The Concept of the Soul in Sikhism: Exploring the Sikh Perspective on the Afterlife

sikh, religion, sikhism-658521.jpg

Sikhism, a monotheistic religion founded in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia, offers a unique perspective on the concept of the soul. While Sikhism does not specifically endorse the idea of an afterlife, it does provide insight into the nature of the soul and its journey within the framework of human existence.

In Sikhism, the soul, known as the “jiva,” is considered to be a divine spark that originates from the Supreme Being, referred to as “Ik Onkar” or “One God.” The jiva is believed to be eternal and is present in all living beings, including humans. It is important to note that Sikhism does not view the soul as a separate entity from the body; rather, it sees the body and soul as interconnected and inseparable.

According to Sikh teachings, the purpose of human life is to realize the divine within oneself and merge with the Supreme Being. This process of self-realization, known as “mukti” or “liberation,” is achieved through the practice of righteous living, meditation, and devotion to God. The ultimate goal is to attain spiritual enlightenment and merge the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Unlike some other religious traditions, Sikhism does not emphasize the concept of heaven or hell as destinations for the soul after death. The spiritual philosophy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) completely rejects all life-after-death theories. The stale concepts of pre-1469 such as reincarnation, transmigration, after-life heaven, and hell, 8.4 million life forms, Jamm Doot, Chitar Gupat, Dharam Raj, Dargah, etc. are the product of fear of physical death (pre-1469 belief systems that existed for thousands of years). ਆਵਾ ਗਉਣੁ ਬਜਾਰੀਆ ਬਾਜਾਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥ This concept of ‘Aavaa Gavan‘ (cycle of reincarnation) is of those (clergy or priestly class) who have made Spirituality into a trade or means of earning living by fleecing the ignorant and gullible congregations. (SGGS 1290). The SGGS completely rejects the cycle of 8.4 million life forms and ‘Avaa Gavaan‘.

After death ‘Aavaa Gavan‘ is man-made to exploit people.

  • ਜਬ ਕਛੁ ਨ ਸੀਓ ਤਬ ਕਿਆ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਵਨ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਿ ਆਇਆ ॥ : When nothing existed, when (any beings: insect, animal, humans etc.) came for the first time in ‘Joon’ (ਜੂਨ) then when and what actions would they have done that caused them to get such Joon’ (ਜੂਨ)? (SGGS 748).
  • All life after death theories are based on the existence of the SOUL. However, the Gurmat or Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak completely rejects such a belief systems.

According to Sikh beliefs, the quality of one’s actions and thoughts in this life determines the nature of their existence. Positive actions, such as selfless service, truthfulness, and compassion, lead to a higher state of consciousness and a closer connection with the divine. On the other hand, negative actions, such as greed, anger, and selfishness, result in a lower state of consciousness and further entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

Sikhism teaches that the ultimate goal can be achieved through the grace of God, self-discipline, and selfless service to humanity. The Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, serves as a guide for spiritual seekers, providing wisdom and guidance on the path to self-realization.

While Sikhism does not believein  afterlife, it emphasizes the importance of living a righteous and meaningful life in the present. The focus is on cultivating virtues, serving others, and realizing the divine within oneself. Sikh teachings encourage individuals to live in harmony with the divine order and to strive for spiritual growth and liberation.

In conclusion, Sikhism offers a unique perspective on the concept of the soul. Sikhism encourages individuals to focus on self-realization, righteous living, and merging their consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!