalsa as a Community.

Guru Nanak: Without woman and the true one exists. P473.

There is no separate code for woman is Sikhism. They are an par with men in all respects and can become priests and be empowered to give Amrit. (S way of Baptism).

Example: In 1998 and again in 2004 election of Bibi Jagbir Kaur, (a woman) as president of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandak Committee, the highest body to look after the admn. Of history shrines is an example.

Example: The 10th Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji associated his wife Mata Sahib Kaur asks her to put batase into water and stir it with khanda (while preparing Amrit) and recite Gurbani.

Example: Mata Bhag Kaur and others faught battles shoulder to shoulder with Guru Gobing Singh.

Example: Mata Khive, wife of Guru Angad had served supervised Langav.

 

Untone hobbles:

- Namdev was denied entry in H. temple. It is described in his own hymn.
- Ravi Das
- Bhagat Sadhna was M butcher from suid.
- Bhagat Sadhna saint, an H barber from MP are also seated in Guru Gobind Singh not with standing their profession.

Example: In few temples, in Zoroastrian temple, Jaganath Puri, Mecca Medina.

Refs: Singh is Hinduism and Secularism. Sec Guru Gobind Sahib.

Protection of the Opprened

Guru Nanak revolutionary himself is not sole reformer, political. Rebel, pioneer of nationalism, infused new life/society and motivated them to sacrifice life and property for honor and dignity.

Revolted against Jazia Hs, idols, temples. On P878, he says: if a person lives even after his dignity is matched away, it is harram whatever he eats. On P1412, if you seek to play the game of love, and then enter into my street keeping the head upon your palm (be prepared to sacrifice your life. P.1288, rules have become tigers, their officials have become dogs. At Eminabad, he revolted against atrocities of Babar was imprisoned.

P.1105, Kabir said: A brave is one who fights for the oppressed, dies cut into pieces, but never leaves battle field.

Protection of Plants

Guru Nanak Dev ji not approved sacrifices in the name of God and goodness. At P. 1289-90, he says: aur fools fight on the issue of veg and non-veg. but as food to meet need of hunger, all natural products have been approved. ( L of Nt. small being is food of large living being)

Humility:

1. All contributors in Guru Gobind Singh used lowest of the low words for themselves and lived honest lives.

2. None of them claimed any special status and continued to earn his livelihood for feeding their families even through lowliest professions.

3. In Guru Gobind Singh, Nanak Dass (slave Namak) for himself, followed by other Gurus. Guru Nanak cultivated lands during his Guruship and after appoints his successor.

4. Kabir ( as an Arabic word means elder) used the word Dass.

Concept of God:

The beauty of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is that it starts with the unique name of God as numerical “1” one but also continues the one line description of His concept, which is called  “ Mangla Charan”.
Mul Mantar is recorded in abbreviated form as “Ik Onkar satgur parsad”. It is written 525 times before beginning of chapters and Ragas.

Sikhism and Gurbani have strongly condemmed and abolished the monopoly of priesthood. It is declared that for worshipping God, no mediator is required. Most of us are blind followers of comm. Priestly class.

Guru Gobind Singh is a universal scripture of mankind, preaching a unique section of life, uniting all religions, fatherhood of God, and brotherhood of human beings.

A Guru for the Sikhs teaching, through its prescribed syllabus for leading a correct life, is not an object for worship.

Guru Nanak did not tolerate social, economic and religious exploitation of the masses. He rejected the culture of discrimination. He gave women the highest regard.

Mind

Mind is an edifice of instincts, emotions and desires which form the main structure of the mental organism. “If the mind is under the sway of passion, evil inclination and duality, Reason obeys the dictates of the mind, which proclaims what is virtue and what is vice.” (Gauri Guarei 1.2). If you can control your mind from reacting against the outer happenings then there will be no pain and misery. Feelings of hatred, anger and enmity cause pain. But if the soul gets rid of such feelings it can be liberated.

