Monday, 20 October 2008

Interfaith Hazur Sahib (GNNSJ)

The Sikh Gurus Message to Humanity
Respecting world scriptures & living up to their message

What a powerful concept bringing each others scriptures to highlight the similarity and differences of such beautiful religions.

Baba Ji have been instrumental in putting Sikhism on the map of world religions and I remember Barcelona at this stage WOW, what an experience – the air was spiritually charged, the love was permeated in every corner, Langar was served to thousands and most importantly we were all equal and serving one God. What memories!

It was brilliant to receive the blessings of the sangat and Baba Ji these past few days, it was great to speak English with everyone too. The conference was amazing in it allowed all religions to come together to celebrate the Tercentenary anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, it was a space where people from all walks of life, religions, race came together for one purpose Guru Granth Sahib Ji and its universal message to all.

The Divine scripture (Bani) is the embodiment of the Guru, and the Guru is the Divine Scripture, with the Divine Scriptures dwells the Ambrosial nectar. When the disciple humbly accepts and obeys the teachings of the divine scripture, the Guru in his true from becomes instantaneously manifest and emancipates the disciple.

There were many letters of greetings from all leaders from different religions I selected the following to share:

Humble salutations to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, whose divine guidance has been our constant companion over the last few centuries. In this 300th year which marks the bestowing of the Guruship to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, we are reminded that there are no adequate words to express our gratitude to the Shabad Guru’s Benevolence, grace and compassion for all. Indeed, we are immensely fortunate to have such a repository of divine Wisdom with a unique universal message that we are able to share with our brothers and sisters of all faiths and cultures. To the estimated 25 million Sikhs worldwide, this is a most auspicious occasion and we congratulate each and every one of you. For those engaged in whatever capacity in the preparation, celebration and observation of this historic commemoration, we owe our heartfelt gratitude.

As finite beings, it is impossible for us to fathom the infinite wisdom of our Guru’s message to humanity. No individual can adequately translate this message only Gurbani is best ever to explain Gurbani. Everything that is encapsulated in the separate scripture is precious and it is our life line. What pervades and shines through Gurbani is Naam, the Divine Name. The Guru Granth Sahib begins with the sacred words: Ik Oankar, describing the Oneness of the Creator; the concept of Sat, truth; and the Naam. This essence of the Creator is expounded throughout Gurbani until the closing verses. Within these lies the salver of scripture, Amrit Naam, the Ambrosial name, contemplation upon which ensures our happiness in this life and beyond.

This is a time to rejoice, to imbibe and awaken the essence of the creator within us, to harness our latent divine values, so that we can generate both inner serenity and outer peace. Peace and cohesion within the family leads to peace and cohesion in the wider community, nationally, internationally and globally.

This 300th year is an opportunity for all us to take stock of our human frailties, and to cease blaming, condemning and judging others. We need to commit ourselves to panthic and the wider community’s ekta, seeking sarbat da bhalla - everybody’s welfare.
In God’s service,
Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh

Harmony among our different religious is essential for world peace. In order to develop genuine harmony, it is extremely important that we cultivate genuine respect for one another. We need to encourage a worldwide sense of pluralism among our faith communities. Religious differences should not be grounds for antagonism. Religion should be the basis for friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood. I believe that people with religious interests have special responsibilities in this regard and I am impressed that on the occasion of simply conducting your own celebration, the Sikh community is taking this joyful opportunity to hold an Interfaith conference.

On the one hand, all religions counsel forgiveness, patience and compassion and ways to cultivate them. These are practical qualities that are of great value in creating a dialogue that we can share with other. On the other hand, as we all know, it is an unfortunate fact that religion is sometimes the source of conflict. When this is the case, the cause more often than not is ignorance and misunderstanding, and the fear that result from them. I believe each of us can contribute to countering these shortcomings through engaging in active dialogue with members of other faith traditions. I have no doubt there is much we can learn from each other. My own experience has taught me that there is enormous potential for mutual enrichment in the dialogue between Buddhists and other traditions, especially with regard to ethics and spiritual practices, such as the practices of love, compassion, meditation.

For some time I have felt that the following measures can help us to nurture understanding and harmony an-among different religious traditions, and thus promote peace and security in society. We should convene frequent inter-faith meetings among leaders of different religious traditions so they can share their spiritual experiences and insights. We should also promote meetings of scholars to discuss and study what they have in common, rather than what is different, among various religious traditions. Finally, and perhaps most important for the far- reaching effect it can have, we should encourage an increase in contacts among the followers of different religions and visits to each other’s places of pilgrimage and prayer. I firmly believe that if these steps are taken, the general public will develop respect for other religious traditions. This, in turn, will help to promote harmony in society.

It is in this context that I give my whole- hearted support to efforts to advance understanding and dialogue among religions in the hope of strengthening peace among them and thereby consolidating peace in the world at large. On the auspicious occasion of the Guru Granth Sahib Tri-centenary, I offer my greetings to everyone attending and participating in the Interfaith Conference being organized by my spiritual brother Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh and his group. I pray that the fruits of your exchanges will be far-reaching and long lasting.
The Dala Lamai
Attending the different seminars enabled me to take different elements that made sense to my life at this moment in time… they came from the various speakers from all different religious denominations.
“Love is the most important at all stages beginning, present and End we need to project love and compassion in every part of daily lives.”

“Emptiness, from that state leads to enlightenment”

2 wings of a bird love and compassion (Buddhist) this really resonated with me as we have been brought up with the same concept from Baba Ji that SEWA (selfless Service) AND NAAM SIMRAN (The Divine Name) are like wings of a bird you cannot have one without the other, they both bring Humility and Spiritual awakening.

We have shared wisdom through the scriptures and similarities, God infuses each of these scriptures as transcendental interpretation of God the sharing of scriptures can shine the light together. We need to understand there are similarities and acknowledge the differences.

“There are sharks in the ocean of comparison that doesn’t mean we cannot swim in them”.

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