Q14. Does Sikhism insist on faith?
When we repose our trust in someone it means that, we have faith in him. For instance, when we send a child to school, it is on account of our faith in the value of education. In the matter of love, one has to put faith in the beloved. So faith is not peculiar to religion; it is found in almost every activity of life.
Sikhism insists on this kind of basic faith. Just as you cannot learn to swim unless you get into water, in the same way you can never know spirituality unless you believe in God. Sikhism enjoins faith in the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man.
Sikhism emphasizes the need of the Guru for spiritual training. Fortunately, the Guru Granth Sahib is with us for such guidance. Many seek the solution of their spiritual and temporal problems in the Granth and seek light from Gurbani. We thus repose our faith in the Guru, discover the great truths enshrined in his message as our wisdom, acting in the light of Gurbani, tells us.
Sikhism enjoins us to love God. We cannot love God if we love ourselves. Ego is at the root of all evil and our sufferings. If we concentrate our minds on God and sing His praises, we subordinate and even drive ego out of our minds we can then acquire those great qualities and virtues, which we associate with God.
Sikhism believes in universal goodness. The Sikh seeks the God’s Grace, not only for himself but also for the whole world for he believes in the good of all mankind (Sarbat da bhala). This sense of fellowship makes him feel at home everywhere and to look on all as friends: “No one is my enemy or a stranger”, Guru Nanak wrote. He thus acquires an optimistic outlook on life.
The need for a Faith is recognized even by the greatest scientists. Indeed, reason alone cannot fathom the mysteries of existence and the Universe. Guru Nanak says: “The intellect cannot grasp what is beyond the bounds of the intellect. Rise above the limited human awareness and you will know of God and His works.” Atomic energy and nuclear power have further strengthened the scientists’ belief in the unlimited powers of Nature and Providence.
Albert Einstein writes in this connection: “Man does not understand the vast of veiled Universe into which he has been for the reason that he does not understand himself. He comprehends but little of his organic processes and even less of his unique capacity to perceive the world around him, to reason and to dream.”