The concepts of Nirguna and Saguna are integrally related to Sikhism. Though these jargons had been used by Guru Arjan Dev but the words actually are rooted in the teachings of Guru Nanak. According to Nanak, God is both manifest and non-manifest. Guru Nanak had said that God is Nirguna because He is absolute and completely devoid of any human attributes. The founding guru of Sikhism explained that being beyond all the three gunas, God is above human comprehension. He is the supreme. At the same time Nanak had said that, God has also become Saguna so that human beings are able to realise His presence. At this juncture God transforms into the Saguna state from His Nirguna state. Nanak's concept of Saguna is not similar to the Vaishnava concept of Saguna which sees God in the form of various Avatars. According to Sikh philosophy no form or figure represents the Saguna state of the Almighty. Nanak had claimed that the Saguna state of the Lord can be realised only with the help of meditation or Sadhana.
When Nanak talked about the concept of Creator he had said that even before the existence of this earth there existed the Infinite Order of the Lord or the Hukam. Nanak firmly believed that the Order of God has existed from times immemorial and the wonderful Lord has been the supreme Creator of all that exists around us. Things which we can see around us are the visual manifestations of the Lord's creations. It is Lord who has created the Maya or the allurement for all the worldly manifestation. Guru Nanak taught his followers that with a single command the Almighty has created the entire power. All the creations in this mighty world are indebted to the magnanimity of the great Lord. Nanak believed that the Formless, Timeless Lord owns the entire world and all things in it.
Nanak's philosophy says that God is one and, therefore, it is obvious that the Lord is also the Destroyer and the Recreator. It is Lord who brings an end to things in the world and again creates them in a new fashion. It is He who fills the oceans and then dries it up. According to Nanak, the Lord is the absolute. The Almighty is measureless and eternal. Guru Nanak had said that if an individual meditates the name of God in a sincere manner then only ones life on earth becomes fruitful. God destroys and recreates things according to His will and hence in the manner sustains the Universe.
Guru Nanak believed that God is omnipotent and hence omniscient. The Almighty knows all that goes on within our minds as well as outside. For Nanak, God is sovereign and He possesses absolute authority and immense power. The entire Universe goes on according to the will of the Lord. Nobody has the power to resist His will or His command. He is the ultimate authority of this Universe. If the Lord wants He can make a king beggar and a beggar a king. As He possesses a supreme authority He understands all aspects of His creations in a wonderful manner.
Nanak said that the world created by the Lord is ephemeral in nature but God Himself is not. He is eternal and omnipotent. Unlike His creations the Existence of the Lord can never end. Nanak had repeatedly appealed to his devotees to renounce all worldly attachments because those are nothing more than Maya. Nanak said that the Divine is immutable and beyond any beginning or death. Unless an individual is able to detach oneself from all worldly attachments it is not possible to establish an immortal relationship with the Eternal Reality. Nanak had said that God is devoid of any such quality which is transient and hence God cannot be recast into the mould of reincarnation. Nanak had taught his followers that the ultimate goal of human life should be to establish an unending relationship with the Almighty and in order to achieve such a state it is necessary that an individual dedicates his or her life in the name of God because amidst the ephemeral world only the Anadi and the Abinasi Lord exists.
Moving from the metaphysical qualities when it comes to the concrete nature of the Lord, Guru Nanak strictly had said that the Almighty is a formless identity. For Guru Nanak and all the other Sikh gurus the concept of Nirankar has been used in a large extent. Nanak had said that neither has God any form nor does He have any material embodiment. The presence of the Lord is a realisation. The greatness of the Lord can only be realised with dedication and meditation. Nanak said that after sincere meditation the realisation of the Lord that takes place is also formless and can only be experienced within the inner self. Guru Nanak had expressed wonder at the fact that though the mighty Lord is formless and shapeless yet He has the capacity to comprehend everything with his absolute authority.
Guru Nanak had further discussed that though the Lord is Nirankar in nature yet He is immanent in all His creations, especially the presence of the Lord is realised within the heart of human beings. Nanak had said that when he went to seek the Nirankar and Omkar Lord into the world he easily realised Him within his heart. The One, who creates this world, sustains it and also destroys it, should be realised very close to us and the closest place for us is within our hearts. Guru Nanak believed that only if one takes the name of the Lord sincerely and practices meditation he or she will get peace of mind and soul. Nanak believed that it is the light of the divine that shines within our mind and enlightens our inner self.
Guru Nanak had said that union with the Lord is the ultimate climax of salvation. He had also said that human initiative plays a major part in attaining this unification with the Lord but at the same time it is absolutely necessary that human beings receive the grace of God. Unless one gets the grace of God it is not possible for the individual to walk in the steps of salvation. Nanak believed that divine grace can be realised only through the divine activity which takes place within our inner selves. On the other hand divine realisation is not possible within human hearts unless one gets the divine grace from the Almighty. Divine activity within the inner self is of utmost importance because emancipation of the soul depends on it. On this account Nanak had said that unless the omniscient Lord chooses to impart divine grace to an individual it is not possible to attain salvation.
Guru Nanak believed that the greatness of God is beyond human imagination and comprehension. The Almighty is greater than all gurus. He is the supreme, the eternal Truth and His greatness is beyond all experience. The magnanimity of the Lord is boundless. Nanak had said that God's grace is the best gift which an individual can receive. With God's grace all obstacles are eased and no other help is required in life. One who receives the grace of Lord has received every thing in life. According to Guru Nanak God is infinite so is his bounty. Lord is the only one who gives continually. Therefore it is immoral to forget the Lord the ultimate giver of mankind.