Dear Editor,

I would like to point out the basic differences between Hinduism (Brahmanism) and Sikhism which will help most of the Sikhs to understand as to why right from the birth of Sikhism Brahmanism has been against it and has considered Sikhism a real threat to their existence. It will help us rationalize the circumstance prevailing in India today. The war against Sikhism has been going on for over 500 years. It did not start just 37 years ago as is commonly understood.

To understand Brahmanism one has to refer to Manu Smriti which was written in about 100 A.D. According to Manu Smriti; “A Brahman is born to fulfill Dharma. Whatever exists in the world is the property of Brahman. On account of the excellence of his origin he is entitled to all. The Brahman eats but his own food, wears but his own clothes. All mortals subsist through the benevolence of the Brahman.”

“Let a Brahman be ignorant or learned, still he is a great deity. To Brahman, the three worlds and the gods owe their existence. Thus though Brahmans employ themselves in all mean occupations, they must be honored in every way, for each of them is a great deity.”

“Let the king after rising early in the morning worship Brahmans who are well-versed in the threefold sacred science and learned in policy and accept their advice.”’

“Brahman is the root of sacred law. By his origin alone he is a deity even for gods and his world is authoritative for men.”

 “When a learned Brahman has found treasure deposited in former times he may take even the whole of it, for he is master of everything. When the king finds treasure of gold concealed in the ground, let him give one half to Brahmans and place the other half in his treasury.

”Brahmans should not be taxed and should be maintained by the state.” A Brahman is allowed to marry four wives, a Vaishya two wives and a Sudra one wife only, according to Manu. “The Brahmans are ready to take gifts, thirsty after drinking soma, hungry of eating food and ready to roam about everywhere according to their pleasure. They formed a fraternity.

“In contrast to Brahmanism Guru Gobind Singh gave the Sikhs a religious, social and political constitution which has served to hold them together as a United Community ever since. Guru Gobind Singh welcomed the departure of incorrigibles who clung to their old customs and castes, and in their place, admitted thousands of humble peasant’s and hill tribes who were thus enabled to realize their manhood and became the respectable citizens of the Khalsa State.

The chief articles of faith and discipline of the Sikhs are:

  1. They must believe in only one Immortal God.
  2. 2, They must not Worship idols, cemeteries, trees, or spirits, are They must ever help
  3. Poor and protect those who sought their protection.
  4. They must have no distinctions of caste or class or profession and must seem themselves members of one family.
  5. They must practice the use of arms, must wear arms constantly, must never flee before an enemy, and must be prepared to die for the cause of truth and justice.
  6. They must lead a pure life of chastity, moderation, discipline, benevolent actions and dedication to God and the nation.
  7. The central committee called the Khalsa was to be the final authority in all matters.
  8. The teachings of the ten Gurus embodied in the Guru Granth Sahib were to be their religious text.
  9. Any five Sikhs could meet and give initiation to others and take them into their fold.
  10. Women were to have all the consolations of religion which men enjoyed.
  11. Everyone was to live by honest labor and shun the company of idlers and wicked men:
  12. As a sign of the new life they have entered, all Sikhs were to be known as Singhs (lions).
  13. The main teachings of Sikh Guru’s worship of one god, equality and recognition of human brotherhood, stand as a challenge to and defiance of Brahmanism. In understanding the major difference one can easily rationalize as to why Brahmanism has been always trying to assimilate or eliminate Sikhism. Now it is up to the Sikhs everywhere in the world to either practice what Guru Gobind Singh Ji has taught for self-protection or be eliminated or assimilated forever. To protect oneself is a fundamental and basic human right, we should not be afraid to practice this.


Yours truly,

Gurinder Singh Grewal



Article extracted from this publication >> January 18, 1985