Q70. What is the basic creed of the Sikhs?
The basic creed of the Sikhs - the Mul Mantra - gives the idea of Reality in a few telling words. The creed is:
Ekonkar Satnam, Karta Purkh, Nirbhav, Nirvair, Akal Murat, Ajoni, Suabhav, Gur Parsad.
In these words, Guru Nanak praises God and mentions some of His great attributes: He is Truth, self-created, beyond the limits of time, He can be realized through the grace of the Guru. Let us study the meaning of each word of the Mul Mantra.
(a) Ekonkar :
The only One Absolute God who is forever unfolding. He is the Absolute - the Transcendental. As such, He is Unknowable, Unfathomable. He is beyond description and beyond human comprehension.
(b) Satnam :
His name is true. He really exists. He is not an idea or a hypothesis or an illusion. As one who exists, He is ever changing. He is never the same, evolving and growing. Everything exists in Him and is caused by Him. His name is Truth. He is formless - He is "The Holy spirit" - NAM.
(c) Karta Purkh :
He is the creator of the cosmos. He is responsible for the coming into existence of the whole universe.
(d) Nirbhav :
He is fearless. He is afraid of no one because He is the Lord of the universe.
He is without any enmity. His love and protection extend to all. This cuts at the root of the theory of the chosen prophets and the chosen people. Like God, a true Sikh must be fearless and impartial. This will help to establish equality and justice.
(f) Akal Murat:
He is Timeless. He is not subject to death.
He is unborn. God does not take birth in any manner. This is the very antithesis of the theory of incarnation.
He is self-existent. He is unique in His own right.
(i) Gur Prasad:
By the grace of the Guru, the Sikh can acquire knowledge of God
The short form of the creed is Ekonkar Satgur Prasad as used in the Guru Granth Sahib.