Q21. What do we know of God?
Guru Nanak describes the attributes of God in the prayer, Japji: “There is but one God. His name is True and Everlasting. He is the Creator, Fearless and without Enmity, the Timeless Form, Unborn and Self-existing.”
Sikhism rejects the theory of incarnation. God does not take birth. He is self-existent and not subject to time; He is eternal; He can be realized through (His own grace or) the teachings of a spiritual guide or Guru, but such a guide must be perfect.
Sikhism believes in a personal God. The devotee is compared to a bride yearning for union with her husband and waiting on his pleasure to do his bidding.
The Gurus have called God by different names-Ram, Rahim, Allah, Pritam, Yar, Mahakal. There is no such thing as a God of the Hindus or a God of the Muslims. There is the “Only One God” who is a presence, and is called Waheguru by the Sikhs (wonderful enlightener and wonderful Lord).
Is God transcendal or immanent? He is both. He is present in all things and yet they do not cover His limitless expanse. When God is seen through the universe, we think of him as Sargun(Quality-ful); when we realize His transcendence, we think of Him as Nirgun(Abstract). Truely speaking, God is both in and above the universe. God is the Whole and the world a part of that Whole.
A complete knowledge of God is impossible. Guru Nanak says, “Only one who is as great as He, can know Him fully.” We can only have some glimpses of Him from His works. The universe is His sport in which He takes delight. The world is a play of the Infinite in the field of the finite.
By His order, all forms and creatures came into existence. It is the duty of man to study the laws of the universe and to realize the greatness and glory of the Supreme Being. He has created an infinite number of worlds and constellations. The world in which we live is a small atom as compared to other worlds. Scientists like James Jeans, Hoyle and Narlikar have confirmed this theory.