We shall inspire people to utter the Name of God;
We shall ride the Steeds of Freedom.
We shall fly the falcon of royal sovereignty,
Seeing which the oppressor shall fade away.
We shall make one Sikh strong enough,
To fight a hundred thousand men, who oppose the Panth
We shall exalt the Khalsa spiritually,
when they fight relentlessly for righteousness.
– Guru Gobind Singh Ji (as recorded by Bhai Nand Lall), circa 1701
We have taken a draught of The Name
And have lost our sensibilities.
The Path Stands Intoxicated.
The Pillars along the Path Are The Martyrs
– Sardar (The Path – Panth, Sikh Nation).
I do not profess to have a deep knowledge of Sikhi but I come from roots that have been drenched in Sikhi for centuries. So therefore I profess on this basis to have some knowledge of authentic Sikhi.
These are in my estimation the basic principles derived from The Sikhi (bhul chuk maaf):
1. There is one God
This is the paramount principle. But the definition of God in Sikhi differs from that of all other religions. God according to Sikhi, permeates the entire multiverse and everything metaphysical and beyond perception. Permeates should not be interpreted in a corporeal sense. The Guru Granth Sahib says that his light illuminates each and every heart. Permeates is interpreted in this manner. God does not incarnate on Earth or elsewhere. God is beyond life and death. God is beyond Time. God has no fear or hatred. According to Sikh scripture it is a waste of time to philosophize on his nature, God is mysterious and unknowable.
The fundamental creed of Sikhi is enunciated in the very first stanza (the mool mantra or root principle). This states all that can be said about God.
Corollary: Sikhi is a very simple and unadorned religion. Do not fall for entrapments into mysticism. A prominent example of this is the dasam dwar or tenth gate which is some gate in the head through which energy can escape. This is all nonsense. The Guru Granth sahib uses the term in poetic symbolism only. It is not meant to be taken literally, or physically. There is no scientific proof that any such portal or gate exists.
2. There Is A Principle Even Higher Than Belief In God
The precept of Sikhi is that belief in God is virtuous and honourable but there is a principle even higher and that is to simply live a truthful life and do good. A truthful life means standing up for the truth and doing good deeds without any expectation of gain. Salvation can be obtained by simply living a truthful life.
Consequently Sikhi has no problem with atheists, agnostics and pagans.
3. Prayer Is Virtuous
Sikhs pray not because God is jealous and requires that you pay homage to him, but because prayer leads to a truthful and virtuous life. Sikhs are required to pray everyday. The Sikh theory is that prayer (from the Gurbani, not any other scripture) does two things, (1) purify the mind; and (2) makes one’s reputation stainless.
Corollary: I simply recite the Japji Sahib which I know by heart.
Corollary: Prayer is only simple prayer in Sikhism. It is reciting a prayer from the Guru Granth Sahib (or gutka). No ritual or yoga can be attached to it.
Corollary: The Sikh convention is that a prayer such as Japji Sahib or Rehraas Sahib is simply recited. That is it. The prayer is not suffixed by asking God to intervene. In any event God will not in the Sikh cosmology intervene and grant some personal benefit. There is only one exception, The Ardas which is the paramount prayer of the entire Sikh Nation, seeks the welfare of all sentient beings, the return of the Sikh Holy Shrines from which Sikhs have been forcibly evicted and the supplication to assist the coming of Khalsa Raj. On critical occasions such as the beginning of a battle, Sikh warriors have recited the Ardas and asked for victory in battle.
4. Living A Good Life Is Not Sufficient To Gain Salvation
Salvation depends on the grace of God only. Nobody can show any goodness to God (The relevant verse from the Japji Sahib is: teha na sujhi je tes gun koi kare ).
5. Salvation Is Uniquely Defined In Sikhi
In Sikhi there is no Heaven where ministrels are playing sweet music and you walk around enjoying delectable delights. There are no lovely virgins. Salvation involves losing all personality and individuality. The closest analogy that I can think off is the soul merging like a drop of water into the ocean. There is no concept of an everlasting life in some Heaven.
