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Universal Faith
According to Sanatan Sikh belief, an individual, regardless of their race, creed, faith, appearance, belief or location, who acknowledges and sees the one eternal Nirankar God in all alongside traveling the true spiritual path of Sanatan Dharma, is a Sanatan Sikh.

Any individual who seeks only knowledge and grace of eternal most ancient truth - Nirankar God is a Sikh. The Sikh Gurus did not speak ill of any religion.

Akali Guru Nanak spoke of the six traditional Indian philosophical and religious schools thus:

‘Six are the classical Hindu philosophical/religious schools of thought, six their teachers and six their teachings.
But their Guru’s Guru [ God] is one but he has many forms.
Oh brother in the holy house where is found praise of the creator.
Take care of such a [holy] house in this is your praise.
Like [time] is divided into Visueh [Equals fifteen blinks of eye], Chaseh [Fifteen Visueh equal one Chaseh], Kari [sixty Pal equals one Kari. One Pal is thirty Chaseh], Paher [ Seven and half Kari equal one Paher which is one day], seasons, weeks, months etc. though there is but one Sun.
Like this the creator has many forms [religious and philosophical schools of thought with their own perception of Nirankar God, reality etc.].’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Pa.12)

Akali Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj
The great Guru as a yound man discussing spiritual matters with
Hindu Sadhus (holy men). The illustration is from the 'Gutkha' (prayer-book) of
Maharani Jindan (wife of the Sikh King Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh) c. 1830

Now some of the above-said classical philosophical schools are atheist. Therefore, although the Sikh Gurus were themselves absolute believers in the formless one Sanatan God, Va-eh Guru, they were tolerant to acknowledge others who's views differed their own. They not only saw God in all, but, believed each person was what he was in accordance with Nirankar God's will.

To some Nirankar God reveals Himself one way, to others another way and there are some who He keeps in darkness of Himself. Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh wrote of Buddha (an atheist) alongside Hindu Avatars as form of Nirankar God thus:

‘You [God] are Mach, Kacch and Bavan Avatar, Narsingha, Buddha you are essence of the world.’
(‘Dasam Guru Durbar’, Shastar Naam Mala)

Mach Avtar
The half-man half-fish and first Avtar (incarnation) of the Hindu God, Vishnu (the preserver). The
tale of Mach Avtar is given in great detail within the ancient Bhaagvat Puraan and Dasam Guru Durbar and
recounts how this Avtar saved Manu, and recovered the Vedas (ancient scriptures) from the demon Hayagreeva

Kacch Avtar
The second Avtar of Vishnu, the tortoise, that appeared during Sat Yuga (Age of Truth)
where Vishnu supported the Mountain Mandara during the great churning of the ocean. This
epic tale from the Bhaagvat Puraan is retold in 'Chaubees Avtar', a section in Dasam Guru Durbar

Bavan Avtar
The eighth Avtar of Vishnu, the dwarf, who came in Treta Yuga (2nd Age)
and recovered heaven and Earth from the King Bali and left Bali with Paataal
(the infernal region). The tale of Bavan Avtar is retold from the Bhaagvat Puraan
by Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji within 'Chaubees Avtar" in Dasam Guru Durbar

Narsingha Avtar
The seventh Avtar of Vishnu, the half-man half-lion incarnation that saved
the saint Prahlad from his demon King father Hiranyakasipu. Akali Nihang Guru Gobind
Singh speaks of how Narsingha Avtar appeared and ripped the demon King's chest with his claws

In Sanatan Sikh thinking if you are a Nastik [Atheist] but you like Buddha, Kapil Muni etc. and can therefore still possess virtues such as love, compassion, honesty etc. For Akali Guru Nanak has said:

Without virtues one cannot be devotee of God.
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Japji)

Buddha Avtar
The twenty-third Avtar of Vishnu, Buddha, is recognised as the
founder of one of the great faiths of the world, seen here in a Nepalese painting

Even then though atheists posses such virtues, Sanatan Sikhs believe that atheists have only one leg to travel with on the spiritual path. Hence their spiritual journey is longer and more arduous. They will ultimately reach their destination of spiritual bliss. Even the virtues possessed by atheist were not beyond the sphere of toleration of the theistic Sanatan Sikhs and their Gurus.

What Sikh Gurus, like all true men of God, did not acknowledge was the misuse of religion by corrupt clergy, hypocrisy amongst religious practitioners, nor the constant quarrelling of religious fundamentalist fanatics and bigots over their religions and philosophies. To this end, Akali Guru Nanak wrote:

‘The Kadi [Kazi/Muslim priest and judge] speaking false hood [taking bribes and convicting innocent people] eats filth [consumes wages of sin from bribes].
Brahmin goes to pilgrimages but kills many [meaning persecutes so called low castes].
Yogi knows not the method of salvation [He is hooked upon performing cheap tricks and feats to beguile people].
All three [though considered religious leaders] are caught in snares of ruin.
He is a Yogi who knows method of salvation [meaning contemplation of God’s Name].
He through true Guru’s blessing recognizes the one [God].
Kazi is he who gives justice.
He according to true Guru’s blessing dies whilst living [meaning forsakes love of mammon].
He is a Brahmin who contemplates Brahm.
He himself is saved and he saves all his clan.
A intellectual/wise man is he who purifies his mind [of vice and sin].
Muslim is he who rids himself of filth [of vice and sin].
Such a person whether educated or uneducated is acceptable [to God].
On whose head is [acceptance] stamp of the divine court.’
(‘Adi Guru Durbar’, Raag Dhanasari, Pa.662)

Faith and Punishment
A photograph of a muslim man in Afghanistan hung by his feet (and eventually
killed) by the Taliban (extremists) who wrongly used Islam as a basis for terrorising people

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