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Encyclopedia > Sikh religious philosophy

The Sikh religious philosophy is covered in great detail in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy text. Detailed guidance is given to the follower on how to conduct his/her life so that peace and salvation can be obtained. The holy text outlines the positive actions that one must take to make progress in the evolution of the person. One must remember the Creator at all times – it reminds the follower that the "soul is on loan from God, who is ever merciful", and that the follower must dedicate their life to all good causes - to help make this life more worthwhile. The Shri Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: , ) is the 11th Guru of Sikhism, the holy book of Sikhism, which is revered as a living Guru by the Sikhs. ...

The sections below give more details of the underlying message of this faith. It is easiest to discuss the topic if the details are divided into the following five sections:

  1. One God: - There is only one God who has infinite qualities and names Pantheism. S/He is the same for all religions. God is Creator and Sustainer - all that you see around you is His creation. S/He is everywhere, in everything. S/He is fearless and with no enemies. Only God is without birth or death and S/He has and will exist forever.
  2. Reincarnation, karma and salvation: – Every creature has a soul. On death, the soul is passed from one body to another until liberation. The journey of the soul is governed by the deeds and actions that we perform during our lives.
  3. Remember God: Love God, but have fear of Him as well. Only by keeping the Creator in your mind at all times will you make progress in your spiritual evolution.
  4. Humanity (brotherhood): All human beings are equal. We are sons and daughters of Waheguru, the Almighty.
  5. Uphold moral values: Defend, protect and fight for the rights of all creatures, in particular your fellow human beings.
  6. Personal sacrifice: Be prepared to give your life for all supreme principles. See the life of Guru Teg Bahadur.
  7. Many paths lead to God: – Sikhs are not special; they are not the chosen people of God. Simply calling yourself a Sikh does not bring you salvation. Christian, Hindus, Muslim, Jews, etc. have the same right to liberty as a Sikh.
  8. Positive attitude toward life: "Chardi Kala" – Always have a positive, optimistic and buoyant view of life. God is there – He will be your help.
  9. Disciplined life: Upon baptism, a Sikh must wear the 5Ks and perform strict recital of the five prayers Banis, etc.
  10. No special worship days: Sikhs do not believe that any particular day is holier than any other.
  11. Conquer the five thieves: It is every Sikh's duty to defeat these five thieves: Pride (a’Hankar), Anger (Kr’odh), Greed (Lob’H), Attachment (Mo’H), and Lust (K’haam). Known collectively as P.A.G.A.L.
  12. Attack with Five Weapons: Contentment (Santokh), Charity (Dan), Kindness (Daya ), Positive Energy (Chardi Kala), Humility (Nimarta).


// There is only one God who has infinite qualities and names. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Waheguru (Punjabi: , or , ) means The Wonderful Lord in the Punjabi language. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Chardi Kala is an important expression used in Sikhism for a mind frame that a Sikh has to accept and practise. ... Sikhs are bound to wear five items, known as the Five Ks, on them at all times. ... Bani is the term used by Sikhs to refer to various sections of the Holy Text that appears in their several Holy Books. ...

Underlying values

The Sikhs must believe in the following values: The Sikhs must believe in the following values: Equality: All humans are equal before God – No discrimination is allowed on the basis of caste, race, sex, creed, origin, color, education, status, wealth, etc. ...

  1. Equality: All humans are equal before God – No discrimination is allowed on the basis of caste, race, gender, creed, origin, color, education, status, wealth, etc. The principles of universal equality and brotherhood are important pillars of Sikhism.
  2. God’s spirit: Although all living beings including plants, minerals and animals have been created by God, only the human being contains God's Spirit which is capable of becoming a Gurmukh.
  3. Personal right: Every person has a right to life but this right is restricted and has attached certain duties – simple living is essential. A Sikh is expected to rise early, meditate and pray, consume simple food, perform an honest day's work, carry out duties for your family, enjoy life and always be positive, be charitable and support the needy, etc.
  4. Actions count: Salvation is obtained by one’s actions – good deeds, remembrance of God – Naam Simran, Kirtan, etc.
  5. Living a family life: Encouraged to live as a family unit to provide and nurture children for the perpetual benefit of creation. (as opposed to living as a wild hermit, which was, and remains, a common spiritual practice in India.)
  6. Sharing: It is encouraged to share and give to charity 10 percent of one’s net earnings.
  7. Accept God’s will: Develop your personality so that you recognise happy event and miserable events as one – the will of God causes them.
  8. The four fruits of life: Truth, contentment, contemplation and Naam, (in the name of God).

