Principles of Sikhism (Universal elements of Sikhism)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji says,
“The first is truthfulness, second the honest earning and third charity in God’s name. The fourth is pure intent and mind, and the fifth is the Lord’s admiration and praise.”
ਪਹਿਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਹਲਾਲ ਦੁਇ ਤੀਜਾ ਖੈਰ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥
ਚਉਥੀ ਨੀਅਤਿ ਰਾਸਿ ਮਨੁ ਪੰਜਵੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਨਾਇ ॥
Sikhism is a way of life and form of thought attaching importance to optimistic, dynamic and happy life with prescribed code of conduct. It is a way to conduct and govern true life all the times and at all the places in every behaviour according to the Word of God. The Sikh Gurus required of a Sikh to be wise, intelligent, understanding, erudite, generous, incapable of doing wrong, closed to weakness, humble, content, shy and grateful as God endowed him with flawless soul. Sikhism stands for human liberty, equality, fraternity, universalism, freedom of conscience, social justice, ethical living, gender equality, and Charhdi Kala or dynamic power. It believes in love, selfless service, human dignity, self respect, Simran and Sarbat Da Bhala.
Guru Nanak Dev founded the Sikh religion by establishing universal elements in it. Sikhism stands on the cardinal principles of earning one’s bread by honest labor, sharing the earnings with the needy willingly and with pleasure, meditating on the Name of One God, singing His praises and by doing noble deeds.
The principles of Kirt Karna (honest labor), Wand Chhakna (sharing the earnings) and Nam Japna (Meditation on the Name of God) must be studied as a community and applied accordingly in life.
Sikhism stands for human liberty, equality and fraternity. It believes in universal brotherhood, universal peace and prosperity with commitment for selfless service to the entire human race. The Sikh prayer all over the world is not confined to a single community, a nation or a country. It is for well-being of entire human race. It is universal and all embracing. It is not confined to a single caste, colour, creed, country or a gender. It does not know the man made barriers or cruel diversities but believes in:-
-Universal brotherhood of mankind.
“The One Light is the light in all bodies.”
ਏਕਾ ਜੋਤਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਸਰੀਰਾ ॥
“The One Light is all pervading, only a few know it.”
ਸਭ ਏਕਾ ਜੋਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੇ ਕੋਈ ॥
-Universal peace and prosperity i.e. in mind, heart, family, community and everywhere globally.
The Sikh scriptures speak more of happiness (Sukh-Peace of mind) and attainment of unity with Supreme Soul as one of the goals of life, rather than peace (Shanti) by suppressing, antagonising and eliminating others. Why is this? Happiness is active, peace is passive; happiness is the presence of justice based on truth, peace just the absence of conflict; happiness requires justice which depends on courage and righteousness, peace can be obtained through force, suppression and brutal oppression; happiness is inclusive as it beams outwards, peace is exclusive as we shut borders and sweep things under the carpet; Life is happy, but it is not peaceful – there will always be three opinions when there are two people, so the search for peace may well be a journey of repression internally and externally.
There are many examples of where the search for peace went wrong. Emperor Aurangzeb in India sought peace of mind through imposing his religious belief on other people, cutting out what to him seemed confusion, competing visions, and lies. People have sought peace by excluding and eliminating the great reformers from events, but the brightness of saintly people, the Gate Way, dazzles those who have not covered their eyes. Governments seek peace by branding and then killing those who oppose them, by subverting them. Sikhism believes in mental happiness, peace, and prosperity of human race. Sikhism preaches human liberty, equality and fraternity. it believes , “Let us not seek peace in the next thousand years by silencing others forcibly, but creating atmosphere of happiness for all human beings over this globe”. Sikhism stands for:-
-Universal welfare of entire human race
-Selfless service to human race irrespective of caste, colour, creed, gender or country.
More about Concepts and Principles
Sikhism is a way of life. It is a God given gift. It is the name of living a truthful life according to the Word of God. Sikhism believes in One God Who is Creator, Sustainer and Degenerator of this universe. He is Eternal and Self Existent.
Sikhism believes in the concept of doing honest labour, sharing the earnings with needy and doing meditation on the Name of God Who is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient.
Sikhism stands infallible for the concept of human liberty, equality and fraternity. This concept gave birth to a new thought against privileged hierarchy of elite. From this thought erupted the immense consequences of civil liberties against human oppression in the world. It gave birth to new changes that the sovereignty rested with the people and that the government is merely agent of the people and for the people.
Although social and economic liberty play essential part in maintenance of materialistic needs of a humanbeing but spiritual liberty is of top notch importance in spiritual concepts of Sikhism. This the reason that spiritual attitude is given top priority over anything else in Sikhism.
Thus Sikhism, if tested on these concepts and principles, stands a best test. It comes on the top in the history of the world religions.
Golden Principles and concepts of Sikhism
1. Kirt Karna
Honest earning of bread with dignity and labor. To earn one’s livelihood through creative, productive and honest labour.
2. Wand Chhakna
To share the fruits of earnings with the needy. Sharing with and caring for the needy and sick. Help those people who cannot help themselves.
3. Nam Japna
Meditation on the Divine Name with love and devotion. To be in tune with the Infinite through meditation on the Divine qualities so that the believer becomes filled with His Name.
4. Some of the concepts and beliefs of Sikhism:
Concept of One God, monotheism, unity of God
Concept of Creation theory
Concept of doing honest labor with sweat on brow
Concept of Wand Ke Chhakna (Share earnings)
Concept of Daswandh (Giving one-tenth of the earnings and contribution towards charity)
Concept of Nam Simran (Contemplation on the Name of God)
Concept of Amrit (Nectar initiation)
Concept of Bani and Bana (Look of outer and inner values)
Concept of co-operative and corporate living
Concept of selfless Seva (Selfless Service)
Concept of Sarbat Da Bhala (Well-being of all)
Concept of Degh and Tegh
Concept of Miri and Piri (Temporal & Spiritual power)
Concept of Sangat and Pangat
Concept of universal peace and prosperity
Concept of democracy
Concept of liberty, equality and fraternity
Concept of sacrifice
Concept of universal brotherhood, peace and prosperity
Concept of householder’s life
Concept of Maya
Concept of Charhdi Kala (Optimism & high spirit)
Concept of Bhana (Will of God)
Concept of healthy mind in a healthy body
Concept of Guru
Concept of equality of woman
Concept of immortality of soul
Concept of transmigration, etc.
Concept of Karma (Actions and deeds)
Some cardinal principles of Sikh faith can be grouped as under:
- Kirat Karna – Honest labour
- Wand Ke Chhakna – Sharing with others
- Nam Japna – Meditation or contemplation on the Name of God
- Parcha Shabad Ka – Understanding Gurbani
- Sarbat Da Bhala – Well-Being of Human Race
- Bhana Mannana – Accepting will of God
- Nishkam Seva Sambhal – Selfless service
- Ishnan and Darshan Ishnan – Purity of mind and body
- Sacha Achar – Keeping good moral character
- Charhdi Kala – Optimism-exalted spirit
- Daswandh – Donate the Earnings