Sikhs believe there are 8.4 million lifetimes in which the soul has the opportunity to liberate itself. This cycle of life and death is the principle of karma and reincarnation. “As you sow, so shall you reap.” By your good deeds you are reincarnated into a higher life form.
In the Sikh view, liberation of the soul can only be achieved from the human life form. To do this, at the time of death Sikhs strive to focus the mind on God. Generally Sikhs believe that if the mind is focused on God at the time of death, the soul goes straight to God. If the mind is wandering or thinking about material things, then the soul is sent again into the cycle of birth and death.
That is why Sikhs practice reciting certain mantras, like “Waheguru.” So in the end they can naturally go to that place of recitation and leave the body with those vibrations.
~This information was originally shared in the book Living Reality (1994) by Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa.