Hinduism vs. Sikhism


This chart compares Sikhism and Hinduism on the basis of their philosophy, view of God, religious practices and beliefs, as well as principles and teachings. Both religions originated in the Indian subcontinent — Hinduism about 3,000 years ago and Sikhism in the second half of the last millennium. While Hinduism is considered polytheistic, Sikhism is a monotheistic religion.

Comparison chart




Place of origin Indian Subcontinent Punjab, in an area which was partitioned into modern-day Pakistan. Sikhs are now predominant in Indian-Punjab.
Place of worship Temple (Mandir) 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 Meditation, yoga, contemplation, yagna (communal worship), offerings in the temple. 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.
Religious Law Dharma shastras 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).
About Devotion to the various gods & goddesses of Hinduism. A Religion spread by 10 Gurus to preach to worship one creator
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 Many gods, but realize that they all come from Atman. Monotheism
Means of salvation Reaching enlightenment by the Path of Knowledge, the Path of devotion, or the Path of Good Deeds. 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.
Day of worship Orthodox schools prescribe three prayer times a day: at dawn, noon and dusk. Every day Sikhs worship the one God at their homes, even with or without a Gurdwara service.
Ressurection of Jesus N/A. N/A
Life after death A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached. 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.
Position of Mary N/A. N/A
Clergy No official clergy. Gurus, Yogis, Rishis, Brahmins, Pundits, priests, priestesses, monks, and nuns. 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.
Status of Muhammad N/A. Saint, a guru of time. He is mentioned in Sikhism- but is used to name the guru incarnate of god.(irrelevant to some)
Definition The word Hindu has geographical significance and was used originally for those people who lived beyond the river Sindhu or the region watered by the river Indus. Hindus themselves, call their religion "Sanatana Dharma, " meaning "Eternal Law." Disciple, student or learner of God.
Principle To follow dharma, i.e. eternal laws 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.
imams identified as N/A. N/A.
Angels The concept of angels does not apply in Hinduism. Some mythological stories include rishis, who sometimes serve as the messengers of God. N/A
Concept of God God is in everything and everything is God. Self Created, Indestructible, Unborn, Creater of Universe, Guru Nanak is God and Manifest.
Status of Adam N/A. Only God knows who was created first and who will be created last. Most likely the first Guru on earth as a fish form.
Second coming of Jesus N/A. Irrelevant
Founder Not credited to a particular founder. Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Goal of religion To break the cycle of birth, death and reincarnation, and attain salvation. 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.
Human Nature Depends on sects. 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 The followers of Vedas are called as Arya, noble person. Arya is not a dynasty, ethnicity or race. Anyone who follows the teachings of Vedas is considered Arya. Sikh means "Student" in Persian-Punjabi. It Means To Learn.Sikh means a person who learn all his life from others.
God's role in salvation Beliefs vary by sect. Upanishads (scripture) say God chooses who gets salvation. Salvation is attained via good deeds and righteousness (following the "dharma" and avoiding sin) God is generous and loving. mankind will reincarnate until he becomes a Sikh and achieves paradise.
Rites Some Hindus believe in a "thread ceremony" for men. Amrit Sanchar (Being Initiated into the Khalsa. Equivalent to baptism).
Marriage Man may marry one woman. However, kings in mythology often married more than one woman. Marriage can be arranged or it can be a love marriage. Monogamistic, against premarital sex. Marriage is the merging of two souls as one.
Authority of Dalai Lama N/A. N/A.
View of the Buddha Some Hindu sects claim Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu. Others believe he was a holy man. There is an important person in Sikhism who is called Buddha.
Original Language(s) Sanskrit Punjabi was the original language in Sikhism and Persian also but Sikhs can learn as many languages as they want to learn.
View of other Dharmic religions They believe that Buddhists, Jains, & Sikhs should reunite with Hinduism(which is the original Dharmic religion). Sikhs respect other Dharmic religions.
Confessing sins Repentance for unintentional sins are prescribed, but intentional sins have to be repaid through karmic consequences. 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
Names of God Brahman Waheguru, Ik Onkaar, Sat Nam, Akhal Purakh.
Followers Hindus. Sikhs
Use of statues, images Common. Forbidden.
View of other Abrahamic religions Hinduism is a Dharmic religion, not an Abrahamic religion. All faiths will get what they work towards. Sikhism does not condemn others to Hell or say if you are not Sikh you are eternally damned. Sikhs prays for "Sarbat Da Bhala", meaning the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of differences.
Population 1 Billion. 30 million
Time of origin circa 3000 B.C.E 1469 AD.
Status of women Women can become priestesses or nuns. 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.
Branches Myriad Udasis – An order of ascetics & holy men who follow Guru Nanak's son Baba Sri Chand. Sahajdharis – who are clean shaven but have chosen the path of Sikhism & eventual baptism. The Khalsa, who are baptized and follow the traditional practices of S
Religion which atheists may still be adherents of Charvakas and Sankyas are atheistic groups in Hinduism. A person must believe in God to be a Sikh
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? Yes. Yes.
Use of statues Allowed Forbidden
Identity of Jesus N/A. Jesus is looked as a "saint". Sikhs do not believe that Jesus is God because Sikhism teaches that God is neither born, nor dead. Jesus was born and lived a human life, therefore, he cannot be God. However, Sikhs still show respect to all beliefs.
Geographical predominance India, Nepal Indian Punjab, hundreds of thousands in the US, Canada, UK , Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Further Reading

