The Principles of Sikhism: A Blend of Hinduism with Unique Modifications

Sikhism,golden temple, sikh temple, temple-5436969.jpg

Sikhism, a religion that originated in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century, is often regarded as a unique blend of Hinduism and Islam. While Sikhism does share certain principles with Hinduism, it also introduces distinctive modifications that set it apart. In this article, we will explore some of these modifications and provide examples to justify the differences.

The Concept of God: Unity in Sikhism

1. Monotheism:

In Hinduism, the belief in multiple gods and goddesses is prevalent. However, Sikhism simplifies this concept by emphasizing the belief in one single, formless, and genderless God, known as “Ik Onkar.” The Mool Mantar, the opening verse of Guru Granth Sahib, underscores the belief in the formless and singular nature of the divine. This principle reflects the core teaching of Sikhism, promoting the idea of unity and oneness. Sikhism teaches that God is beyond human comprehension and can be realized through meditation and selfless service.

For example, in the Guru Granth Sahib, the central religious scripture of Sikhism, it is written: “There is only the One Supreme Lord God; there is no other at all.”

2. Guru Authority:

Sikhism recognizes the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture, as the eternal Guru, placing authority in the teachings rather than in a living person.

For example, Sikhs turn to the Guru Granth Sahib for spiritual guidance and consider it the final authority on matters of faith.

3. Caste System Rejection:

Sikhism rejects the caste system prevalent in Hinduism, advocating for equality and treating all individuals with respect regardless of their background.

For example the institution of Langar, a community kitchen where all individuals, regardless of caste or creed, sit together and share a meal, symbolizing equality.

4. Rituals and Priesthood:

Sikhism discourages elaborate rituals and does not endorse a priestly class. Focuses on direct connection with God through prayer and meditation.

For example, Sikhs participate in Naam Simran (meditation on God’s name) and engage in community worship without the need for intermediaries.

5. Idol Worship:

Sikhism rejects idol worship and emphasizes the worship of the formless and timeless God.

For example, Gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship) contain the Guru Granth Sahib, and Sikhs pay homage to the scripture rather than idolatrous images.


6. Rebirth: The Absence of the Cycle of Life and Death

While Hinduism strongly believes in the concept of rebirth or reincarnation, Sikhism takes a different stance. Sikhism rejects the idea of the soul’s transmigration into another body after death. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of living a righteous life in the present and attaining spiritual liberation.

For instance, Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, said, “Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows – O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them!”

7. Karma: The Record of Deeds

Similar to Hinduism, Sikhism acknowledges the concept of karma, which refers to the consequences of one’s actions. Sikhism teaches that all deeds, good or bad, are recorded in the soul. However, Sikhism places more emphasis on the importance of selfless service and devotion to God as the means to attain spiritual liberation.

For example, Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, wrote in the Guru Granth Sahib: “By the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is obtained. By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.”  The emphasis is on living a truthful and righteous life (Sewa and Simran).


Sikhism, while drawing inspiration from Hinduism, presents its own unique set of principles and modifications. The belief in one God, the absence of rebirth, and the emphasis on selfless service and devotion distinguish Sikhism from its predecessor. These modifications, as exemplified by the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, have shaped the Sikh community and continue to guide its followers toward spiritual enlightenment.

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