6. We Are Not Born Evil
Sikhi completely disagrees with the Jewish, Christian and Islamic concept that man is born evil. The Guru Granth Sahib states: “his light illuminates each and every heart“. Because of this one single verse there were never any hangings, beheadings , corporal punishment or death sentences during the span of the Sikh Empire (sarkar-e-khalsa jio) of 3 million square metres.
7. There Is No Hell
Sikhi does not accept the Jewish, Christian and Muslim concept of a Hell where punishment in eternity is meted out to sinners. This concept is a fantasy designed to instill fear and hatred in the minds of men. However there is punishment for evil deeds if God so wills; beyond this nothing more can be said.
8. True Sikhs Do Not Enter The Places Of Worship Of Other Religions
This is a historical rule. Sikhs respect all religions but do not enter the places of worship of other religions. Sikhs only follow the Guru Granth Sahib and do not follow the precepts of any other religion. Sikhi is very exalted must not allow itself to be contaminated by other religions which not only contain scientific absurdities but also espouse hatreds. Sikhi is repeatedly called a treasure in the Granth (O’ Giver, a treasure is your Sikhi). Sikhs are required to jealously guard it’s integrity.
9. Sikhi Explicitly States That Females Are Equal In All Respects
It is explicitly enunciated in the Guru Granth Sahib that females are equal in all respects to males. In many verses, the Guru Granth Sahib characterizes God as our mother and father. A reading of Sikh History shows that Sikhs had many female warriors and military commanders. The most famous is the young married singhnee, Bhag Kaur, who lead 40 horsemen on a daring suicidal attack where defeat and death was guaranteed; the objective was simply to buy time. Every Sikh knows about Bhag Kaur. The second prominent example is Sardarnee Sada Kaur who led 42,000 horsemen in a daring attack to capture the capital of the Moghul Empire. As late as 1965, Sardarnee Nirlep Kaur maintained her own private army (misl).
10. The Sikh Scripture Must Be Read Publicly In It’s Entirety On A Frequent Basis
This validates the Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhi is unique in respect of this dictum. Other religions only engage in selective readings of their texts and hide the unfavorable portions from the public.
11. The Sikh Religion Specifically Forbids A Priesthood
The Sikh religion is not administered by a hierarchy of priests. A Sikh place of worship has only a person who reads the Guru Granth Sahib and anybody can be such a reader. The Jathedar of the Akal Takht is a political position of the Sikh Nation.
Corollary: There can be no cults. By implication Sikhism does not permit cults. Cults are organized groupings with a hierarchical control structure.
12. The Sikh Scripture Has Only One Interpretation
The Guru Granth Sahib is easy to understand. It was meant to so be. It does not require a priesthood. It’s a scripture for humanity at large.It transcends nations, tribes and races. A reading of Sikh history shows that many attempts to split the Guru Granth Sahib on the basis of conflicting interpretations have been made by the enemies of Sikhi. These have failed. The latest attempt is the RSS backed attempt to move Sikhs to the dasam granth. It too will fail.
13. The Sikh Place Of Worship (Gurdwara) Is Open To All And Must Remain Open Day And Night.
This needs no explanation. It is implemented at the outset of the creation of The Sikhi.
14. No Person Can Can Claim Ownership Of A Gurdwara
All Gurdwaras belong to God only. They are the property of the Sikh Commonwealth and not personal property in any sense.
Corollary: No person can be evicted from a Gurdwara except where the Guru Granth Sahib is being disrespected. Theologically, bare legal title cannot be used to assert property rights to a Gurdwara.
15. The Path Of Sikhi Is Very Noble And Exalted
The Sikh religion is a very lofty and exalted religion. The entire Guru Granth Sahib is a divine revelation. The Granth contains no hatreds, laws or histories. It is ethereal and connects on a very deep emotional level. Being a poetic work, it does not translate well. It does not according to my knowledge contain any scientific inaccuracies. Sikhi validates Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species.
