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Sikh-Hindu Similarity

Hindus are conditioned to regard Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism as panths or sects. Says celebrated columnist Varsha Bhosle, "Hinduism is a generic name given to all the faiths which have roots in India and believe in Parmatma (God), Prarthana (prayer), Punerjanma (reincarnation), Purushartha (Karma) and Prani Daya (kindness to all living beings)." Sikhism believes in all of these.

Bhosle cites the speech of one of the greatest modern Sikh leaders, Master Tara Singh, at a meeting in Bombay on August 19, 1964, who declared:

"Sikhs and Hindus are not separate. Sikhs will survive only if Hindus survive. Sikhs are part and parcel of the Hindu Society. Guru Govind Singhji brought in Gurumukhi the wisdom and philosophy from our scriptures and Puranas. Are we going to give up this heritage?"

Unlike Hindus, Sikhs do not worship idols. But, argues Bhosle, few people understand that Hinduism is monotheistic as well as catholic. Sikhs worship the Granth Sahib and pictures of the Gurus - she questions - aren't they icons?

Bhosle further cites some stanzas from the Gurus and the Guru Granth Saheb to drive home the Hindu-Sikh affinity:

  • Taha hum adhik tapasya sadhi
    Mahakal kalika aradhi

    ~ Guru Govind Singh
    (There I worshipped and did penance to seek Kali.)
  • Ram katha jug jug atal
    Sab koi bhakhat net Suragbas Raghuver kara
    Sagri puri samet Jo en Katha sune aur gaave
    Dukh pap tah nikat na aave

    ~ Guru Govind Singh
    (The story of Ram is immortal and everyone should read it. Ram went to heaven along with the whole city. Whoever listens to or sings His story, will be free of sin and sorrow.)
  • Kahaiya Hinduan daro na ab tum
    Im likho pathon dil sain Guru Nanak ki gadi par
    Ab hain Tegh Bahadur Unko jo Muhummadi kar lihoon
    To ham hain sab sadar Arya Dharma rakhak pragatiyo hain

    ~ Guru Tegh Bahadur
    (Hindus, do not fear, Guru Tegh Bahadur is Guru Nanak's successor. If Muslims bother you, I'll take care of them. For I am the protector of Hinduism.)
  • Tin te sun Siri Tegh Bahadur
    Dharam nibaahan bikhe Bahadur Uttar bhaniyo, dharam hum Hindu
    Atipriya ko kin karen nikandu Lok parlok ubhaya sukhani
    Aan napahant yahi samani Mat mileen murakh mat loi
    Ise tayage pramar soi Hindu dharam rakhe jag mahin
    Tumre kare bin se it nahin

    ~ Guru Tegh Bahadur's reply to Aurangzeb's ordering him to embrace Islam.
    (In response, Shri Tegh Bahadur says, My religion is Hindu and how can I abandon what is so dear to me? This religion helps you in this world and that, and only a fool would abandon it. God himself is the protector of this religion and no one can destroy it.)
  • Sakal jagat main Khalsa Panth gaje
    Jage dharam Hindu sakal bhand bhaje

    ~ Guru Govind Singh
    (The Khalsa sect will roar around the world. Hinduism will awaken, its enemies will flee.)

Sumer Singh Chauhan in his essay on the common heritage of the Sikhs and Hindus - Divide & Conquer - states:

"Many scholars have stated that the Granth contains specific references to Hindu gods such as Rama and Krishna. The gurudwaras, or Sikh temples, have always been decorated with pictures of Hindu devas and devis. The first desecration of these pictures was in 1906 at Harmandir, and this was the first action taken by separatist Sikhs. Other gurudwaras also had them removed as recently as 1984, this occurred after the attack on the Golden Temple. This was not an attack on religion but was justified for reasons of national security.

"Thakur Das, the author of Sikh Hindu Hain (Hosiarpur, 1899), Bhai Randhir Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, Hari Ram Gupta author of History of the Sikhs (Lahore, 1944), Sardar Jimiyat Singh Gill, founder of the Shiromani Sikh Society of Toronto, Joseph Davy Cunningham, author of A History of the Sikhs from the Origin of the Nation to the Battles of the Sutlej (Calcutta, 1849), to name a few have all stated that the Dasma Granth was an authentic part of the Granth. If the Guru Granth Sahib were to be examined, there is no difference between Hinduism and Sikhism because the Granth is based on the Hindu scriptures and beliefs.

"An authority on modern Sikhism, Dr. Gopal Singh, indicated in his translation of Shri Guru Granth Sahib that the worship of Rama and Krishna is found in the Granth. It should also be remembered that the Tenth Guru had designated the word of the Granth as the final word of authority binding on all Sikhs. In this the Granth functions as the Guru for all Sikhs. This makes the significance of the Tenth Guru, in two traditions, stand out. It was Bhai Mani Singh who compiled the Dasma Granth. On June 24th, 1734, under the orders of Zakaria Khan, Bhai Mani Singh was executed for not embracing Islam.

"Guru Arjun, who compiled the Granth Sahib, writes in the fifth Granth 'O God you are as great as you adopted the form of Vamana [fifth incarnation of Vishnu], you are also Ram Chandra [seventh incarnation of Vishnu] but you have no form or outline'.

"Reference is made to the avatars of Vishnu in the Granth Sahib. The Dasma Granth deals with all the avatars beginning on page 169. Volume two of the Dasma Granth is exclusively based on Krishna. It is accepted that Guru Gobind Singh was a staunch believer in Durga Mata (Mother Goddess). In the entire Guru Granth Sahib, the Vedas are respected and referred to as sacred. Guru Gobind Singh states that the Vedas originated from Brahma and the path of the Vedas is the only path for the people to follow. Sikhism heavily bases itself on Karma yoga (the science of actions) and states that if an individual acts only on good deeds, selfless acts with a pure devotion to God, they can achieve the ultimate state of existence."



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