Difference Between Hinduism and Sikhism (With Table)

All around the world, religion gives spiritual power to many. Many find peace in following their religion. Religion believes in idolizing a belief or an individual. There is various religion followed by Millions of people all around the world. Two of the various religions of the world are Hinduism and Sikhism. As both of them appear a bit similar, they are very different.

Hinduism vs Sikhism

The difference between Hinduism and Sikhism is that Hinduism is the oldest found religion and Sikhism is comparatively found more recently. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak and Hinduism was not originated singularly. Hinduism encourages the worship of more than one God and supports idol worshiping. On the other hand, Sikhism believes in the presence of one God under various names and discourages idol worshipping.

Hinduism considers the Vedas to be its root scripture and the Vedic mantras are uttered during rituals or prayers. it originally divided the mass of people into different castes giving specific duties to each of them to be fulfilled in the name of religion. Hindu women are not allowed to perform religious activities during menstruation as it is considered to be impure.

Sikhism considers Guru Granth Sahib to be its root scripture for encouraging enlightenment, abolishing egoism, and teaching everyone to be humble. It believes in equal treatment of human beings irrespective of their social status, creed, caste, and gender. Sikhism supports the performance of women in religious activities during menstruation as it is considered to be a natural cycle.

Comparison Table Between Hinduism and Sikhism

Parameters Of Comparison Hinduism Sikhism
Origins
Hinduism is marked as the oldest religion to be risen in the Indus valley near 1500 BC. The worship of Hindu deities began between 500 BC to 500 AD.
Sikhism is considered to be a comparatively newer religion originating from the 15th century. It was originated by Guru Nanak.
Foundation
Hinduism was not founded singularly and is considered a multi-faceted religion. It is associated with varied philosophies and beliefs.
Sikhism was founded by only Guru Nanak following whom, nine other gurus carried on with the distinctly unique religion.
Perspectives of God(s)
Hinduism is represented by various goddesses and gods, and they can worship either of them. They are represented in the form of statues or images.
Sikhism believes in the existence of one God with various names and is against worshipping statues and images.
Scriptures
The root holy scripture of the Hindus is considered to be the Vedas. Vedic mantras are recited through prayers.
Despite having numerous ancient hymns for rituals, Sikhism is rooted with the Guru Granth Sahib the most.
Perspectives of caste
Hinduism was associated with radical caste systems having five groups with separate ‘dharma’ or duty.
Sikhism believed in equality among every human being irrespective of caste, background, gender, status, wealth, or community.

What is Hinduism?

Hinduism is one of the religions of the Indian subcontinent which is practiced for years. Hinduism comprises worshipping various deities like Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesh, and Devi(s). The Hindu scripture, Vedas were written between 1500 BC and 500 BC. Hindus have multiple philosophies, rituals, and beliefs and they can worship any gods or goddesses of their preference. Hindus consider the universal soul to be Brahman and believe in the ideas of the existence of several gods, samsara, or the rebirth cycle. Hindus worship idols, sculptures, and images that represent their gods and goddesses. Hindu women were initially believed to be dependent on males and assist them through their life.

Though recently, Hindu women are involved in the workforce. In Hinduism, marriage could only take place among the same castes and region and there was a compulsion of dowry payment by the bride’s family. Menstruation is considered to be impure in Hinduism. Women having menstruation are not allowed to take part in religious activities or rituals as they are considered to be impure during their cycle. Hindu men are not bound to wear any cap or specific dresses. In Hinduism, fasting as Ekadashi is considered to be spiritual and an act of purity to devote to the worship of their gods and goddesses.

What is Sikhism?

Sikhism is a comparatively newer founded religion that was founded by Guru Nanak. The religion believes in the existence of a single god under numerous names. It addresses the god with the phase, ‘Ik Onkar’ which marks the presence of one God. However, its main scripture is concerned with the teachings that are practical and encourage the sense of humbleness, freedom from egoism, and preaching enlightenment. Sikhs believed in equality among men and women and supported women to be independent as well as capable just like men.

Women participate in the cultural and religious activities of the Sikhs. In Sikhism, marriage is considered to be a holy union among the souls where the partners are equal to each other, and the dowry system is off the table. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak perceived menstruation as a natural process in women and encouraged their participation in religious activities even during their menstruation. Sikh men are bound to have facial hair and wear turbans. They are not allowed to chop their hair for their religion. Though not mandatory, women wear turbans too for covering their long hair. In Sikhism, the act of fasting is not encouraged as it believes that spirituality cannot be achieved with starvation.

Main Differences Between Hinduism and Sikhism

  1. Hinduism was founded in 1500 BC and is the oldest religion in the Indian subcontinent. On the other hand, Sikhism is a more recent religion of the 15th century.
  2. Hinduism was not founded by a single head and is multifaceted while Sikhism was founded by only Guru Nanak.
  3. Hindus have multiple gods and goddesses, and they are worshipped in the form of idols, statues, or images. On the other hand, Sikhs consider worshipping gods in the form of idols or sculptures to be immoral.
  4. The holy scripture of Hinduism is mainly the Vedas whereas, for the Sikhs, it is Guru Granth Sahib.
  5. Unlike Hinduism, Sikhism does not contain the caste system and their respective duties but encourages equality in all forms.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded by saying that Hinduism and Sikhism have a different construct of foundation, beliefs, and philosophies from each other. Hindus have a strict caste system and are orthodox concerning women’s issues like menstruation and marriages. Whereas, Sikhs believe in equality among everyone and address women’s issues to be normal, and encourage them to be capable and independent. Hindus worship their deities in the form of sculptures and images that are considered to be immoral to the Sikhs. Hinduism has a variety of philosophies, rituals, and beliefs, unlike the Sikhs. Unlike Hindus, Sikhs keep facial hair and wear turbans for their religion.

References

  1. https://www.cmaj.ca/content/163/9/1167.short
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1360-0443.1990.tb01688.x
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