Latest Q&As

What Do Sikhs Believe about Christ’s Crucifixion?

Sikhs respect that Christ was Martyr (Shaheed) and had the ability to forgive the sins of others. We deeply understand Shaheedi/Martyrdom as two Sikh Gurus and many Sikhs throughout our history have given Shaheedi for the Panth. Sikhs also believe that saints who have reached that high state of Spirituality (Karam Khand), have the ability to forgive people of their sins. However, Sikhs do not believe in the notion that one must give blood in order to forgive sins. We disagree with the idea that one must give/sacrifice something to receive forgiveness. Sikhi teaches us that the forgiveness of sins comes from chanting God’s name which is within us and cleansing our insides with Naam (God’s Name). 

How Can We Build a Relationship with Gurbani?

By considering both the quality and quantity of our time spent with Gurbani, we can begin to immerse ourselves more into it. Also by reading more Gurbani, we start to understand Gurbani more and thus strengthen our relationship with Guru Sahib Ji. Along with financial Dasvandh, dedicating at least 10% of our day (2.4 hours) towards Guru Sahib Ji and Gurbani, is just as important. In addition, integrating Rehit (Code of Conduct) into our lives, makes a big difference within our relationship with Gurbani.

How Did Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Get Shaheedi (Martyrdom) and What Can We Learn?

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was beheaded by the executioner named Jalaal-Din in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji teaches us that nothing is permanent in this world, not even our life. After witnessing the Shaheedi (Martyrdom) of their three Gursikhs (Sikhs of the Guru) in front of their eyes, Guru Ji lived up to their name by not only mastering the use of a sword but also by sacrificing their life to the Tegh (Sword) so that others could continue to practice their faith. 

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Which Three Sikhs Became Shaheed (Martyred) Right Before Guru Teg Bahadur Ji?

Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Sati Das Ji and Bhai Dayala Ji. Bhai Mati Das Ji was sawed (cut in half) alive. Bhai Sati Das Ji was burned alive and Bhai Dayala Ji was boiled alive in hot water. 

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Who are the Sikh Gurus?
  1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji
  2. Guru Angad Dev Ji
  3. Guru Amar Das Ji
  4. Guru Raam Das Ji
  5. Guru Arjan Dev Ji
  6. Guru Hargobind Ji
  7. Guru Har Rai Ji
  8. Guru Harkrishan Ji
  9. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji
  10. Guru Gobind Singh Ji
  11. Guru Granth Sahib Ji

Watch Videos About Ten Gurus Here

Who was Bhai Gurdaas Ji ?

Bhai Gurdaas Ji was the nephew of Guru Amar Das Ji (Third Sikh Guru) and was married to Bibi Amro Ji (the daughter of Guru Angad Dev Ji). Bhai Gurdaas Ji was dedicated to the Guru’s house and wrote amazing poetry describing the history of our Gurus and explaining different Gurmat concepts in Gurbani. HIs writings are famously known as Bhai Gurdaas Ji dian Vaaran (Vaaran Bhai Gurdaas Ji).

What is a Gurdwara?

The word Gurdwara is pronounced as 'Gur-Dwa-raa'. The word Gurdwara literally means the 'Guru's Door' or 'through the Guru'. Sikhs come here to learn how to live a spiritual and moral life and earn Guru's blessings. Gurdwaras are commonly known as Sikh Places of Worship in the Western world.

What is Bhai Daya Singh’s Rehitnaama?

A Rehitnaama is a Sikh code of conduct written by a learned Sikh. Bhai Daya Singh Ji was the first Piaara of the Panj Piaare (Five Beloved), one of the closest companions of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and the one who delivered the Zafarnama (Epistle of Victory) to Aurangzeb. Bhai Daya Singh Ji once requested Guru Gobind Singh Ji to tell the Sangat the code of conduct. Upon listening to Guru Sahib’s response, Bhai Daya Singh Ji wrote this Rehitnaama. There are eight subtopics in this Rehatnaama, 

