Three pillars of Sikhism

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Sikh practices and discipline

Five Banis · Five Ks · Five Thieves · Five Virtues · Simran · Sewa · Three pillars · Sikh Rehat Maryada  · Amrit Velā
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

The Three Pillars of Sikhism were formalised by Guru Nanak as:

  1. The Guru led the Sikhs directly to practise Simran and Naam Japna—meditation on God and reciting and chanting of God’s Name—Waheguru. The Sikh is to recite the Nitnem banis daily in remembrance of the grace and kirpa of the Almighty.
  2. He asked the Sikhs to live as householders and practise Kirat Karni: to honestly earn, with hard work, by one's physical and mental effort, while accepting God's gifts and blessing. One is to speak the truth at all times and only fear God. Live a life of decency, high moral values and spirituality.
  3. The Sikhs were asked to share their wealth within the community by practising Vaṇḍ Chakkō—“Share and Consume together”. The community or Sadh Sangat is an important part of Sikhism. One must be part of a community that is pursuing the values set out by the Sikh Gurus and every Sikh has to give in whatever way possible to the community. This spirit of Giving is an important message from Guru Nanak.


The Sikh Emblem, or the Khanda, is made up of three items, each representing different things. The circle, of Chakkar, represents the infiniteness of the timeless absolute and also reminds Sikhs to stay within the rule of God. The double edged sword represents the only God and the supreme truth. The two swords, the two Kirpaans, crossing each other, one represents PEERI (spiritual authority) and the other of MEERI (political or temporal power).