Is There a God?
Perhaps you think;
1) there is insufficient evidence to support Sikhism.
2) that Sikhism doesn't make sense.
3) that once you believed in Sikhism but have lost faith.
4) that you prefer a non-religious culture.
5) religion doesn't interest you.
6) religion doesn't seem relevant to your life.
7) religions seem to have done a lot of harm in the world.
8) the world is such a bad place that there can't be a God.
Just once wouldn't you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God's existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, "You just have to believe." Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.
But first consider this. When it comes to the possibility of God's existence, the Sri Guru Granth says;
ਅਵਿਗਤੋ ਨਿਰਮਾਇਲੁ ਉਪਜੇ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਸਰਗੁਣੁ ਥੀਆ ॥
Avigaṯo nirmā▫il upje nirguṇ ṯe sarguṇ thī▫ā.
From God's state of absolute existence, God assumed the immaculate form; from formless, God assumed the supreme form.
Guru Nanak Sahib, Ang 940, Line 14.
On the other hand, for those who want to know God if God is there, the Sri Guru Granth says;
ਐਸਾ ਸਤਗੁਰੁ ਲੋੜਿ ਲਹੁ ਜਿਦੂ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਚੁ ਸੋਇ ॥
Aisā saṯgur loṛ lahu jiḏū pā▫ī▫ai sacẖ so▫e.
Seek and find such a True Guru, who shall lead you to the True Lord.
Guru Amar Das, Ang 30, Line 17.
This is an instruction to believe and follow Sri Guru Granth as the True Guru (as a Sikh) and the Guru Granth will lead you to the True Lord.
Before you look at the facts surrounding God's existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, are you a Sikh? If so, are you 'really' willing to learn? If so, what would you want to learn? Here then, are some reasons to consider...
1. Does God exist?
The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
The Earth... its size is perfect. The Earth's size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth's surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter. Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth's position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.
Water... colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You'll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.
Water is a universal solvent. This property of water means that various chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.
Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Ninety-seven percent of the Earth's water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.
The human brain... simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
The human brain processes more than a million messages a second. Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. The brain functions differently than other organs. There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people.
The eye... can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages -- simultaneously. Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain -- the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.
2. Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light."
The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us.
How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?
"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."
4. Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell's behavior.
All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It's made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!
Well, just like you can program your phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way. It is a full instruction manual.
Why is this so amazing? One has to ask....how did this information program wind up in each human cell? These are not just chemicals. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person's body should develop.
Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it.
5. Does God exist? We know God exists because God pursues us.
God is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to it.
Many people have been atheists at one time and then gone on to find God. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothers them greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don't believe even exists?! What causes us to do that?
Atheist's attribute their intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people...to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. If they are honest, they have another motive. As they challenge those who believe in God, they are also deeply curious to see if they could be convinced otherwise. Part of the quest is to become free from the question of God. If you could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and you would be free to go about your life.
Some do not realize that the reason the topic of God weighs so heavily on their minds, is because God is pressing the issue. God wants to be known. God created us with the intention that we would know God. God has surrounded us with evidence of itself and God keeps the question of its existence squarely before us. It was as if we can't escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God's existence, my thought's began with, "Ok, you win..." It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.
Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, "I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued." C.S. Lewis said he remembered, "...night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of God whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England."
Lewis went on to write a book titled, "Surprised by Joy" as a result of knowing God. I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God's existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me.
6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Sikhism is the clearest, most moral and equal philosophy.
Sikhs living in a western society have to deal with problematic issues, where certain western values don't blend with Sikh religious principles. Some are "lucky" to know of the Sikh religion, which helps guide decisions, but unfortunately many of today's young grow up ignorant to what Sikhism is and why Sikhs should not abandon their faith, but strive harder to understand it, learn about it. And, they will realize once they do, that it is worth keeping, holding on to, prizing in our hearts and souls.
Why Sikhism? Here's thirteen reasons why Sikhism is the best religion in the world.