  1. The Process of Administering Amrit (Sikh initiation ceremony), 
  2. Rehit for Amritdhari Sikhs (initiated Sikhs), 
  3. Rehit for Kes (unshorn hair), 
  4. Ideal Measurement for a Kachera (undershorts), 
  5. The Fateh of the Guru (Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh), 
  6. Who goes to hell
  7. What to do when someone slanders the Guru
  8. Giving Tankha (religious punishment/consequence)

The point of a Rehitnaama is to outline the spiritual discipline for Sikhs. Some of the many disciplines outlined in this Rehitnaama include

  • Amrit (Immortal Nectar) must be administered by the Panj Piaare in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
  • Sikhs should keep their mind, body and wealth attuned only in Akaal Purakh (the Timeless Being) 
  • Kes should be combed twice daily, tied into a bun, a turban is to be tied layer by layer covering the Kes
  • Sikhs should say Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh upon meeting each other

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Why learn Gurmukhi? Why do Santhiya?

Guru Gobind Singh Ji once heard a Sikh mispronounce a line from Gurbani. Upon hearing this Guru Sahib taught the Sikh that one should recite Gurbani with the correct pronunciations. If one makes a mistake when reciting Gurbani then they should re-read it correctly. Often when we make mistakes while reciting we change the meaning of Gurbani without knowing. One must have the true desire to read Gurbani in order to understand the essence of Gurbani.  Often we think that reading the transliterations or translations is enough to understand Gurbani. This is a very big misunderstanding, translations and transliterations do not do justice to the great depth of Gurbani. While they may be good stepping stones, one should move on from these and learn Gurmukhi.

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What are the Four Types of Dukh (Suffering)?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji teach us that there are four types of pain/suffering. The first is the pain of separation, specifically separation from Vaheguru. Guru Sahib says that we can avoid this pain of separation by doing Simran (remember Vaheguru), Seva (Selfless Service) and going into the Sangat (Congregation). The second is the pain of hunger, this can be hunger for food, wealth, desires or other things. We should try to become only hungry for Vaheguru. The third is the fear of death, this only comes to those who are separated from Vaheguru. If we do Simran, Seva, and go into the Sangat we can eradicate this fear of death. The last type is the pain of disease, when one’s body has an illness they go through extreme pain. The medicine which will cure all illnesses is Naam (God’s Name). One will notice that in order to alleviate all four types of pain we must do Seva, Simran and go into the Sangat.

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What can we learn from the Sakhi of Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji and Pandit Lal Chand?

Acquiring knowledge to impress others does not allow one to understand wisdom truly. With Guru Ji’s blessing, anyone can achieve liberation whether they are educated or not. Guru Ji is powerful and the inner-knower of all hearts; hence they cannot be tricked.

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Why Do Sikhs Wear Turbans?

A Dastar (turban) serves as a constant reminder that God is forever present. It is an insignia of Guru Ji’s teaching that a Sikh must hold a high level of moral responsibility. A Dastar also gives Sikhs their unique identity and it is a royal crown given to Sikhs by the Gurus. A Dastar symbolizes equality and does not discriminate against anyone. 

Do the Different Colors and Styles Mean Anything?

Essentially, no. Some styles, such as the Dumalla (du=two, malla=materials) were more commonly worn by Sikh warriors. Other styles may be more predominant in certain Sikh communities, such as the triangle style for Sikhs from Kenya.

Do All Sikhs Wear a Dastar?

All Sikhs have been ordained to keep their hair; therefore, most practicing Sikhs will wear a Dastar. Sikhi has no age or gender barriers, so women and children can also wear a Dastar. Some women and younger Sikhs may also wear a variety of head coverings such as a Chunni, Rumaal or Patka. 

It is very disrespectful to touch or ask a Sikh to remove their Dastar. A Sikh will only remove the Dastar in extreme circumstances or when showering/sleeping, while still keeping their head covered. It is not headwear but an article of faith. A Sikh will treat Dastar with great respect even when removing it. 

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What is Hola Mahalla?

In 1700, Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent out Hukamnaame (commands) to the Khalsa Panth (collective of initiated Sikhs) to come Tyar Bar Tyar (ready upon ready) to Anandpur Sahib to celebrate the first Holla Mahalla, after the righteous festival of Holi had taken a different path. Guru Gobind Singh Ji themselves got the Khalsa to practice and re-enact battles. There the Khalsa physically trained and prepared for the Jangs (battles) that were yet to come.

