God in Sikhism

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and hence, believes that "God" is One, and prevails in everything,[1] as symbolized by the symbol Ik Onkar (one all pervading spirit).[2] The fundamental belief of Sikhism is that God exists, indescribable yet knowable and perceivable to anyone who surrenders his egoism and Loves the Almighty.[3] The Sikh gurus have described God in numerous ways in their hymns included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, but the oneness of the deity is consistently emphasized throughout.

God is described in the Mool Mantar (lit. the Prime Utterance)[4][5], the first passage in the Guru Granth Sahib:

"ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥"
"ikk ōankār sat(i)-nām(u) karatā purakh(u) nirabha'u niravair(u) akāla mūrat(i) ajūnī saibhan(g) gur(a) prasād(i)."
"There is but one all pervading spirit, and it is called the truth, It exists in all creation, and it has no fear, It does not hate and, it is timeless, universal and self-existent! You will come to know it through the grace of the Guru."

(SGGS. Pg 1) Sri Guru Granth Sahib

General Conceptions

Monotheism

Sikhism is strictly monotheistic and believes that there is only One God. Guru Nanak prefixed the numeral "IK" (one) to the syllable Ongkar to stress the idea of God's oneness; that the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer is One.[6] Sikh thought begins with the One Almighty and then universalising him, coming down to the cosmic reality of all-pervading Ongkar.[7] While God is described as without gender, God is also described through numerous metaphors, such as:

ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥

"Ek(u) pita ekas ke ham barik"

"The One God is the Father of all;

We are His children."

— SGGS. Pg 611

Priority Monism

Sikhism complies with the concept of Priority Monism, a view point that all existing things go back to a Source that is distinct from them. It is the belief that all what our senses comprehend is illusion; God is the sole reality. Forms being subject to Time, shall pass away. God's Reality alone is eternal and abiding.[8] The thought is such that Atmaa(soul) is born from and a reflection of ParamAtma( Supreme Soul)[9], and would again merge into it just as water merges back into the water.

ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਜਲੁ ਆਇ ਖਟਾਨਾ ॥

Jio Jal Mehi Jal Aae Khattaanaa ||

As water comes to blend with water,

ਤਿਉ ਜੋਤੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥

Thio Jothee Sang Joth Samaanaa ||

His light blends into the Light.

— SGGS. Pg 278

God and Soul are identical in the same way as Fire and its sparks; fundamentally same as is stated in Guru Granth, "Atam meh Ram, Ram meh Atam", which means "The Ultimate Eternal reality resides in the Soul and the Soul is contained in Him". As from one stream, millions of waves arise and yet the waves, made of water, again become water; in the same way all souls have sprung from the Universal Being and would blend again into it.[10]

Pantheism

Another philosophy of Sikhism is the concept of Pantheism which says that every being is identical to Divinity. It focuses on the subject of a non-anthropomorphic concept of God, to the extent that one can interpret God as the Universe itself.[11] Sikh thought holds a pantheistic tone when it discusses the Immanence of God (Sagun), which says that the whole Universe is an abode of the All-pervasive Lord.[12] However, Sikhism does not hold the concept of Pantheism fully as it understands God to be both, transcendent and immanent at the same time.[13] Sikh philosophy fuses the concepts of Theism and Pantheism as to the belief that God exists in His Creation to a Theistic level, that is the One upon whom everything depends; the ultimate Preserver.[14]

It can be deduced that Sikhism agrees with Pantheistic belief only to the extent that Universe can be considered as Divine, never understating the Transcendence of God which deems the Creator as above His Creation.

Specific Conceptions

Great Architect

Sikh philosophy believes that the One God is the Great Architect of Universe. He alone is the Creator, Sustain-er, and Destroyer; Ek Ongkar.[15] God is Karta Purakh, the Creator-Being[8]. He created the spatial-temporal Universe from His own Self; Universe is His own emanation. Guru Arjan advocates: “True is He and true is His creation [because] all has emanated from God Himself” (SGGS Pg 294).