1. Sikhism does not look down upon people who follow other religions as "inferior, non-believer, etc". That is one reason why you don't see Sikh Missionaries actively pursuing conversions.
2. Sikhism is a religion of Equality. Equality between Men and Women and also stressing "universal equality" amongst all human beings. Which all other religions do not have.
3. Sikhism is a modern way of life, it doesn't subject people to valueless rituals. A few examples being the caste system, bathing in holy rivers, facing a certain direction for a prayer, slaughtering animals in the name of God, circumcision.
(Note: I'm talking of Sikhism, not cultural practices.. which at times are not up to date with the teachings of the religion, as can be seen in all religions))
4. Sikhism, is a religion of worship of One God. A God that;
a) has no 'chosen people',
b) a God compassionate to all,
c) is not bonded to a "single religion",
d) is to be found and realized by all,
e) is not pleased with ritualistic behavior,
f) is pleased by "anyone" who with true devotion 'loves him',
g) is, yes a God for all in the Universe... not only of Jews, Sikh, Hindus, Muslims, etc.
God himself spoke to Guru Nanak Ji the founder of Sikhism on the "Day of Revelation", when Guru Nanak Ji was called to God's home and given his directives to preach in this world.
God spoke the following verse on this most blessed day to Guru Nanak Ji and the entire world. Known as the Mool Mantar. The very first verse written in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the Sikh scripture) and found at many other places before other hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Ik Onkar (God is One)
Sat Naam (True is the Name)
Kartaa Purakh (The Creator)
Nirbhau (Without fear)
Nirvair (Without hate)
Ajooni (Beyond birth and death)
Saibhang (Self illuminated)
Gurprasaad (Realized by the kindness of the True Guru)
Jap (Repeat the Name)
And in God's court Guru Nanak spoke the following, which God accepted and condoned, and comes right after "Jap".
Aad sach (True in the beginning, (before the anything (universe) existed)
Jugaad sach (True when the ages commenced and has ever been True)
Hai bhi sach (Also True now)
Nanak hosi bhi sach. ((Satguru) Nanak (says that) God will be certainly True in the future.)
5. Sikhism believes in reincarnation. As the worldly science is improving and people are starting to realize this phenomenon is true (through hypnosis and near-death experiences) they will understand the "Greater Glory" in the Sikh scriptures to have realized this concept while others don't believe in it at all.
(Note: Only Hinduism and Bhudism share these values of reincarnation, and many Christians are starting to believe it, and though Muslims rejects this notion, many believe of them believe it as well.)
6. Sikhism stresses that God judges all people as to their actions in this world. It does not matter what religion one practices, or was born to. Hence the theory of Karma is also a part of Sikh religion.
The ultimate reward in Sikhism is to be freed from the pain of 'births and deaths' that humans undergo and the seperation from God. Reflect for a few minutes, and think of how much do we as people suffer in life? We suffer a tremendous amount! The older you are the more you will know of it. A Sikhs aim is to become one with God permanently and that needs to be done through your thoughts, deeds and actions, while 'alive'.
Unlike other religions, which offer a heavenly paradise, where one is rewarded with virgins (only for the males as one sexist scripture has it) and rivers of wine (which ironically is not sanctioned for one to drink on earth). Sikhism rewards people with the concept of becoming "one with God". Where the soul is merged back into the Godly soul, like a raindrop is emersed into the ocean and hence find ever lasting bliss. (Never to be reborn again)!
This philosophy is for both male and female. There is no sexism in the scripture. Challenge for all to have a look for themselves, and they will be happily surprised that a religion born 500 years ago, has accepted the equality of sexes as well as people, which not even today's western society has, nor any other religion has. This is just one reason why I adore the Sikh religion. Men and Women are Equal in all respect.
7. In Sikhism, Men and Women are able to lead prayers. There is no priest class, unlike other religions, which is controlled by men. Hence again women are equal partners in Sikhism. Sikhism is a very egalitarian religion.
