AN ACCLAIMED EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATOR AND A DEDICATED PROPONENT OF SIKHISM
- COL. (DR.) DALVINDER SINGH GREWAL
Dr. Devinder Pal Singh
Center for Understanding Sikhism, Mississauga, L5A 1Y7, ON, Canada
Colonel (Dr.) Dalvinder Singh Grewal is a much-acclaimed academician, a dedicated researcher, an able administrator, a prolific writer and a profound scholar of Sikhism. He was born on April 4, 1945, at Village Rattan, District Lyallpur (now in Pakistan). He joined the Indian defense services in June 1963. After a dedicated service of 32 years, he retired as a "Senior Officer" in 1995. Due to his keen interest in academics, besides receiving an LLB degree, he was awarded several post-graduate degrees e.g. M.A. (English), M.Sc. (Tech.), M.B.A., PGDTE. He, also, obtained three Ph.D. degrees in the diverse fields of Management, Education and Computer Science.
In his long professional career, spanning five decades, he is credited with the publication of 55 books, over 200 research papers in various journals of international repute, and about 1000 general articles in magazines and newspapers. Apart from his varied administrative duties such as Principal, Registrar, Group Director, President, and Advisor to various Colleges/Group of Institutes and Dean of a University, he has served on the editorial boards of 9 international journals. He has the honor of chairing 11 international seminars/conferences and played a vital role in organizing 12 international seminars. Besides, he has guided the research activities of 18 Ph.D./M. Tech./M.B.A./ M. Phil students.
Having served as an academician cum administrator for over twenty-five years, at various prestigious educational institutions in India, he has also established himself as an eminent writer in the field of Sikh theology. Through his literary essays, as published in several reputed journals, magazines, books, and newspapers, he has been able to create an indelible mark of scholarship on the minds of his readers. Besides, he has published several books related to Sikhism and is now working on an Encyclopaedia of Guru Nanak. He has been honored for his services to the Sikh cause by several Sikh organizations e.g., SGPC, Amritsar; and DSGMC, New Delhi and Government of Punjab. Besides, he has been honored with Bharat Excellence Award by Friendship Forum of India; Shromani Punjab Rattan Award by SMISS International; Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Award by GGSSC; Shiksha Rattan Award (2009); Eminent Educationist Award by National Integration Council (2010), Sainya Sewa Medal; Yudh Sewa Medal (1965); and Samar Sewa Star (1971). Punjab Government honored him with the Best Achiever Award on the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak in 2019.
A renowned educationist and a noted Sikh theologian, Colonel (Dr.) Dalvinder Singh Grewal is a founder member of the School of Scientific and Logical Interpretation of Gurbani. He is committed to bringing out the truth of Gurbani, logically, rationally and scientifically. With his scientific training and devotion to Gurbani, he is eminently qualified to do so. Col. (Dr.) Grewal adheres to the thought that Sikh Gurus' Philosophy is perennial and universal in its approach to understand Cosmology, Nature, life and human behavior in the present era. His technical background and professional life have undoubtedly influenced his choice of paradigm and perspective. Col. (Dr.) Grewal asserts that Sikh Gurus, their philosophy, their bani, their Sikhi, and Sri Guru Granth Sahib delineate the basics befitting the 21st century. His views on various aspects of Sikh Philosophy are presented here for the benefit of readers:
Dr. Singh: You are a technologist by training and a teacher cum researcher by profession, then how have you become so interested in theology?
Dr. Grewal: Spirituality is my parents’ gift. My mother was deeply religious. My father believed in Sikhism and maintained a large library containing religious books. I read almost all; most of which were on Sikh theology. I adopted science as a subject for professional development. This is how spirituality and science got amalgamated in my mind. I never found science and spirituality disparate, as I consider both are equally important for humanity. The subject of spirituality is the internal universe while that of science is the external universe. They both are for the benefit of humanity and emerge out of experiences and practice. Jointly, they present the holistic vision of the universe to us. The human mind plays a vital role in the development of such a world view.
