Archive for the ‘Principles and Concepts’ Category

Sikhi is a universal religion, what is your understanding of this phrase? What are views of non-Sikh, do they achieve the same end state as Sikh or something else?

Universal means it is for the benefit for the entire intelligent life forms that possess higher consciousness and the ability to realize God. Any human can obtain benefits from it without even becoming a Sikh. However, in order to achieve salvation, one must adopt Sikh way of life. For example, anyone can go to the […]

What is Simran?

Simran means to remember, and is a means of contemplative meditation using repetition which enables one to realize that they are an inseparable part of the divine. One can do simran by meditating upon Gurbani (the Holy Words contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji), Naam (word ‘Waheguru’) or just thinking or talking about God. […]

What does “Chardi Kalaa” mean?

Chardi Kalaa, a subtly composite concept, commonly translated as “high morale” or “high spirit”, signifies in the Sikh tradition, to which the usage is peculiar and native, a great deal more. It stands for a perennially blossoming, unwilting spirit, a perpetual state of certitude resting on unwavering belief in Divine justice. It is that everlasting […]

Who is a true Shaheed (martyr)?

What is the Sikh attitude towards death?

The word death always gets pushed to the back of our minds. What is it about death that we fear so much? The below video talks about the purpose of life, the philosophy of death, and explores Sikhi’s teachings of what happens after a person dies:

What is the Sikh understanding of pleasure and pain?

The Sikh religion teaches us to look upon pleasure and pain alike. But what does that mean? What are the different types of pains that we can experience? And why do we have to experience both pleasure and pain in life? In the below video these questions about Dukh and Sukh (pleasure and pain) are […]

What is the goal of human life?

Man’s creation could not have been meaningless. It is difficult to affirm what God had in mind when He created man. But one thing is certain that human life offers a great opportunity for development. There are three parts to man – the body, the mind, and the soul. The individual should develop all these […]

Is a Guru necessary for spiritual evolution?

Many religions of the world agree on the need for a spiritual guide. On meeting the True Perfect Guru, the ignorance of superstition is removed and divine knowledge obtained. The Guru sheds light through his message. What is important is not the person but ‘The Word’. According to the Sikh religion, liberation cannot be won […]

What are the traits of a True Guru?

In view of the need of a Guru, one must be on guard against a pseudo of fake Guru. Sikhi lays down certain qualifications and qualities for a Guru. Guru Raam Daas Ji says: ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਗੁਣ ਨਾਮ ਕਾ ਮੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਦੇਖਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ “The True Guru is the Ocean of Virtue of Naam, […]

Did the Sikh Gurus perform miracles? If so, why?

Prophets and saints have performed miracles. A miracle is an extraordinary event which reason or science cannot explain. Science has not yet advanced so far as to explain everything. According to the scientists, miracles have nothing to do with holiness or piety. Miracles are “not happening against the laws of God, but are the results […]

What is the relationship between the Sikh and the Guru?

The word Sikh means a learner, a student. He is therefore to get his instruction from a teacher who is called a Guru. The personality of the Sikh Guru, is so influential that it completely transforms the disciple and shapes his life to diviner issues. This is achieved not by personal and physical instruction but […]

Can prayer change things or destiny?

Those who offer prayers sincerely, know the efficacy and value of prayer. Other people think that prayer may give consolation and peace to man but cannot affect physical events, because the universe is governed by law. If fire burns today, it will also burn tomorrow, in spite of the prayer. Life is regular and smooth […]

Should we ask for worldly things in prayer?

Real prayer is deep and inward; it is a dialogue between man and God. It is being in companionship with the Almighty. Man’s friendship with God should enable him to grow like Him. In the fleeting moments of “vision”, man forgets his body and the world he lives in. He unites with his Lord and […]

What is the Sikh prayer?

