What is God to a Sikh?

Sikhs believe in One God Who is both immanent and transcendent. That is to say, Sikhs believe that God is both totally present in every atom of Creation and also totally beyond human comprehension. Sikhs often use the analogy of the ocean and its drops of water. The drop is totally part of the ocean, but has no comprehension of the ocean’s limits (if a water drop had any comprehension of anything). So, there is nowhere God is not, and no one who can get outside of God to measure Him/Her/It. This is the Creator Who engenders all, but has no gender. It’s all One with God.

Furthermore, one Sikh epithet for God is Nirvair, which means “without vengeance.” Sikhs believe that God is non‑vindictive and non-punitive. 

God is seen as benevolent, in the same sense that the sun is benevolent: giving light to everyone equally without personal attachment. Because Sikhs believe God’s Light permeates everything, they also believe in the sanctity of all genders, all religions, all people and all places.


What is God?

To Sikhs, God is the experience of Infinity and can be experienced by practicing Shabd Guru.

“Shabad” means sound, “Guru” means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The simplest meaning of Shabad Guru is a special sound that is a teacher. The Shabad Guru employs the Naad, totally balanced universal sound, to remove the constrictions and distortions of the ego.

More information will be shared about Shabd Guru later in this course.  


Who is the Infinite Creator and how did He create all Creation?

Guru Nanak called God, Ek Ong Kar and illuminated His essence in the Mul Mantra. Above all, Sikhs see God as the experience of Infinity; Truth, Sat Nam. God created the creation for His own joy and exaltation and assigned tasks to one and all of His creation.

God himself watches His creation and in His joy He controls its play. God creates all out of His own vibration. In the beginning the Word of God brought the universe into being through the power of the vibration. It is beyond words and It is beyond thoughts. Each individual can experience It within thier own consciousness. 


If God is unknown, how were the Gurus able to make Him known?

Guru Nanak remembered from his birth that he came from Infinity, and throughout his life listened to the Shabd Guru, the Infinity within. This gave him the experience of God consciousness.

Sikhs believe that experience is the way to know the unknown. When the Gurus experienced God and expressed this experience as the Shabd Guru, they created a vehicle, a language in the Naad, whose vibratory impact could translate their experience.

By virtue of reciting Gurbani, by speaking the Shabd Guru as the Gurus spoke it, the Sikh can set up that vibration in his or her own consciousness. The Sikh can know that he or she is God.

The Gurbani, beyond all the teachings of the Gurus, translates the Guru’s experience. In its essence lies sweetness and bliss. The Sikh who obeys what Gurbani says will experience God in life.


~This information was originally shared in the books Sikh Spiritual Practice: The Sound Way to God (2010) by Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa and Living Reality (1994) by Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa.