RELIGIOUS FANATICISM — PART 1:
ITS EVIL FACE

I am a friend to all; I am everyone's friend.
When the sense of separation was removed from my mind, then I was
united with God, my King.  My stubbornness is gone, Ambrosial
Nectar rains down Within, and the Gur-Shabad (God's Word) seems
so sweet to me.  He is pervading everywhere, in the water, on the land
and in the sky; Nanak beholds the All-pervading Being (sggs 671).
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The Divine Principle called God is Pure Love. As proclaimed by all world religions, this One Reality, the Embodiment of Love, pervades in all beings and all places. And that the only way to link with This Universal Truth is through Love. Yet, the pages of human history are soaked with the innocent blood spilled in the name of religion and God! How can the so called "most merciful", "most compassionate", and "most gracious" God whom people worship daily incite them to kill people in His Name, as well as in the name of their religion? What has gone wrong? The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, sggs) offers us the answer as follows:

  • ਆਤਸ ਦੁਨੀਆ ॥: Aatas duneeaa: The world is on fire (sggs 1291).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰੇ ॥: Maya Agni Jalai sansaaraa: The world is burning in the fire of Maya (hunger or love of Maya…). (sggs 1049).
  • ਗੂਝੀ ਭਾਹਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Gujhee bhaahi jalai sansaaraa: The world is being consumed by the hidden fire of Maya (sggs 673).
  • ਤਿਸਨਾ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Tisnaa agni jalai sansaaraa: The world is burning in the fire of desire (sggs 120).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਦ ਬਿਰੋਧਹਿ ਕੋਈ ਨਾਹੀ ॥: Bin baad birodhahi koee naahee: No one is free of conflict and strife (sggs 1025).
  • ਸੁਆਦ ਬਾਦ ਈਰਖ ਮਦ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Suaadh baad eerakh mad maaiaa: Tastes and pleasures, conflicts and jealousy, it's intoxication with Maya (sggs 741).
  • ਅੰਧਾ ਝਖਿ ਝਖਿ ਪਇਆ ਝੇਰਿ ॥: Andhaa jhakhi jhakhi paiaa jheri: The spiritually blind fool is caught in conflict, bothered and bewildered (sggs 1287).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਝਗੜਾ ਪਾਇਓਨੁ ਝਗੜੈ ਜਗੁ ਮੁਇਆ ॥: Haumai jgagrhaa paaionjhagrhai jag muiaa: Through egotism, the world is caught in conflict and strife, and it dies (in these quarrels and suffers...). (sggs 790).
  • ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਮਾਤੇ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥: Kaami krodhi ahankaari viaapiaa sansaar: The world is drunk, engrossed in lust, anger and egotism (sggs 51).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਭੁ ਜਗ ਬਉਰਾਨਾ ॥ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਨਾ ॥: Haumai vich sabh jagg bauraanaa. Doojai bhaai bharamai bhulaanaa: The entire world has gone insane in egotism. In the love of duality, it wanders deluded by doubt (sggs 159).
  • ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਸੰਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਤਰਿਓ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥: Ihu sansaaru bikaaaru sanse mahi tario Brahm Giaanee: This world is engrossed in Bikaar and doubts (cynicism, ਸਹਸੇ, ਸਹਿਮ, ਭਰਮ....). Only the Brahm Giaanee (ਜਿਸ ਨੇ "ਪ੍ਰਾਤਮਾ" ਨਾਲ ਜਾਣ-ਪਛਾਣ ਪਾ ਲਈ) are saved (from these).

What is religion? Religion may be simply defined as man's knowledge of who he is, and his knowledge of matter (the world), and of God (Spirit, Truth, Reality etc.) which transcends both. When properly understood, religion does not divide man from man, making someone a faithless sinner, and that one a worthy recipient of God's Grace. Purely known and practiced, religion leads all men to Spiritual Enlightenment, truthful living, and selfless love, compassion and service.

A serious problem which is worrying the whole world today is what has come to be known as religious extremism, fundamentalism or fanaticism. People blindly believe that the whole truth is stated only in the scriptures of their own religion. The implication of such deluded belief is that if anything is not stated in those scriptures of their own religion, then, it cannot be true. This is why many hate other religions and other scriptures. They think other religions and their scriptural texts are false, hence, must be destroyed. They name their blind religious zeal as "Jihad", "Crusade", "Dharma Yudh" or "Holy War"; and perpetrate untold sufferings and cruelty on humanity in the name of religion and God.

