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Sikhism

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Introduction of Sikhism

The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is practical and universal in their appeal to all mankind.

A major thing to be noted is that the existence of ik oankar (one God’s existence) is the faith in Waheguru, who is omnipotent and exists everywhere across, who provides justice for all human acts.  God is said to be eternal (akal purak) and teaches meditation and follow the sikh Gurus for good preaching.  Sikhs live in majority in India and are also spread over at various parts of world including in Pakistani Punjab.

 

Symbols of Sikhism (Khanda)

The special Sikh religous symbol is made up of three images: The Khanda, which is a double edged sword. This represents the belief in one God. The Chakkar, like the Kara it is a circle representing God without beginning or end and reminding Sikhs to remain within the rule of God. Two crossed kirpans representing spiritual authority and political power.

 

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Sikh’s beliefs

Sikhs believe in one God who guides and protects them.

They believe that everyone is equal before God

Sikhism stresses the importance of doing good actions rather than merely carrying out rituals

Sikhs believe that the way to lead a good life is to:

  • keep God in heart and mind at all times
  • live honestly and work hard
  • treat everyone equally
  • be generous to the less fortunate
  • serve others

 

History

Punjab State carries the main history of Sikhism and more so the Khalsa established by Guru Gobind Singh in the year 1969.  Fifteenth Century saw the emanation of Sikh religion, by Guru Nanak, a religious head, and it was approved and taken forward by Guru Gobind Singh on March 1699.  Different personalities numbering five, across different social levels were named to form the Khalsa leading to Guru Gobind Singh’s was baptized thus Khalsa going back to around 400 years old.  One more reason for formation of Sikhism is their differences with Muslims who had killed prominent Sikh and Hindu Personalities.  Further, partition of Indian 1947 saw a great fight between Sikhs and Muslims and people migrating from West Punjab which had a great Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus population.

 

Sikh's Holy Book

The Sikh scripture is a book called the Guru Granth Sahib

The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh declared that there would be no other living Gurus but instead Sikhs could look to their holy scriptures for guidance, so the holy book became the 'Guru' (teacher).

The Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of teachings and writings by Guru Nanak and other Gurus as well as Sikh, Hindu and Muslim saints.

These scriptures are written in Punjabi and are greatly respected by all Sikhs as the living word of God.

The holy book is kept on a raised platform under a canopy in the place of worship.

Sikhs take off their shoes in the presence of the Holy Scriptures and also never turn their back on them.

At every festival, they are read continuously from beginning to end, which takes about 48 hours.

 

The Gurdwara: the Sikh place of worship

Any building where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept is a Sikh place of worship. It is called the Gurdwara ('Gateway to the Guru').

Sikh services are generally held on a Sunday in this country. They are based on the writings in the Guru Granth Sahib, together with chants and prayers from the Gurus known as Keertan.

The service ends in a langar (shared meal).

 

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