Dr. Singh: What makes Sikh Gurus' philosophy original and unique?
Dr. Grewal: Uniqueness of the Philosophy of Sikhism is in Gurbani. The very first word, digit 1 is unique in a way that it represents the unity of the entire universe. Digit 1 links the entire creation with the One Creator thereby creating a strong bond of relationship between man and God. The next uniqueness is Universal Love. The mother who gives birth to children loves all of them equally; she feels pain even when one is hurt; she provides her child the food before she takes it herself and so on. It shows that for the mother, her child is first than even herself. As a mother, God is the central love of all His Creation. He loves all as His children and gives priority to His Children than even Himself. Next is the sustenance. As the children are fully dependent on the mother; so is the Creation fully dependent on God. The next characteristic is forgiveness. Even when the child does a mistake or some crime, the mother goes out to protect him/her. Similarly, God protects us even when we do some mistakes or crimes. A child has full faith in her mother since he feels safe in her hands. So should a man feel safe in God's hands and should have total faith in Him. God is thus the 'Karta Purukh’. Similarly, one can go on and on and can find something new as well as something different in each word of Gurbani. Thus Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a great treatise of an original and unique philosophy of the Sikh Gurus.
Dr. Singh: As per Sikh Gurus' Philosophy, what is the meaning or purpose of our presence in this Universe?
Dr. Grewal: We are brought into the universe to get the benefit of love and proximity to God. It, too, is bestowed to us by God Himself. A person is required to be like God by obtaining qualities like Him. Thereby he/she can easily merge in Him and can find the ultimate peace. As water merges in water and becomes undistinguished; so is the requirement that a person should become highly virtuous (by shunning the five evils and attaining the detachment from the worldly illusions) like Him. To get away from these evils, one has to keep one's mind in focus on the love of God, keep remembering Him; acknowledge his gifts and thank Him for what all He has given to oneself. This way a person can get closer to God. Regular recitation of Naam (Contemplation on God) helps oneself to get detached from the worldly evils and to become virtuous, and to be in love with Him. With time, the adherent gets the ability to overcome his/her self-centeredness (haumain) and finds solace and peace in the love of God. At this stage, one's merger in God is complete. In this way, the purpose of a being is achieved.
Dr. Singh: Is Sikh Gurus' Philosophy in conflict or harmony with science? How can Sikh Gurus’ Philosophy help in the cultivation of scientific temper in society?
Dr. Grewal: I found Guru Nanak very scientific in his writing and tried to follow him with sincerity. His principles; Kirt Karna is being professional, wand chhakna is both physical and spiritual rewards sharing and Naam Japna is spirituality in action. Thus, profession and spirituality, both, go hand in hand, without interfering in each other. In this way, theology provides a sound ground for professional pursuits.
Nature is the creation of God. Science is systematic development and transformation of nature for human welfare. Science is not for destroying nature and beings; it is for developing them. Scientific temper is to systematically analyze the existence and improve or develop in such a way that it becomes most suitable for the beings. Real science is the one that works along with nature and not against it, hence it is in harmony with nature and man. This is what the Philosophy of Gurbani teaches us. It is constructive and not destructive; it is positive and not negative; it is universal and not individual. It asks us not only to love human beings but all the creation of God. God’s creation is certainly superb; its beauty is most fascinating. He had bestowed on all the beings the greatest possible gift. God created the world with one word and the immeasurable spread was spontaneous. It is beyond imagination. Its creation: nature is limitless and beyond description. Whatever He wishes He does. No one can go against His Will. The real scientific temper is to function within the perimeters laid down by the Creator Himself. A man is a social animal and he has to live with all other harmoniously to make the society worth living for all. Hence the science has to serve the people and develop the beings and society and not to destroy or degrade it. This is the real scientific temper which the Gurus' philosophy has projected. It prescribes, "Take a bath in the water of virtues and apply the perfume of sandal of righteousness to the body, then shall your face become bright. This is the gift equating a hundred thousand worldly gifts." (M 1, SGGS, p.15)
Dr. Singh: Sir! Can you please elaborate on Brahm Gyan, as described in Gurbani?
