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For Sikh Friends

To My Sikh Friend, With Love

"Asato ma sat gamaya (From illusion lead me to Truth)

Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya (From darkness lead me to Light)

Mrityur ma amritam gamaya (From death lead me to Eternal Life)"

"Bryhad Aranyak Upanishad 1.3.28"

Driven by Separation

This familiar prayer from Hindu Scripture expresses the spiritual need of every human being. Every person who is honestly searching for peace with God will admit that there is within him an irresistible compulsion to do the things he knows he should not do, and that there is a lack of inner strength to do the good that he should do. The resulting undesirable acts are collectively called sin, which has broken off our close communion with God, thereby stripping away the immortality He had entrusted to the first human beings He had created. When they sinned, their bodies became spiritually contaminated and subject to death, while their poisoned souls became condemned to an eternity of misery away from the Holy Creator. This eternal separation of man's soul from God's glorious presence is described in the Bible, the Qur'an, and the Rig Ved (4.5.5 & 7.104.3); the Bible calls it hell. These two physical and spiritual death sentences have been inherited by us all, leaving in us a spiritual emptiness which is hopeless and oppressive. We yearn with an uneasy spiritual hunger for a way to achieve immortality because finding that way will bring us hope and lasting inner peace. This hunger for assurance is familiar to every true spiritual seeker. Kathopanishad 1:12-26 states it this way: "no gift is equal to that of knowing about eternal life which follows our physical death".

In a mental flash, the true seeker faces many conflicting theories about life after death. Reasonably, only one can be true, and the devoted seeker will be given the inner strength by God Almighty to reject all else. The Founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, said to Sheikh Ibrahim (a renowned Sufi Muslim): "If there is one God, then there is only His way to attain Him, not another. One must follow that way and reject the others". About two thousand years earlier, David (King of the Israelites) had declared in Psalms 18:30: "As for God, His way is perfect". In Psalms 119:89, David declared that God does not change His counsel: "Forever, O Lord, your Word is established firmly in Heaven". Two thousand years ago, this way to immortality was presented to mankind in the person of Jesus Christ who declared: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (eternal); no man can come to the Father except through me". The validity of this claim comes from the absolute superhuman authority he demonstrated over the wind, the sea, the demons, illnesses, blindness, and death -- true miracles.

Many other religious teachers (rabbis, pundits, maulanas, prophets, etc) through the ages have claimed to be or to know other ways of escape from this eternity of horror. Each of them is revered as a guru (a Sanskrit word loosely translated as "teacher") on the basis of their seemingly supernatural experiences or profound philosophy. But these experiences or philosophies could hardly satisfy even physical hunger: how could they soothe our spiritual hunger? In spite of many ever-increasing and captivating stories and teachings about him, Guru Nanak himself lamented: "I have spent days and nights in vanity, contemplating evil. Never have I thought of good; this is what I am" (Tilang).

Therefore, our destiny hangs precariously on the question: "Is there a Supreme Guru who can liberate us mortals from spiritual illusion, darkness, and eternal suffering?" Graciously, the answer is a resounding "Yes"!

Meaning of Guru

The Sanskrit word "Guru" is defined in the Advayatarakopanishad (16): "The sound Gu means darkness. Ru means its destroyer. He who destroys darkness is called Guru ". Gurugeet (verse 44) is more specific: "Gu means darkness. Ru is manifested as light. Doubtlessly, Guru is God who destroys the darkness of ignorance." These verses declare that there is only one Guru: God Himself! Advayatarakopanishad (17 and 18) presents the superlative character of Guru this way: "Guru Himself is param Brahma (the Supreme God), paraa gati (the Supreme Way), paraa vidya (the Supreme Knowledge), paraayanam (the Supreme Access), paraa kashta (the Supreme climax), and param dhanam (the Supreme Wealth)".

Here Supreme means absolute and exclusive. Therefore, all the above absolute and exclusive qualities establish God as the only true Guru (confirmed in Gurugeet 1:79). Bryhad Aranyak Upanishad 1:3:28 further defines darkness as death, and light as life. Guru therefore is the one exclusive God who alone can conquer spiritual death and give us eternal life. By this definition also, Guru is not at the mercy of death, but He has the power to court death and overcome it at His will. What a great Guru! His power over death can give us hope of eternal life with Him.