16. Sikhi Validates Darwin’s Theory Of The Origin Of The Species As Well As The Origin Of The Universe
The Sikh scripture talks of an expanding universe. And Universes beyond universes (in other words multiverses). The Sikh religion disagrees with the Christian stories about the origin of the Universe as stated in the Book Of Genesis. Sikhi simply states that the universe is created by God for his purpose. God is stated to be beyond time. Sikhi does not agree that God created the Universe in a single and final act not involving evolution over time. Sikhism disagrees with the Biblical statement that man is created in the image of God. Sikhism does not agree with the concept that God specifically created Adam and Eve. According to Sikhi all beings are the equal creation of God. .
17. The Sikh Scripture Shows The Way The World Will end
The Sikh scripture disagrees that there is a judgment day. The seal verse of the Granth which closes the Granth states that eventually the universe as we know it will collapse like a wall of sand. The last verse states that at the end, the saints will remain and the Word will remain.
18. The Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) Specifies The Essential Practise Of Sikhi
The SRM enunciated almost a century ago it is the Sikh Code Of Conduct. It specifies Sikh practise as distilled from Sikh history. It attempts to codify the Panthic Rehat Maryada enunciated by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is a truthful distillation of Sikh history. Every Sikh should know the SRM.
19. Sikhi Completely Rejects Rituals, Pilgrimages, Penances, Austerities, Yogas, Miracles, Supernatural Events, Praying At Tombs And So Forth
At the time of the beheading Of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Kazi (Muslim Magistrate) advised the Guru that according to Mongol tradition, the Guru could only avoid death by either converting to Islam or showing a miracle. To this, the Guru replied that no person could make a miracle. And thus the Guru gave his life rather than convert to Islam.
Corollary: God does not intervene in human affairs.
Corollary: Yogas and ritualistic practises are not only completely useless but blaspheme the Sikh religion
20. Sikhism Completely Disavows Prophecies
Sikhism completely rejects the idea that certain people have prophetic power due to some endowment from God. This is a blunt falsehood. All claims of a revelation are a falsehood. Furthermore, the future actions of God cannot be predicted by any man. God can do as God pleases. Therefore the book of Revelations in the Bible is a falsehood.
21. The Way Of Sikhi Is Sharper Than The Edge Of A Dagger
This is actually a very old saying. The Sikh religion is very simple but practising it is difficult because it requires presence in the domain of action. The Guru Granth Sahib says: “If you want to play the game of love, step onto my path with your head on a platter”.
22. Sikhs Only Marry Sikhs
A historical rule which is also stated in the Sikh Rehat Maryada. The Emperor of the Sikhs was tied to a post to be whipped for daring to marry a Muslim lady. He was not whipped.
23. It is Evil To Make Money Off The Sikh Religion
With the loss of the Sikh Empire and Sikh political sovereignty; scamsters and charlatans attacking the Sikh religion for personal profit have increased manifold. The dictum of Guru Gobind Singh is that these scammers can be chastized since they are for personal profit and with malice aforethought poisoning the Guru Granth Sahib. The historical basis for this dictum is the history of the Masands in Sikhi as well the Dehradun incident. The Masands with the assistance of constituted authority set themselves up as Gurus and denied Guru Gobind Singh entry into the Darbar Sahib. Scammers always use constituted authority to their personal advantage.
Corollary: It is evil and the epitome of blasphemy to follow persons who set themselves up as Gurus. Guru Gobind Singh has explicitly forbidden this practise.
Corollary: Many scammers call themselves Guru and prefix their name with Guru. Guru Gobind Singh Ji asserted upon his merger into God, that the guruship vested in the Granth and Sikhs were forbidden henceforth to follow any human guru. By the dictum of Guru Gobind Singh calling yourself a guru or prefixing your name with Guru constitutes a blasphemy. Many white scammers prefix their names with Guru.
24. The Guru Granth Sahib Is To Be Treated As Emperor On Earth
Sikhs consider the Guru Granth Sahib to be a divine revalation. Beyond this, the Sikh scripture has theo-political status. In Sikh Gurdwaras, the Guru Granth Sahib is accorded the status of an Emperor on Earth. The Granth is placed on a throne and fanned in the same manner as the Moghul Emperor was. At the time this custom arose, it was treated as an act of treason against the Sultanate. Sikhs bow before the Granth in recognition of the sovereign status of the Granth.
