Principles of the faith

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By Kanwaljit Kaur-Singh — education inspector and Chair of the British Sikh Education Council

Religions are characterised by their beliefs and principles. Here we explore the fundamental features and moral values of Sikhism

In Punjabi, Sikh means ‘learner’ or ‘seeker’, referring to the followers of the Gurus’ teachings. The Guru Granth Sahib contains verses written by the Gurus (see ‘Sikh principles’ sheet) and writings from Hindu and Muslim holy men whose beliefs were in accordance with the Gurus’ teachings. The Guru Granth Sahib explains what Sikhs believe to be God’s truth and the principles by which all Sikhs should live.

The dimensions of life

The Gurus’ taught that Sikhs should live their lives in three dimensions, each with equal importance. The dimensions are:

  • Nam japna: remembering and serving God.
  • Kirat karni: earning a living by honest means and hard work.
  • Vand chhakna: sharing earnings with less fortunate people and serving others. As all people are God’s children, serving others can be a way of serving God.
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