Sikhism View on Good and Evil
Sikhism is a religion just like any others that we have on earth, with varied teachings and beliefs. Thus, it should be noted that the view of Sikhism on good and evil are inclined to the teachings and beliefs of the religion. Sikhism teaches that everything that happens is Hukam, the will of God (Waheguru). People should live their lives in obedience to the will of God. It goes further to point out that God created everything and gave people free will.
On the other hand, Sikhism operates on the belief that there is no original sin or Satan. We are currently in the age of sin when evil is likely to flourish. Human are inherently prone to succumb to temptations. God created all and gave people free will. Evil is permitted as a test of character of humanity and the faithfulness of the victims of evil. Sikhism requires that Godless evildoers are to be avoided.
According to the teaching of Sikhism, suffering that is viewed as evil, is not inflicted directly by God but is permitted by Him as a test of courage and faith of a believer. Suffering is appreciated for the good that it often brings out in humanity like compassion. It is the actions of a person that are responsible for their suffering. Only humans have the knowledge between right and wrong or good and evil, and are able to make choices that are morally upright. Therefore, it is only when the soul is in a human being that the cycle can be broken. Freedom from this cycle of rebirth is known as mukti.
Good actions, according to Sikhism, do lead to good karma. However, Guru Nanak preached that the birth is due to the karma of a person, but the final liberation (mukti) is as a result of the grace of God. There are several things that can hinder the soul from reaching the final liberation, which is mukti. These include pride (hankar), lust or desire (kam), anger (karodh), greed (lobh), being too attached to the world (moh), being self-centered instead of God-centered (manmukh) and illusion (maya). Sikhs are always encouraged to live without these influences and devote their lives to sewa, selfless services to others.
The teachings of the Sikh Gurus do not dogmatize, nor do they specify any moral injunctions that are permanently demarcated like, ‘Thou shall not kill’ or ‘Thou shall not steal.’ Instead, the ethical code which is indicated throughout the scriptures naturally arises out of a few simple fundamental ideas which are common to all human society. The main idea is to love God’s name and most importantly, to desire union with Him. Sikhism asserts that man is not fundamentally evil, but basically and originally good. However, this good is overshadowed when man is under the influence of evil, thus man is constrained to rediscover it during the course of human life. This effort of mankind is rewarded by the grace of God.
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