Sat (Sanskrit)

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Sat (Sanskrit: सत्) is a Sanskrit adjective meaning "the ideal; pure and true essence (nature)" of an entity or existence in the Vedanta. It can thus be concluded as "the self-existent or Universal Spirit, Brahman".


It can simply be said to be the present participle of the root as "to be" (PIE *h₁es-; cognate to English is).

The concept is famously expressed in a mantra found in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.3.28),

Asato mā sad gamaya / tamaso mā jyotir gamaya / mṛtyor mā amṛtam gamaya
"lead me from delusion to truth; from darkness to light; from mortality to immortality"

Sat has been adapted as: sattva "purity" and satya "truth".

Its negation asat consequently refers to nonexistence and falsehood.

In Sikhism[edit]

Sikh beliefs
  • 1a. Simran (spiritual contemplation)
  • 1b. Sewa (selfless service)
  • 2. Three Pillars
    • 2a. Naam Japo (contemplating God's names) Meditating on God's naam to control your 5 evils to eliminate suffering and live a happy life.
    • 2b. Kirat Karo (work diligently) Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud
    • 2c. Vand Chhako Sharing with others, helping those with less or those who are in need
  • 3. Five Thieves
    • 3a. Kaam (lust)
    • 3b. Krodh (anger)
    • 3c. Lobh (greed)
    • 3d. Moh (attachment, e.g. to material things or people)
    • 3e. Hankaar (ego, pride)
  • 4. Five Virtues
Further information: Satnam

In Sikhism, Sat is the most important virtue which Sikhs try to develop during their life. God is Truth and by trying to ‘practise truth’ (i.e. live a truthful life), Sikhs believe that they can live in accordance with God’s will - hukam - which teaches that: Truth is not just about speaking the truth but also about recognizing and living in line with the true nature of reality. Acting justly towards others, honesty, treating everyone as equals and avoiding criticising others are all examples of truthful living for Sikhs.

Sikhs believe that human beings must work at developing all the God-like qualities they have in order to truly love God. Love of God is not just a feeling but always involves showing love for God by selfless service to God’s creation. A person who is Gurmukh does not act out of selfishness but, by focusing on God acts out of compassion for others and becomes the slave of the Lord’s slaves. Thus finding the Lord, he eradicates ego from within.

Maya and haumai are overcome by focusing only on God while serving God in creation. Material wealth, fame and praise are unimportant because the Gurmukh is focused on the only thing of lasting value – God - as the wealth of the Naam shall never be exhausted; no one can estimate its worth.

The other four qualities in the arsenal of five that a Sikh must wear are: Contentment (Santokh), Compassion (Daya), Humility (Nimrata) and Love (Pyare). These five qualities are essential for Sikhs and it is their duty to meditate and recite the Gurbani so that these virtues become a part of their mind set.


SGGS Page 22 Full Shabad
The Gurmukhs do not like falsehood. They are imbued with Truth; they love only Truth.

SGGS Page 23 Full Shabad
Those who do not have the Assets of Truth, how can they find peace?

SGGS Page 24 Full Shabad
Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Shabad be the seed;

irrigate it continually with the water of Truth.

SGGS Page 36 Full Shabad
The virtuous obtain Truth; they give up their desires for evil and corruption.

See also[edit]