Mind Warp

Just as darkness in a room distorts our senses, so too spiritual darkness produces spiritual illusion which overshadows and controls every person born under its influence. Spiritual darkness cannot illuminate itself because it has no inherent light. It's enemy is spiritual light, and it seeks to discredit and destroy spiritual truth (enlightenment) by any means possible, especially by crafty and deceptive philosophy. Just as the magician's "miracles" mystify the educated and the uneducated equally, the rich and the poor equally, and the strong and the weak equally, so too spiritual darkness blinds everyone equally, regardless of social, academic, political, or economic standing. It is no wonder that some self-appointed gurus seduce followers of every background with worthless magical "miracles" such as materializing jewelry from thin air! Disciples are turned into fanatics because they are constantly bombarded with the old fallacy that "seeing is believing", and they are sternly discouraged from making any enlightened inquiry into what they "see", lest they unravel the illusion and escape from it.

Illusion by Design

Spiritual deceit is very convincing also when disguised with a few elements of truth. Unrivaled deceit is like the live fish bait which hides the hook from view! Only by careful scrutiny can the hook be discovered and avoided. So too, only the whole truth can lead one to a safe, prudent conclusion. Half truths are whole lies which can be deadly!

Cunningly, once cornered with the real truth, these gurus spring another popular deception to keep their disciples captive: they welcome the real truth as only one among the many "truths" that supposedly exist. Pretending to simplify life for their followers, they then state that discarding their belief for another one makes no sense and it also causes unnecessary disturbance. They may also make the high sounding claim that their religion is the best because of its universality and its tolerance of other persuasions! This claim, however, is a simple fallacy (non sequitur argument) and it has neither merit nor power to provide spiritual hope. The truth is that their eagerness to embrace and incorporate conflicting views betrays a serious mental and spiritual insecurity at best, and at worst, a treacherous agenda to keep people away from the whole truth. Furthermore, reasonable persons will agree that tolerance of a lie is not a virtue: it is cowardice. On the other hand, it takes genuine hunger to commit to the truth, and tremendous bravery to contend against malicious deception.

How then does one escape the treacheries of spiritual darkness? The answer comes readily from the above truths: one will be liberated from deceptions by exposing oneself to the glorious Light of the Supreme Guru.

Knowing Gurureva

Kathopanishad 3:15 says that the person who knows God will escape Hell. However, it also says that God cannot be known through our senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Kathopanishad 2:23 also warns that Guru (Param Atma) cannot be known through "many explanations, nor by the intellect, nor by much learning". So Guru's teachings cannot give us immortality: but He Himself imparts it to us in a miraculous way (he is Para Gati). The Bible states: " God is the Lord, who has shown us the light" (Psalms 118:26). It also states: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... In Him was life; and the life was the light for men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness overcame it not ... He was the true Light ... He was in the world ... and the world did not recognize Him ... But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God ...not by the will of man, but by God " (John 1:1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13). Who might He be?

Virtues of Guru

By His very nature, Guru's essential purpose is to dispel the spiritual darkness in which mankind is stumbling about on its way to hell. Guru's choice is to reveal Himself to us and to shed the light of His countenance in and around us. But because man's perception is largely limited to the physical senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste), Guru must present himself in physical form, and He must demonstrate his divine virtues so that we may distinguish him from any counterfeits. Guru will demonstrate omnipotence (all powerful), omniscience (all knowing), and omnipresence. He is without sin, and his wisdom is eternally sound. His miraculous deeds are indisputable and cannot be duplicated by human aptitude: for example, restoring a withered hand or raising the dead with verifiable proof. His sovereignty in his universe is supreme, to the extent that all of creation obeys him. Knowing every detail of the future, only He can give and fulfill specific and clear prophesies unlike the vague, predictable predictions of human counterfeit gurus. Most crucial for mankind, the Supreme Guru's perfect love will demonstrate the one victorious way of escape from the jaws of eternal hell.

