Panth: Spiritual Path of Sikh Society

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Panth: Spiritual Path of Sikh SocietyDefinition: Panth is a word meaning way as in roadway or pathway, and sect, denomination, or religious society considered travelers on, or followers, of a spiritual path.

In Sikhism, the term panth usually has a religious connotation. Panth is often used in conjunction with the terms Sikh and Khalsa:

  • Sikh Panth refers to the entire society, community, fellowship or religious body of Sikhs all around the world.
  • Khalsa Panthor Commonwealth refers to all initiated Khalsa Sikhs, but does not necessarily exclude Sikhs who have not taken steps to become initiated. Rather it could designate Khalsa as the head of the entire Sikh Panth, the way parents are the head of the family who shares the same last name.
  • Guru Panth incorporates all who follow the teachings of the ten gurus and scripture of Guru Granth Sahib.

Panthee - A member of the Panth, one who belongs to the fellowship and society of the Sikh commonwealth community.

Panthik - By way of involvement and input from a society, sect, or denomination. A panthik decision is one made by way of the entire Panth or representatives of the entire Panth in an all inclusive panthik committee or counsel. Sikh Reht Maryada, the code of conduct and conventions is a panthik document. The Panj Pyare are representatives of a panthik counsel which always numbers five consultants.

Rehit the Code of Conduct
Maryada Conventions of Compliance

Pronunciation: The a is panth is short and sounds like the u in Punt. The nth is like the nth of Panther.

Common Misspellings: Pant, path.


The word panth appears numerous times in Sikh scripture and may reference a religious sect, a way of worship, a particular spiritual path or road followed in religious life, or simply just a path, or road followed:

"Manai mag na chalai panth ||
The faithful do not follow empty religious rituals." SGGS||3

"Ho panth dasaa-ee nit kharr-ee ko-ee prabh dasae tin jaao ||
I stand by the wayside and ask the Way. If only someone would show me the Way to God-I would go with him." SGGS||41

"Buraa bhalaa na pachhaanai praanee aagai panth karaaraa ||
Mortal beings do not distinguish between good and evil, and the road ahead is treacherous." SGGS||77

"Merai hee-a-rai preet raam raae kee gur maarag panth bataa-i-aa ||
My heart is filled with love for the Sovereign Lord King; the Guru has shown me the path and the way to find Him." SGGS||172

"Bharam jaraae charaa-ee bibhootaa panth ek kar pekh-i-aa ||
I have burnt my doubt, and smeared my body with the ashes. My path is to see the One and Only Lord." SGGS||208

"Panth dasaavaa nit kharree mundh joban baalee raam raajae ||
I stand by the roadside, and ask the way; I am just a youthful bride of the Lord King." SGGS||449

"Gur sajan piaaraa mai miliaa har maarag panth dasaahaa ||
I have met my Beloved Friend, the Guru, who has shown me the Path to the Lord." SGGS||776

"Har kaa panthh ko-oo bataavai ho taa kai paa-e laagee ||1|| rehaao ||
Whoever shows me the Way of the Lord - I fall at his feet." ||1||Pause|| SGGS||1265

"Lehnai panth dharam kaa keeaa ||
Lehnaa established the path of righteousness." SGGS||1401

"Ik outam panth sunio gur sangat teh milant jam traas mittaa-ee ||
I have heard that the most exalted Path of all is the Sangat, the Guru's Congregation. Joining it, the fear of death is taken away." SGGS||1406
Br> "Sanniaasee das naam dhar jogee baareh panth nivaasee ||
The Sanniasi (sects) have ten names and the Yogis are divided into twelve sects." Bhai Gurdas||8

"Hathee kirat kamaavanee pair panth sathoee ||
With his hands He works and becomes a fellow traveller on the path. Bhai Gurdas Var||9

"Sidh naath bahu panth kar houmai vich karan karamaatee ||
The siddhas and naths are divided into many sects controlled by egoism and roam hither and thither showing miraculous feats." Bhai Gurdas Var||9

"Vaalahu nikaa aakhee-ai gur panth niraalaa ||
The Guru Panth is the distinct spiritual path of the enlightener whose way is finer than the width of a hair." Bhai Gurdas Var||13

Translations of Guru Granth Sahibscripture by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa

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By Sukhmandir Khalsa