The soul should follow the guidance of the Guru who has trodden that path. However, the Guru is not the incarnation of God and he does not claim any special position visa vise his disciples. The only distinction the Guru claims is that he has already covered that path. The Guru  can guide the seeker who doesn’t know the path and doesn’t know how to proceed along with it. Once you truthfully follow the path shown to you by the Guru, you will rise to your Guru’s level. You become one with Him. Now you have realized your Self. Now you have found the truth, as the guru had found it. The Guru makes your task easy and saves you from stumbling and grouping in the dark. If you want to realize your Self, you must consult and follow your doctor i.e., your Guru.

The instituitions of sangat and langar have regularly functioned since their foundation by Guru Nanak  and they are responsible for keeping the Sikh society intact, democratic and egalitarian, socially.

The system of guruship started by Guru Nanak was a revolutionary step, which resulted in the gradual building up of the Sikh community and the establishment of the Khalsa Panth. Lastly, the institution of the Ten Sikh Gurus has been a unique spiritual charisma, which resulted in the building up of the national and heroic spirit for the highest sacrifice for which the Sikh community has been singularly known worldwide.

Like Buddha, Nanak wanted to live in peace, amity, goodwill and unity with persons of all faiths. His main emphasis was the removal of superstitious practices and social evils which the then society  was suffering from, but not at the point of the sword, but by methods, entirely peaceful. He gave the people of Punjab an ideal which helped his followers to establish a well-knit Sikh community. Such was the love which both the Hindu and the Muslim communities had for Guru Nanak that he is known as Nanak  Shah Fakir, Hindu ka Gur Musalman ka pir.

Guru Nanak Deeds

Guru Nanak says: A man’s religion is known from the deeds he performs and not the symbols. Robes, symbols, forms, rites, rituals and ceremonies which do not lead to righteous deeds, will not take a man far on the path of spiritual progress. The real problem is to rid the mind of evil propensities, and if that is not accomplished, all other austerities are of no use.

In a hymn in Rag Maru, Guru Nanak has beautifully portrayed how our own deeds are the cause of misery, which we suffer. To cure the soul of the long standing melody of egoism is the goal placed before every individual. Impelled by egoism, a man engages in selfish activity and such activities nourish his individuality, and make it stronger and stronger. Individuality imbues a man with “mineness” such as strong desire to possess worldly goods which he thinks will make his life happy. Struggle for possession drives him into lust, attachment, anger, greed and with passage of time, these evils become strong fetters. Pain and misery are the result of his own actions. Do not blame others, blame your own deeds. We reap the fruit of our own doings, do not accuse others. The writ was prepared according to one’s own deeds.

In Rag Maru, Guru Nanak says; “mind is the paper, actions ink, bad and good deeds are the two writings (being engraved) on it ….. ensnared more and more, day by day, with what merit wilt thau liberate thyself….. the mind has been converted into dross……but it can again be changed into gold.” In Japji, Guru Nanak describes the stages and spiritual development in the various Khands (stages) of Dharma (righteousness). Light fills all souls and that light is He. God is the soul of all souls.

Cure the Soul. ree it by    Self goes against the soul. If you could command the mind to live only in the present, than all your worries disappear. Man is the architect of his own fate, but to change the course of his life, he needs the advice of the Guru, who hath covered the path that leeds to bliss.

Guru Nanak says; use your understanding to examine the commodity before trading in it. Religious life is an experience. One can understand the significance of the Guru’s teachings only when until one practices it. Guru is the ladder; the boat, and the raft laden with the name of Hari. Guru is the ship to cross the ocean of Sansar. When it pleases Him, the soul goes to bathe in the pool of truth and becomes pure. One gets the true Guru with His grace.

