Introducing “Faith, not works”, to a Sikh

(from TR 4/01) According to the “official” web site of the Sikh religion, “The goal of human life is to break the cycle of births and deaths and merge with God. This can be accomplished by following the teachings of the Guru, meditation on the Holy Name and performance of acts of service and charity” (http://www.sikhs.org/philos.htm). Sikhism teaches its followers that by devotion to duty, selfless service, prayer, understanding the Gurus’ words, and focusing upon “Nam” (the name of God), one may attain the “highest goals” of cleansing, illumination, and oneness with God (Crim 691). We see, then, that assurance for the Sikh is human-centered; that is, it comes gradually through rigorous observances and self-discipline.

Self-Doubt and Christ’s Assurance

Self-doubt for the Sikh may be aroused by the question, “How can you be sure you are doing enough?” Gobind Singh Mansukhani, author of Introduction to Sikhism, explains that “…spiritual effort has to be blessed by Divine favour in order to be successful. This effort requires self-surrender, to His Will. If man works selfishly, in Maya, he suffers; if he works selflessly according to the Will of God he is saved. This self-surrender is a conscious effort to win divine grace. The self-effort is to bring the Divine Will and individual free will into harmony. That is how the two wills become reconciled. Man’s salvation lies in his own effort to drown his Ego in the Divine Will”


To World Religions links