Gurinder Singh, A Faithless Gained Faith in God
By Gurinder Singh
May 24, 2001
I am an eighteen year old Sikh living in United States. Moved to California, Usa when I was 17. I previously lived in Punjab and was very much interested in science and had little faith in God. I would see everything in this world through physics. I would apply physics law to make a better understanding of this world. Since God has no scientific proof of existence, I had doubts about the presence of God in this universe. However having studied in a Sikh school from first to eleventh grade, I would recite JapJi Sahib along with my classmates. Little did I know any meaning of Gurbani and the purpose of life. The only belief about God I had was from the Moolmantar (the first verse of Japji Sahib in Guru Granth Sahib Ji). "God is One. He is the Supreme Truth. He the Creator, is without fear and without hate. He is immortal. He is neither born and nor does He die. By Guru's grace shall He be met. Chant And Meditate on His Name. In the beginning, He was the Truth. Throughout the ages, He has been the Truth. He is the Truth now and He shall be the Truth forever" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1).
When I came to the United States, I started going to the high school in order to complete twelfth grade. I took Ap English along with two other Ap classes and three regular classes. We read three novels in Ap English and one of the novel was “By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Cried” by Pavlo Coelho. In this novel, the author talks about the feminine side of God and asserts the notion that God is a female. We would have discussions about this topic in our class. I was the only Sikh with turban and beard among my Christian classmates and teacher. My classmates and teacher would ask me about my beliefs about God. I told them that Sikhs believe in One formless God. Since God does not have a particular form or shape the question about whether God is a male or female is insignificant. This notion was very interesting to them, particularly my teacher. So she asked me for more information but I did not know much.
The same day when I went home, I started to read an online version of Guru Granth Sahib Ji with translations and began to find what Sikh Gurus say about God. Not only did I find what Gurus say about God about also His creations. "There are planets, solar systems and galaxies. If one speaks of them, there is no limit, no end. There are worlds upon worlds of His creation. As He commands, so they exist. He watches over all, and contemplating the creation, He rejoices. Nanak says, it is really hard to describe" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 8). Furthermore, it is stated that God created the whole universe including the earth. "You Yourself created the Earth and the two lamps: the Sun and the Moon" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 83). And, "There are billions of regions and planets. There are billions of moons, suns and stars" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 275). This was very interesting to me. Sikh Gurus have described things 300 years before Galileo and Newton began to unravel it through science.
I kept reading Guru Granth Sahib Ji for weeks. I also found mind opening information about the life and its purpose. I was wonderstruck when I read about the miracles that God performed in order to save Naamdev and Kabir Ji. I began to disproof any of the beliefs in Guru Granth Sahib Ji with the help of Science but I failed. To my surprise all beliefs in Sikhism has proper reasoning and justification. The information scientist find nowadays about galaxies, stars and planets was narrated by Guru Nanak Dev Ji more than 500 years ago.
Few weeks later, we had another discussion about the novel and I was well prepared to express Sikh beliefs. During the spiritual discussion, my teacher began to discuss her spiritual experiences. She said that when her mother was at deathbed, she saw some light coming out of her body and claimed that she saw her mother’s spirit. I asked her, "Was the soul you saw a male or a female?" Silence ... for ten minutes, she was unable to answer that question. I said, "If you don't even know that a soul has a gender than how can you say that God has a feminine or a masculine side? Gender exists in human parameters and the world above us is free of gender, race, cast, color and form.”
Christians do not believe in reincarnation but it made perfect sense to me. Just like our environment and ecosystem has a perfect cycle, there must be a cycle in the world hereafter but my Christian friends disagreed with me. I ask one of my Christian friend about what happens after death according to Christianity? She said that the soul either goes to heaven or hell and lives there. I further asked how are babies being born then, where does their soul or spirit come from? She said that God makes new souls. I asked if God makes new souls then why are children born handicap? She didn’t have an answer. Anyhow if a soul does go to heaven to live there then no matter how big is the heaven it will get full since nothing is getting out of it. There must be a cycle of reincarnation that keeps everything balanced.
Furthermore, I searched for more information in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I found that salvation is not reached just by entering heaven. Salvation is reached by merging in the Holy Spirit, God. Salvation is not reached by just talking and doing good deeds, it is reached by meditating on God, and living the life by renouncing lust, greed, anger, emotional attachment and egotistical pride. "As long as the mind is filled with the desire for heaven, one cannot meet God" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 325). The desire should be to meet God, not to go to heaven. Heaven and Hell are not created to live but to award and punish. Your good deeds will be paid off in heaven, your bad deeds in hell; you will then take birth again until you become One with God.
The more Christians talked to me about God and tried to disprove my beliefs, the stronger they made me in my faith. I did not previously know that Sikhism has so much reasoning and meaning behind its beliefs. Science cannot disprove any belief of Sikhism. Scientific facts are surprisingly consistent with the teachings of Sikh Gurus.
If science cannot find any proof about existence of God, it also fails to find any proof that God does not exist. Having rational thinking, Sikh beliefs totally make sense to me and I have no problem howsoever practicing these beliefs. Sikhism promotes humanity and respect among each other. I love my religion.