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).
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.
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.
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 on Hinduism and Sikhism:

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