Review: The Supreme Guru

So far we know that there is only one Guru: the Supreme Guru. He is God himself. He alone is the answer to our cry for Spiritual Light, Spiritual Truth, and Eternal Life. These three together constitute salvation (rescue) from the effects of sin, namely spiritual illusion, spiritual darkness, and eternal separation from Him. Simply knowing about Supreme Guru does not bring salvation, but He Himself performs the miracle of salvation (mukti) in us. Mankind's most critical need is a close relationship with our Supreme Guru: this removes the spiritual emptiness we experience. It is He who restores this relationship, granting us salvation and a home in His heaven when we leave this earthly body.

After Death, What?

It may be a surprise to many that the Bible, the Qur'an, the Vedas, and the Upanishads are in much agreement concerning this question. The Bible gives the most detailed account of what follows death. It states: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Human finite time ceases when the soul leaves the human body. The next conscious event for the soul is God's judgment. According to the Bible, the souls which had been cleansed from sin beforehand will be accepted into God's holy and perfect heaven forever (eternal life). As for those who are still alive when God comes to put an end to this earth, they will be "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" and given immortal bodies and will go home to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). That is the precious hope which our Supreme Guru gives us, and through it He fills our hearts with peace even on earth. On the other hand, the souls which had not been cleansed will be rejected by God and will be cast into eternal hell with the wicked Satan (Shaitaan ). This is because God cannot tolerate sin in His holy heaven.

The Qur'an says simply that Jesus will return to earth and that heaven and hell will be eternal, but it also refers us to the Bible for the complete picture. God's complete revelation was given in the Bible, and according to the Qur'an, it cannot be changed. It states that God would insure that the Bible would be protected from corruption: "We have, without doubt sent down Revelation; And We will assuredly guard it from corruption " [Sura 15:9]. Through God's power and will to preserve His Word (Kalaam), the above Biblical account has remained unchanged, and He will bring it to pass.

One might be surprised that reincarnation has not been mentioned until now. The fact is that the Vedas and Upanishads do not teach reincarnation, but rather resurrection. This is discussed in our publication "From Darkness into the Glorious Light" . The Rig Ved and Upanishads say that God is the Supreme Guru and the Creator of the universe; He took human form and sacrificed Himself to pay for man's sins; then He resurrected (not reincarnated) Himself and returned to heaven. He is called "Purush Prajapati" in Bryhad Aranyak Upanishad 3.9.28.4-5 and Kathopanishad 3. Nowhere in the Vedas and Upanishads is reincarnation stated: it is a mistranslation by the writers to whom the concept of resurrection was too strange to understand and describe. It is by the same power of the Purush Prajapati's resurrection that we shall be resurrected as described above!

Guru's Blessings

The most vital blessing we receive from Param Guru is eternal life or immortality (amritam). But there are other blessings which accompany this spiritual deliverance. He imparts to us true, lasting peace while we face the adversities of life in this body. He gives us his strength to overcome the sinful tendency of the flesh. He imparts to us his wisdom which enables us to live wisely. He gives us knowledge of his Truth which prevents us from being deceived. He allows us to speak with him directly, to express our love for him. He supplies all our needs, including an unspeakable joy which overflows even in hardship. He does not promise us material excess, but He teaches us to be content in every situation because He is with us. Material wealth is a secondary blessing which is to be invested in sharing the Good News about the Supreme Guru with others. Our Supreme Guru grants us these gifts because of his supreme love for us. Time will come to an end for all; then our most precious blessing will be realized forever and ever.

Who Is He?

Who is this Supreme Guru who came reaching down to mankind? Who is this Supreme Guru who demonstrated that He has power over death by conquering it? Which historical figure has demonstrated such love; was sinless while manifested in human form; paid for man's sins by a self-sacrifice; forgave evil doers; resurrected himself; and imparts His divine peace to those who come to Him? Who did the scriptures say is the God who will return to earth only one more time? The Holy Bible declares all these as attributes of only one historical figure: Jesus the Messiah (Christ). The Vedas and Upanishads describe these attributes which point only to Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible. The Qur'an points, by reference, to Jesus the Messiah (Savior). There is amazing agreement in these texts: especially amazing since our Muslim and Hindu friends are taught that Jesus the Messiah is not the only way to eternal life. The following table presents only a few of the many points of agreement which declare Jesus to be the Supreme Guru. Note that only the Holy Bible gives the complete revelation of God: it prophesied His human advent (Autaar) as the self-sacrifice and also His resurrection, and then gave account of their detailed fulfilment. Excitingly, it also contains detailed prophesies of events which will herald His return: unimaginable prophesies which are being fulfilled before our very eyes! Our Supreme Guru loves us so much that He gave us these clear signposts to look for.

