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A Path for peace in new Age --- Gurbakhsh Singh, Ph.D.

Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) established the institute of sangat, and pangat, the holy congregation, all people sitting together as equals and without discrimination of casts, color, creed of religion. The sangat consisted of not only the Muslims and Hindus, but also the so called low casts people considered untouchable. All these people were taught to live together as one brotherhood and pray to God In their own language and by using as many names as they loved to choose for Him. Sikhism, a faith for the new age was thus founded by Guru Nanak.

After two centuries of training by the ten gurus, Sangat became competent to protect the human rights of the week and serve humanity. The Guruship was transferred to them as khalsa in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh. The sword, wrongly used by the ambitious kings of the people, was converted into a weapon of kirpan all the time as a named Kirpan. The Khalsa was required to wear this kirpan all the time as a part of his uniform and to remind him of his responsibility to protect human rights and righteousness, The people who become the Khalsa were designated saint soldiers, the legions of Immortal Lord, The corporate body was called the Guru Khalsa Panth of simply the Khalsa.

A)  The Revolution:

Guru Nanak awakened the people of every faith in India by teaching that THERE IS ONE GOD, ONE HUMANITY AND HENCE ONE RELIGION. Different names of God adopted by different people because of their language and culture, do not mean that there are many Gods and hence many faiths or religions. Children can love their father by adopting different names-dad, papa, daddy, because of different names used by Children it does not mean that they have different relations with their father or different status in their family. Guru Nanak explained that no one particular names of God is superior or inferior to His other names used by people of different cultures. He thus laid the foundation of a religious and social revolution.

 To convey his message to the people, Guru Nanak traveled to many important centers of all faiths in the Indian sub-continent. He visited Hardwar, Varanasi, Gaya, etc in India and Mecca, Madina, Baghdad, etc. in the Middle East. In north he went to snow covered peaks of Himalaya to educate the yogis about his new philosophy. In the south he crossed the sea to reach Sri Lanka on the invitation of the king there.

Guru Nanak preached that to become a holy person and to reach the goals of human life. one need not belong to any particular faith, caste or community. He preached that any person, who sincerely and devotedly loves God, can realize Him. The claim of any person, holy man, prophet or Avatar that people can reach God only thoughts him is not tenable. God judge people according to their deeds alone, and does not entertain any intercession by any person or prophet, Mere beliefs or mechanical performance of rituals has no value to God.

The hymns written by the gurus are compiled in the Adi Granth. The scripture also contains the contributions that two dozen men born to Hindu or Muslim parents, including the so called low caste or untouchable. Allah, Ram, Gobind, Guru and many other names which the people used for God, all are mentioned with equal respect. 

When Guru Nanak was born, the local people mainly were sanatam Dharamis, Jainis of followers of Rama, Krishna or Vedic gods and were collectively called Hindus. A large section of society was considered low caste and some as untouchable. Women were not given equal status because they were considered “incomplete” and “unclean” human beings, the ruling Mughals in India considered the Hindus as Kafila i.e. non believers and wanted to forcibly convert them to Islam to “save” them from hell. The Hindus hated the Muslims and called them Malesh (outsiders, bad people).

The establishment of Sangat and Pangat (sitting together as equals and eating free community meals) proved a very effective step to reduce and slowly overcome the mutual hatred among people of difference sects and faiths. After joining Sangat. The Muslims became friendly, to the Hindus and loved them as equal human beings. Main Mir, a Muslin holy man, laid the foundation of the Golden Temple, The high casts Hindus welcomed the low caste and untouchables to sit with them in Sangat and Pangat as equal members of the big family, humanity. The rich people no longer considered the poor as low class people but they took pleasure in cleaning the utensils in which poor of the so called low caste bad eaten. (This practice can be seen even today in any Gurdwara when Langar, free food, is served to the Pangat). The folk lore ‘Nanak Shah Fakir: Hindu ka Guru Musalman ka Pir’ became very popular and it was an indicator of the mass acceptance of Sikhism by the people.

A miracle had happened, a social and religious revolution had taken place. The people found that the path of peace and pleasure was the service of the needy without any discrimination of their belief, birth or worth.


 Some members of the priestly class Brahmans were very much perturbed by this new wave, they could not tolerate the masses throwing away their yoke and sitting with them as equals rather, they became active to assert their “right” to be superior human being because of their birth. Muslim zealous, too, thought of Sikhism as a challenge to their ambition of making India a Muslim theocratic state, they pressurized their co-religions rules to ruthlessly stop this wave before it become too   strong to be a threat to their rule. The Khalsa wave, even against all odds, later did become powerful enough to first destroy the unjust mughal rule, then the British colonial rule, & is now struggling for equal human rights & freedom of people from the slavery of the dynastic rule of Delhi.

Guru Arjan Dev, the first guru, who built the golden temple was arrested, tortured & killed by the governor of Lahore. His son, guru hargobind, therefore prepared himself to defend the faith, in case they were violently attacked again. History tells us that the state forces made for attempt to kill him. The mercenary forces, however, could not defeat the people or their will to fight for protecting their right of worship. Later on, Aurangzeb. The emperor of Delhi stated to directly interfere in Sikh affairs with the objective of weakening this wave of religious freedom & human right. He made many smart moves during the period of the seventh & the eights guru’s to make it appear that they (Guru’s) where sub-servient to him. Having field his in attempts, he arrested & murdered the ninth guru along with his three associates for protesting against the foreible mass conversation of Hindu’s particularly the Kashmiri Brahmans. How ironical it is that those Brahmans where the forefathers of Jawaharlal Nehru, whose third generation is ruling today & killing innocent Sikhs in fake in communities.

