RELIGIOUS FANATICISM PART 16
ITS CURE: PRACTICE & PREACH UNIVERSAL TRUTH

O Universal God, You are the Father of all (sggs 97).
Everyone says there is
only One Universal God, but still they are engrossed in egotism and pride.
O man, Realize that this One Truth is inside and outside; also, understand
He dwells within the home of your heart. Hence He is near at hand; do
not think He is far away. This One God permeates the entire Universe.
Therefore, there in only One Universal Creator; there is no other at
all. O Nanak, merge into this One Universal Being (sggs 930
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God is also known as Universal Truth or Love. If you ask Gurbani "Where is God?", it replies that He is All-pervading Homogenous Oneness. The same is true about other Indian scriptures as well. It's in this Universal Truth, Wisdom, or Knowledge lies the greatness of Indian Spiritual philosophy. As exemplified in the foregoing verses and many more, the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) never gets tired of preaching about this Universal Principle. This unique feature of Nanakian way of life as well as the ancient true Vedic tradition account for their resilience and accommodative nature in the interest of world peace, harmony and brotherhood. This also represents India's glorious ancient culture, which had its basis on observing One Unchanging Truth or Love, the Source of all.

  • ਓਅੰਕਾਰਿ ਉਤਪਾਤੀ ॥: Oankaar utapaatee: The One Universal God created the creation (sggs 1003).
  • ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਇਕੁ ਏਕੰਕਾਰ ॥: Sadaa sadaa ik ekankaar: Forever and ever, He is the One Universal God (sggs 276).
  • ਓਅੰਕਾਰ ਆਦਿ ਮੈ ਜਾਨਾ ॥: Oankaar aadi mai jaanaa: I know only the One the Universal Primal Being (sggs 340).
  • ਏਕਮ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥: Ekam ekankaar niraalaa: The One Universal God is unique (sggs 838).
  • ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਰਬ ਮਹਿ ਪੇਖੁ ॥: Aatam raam sarab mahi pekh: See the One Soul, the Universal God, in all (sggs 892).
  • ਤੂ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਮੁ ਰਾਜਾ ॥: Too ekankaar niraalam raajaa: You are the One Universal God, Pure Being (sggs 1039).
  • ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਜਾਉ ਜੇਤੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਵ ਹੈ ॥: Balihaaree jaaou jete tere naav hai: O God, I am a sacrifice to Your Names, as many as there are (sggs 1168).
  • ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਪਸਰਿਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Anik bhaant hoi pasariaa Nanak ekankaar: In so many ways, the One Universal God has diffused Himself, O Nanak (sggs 296).
  • ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Jo deesai so taeraa roop: Whatever is seen, O God, is Your form (sggs724).
  • Truth is One, the Wise describe it in different ways (Rig Veda).

We live in the state of Kali . In it's literal sense, Kali means "quarrel". It's no coincident that the man is insanely quarreling and killing others; all in the name of his religion and God! This inhumane conduct of man is the side-effect of the centuries-old practice of the organized religions whereby their custodians have been teaching anything but Universal Truth or Love. In pursuit of material philosophy of selfishness and hate, their vision is limited to the extent as to how to prevail over another. When one religion tries to prevail over another fanaticism and quarrels ensue.

The emphasis of some religions is on separating people in two groups namely, "believers" and "infidel". Where believers or faithful represent all that's good and auspicious, while infidels represent all that's false or evil. This is particularly true of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For example, in Judaism, the emphasis has been that Jews are the God's chosen people. Which implies that those who follow other religions are nonbeliever or inferior beings who will not be delivered by the messiah. The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes and preaches the doctrine called "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus", meaning "Outside the Church there is no salvation". Furthermore, not only none of those existing outside the Catholic Church (Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, you name it) can have eternal life; but they will also go into the eternal fire of hell which was prepared for the devil, unless before death they are joined with the Catholic Church. The clergy of Islam has been even more vocal and stubborn in separating people between "believers" if you are a Muslim and "Kafir" (or "infidels") if you are a non-Muslim. As a result, proselytization or religious conversions has been an essential part of these religions. They claim their respective prophet to be the only man of Light, and their respective religious text to be the only word of God or Truth. Such claims of being conclusive, exclusionary, superior or having monopoly of "Truth" drive their followers to believe that the conversion of "others" to their respective religion by all possible means and methods is their religious duty and a passport to heaven! This is reactionary spirituality whose features include intolerance, violence, terror, literalism, separative oppressive ways, controlling and regulating people's life, limiting people's free expression and creative thought, and so on.

