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Step into the world of Sikhism and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib through the eyes of renowned historians, political figures, philosophers, and scholars. Their insights shed light on the universal essence of the Guru, transcending religious boundaries. Discover how this profound wisdom is not confined to a single faith but serves as a guiding light for all humanity.

Amid Sikhism's spiritual treasures, it's essential to remember that the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is more than just a 'Sikh Guru.' While often labelled as such, within its sacred verses, there exists no claim to being exclusively the Guru of Sikhs. As Sikhs, we bear the privilege of safeguarding this universal beacon of wisdom, ready to share its enlightening message with the world. Let these insightful quotes from www.sikhquotes.org spread the Guru's teachings far and wide.

Arnold Joseph Toynbee (Historian 1889-1975)

Arnold Toynbee, a renowned 20th-century historian, penned a remarkable 20-volume series on world history. Among his writings, he bestowed a special and revered place upon Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Sikh history. Toynbee's words overflow with deep admiration and emotion when he speaks of Guru Ji's pivotal role in the formation of the Khalsa. He fervently emphasizes that there is no one quite like Guru Sahib, elevating him to a divine status of the highest order.

Western organizations and the United Nations, upon discovering the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, swiftly embarked on the mission to translate them into various languages, especially English. To craft the preface for this significant work, they sought out Toynbee, recognizing his profound intellect and wide-ranging understanding of societies, religions, and principles.

 Toynbee, with his unparalleled expertise, penned a prologue that unequivocally states that there is no better guide for humanity than Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This book also illuminates how Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji instils its followers with the inspiration to excel, imparts knowledge, and offers profound insight into the name of God, without the need for rituals or worship. It presents God as both an internal and external presence, motivating devotees to a life of selfless service.

In the "Sacred Writings of the Sikhs—A Unesco Publications” Toneybee explains, “Although the future of religion is bleak but yet one hope is there in the form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which teaches us all God’s message of love and gives direction to life."

Toynbee emphasized Guru Gobind Singh Ji's teachings as the best, highlighting their unique approach to spirituality. According to these teachings, one doesn't need to forsake their home in the quest for God; instead, Gurmat guides us on how to lead a worldly life without being consumed by it. True devotion, as per this philosophy, is to be a hermit amidst society, working hard and honestly to earn and share. 

It encourages constant remembrance of God, leading to a life devoid of hypocrisy, cheating, or dishonesty. A genuine follower lives by the principles of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, shedding prejudices and personal identity, ultimately merging into God, and living as if their existence fades into insignificance. Guru Gobind Singh Ji's teachings exemplify the supreme way to navigate life.

In one memorable encounter, Toynbee shared his unique perspective on beauty and ugliness with an inquisitive American woman who sought his wisdom due to his deep understanding of various cultures and beliefs. When she asked him who the most beautiful person in the world was, Toynbee's prompt response was "A man with an open beard and a complete Gursikh." Her surprise was palpable, and she followed up with a question about the ugliest person, to which he replied, "A Sikh who has cut his hair." These unexpected answers piqued her curiosity, prompting her to delve deeper into the Sikh religion and seek a greater understanding of its beliefs and practices.

In the Forward to "The Sacred Writings of the Sikhs" by UNESCO, it is written: 

"Mankind’s religious future may be obscure; yet one thing can be foreseen. The living higher religions are going to influence each other more than ever before, in the days of increasing communications between all parts of the world and branches of human race. In this coming religious debate, the Sikh religion and its scriptures, the Guru Granth, will have something special of value to say to the rest of the world."

Max Arthur Macauliffe (Historian 1841-1913)

Max Arthur Macauliffe, a renowned historian from 1841 to 1913, dedicated his life to Sikh history, crafting six insightful books that illuminate the core values of this religion. Sikhism, a faith uncompromising in its rejection of pretence and hypocrisy, prohibits the consumption of flesh, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Beyond these prohibitions, it imparts lessons of kindness, love, and honesty while fostering a profound sense of unity among all humanity, effectively erasing racial divisions. 

What sets Sikhism apart is that the teachings of its Gurus were preserved in their original form, written and edited by the Gurus themselves. These teachings not only inspire, but also reflect a unique commitment to fighting battles not against communalism and orthodoxy, but for the betterment of society, to shield people from tyranny, and to ensure the freedom to worship as one chooses, ultimately uplifting the souls of all its followers.

In his book, "The Sikh Religion," Macauliffe writes:

"Unlike the scriptures of other creeds, they do not contain love stories or accounts of wars waged for selfish considerations. They contain sublime truths, the study of which cannot but elevate the reader spiritually, morally, and socially. There is not the least tinge of sectarianism in them. They teach the highest and purest principle that serve to bind man to man and inspire the believer with an ambition to serve his fellow men, to sacrifice all and die for their sake."

