10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Sikhism

Despite being the fifth largest world religion, Sikhism is one of the least understood traditions.

Despite being one of the world’s largest world religions, Sikhism remains one of the most unknown traditions in America. The lack of understanding has led to serious consequences, including discriminatory policies, bigoted stereotypes, traumatic school bullying and violent hate crimes.

Here is a list of 10 things that the global community ought to know about its Sikh neighbors.

1. Sikhism is an independent religion.

A number of people mistakenly think Sikhism is an offshoot of Hinduism, an offshoot of Islam, or a blend of the two religions. While the category of religion is itself problematic, scholars and practitioners alike classify Sikhism as an independent religion.

The Sikh tradition carries the basic markers of organized religion, including its own founder-prophet (Guru Nanak), scripture (Guru Granth Sahib), discipline and ceremonies (rahit), and community centers (gurdwara). There are more than 27 million Sikhs worldwide, making it the fifth largest world religion.

2. Rooted in oneness and love, Sikh theology encourages a life of spirituality and service.

Oneness and love serve as the foundations of Sikh theology — these are both the objective and process. Sikhs aim to recognize the divinity within everyone and everything they encounter, and this daily practice helps the individual cultivate and embody the qualities of oneness and love.

Sikhs believe that the Creator permeates all of Creation and that every individual is filled with the same divine potential. The Sikh tradition emphasizes the collective familyhood of all humanity and challenges all social inequalities, including those on the basis of class, caste, gender, and profession.

Realizing oneness and love within one’s life also compels the individual to seek unity with the world around them. The tradition urges its followers to live as a sant-sipahi (warrior-saint), one who strikes a balance of cultivating spirituality while also contributing socially through community service.

3. The real meaning of “guru.”

The word “guru” literally means “enlightener,” and while it has come to refer to an expert in any domain (e.g., basketball guru, real estate guru), it carries a particular institutional meaning within the Sikh tradition. In Sikhism, “guru” refers to the line of authority, beginning with a set of 10 prophets who established and led the Sikh community. The first of these, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469 CE, and the tenth in his line, Guru Gobind Singh, breathed his last in 1708 CE.

Before he passed, Guru Gobind Singh passed the leadership to joint entities — the Guru Granth Sahib (the scriptural canon) and the Guru Khalsa Panth (the community of initiated Sikhs). Sikhs revere these two as occupying the throne of the Guru for eternity.

4. The Guru Granth Sahib is a unique scripture.

The authority accorded to the Guru Granth Sahib certainly sets it apart from other scriptural texts of the major world religions. The Guru Granth Sahib also defies common expectations of scripture in other ways.

The Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by the Sikh Gurus themselves and is primarily comprised of writings composed by the Gurus. This collection also includes the devotional writings of other religious figures, including Muslim Sufis and Hindu Bhaktas.

Unlike the prose narratives that make up a majority of western scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib is made up entirely of devotional poetry, most of which is set to music. These writings are primarily made up of expressions of divine experiences and wisdom on religious cultivation. These writings have played a central role in Sikh practice since the time of Guru Nanak — Sikh worship consists of singing these compositions in both private and congregational settings.

5. The Sikh Gurus presented a pluralistic worldview.

As evidenced by the inclusion of writings from other religious figured within the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Gurus did not believe in religious exclusivism. Rather, their pluralistic worldview posited that one could reach the Realization from any religious tradition. Sikhism teaches that diverse paths can lead to the divine, as long as the individual traverses the path with love. Because of this pluralistic outlook, Sikhism has no real history of missionizing or proselytizing.

While some misinterpret this pluralism as promoting cultural relativism, it is important to note that the Gurus also emphasized the importance of following an accomplished leader and maintaining religious discipline. Sikhism does not encourage the increasingly popular models of “a la carte religion” or “spiritual-but-not-religious,” though admittedly Sikh jurisprudence is relatively less complex than most religious traditions.

6. Sikhs have a long history of standing for justice.

Guru Nanak modeled social engagement by critiquing social inequalities, building institutions that serve and empower the disenfranchised, and publicly critiquing political oppression. The subsequent Gurus preserved and built upon the foundations laid by Guru Nanak. For example, the ninth among them, Guru Tegh Bahadur, observed Mughal state authorities forcefully converting its Hindu constituents. Although this oppression targeted a religious community to which he did not belong and whose beliefs he did not share, Guru Tegh Bahadur stood up firmly for their right to practice religion freely — and the state responded by publicly executing Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The Sikh community has drawn inspiration and guidance from such examples over the years, and it has demonstrated a commitment to justice in various ways. Sikhs are taught to defend the defenseless and have historically led responses to political oppression. Sikhs have therefore been regularly targeted by the political elite, a cycle that continues to play out in present-day India.

7. Sikhs maintain a unique identity.

Since the formative moments of the tradition, Sikhs have maintained a physical identity that makes them stand out in public, even in the context of South Asia. This identity includes five articles of faith — kesh (unshorn hair), kanga (small comb), kara (steel bracelet), kirpan (religious article resembling a knife), and kachera (soldier-shorts) — and distinguishes someone who has formally committed to the values of the faith by accepting initiation.

While many have attempted to ascribe functionalist rationales for each of these articles, these understandings do not capture the connections that Sikhs have with these articles. Perhaps the best analogy (though admittedly an imperfect one) is that of a wedding ring: one cannot reduce the significance of a wedding ring to its instrumental value; rather, one cherishes the wedding ring because it is a gift of love from one’s partner. Similarly, Sikhs cherish their articles of faith primarily because they see them as a gift from their beloved Guru. Trying to understand these articles on the basis of their function is missing the point.

Perhaps the most visible aspect of the Sikh identity is the turban, which can be worn by men and women alike. The turban was historically worn by royalty in South Asia, and the Gurus adopted this practice as a way of asserting the sovereignty and equality of all people. For a Sikh, wearing a turban asserts a public commitment to maintaining the values and ethics of the tradition, including service, compassion, and honesty.

8. Sikhism believes in absolute equality.

Sikhism was founded on the concept of oneness and justice, and the Gurus adamantly rejected all social inequalities. While women continue to be subjugated in modern South Asia, the Sikh Gurus rebuked discriminatory practices that marginalized women (e.g., sati, purdah) and openly placed women in leadership positions.

Along these lines, the Gurus established new practices to challenge social norms, such as India’s caste system, that perpetuated social inequalities. For instance, the tenth Guru asked all Sikhs to abandon their last names — which identified one’s caste — and asked them all to take on a collective last name reserved for royal families to signify the inherent equality and nobility of every individual: Kaur for women and Singh for men. Similarly, the Gurus established the institution of langar, a free meal provided at the gurdwara that is open to one and all. During this meal, everyone sits together on the ground, regardless of caste, social status, gender, or religious background.

9. Darbar Sahib of Amritstar is the epicenter of the Sikh psyche.

Known to westerners as the Golden Temple, Darbar Sahib of Amritsar, Punjab has served as the center for the Sikh community since its founding more than four centuries ago. Sikh theologian Sirdar Kapur Singh referred to Darbar Sahib as “the theo-political capital of Sikhs.” This phrase captures the role of this site as both a spiritual center where the community gathers to worship as well as a political throne where collective decisions have been made.

It is inaccurate to refer to Darbar Sahib as “a sacred space” or as “Sikhism’s holiest site.” Sikh theology recognizes that divinity permeates the entire world equally and therefore does not recognize any particular space to be uniquely sacred or holy. At the same time, Darbar Sahib does occupy a special place in the collective Sikh psyche. The site has witnessed a number of significant historical events, from the return of the sixth Guru after a stint in prison and the first public enthronement of the Sikh scripture during the 17th century to massacres of thousands of civilians and the burning of historical artifacts and relics by the Indian Army in 1984.

10. Sikhs have made immense contributions to American society.

From the time of their arrival in the late 1800s, Sikh men and women have been making notable contributions to American society. Early immigrants settled in the western frontier, where they played a major role in building America’s railroads. Sikh Americans like Bhagat Singh Thind served in the U.S. military during the World Wars, and the first Asian American Congressman was a Sikh American elected to office in 1957. The inventor of fiber optics is a Sikh American, as is the country’s largest peach grower, the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Morgan Freeman’s personal physician. Sikh American women continue to make diverse contributions, such as Grammy-winning artist Snatam Kaur, commercial airline pilot Arpinder Kaur, and Columbia University professor Supreet Kaur.

Image courtesy of OlegD / Shutterstock.com.

Simran Jeet Singh
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  • Pauline

    Great article! I have always loved learning more about Sikhism, I think it is a beautiful religion and I’m Catholic!

