Sikhism - The Tenets

The first nine phrases of the Sikh holy book contain the essence of the message of Sikhism. I have attempted to translate them.

Sikhism is the 5th largest religion in the world and has been around since the 15th century. The Holy Book of Sikhism, known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is composed of 1,430 pages and contains the teachings of the ten Gurus on how to live a just and virtuous life. That is a lot of pages to read and understand. However, the essence of the message of Sikhism can truly be found in just the first nine phrases of the book.

  1. Ik Onkar
    There is only one God and He is omnipresent
    God is omnipresent. This means that He is everywhere around us and even within us. Thus, if we believe in God and respect Him, we should treat everyone and everything with the same respect and kindness. We should not try to cheat people or be unjust towards anyone.
  2. Sat Nam
    His name is true
    God’s word is true, and He would never lie to us. So, whenever He tells us to do something, He is looking out for our best interests. We should also never lie and cheat and follow in God’s footsteps on the true path.
  3. Karta Purkh
    He has created everything and everyone
    God is the creator and builder of this world and universe and he is omnipresent in it. Thus, we should treat everything from our planet to the people with the same reverence that is reserved for God.
  4. Nir Bhau
    He is without fear
    God does not fear anything, and since He is within us, we should also not fear anything, including Him.
  5. Nir Vaer
    He has no animosity or hatred towards anything
    God loves everyone and everything, and we should do the same since He resides within us.
  6. Akal Murat
    He is immortal
    Since He never dies, His teachings are eternal and can always be applied, regardless of place or time.
  7. Ajuni
    God is beyond birth and death
    We should not worry about the afterlife and just live our lives to the fullest in the present since we are simply the essence of God poured temporarily into mortal vessels.
  8. Sai Bhang
    He is self sustained
    God does not need anything from us to sustain Him. We are a part of Him and all He asks of us is that we follow His teachings to live just and virtuous lives.
  9. Gur Prasad
    He is realized by following his teachings
    If we follow the aforementioned advice, by His grace, we can realize God.

I am not a learned scholar of Sikhism, merely a Sikh, i.e., a disciple. I wrote this article to provide an overview of the very simple and practical teachings of Sikhism that really make sense without being entrenched in controversies of scripture or revelations. If we live our lives according to the above tenants, the world will be a much better place.

I apologize for any mistakes on my part. Kindly provide feedback to correct them if necessary. Thanks!

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