A part of the prayer called ‘Ardaas’ was given to the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh. The first part invokes God and the blessings of first nine Gurus. The second part recounts the events in the life of the Tenth Guru, the subsequent Sikh history, the struggles faced and the sacrifices made, for the reform […]

Is it possible to conquer death?

Death has been interpreted in different ways. According to the general concept, death is the extinction of the body and the sense-organs. According to Sikh Gurus, death is the forgetting of God. Guru Nanak says: “If I remember Him, I live; when I forget Him, I am dead.” It is this forgetfulness of God which […]

Is there Fate or Freewill, according to Sikhi?

Sikhi affirms the omnipotence of God and consequently modifies the concept of Karma. Man is not a helpless puppet. The course of fate may be compared to the flow of a river, while individual action may look like an eddy, or a whirlpool or a wave. Man has a dual role: firstly, as a person […]

What is Karma?

The scientific concept of cause and effect, action and reaction is called the law of Karma(in religious parlance). A man reaps what he sows. Is it not typical that in spite of the law of Karma, man expects nectar after sowing poison? Just as our present life is the result of our past Karma, the […]

What is Grace?

If the theory of Karma were carried to its logical extreme, no man would deserve redemption. In Sikhi, the doctrine of Karma is modified by the “Principle of Grace”. Man’s sincere efforts and noble deeds achieve precious little. What is required is a constant solicitation of His aid in effort of spiritual endeavour. Recitation of […]

What is Bhagti?

According to Sikhi, Bhagti (also spelt Bhakti) is a way of life, a dynamic manifestation of faith, a kindling of the mind and awakening of the heart. Bhagti is absolute devotion to God. Bhagti does not mean living in an ivory tower, isolated from one’s fellowmen. It is neither asceticism nor renunciation. It is the […]

What are the five main vices?

Each religion has its own set of vices which its followers are enjoined to avoid. In Christianity, there are seven deadly sins. Sikhi, regards as sin any wilful disobedience of God’s law or principle of natural morality. Sin is a defiance of the Moral Law. In order to avoid vice, we must be able to […]

Who is a Sant (saint)?

In Sikhi “Saint” or “Sant” (in Panjabi) is not a title or name for a person. Sadly nowadays self-styled God men or the followers of pious Sikhs have ended up using the title of “Sant” (Saint) as part of the name of a leader of holy man. The use of “Sant” in Gurbani In Gurbani, […]

What are the five virtues, according to Sikhi?

The Virtue, of having the ability to do good, is a greed aid to the achievement of peace and happiness. Self control itself is a great virtue, because the mind usually turns to brooding on evil. Control over the organs of action – Karma Indries – is really necessary. The mischief of the tongue and […]

What is the place of evil, according to Sikhi?

Everything is created by God, even evil. But what we regard as evil has a special purpose to serve. Evil is neither Satan nor any demon. This Dark Age, Kalyug, (the age of sin) is the period when evil is likely to thrive. The purpose of evil is to test the character of man. According […]

What is the value of fasting?

Fasting if advised by the doctor may be good for health but has no religious merit. Some sects of the Hindus hold very strong views on fasting. For them, fasting has some real value and has to be strictly followed. Gurbani says: ਛੋਡਹਿ ਅੰਨੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਾਖੰਡ || ਨਾ ਸੋਹਾਗਨਿ ਨਾ ਓਹਿ ਰੰਡ || ਜਗ ਮਹਿ […]

What is the value of pilgrimage?

Hindu tradition emphasises the role of undertaking pilgrimages as an aid for one’s spiritual development. Sikhi does not consider pilgrimage as an act of spiritual merit. Guru Nanak went to places of pilgrimage to reclaim the fallen people, who had turned ritualistic. He told them of the need to visit that temple of God, deep […]

What is the true education, according to Sikhi?

The aim of education is to develop and integrate the human personality. The present system is lopsided and needs modification. Guru Nanak based the uplift of man on the cultivation of character. It is character which helps us to make the right choice or to take the right step in a moral crisis. Temptations come […]

What is conscience?

