Although Buddhism rejects the belief in a Supreme Creator Being, it accepts belief in numerous non-creator deities, and hence, is Polytheistic. By contrast, Sikhism believes in a Supreme Being, and worships Only One God, and hence, is monotheistic.

Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha some time around the 5th century BCE. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak sometime around the 17th century CE.

Comparison chart

Buddhism versus Sikhism comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartBuddhismSikhism
BuddhismSikhism
Place of origin Nepal Punjab, in an area which was partitioned into modern-day Pakistan. Sikhs are now predominant in Indian-Punjab.
Place of worship Buddhist monasteries, temples, shrines. Gurdwara for congregational worship. Anyone may enter a Gurdwara, however-no matter their faith, caste, or skin color. Personal worship can be done in any place at any time. God resides in everything and everyone.
Practices Practices of the Threefold Training: Virtue, Concentration, and Wisdom, a.k.a the Noble Eightfold Path. Daily prayers. The three pillars of Sikhism are: a) To remember God at all times which includes being thankful to God for what you have been given, b) To live your life honestly/with integrity and c) Sharing what you have with those less fortunate.
Use of statues and pictures Common Not allowed as considered Idolatry. Pictures of the Sikh Gurus are considered Idolatry and are not accepted from a religious perspective. Gurus maybe praised because they are equivalent to God.
Belief of God The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator is rejected by Buddhists. The Buddha himself refuted the theistic argument that the universe was created by a self-conscious, personal God. Monotheism
Founder Gautama Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Goal of religion To attain enlightenment and be released from the cycle of rebirth and death, thus attaining Nirvana. To merge with and have the greatest relationship with God possible. To love and obey God unconditionally. Guru Nanak Dev Ji stressed that we should not be afraid of God's wrath, but instead be afraid of not receiving the full benefits of God's love.
Clergy The Buddhist Sangha, composed of bhikkhus (male monks) and bhikkhunis (female monks). The sangha is supported by lay Buddhists. The Granthi is appointed as one take care of Guru Granth Sahib besides No clergy. Raagi who sings the Granth Sahib Baani in Respective Raagas.
Life after death If nirvana isn't attained during life, the aggregates will be renewed into a completely different entity. Furthermore, if certain qualities are subdued, like perception, one's karma can cause any type of aggregation, like rocks, stars, or plants. A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached. Sikhs believe that there are 8,400,000 forms of life and that many souls have to travel though a number of these before they can reach Waheguru. The goal is to merge with God.
Human Nature Ignorance, as all sentient beings. In the Buddhist texts, it is seen that when Gautama, after his awakening, was asked whether he was a normal human being, he replied, "No". People are essentially good; the divine spark within them needs only to be fanned into a flame of goodness. Sinning is following the veil of illusion "Maya". Karma is unavoidably paid f you sin.
Literal Meaning Buddhists are those who follow the teachings of the Buddha in order to become like the Buddha. Sikh means "Student" in Persian-Punjabi. It Means To Learn.Sikh means a person who learn all his life from others.
Religious Law The Dharma. No necessary laws but a sikh may follow the 3 rules of their life such as 1)Naam Japna (remember/meditate on God) 2)Vand K Shakhna (give to those who need it) 3)Kirat Karna (earn by honest means).
Means of Salvation Following the Noble Eightfold Path. Worship God, do Good Deeds in the name of God, performing service for community. Fight 5 evils (5 sins) - Greed, Ego, Attachment, Anger, and Lust. Meditate, pray, and improve your relationship with God and God will forgive, cleanse, and save you.
View of the Buddha The highest teacher and the founder of Buddhism, the all-transcending sage. There is an important person in Sikhism who is called Buddha.
Original Language(s) Magadhiprakrit Punjabi was the original language in Sikhism and Persian also but Sikhs can learn as many languages as they want to learn.
Followers Buddhists Sikhs
Confessing sins Sin is not a Buddhist concept. As the Divine light is in all of us, God already knows of our "sins". We are to pray to God for God to forgive us and cleanse us. Only through God and doing Good Deeds in God's name in a way that God is pleased can we obtain salvation-escape from sin
Marriage It is not a religious duty to marry. Monks and nuns do not marry and are celibate. Advice in the Discourses on how to maintain a happy and harmonious marriage. Marriage can be arranged or it can be a love marriage. Monogamistic, against premarital sex. Marriage is the merging of two souls as one.
View of other Dharmic religions Since the word Dharma means doctrine, law, way, teaching, or discipline, other Dharmas are rejected. Sikhs respect other Dharmic religions.
Use of Statues Used as meditation objects, and revered as they reflect the qualities of the Buddha. Forbidden
Holy days/Official Holidays Vesak day in which the birth, the awakening, and the parinirvana of the Buddha is celebrated. No one day is deemed holier then another. However dates that have historical significance such as Vasaikhi and Gurpurabs are celebrated with Prayers in Gurdwaras.
Authority of Dalai Lama Dalai Lamas are tulkus of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. They are cultural figures and are independent of the doctrinal basis of Buddhism. N/A.
Population 300-350 million. 30 million
Symbols The Wheel of the Dharma. The Khanda ☬
Principle This life is suffering, and the only way to escape from this suffering is to dispel one's cravings and ignorance by realizing the Four Noble Truths and practicing the Eightfold Path. The worship of the One God through prayer and devotion. Sikhs are required to meditate on God's name to clear their mind and eliminate the 5 evils. Meditation is also used to bring oneself closer to God.
Status of women No distinctions between men and women. Women are equal to men, and men are equal to women in the Sangha. Sikhism teaches that men and women are 100% equal in the eyes of God. Women have the exact same rights as men and are to be respected and honored. God loves both equally and neither is better than the other.
Time of origin 2,500 years ago, circa 563 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) 1469 AD.
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? Yes. Yes.
Concept of Deity Gods are seen as higher life forms, still bound in samsara. Belief in one God and teachings of the Sikh Gurus. Gurus are the messengers of God.

Further Reading

For further reading, there are several books available on Amazon.com on Buddhism and Sikhism:

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Buddhism vs Sikhism." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 28 Apr 2016. < >