Guru Nanak proclaimed, there is only one religion, let anybody practice truth. Perfection is attained by the teaching of the Guru. Mere assuming the forms of a particular creed or doning robes of a particular order is of no use. None will ever enter paradise without good deeds. All men are wayfarers, when the writ comes they will depart without delay. He who boasts of being a Hindu or a Muslim is in vain. All will have to render account at his door. Without righteous deeds, none will get salvation. The discipline is the same for all. The examiner wants to see your answers, your performance and awards accordingly. He is not interested in knowing your name and cast. A man will not go far on the path of spiritual progress without doing righteous deeds.

Guru Nanak does not divide men on the basis of creed, colour, race or countries. For him, men are of two kinds….. Gurmukhs (God- oriented, who seek good of all) and Manmukhs (selfish). Brahmin is one who practices Jap, tap and exercises restraints to that end. A tree is known from the fruit it bears, so a man religion is known by the deed he performs. Robes, symbols forms, rites, rituals and ceremonies that do not lead to righteous deeds will not take a man far on the path of spiritual progress. The real question is to rid the mind of evil propensities. If that is not done, all our austerities are of no use.

The basis of spiritual life is ethical conduct. The pure heart will find God. Truth resides only in pure heart. With diet of greed insight and much falsity in speech, why are you washing your body from outside. Shun greed, give up calm and falsehood then you will be rewarded through the Guru’s teachings. When understanding is defiled by sin, it is washed by the love of the Name. Forms and symbols in a creed are useful only when we understand the meaning which they convey.

Guru Nanak preached: all men are equal. No one is low. No one is high. If there is a low caste, I am the lowest of the low. A man’s caste and faith are determent by the works he performs. Caste can gain nothing. Truth within will be tested. Poison will kill all those who taste it. At his court, those will get honoured who are commited to His will.

Guru Nanak taught; discipline of the Name will win God’s grace and brings salvation. If I go to a sacred place, that Holy place is the Name. Reflection on the word is Truth. Knowledge imparted by the Guru is the real Tirath, ever auspicious to dip in. Nanak always prayed for the name of Hari. The Guru’s word ever sheds pure life, bathe in the Holy water of Truth.

The real problem is how to kill evil propensities. How to revive the longing for the reunion. No use in having the ear split and living an alms. When pain and pleasure are alike to a man, he has real eyes for God’s teachings. Nanak taught the constant remembrance of God. And it is the only remedy. Nanak said: man can progress spiritually even when engaged in worldly activities. By contemptpleting on tirath, light and dance, than in the midst of sensual pleasures, one remains detached. Such is the greatness of the Guru that anyone living with his family can also obtain salvation.

“Rare are such men in this world, whom after testing, God has gathered unto his treasury. They have rid themselves of the bonds of castes and colour, and given up greed and mineness. Imbued with the name, they have become sacred places, full of purity, having put an end to the dirt and misery of egoism, Nanak washes the feet of such God- oriented saints in whose heart is enshrined the True One” (Parbhati Asht 8:7)

Teachings of Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, was an apostle of peace, unity, love and human brotherhood. He is loved and respected all over the world by followers and scholars of all persuasions- Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christians, Sikhs and others for his unique contribution to the moral and spiritual progress of the mankind. His religion is universal in character.  Guru Nanak was the prophet of ecumenism and he appreciated whatever was valuable in other religions. Ecumenism doesn’t call for relinquishing one’s own religion; on the contrary, here a man transcends to a spiritual freedom and accepts other expressions regarding the meaning of man’s existence.  For Nanak, religion is realization—a spiritual anubhav and not an intellectual exercise or sophism. He dauntlessly rejected empty symbols like smearing of ashes, earrings, shaven heads, blowing of conches and such like items for showoff. Nanak said: Religion is not a ceremonial piety or pilgrimage, undertaken for the sake of ostantentation and social status. There is no Hindu, no Muslim,” said Nanak. He does not believe in the ultimacy of distinctions between a Hindu and a Muslim. He goes beyond such distinctions and fosters a universal religion.     
Guru Nanak denounced all the external marks of holiness, fasts pilgrimage and penances. He rejected asceticism and renunciation of the world. He taught that even a householder was equally accepted to God as a hermit; and secular business did not come in the way of emancipation. Religion doesn’t ask you to escape from time, renounce your home, hold a bagger’s bowl and go for food from door to door. Religion means that you remain untainted in the midst of impurity and blossom like lotus in the midst of mud. Guru Nanak clarified: Righteous men of all faiths and nations share in the life eternal. Holiness is found amongst the followers of all Religion. 

