Sikhism's Origin, History, Scripture, Belief, Festivals, Founder of Sikhism Religion


Introduction

           Sikhism was founded in the Punjab(India) by Guru Nanak(1469–1539) in the 15th Century CE and is based on his teachings, and those of the 9 Sikh gurus who followed him. 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 Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the world's 5th largest religion. The 2001 census recorded 336,000 Sikhs in the UK. Most of whom live in the Punjab province of India. Approximately 75% of Sikhs live in the Punjab, where they constitute about 60% of the state's population. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring states such as Indian State of Haryana which is home to the second largest Sikh population in India with 1.1 million Sikhs as per 2001 census, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India. However, Sikhs only comprise about 2% of the Indian population.              A person who wears all these Five Kakaars should be considered a Sikh:

     Kesh: uncut hair

     Kangha: a wooden comb

     Kara: a metal bracelet

     Kachera: a specific style of cotton undergarments

     Kirpan: a strapped curved sword

Symbol Of Sikhism:

* Khanda - Symbol of Sikhism

              The Khanda is the symbol of the Sikhs, it is commonly called the Sikh coat of arms, or "Khalsa Crest". The Khanda constitutes of three items in one, each with a symbolic meaning. A double-edged sword called a Khanda in the centre, a Chakkar which is circular and two single-edged swords( kirpans), are crossed at the bottom and sit on either side of the Khanda and Chakkar.It is also known as the military emblem of the Sikhs.


Sikh Gurus:

              The Sikh Gurus (Guru Nanak) established Sikhism over the centuries, beginning in the year 1469. Guru Nanak is the first Master in Sikh Dharma. He was born at Talwandi (now known as Nankana Sahib in Pakistan) on 15 April 1469. His father’s name was Mehta Kalyan Chand, but was known as Kalu Ji. His mother’s name was Mata Tripta Ji. His wife’s name was Mata Sulakhni Ji. He had two sons. His elder son was Baba Sri Chand Ji and his second son was Baba Lakshmi Das Ji.

Sikhism is based on the teaching of ten Gurus. They are:

Guru Date Of Birth Guruship On Date Of Death
1. Guru Nanak 15 April 1469 --- 22 September 1539
2. Guru Angad 31 March 1504 7 September 1539 29 March 1552
3. Guru Amar Das 5 May 1479 26 March 1552 1 September 1574
4. Guru Ram Das 24 September 1534 1 September 1574 1 September 1581
5. Guru Arjan 15 April 1563 1 September 1581 30 May 1606
6. Guru Har Gobind 19 June 1595 25 May 1606 28 February 1644
7. Guru Har Rai 16 January 1630 3 March 1644 6 October 1661
8. Guru Har Krishan 7 July 1656 6 October 1661 30 March 1664
9. Guru Tegh Bahadur 1 April 1621 20 March 1665 11 November 1675
10. Guru Gobind Singh 22 December 1666 11 November 1675 7 October 1708

Belief:

  • There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions.

  • Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.

  • Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.

  • Sikhs believe that human beings spend their time in a cycle of birth, life, and rebirth.

The main Sikhism scripture are:

* Guru Granth Sahib - The Holy Book

             Guru Granth Sahib or Adi Sri Granth Sahib Ji (Punjabi also called the Adi Granth or Adi Guru Darbar) is more than just a scripture of the Sikhs, for the Sikhs treat this Granth (holy book) as their living Guru. The holy text spans 1430 pages and contains the actual words spoken by the founders of the Sikh religion.The Guru Granth Sahib is truely unique among the world's great scriptures. It is considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion, rather than any living person.

Festivals:

  • Vaisakhi: Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) is the festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa.

  • Guru Nanak Gurpurab: celebrate the Birth of Guru Nanak was born in Nanakana Sahib,now situated in Pakistan.

  • Bandi Chhor Divas: celebrates the release from prison in Gwalior of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind.

Worship


             Sikhs worship God and only God. Unlike members of many other religions they worship God in his true abstract form, and don't use images or statues to help them.

             When devout Sikhs come to the Gurdwara, they must take off their shoes and put on a cap, as a sign of respect. While there, they may sing hymns (Kirtan), read from the Guru Granth Sahib (Kanth), and participate in the Langar, which is the offering of a free community meal for all visitors of all faiths. The Langar meal is also held in a portion of the Gurdwara, which is also called the Langar. Many Gurdwara's also double as community centers because so much of Sikh life is focused on serving the community. But along with public worship, Sikhs are also encouraged to cultivate a rich personal worship and relationship with God in private.

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