Worshipping at the Golden Temple
A Sikh man takes a ritual bath in the Sarovar (pool of sacred water) at Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) at Amritsar in Punjab.
Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
The Second Guru, Guru Angad
Sikhism and Environmental Ethics
Sikhism was founded at the end of the 15th century in India. Its founder Guru Nanak said “Realization of truth is higher than anything else. Higher still is truthful living.” The Sikh Youth Wing states that one of the goals of Sikhism today is to live in harmony with nature and conserve it. (Editor's note)
Let us have a look at Sikhism and see how far it requires greening. I am of the opinion that Sikhism can serve as a model religion for environmentalists. First of all it raises the question of the anthropocentrism found in various religions. Man is the centre of the universe, the entire nature is created for man. Man has to perfect nature. In comparison with this, in Sikhism the Guru says that this world is a play created by God and He is sitting and enjoying it. Nowhere is there any mention that the world has to be perfected by man. God has made the universe as He desired and man is merely part of this universe. He is one actor amongst the other actors. He is superior to the other beings because he has the capacity for self-realization which is lacking in the other beings. But this does not give him the license to spoil or exploit nature. On the contrary Guru Nanak requires of him to become a humble soul and to realize that he is the lowest of the low; just a speck of dust in this universe. Once man realizes this aspect, he becomes humble and has no reason to think of himself as being in charge of the universe.
Thus Guru Nanak sees God in nature. Nature is not God, but God is imminent in nature. Therefore, it is to be loved and admired. It has intrinsic worth. Nature has not been created for man. At the same time in this universe every being is dependent on every other. There is interconnectedness in the entire creation.