What Do Sikhs Believe?

Number of Followers: 27 Million

Place of Origin: Punjab, India

Date of Origin: ca. 1500 A.D.

Sacred Text: Grant Sahib (means “First Book” in Punjab)

Founder: Guru Nanak

Core Tenets:

  • God

Sikhs believe in one god that is an active part of creation. This makes them monotheists.

Sikhs believe that they can become closer to God, or “one with God”, and that serving their fellow humans and living the Sikh way of life will allow them this direct access to God. This service to the world reflects the “oneness” of all created things. This way of life prescribed by the Grant Sahib is called “Seva”.

  • Way of Life

Sikhs observe a way of life that easily distinguishes them from other faiths. These observable practices are called “the 5 K’s”

Kesh- Long, uncut hair.

Kangha- A wooden comb that is kept in the hair at all times.

Kara- A metal bracelet that Sikhs wear on their wrist.

Kachera- A short undergarment, worn at all times by baptized Sikhs. These were originally worn by soldiers, symbolizing to the faithful Sikhs their need to see themselves as spiritual soldiers and to have respect for themselves.

Kirpan- A dagger carried by Sikhs at all times. The Kirpan is a defensive weapon that reminds wearers of their duty to defend those who are in need. Sikhs are to constantly remind themselves that injustice is not someone else’s concern, but that the faithful Sikh should always address injustices around them.

  • Equality & Rejection of Caste

Due to Sikhs believing in “oneness” to all creation, they believe that all men and women are equal. This can be seen in their rejection of the caste system that sometimes defines South Asia and Hinduism. Since wearing turbans was at one time a royal attire, the Sikh turban serves to remind them of the fact that all people are equal.