The Three Pillars of Sikhism
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder of Sikhism and our first Guru (teacher) formalized three basic guidelines for Sikhs.
1. Naam Japna (focus of God),
2. Kirat Karni (honest living) and
3. Vand Chakna (sharing with others).
1. Naam Japna: The Gurus led the Sikhs directly to practice Naam Japna – meditation on God through reciting, chanting, singing and constant remembrance followed by deep study & comprehension of God’s Name and virtues (Gurbani the Compendium of ETERNAL truth). The inner voice of the Sikh thus stays immersed in praises and appreciation of the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru and his WILL.
2. Kirat Karni: He expected the Sikhs to live as honourable householders and practise Kirat Karni – To honestly earn by ones physical and mental effort while accepting both pains & pleasures as GOD’s gifts and blessings. One is to stay truthful at all times and, fear none but the Eternal Super Soul. Live a life founded on decency immersed in Dharam – life controlled by spiritual, moral & social values.
3. Vand Chakna: The Sikhs were asked to share their wealth within the community by practising Vand Chakna – “Share and Consume together”. The community or Sadh Sangat is an important part of Sikhism. One must be part of a community that is pursing flawless objective values set out by the Sikh Gurus and every Sikh has to contribute in whatever way possible to the common community pool. This spirit of Sharing and Giving is an important message from Guru Nanak.
Some Key Lessons & Teachings of Sikhism
1) Submission to the Will of God (WAHEGURU)
2) There is ONLY “ONE GOD”. We say it as “Ek Onkar” and first two letters of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, our holy book is also “Ek Onkar”. Ek means ONE and Onkar means GOD.
3) Goodwill for all – SARBAT DAA BHALAA
4) SACH SUNAISI SACH KEE BELA – To speak the truth
5) The three basic principles or pillars of Sikhism are:
• Vand Chako: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need
• Kirat Karo: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud
• Naam Japna: Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times (ceaseless devotion to God)
6) Shun five Evils – Ego, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Lust
7) No Discrimination against any caste/creed/religion/gender
8) Against Superstitions