Other Religions & Beliefs

Sikhs welcome inter-faith dialogue as it can be argued that Guru Nanak Dev was engaged in it hundreds of years ago. The Guru Granth Sahib contains the record of his debate with the Siddhas (a group of Buddhists or Buddhist-Hindu Tantrics) and the accounts of his life (Janam Sakhis) discuss his meetings with Hindus and Muslims. His collection of the hymns of saints from a variety of traditions now contained in the Guru Granth Sahib, provision of free vegetarian food to all (langar), and insistence that people of any faith could know the One meant that inter-faith worship has always been a part of Sikh worship. This is symbolized by the widely held belief that the foundation stone of the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) being laid by a Muslim saint, Mian Mir.

Sikhs have welcomed the modern world of religious pluralism, challenge to religious myth and ritual and the emergence of humanism since these values are inherent within the tradition.

“Of all religions, the best religion is to practice Naam (Name of the One) and to do pious deeds (truthful living). Of all rites, the best rite is to remove the filth of soul by association with the saints (spirituals – pure ones). Of all efforts, the best effect is to, ever, heartily utter the Name of the One. Of all speeches, the ambrosial speech (Amritbani) is to hear the One’s praise and to repeat it with the tongue. Of all places, that heart (soul) is the best place wherein dwell the Name of the One, O Nanak (Guru Granth Sahib: 266).

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