Religious tradition founded in northern India during the 16

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Religious tradition founded in northern India during the 16th century A.D. by Guru Nānak and comprised of doctrines and practices combining elements of both Hinduism and Islam.

  1. View of Deity – Monotheistic

There is one God, also called 1 Oankar or Satnam. God is the creator and sustainer of all things. God is formless, but is a personal God. God is immanent in His creations and transcendent. God is eternal. God has revealed Himself through the 10 gurus in the Guru Granth Sahib (a body of sacred scriptures that are viewed as an “embodiment of God”).

  1. View of Human Nature

Human beings are the creations of God. They have an immortal spirit. Human beings are free to choose between good and evil and to show devotion to God.

  1. Purpose of Life

The ultimate purpose of life is to obtain spiritual liberation from the cycle of rebirth and to achieve union with God and to receive spiritual insight in this life. People must learn to choose good over evil and develop love, faith, and humility.

  1. View of Spirituality

Through dependence on God, human beings can overcome their ego and pride and achieve spiritual liberation and growth and a mystical union with God. Spiritual growth leads one to the qualities of love, faith, mercy and humility. Humans can communicate with and worship God, particularly through prayer and singing.

  1. View of Morality

There are five evil passions: lust, anger, covetousness, attachment to worldly things, and pride. From these five passions comes all violence and falsehood. A number of behaviors are considered immoral (e.g., gambling, theft, smoking, cutting one=s hair, marital infidelity).

  1. View of Life After Death

Followers believe in reincarnation. Devotion to God leads to spiritual liberation and a release from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Such a release allows a human being to enter into a realm of infinite and eternal bliss and union with God. Those who are evil obtain adverse karma (fate or destiny), which endlessly protracts the cycle of reincarnation.

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