    • Devinder Singh

      Pauline – Good to see your comment and acceptability to other religions. I believe we need to take best teachings from all religions and live a happy life.

    • Guest

      There are no beautiful religions. Believing in a fairytale is simply stupid…

      • http://www.delsonic.co.uk Ravinder Singh

        with respect … how have you come to that conclusion? …. can you supply proof of every religion and their failings? have you read been told about the way a sikh leads their life and their interactions with others?

      • http://www.projectivecity.com Benjamin Evans

        Yes. Believing in a fairy tale, something you know to be untrue, is not only stupid, it is extremely difficult. If you are a relatively mature adult, it is just psychologically difficult to believe in the “tooth fairy”. But this doesn’t support the claim that there are no beautiful religions. Aspects of many religions are beautiful, and fascinating. It also doesn’t mean that believing in things you are merely UNSURE are true is stupid, especially when such beliefs provide other central social benefits. Check out the American philosopher William James and is essay “The Will to Believe” for a very clever discussion of whether or not “fairy tales” are stupid…

        • Iqbal Gahley

          I am a sikh. My thoughts are…..Each child is born into a pre-existing social structure dictated by parents and family and gives him a social identity and a sense of social guilt. What is right or not! However, it conceals the naked truth of universal social principles.

          We see world through a parental harness based strictly on parental/family discretion. We as children growing up, most likely adapt our parental religious beliefs and many manifest these beliefs without questions. In other words, our God (i.e., religious manifesto of right and wrong) is simply offered to us by just being born!

          As I am growing older, I am in a constant effort to find a common denominator within different religion schools of thoughts, and my conclusion thus far is:

          There are three aspects under which the nature of God has been conceived.

          He is omnipotent Being, Ruler and Creator of the world, the Father and Judge of men (Christianity)

          He becomes incarnate for the salvation of mankind- or is specially manifested in some teacher or Guru. Islam prophets , Sikhism gurus, and Buddhism, the enlightened.

          He is Immanent Spirit, the Life and Soul of aAAALLLll that is. (Immanent; existing operating or remaining within, inherent) (Hinduism; as they have many Gods)

          In Conclusion, my common denominator findings amongst different religions is closely summarized by Guru Nanak’s 3 simple rules of life

          Vand Chakna: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need
          Kirat Karna: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud
          Naam Japna: Remembering and thanking God at all times

          I believe, we need to adapt some universal principles and live within that defined character zone….and if we are passionate about something with the right intent then
          “passion cultivates path” in the right direction….

          • StoneyNUFC

            Hi all,

            Thoroughly enjoying all of your views on here. Especially yours Iqbal Gahley, it’s nice to see progressive mindsets in religion

            But could one not easily drop Naam Japna from that and embrace science and truth? Why does one need to thank some deity for the acts and lifestyle WE as a race, choose?

            And, if I may digress momentarily from my point: if there is a god should we really be thanking him? Look at the world around you and at how nature works. It is vile, beyond belief. You only need to see the dying thrusts of any animal to see this. To look at the countless, viscous diseases that cause all varieties of torment to good, honest people. To small innocent children who have not even had the chance to sin. Yes, there is so much beauty, but if there really was a god I would not want to know him for he would surely have to be a cruel and evil being. And why would a deity of such power be so needy as to require worship?

            It is plain to all that the human race could achieve more once united and that we could do this through science. We do not need religion to accept that kindness is both wise and sensible. Religion is merely a tool to manipulate. Surely we want REAL enlightenment, not an manipulation system that is easily exploited?

            Really, what benefit comes from the religious aspect? The only argument I have heard is peoples fear of mortality, and as a coping mechanism for loss, but then one can embrace that and use the time they have to try their best to benefit all. One can accept the facts and be grateful for the times they or another did have. If life was eternal then all things must surely become dull after a time? There is no evidence to suggest that anything happens after death at all. There are huge volumes to suggest people have a problem coming to terms with that, though.

            Religion just causes wars and hatred. After all, if one is so certain in their belief, they can’t have someone else running around saying that their other belief is true. It totally undermines. And religion is abused on countless fronts and used as a sort of moral-waver for all sorts of atrocities. It’s time people gave up the fairy-tales and do what is right because what is most things that are fundamentally right are universally understood. “Love thy neighbour”. You do not need religion to do that.

            Personally I just try to follow one simple rule. “Be unfalteringly kind to everyone you meet”.

            I am an agnostic, but realistically an atheist (I do not outright deny the existence of anything as a absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but that’s just a pedantic point from my love of physics lol) I believe in oneness with all living things, especially each other.

            Peace and love <3

      • CsfhVwrbi

        It’s those without religion and those who follow evil who are responsible for the world’s problems. Without Islam and atheism, the world would be a much more pleasant place to live.

  • Jess Howe

    Thank you for posting this! I’m pagan and see many similarities and parallels in our beliefs – this is an uplifting article! Sikhism (which I knew next to nothing about before I read this) sounds like a very beautiful and peaceful religion much like my own – we could be brothers and sisters! Namaste xx

    • singh85

      namaste.
      though in sikhism its” SAT SRI AKAL”

  • Ravinder

    most of them are lies.. I think add point 11, they are good at spreading propagandas

    • Baljinder singh

      So Ravinder..Dare to say the truth?? Out of your “most” lies, tell us one by one a lie and your truth…and we would try to respond with real examples!!!!!

      • Amit Kumar

        He is wrong.on all accounts.He should study how Guru Govind Singh by his sacrifice and valour protected Hindus.My pranams to 10 Gurus.

        • Jagandeep Singh

          Guru Govind ??? Dont know who he is??

  • Jarnail Singh

    Great article. Waheguru always keep you in Chardi kalaa virji

  • Amit Kumar

    The article has lot of errors .Sikhism is an offshoot of Vedanta. 1) Guru Nanak the founder was of Hindu parentage 2)His son Sri Chand remained a Vedantic Yogi and their sect is known as Udasin Sect 3) The Sikh religious symbol is : It is a symbol of the unity of God in Sikhism, and is found on all religious scriptures and places such as Gurdwaras. Derived from Punjabi, Ik Onkār is the first phrase in the Mul Mantar referring to the existence of “one constant[6]” that is ॐ Om taken to mean “one God”.[7] It is found in the Gurmukhi script[8] and is consequently also part of the Sikh morning prayer, Japji Sahib. 4) The Gurus of Sikh religion worshipped Goddess Chandi or Durga .Chandi di Var also known as Var Sri Bhagauti Ji is a composition included in the 5th chapter of Dasam Granth. It is based on an episode from the Sanskrit workMarkandeya Purana,[1] and describes the conflict between the Gods and the Demons.5)Udasi is a religious, ascetic, monastic, sadhu sect that considers itself partly a denomination of Sikhism focused on the teachings of its founder, Sri Chand (1494–1643), the son of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder and the first Guru of Sikhism.[1][2][3]

    Although the root of Udasi Sadhus is in Sikhism, they practice the ways of sanathan dharma or the saintly way, follow five Hindu gods known as pancha-devata, namely these are Ganesha, Devi, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu and perform rituals known as panch prakarti puja or natural rituals encompassing the five elements of water, fire, earth, air and sky.

    • Jagandeep Singh

      Amit Kumar .. you are absolutely wrong and biased … your rubbish abt Goddess Chandi or Durga is bull crap… although I cant be bothered to respond you with logic but just wanted to say in plain language… all these godesses & gods of hinduism are considered to be in the cycle of life & death as humans & rest of the living species … they themselves are not liberated if you read our (Sikh) scriptures.. they are just considered another form joun or life … Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj rejected them and so does rest of the Gurus, these devi/ devtas are considered a little more powerful than humans but not God in Sikhi… Chandi is an alias for Sword or Kirpan but idiots like you will definitely not listen and will keep spreading your rubbish … I hope someone with better patience will respond to you point by point …

      • Amit Kumar

        I have seen the words you said to me while reading my post earlier.which you have edted.SO first follow Sikhism in your deeds and mouth first.

      • Amit Kumar

        You have edited and removed the words “Idiot”,”RSS”.Hindus from your post.I hope you are not a Babbar Khalsa supporter.

