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I feel it a privilege to write an introduction to Sikh religion, which is little known and, yet, in its simplicity and directness, is perhaphs the most pragmatic of all religions. The Sikh religion was founded by Guru Nanak and nursed by unparalleled sacrifices of his nine successors. The tenth Guru declared that in future the Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, in which the teachings of the Gurus were enshrined, was the Guru. And men of pure heart could listen to the voice of the True Teacher from the Guru Granth Sahib-the Bible of the Sikhs.
The Guru included the sayings of some of the well-known saints, Hindus and Muslims, and even those of the depressed classes in the Guru Granth Sahib. In one word, Sikhism has no use for mere formalism. The Guru says: "Hate not, for God dwells in all."
The Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, points out the path of discipleship, laying down ethical and moral rules for the evolution and development of the soul. It does not concern itself with temporal matters, such as prescribing ceremonies and rituals or framing any earthly code of laws. The prophets of Sikh religion left such matters to the discretion of the "Sangat" with liberty to revise and alter these with changing requirements of new times.
The "Sangat" consists of five Sikhs, who are elected by the Assembly, in whose lives the Sikh religion is transfigured. The decision of the Sangat is considered as the decision of the Guru. The ceremonies which my friend, Sir Joginder Singh, has described, find no place in Sikh scriptures, excepts the Hymns which he has quoted.
Sikhism does not recognise any distinction of caste and colour, all Sikhs enjoy an equal status and are enjoined to act as brothers. The Guru says: "We are children of the same father,
"He who earns his living by the sweat of his brow
"And shares it with others
"He get glimpses of the path."
A Sikh is required to recite the prescribed prayers morning and evening and at bed-time, to cultivate purity of body and mind, to be charitable and forgiving and thus walk on the path of discipleship.
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