IK ONKAR (
Gurmukhi : ੴ, ਇੱਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ; IKK ŌANKāR
Punjabi pronunciation: ) is the symbol that represents the ONE
SUPREME REALITY and is a central tenet of
Sikh religious philosophy
Sikh religious philosophy .
Ik (ਇੱਕ) means one and only one, who cannot be compared or
contrasted with any other, (ਓਅੰਕਾਰ) is the one universal
ever flowing divine melody and existential unstuck never ending sound
To simplify Ik means one, Oang the creator and Kar means the
creation. So the creator and his creation are not different and He the
supreme creator resides everywhere and in everything.
The sound is Oang (anhad naad) and Kar is the never ending
continuation of Oang sound. This melody manifests in billions of
galaxies and universes and leads to protect and preserve. Ultimately,
everything gets merged back into this sound; this has happened
countless times before.
It is a symbol of the unity of God in
Sikhism , meaning God is One or
One God, and is found in all religious scriptures and places such as
Gurdwaras . Derived from Punjabi , Ik Onkār is the first phrase in
Mool Mantar referring to the existence of "one constant divine
melody" which is proved by
Gurbani itself in:
ਓਅੰਕਾਰ ਏਕ ਧੁਨਿ ਏਕੈ।।
Oangkar one and only divine melody
ਏਕੈ ਰਾਗੁ ਅਲਾਪੈ।।
One melody is tuned
ਏਕਾ ਦੇਸੀ ਏਕੁ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਏਕੋ
ਰਹਿਆ ਬਿਆਪੈ।। ਮਹਲਾ ੫
One is his land, one way he shows and that one is omnipresent.
Page 885 (Shree
Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
ਓਅੰ ਆਦਿ ਸਰੂਪੈ।।
ਓਅੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੀੲੋ ਪਸਾਰਾ।।
It is found in the
Gurmukhi script and is consequently also part of
Sikh morning prayer ,
Japji Sahib . It is a combination of two
characters, the numeral ੧, Ikk (one) and the first letter of the
word Onkar (Constant taken to mean God) - which also happens to be the
first letter of the
Gurmukhī script - an ūṛā , ੳ, coupled with
a specially adapted vowel symbol hōṛā , yielding ਓ.
* 1 In
* 2 Discussion
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
IN MUL MANTRA
Mul Mantra written by
Guru Har Rai ,
Ik Onkar at top.
It is also the opening phrase of the
Mul Mantar , present as opening
phrase in the
Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib , and the first composition of Guru
Nanak . Further, the
Mul Mantar is also at the beginning of the Japji
Sahib , followed by 38 hymns and a final
Salok at the end of this
composition. Punjabi : ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ
ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ
ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ
ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ Simplified transliteration: ikk ōnkār
satināmu karatā puraku nirapǎ'u niraver akāl mūrat ajūnī
sepàng gurprasād English : One true existential divine melody, Truth
by Name, Creative Power, Without Fear, Without Enmity, Timeless Form,
Unborn, Self-Existent, By the Guru's Grace.
Ik Onkar is the statement of oneness in
Sikhism , that is 'there is
The phrase is a compound of the numeral one (ik) and onkar, states
Doniger, canonically understood in
Sikhism to refer to "absolute
monotheistic unity of God".
Ik Onkar has a prominent position at the
head of the
Mul Mantar and the opening words of the Sri Guru Granth
The Onkar of
Sikhism is related to Om in Hinduism. Sikhs disagree
Ik Onkar is same as Om. Onkar is, states Wazir Singh, a
"variation of Om (Aum) of the ancient Indian scriptures (with a slight
change in its orthography), implying the seed-force that evolves as
Guru Nanak wrote a poem entitled Oankar in which,
states Doniger, he "attributed the origin and sense of speech to the
Divinity, who is thus the Om-maker".
Oankar ('the Primal Sound') created
Brahma , Oankar fashioned the
From Oankar came mountains and ages, Oankar produced the
By the grace of Oankar, people were saved through the divine word,
By the grace of Oankar, they were liberated through the teachings of
the Guru. — Ramakali Dakkhani,
Adi Granth 929-930, Translated by
It is constituted of two components - Ek and Onkar. Ek means one, and
is written as a numerical figure '1'. Onkar stands for the Primal
mystical Divine Name of God referred to as
Brahman in the Vedic
literature. In order to grasp fully the underlying spiritual
significance and meaning of Ek-Onkar each of its components needs to
be studied in depth, beginning with Onkar.
The root of Onkar is traceable to the Hindu sacred syllable Om, also
written as Aum. Historically, in the beginning, Om was used as a reply
of approval or consent. It is equivalent to the English word 'Amen'
uttered at the end of a Christian prayer, meaning 'so be it'.
