Sikhism’s contribution through appreciative eyes
“The Sikh scriptures are unique among the religious Holy Books of the world in that they don’t just offer spiritual guidance for the Sikhs alone but impart guidance and assistance for all the peoples and religions of the world.”
So says a fascinating page on the SikhiWiki website that gathers together a collection of attributes to Sikhism by clerics and writers, historians and philosophers from other religious persuasions, or none.
Sitting rather uncomfortably among the scholars perhaps is American president George W.Bush, but as a world leader and devout Christian his tribute is not without value and significance.
The evaluations of Sikhism on the SikhiWiki website span many decades.
Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher and Nobel prizewinner, who was scathing about Christianity, Islam and Judaism, writing at a time when the fear of a nuclear holocaust blighted the nations of the world, said that if there were survivors of a third world war then the Sikh religion would be the only means of guiding them.
He chided Sikhs for not promoting the “splendid doctrines” of their religion to help guide mankind away from such a calamity.
Another Nobel prize winner Pearl S. Buck, the American novelist who spent many years of her life in China, visited India in 1962 and was presented with an English version of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which she described as a great work.
An admirer of the qualities of character of Sikh friends, she took time to read the scriptures slowly and thoughtfully and came to understand why she had found so much to admire. “The religion of a people has a profound and subtle influence on them as a whole and this is true whether individuals do or do not profess to be religious,” she said.
British historian Arnold Toynbee wrote a foreword to the Sacred Writings of the Sikhs, published by UNESCO.
He declared: “Mankind’s religious future may be obscure; yet one thing can be foreseen. The living higher religions are going to influence each other more than ever before, in the days of increasing communications between all parts of the world and branches of the human race. In this coming religious debate, Sikhism and its scriptures, the Guru Granth, will have something of special value to say to the rest of the world.”
And President Bush? He said America had always benefited from a strong tradition of faith and religious diversity had been an important part of this heritage. “The Guru Granth Sahib has provided strength, wisdom and guidance to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs in America and millions more around the world”.
“I applaud the Sikh community for your compassion and dedication to your faith. By sharing its message of peace, equality, and the importance of family, you help change lives, one heart and one soul at a time.”
More on Worldwide Praise for fhe Guru Granth Sahib on www.sikhiwiki.org
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