Holla Mahalla for us today is a reminder to be Tyar Bar Tyar (ready upon ready), both physically and spiritually. May it be a time of inspiration for us to progress on our journeys towards becoming both a Sant (saint) and a Sipahi (soldier). Holla Mahalla is still celebrated every year at Anandpur Sahib and many other places around the world.

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What is Vand ke Chakna?

Vand ke Chakna (sharing with others) is an important principle in Sikhi. We should share what we have with others around us, especially the needy. Guru Sahib Ji tells us that hoarding materialistic possessions, being selfish and only looking out for our own needs is not the path of a Sikh.

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Why Guru Gobind Singh Ji Kept a Baaj (Falcon/Hawk)?

A Baaj (falcon/hawk) represents the traits of the Khalsa. Below are the eight reasons for Guru Gobind Singh Ji keeping a Baaj:

  1. Cannot be enslaved
  2. Independent
  3. Flies very high but keeps vision low (Humility)
  4. Chakarvarti (Always moving and unattached)
  5. Never lazy
  6. Flies against the wind (Unique)
  7. Fearless
  8. Royalty (King of the sky)

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What Are The Five Types of Sikhi?

Guru Gobind Singh Ji teaches us that there are five types of Sikhi, one based on dealings, one by copying others, one based on greed, one based on faith, and one based on emotions of love. Sikhi based on dealings or Dhandey Di Sikhi is when one becomes a Sikh to deal with other Sikhs or even the Guru. They might become a Sikh to marry a Sikh boy or girl or make deals with Guru Sahib asking for something in return for doing Seva. Sikhi based on copying others or Dekha Dekhi Vali Sikhi is when someone becomes a Sikh because they want to feel like they belong. This is when the focus is more about the external than the internal and does not last very long. Sikhi based on greed or Hirsee Di Sikhi is when someone who has embraced Sikhi with the motive of greed. This person might think that if they become a Sikh then they will receive a lot of monetary wealth and only pursue Sikhi for this reason. Sikhi based on faith or Sidak Di Sikhi is when one embraces Sikhi with full faith and dedication to Guru Sahib. This Sikh never turns his/her back to Guru Sahib no matter what happens. Sikhi based on emotions of love or Bhav/Prem Di Sikhi is when one embraces Sikhi out of love for Guru Sahib. Someone practising this will love Vaheguru so much that they obtain Vaheguru. The accepted forms of Sikhi are Sidak Di Sikhi and Bhav Di Sikhi. To learn more about these types of Sikhi check out our article on the Five Types of Sikhi.

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What is the Greatness of Satsangat (Holy Congregation)?

Sometimes we wonder why it is so important to go into Satsangat (true/holy congregation)? What is the Greatness of Satsangat?  A lot of the time when we read Gurbani our mind struggles to focus. Guru Sahib teaches us that at this time we should go into the Satsangat where our mind will settle. There are three main benefits of going into the Satsangat: when we go to the Sangat our challenges are solved, our sins are washed away, and our sleeping mind awakes to the truth of Vaheguru. Through the Satsangat our life can change. 

To learn more about this topic, read our article on the Greatness of Satsangat - Advice by Guru Har Rai Ji.

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What is the Greatness of Doing Ardaas and Matha Tek?

One must reap what they sow in this life based on Karma. Upon all of our foreheads, Vaheguru has placed the mark of our fate. When we do Ardaas to Guru Sahib, they bless us with what we ask for. The question now arises, how does Guru Sahib bless us with what we want if our destiny is already pre-written? Guru Gobind Singh Ji once explained this using the analogy of a stamp/seal. If one is to look at a stamp/seal before it is stamped, it will be backwards. Until the seal is stamped onto the paper, it cannot be read. This is the state of our bad actions, when a Sikh bows down and touches his/her forehead onto the feet of the True Guru with utmost faith, then those bad fortunes become obverse. Just like the stamp on the paper, our bad fortune become reversed and become good fortune. Guru Gobind Singh Ji teach us here that bowing down to your Guru with full faith is a great action. To learn more about this topic, read our article on the Greatness of Doing Ardaas and Matha Tek.