Gurmukh literally means To face the Guru. ... The term Nām refers to the act of worship of God by Hindus and is also adopted by Sikhs. ... The term Simran refers to the vocal repetition or recital of the God Names - Naam or of the Holy Text from the Two Granths of the Sikhs - the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Prohibited behavior

  1. Non-logical behavior: Superstitions, rituals which have no meaning (i.e.: pilgrimages, fasting and bathing in rivers), gambling, worship of graves, idols or pictures, compulsory wearing of the veil for women, etc.
  2. Material obsession: (“Maya”) Accumulation of materials has no meaning in Sikhism. Wealth such as gold, portfolio, stocks, commodities, properties, etc., will all be left here on Earth when you depart. Do not get attached to them.
  3. Sacrifice of creatures: Sati – Widows throwing themselves in the funeral pyre of their husbands, lamb and calf slaughter to celebrate holy occasions, etc
  4. Non-family oriented living: A sikh is encouraged not to live as a recluse, beggar, monk, Nun, celibate, etc.
  5. Worthless talk: Bragging, gossip, lying, etc. is not permitted.
  6. Intoxication: Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, consumption of other intoxicants, etc.
  7. No priestly class: Sikhs do not have to depend on a priest for any of the functions that need to be perform.
  8. Eating meat killed in a ritualistic manner: Sikhs are strictly prohibited from eating meat killed in a religious manner (such as halal or kosher meat), or any meat during the langar.[1] In some Sikh groups, eating any meat is believed to be forbidden, but this is not a universally held belief.[2]

Non-logical behavior: Superstitions and rituals not meaningful to Sikhs; (pilgrimages, fasting and bathing in rivers; circumcision; worship of graves, idols, pictures; compulsory wearing of the veil for women; etc. ... Sati may refer to any of the following: The Hindu Goddess Sati, daughter of Daksha and wife of Shiva A social practise in some parts of India in past centuries, often spelt Suttee The Buddhist Sati; see mindfulness. ... Halal (حلال, alāl, halaal) is an Arabic term meaning permissible. In the English language it most frequently refers to food that is permissible according to Islamic law. ... The circled U indicates that this can of tuna is certified kosher by the Union of Orthodox Congregations. ...

Technique and methods

  1. Naam: Meditate upon God’s name (Waheguru in the Sikh religion) through verbal repetition. This is done so that the mind is stilled and cleansed in order to become one with God. The technique taught by the Guru Granth Sahib is "Urd Uhrd". This means to inhale with the "Wahe" syllable and exhale on the "Guru" syllable. This is the most important part of the religion.
  2. Kirat Karni: - Honest earnings, labor, etc. while remembering the Lord.
  3. Wand kay Shako: - Share with others who are deserving, i.e.: free food langar, 10% donation Daasvand, etc.

Naam: Or Naam Japo. ... The term Nām refers to the act of worship of God by Hindus and is also adopted by Sikhs. ... Kirat Karni is one of three primary pillars of Sikhism. ... In Sikhism Wand Kay Shako is a technique and method which means share it as you consume it. ... For the Sufi practice of Langar, see Langar (Sufism). ... Daasvand means to donate 10% percent of ones harvest to the Gurudwara. ...

Other observations

  1. Not son of God: The Gurus were not, in the Christian sense, “Sons of God”. Sikhism says we are all God's children.
  2. All are welcome: Members of all religions can visit Sikh temples (“Gurdwaras”), but please observe the local rules: cover head, no shoes, no smoking when going in to the main hall.
  3. Multi-level approach: Sikhism recognizes the concept of a multi-level approach to achieving your target as a disciple of the faith. For example, "Sahajdhari" (slow adopters) are Sikhs who have not donned the full 5Ks but are still Sikhs regardless.

Note: The Punjabi language does not have a gender for God. Unfortunately, when translating, the real meaning cannot be properly conveyed without using Him/His/He/Brotherhood, S/He, etc but this distorts the meaning by giving the impression that God is masculine – which is not the message in the original script. The reader must allow for this every time these words are used. It is often the case that rather than taking a gender definition, God is simply conveyed as "Omnipotent Being" rather than God. Thus converying the correct perceptual image. The Golden Temple is the most important sacred shrine for Sikhs Sikhism comes from the word Sikh, which means a strong and able disciple. ... “Punjabi” redirects here. ...


  1. ^ "Sikhism, A Complete Introduction" by Dr. H.S. Singha & Satwant Kaur Hemkunt, Hemkunt Press, New Delhi, 1994, ISBN 81-7010-245-6
  2. ^ "Sikh Identity: An Exploration of Groups Among Sikhs" by Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, pg. 51, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd, 2005, ISBN 0754652025

External links

  • Sikh Search Engine - Sikh beliefs & philosophy, history of Sikhism, MP3's etc
  • Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle - A Socio-Religious Non-Profit Sikh Organization (ISO 9001:2000 Certified)

  Results from FactBites:
Sikhism: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (5818 words)
With the decline of the Mughal empire, a Sikh empire arose in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, with its capital in Lahore and limits reaching the Khyber Pass and the borders of China.
Sikhs supported and participated in the Indian National Congress, but also formed the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the Shiromani Akali Dal to preserve Sikhs religious and political organisation.
On specific occasions, groups of Sikhs are permitted to undertake a pilgrimage to Sikh shrines in the province of Punjab in Pakistan, especially at Nankana Sahib and the samādhī (place of cremation) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.
Sikhism - Sikh Religion (710 words)
Sikhs do not believe that followers of other religions are doomed to hell regardless of their personal character and behavior.
Young children who are not yet capable of understanding the philosophy of Sikhism and making their own decisions are not eligible to be initiated into the faith until they have grown older.
Sikhs today are thriving and remain one of the fastest growing religions in the world.
  More results at FactBites »



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