The word “Sikh” is in Punjabi language means “disciple” learner or seeker. Sikhism is the monotheistic religion in other words believers of Almighty God. Sikhism, religion and philosophy was founded by Guru Nanak in the late fifteenth century in Punjab region i.e. Northern part of the Indian Sub continental .Upon the teachings of Guru Nanak and Ten Succeeding Sikh Gurus ( The last one being the sacred text Living Guru (Guru Granth Sahib Ji) emphasizing universal, selfless love and brotherhood. “Only those who selflessly love everyone, they alone shall find God “Guru Granth Sahib teaches the Humans how to unite with all cosmic soul, with the creator.
It is one of the youngest of the major world religions and the world’s ninth largest over all religions. The Fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred Scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of one Creator, divine unity and equality of all human kind, engaging the Selfless Service, Striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all in honest conduct and livelihood while living a household life.
Sikhism is based on the spiritual teaching of Guru Nanak, the first Guru (1469-1539) and the Nine Guru’s that succeeded him. The Tenth Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) named the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as His successor, terminating the line of human guru’s and making the scripture the eternal, religious spiritual guide for Sikhs. Sikhism reject claims that any particular religious tradition has a monopoly on absolute truth.
The Sikh scripture opens with Ik Onkar (ੴ) its fundamental prayer about One Supreme Being “ Almighty God” Sikhism emphasizes “Simran” (Meditation) on the words of the Guru Granth Sahib) that can be expressed musically through Kirtan or Eternally through recite and repeat God’s name “Wahe Guru” as a meaning to feel Akaal Purukh(God’s presence). It teaches the followers to transform the “Five Thieves” (Lust, Rage, Greed, Attachment and Ego) hand-in-hand secure life is considered to be with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that leaving an “Active, Creative & Practical life of Truthfulness, Fidelity, Self-control and purity” is above the metaphysical truth and the ideal man is one who “establishes union with God”, knows his Will, and carries out that will.
Guru Hargovind, the Sixth Sikh Guru established the political/temporal (Meeri) and spiritual (Peeri) realism to be mutually co-existent. Sikhism evolves in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1605) and Guru Tegh Bahadur(1621-1675) were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers, after they refused to convert to Islam. The persecution of Sikh’s triggered the founding of the Khalsa (The Pure) as an order to protect the freedom of conscious and religion with qualities of a “Sant-Sipahi” ( Saint Soldier). The Khalsa was founded by the last “Sikh Guru (Guru Gobind Singh)”.
Now there are more than 25 million Sikhs around the world which makes Sikhism the worldwide 5th largest religion. Sikhism teaches a message based on the Principles of Love & Oneness and calls on all Sikhs (Followers to be the Spiritual Warriors, Meditation, Service & Justice, are core aspects of Sikh’s way of life. So Sikhism is a distinct religious, tradition that maintains its own distinct features, including founders, scriptures, worship, ceremonies and tradition. “Khalsa” are known men & women who have under gone the Sikh Baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh Code of Conduct and conventions and wear the prescribed Physical articles of the faith. One of the most noticeable being the “Uncut Hair” (required to be covered with the Turban).
Before the death in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh declared that the Sikhs no longer needed a living human guru and appointed His Spiritual Successor as The Living Guru (Sri Guru Granth Sahib), His Physical Successor as a Khalsa and Sikhs are bound to bow their forehead before Sri Guru Granth Sahib only.
Guru Gobind Singh felt that all the wisdom needed for Sikhs for Spiritual Guidance in their daily life could be found in “Sri Guru Granth Sahib” (The Eternal Guru of the Sikhs). Sri Guru Granth Sahib is unique in the world of religious Scriptures because not only it is accorded the status of “Being the Spiritual Head “ of the Sikh Religion but besides the poetry of Guru it also contains the Holy Writings of Saints of other faiths whose thoughts were consistent with those of Sikh Gurus.
What is Guru Granth Sahib?
The Sikh Holy Scripture is called “Guru Granth Sahib” it is a collection of Holy Teachings and Writings by Guru Nanak and other Guru’s as well as Sikh, Hindu and Muslims Saints. The Sikhs/ Followers are bound to bow their forehead before Sri Guru Granth Sahib only.
What is Dastaar/ Turban?
