Here is one topic which I think is a great one for us all to think about. I have found that even within the Sikh lifestyle many people have adopted the mentality of "guilt and sin". Western influence has definitely played a big part in this, and it doesn’t help to have translations of Gurbani that translate "paap" into "sin".
In the following video interview Guruka Singh shares his thoughts on the topic of Sin, Guilt, Heaven and Hell. Hopefully the next time you catch yourself feeling one of these things you may think more deeply about it.
Here are some other comments on the topic:
I have to admit, I have a problem with the concept of sin. And the fact that there is a quote in one of the (poor) translations of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib that says we are all sinners has me confused. Admittedly, we are all specks of dust in relation to the Infinite, — but at the same time Ang Sang Wahe Guru
The Siri Singh Sahib once said, “The thing I like best about Sikh Dharma is ANG SANG WAHE GURU.” I like it, too! It means that God is in every part of me, every limb, every molecule, every atom is a manifestation of God. You might say it is a paradox. Despite my human flaws or failings, this mantra is a reminder that God is living and breathing in me all the time! This is distinct from the concept in some religions that we are all born in sin. I don’t buy it." – Shakti Parwha Kaur
The word in the Guru is ‘Paap’ (sometimes translated as “sin.”) It means the action of a manmukh — one who speaks from his mind and follows his mind. The point is that to move from manmukh to gurmukh, (one who speaks with the mouth of the Guru, not his own mouth) we must merge into shunia (zero – thoughtlessness) at the feet of the Guru. "Sinner" is a manipulative Western concept based on Christian guilt. It is not an accurate or useful descriptive term. ‘Paap’ as used by the Guru, means any action that makes you feel alone and separated from God. ‘Paap’ is not “bad.” Nothing is good or bad, except that thinking makes it so. ‘Paap’ is simply an action that makes you forget who you are, One with the Infinite." – Guruka Singh