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The Gurudwara Janan Asthan is the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and the holiest site in Sikhism.
TypeUniversal religion, Ethnic religion
ScriptureGuru Granth Sahib
Dasam Granth
Sarbloh Granth
TheologyMonotheism, Pantheism, Panentheism
RegionPanjab region (20%) : (Predominant religion in Punjab, India (97%) and widespread worldwide as minorities.)
Khalsa bole[2]
HeadquartersAkal Takht , Amritsar , Panjab
FounderGuru Nanak
Origin15th century
Gurdwara Janam Asthan , Punjab (Pakistan)
Number of followers15 - 25 million (referred to as "Sikhs")

Sikhism is a religion and philosophy that started in the Punjab region of South Asia (modern-day Pakistan) around the late 15th century. It's one of the newest major religions, ranking as the fifth-largest worldwide, with about 25–30 million followers known as Sikhs.[3][4] The teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and the nine gurus who followed him formed the foundation of Sikhism. The tenth guru, Gobind Singh, declared the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal guide for Sikhs, concluding the line of human gurus. Guru Nanak emphasized living a practical life with values like truthfulness, fidelity, self-control, and purity, prioritizing these over abstract truths. Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru, introduced the idea of balancing the worldly and spiritual aspects of life.[5]

The Sikh scripture begins with the Mul Mantar, a fundamental prayer about Ik Onkar ('One God'). Sikhism's key beliefs, found in the Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation in the name of the one creator, recognizing the unity and equality of all humans, selfless service, seeking justice for everyone's well-being, and maintaining honesty while leading a family life.[6] Sikhism rejects the idea that any specific religion holds a monopoly on absolute truth. It encourages practices like meditation (simran) and remembering the teachings through music (kirtan) or internal reflection (naam japna) to feel God's presence. Sikhs are taught to overcome the "Five Thieves" – lust, rage, greed, attachment, and ego.[7]

Beliefs[change | change source]

Sikh people

Guru Granth Sahib is not just a holy book for Sikhs, it is respected and treated as a living being as it is officially The Eternal Guru (Teachers). Shri Guru Granth Sahib is not written by one human but by saints from all across societies and religions. It is a universal teacher for all religions giving the message of one God and respect to all humans of every religion.

Some basic beliefs[change | change source]

  • There is nothing that is beyond or outside the one God. So, therefore there is nothing being created or destroyed, as the creation and destruction are still only part of the one.
  • The goal of life is to focus on being at one with God. This is attainable by meditation, prayer, and being in the company of others who share a similar goal.

God[change | change source]

Sikhism teaches that God lasts forever, cannot be seen, and has no body. Therefore, God has no gender. It is taught that God created the universe and keeps it running. God is considered to be infinite, Alpha and Omega, no beginning and no end. Sikhs worship God, and meditate on God’s name through intense (passionate) repetition. They believe everything is a part of God and God is a part of everything. Good, bad, neutral are not applicable to God and are meant only for human beings, as Sikh philosophy indicates that human beings are born innately good. Since God created the world he could destroy it whenever he wants.

Salvation[change | change source]

Followers are all trying to reach salvation, meaning they are trying to break the process of rebirth and become one with God. The thing that is keeping people from reaching union is bad karma. Bad karma is taught to be caused by pride, anger, greed, attachment and lust. Sikhs try to stay away from these things. Sikhs also believe that a piece of God resides within everything in the world. Once an individual discovers the God within and stops searching else then can he reach salvation.

Temples[change | change source]

A Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara (meaning "the house of Guru"). It is the place of worship in the Sikh religion. Birth, death, baptism and marriage ceremonies are held in the temple. There are four doors for all religions. When a person enters the temple, their head must be covered. There are no chairs in the temple so people sit on the floor.

The temple also serves as a kitchen. The kitchen is where festival food is donated, prepared and cooked by volunteers. All the food that has been made there is shared with all the community who visit the temple on that day. The meal is vegetarian and is called the Langar.

Three holiest sites in Sikhism are the Gurudwara Janam Asthan, Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan and the Golden Temple in India.

In a Gurdwara, no special place or seat may be reserved or set aside for any dignitary, as all are considered equals. The service consists of singing of the liturgy, as well as the exposition of Sikh history, tradition, and theology. In traditional Indian society, people of high and low caste were rigidly segregated. To combat this social problem, the Sikh community kitchen, or langar, requires everyone to sit side by side and eat together, thereby teaching the concept of equality by shattering all barriers of caste and class. Every major city in the United States and Canada has Sikh gurdwaras and they are open to all Sikh people go to Gurdwara to worship God.

