Beliefs and Doctrines of Sikhism




Religious Authority

The ultimate source of authority and doctrine in Sikhism is the sacred book, the Adi Granth. In the event of disputes, a council is convened at the Akal Takht ("Throne of the Timeless"), a building facing the Harimandir temple in Amritsar. Resolutions passed by this council carry spiritual sanction.

God

Sikhism is monotheistic, strongly emphasizing belief in one true God. Guru Nanak used the Hindu mystic syllable om as a symbol of God. He added the qualifications of God as one and creator, resulting in the ik om kar symbol. Sikhism forbids the representation of God in images and the worship of idols.

Karma and Reincarnation

Sikhism retains the general Hindu conception of the universe and the doctrine of samsara, or rebirth, based on karma. Human birth is the only chance to escape samsara and attain salvation.





Khalsa and State

Especially after conflict with the Mughal empire in Sikh history, religion and politics have been closely associated in Sikhism. Establishment of a Sikh state is a matter of religious doctrine, and all services end with the chant, "Raj karey Ga Khalsa" (the Khalsa shall rule).

Sources

  1. "Sikhism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service, Feb. 2005. <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9105865>.
  2. John Bowker, ed., Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions (Cambridge UP, 2002).
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