8. "Sikhism is an intellectual way of life"! Sikhs are told very strongly, explicitly, to seek knowledge within the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Knowledge is the "key" to enlightenment. One must understand the Guru's written words in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in order to help themselves transcend this worldly ocean and reach the higher spiritual goals given to Humankind by God.
The challenge of being a Sikh is truly a hard one, the majority of people in the world of today do not have the courage in them, nor the will power, nor are the willingness to spend time to pursue this "intellectual" and "spiritual" journey and achieve that ultimate state of eternal bliss.
People not wanting to face this challenge, since it is a difficult one, a long one, is why people are unaware of the greatness of their Sikh religion. They continue to play in this world (metaphorically speaking) in the pursuit of trying to find happiness, yet never achieve it. Happiness is only temporary. It is eternal bliss (anand) that we want, which the Guru guides us on how to achieve, in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Happiness (bliss) can not be bought with riches, etc. Happiness is a state of mind. Bliss is the state of being one with our mind, soul, and heart. One can only find it by being able to control (cleansing) the mind, which Sikhism stresses one to do, with God's Naam (Name). Only then, can one achieve true lasting happiness (bliss) within ourselves.
You are challenged to spend some time, to read up on the lives of Sikh Gurus, read the Sikh scripture, along with the other religions open mindedly, and Sikhism will pass as the most objective, logical, equal, humanitarian religion. A good place to start is the home page.
9. Sikhism is a religion which builds character. It tells its followers to be "hard workers" to earn their daily bread. To share this with others, as well as to remember the Lord in their heart. Hence within Sikhism, there is a compassion towards all of humanity, a fact of social reform.
10. Sikhism is the only religion that allows all people, of any caste, colour, creed, religion to come to "ANY"! of their holy places, without restriction, and be given equal respect in all matters.
They are served in the Gurdwara (Sikhs holy temple), in the kitchen with the same dignity as if they were Sikhs. They are allowed to participate in Singing Hymns on stage even if they are not Sikhs. They are allowed to read the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (if they know how to read Gurmukhi Script) even if they are not Sikhs. They are allowed to discuss Sikhism in these places of worship even if they are not Sikhs.
A very good example that comes to mind is Bhai Chaman Lal, even though he was a hindu. He sang Gurbani hymns all over the world in Gurdwaras and told wonderful stories of the Gurus. Sikhs respected and gave him equal dignity, even though he was not a Sikh.
Hence one does not have to even change religion, to follow Sikh practices and sing the Glories of God using Sikh scripture and that truly is the greatness of Sikhism.
11. Sikhism allows one to follow the path to enlightenment, at their own speed. This enlightenment comes with their own understanding and awareness of the message in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and how much effort they have given to incorporate it in their lives.
Sikhism allows people to interpret the Guru Granth Sahib for themselves (unlike other religions) and with increasing awareness and understanding, the person will gain greater (deeper) understanding of the "divine" words of the Gurus, who were in direct communication with God and wrote what God told them in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
12. Sikhism is the only religion where the Scripture is written by the Prophet of the religion who was in divine communication with God, out of all the other worldly religions whose scriptures were written later by people.
13. Sikhism is the only religion that has in its scripture, hymns of divine holy people who attained the state of perfection and communion with God in life. Be they muslim or hindu (from every caste). Hence Sikhism is truly a religion that has broken down barriers between religions, to show the world that, "anyone" can reach God by immersing themselves in His love. That is why divine hymns from God by hindus and muslims are also recorded in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Sikh Gurus are not only honoring the achievement of these holy persons throughout time, but are sending a message to the world. Sikhism is not the property of those who are born in Punjab or to Sikh families. It is a religion for all of humanity, men and women, be them of any caste, creed or colour and be them born to any religion in the world. Sikhism is for all of humanity, let us not forget the entire universe.
So, if you want to begin a relationship with God now, you can. Your questions may or may not be answered but you need to step onto the path of truth and make the journey (to discovery) for yourself.
This is your decision, no coercion here. Looking at all these facts, one can conclude that a loving God does exist and can be known in an intimate, personal way.