Does God exist
God, the Creator and the Sustainer of the universe, according to Sikhi needs no proof of His existence. He is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. In addition to world prophets and true saints countless people have had God’s vision, and innumerable people have had an encounter with Him in their mystical and religious experiences. God has met many, has spoken to many and has nursed many. He is always there when people need His help, and call Him from the depth of their hearts. The true prayers are always answered by Him. He is the greatest of the great, the most perfect, invincible and unfathomable Master. He is benevolent, merciful and most lovable friend. He is just, impartial and blameless Judge, so is his divine court and eternal laws.
Guru Nanak experienced God. In unequivocal terms, the Guru said after his return from the river that there was only one God of the whole universe2, He is the Creator, devoid of fear, free of enmity, unborn and beyond death. God has been here before the start of the time, was there when time started, is there to regulate life & time, and will be there when the new round of time will start3. Though He created the universe, but He himself is uncaused (self illuminated4).
Debate about God
IN A DEBATE ABOUT GOD, the arguments for His existence come in many different forms; some draw on science, some on history, some on personal experience, some on philosophy and some on theology.
Science with its tools of inquiry can only look into physically visible or recordable or measurable information regarding „matter‟. The study about God, who being Divine with consciousness, wisdom, intelligence, power and qualities unknown to a common human scientist, is beyond its ambit of studies. Thus science cannot provide evidence to anybody to make him/her believe in God. The existence of God cannot be tested in a science laboratory.
The unfortunate divide between science and religion is a sad reflection on the sorry state of education . Science provides no answer on why we are here but it strives mightily and unendingly to find order in nature, and to discover how natural processes work. What is the purpose of life? Why do we exist and what should we do about it? are the domains of religion and philosophy, not science. The concerns of science and religion are not mutually exclusive, but are complementary. Religion can lend meaning to life, whatever the facts that science discovers about the mechanics of life itself.
History and Philosophy
History and Philosophy, on the other hand, while considering God‘s existence have put forward the following arguments:
- The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate designer who not only planned and created the universe, but has also sustained it all through the history.
- Historians, philosophers, theologians and even scientists are all convinced that the universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.
- Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, has stated in his hymns (raga Maru page 1035)5 and Guru Arjan confirmed that it was one word of God „Ho Ja’6 (Raga Maru page 1003) that made the explosion to take place and the universe came into being. But talking about the date of the creation, Guru Nanak says (Japji, pauri 21)7 that it is known only to God and no world scripture has a record of a definite date of its creation.
- Guru Nanak further says that there are unlimited number of worlds in the universe (Japji, pauri 22)8.
- Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow (who played a key role in developing NASA‟s program of lunar and solar system exploration), stated9, “The seed of everything that has happened in the universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...”
- Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics10, said that at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light.”
- The universe has not always existed (though Plato and Aristotle argue otherwise). It had a start, the Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter, but prophets, philosophers and theologians have. They call the designer and executor of the universe as God/Waheguru/Ishwar/ Jehovah or and Allah.
- Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics11, said, “Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”
- All instruction, all teaching, all training come with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. For every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar to computer programming. It is made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. There are three billions of these letters in every human cell.
- The primary argument hangs on one conviction. Look at even the smallest, least complicated animal, a single cell, or an organelle within it. Its organization is so complex, the internal structure of the basic cell or organelle so complicated that it could not have evolved from molecules or a random collection of smaller, simpler units. Just as even the smallest functioning machine cannot be assembled by randomly throwing together all the necessary parts, similarly the functioning cell requires that an intelligent guide or director controls the process.
- As one can program a phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. As referred above, DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way. It is a full instruction manual. One cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally writing (or constructing) it.
- God of the Universe has made this manual. Guru Nanak says in one of His hymns (Asa di Var, Pauri 1, page 463) „God Himself is uncaused (self illuminated, „Api ne aap sajeo‟), he made the laws to run the universe (api ne rachei Nao), then He made the universe (dui kudrat sajeae)12.
- We know God exists because he protects us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to Him. He created us with the intention that we would know Him. He has surrounded us with evidence of Himself and He keeps the question of His existence squarely before us. It was as if we could not escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day we chose to acknowledge God‟s existence, our prayer might have begun with, “Ok, You win...”
- Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote13, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued…..”
- C.S. Lewis14 said he remembered, “...night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed.”
Analysing the above quotations of the Sikh Gurus and famous world scientists and scholars, it can be concluded that God, indeed, is the programmer, controller and executor of even minutest atom which exists in the universe. He has fashioned the universe according to His own blueprints. He himself controls the legislative, executive and judicial powers to run the universe. He is there in and outside the universe and needs no proof to prove his existence. His rules are unchallenged and His law is just.
Miracles Versus the power of Shabad
The prophets sent into this world, to carry on the message of God, proved their divinity by different modes. Where Moses and Jesus did it through both miracles and words, Prophet Mohammed and Guru Nanak did it with the power of their revelations, Ayats and Shabads respectively.