Dr. Grewal: Brahm Gyan is the knowledge about God. It starts with self-realization and goes on to gain the knowledge of the ultimate reality of the cosmos and its Creator, the One and only One God. Guru Nanak, in stanzas 35 and 36 of his Jap composition, explains the Realm of Divine Knowledge (Gyan Khand) at length. Divine knowledge illumines a being in the realm of knowledge, while divine symphonies play unending music, and joy and bliss reign supreme. God's love always serves as an unfailing friend in moments of dire distress, both without and within; and one walks steadily in it, in life and after. Guru’s Gyan is like a peerless jewel that illuminates the path to salvation. By His Grace, God may grant the honor of His Court, to whomever He wishes to grant. When the spiritual illumination by Guru's Gyan manifests within one’s mind, one can easily realize the boon of the Word (Sabd). With the manifestation of spiritual illumination, one becomes enlightened. Herein, Guru's Gyan gets implanted in one's mind by drinking the ambrosia of the Word (Sabd, Naam). The adherent's mind reaches a state of equipoise and fearlessness. With meditation on Naam, one's sorrows and pain disappear, and he/she experiences a state of supreme bliss. In this state adherent's soul rises into the astral world, along the Path of Gyan or True Knowledge, as described in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Word (Sabd) Guru, as enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is a storehouse of vidya (education) and gyan (knowledge); it is very extensive, varied and significant. It is of immense usage in the present as well as in the future. The need of the hour is to educate the masses in the field of spirituality. Word Guru (Sabd) provides us with transcendental knowledge; knowledge about God and the ways to reach Him (Brahma Vidya or Para Vidya). SGGS, being a religious scripture, includes the theory of the science of spirituality. It also provides us the knowledge of worldly dharma (Apara Vidya); how to live in the world.
Dr. Singh: What is the relevance of Brahm Giani (as envisioned by Sikh Gurus in Sri Guru Granth Sahib) in the modern context?
Dr. Grewal: Brahm Gyani is the one who eradicates his ego, seeks truth, devotedly and lovingly by constantly meditating on the Divine Name. Thereby he attains self-realization and spiritual awareness about God and His Universe. He achieves all the qualities required for his merger with the Ultimate. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib such an enlightened person is considered to be the embodiment of the Supreme Being. Nanak Brahm Gyani aap(i) parmes(u)r) (M. 5, SGGS, p 273). Such a person having complete knowledge of the All-pervading One is known as the formless God. (Brahn Gyai aap(i) nirnakar(u)). (M.5, SGGS, p 274)
Dr. Singh: Different Sikh scholars emphasize one or the other versions of the Three Pillars of Sikhism e.g. (i) Kirat Karo, Naam Japo, Vand Chhako (2) Naam, Daan, Isnaan (3) Sat, Santokh, Vicharo (4) Deg, Teg, Fateh, etc. Based on Sikh doctrines, what do you think is the aptest version?
Dr. Grewal: Naam Daan Ishnan, Granth Panth; Sangat, Pangat, Kirat Karo, Naam Japo, Vand Chhako; Sat Santokh, Vicharo, sach Achaar, Deg Tegh Fateh, Sarbat da Bhala, etc are some of the many versions given to propound Sikhism briefly. Hence a single slogan or version does not define Sikhism. Naam Japna (contemplation on God), however, remains at the top. "Bẖaī parāpaṯ mānukẖ ḏehurīā. Gobinḏ milaṇ kī ih ṯerī barīā. Avar kāj ṯerai kiṯai na kām. Mil sāḏẖsangaṯ bẖaj keval nām. (You have been blessed with this human body. This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe. Other efforts are of no use to you. Joining the Company of the Holy, meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.) (M. 5, SGGS, p 378). Other terms are some of the other practices connected with Sikhism, developed in due course of time, based on Sikh doctrines. However, Kirat Karo, Naam Japo and Vand Chhako appear to be most appropriate to depict Sikh ideology and functioning; Other versions, as enlisted above need to be followed, too.