In nutshell, the Gurbani's diagnosis of this menacing world problem is as follows. Man's vision is impeded by the veil of false ego — lust, anger, greed, delusive attachment, pride, envy, and stubborn mindedness with heir numerous variations. It is this false ego that gives rise to his feeling of "I, me, mine, you", which, in turn, instigates false alliances and conflicts. Thus, an ego-being is never a religious person, although he pretends to be one! On the contrary, he is totally devoid of Divine Virtues such as selfless love, compassion, service, Wisdom, Knowledge, contentment, mercy, forgiveness, selflessness, etc. Instead, his bosom is filled with the "filth" of demoniac instincts of hate, jealousy, falsehood, fraud, immense greed, deceit, selfishness, illusion, corruption, crookedness, deception, sinful mistakes and bewilderment. In this state of dense ignorance, he sees everyone false. He is angry within and without. With his false alliances and conflicts, he then goes on to contradicting the world around him. Thus, as summed up in the Gurbani, "All of man's conflicts are extensions of his corruption".

  • ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕਾ ਸਭੁ ਧੰਧੁ ਪਸਾਰੁ ॥: Bikhiaa kaa sabh dhandh pasaar: All of man's conflicts are extensions of his corruption (sggs 1145).
  • ਜਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਭਾਵਈ ਤਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਾਦੁ ॥: Jit tani naam na bhaavaee tit tani houmai vaad: That body which does not appreciate the Divine Naam, that body is infested with egotism and conflict (sggs 61).
  • ਜਨਮੁ ਬਿਹਾਨੋ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਅਰੁ ਵਾਦਿ ॥: Janam bihaano ahankaar aru vaad: This human life is passing away in egotism and conflict (sggs 898).
  • ਮੋਹਿ ਬਾਦਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਸਰਪਰ ਰੁੰਨਿਆ ॥: Mohi baad ahankaar sarapar runniaa: Those who indulge in attachment, conflict and egotism will surely weep and cry (sggs 761).
  • ਹੇ ਕਲਿ ਮੂਲ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੰ ਕਦੰਚ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਨ ਉਪਰਜਤੇ ॥: He kal mool krodham kadanch karunaa na uparajate: O anger, you are the root of conflict; compassion never rises up in you (sggs 1358).
  • ਭੰਉਕੈ ਕੋਪੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ਹੋਇ ਫਕੜੁ ਪਿਟੇ ਅੰਧੁ ॥: Bhanoukai kop khuaar hoe fakarr pitte andh: Anger barks and brings ruin on itself, blindly pursuing useless conflicts (sggs 1288).
  • ਓਸੁ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਕੂੜੋ ਕਰਿ ਬੁਝੈ ਅਣਹੋਦੇ ਝਗੜੇ ਦਯਿ ਓਸ ਦੈ ਗਲਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Os andar koorr koorro kar bujhai anahode jhagarre dayi os dai gal paaiaa: Within him is falsehood, and he sees everyone else as false; he has tied these useless conflicts around his neck (sggs 303).
  • ਬੈਰ ਬਿਰੋਧ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮੋਹ ॥ ਝੂਠ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਹਾ ਲੋਭ ਧ੍ਰੋਹ ॥ ਇਆਹੂ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਬਿਹਾਨੇ ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ॥: Bair birodhh kaam krodhh moh. Jhooth bikaar mahaa lobh dhroh. Eiaahoo jugati bihaane kaee janam: Hate, conflict, lust, anger, emotional attachment, falsehood, corruption, immense greed and deceit. So many lifetimes are wasted in these ways (sggs 267).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੀਆ ਸਿਰਿ ਮਾਰ ਵਾਦਿ ਖਪਾਈਐ ॥: Manmukheeaa siri maar vaad khapaaeeai: The problem of the Manmukh's (material being) head is this: he is consumed by conflict (sggs 420).
  • ਸੁਆਦ ਬਾਦ ਈਰਖ ਮਦ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Suaadh baad eerakh mad maaiaa: Tastes and pleasures, conflicts and jealousy, its intoxication with Maya (sggs 741).
  • ਖਿੰਚੋਤਾਣਿ ਵਿਗੁਚੀਐ ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਨਾਲਿ ਜੀਉ ॥: Khinchotaan vigucheeai buraa bhalaa dui naali jeeo: By indecision and inner conflict, you will come to ruin. Good and bad both pull at you (sggs 751).

