Gurmat & Christianity

How is the Christian and Sikh concepts of God different?

The Christians believe that Lord Christ himself was God and there is no other God except him. This was first declared a long time ago by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The Council concluded that Jesus Christ was “Very God of very God”. Christ himself is reported as having said”, I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

The Bible however also seems to testify that God had human origin. In Romans 1:3 we read,” Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh “Again in John 1:45 it is clearly stated that Jesus Christ was “The son of Joseph”.

The human characteristics of Christian God are pretty clear in the Bible itself (John 4:6). He was hungry (Matthew 4:2 & 21:18 and Mark 11:12),37 angry (Mark 11:-12-13), and was wearied (John 4:6) like us. He learned like us (Luke 2:52), loved (Mark 10:21) like us, prayed like us (Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:12), and experienced depressions (John 11:-35) like us. He worked like us (Mark 6:3) and paid taxes (Matthew 22:21) like us. He was also sorrowful (Matthew 26:37-38) like all humans. He even wept (John 11:35) “And Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost” (Mark 15:37). Like all humans he also died.
(John 19:33).

At the time of crucifixion Jesus prayed, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me” (Matt 27:46). It would seem that Jesus himself regarded God as a separate entity otherwise why should He seek help from another God when He Himself was God.

The Sikh View According to the Sikh belief there is only one God and He is not born. He is not human and does not suffer from human failings of tiredness, sleep, and hunger etc. There is none else like Him. He can be seen only through the mind’s eye.

ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਨਾ ਤਿਸ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਨਾਰੀ ||
ਅਕੁਲ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਅਪਰ ਪਰੰਪਰ ਸਗਲੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ || (ਪੰਨਾ ੫੯੭)
“He has no mother, father, sons, or relatives; He is free of sexual desire; He has no wife and no ancestry. He is immaculate, infinite, and endless. His light is pervading everywhere.”
(Ang 597)

ਤਿਸਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੀਕੁ ਨ ਦੀਸੈ ਕੋਈ ਆਪੇ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰਾ ਹੇ ||
“He has no rival and is infinite and endless”
(Ang 597)

The Guru further says,
ਏਕਮ ਏਕੰਕਾਰ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ || ਅਮਰ ਅਜੋਨੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਲਾ ||
ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ || ਖੋਜਤ ਖੋਜਤ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ || (ਪੰਨਾ ੮੩੮)
“The One Universal Creator is unique, immortal, unborn, beyond social class or involvement. He is inaccessible and unfathomable, with no form or feature. My search ended when I saw Him present in every thing.”
(Ang 838)

ਸਗਲ ਪਰਾਧ ਦੇਹਿ ਲੋਰੋਨੀ ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਜੋਨੀ ||
ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ || (ਪੰਨਾ ੧੧੩੬)
“You seek God in human form — this is the source of all your sins. Let that mouth be burnt, which says that our Lord and Master is subject to birth. He is not born, and He does not die; He does not come and go in reincarnation. Nanak believes that God is pervading and permeating everywhere.”
(Ang 1136)

To say that ‘a certain human is God’ is a heresy according to Sikhi. The very basic concept of Sikhi is ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ “He does not have to be in the womb. He is self-existent.”(Ang 1)

One wonders how the Christian scholars interpret “No one has ever seen God, the one and only, who is at the Father’s side”. (John 1:18)

ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਬਿਆਪਕ ਪੂਰਕ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਈ || ਮਾਇਆ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਤ ਬਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ || ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ || ਸੂਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਮਣਿ ਸਤ ਸਹੰਸ ਜੈਸੇ ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ || ਰਹਾਉ || ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਫੇਨ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਭਿੰਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ || ਇਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਆਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ || ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਪਨ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਸਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ||ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮਨਸਾ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੀ ਜਾਗਤ ਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ || ੩ || ਕਹਤ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ || ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਏਕ ਮੁਰਾਰੀਂ ||੪||੧|| (ਪੰਨਾ ੪੮੫)
“In the one and in the many, He is pervading and permeating; wherever I look, there He is. The marvellous image of Maya is so fascinating; how few understand this. God is everything, God is everything. Without God, there is nothing at all. As one thread holds hundreds and thousands of beads, He is woven into His creation. The waves of the water, the foam, and the bubbles, are not distinct from water. This manifested world is the playful game of the Supreme Lord God. Reflecting upon it, we find that the world is not separated from Him. Man considers the false doubts and dreams as real and true. The Guru has instructed me to try to do good deeds, and my awakened mind has accepted this. Says Naam Dev, see the creation of the Lord, and reflect upon it in your heart. In each and every heart, and deep within the very nucleus of all, is the One Lord.”