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Religious Studies

Sikhism: beliefs about care of the planet

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The relationship between human beings and the earth is increasingly complicated and urgent. Every day there are stories about pollution, global warming and animal species facing extinction. Religion is responding with views on the enviroment and our responsibility for it.

Sikh belief about the environment

Although human beings are seen as the most intelligent life form on earth, they are responsible for almost all the damage done to the planet. If we imagined the earth is aged 46, all the damage done has taken place in the last 60 seconds of the earth's life.

Sikhism is very concerned with the relationship between humanity and the environment. They believe that Waheguru [Waheguru: A Punjabi term used in Sikhism to refer to God. ] created the world as a place where every type of plant and animal could live so that all life could have the chance to prove that it was good enough to reach mukti (liberation from the cycle of birth and death, reincarnation).

Guru Nanak taught:

Nature we seeNature we hearNature we observe with awe, wonder and joyNature in the nether regionsNature in the skiesNature in the whole creation…Nature in species, kinds, coloursNature in life formsNature in good deedsNature in pride and in egoNature in air, water and fireNature in the soil of the earthAll nature is yours, O powerful CreatorYou command it, observe it and pervade within it.(Guru Granth Sahib)

The lives of the Gurus are full of stories of their love for nature. Sikhs are forbidden to kill for the sake of killing or to eat to excess.

In Sikh hymns Waheguru is said to be the provider of all life. There is no difference between the world of humans and the world of nature. Both of these are equally important and must be treated with respect.

The Gurus have strongly made us aware of our responsibility towards this earth.

Guru Granth Sahib

Sikhs believe that the environment can only be preserved if the balance created by Waheguru is maintained.

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