Within each individual is a source of inner judgement, which tells them what is right and what is wrong. Our conscience, is popularly called the voice of God. Even people who follow no particular religion have moral sense. They know what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Even atheists who […]

What is Maya?

Sikhi does not accept the conventional meaning of Maya as “illusion”. The world is not Maya; it is a creation of God and as such, an abode of the Truthful One, or rather a Temple of Divinity. According to Sikhi Maya epitomizes the principle duality. It is this duality which makes one forget the Lord […]

What is egoism?

Man possesses a divine essence. He is not separate from God, but on account of his self-assertion, he thinks he is. He builds round himself, wall of egoism which makes him forget “God in himself” and in all things. This is called Agyaan or ignorance. Guru Nanak says: ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨਿ […]

What is Naam?

The word ‘Naam’ is derived from the Sanskrit “Naaman” which means the practice of remembrance. The remembrance of God – “Naam Marg” is the essence of Sikhi. Just as water has different forms (liquid, vapour, and ice) but yet it’s still water. Similarly there is no difference between God and Naam. Naam is the ‘Divine […]

What is Sehaj Yoga?

“Yoga” means union, and therefore, means of merger with Divinity. Guru Nanak’s way is called – Naam Yoga or Sehaj Yoga. The word Sehaj means the natural or gradual process. Just as vegetables cooked over a slow fire retain their flavour, so in the same way, the sehaj discipline of mind and body, will bring […]

What is contentment?

Contentment lies in feeling satisfied with what one has. Some people question the value of contentment, because they consider ambition as the ladder to progress. The more one has, the more one seems to want. There is no end to ambition and greed. According to Guru Nanak Dev Ji, greed burns like an unquenchable fire; […]

What is humility?

As God is the Father of all human being, any slight or insult to anyone is to injure God in every soul. Guru Arjan says: ਸਭਿ ਜੀਅ ਤੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮੇਰੇ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਸਭ ਰੇਣ ਥੀਵਾ ॥ “All beings are Yours, O my God; bless me with Your Mercy, that I may become the dust under […]

What is renunciation?

Renunciation of the world – Tyaaga – is regarded by Hinduism as one of the ways to spiritual attainment. Many devotees leave their homes and go into the jungles to practice austerity. This approach is disregarded in Sikhi, because this way or renunciation is not practical in Kalyug (This age of darkness). The mind does […]

What is Seva?

The Gurus mentioned the performance of selfless service on the part of a disciple as the first step in Sikhi. By doing service of various kinds without payment or any expectation of reward, one acts as a Sewak, or Sewadar. From this may spring humility and the consequent elimination of one’s ego in this way, […]

What are the stages of spiritual development, according to Sikhi?

Spiritual attainment is directly allied to personal development. Much depends on the amount of effort – Saadhana – the devotee puts in. Meditation on “The Name”, joining the company of the saints, performing good or noble deeds all help one to progress on a spiritual plane. Guru Nanak has mentioned five stages of spiritual growth […]

What is the mission of the Khalsa?

The Khalsa was the creation of the last living Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. The ten Gurus had given more than 200 years of training to the Sikhs and wanted to demonstrate the type of Godman who would be perfect in all respects. He would be a model of Sikh principles. Guru Gobind Singh gave […]

How should we treat the apostates (Patits)?

The weak followers of any religion are likely to renounce their faith in fear or temptation, so it is, necessary to accept only those adherents who have a firm and sincere belief in the basic tenets of their religion. It has been observed that some Sikhs become apostate – Patits – on account of mixing […]

Are there castes among the Sikhs?

Sikhs have not caste system. Five hundred years ago, Guru Nanak introduced the concept of a casteless society. The Hindus rigidly adhered to the caste system which divided the community into water-tight compartments. This not only prevents social intercourse but also encourages fatalism. Caste system believed that people were born either pure or impure and […]

What is the “Guru Ka Langar”?

