God is one, but the ways to reach him are many!
This central thought in the Gita, has also been the dearly held ideal of Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani – an ideal which is upheld by Rev. Dada J.P Vaswani, the metor and spiritual head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission.
It is in this spirit of reverence and admiration that Rev. Dada offers for our reading, his own distinct tribute to the Great Sikh Gurus who have always been a tremendous sources of inspiration to him and his ancestors. This book is much more than a biographical account of the great Masters; nor is it another compendium of their invaluable teaching. Rav. Dada’s stated wish is to talk about them and the values for which they stood, values which were translated into thoughts and words and deeds in their life and teachings.
Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani urged every young Indian to become a sipahi in the service of his country and his faith; the great Sikh Gurus are soldier saints whose lives were not divorced from action and the service of society. Reading about them in Rev. Dada’s inimitable account is sure to inspire you with the same ideals! They gave to the world not another dogmatic faith, but a way of life which we would do well to emulate!
Salutations to the great Gurus!
Mentored, guided, blessed and moulded by
Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani, I have always held the
great Masters of all Faiths in great respect. As it seems to
me, no other writer, no other spiritual leader has written
so extensively on the great Ones of East and West. Sadhu
Vaswani studied their lives, imbibed the best of their
teachings and shared the essence of their wisdom with
one and all, through his inspired discourses and brilliant
written works. He wrote with equal fervour of Jesus
Christ and Prophet Muhammad; of Gautama Buddha and
Mahavira; of Kabir and Chaitanya; of Rabia and Mira; of
Guru Nanak and Sri Ramakrishna; of Adi Shankara and
St. Francis; of Tukaram and St. Augustine - of scores of
saints and sages, belonging to all countries, races and
He believed in the unity of all races and religions, in the
One Spirit. His heart rose in reverence for all saints and
prophets of East and West. "My religious philosophy," he
said, "is theomonoistic. My reverence for Krishna and the
Buddha and Christ and Nanak is top deep for words. And
I have learnt, not without some study and meditation, to
salute Muhammad among the Prophets of God."
And again, "There are so many who can believe only
one thing at a time. I am so made as to rejoice in the many
and behold the beauty of the One in the many. Hence
my natural affinity to many religions: in them all I see
revelations of the One Spirit. And deep in my heart is the
conviction that I am a servant of all Prophets."
His life was radiant with the great truth of fellowship
with all creation. "The creation of God," he said, "is bound
by golden chains to the feet of the One God, the One
Divine Father of us all."
Thus spoke the soul of Sind!
My native land, Sind, on the banks of the Vedic Sindhu
river, was the cradle of one of the world's greatest
civilisations. Sind was not only the birthplace of the Rig
Veda. It was also the land of fakirs and dervishes, of pirs
and dargahs, of Sufi poetry immortalised by Shah Abdul
Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Bedil and Bekas. Here, saints and
sages, poets and prophets lived together, contributing to
its rich heritage in religion, culture, literature and art.
Situated on the margin of both the Indian subcontinent
and the lands lying to its west, it was, in the long course
of its history, influenced by events on both sides of its
In the sixteenth century the teachings of Guru Nanak
reached Sind. Oral tradition has it that Guru Nanak
visited Shikarpur, in northern Sind, in the course of
his wanderings. His bani, drawn from Sufi mystics, the
Bhakti saints of India and from his own experiences
and realisations, touched the hearts of all who heard
it. Like the Sufis, Guru Nanak rejected the differences
of caste, used music and song to express His devotion
and preached about the importance of the Guru in the
language of the people. Like them too, He broke away
from the orthodox stream of His own religious tradition
and acted as a bridge between the Hindus and the
Muslims. To this day, most Sindhi Hindus revere the Guru
Granth Sahib as their sacred text.
As we know, the word Sikh is derived from the
Sanskrit word, Sishya. Every true Sikh is expected to be a
faithful disciple of his Gurus.
As one who has always regarded himself as a disciple of
all the great ones of East and West, my affinity to the Sikh
faith and the great Sikh Gurus is perhaps understandable!
It is in this spirit of reverence and admiration that I
bring before my readers this humble tribute to the great
Sikh Gurus who have always been a tremendous source
of inspiration to the land of my ancestors. This is not
just meant to be an exhaustive biographical account of
the great Masters, or indeed a comprehensive account of
their invaluable teachings. My wish is to talk about them
and the values for which they stood, values which were
translated into thoughts and words and deeds in their
life and teachings.
Sadhu Vaswani urged every young Indian to become
a sipahi in the service of his country and his faith; the
great Sikh Gurus are soldier saints whose lives were not
divorced from action and the service of society. They gave
to the world not another dogmatic faith, but a way of life
which we would all do well to emulate!
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