        • Jagandeep Singh

          Yeah .. I did edit some of my text when I re-read it later feeling that I may have sounded dis-respectful to others on this forum when I read equally humble replies from others as I dont know much abt this website other than this topic which I accidentally got linked to but having said all that and as expected of you, I definitely believe you took sufficient time to visit RSS / VHP ideology based websites and copy pasted that stuff here.. I changed ‘H’ of hindu to caps to not to sound disrespectful to that religion and anyway its not abt me. I dont give a damn to logic of Indian background & stuff.. That lame excuse is not important here as far as this topic is concerned and about your false statements as I occasionally come across people like you on internet .. Well frankly I don’t know much abt Babbar Khalsa but is much more aware of malice filled role of cowards of RSS in India. On a side note, its a life long journey to learn from Guru Nanak for people like me & thanx for reminding to learn more but what that has to do with India & other garbage you wrote??? You sound like a big time hate filled liar!

          • Amit Kumar

            To MR Jagandeep Singh :

            As I said before I am not RS/VHP but simply a researcher .You are a born bigot anyway since you associate every Hindu who sees enough comparisons between Hinduism and Sikhism as RSS/VHP/
            I am no member of RSS/VHp.So American Hindu converts are also RSS/VHP?

            .May be garbage bigots like you if they read Swami Vivekananda or Adi Shankaracharya or Brahma Sutras will understand this.Hinduism has 9 Schools out of which 3 schools reject Vedas but garbage heads do not understand this and put all Hindus under RSS VHP wing..The Garbage in your head requires a disinfectant because you do not know “H” of Hinduism and put all Hindus who seek spiritual harmony as RSS/VHP instead of Swami Vivekananda/ADI Shankaracharya ..same thinking which your co-religonists i.e Khalistani Millitants did in 1980s to kill Hindus.

          • Sanatan

            Bro.. u shouldn’t have said all this stuff.. that was a dark time.. and you probably don’t know much about it..

          • Amit Kumar

            I deleted..thanks. bro.

          • Jagandeep Singh

            But Sikhs like beef more than pork .. How abt them?

        • Jagandeep Singh

          Amit .. I have also seen many Sikhs who eat meat including chicken, beef & pork as out faith doesnt differentiate between the type of animal we kill & eat. Either we eat meat or we dont! Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj killed cow to set an example for Banda Sing Bahadur in Naded & initiate him into Sikhi so does that mean that beef eating & other such examples are also learnt by Sikhs from Hindus ??? There are hundreds of such examples which contradicted Hindu beliefs & rituals and I hope if you search outside your limited RSS / VHP resources, you will feel shocked tho know that you knew so little abt Sikhs…

          In Japji Sahib, Maharaj says – OH Dekhai Par Onha Nadar Ndar naa aaye bohuta ehh vidaan .. Waheguru watches these 3 devtas (Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva) but these 3 cant see Him(Akal Purakh).. These 3 are the top guys of Hinduism..correct? So you decide from here how much Sikhism learnt from Hinduism as far as God is concerned but definitely there are numerous times when these & other guys are mentioned in context to drive a point but not like the way you would like tell that they are used to learn to decode Waheguru (God)

          • Amit Kumar

            Adi Shankara has said that there is only one Supreme Para-Brahman and all the other deities are the forms and expansions of this Para-Brahman.This is Advaita..non dual which you have never heard of.

            and FYI : American hindu is not RSS/VHP.He is a vedantist and you do not know “V” of vedanta.
            Learn Hinduism from American Vedantic teachers as you are too suspicious of Hinduism and vedanta just like the author..

          • Sanatan

            bro..

            We are sanatanis.. were are not supposed to impose our faith on others.. god has given every single human the right to follow his own instincts..

            i request you to end this.. discussion here.. we do not have the right to hurt some ones sentiments..
            all the “10 Gurus” are Gurus of Hindus also.. i accept it with pride.. the same way i proclaim to be a sanatani..

            no one is superior to other.. all the faiths are directing us to the same destination.. then whats the point of worthless discussions.. rather who has the time for it..

            so calm down..

            personal.. i liked that you have a lot of knowledge about vedanta as well as Sikhism.. nice..

          • Amit Kumar

            Brother ..I go to gurudwara..and have reverence for all Sikh Gurus..

            I condemn RSS./VHP if these people have done anything against great Sikhs;.RSS and VHp is black spot on Hinduism,

            I have only respect for Sikhs..nothing else.I have less knowledge of Sikhism but from vedanta perspective it is easy to understand it..take care…

          • Jagandeep Singh

            BEEF?

          • Jagandeep Singh

            Well .. your wrong sources may root from the same malice filled stuff. You choose to talk politely others may not, i see only thats the difference.
            Lets say your belief is wrong & you misunderstand & misinterpret something for now and you indoctrinate your children & a few other with them… they move to some third county and keep repeating same wrong stuff, does it make them correct then onward? An unintentional lie is a lie even if you repeat it a million times and down the 1000 generations.

          • Sanatan

            hahahhaha.. buddy u made my day…

            OH Dekhai Par Onha Nadar Ndar naa aaye bohuta ehh vidaan.. are you sure its regarding trinity..

            sorry.. refer Shiv Mahapurana.. you will surely get some knowledge about the actual explanation of above mentioned verse.. in actual at that time who were searching were 2 not 3… those were Brahama & Vishnu.. who under the influence of maya of Parbraham were ignorant about there origins.. to clarify there doubts regarding there origins and there stature The Supreme.. Incarnated as Maheshwara..

            anyways this has nothing to do with Advaita Philosophy.. in which a soul is always trying to meet the Supreme..

            If You Refer Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta.. in that.. the concept of Soul and Super soul is clearly defined without any duality..

            Brother.. i bow in respect of Gurus who restored the Advaita concept again.. which was getting lost under the dark shadow of Mughals.. who were killing the sources of knowledge.. so that india could never restore to its original level..
            The Gurus of All Sikhs & Hindus.. who Stacked there life for the protection of Hind..

            you must be knowing.. Singh kyon bnaae gae c.. Singh Hind (India) di rakheya li kade kite se dasmesh pita ne..

            Buddy its my request to you to please do not mess it up..

            I am nat a Sikh but punjabi haan.. te bai.. tere naalo ghat faith nahi rkhda Guruan ch..

            Sat Naam Shri Waheguru..

          • Jagandeep Singh

            Sorry but like I said if you read & understand & read with open Sikh perspective you will be shocked to learn that how much it contradicts Hindu practices & beliefs … I know its painful for some though

    • Kaur

      Amit Kumar.. It makes me sick to the stomach to see ignorant people like you.
      1. Guru Nanak Dev ji is a founder of the Sikh religion.
      2. No comments about Sri Chand ji since he was a saint. Atleast he was connecting with the one. Let me tell you a story my friend where Sri Chand ji went wrong..He came to the court of Guru Raam daas ji..our 4th guru and insulted him in front of many people asking him why do you have a long beard? Guru ji smiled and said ‘this beard is made for cleaning the feet of great saints like you’. Even guru ji did not say wrong things about him so who am I? “Hum avgun bhare, ek gun naahi”- ” I have so many imperfections in me, not one single good quality”.
      3. Ik onkar does not mean one god..the meaning of this symbol has been flawed by many. Ik onkar means that we are a part of 1 soul and that is akal purakh waheguru. We have been given this life to connect with that. Our Ik onkar in no way resembles the letter “om”. It also in some ways proves the big bang theory. Putting in simple words ” One sound was created and created this world..”akaar” meaning made this life.
      4. We do not worship Maa durga sir, our 10th guru..guru gobind singh ji wrote the chandi di vaar as an example to the sikhs that look one woman had so much strength in her to fight the demons..not to mention guru gobind singh ji was a scholar himself. If you read the Chandi di vaar carefully you will see that it is filled with literary terms which will obviously go over the heads of ignorant people like yourself. We in no way worship the devi devte cus we have been told by our guru” Sab sikhan ko hukam hai, guru manyo granth”-“Every sikh has to worship the eternal guru..guru granth sahib ji.
      It is my humble request to you to kindly read our scriptures and then comment on our religion. I can myself comment on the hindu religion but I won’t cus I am better than this.. I respect your religion and I would expect the same thing from you. May your god bestow his/her good will and intelligence on you! Waheguru!
      P.S. A very well written article by SimranJeet Singh

      • manpreet k

        A very nice and patient reply. Well done!
        I am so glad that not even once u used any bad or derogatory word towards that person(which is very rare to see as people get angry very easily these days).

        • Kaur

          Thank you Manpreet for your kind words. I am thankful to guruji for blessing me with patience but I still need to work on it! Esp. when you see comments like such on a delightful and wonderful article.

      • Sanatan

        hey.. nice brief..

        i don’t know bout whom you are talking about as.. “CHANDI” isn’t he.. but she.. a manifestation of supreme.. the other name is “Kali”.

