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Summary of Question:Why Is It Wrong To Marry Outside Of The Religion? Part 1
Category:Love & Marriage
Date Posted:Sunday, 3/21/1999 10:32 PM MDT

I am dating a girl of european ancestry and we are planning to get married. My girlfriend is learning about our culture and is also learning to read and speak Punjabi. She is a family oriented person and I know that she will make me very happy. So then why is it so "wrong?" I've heard many different opinions but now I want to know what the religion has to say on this topic.

Sat Nam, dear one, here is Part I of one approach to answering your question. I hope that you are patient and willing to do a little more thinking about what you've asked. That way, the answer will become "your answer."

Let's begin by talking about something called "assumptions." An assumption is something that we take for granted that it's true, and then we try to expand our knowledge by using our assumptions to look at things we don't know. I'm saying this because sometimes we learn even more by examining our assumptions than we do by going further into what we admit (by a question) is "unknown."

Your question contains several assumptions, and at first you might wonder why I would even question them. You might think that the truth of these assumptions is obvious. I'm going to suggest that sometimes whatever we hold onto as "obvious truth" may be very suspect, and in fact, hiding the "real truth" from us. Of course, we're going to have to decide "what is "real truth" and how or where can we find out about that"?

One assumption in your question is about ?something? you called "religion." Also, your question assumes that if there is something called "religion," that you can be either "in the religion" or "out of the religion." And finally, your question assumes that certain things or activities between "someone in a religion" and "someone outside of a religion" can be wrong to do, and the basis of its being wrong is because of the ?religion".

Now, I'm going to make an assumption. I'm going to assume that "the? religion you talked about in your question is Sikh Dharma, which was founded by Guru Nanak, who was born about 500 years ago in 1469. This is a very important point, because if we really want to know about Sikh Dharma, then perhaps we should pay especially close attention to what Guru Nanak said about it, rather than merely vague opinions and rumors (and assumptions) going on around us.

First of all, about "religion." In Guru Nanak?s time in India, there were two dominant ?religions?: Hinduism and Islam (the Muslim religion). People got so caught up in whether a person was in one of these ?religions? or the other, that they even killed or hated each other because of what ?religion? they belonged to. The idea about ?religious belonging,? is that it?s an identity or set of beliefs that makes us either good or bad in someone?s eyes. Eventually, it can easily become ?OUR side is the good side, and the other side (religion) is where the bad guys are.? Guru Nanak was born into this situation, and he said something very important about it. He said, ?I don?t see any Hindus and I don?t see any Muslims, I only see human beings.? If you think about this, what Guru Nanak was saying is that the idea of ?joining? a religion in order to be accepted as a good person, is an illusion, a false fantasy. In fact, Guru Nanak was saying, we are actually, all of us, human beings, and we are all in the same

boat (sharing the same planet Earth). And, Guru Nanak said, the thing that makes life better for ourselves and for everyone is NOT what we believe, or what group we can claim to belong to, it is what we DO, how we ACT and how we TREAT others. That is why we call it Sikh Dharma. Dharma means way of life that?s inspired and guided by Truth, it?s based on the Way we live, it?s not based on what we BELIEVE. One of the characteristics of living by such a Truth is that we become clear-minded, strong, compassionate, humble and willing to serve others. And, if we look at the lives of each of our 10 Gurus, these qualities of being a human were very pronounced and outstanding in their characters and their behavior. And, more than anything, they wanted to help all human being to be able to live with such freedom and happiness. That was their gift to us when they gave us Sikh Dharma.

I know that I haven?t answered your direct question yet, and I will offer an answer. But first, I wanted to share these things with you and find out if you understand what I?ve talked about so far. Please answer and tell me how you think we?re doing so far.

Humbly and by Guru?s Grace,
Krishna Singh Khalsa

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