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What are the Ten Qualities of a Dharmik (Righteous) Person?

The ten qualities of a Dharmik Person are,

  • Khima - Forgiving nature
  • Ahinsa - Non-violence
  • Daya - Compassionate nature
  • Mridh - Speaking sweetly, polite nature
  • Sat Bachan - Speaking the truth
  • Tap - Meditation, penance, Seva (Selfless service)
  • Daan - Giving nature
  • Seel - Calm and patient nature
  • Soch - Pure
  • Trisna Bina - Without any desire

We should all attempt to bring these ten qualities into our lives. To learn more about these qualities and what the realm of Dharam (Dharam Khand) is, check out our article on the Ten Qualities of Dharmik Person.

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What Are The Three Forms of God?

Once, Bhai Nand Lal Ji (One of Guru Gobind Singh Ji's fifty-two poets) asked Guru Gobind Singh Ji how they can get their Darshan (blessed vision) even after Guru Sahib leaves their physical body. Guru Gobind Singh Ji responded, saying they have three forms. The first is the Nirgun Form, this is the formless form which is pervading in every heart everywhere. The second is Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Know Guru Granth Sahib Ji to be the body of the Guru. The pages are the limbs, and each word is like Guru Sahib Ji’s hairs. The third is the Sikh who has love for Gurbani day and night. That Sikh who serves others with love, forsakes ego and self-pride is also Guru Sahib Ji’s form. To learn more about these three forms, check out our article Rehitnama Bhai Nand Lal Ji

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What is a Tankha?

According to Mahaan Kosh (Encyclopedia of Sikh literature), a Tankha is a religious punishment given to a Sikh who has vilated the Rehit (Spiritual Discipline) given by the Guru. Since the Guruship/Guru Gaddi was passed to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, a Tankha is given by the Panj Piaare in the presence of the Guru. This is a place where a Sikh can come and admit their mistakes. After this the Panj Piaare collectively give a Tankha for a certain period. A Tankha may vary from reading extra Bani (Guru’s Words), to doing Seva (Selfless Service) daily in the Gurdwara. The point of a Tankha is to reconnect us with Guru Sahib and prevent a mistake from recurring. Bhai Nand Lal Ji wrote a Tankhanama which has written down religious punishments as described by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. To learn more about this topic check out our article on Tankhanama Bhai Nand Lal Ji.

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Why is it Important to Do Rehraas Sahib?

The time of Amrit Vela (Ambrosial hours before dawn) and the time of Rehraas Sahib (evening daily Sikh Prayer) are essential in a Sikh’s life. During these two periods our attendance is taken into account even in Sachkhand (the Realm of Truth). Those who did not do Rehraas Sahib whilst alive are removed from Vaheguru’s court for three hours every evening. One should take time out every evening to do Rehraas Sahib and listen to the Guru’s Hukam. To learn more about this topic, check out our article on Importance of Doing Rehraas Sahib.

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Who is Ajaamal?

Ajaamal was the son of a high caste Brahmin who was a priest and minister of the King. From a young age, Ajaamal learned from a sensible teacher and was quickly able to memorize many teachings. For this reason, scholars from all around would come to meet Ajaamal. Once, Ajaamal’s teacher gave him the order to never walk through the town on his way home. Ajaamal obeyed this order for a long time, but one day he disobeyed his teacher and walked through the town. Upon doing so, he was fascinated by the colors, people and sounds in the city. Ajaamal continued to walk through the town for days until one day a young girl grabbed his wrist and lured him to the brothel. They indulged in a sinful act together. For many days Ajaamal continued to do this and his teacher found out. His teacher stopped teaching him and advised his father to get Ajaamal married. Even after marriage, Ajaamal continued to see the prostitute, and by now he had fallen in love with her. Ajaamal inherited his father’s position in the kingdom, but when the King found out the truth about Ajaamal, he banished Ajaamal and the prostitute. Ajaamal and the prostitute, Kalavanti, lived in the slums and became very poor. They had seven children and named the seventh Narayan (A Name for God). When Ajaamal was on his deathbed, the messengers of death came to take him away. Upon seeing these messengers, Ajaamal became frightened and called out for Narayan. Hearing the name of God, the messengers of death ran away and Ajaamal was blessed to go to heaven. To learn more about this topic, check out our article on Ajaamal.