        There are many sikh scholars who describes ” ik Ongkaar” in different ways..
        there is a story which i herd in a gurudwara sahib told by pathi ji.. in which he described OM as Brahama, Vishnu & Mahesha (3 manifestations of Parbraham) as “jad” (dependents) and “ik” as the Supreme Being (controller) and the “kaar” as infinity.. describing the limitlessness of the Supreme..

        anyways the basics of lakh 84 yoniya is common.. 33 crores of devi devtas is common.. its true that Sikh is a purer form eliminating the evil rituals and methods from modern hinduism..

        Since not all the follower of Hinduism.. who become hindu by birth know each and every thing about hinduism.. than how could people from other faith..

        I have been going to Gurudwaras more often as compared to visiting Temples.. as i believe that we all are approaching same destination but by following different paths..

        Hari Om..

        • Kaur

          Hi Sanatan,
          Yes, you are right, that is also another explaination of the ik onkar. Definitely we have been given the power to choose which path to choose which will eventually lead us all to the final and the same destination.
          Hari Om and Waheguru!

          • Amit Kumar

            Nice of you kaur to see this unity..take care..

      • simranjit thiara

        Well said Kaur waheguru ji ki khalsa waheguru ji ke fateh
        and great article simranjeet very knowledgeable and delightful

        • Kaur

          Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh! Thank you Simranjeet Thiara.

      • Amit Kumar

        Kaur,

        I am saying is Sikhism has imported many things from Hinduism.

        1)The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh in the Dasam Granth has written a section of Bani called Chobis avatar. This is the seventh Bani in the second holy scriptures of the Sikhs. The Chobis avatar, a collection of tales of the twenty-four incarnations of the demi-god Vishnu, forms a part of the Bachitra Natak. The complete work contains a total of 4,371 verse units of which 3,356 are accounted for by “Ram avtar” and “Krishna avtar”. The shortest is Baudh Avatar (The Buddha) comprising three quatrains, and the longest is Krishn avtar, with 2,492 verse units, mostly quatrains.The Chaubis Avatar is the second largest work within Dasam Granth Sahib (Dasam Guru Durbar) covering 5297 verses, it recounts the 24 incarnations of Vishnu:

        2)The Golden temple is called “HARI MANDIR SAHIB” HAR Is lord SHIVA and Mandir is Hindu temple.

        3) Maharajah Ranjit Singh was a worshipper of Baba Balak Nath (patron saint of Kangra) and Durga. Hari Singh Nalwa, the General of Maharajah Ranjit Singh was also a worshipper of Baba Balak Nath and Durga.

        4) Bhagat Jaidev of Bengal was a contemporary of Sheikh Farid of Punjab. Two hymns of Jaidev are found recorded in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji under ‘Gujri’measure (Aang 526) and Maru measure (Aang 1106). Both these hymns were collected by Guru Nanak when during one of his preaching odysseys (1508-1515), Guru ji visited his village. These hymns were later included in the Scripture by Guru Arjan Dev.

        4) Lastly read about Non dual Hinduism or Advaita Philosophy and learn what is “Para Brahman” /”Nirguna Brahman.

        You are totally ignorant about non dual Hinduism and that ignorace is reflected in your posts.

        5) Read each name of Sikh Guru : and how they are related to Rama,Krishna(Govind),Har(Shiva).

        6) Read about Akal Purush which you call PURUKH..Read what does Purusha means in Sanskrit and ..Read how different is Akal Purish from Brahman which comes from Hinduism.Bottom line is you do not have any idea of Hindu advaita (Non dual school) and put all your base on Dwaita school(Duality).FYI,Hinduism has 9 schools.
        What is “SHakti in Hinduism corresponds to Durga in symbolism.
        Durga cuts the worldy life by a a sword and provides spiritual knowledge that is why you say Chandi is a sword
        and instead of taking literally HInduism..try to probe the essece.

        7) What does Jivan Mukta in Sikhism and Moksha in Karma Yoga in Hinduism mean ..any clue?
        Moksha in Hinduism can be done by Karma Yoga also(that is householder life)

        After you read all that ,then come to debate with me

        • Kaur

          Amit Kumar,

          I believe that god has definitely given you brains to look up things that you are unsure of and I am sure all these allegations that you have made are probably researched as well. Just a quick tip..maybe you should look at both sides of the debate. I leave it up to you to decide what’s right and I would very much like to believe what I think my guru has blessed me with. Just a correction here.. the dasam dwaar is on the top of our head. Also, just for your information, a sikh in actual words mean sikhna or to learn. A sikh spends his entire life learning so I am sure I have a long way to go and a lot of things to learn. I am not here to prove anything or to debate! Your beliefs, your ideas, your mind. I cannot influence you in anyway, but definitely if you are so passionate about sikhi and knowing everything about sikhi please definitely and by all means go ahead and look up things. Even when you look up hari..it says god! I am definitely sure that lord shiva, vishnu and brahma were very down to earth and if they were asked the question if they were god? Even they would humbly reply that they are creations of the almighty with whom even they would like to connect. It was very nice to have a word with you. To conclude, I will just qoute bhakat kabir ji because our gurus really appreciated people from other religions who were passionate about connecting with the almighty.
          Nindo nindo moko log nindo l
          Slander me, slander me-go ahead people and slander mel
          Ninda jan ko khari pyaari l
          Slander is pleasing to the lord’s humble servant l
          Ninda baap ninda mehatharee l
          Slander is my father, slander is my mother l
          Ninda hoe th baikunth jaayee l
          If I am slandered, I go to heaven l
          Naam padarath manehi basaaeai l
          The wealth of the naam, the name of the lord, abides in my mind l
          Ridhae sudh jo ninda hoe l
          If my heart is pure, and I am slandered,
          Humare kapde nindak dhoe l
          Then the slanderer washes my clothes l
          Ninda kare so hamara meet l
          The one who slanders me is my friend l
          Nindak maahi, humara cheet l
          The slanderer is in my thoughts l
          Nindak so jo ninda horai l
          The slanderer is the one who prevents me from being slandered l
          Hamara jeevan nindak lore l
          The slanderer wishes me long life l
          Ninda hamara prem pyar l
          I have love and affection for the slanderer l
          Ninda hamara kare udhar l
          Slander is my salvation l
          Jan kabeer so ninda saar l
          Slander is the best thing for servant kabeer l
          Nindak dooba hum udhaare paar l
          The slanderer is drowned while I am carried across l
          May god bless you! Waheguru!

          • Jagandeep Singh

            Kaur, I admire your humility, patience & knowledge! Why cant I be like you

          • Amit Kumar

            Because you are a born bigot and she is not.

          • Amit Kumar

            Thanks my dear..

            The term “Sikh” has its origin in the Sanskrit words शिष्य (śiṣya; disciple, student) or शिक्ष (śikṣa; instruction)

            If we are tolerant of other faiths and know about each other ..then it is very good for world peace.
            You can check it out.
            Check Nirguna Brahman and Saguna Brahman.Check Advaita Vedanta.Take care….It was also nice talking with you.
            I do research in all religions.In Hinduism there are many schools.

          • kunal sharma

            Amit, your knowledge is better than the author’s whose article seems like something done overnight for a high school project. You have very nicely summed up the origins of many concepts within Sikhism and the link to Hinduism is immediately obvious. Thank god for people like you in this world who can stand up to insults courageously and simply state what is true.

            Her answer to your questions is so kiddish. You stated that the Guru’s parentage is Hindu and she simply said that the Guru founded Sikhism…I should have stopped reading there but reading the whole thing just made me admire your knowledge more.

          • Hitesh Lav

            Amit, you are dead right. Wish the debater Kaur knew or was willing to learn the truth. But let it be since ‘Par Dosh Darshanadi Kusanga’ will spoil you too. Let them be in what they believe to be true. For they know not the truth.

          • Amit Kumar

            Wait for American Sikhs to teach her..Some Indians learn better from Europeans when they teach Hinduism or Sikhism.

          • Hitesh Lav

            For you learning sake; Sikh is derived from Shishya or a Disciple or Learner. It is not as you assume it to be.

        • Dodo

          Well said Mr. Kumar. You are fortunately one of the educated people around here. I am sure you will understand that certain Khalistani’s are attempting to rewrite History. Especially the one’s in Vancouver, England and America. All those tax subsidies that we gave them for agriculture have unfortunately been donated to khalistanis and islamo-philes in the sikh community. I would sincerely encourage you to write a blog about this as there must be a dissenting voice showcasing the falsehood that certain sikh’s are promulgating.

          • Amit Kumar

            Sikhs in Punjab are under effect of drugs launched by Pakistan…This is the latest twist in a sorry saga that has ruined the lives of many in the prosperous state. Another central study of the Punjab drug problem shows that four out of ten men in the state are addicted and up to half this number are youth and farmers.