Vaisakhi[change | change source]

Vaisakhi is an important festival celebrated by Sikhs. Vaisakhi is also known as Basaki. It is the harvest festival in the Punjab region. Vaisakhi is celebrated on the first day of the Basak month, in the Nanakshahi calendar.

Gurus and religious authority[change | change source]

The term guru comes from the Sanskrit gurū, which means teacher, guide, or mentor. The traditions and philosophy of Sikhism were made by ten gurus from 1469 to 1708. Each guru added to and reinforced the message taught by the previous one. This resulted in the creation of the Sikh religion.

And the eternal Guru is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which is a not just a book but contains the writings of each Guru.

In addition to the above, Sikhs also believe in fifteen bhagats or saints, including ones from other creeds, whose words and deeds have been adopted into Sikhism by the great ten Gurus. Most notable of these bhagats is the Punjabi Sufi saint, Hazrat Baba Farfood

Food Banks

Sikhs believe in equality therefore they have food banks to go and get food for free.

Extra facts

It is said that Sikhs have to give 10% of their earnings to charity.

Sikhs believe in equality therefore the are all equal in money. Nobody is poor and nobody is rich. There is a Sikh alphabet. Sikhism, religion and philosophy founded in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent in the late 15th century. The Sikhs call their faith Gurmat (Punjabi: “the Way of the Guru”). According to Sikh tradition, Sikhism was established by Guru Nanak (1469–1539) and subsequently led by a succession of nine other Gurus.

Time in chronological order Name Date of birth Guruship on Date of death Age at death Father Mother
1 Guru Nanak Dev Ji 1469 22 September 1539 70 Mehta Kalu Mata Tripta
2 Guru Angad Dev Ji 31 March 1504 7 September 1539 29 March 1552 48 Baba Pheru Mata Ramo
3 Guru Amar Das Ji 5 May 1479 26 March 1552 1 September 1574 95 Tej Bhan Bhalla Mata Bakht
4 Guru Ram Das Ji 24 September 1534 1 September 1574 1 September 1581 46 Baba Hari Das Mata Daya Vati
5 Guru Arjan Dev Ji 15 April 1563 1 September 1581 30 May 1606 43 Rām Dās Mata Bhani
6 Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji 19 June 1595 25 May 1606 28 February 1644 48 Arjun Dēv Mata Ganga
7 Guru Har Rai Ji 16 January 1630 3 March 1644 6 October 1661 31 Baba Gurditta Mata Nihal
8 Guru Har Krishan Ji 7 July 1656 6 October 1661 30 March 1664 7 Hari Rā'i Mata Krishan
9 Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji 1 April 1621 20 March 1665 11 November 1675 54 Hari Gōbind Mata Nanki
10 Guru Gobind Singh Ji 22 December 1666 11 November 1675 7 October 1708 41 Tēġ Bahādur Mata Gujri
11 Guru Granth Sahib Ji n/a 7 October 1708 n/a n/a

5 Ks[change | change source]

Khalsa is the military community of Sikhism. A Sikh must follow the 5 Ks:

  1. Having unshorn/uncut hair. This is called a Kesh. Whether male or female, a person is required to keep their Kesh covered. People usually cover their Kesh with a turban, or a scarf (Chunni).
  2. A wooden comb in their hair. This is called a Kanga. This symbolizes cleanliness which is an important part of Sikhism.
  3. A steel bangle. This is for protection and physical reminder that a one is bound to the Guru. This is called a Kara. This is to show that God has no beginning and no end.
  4. Cotton underwear that has to be always worn. This is called a Kachera. It is a reminder to stay away from lust and attachment.
  5. A sword. This is worn to defend one's faith and protect the weak. This is called Kirpan. It is only to be used in self-defense. Many of these are now welded shut.

Notes[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Mann, Gurinder Singh (2001). The Making of Sikh scripture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 5. ISBN 9780195130249.
  2. The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. Oxford Handbooks. Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech. OUP Oxford. 2014. p. 380. ISBN 9780191004117.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. McLeod, William Hewat. 2019 [1998]. "Sikhism". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  4. "Sikhs in Wolverhampton celebrate 550 years of Guru Nanak". BBC News. 12 November 2019.
  5. Marty, Martin E.; Appleby, R. Scott (1993). Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-50884-9.
  6. Reichberg, Gregory M.; Syse, Henrik (2014-05-26). Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-95204-0.
  7. Nayar, Kamala Elizabeth, Sandhu, Jaswinder Singh (2012). The Socially Involved Renunciate: Guru Nanak's Discourse to the Nath Yogis. State University of New York Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-7914-7950-6. {{cite book}}: Vancouver style error: name in name 2 (help)

Other websites[change | change source]