Intellect and consciousness so contaminated does not see God as Pure Love or Him being situated in all hearts. The only purpose of religion is to help man remove this veil (or wrong vision) so that he can Love God through His creation, "here" and "now", leading him to attain Spiritual Enlightenment and liberation from emotional bondage in the process. If any formal religion (or scripture) fails to do just that then either that religion (or scripture) is based on a bogus philosophy or its followers are mentally blind who do not understand the basic function of their formal religion.

  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਨਿਤ ਝਗਰਤੇ ਝਗਰਾਇਆ ॥: Kaam krodh lobh moh nit jhagarte jhagaraayaa: Lust, anger, greed and attachment to delusion bring continual conflict and strife (sggs 984).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਜਲੈ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥: Maya mohi jalai sansaaraa: The egotistical people are burning in their attachment to Maya (sggs 664).
  • ਫੋਕਟ ਧਰਮੀ ਭਰਮ ਭੁਲਾਵੈ ॥: Fokat dharamee bharam bhulaavai: The minds of all religious hypocrities are tossing in delusions (Bahi Gurdaas 1:18).
  • ਜਿਨਿ ਆਤਮ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍‍ਆਿ ॥ ਸਭ ਫੋਕਟ ਧਰਮ ਅਬੀਨਿਆ ॥: Jini aatam tatu n cheenhiaa. Sabh fokat dharma abeeniaa: Whoever does not Realize the Essence or Reality of the Soul (ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ...), all his religious acts are of no value - worthless (sggs 1351).
  • ਕਹਤੋ ਮਹਲੀ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: Kehato mahalee nikati na aavai: (A false fool) claims to be situated in God's Mansion, in reality, he cannot even get near it (sggs 738)!

But religion is not always purely known. Consequently, it's even less often purely practiced, which gives rise to differences, prejudices, pathological hatred and brutal intolerance. As the world history reveals to us, over sixty million people perished in the two world wars. Millions more have been killed in the hundreds of other conflicts that engulfed virtually every country in the past. Presently, the bloodshed continues in the name of religion and God throughout the world. To fulfill their own selfish motives and agenda, the mentally blind religious fanatics and bigots are turning many countries into killing fields. Apparently, people have taken God as a "plaything"! Baabaa Nanak provides us an account of such grotesque celebration of inhumanity as follows:

  • ਪਾਪ ਕੀ ਜੰਞ ਲੈ ਕਾਬਲਹੁ ਧਾਇਆ ਜੋਰੀ ਮੰਗੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ..: Paap kee janj lai kaabulahu dhaaeiaa joree mangai daan vae laalo ...: (sggs 722).
If we look back into the history, we will find that the inhuman tyranny of religious fanaticism did not even spare saintly Beings, devotees and sanctuary of religious places and scriptures! Here are a few examples from the world history showing how millions and millions of innocent people were brutally killed, sawn, burnt, boiled, quartered, raped, and torn alive by those obsessed with the blind religious fanaticism.
  • Jesus was condemned to death on the cross.
  • Muhammad was harassed throughout his life.
  • India being the land of many religions, time to time there one religion tries to suppress the other.
  • Baabaa Nanak was imprisoned by the muslim ruler Baabar.
  • Guru Arjan Dev was boiled to death by the muslim ruler — he was placed on a hot plate while boiling sand was poured onto his head.
  • Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded by the muslim ruler Auranzeb. The Valiant Guru's words to the ruler were: "As a Sikh I must protect the Dharma. If you can succeed in converting this Teg Bahadur, then believe me, every Hindu child of this country will accept Islam. But you will fail. Because God's Justice ensures that every community will have the right and freedom to practice its religion". At these words, his disciples Bhai Mati Das was sawn alive and Bhai Sati Das wrapped in cotton to be burnt alive even as the Quranic verses were read aloud.
  • Guru Gobind Singh was stabbed to death by a muslim.
  • Bhai Bandaa Bahadur whom Guru Gobind Singh appointed as a Sikh leader, was tortured to death along with thousands of Sikh soldiers.
  • Bhai Mani Singh was cut into pieces, Bahi Diaalaa was boiled to death; Bhai Taaru had his skull removed while alive; children were cut into pieces and placed in the laps of their mothers, etc., by the Muslim Jihadis.
  • Aurangzeb converted millions of Hindus into Islam, and brutally murdered many millions who refused this forceful conversion.
  • Two sons of Guru Gobind Singh were walled alive and two killed in the battle by the Muslim ruler.
  • Hitler killed millions of Jews on the name of religion.
  • Bhagat Kabeer was chained and thrown into the river by jealous Pundits.
  • Haranyakashipu tried killing his son, Bhagat Prahlaad, many ways.
  • Bhagat Namdev was forced to bring a dead cow to life by jealous Pundits.
  • During the religious history of Europe and middle-east, Christian "Crusaders" and Muslim warriors killed each other and destroyed thousands of sacred places of worship (churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.) in the name of religion and God.
  • Christian burnt and butchered thousands of other Christian during the reign of the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Throughout the ages, Jewish people have been persecuted. They have been the object of scorn of some religions, those religions which so easily overlook their on filthy face.
  • In India, many generations of Muslims destroyed thousands of temples and Gurdawaaraa and replaced them with mosques.  For example, in 1762, Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar was blown up by a heap of gun powder by the Afghans and the pool was filled with sewage, human waste and mutilated Sikh bodies, the victims of the Muslim carnage. Again in 1767, Ahmad Shah Abdali assaulted and destroyed it. The famous temple of Somnath was assaulted and destroyed by Muhammad Gazni for seventeen times!
  • In 1947, during the partitions of British India, thousands of people including men, women, and children were murdered in the name of religion and God.
  • In the name of religion, thousands of innocent people (most of them young boys) lost their lives in large scale violence in Punjab during the eighties. Also, during that time the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar was attacked by the Indian Army.
  • In 1984, thousands of Sikhs were dragged from their homes by the fanatic Hindu mobs and burnt alive in Delhi and other parts of India.
  • Recently, on September 11, 2001, thousands of innocent people in America were killed by the so called muslim Jihadis; all in the name of their religion and God Allah!
  • Within Islam, many sects such as Shias, Sunnis, Sufis, etc., often inflict torture and killing on each other.
  • In Christianity, there is an ongoing bloodshed between Catholics and Protestants, not to mention hundreds of other sects.
  • The same is true for different sects of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, etc.
  • Among Sikhs, many belonging to the sects of Nirankari, Naamdhaaree (Cooke), Raadhaa Suamis, etc., often fight with each other.
  • For centuries, the "untouchables" of India have brutally been suppressed and discriminated against by the priest class and others.
  • The native people in the United States, Canada, Australia, etc., have brutally been decimated, even after they were converted to Christianity.
  • Ironically, as of this day, the genocide, carnage, pillage, rapine, repression and destruction throughout the world continue in the name of religion and God!
Clearly, the religious zealots have been perpetrating centuries of hatred, genocide, repression and rapine in the name of their religion and God. In order to see the glimpse of the face of this evil, the following accounts from the history are provided. Unless someone has face to face experience with this evil, these historical accounts will surely provide one with some sense of the horrible make-up of the mind of these ignorant religious zealots.
This ghastly celebration of religious fanaticism occurred in 1716, when Bandaa Bahaadur along with thousands of Sikh soldiers were captured by the Muslims. Zakaria Khan, the son of the Muslim Governor of Lahore, chopped the heads of Sikhs and loaded them onto hundreds of carts to carry them as a gift to the Muslim emperor of Delhi. This grisly "gift" of several hundred cartloads carrying the beheaded heads of Sikhs, along with thousands of Sikh prisoners in chains including Bandaa Bahaadur. As this horrible show of death reached Delhi, the emperor's Minister Muhammad Amin Khan prepared a grand celebration in reception of the gift. On February 29, 1716, the Muslims of Delhi lined the streets in anticipation of the show that was going to unfold in front of their eyes. The exultant crowds cheered as the front guard walked up with 2000 Muslim soldiers each holding the head of a Sikh, stuffed with straw, impaled on his decorated upright spear. After this was Bandaa Bahaadur, sat in an iron cage mounted on an elephant. Out of mockery, he was decorated with a gold-laced red turban and a blinding crimson robe of brocade draped decorated with pomegranates on his tattered body. Behind him stood a mail-clad officer with a drawn sword. Immediately following him came thousands of Sikh prisoners strapped in pairs to camels' back without saddles, their face colored black with soot, and dangling from their heads were pointed sheepskin or paper caps in mockery. Calling Sikhs the "infidel dog worshippers", the Muslim crowds prodded them, shook their heads, poked their eyes, and spat on them as they passed. As the Sikhs prisoners reached the execution platform, they were beheaded and their heads impaled on poles, hung up on trees and stakes near the town square as celebratory symbols decorated with ribbons and bright banners. It is said that it took seven days to behead and murder Sikh prisoners. The corpses were loaded on wagons and taken out of town to be thrown to the vultures. Following this barbaric show of religious bigotry, for three months Bandaa Bahadur and his remaining men were tortured to reveal hidden treasure which funded the Sikh resistance to Muslim tyranny and oppression. When they did not reveal anything, on June 9, 1716, Bandaa's cage was again hoisted on an elephant, Bandaa sitting in the cage dressed in mock attire of an emperor, with a colorful red turban on his head. His four year old son Ajay Singh was placed in his lap. Like before, once again, Bandaa's elephant and his remaining men passed through the streets of Delhi in a procession, and headed for the Kutub-ud-din mausoleum of Bahadur Shah, near the Kutab Minar. Here the captives were again offered a final ultimatum of either conversion to Islam or death. They all chose death. After subjecting each of the Sikh to incredible tortures, they were all executed. Their heads were impaled on spears and arranged in a circle around Bandaa Bahaadur who was now squatting on the ground. As thousands of Muslim spectators watched, a sword was placed into Bandaa's hands and he was ordered to kill his own son Ajay Singh, who was sitting in his lap. As Bandaa Bahaadur sat unpurturbed, the executioner plunged his sword into the little child slashing him in two. After this, pieces of flash were cut from his son's corpse and thrown in Bandaa's face. His son's liver was torn out of the child's stomach along with other entrails and stuffed into Bandaa Bahaadur's mouth. When asked by Muhammad Khan why he was having to suffer all this, Bandaa Bahaadur replied: "When the tyrants oppress their subjects to the limit, then God sends men like me on this earth to mete out punishment to them. But being human, we sometime overstep the laws of justice, and for that we are made to pay whilst we are still here. God is not being unjust to me in any way". Upon hearing this, Muhammad Khan became more angry and asked the executioner to end Bandaa Bahaadur. In the midst of blood thirsty cheers, first the executioner pushed the dagger into Bandaa's eyes; twisting and turning into the eye sockets he slashed the optical nerves and gouged out the eyeballs. Then he slashed off Bandaa's feet, then his arms. After this, a pair of red-hot pincers were brought and chunks of his flesh were torn off his body. But Bandaa Bahaadur did not move; instead he smiled at his torturers. Shaking with fear at the consciousness of perfect detachment of Bandaa, the Muslims quickly slashed his remaining body with their swords, chopping it into little pieces as if afraid that even the severed pieces of his flesh would arise and fight back!