25. The Flag Of The Sikh Race And Nation Must Fly Higher Than The Flags Of All Nations
The political supremacy of the Guru Granth Sahib is projected with the Sikh Flag, the Nishaan Sahib (the Respected Mark) which typically flies under the shadow of the Sikh broadsword. The Nishaan Sahib is required to fly higher than the flags of nations.
26. You Cannot Call Yourself A Sikh If You Do Not Know Sikh History
The practise and implications of Sikhi are proven in authentic Sikh history. History shows us how Sikhs have applied Sikhi. Understanding Sikh history is critical to the Sikh religion. History protects Sikhi from it’s enemies.
Corollary: It is important that Sikhs know authentic Sikh history. Many valuable lessons can be learned thereby.
27. Sikhi Stands On Three Pillars : Prayer, Sewa And The Institution Of Langar
Prayer has been explained. Sewa in the Sikh definition is the performance of charity without any expectation of gain. If there is an expectation of gain then it is not sewa. Sewa is very virtuous according to the Sikh religion. The institution of langar provides that any person may enter a Gurdwara at any time, day and night and be fed. You must seat yourself on the floor in humility next to anyone without any distinction on caste, color or creed. Sikhs believe that it is a great honour to sit in a langar.
28. The Sikh Theory Of War Was Enunciated By Guru Gobind Singh
There are two cardinal principles, both attributable to Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Firstly it is rightful to pick up the sword when all other means have failed. Secondly: Evil is to be resisted and uprooted but the sword is to be never struck in hatred or in anger or in the spirit of revenge.
It was observed during the battles of Guru Hargobind that he never displayed any emotion during battle. The same was observed of Guru Gobind Singh.
Sikhs do not exult in war, don’t hold victory banquets, triumphs. A theoretical article by a leading Sikh intellectual is here: The Sikh Code Of War
28. You Are Not A Sikh If You Do Not Follow The Chardi Kala Doctrine
To maintain Chardi Kala is a religious obligation of Sikhs. It is best explained here: The Chardi Kala Doctrine
29. True Sikhs Are Required To Be In The Domain Of Action
Sikhs are required to be dynamic and excel in the material world. They are required to use their success to further the ultimate objective of Sikhi.
30. Real Sikhs Have Unique Qualities
Sikhs who follow and understand the Guru Granth Sahib have unique qualities. They are fearless and brave. They defend truth and oppose evil. Real Sikhs are never hypocritical. It was said of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale that there was no difference between what he said and what he did. This is a mark of a true Sikh.
31. Sikhs Teach Their Children That Their Father Is Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh Ji sacrificed all of his children at the alter of Sikhi. And for this reason Guru Gobind singh Ji is called sarbans dhani. Sikhs remember these sacrifices by teaching their sons and daughters that their father is Guru Goind Singh Ji and their mother is Sahib Kaur Ji.
32. Sikhi Has Cast Asunder All Bloodlines
Sikhs do not believe in bloodlines, chosen peoples, tribal designations and all divisions caused by birth in different families and regions. The Guru Granth Sahib requires all of humanity to be treated as one. By the requirement of Guru Gobind Singh, all Sikh males must ONLY use the surname Singh and all females must ONLY use the surname Kaur.
33. Sikhi Is A Warrior Religion
The actual term used is Sant Sapahi (warrior saints). The Guru Granth Sahib repeatedly asserts that being in the congregation of sant sapahis is a path for salvation. Sikhi requires it’s true adherents to be fearless and valiant (follow the chardi kala doctine). They must admit no difference between life and death. They are required to uphold the truth.
Corollary: The example of Guru Gobind Singh shows that the way of the warrior can be very exalted. The world is populated by evil people who will rape your children, brutalize your wife and kill you, try to convert you. And then go to their Churches, Mandirs or Mosques to get salvation. Sikhs are duty bound to oppose tyrants and killers. The Guru Granth Sahib repeatedly states that being in the congregation of sant sapahis (warrior saints) is also a path for salvation.
