Sikh Concept of Evil / Devil

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by SteelCityRKP, Apr 21, 2005.


  1. SteelCityRKP

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    Greetings to All,

    I'm not a Sikh, but I've been reading about Sikhism and have learned a lot about the religion from sites such as sikhs.org, etc. I have a great deal of respect for Sikhism, and in my opinion, it is a very beautiful religion which is ideal for living progressively while still maintaining strong values and morals.

    I haven't read any of the Holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib itself, and was hoping I could have a few questions answered by some of you. As I was unable to find any good answers online regarding any of these questions. These are pretty highly philosophical/theological and are not really neccessary to know in order to be a devout follower; so I realize there may be no official Sikh answer, but I am very curious. Any help would be VERY GREATLY appreciated.

    In Sikhism, how is the concept/presence of Evil explained?

    Is it personified/deified as it is in other religions (even other strongly Monotheistic religions)?

    Is there an equivalent to the Christian Satan (or Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mammon,etc), Muslim Iblis/Shaytan, or even Hindu Asuras, Nagas, etc.?

    Does God battle against Evil, is Evil an intrinsic part of God's Natural Universe, or both?

    I may have some more detailed questions once I receive some response, but again, I really appreciate any response. I have a lot of Sikh friends, but the ones I've spoken to about this, didn't really have answers.

    Thanks,
    RKP
     
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  2. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh



    Well even if we see Sanatan Dhrama of old time(mistakenly called Hinduism) there is all creation made by God.



    In old Testment God says that God self creats evil bring peace and war.And Lucifer works at will of God see book of Job.in fact the heart of Pheroa was hardened by God in the case of Moses.



    In Case of Islam,Iblis also work under the will of God.



    so as per Sikhism there is nothing in existance other then God.We are temporary hence false so even if evil exists like Kali(evil Era personified) or mammon(Maya) or five vices as they all are creation of God and God created all thing by manifesting self.All visible is God.



    So as per our Faith of Sikhism there is nothing evil /demon/bad or dark angel.



    All is God.And God is good and anything which happens happens for good as nothing can happen without will of God.God bless.King of King.Whose throne is heavon and foot stool is earth and as per David even a pit till hell is dug God is still there.
     
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  3. UnstoppableSingh

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    There is right and wrong, there is good and evil. But the context of this is sometimes hard to explain when it comes to Sikhism.

    Here is my view.

    Yes there is Evil and there is Good. At this Age (Khal Jhug) Evil runs freely over minds. Evil is split into a two sections. Thoughts and actions. Both occur. Evil actions are easy for most humans to stop its the evil thoughts that take us down or off are spiritual paths. Most evil within the world is catergorized into 5 types according to Sikhism. Lust, Anger, Attachment, Greed, Pride. These 5 vices are the root cause for ones action until one surpasses these on his/her spiritual path.

    In Sikhism Evil is also describe as the moment ones thoughts breaks from Oneness with WaheGuru. A secondary thought other then WaheGuru is "evil" but this is on the final stages of the path.

    Last type of evil is Karma. Certain events occur in life no matter how good, bad or any other reason. We must pay for some deeds in this life some in the next or some when we go to Dharam Raj.

    Now as for the Devil. No Sikhism doesn't have a true devil like Christianity or Islam. The word Devil is mostly tied to the five vices as those are the devils in us that break us from our path.

    As for "Does God battle against Evil, is Evil an intrinsic part of God's Natural Universe, or both?"

    No battle occurs because the realization at the end is that at both ends of the spectrum there is WaheGuru no one else.
     
  4. drkhalsa

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    Dear SteelCityRKP

    accept my heartiest welcome to this forum :)

    The question you have asked is really good one and I recently I found myself in same situation asking mself the answer to it
    recently one of my Muslim friend asked me same that what is evil il in sikhism jsut like iblis in Islam and satan in christianity .

    And I had a thought on it and what came up as answer wwas

    In sikhism as I have been able to understand teh most basic nature of man should to be always in remembrace of Akal Purakh ( God) ( as said by unstopable singh)so any thought and action you do while ignoring God is evil and that is the time you work with your own mind and believe firmly that this what other religions like islam call satan or evil .

    bascially you cant do nay nonesense ,any thing that could be harm to any body if you are doing it keeping god as you witness ans as in sikhism each and livingh beig is just a manifestatio of god anly so in sikhis m whwn we do any work for our interest ignoring the god and using our own mind ( also called manmatt in sikhism ) is Evil and any thing done with remebrance of god and keeping him witness of each and every moment ( also called gurmat in sikhism ) is good
    I hope it help you in some way to reach any conclusion

    jainder Singh
     
  5. Amerikaur

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    Welcome, SteelCity!