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Did Guru Nanak Dev Ji say to become a human first?

No. It's not in Gurbani and nor is it in our history. People will sell you a version of Sikhi which is not Sikhi and you might end up buying it.

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Who is Bhagat Dhru?

Bhagat Dhru was born in Satjug in the house of King Uttanpad. His mother was Suneeta who was a religious and truthful woman. The story of Bhagat Dhru is included in Bhai Gurdas Ji’s Vaaran (Ballads written by Bhai Gurdas Ji, known to be the key to unlocking the wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji). King Uttanpad’s other wife, Suruchi, despised Bhagat Dhru as a child because she hoped for her own son to inherit the whole kingdom. One day, Suruchi removed Bhagat Dhru from King Uttanpad’s lap by his arm and told him to leave. Bhagat Dhru then went and asked his mother why he was not allowed to play in his father’s lap. She told him that they had not worshiped God enough, which was why they were treated as such. She taught Bhagat Dhru that those who worship and meditate on God receive everything they wish for. After this, Bhagat Dhru left his palace for the forests in search of God. On this journey, Bhagat Dhru met Naarad Muni, who told him he would receive half of his father’s kingdom if he went home. Bhagat Dhru laughed at this and said, “I have not met God, and I can obtain half the kingdom. If I do meet God, then I definitely would get the whole kingdom.” He then continued on his journey and after immense worship, he was given his father’s kingdom to rule for 26,000 years. This story is written in Sri Gur Bhagat Mala Steek by Giani Narain Singh Ji. To learn more about this, check out our article on Bhagat Dhru.

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Who is Bhagat Prahlad?

Bhagat Prahlad was born into the house of Harnakash, a great King. Harnakash had done a large amount of spiritual penance and meditation in order to receive a boon from God. After his devotion was accepted, Harnakash asked for the boon not to die in the day or night, nor inside or outside, that no weapon can kill him, no fire can burn him, and he cannot drown. When he was blessed with this, he believed he was invincible and forced people to worship him instead of God. Harnakash’s son, Bhagat Prahlad Ji, was a devotee of Raam and refused to worship his father instead of God. Upon hearing this, Harnakash tried to drown Bhagat Prahlad. This did not work. He then tried to drop Bhagat Prahlad off a mountain. This also did not work. Harnakash even tried to burn Bhagat Prahlad alive, but all his efforts failed. When nothing worked, Harnakash tied Bhagat Prahlad to an iron pole and reached for his sword. Before he could lift his sword, the pole broke and God, in the form of Narsingh (Head of a lion, body of a human), came out from the pole. Narsingh tore Harnakash’s body with his nails and killed him. In this way God protected his devotee, to learn more about this check out our article on Bhagat Prahlad.

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Was Guru Nanak Dev Ji Muslim?

No. Guru Ji wasn't a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. Guru Ji was enlightened by God directly. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first Guru and God was Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Guru. If Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a Muslim, they would've killed Guru Ji for being a bad Muslim. For more information on this topic, refer to the four-part video series Was Guru Nanak Muslim?

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Can Sikhs Smoke, Do Sheesha, Do Drugs or Drink?

Sikhs are instructed by Guru Sahib Ji to not indulge in smoking, sheesha, drugs and alcohol. Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj calls tabacco “Jagat Jhooth (the falsehood of the world). With Guru Sahib’s Kirpa (grace), even Guru Ji’s horse refused to walk into the tobacco field. Instead of getting high on worldly poisons, Maharaj Ji emphasizes for us to get high on the Amrit of Naam and feel the real Anand (bliss). Our body is Harmandir (the temple of God), so we must respect it. We cannot pollute or harm it by consuming these worldly poisons. If we do indulge in these intoxicants, then finding Sadh Sangat (holy congregation) and learning about Naam (connection to the Divine) will be life-changing for us.

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