Holy Bible

Vedas/Upanishads

Qur'an

Man's sinful nature

Agree

Agree

Innocent Blood sacrifice

Agree

Agree

Animal sacrifice symbol

Agree

Agree

Symbol is spotless lamb

Agree

Agree

God sinless in flesh

Agree

Agree by reference*

Only Jesus was sinless

Agree by attribute

Agree by name

God's self-sacrifice

Agree

Agree by reference

Sacrifice for sins

Agree

Agree by reference

God resurrected Himself

Agree

Agree by reference

Exclusive way to salvation

Agree

Agree by reference

God returning once more

Agree

Agree by name/reference

Self-sacrifice before creation

Agree

Agree by reference

Sacrifice on earth

Incomplete History

Agree by reference

Jesus' resurrection

Incomplete History

Agree by reference

Jesus is God's Word

Incomplete History

Agree by name

Only Jesus can redeem

Agree by attribute

Agree by reference

Jesus Christ, the Supreme Guru.

Clearly, history presents Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of every prophesy concerning the Savior of mankind, and as manifesting every divine attribute written in scriptures. No wonder only he had the authority to declare: "I am the Way, the Truth , and the Life; no man can come to the Father except by me" (John 14:6). He is the only answer to the plea for "Sat" (Truth), "Jyotir" (Light which shows the Way), and "Amritam" (Eternal Life). Only He could say: "I am the Light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life " (John 8:12). He is the Truth which lights the path to eternal life (Satya Prakash).

Jesus: Sat Naam

His name was not given by chance: it is the name of Truth and salvation. The angel told Mary, the human instrument through whom God would come to earth as a human being: "You shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Jesus demonstrates all the virtues of the Supreme Truth and of the Supreme Guru: He is the true Sat Nam. The Holy Bible presents numerous indisputable divine miracles in which Jesus the Christ himself commanded diseases to heal, the dead to return to life, demons to flee, and storms to cease. Calling on this Name brings salvation: "Neither in there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved" (Acts 4:12). "But as many as received him, to them gave he (Jesus) power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name" (John 1:12). Praying in Jesus' name gives us special privilege: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name, that will I (Jesus) do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). Reciting Jesus' Name brings peace and deliverance from the powers of darkness. Demons tremble before His Name: "(Demon in a possessed man) ... with a loud voice said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, thou Son of God Most High? I beseech you, torment me not" (Luke 8:28). Jesus is indeed proven to be the true Sat Nam: proved by the living, by the dead, by the storm, by demons and Shaitaan (Satan), and by millions of transformed lives across the world throughout history! Many people use His name for their convenience but do not yield themselves to His transforming power: they do not live as Christians ought to. But you can personally experience His divine power if you invite Him into your heart.

Promise of Our Supreme Guru

God, our Supreme Guru, knows that all the goodly deeds performed by man's sin-soiled hands appear tarnished in His holy eyes. The Holy Bible says: "We are all unclean, and all our good deeds are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Mankind is doomed by sin, without hope of escaping hell. The exciting news is this: "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son (his incarnation as a son), that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (immortality)" (John 3:16). Romans 6:23 presents the choice we have: "For the wages of sin is death (eternal hell); but the gift of God (forgiveness of sins) is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord ". This is the purpose of our Supreme Guru: why else would there be a Guru except to do what His name defines?

Why not simply accept this precious, priceless gift from God just as you do any other gift? Why try to work for what you cannot earn? Salvation is not for sale: it is our Supreme Guru's gift of love and grace. He paid the price for you. To reject him is to refuse your only hope for eternal life. John 3:18-19 declares: "He that believes on him (Jesus) is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (God's incarnation as a son). And this is the condemnation: that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were evil."

