Religion and Equality
Today I want to share with you some reflections that I have on life.
I was just recording a podcast with a friend the other day and he asked me a question about religion; whether I grew up with religion, and that was a very beautiful reflection that I want to share with you today.
So as most of you already know, I grew up in India, where we have many different religions. And I come from a Sikh religion, which is actually not even a religion. It was started by a teacher, called Guru Nanak and his intention was to bring Hindus and Muslims together. He was teaching about equality, which still rings true 600 years later when we’re all still talking about equality. And that was what he was teaching.
People followed him because his teachings were fascinating and it was passed on from one teacher to another. And of course with time, things get distorted. But equality is the fundamental aspect of his teachings.
Let me give you a few examples. Back in the day, women were treated unequally to men and so the Guru tried to bring equality to both genders. He also tried to bring equality amongst races and different caste members.
Men in Sikhism would all carry the last name Singh, which means “Warrior” or “Lion”, and all the women are supposed to have the last name Kaur, which means “Princess”.
The Guru invited his followers to use these last names so that people will then not be identified by their caste name, in a united effort to bring forth equality. Sikhs worshipping at the Gurdwara, the Sikhs place of worship would sit and eat together. It doesn’t matter if you’re a king or a CEO, janitor or a beggar, everybody would sit together and eat the same food. Why, you could have a billionaire washing the floors in the Gurdwara!
Every time I go to a Gurdwara, it opens my heart because as I get older, I have embraced the teachings of Guru Nanak more and more.
Now, with everything that is going on in the world, I wanted to talk about this. About equality and how this topic and this issue has been present since forever. Even today we’re struggling with it.
My wish is that the human race would get it, that we’re all equal, no matter what the colour, the race or the gender, we’re all humans and we have the right to live a happy, happy life.