These heartless murders raised a wave of anger & protest against state terrorism, not only among the Sikhs & the Hindus but also among many Muslims. The result was the end Mughal Empire and the birth of many independent states in India. Slowly taken over by the British during 18th and 19th centuries. The Punjab, ruled jointly by the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was annexed to the British Empire in 1849.



  1. Preparation of AMRIT (HOLY WATER)

Knowing that his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur was murdered in Delhi in 1975, his great grandfather, Guru Arjan Dev was murdered in 1606, four attempts were made on the life of his grandfather and continuous harassment of other gurus and their following, Guru Gobind Rai decided to make permanent arrangement to defend the human rights of the common man against state terrorism.

The Guru called a general meeting by sending special messengers to people all aver India, He came to the stage in an unusual mood and with a naked glittering sword in his hand, With a thunderous voice he demanded the head of a Sikh for protecting the dharma (Righteousness). The five Sikhs who, on demand offered their heads one by one, were given Amrit, the sweetened water made holy by stirring it with named panj pyaras, the five beloved once, Each was given “singh” as his last name ”Guru Gobind Rai himself bowed before them as a disciple. He was given amrit and renamed Gobind Singh. The Guru passed on the guruship to the corporate body of Amritdhari Sikhs, and named it the Guru Khalsa Panth; individually, a member is a singh or saint-soldier.

According to the secret reports sent to the Delhi Emperor by his agent, attending the function thousands of people took Amrit and joined the khalsa panth. They decided to serve the weak members of society and half terrorism by the state against the helpless people.



(i)             To bring the rule of righteousness.

(ii)          To provide protection to the holy people practicing truth.

(iii)        To abolish the very base of the authority of the evil people.


The Guru emphasized, “God has sent me with these orders. I will follow them undaunted. Whatever the price.” All four children of the guru, the guru himself, and his mother along with the innumerable Sikhs sacrificed their lives and attained martyrdom to blunt the sword of state terrorism.   


(1) Being soldiers, they were given 5—K Uniform consisting of Kesh (Unshorn hair) Kirpan(Sword) kara (iron bangle), Kangha (Comb) & Kachha (a special type of underwear)

This was the identity, uniformity & pride of the Khalsa in the same way as the uniform of soldiers of the victories army, or a player of the winning team 

(ii) Beings Saints they were to worship God only and not to think of any prophet, avtar or their images.

Khalsa between that all people—long haired or clean shaved, black or white, Christians and jews, Hindus or Muslim. Yogis or Sanayasis, rich or poor—though look different because of their culture and environment, have been created by the same god, Hence deserve equal human rights and status.


(Some impotent principals of the Sikh faith are described below)

  1. Meditation (Nam Japna): A Sikh is directed to concentrate his mind on God to reflection his Virtues. By constant thinking of the creator, a Sikh slowly develops a feeling of affection and love for all humans, the “children” of same father. This realization changes the thinking and behavior of a person. Instead of hurting others, he enjoys utilizing his life serving needy people.
  2. Honest Living (Dharam Di Kirt): A Sikh is advised to earn his lively hood by the sweat of his brow. If a person is dishonest and take what is not justly his, these earnings are declared by the Guru as the “blood of the poor”. The guru explains that just as beef of prohibited to a Hindu and pork to a Muslim, so the dishonest earning prohibited to a Sikh.
  3. Sharing with others (Vand Ke Chhakna): A Sikh is duty bound to share his earning with needy persons just as parents are duty bound to bound to provider their children with food, clothes and other necessities. This sharing must be done with a sence of responsibility, and not with an idea of charity. Charity is only given by God and we human share his blessings with each other.
  4. Worshipping the lord of Eternity (Puja Akal Ke): the guru Advises people to worship the one almighty God, and not concern themselves with any kind of gods. God lives in the hearts of human, there is no place without him and he expresses himself through his creation.
  5. Wishing well (Sarbat Da Bhala): Every Sikh prays at least twice a day: “ O God, in thy name shower your blessings on whole humanity”. This belief in the oneness of humanity and the insistence on wishing and working for the welfare of all the people whatever their faith, even at the cost of sacrificing one’s own life, is what sets Sikhism apart from other religions.
  6. Maintaining good behavior (Sacha Achar): The high character of the Sikhs, in war and in peace, was praised highly by the Muslim historian of the 18th century in these words. “In no case would they slay a coward, nor would they put an obstacle in the way of a fugitive. They do not plunder the wealth and ornament of a woman. There is no adulterers and house-breakers”.


         The word conference of religion for peace, 1979, actually endorsing the basic principles of the Sikh faith, when they in there meeting in new jersey concluded:

“Two often the names and practices of our religion have been associated with warfare and strife. Now we reverse this by:

(i)                       Breaking down barriers of prejudice and hostility  between religions communities and institutions.

(ii)                      Confronting the power of the world with the teachings of our religions rather then conforming to them when they act contrary to the well –being of humanity.

(iii)                    Building interreligious understanding in our local communities.

As mentioned earlier, the gurus removed the prejudices among the people of different religion and different Caste. They founded the institution of Sangat-Pagat, where all people sit together as equal. They mobilized to people to halt the tyrannies committed by the despotic rulers.

Professor Bradshaw of the U.S.A, said, “Sikhism is a universal world faith with a message for all men… Sikh must cease to think of their faith as just as another good religion and must begin to think in terms of Sikhism being the religion of this new Age”.

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