Lifestyle of A Sikh
A Sikh follows the Gurus’ teachings and tries to live by them to achieve liberation while leading the life of an ordinary householder. A Sikhs’ motto is Naam japo, kirt karo, vand chhako, i.e., remember God, engage in honest labor, and share the fruits of that labor. A Sikh seeks the company of others who love God and rejoices in shared love of the divinity.
1. Nam Japna (Meditation)
A Sikh is directed to concentrate his/her mind on God, to reflect on God’s virtues such as love, benevolence and kindness. A Sikh practices this to inculcate such virtues into his/her own character. This can be done by reciting Gurbani, by listening to the singing of hymns from Gurbani, or by attentively remembering God. Through meditation, a Sikh develops a feeling of affection and love for all humans, who are ‘children’ of the same father, God. Such a person not merely talks about the brotherhood of humanity but he/she actually tries to feel it all the time in his/her life. The thought of being a member of this human family becomes stronger and stronger and soon this fact is reflected in the daily behavior of the devotee. This gives him/her immense pleasure and satisfaction because he/she can ‘see’ the presence of God in every human being.
2. Kirat Karnee (Honest Living)
A Sikh is advised to earn his livelihood by the sweat of his/her brow. He/She is not supposed to be a parasite on society. A person who does not earn their livelihood may fall victim to hunger. An empty stomach may not make a person morally strong, because when starving one is capable of trading off their religion, morality and/of self-respect to fill their stomach. A non-earner becomes dependent on others and because of his/her obligations, is influenced to think and act as the bread-giver expects. Such a person cannot think or act independently. A person’s earnings, however large or small, should come from honest means.
3. Vand Ke Chhakna (Sharing with others)
Guru advises his Sikhs that it is his duty to share his earnings with needy persons. This sharing must be done out of a sense of responsibility, and not pride. A person can judge how near he/she is to God by sharing his/her bread with the needy. If one can do so without felling proud that they have done someone a favor, then he/she is on the right path to reaching God.