Sikhism and Hinduism

Amrit Sanchaar Principles

The instructions that are given at the time of administering Baptism, considering that one can see that Khalsa is distinct from the Hindus and other religions.

i. Today you are born in the house of the Guru. Previous caste, Varna, religion, etc., all have been obliterated. Consider Guru Gobind Singh as your father, Mata Sahib Kaur as your mother, birth place Patna and you are resident of Anandpur.

ii. Early morning take bath and keep your body clean.

iii. Jap, Jaap, Swaiyas, Cahupai, Anand, Rahiras and Sohila should be recited daily, with love and adoration.

iv. Wear the five K’s: Kachh, Kara, Kirpan, Kesh, and Kanga.

v. By virtue of being sons of the Guru you are all brothers. Therefore deal amongst yourselves as brothers.

vi. Consider the Ten Gurus as one light and accept Guru Granth, embodiment of the Bani of the Ten Gurus as the Guru. Accept the Khalsa as the form of the Guru. Serve sincerely and obey the Khalsa.

vii. Earn your livelihood with honest labor.

viii. Donate one tenth of your income for the Guru and put it for the progress and development of the Panth.

ix. Consider the task of the Panth as your own work and help it to accomplish with money and sincere labor.

x. To do good acts, consider that as sublime actions of man and worthy of Sikh religion.

xi. Study diligently, in particular Gurmukhi and religious books of the Khalsa and practice horse riding and use of weapons.

xii. Be humble and develop your intellect.

xiii. Consider Turban as insignia of the Qaum and protector of Keshas.

xiv. Associate with Gurmukhs (those conscious in Guru).

xv. On death and other occasions perform all rites according to Gurmat.

xvi. Make all efforts for the propagation of Gurmat.

xvii. At Gurpurbs perform Kirtan and exposition of Gurbani.

xviii. Be loyal to your master.

xix. According to the rules of the Khalsa Panth understand the advantages of the organization and remain united as if woven in a thread.

xx. Keep the daughter unvidh (no piercing of ears or nose). Treat them like sons and impart them education in secular and religious subjects.

xxi. If you happen to commit something against Dharma make amends for that in a congregation of the Khalsa.

xxii. Accept the One Almighty. Never worship any god, goddess, pir, prophet or avatar.

xxiii. Accept the Guru Granth Sahib and do not believe in any other religious books or scriptures.

xxiv. Do not believe in Omens, auspicious days, etc. These acts are done in duality.

xxv. Have (family) relations with Sikhs only.

xxvi. Do not have relations with Minas, Dhirmalias, smokers, those who practice infanticide and those who cut hair. In addition anyone who creates factions in the Panth and sets himself as Guru and goes against the counsel of the Guru never deal with him.

xxvii. Abandon forever theft, robbery, falsehood, injustice, back biting, betrayal of confidence, gambling and other demerits.

xxviii. Consider all intoxicants as destroyers of mind and body and hence abandon them.

xxix. Never call a Sikh by his half name.

xxx. Never go back on your promise.

xxxi. Do not wear the ornaments and colors worn by Chanchal (seductive) women.

xxxii. Tobacco (and other intoxicants) and the love of another’s wife; these are destroyers of Dharma; abandon these.

xxxiii. Do not receive Prasad (offerings) made to any god, goddess or grave.

xxxiv. Do not commit yourself to any Sukhna (offerings for any favor).

xxxv. Never accept other’s right, e.g., corruption money.

xxxvi. Except Gurdwaras do not accept any other place as your religious place.

xxxvii. Never have enmity with or envy of the loyal Sikhs of the Guru. Never think of doing harm to anyone.

xxxviii. Do not color your hair, and do not pick grey hair.

xxxix. Do not accept anything from your daughter.

xxxx. Never resort to begging.

xxxxi. Never show your back in the battlefield. Bhai Nand Lal in his book “Tausifosna” designates as supreme the Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) and considers the Sikh religion distinct and prominent from Hindus and Moslems. He says; “The Guru is much higher than the prophets of the Hindus, Atheists, Christians, Daudis and Moslems. In other words Sikh religion is prominent than others.”

Six Questions by Hindus

1. The Sikhs have originated from Hindus.

If you call Sikhs Hindus, because they are converts from Hindus, then why don’t you call Christians as Jews who came from Jews and Moslems who originated from Quereshi Christians and Jews, etc? Why they do not accept themselves as such? In particular those (Christians and Moslems) who are converts from Hindus, why you do not call them Hindus?

2. Sikhs intermingle with Hindus in respect of food and dining.

If you call Sikhs, Hindus because they have social relations with Hindus, then you should know that Jews, Christians, Moslems, Buddhists, etc., also have their social relations. Would you call them the same?

It will be worthwhile to give the opinion of some of our religious books on this subject.

From this you will understand the differences between Hindus and Sikhs in respect of communality of food sharing.

