The word ‘Sikh’ means a disciple. So Sikhism is essentially the path of discipleship. The true sikh remains unattached to worldly things just as the lotus keeps its blossom over and above the surface of water. The Sikh must do his duty to his family and to the community. The main thing is leading a pure and moral life, full of noble deeds and kind words. A Sikh does not regard fasting, austerities, pilgrimages, alms-giving and penance as important things.
1) Sikhism is a practical religion. It does not consist in a certain set of beliefs or mere words. Religion does not imply wandering to shrines and tombs, or following austerities of Yogis. Sikhism is a way of life, something to be lived according to a pattern. Its main virtue is simplicity. There is no supernaturalism or mythology on which it rests. It does not believe in devils or angels or heavenly spirits.
2) Sikhism is a universal religion.
3) Sikhism is opposed to all ritualism and formalism.
4) Sikhism does not enjoin blind faith. Blind obedience to an external authority is dis-couraged. The death of the intellect can not be a condition of the life of the spirit. Faith does not start with surmises or absurdities.
5) Sikhism is a faith of hope and cheer. Though it affirms Karma, it recognises the possibility of the modification of one’s Karma with the grace of the Guru or God. It does not lead to despair and defeatism.
6) Sikhism is a democratic religion. The decisions of the Sangat are regarded as resolutions having the force of law (Gurmatta) Guru Gobind Singh Sahib vested the authority of the organisation in the Panth.