 Guru Nanak as a revolutionary strongly condemned the corrupt and evil practices and superstitions prevailing in the religious and social institutions and the exploitation of the ignorant masses by the clever and greedy Brahmins and Mullahs. He launched the bitterest attack against the caste system and the hierarchical character of the Hindu society. He also rejected the evil practice of Sati. But he never attacked Hinduism or Islam or their institutions in there original form. He wanted to reform them in a peaceful and not in a violent or revolutionary manner. He believed in peaceful persuasion to achieve his objective.

Nanak differed with the leaders of other Bhakti Schools. Unlike Ramanand, Kabir and Chaitanya, Nanak concentrated from the beginning on social reform and Nam Simran. Unlike many others, he rejected renunciation of the world. His outlook was non-sectarian and it had no mythology, no traditions and no ambiguities. Unlike others, Nanak alone founded the institution of guruship for carrying forward his mission. Unlike others, he dislodged Sanskrit from it, had occupied as the only language of the Hindus, although several other Bhakti school saints preached in their local languages. Unlike other leaders of other Bhakti School,  he believed in Rama and Krishna as re-incarnation  of  GOD ,Nanak advocated that God is formless, timeless, birthless and ever present and subjected to  birth and death. He rejected the caste theory.  Nanak said: Not the family background or social  status, but deeds and merits matters alone in the Court of the Lord.  

Foundation of Sikhism and travels

Rai Bular Bhatti, the local landlord and Nanak's sister Beebe Nanaki were the first people who recognized divine qualities in Guru Nanak. They encouraged and supported Nanak to study and travel. Around 1499 at the age of thirty, Sikh tradition stated that Nanak went missing and was presumed to have drowned after going for one of his morning baths to a local stream called the Kali Bein. One day, he declared: "There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim" (in Punjabi, "nā kōi hindū nā kōi musalmān". It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teachings of what was then the beginning of Sikhism.

Although the exact account of his itinerary is disputed, he is widely acknowledged to have made four major journeys, spanning thousands of kilometers, the first tour being east towards Bengal and Assam the second south towards Tamil Nadu, the third north towards Kashmir, Ladakh, and Tibet, and the final tour west towards Baghdad and Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula.

Last years

As his end approached Guru Nanak would frequently test the devotion of his sons and nearest followers and in doing so demonstrate their state of mind to one another. There were numerous such occasions and one particular devotee, Baba Lehna,rose to eminence because he never faltered in his faith in Guru Nanak.

Guru Nanak appointed Baba Lehna as the successor Guru, renaming him as Guru Angad Dev, meaning 'one's very own' or 'part of you'. This succession wasn't a mere gesture. Via a transformation, compared in Sikh tradition as the passing of a flame from one candle to another, the Guru-aspect of Guru Nanak descended upon Guru Angad. Guru Angad became Guru Nanak. In the Guru Granth Sahib, this is described as having even a physical manifestation whereby Angad in person suddenly appeared to look like Nanak.

Shortly after proclaiming Baba Lehna as the next Guru, Nanak announced that the time of his death had arrived, and retreated to a tree whereby he sat in the lotus position and the praan (life-force) was guided upwards and outwards from his body. This was said to have happened on 22 September 1539 in Kartarpur, Punjab, Pakistan at the age of 70.