(1) Do not eat from the hands of a clean- shaven (non-Sikh). (Gur Pratap Surya)

(2) As your chef (kitchen help) keep a Sikh. (Rahatnama Bhai Chaupa Singh)

(3) There is no distinction of Caste. The four Varnas eat together. (Gur Pratap Surya)

3. Sikhs intermarry with Hindus.

If you consider Sikhs as Hindus because they intermarry, then do you consider Jews,

Christians, Buddhists, etc., not up to their respective religions as they too intermarry? You should know from history that at one time Hindus intermarried with Mughals– who were Muslims. It is also known that Naushervan was married to Maurice, daughter of a Christian King, and her daughter was married to Hindu Chauramni Rana of Udaipur. Daughter of Silyukas, King of Babylon was married to Raja Chandra Gupta. Hirambi, Uloopi and others who were married to prominent men of India were not Hindus. Moreover what is enjoined on the Sikhs with respect to contracting relations with Hindus and individuals of other religions that is stated here:

1. Have relations with a Sikh of the Guru. (Rehatnama Bhai Chaupa Singh)

2. Killing a daughter or to give a daughter (in marriage) to a non-Sikh, such a person commits great offence. Sikh should give his daughter (in marriage) to a Sikh. Thus Gurmukh meets a Gurmukh. Giving a daughter to a Bhadni (non-Sikh) is like giving nectar to a snake. (Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh)

3. A Sikh gives (in marriage) his daughter to a Sikh and does not accept any money in exchange. He is my Sikh and will reach in my presence. (Guru Pratap Surya)

4. When the daughter comes of age only then relations should be contracted, not for a very young girl. And the relations should be Sikhs of the Guru. (Prem Sumagar)

But tell us one thing. After Sikh-Hindu marriage why does a Sikh become a Hindu and not the other way around?

4. Sikhs are citizens of Hindustan (India), then why do they say they are not Hindus?

If you call Sikhs Hindus because they live in Hindustan (India), then you should consider Christians, Moslems as Hindus too. If on account of residence they are Hindus we have no objection to be called Hindus, i.e., Indians.

5. If you (Sikhs) do mind, to be called Hindus, because of the meaning of the word “Hindu” in Persian, it is your ignorance. The word “Hindu” is a Sanskrit word and it means, one who conquers the enemies and is brave; cf. Ram Kosh, Mer (u) Tantar Prakash and Kalika Purana.

You have said that the word ‘Hindu’ has a sublime meaning. And there should not be any objection because it is not a Persian word. You have quoted Merutantar Prakash and Kalika Purana to prove that ‘Hindu’ is a Sanskrit word.

To this we would say, “In Sikh religion no language is the language of gods and none is a prohibited language. There is no need to object if a word is from a foreign language. And if according to your belief the Word ‘Hindu’ means supreme or sublime you are welcome to that. We never say that Hindu is a bad name. Whatever the name of a religion, an individual of another religion should have no objection to that. For example, one of the twelve sects of Yogis is called Pagal (mad) Panth. If we try to counsel them that they should not call themselves by that name, this will be our mistake, nay, and stupidity.

The word ‘Hindu’ is from Sanskrit or Persian; scholars of the world know it. In 1920 forty five Pundits of Kanshi gave the opinion that “Hindu is pseudo-name given by Moslems, therefore to be called Hindu is not appropriate.”

So far journals like “Bharto Dhark” have always written that the Hindu name has been given by the Malechas (polluted and of bad intellect). Therefore, the Aryas should never be called Hindus and neither Arya Varat (India) be called Hindustan. The word ‘Hindu’ has never been seen in Vedas, Shahstars, Simritis and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharta. This is strange that now it has been found in the Kosh (dictionary). It would have been better if this effort had been done before the beginning of this dispute and discussion. This effort seems to be without any reward. Having heard from Sanskrit we recall an essay by Bhartendu Babu Harish Chandra, which is:

Whatever opinion, decision one wants one can get from a Pundit, provided one makes an appropriate offering. Example:

Question: Pundit Ji, can you by any means prove that Christians and Moslems are Hindus?

Answer by Pundit: Yes, make offerings. We will prove right now.

Question: In what way?

Pundit: Look brother. Kristan (Christians) and Musalmaan (Moslems) are pure Brahmins. In fact, the truth is like this. Yadavs had two Prohits (priests). Lord Krishna went to one of them. That Prohit was called Kristan Manva. Musali (Balbhadar) brother of Krishna went to the other; he was called Musal Manya. The two religions are descendents of those two Prohits. People do not know the correct pronunciation of the Sanskrit language. Therefore, instead of Krishna Manya and Musal Manya people started calling Christians and Moslems. Now bring offerings, so we can write this decision for you.

Dear Hindu brother, to us it appears that your proving of the ‘Hindu’ word from Sanskrit is something of the same nature.

6. The word “Hindu” seems to be derived from Indu and Sindhu.

This is your imagination. It is not proved from your old religious books, otherwise give some examples.

Source – Hum Hindu Nahin by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha. Translated by Dr. Jarnail Singh