    I am going to be rewording some of what my respected brothers said above. I must humbly ask that anyone, please correct me if I say anything that is wrong or proper.

    There is a duality to Christianity. Dark vs. Light. God vs. The Devil. Good vs. Evil. Heaven vs. Hell. This duality is ancient...it stems from Zoroasterian influences...but it is easy to see how timeless the message is, and how easy it is to communicate.

    That duality does not exist in Sikhism. There is no Satan. There is no "afterlife" concept of Hell, either.

    There is a common thread to all the evil in the world: overt self-indulgence.

    Saddam Hussain, for example. The architects of corporate scandals. Criminals. All these horrors done by people indulging themselves in a way that is...wrong.

    Sikhs believe that Heaven and Hell can be found right here on this earth. When a person suffers, they are going through hell. They even say they are going through hell.

    Sikh scriptures are focused highly on self-restraint, the cure for self-indulgence. We believe that when we stay focused on remembering God and restraining ourselves, we are helping quiet the overindulgence (evil) in the world.

    We believe in reincarnation, and that we have been through past lives before. We do not know what the past lives were, nor are we supposed to know. What matters is that we stand as Sikhs now...which means we are at a critical point. We have reached the point where we can break the cycle of rebirths, and we finally have a chance to have our soul merge with God. That is our goal.

    If we aren't worthy of that goal, then the rebirth cycle is not broken, and our soul goes back to for another birth. That is not the same as the Christian concept of eternal damnation, but it does mean that the soul goes back to a place that will inevitibly feel like hell sometimes.

    Does that help at all?
     
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  6. Sher Singh

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    These are some good questions, ill try and answer them as best as i can.

    Evil: there is Evil in Sikhism, but NOT in the form of Satan. The Evil in Sikhism has to do with the 5 Evils. which are:

    5 MORAL EVILS

    Kaam : refers to lust and illegitimate sex. It is one of the greatest evils that tempts people away from God. It makes an individual weak-willed and unreliable. Normal sexual relationship as a house-holder is not restricted in any way in Sikhism. But sex outside marriage or sex against the will of the partner is taboo, as it can cause unlimited sorrows.Krodh : is anger and needs to be controlled. A person overcome by 'krodh' loses his balance of mind and becomes incapable of thinking. According to Sikhism, 'krodh' takes a person away from God as hatred has no place in religious practice.

    Lobh : means greed, a strong desire to possess what rightfully belongs to others. It makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It takes a person away from his religious and social duties. A person can become blind with greed if an effort to control the desire for unlimited possessions is not made.

    Moh : refers to the strong attachment that an individual has to worldly possessions and relationships. It blurs the perspective of a human being and makes him narrow minded. It deviates a person from his moral duties and responsibilities and leads him towards a path of sin.

    Ahankar : means false pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual a feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than him. It leads to jealousy, feelings of enmity and restlessness amongst people. Sikhism requires that a person serves the society and community with humility. Hence, the practice of cleaning the footwear of visitors to a Gurdwara is followed by many devout Sikhs.


    and to overcome them there are the 8 virtues as listed below.


    8 VIRTUES TO COMBAT THE 5 EVILS

    Wisdom (gyan) : is the complete knowledge of a set of religious principles. It can be achieved by hearing good, thinking good and doing good. A man of wisdom tries to achieve a high moral standard in his life and interaction with others. According to Sikhism, the first steps to wisdom is to consider oneself as an ignorant person who has to learn a lot in life.

    Truthful Living (sat) : This is more than 'truth'. It means living according to the way of God i.e. the thoughts should match the words that a person speaks and his actions should also match his words. Truthful living brings a person closer to God.

    Justice (niaon) : means freedom and equal opportunities for all. Respect for the rights of others and strict absence of attempts to exploit a fellow being. Sikhism forbids the desire to loot another's property. It also strictly instructs the Sikhs to show respect even for the women and children of an enemy.

    Temperance (santokh) : means self control which has to be developed through meditation and prayers. A Sikh has to banish evil thoughts from his mind by constantly repeating Gods name and reciting prayers. Torture to the body to develop self-control is not advocated in Sikhism.

    Patience (dhiraj) : implies a high level of tolerance and empathy for others. It requires control over ones ego and willingness to overlook another's weakness or mistakes. It requires that a Sikh should be strong willed, but kind hearted.

    Courage (himmat) : means bravery i.e. absence of fear. It is the ability to stake ones life for ones convictions and for saving others from injustice or cruelty.

