The Sikh Gurus
"The Palace of
the Lord God is so beautiful. Within it, there are gems, rubies, pearls
and flawless diamonds. A fortress of gold surrounds this Source of Nectar.
How can I climb up to the Fortress without a ladder? By meditating on
the Lord, through the Guru, I am blessed and exalted. The Guru is the
Ladder, the Guru is the Boat, and the Guru is the Raft to take me to
the Lord's Name. The Guru is the Boat to carry me across the world-ocean;
the Guru is the Sacred Shrine of Pilgrimage, the Guru is the Holy River.
If it pleases Him, I bathe in the Pool of Truth, and become radiant
(Guru Nanak, Sri Rag, pg. 17)
word "Guru" is a Sanskrit word meaning teacher, honoured person, religious
person or saint. Sikhism though has a very specific definition of the
word Guru. It means the descent of divine guidance to mankind provided
through ten Enlightened Masters. This honour of being called a Sikh
Guru applies only to the ten Gurus who founded the religion starting
with Guru Nanak in 1469 and ending with Guru Gobind Singh in 1708; thereafter
it refers to the Sikh Holy Scriptures the Guru Granth Sahib. The divine
spirit was passed from one Guru to the next as "The light of a lamp
which lights another does not abate. Similarly a spiritual leader and
his disciple become equal, Nanak says the truth."
and separate one Guru from the other. And rare is the one who knows
that they, indeed, were one. They who realised this in their hearts,
attained Realisation of God." (Guru Gobind Singh, Dohira, Vachitra Natak)
Pictures of the Gurus
Sikhism rejects any form of idol worship including worship of pictures
of the Gurus. Although some of the Gurus did pose for paintings, unfortunately
none of these historical paintings have survived. Artists renditions
are for inspirational purposes only and should not be regarded as objects
of worship themselves.