Religious Responsibility Towards Peace – A Sikh Perspective
by Avtar Singh Dhaliwal
This article was originally published in Understanding Sikhism, The Research Journal January – December 2010, Vol. 12, No 1-2.
The humanity, from the very beginning has been at war against itself and will continue fighting until it realizes the cause, in itself. Even today, the religious zealots supporting socio-political conflicts, in one form or another in the name of God, are killing thousands of innocent people. The historical evidence of almost every religion loathed with strife against humanity proves lack of religious responsibility. Guru Nanak (the pioneer of Sikh religion 1469-1539) challenged aggressive and oppressive Islamic invaders of India, and Hinduism for selfish gains trampling on lower castes. He raised conscious of all, to bring some peace in India. He held human responsible for his/her deeds instead of the God by promulgating ‘Truth’ in the Universal Laws administering natural phenomena and maintaining equipollence.
The religion by definition  is a disciplined system of beliefs, and practices relating to the sacred scripture/s and uniting its adherents in a community. Adherence to such a system has a powerful hold on a person’s way of thinking and interests etc. The religious people under guidance of the religious mentors follow opinions concerning the creation, nature, natural phenomena, worship of a deity, and divine involvement in the universe and human life. The religious leaders for personal gains manipulate psyche and morality of their followers to support political leaders as brutal and cruel enemies of the humanity. However, the people at personal levels, regardless of their color, creed, gender, religion and nationality; exchange information, feelings, and commitments through open communication. They wish to better not only their own lives but to help others in doing so, as well. The noble laureate physicist Steven Weinberg  expressed his feelings about humanity indulged in religious strife, when he stated, “The whole history of the last thousands of years has been a history of religious persecutions and wars, pogroms, jihads, crusades. I find it all very regrettable, to say the least.”
Guru Nanak (1469-1539) observed that in the age of renaissance and technology the religious leaders including Sufis, Brahmins and Popes and Rulers were acting as crazy butchers. The religions and religious principles had simply flown away. He rightly noticed that falsehood had gripped people and Truth could not be found anywhere. Everybody was suffering pains due to egotism. Guru Nanak, promulgated truth, and using his truthful rendition of natural phenomena, he brought an amicable resolution among the attacking Muslim invaders and Indians living in Punjab, India. Guru Nanak won the hearts of hundreds of thousands in Islam and Hinduism, simply through an open and effective dialogue .
The religious mentors having significant influence upon the humanity and the governments hold more responsibility to promulgate peace, equality and love. But, the history dictates  show that the religious leaders in Semitic as well as in Indic religions, for sharing the booty, either initiated or supported the crusaders, jihadists and Indic wars. This paper is to review historical background of religious strife, significance of dialogue, Guru Nanak and his philosophy in holding religions responsible for conflicts, and recommended solutions for sustainable peace in the world.
Download full article: /sites/default/files/j1212p33.pdf
Published with the author’s permission.