Guru Nanak Dev ji said, ”I am neither Hindu nor Muslim, I am a follower of God.” In Sikhism, the God is omnipresent, shapeless, timeless, and sightless (Nirankar, akar, alakh). Sikhism stresses that, before creation there was God, and because of His will (Hukam), the Illusion (maya of attachment and enticement) came into being. The God in Sikhism is not male/ female, and can only be seen through inward eye.
There is One God
Guru Nanak Dev ji explained one thing clearly that there is only One who gives to Everyone and we should not forget to Him. The Guru stressed that full knowledge of God is impossible in human form. Guru Nanak Dev ji passed the message of universal brotherhood. He said that religion is not a mere consistence of words but actually looks all men and women equally. Universal brotherhood is a strong theme in Gurbani. In their prayer (Ardass), it is said “Nanak asks for ‘Naam’ (name of God) with which comes well-being, happiness and positive spirit and with your blessings, Lord may everyone in the world prosper and be in peace“.
Guru Nanak Dev jii told in front of King Babar “You are not Babar but JABAR”. We should always speak the truth without any fear. According to the Guru’s doctrine, the victory of truth is not dependent on ending or suppressing falsehood but in standing firmly by truth. That is why Guru Nanak Dev ji exhorts that to stick to truth and to remain on the side of truth when it is necessary is very essential.
Sewa and Simran
Guru Nanak says that no one can save anybody else. It is only Guru who guides us to safety, and to be saved, one have to follow the right path of Sewa and Simran told by him. Further the Guru is not to be found in big palaces, he lives with poor. Let us love the poor, God will bless us. If we recite Gurbani with love, we will find the Guru is speaking to us. We have been reminded of his observations many times in our life.
When we barely make both ends meet, we are usually sincerely devoted to Gurbani and the Sikh way of life. But when we have excess money to spend on worldly pleasures we follow vices and ignore the real mission of human life. Dharam is usually the first casualty when we become rich. About Sewa, Gurbani explains: In the midst of this world, do Sewa and you shall be given a place of honour in the Court of the Lord.
The three principles
- Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need
- Earning/ making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud
- Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times (ceaseless devotion to God)
Guru Nanak Dev ji asked his followers to shun five evils which leads to illusion (maya) which eventually acts as roadblock towards attainment of salvation. The five evils are Ego, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Lust.