Asceticism and Why Sikhism Doesn’t Approve of It



Asceticism is a practice that involves severe self-discipline and abstaining from worldly pleasures. It is often associated with religious or spiritual beliefs and is practiced by various religious traditions around the world. However, Sikhism, a monotheistic religion founded in the 15th century in Punjab, India, does not approve of asceticism as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment. This blog post explores the concept of asceticism and why Sikhism takes a different approach.

What is Asceticism?

Asceticism is a way of life that involves renouncing material possessions, physical comforts, and personal desires in order to focus on spiritual growth. Ascetics often live a simple and austere life, practicing self-denial and engaging in rigorous spiritual practices such as fasting, meditation, and celibacy. The goal of asceticism is to detach oneself from worldly attachments and attain a higher level of consciousness or union with the divine.

Sikhism’s Perspective on Asceticism

Sikhism, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of living a balanced and fulfilling life while being actively engaged in society. The Sikh Gurus taught that spirituality can be attained through leading a righteous life, practicing selfless service, and remembering God in all actions. Sikhism promotes the idea of “householder spirituality,” where individuals can achieve spiritual enlightenment while fulfilling their responsibilities as members of society.

Sikhism rejects ascetic practices that involve self-mortification or detachment from the world as it believes that true spirituality lies in living a life of compassion, honesty, and humility. The Sikh Gurus encouraged their followers to engage in honest labor, share their wealth with others, and live in harmony with nature.


While asceticism has its place in various religious traditions, Sikhism takes a different approach by emphasizing the importance of leading a balanced and fulfilling life. Sikhism encourages its followers to actively participate in society, practice selfless service, and cultivate a deep connection with the divine through righteous living. By rejecting asceticism, Sikhism promotes the idea that spirituality can be integrated into every aspect of life, leading to a more compassionate and harmonious society.

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