Sikh Gurus, Vedas and Hinduism


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Sikh Gurus, Vedas and Hinduism

April 3, 2011 By Agniveer

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Sikhism represents a tradition that every Indian is
proud of. The Sikh Gurus have inspired us in an era that was perhaps the most
challenging phase of our history. One cannot forget the contributions of Sikh
Gurus and their selfless sacrifices to consolidate the society, provide them
direction and overthrow the rule of invaders. That is why the Sikh Gurus are
revered not only by Sikhs but all nationalists in general as role models.

The medieval era represents the darkest phase of our society. Internally we
were being eroded by termites of casteism, gender discrimination and overt
ritualism dissociated from Vedas. And externally, we were being butchered by a
tribe of most uncivilized society of west Asia – read the Ghaznis, Khiljis,
Mughals, Slaves, Tughlaqs etc.

The Sikh gurus, in these turbulent times, lit the lamp of Vedic wisdom and
steered the society towards the fundamental tenets of our culture – rationalism,
actions and compassion.

Often their is dispute over whether Sikhism is part of Hinduism or a separate
religion. In our view, this is a meaningless debate. Because the word Hinduism
has different connotations. From a western mindset, Hinduism represents a mix of
very specific rituals associated with casteism, gender discrimination and idol
worship. If this be Hinduism, then Sikhs are definitely not Hindus.

However, if Hinduism is considered to mean the culture that is inspired from
the philosophy of Vedas, then perhaps not many sects are more Hindu than Sikhs.
Sikhism represents the message of Vedas in simple language of layman.

Let us see what makes Sikhism an extremely pure representation of Vedic
wisdom (We shall ignore later day aberrations and focus on the key message of
the noble Gurus):

– Sikhism rejects birth-based casteism and believes in equality of all

– Sikhism believes in gender equality

– Sikhism believes in protection of cows because it is one of the most useful
gifts of God to humans

– Sikhism believes in actions as means to achieve God. Thus they reject
withdrawal from life.

– Sikhism believes in one single timeless shapeless omnipresent God whose
best name is Onkaar (Om + Kaar). This is almost verbatim translation of
Yajurveda 40.8.

– Sikhism believes in theory of Karma and rebirth

– Sikhism refuses the concept of Heaven/ Hell and believe in salvation as
ultimate goal

– Sikhism believes in Nama Smaran or understanding the names and properties
of God as way to achieve Him

– Sikhism considers Maya or ignorance as obstacle to salvation and urges to
eradicate it through devotion, noble actions and knowledge

– Sikhism takes it as our utmost duty to fight against injustice of any kind.
The lives of Sikh gurus exemplify this.

– Sikhism considers entire humanity as one family and refuses to have
different treatments for people of different beliefs and religions.

The list can continue further. Note that if you replace Sikhism in above
lines with ‘Vedic Dharma’ you would realize that the points still hold
valid.

Further, the Guru Granth Sahib very clearly elucidates on the glory of
Vedas:

1. God created Vedas (Onkaar ved nirmaye- Rag Ramkali Mahla
1 Onkar Shabd 1)

2. With order of God Vedas were created so that humans can decide what is
virtue and sin (Hari aagya hoye Ved paap punya vichaariya- Maru
Dakhne Mahla 5 Shabd 17)

3. No one can value the importance of Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and
Atharvaveda (Sam Ved, Rig, Yajur, Atharvan brahme mukh maaiya hai
traigun, taakee keemat kah na sakai ko….- Marusolahe Mahla 1 Shabd

17)

4. God created day, night, forests, greenery, water and 4 Vedas that are like
4 treasures (Chaar Ved chaare khaani- Rag Maru Mahla 5 Shabd
17)

5. How can glory of Vedas be stated whose knowledge is without end
(Ved vakhaan kahahi ik kahiye, oh ve ant ant kin lahiye- Vasant
Ashtapadiyan Mahla 1.3)

6. Of the infinite texts, Vedas are the best (Asankh granth mukhi Ved
paath- Japuji 17)

7. All the Shastras, Vedas and ancient texts describe the Supreme Lord
(Smriti sastra Ved puraan paar brahm ka karahi vakhiyaan- Gaund
Mahla 5 Shabd 17)

8. Noble persons elucidate the glory of Vedas but unfortunate people do not
understand (Ved bakhiyaan karat saadhujan bhaagheen samjhat nahi
khalu- Todi Mahla 5 Shabd 26)

9. Study of Vedas enhances knowledge by blessings of God (Kahant Veda
gunant guniya…- Sahaskriti Mahla 5.14)

10. Analysis of Vedas, Shastras and ancient texts enriches the entire family
and makes them lucky (Ved puran saasatr vichaaram…. badbhaagi Naanak ko
taaram- Gatha Mahla 5.20)

11. Vedas describe the glory of one God (Kal mein ek naam kripaanidhi
… ih vidhi Ved bataavai- Rag Sortha Mahla 9 Shabd 5)

12. Do not say that Vedas are false. False are those people who do not
analyze (Ved katev kahahu mat jhoothe jhootha jo na vichaare-
Rag Prabhati Kabirji Shabd 3)

13. Those who studied Vedas were called Vedis. They initiated noble virtuous
acts. Listening to Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharveda destroyed all sins.
(Jinai Ved padhyo suvedi kahaaye… Padhe Sam Vedam Yajur Ved Kattham
Rigam Ved paathayam kare bhaav hattham… Atharav Ved pathayam suniyo paap
nathiyam…- Dasham Guru Granth Sahib Vichitra Natak Adhyaya 4)

To check more examples of glory of Vedas in Guru Granth Sahib refer the
following:

14. Chauth upaaye chaare Veda- Rag Bilawal Mahla 1 Thiti

15. Chache chaar Ved jin saaje chaare khani chaar juga- Rag Asa Mahla 1 Pati
Likhi Shabd 9

16. Oordh mool jis saakh talaaha chaar Ved jit laage- Gujri Ashtapadiyan
Mahla 1.1

17. Chare Ved hoye sachiyaar- Asadi Var Mahla 1 Var 13

18. Chaturved mukh vachni uchre- Rag Gaudi Mahla 5 Shabd 164

19. Chaturved pooran hari naai Ramkali Mahla 5  Shabd 17

20. Chaar pukaarahi na tu maane Ramkali Mahla 5 Shabd 12

21. Chaar Ved jihwa bhane- Rag Sarang Mahla 5 Shabd 131

22. Brahme ditte Ved Rag Malar Var Mahla 2 Var 3

23. Chaare Ved Brahme kau diye padh padh kare vichari- Rag Asa Mahla 3 Shabd
22

24. Chaare Ved Brahme np furmaayia- Maaru Solahe 3.22

25. Chaare deeve chahu hath diye eka eki vaari- Vasant Hindol 1.1

26. Vedu pukaare vaachiye vaani brahm biaas- Shreeraag Ashtpadiyan 1.7

27. Vedan ganh bole sach koi- Maajh Vaar Mahla 1 Vaar 12

28. Deeva jale andhera jaai Ved paath mati paapan khaai- Raag Suhi

29. Ved pukaarai punn paap surag narak ka veeu- Raag Saarang Vaar 1.16

30. Gurumukhi parche Ved vichari- Raag Ramkali Sidh Gosht Shabd 28

31. Puchhahu Ved pandatiyaan muthi vin maane- Rag Maaru Ashtpadiyan 1.6

32. Man hath kine na paaiyo puchhahu Vedaam jaai- Shri Raag Vaar 3.10

33. Smriti saasat Ved vakhaanai bharmai bhoola tat na jaanai- Rag Maajh
Ashtpadiyan 3.18

34. Veda mahi naam uttam so- Rag Ramkali Mahla 3 Aanand 19

35. Hari jeeu ahankaar n bhaavai Ved kook sunaavahi- Rag Maaru 3.9

36. Jugi jugi aapo aapna dharm hai sodh dekhahu Ved puraan- Rag Vilaaval
3.4

37. Saasat Ved puraan pukaarahi dharam karahu shat karam dradaiya- Vilaaval
Mahla 4.2

38. Naanak vichaarahi sant jan chaar Ved kahande- Rag Gaudi Vaar 4.12

39. Vaani brahm Ved dharam dradahu paap tajaaiya bal raam jeeu- Suhi Chhant
4.2

40. Das ath chaar Ved sabh poochhahu jan naanak naam chhudaai jeeu- Maaru
4.8

41. Smrat saasat Ved vakhaane jog gyaansidh sukh jaane- Rag Gaudi 5.111

42. Ved puraan smrat bhane- Gaudi 5.144

43. Saasat smrat Ved vichaare mahaapurushan iu kahiya- Rag Gaudi 5.162

44. Ved saasat jan pukaarahi sunai nahi dora- Rag Aasa 5.152

45. Saasat Ved smriti sabhi….- Gujri 5.2

46. Chaar pukaarahi na tu maanahi- Ramkali 5.12

47. Kahant Veda gunant guniya- Salok sahaskriti Mahla 5.14

48. Ved puraan saasatr vichaaram- Gatha Mahla 5.20

49. Ved puraan saadh sang- Rag Gaudi 9.6

50. Ved puraan padhai ko ih gun simre hari ko naama- Rag Gaudi 9.7

51. Ved puraan jaas gun gaavat taako naam hiye mein dhar re- Gaudi 9.9

52. Ved puraan smriti ke mat sun nimash na hiye vasaavai- Rag Sorath 9.7

Now Guru Granth Sahib also consists of several verses that appear to be
condemnation of Vedas. These are often cited to prove that Sikhism is a separate
cult.

However, this is a very childish argument. How can Guru Granth Sahib condemn
Vedas when it also praises it to an extent that it calls Vedas divine and that
those who do not appreciate Vedas as foolish?

In reality, the condemnation of Vedas relate to those people who only mug up
Vedas but do not live their lives accordingly. Or those people who distort the
message of Vedas by claiming to have expertise. The likes of western indologists
and communist historians who see beef and wine in Vedas perfectly exemplify the
target of this condemnation.

And why Guru Granth Sahib, Vedas themselves condemn such hypocrites. Rigveda
1.164.39 very clearly announces – “What can the Richas of Vedas do
for a person who does not possess intellect”
.

Upanishads and Geeta also condemn a person who claims expertise in Vedas but
do not preach.

If one reviews the Guru Granth Sahib dictionary by renowned Sikh scholar Tara
Singhji, you would find a striking similarity between what he wrote on Vedas and
what was written by Swami Dayanand.

Thus we see that Sikhism represents the essence of Vedic wisdom in simple
language of common man and rejects all those external features that are wrongly
associated with Hinduism.

Our humble reverence to the great Sikh Gurus who saved the society by
lighting the lamp of Vedic wisdom when there was utter darkness. Lets now work
to carry forward their noble legacy by living by this wisdom and bringing
transformation in self, society and world through service, devotion and
actions.

(For a thorough treatment of this subject, we strongly recommend the book
“Arya Siddhant aur Sikh Guru” by Swami
Swatantranand, a legendary freedom fighter, leader of Hyderabad
Satyagrah movement and established Vedic scholar. You can avail this book from
www.vedicbooks.com. Please also review
the preface and introduction by Prof Rajendra Jigyasu that covers important
historical aspects of the subject.)

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