Before creation, God existed all alone as "Nirgun"; in a state of Sunn Samadhi, deep meditation, as says Guru Nanak.[16]

There was darkness for countless years.

There was neither earth nor sky; there was only His Will.

There was neither day nor night, neither sun nor moon.

He (God) was in deep meditation.

There was nothing except Himself.

— SGGS. Pg 1035

Then, God willed and created the Universe, and diffused himself into the nature as "Sargun". Whenever God desires, He merges back into His Timeless and Formless Self.[17]

Guru Gobind Singh calls this process of Creation and Dissolution as "Udkarkh" (from Sanskrit utkarsana) and "Akarakh" (from Sanskrit akarsana)[18], respectively:

"Whenever you, O Creator, cause udkarkh (increase, expansion), the creation assumes the boundless body; whenever you effect akarkh (attraction, contraction), all corporeal existence merges in you" (Benati Chaupai).

This process of creation and dissolution has been repeated God alone knows for how many times. A passage in Sukhmani by Guru Arjan visualizes the infinite field of creation thus:

Millions are the mines of life; millions the spheres;

Millions are the regions above; millions the regions below;

Millions are the species taking birth. By diverse means does He spread Himself.

Again and again did He expand Himself thus, But He ever remains the One Ekankar.

Countless creatures of various kinds Come out of Him and are absorbed back.

None can know the limit of His Being;

He, the Lord, O Nanak! is all in all Himself.

— (SGGS. 275-76)

Creation

It is believed in Sikhism that the Universe was created by a single word of the God.[15] The Transcendent God expressed Himself in "Naam" and "Sabad" that created the world. "Naam" and "Sabad" are the 'Creative and Dynamic Immanence of God'.[6]

ਕੀਤਾ ਪਸਾਉ ਏਕੋ ਕਵਾਉ ॥

Keethaa Pasaao Eaeko Kavaao ||

You created the vast expanse of the Universe with One Word!

ਤਿਸ ਤੇ ਹੋਏ ਲਖ ਦਰੀਆਉ ॥

This Thae Hoeae Lakh Dhareeaao ||

Hundreds of thousands of rivers began to flow.

— SGGS. Pg 3

When was Universe Created?

Sikh philosophy enunciates the belief that the Limits of Time and Space are known only to God. Answers to the questions of "When did the Universe came into existence?" or "How big this Universe is?" are beyond Human understanding and the best course, as Guru Nanak proclaims, is to admit a sense of Wonderfulness or "Vismad", since "the featureless Void was in ceaseless Existence".[19] As to the Time of Creation, Guru Nanak, in Jap(u) Sahib, recites that:

What was that time, and what was that moment? What was that day, and what was that date?

What was that season, and what was that month, when the Universe was created?

The Pandits, the religious scholars, cannot find that time, even if it is written in the Puraanas.

That time is not known to the Qazis, who study the Koran.

The day and the date are not known to the Yogis, nor is the month or the season.

The Creator who created this creation-only He Himself knows.

— SGGS. Pg 4

Attributes

Existence

As stated in Mool Mantar, God exists as Ajuni, beyond incarnations; formless. And saibhan (Sanskrit svayambhu), Self-existent. The Primal Creator Himself had no creator. He simply is, has ever been and shall ever be by Himself.

Purakh added to Karta in the Mool Mantar is the Punjabi form of Sanskrit purusa, which literally means, besides man, male or person, "the primeval man as the soul and original source of the universe; the personal and animating principle; the supreme Being or Soul of the universe." Purakh in Mool Mantar is, therefore, none other than God the Creator.

Eternalness

God, as stated in Guru Granth Sahib, is Akal Murat, the Eternal Being; He is beyond time and ever the same.[20] "Saibhan(g)", another attribute to God means that no one else but God created Himself. He is, shall be, was not born, and shall not die; never created and hence, shall never be destroyed.[21] The phrase "Ad(i) Sach", True in the Primal Beginning, in the Mool mantar proves the notion of the eternalness of God in Sikhism.