Numerous volumes of books, documentaries and motion pictures describing the history of genocide that was perpetrated by Hitler on Jews during the second world war are available. Thousands and thousands of innocent Jews were captured and placed into camps. Many starved to death, many were shot dead, and many were burnt alive in gas chambers. All in the name of religion and God!

During the partition of British India in 1947, the blind religious fanatics showed their inhuman frenzy of murder and rapine on thousands and thousands of innocent people. Almost the entire population of Sikhs and Hindus in many parts of west Punjab, Sindh, and Frontier (now in Pakistan) were brutally massacred by the Islam Jihaadis. For example, the woman were forced to spread their legs. Then, the Kirpaans (swords) were seized from the Sikhs and thrust into their woman's vaginas, then twisted them from side to side within the women's wombs. Men had their genitals chopped off and chili powder sprinkled on the wounds. As victims writhed in pain and agony, chunks of meat were carved out of their children and stuffed into their mouths. Thousands of women had their noses and ears chopped off their faces. Women were raped in the presence of their husbands, fathers, mothers and children. Wives, mothers and daughters watched in horror as their menfolk were seized and their genitals mutilated, their extremities chopped off, their eyes gauged and their heads beheaded. Thousands of women jumped into wells and killed themselves to escape from this inhuman frenzy of murder and rapine. Children were tossed in the air only to be caught on razor sharp spears. The corpses and body parts with tattooed messages that there was no place for "Kaafir" filth in "pure" Pakistan were loaded into trains headed for Amritsar. Upon seeing and hearing such scenes of carnage, rape, pillage and destruction, angry Sikhs and Hindus also killed many Muslims on the Indian side.