The first thing first. The term spiritual issues refer to Truth i.e., The Supreme Spirit, the omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient Reality. Guru Nanak says: this truth existed before the existence, it is timeless; it was, it is and it will always be. The Truth is one, the wise call it by many names. The Rishis have given name to the nameless. Koi bole raam naam, koi bole gusaiyan. Some call him Parmatma, Ishwar, Lord, Allah and Waheguru. But the names do not change the nature and contents of the term Supreme Reality. The Holy Scriptures tell us that God has created everything- the cosmos, all beings and non-beings. He is the cause of all creations and the cause of all causes. He creates preserves and destroys. He has created man in his own image. As Hegal says: man is the march of God on earth.

The Vedas taught: to respect the elders, help the needy, live at peace and harmony within the family and the society; learn from all sides. A sage is one who is at home both in the East as well the West. This also implies peaceful coexistence among states.

The Bhagwad Gita is the finest scripture of spiritual philosophy. It teaches the importance of doing one’s snatana dharma i.e., performance of one’s duty according to one’s natural Gunas. And doing action without the desire for fruit. Buddha gave the best spiritual teachings by showing the noble eightfold path, which, if followed in letter and spirit will lead to the righteous kingdom. Zorathustra taught; help the needy rather than build a Temple.

Christianity teaches that service of mankind is the service of God. Love all, hate none, because Love is God. The Holy Quran preaches peace and brotherhood, unity in diversity, casteless society tolerance and righteous conduct, which Buddha had earlier advocated. Guru Granth Sahib is the best example of ecumenism, eclecticism and secular religion. It advocates casteless and classless society. The composition of Guru Granth Sahib makes it the most voluminous and a unique spiritual Pothi (the Granth). It’s the only Granth where six Sikh Gurus and thirty bhagats, from diverse castes and professions from all over India have contributed to its Bani. The contributions of the Gurus and the Bhagats are considered equally sacrosanct. We appreciate that all denominational scriptures pray and sing the glory of God, seek his grace, advocate emancipation of the soul through Tap, Jap and good deeds.

Mr Chairman, I firmly believe in the teachings of Sukhmani Sahib Asht. 24 (composed by Guru Arjan Dev (the 5th Sikh Guru). It says: The subject matter of all religions is the same. His worship and worshippers are of the same hue. Mandir, Masjid, Church and Gurudwara are the same. Prayer Namaz and Ardaas are the same, said Guru Gobind Singh.

All Holy Scriptures generally speak of the ultimate goal of life as self- realization. Different prophets have advocated different paths to reach the same goal. The Holy Quran says; Allah has sent 1 lac twenty four thousand prophets to different people at different times. About 20 of them are mentioned in the Quran by name.    

With the passage of time, the followers of different prophets organized separate religious sects revolving round the teachings of their prophets as enshrined in the Holy Scriptures.

The birth of a religious denomination around the spiritual aura and teachings of a prophet is grounded in history. These various sects became rigidified and inflexible denominations. No wonder, many a time, these sects fought pitched battles in the cause of saving and propagating the presumed superiority of the teachings of their respective prophets.

The real problem arose when a handful of religious persons established their monopoly on these Holy Scriptures mainly due to their knowledge of the denominational languages. In fact they are beneficiaries of such traditions.

It is a sad affair that different religious sects emphasize too much on the sanctity of their respective languages. Arya samaj prefers that its devotees should have the knowledge of Sanskrit and speak in chaste Hindi. It is said that the Holy Quran can be appreciated best in Arabic.
Mr Chairman, if I were to use the stereotypes and old phrases of Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese or Greek for presenting my paper, there would be few takers in the present august assembly. How many of us in this assembly know Pali to appreciate Dhamapad of Buddha, the original Hebrew to appreciate the Bible; lecture only in Arabic to teach the Quran and possess the knowledge of Gurumukhi to know I humbly plead that we care for the contents more than we emphasize the original languages in which these scriptures were written. So much has changed. Let’s also change our perspective and teach and learn spiritual issues in non-denominational languages. Let’s show respect to the teachings of all Spiritual Masters by understanding their messages and sharing the same with others.