Transcendence and Immanence

Sikhism advocates a Panentheistic tone when it enunciates the belief that God is both, transcendent and immanent, or "Nirgun" and "Sargun" (as stated in the Sikh terminology), at the same time. God created the Universe and permeates both within and without. Transcendence and Immanence are two aspects of the same single Supreme Reality. The Reality is immanent in His entire creation, but the creation as a whole fails to contain God fully.[22]

ਸਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਆਪਿ ॥

Saragun Niragun Nirankaar Sunn Samaadhhee Aap ||

He possesses all qualities; He transcends all qualities;

He is the Formless Lord. He Himself is in Primal Samaadhi.

— SGGS. Pg 290

The Almighty, Himself, is the one Ultimate, Transcendent Reality, Nirguna (Nir+Guna = without attributes), Ever-existent, Boundless, Formless, Immutable, All-by Himself, and Unknowable in His entirety.

When it pleases God, He becomes Sarguna (Sanskrit Saguna = with attributes) and manifests Himself in creation. He becomes immanent in His created universe, which is His own emanation, an aspect of Himself.[23]

God remains distinct from his Creation, while being All-pervasive.[24]

Omnipotence

"God himself is the Creator and the Cause, the Doer and the Deed."[25] Sikh thought is strictly monotheistic and believes that this Universe is creation of God. Its origins are in God, it operates under the Command of God (hukum), and its end is in God; God is the Omnipotent being, the sole cause of Creation, Preservation, and Destruction.[26] He consults none in creating and demolishing, giving and taking but does all things Himself. The Nirbhau (lit. Fearless) Almighty does not fear anyone and exercises His unquestionable will.

Omnibenevolence

He is kind and merciful, the Omni-Benevolent Lord. The Bestow-er of all things; apart from Him, there is no other Giver. He is also a great Pardoner; pardoning all our sins, He bestows Virtue on the repenting souls and adds Blessedness on the  striving virtuous.[25] The Almighty sustains His Creation compassionately and benevolently. In Guru Granth, God is called as "Karim" (merciful); the complacent Lord who, in his compassion, blesses the miserable with his Nadar (graceful vision).[27] The Nirvair (lit. without enmity) God does not hate anyone and glances his merciful vision on every being, indifferently.

"The Lord is kind and compassionate to all beings and creatures; His Protecting Hand is over all." (SGGS. Pg 300)

Gender

According to Sikhism, God has "No" Gender. Mool Mantar describes God as being "Ajuni" (lit. not in any incarnations) which implies that God is not bound to any physical forms. This concludes: the All-pervading Lord is Gender-less.[28]

ਸੁੰਨ ਮੰਡਲ ਇਕੁ ਜੋਗੀ ਬੈਸੇ ॥ ਨਾਰਿ ਨ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕੋਊ ਕੈਸੇ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਹੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥ ਸੁਰਿ ਨਰ ਨਾਥ ਸਚੇ ਸਰਣਾਈ ॥

Sunn mandal ik Yogi baise. Naar na purakh kahahu kou kaise. Tribhavan joti rahe liv laaee. Sur nar naath sache saranaaee

The Yogi, the Primal Lord, sits in the Realm of Absolute Stillness (state free of mind's wanderings or Phurne). (Since God) is neither male nor female; how can anyone describe Him? The three worlds center their attention on His Light. The godly beings and the Yogic masters seek the Sanctuary of this True Lord.

