According to Sanatan Sikh belief, an
individual, regardless of their race, creed, faith, appearance,
belief or location, who acknowledges and sees the one eternal
Nirankar God in all alongside traveling the true spiritual path
of Sanatan Dharma, is a Sanatan Sikh.
Any individual who seeks only knowledge and grace
of eternal most ancient truth - Nirankar God is a Sikh. The Sikh
Gurus did not speak ill of any religion.
Akali Guru Nanak spoke of the six traditional Indian
philosophical and religious schools thus:
‘Six are the classical Hindu philosophical/religious
schools of thought, six their teachers and six their teachings.
But their Guru’s Guru [ God] is one but he has many forms.
Oh brother in the holy house where is found praise of the creator.
Take care of such a [holy] house in this is your praise.
Like [time] is divided into Visueh [Equals fifteen blinks of
eye], Chaseh [Fifteen Visueh equal one Chaseh], Kari [sixty
Pal equals one Kari. One Pal is thirty Chaseh], Paher [ Seven
and half Kari equal one Paher which is one day], seasons, weeks,
months etc. though there is but one Sun.
Like this the creator has many forms [religious and philosophical
schools of thought with their own perception of Nirankar God,
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Pa.12)
Akali Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj
The great Guru as a yound man discussing spiritual matters with
Hindu Sadhus (holy men). The illustration is from the 'Gutkha' (prayer-book)
Maharani Jindan (wife of the Sikh King Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit
Singh) c. 1830
Now some of the above-said classical philosophical
schools are atheist. Therefore, although the Sikh
Gurus were themselves absolute believers in the formless one Sanatan
God, Va-eh Guru, they were tolerant to acknowledge
others who's views differed their own. They not only saw God in
all, but, believed each person was what he was in accordance with
Nirankar God's will.
To some Nirankar God reveals Himself one way, to others
another way and there are some who He keeps in darkness of Himself.
Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh wrote of Buddha
(an atheist) alongside Hindu Avatars as form of
Nirankar God thus:
‘You [God] are Mach, Kacch and Bavan Avatar, Narsingha,
Buddha you are essence of the world.’
(‘Dasam Guru Durbar’, Shastar Naam Mala)
The half-man half-fish and first Avtar (incarnation) of the Hindu
God, Vishnu (the preserver). The
tale of Mach Avtar is given in great detail within the ancient
Bhaagvat Puraan and Dasam Guru Durbar and
recounts how this Avtar saved Manu, and recovered the Vedas (ancient
scriptures) from the demon Hayagreeva
The second Avtar of Vishnu, the tortoise, that appeared during
Sat Yuga (Age of Truth)
where Vishnu supported the Mountain Mandara during the great churning
of the ocean. This
epic tale from the Bhaagvat Puraan is retold in 'Chaubees Avtar',
a section in Dasam Guru Durbar
The eighth Avtar of Vishnu, the dwarf, who came in Treta Yuga (2nd
and recovered heaven and Earth from the King Bali and left Bali
(the infernal region). The tale of Bavan Avtar is retold from the
by Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji within 'Chaubees Avtar"
in Dasam Guru Durbar
The seventh Avtar of Vishnu, the half-man half-lion incarnation
the saint Prahlad from his demon King father Hiranyakasipu. Akali
Nihang Guru Gobind
Singh speaks of how Narsingha Avtar appeared and ripped the demon
King's chest with his claws
In Sanatan Sikh thinking if you are a Nastik [Atheist]
but you like Buddha, Kapil Muni etc. and can therefore still possess
virtues such as love, compassion, honesty etc. For Akali Guru Nanak
‘Without virtues one cannot be devotee of God.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Japji)
The twenty-third Avtar of Vishnu, Buddha, is recognised as the
founder of one of the great faiths of the world, seen here in a
Even then though atheists posses such virtues, Sanatan
Sikhs believe that atheists have only one leg to travel with on
the spiritual path. Hence their spiritual journey is longer and
more arduous. They will ultimately reach their destination of spiritual
bliss. Even the virtues possessed by atheist were not beyond the
sphere of toleration of the theistic Sanatan Sikhs and their Gurus.
What Sikh Gurus, like all true men of God, did not
acknowledge was the misuse of religion by corrupt
clergy, hypocrisy amongst religious practitioners, nor the constant
quarrelling of religious fundamentalist fanatics and bigots over
their religions and philosophies. To this end, Akali Guru Nanak
‘The Kadi [Kazi/Muslim priest and judge] speaking false
hood [taking bribes and convicting innocent people] eats filth
[consumes wages of sin from bribes].
Brahmin goes to pilgrimages but kills many [meaning persecutes
so called low castes].
Yogi knows not the method of salvation [He is hooked upon performing
cheap tricks and feats to beguile people].
All three [though considered religious leaders] are caught in
snares of ruin. He is a Yogi who knows method of
salvation [meaning contemplation of God’s Name].
He through true Guru’s blessing recognizes the one [God]. Kazi is he who gives justice.
He according to true Guru’s blessing dies whilst living
[meaning forsakes love of mammon]. He is a Brahmin
who contemplates Brahm.
He himself is saved and he saves all his clan. A
intellectual/wise man is he who purifies his mind [of vice and
sin]. Muslim is he who rids himself of
filth [of vice and sin].
Such a person whether educated or uneducated is acceptable [to
On whose head is [acceptance] stamp of the divine court.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Raag Dhanasari, Pa.662)
Faith and Punishment
A photograph of a muslim man in Afghanistan hung by his feet (and
killed) by the Taliban (extremists) who wrongly used Islam as a
basis for terrorising people