To clarify, Sanatan Sikhism though a
spiritual path is not a 'religion' in the Western sense.
This Sanatan Sikh Dharma is that sublime ineffable spiritual platform
that is expounded in the Adi Guru Durbar.
According to the Sanatan Sikh scriptures, Muslim holy
men such as Baba Sheikh Farid, Bhagat Kabir and
Bhagat Sheikh Bikhan, Hindus such as Jaidev,
Ramanand, Parmanand, Naamdev, etc, and the Sikh
Gurus, (altogether ranging in scale of time from 12th Century to
the 17th Century), all sit at one equal level in presence of one
common Sanatan Nirankar God of all.
left to right: Gorakhnath (a great Haath yoga master), Parmanand
(a Hindu saint),
Naamdev (a hindu saint) and Mirabhai (a Rajput Princess and follower
of Bhagar Ravidas)
So, like Sanatan Nirankar God, Sanatan Dharma is not
limited to any particular people or so-called faith or religion.
In his lifetime Akali Guru Nanak traveled the length and breadth
of India, and west from the Punjab far as Mecca.
Akali Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj
A fresco from a Gurudwara at Narangabad, Punjab depicting
the first great Sanatan Sikh Guru (centre) with his son, Baba Sri
Chand Maharaj (top left), the Muslim musician Bhai Mardana playing
the Rabab (bottom left), and the Hindu, Bala fanning the Sikh Guru
The great Sikh Guru at no time said to any Muslim
or Hindu Brahmin or Vaishnav to become his disciple. He advised
all to shed bigotry, fanaticism, fundamentalism and hypocrisy and
appreciate the common universal Sanatan Sikh spiritual path. He
said to all to seek this true spiritual path within their own respective
faiths and themselves.
To Muslims Akali Guru Nanak said:
‘[True] Muslim should have a heart like wax [soft, compassionate].
The hearts filth [of vice] he washes away.
He keeps away from the temptations of the world he remains pure
like a flower, silk, clarified butter and an oasis. He
who [Allah/God] blesses is blessed. He is the true brave man.
He is the true Sheikh, Masaikh [both Muslim religious leaders]
[Muslim who has paid homage at Mecca] he is true man of Nara
[NarSingha/ Nirankar God] who is blessed.
The creator of creation, the master who blesses.
Praise him the loving and forgiving one.
Says Nanak the command of Khuda [God] is true the man who understands
it attains salvation.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Raag Maru Soleh, Pa.1084)
A contemporary painting done in the Persian style
of a Muslim Sufi saint engrossed in deep contemplation
Akali Guru Nanak further said to Muslims:
‘To call yourself a Muslim is hard, if
you be a Muslim then say so.
Firstly love your religion [of God] like a Maskal is employed
to remove rust like that cleanse your earnings [meaning give
share to needy] being a Muslim let him walk the path of his
faith let him forsake fear of life and death.
Let him live within the divine command of Rabb [God] and let
him recognize the creator as his lord and forget himself. Then Nanak let him be compassionate to all beings then
he may call himself a Muslim.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Maj Ki Var, Pa. 141)
Akali Guru Nanak spoke to a Vaishnav Hindu thus:
‘He who focuses his mind on God is a Baisnu [follower
of Vishnu] He is a man of great knowledge.
He is a warrior of a high clan who worships Bhagwant [God/Vishnu].
Be they Khatri, Shudar, Vaise or a Chandal [Four castes of Hinduism]
by contemplating God they are saved from vice.
They who ever have acknowledged God, Nanak asks for the dust
of their feet.
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Raag Thiti Gauri, Pa.300)
The third Sikh Guru, Akali Guru Amardas said of a
true Sanatan Brahmin thus:
‘He who appreciates Brahm [God] call him
a Brahmin he day and night stays absorbed in Har [God].
He lives in accordance within the will of the true Guru truth
and Sanjam [self-restraint] he practices thus his ailment of
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Raag Gujri, Pa.512)
The Hindu Sadhu
A recent photograph of a Hindu Sadhu (right) with his
student sitting at the banks of the sacred river Ganga, India
The fifth Sikh Guru, Akali Guru Angad Dev said to
‘He is a true Pundit [Brahmin] who awakens his mind. And searches for the Naam [ineffable name of] Raam [God]
From the teachings of such a Pundit all beings find [spiritual]
He transplants the story of Har in their hearts.
Such a Pundit then never again is born.
He appreciates the fundamental truth [God] of the Vedas, Puraans
and Simiritia [Hindu religious texts].
He appreciates the subtle/sublime within the great expanse [World]. He instructs the four castes [without discrimination].
Such a Pundit say’s Nanak I always salute.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Sukhmani Sahib, Pa.274-275)
An old painting depicting Lord Raam (in blue) with his
consort Sita, and his brother Lakshman (right). Hanuman, the
faithful half-man half-monkey diety is seen at the feet of Lord