— SGGS. Pg 685

However, The Guru Granth consistently refers to God as "He" and "Father", but this is because the Granth is written in north Indian Indo-Aryan languages (mixture of Punjabi and dialects of Hindi) which have no neutral gender. English translation of the teachings eliminate any gender specifications. From further insights into the Sikh philosophy, it can be deduced that God is, sometimes, referred to as the Husband to the Soul-brides. Also, God is considered to be our father, mother, and companion.[29]

Names for God

Sikhism believes in Monotheism and hence, has no specific names for God. However, God has been called by many Attributive names [action-related names, Kirtan Naam (SGGS. Pg 1083), or Karam Naam (Dasam Granth, Jaap Sahib)] in Sikh literature, picked from Indian and Semitic traditions.[3]

He is called in terms of human relations as our Father, Mother, Brother, Companion, Friend, Lover, Beloved, and Husband.[29]

Other names, expressive of His supremacy are Thakur, Prabhu(lit. God), Swami, Shah(lit. King), Paatshah(lit. respected King), Sahib, Sain (Lord, Master). Another name used is, Allah, meaning "The God": The term is also used by Sikhs in the Sikh scriptures in reference to God. The word Allah (ਅਲਹੁ) is used 12 times in the Guru Granth Sahib by Sheikh Farid. Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Arjan Dev and Bhagat Kabeer used the word 18 times.

God has also been referred to, in Sikh literature, as names given to him in other religions such as Ram, Narayan, Govind, Gopal, Allah, Khuda, Karim, Rahim, Qadir etc..

Other attributive names include Nirankar(Formless), Niranjan(without sin), Data or Datar (lit. The Giver), Karta or Kartar (lit. The Doer) , Dayal(Compassionate), Kripal(Benevolent) and many more.

Names peculiar to Sikhism, for God are Naam (lit. name), Shabad (word) and Vahiguru (Wondrous Master). While Naam and Shabad are mystical terms standing for the Divine Manifestation, Vahiguru is a phrase expressing awe, wonder, and ecstatic joy of the worshiper as he comprehends the greatness and grandeur of the Lord and His Creation.[30]

Beliefs

Reincarnation

The center belief of Sikh thought is the soul would reincarnate in this universe unless it attains the state of mukti (liberation), which is to be achieved through the grace of God[1].   In its corporeal attire, the soul passes through cycles of transmigration. Through Divine Grace, it can merge back into the Cosmic Soul (Paramatma) and escape the throes of birth and death again and again. [9]

Revelation

The Mool Mantar ends with Gurparsad(i) (lit. by God's Grace), which expresses the belief of Sikh thought that God would be revealed to the Soul through Guru's grace. In Sikh theology Guru appears in three different but allied connotations, viz. God, the ten Sikh Gurus, and the gur-shabad or Guru's utterances as preserved in the Guru Granth Sahib. Of God's grace, Gurus' instruction and guidance and the scriptural Shabad (Sanskrit sabda, literally 'Word'), the first is the most important, because, as nothing happens without God's will or pleasure, His grace is essential to making a person inclined towards a desire and search for union with Him.

"Blessing us with His Grace, the Kind and Compassionate All-powerful Lord comes to dwell within the mind and body. (SGGS. Pg 49)"

Knowledge of the ultimate Reality is not a matter for reason; it comes by revelation of the ultimate reality through nadar (grace) and by anubhava (mystical experience). Says Guru Nanak, budhi pathi na paiai bahu chaturaiai bhai milai mani bhane which translates to "He is not accessible through intellect, or through mere scholarship or cleverness at argument; He is met, when He pleases, through devotion" (SGGS, 436).

Gnosticism

Gnosticism is the belief that the Divine Spark is trapped within the spirit and can be liberated by the Gnosis or Knowledge of this Divinity. Sikh spirituality is centered to the theme of understanding and experiencing God, and eventually becoming one with Him. Human incarnation, as advocated by Guru Granth Sahib, is a special privilege and an opportunity for the realization of the Ultimate destiny of Spirit: union with God.[31]

As Guru Arjan says, "Of all the eight million and four hundred thousand species, God conferred superiority on man"[32]. Another verse form the scripture praises the human body as a Temple:

ਕਾਯਉ ਦੇਵਾ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਦੇਵਲ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਜੰਗਮ ਜਾਤੀ ॥

Kaayo Dhaevaa Kaaeiao Dhaeval Kaaeiao Jangam Jaathee ||

Within the body, the Divine Lord is embodied. The body is the temple, the place of pilgrimage, and the pilgrim.