Bhai Gurdas, Anthem Of The Sikh Nation: circa 1702:
34. Sikhs Are Required To Be Well Versed In Political Science
This is an edict of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The term used was raj niti. The ultimate object of Sikhi cannot be met if Sikhs are not competent in Political Science.
35. Sikhs Are Required To Be Proficient In The Use Of Weapons
This is a requirement of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. There are numerous evidences of this requirement.
36. The Sikh Turban Is A Symbol Of The Political Sovereignty Of The Sikh Religion
The Sikh turban gives Sikhs their unique identity and makes them recognizable the world over. It reminds Sikhs that the Khalsa has not been beaten into submission. In it’s origin, wearing the Sikh turban constituted a death sentence because it represented an open sign of defiance to constituted authority. The historical saying connected with the Sikh turban is “ja baagi ja baadshah“. That is, when you wear the Sikh turban, you are either a fugitive on the run or a King.
37. The Sikh Nation Cannot Be Destroyed As Long As Sikhs Wear The Patiala Shahi Turban
Just my principle. As long as Sikhs wear the Patiala Shahi turban it will be evident to the world that they are dealing with a people separate and apart.
Wearing the Patiala Shahi turban makes you care about your appearance. Many young Sikh males become very vain when they wear the Patiala Shahi turban. They look very manly and striking.
38. A Sikh In Public Represents Not Only Himself But The Entire Sikh Nation
An old rule. Sikhs in their public appearances must be off the utmost good conduct since they represent the Sikh nation and are sons and daughters of Guru Gobind Singh.
39. Sikhs Address Each Other Using Only Full Names
Another old rule rooted in Sikh history. Sikhs treat each other with decorum and respect.
40. The Entire Sikh History Is Nothing More Than A Long Battle To Establish The Political Sovereignty Of The Khalsa
This is the lesson that is derived when one studies the panorama of Sikh History. Along the path to this objective, the Khalsa is required to defend the weak, the oppressed and the dishonoured of this world. Guru Gobind Singh is the friend of all those who have no friends at all.
In the most fundamental prayer of the Sikhs, recited daily in Sikh gurdwaras, God is addressed as the honour of those who have been completely dishonoured and defilled; the strength of those who have no strength left; the support of those who have no support left.
Bhai Nand Lall Ji in his composition ;;; asserts that Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the friend of all those who have no friends at all.
About the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh Ji asserts: Tanners, weavers, washermen, heavy ladden labourers take this divine light it is for you and you alone.
Sikhi will always stand with the oppressed of this earth.
41. The Ultimate Objective Of Sikhi Is To Establish Khalsa Raj (Khalistan). Degh Tegh Fateh Is The Core Principle And REASON for Sikh Sovereignty.
Guru Gobind Singh has explicitly asserted Raj Karega Khalsa on the date of his merger into God in his last sermon. All Sikhs are required to work towards Khalistan. Guru Gobind Singh Ji asserts that the Sikh religion cannot survive without sovereignty and without sovereignty all is lost.
When Banda Singh Bahadur established the Sikh Nation, the coins struck stated: Guru Nanak Guru Gobind Singh on one face and Degh Tegh Fateh on the obverse face. Degh Tegh Fateh means Victory To The Cooking Bowl And The Sword. This means that the Khalsa will feed everyone and the Khalsa will protect and provide shelter and comfort for everyone (regardless of creed, caste, color).
When Sikh sovereignty establishes a Sikh nation, we can call it Khalistan or by it’s very beautiful and romantic historical name: Sarkar-E-Khalsa Jio.
42. What Does Sikhi Say About Other Religions
The Guru Granth Sahib says:
Among all religions this is the supreme religion
Among all rituals and codes of conduct, this is above all.
43. The Guru Granth Sahib Is The Greatest Poison Ever Invented
Just my rule. Sikhi is compelling. This scripture completely erases the distinction between life and death. It has been repeatedly queried that how is it that a scripture that does not have one word of hate, one word of killing and is so completely infused with love; continually give rise to warriors and shaheeds who sacrifice everything for The Sikhi. Does the answer lie here: The Long Slow War
A portion of the scripture with an excellent English translation:
Mormons Visit The Sikhi
An honourable depiction: