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Q: Can idol worship of Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc.) lead to salvation?

A: Sikhism instructs to worship One God only and none else. Sikhs do not worship any idols or deities.

God is the creator of all. "He created air, water, fire, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 504). "He created Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; they act according to His will" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 948). Why do some people worship Brahma but hesitate to worship God when "Even Brahma and his sons sing God's Praises; Sukdayv and Prahlaad sing His praises as well" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1224). Sikhism respectfully disagrees with worshiping of Hindu deities and idols, statues, and other symbols representing Hindu deities.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and other Hindu deities are mentioned many times in Guru Granth Sahib Ji and each and every time, a higher power is mentioned explaining that all Hindu deities are in fact created by God Himself. Even though Hindu deities are well respected as they hold a very special place in spirituality, Guru Granth Sahib Ji instructs one to meditate on God rather than worshiping Brahma, Vishna, Shiva, and other deities. The point here is that, the belief in the existence of a Brahma or any other deity is insignificant when it comes to worshipping God. God is above all of His creations, and thus Sikhs only worship Him.

"The performance of countless millions of other devotions is not even equal to one devotion to the Name of God" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1163). "Those who serve Shiva and Brahma do not find Salvation. The Fearless, Formless Lord is invisible; He reveals Himself only to the Gurmukh (Guru's follower). United with God, one does not suffer from sorrow or separation; he becomes stable in the world" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 516). The ones who serve any other instead of God cannot attain salvation. Salvation is granted only by God. "Everyone must serve the One Lord, who created Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. O Nanak, the One True Lord is permanent and stable. He neither dies, nor does He take birth" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1130).

"By the order of God, Brahma obtained a body. By the order of God, Shiva was born. By the order of God, Vishnu was born. Everything is created by God" (Benti Chaupai Sahib, Pauree 7). "God, who made Shiva a yogi. God, who gave Brahma the kingdom of Vedas. God, who has shaped the entire universe. Is the one we salute" (Benti Chaupai Sahib, Pauree 8). "They consider that Shiva is God. They are unaware of the Supreme Primal Lord" (Benti Chaupai Sahib, Pauree 16).

Sikhism instructs not to perform idol worship and not to worship anyone else besides God. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Holy Scripture of Sikhs. Sikhs bow their head in the Gurdwara Sahib to Guru Granth Sahib Ji as a sign of respect but Sikhs do not worship the scriptures. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the spiritual teacher of Sikhs and shows the way to meet God. Guru Nanak Dev Ji instructs that idol worship will not lead one to salvation.

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