Sikhism, spirituality and psychiatry
Kalra G., Bhui KS., Bhugra D.
Sikhism has millions of followers in India and among the Indian diaspora. As a religion it is relatively young but carries with it unique perspectives which are often not well known. The holy book of Sikhism, Guru Granth Sahib, is not only the last Guru, but also remained a key text for this religion. Using descriptions of the religion and its followers we attempt to understand the context of spirituality within this religion and attempt to apply it to clinical settings. We explored various texts to understand the notions of spirituality and ethics and directions for living one's life. We studied both the Gurumukhi version as well as the English translation of the Sikh holy text. In the context of history of the Sikhs, various descriptions related to mental well being were identified. In this paper we describe the history, development and the core values of the religion and we also review their role on psychiatric and mental health settings for managing Sikh patients. Guru Granth Sahib offers a very useful insight into what is understood by the term equivalent to depression and its phenomenology. The notions of dukh (loosely translated as pain, but can also mean sadness or suffering) and maya (illusion) and their role in daily living are also discussed. In this paper these descriptions are explored further and their importance explained. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.