ਕਾਇਅਉ ਧੂਪ ਦੀਪ ਨਈਬੇਦਾ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਪੂਜਉ ਪਾਤੀ ॥੧॥

Kaaeiao Dhhoop Dheep Neebaedhaa Kaaeiao Poojo Paathee ||1||

Within the body are incense, lamps and offerings. Within the body are the flower offerings. ||1||

— SGGS. Pg 695

Sikhism thus sees life as an opportunity to understand God as well as to discover the divinity which lies in each individual. God is perceived to reside in the human body and can be found by being a Gurmukh (lit. Facing Guru) and merging self into The Hukum or Divine Command.[33] Though, as mentioned in Guru Granth, full understanding of God is beyond human beings, Guru Nanak described God as not wholly unknowable and stressed that by becoming Gurmukh, one should find the Divinity residing in his own self.

Mysticism

Mysticism is the experience of becoming one with The Almighty, which Guru Nanak states as Sach-Khand (Realm of Truth), where the soul is immersed completely in the Divine Will[34]. The primal belief of Sikhism is of the Spirit to get merged into the Divinity.[35] As Guru Granth proclaims human incarnation as a chance to meet God and enter into the Mystic Reality.

ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥

भई परापति मानुख देहुरीआ ॥

Bẖa▫ī parāpaṯ mānukẖ ḏehurī▫ā.

This human body has been given to you.

ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥

गोबिंद मिलण की इह तेरी बरीआ ॥

Gobinḏ milaṇ kī ih ṯerī barī▫ā.

This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe.

— SGGS. Pg 12

It is a devoted meditation (simran) that enables a sort of communication between the Infinite and finite human consciousness. There is, chiefly, the remembrance of God through the recitation of His name[36] and surrendering of the Self to God's presence often metaphorized as surrendering self to the Lord's feet[37]. The ultimate destination of a Sikh is to lose his egoism completely in the love of the Lord and finally merge into the Almighty creator. 

Practices

Five Vices

Those, who follow the instincts of their mind, under the influence of five vices - lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride - and ego would wander miserably in the cycle of birth and rebirth.[3]

  1. Kaam (Lust)
  2. Krodh (Anger)
  3. Ahenkar (Ego)
  4. Lobh (Greed)
  5. Moh (Attachment)

Five 'K's

Guru Gobind Singh iniated the practice of "Amrit Chakna", the Baptizing ceremony of Sikhs as Khalsa, in April 1699.[38] This distinctive identity is represented by Five "K(akars)" every Amritdhari (baptised) Sikh has to do:

  1. Kesh/Keski (hair/small turban)
  2. Kangha (comb)
  3. Karha (steel bracelet)
  4. Kirpan (miniature sword)
  5. Kachera (shorts)

Three Duties

  1. Naam japna (Chanting the Name)
  2. Kirat karna (Doing good deeds)
  3. Vand Chakna (Donating self earnings)

See also

Bibliography

  • Sabadarth Sri Guru Granthsar, 1959
  • Jodh Singh, Bhai, Gurmati Nirnaya. Amritsar, 1932
  • Pritam Singh, ed., Sikh Phalsaphe di Rup Rekhla. Amritsar, 1975
  • Sher Singh, The Philosophy of Sikhism. Lahore, 1944
  • Kapur Singh, Parasaraprasna. Amritsar, 1989

References

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Akal Purakh

Akal Purakh is interchangeable Sikh name used to denote God, or the omnipresent divine. Literally it means "a timeless being who never dies." The first word Akal, literally "timeless, immortal, non-temporal," is a term integral to Sikh tradition and philosophy. It is extensively used in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, who titled one of his poetic compositions Akal Ustat, i.e. "In Praise (ustati) of the Timeless One (akal)". However, the concept of Akal is not peculiar to the Dasam Granth. It goes back to the very origins of the Sikh faith.

