The Sikh religion was founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, first Guru of Sikhs, in 1469 CE. Today Sikh religion has over 20 million people across the whole world. The Sikhism – is to gloriously follow in their Sacred Footsteps is our Sikh way of Life. Sikh religion teaches the lessons of equality, truthful living, social justice, eliminate superstitions through its Sikh Holy Book, “Guru Granth Sahib Ji”.
UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHY OF SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a mine of thoughts and ideas of several generations of great thinkers and saints that have accumulated over the centuries.
As it is obvious in religious scriptures the central theme is God and how one should identify one with God to make one's life meaningful for one and the fellow beings. The very first line of Sri Guru Granth Sahib defines God and His various attributes pivoting around oneness of God.
Teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib reveal that the world is not an illusion, rather meaningful and real and thus a place for righteous activities. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is full of teachings, which a man can adopt for a meaningful journey called life. Discrimination on the basis of high and low, nations and races etc. has not been encouraged as all are considered as creation of one God. Rather it shows the way to universal acceptance of multiculturalism and respect for diverse cultures.
Human life is considered as noble with a special aim to perform righteous deeds in remembrance of God. Rising above the self and implied restrictions of prejudices, service of mankind and living through honest means are the cardinal principles, which should direct the aims of human life. Aim of religion similarly should be living a life in laudation of God, living under His Will with utmost faith in the grace of God. Meaningful religion should aim at doing away with formalism and empty rituals.
Tremendous importance has been given to a number of cherished human values in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The values found have been classified as terminal values and instrumental values. Terminal values that find reference in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are: service, martyrdom, contentment, righteousness, social equality and abolition of untouchability. Service or sewa brings completion and spiritual fulfillment to man. Concept of martyrdom is committed at protecting honour, dignity and freedom of others. Contentment helps man to abstain from greed, lust and overindulgence in various worldly desires. Righteousness means to act in the right spirit. By doing pure and right deeds man becomes fearless and happy. Society based on equality, freedom and fraternity is the ideal society as viewed by Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Untouchability has been severely condemned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib which creates divide between men on basis of birth or caste. Sri Guru Granth Sahib contains the slokas of many so- called untouchable saints and bhaktas, like Kabir, Namdev, Sadhna, etc.
In reference to instrumental values in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, truth and truthful living have been accorded the highest status. Another instrumental value is love that inspires man to love God and his creations and broadens his view to treat everybody as equal. Similarly forgiveness has been termed as an ennobling percept but very rewarding which gets spontaneous co-operation and broad based acceptance. Other instrumental values like justice, humility, compassion, non-discrimination have been given their due importance. Besides values, disvalues have also been discussed to differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong for better understanding of the human beings.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib mentions various aspects of a society which provides ideal background for man to lead a meaningful life. According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the society should have a human face which is free from prejudices based on caste, creed, sex and other discriminatory social evils. The just society should...