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

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Comments: Hinduism vs Sikhism

Anonymous comments (6)

May 10, 2014, 6:18pm

Sikhs are not Muslim! Islam wanted to kill of Sikhs and wanted to rule Punjab, also Hindus claim Sikhs are an offshoot of Hinduism, when we are not! Guru Nanak rejected Hinduism because of the beliefs and caste system. Sikhs believe everyone is born equal, neither do Sikhs believe in conversion as to why Guru Nanak also rejected Islam and their beliefs! Both Islam and Hinduism corrupted Sikhism!

— 94.✗.✗.74

January 6, 2014, 12:56am

If your guru was hindu then i did not to say anything you kmow ?

— 121.✗.✗.222

May 4, 2012, 11:41pm

It is misbelif on the count of 330million gods, in fact in sanskrit and marathi it is described as 33 "koti" which has both meaning then koti=1 crore as well as the koti =virtue,the word is usedfor the description of virtues and not the mere count.
Since the hindi is a derivative of marathi this is widely mistaken.

— 27.✗.✗.180

October 15, 2013, 1:18am

Dear Param and Harsimran Singh whether you go to Temple or Gurdwara or Mosque you won't get God, there no heaven or hell, everything is here. Sikhism emerged as force after Muslim rule was finished by Marathas. In the final battle of Panipat between Marathas and Ahmad Shah Abdali Afghan rulers, you brave sikhs were mere spectator waching like India Pakistan match. When both of them destroyed each other you emerged out to snatch back Punjab as oppurtunist. In short Marathas finished themselves to finish Muslim invader Ahmad Shah Abdali and you are taking credit of bravery of Marathas. So please shed your false superiority ego. Egoism is against your religion.
Dear brother I am not Marathi, I am Sindhi, half sikh. We follow Sikhism and Hinduism with equal zeal. But I am atheist don't belive in religion or God.

Same event of History can be taken positively too. When Marathas finished Muslim rule in India our Sikh brothers were prepared themselves to take over the North India and established rule of righteousness with bravery. We are blood brothers and consider ourselves people of India not like Muslims who are converted Hindus and now think themselves to be from Arab or other world. We burn dead body after death, remainig whichever way you pray or belive in one or hundred gods doesn't make any difference. Dear Sikh brother we should unite to defend India from Muslim resurgence. Muslims want to divide us, don't be trapped. We both are religion of reighteousness. We have gurus, feet touch to elders, vegetarism which is our common culture.

— 66.✗.✗.67

July 18, 2013, 6:52am

Hinduism is way to confusing for me! Just way to random
If u do t know what I mean, to much mythology: 10 hands, a elephant head etc! Way too confusing dawg! Hindus would have been extinct if it weren't for the Sikhs! We're the ones who sacrificed out lives for u guys! Guru gobind singh gave up his whole family to sacrifice for the Hindus! And one more thing... Diwali for Hindus is celebrting this one dude who found his wife! Ya kl story bro! But for Sikhs it's when: ok so the Muslims captured Hindu And Sikhs kings and put then in jail! The Muslim king let the Sikh king go, but he said I won't leave unless you let me take these HINDu kings with me! So the Muslim king said, as many people can hold onto your cape can leave.tge Sikh king see a long cloth too tge back of his cape and allowed the HINDU kings to exit out of jail! Now u can c how CARING SIKHS ARE! I'm a proud Sikh!!! XD

— 50.✗.✗.215

June 2, 2013, 3:22am

It is very good attempt but there seems lack of depth. Rather than go by hearsay, you may want read to know the truth about Hinduism. A lot of books are freely availabe online. Again, it is believed that there have been a lot of corruptions in its true essence. Ideally, hinduism is a way of life derived from observing the nature...I personally being a Hindu...will call it naturism. (You pray to trees, plants, nature, stars, cosmos, humans, animals, ideally everything that is natural. Even the primordial of gods, Shiva is meditating to connect to nature.....Rama showed qualities for human being par excellence in conducting himself, hence called Maryada Purushottam (Maryada-(Displined Conduct), and hence prayed as god).
Every man is an avatar of some energy, Brahma-intelligence, vishnu-classy, shiva-natural/raw. Also, Karma is a very essential concept of Hinduism that you seemed to have missed. I have said a lot yet very little. Please research more when you comment. Dont go by hearsay or observing todays culture as there is corruption prevalent in all places. Wise person choose the right out of all and leaves what is wrong. I would suggest you to pick the best from all religions to form your beliefs.

— 59.✗.✗.59


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