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Hinduism vs. Sikhism: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 21, 2024
Hinduism is a diverse and ancient religion with multiple gods and rituals, while Sikhism is a monotheistic faith founded in the 15th century emphasizing equality and service.

Key Differences

Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religions, with a rich tapestry of deities, philosophies, and rituals. It is deeply intertwined with Indian culture and history. Sikhism, founded in the 15th century in Punjab, India, by Guru Nanak, focuses on devotion to one God and stresses community service and social justice.
The sacred texts of Hinduism include the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and others, offering a complex understanding of morality, dharma, and the cosmos. Sikhism primarily follows the Guru Granth Sahib, the spiritual scripture that embodies the teachings of Sikh Gurus.
Hinduism believes in a cycle of death and rebirth (samsara) governed by karma. Moksha, or liberation from this cycle, is a key goal. In Sikhism, the cycle of birth and rebirth is acknowledged, but the emphasis is on living a good life to merge with God.
In Hinduism, practices like yoga, meditation, and rituals (pujas) are common, with a strong emphasis on personal spirituality. Sikhism emphasizes community and equality, rejecting caste discrimination and promoting langar, a community kitchen for all.
Hinduism has no single founder and has evolved over millennia, absorbing various cultures and ideas. Sikhism was explicitly founded by Guru Nanak, and it progressively evolved through the teachings of ten successive Gurus.

Comparison Chart

Founding Period

Ancient, no specific date
15th century

Number of Gods

Polytheistic, many gods
Monotheistic, one God

Key Scriptures

Vedas, Bhagavad Gita
Guru Granth Sahib

Concept of Salvation

Moksha, liberation from rebirth
Living a righteous life to merge with God

Social Structure

Caste system historically significant
Rejects caste, emphasizes equality

Hinduism and Sikhism Definitions


A religious tradition that emphasizes dharma, karma, and the pursuit of spiritual goals.
Yoga, originating from Hinduism, is a spiritual practice focused on harmony between mind and body.


A monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab region of India, emphasizing equality and service.
Sikhism's principle of Seva involves selfless service to the community.


A major world religion originating in the Indian subcontinent, known for its ritualistic practices.
In Hinduism, the Ganges River is considered sacred and purifying.


It focuses on spiritual upliftment through honest living, remembering God, and community service.
Sikhism's teachings are encapsulated in the Guru Granth Sahib, its holy scripture.


Characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a multitude of gods and goddesses.
Hinduism's pantheon includes deities like Shiva, Vishnu, and Lakshmi.


A faith that combines spiritual practices with worldly responsibilities, advocating for social justice.
Sikhism has been instrumental in advocating for human rights and equality.


An ancient religion with a diverse range of beliefs, practices, and deities.
Hinduism's festivals like Diwali and Holi reflect its cultural richness and diversity.


Founded by Guru Nanak, this religion teaches devotion to one God and the importance of good deeds.
In Sikhism, the langar exemplifies the principle of selfless service and community.


A religion that offers various paths to salvation, accommodating a wide array of philosophies and sects.
Hinduism respects individual spiritual journeys, whether through devotion, knowledge, or righteous living.


Rejects idolatry, upholds the equality of all humans, and stresses living an honest and disciplined life.
Sikhism promotes the concept of 'Ek Onkar'—there is only one God.


A religious, philosophical, and cultural tradition that developed in India with the composition of the Vedas, characterized by belief in a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, by the desire for liberation from earthly evils, and by belief in reincarnation.


A monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 1500s by the guru Nanak. Sikhism rejects caste distinctions, idolatry, and asceticism and is characterized by belief in a cycle of reincarnation from which humans can free themselves by living righteous lives as active members of society.


The dominant religion of India; characterized by a caste system anud belief in reincarnation.


The doctrines of a monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 16th century by Guru Nanak and combining elements of Hinduism and Islam


A complex of beliefs and values and customs including worship of many gods, especially the Trimurti composed of Brahma the Creator; Vishnu the preserver; and Shiva the destroyer.


The predominant religion of India; characterized by a caste system and belief in reincarnation


A body of religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practices native to India and characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme beingof many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils


What is Sikhism?

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded by Guru Nanak, focusing on devotion to one God and community service.

How do Hinduism and Sikhism view God?

Hinduism is polytheistic with many gods, while Sikhism is monotheistic, believing in one God.

Who founded Sikhism?

Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak in the 15th century.

What is the primary text of Hinduism?

Key texts in Hinduism include the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita.

What is Hinduism?

Hinduism is a diverse religion with various deities and philosophies, emphasizing dharma and karma.

Does Hinduism have a single founder?

No, Hinduism evolved over millennia and does not have a single founder.

What are the Sikhism's key practices?

Sikhism's key practices include prayer, community service, and living an honest life.

What is the significance of the Guru Granth Sahib in Sikhism?

The Guru Granth Sahib is the central religious scripture of Sikhism, containing the teachings of the Sikh Gurus.

What is langar in Sikhism?

Langar in Sikhism is a community kitchen where free meals are served to all, regardless of background.

What is the significance of the turban in Sikhism?

The turban in Sikhism represents spirituality, honor, and commitment to the faith.

What role does meditation play in Sikhism?

Meditation, especially on God's name, is a key practice in Sikhism for spiritual growth.

What are the key festivals in Hinduism?

Key Hindu festivals include Diwali, Holi, and Navaratri.

How does Hinduism view other religions?

Hinduism generally adopts a pluralistic view, respecting other religious paths.

What is karma in Hinduism?

Karma in Hinduism refers to the concept that actions in this life affect future rebirths.

Do Sikhs believe in reincarnation?

Yes, Sikhs believe in reincarnation but emphasize living a righteous life to merge with God.

How do Hinduism and Sikhism view the caste system?

While caste has historically been significant in Hinduism, Sikhism explicitly rejects caste discrimination.

What is moksha in Hinduism?

Moksha in Hinduism is the liberation from the cycle of rebirth and union with the divine.

Can women participate fully in Sikh religious practices?

Yes, Sikhism advocates for gender equality, and women can participate in all religious practices.

Are there different sects within Hinduism?

Yes, Hinduism has various sects and philosophies, including Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism.

What is the Sikh view on monotheism?

Sikhism strongly emphasizes monotheism, the belief in one, formless God.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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