          • grandfrosty

            An old friend of mine said that drugs can lead to enlightenment…I don’t know if the drugs help or if there is maybe a reaction to prolonged exposure. But drugs aren’t necessarily bad. Everything and everyone and every action have been supposed to happen. There are some social justice issues possibly though because the drugs are used by some people to control or profit off other people. Drug is medicine…God heals us, right? But sometimes a doctor (who doesn’t really heal,but only helps) will give crutches or whatever. Just like all things work for the good for the Saints, and what is not a part of the one perfect whole?

        • hardave

          Amit – Honestly bro I’m not someone who is very knowledgeable in terms of other religions but concluding that Sikhism is from Hinduism is blowing out of proportion. Yes Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a Hindu, yes our tenth Guru has written bani about demi-god Vishnu and yes our holy temple is called Harimandir Sahib. However, you must try to understand the why instead of just looking at the what.

          Firstly, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a Hindu but he founded Sikhism and his sister what the first sikh. Secondly, our Gurus have always preached in different languages and they have never claimed that one language is superior than the other. This is evident in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji as it has writting in various languages. Guruji has referred to God as Waheguru, Ram, Har, Allah, even in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the same because it doesn’t matter what you say as long you are thinking and contemplating on the One. So this explains your Harminder Sahib question (Although I”m pretty sure there’s a good reason why it’s named that)

          Furthermore, Maharaja Ranjit Singh wasn’t a Khalsa, infact he was not the highest authority in his kingdom during his ruling as the Akaal Takth was more superior. This is proven when the Akaal Takth ordered for him to be caned because he married a Muslim girl. He ended up approaching the Akaal Takth and got lesser sentence. So I don’t know how he following some other Guru makes Sikhism a part of Hindu.

          Including Bhagat Jaidev bani in Guru Granth Sahib Ji also doesn’t prove that Sikhism is from Hinduism as there’s bani from 36 individuals all together. The name of the Gurus does not prove its from Hinduism as well because at that time, that was the language people understood and Mata Gujri was not gonna name her son Protector Singh cause Gobind means that in Punjabi.

          Moreover, in my opinion the reason why Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote bani about Vishnu is because the Dasam Bani is written for the Khalsa to get strength and courage by reading that and perform their duty of protecting the world and protecting themselves from bad virtues. So I’m not surprised Guru ji has wrote about Vishnu because its probably to provide some sort of good example for Khalsa.

          Sikhism is definitely not from Hinduism because we don’t preach the same thing, we don’t have the same approach in life, we don’t practise the same lifestyle. So saying Sikhism is from Hinduism just doesn’t make sense. Having said that, there’s truth in every religion but for me Sikhism provides the best staircase towards God. And everyone who follows Sikhi in and out will tell you the same thing.

          But then again, it doesn’t matter who thinks what, as long everyone connects to god and live a happy life is all that counts.

      • Hitesh Lav

        I think Amit is dead right and it is you appears to be ignorant as is evident from the angry and offensive tone used by you despite quoting humility. Blind faith which is not open to scrutiny and questioning is just that: Blind. So know a little more about the truth of Sikhism as also other religions for proper perspective. Sikhs still suffer from caste and creed prejudices and are the highest consumers of alcohol and drugs in Punjab. So improve that aspect and be open to answering by learning and compassion. Don’t trivialise a great religion like yours by being shut to the truth just to maintain that you owe nothing to Hinduism or Islam.

        • Amit Kumar

          Kaur is not Indian citizen in my view and I do not know if she even acknowledges Pakistani Jihads who tied up with Sikh terrorists to destroy India,So leave her out of the loop.

          The author: Simranjeet Singh seems to be a “PRO KHALISTANI ” because he blames Indian Army and Indians.This man does not know that many innocent Hindus and innocent Sikhs were killed by Sikh terrorists and terrorists were hiding in Golden temple .Many of these uneducated pro terrorist groups immigrated to west as Refugees and now start their propraganda there not knowing their Pakistani scumbag Terrorist supporters are dead.

          “Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) (Punjabi: ਬੱਬਰ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ, [bəbːəɾ xɑlsɑ]), also known as Babbar Khalsa, is a Khalistani militant armed organization based in India.”

          Babbar Khalsa International has since been declared to be a terrorist organization in many countries, including India, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

          Currently, Wadhwa Singh, who is reportedly hiding in Pakistan, heads the outfit. Mehal Singh is the deputy chief of BKI. Both of them are among the 20 terrorists whom India wants Pakistan to extradite.

        • Amit Kumar

          The author is a biased Kjhalistani supporter when he blames Indian army…

          He has selective amnesia when he overlooks hundreds of Hindus and Sikhs were murdered by some Sikh terrorists trained in Pakistan on basis of religion from before 1984 .He also does not know that Babbar Khalsa is a terrorist Sikh Organization and is listed as a terrorist organization by US. and it is based in Pakistan,Lahore.

          Simran Jeet Singh is the Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University.He has served as a Teaching Assistant for courses on Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism at Columbia University, and in 2013 Simran received the prestigious Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.

          • Hitesh Lav

            Yeah Amit. When Indian Armed Forces flushed out these Khalistanis in Operation Blackthunder in 1988 from Harimandir Sahib, it was found that they had been using the place for their carnal desires since huge amount of condoms and birth control pills were recovered from the rooms besides these rascals using utensils of the sanctum sanctorum to store and dump their excreta in the holy reservoir since the forces didn’t let them move an inch by constant vigil till they were forced to surrender en mass. We Hindus too were all so hurt to see the desecration. They conveniently hide these inconvenient truths about their own blasphemy and point out faults in others.

          • grandfrosty

            Amit, I am one of the disenfranchised amercans. There is something going on with that I find disagreeable. Even in America the government treats the people bad. Most people are not interested and don’t care what is going on. I am sorry for for the ignorance and the bad decisions our politicians are making here. Please do not hate all of US.

      • Aman Mahal

        Amit Kumar
        In the days of Mughal oppression, in which Hindus were being converted to Islam through oppression and force, Sikhism came to the defence against the atrocities of the Mughal Kingdom in India. The founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak dev ji was the first to raise voice against the injustice rule of Babur, the then ruler of India.Though Hinduism began in India about 5000 years ago, Sikhism began with the advent of Guru Nanak Dev ji in 1469 A.D. Sikhism is a separate religion from Hinduism as its basic principles are different from the latter.

        Only because of our Gurus sacrifice you are now call yourself ‘Amit Kumar’ not ‘Abdul Khan’ respect that.

        Difference :

        1. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion; Sikhs believe there is only one God, who has infinite qualities and names. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism and historically atheism

        2. The Janeu (Hindu sacred thread), or ‘confirmation’ ritual of Hinduism.

        3. Sikhs do not believe that going on pilgrimages or bathing at holy rivers will give you mukti (salvation) but only meditation on the naam (name) of Waheguru will.

        One may read all the books of the Vedas, the Simritees and the Shaastras, but they alone will not bring liberation.

        —Page 747, Line 18

        4. Sikhism also highlights women’s dignity and empowerment by giving them the same privileges as given to men. ‘Kaur = Queen’. where Hinduism believes in ‘Sati’ in which a recently widowed woman brunt to death.

        5. There is a human caste system(4 castes) in India that has been present since the beginning of Hinduism. The Sikh Gurus opposed this and allowed every person to visit the temple (Grurdwara) and perform religious practices irrespective of their castes or sex or religion.

        There is a huge difference between Hinduism and Sikhism. We are better !!!!!!!!! that’s why you are trying to portrait Sikhism is part of Hinduism. You are no different than any other hypocrite like Nadeem guy down there who also wants to think that Guru Nanak dev ji was muslim !!! there you go I concluded your reserch, you dont have to waste any more time to prove something which is not true and get a life !

      • Aman Mahal

        Amit Kumar
        In the days of Mughal oppression, in which Hindus were being converted to Islam through oppression and force, Sikhism came to the defence against the atrocities of the Mughal Kingdom in India. The founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak dev ji was the first to raise voice against the injustice rule of Babur, the then ruler of India.Though Hinduism began in India about 5000 years ago, Sikhism began with the advent of Guru Nanak Dev ji in 1469 A.D. Sikhism is a separate religion from Hinduism as its basic principles are different from the latter.

        Only because of our Gurus sacrifice you are now call yourself ‘Amit Kumar’ not ‘Abdul Khan’ respect that.