This is the bloodcurdling face of religious fanaticism and bigotry. Does religion or God teaches such cruelty and madness? No! No! No!

Religion teaches only noble values such as Pure Love for God and all beings, friendship, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, humility, tolerance, brotherhood, truth, honest living, justice, equality and freedom, contentment, charity, selfless service, peace, nonviolence, coexistence, patience, conciliation, piety, devotion, humanity, morality, etc. The religion was never meant for teaching or promoting hatred, extremism, blind rage, violence, vengeance, hypocrisy, brutal intolerance, oppression, slavery, injustice, bigotry, prejudices, killing, materialism, addiction to evil passions, unfeeling towards others, wars, quarrel, and so on. Then, what has gone wrong?

  • ਸਾਚ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਭੈ ਜਿਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀਓ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਾਇਓ ॥: Saach kahon sun leho sabhai jin prem keeo tin hee prabh paaio: Listen all, I tell you the Truth: One who practices Love attains God (Guru Gobind Singh Jee).
  • ਨਾ ਕੋ ਬੈਰੀ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਗਾਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਬਨਿ ਆਈ ॥: Naa ko bairee nahee bigaanaa sagal sang ham kayu ban aaee: No one is my enemy, and no one is a stranger to me. I get along with everyone (sggs 1299).
  • ਕਾਹੇ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵਹੁ ਵੈਰਿ ਵਾਦਿ ॥: Kaahae janam gavaavahu vair vaad: Why do you waste your life in hatred, vengeance and conflict? (sggs 1176).
  • ਝਖਿ ਬੋਲਣੁ ਕਿਆ ਜਗ ਸਿਉ ਵਾਦੁ ॥ ਝੂਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਦੇਖੈ ਪਰਮਾਦੁ ॥: Jhakh bolan kiaa jag siou vaad. Jhoor marai dekhai paramaad: Why do you speak nonsense, and argue with the world? Seeing your madness (of arguing with the world instead of God's meditation or Naam-Simran, etc.), you will die repenting in the end (sggs 933).
  • ਬਦਫੈਲੀ ਗੈਬਾਨਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ...: Badfailee gaibaanaa khasam na jaanaee ....: The foolish demon, who does evil deeds, does not know God. Call him a mad-man, if he does not understand the Self. The strife of this world is evil; these struggles are consuming it. Without God's Name, life is worthless. Through doubt, the people are being destroyed (sggs 142).
  • "You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment" (Bible, Mat. 22:36-40). "This is my commandment that you love each other" (Bible, John 15:12).
Water may manifest as waves on the surface of ocean; or as ripples; or as a surf foam or bubbles; or as raindrops or icebergs—but in these various forms it is water just the same. Similarly, although there are numerous human beings on this earth who look different from each other in many ways, but we all have come from the One Spiritual Source (Mool, Jot....). Conceptions held by human beings about this One Spirit, however, are biased by each person's self-created veil of delusion through which all his perceptions, feelings and thoughts are filtered. Thus, for these various temperaments and mentalities, there arises the man-made need for a variety of formal religions for various expressions of the same One Truth. However, the Soul of all genuine religions is One — selfless Love, compassion, service, and truthful living. Endowed with free choice, we all work our way through various evolutionary stages. It's only because of limited understanding or restless delusion that we feel ourselves apart from the One Spirit and each other. In the Lord's eyes, therefore, the real infidel is he who dishonors Him in any of His ennobling manifestations.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib says: "First, God created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings. From this One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? O people, O Siblings of Destiny, do not wander deluded by doubt..." (sggs 1349). "The One God is our Father; we all are the children of the One God" (sggs 611).

Bible says: "If one makes the statement 'I love God', and yet is hating his brother (other being in the family of mankind), he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen" (1 John, 4:20). "God created the man in His Image" (Genesis 1:27).

The Quran says: "If any one slew a person--unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land--it would be as if he slew the whole people: And if any one saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people" (5:35). "To Allah belong the East and the West: wherever you turn, there is the presence of Allah. For Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing" (2:115).

The Vedas say: "Experiencing one's own Self in all beings and all beings in the Self, one attains the highest Reality -- and not by any other means" (Vedas, Kevalya Upnishad, 10). "Multitudes of people are like the million dewdrops in which the one sun is reflected. Untold millions of them , but only one sun. So is our relation to the Eternal One" (Vedas). "O God, You are all-pervading, and thus You are everything" (Gita 11:40). The other scriptures of the Hindus, Buddhist, Jains, Jews, etc., are full of similar teachings and declarations.