Dr. Singh: What is the perspective of Sikh Gurus' Philosophy about the existence of God? Can faith in God be justified?
Dr. Grewal: As per Sikh Guru's Philosophy, God is the Creator, Developer, and Assimilator of the entire Universe. He exists in the entire universe and watches every activity in the universe. Faith in God keeps one in peace, and He always comes to aid when one needs Him. Religion is a matter of Faith and a Sikh must have total faith in One God.
Dr. Singh: Do scientists believe in God?
Dr. Grewal: Some scientists believe some do not. Soul/DNA/Energy/Mother Nature's universal laws/God are different representations of the same concept in the light of scientific logic. Scientists are learning the language of God in which we are created; they call it DNA. Biologically and genetically it is well-established fact that there is some fundamental power above all, which regularly controls and guides the entire universe. Characteristics of God defined by many religious scriptures and the concept of energy are nearly similar though defined differently. The energy of the Universe is the Doer Force or Creator/ Karta Purkh. Self-creation is the law of nature. According to the law of thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor be destroyed (i.e. it is eternal, without birth and death, or ajooni). This is also called the law of conservation of energy. We generally refer to this Divine Power as He, Him or His, though it is genderless. He is Universal God (The Energy of the Universe), the Supreme Being or the Lord of the Universe. He (Energy of the Universe) is everywhere in all forms as well as formlessness (sargun as well as nirgun). All matter and all space are Him (energy). He has been and will be there forever (akaal moorat). He creates, maintains and destroys anything. He is Life. He is Self-Creating (saebhang).
Dr. Singh: Can rational inquiry and Gurbani convictions co-exist?
Dr. Grewal: Yes. Gurbani is scientific and rational. Guru Nanak started with reasoning out and did not believe in miracles and superstitions. He was wedded to Truth and Truth alone. The description of reality was the basis of his compositions. Through logical reasoning, Guru Nanak brought out the truth about reality in his compositions.
Dr. Singh: What is the Sikh Gurus' perspective about spirituality?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh Gurus' perspective on spirituality emphasizes purity, both, of body and mind, and the meditation of God. Living as directed by Divine Will (hukam), without having any ego, and keeping away from five evils (e.g. kaam, krodh, lobh, moh, and ahnkar).
Dr. Singh: What is the perspective of Sikh Gurus' about society?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh Gurus' perspective about society is that of universal fraternity. Loving creation is as important as loving God. Hence the love for God and service to society (simran te seva), both, go hand in hand. Earning through honest means and sharing it with others, are the fundamentals for a just society. Sikhs always pray for the welfare of the entire society (tere bhane sarbat da bhla). Helping the needy and avoiding maltreatment of others, speaking the truth, practicing forgiveness and compassion, etc., thus remain essentials of Sikhism.
Dr. Singh: Do Sikh doctrines drive towards the sustainability of living beings on the earth?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh doctrines are for positive developments and against all negatives. ‘Chardi Kala’ (always remain in high spirits) and ‘Sarbat da Bhala’ (Welfare of all) the slogans adopted by the Sikhs, guide them towards the positive development of society. Kirt Karna and Wand Chhakna are great doctrines relevant to sustainability.
Dr. Singh: Based on Sikh Gurus' Philosophy, what can be done to stop humans fighting each other for race, religion, caste, color or creed?
