Religious / Spiritual Identity
For Sikhs, joining the Khalsa and receiving amrit demonstrates the relationship between belief and action.
When a Sikh joins the Khalsa they leave behind their previous identity and take the new surnames, ‘Singh’ for men and ‘Kaur’ for women. The Khalsa becomes their new family. For the individual they commit themselves to something beyond themselves, they actively commit to following the Guru. For the community it means continuity.
Sikhs are expected to live according to three practices – acknowledging and remembering the One at all times and places, earning an honest living and sharing. These practices will help Sikhs grow morally. Morally, a Sikh is expected to develop control over five emotions which are anger, lust, pride, greed and losing yourself in dear ones. The Gurus provide the exemplars for living a good life. The energies Sikhs call virtues belong to the One and are a gift from the One.
Since, for Sikhs, the goal is to develop a relationship with the One, everything is personal. No one else can know what sort of relationship any two persons have. Sikhs believe that each person is unique as their track way across life is unique. All humans have the opportunity to enjoy a relationship with the One and from that vantage point humans can have a particular relationship.
Haumai or ‘Am I-ness?’ is the fundamental problem. Doubt leads people to fear and from there to self-centredness. This is the key problem of a manmukh or self-centred person. However, Sikhs believe that the real origin of the self is that it has been made by the One and contains the Divine imprint or Shabad. This Shabad or Word is the One and is the reason why the One is with and in all people. The Shabad is called the alchemist’s stone that can turn a person from lead to gold.
The Gurus taught that finally everything turns to the One as sparks return to the fire, or waves return to the ocean. Each drop has its own unique relationship to the ocean and this play of union and separation from the One is the basis of the Sikh’s Grace-filled and loving relationship. This means that among Sikhs there is a sense of optimism in Divine support for the future.