At a later stage, with the evolution of Indian philosophic thought,
the sages of Upanishads pronounced it as an adequate symbol of the
Absolute Transcendent Reality,
Brahman . It is considered as the unity
of all sound to which all matters and energy are reduced in their
primordial form, hence fit as a symbol for Atman (soul) or
the Supreme Being, which is the unity of all existence. These - and
possibly some other - considerations led the Vedic sages to accord to
Om the highest Divine reverence and worship. As a very sacred and
powerful Mantra it forms part of daily worship and meditation by Hindu
devotees. It is treated as the holiest symbol of Divinity calling it
Brahma or Shabda
Brahma in the form of sound. Its nearest
equivalent in the West is Logos or the 'Word'. St. John's Gospel
expounds it thus:
"in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word
was God." The Word was the true light that enlightens all men!
Written in original, it is composed of three letters of Sanskrit
alphabet, corresponding to A U M of English alphabet. According to the
polytheistic tradition of Hinduism it also represented the Hindu
Trinity, each letter standing for one of the deities, Brahma, Vishnu
This, is obviously, was not acceptable to
Guru Nanak whose concept of
God was based on unalloyed monotheism. His was One and Only One
Supreme Being, an Indivisible Entity. This belief in the unity of God
he has re-iterated in various ways in his other compositions as well.
At one place he emphatically affirms, Sahib mera Eko hai, Eko hai
Bhai, eko hai.
'My Master is One, One only, Oh Brother, He is Sole.'
So Guru Nanak's revealed Scripture place numerical figure '1' before
Onkar thus enhancing his firm conviction in the unity of God. Its main
importance and underlying significance lies in the fact that one is
not represented by 'one' in words, but by a numerical figure '1'; thus
completely eliminating any possibility of words being given different
meaning. It was Guru Nanak's own inspired vision that transformed AUM
into Ek-Onkar representing the Supreme Being, the Sole Absolute
Eternal Reality which, while manifesting itself in multiplicity as
Onkar, is still in its essence 'Sole and Absolute'; Transcendent as
well as Immanent. Impersonal is also Personal in Ek-Onkar.
By the large, Sikhs worship 'Waheguru' as God's name for constant
remembrance by repetition aloud or Sotto Voce. In
Sikh parlance, this
is known as 'Naam Simran'. There are, however, many a
Sikh who also
meditate upon and use Ek-Onkar for 'Naam Simran'. Like 'Waheguru' this
is also considered to be a powerful Mantra for achieving spiritual
progress and Divine Grace for final emancipation of the individual
In conclusion, it can be said that Ek-Onkar is the true symbol of
Sikhism given to us by
Guru Nanak based on his spiritual experience
and inspired vision at the very inception of the
* ^ A B
Sikhism photpack. Fu Ltd. 2012. p. 10. ISBN 1-85276-769-3 .
first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help )
* ^ "Basic Articles". SGPC. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
* ^ "ਇੱਕ - meaning in English". Shabdkosh. Retrieved 20
* ^ Real Sikhism: Meaning of word Ik Onkar.
* ^ Mayled, John (2002). Sikhism. Heinemann. p. 16. ISBN
* ^ David Rose, Gill Rose (2003). Sacred Texts photopack. Folens
Limited. p. 12. ISBN 1-84303-443-3 .
* ^ Arvind Mandair (2008), Shared Idioms, Sacred Symbols, and the
Articulation of Identities in South Asia (Editor: Kelly Pemberton),
Routledge, ISBN 978-0415958288 , page 61
* ^ Singh, Wazir (1969). Aspects of Guru Nanak\'s philosophy.
Lahore Book Shop. p. 20. Retrieved 2015-09-17. the 'a,' 'u,' and 'm'
of aum have also been explained as signifying the three principles of
creation, sustenance and annihilation. ... aumkār in relation to
existence implies plurality, ... but its substitute Ekonkar definitely
implies singularity in spite of the seeming multiplicity of existence.
* ^ Singh, Khushwant (2002). "The Sikhs". In Kitagawa, Joseph
Mitsuo . The religious traditions of Asia: religion, history, and
culture. London: RoutledgeCurzon. p. 114. ISBN 0-7007-1762-5 .
* ^ A B C D E Doniger, Wendy (1999). Merriam-Webster\'s
encyclopedia of world religions. Merriam-Webster. p. 500. ISBN
978-0-87779-044-0 . Retrieved 2015-09-23.
* ^ Wazir Singh (1969), Guru Nanak's philosophy, Journal of
Religious Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1, page 56
* ^ Pashaura Singh (2014), in The Oxford Handbook of
(Editors: Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech), Oxford University Press,
ISBN 978-0199699308 , page 227
* Video on the Holy Importance of
Ik Onkar as told by Guru