GCSE RS Sikhism Edexcel Revision Guide- Religion, Peace and Conflict


GCSE Religious Studies- Sikhism                          

Sikhism is one of the dharmic religions and one of the main religions worldwide. It originated in the 15th century in Punjab, India. It was founded by the first Guru, Guru Nanak. There were 10 Sikh Gurus (Guru means teacher in Punjabi) and they established, developed, and fought for the Sikh religion. Even though the Edexcel RS specification doesn't require you to know much about the basics of Sikhism, it can be helpful to know some historical context for those top grades. There will be key quotes (sources of wisdom and authority) and words that will be highlighted. This will not be in order, this will go from Section 1 to Section 3 to Section 2 to Section 4. This is because sections 1 and 3 cover Sikh beliefs and practices, whereas sections 2 and 4 cover real-life situations mixed with Sikh beliefs and teachings. 


Section 1- Sikh Beliefs

1.1- The Nature of God

1.2- God as creator

1.3- Nature of human life

1.4- Karma, Mukti and Rebirth

1.5- Gurmukh and Manmukh

1.6- Equality

1.7- Sewa

1.8- Sangat

Section 3- Living the Sikh life

3.1- Gurdwara

3.2- Features of the Gurdwara/Pilgrimage

3.3- Langar

3.4- Naam Japna

3.5- Worship

3.6- Akhand Paath

3.7- Gurpurubs and Commemorations

3.8- Birth and naming rituals

Section 1- Sikh beliefs

1.1- The Nature of God

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, meaning that Sikhs believe in one God. Guru Nanak (the first Guru) spent his entire life spreading the message of unity and that 'One supreme being'. Sikhs call God 'Waheguru' which means 'the great Guru' in the Punjabi language. Waheguru can also be broken down into 'Wa He Gu Ru' which means from darkness to light. 

Sikhs believe God is 'nirgun' and 'sargun'. Nirgun means transcendent which means that God doesn't really have a physical form but is in fact a spiritual being and sargun means that God also has a form that appears in front of his devotees perhaps through nature. Guru Nanak describes God in the 'mool mantar' which is one of the most important Sikh prayers. The mool mantar is the first set of sentences in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh eternal Guru in the form of holy scripture.

The mool mantar states:

Ik Onkar- there is only one Being

Sat Nam- truth is His name

Karta Purakh- He is the Creator

Nirbhau- without fear

Nirvair- without hate

Akaal Murat- He is immortal. without form

Ajuni Saibhang- Beyond birth and death, He is self-illuminated

Gurparsad- He can be gained through the grace of the True Guru

Sikhs may also believe that Waheguru is a spiritual feeling that can be sensed through times of peace and forgiveness. Guru Nanak says ''where there is forgiveness, there is God''. Forgiveness and peace in Sikhism will be the main focus in sections 2 and 4.

1.2- God as creator



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