The saints of the Bhakti Movement such as Baba Farid a muslim from Punjab, Namdev an untouchable from Maharashtra, Ravidas, a cobbler from UP, Kabir, a muslim weaver from UP, Bhagat Sain an untouchable from MP, Bhagat Sadhna a Butcher from Sind treated the spiritual issues in non-denominational languages i.e., in their local  languages, which were best understood by the simple village folk. If there is any low caste, I am the lowest of the low. Guru Nanak hit hard the denominational language of the Hindu Scriptures. Guru Nanak said: there is nothing wrong in Ved and Puran. It is we who are wrong. He blamed the greedy Pandits and Mullas who presumed that it was their birth right to interpret the scriptures written in Sanskrit and Arabic. Nanak said that the denominational languages were responsible for keeping spiritual issues away from the people.

If we insist on using the denominational languages to teach spiritual issues, most of us are bound to remain ignorant. Especially, in view of the Public school education and globalization, it is high time we impart the knowledge of spiritual matters in commonly understood language. Mr Chairman, in a multilingual and pluralist society like ours, we must respect the teachings of all prophets not as a last resort but as the first option. Harmony among faiths is essential for sustained economic development. Lets use a language that binds and does not divide. If we have to survive as a well united society, we should understand the contents of Holy Scriptures by using non-denominational languages and overlook the differences at the level of rituals and outer symbols. Without pure heart and good deeds, no one will go to paradise. Languages are less important than the deeds.

Mr Chairman, if spiritual messages as enshrined in the Holy Scriptures were to be taught only in stereotypes and gorgons we will be deprived of the fruit of their teachings Therefore, the spiritual issues be explained in simple and non-sectarian language so that we can reap the fruit of the teaches of all the Spiritual Masters. Lets rise above denominational languages to impart the knowledge of our scriptures to as many people as possible. 

The meaning of Gayatri Mantra, Aarti, Mul Mantar and Namaaz be taught to all students in language which they can understand. The most important thing is not the intellectual understanding of the spiritual issues but assimilating the spirit and living them in our day to day life. The crux of spirituality is love, peace, harmony, human brotherhood, righteous deeds, charity, humility, compassion and fellowship. All this be taught to parents, teachers and students in non-denominational languages.  

 

What we need today is not the denominational language but the pure heart of Mohammad, the loving care of Jesus, the pure mind of Buddha, the devotion of Guru Nanak, the simplicity of Kabir, and the Vedic teachings of the law of Rita (the moral law, the natural law)  later  emphasized  in Confucianism and Taoism in Chinese and  Shintonism in Japanese. The voice of conscience needs no language. Let’s promote human values and spiritual messages in non-denominational languages which are understood by the people.

Guru Granth Sahib. The one reason that the Sikh community has not grown big in number is the language barrier as Gurumukhi is taught mainly in the Punjab.

 

I humbly plead that we care for the contents more than we emphasize the original languages in which these scriptures were written. So much has changed. Let’s also Pandits and Mullas who presumed that it was their birth right to interpret the scriptures written in Sanskrit and Arabic. Nanak said that the denominational languages were responsible for keeping spiritual issues away from the people.

If we insist on using the denominational languages to teach spiritual issues, most of us are bound to remain ignorant. Especially, in view of the Public school education and globalization, it is high time we impart the knowledge of spiritual matters in commonly understood language. Mr Chairman, in a multilingual and pluralist society like ours, we must respect the teachings of all prophets not as a last resort but as the first option. Harmony among faiths is essential for sustained economic development. Lets use a language that binds and does not divide. If we have to survive as a well united society, we should understand the contents of Holy Scriptures by using non-denominational languages and overlook the differences at the level of rituals and outer symbols. Without pure heart and good deeds, no one will go to paradise. Languages are less important than the deeds.

