The origins of Sikh Dharma lie in the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors. The essence of the Dharma is summed up in these words: "Realisation of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living". Sikhs stress the equality of all humans and reject discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and gender. Sikhism is monotheistic. God, regardless of its name, is a formless, eternal, and unobservable phenomenon pervading everywhere. The first word of the Sikh scripture is “Ekongkar” meaning that the Creator and the creation are one.
While a full understanding of God is beyond human beings, Guru Nanak described God as beyond all qualities (including gender), omnipresent, and discernible everywhere to the spiritually awakened. He stressed that God must be seen with "the inward eye", or the "heart", of a human being. Beyond this there is no dogma, only the search for truth. Sikhs meditate as a means to progress towards enlightenment; devoted meditation practice enabling a sort of communication between the Infinite and finite human consciousness.
Sikh Dharma practices are founded, not on seeking a final destination of heaven or avoiding hell, but on a spiritual union with the Divine. The chief obstacles to such a union (yoga) are social conflicts and an attachment to worldly pursuits. Nevertheless, Sikhs have always maintained themselves as householders, warriors, merchants, and farmers: people who endeavor to successfully live in the world while remaining detached from it.