OF SIKH CONDUCT AND CONVENTIONS
Living in Consonance with Guru's Tenets (Gurmat Rehni)
A Sikh's living, earning livelihood, thinking and conduct
should accord with the Guru's tenets. The Guru's tenets
a. Worship should be rendered only to the One
Timeless Being and to no god or goddess.
b. Regarding the ten Gurus, the Guru Granth Sahib
and the ten Gurus' word alone as saviours
and holy objects of veneration.
c. Regarding ten Gurus as the effulgence of one
light and one single entity.
d. Not believing in caste or descent untouchabililty, Magic spells, incantation, omens, auspicious
times, days and occasions, influence of stars, horoscopic dispositions,
Shradh (ritual serving
of food to priests for the salvation of ancestor on appointed days
per the lunar calendar), Ancestor worship, khiah (ritual serving
of food to priests - Brahmins - on the lunar anniversaries of death
of an ancestor) (Two words, shradh and khiah, occuring in
this clause connote what appears to be the same thing - the ritual
serving of food to the priests (Brahmins). The difference between
the connotations of the two words is implicit in the dates
on which the ritual is performed. The ritual of serving of food
on the lunar anniversary of the death goes by the name khiah; whereas
the ritual of serving food on the lunar date corresponding to the
date of death during the period of the year designated shradhs is known
as sharadh.) pind (offering of funeral barley cakes to the deceased's
relatives), patal (ritual donating of food in the belief that
that would satisfy the hunger of a departed soul), diva (the ceremony
of keeping an oil lamp lit for 360 days after the death, in
the belief that that lights the path of the deceased), ritual funeral
acts. hom (lighting of ritual fire and pouring intermittently clarified
butter, food grains etc. into it for propitiating gods for the fulfilment
of a purpose), jag (religious ceremony involving presentation of
oblations), tarpan (libation), sikha-sut (keeping a tuft of hair
on the head and wearing thread), bhadan (shaving of head on the
death of a parent), fasting on new or full moon or other days, wearing
of frontal marks on forehead, wearing of thread, wearing of
a necklace of the pieces of tulsi (A plant with medicinal properties,
Bot, Ocimum sanctum.), stalk, veneration of any graves, of monuments
erected to honour the memory of a deceased person or of cremation
sites, idolatry and such like superstitious observances (Most,
though not all, rituals and ritual or religious observances listed
in this clause are hindu rituals and observances. The reason is
that the old rituals and practices, continues to be observed by
large numbers of Sikhs even after their conversion from their old
to new faith and a large bulk of the Sikhs novices were Hindu converts.
Another reason for this phenomenon was the strangle hold of the
Brahmin priest on Hindus' secular and religious life which the Brahmin
priests managed to maintain even on those leaving the Hindu religious
fold, by the his astute mental dexterity and rare capacity for compromise.
That the Sikh novitiates included a sizeable number of Muslims is
shown by inclusion in this clause of the taboos as to the sanctity
of graves, shirni etc.)
Not owning up or regarding as hallowed any place other
than the Guru's place- such, for instance, as sacred sports or places
of pilgrimage of other faiths.
Not believing in or according any authority to Muslim seers, Brahmins'
holiness, soothsayers, clairvoyants, oracles, promise of an offering
on the fulfillment of a wish, offering of sweet loaves or rice pudding
at graves on fulfillment of wishes, the Vedas, the Shastras, the
Gayatri,(Hindu scriptural prayer unto the sun) the Gita, the Quaran,
the Bible, etc. However, the study of the books of other faiths
for general self-education is admissible.
e. The Khalsa should maintain its distinctiveness
among the professors of different religions of the world, but should
not hurt the sentiments of any person professing another religion.
f. A Sikh should pray to God before launching
off any task.
g. Learning Gurmukhi (Punjabi in Gurmukhi script)
is essential for a Sikh. He should pursue other studies also.
h. It is a Sikh's duty to get his children educated
i. A Sikh should, in no way, harbour any antipathy
to the hair of the head with which his child is born. He should
not temper with the hair with which the child is born. He should
add the suffix "Singh" to the name of his son & "Kaur" to the name
of his daughter. A Sikh should keep the hair of his sons and
j. A Sikh must not take hemp (cannabis),
opium, liquor, tobacco, in short, any intoxicant. His only routine
intake should be food.
k. Piercing of nose or ears for wearing ornaments
is forbidden for Sikh men and women.
l. A Sikh should not kill his daughter; nor should
he maintain any relationship with a killer of daughter.
m. The true Sikh of the Guru shall make an honest living
by lawful work.
n. A Sikh shall regard a poor person's mouth as the
Guru's cash offerings box.
o. A Sikh shall not steal, form dubious associations
or engage in gambling.
p. He who regards another man's daughter as his own
daughter, regards another man's wife as his mother, has coition
with his own wife alone, he alone is a truly disciplined Sikh of
the Guru. A Sikh woman shall likewise keep within the confines of
q. A Sikh shall observe the Sikh rules of conduct and
conventions from his birth right upto the end of his life.
r. A Sikh, when he meets another Sikh, should
greet him with "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh" (Rendered
into English:The Khalsa is Waheguru's; victory too is His !). This
is ordained for Sikh men and women both.
s. It is not proper for a Sikh woman to wear
veil or keep her face hidden by veil or cover
t. For a Sikh, there is no restriction or requirement
as to dress except that he must wear Kachhehra (A drawer type garment
fastened by a fitted string round the waist, very often worn
as an underwear.) and turban. A Sikh woman may or may not tie turban.