Truth is One Paths are Many

A Comparative Study of various Traditions & Philosophy of Several World Religions
Will Some One Tell Me What the Great Religions Believe?
A Primer of World Religions - What they are & What they believe
3. Sikhism
Founded: Sikhism began about 500 years ago in Punjab Province of Northern India.
Founder: Guru Nanak
Major Scriptures: The Ädi Granth, revered as the present Guru of the Faith.
Adherents: Estimated at nine million, mostly in the State of Punjab, India.
Sects: Besides the Khalsa, there are the Ram Raiyas in Uttarpradesh,
and two groups that have living Gurus -- Mandharis and Nirankaris.


The Muslims began their invasions of India some 1,200 years ago. As a result of Islam's struggle with Hindu religion and culture, leaders sought a reconciliation between the two faiths, a middle path that embraced both.

Sikhism (from sikka, meaning "disciple") united Hindu bhakti and Sufi mysticism most successfully.

Sikhism began as a peaceful religion and patiently bore much persecution from the Muslims, but with the tenth guru, Govind Singh, self-preservation forced a strong militarism aimed at protecting the faith and way of life against severe opposition.

Sikhism stresses the importance of devotion, intense faith in the guru, the repetition of God's name (nām) as a means of salvation, opposition to the worship of idols, the brotherhood of all men and rejection of caste differences (though certain caste attitudes persist today).

There have been no gurus in the main Sikh tradition since Guru Gobind Singh, whose last instructions to followers were to honor and cherish the teachings of the ten gurus as embodied in the scripture, Ãdi Granth.





Sikh Beliefs

1. I believe in God as the sovereign One, the omnipotent, immortal and personal Creator, a being beyond time, who is called Sat Nām, for His name is Truth.

2. I believe that man grows spiritually by living truthfully, serving selflessly and by repetition of the Holy Name and Guru Nānak's Prayer, Japaji.

3. I believe that salvation lies in understanding the divine Truth and that man's surest path lies in faith, love, purity and devotion.

4. I believe in the scriptural and ethical authority of the Ãdi Granth as God's revelation.

5. I believe that to know God the guru is essential as the guide who, himself absorbed in love of the Real, is able to awaken the soul to its true, divine nature.

6. I believe in the line of ten gurus: Guru Nānak, Guru Angad, Guru Amardas, Guru Rām Dās, Guru Arjun, Guru Har Govind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Krishnan, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Govind Singh-all these are my teachers.

7. I believe that the world is māyā, a vain and transitory illusion; only God is true as all else passes away.

8. I believe in adopting the last name "Singh," meaning "Lion" and signifying courage, and in the five symbols:
i. white dress (purity),
ii. sword (bravery),
iii. iron bracelet (morality),
iv. uncut hair and beard (renunciation),and
v. comb (cleanliness).

9. I believe in the natural path and stand opposed to fasting, pilgrimage, caste, idolatry, celibacy and asceticism.


The Goals of Sikhism:

The goal of Sikhism lies in moksha, which is release and union with God, described as that of a lover with the beloved and resulting in self-transcendence, egolessness and enduring bliss, or ānanda. The Sikh is immersed in God, assimilated, identified with Him. It is the fulfillment of individuality in which man, freed of all limitations, becomes co-extensive and co-operant and co-present with God. In Sikhism, moksha means release into God's love. Man is not God, but is fulfilled in unitary, mystical consciousness with Him. God is the Personal Lord and Creator.

Path of Attainment:

To lead man to the goal of moksha, Sikhism follows a path of japa and hymns. Through chanting of the Holy Names, Sat Nām, the soul is cleansed of its impurity, the ego is conquered and the wandering mind is stilled. This leads to a superconscious stillness. From here one enters into the divine light and thus attains the state of divine bliss. Once this highest goal is attained, the devotee must devote his awareness to the good of others. The highest goal can be realized only by God's grace, and this is obtained exclusively by following the satguru (or nowadays a sant, or saint, since there are no living gurus, by the edict of Gobind Singh, the tenth and last guru) and by repeating the holy names of the Lord guided by the Ådi Granth, the scripture and sole repository of spiritual authority. For Sikhs there is no image worship, no symbol of Divinity.

Truth is One :: Paths are Many
A study comparing the essential beliefs of World Religions