(The following lecture was delivered by Tejwant Singh ji in an interfaith forum on Evolution held at The Mormon Church. As Church authorities do not allow such events to be video taped inside the Church Premises, we are ever so grateful to Tejwant Singh ji for making this lecture available for the benefit of entire SPN readership! We will post the MP3 audio file of the event soon...)Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/37700-evolution-sikhi-perspective-tejwant-singh-ji.html
by Tejwant Singh Malik
Lecture in audio format:
Good Evening. On the offset, I am happy to say that I have evolved in my understanding while listening to Dr. Aslam Abdullah and will continue to do so with the help of other great speakers after me.
Evolution is a never ending journey.
Sikhi does not believe in the story of the Creation as mentioned in Genesis about Adam and Eve.
But, the lingering question still remains in the back of our minds.
How did it all begin?
Let me quote a Sufi Muslim poet called Fareed, whose poetry is in The Guru Granth, the Sikh scripture.
Quote, “It all began from one light. This beauty that we are surrounded by is part of that starting point and so are we. Hence, who shall we call bad, when none exists without the One, who is in all of us”? End quote.
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhi, said the following 500 years ago,
Quote “There are countless planets and many galaxies. It is the ever expanding Universe.” End quote.
One more question makes us scratch our heads constantly.
Then, how did we get here as humans?
The answer is very simple. “We do not know”. Perhaps, one day, we shall find out. A Sikh doesn’t dwell on this question.
However, Sikhi sides with science which says life evolved in water. The Guru Granth says:
Quote, “Semen is water, egg is water, and the embrace of the two, creates life that evolves inside the womb, in water”. End quote.
For a Sikh, here and now is the only Promised Land, hence it is our duty to make the best out of it by accepting that all of us come from one light. Thus, the responsibility rests on us that we leave this light on for others to follow. Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=37700
This is the true evolution in Sikhi.
The Guru Granth further says about this light.
Quote,“Amongst all is the Light-You are that Light. This Light is radiant within all.” End quote
This light, which is in all of us, is the gateway to our spiritual, mental and physical evolution from our birth till death.
And because of this, nothing can be looked in a vacuum. Our past is strung together like pearls in a necklace, and our present keeps on adding more pearls to it. This, in other words is called the evolutionary process of our spirituality; the perfect circle of life.
Nature and nurture have made us evolve physically. Who would have thought that a person from China called Yao Ming would become 7’4” tall in a country which is not known for tall people.
One more question pops up.
How can we all evolve as tall as Yao Ming spiritually?
The answer lies in the constant connection with The Source of all there is. This Source breeds love that motivates us, inspires us, and with the result, it becomes the spring board for us to soar to the horizons of goodness, so that, we can become as tall as we desire.
The message in The Guru Granth, makes us re-discover things about ourselves every day. A journey of a Sikh is about learning, unlearning and relearning daily. If we do not find new gems in this ore that lies within, then there is something wrong with us.
This would show that we have become mere ritualistic parrots with one ugly plumage rather than the true evolutionists.
With the help of the teachings of The Guru Granth, we become the anthropologists of the selves, but with one caveat, and that is, the “fossils” we discover within are actually the dormant ambers, which can be lit with the help of the torch of our Spiritual evolution.
This is the beauty of Sikhi. It creates the metamorphosis within. From a caterpillar to a butterfly who is fluttering its wings, rushing to the nearest flower to soak itself with nectar.
And, because of this metamorphosis, every Sikh has the desire and feels the need to make a difference. The quest to turn good intentions into real actions becomes the ultimate goal, thanks to this spiritual evolution.
This light called evolution has also made us evolve in many aspects.
For example, in the medical field the evolution has been amazing. Our proud sisters and brothers in combat, who returned home without limbs can run marathons and participate in many other activities.
Many have gone back to the battle fields with their artificial limbs.
This proves that we are mere channels from which the energy passes through; with a lead pencil one can kill someone or draw like Leonardo da Vinci. It depends on how our spiritual evolution channelises this energy. We are all capable of evolving like Leonardo.
Allow me to end by saying, that this is the only life we know and let’s make a pledge to ourselves of turning this evolution into the revolution of love, understanding and acceptance of all as one, because the end is the same for all of us.
The Guru Granth says, Quote”Naked I came, Naked I'll go; And, at the end, like the mighty elephant, There'll be nothing but dust to adorn me”. End quote.
Thank you; it’s been an honour, once again.
Tejwant Singh Malik