Unfortunately, due to the centuries of slavery under the adherents of two proselytizing religions — first Islam and then Christianity — we Indians have also forgotten our True Dharma. The noble Dhaarmic tradition of believing that the same One God is everywhere and in all beings seems to have flown away. Labels of organized religions or "isms' have taken over the True Dharma. As a result, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc., profess and preach that they are separate from each other, and that only their respective religion is true and conclusive. Separative religious identity, which was downplayed by the ancient sages, seers, saints or spiritual masters, is being overplayed now. Religious divide has given rise to fanaticism, differences, hatred, and conflicts which were not there before. Most of us are thus spiritually regressing and do not know who we are anymore. This is "ignorance" — false ego ("I-ness"), Maya, illusion, deluded consciousness, Jahiliyyah and Avidya — so much talked about in our scriptures.

  • ਮਾਰੂ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ਦਿਵਾਨੇ ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥ ਪੇਟੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਪਸੂਆ ਜਿਉ ਸੋਇਓ ਮਨੁਖੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਾਰਿਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਬਹੂ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਨੀ ਰਚਿਓ ਧੰਧੈ ਝੂਠ ॥ ਸੁਆਨ ਸੂਕਰ ਬਾਇਸ ਜਿਵੈ ਭਟਕਤੁ ਚਾਲਿਓ ਊਠਿ ॥੧॥ ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਦੀਰਘੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਅਉਰਨ ਕਉ ਲਗ ਮਾਤ ॥ ਮਨਸਾ ਬਾਚਾ ਕਰਮਨਾ ਮੈ ਦੇਖੇ ਦੋਜਕ ਜਾਤ ॥੨॥ ਕਾਮੀ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੀ ਚਾਤੁਰੀ ਬਾਜੀਗਰ ਬੇਕਾਮ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਤੇ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਿਰਾਨੋ ਕਬਹੂ ਨ ਸਿਮਰਿਓ ਰਾਮੁ ॥੩॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਚੇਤੈ ਨਹੀ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਗਵਾਰੁ ॥ ਰਾਮੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਾਨਿਓ ਨਹੀ ਕੈਸੇ ਉਤਰਸਿ ਪਾਰਿ ॥੪॥੧॥: Maaroo Kabeer jeeou || Deen bisaariyo re divaane deen bisaariyo re ...:  Maaroo Kabeer jeeou. O madman, You have forgotten your Dharma; you have forgotten your Dharma. Like animals, you fill your belly and sleep; you have wasted and lost this human life. ||1||Pause|| You never joined the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. You are engrossed in false pursuits. Wandering like a dog, a pig, a crow you will depart (from this world). ||1|| Those who in thought, word and deed consider themself to be great and others lowly; I have seen such people going to hell (i.e., such egoistic people live their lives in hellish existence).  ||2|| The lustful, the angry, the clever, the deceitful and the lazy waste their lives in slander, and never remember their Lord in meditation. ||3|| Says Kabeer, the fools, the idiots and the brutes do not remember the Lord. They do not know the Lord’s Name; how can they be carried across (from this dreadful ocean of the worldliness)? ||4||1|| (sggs 1105).
  • 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 the Lord’s Name, life is worthless. Through doubt, the people are being destroyed (sggs 142).
  • ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ..: Eko Dharam drirhai sabh koee ...: There is only one Dharma; let everyone grasp this truth ...That humble being who is imbued with the sublime Essence of God is certified and approved (sggs 1188).
  • ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਮੈ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਇਕੋ ਦਾਤਾ ॥: Sabhu jagu firi mai dekhiaa hari iko daataa: Roaming over the entire world, I have seen that there is only One God, the Giver (sggs 510).
  • ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ॥ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ॥: Saahib meraa eko hai. Eko hai bhaaee eko hai: My God is One. He is the One and Only; O brother, He is the One alone (sggs 350).

It seems as most of us have truly forgotten the sacredness of Dhaarmic life as we have become entangled in our own egoistic, nationalistic, and sectarian concerns. Consequently, although we say there is only One Universal Truth, but we do not practice what we say. Truth has to be practiced. Nothing becomes true simply by adding the word Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism to it!

When we assume there is a second to One Universal Truth, troubles in the form of distraction and fear are bound to arise. We must overcome this ignorance, for there is such duality (two-ness) only in the eyes of the ignorant. First, before preaching others, the custodians of all world religions must become truly Dhaarmic themselves. How? By eradicating false egoism, urges the Gurbani. The only way to recognize and practice the Universal Truth or Love is through removing selfish ego-sense. Once the selfishness is thinned out, faulty religious concepts such as being separate, conclusive, exclusive, or having monopoly over God and His Word will lose their grip on us.

  • ਏਕੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥:  Ek pashaanai haumai maari: Recognize One Truth by erdaicating egoism — error (sggs 1277).
  • ਏਕੋ ਏਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਰਬੁ ਵਿਆਪੈ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਏਕੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਇਉ ਘਰੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਸਿਞਾਪੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਨੇੜੈ ਹਰਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਏਕੋ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਬਾਈ ॥ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੁ ਸਮਾਈ ॥: Eko ek kahai sabh koee houmai garab viaapai. Antari baahari ek pashaanai iyu ghar mahal sinjaapai. Prabhu nerrai hari door na jaanahu eko srisatti sabaaee. Ekankaar avar nahee doojaa Nanak ek samaaee: Everyone says there is only One Universal God, but still they are engrossed in egotism and pride. O man, Realize that this One Truth is inside and outside; also, understand He dwells within the home of your heart. Hence He is near at hand; do not think He is far away. This One God permeates the entire Universe. Therefore, there in only One Universal Creator; there is no other at all. O Nanak, merge into this One Universal Being (sggs 930).

Time and again the Gurbani reminds us that we all can tear apart the veil of falsehood or incorrect identity by becoming true spiritual Beings (Gurmukhs), "here" and "now". We are asked by the true prophets, spiritual masters, sages, and men of Light to come out of our unenlightened existence or materialistic lifestyle by recognizing our True and Eternal Identity as Pure Being, which is of the nature of Truth-Knowledge-Bliss. The first thing we need to do is unlearn incorrect identification of who we have become and then reprogram ourselves. Though it's not an easy task, the human race has no better choice if we all intend to coexist in love, peace, harmony, and brotherhood of mankind.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਲੀ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣਿਆ ॥: Gurmukhi viralee eko jaaniaa: Rare indeed is that person who by becoming a Gurmukh realizes the One God (sggs 905).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਓਅੰਕਾਰਿ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥: Gurmukhi ouankaari sach samaaiaa: The Gurmukh is absorbed in the True, One Universal Being (sggs 1285).
  • ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Aapu beechaare su giaanee hoee ||1||Rahaaou||: Who reflects ownself (ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ, ਆਪਣੇ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਨੂੰ, ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਵਿਚਾਰਦਾ ਹੈ - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਪੜਤਾਲ) is truely Giaanee (Wise - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ) ||1||Pause|| (sggs 152).
  • ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਭੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਜਿੰਨਿ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥: Har simari ekankaar saachaa sabh jagat jinni upaaiaa: Meditate on the One Universal God; the Truth that created the entire Universe (sggs 1113).
  • ਓਅੰਕਾਰ ਲਖੈ ਜਉ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਲਖਿ ਮੇਟਣਾ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Ouankaar lakhai jayu koee. Soee lakhi mettanaa na hoee: If someone knows the One Universal God, he will not perish (sggs 340).
  • ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਰਬੁ ਗਵਾਇਦਾ ॥: Ekankaar vasai mani bhaavai houmai garab gavaaidaa: The One Universal God dwells within, and is pleasing to the mind of those who eradicate their egotism and pride (sggs 1034).

What are the signs of a person whose consciousness is firmly established in Universal Truth? He does not see the body or mind as his real Self; to him the body-consciousness ("I-ness") is the product of deluded consciousness and the source of repeated pain and delusion. He sees the sorrows, pleasures, disease, fear, restlessness, old age, and death experienced by his body not pertaining to him. He sees himself the timeless, spaceless, and All-pervading Pure Consciousness (Mool) which encompasses within itself everything like butter in milk. He sees the whole universe strung on the One Self as the beads are strung on a thread. He sees no division between himself and others. He sees One, non-dual, Infinite Light of Consciousness as the sole Universal Reality, which is omnipotent and omnipresent and dwells in all beings equally. He sees One God has become everything. He sees no "I, me, mine" or "others". He sees all beings of the entire Universe as his own family, deserving of his sympathy and protection. He sees no substance in objectivity, and he is beyond the feeling of "likes and dislikes". He sees rise of no desires in his heart for objective experience. He sees the mirage-like world appearance as unreal, whose reality is the reality of its Substratum which is Unconditioned Consciousness. He remains peaceful and pure at heart, but outwardly he engages in appropriate actions (Karma) but remain unattached and unaffected by them like a lotus flower. When he wakes up the whole Universe wakes up with him, when he sleeps the whole Universe sleeps with him, and when he eats the whole Universe eats with him. One can use these guidelines to judge himself. When the selfishness and falsehood of the mind have ceased to be, there arise in the heart all Divine Virtues, and there is equal vision everywhere: the vision of the Universal Truth.

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org