The main Sikh scripture and the Sikh Guru (Guru means spiritual teacher), the Guru Granth Sahib offers guidance on how one should become fearless in their life. It is known that usually, fear is an emotional response to threats and danger. Although fear is different from anxiety, which typically occurs without any external threat, the two bring much pain and misery to the person who is suffering from these two emotions. Fear is related to the specific behaviours of escape and avoidance, while anxiety is the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.
The trials and tribulation of modern life means that both these ailments are on the increase in the world; many suffer from anxiety and fear due to losing one's identity and/or security; from constant and sustained financial, health and emotional pressures; from humiliation, oppression, victimization, feelings of inferiority, persecution of one's group, and other kinds of discrimination, etc. These external agents are relentless and become such a strain that many suffer constantly in pain.
The Sikh Gurus offer a solution to this problem in a framework of spiritual rules and regulations. If one accepts that God, the Creator is the real Provider and Sustainer then the solution becomes much simpler. The Gurus tell us that there is only one fear that is valid and that is the fear of God thus:
|ਭੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਕਿਉ ਥੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥|
|Bẖai bin nirbẖao kio thīai gurmukẖ sabaḏ samāė. ॥1॥ rahāo.|
|Without the Fear of God, how can anyone become fearless? |
Become Gurmukh, and immerse yourself in the Shabad. ॥1॥Pause॥
The Guru places only one condition to remove all fears. When one begins to fear God only, then all other fears retreat. One should remember that all that happens with us is by the Will of the Lord (by his hukam). In Japji sahib, the first prayer in the Guru Granth Sahib, the scripture tells us: "Great is the Master, Great is His Name. Whatever happens is according to His Will." (SGGS p 5). So, with this as a backdrop, we can move forward and conqueror the pains created by fear. The Guru continues in Japji to tell us: "Endless are His Actions, endless are His Gifts. Endless is His Vision, endless is His Hearing" (SGGS p 5). We can all gain from these endless Gifts and blessing by meditating on the Lord thus:
|ਸਭੁ ਭਉ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਈਐ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਸੋ ਪਾਰਗਿਰਾਮੀ ਕਾਰਜ ਸਗਲੇ ਥੀਏ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥|
|Sabẖ bẖao binsai har har ḏẖiāīai. Jin sėviā so pārgiramī kāraj saglė thīė jīo. ॥3॥|
|All fears are erased, meditating on the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.|
One who serves the Lord swims across to the other side, and all his affairs are resolved. ॥3॥
|ਨਿਡਰਿਆ ਡਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਬਾਝੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ॥੩॥|
|Nidriā dar jāṇīai bājẖ gurū gubār. ॥3॥|
|One who does not fear God shall live in fear; without the Guru, there is only pitch darkness. ॥3॥|
|ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਭੈ ਭੰਜਨਾ ਦੇਖੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਭਾਇ ॥|
|Giān anjan bẖai bẖanjnā ḏėkẖ niranjan bẖāė.|
|The ointment of spiritual wisdom is the destroyer of fear; through love, the Pure One is seen.|
- beyondintractability.org What Is Fear?