    Humility (namarta) : is a deliberate denial of pleasure at one's own praise and admiration. It means underplaying ones own strengths and respecting the abilities of others. It is the antidote to 'ahankar'

    Contentment (sabar) : means refraining from worldly fears and submitting oneself to the will of God. The typical worldly fears can be fear of death, poverty, disrespect and defeat. It is this virtue that has given the Sikhs the moral strength to withstand the various atrocities committed on their community in the last three centuries.

    THERE IS NO EQUILIVANT TO SATAN BECAUSE THERE IS NO SATAN. Why would God have something go against him llike Satan. God would destroy it, tahts why there is no Satan.

    NO, God does no Battle against Evil, the only evil in Within us Humans, NOT God. Because God is perfect, nothing is wrong with God.
     
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  7. servant_of_god

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    I don't claim to be an expert on Sikhism - in fact before doing the research for this talk I knew next to nothing about it. I am more than willing to be corrected if I get my facts wrong.
    All I want to do is compare two significant quotes, one from Sikhism and one from Christianity to try to get an idea of the differences between the two faiths.
    A man called Guru Nanak established Sikhism in the 15th Century - making it a comparatively new religion. Nanak had a calling at the age of 33. After his calling the first thing he said was:
    "None are Hindu, none are Muslim"
    He meant that because the same divine spark has ignited all people, God is the God of all men, so we are all God's sons! Let me quote from a Sikh website:
    "By extension [to the Guru's words] no-one is Christian, Jewish, Buddhist or even Sikh. These divisions soon evaporate when we remember that first and foremost, we are all children of God."
    Nanak said:
    "I was summoned by the Creator - our common Father-Mother, and was given the holy message to be shared with all the people. The sermon God gave me is: Do not divide human beings into Hindus, Muslims, or into other groups/faiths; they are all My children and equal. I love all of them; they may love Me by any name - Allah, Ram, etc. No one should be hated or considered alien."
    So Sikhism says "All faiths are the same because they are worshipping the same God".
    Paul says something similar to Guru Nanak's words in Galatians 3:28:
    "There is neither *** nor Greek."
    Is he saying the same thing? That regardless of whether you are *** and worship Jehovah or follow the Greek gods, at the end of the day you are worshipping the same God?
    When we look at the context of the passage it is clear that Paul was meaning something quite different. Verse 26 says:
    "... for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither *** nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
    Paul is still making a staggering claim: that through faith in Jesus Christ all people regardless of gender, background or position are on an equal standing before God. Through Christ all who become "sons of God" have an equal right to the privileges that come through being the son of the Creator God.
    Whilst we would want to agree strongly with the Guru's words that God loves all mankind, and that we mustn't hate other people, Christians would disagree that all religions are worshipping the same God.
    Different faiths believe very different things about life, reality and God. Even Sikhism, which has it's roots in both Hinduism and Islam has had to decide what it would hold to on the basis of what the Guru and his 10 successors said, some stuff was taken from Hinduism (like the concepts of Karma and rebirth) other bits were rejected (like the caste system), and the same went for Islam.
    It seems clear that if different worldviews say conflicting things they are not "all true", or "all pointing the same way". Either none of them has got it right or at most only one has! Christianity is clear that not all people are God's sons - but by nature we all stand as God's enemies. The only way we can be called God's sons is through faith in Jesus and his death 2000 years ago on a cross.
    So if Sikhism says "All faiths are the same because their God is the same", Jesus says: "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
    It may sound less politically correct, less accepting of different people's view, but this is what Jesus said. At his trial Jesus said to Pilate "Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice" (John 18:37). By rejecting Jesus as being supreme, those of other faiths are not on the side of truth. Whereas the way to truth in Sikhism is through listening to the Guru, truth is found only in Jesus.
    So to conclude, God does care what name we call him and how we worship him. Christianity is says we can only be sons of God through Jesus. We must be humble, friendly and loving with people of other faiths, but we must be clear - we don't believe that we are all ok because the same divine spark burns within us.
    In the first century Christian believers were not killed for claiming Jesus was divine (the authorities allowed for as many Gods as you like), they were killed for saying that Jesus is the only Lord and that he alone was to be worshipped.
     