Dr. Grewal: When Guru Nanak was born, it was the period of strife between religions, faiths, and races and he propagated against it globally. Sikhs are against the wars, battles or conflicts based on race, religion, caste, color or creed. Guru Nanak preached that there is one God; one humanity and one faith. The concepts of Sangat (holy congregation) and pangat (sitting at the same level in a queue; implying equality for all) are the results of this thought process.
Dr. Singh: In your opinion, why do Sikh doctrines and Sikh practices appear to be at loggerheads during contemporary times?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh doctrines are not at loggerheads with anyone or anything. Their non-adoption, however, is a great cause of concern in modern times. Another problem is of non-understanding and not applying as directed. The rigidity created by mixing these doctrines with one's egoistic thought process makes a troubling scenario. Realizing the truth by understanding the teaching contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and living it candidly is the only true path of Sikhism.
Dr. Singh: Recently, 'The Wire', New Delhi has reported that Sikhs in the US will be counted as a separate ethnic group for the first time in the 2020 census. What is your opinion; "Are Sikhs an ethnic group?
Dr. Grewal: Sikhs now have the global reckoning and a separate religion in itself. It is a welcome step for the Sikhs to be included in the mainstream in a major country. This will help out the Sikhs to further ascertain their identity within their own country, wherein Hindus have been forcing them to accept it as a part of Hinduism; the majority religion in the country.
Dr. Singh: What are the barriers to the logical and rational interpretation of Gurbani?
Dr. Grewal: Barriers to a logical and rational interpretation of Gurbani are the unqualified interpreters, the business-like trends in kirtan performances, repetitive recitation of Gurbani without understanding, mythology-based interpretation of Gurbani, and neglecting the practice of Gurbani doctrines in one's daily life. With time, new terminology is emerging which too is causing barriers towards communication. Diverse interpretations of the same word and hymn, by different scholars also create a lot of confusion. Exegesis of the Gurbani must be put in a standardized form to avoid such confusion.
Dr. Singh: In your opinion, what are the threats/challenges to the Sikh identity in contemporary times?
Dr. Grewal: During the contemporary times, the threats/challenges to the Sikh identity include how to follow the teachings of the Gurus in their true essence and how to make others understand these in the true spirit of Sikhism. (Sikhi sikhia gur veechar. M. 1, SGGS, p. 465). The true learning about Sikhism is through understanding the thought process of the Gurus, which is enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Currently, Sikh preachers are stressing more on personal appearance (Shakhshi Rahini) rather than the spiritual development of individuals as per the guidance of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The exposition of fundamentals of Sikhism by the experts will go a long way towards the development of Sikhism. A Sikh must lead his/her life, as per the doctrines enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, then only he/she is a true Sikh to preach Sikhism to others. Aap jap-hu avarai naam japav-hu (M. 5, SSGS, 290). A Sikh must meditate on God first and then guide others to meditate on Him.
Dr. Singh: How do you describe the Sikh worldview?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh Worldview is that there is only one God. The entire world has commonality in Him and is tied in one common string, that is God. Being the Creator of everyone the God is the parent of all and we all are the siblings of the same parent. All are brothers and sisters; therefore there should be fraternity among all. For Him, all are equal, irrespective of the caste, age, creed or sex. One must be compassionate towards all living beings and serve humanity, considering it to be the service to God. The race, caste, color, creed, sex, place, religion; all are misnomers and the divisions created falsely by some vested interests. The Gurus spread the message of universal fraternity, love, and equality.
Dr. Singh: In your booklet titled: "Guru Nanak leads the Modern Science" you have proclaimed that the spiritual/mystical vision of Guru Nanak is a fore-bearer of modern science. Can you share a few salient features of your thesis?