The term Kāl refers to "time," with the negative prefix a- added to render the word akal, meaning "timeless" or "eternal." Purakh refers to "being" or "entity." Together, the two words form the meaning "timeless, eternal being."

Conceptions of God

Conceptions of God in monotheist, pantheist, and panentheist religions – or of the supreme deity in henotheistic religions – can extend to various levels of abstraction:

as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being, or as the deification of an esoteric, mystical or philosophical entity or category;

as the "Ultimate", the summum bonum, the "Absolute Infinite", the "Transcendent", or Existence or Being itself;

as the ground of being, the monistic substrate, that which we cannot understand; and so on.The first recordings that survive of monotheistic conceptions of God, borne out of henotheism and (mostly in Eastern religions) monism, are from the Hellenistic period. Of the many objects and entities that religions and other belief systems across the ages have labeled as divine, the one criterion they share is their acknowledgment as divine by a group or groups of human beings.

Gender of God

The gender of God can be viewed as a literal or as an allegorical aspect of a deity. In polytheistic religions, gods are more likely to have literal sexes which would enable them to interact with each other, and even with humans, in a sexual way.

In most monotheistic religions, one cannot apply a gender to God in the usual sense, as God's attributes cannot be compared to those of any other being. Thus, the idea of a "divine gender" is ultimately considered an analogy, used by humans in order to better relate to the concept of God, with no sexual connotation.

God is an intangible spirit in most religions and is therefore thought to have no gender. The preponderance of references to God in both the Old and New Testaments are in the context of a masculine reference, often "Father". However, there are a significant number of feminine allegorical references to God, most often in some maternal role.

Gender of God in Sikhism

Irrespective of the native-language meaning of the Mantra, the standard English translation neutralises the implied gender of God in Sikhism. Nonetheless, the Guru Granth consistently refers to God as He, even in English. He is also predominantly referred to as Father.

Guru Maneyo Granth

"Guru Maneyo Granth" (English: Granth Be Thy Guru) refers to the historic statement of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), shortly before his demise, on affirming the sacred scripture Adi Granth as his successor, thus terminating the line of human Gurus. Installed as the Guru Granth Sahib, it is now the central holy scripture of Sikhism, and the eternal living Guru of all Sikhs. It is central to Sikh worship as it is said to imbibe the one light of the creator manifested in the Ten Sikh Gurus - one spirit in ten forms. (Bhai Gurdas) The event in 1708 at Nanded (in present-day Maharashtra), when Guru Gobind Singh installed Adi Granth as the Guru of Sikhism, was recorded in a Bhatt Vahi (a bard's scroll) by an eyewitness, Narbud Singh, and is now celebrated as Gurgaddi (Guru Gaddi Divas), and statement is part of the central chant, Sabh Sikhan ko Hukam Hai, Guru Maneyo Granth. October 2008 marked the Tercentenary year of Guruship of Guru Granth Sahib and was marked by major celebrations by Sikhs worldwide, and especially at Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded saw year-long celebrations.

Ik Onkar

Ik Onkar (Gurmukhi: ੴ, ਇੱਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ; Punjabi pronunciation: [ɪkː oːəŋkaːɾᵊ]) is the symbol that represents the one supreme reality and is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. Ik Onkar has a prominent position at the head of the Mul Mantar and the opening words of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Ik (ਇੱਕ) means one and only one, who cannot be compared or contrasted with any other, the "unmanifest, God in power, the holy word, the primal manifestation of Godhead by which and in which all live, move and have their being and by which all find a way back to Absolute God, the Supreme Reality."It is a symbol of the unity of God in Sikhism, meaning God is One or One God,

It is found in the Gurmukhi script and is found in all religious scriptures and places such as gurdwaras. Derived from Punjabi, and is consequently also part of the Sikh morning prayer, Japji Sahib. It is a combination of two characters, the numeral ੧, Ikk (one) and the first letter of the word Onkar (Constant taken to mean God) - which also happens to be the first letter of the Gurmukhī script - an ūṛā, ੳ, coupled with a specially adapted vowel symbol hōṛā, yielding ਓ.

