What is Religion?

Kuldip Singh
3 min readSep 29, 2021

(Saint Scholar Giani Naranjan Singh Ji, Shiromani Kathakar ( Chief Exponent of the Sikh Dharma) used to say, “All rivers lead to the sea. All religions lead to God.”

This article is taken from the book. Divine Mystic Reflections On Gurmat Talks And Dialogues Book 1 by Saint Scholar Giani Naranjan Singh Ji, Shiromani Kathakar

This book was written for a Sikh audience. However, the principles enunciated in this book are applicable to all religions.

The Sikh Dharma does not allow proselytising. Hence, please do read this article with an open mind.)

The word religion is a western term. Dharam (simply means duty.)

In Sukhmani Sahib, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji says:

“Of all religions, the best one is to utter sincerely the Name of God: this is the most pious work.”

(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 266)

ie. The foremost of all religions is the religion of remembering the Lord and having pure thought and action.

Religion abides in every soul; it is the innermost nature of everything that exists. It is the yearning of man to be perfect. Even without knowing it, we are all moving towards that perfection.

There is only one religion: of the droplet of water merging to become the ocean; of an incomplete man to become complete, of a flame to merge with the fire.

All existence is His Name; there is none without His Name. So, naturally, Naam (His Name) is imbibed within all matter and in all spirit.

Religion is: to realize that we are nothing but His Naam. Religion is: to realize that we are nothing but HE. The many different religions teach us the same thing; the same message.

But, to most of us, religion has become more of a social symbol, an egotistical issue, wherewith we have a name to identify ourselves.

Is it right to hang a picture on the wall, call it our religion and leave it at that?

Religion is with us always — within and without. To identify it and realize it is our duty, and the only duty.

“You have got the precious human birth.

This is your only chance of meeting the Almighty Lord. Doing anything else will be of no avail.

Join the congregation of Saints and sing only the Glory of the Name.”

(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 12)

Religion is not just a habit; it is never stale and is ever new, made afresh every moment. Religion is an ocean unbound, free and perfection complete.

What do we do to it? How do we pollute it?

It is akin to thinking of the ocean as it is for a moment, then creating our own version of the ocean instead of merging our true mind with the Infinite. We allow our adverse thoughts and fears to guide us and to divide us. The result of this, we become a small stagnating and dirty water pond harbouring disease and foul odour. Next, we carry a sample of this polluted content of the pond everywhere and expound it as the ‘truth’ from the ocean. We first convince ourselves that we have found it, fool ourselves, waste a lot of energy and effort to convince ourselves, and then find someone to preach it in order to convince ourselves further.

Religion is to remove our complexes: the good-bad, high-low, the holy and unholy and right and wrong attitude of thoughts. These and many other social complexes are to be condemned and removed from our social system in order that we may attain a pure and perfect society.

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Kuldip Singh

I serve in Guru Nanak Ashram in Patiala, Punjab, India. This Ashram is a centre for Spiritual retreat and learning.