The Ten Principle Beliefs of the Sikh Religion

Core Beliefs in the Sikh Tradition

Sikh worshiping

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The Sikh religion is a monotheistic faith that is one of the youngest of the world's major religions. In terms of numbers of followers, it ranks as the ninth largest religion in the world, with followers numbering between 25 and 28 million. Originating at the end of the 15th century CE in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, the faith is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, as well as those of ten succeeding gurus. Somewhat unique among the world's religions, Sikhism rejects the notion that any religion, even theirs, holds a monopoly on the ultimate spiritual truth. 

The following ten beliefs will introduce you to the tenets of this important religion. Follow the links to learn more. 

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Worship One God

Ek Onkar

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Sikh's believe that we should acknowledge one creator, and are against worshiping demi-gods or idols. "God" in Sikhism is regarded as an all-pervading spirit without gender or form, who is approached through dedicated meditation. 

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Treat Everyone Equally

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Sikhism believes that it is immoral to show distinction or rank because of race, class, or gender. Universality and equality are among the most important pillars of the Sikh faith.

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Live by the Three Primary Principles

Sikh meditating

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Three main principles guide Sikhs: 

  • Be always absorbed in meditation and prayer.
  • Make an honest income by honorable methods.
  • Share earnings and selflessly serve others.
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Avoid the Five Sins of Ego


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Sikhs believe that egotism is the biggest hindrance to connecting with the timeless truth of God. Sikhs practice daily prayer and meditation to reduce the effects of ego and prevent indulgence in the manifestations of ego: 

  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Greed
  • Anger
  • Attachment
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Become Baptized

Sikh baptism

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For many Sikhs, a voluntary ritual baptism is a critical part of religious practice. It symbolized becoming spiritually reborn by taking part in the baptism ceremony conducted by the "Five Beloved" Sikhs, who prepare and administer immortalizing nectar to initiates.

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Keep the Code of Honor

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Sikhs carefully live according to specific individual and communal standards, both ethical and spiritual. They are encouraged to forsake worldly worries, to abide by the guru's teachings and practice daily worship.

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Wear the Five Articles of Faith

Sikhs articles

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Sikhs wear five visual sign of their dedication to their faith: 

  • Wear the Sikh undergarment for modesty and health
  • Wear a wooden comb in the turban to keep hair clean and untangled
  • Wear a steel wristlet as a sign of faith
  • Wear hair uncut, to honor the creator’s intention
  • Wear a small sword symbolic of defending the religious rights of all faiths
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Follow the Four Commandments

Sikh meal

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Sikh's four commandments include prohibitions against four behaviors: 

  • Do not dishonor the creator's intention by cutting the hair
  • Do not harm the body with tobacco or other intoxicants
  • Do not eat sacrificial meat
  • Do not commit adultery
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Recite the Five Daily Prayers

Sikh sacred book

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Sikhism has an established practice of three morning prayers, an evening prayer and a bedtime prayer.

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Take Part in Fellowship

Sikh Bride and Groom Seated Before Guru Granth Sahib in Anand Karaj Wedding Ceremony
Sikh Bride and Groom Seated Before Guru Granth Sahib in Anand Karaj Wedding Ceremony. Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

Community and cooperation with others are among the most important tenets of Sikhism: 

  • Worship together and sing God’s praise
  • Cook and eat together
  • Serve each other
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Your Citation
Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "The Ten Principle Beliefs of the Sikh Religion." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2021, February 8). The Ten Principle Beliefs of the Sikh Religion. Retrieved from Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "The Ten Principle Beliefs of the Sikh Religion." Learn Religions. (accessed March 27, 2023).

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