Caste and Sikhs: Why Such a Big Deal ?

Sikhism respectfully disagrees with the Hindu practice of caste system. Without any doubt the caste system has separated the mankind. Sikhism instructs to consider all humans equal, regardless of their class, color, race, gender or religion.

Sikh Gurus have been strong supporter of equality and rejected the separation among mankind. “Your Light is the light in all beings, O Creator. All Your Expanse are True” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1314). God’s light (soul) is within all and there is no difference between the souls of the humans from different races or castes.

Furthermore, “All beings and creatures are His; He belongs to all” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 425). God does not love based on one’s caste or color, He loves all, He belongs to all. In addition, “Recognize the Lord’s Light (Spirit) within all, and do not consider social class or status; there are no classes or castes in the world hereafter” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 349). Bhai Gurdas Ji writes “The special feature of the Sikh of the Guru is that he goes beyond the framework of caste-classification and moves in humility. Then his labor becomes acceptable at the door of God” (The Vaars of Bhai Gurdas Ji, 1).

Sikh Gurus made every attempt possible to eliminate the caste system. Langar was established where all people gather to eat food while sitting together at the same level on the floor, as there is nothing lower than the floor. Furthermore, by knowing the last name one could distinguish which caste the person is from, Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave all Sikh men the last name “Singh” and all Sikh women the last name “Kaur” so that no one can distinguish anyone’s caste. Everyone is considered equal in Sikhism

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