Macauliffe emphasizes the unique nature of Sikhism, setting it apart from other religious systems. He underscores that unlike many other influential spiritual leaders, Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, did not rely on tradition or second-hand information to convey his teachings. Instead, he was not born a priest and lacked formal religious education, but he ascended to spiritual heights and envisioned an ethical ideal that transcended the bounds of both Hinduism and Islam. In doing so, he forged a path that distinguishes Sikhism in its approach to dogmas and spiritual insight.

Pearl S. Buck (Author, Noble Prize winner 1892-1973)

In her foreword to Gopal Singh Dardi's English translation of the Guru Granth Sahib, Pearl S. Buck, a renowned author and Nobel Prize winner, shared her insightful comments. She praised the translation's ability to convey the spiritual depth and wisdom of the original text to English-speaking readers. Buck's words resonate with admiration for the timeless teachings found within the Guru Granth Sahib, emphasizing the importance of making this profound wisdom accessible to a wider audience through quality translations like Dardi's. Her words reflect the universal appeal of the scripture's messages and the significance of cultural exchange and understanding: 

"I have studied the scriptures of the great religions, but I do not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as I find here in these volumes. They are compact in spite of their length and are a revelation of the concept of God to the recognition and indeed the insistence upon the practical needs of the human body. There is something strangely modern about these scriptures and this puzzled me until I learned that they are in fact comparatively modern, compiled as late as the 16th century when explorers were beginning to discover the globe upon which we all live is a single entity divided only by arbitrary lines of our making. Perhaps this sense of unity is the source of power I find in these volumes. They speak to a person of any religion or of none. They speak for the human heart and the searching mind.

The hymns in Guru Granth are an expression of man’s loneliness, his aspirations, his longings, his cry to God and his hunger for communication with that being. It speaks to me of life and death; of time and eternity; of the temporal human body and its needs; of the mystic human soul and its longing to be fulfilled; of God and the indissoluble bond between them."

Swami Nitya Nand (Spiritual Leader)

In his book Guru Gyan, Swami Nitya Nand, who lived to the remarkable age of 135, imparts timeless wisdom. With remarkable clarity and insight, he shares profound teachings that resonate with seekers of all backgrounds, offering invaluable guidance on the spiritual path. His words are a beacon of inspiration, guiding us toward greater understanding, peace, and enlightenment.

"I, in the company of my Guru Swami Brahma Nanda, while on a pilgrimage tour, reached Punjab. There we met Swami Satya Nanda, Udaasi (a Hindu ascetic) He expounded Guru Nanak’s philosophy and religiosity so eloquently that Swami Brahma Nanda experienced spiritual bliss. During the visit to the Golden temple in Amritsar his soul was so impressed that he became Guru’s devotee. After sojourn in Punjab we went to Hardwar. One day I saw tears in his eyes, though he was healthy. When asked about it he answered, "I have sifted sand all my life. The truth dwells in the house of Guru Nanak. I have to take another birth in that house then only I will attain Mukti (salvation). As he said that his spirit passed away.

I too contemplate incessantly on Wahéguru (wonderful God) as manifested by Guru Nanak. For many years I practiced Yoga Aasnas taught by Yogis, but the rapture and serenity I feel now was never attained before. "

Swami Nitya Nand initially practised Yoga to attain God but found it insufficient for his spiritual quest. It wasn't until he meditated according to the principles of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji that he finally experienced the presence of God. By following the teachings of Gurbani and remembering God, he discovered a profound spiritual peace that had eluded him through his yoga practice alone. This led him to the conclusion that yoga alone is not the sole path to God and inner peace. 

Consequently, Swami Nitya Nand became a devoted follower of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which became his ultimate source of delight, bringing tranquillity to his mind and soul.

Bertrand Russell (Philosopher, Mathematician 1872-1970)

Bertrand Russell, a renowned philosopher and mathematician who lived from 1872 to 1970, left an indelible mark on the intellectual landscape of the 20th century. 

“If some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them." When asked, isn’t this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? He said, ‘Yes it has the capability, but the Sikhs haven’t brought out in the broad daylight the splendid doctrines of this religion, which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it."

Sikhism stands as a unique and vibrant religion that emphasizes the values of equality, selfless service, and devotion to the one Divine. With its rich history, distinctive principles, and an inclusive approach to spirituality, Sikhism continues to inspire millions of followers worldwide, promoting a message of unity and social justice that resonates far beyond its origins.

*Based on an article by Gurujot Singh, published in SikhQuotes.org on 13th November 2009


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