Where are the clerics and leaders of all these world religions? Don't they read their own scriptures? Has their intellect has become so corrupt and their ignorance has become so dense that they don't understand what their scriptures are telling them? Are they mentally blind not to see unity in diversity as their scriptures reveal to them? Do they intentionally pervert the true sublime essence of these scriptures for their own benefits (lust and greed — "Kanik Kaamini")? Why is it that they don't speak out against religious fanaticism and bigotry? Why can't they preach Truth? Do they really know the Truth? If they do, then why is it that many religious places are used for preaching brutal hatred toward other religions and fellow human beings, and for making inflammatory political pronouncements? Why do they side with falsehood and hideous lies when it comes to God, His Word, and matters related to Him? Have some of them constructed (or reconstructed) the theology of their respective religion to suit their own hypotheses, notions or fabrications? Have some of the scriptures been edited to suit false actions and loose character of the then rulers and warriors (who also controlled the clerics and clergy) when they were compiled long after the death of their original Messengers? Who is the real perpetrator behind the heinous crimes being perpetually committed against the humanity for centuries in the name of religion and God?

  • ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥: Thaansatt jag bhrishat hoye doobtaa iv jag: The holy places of worship in the world are polluted, and so the world is drowning (sggs 662).
  • ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬਾਦੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ॥: Parr parr pandit baad vakhaanai: The Priests, read and read scriptutes endlessly, only to stir up arguments and controversies (sggs 152).
  • ਮੈਲੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡਾਇ ਕੈ ਈਸ ॥: Mailae brahamandaae kai ees: The rulers of kingdoms are corrupt (sggs 1158).
  • ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਕਾਸਾਈ ਧਰਮੁ ਪੰਖ ਕਰਿ ਉਡਰਿਆ ॥: Kal kaatee raaje kaasaayee dharma pankh kar udariyaa: Kali (thoughts, imagination, ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਕਲਪਨਾ, ਕਲਜੁਗ ਦੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਯਾ...) is the scalpel, (as a result) kings (minds...) are butchers (have become ਜਾਲਮ...), and the Dharma has taken wings and flown away (sggs 145).
  • ਜੁਗਗਰਦੀ ਜਬ ਹੋਵਹੇ ਉਲਟੇ ਜੁਗ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਇ ਵਰਤਾਰਾ ...: Jagagaradee jab hovehae oulattae jag kiaa hoe varataaraa ...: During the down fall of an age, people setting aside the duties of the age bahave contrary to their True Nature. The world gets engrossed in remorseful activities and sin and corruption prevail. Different sections of society develop hatred for one another and finish themselves through squabbles as the bamboos, due to their mutual friction, producing fire burn themselves as well as others. Condemnation of the Knowledge starts and in the darkness of ignorance nothing remains visible (Bhai Gurdaas, 1:17).
  • : Fareedaa khaalak khalak mahi khalak vasai rab maahi. Mandaa kis no aakheeai jaa(n) tis bin koee naahi: O Fareed , the Creator is in the Creation, and the Creation abides in God. Whom can we call bad? There is none without Him (sggs 1381).
  • Mazahab nahee sikhaataa aapas mai vair karnaa: Religion does not teach hatred towards others (Poet Dr. Iqbal).
  • Prayer differs according to religion, but faith does not change by religion. Its states, its focus, and so forth, are immutable (Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi).
  • Do not do according to their (priests) deeds, for they say but do not perform (Bible, Mt 23:3). But you men (priests) have turned aside from the way, you have caused many to stumble in the law, you have ruined the covenant of Levi (Bible, Mal 2:8).
All world Masters appeared whenever the humanity was suffering from a corrupt and stagnant priesthood. Thus, from the early days, the priest-craft has been the great menace of history! Apparently, all world religions have been hijacked by a small group of crafty, fanatic, and bigot clerics, clergy and their lackey establishments — corrupt rulers, opportunist politicians, selfish and greedy affluent class, ignorant sect leaders, etc. The way they are doing it is by hiding their evil face and true colors behind the faith and religion! How can this cancer of religious corruption, bigotry and brutal fanaticism that is destroying the civilized world be eradicated? By "abandoning the priest-class" and by "holding tight to the Truth only", says the Gurbani.
  • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥: Pandit mulaan jo likhi deeaa. Chhaadi cale ham kachhoo n leeaa ||3||: Whatever the Pandit and the Mullaan has written (the path of Karamkaand, Shariyat...), I have abandoned (all of that); I have not taken any of it ||3||. (sggs 1159).
  • ਹਮਰਾ ਝਗਰਾ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਕੋਊ ॥ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਛਾਡੇ ਦੋਊ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Hamaraa jhagaraa rahaa na ko-oo. Pandit mulaan shaade do-oo ||1|| Rahaaou ||: (Now) I have no quarrel with anyone anymore; because I have abandoned both the Pandit and the Mullaan (ਦੋਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਦੱਸੇ ਰਸਤੇ ਨਾਲ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੋਈ ਵਾਸਤਾ ਨਹੀਂ - the path of Karamkaand, Shariyat...). |1|| Pause || (sggs 1158).
There is nothing in the world so hellish as religious fanaticism and savage bigotry. Therefore, it's high time for the world-community of freethinkers, humanists and intelligentsia; and people of open mind, understanding, commonsense, and rational thought to stand up and be counted. They should unequivocally denounce this barbarism for what it is: the butchery of innocent people in the name of religion and God. They should examine the tenets of their faith, constricted interpretations of their faith, any adulteration of their scriptures and theology, and recognize its role in the instigation of religious violence and killing in the name of their religion and God, as well as its role in creating a godless civilization. Thus, there can be concerted international action against international religious fanaticism and bigotry only if the international community is of one firm mind and resolve. Because, if left unchecked, it paves way for extremism, which, in turn, takes the shape of terrorism.