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  8. servant_of_god

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    *** = j e w

    I understand. Those auto-delete features go too far. It makes normal communication impossible.
    aad0002
     
  9. spnadmin

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    servant_of_god ji

    Your comments above are off-topic. And your comments should be posted in Interfaith Dialogs and not in Sikh Sikhi Sikhism. Please abide by the rule that comparisons of religion should be in Interfaith Dialogs. Your posts otherwise will be moved there by mods. Thank you.

    aad0002
     
  10. Santokh Singh1989

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    Dear SteelCityRKP, I must concure with the comments above me regarding evil in Sikhi, truthfully the greastest evil is forgeting te Supreme. But for me, and this is probably beacause I orignaly came from an Abrahamic faith, I personaly still believe in the exsistence of the shaitan and jinn in general. Although I do believe with all my heart that regardless of the fact of whether there are demons and the such or not, that they serve the one true God, whether they like it or not I might add. Because in the end nothing happens that is not the will of God, so when the dajjal do the things they do it is only because God allows them to, so as to better serve His purpose in the end. I believe, if satan and such are real (which I think they are to one degree or another) when they do things like tempt us or try to lead us on the wrong path that it only happens because God lets them, possibly to make our faith stronger, or for other reasons. I don't know I am not God. But as for the fight of good against evil. There really is no fight. Only Gods will. Thats just my opinion though. I'm sure I will be reprimanded by some for believeing it so i'll conclude with this.... Nothing happens that is not the will of God or as muslims say. Not a leaf turns without the will of Allah.
     
  11. Suki

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    That's a great question to ask while researching about any religion. In Sikhism, there are no mentions of evil per say just as Iblis in Islam or Satan in Christianity. However, there is a very practical aspect of evil in Sikhism in the form of 5 vices. How we develop ourselves or choose the path in life depends on our free will. The free will can be either used to discipline overindulgance in all these vices or fully indulge in these vices. A human being who indulges in any of these vices or all of vices not only at cost of one's own soul but also at the cost of others is indeed an evil...that person is an Iblis and Satan of today. It's just not narrated and labelled like Satan or Iblis in Sikhism; However the reality is the same. We have to remember...Sikh, Muslim, Hindu or any other religion...we all are living in one world, under one universal law of life...so no matter how we put it.....it's all the same....We all have to reflect about human intentions...it's the intentions and the free will of a human being that defines evil or good....not just the religious literature.
     
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  12. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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    harcharanjitsinghdhillon ji welcome to spn and your post.
    Can you please explain a bit about the two items I have kept in the quoted lines from your post. You seem to suggest that we are allowed to be born by the creator with a defective mind. I thought we are born with a clean slate that slowly gets inscribed in life.

    Your posts also seem repetitive as an answer to all items.
    May be I am missing something.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  13. TigerStyleZ

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    You are with the Evil and the Evil is without you. The Evil is your mind and your friend. The Evil is the holy and the divine, like the Evil is the devil.
     
  14. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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    Harcharanjitsingh dhillon ji you are showing massive disregard of some basic beliefs and teachings espoused in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
    Sikhi teaches salvation through living a practical good life in consonance with creation. Mukti, salvation, etc., are not ends to themselves as you make it to be.
    There are no pre-requisites in Sikhism in terms of meditation being the way. A practical alive life is espoused.
    There is no devil in Sikhism. There is no re-incarnation within Sikhism. What is born must die and this is normal creation. There are no controls on either end of this journey that man or life can sustain or avoid beyond a possible life span.
    You got it upside down. The focus in Sikhi is wisdom of creator and creation achieved through an active mind. Sikhi is ever improving and living with growing wisdom that your mind helps with.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  15. harcharanjitsinghdhillon

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    sat sri akal to everyone..it is the mind that is the cause for the ego to exist, duality to exist, and to enjoy the five thiefs the mind must be there.. just imagine if mind is not there, then all this above does not exist.. our true self we are souls but not mind and body.. mind and body are just our temporary outer garments.. we use this garments here only in maya, regions of time space and repeated deaths.. our true self is soul the spark that originated from the creator.. only by surrendering our mind completely, then only our spark the soul can return back to god.. so to my oppinion the biggest thief of all is the MIND, nothing else. it is the mind that is the main cause for taking the soul in a journey of repeated cycles of birth and death.. this is my oppinion from my side. thanks and sat sri akal
     
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  16. Randip Singh

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    I've just corrected the above as they are not evils but Thieves that steal your senses.

    Sikhism does not talk about good and bad or evil , but about Justice and being Just in a situation.

    Sikhs believe that anyone is susceptible to the 5 thieves that will make people do Un-Just deeds, but a way to combat that are the 8 virtues.
     
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  17. Ambarsaria

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    harcharanjisingh ji God/creator does not create defective products as you pretend that mind is. We are blessed with a mind not cursed with it. The way we use it defines how we use the gift we have.
    What happened to the gift of mind we are blessed with :interestedmunda:<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->
    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    #17 Ambarsaria, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  18. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel We seek him here,we sikh
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    Veer Ji When we need a mind that is blessed.
     
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  19. Luckysingh

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    I was going to add but never mind.
     
  20. harcharanjitsinghdhillon

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    sat sri akal ji.. yes all of us should rise higher then duality. maya and mind play created duality and ego.. yes it is true what you had said. sat sri akal
     
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