Moral Exemplars

Sikhs use the Gurus and their contemporaries as their role models and as a reference point for action and for guidance on political, social and environmental issues.

Regarding the martyrdom of the Ninth Guru for leading a non-violent political campaign, Sikh scripture says that,

Tegh Bahadur broke the mortal vessel of his body by striking it at the head of the Emperor of Delhi and retreated to his ‘Original Abode’, the God. Truly incomparable is this great deed done to assert and protect three basic human rights: the first, to secure for everyone the liberty to worship; the second, to uphold the inviolable dignity of every person’s private and personal point of contact with God and their right to observe dharma, what they conceive as basic principles of cosmic or individual existence, and the third to uphold every good person’s imprescriptible right to pursue their own vision of happiness and self-fulfilment (Dasam Granth, 54).

The Gurus also promoted ‘vechar’ a sharing dialogue, rather than ‘baad’, debate. This is because what is being shared is the product of personal experience rather than an intellectual exercise where people are trying to apply language to that which is beyond language.

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