This same Jesus said: "I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" (John 10:17,18). History submits that " Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). It was the Lord Jesus who gave himself for our sins. The Holy Bible calls Him by many other names such as Messiah, Christ (Savior), Emmanuel (God with us), The Way, The Truth, The Life, the Light of the World, the Resurrection and the Life, King of kings, and Lord of lords: all these names describe qualities of the Supreme Guru. It is only the Lord Jesus who loves hell-bound sinners. It is only the Lord Jesus who can provide eternal life through His blood which He shed as payment for our sin-cursed souls. This same Jesus patiently waits for you to come to Him. Hear his tender, compassionate words in John 10:9-15: "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture ... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep ... I lay down my life for the sheep".

Your Day of Decision

Dear friend, you have seen the mystery of salvation as fulfilled in the Lord Jesus, God incarnate. His gift of eternal life requires only that you embrace it. But a Holy and just God cautions: "How shall we escape (Hell) if we neglect so great salvation?" The whole Truth is detailed in the Holy Bible, and yet only God can make it perceptible to the human heart. God explains in 1 Corinthians 2:14: "But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them (things of God) because they are spiritually discerned (understood)". But God will fill your heart with His Truth if you let Him into your life as you read His Word. The Lord Jesus says: " Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). One cannot rely upon man-made philosophies, rituals and religious figureheads which cannot soothe even physical hunger, much less spiritual hunger. Only the Lord Jesus, who resurrected Himself, can give you eternal life. The great Indian philosopher and President of India, Dr. Radhakrishnanan, understood this truth; that's why he recommended the Holy Bible to a student admirer of his at the brink of suicide, the scholarly P. Sudhakar (nephew of Dr. Krishna Menon, Chief Minister). Mr. Sudhakar had previously ignored the Holy Bible as folly, but it was then revealed to him by God as redeeming Truth, and it saved him from suicide and Hell. This Dr. Paul Sudhakar became a faithful preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he led numerous Brahmin priests and other Hindus and Sikhs from all over India to the Lord Jesus. Sadhu Sundar Singh and Bakht Singh are two noteworthy servants of the Supreme Guru, the Lord Jesus Christ. But even long before that (two thousand years ago and before Christianity reached Europe and the western world), the Apostle Thomas had taken this Good News of salvation (mukti) to Kerala, South India; there, thousands of Brahmin priests and others rejoiced as they received the assurance of mukti through Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus Christ will do the same for you right now.

God's Promise

Jesus promises that "he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out " (John 6:37). He promised: "I go to prepare a place for you (in heaven). And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3). But He also cautioned in John 5:28-29: "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good (accepted the gift of God), (will come forth) unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (hell)". The decision to accept or reject His supreme sacrifice for your sins can be made only while you still live in this body.

In Matthew 24, Jesus gave us many signs of His coming at the end of Kaliyug: signs which we see all around us today! These events continue to provide undeniable proof that the Lord Jesus is the Divine Truth in person, and they also alert us to the uncertainty of tomorrow. That is why God counsels us in Psalms 95:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 6:2: "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart"; "behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation". Do you humbly and sincerely seek the answer to your prayer for Truth, Light, and Eternal Life? Come to Jesus: only He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

" Asato ma sat gamaya": Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6; John 8:32).

" Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya": Jesus is the Light (John 8:12).

" Mrityur ma amritam gamaya": Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25).

Invite the Lord Jesus into your life; speak to Him even in a simple prayer such as this:

"Dear Lord Jesus: I am sorry that I have sinned against you. Please forgive me and wash me clean with your blood that you shed for me. Make me your child, and help me to live only for you. Thank you for a home in heaven. Teach me your promises as I read the Holy Bible, so that I will be able to tell others about your love. Lord Jesus, I pray in your most Holy Name".

Dear Friend, may you come to the Lord Jesus: He will forgive your sins, make you His own child, free you from all spiritual bondage, prepare for you a home in heaven, and return to take you to your home in Heaven (this is the last appearance of God, according to the Bible, Qur'an, and Vedas!).

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