To clean up this swamp of corruption and evil forces, therefore, it's high time for the people of all world religions to speak out against religious fanaticism and bigotry. People throughout the world must mobilize the silent majority to defeat this evil power that inflicts the horrible plague upon the world. Otherwise, the minority fanatics and bigots will only grow to create more havoc in the human society!

  • ਖਿੰਚੋਤਾਣਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥: Khinchotaan karahi betaale: The demons stir up conflict and strife (sggs 1031).
  • ਅੰਧਾ ਝਖਿ ਝਖਿ ਪਇਆ ਝੇਰਿ ॥: Andhaa jhakh jhakh paiaa jheri: The blind fool is caught in conflict, bothered and bewildered (sggs 1287).
  • ਕ੍ਰੂਰ ਦਿਸਟਿ ਰਤਾ ਨਿਸਿ ਬਾਦੰ ॥: Kroor disati rataa nis baadam: Your seeing is evil, so you are always engrossed in conflicts (sggs 1351).

A word of caution! When one speaks out against this evil, one thing is sure to happen. That is, he or she is most likely to be labeled by the religious zealots as "infidel", "nonbeliever", "no good", "Patit", "Tankhaahia", "Manmukh", "Kaafir", "lowly being", "wrong doer", "beast", "false", "ignorant", "fool", "enemy of God", "bad Sikh", "bad Muslim", "bad Christian", "bad Hindu", "bad this and bad that"; while as a matter of universal experience, these fanatics will only be advertising their own foolishness!

Therefore, with steady resolve and courage one must fearlessly ignore such nonsensical criticism, censorship, captiousness or carping. As history reminds us, bigots did not stop calling names to even Baabaa Nanak, other messengers of God and pious beings; what to speak of us! But they did not care or budge. Because, the knowers of truth or Self-realized beings, engaged in the service of God and His creation, are unafraid of Maya and its expanse (illusion, ignorance, delusion, material nature, egoism, etc.), just as law-abiding citizens of a state never fear the police! Such true and pious beings do not and cannot live in a secluded existence; for they feel compassion for the masses, who live in a godless civilization engaged in the false pursuits that ends in the sense pleasures enjoyed by the hogs and dogs.

  • ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਿ ॥੧੬॥: Bhai kaahoo ko det nahi nahi bhai manat aan ...: One who does not frighten anyone, and who is not afraid of anyone else (ਡਰਾਵਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਘਬਰਾਂਦਾ ਨਹੀਂ) — says Nanak, listen, mind: call him Giaanee (spirituallt Wise, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ, etc.) ||16|| (sggs 1427).
  • ਨਿਡਰੇ ਕਉ ਕੈਸਾ ਡਰੁ ਕਵਨੁ ॥ : Nidare kayu kaisaa dar kavan: What does he fear? Who can frighten the fearless one? (sggs 221).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org