In Sanatan Sikh thinking, Akali Guru
Nanak did not teach a religion in the western sense, but sought
to re-establish the universal Sanatan Dharma the
universal spiritual path. Akali Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru,
pointed out what this highest Dharma is:
‘Of all Dharma, the highest Dharma is to contemplate
Naam [Name] of Har [God] and act purely.
Of all action the highest action, is to be in holy congregation
wash away the evil thoughts from the mind.
Of all endeavors, greatest endeavor is to always contemplate
Naam of Har oh self.
Of all scriptures, the ambrosial scripture is listening to glory
of Har and uttering this glory.
Of all places the greatest place, Oh Nanak, is that heart in
which resides the Naam of eternal truth God.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Sukhmani Sahib, Pa.266)
Akali Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj
A painting in the Persian style of the fifth
living Sanatan Sikh Guru and his close disciples
To Sanatan Sikhs it matters little
what religion or philosophy you do or do not practice. It matters
little what garb one wears, eg. Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian,
Buddhist, Yogi, etc. What matters is contemplation of this ineffable
truth and traveling that paradoxical spiritual path that is even
The Bhaagvad Gita
A contemporary painting of Krishan Maharaj (left) explaining the
Dharam (divine law of righteousness) to the mighty warrior Arjun
(right) at the battlefield
at Kurukshetra, Punjab. This entire conversation between Krishan
Maharaj and Arjun is within
the pages of the great text, the Bhaagvad Gita, a text read and
revered by both Indian warriors and scholars
Nirmala Baba Harbhajan Hari looked upon the various
religious and philosophical traditions of the world as but many
paths to the same one destination:
‘Yes, there can be this difference where some will reach
there [to God] earlier some latter.
He whose path is shorter, they will arrive quickly.
They whose path is long will arrive later. Difference could
also arise due to pace.
The individual who travels fast he will arrive quickly.
The individual who progresses [on spiritual path] slowly will
arrive latter. But the destination [of all mankind
is ultimately whether they know or acknowledge it] is one. That
is highest God.
In the end after wondering about [in transmigration] all will
Only after attaining onto highest God can man have what is called
true comfort, true peace, that what is called highest contentment
or highest bliss.
This [all] will be attained when man appreciates or contemplates
[command] of highest true self [Nirankar] God or meditates upon
him in his heart and mind.’
(Baba Harbhajan Hari, transcript of a recording, 12-02-2001)
Baba Harbhajan Hari
A recent photograph of Baba Harbhajan Hari,
a Sanatan Sikh of the great Nirmala (intellectual) order seen here
relaxing in the sun
Hence the Sanatan Sikhs acknowledge the diversity
of religions, philosophies and myriad distinct ways of life in the
world. In their thinking an individual followed their particular
religion or way of life according to their particular Karma.
All these myriad paths of life that exist do
so in accordance with Sanatan Nirankar God’s will. If this
was not so then it will not be so. Yet, ultimately beyond the all-confusing
facade of all these great multitudes of faiths and philosophies
in the world created by Maya (The God created illusion
of the world) there is but only one Sanatan Dharma.
An ancient Nepalese painting depicting Maya (the great illusion)
Like all mankind at the molecular level are
one and the same. Neigh all carbon-based life at the molecular level
is near enough the same. In Sanatan Sikh thinking there is but one
subtle true common paradoxical universal Dharma. The true goal of
mankind is forsaking all forms of bigotry, hypocrisy, fanaticism
At the basic level, life all arises from the same basic building
To appreciate this all-inclusive universal Sanatan
Sikh Dharma, the Dharma is that of the searchers of truth, and not
of arguers. It was this Sanatan Sikh spiritual path that Akali Guru
Nanak began to re-establish in the 15th century.