Monism

Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished:

Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., in Neoplatonism everything is derived from The One. In this view only one thing is ontologically basic or prior to everything else.

Existence monism posits that, strictly speaking, there exists only a single thing, the Universe, which can only be artificially and arbitrarily divided into many things.

Substance monism asserts that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. Substance monism posits that only one kind of stuff exists, although many things may be made up of this stuff, e.g., matter or mind.

Monotheism

Monotheism is the belief in one god. A narrower definition of monotheism is the belief in the existence of only one god that created the world, is all-powerful and intervenes in the world.A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (panentheistic) monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity.Monotheism is distinguished from henotheism, a religious system in which the believer worships one god without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity, and monolatrism, the recognition of the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity. The term "monolatry" was perhaps first used by Julius Wellhausen.The broader definition of monotheism characterizes the traditions of Bábism, the Bahá'í Faith, Balinese Hinduism, Cao Dai (Caodaiism), Cheondoism (Cheondogyo), Christianity, Deism, Eckankar, Hindu sects such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Islam, Judaism, Mandaeism, Rastafari, Seicho no Ie, Sikhism, Tengrism (Tangrism), Tenrikyo (Tenriism), Yazidism, and Zoroastrianism, and elements of pre-monotheistic thought are found in early religions such as Atenism, ancient Chinese religion, and Yahwism.

Names of God

There are various names of God, many of which enumerate the various qualities of a Supreme Being. The English word "God" (and its equivalent in other languages) is used by multiple religions as a noun or name to refer to different deities, or specifically to the Supreme Being, as denoted in English by the capitalized and uncapitalized terms "god" and "God". Ancient cognate equivalents for the biblical Hebrew Elohim, one of the most common names of God in the Bible, include proto-Semitic El, biblical Aramaic Elah, and Arabic 'ilah. The personal or proper name for God in many of these languages may either be distinguished from such attributes, or homonymic. For example, in Judaism the tetragrammaton is sometimes related to the ancient Hebrew ehyeh ("I will be"). In the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 3:15), the personal name of God is revealed directly to Moses, namely: "Yahweh".Correlation between various theories and interpretation of the name of "the one God", used to signify a monotheistic or ultimate Supreme Being from which all other divine attributes derive, has been a subject of ecumenical discourse between Eastern and Western scholars for over two centuries. In Christian theology the word must be a personal and a proper name of God; hence it cannot be dismissed as mere metaphor. On the other hand, the names of God in a different tradition are sometimes referred to by symbols. The question whether divine names used by different religions are equivalent has been raised and analyzed.Exchange of names held sacred between different religious traditions is typically limited. Other elements of religious practice may be shared, especially when communities of different faiths are living in close proximity (for example, the use of Om and Krsna within the Indian Christian community) but usage of the names themselves mostly remains within the domain of a particular religion, or even may help define one's religious belief according to practice, as in the case of the recitation of names of God (such as the japa). Guru Gobind Singh's Jaap Sahib, which contains 950 names of God. The Divine Names, the classic treatise by Pseudo-Dionysius, defines the scope of traditional understandings in Western traditions such as Hellenic, Christian, Jewish and Islamic theology on the nature and significance of the names of God. Further historical lists such as The 72 Names of the Lord show parallels in the history and interpretation of the name of God amongst Kabbalah, Christianity, and Hebrew scholarship in various parts of the Mediterranean world.The attitude as to the transmission of the name in many cultures was surrounded by secrecy. In Judaism, the pronunciation of the name of God has always been guarded with great care. It is believed that, in ancient times, the sages communicated the pronunciation only once every seven years; this system was challenged by more recent movements.