Mr Chairman, if spiritual messages as enshrined in the Holy Scriptures were to be taught only in stereotypes and gorgons we will be deprived of the fruit of their teachings Therefore, the spiritual issues be explained in simple and non-sectarian language so that we can reap the fruit of the teaches of all the Spiritual Masters. Lets rise above denominational languages to impart the knowledge of our scriptures to as many people as possible. 

The meaning of Gayatri Mantra, Aarti, Mul Mantar and Namaaz be taught to all students in language which they can understand. The most important thing is not the intellectual understanding of the spiritual issues but assimilating the spirit and living them in our day to day life. The crux of spirituality is love, peace, harmony, human brotherhood, righteous deeds, charity, humility, compassion and fellowship. All this be taught to parents, teachers and students in non-denominational languages.  

What we need today is not the denominational language but the pure heart of Mohammad, the loving care of Jesus, the pure mind of Buddha, the devotion of Guru Nanak, the simplicity of Kabir, and the Vedic teachings of the law of Rita (the moral law, the natural law)  later  emphasized  in Confucianism and Taoism in Chinese and  Shintonism in Japanese. The voice of conscience needs no language. Let’s promote human values and spiritual messages in non-denominational languages which are understood by the people.

Guru Granth Sahib. The one reason that the Sikh community has not grown big in number is the language barrier as Gurumukhi is taught mainly in the Punjab.

I humbly plead that we care for the contents more than we emphasize the original languages in which these scriptures were written. So much has changed. Let’s also change our perspective and teach and learn spiritual issues in non-denominational languages. Let’s show respect to the teachings of all Spiritual Masters by understanding their messages and sharing the same with others.

The saints of the Bhakti Movement such as Baba Farid a muslim from Punjab, Namdev an untouchable from Maharashtra, Ravidas, a cobbler from UP, Kabir, a muslim weaver from UP, Bhagat Sain an untouchable from MP, Bhagat Sadhna a Butcher from Sind treated the spiritual issues in non-denominational languages i.e., in their local  languages, which were best understood by the simple village folk. If there is any low caste, I am the lowest of the low. Guru Nanak hit hard the denominational language of the Hindu Scriptures. Guru Nanak said: there is nothing wrong in Ved and Puran. It is we who are wrong. He blamed the greedy Pandits and Mullas who presumed that it was their birth right to interpret the scriptures written in Sanskrit and Arabic. Nanak said that the denominational languages were responsible for keeping spiritual issues away from the people.

If we insist on using the denominational languages to teach spiritual issues, most of us are bound to remain ignorant. Especially, in view of the Public school education and globalization, it is high time we impart the knowledge of spiritual matters in commonly understood language. Mr Chairman, in a multilingual and pluralist society like ours, we must respect the teachings of all prophets not as a last resort but as the first option. Harmony among faiths is essential for sustained economic development. Lets use a language that binds and does not divide. If we have to survive as a well united society, we should understand the contents of Holy Scriptures by using non-denominational languages and overlook the differences at the level of rituals and outer symbols. Without pure heart and good deeds, no one will go to paradise. Languages are less important than the deeds.

Mr Chairman, if spiritual messages as enshrined in the Holy Scriptures were to be taught only in stereotypes and gorgons we will be deprived of the fruit of their teachings Therefore, the spiritual issues be explained in simple and non-sectarian language so that we can reap the fruit of the teaches of all the Spiritual Masters. Lets rise above denominational languages to impart the knowledge of our scriptures to as many people as possible. 

The meaning of Gayatri Mantra, Aarti, Mul Mantar and Namaaz be taught to all students in language which they can understand. The most important thing is not the intellectual understanding of the spiritual issues but assimilating the spirit and living them in our day to day life. The crux of spirituality is love, peace, harmony, human brotherhood, righteous deeds, charity, humility, compassion and fellowship. All this be taught to parents, teachers and students in non-denominational languages.  