Jesus performed miracles. He healed people...blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects...created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature...walked on the top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends. People everywhere followed Jesus, because he constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I am telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you are seeing.
Guru Nanak, on the other hand, declined to show miracles, though many miracles did happen in his life e.g., the turning of sour rethas (fruit) into sweet rethas (fruit), the impression of his palm to hold a deadly crater in the air (Panja Sahib), healing of many people suffering from leprosy and other fatal illnesses and countless others; but he showed his real divinity with his words (shabads) when he transformed Sajjan, the robber, Kauda, the cannibal, Nur Shah, a magician, many Sidhs and Yogis, who had deserted their families and were living in forests and caves, many mullahs who had forgotten the teachings of Koran and many pundits who had overlooked the message of the Gita and Vedas.
The Prophets entered into a covenant with God and bartered their lives for the survival of the universe. They took upon them the sin of humanity and gave the universe another lease of life. The death of Jesus at the cross in Jerusalem, the death of Guru Arjan in Lahore, Guru Tegh Bahadur in Chandni Chowk Delhi, Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded, his sons in Chamkaur and Sirhind all are an evidence of this religious-economic transaction.
Belief by Force or by Love
God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The movement of the solar system, the earth‟s perfect distance from the sun and its orbit, the movement of the moon and its orbit, the qualities of different gases, the unique chemical properties of water, the oceans, the vegetation, the forests, the mines, the functioning of the human body, and the body of all other creatures, the mastery of the human brain, DNA, the sciences, the arts, the languages and the design and movement of countless other objects and things are infinite proofs of His existence. Similarly, the number of people who attest to knowing God also run in many billions and trillions.
A Relationship with God
If one wants to be forgiven by God and come into a relationship with him, one can do at any time by asking him to forgive and come into our lives.
God, all the times says to us, “Listen, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. Those who hear my voice and open the door, I will come into them. Give me your hand and I will always hold it.”
We have to pray to the Almighty and say: “We, thank all prophets who have died for our sins. Waheguru, you know our lives and our karmas, we need to be forgiven. Please forgive us.”
Guru Arjun15, says in one of his hymns that one can enter into any type of relationship with God, it may be that you want him to be your father, or mother, beloved, brother or any one else. He will bond that relationship and look after you in all calamities and hardships.
- from Article "Proof of Existence of God: the Sikh perspective" by DR. SUKHBIR SINGH KAPOOR, Vice Chancellor, World Sikh University London. Email: [email protected] (Sikh Review)
- ^ Sakhi (religious story) no. 10 – Puratan Janam sakhis; sakhis no. 28-29 Mehrban Janam Sakhi; Sakhi 37 – Bale wali Janamsakhi1
1. Sakhi (religious story) no. 10 – Puratan Janam sakhis; sakhis no. 28-29 Mehrban Janam Sakhi; Sakhi 37 – Bale wali Janamsakhi 2. ਸਭਣਾ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਇਕ ਦਾਤਾ - Japji, pauri stanza 5, page 2 3. ਆਦਿ ਸਚ ਜਗਾਦਿ ਸਚ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚ ॥ 1 ॥ page 1 4. ਮੂਲ ਮੰਤਰ - ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮ ਕਰਤਾ ਪਰਖ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ page 1 5. ਅਰਬਦ ਨਰਬਦ ਧੰਧੂਕਾਰਾ…… ਜਾ ਤਿਸ ਭਾਣਾ ਤਾ ਜਗਤ ਉਪਾਇਆ 6. ਝਕ ਕਹਾਵੇ ਤੇ ਸਭਿ ਹੋਵਾ 7. ਖਵਣ ਸ ਵੇਲਾ ਵਖਤ ਕਵਣ ਕਵਣ ਥਿਤਿ ਕਵਣ ਵਾਰ…… ਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਿਰਠੀ ਕੋ ਸਾਜੇ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਨੇ ਸੋਈ, 8. ਪਾਤਾਲਾ ਪਾਤਾਲ ਲਖ ਆਗਾਸਾ ਆਗਾਸ 9. From God and Astronomers (second edition). Please note that WHEN A SCIENTIST writes about God, his colleagues assume he is either over the hill or going bonkers... 10. From The First Three minutes: A modern view of the origin of the universe. 11. From „The strange theory of light and matter. 12. ਆਪੀਨੈ ਆਪ ਸਾਜਿਓ ਆਪੀਨੈ ਰਚਿਓ ਨਾਉ॥ ਦਯੀ ਕਦਰਤਿ ਸਾਜੀਝ ਕਰਿ ਆਸਣ ਡਿਠੇ ਚਾਉ 13. From his Biography 14. From Life and letters of Lewis 15. ਤੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭਰਾਤਾ॥ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈਂ (raga Maj, page 103)