        Difference :

        1. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion; Sikhs believe there is only one God, who has infinite qualities and names. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism and historically atheism

        2. The Janeu (Hindu sacred thread), or ‘confirmation’ ritual of Hinduism.

        3. Sikhs do not believe that going on pilgrimages or bathing at holy rivers will give you mukti (salvation) but only meditation on the naam (name) of Waheguru will.

        One may read all the books of the Vedas, the Simritees and the Shaastras, but they alone will not bring liberation.

        —Page 747, Line 18

        4. Sikhism also highlights women’s dignity and empowerment by giving them the same privileges as given to men. ‘Kaur = Queen’. where Hinduism believes in ‘Sati’ in which a recently widowed woman brunt to death.

        5. There is a human caste system(4 castes) in India that has been present since the beginning of Hinduism. The Sikh Gurus opposed this and allowed every person to visit the temple (Grurdwara) and perform religious practices irrespective of their castes or sex or religion.

        There is a huge difference between Hinduism and Sikhism. We are better !!!!!!!!! that’s why you are trying to portrait Sikhism is part of Hinduism. You are no different than any other hypocrite like Nadeem guy who also wants to think that Guru Nanak dev ji is muslim !!!
        There you go I concluded your reserch, you dont have to waste any more time to prove something which is not true.

        P.S. – Well said Kaur !!!

      • VJ

        Brother, based on the logic you have, Christianity (founder was a Jew) and Islam (many similar values to Judaism) should be offshot as Judaism. And that my friend will be a mistake.

        Religions are based on philosophy and practice. Yes, there are many similarities in Sikh and Hindu philosophy (same as in Christianity, Islam and Judaism) but how regions are practiced is different. So simply they are different.

        Similarity in philosophy occurs because they are both talking about the ultimate truth so it can not be different, however, how it is explained is very different. Same as if two people from different time, place, culture, language talk about Sun they will all say the same.

    • Baljinder singh

      Another point to clear: Gurunanak Dev ji, who was founder of Sikhism, was neither Hindu nor Musalmaan(though I respect both religions). His parents were Hindus but Gurunanak Dev ji could not follow the Hindu rituals, e.g. He refused to wear Janaayu fearlessly. …So Amit kumar..let’s not misguide the readers on Gurunanak Dev ji’s religion using your defined logics…

      • Sanatan

        My Dear Friend..
        Very well said.. religion in nothing but the faith we follow.. but its an irony of human civilization that we cant stick to faith and its rituals.. the rituals we do not understand, we should not follow.. this is today’s way of life..

        Guru Sahib was an Enlightened one.. he knew the auspiciousness of Janaayu.. but refuted just to tell the people that do not wear it because someone told you to do so.. Wear if you understand its meaning..

        because of several invasions, Hindus did lost their true cultures and way of life.. but soon they will restore.. as its “Sanatan Dharma” the eternal way of life..

        • Amit Kumar

          Thanks.I guess Baljinder Singh has no clue to Advaita Vedanta or Brahman or non dual Hinduism just like his co-religionists.

        • 6j_mohk7

          Rituals like Janaeu was rejected for a cause, they are exploited for priest class’s own benefit. A brahaman has a different thread, Kshatri wears of different kind, Vaishas different and Shudras and ladies are no allowed to wear those. How could Guru Nanak, who was on mission could accept such rituals. He said, God can not be made(thapia na jayee), nor his paintings or idols can be made, He no where praised Aryan thinking of casteism, nor he asked sikhs to treat Vedas as Holy and recite vedic mantras to enlighten yourselves. Sikhs are asked to follow bani of guru granth sahib, which does not praise Indira or other gods etc.

    • Prithvi Narula

      You know what? You seem to be a bihari, I don’t understand the reason why you fuckers have to poke your finger in every damn thing. When you’re seeing there’s an article on something related to god which people are praising you’ll still find out the most stupid elements out if it to disgrace it as if it’s written on your father. For god sake please stop

      • knowTheEnemy

        Guru Gobind Singh Ji too was Bihari. He was born in Patna, Bihar. This tells me that Bihar is a very auspicious place 🙂

        Just in case you are wondering, I am a Punjabi!

        • Amit Kumar

          I am from Himachal pradesh and not a Bihari but buffons like him are living as frogs.

      • Amit Kumar

        Narula..Guru Govind Singh was Born in Patna.Bihar..so it makes him “bihari”…
        and Do not bring your father and my father in it..as I know what kind of illustrious street family you belong to with the language you use…take care.

    • Humble

      About the “Chandi di Vaar”, i hope that u read it for yourself, a few times more, especially the starting verse, and then the comparative description between the asuras, Chandi and Indra. A particular feature that u might note is simply that guru sahib observe both Chandi and the Rakshas with equal admiration. what i want to say is that essence of the work lies in the effect it has on the reader. Plus the Chandi di Vaar starts with the lines- “Pratham Bhagouti simar ke Guru Nanak lai dhiaye……..”.
      to lay out the basics, the word Bhagouti is derived from the word Bhagwati- which further in Sanskrit means Shakti or Eternal Force/Power. and if u take the cue, throughout jaap sahib u will find references to Shakti pooja, simply meaning that the work is not a testament to the worship of the Hindu goddess Bhagwati, Rather it is a reference to the ultimate idea- the Omnipotence/All-powerful nature of god.
      a similar echo maybe heard in the verse “jai jai tegang” in the Jaap Sahib. Tegh/Sword again being a symbol of the ultimate power.
      It was not my intent to disrespect ur ideas, but only to add to them or rather show a fresh perspective, if at all I have failed in that objective, I will humbly confess that the error lies in my skills to explain the necessary and not in the Word of the Guru.
      Sat Sri Akal.

      P.S.-And also some of the points the other lady has put up.

    • Aman Mahal

      Amit Kumar
      In the days of Mughal oppression, in which Hindus were being converted to Islam through oppression and force, Sikhism came to the defence against the atrocities of the Mughal Kingdom in India. The founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak dev ji was the first to raise voice against the injustice rule of Babur, the then ruler of India.Though Hinduism began in India about 5000 years ago, Sikhism began with the advent of Guru Nanak Dev ji in 1469 A.D. Sikhism is a separate religion from Hinduism as its basic principles are different from the latter.

      Only because of our Gurus sacrifice you are now call yourself ‘Amit Kumar’ not ‘Abdul Khan’ respect that.

      Difference :

      1. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion; Sikhs believe there is only one God, who has infinite qualities and names. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism and historically atheism

      2. The Janeu (Hindu sacred thread), or ‘confirmation’ ritual of Hinduism.

      3. Sikhs do not believe that going on pilgrimages or bathing at holy rivers will give you mukti (salvation) but only meditation on the naam (name) of Waheguru will.

      One may read all the books of the Vedas, the Simritees and the Shaastras, but they alone will not bring liberation.

      —Page 747, Line 18

      4. Sikhism also highlights women’s dignity and empowerment by giving them the same privileges as given to men. ‘Kaur = Queen’. where Hinduism believes in ‘Sati’ in which a recently widowed woman brunt to death.

      5. There is a human caste system(4 castes) in India that has been present since the beginning of Hinduism. The Sikh Gurus opposed this and allowed every person to visit the temple (Grurdwara) and perform religious practices irrespective of their castes or sex or religion.

      There is a huge difference between Hinduism and Sikhism. We are better !!!!!!!!! that’s why you are trying to portrait Sikhism is part of Hinduism. You are no different than any other hypocrite like Nadeem guy who also wants to think that Guru Nanak dev ji was muslim !!! there you go I concluded your reserch, you dont have to waste any more time to prove something which is not true.

  • Srdar

    We actually are peaceful and wish all to have a good life without any discrimination according to race, religion and sex orientation. We think all paths lead to one supreme being and you don’t have to convert but just do good according to your teachings. ONE thing we don’t likes people bullying others into believing their point of view.
    THAT IS WHY WE CARRY A KIRPAN. To defend the bullied.
    We also have our idiots as apparent by answers here by some people.
    We are sorry that we have them.
    Hopefully they will leave us:(
    We can hope at least can’t we?
    I think all religions, races and ceremonies ware beautiful until some jerks start to take advantage for themselves.
    POWER, MONEY, SEX, LAND etc. ideologies have NOTHING to do with SUPREME BEING.
    They will be stopped ultimately.
    WHY do we haves bad at all? SO the good can RISE and and practice goodness.
    Every day has been sent a night to wrap it.
    Night and day, good and bad are all here at God’s will.

  • knowTheEnemy

    Good article but I notice one serious error in it. The Sikh Gurus were NOT “prophets”. They did not prophesise anything! Guru means ‘teacher’ or as the article says ‘enlightener’. The people were impressed by the good teachings of Gurus, and their character, so they (people) started respecting the Gurus as ‘messengers of God’ and their message as a divine message.

