Guru Granth Sahib on kindness

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Importance of kindness

Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith built the religion on the firm foundation of Sewa (service) and Simran (meditation). On this bedrock stand the three pillars of - Naam Japna (focus on God), Kirat Karni (honest living) and Vand Chakna (sharing with others). He further asked his Sikhs (students) to focus their efforts in evolving various positive virtues. One of these virtues is Kindness

Below are a few Shabads from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib that give the Sikh guidance on the importance that the Guru places on this positive human quality:

Kindness.... is most excellent way of life

In the following Shabads, Guru Sahib informs the Sikhs of the importance of kindness, a virtue which he puts on an equal footing with "truth" and "contentment". Elsewhere, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib highlights five such qualities, "truthfulness", "honest living", "goodwill to all", "praise of the Lord" and finally "charity in the name of God". A spiritual person cannot be complete without kindness. Kindness is a most excellent way of life...

SGGS Page 51 Full Shabad
ਸਤ੝ ਸੰਤੋਖ੝ ਦਇਆ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਝਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰ ॥ ਆਪ੝ ਛੋਡਿ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ਰੇਣਾ ਜਿਸ੝ ਦੇਇ ਪ੝ਰਭ੝ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ੝ ॥੩॥

Saṯ sanṯokẖ ḝa­i­ĝ kamĝvai ėh karṇī sĝr. Āp cẖẖod sabẖ ho­ė rėṇĝ jis ḝė­ė parabẖ nirankĝr. ॥3॥
Practice truth, contentment and kindness; this is the most excellent way of life. One who is so blessed by the Formless Lord God renounces selfishness, and becomes the dust of all.॥3॥

Be kindness

In this second shabad the Guru tells us in clear terms that a person who is aware of God always shows kindness to all. The important thing to remember is that one must be kind to all - not just to your friends but also to your enemies. See how we are reminded that no evil should come from us. Don't have vengeance or enmity with others as the "Lord's light" is in all.

SGGS Page 272 Full Shabad
ਬ੝ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੀ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਮਇਆ ॥ ਬ੝ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤੇ ਕਛ੝ ਬ੝ਰਾ ਨ ਭਇਆ ॥

Barahm gi­ĝnī kī sabẖ ūpar ma­i­ĝ. Barahm gi­ĝnī ṯė kacẖẖ burĝ na bẖa­i­ĝ.
The God-conscious being shows kindness to all. No evil comes from the God-conscious being.

Follow the enlightened kind & merciful

These are the sacred words of the fifth master, Guru Arjan in Raga Gujri where the Guru again reinforces the message of the last section. If you want to evolve into a better spiritual person then show kindness and mercy to all beings. It is important to note that Maharaj has used the word "ਜੀਅ" (jeea) which means all living beings!

SGGS Page 508 Full Shabad
ਜੀਅ ਦਇਆ ਮਇਆ ਸਰਬਤ੝ਰ ਰਮਣੰ ਪਰਮ ਹੰਸਹ ਰੀਤਿ ॥੭॥

Jī­a ḝa­i­ĝ ma­i­ĝ sarbaṯar ramṇaʼn param hansah rīṯ.॥7॥
Show kindness and mercy to all beings, and realize that the Lord is pervading everywhere; this is the way of life of the enlightened soul, the supreme swan. ॥7॥

Save yourself, be kind to the poor

SGGS Page 503 Full Shabad
ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਗ੝ਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਦੀਨ ਦੈਆਲਾ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਤਰੈ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਭ ਉਧਰੈ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਸਗਲ ਜੰਜਾਲਾ ॥੩॥

Āṯẖ pahar har kė guṇ gĝvai simrai ḝīn ḝai­ĝlĝ. Āp ṯarai sangaṯ sabẖ uḝẖrai binsė sagal janjĝlĝ. ॥3॥
One who sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord, twenty-four hours a day, and remembers the Lord in meditation, who is kind to the poor, saves himself, and redeems all his generations; all of his bonds are released. ॥3॥

The most worthwhile actions

SGGS Page 1354 Full Shabad
ਸਬਦੰ ਰਤੰ ਹਿਤੰ ਮਇਆ ਕੀਰਤੰ ਕਲੀ ਕਰਮ ਕ੝ਰਿਤ੝ਆ ॥

Sabḝaʼn raṯaʼn hiṯaʼn ma­i­ĝ kīrṯaʼn kalī karam kriṯu­ĝ.
To be imbued and attuned to the Shabad; to be kind and compassionate; to sing the Kirtan - these are the most worthwhile actions in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga.

See also

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