Basic Beliefs of Sikhism
Mool Mantar in the handwriting of Guru Har Rai
Belief in one God is central to Sikhism. Sikhs are monotheists. They believe it is important to keep the name of God in their mind and live their life in accordance with the teachings of Sikhism.
Sikhs believe that God:
- cannot be described and is neither male nor female
- is eternal truth, timeless, beyond the cycle of birth and death, and self-existent
- is both sargun (immanent – everywhere and in everything) and nirgun (transcendent – above and beyond creation)
- created the world for people to use and enjoy
- created people, and made them understand the difference between right and wrong
- is present in everyone’s soul but can only be seen by those whom he blesses
- is personal and available to everyone
- is the only one to be worshipped; no images of God are to be worshipped
- is made known by the grace of the Guru
There are many Sikh names for God, yet each is inadequate to express the reality of Waheguru (God). Sikhs believe that there is only one God but that this is the God of all religions. No single religion can claim to be the only true way to God; just different religions have their own way of getting to the same destination.
'You are Father, Mother, Friend, Brother, with you as support everywhere, what fear can I Have?' Guru Granth Sahib 103
The Mool Mantar
The Mool Mantar means ‘basic teaching’ and is found at the beginning of every section of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scriptures). It is repeated each day during early morning prayer. The first words of the Mool Mantar are ‘Ik Onkar’ meaning ‘there is one God’.
ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
II ਜਪੁ ॥
ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥
Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat(i)-nām(u) kartā purakh(u) nirpà'u nirver(u) akāl mūrat(i) ajūnī sepàŋ gur-prasād(i) ॥
॥ jap(u) ॥
ād(i) sach(u) jugād(i) sach(u) ॥ he pì sach(u) ॥ nānak hōsī pì sach(u) ॥1॥
One God, the true name, the creator, without fear, without hatred, timeless, self-existent, known by the Guru's grace.True at the beginning, true through the ages, is yet true, O Nanak, will be true in the future.