The Dastaar is one of the “Guru’s Gift” to Sikhs. It is how Crown be ourselves as the Singh’s and Kaur’s who sit on the Throne of commitment to our own consciousness for men and women alike. This objective Identity conveys Royalty, Grace and Uniqueness. It is signal to others that we live in the image infinity and dedicated to servicing to all Human kind.
What is Langar?
“Langer” is the term used in Sikhism for the Community Kitchen in the Gurudwara’s / Sikh Temple where a free meal is served to all the visitors without distinction of Religion, Caste, Gender, Economic Status or Ethnicity.
What is Gurdwara?
The Gurdwara/ Sikh Temple (The Gateway to the Guru) is a place of worshipped in the Sikh religion. Sikh Congregation also take part in Birth, Death, Baptism and Marriage Ceremonies in the Gurdwara. Guru Granth Sahib is usually placed at one end of the Gurdwara, high-up under “Chandoa Sahib” (Canopy) for whole scripture. The first Gurdwara in the World was built by “Guru Nanak” in 1521 at Kartarpur now in Pakistan. Thus the literal meaning of Gurudwara is “The Residence of the Living Guru” (Guru Granth Sahib) or “the door that leads to the Guru”.
Principle Beliefs of Sikhism
- Worship One Almighty God (ੴ) Sikhs believe that we should acknowledge ‘One Creator’ and are against worship in human made God’s Idols.
- Treat everyone equally. Sikhism believes that it is the immortal to show distinction or rank because of Race, Class or Gender, Universality are among the most important Pillars of the Sikh Faith.
- Avoid the Five Sins of Ego i.e. Pride, Lust, Greed, Anger and Attachment etc. Sikhs believe that Egoism is the biggest hindrance to connecting with the timeless “Truth of God”.
- Nitnem / Daily Prayer
Sikhs practice Daily Prayer and Meditation.
- Sewa/Selfless Service
To reduce the effect of Ego and prevent indulgence in the manifestation of Ego.
- Amrit Chhakna/Baptized
It is a Religious Practice, symbolized becoming Spiritually Reborn. Taking part in the Baptism ceremony conducted by the “Panj Pyaras” Five Beloved Sikhs who prepare and administer according to the specific individual and communal standards both ethnical and spiritual. They are encouraged to forsake worldly Worries, to avoid by the Guru’s Teachings and Practice Daily Worship/Nitnem etc.
- Wear the Five Articles of Faith
Panj Kakaar/ “5 K’s”
- Kachhera– Wear the Sikh under garment for modesty and health.
- Karha – Wear a ‘Steel Wristlet’ as a sign of Faith.
- Kirpan – Wear a ‘Small Sword’ symbolic of defending the religious rights of faith.
- Kangha – Wear a ‘Wooden Comb’ in the turban to keep hair clean and untangled.
- Kesh – Wear uncut hair, to honor to The Creator’s intention.
- Follow the Four Commandments: Sikh follows four commandments includes prohibition against four behaviors.
- Do not dishonor the “Creator’s intention” by cutting the hair both for Sikh men and women.
- Do not harm the body with Tobacco or other intoxicants.
- Do not eat Kutha/Sacrificed Meat.
- Illicit relations always forbidden.
- Nitnem/Daily Prayer
Sikhism has an establish prayer practice reciting Panj Baani/ Five morning prayers, and evening prayer and a back time prayer in every day routine.
- Take Part in Fellowship
Community and co-operation with others are among the most important tenets of Sikhism. Worship together and Sing Gurbani/ God’s Prays. Cook, Serve and Eat together in the Gurdwara reciting ‘Wahe Guru’ in whole refers Almighty God- The Supreme Soul. Thus, Wahe Guru means The Greatest of the Greatest that holds the Power in Universe.
- Sikh Greetings
The Holy Message “Waheguruji ka Khalsa-Waheguruji ki Fateh” convey whenever two Sikhs meet each other.
Therefore Waheguru in whole world means Greatest of the Greatest that holds the Power to eliminate the darkness from mind and turns it into “light of God”. Khalsa means Purity belongs to Waheguru.
Guru Gobind Singh ji had said my face will be watched that person who says it first. My back will be towards that person who says it afterwards “hence in order to spread to message of brotherhood, we should say Fateh Together”.
- Bole So Nihal – Sat Sri Akaal
It is divided into two parts- The First Bole So Nihal is a statement meaning “whosoever utters Shall Be Happy/Shall Be Fulfilled” and the second part – Sat Sri Akaal (Eternal is the Holy Great Almighty God).