Dr. Grewal: Guru Nanak had a scientific bent of mind and analytical in his explanations. Through inquisition, experience, intuition, and super-consciousness he answered the most difficult questions which the scientists have been researching. His intuitive vision had elaborated on several aspects of reality. Some examples are cited below:
- According to Einstein, ultimate reality is the 'fundamental element' and according to Vedas and Upanishads, it is the fundamental soul or Parmatma. There is no life and death as imagined by human beings. These are mere changes of beings in different forms or shapes. In reality, there is nothing like life and death. God can be called an electrifying force. It is fundamental to all materials. The universe, its development, its activity, all units are activated through its activated energy. All activities are because of this fundamental soul, 'Parmatma'. He is IkOngkar in Gurbani. God is the only One, who is the Creator of the entire universe and the entire universe is His expanse. As a corollary, there is no other God. It nullifies the theory of many Gods. The potential source of Humanity is God.
- Sāhib merā nīṯ navā. (M.1, SGGS, p 660) My beloved God is forever new. This explains the principle of continuous change. This change is linked to the fundamental changing force that causes the movement of an electron around itself and around the nucleus of an atom. Everything in the universe is continuously moving. Nothing is stationary. "Lord's fear moves the sun and the moon. They travel myriads of miles without an end." (M. 1, SGGS, p.464)
- The Copernican model propagated that "Stars are fixed in their positions as they did not appear to change their positions, apart from the rotation across the sky caused by the earth spinning around its axis. So it became natural to suppose that the fixed stars were objects like our sun. (Hawking, p.5). Later on, Copernicus's ideas were taken up by Kepler and Galileo Galilee. However, just around the time, Copernicus was toying with his ideas, Guru Nanak had already said fearlessly, "Numberless are earths and the mountains" …"so many are the moons and the suns; so many worlds and lands." (M.1, SGGS: p.7).
- Sri Guru Granth Sahib does not believe in a big bang. It says the entire universe was created smoothly and not from the big bang. It thus negates the Big Bang theory. God is fundamental to the entire creation. He created the universe from primal void (Sunn). The sequence of creation is: God -> Light -> Sound -> Air -> Water -> Universe -> Nature/Maya -> Beings
- God is stated to be a form of energy. All energies are concentrated in Him and controlled by Him. He created the entire universe from energy and expanded to form various shapes. Nineteenth-century Physicists realized that one form of energy can be transformed into another. In the twentieth century, scientists came to realize that energy can be transformed into mass and mass into energy. In the special theory of relativity, Einstein worked out the relation for the transformation between matter and energy. The relation has played an all-important role in the development of nuclear energy. Energy can neither be created nor can be destroyed. The total energy always remains the same in the universe. Guru Nanak says, "Jo kicẖẖ pāiā so ekā vār". Whatever was put into, was put there once and for all. (M.1, SGGS, p. 7). Energy is said to be a continuity of God too. As said earlier God is everywhere and in everything. As one cannot see, feel, hear or touch God directly, one can do so through His Creation.
- The scientists were able to have a vague idea of wave-particle duality in the 17th century but were able to confirm it experimentally only, in the 20th century. Guru Arjan however described in the 16th century that all the particles are in the waveforms. Referring to the creation of the universe, he said: "Whatever is subtle in waves is also solid in particles." The Gurus described God (and His creation) is both subtle waves and particle solid. God has created the universe out of light, which, in the beginning, was in waveform (subtle) and later turned into the particle (solid) form. Gurbani enunciates: "Pasrio āp hoe anaṯ ṯarang". He Himself is All-pervading, in endless waves. (M. 5,SGGS, p 275). "Āpe ḏẖarṯī āp jal piārā āpe kare karāiā". He Himself is the earth, and He Himself is the water; He Himself acts and causes others to act. (M.4, SGGS. p 605). He became manifest from unmanifest. He changed the from subtle (wave) form into body (solid) forms. He remained subtle but expanded himself into solid bodies. He is now prevalent everywhere in the form of both subtle (wave) and solid (particles). The entire beings meditate on Him, in the form of both particle (manifest) and wave (unmanifest).
