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Reform Magazine | April 27, 2017

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A Sikh’s Jesus

A Sikh’s Jesus

In the fifth of this series hearing insights into Jesus from people of other faiths, Charanjit Ajit Singh brings a Sikh perspective to the Gospels

I recently visited a very big Sikh gurdwara in Abbotsford, Canada, where we listened to the singing of hymns from Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scripture) and then shared langar, the free meal served to anyone regardless of religion. In the entrance, where there were many leaflets, books and newspapers for people to read, a small red book caught my eye. As I turned its pages, I realised it was a Bible in Punjabi. How it got there still intrigues me. When I asked about it, nobody knew. My guess is that it was put in the letter box of a Sikh family, who could not make head nor tail of it and so left it where I saw it. It seems that there is some sort of missionary activity going on there – which is not something that the Sikhs generally do to people of other faiths.

The reason for this is that Guru Granth Sahib contains many positive references to the scriptures of other world religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Buddhist and Jain practices are also mentioned. The phrase ‘Veda Kateb’, encompasses all the holy books of the religions which originated in India and the Abrahamic traditions that began in the Middle East. One verse which symbolises how the gurus wanted the Sikhs to imbibe, to live up to and reflect on these books, states: ‘Do not say that the Vedas and Katebs are false. False are those who do not reflect on them.’

I find this verse a great gift to hold on to, so that I, as a Sikh woman, should not forget that the Sikh gurus gave serious respect to the holy books of other religions. This worldview compels me to study the life and teachings of Jesus as having relevance to our daily lives…

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This is an extract from the November 2016 edition of Reform.

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