Convert to Sikhism
Introduction to Convert to Sikhism
Sikhism is an experiential spiritual lifestyle with a dynamic philosophy that encourages humility, compassion, gender equality, oneness, honest living, unity of all human beings, charity and meditation on God.
There are many spiritual people who learn about Sikhism and are attracted to the simple, non-divisive, open minded approach to God realisation as taught by the Sikh Gurus.
Some of the reasons that people converted to Sikhism historically and also some of the ways that people convert to Sikhism in our current age shall be highlighted.
Also, the challenges that spiritual seekers of truth may face if they are the only individual from a family who has converted or is converting to Sikhism shall be explored and some ways in which these challenges can be overcome.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji and His Teachings
Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the world’s most widely travelled Prophet. He made four large journeys on foot to all the major religious centres of the world to spread truth, peace and divine knowledge. He was a universal teacher and so Muslims regarded him as a Muslim saint, Hindus regarded him as a Hindu Guru, Buddhists regarded him as equivalent to the Dalai Lama. Guru Nanak Dev Ji therefore gained many devotees from various religious and cultural traditions.
People Converting to Sikhism Historically
Hindus becoming Sikhs
Historically in India many Hindus raised their first sons as Sikhs so that their sons could join the Sikh liberation army. This army was helping to protect the religious freedom of people in India by putting a stop to the forceful conversion of Indian people to Islam.
This tradition of making the first son a Sikh, still happens to a lesser extent in some Hindu families of Sindhi and Punjabi cultural background.
Mass Conversion of Dalits to Sikhism
The gentleman who compiled the Indian constitution was a brilliant man named Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He came from a humble low caste background. People from these classes in India were generally treated very badly and it was the dream of Baba Saheb to convert to Sikhism together with the rest of the Dalit community which constituted 25% of the Indian population. This would have been the largest voluntary mass conversion to any religion in the world. Unfortunately, this did not materialise, but nevertheless a small number of Dalits did convert to Sikhism for its belief in human unity.
People Converting to Sikhism Today
The majority of people that become interested in Sikhism and evolve into Sikhs are people who have become involved with Kundalini Yoga and fallen in love with its simple, experiential and practical approach to spirituality.
Virtually all of the Sikh communities in South America in places like Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador have come into Sikhism through the practice of Kundalini Yoga.
Sikhism and Yoga Camps
Sikhism and Yoga camps are a relatively new phenomenon where people interested in spirituality, yoga and Sikhism get an opportunity to spend one week living a Sikh lifestyle and learning about yoga, healthy living, martial arts, meditation, healing, Gurbani, music as well as team working, selfless service, unconditional love and tying turbans! These camps play a huge role in raising the spiritual awareness of people and world consciousness.
What is a Sikh?
Sikh is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Shishya’ meaning disciple, learner or student. So a Sikh is simply a student of spirituality. In this sense, every person who is focusing on progressing their spiritual evolution and development is a Sikh.
How do you become a Sikh?
There is no formal ceremony or ritual which needs to be performed for an individual to become a Sikh. If you attend a Sikh camp, Yoga session, listen to Gurbani, attend a Sadhana or fall in love with Sikh philosophy and you feel that Sikhism is your way of connecting to God, then you are a Sikh! There is also a formal discipline that many Sikhs follow and it involves the Amrit ceremony.
Getting a Spiritual Name
Some people may wish to get a spiritual Sikh name to help them along their journey and give them a new identity. This can be done by attending a naming ceremony at any Gurdwara to be given a letter from the Guru or by applying online at www.3ho.org.
What does a Sikh have to do?
A Sikh is someone who avoids alcohol, smoking, drugs, illicit sex and will generally follow a lacto-vegetarian diet. These guidelines are simply there to ensure that we can more easily create a union with God while we pray and meditate.
Initiation into the Khalsa Order
The Khalsa order is a slightly more disciplined form of Sikh who will also keep long hair. A person is initiated into the Khalsa order by taking the nectar of immortality (Amrit). This would be formal confirmation for a Sikh of his or her faith in Sikhism and the spiritual lifestyle as formalised by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Challenges From Family Regarding Your New Found Philosophy
If your early morning Sadhana is annoying other family members then just try your best to be as quiet as possible. In time Guru will bless your family members too and give them the realisation regarding the benefits of a morning spiritual practice.
Sharing Sikh Philosophy
If you are the only person from your family who has discovered Sikh philosophy then it may be a good idea to informally share some ideas regarding the unity of God, unity of humanity, importance of meditation to relax and reduce stress etc with your family and let them slowly get an understanding of the Sikh lifestyle and its philosophy.
Partner Against Sikhism
There are many cases where one partner has a longing to adopt a Sikh lifestyle and also take the Amrit but the other half is not happy with the idea. In this situation it is advisable to be as kind, generous, loving and humble to your partner as you possibly can be. In fact be extra special to your partner. Let your partner recognise a shift in your qualities, your effort, your compassion and your love. It will then hopefully be a matter of time before your partner begins to realise the amazing power of Sikhism and the effect it has had on your personal development.
It is generally not advisable to preach or teach any philosophy. You need to simply win the heart of your partner through your actions, your smile and your positive vibration. Meditate and pray for your family and the Guru will be there to make miracles in your life.
Useful Resources on Sikhism
Online searchable Sikh scripture:
Worldwide Sikh community portal:
Spiritual name request:
Free Kundalini Yoga tutotials:
Online Naad Yoga school: