Sikhism and Hinduism

Sikh Texts on Distinctiveness of Sikhism

Bhai Mani Singh writes in Gian Ratanavali:

Hajees asked Baba Nanak, “O Saint, are you a Hindu or Moslem?” Then Baba Nanak replied, “I am witness for both.”

Gur Partap Sooraj Parkash:

First there were Hindus and Muslims, take note, there are three now. (Gur Partap Surya)

On his way towards Deccan, Guru Gobind Singh reached Pushkar .The discussion that took place there is recorded this way in Surya Prakash.

Brahmins, Merchants and others came with Pandit Chaitin. Having made salutation they sat down in the assembly and asked, “What is their Caste? How we recognize them. Your companions wear unshorn hair, what we can say is their Caste? There are many new garbs, but none of them is Hindu or Moslem.” Having heard that Guru replied, “Khalsa is the third Panth in the world. It is distinct from Hindus and Moslems. They are servants of the Eternal, Immortal.” When Guru Gobind Singh met the Emperor Bahadur Shah, this discussion transpired.

Bahadur Shah said, “There are two religions, Hindus and Moslems, What appeals to you? On what you have faith, Hinduism or Islam?”

To that Guru Gobind Singh replied, “Hindu, Moslems whatever way they follow we wish them both well. The Moslems preach fasting; prayer call and five prayers are supreme for them. Hindus perform Sandhya, adoration and rites of stone Gods, and such others are acceptable to Hindus. We consider both the same way abandoning all others; we have established the Khalsa as the third (religion). Without distinction we abandon all else and seek the shelter of the Eternal, the Purusha.” (Gur Pratap Surya)


Khalsa should stay distinct from Hindus and Moslems. (Rehatnama Bhai Chaupa Singh-l0)

Khalsa should remove the domination (influence) of Hindus and Moslems. (Rehatnama Bhai Daya Singh-11)

Bhagat Ratnavli:

Not only the baptized Sikhs are separate from Hindus and others, but also stories of Sahajdhari Sikhs tell us that they abandoned other rites and customs and adopted Gurmat. For this see the explanation of the 11th Var of Bhai Gurdas. (Bhagat Ratanavali by Bhai Mani Singh)

Sikhs addressed their supplication, “O True King, the Pundits in Kashmir do not allow the Sikhs to read Bani (Word) of the Guru. They say that Sanskrit is the language of the Gods and the vernacular is the language of mortals. You have abandoned the daily rites and so we are not going to have daily relations with you.” Then the Guru asked Sodhi Madho to go to Kashmir and preach Sikhism there.

Gur Bilas and Panth Parkash:

To the two religions was added the Third. Taking the support of Almighty, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa Panth, above the Hindus and Moslems. “Forgetting all ways adopt the Khalsa Panth,” said the Tenth Guru, the Light Incarnate. (Gur Bilas)

Again distinct from the Hindus and Moslems, He said, “Establish I this Panth, powerful indeed.” (Panth Parkash)

Conversation between Nadir Shah and Governor of Lahore

It (Khalsa Panth) is distinct from Hindus and Moslems. Distinct and marvelous is their sect. They perform marriage ceremony neither like Hindus nor like Moslems.

Their marriage is Anand ceremony. When a Singh (man) or Singhni (woman) dies, they prepare sacred food and distribute it. They do not perform the Hindu rites and they do not throw the bones (of the dead) in the Ganges. On the tenth day they complete the reading of the Granth and distribute the offerings to the poor. They do not wear the sacred thread, nor put the mark on their forehead. They never worship idols. They worship the One Almighty and do not make obeisance to anyone else. Vedas, Puranas and other (Semitic) books, they do not accept the authority of any. Whatever Guru Nanak said, they keep faith on that. From the same vessel they administer Amrit (baptismal water) to everyone. They all eat together and live like true brothers. They leave behind all caste, Varna, family names, Karma and Dharma of the ancestors. On the contrary, if any Sikh comes to our religion (Islam), on getting the opportunity he goes back and baptizing him they absorb him in their religion.

Tat Khalsa is the representation of the Guru “(they say) it is beyond the coming and going through the life cycles. Hindus are blind, Muslims are one eyed, but really sages are the Sikhs of the Guru” distinct from Hindus and Moslems.

All the customs are different, among them. They do not acknowledge the ghosts at all. They do not recognize graves and cemeteries. They do not go to the Ganges for pilgrimage. They do not consider impure puerperium (state after child birth).

They do not wear the Janeau and do not put the sacred mark. They do not abide by the rites of the Hindus like keeping a Bodi (tuft of hair), Dhoti and Rosary of Tulsi, performing Hom, or Shradh.

They consider their own religion to be better and if somebody calls them Hindu they get angry. They have abandoned all the customs of the Hindus. They live like real brothers, and respect each other. They are greatly united.

A Sikh always sacrifices himself for other Sikhs gladly in time of need.

Another Historic Account:

Bhai Dhesi and Bhai Jodha sought protection of Guru Arjan. They addressed their appeal thus, “O True King, the Pundits do not let us sit in Pangat. They complain, in spite of being Brahmins we have become disciples (Sikhs) of a Kshatriya. We have abandoned the language of the Gods in the Vedas and sing the songs of the Guru in Vernacular, having abandoned Janam Ashtmi, Shivratri, Ekadsi, we feed Sikhs. We have abandoned Gyatri, Tarpan, Sandhya, Pind, Patal, rites of birth and death and perform the Sikh prayer and distribute Karah Prasad after Ardas, as the rites of the dead. O Protector of the humble we have come to your shelter. You have saved us. The egoist Brahman has gone away from us. We have received gnosis and name of the Lord.”