The nature of a holy name can be described as either personal or attributive. In many cultures it is often difficult to distinguish between the personal and the attributive names of God, the two divisions necessarily shading into each other.

Nirankar

Nirankar (Punjabi: ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ) is one of the many attributes associated to God in Sikh philosophy and means The Formless One. The word has its roots in Sanskrit: ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰਾ/निराकारा nirākārā and is a compound of two words "Nir" meaning Without and Akar (or Akaar), Shape or Form; hence, The Formless. It is used as a name for The Almighty in Guru Granth Sahib.

ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥

सच खंडि वसै निरंकारु ॥

Sacẖ kẖand vasai nirankār.

In the realm of Truth abides the Formless Lord.

"The actual meaning of "Nirankar" is Waheguru, Allah, God, and Ishbar. It describes that God is formless and omnipresent. We all are made by Nirankar. Only the name of "Religions" are different. But the supreme power is same in actual. We all are one and belongs to one Lord master(Nirankar)."

Satnam

Satnam (Gurmukhi:ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ) is the main word that appears in the Sikh sacred scripture called the Guru Granth Sahib. It is part of the Gurbani shabad called Mool Mantra which is repeated daily by all Sikhs. This word succeeds the word "Ek-onkar" which means "There is only one constant" or commonly "There is one God". The words sat means "true/everlasting" and nam means "name". In this instance, this would mean, "whose name is truth". Satnam is referred to God as the Name of God is True and Everlasting.The word nam in Sikhism has two meanings. "It meant both an application and a symbol of the All-pervading Supreme Reality that sustained the universe. Guru Nanak in his teachings emphasized the need of repeating Sat-Nam to realize the All-pervading Supreme Reality."

Sikhism

Sikhism (, ; Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖੀ), or Sikhi (Sikkhī, pronounced [ˈsɪkːʰiː], from Sikh, meaning a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner"), is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions and the world's fifth largest organized religion, as well as being the world's ninth-largest overall religion. The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. In the early 21st century, there were nearly 25 million Sikhs worldwide, the great majority of them living in Punjab, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru (1469–1539), and the nine Sikh gurus that succeeded him. The Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, named the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as his successor, terminating the line of human Gurus and making the scripture the eternal, religious spiritual guide for Sikhs. Sikhism rejects claims that any particular religious tradition has a monopoly on Absolute Truth.The Sikh scripture opens with Ik Onkar (ੴ), its Mul Mantar and fundamental prayer about One Supreme Being (God). Sikhism emphasizes simran (meditation on the words of the Guru Granth Sahib), that can be expressed musically through kirtan or internally through Nam Japo (repeat God's name) as a means to feel God's presence. It teaches followers to transform the "Five Thieves" (lust, rage, greed, attachment, and ego). Hand in hand, secular life is considered to be intertwined with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that living an "active, creative, and practical life" of "truthfulness, fidelity, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, and that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, and carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal (Miri) and spiritual (Piri) realms to be mutually coexistent.

Sikhism evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan (1563–1605) and Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621–1675) – were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers after they refused to convert to Islam. The persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier. The Khalsa was founded by the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

Waheguru

Waheguru (Punjabi: ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, romanized: vāhigurū) refers to the almighty God, the supreme soul, the creator in Sikhism.

The word vāhegurū is traditionally explained as vāh "wondrous" + gu "darkness" + and rū "light", together said to carry the meaning, "The wondrous Lord who dispels the darkness of ignorance and bestows the light of truth, knowledge and enlightenment".The word Vāhegurū or Waheguru is also used in Sikhism as a main mantra, called gurmantra or gurmantar.

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