Re: WHAT ARE THE BASIC BELIEFS OF THE SIKH RELIGION?
Thursday, 4/22/1999 7:00 AM MDT
Here are some explanations of the do's and don'ts by which the Sikh lives:
1. A Sikh worships only the Oneness of God, and does not indulge in any form of idol worship. Explanation: Sikhs worship the Infinite and Formless
Creator of all the creation; God is known by many names, but is ultimately One. Sikhs do not get involved in anything which distracts from the recognition of
that One. Therefore, they never worship any person or idol. This instruction also helped people give up ritual practices and superstitious beliefs.
2. A Sikh lives a life based upon the Teachings of the Ten Gurus, and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. "Sabh sikhan ko hukam hai, guru maaniyo granth.
Explanation: Sikhs study and search through the Words left to them by the Gurus, so that they may achieve the Supreme State of the Guru's Bani, and be
inspired to live the pure life of the Sikh and of Khalsa. Though the Sikh respects all paths to God consciousness, the Teachings of the Guru are not
compromised by other practices or philosophies.
3. Sikhs believe in the Oneness of the Ten Gurus. "Aad ant aykai avataaraa, so-ee guru samajhee-oo hamaaraa." Explanation: The consciousness and the
very spirit and essence of Guru Nanak was transferred, and prevailed through all of the Ten Gurus, and was finally invested in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This
spirit, intact, is the Guru, the Divine Wisdom, the Infinite prevailing through the finite form. There is ultimately no difference between any of the Gurus, except
in their physical manifestations.The precept of the oneness of the Gurus, as manifestations of Nanak precludes overly intellectual dissection of their Union
which could lead to the creation of factions which show preferences toward isolated aspects of the Dharma.
4. The Gurdwara serves as the Sikh's central place of worship. Explanation: The Sikh performs devotional worship in the Presence of the Guru. He bows
and seeks guidance from the Guru, the Word of God in its manifested form. To a Sikh, the Guru is the source of Divine Wisdom, the Living Word of God,
and it is in the Sadh Sangat, the congregation that this guidance is amplified.
5. A Sikh has no dealings with caste distinctions, black magic, or superstitious practices. Explanation: The Sikh places his/her faith in God alone, and s/he is
resigned to the Will of God. The Sikh performs all duties as prescribed by the Guru and leaves the results of his/her actions up to God. This instruction helped
to pull the Sikh away from the prevailing practices which kept the people living in fear and insecurity in their relationship with God.
6. Sikhs do not partake of alcohol, tobacco, drugs or other intoxicants. Explanation: Sikhs keep the body temple pure and clean as God gave it. The Guru's
Word and seva and simran uplift and stimulate the consciousnness.
7. Sikhs do not eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs. "Maas machee nayray naahee aavanaa." Explanation: Sikhs do not eat or take into the body anything which
is harmful or will have ill effects upon the body or mind. Meat is a stimulant of the gross passions of the mind and body, and is harmful physically as well.
Along with the karmic consequences of killing other animals unnecessarily, a Sikh does not take another's life so s/he may live.
8. Sikhs do not gamble or commit theft.
9. Sikhs do not commit adultery, or have any sexual relations outside of marriage.
10. A Sikh is to live his or her life from birth to death according to the tenets of his or her faith.
11. A Sikh teaches his or her children the language of Gurmukhi and all aspects of Sikh Dharma and history.
12. A Sikh does not cut the hair of his or her children. Boys are given the name Singh (Lion), and girls the name Kaur (Princess).