Understanding the Meaning of Ik Onkar (One God)

Ik Onkar - One God
The Symbol of Ik Onkar - One God. Photo [S Khalsa]

Ik Onkar is a symbol which appears at the beginning the Sikh scripture and means, "One With Everything". The symbol is written in the Gurmukhi script and has several components. Some references are also spelled out in scripture as to Ek Ankar.

  • Ik (or Ek) stands for the Gurmukhi numeral "One".
  • On is a combination or O and An stands for "Everything".
  • Kar is inferred and stands for "Creator".

The symbol Ik Onkar communicates the idea of one one creative being, or one God, manifest in all of existence.

The creator and creation are one entity, inseparable in the way an ocean is made up of its individual drops, or a tree is composed of its individual components, roots, trunk, bark, branches, leaves, sap and seeds, (cones, fruits, or nuts).

Pronunciation: Ik (i as in lick) (alternately Ek, or aek sounding like the a in lake) O un kaar (aa sounds like the a in car)

Alternate Spellings: Ik Oankar, Ik Oankaar, Ek Onkar, Ek Ankar

Examples

  • "Sabh meh jaano karataa ek ||
    In all do I recognize that the One Creator is present." SGGS||377
  • "Safal janam hoaa mil saadhoo ekankaar dhiaaae raam ||
    Fruitful becomes the life upon meeting with the Saints, and contemplating the One Creator Lord." SGGS||782
  • "Tiseh bhoojh jin too keeaa prabh karann kaaran ek||1|| rahaao||
    Realize thou that He who created thee is the One God whom is the cause of all causes." Pause. SGGS||1007
  • "Eko karataa avar na koe ||
    There is only One, the Creator, there is no other at all." SGGS||1174
  • "Khaalik khalak khalak meh khaalik poor rehiou srab taanee ||1|| rehaao||
    The Creation is in the Creator, and the Creator is in the Creation, totally pervading and permeating all places. ||1||Pause|| SGGS||1349