Dharam Khand

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Dharam khand is the first stage leval of Spiritual Reality. The Guru speaks of five levels or domains of spiritual awareness. The Five Realms described in the Bani are:

“The earth exists for Dharma to be practised.” The word dharam has been employed in the sense of duty. Duty is usually performed either out of a sense of social responsibility or through moral awareness. Guru Nanak links this sense of duty to man’s consciousness of divine justice. This is the stage in which a sense of inquisitiveness is aroused in the mind of the devotee who is now no longer a casual onlooker of the world around but can perceive the divine purpose behind the creation of this planet of ours, the earth, which is set in the cosmic cradle of time and space and is sustained by the vital elements. Man has been placed in this world to respond to the Creator’s purpose.

‘In night, seasons, months, weeks. Wind, water and earth.
Is bound the earth which is a house of Dharma.
On the earth are many life forms of a myriad different habits and ways.
Their names are beyond count
According to our previous Karma we appreciate this.
Truth is himself, truth is his court.
There the five elect find honour.
By glance of Satgur's grace are these elect marked.
Only there do we know who are ripened or un-ripened.
Says Nanak only there is the truth known.’
(Guru Granth Sahib, Japji Sahib)

In His court, he will be judged according to his moral response. This is the khand where our soul goes to after death. This is where Dharam Rai is stationed. Almost every religion explains this khand in some form or the other. Dharam Rai has an army of millions jammdoots who control the whole Dharam Khand. There are countless seasons, waters, fires, fires and low-lands like Pataal. Amidst such wide variety of things is the land of Dharam Khand. There countless kind of creatures reside. The length of ones stay in Dharam Khand is determined by the strength of the desires and attachments one possesses. Once the futility of holding on to earthly desires dawns, either through self experience or through the guidance of an enlightened soul one moves on into what some call Summerland but Guru Nanak Dev Ji calls Gian Khand.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji speaks of Dharm Khand (Sphere of Righteousness):
In the first Khand, the Guru shows the person that there is a natural order of things in the universe. This world is, a house of Dharma, a house of Vaeh-Guru, meaning a place of righteous actions. All things perform their righteous set duties. Likewise, an individual learning from this natural order of things should find his/her place in this natural order. In other words, they begin their spiritual journey by loving Vaeh- Guru seeing Vaeh-Guru in all and treating the world around them as a 'Dharma Sal' and thus respecting all things in it accordingly. It is only with Karma (deeds/destiny) that one can appreciate that the world is a 'Dharm Sal' and thus enter Dharm Khand.

The Guru further explains that many times this spiritual journey is impeded by one's own judgmental attitude towards others born of one's own self-conceit that "I know best and my way is best". In conclusion, the Guru makes it clear in this stanza 33 of Japji Sahib, that God alone elects and honours the righteous and stands as judge in His court overall. There is no other to judge. So, the Guru teaches that we should not judge others, but leave that to Va-eh Guru. We are to perform righteous duty as best we can.


The main points of Dharma Khand, the starting point of a Sikh's spiritual journey of ‘Naam Simran’, are:

  • One starts one's spiritual journey according with ones Karma only
  • Look upon world as 'Dharm Sal'. (Ghar ghar Vasey Dharamsaal)
  • Have opinions by all means but do not judge (Weechar)
  • Act righteously having faith in God's justice
Five Khands

ಭಭ Dharam Khand ಭಭ Gian Khand ಭಭ Saram Khand ಭಭ Karam Khand ಭಭ Sach Khand ಭಭ