534. The Man in Blue – Is it enough to be a good person ?

This question is often asked by young Sikhs who are trying to avoid having to wear the five Ks and the turban. But I am approaching this question from a different angle : what if people do not believe in God, but show all the good behaviour as expected from a Gursikh ?

I have a lot of experience of working with people who do not believe in God, who call themselves agnostics or humanists, but whose values are very similar to those expected from a Sikh (a student) of the Guru (Guru Granth Sahib, or God, the ultimate Professor).

And I understand what motivates these people. They recognise the oneness of humanity; they agree with us that we are all sisters and brothers. Just like we call each other bhai and bhain, many who do not believe in God are comfortable with the idea of the sister/brotherhood of mankind.

They do not acknowledge the Oneness of God, but they recognise the oneness of humanity, or even of all the creatures in the universe.

This is the spirituality of the humanist, and practising this kind of spirituality is an absolute condition for making further steps to what Sikhs and others who believe in the One would see as a higher level.

For me seeing humanity, seeing creation as one is closely connected with having a link with God. God is present in all creation, God is the common factor in all living creatures, plants and in ‘dead’ material. God is All – All is God !

What God would think about a good humanist ? I do not think that God is a human being and I am therefore quite sure that God does not ‘think’ like we do.

What the proverbial Chitr and Gupt would make of a good humanist ? There are no answers to this question in my data bank. I would think (as René Descartes wrote: I think, therefore l am) that Chitr and Gupt would prefer a honest humanist over a hypocrite who claims to be a Sikh of the Guru, but who secretly does all kind of bad or useless things.

We should realise that when we do good deeds, we should not show compassion, should not meditate in order to get liberation as a reward. We try to programme ourselves, with the help of the One, to automatically stay clear of bad or useless thoughts and deeds.
Replace bad or useless thoughts with good, positive thoughts, replace bad or useless deeds with good, positive deeds. And 10th Guru said : I will serve that Khalsa that serves all !

This attitude brings with it its own reward: inner peace, inner strength.

As far as ‘liberation’ is concerned, liberation from the cycle of birth and death, it is Guru’s blessing to us. We cannot force God to liberates us !