THE SIKH WAY OF LIFE
BY RANBIR SINGH
India before Guru Nanak
THERE came a time when godliness suffered an eclipse in India and evil prevailed throughout.
The moral and spiritual decay weakened and emasculated the soul of the people. Corruption became rampant from top to bottom. The rigid caste distinctions, with superstitions associated with it, divided the Hindu community into innumerable water-tight compartments. A great body of population were treated as untouchables, even their touch polluted the higher castes.
Religion was just a code of taboos and ritualistic show-piece. It consisted of bathing at the pilgrim places, mechanical repetition of unintelligible 'mantras' and worship of idols and stone-images of numerous gods and goddesses.
Further still the petty principalities and several small states, into which India was divided, had
entirely broken its integrity One section of community that came in power, ill-treated the other and tried to liquidate the same; so there were intrigues and secret betrayals.
With such conditions prevailing in India, hordes of Muslims from across the North Western borders
swept upon this country like locusts carrying slaughter, desecration and desolation with them .In the fifteenth century and the centuries that preceded it, these invading armies came one after the other like waves of the sea. They were ruthless beyond description, massacring men without mercy, plundering hearths and homes and lifting away young girls and demolishing temples and converting the Hindus to Islam at the point of the sword.
When the world is in trouble and sorely stricken, it then prays and prays sincerely. The True one listens with attention and in the kindness of His nature grants consolation.
God, the Merciful Lord, heard their bewailing and lamentations and sent Guru Nanak, the Divine Master, the Savior of' humanity. He came to show the Light and the Way. He showed us the Light out of darkness of falsehood that over shadowed the land. He comforted us. He awakened in human mind the consciousness of God, the Creator and brought the erring humanity back to the Lord and cured the sickness of the soul
He united all sections of the Indian people in unbreakable bonds of love, where the lowest was to be equal with the highest in race, in social, political and religious rights. He laid the foundation of a brotherhood of Warrior-Saints course of time, snatched The sword from the
tyrants' hands and destroyed the evil doers root and branch