    However, being a ‘messenger of God’ is different from being a ‘prophet’! The Gurus were former.

  • Jasleen Ratra

    Indeed an ingenious summary! Some like me, who somewhat have an understanding about the religion (thanks to the noble souls who brought us up) are too lethargic and too engrossed in our everyday lives that we turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the myths around. I’m so glad to know someone somewhere is putting in efforts. Thank you and please keep writing! ^_^

  • Sahib Singh

    I only wish he expanded a little more on the Kirpan – the ceremonial dagger. It may be misconstrued as a weapon, but from our point of view, it is more of a symbol to remind us Sikhs of our history of fighting injustice. The BBC website puts it best: The Kirpan represents “defence of the weak, the struggle against injustice”. It is there to remind us that we should take responsibility to help someone in any situation that one may consider unfair. There are also little to no reports of the Kirpan actually being drawn to harm someone, and they are usually blunted anyways.

  • bakabomb

    I was greatly privileged to work with a Sikh software developer earlier in my career. What a gentleman and scholar! I have nothing but aloha for the Sikhs, who have quite a large community in the DC area. It was so sad when he decided to cut his hair and stop wearing his turban because of post-9/11 harassment. It didn’t change who he was, naturally, but how unfortunate that he was treated so poorly by ignorant members of the public that he felt he had no other choice.

    Ignorance is humanity’s major curse, whether it emanates from members of other faiths or those who practice no faith at all.

    • knowTheEnemy

      I would say the correct answer is “panentheistic”. Sikhs believe the divine is in everything and that the name of this divine is Akal Purakh (literally ‘Timeless Being’). If at some time in the future the creation no longer exists, Akal Purakh would still be there (since this Being is timeless).

      An important side note: Sikhs also believe in Waheguru. Waheguru is none other than than the light that was there in all the Gurus and that currently resides in the Guru Granth Sahib. This light is no different from the light of Akal Purakh, however there is more personal of a connection with the Guru. For this reason, in everyday conversations, you will hear Sikhs refer to God always as Waheguru. You will hear them say ‘Akal Purakh’ only during academic conversations. In other words, you will sense a lot more personal connection (to God) whenever the Sikh mentions ‘Waheguru’.

      The light of Akal Purakh is also present in all other beings, however the Gurus are seen as enlightened and hence at a higher spiritual plane. It is this ‘enlightened light’ that is called as Waheguru.

      Hope this helped.

      • bakabomb

        It did help, very much so, and I appreciate the details you shared. On that basis I concur that “panentheistic” is the more correct of the two. In light of that (pun intended!) I have a further comment.

        Many have said, and I agree, that the differences between major world religions are significant — but superficial. The basis for this claim is that “mystics” of all religions tend to have remarkably similar experiences of the Divine. Your descriptions of Waheguru and Akal Purakh fit very nicely into this observation.

        In Christianity, particularly “mystical”* Christianity, (without going into unnecessary detail here) the Divine Logos would be the equivalent of Akal Purakh — namely, the creative force that exists outside of time and space — and Waheguru is that portion of the Logos that resides in all of us, but particularly within the enlightened. “Logos” actually translates from the Greek as “Word”, of course, but among Christians it’s interpreted as divine light just as often, if not more so. As you say, Akal Purakh is transcendent while Waheguru is personal and within.

        It seems that the closer we approach the source, the more we learn to cherish our similarities rather than our differences.

        * I put quotes around “mystic” and “mystical” because to me it’s a fairly arbitrary distinction and not a particularly adequate description in any case.

  • nabhan

    Loved the article. Thank you!

    The last part seemed a bit out of place though, almost as though it were pandering just to American society. From my understanding of it, Sikhs have had significant impacts through out history on many societies.

  • Rajdeep Singh

    Nice Article but disagree with the 6th point…D sikhs are not targeted in India…I cherish d values of my religion and have been allowed d freedom to do so by d nation for the past 28 years

  • Sarina

    Beautifully written article. I use many of these points to describe Sikhism to my friends.

  • Harbans Lal

    Among the contributions Sikh made to the Western society is included invention of GPS. Mohinder Singh Grewal is a noted educator and internationally recognized authority on satellite global positioning and important patent holder was named Cal State Fullerton’s Outstanding Professor for 2009.

  • http://www.projectivecity.com Benjamin Evans

    Great job. I’m your typical humanist atheist, but I think Sikhism is likely the most sensible of religions, since (at least from what I’ve seen), Sikhism really is often about serving others and social justice. I lived in Rockaway Beach during the Sandy event, and Sikhs were there handing out food before the Red Cross showed up. Plus, if I’m not mistaken, recently Sikhs have been going around giving food to the homeless as part of special week (or month??), which they also do one day a week anyway. If “spirituality” can come to mean pragmatic moral action and can provide a much lacking sense of community and solidarity in society, I’m all for it! Of course there is going to be corruption, and fanatics tied to political goals who can justify brutal violence as “social justice” (Air India bombing!), and no religion is free from this kind of thing. Still, on balance, Sikhism is a tremendously impressive tradition. Thanks for helping to make it clearer for us non-Sikhs!

  • Pickabone

    Most sikhs are segregated into hindu castes(and thats how the majority decide they want to get married) and are egotistical(ego being one of the no no’s) about their castes, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. Most sikhs follow hindu traditions, and only rarely will you find a sikh that doesn’t and if they don’t they excuse the others and not stand up for what is right as the religion says so. Apparently, there are new self proclaimed gurus (when there aren’t suppose to be anymore and not just one many)in sikhism but only “select few” (majority) go there and believe them to be gods of sorts. The real Sikhism is great for idealism but for such a broken and creature like a human its hard to follow especially when majority of the population that claims to be followers doesn’t follow in the footsteps. Why not just take up buddhism it says pretty much the same thing and its much much older and seems much more peaceful and accepting of the world? They are required to keep there hair because is a gift from god but nails are not. Your suppose to carry a knife for protection, which majority who claim to be sikhs don’t and on top what if the other guy is carrying a gun, where is the protection in that. I feel as if this is becoming a rant but it needs to be said at least for people look at the religion from the outside and think its all great and all so I shall sum it up.

    Spouting ideals and not living up to them and claiming your part of some elitist group is bs when no one(majority) is following. Im not trying to say sikh way of following things is bad but what the religion has become is just another religious institution tainted with corruption greed and power hungry MEN,and the ideals of the religion take a back seat. Taking buddhist muslim and hindu ideals and mixing them with hinduistic tradition doesn’t make a better religion. Honestly, the ideals themselves and the way they are presented, are not meant for modern generation. Overall if you are a sheep and need something to follow, follow what the religion stands for which is pretty much having strength and honesty.(this could be said for most religions)

    • Karanvir Singh

      These my thoughts , not commenting against you in any way.

      “Most sikhs are segregated into hindu castes(and thats how the majority decide they want to get married) and are egotistical(ego being one of the no no’s) about their castes, it doesn’t make any sense to me either”.
      —- Religion should not be by birth, it should be by choice and sikh Religion advocates this, I Dont have the knowledge about other religions to comment on this. Sikhs you are reffering to – are the people who born in a family of sikh faith. But it is up to each individual,what they want to follow.Yes its sad to see people follow casts.People who have faith in sikhism ,they wont do this.

      “Most sikhs follow hindu traditions, and only rarely will you find a sikh that doesn’t and if they don’t they excuse the others and not stand up for what is right as the religion says so.”
      —- Traditions are part of society but following a illogical tradition is what a human should oppose to. Its up to each indiviudal what they choose to do. Sikh do no impose their faith and beliefs on others.A sikh should lead by example and try to make other understand the importance of healthy peaceful traditions and not follow blindly any traditions.

      “Apparently, there are new self proclaimed gurus (when there aren’t suppose to be anymore and not just one many)in sikhism but only “select few” (majority) go there and believe them to be gods of sorts.”
      —- Yes humans are corrupt.

      “The real Sikhism is great for idealism but for such a broken and creature like a human its hard to follow especially when majority of the population that claims to be followers doesn’t follow in the footsteps.”
      —- For such a broken creature like human , we need A Faith , A Belief, A Direction for the misguided mind. Sikhism is a way to achieve that, and to be part to the Eternal One Soul. No doubt, its a hard path, that’s why one need guidance.

      “Why not just take up buddhism it says pretty much the same thing and its much much older and seems much more peaceful and accepting of the world?”
      —- Sure, its one own choice. If all of your answers are well answered by a religion/faith in Buddhism then why not. If you get to be a better human ,why not.

