The Thing That Matters

…to believe in God

Image by travelphotographer from Pixabay

We can see endless questions and debates about God and Religion all around us. And these questions will never end, nor shall they ever get answered.

I’m a Sikh, and here I present my views based on what I’ve learned from my religion and the society as well. Sikhi (anglicized as Sikhism) characterizes God as one, universal, formless, gender-less, self-existent, and beyond description, in the very first verse of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. So there’s literally no point in trying to describe thee who has been indescribable since the beginning, and will be forever. And hence, all the questions regarding God go in vain.

So what about the questions & doubts regarding Religion that we carry around in our mind? According to my tiny vision, there are two types of religious people- a believer and a follower. A believer is one who proclaims to be following its religion, whereas a follower is one who actually does what its religion asks for.

Whether you’re religious or atheist or agnostic, let’s ask ourselves, “Have I ever followed religion to the fullest?”. Almost all of us would reply with “Not really”, excluding the rare ones. Then who gave us the right to say “God doesn’t exist” if we’ve never ever tried to follow the way to attain thee?

Then we have those rare ones who’ve actually followed their religion’s principles, but haven’t achieved anything. For them, I have something else to say later in this article. First, let’s understand the point of religion.

What is religion meant for?

“Why does God want to be worshipped?”

“What’s the point of religion?”

“Why should I even waste my time in these rituals?”

These are the questions that we encounter at least once in our lifetime. But none of these questions makes sense to me. I believe that God doesn’t want to be worshipped, but we need to worship thee. But why?

I have one simple question- “Have you ever felt that your anger is getting out of control, or you’re extremely sad, or you’re extremely addicted to something?”. I bet you say, “Yes!”. Now let’s take a look at how my religion Sikhi describes the character of those who find themselves near to God-

(Read the full verse)
All the twenty-four hours of day and night,
He knows God to be close to his heart,
And to His will he cheerfully submits.
Name alone is the sustenance of the sant
A sant considers himself to be the dust of the feet of all.
This, brothers, is the sants’ way of life,
Beyond my power is it to describe its excellence.
Name alone is their occupation,
In blissful kirtan do they find their peace.
Friend and foe are to them alike.
Besides their God they acknowledge not another.
Myriad sins can a Sant erase,
He is the dispeller of sorrow and the bestower of life.
Heroes true to their word are the sants,
Even poor maya is by them beguiled.
The gods themselves long for their company;
To have a sight of them is fulfilling in the extreme,
To be able to serve them a blessing.
Nanak does with folded hands supplicate:
Grant me this favour, O Treasure of Merit,
that to the service of the sants do I
dedicate myself.

src: sikhiwiki.org

This is the character of those who live the life of saints; away from the sadness & wants. We do have a lot of examples of holy people in the past who lived in a way more peaceful state of mind. So why don’t we listen to them?

I believe that religion is meant to help us get rid of the five thieves. It’s meant to deliver us to the state of ecstasy. I’m not talking about the rituals, which are just individual ways to make an attempt to attain God. I do firmly believe in what my religion says, even though I haven’t ever experienced God.

The thing that matters to me is that by believing in God, and following my Gurus’ wisdom, I see the change to lift myself up from these worldly pleasures & sorrows. I hope I be able to get there ever in my lifetime. Instead of rejecting God’s existence, and spending my entire lifetime being stuck in mind’s game, isn’t it better to try to do the opposite? Instead of asking questions that nobody other than God can answer, isn’t it better to follow what thine wise men have left written for us in the form of scriptures?

And then there are people who say, “Religion promotes exclusivity and fights”. Well is it really the religion? Let’s find out in the next point.

What’s wrong?

The major factor that diverts our mind from believing in God is today’s condition of religions. For all such things, I have just one thing to say-

“People and Religion are two separate things.”

Whatever seems to be wrong with religions today is actually because of people, not religion. Let me give you an example from my own community.

My belief completely adheres to Sikhi, because I never found any single thing wrong with it. If I did find, however, it eventually led me to either the people’s fault; or the ignorance/misinterpretation of principles. For example, a large number of Sikhs nowadays consume meat; excluding the baptized ones. At a few number of place, even the baptized Sikhs offer sacrifices of goats on special occasions.

But does this classify Sikhi as a faulty religion? No, because our scripture Guru Granth Sahib Ji says something else-

SGGS Page 723 Full Shabad

ਬੰਦੇ ਚਸਮ ਦੀਦੰ ਫਨਾਇ ॥
ਦੁਨਂ​‍ੀਆ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਖੁਰਦਨੀ ਗਾਫਲ ਹਵਾਇ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਗੈਬਾਨ ਹੈਵਾਨ ਹਰਾਮ ਕੁਸਤਨੀ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਬਖੋਰਾਇ ॥
ਦਿਲ ਕਬਜ ਕਬਜਾ ਕਾਦਰੋ ਦੋਜਕ ਸਜਾਇ ॥੨॥

O human being, whatever you can see with your eyes, shall perish.
The world eats dead carcasses, living by neglect and greed. ((Pause))
Like a goblin, or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat.
So control your urges, or else you will be seized by the Lord, and thrown into the tortures of hell.
(2)

SGGS Page 1350 Full Shabad

ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਕਹਹੁ ਮਤ ਝੂਠੇ ਝੂਠਾ ਜੋ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥
ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥

Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false.
Those who do not contemplate them are false.
You say that the One Lord is in all, so why do you kill chickens? (1)

Clearly, as long as I have my Shabad-Guru (Guru in the form of text) with me, I don’t need to listen to people for guidance. We have a concept of Gurmat (Guru’s wisdom) vs Manmat (Mind’s wisdom), where we’re supposed to keep our face toward the Guru, not our egoistic mind. But how do I know what to believe in? Let’s find out-

Am I following the path of truth in the right way?

I bet you must have, at least once, asked yourself, “Is the religion I’ve been practicing since my birth 100% correct? Will it ever lead me to God?”

Truth relies everywhere; somewhere it’s less; somewhere it’s more. We’re not born out of absolute wisdom. Our job as humans is to identify & collect those pieces of truth to get to the right address.

Study the books and knowledge of other faiths. But keep trust in Gurbani (Guru’s words) and Akal Purakh (The Timeless Being, God)
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, 10th Guru

Awareness comes with knowledge. A Muslim can become a better Muslim; a Hindu can become a better Hindu; a Christian can become a better Christian; a Sikh can become a better Sikh; by collecting those pieces of truth and dropping the bad pieces that he/she had.

A Sikh never criticizes other faiths; but still considers his faith to be the truth. This is the thing that matters- Study, learn, practice, and share your ideas with others; but let them practice whatever belief they want. Hence, Peace. ✌️

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Yea just another developer. But I do deserve your attention.

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