The institution of “free kitchen” or the “temple of bread”, as Puran Singh called it, was started by Guru Nanak. He desired that every Sikh should share his food with others – Wand Chhakna – and that his kitchen should be open to all. Subsequently the Langar took on an institution form and became a […]

What is the scope of the comprehensive discipline in a Sikh’s life?

In his personal life, a true Sikh has to follow a three-fold discipline: the discipline of the Word, the discipline of the Sacrament and the discipline of Service. The discipline of The Word implies that the Sikhs must rise early in the morning, say about 4 a.m., take a bath and then meditate on The […]

How can a man turn towards God?

Though it is not possible for man to become God, he may try to become God-like. According to Guru Arjan, there is no difference between the God-conscious soul and God. A man of God may lead the life of a householder or an ascetic. He has to observe strict physical, moral and spiritual discipline. He […]

Why is Sikhi not Evagenical?

Sikhi is the Truth. Therefore, Sikhs do not frighten others to convert to the religion as in Islam and Christianity with fear of eternal damnation, discrimination, inferiority, oppression and torture. Sikhs do not have to lure people to become Sikhs through greed and appealing to their lower desires as in Islam and Christianity. There are […]

What is Just-War in Sikhi?

“When we see this in practice however, we can see that very rarely has a Sikh War been any different to any other war fought on behalf of misguided religions: For Land, Nation and Resources.” Sikhi gives adherents principles and institutions to apply them and allows for people to choose the correct course of action. […]

What does “Bole So Nihaal” mean?

“Bole So Nihaal” is a Sikh war cry and slogan used to express high spirits, joy and happiness. It means “Whosover replies (to the call) shall be blessed.” The slogan is replied with everyone saying “Sat Siree Akaal”, meaning “True is the Immortal Lord”.

What does “Rehat Pyaaree Mujh Ko, Sikh Pyaara Naahe” mean?

The contemporaries and beloved Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, recorded the Tenth Master’s oral instructions and given discipline in Rehatnamas (Codes of Conduct). Bhai Desa Singh Ji’s Rehatnama states: ਰਹਿਤ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਮੁਝ ਕਉ ਸਿੱਖ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ “More than a Sikh, dear to me is to follow the rules of the Sikh conduct.” (Bhai […]

What are the Nau-Nidh (Nine treasures of wealth)?

Gurbani is essentially poetry. To convey the message effective language tools were needed to explain to individuals the message of Waheguru. These included using metaphors, imagery and similes. Guru Ji drew upon the culture, beliefs and ambient practices of the society when Gurbani was revealed to help explain to the common folk the universal message […]

What is the role of Women as given in Sri Guru Granth Sahib?

The role is that of a Gursikh, not of a man or woman but of a Sikh. Sikhi is a way of life and this code (Rehat) is the same for men and women, and so it is their role in the family, and in the community. Sikh men and women are to see their […]

Describe “Naam, Daan, Ishnaan, Kirat Karna and Vand Chhakna”.

In the words of Bhai Vir Singh Ji, the Sikh brotherhood can be described with five words: “NAAM, DAAN, ISHNAAN, KIRAT KARNA AND VAND CHHAKNA.” NAAM – Naming Him, The Secret of the personality that has no personal aims, ambitions, of selfishness. Selfishness is transcended by love. So by living in Him, by Naming him, […]

What is “Naam di Daat”?

What is Naam di Daat? This is a wonderful question and an intricate one too. With respect to Naam let’s ponder upon the following Gur-hukams from Gurbani: 1) NAAM JAPO MERE SAAJAN SAINA|| 2) NAU-NIDH AMRIT PRABH KA NAAM|| DEHI MEH ISS KA BISRAAM|| 3) NAAM KE DHARE SAGLE JANT|| NAAM KE DHARE KHAND BRAHMAND|| […]