- The entire world is tied together in the form of energy. "Sagal samagrī ṯumrai suṯir ḏẖārī". The whole creation is strung on Your thread. (M.5, SGGS, p. 268). If one has to understand the universe fully, he/she has to see the common linkage among the whole creation.
Dr. Grewal: Guru Nanak had a scientific bent of mind and whatever he composed has a very logically built up. His scientific thinking process was further developed by later Gurus. They dealt with the most intricate programs of origin, development, and assimilation of the universe, life, death, salvation, etc. Details of this have been given in the previous question.
Dr. Singh: Prof. Hardev Singh Virk, a noted Sikh scholar, during one of his lectures at San Jose Gurudwara, USA, in 2018 argued that "Sikhism fails to impact at the global level." Would you like to share your opinion about this statement?
Dr. Grewal: Sikhism has created a great impression globally despite the restrictions it faced from other religions. Sikhs are not even 2% of the population in India; globally it is too minuscule. In democracies, the numbers do count. It has to be globally counted before it became a global religion in real terms. For this global acceptance is essential. The basic principles of Sikh philosophy and the contribution of the Sikhs to society have to be widely acknowledged. It will help raise the status of their faith to that of unique universal world religions, otherwise, it may die under the shadow of a larger religion.
Dr. Singh: What is your unique religious/spiritual experience?
Dr. Grewal: While young, my mother made me remember the first five stanzas of Japuji. The Gurbani verse "Sabẖnā jī▫ā kā ik ḏāṯā so mai visar na jā▫ī." There is only the One, the Great Giver to all. May I never forget Him! (M. 1, SGGS, p. 2) impressed me a lot. Repetition of this verse countless times, at the end of each recitation of the five stanzas, permanently ingrained in my mind that all beings are created by One God alone. My mother's further explanation of this, made me understand the mutual relationship of all beings. It helped me to adopt an attitude of love towards all and enmity towards none. It inspired me to do the service to the society, to help the needy, and in turn provided me a life full of peace, tranquillity, and progress. By God's Grace, I have been bestowed upon whatever I needed and achieved whatever I desired. Hence my personal experience has given a firm belief that God exists and cares for all. I found that if you meditate on True Name, real peace is found at heart. I have never found Him wanting when I needed Him. I have got all whatever I wanted because of His blessing and have nothing to crib. Above all, He has provided me continuous peace for doing all that I am capable to do, e.g. to do research related to Sikhism and its philosophy, even at this age.
Dr. Singh: Karl Marx, the German philosopher, and economist, once said that "Religion is the opium of the people." Is Sikh Philosophy a new variety of this opium?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh Religion is a different variety altogether. It is not opium. It is a way of living in harmony with nature and remembrance of God while performing the duties of a householder, without submitting to any ritualism or doing any hard penance in secluded places.
Dr. Singh: Sikh Philosophy is 550 years’ old, do we need it in the twenty-first century? Why should scientists care about Sikh Philosophy?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh thought is evergreen, even though physically the Sikh thought process is about 522 years old. Sikh Philosophy was developed after Nanak declared Himself as the messenger of God, after his enlightenment during a bath in river Vein, in around 1498 AD. It has been developed scientifically, giving very valuable guidance to all (including scientists), even though science was at its infancy stage at that time. It is capable to guide us all in the present time as well as in the future.
Dr. Singh: In comparison to other religious schools of thought, where do you place Sikh philosophy?
Dr. Grewal: Sikh Philosophy is a pragmatic philosophy for the welfare of whole humanity. It is relevant to the present times as well to the future. It propagates meditation while leading a householder's life and being an active participant in society. It shuns hard penance in secluded places, as promoted by various other religions. Sikh Philosophy being the newest caters to the needs of the present world and is not yet affected by the infirmities, which most of the other religions have developed over time.
Dr. Singh: Thanks, Col. (Dr.) Dalvinder Singh Grewal! for sparing your time to share your incisive views on Sikh theology and Sikh doctrines.