What we need today is not the denominational language but the pure heart of Mohammad, the loving care of Jesus, the pure mind of Buddha, the devotion of Guru Nanak, the simplicity of Kabir, and the Vedic teachings of the law of Rita (the moral law, the natural law) later emphasized in Confucianism and Taoism in Chinese and Shintonism in Japanese. The voice of conscience needs no language. Let’s promote human values and spiritual messages in non-denominational languages which are understood by the people.

Thank you for having considered my research paper on ‘Guru Nanak as Pioneer of Interfaith Dialogue’. Prize is certainly an honor and recognition. But it is not the be all and end all of a deep commitment and dedication. Please convey my heartiest felicitations to the co-recipients for Religions for Peace and Rabbi Scheier. For me the most rewarding prize is a useful contact with a Professor of Political Science, my counterpart. All my life I have been teaching a paper on Political philosophy at a Delhi University College.

I have studied with deep interest the Holy Scriptures of the major religions of the world. To promote peace, harmony and human brotherhood, I have been lecturing worldwide, highlighting commonalities and unity of the subject matter of all religions. Towards this end our Interfaith Foundation (of which I am the President) is bringing out a bimonthly Newsletter entitled The Samagam (the Hindi word meaning togetherness.) Should you want any kind of assistance in any manner in this noble mission of interfaith moment, I would deem it to be a God - sent opportunity to serve.
While snatching a few moments from your hectic and precious schedule, I am immensely delighted to interact with a fellow Pilgrim.

Mul Mantra

Guru Granth Sahib begins with the famous composition of Guru Nanak, the Japji, which every Sikh is enjoined to recite every morning. The Japji opens with the Mul Mantra, which is the basic creed of Sikhism. It reads thus: ‘There is but one God, satya by name, the creator, all pervaading, without fear, without enmity, (how can He be inimical to his onn creation), whose existence is unaffected by time, who does not take birth,( He can’t come in a womb), who is self- existent, (to be realized through the Grace of God.) All things work as decreed by him, he is infinite. By his command the souls came into existence. The world is subjected to change; decay and death are inherent. He is the creator of Maya, the world and the Brahma, and also of all eternal beings-Avtars, Prophets and Gurus. The sun, the moon, the earth and water will not last for ever. But God is immovable unlike all his creation and all objects in which he is manifested. He is the cause of all creation and the cause is under the jurisdiction of the creator, who upholds the creation through his power. He is fearless but all fear him. Even Nanak submits: ‘I am Your slave’

The unity of God is emphasized at the very outset, to wean away the disciples from the worships of many Gods and Goddesses. We should see him both inside done our souls and also outside. The lord is near, he is not far. One God pervades the whole universe. There is one way, one love, one beauty that shines through air, water and fire. He destroys and preserves. He gives life and takes it away. Whatever he wills is. He reveals himself to us. It is all his glory. He was ever there, is and shall ever be permanent. The world comes and goes. All objects, including the sun, moon, stars and earth move, but  He does not move since He  is all –pervasive. Everything exists within the Supreme Spirit. He is creator, dispenser of the fruits of our actions; he is the supreme arbiter of our joys and sorrows. Maya, world  and Brahma have sprung from him. He has also crated the eternal beings –such as Avtars, Prophets and Gurus.

The Name fills the whole creation, there is no place where the name is not.(Japji p. 19). Contemplation on the name means fixing one’s attention on the all –pervading and all sustaining aspect of the Supreme Reality, so as to realize ultimately that ‘we live, move and have our being in him.The realization of his presence rids us of all evil propensities.

Although man has known how sun, moon, rain and water function. But the limit is not known to man. All that he has created is both real and unreal simultaneously. Decay and death are inherent is all things created by him. Guru Nanak teaches: Truth and love should be enshrined in your heart. Earth is a wrestling area, the five passions entered it, and have made the body is kurukshetra. Those persons, who perform good deeds as ordained in the  Holy Scriptures, their souls are sent to Heaven, those of bad deeds, are sent to hell.
 
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