      “They are required to keep there hair because is a gift from god but nails are not.Your suppose to carry a knife for protection, which majority who claim to be sikhs don’t and on top what if the other guy is carrying a gun, where is the protection in that.”
      —- This is very naive.

      “I feel as if this is becoming a rant but it needs to be said at least for people look at the religion from the outside and think its all great and all so I shall sum it up.”
      —- Some people are helping it to make a rant. People should help to answer these questions. But one surely needs to be open/broad minded to comprehend others.

      “Spouting ideals and not living up to them and claiming your part of some elitist group is bs when no one(majority) is following.”
      —– No elitist group. Everyone is equal and roots to one. One doesn’t have to be Sikh to do the right. People following sikhism are people who believe in this faith and want to live and serve with kindness & dignity.

      “Im not trying to say sikh way of following things is bad but what the religion has become is just another religious institution tainted with corruption greed and power hungry MEN,and the ideals of the religion take a back seat.”
      —– Sikh believes in Guru GRanth Sahib. A person , a group of persons following that cant be tainted. what you are talking about is society, politics who do that in name of religion. And yes society is full of that. You are mixing the two different things.

      “Taking buddhist muslim and hindu ideals and mixing them with hinduistic tradition doesn’t make a better religion.”
      —– Thinking of a faith , like told by others and not experiencing anything would lead one to believe in such a thought.

      “Honestly, the ideals themselves and the way they are presented, are not meant for modern generation.”
      —– Modern generation, is such a misconception. It seems you defination of modern generation encompasses just technology advancement, science. When people start to live in peace with other/themselves, have a humble learning attitude, serving others , believe in equality and prosper that would be a modern generation. And we are far from that.

      “Overall if you are a sheep and need something to follow, follow what the religion stands for which is pretty much having strength and honesty.(this could be said for most religions).”
      —– Yes all religions say that in one other or other way. If you can achieve something , following something then why not. Everybody should reflect on their lives, I am quite sure they are following others(in one way or another).

  • Ninder003

    Gr8 article indeed.

  • Harpalsinh Jadeja

    This article gives information on Sikhism. I am Hindu Rajput but always have been fascinated by Sikhism because I didn’t know much. Simran Jeet Singh ji thank you. God bless for sharing. And to other people, guys what’s point on fighting about details and fairytale stuff and this and that. All religions are great and if you don’t believe in that religion then no need to talk bad. Like every parent teaches their kids, if u ain’t got nothing good to say then keep it silent. Guru Nanak ji and Guru Gobind ji were holy men and I don’t think we’re even close to their feet level therefore shouldn’t comment on them. Sorry I’d If I offended anyone.

    As for as this article, learned some new things. But 1 thing I do know is:
    Wahe Guru ka khalsa,
    Wahe Guru ki fateh
    Jo bole so nihaal
    SAT SRI AKAL

    Thank you and Jay Mataji
    Harpalsinh Jadeja

  • Sukhdev Singh Mann

    While all other things are right, 1st is completely wrong. It has roots in Hindu religion. Let’s accept the fact.

  • Dodo

    Inaccurate. This is what you would like sikhism to be. But this is not what sikhism is. This intention to showcase sikhism as a religion separate from hinduism started with the separatist movement in Punjab. Like all propaganda khalistanis (not sikhs) are trying to rewrite history, which like all re-wrtiers of history they will surely fail. As the motto of India is – satyamev jayate – truth always triumphs…. you can call harmandir sahib darbar shahib, because “har” is indo-sanskratic for “hari” which is another name for Vishnu, or you can punjabize “Govind” (another name for Vishnu) to “Gobind” or the fact that “Gobind” would pray to ‘Shiva’ in one of his most popular verses before he entered battle, which for a religion that claims to be warrior-esque, he seemed to consistently lose. So poor a millitary tactician was he that he could not even safe guard his own sons from the local muslim-mughal commander. Anyhow, like the hick catholics/evangelicals in the midwest the mostly agrarian demo of sikhism is begging for recognition and trying to create an identity be wrapping cloth around their head and growing a beard, for a bhakti movement offshoot that claimed to do away with ritualism in hinduism, it has in fact become an accurate representation of how rigid the hindu’s of punjab were in their beliefs back in the 1600’s.

  • Asa Raj Devinder Singh

    Aloha

  • Supaviter Singh

    Thanks for sharing this… many don’t know much about Sikhism and its contribution in India and the world peace and spirituality.

  • Guest

    This is post is to

  • Tony Scott

    First of all i’m a catholic !! I have a lot of respect of Sikhism and Sikhs but some points made here are totally wage and since i have read about India culture in depth i would like to point out the major mistakes in this article.

    This post has a lot of wrong information about the Asian religions !! Some things are right but some are totally against the facts.

    Sikhism is a separate religion no doubt but saying that it is not an offshoot of Hinduism is totally wrong !! Let me enlighten the people who have less knowledge about South-Asian cultures and religions. All the points i mention below could be checked online or on any other Sikh religious site.

    1. The first Sikh Guru Guru Nanak Ji was born to a Hindu family and was a Hindu himself obviously before Guru Ji started Sikhism.

    2. Sikhism has taken a lot of teachings from Hinduism. Such as :

    re-incarnation and rebirth till one gets enlightenment.
    Dharma which also means righteous path is also taken from Hinduism.
    Karma again a Hindu concept.
    The Guru Granth has hundreds of time the mention of Rama and Krishna or Hari in particular ( All three are Hindu gods. They have been mentioned in a positive way, so much so the 4th Guru was named Ram. ( Guru Ram Das ) and the 8th Guru was named Krishna by the followers. ( Guru Har Krishan )

    Hinduism does have a great influence over Sikhism but there are many other things on which Sikhism differs that makes it a different religion but saying that Sikhism is not an offshoot of Hinduism is wrong as the Key concepts of Hinduism i.e Karma and Dharma are also an integral part of Sikhism.

  • nadeem

    Hi,
    All its nice discussion here except few rough comments. I am an Ahmadi Muslim and i have a great respect for Hinudism and also for Sikhism and all other faiths. One great truth is that all religion emerge from each other, basically because they come from same Divine Origin. So if Sikhism emerged or seem to emerge from Muslims or Hindus then there shud be no objections. They do have their own identity. We also see that Budhism also emerged from great faith or Hinduism like Christianity did from Judaism, so there shud be no objection on that.
    India is a great land – it has its own peculiar needs and culture which some how tries to absorb all the religions in their traditions – some times local tradition dominate and original teachings. Its like Indianizing faiths. Still there are some deep Truths, you cannot Indianize or Westernize: 1- There is only One Creator (no matter how many attributes or names you have for him) and all else is creation or creature. ( be it The Holly Ghost, Vishnu or Brahma etc). 2- About Guru Nanak ji: though he was born in a hindu family but then turned to Islam and preached mostly in muslim lands – practised Islamic teaching like daily prayers, did fasting and even paid Pilgrimage to Mekkah and he used to wear the Sacred Robe (or Pak Chola) which had Quranic Verses and Kalma written on that). Note one Sikh Teaching/Bani: Awwal Allah Noor Upaya – Qudrat de sab bande) (…First Allah then others). 3- His hard and fast friend/companion/Follower was a Muslim (Bhai Mardana). 4- Guru Ji did not put any particular Label on his faith or teachings (Sikh or Seekh means learn or Learner) – but later events put them under their Other Gurus or Leaders with the name of Sikhism. 5- The foundation stone of The Golden Temple was laid by Hadhrat Mian Meer (A Muslim Saint from Lahore). 6- Despite people disagree with the name or teaching of Sikhism but one thing is clear that – The Temples of Sikhs appear to be like Mosques and Baba Guru Nanak Ji himself appeared to be like a Muslim Saint , and still his disciples have same looks (no wonder if some people still mistake them for muslims). 7- Because of Indianization of saints and faiths and Baba Ji’s Hindu background, no wonder if we see Hindu Teachings and details are used in Sikh Teachings as well (and off course Hinduism originally also carry same Divine Light).
    Now regardless of these truths, another truth is that Sikhism is a prominent Religion and must be honored and celebrated as any other Religion. This is just my personal understanding and I hope my words are taken as a gesture to show commonalities not differences. Thanks

  • CB Hype

    Thank you, I learned a lot. Sikhs are cool.

  • Happy Singh

    The guru’s were not Prophets, that’s a poor choice of words to refer to them.

  • Emma Boyden

    I’m athiest but your religion sounds beautiful to me! So peaceful and I love how all are equals. I haven’t heard much about it before. Thanks for the info