The life of every Sikh has both personal and panthic, or communal, elements. For a devout Sikh, the secular life (Miri) incorporates standards of spiritual living (Piri). The Sikh way of life follows gurmat, principles taught by the ten gurus over a period of three centuries. Regardless of initiation status, a Sikh is to adhere to the conventions of the Sikh code of conduct from the time of birth and throughout all of life until death.
Sikhs are to congregate with the like-minded company and when meeting, greet one another saying, “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa – Waheguru ji ki Fateh,” or “Khalsa belongs to God – Victory belongs to God”.
Brahmans don’t eat from the hands of people of so called low castes because they believe that Brahmans are superior to the people of other castes whereas the Gurmat Bibeki on the other hand considers himself to be the dust of everyone’s feet. He keeps dietary Bibek not because he considers himself to be superior to others but because he is obeying the hukam (order) of the Guru.
It is the order of our Guru Sahib to associate only with Gurmat devotees and to avoid bad company. Bad company is defined as the company of such persons who are averse to Gurmat path of attaining Vaheguru. Gurmat preaches that one becomes what one’s company is. By associating with Gurmukhs, one gets inclined towards Gurmat and by associating with Manmukhs, one gets manmukhi tendencies.
It is next to impossible to become a Brahman unless one is born into a Brahman family. There is a way to become a Brahman even if one is born into a non-Brahman family but the path is very difficult to achieve. I can think of only two examples where a person was allowed to change his caste. One is Vishwamitra who was born as a Kshatriya but by following years and years of ascetic penances, he was finally accepted as a Brahm-Rishi and a Brahman. This incident occurred thousands of years ago. The most recent example of a person changing his caste is that of Shivaji Maratha who was born in a so called low caste but due to his hard work and good fortune became the ruler of his area. He wanted to be declared a Chatrapati (king) by the religious leaders but none of the religious leaders – the Brahmins – were willing to coronate him a king because he was born into a low caste family. After much effort he found some Brahmins from Kashi who using some clauses from the Hindu scriptures were able to coronate him a Chatrapati and this way changed his caste to that of a Kshatriya.
Now look at Gurmat. Gurmat is so great that anyone, irrespective of caste or race, can become a Khalsa. The conditions are same for Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vashyas, Shudras, Muslims or whoever. Anyone who is willing to offer his head to the Satguru, can become a Khalsa. Once one is accepted as a Khalsa by Guru Sahib and is given Khande Pahul (Amrit), one becomes equal in status to all other Khalsa brothers and sisters. Two Khalsas, one from a Brahmin background and one from Shudra background hold equal status in the Khalsa Order. One gets a higher status only based on one’s Karma and not based on one’s birth. This is the difference between Gurmat and Brahmanism.